Windows Server 8 beta also available


Windows Server 8 also has a preview available today so head over to:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh670538.aspx

to grab it.

Mary Jo has again got a quick list of some new features:

  • Users can choose Server Core Installation or Server with a GUI (the equivalent of the full installation option in Windows Server 2008 R2). Server Core is the default option.
  • Increased scale and performance for Hyper-V virtual machines. Up to 1 terabyte of memory – up from 512 GB in the developer preview. There’s also an increase in virtual disk size supported, to 64 TB, from 16 TB in the Dev Preview
  • Easier deployment of IIS 8
  • Surfacing of ReFS, the new Resilient File System, in Windows 8, as well as support for new storage and server cluster mangement technologies
  • Metro-Style Remote Desktop app and VOIP integration with Remote Desktop Services

 

The improvements around Virtual mMachines and the new ReFS file system are big news and our customers are asking about release dates already Smile

WIndows 8 Consumer Preview is available


The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is here.

Microsoft have just announced the availability at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the links are live over at:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso

There are apparently over 100,000 changes in this edition over the Developer Preview we saw a few months back! Mary Jo Foley tells us these include:

  • Addition of the “semantic zoom” panning feature (that Microsoft demonstrated last September, but didn’t include in the Developer Preview). This should make it easier for users to navigate Windows 8 with touch and with mice/keyboards
  • App bar that shows commands when users want them via a bar in the bottom of the screen
  • Replacement of the Start button with a Start preview thumbnail. The preview lets users to right click to get quickly to familiar Windows features, like Windows Explorer, Search, Desktop, etc.
  • Improved app switching by mousing to the top left corner of the screen to allow users to more quickly scroll through their stack of recently opened/closed/used apps
  • Consolidation of passwords and credentials into a single “Microsoft Account.” This should make it easier for users to move his/her settings to other PCs.
  • Inclusion of new previews of various Microsoft apps, including People, Mail, Calendaring, Messaging and SkyDrive apps. (Many of these seem to emulate the similarly named hubs on Windows Phone.)

(Check out her great post on Windows 8, Server 8 and more here – http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/its-windows-8-download-day-heres-what-we-know/12058)

I’m 62% of the way through my download so once it’s done I’m hoping I’ll get the chance to boot it up and see how awesome it is Smile

Skype for WIndows Phone available


Microsoft’s 2011 $8.5 billion purchase of Skype has borne fruit in the guise of the beta “Skype for Windows Phone” app, with the final version expected to arrive in April.

Skype have tested and certified the app on the following devices:

• Nokia Lumia 710
• Nokia Lumia 800
• HTC Titan
• HTC Radar
• Samsung Focus S
• Samsung Focus Flash

From the Skype Blog:

“With Skype for Windows Phone Beta you can make free audio and video calls** to your Skype contacts over 3G and 4G or WiFi***, make affordable calls to landlines and mobiles using Skype Credit, create and hold one-to-one and group chats, and update your profile and account information, among others features.”

One thing to note is that the beta app will have only English language support.

Head over to http://blogs.skype.com/en/2012/02/skype_brings_voice_and_video_c.html to read more and to get the links to download the app…or hit this QR code using Bing Vision Smile

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