imac · microsoft · vmware

Configuring a Windows VM to Run Properly on a 5K iMac at Full Resolution

Earlier this week, I was working from home while and taking some vacation time while my car was getting serviced.  (But that is an entirely different post for a different time.)

While working, I wanted to use a copy of a corporate Windows 7 VMware guest machine on my 5K iMac. The only problem is that the Windows 7 text is microscopically small on the iMac, which is running at its maximum screen resolution of 3200 x 1800. On my home iMac, I am running VMware Fusion 8.5.8.

The problem of super-small text is a known issue and VMware has published a KB article on the topic titled “Retina display support in VMware Fusion (2034670)“.

However, the steps for adjusting Retina display support in the KB article didn’t exactly work for my configuration of Windows 7 guest. In addition to the virtual machine settings provided by VMware, I wanted to share the configuration adjustments that worked for me, and hopefully, by extension, may also help you.

To get started, I copied the guest virtual machine to my virtual machine folder on my iMac’s hard drive. Then, I started up the virtual machine, logged in with an administrator level account, and uninstalled the VMware Tools package that was installed by VMware Workstation, and then reinstalled the version of VMware Tools from Fusion. This step might be unnecessary, but I wanted to keep the version of VMware Tools consistant with the version that I have on my iMac for Fusion 8.

After the shell game with VMware Tools has finished, I shutdown the Windows 7 guest. Next, I used the directions that VMware provided in their KB article.

Finally, to make the text in the Windows 7 guest virtual machine readable, I had to do two more things:

1. In Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Display, I set the text size to “Larger – 150%”.

win7_text_sizing

2. In Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Display > Screen Resolution, I set the Windows 7 resolution to 2048 x 1536.

win7_resolution

For the Windows screen resolution step above, you may want to go one resolution step up or down from there, depending on your preferences.

Since we are talking about a Windows machine, I rebooted the Windows 7 guest just to test everything out. Now I am able to comfortably run and read the text on my Windows 7 guest virtual machine on my 5K iMac running at full resolution.

 

microsoft · update · windows · windows server

Microsoft’s ANS Alerts Are No Longer Free

Tomorrow’s Microsoft “Patch Tuesday” is going to seem a little bit more confusing than past patch days for the majority of Microsoft’s customers.

“They’ve gone from free to fee, and for really no particular reason,” said Andrew Storms, vice president of security services at New Context, a San Francisco-based security consultancy, in an interview.”

Microsoft Windows administrators have been familiar with the ANS, or Advanced Notification Service emails that were sent out a head of Microsoft’s scheduled patch release date with information regarding what software was to be patched, their classification of the patch, and associated knowledge base articles.  Starting with tomorrow’s patch Tuesday, Microsoft will not provide advanced notice of patches.

“Customer feedback indicates that many of our large customers no longer use ANS in the same way they did in the past due to optimized testing and deployment methodologies,” said Chris Betz, senior director at the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC). “While some customers still rely on ANS, the vast majority wait for Update Tuesday, or take no action, allowing updates to occur automatically.”

“Microsoft prefers to call its monthly security release “Update Tuesday,” apparently believing “Patch Tuesday” carries negative connotations.”

So, unless your organization pays for premiere support or is otherwise involved in sharing security information with Microsoft, you will no longer be receiving these email updates.

Personally, I’ve never participated in the online briefings, but I would skim the list of patches, sorry, “updates” that Microsoft would be pushing out to Microsoft Windows Update Servers (WUS) running on private networks.  While I’m sad to see the email notices and blog postings go away, for small to mid-sized organizations, I’m not sure that there will be a meaningful impact on day-to-day operations.  What will likely become of this is that Windows client and Windows Server administrators will need to pay more attention when testing the latest updates before deploying them on production servers.

[Via ComputerWorld.com…]

browsers · internet explorer · microsoft · spartan

Rumor: Microsoft is Building a New Browser

A new report on ZDNet by longtime Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, if true, suggests that Microsoft is cooking up a new web browser that is not Internet Explorer 12.

“It turns out that what’s actually happening is Microsoft is building a new browser, codenamed Spartan, which is not IE 12 — at least according to a couple of sources of mine.”

Even if we ignore the “Spartan” Halo reference (Microsoft has chosen to name the Windows 8.1 digital assistant “Cortana” after the fictional computer AI character of the same name that helps Master Chief in their Halo video game franchise), this sounds like a pretty interesting move by Microsoft as Foley goes on to report that the new browser “will look and feel more like Chrome and Firefox and will support extensions.”

So far, I’ve been a support of where CEO Satya Nadella has been talking Microsoft’s products and services.  I’ve also been running the Windows 10 Technical Preview (in a virtual machine) for some time now and really like it.

Whatever “Spartan” turns out to be, I’m sure it will be part of the cloud services roadmap that Microsoft has been working steadily toward.

[Via ZDNet.com…]

apple · ios 7 · ipad · microsoft · office · office365 · productivity

Microsoft Releases Office Apps for Apple’s iPad

In a bold move yesterday, Microsoft, lead by their new CEO Satya Nadella, launched Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for the Apple iPad.

I’m not talking about watered down, half-hearted, sort-kinda Office applications, I’m talking about the real, full blown, well featured, iOS native Office applications for the iPad.  Did I mention this is Microsoft’s Office on the iOS platform?!

To see Office in action on an iPad, you can watch Microsoft’s introductory video.

I’m really excited about having Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on my iPad.  The apps look and feel great!  Taken together with the already released OneNote and OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive), Microsoft has seemingly overnight, empowered millions of iPad owning Office users around the world.
So what do you get?  Available now in the iOS App Store, users can download, free of charge, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for the iPad.  The apps are free and will enable anyone who installs them to read Office documents.  If you just happen to be an Office 365 customer, you can sign in to your account from the Office apps on your iPad and instantly have the ability to edit your documents.
You will need to have an iPad running iOS 7.0 or later and to edit documents, a Microsoft Office 365 Home subscription.

Microsoft’s Office Apps for iPad are available now on the App Store, or you can use these handy download links.

You can read more about Microsoft’s Office Apps for the Apple iPad on the Microsoft blog.
apple · mac · mac os x · microsoft · office · office365

Microsoft Brings OneNote to OS X

Earlier today, Microsoft released OneNote for Macintosh OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

To use OneNote, you need a free Microsoft account.  If you have a OneDrive account, formerly known as SkyDrive, or a subscription to the company’s Office 365 Home Premium, you’re good to go.
To install OneNote for Macintosh, you need to be running the aforementioned OS X Mavericks.  You also need 235MB of disk space.  OneDrive is compatible with OneNote 2010 and later for Windows, and the pre-existing OneNote and OneDrive for iOS devices.
OneNote for OS X with OneNote 2013 in the Background
I’m excited about OneNote coming to the Macintosh because I can see myself using it for personal digital notes.  (In the corporate environment I work in, there is virtually no one using OneNote for Windows.)
I really hope that OneNote for OS X, with it’s features mirroring the Windows functionality, is a sign of things to come.  As someone who’s been using Office for Windows and Mac OS X over the last 20 years, it has been really frustrating to have two products that are only the same in name only.  Hopefully, we will finally see a Microsoft that lets Office be Office, and not an expensive Windows-only add on.
According to Microsoft, OneNote is “free for a limited time,” however, there is no mention of when this offer will expire.  OneNote is available now from the Mac App Store.
dropbox · google drive · microsoft · onedrive

SkyDrive To Become OneDrive

Microsoft is planning on renaming their SkyDrive online storage service to “OneDrive.”

It’s almost like the Xbox One fever has infected the SkyDrive team, but that’s not exactly the case.

Ryan Gavin, Microsoft’s General Manager, Consumer Apps & Services puts it this way:

“Why OneDrive? We know that increasingly you will have many devices in your life, but you really want only one place for your most important stuff. One place for all of your photos and videos. One place for all of your documents. One place that is seamlessly connected across all the devices you use. You want OneDrive for everything in your life.”

For those who are not familiar with SkyDrive, it is Microsoft’s answer to Google Drive, Dropbox,  and Apple iCloud.  SkyDrive has a desktop client that integrates with Windows and Mac OS X and clients for Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices.

The name change will roll out “soon.”  Existing SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro customers don’t have to make any modifications to their accounts.

[Via the OneDrive blog…]