Create and manage virtual machines with Paragon’s Virtualization Manager 12 Professional

Virtual machines are becoming quite the hot computing topic.  In many cases, they are becoming the way to go for OS testing, specialty software installs, demos and other evaluations.  This is one of the reasons why I like Virtualization Manager Professional. It’s a VM tool for Windows.

Creating bootable images of a supported guest operating system is easy with their native tools. Moving and managing them in combination with each other, isn’t always easy. Managing the combination of more than one guest OS on a host OS, isn’t always easy either.

Virtualization Manager Professional has full OS support for any Windows version from XP forward, including all server edtions.  With it, you can migrate an OS from a physical drive, to a virtual one, or convert a backup image to a bootable virtual drive.  You can also migrate full, bootable operating systems from virtual to physical, virtual to virtual as well as physical to physical.

If you need to make potentially volatile changes to a virtual machine, say for example, to install a difficult to remove application, and don’t want to worry about dealing with program artifacts that may get left behind in your registry or on your hard drive, you can use VMP’s snapshot mode to connect a virtual disk as if it’s an ordinary physical disk and open up all physical-disk functionality in a virtual environment. You can use a read only mode or a special read/write mode that creates a snapshot and applies all changes after the snapshot to test the application without destroying your virtual source drive.

VMP supports virtual machines from Oracle VirtualBox 4, Microsoft Virtual PC, VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop but Parallels supports Connect VD only.

read full review | download Paragon Virtualization Manager 12 Professional

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Internet Explorer New Auto-Update Plan

Microsoft Internet Explorer is one of the most established and popular web browsers, with more than one in five people globally choosing it to surf their favourite sites. While the software is no strange to updates and developments, Microsoft has announced one of the biggest changes in its setup to date which will come into effect from January 2012.

From next month, Internet Explorer (IE) will introduce automatic browser upgrades across PCs operating Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. According to the official Microsoft’s Ryan Gavin, users will automatically be upgraded to latest version of IE available for their systems, “to make sure that Windows customers have the most up-to-date and safest browsing experience possible”.

Why is Microsoft introducing automatic updates?

Currently, Microsoft issues Internet Explorer software changes on an opt-in basis, through the Windows Update service. This, however, means that many users are running old versions of the browser – after all, everyone is guilty of ignoring notifications now and then.

While some updates are introduced for aesthetic purposes or to make navigation easier, many are developed as patches to security vulnerabilities that have been identified. As a result, previous releases could leave users’ systems open to abuse. On the firm’s official blog, Gavin explained: “We want to make updating to the best protection possible as fast and simple as we can for Windows customers.” To achieve this, updates will be forcibly patched onto browsers from now on.

What versions of Windows will automatic updates be applied to?

All PC users running Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 will receive automatic updates for IE. Older Microsoft operating systems – including Windows 98 and Windows 2000 – will not be affected, as they are not capable of running the newer incarnations of IE. Windows XP users will be upgraded to IE8, while Windows Vista and Windows 7 users will be given IE9 – the most recent release.

How will the changes affect IE6 and IE7 usage?

IE6 was introduced in 2001 on Windows XP and can still be operated with the Service Pack 3 version of that operating. However, Microsoft no longer updates IE6 and has officially declared it “time to say goodbye” to the iconic software version, as it is incapable of running more developed coding.

IE7 was released in 2006 and is still available for download on operating systems up to and including Vista and Windows Server 2008.

Windows XP users who still use IE6 and IE7 will be upgraded to IE8, meaning usage will drop significantly. However, if customers have opted not to upgrade previously, they will not be subject to an automatic upgrade.

How will the changes be rolled out?

From January, customers in Australia and Brazil who have turned on automatic updating via Windows Update will receive the new upgrading system. It will then gradually be extended to include users in other territories.

Microsoft says it recognises that businesses and organisations may have reasons for introducing browser updates at their own pace and, alongside the planned rollout, have introduced the IE8 and IE9 Automatic Update Blocker toolkits. In addition, all customers can uninstall updates retrospectively.

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10 years of Windows XP

It has now been a decade since Windows XP revolutionised the world of computers and on October 25 of this year the world’s most popular operating system turned ten years of age. Although the world has been flooded with wave after wave of new technology since the initial launch of Windows XP, the simple fact remains that Microsoft’s most successful and longest lasting operating system is not going anywhere, anytime soon. It is still the computer software of choice amongst millions of people and companies worldwide, and despite the hype and marketing surrounding Windows 7, Windows XP will still be used by many of us another ten years from now.
Let’s take a look at the beginnings of Windows XP, why it became so immensely popular, and why only a fool would bet against it still ruling the roost by the time it turns 20.

A Star is Born

Initially, sales were slow for Windows XP when it first hit the high-street and was introduced around the globe in 25 different languages. For example, in the United States only 260,00 copies were sold during the first three days. However, with little steps epic journeys begin and when system vendors began selling computers with Windows XP pre-installed it took off in a big, big way.

The Rise and Rise of Windows XP

The XP in Windows XP stands for experience, and Microsoft’s ambition was to have one codebase covering everything from consumers to corporate desktops. By 2006, Windows XP was being used by 400 million computers worldwide. With its user friendly interface and options to personally adapt and customise, Windows XP was hailed as one of the most reliable operating systems ever released. Reviewers lined up to write line after gushing line about its gorgeous design and innovative features and called it a marvel of conception. In short, nothing it seemed could come close to Windows XP.

The Champ’s Title Defence

Windows XP’s successor, Windows Vista was launched at the beginning of 2006, but it was widely rejected by the growing legion of XP adherents. Vista never caught the imagination of the public of businesses due to bugs and poor hardware driver support. Consequently Windows XP still reigned supreme, and despite announcing it was discontinuing the sale of Windows XP several times, Microsoft only stopped the line on June 30, 2008. Extended support for XP users is still available until April 8, 2014.

If it isn’t broke don’t fix it

Windows 7 was released in 2009 and according to recent statistics, Windows XP is just starting to lose its grip among PC users. Yet estimates show that XP still has a hold of 48% on the Windows market, which is far more than Vista ever did, after peaking with 28% in October, 2009. Businesses especially are reluctant to part with a tried and tested model they have used for the last ten years in favour of a major upgrade they feel they do not need – despite Microsoft’s urgings to the contrary. With Windows 8 on the horizon, many feel XP will shortly expire, but ten years from now you can bet your bottom dollar there’ll still be a large number of PCs worldwide operating through Windows XP, because if it isn’t broke there’s no need to fix it.

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CDBurnerXP the free burning disc solution

Small, free and ready to use, this is how CDBurnerXP is like. Whether you have to burn or record a CD, DVD, HD-DVD or Blu-Ray disc, with CDBurnerXP you can achieve that easily. Besides its main feature of burning all kinds of optical discs, with CDBurnerXP you can also save any files or folders compilation into an ISO image or convert any other image format (.bin or .nrg) into a standard ISO file.

read full review download CDBurnerXP

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Don’t delete programs – Uninstall them!

Don’t delete programs – uninstall them instead. Take time and go through the correct process uninstalling old programs. Use ‘Uninstall a Program’ for Windows Vista and Seven, ‘Add or Remove Programs’ for Windows XP. This way you’ll completely erase the program and the files stored in your Windows directory……, registry, etc. Your system will be much longer fresh and clean.
If you think that this info is not enough for you and you want a professional solution, check out our review for Total Uninstall.

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