Microsoft @Surface Laptop Go: a budget friendly laptop from @Microsoft?

Microsoft Surface laptops are always in buzz as these are the most premium based Windows laptops. Just like Google and Apple, Microsoft is offering the perfect blend of OS with hardware for best performance. Recently Microsoft launched a budget business laptop Surface Laptop Go.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

Now the pricing of this budget laptop is quite a whopping $549.99 that actually makes you buy it. Once you look at the configuration of this line up you will crave it like you’re pizza hungry. Surface Laptop Go 12.4″ multi-touch screen PixelSense display with a resolution of 1536 x 1024 (148 PPI) and 3:2 aspect ratio. It is thicker than its previous generation of Surface laptops, yet it is lightweight 2.44 lbs (1,110 g). It comes with Bluetooth 5, 13 hours of battery backup, Intel UHD Graphics, 4GB/8GB RAM, 64/128/256 GB storage, and most importantly Intel 10th Gen i-processors. Continue reading “Microsoft @Surface Laptop Go: a budget friendly laptop from @Microsoft?”

Bye bye, @Windows 7. You will be missed always…

It was yesterday, when best Windows OS ever had his last breath. 14-January-2020 will be remembered as demise of Windows 7. Microsoft launched the revolutionary Windows 7 about a decade and a half on 22-July-2009. Now all the techies need to say “Good Bye!” to Windows 7 forever.

Windows 7 is officially stopped now
Windows 7 is officially stopped now

Windows 7 bring in all the positivity after a big failure from Windows Vista. There was hardly anything about Windows Vista, anyone liked. Even the vendors find it difficult to build drivers for Windows Vista as Windows XP was more in demand. But with the launch of Windows 7 everything changed. Everything was fixed and the look-n-feel of Windows 7 was much better than ever. Continue reading “Bye bye, @Windows 7. You will be missed always…”

How to: Convert 2D object to 3D in PowerPoint for Mac 2016

We interact with the objects around us, there are enormous number of them, but every object has its own shape, size & style. Through which we identify and understand the use of these objects in our daily life. So, while getting them on screen make sure that these shapes should look-a-like the real object as in our daily life.

PowerPoint provides us the better solution for these shapes to convert them into real life object which means we can convert a 2D shape into 3D Object for better representation. This makes user or audience understand your thoughts or point of information which you want to deliver through your presentation.

Here’s how we do it: Continue reading “How to: Convert 2D object to 3D in PowerPoint for Mac 2016”

What will happen: if Microsoft starts offering OneDrive as ‘unlimited cloud storage’ to every user for ‘free’?

The SkyDrive inventor Microsoft currently possesses the beauty of cloud with Windows Azure and OneDrive. Where Windows Azure deals with every part of cloud IaaS, PaaS & SaaS specializing for every class of companies and developers, in other words exclusively for business players and geeks. But OneDrive the new name of SkyDrive is exclusively for consumers or end users.


According to Fortunein November 2014 “Dropbox claims 300 million users as of May. Google Drive has 240 million users as of September. Microsoft says OneDrive has ‘more than’ 250 million users.”

Currently Microsoft offers 15GB of cloud storage with every Hotmail / Windows Live / Outlook accounts but any user can buy more storage up to 1 TB at $6.99 per month including Office 365.


Imagine if Microsoft start offering actually unlimited space on OneDrive for free of cost with each Outlook / Hotmail / Windows Live account. Then world will surely start migrating only to OneDrive whether it is business or personal use. There are so many features and services such as file syncing, mobility, creating and editing documents, playing music and videos etc. that matter a lot to the user with file storage. With this Microsoft is already dealing very positively as they are providing interoperable apps across devices and Office Web Apps are really awesome to create and share documents, presentations and spreadsheets on-the-go. So, people will start backing-up their music, videos and entertainment files on OneDrive only. Even though Microsoft can implement OneDrive as an OS for future PCs and mobile / tablet devices, in which there will be no HDD or SSD you just log in and start working straight away in the cloud mode. Then imagine future will have no piracy, increased security, no bothering of data loss in case of device theft or stealing or damage.
For business also there will be a massive return on investment as they won’t be buying heavy licenses for media apps, office productivity suite and sharing among the team will be much easier then every before. Accounting will be just a matter of few clicks. That can totally convert the face of every business unit with a great transformation. So, I can’t wait to see this future where working and entertainment will be merged together for everyone.

But does this mean massive Gmail, Amazon Cloud Drive & DropBox users will migrate to Outlook and OneDrive? There is no straight answer in regard to it. But surely that can give a big diversion among all the cloud providers. Cloud Vendors will also go for OneDrive only to provide corporates the 0% downtime cloud storage.
Well, Microsoft already claims 400 Million active users / accounts, but does this actually means that there are currently 400 Million active OneDrive users too? Well, that can be an assumption. But for sure Microsoft is one of the leading consumer based cloud storage provider and this kind of offering can change the whole cloud game. Competition will be then depends only on the basis features, services and fast performance.

With virtualization, software licensing is really complicated

Many a times licensing of software are overlooked in virtualization infrastructure. Virtualization actually complicate the licensing, accordingly CIOs and System Administrators should have some strategy or exercise to make sure that the organization has redeem the correct software licensing.

There are varieties of issues that can make licensing difficult in virtualized environment. One of the most common licensing issues is buying or purchasing several different license types in order to remain compliant. Few of the required license types are:
  • Hypervisor licenses, 
  • Management Server licenses, 
  • Managed server licenses, 
  • Guest OS Server licenses, 
  • Guest OS Client licenses, 
  • Application licenses, 
  • Application client licenses, etc.

A complicated licensing issue occurs when a Guest OS VM created on a host and immediately migrated to another host. In the same ways, new VMs can be created on a whim by anyone who has permissions. So, how CIOs and System Admins can keep up with the licensing requirements?

All the software vendors have their own unique way of licensing requirements. So it is CIO’s duty to make sure that you adhere to requirements of the software rather than following the set of guidelines. There are a few general strategies too that usually work.


Always pay attention socket-specific license requirements. It is common now that maximum of the hypervisor vendors base their licensing requirements as per-physical socket for hypervisor and management server.

If an Operating System vendor requires licensing for every user who accesses the server, that requirement doesn’t usually go away just because the server is running on virtual hardware. Whereas, vendors provide choices to purchase the client access licensing on either a per-user or per-device basis. Previously, companies use to purchase licensing on per-device basis, as that was a little less expensive. But today, with every user using multiple devices having user based licensing is a cost effective option.

If VMs are running free open source OS, otherwise the Guest OS on your VM must be licensed. Guest OS licensing policies vary widely so it is important to check with the vendor to examine the specific requirements.

Windows Server 2012 R2 licensing applies only to the host not on the VM. This host-level license applies to the VMs running on the host. For example: if an organization is running Windows Server 2012 R2 on VMware. Company obviously licenses the VMware Hypervisor, but company also has to purchase Windows Server License. This license will apply to the Windows VMs running on the VMware server. If a VM is migrated to a different VMware server, then the destination Windows Server licensed will apply to the VM. In other words, Windows Server VMs do not take their licensing with them while migrating from one host to another.

Virtualization management servers typically require licenses for each server that is being managed. For example if a company plan to use Microsoft System Center VMM (Virtual Machine Manager), then company will need a licenses for each host server they are planning to manage.

Mostly licensing is complicated in virtualized environments. CIOs should review the licensing periodically and make sure to check the requirements for library servers to ensure if there are any licenses required for software installed within an image that is used to create new VMs.

Considering between virtualization and cloud, which is best?

Cloud or virtualization, which is right for my business? These questions always parts of consideration while adopting a solution form them. Even though many IT Managers or CIO are a little skeptical about the difference between both, because Cloud is more like Virtualization’s extended version. But if you have 100% virtualized infrastructure it doesn’t mean that you are having a Private Cloud infrastructure. Both technologies are almost similar and not interchangeable. But, the significant difference between both can affect your business decision.
Virtualization vs Cloud:
What is Virtualization?
Virtualization is a layer to create different and dedicated resources on the same physical infrastructure. Through virtualization you can run multiple software applications and operating systems at the same time on same hardware. You require a hypervisor above the physical infrastructure to create, run and manage different Virtual Machines. You can configure each VM as per your requirement of application, OS, environment, physical resources etc. There are many big players that provide hypervisor like VMware, Microsoft, Oracle, HP etc.
Virtualization makes servers, storage, workstations and other systems independent from physical infrastructure. Virtualization is the core fundamental that powers the cloud computing.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud the buzzword which gives more flexibility of computing in other words you can call Cloud Computing as “a type of Internet-based computing”. But also require hardware, software, hypervisor etc. while building.
So, how’s virtualization different from cloud?
Virtualization is the base of cloud computing and helps to deliver the value for cloud computing. Biggest confusion occurs when virtualization and cloud work together to provide different services, mostly the case in Private Cloud infrastructure.

Through virtualization you can enable the Cloud Computing if you are offering 100% virtualization infrastructure with:

  • On demand services
  • Broad network access
  • Resource pooling
  • Rapid elasticity
  • Pay-per-use model

With all these 5 elements and 100% virtualization your organisation achieve the Private Cloud infrastructure. Some of the expert companies also mentions that cloud computing can also achieve without virtualization with the help of certain hardware, operating system and even application cluster can offer cloud services but those are quite complicated and costly. Even though require a lot of time consuming work just for limited set of features.

How do you know if your business needs Virtualization Model or Cloud Model?
With virtualization companies can maintain and secure their infrastructure because of following benefits:
  • Maximize resources:
    Virtualization saves a lot of hardware resources and you can get more value from a single server. Maximum time with traditional way of computing most of the servers are under-utilised but with virtualization allows to use the 100% power of them.

  • Multiple systems:
    Virtualization enables you to create different VMs to run multiple types of applications and multiple operating systems for those applications on the same physical hardware.

  • IT budget integration:
    With virtualization administration and maintenance of resources is easy for your infrastructure and saves a lot for IT operations.

So companies that need greater control for integration and security & financially work more in capital expenditure model should adopt Virtualization model.

Whereas, those companies should adopt cloud, which work on operational expenditure model and have less IT staff and very few security concerns should. Cloud basically leverage you with:

  • Outsourced IT:
    The daily IT administration tasks, care or maintenance, and support system move away from the company to service provider. This will free up your internal IT resources and advances your business quickly.

  • Quick Setup:
    A startup that adopts cloud from start their work become easy as cloud services is quick and easy. Servers, appliances and application licenses go away when you such kind of service. Even though no need to take care of updates to do the compatibility. Every issue is now on the head of service provider.

  • Pay-per-use:
    All the SaaS (Software as a Service) based application available today with this model of paying of what you actually use. You can customize the services and pay the service provider of what and how much quantity you are using, no extra cost.

  • Scalability:
    By using cloud you have the facility to use it from anywhere and it off loads a whole big amount of IT capacity to the service provider. This increases the scalability of your working environment.

Why Microsoft Edge?

Microsoft already announced that Windows 10 is the last Windows version with this Microsoft Internet Explorer will also dilute very soon. Internet Explorer 11 is the last version, now Microsoft Edge will take over. Edge is offering a lot of features, which were not present in IE before and other browsers too (like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera etc.).
Microsoft Edge is promised to be a light weighted web browser integrated with EdgeHTML Engine built with web standards for the modern web. Edge will remove support for ActiveX and introducing other services like web-note and Cortana Assistance. Edge will also offer annotation tools and reading mode both.
With SunSpider benchmark Edge already performed faster than other browsers so it has improved JavaScript performance than any version of Internet Explorer. So, developers can have more performance parameters to compare with other browsers.
The current scenario of web browser market actually is with Google Chrome with 49.84%, Internet Explorer with 18.28%, Mozilla Firefox with 16.77%, Apple Safari with 9.88%, Opera with 1.65% and other browsers with 3.58% of total market.

(Image source: StatCounter)

When Internet Explorer is already doing well with second position in the market, why Microsoft is vanishing it?
The new model:
Microsoft will be offering all the new features and tools just like Apple use to do for OS-X, itunes and safari with providing updates for free. That gives users freedom to update regularly and turn down the piracy. This gives Microsoft a new name with the new model.
New features and competition:
With new features Microsoft may give users carve to switch from their current browser to Edge. There can be some features and tools revolutionary but need to wait for future.
Performance:
With the earlier version of Internet Explorer were a lot of performance issues and web developer’s use to face a lot incompatibility. Even though Internet Explorer was heavy browser. Now Microsoft Edge is already a lightweight and designed with new engine so performance and development issues can get rid-off.
Mobility:
Some of the earlier versions of Internet Explorer didn’t offer mobility. With the evolution of Windows Phone, IE got an eye as mobile web browser but still IE doesn’t consider as a mobile web browser. Edge is serving for all the platforms from PC to Mobile and Tablet also offers syncing among all the devices this can make user’s work easy and on-the-go too.
In the first beta/preview launch Microsoft Edge already caught eye for many web developers. There are still so many parameters which Edge has deliver and expected to get them covered up in the future updates. However, Internet Explorer 11 will available for the time being to overcome compatibility issues. Microsoft Edge will be featured as default browser in all the windows devices.

Add “Smart-Art” to be more smart in your presentation

SmartArt helps you in creating high impact, professional diagrams. We can use it to focus visual message that you want to display or communicate to the audience.

So, PowerPoint is the base for SmartArt which not only represent the data or diagram the way you want even gives much more eye cool effect which makes the presentation to deliver information according to the audience.

So, let’s see how we do it:

        Open the PowerPoint and navigate to “Insert” tab
        In the Insert Tab click on SmartArt button.



        A new window will open from which you can select the SmartArt which you need in your presentation as per the requirement.


        Under “Type your text here” type your list of information that you want reflect in your diagram or flowchart.
        Click on “Design” tab and then select colors and styles from the available galleries to make your diagram looks more cool.


        Within the design tab you can find enormous number of options to style your SmartArt Graphics.
(this reflects 3D based style for the SmartArt)


(Give Color styling to make it looks more cooler or eye catchy)

So, through this styling diagrams doesn’t looks like your normal hand written diagrams but they will more treated like a picture in your presentation.

Increase “Undos” in Microsoft PowerPoint or Office Suite

We do mistakes a lot while working and mistakes always makes us learn a lot. But computing gives we pleasure to edit the mistakes. While designing the Presentations we always have the issue with the numbers of level of undo for the PowerPoint. This is one the major issue we use to face in our daily life for creating presentations.

But when we keep Undoing our work we maximum time don’t count the number of level of undo we did. The default value is actually 20 in Microsoft PowerPoint for undoing the work and this limit is actually editable so, you can increase or decrease the limit according to your requirement.

Here I’ll show how we do it:

With Microsoft PowerPoint open, click on “File” button. 

Then click on “Options”.



Then window will appear like this.


Click on the “Advanced” tab given there in the left pane of it. 



Then window will appear something like this.



Then change the value on “Maximum number of Undos:” option.



NoteDefault level value is 20 for Undos but Minimum you can give 3 and Maximum you can give 150

With the help of increase or decrease in the level of undoing makes or work more convenient and accurate. A presentation looks good when they don’t hold any mistake in them whether in terms of designs or in terms of animations we provide in it. We can learn from mistakes only when we do correction in them and undo is the way to correct our mistakes to keep learning from the mistakes. This thing not applies with our presentations but anything we do in our life.

So, keep doing mistakes, keep undoing them without thinking of leveling and keep getting learn from your mistakes. 

What’s new in Hyper-V Generation – 2 VMs?

Microsoft launched Generation 2 VMs with Windows Server 2012 R2 but they are still compatible with Generation 1 VMs which likely called as ‘legacy VMs’. Generation 1 VMs are the normal VMs running on Hyper –V which uses BIOS-based boot architecture, whereas Generation 2 VMs use UEFI-boot based architecture and available only on Windows Server 2012 R2.

Generation 2 VMs provide a simple hardware model, supports UEFI firmware & many of the legacy devices have also removed. In Generation 1 VMs same virtual hardware was assigned, whereas Generation 2 will be having new functionalities which are:


  • PXE boot via standard network adapter:
    In generation 1 if there was a requirement to have remote installation for the guest operating system using PXE (Pre-boot execution Environment), the legacy network adapter was supposed to install. In generation 2 legacy network aren’t available so PXE boot can only be performed by the standard network adapter.
  • Boot from SCSI Virtual Hard Disk or DVD:
    In Generation 2, VMs are enabled to boot from virtual SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) controller. Virtual IDE (Integrated Device Electronics) controllers aren’t available in Generation 2 VMs. So, attached OS VHDX can be benefited by having SCSI or VHDX features.
  • Secure Boot is enabled by default:
    Generation 2 VMs have Secure Boot by default in nature which help in preventing unauthorised firmware, operating systems and UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) drivers from running at the boot time. But Secure Boot can be disabled after creating the Virtual Machine.

The minimum requirements for the Generation 2 VMs are: Windows Server 2012 or R2 and 64 bit Windows 8 & 8.1.

On Microsoft Hyper-V an Admin can run both generations of VMs even though now Hyper-V will ask first which generation you want to create. Basically Hyper-V Generation 2 doesn’t support all Hyper-V supported guest Operating Systems. So, the Operating System, which isn’t compatible to Generation 2 those need to be installed on Generation 1 VMs.

When it comes to performance VMs boot will be 20% (approx.) faster & OS installation will be around 50% faster in comparison to Generation 1 VMs. But there will be not much difference in overall performance for VMs. 

Benefits:
There are benefits that Generation 2 VMs provide such as these VMs performs faster OS installation because OS installation enables from PXE network. Another advantage is, these VMs boots faster and a subset of Integration components is available to the VM during power-on.

Limitations:

Limitations are also there with Generation 2 VMs as they only support VHDX virtual hard-drive format. Generation 1 VMs can convert to a VHDX format to use in the Generation 2 but then you cannot further convert it to some other format. All OSs aren’t supported by Generation 2 VMs, you can’t install old version of OSs in them. There are a lot more drawbacks and limitations associated with Generation 2 VMs

  • Only new OSs are supported on Gen 2 VMs. 
  • No boot from an iSCSI LUN if you need to then use Gen 1 VMs only. 
  • The secure boot option is only with Gen 2 VMs. 
  • No support for the legacy network Adapters. 
  • No support for vFloppyDrives. 
  • No support for IDE Controllers
May be in the next release of Hyper-V we might not see these limitations or drawbacks in the Gen 2 VMs