Microsoft’s Certified Career Day

If you’re an IT Pro and you aren’t thinking about cloud technologies, then you probably aren’t reading technology blogs either, so I’m assuming that you, dear reader, are conscious of the shift towards the cloud. You might also be thinking about getting skilled up and certified as a cloud expert for the benefit of your career. On Tuesday 12th March (from 08:30 PDT), Microsoft is running a Certified Career Day to talk about the technologies, the direction and the certifications they have available. There’s quite a line-up of experts on the schedule, so I expect the content is going to be pretty … Continue reading Microsoft’s Certified Career Day

Time to move on from Windows XP

Just a reminder that we’re now inside 500 days until the end of support for Windows XP. I’m sure I don’t need to go into the reasons why your organisation doesn’t want to be running an OS that Microsoft doesn’t support anymore. If you aren’t ready to jump to Windows 8, then Windows 7 is a perfectly good step up from XP. Whatever you decide to upgrade to, just make sure you do it before 8th April 2014.

Win8/RT Tip: Make your Picture Password harder to guess

One of the nice things that Microsoft have done in Windows 8 and RT for people using a touchscreen, like on the Surface, is provide a new way of signing in with a Picture Password. They expain in a comprehensive post how secure it is, but in practice I believe that many users will reduce the level of security by too closely following Microsoft’s examples. What are the chances that a large percentage of Picture Password users select an image of family members or pets, or similar and then create their three gestures by circling heads and drawing dots on, or … Continue reading Win8/RT Tip: Make your Picture Password harder to guess

Windows 8 Arrives

Today marks general availability for Microsoft’s Windows 8 and also their Surface tablet running Windows RT. I’ve been using Windows 8 for some time and I do like it, but there is a learning curve and it does take a bit of getting used to. I just wanted to post a couple of links to help people get up to speed as quickly as possible… Firstly, for the absolute beginner, we have Joanna Stern’s 8 Things You Need to Know About Using Windows 8 on ABC News. Joanna does a good job of going throught the most important things you … Continue reading Windows 8 Arrives

Free ebook: Introducing Windows Server 2012

Microsoft Press have released a free ebook called Introducing Windows Server 2012, which does exactly what it says on the tin. There are three versions available, depending on where you want to read it: Introducing Windows Server 2012 RTM Edition – PDF ebookIntroducing Windows Server 2012 RTM Edition – ePub formatIntroducing Windows Server 2012 RTM Edition – MOBI format I read the version of this book that was based on the beta and found it very informative. It’s now been updated to the RTM version, so there’s no reason not to grab it now.  

NEBytes: Windows 8 and Imagine Cup North East

If you’re in the North East of England, get yourself along to NEBytes tomorrow evening (Wednesday 21st March). I’m collaborating with Ben Lee and Ross Dargan to give you as much depth as you can handle on Windows 8, and we’re getting to see what some of the student teams have been doing for the Imagine Cup. There’s plenty space, so come and join us at Newcastle University (Claremont Tower, room 1.02) from 18:30 – please register at Eventbrite if you’re coming.

Why I hope Windows 8 ARM tablets don’t have a full desktop

There has been a significant amount of speculation and rumour surrounding the existance of a full desktop experience on Windows 8 devices powered by ARM processors. These are the lower priced tablets that are going to exist in the same market as the iPad and various Android tablets, like those make by Samsung and Asus. Before anyone who hasn’t been keeping up with this has a panic, there’s going to be a normal Windows desktop on fully-fledged laptop and desktop PCs, but on tablets it makes less sense as a user interface. It’s not like you could just take your favourite … Continue reading Why I hope Windows 8 ARM tablets don’t have a full desktop

Microsoft Server & Cloud ICAB

If you’re a dedicated IT professional or software developer working with Microsoft’s server products, like Windows Server, Microsoft System Center and Microsoft Forefront then you may want to think about putting yourself forward as a member of the Server and Cloud International Customer Advisory Board (ICAB). I’m a member and I know a number of other very bright people who are contributing, so it’s looking like a group that can provide Microsoft with some really good feedback and recommendations. Here’s the skinny in Microsoft’s words: We’re looking for developers and IT pros who use Windows Server and/or System Center to … Continue reading Microsoft Server & Cloud ICAB

Bing Dynamic theme brings auto-updating wallpapers to Windows 7

Whether or not you think that Bing’s as good as Google in the search result stakes, I don’t think I’ve met a single person with anything negative to say about the fantastic photography that Bing uses as a daily backdrop for its website. It was no surprise that they released some of these beautiful images as themes for Windows 7. We had Bing’s Best, Bing’s Best 2, Bing’s Best 3 and Bing’s Best: Japan, but what a lot of us were really looking for was a theme that would automatically update and not force us to keep checking for more. … Continue reading Bing Dynamic theme brings auto-updating wallpapers to Windows 7