About the author  ⁄ Suril Amin

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

Microsoft released Windows Server (“Blue”) preview to MSDN subscribers late yesterday, ahead of the BUILD (#bldwin) conference later this week in San Francisco. The build provides us a number of clues as to what we will see in the official Windows 8.1 (Blue) preview. The server build number is 9341, the windows 8.1 preview build will be: 6.3.9431.winmain_bluemp.130615-1214. Shutdown from “power menu” by right clicking on Start Button or hitting win key + X   Start Button in Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview, should look virtually the same in the Windows 8.1 Preview Start Button options including disabling ‘hot corners,’ and booting to desktop Source: Microsoft-News Image Credits: Robert McLaws ...

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Microsoft released Windows Server (“Blue”) to MSDN subscribers late yesterday, ahead of the BUILD (#bldwin) conference later this week in San Francisco. The build provides us a number of clues as to what we will see in the official Windows 8.1 (Blue) preview. The server build number is 9341, the windows 8.1 preview build will be: 6.3.9431.winmain_bluemp.130615-1214. Back in Windows Vista Microsoft renamed “My Computer” to “Computer.”  Now Microsoft is renaming “Computer” to “This PC.”  Libraries are now hidden by default and more integrated into the UI. If you want them displayed as before, right-click in the blank space Source: Microsoft-News Image Credit: Robert McLaws ...

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Microsoft released Windows Server (“Blue”) to MSDN subscribers yesterday, ahead of the BUILD (#bldwin) conference later this week in San Francisco. The build provides us a number of clues as to what we will see in the official Windows 8.1 (Blue) preview. The server build number is 9341, the windows 8.1 preview build will be: 6.3.9431.winmain_bluemp.130615-1214. Right clicking on the start button in Windows 8.1 will now give you the option to shutdown the machine: Source: Robert McLaws Image Credits: Robert McLaws ...

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Microsoft released Windows Server (“Blue”) to MSDN subscribers today, ahead of the BUILD (#bldwin) conference later this week in San Francisco. The build provides us a number of clues as to what we will see in the official Windows 8.1 (Blue) preview. The server build number is 9341, the windows 8.1 preview build will be: 6.3.9431.winmain_bluemp.130615-1214. IE11 scores 351/500 + 2 bonus point, and 25/25 for WebGL. Since this is a server build, the score may be a little higher than IE11 on Win 8.1, but this confirms WebGL for IE11.  IE11 WebGL Conformance Test Results: 14,748 of 20,509 tests pass (71.9%). Many things seen in the Server 2012 R2 preview will also show up in the Windows 8.1 preview. Most of this information comes via Robert McLaws, a MSDN subscriber and .NET developer: IE11 About Dialog Start Menu/Taskbar Options; Includes options to shut down from Start button and disable hot ...

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Microsoft released Windows Server (“Blue”) to MSDN subscribers today, ahead of the BUILD (#bldwin) conference later this week in San Francisco.  The build provides us a number of clues as to what we will see in the official Windows 8.1 (Blue) preview.  The server build number is 9341, the windows 8.1 preview build will be: 6.3.9431.winmain_bluemp.130615-1214.  IE11 scores 351/500 + 2 bonus point, and 25/25 for WebGL.  Since this is a server build, the score may be a little higher than IE11 on Win 8.1, but this confirms WebGL for IE11. Many things seen in the Server 2012 R2 preview will also show up in the Windows 8.1 preview. Most of this information comes via Robert McLaws, a MSDN subscriber and .NET developer: Desktop w/ new start button Libraries are now hidden by default and more integrated into the UI.  If you want them displayed as before, right-click in the blank space Start Menu/Taskbar Options; ...

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In a rare appearance, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will join pop-star Kelly Clarkson in a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the 42nd Microsoft Store in Troy, Michigan this Friday.  The 3,300-square-foot Microsoft store will employ about 45 people.  Ballmer is also expected to present $1 million in software grants as part of the ribbon cutting.  The store is scheduled to open at 10:30 a.m. local time. To fans who arrive at the store, in the Somerset Collection shopping center, will receive free tickets to a Kelly Clarkson concert later that day.  Clarkson has helped open other Microsoft Stores. Ballmer has strong roots in Michigan.  He grew up Farmington Hills, Michigan where his father was an executive at the Ford Motor company.  Farmington Hills & Troy are both affluent suburbs of Detroit, Michigan.  Ballmer currently sits on the board of the Detroit County Day school, where he went to high school.  While ...

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Seeing massive success in the mobile space with its Galaxy smartphones Samsung will exit the traditional tower Desktop PC business.  The desktop business has been unprofitable for Samsung for many years now.  “Demand for conventional desktop PCs is going down,” said a Samsung Electronics official. “We will allocate our resources to popular connected and portable devices.” He said that research teams and technology development units are being boosted for tablets and all-in-one laptops. The government recently designated the desktop PC business as an “industry suitable for smaller firms” from 2015. “Tablets, all-in-one and hybrid PCs are Samsung’s current focus. Samsung is speeding up its restructuring of its PC business via product realignment toward profitable variants,” said another Samsung official. Samsung will still continue to manufacture “all-in-one’ desktop pcs as well as tablets and laptops PCs.  Desktop PCs are now more of a niche market, traditionally for those who need serious performance ...

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Microsoft looks at tax law very carefully in everything it does and datacenter locations are no exception.  Microsoft originally planned on building a datacenter close to headquarters in Washington State, but scrapped plans after changes in tax law were made. The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board  approved today $20 million in tax credits for Microsoft, which plans to invest nearly $700 million in a data center in West Des Moines.  The board said Microsoft was behind “Project Mountain” at a meeting this morning.  Microsoft’s latest expansion pushes its investment to nearly a billion dollars. It would become the third big tech company to push its data center investment to $1 billion or more. Leaders say the Microsoft project will support products like XBox Live and Office 365. Microsoft’s Christian Belady said in a statement: “The expansion supports the growing demand for Microsoft’s cloud services.” The project represents “our latest in efficient data ...

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If you are an MSDN or TechNet subscriber you can now download: Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Virtual Machine Core Preview (x64) – (English) http://dlvr.it/3Yvv7y Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Virtual Machine Preview (x64) – (English) http://dlvr.it/3YvvB0 SQL Server 2014 CTP1 (x64) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3YvvBc System Center 2012 R2 Preview Operations Manager (x86 and x64) – (English) http://dlvr.it/3YvvCj System Center 2012 R2 Preview Orchestrator (x86 and x64) – (Multilanguage) http://dlvr.it/3YvvDL System Center 2012 R2 Preview Configuration Manager (x86 and x64) – (Multilanguage) http://dlvr.it/3YvvDw System Center 2012 R2 Preview App Controller (x86 and x64) – (Multilanguage) http://dlvr.it/3YvvFh System Center 2012 R2 Preview Data Protection Manager (x86 and x64) – (Multilanguage) http://dlvr.it/3YvvGg System Center 2012 R2 Preview Service Manager (x86 and x64) – (Multilanguage) http://dlvr.it/3YvvHF System Center 2012 R2 Preview Virtual Machine Manager (x86 and x64) – (Multilanguage) http://dlvr.it/3YvvHp Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Preview (x64) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3YvvVg Windows Server ...

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Through a licensing deal with Japanese smartphone game maker Klab, Microsoft will offer its Xbox and PC games from Apple’s iPhone and Android phones this fiscal year.  Microsoft’s “Age of the Empires” will be available as a free-to-play game worldwide on smartphones by the end of the fiscal year 2013 and other titles will follow.  No word as to games coming to Windows Phone.  Story is still developing. Source: Reuters ...

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Larry Ellison hates Microsoft, but former HP CEO Mark Hurd has helped patch things up a little bit and today Oracle & Microsoft announced a partnership.  As part of this partnership, Oracle will certify and support Oracle software — including Java, Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server — on Windows Server Hyper-V and in Windows Azure. Microsoft will also offer Java, Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server to Windows Azure customers, and Oracle will make Oracle Linux available to Windows Azure customers. Java developers, IT professionals and businesses will benefit from the flexibility to deploy fully supported Oracle software to Windows Server Hyper-V and Windows Azure. “Microsoft is deeply committed to giving businesses what they need, and clearly that is the ability to run enterprise workloads in private clouds, public clouds and, increasingly, across both,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Now our customers will be able to ...

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Microsoft makes most of the sessions at TechEd available on Channel 9, it’s a great resource and wealth of information.  I have been slowly sifting through the sessions and will be posting a couple blog posts on what I thought were the best TechEd talks. Mark Russinovich is a technical fellow at Microsoft, among the most prestigious titles you can receive, given to the most intelligent people at the company.  Russinovich became famous at Winternals writing software that offered technical resources and utilities to manage, diagnose, troubleshoot, and monitor.  Russinovich reverse engineered most windows to write a lot of this software.  The story goes that David Cutler in a meeting with Ballmer told him to “Just fucking buy his company and hire him.”  Microsoft acquired Winternals in 2006 and Russinovich has been one of Microsoft’s most successful acqui-hires. Russinovich now spends most of his time working on the App-Fabric of ...

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Microsoft has a had a strong history of supporting educational institutions.  In addition to offering the Surface for $199 Microsoft will now offer a program (U.S. only to start)  for schools to tailor the Bing experience for K-12 students by removing all advertisements from search results, enhancing privacy protections and the filtering of adult content, and adding specialized learning features to enhance digital literacy.  For those that opt-in, Bing will enable the experience across all searches from within the school’s network on Bing.com, without any need for special software or a different search address. The program is free for any school or districts wishing to participate.  Any schools who do not participate will simply get the normal Bing experience with ads. Bing has the following goals for this program: Keeping Our Kids Focused on Learning: As a country, we’ve set schools aside as a special place that is focused on learning, and ...

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As the release of Windows 8.1 nears some information has started to leaks.  MyDigitalLife forum member Faikee has posted a good bit of information regarding Windows 8.1.  Among this is a new feature in IE11 in the public preview of Windows 8.1. For a long time Skype has had a feature called “Click to Call.” This feature recognizes phone numbers while browsing the web, putting a sort of hyperlink around it, and clicking on the phone number will load Skype and let you call the number. Microsoft has decided to embrace and extend this feature in Windows 8.1.  You now have the option of loading an app of your choice when IE11 recognizes a phone number.  I’m guessing Skype will be a prime choice from Microsoft.  Each user on a machine can set their own default program. Source: MyDigitalLife   ...

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MyDigitalForum member FaiKee has posted a preview of the Q&A for Windows 8.1 that is set to go live June 26th, during the BUILD conference in San Francisco.  Microsoft will be providing ISOs of the Windows 8.1 Build as well as a free upgrade through the Windows Store. Please click on the images below to enlarge them, use can click or use the arrow keys to cycle through them. Notification to update to Windows 8.1 (Note: This notification provides access to the Windows 8.1 Preview page in the Store, even if you are not signed-in with a Microsoft Account): The update via Store consists of the following steps: You start by installing an update package from the Windows 8.1 Preview Download page. When you restart after installing the update above, a system notification offers Windows 8.1 Preview. You can also open the Store app to access the Windows 8.1 Preview ...

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MyDigitalLife forum member FaiKee has posted a great thread full of lots of Windows 8.1 information.  He detailed some information regarding how the integrated Skydrive will work in Windows 8.1, changes to uninstalling apps, and changes to the Windows Store. SkyDrive does not automatically sync all your SkyDrive files to the PC. Instead it downloads placeholder files for all of your files on SkyDrive. Placeholder files are shown in the app and in the SkyDrive folder in File Explorer. These small files look like the full file, and have thumbnails and metadata, but they take a tiny fraction of the disk space of the full file. When you open a placeholder, the SkyDrive engine downloads the full file in the background. When you open a file this way, SkyDrive also marks the file as Available offline, so that the files you use will be kept in sync on this PC. ...

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