Oct 02 2015

Exchange 2016 RTM

Exchange Server 2016 is here and available to download starting today!

Exchange 2016 builds on and improves features introduced in Exchange 2013, including Data Loss Prevention, Managed Availability, automatic recovery from storage failures, and the web-based Exchange admin center. Here are a few of the favorite new capabilities:

  • Better collaboration: Exchange 2016 includes a new approach to attachments that simplifies document sharing and eliminates version control headaches. In Outlook 2016 or Outlook on the web, you can now attach a document as a link to SharePoint 2016 (currently in preview) or OneDrive for Business instead of a traditional attachment, providing the benefits of coauthoring and version control.
  • Improved Outlook web experience: New significant updates to Outlook on the web. New features include: Sweep, Pin, Undo, inline reply, a new single-line inbox view, improved HTML rendering, new themes, emojis, and more.
  • Search: A lightning-fast search architecture delivers more accurate and complete results. Outlook 2016 is optimized to use the power of the Exchange 2016 back end to help you find things faster, across old mail and new. Search also gets more intelligent with Search suggestions, People suggestions, search refiners, and the ability to search for events in your Calendar.
  • Greater extensibility: An expanded Add-In model for Outlook desktop and Outlook on the web allows developers to build features right into the Outlook experience. Add-ins can now integrate with UI components in new ways: as highlighted text in the body of a message or meeting, in the right-hand task pane when composing or reading a message or meeting, and as a button or a dropdown option in the Outlook ribbon.
  • eDiscovery: Exchange 2016 has a revamped eDiscovery pipeline that is significantly faster and more scalable. Reliability is improved due to a new search architecture that is asynchronous and distributes the work across multiple servers with better fault tolerance. You also have the ability to search, hold and export content from public folders.
  • Simplified architecture: Exchange 2016’s architecture reflects the way Exchange is developed in Office 365 and is an evolution and refinement of Exchange 2013. A combined mailbox and client access server role makes it easier to plan and scale your on-premises and hybrid deployments. Coexistence with Exchange 2013 is simplified, and namespace planning is easier.
  • High availability: Automated repair improvements such as database divergence detection make Exchange easier than ever to run in a highly available way. Stability and performance enhancements from Office 365, many of which were so useful that they were shipped in Exchange 2013 Cumulative Updates, are also baked into the product.

Sep 23 2015

Office 2016 available for download

The full Office for Windows 2016 suite includes new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Project, Visio and Access.

There are not a lot of major new features in this release. Microsoft’s main focus with the new version of Office for Windows has been on adding team-collaboration functionality. Among some of the new features in the suite are coauthoring for Word, PowerPoint and OneNote; real-time typing in Word; new integrated Power BI publishing functionality in Excel; and updated search and navigational capabilities in Outlook.

Users who subscribe via Office 365 consumer and/or business plans which include rights to the Office apps also get additional, supplemental services and features, including Microsoft’s Sway digital-storytelling app/service; new Office 365 Groups functionality; and more.

As is the case with Windows 10, Microsoft is planning to fill out some of the partially baked Office 2016 features in the suite with regular updates in the coming months. Microsoft is still working on improving and syncing its OneDrive online-storage service. The promised new sync clients for Windows and Mac are due later this year. Built-in coauthoring for the other Office 2016 apps beyond Word is also still in the works. And Enterprise Data Protection, a security feature that Microsoft has promised for Windows 10, also will be coming for Office 2016 for Windows in early 2016, and the Office Mobile apps later this year, company officials said.

Starting with the Office 2016 for Windows release, Microsoft is moving to a new servicing model for Office 365 which is similar to the one it has put in place for Windows 10, with different servicing “branches” providing users with new Office features and fixes on a regular basis.

While on the subject of dates, here’s what Microsoft officials are saying in terms of availability for Office 2016 for Windows (and other related Office apps and services).

The Office 2016 apps are available in 40 languages starting today. Office 365 subscribers can choose to download manually the new Office 2016 apps as part of their subscription starting today. Automatic updates of the Office 2016 apps will begin rolling out to consumer and small business subscribers in October 2015, and to commercial customers early next year. Office 2016 is also available today as a one-time purchase for both PCs and Macs.

You can download the Office 2016 ISO Image on MSDN right now!

Sep 17 2015

Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 10 available

Exchange 2013 CU 10 can be downloaded here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49044

This update fixes the issues that are described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:

Aug 05 2015

Windows 10 RTM available

Microsoft has unveiled Windows 10. The launch event in San Francisco was mostly what we expected: Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 a killer OS for all of those disaffected mouse-and-keyboard users — both normal Desktop users like you and I, and also the big enterprise customers who were rather displeased with Windows 8’s Metro interface.

Windows 10 for desktop and laptop users

After the very poor response to Windows 8, and the bitter taste it left in the mouths of millions of users, Windows 10 is a very important release for Microsoft. On the one hand, it needs to rectify Windows 8’s wrongs and offer normal PC users a reason to upgrade from Windows XP or 7. On the other hand, Microsoft continues to lose ground in the mobile sector as well. Windows 10 will actually have to be the jack of all trades, rather than Windows 8’s rather ignominious status as the master of none. How will Microsoft do this? Well, let’s take a look.

The Start menu returns

After a few years of claiming that the Metro-style Start screen was just as good for mouse-and-keyboard use as touchscreen use, Microsoft has finally backed down. Windows 10 will have a Start menu on the Desktop; the left side will look a lot like the standard Windows 7 Start menu, but the right side will have the option of being populated with Metro-style live tiles. The left side of the menu will adopt a new Metro-like look, too — though you may be able to configure it to look like the good ol’ Windows 7 Start menu.

Virtual desktops

In Windows 10, you will have the option of using virtual desktops. Right now you just have one desktop per monitor — but with virtual desktops, you can switch between as many desktops as you like. This is a popular power user feature that has been present on some Linux window managers and via third-party Windows tools for years — but now it’ll be native in Windows 10.

Metro apps on the Desktop

Rather than forcing you into the full-screen Metro interface, Windows 10 will let you run Metro apps on the Desktop in a window. In theory this will mean that mouse-and-keyboard users might now actually use Metro apps, which in turn might kickstart the arrival of some better apps in the Windows Store. Or not.

Windows 10 Task View

A new Task View button. Windows 10 has a new button that pops up the Task View interface. It’s meant to improve the multitasking experience for novice users. It basically looks like an improved version of the “stacked cards” view from Windows Vista and 7, which you see if you hit Windows-Tab.

Windows 10 Task View and improved snapping

Improved snapping. The Snap function is also being improved, so that windows can be easily tiled horizontally and vertically. It seems this also ties into the Task View interface, too.

Lots of other tweaks to the Windows 10 Desktop. In addition to all of the above, the Charms bar is also being removed (from the Desktop interface at least; it might hang around on touchscreen devices).

Jun 10 2015

Install Asterisk 13 on CentOS 6.6 with IPTables

Visit http://www.centos.org and download CentOS-6.6-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso

Burn DVD and start a minimal installation of CentOS

Edit /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0

Set ONBOOT=yes

Configure a static ip-address if needed.


yum update
yum install mc
yum install ntp

Add the Asterisk repositories
yum install dnsmasq
rpm -Uvh http://packages.asterisk.org/centos/6/current/i386/RPMS/asterisknow-version-3.0.1-3_centos6.noarch.rpm
yum update

Install Asterisk

yum install asterisk asterisk-configs –enablerepo=asterisk-13
yum update

Disable SE Linux

sed -i s/SELINUX=enforcing/SELINUX=disabled/g /etc/selinux/config

Configure iptables

Configuring iptables rules for my Asterisk server. Note: all iptables rules are temporary and will be lost after reboot until ‘save’ command executed (see below)
First, we have to clear all existing rules (if any)

iptables -F

Enabling SSH incoming connection. Assuming we connected to the Linux box using SSH, without this configuration remote shell will be unavailable. If it happen – don’t save rules and reboot server remotely, it resets rules. Protocol on TCP, port 22

iptables -A INPUT -s -p tcp –dport 22 -j ACCEPT

Enable incoming traffic for connection we establishing. This allow to establish outgoing TCP connections

iptables -A INPUT -m state –state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT

SIP on UDP port 5060. Other SIP servers may need TCP port 5060 as well

iptables -A INPUT -p udp -m udp –dport 5060 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp –dport 5060 -j ACCEPT

Allow incoming RTP traffic (related to the port range in /etc/asterisk/rtp.conf)

iptables -A INPUT -p udp -m udp –dport 10000:20000 -j ACCEPT

Allow local communication.

iptables -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT

Having ICMP protocol enabling could be useful for troubleshooting purpose, so let’s enable it

iptables -A INPUT -p icmp -j ACCEPT

Now we have to configure default input rule – to drop all traffic not matching other rules

iptables -P INPUT DROP

Disable routing, I connected to one network only

iptables -P FORWARD DROP

Allow all outgoing traffic


We done with rules. Verify all working vwell, but don’t reboot yet, it will erase all rules. In order to save rules permanently we have to tell service to save rules table

service iptables save

Now it’s time to reboot and verify our rules was saved. Get list of all rules:

iptables -L


May 01 2015

Skype for Business Server available at MSDN and Technet

The successor of Lync Server 2013 – Skype for Business – is now available for download on the Technet and MSDN portals.

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.


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