Vol. 20, #41 - October 12, 2015 - Issue #1051

Experiencing Windows 10

  1. Editor's Corner
    • From the Mailbag
    • Experiencing Windows 10
    • Send us your feedback
    • Recommended for Learning
    • Microsoft Virtual Academy
    • Free White Paper: Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence
    • Quote of the Week
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. This Week's Tips
    • Email - tip for saving emails
    • AWS - Tips for hardening Amazon Web Services
    • ConfigMgr - Adding a list of devices to a collection
  4. Events Calendar
    • North America
    • Europe
  5. Tech Briefing
    • Cloud computing
    • Enterprise IT
    • Exchange & Office
    • Networking
    • Security and Privacy
  6. Recommended TechGenix Articles
    • Recommended articles from websites in TechGenix Network
  7. Windows Server News
    • Don't let APIs rain on your cloud parade
    • Application performance alters depending on CPU, memory
    • Citrix Migration Service aims to lure VMware Horizon shops
    • Microsoft's new browser takes Windows 10 to the Edge
  8. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • The Lightest Structural Material Ever Made: 'Microlattice'
    • 10 Amazing DIY Optical Illusions
    • A Creative Way Of Pushing A Car
    • One Charming Woman And Three Exercise Balls
  9. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • Deep Packet Inspection for Quality of Experience Monitoring

 

 

Editor's Corner

In this week's newsletter reader Jeffrey Harris continues his earlier guest editorial in Issue #1048 Managing Windows 10 with a follow up describing his experience so far using the new platform. Jeffrey digs into several of the new features in Windows 10 and how the UI has changed--for better and for worse--compared with the previous version Windows 8.1.

We all love experiences, don't we? Well, not always--there are some things like wars and insurrections that most of us would prefer not to experience as this Dilbert comic strip illustrates:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/xdn97db7/

There's something wrong there... 

Ask Our Readers: WServerNews has almost 100,000 subscribers worldwide. That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something IT-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at [email protected]

From the Mailbag

Last week in Issue #1050 Cloud disruption, we discussed how cloud computing has affected the job or career of the IT professional and particularly IT pros who work in the small business market. Andrew S. Baker, Virtual CIO (Information Security & IT Operations) of BrainWave Consulting Company LLC and who previously contributed the guest editorial for Issue #988 Getting Management Buy-In for Information Security, shared some of his own thoughts on this subject as follows:

My personal take on cloud computing is that it is viable for a considerable number of businesses, and that embracing it is beneficial to technologists -- particularly consultants.

I cater to the SMB market, primarily, and I've found that it is easier to get customers to make use of a cloud service that provides a function they need, vs getting them to make a similar investment in an on-premises solution.  It is also easier for them to size cloud infrastructure than it is for them to accept the sizing of on-premises solutions (in many cases).

Yes, there is a small loss of maintenance revenue that can come with managing physical, local infrastructure, but this is offset (for me) by more frequent implementation and migration revenue, and by having a buffer between myself and the delivery of services.

At this point, I'd much rather manage the cloud vendor relationship -- even if only during support issues -- than have to manage all of the moving parts of a given infrastructure.  The bigger margin doesn't equate to the much bigger headache.

The appropriate use of Cloud Computing also helps to minimize some of the concerns about a technologist having to maintain in-depth knowledge on every single piece of hardware or software they might touch.

Not everything belongs in the cloud (today), and not everyone is going to like the new model, but it's nothing more than the ongoing maturation of mainframe terminals --> client/server --> web computing.  It's not going away anytime soon.

It's not for everyone, but it could work for many if they gave it some consideration.  It has allowed me to focus on more strategy and long-term technology direction, rather than get too invested in each specific technology decision.

That's a well-reasoned response from someone who has worked in the smallbiz IT market sector. We'd like to hear from more readers who have worked in this sector--send your feedback to us at [email protected]

Previously in Issue #1049 3am tech support, I shared my experience (mostly positive) dealing with online tech support for my new HP laptop which I needed to upgrade from Win8.1 to Win10. An anonymous reader sent us the following story of his experience dealing with tech support for a software application from a major vendor (we've removed some of the details to spare the vendor the embarrassment):

Week  1 -- SW App had a catastrophic bug.  Stopped work for a team of 5 people, 4 being consultants at $800/each per day.  Called vendor Support.  Opened a Sev1 ticket.

Week  3 -- Tech eventually called back.  Asked if the SW App was still not working.  I confirmed it was still dead, costing me $3200/day for past 9 days.  He advised that they would escalate.

Week  4 -- Had to lay off 4 consultants and 'park the project'. 

Week  8 -- Tech called back.  Asked if the SW App was still not working.  I confirmed it was still dead.  He advised that they would have to escalate.

Week 36 -- Tech called back.  Asked if the SW App was still not working.  I confirmed it was still dead.  He said he would call back in a few weeks to see if it was fixed.  I asked him how that would happen; he replied that he would call back to let me know shortly.

Week 53 -- Tech called back.  Asked if they could close this ticket because it was over a year old.  I indicated that the HP SW App was still not working, and to leave the ticket open.

Week 59 -- Tech called back.  Indicated that the SW App version was no longer supported, and the ticket was auto-closed.  To fix it, we had to upgrade to the next version.

Week 61 -- A Customer Satisfaction company called to rate the 'Support' I received on the closed ticket.  I indicated that we were not renewing our Support Contract as the SW App was not working.

Week 61 -- Got a call from the local vendor's Sales Office asking why we had discontinued Support, and was I aware that we would not get any further support for this product.

And you wonder why this vendor's business has been declining...anyways, on now on to our guest editorial by Jeffrey Harris.

Experiencing Windows 10

Windows 10 has generated considerable buzz for what it is (the newest version of Windows) and what it is not (Windows 8.2).  In this guest editorial, I will look at some things that those of us who will be managing Windows 10 systems should know about, and some tips on things that are not entirely obvious.  This commentary is not meant to explore all features of Windows 10, but some things I discovered in my exploration of Windows 10.

In my previous guest editorial in Issue #1048 Managing Windows 10, I discussed installation, licensing and activation, enterprise deployment, manageability and privacy for Window 10.  In this second part I will discuss some of the user interface (UI) features within Windows 10, particularly features that add new capabilities not available in earlier versions of Windows, and those take a step back from previous versions of Windows.

New features

Windows 8/8.1 introduced the Snipping Tool; shown below is the Windows 10 version:

Image 

Figure 1: The Windows 10 Snipping Tool

The Snipping Tool works by freezing the display to select the objects to be captured.  The Windows 10 version enhances the features of the Snipping Tool by allowing a delay before it freezes the screen, so for example, menus can be displayed.  Many of the screenshots in this document were taken using the Snipping tool.

Another useful feature is an enhancement to Explorer to computer cyclic redundancy checks and checksums on any file or combination of files:

Image 

Figure 2: Performing CRC checks with File Explorer

While useful for verifying the integrity of files downloaded from the Internet or stored on backup media, the only disadvantage to this capability is the lack of a MD-5 checksum, which is still commonly used by many software sites.  However, there are third-party checksum utilities that will provide that capability and this "Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog" entry shows how to extend PowerShell to computer MD-5 checksums:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/at5gpmkx/

Now onto some of the less useful changes to Windows 10 user interface.

General UI Settings

In the area of general Windows settings, Microsoft continues to be schizophrenic about where settings should be.  Some settings continue to be only in Control Panel, some settings are only in Settings (even settings that used to be only in Control Panel), and some settings are in both, although the functionality differs.

The Windows 10 control panel looks similar to that in previous versions and while most items are present (particularly Device Manager, Power Options, System and User Accounts), others are missing such as Windows Update. By contrast, here is the new Settings main window:

Image 

Figure 3: The new Settings screen in Windows 10.

Note that it too has System (which includes some power settings), Devices, and Accounts settings.

We will now look at some specific settings, and highlight how Microsoft is addressing functionality between Control Panel and Settings.

Windows Update Installed Updates

Let us start with Windows Update.  While there is no longer a Control Panel Windows Update applet, there is still a list of installed updates accessible under Programs and Features:

Image 

Figure 4: Installed Updates under Programs and Features.

When selecting an update, a link appears at the bottom of the window with a link to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article for that update.

Within the Setting panel for Windows Update, there is also a list of installed updates. However, the functionality is somewhat different.  In particular, first one clicks on the "Successfully installed" link, which brings up a pop-up with more information on the update. Then, one can click on the "Support info" link, which opens the browser to the Microsoft Support site.  Not the specific page with information on the update, as with the link in Control Panel, but just to the main search page, where one has to copy and paste the KB number into the search field to obtain information on the specific update!

Start Menu

Much has been discussed about the start menu in Windows 10.  It works, but I find that I tend to either use the search box to access programs, or else I add them to the Quick Launch tools menu and launch them from there (in fairness, I also tend to do the same things on Windows 7, although the start menu there is, in my opinion, more functional).  The following is how the All Apps menu looks on my Windows 10 system for my domain account:

Image 

Figure 5: The Start menu on my machine

Although the menu items on the right can be unpinned to give the start menu a more streamlined look (similar to the old Windows XP classic menu), Microsoft has to give us an alphabet lesson for the all applications list for Windows 10!

Right-clicking on the start button does not (as in Windows 7) bring up a context menu for configuring the start menu (in fact, very little customization of the start menu is possible in Windows 10), but instead a separate fixed tools list, the same as in Windows 8.1.

System tray icons

Microsoft has also changed the behavior of system tray icons.  In previous versions, there were three settings for icons:  hide always, show always, and only show notifications.  Now there are only two settings, off and on and they buried inside of settings:

Image 

Figure 6: Configuring notifications for system tray icons

Desktop Apps

One quirk (many of us in IT jokingly call such quirks "features") I notice with the "Get Office" app is that after installing Microsoft Office 2013 (but not from the "Get Office" app), the application stayed on the system.  Why should the "Get Office" app stay on my system after installing Microsoft Office 2013?

Internet Explorer 11

I wanted to finish with a new feature in Internet Explorer 11 that is only available on Windows 10: the smiley face icon below the close window x! 

Image 

Figure 7: Smile, the Internet is watching you :-)

If clicked, it offers two options:  Send a smile or send a frown.  Selecting either options allows sending feedback to Microsoft on what one liked or disliked.  It looks utterly out of place where it is, especially in a business environment, and I could find no group policy, registry hack, or Internet Explorer Administration Kit setting to suppress its display.

Summary

In the first part of this series, I noted that Windows 10 provides new challenges for people responsible for installing and managing it.  Here, I will say that Windows 10 provides new challenges for anyone using it.  Much of it is intuitive and useful, but I still find myself struggling to find things (such as turning on the display of a system tray icon) that was easier and simpler to do in earlier versions of Windows.  It is as if Microsoft is trying to guide us to do things their way, and penalizing us for trying to do them our way or the way they always provided for us in the past. 

So is Windows 10 better than 7, 8 or 8.1?  I think most people would agree it is better than 8 and many people would agree it is better than 8.1.  But as with many things, it is not so much a question of better as much as a change.  Those people who prefer Windows 7 (and I would have to say that new features aside, I find myself in that camp, although I like new things) have five years to wait and see if Microsoft can further improve upon Windows 10 before Windows 7 support expires.  Those of us in IT know there is always room for improvement, but whether Windows 1X will be better than Windows 7 in five years will be difficult to say; all I can predict is that Windows 1X will be at least as different from Windows 10 as Windows 10 is from Windows 7 (and perhaps more).

About Jeffrey Harris

Jeffrey Harris CISSP is an IT Professional with over 30 years' experience, specializing in security and identity management.  His previous work assignments include the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon, and the White House, where he served as White House e-mail administrator. Jeffrey is currently working as a senior information security specialist for a major insurance company.

Send us your feedback

Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]

Recommended for Learning

WServerNews subscribers save 40% on all Microsoft Press books & eBooks! Apply discount code WSPRESS during checkout to apply discount (includes free U.S. shipping):

http://www.wservernews.com/go/b82lk1s3/

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Advanced Tools & Scripting with PowerShell 3.0 Jump Start

This advanced PowerShell scripting course shows IT Professionals how to turn your real time management and automation scripts into useful reusable tools and cmdlets. Discover the best patterns and practices for building PowerShell scripts and maintaining tools, and get special tips and tricks from the architect and inventor of PowerShell, Distinguished Engineer Jeffrey Snover, and IT Pro, Jason Helmick.  Watch here:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/3t9wch97/

Free White Paper: Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence

The goal of this white paper is to help enterprises make pragmatic decisions about where and when to use cloud solutions by outlining specific issues that enterprises should raise with hosting providers before selecting a vendor, and by highlighting the ways in which SSL from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA) can help enterprises conduct business in the cloud with confidence.

Sign up to read this white paper today.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/bvonmcdt/

Quote of the Week

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

Until next week,
Mitch Tulloch

Note to subscribers: If for some reason you don't receive your weekly issue of this newsletter, please notify us at [email protected] and we'll try to troubleshoot things from our end.

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

Free. Unlimited. Forever. Monitor your Storage, Compute, & Network performance and receive efficiency recommendations to maximize resources - all within an hour of installation.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/cru9mo1e/    

Are you on a budget or still experimenting with VM backup? Veeam Backup Free Edition v8 is the perfect solution because it’s: powerful, easy-to-use and free forever. Download now!
http://www.wservernews.com/go/j5pi2sce/

SMTP Test lets you test various possibilities of sending messages.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/03wahmdb/

Check out this new and improved CheckSUR tool on the Ask The Core Team blog.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/tx8lzsen/

GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected] 

This Week's Tips

GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]

Email - tip for saving emails

This tip was submitted to us by reader Mike Brinks:

What I have started doing at work is creating shared and Private OneNote Notebooks.  One for e-mails that would be beneficial to my entire team should I get hit by a bus or win the lotto.  They won't have to crack the encryption on my system to get at my PSTs and get access to personal stuff in the process.  Corporate-Personal stuff like reviews, being scolded by my manager, or other business related stuff that I wouldn't want to share with my team gets stored in a notebook on a personal/home share.  When I get an e-mail that needs to be saved, I click the send to OneNote button and pick which notebook to use.  E-mails from vendors with maintenance renewals, customer communication about their servers, legit offers, etc go to the shared notebook.  When needing to search for something you simply hit Ctrl-F in OneNote and start typing.  The search scope narrows as I type until I find all relevant e-mails.

AWS - Tips for hardening Amazon Web Services

The LOCKBOXX blog has a helpful post titled "AWS API Security Auditing Cheat Sheet" that organizations who use Amazon Web Services should review to make sure their cloud-based applications are secure:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ijz9565c/

ConfigMgr - Adding a list of devices to a collection

Here's a tip from Matt Tinney on adding a list of devices to a collection from PowerShell. You will need to run this from a computer with the SCCM console:

import-module "C:\Program Files (x86)\ConfigMgr\bin\ConfigurationManager.psd1"

cd <site code>:

 

$user_names = get-content "<path to file>"

 

ForEach ($user_name in $user_names) {

$resID = (get-cmuser -name "<domain name>\$user_name").resourceID

Add-CMDeviceCollectionDirectMembershipRule -CollectionId "<collection ID>" -resourceID "$resID"

}

 

Be sure to input your site code on line 2 (Ex: "cd TST:"), the location of your file on line 4, your domain short name on line 7, and the collection ID of the collection where you want the device. Also, make sure that import-module points to the ConfigMgr PowerShell module file.

You also use this for user collections by changing Add-CMDeviceCollectionDirectMembershipRule to Add-CMUserCollectionDirectMembershipRule.

Matt Tinney is CEO and founder of Windows Management Experts (WME) a leader in Microsoft System Center technologies that helps customers reduce IT operations cost through services and solutions:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/7yk9xy3m/

Events Calendar

North America

Convergence on April 4-7, 2016 in New Orleans USA
http://www.wservernews.com/go/7eil97e2/

Ignite on May 9-13, 2016 in Chicago USA
http://www.wservernews.com/go/a2pe64mu/

2016 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference on July 10-14, 2016 in Toronto Canada
http://www.wservernews.com/go/i34on0ph/

Europe

Convergence 2015 EMEA on Nov 30 - Dec 2, 2015 in Barcelona Spain
http://www.wservernews.com/go/75pmsgnx/

Add Your Event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

Tech Briefing

Cloud computing

Common Misunderstandings regarding Security and Cloud Compute (CloudComputingAdmin.com)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/43c9o285/

CloudTest: Testing while building... (Tools for Software Engineers Blog)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/btibyruj/

Enterprise IT

Installing the Microsoft Identity Manager 2016 Synchronization Service - Clean Install (Connector Space)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/qb39poi0/

Introducing the new Microsoft Remote Desktop Preview app for Mac (Remote Desktop Services Blog)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/3wdst722/

Exchange & Office

Product Review: Kernel for Exchange (MSExchange.org)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/qzfyaztv/

Decommissioning Legacy Exchange Servers (Premier Field Engineering)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/3mhv6l7q/

Networking

Adding Physical Servers to Cisco ACI Fabric (VirtualizationAdmin.com)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/2u0fuffd/

How To Use Nslookup To Check DNS TXT Record (250 Hello)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/tfml1l2o/

Security and Privacy

We Must Fundamentally Transform Our Approach to Security (Ask PFE)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/h6rocu3f/

Embracing The Internet of Things as well as its Security Challenges (Part 2) (WindowSecurity.com)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/brokab4v/

 

Recommended TechGenix Articles

Managing Azure VMs with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 (Part 1)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/8pr9tk1f/

Fundamental Areas of Consideration to Secure Workloads in AWS
http://www.wservernews.com/go/nhtb0ndi/

Layer 2 External Access in Cisco ACI
http://www.wservernews.com/go/ktnaao49/

Microsoft Ignites a new Focus on Security (Part 5)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/3qe1yfjf/

MU-MIMO vs SU-MIMO Wi-Fi
http://www.wservernews.com/go/q2xh5hmu/

Windows Server News

Don't let APIs rain on your cloud parade

Although having APIs can be critical to a cloud application's success, if APIs are poorly designed, they can be a big headache for cloud providers, developers and users alike. Learn about three major issues that can hinder cloud computing API performance. 

http://www.wservernews.com/go/fa2p445p/

Application performance alters depending on CPU, memory

As data centers become more dependent on virtualization, it's necessary to ensure your virtualization infrastructure is prepared to support applications.  Application performance will change depending on if you want more cores, better clock speed or what you choose for memory – find out more about how CPU and memory affect application performance.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/2t4f1ptv/

Citrix Migration Service aims to lure VMware Horizon shops

Citrix recently rolled out its new Migration Service this week that will make it easier for VMware Horizon customers to make the jump to Citrix in less than 15 minutes, without interruption to productivity. Learn more about Citrix's Migration Service now.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/plj65fqd/

Microsoft's new browser takes Windows 10 to the Edge

Microsoft hopes their Edge Web browser will win back some of the company's diminished share in the market.  The Microsoft Edge for Windows 10 makes reading websites easier, allows users to annotate a page, and integrates with Cortana.  Get a hands-on look at the new Microsoft Edge Web browser today. 

http://www.wservernews.com/go/bgpvt3lb/


WServerNews FAVE Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

The Lightest Structural Material Ever Made: 'Microlattice'

'Microlattice' is the lightest metal ever made. At 99.99% air, it's light enough to balance on top of a dandelion, while its structure makes it strong:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1r1u4tmx/

10 Amazing DIY Optical Illusions

10 impressive optical illusions and how to create them yourself and amaze others:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/zfkkp89i/

A Creative Way Of Pushing A Car

A guy from Detroit, Michigan figured out a quite clever and creative way of pushing a car down the road:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/6i6h1cda/

One Charming Woman And Three Exercise Balls

Tatiana Konobas performs a beautiful and original dance routine with three exercise balls at the French television show 'The World's Greatest Cabaret.'

http://www.wservernews.com/go/6betj7um/

WServerNews - Product of the Week

 

WServerNews - Editors

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com.

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.