Archive for June, 2013

70-331: Core Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

 


QUESTION 1
Subsequent to establishing a User Profile Synchronization connection, you required to make sure
that the synchronization account is assigned the proper permissions.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should consider assigning the Replicate Directory Changes permission on the
cn=configuration container.
B. You should consider assigning the Create Child Objects and Write permission.
C. You should consider assigning the Read permission on the domain.
D. You should consider assigning the Replicate Directory Changes permission on the domain.

Answer: D

Explanation:


QUESTION 2
You have been instructed to make sure content writers are able publish files as specified in the
prerequisites.
You start by creating multiple authoring site collections. You are now preparing to create a site.
Which of the following should not be included in the site?

A. Lists.
B. Document libraries.
C. A Pages library.
D. An asset library.

Answer: D

Explanation:


QUESTION 3
You are required to make sure that the visual identification pictures of ABC.com’s users are added
to SharePoint user profiles. You want to make sure that the process requires as little management
resources as possible.
You have Defined a mapping for the thumbnailPhoto attribute of the Picture user profile property,
and configured a full synchronization of the User Profile Synchronization service.
Which of the following actions should you take NEXT?

A. You should consider making use of the Update-SPProfilePhotoStore Windows PowerShell
cmdlet.
B. You should consider making use of the New-SPProfileServiceApplication Windows PowerShell
cmdlet.
C. You should consider making use of the Start-SPProfileServiceFullReplication Windows
PowerShell cmdlet.
D. You should consider making use of the Start-SPProfileServiceRecoveryReplication Windows
PowerShell cmdlet.

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 4
You have been instructed to satisfy the prerequisites with regards to future SharePoint server
installations.
You want to make sure that the content of the SharePoint installation media and software updates
are included in the Updates folder.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should consider making use of the /extract:<path> command.
B. You should consider making use of the /mount:<path> command.
C. You should consider making use of the /obtain:<path> command.
D. You should consider making use of the /enable:<path> command.

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 5
You are in the process of configuring sizing and performance recommendations with regards to
general usage situations.
You are currently dealing with the Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) storage subsystem on network
attached storage (NAS). You want to configure the time-to-first-byte (TTFB) of any response from
the NAS.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should consider configuring a maximum of 20 seconds.
B. You should consider configuring a minimum of 20 seconds.
C. You should consider configuring a maximum of 20 milliseconds.
D. You should consider configuring a minimum of 20 milliseconds.

Answer: C

Explanation:


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Microsoft’s Visual Studio update addresses the connected app

Visual Studio 2013 will allow developers to store settings in the cloud, where they can be accessed by multiple computers

Microsoft kicked off its Build conference in San Francisco this week by releasing a preview of the next version of its Visual Studio IDE (integrated development environment), as well as updates to other development tools.

“If you are interested in building a modern, connected application, and are interested in using modern development lifestyles such as ‘agile,’ we have a fantastic set of tools that allows you to take advantage of the latest platforms,” said S. “Soma” Somasegar, corporate vice president in Microsoft’s developer division, in an interview with IDG News Service.

Somasegar noted, for instance, how the new Visual Studio provides more tools to help developers build applications for Windows 8.1, a beta of which is also being released this week.

Microsoft is releasing a preview of Visual Studio 2013, the final version of which is due to be released by the end of the year. The company is also releasing Visual Studio 2012 update 3, and a preview of the .NET 4.5.1 runtime framework.

How user input and follow-up interactions are parsed by Facebook.
Many of the new features in Visual Studio 2013 address the kinds of mobile, connected applications that developers need to build these days, Somasegar said. For instance, it provides new tools to profile energy and memory usage, both of which must be considered when building applications for mobile devices. It also includes a new tool for providing metrics on how responsive an app is for users.

Visual Studio 2013 is also tackling the challenge of writing an application that relies on cloud services in some fashion. Microsoft is providing interface from Visual Studio to its Azure Mobile Services, which synchronizes data and settings for a program used across multiple Windows devices.

Visual Studio 2013 itself will also be easier to use across multiple devices. It will allow developers to define environmental preferences, or the settings and customizations for their own versions of Visual Studio, that then can be applied to other copies of the IDE. Microsoft can store these environmental settings in the cloud, so they can be downloaded to any computer connected to the Internet.

“People go through a lot of trouble to set up their environment. Once they go to a different machine, they must go through the same hoopla again to get to recreate the environment they are comfortable with,” Somasegar said. “Once you set up your environment, we store those settings in the cloud, and as you go to another machine, you won’t have to recreate your environment.”

Another new feature, called Code Lens, provides “a class of information that, as a programmer, has been historically hard to get.” It can show, for example, which part of a program is calling a particular method and what other methods that method calls. Visual Studio 2013 also expands its support for C++ 2011, the latest version of the C++ language. Visual Studio’s feature for debugging the user’s own code (as opposed to running a debugger against the entire set of code) now works with C++ 2011.

Beyond Visual Studio, Microsoft is building more developer hooks into the next release of its browser, Internet Explorer 11, which is expected to be released with Windows 8.1.

Microsoft has completed “a major revamp” of the tools the browser provides to developers. The browser will come with a source-code editing tool, as well as a number of built-in diagnostic tools, Somasegar said. The idea is that the developer won’t have to toggle back and forth between the browser and the IDE. A Web application or page can be run, and mistakes can then be fixed, directly from within the browser.

With .Net, Microsoft worked on improving performance of the runtime environment. It can also provide more diagnostic information on how much memory a .Net program is using, and provide more information in a dump report should a program crash. Also, once a developer chooses a particular platform for a .Net project, such as an ASP.Net project, .Net will only display the components that can be used on that platform.

Microsoft is also releasing a white paper that offers a road map of where .Net is headed. The paper will be “one cohesive document that talks about .Net as it relates to Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Azure,” Somasegar said. “It is a comprehensive document that shows people how to think about the future as it relates to their current .Net investments.”

When Windows 8 and Windows RT were introduced, many Windows developers voiced concerns about the future of .Net, due in no small part to how little the platform was mentioned in Microsoft’s initial instructions on building Windows 8 modern applications.

Somasegar said Microsoft has always encouraged, and will continue to encourage, the use of .Net as a way for developers to write “managed code” for Windows 8 and Windows RT modern applications, as well as for Windows desktop applications.

In addition to issuing previews of Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013 this week, Microsoft is also releasing a preview of the latest edition of the company’s application lifecycle management software, Team Foundation Server 2013.


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The Microsoft breakup that never happened

Thomas P. Jackson, the former federal judge who in 2000 ruled that Microsoft should be split into two companies as punishment for monopolistic business practices, died Saturday at his Maryland home. He was 76.

Jackson’s demand that Microsoft divide was overturned by a federal appeals court in 2001, in part because the panel believed public comments Jackson made during and after the trial portion of the Department of Justice’s antitrust case showed bias against Microsoft.

Jackson had compared Microsoft’s executives to “drug traffickers” and “gangland killers,” said Bill Gates had “a Napoleonic concept of himself,” and lashed out at what he called duplicitous testimony during the trial.

While Jackson’s findings that Microsoft abused its dominant market position went untouched at appeal, the change in administrations after President George W. Bush took office led to a settlement between the government and Microsoft in late 2001.

That settlement did not include Jackson’s solution: to separate the operating systems side of Microsoft from the rest of the firm to create a pair of corporations.

But what if? What if Jackson’s remedy had been put into place and a dozen years or so ago Microsoft splintered into parts?
Two better than one?

Industry and legal analysts who played along with the counter-factual believed that the collective parts would now be better off than the single entity is currently.

“The Baby Bells each became sharks, and innovated, innovated, innovated,” Robert Lande, a law professor at the University of Baltimore and director of the American Antitrust Institute, said about the antitrust-driven 1982 breakup of AT&T. “You could argue that we wouldn’t have the cellphone industry without the breakup. At the least, it sped that up by several years, because you had seven innovating rather than just one.”

Lande’s point was that the more companies, the more competition, and the more competition, the more likely innovation.

“What if, 13 years ago, Microsoft had been broken into two very formidable companies? Eventually they would have started to compete with each other,” Lande said. “In search, Microsoft was a day late and a dollar short. But with two Microsofts, maybe one of them would have pushed [into search], perfected the search engine, and now be serious competition for Google.”

A breakup would also have put at least one of the resulting mini-Microsofts in the hands of someone other than Bill Gates, in 2000 still at Microsoft as its chief software architect.

“Gates was focused on the ‘black box,'” Lande said. “He personified that part of the company.”

Without Gates, Lande argued, one of what he called the “Baby Bills” would have been more likely to push beyond the confines of Windows and Office, and be more aggressive in trying new markets than did the company in reality.

Others took a different tack to the “what if?” exercise.

“You could argue that a split of Microsoft in 2000, with a company that made Office [but not Windows], it would have supported the iPad from day one because they would have had no concern to protect the Windows client,” said Al Gillen, an analyst with IDC. Office might have made it to Linux in that counter-historical, Gillen added.

Sans the antitrust action, or assuming it happened but that Windows was the sole focus of one of the two (or more) spinoffs, Gillen also thought that the operating system would be different today.
Ruling led to caution

“Indirectly [the antitrust action] created a lot of second-guessing internally,” Gillen said. “They made decisions specifically to not trigger a review by Microsoft’s lawyers. That created a reduction in its agility.”

Gillen recounted examples of briefings a decade ago when he would ask why a feature had not been implemented, and got the impression that the extreme caution was motivated by even technical staff looking over shoulders. “They were always thinking, ‘Oh my God, we can’t do that, it’s bundling.’ If Microsoft had been allowed to act in a fully unregulated manner, they could have done more to increase the ‘stickiness’ of the client OSs.”

The judicial oversight, and the caution it prompted within Microsoft, would have likely been absent or dramatically decreased if the operating system division had been spun off from the rest of Microsoft’s portfolio, Gillen contended. And that, over the years, would probably have made the Baby Bills faster to react to industry changes, perhaps even resulted in, say, deals between the application-centric company and the current devil, Google. Or the Windows-only firm might have jumped sooner into tablets — considering its early interest in slates — either before Apple launched the iPad in 2010, or shortly after the iPad’s appearance.

On the other hand, Gillen said, it’s possible that a Windows-only Microsoft would be in an even tougher spot than it is now, as the traditional PC industry fades under assault from mobile platforms such as smartphones and tablets. “Not being allowed to increase the stickiness of the client OSs,” Gillen said, referring to even more focus on the desktop, “may have helped prevent Microsoft from being even more negatively impacted.”

Lande also wondered what might have been had Microsoft split. “[The Windows side] may have focused even more on the box,” he said, to its detriment today.
Split wouldn’t have mattered

Not everyone agreed with Lande and Gillen that it would have been better had Microsoft been rendered into multiple parts. “The split would have had less value than people expected,” said Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft.

Cherry, who worked at Microsoft from 1994 to 2000, and in the last two years of that span was a program manager on the Windows team, wondered how the divided companies could have escaped the reputation of their ancestor. “How do you separate in the minds of people [these new firms] from Microsoft?” he asked. “If one had been called ‘Acme Software,’ but everyone knew it had been Microsoft, how would they have sold software to customers who didn’t want something from Microsoft?”

Cherry categorized any counter-factual as “a great pub discussion” over beers, but useless beyond that parlor game. “Sometimes I wonder what it might have been like, but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking that. It’s only moderately interesting.”

Meanwhile, a Directions on Microsoft colleague of Cherry’s, Wes Miller, echoed Gillen. Like Cherry, Miller worked at the Redmond, Wash., developer — in his case, from 1997 to 2004.

“I think [the antitrust case] harmed Microsoft’s mojo,” Miller said. “That and the EU [antitrust action] harmed Microsoft. Policywise, internally, they created some policies and procedures that made development more complicated, slower and in some ways more ineffective.”

A separation in 2000, however, might have let the Baby Bills move on, Miller suggested, and better put the case and its ramifications in their rearview mirrors.

“Who knows what the [technology] world would look like now?” Lande said. “But I have to think that there would have been a lot more innovation once you had split up Microsoft.”


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Windows 8 Update: Microsoft teams with Best Buy to boost Windows 8 sales

Also Surface software updates, HP pushing Windows 8, and a 7-inch Windows 8 tablet

Microsoft is placing Microsoft Stores within about half the U.S. Best Buy locations and creating a parallel online store on the Best Buy site in an effort to drum up more consumer business, it seems, for Windows 8.

These stores-within-a-store will range in size from 1,500 to 2,200 square feet and feature Windows-based PCs, ultrabooks, convertibles, detachables and all-in-ones. Microsoft Surface will have an area of its own within these Microsoft stores.

Windows 8
They will also stock Windows 8 applications, as well as Microsoft Office, Skype, Xbox music and games, the company says.

The Microsoft areas will be located in 500 U.S. Best Buy stores as well as more than 100 Best Buy and Future Shop stores in Canada, Microsoft says in a press statement.

Currently Best Buy sells a variety of Windows 8 devices including Surface tablets but they are jumbled in with other machines including those based on Linux, iOS and Mac OS.

Microsoft already has sales specialists working in Best Buy locations, but will train more than 1,200 Best Buy sales people to quickly scale up the force it needs to staff the stores.

By carving out its own clearly defined space within the stores Microsoft might be able to distinguish its Windows 8 gear more clearly among other alternatives. Well trained sales staff could also help customers clarify what Windows 8 offerings from competitors.

Surface updates
Update includes these firmware and performance improvements:
Surface RT: Surface Home Button driver update that improves the reliability of the devices waking up immediately on the first button press. Firmware update for Surface Type Cover and Surface Touch Cover that improves functionality for both accessories. Includes the ability to toggle function keys, new shortcuts, and helpful keyboard navigation improvements.
Surface Pro: LifeCam driver that enhances clarity for low light operation and improves reliability when switching between the integrated camera and an external camera.
Upgrade to Windows 8.1, reinstall apps
HP to push Windows 8

As businesses move from Windows XP to something newer, HP wants to be their guide, according to the company’s sales and services senior vice president Enrique Lores.

That means many will be upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8, and HP hopes it can turn that into sales of more hardware that businesses might buy to support new operating systems.

Does that mean the demise of XP is a bigger factor than the advent of Windows 8 for promoting PC sales? ‘Yes, significantly more, especially on the commercial side,’ he told Computer World.
A reference design for a 7-inch Windows 8 tablet

Inventec has come out with a reference design for a Windows 8 tablet with a 7-inch screen that runs on an Intel Atom Bay-Trail M system on a chip, an x86 processor.

That means the device can run a full version of Windows 8, not the ARM-based version called Windows RT that can’t run non-Windows 8 applications.

As a reference design it isn’t a commercial product, just a product that is engineered and that OEMs could pick up to create their own versions for consumer sales. Price estimates for the device are around $350.

IE 10 pinches power
When run on Windows 8 Internet Explorer 10 uses less power than competing browsers, at least according to Microsoft. Windows8

Checking IE 10 against Chrome and Firefox, the company found that its own browser used less power when accessing popular Web sites. It was the clear winner for all but one of the site tested – Craigslist – which looked like a three-way tie.


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70-642 Q&A / Study Guide / Testing Engine

QUESTION 1
ABC.com has a forest with a domain named ABC.com. A server named ABC-SR05 is configured
as the DNS server. During a routine security check you discover a number of outdated resource
records in the ABC.com zone. You successfully set up the DNS service to do scavenging on ABCSR05
but after a month ABC-SR05 was clogged up with the same stale resource records again.
What action should you take to take away all outdated resource records?

A. You should execute the dnscmd ABC-SR05 /AgeAllRecords command.
B. You should disable the DNS service on ABC-SR05 and manually start scavenging stale
records.
C. You should execute the dnscmd ABC-SR05 /StartScavenging command.
D. You should enable the DNS scavenging utility on the us.ABC.com zone.
E. You should execute the dnscmd /zonerefresh command.
F. You should increase the Expires After setting of the Start of Authority (SOA) record.

Answer: D

Explanation:
You again noticed the same stale resource records still lay na.contoso.com even after enabled
DNS scavenging on Server1 because the Server1 may not have na.contoso.com zone integrated
with AD DS and loaded at the server.
To ensure that the stale resource records are removed from na.contoso.com, you need to enable
DNS scavenging on the na.contoso.com zone. The aging and scavenging can be configured for
specified zones on the DNS server to make sure that the stale records are removed from the
specified zone.
Reference: Enable Aging and Scavenging for DNS

http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/library/7972082c-22a1-44fc-8e39-

841f7327b6051033.mspx?mfr=true


QUESTION 2
You work as the enterprise administrator at ABC.com. The ABC.com network uses the public
namespace ABC.com. All servers on the ABC.com network run Microsoft Windows Server 2008.
The ABC.com CIO does not want user to have the ability to copy the public DNS zone records.
You must make sure that the zone transfers are restricted to DNS servers that are listed in the
Name Servers option without affecting the operation of the public name resolution.
How will you comply with the CIO’s requirement?

A. Check the Service Locator (SRV) resource record enabled option on all ABC.com domain
controllers.
B. Configure the priority value for the SRV records on all the domain controllers of us.ABC.com to
1.
C. Check the Allow zone transfers only to servers listed on the Name Servers option on ABC.com.
D. Uncheck the DNS scavenging option on the us.ABC.com zone.

Answer: C

Explanation:
To ensure that public DNS zone records cannot be copied without impacting the functionality of
public DNS name resolutions, you need to configure the Allow zone transfers only to servers listed
on the Name Servers option on ABC.com. This setting allows you to restrict zone transfers only to
DNS servers listed in the Name Servers resource option on ABC.com.
Reference: DNS Zones

http://books.google.co.in/books?id=pL89TOMFcHsC&pg=RA1-PA244&lpg=RA1-

PA244&dq=Allow+zone+transfers+only+to+servers+listed+on+the+Name+Servers+option+&sourc
e=web&ots=StFz29rSf5&sig=0wRSARkgYxCy2ohweQs4QUDMqEQ&hl=en#PRA1-PA243,M1


QUESTION 3
You work as the enterprise administrator at ABC.com. The ABC.com network has a domain
named ABC.com. All servers on the ABC.com network run Windows Server 2008 and all client
computers run Windows Vista.
The ABC.com network has two Servers named ABC-SR05 and ABC-SR06. ABC-SR05 is a
domain controller that is configured as DNS server. ABC-SR06 is configured to run a legacy
application. You receive an instruction from the CIO to include parameters like Service, Weight
Protocol, and Port number for the legacy application on ABC-SR05.
What action should you take to accomplish this?

A. You must create a Host Info (HINFO) record on ABC-SR05.
B. You must create a Well-Known Service (WKS) record on ABC-SR05.
C. You must create a Service Locator (SRV) record on ABC-SR05.
D. You must create a Pointer (PTR) resource record on ABC-SR05.
E. You must create a Start of Authority (SOA) record on ABC-SR05.

Answer: C

Explanation:
Your best option in this scenario would be to create a Service Locator (SRV) record. To configure
DNS on ABC-SR05 to include the parameters such as Service, Priority, Weight Protocol, Port
number, and Host offering this service for the custom application, you need to configure Service
Locator (SRV) records. An SRV record or Service record is a category of data in the Internet
Domain Name System specifying information on available services. Service locator (SRV)
resource record. Allows multiple servers providing a similar TCP/IP-based service to be located
using a single DNS query operation. This record enables you to maintain a list of servers for a
well-known server port and transport protocol type ordered by preference for a DNS domain name.
References: SRV Record

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SRV_record

Resource records reference / SRV

http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/9b561e1b-9a0d-43e5-89a8-

9daf07afac0d1033.mspx?mfr=true


QUESTION 4
You work as the network administrator at ABC.com. The ABC.com network has a forest with two
domains named us.ABC.com and uk.ABC.com.
All servers on the ABC.com network run Windows Server 2008 and all client computers run
Windows Vista. Users in the us.ABC.com zone complain that it takes a long time to access
resources in the uk.ABC.com zone.
What action should you take to reduce the resolution response times? (Each correct answer
presents part of the solution. Choose TWO.)

A. You should create and configure a GPO with DNS Suffix Search List option to uk.ABC.com,
us.ABC.com.
B. You should configure the priority value for the SRV records on all the domain controllers of
us.ABC.com to 5.
C. You should apply the policy to all user workstations in the us.ABC.com zone.
D. You should enable Scavenge Stale resource records in the Zone Aging /Scavenging Properties
dialog box of every workstation.
E. You should create and configure a GPO with the Local-Link Multicast Name Resolution feature
enabled.
F. You should execute the dnscmd /zonerefresh command on the workstations in uk.ABC.com.

Answer: A,C

Explanation:
To configure the user workstations in the us.ABC.com zone to improve the name resolution
response time for resources in the uk.ABC.com zone you need to configure a new GPO that
configures the DNS Suffix Search List option to us.ABC.com, us.ABC.com. Thereafter the policy
can be applied to all user workstations in the us.ABC.com zone.
A customized DNS suffix search lists to ensures that clients can locate services and other
computers when they perform single-label name queries.
Link-Local Multicast Name Resolution cannot be used because it allows IPv6 hosts on a single
subnet without a DNS server to resolve each other names. Therefore it need not be used here.
DNS SRV records cannot be used because they are the service records, which are a type of DNS
entry that specify information on a service available in a domain. They are typically used by clients
who want to know the location of a service within a domain. When multiple hosts are configured
for the same service, the priority determines which host is tried first.
Reference: Create a Disjoint Namespace / Update the DNS suffix search list

http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/library/afe94bc3-41fb-4817-84b5-

5517c38a0d391033.mspx?mfr=true
Reference: Introducing MS Windows Vista/ Learning about Dual Stack and IP Management
Enhancements

http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/7/8/578cbb95-c42e-4b9f-9989-

93ffdeae8af4/Introducing_Windows_Vista.pdf
Reference: Understanding DNS SRV records and SIP

http://blog.lithiumblue.com/2007/07/understanding-dns-srv-records-and-sip.html


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How Windows Red can fix Windows 8: The right strategy for Microsoft

When Microsoft first outlined its strategy 32 months ago to bridge the old style of PC computing with the new world of tablet computing, we were optimistic. Although Apple had revolutionized computing with the iPad, creating the fastest-adopted technology ever, its approach walled off the tablet from the PC, with two different operating systems, user interfaces, and applications. Instead, Microsoft promised a unified, adaptive approach that would satisfy everyone.

But that’s not what Microsoft did. In fact, it did the opposite: It created a horribly awkward mashup of two fundamentally incompatible approaches that worked poorly on both PCs and tablets. Microsoft made a peanut butter and pickle sandwich, and the world has recoiled at the thought ever since, with Windows 8 falling behind even Microsoft’s other big failure, Windows Vista, in adoption. As InfoWorld’s Woody Leonhard famously wrote in his review of Windows 8, “Yes, it’s that bad.”

[ See Windows Red visualized in InfoWorld’s slideshow and read Woody Leonhard’s assessment of Microsoft’s Windows “Blue” 8.1. | Windows 8, “Blue,” and Red: The full coverage. | Windows 8 book authors dish on Windows 8. | Stay atop key Microsoft technologies in our Technology: Microsoft newsletter. ]

It doesn’t have to be that way. Despite its unworkable marriage of desktop and tablet, of traditional input and touch input, Windows 8 has many compelling notions that deserve widespread adoption.

The answer is not Windows “Blue,” aka Windows 8.1, which (based on what we’ve learned so far) offers only superficial changes. No, the answer is Windows Red, InfoWorld’s proposed redesign of Windows 8 that takes the best of Windows and Windows Phone, eliminates the unworkable aspects of the Desktop and Metro (aka Modern) mashup, and provides a road map for Microsoft to achieve its original Windows 8 aims.

A team of InfoWorld editors — Galen Gruman as project lead, Eric Knorr, and Doug Dineley — worked with Woody Leonhard, a noted Windows book author with unmatched experience in Windows, and illustrator Ben Barbante to conceptualize and design Windows Red. You can see our Windows Red results in the companion slideshow.

Here’s how Windows Red fixes the flaws in Windows 8 and accentuates its strengths.

The marriage of Windows 7 and Metro is annulled
Theoretically, creating a dual OS for use on legacy PCs, modern PCs, and tablets was a good idea. But Microsoft’s approach was fatally flawed, ignoring its own UI guidelines. It didn’t so much integrate the traditional PC with the modern tablet as slap both approaches onto both devices.

On a tablet, the Windows Desktop simply doesn’t work. All the controls are too small for gesture use — as Microsoft’s own UI guidelines make clear. Everything is too small to touch and often too hard to read.

We had assumed that the Windows 8 Desktop would provide contextual adjustment when apps were running on a tablet — essentially enlarging buttons, menu controls, and the like, as well as using the option of a simplified menu to reduce screen clutter, a more intelligent take of Microsoft’s “most recently used” menus that frustrated Office 2000 users. We didn’t expect that most traditional Windows applications would require users to manually invoke the onscreen keyboard when in text fields.

On a PC, the Metro environment is too big and too simplistic. We had assumed Metro would scale its density to take advantage of the larger screen and finer selection capabilities of mice. But that didn’t happen either.

Part of the challenge Microsoft faced in running traditional Windows applications in the Desktop on a tablet was that many Windows apps use very old code bases. Even if Microsoft had created contextual DLLs for UI elements and automatic onscreen keyboard display, many apps don’t use the Microsoft DLLs, or at least not current ones.

Microsoft prides itself on maintaining app compatibility for decades, which has let developers save effort. But that timeless legacy support has also created a ball and chain that keeps Windows from moving forward in the dramatic way that Metro was meant to do. Worse, the environment that Microsoft wants developers to switch to — Metro — provides a poor experience on traditional PCs, discouraging user adoption and thus developer investment.

There are also serious questions as to whether Metro can support more than widget-style lightweight apps. After all, Microsoft didn’t deliver Office for it, yet both iOS and Android have serious Office-like apps. Metro apps are so weak that users are avoiding them in droves.

Given these realities, the solution is to not mix the Desktop and Metro. In Windows Red, we don’t. Instead, we’ve split Windows Red into three versions: Pro, Mobile, and Duo.

Windows Red Pro is an enhanced version of Windows 7, and it runs only on desktop and laptop PCs. It includes the Desktop advances made in Windows 8, such as multiple copy threads, enhanced Task Manager, built-in Microsoft Security Essentials, improved system recovery, Hyper-V, and Windows to Go. Windows Red Pro also drops touch support. Touchscreen PCs are simply a terrible idea and ergonomically dangerous to users; they shouldn’t be enabled. Touch belongs on a horizontal surface in comfortable arm’s reach.
Windows Red Mobile is a Metro-only operating system that runs only on tablets. It’s a sibling to Windows Phone and a cousin to Windows Red Pro. In a sense, it’s an enhanced version of the current Metro-only Windows RT, though RT has a bunch of dumb limitations, such as the inability to be managed through Group Policy, that Windows Red Mobile fixes.
Because there are hybrid PC/tablet devices in the market, we felt we had to accommodate them. That’s our third version: Windows Red Duo. As the name implies, Duo delivers two Windows Reds on the same device.

But they do not operate simultaneously, as Windows Desktop and Metro do in Windows 8. When your hybrid’s screen is detached, making it a tablet, only Windows Red Mobile can run. When your hybrid is in its laptop configuration, only Windows Red Pro can run. A reboot is required when you switch configurations. Though inelegant, it’s necessary to prevent a repeat of the “Windows Frankenstein” mashup that is Windows 8. Nor is it as inconvenient as it might sound because Windows Red Pro still runs Metro apps — only you drive them with a mouse and physical keyboard, not via touch. (More on that below.)


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Test of NAS boxes shows ioSafe as disaster proof

Five NAS appliances for all your small business storage needs

We tested five Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances, ranging from 4T to 18TB in capacity and targeted for small offices and businesses with up to 20 to 25 users. All are more-or-less in the same price range: about $700 to $2,000 with drives.

Our participants were: D-Link’s Share Center Pro, Western Digital Sentinal DX4000, Thecus N4800Eco, Ctera C200 and ioSafe N2.

All of the units provide basic NAS functionality. They support RAID drive configurations and offer iSCSI support. They all provide local accounts and directory authentication for controlling user access. They support the popular file sharing protocols: CIFS (Windows), NFS (Unix/Linux), AFP (Mac), FTP, and offer at least basic remote web access. Read more


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