Linux Integration Services 4.1.3-2

Linux Integration Services has been update to version 4.1.3-2 and is available from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=51612

This is a minor update to correct the RPMs for a kernel ABI change in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, and Oracle Linux’s Red Hat Compatible Kernel version 7.3. Version 3.10.0-514.10.2.el7 of the kernel was sufficiently different for symbol conflicts to break the LIS kernel modules and create a situation where a VM would not start correctly. This version of the modules is compatible with the new kernel.

ICYMI – Your weekly TL;DR

Busy week developing apps? Us too. We hope you get to relax this weekend, but before you get too comfortable, take a look at what you might’ve missed this week!

Visual Studio 2017 is now available!

The new version of Visual Studio has a bunch of new features. Take look and get it here!

Playable Ads

Playable Ads are a completely new way for end users to interact with ads and apps. With this capability, end users never leave the current app. The ad click will result in inline expandable app streaming: for three minutes, the user can interact with the app as if it’s already installed on his/her device. This gives the user time to decide if he or she wants to install the app. At the end of the streaming session, users can click on a link to install the app if the app experience met expectations.

Desktop Bridge Updates

The Windows 10 Creators Update will help provide smooth user transition along with some best practices for app developers to follow. This feature is available on the current insider builds.

Now Available: Insider Preview Builds 15055

Combining Cognitive Services and HoloLens

In this post, you’ll learn how to recreate this iconic interface for the HoloLens. To sweeten the task, you’ll also hook up this interface to Microsoft Cognitive Services to perform an analysis of objects in the room, face detection and even some Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

Download Visual Studio to get started.

The Windows team would love to hear your feedback. Please keep the feedback coming using our Windows Developer UserVoice site. If you have a direct bug, please use the Windows Feedback tool built directly into Windows 10.

Giving a Workgroup Server an FQDN

Recently I needed to be able to securely, remotely manage a set of Windows Servers that were not domain joined.  One problem that I hit while setting this up was that each of the servers did not believe that they had a valid FQDN.

For example – I could:

  • Set the name of a computer to “HyperVSV1”
  • Create a DNS entry that said that “HyperVSV1.mydomain.com” resolved to that computer
  • I could then correctly ping the computer at that address

But when I tried to use tools like PowerShell Remoting or Remote Desktop – they would complain that “HyperVSV1.mydomain.com” did not believe it was “HyperVSV1.mydomain.com”.

Thankfully, this is relatively easy to fix.

If you open PowerShell and run the following two commands:

Set-ItemProperty "HKLM:SYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesTcpipParameters" -Name Domain -Value "mydomain.com"
Set-ItemProperty "HKLM:SYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesTcpipParameters" -Name "NV Domain" -Value "mydomain.com"

After this your workgroup server will correctly identify itself with a valid FQDN.

Cheers,
Ben

Crucial MX300 – 1 TB SSD with 9.5 mm Adapter & Acronis

For sale is a 1 week old Crucial MX300 1050 GB SSD. As new with adapter and unused Acronis back up Key.
I bought this from Amazon last Saturday as I needed a large ssd to hold and transfer some data temporarily. It cost me £240.48.

I cant seem to screenshot the disk info that makes suitable veiwing as my screen is 3440×1440 So info is:

Total Host Writes – 918 GB
Power On Count – 4
Power On Hours – 104 Hours…

Crucial MX300 – 1 TB SSD with 9.5 mm Adapter & Acronis

Next-generation web apps for education

Just a short time ago, the new Microsoft Intune for Education was announced for teachers and technologists to manage devices, accounts, and apps for students. Since that time, we’ve heard from a number of developers and app publishers who work in education, who have questions about how their apps can take full advantage of this new system.  For those app builders who are already publishing their apps on the web (and there are a lot of them!) we have a great solution today – and it’s about to get a lot better.

In Windows 10, we introduced the concept of “Hosted Web Apps” – applications which serve your web content from your server, outside of the context of the browser and with both a native feel and access to native capabilities. Now, we’re excited about what’s coming next for web apps: Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Together with other browsers and the web community, we’re working on enabling the next wave of native-like web experiences, where web content can have the essential capabilities and user experience of native desktop or mobile apps. These web apps can start up instantly, can run in the background and have additional APIs available for developers.  With Progressive Web Apps, web content gets promoted to app status when the user chooses and the environment allows for it.

Screen capture showing http://jig.space open in Microsoft Edge and as a native app on Windows 10

JigSpace is a platform for creating and sharing interactive, 3D instructions for anything. It’s simple, powerful and is available on desktop and mobile at http://jig.space, and can be ran as an app or in the browser.

The component technologies that make up PWAs are in development or supported on most browser platforms today. Additionally, Google has begun requiring Chrome apps to migrate to PWAs in order to remain accessible in Chrome, so there’s never been a better time for education-focused web apps to make the transition to a full PWA experience.

How to Write a Progressive Web App

Before migrating to a PWA you should make sure that your site is cross-browser compliant. Browser makers have gone to great lengths to make sure the rendering delta between browsers is small, but you’ll still want to make sure your app runs in all browsers before moving to a PWA.

To create a PWA you need to define your web project as an application. In the past, you’ve done this with a manifest file and image assets.  The problem was that each platform (like Chrome Apps and Windows Apps) had different manifest formats and asset requirements. PWAs require those same components, but standardize them so you build the app once and run it across all platforms that support PWAs.  There are three requirements for building a PWA:

  1. Your site must be hosted on an encrypted environment. This means it needs to be send as https instead of http. This has always been a recommendation for Chrome and Windows apps, but with PWAs it’s a requirement. If you don’t have an HTTPS certificate for your site already, get one today. The good news is this is easier than ever, thanks to resources like Let’s Encrypt.
  2. You need to have a W3C Web App Manifest. This is one standard manifest that supports your PWA across all platforms. We recently introduced PWA Builder, which simplifies and automates building a manifest so it’s as easy as providing resources and a description for your app.
  3. You need to have a service worker. A service worker is a JavaScript file that that runs between your HTML page and the Networking stack. SWs are also installed independently on host OSes to handle offline and push. You can also use service workers in a comparable way to make your site faster. PWA Builder also provides a selection of pre-built service workers based on the functionality you desire for your app.

Run your new PWA today as a “Hosted Web App” on Windows 10

Because PWAs are designed around the principle of progressive enhancement, building a PWA today will not only prepare you for next-generation experiences on desktop and mobile devices, but PWAs can already run as Hosted Web Apps today on Windows 10, and with a polyfill on Android and iOS.

Education-focused web apps, like other web apps, can be published to the Windows Store as “Hosted Web Apps.” These apps will run as standalone apps, just like PWAs. The primary differences between Hosted Web Apps and Progressive Web Apps today are simply in capabilities: while Progressive Web Apps support a Service Worker (and associated features like server push, cache, etc.), and require a secure connection, Hosted Web Apps currently do not. As support for the Service Worker family of features is added to the Windows web platform, HWAs with a Service Worker and HTTP will naturally evolve into PWAs.

Hosted Web Apps have some key user experience and discoverability advantages over remaining in the browser. Depending on your app’s customers and scenarios, you should review this list of benefits and determine whether your app is best delivered in the browser, as a hosted web app, or both.

Easier app management

As previously mentioned, a few weeks ago Microsoft announced a new version of Intune directed towards EDU to help teachers and schools better manager devices. By moving your web app to a HWA/PWA, it allows teachers and administrators to prep students devices with your app along side of the other store apps they use.

User notifications

You may already be using web notifications for re-engaging your users. These notifications will appear in the action center, where users are accustomed to find them. With a small amount of code added to your app, you can send push notifications or use the notification gateway to send toast notifications or Tile updates even when your app isn’t running.

Store listing

Hosted Web Apps get a listing in the Windows Store just like any application. When a user goes to the Windows Store to find education apps, your app will appear alongside the others and will participate in other store discovery mechanisms such as “recommended apps”.

Screen capture showing Jig.Space hosted in the Windows 10 Store

Hosted Web Apps (and, in the future, Progressive Web Apps) can be listed in the Windows 10 Store for better discoverability and manageability.

The store also provides you with additional benefits such as usage reports and performance data. You also receive ratings and reviews, which gives you a way to get feedback from your users, and respond to that feedback in ways we just don’t have on the web today.

More surfaces for discovery

In Windows 10 HWA/PWAs will appear wherever users expect to find apps. This includes discoverability in areas like “related apps” in the store, Cortana search, the start menu and even installs from within the bing.com search listing.

Screen capture showing Bing search results for JigSpace, featuring the "Jig.Space" Windows App featured in the search results.

Web apps listed in the Windows Store are featured in related Bing search results

Integration with the host operating system

HWA / PWA appear to a user as any other app. This means that a user and easily install and uninstall the apps. It means that the web app will be integrated into the settings panel (for example, with notifications).

Screen capture showing the Jig.Space web app installed in the Windows Start Menu. A context menu is open, with options to Pin/Unpin, Resize, Uninstall, and more.

Web apps are managed just like native apps, including all the relevant contextual controls and management options.

These apps work as stand-alone apps, so they have their own tile, their own task bar menus and even appear as apps within the task manager.

Access to expanded resources

When your web app runs as a HWA / PWA is has more access to resource. This means data caps on storage like IndexedDB and local storage are removed. It also means your app will have a dedicated cache that will never be deprioritized by another app.

Screen capture showing the Jig.Space app open to a 3d image of a Mars rover.

JigSpace provides interactive guidance for complex objects like this “jig” of the mars rover.

API access for expanded functionality

HWA / PWA apps have access to the Windows Store App APIs through JavaScript. This allows you to take advantage of features like BTLE, USB access or access to the user’s calendar or contacts with appropriate permission controls.

Simplifying the PWA Transition

Developers have shared with us that moving from a web site (or Chrome OS App) to a Progressive Web App is not an easy task. With that in mind, we’ve recently shared a preview to some of the open source tools we are supporting to ease the transition from web site to Progressive Web Apps. As an education ISV, you can start using these tools today. Lear more about these tools at http://preview.pwabuilder.com .

PWA Builder helps you build out the components needed for a Progressive Web App and get your listing in the Windows Store and other markets, so you can reach users regardless of platform or device.

We’ll have lots more to share about the road to Progressive Web Apps in Microsoft Edge and Windows 10 soon – in the meantime, reach out on Twitter or in the comments below if you have questions!

Jeff Burtoft, Principal Program Manager, Partner App Experience