Windows 8.1 Pricing and Packaging Announced

The General Availability (GA) date for the public to purchase Windows 8.1 is just around the corner: Friday October 18, 2013.

Microsoft has released more detailed information about the pricing and packaging of Windows 8.1:

PRICING

  • Windows 8.1 $119.99 ERP (US)
  • Windows 8.1 Pro $199.99 ERP (US)
  • Windows 8.1 Pro Pack $99.99 ERP (US)
  • Windows Media Center add-on for 8.1 Pro $9.99 (US)
  • Upgrade from 8.0 to 8.1 Free (via Windows Store download)

PACKAGING

Windows 8.1 box shots

UPGRADE OPTIONS

  • Windows 8.0 to 8.1 in-place-upgrade – Yes
  • Windows 8.1 to 8.1 Pro – Yes with Windows 8.1 Pro Pack
  • Windows 7 to 8.1 upgrade – documents will be saved, applications will have to be reinstalled
  • Windows Vista to 8.1 upgrade – No, clean install required
  • Windows XP to 8.1 upgrade – No, clean install required

WHAT’S NEW IN WINDOWS 8.1

TechNet talks about what’s new in Windows 8.1 and the Windows blog has listed more than 20 new and improved Microsoft apps and services.

LEARN MORE ABOUT WINDOWS 8.1

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Training – Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Jump Start

I have been VERY impressed with the Microsoft Jump Start courses! It’s great to hear that they have another one coming later this month – perfect timing before General Availability (GA) hits for Windows Server 2012 R2.

Microsoft Virtual AcademyTopic: Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Jump Start:
New Choices

Date: Tuesday September 24, 2013
Time: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM Eastern (9-5 PDT)
Venue: Online – Microsoft Virtual Academy
Cost: FREE

JumpStartDescription: IT leaders struggle with the costs and complications associated with data growth and are looking for new solutions and tools to help them scale and keep costs down. Come to this Jump Start to find out how the new tools in the R2 release of Windows Server 2012 can help you move workloads to less costly and more robust and scalable storage solutions. Learn more about Automated Tiering, Data Deduplication, Scale-Out File Server, shared VHDX files and Hyper-V live migration over the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol (SMB Direct and SMB Multichannel).

Prerequisites: Having a solid understanding of Windows Server 2012 storage concepts. Preview Windows Server 2012: Storage and What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2 Jump Start.

Registration: Registration for this event IS required.
Register today!

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/liveevents/windows-server2012-r2-storage-jump-start-new-choices

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Stupid PowerShell Tricks – Getting Your PC to Talk

WarGamesRemember the 80’s? (Too young?)

One of my 80’s favorites was the movie WarGames.

(Hint: You should really watch it on Netflix – it’s a classic.
Here’s the WarGames movie trailer for you kids.)

Anyway, for those of you who DO remember War Games, that speech synthesizer was pretty creepy back in the day.
But it was equally cool because speech was pretty rare in those days unless you had a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A (which I did – woot!)

It’s hard to believe that movie came out 30 years ago, and technology has changed a lot. Windows has had speech built in for quite some time, but did you know you can access the speech API with PowerShell?

Who cares, right? WRONG! It’s pretty fun! And it’s a good bit of code to use to prank your IT co-workers. (Think login script or batch file that runs as a scheduled task…)

Here is a video demo of Windows Server 2012 reading classic computer lines from the movie WarGames:

“Joshua” from WarGames (1983) as played by Windows Server 2012 & PowerShell

 

Not too shabby for a Windows Server, eh?

So, shall we play a game?

Below is the PowerShell code for you to play with and tweak.
Have fun annoying people!

WarGames.ps1

Copy-and-paste code for WarGames.ps1

<#
.SYNOPSIS
    This script employs the Speech API for speaking
    and quotes lines from the movie "WarGames" (1983)
.DESCRIPTION
    At the beginning load the Speech API, create a SpeechSynthesizer object.
    It uses this object’s Speak method to speak
.NOTES
    File Name : WarGames.ps1
    Code From : DimiG | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg6icbeHWVY
    Requires  : PowerShell Version 2.0
.EXAMPLE
    Just for tutorial
#>

# Add text for speaking here
$text = @(`
"Hello, my name is Joshua.",`
"Greetings Professor Falken.",`
"Shall we play a game?",`
"Of course. I should reach DEF CON 1",`
"and launch my missiles in 28 hours.",`
"Would you like to see some projected kill ratios?",`
"What’s the difference?",`
"You are a hard man to reach.",`
"Could not find you in Seattle",`
"and no terminal is in operation at your classified address.",`
"D O D pension files indicate current mailing as:",`
"Dr Robert Hume,",`
"AKA Stephen W Falken,",`
"5 Tall Cedar Road.",`
"Strange game.",`
"The only winning move is not to play.",`
"How about a nice game of chess?"`
)

# Load the dll
[System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("System.Speech") | out-null

# Create new object
$spk = New-Object System.Speech.Synthesis.SpeechSynthesizer

# Step Up Volume
$spk.SetOutputToDefaultAudioDevice();
$spk.Volume = 100

# Check out voices installed on this computer…
$spk.GetInstalledVoices() | %{$_.voiceinfo}

# Now say…
$spk.Speak($text)

Props: DimiG for the PoSh code

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Updated List of OS Version Queries for WMI Filters

Group PolicyMore likely than not, if you’re using Group Policy to push out software installation or registry entries to client machines or servers on the domain, the policy may be different depending on the OS version or architecture.

Examples, Group Policy Objects may need to be filtered by:

  • Desktop / Server
  • Domain Controller / Non-Domain Controller
  • 32-bit / 64-bit

If you haven’t used WMI filters before, they show up in Group Policy Management at the bottom, between Group Policy Objects and Starter GPOs.

Common OS WMI Filters

The WMI filters use a query to scope down the application of the Group Policy Object applicability. Here’s what a typical WMI OS filter looks like:

WMI filter

select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.1%" AND ProductType="1" AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"

WMI Win32_OperatingSystem ProductType Tips:

ProductType 1 = Desktop OS

ProductType 2 = Server OS – Domain Controller

ProductType 3 = Server OS – Not a Domain Controller

WMI Win32_OperatingSystem Version Number Tips:

5.1 – Windows XP

5.2 – Windows Server 2003

5.2.3 – Windows Server 2003 R2

6.0 – Windows Vista & Windows Server 2008

6.1 – Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2

6.2 – Windows 8 & Windows Server 2012

6.3 – Windows 8.1 & Windows Server 2012 R2

To create your own WMI filters, here is an updated list of WMI filter queries from Window XP – Windows 8.1 and from Server 2003 to Server 2012 R2.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:
Always test your Group Policies and WMI filters before deploying.

DESKTOPS

ANY WINDOWS DESKTOP OS

  • Any Windows Desktop OS – Version 1
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE ProductType = "1"
  • Any Windows Desktop OS – Version 2 (better for Win7 sometimes)
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE (ProductType <> "2") AND (ProductType <> "3")
  • Any Windows Desktop OS – 32-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE ProductType = "1" AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Any Windows Desktop OS – 64-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE ProductType = "1" AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"

WINDOWS XP

  • Windows XP
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE (Version like "5.1%" or Version like "5.2%") AND ProductType="1"
  • Windows XP – 32-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE (Version like "5.1%" or Version like "5.2%") AND ProductType="1" AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows XP – 64-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE (Version like "5.1%" or Version like "5.2%") AND ProductType="1" AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"

WINDOWS VISTA

  • Windows Vista
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.0%" AND ProductType="1"
  • Windows Vista – 32-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.0%" AND ProductType="1" AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows Vista – 64-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.0%" AND ProductType="1" AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"

WINDOWS 7

  • Windows 7
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.1%" AND ProductType="1"
  • Windows 7 – 32-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.1%" AND ProductType="1" AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows 7 – 64-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.1%" AND ProductType="1" AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"

WINDOWS 8

  • Windows 8
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.2%" AND ProductType="1"
  • Windows 8 – 32-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.2%" AND ProductType="1" AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows 8 – 64-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.2%" AND ProductType="1" AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"

WINDOWS 8.1

  • Windows 8.1
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.3%" AND ProductType="1"
  • Windows 8.1 – 32-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.3%" AND ProductType="1" AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows 8.1 – 64-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.3%" AND ProductType="1" AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"

 

SERVERS

ANY WINDOWS SERVER OS

  • Any Windows Server OS
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (ProductType = "2") OR (ProductType = "3")
  • Any Windows Server OS – 32-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (ProductType = "2") OR (ProductType = "3") AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Any Windows Server OS – 64-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (ProductType = "2") OR (ProductType = "3") AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Any Windows Server – Domain Controller
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (ProductType = "2")
  • Any Windows Server – Domain Controller – 32-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (ProductType = "2") AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Any Windows Server – Domain Controller – 64-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (ProductType = "2") AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Any Windows Server – Non-Domain Controller
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (ProductType = "3")
  • Any Windows Server – Non- Domain Controller – 32-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (ProductType = "3") AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Any Windows Server – Non-Domain Controller – 64-bit
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem where (ProductType = "3") AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"

WINDOWS SERVER 2003

  • Windows Server 2003 – DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "5.2%" AND ProductType="2"
  • Windows Server 2003 – non-DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "5.2%" AND ProductType="3"
  • Windows Server 2003 – 32-bit – DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "5.2%" AND ProductType="2" AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows Server 2003 – 32-bit – non-DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "5.2%" AND ProductType="3" AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows Server 2003 – 64-bit – DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "5.2%" AND ProductType="2" AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows Server 2003 – 64-bit – non-DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "5.2%" AND ProductType="3" AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"

WINDOWS SERVER 2003 R2

  • Windows Server 2003 R2 – DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "5.2.3%" AND ProductType="2"
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 – non-DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "5.2.3%" AND ProductType="3"
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 – 32-bit – DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "5.2.3%" AND ProductType="2" AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 – 32-bit – non-DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "5.2.3%" AND ProductType="3" AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 – 64-bit – DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "5.2.3%" AND ProductType="2" AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 – 64-bit – non-DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "5.2.3%" AND ProductType="3" AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"

WINDOWS SERVER 2008

  • Windows Server 2008DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.0%" AND ProductType="2"
  • Windows Server 2008 – non-DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.0%" AND ProductType="3"
  • Windows Server 2008 – 32-bit – DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.0%" AND ProductType="2" AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows Server 2008 – 32-bit – non-DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.0%" AND ProductType="3" AND NOT OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows Server 2008 – 64-bit – DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.0%" AND ProductType="2" AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"
  • Windows Server 2008 – 64-bit – non-DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.0%" AND ProductType="3" AND OSArchitecture = "64-bit"

WINDOWS SERVER 2008 R2

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 – 64-bit – DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.1%" AND ProductType="2"
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 – 64-bit – non-DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.1%" AND ProductType="3"

WINDOWS SERVER 2012

  • Windows Server 2012 – 64-bit – DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.2%" AND ProductType="2"
  • Windows Server 2012 – 64-bit – non-DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.2%" AND ProductType="3"

WINDOWS SERVER 2012 R2

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 – 64-bit – DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.3%" AND ProductType="2"
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 – 64-bit – non-DC
    select * from Win32_OperatingSystem WHERE Version like "6.3%" AND ProductType="3"
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Windows Server 2012 R2 and 8.1 RTM on MSDN/TechNet

Per this blog announcement, the final bits of the next wave of Windows products are available on MSDN & TechNet.

Windows Server 2012 R2 - RTM

Note: General Availability (GA) to the public for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 is Friday, October 18, 2013.

MSDN

Windows Server 2012 R2 and 8.1 RTM on MSDN

TechNet

Windows Server 2012 R2 and 8.1 RTM on TechNet

Windows 8.1

  • Windows 8.1 (multiple editions) (x86) – DVD (English)
    File size: 2,780 MB
    File name: en_windows_8_1_x86_dvd_2707392.iso
    SHA1: 802CFCD3A411D99C097EA7E747F0B6697F9BDAC4
     
  • Windows 8.1 (multiple editions) (x64) – DVD (English)
    File size: 3,719 MB
    File name: en_windows_8_1_x64_dvd_2707217.iso
    SHA1: BC2F7FF5C91C9F0F8676E39E703085C65072139B

Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (x64) – DVD (English)
    File size: 4,071 MB
    File name: en_windows_server_2012_r2_x64_dvd_2707946.iso
    SHA1: B6F063436056510357CB19CB77DB781ED9C11DF3
     
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 (x64) – DVD (English)
    File size: 1,917 MB
    File name: en_microsoft_hyper-v_server_2012_r2
    _x64_dvd_2708236.iso
    SHA1: 1EEC2EE8DD77E8EB970B210C9B0E01986D7210DD
     
  • Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Foundation (x64) – DVD (English)
    File size: 3,860 MB
    File name: en_windows_storage_server_2012_r2_and_windows
    _server_2012_r2_foundation_x64_dvd_2708426.iso
    SHA1: E3F320EACACFC7F2B000D3E6B02872133BCA547C
     
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials (x64) – DVD (English)
    File size: 3,861 MB
    File name: en_windows_server_2012_r2_essentials_x64
    _dvd_2707177.iso
    SHA1: 8A4CB96563DDA4F1BF637E57A992F3255D56B6F8
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Download – Claims-Based Identity Guide eBook

A Guide to Claims-Based Identity and Access Control (Second Edition)Title: A Guide to Claims-Based Identity and Access Control (Second Edition)
Authors: Dominick Baier, Vittorio Bertocci,
Keith Brown, Scott Densmore, Eugenio Pace,
& Matias Wolosk
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation
Version: 2.0
Published: 9/3/2013
Pages: 411
PDF: Claims-based Identity Second Edition device.pdf
Size: 19.3 MB
Price: FREE
Download URL: Click here for download

Also available in ePUB format (same URL above)
ePUB: ClaimsBasedIdentityandAccessControl.epub
Size: 9.1 MB

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 – An Introduction to Claims
  • Chapter 2 – Claims -Based Architectures
  • Chapter 3 – Claims-Based Single Sign-On for the Web and Windows Azure
  • Chapter 4 – Federated Identity for Web Applications
  • Chapter 5 – Federated Identity with Windows Azure Access Control Service
  • Chapter 6 – Federated Identity with Multiple Partners
  • Chapter 7 – Federated Identity with Multiple Partners and Windows Azure Access Control Service
  • Chapter 8 – Claims Enabling Web Services
  • Chapter 9 – Securing REST Services
  • Chapter 10 – Accessing REST Services from a Windows Phone Device
  • Chapter 11 – Claims-Based Single Sign-On for Microsoft SharePoint 2010
  • Chapter 12 – Federated Identity for SharePoint Applications

 

Description

Claims-based identity seeks to control the digital experience and allocate digital resources based on claims made by one party about another. A party can be a person, organization, government, website, web service, or even a device. The very simplest example of a claim is something that a party says about itself.

As the authors of this book point out, there is nothing new about the use of claims. As far back as the early days of mainframe computing, the operating system asked users for passwords and then passed each new application a “claim” about who was using it. But this world was based to some extent on wishful thinking because applications didn’t question what they were told.

As systems became interconnected and more complicated, we needed ways to identify parties across multiple computers. One way to do this was for the parties that used applications on one computer to authenticate to the applications (and/or operating systems) that ran on the other computers. This mechanism is still widely used—for example, when logging on to a great number of Web sites.

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