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News roundup: WMF 3.0, Windows 8 updates, Patch Tuesday preview

The Windows rumor mill kept turning this week, with talk about the Windows 8 beta and the Windows Store. Admins also got a look at the latest version of PowerShell and a preview of Patch Tuesday.

In this week's news summary, we'll cover the latest PowerShell details, Microsoft's latest Patch Tuesday bulletin, Windows 8 predictions and more stories you might have missed while taking the Windows IQ Test.

WMF, mate
The preview release of Windows Management Framework 3.0 is here, which means you can get a good look at the updates to Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), Windows Remote Management (WinRM), and, most importantly, PowerShell 3.0. Redmond Mag notes a number of upgrades to the product, including an integrated scripting environment and implicit remoting capability. Given PowerShell's increased role within Windows Server, there should be plenty here to keep admins busy.

Patch Tuesday preview
Microsoft's latest security bulletin, due to be issued on Tuesday, will include 14 patches addressing 20 vulnerabilities. This includes one update labeled "critical" for Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2008 R2; another is critical for Windows Server 2003 only. The bulletin does not address a fix for the Duqu Trojan zero-day vulnerability uncovered last month.

More Windows 8 predictions
Many speculated that a beta version of Windows 8 would be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but the latest rumor, via The Next Web, is that we'll have to wait until February to see it. It remains to be seen whether this schedule will affect the eventual product release – and there are just as many questions about how that product will be received. Among analyst firm IDC's predictions for 2012 was skepticism about how the market will respond to the new OS (though IDC is optimistic about Windows Server 8's ability to improve private cloud deployments), given usability concerns, the fact that many enterprises just completed upgrades to Windows 7, and the questions about how it'll work on tablets (like whether there will be support for the Desktop App). The Motley Fool agrees that Windows 8's touch-friendly interface doesn't seem like it will work well on traditional PCs, but offers some positive thoughts about Windows tablets.

Windows Store opens doors in February
Microsoft debuted its plan to attract developers and customers with its app store, dubbed the "Windows Store." Developers can submit their apps, which will only work in the Metro UI environment, and price them from $1.49 to $999.99 (as well as free) and are required to come with time- or feature-based free trials. According to Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet, developers of desktop-based apps can promote but not sell their wares. Microsoft will share revenues with developers: 70 percent of sales will go to the developers until they hit 25,000 purchases, according to Gareth Morgan at Computing. After that, developers will receive 80 percent. Rovio, you'd better be listening. Microsoft is holding a development contest that could indicate an ARM-based beta of Windows 8 will also be released, writes Woody Leonhard at InfoWorld. One important note: the Windows Store terms of use gives Microsoft the ability to remove 'apps or data' from Windows 8 devices at any time.

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