Archive for category TechEd

Spring, Samsung, Google and WinMo

I use Sprint for my cellular service like many other Americans. It’s reliable, it’s fairly inexpensive, it has an unlimited data plan and, well it works (I won’t mention friends and colleagues who love their fruit machines, but can never get them to work due to the network, but alas that’s another story). When I initially signed up for service I thought I’d try something new, something different. For that, I opted for the Samsung Moment:

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pretty sleek device, had a QWERTY keyboard and overall looked and felt nice. Over time it had some issues (airplane mode, upgrading from 1.5 to 2.1, being s-l-o-w and sometimes non-responsive) but nothing too drastic that the ole IT cure all (turn it off and back on again) couldn’t fix.

Well, with TechEd Berlin coming up, I’ve got to go to Berlin to speak which means going overseas. Sprint for those of you who don’t know run on a CDMA network and 99% of their phones are CDMA. What does this mean? Well, it means that their phones won’t work overseas, so there goes the moment out the window. So, being a Microsoft MVP and one who is always sticking up for their technology and software I pushed out the boat and had them issue me an Intrepid:

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Runs Windows Mobile 6.5 and so far, not too bad. Now that I’ve got the history out of the way, here is the intent of the article. The Moment versus the Intrepid or essentially Android versus Windows Mobile.

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At first I wasn’t sure I’d like it as Google makes you log in to the device and their primary goal no matter what anyone says is that they want to track you and use your information to their advantage. It’s their business model. So, no gmail account, no phone services (or limited ones at that). However, once that was past, it was a pretty streamlined experience. I can’t say it was perfect but it was good. The default OS seemed to work ok, it had functionality and worked pretty well. However, I never ended up getting a full day’s battery out of the phone at normal use and I can only equate that to the OS.

As for the breadth of applications, not too shabby, however this is where they need some work. The Android Marketplace is at best a Moroccan Bazaar. No quality control, no real information, just put your app up here and we’ll help tout it to the Androidians (that’s my new name for those who use Android).

Windows Mobile

After the first few days of having the Intrepid, I found it pretty straightforward and easy to use, however I missed the bigger screen. The keypad on the Intrepid wasn’t as nice either, but that’s not really an OS drawback/feature, but it’s noticeable. Now, back to the OS. I will say Google seemed to trump Windows Mobile 6.5 here as when I click the start menu on my Windows Mobile I get some strange fandangled layout of applications which reminds me of some tetris like game on Xbox. You can’t rearrange them, you can’t ABC order them, you can only send to top and hope for the best. Mail however works a treat and the battery life allows me to have a full day of work on the phone without needing to reach for my charger. The Windows Marketplace too seems much more streamlined and groomed compared to that of the Android Market, however my concern with the WM Marketplace is pre-requisite checking. Bing has an app that requires special resolution, however it doesn’t say that anywhere and not until after I downloaded it and the .cab tried to install itself did it error out telling me I had an incompatible device. These kinds of things should be checked prior to download or even better yet WinMo, don’t show me them if my device is uncapable.

Summary

In short (I know I didn’t do too much comparison, but I like to keep these articles below 1000 words), they’re both good solid devices. I will say I feel more productive with my Intrepid Windows Mobile device but knew I had more “fun” options with my Moment. I have a full days battery life with the WinMo, but had more of the community behind the apps on the Android. All in all, if Windows Phone 7 Series is more crafted and well refined these two players, Android and Windows Mobile could easily take back some of the market that Apple has had the stronghold on for some time now and the competitionwill only make the devices strive for betterdom in the long run.

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How Microsoft Certification Can Stimulate Your Career

About three years ago I faced a challenge in my career…Do I take the exams to become an MCITP or don’t I. Today I’d like to share a story with you about how taking those few exams has changed my career.

As I sit here today typing this blog post, I’ve just been able to be a part of a Springboard Series Virtual Round Table hosted by Mark Russinovich…Here’s a behind the scenes view of it all:

How did this happen and why does my MCITP have anything to do with it? Well, three years ago when I re-uped my certifications to be an MCITP I also took the chance to become an MCT. It wasn’t an easy accomplishment, but one I thought might make me part of an interesting group of just over 16,000 individuals.

Becoming an MCT grants you access to numerous opportunities and also makes you part of a community of experts that love to share their knowledge and also get together and share that knowledge with others. One of these opportunities was at TechEd EMEA in Barcelona in 2008. I was given the opportunity to work on the Microsoft Learning Booth with a number of other MCT’s as well as MVP’s. It was there on the booth working with Chris Spanougakis and Nasos Kladakis (autoexec.gr) that I realised I wanted to be involved more. They got me more involved and after time, I got the chance to show my skills to the community and as such became an MVP and was part of the initial Springboard Technical Experts Program/Panel (STEP). That step alone challenges me to work harder each day…

Through the MVP Program I’ve met people like Stephen Rose, Melissa Bathum, Brad McCabe and my MVP leads Jake Grey, Akim Boukhelif, Vicki Collins and also have had the opportunity to work with other MVP’s like Erdal Ozkaya (we’ve made loads of TechEd videos, so you might have seen me/us there) and Elias Mereb. Further, through the MCT program, I’ve got to interact with people like Tjeerd, Joanne and Dana…

I’m sure there are many other people whom I’ve worked with and more whom I will work with in the future, especially seeing as I get to go on the North America Get on the Bus tour with Melissa, Dana, Tjeerd, Brad and Stephen and others whom I haven’t named but have been critical to my success along the way. However the whole point behind all of this is that by taking those certification exams, I gave my career a whole new extension that otherwise would have been non-existent if I would have just kept with the same certifications I had and only used “industry experience” as my leverage point.

So, in closing, if you haven’t taken any new exams, I challenge you to ask yourself why and looking at the above, see how much one exam can really give you what you need to take your career to the next level!

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Windows 7 + MDOP + Office 2010 = One Big Bus

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Do you have a passion for IT?  Do you want to learn more about Windows 7?  Do you want to know more about Office 2010?  Do you even know what MDOP is?

If any of the above questions intrigued your interest and you are close to the east coast of the USA, this is THE EVENT for you.  Two weeks prior to Tech Ed, the Microsoft Bus Tour returns and hopefully is coming to a city near you

Are any of the below cities near you?

Montreal, May 21 | Boston, May 24 | New York, May 25 | Philadelphia, May 26 | Washington DC, May 27 & 28 | Richmond, June 1 | Raleigh, June 2 | Charlotte, June 3 | Atlanta, June 4 | New Orleans, June 5

If they are, you need to head over to http://microsoftbustour.com/ and register NOW (not later, not tomorrow, NOW!!). Spaces are limited and they will fill up fast, I mean, c’mon…when was the last time a big rig rolled in to your town full of geeks giving knowledge away!?

Further, should you want to follow the Bus, we’ll be ending up at TechEd North America 2010 in New Orleans which if you haven’t registered for that either, what are you waiting for?!!?

Follow @thebustour on Twitter or join our Facebook Fan Club!

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What You Missed at TechEd Middle East 2010

There was a first this year.  Microsoft hosted a TechEd in the Middle East.  Dubai to be more specific.  For those of you who missed it, here’s just a little taste of what you missed:

First there were the welcome signs:

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Then there was the information about it being the first in Dubai and all the support that the Middle East was to get:

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Then there was the first day’s trip to the President of Dubai’s house:

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…and the desert tour in Land Cruiser 4×4’s

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Which ended with a camel ride:

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Then there were sessions (look that’s my session – ILL 018):

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Then there was the MVP dinner at a magnificent Lebanese restaurant:

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Which overlooked a Ski Slope in the Mall of Emirates:

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And the view from our hotel rooms of the Dubai skyline:

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Of course, there was the Tuesday night party, where the Nigerian’s stole the stage and sang Spice Girl’s Classics:

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…and the funky Microsoft Lighting:

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More banners to have your photos taken at (what a geeky photo):

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A fabulous convention centre & location:

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Shopping galore, with Mall’s that had Ice Rinks in them (The Dubai Mall)

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and Waterfalls in them as well:

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Then of course there was the dancing water shows:

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…and you can’t go to Dubai without visiting the world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa

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So, if you didn’t go to TechEd Middle East 2010 this year in Dubai, you should really be kicking yourself.  It was spectacular and second to none…Good news is though, it’ll be on again next year.  Hope to see you there, and thanks again to all of those who made the above the great event and experience it was!

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