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Well – kind of. You recall that I mentioned a little bit ago about the fast and the slow ring for the Windows 10 Technical Preview and that the fast ring got the flights first, then once everyone was happy – then the slow ring would get the update. That is how it has worked for the last couple of updates. This month was a little different. Apparently some folk had issues with the fast update for this month – that took us all to build 9879 and so due to that the slow ring was delayed. (Still following?)
Anyway – fast forward to now – and the slow ring is now getting the update to 9879 and the fast ring also are getting a patch. Now – it is KB3019268 – which you would normally find out about here. Yet – that seems not to give you too much data – or any really. So, there are fixes – but no real details as to what they are. If you are on the fast ring – open Windows Update and you will see the update listed there for installation.
If you are on the slow ring – then you will only need to install the overall update to take you to the new build and the patch will already be installed and configured for you.
Speaking of which – if you do want to do a completely clean install of the build – you now can – the ISO files are available to download now from Microsoft. You can grab them from here.
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I was reading through Neowin last week and came across a story by Brad Sams about how you could pick up a Surface 2 for the bargain price of $US199 (In the US only mind you). One of the first comments on the article read “RT? No thx” which I thought was a really shortsighted dismissal of the Surface 2. I have seen other comments on Twitter such as “Friends don’t let friends buy RT”. To that I say – if you were a friend you would check what they actually needed first.
Now – without going into the ongoing Microsoft support of RT – still waiting to head Windows 10 mentioned with RT – but just looking at what you get in a Surface 2 – and then why it might be ok for you – here are a few factors to consider:
- Don’t believe what your “trusted advisor” might say without researching for yourself. A lot of IT Pro’s that I know have dismissed Surface 2 without actually seeing what you get for your buck.
- There are limitations – not avoiding them – there is – the big one is that you can only run applications from the Microsoft Store (or those that are preinstalled – more on that shortly). You also cannot put any extra addins for Internet Explorer – plugins, etc will not work.
- You get Office – not a time bombed version, not an eval version, a full version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. (One thing to note with Excel is that you cannot run macros – so if that is important then this is not for you)
- You get a lightweight device with great screen resolution – 10.6″ at 1920 x 1080 and a battery life of 10 hours.
- Miracast support – this is an oft overlooked thing – so wireless display available.
For me the last 2 are the big ones – I have presented a class able to wander about the room with my Surface 2 wirelessly connected to a projector running virtual machines. Now – were the virtual machines running locally on the Surface 2? Obviously not – but they were running in a HTML5 page and I also could have used Remote Desktop to access a full server if needed (obviously this means you need to have access to a server which most normal people won’t – but then most normal people won’t run a virtual machine J)
So – when I have people ask me for a recommendation on a device – I always start the conversation with – “what do you need to do?” Rather than – “forget about solution xyz as I don’t like It”, if your “trust advisor” doesn’t ask that simple question – then you might need to find another one..
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So – firstly – an OOB update is short for Out of Band update – in Microsoft terms, it is an update that is outside of the regular monthly “Patch Tuesday” cycle. Normally this is reserved for urgent patches and those that really do need your attention. So when you see an out of band update, or a critical security bulletin – then make sure you have a look to see if it applies to you and the systems you manage.
This week Microsoft issued Security Bulletin MS14-068 (yeah – sexy name right?). The actual issue is “Vulnerability in Kerberos Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (3011780)”. Essentially there is a possibility that an attacker could use a standard user account and then make it have the same privileges as a domain administrator. The attacker has to have a valid domain account to start with – but then after that – then if they know the exploit then yes – you are in trouble. And don’t think this is blue sky thinking – there are known targeted attacks already happening.
So – does this apply to you? If you have a Windows Server 2003 and above then – yes it does. There is also a patch for Windows Vista and above on the client side – although it is part of a defense in depth policy rather than due to a risk.
For further details – head here
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Coming up this week there is a free Microsoft Virtual Academy course which will give you a great insight into the enhancements in Windows 10 from an IT Pro perspective – a technical overview of the technical preview as such.
The official blurb reads “IT Pros, want a sneak peek at enhancements in Windows 10? Get a technical overview, and find out how these improvements can help you meet your enterprise IT and security challenges, including device management, multifactor authentication, and deployment, plus a familiar UI for end users.
In this Jump Start training with live Q&A, join us as the lead Windows 10 Enterprise Product Managers roll back the covers on the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Learn about new UI enhancements, find out how management and deployment is evolving, and hear how new security enhancements in Windows 10 can help your organization respond to the modern security threat landscape. Be sure to bring your questions!”
The session will be recorded however if you have a chance to attend live, then you will be able to ask questions of such folk as Simon May, Michael Niehaus, Brad McCabe, Chris Hallum and Fred Pullen.
The reason I mention it will be recorded is that it is November 20th 9am-1pm PST, which means that it will be Friday 21st 3am-7am Brisbane time, or 4am – 8am AEDT, for those in NZ – 6am – 10am. I will be attending live – but if you are not keen due to the time – then make sure you grab the recording when it becomes available.
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That has become the important question – around Windows 10 naturally. Microsoft has now given those on the Windows Insider Preview program the option to join the fast update option or the slow option (Slow is the default).
So what is the difference? Well – it is probably obvious – if you want to be on the bleeding edge of the Preview program – then you can adjust your update speed. If you are still keen for updates but want to take it a little easier and wait for what is potentially more stable builds – then you want to take the slow option. (Of course, as discussed in previous posts – you are on the edge anyway if you are on the Insider program – but with the fast updates you are a little closer to the sharp side)
Microsoft refers to these as Rings – so you are on the fast ring or the slow ring – if you are on the slow ring you will get the update from the fast ring still – just not straight away.
So – how do you get on the fast ring?
In PC Settings, Update and Recovery, Preview Builds, there is now an option for the speed. Choose the Fast option. If you then click Check now, that will force the system to check immediately.
If you don’t click check now (or if you are already on the latest build then you will simply get the next update automatically delivered via Windows Update during your next normal maintenance window.
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I tried to install .Net Framework 3.5 on a fresh Windows Server 2012 R2 machine and found that I could not. It was fully patched and ready to go – which as it turns out was the issue.
If you had installed all the August updates on your server then you would have installed KB2899628 (on a Windows Server 2012 server you would have installed KB2899627). These were updates to .Net Framework which seemed to get the servers all confused about what was installed and what wasn’t. So if you used the add features GUI option or the add-windowsfeature powershell command, you would have gotten an error that the source was not available. Even if you pointed the commands at a source.
I came across this first in a Virtual Machine that I had spun up in Windows Azure – fresh and updated and.. well.. not working for the purpose I needed. Uninstalled the KB update and then I was able to install as expected.
I will note that I just spun up a test virtual machine in Windows Azure and it has been fixed now – but this still might be a remnant issue for you – if so – then – now you know how to fix it!
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So – what the heck am I referring to? Windows Server 2003’s retirement of course. The end of support date for Windows Server 2003 is July 14th 2015 – so we are well into the final year now and if you haven’t started planning your migration from Window Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2 (yes – make that jump) then you are really starting to cut it fine. Fortunately there are a few resources available to help you to make the migration as painless as possible.
First stop should be the Microsoft Virtual Academy, Andrew McMurray, Pierre Roman and I recorded a MVA course entitled “Migrating Legacy Windows Servers to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Azure” – this will give you some good insight in migrating roles, services and workloads – not only from 2003 to 2012 R2 but also to the cloud (in the form of Microsoft Azure).
Next – start looking at the migration guides – naturally different roles will require different plans and tools – and there is detailed plans located here.
Another set of utilities to look at to make the move easier – is the Windows Server Migration Tools – found here.
So– there are some good places to get started – it is not too late to make the switch – but you really need to get moving with the plan if you haven’t already! And as the front page of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy says in warm comforting letters – DON’T PANIC.(If you have no idea what I am talking about – click now)
Don’t forget you can reach out to me via Twitter if you have any questions – @windowspcguy
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The other day I was deep in a Windows Azure virtual machine and forgot where I was, so I disabled the Network Card – confirmed it and everything when I asked me if I wanted to do it, then gave myself an upper cut when the remote connection stopped – looked blankly at the screen and then wondered how the heck I was going to reconnect. For those that have not thought about it before – all the access to a Microsoft Azure VM is via an RDP connection. In a traditional Hyper-V environment, the connection to a Virtual Machine is using vmconnect – so you can connect to a VM that has no network. This is not the case in Microsoft Azure.
Turns out the fix is not really obvious – but it is pretty easy.
- Sign into the Microsoft Azure management portal – you are probably there already looking at the Virtual Machine objects.
- If the Virtual Machine is running, use the management portal to shut the machine now.
Head to the Configure tab and then select the Virtual Machine Size.
- Change the Virtual Machine Size to anything else (it makes no difference – just has to be different) and then click Save.
- Wait for the change to commit and then change it back to the original Virtual Machine Size and click Save.
- Wait for the change to commit and then start the Virtual Machine.
- Do the happy dance when you reconnect.
I will leave it to you to choose what dance to do for step 7 – I recommend something subtle like the Macarena: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiBYM6g8Tck
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Well – so the Windows 10 Technical Preview is upon us – and as a student in a class pointed out – great time to start back with the blogging. Yup – I agree.
This week I am in Seattle with the Microsoft MVP Conference –getting the lowdown on Windows 10 and a bit more of a pear under the hood. Whilst the majority of the information is under NDA – it will give me some information to share with you over the next few months as features start to appear.
So – Windows 10 – questions that I have had from folks so far and first impressions now that I have been using it for a while now as my “daily driver”.
Q: Hey Kyle, Windows 10, should I install it?
A: To quote Paul Thurrott of http://winsupersite.com/ – “if you have to ask then it probably isn’t for you”. I will qualify that with “At this stage” – it is a Technical Preview – which means a few things – it is not feature complete and it is not final – so it might be flaky at times.
Q: So you are saying I shouldn’t install it then?
A: Well, no, that’s not what I am saying – I am running Windows 10 on my daily machine and have had mostly a good experience. Mostly in that I have had some little buggy things, mainly to do with drivers not being stable as yet I suspect. But it is good to be a part of the shaping of the next generation of the operating system – so don’t be afraid to install it – just with the caveat that it is not a final build.
Q: Oh, Ok – so where do I get it?
Q: What do I do with it?
A: At this stage it is an Enterprise preview – so just bear that in mind, from what Microsoft have said so far “Windows 10 Technical Preview for Enterprise is an early look at some of the features and functionality in store for Windows 10, the next version of the Windows client operating system” – have a look here: http://blogs.windows.com/business/2014/09/30/introducing-windows-10-for-business/
First impressions that I have had is that it is a good balance between Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1. I have likened it to an evolution rather than a revolution. It tries to keep everyone happy – and so far it looks like it achieves that. There are more things to come – last week at TechEd Europe, Microsoft revealed the next release of the preview (or “flight” as it is being referred to) that has features such as Continuum and touchpad gestures will be in January. There will be builds released in between and each of the builds appear to be testing small little options – all of which Microsoft are asking for feedback on – and appear to be listening to!
More to come .. no honestly!
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and I thought I would take a moment to point you to some resources that are available.
1. Download from here – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download
2. The Answers forum for Win8 – http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8
3. The Springboard series blog – http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/springboard/
4. The Windows Store Blog – http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsstore/
5. Springboard page for Windows 8 – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hh771457.aspx?ITPID=tnforum
Lots of resources – lots of excitement – go get it and try it today.
I have a survey up on the WindowsPCGuy facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/#!/WindowsPCguy about how you are looking at using the Tech Preview as well – take a moment to make a selection.