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A Word from Microsoft Canada

by Steve Syfuhs / March 19, 2013 11:59 PM

Earlier this week I was asked if I could help out the Canadian DPE Team at Microsoft by letting my readers know about some important information coming down the pipe. For those not in Canada you may not be interested, but still take a look because there’s a lot of great resources listed.

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The team at Microsoft Canada is focused on ensuring that they help set you up for success by providing the information and tools you need in order to get the most out of Microsoft based solutions at home and at work.

Twice a year, Microsoft sends out the Global Relationship Study (GRS for short). It’s a survey that Microsoft uses to collect your feedback and help inform their planning. If you receive emails from Microsoft, subscribe to their newsletters‚ or you’ve attended our any of their events you may receive the survey.

The important details:

  • Timing – March 4th to April 12th 2013
  • Sent From – “Microsoft Feedback”
  • Email Alias – “feedback@e–mail.microsoft.com
  • Subject Line – “Help Microsoft Focus on Customers and Partners”

Many of you already read the Microsoft Canada IT Pro team’s blogs‚ connect with them on LinkedIn and have attended their events in the last year or so. So you may already know that you’re their top priority. So they want to hear from you.

Pierre, Anthony and Mitch use the GRS results to shape what they do, how they do it and if it’s resonating with you. Tell them what you need to be the “go-to” guy (or gal). Tell them what you need to grow your career. They want you to be completely satisfied with Microsoft Canada.

This year, Pierre, Anthony and Mitch have delivered 30 IT Camps and counting across the country giving you the opportunity to get hands on and learn how to get the most value for your organization. They have a few more events planned this year so keep an eye on their plancast feed for events near you.

Based on your feedback the topics they’re planning to cover will include:

  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2012
  • System Center 2012
  • Private Cloud
  • BYOD – Management and Security

That’s not all. They’ve heard you loud and clear so in addition to hands on events, they’re also delivering more technical content online via the IT Pro Connection Blog. Windows 8 continues to be a big area of focus for them. They covered a lot of great contentat launch and they’ve complimented that with new content like:

In addition to this, there are some valuable online resources you can use like Microsoft Virtual Academy, Microsoft’s no-cost online training portal. Or software evaluations (free trials) on TechNet that allow you to build your own labsto try out what you’ve learned.

Regardless of how you engage with the team at Microsoft Canada‚ you’d probably agree that they hear you. They’d also encourage you to continue to provide that great feedback. They thrive on it‚ they relish it‚ they wallow in it and most importantly of all‚ they action it. So please keep connecting with them and keep it coming! Pierre, Anthony and Mitch are listening.

Resources, Tools and Training

  • Tim Horton’s Gift Card Contest– We’re giving away 350 Tim Horton’s gift cards, all you have to do to qualify is download a free qualifying software evaluation (trial). Download all three for more chances to win, but hurry, the contest closes soon.*
  • Windows 8 Resource Guide- Download a printable, one-page guide to the top resources that will help you explore, plan for, deploy, manage, and support Windows 8 as part of your IT infrastructure.
  • Windows Server 2012 Evaluation – Get hands on with Windows Server 2012 and explore the scale and performance possibilities for your server virtualization.
  • Microsoft Support - Get help with products‚ specific errors‚ virus detection and removal and more.
  • Microsoft Licensing -Visit the Volume Licensing Portal today to ask questions about volume licensing‚ get a quote‚ activate a product or find the right program for your organization.

*No purchase necessary. Contest open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec. Contest closes April 11, 2013 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET. Three-Hundred-and-Fifty (350) prizes are available to be won: (i) $10 CDN Tim Horton’s gift card.  Skill-testing question required. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries. For full rules, including entry, eligibility requirements and complete prize description, review the full terms and Conditions.

MVP Summit 2012

by Steve Syfuhs / February 27, 2012 01:00 PM

I'll be in Redmond this week for the 2012 MVP Summit. It's my first summit so I'm pretty fricken excited! Hopefully there will be some cool announcements coming, but I have to respect the NDA.

To be continued.

And in Other News...

by Steve Syfuhs / March 31, 2011 04:00 PM

Got this email earlier today:

Dear Steve Syfuhs,
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2011 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Developer Security technical communities during the past year.

[…] 

Needless to say I'm super excited about this award, and the opportunity that it gives me to talk more about security.  More on this later.

Now I just need to figure out what to put in my email signature. Winking smile

AzureFest Revisited

by Steve Syfuhs / March 15, 2011 04:00 PM

Remember a few months ago when ObjectSharp and Microsoft put on AzureFest at the Microsoft office in Mississauga?  Well, here we go again!  This time we have two events:

  • Downtown Toronto: March 30th, 2011 – MSN Office, 222 Bay Street
  • Mississauga: March 31st, 2011 – Microsoft Canada HQ, 1950 Meadowvale Blvd

Our presenter for both evenings is Cory Fowler, and he is the Canadian MVP for Windows Azure, an ObjectSharp Consultant, and a good friend of mine.

You can register by clicking here.

What you’ll learn

  • How to setup your Azure Account
  • How to take a traditional on-premise ASP.NET applications and deploy it to Azure
  • Publishing Applications to Azure Developer Portal
  • Setting up the Azure SDK and Azure Tools for Visual Studio on your laptop
  • using the development App Fabric

We provide

  • The tools you will need on your machine to prepare yourself for Azure
  • Hands on instruction and expert assistance
  • Power and network access
  • Snacks and refreshments
  • For every azure activation – funding for your User Group
  • Post event technical resources so you can take your skills to the next level

You provide

  • Your own laptop
  • Your own credit card (for Azure activations this is required, even if you only setup for a trial period, but this event is free!)
  • Your experience in building ASP.NET Applications and Services

Seats are still available. Register!

You know you want to register… Smile

P.S. Did I mention this event is free?

The Azure Experience Lab

by Steve Syfuhs / January 30, 2011 04:00 PM

Every year ObjectSharp puts on a handful of events, and this year we are pushing hard for Azure.  Next week we have such an event geared towards ISV Developers and Business people.  ObjectSharp would like to welcome you to the Azure Experience Lab!

Windows Azure is Microsoft’s cloud operating system. Leveraging the .NET Platform, developers can easily take advantages of their skills to move their applications to the cloud.  The Azure Experience Lab is all about discovering new business opportunities and learning new technologies to leverage cloud computing for your organization and your customers.

For ISVs looking to augment their traditional software models with subscription and service models, cloud computing represents a huge growth opportunity. Join us for a day of exploration and experience with Windows Azure as we explore both the business value and the technologies available for cloud computing with Microsoft.

There are two tracks available for this event, and ideally, we recommend you include individuals in both tracks from your organization to get the most value from our Experience Lab.

  • The Business Value Track is recommended for product managers, strategic planners, CTOs, architects and other decision making leaders who evaluate strategic directions for their organization and their customers.

  • The Azure Development Track is recommended for Solution and Infrastructure Architects, Lead Developers and other technologies who evaluate technologies as part of their solution offerings.

What's Windows Azure About?
Windows Azure is Microsoft’s cloud operating system. Developing for Azure leverages your existing ASP.NET Development Experience and provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage web applications in the cloud through Microsoft® datacenters or even hybrid off/on premise hosting models. In the Experience Lab you'll learn how to develop ASP.NET Applications and Services for Cloud Computing.

We Provide
Light refreshments and a networking lunch. Attendees of the Hands-on-labs in the Azure Development Track are provided with computer equipment, labs and various technical resources.

You Provide
To get the most out of this event, we recommend those attending the Azure Development Track bring their personal or business credit card required for Azure activations as part of the hands on labs. This is required, even if you only setup for a trial period and shut down your account after the event.

When:
Monday, February 7th, 2011.
Two Learning Tracks:
Business Value of Azure - 9:00am - 5:00pm
Developing for Azure - 9:00am - 5:00pm

Where:
Azure Experience Lab
11 King Street West, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON M5H 4C7

Admission:
$99 (incl. refreshments)

Registration:
By invitation only. Please quote Invitation code XLAB02
Limited to 20 ISVs (max 2 people, 1 in each track)

8:30-9:00 Registration
9-10:15 What is Azure? All up overview and demonstration of the various services and capabilities of Windows and SQL Azure including a review of costs and benefits associated with each.
10:15-10:30 Break
  Business Value Track Azure Development Track
10:30-12:00 Fireside chat about Business Scenarios for Cloud Computing and Azure and how to unlock business value for your organization and your customers. All about Storage in Azure (including hands on lab)
12:00-1:00 Networking Lunch
1:00-2:30 Understanding, evaluating and mitigating Risks associated with Cloud Computing Building Services in Azure (including hands on lab)
2:30-2:45 Break
2:45-4:15pm Open Discussion for business discussions, individual break outs, q&a panel discussion with ObjectSharp and Microsoft Executives All about Security in Azure (including hands on labs)
4:15pm Closing Summary, Next Steps

If you are an ISV and are interested in attending, please register now!

AzureFest–Final Countdown: 2 Days to go

by Steve Syfuhs / December 08, 2010 04:00 PM

[The soundtrack for this post can be found at Youtube]

Cory Fowler is the Canadian MVP for Windows Azure, an ObjectSharp Consultant, and a good friend of mine.  He will be presenting on Windows Azure at, you guessed it, AzureFest!  We have two half day events on December 11th 2010 (two days from now – see what I did there?) at Microsoft’s office in Mississauga and it’s chock full of everything you need to know about getting started with Windows Azure.  You can register by clicking here.

What You'll Learn

  • How to setup your Azure Account
  • How to take a traditional on-premise ASP.NET applications and deploy it to Azure
  • Publishing Applications to Azure Developer Portal
  • Setting up the Azure SDK and Azure Tools for Visual Studio on your laptop
  • using the development App Fabric

We Provide

  • The tools you will need on your machine to prepare yourself for Azure
  • Hands on instruction and expert assistance
  • Power and network access
  • Snacks and refreshments
  • For every azure activation – funding for your User Group
  • Post event technical resources so you can take your skills to the next level

You Provide

  • Your own laptop
  • Your own credit card (for Azure activations this is required, even if you only setup for a trial period, but this event is free!)
  • Your experience in building ASP.NET Applications and Services

Seats are still available.  Register!

P.S. Did I mention this event is free?

Visual Studio 2010 Desktop Background Images

by Steve Syfuhs / November 10, 2010 04:00 PM

Last night a couple people asked where I got all the neat VS2010 desktop backgrounds.  I couldn’t remember the URL off the top of my head last night, but the website is http://vs2010wallpapers.com/.  There are a lot of great backgrounds.  My favorite though is the ducky. Smile

tumblr_l1yklpszeM1qbkusho1_1280

Free Code Sample Request Service from Microsoft

by Steve Syfuhs / October 28, 2010 04:00 PM

Just came across this on the Decrypt my World blog.  It seems a lot of Microsoft developers are asked for code samples and for lots of valid reasons they can’t provide them.  So Microsoft is fixing that by opening up a service where you can request code samples for any Microsoft technologies.

Here is the official word on what it is:

Developers are encouraged to submit code sample requests dealing with any Microsoft development technologies to our site. At the same time, developers can now vote for newly submitted or existing code sample topics. Here’s the exciting part! Microsoft engineers will then pick the requests with the highest number of votes and provide the code samples. It’s all FREE!

You can find the full write-up here: http://1code.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=NEW%2c%20FREE%20Code%20Sample%20Request%20Service%20from%20Microsoft%20All-In-One%20Code%20Framework

Minor Change to TechDays Presentation

by Steve Syfuhs / October 19, 2010 04:00 PM

Just a quick update to let everyone know that Miguel Carrasco and I are switching sessions so he can get back home for a prior engagement.  As such, I will now be doing OPT315: Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Tips and Tricks. This session is on the 2nd day at 3:40pm - 4:45pm.

Presenting a TechDays Local Flavours Track Session!

by Steve Syfuhs / October 13, 2010 04:00 PM

Earlier this morning I got an email from John Bristowe congratulating me on being selected to present a session for the local flavours track at TechDays in Toronto!  This bumps up my count to 2.  Needless to say I am REALLY excited.

I was a little disappointed to find out there weren’t any sessions on the Windows Identity Foundation, so that just meant I had to submit my own to the local flavours track…and they accepted it!  Here are the details:

October 27, 3:40 PM to 4:45 PM

Breakout | LFT330: Windows Identity Foundation Simplified: All the Scary Things Made Un-Scary

The Windows Identity Foundation helps simplify user access for developers by externalizing user access from applications via claims and reducing development effort with pre-built security logic and integrated .NET tools. This presentation is an intimate discussion on the basics of the Windows Identity Foundation and its claims model. In this session, you’ll learn how to refactor an existing sample set of applications to use WIF, to connect identities to the Cloud, and to remove the burden of managing multiple disparate user stores.

Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre - South Building (255 Front Street West, Toronto)

Room: TBA

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// About

Steve is a renaissance kid when it comes to technology. He spends his time in the security stack.