Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

LonghornBlogs is Dead, Long Live Windows-Now.com!

Welcome to the all-new WindowsNow! (http://www.windows-now.com) If I did this migration right, your aggregators should have gracefully switched over without issue.

...wait for it...

WOO HOO!!! Man, I've been waiting for this for a long time! Where do I begin? Well as I said, I thought today would be a very appropriate day to launch the new website... since it's LonghornBlogs.com's 3rd birthday. I know it's cheesy, like getting married on the day you met your spouse... but oh well.

So why Windows-Now.com? Well, I wanted to do something Vista-specific, but the problem with that idea is you have to change your name every couple years, and you can't take your Googlejuice with you. Plus, having the word "blogs" in your name absolutely kills your contextual ad targeting. So WindowsNow is just that... what's going on in Windows, right now.

WindowsNow is still primarily centered around blogging, but as you can see in the navbar, that's not all we have anymore. We've opened up photo galleries for screenshots and what-not, as well as a file repository for exclusive Windows-Now programs and utilities. Our first utility is one I'm quite partial too, and will be uploaded very soon.

We also have a few more features coming before the end of the month... including my first regular Blogcast. I've been wanting to do this for a while, and I've invested in some great equipment to put them together. Monday morning, I'll announce my very special first guest. It's an interview that is going to be VERY hard to top.

Take a minute to check out the overall design. I must say, I'm totally in love with the way WindowsNow looks. We totally stepped it up a notch from LHB, but kept a few design elements for good measure. I started fooling around with a couple design ideas, and Kristan Kinney took what I started and really ran with it. It solves all the problems we had before (readability, ad layout, etc), and has a Vista-esque feel to it. Then, Jaxon Rice, the Community Server skinning genius, took over and completely redesigned the default CS skin. It loads lightning fast, is standards-compliant, tested in most major browsers, and almost passes XHTML validation (damn you ASP.NET!!!) The default font is Segoe UI, but if you don't have that, it gracefully fails over to Tahoma.... so no more CSS Overrides for Kristan ;). Jaxon was immensely helpful in getting everything taken care of, and will be helping out as we continue to build out the site.

The thing I'm most excited about though is FINALLY being on Community Server 2.1. This version is extremely powerful, and will allow us to do some really cool things moving forward (like re-enabling anonymous comments... not yet but very soon). The upgrade process was the easiest migration I've ever done. Just executed a couple SQL scripts, and it was ready to go.

<whew> So we're finally live, but the site is by no means finished. There are still a vew bugs that Jaxon and I are going to clean up over the next 48 hours. You'll see us go though a bunch of changes in the weeks ahead (most notably on the home page), as I start rolling out ideas and code that I've been sitting on for over a year. I'll also be talking more about the mission of the site, and inviting Vista users to come share their experiences with the world.

Thanks to everyone who has supported LonghornBlogs throughout the years, and we hope you'll support WindowsNow too! Thanks for reading!

Robert McLaws
Windows-Now.com

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Comments

  • AdyCarter said:

    Looking good, really like the new feel of the place and am looking forward to seeing what utilities and files pop up.

    (to put your mind at rest, my aggregator switched over fine)

    October 1, 2006 6:49 AM
  • The Wizard said:

    Nice work I am looking forward to your Blogcasts too!

    October 1, 2006 12:44 PM
  • Nice design.  Good job!

    October 1, 2006 1:59 PM
  • Spinner said:

    Congratulations!!  The new site looks great and a you've made a good choice for the domain!

    Cheers, Glen

    October 1, 2006 4:17 PM
  • I miss my CSS over-rides! Give them back, you big meanie! Haha

    The site looks awesome - proud to be part of the team! :)

    October 1, 2006 7:20 PM
  • Fantastic work Rob, looks great! And yeah, Jaxon kicks oh so much bootay when it comes to skinning CS, excellent choice.

    October 1, 2006 11:16 PM
  • Site looks absolutly wonderful!

    But... Won't you get in trouble with the domain name? MS did start confiscating all domain names with Windows in it a few years ago...

    October 2, 2006 6:44 AM
  • Nope, won't get in trouble with the name. Josh has WindowsConnected.com, so if they're going to get mad at me, they're gonna have to get mad at him too. They did crack down a few years ago, but they have since backed off.  

    October 2, 2006 1:20 PM
  • news of the day a grab bag for what's happening in Community Server J-O Eriksson walks us through his

    October 2, 2006 3:13 PM
  • Jaxon said:

    Temporary comment: This is a test http://w3c.org

    October 3, 2006 5:14 AM
  • Holy crap, it's been a busy week. Launched a new site , practiced my interview skills on one of the top

    October 8, 2006 3:39 AM
  • Robert McLaws migrates Longhorn Blogs to Community Server 2.1 and renames the site to Windows Now. Congrats,

    November 22, 2006 10:09 AM
  • Robert McLaws migrates Longhorn Blogs to Community Server 2.1 and renames the site to Windows Now. Congrats,

    March 12, 2007 7:57 AM