Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz

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

Microsoft Cloud: Article

Getting Productive with Windows Server 2012 (Part 2)

A Quick Start for Experienced Users

Windows Server 2012 is designed with private cloud and System Center 2012 in mind. While the IT industry is transitioning into cloud computing and embracing consumerization of IT, as an IT professional, building privte cloud with System Center 2012 is an immediate priority of mine and getting productive on Windows Server 2012 is a key step.

This is part 2, a continuation of the 3-part series of getting productive on Windows Server 2012, should you not have a touch device readily available. The user operations walked through here are fundamental and for most Windows users this post will be an easy read. If not already, one should read part 1 first.

3. Settings of Current Screen

On any screen, use the combined keys, Windows Logo key + i, to bring up Settings options for the current screen. Or a user can also move cursor to UR/LR, i.e. the upper right or lower left corners of the computer screen, to bring up the Charms (as shown in part 1) in which Settings option is available as well.

Shown below is a sample setting of the Start screen. Notice the lower portion highlight the characteristic settings of the PC, i.e. current OS instance. Click “More PC settings” at the bottom to bring up the PC Setting screen to personalize Lock and Start screens, add user account pictures, etc.

The upper area displays the settings of current page. Notice that by default, “Show administration tools” is configured as “Yes” in the Settings of Start screen as shown on the right. This enables administration tools to appear on the Start and Apps screens. When this is set to “No”, administration tools will not appear in Start, Apps, and search results.

4. Search from the Start Screen

Typing something on the Start screen, regardless where the cursor is, will instantaneously invoke the search function, use what has just been typed to form a pattern, and list out those applications, if any, matched the pattern. Searching from the Start screen is similar to the desktop search of a Windows Server 2008 desktop. The following two screen captures show after typing "fir" on the Start screen, the Search identified one application, "Windows Firewall," and five Settings related entries matched the pattern.

For accessing a known application like the Run dialog or command prompt, one quick way is to directly type “run” or “cmd” on the Setting screen following by hitting the Enter key.

5. Windows Explorer

Within Windows Explorer, a user can right-click a folder from the navigation tree to pin the folder to the Start screen as illustrated below. And right-click an application, here myApp.exe, with the Shift key pressed at the same time will provide options to run as administrator or a different user from the one currently logged on, in addition to pinning the app to the Start screen or the taskbar.

An interesting observation is that in Windows Server 2012 a user apparently pins objects directly to either Start screen or taskbar, and not to the desktop. That means we may start to see many clean and roomy Windows Server 2008 desktops now. And a user may become more selective on what to pin and where. As an option, a user can still create a shortcut and place it on the desktop.

6. Metro Style Apps

In Windows Server 2012 Beta, there are only a handful Metro style apps included with a default installation. There are however many more Metro style apps included in a default install of Windows 8. A Metro style app when open and not in use is sent to the background, becomes inactive, and frees its resources. Notice that similar to a cell phone, tablet PC, or other mobile computing device, it is not necessary to close a Metro style app when not in use. And there are routines to operate on Metro style apps.

Placing the cursor at the UL corner will show the thumbnail of those Metro style apps currently inactive, and right-click from the UL corner will display the option to close or snap a Metro style app, when applicable, as shown on the right. Also moving the cursor to the top edge of the screen so the cursor turns into a hand followed by dragging the app to the bottom edge will also close the Metro style app. This as it appears is similar to swipe across the bottom edge of the screen on a touch device for closing an app.

7. Server Manager
This is the hub for configuring and administering both the local and remote Windows servers. By default, Server Manager starts automatically at logon. This setting is in Manage/Server Manager Properties of the upper right menu bar as the following screen capture shows. Notice under Tools is where administration tools are listed including Event Viewer, Task Scheduler, Windows PorwerShell ISE, etc.

The menu bar displays a Red Flag, when applicable, indicating some process/task failure and a need for operator’s attention. The welcome screen also highlight 3 orange tiles with Quick Start, What’s New, and Learn More information. Thou shalt not miss them. And to hide these tiles once reviewed, the setting is in View.

8. If You Need to Run, Don't Walk

The beloved Run dialog is still there. On the Setting screen, simply type "run" will bring up the Search dialog and list the Run application. Or use the combined keys, Windows Logo key + r, to bring up the Run dialog, as needed. And as expected in Run dialog or Windows Explorer, typing CMD will faithfully bring up a long-missed command prompt.

9. Run As J. Smith

From Windows Explorer, right-click with Shift key on an intended executable will allow the program to run as administrator or a different user from the one currently logged in, as shown earlier under Windows Explorer. To run as an administrator from the Start screen, right-click an intended app to get the option, as applicable. Here shown on the right, PowerShell ISE is set to run as administrator from the Start screen.

10. Desktop Experience

The assumption is that there is a seldom need to personalize the desktop background of a server. Hence, a default Windows server installation does not automatically add Desktop Experience feature. And different from that in Windows Server 2008, this setting is, as illustrated below, now moved and available under User Interface and Infrastructure. And as always, adding this feature followed by enabling the Theme service will enable the personalization feature for changing the background of a desktop session.

At this point, a Windows server user with the information in the first 2 parts of this blog post series should be able to get productive quickly with Windows Server 2012. In part 3, two important facts I want to bring your attention to.

[To Part 1, 3]

[This is a cross-posting from http://aka.ms/yungchou.]

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.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science,...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Ed Featherston has been named the "Tech Chair" of "FinTechEXPO - New York Blockchain Event" of CloudEXPO's 10-Year Anniversary Event which will take place on November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York will present keynotes, general sessions, and more than 20 blockchain sessions by leading FinTech experts.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of ...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...