Tag: Windows

Windows Insider MVP

Windows Insider MVP Award

I am proud to share with you today, that I received the Windows Insider MVP Award from Microsoft, for my contributions in the Windows community in the past year. The Windows Insider MVP award is an additional award to the Microsoft MVP award. It was created and announced in 2016, and is focusing on Windows and Devices for consumers. It is an honor to be awarded for my work and contributions in 2018.

Congratulations! Thank you for your contributions to the Windows community, we are excited to welcome you as a Windows Insider MVP. This award is a token of our appreciation, your leadership and passion help make Windows the best yet. We look forward to collaborating with you and all of our Windows Insider MVPs as we continue to strengthen the Windows Insider MVP (WI MVP) Program.

Working with the Windows community to share the latest an greatest about Windows 10 is just a lot of fun. The Windows Insider team as a fantastic job with enganging with the community and work with people all over the world, to make Windows better.



Windows Sandbox

Windows Sandbox – Isolated Windows Desktop

Today Microsoft announced a new feature called Windows Sandbox. Windows Sandbox is built based on Windows Container technology, which allows you to spin up an isolated, temporary, desktop environment where you can run untrusted software. The software you run and install in the Windows Sandbox does not affect the host. If you shut down the Windows Sandbox all changes and all software you installed in the Sandbox are gone again. This sounds very similar to the technology Windows Defender Application Guard already used to build a sandbox environment for Microsoft Edge.

Windows Sandbox Overview

Windows Sandbox

Windows Sandbox has the following properties:

  • Part of Windows – everything required for this feature ships with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise. No need to download a VHD!
  • Pristine – every time Windows Sandbox runs, it’s as clean as a brand-new installation of Windows
  • Disposable – nothing persists on the device; everything is discarded after you close the application
  • Secure – uses hardware-based virtualization for kernel isolation, which relies on the Microsoft’s hypervisor to run a separate kernel which isolates Windows Sandbox from the host
  • Efficient – uses integrated kernel scheduler, smart memory management, and virtual GPU

Windows Sandbox brings the advantages of Windows Containers and also adds a desktop. If you compare this to a Windows 10 Virtual Machine, the Windows Sandbox will consume much less resources, it starts up match faster and will be much more efficient with hardware resources. You can think of it as a lightweight virtual machine, which can share the same hardware but also the same kernel and memory as the host system (like a container).



Surface Headphones

Surface Headphones – First Impressions

Today my early Christmas gift to myself, just arrived, the Microsoft Surface Headphones. Yes, Microsoft at their Surface Event in October, announced a new product called the Surface Headphones. The Surface Headphones are wireless noise cancelling headphones. This is especially handy when travelling or in a open space office. The will compete with products like the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II and the Sony WH-1000XM3. If you are travelling a lot, especially if you fly a lot, you will never ever want to travel without noise cancelling headphones. By myself I was using the first generation Bose Quiet Comfort 35, which were my steady travel companion. I was really happy with it, even the sound quality could have been slightly better. However, with Microsoft releasing the Surface Headphones, it was time for an upgrade.

Microsoft Surface Headphones

Of course, I didn’t really have time to test them yet, but I wanted quickly share my first impression and a little review about the Surface Headphones.

  • First of all, I really like the design and build quality, the have this premium feel and design, like the other Microsoft Surface products.
  • Boy the feel comfortable. Even do they are heavier than my Bose QC 35, the feel lighter and very good when wearing them. Especially when being on a flight for over 10 hours, this is a must.
  • Setup is so easy, Cortana on the Surface Headphones let you quickly go through the whole setup process and everything just worked like you expect it to be. No pairing errors or things like this.
  • They work great with Windows 10, iOS or Android.
  • With Cortana you can also use voice commands to check your calendar or play your Spotify playlist.
  • Connecting multiple devices like the Surface Book 2 and my phone at the same time, is really useful. Especially when a Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams call comes in, you can easily switch to your PC.
  • In my opinion the sound quality of the Surface Headphones is better than on my Bose QC 35, and it is a joy to listen to music. Again, I am not a sound enthusiast, but for me the quality is really good.
  • One of the unique features are the wheels or dial on the side. The wheel on the right allows you just adjust the volume and the wheel on the left allows you to adjust the level of noise cancellation. I like the wheels much better than, the buttons on my Bose headphones, they are way easier reachable.
  • The Surface Headphones also have buttons on the side, which allow you to pick up and end calls, skip to the next track, pause and resume music playback.
  • You cannot only regulate the level of noise cancellation, you can even amplify the background around you, which is handy when someone starts talking to you.

Overall the first impressions of the Surface Headphones has been great, and I can’t wait to test them on my first trips. They are a great edition to the other Surface Peripherals.

If you are living not in the US or UK you can order them from www.bigapplebuddy.com. If you are using the coupon code “THOMASMAURER” you will get $10 off their 1st Big Apple Buddy purchase. This not only works for the Surface Headphones but for other items as well.



WLinux WSL Setup Wizard for Windows 10

WLinux – The best WSL for Windows 10

A couple of Windows 10 releases back, Microsoft delivered the Windows Subsystem for Linux. The Windows Subsystem for Linux allows you to run Linux distros, like Ubuntu, Debian, Suse and others, on Windows 10. Around the Microsoft Ignite 2018 timeframe another distro was released to the Windows Store called WLinux. WLinux is a Linux environment for Windows 10 built on work by Microsoft Research and the Debian project. WLinux is a custom Linux distro built from Debian specifically for use on the WSL. While other distros are available for WSL, WLinux is the first optimized for use by users of WSL for WSL. It helps developer run Linux tooling on Windows and integrates into perfectly into Windows.

WLinux Setup

WLinux WSL Setup Wizard for Windows 10

WLinux comes with a custom setup, to prepare your environment in a very simple and easy wizard. It lets you setup some predefined software and settings and configure integration into Windows.

WLinux WSL Docker Bridge to Windows

WLinux Docker Bridge

If you want to run Docker in the Windows Subsystem for Linux, you can bring the Docker Client to the Windows Docker Engine. This allows you to run Docker directly from WSL and from PowerShell at the same time.

Microsoft Tooling

WLinux Installing Azure CLI

Of course WLinux brings the usual Linux development tools and easy setup for Ruby, NodeJS, Go, Java, Python, editors like emacs and even different shells. You can also easily add Microsoft tooling by adding Azure CLI, PowerShell Core and even Visual Studio Code.

Windows Explorer Integration and WSL Utilities (wslu)

It easily lets you to setup Windows Explorer integration and brings wslu, a collection of utilities for WSL, preinstalled. Wslu bringt the following features to the WSL

  • wslusc This is a WSL shortcut creator to create a shortcut on your Windows 10 Desktop.
  • wslsys This is a WSL system information printer to print out some basic system information.
  • wslfetch This is a WSL Screenshoot Information Tool to print information in an elegant way.
  • wslupath This is a WSL Windows path Converter that can convert Windows path to other styles of path.
  • wslview This is a fake WSL browser that can help you open link in default Windows browser.

WSLfetch

If you want to know more about WLinux, check out the website Whitewater Foundry.

Or download WLinux from the Microsoft Store.

You can also contribute on the project on GitHub.



Windows Insider MVP

Windows Insider – Insiders2Campus visit in Redmond

If you have been following on social media in the last couple of days, you might have seen that I had the chance to speak at different conferences and events like SCOM Day in Gothenburg and Cloud Camp in Dublin. I also had the possibility to visit the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, and meet with the Windows Insider team. I was one of the lucky winners of the Insiders2Campus contest this summer and as a price I had was able to meet with the Windows team.

I have been a Windows Insider for the first day, and I am always excited to try out new features and give feedback to the engineering teams. Having the chance to meet with the team behind the Windows Insider program, was a great opportunity. I was able to visit the Microsoft Campus a couple of times already, for example for the Microsoft MVP Summits. But the Windows Insider team organized some special visits on places I never really had access to before.

Microsoft Garage

We had the chance to visit the Microsoft Garage. The Garage is a resource to Microsoft employees that supports and encourages problem solving in new and innovative ways, ultimately empowering people to achieve more. It is also a great place for hackathons within Microsoft. This is the place where cool Microsoft products like Microsoft Launcher for Android and the Outlook plugin, FindTime were created.

Microsoft Treehouse

Another place which you need to visit if you are on the Microsoft Campus, is the Microsoft Treehouse office. The Treehouse is basically an outdoor meeting space in the trees.

Tom Microsoft HoloLens

As part of the Windows Insiders2Campus visit, we also had the chance to try out Microsoft HoloLens and other Microsoft products.

There was obviously a lot more to see, like the Microsoft Envisioning Center, the Surface Lab and much more. But the greatest thing really was to meet the team behind the products. Really big thanks to the Windows Insider team, which made this possible. I think this was an unforgettable experience and if you ever have the chance to visit the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, it is definitely worth a visit.

If you are interested becoming a Windows Insider for Windows 10, Windows Server or other products and services, check out the Windows Insider site.



netsh wireless password

Show Wireless Network Password on Windows 10

Today I have a simple blog post, which is more less just a note for myself. If you are join your Windows 10 device to a Wireless Network and you can’t remember the Wireless Password or Key you can recover this using the netsh command. Simply run this command to show the network key of the wireless network:

To list the wireless networks you have access to, you can use the following command:



Create new Azure Backup

Backup Windows 10 to Microsoft Azure Backup

This is not really a new feature, it exists already for a while, but it seems that still a lot of people don’t know about it. Azure Backup not only allows you to backup services in Azure or Windows Server and services on-premises, Azure Backup can also backup your Windows Client PC.

Azure Backup for your Windows 10 PC allows you to backup Files and Folders and store and backup them to the cloud. You can use this for small environments, VIP machines or for remote workers which are always on the road. Data is encrypted on the on-premises client machine using AES256 and the data is sent over a secure HTTPS link. Backups are stored encrypted in Azure with the customers own key.

I use Azure Backup for my own devices. I am often on the road and working on different documents and files. Obviously I also use OneDrive and OneDrive for Business, which also allows you to restore files after you delete them. However, the retention rate is way to short and it is not a backup. Azure Backup in that case is a great addition. You can backup your files where ever you are.

Setup Azure Backup for Windows Clients

Azure Backup and Site Recovery

First you will need to setup a Azure Recovery Services Vault in Microsoft Azure. This is the service which your backups will be stored.