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Microsoft updates the .NET stack with .NET Core 2.0 and updated Visual Studio. Should you use it?

Microsoft has released .NET Core 2.0, a major update to its open source, cross-platform version of the .NET runtime and C# language.

New features include implementation of .NET Standard 2.0 (a way of targeting code to run under multiple .NET platforms), new platform support including Debian Stretch, macOS High Sierra and Suse Linux Enterprise Server

…continue reading Microsoft updates the .NET stack with .NET Core 2.0 and updated Visual Studio. Should you use it?

The downside of “Windows as a service”: disappearing features (and why I will miss Paint)

Microsoft has posted a list of features that are “removed or deprecated” in the next major update to Windows 10, called the Fall Creators Update.

The two that caught my eye are Paint, a simple graphics editor whose ancestry goes right back to Windows 1.0 in 1985, and System Image Backup, a means of backing

…continue reading The downside of “Windows as a service”: disappearing features (and why I will miss Paint)

Microsoft Edge browser crashing soon after launch: this time, it’s IBM Trusteer Rapport to blame

A common problem (I am not sure how common, but there are hundreds of reports) with the Edge browser in Windows 10 is that it gets into the habit of opening and then immediately closing, or closing when you try to browse the web.

I was trying to fix a PC with these symptoms. In

…continue reading Microsoft Edge browser crashing soon after launch: this time, it’s IBM Trusteer Rapport to blame

Licensing Azure Stack: it’s complicated (and why Azure Stack is the iPad of servers)

Microsoft’s Azure Stack is a pre-configured, cut-down version of Microsoft’s mighty cloud platform, condensed into an appliance-like box that you can install on your own premises.

Azure Stack is not just a a new way to buy a bunch of Windows servers. Both the technical and the business model are different to anything you

…continue reading Licensing Azure Stack: it’s complicated (and why Azure Stack is the iPad of servers)

No more infrastructure roles for Windows Nano Server, and why I still like Server Core

Microsoft’s General Manager for Windows Server Erin Chapple posted last week about Nano Server (under a meaningless PR-speak headline) to explain that Nano Server, the most stripped-down edition of Windows Server, is being repositioned. When it was introduced, it was presented not only as a lightweight operating system for running within containers, but also for

…continue reading No more infrastructure roles for Windows Nano Server, and why I still like Server Core

Windows S: another go at locking down Windows, but the Store is not ready and making it ready is a challenge

There were two big ideas behind Surface RT and Windows RT, the 2012 Windows 8 project which left Microsoft (and some OEM partners) with a mountain of unsold hardware. One was to compete with iPads and Android tablets by making Windows a touch-friendly operating system. The second was that Windows had to move on from

…continue reading Windows S: another go at locking down Windows, but the Store is not ready and making it ready is a challenge

Notes from the field: Office 365 pain following Windows 10 upgrade

I got involved in looking at a PC where a few Office 365 problems had arisen following an upgrade to Windows 10 (prompted by Microsoft supposedly ending its free upgrade offer).

In particular, SharePoint online was crashing Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer? Don’t Windows 10 users stick to Edge?

Unfortunately Edge is problematic with certain sites.

…continue reading Notes from the field: Office 365 pain following Windows 10 upgrade

The battle to own Windows Explorer shell overlay icons, or why your OneDrive green ticks have stopped working

There are a number of dark areas in Windows that do not work quite right. MAXPATH anyone? But here is another one that I have only recently become aware of.

If you use applications such as Mozy, OneDrive (Business or Personal), Adobe Creative Cloud, Tortoise (a developer utility) or Dropbox, you will be familiar with

…continue reading The battle to own Windows Explorer shell overlay icons, or why your OneDrive green ticks have stopped working

Microsoft financials April-June 2016: on track but continued drift away from consumers

Microsoft has announced its latest financials, and I have made a quick table summarising the year-on-year comparison for the quarter. See the end of this post for what the confusing segment categories represent.

Quarter ending  June 30th 2016 vs quarter ending June 30th 2015, $millions

Segment Revenue Change Operating income Change Productivity and Business

…continue reading Microsoft financials April-June 2016: on track but continued drift away from consumers

Adapting a native code DLL to be called from a Store or Universal Windows app

I am writing a Bridge game in C# – yes, I have been doing this for some time, it does run now but it is not ready for public unveiling.

It is good fun though and a learning experience, as I am writing it as a Windows 8 Store app. This means it can

…continue reading Adapting a native code DLL to be called from a Store or Universal Windows app