Document copyright 2014 Mark Minasi; please see below for info on subscribing, unsubscribing or copying portions of this text.
Hi all —
This month, I'd been waiting for BUILD 2014 so I could report on what's new and cool in Windows desktop and Server... but apparently they just plain don't love us operating system folks any more.<g>
Microsoft did the official news on "Windows 8.1 Update," which basically just tweaks the desktop to make it a bit more Windows 7-like. (Crap, sorry, I meant to say, "enhances the Start Screen experience for mouse and keyboard users." Sorry, I'll try to get that right next time.) Also, if you are a PluralSight subscriber, I have started doing videos for them because honestly (1) it's easier for someone else to have someone else worry about the production and sales and (2) they seem to have a pretty reasonable price model, so I can deliver stuff to you guys and while I don't make as much money, their subscription model is reasonably priced for you. I'm speaking at TechEd and probably Windows Connections but not TechMentor this year. Finally, the last public Server 2012 / 2012R2 class ever is running in Encinitas, courtesy of the MISAC folks, and at a special $999 price for the three days. Details...
BUILD 2014: No Server Love, But Some Desktop Goodies
Ever since its first appearance in 2011, BUILD -- yup, all caps, it's yelling at you -- has been Microsoft's tool for tossing out tidbits about upcoming operating systems. Also, MS said last year that we'd see new versions of Server and Desktop more often, so I dutifully sat through six hours of keynotes hoping for some red meat. Here's what I heard.
Notice a few things here:
Furthermore, you can't see it here but Microsoft demonstrated that people can create modern apps that aren't as sprawling as the ones you've seen so far. They even had modern apps with more familiar-looking menus, and even showed an early prototype of Office as a suite of modern apps. (Apparently moving Word, Excel and PowerPoint to the iPad taught them a few things about using touch. You just never know where insights will come from.) That "modern" office had what they called "infinite undo," and as it's not around to test I can't check this, but wouldn't it be cool to undo across different sessions? We'll see.
Microsoft says that those additions make modern apps more "mouse and keyboard friendly," as does this one -- right click a tile and you get a context menu, as you see here:
It's the little things. More "little things:"
Big Picture AnnouncementsIn the realm of "big ideas that might turn out to be really important," there were
I Will Be Speaking at TechEd, But Not TechMentor
In case you're arranging your conference schedule this summer and fall, here's just a short note on where to find me. TechEd's given me two talks: "Modern Apps for the IT Pro," where I'll pick apart how those new apps work from the point of view of those of us who need to support them, and then I get to chat with my friend Mark Russinovich about what's going on behind the scenes where he works on Windows Azure. If you're braving Houston in May, I hope you'll join us!
Unfortunately, if you're planning to attend TechMentor at their sole IT show this year, you won't find me there. I pitched them a bunch of talks on topics like clusters, ADFS, PowerShell and the like, but they felt that none of them were sufficiently "enterprise related," so I won't be at Redmond in August... ah well. I do expect to be at Connections and Intersection this fall, though, if you're at those shows then please look for me!
I'm Moving My Online Classes to PluralSight, Please Consider Viewing My Videos
While my favorite way of delivering a class is by standing up in the same room as you and engaging folks personally in whatever I'm talking about, I fully understand that in-person classes are beyond the means of many. That's why I've created my multi-hour serieses of audio recordings, and many of you have kindly purchased them. Despite that, many of you tell me that you can't afford $300 audio sets, and is there a way that I can get my talks out to my audiences in a more affordable manner?
To that end, this month marks the beginning of what I hope will be a better way to get my stuff to you folks, as I'm starting to put videos of my content on PluralSight. They have primarily been a developer-oriented site, but after acquiring TrainSignal last year, they're moving into more and more IT fields, and I hope to be able to deliver a regular stream of talks on their site. My first two videos are "The Case for PowerShell," which is an introductory lecture with PowerPoints, and a really different kind of talk called a "play-by-play," where I dragoon PluralSight VP and old friend Gary Einerman into helping me show you how to use PowerShell to learn PowerShell. if you're a subscriber, please give it a look and I would love feedback -- do these roughly-an-hour nuggets help? Let me know.
Last Server 2012/2012R2 Class Happens in Encinitas April 22-24, at a Special Price
The headline says it all. The kind folks at MISAC are offering seats at my last Server 2012/R2 class in a couple of weeks -- a three day class, normally $1600/seat, is $999. See you there! http://www.misac.org/events/event_details.asp?id=382137
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All contents copyright 2014 Mark Minasi. I encourage you to quote this material, so long as you include this entire document. Thanks very much for reading, and see you next time.