Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Do you want to test drive Microsoft Office Web Apps?

Go to this page:

Convenience is the key word here. You can be anywhere and you are not too far from your Office Applications any time. If you want to know more, watch this video .

You access the app on SkyDrive for personal use and deploy it for your organization.

But you need to sign up with windows Live. When you login after installing you will see this in your Live IN window.

You have all the pieces (the four programs) now.

Click on any you want to use and your previous experience will come in handy. You get the same experience as the one you get from this program on your desk top.

Here are some screens using the Web word as I would like to call it.

I click Word in the above screen to create a new word document which will be present in my SkyDrive.

Then I save it by clicking Save. This opens up the editor on my SkyDrive (see web URL at the top of the page).

I type in a few words. The ‘ribbon’ is somewhat empty but then who is complaining. It’s free stuff. But this is good enough if you are fishing in deep arctic or having a drink with your girlfriend by the pool (watch the video, my friend).

I suggest you better install the Sign-in Assistant so that you do not need to remember authentication etc. This will bring in more programs to your computer, go thru’ this just one time. It makes it easier.

Do you see the Word icon on the ribbon?
Click this if you want to save this document.  But then you have to agree for more terms such as this one.
 Well if you allow this, then you will see this.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Get these web development tools for free: This is really generous

You are a developer and you are short of cash (who is not in these days of gloom and doom with millions out of jobs)to buy all the fancy software. You could go to Open Source, or get programs for free.

The evaluation editions are great but they can be a headache. By evaluating, you are helping the company make a better product in exchange for your headache. They have expiration dates and you have to fiddle with your control panel. I almost don't use evaluation software with less than 120 days of useful life.

Now come the express editions. They are free and you do not have to worry about the expiration date but the downside is some features are not there in the express series. Well, beggars or not choosers.

Microsoft started making these express editions (others also like Oracle and IBM) a while ago and now all of this is consolidated on thier web site expressely set for the express series.

Check out:

Here you can find the latest express editions as well as the Microsoft Web Platform Installer which will bring home all the goodies to your desktop/laptop/notebook.

You can get express programs for all of these in one place:

Web                                  Visual Studio 2010 Express

Windows Microsoft           VB, C# and C++ Express

Phone                                Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone 7

Database                           SQL Server 2008 R2 Express (x32 and x64)

These same products can be used for developing applications for Windows Azure as well. This is a good selling point.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Why Google Apps? Why not Microsofts Web Apps? and Behold the Dark Horse!

Come June 15, Google's Office Docs will be challenged by Microsoft's Web Applications (Word, Excel, Power Point and One Note) working off the web and Microsoft expects to make money from Ads. Microsoft will challenge Google and steal away the Google crowd while injecting new blood into its Window Live at the same time, the core behind the Microsoft web applications. Microsoft is already an undisputed leader in Enterprise Office. With this new offering Microsoft will have the best of both worlds, keep the cake while eating it.
But behold the dark horse! I was recently testing out the OpenOffice and came away vastly impressed. I wonder how Microsoft is planning to challenge this one.
All these happenings keep me wondering why does the CNBC's talking heads miss Microsoft's serious foray into the unknown open spaces and the cloud. In a recent Power Lunch (I think it was) after a recent Ballmer's speech the talk turned to Google, Apple and Microsoft. They heaped praise on Google and Apple and showed rather an embarrassing financial (earnings per share) comparison of Apple and Microsoft and completely ignored Microsoft's spending on its Cloud Platform, CDNs, Data centers etc. How did this happen with an untold number of Microsoft Evangelists milling around? May be Microsoft should change its game plan and become more visible on Wall Street.
Disclaimer: I am neither a Microsoft employee nor hold Microsoft stocks but just a concerned webizen (Web Citizen)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

This gmail from gmail team smells like a scam

Do not provide any information nor click on any links. Others have received variants of the same message.

We are deleting some accounts and your email was automatically chosen to be deleted. If you are still interested in using our email service please fill in the space below for verification purpose by clicking the reply button:

User Name:
Pass word:
code: 59cd2e83

Warning!!!! Account details not received within 48hours will be automatically shut down and closed permanently.

- The Gmail Team

Monday, June 07, 2010

Windows Azure Update: The working set of programs for the latest iteration

My starting point for finding out the working set:
I got this warning while trying to install Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (the latest version) on a Windows 7 computer (x32) on which Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 RC Ultimate was installed.

Background of existing Programs:

Published date: 11/13/2009

There is a new version of VSCloudService (version and data) published shown here:

Version: 1.2.30517.1601
Date Published: 5/19/2010

This is not supported by VS2010 RC but requires the VS2010 RTM or later version.
The download documentation however notifies that this version of VSCloudService.exe is supported by Microsoft Visual Web Developer Express 2010 (free) which can be downloaded from this site:

However it looks like you need to uninstall VS2010 RC before you can install Visual Web Developer Express 2010 from:

The working set and installation:

1. Remove Visual Studio 2010 RC Ultimate (or otherwise)
2. Install Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2010 Express from here:
3. Install VSCloudService.exe [Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 1.2 (June 2010)]from here:

Note: It would have been less confusing if some version info is attached to the file name: VSCloudService.exe like

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

PowerPivot and file compression

The question:  Does PowerPivot compresses smaller files efficiently?
One answer: You can find the answer with some details here:

The test was very simple using the CodePlex sample from my earlier post. Protection Status