Friday, October 12, 2012

Why I’m Super Happy with Windows 8

So ya, I’m a Microsoft employee, so I’m assimilated right?  Yes and no.  I believe in Microsoft, I understand where we’re going and I have insight into the future (of Microsoft) that the average person would not.
imageBut with Windows 8, I held off installing it as my production machine until 2 months after RTM.  That’s unheard of.  With Windows 7 I was running it in production far before it even reached Alpha stage (which makes Windows 7 the operating system I’ve run the longest, ever).  I loved Windows 7 so much.  Finally it was fast, and I was super efficient, I knew where everything was.  It was the XP Bliss days all over again, but on a faster, more secure, more compatible, more more more system.  My home network was running flawlessly, and I didn’t have the time to deal with “problems” given I was ramping up on my job change.  I had seen videos of people struggling with where to find things and fellow employees even told me that they were having trouble with this or that. 
So, I got into my head that I didn’t want the change, and while I agreed with the focus Windows 8 had on touch, and tablets, I strongly disagreed with the use of the same operating system for stand-up desktops or laptops, that don’t have touch.  Why would you force users to go to the corners of the screen? What’s wrong with the mouse? It seems like Microsoft is trying to kill it (don’t we all try to kill mice?)
I have now been running Windows 8 for over a month, and I have to say, I absolutely love it, and cringe when I see people running on Windows 7, it seems so old to me.  And I have a Lenovo T410 without touch, and two 24” monitors attached to a docking station (also without touch). 
First the gripes I’ve heard, and why it’s not a problem:
The Start Screen
The way I think about Windows 8 is it’s an operating system, that opens up a set of tiles (which are larger icons, because the icons provide value without touching them.  They call these live tiles).  One of these tiles is called the Desktop.  This is a legal application that serves up the old Windows 7 desktop, so you can continue to run the bazillion of old apps you used to run, apps that need a mouse, apps that are designed for the “chained to your desk” way of life.  If you were paying attention in the Windows 7 days, you’ll notice you can “pin” all your frequently used applications to the task bar, and you can continue to do this in Windows 8, with almost no change (aside from the very initial launch or pin).  Yes the start button is gone, but it’s superfluous if you think about it.  I’m a pretty big power user, and I have 19 applications pinned to my task bar, and I probably only ever use another 2-3 that aren’t pinned, and there is plenty of room in the taskbar for them.  When I do need the task bar, I can either drag my mouse to where it use to be, and in a 1/2 second the start menu box comes up, or simply press the windows key that’s on pretty much every keyboard you can get these days in a designed for windows PC.  So Ultimately once I’m in my legacy desktop application (which yes there are new applications for, like Office 2013!), I *rarely* get out to the start menu
The Corners of the Screen
I’ve heard a lot of talk about “why use the corners of the screen?”.  I honestly was curious as to what people were talking about for 2 weeks, as I didn’t even need the corners of the screen.  With a keyboard you can do almost everything you could do with a mouse only and the corner of the screen.  I can see how they would be useful for your fingers, because they are quick task switching and allow you to search or get access into settings etc.  Useful with your finger, but not needed when using a mouse and keyboard
Focus on Touch
I think this is a great move by Microsoft.  Apple has really been the forerunner here with the iPad, moving the world to touch based computing.  I’ve heard that the mouse is just efficient.  This is because you’ve trained yourself to use a mouse.  My toddler can pick up the iPad and just use it.  She can’t do this with a mouse.  The focus on touch brings Windows 8 into today’s world where people are interacting with smaller devices in more intimate ways, and touch is essential.  Whens the last time you’ve sat on the couch and tried to use an external mouse and laptop?  With the desktop legacy app, you get the best of both worlds.  Additionally, for those of you who worry about this, a mouse with a scroll wheel, it’s super easy to navigate the start menu, and modern apps for that matter as well.
Now into what I like without the gripes
It’s Ridiculously Fast
It boots fast, it shuts down fast, it loads stuff fast, it’s always waiting on me, for once!  I thought Windows 7 was fast.  Windows 8 is as fast as they say it is.  In the words of Darth Helmet from Space Balls, it’s ludicrous speed!  I had some spare time to install Adobe Lightroom, Photomatix and ColorFX Pro, my photo editing suite (yes into the legacy desktop app), and noticed a huge difference in photo processing speed.  The same photo editing software and the same hardware with a new OS and I was amazed at how fast it was.
Roaming Profile Settings
Maybe I’m biased here because I have a few PCs, and in the past I’ve had a LOT of computers running (at one time I had up to 6 computers I was actively using), I sort of got used to not customizing Windows, because it just took too long to customize 6 PCs knowing they were going to be re-installed at a moments notice.  With Windows 8 all that comes down from the “Cloud”
Windows 8 is the most secure version of windows ever, yadda yadda yadda.  Every new version of Windows is the most secure version of Windows ever.  What I actually like here is the added security features, like Direct Access now leverages virtual smart cards, you can clearly log into your machine with different types of credentials, and integrated Microsoft Accounts! (formerly LiveID), I think this is the best part.  now I have one identity across all my stuff, which makes access so much easier, without the hassle.
The Windows Store
Sure, every tablet needs it’s marketplace, and Windows is no different.  It already has some awesome apps in it, and this means that I don’t need to store all the installers for all the apps that have purchased on a server somewhere in my house, they are all in the store, and when I go to install them, it’s always the latest version. 
It Just Works
I’ve installed it on 2 machines, one Lenovo and one HP, and all the drivers were there, and they just work, no hassle.  Plus the install on a non SSD computer was about 25 minutes
Touch & Keyboard Focus
I covered above why touch focus is great, but I didn’t mention that as a computer power user (if I may call myself that for a second).  I find that reaching for the mouse and using the mouse time consuming.  I’d rather just do stuff on the keyboard, as it’s faster (see the mouse is inefficient!).  Windows 8 facilitates this with the ability to type on any screen to start a search.  Plus they created a HUGE list of fast keys for you to learn and become more efficient with.  I suggest you start with WIN+I and WIN+X.
So there you have it.  I’m on Windows 8, and I’m loving it more than Windows 7, and I didn’t think I would.  If you’re looking for a new computer to go with Windows 8, (i.e. if you’re not going to do your own install from Microsoft media), I strongly suggest you look for the Microsoft Signature collection of PCs. They come with hardware optimized and approved by Microsoft, they come without bloatware that slows your PC down, and they come with pre-installed security, and support… but if you found this blog post, we all know you don’t need that.
I hope you enjoy Windows 8 as much as I do.  I can’t even wait to try it with touch!
[This is not intended as a marketing post.  This post is intended for all those people who ask me what I think about Windows 8, and what about X or Y or Z.  I can now send you a single link instead of having a super long conversation on what I like about Windows 8]

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Windows Server 2012 Essentials RTM!! (and Eval today!)

Well, The product formerly known as Windows Small Business Server 2012, is finally at RTM!  This was the last version of SBS I had the pleasure of working on, owning the storage system from the ground up as well as the initial design of the Online Backup functionality.  Of course a lot of things change when you leave a team before the first major milestone, so I can’t wait to fire this one up and see where the teammates I left behind took this product.

According to the Office Blog Post on the RTM announcement, the product highlights include:

  • Enable a dynamic, modern work style with access from your devices by using Remote Web Access (RWA), and take advantage of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 devices for a superior experience with rich modern “My Server” apps.
  • Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your data is well-protected by complementing your on-site backups with Windows Azure Online Backup, as well as utilizing integrated support for the new Windows 8 File History feature.
  • Choose the email and collaboration option that’s right for you, whether that’s in the cloud with Office 365 or a hosted service provider, or running on a local server.
  • Quickly and easily respond to increasing data capacity needs with support for Storage Spaces, which allows you to create elastic, resilient storage for your files and folders.
  • Run the line-of-business applications that you depend on by leveraging our greatly improved application compatibility, now with a single logo certification for all Windows Server 2012 editions.
  • Purchase with confidence knowing that your technology investment can easily grow to Windows Server 2012 Standard if the needs of your business grow.
  • Deploy today with full support for 19 languages, all releasing simultaneously.

If you’re itching to try it like I am, you can pop on over to the evaluation center and download the trial version today, which is also on MSDN or TechNet if you prefer those.

Please join me in congratulating the team on another launch of a fantastic product for small businesses.  And we all know you’re going to hook it up to Office365 right?? Smile

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Beware Social scammers that call pretending to be the Microsoft HelpDesk

On 9/21/2012, I received my first social engineering hacking attack. An attempt to obtain access to my computer and my credit card, leveraging my stupidity and lack of computer skills :o)
I'm outlining what happened here so you can save yourself if you get a similar phone call.

Apparently the FTC is aware of this and is cracking down on these support calls, but I figured I’d post this here as well, because well, the end is hilarious.  Additionally, these folks seem to be blind calling (aside from knowing your surname) as they didn’t realize that I actually worked for Microsoft.  In some cases, they call right into honeypots just waiting for their call.

Please note that the first few minutes of this call, I was confused as I had 3 tickets open with the *internal* Microsoft helpdesk about random stuff related to my job.  I found the conversation hilarious.

This phone call from 206-397-1127, the caller idea was a bunch of numbers. This is how the call went:

Me: Hello?
Caller: Hello Mr. Daniel? (I have no idea how they got my name)
Me: Hi
Caller: This is the Microsoft Help Desk calling, we have seen issues that your browser is infected with a virus and we're calling you to help you fix your computer.
Me: Oh? (At this point I'm thinking it might be the internal Microsoft helpdesk, but the number is wrong, which I'm aware of)
Caller: Yes, I'm calling because I can help you fix this problem. Is your computer on?
Me: Yes it's on, I'm sitting at it
Caller: Well, click the start button in the bottom right hand corner of your screen
Me: There is no start button (I'm running Windows 8, if you recall, there is actually no start button anymore)
Caller: Yes, it is there, in the bottom left of your screen, all the way at the bottom, all the way to the left
Me: I'm looking there, I do not see a Start button
Caller: ok, we will do this another way, do you have a keyboard?
Me: Yes (I wish I was using a Surface at this point, as I wouldn't have a keyboard either!)
Caller: Ok, beside the CTRL button, there is a button with a flag on it, 4 squares in a flag. push that
Me: (trying to hold in my laughter at this point). Nice try, you obviously don't know that i'm running Windows 8, and there is no start button, SCAMMER! <click>

As a Microsoft employee, I'll tell those of you who aren't, that Microsoft will never call you about a virus on your computer in this fashion. They do provide you with FREE antivirus solution called Security Essentials for Windows.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

SBS is a Community, Stick together!

Well, I’ve seen a lot of unhappy faces (umm, emoticons?) about a name change from Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials to Windows Essential Server 2012.  People don’t like the removal of the “SBS” part, and there is a revolt. 

Before I joined Microsoft, I spent countless hours with my roommates with Windows NT4 server, Proxy Server, and more software, trying to share an Internet connection with my room mates.  I did my first interview with an on campus Microsoft employee, and my first day on the job I was going to his going away lunch!  Well, I remember distinctly getting the email from him that said “I could work on any team, but I’d probably be a good fit for SBS”.  Larry was the GM of SBS at the time.  I instantly “MSN Searched” (ok in University I used Google) it and was like “This is what I need for my apartment!”.  It was a natural fit.

I love SBS (I say love because I still do), but not because of a product that I built, or that SBS 2003 was selling like hotcakes or because it actually solved the problem I had in my house, or even because I liked randomly walking into a small business and seeing it there, or because it taught me everything I know about servers; I love SBS because of the people involved.

90% of the very close friends I have in Seattle have worked on or had a part in the SBS product at some point.  We have all moved onto other projects inside or out of the company (many to MultiPoint server!).  I hosted an “ex-SBS PM” lunch on campus the other day, and almost ALL of the PMs from over 10 years got together for lunch!!  When does that ever happen?  Almost unheard of.

After some time on the product, I actually got to meet the community. An absolutely insane bunch of very close nit specialists who deal with the problems of businesses from 5-100 employees.  I say insane, because the stuff that bunch of professionals deal with is unbelievable to me.  I also got to tour both the east and west costs visiting user groups.  A gathering of the minds to figure out problems for small businesses.

My first user group visit I was disappointed that Microsoft wasn’t the only presenters.  Over time, I realized that these user groups weren’t about Microsoft at all.  Sure the central product, SBS, was what people were installing, but Small Businesses needed desktop clients, printers, specialized LOBs, accounting software and much more.  And their customers had needs, like working remotely, from a boat, via satellite (and there were even more wacky sites) … challenges that Enterprises would never allow, but small business owners wanted, and pushed.SBS

My point here is this logo, created by the community doesn’t mention Microsoft, doesn’t have a server on it, and doesn’t need a brand to be useful.  Small Business Specialists (SBS) are still needed.  Someone to guide these “wing-it” small businesses through the weeds of technology, help them with their wacky requests, while keeping it secure.

So, Microsoft may have formed this community around a brand, but it doesn’t die with a product name.  Friendships have been made, user groups are in place, the need for small business is there.  You know what those small businesses need. Be a Bobcat, or a Cougar, and stick together, keep your microphone and continue to have fun supporting SMBs…  And if you use Windows Essentials Server 2012 or Office 365 in the process, so be it.  :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

How to add a “Send To” shortcut for SkyDrive

With personal cloud computing on the rise with SkyDrive, Google Drive, Drop Box, etc.  you want super easy ways to get things into and out of the Cloud.  If you’re like me, sometimes you’re in a hurry and just need to slap something into the cloud on the way out the door, and organize it later.


Into Windows has a great article on how to add a “Send to SkyDrive” shortcut to the context menu of the shell. You can find that article here.  Basically it boils down to simply putting a shortcut to the SkyDrive folder into your sendto special folder.  You need to be also running the SkyDrive software for Windows.

Here’s what I did, after installing the SkyDrive software

  1. Navigate to the folder above your SkyDrive folder, it’s typically c:\users\%username%\ (where %username% is the username of you on your computer)
  2. Right-Click on the SkyDrive folder and choose create shortcut.
    1. I renamed this file from SkyDrive – Shortcut to just SkyDrive, for a cleaner look
  3. Next open up Start, then Run, and type in “shell:sendto ”. This will open another explorer window in your sendto folder. 
  4. Move the shortcut created early into this sendto folder.

That’s it! now simply right click on any file you want to send to your SkykDrive, go to the “Send To” option and you’ll see SkyDrive in the list.

SendTo SkyDrive

Just remember to leave your laptop open long enough to wait for that file to be sync’d to the cloud!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Get Cloud Services working for you, even when you’re not!

As the saying goes, a user will do things over and over and over again, but a developer will automate it and never touch it again (until something breaks of course).

I am not a developer, but I do have a developer education, and that makes me want to automate stuff.  Why do something over and over again that a computer can handle just fine?  I do this sort of thing on a client computer, and often write scripts using AutoHotKey.  I wrote about it earlier, now’s a good time to check it out. 

I’m now excited to say that I’ve found a way for things to happen for you, without you doing anything.  Getting those beloved Cloud services working for you.IFTTT

Have you heard about If this then that? or IFTTT (pronounced “lift” without the “L”)

IFTTT is an online “batch” file service that allows you to set a trigger (“if this”), and have an action take place on your behalf (“then that”).  You can learn more about it here.

It’s my new favorite service.  Supporting all kinds of existing services including:, Blogger, Buffer, Craigslist, Date & Time,, Dropbox, Email, Evernote, Facebook, RSS feeds, Flickr, Foursquare, GMail (and almost all of Google’s services that I don’t use), Instagram,, LinkedIn, SMS, Stocks, Twitter, Vimeo, Weather, Belkin power, Wordpress, Youtube, and more!

You can then simply create what they call “recipes”, which allows you to set some trigger on some service, and then have a action take place when that trigger happens.  For example, this is a popular one:

AutoSave Instagram Pictures to DropBox

It’s that easy, you set up your trigger actions and define your reactions.  In just a day, I’ve created a few recipes:

  • I save all my tweets to Evernote (easy and fast searching of historical tweets)
  • I automatically tweet blog posts (like this one), and then re-tweet them again later using
  • I have an email alert set up for my favorite stocks
  • I automatically blog my Instagram shots on my photoblog.
  • I’m going to tweet exactly at Midnight on new years to wish everyone a great new 2013!


What I like most about IFTTT is I never have to give it any of my passwords for my other sites/services, it just simply gets granted access, and I can always revoke it from the target service if I want.

So if you like automation, and you find yourself repeating the same actions over and over again, try out IFTTT

This blog post was automatically tweeted by IFTTT

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts

I’m a big believer in short-cut keys, moving your hand to your mouse, moving the mouse, and then back to the keyboard is inefficient.  If you can save a few seconds using keyboard shortcuts, and you do this constantly during the day, it’ll save you time. 

imageFurthermore, as we approach Windows 8, and you end up getting that fancy touch screen, it’s going to be even more important to use keyboard short cuts.  In fact, you can navigate Windows 8 much better with the keyboard than the mouse if you don’t have a touch screen.

So, let’s take a refresher on our keyboard shortcuts:




Starts Task Manager.

Windows (tap)

Toggles between the Start screen and the foremost running app (Metro-style) or the Windows Desktop.


Peeks at the Windows desktop.


Snaps application to the left.


Initiate input method editor (IME) reconversion.

Windows+1, Windows+2, etc.

Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the nth shortcut in the Windows taskbar. So WINKEY + 1 would launch whichever application is first in the list, from left to right.

Windows+Arrow Keys

Aero Snap.


Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and select the tray notification area.


Display Charms and time/date/notification overlay.


Cycle through apps, snapping them as you go.


Toggle Show Desktop (hides/shows any applications and other windows).


Launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed.


Launch Narrator.


Search Files using the new Windows Search pane.


Open the Share charm.


Display Settings charm.


Swap foreground between the snapped and filled apps.


Display Connect charm.


Lock PC and return to Lock screen.


Minimize the selected Explorer window.


Toggle orientation switching on slate and tablet PCs.


Display the new Project (for "projection") pane for choosing between available displays.


Move the Start Screen or a Metro-style application to the monitor on the right.


Move the Start Screen or a Metro-style application to the monitor on the left.


Open the Search pane.


Display Run box.


Move the gutter to the left (snap an application).


Snaps application to the right.


Cycle through apps in reverse order.


Cycles through Notification toasts in reverse order.


Switch input language and keyboard layout.


Cycle through apps.


Launch Ease of Access Center.


Cycles through Notification toasts.


Display Settings Search pane


Access the advanced context menu on the Start preview tip.


Open the App Bar.

Happy Keyboarding!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Enjoying the Cloud way of Life

A few years ago, I made a decision to move almost everything to the cloud. Steve Ballmer did say that Microsoft employees were "All In!" and I decided to take that to heart. See what it's like. I have since ditched running Exchange in my house for the power of Hotmail (Although I also have an Office365 account), and I have focused most of my energy on cloud services in the public cloud instead of those in the private cloud, although I still run Windows Home Server strictly because cloud storage is expensive.

I have to say that thus far I like it. I have minimized the number of computers in my house from 4 desktops, 2 laptops and a server, down to 1 laptop and a tablet and a [light-weight] server. It makes patch-tuesday much easier to swallow as I'm not chasing down computers for updates. My wife still has her laptop and her phone, but otherwise it's a minimalistic approach.

I did make some other changes. I switched out my Zune player for a Sonos player (well, actually 2!), and I stopped buying CDs and ripping them to my home server and now simply subscribed to Rdio, which is kind enough to allow me to play any song I want at any time, to any device. It's cheaper than actually buying the CDs now too. It fits nicely in with the Sonos player as well.

Part of moving to the Cloud was I wanted to have almost no data on my computers or tablets. I store a backup of all my personal documents on my SkyDrive using their new app for the PC, which gives me access to all my stuff from my iPad and soon to be Windows Surface! I store all my work documents on SharePoint at the office, and my laptop is really just a vessel of information that's actively being worked on until it's saved to one of those two locations.

In fact, all I use my Home Server for is media storage. Ripped DVDs for streaming to the xbox, my old music collection, and most importantly my photo collection. My Home Server also provides a gateway to the cloud for online backup (see my Online Backup posts). It's also the "computer" that's on all the time, so it runs any long-time running tasks which allows my PC to sleep as often and as aggressively as it likes.

So far living the Cloud is easy, but I've made some important decisions as to where I store my data, and admittedly, there is some data that I still don't put in the cloud, but I could probably count it on one hand.

Are you in the cloud yet? why not? Drop me a comment and let me know why.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Give-Away Contest: Win a Copy of SBS 2011 Configuration from PACKT Publishing

Book Give-away:
Win free copy of the 'Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Configuring (70-169) Certification Guide', just by commenting!

PACKT has graciously offered TWO copies of (MCTS): Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Configuring (70-169) Certification Guide to be given away to two lucky winners (winners outside of the USA and Europe will get e-copies only)

How you can win:
To win your copy of this book, all you need to do is come up with a comment below highlighting the reason "why you would like to win this book”.
Duration of the contest & selection of winners:
The contest is valid for 14 days (two weeks), and is open to everyone. Winners will be selected on the basis of their comment posted.

Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Configuring (70-169) Certification Guide
(MCTS): Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Configuring (70-169) Certification Guide is written by,
  • Drew Hills: an active and regular contributor to the SMB IT Professional community in Australia having passed 18 different Microsoft Certification exams so far.
  • Robert Crane: Having 15 years of IT experience with a degree in Electrical Engineering as well as Masters of Business Administration, he's been awarded with the Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his contributions to the Office 365 product in 2012.
Using this book readers will learn to manage messaging collaboration and develop management of users, computers and printers. With the understanding of steps, to configure Remote Access, readers will also learn the installation and set up of Windows SBS 2011 Standard with the management of Health and Security and Advanced Configuration amongst others.
(MCTS): Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard, Configuring (70-169) Certification Guide  focuses on set of test questions and answers that will prepare you for the actual exam. With easy layout and content, this book helps you learn and maximize your study time in areas where you need improvement. With additional practical resources included, this book will enable you to approach the Configuring (70-169) exam with confidence.

So leave a comment below on why you should win!! Contest ends on 6/22, winners will be picked over the weekend and announced on Monday 6/25.


  • Tyler Pelletier
  • Robin Jones

Congratulations to the Winners! I need these folks to click the email link above and send me an email so I have your email address, which I will provide to PACKT publishing in order for them to contact you to get you your copy of the book.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

How to Subscribe to an ICS calendar in Hotmail

Earlier I posted on how to share your Hotmail calendar between two or more people.  What you might remember if you viewed the screenshots closely, is I had a few more calendar’s in there.  Like a Trip It Calendar. 

As a side note, if you travel at all, and don’t use Trip It, you’re missing out!  Trip it is a website / service that you simply forward your travel itinerary to an email address it builds a trip itinerary for your trip so you can quickly access all the details about your flight, your hotel or rental car, or any other itinerary you have. 

Back to Hotmail calendaring, you can subscribe to any Internet Calendaring Service (ICS) feed, this can be something like your trip-it calendar, the Seahawk’s TV schedule calendar, your FaceBook calendar, the list goes on of sites that support ICS.

To simply subscribe to an ICS Calendar in Hotmail do the following:

  1. Log into, and click on the Calendar link
  2. Click the Subscribe link above your calendar
  3. Choose to Import from an ICS file, and provide the linkImport ot Subscribe to a Calendar request
  4. I always choose to import into a new calendar, give it a game, a color and in the case of Trip it, a little airplane charm.

Now once you know where to put the ICS file, you just have to find them.  I only use FaceBook (for those pesky FaceBook events, it’s nice to have them just appear in your calendar) and Trip-it, so airplane itinerary and hotel check-ins just appear in your calendar.

Monday, June 04, 2012

How to Share Hotmail Calendars between two or more people

I’m a huge user of Hotmail. It’s where I store my personal email.  I looked at hosting it in Office 365, but to have to pay for one mailbox or a few mailboxes for personal use is kind of cumbersome.  There is no doubt that Office 365 is better for businesses, but for personal use, Hotmail is just fine for me.

However, there are some features that *just happen* with Office365, that don’t necessarily happen in Hotmail, like Calendar sharing.  I’ve started using my Hotmail calendar for anything personal that I need to track, and then create a calendar request to my work calendar if it’s during business hours (like a Dr’s appointment).  My wife actually uses her Hotmail calendar to track her work schedule.

My wife is bad at remembering to update digital calendars, so once/month, I perform secretary duties, which just makes both our lives easier.  But the key is I update her calendar, from my account.  We can also view each other’s calendar on our PCs, our iPads and our SmartPhones.  Here’s how.

  1. From each account you want to share, go to, log in, and click on your Calendar.
  2. Click on the Share link above your calendar
  3. Change the Don’t share this calendar (keep it private) to Share this calendar Share this Calendar
  4. When you select Add People you can select from your address book of people to share from and how much access you want that person to have.  For example, I had my wife give me co-owner access so I could update her calendar once/month with all the items she writes down in her day planner, and I gave her view detailsCalendar Access
  5. Then hit Save all the way down at the bottom of the page.image

The beauty with this is the calendar, with your access level just pops into your calendar list, you can choose to overlay it in your calendar (default), or just uncheck it.  Given that I want to know what my wife and daughter are up to, I just keep it active.  Then at a glance I’ll know if my wife is working on Friday or not and if I can go to soccer practice.

Even further into the beauty of Hotmail calendaring, is now this is accessible from all the different calendar views that you might use.  For example, if you use an iPhone or an iPad as we do in this house, you get your Hotmail calendar’s right there on your phone.

iOS Calendar

Additionally, if you use the Outlook Hotmail Connector (the primary reason I use this is for the calendar), then you can see all of your chosen calendar’s in the single Outlook view.  Which makes it for even easier update, select the calendar you want to update, and then just type into the calendar like you would with any Outlook calendar.


And yes, I am anal about my calendar’s, so I even make them all the same colour on all the views/devices.  My work calendar is always blue, my home calendar is always brown, Kendra’s calendar always yellow (except yellow doesn’t look good in the Outlook view).

I highly recommend sharing calendars for people you are with a lot, especially a spouse, it just makes life easier for us to stay in touch and know what’s going on.

As a final note.  If you wanted just do a 1-time send of your free/busy information to someone, Hotmail has you covered there.  I have yet to use this feature, because my personal calendar just isn’t that packed, and not everyone is as religious about their calendars as I am.  But on that same Share tab, Hotmail serves up all the personalized links and you can choose which one to send

Links Only

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Favorite PlayBook apps

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a BlackBerry PlayBook that I’ve had for about 2 weeks.  I think it’s the 2nd best tablet out there (although can’t wait to try those Windows 8 tablets!) today.  As I eluded to in my post, the biggest factor holding back the PlayBook is the lack of apps in the App World.  Yes, I have seen posts that RIM is working on this, and I’ve even had RIM employees tell me that it’s coming, it’s coming.  But what’s available today? 

First the non-games/productivity apps, my favorites include:

Weather – I was actually super impressed with the built-in weather application.  It’s powered by, which I trust more than the iPhone’s Yahoo supplier, so I didn’t need to replace it.  I have “The Weather Network” on my iPad, which you can find under WeatherEye in the App World, it gives more data and is also a great app, but not as pretty as the built in Weather app.

Bing Maps – another built in app that’s great.  I love Bing, and Bing maps, so it was nice to see this just built in.

GlimpseGlimpse – [view] This is news (or rather RSS) reader that you can connect to Google Reader, or just have separate RSS feeds in it.  The interface is pretty intuitive, and the price is good (free!).  I like it more than GeeReader (also free), which is specifically designed to connect to a Google Reader account.

Poynt – [view] is a great app for finding what’s near you, like businesses, people (phone book), movies, restaurants, Gas and Events.  This one exists in the iTunes store as well, but is for iPhone only, and is probably overshadowed by some of the more popular apps on that platform.  I like this one because it gives the weather for your location as well as stuff that’s local; like events in the area. Also free.

Slacker Radio – [view] This one again came installed.  It’s a music streaming service like Pandora for you American’s, except this one actually works in Canada, and it’s on the PlayBook.  I was happy to see support here as I use SlackerRadio all the time.  Yes it’s Free.

ScoreMobile – [view] This is my second favorite sport tracking app on the iPad (I replaced it with the Canadian TSN/Toronto Sports Network app), so it was nice to see an old favorite in the App World to help me track my hockey, soccer, and football.  Also free.

Blaq – [view] A fantastic Twitter app.  Not quite as good as iPad’s Twitter client or the Tweetbot twitter client, but fully functional and doesn’t look half bad.  The downside of course is you have to pay for this one; it’s $1.99.  But I do use it

imageBlueBox – [view] While I don’t trust DropBox for their Security Issues, it’s a fine way to transfer files to and from your PlayBook without connecting it in, if you’re ok with the files potentially being exposed to the Internet.  I only do fully public stuff on DropBox, so I’m ok with that, because I don’t care about the data.  The data I want secured I use SkyDrive, but of course there is no PlayBook app for that. BlueBox is free.

FaceBook – [view] The PlayBook FaceBook app looks like the old Windows Mobile (not Windows Phone) version of Facebook, it’s at least somewhat functionally, and I included it simply because people like to use Facebook on Tablets.  Honestly, I’d just use the browser though.  This app is free.

Bing – [view] If I lived in the USA, I bet I could get this app too.  The screenshots make it look just like the iPad version.  But alas, Bing can’t seem to get their apps outside of the United States, the same problem exists on the iPhone.  It’s Free.

As far as games go.  I typically don’t play too many games, unless I’m for some reason disconnected from the Internet (ie. stuck in a metal tube at 35,000 feet).  Here are some that I’ve tried and liked:

Berzerk Ball – [view]  A rather stupid, yet addictive game on how far you can smash a geek.  I warn you, it is rather stupid, but addictive.  It’s Free.

People on my LawnPeople on My Lawn – [view] A Spin of plants vs Zombies, were you have to kill the humans on your planet by controlling rockets using magnets.  The graphics are great, and the gameplay is somewhat fun.  Might as well check it out given it’s Free.

Doodle Blast – [view] A Puzzle game that you draw lines to get “doodles” into a jar.  Somewhat simple, but puzzle games are always fun. Especially a drawing one, where your ink is limited!.  It’s free.

RocketStormRocket Storm – [view] Like the 1990’s game made by Atari called “Missile Command”, except updated.  While the graphics aren’t mind-blowing, the game is now 3D as you have to defend a space station! It’s free.

PlayDoom – [view] I have yet to find a platform this classic game has not been ported to.  I can’t even begin to calculate how many hours I’ve spent playing Doom, Doom II, etc.  But this is a great port of the original Doom game.  Get ready for bad graphics and amazing gameplay.  it’s free.

NFS Undercover – [view] For the car/driver junkies out there.  This one came pre-installed with my PlayBook.  It’s big (200mb) but it’s worth it for some fun driving times, and by worth it I mean it’s free.

Those the apps I have and have liked.  I’ve downloaded a lot more, but they were quick to delete.  I will give RIM credit for the purchasing process.  I do like that I can simply authorize the marketplace to charge my PayPal account.  it’s not yet another company that has my credit card information.  Granted I’ve only bought the Blaq twitter app to date.  There has been a few disappointing free apps, which are quickly erased.  If I had paid for those, I’d be irritated.  App world needs more trials.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Apple iPad vs the Blackberry Playbook


So I own an iPad (Hey, the Windows 8 tablet’s aren’t out yet, it’s ok!), and I recently acquired a Blackberry Playbook (thank you, the community, for that!), and I thought it would be great to do a little bit of a comparison now that I’ve played with it for a bit.

So full disclosure here, I’ve played with a Playbook once prior to owning one, for 5 minutes.  Having gone to school at the University of Waterloo, I basically lived in the heart of RIM town.  In fact I have a few friends that work at RIM, one specifically who works on the Playbook [software].  When I saw the Playbook for the first time, I thought “Now here is a tablet that can take Apple off it’s high horse”.  I still think it’s the closest tablet to the iPad (I have not tried a Kindle Fire, but believe it’s in the same ranks).  I have tried a multitude of other Android tablets, and I dislike all of them.

So let’s get down to business, my impressions and comparisons between the iPad (3rd generation) and the Playbook 2.0.  The two latest tablets from these companies that are on the market.  Note that the Playbook hardware was not updated for Playbook 2.0, so technically I should compare it to the iPad2 hardware wise, for it to be fair, although I’m not going to focus in on the hardware all that much, there are plenty of other sites that do hardware comparisons, like this one at PC Magazine.

  iPad PlayBook
Unboxing Experience A Beautiful exiting experience that puts the device front and center, all other accessories under the device and set as background. A similarly great unboxing experience, except the Playbook is in this neoprene case.  I’m glad it came with a case, but it should have been tucked away.
Form factor Has a larger screen which is nice to look at, but after time this can get heavy (reading Kindle for a long time).  It also only has a mono speaker, and I’m not a fan of the dexterity changes between the screen and hardware button Smaller screen, which for me means different purpose.  I was disappointed to see the “Blackberry” brand on the front of the device, as it’s always upside down how I hold it, but it is lighter, and the buttons are off to the side
Battery Life Every time I pick up my iPad, there is plenty of battery to do whatever I want.  I don’t even notice that it runs off of batteries until I see a notification, even after the notification I can use it for a long time before it dies. The PlayBook boasts a 10 hour battery, but I don’t see it.  My first usage of it the battery was drained to 30% and I was barely using it!  Since that first experience, it’s been a little better, but I’m still weary that I won’t get a fully 10 hours out of it.
Operating System Software An app-launching platform that has tacked-on task switching gestures, which I ultimately turn off as they just irritate me and I always do them by mistake. Also an app-launching platform with brilliant task switching. While not intuitive, an introductory video you watch explains all you need to know.  This factor alone makes me think that the PlayBook has a fighting chance against the king.
App Store “There’s an app for that” is actually really true.  The size and support for this app-store is giant.  I have yet to be disappointed when looking for an app. PlayBook’s biggest arch nemesis; getting apps in the app store.  The Playbook comes with some apps pre-installed which I thought was fun, only to find out that those apps are usually among the top 10 apps available on the platform.  RIM needs to incent developers.  Moving to QNX and supporting the Android platform will probably help here, but there is a lot of work to do.

I was also pretty disappointed with the Android side-loading.  I was hoping for another marketplace icon that allowed you to view into the Android marketplace, but instead you have to go into developer mode, and side-load these types of apps.  End Users aren’t going to do this, RIM shouldn’t advertise it outside of developer channels.

I did like that I didn’t have to hand over a credit card for a payment, I can just pay via Paypal, one less company that has their grubby hands on my credit card #.
Build in Applications Apple’s Mail client is beautiful, and makes doing email fun.  The Calendar app is beautiful as well, although less functional when it comes to using against Exchange (don’t touch those series meetings or you’ll just loose data).  PlayBook 2.0 finally has a mail and calendaring client.  I find them functional, but they lack beauty.  They seem to be based on RIM’s attachment to text from the pager days.  I also found the clients slower than on the iPad, but the functionality is at least finally there without the bridge.
Enterprise Use My iPad struggles to connect to Microsoft’s corporate Wi-Fi, it’s always asking me to accept certificates, and such just to get online as I switch buildings. The PlayBook does enterprise Wi-Fi right.  It seems to always be connected, without irritating pop-ups.
Multi-tasking iPad will suspend non-Apple apps when they are not open PlayBook gives you the choice if you want to suspend or keep them running
HDMI Out iPad requires that you have a dongle to get to the HDMI out functionality PlayBook has a mini HDMI out port directly on it.
Blackberry Bridge not available, but I wish I had it for my phone. While this feature was not shown in good light due to the missing built in email and calendaring clients, the Bridge is actually a great feature.  You can share tablets (not that you’d have to at $199) without sharing your personal data.
Connect to a PC I can’t vouch for what it’s like with a MAC, but iTunes pretty much is the worst app ever, and it’s the only way to get things on and off your iPad without using crazy apps like “Buzz Player”.  Getting a video into the built in video player is painful because of iTunes. The device just shows up as a well organized drive on the PC (similar to a thumb drive) and you can just copy what you want onto it.  Videos, pictures, etc.  You can even use it as temporary storage while you travel.
Browser Safari is pretty good, although doesn’t support Flash, and no browser on the iPad does.  Not that huge of a problem, unless you’re shopping for a car. The PlayBook browser is pretty awesome, and does support Flash.
Messaging iMessage is pretty slick, as it’s both on the iPhone and iPad. BBM is obviously missing as far as I can tell.  One of the reasons I wanted a Playbook was to BBM with my buddies who work at RIM and live in that area, and all still have Blackberry’s.

So all in all, I think the PlayBook is a great tablet.  Especially now since I’ve found *some* apps that I like (Update: you can find that post here).  The form factor is pretty convenient, with 2.0 it has the essential mail, calendar, contact syncing to the mail provider of your choice.  If RIM were to be able to ramp up their app world and get some more apps that are mainstream like Skype, Evernote, Words with Friends, Kindle, Rdio, Flixster, etc… I think it would take off more than it has.

I’m also not alone in thinking that this tablet is great.  This article from High-tech Dad talks more specifically about the hardware and why he enjoys his Playbook.

iPadI still favor the iPad for the beautiful screen, mail app, and plethora of apps to launch, and I can’t *wait* to try a Windows 8 tablet!  However as a good friend of mine put it, “for $199, it’s in the price of a toy, so if I don’t like it, that’s ok!”.

Thanks again to the community who voted for me in the SMB 150 community awards, I’m honored to have placed in the top 150, I’m glad my blog and the resources that I share has been beneficial to you.

Monday, April 23, 2012

How to Sync Folders to the new SkyDrive without moving them to the SkyDrive folder

imageSo the new SkyDrive is out today, you can read about the awesome new features here (on the Building Windows 8 blog).  The SkyDrive team really amped up their battle with DropBox in this new version.  With Windows Phone, iPad, iPhone support, along with MAC and PC support, it really is pretty cool, and now completely accessible.  Also with HTML5 support, it’s super fast on the PC and MAC for browsers that hardware accelerate HTML5 based graphics.

However, I will miss Mesh.  I wasn’t asked to un-install it, as part of the upgrade, but I can see it coming (no I have no details here, speculation only)

Mesh had this ability to sync *any* folder to the cloud, which is now gone from this version of SkyDrive.  Apparently all the DropBox fans have forced the hand on this one.  Fortunately, on Windows (and I’m sure this works on a MAC too, but I can’t test it, any mac fans post how to do it in the comments and I’ll add it to the post) you can create links to folders to have things sync to your SkyDrive that aren’t actually in your SkyDrive folder!

To do this you’ll need to bust out the ol’ Command prompt, in Administrator mode, because a symbolic link just isn’t enough for SkyDrive to pick it up, you need a hard link.

  1. Click Start, and type in CMD, right-click on the cmd.exe and choose Run as Administrator
  2. Change to your SkyDrive folder, mine is c:\users\<username>\skydrive (so cd /d c:\users\seanda\skydrive)
  3. Next we’re going to make a link to a directory that lives in My Documents Folder, I’m going to do that with this command to sync my “tools” directory: mklink /j “Tools” “c:\users\seanda\documents\tools”.  You’ll get a line that says "Junction created for Tools <==> c:\users\seanda\documents\tools.

You’ll notice a new tools directory being created, and it looks exactly the same as the other directory (contents and all, you didn’t need to copy anything in).  Now you can simply drop stuff in your c:\users\seanda\documents\tools directory, and SkyDrive will pick it up.  (You might need to restart the SkyDrive system tray app for it to pick this directory up, although I didn’t.)

Additionally, if you’re trying to get this to sync between two computers, you’ll have to set up the Junction before SkyDrive can drop files in there (meaning create the folder locations manually with the junction in place.  I only use the one computer, so I didn’t test this.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Extreme Make-Over–Take 2: Cincinnati Housing Partners Increase Efficiency

Well, Microsoft and HP are at it once again, performing an extreme make-over of a not-for-profit company.  In this case they are helping lower income families get their first home, Cincinnati Housing Partners.  Once again, Microsoft came together with HP lots of awesome technology including Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials running on an HP Proliant Microserver and Windows MultiPoint Server running on an HP ML110. as well as some other great hardware from HP (Printers and UPS devices!). 

Check out the video:

Find the Official HP Blog post here, and the Case Study here.

If you were wondering for previous Extreme Makeovers, you can see the first one here.

Learn more about Kevin Royalty and his company here.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

How to Configure a Vanity Domain on Hotmail

The Oatmeal, one of my favorite comic sites, has an info-graphic on what your e-mail address says about you.  While I disagree about the and priority in life, I’m in pretty much agreement on using your own domain for your e-mail.  Especially for business, and quite possibly also for individuals (or *home* e-mail addresses as you might call them.)

Why do you want to have your own domain name for your e-mail address? Because it gives you long term flexibility without having to update your friends.  using my email address has helped me over the years as I first obtained it in University.  This meant I could just point the email domain to the university mailbox, then I moved it to my own SBS 2000 box, then SBS 2003, then SBS 2008, and then I moved it to GMail for a short period of time (which I discovered I didn’t like GMail at all), and now I actually have my personal e-mail hosted on Hotmail, and through all that, I didn’t have to notify my friends once about an email address change.

Naturally I get spam on my account, but Hotmail is so good, I never get any in my inbox, it just goes into the junk email folder, which I pay no attention to unless someone tells me to check my junk email folder.

Side note here: I find that with most spam filters these days, they are “learning” filters.  If you abandon your email account, it can’t learn your preferences with new spam so you end up with some in your inbox.  This is the same for Hotmail and GMail.

So let’s get started.  First you need a domain name.  If you’re in the US or Canada, I strongly suggest using eNom Central or GoDaddy.  Both registrars are incredible, but offer different experiences.  eNom is slightly more expensive, but I consider their UX cleaner and easier to understand.  GoDaddy wins for price though, you just have a gauntlet to run to check out.  So it’s up to you which one you choose.  Outside of the US and Canada, these domain registrars are still phenomenal choices, but there are some “local” registrars (particularly in Germany or Australia) that offer more local offerings you might want to check out.

Once you own a domain, you can do all sorts of things with it, but this post is focused on setting up your email address on Hotmail.  Let’s get started:

  1. Navigate over to, and sign-in with your LiveID (which is probably an existing Hotmail address)
  2. Click on Add Domain
  3. On the Create a Windows Live Experience for your domain page, type in the domain name you just bought.  For me it was “”, and ensure that Set up Windows Live Hotmail for my domain is selected, and click Continue.
  4. Click I Accept on the agreement…. after you agree of course. :o)setting up

At this point you need to prove ownership of this domain name and you get a page that walks you through all the settings you need to configure in your DNS provider’s website.

This is a screenshot for one that I created called “” which of course I don’t own, this is just an example.

In a different browser window (since you’ll need to copy and paste from this one), you’ll want to navigate to your domain registrar’s website and log in.

Once logged in, you’ll want to find the host record management or Email/MX record management, that’s where you’re going to make the changes to your domain name. 

Since I use eNom Central, this is how I do it.  eNom has the MX (Mail eXchange) or email records separate than the host records

  • Log in, and go to Domains, and then My Domains.
  • I click on the domain that I want to manage, in this case,
  • on the next page, I click on Email Settings.

Now I’m ready to set up my email record to match the first item in the list on the Windows Live page.  the “@” record is the root of the domain (i.e. if you want your email address to be, that’s the root of the domain instead of, which would be under the “mail” host name.  Here is how mine looks:

User MX settings

All I did was copy and paste the Live configuration site into the eNom too. Once the MX record is done, I hit Save and move onto the next record in the Live webpage’s list above.  The rest of the items are done on the Host Management page, so I switch to that.  Here is what mine looks like (I have a lot more but I stripped it down to just the mail records to make things easy to understand):

Host Records

Again, just a copy and paste above from the Live site into the eNom or your own GoDaddy tool.  Just a few things to note here

  1. My TXT record above is a standard (mostly adopted by Microsoft is my opinion) that tells mail servers that receive your email, which mail servers have permission to send on your domains behalf.  So you’re telling other servers that can send mail on your behalf.
  2. The SRV record is for using Windows Live Messenger, it’s listed at the bottom of the live page (which is cut off in the screenshot).
  3. The CNAME for mail, is one that I set up myself, which you also have to configure on the (under “custom addresses”), which automatically redirects to Hotmail’s logon page.  Kinda slick, but not necessary.
  4. The URL Redirect for * isn’t on all domain providers, it’s another neat DNS trick that eNom does, so if you type in it redirects to my webpage.  Also optional.

Make sure you hit SAVE on your domain registrar’s page.

Now, the next part can take some time.  If you have a domain that’s been around for a while, it’s probably going to finish replicating in < 6 hours or so.  If your domain is new, it could take up to 2-3 days for it to get into all the systems around the Internet.  Regardless, you can keep returning to and refreshing to know when it’s complete.

Now that you have your domain set up, let’s create an account!

At this point, you again to to your management console and hit up the Member Accounts link.  This is where you create your mailbox(es) (I have some domains that I host family email on so in those cases I have multiple email addresses).

On the Member Accounts page

  1. Click the Add button to add your first user
  2. Give this user an account name, first name, last name, and a password, you can require them to change this when they log in.

That’s it, the account is created.  Now simply go to (or if you set that up!) and log in as this user account.  The mailbox will be created for you upon log in.  The user will set up their new Hotmail account as if they were setting up a new Hotmail account on or, complete with security related questions.

That’s all there is to it.  Mail starts flowing to your new Hotmail account with your own vanity domain name.  Create up to 500 email accounts.

Now when Hotmail adds the ability to add “aliases” to vanity domain names, I’ll be even *that* much more happy with the situation.

Oh, and one more thing, that Hotmail account that you signed into as? be sure to link it in the options to your new Hotmail account, then you can use either to log in.  You can also get the mail from one Hotmail account into another, so you only need to check one place as people learn your new vanity email address!

You can do this with GMail too, but they classify you as a business and I believe charge you $50/year, with Hotmail this functionality is free!  The link to get started on Gmail.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wiki your way to Small Business Server knowledge & Best practices

The Home and Small Business Server team has posted a forum post with links to the separate Wiki articles they are maintaining to help you get the most out of your server platform.  The Forum post with all the links (looks like it’s being updated over time too!) is here.

What appears to be currently missing from this article is the Router Wiki links

Other items are copied below for your ease of browsing (note this might be outdated, check the actual link for an up-to-date version)

Server Deployment and Platform Configurations

  1. Troubleshoot Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Windows Home Server 2011, and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials Installation Issues (June 2011) -
  2. How to repair certificate issues in Windows Small Business Server 2011, Windows Home Server 2011 and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials (July 2011)
  3. Default input language is set to English on the Spanish versions of Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Windows Home Server 2011, and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials -
  4. How to Change the Password Policy in Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials -

Client Deployment

  1. Troubleshooting Client Deployment Issues when using Windows Small Business Server 2011, Windows Home Server 2011 and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials (July 2011)

Remote Web Access

  1. Manually install existing SSL certificate into Small Business Server 2011 Essentials
  2. Remote Web Access Deployment Guidance -

Media and Workgroup (Windows Server Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials and WHS 2011 only)

  1. Media streaming known issue and workaround with Windows Home Server 2011 and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials (August 2011)
  2. How to change workgroup name on Windows Home Server 2011 and Windows Storage Server 2011 R2 Essentials (August 2011)

Data Protection (Server and Client Backup)

  1. Server Backup FAQ (August 2011) -
  2. The "Recover your server wizard" crashes in Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essential, Windows Home Server 2011 or Windows Storage Server 2011 Essential
  3. How to fix the Server Backup Service exception "One or more services are not running” for SBS 2011 Essentials, WHS 2011 and WSS 2008 R2 Essentials -

Office 365 integration

  1. Error message when an SBS 2011 Essentials user signs in to Office 365 after they change the password for their user account: "Microsoft Online Services ID or password is incorrect" -
  2. The Office 365 Integration Module for SBS 2011 Essentials does not work as expected -


  1. How to list your applications on Microsoft Pinpoint? How to make your applications discoverable - (Posted here last week)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Developers! How to List your Small Business Server and Windows home Server Apps on Microsoft Pinpoint

Are you a developer or developer firm that’s built an application for SBS 2011 Essentials, SBS 2011 Premium Add-on, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, and Windows Home Server 2011? Then you should list your application in Microsoft Pinpoint. Listing here will give you greater awareness of your application to your target audience.

For example, these links are inside the product:

Over on the Small Business Server Wiki, there is a how-to guide on how to go about doing this.  You can find that link here.

Before you can begin listing your applications:
  1. You must join the Microsoft Partner Network. Before you can begin listing your applications on Pinpoint, you must create an account with the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) and create a descriptive overview for your company. It can take up to five business days for your new account to activate in Pinpoint after establishing your membership in the Microsoft Partner Network.
  2. Already a member? If so, then you can proceed to create your profile in Pinpoint. If you are already a partner but are not listed on Pinpoint and believe you should be, contact the Pinpoint team.

Microsoft Pinpoint

  • Sign-in using your MPN LiveID
  • Click on the Dashboard in the upper right hand corner
  • Click on Add or Edit Profiles in the nav bar
  • Click on the Apps + Services tab
  • Click the New button
  • Follow the rest of the wizard to create your listing
  • Wait for the application to be published in the marketplace

What are you waiting for? The complete guide is here, and you can jump to Pinpoint here.