Introduction to the Microsoft Bot Framework #cognitive #office365 #sms #sdk

Build and connect intelligent bots to interact with your users naturally wherever they are, from text/sms to Skype, Slack, Office 365 mail and other popular services.

One of the key problems in human-computer interactions is the ability of the computer to understand what a person wants, and to find the pieces of information that are relevant to their intent. For example, in a news-browsing app, you might say “Get news about virtual reality companies,” in which case there is the intention to FindNews, and “virtual reality companies” is the topic. LUIS is designed to enable you to very quickly deploy an http endpoint that will take the sentences you send it, and interpret them in terms of the intention they convey, and the key entities like “virtual reality companies” that are present. LUIS lets you custom design the set of intentions and entities that are relevant to the application, and then guides you through the process of building a language understanding system. According to Microsoft documentation for their Bot Framework,

“Microsoft’s Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) offers a fast and effective way of adding language understanding to applications. With LUIS, you can use pre-existing, world-class, pre-built models from Bing and Cortana whenever they suit your purposes – and when you need specialized models, LUIS guides you through the process of quickly building them.

Bot Builder lets you use LUIS to add natural language understanding to your bot via the LuisDialog class. You can add an instance of a LuisDialog that references your published language model and then add intent handlers to take actions in response to users utterances. To see LUIS in action watch the 10 minute tutorial.”

The Bot Builder SDK Chat Reference Library is here.

The Bot Framework FAQ is here.

Cognitive Services APIs are here.

Harden your #network against attackers with #Microsoft script Net Cease #security

Net Cease - Hardening Net Session Enumeration

Microsoft has released a PowerShell script called Net Cease that will harden machines against reconnaissance which is a key stage within the Advanced Attackers kill chain. According to details of the release on Microsoft TechNet, “once attackers have breached a single end-point, they need to discover their next targets within the victim’s corporate network, most notably privileged users.” Typically administrators will target Domain Controllers (DCs) to run the script.

“The NetCease script hardens the access to the NetSessionEnum method by removing the execute permission for Authenticated Users group and adding permissions for interactive, service and batch logon sessions. This will allow any administrator, system operator and power user to remotely call this method, and any interactive/service/batch logon session to call it locally.”

By default, NetSessionEnum method can be executed by any authenticated user, including network connected users, which effectively means that any domain user is able to execute it remotely.

#Microsoft announces System Center 2016 and #Windows Server 2016 #business #tech #msignite #cloud

Microsoft System Center 2016

Microsoft has announced the general availability of System Center 2016. Of note the new platform provides more focus on the cloud, “greater heterogeneity and cloud management with broader support for LAMP stack and VMware, including monitoring resources and services in Azure and Amazon Web Services.” Here’s more from the announcement,

“For a full listing of the new capabilities in this latest release of our core management platform, you can visit the System Center 2016 site and read the What’s New in System Center 2016whitepaper. You can also download the System Center 2016 evaluation and see it in action for yourself. Check out the updates to System Center Configuration Manager (version 1606) also released today.”

Microsoft also announced the general availability of Windows Server 2016 with a focus on hybrid cloud management.

“This release is just one of many reflecting our deep commitment to hybrid cloud. In our long-held view, hybrid cloud is the reality for all enterprise customers, even those with the most ambitious cloud plans. Some applications should and will move quickly to public cloud, while others face technological and regulatory obstacles. Regardless of where these applications run today or will run in the future, Windows Server 2016 provides a rich and secure platform.”

Microsoft has enabled portability to Azure Cloud Services with this latest release of Server 2016. “Windows Server 2016 also offers seamless portability across data center, private and public cloud environments via virtual machine and new container formats that can be reliably deployed wherever the business requires.”

Check to see if your applications are compatible with Windows Server 2016.

Watch Microsoft Ignite video sessions.

 

Focus your #business on #cloud technologies with #Microsoft AppSource

Download apps for business at Microsoft AppSource

Microsoft AppSource is the place to get your new business up and running quickly. It’s also the place to get your existing business focused on cloud based technology. Microsoft AppSource launched in July 2016 and as Ron Huddleston explains that,

“as the responsibility for technology investments moves away from IT and into business units, [Microsoft is] seeing an explosion in the market for SaaS apps. Quick, powerful and cost-effective, SaaS apps allow companies to dial in exactly the functionality they need, without heavy investments in infrastructure or lengthy implementation cycles.”

AppSource is a great place for businesses of all sizes to download and trial new technologies enabling them to compete in the new global economy. It sounds like IT applications management could become less relevant in the coming years with Microsoft’s recent focus. My question is when these independent business units begin to encounter difficulties with these SaaS apps, who are they going to call? Ghostbusters? Nope – you guessed it – IT.

Deploying Windows through Microsoft SCCM #it #management #deployment

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2

Niall C. Brady has a great site called windows-noob.com with tons of great Microsoft deployment tutorials. Now don’t let the name windows-noob.com fool you as there’s some very complex topics covered. Here’s some I’ve been referring to lately.

How to deploy Windows 10 Enterprise using System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager. Niall discusses creating and deploying Windows 10 task sequences to workstations.

Niall has published a ton of System Center tutorials that cover a range of topics including:

  • Deploying SCCM
  • Deploying monthly updates
  • Deploying applications

You can also find Niall on Twitter.

Microsoft introduces Windows as a Service #waas #tech #it #management

With Windows 10, there are two release types: feature updates that add new functionality two to three times per year, and quality updates that provide security and reliability fixes at least once a month.

J. Decker at Microsoft Windows IT Center recently posted an article explaining the streamlined IT management of Windows 10 workstations and the concept of Windows as a Service. Some of the changes include:

  • new features will be delivered to the Windows Insider community as soon as possible — during the development cycle, through a process called flighting — so that organizations can see exactly what Microsoft is developing and start their testing as soon as possible
  • most Windows 7–compatible desktop applications will be compatible with Windows 10 straight out of the box. Windows 10 achieved such high compatibility because the changes in the existing Win32 application programming interfaces were minimal
  • new hardware is not needed for Windows 10 as any device capable of running Windows 7 or later can run Windows 10
  • there are two release types: feature updates that add new functionality two to three times per year, and quality updates that provide security and reliability fixes at least once a month
  • the LTSB servicing model prevents Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB devices from receiving the usual feature updates and provides only quality updates to ensure that device security stays up to date.

 

Here’s a little more information about Quality Updates which will replace the Monthly Updates from previous versions of Windows.

“In Windows 10, rather than receiving several updates each month and trying to figure out which the organization needs, which ultimately causes platform fragmentation, administrators will see one cumulative monthly update that supersedes the previous month’s update, containing both security and nonsecurity fixes. This approach makes patching simpler and ensures that customers’ devices are more closely aligned with the testing done at Microsoft, reducing unexpected issues resulting from patching. The left side of Figure 1 provides an example of Windows 7 machines in an enterprise and what their current patch level might look like. On the right is what Microsoft’s test environment PCs contain. This drastic difference is the basis for many compatibility issues and system anomalies related to Windows updates.”

According to Ms. Decker, “[the] improvements focus on maximizing customer involvement in Windows development, simplifying the deployment and servicing of Windows client computers, and leveling out the resources needed to deploy and maintain Windows over time.”

You can read the full post here.

Changes coming to Skype for Business include Mac and iOS integration enhancements #audio #video #business

Microsoft Skype for Business PSTN conferencing from Microsoft allows anyone to join your Skype Meetings using only a telephone.

Microsoft announced some updates to Skype for Business this week. According to a blog post from Gurdeep Singh Pall at Microsoft Office Blogs there is a big focus on Mac integration.

“… the new Skype for Business for Mac will be available in October. The new client has been written from the ground up using the modern Mac programming language, Swift. It provides high-definition audio and video, in addition to features like one-click join for meetings and edge-to-edge video and desktop sharing to make full use of a screen.”

Gurdeep goes on to explain how Skype for Business calls on iOS will work exactly like any other cellular call on an iPhone.

“As part of our efforts to build deeper native integration on iOS and Android, we’re also pleased to be rolling out enhancements to the Skype for Business experience on iPhone staring in October. Using the Apple CallKit framework, Skype for Business calls now work just like a cellular call on your iPhone. You can accept a call via the lock screen or put a Skype for Business call on hold to take a cellular phone call—it works just like a phone. Both clients deliver a first-class Skype for Business experience to Mac and iOS users.”

Read the full article here.

 

 

Windows 8.1 won’t install updates #microsoft #sccm #security #deployment #patch

Microsoft Windows 8.1

For those of you out there that are still struggling with Windows 8.1, I have some help for you today. For a few weeks I’ve been wondering why my 8.1 workstations only had about 13 Windows hot fixes installed. If I launched a command window and typed the “systeminfo” command it would say 13 hotfixes installed. Now it’s nearly 2017 so what’s the deal here you may ask. Well here’s the steps to resolve the missing hot fixes problem.

To cut to the chase, the missing fix is KB2919355.  Without this fix you will essentially be stuck and unable to move forward with your patching. But before you install this cumulative fix you must have the pre-requisite KB2919442 installed!

My sleuthing started courtesy of this report at CNET,

“Windows 8.1 users who have not yet installed the major update rolled out in April [2014] will not be able to install future patches and bug fixes for the OS.”

“That requirement was first revealed when Microsoft launched the so-dubbed Windows 8.1 Update in early April. But a Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed to CNET that the requirement is now in place starting with the June Patch Tuesday updates rolling out today.”

“The majority of Windows 8.1 customers have installed the Windows 8.1 update,” Microsoft spokeswoman Jill Lovato told CNET in an email on Monday. “For those who have not yet made the transition, those newer updates offered with this month’s Update Tuesday will be considered ‘not applicable.’ Customers’ infrastructure will continue to function; however, it should be noted that they can’t consume any further updates until they apply the Windows 8.1 Update.”

So after KB2919355 installed I hit the mother-lode and Windows detected 247 updates. I installed them and I’m relieved now that I figured this out. By the way if you’re using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) you’ll need to change some attributes for the KB2919355 update. The maximum run time should be changed from 10 to 60 minutes (the install consumes up to 3.5GB apparently) . Also change the priority from normal to critical (because without this update you can’t move forward).

 

 

 

Windows 10 Update KB3194496 causes a restart loop post install #microsoft #os

Microsoft Windows 10 Hotfix issue

According to Thurrott, Microsoft has released a Windows 10 update that is problematic – specifically KB3194496. Several users are reporting that their computers are going into a restart loop.

“The update that is causing the problem, KB3194496, is not installing correctly for users. The update, when it does fail, is causing some machines to restart, often multiple times, as Windows 10 attempts to remove the failed update. Worse, after a restart, the file will attempt to install again resulting in the loop of failed install, reboot, re-install and failure again.”

Consider yourselves warned.

Read the whole story here.

Outlook shared calendar greyed out #microsoft #email

outlook share calendar greyed grayed out

Recently I have found an issue with Microsoft Outlook whereby the option to share a calendar is greyed (grayed) out. The answers I found on Microsoft forums weren’t very helpful so I’ve developed this article in order to help others experiencing the issue.share calendar

There are two steps to potentially resolving the issue depending on how badly things have been corrupted.

  1. The first thing you’ll want to try is deleting you email profiles in Windows Control Panel. Then restart Outlook and add your profiles once again. Doing this should resolve the problem if the option “share calendar” is greyed (grayed) out or unavailable.email windows control panel
  2. If after you’ve completed the above step and still experience issues you probably have a corrupted “auto-complete list” [note some people refer to this as auto complete cache]. To resolve this you’ll need to empty the auto-complete list to continue.
    – Open Outlook if it’s not already.
    – Select File > Options
    – Select Mail and scroll down
    – Click the button to “Empty Auto-Complete List”

empty_auto_complete_list

Once you’ve got this sorted out you can share a calendar in Outlook by doing the following:

  • Select Calendars icon.
  • Right-click the calendar you want to share.
  • Select Share > Share Calendar.
  • In the pop-up dialog select details you wish to share: availability only, limited details or full details.
  • In the “To…” field select the recipient you want to receive the request.
  • Also note that you have an option to “Request permission to view recipient’s calendar”.

outlook share calendar details

Please let me know how you do with this and if there’s any other workarounds I’d appreciate if you’d post them below.

First look at the Microsoft Surface 3

Microsoft Surface 3

Microsoft has introduced a new Surface, the Surface 3. Like Surface Pro 3, it’s a tablet that can replace your laptop but is thinner and lighter. Surface 3 is optimized to run full Windows and Office and features long battery life. A 4G LTE-ready version will be made available.

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“Surface 3 brings what customers love about Surface Pro 3 to more people, delivering the premium design and productivity of Surface in a more affordable device,” said Panos Panay, corporate vice president, Microsoft Surface. “We’ve taken everything we learned making Surface Pro 3 and poured that innovation into this newest Surface.”

Productivity and portability

Powered by the new quad-core Intel Atom x7 processor, Surface 3 is quick and responsive but designed to maximize efficiency with up to 10 hours of video-playback battery life. A range of storage and memory configurations gives people choice in power and capacity. The 10.8-inch ClearType HD multi-touch display featuring 3:2 aspect ratio, stereo speakers with Dolby Audio-enhanced sound, and the durable magnesium design are just a few of the benefits of Surface 3 that customers will recognize from Surface Pro 3.

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Free upgrade to Windows 10

The Surface 3 and Surface 3 (4G LTE) ship with full Windows 8.1 and can be upgraded to Windows 10 for free when available. They also come with a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal, including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, plus OneDrive cloud storage. Full device specs are available here.

Surface accessories

The Surface 3 can be paired with new accessories: Surface 3 Type Cover is offered in a variety of colors and features an improved trackpad and responsive keyset, alongside four Surface Pen colors — silver, black, blue and red. The Surface 3 Docking Station lets people connect to an external monitor and all their desktop devices, and Surface 3’s full-size USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort, microSD card reader and Micro USB charging port make it compatible with the Surface Pro line of adapters. Surface accessories specifics can be found here.

Pre-order and availability

Surface 3 and new accessories will be available for pre-order starting March 31 through microsoftstore.com, Microsoft stores8 and select partner retailers in the following markets: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Commercial customers should contact their authorized reseller for pre-order information.

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Starting May 5 through those same retailers and resellers, customers can begin purchasing Surface 3, Surface 3 Type Cover, Surface Pen, Surface 3 Docking Station and Surface 3 Screen Protector, with availability in all 26 markets by May 7.  More to come regarding additional Surface 3 (4G LTE) availability and markets in the coming months.

Additional information on Surface can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/surface.

Microsoft unveils Windows 10 with a focus on mobile

windows 10

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday unveiled a new generation of Windows, with a wide range of experiences designed to usher in a new era of more personal computing, as well as two new devices designed to extend the Windows experience from large screens to no screens. Windows 10 will be delivered as a service to offer a safer, innovative and updated experience for the supported lifetime of the device. A free upgrade1 for Windows 10 will be made available to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, who upgrade in the first year.


“Windows 10 marks the beginning of the more personal computing era in the mobile-first, cloud-first world,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Our ambition is for the 1.5 billion people who are using Windows today to fall in love with Windows 10 and for billions more to decide to make Windows home.”

Windows 10: Making computing more personal
Windows 10 marks the beginning of the more personal computing era, where technology disappears and people are at the center. In this era, the mobility of the experience matters, not the mobility of the device, and experiences should work in a seamless, familiar way across devices. People should be able to naturally interact with technology as they interact with other people — with voice, gestures and gaze. Protecting privacy plays a pivotal role in delivering trustworthy experiences that put people in control of their experience.

On Wednesday, Microsoft showcased a variety of new experiences coming to Windows 10, including the following:

Cortana comes to PC and tablet. The Cortana personal digital assistant, which debuted on Windows Phone last year, will now also be available on Windows 10 PCs and tablets to help people get things done.2 Cortana is a personal helper who learns an individual’s preferences to provide relevant recommendations, fast access to information and important reminders, bringing what matters most to their attention. Interaction is natural and easy via talking or typing, with advanced features to control Cortana for more trustworthiness and transparency.

New browser “Project Spartan” puts the Web to work, for you. Windows 10 will feature the new Microsoft browser, code-named “Project Spartan,” which was built with interoperability in mind. With key features built-in natively to the browser, it will enable greater reliability and better discoverability. Some of the most advanced features in the browser include the ability to annotate whether by keyboard or pen directly on the webpage and easily share with friends; a reading view that is distraction-free, displaying the article in a simplified layout for a great reading experience for Web articles online and offline; and the integration of Cortana for finding and doing things online faster. All of this is offered with a new look and feel built just for Windows 10.

Xbox Live and the new Xbox app bring new gaming experiences to Windows 10. Xbox on Windows 10 lets gamers and developers access the best of the expansive Xbox Live gaming network on both Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One. Players can capture, edit and share their greatest gaming moments with Game DVR, and play new games with friends across devices, connecting millions of gamers around the world. Games developed for the new DirectX 12 application programming interface in Windows 10 will see improvements in speed, efficiency and graphics capability. Players will also be able to play games on their PC, streamed directly from their Xbox One consoles to their Windows 10 tablets or PCs, within their home.3

Office for Windows 10. Office universal apps on Windows 10 deliver a touch-first experience across devices. New versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook are designed from the ground up to run on Windows, built for touch, and offer the unmistakable Office experience customers know and love. With the familiar features for Office, people can create and edit Word documents with ease. New inking features in PowerPoint let people annotate slides in real time, and the new touch-first controls in Excel make it easy to create and update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse. The next version of the Office desktop suite is also currently in development and Microsoft will have more to share in the coming months.

Additional Windows 10 features and innovations shared today include the following:

  • Continuum mode. On 2-in-1 devices, Windows 10 will move easily between keyboard and mouse and touch and tablet as it detects the transition and conveniently switches to the new mode.
  • New universal apps. Windows 10 will offer new experience applications, consistent across the device continuum, for Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People & Messaging and Mail & Calendar. These built-in apps have an updated design that looks and feels the same from app to app and device to device. Content is stored and synced through OneDrive, enabling people to start something on one device and continue it on another.

“Everything about Windows 10 — the experiences, delivering it as a service and the free upgrade — means that Windows 10 isn’t just another product, it’s an ongoing relationship — one that will give ongoing value to all our customers,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Operating Systems group at Microsoft. “The new generation of Windows is a commitment — a commitment to liberate people from complex technology and enable them to do great things.”

Windows 10: Powering innovation, inspiring new computing platforms
Windows 10 adapts to the devices customers are using — from Xbox to PCs and phones to tablets and tiny gadgets — and what they’re doing with a consistent, familiar and compatible experience. Windows 10 will run across an incredibly broad set of devices — from the tiniest of sensors as part of the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise data centers worldwide. Some devices have 4-inch screens, some have 80-inch screens and some don’t have screens at all. On Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled two devices that will empower customers to experience Windows in incredible new ways.

Windows 10 unlocks holographic future with Microsoft HoloLens
Microsoft shared a revolutionary example of how Windows 10 enables a shift from the traditional machine-centric view of computing to an interaction that is much more personal and humanistic. As the world’s first holographic computing platform, Windows 10 includes a set of APIs that enable developers to create holographic experiences in the real world. With Windows 10, holograms are Windows universal apps, and all Windows universal apps can also work as holograms — making it possible to place three-dimensional holograms in the physical world and enabling new ways to communicate, create and explore that are more personal and human.

To showcase the possibilities of holograms in Windows 10, Microsoft unveiled the most advanced holographic computer in the world. Microsoft HoloLens is the first untethered holographic computer — no wires, phones or connection to a PC needed. Microsoft HoloLens features see-through holographic high-definition lenses and spatial sound so you can view and hear holograms in the world around you. Complete with advanced sensors, a next-generation system on a chip and the addition of a completely new Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) that understands what you are doing and the world around you, Microsoft HoloLens is able to run without any wires while processing terabytes of data from the sensors in real time.

By placing three-dimensional holograms in the world around you, Microsoft HoloLens provides a new view into your reality that can tell what you are looking at and understand what you are saying with your hands and voice. By putting you at the center of the computing experience, Microsoft HoloLens allows you to create, access information, enjoy entertainment and communicate in new and exciting ways.

New Microsoft Surface Hub optimizes Windows 10 experience for groups
Windows 10 is powering a new large-screen device to help teams in the workplace share, ideate and create together. Hardware innovations in multi-touch and digital inking, along with built-in cameras, sensors and microphones, allow the Surface Hub to take advantage of Windows 10, Skype for Business and Office 365 to deliver a new experience designed to make every person — whether remote or onsite — feel as if they’re in the same collaborative space. Specifically, the Surface Hub features state-of-the-art digital white boarding; instant remote conferencing; the ability for multiple people to share and edit content on the screen from a laptop, tablet or phone; and a trusted platform for large-screen apps. Available in two sizes — 55-inch and 84-inch — the Surface Hub removes the current limitations of traditional conference room scenarios to empower teams to create their best work together.

The next Technical Preview for Windows 10 on the PC will be available for free to Windows Insiders in the next week and for the first time on phones later in February. More information on the Windows Insider Program and the Technical Previews can be found at http://preview.windows.com.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Hardware and software requirements apply. Feature availability may vary by device. Some editions excluded. More details at http://www.windows.microsoft.com.

2 Cortana available in select global markets at launch.

3 Xbox Live features, including game recording, only available with supported games in Xbox Live-supported countries. See http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/countries. DirectX 12 only available with supported games and graphics chips. Limited number of games available in 2015 that support cross-device play; additional games to follow. Multiplayer streaming from Xbox One requires home network connection and Xbox Live Gold membership (sold separately); Gold also required for multiplayer play on Xbox One.

For more information on Windows 10:
http://news.microsoft.com/windows10story

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO

 

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

CONTACT: Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Communications, (503) 443-7070, rrt@waggeneredstrom.com

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