You can upgrade to a Windows Phone now and update it for free when the next release of Windows Phone, codenamed Mango, is available this fall.Easier to connect and share
Threads—Switch between text, Facebook chat, and Windows Live Messenger, within the same conversation.
Groups—Group contacts into personalized Live Tiles to see the latest status updates and quickly send a text, email, or IM to the whole group, right from the Start Screen.
A smarter approach to apps
Multitasking—Quickly switch between apps while preserving battery life and performance.
Improved Live Tiles—Get real-time information from apps without having to open them.
Web that goes beyond the browser
Local Scout—Provides hyper-local search results and recommends nearby restaurants, shopping, and activities in an easy-to-use guide.¹
Internet Explorer 9—Browse with our built-in version, plus support for HTML5 and hardware-accelerated graphics
Plus, you'll enjoy ringtones and more in this update. With Windows Phone, the great features just keep on coming.
Check out the videos here: http://www.youtube.com/windowsphone
The Security Intelligence Report (SIR) is an investigation of the current threat landscape. It analyzes exploits, vulnerabilities, and malware based on data from over 600 million systems worldwide, as well as internet services, and three Microsoft Security Centers.
The latest Security Intelligence Report (SIR v10) Volume 10 uncovers evolving threat landscape trend information from more than 600 million systems worldwide, with new information from the second half of 2010. In addition, there are 117 country/region specific threat assessments, making SIR v10 the most comprehensive report to date.
Don’t forget, for Windows Azure Developers, security starts with a review of the following documents, as well as good general Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) approaches.
Windows Azure™ Security Overview To help customers better understand the array of security controls implemented within Windows Azure from both the customer's and Microsoft operations' perspectives, this paper provides a comprehensive look at the security available with Windows Azure. The paper provides a technical examination of the security functionality available, the people and processes that help make Windows Azure more secure, as well as a brief discussion about compliance.
Security Best Practices for Developing Windows Azure Applications This white paper focuses on the security challenges and recommended approaches to design and develop more secure applications for Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform. It is intended to be a resource for technical software audiences: software designers, architects, developers and testers who design, build and deploy more secure Windows Azure solutions.
Get familiar with your adversaries, and mitigate your risk of becoming a cybercriminal victim.
It's been awhile since I have been blogging... Mostly this has been due to extensive travel and customer site work over the past few months, for the Windows Azure Technical Adoption Program, and Microsoft's Enterprise Strategy Worldwide Azure Team. I am an integral team member of both teams, and the past few months I have been teaching some Train-the-Trainer courses in various geographies around the world. For your enjoyment, the April 2011 Update of the Windows Azure Platform Training Kit is now available. The Windows Azure Platform Training Kit includes hands-on labs, presentations, and samples to help you understand how to build applications that utilize Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and the Windows Azure AppFabric.
This is a significant update of the kit that includes several new and updated hands-on labs. (!)
Some of the new/updated content includes:
· New HOL for Windows Azure Traffic Manager
· New HOL for SQL Azure Reporting
· New HOL for Windows Phone 7 and the Access Control Service
· Updated HOL for Windows Azure Connect Refresh
· Updated HOL for CDN Refresh
· Updated Access Control HOLs
· Updated Service Bus HOLs for the Service Bus portal update
The setup scripts for all hands-on labs have also been updated to use the Windows Azure SDK 1.4 release and to support VS 2010 SP1.
You can download the April 2011 update of the Windows Azure Platform Training kit from here: http://bit.ly/WAPTKApr11. We’re also continuing to publish the hands-on labs directly to MSDN to make it easier for developers to review and use the content without having to download an entire training kit package. You can browse to all of the HOLs here: http://bit.ly/WAPCourse.
In the meantime, I will be working on setting up LiveWriter again on a new machine I have been using, so I can start blogging more frequently again!
Today is international Safer Internet Day (SID), an annual event dedicated to promoting responsible use of the Internet and mobile technology, particularly among children and youth.
Organized each year by Brussels-based Insafe and co-founded by the European Union, February 8, 2011, marks the eighth installment of SID. This year’s theme focuses on “our virtual lives” under the banner, “It’s more than a game, it’s your life.” As in years past, SID 2011 is expected to spark hundreds of Internet safety-related activities and events by a multitude of participants in dozens of countries.
Microsoft was an inaugural participant in and has been a long-standing advocate of Safer Internet Day, particularly in Europe, the birthplace of SID. From conducting consumer research and raising awareness of online risks to partnering with industry and government and sponsoring educational programs, Microsoft has sought to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to a safer and healthier Internet for all.
This year, Microsoft is expanding their involvement. In addition to events across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, we’re embracing the online-gaming theme, which is particularly relevant in the U.S. Microsoft is teaming with local Boys and Girls Clubs to sponsor a series of fun and friendly "Family ‘Online’ Game Nights", featuring Kinect for XBOX 360, the company’s cutting-edge interactive gaming experience.
The events will be held in three cities: Atlanta (February 8), Chicago (February 10) and Los Angeles (February 15). Participants will have the opportunity to play games, learn how to engage in game-play more safely and pick up educational materials about personal and family online safety. A Microsoft-commissioned survey of American parents of online gamers shows that parents and children spend a significant amount of time playing online games together.
For these parents, research shows online gaming is a social activity and a form of entertainment, as well as a stress-reliever.
Parents rank gaming risks lower than other online activities, and 86 percent of parents say the steps they’ve taken to help protect their children have been effective.
To learn more about safer online gaming for you and your family, visit: www.GetGameSmart.com; view or download Microsoft’s safer online gaming brochure, and visit www.microsoft.com/protect for other general online safety advice and guidance.
Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/Safer_Online and Facebook www.facebook.com/SaferOnline.
Well, my vacation time is quickly coming to an end, and soon it will be the New Year!I'm consistently asked what the default date/time sttings are when deploying to Windows Azure. It may not be obvious to developers new to the platform. All Windows Azure servers utilize UTC time, and 'en-US' locale settings out-of-box. It is recommended to maintain applications that can convert local time (UTC) into the desired time/date formats.
You can see this by using remote desktop to "peer into and inspect" settings on your Windows Azure deployments. You will find that the server localization settings (Control Panel) are indeed set to "United States" for location, and "English (United States)" for Language Settings.For date/time settings, "GMT Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London" is the default selection, no matter which data center you are deployed to as well.
The Fabric Controller maintains operating system time synchronization for the system when roles are first booted. You could, with the latest SDKs. utilize administrative access startup scripts to change the localization settings (including local server time), but it is not recommended you do so. Doing so will introduce instability and the fabric controller may determine your role is out of sync. You will likely end up cycling your roles as fabric attempts to bring them to goal state in such a case. A better strategy is to write our applications to be aware that they actually run with UTC and default US CultureInfo settings.
For more info on manipulating Date/Time settings with .NET Framework 4.0, refer here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/5hh873ya.aspx
Another huge shortcut tip: Using Remote Desktop is extremely helpful to diagnose issues with Windows Azure, including ensuring an application you might want to script during startup, will actually install and run on the virtualized role images. You can Edit your Remote Desktop connection files (.rdp) by right-clicking the file saved to your desktop, and selecting Edit. This will enable you to map your local drive to the VM, so you can seamlessly transfer files to and from the role instance you are connected to.
I'm consistently using PowerShell, or Snippet Compiler (created by Jeff Key, and available at http://www.sliver.com), to output settings, or programatically manupulate objects.PowerShell is already on the Windows Azure role instances for your enjoyment, and Snippet Compiler take a few seconds to copy & paste into the C:\Applications folder on the VM to "play with".
Season's Greetings! Eric