Pro-tip: Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client and Windows 8 Consumer Preview

imageIf you’re like me and you use the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client to access corporate resources, you may have noticed that it doesn’t want to work out of the box on Windows 8.

You might see error messages like “The VPN Client driver has encountered an error.” or “Cannot initiate VPN.

Turns out there is a quick and easy fix for this.

From the Start screen type “regedit” or press the Windows Key+R and type “regedit” and press Enter to launch the Registry Editor.

Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesvpnva

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Double-click on the DisplayName key, and remove the INF information from the display name so that it appears as Cisco AnyConnect VPN Virtual Miniport Adapter for Windows x64. (or the 32-bit / x86 equivalent)

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Click OK. Close Registry Editor and launch the AnyConnect client. The connection should work normally.

Windows Server “8” Beta released

This morning, Microsoft announced the release of the Windows Server “8” beta. Windows Server “8” is the successor to Windows Server 2008 R2 and is a member of the Windows 8 family.

Microsoft has four pillars around the release of Windows Server “8”:

– Windows Server “8” goes beyond virtualization – With this release, Microsoft is building an infrastructure capable of running much more than a simple virtual machine. Features are being built in that enable new public and private cloud based scenarios.

– Windows Server “8” brings the power of many servers and the simplicity of one – New features are added that enable users to take better advantage of commodity storage, provide simplification to server management, and provide uptime in a better and more cost-effective manner.

– Windows Server “8” is designed for every app and every cloud – Server “8” will enable flexibility in deploying applications on-premise or in the cloud or a combination thereof using similar tools and frameworks. Windows Server “8” will be highly scalable and elastic providing for better density and efficiency, as well as providing a better platform for hosting providers.

– Windows Server “8” enables the modern workstyle – Server “8” enables enterprises to offer access to corporate data and applications on any device while providing a secure and seamless experience no matter where users are in the world.

Microsoft’s Bill Laing has a post for more on Windows Server “8” that I highly suggest reading.

If you want to download and evaluate Windows Server “8”, click here

Download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Server “8” Beta

In the interest of speed, here are the download links for Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows Server “8” Beta.

5MB ESD Download link – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download

Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISOs – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso

RSAT Tools for Windows 8 Consumer Preview – http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=28972

Microsoft releases Windows 8 Consumer Preview

1537_Win8Logo_01_008485DDToday at an event in Barcelona, Spain at Mobile World Congress, Microsoft have announced the availability of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

The consumer preview builds on the developer preview that was released last year during Microsoft’s Build conference. While the previous release was aimed at being mostly an API complete release, today’s release is about consumers and the features consumers will be using within Windows 8.

I don’t yet have an exhaustive list of what’s included in the Consumer Preview, but I wanted to touch on some of the key themes involved with Windows 8:

Metro-style interface – Continuing with the design experience as introduced with Windows Phone, Microsoft is bringing Metro to the desktop with Windows 8.  This is huge. Microsoft is give Windows a radical facelift and this doesn’t even begin to include the improvements to the Windows desktop.
Touch-centric interaction – Windows 8 is designed to be touch-centric. What this means is that Microsoft is intending for touch to be the primary interaction, but they haven’t forgotten about mouse and keyboard users either. The Consumer Preview is expected to contain many improvements for mouse and keyboard users.
App Stores are all the rage – Following in the steps of the Windows Phone Marketplace as well as Apple’s Mac App Store and the Android Market, Microsoft is introducing the Windows App Store.  The App Store will be used for distributing new Metro-style Apps as well as a listing service for Desktop apps. 

A key word that Microsoft has used over and over again is “reimagined.” Windows 8 is exactly that. Reimagined.

For more about Windows 8 or to download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, visit http://preview.windows.com