Windows phone 7 available for manufactures

Much awaited and discussed Windows Phone 7 version has been released for manufactures (RTM) by Microsoft. This is one of the Microsoft major milestone since Microsoft believe future will more focus into mobile platform.

Despite of this release will have to enter to the battle ground with major players like Android OS and Apple IOS. Despite of that Microsoft have some cool integration tools for seamless connectivity with their rest app platform which will make this as a ideal platform for business users.

More news can be found over here and here. In depth review has been carried out by Engadget web site.

As per the news consumers can get their hands into this product end of this year. So let’s keep our fingers crossed for this Smile

End of Microsoft EBS (Essential Business Server)

Sadly but truly Microsoft has removed the plug from the EBS server. MS has taken decision since there has been no much sales improvement in the server market for this product. EBS is targeted for customer who is having 300 seats (computers), but as the MS has identified a customer who is having 300 computers will be already established company in Infrastructure point of view.

Even though EBS provide significant cost benefit moving to EBS from existing server environment to EBS is daunting task.  Requiring  minimum 3 servers (And they need to be high end as well) to run the product suit including an additional server for premium version is not a easy financial consideration.So the product will be discontinued from selling from June onwards. But the for the existing customers the product will be supported by MS in the normal product life cycle.

What I like most is SBS has not been done any changes and most of the customers still benefit that. Personally I prefer SBS product since it is a significant cost saver for SBS market. This product is targeted for companies who is having less than 75 seats.

SBS Rocks!

Bring your Own Computer (BYOC) to work

Well this has been once debatable question or rather I would say adoptable method carried out by some companies. Microsoft,Intel & Citrix are some companies who adopt this and they have already carried it out in several region offices. Recent economic situation has given most employees green light for this. In a way I see this as a good thing and I started adopting this almost before big companies decide about it. Actually in year 2007 🙂

We as technical persons cannot be locked down for 8 –5 usual office work hours, sometimes we work from home and until late night. Apart from that companies prefer to get maximum benefits out of the employees apart from that HR keeps on trying making the life comfortable for the work force. (Weather they success or not is a different question) My point is everyone want to be happy and still not compromise the rules right? Well in that case BYOC is a good method for several reasons,

1. Employees will have their personal laptop and can work from anywhere, which I call freedom and flexibility

2. Employer cannot afford all the latest hardware to be given to employees all the time to carry out their work and replacing the hardware annually. But they can lend some money to employees to have their own machine with certain legal condition, and this will be fraction of the cost of their annual IT budget.

3. Employees have the flexibility to work and same time have break and use it more meaningfully to interact with friends and colleagues via MSN, other IM’s and social networks. (Eg: Face Book) I know some companies will see FB as a bad thing but again fundamental rules work out over here, trust between employee and the employer. I also agree not wasting time on FB doing farming or playing games in office working hours. Keep that for OOOH (Out Of Office hours)

So on even you’ll can figure out various benefits which is good for both parties. With every new concepts comes some raised concerns and same goes over here.

1. Security – Well this is something for the IT department to come up with. Do you really think BYOC is the only major issue? think about the other methods your network can compromise. What we should really care about is how to make sure company main servers and confidential data can be secured properly. I have seen many times it comes to the boiling point of servers not been secured with the recommendation security patches and security policies. Now it’s time to go and have  a second look at the security aspects more deeply.

2. Cost – As I mention this will be lot less if you plan if carefully. Since you’re not going to spend so much money but lend some money for the employee to buy his/her own machine with relevant terms and condition. But please remember this option is not applicable for all the companies and this has to be evaluated even department level as well.

3. Security Policy – Well companies can have that hefty security policy guideline books with them still 🙂 Well my point is you can still apply some general rules and terms and evaluate your security polices and try to balance everything. If you’re so much concern about the desktop environments then this is the time you can even evaluate the VDI (Virtual Desktop Interface) Microsoft and Citrix is offering pretty cool solutions for this. I think the way we moving forward with year 2010 VDI will be a good option for companies to consider.

So in a nutshell those are my opinions about BYOC and I agree with this trend and the question is do you? Share your thoughts about it and see if we can change the working environment for more friendly flexible and sexy!!!! I mean with cool laptop models people 🙂

Tech.Ed 2010 in Sri Lanka

Hi everyone, we’re so proud to present Tech.Ed in Sri Lanka. Microsoft Sri Lanka has taken great initiate step organizing this event. We believe year 2010 going to be the ICT year and there will be so much improvement in our ICT sector in Sri Lanka. Same time we expect a boom in the Enterprise sector the usage of IT to increase their productivity and reduce the cost.

Tech.Ed will be starting on Feb 09th. Currently registration is open to everyone. This is one of the updated news I received via FB.

“Tech.Ed Sri Lanka 2010 standard price: SLR 12000/=
Register for Tech.Ed Sri Lanka now and save 10% on the standard price. Don’t delay… This Offer Expires 25th of January 2010.
http://www.teched.lk/register.aspx

So go ahead and grab your seat guys. As I mention this will be a great opportunity to experience a whole new level of Microsoft Technology and get in touch with industry experts and raise your questions.

Sharing knowledge with University students

I’ve been very happy when I have been invited to do a session about Microsoft products for students at a University. This is one memorable occasion which I got the chance to work closely with few Sri Lankan MVP’s as well. This University is located in Kandy, too bad we forgot get some pictures of the surroundings.

So what is interesting is the eager students had to learn about the new technologies and especially about the Microsoft side. They have been well armed with Open source technology but had certain knowledge about the Microsoft products and how those products can be used effectively. In this event we had the chance to demonstrate several products and how to use them effectively on their lifestyle.

I also got to know University students has been selected to receive several Microsoft products free!! (Can’t name the products now until the announcement comes from the Microsoft itself 🙂 ) But that indication has been given to the students at that time. Look forward for more events like this and to share the knowledge.

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Mobile Data Centers

Software as a Service (SAAS), Windows Azure, Amazon cloud..all these are indication of we’re moving to a dynamic IT infrastructure. Data will be stored for easy accessible places. Keeping them online data centers is one option. Microsoft and few other vendors strongly believe in this concept including me as well 🙂 Hence Cloud computing concept have a good old story as well. More information can be found over here

Mobile data centers subject hits my mind when we attend to do a workshop for some students. They raise the questions and one of my friend (Who is working in Microsoft) explain the Microsoft preparation for it. He went further explaining about the mobile data centers Microsoft has setup and using around the world. Since as a hardcore techie I’m so interested to search about it an found some cool stuff about it. Here are some of the information I found out. So finally I found out they also using water cooling technology to keep the desired temperature.

More about data centers

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Microsoft DPM 2010 Beta is out!

Microsoft has announced they have released the beta version of the Data Protection Manager 2010 to the partners.

They released the DPM 2007 SP1 on This January and soon after that on the track with preparing to protect the Microsoft oncoming software on 2010. Some of the key features are,

· Seamless protection of Live Migrating VMs (For Windows Server 2008 R2) – This means even after moving the guest OS to different machine as long as it is in the CSV DPM will be able to backup them.

· Optimized backup methods for Laptop users – backup can be secluded to run even the laptop is online of offline on the cooperate network. This is a feature Symantec Backup Exec has been offering on Backup Exec 12. (but customer has t pay a good price tag for that for each agent)

Apart from that Exchange 2010, SharePoint 2010 will be supported. Microsoft expect to release this product on mid 2010. More information can be found over here.
Webcast can be found over here.