{ ready.for.take.off.here} Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 & SQL Server 2008 Launch Wave

January 6, 2009

2009 MVP Global Summit

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 11:03 am

Microsoft Home


There’s an extraordinary event happening in a matter of a few weeks. It’s the MVP Global Summit 2009 — a celebration about contribution, and value involving communities worldwide.

The upcoming summit, March 1-4, will feature a keynote from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and closing by Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, in addition to hot-topic sessions, including topics ranging from social media for peer-to-peer support to new developments such as Silverlight mobile to Skydrive. Nearly 1,800 MVPs are planning to attend.

On January 12th, 2009 the United States of America introduced the new ESTA – Electronic System for Travel Authorization that contemplates (and obliges) to register online receiving a preventive authorization for travelling to the US. Information requested are almost the same that are requested, during travel, using the I-94W Form (the little green card you get on plane).

Every passenger needs to:

  • Fill in his/her own questionnaire (for couples travelling together, they both need to do the procedure);
  • Provide an e-mail address where to receive the confirmation and a phone number;
  • It is suggested to do it in advance, when you already have the travel plan, and within 72 hours before the trip;
  • During registration, you need to have: Passport, complete travel plan and hotel name and addresses where you’ll be staying

This procedure is mandatory to travel but it really takes a few minutes to fill in. You’ll then receive a confirmation e-mail within few moments.

So, if you plan to go to the US, don’t forget to register here !

Link to: ESTA

So it looks like an exciting month.  As we go along, we’d love to hear your thoughts and questions around improving the Global Summit experience.  There are always details we miss that are cool to share and many of you who have been to these before have them.  Please them here in your blog feedback and the MVP private summit newsgroup.  Till next time! 



May 18, 2008

Microsoft launches the Interoperability Forum

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 8:46 pm


Microsoft is today announcing the Interoperability Forum – a web-based resource designed to foster open communication, dialogue, and problem-solving about interoperability challenges. The forum is the latest step the delivery of our Interoperability Principles  – our commitment to promote greater interoperability, opportunity and choice across the IT industry of developers, partners, customers and competitors – which were announced in February (see below for more information).

The Forum contains information about what Microsoft is doing in the area of interoperability, and will enable an open dialogue on issues of importance to users and information technology companies.

The Forum is intended to enable an open conversation about interoperability among industry participants and contains three specific topic areas for discussion and collaboration.

  1. Interoperability Conversations – An area in which participants can raise general questions, identify issues or propose solutions about interoperability in the marketplace. Discussions among industry participants on interoperability issues will ultimately help to create solutions that address key issues.
  2. Technical Interoperability Scenarios – A forum to discuss technical interoperability issues and how they can be resolved. Some examples of discussion topics include:   developer tools and runtime; office productivity; systems management; and security and identity management.
  3. Achieving Interoperability Through Standards – One way to achieve interoperability is through the implementation of industry standard technologies. While standards are not the only way to enable interoperability, they are an important part of the conversation. This forum encourages participants to start conversations related to standardizing technologies and implementing standards in products.

About Microsoft’s Interoperability Principles

In February, we announced a set of broad-reaching changes to our technology and business practices to increase the openness of our products and drive greater interoperability, opportunity and choice for developers, partners, customers and competitors.

Known as the Interoperability Principles, they encompass four areas across our high-volume business products:

  1. Ensuring open connections
  2. Promoting data portability
  3. Enhancing support for industry standards
  4. Fostering more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities.

These interoperability principles apply to the following high-volume Microsoft products: Windows Vista (including the .NET Framework), Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Office 2007, Exchange Server 2007, and Office SharePoint Server 2007, and future versions of all these products.

You can find more details on the Interoperability Principles here.

Pictured from left: Brad Smith, senior vice president and general counsel, Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer and Ray Ozzie, Chief Software Architect, at the announcement of Microsoft’s Interoperability Principles on February 21st, 2008.

Additional Interoperability Resources:

  • The Microsoft Interoperability web site [Link]
  • Microsoft and Sourcesense partner to contribute to open source, Apache POI to support Ecma Office Open XML file formats [Link]
  • Microsoft partners with top Social Networks to put users at the centre of their data [Link]
  • Microsoft Expands support for Web standards [Link]
  • Microsoft launches Document Interoperability Initiative [Link]
  • Q&A with Bob Muglia on Microsoft’s Interoperability Principles [Link]
  • Sun and Microsoft Expand Investment in Interoperability With New Centre [Link]
  • Microsoft users to “Save as DAISY” [Link]
  • Microsoft expands document interoperability for Scientific and Technical Authors [Link]
  • Q&A with Terry Myerson on connecting Apple iPhone users to Microsoft’s Exchange Server [Link]
  • Microsoft posts XAML Format technical documentation [Download link]
  • Microsoft provides Accessibility Programming Model to industry group devoted to Interoperability and Accessibility [Link]
  • Microsoft and Novell provide Renault with Interoperability [Link]

April 20, 2008

SQL 2008 Event in Redmond, WA

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 9:58 pm


If you’d like to get some free SQL 2008 training and are based near our Redmond, Washington headquarters, you have a great opportunity to do so.  Just follow the instructions below…

Hope to see you there!



Business Intelligence Development with SQL Server 2008

The Microsoft Business Intelligence platform offers an unparalleled end to end environment for developing BI solutions.  This two day class will provide you with the confidence to tackle a BI project and the skills needed to exploit new business intelligence features in SQL Server 2008.

This course is geared towards new and experienced BI developers.


  • Participants must have development experience with C# and/or VB.NET
  • Participants must have basic understanding of SQL and relational database technology
  • Participants must have basic understanding of MDX and OLAP technology
  • Participants must have end-user experience with Excel pivot-table and pivot-chart functionality
  • Participants must have basic understanding of SharePoint portal technology

Day 1

· Microsoft BI Strategy Overview

· Introduction to Dimensional Modeling Techniques

· Introduction to ETL Techniques Using SSIS

· Introduction to SSRS

Day 2

· Improving Integration with SSIS

· Accelerating SSAS Design and Performance

· Monitoring and Managing an SSAS Server with New Tools

· Understanding SSAS Query & Performance Improvements


Register here for the Redmond event.

April Rosario CTP Now Available

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 9:56 pm


Visual Studio Team System code name “Rosario” April 2008 CTP is now available here.  The download is a VPC image that previews the next major release of Visual Studio Team System.  The VPC includes a number of samples and walkthroughs to demonstrate some of the new features.  Notable ones include:

  • Find and fix a bug using the historical debugger
  • Identify the test impact of code changes
  • Find a bug on a separate machine using the standalone debugger
  • Using Data Generation to custom-build data for testing your database application.
  • Making and unit-testing schema and code changes in an off-line environment.
  • Performing static code analysis of your programmability objects.
  • Planning a testing effort
  • Managing an Agile schedule
  • Managing features with the CMMI Process
  • A new automated build system built on Windows Workflow Foundation, featuring dynamic build machine allocation from a machine pool and distributed build functionality

OpenXML to become ISO standard

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 9:55 pm


I’ve been talking more and more with ISVs and developers who are interested in using Office as a UI platform. And now that Visual Studio 2008 comes with Visual Studio Tools for Office installed, developing Office Business Applications (OBAs) are much easier.

One aspect of using Microsoft Office as a platform is the idea of document interchange. You can use Office Open XML as a standards-based document format. Yesterday, the Office Open XML file format received the necessary number of votes for approval as an ISO/IEC international standard. You can read more about Office Open XML international approval at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) site.

You may remember WordProcessingML and SpreadsheetML. Office Open XML is the formalization of a standard that began with those XML schemas. This new standard takes the next step and has incorporated feedback from companies around the world. If you have worked with WordML or any of the others, you’ll find the new standard very familiar.

Open XML Resources for developers

There are several links that you might want to check out.

I recommend the list of resources found on Doug Mahugh’s blog posting: Open XML Resources for Developers. Doug points to links on how to get started, videos, portals, developer tools. And the tools are for .NET Framework developers and Java developers.

Other resources you might want to check out include:

Microsoft Open XML SDK pre-release is available

We have two versions coming: a version 1.0 that will be released in May, and then a version 2.0 that will be available as a CTP this summer, and will be released around the time of the next major release of Office (Office “14”). You can learn more in Doug Mahugh’s posting, Roadmap for the OpenXML application programmer interface (API).

And you can get pre-release bits and documentation at the Microsoft SDK for Open XML Formats site.

January 24, 2008

Heroes Happen Here Virtual Launch Experience

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 12:09 pm


Have you even attended a virtual event?  I know I have over the last few years and they all differ in functionality from a few web pages and videos, to live streaming integration – to 2D/3D click to move – to even avatar based.  When we were discussing the HHH launch across the world, we though what better time to also look at the virtual world – can we provide a virtual launch experience that can provide the same content, sessions and interaction as a real event – where you can go and round out your launch experience (go to a physical launch event and then catch the sessions and activities you missed on in the virtual event), or if you cant get to a physical event, be able to experience the next best thing to being there.  Out of these discussions was born the Microsoft Virtual Event Platform, and it’s first deliverable the HHH Virtual Launch Experience.

The VLE (Virtual Launch Experience) is a Silverlight 1.0 interactive representation of the 2008 Launch Wave event from Los Angeles.  The application provides you access to the live (and on demand) keynote by Steve Ballmer, all 20 breakout sessions and representations of partner and Microsoft assets (such as booths etc) that will be at the LA event.  You will be able to interactively explore many aspects of the event accessing over 800 pieces of content form Microsoft and our launch partners and store them in you backpack.  The best thing is that you can do this anytime you want – 3.30 am in the morning – fine.  We will also have some great interactive activities as well – not just automated ones, but real time, real people – so stay tuned for more on that.

What about global events I hear you ask .. are you planning to have virtual events from other launches around the world? Well we will have a number of global experiences in both content and language, which I unfortunately have to keep as a surprise at the moment.

So it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have some sort of graphic to show right?  but I have one better.  While we are still a little way off from finishing the application – we did do some screen captures of the Alpha code.  I have posted them up on MSN and YouTube.  They have no sound, but will give you a sneak taste of what is to come – please remember this was alpha code, and alot will be finalized and changed in the final release.

YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfWYgEbUaRY

MSN Video – http://video.msn.com/?user=8606555166349029309

have fun – I am off for the next few days, so see you all again on Tuesday – and to my Aussie friends out there (did you guess I was Australian?) – happy Australia Day for Saturday

Join In!

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 12:07 pm


Do you always want to know what goes on behind a launch?  what people like me and my workmates actually do to get a Microsoft launch off the ground?  Well on our Join In pages we now have three new videos and podcast’s for you to watch and listen to.


The Silverlight embedded video this week is of Joseph Landes, a Director in the Windows Server organization, and one the directors for the HHH launch.  He provides a great view on what launch means to him, and as he spent a number of years in the field (in the Central and Eastern Europe sub based out of Germany) has a unique perspective on the global view of launches.  We also have two podcast’s, one by yours truly talking about the website (I am like a broken record, just ask anyone around me), and Laura who is managing our launch partners.  Have a listen and watch for yourself – let me know if you want to hear from someone, and I will track them down and point a camera at them – in the nicest possible way.

It’s about time I posted!

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 12:05 pm


Hi There

I set this blog up a little while ago, and it was always on my list of things to do at the end of the day, but as always they days get longer and longer – oh well, enough about that – today is the day!

So who am I, why should you read this, why is this guy writing free form coming from his consciousness? (You should see me with a whiteboard marker in my hand!).  I am the Online and Digitals Strategy Lead for Heroes Happen Here and Windows Server.  What does that mean?  Means I spend all my time looking at web pages (sounds like fun hey!) – and it is.  Digital strategy is becoming such a driver, that spending your time trying to build the best experience for customers who want many different online experiences is the challenge.  And I think we really are on a great path with both HHH and the new Windows Server 2008 site we are now designing.  So for those who have not seen the 2008 Launch Wave site – www.heroeshappenhere.com, have a look for yourself, hopefully you will see a new experience from other Microsoft sites you have seen – for those of you who have, make sure you keep visiting as we update is very regularly with new content, experiences and activities.


The website itself, was built with the focus that Windows, SQL and VS users are always in different stages of adoptions, evaluation and purchasing. So in our planning we looked at the various needs for a launch, as well as the various needs for evaluation and adoption.  Then we put them front and center on the site – So our main 3 theme’s – Come to a launch (Register), Download a trial (Evaluate) and Join In (Participate) are right there easy for you to explore.  In partnership with this we also built an amazing amount of content, experiences and activities to match the many customer needs out there for learning, evaluation and adoption.  Lets have a quick look at them

Events (from the top level nav)

This is my second favorite page (we will get to my fav shortly) – this is both a Silverlight enabled control, and a Ajax non-Silverlight experience to ensure that any and all users can access the information.  However with Silverlight it comes to life (oh by the way, we do this on the homepages as well with both a Silverlight and DHTML experience).

image image image

Here are three examples of the 4 pages – rollover the tiles and click through – the default is the sneak peak of the Virtual Launch event – that is for another blog.  From this page you can register for the VLE, link to the physical events, link into the Launch Community Portal and also access a plethora of online content.

Learn More

This page links to all the learning resources we are building for launch including MSLearning training, product sites links, evaluation downloads and what I think is one of the coolest demo environments Test Drives (on instant online demo environment for WS08, VS08 and SQL08 using online Virtualization.

image image image

Join In

This page is all about the community – all about getting involved, what’s going on, how you can find further information.  The landing page enables you to link into the various community sites, as well as a cool Silverlight video of our various community and Microsoft people associated with launch talking about what it means to them, and a podcast series called The Beacon which has in-depth interviews with various launch activity owners so you can hear about what goes on behind the scenes.  Each community page links in various heroes from the community (such as RD’s and MVP), what’s the current Buzz in blogs and forums out there, and the organization/programs that you may be interesting in attending, joining or being a part of.

image image image

Cool Stuff

This is my favorite, and yes you can guess how it got named  – we were sitting in a room planning the site and I was like we need a page of cool stuff – and it sort of never got changed, which in the end was a positive.  This page is another Silverlight control which showcases 4 of the cool activities we have at the moment – there will be more and more as we get close to launch, but lets look at a few.  We of coursed have the VLE (can you tell I am excited about this), we also have a link to the Community Training Portal, and two excellent launch related activities.  The portrait gallery is another Silverlight tool (we have a theme here I think) which enables people to upload pictures and stories of themselves, allows you to share them with other people, comment and is in multiple languages as well.  The Comics Series, is a joint effort between Microsoft and Seagate to release a daily comic based on the lives of IT Heroes.  From here you can see the sneak peak, register for the RSS feed and also help drive the story with an ideas upload section.  As we move close to launch, we will see more cool stuff activities appear on this page, so stay tuned.

image image image


The partners page is where you can learn more information about all our launch partners.  From this page you can access sales and marketing information, offers and downloads for our range of platinum, gold, silver and bronze partners.  You can also find partner neat you through our brand new partner solutions finder tool.  Coming soon (end of January), we will expand this page with new easier ways to find partner including a live chat function to help you discover the exact partner for your needs.

image image


The register page links in both local US registration and global pages.  From this page you can register for the kick off LA launch event, and following events around the US, plus link to the ever growing list of international sites.  Also by clicking on the LA registration link, you can access information, agenda’s, tracks and session information for he LA launch event.

image image

Phew – I think that’s all the major one however just a taste of what the site has to offer.  Hopefully you have enjoyed my little tour, and in subsequent posts I will walk through some of the new applications we built / are building, plus maybe drop a few hints of some exciting resources we will be releasing soon

January 20, 2008

Become the face of launch – the portrait gallery

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 1:10 pm


I feel my days are just full of tracking down content – content for the HHH website, content for our new Windows server 2008 portal due to launch soon and content for Virtual Launch event (in fact, that has over 1000 pieces of content so far!).

However today even through my content quest, we finally launched the Portrait Gallery.


This is a Silverlight 1.0 application which allow everyone and anyone to upload stories about themselves – why are the a IT Hero, what technology are they using, and which products are they most looking forward to.  You can comment, link and send links to a friend.  Best of all we have 7 different languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese and Chinese) – so you can upload and search in these languages, switch between them and view how other people across the world are being IT Hero’s.

So please visit http://www.microsoft.com/heroeshappenhere/portraitgallery/Start.aspx and upload your story – become the face of the launch!

January 18, 2008

Windows Server 2008 – IIS 7.0 Early Adopter Story

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 2:02 pm


IT Pro Momentum
Windows Server 2008 is now at RC1.  This means we are getting down to the wire when it comes to releasing the WS08-ent_v_rgbproduct.  We’ve talked to many of you about the product and what it can do and the many new features that are now on offer.  With the launch of the product being in February next year I get a lot of questions about customers that are running the product in production.  Are there any?  Have they seen any issues?  Of course many of you that I talk to in Australia want local customers; not overseas ones.  Well this is a story about one such customer that has been running Windows Server 2008 right now in production and has seen the benefits this new operating system has to offer firsthand.  So with that introduction on to the story.

The customer is Propensity International based in Sydney with another office in Melbourne.  In fact they are right in Crows Nest on the North Shore of Sydney which not that far from our office in North Ryde.  So what do these guys do?  Well essentially they are a software developer and Systems Integrator with a focus on Hosted PABX solutions.  They have developed a “Call Centre on Demand” solution utilising our latest technologies; including Windows Server 2008 & IIS 7.0.  The solution was developed using Visual Studio Team System 2008.  They provide this through Pipevine (a Propensity affiliate).  This solution sits on a VOIP platform and provides full call centre functionality.

The Technology Story

Early in 2006 Propensity sent a team of their developers to Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington.  They spent 2 weeks in our technology adoption centre working on the design and implementation of some of the new modules they would be using with the newest of our technologies.  These include Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation as well as .NET 3.0  All communications in the application are implemented using WCF as it allows flexibility to make decisions about which protocols, ports, security and indeed compression can be used.  And this is all done at deployment time not during the coding process and takes no time to configure making it easy to make changes depending on client requirements.  The application has a lot of extensibility and integration points provided by WCF endpoints and custom pluggable workflow’s based on the Windows Workflow Foundation.  Windows PowerShell is being used extensively to automate management and development processes.

The application itself sits on Windows Server 2008 and IIS 7.0 as the core platform.  Propensity saw many benefits by moving so quickly to the 2008 platform.  These are outlined later in this article.

So with all this the technology used stacks up like this:Svr08_Ent_3DS

  • Windows Server 2008 RC0 x86 edition running in a Windows 2003 Domain (soon to be upgraded to RC1)
  • Windows Workflow Foundation
  • Windows Communication Foundation
  • IIS 7.0
  • Visual Studio Team System 2008
  • Windows Powershell

The Benefits

With any technology adoption and in this case pilot production there have to be some clear business benefits to make it all worthwhile.  I’ve had many meetings and candid discussions with Propensity on how they have found all this new technology and what business benefits they have been seeing as a result of this pilot.  Rimantas Malinauskas (Solution Architect) from Propensity International had the following to say about these new technologies:

Visual Studio Team System 2008

“Visual Studio 2008 saves time – It’s a better environment that makes developers more productive and allows information to be shared across the team.  Visual Studio 2008 also includes most extensions by default whereas the 2005 version had to use a lot of add-ins.  Improvements to AJAX and LINQ make a huge difference in terms of coding time.”

Windows Server 2008 and IIS 7.0

“In Windows Server 2008, once we began testing IIS 7.0 and measured the difference in our application, it was a no brainer to move over.  We halved the response time for our application, which is dramatic.  It’s very important because it’s a real-time application that interfaces with a telephony system.  By moving from IIS 6.0 to IIS 7.0 we greatly improved response times.  Roundtrip times were reduced from ~1.2s to 0.6s.  That was achieved purely by the better performance in the Windows Server 2008 TCP/IP stack and IIS 7.0’s new functionality too minimise IIS process pipeline footprint by removing unnecessary modules from the pipeline and merging .NET modules to the IIS processing pipeline.”

Windows PowerShell

“By using Powershell we automated application development and management tasks.  On the pilot server running Windows Server 2008 and IIS 7.0 we are running over 60 application pools.  To set this environment up it only took 10 minutes!  Thank you PowerShell!”


We have customers out their doing great things with Windows Server 2008 and our other new technologies.  These customers are realizing real business benefits by running their business on the new platform.  To summarise what Propensity is doing I see some real benefits they are getting right now.

  • Saving developer time!
  • Cutting Server Response time in half with Windows Server 2008 and IIS 7.0.
  • Automating development and management tasks and saving a whole bunch of time by using Windows PowerShell.

Would you like your story posted here?  Please contact me if you are doing heroic things on our new WAVE of 2008 products!


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