Using Windows 8 Consumer Preview on an Active Directory Corporate Domain

I have been using Windows 8 for a while now, here and there, the developer preview, on the tablet I got at build. Pretty cool, rough around the edges. I was really waiting for the next iteration.

Last week the Windows 8 Consumer Preview was released. My computer at work was getting “crufty” so I decided to install Windows 8 on it fresh and see what I could see.

Well, first off, if you run Windows 8, you can associate your login account with a Windows Live Id Microsoft account. This is pretty cool for a couple of reasons. Most services on the OS then automatically know who you are, and second, your settings and Windows Store apps will sync between devices.

But what happens on domain? I was as curious as I could be as the info out there is/was sparse as of now from what I could see. So I set up the machine fresh on Windows 8. Logged in as my Microsoft account and got into the OS. Once on the corp network, got it on the domain, as normal, and then I could log in with my domain account. Great.

But then what? Do I lose all the cool Microsoft account stuff? Well, it depends. What you can do is go to the new “Settings” in Metro land on the machine and find the account stuff, you can then associate your Microsoft account with your Domain account. This is pretty cool. Then your settings on your domain machines (if you have multiple) will sync, but you still get the domain stuff of the corporate network. I have two Microsoft accounts anyways (One for personal, one for work – MSDN, etc, etc).

There is one article out there that tells admins how to restrict the Windows Store on domain, or at least they will be able to, so I am guessing most things will be configurable or restrictable by domain admins and group policy, but at least there is some cohesiveness between Microsoft account and Domain account now. Good stuff. More to come on my Windows 8 Experience, as I am and will be putting it through its paces.


Office 365 and Windows Live Messenger Not Working? Here's The Fix:

Earlier this summer, I moved from Google Apps to Office 365. I really don’t use Windows Live Messenger for personal IM, but log in every once in a while, also Xbox 360 can login. I noticed on when I hit it, the web messenger continually tried to login. Also my Xbox and WLM on my PC wouldn’t login (error code 8100037b). What gives?

Well, I figured it might have had something to do with Office 365 and Lync Online, and I was right. I had to go into Office 365, Admin, under Lync, General Settings, and disable external communication settings. After 12+ hours I could then log into Windows Live Messenger. Kind of a mess if your org might be using Windows Live for IM and then moving to Office 365. Of course your Lync could federate out to WLM, but still, not being able to log in could be a pain

Geeky/Programming Product Reviews

Windows Live Installer Thoughts

The other day, the Windows Live team came out with the Windows Live Installer which basically incorporates all the Windows Live programs into one installer, pretty nice.

Few things though..

1) You can uninstall the installer and it doesn’t ask you to uninstall any of the programs it installed

2) When you run it, it takes forever to find installed programs on your computer

3) Windows Live Writer shortcuts were broken after I ran the installer

4) Windows Live Mail Desktop client – my contacts disappeared!! I put a post up in the forums, looks like others were having the same issue. I uninstalled, re-installed, but the uninstall must not be a full clean uninstall because when I ran it again all my info and accounts were still there, so it much save the info somewhere (in my Docs and Settings, Registry, somewhere – I didn’t take the time look). After fiddling around, removing accounts and what not, they magically reappeared though, so that is good

5) Not related to the release, but I noticed this, the automatic update of Windows Live contacts. There is a checkbox in the contact box in the mail client, if you uncheck, and come back later, it is checked again, ugh!

6) Also, in the mail client, the password doesn’t stop you from opening the application, it is just used for sync stuff. Kind of misleading, I put a bug on connect, but they said it was “by design”. Even though Microsoft will always want people to use multiple profiles on a computer, that is probably a pipe dream, people use one profile and just switch using programs such as mail, etc. Windows Live Messenger allows you to sign in differently based on account, why not do the same for the Mail client?

7) Even though I have gripes above, I still think it is a good thing, The Windows Live suite is coming along. Few things I would like – more options in the contacts, to be able to set other IM addresses per service (AIM, GTalk, ICQ, Yahoo). Also, the ability to set pictures for your contacts would be nice. Also, they need to get the calendar solution going to.

Overall, I love the Windows Live suite, the mail/contacts/messenger/live writer apps are awesome. I use my T-Mobile dash, and with Windows Mobile 6.0, my Windows Live contacts sync to my phone, and Windows Live Messenger integration happens right on my phone, very sweet. I use the mail desktop app on my laptop, it is less bulky than outlook, built specifically for Windows Live (BTW, my main email address is – I use Windows Live Custom Domains to manage that and integrate it with Windows Live – another sweet product!). Then, when somewhere out and about where I don’t have my laptop or connectivity on my phone, but Internet or another computer, I can use to get my mail/contacts. Sweet sweet integration!

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Product Reviews

Windows Live Mail Desktop Beta

I just got on the Windows Live Mail Destkop Beta (whew, long name, WLMDB) – installed it yesterday. Seems pretty cool, few major gripes though, I can’t minimize to the systray and I really dont know where to see my contacts, sent items, etc. Its like a really stripped down outlook or suped up outlook express. The active search is cool, but I am an MSN premium subscriber, I shouldn’t have that shown to me at all. Overall it seems like they could do better, the systray thing really irks me 🙂