Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Stackify Blog, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, Automic Blog, Pat Romanski

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
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
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.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, 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. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, 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. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busin...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
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 ...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile 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. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
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...
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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.