Google Chrome Frame: Stable and Speedy

Tomas Gunnarsson: Today, we’re very happy to take the Beta tag off of Google Chrome Frame and promote it to the Stable channel. This stable channel release provides our most polished version of Google Chrome Frame to date, allowing users to access modern web technologies like HTML5 on legacy browsers. You now can download the stable version of Google Chrome Frame and users of the Beta will be automatically updated to it in the days ahead. If you’re an IT administrator, we’ve also posted an MSI installer for deploying Google Chrome Frame in your network...

One place to find everything new from Google

Ji Lee: If it seems to you like every day Google releases a new product or feature, well, it seems like that to us too. The central place we tell you about most of these is through the official Google Blog Network, where you’ll find more than 100 blogs covering all kinds of products, policy issues, technical projects and much more.

But if you want to keep up just with what’s new (or even just what Google does besides search), you’ll want to know about Google New. A few of us had a 20 percent project idea: create a single destination called Google New where people could find the latest product and feature launches from Google. It’s designed to pull in just those posts from various blogs. We hope it helps you find something useful you’ve never tried before...

Xbox LIVE Update Preview Program

Major Nelson: I am happy to announce that we’re doing an Xbox 360 System Update Preview program for our next release, and the opportunity to sign up is now available. The Preview Program will give you the chance to check out ESPN on Xbox LIVE, Zune music, Netflix search, the new Xbox LIVE dashboard, and new updates to Zune video and Family Settings on your Xbox 360*.  Much like we did last year, you’ll need to visit the Microsoft Connect site from this link and sign in with your Windows LIVE ID that is connected to your Xbox LIVE Gamertag.  Once you complete the survey that is presented to you, the Connect site will notify you immediately if you’ve been accepted.  A couple of points before you head off to register...

Microsoft board boosts dividend, authorizes another $6B in debt

Microsoft's board this afternoon boosted the company's quarterly dividend by 23 percent, to 16 cents per share, attempting to show the company's shareholders additional value from their investment. The dividend had previously been 13 cents per share.

The board also authorized the company to take on up to $6 billion in additional debt. In a report last week predicting both moves, Bloomberg News said the company would use the additional debt for purposes including the ongoing repurchase of its shares...

Microsoft makes Small Business Server 7 public test build available

Microsoft is releasing to interested testers a preview test version of the next version of its Small Business Server, known as “SBS 7,” on September 21.

SBS 7 is one of three new, low-end server offerings in the Microsoft delivery pipeline. The other two are the “Vail” Windows Home Server product (which is in final test phases), and the “Aurora” hybrid cloud/on-premises small-business server, which went to testers in August. Microsoft officials originally planned to deliver the SBS 7 preview in August, but said recently it would be delayed until September...

Windows 7 Momentum Update and Internet Explorer Guidance

Rich Reynolds: For the past several months as I have met with customers all over the world, I received a lot of positive input and feedback related to Windows 7. Customers such as BMW, Expedia, Pella Corporation, and Intel, tell me they are seeing great business value from Windows 7 Enterprise and the Windows Optimized Desktop, which is also reflected in high levels of customer satisfaction. We’re passionate about getting feedback from you to ensure we are engaging with you in the right way and having a positive impact on your business. Please, keep the feedback coming.

During many of these conversations, I get to hear encouraging details about your organization’s Windows 7 plans and the value delivered to both end users and IT professionals. I am equally encouraged by the results from a recent IDC study which shows that nearly all enterprise companies (89%) surveyed are moving forward with their Windows 7 plans within the next 24 months, if not sooner.  And 64% of them are already deploying Windows 7 or have plans to migrate in the next six months. As IDC observes - and my customer conversations reinforce - very strong adoption is underway for Windows 7...