Free Microsoft Tech Showcase Events

Microsoft has teamed up with some of its Microsoft Learning Partners to provide free first-look clinics covering Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Visual Studio 2012, SQL Server 2012, Exchange 2013, SharePoint 2013, and Lync 2013. These events are happening all around the world, so you should hopefully find one near to you. I found out about these from a Microsoft UK blog that said they were being run “across the UK” – looking at the currently published list of events, “across the UK” is defined as London and Wokingham, so your mileage may vary. Still, it’s worth a journey because event offers … Continue reading Free Microsoft Tech Showcase Events

Time to move on from Windows XP

Just a reminder that we’re now inside 500 days until the end of support for Windows XP. I’m sure I don’t need to go into the reasons why your organisation doesn’t want to be running an OS that Microsoft doesn’t support anymore. If you aren’t ready to jump to Windows 8, then Windows 7 is a perfectly good step up from XP. Whatever you decide to upgrade to, just make sure you do it before 8th April 2014.

Win8/RT Tip: Make your Picture Password harder to guess

One of the nice things that Microsoft have done in Windows 8 and RT for people using a touchscreen, like on the Surface, is provide a new way of signing in with a Picture Password. They expain in a comprehensive post how secure it is, but in practice I believe that many users will reduce the level of security by too closely following Microsoft’s examples. What are the chances that a large percentage of Picture Password users select an image of family members or pets, or similar and then create their three gestures by circling heads and drawing dots on, or … Continue reading Win8/RT Tip: Make your Picture Password harder to guess

Windows 8 Arrives

Today marks general availability for Microsoft’s Windows 8 and also their Surface tablet running Windows RT. I’ve been using Windows 8 for some time and I do like it, but there is a learning curve and it does take a bit of getting used to. I just wanted to post a couple of links to help people get up to speed as quickly as possible… Firstly, for the absolute beginner, we have Joanna Stern’s 8 Things You Need to Know About Using Windows 8 on ABC News. Joanna does a good job of going throught the most important things you … Continue reading Windows 8 Arrives

Remote Server Admin Tools for Windows 8

If, like me, you’ve been keenly awaiting RSAT for Windows 8, there’s been a spot of confusion lately. Some people were declaring that the RTM tools were available even though the page was clearly labelled “Release Preview”, then the page disappeared from the Microsoft Download Center completely. Happily though, the wait is over and you can now download 32- or 64-bit versions: Remote Server Admin Tools for Windows 8 This is good news for people who want to use the new Server Manager to manage their infrastructure from their desktop (Windows Server 2012 will work natively, obviously, and you can … Continue reading Remote Server Admin Tools for Windows 8

PowerShell 3.0 for Windows 7 and Server 2008

Along with the launch of Windows Server 2012* yesterday, Microsoft released the Windows Management Framework 3.0 for some downlevel clients. In the package you get PowerShell 3.0, and updated versions of WMI and WinRM for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP2. If you were looking for support on XP and Vista you are out of luck. WMF 3.0 also contains the Server Manager CIM Provider that you’re going to need on your 2008 R2 SP1 and 2008 SP2 servers if you want to manage them with the new Server Manager in Windows Server … Continue reading PowerShell 3.0 for Windows 7 and Server 2008

NEBytes: Windows 8 and Imagine Cup North East

If you’re in the North East of England, get yourself along to NEBytes tomorrow evening (Wednesday 21st March). I’m collaborating with Ben Lee and Ross Dargan to give you as much depth as you can handle on Windows 8, and we’re getting to see what some of the student teams have been doing for the Imagine Cup. There’s plenty space, so come and join us at Newcastle University (Claremont Tower, room 1.02) from 18:30 – please register at Eventbrite if you’re coming.

Why I hope Windows 8 ARM tablets don’t have a full desktop

There has been a significant amount of speculation and rumour surrounding the existance of a full desktop experience on Windows 8 devices powered by ARM processors. These are the lower priced tablets that are going to exist in the same market as the iPad and various Android tablets, like those make by Samsung and Asus. Before anyone who hasn’t been keeping up with this has a panic, there’s going to be a normal Windows desktop on fully-fledged laptop and desktop PCs, but on tablets it makes less sense as a user interface. It’s not like you could just take your favourite … Continue reading Why I hope Windows 8 ARM tablets don’t have a full desktop