New Surface Keyboard for Desktop

Microsoft looks like they are reading a nice looking Surface keyboard for desktop users according to this recent FCC filing. I’m not sure if I really care for the sterile look, it reminds me a lot of Apple products. Still, for that minimalist office decor, it’s a perfect addition. I’m interested in the way it feels and how well I can type on it vs. a standard keyboard.

This is a picture that they included with the filing. I’m not really sold on it.



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Fix for recent Windows 10 Update Failure

Microsoft is readying a fix for the recent update to the Anniversary Update for Windows 10 that caused a reboot loop. The KB3194496 update caused problems for some Insiders, but was released to the public release ring anyway. Microsoft announced they are working on the fix in this Microsoft Answers forum post.

Hello Insiders!
We’ve been working diligently on this issue and are finalizing a clean-up script that will fix the underlying issue preventing the install of  KB3194496 (Cumulative Update 14393.222) for affected users.  Your patience during our research and subsequent work is greatly appreciated.

Thank you as always and stay tuned!

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Uninstall Programs in Safemode

By default, the Windows Installer service does not start while in Safe Mode. This service allows you to not only install, but to uninstall software. It also does not allow you to start the service in Safe Mode. Here is how to create and start the service in Safe Mode.

1. Open a Command Prompt as Administrator.

2. Type REG ADD “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal\MSIServer” /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D “Service” and press enter.

2a. If you are in Safe Mode with Networking, you would type REG ADD “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network\MSIServer” /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D “Service” and press enter.

3. Type net start msiserver and press enter.




Now you should be able to install or uninstall software while in Safe Mode. This comes in handy when a piece of software causes issues after being installed.

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Microsoft Band No More…

Microsoft has stopped selling their fitness watch, Microsoft Band, in their stores. They have also confirmed that they are not releasing another Band this year. With the movement in the development teams and this, it looks like the Band is getting chopped.

My first gen Band is still a great device. It’s gone through a lot, and is still working great. I’d love to upgrade to a newer version, but it looks like I’ll be going for a Fitbit. I was hoping for a new iteration of the Band…

Microsoft is believed to have disbanded the software team that was looking to bring Windows 10 to the Band a couple months ago. I’ve gotten various tips that at least some of the Band hardware team members have dispersed, too, with some moving to other Microsoft hardware teams inside the company.

Even though sources of mine have said Microsoft is planning to phase out its fitness band devices and to have no plans to roll out a Band 3 device any time soon (or likely, ever), company officials still haven’t completely conceded that it’s the end of the line for Band.

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New Windows 10 Insiders Build – 14926

For those in the Insiders group, a new build was released today. A lot of new fixes, build expiration, updates to applications. A lot of excellent changes this week. Make sure to update and try it out. Also, submit any feedback (good or bad) to the Windows team. They definitely use it to make a better Windows for future builds!

Just 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.

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Microsoft Launches New Online Community for IT Pros

Microsoft has officially launched a new online community with a focus on IT Professionals. The Microsoft Tech Community is consolidating several communities to focus on Windows Server, Office 365, Azure and SQL Server.

It is still a community that is new, so expect some growing pains as well as upcoming new features. Come join the fun, help out, ask questions, and join the conversation.

Today we are pleased to announce the launch of the Microsoft Tech Community, bringing multiple communities together in one central location to support discussions and best practice sharing across a variety of Microsoft products and services.  The Microsoft Tech Community is an evolution of the Office 365 Network, growing to support new Azure; Windows Server, and SQL Server Communities and in future many more communities.

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New Insider Build – 14915

Microsoft has released a new build for Windows Insiders, build 14915. Lots of fixes this round (including my #1 issue – power button broken on Start Menu! Always had to right click to get it…). The app and update delivery  has been optimized, as well.


Starting today, Windows Insiders that have Delivery Optimization enabled will be able to download new Insider Preview builds, OS updates, and app updates from other PCs on their local network as well as from other PCs on the Internet. We introduced Delivery Optimization with the Windows 10 November Update giving users the ability to get updates from PCs on a local network and are now enabling the ability to get updates from PCs on the Internet.

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Microsoft Supporting Skylake with Windows 7/8.1

Microsoft has changed their mind and will be supporting Intel’s Skylake CPU technology until the end of support for Windows 7 and 8.1. Windows 10 will be required for the newer CPU generations, however. At least for the latest and greatest features and support.

As previously communicated earlier this year, future silicon platforms including Intel’s upcoming 7th Gen Intel Core (Kaby Lake) processor family and AMD’s 7th generation processors (e.g. Bristol Ridge) will only be supported on Windows 10, and all future silicon releases will require the latest release of Windows 10.

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Post-Anniversary Update Insiders Update

With the latest Anniversary Update behind us, Microsoft has given us another Insiders Update – Build 14901. This has a few fixes, and a new way for notifications within File Explorer.

I’d also like to thank everyone for all of your help around the research and ideas for the #WINsiders4Good events. The Seattle one was a great success and I will write up a detailed blog (with a video!) once we wrap up Berlin this weekend. The team and I are working on creating a CAT (Create-A-Thon) In A Box so that any of you can host your own event with your local community. I love that our Insider community are people who use the tech they love to help eradicate the problems they don’t love.

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New Microsoft Professional Degree Program

Microsoft has released a new program – Microsoft Professional Degree Program – that can train users and certify them in the Data Science discipline. The courses are free to audit, but if you want to get the MPD certificate for completing the course, it will cost you.

The ability to offer Learning as a Service, to meet a learner where they are in their own journey and provide the targeted experiences they need to reach their specific goals, is critical to closing the skills gap.  The versatility of the Open edX on Azure platform, and the breadth of our learning partner community, allows us to broaden our reach and deliver customized curriculum to drive skills needed in the market, such as the Microsoft Professional Degree (MPD) program.  The initial curriculum in the MPD program will focus on data science for this very reason, as a study by McKinsey & Company estimates that by 2018 the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills, as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.

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