Friday, December 28, 2012

Samsung ATIV S review

Last week I found a great review on Samsung ATIV S mobile phone. Besides of Nokia and HTC, Samsung is the third vendor with a Windows Phone 8 device. Because of the business kind of look and great specs this is the device I want. The device will be in January for sale in the Netherlands. In Europe the pricing will probably be 549 euro.

Samsung was the first manufacturer to officially announce a Windows Phone 8 device, but has since been suspiciously quiet about its plans. Plagued by delays and a missed launch period with HTC and Nokia, Samsung’s carrier deals, release dates, and exact pricing haven’t been forthcoming. Microsoft rarely mentions the company's devices in marketing materials, and it feels like Samsung's Windows Phone 8 efforts have been all but forgotten.

Source: Samsung Ativ S review

Searching on the web I found the specifications for Samsung ATIV S with Windows Phone 8. Here it is:

A Windows Phone 8 comparison between HTC, Nokia and Samsung phones can be found HERE also.

Delayed till 2013: The ATIV S could be delayed to begin January for Europe! The ATIV S uses the same display as the Galaxy S III. Because the Galaxy S III is extremely hot at the moment. Samsung could have decided to move back the ATIV S for public release because of production switch in build and materials.

Nokia Lumia 620 specifications

After unveiling two big Windows Phone 8 powered devices, Lumia 820 and Lumia 920, Nokia has announced a budget Windows Phone 8 device for the masses. Nokia unveiled Nokia Lumia 620 at Paris on December 5 with a price tag of $249 only. This made us all aware that like Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8 devices can also have budget models.

Lumia 620 is the third and most affordable Windows Phone 8 device by Nokia. With its price tag, it will be a highly competitive smartphone. Lets take look at the smartphone.

Nokia Lumia 620 press pictures (all colors):

Searching on the web I found the specifications for Nokia Lumia 620 with Windows Phone 8. Here it is:

Another search shows browser benchmarks (Sunspider and BrowserMark 2), where Lumia 620 beats the Galaxy S III:

In Europe the pricing will probably be 259 euro. The 620 will be released in January in Asia and the Middle East. Then comes the phone to Europe, but exactly when is not known. The Lumia 920 and 820 are in the Netherlands in January in sales.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Upgrade ConfigMgr 2012 to Service Pack 1

Last week on december 12, Service Pack 1 (SP1) was available on TechNet or MSDN subscriptions. Because my lab environment is running on SP1 Beta, I thought the whole installation must be done again. Good news is that the upgrade from SP1 Beta to SP1 RTM can be done without any issues at all. The only thing important is, it isn't supported in any way. But because it's my lab environment that doesn't count.
Let's have a look at the upgrade:
Choose "Upgrade this Configuration Manager site" to start installation
A new feature in SP1 is that more Server languages are available now
 During Prerequisite check a new warning message is shown on collections
And finally after a "few" minutes waiting the installation is done! :)
Very nice to have a lab environment with ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 now!!
Just start to download the bits and experience the new features and functionality yourself. More on the new stuff can be found HERE. Hope you like it as much as I do! More to come about SP1 later.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

System Center 2012 SP1 available now!

Great news! System Center 2012 SP1 is available now! It can be download on Microsoft TechNet if you have a TechNet or MSDN subscription. Lucky me I have one because of my Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) status.

With Service Pack 1, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 support are available. Just connect to Microsoft TechNet and download the bits!

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Updates and New Features in ConfigMgr 2012 SP1

Last month I was at System Center User Group (SCUG) NL day with Wally Mead. Wally Mead has been with Microsoft for more than 20 years, and working with Systems Management Server since SMS 1.0 was in development. The following Updates and New Features for ConfigMr 2012 SP1 were mentioned: 
Deployment of Windows 8:
  • Core OS Deployment Scenarios (Windows 8/ 2012 support)
  • Windows To Go support (create and build by ConfigMgr)
  • Managing Windows 8 Apps (for both x86 and RT)
  • Always-on Always connected (preserves battery life)
  • Metered Connections support (for paid networks)
  • Used Space BitLocker (saves time during OSD)
  • Bitlocker pre-provisioning from WinPE mode (5 minutes versus 3 hours)
Management Capabilities of Windows RT and Windows Phone 8:
  • Windows 8 Apps (easier and faster to deploy)
  • Windows 8 Apps in the Windows Store (new type of software)
  • Pull Software Distribution (MDM)
  • Settings Management (with ConfigMgr policy)
  • Compliance Monitoring (MDM)
Embedded Device Support in SP1:
  • Better support for write filters
  • Write filter orchestration for updates and OSD
  • SCEP support for installation and updates
  • Desired Configuration Management extensions
  • OS deployment optimized for embedded devices
And many many more:
  • User Data and Settings Management (User policy)
  • Windows Intune management in ConfigMgr console (!)
  • Distribution Point for Windows Azure (in the cloud)
  • Database Replication Controls (make the hierarchy easier to control)
  • Security and Compliance for Endpoint Protection
  • Real-time Administrative Actions (force machine policy)
  • Support for App-V 5.0, PowerShell, Non-Windows devices
  • Support for SCEP on MAC, UNIX and Linux systems
Service Pack 1 isn't just an update on ConfigMgr. It will provide a lot of new functionality above of existing ConfigMgr 2012 features.
The General Availability release of System Center 2012 SP1 is scheduled for early January.

Monday, December 17, 2012

System Center 2012 SP1 release date

System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 has reached RTM, Microsoft announced recently. RTM refers to feature-complete products. The General Availability release of System Center 2012 SP1 is scheduled for early January. Because Q1 2013 was mentioned last months, this is way earlier then expected. 

Windows Intune is set for an "early 2013" update also. With Windows Intune, Mobile Device Management in ConfigMgr becomes available.

A few notes to make the upgrade path crystal clear: 

  • General Availability is targeted for early January;
  • Upgrade from SP1 Beta is only supported for TAP customers who installed RC;
  • Non-TAP customers will only be able to upgrade from DPM 2012 RTM to DPM 2012 SP1 RTM;
  • There is no upgrade path from BETA SP1 to RTM SP1, you must reinstall DPM 2012 RTM, then upgrade to SP1 RTM.

Availability of SP1 RTM for SA costumers is probably January 3, 2013. Great news we can download the bits within a few weeks from now!

Update 2-1-2013: System Center 2012 SP1 is now available for download from the Microsoft Volume Licensing site.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How to update ConfigMgr 2012 RTM to SP1 (Beta)

Next year (Q1 2013) System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) becomes available. This Service Pack will be released for System Center 2012 and not just for ConfigMgr only. SP1 for ConfigMgr will bring a lot of new features and functionalities, which are described HERE.
To update a ConfigMgr 2012 RTM environment to SP1 (Beta) the following is needed: 
  • Uninstall Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK)
  • Download Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 8 which is available HERE
  • Install Windows ADK by adksetup.exe and choose Install (which download the files needed online first) or choose Download (which download all files for offline usage)
  • The only features needed are Deployment Tools, Windows PE and USMT.
  • Upgrade the SQL Server installation from SP1 CU4 to SP2 which is available HERE or SP1 CU6 which is available HERE
After that the prerequisite check should not display any errors anymore:

When both Deployment Tools and Windows PE must be installed on other Site servers too, it's because of multiple SMS Providers that are installed. Otherwise you will be fine and setup can be started immediately.

During installation boot images will be upgraded from WinPE 3.0 to 4.0 automatically. Just remember to update ALL Distribution points after the upgrade, because this will not be done automatically (!)

Remember: After the upgrade all ConfigMgr 2012 RTM clients must be updated to SP1 (Beta) too. Not that it won't work otherwise, but because new features and functionalities will not be functional then.
It can be done automatically with Site Hierarchy settings (Client Installation Settings).

SP1 for ConfigMgr will bring a lot of new features and functionalities!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Microsoft Management Summit 2013 Registration Open

Today I received the following message:

Microsoft Management Summit 2013 Registration Open

Why Attend MMS?
At the Microsoft Management Summit the brightest and most skilled IT professionals from around the world meet to increase their technical expertise. It's an intensive week of technical training, so get your geek on. You'll be first to test drive new products and solutions, accelerate your career, and you'll experience the power of community. Pretty sweet, huh?

About MMS

The Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) brings together the brightest IT professionals from around the world to increase their technical expertise through deep hands-on training, best-practice sharing, and interaction with innovators in desktop, device, and datacenter management, as well as cloud technologies.

When we say deep, we mean it – with session content delving into the 300 and 400 level. Only hard-core geeks will feel comfortable in this exclusive setting. With keynotes, sessions, hands-on labs, certification opportunities, and face-to-face access to Microsoft and industry experts, MMS provides a “can’t-miss” opportunity to be among the first to learn about new technologies.

Register now:
April 8-12 @ Mandala Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada

Hope to be there for the third time! For me it's the best event on Microsoft System Center & Client Device Management.