If you’re an IT professional that knows networked Windows desktop games, this announcement should excite you.



From the video description:

20 years after its launch, Microsoft is proud to announce the Definitive Edition of the original Age of Empires. Fully remastered with 4k graphics, re-orchestrated soundtrack, major gameplay improvements, new narrative, Xbox Live multiplayer and achievements, the Definitive Edition brings back the classic game and its Rise of Rome expansion.

Sign up for the closed beta here:

imageJoin us on Sunday, June 11th to celebrate E3 with special guest host  Ahman Green at Microsoft Store Westfield Century City.

The in-store viewing event and Forza Motorsport 6 tournament will be hosted by the 4 time Pro Bowler and avid gamer who will mix and mingle with fans and be there to experience all of the exciting announcements coming out of E3. Then put your Forza skills to the test for a chance to win exclusive Xbox One prizes!

Tournament participants must be 13 years of age or older. No purchase required. Open to players 13+, some restrictions apply. See store for full Official Rules.

    Sunday, June 11th

    • 1:00pm PST — Registration begins.
    • 2:00pm PST — Event begins.
    • 3:30pm PST — Event ends.
    Microsoft Store Westfield Century City
    10250 Santa Monica Blvd.
    Space #1045
    Los Angeles, CA 90067

See rules and FAQ: http://msft.it/AhmanGreenMGFAQ

  • Does the event cost anything?
    No there is no cost.
  • Do I have to RSVP?
    No, you don’t need to RSVP, all are welcome. The first 32 to register will be able to participate in the Forza Motorsport 6 tournament
  • Do I have to buy anything?
    No purchase is required. 
  • What time can I start lining up?
    The line will open at 1pm. The first 32 in line can participate in the Forza Motorsport 6 tournament but everyone is welcome to come into the store and watch all of the exciting announcements out of E3.
  • PRESS: Who should press contact to cover the event?
    Please direct all Microsoft retail store media inquiries to the Assembly PR team at: MicrosoftStorePR at assemblyinc dot com

imageWatch as open source community leaders discuss their work in the cloud at Microsoft Azure OpenDev. Join us to learn how open source technology is shaping the future of cloud infrastructure, app platforms, containers, DevOps, and more. Get hands-on experience with open source technologies on Azure, and ask questions and get answers during our live Q&A session.

Here’s some of the great open development speakers that will be participating:

  • Microsoft Azure
    John Grossman – Lead Architect
    Gabe Monroy – Lead Program Manager & former Chief Technology Officer at Deis
    Michelle Noorali – Senior Software Engineer & core maintainer of the Kubernetes Helm project
  • Ubuntu
    Mark Shuttleworth – Founder
  • Pivotal
    Joshua McKenty – Head of Global Ecosystem Engineering
  • Docker
    Scott Johnson – Chief Operating Officer
  • Chef
    Nathen Harvey – Vice President, Community Development
  • Skype
    Kaspars Mickevics – Senior Engineering Manager

Please register if you’re interested!


Want no-risk Azure services credit?
If you haven’t tried using Azure for running virtual machines, cloud services, or development environments, did you know you can get $200 in credit – absolutely free – with no credit card necessary?

Sign up here:

imageThe folks in Microsoft India started a Garage project that is centered around, “How do we make finding the email you need easier, faster & less frustrating?”

Introducing “Email Insights”.

For the best experience with Email Insights, you’ll need either Microsoft Outlook 2016 or a Gmail account. Email Insights is a lightweight email search client which helps users do their emails related tasks faster. It provides guided search in the form of superfast autocomplete, spell correct and fuzzy name search which means that users do not have to type out everything. Email Insights provides relevance based search results in addition to time ordered results so that users do not have to scroll down to find that elusive mail. Email Insights also provides additional features like tabbed email searches and quick commands from search box so that your email experience is faster, easier and more productive.

Wanna give it a try?  It’s free and only requires Outlook 2016 or Outlook from Office 365.

Sweet.  Azure Site Recovery now supports Azure IaaS Virtual Machines for recovering operations in a different Azure region in the event of a disaster.


[taken from the preview announcement]

I am excited to announce the public preview of disaster recovery for Azure IaaS virtual machines (VMs) using Azure Site Recovery (ASR). You can now easily replicate and protect IaaS based applications running on Azure to a different Azure region of your choice within a geographical cluster without deploying any additional infrastructure components or software appliances in your subscription. This new capability, along with Azure Backup for IaaS virtual machines, allows you to create a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery strategy for all your IaaS based applications running on Azure.

As you move production applications to the cloud, Azure natively provides you the high availability and reliability that your mission critical workloads need. However, compliance requirements such as ISO 27001 still require that you have a provable disaster recovery solution in place as part of a business continuity plan (BCP). The set of features that we are announcing today for Azure IaaS fill this important need.

Read more at the preview announcement:

[Note: This is a 3rd party webcast delivered by Binary Tree – not Microsoft.  I’m showcasing it here however because I know multiple Office 365 customers of mine are dealing with the challenges of owning multi-tenant environments]


If your organization has email users in multiple tenants of Microsoft Office 365, you are likely painfully aware of the messaging barriers that negatively impact their collaboration and your brand. The lack of an easy method to enable your users to look up their cross-tenant colleagues in a shared address list or view their availability when trying to schedule a meeting can significantly impact their productivity and their ability to collaborate. And not being able to allow users in different tenants to share the same email domain may undermine your brand.

Join Binary Tree Manager of Product Architecture Justin Harris as he provides an overview of the challenges and requirements for managing multiple tenants in the Microsoft cloud.

In this presentation, our speaker will:

  • Review the brand and user collaboration issues of organizations with multiple Office 365 tenants
  • Discuss the requirements for fully enabling user collaboration and supporting the brand between tenants
  • Close with an interactive Q&A session, giving you expert answers to all your questions

We look forward to you joining us!

imageOffice Web add-ins are cool.

The problem for Enterprises however has been mass-distributing them to users.  How do we get them consistently installed & appearing in user’s installations of Office 365 Pro Plus?

Introducing the Office 365 Centralized Deployment service:


Per the announcement post:

From the Office 365 admin center or by using PowerShell scripts, administrators can deploy Office web add-ins to individual users, groups or an organization with ease, using Centralized Deployment. Users can simply open Office applications—such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint on Windows, Mac or Office Online—to see the add-ins installed on their ribbon. This allows organizations—large and small—to easily extend Office with high-value services across all platforms.

Read more about the new Office 365 Centralized Deployment Service, including the FAQ, here:

Ever notice this?


This might not be something you want if you don’t permit users to use mobile versions of Outlook, or you aren’t prepared to support end users installing & running Outlook Mobile.

If you want to get rid of the link, there’s a registry key/value that you can set that will enable you to now remove this line from Outlook 2016’s Account Settings.

UPDATE (6/8/17):

Xbox has just announced a cool reason to view the Microsoft E3 briefing using “Mixer” from your Xbox One S or your home computer:  It’ll be broadcast in 4K and low latency!

So install that Mixer client on your Xbox One S or your Windows PC & get ready for an UltraHD fidelity broadcast in just a few days!

Link: http://xbx.lv/2qX0w4c

Additionally, the Xbox team has released a video about Project Scorpio’s Xbox Development Kit, showing what machines game developers are using to create truly next-generation games:




Tune in to see what Xbox will announce this year at the biggest event in the video game industry.

Watch & interact with the event LIVE on your device – phone, Windows PC, or Xbox – using the new “Mixer” viewing technology (formerly Beam):

For more information as it is released, visit: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/e3/.


Starting June 1st, Xamarin University’s team of mobile experts – including special guest and author Charles Petzold – will host five new demo-packed webinars, designed to show you how to use Visual Studio Tools for Xamarin to deliver fully native mobile apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and more.

Join a new topic every Thursday. Topics range from learning how to get the most out of Visual Studio 2017’s latest features to building cloud-connected games to adding intelligence with Azure Machine Learning. You will get the training, samples, and advice you need to ship amazing apps using Visual Studio and C#. Every session is totally free, open to everyone, and Xamarin University experts will be on hand to answer all your questions live.

Sign up for the series now. Register even if you’re unable to attend a session, you’ll receive the recordings following each air date.

  • June 1st 9 am PDT: Introduction to Xamarin.Forms for Visual Studio 2017 – Learn how to take your .NET skills mobile with Visual Studio 2017 and Xamarin.Forms. Jesse Dietrichson, a Xamarin University instructor, will show you how to use the latest Visual Studio features to maximize code re-usage and design, develop, and test fully native apps for Android, iOS, and Windows, faster than ever.
  • June 8th 9 am PDT: Building games for iOS, macOS, and tvOS with Visual Studio and Azure – Create multiplayer games for the latest Apple devices, from iPhone to tvOS, with René Ruppert, Xamarin University instructor. He’ll teach SpriteKit basics, integration with cloud back-end services, and show you best practices for sharing C# game logic, UI, and infrastructure code cross-platform.
  • June 15th 9 am PDT: SkiaSharp Graphics for Xamarin.Forms – Get serious about graphics with special guest and popular author, Charles Petzold. You’ll learn how to use SkiaSharp, powered by Google’s Skia graphics library, to extend your Xamarin.Forms apps with compelling 2D graphics.
  • June 22nd 9 am PDT: Customizing Xamarin.Forms UI – Embed native Android and iOS controls into your Xamarin.Forms apps. Join Rob Gibbens, Xamarin University training manager, to see how to integrate native controls and adjust visual properties unique to each platform – while still sharing the majority of your code. You’ll get the step-by-step guidance you need to take full advantage of the latest OS-specific UI patterns and designs.
  • June 29th 9 am PDT: Introduction to Azure Machine Learning –  Start integrating intelligence and predictive analytics into your apps. Jason DeBoever, Xamarin University instructor, will introduce Machine Learning fundamentals, get you started with Azure Machine Learning Studio, and demo how to easily build your first “smart” mobile app.

If you’re interested, register here:

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