Microsoft beta tests online diagnostic tools for Windows

"Sysinternals Live" service will allow users to launch diagnostic and troubleshooting tools from a Web browser

Microsoft has launched a beta service that lets Windows users launch the Sysinternals library of free diagnostic and troubleshooting tools -- including the popular Process Explorer -- from a Web browser.

The service, dubbed "Sysinternals Live," is in beta, Microsoft said in a brief note posted to the Sysinternals Web site Wednesday. "We're excited to announce the beta of Sysinternals Live, a service that enables you to execute Sysinternals tools directly from the Web without hunting for and manually downloading them," the notice read.

Sysinternals, the brand name for more than 70 separate tools, was acquired by Microsoft when it bought Austin, Texas-based Winternals Software in mid-2006. Microsoft also brought Winternals' co-founder Mark Russinovich into the company as a technical fellow.

Among the better-known tools in the Sysinternals collection are Process Explorer, an uber-Task Manager; Processor Monitor; and RootKitRevealer, which sniffs out signs of rootkit installations by examining the Windows registry.

Users can launch the Sysinternals tools from the service's bare-bones Web page -- some browsers, including Firefox, however, default to first saving the file, as in a traditional download, and require users to install the utility -- or by using the syntax "\live.sysinternals.com ools " in Windows' Run box. (The syntax is sans the quotation marks, of course, and the name of the tool, as shown on Sysinternals Live, must be substituted for .)

Users can call up any Sysinternals tool free-of-charge from the service's home page.

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Gregg Keizer

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