Friday, April 20, 2018

Entries for February 2011

by Brett

jon orton article

Jon Orton makes this statement in an interview on  Jon is one of the key individuals responsible for Exchange Online. When you see him associated with an interview or webcast, you are getting close to the source. He’s also responsible for the Exchange Online Service descriptions for both BPOS and Office365.

In this excellent interview, Jon discusses Exchange Online, the Office 365 beta, rich coexistence, and offers the opinion that cloud services does not threaten the jobs of IT Pros.

Exchange 2010 Architecture: Microsoft's Jon Orton Talks About Exchange Online

by Brett

Microsoft has released the first draft of the Office 365 Deployment Guide.  You may know that I’m a big fan of the BPOS Deployment Guide as it is  BY FAR the most technically deep, publicly available information about how you deploy BPOS in enterprise environments (well, I should say in environments where you deal with directory synchronization and have a significant migration project on your hands).

O365_MPDOf course, Office 365 has not yet been released, but work on the Office 365 Deployment Guide is proceeding. This is a draft of the guide and has missing elements and such, but still has some useful information such a list of powershell commands and more. 

The content is located at . Again, this is DRAFT form so don't expect a complete document. After all the services are still in beta.

by Brett

mvp blog

The MVP program at Microsoft features guest articles by MVPs of course, and they asked me to write a piece. The article was recently posted and focuses on Microsoft’s improvements in the BPOS over the years. Why is that important? Best to read the article!

by Brett

forbesForbes recently published a blog post concluding that Microsoft will win the cloud war because of Microsoft Office. I believe they got it right. One thing I have learned over the years is never, ever, ever underestimate inertia in the marketplace when it comes to installed software and hardware. Rule two is “you have underestimated the inertia”.

A few years ago I was doing an IIS training on premise for a major insurance company. The web techs were telling me about the  IIS servers they were about to upgrade. However there was one that hadn’t been updated in 8 years – an NT4 server running IIS 4. They didn’t dare touch it. It was running,  working and making over a million dollars a month.

In another case, I was doing database consulting for Hawaiian based flower wholesaler. They had an application running on MS-DOS that cranked out federal express shipping labels for all their orders. It was of course a mission critical app for them (next to organ transplants, cut flowers shipping overnight is the very definition of a time sensitive business) and they had no interest at all in updating it. What I learned from  these and other field experiences, and market research bears this out, is that you can have an snazzy new application or operating system with a ton of bells and whistles – but businesses won’t upgrade until they replace the hardware, can’t get support, or have some other  external constraint that drives them to lay down the dollars.  Faster, better, and more secure in and it itself just doesn’t do it.

Same thing for cloud services. Businesses want the cloud, but not a new way to do things. Interruption of business routines really matters to a business. We are after all creatures of habit and having a filing system where you know that paid invoices go in the purple folder and gets moved to Nancy’s desk on Tuesdays, each and every tues. -  is a functioning workflow. Interrupting that workflow cost money. Simillarly, learning an entirely new way to create and process office documents just isn’t going to happen in big way, worldwide, just so people can move to the cloud. It has a real, non-trivial costs. Microsoft clearly wins here. And though Microsoft has recently backed off of the Software PLUS Services story – in the end, that is what wins the day.

The weakness of the Cloud is the presentation layer. [I often refer to World of Warcraft as proof that smart clients is the way to go for creating a rich front end for a cloud service.] The browser simply was never intended to host complex, interactive applications. It really is that simple. Like Microsoft developing cloud applications, I would wager an iPhone that over at Google they are working on smart clients that work with Google Apps like Office works with Office 365/BPOS. They don’t have a choice really as the browser just can’t do what Office can do. I can hear the rebuttal “but who needs all those features” and I put up no argument about that. There should be an Office Lite for $99. But let’s be real about this, Office has some really cool capabilities that really improve productivity  such as imbedding a PowerPoint slide in an Word Document. Then when you update the PowerPoint, it’s automatically updated in Word. (Same for imbedding Excel and Viso).  AND that slide can be hosted on a SharePoint site. Sweeet. Not to mention publishing SharePoint document libraries into Outlook at the click of button, and the SharePoint Workspace keeps your local system synchronized with SharePoint workspaces. These  and other features are built into Office and work automatically with SharePoint. No special add ons required.

Microsoft realizes this is their trump card. After all, they changed the name from the absurd Business Productivity Online Suite to “Office 365” (not yet released).  The key point here that Microsoft has refocused  – instead of the focus being “online” , it’s about Office. “Keep using what you know” is all over the marketing materials for Office 365 – and rightly so.  And to wrap it up with a neat bow, users will be able to subscribe to the high end Office Professional Plus suite for a monthly fee, making the costs of having the latest version of Office known and manageable for businesses large and small. No big up front fee and no need to manage key distribution servers or distribute product keys. Easy breezy.

Just about the only thing in the way is Microsoft itself. They caught the ball and have a clear field to the end zone. As long as they don’t fumble….

Brett Hill

Email List Sign Up

Office 365 Answers Newsletter


Error An error has occurred.
Error: Archives is currently unavailable.

Copyright 2010 Hill Tech Services, LLC | is not affiliated with Microsoft