Get a Head Start this August… Evaluations, Training and Events

Time flies when you’ve started a new job, let me tell you! I’ve been spending a lot of my days learning new LOB applications, trying to read up on new technologies and brush up on some current technology that I haven’t needed to pay much attention to in the past.  I’ve even booked a slot to take my next certification exam, Upgrading your MCSA to Windows Server 2012.

So what am I using for all of that?

Well, I always fall back to books and articles on TechNet, but this time around I’m also doing a course on at the Microsoft Virtual Academy.  I’m also going to take the TechNet Virtual Labs  for a spin as well.

I’m also playing around with the previews of Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2. You can get download evaluation version of that software and trying it out for yourself. There are a slew of great new features in each of those products that I’m looking forward to seeing in action. If you need a place to spin that stuff up, sign up for your Azure trial.

If you are looking for some in person events, check out my calendar of events in the sidebar. I’ve been trying to fill in dates for some of the events coming up this summer. Here are some highlights for August:

Now, back to work for me!


All the News That’s Fit to Recap!

Welcome July!  I can’t believe half of 2013 is over already and so much has been happening and changing. If you’ve been busy enjoying the great Bay Area weather the last few days or working hard on your summer plans, you might have missed a few of these key bits of news.

  1. As of this morning, the TechNet Subscription is retired. Check out nicely comprehensive post about what options are available once your TechNet Subscription expires, by Kevin Remde. Also be sure to visit the FAQ for additional detailed information at
  2. You can get Microsoft Surfaces at some of you favorite resellers. If you’ve been eyeing Surfaces for your business, but couldn’t get them from you standard reseller it’s time to look again. Read more about this on the Surface Blog.
  3. As of last week, the Windows 8.1 Preview is here!  Download it from  When released closer to the end of 2013, it will be a free upgrade for licensed users of Windows 8.  There will also be an 8.1 update for the Surface RT.
  4. If you are looking for preview software for some of the other releases from June, look no further than the Evaluation Center for the previews of Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2,  Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials and the System Center 2012 R2.

I hope your bandwidth can stand all the downloading!

TechNet Events come to California in August!

If you are looking for a way to learn more about cloud computing with Microsoft’s Azure, look no further than the TechNet Event folks who will be offering up a half day session on building a private cloud.  The description from Microsoft is below.

Cloud Power! What are the options? Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud? Which one is right for your business? Join us as we discuss the basics of cloud infrastructures and the details of how to build your own private cloud. In 4 hours we will build a private cloud with you! We will talk about Hyper-V, Windows Azure, System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and the Self Service Portal. We will demonstrate how to use these building blocks to build your own private cloud environment to host your own IT applications and services. We will also show you how to connect Public Cloud components to your Private Cloud in order to maximize the unique competitive benefits of each environment. Before this session is over you will have an understanding of the ins and outs of Microsoft’s Private Cloud Offerings

Visit Microsoft’s World Wide Event calendar and find a location near you. But if you are in San Francisco the even will be on August 23rd.  For southern CA folks, it will be in Irvine on August 11th.