This past week has been a little bit different for me, in the sense that I’ve been talking with Partners and Customers about Windows 7.  Naturally it’s in conjunction with Windows Server 2008 R2, which naturally leads me on to Hyper-V and System Center, however, the first part of this post is going to focus on one of the new capabilities in Windows 7; Federated Search.

One of the key pillars in Windows 7 is the ability to make users more productive, no matter where they are.  When I first started using Vista, for me, the biggest innovation wasn’t around the graphics, or the security, but in fact, the search capability.  It fundamentally changed the way I accessed applications, documents, files, folders, emails and more.  My process now consists of pressing the Windows key, typing what I want to find on my machine, and bang, the first set of results appear in the Start Menu, and if I want to see more of the results, I can expand that view and start filtering accordingly.  However, times have changed, and users want to be able to get hold of information even faster, but not just local information.  Users want information from the web, from SharePoint sites, from their local machine, and more, so the Search Federation capability in Windows 7 should help to get them on that journey…

Here’s an example of what I mean:

VBSearch

This is an example of a custom Search Connector, that I made in about 1 minute.  This enables me, should I want it to, to enter search terms in the top right box, and the system would go away and return results specific to the search terms, but from my blog only:

VBSearch2

Pretty handy I’d say!  So how do you create your own?  This video will help you:

Win7

Find out how to expand the search capability of Windows 7 to include not only local data, but external data. This demonstration will cover the creation of a new search connector to an external site and other activities.

So that was little gem #1, but what about #2?  Well, there’s one particular product, within the System Center family, which seems like it’s been in development for donkeys years.  It used to be known as System Center Service Desk, but now it’s known as System Center Service Manager, and could well be the next big thing in automating IT processes, workflows, and more, within an IT environment.  To learn more, check out this video:

ServiceManager 

If you’re still curious after this, find out more here, and try it out for yourself at http://microsoftservicemanagertestdrive.com/

Have a good weekend!