Posts tagged "Windows 8"

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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Windows 8.1 (Blue) will be a free update

According to the official Windows blog Windows “Blue” will indeed be named Window 8.1 and that it will be free for current Windows 8 consumers through the Windows Store.

So through the Windows Store, that is interesting not Windows Update.

It seems logical that enterprises can use their WSUS or any other deployment method, so I assume it will be available as a stand alone download.

 

Source: The Windows Blog

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Posted by plates55 - May 20, 2013 at 2:49 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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Windows 8.1 (Blue) will be a free update

According to the official Windows blog Windows “Blue” will indeed be named Window 8.1 and that it will be free for current Windows 8 consumers through the Windows Store.

So through the Windows Store, that is interesting not Windows Update.

It seems logical that enterprises can use their WSUS or any other deployment method, so I assume it will be available as a stand alone download.

 

Source: The Windows Blog

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Posted by plates55 - May 16, 2013 at 11:39 am

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Less than a year remaining until XP End of Support

Yesterday marked the day of the 1-year count down of when Microsoft softs supporting Windows XP.

In this blog post Stephen Rose provides some answers to help explain what the end of support is and what you need to do to move to a modern OS like Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Microsoft will end Extended Support on April 8, 2014. Why?

In 2002, Microsoft introduced its Support Lifecycle policy based on customer feedback to have more transparency and predictability of support for Microsoft products. Per this policy, Microsoft Business and Developer products – including Windows and Office products – receive a minimum of 10 years of support (five years Mainstream Support and five years Extended Support), at the supported service pack level. Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 will go out of support on April 8, 2014. If your organization has not started the migration to a modern desktop, you are late.

Continue at the Springboard Series Blog

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Posted by plates55 - May 2, 2013 at 10:20 am

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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 46V6N-VCBYR-KT9KT-6Y4YF-QGJYH
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.

Example:

			<UserData>
				<ProductKey>
					<Key>V7C3N-3W6CM-PDKR2-KW8DQ-RJMRD</Key>
				</ProductKey>
				<AcceptEula>true</AcceptEula>
			</UserData>
		</component>
	</settings>
</unattend>

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 http://devcamps.ms/windows.

 

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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Towards Interoperable Pointer Events: Evolving Input Events for Multiple Devices

Today, the W3C has accepted and published Microsoft’s member submission describing a new way for Web sites to support multiple pointing devices such as mouse, pen, and multi-touch. Our proposal for a new Pointer Events Web standard is based on the APIs available today in IE10 on Windows 8.

The Web is more exciting and interactive for users when sites enable experiences for multi-touch. It is even better when the same site continues to work if you switch to using a mouse or pen. We believe the Web should not be fragmented into sites designed for only one type of input. We designed Pointer Events to make it easier for developers to avoid this fragmentation by abstracting the differences of input devices while still allowing for device-specific enhancements when desired.

Our goal with this submission is to work with other browser vendors and the wider Web community to move to adopt a new approach to multi-touch input. In the future, we hope that Web developers will only need to write to one pointer input model no matter if their users are using mouse, pen, touch, or whatever comes next.  The W3C noted, “This Submission comes at a time of significant developer concern about creating content that works well on multiple input modalities, and in light of some disadvantages to the touch event model currently under standardization.”

Other approaches to supporting multi-touch input require Web developers to write their code once for mouse input and again for touch, dealing with the sometimes complex interactions between the two models (for example, when touch events are mapped to mouse events for compatibility). Throughout the development of IE10, and thanks to your feedback, we designed the Pointer Events model to be more compatible with the existing Web and avoid these complexities.

We encourage you to review the proposal and share your thoughts. The specification is a starting point and calls out several open issues for discussion and we look forward to making improvements based on your feedback

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Posted by plates55 - September 28, 2012 at 7:04 am

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Windows Upgrade Offer Registration Now Available

If you purchase or have purchased an eligible Windows 7 PC anytime between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 you will be able to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for only $14.99 (U.S.) which will be redeemable when Windows 8 is generally available on October 26th. If you’re still looking for a PC, check out some of our great Windows 7 PCs. Once you’ve purchased your PC you can come back and register for the offer.

Registration for the Windows Upgrade Offer is only for those who buy an eligible Windows 7 PC between June 2nd and January 31st, 2013.

Here is what you need to do to register for your $14.99 (U.S.) upgrade to Windows 8 Pro:

After buying your PC, go to the Windows Upgrade Offer website to register. It will ask you to select your country (details for the offer vary depending on country). You will then be asked to register with your personal details as well as information about your Windows 7 PC purchase – including date of purchase, retailer, and PC brand and model. You should also have your 25-digit Windows 7 product key that came with the PC handy as you may be required to enter this as part of the registration.

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Then starting on October 26th, we will start sending out promo codes via email with purchase instructions. You will be directed to Windows.com where you will go through the online upgrade process with the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant (shown above) as I have highlighted here in this blog post. Once you get to the purchase screen in the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant, it will show the $39.99 upgrade price. However, on the order confirmation page you’ll have a chance to enter your promo code – that price will change to $14.99. Once you make your purchase, your download and upgrade installation begins!

You will have until February 28, 2013 to register for the offer to get Windows 8 Pro for $14.99.

If you experience any issues or have questions – you can click the contact support link at the top of the Windows Upgrade Offer website.

Did you already buy an awesome Windows 7 PC prior to June 2nd (or have a Windows 7 PC not eligible for the offer)? Not to worry! Starting on October 26th, you will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99!

Both the Windows Upgrade Offer and $39.99 upgrade promotion is available in 140 countries worldwide, with 37 supported languages, and 23 supported currencies (we’ve added 9 additional countries over the original 131!).

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Posted by plates55 - September 22, 2012 at 9:06 am

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First updates for Windows 8 RTM released

Microsoft posted the first (public) updates for Windows 8:

An update is available to correct tile logo images of files on the All Apps View.

 

Assume that you add the shortcut for a file to the All Apps View in Windows 8, Windows RT or Windows Server 2012.  After you change the file association of the file type, the tile logo image is not updated accordingly in the All Apps View.

KB: An update is available to correct tile logo images of files on the All Apps View

 

Also Microsoft published the EU browser choice Screen update for Windows 8.

KB: What is the Browser Choice update (KB976002) – Microsoft Windows

Both updates are available through Microsoft Update app.

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Posted by plates55 - September 17, 2012 at 7:49 am

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