Integrating PC, Browser and Phone in Office 2010

Today I was reviewing al the great material associated with the announcement of the SharePoint and Office 2010 software by Microsoft. The presentation below showed perfectly the integration of the PC, a browser and a Windows Phone 7.

The video starts showing the collaboration between two users on a spreadsheet in SharePoint, but really kicks off when the presenter shows the PowerPoint publication technology, including the usage of Windows Phone 7 in that scenario. Very cool and very useful also.

This technology uses much of the capabilities of ‘the cloud’ and really shows the integration possible between the three platforms (I must get me a production copy of Office 2010 very soon).

For a good first impression of Office Mobile, I recommend the link to ars technica (below). Office Mobile is available as a free upgrade to Windows Mobil 6.5 users.

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I had a meeting with Bob Muglia today



Today I had the privilege to spend 1.5 hour in a 1-on-1 meeting with Bob Muglia from Microsoft.

We talked a lot about BPOS, the Microsoft Azure services and the relationship to the Atos Origin business model. Some of the conversation was under NDA, so it cannot be shared here.

But I must say that Microsoft has a clear vision with their online portfolio and there are significant opportunities for partners.

Bob Muglia is a member of Microsoft’s Senior Leadership Team that is responsible for shaping the company’s business and technology strategy, so you can imagine I felt pretty inspired by this conversation.

(thx to Peter Paul de Heer and Michel N’guettia for inviting me) 

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SAP to Buy Sybase in $5 Billion Deal – impact on mobile business scenarios?


Image via Wikipedia


Most people will associate SYBASE with their database product, which by the way was at the core of the creation of Microsoft SQL Server:

The code base for MS SQL Server (prior to version 7.0) originated in Sybase SQL Server, and was Microsoft‘s entry to the enterprise-level database market, competing against Oracle, IBM, and, later, Sybase. Microsoft, Sybase and Ashton-Tate originally teamed up to create and market the first version named SQL Server 1.0 for OS/2 (about 1989) which was essentially the same as Sybase SQL Server 3.0 on Unix, VMS, etc.”

(source: Wikipedia)

However, Sybase has developed an impressive portfolio of mobile services/apps in the last couple of years. Beside being responsible for handling the SMS services for more than 4 billion phones, it also links different message systems of different phone companies. Sybase also is the owner of Afaria, software for remote management of mobile devices.

SAP AG will undoubtedly make their products run on the Sybase database products and as such widen their platform to run SAP ERP software on; but I think that SAP was more interested in the mobile capabilities of Sybase.

Yvonne Genovese, an analyst at Gartner, described this mobile technology as “a big deal.” Large companies already started to push their standard business software out to mobile phones, and now they are trying to do more with the data that returns from the devices.”


Using the technology and knowhow of Sybase, we will see an extension of SAP in the mobile business arena. They will be able to connect the shop to the office, using the context aware capabilities of mobile devices and extent this into the consumer arena.

Having said all that, it is probably also very necessary to own a database technology in order to make the vision of an “in-memory-database” a reality. This technology has been pitched by Hasso Plattner (co-founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SAP AG), but has been dismissed by Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation. Mr. Ellison has suggested that SAP does not have the capability to make this vision a reality (and that is just a polite translation of his actual comment – see the video, the question/answer starts at 46:46).

With the acquisition of Sybase, SAP now has an in-house database technology that may help them actually develop this in-memory capability.

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MMC for Windows Azure Available

Azure Services Platform Slide

Image by D.Begley via Flickr

The Windows Azure Management Tool was created to manage your hosted services and storage accounts in Windows Azure.”

Based on the provided information, the MMC plug-in provides capabilities to remotely manage your Hosted Services, Storage Services, Blob Storage, Queues and Tables. It also provides a way to manage your certificates that are associated with your services.

It was recently published by Ryan Dunn from Microsoft.

The interface is still crude and built on top of the Azure Power-Shell Backend. That may be disappointing if you expected a full flesh systems management tooling with all the nice parts, but is actually very good news because it means that (at least in theory) anybody can build a ‘decent’ interface to the exposed API.

What I found impressive is the hook into the Azure diagnostics capabilities and work with a variety of diagnostic data. The data is downloadable so make sure you define the correct set in order to mistakenly download gigabytes of information.

Also interesting is the fact that access to the viewers (of the diagnostic data) is based on MEF (Managed Extensibility Framework) so you can build your own set of viewers and add them to the MMC interface.

The information page contains a 15-min screen-cast, introducing the capabilities. Ryan also has a blog entry on this MMC.

The full set of features (I copied this from his blog entry):

Hosted Services
Upload / configure / control / upgrade / swap / remove Windows Azure application deployments
Diagnostics Configure instrumentation for Windows Azure applications (diagnostics) per source (perf counters, file based, app logs, infrastructure logs, event logs).   Transfer the diagnostic data on-demand or scheduled. View / Analyze / Export to Excel and Clear instrumentation results.
 Certificates Upload / manage certificates for Windows Azure applications
Storage Services Configure Storage Services for Windows Azure applications
BLOBs and Containers Add / Upload / Download / Remove BLOBs and Containers and connect to multiple storage accounts
Queues Add / Purge / Delete Windows Azure Queues
Tables Query and delete Windows Azure Tables
Extensibility Create plugins for rich diagnostics data visualization (e.g. add your own visualizer for performance counters). Create plugins for table viewers and editors or add completely new modules!  Plug-in Engine uses MEF (extensibility framework) to easily add functionality.
PowerShell-based backend The backend is based on PowerShell cmdlets. If you don’t like our UI, you can still use the underlying cmdlets and script out anything we do.

(Table content by Ryan Dunn, published on may 10, 2010. Source:

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Look @ for your competitive information

Somebody pointed out to me today. Maybe it is all old news to you, but this website shows the relative market share of :

  • Web Browsers
  • Browser Versions
  • Mobile Browsers
  • Mobile OS
  • Search Engine
  • Mobile Search
  • Mobile vs. Desktop
  • Social Media

All this with the possibility to look at specific regions and/or specific time intervals.

Pretty interesting stuff.

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