Windows

How to get rid of the “ghost” updates on Windows 8 RP Store

How to get rid of the “ghost” updates on Windows 8 RP Store

Screenshot (55)

This morning I initially planned to work on one of my Windows Phone applications. Instead of doing this, I played around with the Windows Store and assume that I found a solution for the “ghost updates” that a lot of people are experiencing.

First, to all those who now want to tell me that this post is no longer of interest, you are wrong. Not all preview users will be able to get their final Windows 8 copy before October (only those with MSDN or TechNet-subscriptions and partners will be getting it over the next few days).

So now lets go on.

It is annoying to see that the update count on Windows Store tile always shows 2 updates, but when you enter the marketplace, you will get the information that there is no update.

This happened also to me (and I did not have the Amazon Kindle app on RP installed, this is a known issue).

I decided to uninstall all Metro apps (yes, I said Metro because until now there is no official word about the new UI name) to see if the count will go to zero. I began with 3rd-party apps to uninstall, but the count was still 2. Then I uninstalled all Microsoft apps (at once), the count remains even without any installed app. After I restarted my PC, the count was finally gone.

After this restart, I went to the Windows Store, and checked all of my previously installed apps. And I found something very interesting.

Microsoft apps? Where are they?

Screenshot (50)

I found out that a bunch of (preinstalled) Microsoft apps were not listed in the “my apps”-list:

  • SkyDrive
  • Music
  • Video
  • Photo
  • Camera
  • News
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Travel
  • Reader

No matter how often I refreshed the listed or sorted it in another way, they were not there. This lead me to do a search for all apps by “Microsoft Corporation”. With the search results, the confusion turns perfect:

Screenshot (53)

As you can see on the screenshot above, there are two entries for each of the Video, Camera, Photo and Reader app. If you click on them, they are both absolutely identical from description, screenshots etc.

So I installed all apps I used before, expect those with double entries in search. Still no update count. Ok, done until here.

Now I installed one by one the doubled apps, as I use them also frequently. I sorted the list to show me newest entries first, so I installed the second version of every app:

  • installed Camera, checked update – no count
  • installed Video, checked update – no count
  • installed Photo, checked update – no count
  • installed Reader, checked update – no count

Next step was – a restart (sometimes the store does update only after a restart, don´t know why). After that restart, there was no update shown anymore.

I don´t know which of those apps exactly caused the “ghost updates”, but that´s the solution.

Of course you do not have to do all steps like I did. Here is the short version:

  • On Start screen, select all Metro apps (easier with zoomed out view)
  • once they are all selected, click on uninstall
  • do a restart, as this deletes some temp data
  • after the restart, start the Windows Store and go to “your apps” (right click or swipe from top on Store´s starting page)
  • select all apps you want to install and install them again

After that, the count is to zero, and you have all your apps again. Even the position of the tiles will be like before, so there is no way to be afraid of a lot of work afterwards. What you have to do after:

  • sync contacts again
  • log in to your apps that need a login
  • connect your mailboxes to the Mail app

You will find a few threads on Microsoft Answers also, but the suggested things like refresh your PC does not work for this problem. And if you have VS 2010 and VS 2012 installed or the Office 2013 preview, you will have to install them all over again after the refresh has finished.

So I think my solution will take you far less time, and you will get rid of the annoying “ghost“ updates.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments
Xbox SmartGlass available on Windows 8 for some, appears to be an update for existing Xbox Companion

Xbox SmartGlass available on Windows 8 for some, appears to be an update for existing Xbox Companion

smartglass_windows_store

Yesterday I was reading some tweets that Xbox SmartGlass is available on Windows 8. Sadly it is not here in Germany, even changing region and language settings did not help to get it displayed.

Thanks to a Robert McLaws (follow him!) and Bing, I was able to figure out some more information.

First thing I made yesterday, was to check the existing sitemap for the Windows Store. You can search the whole sitemap for xbox or smartglass, you will only find Xbox Games and Xbox Companion:

windows_store_sitemap

The next step was to check if Bing would give me any other results, and I was getting this:

bing_search_smartglass

This search shows that the companion app web link is titled “xbox-smartglass”. However, If you click on that link, you will be redirected to the Xbox Companion website:

Xbox Companion page

If SmartGlass is available for you, with a click to install the Windows Store should open up the SmartGlass page. If not, you will see the Xbox Companion app.

So it seems that SmartGlass will be in fact an update to the existing Xbox Companion app. It uses the same technology, and will get a ton of new features (as announced during E3).

As soon as it will be available for me, I will keep you informed.

Posted by msicc in Windows, Xbox, 0 comments

Windows 8 and Family Safety

Win8FamSafety

Today my 10 year old son asked me when I will let him play around Windows 8. So I decided to set up an account for him. (This post will be a how-to mixed with my personal opinion.)

First, I created an account for my son by going to control panel in the WinRT part of Windows 8. With a click on “Add a user” you can create a new account. To create an online synced account, use the Microsoft account (Windows Live ID) you created for your child.

addauser

After looking if it is an existing account, you will be asked if this is a child´s account. Check the option and click on “Finish”.

Finishadduser

After that, go to Desktop and open Control Panel, and choose “User Accounts”, where you click on “Family Safety” at the bottom left.

Now you can choose if you want to manage settings online or local. I recommend online, so you can change settings at any time easily via the web interface. My experience until now was that if you need to change settings, you are not there on your local machine.

FamilySafety

You will be redirected to the Family Safety page, where you will be able to “edit settings”.

You can set up a bunch of things there:

  • Web filtering
  • Web filtering lists
  • Activity reporting
  • Requests
  • Time limits
  • Game restrictions
  • App restrictions

First, in Web filtering, you can set up different options. As I want my son to be relatively free on the web, but protected, I use “Online communication”. So he is able to write E-Mails from Windows 8 Mail app or chat via the Messaging app. You can add additional options to the “Web filtering lists” option.

webfiltering

Activity reporting shows you an overview what you child is doing on the web and the PC.

“Time limits” is a handy tool to control how much your child is on the PC. This is available on Windows 7 as well as on Windows 8 RP.

timelimits

You can restrict the games to a matching age setting based on the USK recommendations with “Game restrictions”.

gamerestrictions

Finally, with” App restrictions” you can choose which apps your child is allowed to use. This counts for Metro apps as well as for Desktop apps.

apprestrictions

My conclusion:

Until now, there is nothing that has changed to the former Windows Live Family Safety, which you had to install with the Windows Live Essentials on your PC. The integration into the Windows 8 RP is done very well. Also if you are not familiar with this feature, the web interface is pretty self explaining. The options are pretty broad, from allowing nearly nothing (this will be for my 5yo daughter) to allow a lot for bigger kids. Microsoft has done a good job here, and there is clearly no need for any third party app.

I can only recommend all parents out there to use this feature – be it on Windows 7 or be it on Windows 8.

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, Windows, 0 comments
Roundup of Xbox 360 E3 Event – a huge ecosystem to come by Microsoft

Roundup of Xbox 360 E3 Event – a huge ecosystem to come by Microsoft

Today Microsoft hosted a 90 minute event at this year´s E3. They talked about several things to come to our Xbox and even to our smart devices.

First I want to show off a list of all games that were presented by Microsoft and their partners:

•    Halo 4

•    Forza Horizon

•    NHL Gamecenter Live

•    NBA GameTime with NBA League Pass

•    ESPN will tur into live on your Xbox (if you are in the US)

•    Gears Of War Judgement

•    FIFA 13

•    Madden 13

•    Splinter Cell Blacklist

•    South Park

•    Dance Central 3

•    LocoCycle

•    Ascend: New Gods (only on Xbox 360)

•    Matter

•    Nike+ Training for Kinect

•    Resident Evil 6

•    Call Of Duty Black Ops 2

There is even more TV and Entertainment coming around the world, and today 35 of them where announced:

•    Absolute Radio – U.K.

•    Ameba TV – Canada, U.S.

•    BreakMedia – Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, U.K., U.S.

•    Comedy Central Stand Up – U.S.

•    Comoyo – Denmark, Norway, Sweden

•    Corus Entertainment’s Franklin the Turtle – Canada

•    GameSpot TV – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.

•    Headweb – Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden

•    Indie Flix – U.S.

•    Machinima – All Xbox LIVE markets

•    Napster – Germany, U.K.

•    Nickelodeon – U.S.

•    Paramount Movies – U.S.

•    Picturebox – U.K

•    Quickflix – Australia, New Zealand

•    Rakuten ShowTime – Japan

•    Revision3 – Canada, U.K., U.S.

•    Rhapsody – U.S.

•    RTL XL – Netherlands

•    Slacker Radio – Canada, U.S.

•    SnagFilms – U.S.

•    Terra (Sunday TV) – Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico

•    The AOL On Network – Australia, Canada, Netherlands, U.K., U.S.

•    The Weather Channel – U.S.

•    The Whistle – U.S.

•    TOU.TV – Canada

•    TV3 – Spain

•    Twitch TV – U.S.

•    Univision – U.S.

•    Wuaki – Spain

•    Youzee – Spain

Until here, this is an announcement like we have expected. New Games, Apps and new Entertainment partners. What´s more you ask? Ok, here we go:

Xbox Music

Microsoft announced a Music service for Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows 8. They will call it simply Xbox Music. The service will include about 30 million tracks. Some of you might have been using Zune Pass, you will find similar features like Smart DJ there. No details were announced, so I expect there will be more to come.

Xbox SmartGlass

Xbox SmartGlass is an application for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and other portable devices that connects phones, PCs and tablets with your Xbox 360 console to make your entertainment smarter, more interactive and more fun.

During the keynote Microsoft announced the Xbox SmartGlass app. It will be just an app you download on your Windows Phone, your Android or iOS device and of course to your Windows 8 PC or tablet. It provides you airplaying features for apps, films, music and games.

Internet Explorer on Xbox

Other consoles have webbrowsers, yes. But no one has a browser that can be controlled by voice and SmartGlass.

Through the power of Xbox, the magic of Kinect and the intelligence of Xbox SmartGlass, you will be able to surf the Internet using your voice on your Xbox 360 and navigate using your mobile devices for an incredibly easy Web browsing experience on the television.

Xbox on Windows 8

Finally, Xbox will make its way also to Windows 8. The premium entertainment experiences that Microsoft will launch on Xbox will come to more than 180 countries. You will have a huge experience with the Metro apps for Video, Music, Games and Xbox SmartGlass. And of course Xbox Live will come to Windows 8.

Summary of this year´s event is that Microsoft is about to create a more huge ecosystem that Apple, Sony or Google are have created. With the unique Metro design language, the power of the Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and Windows 8 Microsoft will gain marketshare.

I bet we will hear some more about the upcoming Windows Phone version Apollo at 20th of June, when Microsoft is about to hold a developer summit to close the circle for this epic ecosystem we will live in.

You can read and view more here.

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, 0 comments

Changes to Windows Live and other Microsoft services

Windows-Live-crossed

Yesterday Steven Sinofsky blogged about the changes Microsoft is doing on the Windows Live brand name.

Windows Live was launched as brand back in 2005 as “a set of personal Internet services and software designed to bring together in one place all of the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with more safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web.” The services itself have been under continued development since then.

Meanwhile Windows Live services are used by over 500 millions of people. Now Microsoft is starting to streamline the naming.

First, you no longer have a Windows Live-ID. You have now a Microsoft account. With this Microsoft account you can log in to all services like Mail, SkyDrive, Windows Phone Marketplace and others.

Microsoft recalls each single service. All services are losing their “Windows Live”-tag:

  • Windows Live Mail or Hotmail becomes Mail
  • Windows Live Messenger becomes Messaging
  • Windows (Live) Calendar becomes Calendar
  • Windows (Live) Contacts becomes People
  • FolderShare, Windows Live Mesh becomes SkyDrive

All services are still usable like most of us are used to. But with the great cloud integration on Windows 8 and Windows Phone, it only makes sense that Microsoft renames those services to fit the naming of both OS. All services will run as equally named apps. Check out the table below for more info:

changes-to-live-services

But that were not all changes Microsoft announced. Let us go next to Microsoft´s adCenter.  They recently announced that for Small and Medium businesses the service now is called simply “Bing”. As already stated by LiveSide.net, this is a real strange decision. Why are they calling the adCenter now only Bing? Bing is known as Microsoft´s search (decision) engine- so how does this fit?

Of course as I have a developer account for Microsoft Advertising. But it seems there is no change to it – for now.

Inside Xbox will be discontinued. It is a collection of news, game tips and tutorials, packed into a video series popping up on Xbox. For the moment, it is discontinued only in the US, Canada, Australia as well as New Zealand. In Europe, the future is uncertain, as Major Nelson, first class Xbox promoter from Microsoft, has no news to share from here. Head over to his blog to read more and even let him know how disappointing this decision is.

Change is happening, yes. But not all change is good, as you can see on this news roundup.

sources: Windows 8 Blog, LiveSide.net

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, 0 comments

Microsoft is going to let die Zune

RIP-zune

This week there were several rumors about Zune and the Marketplace. We had also changes on Zune and Marketplace that more or less confirming the upcoming death of Zune as we know.

First, Microsoft removed the Windows Phone app section from Zune. Now we cannot look into the Marketplace for apps anymore (read more at 1800PocketPC).

The second news is regarding the music marketplace, which is realized via Zune. Microsoft is rumored to deactivate it, too. Instead of this, Microsoft will launch a new music service, codenamed “Woodstock”. The Woodstock festival was part of a revolution back in time, and the codename suggests there are big changes.

This is what we know right now, regarding to the verge:

  • the service will not require any browser plugins
  • deep Facebook integration with sharing and group playlists.
  • scan and match function, based on your existing music collection.

Microsoft is said to give us a preview at this year´s E3. Microsoft will launch this service on all of their upcoming platforms, including Xbox, Windows Phone (Apollo) and Windows 8. The verge states also that the service will be extended to the rivaling platforms.

woodstock-spotify-ms-nerd

Yesterday, just one day after the news were showing up, MS_nerd told us via twitter that Microsoft and Spotify are “sitting in a tree”. This makes me believe that the upcoming service will use Spotify as content provider (Spotify lets third party apps easily use their service via an API). I guess there will be a special announcement regarding this.

As we still do not know more details, I can´t tell you whether Zune Pass subscribers will be able to use their service any longer as well whether current Spotify can profit from this.

Only one thing is for sure: Zune Pass will definitely not come to us German users.

source: the verge

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, 0 comments

Windows 8 Release Preview will be released in first week of June – W8CP used twice as much as Windows 7 beta

japan-announcement-w8-june

We all are excited about the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Microsoft gave us a really fast and stable OS preview at the end of February.

Only a few minutes ago Microsoft announced via twitter that the next version, a Release Preview, will be available in early June. They announced it while they are on Japan Dev Days. Earlier this week Microsoft announced also that the Consumer Preview is now already used twice as much as the Windows 7 beta at the same point in time.

Personally I do not wonder about this. W8CP is a preview you can use as a daily driver already, and many of us are doing so. And it seems that there are a lot of people are beginning to like the Metro part of Windows 8.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments

W8CP: Windows Store will soon accept app submissions from 33 new countries

windows-8-store

Today I read some interesting news about the next upcoming pre-release of Windows 8. Microsoft is going to extend the ability to submitt apps to 33 new countries.

Those countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom.

Besides that, Microsoft will probably release another preview version to us as soon as Windows 8 is going to RTM (=Ready to Manufacturing) status. According to the verge, Microsoft will release another update in early June. Hopefully the Consumer Preview is able to be upgraded directly.

With the final release of Windows 8 Microsoft is targeting 200 markets with over 100 languages.  Currently there are only 5 regions with a own catalogue, while all other countries have a “rest of the world” catalogue.

source: MSDN

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments

Microsoft announces official Windows 8 edition names

Windows-8-Metro

In a recent blog post Microsoft informed us about the upcoming Windows 8 versions.

Windows 8

is the official product name for  the next x86/64 editions of Windows. So it is not a codename any more. The improvements are wide ranged: from an fast and fluid user experience to the ability to instantly switch languages, an updated Windows Explorer, better Task Manager as well as a much better multi-monitor support. And of course apps, apps and apps.

Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro are available to all x86 powered systems (both tablet and PC´s, 32 and 64 bit).

Windows on ARM is now Windows RT

Windows RT will only be delivered pre-installed on PC´s and tablets powered by ARM processors. The ARM processors will allow huge improvements in form factors, while maintaining an even more huge battery life than we know before from PCs/tablets with Windows. With every Windows RT you will get also Microsoft Office in form of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, similar to Windows Phone. Another unique feature will be device encryption – a feature much business users have asked for.

Microsoft is continuing with their 3-screens-one-experience strategy, and adds unique features to every version. This is a good way in my eyes.

Now I am curious about E3 and a possible Xbox-Dashboard improvement as well as Windows Phone Apollo. I sure will keep you informed.

source: Windows Team Blog

 

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments

(List Updated) W8CP: Windows Store will have a browser frontend (and a list of all available apps)

image

Today we found out, that the Windows Store for Windows Apps will also get a browser frontend. The domain registered for this is http://apps.microsoft.com.

Right now, you will get an 403 error, if you navigate to that address in your browser. But there is also good news: the sitemap is accessible.

Updating the list

If there are new apps, I will update the following  list. You can see updates on the list on the date I add behind the Name.

List of all available apps and games

Trough the Sitemap we are able to detect that there are more apps than expected. The Vimeo app for example is not listed in any category (almost here in Germany), but you can download it right now. Here is the full list for German store:

apps:

games:

Microsoft apps:

For Germany this means there are nearly as many apps available as in the US, but not all are displayed. For the US and France are also several region-only apps available.

If you search for apps which are not displayed (if you know the name), you will find them.

You can check the list at the Sitemap of app.microsoft.com.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments