Aug 11 2014

Update 2 for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 coming this week

Update 2 is set to arrive on August 12, this week’s Patch on Tuesday.

Up until a couple of months ago, Update 2 was going to include the new mini Start menu. But officials decided to postpone availability of that new Start Menu, as well as the ability to run windowed Metro-Style apps on the desktop, for Windows Threshold. (Threshold, aka Windows 9, is due in the spring of 2015.)

The Windows 8.1 Update 2 deliverables are fairly minor, as previously rumored. For Windows 8.1, those updates include:

  • Precision touchpad improvements: Three new end-user settings have been added: Leave touch pad on when a mouse is connected; allow right-clicks on the touchpad; double-tap and drag.
  • Miracast Receive: Exposes a set of Wi-Fi direct APIs for Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) drivers or OEM drivers to develop Windows 32-bit applications that run on all supported x86-based or x64-based versions of Windows 8.1, enabling the computer as a Miracast receiver.
  • Minimizing login prompts for SharePoint Online: Reduces the number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites. Users who select the “Keep me signed in” check box when logging on for the first time, won’t see prompts for successive access to that SharePoint Online site.

Windows Server 2012 R2 users will get bug fixes that will improve infrastructural performance and reliability as part of Update 2. Officials said there will be no changes to system application programming interfaces (APIs), so applications should “just work” without the need for re-certification or re-validation.

For current Windows 8.1 consumers who have elected automatic updates, the Windows 8.1 Update 2 feature rollout will be gradual to ensure all customers receive the update in a timely manner. Those who wish to install the update ahead of automatic updates will be able to do so beginning August 12 manually via Windows Update.

The second Windows Server 2012 R2 update will be delivered automatically via Windows Update and optionally through Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). Enterprises can take the update anytime. Further details on the update will be available on August 12, according to company officials.

Aug 07 2014

Lync Server 2013 August Updates available

New cumulative updates for the Lync Server 2012 are available.

Check http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36820 for the update download.

Apr 03 2014

Windows Server 2012 R2 Update

Windows Server 2012 R2 Update is available for download for MSDN and Technet subscribers and it will be generally available through Windows Update starting on April 8, 2014.

Internet Explorer 11 now includes an “Enterprise Mode.” This mode is available if you disable Enhanced Security Configuration and provides better compatibility for sites designed for Internet Explorer 8, along with tools to manage which web apps use it. You can specify a list of web apps to render dynamically in Enterprise Mode, avoiding compatibility problems with web apps written for older versions of Internet Explorer. For more information, see the Internet Explorer 11 FAQ for IT Pros or TechNet documentation.

  • The user interface includes buttons for Search and Power on the Start page. If you install the Desktop Experience feature, other changes introduced with Windows 8.1 Update will also be visible. For details, see What’s new in Windows 8.1 Update and Windows RT 8.1 Update. The specific Windows 8.1 features installed when you install Desktop Experience have not changed from those in Windows Server 2012 R2 (see Desktop Experience Overview).
  • Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) has added the capability for an administrator to enable signing in with an alternate login ID that is an attribute of the user object in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). This enables customers to adopt Azure Active Directory without modifying on-premises User Principal Names (UPNs). It also allows users to log in to the computer using an Office 365 email address instead of a UPN. This change does not affect the Active Directory schema. For more information, see Configuring Alternate Login ID.
  • The update includes all other updates released since Windows Server 2012 R2 was released.

To confirm the exact version of Windows Server 2012 R2 that is installed on a computer, run Msinfo32.exe. If Windows Server 2012 R2 Update is installed, the value reported for Hardware Abstraction Layer will be 6.3.9600.17031.

Apr 03 2014

Windows Server 2012 R2 Update and Windows 8.1 Update released

You’ll find both versions in your MSDN or TechNet Account.

They’ll also be release via Windows Updates in the next days.

 

Feb 26 2014

SP1 for Office Web Apps Server available for download

Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office Web Apps Server (KB2817431):
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42021

Feb 26 2014

Office 2013 SP1 available for download

Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office 2013 contains new updates which improve security, performance, and stability. Additionally, the SP is a roll-up of all previously released updates

Feb 26 2014

Exchange 2013 SP1 available for download

Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is now available for download! The final build number for Exchange Server 2013 SP1 is 15.00.0847.032.

Security and Compliance

SP1 provides enhancements improving security and compliance capabilities in Exchange Server 2013. This includes improvements in the Data Loss Prevention (DLP) feature and the return of S/MIME encryption for Outlook Web App users.

  • DLP Policy Tips in Outlook Web App – DLP Policy Tips are now enabled for Outlook Web App (OWA) and OWA for Devices. These are the same Policy Tips available in Outlook 2013. DLP Policy Tips appear when a user attempts to send a message containing sensitive data that matches a DLP policy. Learn more about DLP Policy Tips.
  • DLP Document Fingerprinting – DLP policies already allow you to detect sensitive information such as financial or personal data. DLP Document Fingerprinting expands this capability to detect forms used in your organization. For example, you can create a document fingerprint based on your organization’s patent request form to identify when users are sending that form, and then use DLP actions to properly control dissemination of the content. Learn more about DLP Document Fingerprinting.
  • DLP sensitive information types for new regions – SP1 provides an expanded set of standard DLP sensitive information types covering an increased set of regions. SP1 adds region support for Poland, Finland and Taiwan. Learn more about the DLP sensitive information types available.
  • S/MIME support for OWA – SP1 also reintroduces the S/MIME feature in OWA, enabling OWA users to send and receive signed and encrypted email. Signed messages allow the recipient to verify that the message came from the specified sender and contains the only the content from the sender. This capability is supported when using OWA with Internet Explorer 9 or later. Learn more about S/MIME in Exchange 2013.

Architecture & Administration

These improvements help Exchange meet our customer requirements and stay in step with the latest platforms.

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 support – Exchange 2013 SP1 adds Windows Server 2012 R2 as a supported operating system and Active Directory environment for both domain and forest functional levels. For the complete configuration support information refer to the Exchange Server Supportability Matrix. This matrix includes details regarding Windows Server 2012 R2 support information about earlier versions of Exchange.
  • Exchange Admin Center Cmdlet Logging – The Exchange 2010 Management Console includes PowerShell cmdlet logging functionality. Listening to your feedback, we’re happy to announce that this functionality is now included in the Exchange Admin Center (EAC). The logging feature enables you to capture and review the recent (up to 500) commands executed in the EAC user interface while the logging window is open. Logging is invoked from the EAC help menu and continues logging while the logging window remains open.
  • ADFS for OWA – Also new for Outlook Web App in SP1 is claims-based authentication for organizations using Active Directory Federation Services. Learn more about the scenario.
  • Edge Transport server role – SP1 also reintroduces the Edge Transport server role. If you have deployed Exchange 2013 with a supported legacy Exchange Edge Transport role, you don’t need to upgrade. That configuration is still supported. But we do recommend that future deployments use the Exchange 2013 Edge Transport role. Learn more about Edge Transport in Exchange 2013.
  • New communication method for Exchange and Outlook – SP1 introduces a new communication method for Exchange Server and Microsoft Outlook called MAPI over HTTP(MAPI/HTTP). This communication method simplifies connectivity troubleshooting and improves the user connection experience with resuming from hibernate or switching networks. MAPI/HTTP is disabled by default, allowing you to decide when to enable it for your organization. MAPI/HTTP can be used in place of RPC/HTTP (Outlook Anywhere) for your Outlook 2013 SP1 clients while Outlook 2013 RTM and older clients continue to use RPC/HTTP. Learn more about deploying MAPI/HTTP.
  • DAGs without Cluster Administrative Access PointsWindows Server 2012 R2 introduces failover clusters that can operate without an administrative access point: no IP addresses or IP address resource, no network name resource, and no cluster name object. SP1 enables you to create a DAG without an administrative access point on Windows Server 2012 R2 from EAC or PowerShell. This is an optional DAG configuration for SP1 and requires Windows Server 2012 R2. DAGs with administrative access points continue to be supported. Learn more about creating a DAG without an administrative access point here and here.
  • SSL offloading – SP1 now supports SSL offloading, allowing you to terminate incoming SSL connections in front of your CAS servers and move the SSL workload (encryption & decryption tasks) to a load balancer device. Learn how to configure SSL offloading in Exchange 2013.

User Experience

We know the user experience is crucial to running a great messaging platform. SP1 provides continued enhancements to help your users work smarter.

  • Enhanced text editor for OWA – OWA now uses the same rich text editor as SharePoint, thereby improving the user experience, and enabling several new formatting and composition capabilities that you expect from modern Web application – more pasting options, rich previews to linked content, and the ability to create and modify tables.
  • Apps for Office in Compose – Mail apps are now available for use during the creation of new mail messages. This allows developers to build and users to leverage apps that can help them while they are composing mails. The compose apps leverage the Apps for Office platform and can be added via the existing Office store or corporate catalogs. Learn more about Apps for Office.

Upgrading to SP1/Deploying SP1

As with all cumulative updates (CUs), SP1 is a full build of Exchange, and the deployment of SP1 is just like the deployment of a cumulative update.

Active Directory Preparation

Prior to or concurrent with upgrading or deploying SP1 onto a server, you must update Active Directory. These are the required actions to perform prior to installing SP1 on a server.

  1. Exchange 2013 SP1 includes schema changes. Therefore, you will need to execute the following command to apply the schema changes.setup.exe /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
  2. Exchange 2013 SP1 includes enterprise Active Directory changes (e.g., RBAC roles have been updated to support new cmdlets and/or properties). Therefore, you will need to execute the following command.setup.exe /PrepareAD /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Server Deployment

Once the above preparatory steps are completed, you can install SP1 on your servers. Of course, as always, if you don’t separately perform the above steps, they will be performed by Setup when you install your first Exchange 2013 SP1 server. If this is your first Exchange 2013 server deployment, you will need to deploy both Client Access Server and Mailbox Server roles in your organization.

If you already deployed Exchange 2013 RTM code and want to upgrade to SP1, you will run the following command from a command line.

setup.exe /m:upgrade /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Alternatively you can start the installation through the GUI installer.

Hybrid deployments and EOA

Customers in hybrid deployments where Exchange is deployed on-premises and in the cloud, or who are using Exchange Online Archiving (EOA) with their on-premises Exchange deployment are required to maintain currency on Cumulative Update/Service Pack releases.

Oct 18 2013

System Center 2012 R2 available

The System Center 2012 R2 Suite is available on TechNet and MSDN for download.

Sep 09 2013

Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 available for download

Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 are available for download on TechNet and MSDN.

The Enterprise Version will be released later this month.

 

Jun 26 2013

Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview available for download

You can now download the Preview of Windows Server 2012 R2 on MSDN and TechNet.

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