I’m taking the plunge. I’m going completely v.Next here.
I am writing today’s Newswire using a slate that is running Windows 8, Office 2010, & Visual Studio 11. The experience is definitely quite different to anything I’ve been doing since 1995. The on-screen keyboard works really well but… I ditched it quickly and connected a Bluetooth keyboard. The on-screen keyboard is not for serious writing endeavors like the Newswire!
The touch screen is nice too. I like how the included apps take advantage of the Metro style. When I have a mouse connected, I find it difficult to scroll, find the start menu, and more. Then I remember that touch is the primary input action. When I remember this, my frustration with Windows 8 goes away and I feel better.
I think I like Windows 8. Now, I’m ready to see what the hardware guys create to run it.
Office news & editorials!
- Can Microsoft come back? :: This article asks the age old question, “Can MSFT be cool again?”. I sure don’t know. Since I can remember none of the hipsters I know have considered MSFT cool. I think the best thing MSFT has going for themselves is the inherent fickleness that is humanity. Apple was cool because people grew so tired of MSFT. Now, people are tired of Apple & Google, which makes the old-flame (MSFT) look better than ever. I enjoyed this article because the author describes his “Month of Microsoft”.
- Why pay for Microsoft Office? :: Well, because if you steal it you will most likely end up in jail? Or how about, “You get what you pay for?”. Or maybe “There is no such thing as a free lunch?” It’s been awhile since I included an item discussing alternatives to Microsoft Office so here it is.
- Windows-on-iPad service goes legit as Microsoft licensing demands are met :: Microsoft won this battle which is not surprising. Onlive stopped using Windows 7 and now offers a virtualized instance of Windows Server 2008 R2. Now that Microsoft is happy, let’s see where this goes. I plan to check it out today.
- “Official” Microsoft Office Product roadmap 2011-2014 :: This looks like it could be official as it is certainly a nice looking timeline. But who knows for sure if it is or not. If accurate, this chart says we will have an Office 15 beta this summer with general availability of the RTM version by Q1 2013.
Office tips, tricks & tools
- Free Powerpoint Newspaper Templates turn you into an instant media mogul :: Poor PowerPoint. It has a tarnished reputation and has become a synonym for bored. I heard my 10 year old daughter complain this weekend that there was nothing fun to do and she was “powerpoint”. It’s amazing how the English language can change. Anyways, the issue with PowerPoint isn’t PowerPoint! It’s you! It’s me! It’s us! We don’t know how to use it. We don’t know how to tell a story and capture interest of our audience. This template might help.
- 10 Reasons why learning SharePoint is a good thing :: If you use SharePoint but hate it this article is for you. If you think, as a recent contact of stated… that “… SharePoint is a conglomerate of [edited to protect your eyes]“… then read this article and reconsider. SharePoint isn’t going anywhere. It’s Microsoft’s fastest selling product ever.
- Increase productivity by enabling the tabbed user interface in Microsoft Office :: If you like how Excel uses tabs within a workbook and think that would be a good interface for handling multiple opened documents in Excel, PowerPoint, & Word, then you should check-out this add-in. Download it here
- Excel: not just for geeks :: This guy didn’t ask my wife before writing this article. She would disagree with the title. The writer states that he uses Excel for everything. I agree with him about Excel’s potential uses. Take a look at the apps in the app store (any of ‘em… Apple, Android, Amazon, Microsoft) and tell me 99.99% of couldn’t be handled by Excel! And don’t tell me Excel can’t handle games either!
- Set AutoRecovery to a dropbox location for double-strength backups :: This is a great idea if you are the OCD-type that want to take every precaution possible. I’m such a person. Dropbox rocks by the way.
Office developer & IT admin items of note
- MVP Pattern for Outlook :: This article covers VSTO design patterns and addresses the question… “What is the best pattern to use?” The answer provided gives details on how to architect in such as manner as to ease the process of unit testing.
- Uploading a page layout for SharePoint 2010 in Visual Studio 2010 :: The title gives the content away and leaves nothing to the imagination. This is an end-to-end tutorial explaining how to do what the title says.
- What every SharePoint admin needs to know about host named site collections :: The post promises to tell you everything you need to know about named site collections. A named site collection is one that responds to a domain name… like Contoso.com.
- SharePoint 2010 intra-farm communication :: This is cool image of how the servers in a SharePoint server farm communicate. It’s great for remember what port numbers are used and where.
Cutting Room Floor
- How a woodpecker doesn’t get brain damage :: There is a wood pecker that likes a tree in my neighbors yard. I have watched him several times and wondered this very thing.
- Better than a Van Gogh: NASA visualizes all the World’s Ocean currents
- Finding fun Easter eggs in old Microsoft software