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September, 2011

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  • Save Sam’s Job and Win Great Prizes

    Save Sam Banner

    Sam is an IT Project Manager who has purchased a large batch of Windows 7 Enterprise licenses without consulting her bosses. They don’t want to move from XP and now her job’s at threat! She needs your help as an IT Professional to convince the board that Windows 7 is worth deploying.

    In return there are loads of great prizes available! A free limited edition mug is available for everyone who takes part, and each fortnight the video judged to be the best will be rewarded with one of our fantastic prizes. We have TV’s, a Windows Phone, Slate and Desktop touch devices to give away as well as loads more, so make sure you keep checking back on the blog to discover how you can get your hands on one. But wait… there’s more! The video with the most views at the end of the competition will be awarded a 3D TV and a 3D camcorder to help the winner progress to the silver screen!

    Details of where to enter will be available soon, in the meantime here’s the T&C’s as always and a quick guide to entering once the all important details have been published.

    Update 19/09 - Ease of Use

    Acer Aspire ICONIA TAB W500 this fortnight. Enter here.

    This period's entries can be found here.

    Update 03/10 - Compatibility

    Enter here to win this fortnight’s prize - a Full HD TV, Blu-ray Home Cinema System & Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray.

    Click here for this period's entries and winner.

    Update 18/10 - Security

    This fortnight's prize is a Lenovo B320 Multi-Touch All-In-One PC, enter here now!

    This period's winners can be found here!

    Update 31/10 - Deployment

    The prize this fortnight is a 4TB Seagate Network Attached Storage (NAS) Solution and Sonos System in return for the best Deployment tips.

    This period's winner is here!

    Update 14/11 - Manageability

    Win a shiny new Intel Core i3 Dell Laptop by answering this fortnight's question.

    Find out who won the laptop over here.

    Update 28/11 - Value

    The final fortnightly prize is a HTC Titan Windows Phone, more information here!

    Here's the final winners!

    Posting Guide

    Terms & Conditions

    1. ELIGIBILITY: This competition is open to any person resident in the UK who is 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Employees of Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising or promotion agencies are not eligible, nor are members of these employees’ families (defined as parents, children, siblings, spouse and life partners).

    2. TO ENTER: Entry into this competition is by response to the question(s) posed by Microsoft on the TechNet UK Blog. Full listings of the correct response links can be found on the TechNet Blog here. The entry method is as follows:

    - Video
    To enter, visit YouTube and register for a free account, if you don’t already have one. Then visit the TechNet UK Blog and navigate to the blog post which contains the relevant Entry Period’s question. The post will contain a link to a YouTube video to which you should post your video as a response.

    Maximum one video entry per person, per Entry Period. Only the entrant’s first response will be accepted, multiple answers will not increase the entrant’s chances of winning. All Entries must be posted as specified in the instructions for the Entry Period and received by the close of the Entry Period. All Entries must comply with the YouTube’s Terms and Conditions.

    Incomplete, damaged, defaced or illegible entries may be deemed invalid at the sole discretion of Microsoft. Entry constitutes full and unconditional acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. Microsoft reserve the right to disqualify anyone in breach of these Terms and Conditions.

    3. TIMING: This competition runs from 09.00:00 am BST on 19 September 2011 until 09.00:00 am BST on 12 December 2011 (inclusive) (The “Competition Period”). The competition consists of six (6) “Entry Periods”:

    - Entry Period 1 (19 September 2011 – 03 October 2011)
    - Entry Period 2 (03 October 2011 – 17 October 2011)
    - Entry Period 3 (17 October 2011 – 31 October 2011)
    - Entry Period 4 (31 October 2011 – 14 November 2011)
    - Entry Period 5 (14 November 2011 – 28 November 2011)
    - Entry Period 6 (28 November 2011 – 12 December 2011)

    Completed entries for each Period must reach Microsoft no later than 09:00:00 am BST on the closing date of the respective Entry Period.

    4. USE OF DATA: Personal data which you provide when you enter this competition shall be used for the purposes of this competition only.

    5. SELECTION OF WINNERS: The competition winners for each Entry Period will be determined by a panel of 3 judges within five (5) working days of the close of the Entry Period. The panel of judges will include at least one independent member.

    The judges will evaluate the entries based on the following criteria ("Criteria"):
    - The clarity and relevance of the response to the question;
    - The likelihood that the advice given would ‘Save Samantha’s Job’;
    - The creativity shown through the response.

    The winners will be notified within ten (10) working days of the close of the Entry Period. Entrants submitting written responses will be contacted through the forum messaging system, entrants submitting video entries will be contacted through the YouTube messaging system. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, through no fault of Microsoft, within 5 days after the first attempt, an alternative winner will be selected. The winner may be required to become involved in further publicity or advertising, including but not limited to the use of winning video answers in Microsoft publications.

    6. PRIZES: The first 200 responses across the Competition Period that meet the entry criteria will be awarded one complimentary mug, a maximum of one mug per person.

    Prizes may consist of more than one item, where more than one item is shown below for one Entry Period below they are combined and treated as a single prize. Six (6) best video prizes are available during the Competition Period in the following categories:
    - Entry Period 1 (19 September 2011 – 03 October 2011)
    – Best video answer – Acer Aspire ICONIA TAB W500 (AMD-C50 Dual Core Processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB HDD, Windows 7 Home Premium) (ERP £425)
    - Entry Period 2 (03 October 2011 – 17 October 2011)
    – Best video answer – Sony 32” LCD TV (ERP £330) + Samsung 3D BluRay 2.1 Channel Home Cinema System (ERP £150) + Star Wars: The Complete Saga on BluRay (ERP £60)
    - Entry Period 3 (17 October 2011 – 31 October 2011)
    – Best video answer – Lenovo IdeaCentre B320 21.5” Multi-touch All-in-one Desktop PC (Core i3-2100 3.1GHz, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 7 Home Premium) (ERP £500)
    - Entry Period 4 (31 October 2011 – 14 November 2011)
    – Best video answer – Seagate 4TB Network Attached Storage (NAS) (ERP £235) + Sonos Play:5 (ERP £340) + Sonos Bridge (ERP £40)
    - Entry Period 5 (14 November 2011 – 28 November 2011)
    – Best video answer –Dell Inspiron Q15R Switch Laptop (Core™ i3-2310M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, Windows 7 Home Premium) (ERP £480)
    - Entry Period 6 (28 November 2011 – 12 December 2011)
    – Best video answer – Windows Phone 7 HTC TITAN (ERP £490)

    All video responses that meet the entry criteria will be entered into the competition for best video answer for the relevant Entry Period. Maximum of one best video prize per person during the duration of the competition.

    Additionally all video responses that meet the entry criteria, including those awarded best video prizes, will be entered into the competition to win a Samsung 32” LED 3D TV (ERP £500) + Panasonic SD90 Full HD 3D Ready Camcorder (ERP £360) + Panasonic CLT1 3D Conversion Lens (ERP £200) for the most views achieved across the Competition Period. The number of views achieved will be taken as displayed by the YouTube view counter at the time of judging.

    Prizes as stated and non-transferable. No cash or other alternatives available. Microsoft reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. The prizes will be sent by 21 December 2011. If no entries are received for any particular Entry Period or the received entries are not deemed to meet the judging criteria, the prize will be retained by Microsoft. Prizes may be considered a taxable benefit and winners will be directly responsible for accounting for any tax liability arising on their prize.

    7. WINNERS LIST: The winner consents to their first name and surname being made publicly available. The winner’s surnames will be available for a period of 30 days after the end of the Entry Period by emailing Alex Guy at t-alexgu@microsoft.com.

    8. OTHER: No correspondence will be entered into regarding either this competition or these Terms and Conditions. In the unlikely event of a dispute, Microsoft’s decision shall be final. Microsoft reserves the right to amend, modify, cancel or withdraw this competition at any time without notice.

    9. Microsoft cannot guarantee the performance of any third party and shall not be liable for any act or default by a third party. Participants in this promotion agree that Microsoft will have no liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses, costs, damage or disappointment of any kind resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly from acceptance, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in this promotion. Nothing in this clause shall limit Microsoft’s liability in respect of death or personal injury arising out of its own negligence or arising out of fraud.

    Promoter: Microsoft Limited, Microsoft Campus, Thames Valley Park, Reading, RG6 1WG, England

  • Some beyond-basic free tools for IT Pros

    Andrew and I often get asked questions about some of the more basic elements of the job and a question that comes up time and  time again is what are the best tools to use for doing X.  For me I often get asked how you start to plan a migration, to understand what’s out there in your environment and then to move into deploying Windows.  We also get asked all manner of questions around managing AD, around System Center, around security and around clever ways to do something.  I thought I’d compile a short list of some of our favourites, hopefully you’ll find some nuggets but share your thoughts in the comments.

    MAP The Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit is an agentless inventory, assessment, and reporting tool that can securely assess IT environments for various platform migrations—including Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, Windows Azure, and Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track.  I find this toolkit to be a fabulous planning resource which is why it’s top of this list, because it came to mind first.  It simply looks at your environment and provides you with reports that with some tweaking you can use to support things like a request for funding or just to work out how far through a migration you are.  For example it can look at your desktop estate and tell you how many PCs you have that don’t have hardware capable of running Windows 7.  Andrew is also a big fan of the MAP.

    OEAT Office Environment Assessment Toolkit is a free downloadable executable (.exe) file that scans client computers for add-ins and applications that interact with Microsoft Office 97, Microsoft Office 2000, Microsoft Office XP, Microsoft Office 2003, the 2007 Microsoft Office system, and Microsoft Office 2010. You use OEAT during the assessment phase of your application compatibility and remediation project, which is described in detail in Office 2010 application compatibility guide. The following figure shows how OEAT fits into the overall process of assessing application compatibility

    MDT The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit is THE tool to use to get any version of Windows deployed within your organisation.  It simplifies the process of creating dynamic deployments that can adapt to the hardware or environment into which they are being delivered.  If you already use System Center then it integrates very well and the new Beta integrates with System Center 2012 too.  MDT also has a task sequence that lets you automatically P2V an XP machine to migrate it to Windows 7 allowing full access to the original XP machine, all it’s apps and data.

    USMT User State Migration Tool (USMT) 4.0 is a scriptable command-line tool that provides a highly-customizable user-profile migration experience for IT professionals. USMT includes two components, ScanState and LoadState, and a set of modifiable .xml files: MigApp.xml, MigUser.xml, and MigDocs.xml. In addition, you can create custom .xml files to support your migration needs. You can also create a Config.xml file to specify files or settings to exclude from the migration.

    IEAK The Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) simplifies the creation, deployment and management of customized Internet Explorer packages. The IEAK can be used to configure the out-of-box Internet Explorer experience or to manage user settings after Internet Explorer deployment.  WHAT I LOVE about this tool is that it allows so much control over the browsing environment giving you complete manageability where some other browsers give you about 87 settings that don’t do a whole lot, IE gives you 1500+ to ensure it fits your organisation perfectly.

    Security Essentials IF your org has less than 10 PCs then this is the FREE antivirus for you, like wise use it at home.  Security Essentials uses the same signatures as ForeFront and has won a slew of awards for being very user friendly.  You shouldn’t really need to pay to keep safe.

    Sysinternals Books have been written about this set of tools, so powerful they help identify and solve serious security and malware issues.  Mark Russinovich and friends have created and docuemented an ultra powerful set of tools, some of my favourites are PSExec (which has saved my life and career on many an occasion) BGinfo which tells me all the details I need to identify a server at a glance from the desktop, and Zoom It, which if you’ve ever seen me demo live you’ll have seen.

    RDC Man RDCMan manages multiple remote desktop connections. It is useful for managing server labs where you need regular access to each machine such as automated checkin systems and data centers. It is similar to the built-in MMC Remote Desktops snap-in, but more flexible.

    MAPT

    Mouse without borders has been an internal tool at Microsoft for along time.  It’s an immensely useful tool if you use multiple PCs, it basically allows you to share a single mouse and keyboard across multiple PCs – sort of like a revers RDP.  The great thing is that it works perfectly when you have a few laptops to work on at one time as you can use the monitor from each to provide multiple displays.

    Some learning tools

    Deployment learning portal is the place to learn how to deploy Windows.

    MVA is the place to learn how to use the cloud, and virtualisation and tons and tons of other stuff.

  • Virtualisation and the small business

    At this time of year our team is heavily into planning meetings. One debate I got into in one of these sessions was the importance of virtualisation to smaller businesses. The general reaction was that this is a technology more relevant to large organisations with large data centres or to hosters and outsourcing specialists supplying lots of compute power to those customers.

    However the one consistent trend I have seen when Microsoft has entered a new area of technology is that this drives the cost of ownership down so that it becomes more affordable to the smaller business.  A good example close to my own heart is SQL Server, and then the business intelligence offerings that came out with it. This cost of ownership isn’t just about cheap licenses, if that were the case then open source would be the model I would quote. It's about a more holistic approach to that cost:

    • The new thing should be easy to use. I realise that this is an emotive subject, but it is business not IT perception that matters here, so familiar tools, reliability and interoperability with other tools and tasks they perform is important.
    • Support and training. Eventually we all need to phone a friend to get help, so having a large ecosystem with forums, technical articles etc, as well as being able to engage consultants or the manufacturer of the software, can also help with cost of ownership.
    • Reliability and credibility. Having large-scale case studies shows that any product can stand up to the requirements of big business, and that it is trusted. This is important for any business once you put your tier one application onto a new platform (my definition of tier one is something that stops the business trading if it fails).

    Applying all of that to virtualisation should mean that this becomes more relevant to small business:

    Ease of Use.

    • You can separate functions into discrete virtual machines, where before you had to either try and get them to co-exist on a single box or buy more and more boxes.
    • You can take a quick copy of a VM and test things on it, like patching and upgrades, or just take a snapshot and do whatever you want on production knowing you can go back if you need to.
    • Those VMs reduce a complex setup to one or two  files for backup. I would add that if you can separate the state and any data from the operating system this puts you in a better place.
    • I know of several smaller business adopting Hyper-V because its familiar Windows interface and behaviour mean that all the members of their small IT teams can work with it and cover for each other.
    • You can also get rid of those boxes running just one legacy application. You might be worried about whether it will run as a virtual machine, but it’s easy to test and support probably isn’t an issue - chances are, the application is out of support anyway.

    Support & Training

    • There are a wealth of virtualisation experts, from individual contractors through boutique partners specialising in infrastructure, to dedicated practices in the larger system integrators and hardware industry.
    • Specialist training and certification is also widely available.My top site to get you started would be the Microsoft Virtual Academy, full of great, free training. 

    Reliability & Credibility

    • With most major enterprises adopting virtualisation for their production environments - e.g the Post Office going public on using Microsoft’s virtualisation platform (Hyper-V) - this technology is now mainstream.
    • As for reliability, there have been concerns about the threat posed by attacking virtual machines through the hypervisor. I couldn’t find any recorded cases of a successful attack on Hyper-V, for example, that’s not to say it’s not bombproof, rather that a program of high vigilance from the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) plus the sound engineering that the Secure Development Lifecycle (SDLC) brings mean it’s pretty much as secure as it can be.

    I haven’t mentioned cost. Microsoft's entry into this space in a serious way a couple of years ago has driven down the cost of virtualisation, even though one of the major players has announced some recent changes. What I mean by lowering the overall cost is that Hyper-V is being adopted where there is no obvious value in paying for virtualisation. Our internal research bears this out as we can match the shipments of new servers going to small businesses (the data comes from the hardware vendors) with what small business is buying and using.

    Remember you can get some great training around virtualisation at the Microsoft Virtual Academy.

  • End the week in style! Win a Microsoft Touch or Explorer Touch Mouse

    These are smart, aren’t they?

    We’re showcasing the very best of Microsoft design with some great new hardware launches. With the multi-touch Touch Mouse, exclusively for Windows 7, all tasks become more natural, fluid, and intuitive. The Explorer Touch Mouse gives you precise touch navigation at the tip of a finger. Touch. Flick. Click. Go! See them in all their glory here.

    TM_Blk_Profile2_FY11ETM_Grey_FOB_FY11TTM_Blk_FOB_FY11

    Be the envy of your IT crowd! If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning one of this super-stylish little fellows, get your thinking caps on.

    We’d like you to tell us why you’d recommend Windows 7 to your organisation in 50 words or less. Our favourite entry will win a Microsoft Touch Mouse (ERP £69.99), and two runners up will each win a Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse (ERP £49.99).

    Terms and conditions apply (don’t they always?), so give them a read and then send 50 of your best words about Windows 7 to ukitpro@microsoft.com. If yours is a winner, we’ll drop you an emailb. We’ll also publish the winning entries, along with winners’ names, here on the blog.

    Good luck!

     

    Terms & Conditions:

    1. ELIGIBILITY: This competition is open to UK residents who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Employees of Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising or promotion agencies are not eligible, nor are members of these employees’ families (defined as parents, children, siblings, spouse and life partners).

    2. TO ENTER: To enter email your entry to ukitpro@microsoft.com. The person submitting the best recommendation for Windows 7 in 50 words or less, as selected by three judges, will win a Microsoft Touch Mouse (ERP: £69.99). The two runner up entries will each win a Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse (ERP: £49.99). Only one entry per person will be accepted. Incomplete, damaged, defaced or illegible entries may be deemed invalid at the sole discretion of Microsoft. Entry constitutes full and unconditional acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. Microsoft reserves the right to disqualify anyone in breach of these Terms and Conditions.

    3. TIMING: This competition runs from 8am GMT 1 September. The closing date of this competition is 5.30pm GMT 8 September 2011. Completed entries must reach Microsoft no later than the closing date.

    4. USE OF DATA: Personal data which you provide when you enter this competition will not be used for future Microsoft UK marketing activity.

    5. SELECTION OF WINNER: Three judges will select their favourite submission and two runners up from all the entries and the winner will be notified by email on 12 September 2011 by 6pm GMT. The winners may be required to become involved in further publicity or advertising.

    6. PRIZE: The prize is one Microsoft Touch Mouse and two Microsoft Explorer Touch mice. Prize as stated and non-transferable. No cash or other alternatives available. Microsoft reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. The prize will be dispatched within one week of the competition’s closing date. Prize may be considered a taxable benefit and the winner will be directly responsible for accounting for any tax liability arising on their prize.

    7. WINNERS LIST: The winner consents to their surname being made publicly available. The winner’s surname will be available for a period of 3 weeks after the closing date by emailing ukitpro@microsoft.com.

    8. OTHER: No correspondence will be entered into regarding either this competition or these Terms and Conditions. In the unlikely event of a dispute, Microsoft’s decision shall be final. Microsoft reserves the right to amend, modify, cancel or withdraw this competition at any time without notice.

    9. Microsoft cannot guarantee the performance of any third party and shall not be liable for any act or default by a third party. Participants in this promotion agree that Microsoft will have no liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses, costs, damage or disappointment of any kind resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly from acceptance, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in this promotion. Nothing in this clause shall limit Microsoft’s liability in respect of death or personal injury arising out of its own negligence or arising out of fraud.

  • Zero degrees

    Despite the hype about out sourcing, offshoring and more recently the cloud, the IT Professional population in the UK is largely static at about 970,000.  Any population of this size is made up of a wide variety of people from diverse educational backgrounds, and they don’t all have IT degrees or indeed any degree. For example I went to art school and only got into IT because someone put an early PC on my desk. Appearing as an expert witness for the Serious Fraud Office it occurred to me that I had no academic qualifications and eventually got an MSc in computing from the OU.

    I mention this because there will be a load of students who won’t get into university this year and might be thinking that their career is over before it’s started.  IT isn’t like that:

    • Vendor qualifications can count for more than degrees; you only have to look at the salaries for Cisco Microsoft, Oracle,Vmware qualified roles,
    • There are also best practice qualifications like ITIL, PRINCE 2, CRAMM  around the wider aspects of IT.
    • For all the qualifications in the world you can’t really bluff your way in IT, you can either provision a virtual machine, write PowerShell, understand DNS or you can’t. This is a good thing as it fosters trust, based on ability not class, religion, race or politics
    • Finally new technologies and principles come out which change established practices, some of which take a long time to ripple through to course content in academic qualifications. So even if you have a nice shiny degree you are still going to have to do some more study to get some of the industry/vendor qualifications

    If it’s going to take £30,000 and 3/4 years to get a degree and you are going to work until your 68/70 will an IT  graduate catch up with the guy who studied for the industry qualifications and served some sort of apprenticeship?  Some will and some won’t. There will be the high fliers who will run companies, become directors and manage large IT projects where a degree and probably an MBA to follow will be be essential or at least justifiable, but that is only a few thousands or tens of thousands of the IT population.  On the factory floor the IT implementers will not necessarily need  a degree upfront and can earn very respectable salaries all over the UK and maybe study part time later on (like me).

    Microsoft has several things in place for this:

    •  Britain Works is an apprenticeship based scheme aimed at creating 500,000 IT posts over three years< and now has a special program for under 25s , Young Britain Works
    • The Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) has specific cloud based training and basic assessments to help decide if this an area of interest to you
    • The main UK TechNet site which this week is full of careers advice
  • Cloud Adoption in SMEs

    One of our UK TechNet readers, Christopher Latham, wrote to me a couple of weeks ago looking for help with some research he’s undertaking for his MSc Dissertation and the subject “Cloud Computing adoption in SMEs” is something that I’m really interested in so I thought it’d be great if we all gave him hand.  Christopher’s survey on Cloud Computing Adoption in SMEs will only take about 5 minutes to complete but it’ll help him out a lot and provide us with some interesting thoughts.

    I wanted to understand a little more about Chris so I wrote back to him to find out why he’s doing what he’s doing….

    110919-110227“I have worked in SMEs throughout my career in IT and there is a common conception amongst academics that they are best placed to exploit the benefits of the cloud through the “big little” effect, which allows them to enjoy the benefits of enterprise IT without the capital investment. I really wanted to see whether this is true, what the concerns of SMEs are in relation to the cloud, and what the level of knowledge is in the SME community regarding its benefits and risks. Moreover, I want to determine whether size really does matter when considering whether to move towards a cloud model – or whether SMEs have business concerns that are as relevant, if not more so to whether they adopt or not. Ultimately, I want to produce a framework which provides an amount of IT governance to SMEs around the cloud that fits in with the way they formulate business strategy, without it becoming particularly onerous or time consuming. ”

    Chris is doing his MSc with the Open University and he’s going to release the results on his blog so we’ll be sure to make sure we let you know to.

  • Notes from The Cloud Circle

    Hi folks I’ve just jumped off stage and as promised here are a load of links about what I’ve just talked about, some of the companies I highlighted and other useful resources.  After the links you’ll find a SkyDrive based copy of the presentation – with notes.

     

    Esri running on Windows Azure

    Air Products running HPC with Windows Azure and HPC Server 2008R2 dealing with unpredictable bursting

    Exceedra and their supply chain management and prediction running on Windows Azure

    Associated Press and their News Reader application, created on Windows Azure

    Risk Metrics and the awfully complicated Monte Carlo simulation

    Some that I didn’t have time to mention

    The Royal Mail have 28,000 people using cloud based collaboration with Microsoft

    UK based hoster, Fast Hosts, use Hyper-V cloud

    You should also take a look at this whitepaper by my colleague Steve Plank about agility.

  • Tech.Days Online returns!

    Recordings from the whole day are available here.

    Following on from the success of last year’s Tech.Days Online series, we are back with our new schedule of events. It all kicks off on 27 October with Simon May, Andrew Fryer, Steve Plank and many others for a day of conversation on some of the most pressing topics and exciting developments facing the modern IT industry. There are five subjects across three tracks, so plenty of opportunity to jump between sessions if you wish.

    Along with representatives from IT departments around the UK, we will discuss how to embrace the influx of consumer devices into the workplace, the new features available through SQL Server ‘Denali’ and how Windows Azure can help you make sense of your Cloud offering, among many other topics.

    Our three main speakers for the conference will be sharing presenting duties with the following guest speakers from Microsoft, the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and Springboard Technical Expert Panel (STEP) communities:

    Guest Speakers for Introduction to SQL Server Denali

    • Jennifer Stirrup, SQL Server MVP
    • Allan Mitchell, SQL Server MVP
    • Samuel Solieman, Microsoft

    Guest Speaker for System Center - It's All About the App

    • Gordon McKenna, System Center MVP

    Guest Speakers for Supporting More Than Windows

    • David Nudelman, Windows Desktop Experience - IT Pro MVP
    • Chris Rhodes, Microsoft STEP Member

    See further agenda details and register your attendance here.

    The LiveMeeting links you'll need for the day are as follows:

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  • Register for our online conference ‘Windows 7 Deployment – Why and How’, 25 October

    Windows 7 Deployment Banner

    Update 08/11 - You can view on demand recordings of all the sessions here.

    Windows 7 Deployment – Why and How

    Join us on 25 October for the ‘Windows 7 Deployment – Why and How?’ online conference, a one-stop guide to why Windows 7 makes sense for your organisation and how it can be easily deployed to your users.

    To register your attendance at the Windows 7 Deployment online conference head over to Microsoft Worldwide Events here.

    Don’t forget, you can win the chance to present the last slot in the agenda! Check out this post for more information.

    Update 24/10 - Use this link to access the conference from 09:30 tomorrow. We look forward to seeing you!

    Recordings from the session will be available within the next week, keep your eyes peeled on the TechNet Blog for information on how to view them.

  • Helping you tackle the 10 immutable laws of security

    This great TechNet library article calls out ten top security issues and helps you to meet them head on to improve the security of your systems. The article tackles a heavy topic in a refreshingly lightweight style, so grab a cuppa and have a read here.