Tag Archives: Windows 8

Flaw in OneNote 2013 [fixed]

irrelevant logo Apple WWDC

This picture is irrelevant here, but I don’t want to advertise Microsoft products anymore.

I’m greatly disappointed with Windows 8 and Office 2013. I bought both and I want my money back. The key issue with Windows — I cannot stand new ugly interface. It is the first time I have no desire to hack this windows release. As for new Office 2013, it holds me from doing essential things. There is a big unresolved issue in OneNote 2013 with a function which me and my wife use everyday: copying from web pages. When I selectively copy from IE10 using the button “Send to OneNote” (same for IE9) OneNote 2013 does not include the hyperlink reference “inserted from” at the end of the fragment. Let me show how it looks in OneNote 2010 (Windows 7):

Capture in OneNote 2010

There is a clear reference inserted at the bottom “Inserted from”. Nice and tidy.

Here’s the ugly twin from OneNote 2013 (installed under Windows 8) from exactly the same source:

win8_office2013_onenote

See the difference? There is no bloody reference. And, of course, I checked in OneNote Advanced options “Include link to source when content is pasted”. With or without — the result is the same.

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Windows 8 Media Center Pack for Free

Windows 8 proConfused with Windows 8 versions? Here’s a good explanation on Dummies.com on that, describing all four flavours of the new Microsoft operating system. In short: Windows RT (limited to built-in applications), Windows 8 (for most users), Windows 8 Pro (like Win7 Ultimate with  encryption, extra networking features, and similar features like to connect to a domain through a work network), and Windows 8 Enterprise (for corporate users). But here we also have mysterious Windows 8 Pro Pack, which seems to be more than just upgrade from Windows 8 to 8 Pro. It was also mentioned that you can have Windows 8 Pro Media Center Edition for those who want to record or watch live TV shows through a TV tuner with Windows Media Center and also play DVDs.

I would go for Windows 8 Pro anyway, but I just realized that Microsoft is giving away product numbers for Windows 8 Media Center Pack here. Just type your email and hit Enter. It seems that sometimes you have to wait for a couple of days for the key to arrive. But there is a hidden secret. Some people reported that it is enough to install Windows 8 Pro  (x86 or x64) with public KMS client setup key (Microsoft Technet source), activate it, and then just follow the sequence: Continue reading

Russian Trace in Windows 8 RTM Activation

Wzor avatar from private soft-forum.ws

The effort of internet community to activate the leaked versions of Windows 8 RTM is amazing. This is happening despite the obvious disadvantage of Metro UI for regular desktop PCs with mouse and keyboard. Yet reportedly some people succeeded to activate with help of Russian-arranged KMS on-line server at [multitude of names].no-ip.org and WZT provided keys. I’ve even seen a suggestion that one could use Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) 2.0 from Microsoft! That WZOR team could be involved of course (they are notorious to be within the Microsoft circle, making fun of Bill Gates — look at the avatar). 

KMS-type activation can give you “only” 180 days. Not all the attempts to activate are successful though. Some people reported that they managed to get the right response from XXX.no-ip.org and then after few manipulations and reboot suddenly they got the nag screen again: activation gone. What you can do to prevent this — backup these two folders to revert them in case of trouble:

C:\Windows\System32\spp\store C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WSLicense

And people keep asking questions. For example: is it safe to use my live account with “test” leaked versions of Windows, especially if I tried (or succeeded) to activate with WZT KMS server? Well, even if did not try to activate, your account may be flagged, so try to use a spare one.

Another question: how about offline KMS activator? Well you can get it and run it (AKA off-line Hyper-V solution) but it requires a KMS key which nobody has for Windows 8, it has not been released yet.

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Windows 8 RTM Leaking Madness

win8rtm-01In less than a day after the Microsoft gave the Windows 8 final RTM version to OEMs, the Big Leakage started. First we got non-bootable images of Enterprise “N” editions with key embedded (N — means no Media Player), and now we got the real thing — good old Russian friend of all computer geeks WZOR released first Windows 8 Enterprise RTM x86/x64 and then Windows 8 Professional RTM x86/x64 which he claimed to be original MS images. To give you some facts let me list the IDs of those builds at the end of this article.

You may see quite a lot of people installed these releases already and have been testing heavily. Look at these forums:

http://forums.mydigitallife.info/forums/42-Windows-8

http://winunleaked.info

If you hesitate which version to install, I suggest you install Professional. It can be activated through all channels by applying the right key, while Enterprise is VL only, as it is primarily made for corporate use.

As for pirates, there is no workaround yet to activate the leaked copies, although Microsoft activation servers are online and Windows 8 can be activated with legit keys such as MAK. In the trial mode Windows 8 goes into specific License Status — Notification State (i.e. there is no 30-day “grace” period), which is quite annoying:

  • you cannot personalize Metro
  • you cannot change Start Page or User Picture
  • you have Watermarks of build number and non-activated stamp

Besides, there is a difference between SKU keys: Retail gets the metro message screen to activate, and Volume License gets the desktop watermark. The latter seems less annoying.

win8rtm-wallpaper

The great DAZ (hero of Windows 7 Loader) already admitted he would not create a similar program for Windows 8 RTM. It is more likely to see updated KMS Server Activator for Windows 8 from ZWT or other genius enthusiast. [If you don’t know what KMS stands for, read this article on TechNet]

Why DAZ believes it is difficult to simulate OEM activation now? Because it is so different now. One source revealed new changes in Windows 8 activation taken from internal Microsoft presentation. In short, in version OA 3.0 of OEM Activation will ensure that each PC with pre-installed Windows 8 will have unique product key in the BIOS and will be activated (physically) at the factory. If you know how old activation OA 2.1 worked, you’d understand it is completely different story now. In the past one OEM (e.g. ASUS or HP) used to have the same product key for every PC they shipped.

But as one guy said in a forum: “I don’t see the point; Microsoft has already taken care of discouraging piracy in Windows 8 — Who really wants to pirate a crippled OS that’s missing the start menu? Well, at least this feature will be something exciting for those up for a challenge in breaking the product activation.” That’s exactly my point — who wants to run Windows 8 and get in trouble even more? Do not pirate, stick with Windows 7, because that is what most big corporations will do — they will ignore Windows 8 for corporate use.

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New Avast 7 in Windows 8 CP

Avast 7 FreeHere’s my review of new Avast 7 in Windows 8 Consumer Preview. New Windows system contains upgraded Windows Defender version 6.2, which has now full antivirus functionality and runs by default. Microsoft basically put there what they used to call Security Essentials (but the name is too long as per modern guidelines, I guess). So I wanted to test and see if third-party antivirus in Windows CP would be welcome. That means that Defender would need to be shut down automatically. I liked the previous versions of Avast and always recommended that security software, besides, it did perform very efficiently.

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Three Flaws of Metro UI in Windows 8 CP

I’ve been running Windows 8 Consumer Preview for a few days and I should say Metro User Interface has no bright future for a regular PC with a mouse and a keyboard. All this tiling nightmare is an attempt to make a structural multi-purpose information display, and that idea has three big issues:

  1. User need is overestimated. I don’t have a need to see multiple screens/tiles simultaneously, like weather and emails and photos, etc. My desktop (or, whatever, monitor screen) is not a control panel of the aircraft where, for instance, this need is present. Even if it was, it would need to be frozen, fixed for each and every display or tile.
  2. PC is considered in a wrong way. My PC is not a giant mobile phone. On a mobile phone with a tiny touch screen that free space would be probably useless. Yet I enjoy and appreciate the free space on the desktop. PC is special in that regard. Apple does not mix mobile and desktop, why Microsoft should?
  3. Core concepts are overlooked. Basically common sense is put underneath MS corporate intelligence as it seems.  Simplicity is good, limitation is not. I don’t mind multitude of controls, small fonts and complexity. I hate rules that cannot be hacked. I am annoyed with the whole approach of “follow the pattern”-style in mouse navigation. It is not convenient, period. And don’t tell me shutting down of PC is stupid, that is my cow and it is up to me what to do with it.

I like new ideas and I know it is difficult to change. The most difficult is to understand that your mind thinking pattern is wrong. But in this case there is no revolution with Metro UI. I just feel it.

Metro UI Claustrophobia in Windows 8

Windows 8 StartI installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview on one of my secondary computers to see if it is playable. The kids were puzzled at first, but then realized that movies link works and there are new games hidden behind the Metro tiles.

I agree that Metro UI is more suitable for touchscreen hardware, and if there is no such hardware is present, it is difficult to justify its usability with only mouse and keyboard (although there are some very handy keyboard shortcuts).

I like Windows interface in general and I believe that Windows 8 works better and faster (that I can witness) than Windows 7. Yet, Metro User Interface is not a revolutionary move on PC screen. It is meant to be simple, which is a good approach. But a computer remains a very sophisticated device and Metro UI on top of it feels overwhelming to me, because as a power user I don’t mind multitude of controls and … empty space on my desktop. Empty space on my desktop is inspiring, as it can be filled with anything. Empty space in Metro is not easy to fill.

metro-1

Get reimagined and reinvented Windows 8 Consumer Preview

win8logo

Windows 8 Consumer Preview is here (build 8250). Feel free to download and test:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/consumer-preview

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download

Direct download links to ISO images with Windows 8 Consumer Preview:

English
64-bit (x64)                    Download (3.3 GB)
Sha 1 hash — 1288519C5035BCAC83CBFA23A33038CCF5522749
32-bit (x86)                    Download (2.5 GB)
Sha 1 hash — E91ED665B01A46F4344C36D9D88C8BF78E9A1B39

One Product Key for all:   DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J
Windows 8 CP will expire on January 15, 2013.

Here you can find more links to more languages:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso

Big change: the Start button has gone forever :)

Windows 8 Developer Preview — Perfect Stranger

win8-8102New Metro interface of Windows 8 Developer Preview (build 8102) — available to everybody to download and try — has puzzled me from the first screen. I understand the concept, but I don’t see how it is going to be productive in its way to access programs and present information from the web. Font is not distinctive. If somebody likes clean and neat display, what is Metro going to look like then? This Powerpoint style of bright and big square titles is not new at all. Look at some screenshots below (click to enlarge):

metro-1

Look at new Control Panel (click to enlarge):

metro-2

 Or another one:

metro-3

The “problem” with running of Metro applications is that you cannot close them. If you leave them and run something else, they get “suspended” — look at the new Windows Task Manager (click to enlarge):

Windows 8 Task manager

 And another one:

Windows Task manager cpu

If you need to disable Metro in Windows 8 Developer Preview, do the following:

Press Windows key + R to get Run command. Type “regedit” and press Enter. In the registry editor find the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RPEnabled
and change its value from 1 to 0. Restart the computer. You should be done now. But what is the point of running Windows 8 without Metro??

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Get Pre-Beta version of Windows 8 for developers, build 8102

win8-devMetro style application development has been started. Go to this link to see latest updates: http://dev.windows.com

You can download the Windows Developer Preview (pre-beta version) of Windows 8 build 8102 for developers here:

  • Windows Developer Preview with developer tools English, 64-bit (x64): ISO file 4.8GB [ be careful – you will need a dual layer dvd to burn this!]
Contains:
64-bit Windows Developer Preview
Windows SDK for Metro style apps
Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows Developer Preview
Microsoft Expression Blend 5 Developer Preview
28 Metro style apps including the BUILD Conference app
 

There’s no need to activate or enter a serial number. The time-bomb is set to 12 March 2012. But if you reinstall Windows Developer Preview or use the Reset functionality, you might be asked to enter a product key. In this case use these:

6RH4V-HNTWC-JQKG8-RFR3R-36498

4Y8N3-H7MMW-C76VJ-YD3XV-MBDKV (WDP server version only)

Source for keys: Microsoft