Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Lori MacVittie, Andreas Grabner, Jim Kaskade, John Basso

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Mobile IoT, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Microsoft Cloud: Article

Getting Productive with Windows Server 2012 (Part 1)

A Quick Start for Experienced Users

This 3-part article details the 12 routines that I consider a Windows Server 2008 user ought to know first to accelerate the learning and adoption of Windows Server 2012 without the need of a touch device. For those IT professionals who are working towards becoming private cloud experts, it is imperative to master Windows Server 2012 which is an essential component in establishing a private cloud. And the earlier those master Windows Server 2012 platform, the sooner those will be become leaders in the IT transformation into private cloud computing. There is everything to gain to start learning Windows Server 2012 now as opposed to later.

The content of this series is based on Windows Server 2012 Beta as of May, 2012. It is intended for those who are familiar with the administration of Windows Server 2008 (or later) to become comfortable and productive with Windows Server 2012 within an hour using conventional input devices like a keyboard and a mouse, while a touch device may not be immediately available. The 12 routines as the following are to facilitate the learning. They are certainly not complete, nor the only ways to operate Windows Server 2012.

Start screen
  1. Where Have All the Apps Gone
  2. The Four Corners
  3. Settings of Current Screen
  4. Search from the Start screen
  5. Windows Explorer
  6. Metro Style Apps
  7. Server Manager
  8. If You Need to Run, Don't Walk
  9. Run As J. Smith
  10. Desktop Experience
  11. Wireless Support
  12. Error Message: "Not accessible - Verify earlier versions of Windows run the Management WTR package"

I organize the contents into 3 parts. Part 1 will cover the first two routines mainly on the usability. The next eight in part 2 are essential user operations, and part 3 (although not about operating a non-touch device) is to highlight two important facts: the wireless support and an error message that a user is likely to experience when trying to initially connect to Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or other earlier version of Windows servers. The three parts together should provide pertinent information sufficient for an experienced Windows server user to get productive quickly on this exciting new version of Windows Server.

In Windows Server 2012, there are the Start screen as shown above, the traditional desktop and apps, and Metro style apps. The Start screen is now the default landing screen upon logging in and the logical hub of all installed applications. The traditional desktop itself is now the Metro app, Desktop. And the user experience of Desktop of Windows Server 2012 is very similar with the desktop experience in Windows Server 2008. Many UI features available in the desktops of Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 are very much applicable. For examples, shaking to minimize windows, snapping to resize or compare contents in two windows, minimizing all open windows by clicking at the lower right corner of the desktop, etc. work the same in Windows Server 2012. Nonetheless, since Windows Server 2012 is for both touch devices and those based on traditional keyboard-mouse inputs, there are new features and operations from a user experience point of view to accommodate the inputs from a touch device and keyboard and mouse within an OS instance.

1. Where Have All the Apps Gone
The first order of business in learning a new system is to find out where and what all the apps are, and make those frequently used apps easy to access for routine operations. From the get-go on the Start screen after logging on as local administrator, place cursor on the background color (i.e. not on a tile) and right-click. The All Apps click button will appear at the lower left part of the screen, as shown here:

ws2012-magic-corners

 

Clicking All Apps bring up the Apps svcreen revealing all the apps currently installed in the system. On the Apps screen, right-click an app to mark and pin/unpin the app to desktop/taskbar, and right-click again to unmark, as needed. The following screen capture shows Resource Monitor is currently pinned to the Start screen and not to a taskbar. A user will notice that Apps screen lists out frequently used admin tools including: Control Panel, Services, Event Viewer, PowerShell, Windows Explorer, etc. which can be pinned to Start screen and taskbar for a direct access, as preferred. To get back to the Start screen at this time, mouse-click at lower left corner (LL) or simply press the Windows Logo key.

ws2012-all-apps

2. The Four Corners
These are what I call four "Magic Corners" on a Windows Server 2012 screen, i.e. LL UL, LR, and UR indicating lower left, upper left, lower right, and upper right corners, respectively, as shown on the Start screen earlier. Place cursor and click at each of the magic corners to toggle screens, list out inactive metro style apps, access settings of current screens, etc. These corners are to perform some essential user operations in Windows Server 2012 with a keyboard and a mouse as input devices. Apparently, mouse-clicks at LL or UL are to perform something similar to swipes across the left edge of a touch device screen, while LR and UR are for swipe actions across the right edge, for instance.

Either LL or the Windows Logo key is where to toggle between the Start screen and the last accessed app. This provides a direct and immediate access to the Start screen which is the logical hub of all the apps installed in current OS instance. When confused, just return to the Start screen and go from there.

Moving cursor to UL on a screen will give a thumbnail view of the last Metro style app accessed. And moving the cursor from UL down along the left edge of the screen will reveal all Metro style apps currently inactive. The following screen capture illustrates the steps to bring up an inactive Metro app from the Start screen.

ws2012-listing-out-metro-apps.-steps

Moving cursor to either LR or UR will bring up the so called Charms showed in transparency with the background. Moving cursor up or down at this time along the edge will highlight the Charms with a black bar and also show the current day, date, time, network, and power status. Notice Charms provides an access to the Settings options of both the current screen and the Start screen as well. Below are two screen captures of Charms showing one in transparency with the background, the other with a black bar and current time, day, date, etc displayed.

Moving cursor to the top edge changes the cursor from an arrow to a little hand, other than when on the Start screen. At this time, drag the screen down and then to the left or the right edges of the screen will, when applicable, snap the app accordingly. These operations make sense if one Imagines doing this by touching the top edge of the screen, dragging and swiping a current app to the left or the right edge of a touch device screen and snapping the app in place.

The following image shows the desktop snapped to the left with a thumbnail view of each app open on the desktop at the time, while I was actively working on PC Settings. Dragging the boundary of the two app to expand the area of desktop will snap PC Settings to the right, while the two apps remain both on the screen at the same time.

 

image

There are various ways to drag an app and snap it to the left or right, or the bottom to close it. Together with the Windows Logo key, one will be able to navigate among Metro apps and Start/Apps/Settings screens quite easily.

Knowing how to operate the four magic corners with keyboard-mouse imputs is essential for navigating among apps. The next is to know how to carry out routine user operations which Part 2 will cover. [To Part 2, 3]

More Stories By Yung Chou

Yung Chou is a Technology Evangelist in Microsoft. Within the company, he has had opportunities serving customers in the areas of support account management, technical support, technical sales, and evangelism. Prior to Microsoft, he had established capacities in system programming, application development, consulting services, and IT management. His recent technical focuses have been in virtualization and cloud computing with strong interests in hybrid cloud and emerging enterprise computing architecture. He is a frequent speaker in Microsoft conferences, roadshow, and TechNet events.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"At ROHA we develop an app called Catcha. It was developed after we spent a year meeting with, talking to, interacting with senior citizens watching them use their smartphones and talking to them about how they use their smartphones so we could get to know their smartphone behavior," explained Dave Woods, Chief Innovation Officer at ROHA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, discussed how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your aud...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...