Good morning. Like many of you, I awoke to a freshly rebooted PC this morning thanks to yesterday's unprecedented (well, for Microsoft) set of security updates. Ah well.

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I'd also like to address the reliability issues you've seen here on the SuperSite Blog. I'm not sure if this is coincidental, but since around the time I changed the template on this Community Server-based disaster, the blog has had horrible reliability problems. Hundreds have emailed me over the past few weeks to tip me off about this, but believe me, I see it too. As I've mentioned a few times on Windows Weekly, we're busy moving all of my Penton sites to a new Dot Net Nuke-based infrastructure, and the blog, like the main site, will be moving over to this new platform soon. But Penton has excellent technical folks who are trying to figure out what's up. I think I've used up my last bits of normal relations thanks to my many complaints about this issue. But I would like to see it fixed. I think in a perfect world, I'd just move it elsewhere. But that's not really my decision, sorry. Anyway, hopefully this improves. I was actually surprised to see it was up this morning, so you never know. (Update: it's already crashed today. Looks like the problem wasn't fixed.)

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I was reading the newspaper this morning and it occurred to me that there are an awful lot of stories about Germany in the news lately. Most of them are terrorism related now, because of recent events, but it's not just that: Since doing this year's home swap in Germany, I just notice more Germany coverage. It's like when you buy a new car and suddenly you start noticing other cars like yours whereas before you never really saw them at all. It occurs to me that tech news can work like that too. I obviously have a fairly unique job, and I do always notice how Microsoft is covered from a news perspective (i.e. Windows Phone launched buried deep in the Business section of the New York Times on Tuesday, compared to many Apple stories being covered directly on the paper's front page). But I get a lot of email from people who don't appreciate my honest (to them, overly critical) coverage of Apple. And I have to think it's the same thing: These guys have a chip on their shoulder, they've spent way too much money on Apple technology (in my opinion), and they don't need anyone offering contrary information about their life choices. And so, whether they realize it or not, they (implicitly or explicitly) seek out news stories both positive (which are reaffirming) and negative (which are clearly written by idiots). And then they respond accordingly. I wonder if there's a way to counter this. Clearly, logic isn't working.

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Speaking of Apple, many Apple fan(atic)s don't like it when people refer to the iPod touch as the "iTouch" for some reason. As more of a Microsoft guy, this doesn't bother me in the slightest, especially since you immediately understand what they're talking about when someone does use that term. But I'm developing a similar disdain for a phrase that I'm starting to see in the tech news, where some reporters are actually referring to Windows Phone 7 as Microsoft's Windows 7 for phone. Sigh. So much for my mastering of human psychology.

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Almost exactly one month after Microsoft released its Beta version of Internet Explorer 9, and six full weeks after the company did press briefings, Walt Mossberg doppelganger Katherine Boehret finally gets around to reviewing it for the WSJ. (I guess Microsoft products are too underwhelming for Walt himself to bother with.) An actual stopwatch was involved, since Microsoft is making speed claims, but I'll have to go back and look to see if such a method was involved when Apple and Google made similar claims for their browsers. The good news: Boehret found the IE 9 Beta "to be fast, and in some tests, faster on average than Google Chrome, Apple's Safari and Mozilla's Firefox browser." The bad news: Like Mossberg, Boehret apparently uses an out of date PC (they're Mac people) with bad drivers, so they had some crashes. Wa-waaa-waahhhhhh. (Then again, she did describe the crashes as "unusual.")

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Microsoft today confirmed something I actually reported on months ago: "Later in 2010 Microsoft will make a public beta available of a tool that allows Windows Phone 7 to sync select content with Mac computers." More on this soon.

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I needed a TV for my office, and I need to review Google TV, so I purchased one of the new Sony Internet TVs that were announced this week.

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Looks like the Live Mesh beta (i.e. the version of Mesh before the current Windows Live Mesh) is on the way out, but not until March, which is reasonable:

On March 31, 2011, the beta of Live Mesh will end, and the Live Mesh beta will stop working. After March 31, you won't be able to access any files stored online in your Live Desktop or connect to your PCs remotely using the Live Mesh software. Your files will also stop syncing between your computers and your Live Mesh online storage. Please read below for actions we recommend you take.

To deliver a better product for all our customers, we combined several services into a new product called Windows Live Mesh. Windows Live Mesh has several performance and reliability improvements compared to the Live Mesh beta, and with Windows Live Mesh, you can also sync your program settings for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office. Learn more.

You can find out more about how to upgrade from the Mesh Beta to Windows Live Mesh here.

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And speaking of Microsoft services that are disappearing, looks like Windows Live Spaces also has an expiration date, and also in March 2011:

Our customers have asked for richer blog functionality including an integrated statistics system, continuous saving of drafts and improvements to spam-fighting technology. To deliver the best possible blogging experience, we are collaborating with WordPress.com to provide their free service to you. For those of you that already have a blog on Windows Live Spaces, we will make it easier for you to get started while helping you move what you've already built up on Spaces.

As of January 4th, 2011, you won't be able to make changes to your Spaces blog, but you can continue to review past posts, download your content to save for later and upgrade your blog to WordPress.com.

On March 16th, 2011 Windows Live Spaces will close and you will not be able to access or migrate your blog on Spaces.

Find out more here.

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Big Bing/Facebook announcement today: New social search features that provide a more personal search experience based on an individual’s Facebook network. These new social search features will be available when an individual is logged into Facebook while searching on Bing and will begin rolling out to users today, with full availability rolling out in the coming months. New features include Liked Results (search on Bing and see relevant links and results "Liked" by your Facebook friends) and Facebook Profile Search (when searching for an individual, Bing looks at a person's Facebook network and surfaces results that make the most sense based on the relationships the searcher has with people on Facebook).