James O'Neill's Blog

September 8, 2008

Today’s "Get virtual now event" – official information published

Filed under: Events,Virtualization,Webcasts,Windows Server,Windows Server 2008 — jamesone111 @ 11:38 am

The link to this story is now on the press pass home page 

Today more than 20 partners announce plans for Microsoft virtualization solutions; Microsoft Hyper-V Server, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 available within 30 days.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Sept. 8, 2008 — Kicking off a global series of “Get Virtual Now” events that will reach more than 250,000 customers and partners, Microsoft Corp. today announced strong customer and partner adoption of Microsoft virtualization software, new tools and programs to drive partner success.

Microsoft also announced the upcoming availability of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 and the new Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 as a no-cost download during today’s keynote addresses streamed live at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/virtualization/default.mspx.

The Hyper-V Server website is also live. And as I forecast over the weekend Patrick’s posted a summary 

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.

January 26, 2007

Interview with a top Microsoft person.

Filed under: Events,Webcasts — jamesone111 @ 2:01 pm

Somewhere in my “Pending” file is a blog post about working for Microsoft provisionally entitled things that “Rock and things that suck”. In the “things that Rock” column. I have to put something about how approachable a lot of our senior execs are. Case in point Christine Betts is senior director of IT Professional Audience Marketing.  Christine came to tech-ed IT forum in November in Barcelona and agreed to do an interview for “Talking Microsoft”“. 
In the “things that suck column” are the downsides of being a big company – one of which is the hoops you have to jump through to get a video on any “official” Microsoft site. I wonder how Robert Scoble managed when he was here – I’m sure he wouldn’t spent months trying to stuff hosted hosted in different places as I have. I’m painfully aware Talking Microsoft got off to a false start, but eventually I got the nod to put it on Soapbox. I have some more items up my sleeve for Talking Microsoft which I hope will get things going properly

When I moved into evangelism Eileen sent a “tell the world” mail and I got a very nice mail from Christine. When she was at a couple of dinners that I was at in Barcelona she reinforced the impression of being “nice” but added interesting.  She joined Microsoft UK back in 1983, and I was rather surprised to find that the only reference I could find to her on Microsoft.com was when the company celebrated it’s 30th Anniversary and they talked to the “20 year club”.  She was happy to share some personal things at the Barcelona Girl geek dinner and again on video – I had to ask her afterwards if she was happy with that and she was.

Doing these interviews I think of Michael Parkinson’s style.  I trying to get the “guest” to talk it in their own way about something you know is interesting. Which means making questions as open as possible. Parkinson wouldn’t ask “You met Elvis didn’t you ?” [The only answer is yes] – “And what did he say to you” – which is test of the guest’s powers recall. He’d say something like “You told me a great story about meeting Elvis”. A technical interview becomes a test of recall if you ask “What are the 3 top features of Vista” – but if you ask “What kind of things will get people excited” it’s an open question.” which let people take the idea and run with it. I’m pleased with the way that side of things worked out here.

Both audio and video are on  Talking Microsoft. You can Subscribe to the Talking Microsoft RSS Feed and receive the audio only for future pieces. Or you can just hop over to Soapbox to watch the video.

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Update. Eileen says I have “a natural engaging, non threatening style ” in these inteviews. I know at least 2 readers who will laugh at that.

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.

January 6, 2007

Microsoft at CES

Filed under: Events,General musings,Music and Media,Webcasts,Windows Vista,Windows XP — jamesone111 @ 5:44 pm

The Consumer electronics show starts in Las Vegas on Monday. The internal rumor mill has been going crazy and we’ve been told not to blog about …. well I can’t tell you what obviously.

Bill Gates is delivering a keynote speech on Sunday night – 6:30PM Redmond time, by which point most people working in Europe will have gone to bed. On Monday you’ll be able to view it via  http://microsoftatces.com/ 

They’ve already got some videos on the site. One is for the “Wireless Desktop 8000” . Lousy name, very cool product. When we look at Apple we see fantastic industrial design, which I don’t see in my original X box, or the older Microsoft mice (look out for the very first MS mouse in the video – about 4:40-4:50). These days I have a Philippe Starke mouse at home, and design of the Xbox 360 is pretty good. This is the first time I’ve seen a keyboard that would inspire envyI saw these before Christmas: they’re not cheap but I have a plan to get my hands on one. As and when I do I’ll blog about it.


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This post originally appeared on my technet blog.

April 19, 2006

The Women of Microsoft

Filed under: General musings,Webcasts — jamesone111 @ 10:44 am

I found out that that my boss did a video for Channel 9 when she was last in Redmond. It’s quite unusual for them to do interviews with people from outside the US so it’s a bit of a coup for them to want to interview her.

Eileen’s video is in the “Women in Technology” section… I’ve got mixed feelings about this: I’ve had Male and Female bosses and there are traits which you tend to find in one group or the other. I’ve also had Good and Bad bosses, and I’ve found no correlation between gender or gender specific traits and being good or bad. I don’t like dividing people up into arbitrary groups, whether that’s based on gender, race, age, education or anything else. I’ve thought for while that a “melting pot” with diverse people bringing different talents and experience strengthens a company, and striving for that Strength does a lot more to equalize opportunities, than “Equal opportunities” policies found where managers hire people just like themselves [Think about it, companies don’t consider ethnicity when hiring but some only hire people with university degrees – do equal proportions of all ethnic groups get degrees ? Might someone have something different to add to a company because they didn’t go to university ?]. BUT on the other hand if there are people out there who think your education or career have to match a particular template, or that only men in their twenties thrive at Microsoft, then lets do what ever is needed to overturn that – including doing stuff about some of those arbitrary groups. It’s good to challenge those assumptions.

Talking of assumptions, when someone’s job is “head of HR for Microsoft” it’s easy enough to jump to conclusions. Lisa Brummel has that job and has an interview on the same Women in Technology page as Eileen: the Channel 9 folks say “Don’t dismiss her when you hear she’s in charge of HR; instead listen to this bright, passionate, interesting woman ….”. Lisa will be over to meet people from the UK soon and it looks like she will be more interesting than I first thought. Like I said it’s good to challenge those assumptions.

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.

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