Microsoft 4Q Earnings Reports; New Bing UI on the Way; Gaming in the Cloud

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Top News Stories
Microsoft 4Q Profit Climbs, Windows Revenue Dips (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Microsoft Corp. reported record fourth-quarter revenue Thursday, helped by strong sales of its Office software suite. Investors still seem concerned about the world's largest software maker's growth prospects, however, as consumers buy fewer computers that run its Windows software. While all of the company's other business units posted growth in the April-June period, revenue from the division that includes Microsoft's Windows operating system fell 1 percent from the same time last year -- its third-straight quarter of decline.

Don't Look Now, but Microsoft is Starting to Morph Into a Three-headed Cash Cow (ZDNet)
Windows and Office traditionally have fueled Microsoft for decades. Critics love to point out that Microsoft is a two-headed cash cow and that the rest of the company’s businesses do little to power it. Microsoft’s fiscal 2011, for which the company reported earnings on July 21, may finally put that adage to rest. Microsoft is on its way to becoming a three-headed cash cow, with the Windows, Business (Office) and Server and Tools units all feeding the Redmondian beast. Check out the breakout for FY 11 from Microsoft’s earnings slide deck:

Microsoft has 3 Months to Make or Break Windows Phone – Part 2 (WMPoweruser)
Even with the great reviews of the huge mango update scheduled for the fall, and the prospects of second generation hardware coming from OEMs like Samsung, HTC and especially the much awaited Nokia branded phones, I’m afraid that Windows phone will continue to languish as a so-so mobile OS behind Google and Apple if Microsoft does not fundamentally change their approach in marketing and exposing the OS to the consumers. The new iPhone hardware refresh with IOS 5 and the latest Android 4.0 are set to come out around the same time frame in the fall as Windows Phone Mango. Being the underdog, Microsoft has to actively do more work than their top two competitors.

Microsoft Is Redoing Bing To Look More Like The New Windows Design (Business Insider)
Microsoft's Bing search engine is getting a new look, with "live tiles" across the bottom that include real-time information updates. Rafael Rivera of Within Windows noticed Bing testing the changes yesterday and posted a couple screenshots -- see below. A couple of Microsoft employees have also tweeted about the changes, which are being tested internally. But so far, they haven't rolled out to the public site.

Microsoft Drops Into Social Gaming From the Cloud (All Things D)
Microsoft has figured out a way to get into the social games business without having to make a single game. The company instead is focusing on building tools to help other game developers get up and running quickly. In return for the assistance, the game developers must host their games on Windows Azure, which is the name of Microsoft’s cloud technology.


Around the Blogosphere
Office 365 How to: Add Search to Your Public Facing Web Site with SharePoint Online (Corey Roth [MVP])
During the Office 365 beta, I wrote a post about how to create a public facing web site with SharePoint Online.  This gives you a simple site that you can then begin to customize to your needs.  However, many people have said they found it lacking.  The site actions menu particularly frustrates people. However it’s easy to get around by simply going to the page /_layouts/settings.aspx. I’m currently working on a Search talk with SharePoint Online for SharePoint Conference 2011 (#SPC11) and I got to thinking last night about how search works with a public facing web site.  The answer is, out-of-the-box, it doesn’t.  There is no search box on the home page nor is there a search center.  This post will teach you how to add search functionality but it won’t cover any of the branding aspects.  Creating a Search Center is relatively easy, just click on the Member Login link and then click All Site Content.  From here we can click the Create button to create our search center.

How I Successfully Upgraded eBay to SharePoint 2010 (ACS Blogs)
And so it begins!  This is my first blog post in a few months...where have I been?  As some of you know, I have been the Sr. Architect of the eBay SharePoint 2010 Upgrade Project.  One of 3 *major* upgrades that are occurring in the United States in 2011.  I will be presenting a series of blog posts on how we did what we did and what challenges we ran into over the project.  This is the first of about 15-20 blog posts of material you have not seen before on any MVP, MCM or anyone else's blog post because I know for 100% fact, we were the first to do many of these things!  Which makes me think we were the first to really do a major upgrade with all the pieces (DR, DMZ, data center move, firewalls, etc.).

A Quick Start Guide To Successful SharePoint Implementations (Symon Garfield)
I was with a client today who asked if I had a check list for all the things that they needed to think about before implementing their first SharePoint service.  The following list is a bit of a brain dump based on the key elements of my Art of SharePoint Success framework; Risk, Governance, Strategy, and Change.  (I’ll get round to writing up the full framework one day!).  I have tried to keep this at the highest possible level and have not included all the more obvious project and technical details that would be part of any SharePoint project plan.  This is a first pass and I’ll probably update it many times before I get to a final version, but it serves the purpose of a quick, high level check list of the most important elements required to make sure you get a return on your investment in SharePoint.  Of course there’s no one-size-fits-all approach and every organisation will need to find it’s own way of interpreting this checklist, but everyone should consider these points.

iPad and SharePoint: How to Work with Documents (EndUserSharePoint)
In my previous blog post I gave an introduction to two iPad applications that make it possible to work with SharePoint and the iPad. Today I want to show you another cool feature.

Feature Set of SharePoint Online (The Scribble SharePoint Blog)
I regularly need to talk to clients about the feature sets of the different versions of SharePoint (Foundation, Standard, Enterprise). Now I need to add SharePoint Online into this mix. As most of you will know, SharePoint Online is a cut down version of SharePoint 2010. But what exactly is cut down?

Netcast 85–Patchapalooza (Todd Klindt's SharePoint Admin Blog)
In tonight's netcast I spend a lot of time talking about SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1 and answering a lot of questions about it. I cover whether you need to install the Foundation patch first and other common questions. I also talk about how a GPO brought SharePoint down, a search change I made to my blog, and a couple of my recent blog posts.


Around Bamboo Nation
Beyond Boring Old KB Articles with KB Accelerator & SharePoint Video Library (The Bamboo Team Blog)
Knowledge management tools are essential for successful training.  Such tools provide reinforcement to existing knowledge, clarity around new topics, and most importantly, turn chaos into organization. One of the leading Knowledge Management tools available on the market today is Bamboo's Knowledge Management Solution Accelerator (KB Accelerator). Bamboo has recently released a new version of our popular KB Accelerator, bringing new enterprise features to the product, including:

Announcing the release of the Knowledge Management Suite for SharePoint (The Bamboo Team Blog)
Bamboo is pleased to announce the release of its Knowledge Management Suite (KM Suite) for SharePoint.   The Knowledge Management Suite is a powerful collection of Bamboo products that together, deliver a complete information and knowledge management solution that will help customers leverage the SharePoint platform to maximize the creation and dissemination of information across the organization.  By using Bamboo’s KM Suite as a SharePoint platform extension, companies are better able to:

Booster Rocket Added to Project Management Central with R2.2 (The Bamboo Team Blog)
Sadly, today, July 21, 2011, marks the end of the United States' space exploration program for at least several years to come. In tribute, Bamboo Solutions decided to reuse the booster rocket from Shuttle Atlantis to push the functionality of SharePoint Project Management Central into the stratosphere. OK, OK, Bamboo Solutions did not ACTUALLY use a booster rocket, but we did just recently release version 2.2 which, most importantly, provides added SPEED! Last time we clocked it, I think it was going Mach 5. But in all seriousness, tests have shown an over 50% improvement in the load-time of PM Central's Portfolio Site home page. That's close enough to Mach 5, right??


SharePoint Job Listings*
SharePoint Developer - San Antonio, TX
All Levels of SharePoint developers needed, but description listed below is optimal Experience creating master pages, page layouts, and site templates in SharePoint. Preferably SharePoint 2010 Proficient in CSS, XSL, JavaScript, JQuery, HTML Experience customizing SharePoint sites using Visual Studio Experience with deploying SharePoint components using solutions and features Experience working in a team environment Experience with source control. Preferably Team Foundation Server or Visual Source Safe Experience with SharePoint search preferred.

SharePoint Administrator - Houston, TX
In your role, you will be joining the team to work with the internal office systems. You will be working with end-users and department heads to understand the business requirements and create systems to support those needs. The organization uses Microsoft applications including .NET, SharePoint and SSRS. You will be creating new work flows, SSRS reports, SharePoint dash boards and reports. These will be start-to-finish projects from needs analysis to testing and user support. Currently looking for SharePoint Admins with an interest in learning SharePoint development and expanding their career with a company who is experiencing exciting growth. Expert-level knowledge in configuration, and customization of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007, MOSS 2007, and WSS 3.0 implementation and deployment experience. Experience developing custom web parts using Microsoft technologies (ASP.NET 2.0+, C#, SQL)


Microsoft Updates
Plan for SharePoint Workspace 2010 (TechNet)
When you plan a Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010 deployment, consider your organization’s needs and objectives, especially in the context of the deployment options that are discussed here. The following references may also be helpful: For information about how to deploy SharePoint Workspace 2010 after planning your objectives, see Configure and customize SharePoint Workspace 2010. For information about how to deploy SharePoint Workspace 2010 for a Microsoft Groove Server-managed environment, see Deployment for Groove Server 2010.


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Posted Jul 22 2011, 07:34 AM by Chris Dooley | Edit this post

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