User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) Beta 2; Antimalware Apps for Windows 8 Release Preview; OCAT 2.0;

Microsoft at TechEd Europe 2012 in Amesterdam, announced the availability of the second beta of User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), which comes with new functionality, including roaming system settings between Windows 7 and Windows 8, support for additional operating system settings including Start menu, Taskbar and folders options; group policy support to ensure agent configuration consistency, […]

Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) Beta 2

Microsoft at TechEd Europe 2012 in Amesterdam, announced the availability of the second beta of User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), which comes with new functionality, including roaming system settings between Windows 7 and Windows 8, support for additional operating system settings including Start menu, Taskbar and folders options; group policy support to ensure agent configuration consistency, and the roaming and sync of settings between Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10.

  • Offline use of a work laptop and tablet. UE-V, Folder Redirection, Offline Files and App-V make this happen by providing a consistent Windows experience.
  • Online use with devices at home, work, in the car or at the beach. Using Remote App or Microsoft VDI (session based) you can get access to server hosted applications on any Windows device; and with support from UE-V and App-V we make sure your experience is the same no matter where you are.
  • Online use of a device in the office or at the manufacturing plant halfway across the world. Microsoft VDI (VM based) provides access to personalized server hosted desktops on any Windows device; and with support from App-V, UE-V, and Folder Redirection connects you with the key business data you need, regardless of your location.
  • Access to sensitive information from a personal device. Remote App or Microsoft VDI, lock down the applications or desktop in the data center.
  • Ability to run vital legacy applications. By using MED-V, you can still run the incompatible XP applications on Windows 7 for a fast, seamless experience.

The Beta 2 comes with the ability to roam operating system settings between Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Also, Microsoft has added roaming of the Start menu, taskbar, folder options (like showing hidden files or extensions for known file types), and region/language settings, giving you a more complete operating system experience when roaming between devices. "One thing to note is that roaming some of these operating system settings will affect login process. Due to how Windows is designed, there are some parts of operating system experience that can only be safely applied and synced at login and logoff," explains Microsoft.

Also, there is an way to choose what parts of operating system experience you can roam. By default, these parts of the experience are not synced, but you can easily turn them on via Group Policy. In Beta 2, Microsoft made available a Group Policy template to help you keep the UE-V agent's configuration consistent across the organization.

Microsoft also added the ability to roam setting for Internet Explorer 8 and the ability to roam the home page setting and favorites between the three versions.

If you used Beta 1 and planning to move to the Beta 2, check out the following migration steps:

  1. You will need to uninstall Beta 1, before going to Beta 2. There is no upgrade path.
  2. Delete all the settings packages the Beta 1 UE-V agent created in the setting store and in c:\users\"username"\appdata\local\Microsoft\UEV. We made some updates to the settings package format and these will not work with Beta 2.
  3. Make sure you register any additional settings location templates you created with UE-V Generator since the uninstall will unregister them. This can be easily done using the settings location catalog feature that allows the UE-V agent to check a network share for new, updated or removed settings location templates.
  4. Before you create a settings location template, check out the UE-V Settings Location Template Gallery to see if someone already created it.

Finally, here are the new features added to MDT 2012 update 1

System Center Orchestrator Integration
Additional Windows 8 Support
DaRT 8 Beta
Roles and Features
UEFI 2.3.1
PowerShell 3.0
VHD Deployment Improvements
User Driven Installation enhancements
Build your own pages
System Center Configuration Manager Monitoring
Workbench Monitoring
Support for remote DaRT connect
Support for remote VM connect (console)


Beta Release in July 2012 (within 2 weeks)
RTM whenever Windows 8 RTM's
Next release will support System Center Service Pack 1

Download User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) Beta 2 here.

Microsoft partners today released Antimalware apps for Windows 8 Release Preview. The application currenlty available from Norton, F-Secure, McAfee, Kaspersky and others.

Windows Defender is a feature of Windows 8 and is enabled by default in Windows 8 Release Preview however you can also use one of those shown below (click on the image for details), if you do Windows Defender will turn itself off.

"Some other companies might offer products that appear to be antimalware apps, but when you install the app, you might also be installing viruses or malware on your PC without knowing it. You should carefully investigate the source of any apps, including antimalware apps, before downloading and installing them," Microsoft stated.

"Before you install an antimalware app, check to make sure you don't already have one enabled on your PC. If you do, be sure to remove the app you don't want before you install the new one. It can cause problems on your PC to have two different antimalware apps enabled at the same time. As noted earlier, Windows Defender will turn itself off if you choose another antimalware app, so no further action is needed in this case," Microsoft explains.

Download Antimalware apps for Windows 8 Release Preview here.

Microsoft Outlook Configuration Analyzer Tool 2.0 released today provides a quick and easy method to analyze your Microsoft Office Outlook profile and mailbox for common configurations that may cause problems in Outlook.

"OCAT 2.0 provides a detailed report of your current Outlook profile and mailbox. This report includes many parameters about your profile, and it highlights any known problems that are found in your profile or mailbox. This can be very useful for busy Help Desk personnel when end-users call for help with Outlook or when you want to identify possible issues with Outlook proactively," Microsoft said.

For any problems that are listed in the report, you are provided a link to a Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) article that describes a possible fix for the problem.

"If you are a Help Desk professional, you can also export the report to a file. Then, the report can be viewed in the OCAT on another client computer where the tool is installed. The OCAT also includes a command-line version that can be used to collect an OCAT scan without user intervention."

Download OCAT 2.0 here.