Microsoft has had an amazing year, pushing out several builds of Windows 10 and Windows 10 Insider Previews and many other software releases such as Windows Server 2016, Configuration Manager Current Branch (and Technical Preview releases) and SQL Server 2016. All those achievements are amazing in their own right.
However to the mainstream user, the Windows brand itself, embodies what Microsoft is to that user, as it's the operating system they use day in, day out.
In a recent video interview with Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley, they interviewed the Chief Marketing Officer of Microsoft (Chris Capossela) about the year that just went by, and Paul posed this question (edited for clarity/brevity)
When you look back at last year, and maybe from a 'more of a negative standpoint' if you will, I mean are there other regrets or things you might have done differently (I don't mean you personally)...
to which Chris replied (edited for clarity)
And the last one for me, purely from a marketing or branding perspective, is what Paul alluded to, which essentially was for me the uh you know the oh, getting too aggressive in pushing out of the Windows 10 free upgrade, uh and uh you know we know we want people to be running Windows 10 and from a security perspective etc, uh but finding that right balance where you are not stepping over the line of being too aggressive, uh is something we tried and for a lot of the year I think we got it right, but there was one particular moment in particular where you know the red [x] in the dialogue box which typically means, you know, cancel, uh, didn't mean cancel....
and within a couple of hours, of that hitting the world we, you know with the listening systems we have we knew, uh that we had gone too far.
so there you have it, Microsoft admitted that the cancel button on the GWX dialogue went too far, and hopefully we won't see any more of that in 2017, it's good to see that a company this big and powerful, has a conscience
You can review the video mentioned above here.
It smells like snow up in Redmond-town and you know what that means? A big ole pile o’ features to keep us company during SNOWpocalyse! Microsoft this week, released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14986 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring. What’s new in Build 14986Making Cortana awesomer:
Turn off your computer, change volume with voice commands: Being able to control your computer with just your voice is one of the top requests we get with Cortana, so we’re excited to say that we’ve added several new features to Cortana that let you do just that. Now you can shut down your PC just by asking Cortana. You can also restart, lock, or put the system to sleep, and raise and lower your system volume with just your voice. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Cortana loves music: You can now use Cortana to control music playback on more of your favorite music apps (EN-US only). Starting with this build, we’ve enabled natural language compatibility for iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio. This will work on both, above the lock screen (PC is locked) as well as below! You can try queries like…
Play <Artist/Track/Title/Genre> on <AppName> Play Drake on iHeartRadio Play Christmas music on iHeartRadio Play NPR Hourly News on TuneIn Play jazz music on TuneIn
Play <Frequency/Call Letters> on <AppName> Play 90.3 on iHeartRadio Play KUOW on TuneIn
While you are listening to music in one of these apps, you can also use your voice to control playback and volume. With radio stations, we often want to know what that catchy tune is that has played a million times, so we added support for “What’s Playing”. Try saying “Hey Cortana, What song is Playing?” and it will work for all apps playing music. As a bonus, we made Cortana smarter by remembering the last played music app so you don’t have to say “on Groove” over and over. All you need to do is say your desired app one time, something like “Play jazz music on iHeartRadio”; then the next time, just say “Play rock music” and it will play on iHeartRadio. Please look for the Quest and give us feedback!
At the Ignite conference in Atlanta Microsot launched the newest release of their server operating system – Windows Server 2016, here's the announcement below:-
Now that we’re ready to share it with the world, I want to take a moment to thank our customers who helped shape this exciting release. Windows Server 2016 is jam-packed with innovation and customer response has been overwhelming, with more than half a million devices running our final Technical Preview which we released five months ago. These customers range from large global enterprises to private cloud hosters to organizations of every size from every corner of the globe.
Customer feedback is an important driver of the features we build into our products. Customers tell us they face massive change as they evolve processes and applications to deliver faster and more powerful business solutions, while at the same time having to operate existing workloads more securely and efficiently. IT and developers need to work together to innovate, using cloud computing and a variety of new technologies, while managing the transition of critical applications from one world to the next. IT needs to make strategic investment decisions, betting on vendors and solutions that can support them in a hybrid cloud world.
This customer feedback inspired the design of Windows Server 2016. We call it the “cloud-ready OS” because it meets customers where they are today, and it introduces technology to ease the transition to cloud. It is a great server OS to run traditional applications and datacenter infrastructure, and at the same time it delivers an unprecedented amount of innovation to help customers transition workloads to a more secure, efficient and agile cloud model. It is a great place to land all your workloads, providing the flexibility to run them on-premises or in the cloud.
Windows Server 2016 delivers powerful innovation across three areas:
Advanced Multi-layer Security: Nearly every morning when I read the news, I see a new headline about a security breach. Attacks have become more sophisticated, so organizations must respond with a more sophisticated environment that presents new layers of defense at every level of potential compromise. As the operating system that runs mission-critical applications and databases, Windows Server can play a strategic role in an organization’s security arsenal. Windows Server 2016 gives IT the power to help prevent attacks and detect suspicious activity with new features to control privileged access, protect virtual machines and harden the platform against emerging threats. Learn more about the new security features.
Software-defined Datacenter: Many people don’t realize that our Azure public cloud is actually one of my Windows Server customers. This means they use Windows Server and Hyper-V at a massive scale to deliver some of the most efficient datacenters in the world. Not every organization needs this type of scale, but every organization can definitely benefit from the new models of cloud efficiency. We worked hard to build that into this release so every customer can benefit. As a result, Windows Server 2016 delivers a more flexible and cost-efficient operating system for any datacenter, using software-defined compute, storage and network features inspired by Azure. Learn more about the new software-defined datacenter features.
Cloud-ready Application Platform: Applications are at the heart of every organization and its ability to serve customers and compete effectively for their loyalty. As the digital transformation accelerates in every organization, nearly every application needs to transition or transform. Windows Server 2016 delivers new ways to deploy and run both existing and cloud-native applications – whether on-premises or in Microsoft Azure – using new capabilities such as Windows Server Containers and the lightweight Nano Server deployment option. And to make life easier for developers, today we announced with Docker a new agreement that will make the Commercially Supported Docker Engine (CS Docker Engine) available to Windows Server 2016 customers at no additional cost. Learn more about the new application platform features.
As you can see, I am very excited about the release of Windows Server 2016. It is an important piece of the Microsoft hybrid cloud platform. And of course you will also want to check out today’s launch of System Center 2016, which includes enhancements to help deploy and manage the new features in Windows Server 2016.
Windows Server 2016 is available for evaluation beginning today and will be on the October price list. Volume licensing customers will be able to download fully licensed software at General Availability in mid-October.
Get started today:
Download Windows Server 2016 trial.
Get demos and documentation on the new Windows Server 2016 site.
Save the date for our webcast on Oct 13th as I join Jeffrey Snover and Jeff Woolsey to walk through the new features, demos and early adopter stories.
Free e-book about Windows Server 2016
You can download a free e-book explaining all the new features of Windows Server 2016 from here.
Today we are excited to be releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14931 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring. An important reminder about build expirationWe wanted to include a reminder about build expiration. Since September 15th, PCs running really old Insider Preview builds started to see build expiration notifications once a day. Then on October 1st, these PCs will start rebooting every 3 hours and then on October 15th – these PCs will stop booting all together. If your PC is running one of these old Insider Preview builds, please make sure you update to Build 14926 or newer via Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. Build 14926 and newer has an updated expiration date of May 1st, 2017. If your PC is running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Build 14393) in the Slow and Release Preview rings today – this does not apply to you and you will not be notified of your build expiring.
Read more at https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/09/21/announcing-windows-10-insider-preview-build-14931-for-pc/#lHDJDQKSXAlAMkum.99
Thanks for being patient with us as we upgraded some of our engineering tools last week. Our build monitoring system is purring again and today we are excited to be releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14926 for PC and Mobile to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring. An important note about build expirationJust as we’ve always done with pre-release versions of Windows, Insider Preview builds have expiration dates. Starting tomorrow September 15th, PCs running really old Insider Preview builds will start to see build expiration notifications once a day. Then on October 1st, these PCs will start rebooting every 3 hours and then on October 15th – these PCs will stop booting all together. If your PC is running one of these old Insider Preview builds, please make sure you update to Build 14926 via Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. Build 14926 has an updated expiration date of May 1st, 2017. If your PC is running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Build 14393) in the Slow and Release Preview rings today – this does not apply to you and you will not be notified of your build expiring.
Introducing Microsoft Rewards There are now more ways to get rewarded with Microsoft. Microsoft Rewards is a new rewards program that just launched earlier this week. It builds on the foundation of Bing Rewards, but with expanded ways to earn. With Microsoft Rewards, you earn points for searching with Bing, shopping at the Windows and Microsoft stores, and browsing the web with Microsoft Edge. As a Windows Insider, you can continue to earn points even on Insider Preview builds. Then you can redeem your points for Xbox or Windows gift cards and pick from thousands of games, movies, TV shows, music, and apps. Or you can use your points to get Microsoft Store discounts, Skype Credits, Xbox Live Gold memberships, and more, or even donate them to charity. To join, click here! What’s new in Build 14926Snooze in Microsoft Edge: We know you all love when we get creative with you, so we have added an experimental “Snooze” action on a tab in Microsoft Edge which provides you with a way to set a Cortana reminder on the website you are viewing. People often keep tabs open in their browser indefinitely as a “to do” list, and do not close those tabs until the action associated with that website is complete. This feature lets you put a site into a Cortana reminder that will show up as a notification and in Action Center, allowing you to quickly open that site in Microsoft Edge when you’re ready to get back to it.
Updated Wi-Fi settings page (Mobile): As part of our experience of unifying the settings experience across devices – we have updated the Wi-Fi settings page via Settings > Network & wireless > Wi-Fi on Mobile to match how it works on PC. The new Wi-Fi settings page isn’t complete yet as we continue to port over functionality. If need, you can fallback to using the Wi-Fi (legacy) settings page to access any missing functionality. In addition, we added the capability for you to connect to WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) networks on your phone.
Improving your PC upgrade experience: One of the ongoing feedback items we’ve heard is how the apps that come preinstalled with Windows will reinstall after each upgrade – particularly noticeable for our Insiders that receive multiple flights per month. We’ve heard your feedback, and starting with Build 14926, when your PC updates it will check for apps that have been uninstalled, and it will preserve that state once the update has completed. This means if you uninstall any of the apps included in Windows 10 such as the Mail app or Maps app, they will not get reinstalled after you update to a newer build going forward.
Making pin login easier: Ever tried to enter your pin, only to discover the numbers you’ve been typing are nowhere to be seen because Num Lock was off? We’re happy to announce that that will no longer happen! With this build, regardless of your Num Lock state, numbers will be input if you’re typing into the pin password field. Let us know what you think!
Read more at https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/09/14/announcing-windows-10-insider-preview-build-14926-for-pc-and-mobile/#xpuOCgHAvrCvV1H2.99