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Why Your Aero Glass Might Disappear All Of A Sudden

change-color-depth.pngI was going nuts the last two days, trying to figure out why my Windows Vista system all of a sudden didn’t have Aero Glass after a reboot. I tried all sorts of hacks, including editing the registry, when the answer suddenly came to me:

    Aero Glass requires 32-bit color

It’s the dumbest thing, but once in a while your display settings do change for no damn reason, and you are on 16-bit color. Go to the Personalization > Display Settings control panel and switch the colors settings. Huzzah!

Any other common things that cause Aero to just dissapear? Let me know in the comments below.

March 25th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Vista, Windows | 9 comments

How Much Would You Pay For Hosted Exchange?

exchange-server-live.pngMary Jo Foley (who basically always knows what she’s talking about) guessed recently that we could see Microsoft offer a “Live” version of Exchange by the end of the year or early next year.

Exchange, the Microsoft server product that provides unified email (as opposed to downloading POP3 to a system and not having it anywhere else), as well as push email, mobile messaging/calendaring, collaboration, antivirus, antispam, encryption, and is generally the one thing many business users simply cannot live without, would be the kind of addition to Windows Live that would make the competition look like a pastel-colored also ran.

Currently, individuals can purchase monthly subscriptions for Exchange from third parties, but there are trust issues there, as well as somewhat high prices ($10 or more per month, for as little as 100 megabytes of storage, although I have seen 2 gigs offered for $12 in some places). Microsoft would do well entering this market as a Live service, finding a way to either offer it for free or cheaper, but mainly with a more trusted face and easier-to-understand plans.

How much would Exchange be worth to you? I think that, purely for consumers, free Exchange pays for itself. To take advantage of Exchange, you’d have to own a Windows Mobile device and buy a copy of Microsoft Outlook, so giving away the platform could pay for itself in software. Microsoft is going to have a tough time competing with Gmail and other free services, unless it can make consumers an offer they can’t refuse. Just tier it so that it is only available for individuals and small businesses, and let the money come in sideways.

March 25th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Outlook, Live, Windows, Applications | 5 comments