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Mike Halsey is a Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Press author having written “Troubleshooting Windows 7 Inside Out” and with two Windows 8 books set for release during 2012. He is a keen supporter of getting things done which is why he uses Windows Phone.
Mike is also a teacher of adult literacy and numeracy basic skills, helping people get a much needed step up in life. He lives in Yorkshire with his rescue border-collie, Jed.
Most smartphone platforms these days are designed with consumers in mind. After all, what business wanting its staff to be productive wants a handset that encourages updating Facebook, playing Angry Birds and engaging in online chat?
All the major smartphones are guilty of these including Blackberry which made its name in the business space. Now though, Windows Phone’s latest update, Mango, is changing the way businesses can work with and utilise smartphones.
The previous choices for smartphones in the Enterprise were either the aforementioned Blackberry or the now retired Windows Mobile. When Windows Phone first launched a year ago some features were incomplete, though in Microsoft’s defence they managed to pull the entire platform together from scratch in just 18 months.
I thought I’d detail here for you why I now believe that Windows Phone is the only smartphone platform you should be deploying in your business.
Some of the changes are simple and elegant, such as new threaded email views and direct integration with Office 365. Most business want more server-centric features however and Mango delivers these.
Exchange support has been greatly improved and now offers Information Rights Managed restrictions to be placed on messages, determining what recipients can and cannot do with them once they have been received. Exchange support has been tightened up greatly from the first builds of the Windows Phone OS.
There’s better password support enabling IT administrators to enforce password management through Exchange group policy in the same way as exists on the desktop.
Wireless and VPN network access has been improved with support for hidden and fully configurable networks. Search is automatically extended to your Exchange server as well when you set up an Exchange account on a phone.
Server support is comprehensive with not just with a new generation of content-rich apps, but also a targeted application distribution channel for businesses to push their own bespoke applications to handsets.
Integration with Microsoft’s new communication platform, Lync, is built in along with other links to Office and Server-side features, and the full editions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, with the online sync they bring are simply excellent in my view and I use them constantly.
On top of this there are many other improvements in Mango including full support for HTML5, integration with LinkedIn and new richer live tiles bringing the latest and most relevant information directly to the attention of the user.
These are not features offered by other smartphone makers who operate in different ways. Apple’s “buy more apps” approach has left its platform confined to consumers, and Blackberry’s traditional mobile approach has become dated and unpopular with their market share dropping month on month, especially as they try harder to consumerise their platform. Finally Android’s security and malware problems are keeping Google’s OS firmly away from the Enterprise.
With mango, Windows Phone is completely ready for business and with a focus that concentrates on information, productivity and accessibility, and that can be configured for consumer and business-centric environments separately; it stands apart from the competition in my view as being far from a gimmick.
Windows Phone, just one year from its launch is a mature and Enterprise-ready platform that will surprise many as it gains further traction and brings new levels of efficiency to the workplace.
If you would like to read more of Mike’s articles then please visit his website.
You may have noticed my first post to TechNet on Friday 11th November. I’m Sarah Lamb, the newest addition to the TechNet team. I’ll be looking after the UK TechNet site, Flash Newsletter and Editing the blog content. I managed to find a spare 5 minutes to answer the same 10 questions that I asked Dan last week. I thought it would give you a fun insight into who I am.
In order to help get to know our readers better it would be awesome if you too gave your answers to the same 10 questions I’ll do the same and post my answers next week for you. I’ll also be going round the rest of the IT Pro team and getting them to do the same! And remember that you can also follow us on Twitter!
I managed to grab 5 minutes to interview Dan Pilling, a recent convert to Technet UK as the IT Professional Audience Marketing Manager. And what better way to introduce Dan to you properly than with 10 Questions!
1. What is your name and where do you come from? (Imagine this being said Cilla Black – Blind Date Style!)
2. How would you describe yourself using 3 tags?
Fun, Music-Addict, Petrol Head
Earlier this week we launched a brand new tool on the TechNet UK website to help you discover the top content that will help with your Windows 7 Migration. All you have to do is enter where you are with your migration, or if you’ve not started at all the thing that’s holding you back, and the tool will deliver some great information customised to your situation.
We are planning on updating the tool regularly so we would love to hear your feedback on what you like, don’t like and what you think is missing. Let us know in the comments, or Tweet us @TechNetUK!
Give it a try!
Those were great tips on Deployment, the board were impressed! Now the board want to know, if they deploy Windows 7, how can they manage it day-to-day?
Here’s the story so far:
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.
Sam’s bosses are concerned that changes in user profiles will make it difficult to migrate people from XP to Windows 7. She needs to know, how does Windows 7 make management and administration easier for the IT department and save money for the business?
We still have some free limited edition mugs available for new entrants so spread the word and get your friends involved! This fortnight you can get your hands on an Intel Core i3 Dell Inspiron Q15R Laptop if your video is judged the best. 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.
Head over to YouTube and submit a short clip (3 minutes or less) as a response to our video here to enter. Be as creative as you like, add music, text or just record direct from your webcam.
Check out the Windows 7 Tech Centre for some ideas on what to talk about and Tweet your response #SaveSam.
Full Terms & Conditions are available here.
Last Thursday we brought you a day full of great discussion on a whole host of different topics, including the latest on Windows, Office, System Center, SQL Server and Azure. We had lots of people attend all the day, so many thanks from all the team to everyone that came along.
If you couldn’t make it, no problem. Every session was recorded and all the content is available for you to check out below, just select the part that takes your fancy and stick in a name, no Recording Key required. Enjoy!
Track A AM – Collaborate Better
Learn more about the impact consumer devices in the workplace are having on modern IT, and how solutions such as Office 365 can improve productivity and collaboration in your organisation.
Part One – Introduction to Collaboration, Office 365 Demo, Designing for Office 2010 Deployment & a Live Office 2010 Deployment Demo Part Two – Setting Up Office 365, Office 365 for Enterprise & Configuring Office 365
PM – Supporting More than Windows
Windows is only the beginning of what's possible - see how different ways of working can support your organisation and its users. Simon May is joined by Microsoft MVP David Nudelman and STEP member Chris Rhodes to discuss how Windows can help you to embrace the increasingly strong presence of consumer devices in the workplace.
Part One – Building a Consumerisation Strategy & Windows 7 for the Best Desktop Part Two – Supporting Mobile Users & A Better Browsing Experience
Track B AM – System Center – It’s All About the App
Now it's not just about how fast your hardware is - it's all about the app. System Center 2012 is going to change how applications are managed in the data centre, Andrew Fryer and Microsoft MVP Gordon McKenna will take you through the way this will happen.
Part One – System Center App Controller, Packaging and Managing Your Application Part Two – What About the User?, Automate the Helpdesk & Putting it all Together (ALM)
PM – Introduction to SQL Server 2012
SQL Server 2012 (previously known as ‘Denali’) builds on the development themes in previous releases with major improvements to High availability, Business Intelligence, Manageability and Developer Platform. In this session Andrew Fryer, Samuel Solieman and Microsoft MVPs Allan Mitchell and Jennifer Stirrup provide introductions and demos of key features.
Part One – Introduction to SQL Server 2012, Management AlwaysOn Demo, Self Service BI & SQL Server and the Cloud Part Two – Data Quality & Unstructured Data
Track C Integrating Windows Azure into Your Infrastructure
If it hasn't already, the Cloud will have an impact on IT provision in your organisation. Whether it's email/collaboration and communication, SaaS-based CRM and ERP systems or LOB apps running on a cloud platform, there's a whole range of integration challenges for the IT Pro. In this session find out what Windows Azure is and how to integrate and manage its applications with your on-site infrastructure.
Part One – Windows Azure Overview & Role Creation Demo Part Two – SQL Azure Overview and Demo, Windows Azure Connect, Domain Join Demo & SCOM
Sam’s received some great tips to help her convince her bosses to deploy Windows 7 and you can watch them all below. For more information about many of the great free tools mentioned check out the Windows 7 Tech Centre.
Congratulations this week go to JangidUK, whose animated video is not only creative enough to grab the board’s attention but also covers loads of great points and relates them all to Sam’s business needs. A 4TB NAS Device and Sonos System will be on its way to you soon!
However, the lead has been snatched from JangidUK by yachtinglimited in the competition to win our Grand Prize of a 3D TV, Full HD 3D Ready Camcorder and 3D Conversion Lens! Yachtinglimited’s Ease of Use video from way back in the first fortnight of the competition now has over 4000 views, so the race is on!
This fortnight's prize is a shiny new Dell laptop, check out what you need to do to win it here.
Not that long ago we held an online conference on the ‘Why’ and the ‘How’ of deploying Windows 7, featuring a brilliant ‘Real-World Migration’ slot from Paul Cooke and Tom Unwin.
They gave us the low-down on how and why Plymouth City Council are deploying Windows 7 alongside a whole host of other Microsoft solutions. They touch on both the Business and Technical challenges they’ve faced, and if you missed it you can now view their session along with loads more great content from Simon May and Andrew Fryer at the links below.
Just click the session you like the look of, sit back and enjoy!
Introductory Keynote – Why you should be deploying Windows 7.
Security – Identify the security benefits of using a modern operating system.
Ease of Support – A look at the technologies built into the box that enable the support of users far more easily than in the past.
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) – As requested by TechNet Readers, we discuss how to leverage the MDT Database functionality to carry out dynamic deployments.
Plymouth City Council’s Real-World Migration – Paul and Tom share insights into their Windows 7 Deployment.
We’re ‘super excited’ here at TechNet for Friday, when we will be joined in Reading by System Center guru Wally Mead for a packed agenda of System Center Configuration Manager 2012 sessions in association with the Windows Management User Group (WMUG).
Wally is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft in Redmond and is widely regarded as one of the most authoritative sources of information when it comes to SCCM. He’s got a day rammed full of information, hints, tips and giveaways and it’s sure to be a brilliant opportunity to learn and network with WMUG members.
There’s only a very limited number of places left, so you’ll need to move fast! Click here for registration details and check out the agenda below.
What is System Center Configuration Manager?
System Center Configuration Manager assesses, deploys, and updates servers, client computers, and devices-across physical, virtual, distributed, and mobile environments
Configuration Manager 2012 Overview and What’s new since beta 2
Configuration Manager 2012 is close to being released as a product. This session will describe (and demonstrate) some of the new features from Configuration Manager 2007, as well as some of the changes implemented from the Beta 2 version you may have played with.
Migration to Configuration Manager 2012
With the impending release of Configuration Manager 2012, you need to know how to move from your current Configuration Manager 2007 environment to the new Configuration Manager 2012 product. This session will demonstrate the migration process and what you can do to prepare for your own migration.
Overview of the Configuration Manager 2012 Application Model
Configuration Manager 2012 software distribution takes a large leap in functionality with the new application model. This session will discuss the benefits of application management over software distribution packages, and how to use the new application model for application management.
Endpoint Protection in Configuration Manager 2012
Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection is now integrated into Configuration Manager 2012. This session will show you how to implement FEP 2012 into Configuration Manager 2012.
Sam needs your assistance one last time in her quest to convince her bosses to deploy Windows. Your tips so far have been a massive help, she now knows just how to deploy Windows 7 and has been able to demonstrate why it will be so much easier than initially thought.
Sam now has to make a formal presentation to the executive board of her company, most of whom know very little about IT and are focused on reducing costs in this challenging business environment. They need to know in plain English - what are the killer features that will save them money, provide a quick return on investment and ultimately make Windows 7 the operating system for them?
Head over to YouTube and submit a short clip (3 minutes or less) as a response to our video here to enter. Be as creative as you like, add music, text or just record direct from your webcam. If you haven’t already got your hands on one, you can get one of the last limited edition mugs just for entering! This fortnight you can win a HTC Titan Windows Phone if your video is judged the best. 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.