This month, we released ten new Windows 10 virtual labs so that IT pros can get direct hands-on experience with Windows as a Service (WaaS), Windows security technologies, and new deployment scenarios before doing a full-scale rollout in the organizations.

clip_image002What is a virtual lab?
Virtual labs let IT pros try-out common Windows 10 tasks using a cloud-based private virtual machine environment. Each lab features a series of instructions, and access to one or more virtual machines, with no additional software or setup required.

Labs available today:

  • Deploy and manage Windows as a Service
  • Deploy Windows Information Protection
  • Deploy Device Guard
  • Deploy Credential Guard
  • Enable and secure a remote workforce by joining Windows 10 to Azure Active Directory
  • Simplify Windows 10 deployment by using provisioning packages
  • Upgrade in place to Windows 10 by using MDT and Configuration Manager
  • Customize the Windows 10 Start menu and taskbar during deployment
  • Set up Windows Store for Business to deploy apps in your enterprise
  • Use Internet Explorer Enterprise Mode to fix compatibility issues

For your convenience, we’ve created a single landing page for these labs on the Windows IT Center – – and we’ll be adding new labs in the months to come.


On April 22, 2017, 198 User Groups (and counting) around the world will throw Azure meetups to help people learn & discover Microsoft Azure.

imageAnyone wanting to learn or teach about Azure and Microsoft cloud computing should attend.  The Global Azure Bootcamp event web site is located here:

Here’s the locations in Southern California:

CODE Mag Azure Bootcamp
(Los Angeles, CA)

SoCal Microsoft Azure User Group – Azure Bootcamp
(Orange, CA)

imageMicrosoft Ignite, Microsoft’s technical professionals conference takes place September 25–29, 2017 in Orlando, FL. 

The conference always sell out.  This year’s registration period opens March 28.  If you want to get registered immediately to ensure your attendance, save the date through the link below.

Posted by: kurtsh | March 16, 2017

TRAINING: Office 365 Virtual Training

imageDo any of the following Office 365 topics look interesting to you?

If you’re ready to learn how to harness Office 365 to get the most secure Office for your business, you’re in the right place.

These learning opportunities can help you get started quickly—from product exploration to deep training and certification.

If you’d like to see all the webcast recordings, check them out at this page:


We are excited to announce a new online event that will take place next month, Microsoft Data Amp.

Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President for Cloud + Enterprise, and Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President, Data Group, will share exciting new announcements around the investments we are making in machine learning, artificial intelligence and intelligent apps.

Additionally, we will also release dozens of new on-demand, technical sessions to help you get the most out of your data.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017
8:00AM-10:00AM PST





To learn more about Microsoft Teams and how it works, join our Ask Us Anything session on the Microsoft Tech Community on March 22, 2017 at 9 a.m. PDT (UTC-8).

The Microsoft Teams Product Group & Engineers will be on-hand to answer questions as they come in.

Today, we released Microsoft Teams, an amazing new solution for Office 365 subscribers that makes collaboration easy.

Introducing Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a “digital workspace”.  It addresses 4 key areas of need:

  • Chat for today’s teams
  • Hub for teamwork
  • Customization options
  • Security teams trust

For Businesses & Enterprises, Microsoft Teams is available for customers with subscriptions for:

  • Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium
  • Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials
  • Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise E1
  • Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise E3
  • Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise E5

Changes since the March 1st release of the Preview are documented in this Microsoft Support article here:

There’s a number of places to go:

Here’s a few references & trainings for Microsoft Teams, that we’ve produced:

Read the announcement here:

Posted by: kurtsh | March 14, 2017

RELEASE: Office 365 ROI Calculator

imageThe Office 365 ROI calculator is an online tool that uses the details you provide about your company, including number of users and the type of solution you need to implement.

It calculates your ROI based on default values taken from the Forrester Total Economic Impact (TEI) report.  Use the following steps:

  1. Provide a few basic details to get started.
  2. Choose View calculations to see how much you can gain by implementing Office 365.
  3. Click “Download ROI Report” to get a PowerPoint document entitled, “Office 365 Value Report Executive Summary – COMPANY – DATE.pptx”.
  4. Go to for details behind the calculations.

imageEarlier this month, Microsoft & Steelcase announced a partnership for the “development of Technology-Enabled Spaces designed to boost creative work”.


“Microsoft and Steelcase believe that the future of work is creative. In order to drive growth, agility and innovation in the future, we must embrace the need for transformative ideas and harness creative potential at work.
Learn more at:

Steelcase & Microsoft Surface believe the future of work is creative


A high-level summary:

  1. We will establish a broad focus on integrating the best of the Microsoft Surface family with Steelcase’s products and office space solutions.
  2. Specifically, we jointly announced five “creative spaces”, described as ‘an immersive ecosystem that brings together place and technology to help people generate new ideas and move them forward.’
  3. Creative Spaces are available to visit at Steelcase WorkLife Centers – currently open in NYC and Grand Rapids, MI – with additional locations coming later this year
  4. Select Steelcase dealers are now able to resell Surface Hubs
  5. Finally, much more is in the works include technology-enabled workplace solutions, leveraging Azure IoT

Here are a few key links if you want to learn more:

Posted by: kurtsh | March 9, 2017

HOWTO: Unlock Power Plans on Surface Devices

imageDo you own a Surface device?  Have you ever wondered:

  • What was Connected Standby?
  • What is Modern Standby?
  • Why is there only one Power Plan (Balanced) on Surface devices?
  • How to unlock all Power Plans on Surface devices

Check out the tutorial here on the SurfaceTip web site:

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