Tag Archives: Windows 8.1

New Enterprise improvements coming to IE11 on Windows 7 and 8.1

In Windows 10 version 1511, we announced a number of improvements to our collection of Enterprise Mode tools, designed to help customers upgrade more easily to Internet Explorer 11. These tools include a new v.2 Enterprise Mode XML schema, which is designed to be simpler, cleaner, more scalable, and to help ease list management. We also updated the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager tool, allowing you to import an existing v.1 XML file and automatically convert it to the v.2 XML schema. We added support for HTTP ports, and also introduced a new about:compat page in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 to help customers better manage their Enterprise Mode Site List.

To provide a stable environment where compatibility is a top priority, our goal is to keep Internet Explorer 11 consistent, no matter what device or platform you use it on. Today, we are excited to announce that many of these improvements are now available for Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 (version 1507). These improvements are included in today’s cumulative updates to Windows.

v.2 XML schema now supported on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10

We have received great feedback regarding the updated schema. Customers are finding the new version much easier to read and manage than the previous version.

Below is an example of an Enterprise Mode Site List based on the previous v.1 XML schema:

.gist table { margin-bottom: 0; }

Compare the same Enterprise Mode Site List using the v.2 XML schema:

.gist table { margin-bottom: 0; }

Effective today, the v.2 XML schema is now supported on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, in addition to Windows 10.

We encourage customers to migrate their existing site lists using v.1 to leverage v.2. Going forward, new features will only be brought to the v.2 XML schema. Customers should not consider moving to the v.2 XML schema until this patch lands on all of their devices.

The Enterprise Mode Site List Manager tools have been renamed accordingly to reflect the new support matrix:

Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge both have, and use, their own Enterprise Mode Site List. We highly recommend using one shared list between both browsers to simplify manageability and maintenance. You can reference the same XML file in either browser’s policy setting.

about:compat now available on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10

The about:compat page in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 helps customers manage their Enterprise Mode Site List by listing all of the compatibility features you or Microsoft have applied to sites on the client machine.

Effective today, the about:compat page in Internet Explorer 11 is also available on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, in addition to Windows 10.

We rely on feedback from our customers to continue making improvements to our enterprise tooling. Your input helps us prioritize and make these products better, so we look forward to hearing what you think! You can reach us on Twitter or in the comments below.

— Alec Oot, Senior Program Manager
— Josh Rennert, Program Manager

HTTP Strict Transport Security comes to Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

In February, we released the first preview of HTTP Strict Transport Security in Internet Explorer 11 in the Windows 10 Insider Preview. The HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) policy protects against variants of man-in-the-middle attacks that can strip TLS out of communications with a server, leaving the user vulnerable.

With today’s monthly security updates (KB 3058515), we’re bringing the protections offered by HSTS to Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. HSTS is also available in both Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.

Site developers can use HSTS policies to secure connections by opting in to an HSTS preload list, which registers websites to be hardcoded by Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, and other browsers to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS. Communications with these websites from the initial connection are automatically upgraded to be secure. Like other browsers which have implemented this feature, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 base their preload list on the Chromium HSTS preload list.

Alternatively, sites not on the preload list can enable HSTS via the Strict-Transport-Security HTTP header. After an initial HTTPS connection from the client containing the HSTS header, any subsequent HTTP connections are redirected by the browser to be secured via HTTPS.

When we initially announced HSTS in Windows 10, we noted that mixed content is not supported on servers supporting HSTS. With today’s updates, this is still the case in Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 – mixed content is always blocked on these servers. For Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7, the Information bar will prompt the user to proceed in mixed content scenarios.

In addition to the HSTS updates, this month’s Internet Explorer updates include 24 security fixes, which you can see detailed on TechNet for more details. For more on the HSTS implementation in Internet Explorer, see KB 3071338.

Kyle Pflug, Program Manager, Microsoft Edge

Hands-on with the Surface 3

Did you pick up a Surface 3? Yesterday, the Surface 3 went officially on sale! And new accessories such as Surface 3 Type Cover, Surface Pen, Surface 3 Docking Station and Surface 3 Screen Protector to go along with the new Surface 3 are also available. If you’ve pre-ordered the Surface 3, you should be seeing your shiny new Surface 3 arriving soon (if not already). I’ve been using the Surface 3 for a little over a week now and wanted to do a quick write-up on my experience. This isn’t a “review” of the device. If you want to read a review of the Surface 3, check out this review from David Pogue.

Surface 3

The Surface 3 borrows the same awesome premium craftsmanship seen with the Surface Pro 3. Which means it has a thin and light design and is powerful to get stuff done – but also have fun too. It has a kickstand like every Surface previously, but with three preset positions. It’s a bit smaller with a 10.8-inch display versus the Surface Pro 3’s 12-inch display. Despite being smaller, the display on the Surface 3 is still gorgeous. It also has the same The 3:2 aspect ratio first introduced with the Surface Pro 3 as well.

The Surface 3's 3:2 aspect ratio.

For me, the 3:2 aspect ratio on the Surface 3 makes holding it in portrait view really comfortable which I’ll talk more about shortly.

It terms of getting stuff done, the Surface 3 is fully capable of doing all the things you would expect to be able to do on a laptop. I’m syncing all my important files for work via OneDrive for Business and doing a lot of my daily work on the Surface 3 – without any issues. Matter a fact, I wrote this blog post on the Surface 3 with Word 2016 from the Office 2016 Public Preview announced earlier this week. Outlook 2016 works great too and I am an efficient emailing beast. Even though the keyboard is just a very tiny bit smaller than the Type Cover for the Surface Pro 3, I’m finding that it doesn’t make a difference with my typing.

Writing notes in OneNote on the Surface 3

I also am a heavy user of OneNote and absolutely love that the Surface 3 comes with support for the Surface Pen (Surface Pen comes separately). Note that I have a matching red Surface Pen with my red Surface 3 Type Cover! I just fold the Surface 3 Type Cover back and hold the Surface 3 like a tablet and write notes in OneNote.


Right now, I am really into playing Halo: Spartan Strike which was released a few weeks ago. This game looks glorious on the Surface 3. When I am in the mood for something more casual, I’m really enjoying the new game Crossy Road and Cut the Rope 2. Or I just fire up the Nook app and do some reading. Then there are times when I want to watch something – so I fire up either the Hulu Plus app or Netlix app (OMG have you seen Daredevil?).

Surface 3 an Miracast

Speaking of watching things – the Surface 3 supports Miracast and works great with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. I can share whatever is on the screen of my Surface 3 wireless to my TV to go through photos or watch movies and TV shows from Xbox Video.

After a little over a week with the Surface 3, I has been both a laptop when I needed it to be and then a tablet when I wanted it to be and it works great. I highly recommend you take a look at the Surface 3 if you’re on the market for a new PC. The Surface 3 starts at $499 and is available now Microsoft Stores, Best Buy or other retailers in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. In the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico – we have an offer for you to be able to trade in your working Surface RT or Surface 2 and get up to $150 towards a new Surface 3. And starting May 7, Surface 3 will be available in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. For more info, see this blog post from Brian Hall on the Surface Blog.

Above photos taken with my Lumia 930.


Hyper-V and "Event ID: 157 – Disk x has been surprise removed"

After posting about Hyper-V and Event ID 58 the other week – I had a number of people ask me about Event ID 157.  They told me that each time they backed up a virtual machine they were seeing this event inside of the virtual machine as well.

At first, I could not figure out why they were seeing this – as I did not see it on my system.  Then I discovered why I was not seeing this – my systems are up-to-date!

We released an update to get rid of this event (KB2958027) – and this was then included in the November 2014 rollup (KB3000850). 

So if you are seeing this event log being filed:

  1. Install these updates!
  2. Or, know that you can safely ignore this message if it is happening when a virtual machine backup is happening.



The Surface family expands with the Surface 3

Today, the Surface Team has announced their thinnest and lightest Surface yet: the Surface 3. The Surface 3 borrows a lot of awesomeness from its big brother the Surface Pro 3 – like its design and the use of premium materials – but is more compact at only 8.77mm thin and 1.37 pounds. It has a 10.8-inch 1920×1280 display with a 3:2 aspect ratio just like the Surface Pro 3. It also has a kickstand just like all the Surfaces before it – with three pre-set positions.

Surface 3

The Surface Pro 3 comes powered by an quad core Intel Atom Core x7 processor and is the first device in stores to feature this new system-on-a-chip from Intel. This new processor doesn’t require a fan for cooling – which allows the Surface 3 to be so thin. But is also offers the right amount of performance needed to do everyday tasks like working in Office or browsing the web. It also has some power-saving capabilities that allow the Surface 3 to achieve up to 10 hours of battery life. Speaking of battery life – you can charge the Surface 3 with the 13W charger included with the device. However it also includes a micro-USB charger which is the same connect as most smartphones. This means you can also use your phone charger to charge the Surface 3 (note – using the 13W charger that it comes with will charge it faster though).

And finally, it comes with full 64-bit Windows 8.1 (for business customers, it’ll come with Windows 8.1 Pro) so you can run all your desktop application in addition to all your favorite apps and games from the Windows Store. And you’ll be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free this summer when its available.

Surface  Pen - in colors!

The Surface 3 also supports the same pen experience as the Surface Pro 3 – which will be sold separately from the Surface 3 but available in new colors – blue, red, and black – in addition to silver.

Surface 3 Type Covers

And of course you get a Surface 3 Type Cover in wonderful colors!

For more on the new Surface 3 – check out this blog post from Panos Panay, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Surface.

You can pre-order the Surface 3 starting today at Microsoft Stores, microsoftstore.com, and select retailers starting at $499. Starting tomorrow, you can stop by a local Microsoft Store and check out the device for yourself and get an hands-on experience. The Surface 3 will be on sale beginning May 5th with availability in 26 markets by May 7th !

Access your personal music collection from OneDrive with the Xbox Music app

Starting today, you can now access your personal music collection from OneDrive across your Windows devices with the Xbox Music app for free! Just upload your music files to your new “Music” folder in OneDrive and that music will appear in the Xbox Music apps for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 as well as on your Xbox 360 and Xbox One. You can even listen to your music from OneDrive on the web too. No Xbox Music Pass required. However, if you do have an Xbox Music Pass (like me!), we’ll give you an extra 100GB of storage on OneDrive for free for all your music.

For me, I have a bunch of music I purchased from various online services over the years. I’ve put all that music on OneDrive and whether I’m at home on my Xbox One, or at work on my XPS 13, or in my car connected via Bluetooth to my Lumia 1520 – I can listen to all this music. You can even create playlists with this music too and they work on all your devices. Because I have an Xbox Music Pass, I’ve even created playlists that combine my music from OneDrive as well as music from my Xbox Music Pass subscription. To the Xbox Music app – it just sees one big happy music collection.

Windows Phone users take note: If you do not have an Xbox Live account and never used the Xbox Live service before – you may need to sign up for an Xbox Live account here in order to have your music from OneDrive show up in the Xbox Music app for Windows Phone 8.1. We recognize this experience isn’t ideal and are working on a fix to make it better.

For more information on accessing your music from OneDrive with the Xbox Music apps, visit http://music.xbox.com/onedrive.

Windows 10 Launching This Summer in 190 Countries and 111 Languages

Today at the renewed Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) summit in Shenzhen, China, I had the honor of speaking about Windows 10 and the innovation and opportunity it offers our valued partners. China is a global epicenter for innovation and we’re excited to be working with the area’s leading hardware and software companies to develop ground-breaking devices and consumer experiences that will help shape the future of Windows 10.

We continue to make great development progress and shared today that Windows 10 will be available this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages. Windows has always been global with more than 1.5 billion users around the world and here in China hundreds of millions of PCs operate Windows today. That’s why it was particularly fun to show our latest global innovation, Windows Hello, on stage for the first time, and to feature a number of Windows 10 customizations for the China market, such as Cortana in Mandarin.

Upgrading Millions of Customers with Lenovo, Tencent and Qihu 360

On January 21, I shared our commitment to offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for hundreds of millions of customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 for the first year after it is released.

A key way we will make the upgrade experience to Windows 10 easy is through strong partnerships with technology leaders. Today, we shared new partnerships with several world-leading companies to deliver a seamless Windows 10 upgrade experience to our customers in China. Strategic partnerships with Lenovo, Tencent and Qihu 360 will help Windows 10 reach hundreds of millions of customers in China and spur adoption of Windows 10 worldwide.

  • Lenovo, one of the world’s leading PC manufacturers, announced they will offer Windows 10 upgrade services at 2,500 service centers and select retail stores in China when the Windows 10 upgrade is available. This will help customers quickly and easily upgrade their new or existing Windows devices to Windows 10. Lenovo also announced their commitment to build Windows phones, to be available in mid-year 2015 via China Mobile.
  • Tencent, the leading social networking and gaming services company in China, announced it will offer Windows 10 as a free upgrade to its customers on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 in China, and include QQ, Tencent Video and Tencent PC Manager in the Windows 10 free upgrade pack. Tencent will create a Windows 10 universal app for their flagship QQ app, which has over 800 million customers in China, and bring their most popular PC games, such as “League of Legends,” “Cross Fire” and “Dungeon & Fighter” to Windows 10 and the new Windows store.

  • Qihu 360, a leading internet security company in China, announced it will bring Windows 10 for free to their customers in China through seamless upgrades. Qihu 360, with over 500 million customers on Windows PCs, will enable the Windows 10 upgrade with just a few clicks with accelerated download speeds.
  • Through a new program with Xiaomi, one of the top smartphone distributors in the world, a select group of Xiaomi Mi 4 power users will be invited to help test Windows 10 and contribute to its future release later this year. These power users will have the opportunity to download the Windows 10 Technical Preview – installing it and providing their feedback to Microsoft.

Hardware Innovations Enabled by Windows 10

One of the predominant goals of WinHEC is to showcase opportunities Windows 10 presents to hardware and device manufacturers. Windows Hello is one of the new innovations that I was excited to show onstage for the first time.

Windows Hello* will make Windows 10 more personal by providing instant access to your devices through biometric authentication – using your face, iris or fingerprint to unlock your devices – with technology that is significantly safer than traditional passwords. We’re working closely with our hardware partners to deliver Windows Hello-capable devices that will ship with Windows 10. We are thrilled that all OEM systems incorporating the Intel RealSense F200 sensor will fully support Windows Hello, including automatic sign-in to Windows. You can read more about Windows Hello here.

Today, we also shared how Windows 10 will support today’s maker boards, enabling makers to do amazing things with Windows in the fast-growing Internet of Things space.

For the first time, a new version of Windows for small footprint IoT devices will be available – for free – when Windows 10 launches. Windows 10 will offer versions of Windows for a diverse set of IoT devices, ranging from powerful devices like ATMs and ultrasound machines, to resource constrained devices like gateways. Through key partnerships with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Intel, Qualcomm and others, we will provide great options for commercial devices builders, hobbyists and students.

We also introduced the Qualcomm DragonBoard 410C to the Windows 10 device family. The Qualcomm DragonBoard 410C is the first Windows 10 developer board with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, and a smartphone-class Snapdragon 410 chipset.

Windows 10 is the only platform that supports innovation across such a broad family of hardware and we are committed to investing in the success of our partners and supporting their development activities.

I can’t wait to see how amazing companies around the world will continue to innovate with devices running Windows 10. Working together I know we can create some incredible experiences with Windows 10 that will truly delight our customers.


* Windows Hello requires specialized hardware, including fingerprint reader, illuminated IR sensor or other biometric sensors.   

Announcing the Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Desktop

Today we are excited to announce the all new ultra-thin and modern-looking Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Desktop. The Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Desktop will look great on your desk at home or at work and keep you productive!


I’m currently test driving the Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Desktop at home paired with my Dell XPS 27 All-in-One. For working at home, I find the keyboard and mouse comfortable to use.

DSC00761 DSC00767

However, I really like the sleek design which allows me to easily tuck the mouse and keyboard away under the XPS 27 to make room for more desk space which I will need while I build this new LEGO set my wife bought me.


I was really surprised at how good the typing experience was on such a thin full-size keyboard (this post was written on the new keyboard!). It has chiclet-style soft touch keys for robust typing and also has media keys to control playback of your music and videos. It includes Function Keys for things like quick access to Search. And it also has a built-in number pad.


The mouse is compact and small with tracking that’s powered by BlueTrack Technology which combines the power of optical with the precision of laser for use on almost any surface. The mouse’s design is ambidextrous which means you can use it comfortably, whether you’re a righty or lefty.

The Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Keyboard pairs wirelessly to your desktop, laptop, or tablet using Bluetooth 4.0 to instantly connect without any wires or USB transceivers. With Bluetooth 4.0, you get better battery life and a more reliable connection to the device it’s paired with. With the mouse, you can go almost six months without having to change the batteries! And both the mouse and keyboard have a small LED indicator that will tell you when battery power is low.

There are two important takeaways with the new Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Desktop: it’s awesome design and that it uses Bluetooth. Its design is all about subtleties and attention to detail (that’s why we’re calling it “Designer”). For example – there are magnetics on the battery doors that glide gently into place. Don’t worry, the battery doors are very secure when closed so you don’t need to worry about the batteries falling out. And calculated precision was used in every space and depth of each key on the keyboard so that when you’re typing it feels just right. And you get a perfect clicking feel and sound with every stroke of the mouse.

You’ll be able to pick up the Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Desktop in May 2015 for the estimated retail price of $99.95 (U.S.) at the Microsoft Store and at various other retailers.

You can pre-order the Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Desktop by clicking here. You can also pre-order the Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Mouse by clicking here.

HP announces premium HP Spectre x360 ultra-thin convertible PC

Today, HP has announced the new 13-3-inch HP Spectre x360 ultra-thin convertible PC. This is one beautiful PC – it’s built with an all CNC aluminum chassis with polished metal on the sides.


The HP Spectre x360 has a special geared hinge design that allows it to maintain the same thin profile in tablet mode that it has when it’s closed. It can switch between 4 different modes: notebook (or laptop) mode for work, stand mode for viewing entertainment like watching movies, tent mode for touchscreen entertainment like games, or tablet mode for on the go.

3 2 4

The HP Spectre x360 also has a stunning Quad HD (2560×1440) display where the touch panel is optically bonded to the display giving it increased brightness and pulling each pixel up to the surface of the display. Because having an amazing Quad HD display can use up precious battery life – HP has built in Panel Self Refresh (PSR) technology into the HP Spectre x360. With PSR, images on the screen are held in place to allow portions of the PC to power down when nothing on the screen is moving. This type of work has allowed HP to deliver up to 12.5 hours of battery life on the HP Spectre x360!

By tuning the wireless driver, HP has also improved Wi-Fi performance on noisy networks and across a wide range of wireless access points for the HP Spectre x360. It comes with 801.11ac wireless capabilities as well as 802.11a/b/n. And it has a new antenna slot design at the top of the display for 2.4GHz and 5GHz tuning in every mode.

On the inside, the HP Spectre x360 comes powered by an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor and up to a 512GB SSD for storage.

It also has three USB 3.0 ports with HP’s USB Sleep and Charge so you can charge your devices on the go even when the HP Spectre x360 is in sleep mode.

The HP Spectre x360 is expected to be available in the U.S. on March 1st at HP.com and then at Best Buy on March 15th. It’ll be available at the following configurations and prices:

  • With an Intel Core i5 Processor, Full HD touchscreen display, 4GB LPDDR3 system memory and a 128GB SSD – $899.99 (U.S.).
  • With an Intel Core i7, Full HD touchscreen, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD – $1149.99 (U.S.).
  • With an Intel Core i7, Quad HD touchscreen, 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD – $1399.99 (U.S.).

Additionally, you’ll be able to purchase accessories such as a HP Premium Leather Sleeve to protect the HP Spectre x360 and a HP Active Pen for handwriting and taking notes.

KAZAM announces 3 new Windows tablets & 2 new Windows Phones

European mobile brand KAZAM has announced 3 new Windows tablets and 2 new Windows Phones today building up to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain next week.

KAZAM L7 Front Left with screen


The new KAZAM L7 (7-inch), L8 (8-inch), and L10 (10.1-inch) tablets come with Windows 8.1 offering a familiar Windows experience. These new KAZAM Windows tablets feature a lightweight, robust and sleek design with 1280×800 IPS LCD displays and powered by Intel Atom quad-core processors. They also come with 2-megapixel front and rear cameras which are great for taking photos or making video calls with Skype. The KAZAM L7 comes with 16GB of onboard storage, while the KAZAM L8 comes with either 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage, and the KAZAM L10 comes with 32GB of onboard storage. All 3 KAZAM Windows tablets support expandable storage up to 32GB with a SD memory card.

kazam_9215_4thgen_3qtrFrontRight_0031_Thnd450w_Lime kazam_9215_4thgen_3qtrFrontRight_0036_Thnd_450wl_silver


The KAZAM Thunder 450W and 450WL are KAZAM’s two new Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones. They both have a 5-inch IPS LCD display (720×1280), 8-megapixel front-facing cameras, and expandable storage up to 32GB with an SD memory card.

All of KAZAM’s Windows devices being announced today come with Microsoft services like OneNote and OneDrive so you can sync all your files across your devices.

For more information on KAZAM’s new Windows tablets by clicking here and their new Windows Phones by clicking here.