Contents tagged with Windows (general)

  • Windows 8 roadmap: A picture is worth a thousand build numbers

    Posted by sumeethevans on February 22 2011, 6:11 AM. Posted in Windows (general).

    In early 2011, a source of mine passed on to me what he claimed was a snapshot of the internal Windows 8 roadmap. On that roadmap snippet are a lot of alleged internal dates for Windows 8 Milestone 2, the second of what are expected to be three major internal builds of Windows 8. I showed off this roadmap during a ZDNet Webcast I did recently on Windows 8 and slates (which is available for listening as a free, on-demand file).

    Here is the Windows 8 roadmap slide I showed off, for those who missed it:

    Full Story At Source

  • Microsoft shows off Windows 8 on ARM at CES

    Posted by sumeethevans on January 6 2011, 4:49 AM. Posted in Windows (general).

    Microsoft demonstrated at a press conference on January 5 the “next version of Windows” running on ARM processors, as many Microsoft watchers had been expecting.

    At the press conference — held a few hours before CEO Steve Ballmer will keynote the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) — Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky showed off an early build of Windows 8 runnong on new systems-on-a-chip (SOC) platforms from NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments on ARM. To prove Microsoft isn’t abandonning the x86 architecture with Windows 8, company officials also showed off Windows 8 running on x86 SOC.

    Rumors that Microsoft would show off Windows 8 running on ARM have been circulating for the past couple of weeks. Earlier this week, TechFlash reported that Microsoft had cut deals with the aforementioned ARM chip makers, which will enable Windows 8 to run on ARM-based systems once the next release of Microsoft’s operating system is available.

    Sinofsky told press conference attendees they were forbidden from videotaping demos of the next version of Windows. Unsurprisingly, he also said Microsoft would not discuss its release schedule plans or show off the new Windows 8 user interface.

    Continue at All About Microsoft

    Official Press release here

  • 15 Years Later: Remembering Windows 95

    Posted by sumeethevans on August 28 2010, 7:54 PM. Posted in Windows (general).

    15 years ago today, Microsoft launched Windows 95. In 1995 I was 11 years old and in the 5th grade. At that time, I never thought that today I’d be working at Microsoft – let alone helping to tell the story of Windows. So this is a really fun and personal topic for me to recall my memories of Windows 95 – today has been a neat day.

    Windows 95 was the first operating system that I ever beta tested. My dad, who worked for a technology company at the time, brought home an unbranded package of disks labeled “Chicago” from Microsoft (“Chicago” was the codename for Windows 95) a few months prior. When he brought these disks home, I desperately wanted to see “the new Windows”. My dad tried to explain to me what beta software was. I didn’t care – I wanted to see the new Windows! Eventually he caved in to my excitement and decided to install the “new” version of Windows on our family’s (translation: my dad’s) HP Vectra PC. Windows 95 introduced the Start Menu in Windows for the first time and presented a different way of using Windows over previous versions. I had grown used to Windows 3.11 at the time. I was literally stunned with excitement when I saw all the “new” Windows. My dad and I share a common interest in Windows and the PC and this was what I consider the biggest defining moment in a bond with my dad that would continue to grow as I also grew older and with each new Windows release. I also still remember seeing the Windows 95 “Start Me Up” commercials on TV and all the news segments about the people lining up to pick up their copy in stores!

    Continue at Windows Team Blog

  • Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2.0

    Posted by bink on February 26 2010, 5:20 PM. Posted in Windows (general).

    Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2.0 (MBCA 2.0) can help you maintain optimal system configuration by analyzing configurations of your computers against a predefined set of best practices, and reporting results of the analyses.

    Best practices are developed by a product development team or domain experts, and are packaged in the form of a best practice model. Models are available as separately-downloadable packages that can be run and analyzed by MBCA. MBCA lets users work with best practice models in a consistent, user-friendly way.

    Download details Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer 2.0

  • Microsoft launches Windows MultiPoint Server 2010

    Posted by RayC on February 24 2010, 10:50 PM. Posted in Windows (general).

    Today Microsoft is launching Windows MultiPoint Server around the world. Windows MultiPoint Server is available for purchase through OEMs and Microsoft Academic Volume Licensing (VL) customers on March 1, for schools and educational institutions (mainly for use in classrooms, labs and libraries).

    Windows MultiPoint Server, based off Windows Server 2008 R2, is designed to enable multiple people (students) to share access to a single host PC through a “station” simultaneously. A station is a device that connects to a host PC running Windows MultiPoint Server via USB and connects to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Windows MultiPoint Server shares out an “instance” of Windows to a specific station via Remote Desktop Services (formerly known as Terminal Services) technology built in to Windows Server 2008 R2. If you have 1 host PC with Windows MultiPoint Server, you can support up to 10 people connecting to it and using it at the same time (hardware permitting of course). Each person independently controls familiar Windows experience.

     Continue at source

    See Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 in action


  • Mark Russinovich on MinWin, the new core of Windows

    Posted by bink on December 3 2009, 4:37 PM. Posted in Windows (general).

    Since the first public news of Windows 7's development back on October 2007, we've heard about a component of the operating system called MinWin -- a tantalizingly titled element that sounds like some kind of portable Windows kernel. Now Windows 7 is actually residing on paying consumers' desktops, and inside of it -- and inside of Windows Server 2008 R2 -- is the MinWin kernel architecture...and yet few have been made clear as to what it actually is.

    A few weeks ago in Los Angeles, Microsoft technical fellow Mark Russinovich -- absolutely the world's leading authority on Windows performance and architecture -- took time to explain to developers attending PDC 2009 in Los Angeles exactly what this is. In summary, it's a way to graft onto Windows some semblance of the architectural layering it should have had, if its architects in the 1980s had any foresight into how Windows would be used thirty years later. It enables current and future Microsoft developers to evolve new configurations of the operating system, without having to rewrite core services or worry about breaking dependencies between those services and upper-level APIs.


    "If you look back at the evolution of Windows, it's evolved very organically, where components are added to the system and features are added to the system without, in the past, any real focus on architecture or layering," Russinovich explained. "And that's led us to do some hacks with Windows, when we want to make small footprint versions of Windows like Server Core, or Embedded Windows, or Windows PE -- the pre-installation environment. What we do [instead] is take full Windows, and start pulling pieces off of it. The problem with that is, the pieces that are left sometimes have dependencies out to the pieces that we've removed. And we don't really understand those dependencies."

    Continue: BetaNews | Mark Russinovich on MinWin, the new core of Windows

  • Volume Activation Management MMC Tool 2.0 (Beta)

    Posted by bink on November 13 2009, 10:09 PM. Posted in Windows (general), Office.

    VAMT 2.0 allows you to manage volume editions of Windows and Office installed with a KMS client key or a MAK key.

    Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) 2.0 (Beta) is a managed MMC plug-in with support for Office 2010 Beta. Administrators may use it to manage volume editions of Windows and Office 2010 Beta installed with a Key Management Service (KMS) client key or a Multiple Activation Key (MAK). A convenient command line interface (CLI) allows automated, scheduled VAMT tasks without UI interaction.

    Download details VAMT 2.0

  • Bizarre: The Machine SID Duplication Myth

    Posted by bink on November 6 2009, 4:08 AM. Posted in Windows (general).

    On November 3 2009, Sysinternals retired NewSID, a utility that changes a computers machine Security Identifier (machine SID). I wrote NewSID in 1997 (its original name was NTSID) because the only tool available at the time for changing machine SIDs was the Microsoft Sysprep tool, and Sysprep doesn’t support changing the SIDs of computers that have applications installed. A machine SID is a unique identifier generated by Windows Setup that Windows uses as the basis for the SIDs for administrator-defined local accounts and groups. After a user logs on to a system, they are represented by their account and group SIDs with respect to object authorization (permissions checks). If two machines have the same machine SID, then accounts or groups on those systems might have the same SID. It’s therefore obvious that having multiple computers with the same machine SID on a network poses a security risk, right? At least that’s been the conventional wisdom.

    The reason that I began considering NewSID for retirement is that, although people generally reported success with it on Windows Vista, I hadn’t fully tested it myself and I got occasional reports that some Windows component would fail after NewSID was used. When I set out to look into the reports I took a step back to understand how duplicate SIDs could cause problems, a belief that I had taken on faith like everyone else. The more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that machine SID duplication – having multiple computers with the same machine SID – doesn’t pose any problem, security or otherwise. I took my conclusion to the Windows security and deployment teams and no one could come up with a scenario where two systems with the same machine SID, whether in a Workgroup or a Domain, would cause an issue. At that point the decision to retire NewSID became obvious.

    I realize that the news that it’s okay to have duplicate machine SIDs comes as a surprise to many, especially since changing SIDs on imaged systems has been a fundamental principal of image deployment since Windows NT’s inception. This blog post debunks the myth with facts by first describing the machine SID, explaining how Windows uses SIDs, and then showing that - with one exception - Windows never exposes a machine SID outside its computer, proving that it’s okay to have systems with the same machine SID.

    Full story: Mark's Blog

  • Eclipse Gets Interoperability and Next-Generation Experience on the Microsoft Platform

    Posted by bink on October 29 2009, 8:50 PM. Posted in Windows (general).

    Microsoft teams with Tasktop Technologies and Soyatec on open source projects designed to foster interoperability and make Eclipse a first-class tool on the Microsoft platform.

    Part of an ongoing initiative to make its products more open, Microsoft Corp. today announced at the Eclipse Summit Europe new solutions that help developers using the Eclipse platform take advantage of the new features in Windows 7 and Window Server 2008 R2, and reinforce Java and PHP interoperability with Windows Azure and Microsoft Silverlight. Microsoft worked with open source companies, Tasktop Technologies Inc. from Canada for Windows 7 and Window Server 2008 R2, and Soyatec from France for Windows Azure and Silverlight, to provide greater choice and opportunities for developers working in heterogeneous computing environments and use a mix of Microsoft and open source technologies.

    “Enabling customers to better manage their dynamic IT systems is one of today’s real market opportunities for developers. Microsoft’s goal with these interoperability projects is to further open up this opportunity to the Eclipse ecosystem,” said Jean Paoli, general manager of Interoperability Strategy at Microsoft. “This collaboration with Tasktop and Soyatec — and the new opportunity it creates with tools to make it easier to build on Microsoft’s open platforms — reflects the value we place on the ingenuity of the Eclipse developer community.”


    Continue: Eclipse Gets Interoperability and Next-Generation Experience on the Microsoft Platform Microsoft

  • BS: Microsoft mulling 128-bit versions of Windows 8, Windows 9

    Posted by sumeethevans on October 8 2009, 11:57 PM. Posted in Windows (general), .NET.

    Believe it or not, Windows 7's successor(s) have been in the planning and early development stages for a while now. We haven't posted anything about any of them yet, but we've been watching closely to see if anything really interesting turned up. Exactly two weeks ago, it did. A LinkedIn profile, which has already been taken down, for a Robert Morgan, Senior Research & Development at Microsoft, has shone a sliver of light on the possibility of 128-bit support coming to Windows 8. Morgan has been with the software giant since January 2002, but we're more intrigued with what his profile (first paragraph) and his status (second paragraph) recently stated:

    Working in high security department for research and development involving strategic planning for medium and longterm projects. Research & Development projects including 128bit architecture compatibility with the Windows 8 kernel and Windows 9 project plan. Forming relationships with major partners: Intel, AMD, HP, and IBM.

    Robert Morgan is working to get IA-128 working backwards with full binary compatibility on the existing IA-64 instructions in the hardware simulation to work for Windows 8 and definitely Windows 9.

    Windows 8 News found Morgan's profile first and immediately started trying to get in contact with him over LinkedIn. When we saw this, we leaned back and waited to see if they could get a response from him

    Full Story at arstechnica


    Bink says: Sorry but this is BS so to say. We are still in the transition to 64bit, That Morgan guy does not exits at MS

  • Disk2vhd v1.0

    Posted by sumeethevans on October 8 2009, 11:55 PM. Posted in Windows (general).

    Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk - Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). The difference between Disk2vhd and other physical-to-virtual tools is that you can run Disk2vhd on a system that’s online. Disk2vhd uses Windows’ Volume Snapshot capability, introduced in Windows XP, to create consistent point-in-time snapshots of the volumes you want to include in a conversion. You can even have Disk2vhd create the VHDs on local volumes, even ones being converted (though performance is better when the VHD is on a disk different than ones being converted).

    The Disk2vhd user interface lists the volumes present on the system:

    It will create one VHD for each disk on which selected volumes reside. It preserves the partitioning information of the disk, but only copies the data contents for volumes on the disk that are selected. This enables you to capture just system volumes and exclude data volumes, for example.

    Note: Virtual PC supports a maximum virtual disk size of 127GB. If you create a VHD from a larger disk it will not be accessible from a Virtual PC VM.

    Continue for more info and download Windows Sysinternals (via