Windows Server Solutions Best Practices Analyzer 1.0

Posted by sumeethevans on March 3 2011, 6:45 AM. Posted in Windows Server 2008.

Windows Server Solutions Best Practices Analyzer 1.0 (Windows Server Solutions BPA) is a diagnostic tool that is built on the Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer (MBCA) technology. Windows Server Solutions BPA scans a computer that is running the Windows server solutions software, and compares the existing server settings to a predefined set of recommended best practices.Windows Server Solutions BPA performs the following tasks:
  • Gathers information about a server that is running Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, or Windows Multipoint Server 2011
  • Determines if the server settings comply with a set of best practices that are recommended by Microsoft
  • Provides a report of the scan results, which identifies variances from the recommended best practices
  • Identifies conditions that may lead to problems with the server
  • Recommends solutions to potential problems

Download At Source

Exploring a World of Natural User Interfaces

Posted by bink on February 27 2011, 11:23 PM.

Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie gathered with individuals from across the company this week for a day of futuristic demos showcasing natural user interfaces, 3D technologies and new ways to interact with computers. Get a behind-the-scenes look.

Microsoft provided a glimpse into computing’s future at the Microsoft Home this week, showing demos of 3D and virtual worlds, vision systems that create new models for interacting with computers, and research that explores potential scenarios for Kinect beyond gaming.

Mundie and Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, also announced plans to make a Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) available this spring. The non-commercial SDK will be geared to academics and enthusiasts.

 

More Like Us: Craig Mundie on the Future of Computing:

 

Zhengyou Zhang, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research, demonstrates a new 3D Photo Realistic Talking Head.

 

Steven Bathiche, Director, Microsoft Applied Sciences, shows his team’s work in smart displays:

Hyper-V BPA Update

Posted by sumeethevans on February 27 2011, 5:37 AM. Posted in Hyper-V.

This fixes some issues in the previous BPA and also correctly handles the new Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX features in SP1. No new rules have been added. To install the update, you must already have the Hyper-V BPA installed (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/977238). Note that both the original BPA and this update apply to Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.

While I recommend you have SP1 installed, this update also applies to R2 RTM Hyper-V. A quick summary of the fixes:

  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server is no longer flagged as not being a Server Core installation
  • Some ECC RAM machines were reported as non-ECC as some non-ECC firmware RAM was being included in the check
  • We have not included the File Service role feature in the scan. The reason is that we have observed certain products (Data Protection
  • Manager as an example) legitimately creating shares for adminstrative purposes. The BPA no longer flags the presence of a file share as another role being installed. However, please do NOT use your Hyper-V machine as a general purpose file server!
  • If you have SP1 and enable RemoteFX, we won't flag the machine as uncompliant due to another role being installed.
  • In the case of Windows 7 VMs only, we have increased the permitted consolidation ratio to 12:1 and updated the BPA accordingly to check for compliance.

As SP1 changes the minimum supported memory for Windows 7 VMs if DM is enabled, the BPA has been updated accordingly. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2485986 is the place for all the information on the changes and the download link.

Download At Source (via John Howard blog)

Forefront TMG Update 1 Rollup 3 is now Available

Posted by sumeethevans on February 26 2011, 11:51 PM. Posted in ForeFront.

The Update 1 Rollup 3 for Microsoft TMG 2010 is now available for you.

As you can see there are a lot of fixes in this rollup, I particularly worked in many issues involving 2501650 and 2502686 while the hotfixes were not even ready. Due the nature of those issues I strong recommend you to download this update and plan the installation on your Forefront TMG. To install this update, you must have TMG 2010 SP1 and Update 1 already installed.

Go get it at  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2498770

Download At Source

 

Microsoft pushes new tool to OEMs for preloading more Microsoft software on new PCs

Posted by sumeethevans on February 26 2011, 11:50 PM. Posted in OEM system builder.

Microsoft has introduced a new tool for its “system builder” OEM partners to help them more quickly and preload more Microsoft software on new PCs.

The tool, known as the Express Deployment Tool (EDT), streamlines the process via which system builders load Windows 7 PCs with Office 2010, Windows Live Essentials, the Bing Bar and Microsoft Security Essentials. (The Windows Live Essentials suite plus Bing Bar combination is known as PC Essentials, in Microsoft parlance.)

“With one click, the EDT enables PC Essentials configuration. With only a few clicks, many of the more technically difficult options such as Hard Drive Recovery and adding software to the image can be enabled. Previously, installation of these advanced features required time-intensive research,” explained Microsoft to its PC partners.

Microsoft made version 1.0 of the tool available to system builders in January 2011 and provided a 1.0.1 update in early February that fixed some download and deployment errors. The EDT is currently available in English only, with additional language support coming later in the first quarter, according to the Microsoft Web site for the tool. The EDT complements the existing Microsoft OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) tool.

Full Story At Source

Support for Service Pack Updates in Lync Server 2010 and Office Communications Server

Posted by sumeethevans on February 26 2011, 11:50 PM. Posted in OCS.

Customers deploying Lync Server 2010, Office Communications Server 2007 R2, and Office Communications Server 2007 will encounter a service pack update for Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server database software used in the deployment. But will this be supported in your deployment?

The answer is yes. We will support any service pack beyond what we documented as the minimum required for support.  

Communications Server 2007 R2 shipped with support for the following operating systems and databases.

Supported Windows Server Operating Systems

  • Windows Server 2008 Standard or Windows Server 2008 Enterprise

  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard x64 with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise x64 with Service Pack 2 (SP2)

  • Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 with SP2, or Windows Server 2003 Enterprise x64 with SP2

    Supported Back-End Server Databases

    • SQL Server 2008 (64-bit or 32-bit)

    • SQL Server 2005 with SP2 (64-bit or 32-bit)

    Since that time, Service Pack 1 and Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2008 and Service Pack 3 and Service Pack 4 for SQL Server 2005 were released. Each of these service packs is supported for Communications Server 2007 R2. Future service packs will also be supported.

    Continue At Source

    New Exchange 2010 Tested Solutions:

    Posted by bink on February 25 2011, 3:20 AM.

     

    Exchange 2010 Tested Solutions: 16000 Mailboxes in a Single Site Deployed on IBM and Brocade Hardware

    In the Exchange 2010 Tested Solutions white papers, Microsoft provides examples of well-designed, cost-effective Exchange 2010 solutions deployed on hardware offered by some of our server, storage, and network partners.

    Exchange 2010 Tested Solutions: 9000 Mailboxes in 2 Sites with Hyper-V on Dell M610 Servers & Storage with F5 Load Balancing

    In the Exchange 2010 Tested Solutions white papers, Microsoft provides examples of well-designed, cost-effective Exchange 2010 solutions deployed on hardware offered by some of our server, storage, and network partners.

    Exchange 2010 Tested Solutions: 15000 Mailboxes in Two Sites Running Hyper-V on Unisys ES7000 Servers and Hitachi Storage

    In the Exchange 2010 Tested Solutions white papers, Microsoft provides examples of well-designed, cost-effective Exchange 2010 solutions deployed on hardware offered by some of our server, storage, and network partners.

    Exchange 2010 Tested Solutions: 500 Mailboxes in a Single Site Running Hyper-V on Dell Servers

    In the Exchange 2010 Tested Solutions white papers, Microsoft provides examples of well-designed, cost-effective Exchange 2010 solutions deployed on hardware offered by some of our server, storage, and network partners.

    Exchange 2010 Tested Solutions: 20000 Mailboxes in Two Sites Running Hyper-V on Dell R910 Servers, EMC CLARiiON, and Brocade

    In the Exchange 2010 Tested Solutions white papers, Microsoft provides examples of well-designed, cost-effective Exchange 2010 solutions deployed on hardware offered by some of our server, storage, and network partners.

    Bing expands Facebook “Liked Results”

    Posted by sumeethevans on February 24 2011, 11:57 PM. Posted in bing.

    A few months ago, we announced an exciting partnership with Facebook to make search more social. As part of that work, we introduced Liked Results, which promotes links your friends have publicly liked or shared via Facebook. Today we are extending Liked Results to annotate any of the URLs returned by our algorithmic search results to all users in the US.

    While we are very excited to talk about our next development, we’re all aware that it’s all part of a longer journey. This is the first time in human history that people are leaving social traces that machines can read and learn from, and present enhanced online experiences  based on those traces. As people spend more time online and integrate their offline and online worlds, they will want their friends’ social activity and their social data to help them in making better decisions. Integrating with Twitter data 16 months ago was one step, and exploring Facebook’s rich streams is another.

    If your friends have publicly liked or shared any of the algorithmic search results shown on Bing, we will now surface them right below the result.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Continue At Source

     

    New Microsoft Hardware

    Posted by sumeethevans on February 24 2011, 11:55 PM. Posted in .NET.

    Three Wired Mice – See How They Run

    Let’s start with the Express Mouse. It’s perfect for people that need a comfortable, stylish mouse and don’t want to deal with batteries. Whether you’re surfing the web, working on a report or playing games, the ambidextrous design and smooth top case will keep you comfortable. The mouse also includes BlueTrack Technology that lets you mouse almost anywhere, even on difficult surfaces that are rough, glossy or soft. And the new color options will add some pop to your PC. Express Mouse will be available in Flint Grey and Hibiscus Red in April, and Turf Green, Dahlia Pink, Ultramarine Blue and Coast Blue in June. All for just $19.95.

     

     

     

     

    Also joining the Hardware line-up are the Comfort Mouse 3000 and Comfort Mouse 6000, offering comfortable, reliable wired navigation at an affordable price. The Comfort Mouse 3000 is a great choice for the productive ambidextrous mouse user, and – for the righties – the Comfort Mouse 6000 will fit you like a glove to offer more control as you mouse. Both the 3000 and 6000 come equipped with BlueTrack Technology so let go of your mouse pad and track freely! Comfort Mouse 3000 and 6000 will be available in April for $19.95 and $29.95 respectively.

    Put Down the Phone and Get Face-to-Face with the LifeCam HD-3000

    That’s why today I’m excited to announce the newest webcam to join our LifeCam line, the LifeCam HD-3000. This new webcam delivers bright and colorful HD video, perfect for video chats or uploading content to your favorite social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube, and it’s so easy to use that anyone can do it. The HD-3000 also features a 720p HD sensor, TrueColor Technology for great performance in virtually any lighting condition and a universal attachment base for use on a flat-screen monitor, notebook or even your desk – all for the affordable price of $39.95.

     

    More answers about our first software update

    Posted by sumeethevans on February 24 2011, 11:54 PM. Posted in Windowss Phone 7 Series.

    It’s been roughly 48 hours since we hit the send button on our first Windows Phone software update. The rooms around me are buzzing with folks monitoring the rollout, sifting carefully through incoming phone health data (from customers who provide it) and pouring over the anecdotal update reports you’ve been posting around the web.

    You’ve said loud and clear that you want to be kept in the loop. So here’s what we’ve learned so far.

    Contrary to some of the gloomy headlines out there, our preliminary internal data paint a very different picture about update progress:

    • 90 percent of people who’ve received an update notification have installed the new software patch successfully. (So when your turn to download it arrives, chances are good this will be a non-event.)
    • Of the 10 percent who did experience a problem, nearly half failed for two basic reasons—a bad Internet connection or insufficient computer storage space. Luckily, both are easy to fix.

    Has the update process gone perfectly? No—but few large-scale software updates ever do, and the engineering team here was prepared. Of course, when it’s your phone that’s having a problem—or you’re the one waiting—it’s still aggravating. That’s why we’re committed to learning from our first update and improving the process. We know we have work to do, and we won’t be satisfied until you are.

    As the teams here continue to monitor the ongoing update, I’ll report back if there are any other noteworthy developments. Meanwhile, let me address a few other questions I’ve been seeing, here and elsewhere.

    Full Story At Source

    NTFS Chkdsk Best Practices and Performance

    Posted by bink on February 23 2011, 7:05 PM.

    This paper provides best practices and guidance when sizing volumes and Chkdsk execution times. This helps design a manageable system using Microsoft® Windows® operating systems. It also provides guidelines to reduce downtime due to Chkdsk execution time in the event of volume corruption.

    This information applies to the following operating systems:

    · Windows® Server 2008 R2

    · Windows Server 2008

    · Windows°7

    · Windows°Vista®

    References and resources discussed here are listed at the end of this paper.

    NTFS is a journaling file system that uses database-like logging techniques in order to provide high-availability. Journaling file systems commit metadata changes to disk in transactions. In the event of a power failure or system crash, NTFS rolls back the uncommitted transactions and returns the file system to a consistent state. However, even journaling file systems require tools to scan the entire file system for structural errors and repair them. Windows provides an inbox file system check utility called Chkdsk that checks the file system and fixes any problems it discovers. This program can be invoked from the command prompt by running Chkdsk.exe

     

    Download details NTFS Chkdsk Best Practices and Performance

    Service Pack 1 public download for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

    Posted by bink on February 23 2011, 6:39 PM.

    Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 helps keep your PCs and servers on the latest support level. It also provides ongoing improvements to the Windows Operating System (OS), by including previous updates delivered over Windows Update as well as continuing incremental updates to the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 platforms based on customer and partner feedback. This enables organizations to deploy a single set of updates. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will help you:

    • Keep your PCs supported and up-to-date
    • Get ongoing updates to the Windows 7 platform
    • Easily deploy cumulative updates at a single time
    • Meet your users' demands for greater business mobility
    • Provide a comprehensive set of virtualization innovations
    • Provide an easier Service Pack deployment model for better IT efficiency

    Do not click download if you are updating just one computer: A smaller, more appropriate download is now available on Windows Update. The best way to ensure you get Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 is by turning on the Automatic Updates feature. You can use our step-by-step instructions or, if you prefer, let us do it for you. If Windows Update is not offering you the option to install the service pack, see KB 2498452. If you are encountering a problem when installing the service pack from Windows update, see Troubleshoot problems installing a service pack for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Steps to take before installing Windows 7 Service Pack 1 from the Microsoft Download Center If you choose to install Windows 7 SP1 from the Microsoft Download Center Web site, there are steps that you can take to make sure that you have a good experience when you install the service pack. This article, KB 2505743, provides some suggestions to improve your experience when you install Windows 7 SP1 from the Microsoft Download Center Web site. In order to download and install Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 you must currently have a Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 already installed.

    If you have previously installed a pre-release version of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 on your machine, you must uninstall that version before installing SP1. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 is available for installation in the same languages made available at original launch of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

    Download details Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (KB976932)