All posts tagged Windows

Windows 8 Release Preview

Today, Windows 8 Release Preview is available for download in 14 languages. This is the final pre-release, and includes Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10, new Windows 8 apps for connecting to Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger (and many more), and hundreds of new and updated apps in the Windows Store.

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Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate Datacenter is Now Available

The next release of Windows Server, Windows Server 2012, will offer businesses and hosting providers a scalable, dynamic, and multitenant-aware, cloud-optimized infrastructure. It securely connects across premises and helps IT Professionals to respond to business needs faster and more efficiently.

Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (RC):

  • Takes you beyond virtualization
  • Delivers the power of many servers with the simplicity of one
  • Opens the door to every app on any cloud
  • Enables the modern work style

Need more information? See the product details page.

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multi-monitor enhancements coming in Windows 8

Another major improvement that is coming is the multi-monitor taskbar that many users have complained about the lack of in Windows 7. In Windows 8, users will have the option to show the taskbar on secondary monitors, and then there will be options to choose how the application icons are shown on these taskbars. By default the app buttons will be shown on both taskbars, but you can set it to show app buttons only on the taskbar belonging to the monitor where the application is open.

Windows 8 Media Center / Player

Given the changing landscape, the cost of decoder licensing, and the importance of a straight forward edition plan, we’ve decided to make Windows Media Center available to Windows 8 customers via the Add Features to Windows 8 control panel (formerly known as Windows Anytime Upgrade). This ensures that customers who are interested in Media Center have a convenient way to get it. Windows Media Player will continue to be available in all editions, but without DVD playback support. For optical discs playback on new Windows 8 devices, we are going to rely on the many quality solutions on the market, which provide great experiences for both DVD and Blu-ray.

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Windows 8 Release Preview coming June

Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows Division, took the stage for the first day of the Windows Developer Days conference in Japan to announce the Release Preview of Windows 8 will launch during the first week of June. The news confirms previous speculation that the Windows 8 release candidate would be called a "Release Preview." Microsoft’s Building Windows 8 Twitter account confirmed the news via tweet, providing the announcement photograph seen above and the following statement:

Announce…Windows 8 Release Preview first week of June. Here’s the announce from Japan’s Windows 8 Dev Days #thankyou

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Skype 1.0 released on Windows Phone

Following a short beta period, Microsoft’s Skype app for Windows Phone is ready for prime time. Today the Microsoft Skype Division released the first non-beta version of the application, Skype 1.0, which is available as a free download on the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Derek Snyder, head of mobile product marketing at Skype, announced the release in a posting on the Skype blog. In the post, Snyder stated that Microsoft has "tested and certified" the following Windows Phone devices:

  • Nokia Lumia 710
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 900
  • HTC Titan
  • HTC Radar
  • Samsung Focus S
  • Samsung Focus Flash

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Windows Server 8 – Deduplication

One of the long overdue features of Windows Server 8, is Data Deduplication. Deduplication can be enabled for NTFS volumes, and is part of the File Server role.
Deduplication works by examining the files on the disk, looking for duplicate files, once one is found the duplicate file will be referenced to the first file found. This means that two identical 1GB files, would only take up 1GB (The First File) + 4KB (The second file that points to the first file). This will intern allow us to store much more data onto a single disk.

Installing Deduplication –

The first step is to add the data deduplication role service; this is done in the new Server Manager and is a single step.


Once the role is installed, the next steps are to start the Data Deduplication Service (ddpsvc) and set it to Automatic startup. This is done in the normal services management snap-in. Then, each eligible volume needs to be configured for deduplication. Keep in mind that C:\ drives are not supported for NTFS deduplication, Configuring a volume for deduplication is done by right-clicking on the volume in Server Manager and selecting “Configure Deduplication”.


There are two primary options for deduplication, folder and file type exclusions. Those are configured in Server Manager when deduplication is configured. Microsoft don’t recommend deduplication certain file type such as; SQL Databases, VHD Files, Exchange Database. As this could result in a performance decrease. (Testing in a small lab, the performance decrease was unnoticeable.)


Windows 8: Where’s our hardware reimagined?

Summary: I want to see, touch or buy a Windows tablet that will get me excited about Windows 8. Six months or so from launch, there’s still nothing filling that gap.

Along with “fast and fluid,” one of the most (over) used catch phrases about Windows 8 is “Windows reimagined.” I’d assume we also are going to see some “reimagined” PCs, too, that will make using the touch-centric Windows 8 less painful and more compelling.

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Moments ago in Barcelona, we announced the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, available to download now for anyone interested in trying it out. We’ve been hard at work for many months now, and while we still have lots more to do, we’re excited to show you our progress with the latest preview of the new operating system.

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Skype arrives on Windows Phone 7

Microsoft has announced that Windows Phone 7 device owners can now download Skype software directly to their device or from the Windows Marketplace on their PC.

Skype for Windows Phone Beta, launched on Monday, comes with features such as free audio and video calls to other Skype users over 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi, as well as the ability to call landlines or mobile phones for a fee. Group chats and one-to-one instant messaging are also available.

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Building Windows for the ARM processor architecture

One of the notable aspects of Microsoft Windows has been the flexibility the architecture has shown through shifts in technology and expansion of customer usage over time. What started out as an operating system for one person working solo with productivity software is now the foundation of a wide array of hardware and software technologies, a spectrum of connected Windows products, and an incredibly flexible approach to computing.

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Virtualizing storage for scale, resiliency, and efficiency

In this post, we are going to dive into a feature in the Windows 8 Developer Preview. Storage Spaces are going to dramatically improve how you manage large volumes of storage at home (and work). We’ve all tried the gamut of storage solutions—from JBOD arrays, to RAID boxes, or NAS boxes. Many of us have been using Windows Home Server Drive Extender and have been hoping for an approach architected more closely as part of NTFS and integrated with Windows more directly. In building the Windows 8 storage improvements, we set out to do just that and developed Storage Spaces. Of course, the existing solutions you already use will continue to work fine in Windows 8, but we think you will appreciate this new feature and the flexible architecture.

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Refresh and reset your PC

Many consumer electronic devices these days provide a way for customers to get back to some predefined “good” state. This ranges from the hardware reset button on the back of a wireless network router, to the software reset option on a smartphone. We’ve built two new features in Windows 8 that can help you get your PCs back to a “good state” when they’re not working their best, or back to the “factory state” when you’re about to give them to someone else or decommission them.

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Automatic backups coming to Windows Phone

Anyone that’s suffered data loss will know how much of a lifesaver backups are. To the average user, backups can get tedious and intrusive, so modern day systems have been geared towards making the process as simple as possible.

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Windows 8: Boot Manager gets the Metro treatment

imageWith the unveiling of Windows 8, there have been many new features that were not initially shown off when introduced. One small, but unannounced feature, was a new boot manager.

The image above shows off Microsoft’s new Boot Manager which, unsurprisingly, is designed to use the Metro design language. The new interface, while simple and clean in its design, offers the basic functionality that you would expect from a Boot manager.