The Sharper Blog

  • Microsoft Resources for Startups and Small Businesses

    The state of the economy and the large number of layoffs over the last two years have a lot of people thinking about starting their own business - so does a really bad day at work, but I'll try to stay on topic here..... If you are thinking about starting...
  • It's the End of Microsoft's Fiscal Year for Our Retail Stores Too

    You may or may not have known this, but Microsoft's Fiscal Year runs July 1 - June 30. Most of our business customers have known this for years and all of our account managers are busy trying to close out as many deals as possible. I just learned that...
  • Created My First Custom Ringtone for Windows Phone 7.5 - You Can Too!

    I really should be working, but I needed to figure this out. I don't think I'll ever pay for a ringtone again. What I used: Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 w/SP1 - http://www.microsoft.com/expression/service-packs/Encoder.aspx - This is a free...
  • The Cost of Microsoft Certification Exams is Going Up July 1, 2011

    If you've been putting off getting certified, the pending price increase may motivate you to hurry up and take some exams. As of July 1, 2011 prices for Microsoft exams will increase by $25 from $125 to $150. To learn more about the change please visit...
  • Become a Microsoft Student Partner!

    If you know any students that would be interested, please pass this info along - https://www.microsoftstudentpartners.com We’d like to share with you a great opportunity to become a US Microsoft Student Partner . Each year Microsoft...
  • I Got Mango Today - Here's What I Like and What I Don't (As Much)

    OK I am so excited that I got the 'Mango' (Windows Phone 7.5) release on my phone today. I am absolutely loving it! I believe that Microsoft finally has a phone that not only can compete but can take market share from iPhone and Android. I really should...
  • And Now for a Moment of Silence.....

    Tonight my worst fear was confirmed - http://www.zune.net/en-US/support/zuneplayers/supportzuneplayers.htm . OK so not my absolute worst fear but, still disappointing news. There's been a lot of speculation in the press that this was going to be the direction...
  • Office 365 is Officially on Microsoft's Price List Today for Enterprise Agreement Customers

    Today is June 1, 2011 which means Enterprise Agreement customers can start ordering Office 365 - the next release of our hosted solutions for SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, and Office. The official launch date hasn't been announced yet, but it's coming very...
  • Outlook Web Access 2010 - Me Likey!

    So I'm prevented from discussing Office 2010 features until we ship our first public beta but I can talk about Outlook Web Access 2010 now because OWA is developed by the Exchange Server team and that beta is public. You can see the list of features at...
  • Mango - I Think Microsoft Finally Gets It

    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/windowsphone/ So you all know that Windows Phone 7 is my first smartphone - EVER. Sadly I've become what I've mocked - someone who can't put their phone down. Windows Phone 7 has made me a convert and now...
  • I Love Music with a Message!

    Happy New Year! I need to get back to blogging regularly. In the meantime please watch this video and think about what you can do to be a better person and show more love to your fellow man in 2011. (Please visit the site to view this video)
  • Are We There Yet?

    Hope you guys are having a great Summer. I'm slowly easing out of my blogging hiatus after spending the first three weeks of July traveling for work and play. I've got one more work trip and two mini-vacations coming up and then I'm totally back into...
  • "Office 15"

    First official public disclosure - http://blogs.office.com/b/office-exec/archive/2012/01/30/quot-office-15-quot-begins-technical-preview.aspx
  • Women in Business Networking Event at the Microsoft Store in Oak Brook, IL - February 22, 2011 from 8 to 10 AM

    Attention all professional women in the Chicagoland area! The Oakbrook Center Microsoft Store will host its first quarterly breakfast social for women in business, providing attendees with exceptional networking opportunities and a chance to interact...
  • Office and SharePoint Launch 2010 is Here!

    OK so I'm a little late on this one given that Microsoft made the official announcement on Friday, April 16 that Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 have been released to manufacturing (RTM). Customers all over the world will be able to get access...
  • Have You Ever Met Bill Gates?

    That's just one example of some of the questions I'm asked at least once a week. I've decided to put together my own FAQ in the hopes that I'll never have to answer these questions again: Q: Have you ever met Bill Gates? A: No I have not. Microsoft...
  • 10 Year Anniversary

    Well y'all my 10 year anniversary with Microsoft was February 25, 2012. I can't believe I've been working here for 10 years. Before coming to Microsoft the longest I'd worked at any company was three years. I remember when my second anniversary passed...
  • Moment of Silence Part III

    Dear Fred Shuttlesworth, Because of you and people like you people like me have the right to vote. We can live where we want. We can eat and sit where we want. Our schools are integrated. The laws of this land protect our rights now. You fought for...
  • The Collision of Hip Hop and Microsoft.....

    .....produces Softwear www.microsoft.com/windows/softwearbymicrosoft If that ain't cool, I don't know what is. I'm going to have to break down and the get 'The Albuquerque' and take it all the way back to the beginning. I may also pick up...
  • Job Fair Thursday, August 18 - Chicago

    Details - http://blogs.technet.com/b/chicago/archive/2011/08/17/considering-a-career-change-check-out-microsoft-s-job-fair-in-chicago.aspx
  • Tip for All You Current and Future Windows Phone 7 Users

    I apologize if I'm late in sharing this info, but I've managed to destroy two phones in a row and each time I replaced my phone I had to spend at least an hour or two re-installing apps that I purchased using my phone. How did I destroy two phones you...
  • Day 1 with Windows 7

    Well ya'll I finally did it, I loaded Windows 7. I have five (well seven total but only five are useful) laptops and three are now running Windows 7. The specs are as follows: Toshiba Tecra M9 4 GB RAM, 64-bit 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor...
  • Mactopia

    Yes Microsoft does develop software for Mac computers. The relationship between Microsoft and Apple is "Complicated" (Facebook pun intended) and despite the commercials you see on TV I don't believe we'll ever really break up. If you are a Mac user check...
  • Meet Microsoft - Women's Networking Event - Chicago, IL - Tuesday, May 15 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM

    Do you have 8+ years of experience in sales, marketing, consulting services or technical support? If so, we invite you to attend the Meet Microsoft: Women’s Networking Event , a forum to network with local employees and learn about careers at Microsoft...
  • Free Microsoft Store Summer Camps

    Are your kids bored already? Take them to Summer Camps at your local Microsoft Store. Attendance is free and open to children ages 8-13, but you must RSVP. Contact your participating Microsoft Store for detailed information and schedules. Just in case...