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  • The future for Microsoft

    - by Scott Dorman
    Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/sdorman/archive/2013/10/16/the-future-for-microsoft.aspxMicrosoft is in the process of reinventing itself. While some may argue that it’s “too little, too late” or that their growing consumer-focused strategy is wrong, the truth of the situation is that Microsoft is reinventing itself into a new company. While Microsoft is now calling themselves a “devices and services” company, that’s not entirely accurate. Let’s look at some facts: Microsoft will always (for the long-term foreseeable future) be financially split into the following divisions: Windows/Operating Systems, which for FY13 made up approximately 24% of overall revenue. Server and Tools, which for FY13 made up approximately 26% of overall revenue. Enterprise/Business Products, which for FY13 made up approximately 32% of overall revenue. Entertainment and Devices, which for FY13 made up approximately 13% of overall revenue. Online Services, which for FY13 made up approximately 4% of overall revenue. It is important to realize that hardware products like the Surface fall under the Windows/Operating Systems division while products like the Xbox 360 fall under the Entertainment and Devices division. (Presumably other hardware, such as mice, keyboards, and cameras, also fall under the Entertainment and Devices division.) It’s also unclear where Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Nokia’s handset division will fall, but let’s assume that it will be under Entertainment and Devices as well. Now, for the sake of argument, let’s assume a slightly different structure that I think is more in line with how Microsoft presents itself and how the general public sees it: Consumer Products and Devices, which would probably make up approximately 9% of overall revenue. Developer Tools, which would probably make up approximately 13% of overall revenue. Enterprise Products and Devices, which would probably make up approximately 47% of overall revenue. Entertainment, which would probably make up approximately 13% of overall revenue. Online Services, which would probably make up approximately 17% of overall revenue. (Just so we’re clear, in this structure hardware products like the Surface, a portion of Windows sales, and other hardware fall under the Consumer Products and Devices division. I’m assuming that more of the income for the Windows division is coming from enterprise/volume licenses so 15% of that income went to the Enterprise Products and Devices division. Most of the enterprise services, like Azure, fall under the Online Services division so half of the Server and Tools income went there as well.) No matter how you look at it, the bulk of Microsoft’s income still comes from not just the enterprise but also software sales, and this really shouldn’t surprise anyone. So, now that the stage is set…what’s the future for Microsoft? The future I see for Microsoft (again, this is just my prediction based on my own instinct, gut-feel and publicly available information) is this: Microsoft is becoming a consumer-focused enterprise company. Let’s look at it a different way. Microsoft is an enterprise-focused company trying to create a larger consumer presence.  To a large extent, this is the exact opposite of Apple, who is really a consumer-focused company trying to create a larger enterprise presence. The major reason consumer-focused companies (like Apple) have started making in-roads into the enterprise is the “bring your own device” phenomenon. Yes, Apple has created some “game-changing” products but their enterprise influence is still relatively small. Unfortunately (for this blog post at least), Apple provides revenue in terms of hardware products rather than business divisions, so it’s not possible to do a direct comparison. However, in the interest of transparency, from Apple’s Quarterly Report (filed 24 July 2013), their revenue breakdown is: iPhone, which for the 3 months ending 29 June 2013 made up approximately 51% of revenue. iPad, which for the 3 months ending 29 June 2013 made up approximately 18% of revenue. Mac, which for the 3 months ending 29 June 2013 made up approximately 14% of revenue. iPod, which for the 3 months ending 29 June 2013 made up approximately 2% of revenue. iTunes, Software, and Services, which for the 3 months ending 29 June 2013 made up approximately 11% of revenue. Accessories, which for the 3 months ending 29 July 2013 made up approximately 3% of revenue. From this, it’s pretty clear that Apple is a consumer-and-hardware-focused company. At this point, you may be asking yourself “Where is all of this going?” The answer to that lies in Microsoft’s shift in company focus. They are becoming more consumer focused, but what exactly does that mean? The biggest change (at least that’s been in the news lately) is the pending purchase of Nokia’s handset division. This, in combination with their Surface line of tablets and the Xbox, will put Microsoft squarely in the realm of a hardware-focused company in addition to being a software-focused company. That can (and most likely will) shift the revenue split to looking at revenue based on software sales (both consumer and enterprise) and also hardware sales (mostly on the consumer side). If we look at things strictly from a Windows perspective, Microsoft clearly has a lot of irons in the fire at the moment. Discounting the various product SKUs available and painting the picture with broader strokes, there are currently 5 different Windows-based operating systems: Windows Phone Windows Phone 7.x, which runs on top of the Windows CE kernel Windows Phone 8.x+, which runs on top of the Windows 8 kernel Windows RT The ARM-based version of Windows 8, which runs on top of the Windows 8 kernel Windows (Pro) The Intel-based version of Windows 8, which runs on top of the Windows 8 kernel Xbox The Xbox 360, which runs it’s own proprietary OS. The Xbox One, which runs it’s own proprietary OS, a version of Windows running on top of the Windows 8 kernel and a proprietary “manager” OS which manages the other two. Over time, Windows Phone 7.x devices will fade so that really leaves 4 different versions. Looking at Windows RT and Windows Phone 8.x paints an interesting story. Right now, all mobile phone devices run on some sort of ARM chip and that doesn’t look like it will change any time soon. That means Microsoft has two different Windows based operating systems for the ARM platform. Long term, it doesn’t make sense for Microsoft to continue supporting that arrangement. I have long suspected (since the Surface was first announced) that Microsoft will unify these two variants of Windows and recent speculation from some of the leading Microsoft watchers lends credence to this suspicion. It is rumored that upcoming Windows Phone releases will include support for larger screen sizes, relax the requirement to have a hardware-based back button and will continue to improve API parity between Windows Phone and Windows RT. At the same time, Windows RT will include support for smaller screen sizes. Since both of these operating systems are based on the same core Windows kernel, it makes sense (both from a financial and development resource perspective) for Microsoft to unify them. The user interfaces are already very similar. So similar in fact, that visually it’s difficult to tell them apart. To illustrate this, here are two screen captures: Other than a few variations (the Bing News app, the picture shown in the Pictures tile and the spacing between the tiles) these are identical. The one on the left is from my Windows 8.1 laptop (which looks the same as on my Surface RT) and the one on the right is from my Windows Phone 8 Lumia 925. This pretty clearly shows that from a consumer perspective, there really is no practical difference between how these two operating systems look and how you interact with them. For the consumer, your entertainment device (Xbox One), phone (Windows Phone) and mobile computing device (Surface [or some other vendors tablet], laptop, netbook or ultrabook) and your desktop computing device (desktop) will all look and feel the same. While many people will denounce this consistency of user experience, I think this will be a good thing in the long term, especially for the upcoming generations. For example, my 5-year old son knows how to use my tablet, phone and Xbox because they all feature nearly identical user experiences. When Windows 8 was released, Microsoft allowed a Windows Store app to be purchased once and installed on as many as 5 devices. With Windows 8.1, this limit has been increased to over 50. Why is that important? If you consider that your phone, computing devices, and entertainment device will be running the same operating system (with minor differences related to physical hardware chipset), that means that I could potentially purchase my sons favorite Angry Birds game once and be able to install it on all of the devices I own. (And for those of you wondering, it’s only 7 [at the moment].) From an app developer perspective, the story becomes even more compelling. Right now there are differences between the different operating systems, but those differences are shrinking. The user interface technology for both is XAML but there are different controls available and different user experience concepts. Some of the APIs available are the same while some are not. You can’t develop a Windows Phone app that can also run on Windows (either Windows Pro or RT). With each release of Windows Phone and Windows RT, those difference become smaller and smaller. Add to this mix the Xbox One, which will also feature a Windows-based operating system and the same “modern” (tile-based) user interface and the visible distinctions between the operating systems will become even smaller. Unifying the operating systems means one set of APIs and one code base to maintain for an app that can run on multiple devices. One code base means it’s easier to add features and fix bugs and that those changes become available on all devices at the same time. It also means a single app store, which will increase the discoverability and reach of your app and consolidate revenue and app profile management. Now, the choice of what devices an app is available on becomes a simple checkbox decision rather than a technical limitation. Ultimately, this means more apps available to consumers, which is always good for the app ecosystem. Is all of this just rumor, speculation and conjecture? Of course, but it’s not unfounded. As I mentioned earlier, some of the prominent Microsoft watchers are also reporting similar rumors. However, Microsoft itself has even hinted at this future with their recent organizational changes and by telling developers “if you want to develop for Xbox One, start developing for Windows 8 now.” I think this pretty clearly paints the following picture: Microsoft is committed to the “modern” user interface paradigm. Microsoft is changing their release cadence (for all products, not just operating systems) to be faster and more modular. Microsoft is going to continue to unify their OS platforms both from a consumer perspective and a developer perspective. While this direction will certainly concern some people it will excite many others. Microsoft’s biggest failing has always been following through with a strong and sustained marketing strategy that presents a consistent view point and highlights what this unified and connected experience looks like and how it benefits consumers and enterprises. We’ve started to see some of this over the last few years, but it needs to continue and become more aggressive and consistent. In the long run, I think Microsoft will be able to pull all of these technologies and devices together into one seamless ecosystem. It isn’t going to happen overnight, but my prediction is that we will be there by the end of 2016. As both a consumer and a developer, I, for one, am excited about the future of Microsoft.

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  • Women in Technology Microsoft Career Webcast: Learn More About Microsoft Services Roles

    - by Lara Rubbelke
    Since I joined Microsoft over 2 1/2 years ago, many of my friends and colleagues ask me how I like it and how things are going. To be more precise, often these friends tip their heads to the side and ask with great concern “How are you doing? Are you working all the time?”. In many cases, I think this would be the same manner that they may have inquired on my state after a death in the family:-) I don’t begrudge anyone for how they approach me in my choice to join Microsoft, and fully appreciate...(read more)

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  • How to rearm Microsoft Office in 2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine (SP1)

    - by John Assymptoth
    I'm doing some tests in a 2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine (SP1). However, after a few days (maybe ~180), Office is now saying that it needs to be activated. I've tried rearming with OSPPREARM.EXE, but I get the following error: "The security processor reported that the maximum allowed number of re-arms has been exceeded. You must re-install the OS before trying to re-arm again." How can I circumvent this, without losing all the data I have in the VM?

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  • Microsoft Word restores all open documents when clicking on a .DOC file

    - by Joel Spolsky
    I tend to have a few Word documents that I keep open all the time, with notes for a long-running project. Normally they are all minimized. The problem is that when I click on a different .doc or .docx file in Windows Explorer, even though the new document opens in its own window, the other, minimized Word documents get restored, too. Now I have several restored windows that I wanted to keep minimized. I started noticing this problem on Windows 7, but I'm not sure if it's unique to Windows 7. I'm using Word 2007.

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  • Microsoft Office 2010 start page numbering on page 5

    - by Brian Byrne
    This is driving me absolutely insane. I want to start the page numbering on page 5 and for it to continue to the end of the document. I've tried using page/section breaks but that didn't work. I've also tried pressing ctrl + F9 while in the footer and adding it in the format { if{ page } < 5 "{ page *roman }" "{ page }" } but that doesn't work either. Does anyone have any ideas? I've been trying to fix this for the past hour.

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  • hierarical numbering in microsoft word 2003

    - by cody
    I have a headline in my document of level 3 and want the document hierarical numbered but it seems my level 3 headings do restart numbering at 1.1.1 and i have no clue why. it looks like that: 1. blah 1.1 blub 1.2 blub 2. blah 2.1 blub 2.2 blub 1.1.1 blubb <- shouldnt this be 2.2.1 ? 3. blah how can I correct this issue?

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  • Alt-Shift won't switch language in Microsoft Word

    - by ripper234
    I have Windows 7 RTM, Office 2007 SP1, and a computer with English and Hebrew languages installed. In most programs (e.g. notepad), left ALT-SHIFT switches from Hebrew to English and vice versa. In word, it also usually works, but sometimes pressing left ALT-SHIFT just won't do anything. Is this a bug in Windows ? Word?

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  • Microsoft Excel 2013

    - by Dan LaMoreaux
    We use a spreadsheet as our timecards. The template is stores on the server with links to it on the individual Desktops. I am trying to figgure out the VB so that wnen the cell for username (B5) is blank, the VB will place next sundays date in (B7). After the user enters thier name in B5, I need it to not change B7 again. If I use a formula in B7 "=IF(B5="",TODAY()+8-WEEKDAY(TODAY()),B7)" i need to enable the curcular calcualtions, which don't follow from the template to the spreadsheet, thus causing errors for every individual. Corporate says that they need to be in Excel, because of the import software. Otherwise I'd use Word and the "CreateDate" function. I've been trying to learn the VB to do it, but I was hoping that soem expert could whip out the code in 5 min. flat and just let me disect it.

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  • Change the language of fields in Microsoft Word

    - by Martin Wiboe
    Hi, I am using Word 2010 and some built-in features with fields, such as bibliography. My Word installation is English and I am writing a report in US English. However, my computer has its locale set to Denmark. This affects the formatting of dates and some of the text in the auto-generated fields (e.g. in bibliography it says "citeret:" instead of "cited:"). How can I change the language of the fields to US English? Thanks, Martin

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  • Microsoft Word Image Flattening?

    - by CaMiX
    I'm trying to find a way to flatten images in a MS Word 2007 document. I want the images that have text/labels placed/layered on top of them to be merged into a single image. Are there any tools or AddIns for Word that can do this? With a 100+ page document I'm trying to avoid a manual process... I can't believe Word doesn't have a feature or option hidden somewhere that can do this out of the box.

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  • Set Microsoft Word template to always save documents based on it to a certain location

    - by nhinkle
    Some of my professors demand very specific formats for papers typed up for their courses. I've created word templates (.dotx files) for these, so I don't have to set up the formatting each time I go to write something. I already have a template for each of my classes, and have my files organized such that each class has its own directory. I would like to be able to specify a default save location for each template. I know how to set the general default save location for all documents, but I want to change it just for a specific template. Even if there were a way to have it save files generated by the template into the folder the template file resides in, that would be nice. Anybody have any ideas?

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  • Colour table cells in Microsoft Word after mail merge

    - by James
    I have an Excel spreadsheet of student data. For each of 30 topics, students are traffic lighted R, A or G (for red, amber, green) in the spreadsheet. I am mail merging individual result print-outs in Word 2010. However, rather than printing the letter R/A/G next to each topic, I would rather change the background colour of the cell to that colour. How can I do this? Is there an option with merge fields or can it be done with a macro (please provide sample code if so - I don't have experience with macros!)

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  • how to remove or change background fills in all tables in a microsoft word document

    - by PA.
    I have a bunch of large documents, with many tables that have different and inconsistent fill styles - some of them are not readable in black and white when printed. I cannot change the background fill for all the tables at once. The problem I have is that when I open such a document, and Select All, the Table Properties are inactive. Do you know a technique for selecting all the tables, or a method for applying global format of tables, with a script or some other way?

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  • Can Microsoft Build Appliances?

    - by andrewbrust
    Billy Hollis, my Visual Studio Live! colleague and fellow Microsoft Regional Director said recently, and I am paraphrasing, that the computing world, especially on the consumer side, has shifted from one of building hardware and software that makes things possible to do, to building products and technologies that make things easy to do.  Billy crystalized things perfectly, as he often does. In this new world of “easy to do,” Apple has done very well and Microsoft has struggled.  In the old world, customers wanted a Swiss Army Knife, with the most gimmicks and gadgets possible.  In the new world, people want elegantly cutlery.  They may want cake cutters and utility knives too, but they don’t want one device that works for all three tasks.  People don’t want tools, they want utensils.  People don’t want machines.  They want appliances. Microsoft Appliances: They Do Exist Microsoft has built a few appliance-like devices.  I would say XBox 360 is an appliance,  It’s versatile, mind you, but it’s the kind of thing you plug in, turn on and use, as opposed to set-up, tune, and open up to upgrade the internals.  Windows Phone 7 is an appliance too.  It’s a true smartphone, unlike Windows Mobile which was a handheld computer with a radio stack.  Zune is an appliance too, and a nice one.  It hasn’t attained much traction in the market, but that’s probably because the seminal consumer computing appliance -- the iPod – got there so much more quickly. In the embedded world, Mediaroom, Microsoft’s set-top product for the cable industry (used by AT&T U-Verse and others) is an appliance.  So is Microsoft’s Sync technology, used in Ford automobiles.  Even on the enterprise side, Microsoft has an appliance: SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse Edition (PDW) combines Microsoft software with select OEMs’ server, networking and storage hardware.  You buy the appliance units from the OEMs, plug them in, connect them and go. I would even say that Bing is an appliance.  Not in the hardware sense, mind you.  But from the software perspective, it’s a single-purpose product that you visit or run, use and then move on.  You don’t have to install it (except the iOS and Android native apps where it’s pretty straightforward), you don’t have to customize it, you don’t have to program it.  Basically, you just use it. Microsoft Appliances that Should Exist But Microsoft builds a bunch of things that are not appliances.  Media Center is not an appliance, and it most certainly should be.  Instead, it’s an app that runs on Windows 7.  It runs full-screen and you can use this configuration to conceal the fact that Windows is under it, but eventually something will cause you to abandon that masquerade (like Patch Tuesday). The next version of Windows Home Server won’t, in my opinion, be an appliance either.  Now that the Drive Extender technology is gone, and users can’t just add and remove drives into and from a single storage pool, the product is much more like a IT server and less like an appliance-premised one.  Much has been written about this decision by Microsoft.  I’ll just sum it up in one word: pity. Microsoft doesn’t have anything remotely appliance-like in the tablet category, either.  Until it does, it likely won’t have much market share in that space either.  And of course, the bulk of Microsoft’s product catalog on the business side is geared to enterprise machines and not personal appliances. Appliance DNA: They Gotta Have It. The consumerization of IT is real, because businesspeople are consumers too.  They appreciate the fit and finish of appliances at home, and they increasingly feel entitled to have it at work too.  Secure and reliable push email in a smartphone is necessary, but it isn’t enough.  People want great apps and a pleasurable user experience too.  The full Microsoft Office product is needed at work, but a PC with a keyboard and mouse, or maybe a touch screen that uses a stylus (or requires really small fingers), to run Office isn’t enough either.  People want a flawless touch experience available for the times they want to read and take quick notes.  Until Microsoft realizes this fully and internalizes it, it will suffer defeats in the consumer market and even setbacks in the business market.  Think about how slow the Office upgrade cycle is…now imagine if the next version of Office had a first-class alternate touch UI and consider the possible acceleration in adoption rates. Can Microsoft make the appliance switch?  Can the appliance mentality become pervasive at the company?  Can Microsoft hasten its release cycles dramatically and shed the “some assembly required” paradigm upon which many of its products are based?  Let’s face it, the chances that Microsoft won’t make this transition are significant. But there are also encouraging signs, and they should not be ignored.  The appliances we have already discussed, especially Xbox, Zune and Windows Phone 7, are the most obvious in this regard.  The fact that SQL Server has an appliance SKU now is a more subtle but perhaps also more significant outcome, because that product sits so smack in the middle of Microsoft’s enterprise stack.  Bing is encouraging too, especially given its integrated travel, maps and augmented reality capabilities.  As Bing gains market share, Microsoft has tangible proof that it can transform and win, even when everyone outside the company, and many within it, would bet otherwise. That Great Big Appliance in the Sky Perhaps the most promising (and evolving) proof points toward the appliance mentality, though, are Microsoft’s cloud offerings -- Azure and BPOS/Office 365.  While the cloud does not represent a physical appliance (quite the opposite in fact) its ability to make acquisition, deployment and use of technology simple for the user is absolutely an embodiment of the appliance mentality and spirit.  Azure is primarily a platform as a service offering; it doesn’t just provide infrastructure.  SQL Azure does likewise for databases.  And Office 365 does likewise for SharePoint, Exchange and Lync. You don’t administer, tune and manage servers; instead, you create databases or site collections or mailboxes and start using them. Upgrades come automatically, and it seems like releases will come more frequently.  Fault tolerance and content distribution is just there.  No muss.  No fuss.  You use these services; you don’t have to set them up and think about them.  That’s how appliances work.  To me, these signs point out that Microsoft has the full capability of transforming itself.  But there’s a lot of work ahead.  Microsoft may say they’re “all in” on the cloud, but the majority of the company is still oriented around its old products and models.  There needs to be a wholesale cultural transformation in Redmond.  It can happen, but product management, program management, the field and executive ranks must unify in the effort. So must partners, and even customers.  New leaders must rise up and Microsoft must be able to see itself as a winner.  If Microsoft does this, it could lock-in decades of new success, and be a standard business school case study for doing so.  If not, the company will have missed an opportunity, and may see its undoing.

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  • Microsoft Forcing Dev/Partners Hands on Win 8 Through Certification

    - by D'Arcy Lussier
    I remember 2.5 years ago when Microsoft dropped a bomb on the Microsoft Partner community: all Gold competencies would require .NET 4 based premiere certifications (MCPD). Problem was, this gave a window of about 6 months for partners to update their employees’ certifications. At the place I was working, I put together an aggressive plan and we were able to attain the certs needed. Microsoft is always open that the certification requirements will change as the industry changes. .NET 1.0 certifications are useless here in 2012, and rightfully so they’ve been retired for a long time now. But now we’re seeing a new tactic by Microsoft – shifting gears away from certifications that speak to what industry needs and more to the Windows 8 agenda. Consider that currently the premiere development certification is the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer, which comes in three flavours – Web, Windows, and Azure. All require WCF and Data Access exams, as well as one that deals with the associated base technologies (ASP.NET, WinForms/WPF, Azure), and one that ties all three together in a solution-based exam. For Microsoft-based organizations, these skills aren’t just valid but necessary in building Microsoft applications. But the MCPD is being replaced with our old friend Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD). So far, Microsoft has only released two types of MCSD – Web and Windows Store Apps. Windows Store Apps?! In a push to move developers to create WinRT-based applications, desktop development is now considered a second-class citizen in the eyes of Redmond. Also interesting are the language options for the exams: HTML5 and C#. Sorry VB folks, its time to embrace curly braces whether they be JavaScript or C#. Consider too the skills being assessed for the Windows Store Apps: Get your MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using HTML5 Get your MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using C# *Image Source: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcsd-windows-store-apps.aspx Nov 21/2012 If you look at the skills being tested in each exam, you’ll find that skills like WCF and Data Access are downplayed compared to things like integrating Charms, facilitating Search, programming for the microphone and camera – all very Windows 8 focussed items. Where this becomes maddening is that Microsoft is still pushing Windows 7 with enterprise clients. According to a ZDNet article, Microsoft wants to see Windows 7 on 70% of enterprise desktops by mid 2013. Assuming they somehow meet that (its a pretty lofty goal), there’s years of traditional desktop-based development that will still be required at some level. For those thinking they’ll just write and stick with the MCPD certification, note that most exams that go towards that certification will be retired at the end of July 2013! (Read the small print). And while details haven’t been finalized, its a safe bet that MCPD certifications eventually won’t count towards Gold-level competencies in the Microsoft Partner program. What this means for Microsoft Partners and Developers is that certification for desktop development is going to be limited to Windows Store Apps unless Microsoft re-introduces a traditional desktop (WPF) based MCSD cert. Web Application Development – It’s Not All Bad There’s big changes on the web side of certification, but I actually see these changes as being for the good! Check out the new exam requirements for MCSD – Web Applications: Get your MCSD: Web Applications certification *Image Source: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-mcsd-web-applications.aspx Nov 21, 2012 We now *start* with HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3! Now I’m sure that these will be slanted towards web development in IE, and I can hear designers everywhere bemoaning the CSS/IE combination. Still, I applaud Microsoft for adopting HTML5 as the go-to web technology and requiring certified developers to prove they have skills in the basics of web dev. The fact that the second exam clearly states “MVC Web Applications” shows that Web Forms is truly legacy and deprecated. That’s not to say there aren’t those out there that are still supporting or (for whatever reason) doing new dev with Web Forms, but this move by Microsoft is telling the community they better get on the MVC bandwagon if they want to stay current. Fantastic! And of course Azure needs to be here as well, and this is where the Microsoft agenda fits in. It’s no secret that there’s been a huge push in getting developers on to Azure. I don’t see this as being a bad thing either, as cloud computing (whether Azure, private, or 3rd party) is a necessary skill for developers to have here in 2012. The cynic in me realizes that the HTML5/JavaScript/CSS push wouldn’t be as prominent though if not for the Windows 8 Store App play, where HTML5 is a first class citizen (and an available language for the MCSD Windows Store App cert). In this case, the desktop developers loss is the web developers gain. Get Ready for Changes In addition to the changes in certifications, the Microsoft Partner competencies are going through changes as well. Web and Software Development are being merged into a single competency, meaning that licenses you would have received from having both as Gold are reduced. Other competencies are either being removed or changed, as are the exam requirements. In the same way that we’re seeing faster release cycles from Microsoft, so too will we see the Microsoft Partner Program and MS Certifications evolve faster than ever before. Many of us got caught in the last wave of changes, but this time we can see the wave coming – and it looks pretty big!

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  • How do I share a Quick Style Set I have created?

    - by Frank Conte
    I have created a Quick Style Set in Word 2010 that I would like to share with colleagues. I have called this QSS OurReport. Another web site suggested the following For Windows 7, the folder should be Users[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\QuickStyles. Open Word File options advanced Scroll all the way down to section titled “General” Click “File locations” Click “User templates” – this will bring you to templates but also quick styles folder I have no Quick Styles Folder in my Roaming file locations

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  • Show multiple calendars in overlay view by default

    - by Kyle Strand
    In MS Outlook 2007/2010, it's possible to show multiple calendars overlayed on each other (a la Google Calendar; see http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/view-calendars-side-by-side-or-overlaid-HA001230157.aspx#BM4). However, it appears that in order to do this, you must first open the calendars side-by-side and then press the little left-arrow button to "combine" them into an overlaid view. Is there a way to make "overlaid" the default view for multiple calendars (again, a la Google Calendar)?

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  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer 2010 codename “Eaglestone”

    - by HosamKamel
    Microsoft has released the beta release of Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer 2010 codename “Eaglestone”, the Eclipse plugin and cross-platform command line assets that were acquired from Teamprise back in November. You can download the bits here, and participate in the associated Microsoft Connect community here. Changes done in this release : All of the architectural changes in TFS 2010 has been reacted, which primarily shows up in our support for Team Project Collections but it also means that the Eclipse plug-in supports all the configurations for project portal and reporting services that are possible (including not having any configured at all) Added the enhanced work item linking and hierarchy capabilities.  You can now define typed links, query for work items based on links, and work with work item hierarchies. Added support for the new WF-based team build Have reacted to a lot of underlying changes in the source control version model with respect to how branching, merging, and renames happen. History now follows branches and merges. Branches are proper first class citizens in the source control explorer. You can check a detailed post written  by bharry here Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer 2010 codename “Eaglestone”

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  • Test Driven Development (TDD) in Visual Studio 2010- Microsoft Mondays

    - by Hosam Kamel
    November 14th , I will be presenting at Microsoft Mondays a session about Test Driven Development (TDD) in Visual Studio 2010 . Microsoft Mondays is program consisting of a series of Webcasts showcasing various Microsoft products and technologies. Each Monday we discuss a particular topic pertaining to development, infrastructure, Office tools, ERP, client/server operating systems etc. The webcast will be broadcast via Lync and can viewed from a web client. The idea behind the “Microsoft Mondays” program is to help you become more proficient in the products and technologies that you use and help you utilize their full potential.   Test Driven Development in Visual Studio 2010 Level – 300 (  Intermediate – Advanced ) Test Driven Development (TDD), also frequently referred to as Test Driven Design, is a development methodology where developers create software by first writing a unit test, then writing the actual system code to make the unit test pass.  The unit test can be viewed as a small specification around how the system should behave; writing it first helps the developer to focus on only writing enough code to make the test pass, thereby helping ensure a tight, lightweight system which is specifically focused meeting on the documented requirements. TDD follows a cadence of “Red, Green, Refactor.” Red refers to the visual display of a failing test – the test you write first will not pass because you have not yet written any code for it. Green refers to the step of writing just enough code in your system to make your unit test pass – your test runner’s UI will now show that test passing with a green icon. Refactor refers to the step of refactoring your code so it is tighter, cleaner, and more flexible. This cycle is repeated constantly throughout a TDD developer’s workday. Date:   November 14, 2011 Time:  10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (GMT+3)  http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2437620990/efbnen?ebtv=F   See you there! Hosam Kamel Originally posted at

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  • Microsoft Kinect Sales Are 2X Faster Than iPad

    - by Gopinath
    Apple iPad broke many records and it was crowned as the fastest adopted digital device in the history. 2 million iPads were sold in two months and Apple fan boys are all happy with the news. Here comes some good news for Microsoft lovers – Microsoft’s Kinect is selling twice as fast as Apple iPads. In just 25 days after the launch, 2 million Kinects are sold across the globe – that means 100K Kinect sales per day. Very impressive! Kinect was originally released for XBox 360 gaming console but hackers and geeks are able to connect Kinect to Windows 7 PC to control computers using gestures. The possibilities Kinect usage in building natural user interfaces looks very promising. If this growth sustains after the festive season, Microsoft Kinect will displace iPad from the crown of fastest adopted digital device. More details at Xbox 360 Surpasses 2.5 Million Kinect Sensors Sold This article titled,Microsoft Kinect Sales Are 2X Faster Than iPad, was originally published at Tech Dreams. Grab our rss feed or fan us on Facebook to get updates from us.

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  • BUILD 2013 - Microsoft Set to Unveil It&rsquo;s Reinvention

    - by D'Arcy Lussier
    Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/dlussier/archive/2013/06/24/153211.aspxSome thoughts as we head into BUILD this week… This week in San Francisco Microsoft will be hosting the BUILD conference. They’ll be talking up Windows 8.1 (Windows Blue), more Azure, some Windows Phone, XBox, Office 365… actually, they told us on the original BUILD announcement site what we’d be seeing:           While looking at this, consider a recent article from The Verge that talks about the speculation of a huge shake up at Microsoft . From the article: All Things D quotes one insider as saying they're "titanic" changes, noting they might be attached to Ballmer's legacy at the company. "It’s the first time in a long time that it feels like that there will be some major shifts, including some departures," says the alleged insider. Considering Ballmer let Sinofsky go right after the Windows 8 launch, the idea of Microsoft cutting loose some executives doesn’t seem to be big news. But the next piece of the article frames things more interestingly: Ballmer is reportedly considering a new structure that would create four separate divisions: enterprise business, hardware, applications and services, and an operating systems group. This statement got me thinking…what would this new structure look like? Below is one possibility: At a recent (this year or last year, I can’t recall which) Microsoft shareholder’s meeting, Ballmer made the statement that Microsoft is now a products and services company. At the time I don’t think I really let that statement sink in. Partially because I really liked the Microsoft of my professional youth – the one that was a software and platform company. In Canada, Microsoft has been pushing three platform areas: Lync, Azure, and SQL Server. I would expect those to change moving forward as Microsoft continues to look for Partners that will help them increase their Services revenue through solutions that incorporate/are based on Azure, Office 365, Lync, and Dynamics. I also wonder if we’re not seeing a culling of partners through changes to the Microsoft Partner Program. In addition to the changing certification requirements that align more to Microsoft’s goals (i.e. There is no desktop development based MCSD, only Windows 8 Store Apps), competencies that partners can qualify for are being merged, requirements changed, and licenses provided reduced. Ballmer warned as much at the last WPC though that they were looking for partners who were “all in” with Microsoft, and these programs seem to support that sentiment. Heading into BUILD this week, I’ll be looking to answer one question – what does it mean to be a Microsoft developer here in the 2010’s? What is the future of the Microsoft development platform? Sure, Visual Studio is still alive and well and Microsoft realizes that there’s a huge install base of .NET developers actively working on solutions. But they’ve ratcheted down the messaging around their development stack and instead focussed on promoting development for their platforms and services. Last year at BUILD with the release of Windows 8, Microsoft just breached the walls of its cocoon. After this BUILD and the organizational change announcements in July, we’ll see what Microsoft looks like fully emerged from its metamorphosis.

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  • Visio 2013 - how to rotate the entire page?

    - by loneboat
    I would like to rotate an entire page, including all of the shapes and text on it. I see here that you can supposedly hold down Control and click-drag the corner of the page to do it: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/visio-help/rotate-a-page-HP085050946.aspx ... however I can't get this to work. Hovering over the corner does nothing initially, and when I hold Control the cursor becomes a scale/resize icon, rather than a rotate icon (per the MS article I linked to above). I have tried other modifier key combinations while hovering, but nothing seems to produce the rotate icon mentioned.

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