Ramblings from another nerd on the grid
The Halo franchise is an award-winning collection of properties that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon. To date, more than 50 million copies of Halo video games have been sold worldwide. As developers prepared to launch Halo 4, they were tasked with analyzing data to gain insights into player preferences and support an online tournament. To handle those requests, the team used a powerful Microsoft technology called Windows Azure HDInsight Service, based on the Apache Hadoop big data framework. Using HDInsight Service to process and analyze raw data from Windows Azure, the team was able to feed game statistics to the tournament’s operator, which used the data to rank players based on game play. The team also used HDInsight Service to update Halo 4 every week and support a daily email campaign designed to increase player retention. Organizations can also take advantage of data to quickly make business decisions.
See the full case study at http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?CaseStudyID=710000002102. This one is pretty interesting. Grin.
REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 27, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. today announced worldwide availability of a major new update to its Microsoft Office 365 services for business. Microsoft’s most complete Office cloud service to date has new features and offerings tailored to the needs and budgets of small, medium-size and large organizations. In addition to updated Microsoft Lync Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft SharePoint Online services, business users can now get the rich Office applications they are familiar with, on up to five devices, delivered as an always up-to-date cloud service. Office 365 features enhanced enterprise social capabilities with SharePoint and Yammer today, and Lync-Skype connectivity for presence, instant messaging (IM), and voice by June. The new Office 365 service is available today in 69 markets and 17 languages and will be available in an additional 20 markets and 16 languages in the second quarter of this year.
See the rest of the press release at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/Press/2013/Feb13/02-27OfficeCommercialGAPR.aspx.
Internet Explorer 10 is available worldwide in 95 languages for download today. We will begin auto updating Windows 7 customers to IE10 in the weeks ahead, starting today with customers running the IE10 Release Preview. With this final release, IE10 brings the same leading standards support, with improved performance, security, privacy, reliability that consumers enjoy on Windows 8, to Windows 7 customers. MORE
I am a fan of great notebook screens. I have some of the best on the market. Needless to say, the Google Pixel launch caught my eye. Here’s a pic of the pix with links to the relevant information. Looks a lot like the Retina Mac.
Anyone buy one yet? It’s only $1449 for the 64GB model. See http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/chromebook-pixel/. That is probably the most expensive screen on the market. I’ll pass.
A couple of days ago HTC announced a sweet looking smartphone they call the HTC One. This looks like a nice handset but I am anxious to see if they’ll take the form factor and create a Windows phone. With a Quad core and 64GB of memory, I should be able to run some hyper-v virtual machines, right? Grin.
See http://www.htc.com/www/smartphones/htc-one/ for all of the information and specs on the phone.
Engadget just released the results of the Readers Choice Awards for 2012 at http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/20/winners-2012-engadget-awards-readers-choice/.
As you can see, the Microsoft Surface RT won Tablet of the Year. Kudos to the Surface team. Nicely done!
You’ll also notice Nokia nailed the Smartphone of the Year award for the Lumia 920. Sweet!
I’d like a Mars Rover scaled down to chase the armadillos with. Can I get it with the net option too? Tired of those critters messing up my yard.
The goal of this document is to present an overview of Trusted Platform Module (TPM) virtual smart cards (VSCs) as an option for strong authentication. It is intended not only to provide the means for evaluating VSC use in an enterprise deployment, but also to provide the information necessary to deploy and manage.
Go get the guide @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29076.
Jeremy Chapman, resident deployment guru for Microsoft, is launching a new blog series on Office they are calling the “Garage Series for IT Pros”. In addition to providing a wealth of information on deployment, it looks like they are going to do some crazy stuff like jump out of a perfectly fine aircraft. No thanks. Grin.
See http://blogs.technet.com/b/office_resource_kit/archive/2013/02/20/new-office-new-garage-series-for-it-pros.aspx for the announcement and video.
Package Conversion Manager (PCM) A new version of the PCM tool has been released. The new version supports both System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and System Center 2012 SP1 Configuration Manager. the new tool can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34605. The new release comes in 6 languages.
Physical to Virtual (P2V) Migration Toolkit The System Center 2012 Configuration Manager P2V Migration Toolkit facilitates the re-utilization of existing x64 server hardware using virtualization technologies, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V. The P2V Migration Toolkit was specifically designed to assist in situations where there are remote Configuration Manager 2007 SP 2 site servers that need to be retained during side-by-side migration process to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. The P2V Migration Toolkit is geared to supporting P2V migrations at remote, branch offices that do not have existing onsite Virtual Machine Manager infrastructure.
Support ending for System Center Configuration Manager P2V Migration Toolkit For purposes of a lifecycle policy, “tool” means a utility or feature that aids in accomplishing a discrete task or a limited set of tasks. To assist in your planning efforts, some tool versions provide 12 months notification prior to the end of support. System Center Configuration Manager P2V Migration Toolkit is such a tool and Microsoft will continue to support this version through July 27, 2013.
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Toolkit The Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Toolkit contains nine downloadable tools to help you manage and troubleshoot Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. The following list provides specific information about each tool in the toolkit.
Go get the goods @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29265
Posters are a great way to wrap your mind around some of the subsystems (roles and features) that are part of complex products. Here are some cool posters for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.
Go get em @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29189
Go get em @ http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/support/office-2013-quick-start-guides-HA103673669.aspx.
DirectAccess provides users with the experience of being seamlessly connected to their intranet any time they have Internet access. When DirectAccess is enabled, requests for intranet resources (such as email servers, shared folders, or intranet websites) are securely directed to the intranet, without the need for users to connect to a VPN.
DirectAccess enables increased productivity for a mobile workforce by offering the same connectivity experience both inside and outside of the office. The Windows Routing and Remote Access Server (RRAS) provides traditional VPN connectivity for legacy clients and non-domain members. RRAS also provides site-to-site connections between servers. RRAS in Windows Server 2008 R2 cannot coexist on the same edge server with DirectAccess, and must be deployed and managed separately from DirectAccess.
Windows Server 2012 combines the DirectAccess feature and the RRAS role service into a new unified server role. This new Remote Access server role allows for centralized administration, configuration, and monitoring of both DirectAccess and VPN-based remote access services. Additionally, Windows Server 2012 DirectAccess provides multiple updates and improvements to address deployment blockers and provide simplified management.
This guide provides step-by-step instructions for configuring DirectAccess in a single server deployment with mixed IPv4 and IPv6 resources in a test lab to demonstrate functionality of the deployment experience. You will set up and deploy DirectAccess based on the Windows Server 2012 Base Configuration using five server computers and two client computers. The resulting test lab simulates an intranet, the Internet, and a home network, and demonstrates DirectAccess in different Internet connection scenarios.
Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29031
Microsoft has released an update for Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. In addition to the application improvements mentioned in this article, Office for Mac 2011 is now available as a subscription offering. For more information about subscription, see the Frequently Asked Questions. This update provides the latest fixes to Office for Mac 2011. These include the following:
Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36503
This add-in enables you to embed a Creative Commons license into a document that you create using Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office PowerPoint, or Microsoft Office Excel. With a Creative Commons license, authors can express their intentions regarding how their works may be used by others. The add-in downloads the Creative Commons license you designate from the Creative Commons Web site and inserts it directly into your creative work.
To learn more about Creative Commons, please visit its web site, http://www.creativecommons.org.
To learn more about the choices among the Creative Commons licenses, see http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/meet-the-licenses.
Microsoft Office productivity applications are the most widely used personal productivity applications in the world, and Microsoft’s goal is to enhance the user’s experience with those applications. Empowering Microsoft Office users to express their intentions through Creative Commons licenses is another way Microsoft enables users around the world to exercise their creative freedom while being clear about the rights granted to users of a creative work. In the past, it has not always been easy or obvious to understand the intentions of some authors or artists regarding distribution or use of their intellectual creations.
Go get it @ http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=13303