September, 2009

  • Steve Clayton

    I’ve seen the cloud…it lives in Dublin



    I’m in sunny Dublin today (yep, it’s sunny here) for the grand opening of Microsoft’s first “mega datacenter” outside of the US. What you may ask is a mega datacenter? Well basically it’s an enormous facility from we’ll deliver our cloud services to customers in Europe and beyond.

    I had the chance to check the place out last month and have a full tour and it’s incredible. Okay there isn’t much to see but that’s sort of the point. It’s this big information factory that is on a scale that you’ll not see in many other places in the world and run with an astonishing level of attention to detail.

    It’s also quite revolutionary and turns out to be our most efficient data center thus far. Efficiency is measured by something called PUE that essentially looks at how much power your use vs the power you consume. The ultimate PUE of course is 1.0 though the industry average is from 2-2.4. Microsoft’s data centers on average run at 1.6 PUE but this facility takes that down to 1.25 through use of some smart technology called “air”. Most datacenters rely on chillers and a lot of water to keep the facility cool – because of the climate in Dublin, we can use fine, fresh, Irish air to do the job which has significant benefits from an environmental point of view. Put simply, it saves 18 million litres of water each month.

    I’ve spent some time today talking to press about this place and I left them with the title line – I’ve seen the cloud and it lives in Dublin.

  • Steve Clayton

    The simple stuff of great presentations



    1. Start on time. Whatever.
    2. Finish on time. Whatever.
    3. Be clear on your goal in presenting. And get it, whatever.
    4. Make it easy, really easy to understand.
    5. Be enthusiastic about the topic.
    6. Remove all distractions be it stale sandwiches or bleeping phones.
    7. Thank your audience. 

    Definitive stuff from Nicholas Bate on giving presentations. Follow these and you’ll not go wrong. #4 and #5 are the real keys for me.

    Oh and whilst you’re here, check out Michael Arrington’s guide to Greetings. Equally wise words.

    Thanks Mike – from Steve, we met at Web 2.0 last year in a can and talked Software plus Services.

  • Steve Clayton

    Office Web Apps



    Office Web Apps finally came in to limited beta testing last week – something we call community tech preview (personally I think we should rename to something like sneak peeks). Reviews so far have been good and hopefully take away some of the criticism that it’s been too long coming to market – I think it’s been worth the wait given what the Office team has delivered. It’s much more than a simple HTML editing version of the desktop apps.

    As TechCrunch said “There’s no doubt that the web-based apps are impressive. And the ability to seamlessly switch between the desktop and web versions is key, and one that Google currently can’t compete with. But one of the important innovations that Microsoft has made in this consumer-facing version is the sharing and collaborative features, which are certainly the future of any professional applications suite.”

    Not got an invite to play? LiveSide has some instructions.

  • Steve Clayton

    Paul Smith vases



    Regular readers will know I’m a big Paul Smith fan – Evian is his latest collaboration and this is going to make a great set of vases for my daffodils. Will be available to order from starting today.

    hat tip to The Dieline

  • Steve Clayton

    LE BOOK to use Microsoft Tag


    I’m delighted to see my friends at LE BOOK are using Microsoft Tag in their 2010 edition of the design bible.


    Premiering with the 2010 edition of LE BOOK, contributors to our print edition will have the opportunity to place tags on their pages. Through a readily available app, iPhones, BlackBerry PDAs, and all newer generation mobile devices with cameras will be able to scan a tag on the bottom corner of a LE BOOK page, transporting users to the corresponding contributor's mobile gallery on


    Thanks to my buddy Jason Korman for helping make the connection to these cool cats.

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