How do I get to all my applications in Windows RT 8.1 Blue Preview?

With Microsoft releasing the Windows 8.1 (Blue) upgrade for download yesterday evening and us always wanting to jump into new technology, our first impressions of Windows 8.1 (Blue) upgrade on our test Windows RT tablet were pretty good. There were some good things, and some difficulties. One of those difficulties were around getting to our applications using the familiar ways we learned in RT. The following is from one of our consultant’s experiences. Keep checking back often as we blog about our experiences with the Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 previews!

All my apps are gone!!!

For those of you who have installed the 8.1 Blue preview, you may have found it more difficult to find any of your applications that are not pinned to the start screen.

Windows 8.1 Start Screen

Windows 8.1 All Applications

Previously in Windows RT (and in Surface Pro), you could just swipe up and then click on the icon in the corner to view all you applications.

Windows RT - All apps icon

However, in the update, this has been replaced by an icon for customizing the groups of apps in the start screen (sorting and naming groups). This is easier now than it was before for those functions, however it didn’t get me to what I wanted, which was access an application tile not on my start screen.

Windows RT 8.1 - Customize icon  image

All was not lost however. I could still search for an app (swipe from the right and choose search from the charms menu) and then open it. But to actually get to an app’s tile and then select it to pin to the Start, I found the following two ways:

First, the swipe method:

Once in the start tile screen, just swipe up from the middle of the screen to be presented all of your applications. Swiping up or down then swaps between all apps and the start screen. It makes sense, but wasn’t as intuitive as I expected and was discovered with some trial and error.

Second, the more apps icon:

The second isn’t obvious, but if you notice small things is pretty easy to catch. If you swipe your start screen all the way to the right you will notice an arrow in the lower left corner pointing down. clicking on that will take you to all of your applications, same as the swipe down does.

Windows RT 8.1 Start Screen - More Windows RT 8.1 - More apps icon

Take away:

While not immediately intuitive, I think my kids could have found these quickly enough and after using it a few times I find it to be a much faster way to get to my apps without having them on the start screen.

 

I hope our consultant’s experience can help some of you who are wondering where all of your applications are in the Windows 8.1 preview. We hope to have more of their experiences in the coming posts to give you some exposure to Microsoft’s newest version of Windows 8.

Jason Condo
Principle Consultant

System Center 2012 R2 Preview released (with Server 2012 R2 also!)

System Center 2012 R2 PreviewIf you are eager to get your hands on the latest release from the System Center suite, Microsoft has released System Center 2012 R2 for preview today. That is more commonly referred to as its components; Configuration Manager (SCCM, ConfigMgr), Operations Manager (SCOM, OpsMgr), Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), Service Manager (SCSM), Data Protection Manager (SCDPM), and Orchestrator (SCORCH). With it you can choose to also get your hands on Server 2012 R2 as well. I will be blogging more on this later as I get the bits installed and start playing with the many new features, but I wanted to get you the information for getting to download the preview now.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/dn205295

Here is an excerpt from the System Center team blog on the announcement (http://blogs.technet.com/b/systemcenter/archive/2013/06/25/microsoft-system-center-2012-r2-preview-is-now-available-for-download.aspx):

Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 provide a wealth of new advancements to help IT organizations build and deliver private and hybrid cloud infrastructure for their businesses.  Some of the highlights include:

  • Enabling hybrid cloud – Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center enable virtual machine portability across customer, service provider and Windows Azure clouds, while a new System Center Management Pack for Windows Azure enhances cross-cloud management of virtual machine and storage resources.  Windows Azure Backup and Hyper-V Recovery Manager provide offsite backup and disaster recovery options.
  • Windows Azure Pack provides Windows Azure technology that enterprises and services providers can run on their Windows Server infrastructure for multi-tenant web and virtual machine cloud services. 
  • Built-in software-defined networking – Site-to-Site VPN Gateway helps customers seamlessly bridge physical and virtual networks and extend them from their datacenter to service provider datacenters. 
  • High performance, cost effective storage Features such as Storage Spaces Tiering, VHDX resizing and de-duplication for virtual desktop infrastructure provide high performance for critical on-premises workloads (like SQL and Hyper-V) using lower-cost, industry-standard hardware.
  • Empowering employee productivity – Windows Server Work Folders, Web App Proxy, improvements to Active Directory Federation Services and other technologies will help companies give their employees consistent access to company resources on the device of their choice.

Jason Condo
Principal Consultant

Cumulative Update 2 (CU2) for System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) 2012 SP1 is available

 

For those of you running ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 and still having some minor issues (or major depending on the business criticality of the function), Microsoft has released a hotfix (CU2) to help address them.. I do not believe this requires you to have installed CU1 first.

This update just bundles a number of fixes discovered by MS in support of SP1. Some of the things addressed in this update are:

  • Administrator Console – issues adding site servers and screen reader software enhancement
  • APP-V – errors with 2007 migrations and cert errors
  • OSD – app installs in task sequences, custom ports issues, limited functionality with WinPE 3.1 images, multicast functionality
  • Asset Intelligence – fixed a report for more accurate data
  • MDM – fixed mobile 6.5 client issue
  • Software distribution – fixed the waiting for content forever issue, content status issues during upgrades, and status routing for DPs
  • Non-Windows support – added more OSs supported
  • Site Systems – fixed some status messages and filtering, site server installs, fixed AD discovery with deltas
  • ConfigMgr SDK – object error on 64 bit systems for CPapplet.CPAppletMgr Automation object
  • Client – fixed automatic client updates error
  • CU Setup wrapper – now can update all in one instead of separately, better logging

 

More information on the above items and the hotfix can be found here:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2854009

Jason Condo
Principle Consultant