April, 2009

  • Steve Clayton

    Kids are talkingaboutwindows.com



    Very cuddly…Jon Devaan, Senior VP of Microsoft’s Windows Core Operating System (COSD) in a Window, talking about Windows 7. Get it? The guy is a 25 year Microsoft veteran and in my experience he’s worth tuning in to.

    TalkingAboutWindows is another website in the quest to educate people on the decisions we make in developing Windows. It’s firmly aimed at the IT Professional (you may call them geeks, techies or otherwise) and includes a number of interviews with inetresting folks like Jon, Mark Russinovich and others.

    It’s a good complement to the E7 blog but the real test will be what level of engagement they get around the site as it’s setup for comments and discussion. I’m not totally convinced by it but the ongoing quest for transparency is good to see. What do you think though….is this stuff of interest to my fellow geeks?

    Oh and thanks to Brandon for this spoof video. Dudetastic

    Talking About Windows – BitLocker to Go


    On another note….I love that all of these new sites are coming out in Silverlight rather than Flash. That was a heated debate for a while on the corridors of power :)

  • Steve Clayton

    A Hybrid Exchange



    I’m doing a lot of cloud reading of late which is handy as I’m off to present at mashup* Cloud Computing tonight in London which is hosted at one of Sun’s offices. Should be fun :)

    A few things have caught my eye in addition to the recent post titled Fill Your Sunday with Cloud Computing.


    First up is Ted Schadler on the Forrester Blog who talks about Exchange 2010 and the potential to move occasional users to the cloud. He remarks that our S+S strategy has evolved in to product offerings that span on-premises deployments to cloud hosted. This is the “server/service symmetry” that Ray Ozzie has spoken of in the past and though I’m not sure that term means much to a lot of folks, this is precisely what Ray meant – extending products to work in a number of deployment approaches, particularly server products, with no impact on the client (client as in user or client software).

    To you and I what that means is you can deploy Exchange on-premises, with a partner, or in the cloud or have a hybrid of all of these and it has no visible difference to the end user. What Ted focuses on is the notion of moving a portion of your users to a cloud hosted service whilst keeping its high-volume mailboxes on-premise. You don’t need Exchange 2010 to do this as it happens – the deskless worker option for Microsoft Online enabled you to do this today for $2 per user per month. Fair play to Ted, he does mention this too but the key is he reckons that can save you $100 per user, per year…not to be sniffed at in today's world. The flip side of course is it could add cost as you add users to your email estate that previously weren’t covered but the cost of this is far less than before.  Basically you have options....some very good ones.

    I was going to post another piece on cloud regarding a David Chappell presentation on Azure and other cloud providers but I’ll save that for another email.

    What I’m pleased to see is that increasingly the S+S approach is being accepted at the best way forward with the cloud even if people aren’t using that term which is fine. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes down tonight…

  • Steve Clayton

    Making Art with Microsoft Tag


    mytag beanstag

    What the hell is that? Well the image on the left is my Microsoft Tag and using software on your mobile phone you can snap an image of it and it’ll redirect you to this blog. Not that much use if you’re reading this blog already as you’ll end up caught in an Infinite Loop.

    However, if you’re promoting a movie or looking to provide additional data on your product beyond what will display on the packing (as two examples) these little tags can carry quiet a lot more information than the humble barcode or even.

    The Tag team at Microsoft (I imagine they soon tire of being asked if there are just two of them) have no enabled custom tags like the one you see on the right. Pretty smart as these are more likely to get attention than the ones on the left which look too much like a printing error…to me at least. They’re the sort of thing you see on proofs for marketing campaigns that you get from an agency. Wit custom tags, you can

    The technology is one of those that will no doubt take off….if it takes off….by that I mean it needs critical mass to become used widely but I suspect we’ll start to see it take off in niche campaigns or vertical industries and then who knows….

    Find out more about Custom Tags and stuff like Five ways retailers can use Microsoft Tag today but I have an idea of my own….maybe like Invader I could become the Tag Artist and put these things up in odd places with curious links to curious stuff…..hmmm, if only I had the time.

  • Steve Clayton

    More on Microsoft’s Gen 4 data centers

    <br/><a href="http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=b4d189d3-19bd-42b3-85d7-6ca46d97fe40" target="_new" title="Microsoft Generation 4.0 Data Center Vision">Video: Microsoft Generation 4.0 Data Center Vision</a>


    Hmm, I’d always thought Gen4 was the brainchild of Mike Manos (and perhaps even James Hamilton)….but in the latest blog post from our Global Foundation Services (aka data center team) Arne Josefsberg slipped in something I’ve only just noticed on a second read.


    Daniel Costello (“the father” of our Generation 4 modular data center vision and the leader of the team of engineers that created it)

    I went back and checked Mike’s original post on the topic and sure enough, I see Costello is called out there a number of times regarding Gen 4.

    Mike really became the face of GFS and is widely respected so whilst I wish both him and James the best with the respective roles outside of Microsoft, I’m pleased to hear that the father driving this innovation is still in building. There is much potential with this technology.

    Onwards wizards, onwards.

    [update] Daniel Costello has posted Part 1 of a more detailed look at Gen 4.0 titled Designing Generation 4.0 Data Centers: The Engineers’ Approach to Solving Business Challenges

  • Steve Clayton

    Backdrop Liverpool


    Liverpool, the 2nd most filmed city in the UK, is the star of this advert for Hovis bread. Gives me goose bumps…I love that city.

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