Nope, Adcomsubordcomphibspac is the longest English one (apparently, and it's a Navy term, standing for Administrative Command, Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet Subordinate Command) but SCVMM comes pretty close. Needless to say, it's a mouthful.
System Center Virtual Machine Manager is one of the latest products within the System Center family of products to be released in a public beta, which you can download here. So, what is it, and why is now the time to start using it, testing it, and loving it?
Well, we know virtualisation is hotter than the surface of the sun at the moment, as there is no sign of it cooling down just yet. So, you create and start running all these different virtual machines, hopefully on Virtual Server, but then what? How do you control and manage them all? How do you deploy them quickly? Do you want to convert physical machines to virtual machines and vice versa?
SCVMM is your answer to all those questions. Sure, Microsoft accept that Virtual Server has it's short falls, but, when you combine it with SCVMM, you can really start to reap the benefits of a virtual infrastructure. One thing I will say is, don't just think about now. Think about a little bit further down the line, when Windows Server Virtualisation hits the fore. Not only will you be able to migrate your virtual machines from Virtual Server straight over to WSV, thanks for the VHD file format, but SCVMM will allow you to seamlessly manage those virtual machines too, in an environment that you can start using. Today.
So, what are some of the other benefits of SCVMM? Well, here's a top 10...
You can read details on each of the top 10 here.
There are a whole host of resources on the Microsoft.com pages:
As if they were not reasons enough to download SCVMM and try it out, you can win an Xbox 360, just for downloading!
Would you like to effectively demo Windows Vista to your customers? Would you like to be as happy doing so as this lady in the picture? OK, so you don't need to hold your screen above your head to give an effective demo, but there are a few guidelines you can follow to really get the most of a demo.
Have you heard of the Demo Readiness Toolkit? I use an internal version of it all the time - it gives me the flexibility and freedom to show some really cool elements of Vista that I can't always show on my corporate version on my machine, such as Parental Controls and Group Policy for certain devices (not available on my domain-joined machine). How can you get hold of a copy, and what can it do for you?
Well, you can't download a pre-canned version unfortunately, but what you can do, is follow these simple guidelines, and you too can be a demo god in no time!
1) Firstly, you're going to need Vista!2) Secondly, it's important to have a look through this comprehensive Vista demo setup guide.3) Thirdly, once you've installed Vista and had a look through the documentation, you need to populate your Vista installation with fictional content, sample documents, demo files, sample applications, and management shortcuts. It's a zip file of 15.4mb in size.4) Thirdly, pick a demo script to follow: Consumer or Business5) Start Demo-ing like the budding demo god that you are!
If you need any more demos, you could start with these Internet Explorer 7 Demos and this Healthcare Prototype application.
Visit the Demo Readiness Toolkit homepage for further information.
Do you build systems? Once you have shipped the machine out of the door, do you have any contact with that customer again? Do they have any knowledge of how you may be able to help them in the future? Are they aware of any of the other services you offer? If not, you could be losing potential business - I have a way to help you :-)
What is the first thing that users are presented with when they start Windows Vista for the first time (or every time if this is not switched off)? The Welcome Center.
So, this is the default Welcome Center that users are presented with, but what if I told you that you could easily, in around about 10 minutes, customise this to include icons and links to your services that you, as a business, could offer on top of just building and then shipping that PC.
Here is one I made earlier which includes....
Which, when clicked, gives...
So, as you can see, the user is presented with a small icon and a bit of info in the list, under WOW Resources (which I defined), and clicking on it, changes the main view at the top to contain a few high level bullet points, and a main link to 'Launch my blog' in this scenario. This is quite a trivial example, but think about it - why couldn't you link back to your services? 'Need Support - Click here' or, 'Company X Contact Details' and so on. Really useful yet really really simple!
If you do want to start playing around with this customisation, a great place to start is the Windows Vista TechCenter over on TechNet. It will show you the process, from start to finish, of how to find, edit and configure your oobe.xml file (the key file for the Welcome Center!).
If you want some sample content to start playing around with, you can download the Windows Automated Installation Kit, from here. There are some Fabrikam samples in there which are very easy to start using and testing your customisation skills.
That's right. It's here. I've been using the Beta 3 of Longhorn Server for a while now, and it is pretty darn stable - in fact, I've not had a single problem with it - admittedly, I haven't put too much strain on it, but the fact that a complete novice of Windows Server 2003 can have Active Directory Domain Services, a Domain Controller, DHCP, DNS and Windows Deployment Services up and running, and deploying Vista images in about an hour, seems pretty good to me! The reason I found it so easy was thanks to the Server Manager - It's undergone a bit of a revamp and it is very simple to use - even, like I said, for a novice like me. I suppose you would hope it would be easy to manage, seeing as one of the major pillars of Longhorn is "Increase Control and Manageability" :-)
With the launch of Beta 3, publicly, there has also been a plethora of information and documentation released to compliment it. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are the links that you need:
The final link I will give you is more aimed at our friends across the Atlantic...
Microsoft has teamed up with WindowsITPro to create a US Roadshow, where the team will travel across the States, delivering a number of one-day events, to give attendees a thorough understanding of what's coming in Longhorn Server. You can, if you are interested, Register Here.
The image is nothing to do with me by the way. I wonder if it will make the final design... ;-)
I'd be really keen to hear your feedback around Longhorn, or whatever the final name will be, so please let me know if you have any views and opinions on it.
Apart from that - enjoy it.
Thanks to Mr Clayton for forwarding this one on. Made me chuckle :-)
I'm sure some people out there would say that Google can help you to find pretty much anything, and to be fair, in my Pre-Microsoft days, I did use Google, as MSN at the time just didn't cut it.
Now however, although figures would suggest otherwise, I'd say Live Search is really starting to do the business in terms of Search. It is my primary search engine - yes, I admit, to start with it was because I worked for Microsoft, but now, I'm happy with the results it returns and rarely do I have to go on to a second or third search results page. I will use Google from time to time, (usually when I'm searching for something really obscure!) but, it is just from time to time.
I think the real power of Google does lie in the brand - for a lot of people, Google = Search, and Search = Google, whereas at present, that is something that 'Live', as a brand, doesn't have. Those of us in the industry do have a lot of respect for Google, and are aware of many of the other offerings they have, such as Picasa, Google Docs, Checkout etc. As the 'Live' brand builds momentum, I think people will start to become a little confused with all the different software offerings, but, eventually, I think 'Live' will come out smelling of roses. Microsoft wouldn't let it go any other way. They really do believe in Live as a platform, so it will be interesting to see how it develops over the coming months.
So, anyway, Live Search has got a lot to offer - I use it day to day, and it certainly meets my needs, however, one area of search that I would say really has the edge on Google is the image search. If you haven't used the image search in Live yet, I'd definitely give it a try, as there are a couple of fantastic ways it presents the results.
Firstly, when you search for the image, the results are presented in an infinite scrolling window - no more navigating through pages! The results will just scroll and scroll for ever (as long as there is results!). You've also got a number of easy to use tools:
Such as the zoom tool, which enables you to move the slider and adjust the size of the images on the screen, and you can also filter the results by actual image size. You can also create, within the actual webpage, a Scratchpad, where you can simply drag and drop images from your results, into, and store for later, while you scroll through the rest of the results. Easy!
Perhaps the coolest bit however, is when you do click on an image, and you are taken to that image within the page that it's found. With other search engines, it's a back-button click to get back to your search results. With Live Image Search, your results are still present in a scrollable side column, and you still have access to your Scratchpad you created earlier.
So, why don't you. just for a day, give Live Search a try, and see what you think. I'd be interested to hear your comments, especially what you think of the image search functionality.
With MIX 07 in Las Vegas only days away, I thought it would be a good chance to talk about a particular website that has been created in conjunction with MIX 07. The MIX University is your one stop shop to get really switched on around Microsoft's web technologies. Whether your interests lie with ASP.NET and Ajax, or you fancy a bit of Virtual Earth, it's all here, with fantastic links to documentation and resources. There are even video's and demo's - very useful indeed!
I have to say, some of the stuff people out there are doing with our technologies is cool with a capital C. Just check out some of the videos on WPF/E, or Silverlight if you don't believe me :-)
You can stay up to date with all the news and announcements by subscribing here - I hope you find it useful.
If someone who reads this is attending MIX 07, let me know what the Pussycat Dolls are like live, and take lots of photos! ;-)
Longhorn Server is coming. In fact, Beta 3 is just around the corner, and not everyone will have the choice of blowing a machine and installing it bare, to play around with, or dual boot. One option would be to run it in a Virtual PC, which, as we all know, can be downloaded for free, and you can play around with Longhorn Server to your hearts content. An alternative would be a Virtual Lab.
Today, we have released 3 On-Demand Virtual Labs, which are free to use, take between 2 and 3 hours depending on the lab, and cover three different scenarios for you to get to grips with. Please note, you need to be registered with the Partner Program to access these labs.
Windows Server “Longhorn” Beta 2 Server Core Virtual Lab
Try out the new features and functionality of Longhorn Server Core (Which I blogged about, just the other day) in this Free-form sandbox Virtual Lab. Please note, there are no demos or walk through's with this lab.
TAKE ME TO THE LAB!
Windows Server "Longhorn" Beta 2 Server Manager Virtual Lab
After completing this lab, you will be better able to:
TAKE ME TO THE LAB!
Windows Server "Longhorn" Beta 2 Terminal Services Gateway and Remote Programs Virtual Lab
I'm going to be checking these out over the coming week or so, so I'd definitely recommend you do the same - Longhorn is going to be an awesome release - those who start getting a feel for it earlier are really putting themselves in the driving seat.
For all those of you interested in Longhorn Server Virtual Labs, but are not on the Partner Program, you can access these TechNet ones: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/traincert/virtuallab/longhorn.mspx. These are 90 minutes each and again, cover a variety of topics.
Probably the quickest post I have ever written - thanks to Mr Akrigg for this link.
CNET News.com have written a very useful 2 pager on Virtualisation, trying to help you and I get our head around it more but also providing information on who the main players are, when the real deal will commence, and how you can benefit from Virtualisation.
You can read the article here.
Home vs Work vs Public? Ever wondered what happens when you choose one of these selections the first time you connect to a new network?
Vista is clever. We all know that. In this case, Vista has the ability to automatically configure security and other settings based on the type of network to which the computer is connected. This new feature makes computing more secure and easier for users because they no longer have to be aware of the type of network that they are connected to and configure security settings to prevent unwanted access. A related feature for developers makes it easier to enhance applications by automatically adjusting settings and behaviors for changes in network conditions and for different network types.
The use of the icons, along with a useful description means that even the most non-IT savvy people among us can make an informed decision and choose the setting that is correct for their current situation.
There is also another one, that you don't get the choice of becoming part of, and that is the Domain network. You can see this one the 2nd image above. All the settings for this type of network are received from Group Policy, and although, the first time I connected to this network, I was presented with the usual dialog box, after this point, Vista knows I'm on a Domain network and the settings are automatically pushed to my machine.
The Cable Guy, also known as Joseph Davies, has written an excellent article going into a bit more depth around the topic, so if you are interested, I'd definitely have a look. He's also included some information that would be relevant to developers around Network Awareness API's.
Read it here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/columns/cableguy/cg0906.mspx
I should have put this on my blog ages and ages ago, but didn't get round to it, so here it is!
This has been live for about 3 months now (so there should be loads of content on there, hence why I delayed the blog post... :-p) and is a great resource for all things training and events. The site replaced the Training & Events Centre & UK Events site.
This new and improved Partner Learning Centre will vastly improve the partner experience by helping you find, review and track attendance on all training courses (both online & instructor led courses). What else does it bring?
To access these belting resources, you need to make sure you associate your Windows Live ID with your Partner Profile. Guidelines for doing this can be found here: http://download.microsoft.com/documents/uk/partner/plc/guidelineassociation.pdf