As I sit on board the Via train on my way to Montreal I am thinking about what a great way to travel this is. For one thing, I don’t have to drive; I also have relatively decent Internet connectivity, which means I can use my time efficiently, and not have to worry about the flood of e-mails and calls that would normally be waiting for me on the other side of a 5-6 hour journey. It is a smarter way to travel, and frankly an easier one than either flying or driving.
Working smarter and not harder is a pet theme of mine. That is why I am all over some of Microsoft’s new technologies that have been released (or are about to be!) this year.
Windows Server 2012 is the new Cloud OS that is taking the world by storm; it is hard to pick a favourite reason, but we can start with Hyper-V 3.0, the virtualization platform that has made the world take notice, matching and even surpassing the competition in most respects. It is just one of the reasons why Windows Server 2012 is not just a server OS, but the Cloud OS that is the basic building block of your on-prem, cloud, and hybrid datacenter.
Windows 8 is the next generation client OS that has a tough act to follow; Windows 7 needed less than 6 weeks to surpass Apple OS X on Internet-connected devices, and nearly three years later it is the top-selling OS of all time. Its satisfaction rate is so high that only a real paradigm shift will get most users to consider upgrading or replacing their devices. That shift is the desire for touch-enabled tablets, laptops, desktops, and all-in-one devices that are secure, stable, easy to learn, and run the same software on every device. Windows 8 delivers that experience, and while I am still using it on a legacy device, the touch experience, performance, and stability are unmatched; I have demonstrated the new client-OS to countless people and groups, and not one of them has been indifferent about it… even the traditional skeptics have been eager to try it out following a quick tour. When the Windows 8 devices are released later this month, I expect a flood of new converts who until recently were considering (and even using) competitive devices!
System Center 2012 is the tool that manages our entire infrastructure. What was previously seven separate products have been amalgamated into one simplified and unified cloud management system, managing your environment cohesively. However when I call it a cloud management system I do not simply mean that it manages your on-premise private cloud (which it does rather well). It also allows for the provisioning, deployment, and management of remote- or cloud-based servers, whether they are off-site, or truly in an IaaS environment such as Windows Azure VMs. As someone who wants to work smarter but seldom has the cycles to work harder, I appreciate the unified management system, without having to manage my servers with one system, my virtualization environment from another, and off-premise servers from a third.
I finally had the opportunity to play with a Windows Phone 8 device this week, and however excited I may have been about it before, I am now chomping at the bit to get my hands on one. Fortunately I won’t have to wait too much longer… Windows Phone 8 will be RTM (final code, released to manufacturers) on October 29th; I am hoping that the carriers will make their new devices available shortly thereafter.
Microsoft Canada is currently working hard to help its communities – IT Pros, Devs, Partners, and customers – to get up to speed on all of these new technologies. Ruth, Pierre, Chris, Damir, and I were thrilled by the overwhelming interest in our recent Windows Server 2012 Launch Tour, and we loved coming out to meet all of you in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Montreal. As soon as the launch tour ended we immediately got going with the IT Camps that are going across the country, and will continue to do so for the next several months. Our goal is to get as many of you into these one-day hands on training events as possible. So while the first round sold out in a hurry (in some cities we already have huge waitlists) we are looking at expanding the tour, to new cities and to go back to the cities where demand is highest. To register (or tell us that you want a camp to come to you) visit Ruth’s blog post Windows Server 2012 Canadian Launch Tour and IT Camp Events.
Please don’t think that you have to wait for us though… you are smart and capable and enjoy playing with and getting to know new technologies, so why not download the evaluation software now? It only takes a few clicks and a little bandwidth and you will be on your way to a better future with the cloud!
Be sure to keep watching our events calendar because Ruth, Pierre, and I are crossing this great country of ours and will be in a city near you soon… we love to meet with local IT pros wherever we go for a coffee (or malt beverage of some sort).