Monthly Archives: July 2013

Use Outlook Web App in full version with IE 11

If you upgraded to Windows 8.1 and tried to access Outlook Web App with the new Internet Explorer 11, you probably noticed that the “Use the light version of Outlook Web App” checkbox is checked and disabled on the login page:

owa-light

That means that IE11 is willing to render only the basic version of OWA which was originally designed to target legacy browsers. This is quite embarassing, because IE11 is a really modern browser even in the preview!

The solution is to force IE to render OWA in compatibility mode. You can add the site to the compatibility list in the Tools –> Compatibility View Settings dialog:

compatibility-view-settings

This didn’t solve my problem, because only top-level domains can be added to this list, but I could took the advantage of the fact that according to the first checkbox, intranet sites are by default rendered in compatibility view. So I added my OWA URL to the list of sites in the Intranet Zone in the Tools –> Internet Options –> Security –> Local intranet –> Sites –> Advanced dialog.

According to some forum posts, the same issue arises with Office 365 and some popular websites like GitHub as well.

 

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Windows 8.1 Assigned Access

There is a feature in Windows for a long time that allows system administrators to lock down the device and allow the user to access only a single application. This feature makes Windows a perfect choice for kiosk terminals. Windows 8.1 contains a more enhanced version of this feature originally called Kiosk Mode, now renamed to Assigned Access, that allows sysadmins to enable a single Windows Store application experience on the device. This is how this feature looked in the leaked builds before the preview:

windows81-assigned-access

Don’t look for this feature in the official preview, it will be available only in the final product.

 

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Internet Explorer 11 Developer Tools

The new, 8.1 version of Windows comes with the new, 11 version of Internet Explorer, which can be a good news (I personally find it much faster) or a bad news (must be added to your test matrix). Even if you are used to the developer tools in other browsers, I recommend you to try the new Developer Tools in IE11. Not only because it looks super cool:

ie11-devtools

But of course also because its features. The icons in the navigation bar:

  • DOM Explorer
  • Console
  • Debugger
  • Network
  • UI Responsiveness
  • Profiler
  • Memory
  • Emulation

The DevTools are rewritten from scratch, and it comes with new features on the existing tabs and with new tabs as well. I think the direction is obvious.

I will get back to this topic later.

 

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Search from the desktop in Windows 8.1

The most annoying change in Windows 8 is that the user has to constantly switch between two worlds. Even if you are in a desktop app, you have to switch to the Start screen if you want to start another application or to search for a document, because these features are available only from the Metro world. Although I’m trying to hypnotize myself, that the Start screen is nothing more than a huge Start menu or the desktop with giant icons, this change is confusing.

Windows 8.1 brings great improvements to this issue. Really. For example, if you press the Windows+S hotkey while in the desktop, it shows the Search charm in an overlay:

windows-81-desktop-search

No more switching and no more taskbar with tons of launcher icons.

 

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