Windows Server 2003 End-of-Life

by Shijaz Abdulla on 24.05.2014 at 06:30

Who remembers Windows Server 2003?

Just in case you’re still running Windows Server 2003 – here’s a reminder – Windows Server 2003 will be “end-of-life” on July 14, 2015. Here’s a countdown timer!

Your face and name will start appearing in Google Ads starting today

by Shijaz Abdulla on 14.05.2014 at 19:46

I was shocked to read this article on Gizmodo, that states that Google will soon be using people’s names and photos on their ads.

This is not unexpected of Google, a company with a rich history decorated with privacy issues, but who knew this would happen all so soon?!

This isnt the end of the word, you can still opt out by unchecking the box at the bottom of this page.


Preview of the new Windows Azure portal

by Shijaz Abdulla on 27.04.2014 at 18:09

I just signed up for the preview of the new Windows Azure portal.


The main page showing health status of all of Microsoft’s global datacenters. Check out the new datacenter in Brazil. (Preview).


Here’s the new “New” menu.


When I chose to create a new website, this is what happens. It’s similar to the Windows 8 interface.




Keeping track of your Azure spending.


The all-new Gallery.



And the new mascot, which appears to be a shark or fish of some kind. Hmm.

A few things to ask Cortana

by Shijaz Abdulla on 15.04.2014 at 23:55

With the developer preview release  of Windows Phone 8.1, I decided to give it a spin. The first thing that caught my attention was the Notification Center, a much awaited and essential feature.

Second on my list was Cortana.

In this post, I share some interesting things I asked Cortana, with screenshots of her replies:


I also asked “Where am I” and she told me where I was (complete with a  map), and also “is it hot outside” and she gave me the weather. She also told me what my next appointment was. Impressive!

The World’s Greatest Azure Demo

by Shijaz Abdulla on 19.03.2014 at 12:30

This definitely has to be the world’s greatest Azure demo, at least in my opinion.

Check it out at

Capture your whiteboard doodles on OneNote

by Shijaz Abdulla on 17.03.2014 at 20:44

Office Lens is here.

From the product blog:

Office Lens is an app that’s like having a scanner in your pocket. You can use it to take pictures of things like business cards, restaurant menus, notes on whiteboards or blackboards — anything you want to keep on hand. But unlike loose sticky notes, business cards or sketches on lunch napkins, you won’t lose track of your ideas when you capture them with Office Lens. Even things like children’s artwork is fair game. Snap a picture of that one-of-a-kind card your child made and it’ll be at your fingertips whenever you’d like to see it.

Office Lens trims, enhances and makes pictures readable. Weird angles are straightened, shadows are cleaned up and the images are automatically synced to OneNote, so you can get to them on all your devices.

When your picture includes printed text, such as a poster or business card, OneNote on a PC can recognize the text with optical character recognition (OCR) so you can search for words in the image — and you can edit the text, or copy and paste it into apps like email and documents.

Office Lens has three modes, or settings, that help make your captures look their best:

  • With Whiteboard mode, glare and shadows disappear.
  • With Document mode, text is clear and easy to read.
  • With Photo mode, you can take pictures of people and scenery.

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Two new compute-intensive instances on Windows Azure

by Shijaz Abdulla on 01.02.2014 at 14:49

Two new compute-intensive virtual machine instances have been added on Windows Azure over the weekend.

Cloud Services A8 8 virtual cores,
56 GB memory
$ 2.45 per hour
Cloud Services A9 16 virtual cores,
112GB memory
$ 4.90 per hour

A8 and A9 belong to a new category of instances called compute-intensive instances that provide faster processors and more virtual cores for higher compute power, larger amounts of memory, and a 40 Gbit/s InfiniBand network that includes remote direct memory access (RDMA) technology for maximum efficiency of parallel Message Passing Interface (MPI) applications.

Compute-intensive instances are optimal for running compute and network-intensive applications such as high-performance cluster applications, applications using modeling, simulation and analysis, and video encoding. Please consider using the new A8 and A9 instances for running your compute and network-intensive applications.

Windows Azure now validated for PCI-DSS Compliance

by Shijaz Abdulla on 17.01.2014 at 09:58

Windows Azure has been validated for compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) by an independent Qualified Security Assessor (QSA).

The PCI DSS is the global standard that any organization of any size must adhere to in order to accept payment cards, and to store, process, and/or transmit cardholder data. By providing PCI DSS validated infrastructure and platform services, Windows Azure delivers a compliant platform for you to run your own secure and compliant applications. You can now achieve PCI DSS certification for those applications using Windows Azure.

To assist customers in achieving PCI DSS certification, Microsoft is making the Windows Azure PCI Attestation of Compliance and Windows Azure Customer PCI Guide available for immediate download.

Visit the Trust Center for a full list of in scope features or for more information on Windows Azure security and compliance.

Read more on Scott Guthrie’s blog.

Barracuda Web Application Firewall, Cloud Edition: Now on Windows Azure

by Shijaz Abdulla on 16.01.2014 at 18:30


Barracuda Networks offers a fully scalable security solution running in Windows Azure to protect services from different types of attacks. For any projects requiring extra security Barracuda Web Application Firewall can be used for Security-as-a-Service option.

The Barracuda Web Application Firewall, Cloud Edition is the first integrated, fully scalable security solution on Windows Azure. With predefined security templates and load balancing built in, companies of all sizes can enjoy total application security with no need to learn, configure, and manage complex technology. Download the Barracuda WAF on Azure whitepaper to learn more on why application firewalls makes sense in Azure.

  • Comprehensive protection against inbound attacks – including zero-day exploits and the OWASP Top 10
  • Advanced Outbound data loss prevention (DLP) to ensure confidential data stays that way
  • Automatic security updates and virtual patching through Energize Updates to stay ahead of new and evolving threats.

Windows Azure Deep Dive training: January 27-31

by Shijaz Abdulla on 16.01.2014 at 13:28

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) are running a Windows Azure Deep Dive week this month Jan 27-Jan31.

Registration Link:

This will be a weeklong series of live, interactive sessions from the experts who built Azure that will show you how to start using Windows Azure in your solutions today. In addition to seeing lots of demos and real world examples, you’ll be able to get your questions answered in real time Q&A.

Scott Guthrie, Azure Guru and Microsoft Corporate Vice President, will kick off the week on Monday January 27 by building a real world application from scratch, end to end, to show you the latest capabilities of Azure.

Then each day, we’ll have deep dive sessions led by Microsoft’s top cloud platform development experts, including Scott Hanselman, Scott Hunter, Marc Mercuri, Cheryl McGuire, and Miranda Luna

These sessions are:

  1. Get Started with Windows Azure Today Jump Start: Overview Day, Monday January 27
  2. Designing Applications for Windows Azure Jump Start: Architecture Day, Tuesday January 28
  3. Building Windows Azure Applications Jump Start: Developer Day, Wednesday January 29
  4. Windows Azure IaaS Deep Dive Jump Start: Infrastructure Day, Thursday January 30
  5. Mobile Apps to IoT: Connected Devices with Windows Azure: Mobile Services Day, Friday January 31

Note: You need to register for each day/session. Registration link above.


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