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Kris Wagner, Chicago SharePoint Server Microsoft MVP
May 07
Microsoft MVP Mentor Program for Education (Please Share)

Did you know the Microsoft MVP Program has had a mentorship program for a few years now that allows schools and teachers to request mentors for virtually every product Microsoft has?

Working with people who are interested in learning new technologies means a lot to me to me. I'm an older guy now but back in the NT 4.0 days someone contacted me on AOL asking me about networking and servers OS's and I invited him over to my office and we covered that basics (OS, DNS, DHCP) and more over a few months. He was a mechanic just out of high school and always felt like he wanted to learn new technologies. He's now running a very successful consulting firm in St. Louis Mo.     


I got so much out of that personally and I can say that I've been involved in this program for years. To be honest that's why I work in the forums, why I run events and like to help others get ahead when that might not have a chance otherwise. Helping others is good Karma!

The technologies start at Azure and end at Xbox and includes every product in-between. Take a moment and spread the word about the program to friends or teachers you feel might take advantage of this.

You can find them on Facebook & apply to be matched with an Microsoft MVP by filling out this application.

 

September 01
Hi there

Nothing to see… Move along.
Kris Wagner

August 29
SkyDrive Pro Storage up to 25GB and ease of Sharing

I've not been able to see the setting in my portal yet but I know it's coming soon! 25 GB's for storage up from 7GB. Good FAQ's listed at the bottom on this page.

We're continually improving the SkyDrive Pro service. The new SkyDrive Pro apps are now available in the Window Store and App Store. Today, we're pleased to announce three new significant improvements to SkyDrive Pro for Office 365 business subscribers - to help you be more productive:

  • Each user now gets 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro storage space (up from 7 GB).
  • You can now increase users' SkyDrive Pro storage beyond the default 25 GB-up to 50 GB and 100 GB.
  • With the new Shared with Me view you can easily find documents others have shared with you.

SkyDrive Pro increases storage and ease of sharing

by Office 365 Team (re-posted from http://bit.ly/1dM4UHF on August 27)

Co-authors Mark Kashman (@mkashman) and Tejas Mehta (@tpmehta) are senior product managers on the SharePoint marketing team.

SkyDrive Pro is cloud storage for business. It's the place where employees can store, sync, and share their files across multiple devices with ease and security. With SkyDrive Pro you can collaborate with others in real time and edit documents from virtually anywhere via a web browser using Office Web Apps. Accessing your files from multiple devices (including Windows Phone, Windows 8, iOS, and Android devices) is a cinch with native SkyDrive Pro and Office Mobile apps. Not only does SkyDrive Pro deliver the frictionless user experiences that employees expect in a file sync solution, it's backed by a platform that provides industrial-strength content management, compliance, and content management controls. 

Let's dive into the details!

Each user now gets 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro storage space (up from 7 GB)

The default SkyDrive Pro storage space in Office 365 is now 25 GB-for both new and existing customers.

Let's look at what that means for the overall storage for each user. With Office 365, you get 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro storage + 25 GB of  email storage + 5 GB for each site mailbox you create + your total available tenant storage, which for every Office 365 business customer starts at 10 GB + (500 MB x # of user(s)1). If you and your company have growing storage needs across your various work streams and content types, we think you'll find Office 365 offers ample headroom on day one, at no additional cost.

1 In Office 365 Enterprise plans, only Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, and E4 users contribute to the total available tenant storage. Kiosk workers and external users are not calculated into the equation. For small business and midsize plans, all licensed users contribute to the total available tenant storage. 

You can now increase users' SkyDrive Pro storage beyond the default 25 GB-up to 50 GB and 100 GB

SharePoint Online admins can now increase SkyDrive Pro storage space for those individuals that need and want more than the default 25 GB of storage. You can select increases in increments, up to 50 GB or 100 GB (the current SkyDrive Pro limit), and you can adjust the storage for up to 25 users at once. The storage you allocate will come from your tenant's overall pool of storage and you have clear visibility of how much total available tenant storage your company has to allocate to your users' SkyDrive Pro. If you need more tenant storage, navigate to the Storage Metrics page (Site Settings a Storage Metrics) and then to Buy quota, where you can purchase more; additional storage for SharePoint Online costs $0.20USD/GB/month.

 

SharePoint Online admins can increase users' SkyDrive Pro storage space from 25 GB to 50 GB and 100 GB.

With the new Shared with Me view, you can easily find documents others have shared with you

Have you ever experienced the pain of trying to locate a document or folder a colleague previously shared with you? Shared with Me eliminates the worry of finding those important items, because now they're all visible in a single view from within your SkyDrive Pro.

The documents and folders you see in the Shared with Me view may live in someone else's SkyDrive Pro, or they may be shared from a standard team site document library. Once they are shared with you, you have the same permissions in SkyDrive Pro that you were originally given by the person who shared the documents with you. This means you can view a document, edit it, share it, and download it, and more- all as if it were natively stored in your SkyDrive Pro.

 

 

 

Shared with Me appears in the left-hand navigation pane of your SkyDrive Pro under Followed Documents.

Learn more about Shared with Me on Office.com.

Do even more with these additional SkyDrive Pro improvements 

In the spirit of continually improving the SkyDrive Pro service, we're also increasing the overall file upload limit in SharePoint Online to 2 GB/file and the default recycle bin retention to 90 days (up from 30 days). And we're enabling versioning by default on newly provisioned SkyDrive Pro libraries, which saves the last ten versions, so you never lose an important document. These service improvements apply to SkyDrive Pro and to team site documents and data. We'll give you more details about these improvements and others in an upcoming post about increased limits across SharePoint Online.

Do more with more! Store, sync, and share is best with SkyDrive Pro. Now stop reading and go upload something already!

Learn more about Sky Drive Pro.

Thanks,

Mark Kashman & Tejas Mehta
Senior Product Managers - SharePoint
@mkashman | @tpmehta





Additional Resources

"What is SkyDrive Pro?" article on Office.com
"5 Questions about SkyDrive Pro" article on Office.com
"Standalone SkyDrive Pro Sync for Windows" blog post
"SkyDrive Pro apps for Windows 8 & iOS" blog post

FAQ

 Q. How much SkyDrive Pro storage do I get per user?

 A. 25 GB is the default in SharePoint Online and can be upped to 100 GB. 100 MB is the default setting for on-premises and it is configurable by the IT administrator.

Q. Can I buy more SkyDrive Pro storage?

A. Yes. Additional storage is sold at $0.20USD/GB/month and goes into a tenant's pooled storage. It can then be allocated to specified end users from 25 GB to 50 GB or 100 GB.

Q. Does this announcement apply to Office 365 Home Premium subscribers?

A. No. SkyDrive Pro is not the same as SkyDrive. The "Pro" is based on SharePoint, enterprise-grade content management. Thus, this article does not apply to Office 365 Home Premium offering, which combines the latest Office applications with 20GB of SkyDrive storage.

Q. Does this announcement apply to Office 365 dedicated subscribers?

A. No. The Office 365 dedicated plans are not receiving this same update, because they are managed in a unique, isolated infrastructure.

Q. What is the maximum number of docs I can sync using the SkyDrive Pro Sync for Windows client?

A. 20,000 documents for personal document libraries, 5,000 for team sites.

Q. Does SkyDrive Pro Sync for Windows use "differential sync"?

A. Yes, SkyDrive Pro Sync for Windows uses the Office Document Cache and syncs only the differences for Excel, Word, and PowerPoint files.

August 29
SkyDrive Pro Storage up to 25GB and ease of Sharing

I've not been able to see the setting in my portal yet but I know it's coming soon! 25 GB's for storage up from 7GB. Good FAQ's listed at the bottom on this page.

SkyDrive Pro increases storage and ease of sharing

by Office 365 Team (re-posted from http://bit.ly/1dM4UHF on August 27)

Co-authors Mark Kashman (@mkashman) and Tejas Mehta (@tpmehta) are senior product managers on the SharePoint marketing team.

SkyDrive Pro is cloud storage for business. It's the place where employees can store, sync, and share their files across multiple devices with ease and security. With SkyDrive Pro you can collaborate with others in real time and edit documents from virtually anywhere via a web browser using Office Web Apps. Accessing your files from multiple devices (including Windows Phone, Windows 8, iOS, and Android devices) is a cinch with native SkyDrive Pro and Office Mobile apps. Not only does SkyDrive Pro deliver the frictionless user experiences that employees expect in a file sync solution, it's backed by a platform that provides industrial-strength content management, compliance, and content management controls. 

We're continually improving the SkyDrive Pro service. The new SkyDrive Pro apps are now available in the Window Store and App Store. Today, we're pleased to announce three new significant improvements to SkyDrive Pro for Office 365 business subscribers - to help you be more productive:

  • Each user now gets 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro storage space (up from 7 GB).
  • You can now increase users' SkyDrive Pro storage beyond the default 25 GB-up to 50 GB and 100 GB.
  • With the new Shared with Me view,you can easily find documents others have shared with you.

Let's dive into the details!

Each user now gets 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro storage space (up from 7 GB)

The default SkyDrive Pro storage space in Office 365 is now 25 GB-for both new and existing customers.

Let's look at what that means for the overall storage for each user. With Office 365, you get 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro storage + 25 GB of  email storage + 5 GB for each site mailbox you create + your total available tenant storage, which for every Office 365 business customer starts at 10 GB + (500 MB x # of user(s)1). If you and your company have growing storage needs across your various work streams and content types, we think you'll find Office 365 offers ample headroom on day one, at no additional cost.

1 In Office 365 Enterprise plans, only Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, and E4 users contribute to the total available tenant storage. Kiosk workers and external users are not calculated into the equation. For small business and midsize plans, all licensed users contribute to the total available tenant storage. 

You can now increase users' SkyDrive Pro storage beyond the default 25 GB-up to 50 GB and 100 GB

SharePoint Online admins can now increase SkyDrive Pro storage space for those individuals that need and want more than the default 25 GB of storage. You can select increases in increments, up to 50 GB or 100 GB (the current SkyDrive Pro limit), and you can adjust the storage for up to 25 users at once. The storage you allocate will come from your tenant's overall pool of storage and you have clear visibility of how much total available tenant storage your company has to allocate to your users' SkyDrive Pro. If you need more tenant storage, navigate to the Storage Metrics page (Site Settings a Storage Metrics) and then to Buy quota, where you can purchase more; additional storage for SharePoint Online costs $0.20USD/GB/month.

SharePoint Online admins can increase users' SkyDrive Pro storage space from 25 GB to 50 GB and 100 GB.

With the new Shared with Me view, you can easily find documents others have shared with you

Have you ever experienced the pain of trying to locate a document or folder a colleague previously shared with you? Shared with Me eliminates the worry of finding those important items, because now they're all visible in a single view from within your SkyDrive Pro.

The documents and folders you see in the Shared with Me view may live in someone else's SkyDrive Pro, or they may be shared from a standard team site document library. Once they are shared with you, you have the same permissions in SkyDrive Pro that you were originally given by the person who shared the documents with you. This means you can view a document, edit it, share it, and download it, and more- all as if it were natively stored in your SkyDrive Pro.

 

 

 

Shared with Me appears in the left-hand navigation pane of your SkyDrive Pro under Followed Documents.

Learn more about Shared with Me on Office.com.

Do even more with these additional SkyDrive Pro improvements 

In the spirit of continually improving the SkyDrive Pro service, we're also increasing the overall file upload limit in SharePoint Online to 2 GB/file and the default recycle bin retention to 90 days (up from 30 days). And we're enabling versioning by default on newly provisioned SkyDrive Pro libraries, which saves the last ten versions, so you never lose an important document. These service improvements apply to SkyDrive Pro and to team site documents and data. We'll give you more details about these improvements and others in an upcoming post about increased limits across SharePoint Online.

Do more with more! Store, sync, and share is best with SkyDrive Pro. Now stop reading and go upload something already!

Learn more about Sky Drive Pro.

Thanks,

Mark Kashman & Tejas Mehta
Senior Product Managers - SharePoint
@mkashman | @tpmehta





Additional Resources

"What is SkyDrive Pro?" article on Office.com
"5 Questions about SkyDrive Pro" article on Office.com
"Standalone SkyDrive Pro Sync for Windows" blog post
"SkyDrive Pro apps for Windows 8 & iOS" blog post

FAQ

 Q. How much SkyDrive Pro storage do I get per user?

 A. 25 GB is the default in SharePoint Online and can be upped to 100 GB. 100 MB is the default setting for on-premises and it is configurable by the IT administrator.

Q. Can I buy more SkyDrive Pro storage?

A. Yes. Additional storage is sold at $0.20USD/GB/month and goes into a tenant's pooled storage. It can then be allocated to specified end users from 25 GB to 50 GB or 100 GB.

Q. Does this announcement apply to Office 365 Home Premium subscribers?

A. No. SkyDrive Pro is not the same as SkyDrive. The "Pro" is based on SharePoint, enterprise-grade content management. Thus, this article does not apply to Office 365 Home Premium offering, which combines the latest Office applications with 20GB of SkyDrive storage.

Q. Does this announcement apply to Office 365 dedicated subscribers?

A. No. The Office 365 dedicated plans are not receiving this same update, because they are managed in a unique, isolated infrastructure.

Q. What is the maximum number of docs I can sync using the SkyDrive Pro Sync for Windows client?

A. 20,000 documents for personal document libraries, 5,000 for team sites.

Q. Does SkyDrive Pro Sync for Windows use "differential sync"?

A. Yes, SkyDrive Pro Sync for Windows uses the Office Document Cache and syncs only the differences for Excel, Word, and PowerPoint files.

August 02
#SPSChicago 11/2/2013: Registration Open Monday 8/5/2013

It's time for SharePoint Saturday Chicago 2013! Free tickets go on sales Monday 8/5/2013!
Register on our site at "Attend" on Monday. Follow us on Twitter @SPSChicago and Like us on Facebook today to stay up-to-date!

This event will be hosted on Saturday 11/2/2013 at The Hard Rock Hotel on Michigan Ave in Chicago IL. SharePoint Saturday Chicago is free to attendees and is your chance to meet peers like yourself in the community and ask questions from experts, MVP's, Microsoft and our sponsors. 


This year we're inviting SharePoint + Windows and SQL speakers to help those interested in the SharePoint MCSE Certification. In fact we've added and entire track dedicated to SharePoint certifications run by certified trainers.  


We'll have 28 speakers, 6 tracks and high quality sessions packed with the best of SharePoint 2013. We'll also have giveaways including an Xbox One and Microsoft Surfaces. There's something for Admins, CIOs, PM's, End Users and Developers.

Want to speak?
Get creative and Get ready and watch twitter for the announcement or visit the speaker's pageThe call for speakers will open Friday 8/9

Want to Sponsor?
Sponsorship packaged will be posted in the next week and you'll find the packages here.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you.
The @SPSChicago Team 

July 31
Office 2020? Microsoft Office Beta Pre-Release Program Now Open

Have you ever wondered how you could get access into Microsoft's pre-release beta programs for Office products? Here's how…! Who knows, you could be looking at Office 2020 soon! IMO this is an excellent move towards opening up and gaining critical product bug/feedback from users of all types!

Many of you may know this program as something called the TAP (Technical Awareness Program) that's been locked down to targeted groups of customers, MVP's, Insiders and ISV's. Well times-they-are-a-change'n, Microsoft is opening the Pre-Release program up to home and business users, Now's your chance to sign up to gain access to what many out there have already had for years. Here's the post from the Office Pre-Release site!

Join Us - "The Office team at Microsoft is looking for participants to join us in pre-release beta programs!  Your feedback in these programs will be instrumental in building the best productivity software and services available. The programs will span across the full family of Microsoft Office client, server and cloud services both Windows and Mac.  The family of products include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Visio, Publisher and Outlook applications, as well as the Exchange, SharePoint and Project server products and cloud services.

If you or the company you work for, or both, are interested in providing feedback to shape and enhance the latest and greatest technologies in the world, then we'd like to know more about you."


Link: http://prereleaseprograms-public.sharepoint.com/

Thanks
Kris Wagner

July 27
Windows Phone Developer Accounts $19 USD until 8/27

My Windows Phone Dev account was up for renewal and I was very happy to see there's a promotion for $19 USD on new accounts and renewals until 8/27. Check it out at https://dev.windowsphone.com/en-us but here are the details from the site. $20 bucks you know you want to, I bet you're surprised I do it.




Join The new Windows Phone Dev Center has everything you need to create great apps and add them to the Windows Phone Store for the world to see, try, and buy. You can start creating apps anytime. When you're ready to offer them in the Store, you'll need a subscription to the Dev Center where you can start the process of adding them to the Store catalog. Your subscription includes some useful tools and your own personal dashboard to track your apps and your earnings.

Dev Center registration price promotion

For a limited time, the annual subscription fee for a Windows Phone Dev Center account has been reduced to $19 USD (or the equivalent in your local currency). Taxes, VAT, and other fees are excluded from this offer. This offer is valid beginning 6/26/2013 12:00 AM PST and ending 8/27/2013 12:00 AM PST in countries where the Windows Phone Dev Center registration is available (see Regional info). See the official terms of this offer for more details.

What do I get?

Your subscription connects you to tools, information, tips, code samples, and a broad community of developers. You can:

  • Get free development tools, including a phone emulator to test your app
  • Explore code samples and all the information in our developer library
  • Read tips about selling your app
  • Review our policy guidelines and certification requirements
  • See tips and guidelines for creating apps that reflect the beauty of our design concepts
  • Create apps with trial options
  • Enable in-app purchasing, so customers can buy things within your app
  • Test your app with a real phone
  • Submit free and paid apps to the Store
  • Distribute your app around the world and set country/region-specific price tiers
  • Watch your progress and manage your apps in a personalized dashboard
  • Ask questions, share advice, or talk with other Windows Phone developer

     

    Thanks Kris Wagner

June 26
Windows 8.1 My Thoughts & My Windows RT 8.1 Upgrade :)

 

Update: I'm uploading more images to SkyDrive.com, you can find them here http://sdrv.ms/17hKano

Windows 8.1 My Thoughts

So by now everyone should know that Microsoft released Windows 8.1. Today at the Build conference Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, explained (in that awesome loud tone he has) the new strategy moving forward will be faster releases of products in iterations. Hence engineering is moving faster than marketing and this could be a good or a bad thing depending on the organization. This change is similar to Apple OS release methodology where you can purchase an iteration of the OS at a minimal cost. I personally couldn't be more thrilled with the change because it effects all the products Microsoft sells.

I'm a fan boy of Microsoft so of course I'm happy with this change but I'm also an architect who needs to make sure the solutions I design and recommend meets the requirements of customers. You'd be surprised at the number of customers still on Windows XP and SharePoint Portal 2003 – If you're a consultant like me maybe you're not that surprised.

A few days ago I was explaining some of the changes in Windows 8.1 to my other half who said "so basically it's Windows 7 again". I think I just said umm something like that but the truth is it isn't. 8.1 was designed based off feedback from customers much like the Xbox One. Microsoft is hearing what customers are saying and improving the products based on that feedback in a lightning speed fashion --- This is HUGE people. It's our jobs as consultants to help companies (from small business to fortune 5) get to the next generation of products. With 8.1 you can now boot to your desktop, use the traditional Windows 8 touch or have a better experience with a mouse. Get more information and download your copy here.

I love the idea of the Microsoft App & SharePoint Store because I can do stuff like this to my desktop…. Isn't my nephew adorable in my Windows 8 tiles J


My Windows Surface RT 8.1 Upgrade

First I'd like to point out I have an iPad (latest gen) and iPhone 5, this will matter later on. I bought my Surface RT from a friend last year after Build, yes one everyone got for free at Build (Thanks Anthony :). I started using it for OneNote and Word and the SkyDrive integration. It came with the Touch Keyboard and I just couldn't get used to it so I bought the Type cover – Must have. Since then I've noticed the App eco system has grown, yes even for RT, and I'm using my Microsoft Surface RT more than my iPad. I use it for work and personal stuff. I heart the "Windows Everywhere" experience in Windows 8 because my desktop Windows 8 Enterprise follows me without issues on my Windows devices. The one thing I didn't like about the RT was it was missing Outlook and I don't know how to function without Outlook. Well it's over and I'm so excited to have 8.1 Installed on my Surface.

 



Here's all I did and my upgrade process was flawless.

  1. I made a Recovery disk on a USB drive, as recommended, here are the instructions.
  2. Open the App Store and choose to download Windows RT 8.1 Preview. Note: That took about 2 hours to download.
  3. After it was done I choose upgrade, then agreed to the terms, it migrated all my content, had me verify my account via text message and there you have it.

     

Here are some images of my Surface RT running on Windows 8.1

Start Button, This PC, Outlook… On the start screen you can press any App to make groups.

Outlook running on my Surface!

 

April 25
Free SharePoint Core Test Prep for MCSE & MCSM Certifications Tests 410, 411 & 412




Are you planning on going for your SharePoint 2013 MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) or MCSM (Microsoft Certified Solutions Master)? Why not jump on the free Microsoft Certification Prep wagon and get the required tests 410, 411 & 412 out of the way before you take the SharePoint 2013 tests?

Microsoft is giving us exam preparation videos, discussion forums and wikis for the core tests mentioned (I said free right?). At the bottom of this entry you'll see the paths you'll have follow to get the certification you want.


@Microsoft
is giving us exam preparation videos, discussion forums and wikis for the core tests mentioned (410, 411 & 412).

It's free, unplug from work and start watching these before bedtime or at lunch. They will not be free for long.

Here's the link again

From Microsoft:

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification validates your foundation of core technical skills and prepares you for a sustainable IT career. To help you get there, we present the 90 Days to MCSA program, a plan of action with a focus on Windows Server and SQL Server. The plan gives you a clear roadmap, tools and community support, all designed to help you achieve your MCSA goal at a pace that works. Make a commitment to yourself and get started today.

 


April 25
MeasureUp.com 30% off @Microsoft Cert Kits – Ends 4/30/2013

So the new SharePoint 2013 and other core tests… They are much harder than the last bunch for 2010…. Not all tests are alike! While the MeasureUp.com tests are not 100% accurate (meaning a 1:1 match) they can be close. Also keep in mind there could be 10 flavors of the test and the one you're taking might not be what the person next to you is taking. I helped write these tests in the past and can tell you some are harder then others. I have used the MeasureUp.com practice tests to help me study for years now and I give them a 4 out of 5. Note: I've had some issues with the test engine on Windows 8, they said they are working on a fix. PS I get no commission and have no connection to M-Up. I just like their products J - Happy SharePointing.

Spring into Savings: 30% Off Practice Tests!
Offer Ends 4/30/2013

Featured: Microsoft Cert Kits

If you're serious about getting certified and don't have time to sit in a classroom or guess through different learning systems, Cert Kits provide a fast-track to certification with a "boot camp style", easy-to-use suite of learning, practice and mentoring tools in one package - at a price you can afford. Purchased separately, expect to pay 60% more for these online tools. Cert Kits include:

Subscriber Discount Take 30% off any one MeasureUp.com Practice Test. Expires Tuesday, April 30, 2013. Use code "MUPSPRINGSAVE" at checkout. (excludes VMware, Upgrades and extension products).

Thanks
Kris Wagner

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