Author Archive for KW

2014 MVP Global Summit

This is my 11th year as a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for the Windows Server Small & Medium Business group. Microsoft is hosting our annual conference for MVPs worldwide this week. I arrived into Seattle on Sunday afternoon, and that evening our group gathered for a great dinner and reception at Daniel’s Broiler located on the 21st floor of the Bank of America building in Bellevue.

Here’s a group photo from this event (I’m 7th from the right)

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Why Windows 10 and not Windows 9?

This week Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows would be called Windows 10. Many of us (myself included) wondered “why did they skip calling it Windows 9”?

Today I read of one plausible explanation.

It suggests that there may be plenty of third party Windows programs still in use that have lines of code in their software to perform specific tasks if it was running on a legacy version of Windows (specifically Windows 95 or Windows 98). If so, those programs could include code similar to this:

 

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True? False? I don’t know. But being a long time programmer, I could be convinced. Just look back to the “Y2K” fears 15 years ago:

Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, we only stored the last two digits of the year in computer records. So, “12” meant “1912”. None of us programming back then ever envisioned that our software would still be running 30 or 40 years later, past the year 2000. Suddenly, we weren’t sure if ‘12’ was meant to be 1912 or 2012?

I keep thinking to myself … the more things change, the more things remain the same.

Windows 10 Preview Video

Here is a video of Microsoft’s VP, Joe Belfiore (Microsoft VP) introducing the next version of Windows – Windows 10!

Windows 10 for 2015

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Microsoft announced today (Oct 30, 2014) that the next release of Windows will be called Windows 10. Their main goal is to have a single, common operating system that runs on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smart phones. Windows 10 will be in various stages of internal and beta testing thru 2015, with an anticipated general release date sometime in the second half of 2015.

If you want to get a running commentary, with photos, of today’s release, click here.

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Here is a quick summary of new features and changes to Windows 10:

  • The Start menu will look more like Windows 7, although there is an area on the start menu to show “live tiles” like what was on the Windows 8 metro screen
  • Newer style “apps” will work in more traditional windows, with ability to minimize, move or click X to close as expected. It will not feel like two different worlds which Windows 8 feels like.
  • It will have the ability to have multiple “desktops” with different apps and windows running in each desktop (nice way to separate work and home) and the ability to flip through the desktops.
  • The “charm” bar is still on the right side of the screen like in Windows 8.
  • There will be a “Touch UI” tool to allow operation similar to Windows 8 for those who like that.. and will also be good for two-in-ones (laptop/tablets) to still operate like a touch tablet. They call the new tool “Continuum” that will help users switch between touch and keyboard modes for the two-in-one convertible devices.
  • They’ll be releasing the Technical “Preview” version soon. The Windows Insider program opens tomorrow  http://preview.windows.com  – there’s a video there now showing a few of the new features.
  • The actual Windows 10 operating system is expected to ship in 2015 “mid to later in the year” as they will still be previewing new consumer aspects and new “universal apps” in April.
  • Windows 10 is also the next version of the phone operating system.. will run the same operating system family on all devices from 4″ to 80″. However phone version does not have a ‘desktop’.

Essentials Health Report Auto Start Services Not Running

If you are running Windows Server 2012 (or 2012 R2) Essentials, you may find the following warning in your Health Report:

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This has been a known and reported issue for more than a year (per this forum thread).

The recommended workaround solution is to set the Shell Hardware Detection service to manual.

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This will eliminate the red X alert from appearing in your daily health report for the server.

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Microsoft’s EMET 5.0

In case you missed it, Microsoft rolled out version 5.0 of their Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) in July 2014. This follows on the heels of EMET 4.0 (Nov 2013) and EMET 4.1 (May 2014).

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What is EMET?

You may be asking yourself What is EMET? Why should I install it? Where or when should I install it? Susan Bradley has written an in-depth article on EMET, covering all of these questions. I highly recommend reading her article.

EMET helps defend against zero-day threats. It is a standalone security application, but that does not mean that it should be installed on every workstation. The basic guideline is to install EMET on this systems where you do any online tasks that involve sensitive personal information, purchases and online banking.

EMET: A Customer’s Perspective

Installing EMET

EMET can be installed standalone, which is what I am showing here. The EMET manual offers additional information and guidance for businesses and domain-based networks.

If you have a previous version of EMET installed, you will need to uninstall it first and reboot before installing EMET 5.0.

If you wish, go ahead and download and install EMET 5.0 now! Installation is straightforward, and does not require a reboot of the workstation. EMET 5.0 supports Window clients Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8/8.1, as well as Windows Server 2008 SP2, 2008 R2 SP1, 2012 and 2012 R2.

The only suggestion I would make when installing EMET 5.0 is to select “Use Recommended Settings”:

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After installing EMET 5.0, you will find a new Padlock icon in your list of notification-area icons in your taskbar.

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Right click on the Padlock icon, and select Open EMET to view the EMET Settings.

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MVP Roadshow Tampa FL

The “Transform the Datacenter” MVP Roadshow was held at the Microsoft office in Tampa FL on Monday Sept 22, 2014. Many kudos to Adnan Cartwright. Due to an illness in the family with our first presenter (Telmo Sampaio), Adnan had to step in at the last minute to do both the first and second presentations.

Topics covered new features in Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V 4.0, migrating from  Windows 2003, public/private/hybrid clouds, Azure and more. More than half of the presentations were live demos, with lots of questions throughout. One comment from an attendee: “I can’t wait to get into Azure!”.

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Tool to Analyze Message Headers

Microsoft’s Remote Connectivity Analyzer is a great resource tool for testing and running diagnostics against Exchange, ActiveSync, OWA, POP3/IMAP, Lync, and Office 365. It also includes Message Analyzer, which is an SMTP header analysis tool and makes reading email headers less painful.

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Microsoft’s Exchange Team has a good blog post on how to use the Message Analyzer feature.

For grins and giggles, I sent myself and email from my Gmail account to my business email account, and then processed the message header through the Message Analyzer.

  1. Open up the Message Analyzer tab of Microsoft’s Remote Connectivity Analyzer in a browser window.
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  2. Open up your email client and access/view the message header. Select and copy the complete contents of the message header.
    I have a separate post that explains how to view email message headers from Outlook 2010/2013.
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  3. Flip back to your browser, and paste the message header into the Message Header Analyzer area.
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  4. Click Analyze Header and you will get a Summary report, plus a list of Received Headers and other headers.
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View Message Headers in Outlook 2010 and 2013

I’m often asking customers to send me the message headers of an email when diagnosing an email issue. With Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013, the ability to quickly display the message headers is no longer there, by default. But, we can quickly add it to Outlook’s Quick Access Toolbar. Once we are done, viewing message headers in the future will be a “one click” process.

So, let’s get to work!

  1. Open up Outlook, and look at the top left where you will find one or more icons.
    Click on the drop down arrow to open up the Customize Quick Access Toolbar menu
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  2. Click to select More Commands
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  3. Click the dropdown arrow in the Choose Commands From area, and then select All Commands
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  4. Now scroll through the list of commands, select Message Options, then click Add
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  5. Click OK to finish. You will now see a new icon for added to the Quick Access Toolbar.
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To view message headers, select a message and then click on the Message Options button from the toolbar!

MVP Roadshow in Tampa

On Monday Sept. 22, 2014, Microsoft and Microsoft MVPs will be sponsoring a half day free seminar entitled “Transforming the Datacenter MVP Roadshow” at the Microsoft Office in Tampa Florida.

Transform the Datacenter MVP Roadshow

But don’t let the title dissuade you from attending. Topics for this session will include:

  • Migrating from Windows Server 2003
  • Comparing public, private and hybrid cloud approaches
  • New features in Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Understanding Microsoft Azure service offerings
  • Getting started with moving data, apps and services to the cloud
  • And much more!

We know that you have busy schedules, and so we have planned this morning’s event to be packed full of information. We will start with breakfast at 9am, with three sessions, followed by lunch during a final Q&A session. We plan to have things wrapped up by 1:15pm.

Register for the event now! and read more details on this free seminar.
Please note: when registering, you can skip the field labeled invitation referral code.

  • Date: Monday September 22, 2014
  • Time: 9am to 1:15pm
  • Location: Microsoft Office. 5426 Bay Center Dr, Suite 700, Tampa FL 33609