LinkedIn is Leaked In...Passwords... Authentication...Windows Azure Active Directory... SmartGlass... Azure Launch... Windows 8... Devices... SharePoint 15. There. The SEO gods will be happy!
Greetings from an exhausted analyst! I am just wrapping up my all-too-short time at home on Maui. It’s been nice to be home for a whopping four weeks, but Saturday I depart for two solid months of work—first, TechEds and workshops in the USA and Europe, then the 2012 Olympic Games in London!
Preparations for all of the above have been consuming—14-19 hour work days every single day recently—but it’s exciting, at least. As a reflection of my fragmented mind, today’s commentary is designed to share some big news and some information about big upcoming events, all in very small chunks.
First, the Technology News Headlines
The “oh my gosh, what a bummer!” news of the day: According to ZDnet, close to 650 million LinkedIn passwords were leaked. Time to change not only your LinkedIn password, but the password for every other site where you use the same LinkedIn password. More details and recommendations below.
Microsoft has announced its identity as a service (IDaaS) play: Windows Azure Active Directory. This is a service that has been built over time and has been powering—behind the scenes—BPOS and Office 365. Now it’s real and ready for prime time. This is going to be a big deal, folks. Make certain that you, your company, and most importantly your architects and developers follow this one! Information from Microsoft is on their Azure site, but better yet, read Sean Deuby’s expert commentary on Windows IT Pro.
Last week I pointed out that Microsoft was on the precipice of a big leap. The leap has, in fact begun. Windows 8 Release Preview was launched on Thursday—both the client and the server. That was followed by the launch of SmartGlass at the E3 event. If you weren’t certain that Microsoft was committed to the Metro UI and extending the Metro experience across all screens (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, and TV), I’m guessing you’re certain now!
This week, the ecosystem responded by announcing dozens of new computers and form factors. Desktops and laptops—those throwbacks to the oh-so-nostalgic 2000s—along with Ultrabooks, convertibles, tablets, and all-in-ones. I want a Lenovo x230 with 16GB of RAM for my VMs and a Samsung Series 9 for travel. Yummy. Then in October I’ll trade the BUILD tablet in for some Ivy Bridge convertibles and slates!
I immediately loaded Windows 8 on to the Samsung Series 7 Slate from BUILD last year. I love it. My Apple-fanboy friends are also *very* impressed. Sure, there’s a lot of apps missing, but keep in mind it is not actually a release—just a preview. But if you’re using Windows 8, be sure to open websites in the Metro version of Internet Explorer and pin the page to the home screen. Many of my favorite sites instantly become “app”-like. Pandora’s a perfect example. Would never know it’s not a native app.
Acer announced that it has acquired rights to install BlueStacks on its upcoming computers. BlueStacks allows you to load and play Android apps on Windows! I’ve not played with Android too much before, so I added it to my Slate and now I’m running Android in Windows, and using it to access some apps that are not yet available for Windows 8. Rock on!
The rumor mill is abuzz with buzz about versions of Office that will be supported on iPads and other non-Windows devices. I would love to see Microsoft do that, and as I watch them extend their other products to non-Windows platforms, I grow increasingly hopeful this will happen. Business Insider posted just such a rumor, suggesting that the solution might be, in short, a thin client running a remote desktop connection to a full-blown version of Office. Think about it, folks, you could be doing this today if you really wanted to. So even if Microsoft doesn’t release such a product, you can do it!
This isn’t an industry headline, but it’s a personal one--about waiting to buy. In last week’s column, I also said that you should WAIT before making any strategic or earth-shaking decisions about platforms or solutions that relate in any way to SharePoint. In the last week, I’ve had no less than 3 discussions with C- and D- level managers at big enterprises about this same point. And by simply asking them to wait, breathe, and focus on something else for a few days or weeks, they “get it.” I can’t emphasize it enough. Any decision made today will be outdated very soon. WAIT just a bit.
Microsoft is going to make some big announcements about Azure tomorrow, June 7, and at TechEd. Be sure to tune in. More in “events” below.
Now, the Technology Events News
Tomorrow, June 7. Microsoft is hosting a Windows Azure Launch. Get your execs, devs, and architects together and TUNE IN!!! It’s all online, live.
Next week: TechEd North America. Expect more Azure news, including details about Windows Azure Active Directory. If you’re going to TechEd, be sure to stop by for a very intensive session on end-to-end SharePoint governance by yours truly. Session OSP233, Managing the SharePoint Disruption with End-to-End SharePoint Governance, on Tuesday from 1:30 to 2:45. Previous versions of this session have been “sold out” at events, so get there early to get a seat. I spent quite a bit of time updating this session, so I think you’ll enjoy it a lot and get a tremendous amount of good information and tools from it! I’ll be signing my SharePoint and Active Directory training kits at the O’Reilly booth later that day. Learn more about what you can do to prepare for TechEdwith the Windows IT Pro Guide to Microsoft TechEd 2012.
June 19, New York City: Dan Holme's SharePoint Governance MasterClass. Yup, I’ll be presenting a FREE half-day master class diving deep into the business and technical details of SharePoint Governance. This event has been presented by AvePoint on three continents, and has been a sell-out and extremely well-received. This is the North American premiere. As a special bonus, I’m planning to add new content to spark you into using out-of-box tools to automate SharePoint governance and management. Yes, automate mundane tasks like site and library provisioning while ensuring your governance policies are implemented correctly and consistently.
June 26-29: TechEd Europe, Amsterdam. Microsoft is porting its TechEd event to Amsterdam. I’ll be there, presenting the same (hopefully great) OSP233 session at 10:15 am on Wednesday, June 27. I’ll be signing my SharePoint and Active Directory training kits at the O’Reilly booth immediately thereafter.
And Finally, Back to Passwords
I’ve been meaning to write a “fix your own security” column for a long time. Today’s leak of half a billion passwords from LinkedIn will force me to do it soon.
But since it’s “on fire” now, let me at least give you the bottom line. As technical folks, you’ll understand this. Pass it on to your users, friends and family. I've put my password tips in to an easy-to-forward sidebar "Securing Your Passwords: The Bottom Line."Hope to see many of you over the next three weeks in Orlando, New York, and Amsterdam!