The second session of Tech.Days online is happening today at 2pm. We will be covering the topic of Microsoft cloud for the IT professional. This will include an introduction to the Windows Azure platform, giving you an understanding of how the technology works. In addition we will discuss what's new with Office 365 and Windows Intune and how they deliver a more agile desktop for the cloud. Sign up for the live meeting here and see what else is coming up in the Tech.Days online series here.
Newly added to the Microsoft Office 2010 Springboard pages on TechNet, the Application Virtualisation (App-V) top task page is packed with techy guidance, videos and downloads.
App-V provides a method to deploy and manage applications on client computers without installing the applications locally on each client computer. It’s a fully supported deployment method for Microsoft Office, providing isolation of applications, allowing you to avoid application compatibility issues and enabling rapid application deployment.
For a whole host of other Office resources, visit the Office Springboard homepage.
Valentine’s Day photo caption competition – fill our comments box with your hilarious efforts.
We just couldn’t let Valentine’s Day pass without spreading a little love on the UK TechNet blog. To show our affection we’ve got a bundle of TechNet goodies to give away in return for the winning caption for this ‘adorable’ photo. Post your caption in the comments box along with your email address or Twitter ID. We’ll announce the winner’s name here next week.
Need some help to get ‘in the mood’? Just have a look at what’s in store for our lucky winner (that’s Sam under the bag – you’re not having her). Among other delights you’ll find a heartwarming copy of Office Professional 2010, a gorgeous Windows 7 mug and some beautiful techy books. Put simply, it’s the best Valentine’s gift you’ll ever have.
Before you clear your diary to make way for some serious comedy genius, have a read through the terms and conditions.
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 post your photo caption for the featured photo in the UK TechNet Blog comments box. The person submitting the funniest caption, as selected by three judges, will win a bumper pack of things we love here at TechNet – including our mugs, pen and pads. 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 14 February The closing date of this competition is 5.30pm GMT 18 February 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 single caption from all the entries and the winner will be notified by email on 21 February 2011 by 6pm GMT. The winners may be required to become involved in further publicity or advertising.
6. PRIZE: The prize is one TechNet bumper pack including a mug, pen and pad. 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 two months 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 email@example.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.
Friday afternoon already! It must be time for our weekly wrap up of goings on from the UK TechNet team. Tune in on Monday morning for a chance to win a bundle of fun in our Valentine’s Day photo caption competition.
Have a great weekend, all – thanks for reading!
As I sit down to write this article, CES 2011 (Consumer Electronics Show) was nearly a month ago and it has taken this long to get over it and get back to normality!
The venue for CES 2011 was Las Vegas (as I am sure everyone probably realises by now), but the actual event was spread over multiple halls at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Las Vegas Hilton, The Venetian and many other meeting rooms and suites throughout Las Vegas.
As usual, CES was a mixture of press conferences, meetings and walking the show floor over 5 days. And as usual the event was both huge, and packed with thousands upon thousands of visitors, press and industry types.
As usual Microsoft had a very large booth right when you come through the main doors into the show. They had lots of things on display, things you could touch and play with, watch, see, talk about, etc, and they had a lot of staff on hand.
The best way I can describe it would be to say that a very large area of the booth was given over to Xbox and Kinect, then smaller sections on gaming, another very large section on Windows Phone 7 with phones you could actually use and play with, then there were other smaller sections and a Windows PC Gallery which had lots of new and exciting pcs, netbooks, laptops, tablets and more to look at.
You can see some pictures and a quick video I took over on my website: http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2011/01/13/ces-2011-a-look-around-the-microsoft-booth/
The Kinect booths were very cool – they were large closed off pods that housed a huge screen and a Kinect device which you could step into and really get to play on. It was quite funny to watch people in suits dancing around for everyone to see!
Just about every single Windows Phone 7 device was on display and available to both touch and use (which is certainly different to walking into a phone store when you mostly get dummy devices). You could really see that Microsoft was putting in a lot of effort in showing off just what Windows Phone 7 could do.
One of the coolest parts of the booth was called the Windows PC Gallery. This was a huge area filled with different computers, laptops, tablets and more showing off Windows, and there were some new devices as well. Unfortunately a lot of the devices were behind glass so you couldn’t get to play with them, but it was really cool to see!
Behind the scenes Microsoft were showing off some Embedded technology in a demo suite they had arranged. I really think that Embedded is going to change the playing field for devices such as Media Center.
Unfortunately for anyone who was expecting some big announcement or showing of Windows Home Server Code Name Vail, there was disappointment. Hopefully there will be some news about Vail very soon!
So, that was the Microsoft booth – what else was there to see at CES? Well the usual assortment of 3D televisions and tablet devices were on show. I lost count of the number of new tablets that were being demonstrated. It will certainly be interesting to see how many actually make it to market as a lot were shown off at CES 2010 then Apple announced the iPad and they all pretty much disappeared!
There were lots of companies also showing off various bits and pieces for Apple devices, even though Apple themselves don’t ever have a presence at CES.
And one of the coolest announcements? Well that would be the release of all of the Star Wars movies on Blu-Ray. The announcement was made at the Panasonic booth by Darth Vader and a large handful of Storm Troopers.
I can’t want to see what CES 2012 brings.
Andrew Edney is a Windows Home Server MVP and has his own technology website: http://usingwindowshomeserver.com. He had also written a number of technology books (not books on cats) and you can follow him on Twitter at @aedney.
We’re running six regional Hyper-V Cloud Roadshows throughout March and April. These one day events will give you a deep insight into the Microsoft solution for Private Cloud, enabling you to build out a dedicated cloud environment to transform the way you deliver IT services to the business.
We’ll be covering Windows Server platform with the Windows Server Active Directory identity framework, Hyper-V virtualisation capability, and System Center end-to-end service management capabilities.
Register for a roadshow near you:
· LONDON – Wednesday 9 March
· BIRMINGHAM – Tuesday 22 March
· ABERDEEN – Thursday 24 March
· READING – Tuesday 29 March
· MANCHESTER – Thursday 31 March
· EDINBURGH – Tuesday 5 April
Visit TechNet’s Internet Explorer Springboard pages to find the latest technical guidance, news, downloads, articles (pauses for breath), blogs, free tools and just about anything else you might need to get clued up on all things IE. Top of the bill is obviously the IE9 RC, announced yesterday, but the Springboard pages cover earlier versions, too.
Well RC means it’s time to step up your evaluation programme for IE9. Get the RC to key people to help test compatibility for your internal and mission critical web based applications but don’t deploy it to everyone in your organisation. As you know it’s not a great idea to run your business on software that’s not fully supported and still under development. It is time to start planning that rollout though and getting to know the software inside and out. Let me tell you, it’s going to be hard though….it’s really fast. Hotmail loads fully for me in less than a second! Amazon is about the same, BBC news takes a couple of seconds and all load perfectly for me in full IE9 standards mode – despite some resent and quite out of date FUD.
Oh yeah, it’s not my internet access either, I’m in a hotel room and we all know what that’s like!
So why would you want to be planning for IE9 as an IT Pro:
Head over to beauty of the web to get the IE9 bits.
Welcome to the third in our Day in the Life series, dedicated to unearthing Microsoft’s very own IT professionals and finding out what gets them out of bed in the morning. This week we caught up with Ben Davies, a familiar face around Microsoft UK in his job as IT Service Counter Support Representative. Ben, it’s over to you
Working for Microsoft IT for over a year now, my official job title being Service Counter Support Representative but over the 15 months I’ve been here, it’s expanded to include user training, product evangelization, infrastructure troubleshooting and sometimes, randomly, tour guide!
I’m part of a small team of nerds who need to make sure that the network is networking, the printers are printing and that employees have everything they need to do their day to day jobs. My basic roll is manning the Service Counter, a walk-in helpdesk where anyone on Campus can pop their head in, ask any questions they have and hopefully leave with the answers they need.
My day begins at 9am when I open the Counter and get ready for any questions that come my way. From there I will need to respond to any requests for support that come to me. One minute I can be sat at my desk, the next I can get an Instant Message from Chris in my team, and be working though our network switches, servers and hubs 10 minutes later. This kind of ad-hoc support is critical to make sure everyone on campus can keep working, an outage can ruin everyone’s day!
In the year I’ve been at MS I’ve learnt about the networks and systems used onsite, but I’ve also been challenged to try new things. Over the year I have become a presenter on a variety of programs, products and services to train Microsoft employees to be as productive as possible in their roles. Windows 7, Office 2010, Communicator, Live Meeting, Bitlocker and Windows Live Essentials are all subjects I have learned a great deal about and share that with others to boost their confidence in the software. The better you know how something works, the happier you are using it.
In November last year, my colleagues Chris Taylor, Ankit Patel and myself were asked by the Windows Phone 7 team to roll-out the HTC Mozart to every Microsoft Employee in the UK. We created a 20 minute presentation showing 7 things we thought were cool, each presenter having different features to reflect our personalities and, by the end of it, had presented to 2,500 people across the UK. None of us had presented in front of 100 people at a time before so this was a great challenge and something I really enjoyed.
Balancing the IT Support responsibilities, the presentation/training sessions and ad-hoc support requests certainly keeps me on my toes! No two days are the same, last week I was working on a project and then suddenly asked to give a group of work experience kids a tour of the campus, showing off the Xbox department, Surface and the Microsoft Technology Centre!
Jack of all trades, me!
If your company needs to reduce its TCO, increase its business agility and improve its security and compliance , Microsoft desktop virtualisation solutions can help. There are several desktop virtualisation options available including Application Virtualisation (App-V), User State Virtualisation, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Session Virtualisation and Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualisation (MED-V). Find out which option is right for you – check out stage four of our nine steps to deploying the optimised desktop here.
Find out how BMW have used App-V and made it possible to reduce application deployment time by 50% and compatibility testing by 90% from six days to less than a day also saving them nearly £124,540.
You’ll also find a wealth of resources at the Springboard Desktop Virtualisation TechCenter.