It seems the good folks @twitter have jumped out of the starting blocks and enhanced twitter.com to take advantage of the pinning technology in IE9. As a twitter addict (@simonster on there) I love this, genius.
They aren’t the only ones Facebook have done something similar. Be interesting to see if anyone else takes advantage of this functionality and more.
This is what it looks like when you take advantage of the technology. In a few lines of simple code they just turned twitter.com into an app.
Go to beautyoftheweb.com for more or watch my series of one minute videos on Internet Explorer 9 Beta
DNS security and the way to spoof and poison DNS is a pretty complicated area. Luckily we have DNSSEC which can help to resolve the issues quite simply. It’s an area that I needed to understand a bit more about and as I happened to be doing so I found this video with Mark Minasi. Oh and yes, it’s another reason to move to Windows 7, as XP and Vista don’t support all the DNSSEC flags. He’s got some other great background on why you should choose to go 64bit over 32 in your Windows 7 deployment.
Mark Minasi at TechEd North America | Media | TechNet Edge
There are times when you don’t want things to change, things are setup just so and those pesky users keep changing things. It could be when you need kiosk machines, say at en event or in an internet cafe or in a school classroom or lab. In XP and Vista we had a tool called Steady Sate that made it easy to revert changes to before the users had used the PC. Windows 7 doesn’t include this so we’ve created guidance to help use the tools at your disposal to provide a steady state, that’s group policy and other free tools.
I’m not going to go through the white paper in depth but Stephen L Rose, who’s going to be in Reading November 1st for the Springboard tour, has the low down. Check out his post for details but if you want the whitepaper immediately it’s here.
One of things I love about working for Microsoft is that we use our own stuff, we really trust, we really deploy it, we really use it. Not all our competitors do, you can tell because they don’t talk about it, they don’t run their own massive data centres for example. We do and it gives us experience. MSIT – our IT department, yes we do have an IT department too, has built and deployed SXP or Social eXperience Platform) on the Windows Azure platform – and more stuff is going that way too.
So what is SXP and what makes it special? Well SXP runs on this site our video showcase and it is essentially a platform that allows us to manage and understand the social aspects of our content. That content can be web pages, videos (as in the video show case site), blog posts, new stories, press releases…anything. Essentially you could say it adds social context to anything and allows us to understand that context. It’s a back end tool, it’s not doing the content hosting.
The platform is built on Azure (one web server role running on 3 medium instances) and storage is taken care of by SQL Azure with each subside of Microsoft.com having it’s own database allowing customisation and isolation of problems, should there be one. The user interfaces are delivered with Silverlight.
There are some cool management things too, SCOM integration being handled by some custom code right now but the RC of the Azure Management pack is being run in parallel and that’s going to be something every IT Pro who’s managing Azure will love. There’s also an interesting tool called “Keynote” running that checks that the web service is available from different points all over the globe and the tool the user facing tool for managing the workflow has been created in Silverlight and uses AD FS (Active Directory Federation Services) for authentication – meaning that once you’re signed into your desktop you’re signed into the app.
This is obviously not new functionality to us, commenting and rating of videos has been with us for some time but the 3rd party solutions we had in place don’t seem to have been the most manageable. On that point we get quite a lot of comment spam that has to be filtered away. The service has been live for about 120 days now and MSIT tell us that they’ve saved about $14k PER MONTH! in management costs, upped availability by 8 fold and made provisioning a staggering 240 times faster! That’s Azure for you.
The team learnt some excellent lessons, which they’ve published here along with more detail on the above, but the lessons are really important and I want to call them out:
I have a bet with myself about what the first comment will be on this post…
There’s a lot going on with Internet Explorer at the moment with the IE9 Beta having just launched and you might be wondering what the best course of action is for your business. Well we just published some guidance on what to do, but I’ll summarise it for you. Roll out the Windows Optimized Desktop: Windows 7 with IE 8, Office 2010 and Silverlight using the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) to help.
What you shouldn’t do is wait for Internet Explorer 9 or delay your rollout in any way. Why?
Because your business will loose out in the short term when it could be making strides in efficiency. And everyone* loves Windows 7 as this lifehacker poll shows. And also, there will always be v-next.
Internet Explorer 8 is a great browser for the corporate desktop, it’s secure, it’s manageable and it’s really easy to roll out. It will also be easy to move to IE9 when you have IE8 rolled out and we’ll have tools when we go to full release to help with that migration and additional group policy settings to help with management. I’m reminded of iconic “Don’t Panic, Carry on” posters, mugs and other tut.
That said, evaluate everything with IE9 starting now – there’s no need to wait to make sure stuff works, like your intranet sites, it’s a pay it forward exercise. Get to know HTML5 and other improvements and if you need to test sites along side IE8 then you can use the Platform Preview (version 5 was released at the same time as Beta)
*everyone is hyperbole but most people do