Announcing Windows Server vNext Preview Build 18917 | Windows Experience Blog

Hello Windows Insiders!
Today we are pleased to release a new Insider preview build of the Windows Server VNext Semi-Annual Channel editions and Windows Admin Center Preview 1906.

Windows Server vNext Semi-Annual Preview

The Server Core Edition is available in the 18 supported Server languages in ISO format and in English only in VHDX format.

Windows Server Core App Compatibility FoD Preview
Windows Server Language Packs
Windows Admin Center 1906

Symbols are available on the public symbol server – see Update on Microsoft’s Symbol Server blog post and Using the Microsoft Symbol Server. Matching Windows Server container images will be available via Docker Hub. For more information about Windows Server containers and Insider builds, click here.
The following keys allow for unlimited activations of Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel Previews

Server Standard: V6N4W-86M3X-J77X3-JF6XW-D9PRV
Server Datacenter: B69WH-PRNHK-BXVK3-P9XF7-XD84W

This Windows Server Preview will expire July 31st, 2020.

Thanks for staying up-to-date on the Windows Admin Center journey! As our first preview release following the last generally available release in April, Windows Admin Center preview 1906 includes several new preview features:
Updates tool: you can now select individual Windows updates to install, a top user request.
Windows Admin Center connectivity settings: We’ve heard from users that are in completely disconnected environments that they would prefer to have a setting in Windows Admin Center where they can specify they are offline, so there will be no notifications about Azure hybrid functionality, extensions updates, or other actions that require public internet access.
To give this a try, enter as an experiment key in Settings-> Development -> Advanced, then visit the new Connectivity settings item. You can select Gateway to restrict online access, or Azure and Gateway if you want to access Azure features only, but nothing else on the public internet. In a future release, this menu item will also provide you with a complete list of URLs so that you can configure your firewall to block all traffic by default and explicitly allow only specific traffic to known services.
Virtual machines tool:

Import/Export VM – We’ve added Import/Export buttons to the Virtual Machines tool for importing VMs from and exporting VMs to a local volume or remote file share. When importing VMs, you have the option to create a new VM ID, and copy the VM files or use them in-place.

[Known issue] When importing a VM and creating a copy of the VM files, if you choose a local volume or cluster shared volume as the destination, it will be saved to the volume’s root folder instead of under the “Hyper-V” folder. This will be fixed in the next release. For now, you can use the Browse button to manually navigate to the actual folder you want to import the VM to.

VM tagging – Similar to the UI for tagging connections in Windows Admin Center, you can now tag VMs on a Hyper-V server! In the Virtual machines tool’s Inventory tab, an “Edit tags” button has been added to manage tags. These tags are saved on the Hyper-V host server and can be accessed by other admins.

[Known issue] VM tagging is not supported in the Failover Cluster or Hyper-Converged Cluster UI yet. Tags will not show up in the clustered VM view and managing tags from this view may unintentionally overwrite or delete existing tags.

Performance improvements – Significant performance improvements have been made to reduce page load time in the Virtual machines tool.

Improvements to Azure integration functionality:

The Azure Hybrid services tool now loads content from a feed, so that new services can be added at any time without an update of the entire tool.
From the Account menu in setting, you can now switch between multiple Azure accounts.
When adding a server or Windows PC to your connection list, you have a new option to log in to Azure and browse your Azure resources for the specific server or PC.

[Known issue] At this time, Windows Admin Center only enumerates your Azure resources, but cannot guarantee connectivity.
Windows Admin Center ecosystem developers: you’ll find a new menu item: Performance Profile, in the Windows Admin Center settings under the Development heading. This new tool will record your browsing session, tracking the times of each request and page load, so that you can identify opportunities to improve performance.

Registered Insiders may navigate directly to the Windows Server Insider Preview download page.  See the Additional Downloads dropdown for Windows Admin Center and other supplemental apps and products. If you have not yet registered as an Insider, see GETTING STARTED WITH SERVER on the Windows Insiders for Business portal.

The most important part of a frequent release cycle is to hear what’s working and what needs to be improved, so your feedback is extremely valued. For Windows Server, use your registered Windows 10 Insider device and use the Feedback Hub application. In the app, choose the Windows Server category and then the appropriate subcategory for your feedback. In the title of the Feedback, please indicate the build number you are providing feedback as shown below:
[Server #####] Title of my feedback
See Share Feedback on Windows Server via Feedback Hub for specifics. We also encourage you to visit the Windows Server Insiders space on the Microsoft Tech Communities forum to collaborate, share and learn from experts.
For Windows Admin Center, Send us feedback via UserVoice. We also encourage you to visit the Windows Admin Center space on the Microsoft Tech Communities.

This is pre-release software – it is provided for use “as-is” and is not supported in production environments. Users are responsible for installing any updates made available from Windows Update.  All pre-release software made available to you via the Windows Server Insider program are governed by the Insider Terms of Use.

Network – If you have configured an Azure Network Adapter, the value under Microsoft Azure Virtual Network Gateway Address will be formatted as a hyperlink but leads to an invalid address. [20420185]
Azure Update Management onboarding – If you have already installed the MMA agent, or install the agent using the new integration for Azure Monitor, you will not be able to onboard the server to Azure Update Management through the UI in Windows Admin Center. If Azure Update Management is already configured (whether through Admin Center or another way), you can still onboard the server to the Azure Monitor Virtual Machines Insights solution using the Windows Admin Center UI.
Chrome users may see 403 Forbidden response from WAC after upgrading. The workaround is to close *all* open chrome tabs (make sure there are no chrome.exe processes running). After restarting chrome, everything will function normally. We have an error message that makes this clear, but chrome users with multiple windows admin center tabs open during upgrade will not see the message.

Fixed an issue where a local user’s last logon time output from “net user username” may not be recorded even when the user has accessed the server’s network share.
Fixed an issue when attempting to update Server Standard to Server Datacenter, results in error “Error: 1168. An error occurred while applying target edition component setting. The upgrade cannot proceed.”
Fixed an issue when domain trust was broken when the recycle bin configured on the domains carrying the trust.
Fixed an issue where an invalid file was being created in %Systemroot%System32LogFilesSum by User Access Logging.

Using ntdsutil.exe to move of the Active Directory database files may fail with error: “Move file failed with source and Destination with error 5 (Access is denied.)”
Auto-logon configured by login scripts may fail to work properly
Status of online/offline files icon and status bar may not display an accurate status. OfflineFiles event manager logs will show the actual state of the files.
PowerShell may report an incorrect NdisPhysicalMedium result on IPoIB adapter
Applies to App Compat FOD MMC.exe only: Multiple Active Directory Users and Computers snap-ins added to the same MMC.exe instance could show inconsistent or no data on part of the snap-ins after adding extra columns to the UI view.  Wokaround: for UI user management, use a separate MMC for each ADUC (DSA.MSC) snap-in.
Scheduled startup tasks may fail to run. An event is logged, ID 101 with the error code ERROR_LOGON_FAILURE when the failure occurs.
DCPromo fails if the interface metric of the physical NIC is larger than Loopback Interface
Renaming a domain controller may update incorrect attributes in Active Directory (msDS-AdditionalDnsHostName, msDS-AdditionalSamAccountName and servicePrincipalName attributes) leaving orphaned data behind (ValidateSPNsAndDNSHostNameActual)
Domain Controller rename updates incorrect attributes in AD leaving orphaned data behind (ValidateSPNsAndDNSHostNameActual).  This can be reproduced by adding a new FQDN, setting it as primary, restarting the domain controller, then removing the current FQDN.  Checking the msDS-AdditionalDnsHostName, msDS-AdditionalSamAccountName and servicePrincipalName attributes will incorrect values.
Self-service users cannot install Feature on Demand (FOD) packages and Language Packs for Windows Server Update Service (WSUS), System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), and Autopilot scenarios.
After disabling and re-enabling SR-IOV capability on a NIC on Linux VM, Windows may report “Error applying Network Adapter changes.” Details will show “The Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management service encountered an unexpected error: Call was canceled by the message filter. (0x80010002).”  A side effect of this failure is that the VM will remain in a stopping state when shutting down the VM, and cannot be restarted without a power reset
When deploying a controller VM, after the last reboot in the deployment process the controller VM is not visible.

No downtime for Hustle-As-A-Service,Dona

Nexera launches self-assessment for hospital supply chain

Nexera launched a free, online self-assessment for hospitals to evaluate their supply chain program on the cost, quality and outcomes spectrum. The Hospital Supply Chain Performance Self-Assessment intends to help users improve clinical supply chain optimization and reduce costs.

The Hospital Supply Chain Performance Self-Assessment tool will identify an organization’s greatest areas of concern; addressing weaknesses in the supply chain process will help solve overarching issues in the industry, according to Nexera.

The self-assessment tool asks a series of short, targeted, multiple-choice questions in various focus areas. Upon completing a focus area assessment, the tool analyzes the participant’s reported performance in comparison to best practices, sends results and provides a free best practices guide to encourage organizations to make appropriate improvements.

The Hospital Supply Chain Performance Self-Assessment tool offers nine focus areas organizations can evaluate for cost, quality and outcomes optimization:

  1. Clinical supply chain integration and value analysis
  2. Contracting
  3. Data management
  4. Finance and alternative data sets
  5. Inventory management
  6. Project management
  7. Receiving and distribution
  8. Requisitioning and purchasing
  9. Supply chain education

According to Gartner, supply chains must embrace patient focus, collaboration and network visibility in their supply chain process in order to combat mounting challenges, such as cost pressures and patient expectations.

Nexera claims that its self-assessment is one of the first steps in improving overall supply chain strategy and patient focus necessary to transform the industry. Gartner also predicted that process automation and AI integration are in the future of successful supply chain processes.

Nexera’s launch of the Hospital Supply Chain Performance Self-Assessment tool follows its 2015 book, The Healthcare Supply Chain: Best Practices for Operating at the Intersection of Cost, Quality, and Outcomes, produced with sister company Acurity. The book examines how supply chain professionals can improve their organizations by focusing on all delivery costs and their correlation to care quality and financial outcomes.

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Building hybrid applications with the WebView2 developer preview – Microsoft Edge Blog

Last month at Build, we introduced the new WebView2 coming to Windows, powered by the upcoming Chromium-based Microsoft Edge. Today, we’re releasing a new update to the WebView2 SDK, and with it we’re ready to encourage a broader set of app developers to try the WebView2 preview and give us early feedback.
The WebView 2 preview has a limited scope, with support for an initial set of Win32 C++ APIs on Windows 10. Support for other Windows versions (Windows 7+ and Windows Server 2012 R2+) and UWP/WFP/WinForms support will become available in the future.

Learn more about WebView2 in our session from Build 2019: “Moving the web forward with Microsoft Edge“

With today’s SDK updates, WebView2 addresses a number of popular requests we heard during the initial preview, including supporting 32-bit WebView on 64-bit machines, the ability to disable devtools, the ability to disable status bar, and more. Going forward, our initial plan is to update the SDK roughly every six weeks, with our cadence and roadmap primarily driven by your feedback. You can receive information about new releases via our release notes or via the RSS feed of the WebView2 NuGet package.
About the control
The WebView2 control allows developers to host web content within your native apps. This hybrid approach lets you to share code with similar controls on other platforms or with your websites, to inject dynamic content into your native apps, and to leverage the rich and growing ecosystem of tools, frameworks, and talent around web technologies, among other benefits.
WebView2 can power a wide spectrum of apps and use cases. For example, we’re working closely with the Office team to bring a WebView2-powered Add-ins experience to future versions of apps like Excel, which will allow add-ins to leverage the full-fidelity Chromium engine that powers Microsoft Edge.

Office add-ins such as this one by Lucidchart will be able to leverage the modern capabilities of Microsoft Edge, enabled by WebView2

A consistent foundation for web apps on all Windows devices
By building on the same Chromium-based foundation as the next version of Microsoft Edge, the new WebView2 control is compatible with the latest web platform capabilities and broadly interoperable with the web experiences you have already built. WebView2 is by default powered by the always up-to-date Microsoft Edge, so you can build your web content against the latest and most secure platform without worrying about fragmentation across Windows versions, or across your web content running in the browser and in your app.
For developers that need a fully locked-down web platform, we’re working on a bring-your-own mode, which will allow bundling a redistributable version of the browser with a WebView2 app. The redistributable browser powering WebView2 gets no automatic update; in this case, app developers are responsible for servicing and updating the WebView to receive security updates and new capabilities.
We recognize that many developers have invested in EdgeHTML and MSHTML-based web apps and hybrid apps over time. As we build out WebView2, we expect it to be a compelling successor for these developers, but we hear loud and clear that not every app is ready to move forward. Existing Windows applications built with Windows web technologies, such as EdgeHTML/MSHTML-based WebViews or WWA/HWA/PWA built on top of the UWP platform, will continue to work as-is without modification.
Getting started the preview
We’re early in our journey to provide a modern, robust WebView for Windows devices, and the future direction of WebView2 will be heavily influenced by your feedback. Visit our documentation to learn more about the developer preview, check out the getting-started tutorial, and share your feedback, suggestions, and details on your scenarios over at our feedback repo.
Have fun building!
– Limin Zhu, Program Manager, WebView

For Sale – HP Microserver

Hi All,
I’ve got a HP40L Microserver that’s been sitting on a shelf turned off and I’m finally getting around to getting rid of it. I’m after £40 collected please as it’s too big to post. It’s got 4GB of RAM in it, and all the caddies. I’m selling the disks separately.

Any questions, feel free to ask….

Price and currency: £40
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: Cash on collection
Location: Shepperton
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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Control the action with your eyes in 4 new ‘Eyes First’ games on Windows 10 PCs | Windows Experience Blog

Four new “Eyes First” games where eye motions control the play are now available on Microsoft Store for Windows 10 PCs: “Tile Slide,” “Match Two,” “Double Up” and “Maze.”
Windows 10 eye-tracking APIs power these games, which can be used with or without Windows 10 Eye Control*, a key accessibility feature for people with speech and mobility disabilities.
The “Eyes First” games are reinventions of popular games and a fun way to get familiar with eye control and learn the skills to apply to other eye gaze-enabled assistive technologies.
Challenge yourself to complete the “Tile Slide” puzzle in the fewest number of moves; exercise your memory playing “Match Two”; sharpen your math and strategic thinking playing “Double Up”; and see how fast you can get your lost puppy home, without getting lost yourself, in the “Maze.” Compete with friends and family for high score honors! And the twist? You play by using your eyes!
Find out more on the Accessibility Blog.
*To play Eyes First games or to use Windows Eye Control, you need a compatible eye tracker device and Windows PC with Windows 10 April 2018 Update (or newer). See more information in Windows support. These games can also be played in the classic ways via mouse or touch.

Azure Security Expert Series: Best practices from Ann Johnson

June 19th 10 am – 11 am PT (1 pm – 2 pm ET)

With more computing environments moving to the cloud, the need for stronger cloud security has never been greater. But what constitutes effective cloud security, and what best practices should you be following?

We are excited to launch the Azure security expert series on June 19th, for security operations and IT professionals. Kicking off with Ann Johnson, CVP Cybersecurity Solutions Group, Microsoft, and other industry experts in discussions on a wide range of cloud security topics.

Save the date


What is included in the event?

You’ll hear from Ann Johnson on the following:

  • Cloud security best practices with Hayden Hainsworth, GM and Partner, Cybersecurity Engineering at Microsoft.
  • The latest Azure security innovations.
  • Partnership with Ran Nahmias, Head of Cloud Security at Check Point Software Technologies.
  • Security principles from a Microsoft enterprise customer.

During the streaming event, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a live chat with Microsoft cloud security experts.

You will also have access to watch our new on-demand sessions at your own pace, all led by Microsoft security product experts, to gain practical knowledge from these topics:

  • Get started with Azure Sentinel a cloud-native SIEM.
  • What is cloud-native Azure Network Security?
  • Securing the hybrid cloud with Security Center .
  • What makes IoT Security different?

That’s not all! You will have a chance to win a Microsoft Xbox One S after the event. All you have to do is: watch all the sessions, complete the knowledge check questions on the sweepstakes form, submit – and you are entered!**

Tune in

So mark your calendars today, and we’ll see you online on Wednesday June 19th at 10 am PT (1 pm ET).

Ask Us Anything with Azure security experts

Have more questions? Azure security team will be hosting an ‘Ask Us Anything’ session on Twitter, on Monday June 24, 2019 from 10 am – 11:30 am PT (1 pm – 2:30 pm ET).  Members of the product and engineering teams will be available to answer questions about Azure security services.

Post your questions to Twitter by mentioning @AzureSupport and using the hashtag #AzureSecuritySeries.

If there are follow-ups or additional questions that come up after the Twitter session, no problem! We’re happy to continue the dialogue afterwards through Twitter or send your questions to [email protected].

How do I learn more about Azure security and connect with the tech community?

There are several ways to stay connected and access new executive talks, on-demand sessions, or other types of valuable content covering a range of cloud security topics to help you get started or accelerate your cloud security plan.

  • Watch for content on: Azure Security Expert Series Page.
  • Visit Microsoft Azure for product details.
  • Follow the social channel for Azure security news and updates on Microsoft Azure Twitter.
  • Join our Security Community to connect with the engineering teams and participate in previews, group discussions, give feedback etc.
  • Accelerate your knowledge on security capabilities within Azure with hands-on training courses on Microsoft Learn (watch out for new security training sessions in the coming months).
  • Attend Microsoft Ignite for specialized security learning paths to learn from the experts and connect with your peers.

**The Sweepstakes will run exclusively between June 19 – June 26 11:59 PM Pacific Time. No purchase necessary. To enter, you must be a legal resident of the 50 United States (including the District of Columbia), and be 18 years of age or older. You will need to complete all the Knowledge Check questions in the entry form to quality for the sweepstakes. Please refer to our official rules for more details.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

How to keep an Office 365 outage from ruining your day

Microsoft employs many engineering teams to make its hosted email service Exchange Online as highly available as possible, but no system is perfect. An Office 365 outage can occur at any time as well as any Azure service you depend on, but with some advance preparation, you can try to make a disruption less jarring.

Much like Exchange Server on premises relies on services such as Active Directory and domain name system, Exchange Online is part of Office 365 and relies on many shared services to provide a user access to their mailbox. Microsoft’s cloud got hit with a few outages last year that affected Azure multifactor authentication and prevented users who require MFA to log on from accessing Office 365 services, including their Exchange Online mailbox. These outages also affected administrators who used MFA on their accounts and could not get into the Office 365 portal. 

Developing a highly available Exchange environment on premises involves load balancers, database availability groups, switchovers, failovers and the like. Organizations that move to Exchange Online leave that work in Microsoft’s hands, but you will have new tools and new strategies to use if an Office 365 outage occurs or a critical Azure cloud service breaks to make downtime less of an issue.

How to avoid surprises with Azure identity and authentication

Monitoring your tenant and supporting services won’t prevent a service problem, but it will help you to respond proactively when one occurs and let your users know about the problem before they start alerting you.

Monitoring your tenant and supporting services won’t prevent an outage, but it will help you to respond proactively when one occurs.

The specifics of what to monitor depends on your environment and the services you consume, but it’s always a good idea keep an eye on your identity and authentication infrastructure. How are my domain controllers performing? Is Azure AD Connect synchronization successful? These are the types of questions Azure AD Connect Health can answer. Azure AD Connect Health is included with the Azure Active Directory premium tiers as a component of Azure AD Connect. It monitors the key parts of your identity infrastructure: Azure AD Connect synchronization, Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) and Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS)

You use agents with Azure AD Connect Health, so you only configure it for the services you want to monitor. For example, if you don’t use AD FS, then there is no need to install and configure that agent.

AD DS monitoring data
If you use Azure AD Connect Health, you can see monitoring information in the Azure AD node of the Azure portal. This screenshot shows an example of AD DS monitoring data.

Check the status of your Office 365 services

In addition to monitoring your identity and authentication infrastructure, it is essential to keep an eye on the Office 365 service health page in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

Office 365 is a massive service with thousands of servers, so it stands to reason that there will always be an incident or service advisory. Some have a wider-reaching effects than others, but it’s a good idea to monitor the service health daily to understand which affect your tenant and users. You can access the service health dashboard from the Health node in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

Office 365 service health dashboard
The service health dashboard in the admin center displays any Office 365 outages and other issues on the cloud platform.

There are a plethora of third-party monitoring tools that provide in-depth monitoring and reporting of your environment and the Office 365 services you consume. Some include additional monitoring features and will alert you if things like user experience become suboptimal.

If you use System Center and prefer to monitor your Office 365 tenant in one application, then you can download a management pack from Microsoft that adds a monitoring dashboard.

In case of emergency, break glass

If you follow Microsoft’s security recommendations, then all the administrators in your Office 365 tenant should be using MFA to access the Microsoft 365 admin center. But what if you didn’t have any workarounds when the Azure MFA outages hit? You would have lost access to the admin center, unable to see the service health dashboard or perform any other administrative tasks in the tenant.

To get administrative access to your environment during an Azure MFA outage, then you can create an emergency access account, also called a break glass account, to gain administrative access to the tenant when the needed.

What is an emergency access account? As the name indicates, it’s a global administrator account in the tenant for use only when absolutely necessary. There are some basic rules of thumb when creating a break glass account:

How to lock down Exchange Online with MFA

  • The password should be long, complex and randomly generated.
  • The password should not have an expiration date.
  • The password should not be known by anyone. Ideally, it will be printed and stored in a safe place that has controlled access.
  • The account should be cloud-only so it is not affected by federation service outages and uses the default tenant — — domain.
  • The account should not have MFA enabled and should be excluded from conditional access policies.
  • The account should be easily identifiable by other administrators in the tenant, so it doesn’t have its permissions taken away or isn’t inadvertently removed. An easy way to do this is to use the Job Title field for a description.

It’s also important to have a well-documented process to use the break glass account. It doesn’t help if just one person with access to the account password is away on vacation when you need to use the account. It is also a good idea to periodically reset the account password and confirm that it still has all the required permissions and policy exclusions in place.

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How to use the PowerShell pending reboot module

You are likely accustomed to rebooting a Windows computer, and the PowerShell pending reboot module can make that process easier.

Windows requires a reboot to successfully finish operations, such as updating drivers and installing patches, third-party software and Windows features. A restart gives Windows the opportunity to change or remove files without causing instability.

You can check if Windows has a pending reboot with the PowerShell pending reboot module, created by Brian Wilhite, a Microsoft premier field engineer.

Get started with the pending reboot module

Use the PowerShell Gallery to install the PowerShell pending reboot module:

PS C:> Install-Module PendingReboot

A restart gives Windows the opportunity to change or remove files without causing instability.

The module will be loaded into the current PowerShell session with the cmdlet Test-PendingReboot. While looking at the code inside of the PowerShell pending reboot cmdlet, you can see where the cmdlet checks for a pending reboot in the Windows registry. These locations map to component-based servicing (CBS), Windows Update, an Active Directory join and the System Center Configuration Manager software development kit (SCCM SDK).

The CBS stack was introduced with Windows Vista and encompasses various tools to service Windows while keeping the OS stable. CBS has several different levels for servicing. The first is for Windows Update, programs and features, and MSI. The second level is the trusted installer, which runs in Task Manager during certain installations. The last level is for kernel transactions to Windows.

How to use Test-PendingReboot

By default, when running the Test-PendingReboot cmdlet on the local system, it will return two properties: ComputerName and IsRebootPending.

How to use Test-PendingReboot

Note that SCCM does not manage the system, so the cmdlet cannot find the SCCM SDK in the registry. If you want to skip the cmdlet from checking, you can use the parameter –SkipConfigurationManagerClientCheck.

You can find more information from the cmdlet than pending reboots. If you run the cmdlet with the –Detailed parameter, it will give the status on all of the areas in the registry it checks.

If you run the cmdlet with the –Detailed parameter, it will give the status on all of the areas in the registry it checks.

For example, if you install Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird and Acrobat DC, each will have a pending file renaming operation. The PendingFileRenameOperationsValue property can have multiple values, which you can see by piping Test-PendingReboot to Foreach-Object. The next reboot will rename the files.

The PendingFileRenameOperationsValue property can have multiple values, which you can see by piping Test-PendingReboot to Foreach-Object.

In addition to checking pending reboots locally, you can specify the –ComputerName parameter, which will use Invoke-WMIMethod to remotely connect and check the same registry values.

Use Get-ADComputer from the Active Directory module to retrieve computers to query:

Use Get-ADComputer from the Active Directory module to retrieve computers to query.

In the above command, first query Active Directory for any system under the organizational unit servers and then query them with Test-PendingReboot.

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Install Exchange Server 2019 on Server Core 2019 to boost security

Exchange security remains a priority for IT administrators, and now they can build up the mail platform’s defense by installing it on Server Core.

The Server Core deployment in Windows Server 2019 supports on-premises Exchange Server 2019. The 2019 lightweight deployment is the first version capable of supporting Exchange. Could greater security from shrinking the attack surface be enough to win over administrators to Server Core? Jaap Wesselius, an independent consultant based in the Netherlands, has helped his clients install Exchange Server 2019 on Server Core 2019 in production. He discussed his experience with the installation process.

What was your experience installing Exchange Server 2019 on Server Core 2019?

Jaap Wesselius: I’ve installed and configured it a couple of times now because I’m also in the Microsoft Insider program. It’s a bit difficult because you don’t have a GUI — the typical Windows admin is GUI-minded — so you have to do everything from the command line. There’s a small text-based utility called Sconfig, which you can use to set the server name, join it to a domain and configure an IP address, but that’s basically it. All the configuration for an Exchange Server needs to be done manually, so you have to know your disk configuration and the disk utilities. For example, in PowerShell get-disk, format-disk, assign-disk, assign disk numbers, assign drive letters, mount points and all that makes it quite difficult. All the blog posts you see about installing Exchange Server on Server Core are like: “See, we have a server, we assign an IP address and we run setup and ta-da, it’s working.” That’s true, but then you have a pretty simple lab environment. Every customer has a more complex server and therefore more complex configuration. You can also use a GUI-based management server and manage your server remotely. That makes life a bit easier.

What are the pros of having Exchange on Server Core?

Wesselius: Server Core has a smaller attack surface; it’s less likely to be compromised. Also, there are a lot less hot fixes for Server Core because there’s a lot less software and utilities to be installed. It’s just security. Security is one of the targets for Microsoft for Exchange.

What difficulties should administrators be aware of when they install Exchange Server 2019 on Server Core 2019?

Wesselius: You have to get used to it. The past 20 years, we have been working with the GUI and we solved all configuration issues with the GUI. That’s no longer possible, so you have to get used to working with PowerShell for everything — and I mean everything. That makes it complex. The network card for example: If you have a server with one network card, life is pretty easy. But if you have one with four network cards and you have to configure them using PowerShell, that’s painful. You have to get used to it. In the beginning, I configured the server and reconfigured it and started from scratch again and reconfigured it a couple of times.

How often do you see Server Core used in your work?

Pretty much the only way to manage Exchange Server 2019 on Server Core is PowerShell.
Jaap Wesselius

Wesselius: I see it as additional domain controllers in an environment where the first domain controller is just a GUI-based windows full server version. Other than Exchange and one or two domain controllers, I don’t see it a lot yet. It’s supported for other applications though. I have to admit that the U.S.-based customers tend to adopt new technology sooner than in the Netherlands. Here in the Netherlands, or maybe in Europe, customers wait for one or two years before they start adopting new software. This is not only true for Windows. For Exchange 2010, we have many customers in the Netherlands and maybe in Europe still running on Exchange 2010 that haven’t even started to move to 2016. The pressure is increasing because end of support is approaching in eight months, so now they’re starting to get nervous because they know they have to move.

We have customers running on Exchange Server 2019. There are also customers that want to move, but when you are on Exchange 2010 you cannot move to 2019 because of the N-2 program. They have to move to 2016 first. For some customers it’s impossible.

What should administrators know before they install Exchange Server 2019 on Server Core 2019?

Wesselius: If you want to use Server Core for Exchange, you can only use it in Exchange 2019. Exchange 2016 on Server Core is not supported, and it does not work. It’s just not possible. Exchange 2019 does offer some new technology for bare-metal deployments, but for virtual environments it’s just a new version of exchange 2016. The differences are pretty small.

Pretty much the only way to manage Exchange Server 2019 on Server Core is PowerShell. There’s not really another way that works super well. Exchange control panel can be used for the basic configuration of an Exchange Server. For nitty-gritty details, you need PowerShell. But that’s also the case for Exchange 2016. For the Windows part, you have to use PowerShell or manage it remotely or using server manager for example.

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Microsoft at MWC Barcelona: Introducing Microsoft HoloLens 2 – The Official Microsoft Blog

This evening at a press event to kickoff MWC Barcelona, I had the pleasure of joining CEO Satya Nadella and Technical Fellow Alex Kipman onstage to talk in depth about Microsoft’s worldview for the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.

As part of today’s press event, we also introduced the world to HoloLens 2.

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This is a tremendously exciting time for Microsoft, our partners, our customers, the computing industry and indeed the world. The virtually limitless computing power and capability of the cloud combined with increasingly intelligent and perceptive edge devices embedded throughout the physical world create experiences we could only imagine a few short years ago.

When intelligent cloud and intelligent edge experiences are infused with mixed reality, we have a framework for achieving amazing things and empowering even more people.

Today represents an important milestone for Microsoft. This moment captures the very best efforts and passion of numerous teams spanning Azure, HoloLens, Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Devices — this truly is a moment where the sum is greater than the parts. From cutting-edge hardware design to mixed reality-infused cloud services, today’s announcements represent the collective work of many teams. And none of this would be possible without our passionate community of customers, partners and developers.

On behalf of everyone on the team, it is my privilege to introduce you to HoloLens 2 and all the announcements we made today to kick off MWC Barcelona.

Introducing HoloLens 2

Side view of sleek black HoloLens 2

Since the release of HoloLens in 2016 we have seen mixed reality transform the way work gets done. We have unlocked super-powers for hundreds of thousands of people who go to work every day. From construction sites to factory floors, from operating rooms to classrooms, HoloLens is changing how we work, learn, communicate and get things done.

We are entering a new era of computing, one in which the digital world goes beyond two-dimensional screens and enters the three-dimensional world. This new collaborative computing era will empower us all to achieve more, break boundaries and work together with greater ease and immediacy in 3D.

Today, we are proud to introduce the world to Microsoft HoloLens 2.

Our customers asked us to focus on three key areas to make HoloLens even better. They wanted HoloLens 2 to be even more immersive and more comfortable, and to accelerate the time-to-value.

Immersion is greatly enhanced by advancements across the board, including in the visual display system, making holograms even more vibrant and realistic. We have more than doubled the field of view in HoloLens 2, while maintaining the industry-leading holographic density of 47 pixels per degree of sight. HoloLens 2 contains a new display system that enables us to achieve these significant advances in performance at low power. We have also completely refreshed the way you interact with holograms in HoloLens 2. Taking advantage of our new time-of-flight depth sensor, combined with built-in AI and semantic understanding, HoloLens 2 enables direct manipulation of holograms with the same instinctual interactions you’d use with physical objects in the real world. In addition to the improvements in the display engine and direct manipulation of holograms, HoloLens 2 contains eye-tracking sensors that make interacting with holograms even more natural. You can log in with Windows Hello enterprise-grade authentication through iris recognition, making it easy for multiple people to quickly and securely share the device.

Comfort is enhanced by a more balanced center of gravity, the use of light carbon-fiber material and a new mechanism for donning the device without readjusting. We’ve improved the thermal management with new vapor chamber technology and accounted for the wide physiological variability in the size and shape of human heads by designing HoloLens 2 to comfortably adjust and fit almost anyone. The new dial-in fit system makes it comfortable to wear for hours on end, and you can keep your glasses on because HoloLens 2 adapts to you by sliding right over them. When it’s time to step out of mixed reality, flip the visor up and switch tasks in seconds. Together, these enhancements have more than tripled the measured comfort and ergonomics of the device.

Time-to-value is accelerated by Microsoft mixed reality applications like Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, Dynamics 365 Layout and the new Dynamics 365 Guides applications. In addition to the in-box value, our ecosystem of mixed reality partners provides a broad range of offerings built on HoloLens that deliver value across a range of industries and use cases. This partner ecosystem is being supplemented by a new wave of mixed reality entrepreneurs who are realizing the potential of devices like HoloLens 2 and the Azure services that give them the spatial, speech and vision intelligence needed for mixed reality, plus battle-tested cloud services for storage, security and application insights.

Building on the unique capabilities of the original HoloLens, HoloLens 2 is the ultimate intelligent edge device. And when coupled with existing and new Azure services, HoloLens 2 becomes even more capable, right out of the box.

HoloLens 2 will be available this year at a price of $3,500. Bundles including Dynamics 365 Remote Assist start at $125/month. HoloLens 2 will be initially available in the United States, Japan, China, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Australia and New Zealand. Customers can preorder HoloLens 2 starting today at

In addition to HoloLens 2, we were also excited to make the following announcements at MWC Barcelona.

 Azure Kinect Developer Kit (DK)

Front and side view of compact silver Azure Kinect DK device

The Azure Kinect DK is a developer kit that combines our industry-leading AI sensors in a single device. At its core is the time-of-flight depth sensor we developed for HoloLens 2, high-def RGB camera and a 7-microphone circular array that will enable development of advanced computer vision and speech solutions with Azure. It enables solutions that don’t just sense but understand the world — people, places, things around it. A good example of such a solution in the healthcare space is Ocuvera, which is using this technology to prevent patients from falling in hospitals. Every year in the U.S. alone, over 1 million hospital patients fall each year, and 11,000 of those falls are fatal. With Azure Kinect, the environmental precursors to a fall can be determined and a nurse notified to get to patients before they fall. Initially available in the U.S. and China, the Azure Kinect DK is available for preorder today at $399. Visit for more info.

Dynamics 365 Guides

When we announced Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Dynamics 365 Layout on October 1, we talked about them as the “first” of our mixed reality applications for HoloLens.

Today, we are proud to announce our latest offering: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides.

Dynamics 365 Guides is a new mixed reality app that empowers employees to learn by doing. Guides enhances learning with step-by-step instructions that guide employees to the tools and parts they need and how to use them in real work situations. In addition to the experience of using Guides on HoloLens, a Guides PC app makes it easy to create interactive content, attach photos and videos, import 3D models and customize training to turn institutional knowledge into a repeatable learning tool.

This application will help minimize downtime and increase efficiency for mission-critical equipment and processes and becomes the third Dynamics 365 application that will work on both the previous generation of HoloLens and the new HoloLens 2.

Dynamics 365 Guides is available in preview starting today.

Man wearing HoloLens 2 consults a hologram of a guide as he works on machinery

Azure Mixed Reality Services

Today we also announced two new Azure mixed reality services. These services are designed to help every developer and every business build cross-platform, contextual and enterprise-grade mixed reality applications.

 Azure Spatial Anchors enables businesses and developers to create mixed reality apps that map, designate and recall precise points of interest that are accessible across HoloLens, iOS and Android devices. These precise points of interest enable a range of scenarios, from shared mixed reality experiences to wayfinding across connected places. We’re already seeing this service help our customers work and learn with greater speed and ease in manufacturing, architecture, medical education and more.

Azure Remote Rendering helps people experience 3D without compromise to fuel better, faster decisions. Today, to interact with high-quality 3D models on mobile devices and mixed reality headsets, you often need to “decimate,” or simplify, 3D models to run on target hardware. But in scenarios like design reviews and medical planning, every detail matters, and simplifying assets can result in a loss of important detail that is needed for key decisions. This service will render high-quality 3D content in the cloud and stream it to edge devices, all in real time, with every detail intact.

Azure Spatial Anchors is in public preview as of today. Azure Remote Rendering is now in private preview in advance of its public preview.

Microsoft HoloLens Customization Program

HoloLens is being used in a variety of challenging environments, from construction sites and operating rooms to the International Space Station. HoloLens has passed the basic impact tests from several protective eyewear standards used in North America and Europe. It has been tested and found to conform to the basic impact protection requirements of ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3 and EN 166. With HoloLens 2 we’re introducing the Microsoft HoloLens Customization Program to enable customers and partners to customize HoloLens 2 to fit their environmental needs.

The first to take advantage of the HoloLens Customization Program is our long-standing HoloLens partner Trimble, which last year announced Trimble Connect for HoloLens along with a new hard hat solution that improves the utility of mixed reality for practical field applications. Today it announced the Trimble XR10 with Microsoft HoloLens 2, a new wearable hard hat device that enables workers in safety-controlled environments to access holographic information on the worksite.

Hard hat incorporates HoloLens 2

Open principles

Finally, as we closed things out, Alex Kipman articulated a set of principles around our open approach with the mixed reality ecosystem.

We believe that for an ecosystem to truly thrive there should be no barriers to innovation or customer choice.

To that end, Alex described how HoloLens embraces the principles of open stores, open browsers and open developer platforms.

To illustrate our dedication to these principles, we announced that our friends at Mozilla are bringing a prototype of the Firefox Reality browser to HoloLens 2, demonstrating our commitment to openness and the immersive web. Alex was also joined by Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, who announced that Unreal Engine 4 support is coming to HoloLens.

In the coming months we will have more announcements and details to share. We look forward to continuing this journey with you all.


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Author: Microsoft News Center