Is the Windows 10 free upgrade really free?

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Seven more days till July 29th when Windows 10 will be globally launched. Therefore I will concentrate on Windows 10 for the next couple of weeks. And I would like to start the Windows 10 article series by answering a question that I heard very often, especially when going out with friends or family. As we know, every eligible device with a genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 license could benefit from a Windows 10 free upgrade. But is this free upgrade really free?

The answer is clearly YES. There are no strings attached and everyone would get a full Windows 10 license. You won’t have to pay for it after the first 12 months, as I often hear, your Windows 10 license will not become a subscription so you won’t be charged monthly for using it.  Continue reading

Exchange Hybrid deployment certificate requirements

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Exchange Online gains more and more momentum and Exchange hybrid deployments are already a pretty common scenario for a lot of IT organizations. Even if almost every aspect around an Exchange Hybrid deployment is well known by IT pros, there is still a point that seems to cause some difficulties: certificates. And since an Exchange hybrid deployment is not possible without a proper certificate configuration, I thought to clarify the most important aspects about certificates in such a scenario by answering 5 questions I often hear when working with IT administrators.

One of the top question I deal with almost every day is: “I have a self signed certificate configured for my Exchange Server deployment, issued by my Windows Server 2012 R2 Certification authority. Can I use this certificate for an Exchange Hybrid deployment?” The answer is NO! In order to create an Exchange Hybrid deployment, organizations need a certificates issued by a trusted and public certification authority. And the reason why is very simple. Certificates are meant to prove your organization’s identity so that users and other service providers (like Microsoft) can be sure that they engage with the organizations they wanted to engage and not with an attacker. Continue reading

Why Windows Phone is more important than ever for Microsoft

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Last week Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, announced the reorganization of the Microsoft phone business, a process that will also cause the layoff of around 7.800 employees. A big part of the tech press started to make more or less accurate suppositions about what this means. So I read that phones are not important for Microsoft anymore or that the Nokia deal was a total failure. Strangely enough, most of this suppositions start from correct premises but in my opinion arrive to the wrong conclusions, simply because some analysts fail to see the wider picture and to fully understand the Microsoft strategy.

The first thing to understand is that the whole concept of “mobile” has changed. Nowadays, “mobile” is not about the device anymore, but about the mobility of the experience. And this is precisely the strategy Microsoft is going for: enable a truly great mobile experience across devices. This is why Microsoft invests a lot of effort in apps for Android and Google, apps that are meant to enable users to have a great Microsoft cloud experience even on non Windows devices. Back in the days of the Nokia deal, “mobile” was everything about the device itself. In this perspective, acquiring Nokia was the best thing Microsoft could have done at that time. Sure, expectancies were very high and I personally also thought that this would increase the Windows Phone market share in a consistent way.  Continue reading

Thoughts about the Microsoft Azure 70-533 certification

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One week ago I passed the 70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions exam and seems like now I’m an Azure MCP. However this doesn’t make me feel more Azure savvy than before and during the past days I reflected a lot about the 70-533 certification exam, the questions I had and so on. Generally, I feel that this exam really doesn’t prove at all your real Azure skills. And here’s why.

First of all, the exam seems very outdated! Let’s start with Azure Websites. Azure Websites don’t exist anymore. Nowadays we have the Azure App Service which covers what we have previously known as Azure Websites and Mobile apps, but with a lot of new features.  Also, there are some questions regarding directory Synchronization where we often see the name “DirSync” (DirSync actually doesn’t exist anymore) and we have to choose the almighty Start-OnlineCoexistenceSync cmdlet as part of a correct answer to one of the questions.  Continue reading

Microsoft and Docker announce new innovations for Azure IaaS

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Around one year ago Microsoft and Docker started a great partnership meant to continuously innovate and bring new cool features to Azure IaaS that enable organizations around the world to build their next generation cross platform apps. Trying to enumerate all the new features brought to Microsoft Azure in partnership with Docker is not easy at all, but some of them include Windows Server Containers, Hyper-V Containers, Docker VM Extensions for Linux on Azure, Docker CLI support on Windows, Compose and Swarm support on Azure, Visual Studio Tooling for Docker.

These days at the the DockerCon North America Microsoft and Docker announced and demonstrated some new features and updates that take the partnership to a next step.  Continue reading

Bing just redefined the online video search

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Well, yes, you read it right and I am fully aware of all implication when I am saying that Bing just redefined the online video search. At first I didn’t notice it at all, but this morning, when going through all the tech news I stumbled upon this report and I went straight ahead to test it myself.

So, today Bing released some major updates to its video search engine which redefines the online video search. One of the cool new features is that you are able to preview the video, with or without audio, right from the search result page, so you may be able to check first if a certain video is what you were looking for or not.  Continue reading

Fixes in Azure AD Sync Build 1.0.494.0501

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Azure AD Sync Build 1.0.494.0501 was released some time ago and in my opinion it brought a fix for a major problem I was seeing in a lot of cases and that is failing of password writeback with servicebus connectivity error.

I still see a lot of partners struggling with this type of error messages at their end customers and I advised all of them to install the new build. This solved this error in all of the cases.

However, be aware that Azure AD Sync build  1.0.494.0501 now requires the .Net Framework version 4.5.1 to be installed. So if you don’t have this .NET version currently installed on your server, you may want to install it before installing the new Azure AD Sync Build.  Continue reading

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 faster than the Ipad Air 2

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Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 tablet seems to be the fastest flagship tablet according to which.co.uk. Even if the Ipad Air 2 ist the best selling tablet at the current time and Apple enthusiasts claim that it is also the fastest one, it seems that some specific speed test revealed something else: the Surface Pro 3 is 20% faster than the Ipad Air 2.

To assess a tablet’s speed, which.co.uk used the industry-recognised Geekbench software. It puts tablets’ processors through their paces by seeing how quickly they can complete simulations of real-world tasks. Continue reading

Moving documents between SharePoint libraries

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Last few weeks I came across a lot of SharePoint related questions and especially to document management in SharePoint and what happens when we move documents between libraries. One of the mains issues I heard about relate to document metadata, versions and DocumentID not beeing kept when a document is copied into another SharePoint library. So I thought to write down a few ideas on this topic that might be useful for SharePoint users.

First of all, I have to admit that this behavior is kind of expected since when we copy a document to another location, a new and fresh document is created. That’s why the copy will have fresh metadata, versions and a brand new DocumentID.  Continue reading

Windows Phone less vulnerable than iOS and Android

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Windows Phone is less vulnerable than iOS and Android according to Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of the IT security company Kaspersky Lab and quoted by GSMArena. He made this comment while speaking at a security conference in Australia.

“Criminals are obsessed with iOS and there are many, many vulnerabilities,” Kaspersky said, adding that with “millions of brutal attacks” Android, too, is “not safe”. He noted that hackers are increasingly targeting mobile devices “with stats showing 97% of users did mobile banking or some other activity that revealed passwords.” Continue reading