Back to Profile: nektar


  • Omar Shahine and team - New Hotmail ​"​Kahuna"

    What about pop access? Are there some thoughts on how to enable pop access through many kinds of mail clients not only Outlook? Are there some thoughts on how to enable pop access and be profitable ie. the ads are on the site but not in a desktop client? Are there some thoughts on enabling pop access and not help spammers along at the same time? In any case, pop access would be very useful, however rich the web experience might be or become. With a desktop client you could certainly do much more like the ability to easily backup or transfer all your mail.
    Talking about backing-up or transfering your mail from one service to another are there some thoughts on that? Are there some thoughts on creating a standard way of exchanging mail, contacts and calendar info amongst web-based mail services? Like an rss extention or something?
    Talking about calendar are you thinking of implementing a rich calendaring experience as well? This is at least a place where there is no competitor yet who has implemented an ajax-based calendaring experience. And in any case, calendaring needs a lot of improvements. It needs to become a mainstream activity. How many users now use the current Hotmail Calendar? How many don't and why not? Do you find calendaring solutions, especially web-based ones, to be optimal? Clearly not and with your experience with the Office Outlook product you could certainly inovate in this space.
    Talking about other Microsoft generally, or MSN specifically, products are there some thoughts of better integration between your services? Currently sites are scattered all around the place:,, MSN developer center on msdn, etc, etc. Inconsistent user interface whilst has not really improved: still toooo overloaded. You have some really good services but who knows about them: MSN Games, MSN Video, etc? More integration and more awareness through a cleaner and consistent user experience would greatly help.
    After all, there is a reason why Google's new services are all conveniently placed under Were is the MSN equivalent? There is a reason why underneath every beta or new Google service there is a convenient Discuss link for feedback but not only one-way feedback but two-way feedback. Where is the MSN or Microsoft equivalent? How can I report a bug in Microsoft products? A whole mess.
    Talking about integration that would be nice but also you should be careful to allow third parties to plug into your services. Where is the inovative api platform: eg. the MSN Activity API is a good step but too complicated to make your activity available to the public (you have to go through the Bestapp contest and still your activity is only available on a little known by users website).
    Integration is bad if done to the extreme: allow a link to publish to my blog but only if that blog is on MSN Spaces. Why don't you allow an api by which you could publish to any blog service. Standards like these need to be driven by someone and MSN is in a good position to do that. Instead of thinking only about your own services and their integration, or simply thinking about exposing the MSN properties through an api set (eg. MSN Search), you should think more on how to drive more standards which will unify more the current and future web-based and xml web  services. After all, the platform that succeeds is a platform that gets wide adoption not only by developers and end users but also by competitors through standards or through rich interoperability.
    Also, I want to ask the program manager the following programming questions:
    If you could achieve so much with ajax (dhtml and javascript) technologies why wasn't it used all these years?
    If ajax is so powerful why write desktop apps any more? I mean with the new Hotmail it seems that you can do everything: reproduce Office Outlook on the web, even drag and drop. After all, html programming is more appealing to everyone. Ask university students what they know better: how to write a web site or how to write a Windows application. "Windows application?" they will say, "What is that and how do I write one, how do I get started". Writing html is much easier and there is a lot of matterial on the web on how to get started. Most of the university assignments or program developed for students' thesis that are not scientific but are more in the sphere of user productivity are built on the web: scheduling systems, portals, education systems for distance learning, etc, etc.
    Why has Java failed on the desktop or in the web browser (applets) and ajax has succeeded? After all, with Java which is almost available on all computers since the vm mostly comes pre-installed you could do much more, faster, more cleanly  and much more easily than with dhtml and javascript. There must be a reason that html and web-based programming is more appealing amongst new developers and students than say Windows programming or Java. And the reason is surely not availability of the Java VM I guess.
  • Rob Franco and team - IE 7 Security

    In the video you show your evil activex control and what it does is issue the "format c:" command. Actually, this command will fail since the C drive is in use by the operating system and cannot be formated and since the format command needs confirmation before it formats a harddisk, although the latter might be bypassed I guess. However, you are the IE Security Team and I hope that you know this. After all, hacker do much worse things and I hope that you know much more than you are telling us on their methods and on all the harmful senarios that are out there. Because a simple format c: is nothing and you should know that. I hope that your internal testing examples are much more sofisticated than what you say publicly.

  • Shell Team - Exploring and Using Windows Vista

    A feature that I would have liked is the ability to sort folder listings by most resently used item. What I mean is the more I access a file the further to the top of the folder listing it should appear. This will be very useful since I will be able to find the files eg. documents that I have recently accessed without the need of a recent documents menu. All document folders should support this. I should be able to switch between sorting the files by any of the columns eg. name, date, etc and also sorting the files by most or least recently used (accessed, opened). Can such a feature be implemented?

  • Bill Reid - Introducing the Shared Computer Toolkit

    Daylight Saving feature and Windows Disk Protection:
    I remember in the past we were using a disk protection system. It work fine but it had one serious issue. It wouldn't apply the setting for Daylight Saving or it would apply it indefinitely. Somewhere, in the registry I guess, Windows stores if it has apply the Daylight Saving change or not. With Disk Protection and since everything is reverted to what it was before, Windows used to lose account of what it had done and so this feature was affect.
    I don't know if you Windows Disk Protection feature suffers from the same issue as our old protection system since I did not test it because I do not want to change my computer clock. But please have that in mind. What about other things that Windows needs to keep count of like, auto-update the time (fixing the time) every x number of days. Is it affect by Windows Disk Protection?

  • Bill Reid - Introducing the Shared Computer Toolkit

    I agree that all programs in Windows should be in a single folder like Program Files. However, what I am saying is also that Program Files should not be hard-coded in  the code. You should use a way of retrieving the special folder name for the Programs folder because in other Windows version Program Files might be called something else or in especially in other languages this is the case. So, the installer should iether change at install all the references to c:\program files to whatever folder is at the time the default for programs or it should be determined at runtime by the code. After, c: is not always the program partition as well. I have seen many computers which have all programs installed to D:Progrm files, etc.
    I will read the manual. Thanks.
  • Sanaz Ahari and Steve Rider -

    For most users the issue is not if will be beautiful or useful or easy to use or something so new, but the issue is if MSN will provide a single, consistent and simple interface accross all its site and do that now and not after all its compeeditors have done. MSN is slow in moving. MSN reminds me of a site built by more than one company. MSN does not strive for simplicity (looked at the new Shopping site?) but instead thinks more componentization (Passport is not on the same page but on a separate domain) and of features, as well as advertising. Many features confuse users. The web is not for overloaded pages. The web is for simple and nice looking services (Google maps?). The web is a fast market and MSN takes too longto think the details but forgets that what matters is the look, the simple urls (not and consistency.

  • Bill Reid - Introducing the Shared Computer Toolkit

    First impressions:
    The registration is a pane. Let me make this clear: I don't mind having to register. However:
    1. why do you need all these personal information? (Name, lastname, ok I understand that. Company address, `why? I might not have a company! Role as administrator of Shared Computers: I might just be interested in the software and have no role.) Ie. some info you ask might not apply.
    2. I might not want you to keep my personal info. From what I understand Microsoft retains my personal info accross registrations. There should be a way to delete them. Ie. a better way of controlling my info which should be deleted after the beta program is over. This is important: The info is collected only for the Beta and should be deleted afterwards.
    3. I might not want to be contacted about "Security, product and event offers" as it says, "from Microsoft and partners" but I might want to give feedback on the software only. So, what do I do? Do I check the checkboxes for contacting me or not. How should I know that you will contact me only for feedback concerning the Shared Toolkit and not on anything else. After all, it says "for security, product and events from MS and Partners", so it should be much more than Shared Toolkit feedback.
    4. The same with my telephone number. Why is it required to give one. I might not want to or simply I might not have a public tel. ie. no business or organization, (not everything is a business you know!). So why is it required. Or: I might want to give a telephone number but I might only want you to contact me about the Shared Computer Toolkit. Nothing else: No promotional matterial, even on so called security events.
    5. Funny: on the first page it says "Yes register me, or something like that". And below "No do not register". Well, the Yes is a link whilst the No is not a link. So the No is actually not an option. Why put it there then?
    For the proper functioning of the program you should install to c:\program files\microsoft shared toolkit\ only. Why?
    All installation programs allow both changing the install location and the Start menu shortcuts. Why not this one?
    The software:
    1. No cancel button: In many screens there is only Ok and Apply add Cancel.
    2. Accessibility tool: No toggle Keys, I use these a lot so include them as well.
    Some of the options in Step2 of the Getting Started should be made clearer (in their wording I mean):
    1. Prevent logon names from being saved ..., should be Prevent the last user's logon name from being remembered ... It makes it more clear because in actual fact nothing is being saved, but only the last username is remembered.
    2. Prevent logon to locked and roaming user profiles that cannot be found to improve security??? What does it mean?
    A) How do you mean, "locked accounts"? Locked accounts are, ..., well locked. So how can someone logon to them anyway, so why prevent logon to those.
    B) Roaming: Well I thought that the tool is not for domains, so roaming should not apply anyway.
    C) "cannot be found to improve security" What do you mean? What is to be found and how can a profile improve security and the security of what , the whole system or that user only, or what?
    I know, I know, I should be reading the help. But these are my first impressions.
    3. Remove the Shutdown and Turn off logon options should be Remove the Turn-off and/or the Shutdown commands from the Logon screen. From the logon Screen is clearer than logon options which might not be understood by some users. and/or is to show that Shutdown and Turn-off do not appear at the same time.
    4. Remove accounts from the Welcome Screen: What a good idea. Why doesn't Windows provide a gui for this? I think that Windows should have an option in Control Panel that does exactly that. Not only available through this Toolkit.
    Windows Disk protection:
    I have not tried this out since it requires to aulter my partition with a 3rd party tool (a horrible idea), why should I go download something, it is trial version anyway. And I don't want to mess up anything so I will leave this job for some other time. Isn't there a Windows free tool for managing partitions?
    I might have more feedback on the restrictions after I check if they can be broken into.
    Shared code:
    It is easy for anyone to open up the files and look at the code. But the license forbits that. So, why don't you publish the code under a sharedcode license. If you don't want people to create commercial apps on your code you can publish it only for educational purposes. What I mean is that the code is already available so make it clear in the license as well. Why don't you acknowledge legally the fact that people will read the code. Or, you can publish the code under derivative license, ie. users for example might be able to port the code to run on Win2k for their own internal organization's use only. I mean what is it so secret in your code that you might not want to build a community on it? It is written in HTA.

    The actual code:
    I looked inside the code and here is a code review by file name.
    Function IsAppRunning(AppName)
    This function should better be used in the main code routine. Instead you say:
    Do While True
    It should be:
    Do until IsAppRunning(sAppName)
    ' ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ' Name:   RunApp(AppName)
    ' ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ' Purpose:  This function checks the application status
    '   If the application is opened returns true else false
    ' ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wrong! Wrong description!
    Sub RunApp(AppName)
     On Error Resume Next

     If NOT IsAppRunning(sAppName) Then
    Shouldn't it be:
     If NOT IsAppRunning(AppName) Then
    There is no s in front of the AppName in the argument to the function.

     oShell.Exec AppName
    Instead of:   oShell.Exec sAppName
     End If
    End Sub
    Hardcoded installation path:
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit\
    First of all Program Files might not be the same in all versions of Windows. Use he GetSpecialFolders function to get the correct path instead of hardcoding it.
    Please include comments in all files: does not have comments.
    Microsoft Update:
    Set oSession       = CreateObject("Microsoft.Update.Session")
    Is the Microsoft Update control documented anywhere? It appears to be useful.
    File WindowsUpdates.vbs:
     ' create collection of upates to download
    Spelling mistake. I get angry when comments have spelling errors.
    Please agree on your variable naming scheme. I mean at times you say oMyObject, at other time you say objMyObject. And for collections always say colMyCollection. For example this line:
     For I = 0 to oSearchResult.Updates.Count-1
    oSearchResult... is a collection so it should be colSearchResult...
    Well there is much more but the time is up.
    It is an excellent tool but I think it needs some more fixing to make it fulproof. And I am not an expert in breaking into Windows.

  • Eric Deily - IIS 7 preview

    According to the video: IIS will be componentised. No need to apply a pach to a component if you do not have it installed. Nice isn't it? Less downloading of paching, less deployment.
    Wrong. When I installed XP SP2 on my computer I did not have IIS installed. After some months I needed IIS and so I went on and installed. And I was wondering to myself: Do I need to re-install SP2 now? Or has SP2 somehow already placed the updates needed for IIS. Or has it not and my computer will get infected the minute I install IIS. The answer to this question is not even now clear.
    So, how is the team going to face this issue. Will we need to reply all previous paches after we install a new component. Or will paches become even more confusing listing not only the Windows version, service packs, applications, etc, tehy apply to, but all to what component they exactly should be applied.
    How is this problem going to be fixed. In any way it is fixed, please inform clearly the user at installation unlike nowadays.

  • Office Communicator

    MSN Messenger should have had the same level of usability for consumers like Office Communiatior has for enterprises. The two main issues I have with MSN Messenger are:
    1. That unlike Communicator it has no Office integration, which would have been extremely useful even for home users. For exmple, contacts are not synchronized with Outlook and the integration of Outlook with MSN Messenger is poor and at times broken. Outlook Express is not even supported. This is a shame since consumer like enterprise users need a single place for storing contacts and im addresses not a whole set of separate locations.
    2. MSN Messenger does not support the same set of features in all countries. Integration with MSN Search, Video conferencing, Photo sharing, Mobile telephony and SMS, only if you are lucky to live in a country like the US.
    3. MSN Messenger unlike Communicator does not itegrate with the phone. This is something that not only enterprise users need. Why not consumers?
    Overall, Microsoft should improve MSN Messenger for consumers much faster, instead of providing useful features to only enterprise users. Have these points in mind please when talking to the MSN Messenger Team.
    And one other thing, how do you manage talking to a big number of contacts in MSN Messenger? There should be a way to block a group of contacts temporarily and unblock them later. If I hvae 50 contacts and I want to sign in just to talk to 5 of them, today it is not possible. It makes signing in to Messegner a pain.

  • Office Communicator

    Can you also aks the Outlook team if they plan to release a free calendaring application for Windows XP or earlier. Or if they paln to improve a bit Outlook Express. The competition there is in free e-mail and calendaring product is superior. I know that Outlook 2003 might be better but not everyone works at a corporation and not everyone want to buy Outlook. Mac OSX include free applications in the OS which do almost if not all that Outlook does for free. Why not Windows? And how come nobody has ever complained for the lack of spam filtering in Outlook Express?

  • Omar Shahine - Inside Hotmail

    Can you give us a roadmap, at least a rough one, on when storage updates will take place and in what parts of the world? When are the upgrates going to finish?

    Can you also tell us if you are generally satisfied with the  Hotmail service as it is today and if you can tell us of any planed additions or improvements. Are users happy with the current look and feel? What is the top issues that you are asked to fix?
  • Omar Shahine - Inside Hotmail

    Hotmail needs innovation and needs it fast. You know like the innovation or at least the great energy that Microsoft puts into MSN Search. I know, I know, MSN Search is new and needs customers while Hotmail already has many customers and might perhaps not mind losing some. Yes?
    Whilst other services add new revolutionary features, the most known example of which is Gmail, Hotmail remains the same old service. Where is a new look, a faster response time, fewer clutter, especially ads, better search and organization facilities, pop3 & imap forwarding (like the out of office assistant), calendar and mail offline backup, rss feeds, Hotmail integration with the desktop or deskbar and with other MSN services, etc, etc. If Microsoft has made one of the best e-mail clients Office Outlook, why not make Hotmail a little as feature rich as this client. At least a little. Hotmail has too many customers and Microsoft is losing them to Gmail. Many of my friend have or think of switching. Why not at least try to upgrate some of Hotmail's offerings, re-energize the Hotmail brand. At least at a minimum? Even the 250 MB is ooooo slow in coming. Yahoo! had upgrated their service much faster. Currently, Google not Hotmail is the cool service.
    You need to introduce some new and advanced features and do it now not next next year. Users in this age rely a lot on e-mail. Given that Hotmail is the most popular free service, in order to remain so, needs to work on a new version.
    Perhaps MSN should add the ability for online file storage. Like Yahoo briefcase but 250 mb. Why not. After all, this is what people really want, not very large inboxes, but a common large online storage place, easily accessible, like from My Network Places. And remember 2 or even 10 or 30 mb nowadays is a joke.