TechNet UK

Useful tools, tips & resource for IT professionals including daily news, downloads, how-to info and practical advice from the Microsoft UK TechNet team, partners and MVP's

October, 2011

UK  TechNet Flash Newsletter
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  • What do you want to hear at the Windows Deployment online conference?


    We’re busy planning away for our Windows 7 Deployment – Why and How online conference next Tuesday. Hopefully you’ll be joining us on the day, make sure you head over here and register for free now if you haven’t already.

    We put the wheels in motion for this event as a result of discussions with our readers, and after getting yet more great feedback we have made some changes to the agenda. We’re consolidating the day into more concise sessions so that you can find out what you need to quickly and easily, without taking a whole day out of work. The amount of time dedicated to hearing TechNet Blog reader Paul Cooke’s real-world migration story has also been extended. He’ll be coming from Plymouth City Council, to tell us about how he and his team have implemented hot desking using Windows 7, Office 2010, App-V and Lync 2010.

    But we don’t want to stop there; we still have a half-hour slot where we want you to tell us what you want to hear! So please leave a comment below – would you rather we discuss General Deployment Challenges, take a deep look at the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit or a deep look at SysPrep?


  • System Center 2012 Preview Roadshows

    There are some great preview roadshows coming up for System Center 2012 over the next few months all around the UK. They'll include forward-looking content as well as real-life customer examples and practical advice.

    You can join Microsoft and one of four expert partners in Reading, Manchester, London or Birmingham and discover how to empower your business with System Center 2012 management solutions. Registration links and the agenda for the days are below.






    Microsoft TVP

    16th November 2011

    Register Here


    Hilton Deansgate

    6th December 2011

    Register Here


    Imperial War Museum

    14th December 2011

    Register Here


    Maple House

    18th January 2012

    Register Here



  • The Definitive List of Hyper-V Tools?

    I’ve been digging around on the TechNet Wiki and came across this recently updated article on Hyper-V Tools. It contains a whole host of resources, both Microsoft and Third-party, many of which are free.

    Take a look and let us know your thoughts! Are there any tools that you think are missing?

    Don’t forget you can also learn more about virtualisation and a whole host of other subjects at the Microsoft Virtual Academy.


  • Save Sam Application Compatibility Videos & Winner


    It’s been a really tough decision this week, but our judges have come to a conclusion on the winning video answer to Sam’s question on Application Compatibility.

    So without further ado, a big congratulations to ‘yachtinglimited’ for their animated entry! A brand new FULL HD TV, Home Cinema System, Bluray Player and Star Wars box set will be winging their way to you shortly.

    The frontrunner for our Grand Prize of a 3D TV, Full HD 3D Ready Camcorder and 3D Conversion Lens has been chopping and changing over the past few weeks between many of the entries. Further congratulations to ‘yachtinglimited’ who are in the lead for this prize at the moment too.

    The winner is by no means decided however with well over a month to go, so make sure you get your entries in soon! The latest question is about Security, the video you need to respond to is here.

    Thanks for all your entries so far, you’ll all be getting limited edition mugs very soon. Here’s the latest videos, enjoy!





  • Win a Full HD TV, Blu-ray Home Cinema System & Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray by Saving Sam!

    Save Sam Banner

    Last fortnight your tips on ease of use earned Sam a stay of execution – check out all the great responses here. Now she needs to know, how she can make sure all the applications her company currently uses on XP will continue to work on Windows 7?

    To enter, create a short video clip (less than 3 minutes) and keep your eyes peeled on the blog to find out where to post it. Be as creative as you like, add music, text or just record direct from your webcam. We still have lots of limited edition mugs to give away to new entrants, as well as a Sony 32” Full HD TV, Blu-ray Home Cinema System & Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray for this fortnight’s best video. Remember to promote your video wherever you can to be in with a chance of winning our GRAND PRIZE – a 3D TV, Full HD 3D Ready Camcorder and 3D Conversion Lens for the highest number of views!

    Check out the Windows 7 Tech Centre for some ideas on what to talk about and Tweet #SaveSam.

    Further information, full Terms & Conditions and some more tips are available here.

    EDIT 11/10 - Post your video as a response to the video here.

  • Last Fortnight's Winning Save Sam Video

    Save Sam Banner

    After much deliberation our judges have reached a decision on the winner of last fortnight's Save Sam competition. Congratulations to 'thelongclimb', a limited edition mug and Acer Aspire ICONIA TAB will be winging their way to you very soon! While thelongclimb's video may have been judged the best by our panel, it isn't the leader in our race to gain the most views and win the GRAND PRIZE – a 3D TV, Full HD 3D Ready Camcorder and 3D Conversion Lens, that honour is currently held by 'pauliddon'. Whose video do you think is best? Let us know in the comments.

    You can watch all the entries so far, including last fortnight's winning video and the current front runner in the race for our grand prize, below. Think you can do better? There's just under a week to get your entry in for this fortnight's competition.

    Many thanks and congratulations to all of our entries, limited edition mugs will be on their way!





  • IP EXPO is the UK’s biggest and best free IT event, and we’ll be there!

    Taking place on the 19th and 20th October in London, IP EXPO is an unrivalled opportunity for IT professionals of every specialisation to experience the latest cloud computing, virtualisation, storage, wireless, networking and security innovations.

    Discover how you can focus on your applications, integrate across platforms, get best in class virtualisation performance and move to the cloud on your terms.  You’ll find us and our expert partners in the Microsoft Theatre and the Microsoft Partner Village.

    • Explore the latest infrastructure technology like new System Center 2012, the Microsoft Private Cloud, and the NEW HP Virtual System for Microsoft — so you can make better-informed investment decisions.
    • Hear Microsoft partners and customers recommendations on how best to implement Microsoft’s infrastructure solutions.
    • Speak to Microsoft experts and take the opportunity to learn best practices for adopting cloud – and ask the questions that really matter to you.
    • Learn what free training is available to support and advance your IT career.
    • Access great competitions by joining us for sessions in the Microsoft Theatre.

    Next Steps

    To make sure you don’t miss out on what is sure to be a great event, sign up for IP EXPO here. Once you’ve done that you’re halfway there, to make sure you really get the most out of your visit, view and register for sessions in the Microsoft Technology Theatre.

    We look forward to seeing you on the day!

  • T-900 Days Until Support for Windows XP Ends

    The 20th October 2011 was another milestone as we look towards End of Support (EoS) for Windows XP. Checking my countdown gadget tells me that we’re now at only 894 days until the XP support switch is flicked to off, and no support means Windows XP becomes a significant risk for your business. After April 8th 2014 there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.

    It’s hard to believe it, but ten years have passed since Windows XP was first launched, and the workplace has changed quite a bit. Today’s businesses, big or small, face trends that were not mainstream a decade ago – highly mobile and distributed workforces, new compliance regulations, more consumer devices in the workplace, and an increased emphasis on operational efficiency. The modern workplace needs modern technology to support and embrace all these changes.

    There’s no denying that XP was a massive step forward and a great OS in it’s own time. It made working on a PC more user friendly and fun, adding support for Wireless Internet and a new UI. However you don’t start to realise how much has changed since then until you look at what we didn’t have. When XP was first released nobody was talking about it on Facebook, that didn’t exist until 2004. We were still 6 years away from the first iPhone, the first Xbox was yet to make it to market and tablet computers were somewhat different to the devices that are increasingly common today.

    To further put things into perspective, using XP today is akin to trying to synchronise your iPhone 3G with Windows 98 or stream from your Windows 95 PC to your shiny new Xbox 360.

    April 2014 might sound like an awful long way away, but if you think about the amount of time your Windows 7 migration could take from end to end, there really is no time to waste. Working from their own projected timelines, Gartner have noted that it would be “dangerous for organizations now running XP to attempt to skip Windows 7 and move directly to Windows 8”. Indeed, they have been saying for over a year that organisations should look to have migrated off of Windows XP by the end of 2012, and the most recent statistics from StatCounter seem to show that people have been heeding their warning.


    OS Share Worldwide. Source: StatCounter


    OS Share UK. Source: StatCounter

    This October, for the first time, the worldwide share of PCs running Windows 7 overtook that of those running Windows XP and the trend shows no sign of slowing. This is nothing new in the UK though, where Windows 7 share has outstripped that of XP for well over a year.

    It’s all well and good singing the praises of Windows 7, and it is widely viewed as the superior OS, but we’re also well aware that it’s not always simple making the switch. This is especially true for many IT Pros working in complex organisations with a vast number of legacy applications. To make sure you and your business aren’t left behind, we have a whole host of great resources available to give you a helping hand and I’ve listed a few of them below for you to check out.

  • Join us for Tech.Days Online Tomorrow

    We’ll be discussing all sorts of interesting topics at the latest Tech.Days Online IT Pro conference tomorrow and there’s still time for you to register to attend for free!

    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 202 (AKA ‘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

    The LiveMeeting links you will need are below, along with an agenda which outlines what you can expect, we hope to see you there!

    Track A - Collaborate Better & Supporting More Than Windows
    Track B - System Center - It's All About the App & Introduction to SQL Server 'Denali'
    Track C - Integrating Windows Azure Into Your Infrastructure

  • The week that was on the UK TechNet Blog: 24-28 October

    It’s been another busy week for us all here at TechNet. We’ve been running around like mad things, both attending events and running our own. We hope you enjoyed both Tech.Days Online and the Windows 7 Deployment – Why and How sessions! If you didn’t manage to make it on the day never fear, on-demand content will be available next week so keep your eyes fixed on the UK TechNet Blog.

    Without further ado, here’s a run down of this week’s posts. Have a great weekend.