Technet downloads broken?

Posted by bink on September 22 2011, 3:35 AM.

I have been trying all day to get some ISO files from Technet subscription downloads, but they never complete. There is no download manager anymore, which I never liked much, but now I miss it! Confused smile

I have 120 Mbit connection at home, when the download starts it gets 11 Megabyte per second, which is 117 Mbit, so super OK, but at some point the download stalls and just sits there, nothing happening. I have tried on different machines and even different locations. The files are about 3 GB each.

So Microsoft if you are reading this, please fix the downloads! Annoyed

Where’s Mango? An update on timing

Posted by sumeethevans on September 22 2011, 1:18 AM. Posted in Windowss Phone 7 Series.

For months, we and dozens of our partner companies have been laying the groundwork for the Windows Phone 7.5 update—and making solid progress. As a result, we now expect to start rolling it out in the next week or two. At that time, we’ll also refresh the Where’s My Phone Update? table to reflect the worldwide rollout status.

This also seems like a good time to caution against installing unofficial or leaked copies of Windows Phone software.

During the official Windows Phone 7.5 update process, every Windows Phone will also receive software from the handset manufacturer. This matched and paired firmware has been painstakingly tuned so your phone—and apps—work with all the new features of Windows Phone 7.5. Since your phone requires the proper firmware to function as designed, my advice is simple: steer clear of bootleg updates and homebrew tools.

Continue At Source

Nokia Developers: learn Windows Phone even faster

Posted by sumeethevans on September 22 2011, 1:17 AM. Posted in Windowss Phone 7 Series.

It’s my great pleasure to announce today a comprehensive package to leverage your development skills while learning to build applications for Windows Phone. The Microsoft & Nokia agreement has been described at length over the past few months and, like Matt Bencke highlighted, one of our goals has been to make it easy for Nokia Symbian developers to learn Windows Phone.

So, folks from Microsoft and Nokia worked together to build a great package to help you get started. This helpful package contains the following tools and documentation to help you along the path to learning Windows Phone development:

These complement the similar iOS/Android guidance & mapping work we released a couple months ago.

The “Windows Phone Guide for Symbian Qt Application Developers” white paper is about 100 pages organized in 8 chapters.

  • clip_image002Chapter 1: Introducing Windows Phone Platform to Symbian^3 Qt Application Developers
  • Chapter 2: Windows Phone Application Design Guidelines
  • Chapter 3: Windows Phone Developer and Designer Tools
  • Chapter 4: C# programming
  • Chapter 5: Introducing Windows Phone Application Life Cycle
  • Chapter 6: Porting Applications to Windows Phone
  • Chapter 7: Windows Phone Example Applications
  • Chapter 8: Using the API Mapping Tool

The white paper is available in different formats (HTML, DOCX & PDF). Feel free to leave comments, suggestions, and/or corrections on the online version.

Full Story At Source

Inside Windows Azure: the cloud operating system

Posted by bink on September 16 2011, 8:36 PM.

A great BUILD session hosted by Mark Russinovich which gives you the internals of Windows Azure OS.

image

 

I suggest to view the HQ WMV edition of the video so you can see the screen captures and command consoles clearly

Mark Russinovich goes under the hood of Microsoft’s new cloud OS . Intended for developers that have already gotten their hands dirty with Windows Azure and understand its basic concepts, this session gives an inside look at the architectural design of Windows Azure’s compute platform. You’ll learn about Microsoft’s data center architecture, what goes on behind the scenes when you deploy and update a Windows Azure app and how it monitors and responds to the health of machines, its own components and the apps it hosts.

View in browser

Windows 8 Time Line

Posted by bink on September 16 2011, 4:07 PM.

 

 

image

Nice visual timeline of the Windows 8 development process. So with Sinofsky’s reputation I expect that May 2012 can be a realistic RTM date. Flirt male

Microsoft SmartScreen for Internet Explorer and now for Windows 8 too

Posted by bink on September 16 2011, 3:37 PM.

Traditional antimalware software plays a critical role in defending and remediating attacks. However, reputation-based technologies can help provide effective protection against social engineering attacks before traditional antimalware signatures are available, especially against malware that pretends to be legitimate software programs.

Windows 8 will help protect users with reputation-based technologies when launching applications as well as browsing with Internet Explorer.

Since its release, the SmartScreen filter has used URL reputation to help protect Internet Explorer customers from more than 1.5 billion attempted malware attacks and over 150 million attempted phishing attacks. Application reputation, a new feature added to SmartScreen in Internet Explorer 9, provides an additional layer of defense to help you make a safer decision when URL reputation and traditional antimalware aren’t enough to catch the attack. Telemetry data shows 95% of Internet Explorer 9 users are choosing to delete or not run malware when they receive a SmartScreen application reputation warning.

Microsoft understands that Internet Explorer isn’t the only way users download applications from the Internet, so Windows now uses SmartScreen to perform an application reputation check the first time you launch applications that come from the Internet.

In Windows 7 when launching these downloaded applications, users get the following notification:

Securtiy warning in Windows 7, which states "The publisher could not be verified, are you sure you want to run this software? Run/Cancel; This file does not have a valid digital signature that verifies its publisher....etc.

In Windows 8, SmartScreen will only notify users when you run an application that has not yet established a reputation and therefore is a higher risk:

Security warning in Windows 8 Developer Preview, which states "Windows protected your PC; Windows SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized program from starting. Running the program might put your PC at risk. And two buttons: Run Anyway, or Don't Run.

The user experience for applications with an established reputation is simple and clean: users just click and run, removing the prompt users would have seen in Windows 7.

SmartScreen uses a marker placed on files at download time to trigger a reputation check. All major web browsers and many mail clients, and IM services already add this marker, known as the “mark of the web,” to downloaded files.

Microsoft expects average users to see a SmartScreen prompt less than twice per year and when they do see it, it will signify a higher risk scenario. Telemetry data shows 92% of applications downloaded via Internet Explorer 9 already have an established reputation and show no warnings. The same data shows that when an application reputation warning is shown, the risk of getting a malware infection by running it is 25-70%. And SmartScreen has administrative controls to prevent the non-techie friends or children from ignoring these warnings.

Here’s a video that shows you Windows Defender and SmartScreen URL and application reputation in action:

High quality MP4 | Lower quality MP4

Windows 8 Defender will include real-time Anti-Virus

Posted by bink on September 16 2011, 3:27 PM.

According to Microsoft Windows 8 blog, Windows Defender in Windows 8 will include real-time anti-virus protection. Currently Windows Defender protects the system from adware and spyware.

For anti-virus Microsoft now has Security Essentials, with Windows 8 it seems the products will finally be merged in to one product. If this impacts anti-trust issues remains to be seen. In my opinion Microsoft is entitled to protect their own product and customers.

Microsoft announced more ant-malware enhancements in protection and performance:

 

Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR). ASLR was first introduced in Windows Vista and works by randomly shuffling the location of most code and data in memory to block assumptions that the code and data are at same address on all PCs. In Windows 8, we extended ASLR’s protection to more parts of Windows and introduced enhancements such as increased randomization that will break many known techniques for circumventing ASLR.

Windows kernel. In Windows 8, we bring many of the mitigations to the Windows kernel that previously only applied to user-mode applications. These will help improve protection against some of the most common type of threats. For example, we now prevent user-mode processes from allocating the low 64K of process memory, which prevents a whole class of kernel-mode NULL dereference vulnerabilities from being exploited. We also added integrity checks to the kernel pool memory allocator to mitigate kernel pool corruption attacks.

Windows heap. Applications get dynamically allocated memory from the Windows user-mode heap. Major redesign of the Windows 8 heap adds significant protection in the form of new integrity checks to help defend against many exploit techniques. In addition, the Windows heap now randomizes the order of allocations so that exploits cannot depend on the predictable placement of objects—the same principle that makes ASLR successful. We also added guard pages to certain types of heap allocations, which helps prevent exploits that rely on overrunning the heap.

Internet Explorer. “Use-after-free” vulnerabilities represented nearly 75% of the vulnerabilities reported in Internet Explorer over the last two years. For Windows 8, we implemented guards in Internet Explorer to prevent an attacker from crafting an invalid virtual function table, making these attacks more difficult. Internet Explorer will also take full advantage of the ASLR improvements provided by Windows 8.

Windows Defender.:

The improvements to Windows Defender will help protect you from all types of malware, including viruses, worms, bots and rootkits by using the complete set of malware signatures from the Microsoft Malware Protection Center, which Windows Update will deliver regularly along with the latest Microsoft antimalware engine. This expanded set of signatures is a significant improvement over previous versions, which only included signatures for spyware, adware, and potentially unwanted software.

In addition, Windows Defender will now provide you with real-time detection and protection from malware threats using a file system filter, and will interface with Windows secured boot, another new Window 8 protection feature.

When you use a PC that supports UEFI-based Secure Boot (defined in the UEFI 2.3.1 specification), Windows secured boot will help ensure that all firmware and firmware updates are secure, and that the entire Windows boot path up to the antimalware driver has not been tampered with. It does this by loading only properly signed and validated code in the boot path. This helps ensure that malicious code can’t load during boot or resume, and helps to protect you against boot sector and boot loader viruses, as well as bootkit and rootkit malware that try to load as drivers.

The same interfaces for secured boot used by Windows Defender, as well as all APIs used by Windows Defender, are available for use by our antimalware partners to deliver additional protection to Windows customers.

  • Improved user experience. We have designed Windows Defender to be unobtrusive for most daily usage, and will notify you only when you need to perform an action, or critical information demands your attention. Windows Defender will also use the new Windows 8 maintenance scheduler to limit interruptions.
  • Improved performance. Traditionalantimalware technologies are well known for impacting system performance. It’s not uncommon that running antimalware software doubles the amount of time required for core scenarios like file copy and boot. As you read in last week’s blog entry, we have a lot of people working on system performance and Windows Defender dramatically improves performance on all key scenarios compared to common antimalware solutions on Windows 7, while maintaining strong protection. For example, Windows Defender with its full protection functionality enabled adds only 4% to boot time, while dramatically reducing CPU time during boot by 75%, disk I/O by around 50MB, and peak working set by around 100MB.

These same improvements benefit energy efficiency, meaning Windows Defender consumes less power, and gives you longer battery life.

Antimalware partners can participate during the Windows 8 development process so you have the best possible Windows PC experience no matter what antimalware solution you choose. We provide them with resources, such as the technical details of how we architected the performance improvements for Windows Defender, so they have the opportunity to make similar improvements to their products.

Protecting you from malware - Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Install Windows 8 in bootable VHD

Posted by bink on September 15 2011, 3:15 PM.

So the Windows 8 developer preview is out, now you can install this in a virtual machine to try it out, but it is more fun to run it direct on your hardware. However this build is pre-beta, so not ready to do all your daily “ production” work on. You can solve this by dual booting, but it is cooler to boot of a VHD! Booting from VHD was introduced in Windows 7.

Now there are several methods on the Internet to make this work, I have found this procedure so the procedure is the simplest and quickest.

No need to use WAIK, DISM, x-image, sysprep, WIM2VHD. Even no need for BCEDIT!

In short:

  • Boot from the Win8dev DVD or USB
  • When in setup the disk selection appears where to install to you press SHIFT-F10
  • A cmd window appears.
  • Now your drive letters may have shifted so do some DIR commands where you want the put the VHD file also choose a volume that has enough free space.
  • Then run diskpart:
    • create vdisk file=d:\win8dev.vhd type=expandable maximum=50000 (for better performance do not use expandable, but creating the VHD may take some time. I choose about 50 GB in size
    • select vdisk file=d:\win8dev.vhd
    • attach vdisk
  • Now alt-tab back to the disk selection window and click refresh, the VHD volume should appear, select it to install Windows in it.
  • Click next, Windows will install and reboot into next phase of Windows 8 setup
  • After another reboot the new Metro style boot menu appears where you can choose to boot from Windows 8 or Windows 7. Advanced options lets you set the default and change timeout. Also troubleshooting options are here.
  • The default is Windows 8 and it will run direct on your hardware

 

A bit longer guide but with screenshots is here:

www.hanselman.com

Windows 8 presented

Posted by bink on September 14 2011, 5:08 AM.

Today at its developer-focused BUILD conference, Microsoft Corp. showcased a detailed preview of the next major release of Windows, code-named “Windows 8.” The company also detailed new tools for developers to help write applications for more than 1 billion people around the world who use Windows every day.

“We reimagined Windows,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, in his keynote address to the thousands of developers in attendance. “From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise.”

The company also highlighted a variety of new features in Windows 8, including the following:

Touch-First User Interface

Metro style. Windows 8 introduces a new Metro style interface built for touch, which shows information important to you, embodies simplicity and gives you control. The Metro style UI is equally at home with a mouse and keyboard as well.

Touch-first browsing, not just browsing on a touch device. Providing a fast and fluid touch-browsing experience, Internet Explorer 10 puts sites at the center on new Windows 8 devices.

More Ways to Engage With Powerful, Connected Apps

Powered by apps. Metro style apps built for Windows 8 are the focal point of your experience, filling your entire screen so there are no distractions.

Apps can work together. Apps communicate with each other in Windows 8. For example, you can easily select and email photos from different places, such as Facebook, Flickr or on your hard drive.

Your experience syncs across your devices. Live roams all the content from the cloud services you use most — photos, email, calendar and contacts — keeping them up-to-date on your devices. With SkyDrive, you can access your files, photos and documents from virtually anywhere with any browser or with Metro style apps in Windows 8.

Enhanced Fundamentals

The best of Windows 7, only better. Windows 8 is built on the rock-solid foundation of Windows 7, delivering improvements in performance, security, privacy and system reliability. Windows 8 reduces the memory footprint needed — even on the lowest-end hardware — leaving more room for your apps.

Preserving power-user favorites and making them better. For those who push the limits of their PC, Windows 8 features an enhanced Task Manager and Windows Explorer and new, flexible options for multimonitor setups.

New Developer Opportunities

Windows Store. The Windows Store will allow developers to sell their apps anywhere Windows is sold worldwide, whether they’re creating new games or familiar productivity tools.

Build using more languages. Windows 8 lets you leverage your existing skills and code assets to create great experiences using the programming language you prefer.

Rich hardware integration leads to richer experiences particularly for games. DirectX 11 gaming power underlies Windows 8, allowing the easy creation of full-screen games with smooth, flicker-free action.

New Generation of Hardware

One Windows — many shapes and sizes. Support for ARM-based chipsets, x86 (as well as x32 and x64) devices, touch and sensors means Windows 8 works beautifully across a spectrum of devices, from 10-inch tablets and laptops to all-in-ones with 27-inch high-definition screens.

Always connected. With Windows 8, new ultrathin PCs and tablets turn on instantly, run all day on a single charge and stay connected to the Internet so your PC is ready when you are. Next-generation system on a chip (SoC) support will also enable greatly extended standby and low-power states.

Tap the full power of your PC. Windows 8 runs on PCs and is compatible with the devices and programs you use today on Windows 7, without compromise, to deliver the performance you expect of a PC.

 

 

 

Xbox LIVE and Windows 8

Posted by sumeethevans on September 14 2011, 3:42 AM. Posted in Xbox.

We are confirming that we will be bringing Xbox LIVE to the PC with Xbox LIVE on Windows. We are very excited about Xbox LIVE coming to Windows 8. Xbox LIVE brings your games, music, movies, and TV shows to your favorite Microsoft and Windows devices. Bringing Xbox LIVE to Windows 8 is part of our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy. At BUILD we are showing that it is easy for developers to create games for Windows 8 that take advantage of the power of Xbox LIVE. We have much more detail to share about the capabilities of Xbox LIVE on Windows and look forward to the opportunity to do so in the near future. 

   

Continue At Source

Windows 8 - The Developer Preview - Available today 8PM PST

Posted by sumeethevans on September 14 2011, 2:46 AM. Posted in Windows.Next.

Microsoft announced at its Build Conference today that the Developer Preview bits will be available this evening at 8PM PST for everyone. Read below on how to download the iso.

You probably want to try out the preview release—and you can. Starting later tonight you can download the Windows 8 Developer Preview. This includes a 64-bit (x64) build with development tools to build apps, and a 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) build without development tools. The releases also include a suite of sample applications (please note these are merely illustrations of potential apps, not apps that we intend to ship with Windows 8). The ISOs are linked to from http://dev.windows.com.

Upgrade from Windows 7 installation is not supported for pre-release code; only clean installs are supported. Reminder: this is a developer preview release and is not meant for production. It is not a beta release. We will be updating the release with various quality updates and drivers over the coming weeks/months just to exercise our overall update and telemetry mechanisms.

Full Story At Source

Mouse without Borders

Posted by bink on September 13 2011, 2:25 PM. Posted in Hardware.

In a nutshell, it allows you to reach across your PC's as if they were part of one single desktop. I have two PCs on my desk at work connected to 3 LCD screens and using Mouse Without Borders I can move my mouse between the 3 screens, even though one of them is attached to a different PC from the other two. What’s more, I can move files between the 2 computers simply by dragging them from one desktop to another. In fact you can control up to four computers from a single mouse and keyboard with no extra hardware needed – it’s all software magic, developed by Truong Do who by day is a developed for Microsoft Dynamics. The software is easy to setup and in addition to enabling drag and drop of files, you can lock or log in to all PCs from one PC, and as a whimsical bonus is it allows you to customize your Windows logo screen with the daily image from Bing or a local collection of pictures :) I regularly use it to have one PC dedicated to social media streams while I work away on my other PC connected to two screens.

The video above both explains and shows Mouse Without Borders far better than I can using words. The project is testament to the power of The Garage which helped Truong develop the user interface and setup the usability tests that have helped the tool become very accessible and easy to use. As well as that, The Garage and its regular Science Fairs inside Microsoft helped expose the project to 9,000 people before it was ready for external release. Now that day has arrived and I’m delighted to announce here on Next at Microsoft that Mouse Without Borders is ready for download.

Download Now [1.1mb]