Having problems ever since making the upgrade to Windows Vista Service Pack 1? Still can't get the thing installed without a crash? Microsoft is offering free email and online chat support for upgrade-related problems through March 18, 2009.
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Microsoft has lifted the ban on using Vista Basic and Premium in virtual machine environments, so you no longer need to shell out $300-plus for the Business or Ultimate editions to run the every-now-and-then VM.
Microsoft has announced a change of policy which will open up its cheaper versions of Vista - Home Basic and Home Premium - to virtualisation. The decision will especially be a boon to Mac users, who can now opt for the cheaper version of Vista. Find out more about virtualisation in our complete guide to mac/windows interoperability.
Microsoft has opened up its previously private beta release candidate version of Visa Service Pack 1 for public download. Vista Service Pack 1 RC Refresh is available here but note that it is still a beta, and you'll need to uninstall any previous versions of SP1 before installing it. If you prefer to wait until the final version of SP1, Wired reports you'll be waiting until sometime in February.
Vista users will probably be thrilled to hear that Service Pack 1 will knobble Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage security feature - the anti-piracy kill switch which would disable a system if the registration key failed to validate - something which could be triggered by merely changing the hardware in your PC.
Anything that makes Microsoft Vista less annoying to use is OK by me, and today Online Tech Tips gets the nod for writing about TweakUAC, a freeware app which lets you get Vista's User Access Control feature under control.
UAC is a nervous nancy security feature which, in its default setting, pops up warnings any time you try to run new software, or do just about anything. Disabling it completely is an option, or you can put a leash on it using TweakUAC. You can use it to set UAC to "quiet mode" which means it doesn't display the elevation warnings for administrators, but standard users will get the security prompts.