Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Released

Posted by bink on November 7 2013, 10:54 PM.

This page provides the Group Policy Administrative Template files for Internet Explorer 11.

Administrative Templates for Internet Explorer 11


Internet Explorer Administration Kit 11 (IEAK 11) simplifies the creation, deployment, and management of customized Internet Explorer 11 packages. It can be used to configure the out-of-box Internet Explorer 11 experience, and to manage user settings after deployment.

Internet Explorer Administration Kit 11


Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7

Download the fast and fluid browser recommended for Windows 7.


Download the fast and fluid browser recommended for Windows 7.

Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 64-bit Edition and Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit Edition



Download the latest version of Internet Explorer 11 Language Packs.

Internet Explorer 11 Language Packs for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows 8.1 available in the store

Posted by bink on October 17 2013, 1:23 PM.

Windows 8.1 is now available in the store, so what are you waiting for, get the free update now.

Please note that if you currently run Windows 8.1 Preview, you will need to re-install all applications.

Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 GA updates publicly released

Posted by bink on October 17 2013, 12:25 PM.

Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems (KB2883200)


These updates (*.msu) provide a collection of performance and reliability improvements that are designed to improve the Windows 8.1 experience.

Update for Windows 8.1 (KB2883200)


These updates (*.msu) provide a collection of performance and reliability improvements that are designed to improve the Windows 8.1 experience.

Update for Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB2883200)


These updates (*.msu) provide a collection of performance and reliability improvements that are designed to improve the Windows Server 2012 R2 experience.

Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems (KB2884846)


These updates (*.msu) provide a collection of performance and reliability improvements that are designed to improve the Windows 8.1 experience.

Update for Windows Server 2012 R2 (KB2884846)


These updates (*.msu) provide a collection of performance and reliability improvements that are designed to improve the Windows Server 2012 R2 experience.

Free eBook: Introducing Windows Azure for IT Pro’s

Posted by bink on October 10 2013, 7:48 AM.

There is a new and free eBook on 0131_9780735682887x_thumb_19F1014EWindows Azure from Mitch Tulloch and the Windows Azure team designed specifically for the IT Professional.  If you haven’t had a chance to try Windows Azure or your just looking to learn more then this book is a good place to start.WinAzure_logo_Cyan_rgb_D

The book goes into detail on most Windows Azure services along with screenshots to demonstrate the capabilities of the platform.  If you have a bit more experience there are some under the hood insights and expert tips from insiders who develop, test and use the Windows Azure Platform.


You can download the PDF here and there is also companion content available here.

Source: Free eBook Introducing Windows Azure for IT Pro’s! - Jeff Alexander's Weblog - Site Home - T

Microsoft by the Numbers: The Enterprise Cloud

Posted by bink on October 9 2013, 8:21 PM.

A collection of statistics about Microsoft’s cloud products and services for your business or organization. (Source: Microsoft)

• Enterprise currently represents 58 percent of Microsoft’s business globally.

SQL Server is the #1 most-used database in the world.

Windows Server now holds about 75 percent of the market share for server operating systems.

• Delta Airlines is equipping 11,000 of its pilots with Surface 2 devices as electronic flight bags.

• 55 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Windows Azure.

• Enterprise social network Yammer now has over 8 million registered users.

• More than 1 million U.S. government employees use Office 365.

Office 365 is used by 100,000 State of Texas employees to collaborate and meet CJIS and HIPAA requirements.

• About 8.5 trillion objects are stored using Windows Azure.

Office 365 is available in more than 125 markets worldwide.

• On average, over 1,000 new customers sign up for Windows Azure every day.

• More than 350,000 customer and 5 million people use Microsoft Dynamics products to help drive their organizations.

Visual Studio 2012 has been downloaded more than 5.5 million times, making it the most popular version of the software to date.

• Global utility ABB has deployed Office 365 and Yammer across 100 countries worldwide.

• Revenue from Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM Online business grew 80 percent between 2012 and 2013.

Windows Server powers 5.5 billion Bing queries per month.

• Microsoft has invested $15 billion to build its massive cloud infrastructure.

• Microsoft has more than a million servers hosted in its datacenters.

• Microsoft has purchased 1.1 billion kilowatt hours of green power as part of its carbon neutral goal – the third-highest amount of any U.S. company, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

• Five thousand City of San Jose employees are working in the Microsoft cloud using Office 365, Azure and StorSimple.

• Revenue from System Center grew 25 percent between fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

Windows Azure Active Directory has handled 400 billion identity authentications.

• One in four Microsoft enterprise customers has Office 365.

• Ninety Fortune 100 companies use Lync.

• The number of Team Foundation Service users has increased 2.5x in calendar 2013.

• The number of MSDN subscribers using Windows Azure’s development and test benefits has doubled in just four months.

This data is current as of October 4, 2013.

Cool Update for Disk cleanup on Windows 7 Sp1

Posted by bink on October 9 2013, 12:39 PM.

Microsoft released an update yesterday for the Disk cleanup utility. The problem Windows keeps copies of installed updates from Windows Update, even after installing newer version of updates. So the older versions of updates that are no longer needed and taking up space.

In Windows XP era the uninstalls were just hidden folders under Windows directory so easy to clean. Since Windows Vista this is now stored in the Windows Services folder WinSXS.

The space used by WinSXS can grow significant. In the past you could remove Service Pack uninstall files which helped, but Service Packs are not so common anymore. I think Windows 7 will never see SP2, yet the updates keep filling the WinSXS folder every month.


After the update is installed (no reboot needed) and you run Diskcleanup:



and when you click “Clean up system files”


You’ll see new options:



This update of diskcleanup delivers a new option Windows Update cleanup which deletes older versions of updates that are no longer needed and just taking up space.

The update is available through Windows Update as important or direct download at KB article posted below:

KB2852386: Update is available that enables you to delete outdated Windows updates by using a new option in the Disk Cleanup wizard in Windows 7 SP1


Now unfortunately this update is not available for Windows Server 2008 R2, while there are plenty scenarios where cleaning up WinSXS folder is helpful there too!



More info: Breaking News! Reduce the size of the WinSxS Directory and Free up Disk Space with a New Upd

Microsoft unleashes fall wave of enterprise cloud solutions

Posted by bink on October 9 2013, 12:54 PM.

Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced a wave of new enterprise products and services to help companies seize the opportunities of cloud computing and overcome today’s top IT challenges. Complementing Office 365 and other services, these new offerings deliver on Microsoft’s enterprise cloud strategy.

Satya Nadella, Cloud and Enterprise executive vice president, said, “As enterprises move to the cloud they are going to bet on vendors that have best-in-class software as a service applications, operate a global public cloud that supports a broad ecosystem of third party services, and deliver multi-cloud mobility through true hybrid solutions. If you look across the vendor landscape, you can see that only Microsoft is truly delivering in all of those areas.” More comments from Nadella can be found on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Hybrid infrastructure and modern applications

To help customers build IT infrastructure that delivers continuous services and applications across clouds, on Oct. 18 Microsoft will release Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2. Together, these new products empower companies to create datacenters without boundaries using Hyper-V for high-scale virtualization; high-performance storage at dramatically lower costs; built-in, software-defined networking; and hybrid business continuity. The new Windows Azure Pack runs on top of Windows Server and System Center, enabling enterprises and service providers to deliver self-service infrastructure and platforms from their datacenters.

Building on these hybrid cloud platforms, customers can use Visual Studio 2013 and the new .NET 4.5.1, also available Oct. 18, to create modern applications for devices and services. As software development becomes pervasive within every company, the new Visual Studio 2013 Modern Lifecycle Management solution helps enable development teams, businesspeople and IT managers to build and deliver better applications, faster.

Enabling enterprise cloud adoption

Recognizing that most enterprises will take a hybrid approach to cloud, Microsoft wants to help customers utilize their investments in on-premises software solutions toward the adoption of cloud computing. On Nov. 1, Microsoft will offer Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers access to discounted Windows Azure prices, regardless of upfront commitment, without overuse penalties and with the flexibility of annual payments.

As another part of this effort to reduce cloud adoption barriers, Microsoft on Monday announced a strategic partnership with Equinix Inc. Building on recently announced partnerships with AT&T and others, this alliance will provide customers with even more options for private and fast connections to the cloud. Customers will be able to connect their networks with Windows Azure at Equinix exchange locations for greater throughput, availability and security features.

Governments are among the most demanding enterprise customers. To help U.S. federal, state and local government agencies realize the benefits of public cloud computing, Microsoft is introducing its Windows Azure US Government Cloud. This will offer U.S. government customers a dedicated community cloud for data, applications and infrastructure, hosted in the continental U.S. and managed by U.S. personnel. Windows Azure has been granted FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board Provisional Authority to Operate, making it the first public cloud of its kind to achieve this level of government authorization.

Data platform and insights

As part of its vision to help more people unlock actionable insights from big data, Microsoft next week will release a second preview of SQL Server 2014. The new version offers industry-leading in-memory technologies at no additional cost, giving customers 10 times to 30 times performance improvements without application rewrites or new hardware. SQL Server 2014 also works with Windows Azure to give customers built-in cloud backup and disaster recovery.

For big data analytics, later this month Microsoft will release Windows Azure HDInsight Service, an Apache Hadoop-based service that works with SQL Server and widely used business intelligence tools, such as Microsoft Excel and Power BI for Office 365. With Power BI, people can combine private and public data in the cloud for rich visualizations and fast insights.

People and devices in the cloud

The proliferation of cloud applications, data and consumer devices is moving many enterprises to a bring-your-own-device model. The new release of Windows Intune, also available Oct. 18, combines with System Center Configuration Manager to help IT departments give mobile employees security-enhanced access to the applications and data they need on the Windows, iOS and Android devices of their choice. This unified management environment for PCs and mobile devices complements the new access and information protection capabilities in Windows Server 2012 R2.

Further, with Windows Server 2012 R2 Microsoft is introducing the Microsoft Remote Desktop app, available for download in application stores later this month, to provide easy access to PCs and virtual desktops on a variety of devices and platforms, including Windows, Windows RT, iOS, OS X and Android.

Software as a service business solutions

The next major version of the company’s CRM solution, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13 will be available later this month, helping make customer interactions more personal via contextual information for deeper insights than the previous version, delivered on a variety of devices.* The on-premises version is expected to be available later in the fall for deployment either in-house or hosted by a partner. More information is available here. In addition, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 is now available, offering small and midsize businesses interoperability with Office 365, full multitenant support, and a range of tools designed to support large-scale hosting of the application on Windows Azure.

Microsoft Message Analyzer Released!

Posted by bink on September 25 2013, 9:37 PM.

Finaly the successor of Microsoft Network Monitor tool is released: Microsoft Message Analyzer.

Message Analyzer enables you to capture, display, and analyze protocol messaging traffic; and to trace and assess system events and other messages from Windows components.    

Microsoft Message Analyzer is a new tool for capturing, displaying, and analyzing protocol messaging traffic and other system messages. Message Analyzer also enables you to import, aggregate, and analyze data from log and trace files. It is the successor to Microsoft Network Monitor 3.4 and a key component in the Protocol Engineering Framework (PEF) that was created by Microsoft for the improvement of protocol design, development, documentation, testing, and support. With Message Analyzer, you can choose to capture data live or load archived message collections from multiple data sources simultaneously.

Message Analyzer enables you to display trace, log, and other message data in numerous data viewer formats, including a default tree grid view and other selectable graphical views that employ grids, charts, and timeline visualizer components which provide high-level data summaries and other statistics. It also enables you to configure your own custom data viewers. In addition, Message Analyzer is not only an effective tool for troubleshooting network issues, but for testing and verifying protocol implementations as well. 
  Message Analyzer at Microsoft Download Center

Download Microsoft Monitoring Agent 2013 1.0

Posted by bink on September 25 2013, 9:34 PM.

Microsoft Monitoring Agent monitors computer infrastructure and application health. It collects diagnostic data, such as performance metrics, event logs, and traces. Microsoft Monitoring Agent can be used as a standalone tool or together with System Center Operations Manager. When monitoring .NET applications, you can direct the agent to save application traces in an IntelliTrace log format that can be opened in Visual Studio Ultimate. When connected to System Center Operations Manager, the agent calculates the health state of the monitored computers and objects, and then reports back to the management server. The management servers centrally distribute the configuration to agents and store data received from the monitored computers.

Microsoft Monitoring Agent can be used as a standalone tool for collecting application traces locally. You can use PowerShell commands to start and stop monitoring and collect IntelliTrace logs from applications written in Microsoft .NET Framework.

Microsoft Monitoring Agent includes the full functionality of System Center Operations Manager Agent, .NET Application Performance Monitoring, and IntelliTrace Standalone Collector and can be used for monitoring applications that are running in production environments.


  • Visual Studio Ultimate 2013
  • Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 Update 4
  • System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager
  • System Center 2012 SP1 – Operations Manager (only when multi-homing with System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager or during upgrades to System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager)
  • System Center 2012 – Operations Manager (only when multi-homing with System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2 or during upgrades to System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2)
  • System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 (only when multi-homing with System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2 or during upgrades to System Center Operations Manager 2012 R2)

For details about compatibility and upgrade guidance, see Microsoft Monitoring Agent Compatibility (


Steve Ballmer email to Microsoft employees on Nokia Devices & Services acquisition

Posted by bink on September 3 2013, 6:58 AM.

In an email from Steve Ballmer to all Microsoft employees, he talks on more details:

1. Stephen Elop will be coming back to Microsoft, and he will lead an expanded Devices team, which includes all of our current Devices and Studios work and most of the teams coming over from Nokia, reporting to me.
2. Julie Larson-Green will continue to run the Devices and Studios team, and will be focused on the big launches this fall including Xbox One and our Surface enhancements. Julie will be joining Stephen’s team once the acquisition closes, and will work with him to shape the new organization.
3. As part of the acquisition, a number of key engineering leaders will be joining Microsoft from Nokia, reporting to Stephen in his new capacity:
   · Jo Harlow, who will continue to lead the Smart Devices team
   · Timo Toikkanen, who will continue to lead the Mobile Phones team
   · Stefan Pannenbecker, who will lead Design
   · Juha Putkiranta, who will lead the integration effort on Nokia’s behalf
4. Regarding the sales team, we plan to keep the Nokia field team, led by Chris Weber, intact and as the nexus of the devices sales effort, so that we can continue to build sales momentum. After the deal closes, Chris and his team will be placed under Kevin Turner. We will develop a single integrated team that is selling to operators, and there may be other integration opportunities that we can pursue. Kevin will work with Chris Weber and Chris Capossela to make those plans.
5. Our operating system team under Terry Myerson will continue unchanged, with a mission of supporting both first-party and third-party hardware innovation. We are committed to working with partners, helping them build great products and great businesses on our platform, and we believe this deal will increase our partner value proposition over time. The established rhythms and ways of working between Terry and his team and the incoming Nokia team will serve us well to ensure that we do not disrupt our building momentum.
6. We are planning to integrate all global marketing under Tami Reller and Mark Penn. It is very important that we pursue a unified brand and advertising strategy as soon as possible.
7. Finance, Legal, HR, Communications, DX / Evangelism, Customer Care and Business Development will integrate functionally at Microsoft. Sourcing, customer logistics and supply chain will be part of Stephen’s Devices organization. ICM / IT will also integrate functionally for traditional IT roles. We will need to work through the implications for factory systems given the differing manufacturing processes and systems at both Nokia and Microsoft.
8. We plan to pursue a single set of supporting services for our devices, and we will figure out how to combine the great Nokia efforts into our Microsoft services as we go through the integration process.
9. There are no significant plans to shift where work is done in the world as we integrate, so we expect the Nokia teams to stay largely in place, geographically.
10. Tom Gibbons will lead the integration work for Microsoft.

Full letter is here:

The Next Chapter: An open letter from Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop

Posted by bink on September 3 2013, 6:46 AM.

On the Official Microsoft Blog Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop posted an open letter:

Microsoft to acquire Nokia Devices & Services, accelerating the Windows ecosystem

Nokia and Microsoft have always dreamed big – we dreamed of putting a computer on every desk, and a mobile phone in every pocket, and we’ve come a long way toward realizing those dreams. 

Today marks a moment of reinvention.

Nokia has an identity spanning 150 years of heritage, innovation, excellence, and change which began and will continue in Finland and around the world. From humble beginnings as a paper mill factory, to manufacturing rubber boots and car tires, and then to mobile phones, reinvention is in Nokia’s blood. 

Nokia will now write its next chapter, focused on enabling mobility through its leadership in networking, mapping & location, and advanced technologies. 

For Microsoft as well, today is a bold step into the future, a huge leap forward on our journey of creating a family of devices and services that delight people and empower businesses of all sizes.

Our partnership over the past two and a half years, which combined our respective strengths to build a new global mobile ecosystem, has created incredible results: award-winning phones and amazing services that have made Nokia Windows Phones the fastest-growing smartphones in the world.

Building on this successful partnership, we announced some important news today: an agreement for Microsoft to purchase Nokia’s Devices & Services business, to deliver more choices, faster innovation, and even more exciting devices and services to our customers. 

Today’s agreement will accelerate the momentum of Nokia’s devices and services, bringing the world’s most innovative smartphones to more people, while continuing to connect the next billion people with Nokia’s mobile phone portfolio.

With the commitment and resources of Microsoft to take Nokia’s devices and services forward, we can now realize the full potential of the Windows ecosystem, providing the most compelling experiences for people at home, at work and everywhere in between. 

We will continue to build the mobile phones you’ve come to love, while investing in the future – new phones and services that combine the best of Microsoft and the best of Nokia. 

Nokia and Microsoft are committed to the next chapter.

Together, we will redefine the boundaries of mobility.

Steve & Stephen 

Windows Phone remains open for OEM partners

Posted by bink on September 3 2013, 6:43 AM.

Terry Myersson, the engineering lead of WIndows Phone since day 1 posted a blog entry on today's Nokia announcement:

With our announcement today regarding Nokia, we’re taking a huge step in fulfilling our stated strategy of transforming Microsoft. For me, it’s been an incredibly rewarding journey. As the engineering leader for the Windows Phone efforts, I was there at the birth of Windows Phone, and a key part of our original partnership with Nokia. I know firsthand how critical it was for me and the team to be a valuable partner to Nokia, in addition to building out a great ecosystem of partners, hardware and software alike.

Today’s announcement doesn’t change that – acquiring Nokia’s Devices group will help make the market for all Windows Phones, from Microsoft or our OEM partners.

This goes to the core of how I think about my new job running the Operating Systems Group here. We have exciting ideas, and so do our OEM partners. Our partners bring innovation, diversity and scale to Windows. I’m always thrilled by the beautiful new device designs our partners are continually bringing to market. There’s a breadth of choice in form factor, finish and materials that deliver unique devices at a variety of price points. These devices feature innovative high resolution displays, audio, cameras, multi-finger touch screens, creative new hinge designs, new sensors, and other hardware enhancements that provide choice in the market and great experiences for users.

Our OS group mission is to enable the innovations of our hardware partners to shine through on the Windows platform. We collaborate with our Microsoft hardware teams in the same way we partner with our external hardware partners: we discreetly discuss technical and business opportunities, make shared bets, empower each other to do great work, and then operate closely together to delight our shared customers. We look forward to building new products together that will provide valuable business opportunity for the ecosystem and enable OEMs to deliver huge value to their customers, from consumers to the largest enterprise.

I was driving to work the other day and heard a song that perfectly sums up the relationship we have with all our partners. It’s a song from a few years ago by The Killers called “Read My Mind”; the lyric is “I don’t shine if you don’t shine.” Together, the light is pretty bright.