Gulf countries to get Windows Phone 8

by Shijaz Abdulla on 01.07.2012 at 14:47

In a blog post, the Windows Phone team announced the list of countries where Windows Phone 8 would be available.

Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman and Kuwait are among the countries slated to get both the Windows Phone 8 App Hub as well as the Marketplace.

This is definitely a step in the right direction, keeping in mind Windows Phone 7 which was not available in the Gulf.

Below is list from the Windows Team blog, subject to change. Click to expand.

The Windows Phone Marketplace and AppHub for developers are coming to more countries and regions for Windows Phone 8.

Gulf Lync Launch

by Shijaz Abdulla on 30.01.2011 at 15:59

In partnership with Jabra and Polycom, Microsoft cordially invites you to attend the exclusive Unified Communications Launch roadshow in the Gulf region. Success in today’s business world hinges on collaboration – whether it’s with other employees, clients, partners, or vendors. Now there’s a way for your organization to transform every communication into an interaction that is more collaborative, engaging, and accessible from anywhere

Register now for the Lync Roadshow in your city!

Why attend?
Meet international subject matter experts from Jabra, Polycom and Microsoft and learn the latest trends and cutting-edge technologies in the Unified Communications space.
Jabra’s award-winning corded and wireless headset solutions integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Lync providing a reliable, easy to use and cost effective user experience across multiple devices and platforms.
Polycom provides a complete, standards-based, and interoperable UC solution for voice, video, conferencing, and collaboration, giving customers a choice through the scalable Polycom infrastructure and Microsoft Lyncâ„¢ platform
Microsoft® Lync™ Server 2010 is the next generation of Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007 R2 offers organizations a wide range of option

  • A single interface that unites voice communications, presence and instant messaging, and audio/video/web conferencing into a solution that can enhance or replace existing systems.
  • A familiar user experience accessible through Microsoft® Office, Microsoft SharePoint®,
    and Microsoft Exchange.
  • A single identity that connects users to contacts inside and outside the organization.
  • A consistent experience across PC, phone, web, or mobile that gives users the option to connect
    from multiple devices.
  • Exceptional security and reliability that works with Active Directory® and Microsoft Forefront®.
  • Interoperability with existing systems for smoother deployment and migration.

A rich platform for development, bringing unified communications into custom solutions ranging from business workflows to line-of-business applications.

February 5th 2011 – Oman
February 6th 2011 – Bahrain
February 7th 2011 – Qatar
February 8th 2011 – Kuwait
February 9th 2011 – UAE

Register now for the Lync Roadshow in your city!

IBM & Microsoft Virtualization Event: January 24

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.01.2011 at 12:31



January 24, 2011
Venue: La Cigale Hotel, Doha


February 1, 2011
Venue: JW Marriott, Kuwait City



Microsoft Business Intelligence Roadshow

by Shijaz Abdulla on 18.04.2010 at 11:06


Meet Tech·Ed Middle East’s Top Voted Speaker at the Business Intelligence Roadshow.

Rafal Lukawiecki, International Business Intelligence speaker, will be telling you all about simplifying performance management and business intelligence.

Join us at this exclusive event as he demonstrates to you how these solutions can easily be used in your day-to-day business scenarios.

With a special focus on Microsoft® SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft® Office System 2010, this will be a full day seminar with exciting presentations and live videos from the business intelligence performance management expert.


April 26, 2010

The Westin, Dubai
Serdaal Ballroom


April 28, 2010

Four Seasons Hotel


April 29,2010

Mövenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’s
Al Bida’s Ballroom


clip_image001[10] clip_image001[12]

IT Evolution 2008 Event

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.10.2008 at 09:46

Coming to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar on the dates below. Register now by clicking on the link below.


Microsoft Technology Day, Kuwait

by Shijaz Abdulla on 31.03.2008 at 16:01

Slide decks: Click here to download the slide deck (.ppt format)

I had a great time at Kuwait, at the Microsoft Technology Day 2008 held on March 30, 2008. There were around 300 attendees, 20 speakers and 42 sessions on various Microsoft technologies. Speakers comprised of MVPs, Microsoft employees and trainers from Infocenter Kuwait, who are also the key sponsors of the event. Sureen Aslavi, MVP from Kuwait played an important role in organizing this event.

Amr El Garhy from Microsoft Gulf who is our MVP Tech Lead and Developer Evangelist kicked off the session with a lively keynote session. He took the audience on a tour of Photosynth and explained some of the exciting areas that Microsoft is currently focusing on.

Keynote session: Amr El Garhy, Microsoft Gulf

Ruari Plint, the MVP MEA Program Manager from Microsoft, joined us in a videoconferencing session from South Africa.

Live from South Africa – Ruari Plint, MEA MVP Program Manager, Microsoft

This was followed by our technical sessions. The sessions were very lively and I enjoyed interacting with the Kuwaiti IT professional community. They were a great audience and I believe they benefited from the sessions we delivered.

On the request of those who attended the event, and for those who missed the event, I am uploading the slide decks for all four of my presentations:

Session1 – Managing Virtualization with SCVMM
Discussed Microsoft’s Dynamic Systems Initiative, the need for virtualization and how SCVMM can be used to gain better control over a virtualized datacenter. Session included Live Demos.

Session 2 – Windows Server 2008 Server Core
Discussed the advantages of running Windows Server 2008 Server Core. The session was intensive with live demos on how to set up a DHCP server on Server Core from scratch. This session was very interactive and had a large number of attendees. Almost every attendee actively participated in this session. As promised, I will also post an article describing all the commands that we explored during the session. Watch this blog!

Session 3 – Top 10 mistakes while configuring ISA Server
Discussed some of the most common mistakes that administrators make while configuring ISA Server. The session had a full house, and it was humerous and interactive, with attendees sharing some of their own ISA Server bloopers.

Session 4 – Identity Lifecycle Management
Explained the importance of Identity Lifecycle management in the enterprise. Attendees were fewer than the other sessions. The audience included managers, decision makers and HRMS administrators. I explained how Identity Lifecycle Management can be applied in a real world scenario and how Microsoft ILM can help in various scenarios.

Slide decks:
Click here to download the slide deck (.ppt format)

If you have been to any of my sessions, I would like to welcome your feedback as a comment to this post or by email.

See also: Destination Kuwait!

Destination Kuwait

by Shijaz Abdulla on 29.03.2008 at 22:03

The Kuwait towers (as seen from Kuwait MVP Tarek’s car!)

with Gulf MVPs

Ready for a great day ahead

The Liberation Tower, Kuwait

receiving appreciation from Sureen Aslavi (Kuwait MVP)

Installing VM Additions on Windows Server 2008 Server Core

by Shijaz Abdulla on 24.03.2008 at 14:30

I am preparing a Virtual Server image for my presentation on Windows Server 2008 Server Core at the Microsoft Technology Day to be held on March 30th at Kuwait.

I had to install the Virtual Machine Additions on the guest machine to accelerate the overall performance, and specifically to improve the video and cursor movements.

On Virtual Server 2005 R2, I click on the “Click here to start Virtual Machine Additions setup” link. This mounts the VMAdditions ISO image file to CD-ROM drive on the guest machine. It is important to note that the VM additions does not autorun.

You will have to go to the CD-ROM drive manually at the Command Prompt and execute the D:Windowssetup.exe file where D: is the drive letter of the CD drive on the guest machine.

Microsoft Technology Day: Kuwait

by Shijaz Abdulla on 09.03.2008 at 19:23

Microsoft Technology Day is being conducted by the Microsoft Experts Community ( at Kuwait on March 30, 2008.

The event will consist of a total of 42 sessions by 20 speakers. Keynote speakers from Microsoft Gulf will be Vimal Sethi, Group Manager – Developer & Platform and Amr El Garhy, Developer Evangelist & MVP TechLead.

The speakers for this event will consist of MVPs from across Middle East and Africa, Microsoft consultants, and MCTs. The event will be held at Infocenter – Duwalia, Kuwait.

I will be presenting at the event on the following topics:

10:15 to 11:15 – System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007
I will be giving an overview of the core virtualization technologies available today, the DSI initiative, virtualization management, and a live demo of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007.

11:30 to 12:30 – Windows Server 2008 Server Core
I will be explaining what server core is all about and intend to do a live demo on how to set up a DHCP server using Windows Server 2008 Server Core.

13:15 to 14:15 – Top 10 mistakes while configuring ISA Server
I will be taking you to a tour on some of the most common mistakes committed by administrators while configuring ISA Server 2004/2006.

14:30 to 15:30 – Identity Lifecycle Manager 2007
I will be explaining the key concepts of Identity Lifecycle Management and what it can do for your organization.

For a list of sessions by the other notable speakers, please check the MSexperts website.

Click here to register for the event. See you in Kuwait insha allah!

GMail user data exposed in Kuwait

by Shijaz Abdulla on 01.03.2008 at 16:03

Talk about security – and Google.

GMail users in Kuwait and some other countries reporting being able to read other GMail users’ email without having to log in.

Full Story:

Google claims that an ‘ISP caching problem’ that allowed users to log in to other users’ mailboxes. This talks volumes about Google’s security, doesn’t it? Does this mean that an ISP can break Gmail security if it really wants? Wait a minute – how can ‘caching’ at the ISP preserve Gmail sessions? Some neat security, huh?

No wonder Gmail is still in Beta.