Lately i’ve been playing with a number of beta’s from Microsoft.

Firstly was Microsoft MAX, after watching a fairly recent cast on channel9 and installing WinFX Runtime Components September CTP, I received the following error in Outlook 2003 “Could not initialize CLR MANAGED MAPI SERVICE CATASTROPIC FAILURE, Unknown error”. After finding out that The WinFX Runtime Components September CTP relies on a pre-release version of .NET Framework 2.0 and if you install it after you have installed the release version of .NET 2.0, it will completely mess up the CLR (This is easily fixed by uninstalling/installing the .NET Framework). So it looks like I will have to wait for the next release from the MAX team.

Also Microsoft have been busy adding new services to live.com, one of the most over due is distributing your favourites online. Just remember to add “favorites.live.com” to your popup blocker. Despite it being as simple as it is, I wonder, how this will compare to del.icio.us? As it is only a band object embeded, with html and I assume to be utilizing Ajax, and sending it through to an ASHX handler. Although my favourite line in the source of the html is this:
<script language="JavaScript" src="http://favorites.live.com:80/js/omniture.js?exp=11.0.1123.2"></script>

Also, a rather obscure service is Windows Live Custom Domains, although I can’t say i’ll be using this service, it may appeal to those with Shared Hosting.

I must admit I am fairly fond of MSN Messenger 8.0 Beta, from what i’ve seen so far, its not differed very much besides its user interface. Some of the key changes are Shared Folders, and storing Contact details for users. Although one thing that is missing is allowing you to move your favourite groups in a custom order.

ideas.live.com

I haven’t played with Sparkle yet, and i’ve also noticed “Microsoft Prerelease Software WinFX Runtime Components – January 2006 Community Technology Preview (CTP)“, so I will give it a try shortly. Hopefully this will fix, Max, so I can get that working too.