Try Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync 2013 preview releases.

Be one of the first to find out what’s coming next by exploring preview versions of these powerful business products.

SharePoint 2013

The newest SharePoint is designed to help everyone in your organization share content and ideas, organize teams and projects, and discover connections to get work done.

  • Share documents easily from SharePoint or any Office application, and track the people you’ve shared them with.
  • Follow sites, documents, and people with updates delivered to your activity feed.
  • Share ideas and tap into the knowledge of specialists from across your organization.
  • Search for documents, people, discussions, and #tags from anywhere in SharePoint.
  • Discover and trial third party apps in the marketplace to customize your SharePoint sites.

How to try

With Office 365 Small Business Premium Preview
Try it | Learn more

With Office 365 Enterprise Preview
Try it | Learn more

For IT Pros, try the SharePoint Server 2013 Preview

Exchange 2013

The newest Exchange enables you to increase user productivity and keep your organization safe, while maintaining the control you need.

  • Move to the cloud on your terms with flexible migration options.
  • Help your users do more on any device, manage increasing volumes of email, and work together more effectively as teams.
  • Protect business communications and sensitive information as you meet internal and regulatory compliance requirements.

How to try

With Office 365 Small Business Premium Preview
Try it | Learn more

With Office 365 Enterprise Preview
Try it | Learn more

For IT Pros, try Exchange Server 2013 Preview

Lync 2013

The newest Lync is an enterprise-ready, unified communications platform that connects people everywhere on Windows 8 and other devices.

  • Use a single, unified client for real-time communications, including voice and video calls, Lync meetings, presence, instant messaging, and persistent chat.
  • Get HD video conferencing across a range of devices. The Lync video gallery allows Lync meeting attendees to simultaneously view up to 5 different participants, identify the active speaker, and associate names with faces.

How to try

With Office 365 Small Business Premium Preview
Try it | Learn more

With Office 365 Enterprise Preview
Try it | Learn more

For IT Pros, try the Lync Server 2013 Preview

Office Web Apps Server 2013

With Office Web Apps Server, your users get browser-based productivity from nearly any device on your terms and within your own private network.

  • Keep your users productive and working together, no matter where they are or what device or software they have, using browser-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
  • Manage updates to Web Apps Server independent of other products with standalone server deployment and configuration.
  • Get simple, seamless integration with your existing servers including Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, line-of-business applications and file shares.

Project 2013

The new Project offers flexible service or on-premises solutions for project portfolio management (PPM) and everyday work. Try it in these three versions:

  • Project Online Preview is our online solution that gives you flexible options for achieving strategic priorities while helping your team deliver efficiently from virtually anywhere.
  • Try Project Server 2013 Preview, our on-premises solution to set clear strategic priorities and help your team execute effectively against them.
  • With Project Professional 2013 Preview you can call or instant message right from your project with Lync*—just two new ways to improve collaboration while keeping your team productive and on track. (* Requires Lync Online or Lync 2013, which are sold separately.)

Visio 2013

The new Visio lets you easily create professional, versatile diagrams that help you organize and make sense of complex information.

  • Create diagrams more intuitively—including new and updated shapes and stencils, improved effects, and themes.
  • Make your diagrams more dynamic by linking shapes to real-time data, and then share them with others via Visio Services in SharePoint—even if they don’t have Visio installed.
  • Simplify teamwork with new coauthoring features.

Office Professional Plus 2013

For IT pros, you can also try the Office Professional Plus 2013 MSI-based installation, which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Lync. Note that this is not the Click-to-Run installation used by Office 365 ProPlus and does not support fast streaming installation or side-by-side operation with older versions of Office. In addition, you must uninstall the existing version of Office on your PC to try Office Professional Plus 2013.

Windows Server “8” Beta Hyper-V Component Architecture poster

The new Windows Server “8” Beta Hyper-V Component Architecture poster is now available from the Microsoft Download Center.

Windows Server 8 Beta Hyper-V Component Architecture

This poster provides a visual reference for understanding key Hyper-V technologies in Windows Server “8” Beta. This new Hyper-V poster focuses on Hyper-V Replica, networking, virtual machine mobility (live migration), storage, failover clustering and scalability.

If you haven’t seen them previously, the following posters are also available:

Cool new Windows 8 VDI and RDS capabilities!

Windows Server “8” Beta, has a lot of new Remote Desktop Services, VDI and administration capabilities to simplify deploying virtual machine-based and/or session-based desktops or applications. This includes new features related to pooled deployment (single virtual desktop template across many users), personal desktops (one VHD per user), and user profile disks.

Adam Carter has created a brief video to overview the above new features of Remote Desktop Services (not a complete list of all new features) on the Edge Show. A must see video.

Edge Show 16 – Windows Server 8 VDI

Install Windows 8 (server) on Xenserver

When I first downloaded Windows 8 and the Windows Server 8 Edition, I haven’t been able to boot the iso and install these new Operating systems on Xenserver. I needed to install it on a physical machine, Hyper-v or vmware workstation (and then P2V or VTV it to my XenServer). Not really handy. Then I found a very cool tip on Thomas Koetzing blog : http://www.thomaskoetzing.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=344&Itemid=254

To fix the issue you have to set parameter on the XenServer comand line interface (CLI). Create a VM with a Win7 template and copy the virtual machine UUID from the general tab in XenCenter or use xe vm-list in the CLI. Next you run the command

xe vm-param-set uuid=<VMUUID> platform:viridian=false

Once you’ve done this modification, you’ll be able to install Windows 8 (all edition) within the vm. Have fun testing out the new Windows 8 OS from Microsoft.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview (Desktop and Server) now available for Download

And if you want some videos:

Windows 8 Desktop Consumer Preview ISO files (.iso) are provided as an alternative to using Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup. If you are on a PC running Windows and want to install the consumer preview on another partition, another PC, or a virtual machine, i recommend you download Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup and use the built-in tools for converting an ISO image into installation media, such as a DVD or USB bootable flash drive. You can find additional information, including a list of supported upgrades, in the FAQ.

English 64-bit (x64) Download (3.3 GB) Sha 1 hash — 1288519C5035BCAC83CBFA23A33038CCF5522749

English 32-bit (x86) Download (2.5 GB) Sha 1 hash — E91ED665B01A46F4344C36D9D88C8BF78E9A1B39

Product Key: DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

The next release of Windows Server, Windows Server “8″, offers businesses and hosting providers a scalable, dynamic, and multitenant-aware, cloud-optimized infrastructure. It securely connects across premises and allows IT Professionals to respond to business needs faster and more efficiently. Register to access technical product resources such as forums, solution accelerators, white papers and webcasts at the Windows Server “8″ Beta Resource Page.

Download here: Link

Windows Server “8″ beta documentation site is updated, here are some links:

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8 Consumer Preview includes Server Manager, Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins, consoles, Windows PowerShell cmdlets and providers, and command-line tools for managing roles and features that run on Windows Server “8″ Beta. In limited cases, the tools can be used to manage roles and features that are running on Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008. Some of the tools work for managing roles and features on Windows Server 2003.

Download here: Link

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for Business provides a detailed look at the many new and improved features in Windows 8. The guide is designed as an accurate source of information that can help businesses understand how Windows 8 enables users to be ready and productive practically anywhere, allows for a personalized user experience, and provides IT with more secure, easy-to-manage intelligent infrastructure.

Download here: Link

Remove Favorites, Libraries and Network from Windows 7 / 2008R2 Common File Dialog (Windows Explorer)

Within Windows Explorer you got the common file dialog (Shown @ the screenshot below). Within this dialog you got a favorite link, a Libraries link and a network link. These links are in some cases a security problem. You don’t want users to use the libraries folder witch contains all users folders when they work on systems that share users for example XenApp servers. Also you don’t want users to browse the network or see auto discovered server names…Here is described how you get rid of it!

You can set these registry settings within the 2008 computer policy’s with the registry but there is a problem with the rights. Standard the system and the administrators don’t have rights to set the settings. You have to change the acl to set the registry keys!

1. To remove the Favorites, the key is:

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}\ShellFolder]
“Attributes”=dword:a0900100

Changing a0900100 to a9400100 will hide Favorites from Navigation Pane.

2. For Libraries, the key is:

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}\ShellFolder]
“Attributes”=dword:b080010d

Changing b080010d to b090010d will hide Libraries from Navigation Pane.

3. For Network, the key is

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{F02C1A0D-BE21-4350-88B0-7367FC96EF3C}\ShellFolder]
“Attributes”=dword: b0940064

This first part is, in the 32-bit world, the solution for the Windows Explorer ánd the Common File Dialog. But in the 64-bit world you need another registry key edited. This is basically the same key, but in the Wow6432Node ‘folder’ within the registry.
The trick!:

1. To remove the Favorites X64 , the key is:

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{323CA680-C24D-4099-B94D-446DD2D7249E}\ShellFolder]
“Attributes”=dword:a0900100

Changing a0900100 to a9400100 will hide Favorites from Navigation Pane.

2. For Libraries X64, the key is:

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{031E4825-7B94-4dc3-B131-E946B44C8DD5}\ShellFolder]
“Attributes”=dword:b080010d

Changing b080010d to b090010d will hide Libraries from Navigation Pane.

3. For Network X64, the key is

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{F02C1A0D-BE21-4350-88B0-7367FC96EF3C}\ShellFolder]
“Attributes”=dword: b080010d

Changing b080010d to b090010d will hide Libraries from Navigation Pane.

Exchange 2010 SP1 gives Multi-Tenant support

Exchange 2010 SP1 has built-in multi-tenant support, which helps service providers to host multiple organizations in a single Active Directory environment. There are few features which are available only in hosting mode and few others which are not available, compared to a normal deployment of Exchange 2010 SP1. 2010 SP1 will form part of the suite of multi-tenant capable products that will replace the Hosted Messaging and Collaboration solution.

Few points to note about installing 2010 SP1 in hosting mode:

  • The installation can only be done in command line.
  • You need to use /InstallWindowsComponents while running the setup to install all windows components required for Exchange. This will not install the pre-requirements only the windows components! Always install the pre-requirements first.
  • You need to use /Hosting switch while running the setup to install Exchange in hosting mode.
  • 2010 SP1 is required.
  • Exchange Management Console will not be installed.

Exchange 2010 SP1 doesn’t support the following features in Hosting mode (from Technet):

  • Exchange Management Console
  • Public Folders
  • Unified Messaging Server role
  • GalSync
  • Federation
  • Business-to-Business features such as cross-premises message tracking and calendar sharing
  • IRM
  • Outlook 2003 support (EnableLegacyOutlook)
  • Edge Transport Server role
  • Same forest upgrade from Exchange 2007
  • Resource forest
  • Parent-child domains
  • Discontiguous namespace
  • Disjoint namespace

Here is based on the blogs zerohoursleep and howexchangeworks how its done! This step-by-step tutorial that will guide you to installing your first Exchange 2010 SP1 multi-tenant organization to a fully operational mode.

Lab setup

For this lab I am using 2 servers running Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 one of them acting as a domain controller for the lab domain lab.com and the other will be running all roles of Microsoft Exchange 2010 SP1 CAS,HUB and Mailbox.

Of course in a live environment exchange roles will be most probably split among multiple servers but the concept is pretty much the same.

I will assume that the Domain Controller is already installed and that the exchange server to be has already Windows 2008 R2 installed with all the required patches to deploy Exchange 2010 SP1.

Installing Exchange 2010 SP1 in hosting (or multi-tenant) mode

Installing Exchange prerequisites on Windows 2008R2

I am used to this script to automate installation of the prerequisites since I find it very clean.
We will start by running the powershell administrator “right click -> run as administrator” and allow the script execution using

Set-ExecutionPolicy unrestricted

Running the script will then offer you a menu, in my case I need to select option 6 since all roles will be installed on the same server and restart the machine after.

00

Installing Exchange

As you may already know Exchange 2010 multi-tenant can only be installed using the command line by adding the /hosting parameter, we will initiate the installation by running

setup.com /m:install /r:m,ca,ht /installwindowscomponents /hosting /on:ExchLab

01

Let me first explain the above command

  • /m stands for /mode and we are running the installation mode
  • /r stands for /roles and we want to install the m (mailbox) ca (client access) ht (hub transport) roles. Of course you will need to change this if you don’t want to install all roles
  • /hosting is required to tell the setup to run the hosting installation
  • /on stands for /OrganizationName and you will define here the name of your Exchange organization. I called mine ExchLab

We will now wait for the installation to finish
02

03

A few differences with Exchange not hosted

The first thing I have noticed after the installation is differences in Active Directory Users and Computers like the presence of a brand new Organizational Unit “Microsoft Exchange Hosted Organizations”
04

And the addition of new Exchange Security groups (plus the absence of the UM one)
04'

Now of course the absence of the Exchange Management Console should have been first however this I was expecting since it is all over the place so I was expecting this.

Continue reading

XenDesktop 5.5 is Here!

Citrix is announcing the immediate availability of XenDesktop 5.5.

Citrix continues to innovate in the desktop virtualization space and build on the on the market leading trajectory established with first with XenDesktop 4.0 — the industry’s first VDI offering to provide integrated app and desktop delivery in a single product – and extended with XenDesktop 5.0 —  focused on simplification and scalability for the administrator to deploy and manage virtual desktops.   With the release of XenDesktop 5.5, Citrix  takes it up a notch yet again and sets the new standard for desktop virtualization — including the ability to deliver personal VDI desktops, provide an unparalleled user experience with more than 150 new HDX features and enhancements, deliver “headquarters-like” experience across the  WAN to  remote workers and branch offices and new Citrix Receivers for Windows and MacOS.  Whew!  That was a long sentence :-)

You can read about all of the news here.

Personal VDI desktops and reducing cost

The Citrix focus on end user experience and reducing costs of virtual desktop deployments was the driving force behind the RingCube acquisition and today’s announcement of the availability of the personal vDisk technology as a feature of XenDesktop 5.5.

If you haven’t heard about it, the new personal vDisk technology enables IT to realize the cost saving and management of pooled virtual desktops, while providing  personalization capabilities for profiles, data and applications that is typically found in a dedicated VDI deployment model.   Since we announced the acquisition of RingCube two weeks ago, my inbox has exploded with requests for more information regarding pricing,  packaging and availability.  I am pleased to confirm today that the personal vDisk technology will be included in all editions of XenDesktop at no additional charge.  The personal vDisk technology is available today as an “Early Access” feature for customers with Software Assurance to use in their labs and proof of concepts to get familiar with the technology.  In less then two weeks since the closing of this acquisition, we have delivered on the first release that is integrated with XenDesktop.  Using XenDesktop Studio, administrators can quickly create and deploy virtual desktops that take advantage of the personal vDisk technology.  The combination of the user acceptance of the personal VDI desktop and the IT cost savings allow organizations to deploy virtual desktops to a wider based of end users – truly creating a win-win situation.

You get additional technical information on the personal vDisk here.