Free ebook: Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure, Second Edition

We’re happy to announce the availability of our newest free ebook, Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure, Second Edition (ISBN 9781509302963), by Michael Collier and Robin Shahan.

Introduction

Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, providing a wide variety of services you can use without purchasing and provisioning your own hardware. Azure enables the rapid development of solutions and provides the resources to accomplish tasks that may not be feasible in an on-premises environment. Azure’s compute, storage, network, and application services allow you to focus on building great solutions without the need to worry about how the physical infrastructure is assembled.

This book covers the fundamentals of Azure you need to start developing solutions right away. It concentrates on the features of the Azure platform that you are most likely to need to know rather than on every feature and service available on the platform. This book also provides several walkthroughs you can follow to learn how to create VMs and virtual networks, websites and storage accounts, and so on. In many cases, real-world tips are included to help you get the most out of your Azure experience.

In addition to its coverage of core Azure services, the book discusses common tools useful in creating and managing Azure-based solutions. The book wraps up by providing details on a few common business scenarios where Azure can provide compelling and valuable solutions, as well as a chapter providing overviews of some of the commonly used services not covered in the book.

Who should read this book

This book focuses on providing essential information about the key services of Azure for developers and IT professionals who are new to cloud computing. Detailed, step-by-step demonstrations are included to help the reader understand how to get started with each of the key services. This material is useful not only for those who have no prior experience with Azure, but also for those who need a refresher and those who may be familiar with one area but not others. Each chapter is standalone; there is no requirement that you perform the hands-on demonstrations from previous chapters to understand any particular chapter.

Source: MS Press Blog

Free ebook: Introducing Windows Server 2016

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Fast Ring: Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14931 for PC

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Yesterday Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14931 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring.

An important reminder about build expiration

We wanted to include a reminder about build expiration. Since September 15th, PCs running really old Insider Preview builds started to see build expiration notifications once a day. Then on October 1st, these PCs will start rebooting every 3 hours and then on October 15th – these PCs will stop booting all together. If your PC is running one of these old Insider Preview builds, please make sure you update to Build 14926 or newer via Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. Build 14926 and newer has an updated expiration date of May 1st, 2017. If your PC is running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Build 14393) in the Slow and Release Preview rings today – this does not apply to you and you will not be notified of your build expiring.

image: https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2016/09/new-expiration.png

New expiration date

Some items of note

This build doesn’t have any notable new features but we do have some app updates we think Windows Insiders should be aware of!

Feedback Hub Update: Feedback Hub has been updated to version 1.1608.2441.0. This update contains some highly requested features from Windows Insiders including dark mode, showing the original feedback author in the feedback details, and a settings page for Feedback Hub. To enable dark mode, just go into settings in Feedback Hub.

Maps App Update: The Maps app was updated to version 5.1609.2580.0+ last week. You can now you can check the traffic to your Home or Work locations at any time by tapping the Traffic icon in the app bar. You will see traffic conditions to Home and Work and your most recently viewed traffic cameras so that you can stay on top of the road conditions along your route. Additionally, the Maps app now follows your system setting for theme preference for light or dark mode. And you can choose to change the map theme too!

image: https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2016/09/maps-app-dark-mode.png

Dark mode in Maps appSend SMS with Skype Preview: You can now try out sending and receiving SMS and MMS messages directly from a Windows 10 PC when Skype on their Windows 10 Mobile phone is set as the default messaging app. Give it a try and let us know what you think. For more details, see this blog post from the Skype Team.

image: https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2016/09/Untitled-2-grouped.png

Skype SMS relayNative support for USB Audio 2.0: We now have native support for USB Audio 2.0 devices with an inbox class driver! This is an early version of the driver that does not have all features enabled, for e.g.: only playback (render) is supported with this version. Recording (capture) support is scheduled to arrive in later iterations. We encourage you to play with the driver and let us know what you think (using the Feedback app). If you already have third party drivers for your USB Audio 2.0 device installed, follow instructions in this blog post to switch to using the inbox class driver.

Other improvements and fixes for PC

  • We fixed the issue causing people to experience a black screen when signing out and switching to another user account and unable to log in to that account.
  • We fixed the issue causing the built-in Windows 10 apps such as Calculator, Alarms & Clock, and Voice Recorder to not work after updating to a new build.

Known issues for PC

  • While using Narrator and Groove Music, if you navigate to the progress bar while a song is playing then Narrator will continually speak the progress of the song e.g. update with the current time of the progress bar every second. The result is you will be unable to listen to the song or hear any other control you navigate to.
  • Oracle VM VirtualBox will crash on launch after upgrading to this build.
  • Optional components may not work after upgrading to this build. To get it working again, go to “Turn Windows features on or off”, scroll down and check the right optional component and click ok.  After a reboot, the optional component will be enabled again.
  • For keyboard users, using tab to navigate the Settings app will not work in this build. The arrow keys should work as a temporary workaround.
  • Tencent apps and games will cause your PC to bugcheck (bluescreen).

A note about Mobile

We are continuing to investigate two issues that came up with last week’s flight of Build 14926 for Mobile. After upgrading to Build 14926, some Insiders reported that the pin pad is no longer visible to unlock their phone even after rebooting the phone and some phones lost the ability to use their SIM card. In both cases, a hard reset of resolves the issue. Based on the feedback we received from Insiders, we have decided not to release a new Mobile build this week until we get fixes for these two issues.

Read more at Windows Blog

Update on WSUS 3.0 SP2 End of Life

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Wsus 3.2 on Server 2008 R2’s end of life has been extended until 2020, keep in mind though if you are (or are planning) servicing Windows 10 you should plan moving to Wsus 4 asap, Wsus 3.2 can’t service Windows 10 upgrades (feature updates) and will not get this feature.

 

As you may have seen, there has been an update to the extended support lifecycle for WSUS 3.0 SP2 (WSUS 3.2).  We received feedback that ending this product’s life in July 2017 would cause a significant disruption for those Windows Server 2008/R2 deployments that planned to rely upon it until January 2020.  As such, the end of life for this product is now January 2020.

For those that currently rely on WSUS 3.2, please use this extension as an opportunity to plan a smooth transition to WSUS 4.0 (Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2) or even our newest offering (Windows Server 2016) that will be available later this year.  Especially for larger businesses, migrating a WSUS hierarchy is nontrivial, and may take much of the extra time that has been granted for this operation.  We’ve assembled a collection of resources that will help inform your migration efforts; should you have any trouble with the process, feel free to reach out on our TechNet forum for assistance.

Finally, it bears repeating: if you plan to deploy Windows 10 your environment, yet are still using WSUS 3.2, then we strongly recommend considering a migration sooner rather than later.  WSUS 3.2 cannot today and will not in the future be able to fully support Windows 10 servicing (specifically feature updates), and in order to experience the true vision for Windows as a service, you’ll need to use WSUS 4.0 or later.

Source: Wsus Product Team Blog

Fast Ring: Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14926 for PC and Mobile

What’s new in Build 14926

Snooze in Microsoft Edge: We know you all love when we get creative with you, so we have added an experimental “Snooze” action on a tab in Microsoft Edge which provides you with a way to set a Cortana reminder on the website you are viewing. People often keep tabs open in their browser indefinitely as a “to do” list, and do not close those tabs until the action associated with that website is complete. This feature lets you put a site into a Cortana reminder that will show up as a notification and in Action Center, allowing you to quickly open that site in Microsoft Edge when you’re ready to get back to it.

Updated Wi-Fi settings page (Mobile): As part of our experience of unifying the settings experience across devices – we have updated the Wi-Fi settings page via Settings > Network & wireless > Wi-Fi on Mobile to match how it works on PC. The new Wi-Fi settings page isn’t complete yet as we continue to port over functionality. If need, you can fallback to using the Wi-Fi (legacy) settings page to access any missing functionality. In addition, we added the capability for you to connect to WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) networks on your phone.

image: https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2016/09/wi-fi-settings-576×1024.png

Wi-Fi settings pages in Settings appimage: https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2016/09/wi-fi-settings-new-576×1024.png

New Wi-Fi settings pageImproving your PC upgrade experience: One of the ongoing feedback items we’ve heard is how the apps that come preinstalled with Windows will reinstall after each upgrade – particularly noticeable for our Insiders that receive multiple flights per month. We’ve heard your feedback, and starting with Build 14926, when your PC updates it will check for apps that have been uninstalled, and it will preserve that state once the update has completed. This means if you uninstall any of the apps included in Windows 10 such as the Mail app or Maps app, they will not get reinstalled after you update to a newer build going forward.

Making pin login easier: Ever tried to enter your pin, only to discover the numbers you’ve been typing are nowhere to be seen because Num Lock was off? We’re happy to announce that that will no longer happen! With this build, regardless of your Num Lock state, numbers will be input if you’re typing into the pin password field. Let us know what you think!

[ADDED] New Extensions in Microsoft Edge: We’re working with partners on adding new extensions before and want our Insiders to try them out first! We have two new releases which we need your help testing and giving feedback on before we publish them to the general public. TamperMonkey is a popular userscript manager that lets users customize the content of pages across the web. Microsoft Personal Shopping Assistant is your smart shopping cart across the web, which collects your browsed products and lets you get price alerts for saved products and compare products between sellers. You can install these at the links above and try them out on any Development Branch build – send feedback to the Feedback Hub or @MSEdgeDev on Twitter.

[ADDED] Export favorites from Microsoft Edge: We have added the ability for you to export your favorites from Microsoft Edge to an HTML file. Just click the “More” icon at the top right (the three dots), choose “Settings”, then “View favorites settings” and you will see the new option.

Other improvements and fixes for PC

  • We fixed the issue causing Adobe Acrobat Reader to crash when you try to launch it.
  • We fixed the issue causing the Settings app to crash when navigating to Settings > Personalization.
  • We fixed an issue where Windows icons and text are not rendered correctly on some devices with Intel Atom (Clovertrail) processors.
  • We’ve improved scaling for full screen games where the aspect ratio doesn’t match the native display resolution, for example, when playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive using a 4:3 stretched resolution.
  • We fixed the issue where some people would experience a bugcheck (bluescreen) after plugging/unplugging certain types of Kindles such as the Paperwhite and Voyage.
  • This build improves the performance on websites with changes to large numbers of HTML Elements containing text by improving spellchecker efficiency. This results in substantially improved performance on websites like TweetDeck.
  • We have addressed the largest cause of reliability issues in Microsoft Edge running on Insider Preview builds. This should improve reliability on major websites such as Facebook and Outlook.com.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in certain links (for example, Facebook) displaying a default favicon in the Microsoft Edge Tab, rather than the logo intended by the website.
  • We fixed an issue where the Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar might show full bars when connected to a Wi-Fi network with low signal.
  • We have fixed the issue which prevented the wireless network adapter in Surface Pro 1 and Surface Pro 2 devices from working. This also fixes the issue with the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows not working. and other wireless network adapters from third-parties such as D-Link.
  • We fixed an issue where File Explorer’s “Open Command window here” context menu option was opening set to the C:\Windows\System32 path, rather than the desired directory.
  • We fixed an issue potentially resulting in the taskbar no longer auto-hiding when a full screen window has focus (for example, when watching videos, gaming, or when using Remote Desktop). Note: If there’s an app that is asking for attention, it’s by design that the taskbar won’t hide (so you can see that there’s something trying to notify you).

Other improvements and fixes for Mobile

  • We fixed a scaling issue on devices such as the Lumia 635, 636, or 638 where the bottom of certain apps, like Messaging and Maps, would get cut off and rendered off screen.
  • We heard you and we have addressed the largest cause of reliability issues in Microsoft Edge running on Insider Preview builds. This should improve reliability on major websites such as Facebook and Outlook.com.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in the sound of key presses and lock/unlock being barely audible when the phone was using a moderate volume.
  • We fixed an issue where, if Quiet Hours had been turned on, banner notifications might not start appearing again until Action Center was opened or an interactive notification popped up and was dismissed.
  • We fixed an issue where Cortana would crash when trying to open Reminders page.
  • We have improved the reliability of VPN Settings page via Settings > Network & wireless > VPN.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in the thumbnail for portrait videos displaying with an incorrect aspect ratio in the Photos app when panning through the Camera Roll.

 Known issues for PC (UPDATED)

  • While using Narrator and Groove Music, if you navigate to the progress bar while a song is playing then Narrator will continually speak the progress of the song e.g. update with the current time of the progress bar every second. The result is you will be unable to listen to the song or hear any other control you navigate to.
  • You may experience a black screen when signing out and switching to another user account and will be unable to log in to that account. A reboot of your PC should allow you to log in to that account.
  • Oracle VM VirtualBox will crash on launch after upgrading to this build.
  • Optional components may not work after upgrading to this build. To get it working again, go to “Turn Windows features on or off”, scroll down and check the right optional component and click ok.  After a reboot, the optional component will be enabled again.
  • UPDATED: After updating to this build, built-in Windows 10 apps such as Calculator, Alarms & Clock, and Voice Recorder may not work. To get these apps working again, go to the Store and re-download/install them.
  • For keyboard users, using tab to navigate the Settings app will not work in this build. The arrow keys should work as a temporary workaround.

 Known issues for Mobile (UPDATED)

  • Some devices such as the Lumia 650 will fail to install this build with Error 0x80188308. We are currently investigating this issue.
  • Action Center no longer closes if you swipe up on the empty space (area of Action Center that doesn’t show any notifications).
  • Using your phone as a mobile hotspot will work the first time but subsequent attempts to use the feature will result in the inability to enable the hotspot until the phone is rebooted.
  • ADDED: We are investigating small set of isolated reports that after upgrading to Build 14926, the pin pad is no longer visible to unlock the phone even after rebooting the phone. If you have hit this issue, you can follow the steps here for resetting an unresponsive phone (hard reset) which gets your phone back into a working state on Build 14926.
  • ADDED: We are also investigating reports that after upgrading to Build 14926, some phones lose the ability to use their SIM card. A hard reset also fixes this issue as well. See this forum post for more information.

Read more at Windows Blogs

Fast Ring: Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14915 for PC and Mobile

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A small heads up, on some devices this build breaks Wi-Fi, installing an older driver fixes it for most

Hello Windows Insiders!

It’s been a busy few weeks here in Redmond. Last week, we had engineering reviews where each team presented their plans for the next few months to make sure that the customer scenarios we want to deliver are all prioritized appropriately. It was great to see all of the Windows leaders in the same room and the energy and excitement about this release was obvious by some of the live-tweeting that went on during the week. You will see the results of the reviews in the builds that will be coming out in the next few months.

Now, onto the news you all have been waiting for! Today we are excited to be releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14915 for PC and Mobile to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring.

Improving app and update downloads in Windows 10 with Delivery Optimization

Starting today, Windows Insiders that have Delivery Optimization enabled will be able to download new Insider Preview builds, OS updates, and app updates from other PCs on their local network as well as from other PCs on the Internet. We introduced Delivery Optimization with the Windows 10 November Update giving users the ability to get updates from PCs on a local network and are now enabling the ability to get updates from PCs on the Internet. When enabled, your PC may also send parts of apps or updates that you have downloaded using Delivery Optimization to other PCs. To check your settings for Delivery Optimization, go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Advanced options and choosing “Choose how updates are delivered.”

image: https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2016/08/delivery-optimization-1024×929.png

Delivery Optimization in Settings. When Delivery Optimization is used on your PC to download apps and OS updates from other PCs on your network or the Internet for the first time, you will see a notification in the Action Center.

In addition to downloading apps, app updates and OS updates from the Windows Update servers, Delivery Optimization will look for nearby PCs on your local network or on the Internet that have Delivery Optimization enabled and find the app or OS update you need that may be even closer to your PC. Rather than downloading an entire file from one machine, Delivery Optimization breaks the download into small pieces and uses what is assessed as the fastest, most reliable source for each piece of the file. Delivery Optimization is also mindful of local disk usage, use of cellular networks, battery life, and other network activity. It is also integrated with and builds on the existing security measures in Windows Update and Windows Store to check the authenticity of each file downloaded from other PCs. Particularly for PCs with challenging network conditions, this is designed to provide a better and more reliable download experience.

Delivery Optimization is on by default. If you don’t wish to use Delivery Optimization, you can turn it off by going to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Advanced options and choosing “Choose how updates are delivered”.  You can also choose instead to use Delivery Optimization only for your local network. And system administrators can use Group Policies or MDM policies to configure these settings as well as manage advanced settings such as extending the definition of a local network beyond the LAN to allow PCs in remote offices to collaborate seamlessly.

Since introducing Delivery Optimization for PCs on your local network in the Windows 10 November Update, we have seen more and more people adopt and benefit from this feature in the past year, anywhere from small businesses to large enterprises with thousands of Windows 10 PCs. We have seen a 30% – 50% reduction in Internet bandwidth usage required to keep multiple PCs on the same local network up-to-date with the latest Insider Preview builds and apps from the Store.

Please help us test this feature and share your feedback! Today we are also publishing a Quest so more Windows Insiders can try this feature out on the next flight and provide additional feedback on this experience we can use during our development of Windows.  For more information on Delivery Optimization in Windows 10 – check out this FAQ.

Improvements and fixes for PC

  • We fixed the issue with being unable to use the power button on the Start menu.
  • We fixed the issue causing Cortana’s text to speech capabilities to not work. Cortana should be able to read text messages out loud for you, tell jokes, sing, or give verbal prompts as expected.
  • We fixed the issue causing the Settings app to crash on certain editions of Windows 10 when navigating to different settings pages due to a missing .dll file.
  • We made a number of improvements to translations, including fixing an issue in Windows Update where it would say “your phone is up to date” in French when confirming that your PC was up to date.
  • Changing functionality via Settings > Update & security > Windows Insider Program such as your ring settings should now work again on this build. For more information – see this forum post.
  • We fixed a compatibility issue from a recent platform change that causes apps such as Yahoo Mail, Trivia Crack, Google and the Skype Translator Preview app to crash.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders experiencing a delay in Mail notification toasts appearing.
  • We fixed an issue where the “Open with” dialog’s “Look for another app on this PC” link wasn’t working if the dialog appeared after using the “Run” dialog to open a file with an unassociated file type.
  • We have updated the Connect flyout so that the clickable area for each device listed now spans across the full width of the flyout.
  • We fixed an issue where if a Chinese Input Method Editor is active it could result in logging in to not succeed after device goes into and is woken up from Connected Standby.
  • We fixed an issue where for certain websites in Microsoft Edge, using CTRL + A to select all text and then copying it and trying to paste it into Notepad wouldn’t paste anything.
  • We fixed an issue where importing favorites into Microsoft Edge from Internet Explorer would fail if the Favorites folder had been redirected to another folder, for example “C:\Users\<user>\Documents\Favorites”.

Improvements and fixes for Mobile

  • We fixed the issue causing apps to get stuck in a pending state if you move apps between a SD card and internal storage (either direction).
  • We fixed the issue causing Cortana’s text to speech capabilities to not work. Cortana should be able to read text messages out loud for you, tell jokes, sing, or give verbal prompts as expected.
  • Changing functionality via Settings > Update & security > Windows Insider Program such as your ring settings should now work again on this build. For more information – see this forum post.
  • We fixed a compatibility issue from a recent platform change that causes apps such as Yahoo Mail, Trivia Crack, Google and the Skype Translator Preview app to crash.
  • We made a number of improvements to translations, including fixing an issue with Store app install notifications, where the wrong verb was used in German when letting you know to check out the app.
  • We have updated “You need to fix your MSA” notification toast logic, so it will no longer notify you multiple times in quick succession.
  • We fixed an issue where examining Microsoft Edge’s advanced settings would result in subsequent downloads in Edge saving to the default locations, rather the preferred locations set under Settings > System > Storage.
  • We fixed an issue for Continuum-capable devices that could result in being temporarily unable to connect to a previously paired Windows 10 PC.
  • We have updated the settings for sounds so that .mp3 or .wma files downloaded straight from OneDrive or copied from File Explorer to the phone’s Ringtones folder will now display automatically in the list of available sounds for ringtones, alarms and notifications.

 Known issues for PC

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader crashes when you try to launch it.
  • You may experience a black screen when signing out and switching to another user account and will be unable to log in to that account. A reboot of your PC should allow you to log in to that account.
  • Bash may not work after upgrading to this build. To get it working again, go to “Turn Windows features on or off”, scroll down and check “Windows Subsystem for Linux (beta)” and click ok.  After a reboot, Bash should work again.
  • The Settings app may crash when going to Settings > Personalization.

Known issues for Mobile

  • We don’t have any known issues to list right now for Mobile with this build but that doesn’t mean there are not any issues. If anything pops up based on feedback, we’ll add to this list.

Read more at Windows Blogs

Fast Ring: Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14905 for PC & Mobile

Microsoft has released the first build of Redstone 2 to the Fast Ring Insiders, running smooth!

Don’t be shy give it a try!

Here’s what’s new in Build 14905 for Mobile

  • We are introducing a newly refined sound set in this build, uniting the best of our past and present. We aspire to set a new bar for mobile sound set quality, and are trying to make the soundscape of technology more beautiful and harmonious. This also helps align with new sound design direction of the Windows platform as a whole, so that mobile sounds will family with desktop and tablet and be feel instantly familiar to all Windows users. We will continue to evolve – head to Settings > Personalization > Sounds to see the updated list of available sounds and let us know what you think!

Improvements and fixes for PC

  • We have fixed an issue causing a large blank space to appear between the address bar and web content after the address bar moves back to the top when opening a new tab in Microsoft Edge.
  • We have updated Narrator Scan mode for table navigation to now support CTRL + ALT + HOME to go to the beginning of the table CTRL + ALT + END to go to the end of the table.
  • Microsoft Edge now supports the CTRL + O keyboard shortcut for setting focus to the address bar.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in Sketchpad and Screen Sketch crashing after trying to change the ink color twice in a row when the ruler was visible.

Improvements and fixes for Mobile

  • Missed call notifications are now more actionable, with inline options to call back, text or remind yourself to do something about it later.
  • We fixed an issue where videos played in Windows Phone 8 apps might not pause when an incoming call was received.
  • We fixed an issue where, if “Show my caller ID” is set to “My contacts”, the contact being called might still see a blocked caller ID.
  • We fixed an issue where the Lock screen might fail to update to the new time after a time zone change.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in music not resuming after a call was finished, if Turn-by-Turn directions were being read out from the Maps app when the phone call came in.

Known issues for PC

  • Support for kernel debugging over 1394 has been removed, but will be available in an upcoming kit release. A work-around will be posted to the Debugging Tools for Windows Blog shortly.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader crashes when you try to launch it.
  • Cortana’s text to speech capabilities is not working in this build. For example, Cortana won’t be able to read text messages out loud for you, tell jokes, sing, or give verbal prompts.
  • When clicking on the power button on the Start menu, it closes the Start menu without opening the flyout with restart/shutdown options appearing. As a workaround – you can right-click on the Start button (or WIN + X) and choose to shutdown via this menu instead.
  • Apps such as Yahoo Mail, Trivia Crack, Google and the Skype Translator Preview app will crash in this build due to a compatibility issue from a recent platform change.
  • The Settings app may crash on certain editions of Windows 10 when navigating to different settings pages due to a missing .dll file. We are working on getting this fixed soon.

Known issues for Mobile

  • If you move apps between a SD card and internal storage (either direction), those apps will get stuck in a pending state. The workaround to get your apps working again is to uninstall the app through Settings > System > Storage (apps cannot be uninstalled from All apps list). Then you can re-install the app from the Store.
  • Cortana’s text to speech capabilities is not working in this build. For example, Cortana won’t be able to read text messages out loud for you, tell jokes, sing, or give verbal prompts.

Final WIP T-shirt Contest Design
Read more at Windows Blog

Further simplifying servicing models for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

Windows-Update-Logo

Microsoft is changing the way Windows 7 & 8 are updated to simplify you update & patching work:

In our announcement earlier in May, we introduced a Convenience Rollup update for Windows 7 SP1 and a shift to monthly rollups of non-security updates for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1. Based on your feedback, today we’re announcing some new changes for servicing Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1. These changes also apply to Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2. (Note: A rollup is multiple patches rolled together into a single update.)

Why we’re introducing Windows servicing changes

Historically, we have released individual patches for these platforms, which allowed you to be selective with the updates you deployed. This resulted in fragmentation where different PCs could have a different set of updates installed leading to multiple potential problems:

  • Various combinations caused sync and dependency errors and lower update quality
  • Testing complexity increased for enterprises
  • Scan times increased
  • Finding and applying the right patches became challenging
  • Customers encountered issues where a patch was already released, but because it was in limited distribution it was hard to find and apply proactively

By moving to a rollup model, we bring a more consistent and simplified servicing experience to Windows 7 SP1 and 8.1, so that all supported versions of Windows follow a similar update servicing model. The new rollup model gives you fewer updates to manage, greater predictability, and higher quality updates. The outcome increases Windows operating system reliability, by eliminating update fragmentation and providing more proactive patches for known issues. Getting and staying current will also be easier with only one rollup update required. Rollups enable you to bring your systems up to date with fewer updates, and will minimize administrative overhead to install a large number of updates. (Note: Several update types aren’t included in a rollup, such as those for Servicing Stack and Adobe Flash.)

Monthly Rollup

From October 2016 onwards, Windows will release a single Monthly Rollup that addresses both security issues and reliability issues in a single update. The Monthly Rollup will be published to Windows Update (WU), WSUS, SCCM, and the Microsoft Update Catalog. Each month’s rollup will supersede the previous month’s rollup, so there will always be only one update required for your Windows PCs to get current. i.e. a Monthly Rollup in October 2016 will include all updates for October, while November 2016 will include October and November updates, and so on. Devices that have this rollup installed from Windows Update or WSUS will utilize express packages, keeping the monthly download size small.

Over time, Windows will also proactively add patches to the Monthly Rollup that have been released in the past. Our goal is eventually to include all of the patches we have shipped in the past since the last baseline, so that the Monthly Rollup becomes fully cumulative and you need only to install the latest single rollup to be up to date. We encourage you to move to the Monthly Rollup model to improve reliability and quality of updating all versions of Windows.

We are planning to add these previously shipped patches over the next year and will document each addition so IT admins know which KBs have been included each month.

Security-only updates

Also from October 2016 onwards, Windows will release a single Security-only update. This update collects all of the security patches for that month into a single update. Unlike the Monthly Rollup, the Security-only update will only include new security patches that are released for that month. Individual patches will no longer be available. The Security-only update will be available to download and deploy from WSUS, SCCM, and the Microsoft Update Catalog. Windows Update will publish only the Monthly Rollup – the Security-only update will not be published to Windows Update. The security-only update will allow enterprises to download as small of an update as possible while still maintaining more secure devices.

Update documentation changes

To bring consistency to the release notes model introduced with Windows 10, we will also be updating our down-level documentation to provide consolidated release notes with the Rollups for all supported versions of Windows. We’ll extend and provide release notes for monthly rollup updates and also the security-only updates that will be introduced from October 2016.

Microsoft Update Catalog

The Microsoft Update Catalog website is being updated to remove the ActiveX requirement so it can work with any browser. Currently, Microsoft Update Catalog still requires that you use Internet Explorer. We are working to remove the ActiveX control requirement, and expect to launch the updated site soon.

.NET Framework Monthly Rollup

The .NET Framework will also follow the Monthly Rollup model with a monthly release known as the .NET Framework Monthly Rollup. The monthly .NET Framework Monthly Rollup will deliver both security and reliability updates to all versions of the .NET Framework as a single monthly release, targeting the same timing and cadence as Windows. It is important to note that the rollup for the .NET Framework will only deliver security and quality updates to the .NET Framework versions currently installed on your machine. It will not automatically upgrade the base version of the .NET Framework that is installed. Additionally, the .NET Framework team will also release a security-only update on Microsoft Update Catalog and Windows Server Update Services every month.

 

We hope these changes further simply your patching of Windows 7 & 8.1 systems.

Source: Technet

What’s new in Microsoft Edge with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

It’s been just over a year since we first introduced Microsoft Edge, the brand new browser for Windows 10. We took a new direction, establishing Microsoft Edge as a browser for doing more on the web, with reading tools, notetaking, and Cortana built-in.  We built it on top of the Universal Windows Platform, which includes our brand-new web rendering engine, EdgeHTML.  Altogether Microsoft Edge delivers a faster, more efficient, more compatible, more secure, and more productive experience to all Windows 10 customers.

Over the last year we’ve been hard at work taking Microsoft Edge to the next level with features and improvements that make every part of the browser better. In the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft Edge has support for browser extensions from the Windows Store, dozens of new features, and major improvements to power efficiency, and security. It’s also the most accessible browser we’ve ever shipped, and the first browser to score a perfect 100% on HTML5Accessibility.com! Let’s walk through some of what’s new and available for all customers today.

Customize your browser with Microsoft Edge extensions

Extensions have been the number one feature request since we first shipped Windows 10 last July, and after previewing a growing set of extensions with Windows Insiders over the last several months, we’re thrilled to make them available to the general public alongside the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

image: https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2016/08/extensions1.png

Screen capture showing a selection of 12 extensions available from the Windows Store

Microsoft Edge Extensions available from the Windows Store

Today, a selection of popular extensions is available from the Windows Store, including extensions from popular brands like AdBlock and Adblock Plus, Amazon, Evernote, LastPass, Microsoft Translate, Office Online, Pinterest, Pocket and more. We’ll continue to bring others to the Windows Store in future updates, ensuring the highest quality for our customers.

You can find extensions in the Windows Store here or by selecting “Extensions” from the Microsoft Edge menu. Try them out, and don’t forget to leave a review for your favorite extensions in the Windows Store.

Our most accessible browser ever

In September 2015, we outlined the state of support for popular assistive technologies in Microsoft Edge and shared our roadmap to improve that support. Since then, our investment in accessibility has paid off in EdgeHTML 14, and we’re proud to say that Microsoft Edge in the Anniversary Update is easily the most accessible browser we’ve ever shipped as well as the only browser to earn a perfect score on HTML5Accessibility’s browser benchmark.

image: https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2016/08/html5a11y1-1024×338.png

Screen capture showing browser scores on HTML5Accessibility.com. Chrome 52: 81%. Firefox 47: 89%. IE11: 56%. Safari 9.1: 73%. Edge 14: 100%.

Browser accessibility scores from HTML5Accessibility

We’ve made major improvements and hundreds of bug fixes so that Microsoft Edge is easier to navigate with a keyboard and with assistive technologies like screen readers, including better support for PDF files, Narrator support for address bar suggestions and instant answers, and a wide range of improvements to common daily browsing features such as tabs, windows, and favorites. We also built an all-new accessibility architecture for our rendering engine, so developers can build more accessible user experiences powered by HTML5.

We’ve always been committed to making the web just work for everyone, and with these changes we’re proud to provide a better experience to the broad spectrum of users who depend on assistive technology every day.

Built by you: New features from top Windows Insider feedback

Over the last year, we’ve been listening closely to feedback from Windows 10 customers and our Windows Insiders, and that feedback led to dozens of new features in the Anniversary Update.

Pinned tabs

You can now create pinned tabs to keep your most used sites and web apps available just a click away – simply right-click any tab and choose “Pin.”

image: https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2016/08/pinned-tabs.png

Screen capture showing pinned tabs in Microsoft Edge

Pinned tabs in Microsoft Edge

Pinned tabs always appear at the start of the tab row, and only show the site’s icon. Pinned tabs that are in your Microsoft Edge window when you close the app will come back the next time you open Microsoft Edge.

Paste and go

Starting with the Anniversary Update, if you have copied a link in your clipboard, you can right-click in the address bar and choose “Paste and go” from the context menu to instantly navigate to the site.

image: https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2016/08/paste-and-go.png

Screen capture showing "Paste and Go" in the Microsoft Edge context menu

“Paste and go” in Microsoft Edge

If you copy something other than a link to your clipboard, you will instead see a “paste and search” option.

Notifications from websites

Microsoft Edge now support notifications from open websites, so you can stay up to date with messages or updates from your favorite sites like Skype for Web, Slack, or WhatsApp.

image: https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2016/08/web-notification.png

Screen capture showing a notification dialog from Skype for Web in Microsoft Edge

Sample notification from Skype for Web

Microsoft Edge will always ask for your permission before allowing a site to send you notifications, and you can manage notifications from Settings in Microsoft Edge or by right clicking a notification in Windows 10’s Action Center.

Swipe to navigate

You can now navigate back and forward with the swipe of a fingertip. On a touchscreen PC or a Windows 10 Mobile device, simply drag a finger across the page to the right or left to go to the previous or next page in your history.

Ask Cortana about any image

Right click on any picture on the web and select “Ask Cortana” to learn more about the picture you selected in order to identify related information or look up related pictures.

image: https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2016/08/ask-cortana-1-300×286.png

Handwritten text reading "Right click, ask cortana" with an arrow pointing to a cat picture

image: https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2016/08/ask-cortana-2-300×264.png

Picture of a cat in a teacup

Better favorites

You can now import favorites from Firefox, in addition to Chrome and Internet Explorer. When you import favorites from any browser, they will now land in a separate clearly labeled folder, instead of mixed in with your existing favorites. Organizing your favorites is now easier using the new “tree” display in the Hub. You can expand and collapse folders to see the contents of as many or few as you like. You can now also sort favorites by name in the favorites pane, and easily rearrange or move favorites between folders with drag and drop. In the Favorites Bar, you can now right-click on the favorites bar to display icons only, rename items, or create new folders.

Better download management

Microsoft Edge now gives you a reminder of in-progress downloads whenever you close Microsoft Edge. This gives you the opportunity to complete downloads prior to closing Microsoft Edge. You can also set where downloaded files are saved by default. Just open “Settings”, choose “Advanced settings”, and find the new option under “Downloads.”

Drag and drop folders

You can now upload folders to sites like OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive by dragging and dropping into Microsoft Edge.

Better tab behavior on Mobile

Microsoft Edge keeps your tabs under control when you use it with apps on your phone. If you tap on a link in an app that opens a new tab in Microsoft Edge, pressing the back button when you’re done will close that tab, then take you back to the app. Your tabs list stays lean and relevant, by smartly closing tabs you’re done with.

Tab previews on HoloLens

Hover over tabs on HoloLens just like you would on a PC to see a thumbnail preview of the page.

And much more!

That’s just the beginning – the Anniversary Update contains many more changes and improvements! You can learn more about what’s new in Microsoft Edge with the Anniversary Update by opening the “…” menu and selecting “What’s new and tips.”

Better basics: More efficient, more compatible, and more secure than ever

The Anniversary Update is more than just new features! We’ve also improved power efficiency, compatibility, and security, so customers can browse with confidence that their battery will last, their sites will just work, and they will be protected from malware and other threats by industry-leading security.

All day efficiency

We’ve added even more endurance to the longest-lasting browser on Windows. The Anniversary Update is more efficient when you have tabs open in the background, with savings of up to 90% in some cases.

Microsoft Edge will also now pause non-essential Flash content like advertisements until you click to play, which saves power and improves performance. We’ve also isolated Flash from your page content, so if Flash consumes too many resources or crashes, Windows can stop it without impacting the rest of the website.

More compatible with popular sites

With the Anniversary Update, Microsoft Edge includes support for dozens of new HTML5 standards, media formats, and JavaScript features, including new web standards that will let sites use Windows Hello to sign you in with your face or fingerprint. You can read more about the dozens of new standards supported in our post on the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog, Introducing EdgeHTML 14.

Safer than ever

Microsoft Edge set a new high bar for security, isolating web pages from the rest of the system and making it harder for exploits to gain access to your operating system and personal information. In November, we added more protections to prevent malicious programs injecting themselves into the browser without the user’s knowledge.

In the Anniversary Update, we’re making attacks more difficult with advanced new features like Kernel Attack Protection. In addition, Flash is now isolated to a separate process running in a separate AppContainer, reducing the risk associated with Flash vulnerabilities.

Enterprise-Ready Browsing

Microsoft Edge delivers a faster, more efficient, more compatible, more secure, and more productive browsing experience for all Windows 10 customers. We’ve made some improvements specifically for enterprise customers as well: The Windows 10 Anniversary Update will enable organizations to use Microsoft Edge as their safer, faster default browser, falling back to Internet Explorer 11 only for approved sites that need backward compatibility. Interstitial pages (“Your organization has set this site to automatically open in Internet Explorer”) no longer display by default, and you can restrict the use of Internet Explorer to sites on the Enterprise Mode Site List. We’ve added other management policies based on customer feedback, including both “user” and “computer” policies. Microsoft Edge is great for enterprises, too.

Better with your feedback

Your feedback makes Microsoft Edge better! We’re never done improving, so we’re eager to hear even more feedback on these changes and what you’d like to see next. You can submit your ideas and vote on suggestions by selecting “Send feedback” from the Actions menu (“…”) in Microsoft Edge.
Read more at Windows Blog

Fast Ring: Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14393 for PC and Mobile

windows-10-logo

Keeping up the fast pase, getting very close to the Anniversary build…

Improvements and fixes for PC

  • We have improved the reliability of Start, Cortana, and Action Center.
  • You should now be able to mount iPods as USB mass-storage devices.

Improvements and fixes for Mobile

  • We fixed an issue resulting in rapid battery drain when Visual Voicemail syncs voicemail messages on Dual SIM devices like the Lumia 950 XL.
  • We also fixed an issue causing some battery drain on older devices like the Lumia 535, 640, 735, 830, 930 and Icon.
  • We fixed the issue causing Voice Recorder to not show up consistently as an option for Call Recording. A app update was released last Friday that fixes this issue. Make sure you have the app version 10.1607.1931.0.
  • We fixed several issues impacting Dual SIM capabilities. Using a device with two SIMs should work as it should.

Known issues for PC

  • We are aware of certain cases in which Surface Books and Surface Pro 4’s may bugcheck (bluescreen) due to a camera driver issue. An updated driver will roll-out via Windows Update soon that will fix this. After updating to this build (Build 14393), you should no longer experience bugchecks (bluescreens) due to a camera driver issue. The bad driver is removed on updating to this build and a new driver is rolling out via Windows Update.

Known issues for Mobile

  • We are continuing to investigate W-Fi issues on certain devices.
  • Turning off Bluetooth can sometimes result in freeze, crash, or reset. See this forum post for more details.
  • Wallet users are prompted for a PIN twice when using tap to pay from a locked phone. You can enter their PIN twice and tap as usual once the phone is unlocked. A fix for this will come as a Wallet app update via the Store. UPDATE 7/19: An updated version of the Wallet app is going out via the Store with the fix to this issue.
  • REMINDER: We have changed the backup format for Windows 10 Mobile devices to reduce the size of the backup stored in OneDrive. As a result, if you do a backup on a device running the latest Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview builds and move back to the released version of Windows 10 Mobile (Build 10586) and restore from your backup – your Start screen layout won’t restore and remain the default Start layout. Your previous backup also gets overwritten. If you need to go back to Build 10586 temporarily, once you are on Build 10586 you should disable backup so it doesn’t overwrite the good backup from Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview builds. We will stop noting this going forward.

Read more at Windows Blog