Category Archives: Windows

Windows 7, 8, Phone and Mobile

Surface Go Unboxing & My Personal Review

This blogpost is my 100th blog. Celebrating my 100th blog with my new Surface Go (4 GB model). Actually this blog was written using Surface Go.

Release Date in Singapore 28th Aug 2018
Shipped Date 31 Aug 2018
Price SGD (including type cover) S$ 725.10 (this is 10% student price)

Unboxing the Surface Go

Below are the items included in the Box

  1. Surface Go device
  2. Power Supply
  3. Starter Guide
  4. Warranty details

Surface Go devices are mainly targeted for Students to make it easy to carry, light weight and productive during the classes. The Windows 10 configuration has optimized settings specific to education sector. There is a very good article around it here

The Surface Go has below ports

  1. 1 x USB-C
  2. 3.5 mm headphone jack
  3. 1 x Surface Connect port
  4. Surface Type Cover port
  5. microSDXC card reader

Full Tech Spec – My Surface Go

Software Windows 10 Home (Out of S mode)

Microsoft Office 365 Home – My Live subscription

Dimensions 9.65″ x 6.90″ x 0.33″ (245 mm x 175 mm x 8.30 mm)
Weight Starting at 1.15 lbs (522 g), not including Type Cover
Storage eMMC drive: 64GB
Display Screen: 10″ PixelSense™ Display

Resolution: 1800 x 1200 (217 PPI) resolution

Aspect ratio: 3:2

Contrast ratio: 1500:1

Touch: 10-point multi-touch

Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3

Battery life Up to 9 hours of battery life – I am yet to test that
Processor Intel® Pentium® Gold Processor 4415Y
Security TPM 2.0 for enterprise security

Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in

Memory 4GB
Wireless Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compatible

Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology

Connections 1 x USB-C

3.5 mm headphone jack

1 x Surface Connect port

Surface Type Cover port

microSDXC card reader

Cameras, video, and audio Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)

5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p Skype HD video

8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video

Single microphone

2W stereo speakers with Dolby® Audio™ Premium

Graphics Intel® HD Graphics 615
Exterior Casing: Magnesium

Color: Silver

Physical buttons: Volume, Power

Sensors Ambient light sensor




My Reviews

First Look

The device looks super cute with the slim down in size. You can visualize the sizes between devices in the below picture. The device has smooth curved edges compared to Surface Pro. Compared to other tablets in market this one is slightly thicker.


Smaller and Handy (245 mm x 175 mm x 8.30 mm)

Light weight (522 g)

Fit easily to your hand bag and carry

Comes with built in stand, easy to work


Slightly thicker than usual tablets.

Backward Compatibility & Features

Once I unbox the Go device I try to plug in to my Surface Dock, you guess what it works like charm. Any USB devices connected to Dock works too. I even tried to charge using the Surface Pro charger and it works. The Type C port is easy to extend multiple monitors. Surface Pen and the Surface Dial also works without any glitch. It has a Micro SD slot at the back hidden behind stand like in Surface Pro.


Works with Surface Dock

Works with Surface Pen, Dial and Surface Pro charger.

Micro SD slot available

Type C port for Extension


No USB port , you need to buy Type C to USB in case you want to connect any external devices.

CPU Performance

To identify the performance, I used 2 benchmark tools GeekBench 4 and the NovaBench. Both tools have their own benchmark scores for CPU, Memory and GPU. Below is the screenshot of the tool results.

The benchmark score shows Surface Go performs on much better than $500 USD priced Laptop models. It scores better in GPU and graphics.

Using Novabench Tool for getting the benchmark of performance. The Novabench tool will have its own score to come up with the benchmark.

How to install Windows 10 for Phone Tech Preview

Windows 10 for phone Technical preview is out for the Lumia 635 mobile. This blog describes the step by step procedure for installing the windows 10 for phone. Before installing Technical preview make sure the phone is updated to latest Denim update. The windows 10 for phone requires Denim update to be installed.

Once the Denim update is installed install the Windows Insider app

Sign up on the insider program here I signed up using the same live id which I used to login to the Phone.

Once the Windows Insider Program app is installed run the app in the phone.

When you run the App login with the live id.

Select the option you like to get the Update. In my case I selected the Insider Fast option.

Once you select the option the accept the terms

Select the Insider Fast and tap the button at the bottom. This will restart the phone. Then go to settings, Update and check for Update. This will start downloading the update for Windows 10 for phone.

After downloading the update install the update

Install the update. This will install the windows 10 for phone. The install took around 20 minutes.

After you tap done the start screen will appear


Windows 10 for Phone Tech Preview Known Issues


Windows 10 for Phone is released now. You can get more information about it from here. Before you download and upgrade the OS please go through the known issues in the Windows 10 for phone Tech preview.




Existing alarms will not be migrated to Windows 10

Reset alarms after upgrade

Wi-Fi settings don’t roam when phone is upgraded to Windows 10

Manually set Wi-Fi settings when on Windows 10

VPN not available in current Windows 10 builds. Setting will fail to launch. Coming in a future update

Additional language keyboards may not be present and may not be able to install on US builds after upgrading to Windows 10

Reopen the Windows Insider app and re-select Insider Fast/Slow again. The download of keyboard packages will then work

Photos app will fail to launch periodically when attempting to add a photo attachment to an email, OneNote or Facebook item.

Try again. Succeeds after a few attempts.

Quiet Hours is missing the automatic rule that enables Quiet hours during calendar appointments marked busy. Also the setting “Anyone breaks through if they call 2 times in 3 minutes” us unchecked but enabled.

Apps are not displayed in Battery saver after the upgrade.

Access Point Names (APNs) in recovery images can fall out of date. For some phones/networks, this will block the cellular data and MMS capabilities of a phone when recovering back to the base image.

Before using the Windows Mobile Recovery Tool to recover, record the specific APN settings on your phone.  Set manually once phone restored

Cellular data not working while roaming, despite enabling data roaming

The setting doesn’t work the first time it’s enabled. Turning off and then turning on again will enable data while roaming

Using a Bluetooth headset while playing back video results in low frame rate for video, due to a bug in the interaction between video playback and Bluetooth.

Use wired headset for listening to audio when playing videos.

Sync to Microsoft Band doesn’t work after updating to Windows 10. If you have your phone synced to Microsoft band, it will not pair after the update to Windows 10.

After upgrade to Windows 10, go to Bluetooth settings, un-pair the Microsoft Band device and re-pair it.

DataSense resets data use history on upgrade to Windows 10.

No workaround. Will calculate correctly after the reset.

Trying to set lock screen picture will fail at times

Re-attempt the operation.

After upgrade, tapping on “Playlist” from start screen or from within Music App fails to play music. Playlists are greyed out.

Cortana tile and settings are missing on the start screen after upgrade

Go to app list and re-pin the tile



Draw Visio from Mobile Using Azure Remote App

This blog article describes how to access Azure Remote App from windows phone 8.1. Using the remote app feature now you can able to draw Visio diagram from the mobile.

After provisioning the Remote App you can see the publishing applications as below

  • The new Azure Remote App will have the Url to login from the desktop client.
  • Now go to your Windows Phone. Open the Store app and search for the Remote Desktop app. Download the Remote Desktop App to your mobile.

  • After installing the Remote Desktop app launch the app in the Mobile. The welcome screen will come up for the App. Use the + button at the bottom to add the new connection to the Azure RemoteApp. In the Add New screen select the Azure RemoteApp.

  • Select the connect option to connect to the Azure Remote App. Use the live Id which is used to provision the Azure Remote App. You can also use the live id which was granted access in the RemoteApp User Access section on the Azure.

  • Once you login you can see all the apps which are available to remote login. Select the Visio from the list to launch the Visio App.



  • Now you can use the visio to draw any diagram. You can also edit the existing diagram. Use the Mouse Pointer option or touch to draw the diagram.


  • When you Tap on the top Work Resources the below screen will open with the option on the left and right. The left menu is to close the application. The right menu is to change from mouse to touch and vice versa. I am very comfortable in using Touch to draw. So I use touch always. It is up to you to choose which one to draw. If you are using mouse pointer use two finger to tap on the screen to show the right context menu.

  • Once you finish drawing you can save the diagram to the Cloud OneDrive to retrieve to local machine. The OneDrive will be available on the live id which is used to login to the app.

So using the Azure Remote App there are several other Microsoft Office application available to use. Even MS project is available in the remote app to create the mpp file.


Cortana – When I am at Ikea Remind Me…

How to add Favorite Location, to be able to use in Location based reminder by Cortana

Launch the Maps app. Tap on the … menu on the bottom of the Maps app. You would see Favorite places option. Tap that to add your favorite places.

The favorites will have + icon at the bottom of the page. Use the + to add your favorite place.

Once you tap + icon the below screen will appear. Type the place you want it to search. Once you find the place select it from the drop down. This will pop up the next screen for Nick Name.

You can choose whether the place is Home or work or other. If you choose Home it will tag it to home and Cortana can use Home for reminder and other info. Same as Work. To add Ikea to be a favorite place select the “other” option and type the name Ikea on the Nick Name.

Once added as location good to use it with Cortana.

Now you can say to Cortana “When I am at Ikea remind me Kitchen Items

Cortana – Useful Commands and App Integration

I use Cortana a lot to do some of the reminder tasks and the activation of Apps. Nowadays there are several apps which are integrated with Cortana for the easy access. Some of the frequently used commands are below

Action to do


Setup Required?

Set a reminder

Remind me to Water the plant at 10 am

No setup required

Set alarm

Wake me up at 8 am


Set reminder based on location

When I am at Work remind me to submit claim form

Yes, Need to add Work as favorite in Map

Set reminder based on location

Next time I am at Ikea remind me to check kitchen accessories

Yes, Ikea to be in favorites on Map (see below)

Based on Nick Name of location

When I am at Grocery remind me to check shopping list

Grocery needed to be added as a Nick name in Fav maps. (See below)

Set Reminder based on person

When my Wife call me remind me to say school teacher spoke

Yes, Set Nick Name with Inner circle

Find the song / music which is playing around us, similar to soundhound app

What’s playing right now?

Yes, Works only in US. Make sure you logged in to Xbox music in web at least once.

Take a note immediately

Note: Remember to send MOM later


Play the play list from Xbox Music

Play <playlist> name

Playlist to exist in xbox music

Finding a restaurant

Find best Indian Restaurant near me


Finding restaurant which is open at the time of asking Cortana.

Find restaurant that is open now near me


Find specific place

Is there a Starbucks near me?


Money conversion

Convert 1 Singapore dollar to Indian rupee


Calling nick names

Call Boss Mobile

Yes, make sure Boss nick name added in inner circle. Learn More

Calling on speaker mode

Call wife on speakerphone

Wife to be a nick name. Learn More



Action to do


App Name

Use Facebook command, to see news feed from a person

Facebook what’s up with Joel Oleson


To check the next MRT train in Singapore

Sing MRT open Jurong East


Skype call

Skype video call Senthamil


Remote desktop connection

Remote Desktop connect Production Server

Remote Desktop. Make sure Production Server is created in the connection list

Lync meeting

Lync join next meeting

Lync show current meeting


Create new tweet

Twitter new tweet



How to get Music Playing which is around us (like soundhound App)

Launch the Cortana by tapping the search button

The music icon on the top right corner. If you cannot see this try logging into the xbox music both on phone and in web and restart the phone. Also it is available only in US. You can also use the text to type “Whats playing right now?” in the search text.

How to add Favorite Location, to be able to use in Location based reminder by Cortana

Launch the Maps app. Tap on the … menu on the bottom of the Maps app. You would see Favorite places option. Tap that to add your favorite places.

The favorites will have + icon at the bottom of the page. Use the + to add your favorite place.

Once you tap + icon the below screen will appear. Type the place you want it to search. Once you find the place select it from the drop down. This will pop up the next screen for Nick Name.

You can choose whether the place is Home or work or other. If you choose Home it will tag it to home and Cortana can use Home for reminder and other info. Same as Work. Other option is to have custom Nick Name for the place. Example in my case I usually tag the NTUC to be Super Market and Mustafa to be Grocery. The Nick name used here can be used by Cortana to assign reminder.

Once added as location good to use it with Cortana.

Now you can say to Cortana “When I am at Ikea remind me Kitchen Items

Hide Private Apps when you give your phone to someone

Windows Phone 8.1 comes with one of the nice feature which is called App Corner. App Corner allows to select only the app which a person allowed to see in the Phone. This feature is very useful when you give a phone to someone to just see or give them to just make a call.

It allows to hide all the private apps and pictures from viewing to the person you giving the phone to.

Example: Sometime some of my friend might ask me to give the phone to just make a call to someone if their phone is not working. So at that time if we unlock the phone and give them they might sneak into whatsapp message, pictures and other private apps. To avoid that i set up the App corner and allow only Phone feature to be visible and give it to them.



To have the apps corner on phone you need to have windows phone 8.1 update. Make sure you have Software: Windows Phone 8.1 Update


How to enable Apps Corner

  • Open settings, you can see apps Corner after VPN. Make sure you are in system settings


  • Once the apps corner is opened you can see the options in it. You can tap on apps to select the app to be allowed. In my case below i allowed only 3 apps which are calculator, phone & photos. Remember when you allow Photos the share feature will be enabled through which whatsapp can be seen by them


  • Tap on the apps to select the apps you want to allow. Once you check and select tap on back button to go back to apps corner page


  • Once you come back to apps corner page you can scroll down to see more options. It includes whether u want to show Action center, settings etc. You can use that. Also there is a Advanced button option to disable few more options.


  • Once you finish with the selection tap the Arrow button at the bottom to launch the app corner.


  • After launching you can see only allowed apps in the Phone. I allowed only 3 apps. So can see only 3 apps.


  • To come out of the apps corner Hold the power button to see the below like option


  • Then swipe right to go back to lock screen.

The apps you have selected will be saved and remembered on the apps corner. The app selection is one time. You can even pin the apps corner to the tile so that can be launched from start screen. Once you tap the apps corner from start tile it takes you to the same first screen you see at top of this blog. Then tap the arrow button to launch.

I use this feature many times if i give my phone to someone to just make call.

How to make Cortana to call relation (Brother, Sister… )

Windows Phone 8.1 comes with so many new features. One of the feature is the Cortana, personal assistance. Cortana has several functions to be able to make the Windows Phone Unique among other smart phones.

In this blog we discuss on how to Make Cortana to call by the relation name or the Nick name you choose for the contact. To use this feature you need to activate the Cortana first. There are several blogs which explains you how to activate Cortana on your phone. After you activate the Cortana use the below steps to set the nick name or the relationship names

  • Launch the Cortana by tapping the Search hardware button


  • Tap the right upper corner three line. image  That will launch the below screen with the options for Cortana


  • Tap the inner circle option from the list. The below screen will come up. It allows to add any contact in the list to assign a nick name. Tap the + button at the bottom of the screen to show the contacts.


  • After you tap the + button it will present you the contact list


  • Select the contact and type the Nick name to be called. Ex: Selewct your Wife name and set it as Wife. Or brother name set it as Brother. You can set any nick name so that Cortana can call by that. You can add 3 nickname to single person.


  • Tap done once you add the name. In my example above i have set Boss, Manager for the contact Aragon. So when i say Call my Boss to Cortana then she can call Aragon.


Launch SQL, Visual Studio Using Remote Desktop App from Windows Phone 8.1

Windows Phone store has now Remote Desktop App, which can be used to connect to any machine in the network. The remote desktop app helps to launch SQL, launch visual studio and even connect to windows server 2012 and do several admin related tasks.

This blog shows how to configure the Remote Desktop for the Azure Machine and launch SQL, VS from the the Remote machine.

Step 1:

Download the Remote desktop app from the Windows Phone Store.

Step 2:

Launch the Remote desktop App from the Phone. When you launch the app all the saved connection will be shown.


Step 3:

Tap the + on the bottom of the screen to add the new connection. Select the Desktop option for adding the new Remote Machine.


Step 4:

General: Gives the option to add machine IP / Name. Enter the machine name ex:

Add Machine

Step 5:

Drop down the credential to add user name and password.

Add Credential

Step 6:

Enter the credential to save. This user name and password will be used to login to the machine.


Step 7:

Use the Advanced option to enter the friendly name for the Machine. Save the settings.


Step 8:

Now a new Remote Machine is added. The added new machine name is Azure Win7. The remote desktop will connect to the Windows 7 client machine.


Step 9:

Now tap the newly added connection to connect to the Windows 7 client. Once connected you can see the login screen. The windows 7 client desktop can be seen. Similarly if you connect to windows 2012 server then the server desktop will be seen.

Once logged in you can use any program inside to launch.


Menu Options

When you tap the top bar the left and right menu option will be shown in the Remote desktop. The left option allows to disconnect the RDP. The right option will allow to use the Mouse Pointer inside the system.

Menu Options

Launch App

Using the mouse pointer we can move around the desktop client and launch any application inside the client. In my case the Visual Studio can be launched.

Launch VS

Show Keyboard

When you tap the keyboard on the top to open the keyboard


Enable Claims Based on existing Web Application with Classic Mode (Access denied Error)

Recently i encountered a situation in which i need to enable the claim based authentication for the existing web application which has windows authentication. From the central administration there is no way or option to enable it. This can be achieved only by the powershell script.

$WebAppName = “http://yourWebAppUrl”
$wa = get-SPWebApplication $WebAppName
$wa.UseClaimsAuthentication = $true

The above code will enable the claims based authentication to the existing web application. But once enabled when try to Login the user might get Access Denied Error. This is because the users are stored in the different format in the claims based authentication.

Need to execute the below commands to migrate all the users from existing windows user to the claim based.

Warning: Once migrated it will change the user information in all the content databases. This change is permanent.

$account = “yourDomain\yourUser”
$account = (New-SPClaimsPrincipal -identity $account -identitytype 1).ToEncodedString()
$wa = get-SPWebApplication $WebAppName
$zp = $wa.ZonePolicies(“Default”)
$p = $zp.Add($account,”PSPolicy”)


Revert Back from Claims Authentication to Windows.

$WebAppName = “http://yourWebAppUrl”
$wa = get-SPWebApplication $WebAppName
$wa.UseClaimsAuthentication = $false

The above code will only revert back the web application. But the users are not migrated. Need to convert back to the windows user. But when i tried MigrateUsers($false) i got the below error


So we cannot use that method to revert the users. So i followed the approach given in the blog below

Basically use the stsadm command and strip off the unwanted text before the user name in the site collection

Below is the code taken from that blog.

public Program(string url)
    using (SPSite site = new SPSite(url))
        using (SPWeb web = site.RootWeb)
            foreach (SPUser user in web.AllUsers)
                string username = GetClaimBasedUserName(user);
                if (!username.Equals(string.Empty))
                    Console.Write(“Migrating {0} to {1}…”, user.LoginName, username);
                        SPFarm Farm = SPFarm.Local;
                        Farm.MigrateUserAccount(user.LoginName, username, false);
                    catch (Exception ex)
private string GetClaimBasedUserName(SPUser user)
    string username = string.Empty;
        if (user.IsDomainGroup)
            if (user.LoginName.StartsWith(“c:0+.w|”))
                username = user.Name;
            if (user.LoginName.StartsWith(“i:0#.w|”))
                username = user.LoginName.Substring(7);
    return username;