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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Ron de Bruin as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Ron de Bruin is working for a company that is growing chrysanthemums (nothing to do with Excel) and has been an Excel MVP since 2002. He spends his free time updating his web site - Ron's Excel Tips, writing articles for MSDN, and helping people in the online communities.

    Excel and Windows Live Mail

    Important: if you set a Windows Live mail version before Windows Live mail 2011 as your default mail program it is possible that if you want to mail from Excel you get a General mail failure because it isn’t fully MAPI-qualified like Windows Mail or Outlook. It makes no different if you try to create a mail with the Excel menu options or if you create a mail with a macro (VBA code).

    Note: Microsoft fixed this problem in Windows Live mail 2011.

    When I was testing my VBA code examples I notice that when I try to run the test macro the third time it was working and after that it was working the first time every time I try to run it until you close/reopen Excel. This is the same if you try to mail with the Excel menu options.

    Solutions that work with every Windows Live Mail version


    RDBMail add-in for Excel 2007-2010

     

    I created an add-in named RDBMail for Excel 2007-2010 that create a new tab on the Ribbon with a lot of mail options. This is a very easy way to mail from Excel with Windows Live Mail. RDBMail Add-in for Excel 2007-2010 with Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail

    http://www.rondebruin.nl/mail/add-in.htm

    Note: There is also an Add-in only for Outlook on that page, so pick the correct one.

    Use VBA code to mail from Excel

    To avoid the General mail failure error I use a loop now in my SendMail code examples that try to create the mail three times and will exit the loop if there is no error.

    For I = 1 To 3

                .SendMail "ron@debruin.nl", _

                          "This is the Subject line"

                If Err.Number = 0 Then Exit For

            Next I

    The following subroutine sends a newly created workbook with just the ActiveSheet.

    It is saving the workbook before mailing it with a date/time stamp.

    After the file is sent the workbook will be deleted from your hard disk.

    Change the mail address and subject in the macro before you run it.

    Sub Mail_ActiveSheet()

    'Working in 97-2010

        Dim FileExtStr As String

        Dim FileFormatNum As Long

        Dim Sourcewb As Workbook

        Dim Destwb As Workbook

        Dim TempFilePath As String

        Dim TempFileName As String

        Dim I As Long

        With Application

            .ScreenUpdating = False

            .EnableEvents = False

        End With

        Set Sourcewb = ActiveWorkbook

        'Copy the sheet to a new workbook

        ActiveSheet.Copy

        Set Destwb = ActiveWorkbook

        'Determine the Excel version and file extension/format

        With Destwb

            If Val(Application.Version) < 12 Then

                'You use Excel 97-2003

                FileExtStr = ".xls": FileFormatNum = -4143

            Else

                'You use Excel 2007-2010, we exit the sub when your answer is

                'NO in the security dialog that you only see when you copy

                'an sheet from a xlsm file with macro's disabled.

                If Sourcewb.Name = .Name Then

                    With Application

                        .ScreenUpdating = True

                        .EnableEvents = True

                    End With

                    MsgBox "Your answer is NO in the security dialog"

                    Exit Sub

                Else

                    Select Case Sourcewb.FileFormat

                    Case 51: FileExtStr = ".xlsx": FileFormatNum = 51

                    Case 52:

                        If .HasVBProject Then

                            FileExtStr = ".xlsm": FileFormatNum = 52

                        Else

                            FileExtStr = ".xlsx": FileFormatNum = 51

                        End If

                    Case 56: FileExtStr = ".xls": FileFormatNum = 56

                    Case Else: FileExtStr = ".xlsb": FileFormatNum = 50

                    End Select

                End If

            End If

        End With

        '    'Change all cells in the worksheet to values if you want

        '    With Destwb.Sheets(1).UsedRange

        '        .Cells.Copy

        '        .Cells.PasteSpecial xlPasteValues

        '        .Cells(1).Select

        '    End With

        '    Application.CutCopyMode = False

     

        'Save the new workbook/Mail it/Delete it

        TempFilePath = Environ$("temp") & "\"

        TempFileName = "Part of " & Sourcewb.Name & " " _

                     & Format(Now, "dd-mmm-yy h-mm-ss")

        With Destwb

            .SaveAs TempFilePath & TempFileName & FileExtStr, _

                    FileFormat:=FileFormatNum

            On Error Resume Next

            For I = 1 To 3

                .SendMail "ron@debruin.nl", _

                          "This is the Subject line"

                If Err.Number = 0 Then Exit For

            Next I

            On Error GoTo 0

            .Close SaveChanges:=False

        End With

        'Delete the file you have sent

        Kill TempFilePath & TempFileName & FileExtStr

        With Application

            .ScreenUpdating = True

            .EnableEvents = True

        End With

    End Sub

    You can also use the following line if you know the sheet you want to mail: 

    Sheets("Sheet5").Copy 

    It doesn't have to be the active sheet used at that time.

    If you want to Display the mail instead of sending it directly you must remove the mail address like this:

    .SendMail "", _

                          "This is the Subject line"

    Check out the webpage of the macro example above for more information and an example workbook:
    More Information

    You can find a lot more code examples for Windows Live Mail in the SendMail section on this page.
    Note: The SendMail code will also work with Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Outlook.
    Example Code for sending mail from Excel
    Note: If you use Outlook see the Outlook object model examples on the same page and see also these articles on MSDN. You have much more options if you use Outlook.
    Using VBA in Excel to Send Workbooks and Ranges Through E-Mail with Outlook (Part 1 of 2)
     
    Using VBA in Excel to Send Workbooks and Ranges Through E-Mail with Outlook (Part 2 of 2)
     
    Creating and Sending PDF Files from Excel 2007 and Excel 2010

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    Steve Ballmer hugs DirectX/XNA MVP Valentin Billote , winner of the Windows Phone 7 Applications Challenge

    The outcome of a two-month challenge to create the best Windows Phone 7 application in France will come as no surprise to fans of the MVP community. MVPs not only took first and second place, but nearly half of the seven finalists were MVPs—out of a field of 250! 

    Windows Phone 7 applications created by MVPs Valentin Billotte, Fabien Decret, and Julien Dollon ranked among the highest in Facebook tallies, in a challenge that garnered more than 20,000 votes. Microsoft Developer Platform Evangelists then selected the seven finalists, who earned the right to “pitch” their application to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and a panel of highly-respected French technology leaders.

    Decret recalled his decision to participate in the challenge: “The Windows Phone 7 French Competition was the best opportunity for the Adeneo Embedded team to highlight its competencies on Windows Phone 7 application development. We were so excited to start the job. While we were writing down our ideas to make a selection, we got in touch with GoProd, a company focused on the UI design who was looking for a partner to collaborate with. GoProd had an idea of what they wanted to submit, but didn’t have competencies on Windows Phone 7. Together, we created the Win Mote 7 application: a remote control application allowing the user to access and control various media including videos, pictures, and music, as well as surf the web and control a PowerPoint presentation on their Windows 7 PC via its WP7 device.” 

    The selected finalists were each given two minutes to pitch their applications—in a packed auditorium, filled with members of the media and some the biggest names in technology.

    “The stage gave us a fright: there were a lot of people in the hall,” continued Decret, describing the experience. “First a very impressive jury entered. Then Steve Ballmer arrived to thunderous applause. All selected applications were very interesting. We were the last ones to present our app. After our two-minute presentation, seven blue lights switched on and only one red cross appeared.”

    The winning application, Arcane Tower Defense, is a game developed by DirectX/XNA MVP Valentin Billote. The demo for Arcane Tower Defense is available here. To download Fabien Decret's WinMote demo, it is available here, and Julien Dollon's demo, Ahead - can be viewed here.

    “This was one of the most memorable days of my life,” said Billote. “Our team won! Yet we had no application using Silverlight and / or Windows Azure, but a great game with powerful 3D graphics and a lot of R & D thanks to the XNA Game Studio. The 3D quality graphics really pleased the jury. Our young company, GraphicStream, was created specifically for the release of WP7 and game development on this platform. It could not start better!”

    “Personally I enjoyed the big hug with Steve,” Billote continued. “And giving a voucher to play my game to his daughter—plus participating in a super challenge with leading French bosses!”


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    We sat down with Azure MVP Michael Wood and Microsoft Evangelist Brian Prince to discuss Windows Azure and the community. Michael talks about the speed of the cloud and what his experience with Windows Azure has been so far. Brian is a former MVP and they discuss the relationship that he has with the community, and how being a former MVP influences how he listens as an evangelist.

     

    This is the first of three Windows Azure discussions we have coming up. Well be posting an in depth discussion between MVPs and Microsoft Architect Pat Filoteo in the next week.

     


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Julie Terberg as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Julie Terberg has been designing unique presentations since 1985. As the owner of Terberg Design, she helps her clients communicate visually with an audience. Julie is honored to be a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP. She enjoys sharing knowledge with others via custom workshops, web-based training, and live conferences.

    Custom Shapes Made Easier with PowerPoint 2010

    This three-dimensional megaphone with sections was created in PowerPoint 2010 using the Combine Shapes commands.

     

    The Combine Shapes commands are some of my favorite new features in PowerPoint 2010. Instead of reaching for another drawing program, you can save time and effort by creating custom shapes directly in PowerPoint.

    Graphic concepts are used in presentations to help communicate complex ideas in a simpler, visual form. This example concept features a megaphone graphic with four sections. The concept works well as a metaphor for a team working toward a common goal.

     

    Tip: This example was created using the Combine Shapes commands. To access this command, you must add it to the Quick Access Toolbar, located above the File tab.  To customize the Quick Access Toolbar, do the following:

    1. Click the arrow next to the Quick Access Toolbar, and then under Customize Quick Access Toolbar click More Commands.

    2. In the PowerPoint Options dialog box, in the Choose commands from list, select All Commands

    3. In the list of commands, click Combine Shapes, and then click Add.

    Combine Shapes commands added to the QAT.

     

    Begin the megaphone by drawing a large trapezoid. On the Home tab, in the Shapes group, select the Trapezoid shape. Draw a trapezoid in the center of the slide. Select the trapezoid. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Size group, enter 7.5” in the Height box and 4” in the Width box. On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, click Arrange, point to Rotate, and then click Rotate Left 90°. 

    The next step is to add a curved end on the left side of the trapezoid. On the Home tab, in the Shapes group, select the Circle shape. Draw a circle (tall oval) on the left side of the trapezoid. Select the circle shape. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Size group, enter 2” in the Height box and .75” in the Width box. Move the circle as needed so that it is centered on the left side of the trapezoid. Select the trapezoid, then the circle. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Combine Shapes, and then click Shape Union.

    Align the circle (green) with the left side of the trapezoid before combining the two shapes.

    Create the first section by drawing a rectangle shape over the right side of the megaphone. On the Home tab, in the Shapes group, select the Rectangle shape. Draw a tall rectangle on top of the megaphone. Select the rectangle shape. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Size group, enter 4.5” in the Height box and 2” in the Width box. Reposition the rectangle as needed so that approximately 1/3” of the megaphone appears to the right side of the rectangle. On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, click Arrange, point to Align, and then click Align Middle. 

    Draw a rectangle and move it slightly from the right side of the megaphone shape.

    To create the curved sides for the sections, you will combine two circles with the rectangle. On the Home tab, in the Shapes group, select the Circle shape. Draw a tall circle shape (oval) on top of the rectangle. Reposition the circle to be centered on the left edge of the rectangle. This circle should match the height of the megaphone shape where it meets the left edge of the rectangle. Select the circle shape. Hold the Shift key and drag a corner handle to make the circle larger. OR under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Size group, enter 3.37” in the Height box and 1.27” in the Width box. On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, click Arrange, point to Align, and then click Align Middle. Duplicate the circle and reposition it to be centered on the right edge of the rectangle. Resize this circle to match the height of the megaphone shape in the back. Hold the Shift key and drag a corner handle to make the circle larger OR under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Size group, enter 3.9” in the Height box and 1.46” in the Width box.

    Draw a circle (green) centered along the left edge of the rectangle. Draw another circle (red) centered along the right edge of the rectangle. The circle height should match the megaphone shape in the back (gray).

     

    Now you will use the Combine Shapes commands to form a curved section shape. Select the rectangle then select the left circle. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Combine Shapes, and then click Shape Union. With the custom shape selected, select the right circle. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Combine Shapes, and then click Shape Subtract.

    The new custom shape must be trimmed at the top and bottom to match the angle of the megaphone. Duplicate the megaphone (Hold Ctrl key and click D key). With the duplicate selected, on the Home tab, in the Arrange group, point to Rotate, and then click Flip Horizontal. Reposition the duplicate so that it covers the bottom area to be trimmed from the custom shape. Duplicate this new, flipped megaphone shape. Reposition the new shape to cover the top area to be trimmed from the custom shape. Select the curved section shape, and then one of the duplicate megaphone shapes.  On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Combine Shapes, and then click Shape Subtract. With the custom shape selected, select the other duplicate megaphone shapes. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Combine Shapes, and then click Shape Subtract.

    Duplicate the megaphone shape (red), flip it horizontally and move it to mask the area to be trimmed from the curved section shape (blue).

     

    Now that the curved shape is complete, you can duplicate and resize it for the other three sections. Duplicate the curved shape. Move it to the left of the first shape. Hold the Shift key and drag a corner sizing handle to make the duplicate shape smaller. The curved shape should match the size of the megaphone in the back. Repeat for the remaining two sections.

    The megaphone needs some finishing on the right side. On the Home tab, in the Shapes group, select the Circle shape. Draw a tall circle shape (oval). Reposition the circle to be centered on the right edge of the megaphone. Select the circle shape. Under Drawing Tools, on the Format tab, in the Size group, enter 4” in the Height box and 1.5” in the Width box.

     

    The last step: add dimension to the megaphone with custom gradient fills and bevels. 

     

    Duplicate and resize the curved shape to create the remaining sections. Add a circle on the right edge to complete the megaphone.

    The Combine Shapes commands are easy to use, quick to master, and save so much time when creating custom shapes. You may never use Edit Points again.

    To download the example PPTX file - click on the below attachment.


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Clayton Cobb as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Clayton Cobb is a SharePoint Architect and InfoPath MVP who has been involved in SharePoint and Office technology and development for more than 3 years and was awarded MVP in April of 2010. Clayton is the technical editor for SharePoint Designer 2010 Unleashed, maintains a technical blog for SharePoint and InfoPath, and he is a major contributor of the Microsoft SharePoint MSDN/TechNet forums.

    You may not have known it, but InfoPath has been a part of the Office suite since 2003.  I actually first noticed it as part of my Office 2003 Professional suite when I started working with SharePoint.  It was there, so I tried it, became a big fan, and starting showing my colleagues that they also had it.  Fast forward to the Tech Preview release of InfoPath 2010 last June, and there I was digging my claws into all the new interface features, but I had to wait until July to get my hands on SharePoint 2010 so that I could test all the new SharePoint-specific enhancements.  On July 15th of 2009, the InfoPath released a tantalizing article titled “What’s New in InfoPath 2010?”  Just a day later, out of excitement, I posted my own blog article raving about many of these new features: InfoPath 2010 Rules!

    As you can see, there is enough there to probably do 10 full blog articles, especially around the SharePoint enhancements, but I don’t have room to get into the details right now.  So, I will be talking about some new features in the InfoPath 2010 interface that are helpful for anyone building InfoPath forms even if you don’t have SharePoint available and even if you are building 2003- or 2007-compatible forms.  The 3 main features I’ll show you today are the Ribbon, the Quick Publish, and the Rules Manager. 

    Ribbon

    By now, I’m sure everyone is familiar with the Ribbon, which was introduced in some of the Office applications in 2007 but didn’t expand to the rest of the suite until 2010.  InfoPath is one of the applications that didn’t receive the ribbon until 2010, but now we have it, and I consider it very useful.  As you can see below, instead of having to use dropdown file menus, you can just click on the appropriate ribbon tab and see sections full of relevant commands, and what you see is also contextual, which means the commands change based off what you’ve selected:

    Figure 1 – Contextual Ribbon when selecting a control within a table

    Quick Publish

    This may seem like a mundane button at first glance, but for anyone who develops forms in InfoPath, you know how tedious it can be to continually go through the entire publishing wizard each time you make a change and want to test it on the server (or other published location).  I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted going through the publishing wizard in InfoPath 2003 and 2007, but now we have this simple, yet powerful button for doing a Quick Publish.  What this button does is it utilizes your current publishing settings and performs all the same actions with one click.

    Figure 2 – Quick Publish button in the Quick Access Toolbar

    Figure 3 – Quick Publish button in the Backstage

    When you need to change the details of your publishing steps, you simply go to the Backstage (File button in the ribbon), then the Publish menu on the left bar, and finally click the specified publish type:

    Figure 4 – Normal publishing route when not using the Quick Publish

    Rules Manager

    This is my favorite new feature enhancement of the InfoPath 2010 interface.  In InfoPath 2003 and 2007, we had Rules, Conditional Formatting, and Data Validation all in different places with different buttons and menus.  Now, we have all three of these rule types in one consolidated Rules Manager: 

    Figure 5 – Rules Manager button in the Quick Access Toolbar

    Figure 6 – Rules Manager tool pane showing all three Rule types on one control

    Another incredible feature of the Rules Manager in InfoPath 2010 is the fact that we can now copy rules from one control to the next.  We can copy individual rules or copy entire rule sets.  The amount of time this saves me is immense, and this is the biggest reason why I can barely use InfoPath 2007 when building forms…

    Figure 7 – Copy and Paste buttons in the Rules Manager

    Everything I’ve show you in this article can be used to more efficiently build your InfoPath 2003, 2007, and 2010 forms.  I use InfoPath 2010 at all times even to build my 2007 forms, because I am able to be much more productive.


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Kathy Jacobs as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Kathy Jacobs is a Social Media Geek. She spends her life online. Her notebooks are full of social media sites, blog posts, travel information, job search resources, recipes, and much more. You can find her online almost anywhere as “CallKathy.”

    OneNote is wonderful. You can put everything in it.  You probably do. The only problem? Once you put things on to the page, how do you find the stuff again?  OneNote offers a number of different ways to organize your notes so that you can find them again. There are 10 OneNote features that you can use to help you organize notes that you already have in your notebooks, as well as the new notes you want to add.

    1. Create the notebooks you need as well as the ones you think you might need.

    I have notebooks for personal stuff, for work, and for volunteer projects. I create a notebook for each client we work with in our business. I create a new notebook for any conference or event I work on or attend. I believe that you can't have too many notebooks. A notebook with nothing in it is just an empty folder on your hard drive. 

    2. Create your notebooks where you are most likely to need them.

    I don't keep most of my notebooks in the default location (My Notebooks in My Documents). Instead, I keep them on an external drive. This lets me access the content from any computer. Storing them externally also means that my partner has access to the notebooks even when my computer isn’t available.

    To create a notebook somewhere other than your hard drive, use File--New. Click the Browse button to find the place you want your notebook to be stored.

    Tip: I have a folder on my network drive called "OneNote Notebooks". This folder contains all of my notebooks. This way, my partner knows where to look for notebooks and doesn't have to guess where to look.

    3. Set your default notebook location in OneNote to the network folder where you store your notebooks.

    By doing this, you save yourself from having to remember where your notebooks are located. To set the default location, go to File--> Options, and select Save & Backup.

    Change the Default Network Location to the same location where you created your notebook.

    4. Organize your notes the way you think.

    Do you think about projects by location? By client? By subject? By date? By person? However you think, that is how you should organize your notes.

    A good friend of mine is teacher and a chronological thinker. She has a notebook for each month which contains sections for each week. Inside each section, she creates a new page for every day.  She also keeps a set of non-chronological notebook that contains information that she needs all the time.

    Another friend builds a notebook for each client she works with, along with a personal notebook. Inside each client notebook, she has sections for the projects she does with them.

    A teacher I know has one notebook for each class she has ever taught. When she teaches the class a second time, all she needs to do is create a new section for the class and link to any of the existing content she has already created.

    I tend to have a mix of chronological and functional notebooks. I have one for each client I have ever worked with, as well as one for each former employer. I have a few "Catch all" notebooks, including a pair of family notebooks. Inside one of the family notebooks, I have sections for job search information which contain every cover letter I or my husband have ever sent.

    5. Move your note pages to where they belong.

    Moving a page of notes from one section to another in OneNote can be done in two ways:

    Click the page tab and drag it to the section where you want it. If the section is in the same notebook, drag it to the section tab at the top of your notes. If you need to put them in a section in a different notebook, expand the section list in the notebooks list at the right of your page and drag the page tab there.

    Right click the page tab and select "Move or Copy". In the list of notebooks and sections on the dialog box, select the section where you want the notes to end up. Click the Move button to move your notebook. If you want to make a copy of your notebook, click the copy button. (I tend not to use copy - I like to have only one copy of my notes. It makes them easier to find and use.)

    6. Tag your notes intelligently.

    On the Home tab, you have a list of tags. Use them. Tag everything. You can mark each note with more than one tag at a time. (And I frequently do.) Create custom tags for different projects, phases, people, and activities. Create your own tags, so that you can tag your notes the way you think instead of the way someone else does.

    To create your custom tags, click the bottom arrow on the gallery of tags. At the bottom of the list of tags, you will see "Customize tags". Clicking this will bring up a task pane that allows you to modify the existing tags or to create your own tags.

    I have a notebook of recipes in my note collection. The recipe titles are tagged with indicators of what kind of recipe they are (breakfast, lunch, dinner, Dutch oven, bake, fry, etc.). In addition, certain ingredients in the recipe lists are tagged. This allows me to create lists of recipes with certain ingredients as well as those that use certain techniques.

     7. Organize your tags.

    Once you have created custom tags, keep in mind that you can apply the first nine tags in your list by using the control key. If you are going to be working on a set of notes, move the tags for those notes to the top of the list. To move the tags, bring the customize pane and use the arrows to change the order of the tags.

    8. Remember that even if you can't find a note, OneNote can.

    You can search for your notes either by the tags you have applied to them or by the content of the notes.

    To find notes by the tags, click the "Find Tags" button in the Home tab. This will bring up a task pane with a summary of your tagged notes. You can order the search results by tag name, note location, or by date tagged. (You can also order them by note text, but I don't find that option as useful.) By default, the tag summary will include all tagged notes in all notebooks. You can scope that down by either date or location.

    To find our notes by content, click in the "Search All Notebooks" box. (You can find this box just above the list of pages in your section.) As you type, OneNote will provide a summary of the pages with your phrase in the title as well as a summary of the pages with your phrase in the contents of the page. Don't want to search all your notebooks for your content? Click the drop down arrow to the right of the search box. You can select the scope you desire from a list.

    9. Title your pages for future reference.

    While it is tempting to not title your notes, you will find it worth your time to create titles that mean something. I know how tempting it can be to create a page and just let OneNote create the title from the first line of content on the page. The problem is that if you add notes to the top of the page, your page title will change.

    Since OneNote 2010 lets you search for page titles as well as page content, putting a descriptive title on your pages will help you stay better organized.

    10. Link your notes. To each other. To other documents. To the web.

    OneNote has many options for linking notes to each other. From wiki linking to explicit links to URL style links, linking your notes together allows you to keep one copy of information but still reference it from multiple sections or notebooks.

    If you know the title of a page of notes, you can create an automatic link to the other page with wiki linking. To create these links, simply enclose the title text in square brackets. If you don't already have a page with that title, OneNote will create one for you.

    If your brain works better with hyperlink style links, you can create URL style links between your notes. Start by selecting the link you want to link to. Once it is selected, right click and select "Copy Link to Paragraph". Now move to the page where you want the link to reside. Select the text to be linked and press Ctrl-K on your keyboard. Click in the address field, paste the address, click OK. Boom - linked content.

    Linking to content from the web is just as easy. As long as you have the URL in your clipboard, you can paste it in just like the internal links. If you want to type the link in to the address field, that works too.

    Want to link from your other Office files to your notes? Dock OneNote to the right of your desktop using View --> Dock to Desktop. Work away in the other Office products as you normally would. When you want to make a note about something you are working on, click the Review--> Linked Notes button in your Office 2010 application to create your notes. You will be prompted for the page to contain your notes. As you take notes, a new icon will appear to the left of your content that links you directly to the location in your work where you were when you took the note.


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    MVP Lead Chiaki Matsuno has written guest post about Japan Open Days below. For the Japanese translation, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

    The annual Microsoft Japan MVPs–only event, “2010 MVP Open Day Japan,” was held in Tokyo on Nov. 20 – 21, 2010.  MVP Open Day is a valuable event in which MVPs are given opportunities to learn the latest Microsoft technologies and to exchange their ideas and knowledge with Microsoft engineers directly.

    About 120 Japan MVPs out of 195 came from all over the country and took part in this year’s Open Day.  This event not only consisted of the sessions held by Microsoft engineers and MVPs; the attendee party was also held for networking opportunities among MVPs and between MVPs and Microsoft engineers.  Let’s take a look at what some sessions and the attendee party looked like.

    < Day 1 >

    Keynote & General Sessions

    One keynote and four general sessions were conducted on the first day of the event, starting with an opening speech given by Mayumi Suzuki, Japan regional manager of Community & Online Support at Microsoft.  Soon after Mayumi's speach, Toby Richards, general manager of Community & Online Support, took the rostrum this year again and talked about recent changes of communities and social media and new influencer program named MCC (Microsoft Community Contributor).  He also set Q&A period in the half of his session and listened deeply to the voices of the MVPs. 

     

    Moreover, the keynote was delivered by Shunichi Kajisa, a CTO of Microsoft Development Ltd. NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) sessions regarding “KINECT,” which released on the same day as this event, and “Windows Phone 7,” which had not been released in Japan yet, were held for the rest of general sessions.  When the demo of KINECT was provided, the fervor of the audiences was heated up with a burst of applause!

     

    Deepen Exchange at the Attendee Party

    The Attendee Party was held in the banquet hall of the hotel after all the Day-1 sessions were ended for the purpose of networking among MVPs and between MVPs and Microsoft engineers.  The party was warmed up through fun games and various confabulations, and MVPs seemed to be able to deepen exchanges with their peers in a relaxed atmosphere.

     

     

    < Day 2 >

    Covering the Latest Technologies in depth through 4 Parallel Sessions

    On the second day, a total of 15 breakout sessions were held in four different rooms.  More than half of the breakout sessions were under NDA, and one of those sessions was  held by two MVPs, Shunpei Shiraishi and Futomi Hatano, both MVPs for Internet Explorer, was about the IE 9 Beta.  They discussed its evaluations from the point of MVPs’ view and had a heated debate through roundtable. The document Mr. Shiraishi used for this session is available here (Japanese only).

    While sessions covering hot topics such as IME and BPOS took place, an interesting session called “Lightening Talk” was held by eight MVPs; Hirotsune Ikuta (MVP for Word), Ryosuke Uemoto (MVP for VSTO), Satoru Kitabata (MVP for SharePoint Services), Toru Tanaka (MVP for Excel), Kazuo Tenra (MVP for Excel), Seki Tanada (MVP for Visio), Yoshio Matsumoto (MVP for InfoPath), and Gen Muto (MVP for Excel).  Lightening Talk is a speech contest in which each speaker gives free presentation based on his/her expertise for exactly 5 minutes.  If the speakers finish talking within 5 minutes, they have to somehow fill the time available.  On the other hand, if the speakers overrun the allotted time, their speeches will be “force-quit” even though their speech has not finished yet.  After all the speeches were done, Mr. Muto, who introduced his game software created by Excel, was selected as a winner by the audiences through a ballot.  The biggest reason he won was because he attracted the audiences by showing amazing technologies of Excel with a witty speech.  You can download the latest game software created by Mr. Muto here. (The game is in Japanese only, but you can enjoy it visually for sure! It’s unbelievable, but this is made of Excel!)

    After all the breakout sessions ended, 2010 MVP Open Day Japan was closed with concluding remarks made by Mayumi Suzuki.  According to the survey conducted during the event, most MVPs seem to be satisfied with the Open Day this year again.

     

    <Japanese version>

    2010 MVP Open Day Japan レポート

    20101120日~21日、東京都新宿区にあるベルサール西新宿およびマイクロソフト株式会社にて、日本のMicrosoft MVPMost Valuable Professional)を限定としたビッグ イベント「2010 MVP Open Day Japan」が開催されました。MVP Open Dayは、マイクロソフト製品やテクノロジーに対する深い知識と知見をもったMVPの方々が一同に集結し、最新の技術情報を学び、マイクロソフトの技術者と直で意見交換のできる貴重な場です。


    今年のOpen Dayには、日本のMVP 195名のうち、約120名の方々が参加し、マイクロソフト社員および MVP によるセッションのほか、1 日目の夜には懇親会も催されました。和やかな中にも熱い議論が戦わされたイベントの模様をいくつかご紹介いたします。

    <第 1 日目>

    基調講演 & ジェネラル セッション

    1 日目は、マイクロソフト株式会社 コミュニティ&オンラインサポート リージョナル マネージャー、鈴木 真弓によるオープニングのご挨拶を皮切りに、マイクロソフト ディベロップメント株式会社の最高技術責任者である加治佐 俊一による基調講演、そしてマイクロソフト米国本社 Community Online Support部門のジェネラル・マネージャー、トビー・リチャーズ、他3名によるジェネラル セッションが実施されました。


    ジェネラル セッションの中には、イベントが実施された当日が発売日だったXbox 360 for Kinect や、日本未発売のWindows Phone 7 をテーマにしたセッションも実施され、Kinect 体験タイムの際には会場の熱気は一気にヒートアップしました。

    Attendee Partyにて交流を深める

    1 日目のセッション終了後には、マイクロソフト株式会社近くのホテルサンルートの芙蓉の間にてAttendee Partyが開催されました。MVP 同士はもとより、マイクロソフト社員とのネットワーク構築の場としてゲームや談笑で賑わい、リラックスした雰囲気の中で、昼間のセッションの時とは一味違う交流を深めることができました。


    <第 2 日目>

    最新テクノロジーを掘り下げる 4 つの並行セッション

    2日目は、4部屋に分かれて計15のブレイクアウト セッションが開催され、その中の8つは非公開情報を扱うNDANon-Disclosure Agreement)セッションとして実施されました。

     

    話題のIMEBPOSNDAセッションが行われる中、MVPによるセッションIE 9 ベータ版のここがいい、ここは直して欲しい」では、白石 俊平氏(MVP for Internet Explorer)、羽田野 太巳氏(MVP for Internet Explorer)が、IE 9の評価ポイントや改善点を解説すると共に、参加者とのラウンドテーブルを実施しました。白石氏が実施したセッションの資料はこちらよりご覧いただけます。

    また、各5分の持ち時間でスピーチ コンテストを行なうLightning Talk では、生田 裕恒さん(MVP for Word)、上本 亮介さん(MVP for VSTO)、北端 智さん(MVP for SharePoint Services)、田中 亨さん(MVP for Excel)、��良 和男さん(MVP for Excel)、棚田 折(MVP for Visio)、松本 吉生(MVP for InfoPath)、そして武藤 玄(MVP for Excel)さんの 8 名が参戦。各々のExpertiseに関するテーマを基に、笑いを交えてマイクロソフトの製品やプロダクトをご紹介くださいました。 Excelで作成したゲームを披露してくださった武藤氏が観客の投票により最優秀者に選出され、Excelでこんなことが出来ちゃうの!?と目から鱗な内容で観客の心を鷲掴みにしていました。実際に武藤さんが Excel で作成したゲームはこちらからご覧いただけます。

    全てのセッションが終了した後はMVP が再び集結し、イベント開催時にもご挨拶をした鈴木 真弓の言葉で2010 MVP Open Dayが盛会の内に幕を閉じました。

     


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    Microsoft Azure Architect Pat Filoteo presented at the MVP-only, pre-PDC event recently and when his Q&A started going long, he invited interested MVPs to join him outside the presentation hall to continue the discussion. They let us turn on our camera and what follows is the unedited first five minutes of their exchange—which does a great job of showing the depth and candor of conversations between MVPs and Microsoft product groups. (For the entire 3 part discussion, please go to http://www.youtube.com/user/MVPAwardProgram.)


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    Over 20 SharePoint MVPs worldwide have contributed to the recently published book Real World SharePoint 2010: Indispensable Experiences from 22 MVPs. Edited by MVP Scot Hillier, this publication is truly a collaborative effort delivering guidance, best practices, and real-world experiences with SharePoint 2010 from the MVP Experts themselves. An invaluable resource!

    The following MVPs co-authored various chapters:

    We are excited to see the knowledge and impact that MVPs are bringing to the community!


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Glenna Shaw as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Glenna Shaw is a Most Valued Professional (MVP) for PowerPoint and the owner of the PPT Magic Web site and the Visualology blog. She holds certificates in Accessible Information Technology, Graphic Design and Professional Technical Writing.

    Excel is an obvious choice for creating digital dashboards, but when you use PowerPoint as the medium to display your dashboard elements you gain some significant advantages.

    The most perceptible advantage is the ability to design an elegant and attractive dashboard.  While this may not seem so important, you’ll find that users are more apt to use dashboards that are visually appealing.  And you can use the formatting features of PowerPoint to visually group elements through the use of color, enclosure, proximity, etc.

    With PowerPoint your dashboard is guaranteed to display on a single screen without concerns of scrolling side to side or up and down to display the entire dashboard and a PowerPoint dashboard will display full screen without the toolbar.  These features are important because the point of a dashboard is to display the data on a single screen so it can be absorbed at a glance.  By using PowerPoint as your dashboard backdrop, your users can easily view the important data on a single screen without the distraction of an application toolbar.

    My friend Rick Altman graciously allowed me to use data from his annual Presentation Summit event to create this dashboard.

    A new feature in PowerPoint 2010 is the ability to add a spreadsheet as a table.  This allows you to take advantage of Excel’s conditional formatting feature to create a very nice table with graphic elements for a dashboard.

    PowerPoint’s interactivity features allow you create multiple dashboard pages without having to use code.  In the dashboard example above, interactivity is used to display annual event details.  Drill downs can easily be added to dashboard elements through the use of a hyperlink or action setting to a new slide.

    A feature unique to PowerPoint is the ability to put your charts in motion in a manner that allows the data to be easily absorbed.  Typically displaying changes on a chart requires a click, then view, click then view.  This breaks up the user’s ability to easily absorb the information that they are seeing.  By placing charts in the exact same position on a series of slides, the user can literally scroll through the changes using the page up and down keys, in effect putting the charts in motion in manner that’s easily comprehended.

    Creating dashboards always requires significant effort creating tables, graphs and charts.  While this dashboard uses only embedded charts, you can also choose to link the elements from your excel spreadsheets.  Simply add charts or tables by copying and pasting from the spreadsheet.  Your elements will remain linked to your spreadsheet and when you update the spreadsheet, you’ll also update your dashboard.

    With PowerPoint 2010 as your dashboard medium, you can also experiment with other unique features such as animation effects and triggers.  You could even embed a video on your dashboard.  With the power of Excel 2010 and PowerPoint 2010 combined, the possibilities are endless.

    Finally, the new Office Web Apps provide the perfect vehicle for sharing your dashboards.  You can view the dashboard example and download a dashboard template from my SkyDrive.  A more comprehensive version of this article is available on Office Online.


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Stephanie Krieger as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Stephanie Krieger is a Microsoft Office System MVP and the author of two books on Microsoft Office document production. As a professional document consultant, she has helped many global companies develop enterprise solutions for Microsoft Office on both platforms and taught numerous professionals to build great documents by understanding how the Office programs “think.”  You can reach Stephanie through her blog, arouet.net, where you can find links to more content and get information as it becomes available on her upcoming book for Office 2010 and Office for Mac 2011. Stephanie would like to thank fellow Office System MVP Beth Melton for help with the screenshots for this article.

    Using co-authoring features in Office 2010, Office Web Apps, and Office for Mac 2011

    I work for myself, so I often have the privilege of working on my own schedule. Except, that is, when working on projects with others. Collaboration can be a fun and creative process — and the results can be fantastic — but not when you have to wait your turn to edit a document or wait for someone who checked out the file and then left for the day without checking it back in. Sound familiar?

    Well, fortunately, the days of waiting in line to get your work done are over. Now everyone can work on their own schedule — at least when it comes to editing your documents.

    Microsoft Office 2010 enables technology known as co-authoring, which gives you the ability to edit the same file at the same time as people in other locations. No more waiting in line to get your work done, no more getting locked out of your files, and more options for real-time collaboration with your team.

    What applications enable co-authoring?

    You can use co-authoring in the Office 2010 versions of Word and PowerPoint. Co-authoring via shared notebooks is also available in Microsoft OneNote 2010. And, simultaneous editing is also available in Microsoft Excel Web App and OneNote Web App.

    So, how do you give it a try? Let’s jump into the details.

    Get started: Save your files to the cloud

     

    Storing your files online is easy and it brings a lot of benefits like backup and easy access to your stuff from almost anywhere. But my favorite thing about this technology is that it’s not just for big companies — it’s available to everybody. 

    • Businesses can use co-authoring within the enhanced security of their own firewall when they have Microsoft SharePoint 2010 installed in the organization. 
    • Everyone else (such as students, home users, and independent contractors like me) can take advantage of co-authoring technologies just by having a free Windows Live ID.

    For SharePoint 2010 users

    To get started using co-authoring with Office 2010, just save your Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, or Excel files to a SharePoint 2010 site. You can do this directly from within the Office 2010 applications (as shown in Figure 1) or from SharePoint.

    Note: For co-authoring in Excel Web App or OneNote Web App via SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Office Web Apps must be installed in your organization.

    For everybody else

    Windows Live SkyDrive is a free (yep –free) service that gives you 25GB of online storage space for documents and photos, gives you access to Office Web Apps, and to co-authoring capabilities in Office 2010 and Office Web Apps.

    Note: If your Windows Live ID is connected to a Hotmail account – you now get very cool integration with Office Web Apps for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel file attachments to the emails you receive, such as the ability to view your files in Office Web Apps right from your Hotmail inbox.

    Figure 1: To save your document, presentation, or workbook to SkyDrive or SharePoint directly from the applicable Office 2010 program (Word 2010 shown here), click the File tab to go to Backstage view and then click Save & Send. Click Save to Web to access SkyDrive options as shown here, or click Save to SharePoint to access your SharePoint site. If you have not yet logged into SkyDrive from within Office 2010, you see the option to do so from this location. And both Save to Web and Save to SharePoint remember your locations by default.

    Co-authoring in Word and PowerPoint

    You can simultaneously edit Word 2010 documents and PowerPoint 2010 presentations in those Office 2010 applications on your computer.

    After you save your file online to SharePoint 2010 or SkyDrive, open the file for editing in Word 2010 or PowerPoint 2010 on your computer. When someone else opens the same file for editing while you have it open in Word 2010 or PowerPoint 2010, from the same SharePoint or SkyDrive location, you automatically begin a co-authoring session.

    Note: If you work on a Mac or work with others who work on that platform, you can also save to SkyDrive or SharePoint from the Office for Mac 2011 versions of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint and you can use coauthoring in both Word for Mac 2011 and PowerPoint for Mac 2011. 

    • See a notification pop up from the Status bar at the bottom of the screen when someone else opens your file for editing while you’re still in it. 
    • You see changes from other editors after they save the file and they see your changes when you save. If someone makes changes to the same copy of the document when they have it offline (such as if they open the file for editing and then leave the office with it still open on their laptop), their changes automatically sync the next time they are online and you then see those changes as well. 
    • View the number of current editors at any time on the Status bar (as shown in Figure 2) and click that notification to see names and contact information for other current editors, and to instantly start communicating with other editors right from within Word or PowerPoint. 
    • Depending on your instant messaging software, you may also be able to view information about current editors and initiate communication with them from the Microsoft Office Backstage view.

    Note: To see contact card information (including availability information, also called presence) and communicate with other current editors from Word or PowerPoint, they need to be contacts of yours in your default instant messaging program. Supported programs for viewing presence and initiating IM conversations include Windows Live Messenger and other programs that support IMessenger. If you use Microsoft Lync Server 2010 with Microsoft Lync 2010 (or Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 with Microsoft Communicator 2007 R2 or another application that supports IMessengerAdvanced), you can see presence information and initiate IM or voice calls from within Word 2010 or PowerPoint 2010, and can also utilize these communication options from Backstage view.

    In Word 2010

    When simultaneously editing files with others in Word 2010, the paragraph you are currently editing is automatically blocked to other editors to avoid conflicts. You see who is editing the paragraph and can view their presence and initiate contact from their as well.

    • You also have the option on the Review tab to block off selected parts of the document so that other editors can’t edit them.
    • When you save the document, if other editors have made changes, you see those changes clearly highlighted in green so that they’re easy to find. 

    In PowerPoint 2010

    When simultaneously editing files with others in PowerPoint 2010, you can see what slide someone else is editing from the Slides pane in Normal view (as shown in Figure 2). Click the author indicator on the thumbnail to see presence information and access their contact card.

    • Slides are not blocked when one person is working on them, so multiple editors can work on the same slide at the same time and changes are merged when you each save. 
    • If conflicts arise, or if you choose the Save and Review option in Backstage view, you can enter a conflict resolution mode where you can review and accept changes.

    Figure 2: When coauthoring in either PowerPoint 2010 (shown here) or Word 2010, see the number of current editors on the status bar at the bottom of the screen and click that indicator for a pop-up list that shows you else is editing. Click a name in that list for a contact card through which you can initiate a conversation without leaving the program. Also notice that, in PowerPoint, you see an indicator in the slides pane (as shown on slide 3 in this image) of where other authors are working in the presentation—click this indicator to see who is editing that slide and initiate contact. In Word, you see the editor’s name in a callout beside the paragraph in which they are editing, and can initiate contact from the contact card that appears when you click that callout as well.

    Sharing Notebooks in OneNote 2010 and OneNote Web App

    If you already use Microsoft OneNote, you might know about shared notebooks from OneNote 2007. In that version, you could simultaneously edit notebooks stored on your computer network with others who have access to that network.

    If you’re new to shared notebooks, think of them as a brainstorming or planning tool. They’re a great way to collect and store lots of different kinds of information (whether you share them with others or just with your other devices).

    With Office 2010 and OneNote Web App, you can simultaneously edit shared a notebook that is stored on a SharePoint 2010 site or in a SkyDrive folder with people virtually anywhere to whom you give access to your files. And, you can edit those notebooks at the same time as others who are using OneNote 2010 or OneNote Web App — so you can even simultaneously edit a notebook with someone who doesn’t have OneNote installed on their computer.

    In both OneNote 2010 and OneNote Web App, you can do the following:

    • Use the Show\Hide Authors feature on the View tab to see who made specific changes.
    • Use the Page Versions feature, which creates a version whenever another editor makes changes to a page in shared workbook, to retrieve content that you or someone else inadvertently changed or deleted.

    In OneNote 2010, you can also search for changes by author. Changes made by others since you last edited the notebook are also automatically highlighted when you open the file.

    Note: Because saving in both OneNote 2010 and OneNote Web App is automatic, your changes and those of other editors can update and be seen in almost real time. And if you use Microsoft Office Mobile 2010 on Windows Phone 7, you can share the same notebooks across OneNote 2010, OneNote Web Apps, and OneNote Mobile 2010—and changes made in OneNote 2010 or OneNote Web App sync with your notebook on Windows Phone 7 as well.

    Co-authoring in Excel Web App

    Last but not least, you can simultaneously edit the same Excel 2010 workbook with other people who have access to the SharePoint 2010 or SkyDrive location where you save the file.

    Co-authoring in Excel Web App is simple. Just open the workbook for editing in the browser. When someone else opens the same workbook for editing, from the same location, simultaneous editing begins automatically.

    • Nothing is blocked when simultaneously editing in Excel. Edits are added to the file in the order they are made.
    • Because files are saved automatically when you work in Excel Web App, you see changes from other authors in near real time.
    • See how many editors are working in the file on the bottom-right corner of the Status bar. Just click that indicator to see who else is editing.

    Want more information?

    Learn about co-authoring, presence, and many other new features in the Office 2010 product guides. Download guides for your favorite Microsoft Office programs as well as for Office Web Apps. Want to learn more about SkyDrive and SharePoint 2010? You’ll get quick intros to those as well in the Office Web Apps product guide or you can check out http://sharepoint.com or http://windowslive.com/skydrive.


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    Ever wonder what a Microsoft community event is really like? Check out this guest post written by France MVP Leads Martine Thiphaine and Livia Formisani. They provide an in-depth look at the full agenda which includes - notable speakers, interactive product sessions, and an IT spin on a classic game. To enjoy the French translation, please scroll to the bottom of this post.

    Earlier this month, French Community experts from all over the country got together at the Microsoft France headquarters in Paris for the Microsoft Community Day. About 100 experts from online and offline technical communities joined the event, despite the severe snow which caused cancellations and heavy delays of flights and trains. The Microsoft Community Day gathered MVPs, MSPs, CPL (Communautés Partenaires en Ligne – Online Partner Communities) and MUG (Microsoft User Groups) in a unique event, to give them all the opportunity to interact and network with each other, as it is in the spirit of the Microsoft communities

    The day started with a keynote from the Microsoft France community leaders - Martine Thiphaine (MVP), Julie Knibbe and Matthieu Dordolo (MSP), Nicolas Tann (CPL), Xavier Rosee and Mamoun Benmeradi (MUG) - followed by a plenary session called: “3 screens, 1 cloud”, about computer, Windows Phone 7, Kinect and their interactions all day long with a user. 

    After a small break, the audience divided into three groups to follow the three sessions about the cloud: Consumer offerings, SaaS, and IaaS / PaaS, which presented the whole range of Microsoft cloud solutions. After lunch, the afternoon agenda was also divided into several contemporary sessions for IT Pro and Developers, about Windows Phone development, Internet Explorer 9, Test tools in Visual Studio 2010 and Web development. The sessions included also two round tables, one about Microsoft Forums, and the other about IIS/ASP.NET, where the community experts had the chance to share some direct feedbacks with Microsoft employees.

    Feedback was especially appreciated at the Microsoft Forums round table where the attendees interacted with 5 Microsoft speakers: Giampaolo Battaglia and Antoine Emond, French Audience Marketing Managers respectively for TechNet and MSDN, Florian Eichinger, Regional Program Manager EMEA for the Microsoft Forums, and Roxana Panait and Alexandru Petrescu, Forum Engineers for TechNet and MSDN.   

    The keynote of Bernard Ourghanlian, DPE Lead and also Technical & Security Director of Microsoft France, closed the cycle of sessions. Bernard kept the audience totally frozen in their seats and starry-eyed with insights on security topics and a well-done Q&A about the future of security and of Microsoft products.

    After the sessions and the dinner, the attendees were divided in teams by the color of their entry badge (finally resolving the mystery of the different badge colors everybody wondered about since the beginning), and the six teams gathered in the main conference room. The enigma was then explained: the teams would have played against each other in an IT version of the game “Pictionary”.

    The presenter let one member for each team on the stage, in rounds, and showed him a card with a MS product, service or application, which he had to draw on a graphics tablet connected to the main screen, while his team had to guess it. It was really difficult: imagine how to draw BizTalk or COM. Can you? Well, the Community experts surely could! Between laughs, bad attempts of drawing V2P, and a bit of competition, a team of 6 experts won some cool Microsoft prizes.

    During the evening the fun continued with the two Kinect the attendees had at their disposal, which caused everybody to dance (and some dancefloor runaways to play bowling), and with a real magician who entertained the impressed attendees. Luckily our photo expert
    Laurent Gébeau was there, ready to take beautiful pictures of our Kinectian efforts.

    Thank you Laurent for your beautiful pictures of the event!

    A great event deserves a great memory. That´s why during the evening, a wall was set up near the exit, with two photographers holding Polaroid machines, taking pictures of the attendees: the result has been immortalized by Laurent in a masterly Photosynth, available here.

    <French Version>

    Le 1er Décembre 2010, les experts techniques issus de toutes les communautés à travers la France se sont réunis au siège de Microsoft France à Paris pour le Microsoft Communautés Day. Environ 100 experts des communautés en ligne et hors-ligne ont participé à l´événement, malgré la neige abondante qui a entrainé des annulations et causé des retards importants d’avions et de trains. Le Microsoft Communautés Day a réuni les MVPs, MSPs, CPL (Communautés Partenaires en Ligne) et MUG (Microsoft User Groups) au sein d’un seul événement, afin de donner aux experts l´opportunité d´entrer en contact les uns avec les autres et d’interagir, en conformité avec l´esprit des Communautés Microsoft.

    Apres une petite pause, l´audience s´est divisée en trois groupes pour suivre les trois sessions simultanées relatives au Cloud: privé, SaaS et IaaS / PaaS, qui ont illustré la gamme complète des solutions Microsoft pour le Cloud. Après déjeuner, le programme de l´après-midi prévoyait aussi des sessions simultanées, pour les Professionnels de l’informatique et pour les développeurs, à propos du développement Windows Phone, d’Internet Explorer 9, des outils de test de Visual Studio 2010 et du développement Web. Le programme proposait également deux tables rondes, une sur les Forums Microsoft, l´autre sur IIS/ASP.NET, où les experts des communautés ont eu l´occasion de partager leur retours d’expérience et commentaires directement avec les employés de Microsoft.

    Notamment, lors de la table ronde sur les Forums Microsoft, les experts ont eu la chance d´interagir avec 5 conférenciers de Microsoft: Giampaolo Battaglia et Antoine Emond, Audience Marketing Managers respectivement pour TechNet France et MSDN France, Florian Eichinger, Regional Program Manager EMEA pour les Forums Microsoft, ainsi que Roxana Panait et Alexandru Petrescu, Forum Engineers pour TechNet et MSDN respectivement, qui ont tous très apprécié les discussions et qui ont noté une page complète de commentaires échangés.   

    La session de clôture de Bernard Ourghanlian, DPE Lead et également Technical & Security Director de Microsoft France, a conclu le cycle des sessions. Bernard a totalement capturé l´attention du public avec un aperçu sur la Sécurité IT et une session de Questions/Réponses très intéressante quant au futur de la sécurité et des produits Microsoft.

    Apres les sessions et le diner, les participants ont été séparés en différents groupes, selon la couleur de leur badge d´accès (ce qui a permis de résoudre enfin le mystère des différentes couleurs des badges à propos duquel beaucoup s’interrogeaient), et les six équipes ont été réunies dans la grande salle de conférence. L´énigme leur a alors été expliquée: les équipes allaient jouer, les unes contre les autres, une version IT du jeu “Pictionary”.


    Le présentateur a invité un membre de chaque équipe à monter sur scène, et a lui montré une carte affichant un nom de produit, de service ou d’application Microsoft qu´il devait dessiner sur une tablette graphique connectée à l´écran principal, alors que le reste de son équipe allait devoir le deviner. Ce n’était pas si trivial : imaginez comment dessiner BizTalk ou COM. Est-ce que vous pourriez? Bien sûr, les experts des communautés s’en sont fort bien arrangés ! Entre rires, quelques tentatives pour dessiner V2P, et un peu de compétition, une équipe de 6 experts a finalement gagné et remporté quelques super goodies Microsoft.

    Durant la soirée, les invités ont continué de  s´amuser avec les deux Kinect mises à  disposition, qui ont fait danser tout le monde (et fait jouer au bowling les récalcitrants à la piste de danse). Egalement, un vrai magicien a étonné l’assistance. Heureusement notre expert photo
    Laurent Gébeau était là, prêt à prendre de très beaux clichés de nos efforts Kinectiens. Merci Laurent pour ces  magnifiques photos de cette journée!

    Un grand événement mérite un grand souvenir. C´est notamment pour cette raison que, durant la soirée, un mur blanc était mis à disposition : deux photographes utilisant des appareils Polaroid prenaient des photos des participants, et les épinglaient sur ce mur. Le résultat a été immortalisé par Laurent en un Photosynth magistral, disponible ici


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    As someone who has written countless articles, blog posts, and Tweets, it makes sense that Windows Phone MVP Arne Hess’ words are now larger than life. In fact, they’re currently towering on 33-foot billboards all over Berlin, Germany.

     

    That’s because the marketing team for the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 campaign decided to move past just advertising and ask consumers what they really think. And who better to describe one of the most anticipated phones on the market than a veteran MVP?

     

    Arne described how he became connected with the campaign:

     

    “Earlier this summer, before Windows Phone 7 was launched, I had the opportunity to meet Greg Sullivan, lead product manager Windows Phone 7, during his Windows Phone 7 press tour across Europe.  Since it was a press tour, I was allowed to publicly write about Windows Phone 7, and I summarized the one hour quality time I had with Windows Phone 7 on my site – the::unwired (www.theunwired.net).”

     

    “After I posted my article, Microsoft Germany asked me if they can use some quotes from the article for a possible upcoming marketing campaign, and since I fully stood (and still stand) behind my words I agreed – for sure. Now the Windows Phone 7 campaign is up and running across Berlin – even bigger than I expected – and I’m very proud to be a small part of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 launch campaign!”

     

    Arne’s quote is currently displayed in areas comparable to New York’s Times Square and it reads:

     

    "Es gibt nichts vergleichbares auf dem markt. Es ist neu, frisch - einfach anders."

     

    "There is nothing comparable on the market. It is new, fresh. It’s just different."


     

    We are so excited to see Arne take part in this campaign!


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    Silverlight MVP David Kelley built a kiosk for the Microsoft Store!

    He has written this guest post about achieving digital zen in the retail space. David has been building Targeted Customer eXperiences primarily on the web and offline for over 10 years. David's main focus is on in integrating technology into our environment from using sensors to touch screens and Silverlight. He is currently the Principal User eXperience Architect for Wirestone and publishes a blog 'Hacking Silverlight' as well as posts related to UX for Interact Seattle. Currently his main focus is in the retail space with touch experiences such as digital pricetags and Silverlight based kiosks.  

    Video: MVP David Kelley shows us the kiosk he built for the new Microsoft store in Bellevue, Wa.


    Achieving Digital Zen in Retail

    My “thing” is more or less about embracing the digital space, integrated experience, and fluid emotional connections with a target demographic.  I want to hear “wow that’s cool!” That’s when I know it’s a success. That was our goal with the on-demand software kiosk my team at Wirestone and I created for the new Bellevue Microsoft retail store.

     

    Microsoft’s developer centric approach (“Developer, developer, developer!”) has put the experience with Microsoft tools at least a decade ahead of everyone else. Now we need to look beyond the developer centric approach and more and more focus on a user centric approach. 

     

    This was essential in developing the software kiosk, because it had to be about a holistic, cross-disciplined approach focused on experience design rather than developer or business requirements. 

     

    That’s not to say business requirements are not important, just that the design of applications should be wrapped around the engagement of the user as this is where you gain user adoption (and user adoption = $). 

     

    Microsoft has come up with a set of tools that not just enable this kind of approach but encourage it. From strictly an engineering point of view, we built the software kiosk using XAML (eXtensible Application Markup Language) and WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) using a design pattern called MVVM (ModelView – View – Model) which in itself is a highly refined version of MVC enabled by XAML. 

     

    The software kiosk started as sketch art, line drawings and sketchflows (an Expression Blend feature used to mock up UI) put together by our firm’s information architects, designers, and developers, with input from the target demographic through an iterative process.  By putting mock ups in front of real users we were able to look at behavior and optimize the layout and the way information is displayed so the user can easily understand and accomplish what they need to. We did this before we even started building anything.

     

     

    Once the sketchflows were done we were able to get our creative, integration, and development teams together.  Our lead designer built out comps in Illustrator and went through a few iterations with the overall team, and then another round with target demographic representatives.  At the same time, our developers were able to lay the foundation of the real application by building in Visual Studio “Model”’ and ViewModel, representing the data and the screens from the sketch flow.  The designers and developers were able to talk about the data and what each other needed as well.  This made it easy for the designers, integrators, and developers to pull in design assets even from Adobe Illustrator and code directly against them in Expression Blend due to Blend’s outstanding import tools. 

     

    As a design shop, it’s a plus that we can let our designers work in the tools they are used to, smoothly pull in those assets using Blend, and code in Visual Studio. It also helps our business save money on time to market delivery and training costs. While we didn’t need to retrain designers on new tools, we did need to get everyone on the team to communicate closely and find out what they could do for each other, such as having designers use layers and groupings with names that made since and getting developers to use MVVM to provide design time data so the design integrators could better tweak the design in Blend.  Our mantra became “Communication, Communication, Communication.” 

     

    With the designs built out as views that could loosely be bound to the view model, we were able to do better testing, provide a better design experience, and switch out views for different environments. But probably an often overlooked example of being so loosely coupled is that the code base is so clean extending the application even by designers and developers off the street is going to be easy.  By keeping our focus on building an experience from the perspective of the target demographic, customers now are able to go into a Microsoft store and purchase from an almost limitless selection of on-demand software titles in an experience that is really worth checking out. 

     

    The user centric design approach is the critical aspect of a solution like the Microsoft retail software kiosk, which is enabled by the Microsoft Toolset including Expression Blend, Visual Studio, and just XAML in general.  We’re looking forward to many more iterations with the target demographic in user studies as the Microsoft Store continues to evolve.


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    On January 1, 2011, 229 leaders in technical communities from around the world received for the first time recognition as Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Awardees and 834 MVPs were re-awarded. The MVP Award recognizes inspiring, trusted, and independent experts who voluntarily share their passion and knowledge of Microsoft products with others.

    Announcements are made quarterly and each year more than 4,000 MVPs are honored. MVPs represent nearly 100 countries, speak over 40 different languages, and are awarded in almost 90 Microsoft technologies. Together, they answer more than 10 million questions each year.

    This quarter, the MVP Award is extended to two new areas of technical expertise: eight MVPs have been awarded for their expertise in Office 365 and four in SQL Azure. MVP Business Group Lead Rowena Branch is excited to welcome these new MVPs, explaining,

    “Office 365 is a key component in Microsoft’s online services strategy.  Having demonstrated their commitment to contributing their expertise in Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, and Office 365, these new Office 365 MVPs will have the opportunity to partner with current MVPs who have expertise in Microsoft’s on-premise offerings.  SQL Azure and Windows Azure are essential parts of Microsoft’s Azure Platform and Cloud Development. The newly awarded SQL Azure MVPs will have opportunities to collaborate around cloud-based application development.”

     

     

    Because of their strong ties to the community, MVPs amplify the voice of the customer to Microsoft, representing thousands of people from technology communities throughout the world. Of the more than 100 million social and technical community members worldwide, only a tiny fraction is recognized as MVPs. As part of their award experience, MVPs are invited to share their feedback through direct interactions with Microsoft product group teams.

     

    To become an MVP, candidates are nominated by Microsoft, other community individuals, or in some cases themselves. Candidates are rigorously evaluated for their technical expertise, community leadership, and voluntary community contributions for the previous year. Please visit our nomination page to nominate yourself or someone you know to be considered for an MVP Award.

    We’d like to extend a warm welcome to the new MVPs, and welcome back to re-awarded MVPs. Here’s to a great award year!

     


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    MVP Lead PJ Forgione has written this guest post about his time at CES 2011.

     

    MVPs and other industry leaders swamped Las Vegas recently for CES 2011. US community program manager, Jake Grey,  and I saw this as a great opportunity to join the teeming masses of 140,000 attendees and gain a glimpse into where the future of consumer technologies is heading and how community is likely to evolve as the technology does.

     

     

    Jake and I spent time with Microsoft product team members and members of the broader consumer community, as well as really getting the opportunity to connect with MVPs. We were able to gather feedback and measure community excitement both at the expo hall and during informal settings throughout the week. It was great to see Steve Ballmer’s keynote announcing Avatar Kinect, Kinect integration with Netflix and Hulu, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, the next version of Surface and be there to hear the community’s enthusiastic response.

     

     

    I got to sit in on the Entertainment Matters panel where Microsoft VP Mich Mathews shared her insights along with other industry execs about how marketing is helping to shape innovation in the consumer industry. 

     

    I also sat down with Trent McMurray, of the newly launched and community-run Windows Phone Concierge website, to discuss the evolving spaces in which the Windows Phone community participates – such as Windows Phone on MSAnswers and the newly launched New York City Windows Phone User Group. Check out the video below: 

     

     

    I also had the opportunity to catch up with Windows Phone MVP Johan Van Mierlo. He talked to me about the WP7 community and the New York Windows Phone User Group!

     

     

    I am looking forward to catching up with more MVPs at this year’s MVP Global Summit!


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    Known as Microsoft’s flagship event in Africa, MVPs flew in from around the world to make their presence known at Tech-Ed Africa. Delivering over 25% of the sessions, MVPs helped drive advocacy around exciting, emerging Microsoft technologies, including Windows Phone 7 and Cloud computing at an event that featured 211 technical sessions, 13 lunch box sessions, 53 whiteboards and 19 Instructor-led hotlabs.

     

    Altogether 142 speakers, and 62 Microsoft team members, gave testament to why Tech-Ed South Africa is renowned as a major Microsoft event.

     

     

    Client App Dev MVP Tim Huckaby summed it up, “After 13 straight years of speaking at TechEd’s all over the world, I can only declare one as checked off my ‘bucket list.’ Tech-Ed South Africa was that one. Great people, great place, great event.  I cannot wait to come back.”

     

    The enthusiasm didn’t stop there.  MVPs judged the DevIdols, conducted interviews and whiteboard sessions, and even encouraged engagement between delegates and key community influencer's in the community lounge.

     

     

     

    Enterprise Security MVP Andy Malone was thrilled about his experience, “I had a fantastic time at Tech-Ed Africa 2010. Durban is an amazing, vibrant city with very welcoming people. In terms of the event I was blown away with delegate feedback, outstanding sessions and a great exhibition hall.”


     

     

    Delegates and the technical community experienced an outstanding showcase of MVP engagement at Tech-Ed Africa.


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    We are very excited to see all of the MVPs that are traveling to the Seattle/Bellevue area in February! Yesterday, I headed out to Bellevue to gain a fresh perspective of the city. I brought my camera with me to highlight some of the neighborhood and help familiarize you with some fun places around town.  There are big shopping centers, restaurants, pubs and numerous activities to experience while you are here. Make sure to stay connected with all things MVP Summit on our MVP Global Summit 2011 blog.

    I hope you enjoyed this small tour around the place we call home!


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by Office 365 MVP Chad Mosman as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office 365" series. Office 365 MVP Chad Mosman is the Founder and Principal Consultant at MessageOps.  He founded MessageOps to focus 100% on delivering BPOS/Office 365 services and solutions.  MessageOps has developed numerous BPOS/Office 365 solutions, almost all of which are available as free downloads on the MessageOps website (http://www.messageops.com/).  Chad started his career at Microsoft in Product Support Services, supporting Exchange over the phone and onsite.  He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Computer Science.

    The demand to get into the Office 365 Beta has been tremendous and the end result for a lot of individuals and organizations is they still have not received their Beta invitation.  Even though you might not have your Beta invitation, there are probably several tasks you can start now to help you prepare.  In this article we’ll take a look at several tasks which can typically take a bit of lead time to complete.  By starting to at least think of these items today you can help ensure that you, or your customers, are ready to hit the ground running when you do get access to Office 365.  The primary focus of this article will be around email, since that seems to be the system that most organizations move to the cloud first.  Also much of this information doesn’t apply to current BPOS clients, but they can start thinking about Identity Federation and making sure their clients are up to date.

     

    1.  Review the Office 365 Beta Service Descriptions.  The Service Descriptions are a great resource for what features and functionality are included in the services that make up Office 365.  I really can’t stress this one enough.  Knowing what is included up front should reduce the likelihood of any surprises down the road.  It should be noted these are Beta, so they could change slightly. The Service Descriptions can be downloaded from: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=6c6ecc6c-64f5-490a-bca3-8835c9a4a2ea

     

    2.  Assess your network capacity.  If you currently run everything on-premise, you could see a significant increase in your Internet connection utilization when you move that traffic from the local network to the Internet.  Microsoft has some information for the current BPOS release which should be very similar to the requirements for Office 365. http://www.microsoft.com/online/help/en-us/helphowto/3dea7174-a521-4442-a7c5-5d540e09b20d.htm

     

    3.  Create an inventory of all the applications that rely on your current mail server.  Ask yourself, if your mail server was to go down which applications or processes would be impacted?  Obviously your end users wouldn’t be able to send or receive email, but what about things like integrated Fax and Voicemail, Multifunction printers and scanners, your CRM system, or that homebrew application which nobody has touched in years which relays mail through the local server.  Once you have everything identified, try and determine if they can be reconfigured to work with Office 365.  Use the Service Description information to help determine if the access methods used by these applications are supported.

     

    4.  Determine what you are going to do with Public Folders (if applicable).  Public Folders aren’t available with Office 365, so you are probably going to have to move them to Shared Mailboxes or SharePoint Online.  If a Public Folders has an email address, you’ll probably have to move it a Shared Mailbox, as SharePoint Online doesn’t support inbound email for Document Libraries or Lists (which you would know by reading the Service Descriptions).  The Public Folder story hasn’t changed much since BPOS, so a good starting point on what to do is this Whitepaper on the topic: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=07bed889-7ee1-42fa-96b1-e03deef18ce5


    5.  Ensure you clients are up to date.  The big to do here is upgrade all your Outlook clients to 2007 or greater.  Office 2003 and below are not supported.  The client OS’s will also require updates.  The clients can be updated by installing the Office 365 connector or pushing the updates via an existing software deployment system.

    6.  Prepare your Active Directory.  If you plan on using Directory Synchronization, you need to be aware that only a single forest can be synchronized to Office 365.  If you have multiple forests, and want to synchronize all users, you’ll have to consolidate everything to a single forest or determine which forest will be synchronized and create placeholder objects for users from other forests.

    7.  Determine if Simple or Rich Coexistence right for you.  This is a really big topic to cover in a short article, but I’ll give it a shot. Simple coexistence is what exists in BPOS today.  Essentially you get a Synchronized Address List and SMTP mailflow.  Free/busy sharing or shared mailbox access is not possible during the coexistence period with Simple Coexistence.  If you plan on having a short coexistence period, simple coexistence might be fine for you.  One other thing to note is to use the Microsoft migration tools you’ll need to have RPC over HTTPS enabled on your Exchange server, or IMAP enabled on your non-Exchange server. 


    Rich Coexistence gives you the ability to do things like view Free/Busy between Office 365 and your on-premise mail server.  For additional features see: http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2010/10/19/456652.aspx

     

    Rich coexistence is a great choice for larger organizations that want to migrate over time.  The big prep step here is it requires you have an Exchange 2010 server in your existing Exchange environment.   To assist you with this step, Microsoft has created a great tool which generates customized instructions on how to configure coexistence between your on-premise server and Exchange Online: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/exdeploy2010/

     

    8.  Determine if Identity Federation will be used.  Again, another really big topic, but very important to start thinking about.  Identity federation provides a single sign-on experience for users to access both the on-premises and cloud-based organizations with a single user name and password.  This is a significant improvement over what exists today.  Identity Federation in Office 365 uses Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS).  One thing to keep in mind is that Office 365 is authenticating users based on your local Active Directory.  If your Active Directory is unavailable, or the ADFS/ADFS proxy server servers aren’t available, users won’t be able to access the Office 365 services.  With that in mind, most organizations will want to design a system with redundancy built in, which will likely require additional physical or virtual servers installed on-premise.  A good starting point for information on Identity Federation is: http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-enterprises/ff652540.aspx

     

    As you can see, even though you might not have access to Office 365 today, there are several tasks you can start on now to get you ready.


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    At this year’s Tech-Ed Eilat Israel--the biggest IT event in Israel—MVPs set a record with a whopping 50% in attendance serving as speakers.  With 3,000 participants, 15 tracks and more than 150 technical sessions, Tech-Ed Eilat Israel delivered an excellent opportunity for participants to expand their knowledge and connect key influencers in the technical community.

     

    Visual C# MVP Shai Friedman, along with 15 other MVPs, held a private MVP meeting with the event’s keynote speaker, Jason Zander. This was one of six unique MVP opportunities that set a new standard of engagement in Israel.

     

    MVPs contributed in every phase of the event--from pre-event right through to the end. Visual C# MVP Sasha Goldshtein and Data Platform Development MVP Gil Fink wrote articles that were featured in the local Newsgeek publication. SQL Server MVP Meir Dudai wrote a feature on the local IT Portal.

     

    Data Platform Development MVP Gil Fink summed it up, “Tech-Ed Eilat 2010 was a very exciting event with a lot of great sessions and cool parties. It also gave its attendees the opportunity to meet with colleagues from different organizations and to share knowledge. I had the pleasure to have a session in the event about building N-Tier Applications using Entity Framework 4.”

     

    The Tech-Ed Show featured Exchange Server MVP Daniel Petri with a great interview to help promote the event. Daniel then came up with a creative idea on how to promote his sessions. He filmed himself walking in the supermarket talking about his sessions and received excellent reviews.
     

    Well done to all involved for setting the bar so high for upcoming events.

     


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