Check the service health of your Office 365 service on the go


As we discussed in a recent blog post,  Cloud services you can trust, “Transparency requires consistent communication.”  We’re working to improve the transparency of the Office 365 service by continuously improving our communication with customers on changes that impact the Office 365 environment. Recently we deployed the improved Message Center, which delivers messages targeted to your organization. Now we’re introducing another communication tool, one that was recently demoed on the November 6 episode of The Garage Series– a new app for on-the-go service health checks.

Starting today, Office 365 service administrators can connect to their organization’s Office 365 service status from wherever they are with the Office 365 Admin app. The new app enables administrators to view service health information and maintenance status updates from their mobile device. They can also filter information by service subscriptions and configure app data refresh intervals.

Administrators can use the Office 365 Admin app to check the overall health of their organization’s services, see the health of individual services, and set data refresh intervals.

To access service health data with the Office 365 Admin app, you must have an active Office 365 subscription with administrator user rights. Also, this app does not currently support Windows Azure Active Directory Multi-Factor Authentication.

The Office 365 Admin app is in the process of rolling out across multiple platforms, starting with Windows Phone 8 today and followed by Android (4.2.1 and up) and iOS 7 in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to this blog and your Message Center. You’ll be notified as soon as the app is available on Google Play and in the Apple App Store.

To access the frequently asked questions or to follow what the community has to say about the app, please click this link.

Download the app on the Windows Phone 8 Store.

Microsoft releases My Server 2012 R2 app for Windows Phone 8

While we are still waiting for Microsoft to release a full Windows 8.1 remote desktop app for Windows Phone users, the company did release an app this week that lets owners of those devices perform remote tasks on Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials from their smartphone.

The My Server 2012 R2 app, currently available to download for free from the Windows Phone Store, has a pretty bare bones description from Microsoft. It states:

My Server for Windows Phone is an application designed to help you keep seamlessly connected to your server resources through Windows smart phones. With My Server, you can manage users, devices, alerts, and access shared files in Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials.

Earlier this year, Microsoft released a similar My Server app for Windows 8 and RT PCs. It would appear that this new Windows Phone version is an extension of the work done with the Windows 8 app.

Microsoft has released full Windows 8.1 remote desktop apps for iOS and Android devices, along with Mac OS X PCs. The company has already stated it will release a similar app for Windows Phone owners but there’s no specific release date yet.

Source: Windows Phone Store | Image via Microsoft

Free ebook: Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2

Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 coverCheck out this new free ebook – Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 by Mitch Tulloch.

Download the PDF here
Download the ePub file here
Download the mobi file here
Print version for sale here


This book is intended to provide you with an overview of the new features and enhancements introduced in Windows Server 2012 R2. The intended audience for this book is IT pros who deploy, manage, and maintain Windows Server workloads in data center, private cloud, and hosting provider environments.

We assume that you are at least somewhat familiar with the features and capabilities of the previous platform Windows Server 2012. If you are not familiar with all the new features and enhancements Microsoft introduced previously in Windows Server 2012, we recommend that you first read Introducing Windows Server 2012 RTM Edition (Microsoft Press, 2012).

A key feature of this book is the technical sidebars that have been contributed by Microsoft insiders. These sidebars were written by experts who have been closely involved in the Windows Server 2012 R2 development process and include Program Managers, Support Escalation Engineers, Technical Consultants, Data Center Specialists, and others who work at Microsoft in various capacities.


Source: Microsoft Press Blog

Free ebook: Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals


Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals Technical Overview coverWe’re happy to announce that Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals by Ed Bott is ready for download in PDF format.


Download PDF here
Download Mobi (for Kindle) here
Download ePub here



It’s difficult to believe that Windows 8 was introduced only a year ago, and yet today its successor, Windows 8.1, is ready for widespread adoption. By Microsoft’s standards, that is warp speed. And it is a tribute to the developers who designed and built Windows 8 and 8.1 that they have been able to sustain that pace and deliver such a polished product.
The Windows 8 product line represents a radical departure for Microsoft. A new user experience. A new app platform. New security features and new management tools. If you’re an IT pro, you have the daunting job of helping your users adapt to the newness of Windows 8.1 while you try to stay at least one step ahead.
Although I’ve written in-depth guides to Windows in the past, this book is not one of those. Nor do I pretend to offer much in the way of opinions or review. Only you can decide whether and how and when to incorporate Windows 8.1 into your enterprise, based on your own organizational requirements.
My goal in this book is to help you on that upgrade path by presenting the facts and features about Windows 8.1 as clearly as I can. If you’ve been living in an environment built around a previous version of Windows, you have a lot to absorb in the transition to Windows 8.1. I’ve tried to lay out those facts in as neutral a fashion as possible, starting with an overview of the operating system, explaining the many changes to the user experience, and diving deep into deployment and management tools where it’s necessary.
By design, this book focuses on things that are new, with a special emphasis on topics of interest to IT pros. So you might find fewer tips and tricks about the new user experience than your users want but more about management, deployment, and security—which ultimately is what matters to the long-term well-being of the company you work for.

Source: Microsoft Press Blog

Internet Explorer 11 RTM now available for Windows 7 users

Internet Explorer 11 RTM now available for Windows 7 users

The final version of Internet Explorer 11 is now available to download for Windows 7 users running Service Pack 1. Those who wish to wait for Internet Explorer 10 to be upgraded automatically will receive Internet Explorer 11 in the coming weeks. You don’t have to wait for the update though, as Microsoft has made Internet Explorer 11 available as a standalone installer as well.

Internet Explorer 11, while looking pretty much identical to Internet Explorer 10, features lots of new updates which are mostly under the hood, however Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7 isn’t as feature packed as it is on Windows 8.1.

There are a number of differences between the two, for example, features like Enhanced Protection Mode, High DPI Support, Device Syncing and Phone Number format support is not included in the Windows 7 version of Internet Explorer 11, whereas these features are present on Windows 8.1

You can download Internet Explorer 11 now for Windows 7 from the download links provided below. Will you be upgrading?


Windows 8.1 “SecureBoot isn’t configured correctly” watermark update

This update removes the watermark on your screen if you don’t want to turn on the secure boot option in your UEFI Bios:

Update not applicable trying to update your (european) Surface RT to 8.1 Preview?

quick fix:

– make sure you have the English language installed check language / your default language set to English US / check options, ‘windows display language’ states should be enabled.(if not select the download option)

– in HKey_Local_Machine/System/CurrentControlSet/Control/Nls/Language change the string “InstallLanguage” to 409
– restart your Surface, and retry the update for

The update will now install and after reboot you’ll be notified to update to 8.1 via the Store.

Mind this does take a while, but it’s worth the wait 🙂

Windows 8.1 Preview now available, download here!

Windows 8.1 Start Screen

Microsoft have finally released the highly anticipated Windows 8.1 Preview for the public to download and install. The Preview was shown off earlier today at the BUILD developer conference, where Microsoft talked about the updates many new features.

The download is being distributed via a few different methods. The Preview is available via the Windows Store, or via traditional ISO methods. The user can choose how they wish to upgrade to Windows 8.1. The ISO’s are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit variant’s.

The Windows 8.1 Preview features many new additions to the Start Screen and desktop, including more tile sizes, boot-to-desktop and more tweaks and perks. What are you waiting for? Check the link below and get your download on!

Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Preview Available for Download

Finally the preview is available, time for testing!



Microsoft talks more about IE10 security features

In May, NSS Labs issued the results of its study of web browsers in terms of blocking malware. It showed Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 blocking 99.96 percent of all malware during their test period, which was a much better percentage than Chrome or Firefox. Today, Microsoft went over some of the features in IE10 that helps it stop malware and other security issues along with the results of another security report.

The official IE blog states that for stopping direct malware attacks via websites, IE10 uses a combination of SmartScreen URL filtering and Application Reputation features. For websites that are normally trusted but become infected by malware, IE10 users can use the XSS Filter that is made to fight off these kinds of exploits. Finally, IE10 has more memory protection features and its Enhanced Protected Mode.

Microsoft cites another third party security report, the Secunia Vulnerability Review 2013, to show IE10 is better than its competitors in offering safer PC Internet browsing. The report claims that IE10 had just 10 Secunia Advisories and 41 vulnerabilities, compared to 28 advisories in Chrome and 28 in Firefox. In terms of vulnerabilities, Secunia said that Chrome had 291 and Firefox had 257.

Of course, Microsoft is about to release the first public preview of IE11 next week for Windows 8 users as part of the Windows 8.1 update.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft