Thursday, October 16, 2014

Live Tiles live another day... 52 Patent clams ruled invalid in Microsoft's favor

WindowsITPro - Microsoft Wins Suit to Keep Live Tiles

In 2012, a company called SurfCast filed a suit against Microsoft that issued 52 different claims of patent infringement (U.S. Patent Numbers 6,724,403 and 7,933,632). The company claimed that it owned patents on a "computer display that organizes content from a variety of sources into a grid of tiles that is constantly updated." In Microsoft's circumstance, this is what we've all come to know as "Live Tiles" in both Windows 8.x and Windows Phone.

The case settled on October 15th, with the New York Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling that all 52 of the suit's claims are invalid, handing SurfCast a resounding defeat and allowing Microsoft to retain and develop its Live Tile functionality.

...

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Law360 - Microsoft Gets SurfCast Display Patent Nixed In AIA Review [Paywalled]

Law360, New York (October 15, 2014, 2:48 PM ET) -- The Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled Tuesday that a SurfCast Inc. graphical user interface patent is invalid, in a win for Microsoft Corp., whose Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7 operating systems are accused of infringing the patent.

All 52 claims of SurfCast's patent,...

Love them, or hate them, looks like they live another day. Personally I love them, but hey, that's just me... :)

About the OpenXML SDK... Episode 020 of the Office 365 Developer Podcast

O365 Dev Podcast - Office 365 Developer Podcast: Episode 020 about Open XML SDK

In episode 20, Jeremy Thake chats to Doug Mahugh, Eric White and Chris Rae about the Open XML SDK.

...

Show Notes

...

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..."

I've blogged about OpenXML enough (as you can see below) to think it was pretty cool to see the podcast post (does that make me weird? Na.... there's a bunch ELSE that makes me weird... lol :)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Did you know you could update/contribute to some (OpenXML for now) MSDN Doc's via a GitHub repo?
Using the OpenXML SDK Productivity Tool to "decompile" Office documents (Turn *X files into the C# OpenXML SDK code that would generate them)

Open Sesame - Open XML SDK is now open source

Using OpenXML to load an Excel Worksheet into a DataTable (or just how different OpenXML is from the old Excel API we're used too)

Using OpenXML SDK to generate Word documents via templates (and without Word being installed)
Checking for Microsoft Word DocX/DocM Revisions/Track Changes without using Word... (via OpenXML SDK, LINQ to XML or XML DOM)
LINQ to XlsX... Using VB.Net, LINQ, the OpenXML SDK and a little C# helper, to query an Excel XlsX
Using native OpenXML to create an XlsX (Which provides an example of why I highlight tools that make OpenXML easier...)
Generating Xlsx's on the Server? You're using OpenXML, right? With help from the PowerTools for OpenXML?

Official boat-load, as in supertanker, sized OpenXML content list (Insert "One OpenXML content list to rule them all" here)
So how do I get from here to OpenXML? Got a map for you, an Open XML SDK Blog Map…
Where to go to scratch your OpenXML dev info itch…
"Open XML Explained" Free eBook (PDF)
The Noob's Guide to Open XML Dev (If you know how to spell OpenXML but that's about it, this is your Getting Started guide...)

Reusing the PowerShell PowerTools for Open XML in your C# or VB.Net world
PowerShell, OpenXML, WMI and the PowerTools for OpenXML = Doc generation for our inner geek
Because it’s a PowerShell kind of day… PowerTools for Open XML V1.1 Released
OpenXML PowerTools updated – Cell your Excel via PowerShell
Powering into OpenXML with PowerShell

Open XML SDK 2.0 for Microsoft Office Released – Automate Office documents without Office

Open XML 2.0 Code Snippets for VS2010 (and VS2008 too)
Open XML Format SDK 2.0 Code Snippets for Visual Studio 2008 – 52 C#/VB Code Snippets to help ease your Open XML coding
Open XML File Format Code Snippets for Visual Studio 2005 (Office 2007 NOT required)

Open XML SDK v1 Released

OpenXML Viewer 1.0 Released – Open source DocX to HTML conversion, with IE, Firefox and Opera (and/or command line) support

Connect(); Build, Ignite- It's Conference Announcement Time!

Somasegar’s blog - Chance to Connect(); on What’s Coming Next, November 12th and 13th

On November 12th, we'll be hosting an online developer event called Connect();Connect(); will be a chance to have a conversation with developers about what’s coming next for developer tools, developer services and application platforms across Microsoft. Check out the Connect(); event page for the agenda and other details.

Connect(); builds upon where we’ve been, and the work we’ve been doing over the last year.  As we prepare for next month’s event, I thought I would share a recap of some of the highlights from the last year.

Where We’ve Been

A year ago, we launched Visual Studio 2013 and announced the availability of Visual Studio Online.  Developers have been adopting both at a great rate with over 7 million downloads of VS2013 and over 1.7 million registered accounts in Visual Studio Online so far. 

Following through on our commitment to a faster release cadence....

Mobile

Mobile developers today face a diverse device landscape, with Android, iOS and Windows device platforms, and a variety of device form factors.  With Visual Studio, we have been working to enable developers to target every mobile platform, sharing as much code and assets as possible.  With C# and Xamarin or JavaScript and the Cordova tools for Visual Studio (preview), ...

Cloud

The cloud offers incredible flexibility and new approaches to application architectures and development practices.  Over the last year, we’ve broadened the Azure platform for all developers, with support for Windows and Linux, Chef and Puppet, SharePoint and Oracle, Java and PHP, and much more.  We’ve also talked about the next steps we are taking with .NET, including the open source ASP.NET vNext  and .NET Compiler Platform (“Roslyn”) projects, as well as the .NET Foundation.  ...

DevOps

Across every part of the software development industry, the one constant is the changing pace of application delivery.  With Visual Studio Online, we are bringing together a comprehensive suite of devops services to help developers embrace the agile and dev/ops trends, from...

What’s Next

Next month at Connect(); we’ll have a chance to talk about the next wave of innovation and releases across all of these areas.  The event will include updates from Scott Guthrie, Brian Harry, Scott Hanselman and myself, as well as deep dives by product team members on a broad array of new Microsoft developer tools and services. ...

BUILD 2015

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The Official Microsoft Blog - Introducing Microsoft Ignite and our lineup of top conferences in 2015

Last July, we put the word out that Microsoft will host a unified enterprise technology conference in May. We told you it will bring together the best of previously individual events – the Management Summit, the Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and TechEd conferences – and then take it to the next level, based on what our customers and partners have asked for. Now, we have more to share.

Microsoft Ignite is May 4-8 in Chicago at McCormick Place. Satya Nadella will keynote and will be joined by technical and business leaders including Brad Anderson, Joe Belfiore, Dave Campbell, Peggy Johnson, Chris Jones, Julie Larson Green, Gurdeep Singh Pall and many others.

Ignite rounds out our schedule of key events for professional communities in the first half of 2015. We start with...

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So it's Build 2015 4/29-5/1 then Ignite (fka TechEd+ a bunch of other conferences rolled into one), 5/4-5/8, i.e. back-to-back.

I'm thinking then that besides a bunch of very tired Microsoft employees, that most of the big reveals will be at BUILD. Win10 RTM? VS "14" Release? Xamarin/Unity purchase (hold over from last year, but a boy can dream... :). So announcements at BUILD but actual bit release the following week at Ignite? That way they keep the news cycle for two weeks? Hummmmm... (Remember this is a TOTAL WAG)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

No, you've not been infected... That new Bing Search on the IE11 New Tab page is "Official" - "Update to increase prominence of Web suggestions in Internet Explorer 11"

There I was, looking at my Win 8.1 IE New Tab page and there's this bing search bar there... What? When did that happen? Crud, is this maybe malware/injection-ware/something-bad-ware?

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Nope. It was Update-Tuesday-ware...

Update to increase prominence of Web suggestions in Internet Explorer 11

Increasingly, users search the web through the Internet Explorer address bar. To keep up with this growing need, this update increases prominence of web suggestions in Internet Explorer 11 so that you can easily select an appropriate web search suggestion. The changes include the following:

  • History and Favorites group headers are not displayed in the suggestions list of the address bar. This lets more suggestions display in the same vertical space.
  • For certain queries, there may only be several web suggestions. However, for other more ambiguous queries, more web suggestions may have to be displayed to capture your intent. With this update, the search engine can control how many web suggestions are appropriate for the typed query so that you receive the appropriate number of relevant suggestions.
  • Domain suggestions for sites that you never visited before are not displayed (for example, if you type "m" and you had never visited "mapquest.com", it will not be displayed). These domain suggestions did not receive many clicks from you and yet you use valuable real estate. Instead, more relevant suggestions are displayed.

Besides looking a little "google" like, and having a somewhat weird placement (all that gray around it is funky), I wish something like this had been announced, noted, mentioned on the IE blog. I know this isn't a big thing, but with all the malware/hacking/crud going on, you know? And with all the Windows Updates, who can go through each one to look at the KB article, etc.

 

(via Microsoft Updates Internet Explorer 11, Now Includes Bing Search Bar In The New Tab Page)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Want to help drive .NET forward? Here's your call to action and comment...

http://tirania.org/blog/ - .NET Foundation: Forums and Advisory Council

Today, I want to share some news from the .NET Foundation.

Forums: We are launching the official .NET Foundation forums to engage with the larger .NET community and to start the flow of ideas on the future of .NET, the community of users of .NET, and the community of contributors to the .NET ecosystem.

Please join us at forums.dotnetfoundation.org. We are using the powerful Discourse platform. Come join us!

Advisory Council: We want to make the .NET Foundation open and transparent. To achieve that goal, we decided to create an advisory council. But we need your help in shaping the advisory council: its role, its reach, its obligations and its influence on the foundation itself.

To bootstrap the discussion, we have a baseline proposal that was contributed by Shaun Walker. We want to invite the larger .NET community to a conversation about this proposal and help us shape the advisory council.

...

.NET Foundation - .NET Foundation Advisory Council Call for Public Comment

Friends in the .NET community,

When the .NET Foundation was created, there was an important principle that the foundation and its work be transparent, open, and community driven. In order to ensure that the foundation delivers on this primary objective, the board of the .Net Foundation asked Shaun Walker, who has a long history leading and contributing to .Net open source projects, to develop an initial proposal for a community based advisory council to help guide the governance of the .NET Foundation. That proposal is now available for community comment.

There are many reasons we feel that an advisory council is needed. Our goal is to ensure that the foundations operation and governance is both efficient and effective when viewed from a community building perspective. Some of the practical reasons for the creation of the council are:

  • Providing a clear communication channel between the community and the board on the foundations community building activities. To provide a channel for community stakeholders to provide feedback and guidance on the foundations value proposition, governance model, and other important foundation level decisions.
  • Provide a set of known, high profile individuals who can advocate for and evangelize the benefits and services provided by the .Net foundation and evangelize the foundation’s mission.
  • Establishes a group of individuals, experienced in open source community cultivation and project governance, who can provide stewardship, education and leadership to open source .NET projects of all size, popularity, and stature.
  • To augment the capacity of the board, and distribute work of the foundation across more community members to increase the governance bandwidth of the foundation.

The proposal outlines the rationale for the advisory council, along with ...

What is the .NET Foundation?

We foster open development, collaboration and community engagement on the .NET platform. The .NET Foundation is the steward of a growing collection of open source technologies for.NET, Microsoft’s comprehensive development framework. The .NET Foundation includes popular open source .NET projects such as the .NET Compiler Platform (“Roslyn”), ASP.NET MVC, Xamarin's Mimekit and Mailkit, and many others.

Background

Announced at the Build 2014 conference, the .NET Foundation was created as an independent forum to foster open development and collaboration around the growing collection of open source technologies for .NET....

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Think of it as where ASP.NET vNext lives... (So yeah, it's kind of a big deal)  Visual Studio "14" CTP 2 is now available. There's many more CTP's coming, ALL CAPS are not, no TFS "14" CTP's, don't side-by-side this CTP and more...

That's Onetastic Documentation! Onetastic Macro Language doc's are now available...

Onetastic for Microsoft OneNote - Documentation for Macro Language is Now Available

Macros allow extending OneNote's functionality in a way that was never possible before. Macroland is full of ready to download macros. Many users developed their own macros and published them there. Developing macros may be a daunting task especially since the Macro language wasn't documented at all, except for a few tutorials in this blog.

Today extensive documentation is available for the Onetastic Macro Language here. You can find the link "DOCUMENTATION" above as well. The documentation has following sections:

  • Getting Started: An introduction to Macros and the Macro Language
  • Commands: List of Macro commands and detailed explanation of their syntax, possible values and allowed child commands
  • Concepts: Basic concepts of the Macro Language like Objects, Properties, Variables and Functions
  • Tutorial: Updated tutorial on how to build Macros
  • Hierarchy and Page Objects:  Detailed documentation on all objects supported in Macros and their hierarchical structure as well as list of properties.

If you haven't tried building macros before or tried but got stuck due to limited information available, you can give it another try by reading the tutorial and checking out all the reference information.

image..."

This is one of the must have OneNote Extensions, with a great and growing list of macro's, but like said, figuring out how to write them was "fun." Now, we can RTFM. Woot!

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Onetastic way to crop images in OneNote...

Hey, it's everyone's favorite topic! Licensing VS and MSDN... :|

Microsoft Downloads - Visual Studio and MSDN Licensing White Paper

Version:  1.0

File Name:

Visual Studio 2013 and MSDN Licensing Whitepaper - October-2014.docx

Visual Studio 2013 and MSDN Licensing Whitepaper - October-2014.pdf

Date Published:  10/8/2014

This white paper provides an overview of the Visual Studio product line and the licensing requirements for those products in common deployment scenarios. For a definitive guide to licensing terms and conditions for products licensed through Microsoft Volume Licensing, see the Microsoft Licensing Product Use Rights (PUR) document and applicable licensing agreements. For retail customers the license terms are specified in the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) included with your product or with your MSDN subscription.

Okay, so we all pretty much try to ignore this and hope it goes away, every so often this comes up, so it's good to have the latest version of this available (or at least the link to it ;)

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It's only 36 pages, so stop your whining (Greg, yes, I'm looking at your reflection in the notebook...)

 

Related Past Post XRef:

Visual Studio 2013 and MSDN Licensing Whitepaper
"Visual Studio 2012 and MSDN Licensing White Paper"
Visual Studio 2010 and MSDN Licensing Whitepaper Updated
Visual Studio 2010 Licensing White Paper (includes Team Foundation Server, Lab Management and IntelliTrace)

MVMC v3 gets P2V (Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter gets Physical to Virtual feature)

System Center: Virtual Machine Manager Engineering Blog - Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0 is now available for download

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) is a Microsoft-supported, stand-alone solution for the IT pro or solution provider who wants to convert virtual machines and disks from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts and Windows Azure or alternatively convert a physical computer running Windows Server 2008 or above server operating systems or Windows Vista or above client operating systems to a virtual machine running on Hyper-V host.

MVMC can be deployed with minimal dependencies. Because MVMC provides native support for Windows PowerShell, it enables scripting and integration with data center automation workflows such as those authored and run within Microsoft System Center 2012 Orchestrator R2. It can also be invoked through the Windows PowerShell command-line interface. The solution is simple to download, install, and use. In addition to the Windows PowerShell capability, MVMC provides a wizard-driven GUI to facilitate virtual machine conversion.

New Features in MVMC 3.0

The 3.0 release of MVMC adds the ability to convert a physical computer running Windows Server 2008 or above server operating systems or Windows Vista or above client operating systems to a virtual machine running on Hyper-V host.

Standard Features

...

For complete, up-to-date information as well as a download link, please see the following:

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0 - http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42497

The MVMC has moved pretty quickly since I blogged about it going v1 two years ago. The new P2V feature alone is worth the price. Oh wait, this is free... :)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
MVMC RTW's (Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Solution Accelerator is now available)
Have VMware images? Want to convert them to Hyper-V? Microsoft now has a beta conversation tool for you... MVMC

“Manually Performing [Windows] P2V Migration for Software Assurance” (mostly… but the tools, like Disk2VHD.exe and Virtual PC, and methods are free and available to most…)
"How to convert a physical computer to a virtual machine" with NTBackup
System Center Virtual Machine Manager Background and Installation
Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (MSCVMM) 2007 Trial Available via VHD
Tips for migrating a physical computer to a virtual machine (part 4)
Virtual Server Migration Toolkit (VSMT) Guidelines
Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Migration Toolkit Beta
How To Sysprep a Virtual PC Image

Thursday, October 09, 2014

MVVM Light V5 for Windows, Xamarin and * (pretty much everywhere you'd want to .NET MVVM)

Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) - Announcing MVVM Light V5 for Windows and Xamarin

Here at the Xamarin Evolve conference in Atlanta, I just announced the immediate availability of MVVM Light V5. This version runs on the following platforms:

  • Windows Presentation Foundation (3.5, 4, 4.5, 4.5.1)
  • Silverlight (4 and 5)
  • Windows Phone (7.1, 8, 8.1 Silverlight, 8.1 RT)
  • Windows Store (8, 8.1)
  • Xamarin Android
  • Xamarin iOS
  • Xamarin Forms

What’s new?

There are three major changes in this version: Xamarin Support, NavigationService and DialogService, and Portable Class Library support.

...

Visual Studio Gallery - MVVM Light (VS2013)

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The MVVM Light Toolkit is a set of components helping people to get started in the Model - View - ViewModel pattern in Windows 8, Silverlight, WPF, Windows Phone, Xamarin Android and Xamarin iOS. It is a light and pragmatic framework that contains only the essential components needed. It includes classes such as RelayCommand, Messenger, ViewModelBase and ObservableObject, SimpleIoc and more.

MVVM Light Toolkit (http://www.mvvmlight.net/)

Jump to: Intro / Documentation / Installation and Creation / Source and Codeplex / Support / Donate / Credits / Praises

...

Introduction

The main purpose of the toolkit is to accelerate the creation and development of MVVM applications in WPF, Silverlight, Windows Store (RT) and for Windows Phone.

The MVVM Light Toolkit helps you to separate your View from your Model which creates applications that are cleaner and easier to maintain and extend. It also creates testable applications and allows you to have a much thinner user interface layer (which is more difficult to test automatically).

This toolkit puts a special emphasis on the "blendability" of the created application (i.e. the ability to open and edit the user interface into Blend), including the creation of design-time data to enable the Blend users to "see something" when they work with data controls.

...

My current workday MVVM framework of choice is Caliburn.Micro, but I keep seeing more and more projects using MVVM Light, to the point where I think I'm going to have to check it out... That and it's hard to beat how portable it is. :)

"The ALM Rangers with Willy-Peter"

I've already tweeted about today's recording and posting of this RadioTFS session, yet it's easy to miss a tweet. While all of our shows are good (well we try at least) and all are fun to be part of, this one just seemed to come together and record smooth as silk. Everything really just clicked.

RadioTFS - 82 // The ALM Rangers with Willy-Peter

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In this show special guest Willy-Peter Schaub joins us to talk about the ALM Rangers as well as helping us round up this weeks news and information.

Willy-Peter Schaub is a Senior Program Manager with the Visual Studio ALM Rangers at the Microsoft Canada Development Center. Since the mid-1980s, he’s been striving for simplicity and maintainability in software engineering. His blog is at blogs.msdn.com/b/willy-peter_schaub, and you can also find him on Twitter @wpschaub.

Paul also joined us in between Code Camps. If you want to catch him in person then he’ll be at the following events over the coming weeks:

...

node.js as a desktop app runtime, to build "desktop" apps with it? node-webkit...

[DebuggerStepThrough] - Desktop applications with nodejs! ...as if winforms and wpf aren't dead already!

I used to disfavor javascript over other languages because it wasn't type-safe, it was hard to refactor, hard to write tests, find usages in the code, ...and the list goes on...

The past few years though, some amazing things have happened in the world that now make javascript an amazing language!

...

And my personal favorite - NodeJS! This tool is amazing! It can do so many things from being a fully functional and scalable backend server to a framework for writing desktop applications.

While looking into the code of PopcornTime I realized it was written in nodejs, with a framework called node-webkit. ...

...

The steps taken to create a simple desktop application with node-webkit are super-simple! (and easier than building a desktop application with any other language i've tried!)

...

Start building your application just like you would a website. You can use the browser just like you're used to, to see your work.

When you want to start accessing node modules, you'll need to start running it with node-webkit.

In order to do this, just run the node-webkit executable from the command line with your main html file as a parameter.

C:\Utilities\node-webkit\nw.exe index.html

...

rogerwang/node-webkit

Call all Node.js modules directly from DOM and enable a new way of writing applications with all Web technologies

Introduction

node-webkit is an app runtime based on Chromium and node.js. You can write native apps in HTML and JavaScript with node-webkit. It also lets you call Node.js modules directly from the DOM and enables a new way of writing native applications with all Web technologies.

It's created and developed in the Intel Open Source Technology Center.

Introduction to node-webkit (slides)
Creating Desktop Applications With node-webkit
WebApp to DesktopApp with node-webkit (slides)
Essay on the history and internals of the project

Features

  • Apps written in modern HTML5, CSS3, JS and WebGL.
  • Complete support for Node.js APIs and all its third party modules.
  • Good performance: Node and WebKit runs in the same thread: Function calls are made straightforward; objects are in the same heap and can just reference each other;
  • Easy to package and distribute apps.
  • Available on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows

...

I'm not jumping out of my WPF world for this, nor do I see it taking on the future of Universal App's, but I still think this is a pretty cool project and idea. Security scares me a little, but hey, it always scares me a little... lol

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Explorer Azure Media Services with the new Azure Media Services Explorer Tool (with source too)

Azure BlogAnnouncements - Media Services - Managing Media Workflows with the new Azure Media Services Explorer Tool

Several months ago, a broadcaster asked me to provide a tool with a User Interface to upload, encode and manage assets with Azure Media Services. They wanted to easily, and without code, test our cloud encoding and streaming services before asking their developers to do the integration with their current system. The Azure Media Services management portal provides some of the features but has some limitations too (asset upload is limited, no possibility to call all the processors or to see detailed information on entities, not all API features are exposed, etc.).

For a few months, the tool has been trialed by several customers and based on their feedback it is time to release it widely.

So, I am pleased to announce the new Azure Media Services Explorer tool!

It’s a Windows Forms tool based on the Azure Media SDKs that can be used by non-developers to test media workflows, monitor activities on their Azure Media Services accounts, or do just about anything that the full API allows you to do today without writing a line of code.

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You can find the installation package on http://aka.ms/amse.

We are also pleased to announce that the full source code for this tool is published to GitHub as well to help you better learn our APIs and integrate features into your own applications.

This sample tool will continue to evolve in the coming weeks and months. Check for updates! And please provide your feedback and suggestions to amse@microsoft.com.

Summary of features

Asset upload/download/management

  • Asset upload from files, folder, in batch mode, with a watch folder
  • Asset import from Azure Storage or from any http source
  • Asset download to local, and export to Azure Storage
  • Asset files management (upload or delete) within an existing asset
  • Duplicate/merge assets

Process assets

  • Encode with Azure Media Encoder (standard and custom presets, video stitching, audio or video overlay, etc)
  • Extract keywords and TTML caption files with Media Indexer
  • Encrypt with static packagers: PlayReady encryptor, MP4 to Smooth, Smooth to HLS, storage decryptor, multi MP4 validator
  • Generate thumbnails for your existing assets
  • Call any Media Processor generically
  • Manage jobs (progress, priority…)
  • List all available processors in your account

Live streaming

  • Enable live channels and programs (creation, start, stop, delete, reset)
  • Live preview playback, program playback

Publish assets

  • Dynamic encryption setup (AES, Common Encryption) and key/license delivery service
  • SAS and streaming locators creation/deletion
  • Playback assets with web based players (Silverlight, Flash, HTML5/Dash)
  • Manage streaming endpoints management (creation, deletion, settings)

Display and reporting

  • Display detailed information on assets (locators, protection), jobs (tasks), live channels, programs, streaming endpoints
  • Send email report for jobs and assets
  • Links to players and online documentation, and offline help file for Media Services

Note: you can select multiple assets, jobs, channels or programs for some features.

A first example..."

Two things I really dig about this (okay, three). The tool itself, making it easy easy to play with Azure Media Services. That it's based on the public API that we can all use to create our own like tools and that the source for this tool is available too. I've been interested in Media Services, wondering if it would let a little guy, a one man op, create my own cloud based studio and broadcasting solution. So instead of all the work and infrastructure required for sites like  Channel 9 or twit.tv, that it would lower the bar? I don't think it's there yet, but it sure is getting closer.

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Wrapping your head about Azure, one infographic at a time... Windows Azure Infographics

Some tips, information, libraries, and tools for building a video consumption app for Win8

Updated Microsoft Media Platform Player Framework for Windows 8 RP Released
Building your first HTML Metro Style app with the Style Smooth Streaming Player walk through
MMPPF - Getting started guide for the Silverlight Microsoft Media Platform
That's smoooootttthhhh... The Smooth Streaming Client SDK Beta and Player Framework Beta for Windows 8 Metro

IIS Transform Manager 1.0 (RTW) An extensible media transform engine with "watch folder" job submission, queuing, management, integrated media transcoding/container format repackaging
IIS Media Pack 1.0 – Helps make IIS7 a happy, media serving, camper

I am off to the Red Planet! Okay, my name is anyway (again). And so can yours...

JPL - Send Your Name on NASA's Mars Journey, Start with Orion

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If only your name could collect frequent flyer miles. NASA is inviting the public to send their names on a microchip to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including Mars.

Your name will begin its journey on a dime-sized microchip when the agency's Orion spacecraft launches Dec. 4 on its first flight, designated Exploration Flight Test-1. After a 4.5-hour, two-orbit mission around Earth to test Orion's systems, the spacecraft will travel back through the atmosphere at speeds approaching 20,000 mph and temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

But the journey for your name doesn't end there. After returning to Earth, the names will fly on future NASA exploration flights and missions to Mars. With each flight, selected individuals will accrue more miles as members of a global space-faring society.

"NASA is pushing the boundaries of exploration and working hard to send people to Mars in the future," said Mark Geyer, Orion Program manager. "When ...

...

The deadline for receiving a personal "boarding pass" on Orion's test flight closes Friday, Oct. 31. The public will have an opportunity to keep submitting names beyond Oct. 31 to be included on future test flights and future NASA missions to Mars.

To submit your name to fly on Orion's flight test, visit:

http://go.usa.gov/vcpz

Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #JourneyToMars.

For information about Orion and its first flight, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/orion"

Of COURSE I had to sigh up! :)

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(Via Tatworth - Send your name to Mars!)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
I’m out of here… I’m heading to Mars (well my name is at least ;)
Duncan’s in Space! (Well our names at least ;)

The Xamarin.Forms excitement continues to build, getting broad third party support and more...

Like I said here, Cool Preview eBook of the Day: "Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms" by Charles Petzold (Yes, that one), Xamrin.Forms is generating allot of excitement in the .NET/Xaml space and the excitement continues to build with the announcement of top tier third party support. Infragistics and Syncfusion both just announced support for Xamarin.Forms, among other top tier vendors, Enterprise Component Vendors Join Xamarin.Forms Ecosystem. Heck, even Microsoft is getting into the game!

Infragistics - Announcing Infragistics Xamarin.Forms!

I am very excited to announce a new partnership with Xamarin and our newest product release to compliment our Native Mobile story with Visual Studio – Infragistics Xamarin.Forms.

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Over the last few years we have invested heavily in the native UI controls - we have an iOS control set, Android control set and Windows Phone control set.  Up until now, the target developer for these control sets were your objective-C, Java or Windows Developer.  Now with Infragistics Xamarin.Forms, the market is super-expanded - any Visual Studio, C#, XAML Developer can now write once, a single codebase, and then take our new Xamarin.Forms product with Xamarin’s product and ship native apps that target each major platform in no time..

There are a ton of reasons why this is so exciting, but from a pure cost perspective, using the technology from Infragistics & Xamarin, a company does not need to invest in the training and time loss of learning a new platform – using current C# & XAML skillsets native apps can be churned out in no time compared to building a native experience from scratch on each major mobile platform.  Add the long-term maintenance costs of bug fixes, feature changes, UI updates and more, and you are looking at a significant cost savings if you have a single code base to maintain while still having the benefit of native apps on each major platform.  Pretty cool!

So what exactly are we shipping today?

...

Syncfusion - Essential Studio for Xamarin has Arrived

As part of our participation in the Xamarin Evolve 2014 conference this week, Syncfusion is excited to reveal a new control suite for cross-platform mobile development: Essential Studio for Xamarin. We’ve incorporated some of your favorite data visualization and file-format components from Syncfusion with Xamarin.Forms, an API that enables developers to use a single C# codebase to build UIs for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone apps.

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Native apps built with Essential Studio for Xamarin

Essential Studio for Xamarin is MVVM-compatible and includes a total of six Syncfusion controls. The Chart, TreeMap, and Gauge UI tools provide enterprise-grade processing and interactive visualization for your business data. File-format APIs XlsIO, DocIO, and PDF allow users to easily read, write, and edit Excel, Word, and PDF files on any device.

With Essential Studio for Xamarin, you can:

...

Multilingual App Toolkit's blog MAT v4.0 Technical Preview adds Xamarin support

The Multilingual App Toolkit v4.0 Technical Preview adds support for VS + Xamarin based iOS and Android projects.  We are super excited (just had to say it) about adding MAT’s localization workflow for developers using Visual Studio and Xamarin to create great cross-platform apps! You can download it here

I am fortunate enough to be in attendance at Xamarin Evolve 2014 this week. On Monday I attended a training session presented by Craig Dunn on Xamarin localization.  Craig did a great job covering localization in general, then focused on iOS and Android projects specifics as well as RESX with Xamarin Forms.  Craig’s demo code is available on GitHub.  So of course I wanted to see how the v4.0 technical preview would handle the code.  The demo is pre-populated with the target RESX files, so I simply removed them before using MAT v4.0 preview to add Japanese (JA) and Arabic (AR).  After generating translating using the default translation providers.  As you can tell from the images below everything worked as expected.

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...

Given Xamarin Evolve 2014 still has a couple days to go (ends on the 10th), and given all the other announcements Xamarin have made, such as Xamarin Platform Previews, Introducing Xamarin Insights: Real-time Monitoring for Your Apps and New Xamarin Test Cloud Features I wonder what else we'll hear and see?

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Cool Preview eBook of the Day: "Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms" by Charles Petzold (Yes, that one)

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Looks like .NET vNext IS going to be .NET 4.5.3 (maybe)...

.NET Framework Blog - Announcing October 2014 Updates to .NET Framework vNext, ASP.NET vNext and .NET Native in Visual Studio “14” CTP4

Today, we are announcing updates to the .NET Framework vNext, ASP.NET vNext and .NET Native. These are all available in Visual Studio “14” CTP4. This .NET Framework release contains RyuJIT, the next generation X64 JIT. ASP.NET vNext contains major improvements in the runtime and Visual Studio Experience. Additionally, .NET Native contains a small set of fixes for reported issues. Please download these .NET releases with Visual Studio “14” CTP4 and give us feedback.

.NET Framework vNext

Today’s release of .NET Framework vNext adds RyuJIT and ~ 150 new APIs. We have released multiple standalone versions of RyuJIT, after introducing you to it almost exactly one year ago. RyuJIT is the new Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler, now integrated into the .NET Framework and enabled by default for 64-bit processes.

We’ve added ~150 new APIs across the product to make many scenarios easier. We’ve also updated ~50 more APIs (mostly types). In particular, we sprinkled IReadOnlyCollection<T> in more parts of the Framework libraries to make collections easier and more intuitive to use.

You can see the changes in this diff from the .NET Framework 4.5.2 to .NET Framework 4.5.3.

You may be wondering when we’ll ship a separate redistributable for the .NET Framework vNext, like we’ve had for all other .NET Framework versions. We haven’t forgotten about it. It’s still coming.

...

ASP.NET vNext

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.NET Native

...

Summary

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I blogged about this in August, .NET vNext doesn't currently look like it's side-by-side "5.x," instead it's an in-place update like a 4.5.+ (so maybe 4.6'ish... ?), but this is the first time I think I've seen an official'ish post giving it a version number, 4.5.3...

Now, we're still a ways from RTW, but the picture appears to be getting a little clearer...

BTW, the mentioned Diff spreadsheet is interesting (if you find that find of stuff interesting at least). Here's a snap of it.

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Related Past Post XRef:
.NET vNext doesn't currently look like it's side-by-side "5.x," instead it's an in-place update like a 4.5.+ (so maybe 4.6'ish... ?)

Using .NET 4, 4.5, 4.5.1? Only 4.5.2 will be receiving technical support and security updates after Jan 12, 2016 (so start your 4.5.2 planning/deployment...)
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 Released
.NET Framework setup verification, cleanup tool and detection code (C++) updated for 4.5.2

BKVM, to the cloud! "Creating training virtual machines in Azure" using the BKVM (VS 2013 HOL/ALM VM)

Naked ALM - Creating training virtual machines in Azure

I am teaching the Managing Projects with Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 class next week in Cheltenham and for that I need 16 VM’s based on the Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 ALM Virtual Machine. To make life easier I will be creating training virtual machines in Azure.

If you have ever had to teach a training course, especially a technical one, it’s the equipment that is the most painful thing to configure. Azure has matured a lot over the last few years and although I have configured training in Amazon’s AWS service I wanted to go all Microsoft.

The kind of tough thing is that the virtual hard disk (VHD) used by the virtual demo machine form Brian Keller is 80GB. And yes, I have to upload that beast to Azure.

Uploading your Hyper-V virtual machine

The first task is to download and install the Azure PowerShell using the web platform installer. This will get all of the pre-requisites and install them for you.

...

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While I've highlighted the BKVM (aka VS 2013 HOL/ALM VM ) a number of times (as you can see below), as well as Azuring it, but this post by Martin Hinshelwood is one of the most complete I think. Plus I think this is the first time I've seen it used this way, as an Azure training room. If you are thinking about using the BKVM on Azure (or other VM's) you owe it to yourself to check out this book (I mean post... ;)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
VS 2013 HOL/ALM VM now with Update 3 (VS 2013.3)

24! [Hands-on-Labs and Demo Scripts now available in the big BK Visual Studio 2013 ALM VM] + [Bonus: Azure'ing it too...]
Happy VM Day! The Visual Studio 2013 RTM ALM Virtual Machine is now available
The HOL "Building a Release Pipeline with Team Foundation Server 2012" thing
Featuring Agile Planning and Portfolio Management with TFS2013 in these Hands On Labs
Visual Studio 2013 ALM and HOL VM now available...
VS2012 Update 1 ALM VM and HOL / Demo Scripts now available
The VS 2012 ALM Virtual Machine and VS 2012 Update 1 (In short, there's an updated VM coming, don't install it on this VM if you don't have too)
The big BK has updated the Visual Studio 2012 RC ALM Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs
VS 11 ALM DemoMates updated for the Beta
Visual Studio/TFS11 ALM Demo's... Mate! See the VS/TFS 11 ALM's hands-on-labs in DemoMate form
Visual Studio 11 ALM VHD's, VirtualBoxed (and even on x86 hosts too)
Want to play with Visual Studio 11 & TFS 11 Dev Preview but don't want to install it (and have access to a Hyper-V server)? Here's a VHD just for

Cool Preview eBook of the Day: "Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms" by Charles Petzold (Yes, that one)

Microsoft Press - Free ebook: Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms, Preview Edition

Greetings! To help celebrate the Xamarin Evolve conference, we’re happy to release a free ebook today: Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms, Preview Edition: Cross-platform C# programming for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, by Charles Petzold. This ebook was created jointly by Xamarin and Microsoft Press.

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You can download PDF and Mobi formats at the Microsoft Virtual Academy.

This Preview Edition ebook is about writing applications for Xamarin.Forms, the new mobile development platform for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone unveiled by Xamarin in May 2014. Xamarin.Forms lets you write shared user-interface code in C# and XAML (the eXtensible Application Markup Language) that maps to native controls on these three platforms.

This ebook is a Preview Edition because it's not complete. It has only six chapters. We anticipate that the final version of the book will have at least half a dozen additional chapters and that the chapters in this Preview Edition might be fleshed out, enhanced, or completely reconceived. The final edition of the book will probably be published in the spring of 2015.

Here’s an excerpt from the ebook’s Introduction, with greater detail:

Who should read this book

This ebook is for C# programmers who want to write applications for the three most popular mobile platforms: iOS, Android, and Windows Phone with a single code base. Xamarin.Forms also has applicability for those programmers who want eventually to use C# and the Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android libraries to target the native application programming interfaces (APIs) of these platforms. Xamarin.Forms can be a big help in getting started with these platforms or in constructing a prototype or proof-of-concept application.

This ebook assumes that you know C# and have some familiarity with the use of the .NET Framework. However, when discussing some C# and .NET features that might be somewhat new to recent C# programmers, the ebook adopts a somewhat slower pace....

Xamarin.Forms is one of the more exciting things to happen in the C# and XAML space in a long time (to much to say it's revitalized XAML? Given it a new life? Defib'd XAML? Maybe.. [but maybe not]). Why? Read this free ebook and you'll see...

Microsoft Azure Web Site Cheat Sheet

Microsoft Azure Web Site Cheat Sheet

Howdy, Cloud Adventurer!

You’ve stumbled across the Microsoft Azure Web Sites Cheat Sheet – The quickest reference for getting to know Microsoft Azure Web Sites on the web. If you’re looking for some tutorials on how to develop solutions on Microsoft Azure Web Sites check out the Microsoft Azure product site or the Microsoft Azure Training Kit.

Browse around this one page reference for information on command-line tools for managing your Microsoft Azure Web Sites. Take a quick look at the features that are offered on Microsoft Azure Web Sites then start exploring the wonderful world of Microsoft Azure!

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Hate to say this, but you know I've not created a Azure Web Site yet? Nope. I feel so... un-web like. Sounds like marching orders doesn't it? When/If I DO finally get off my fat butt (we'll fat'ish... I am losing weight ;) this site will come in really handy.

Visual Studio CodeLens Tweets of the Day('ish)

Mathew Aniyan's Blog - Tweet Series on Visual Studio CodeLens [11-20] & Tweet Series on Visual Studio CodeLens [1-10]

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Sign of the times? Visual Studio CodeLens Tweet of the Day? While cool, I miss the Visual Studio Tips of the Day... :(

The one Windows 10 TP Console Post to rule them all?

Building Apps for Windows - Console Improvements in the Windows 10 Technical Preview

This post was written by Rich Eizenhoefer, a Program Manager in the Microsoft Developer Tools and Runtimes team.

I have some good news about the Windows command line console, conhost.exe. In this blog post, I’m joined by our two console developers, Michael Niksa and Paul Campbell. We’d like to give you an overview of what’s been changed since the console was last updated.  You can check out the improved console today in the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

The changes discussed here are just the start of the console updates we are working on for Windows 10, but we hope you’ll like them. Let’s start with a quick look at the architectural mods and then get into the new features.

Architecture update

Many people consider CMD, PowerShell, or their favorite alternate command line as the console, but it is more subtle than that. Each of these are character-mode applications that run within conhost.exe, the console host, otherwise known simply as the console. The console is responsible for accepting keyboard and mouse input, drawing text to the screen, providing memory buffers and presenting an API for apps to use.

The changes I’ll discuss today apply to conhost.exe, the window that manages input and output for character-mode applications. Since Windows Vista, all console functionality has lived in this single conhost executable. Under the covers, the architecture has changed a bit. The primary function of Conhost.exe now is to load either a DLL containing the original console or one that contains our new code.

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While there have been a number of Windows 10 TP Console (aka the one of the "shiny" new features in Win10) posts, I think this one should be put to the top of the list. It's really nice and deep, we're talking reg keys, and more.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Microsoft MVP Award Unboxing

Sorry guys, I hate to do this to you, but since this is the first time I've gotten this award, I just have to share the unboxing...

Yeah, yeah, I know those of you who already MVP's will roll your eyes and say "Newbies' are so cute...", the former will say "puft, been there, done that...," the aspiring, "One day, that will be me" and the grumpy/bitter (aka the Former Greg's... :| )  will say "grrr..."

Anyway...

WP_20141003_001WP_20141003_002WP_20141003_003WP_20141003_004WP_20141003_005WP_20141003_009

BTW, here's my official MS MVP URL, https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Greg%20Duncan-5001015

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Guess who's a newly minted Microsoft MVP?

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Problems installing .NET 3.5 on Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 R2? Like error: 0x800F0906? Check for an already in-place 3.5 Update...

I thought it interesting and kind of telling that these two different (through very similar, same base, etc) platforms have this same issue...

Also these two posts are nice guides if you run into other related kinds of problems like this...

Ask Premier Field Engineering (PFE) Platforms - Attempting to Install .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows Server 2012 R2 Fails with Error Code 0x800F0906 or “the source files could not be downloaded”, even when supplying source

In one of my prior posts, I mentioned a step required when installing .Net Framework 3.5 on Windows Server 2012 or later operating systems. Specifically, I mentioned the need to supply the source for the .Net files because this is one of the few components we do not stage to the component store on Windows Server 2012 and later. One of the bullets in the things to keep in mind section at the bottom of this blog reads:

If you are attempting to install .Net Framework 3.5 on Windows Server 2012, instead of specifying the install.wim, you need to specify the Sources\SxS directory on the DVD or if providing the source, the files in the SXS directory copied from the DVD are just for .Net Framework 3.5. You can host them on a share and supply them through the GUI or through Group Policy just like any other feature.

Recently one of my customers ran into an issue when attempting to install .Net Framework 3.5 on Windows Server 2012 R2 using the following command:

Install-WindowsFeature –name NET-Framework-Core –source F:\sources\sxs

F:\ is the mounted Windows Server 2012 R2 ISO.

Yet it still failed with the following error:

The request to add or remove features on the specified server failed. The source files could not be downloaded. Use the "source" option to specify the location of the files that are required to restore the feature. Error: 0x800F0906

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...

So why are we getting these errors despite supplying the source?

We released a security update in August 2014 that updates .Net components. The security updates are as follows:

KB2966828: MS14-046: Description of the security update for the .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2: August 12, 2014

KB2966827: MS14-046: MS14-046: Description of the security update for the .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012: August 12, 2014

If either of these updates are installed, you will run into the above issue if your server does not have access to the Internet to pull the updated components.

How do we resolve this?

Since this customer’s servers do not have internet access, in their case, they did the following:

1) Uninstalled the security update

2) Installed .Net Framework 3.5 (which installed without error)

3) Reinstalled the update

Take a look at the following TechNet article for .Net Framework 3.5 deployment considerations:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn482066.aspx

Here’s a link to the official Knowledge Base article on this issue:

https://support.microsoft.com/kb/3002547

How do you keep from running into this in the future?

I personally recommend that you proactively enable .Net Framework 3.5 on the server images and templates in your environment to prevent having to troubleshoot or take additional steps such as this going forward.

MSMQ from the plumber's mate - Windows 8–can’t install .Net Framework 3.5 (0x800F0906, 0x800F081F)

"I’d recently put Windows 8 on a test machine at work and started installing what software I needed. Pretty quickly I found I needed to install .Net Framework 3.5 which is now a ‘Feature’ instead of a separate download.

...

Error code 0x800F0906 leads you to troubleshooting articles such as:

.NET Framework 3.5 installation error: 0x800F0906, 0x800F081F, 0x800F0907

http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2734782

...

Looking in the list of installed updates, I found I had KB2966827 present:

MS14-046: Description of the security update for the .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012: August 12, 2014

http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2966827

Now why do I have a .NET Framework 3.5 hotfix installed on a machine that hasn’t yet had .NET Framework 3.5 installed?!

The presence of the hotfix meant the installation was always expecting to find newer files than came with the Windows 8 source files.

As soon as I uninstalled the hotfix, I could add the .NET Framework 3.5 feature and start using my applications.

..."

Getting started with the free (for 1000 calls) Text Analysis API from AYLIEN

Text Analysis blog | Aylien - How to Get Started with AYLIEN Text Analysis API

Introduction

Getting up and running with AYLIEN’s Text Analysis APIs couldn’t be easier. It’s a simple 3 part process from signing up to calling the API. This blog will take you through the complete process of creating an account, retrieving your API Key and Application ID, and making your first call to the API.

Part 1: Signing up for a free account

Navigate to http://aylien.com/getting-started/ and click on the “Subscribe For free” button. This will bring you to a sign up form which will ask for your details in order to setup your account and generate your credentials.

By signing up, you will get access to our basic plan which will allow you to make 1,000 API calls per day for free. Note: There is no credit card needed to get access to our basic plan. ;)

...

Part 3: Creating your first application
Our getting started guide is designed to get you up and running with the API and making calls as quickly and as easily as possible. Here you will find information on the API Documentation, Features, Links to a demo and some code snippets.

We have included sample code snippets for you to use in the following languages.

  • Java
  • Node.js
  • Python
  • Go
  • PHP
  • C#
  • Ruby

To start making calls, while you’re on the getting started page, scroll down to the “Calling the API” section. Choose which language you wish to use and take a copy of the code snippet. In this example, we are going to use Node.js.

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Okay, 1,000 calls is not enough to build a biz on (not that you would) but it is more than enough to play with and still do some cool things. Imagine using this in your blogging, where you gather some cool text analysis info automagically from your post. Or spread out over time, analysis of all your posts. Or maybe a means to help you filter down your news stream. Or... or... or... There's a ton of stuff you can do with an API like this and being free'ish, you can play for, well, free.

SUA Shellshocked? Nope! Microsoft's Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications is not impacted by Shellshock

Services for UNIX - Interoperability - Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications is not affected by Shellshock

Greetings, users of Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA). I'm the technical writer for SUA, which was deprecated in the Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 timeframe.

This is just a quick post to let you know (because customers have been concerned about SUA and the Shellshock vulnerability in Bash) that SUA is not affected by Shellshock.  SUA and its associated SDK do not include Bash, and installing SUA does not install Bash.

For more information about Shellshock, I've collected the following links for you.  But again, SUA is not affected by Shellshock.

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I was wondering about this. While it's still deprecated, it's good know I don't have to wonder about this at least any more...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
With SUA being deprecated in Windows 8, time to look again at other options...
“Utilities and SDK for Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications” Updated for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2
Subsytem for Unix (SUA) Utilities and SDK For Windows 2008 and Vista SP1
Windows Services for UNIX 3.5 Downloads