Microsoft Plans Office 365 Upgrades

Office 365 - @SeniorDBA

A few months ag0 Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would receive major updates just twice a year, scheduled for September and March. Based on feedback from enterprise customers wanting a more tolerable schedule, Microsoft moved to make their release schedule more predictable.

What some people missed is that they also announced an identical schedule for corporate subscribers to Office 365. They aligned the update schedule with Windows 10. Microsoft says they plan to deliver and support Office 365 ProPlus updates, starting in September.

Microsoft also extended support 50% from 12 months per update to 18 months. The additional six months means your IT team can choose to push updates just once or twice a year.

Office 365 update channels, showing the new update channel names and release cadence

The twice-a-year feature updates will be named Semi-annual Channel (Pilot) and Semi-annual Channel (Broad), each describing how Microsoft envisions them being deployed in the enterprise. Most people will probably just refer to them as simply “Pilot” and “Broad”.

You can get more information here.

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Installing the Linux Bash Shell on Windows 10

Windows 10’s Anniversary Update offered a new feature for developers: A full Ubuntu-based Bash shell that can run Linux commands on a Windows 10 client. This is possible by using the new “Windows Subsystem for Linux” Microsoft added to Windows 10.

This isn’t a virtual machine or Linux software compiled for Windows. Microsoft worked with Canonical to offer a full Ubuntu-based Bash shell. This isn’t Linux, it is just the Bash shell and the exact same binaries you’d normally run on Ubuntu Linux.

It’s intended for developers who want to run Linux command-line utilities on Windows. They’ll get access to the Windows file system, but you can’t use Bash commands to automate normal Windows programs, or launch Bash commands from the standard Windows command-line.

How to Install Bash on Windows 10

To get started, make sure you have installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (build 14316 or higher). This also only works on 64-bit builds of Windows 10.

Once you’re sure you’re using the correct version of Windows 10, open the Settings app and go to Update & Security > For Developers. Activate the “Developer Mode” switch here to enable Developer Mode.

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Next, open the Control Panel, click “Programs,” and click “Turn Windows Features On or Off” under Programs and Features. Enable the “Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta)” option in the list here and click “OK.”

After you do, you’ll be prompted to reboot your computer. Click “Restart Now” to reboot your computer and Windows 10 will install the new feature.

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After your computer restarts, click the Start button (or press the Windows key), type “bash”, and press “Enter.”

The first time you run the bash.exe file, you’ll be prompted to accept the terms of service. The command will then download the “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows” application from the Windows Store. You’ll be asked to create a user account and password for use in the Bash environment.

If you’d like to automate the installation of Bash instead, you can run the following command in a Command Prompt window. This will automatically agree to all prompts and set the default user to “root” with no password:

lxrun /install /y

Using Ubuntu’s Bash Shell

You now have a full command-line bash shell based on Ubuntu, which means you can use Ubuntu’s apt-get command to install software from Ubuntu’s repositories. You’ll have access to all the Linux command line software out there.

To open the Bash shell, just open your Start menu and search for “bash” or “Ubuntu.” You’ll see a “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows” application. You can pin this application shortcut to your Start menu, taskbar, or desktop for easier access.

If you’re experienced using a Bash shell on Linux, Mac OS X, or other platforms, you’ll be right at home. You don’t need to use sudo, as you’re given a root shell. The “root” user on UNIX platforms has  full system access, like the “Administrator” user on Windows. Your Windows file system is located at /mnt/c in the Bash shell environment.

Use the same Linux terminal commands you’d use to get around. If you’re used to the standard Windows Command Prompt with its DOS commands, here are a few basic commands on both Bash and Windows:

  • Change Directory: cd in Bash, cd or chdir in DOS
  • List Contents of Directory: ls in Bash, dir in DOS
  • Move or Rename a File: mv in Bash, move and rename in DOS
  • Copy a File: cp in Bash, copy in DOS
  • Delete a File: rm in Bash, del or erase in DOS
  • Create a Directory: mkdir in Bash, mkdir in DOS
  • Use a Text Editor: vi or nano in Bash, edit in DOS

It’s also important to remember that the Bash shell and its Linux-imitating environment are case-sensitive. Unlike Windows, “MyFileName.txt” is different from “myfilename.txt”, just because of the use of capital letters in the name.

11 Hidden Windows 10 Tips and Tweaks

Windows 10 - SeniorDBA

All the features of Windows 10 aren’t as obvious as they should be, and that includes the tips and tweaks that make the powerful operating system easier to use. In this article by Howard Wen, we learn the details of 11 lesser-known ways to make Windows 10 better.

1. Delete your previous Windows version installation

2. Know how to sign out of Windows 10 

3. Pick whatever accent color you want

4. Use the new delay timer in the Snipping Tool 

5. Change Edge’s default search engine from Bing to another one 

6. Delay automatic updates over Wi-Fi 

7. Record video clips using the Xbox app

8. Remove the OneDrive folder from File Explorer 

9. Pin Windows apps to the desktop

10. Access all Windows 10 settings under one user interface

11. Uninstall default Windows apps

 

You can read the entire article to see all the details.

Microsoft Replaces Command Prompt with PowerShell in Windows 10

The Command Prompt has been part of Windows for a very long time, but it is being replaced starting with Windows 10 build 14971. It looks like Microsoft is trying to make PowerShell the main command shell in their latest update to their premier operating system.

In this build, PowerShell will officially replace the traditional Command Prompt in most any way you used to run the utility. Even typing cmd in the run dialog will launch PowerShell.

The 5 Coolest Features Coming to Windows 10

Windows 10 - SeniorDBA

With the recent Microsoft event, we know that there will be many new features coming from Microsoft’s flagship operating system in the upcoming Windows refresh. The free Windows 10 Creators Update will arrive on all Windows 10 devices in Spring 2017. This is a list of the top 5 best things about the new Windows:

  1. Office Apps Supporting 3D – In a Microsoft demo, they showed 3D objects being dropped into a PowerPoint presentation. They spun the objects and and moved from slide to slide at amazing speeds.
  2. Virtual Reality – While Microsoft still have the HoloLens for augmented reality, they also have hardware partners like Lenovo, Asus, Acer, HP, and Dell making VR headsets for bringing 3D experiences to Windows. With pricing that starts at $300, we may be seeing VR going mainstream.
  3. Built-in Sharing – Windows will allow you to instantly send content it to all of the important people in your contacts (that group of friends and coworkers in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen Windows 10, with just a few clicks.
  4. Paint 3D – A new version of the classic Paint app that allows you to build virtual models from 2D images. Using existing photographs, by creating new images with the Surface Pen, or scanning a real life object with your smartphone’s camera you can import 3D images into Paint 3D and save them for use in other tools or print them out to your 3D printer.
  5. Free – All the updates and improvements will be free to existing Windows 10 users.

Microsoft’s Latest Windows 10 (Build 14951) Released to Insiders

Windows 10 - SeniorDBA

Windows 10 Redstone 2 build 14951 has been released to the Fast Ring of the Windows Insiders Program with photo additions, Windows Ink features, and an update for the Linux subsystem.

Windows Ink is getting enhancements for PC users as build 14951 adds stencils and a protractor tool. This release also makes it possible for users to ink within photos.

Windows Subsystem for Linux: Today we are happy to announce two large updates to WSL!

  • Official Ubuntu 16.04 support. Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial) is installed for all new Bash on Ubuntu on Windows instances starting in build 14951.  This replaces Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty).  Existing user instances will not be upgraded automatically.  Users on the Windows Insider program can upgrade manually from 14.04 to 16.04 using the do-release-upgrade command.
  • Windows / WSL interoperability. Users can now launch Windows binaries directly from a WSL command prompt.  This is the number one request from our users on the WSL User Voice page.  Some examples include:
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$ export PATH=$PATH:/mnt/c/Windows/System32
$ notepad.exe
$ ipconfig.exe | grep IPv4 | cut -d: -f2
$ ls -la | findstr.exe foo.txt
$ cmd.exe /c dir

More information can be found on the WSL Blog and the WSL MSDN page. Other changes and more information can be found on the WSL Release Notes page.

Windows 10 ISO Download

Windows 10 - SeniorDBA

To download the ISO media file from Microsoft, you just need an internet connection. You can get this image directly from Microsoft using this official download. You will need a genuine Windows product key during the activation step during or after installation, but that should be a minor issue.

As part of this ISO file offering by Microsoft, the company has also created a relatively small check list of what’s actually required before beginning the download:

  • Make sure you have:
    • An internet connection.
    • Sufficient data storage available on a computer, USB or external drive for the download.
    • A blank USB or DVD (and DVD burner) with at least 4 GB of space if you want to create media. Microsoft recommends using a blank USB or blank DVD, because any content on it will be deleted.
  • Check these things on the PC where you want to install Windows 10:
    • 64-bit or 32-bit processor (CPU). You’ll create either the 64-bit or 32-bit version of Windows 10 that’s appropriate for your CPU. To check this on your PC, go to PC info in PC settings or System in Control Panel, and look for System type.
    • System requirements. See the system requirements before installing Windows 10.
    • Language in Windows. You’ll need to choose the same language when you install Windows 10. To see what language you’re currently using, go to Time and language in PC settings or Region in Control Panel.
    • Edition of Windows. You should also choose the same edition of Windows. To check what edition you’re currently running, go to PC info in PC settings or System in Control Panel, and look for Windows edition.
    • Microsoft Office products. If you just purchased a new device that includes Office 365, Microsoft recommends redeeming (installing) Office before upgrading to Windows 10. If you have Office 2010 or earlier and choose to perform a clean install of Windows 10, you will need to locate your Office product key.

To start the download, visit this page.