Windows 8 Enterprise Available to Software Assurance via VLSC; Full-page Animations Using CSS in IE10

Windows 8 Enterprise is available to "Software Assurance customers via the Volume License Service Center (VLSC)," allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organization.Also, available for download is a 90-day evalution version of Windows 8 Enterprise.For customers "who will be deploying Windows 8 Enterprise, be assured that the KMS […]

Windows 8 Enterprise for Software Assurance through VLSC

Windows 8 Enterprise is available to "Software Assurance customers via the Volume License Service Center (VLSC)," allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organization.

Also, available for download is a 90-day evalution version of Windows 8 Enterprise.

For customers "who will be deploying Windows 8 Enterprise, be assured that the KMS and MAK volume activation methods that were available with Windows 7 Enterprise are still there and work as they did before. But there is also a new Active Directory-based Activation method, offering a way to leverage your existing Active Directory infrastructure to simplify the activation process," Microsoft stated.

In order to use KMS or MAK activation, "you will need to obtain new keys from the VLSC."

Those who are using "a Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 computer as a KMS host, will need to install this hotfix KB2691586 to enable Windows 8 Enterprise activation."

To help with the planning, image engineering, and deployment processes for Windows 8 Enterprise, below are some key free tools:

  • Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK), replaces Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows 7, contains many key deployment tools that are essential for IT pros, including new versions of Windows PE and the User State Migration Tool.

    "Tools such as the Application Compatibility Toolkit and the Windows Performance Toolkit, are now included in the ADK. Additionally, a new Windows Assessment Toolkit has been added to measure the performance, reliability and functionality of Windows in your lab environment," the Redmond company informed.

    You can also access the Windows ADK online.

  • Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Update 1 (MDT) automates and accelerates the deployment of Windows 8 Enterprise by integrating all of the ADK tools into a single, easy-to-use deployment process.
  • Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 7.0 quickly and efficiently collect detailed infrastructure information "about each desktop, indicates which computers meet the hardware requirements," needed for planning migration to Windows 8 Enterprise.

For more information about volume activation, see Volume Activation Overview on TechNet. And, for information about this evaluation version, see the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation FAQ.

Full-page animations using CSS in IE10

Also, Microsoft Partner Network website, now received the Windows 8 RTM. In blog post, Jon Roskill, Microsoft's cvp for the Worldwide Partner Group, wrote:

"We are boosting resources and support for your Windows 8 sales and marketing efforts. The partner portal is a great place to start for new Windows 8 training materials. There are several new presentations in the Partner Marketing Center that you can use in your customer conversations. Partners also have access to four video trainings, with several additional trainings available in the weeks ahead."

Internet Explorer 10 Developer Preview added support for CSS 3D Transforms and CSS Animations.

"By tapping the power of your GPU and running asynchronously from regular JavaScript, these IE10 features provide a more performant and flexible alternative to traditional script-based animations for Web content," Charilaos "Harris" Papadopoulos, Program Manager Intern, Internet Explorer Graphics stated.

In a new blog post, Charilaos introduce a more "unconventional" use case for these technologies by describing the concept of "full-page animations" that can be used during the navigation process to add fluidity and continuity to browsing.

"With a small amount of effort you can create Web pages (even static ones) that provide a fluid and almost app-like navigation experience. Our target is to achieve a seamless browsing experience in which content smoothly appears into view when the user visits a page and transitions away when he clicks on a link or performs a relevant action," he said.

These effects "can be accomplished by transforming the HTML <body> element using CSS Animations. However, this use case presents some considerations that we felt were worthy of discussion, such as the effect of layout and sizing on transforming <body>, as well as how to appropriately time page navigations so that they mesh properly with our animations," Charilaos wrote.

Check out the demonstration and tutorial on bringing pages alive with CSS Transforms & Animations that provide depth and examples. To simply enjoy the page-to-page animations, step through the pages of the tutorial using the "Continue to ..." links in the lower right corner of each page.

The tutorial itself utilizes full page animations during page navigation that work in Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 as well as recent versions of Chrome and Firefox.