Tag Archives: Surface

Window 10 TP Build 9926 – Tablet Mode

I wanted to mention something I noticed when powering up my Surface Pro running Windows 10 TP Build 9926 this morning….Tablet Mode. ¬†Down in the Notification section, click the icon and notice there is an option at the bottom for Tablet Mode:
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Eric Oszakiewski

Eric Oszakiewski is a professional software developer based in Scottsdale, AZ with over 36 years of IT experience, and 19 years Native American Gaming experience. He is currently working as a Sr .Net/SharePoint Development Lead for General Motors, and also as a consultant.

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Windows 8.1 Update 1

Today at Build 2014 Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 8.1 Update 1 on April 8th to the general public, but it’s available now to MSDN subscribers. Not wanting to waste any of the precious resources made available us MSDN folks, I promptly downloaded the bits and put them on my Surface Pro. Installation required applying 5 Feature Packs, and one system restart, total of about 15 minutes. Very simple, and none of my personal info or settings on the machines were modified or reset. Here’s my initial findings:

The Power icon now appears on the Start screen in the top right corner, next to your account picture. Nice quick way to Shut Down or Restart your machine without swiping from the right, tapping Settings, tapping Power, tapping Shutdown/Reset.

Screenshot (44) Screenshot (45)

The Store icon now appears in the taskbar by default, giving end-users the opportunity to find apps even quicker by having the store icon more visible other than on their Start screen or buried in their Apps somewhere when they remove it from their Start screen.
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Hold down the Ctrl key and left-click (or tap) on multiple tiles to select them as a group, for removal, movement, etc.
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Right-click on the tiles and get the traditional context menu instead of having to use the app bar at the bottom. Much more familiar feel to experienced Windows users
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System resources were well within normal limits too. Low CPU utilization, avg memory consumption, and very low overhead (only 770 MB for all 5 feature packs combined!)
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UPDATE: After installing the RT (ARM) version of Update 1, it seems all of the same changes apply with the exception of the Power icon at the top right of the Start screen. It’s not there, not sure if it was deliberately left off of the RT build or if it’s some security setting I have on my girls’ Surfaces. Either way, it’s a discrepancy. Everything else seems to be the same as far as I can tell.

Overall, so far so good! They also mentioned in a future release that the traditional Start menu was returning, as well as Cortana personal assistant integration from Windows Phone as well as other great features were coming. I’m very pleased that this was implemented in a series of feature packs instead of a major update requiring numerous restarts and altering of customized properties and settings. I’m looking forward to the next iteration with the additional changes and innovations!

Eric Oszakiewski

Eric Oszakiewski is a professional software developer based in Scottsdale, AZ with over 36 years of IT experience, and 19 years Native American Gaming experience. He is currently working as a Sr .Net/SharePoint Development Lead for General Motors, and also as a consultant.

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Windows 8.1 RTM on Surface Pro

Today I installed Windows 8.1 RTM on my Surface Pro, and so far I’m pretty happy. I decided to list what I believe to be some pros and cons to consider when updating your Windows 8 system:

Pros:

  • Mail app has improved significantly. Ability to easily select more than one message by either long-pressing or right-clicking, or by checking the checkboxes next to each item. Also appearance is closer to Outlook.com’s look and feel.
    Windows Mail
  • Setup prompted me to either keep my files only, or nothing (Sounds like an OS upgrade to me). I chose to keep my files, and it stored them in the usual Windows.old folder. However, all of my configurations and customizations remained! Awesome!
  • RT applications all installed with one click!
  • My WiFi connections and credentials were all remembered, I didn’t have to re-enter any passwords or search for SSIDs. Another huge plus IMHO.
  • IE bookmarks, auto-fill, remembered passwords, favorites, etc. were all remembered and flowed right through once I signed on with my Microsoft account.
  • Total time from begin to end to completely update the Surface Pro was approximately 15 minutes, including reboots

Cons:

  • Had to reinstall all of my x64 applications. Unfortunately for me, since the Surface Pro is my dev machine that’s quite a few applications. To me this is more of an OS upgrade than a Service Pack style update.
  • Still having to right-click and choose “Run As Administrator” every time I launch certain applications. Would be nice to have an “Always Run As Administrator” option
    UPDATE: This isn’t a limitation in Windows 8, this was my own lack of knowledge. To set an application (in this case Visual Studio 2013) to always run as administrator do the following (click the images to enlarge):

    1. Right-click on the Start screen tile and choose Open File Location
      Screenshot (3)
    2. Right-click on the program you want to alter and choose Properties
      Screenshot (4)
    3. Click the Advanced button at the bottom
      Screenshot (5)
    4. Make sure the Run As Administrator box is checked and click OK
      Screenshot (6)

    The application will now run as administrator whenever clicked from the Start screen!

So far more pros than cons, I’m pretty satisfied. I’ll post more here as I use the Surface more. Feel free to comment and add your pros/cons.

Update (09/11/2013 06:25 MT): It appears that if you’re running 8.1 Preview on the machine, it treats it like an OS upgrade, but if you’re running Windows 8 it’s treated like a SP update. Mark Brown noted that his Surface Pro running Windows 8 kept all of his x64 applications and just applied 8.1. Nice! Thanks for the feedback!

Eric Oszakiewski

Eric Oszakiewski is a professional software developer based in Scottsdale, AZ with over 36 years of IT experience, and 19 years Native American Gaming experience. He is currently working as a Sr .Net/SharePoint Development Lead for General Motors, and also as a consultant.

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Surface RT Metro apps won’t launch

Just the other day I applied the most recent mandatory firmware update to my Surface RT, and let it restart. I thought nothing of it until this morning when I tried launching my usual morning apps (Bible, check metrics on my apps, etc), and they wouldn’t launch. The only apps that would launch were Desktop, IE and my app I developed that’s already in the store. My initial thought was to run Refresh, but it wouldn’t launch since it’s part of the whole Metro-thing.

I checked the Event Log->Windows Logs->Application, and there was an error event for every Metro-style app tile I tapped previously, and the errors were always Event 5973 “ failed because of an issue with its license. Please try again later” (Paraphrased). If there was a way to refresh, since System Restore isn’t an option in Windows RT, I was pretty confident that would solve the problem.

I worked with Surface Support, and they showed me another way to get to a maintenance screen to refresh the device. I’m documenting it here for future reference in case I forget.

With the device powered on and all users logged off, hold down the shift key and tap the power button (keep holding down the shift key even after you tap the power button). The screen will blink then return to the lock screen/login screen. With the shift key still held down, tap the Power icon on the screen and choose Restart…still holding down the shift key. The screen will turn blue and several options will appear in tile format. Now you can let go of the shift key. Tap Troubleshooting, and you can choose to refresh the device here. Note that refreshing the device will require you to log onto BitLocker on a separate PC using your Microsoft Account when prompted. The device will eventually prompt you to go to a website and enter the key from the website. It’s a large sequence of 6 digit numbers to authenticate your session. Once entered it will proceed with refreshing.

When the refresh was done, the device was functioning as normal, and none of my files or settings were affected. Apps had to re-install, but they re-installed automatically. Big thanks to Surface Support for their prompt attention and assistance!

Eric Oszakiewski

Eric Oszakiewski is a professional software developer based in Scottsdale, AZ with over 36 years of IT experience, and 19 years Native American Gaming experience. He is currently working as a Sr .Net/SharePoint Development Lead for General Motors, and also as a consultant.

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