MDT 2012 update 1 new features

Posted by bink on June 26 2012, 8:51 PM.

  • System Center Orchestrator Integration
  • Additional Windows 8 Support
    • DaRT 8 Beta
    • Roles and Features
    • UEFI 2.3.1
    • PowerShell 3.0
    • VHD Deployment Improvements
  • User Driven Installation enhancements
    • Build your own pages
  • System Center Configuration Manager Monitoring
  • Workbench Monitoring
    • Support for remote DaRT connect
    • Support for remote VM connect (console)


  • Beta Release in July 2012 (within 2 weeks)
  • RTM whenever Windows 8 RTM’s
  • Next release will support System Center Service Pack 1

Windows Azure is now fun for IT Pro’s with IaaS support

Posted by bink on June 26 2012, 8:30 PM.

Today at MS Teched Europe 2012 Mark Russinovich demoed new Windows Azure functionality during the keynote. While this was announced 2 weeks ago at TechED North America, I now got a better insight.

Since Windows Azure was announced in 2007 it was mostly targetted at developers to create or port their .NET app for the Windows Azure platform, later other application suppor was added too. But with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) a whole new world of possibilities opens and finaly exciting for IT Pro’s.

You can now add VM’s in the cloud based on pre-defined templates (WinOS/Linux flavours) or upload your own prepped VHD.


So you can use these VM’s to run practically anything, like your line of business app or even your disaster recovery site, including with domain controllers.

You can also use it to have a global low latency off premise presence for domain controllers/DNS or any other server/service.

You’ll need a SSL VPN site to site connection setup between your on-premise and Azure cloud.

These new features are in preview phase, meaning you can use them at 2/3 of the price until general availability.

So try this out now, signup for Windows Azure trial free, enable new Azure interface.

When signed up you’ll see Virtual Machine greyed out, click on it and apply for the Virtual Machine and Virtual Network preview program. This is not free, but low priced untill General Availability.

User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) Beta 2 released

Posted by bink on June 26 2012, 8:13 PM.

The second beta of User Experience Virtualization (UE-V). This latest beta of UE-V will have new functionality, including roaming system settings between Windows 7 and Windows 8, support for additional operating system settings including Start menu, Taskbar and folders options; group policy support to ensure agent configuration consistency, and the roaming and sync of settings between Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10. We’re excited about these additions to UE-V as they further enable people to change their device and keep their experience.

With Microsoft Desktop Virtualization, we aim to deliver virtualization through a more comprehensive platform – allowing people to use virtually any application anywhere and access Windows everywhere – while simplifying compliance and management through a centralized and unified infrastructure. Microsoft provides a one-stop shop where customers can design the right solution for their business from the full spectrum of desktop virtualization products we offer.

When talking with customers, we often discuss the technology and business benefits desktop virtualization brings to an organization. But consumerization is changing the way we think about applying this technology. This change is fundamentally driven by how people want to interact and get their work done.

Based on this, we’ve shifted the conversation to user behaviors and how desktop virtualization can help them work the way people want. And we shared with customers the various user scenarios that could benefit from desktop virtualization and the optimal solutions for each of these scenarios. Some examples include:

  • Offline use of a work laptop and tablet. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling to your next business meeting, going home to work on your family computer or sailing the seven seas, you still need access to your data, applications and settings. UE-V, Folder Redirection, Offline Files and App-V make this happen by providing a consistent Windows experience.
  • Online use with devices at home, work, in the car or at the beach. Maybe you’re just checking your e-mail, browsing the Internet or making a feeble attempt at a summer vacation, using Remote App or Microsoft VDI (session based) can get access to server hosted applications on any Windows device; and with support from UE-V and App-V we make sure your experience is the same no matter where you are.
  • Online use of a device in the office or at the manufacturing plant halfway across the world. Need to access key databases and systems no matter what work facility you are at? Microsoft VDI (VM based) provides access to personalized server hosted desktops on any Windows device; and with support from App-V, UE-V, and Folder Redirection connects you with the key business data you need, regardless of your location.
  • Access to sensitive information from a personal device. Whether you are a full-time employee or contractor, making sure that business and regulatory compliance isn’t an issue is easy with Remote App or Microsoft VDI, which lock down the applications or desktop in the data center.
  • Ability to run vital legacy applications. Is your organization migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7? Do you find yourself needing to reference a report from 2006, yet the line of business application you’re trying to access doesn’t play nicely with your current operating system? By using MED-V, you can still run the incompatible XP applications on Windows 7 for a fast, seamless experience.

Full story: The Windows Blog


Microsoft Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool 2.0

Posted by bink on June 26 2012, 1:41 PM.

The Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool 2.0 (OCAT ) provides a quick and easy method to analyze your Microsoft Office Outlook profile and mailbox for common configurations that may cause problems in Outlook. This can be very useful for busy Help Desk personnel when end-users call for help with Outlook or when you want to identify possible issues with Outlook proactively.

The Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool 2.0 provides a detailed report of your current Outlook profile and mailbox. This report includes many parameters about your profile, and it highlights any known problems that are found in your profile or mailbox. For any problems that are listed in the report, you are provided a link to a Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) article that describes a possible fix for the problem.

If you are a Help Desk professional, you can also export the report to a file. Then, the report can be viewed in the Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool on another client computer where the tool is installed. The Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool 2.0 also includes a command-line version that can be used to collect an OCAT scan without user intervention.


Download - Microsoft Download Center - Download Details

Microsoft to Acquire Yammer

Posted by bink on June 26 2012, 1:38 PM.

Microsoft extends cloud services with best-in-class enterprise social networking.

Microsoft Corp. and Yammer Inc. today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Yammer, a leading provider of enterprise social networks, for $1.2 billion in cash. Yammer will join the Microsoft Office Division, led by division President Kurt DelBene, and the team will continue to report to current CEO David Sacks.

The infographic provides background and data about Yammer and SharePoint today, and the opportunities that collaboration and enterprise social networking have to help people work more effectively in today's workplace.
Yammer Infographic

“The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft. “Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.”

Launched in 2008, Yammer now has more than 5 million corporate users, including employees at 85 percent of the Fortune 500. The service allows employees to join a secure, private social network for free and then makes it easy for companies to convert a grassroots movement into companywide strategic initiative.

Yammer will continue to develop its standalone service and maintain its commitment to simplicity, innovation and cross-platform experiences. Moving forward, Microsoft plans to accelerate Yammer’s adoption alongside complementary offerings from Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics and Skype.

“When we started Yammer four years ago, we set out to do something big,” Sacks said. “We had a vision for how social networking could change the way we work. Joining Microsoft will accelerate that vision and give us access to the technologies, expertise and resources we’ll need to scale and innovate.”

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.

See also:

Steve Ballmer, David Sacks and Kurt DelBene: Press Conference on Microsoft’s Acquisition of Yammer

Digital Citizenship Toolkit - Presentations

Posted by bink on June 23 2012, 5:30 PM.

Microsoft offers a collections of materials in its Digital Citizenship in Action: A Guide to Education & Events Toolkit. The toolkit includes all the elements needed to teach yourself and help educate others about computer security, data privacy, and online safety issues, prevention, and remediation.

This section offers power point templates and how-to guides designed to use to help you build a successful online safety event geared to various audiences - youth, parents, educators, policymakers NGOs, etc. Teach Others - Online safety presentations and examples A virtual presentation-in-a-box, you’ll get all the materials you need to make a presentation or put together an event. You’ll draw on: - Ready-to-use PowerPoint slides with extensive user notes, a special guide for planning an event, and a poster to advertise it.

Create-your-own PowerPoint presentation.potx 1.3 MB Download
Help Young People Stand Up to Online Bullying PowerPoint Presentation.potx 38.3 MB Download
How to build your own presentation.pdf 185 KB Download
Protecting Young Children Online PowerPoint Presentation.potx 6.1 MB Download
Take Charge of Your Digital Life PowerPoint Presentation.potx 12.2 MB Download
Top Tips for Online Safety PowerPoint Presentation.potx 9.5 MB Download


This section offers brochures, factsheets and tip cards, designed to print and leave behind with several audiences - parents, educators, policymakers NGOs, etc.

Download brochures, factsheets and tip cards:

Download DCiA Toolkit - Brochures, Factsheets & Tip Cards - Microsoft Download Center - Down

Rights Protected Folder Explorer 1.0

Posted by bink on June 23 2012, 5:26 PM.

Rights Protected Folder Explorer is a Windows based application that allows you to work with Rights Protected Folders. A Rights Protected Folder is similar to a file folder in that it contains files and folders. However, a Rights Protected Folder controls access to the files that it contains, no matter where the Rights Protected Folder is located.

By using Rights Protected Folder Explorer, you can securely store or send files to authorized users and control which users will be able to access those files while they are in the Rights Protected Folder.

Rights Protected Folder Explorer works with Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) in your organization’s network to control access to Rights Protected Folders. When you create a new Rights Protected Folder, Rights Protected Folder Explorer allows you to select a policy to protect the contents of the Rights Protected Folder, or you can create a custom policy.

The policies that you can select from are set by your network’s AD RMS administrators and are the same policies you can use in such applications as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Outlook to protect documents and messages.

Rights Protected Folder Explorer supports both UI based support (for end-user interaction) and command line support for automated solutions.


Download RPF Explorer - Microsoft Download Center - Download Details

PerfView 1.0.29

Posted by bink on June 21 2012, 7:45 PM.

PerfView is a performance analysis tool focusing on ETW information (ETL files) as well as CLR memory information (heap dumps). It can collect and view ETL files as well as XPERF CSV files. Powerful grouping operators allow you to understand performance profiles in ways other tools can't. PerfView is used internally at Microsoft by a number of teams and is the primary performance investigation tool on the .NET Runtime team. Features include:

  • Non-invasive collection - suitable for use in live, production environments
  • Xcopy deployment - copy and run
  • Memory
    • Support for very large heaps (gigabytes)
    • Snapshot diffing
    • Dump files (.dmp)
  • CPU Performance
    • Support for managed, native, and mixed code
    • Can read XPerf logs
    • Profile diffing
Updates in the 1.0.29 version include:
  • Improved view for analyzing blocked time (thread time view)
  • Support for .NET 4.5 EventSources
  • Support for writing extensions


Download PerfView - Microsoft Download Center - Download Details

On-Demand Keynote: Microsoft Surface Event

Posted by bink on June 19 2012, 4:56 PM.

Watch an on-demand version of the full keynote where Steve Ballmer, Steven Sinofsky and other Microsoft executives unveiled Surface, PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows.

View/Download: .mp4 | Broadcast

Microsoft announces Surface Tablet

Posted by bink on June 19 2012, 6:23 AM.

"We believe that any intersection between human and machine can be made better when every aspect of the experience, hardware and software, are considered together."

A whole new family of computing devices from Microsoft.





It's the first PC with a magnesium case

9.3 mm thin


675 grams

The liquid metal is formed into an ultra rigid and light frame

PVD Finish



USB 2.0 ?


Magnetic cover is a keyboard





It’s a full PC, runs Windows 8 Pro

Comes with Office



Download spec sheet

System Center 2012 SP1 CTP2 Now Available

Posted by bink on June 18 2012, 8:25 PM.

The System Center team is pleased to announce that the second community technology preview (CTP2) of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is now available for download.

Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate Microsoft’s Private Cloud is built on the industry leading foundation of Windows Server and System Center. The System Center 2012 SP1 update enables System Center to run on and manage the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate highlighted at TechEd North America this week. System Center 2012 SP1 scales management to complement the scaling in Windows Server and also adds System Center manageability to the new capabilities in Windows Server 2012 such as virtual networking.

Windows Azure Virtual Machines Last week the Windows Azure team announced the release preview of “Windows Azure Virtual Machines”, enabling you to move virtual hard disks (VHDs) between on-premises and cloud. System Center 2012 SP1 integrates with the Azure virtual machines enabling you to:

  • Move on-premise virtual machines to Azure using App Controller.
  • Manage Azure virtual machines from your on-premises System Center using App Controller and Orchestrator using the new Azure Integration Pack.

Global Service Monitor A new cloud enabled capability called “Global Service Monitor” (GSM) extends the application monitoring in System Center 2012 to enable you to add “outside-in” testing to incorporate a true reflection of users’ experience of your web site or web application. Through the System Center 2012 Operations Manager console you schedule the GSM cloud service, hosted in Windows Azure, to issue synthetic transactions against your web facing application from Azure points of present around the globe. GSM reports back the results (availability, performance, functionality) to your on-premises operations manager dashboard. You can integrate this perspective with other monitoring data from the same application, taking action as soon as any issues are detected in order to achieve your SLA. To evaluate System Center 2012 SP1 with GSM, sign up for the customer preview of GSM.

Hosted Clouds System Center 2012 helps you optimize your organization’s use of both private cloud and Windows Azure resources through the App Controller component. System Center 2012 SP1 extends App Controller’s capabilities to include cloud resources offered by Hosting Service Providers, giving you the option of consuming a wide range of custom and commodity IaaS cloud services from your Service Provider. For Service Providers, System Center 2012 SP1 adds the new “Service Provider Foundation” (SPF) API. SPF is an extensible OData REST API that can be easily integrated with the hoster’s customer portal and is automatically integrated with customers’ on-premises App Controller. A simple exchange of credentials enables enterprises to add the Service Provider cloud to App Controller for consumption alongside private and public cloud resources. SPF also has multi-tenancy built-in and can operate at massive scale, controlling multiple scale-units built around Virtual Machine Manager.

More information Check back  here in the coming weeks and months for updates on System Center 2012. Read more details today about the System Center 2012 SP1 CTP2 on any of the System Center component-level blogs listed here:

Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 Now Available

Posted by bink on June 18 2012, 8:23 PM.

FIM 2010 R2 adds many new capabilities to help organizations handle the growing complexity of managing identity and permissions across heterogeneous systems.  We feel that 2010 R2 is the best FIM release yet – and wanted to review just a few of the new capabilities you’ll find inside.

Improved Self-service Password Reset A cornerstone of the FIM 2010 experience has always been enabling end users to manage their own identity – a key part of which is making it possible to reset passwords.  Password resets can be an incredibly expensive burden for helpdesks – with some studies showing the cost as high as $10 per reset!  They also bring their share of user frustration, with password policies that vary across systems and delays in helpdesk response.  First introduced as part of FIM 2010, Self Service Password Reset (SSPR) has been significantly improved for FIM 2010 R2.  Now with an improved enrollment process, deploying SSPR is easier than ever.  We’ve also extended the password reset portal to work with many of the most popular web browsers available (including Internet Explorer, of course!), and now support extranet-based reset experiences as well.  Together, the browser-based reset and extranet support mean that your users can resolve password issues wherever they are, from nearly any device.

Role Based Access Control Microsoft acquired BHOLD Software in 2011 as part of our ongoing commitment to deliver the comprehensive set of tools our customers need to tackle their identity challenges.  As part of the FIM 2010 R2 release, the BHOLD software is extended to all FIM 2012 R2 customers.  Any customer purchasing FIM 2010 R2, or currently under Software Assurance is now licensed to take advantage of the many capabilities within the Microsoft BHOLD Suite. The Microsoft BHOLD Suite allows customers to easily define and manage access based on user roles.  Roles are mapped to multiple permissions across many systems, simplifying access privileges from the user perspective.  This capability also helps ensure that access rights are maintained over time – even during position, location, and responsibility changes.  Once in place, the BHOLD Suite can be used to help demonstrate compliance with organizational and industry/governmental regulations, saving valuable time.

But Wait, There’s More! In case that wasn’t enough, there are many other areas in which FIM 2010 R2 offers improved functionality.

  • In response to popular demand, we’re happy to say that we’ve made significant improvements to the reporting engine.  FIM 2012 R2 now leverages the System Center Service Manager Data Warehouse to store and display reports.  Since the System Center Service Manager Data Warehouse is built around SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), reports may be run through that interface as well.
  • To more easily connect your third-party business applications, we’ve made the new WebServices Connector available on the Microsoft Download Center.  The WebServices Connector is used to connect to SAP ECC 5/6, Oracle PeopleSoft, and Oracle eBusiness. It is an optional component for FIM 2010 Update 2 and FIM 2010 R2 and can be used on either version.
  • You’ll also see lots of improvements in the areas of performance, simplified deployment and troubleshooting, better documentation, and more language support.

Hopefully I’ve conveyed just a bit about how excited we are about this latest release of FIM 2010 R2.  Now that we’ve given you a snapshot of what to expect, please check out for more information -- and download an evaluation version of FIM 2010 R2!