27 Aug 2017

Windows 10 SDK Preview Build 16267 and Mobile Emulator Build 15240 Released

Author: Clint Rutkas
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Today, we released a new Windows 10 Preview Build of the SDK and the Mobile Emulator to be used in conjunction with Windows 10 Insider Preview (Build 16267 or greater). The Preview SDK Build 16267 contains bug fixes and under development changes to the API surface area.

The Preview SDK and Mobile Emulator can be downloaded from developer section on Windows Insider.

For feedback and updates to the known issues, please see the developer forum. For new developer feature requests, head over to our Windows Platform UserVoice.

Things to note:

  • This build works in conjunction with previously released SDKs and Visual Studio 2017. You can install this SDK and still continue to submit your apps that target Windows 10 Creators build or earlier to the Windows Store.
  • The Windows SDK will now formally only be supported by Visual Studio 2017 and greater. You can download the Visual Studio 2017 here.

Known Issues

  • Compilation fails on non-Windows 10 platforms
    When building apps on previous platforms, you may get a build error:

C:program files (x86)Windows Kits10bin10.0.16232.0x86genxbf.dll:C:program files (x860Windows Kits10bin10.0.16232.0x86genxbf.dll(0,0): Error WMC0621: Cannot resolve ‘GenXbf.dll’ under path ‘C:program files (x860Windows Kits10bin10.0.16232.0x86genxbf.dll’.  Please install the latest version of the Windows 10 Software Development Kit.
Process ‘msbuild.exe’ exited with code ‘1’.

This will occur if the minimum target platform version is set to 10.0.16225.0. To work around this, right click on your project file and choose properties or open your project file in your favorite editor, and change the version to a previous released SDK. For example:


<WindowsTargetPlatformMinVersion>10.0.10586.0</WindowsTargetPlatformMinVersion>

Breaking Changes

  • ecmangen.exe removal from the SDK: Ecmangen.exe will no longer ship with the Windows SDK. Developers who rely on ecmangen for event manifest creation are advised to install the Windows Creators Edition of the SDK to obtain the file. Developers may also use notepad or other XML editor of choice for manifest creation. A schema file is available on MSDN to aid in manifest creation, for tools that support it.

API Updates and Additions

When targeting new APIs, consider writing your app to be adaptive in order to run correctly on the widest number of Windows 10 devices. Please see Dynamically detecting features with API contracts (10 by 10) for more information.

The following are the API changes since the 16257 Preview SDK, please reference that list.

Additions to Preview SDK 16257

 
namespace Windows.Storage.Provider {
  public enum HardlinkPolicy : uint
  public enum HydrationPolicy {
    AlwaysFull = 3,
    Partial = 0,
  }
  public enum InSyncPolicy : uint {
    DirectoryLastWriteTime = (uint)512,
    FileLastWriteTime = (uint)256,
  }
  public enum PopulationPolicy {
    AlwaysFull = 2,
  }
  public sealed class StorageProviderSyncRootInfo {
    HardlinkPolicy HardlinkPolicy { get; set; }
  }
}
namespace Windows.UI.WebUI {
  public sealed class WebUIStartupTaskActivatedEventArgs : IActivatedEventArgs, IActivatedEventArgsDeferral, IActivatedEventArgsWithUser, IStartupTaskActivatedEventArgs {
    ActivatedOperation ActivatedOperation { get; }
  }
}

Removals from Preview SDK 16257

 
namespace Windows.Storage.Provider {
  public enum HydrationPolicy {
    NoPartial = 3,
    OnDemand = 0,
  }
  public enum PopulationPolicy {
    NoPartial = 2,
  }
}

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27 Aug 2017

Announcing Windows Server Insider Preview Build 16267

Author: Dona Sarkar
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Hello Windows Insiders!

Today we are pleased to be releasing Windows Server Insider Preview Build 16267 to Windows Insiders. To obtain the build, registered Insiders may navigate directly to the Windows Server Insider Preview download page. Matching symbols and the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) packages are available on the same page. When installed on a Windows 10 client, RSAT allows a user to remotely manage and administer Insider Preview builds of Windows Server via GUI tools. Valid on Windows 10 client builds greater than 16250.

For the best experience, the Windows Server team recommends a clean install.

If you have not yet registered as an Insider, register through the Windows Insiders for Business program or the Windows Insider program.

General Scenario Highlights

Developers and Containers:

  • New base container images (available on Windows Insider Docker Hub repo)
    • Optimized Nano Server base image (over 70% smaller)
      • The .NET team is providing a preview image based on Nano Server with .NET Core 2.0
      • The PowerShell team is providing a preview image based on PowerShell 6.0
    • Optimized Server Core base image (over 20% smaller)
  • Support for SMB volume mounting
  • Infrastructure for Orchestrators
    • Networking enhancements for ongoing Kubernetes work
    • Named pipe mapping support
  • Bug fixes, performance enhancements

Cloud Guest:

  • IIS
    • TLS info: administrators can make specific recommendations to default to HTTPS
  • Disaster Recovery
    • Storage Replica Test Failover
  • Guest + Host better together
    • vPMEM in Guest: Tenants can use and manage PMEM/SCM
    • Tenant-Aware VM Start Ordering: App Ready / OS Heartbeat for better load balancing
    • Guest RDMA
  • Improvement in time accuracy
  • Azure enlightened clusters – optimized to run on Azure IaaS

Cloud Host:

  • Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) host
    • Security
      • Shielded Linux VM
      • SDN: Encrypted virtual networks
      • Secure clusters
      • SMB 1 disabled by default
    • Resiliency and Availability
      • SDN: Reduced downtime for tenant connections through gateways
      • Spaces Direct: Scoped Spaces to mitigate impact of multi-node loss
      • Spaces Direct: Marginal drive handling for predictive detection of drive failures
    • Efficiency
      • Data Deduplication available for ReFS
      • New Data Deduplication DataPort API for optimized ingress/egress
      • Space efficiency with ReFS Compaction
      • Performant Spaces Direct Multi Resilient Volumes (MRV)
    • Hyper-converged Scale
      • Cluster Sets: Significantly increases hyper-converged SDDC cloud scale by grouping multiple clusters into a larger fabric
    • Hardware support
      • Support for Storage Class Memory (SCM) in Spaces Direct

What’s New in Build 16267 for Windows Server

There are no new features in build 16267

How to Download 

NOTE: If you signed up for Windows Insiders for Business using an AAD account, there is a temporary issue with access to the Windows Server Download page using AAD accounts. If you registered using an MSA account at the Windows Insider program, your MSA account may be used to access the page and to download builds until this is resolved.

The latest Windows Server build and matching symbols are available for download here.  Simply click on the desired file(s) and save locally. Matching Windows Server container images will be available via the Docker Hub. For more information about Windows Server containers and Insider builds, please visit http://aka.ms/containers/insiders.

The following keys are available for unlimited activations of Windows Server. These keys may be used throughout the pre-release cycle.

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

The RSAT version currently posted has not been updated, so if you already have it, you won’t need to download it again.

It’s all about your feedback! 

Use the Feedback Hub app to provide feedback on Windows Server builds. Feedback Hub comes pre-installed on Windows 10. Register a Windows 10 device with the Windows Insider or Windows Insider for Business programs. Open the Feedback Hub application. Choose the Server category and then the appropriate subcategory for your feedback. Please indicate what edition and build number you are providing feedback on. The Feedback Hub app cannot scan a server for diagnostic information, however you may manually attach screenshots or other files to your feedback entry.

We encourage you to visit the Windows Server Insiders space on the Microsoft Tech Communities forum to collaborate, share and learn from experts.

The expiration date for this server preview build is 12/4/2017.

Known issues 

  • Cluster Sets: A couple of key functionalities to enable end-to-end testing of Cluster Sets scenarios are not present in this build, so defer all evaluation of this scenario to a future build.
  • When a computer runs the Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) from a local drive, the EFI system partition, which contains the WinPE image (boot.wim), does not have a drive letter assigned. This issue can adversely affect some automation.
  • Apps that call into the firewall, such apps that use networking, may become unresponsive until the user reboots because of an application hang end-task error (0xCFFFFFFF) in the Windows firewall API library (FirewallAPI.dll), which occurs when the library is blocked on an advanced local procedure call (ALPC) port while attempting to diagnose a connection failure and retrieve information.
  • A stop error may occur during volume repair in a cluster. The recommended workaround is to restart the computer. No corruption or data loss is expected.

No downtime for Hustle-As-A-Service,
Dona <3

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26 Aug 2017

Get ready for back to school with discounted apps and STEM Saturdays at Microsoft Store

Author: Annie Arnold
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Get ready for back to school

Visit the Back to School Discounted Apps Collection in the Windows Store to see all the apps in the collection.

As students everywhere pull on their backpacks and head back to class, we’re here to help shake the summer cobwebs off and get them back into learning mode with our Back to School Discounted Apps Collection. Now you can get heavy-hitters like Complete Anatomy with 20% off Upgrade (Free, with upgrade ), letting you bring the human body to 3D life for less. Get creative in film school or just experience your personal videos in a completely new dimension with Movie Edit Pro Windows Store Edition (50% off; $29.99, regularly $59.99). And in your downtime, create music – beats, loops, even full multi-track songs – with Stagelight, now 30% off select IAPs (Free, with IAP options). But that’s just the beginning of what’s discounted and ready to go for fall.

Or for an afternoon of hands-on learning, check out STEM Saturdays which are returning in September to a Microsoft Store near you. This month, get ready to test your engineering and data science skills during STEM Saturdays, when The Education Workshop in partnership with Mattel Hot Wheels® Speedometry ™ brings their Forces and Motion project to your local Microsoft Store. During these free, drop in workshops, participants will explore the physics underlying cars competing on iconic Hot Wheels orange track. To learn more about the return of STEM Saturdays head over to the Microsoft Education Blog.

Here’s a roundup of our top ten app picks from the Back to School Discounted Apps Collection

1. Adobe Photoshop Elements – 40% Off

Adobe Photoshop Elements – 40% Off

You take pictures of all your special moments and milestones. Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 automates the organizing and editing so you can have fun creating and sharing your amazing photos. Make one-click fixes or use Guided Edits for help along the way. Add artistic effects, create collages, slideshows, cards and more.

2. Complete Anatomy – 20% off Upgrade

Complete Anatomy – 20% off Upgrade

Transform traditional 2D learning material into 3D and bring anatomy to life with features like nerve path tracing and tools that help to visualize complex functions, such as nerve supply to muscles, layer guides to identify bone parts/surfaces and muscle origin/insertion points.

3. Drawboard PDF – 50% Off

Drawboard PDF – 50% Off

Need to mark up and annotate your local PDF documents? Replace pen and paper with an app that feels like pen and paper! Avoid printing documents for markup ever again with Drawboard PDF’s uniquely intuitive user interface and experience, smooth and natural pen inking, stylus and touch input separation, and an impressive array of annotation tools.

4. Grapholite – 75% Off

Grapholite – 75% Off

Grapholite is an all-in-one diagrams designer aimed to create all types of business graphics and technical drawings from simple drafts and sketches to complex professional looking documents. The unique “sketch” mode allows single-click styling of any figure as if it is sketched by hand.

4. Earth 3D – 67% Off

Earth 3D – 67% Off

This interactive 3D globe features wonders of the world, political and physical maps, and weather. Discover a lot of fascinating facts and useful information about our planet! Original and colorful graphics, user-friendly interface and accurate information – this is what Earth 3D is all about!

6. Skyscrapers by Tinybop – 33% Off

Skyscrapers by Tinybop – 33% Off

Find out what keeps skyscrapers standing tall and people happy in them all. Test your building’s engineering when dinosaurs invade, lightning strikes, or the earth quakes.

7. Movie Edit Pro – 50% Off

Movie Edit Pro – 50% Off

You can enjoy a video editing program that is fun to use. Import video material from all standard cameras and with a resolution of up to 4K in no time at all. When editing your recordings, you can choose between simple Storyboard mode (perfect for beginners) and the advanced and detailed Timeline mode.

8. Virtual Robotics Toolkit – 30% Off

Virtual Robotics Toolkit – 30% Off

The Virtual Robotics Toolkit (VRT) is an advanced simulator designed to enhance the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® experience. An excellent learning tool for classroom and competitive robotics, the VRT is surprisingly easy-to-use and is approved by teachers and students.

9. Stagelight – 30% Off IAP

Stagelight – 30% Off IAP

With Stagelight, you can make beats, mix loops or even create full multi-track songs with drum, instrument, audio and vocal tracks. Lessons and tutorials including: – Building a beat – Learning how to record instruments – Editing audio and MIDI – Style lessons – much more!

10. Human Japanese– 50% off

Human Japanese – 50% off

Human Japanese presents the Japanese language from square one in a warm, engaging tone. Going much deeper than the canned phrases and vocab of other apps, it approaches the language in an integrated way, with discussion, recordings, animations, illustrations, photos, reviews, and more. Key concepts are explained with warmth and humor, drawing you into the nuts-and-bolts that you need to understand Japanese while keeping things down-to-earth and engaging.

Find your nearest Microsoft Store for information about STEM Saturday events taking place in your area.

Visit the Back to School Discounted Apps Collection to check out all the awesome discounted apps in the collection! You can find your nearest Microsoft Store for information about STEM Saturday events taking place in your area in September, beginning Saturday, Sept. 9. Anyone, including teachers, students, and parents can attend, in addition to the range of free programs Microsoft Store hosts year-round that empower youth by providing direct access to technology and hands-on learning. Learn more about Hacking STEM and our lesson plans here.

*Available 8/15/17 -8/28/17 on select apps. Offers and content varies by market and may change at any time. Not valid on prior orders or purchases. May not be combinable with other offers. Other exclusions and limits may apply. Microsoft reserves the right to modify or discontinue any offer at any time.

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26 Aug 2017

gamescom 2017: HP announces new OMEN X Laptop powered by Windows 10

Author: Mollie Ruiz-Hopper
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OMEN X Laptop powered by Windows 10

Built for gaming enthusiasts and esports athletes seeking uncompromised performance, the OMEN X Laptop with Windows 10 is built to support virtual reality, while engineered with thermal tech to support unlocked CPUs and factory-overclocked GPUs. Plus, it’s packed with memory options for unparalleled gaming performance in a stunning design with customizable lighting.

For Windows 10 gamers, this device is equipped with native, live game streaming through the Game bar with Mixer, Game Mode, to battle system resource contention, connect with their gaming community through the Xbox app, DirectX 12 support, and more. You can choose between the 17-inch 4K display option for ultimate high-resolution gaming, or the 120Hz 1080p display options for fast refresh rates and smooth visuals.

OMEN X Laptop powered by Windows 10

VR-ready on all configurations and include features that enhance gameplay:

  • Mechanical and RGB LED-per key backlit keyboard, including 2.5 mm travel with tactile feel; RGB LED per key for customizable key maps; independent, programmable macro keys; and, N-Key rollover on every key for anti-ghosting functions
  • 17-inch 4K display option for ultimate high-resolution gaming, or 120Hz 1080p display options for fast refresh rates and smooth visuals; and all configurations are NVIDIA G-Sync enabled for reduced image tearing
  • DTS Headphone:X for simulated surround sound with any headset and premium sound featuring HP Dual Speakers with Audio by Bang & Olufsen

OMEN X Laptop powered by Windows 10

Custom-tuning capabilities, including:

  • Intel 7th gen Core i7 CPUs with unlocked options for overclocking, XMP memory options for memory overclocking and tested profiles up to DDR4-2800, and factory-overclocked graphics cards up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
  • RAID0 SSD option for ultra-fast game loading, PCIe SSD+HDD storage options, or standalone 1 TB 7200 rpm HDD option
  • Thermal management including high-performance fans to increase airflow and an integrated vapor chamber on select models* with four 3.5 mm heat pipes improve heat transfer from the GPU and CPU to the four rear-corner-mounted radiators
  • The OMEN Command Center Software to manage CPU and RAM overclocking, gaming network traffic and latency in online games, and chassis and keyboard lighting

Crafted for expansion with easy upgrading of the system capabilities or swapping parts:

  • Single access panel to HDD, SSDs, and RAM, so all end-user replaceable components are easily accessible
  • Connect to a range of different gaming accessories with: three USB 3.0 Type A, two Thunderbolt 3-certified USB 3.1 Type C, HDMI 2.0a with HDR support, Mini DisplayPort, RJ45 and a multi-format media card reader
  • Dual audio jack with separate microphone input and headset jacks (input/output)

Pricing and availability: The OMEN X Laptop is expected to be available later this year at HP.com, starting at $1,999. For more information on the all-new OMEN X Laptop, visit hp.com/go/omenxlaptop.

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26 Aug 2017

All the news and announcements from Xbox at gamescom in three minutes

Author: Mollie Ruiz-Hopper
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Below are some additional news highlights out of gamescom 2017 from Xbox Wire.

World’s Most Powerful Console Makes European Debut and Kickstarts Global Pre-orders

LIMITED pre-orders are now open and available for Xbox One X here.

During Xbox @ gamescom Live, we announced global pre-orders for Xbox One X starting, with a limited edition, fan-inspired design of the world’s most powerful console that features a custom color, vertical stand and the words “Project Scorpio” printed on the console and also printed on the Xbox Wireless Controller. LIMITED pre-orders are now open and available here. Nov. 7 can’t come soon enough! Read more on Xbox Wire.

Forza Motorsport 7 Delivers the Ultimate PC Racing Experience

During Xbox @ gamescom Live, we talked to fans about our commitment to bring all PC players a world-class racing experience with Forza Motorsport 7 for Windows 10 PCs . We unveiled the game’s PC specifications with an approachable wide range of hardware configurations and a massive list of more than 30 supported peripherals. We also announced that for the first time ever, fans will be able to play the Forza Motorsport 7 demo on Windows 10 PCs prior to the game’s release. Read more on Xbox Wire.

Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare Launches on September 26

Halo nation, a collective embrace please. On stage at gamescom 2017, we announced Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare is launching on Sept. 26 on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC! Read more at Xbox Wire.

ReCore Definitive Edition Brings Players HDR, New Adventures and T8-NK Corebot!

We are excited to announce the ReCore Definitive Edition which lets players experience the game’s mysterious and dynamic world with enhanced visuals (increased resolution and HDR), a brand-new adventure, “Eye of Obsidian”, and the long-awaited T8-NK Corebot (“Tank”) who joins Joule, Mack, Seth, Duncan, and Violet as they explore new environments and dungeons while battling the deadly “Obsidian Cult”. Read more on Xbox Wire.

In Sea of Thieves, Xbox One and Windows 10 PC Players Can Embark on Their Pirate Voyages Together

Sea of Thieves game art

We’re super excited to be at gamescom, showing off the magic of cross-play for the first time in Sea of Thieves. On the show floor, you can play together on Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One S, so if you’re at the show, be sure to swing by and experience it at the Xbox booth! Sea of Thieves as an experience is perfectly suited for cross-play, and we love how it brings our players together, regardless of device. An important part of cross-play is obviously our Windows 10 PC version and ensuring we deliver the experience our players expect. At gamescom, we’re showing our support for 21:9 displays and the game running in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. Read more on Xbox Wire.

Top three moments from Age of Empires Live

We celebrated the 20-year anniversary of the Age of Empires franchise, shared some exciting news on Age of Empires: Definitive Edition and announced our plans for a brand-new title – Age of Empires IV. We’re highlighting the top three moments from the broadcast. Read more in our Windows Blog post.

To catch up on all the Xbox news announced at gamescom 2017, head over to Xbox Wire. You can also watch all the videos from Xbox at gamescom 2017 over on the Xbox YouTube channel.

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26 Aug 2017

gamescom 2017: Top three moments from Age of Empires Live

Author: Adam Isgreen
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At gamescom 2017, we celebrated the 20-year anniversary of the Age of Empires franchise, shared some exciting news on Age of Empires: Definitive Edition and announced our plans for a brand-new title – Age of Empires IV. We’re highlighting the top three moments from the broadcast here you, but in case you missed it and want to catch the full broadcast above.

Here are the top three moments from Age of Empires Live

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition Launch

The Definitive Edition for the original Age of Empires will launch later this year on October 19, 2017. Built as an homage to PC gamers everywhere, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition will show the classic at its best, exclusively for Windows 10 and available for purchase from the Windows Store.

Announcing Definitive Editions for Age of Empires II and Age of Empires III

We created the Age of Empires: Definitive Edition to honor fans of the series and PC gamers everywhere, we wanted to commit to improving the entire franchise. Get ready for history to repeat itself and be sure to keep your eye on AgeOfEmpires.com for more information.

Age of Empires IV

We are thrilled to continue growing the empire and excited to share that we are working with Relic Entertainment on a brand-new title for the Age of Empires franchise – Age of Empires IV. Relic Entertainment has a wealth of experience in creating high-quality RTS games, making them the ideal partner to develop Age of Empires IV. We are thrilled to be working with them and can’t wait for fans to see their unique and exciting contribution to the Age of Empires franchise. We’ll have more to share in the future, so stay tuned to AgeOfEmpires.com!

To catch up all of our gaming news out of gamescom head over to Xbox Wire.

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19 Aug 2017
19 Aug 2017
18 Aug 2017
18 Aug 2017

gamescom 2017: Where to watch the Age of Empires livestream

Author: Adam Isgreen
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The livestream begins Monday, August 21 at 9 p.m. CEST, 12 p.m. PDT, you’ll be able to watch the livestream on the Windows Mixer channel and Windows Facebook. In the livestream we’ll give a first-look and hands-on preview with the recently announced Age of Empires: Definitive Edition and revealing some exciting news about the Age of Empires franchise and more!

20 years after its launch on PC in 1997, we announced at E3 2017 that Age of Empires: Definitive Edition is coming exclusively to Windows 10, with a closed beta available for registration now. Created as an homage to fans of the series and PC gamers everywhere, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition will bring back the original Age of Empires and its Rise of Rome expansion with 16 civilizations to explore, all the while including beautifully enhanced graphics, entirely re-orchestrated soundtrack, brand-new narrative, major gameplay improvements, Xbox Live support for multiplayer, and more.

Check out the trailer above for what to expect in Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, and sign up for a Mixer account in order to join the livestream on Mixer starting on Monday, August 21 at 9 p.m. CEST, 12 p.m. PDT! Keep an eye on the Windows Blog for a recap of Age of Empires news after the livestream ends.

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