Monthly Archives: March 2009

OCS R2: A really easy way to share your desktop

I didn’t know just how simple and easy this was.  I was chatting to Jane who is onsite at a customer and showed her how to share your desktop and to transfer control.

All you need to do is click the sharing icon – the one with the hand under it… which sends an invite to the other party in the conversation.  Here’s the notification that Jane sent me:


Here’s Jane’s desktop with her in control:


It’s easy enough to give control to the other person click on the drop down box and decide who to give control to.  in the box below – Jane has given me control of her desktop


So this is fine if you just want to have a 1:1 peer to peer conversation – but what if you want to include someone else in the conversation?  Easy.  just use the invite button as normal.  Notice that Ewan, who has just joined the conference has automatically been added to the sharing session. image

And now I have the option who I choose to give control to.  All, or just one of the participants.  Great for collaboration.  Great ad hoc way for working together..


  and all from a button on the Office Communicator R2 client. 


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UK Architect Insight Conference

The theme of the event is ‘Architecture as a foundation for business’, and contains a fantastic speaker line up including keynote talks from some of our largest customers, who will be talking about their experiences of developing and deploying large scale business solutions on the Microsoft platform.  Here’s the info and links to register…


The format of the Architect Insight Conference in 2009, has changed to reflect the challenging business environment that many companies are experiencing, but is still focused on arming IT Architects with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed.

As well as compelling speakers, the conference includes a number of round-table sessions, providing an opportunity to talk to the presenters and subject experts in an informal setting.
•    Understand more about Cloud Computing, and how the utility computing model is going to enable forward thinking companies to adapt
•    Emerge from the current recession in a position to take advantage of new business opportunities

The AIC will focus on current and emerging trends in the field of IT Architecture. With Key Note Speakers from EasyJet, Astra Zeneca and Equiniti describing their experience of the following:
•    Enterprise Architecture: focusing on cost reduction, improved agility and responsiveness to the business.
•    Solution Architecture: focusing on the changing architecture of the client, from thick to thin to rich to smart.
•    Infrastructure Architecture: focusing on the infrastructure tools and technologies of the server and data centre

Places for the AIC can be reserved for £99 + VAT. To reserve your place at the Conference, and for more detailed event information, please click here:

We look forward to seeing you on the 8th May

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Resources for Students

if you’re a parent and have kids coming up for college, there are quite a few resources available to them.  i found an article on an internal site which pointed to loads of internal resources so I thought I’d share them more broadly:student_resources1.jpg

Does the student in your life have passion for technology?

Microsoft makes it so easy for students to access and explore technology. Here are some ways we empower them.

The Ultimate Steal – Students can purchase Office Ultimate 2007 for only $59.95.
DreamSpark – Allows students to download software developer and design tools for free.
Channel 8 – A blog for students who want to code, connect and create technology. This site includes information on products, promotions, and insight on what it’s like to work at Microsoft.
Imagine Cup – The world’s premier student technology competition, encourages students to apply their talents to make real-world innovations.
Microsoft Students to Business – A hands-on way for students to learn what they need to enter the business world. Mentoring, training, and certification are all part of this unique program for qualified students.
MSDN Academic Alliance – The easiest and most inexpensive way for students and faculty in technology and design fields to get the latest Microsoft software they need.
CareerForward – The CareerFoward program takes on the challenge of assisting young people as they prepare for careers in the global market that is impacting their lives now and in the future.
Microsoft IT Academy Student Pass – A special no-cost online learning opportunity for university students in technical studies. IT Academy Student Pass provides free e-learning courses to verified university students who are interested in extending their IT or developer skills with Microsoft technologies.


Microsoft offers a variety of scholarships for students. Please encourage interested students to apply.

Microsoft College Scholarship Program – Microsoft is offering four different types of technical scholarships for the 2009-2010 academic year to current undergraduate students: General Scholarships, Women’s Scholarships, Underrepresented Minority Scholarships, and Scholarships for Students with Disabilities.
BAM Scholarship Program – This year, BAM will award two $5,000 scholarships to outstanding high school seniors who are interested in pursuing careers in technology. The scholarships are renewable, so winners who continue to meet the criteria can receive an annual $5,000 award for up to four years.
WAM Scholarship Program – Each year WAM awards two scholarships of $2,500 each to undergraduate women who are attending a college or university in the state of Washington and working toward a degree in a computer-related major.

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Microsoft Surface: The next generation

If you’re interested in Microsoft Surface and wonder where the next iteration of this technology could possibly be going next then have a look at this video from TED.  Pattie Maes talks about sixth sense – a way of interacting with your PC at a whole new level of interaction with this portable wearable device.

The video demo is totally mind blowing, but the amazing thing is that we’ll be seeing this sort of technology in the games industry in a few more years.  but for now be amazed…

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Ada Lovelace Day: the woman I admire is…

My pledge for Ada Lovelace day was to publish a blog post about a woman in Technology whom I admire


Gillian Arnold at IBM


I met Gillian about 6 years ago. She managed a team of technical people, and I was part of a team who were presenting to her team about Server Consolidation.  She stood out as a feisty independent woman who knew what she was talking about technically, was competent and capable.  We exchanged business cards, promised to meet up for a glass of wine soon (we must have bonded straight away in that area!)

I next bumped into her a couple of years later on a panel, hosted by Maggie at Women in Technology.  We were discussing the challenges of being a woman, managing a home, and a family and the challenges of remote working.  Gillian like me, lives over 100 miles away from the office and has the same challenges as i do about commuting, managing remotely and keeping her work life balance on the correct side of manic.  We swapped business cards again, reminded ourselves to meet for that glass of wine and went our separate ways.

I then met her at the BCS – we were both part of a strategy groups, and then at Intellect where we discussed the Gender pay gap, and what we could do to make women in the IT Industry feel less isolated in the workplace.  And that’s where my fledgling idea for my Connecting Women in Technology initiative was formed.  IBM were the first company I “recruited” into the project team, they held the first CWT Event in March 2008, and although the diversity leads have changed at IBM internally, we still have a really good connection and are going from strength to strength.

All because of Gillian’s tenacity, passion and dedication in connecting women together, highlighting gender issues, salary gaps in the workplace, and her desire to make the world a better place for women in IT.

But, Gillian – we still haven’t got around to having that glass of wine 😉


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Interact09: Exclusive invitation only event MS UK Campus:


Yes, that’s right.  Invitation only to Interact 09.  on April 14th.  That’s unusual enough.  Usually we open the event up to everyone in the hope that we can inspire you to see some new products and learn about the products you already have installed.

But Interact is an exclusive event, open to invited guests only.  This gives you a much better ratio of audience to MS staff.  At Interact 08 we found that the conversations flowed much more readily, with enough MS staff on hand to make sure your question got answered – sometimes by the person that actually wrote the component! We’re streaming a live keynote over from Redmond (which will be at the end of the day on the UK to allow for time differences), and we’ll have someone over from Redmond (both on the OCS and Exchange sides) to answer your roadmap questions.

Interact09 is an event focused entirely on Communications – OCS, OC and Exchange so it’s not the sort of event that anyone would want to come to.  if you’ve been around a while you may remember the old MEC – well its different – but similar in theme. Lots of insider information, lots of “extra” knowledge, lots of ideas.

So what if you really needed to go but haven’t received your personal invitation from us?  What if your company is just planning your UM infrastructure and you haven’t told your Microsoft account manager yet? What if you don’t have a Microsoft account manager but really really need to get to this event. What if you talk about UC all the time to anyone who will listen?

Well you can persuade me.  I’ve had clearance from corp to accept requests from people who really want to come along to this event and are not already on our invite list.  I can send you an invitation code  – but you need to mail me and convince me first 🙂

How could you convince me to invite you?

Perhaps you could tell me about your active unified communications blogging habit. Or you might tell me about the local community activities you support – speaking engagements and user group meetings. Or perhaps you’ve got a tremendous amount of UC expertise.

If that’s you – and you want an invite.  mail me (email address can be found here) and  I’ll allocate the few remaining invitations based on your mail. 

and I hope to see you there…


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