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

Windows 8.1 Preview will be available as an ISO on June 26

Windows 8.1 ISO instructions

For those who have been eagerly waiting for information regarding Windows 8.1 and whether or not it will be available in ISO format, today we have good news. The Windows 8.1 Preview will be available in ISO format the same day the update is pushed to the Windows Store, which means you can dual-boot or clean install on any hardware running any operating system.

The ISO will be available from Microsoft directly, however it is unclear where they will distribute them. It’s possible for the ISO’s to be available directly from the Windows 8.1 Preview website, or it a link to the ISO’s will be present on the Windows 8.1 Preview store listing.

Source: MyDigitalLife Forums

KB2821895 update for Windows 8 causes System File Checker to hang, eats up resources


​During the June 2013 Patch Tuesday, which took place June 11th, Microsoft rolled out a high-priority non-security update KB2821895 via Windows Update. This “servicing stack update” was available for Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012. However, after installing the update, some users are experiencing some major resource consumption issues when it comes to the System File Checker.

After installing the update and running the System File Checker, the process hangs at 100% CPU utilization while eating more RAM than necessary. This process eventually ends after roughly 30 minutes and states that it was “unable to fix problems” while generating a large CBS.log file that repeatedly states “Cannot repair member file.” Microsoft has not addressed this issue just yet so we will have to resort to an alternative means to bypass this update since we cannot manually remove it.
In order to fix this issue, run the following command as an Administrator:
DISM /Online /cleanup-image /RestoreHealth

MVA: What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2 Jump Start

Register today for this two-day, demo-rich Jump Start aimed at showing IT Pros the new capabilities and features of Windows Server 2012 R2. Join Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist Rick Claus and Lead Architect & President of holSystems Corey Hynes as they go through details of Windows Server 2012 vs Windows Server 2012 R2. Get ready for this live online interactive experience highlighting the latest and greatest via numerous scenarios and demos all while answering questions from the audience.

course outline

Day 1

01 | Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2

02 | Server Virtualization in WS 2012 R2

03 | Cloud Optimized Networking in Windows Server 2012 R2

04 | Storage in Windows Server 2012 R2

Day 2

01 | Server Management & Automation with Windows Server 2012 R2

02 | VDI with Windows Server 2012 R2

03 | Access & Information Protection with Windows Server 2012

04 | Web Application & Platform with Windows Server 2012

July 10 & 11, 2013     9:00am – 5:00pm (PDT)


Rick Claus  (Senior Technical Evangelist)

Corey Hynes (Lead Architect & President)

Register for the JumpStart