Simon May

Client and cloud

July, 2010

  • I finally have a blue badge…

    Whistler_2010_orginal_square_400x400I started life as an IT Pro so long ago that I can’t even remember when I started, it was all different back then, when I needed to know something I got out the first CD and searched TechNet for some nugget using specific keywords (ntstop, and all that jazz). I loved it. TechNet had a deep impact on me professionally and starting a blog on TechNet with my own name is monumental for me.

    Hi, I’m Simon May, I’m a new part of the IT Pro team in the UK – I’m an IT Pro Evangelist – to give me my full title. It’s our job to help UK IT Pros understand Microsoft’s plethora of technology and make the most of it. So what does that mean for you? Well it means that we’re here to help by introducing you to new tools and techniques and to get you testing, deploying, managing Microsoft technologies and getting the types of results you need.

    Previously I’ve worked in banking, healthcare and energy, written about Windows, helped seed and inspire communities and I hope fixed hundreds of peoples PCs and worked with a few people who are reading this – drop me a line please. I’ve fixed virus outbreaks, rewired data centers, made it possible for people to shop quickly (sorry can’t tell you how) and helped doctors and nurses get the latest info on their patients before caring for them. Mostly I’ve had fun.

    Okay, Okay, let’s talk about the job title, Evangelist. Lots of people have asked me about it and all I can say is it’s the coolest title and job in the world (to me). Basically it means I explain the world Microsoft to IT Pros.

    I’ll be here and there, mainly here, sometimes there introducing new stuff and explaining current stuff and helping you get off the old stuff…cough…IE6…cough…XP…. But it’s not all about work.

    Almost as much as I love being an IT Pro community I love our (I can say OUR now) consumer focused technology so I’ll be talking about that too probably, although I only get to see what everyone else gets to see, there’s no inside track here.

    Follow me on twitter and say hi and you might as well subscribe to my main RSS feed (it’s not just tech stuff).

  • Why VHDs are ace

    Andrew Fryer, my team mate and fellow IT Pro evangelist has posted a great article on why he likes VHDs.  I have to agree with him and I’ll add something else…

    VHDs are a file based format as opposed to the traditional sector based format.  This is very cool because it allows “offline servicing” for the OS, which means that you can service the VHD without it being booted.  This is cool because say you have a demo environment and you want to update a driver all you do is mount the VHD and use DISM like this:

    DISM /Image:V:\ /Add-Driver /Driver:M:\Drivers /recurse

    to add the driver, then on next boot it’s done.  Simples.

    More complicated is what’s going on under the hood, but essentially a VHD will consume less disk space than the same disk in a sector based format as each unique file is only stored once in the VHD format.

    Throw your brilliant VHD tips our way in the comments…

  • Confused about deploying Windows 7? Try this…

    Lots of people are looking at how they should go about deploying Windows 7 in their organisation, a few I’ve seen first hand are struggling to understand how to migrate.  One of the major steps in planning your deployment is probably to build a proof of concept to see just how easy it is and just what the pitfalls are in your organisation.  Have you thought about your application compatibility, are you making the most of things by deploying Office at the same time?

    Our Springboard Series resources around Building a Proof of Concept came up in meeting the other day and there really is some great stuff in there.

    I’ll be back looking at some of the fun around various aspects of a deployment soon, but if you want a specific question answered then post a comment and I’ll try – or if you want to keep your identity secret because you work for a criminal mastermind in his secret-but-very-expensive volcanic layer filled with retro furniture then drop me an email using the form.

  • Why all Exchange ActiveSync experiences aren’t the same…

    The Exchange blog has a very good explanation of why you don’t get the same great Exchange experience on every Exchange capable device you use.  It’s very interesting that we license the IP rather than the implementation because it allows the people implementing EAS the highest level of flexibility and compatibility.

    Why all Exchange ActiveSync experiences aren’t the same… and how to know what you’re getting

  • Tools to help you deploy Office 2010

    The Office 2010 Engineering blog posted a great roundup of the tools that you can use to help deploy Office 2010 this week.  It’s a powerful tool set and I honestly can’t see a blocker to deployment that it doesn’t help remove. 

    • You don’t know what addins are out there…there’s a tool for that. 
    • Don’t know if you VBA code is compatible it 2010…there’s a tool for that. 
    • Want it in your standard image…there’s a tool for that. 
    • Want to customise what lands on a client…there’s a tool for that. 
    • Want help planning deployment…there’s a tool for that. 
    • Want someone to get your coffee whilst you deploy Office 2010…you might have to do that yourself!

    Microsoft Office 2010 Deployment Tools