Last week Microsoft announced some radical changes to the Microsoft MVP program

Steve Guggenheimer: Moving into the next generation of the Microsoft MVP Award
MVP Website: Award Update – Oct 2015

In summary (there are a few exceptions), MVP’s have been categorised under one of ten new headings. Directory Services now comes under the categorisation of Enterprise Mobility, therefore I am now an MVP for Enterprise mobility.

My initial thought was, Enterprise Mobility? I don’t do telephony

I soon realised Microsoft’s logic in their categorisations, enterprise mobility is not all about mobile telephones and the utilisation of various parts of the radio spectrum, it is in fact about being able to access your enterprise from anywhere and on any device and identity is a key component of Microsoft’s enterprise mobility strategy.

In an on-premises world the de facto enterprise identity solution is Active Directory (Directory Services) and in the Microsoft cloud it is Microsoft Azure Active Directory. The term hybrid identity is the fusing of the two methods of identity together to create a seamless identity solution be it on-premises or in the cloud.

As I delve deeper into the deeper corners of Microsoft identity, I will share my story to this blog and unlike the 15 year old teenager that is Active Directory, not everything that can be written about the Azure Active Directory and Hybrid Identity has been written yet.

I am once again honoured to be a recipient of the Microsoft MVP award for Directory Services.

Since first becoming an MVP in 2009, the Directory Services designation has evolved to cover many complimentary technologies and solutions in both on-premises and cloud solutions, such as traditional Active Directory to Azure Active Directory.  Microsoft’s rate of innovation and change within the Azure space alone is phenomenal and shows no sign of abating and  whilst these new technologies are exciting they have to be learnt and understood in order to implement and support the adoption of these new technologies.

The book I am currently reading “Rookie Smarts” by Liz Wiseman highlights an interesting research analysis, in the book Liz states that.

Knowledge decay in the 1970’s was 10% per annum” but “In 2005 it was estimated that knowledge becomes obsolete at 15% per year, but in high tech this is as much as 30%.   If information doubles every 9 months and decays at 30% a year; within 5 years, only 15% of your knowledge will be relevant”.

If I want to keep being awarded the MVP designation, it’s obvious (well to me anyway) that I need to keep up with the technology (as well as supporting the community), else my skills will soon be as relevant as my MCSE in NT 3.51.

It never fails to amaze me how ones words and actions can directly and indirectly influence another person’s actions or even alter their career path.  Over the years I have always tried to share my knowledge with my peers and the IT community as a whole and yesterday I felt rather humbled to receive this comment in an email.

This is my first full time AD role. I find it funny you ask [sic. an irrelevant question], you’re indirectly responsible for me getting this job.  I followed your work for years, so thank you.

It’s the little things that make a big difference.


82141_d6 MMS Email

Just picked up on this from Microsoft, The Best of MMS 2012 in the UK, looks interesting.

Learn about 2012’s exciting wave of Microsoft Private Cloud product launches and announcements – starting with the release of System Center 2012.
Get the latest insights into the Microsoft Private Cloud and learn what’s new in System Center 2012. The Best of MMS 2012 brings you the highlights from MMS 2012 conference in a choice of UK-wide one-day or virtual events.

Understand the Microsoft Private Cloud vision, strategy and roadmap, with deep dive sessions on managing your applications, infrastructure, desktops and devices plus sessions on service delivery and automation – opportunities you won’t want to miss.

Experience how System Center 2012 lets you manage your virtual, physical and cloud environments from a single console using common and consistent management experiences that give you full control of your datacentre.

The Best of MMS 2012 is the best possible opportunity to interact with Microsoft, key strategic partners and customers at ONE of THREE events.

Register now:

8th May 2012, Hilton Deansgate, Manchester


10th May 2012, Thames Valley Park, Reading


17th May 2012, Cardinal Place, London













Microsoft’s Private Cloud: Built For The Future, Ready Now




What’s New in System Center 2012








Infrastructure and Fabric Management








Service Delivery and Automation




Application Management








Desktop and Device Management




Networking and Close


May 2 – Toronto | May 4 – Detroit | May 6 – Chicago | May 9 – Indianapolis | May 11 – Dallas | May 13 – Columbus

The Springboard Series Tour is back! This 6 city tour brings the top product teams from Microsoft to you. We understand the questions and issues that IT pros deal with every day. How do I manage end users bringing consumer devices into the office? Should we look to the cloud for key solutions? Should I virtualize? What are the best tools to manage application compatibility and deployment? The Springboard Series Tour brings the experts and the answers.

Join us for a full day’s deep dive into the tools, solutions and options to help you do more with less. We will cover managing the flexible workspace, a first look at Windows Intune and Office 365. We’ll also show you some of the new Windows Slates and give you details around Microsoft’s strategy for Slate devices. We will preview  the new tools in the MDOP 2011 suite, a deep dive into managing and deploying Office 2010 and great tips and tricks to help you deploy Windows 7 and move your users from Windows XP with speed and ease.

REGISTER NOW and save your seat for this free day of technical demos, Q&A sessions, and real-world guidance from Microsoft experts.

Myself and Mark Wilson together run the Windows Server User Group;  we’ve not been very active for a while (long story), but  after a small hiatus the user group is back and we shall be once again hosting regular events, some will now be online but hopefully most will be in the regular format of a group meeting. 

So therefore, I am pleased to announce that on the evening of the 6th April 2011 at Microsoft’s London Offices (Cardinal Place)

The Windows Server User Group will be hosting two sessions around:

Active Directory – Rights Management Services (AD-RMS) and how it can integrate with the cloud.

AD-RMS can help in the battle to prevent data leakage and corporate disclosure, Wikileaks has highlighted the growing need for data loss prevention; this session will provide a showcase and an insight in to the technology. Presented by Microsoft’s Bill Orme.


Active Directory – Federation Services (AD-FS)

AD-FS utilises standards based protocols to allow your business to federate to the cloud and with other entities.

This is a must know technology for today and the future.

Presented by: Simon Veale of The Oxford Computer Group


Registration and directions can be found here: Please note Eventbrite does not support BST and as this meeting is in British Summer Time, it is GMT +1

There will be a social event in the Ha-Ha bar afterwards (under Cardinal Place). 

This handy Excel spreadsheet  (All 19785 lines of it) provides a Windows 7 Application Compatibility List for IT Professionals, it details software applications that have met Windows 7 Logo Program testing requirements for compatibility with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7. In the spreadsheet these products are identified with the compatibility status “Compatible Windows 7 Logo.”

In addition this list includes applications with the following compatibility statuses:

Free Update Required
Paid Update Required
Future Compatibility
Not Compatible

These statuses are based upon the software publishers’ statements of compatibility (not Microsoft). These products have not met the Windows 7 Logo Program testing requirements.

I would also recommend visiting the Windows 7 Compatibility Center for the latest compatibility information.