Are you a decision maker in your business? If so, Bing Maps and The Ridgian Group would like to invite you to join them on 1st February for a Live Meeting about Corporate Business Intelligence using Bing Maps. Come and find out how you can use Business Intelligence to address your key business priorities, such as:
Products discussed include Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, Microsoft Silverlight, Microsoft SQL Server, among others.
The agenda is as follows:
Wondering what Windows 7 and Windows Optimised Desktop can do for you? We’re launching a new programme at the end of January that gives you step-by-step information and all the resources you need to understand how Windows 7 and Windows Optimised Desktop can significantly streamline your workflows, make your users productive anywhere and reduce costs by streamlining your PC management.
This programme goes through 9 steps, providing all the learning resources, technical guidance, and hands-on know-how you need to plan, deploy, and manage the Windows Optimised Desktop. So that you can follow the programme at a pace that suits you, you can sign up to the email programme or download PDFs. Keep an eye on the blog for details of the programme going live!
Here’s what’s coming:
Step 1: Making your desktop work optimally for you
Step 2: Introducing the Optimised Desktop
Step 3: What’s under the bonnet
Step 4: Choose the right desktop virtualisation option for you
Step 5: Introduction to deployment
Step 6: Learning Resources Bundle – Part 1
Step 7: Learning Resources Bundle – Part 2
Step 8: Creating a training plan for your end-users
Step 9: Useful Tools and Key Resources Post-Deployment
If you’d like more details, drop Sam Taylor a line. Sam’s on her hols next week but she’ll be back on 24th January and will catch up with you then.
In this video/demo we go from scratch for folks with no knowledge of Windows Azure Connect (previously known as “Project Sydney”) covering what it is, how to create a virtual network and how to domain-join an instance running in the Windows Azure cloud. The demo gives click-by-click instructions and leaves nothing out (aside from assuming obvious things like VS is installed and the Windows Azure SDK/Tools are installed). Even if you don’t yet have a Windows Azure account – the very last few minutes talks about how to get a free account so you can try this technology out. Also how to deal with things like certificate management are covered in click-by-click detail and a couple of shortcuts, plus a troubleshooting section, with a demo.
Watch and learn!
Remember a while back we told you about the Windows 7 deployment learning portal and a couple of special offers up for grabs? Well, you could still get your mitts on a free Windows 7 Resource Kit and get 40% off a range of MS Press books. Full details here.
The Springboard Series for Windows 7 has become a large part of TechNet, and you can now get it on your Windows Phone 7 with the free Springboard Series for Windows 7 app. The Springboard Series on TechNet is your destination for technical resources, free tools, and expert guidance to ease the deployment and management of your Windows client infrastructure. To give you better access to these key resources, no matter where you are, we created the Springboard Series App for Windows Phone 7.
The app gives you access to key Windows 7 content, no matter where you are in the lifecycle phase you are in. From Discover and Explore, to Pilot and Deploy and Manage, it’s all here; including videos, ‘how to’ pieces, FAQs, whitepapers and error code - even the step-by-step implementation and deployment guides - all on your mobile phone.
Download your app now via Zune marketplace – just search for Springboard.
Grab a huge handful of Outlook 2010 resources from TechNet’s Outlook 2010 Springboard page, organised conveniently under the following headings:
Happy New Year from me!
Happy New Year to you all
Steve Ballmer did his traditional keynote at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) yesterday and made a big announcement in relation to the next version of Windows.
Windows vNext will support System on a Chip (SoC) architectures, including ARM-based systems from partners NVIDIA Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. On the x86 architecture, Intel Corporation and AMD continue their work on low-power SoC designs that fully support Windows, including support for native x86 applications. SoC architectures will fuel significant innovation across the hardware spectrum when coupled with the depth and breadth of the Windows platform.
Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft said, “With today’s announcement, we’re showing the flexibility and resiliency of Windows through the power of software and a commitment to world-class engineering. We continue to evolve Windows to deliver the functionality customers demand across the widest variety of hardware platforms and form factors,”
Read about the full announcement here
Thanks to John Donnelly for this post. John worked in the psychometrics, ERP, sports and consultancy fields with roles in systems management, software development, architecture and team leadership before finding a place here with us as an Architect Evangelist in the Microsoft Technology Centre. Follow John on Twitter and find him on LinkedIn.
Lazy comedians pick up New Year resolutions every year as something self-centered (I will …) and boring (… give up alcohol) with a life expectancy in days (off the wagon by the end of Jan). This year we should all do something that will benefit both ourselves and our co-workers, and that you can pick up again throughout the year.
In the last year I’ve seen a couple of organisations with the same ‘best practice’ based architecture. They had layered their application into storage system/data access layer/business model layer/presentation layer. They had also applied service oriented architecture, exposing the data access layer as a service with an http endpoint. Asked why, both eventually came down to ‘it is best practice’.
The net effect of these two architectures used together in this way was to reduce security (minimally secured http endpoint for the database), increase latency (additional http hop for the data access), increase infrastructure costs (more servers, each with their own headroom) and to increase management complexity (harder to tell which element of the system is overloading).
An involved development manager could have stopped this. An involved IT Pro could have stopped this.
This year we should start treating best practice as any other design pattern. Design patterns are typified by Intent, Motivation, Applicability and Consequences.
Next time you’re doing something because it is best practice, ask what is the intent of the practice, what motivated it, is it applicable here, and what are the consequences?
Wishing you a really inquisitive New Year.
At this time of year it’s traditional for everyone to start planning for next year but what are the most important things for an IT Professional to do in the coming year? Next year is going to be the year when we start to see widespread cloud (both public and private) adoption now that some of the big players have proven the path. It’s going to be a year where things need to be completed and where you get things ready to take on the next set of challenges. You need to have your client and cloud in alignment and ready to work seamlessly together. So here’s my top list of 10 new years resolutions for the IT Pro.
1. Complete (or start if you haven't) your Windows 7 upgrades
Lots and lots of people have already started on the path of upgrading their clients to Windows 7. Tools like the WAIK, MDT and System Center make it easier than ever to migrate and technologies like XP Mode, App-V and Med-V and help from toolkits like ACT 5.5 take much of the pain out of ensuring application compatibility. 2011 though is the year you need to be running Windows 7 so that your users can have the best experience that you as an IT Pro can give them, better support, easier use and frankly it’s not fair to make them use an OS that had training materials distributed on VHS!
2. Eradicate IE 6 from your company, replacing it with IE8
Internet Explorer 6 is the the scourge of web developers everywhere. They need to develop separate fixes to make things run in IE6 that need to in other browsers, costing more in development, testing and management time. Moving up to IE8 (which you can do on XP or along with your Windows 7 upgrade) is the way to go. “Ahh but IE9 is on it’s way with all it’s beauty” you say. This is true, 2011 will see IE9 land and yes, it’s true you’ll want to deploy that too, but the move to IE9 will be much easier from IE8 and besides IE8 is more manageable and more secure than any other browser(thanks to InPrivate Browsing and Filtering and being part of your regular patch infrastructure) .
A modern browser means you are protecting your customers, your company and your own reputation.
3. Start understanding and using cloud services like BPOS, Office 365, Windows Intune
2010 has definitely been a year of excitement about the cloud, it’s literally everywhere – even on a CNN panel debate a couple of days ago where they just used the term “cloud” because it was cool. 2011 will be the year that businesses start to derive value from cloud solutions, the fastest of which will be email and BPOS and Office 365 are poised to do that with true enterprise class email. More over though the ability to manage your environment will start the move to the cloud with Windows Intune being a very good starting point.
4. Learn new skills; upgrade your certifications
For lots of people “get a new job” will be top of their new years resolutions list. Make it easier on yourself by upgrading your certifications. It’s something I’m currently doing having just sat all the IT Pro entry level MTA exams. Certifications might not mean that much to you in your current role but when you go looking having certifications on your CV gets you through that level of Recruitment consultants that are just looking for you to tick some boxes. The most important thing though is the knowledge that you gain from doing the courses and that’s what helps you perform better in your current job.
5. Do your number one alpha geek project
It can’t all be about work. Get your Media Center working at home. Learn how to take great photo’s or make excellent videos with the camera you got for Christmas or in the sales. Get yourself a Home Server to keep all your family memories safe or create your quadro-copter / UAV.
6. Use free virtualisation solutions
Microsoft give you virtualisation for free in Windows Server 2008 R2. Turn on the Hyper-V role and as long as you don’t install anything else on your Hyper-V server you can use your Windows 2008 R2 license again on that box. That means you can get great density from that single bit of hardware and because it’s Windows – not some Lunix distro with hard to find drivers that needs specific hardware – you can use Hyper-V on almost any server made in the last few years. And yes Hyper-V does the cool stuff like live migration too.
7. Build applications for the cloud
Azure is a true cloud platform that uses almost any language that you want to build your application in so that you can architect a solution that really makes the best use of the clouds elasticity to grow and shrink and your applications and data needs. Tim Anderson even thinks it’s ready to rock. For a great example of an application built on Azure take a look at
8. Get Silverlight onto every corporate desktop
Silverlight is bit of an unsung hero but it should be a part of your standard Windows 7 deployment. It’s used by Office 2010 to make synchronising to the cloud (public and private) slicker and to train your users with free interactive training built into Office 2010. SharePoint 2010 uses it to look even slicker and you can share corporate insights with simplicity with SharePoint and PowerPivot. Not only that but your Developers can create super slick applications and reuse code simply thus reducing development time and costs.
9. Make sure you have good anti-malware protection
2010 saw us make Microsoft Security Essentials free for businesses of 10 computers or less and it has always been free for home use. Install it on any machines without AV and make sure you keep it updated.
10. Get fit and loose weight
Come on you know you need to do this one too….
Simon May is an Evangelist for Microsoft specialising in Client and Cloud. Simon’s blog covers Windows deployment and Microsoft Public Cloud, when he’s not writing for TechNet or explaining technology he’s normally playing with Media Center PCs, taking photos or renovating houses.
Well, it’s that time of year again and we’re about to shut up shop and head home to our families for Techmas. It’s been an exciting few months on the UK TechNet blog since we wrote our first post back in July. Thanks for helping to make it successful and jolly good fun.
Have a very merry Techmas – we’ll be back in the New Year.
L-R: Andrew Fryer, Sam Taylor, Georgina Lewis, me (Rachel Collier), Simon May.