Cascade Skyline - with Microsoft Logo and Project Support header - author Brian Smith

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2013 and Project Online: The new world of PWA Settings


    A couple of postings today over on the Project Support blog – and I split this into two to hopefully avoid confusion.  The first looks at the changes in location of Server Settings in Project Server 2013 compared to Project Server 2010 - Project Server 2013- Server Settings.  The second takes a similar look – but at the Project Online PWA Settings to see what is available there - Project Online- Server Settings.  So if you are wondering where your favorite server settings have gone to – or if they are still available anywhere – head on over and read the posts!

    Any questions then post them either here or over on the Project Support blog.

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Announcing the Microsoft Project Server 2007 IT Professionals TechNet webcast series


    Time for me to steal back from Christophe – see his blog posting at

    Brief introduction here – full story, details and dates on Christophe’s blog

    Starting October 1st, 2008, Michael Jordan (Lead Architect – MCS EPM Global Practice | WW COE for EPM) will present a series of Project Server 2007 webcast on TechNet targeted at IT Professionals

    These 60 minutes webcasts will present in details key aspects to consider when you evaluate, plan, deploy, and operate Project Server 2007.

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Joining the translation bandwagon


    I just saw Treb's posting on the new Windows Live Translator service that was rolled out this week - so I too have added a link in my News column on the left hand side.  I hope this helps my readers who prefer to read their own language.  I'm guessing it will not make much sense for real error messages - please let me know how it works for you.

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Non-Project blog – Songsmith stuff and Future Pro Photo Competition


    A couple of interesting things came across my radar today that may be of interest to others.  If you have.know of any school/college age children interested in either music or photography – read on.

    Firstly from Sumit Basu:

    There’s a music remixing contest in the UK called Mixable ( ), where an up-and-coming band is chosen to put up creative-commons-licensed tracks that UK school kids (grades 6 -> first year of college) can remix/reinterpret as they see fit.  This year’s band, Georgia Wonder, had seen some of the remixes of classic songs folks were doing with Songsmith, and had fun playing around with it themselves on their own song; they then contacted us for some help in putting their vocal track into Songsmith (i.e., without doing a loopback recording).   They now have a Songsmith project file on their site (along with standard file types, i.e., WAV and AIFF), with which folks can get a quick start and play around with different chords/styles easily.  They felt that this would particularly appeal to the younger end of their audience (i.e., 6th graders) who might not be as well versed in pro audio tools, harmonization, etc.    The files (in all formats) are available at their downloads page here:

    and from Jeff Green:

    Once again, I am quite pleased to announce the 4th annual Microsoft Future Pro Photographer Competition

    This is the most lucrative and influential international student photo contest in the world. The Grand prize is $20,000 and some great photo gear, but more importantly, it provides all four winners the opportunity to kick-start their careers.

    Full time college and university students from around the world are invited to submit their three best photos in one of three categories;

    • Nature & Landscape,
    • People & Portraits, and
    • Sports & Photojournalism.

    Not sure if Jeff is English – but “quite pleased” sounds very under-stated :).

    I know a few of you are also keen photographers – so when I get my new camera you may see my heading photo change…


  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Announcing the Microsoft Translator web page widget


    This is a repost from the Microsoft Research Machine Translation (MSR-MT) Team Blog by permission, and I have also implemented on my site.  I know that many of my readers are beyond the US and the English speaking world, and from browser settings over 25% of my readers are not set to English.  I’d love to have feedback on how useful this machine translation is for you – or would you get more benefit from some of our local support engineers also running blogs?

    On to the announcement:

    The Microsoft Translator team is very proud to announce the technology preview of an innovative offering for web page translations. Attendees to MIX09 this week get a special invitation to try out the Microsoft Translator web page widget. We are also accepting registrations, and will be sending out more invites as they become available.clip_image002

    What it is: Built on top of the Microsoft Translator AJAX API (also announced today) it is a small, customizable widget that you can place on your web page – and it helps you instantly makes the page available in multiple languages.

    Who it is for: Anyone with a web page. If you can paste a small snippet of code into your page, you will be able to display the widget to your audience. No need to know programming intricacies, or how to call a javascript API. No need to write or install server side plug-ins for your specific software. 

    What it offers: It provides a simple interface to anyone that visits the web page to select and translate content into a different language. You can see a demo on this page.

    What is cool about it:

    • Innovative: Unlike other (including our) existing solutions, it does not take the users away from the site. The translations are in-place and instant. Users can hover over the translation to see the original. clip_image004
    • Easy to Use: Adding it to your page is as easy as copy and paste. Using it on the site is as easy as select language and click the button.
    • Customizable: You can pick the colors that best blend into your site design. You can pick the size that would best fit into your design (in fact the widget has an adaptive layout that better uses real estate when very wide). clip_image006
    • Thoughtful User Experience: Progressive rendering allows for the page to get translated progressively – without having the user stare at a white space while the translation is being performed. The translation toolbar that appears when the translation is kicked off provides a progress indicator, the languages selected and a way to turn off the translation.  
    • Localized: The UI is available in multiple languages – so users that come to your page with their browser set to a different language will see the widget in their language. 

    Fun! What does it cost: It is completely free. You can put it on any site – commercial or non-commercial. You are only limited by the invite codes available at this point, but over the coming months we plan to make it more widely available.

    What we are working on:

    • More polish: We will be looking for your feedback and continue to work on the fit and finish for the widget & toolbar UI.
    • More customizability: We will be evolving the default color palette available to you through the adoption portal. We will also be looking at your feedback on the overall design.
    • New Features: There are a bunch of very cool features that we are working on that will be added soon (your widgets will inherit most of these features). These include “Automatic” translations on page load, multiple layouts/views (bringing in the well received views feature of our bi-lingual viewer offering) and some surprises that we are working on with other teams at Microsoft.

    Other questions:

    I can’t get it to work. Where can I get support or provide feedback?

    I would like to highlight that this is a technology preview release – so please do test it on your site before presenting to your users. The Microsoft Translator forums are now live. Feel free to head over and interact with other users. You will also find members of our team there who can help.

    Can this save me the cost of doing human translation on my professional website?

    Our goal (and that of most machine translation systems available today) is to provide what we call “useful” translations. While the technology is improving month to month, it will still take a long time before it can match human translation quality. We don’t recommend using machine translation for sensitive or highly critical information. You can learn more about translation quality here and here. You can learn more about how we do machine translation here.

    How many languages do you support? When can you add support for <insert language here>?

    Currently we support the following languages.

    · Arabic

    · Chinese (Simplified & Traditional)

    · Dutch

    · French

    · German

    · Italian

    · Japanese

    · Korean

    · Polish

    · Portuguese

    · Russian

    · Spanish

    Polish was our most recent addition. Our goal is to keep adding languages as we get enough training data to meet our minimum (“useful”) quality criteria which include both standard measurements and human evaluations.

    I am using a hosted service for my site/blog that does not let me use javascript widgets. What can I do?

    We are looking to work with providers of hosted services to make adding the widget an easy process for their users. If your provider does not offer this, please let them and us know that you would like to see the widget work with your site.

    Keep checking this post and our forums for announcements, known issues and more information. You can follow our MIX09 coverage on twitter and on Vikram’s blog.

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