Posts tagged "Windows"

Big Changes Are Coming to Windows

Anyone who was disgruntled about the unwanted changes in Windows 8 will be happy to discover that Microsoft is continuing to fix the most onerous problems it created for customers. And hang on, folks: They’re not stopping with Windows 8.1.

Related: A New Hint About Microsoft’s One Windows Vision

Although the exact timing of these changes is still a bit hazy—my sources have used the term “next version of Windows,” which I take to mean a coming revision we might call Windows 8.2—the nature of the changes is not. A new team at Microsoft that’s responsible for overall OS development has clearly spent the past few months evaluating and then dropping most of the “my way or the highway” silliness that doomed the original Windows 8 release.

By necessity, internal politics is a big part of this story.

We might never know exactly why Steven Sinofsky left Microsoft a year ago, but we do know that his departure was both sudden and unexpected. And we suspect that he was ousted as part of the build-up to CEO Steve Ballmer’s retirement announcement and issues regarding succession. Sinofsky was an interesting character, brilliant and driven, but also pedantic to a fault and unmerciful if he ever decided you were no use to him. Most of all he was divisive, and many Microsofties fell into one of two camps when it came to Sinofsky: Those whose careers were furthered by the man and those who thought he was scary and dangerous.

When Sinofsky left, Microsoft temporarily divided his duties between two people, Julie Larson-Green, a top Sinofsky lieutenant, and Tami Reller, who many feel should be in the running for Microsoft’s CEO job. But when the software giant announced its massive reorganization this year, both Larson-Green and Reller were out, with the former heading off to a new Devices business and Reller being put in charge of overall marketing at the company.

If you’re not closely following Microsoft’s internal dramas, you might be wondering: Well, who’s running Windows then? The answer to that question is Terry Myerson. And the next obvious question is: Who the heck is Terry Myerson?

It’s a fair question. Mr. Myerson previously ran Microsoft’s Windows Phone business, which doesn’t seem like the type of post that would put the man in the running to lead all client OS development at Microsoft. But that’s exactly what he’s doing. And he’s been talking about consolidating Windows 8.x, Windows RT, and Windows Phone into a much simpler lineup. I’m really starting to like this guy.

I’m not aware of a coup of this magnitude ever happening before at Microsoft, and I’d have to go back to Apple’s purchase of Next—along with Steve Jobs—to find a tech industry example as dramatic. As Jobs and his Next cohorts made their presence known inside Apple, some Apple employees began wondering which company had purchased which. I suspect the remaining Sinofsky-era Windows employees are having similar thoughts right now.

And to be clear, there aren’t many left. Quietly but quickly, Myerson has removed the remnants of the team Sinofsky put in place. Major Sinofsky-era players Jon DeVaan and Antoine Leblond were left without leadership positions when the reorg was announced. Dean Hachamovitch, who led Internet Explorer development for years, quietly left the IE organization in November to parts unknown. And now Ted Dworkin (Windows Store) and Jensen Harris (user experience) have been shifted to the Bing team. (Which could very well be Microsoft’s version of Siberia.)

But Myerson isn’t just removing those who backed Sinofsky’s product vision for Windows. He’s also trying to make sense of the mess they made. Although I happen to like Windows 8 just fine—Windows 8.1 is particularly good—there’s no denying that this most divisive of Windows releases—a Frankenstein’s monster that combines separate mobile and desktop platforms into a single, messy OS—came at exactly the wrong time for Microsoft. Google’s Android and Apple iOS are offering simpler experiences for the masses, and Windows is getting left in the dust.

Microsoft made the first steps to fix these problems in Windows 8.1, and to be fair to Larson-Green and Reller, that release did happen on their watch. Windows 8.1 added back the Start button and made it easier for desktop users to stick within that environment and not be bothered by too much of the “Metro” mobile environment.

But it might not have gone far enough for many, and overall Windows 8.x usage share has been slow, about a third the rate at which Windows 7 was adopted. So now Myerson is making even more dramatic changes. Myerson is planning to unify Windows Phone and Windows RT into a single platform. He’s planning a follow-up to Windows 8.1, code-named “Threshold,” that will ship later next year and make the Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox One user experiences more similar. And now some Threshold details—heck, let’s call it Windows 8.2—are starting to emerge.

As I noted in “Further Changes Coming in Windows ‘Threshold’,” I’m aware of a few of these changes. First, Microsoft will be making it possible to run “Metro” mobile apps—which are typically run full-screen like other mobile apps—in floating windows on the desktop, allowing them to blend more seamlessly with desktop applications. And second, the firm is bringing back the Start menu for those who still pine for it, completely undoing the mess made with the original Windows 8, which replaced this menu with a full-screen Metro-style Start screen.

I can’t say that either change will affect me personally all that much, and I’m still trying to verify some other information I’ve received—what if Windows RT/Phone was free, for example?—but I know both will be a big deal for many users. The ultimate failure of Windows 8 wasn’t that Microsoft embraced mobile technologies, it was that it did so without taking into account how poor this experience would be for the 1.5 billion people who use Windows on traditional PCs. And when those people complained about this forced change, they were labeled as whiners.

But they’re not whiners, they’re customers. And although Myerson’s changes might be uncharitably called a step back, doing right by your customers is never the wrong strategy. Windows 8.1 was a step in the right direction. But it looks like Microsoft is on the threshold, if you will, of really doing the right thing.

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Posted by plates55 - December 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm

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Running Windows 7? Download IE11 now

Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) is now available worldwide in 95 languages for you to download today. Microsoft will begin automatically updating Windows 7 customers to IE11 in the weeks ahead, starting Thursday with customers running the IE11 Developer and Release Previews.

With this final release, IE11 brings the same leading standards support — with improved performance, security, privacy and reliability that Windows 8.1 consumers enjoy — to Windows 7 customers.

With IE11 Microsoft continues to deliver the best performance for real-world websites on your Windows device. IE11 on Windows 7 improves performance across the board, with faster page loading, faster interactivity and faster JavaScript performance, while reducing CPU usage and improving battery life on mobile PCs.

You can experience IE11’s leading performance first hand with demos on the IE Test Drive site, where you’ll find examples of hardware accelerated rendering, interactivity, touch and real-world site patterns.

IE11 also advances JavaScript performance. On Windows 7, IE11 is 9 percent faster than IE10, which is nearly 30 percent faster than the nearest competitive browser.

For developers, IE11 brings increased support for modern Web standards powered by hardware acceleration to enable a new class of applications and fast and fluid browsing. IE11 adds support for over 25 new or improved modern Web standards beyond IE10.

For more on the improvements with IE11, head on over to the blog post.

You might also be interested in:

· Steve Ballmer helps open ‘Microsoft Berlin’ to foster dialog, support startups · Microsoft spotlights Expert Educators and Mentor Schools for 2014 · Keyboard, mouse, touch: Choose one or all three in Windows 8.1

Steve Clarke Microsoft News Center Staff

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Posted by plates55 - November 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm

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Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 GA updates publicly released

Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems (KB2883200)


These updates (*.msu) provide a collection of performance and reliability improvements that are designed to improve the Windows 8.1 experience.

Update for Windows 8.1 (KB2883200)


These updates (*.msu) provide a collection of performance and reliability improvements that are designed to improve the Windows 8.1 experience.

Update for Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB2883200)


These updates (*.msu) provide a collection of performance and reliability improvements that are designed to improve the Windows Server 2012 R2 experience.

Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems (KB2884846)


These updates (*.msu) provide a collection of performance and reliability improvements that are designed to improve the Windows 8.1 experience.

Update for Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB2884846)


These updates (*.msu) provide a collection of performance and reliability improvements that are designed to improve the Windows Server 2012 R2 experience.

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Posted by plates55 - October 20, 2013 at 1:49 pm

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How to Easily Delete Computer Viruses

Worked for a short time at a big box computer retailer who I felt was ripping the public off by charging outrageous fees to delete virus’s from customers pc’s.


when you suspect you have a virus, the best fix is to turn off your computer completely. If the power to your computer is off, the virus can’t do any damage. But at some point, you will have to turn your computer on to delete the virus and take back control of your system. In today’s episode, I’ll walk you through how to do just that! One thing to keep in mind: This method is somewhat complicated and involves many steps, but in most cases it is a surefire way to eliminate any malware from your system with only minor headaches.

How to Eliminate Viruses From Your System

Step 1 – Most of the time, a computer virus can’t run without your operating system running as well. This is the case with Linux, Mac, and Windows machines. As long as you don’t start your operating system, the virus remains essentially frozen, and has no way to hide, fight back, or transmit information. The goal here is to freeze the virus so you can find it, delete it, and move on with your life. There are a number of tools that will give you this power over the virus. My favorite is the operating system that will run on a CD/DVD or a USB stick designed by the brilliant software engineers at Kaspersky Lab. And luckily for all of us, Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 is available for FREE Once you download this software, the helpful guide on the site will give you step by step instructions on how to turn a USB drive or a CD/DVD into a virus killing machine! I won’t go over how to do this step-by-step, but if you are having any problems, stop by the Tech Talker Facebook page where we will be having a discussion on people’s experiences with this program. Step 2 – Once you have your CD/DVD or USB drive all set up with the virus-destroying program, insert either one into your computer and turn it on. What comes up next will not look like your normal computer; rather you will be running a new operating system from the disk you just created! To clarify a little bit, this CD/DVD or USB drive you created has a fully functional operating system built into it. When your computer starts to run it, everything gets loaded into the RAM of your computer which, if you remember from my earlier podcast on how a computer works, is like the work bench of the computer. The hard drive has little to no interaction here, which is good because we want the virus to stay frozen. From here, Kaspersky will boot up and do its magic. Take a look at this video to preview the process. Step 3 – If you follow the video, it will show you how to update and scan your system. Once the scan finishes, it will ask you to review the files that were infected, and then clean them. After you give the all clear, Kaspersky takes care of the rest and bam—your computer will be good to go! Just remove the CD/DVD or USB drive and your computer should start up just as it did before, only virus-free. How to Protect Your System From Future Invaders I recommend keeping the USB drive or CD/DVD in a drawer just in case this sort of thing ever happens in the future. I actually keep a USB drive with Kaspersky on my key ring, just in case! 5 Quick and Dirty steps to deleting computer viruses: #1 A virus on your machine needs your operating system in order to run. #2 By creating a CD/DVD or USB drive with the special virus-killing tool on it, we can keep the virus frozen as if the power to your regular operating system were still off. #3 While the virus is frozen, we can scan, edit, and delete the offender. #4 Once we remove the virus, your computer should be completely healthy and back to normal. #5 It wouldn’t hurt to do a few more scans with your traditional antivirus software such as Microsoft Security Essentials or Sophos, just in case. – See more at:




Skull Icon image from Shutterstock

– See more at:

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Posted by plates55 - October 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm

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Microsoft Message Analyzer Released!

Finaly the successor of Microsoft Network Monitor tool is released: Microsoft Message Analyzer.

Message Analyzer enables you to capture, display, and analyze protocol messaging traffic; and to trace and assess system events and other messages from Windows components.

Microsoft Message Analyzer is a new tool for capturing, displaying, and analyzing protocol messaging traffic and other system messages. Message Analyzer also enables you to import, aggregate, and analyze data from log and trace files. It is the successor to Microsoft Network Monitor 3.4 and a key component in the Protocol Engineering Framework (PEF) that was created by Microsoft for the improvement of protocol design, development, documentation, testing, and support. With Message Analyzer, you can choose to capture data live or load archived message collections from multiple data sources simultaneously.
Message Analyzer enables you to display trace, log, and other message data in numerous data viewer formats, including a default tree grid view and other selectable graphical views that employ grids, charts, and timeline visualizer components which provide high-level data summaries and other statistics. It also enables you to configure your own custom data viewers. In addition, Message Analyzer is not only an effective tool for troubleshooting network issues, but for testing and verifying protocol implementations as well.    Message Analyzer at Microsoft Download Center

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Posted by plates55 - October 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm

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Update Rollups for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 are NOT cumulative

If you pay attention to the updates Microsoft rolls out each month or take note of what Windows Updates are on your Windows 8 PC or Windows Server 2012 Server, you may have seen some monthly rollup updates.

These update rollups are not cumulative updates. You do need to apply each of the monthly update rollups to get the fixes and enhancements from each month. Installing the February 2013 Update Rollup does not get you the January 2013 to October 2012 rollup updates. This is to say, these rollups are independent of each other. Searching on the KB number will discuss what each rollup is addressing that month. Note that these updates do not focus on a particular component as we have seen with previous cumulative or rollup type updates but are broader to Windows.

Continue at source:

Update Rollups For Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Explained – Ask Premier Field Engineeri

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Posted by plates55 - May 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm

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Default product keys for Windows 8 deployments

Use the following default product keys to quickly and  easily preinstall  computers with Windows 8 software.

Windows version Default product key
Windows 8 Professional V7C3N-3W6CM-PDKR2-KW8DQ-RJMRD
Windows 8 N 7QNT4-HJDDR-T672J-FBFP4-2J8X9
Windows 8 Professional N 4NX4X-C98R3-KBR22-MGBWC-D667X
Windows 8 Single Language (Emerging Markets) NH7GX-2BPDT-FDPBD-WD893-RJMQ4

Simply type the default product key into the answer file used to preinstall the version of Windows that your customer requested.



Note These product keys cannot be used for activation. You will need to type a software product key during the installation process. These keys will be removed when sysprep generalize is run. The end user will be required to type the unique product key from the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) label when first booting Windows 8.

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Posted by plates55 - March 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm

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Windows 8 Camp in a BOX

This download includes the hands-on-labs, presentations, samples and resources from the Windows 8 camps. The Windows 8 camps are free training events for developers ramping up on Windows Store app development. To sign-up for a Windows camp, please visit


Download Windows 8 Camp in a Box

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Posted by plates55 - February 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm

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How to : Identify and Delete Malware Autostarts

Malware persists on an infected computer by configuring itself to run when Windows starts, or when a user logs in. The System Configuration utility (Msconfig.exe, sometimes called “Msconfig”) that ships with Windows displays a list of programs that load at startup, among other information. While this can be useful for general troubleshooting purposes, Msconfig is often inadequate for dealing with a malware infection: it doesn’t check all of the autostart extensibility points (ASEPs), or places processes can automatically start from, and it doesn’t provide certain information that can be useful when investigating an infection. To track down malware more effectively, use another Sysinternals tool, Autoruns.

Autoruns shows which programs run when Windows starts


Click on the Image to Enlarge.

Using Autoruns

When you launch Autoruns, it immediately begins filling its display with entries collected from known ASEPs. Each shaded row represents an ASEP location in either the file system or the registry. The rows underneath a shaded row indicated entries configured in that ASEP.  Each row shows the item’s description, publisher, and path. Click a row to display more information about the item at the bottom of the Autoruns window, including file size, version number, and any command line arguments used to launch the item. Double-clicking an item in the list displays the item in either Regedit or an Explorer window, depending on whether the item is a registry entry or a file on disk. For registry entries, you can also open the folder containing the file associated with the selected entry by clicking the Entry menu and then clicking Jump to.

On most computers, Autoruns is likely to display hundreds of entries for startup items. To reduce the number of items you have to investigate, enable the Hide Microsoft and Windows Entries and Verify Code Signatures items in the Options menu, and then click Refresh on the toolbar. This filters out items published by Microsoft.

Autoruns can also be used to display autostart entries for other profiles, and for offline computers (for example, an offline virtual machine, or a physical computer booted into a preloader environment with Autoruns installed). To display entries for another profile, click the User menu, and then click the user account you want to check. To check an offline computer, click the File menu, and then click Analyze Offline System.

The Autoruns download package includes a command-line version of the tool, Autorunsc.exe. See for usage instructions.

Identifying Malware Autostarts

Suspicious autostart items can often be identified by many of the same characteristics listed on page 3: look for files with no icon, entries with blank Description and Publisher fields, files with unusual or random-seeming names, files that can’t be verified, and files in unexpected locations, among others. To quickly search for information about a filename online, click the Entry menu and then click Search Online, or press Ctrl+M.

The following figure shows a malicious autostart entry created by a variant of Win32/FakePAV, a rogue security software program. This entry has blank Description and Publisher fields, a random-seeming name with no obvious meaning, and comes from a location in the registry that usually points to Explorer.exe.

A malicious entry in Autoruns


Click on the Image to Enlarge.

Deleting Autostarts

To delete a selected autostart entry, click the Entry menu and then click Delete, or press Ctrl+D. To disable an entry without deleting it, clear the check box at the left end of the row. Before deleting any entries, record the full path to each malicious file, so you can remove them later.

After deleting or disabling suspicious autostarts, refresh the list by clicking the Refresh button on the toolbar or pressing F5. If you’ve overlooked any malicious processes, they may monitor the autostart list and recreate any entries you delete. If this happens, return to step 2 and use Process Explorer and Process Monitor to find and eliminate the responsible processes.

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Posted by plates55 - September 22, 2012 at 10:06 am

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Windows PowerShell 3.0 download

WEindows Powershell 3.0 for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 & Windows Server 2008 SP2 is now part of the Windows Management Framework 3.0.


Windows Management Framework 3.0 makes some updated management functionality available to be installed on Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 & Windows Server 2008 SP2. Windows Management Framework 3.0 contains Windows PowerShell 3.0, WMI & WinRM. Windows PowerShell 3.0Some of the new features in Windows PowerShell 3.0 include:

  • Workflow Windows PowerShell Workflow lets IT Pros and developers apply the benefits of workflows to the automation capabilities of Windows PowerShell. Workflows allow administrators to run long-running tasks (which can be made repeatable, frequent, parallelizable, interruptible, or restart-able) that can affect multiple managed computers or devices at the same time.
  • Disconnected Sessions PowerShell sessions can be disconnected from the remote computer and reconnected later from the same computer or a different computer without losing state or causing running commands to fail.
  • Robust Session Connectivity Remote sessions are resilient to network failures and will attempt to reconnect for several minutes. If connectivity cannot be reestablished, the session will automatically disconnect itself so that it can be reconnected when network connectivity is restored.
  • Scheduled Jobs Scheduled jobs that run regularly or in response to an event.
  • Delegated Administration Commands that can be executed with a delegated set of credentials so users with limited permissions can run critical jobs
  • Simplified Language Syntax Simplified language syntax that make commands and scripts look a lot less like code and a lot more like natural language.
  • Cmdlet Discovery Improved cmdlet discovery and automatic module loading that make it easier to find and run any of the cmdlets installed on your computer.
  • Show-Command Show-Command, a cmdlet and ISE Add-On that helps users find the right cmdlet, view its parameters in a dialog box, and run it.

WMIWMI in Windows Management Framework 3.0 introduces:

  • A new provider development model This new model brings down the cost of provider development and removes the dependency on COM.
  • A new MI Client API to perform standard CIM operations. The API can be used to interact with any standard WsMan + CIMOM implementation, allowing management applications on Windows to manage non-Windows computers.
  • The ability to write Windows PowerShell cmdlets in native code The new WMI Provider APIs supports an extended Windows PowerShell semantics API allowing you to provide rich Windows PowerShell semantics. e.g., Verbose, Error, Warning, WhatIf, Confirm, Progress

WinRMWith Windows Management Framework 3.0:

  • Connections are more robust Remote connections communicating over WinRM are more robust to transient network failures such as a flaky WAN connection. In the case of a complete network failure, connections are gracefully disconnected and can be reconnected when network connectivity is restored.
  • Remoting is more Standards-compliant Standard WS-Management operations, including Create and Delete, can be performed over WMI. Remoting for cmdlets written in native code using the new WMI provider development model uses WS-Management instead of DCOM.
  • Multiple PowerShell sessions can be shared in the same process PowerShell sessions from the same user to the same session configuration (WinRM plug-in) can run in a single shared process instead of separate processes. This improves scalability and performance by allowing multiple sessions to share memory and other server resources.

Management OData IIS Extensions Management OData IIS Extension enables an administrator to expose a set of PowerShell cmdlets as a RESTful web endpoint accessible via the Open Data Protocol (OData). This enables Windows and non-Windows clients to discover and invoke PowerShell cmdlets remotely over standard web protocols and interfaces. Server Manager CIM Provider The Server Manager CIM Provider packaged with Windows Management Framework 3.0 allows you to manage your Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 servers from Server Manager in Windows Server 2012 or Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8


Download WMF 3.0

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Posted by plates55 - September 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm

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