WindowsDon’t miss the Microsoft live media briefing called ”Windows 10: The next chapter” on January 21. It is held in in Redmond and will be available as a live webcast at www.microsoft.com/windows10story. An on-demand version will be available shortly after the event at the same link.

We expect to get to see presentations and previews of a variety of new features, including the look and feel of running it on mobile devices such as smartphones.

If you have not already, join the Windows Insider Program if you would like to test Windows 10 out for yourself.

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager

System Center Configuration Manager Team Blog gives an early preview of the in-place upgrade to Windows 10 process via the Configuration Manager task sequence.

The upgrade scenario is not new, or a replacement of a refresh, but the technology behind it has greatly improved says Aaron Czechowski as he explains the new in-place upgrade scenario for Windows 10 in this blog post.

System CenterAlong with the Technical Previews of Windows 10 and Windows Server, Microsoft has made the Microsoft System Center Technical Preview available for download. The Microsoft System Center Technical Preview delivers unified management across on-premises, service provider, and Microsoft Azure environments, thereby enabling the Microsoft Cloud OS.

System Center offers exciting new features and enhancements across infrastructure provisioning, infrastructure monitoring, application performance monitoring, automation, backup and IT service management.

The preview is focused on cloud based solutions and available for testing now are the following components: Orchestrator, Operations Manager, Data Protection Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, and Service Manager.

You can download the System Center Technical Preview from MS Evaluation Center.

For a preview of Configuration Manager, our favorite piece in the puzzle, we will have to wait until sometime in early 2015.

 

Microsoft has also released VHD files for each of the above mentioned products available in the current Technical Preview. These can be used to easily boot a virtual machine to start testing more quickly, retain custom settings, and allow you to start from a scratch installation if you need to.

Here are download-links for the VHD’s

Data Protection Manager
Operations Manager
Orchestrator
Service Manager
Virtual Machine Manager

 

Ps.
Don’t miss blog post from the SCCM Team about Windows 10 enterprise management with System Center Configuration Manager and Intune.

An early look at the future of the datacenter from Microsoft

Microsoft has made a “Technical Preview” available for the next version of Windows Server. It is an early release, and many of the features and scenarios are still in development, but it will give a good feeling for where Microsoft is heading – Cloud OS.

We are very excited about the new version, testing it out in our lab and will be reporting on our experiences further on. Go to Technet for more information about What’s New in Windows Server Technical Preview.

You can download the Windows Server Technical Preview from MS Evaluation Center.

 

WindowsA technical preview of Windows 10 will be made available very shortly through the Windows Insider Program, intended for PC experts and IT pros who are comfortable using pre-release software with variable quality. Insiders will receive a steady stream of early builds from us with the latest features we’re experimenting with.

Make sure to sign up if you like to take Windows 10 for a test drive.

 

Video with Joe Belfiore presenting Windows 10

 

Here are some highlights from the Windows Blog:

Start menu
The familiar Start menu is back, but it brings with it a new customizable space for your favorite apps and Live Tiles.

Everything runs in a window
Apps from the Windows Store now open in the same format that desktop apps do and can be resized and moved around, and have title bars at the top allowing for maximize, minimize, and close with a click.

Snap enhancements
You can now have four apps snapped on the same screen with a new quadrant layout. Windows will also show other apps and programs running for additional snapping and even make smart suggestions on filling available screen space with other open apps.

New task view button
There’s a new task-view button on the taskbar for quick switching between open files and quick access to any desktops you create.

Multiple desktops
Create desktops for different purposes and projects and switch between these desktops easily and pick up where you left off on each desktop.

Find files faster
File Explorer now displays your recent files and frequently visited folders making for finding files you’ve worked on is easier.

 

For more information about Windows 10 for Business check out this blog post: http://blogs.windows.com/business/2014/09/30/introducing-windows-10-for-business/

 

WindowsEarlier today in San Francisco Microsoft officially announced the next Windows version, previously codename Windows Threshold, and surprised just about everybody by naming it Windows 10 (and not Windows 9 as were expected).

While nothing was said about pricing or upgrade paths Microsoft said that a technical preview will be made available tomorrow (1 October ) and the final release (RTM) is planned to late 2015.

Windows 10 will be fully backwards compatible with old apps and it will be possible to run the ”Metro”-apps in desktop mode. It will be scalable on screens from 4 to 80 inches. ”Windows 10 will deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time” said Microsoft’s Terry Myerson.

Joe Belfiore also said tha the command prompt will allow you to use keyboard shortcuts, along with copy and paste.

As have been a public secret for some time now, the start menu returns but in a revamped form. Now it’s a combination of the “Metro” start screen (from Windows 8) and the traditional start menu (from previous Windows versions). The start menu now features a new universal search in the start menu that pulls in results from the web.

The tiles and icons that are shown are a blend of classic apps and new universal apps […]In Windows 8 when users launched a modern app, it sort of had a different environment, we don’t want that duality. We want users on PCs with mice and keyboards to have their familiar UI.” Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore said.

We will keep updating the blog with more information about Windows 10.

Windows 8.1Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft Ben Hunter recently blogged about a new way that Windows 8.1 can be installed while still ensuring that there is plenty of storage left for apps and data.

The method uses the well-known Windows Image Boot format. But instead of uncompressing the image during installation, WIMBoot keeps all of the operating system files compressed on a separate partition. From the user’s perspective, however, nothing looks any different: You still see a C: volume containing Windows, your apps, and all of your data.

A standard WIM file is not usually bigger than around 3GB. This allows for installation on devices with smaller disks, e.g. devices with 16GB or 32GB SSDs or eMMC storage, while still ensuring that there is plenty of storage left for apps and data.

Note that UEFI is a requirement and that WIMBoot will only be supported on Windows 8 logo-certified devices.

Read more about Windows Image File Boot (WIMBoot) here.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn594399.aspx

Read about Michael Niehaus experiences from experimenting with WIMBoot using MDT 2013 here:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/mniehaus/archive/2014/04/13/experimenting-with-wimboot-using-mdt-2013.aspx