Last year I attended the UC Expo at London’s Olympia sharing a stand with an IBM business partner. From our stand most of my field of vision was taken up by Microsoft’s presence… not a stand, more like a small village. There was a customer immersion zone, a theatre demonstrating Lync 2010 (which was full and overflowing all day) and stands manned by a number of Microsoft Unified Communication partners such as Polycom. I remembered feeling dwarfed and slightly embarrased – IBM were barely there at all. I took some photos and back at the office complained bitterly.
Ironically, this year, IBM have a keynote speaker in the form of Luis Suarez and they’re a sponsor, so maybe someone listened (I don’t know if I can take the credit). Anyway, Microsoft are also a sponsor this year, we’ll once more have a huge presence (showing Lync and also Exchange, Office 365 and mobile solutions), representation from a number of partners, and a number of theatre speaker slots featuring some of my learned colleagues. I have it on good authority that Nokia will also be there showing the much-praised Lumia phones.
Dates are 6th and 7th of March – you can register here, which is a good idea because it’ll cost £30 if you just turn up on the day. And one other tip, take a packed lunch because the price of sandwiches in the venue is something to gasp at.
Plantronics BackBeat FIT
Thu, Nov 20th 2014 6:10p Darren Adams Usually if I’m discussing a product from Plantronics it’ll be associated with unified communications (these days more likely to be Lync or Skype than Sametime). I’m the proud owner of a Calisto 620 speakerphone and, probably one of the best tech products I’ve ever owned, a Voyager Legend headset. Today, however, I shall be writing about a rather different Plantronics product…
In a recent blog post I talked about losing weight and going to the gym, but therein was a small problem. Pound [read] Keywords: sametime
Dell XPS 2720
Sun, Oct 19th 2014 7:14a Darren Adams Some people may find this a tale of horror. Why? After five happy years together I have passed my iMac onto a new owner (the current Mrs Adams), and I have replaced it with a Windows 8.1 all-in-one PC. I know that many of my readers are Mac fans and may think this does not compute.
My home office doubles as a room with an overflow wardrobe, a cupboard for things that don’t belong anywhere else, occasionally a clothes horse covered in laundry (enjoyed by Lync conference attendees when I swi [read] Keywords: laptop
Calendar and scheduling irritations
Tue, Sep 9th 2014 4:13p Darren Adams Back in 2008, I posted a selection of calendar and scheduling bad habits. I recently updated the list for another publication, and I now declare that these irritations are worthy of an entry in the Hall of Shame.
My Outlook-based calendar is a temple. It’s pristine. I refuse to let it be riddled with other peoples’ bad spelling, bad grammar, bad punctuation, bad capitalisation and bad habits. I freely admit that I will edit entries created by other peoples’ invitations if they don’t meet [read] Keywords: office
Fitbit not fatboy
Mon, Sep 8th 2014 7:12a Darren Adams I have never been one of those people who should be featured on those ‘Lose Weight Within A Year Or Die’ programs, nor has my backside been featured anonymously on the news when they’re doing a report on obesity. But for years I have been a bit, shall we say, overweight. Not by much, depending on what you think is the proper weight for someone of my height (5′ 11″) – the general consensus is that I should be around 164 lbs (I’m old-school English and fin [read] Keywords: microsoft
Tue, Aug 26th 2014 2:11p Darren Adams The print-out of my family tree has been rather lop-sided since I started tracing my roots. I have recorded sixty-six ancestors of my mother, going back seven generations and to the early 1700s (the oldest is my great x6 grandfather Richard Arman, born in 1718). I started the research in 2008, and as anyone who has carried out family history research will know you can get a lot of information quite quickly and then it slows down as the clues and evidence become more difficult to access. So on my [read] Keywords:
Three years at Microsoft
Sat, Jun 28th 2014 9:11a Darren Adams I had a very busy day yesterday and didn’t notice that it was my third anniversary of joining Microsoft. Looking back those three years have flown past – I remember the job interviews and my IBM exit interview as if they were yesterday. At my exit interview I had to hastily change my main account password because I was going to have to divulge it to my then-manager, and I suddenly realised it was rather unsuitable.
A few times during those three years people have asked me whether I i [read] Keywords: collaboration
Apps for Excel 2013
Wed, Jun 25th 2014 4:11p Darren Adams Office 2013 has the ability to provide in-application apps to users, and Excel is the most bountiful place to find and use these useful additions. Here’s a pick of some of the best.
Random Generator by AbleBits – as the name suggests, this app inserts random numbers, which is really useful when creating some fake data for a demo (particularly if it’s a business intelligence demo which often requires a LOT of data). But I hear you ask, isn’t it easier just to use the =RAND [read] Keywords: application
Power BI for Office 365
Wed, Jun 4th 2014 7:10a Darren Adams In two recent posts I discussed the Power BI app for Windows 8.1 and Power Query for Excel 2013. Continuing with this business intelligence (BI) theme, let’s take a look at Power BI for Office 365 (and to make it less of a mouthful, I’m just going to refer to it as Power BI).
The post about the Power BI app described the way that Excel files may have ‘presentable’ BI content, and the same applies here. If you create an Excel spreadsheet containing a Power View dashboard ( [read] Keywords: database
Windows Phone 8.1
Tue, Apr 22nd 2014 7:10a Darren Adams This latest update to Windows Phone is not generally available yet, so most users will need to wait until their networks push out the update. If you’re interested in grabbing it now, you can do so via the Windows Phone developer program.
Despite the 0.1 version increment, this is a HUGE update. What follows is a list of new features and improvements, but I’ll probably miss some because there’s so much. Click on the small images to see the full version.
The start screen
Probably [read] Keywords: microsoft