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Tag Archives: Public Cloud

Microsoft – Free Windows Azure for IT Professionals Jump Start

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is hosting the “Windows Azure for IT Professionals Jump Start” at May 16th. Information and registration is available on the website: https://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/liveevents/Windows-Azure-for-IT-Professionals?CR_CC=200206715

I’ve attended a couple of Jump Starts and I think it’s a great way to quickly get up-to-date about a subject. Also there’s a great team of people working behind the scenes to answer questions and provide more detailed resources. Other attendees often also share their experiences and provide valuable insights.

Also it’s only been a couple of weeks since Windows Azure IaaS is live in production backed by an enterprise SLA, supported by Microsoft Support, and ready for your production applications. Therefore it is a great time to start learning more about it.

I hope to see you there.

 

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Office 365 – Full Office Web Apps have been added to my E1 account for free

Back in February I posted that as part of the new Office 365 service, changes would be made to the Office 365 plans.

These changes are in effect right now. In short this means that the E1 and K1 plans that previously were only able to read with the Web Apps have gotten the full Office Web Apps (view, edit, create). This replaces the old E2 and K2. So basically:

  • Old E1/K1 have gotten E2/K2 functionality at the same low cost.
  • Old E2/K2 customers will keep the same features, but at a lower cost (E1/K1).
  • Old E2/K2 will be replaced by E1/K1 since they will then have the same functionality.

The new situation has become like this:

New Office 365 Enterprise Plans overview

New Office 365 Enterprise Plans overview

PS: I love the Office 365 service and I’m looking forward to the new Office 365 features that will be added when Office 365 will start using the Office 2013 (Wave 15) versions of SharePoint, Outlook, Lync, Office Web Apps. I’ve gotten a mail that I’m planned to be upgraded within the next 4 weeks, so more about that soon. I’m especially curious if my SharePoint customizations will continue to work.

 
 

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Office 365 – E1 and K1 plans getting full Office Web Apps (view, edit, create), replacing E2 and K2 at lower cost

As part of the new Office 365 service, changes will be made to the Office 365 plans. In short this means that the E1 and K1 plans will get full Office Web Apps (view, edit, create) replacing E2 and K2:

  • Current E1/K1 will get E2/K2 functionality at the same low cost.
  • Current E2/K2 customers will keep the same features, but at a lower cost (E1/K1).
  • E2/K2 will be replaced by E1/K1 since they will then have the same functionality.

The new situation will become like this:

New Office 365 Enterprise Plans overview

New Office 365 Enterprise Plans overview

PS: Besides the lower prices I’m also looking forward to the new Office 365 features that will be added when Office 365 will start using the Office 2013 (Wave 15) versions of SharePoint, Outlook, Lync, Office Web Apps. More about that soon.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2013 in Cloud, ICT, Microsoft, Office 365, Public Cloud

 

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Free training – Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) hosting 3 virtualization related Jump Starts

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is hosting 3 virtualization related Jump Starts in January and February:

  1. Introduction to Hyper-V Jump Start (January 24th, 2013)
  2. Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals Jump Start (January 30th, 2013)
  3. Microsoft Tools for VMware Migration and Integration (Late February)

I’ve attended a couple of Jump Starts including those of Office 365, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 already and I think it’s a great way to quickly get up-to-date about a subject. Also there’s a great team of people working behind the scenes to answer questions and provide more detailed resources. Other attendees often also share their experiences and provide valuable insights.

The links above provide include a course outline and a link to register for the Jump Start.

I hope to see you there.

 

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2013 in ICT, Learning, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 2012

 

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Office 2013 including Exchange, Lync and Sharepoint has been released to manufacturing (RTM)

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, Microsoft is working hard to get new and better versions of their software released as soon as possible.

Last week Microsoft announced that the Office 2013 suite reached released to manufacturing (RTM) including:

  • Office 2013 for workstations (Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, OneNote, Project, Visio)
  • Server software (Exchange 2013, Sharepoint 2013, Project 2013, Lync 2013, Visio 2013)
  • Cloud versions of the above mentioned software (Office 365).

The availability is dependent on the platform and your licensing type. More information about this can be found here:
http://blogs.office.com/b/office-news/archive/2012/10/11/office-reaches-rtm.aspx

I have to admit I didn’t expect them to reach RTM status already. I also hope that beta exams won’t be released anytime soon, because then I won’t have enough time to properly prepare :(

 

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Office 365 / Sharepoint online – Workaround to add RSS feed web part to public website

When I tried to include a RSS feeds web part to my public sharepoint site just the way I had done many times on intenal sharepoint sites, I found out that the RSS viewer web part was not available.

After searching the internet I found out why this was the case and I also found a workaround using a custom solution/webpart.

Even though it is possible to use RSS feeds this way on my public sharepoint site, it is not what I expected. In my opinion an RSS feed web part is such a fundamental part of websites nowadays that it should be available by default in Office 365 / Sharepoint online.

I hope that this will be corrected in the upcoming release of sharepoint (2013) for Office 365, but the preview still doesn’t provide this capability unfortunately:

 

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Free “VMware Your Cloud or Mine” events

Today I got a mail informing me about free “VMware Your Cloud or Mine” events being hosted in the Netherlands:

  • Thursday October 18th in Rotterdam
  • Tuesday October 23rd in Eindhoven
  • Thursday October 25th in Utrecht
  • Tuesday October 30th in Zwolle

Check the link to sign up and get more information about the event.

I will be attending the event in Eindhoven at October 23rd.

 

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Provide anonymous access to sharepoint lists on Office 365 (Sharepoint online)

Office 365 introduction

Office 365 basically provides you with collaboration services consisting of the following components:

  • E-mail (Exchange online)
  • Instant messaging (Lync online)
  • Internal and external websites (Sharepoint online)
  • Office (either locally installed or through web apps).

I really like this service offering because of the following reasons:

  • All services (and servers) are hosted by Microsoft. This means you don’t have to invest in servers, software. You also don’t have to do the initial setup nor do you have to maintain the servers, operating system and software. This all helps you to be able to focus on your core business.
  • You pay monthly fees, which are predictable.
  • Since you are using a cloud based service, the functionality is continuously being improved and newer versions are being provided at no additional cost. Currently Office 2013 Preview is available for testing only on Office 365, but when it is released it will probably also find its way to the current Office 365 users.

But don’t take my word for it, just try it for yourself and see if and how you can benefit from it.

Configuring anonymous access to sharepoint lists on Office 365 (Sharepoint online) 

Even though I like Office 365, it is far from perfect. For example, one of the reasons for me to get and Office 365 subscription was because (I thought) it would let me easily share website links, applications, scripts using sharepoints lists to the internet.

In reality however, the public facing sharepoint site was very limited and did not provide an easy way to do this. Another option was to create these lists on my “internal” sharepoint site and then provide access to people by inviting them by e-mail. This would however limit my audience / knowledge sharing potential.

After searching for people with similar issues, I came across a workaround that would help me accomplish my goals: http://anonymous365.codeplex.com

Steps to configure a sharepoint list on my public facing sharepoint site that is accessible for anonymous users:

  1. Download the anonymous365 sharepoint solution from http://anonymous365.codeplex.com
  2. Go to the “Site Settings” of your public facing site using by example :
    http://bjornhouben-web.sharepoint.com/_layouts/settings.aspx
  3. Go to the “Galleries” section and go to “Solutions“.
  4. Click under the “Name” colume and in the ribbon interface under the “Solutions” tab choose “Upload Solution“.
  5. Browse to the previously downloaded anonymous365 sharepoint solution : “Wsp365.Anonymous.wsp” and press “OK“.
  6. Check the checkbox of the uploaded “Wsp365.Anonymous.wsp” and in the ribbon interface under the “Solutions” tab choose “Activate“.
  7. The go to the “All Site Content” of your public facing site using by example:
    http://bjornhouben-web.sharepoint.com/_layouts/viewlsts.aspx
  8. Press “Create
  9. Choose the list type you want, enter a name and press “Create“.
  10. Then in the ribbon interface under “List Tools” and “List” press the button “Anonymous Access
  11. Choose what access you want to give anonymous users for this specific list and press “OK”.

PS: You can also use a list to share files using the attachments.

Closing thoughts

I hope this explanation was helpful and I love to get feedback. Because the groundwork is done now, I can focus on the actual knowledge sharing by populating the lists with content. So you can expect some major updates soon on both my blog posts and the lists below:

 

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Microsoft Skydrive improved, but freely available space decreased from 25GB to 7GB for new users. Existing users need to perform manual action to keep 25GB.

Microsoft SkyDrive is decreasing the storage available to users from 25GB to 7GB. Existing users however can keep the 25GB but manual action is required: http://ludwigkeck.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/get-your-free-25-gb-of-skydrive-storage/

Also keep in mind that Microsoft Skydrive will become more and more integrated with Windows 8 and that they have also released an application (like dropbox) that also works for previous Windows versions. For more information check:

UPDATE:

Google drive has also launched and also dropbox is making improvements to its service. Before deciding to use any service however, compare their terms of use: http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/24/2972228/cloud-storage-terms-of-service-comparison-avoid-google-drive

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Cloud, ICT, Microsoft, Public Cloud

 

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