Posts Tagged ‘Windows 8’

HowTo: Open page from Internet Explorer (Metro) app into desktop IE

The Windows 8/8.1 app version of Internet Explorer is also known as IE Metro because of the “Metro” codename (inspired by navigation signs in public transport] of the Modern UI design language promoted by Microsoft).

However that version isn’t the full Internet Explorer, in that it is unfortunately not supporting extensibility via plugins in the form of ActiveX controls as the classic (desktop version) of IE. It is only embedding the Flash player engine directly in its codebase, but not Microsoft’s own Rich Internet Application (RIA) rendering engine aka Silverlight, nor Unity or other VRML/X3D, QuickTime/QuickTimeVR etc. plugins.

Browser pages cannot detect the difference between running IE on the desktop or as an app, there is however a workarround for webpage authors or webadmins to force the app version of IE to show a prompt to the user that allows the opening of a page in the desktop version of Internet Explorer. There is also a way for System Administrators to set specific sites to open in the desktop version of IE without the user seeing such prompt.

At, Microsoft mentions:

As a web developer, you can enable the requiresActiveX feature switch either by using this HTTP header:

X-UA-Compatible: requiresActiveX=true

Or by using this meta element on each affected webpage:

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="requiresActiveX=true"/>


I just added the meta tag inside the <head>…</head> block of the Amnesia of Who web version that uses Silverlight and here is how it shows in the IE Metro version (note that Silverlight IS installed in that Windows 8.1 machine, it’s just that it’s not available in that browser, that’s why the Silverlight installation prompt is also shown):


When the user presses the default button “Open on the desktop”, the OS switches to classic desktop mode and shows an Internet Explorer window with the Silverlight application starting fine (or if Silverlight is not installed it will prompt and allow the user to install it – note that Silverlight ActiveX control’s installation doesn’t need administrator permissions since that installation doesn’t affect other users, nor requires any elevated rights in the system to work).



I hope that Microsoft, apart from keeping on supporting this workarround, will do a clever move this time and embed Silverlight too (apart from the Flash engine that was in IE Metro) in the Spartan browser that it prepares as the Windows 10 default touch browser. And why not, provide some extensibility method for it, since HTML5 cannot become a huge, impossible to implement beast, that covers every future conceived functionality for the web.

HowTo: Install .NET 3.5 component in Windows 8.1

I just installed .NET 3.5 on a Windows Enterprise 8.1 system that was failing to bring the needed files from the network

To do this I opened a command prompt with elevated rights and ran a single command, having the Windows DVD at drive F:

Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx3 /All /Source:F:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess

as explained at this article:


1) if you have the Windows DVD in .ISO file, with a double click it mounts it to a virtual drive on Windows 8, so you can do similarly (you look at My Computer or the folder it opens after mounting to see what drive letter it used)

2) to run command prompt with elevated (administrator) rights, I searched for "cmd" (it is cmd.exe) and right click at the result found to then select "Run as administrator".

HowTo: Take screenshot on Windows desktop, Windows 8 and MacOS-X

copying from an e-mail I received from Skype support:

Taking a screenshot on Windows desktop

1. On your keyboard, press the Print Screen (Prt Scr) key to take a screenshot of your entire desktop. To take a screenshot of an active window, press the Alt+Print Screen (Prt Scr) key combination.

2. Save a copy of the image in Microsoft Paint. To do so, simply click Start > All Programs/Programs > Accessories > Paint.

3. Press the Ctrl+V key combination to paste your screenshot into Paint.

4. Go to the menu and click File > Save. Make sure you can remember where you save the image to, as you’ll need to find the file to attach the image in an email.

5. Enter a file name.

6. In the Save as type: drop-down menu, select JPEG.

7. Click Save.

Taking a screenshot on Windows 8

On your keyboard, press the Windows + Print Screen (Prt Scr) key combination. A screenshot of the entire screen is taken. To take a screenshot of an active window, press the Alt + Print Screen (Prt Scr) key combination. The screenshots are automatically saved in your Screenshots folder.

To find the folder:

1. In the Start screen, press the Windows key. Windows 8 switches to classic view.

2. Open the File Explorer from the task bar.

3. Under the Libraries folder on the left side, select Pictures. Your Screenshots folder is located here.

Taking a screenshot on Mac

On your keyboard, press the Command+Shift+4+Spacebar key combination and click the window you want to take a screenshot of.

To take a screenshot of your entire desktop, press the Command+Shift+3 key combination. To capture a portion of the desktop, press the Command+Shift+4 key combination. A cross-hair cursor will appear. Simply click and drag the cursor to select the area you’d like to capture. To save the screenshot, just release the mouse button.

The screenshots will be saved on your desktop in .png format.

Should you have further concerns or clarifications, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

It’s nice that Windows 8 now has a Screenshots folder under a user’s account folder, this is similar behaviour to the facility that Dropbox includes for taking screenshots directly to a Screenshots subfolder under your Dropbox folder. Wonder though why Windows key is needed to be pressed and what will happen if you just press PrintScreen on the Windows 8 home screen (Metro/Modern UI).

Also, wonder why Apple keeps on using those cryptic key combinations for doing things (sticking to MacOS legacy I guess).

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