Eric Kraus

SharePoint Saturday (Fall 2012)

SharePoint Saturday returns to Minnesota the first Saturday in November.

Join SharePoint architects, developers and information workers for our next ‘SharePoint Saturday’ event. SharePoint Saturday is an educational, informative and lively day filled with sessions from respected SharePoint professionals and MVPs. We cover a wide variety of SharePoint topics with sessions for Information Workers, IT Pros and Developers. We also offer a SharePoint 101 track and hands-on labs! SharePoint Saturday is FREE, open to the public and is your local chance to immerse yourself in SharePoint!

There will once again be 8 concurrent sessions running in order to offer more content than ever before. Stop by the event site to see the schedule, sessions, and speakers.

The Hands-On lab sessions are returning, as well as the Intro to SharePoint track targeted to people wanting to understand what SharePoint is, how to be successful with the SharePoint platform, how together requirements and understanding ROI.

Date: November 3rd, 2012
Time: 8:15 AM – 4:30 PM
Cost: FREE

Normandale Community College
9700 France Avenue South
Bloomington, MN 55431


Windows 8 Developer Hackathon

As a follow up to Day 1: Windows 8 Developer Bootcamp  Microsoft is hosting a second FREE developer focused training event

Combining the broad reach of Windows, best-in-class developer tools, a re-imagined user experience, support for new chipsets, and a built-in store with industry-leading business terms, Windows 8 is the largest developer opportunity – ever. Also re-imagined, with new support for IaaS, FREE web sites, industrial strength caching and a powerful, comprehensive API, Windows Azure is ready for your application – today.

Our Hackathon is an open Windows 8 and Windows Azure code fest, where you’ll put what you know into practice and be eligible to win some great prizes! Code to your heart’s content, with Microsoft experts available to guide you through every step of the process. It’s the perfect opportunity to get your dream application underway, or to finish that app you’ve already started.

This full-day event will be filled with coding, sharing, plenty of food, and perhaps the occasional Lightning Talk on topics determined by your apps and questions.

Windows 8 Developer Bootcamp

Here’s a great opportunity to get some FREE hands-on experience developing Windows 8 applications.

Training Overview:

Combining the broad reach of Windows, best-in-class developer tools, a re-imagined user experience, support for new chipsets, and a built-in store with industry-leading business terms, Windows 8 is the largest developer opportunity – ever.

Our DevCamp covers Windows 8 RTM from top to bottom, featuring sessions that run from introductory to intermediate as the day unfolds.Bring your PCs installed with Windows 8 RTM,Visual Studio 2012, your apps and your cool ideas and get ready to create!

Also, stick around for Day 2: Windows 8 Developer Hackathon

Virtualization with Windows Server 2012

Microsoft just recently announced the release of Windows Server 2012.  You can find more on this announcement here ( ).

I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the improvements in Server 2012, specifically around virtualization.  It is a fair statement that Microsoft has been playing a catch up game with virtualization over the first few years of the product existance.

That changed significantly, with Hyper-V on Server 2008, when customers saw an enterprise class hypervisor emerge.  It further improved with the release of Windows Server 2008 R2.   And now…with additions to Hyper-V on Server 2012, Microsoft is leading the industry in hypervisor specifications.  Have a look:


Windows Server 2012 Standard/Datacenter Editions with Hyper-V Enabled


Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows Server 2012 Improvement Factor
Logical Processors Per Host 64 320* 5x
Physical Memory per Host 1 Terabyte 4 Terabytes* 4x
Virtual Processors per Host 512 2048* 4x
Virtual Machines per Host 384 1024* 2.7x
Virtual Processors per VM 4 64 16x
Memory per VM 64 Gigabytes 1 Terabyte 16x
Maximum Virtual Disk ~2 TB 64 TB* 32x
Nodes in a Cluster 16 64* 4x
Virtual Machine in a Cluster 1,000 8,000* 8x

*= Industry Leading


Windows 8 has Released to Manufacturing

Windows 8 has officially Released to Manufacturing (RTM).  I wanted to share a recent blog post with information regarding this milestone, but call out a few important dates for those people eager to get their hands on Windows 8.

Blogging Windows

Important Dates

  • August 15th: Developers will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via your MSDN subscriptions.
  • August 15th: IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through your TechNet subscriptions.
  • August 16th: Customers with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the Volume License Service Center (VLSC), allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organization.
  • August 16th: Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8.
  • August 20th: Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) receive access to Windows 8.
  • September 1st: Volume License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers.

Windows 8 Release Preview

Another Windows 8 milestone is upon us.  Windows 8 Release Preview (release candidate) hit the shelves today and it is awesome.


You can find information on Windows 8 Release Preview, here:

Or, download the ISO, here:

(use the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool to make a bootable USB thumb drive)

Be sure to also check out the Windows Experience Blog.  It has a lot of great content on Windows 8 and specifically Release Preview.  Read the latest post here:

Bing Search API moves to Azure

As of today, the Bing Search API is now being offered on the Windows Azure Marketplace.

For up to 5,000 queries per day, developers can use the API for free to query Bing for web, image, news and video search results as well as related searches and spelling suggestions.  For queries over 5,000 developers can subscribe to various tiers of queries per month.  For instance, 10,000 queries is $20/mo and 20,000 queries is $40/mo (all the way up to 2.5 million queries per month).

The new Bing Search API supports both XML and JSON formats.

Bing Search API

It is also worth noting the features that are included in the Microsoft Translator API which is treated separately than Bing Search API.

Microsoft Translator allows for the automatic machine translation of text into specific languages via web service API.  For up to 2 million characters per month, developers can translate text for free.  Moving up to 4 million characters costs only $40/mo.

Microsoft Translator API


Transition your application to the Windows Azure Marketplace:

1. Sign up for the Marketplace.

2. Read the migration guide on transitioning your application. You can expect the transition to involve targeting a new API end point, moderate changes to the request and response schemas, and a new security requirement to authenticate your application key.

3. Subscribe to the Bing Search API and create an application key. You will not be charged for API usage until the trial period expires.

Important note…the Bing Search API 2.0 will be decommissioned on August 1, 2012 so existing developers are encourage to migrate their applications as soon as possible.

A Career in Technology

I’m taking a break from geeky technology today to write about a great experience I recently had.  Last week, I had the opportunity to assist in hosting 100 high school girls at our Microsoft Technology Center for the 2012 Microsoft DigiGirlz Day.

The day was packed with great information on Microsoft products/services, tips for professional networking and preparing for a career in technology.  I also had the pleasure of participating in a “speed networking” event which allowed the attendees to practice rapid-fire networking with a stranger.  I was very impressed by the enthusiasm and passion many girls had towards technology-related careers.

I wanted to tackle the two most popular questions I was asked that day with a couple responses here.


“What should I study for a career in _______?”

Well, for starters, I’m not a career advisor, nor have I ever played one on TV.  As a disclaimer, nothing will beat meeting with a professional guidance or career counselor to talk about your unique situation.

With that said, my biggest feedback to students looking for advice on their education is to studying general disciplines that will carry over multiple jobs or even careers.  For instance, business, communications, etc.  There are several statistics that claim the average worker will change jobs 10 times in their career.  Also, knowing that there are fewer jobs today than in past years, it’s important to spend time distinguishing yourself from your peers.  Two graduates in the same program will have similar qualifications – why should someone hire you over another candidate?

Versatile Qualifications.  It is very important to learn relevant skills for your career.  In addition, differentiating yourself and adding transferrable skills will give you the longest return on your education investment.  A minor in business or communications can add depth and versatility to your qualifications.

Internships/Experience.  Do as many internships, job shadows and informational interviews as you can.  Seriously.  Not only do they add real-world experience, but it is a perfect way to build your network.  People getting jobs today are doing this.  If the company you intern or meet with isn’t hiring, at least ask to leave a resume behind and maintain a relationship.

Stay Connected.  Build your network.  If nothing else, take someone out for coffee every couple of months.  If you don’t know what to talk about, ask them questions about their job.  It will get easier as you go.  It may be surprising, but companies often create jobs just because they want someone to work with them.  Always strive to leave that lasting impression.

“Where can I go to learn more about Microsoft technology?”

Here’s a list of resources for students to explore.

Student Hub:
Student Newsletter:
Microsoft Careers/College:
Microsoft Students to Business:

More information on DigiGirlz:

Twin Cities Windows 8 User Group

This just came across my inbox and I thought I would pass it along.  It also sparked a need for a consolidated list of local technology user groups, so I’m including that as well.

First, hot off the press – the Twin Cities Windows 8 User Group – a user group for people who make software to learn about all things Windows 8.  Find more information here:

The first meeting is coming up on May 22 and will cover WinRT APIs.


Second, I created a page as a single place to consolidate a list of all user groups.  If there is a group that I missed, please leave a comment at the bottom of the page or use the contact page.