Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Trevor Parsons, Michael Bushong

Blog Feed Post

Work or play? No need to choose with Windows 8 and Surface.

(Note: The following piece was written by Laura Wallace, the General Manager of the New York Metro District for Microsoft Corp.)

In the dialogue around the work-life balance, I find the very idea that “balance” is achievable, a little flawed. It suggests that we can make a choice to either put on our professional or personal hat – that the end goal is to find a way to seamlessly, magically jump in and out of these roles.

Microsoft Surface Tablet

Microsoft Surface Tablet

In my experience, the real quest worth embarking upon is not treating the two as competing interests, but as roles that can co-exist. “Work-life integration” is a more realistic goal in my life, where I sometimes have to – or want to – wear both hats at once. In my work helping local business customers adopt technologies that empower them to succeed, I hear this same realistic take on “work-life balance.” I’m proud that Microsoft is driving innovations like the new Windows 8 OS and Surface tablet, which make it incredibly easy to assimilate and accomplish great things in all areas of our lives.

Windows 8 is particularly suited to support work-life integration because many of its features pull double – even triple – duty, just like many of us. The system’s touch-oriented interface provides users with quick and natural access to the programs, apps and functionality they need so that succeeding in personal and professional realms is no longer an “either/or” proposition.

Touch isn’t the only new feature that makes work easier and play a lot more fun. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • Multi-tackling. Windows 8’s Snap feature allows you to use two apps side-by-side so that you can keep an eye on your music playlist while working on a report, schedule appointments while enjoying friends’ social media updates… or any other integration of work-life tasks. You’ll be able to accomplish more than ever, and do it more seamlessly, with the ability to conduct instant searches from any app you’re in and fire up familiar programs in a heartbeat.
  • No-brainer (but secure) access.With Windows 8, you can enable a picture password option. This is a fun, easy and secure way to access your computer. Under the PC Settings “Sign-in options” will be the “Create a picture password” button. Choose any picture and then define three gestures – circles, swipes or clicks – anywhere on the image and you’ve just created a less complex, but highly personal and secure password.

    Picture Password

    Picture Password

  • Nearly-there, always-on collaboration. Getting work done outside of the office setting no longer needs to be an inferior experience. In fact, it can be even more satisfying and effective with Windows 8. SkyDrive provides a cloud-based collaboration space, where file and document management is simple and integrated. And for times when nothing can replace a face-to-face interaction, Skype facilitates more in-depth group communications, with free Skype-to-Skype calls and video calls, and low rates to landlines and mobile phones.
  • Social media sharing. The less toggling between apps, the more time you have to get things done. Windows 8 is Microsoft’s first social-media-aware PC operating system. Using the Share button located on the Charms bar, you can pick any number of elements from your Windows 8 Store apps — for example, a location from your Maps app or an article from the Finance app —and distribute that item to friends via other Windows 8 programs.
  • A seriously fun device. Microsoft’s new Windows 8 RT-powered Surface is an environment where all of your personal and professional computing needs come to life. It allows you to get work done how, when and where you want, with touch or type options, the power of Microsoft Office, and the joy of Xbox gaming. It’s beautifully functional, with an integrated Kickstand for hands-free entertainment, and the agility to move between personal and professional work.

If you’ve always wondered when work-life balance was going to feel as effortless as it sounds, the time might be now, with innovations like Windows 8 and Surface on the market. They just might make the impossible seem possible, at last! Learn more about – and purchase – Windows 8 and the Surface tablet at a nearby Microsoft Store or online today, to set yourself down the path toward integration.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of NBC Universal’s Live Digital with Shelly Palmer, a weekly half-hour television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

Cloud Expo Breaking News
File sync and share. Endpoint protection. Both are massive opportunities for today’s enterprise thanks to their business benefits and widespread user appeal. But one size does not fit all, especially user-adopted consumer technologies. Organizations must apply the right enterprise-ready tool for the job in order to properly manage and protect endpoint data. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Michael Bachman, Senior Enterprise Systems Architect at Code42, he will discuss how the synergy of an enterprise platform – where sync/share and endpoint protection converge – delivers incredible value for the business.
Simply defined the SDDC promises that you’ll be able to treat “all” of your IT infrastructure as if it’s completely malleable. That there are no restrictions to how you can use and assign everything from border controls to VM size as long as you stay within the technical capabilities of the devices. The promise is great, but the reality is still a dream for the majority of enterprises. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, EVP, Data Center Tech, at SUPERNAP, will cover where and how a business might benefit from SDDC and also why they should or shouldn’t attempt to adopt today.
Today, developers and business units are leading the charge to cloud computing. The primary driver: faster access to computing resources by using the cloud's automated infrastructure provisioning. However, fast access to infrastructure exposes the next friction point: creating, delivering, and operating applications much faster. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Bernard Golden, VP of Strategy at ActiveState, will discuss why solving the next friction point is critical for true cloud computing success and how developers and business units can leverage service catalogs, frameworks, and DevOps to achieve the true goal of IT: delivering increased business value through applications.
APIs came about to help companies create and manage their digital ecosystem, enabling them not only to reach more customers through more devices, but also create a large supporting ecosystem of developers and partners. While Facebook, Twitter and Netflix were the early adopters of APIs, large enterprises have been quick to embrace the concept of APIs and have been leveraging APIs as a connective tissue that powers all interactions between their customers, partners and employees. As enterprises embrace APIs, some very specific Enterprise API Adoption patterns and best practices have started emerging. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will talk about the most common enterprise API patterns and will discuss how enterprises can successfully launch an API program.
MapDB is an Apache-licensed open source database specifically designed for Java developers. The library uses the standard Java Collections API, making it totally natural for Java developers to use and adopt, while scaling database size from GBs to TBs. MapDB is very fast and supports an agile approach to data, allowing developers to construct flexible schemas to exactly match application needs and tune performance, durability and caching for specific requirements.
The social media expansion has shown just how people are eager to share their experiences with the rest of the world. Cloud technology is the perfect platform to satisfy this need given its great flexibility and readiness. At Cynny, we aim to revolutionize how people share and organize their digital life through a brand new cloud service, starting from infrastructure to the users’ interface. A revolution that began from inventing and designing our very own infrastructure: we have created the first server network powered solely by ARM CPU. The microservers have “organism-like” features, differentiating them from any of the current technologies. Benefits include low consumption of energy, making Cynny the ecologically friendly alternative for storage as well as cheaper infrastructure, lower running costs, etc.
Next-Gen Cloud. Whatever you call it, there’s a higher calling for cloud computing that requires providers to change their spots and move from a commodity mindset to a premium one. Businesses can no longer maintain the status quo that today’s service providers offer. Yes, the continuity, speed, mobility, data access and connectivity are staples of the cloud and always will be. But cloud providers that plan to not only exist tomorrow – but to lead – know that security must be the top priority for the cloud and are delivering it now. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Kurt Hagerman, Chief Information Security Officer at FireHost, will detail why and how you can have both infrastructure performance and enterprise-grade security – and what tomorrow's cloud provider will look like.
Web conferencing in a public cloud has the same risks as any other cloud service. If you have ever had concerns over the types of data being shared in your employees’ web conferences, such as IP, financials or customer data, then it’s time to look at web conferencing in a private cloud. In her session at 14th Cloud Expo, Courtney Behrens, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International, will discuss how issues that had previously been out of your control, like performance, advanced administration and compliance, can now be put back behind your firewall.
More and more enterprises today are doing business by opening up their data and applications through APIs. Though forward-thinking and strategic, exposing APIs also increases the surface area for potential attack by hackers. To benefit from APIs while staying secure, enterprises and security architects need to continue to develop a deep understanding about API security and how it differs from traditional web application security or mobile application security. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will walk you through the various aspects of how an API could be potentially exploited. He will discuss the necessary best practices to secure your data and enterprise applications while continue continuing to support your business’s digital initiatives.
The revolution that happened in the server universe over the past 15 years has resulted in an eco-system that is more open, more democratically innovative and produced better results in technically challenging dimensions like scale. The underpinnings of the revolution were common hardware, standards based APIs (ex. POSIX) and a strict adherence to layering and isolation between applications, daemons and kernel drivers/modules which allowed multiple types of development happen in parallel without hindering others. Put simply, today's server model is built on a consistent x86 platform with few surprises in its core components. A kernel abstracts away the platform, so that applications and daemons are decoupled from the hardware. In contrast, networking equipment is still stuck in the mainframe era. Today, networking equipment is a single appliance, including hardware, OS, applications and user interface come as a monolithic entity from a single vendor. Switching between different vendor'...
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.