Freeware/Open Source for Windows Weekly Summary

by Todd Ogasawara

VioLet Composer
VioLet Composer is an Open Source application for Microsoft Windows that describes itself as: is a tool for writing music from scratch using only a single x86 compatible PC with a soundcard. The latest alpha release was made just yesterday (April 14).

Firefox & Windows Media Player Finally Make Nice :-)
I tend to use Firefox as my main browser when using Microsoft Windows (XP or Vista). It always annoyed me that Windows Media just didn't play nice with Firefox. However, it looks like those days are over. Head over to Microsoft Port 25 for the announcement of...

Windows Media Player Plug-in for Firefox

Google Presentation (PowerPoint-like app) Hype
There's been a lot of talk on the net about Google's Eric Schmidt announcing that a presentation manager (PowerPoint-like) web application that will be available within a few months. The hype is that the Google Docs (word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation manager) will be an Office killer. I was there along with thousands of other people at the Web 2.0 Expo keynote presentation yesterday when Schmidt showed a few plain slides of black text on a white background before making the announcement. And, I think that most of the hype in the news is just that: hype. When asked, Schmidt himself said that it is Google Docs is not positioned to be an Office killer. He considers is complementary (as do I).

HandBrake 0.8.5b1 Released for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux
First there was HandBrake (the premiere Open Source DVD to MPEG4 solution for Mac OS X), then it slowed down, then MediaFork picked up the slack, then they announced regrouping and working together. And, now, here's the latest version:

HandBrake 0.8.5b1

While it is great to see the project reinvigorated, the big news, I think, is that it is no longer just a Mac OS X based project. There is also a Windows and a Linux installer available with this release (as mentioned by the MediaFork people earlier in its development).

Ubuntu Linux 7.04 Can Read and Write NTFS Partitions
This blog item kind of falls out of the normal categories I allow myself here. But, it is definitely important and needs to be mentioned. The highly regarded Ubuntu Linux released version 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) earlier this week. The big news for those of us who use both Linux and Windows is that Ubuntu 7.04 can both read and write NTFS partitions...

Read Accessing the Files on Your Windows Partition

Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Release Candidate
If you are currently running Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 (Service Pack 1) Beta-2, take a look at your web administration page's event status area. You have less than 50 days before that version expires. Fortunately, Microsoft provided a...

Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Release Candidate

...earlier this week which provides another 150 days of reprieve. We can only hope that the production version is released way before this version expires.