Technology, Infrastructure and Cloud Focused.

Father of 3 lovely children, geek, infrastructure expert, technical architect and all round technologist.

Archives for November 2014

Skype for Business

So, a new version of Lync client and server, a new version of Skype all mashed and integrated post the Skype acquisition of 2011.Skype for business  This is a great move from Microsoft to bring their technologies together and I would assume in 2015 that the consumer version of Skype will get a face lift as well.

 

If you are a Lync fan then you will know the move from 2010 to 2013 this brought limited Skype integration with the ability to add Skype accounts (if you had registered with Skype through an email address and not like me had an original Skype account!)  I must say I like the new interface  – see below.

 

This release is scheduled for early 2015 with Lync Server being replaced with Skype for Business Server and updated client.  If you use Lync online or Office365 then this will get updated automatic and I assume the new client will appear within the software section of your Office365 portal.

 

Further details can be found out on the Microsoft Office Blogs here – http://blogs.office.com/2014/11/11/introducing-skype-business/ 

Microsoft’s top priorities for 2014

Recently I have been researching some of Microsoft’s trends and some of Satya Nadella’s strategy and came over this article a few months old from cnet (for the full article click here) which explains where the company’s focus is and the reason for the great Cloud first, Mobile first vision.  Below is a small graphics that illustrates this – where do you think your strategy and your company’s vision fits into this?  Are you looking at any of this technologies:

Microsoft Trends and Priorities for 2014

Microsoft Trends and Priorities for 2014

For me my interested, skills and focus are around the following:

  • Windows 8 Tablets – for me here the focus is around how the hardware market are going to utilise Windows 8 (bring on 8.2 BTW as a menu is back) to remove the laptop & tablet (or fablet!) 2015 will be the focus on looking at Windows 10 and seeing if the Windows 7 Enterprises will make a 7 – 10 jump or Windows 7 ate (“8) 9 to give 10!!  get it..!!
  • Office 365 – The SaSS offering from Microsoft that originated many years ago it BPOS and now O365.  This is a very strong platform for all businesses, large or small (and individuals) and a platform I have very keen this.  I can see this sitting and running on Microsoft Azure at some point in 2015.
  • Enterprise Social – I am starting to run a small pilot at an enterprise to see how the users will adopt this and what the take would be from senior executive members.  For me this is about SharePoint, Yammer and Lync working in harmony together and using it from team collaboration (both business and social) but also about making static intranets more interactive and dynamic.
  • Consumer IT – Well I see BYOD turning into Desktop-As-A-Service and then really it does not matter what technology end users bring in as you have centrally secured your desktop estate, close to your applications.
  • Hyper-V – Hypver V is catching VMware quickly and when you carry out a cost benefit analysis you may be surprised on the VMware support costs alone, let alone the up front license costs.

 

 

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 VS Surface Pro 3 Hands On Review

Surface Pro 3

So the other night I started to configure and setup my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (i7,512SSD, 8GB) while working on my Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and thought it would be wise to give my opinion 3 days into running with the new 3.  For the people that do not know me I am a Surface fan and have been since the orginal as I do feel the “fablet” (or whatever the media are coining now) concept is the way of the future and of course a big apple fan.

Having said that I have been extremely disappointed with the Pro 3.  I had been expecting high hopes for this, especially as we had a demo unit that worked perfectly.  But recently in an order of 3 of these  1 of them suffered the dreaded heat issues that have been reported all over the net – see here for details (to name a few!).

Microsoft should really have waited for the new core i7’s (core M processors) with lower power voltage to come out before attempting such a high powered CPU to go into a small form factor with limited fan support.

Another issue was how to I get my 50GB OneDrive account migrated without downloading the whole drive again – this will be a future post as I am still working it.  My initial thoughts had been to simply copy or pre-seed the data from the source Surface 2 to the target Surface 3 but that  plan I am still working on.

Having said all this I am still a fan and I would still buy a Pro 3 but only on the following terms:

  1. Decide on a core i5 or i7, here is a great guide to way the two but personally now I would go for an i5.  30% additional performance for 70% additional cost value .
  2. Decide on the storage which was a key factor for me and the 512SSD only comes with the i7 model – so no choice for me.
  3. They keyboard is great, such a nice Type keyboard from the Pro One (but more responsive keys and feedback) with the great track pad as the Pro One – yes they have removed the stupid fabric track pad – a big win here as you do not need to carry a USB or bluetooth mouse around with you.
  4. The screen is such an improvement, higher resolution, more screen real estate and great for working on.  The Pro One and Two I found hard to work for longer than 2-3 hrs but this is a dream on the Pro 3.
  5. Pen – not that I have tested this yet but the ability to use a stronger pen, better handling and designed with OneNote then great – lets hope Evernote can start using this as well.

In short all I need is a Surface for work, Mac for home and gaming PC (but the wife won’t let me!) and at present it would be the Surface Pro 3, roll on the Surface Pro….!!!!