Amazon Web Services Got New Windows AMIs

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There is exciting news from electronic commerce company Amazon.com. The company’s web services revealed Amazon Machine Images (Windows Server 2012-based) foreseeing the future needs of customers.

Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is particular type of virtual device that helps in creating a virtual machine in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. To put it simply, AMI performs the task of providing required information to launch a virtual machine or server within Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.

Though it is not revolutionary, Windows Server 2012-based Amazon Machine Images is good enough to beat major Amazon Web Services (AWS) competitors like Google Compute Engine (GCE), IBM etc. Google Compute Engine and even the software giant Microsoft’s Azure are catching up, but Google Compute Engine is not supporting Windows virtual server or machine images (at least not yet). GCE only supports Windows Server 2008 R2.

As mentioned, Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) provide or pass information for launching a virtual server (according to AWS documentation). This way users or customers can now instantiate custom Amazon Machine Images and use pre-packaged AMIs for Windows and Linux workloads.

According to various cloud consultants, it is not pretty clear whether we will see rapid rush to use the new Windows Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). This is mainly because of the history or usual trend when it comes to Windows shops as they are usually slow to upgrade. It is observed that in case of Windows (especially since the launch of Windows XP 13 years ago) the transition times or the time required for upgrading Windows operating systems to higher or latest versions is very long. Moreover, another relevant factor is that there is a learning curve for transitioning from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012.

Windows and Linux workloads

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It is observed that according to a survey conducted in mid 2013 even now many Windows shops still run older or aging versions of Windows operating systems. Though it is not an absolute necessity, Amazon is anticipating future needs when users will be pressured to use it.

When the customers or Windows shops upgrade to latest windows versions, Amazon Web Services users or customers will definitely be able to enjoy the wonderful capabilities of Windows Server 2012 R2. The single root I/O virtualization or SR-IOV fillips virtual server or machine performance. SR-IOV manages it by making hardware network interface cards seem like multiple separately owned interfaces.

For additional news or information on Windows Server 2012 etc you can explore the official Windows tech support articles. There are also there party Windows tech support forums or articles based on the topics discussed in this article.

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GFWL For Windows Live To End This Month

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After the end of Windows online support (security updates and other support as well) for XP, Games for Windows Live was supposed to come next. It was about to be repealed next month. But surprisingly, this is not the case. Microsoft has now clarified that they are not planning to shut down Games for Windows Live, at least not yet.

Games for Windows Live is an online gaming service that is used by Games for windows (until Aug 25, when Games for Windows Marketplace was closed). It enables Windows PC users to avail Microsoft’s Live service. This allows users to send/receive messages, keep track of Achievements, game scores, voice chats, etc. Some games even allow gamers to play against Xbox 360 users.

Per Microsoft’s official statement, they are committed to bringing first party gaming services and various games to Windows. In an update on Age of Empires (on the AOE Online’s support page) Microsoft states that its PC games service will end this month (July). This means Age of Empire’s Online will shut down its servers at the same time.

The company had mentioned in its official statement that the Games for Windows Live would shut down on July 1, 2014. Though Age of Empires Online is available through Steam, there are some features that require Games for Windows Live service. All the features of Age of Empires Online can be enjoyed by gamers/users till July 1, 2014 (it remains a hundred percent operational till that date).

Yeah, all this was true, but now Microsoft has surprisingly changed their mind. The software corporation now assures that it will not stop supporting Games for Windows Live platform. But, it would be closing the Personal Computer section of Xbox.com. The company asserted they will “continue to support”. This actually means the support will be extended to cover the next 10 months.

AOE Online's Support Page

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Now, there are many things left unclear, especially for gamers who purchased other games like Dark Souls. We are not absolutely sure about them yet.

Though Microsoft has mentioned that it will “continue to support” the content that already exists in it, users will not be able to buy new games or get title updates.

This simply means the service is less evidently dying, or not dead yet. Microsoft can definitely choose to bring it back. At least there is hope, unlike with the XP OS, which no longer enjoys Windows online support.

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Dark Souls PC Not Restricted To GFWL

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Windows Online Support Info

With Dark Souls 2 released recently, gamers are now concerned about the Games for Windows Live support of the original version of the game – Dark Souls. Many users have been vocal about their concerns and have been flooding various windows online support forums with requests and complaints. This is because of the rumored shut down of games client Games For Windows Live.

We all know that Games for Windows Live was supposed to shut down. Though it did not – at least not entirely – because gamers can continue enjoying all those products that have been previously purchased, by downloading them via Games for Windows Live

Namco Bandai has addressed most of the concerns of the gamers regarding the support of the PC version of Dark Souls. They hinted that the PC version of the popular game will not be restricted to Games for Windows Live.

Another interesting development is the recent fan petition requesting that the PC port of Dark Souls be supported by online services other than Games for Windows Live. This is understandable considering the fact that Games for Windows Live is dying. Or if alive, it is in a chemically-induced coma. It all depends on Microsoft and what the company has in store for Games for Windows Live in the future. It may even appear under a different format or name; we’d never know till we saw. But till then, things look very uncertain.

A Namco Bandai representative hinted that gamers may see the PC version of Dark Souls supported by other devices (than Games for Windows Live).

Many gamers are so angry that they have signed an anti-Games for Windows Live Dark Souls petition. The European team of Namco Bandai is gathering feedback and is presenting whatever they have found to their development team.

Namco Bandai Has Addressed

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Hollie Bennett, who is the United Kingdom community manager, assured the gamers by mentioning in the forum that their voices will be heard, and will not be forgotten.

This quite understandable what the gamers are expressing in various Windows online support forums, especially when the PC version of the critically-acclaimed game has been highly anticipated. The petition considers Games for Windows Live to be unpopular, difficult to use, inconvenient, has terrible online support, and is downright unpleasant. They have been anxiously waiting the PC release of this wonderful game.

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Microsoft Simplifies Windows Store Requirements And Options For Developers

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About Windows Store Apps

After the release of their new Windows 8 OS, Microsoft started collecting feedback from users through the Windows support number and other channels. Many users complained about the new Metro user interface and lack of apps support in Windows 8. As a result, Microsoft made many changes in the Windows 8.1 update to make it user friendly and altered Windows Store requirements to make it more friendly for app developers.

New Windows Store requirements and options for app developers

Many app developers did not favour the idea of developing apps for a platform that is yet to make a good impact in the laptop or smartphone market. The desktop and laptop OS market is dominated by old Windows operating systems, while the smartphone and tablet market is dominated by Android and iOS platforms. This leaves Windows 8 and 8.1 operating systems with just a small user base.

This is why many app developers focused on developing apps for Android and iOS and ignored the new Windows 8 OS for the first few months. Nevertheless, Microsoft then introduced a new profit-sharing scheme for app developers, which gave them a bigger share of the pie than what they got from Google or Apple. This strategy started bearing fruit with more and more Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 apps releasing on the Windows Store every month.

Metro User Interface

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Microsoft also got in touch with many of the app developers asking for their suggestions to make the app registration and certification process simpler. This led Microsoft to announce some changes in their Windows Store requirements and include more options for making it developer-friendly.

Until now, app developers had no control over the release date of their products on the Windows Store. The developer just submits the app for certification and waits. Microsoft then checks everything out, certifies the app, and releases it on the Windows Store. However, from now on, developers can set the release date and time for their apps, which surely gives them more control over their product.

In addition, app developers now have the option of removing their app from the Windows Store for fixing any issues, if needed. They can then put it back on the Windows Store after taking care of the problems. These are just some of the new Windows Store requirements and options for app developers. For more information on how Microsoft’s new strategies benefit the user community, contact experts over Windows support number right away.

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Annoying Fake Windows Technical Support Calls

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Windows Tech Support Help

The world is full of frauds and pranksters who’re never short of innovative ways to swindle. Now, the latest trend is fraudsters posing as Windows tech support or Microsoft support personnel. The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC), had taken stern action to stop this, but it seems the crackdown was not effective enough. Such scammers are swindling consumers by calling them and posing as genuine Microsoft tech support people.

One victim said that the caller id (caller’s identity) system on her telephone recognized the source as Windows tech support. The phone number could be traced to an area code number serving a part of the Western side of the state of Washington in USA.

There have been many such swindles like this, having some basic things in common – lies, semi-truths and cutthroat sales tactics. In this case, the fraudster posing as the tech person or computer technicians, very often from Microsoft itself, tries to deceive computer users by making them believe that their system is infected. They tell them to look at low-level threats or harmless errors seen in the Windows log. This is the point when they embark on their sales pitch, with the fraudster trying to persuade the consumer or user to download and install some software that they do not need, or allow the fake tech-guy to access their PC remotely.

Now this is not just calling and telling them to install some random software; these swindlers even charge them for their “services”. Innocent victims, tricked by these con artists, even pay for a thing that is not only useless, but could also be harmful. The software they asked them to install may have malwares or Trojan horses that steal important online information like passwords and account details.

Swindling Consumers

Windows Tech Support News

Microsoft has been trying hard to create awareness about such scams. These scams need to be taken care of with stronger regulation and stricter laws. But unfortunately, with every retrained con artist, newer fraudsters are cropping up.

Microsoft is warning Windows users to be alert or they might be next. So, it is not just FTC who should do something; even users need to wise up and understand the fact that swindlers do exist, and that you have to protect yourself from their tactics to trick you.

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