Times Reader 2.0

On May 12th, New York Times announced the Times Reader 2.0 is now available. This new version is powered by Adobe AIR and can run equally well on Windows, Mac, Linux platform. If you are member of New York Times website, you can free download it. Installing it, it becomes more convenient to read the news from New York Times.

There are many columns such as International, National, Opinion, Business, Sport etc in Times Reader. It will help you find the news which you are interested in. It also offers the latest news so that you can obtain the latest information in time. You can choose the news according to the publishing date. In fact, it provides all news in a week. In the Times Reader, you may change the browsed way. Even you can watch the news in video or pictures. It is the extraordinary experience.

timesreader01

Figure 1: Front Page

timesreader02Figure 2: News in Pictrures

timesreader03Figrue 3: Browse Mode

I remember that I had installed the oldest version of Times Reader a couple of years ago. It was developed by WPF which is a technology produced by Microsoft. I have to agree it was amazing experience at that time. It improved the readability and useability for us. If each of publishers of newspaper provided the reader like this, no one doesn’t like to visit the website maybe, I think.

The new version of Times Reader was dropping WPF/Sivlerlight for Adobe AIR. What does it mean? It means Microsoft lost the important customer? It means Adobe AIR is better than WPF/Silverlight? Both are right, maybe. After New York Times announced the new version of Times Reader, InfoQ reported the news which title is “New York Times Dropping WPF/Silverlight for Adobe AIR“. The author wrote: “The biggest hurdle [of WPF]was the lack of cross-platform support.” I agree his opinion. Additionally, the compatibility of WPF/Silverlight is the other issue.

In the field of Rich Client Application, Microsoft lost more and more customers this year. After one year of using Silverlight, MLB swithed back to Flash to show its boradcasted live on the internet on 2009. Now, New York Times choose Adobe instead of Microsoft. What does it happen? Perhaps Microsoft should think about its strategy and improve the quality of service.

Microsoft released BizTalk Server 2009

biztalkRecently, Microsoft released BizTalk Server 2009 which is the latest version for Biztalk Server. BizTalk Server Team Blog announced this news on April 28. It posted the key improvements in the BizTalk Server 2009 release:

  • New Application Lifecycle Management(ALM) exprience to make development teams more productive
  • New adapters and numerous enhancements that provide increased enterprise connectivity
  • New RFID mobile capabilities that will enable innovative solution to drive business value

The BizTalk Server 2009 release is the globalized product. It is available broadly in nine languages: Chinese simplified, Chinese traditional, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korea and Spanish. Besides, it includes four edtions: Enterprise, Standard, Branch and Developer. The price of the new version is not change. More information about the price and upgrade, please visit “Pricing and licensing” provided by Microsoft.

If you want to update it from BizTalk Server 2006 R2 to 2009,Nick Heppleston had posted a great article on his blog called “A Quick Walkthrough of the BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Upgrade to BizTalk Server 2009 RTM“. It is detail guide and introduces how to upgrade it step by step.

BizTalk Server 2009 is widely concerned in the technology community. Abdul Rafay raise his opinion in his blog:
It supports the Windows Server 2008, VS 2008, .NET Framwork 3.5 and SQL Server 2008 which I think is a major change and will have advantages of the new advanced platform.

He briefly introduced the new adapters in BizTalk Server 2009:
Unlike the release of BizTalk Server R2, BizTalk 2009 comes with two new adapters Oracle E-Business Suites and SQL Server, while there has been an enhancement in the existing adapters which I still have to explore.

Microsoft also provided the roadmap of BizTalk Server. It said:”BizTalk Server 2009 represents the next release in Microsoft’s long-term strategy to enable the connected enterprise. ” The BizTalk Server 2009 continue to build on the investments made to address the concerns of Service Oriented Architecture and Enterprise Connectivity. Especially, the new release of BizTalk Server can take advantage of the latest virtualization improvements included as part of Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. This capability can reduce the costs through lower hardware, energy and management overhead.

To learn more information about BizTalk Server 2009, Adlai Maschiach summarize some useful matirial on his blog including MSDN Documents, Virtual Labs and BizTalk Server 2009 Solutinos. Of course, you can visit the Official Website of BizTalk Server to learn more.