Who to follow on Twitter


Engadget posted a list yesterday of “Who to follow on Twitter” for Microsoft and I’m happy today that (after a gentle reminder!), I’m on there 😊

Sitting alongside such luminaries as Mary Jo Foley, Ed Bott, Tom Warren & Todd Bishop is pretty cool! Check out the full list here:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/17/who-should-i-follow-on-twitter-microsoft-edition/

Windows InTune V2


Windows Intune was released to General Availability (GA) today on March 23rd 2011 but already the next version is being worked on, at least according to Twitter.

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I haven’t seen anyone else mention this but Maarten is a SCOM MVP and the hashtags indicate this came directly from today’s MMS2011 keynote speech, so I think it’s safe to believe it Smile Plus it is in no way unusual for Microsoft to be working on the next version of a product before they’ve even released the first edition…

If Windows Intune V2 does include Software Distribution, that will be pretty amazing. That will enable IT departments/Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) to deploy new software to users from a remote location via the web. Although it will of course be limited by internet bandwidth between the 2 points, this will make so many things so much easier for so many people! That could well be the point that sees InTune take hold in larger organizations…

Microsoft Webinars with Bechtle


I am running a series of Microsoft webinars through the month of June which I think/hope will be of interest to a lot of people out there :-)

The sessions and dates are:

June 15th

Windows 7 – Overview of Business Benefits

Click to register

June 17th

Overview of Microsoft Desktop Optimisation (MDOP)

Click to register

June 22nd

Office 2010 – Business Benefits and WebApps

Click to register

June 24th

SharePoint – Document Management, Business Connectivity Services and SharePoint Workspace

Click to register

First Event

The first webinar is tomorrow so it’s not much notice (sorry!) but the agenda is:

This session will cover the business benefits of deploying Windows 7, from both an administrator and user perspective covering things such as:

  • Increasing user productivity
  • Enhancing security
  • Flexible working

and more. The session will also cover Windows 7 Enterprise, Software Assurance (SA) benefits & Windows Server 2008 R2.

As well as myself, our Account Manager from Microsoft will be hosting the event too so there will be a chance to ask questions/give feedback directly to MS…which is always nice :-)

You can hit the “Click to Register” links above to email me or you can message me on twitter:

@richfrombechtle

We’ll be sending the registration info out around 16:00ish this afternoon so I’ll need to hear before then.

This is open to pretty much anyone so feel free to register :-)

I don’t often mention Bechtle on my blog as I don’t use it as a sales platform at all, but I feel this is a good exception ot make…I hope you agree!

Outlook 2010 Social Connector


Outlook Social Connectors have been announced for Outlook 2010; these will allow you to connect with social media sites directly from your email client.

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The initial announcement is that a connector to business networking site LinkedIn will be announced early next year:

“Simply click on a message from a co-worker to discover what new connections they’ve made on LinkedIn, or click the LinkedIn badge underneath a photo to jump right to a person’s profile page on the Web.”

I have to say I’m surprised that Twitter isn’t in there from the start but perhaps that would seem a little gimmicky? However, don’t worry as:

anyone can build a provider to connect the OSC to a social network, their company’s line-of-business applications, or literally any system that can produce streams of activity about its users”

That’s right! Just as numerous 3rd parties have built some excellent apps for Twitter, people will soon be able to create connectors to give us Twitter in Outlook…which will be awesome! Plus I imagine that FaceBook will be added in pretty sharpish too, for all you FB’ers out there :-) You will be able to download the SDK from MSDN tomorrow (19-11-09).

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This screenshot from Microsoft (which might be a mockup?) shows what it will look like further down the line…you can see emails, Live updates, Twitter updates, documents…pretty fantastic!

I’m very excited about this and will be very interested to see what connectors people start making. If you’re a dev and you’re looking for testers – let me know ;-)

Go check out the Office blog here for more details.

Bing Twitter Search


Bing Twitter search is live!

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen rumours that Twitter would be licensing data to Bing and Google, earlier today it was announced that Bing had definitely signed it up…and now it’s all up and working…for the US at least.

Head over to www.bing,com/twitter and change your location to United States (top right hand corner)…this will allow you to search live Twitter data…and it’s pretty cool. I did a search for myself (of course!) and got:

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There you can see how I found out to change the location (cheers JNathan!) and some other tweets sent to me…you can also see at the bottom a tweet from me with a “top link” in it.

You’ll also notice that each tweet has a small “RT” icon, allowing you to Re-tweet it on Twitter…that’s a pretty nice feature!

A great example of Crystal Xcelsius


Crystal Xcelsius is a fantastic product and some of the things that people do with are amazing…huge data visualizations laid out on maps with automatically refreshing data and various gauges, sliders, graphs and all sorts:

 

Thanks to http://dashboardsbyexample.com/

I’m pretty sure that the Wall Street Journal Election Calculator was created in Xcelsius-you can find it here.

It does a great job of making boring, grey spreadsheets and reports much more engaging, interesting and effective. However, I’ve never found an example I can use on a regular basis…but now i have :-)

Web 2.0 Presentation Tools from SAP – this set of tools from SAP’s Timo Elliott is great. They use Crystal Xcelsius to integrate Twitter into your Powerpoint presentations-how great does that sound?!

I had a little play around with it earlier and used it to show tweets about MS licensing, scrolling live across the bottom. Twitter keeps increasing in popularity as a way of interacting with presenters and of giving feedback during a talk, when it can still make a difference. These tools mean you don’t need to have separate apps running on your machine or even a separate machine used solely to receive & manage Twitter feedback.

You can download the Powerpoint with guides and the tools to integrate it yourself here:

http://www.sapweb20.com/blog/2009/10/web-20-presentation-tools-from-sap-integrate-twitter-into-powerpoint/

I really like this. It’s very useful, current and a great advert for SAP’s Xcelsius technology.

Tweetdeck & Bit.ly


I’ve been blogging for almost 1 year now and twittering for just over, but I’ve only just discovered the benefits of using the stat services offered by most URL shortening offerings.

I use bit.ly and it’s great-you sign into bit.ly, shorten the URL, post it in your tweet and viola-you can see how many clicks, when and where they were made, Twitter & FriendFeed conversations (retweets etc) and a bunch of graphs :-)

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The thing that caused me the biggest problem was the extra step in the middle of signing in to bit.ly to shorten the URL-which allows it to track the link. Often I forgot to do this…tweeting the link to a new blog post and then thinking “oh bugger”! I saw a few mentions that Tweetdeck (my preferred Twitter client by far) could link to bit.ly via an API key but following the directions on bit.ly’s site didn’t work. I eventually discovered that this was a feature in Tweetdeck’s latest version 0.30.04 so I downloaded the new version and hey presto I’m up and running :-)

Once you’ve got the new version, go to Settings –> Services and then under Bit.ly, you can add in your bit.ly API key. Then you can just post your links in Tweetdeck and it automatically updates the stats tracker…an excellent new addition.

On a slight side note-another new feature in Tweetdeck is it now links to MySpace…are enough people still using it to warrant that?!