Eric Kraus

Windows 8.1 Sleep Study

Surface Pro 3

I recently purchased a Surface Pro 3 and have to say – I absolutely love it.  The marketing is spot on with this device, it truly is a laptop and tablet in one.  I am particularly impress with the battery life.  Last week, I did a few battery tests with very pleasing results.  The first test was with brightness at 100%.  I carried on a normal day of emails, Yammer posts, conference calls while writing notes, etc.  At 100%, I was able to work 5 hours before I needed to find some power.  The second test was with brightness at about 50%.  You may think 50% is pretty dark, but I was happy with the brightness and able to see just fine (after a little while I had forgotten that I was working under reduce brightness).  With the same type of ‘work’ activities on the device at 50%, I was able to work 7.5 hours before hitting the 5% critical mark.  During this second test, I actually worked the entire day without plugging the device in.  Awesome.

I won’t do a full review of the device since there are plenty of place you can read in depth evaluations…however, I will say that this really is a great work and personal device.


I wanted to share an interesting feature of Windows 8 that I found recently.  Related to the great battery life above, Windows 8 added a feature called ‘Connected Standby’ which is now ‘InstantGo’ in Windows 8.1.  You can read more about InstantGo here:

Sleep Study

PCs that have Windows 8.1 and compatible hardware, also have a cool new feature called ‘Sleep Study’.  It’s a logging mechanism that monitors the battery drain during sleep.  You can then analyze what hardware components are causing wake/sleep drain of the battery.

Enabling Sleep Study

Enabling Sleep Study is easy.  Just fire up a command prompt with Administrative privileges


















Once you have the command prompt open, type powercfg /sleepstudy














Your report will be created in a temporary location like C:\windows\system32\sleepstudy-report.html

Copy that file to the desktop (or different location other than C:\windows\system32 directory)

Open the file in Internet Explorer





Being Helpful

I’m re-branding my definition of an Enterprise Social Network (ESN). The term ‘social network’ all-too-often implies something like Facebook — which people use as a platform to connect with friends/family and share stories, pictures and coordinate events. With that as a definition, the term ‘social’ itself can have a negative connotation with some people.Often, I hear co-workers say:

I’m not a social person…

The reality is that most of us are social by definition. We prefer to interact with others and exist in a community, rather than be alone. Even in the modern digital world of email, instant and text messaging, people still hang out by the breakroom and share stories and insights, ask questions and naturally collaborate on work.

Enterprise social networks were designed to harness that existing ‘social’ conversation and share it with people outside of the breakroom — across the whole enterprise.

You can use an ESN to be social –BUT– their value is in connecting people and their knowledge, across the company, to get work done.

So, to re-brand the enterprise social network definition, I had to first breakdown the major activities/benefits the network provides.

Connect With Others

For medium/large enterprises, chances are you’ll never meet a fraction of the people doing great work across your company.

ESNs help organizations be a community. Members of the network contribute-to and draw-from the network for the better of the company. The network gives people the ability to lean-in and take interest in helping others succeed.

The ah-ha moment came to our team a few months ago when Larry Kuhn, a colleague of mine from another team (and different geography), helped us on a customer issue we had been struggling with for several months. My team was one of several supporting the issue. After exhausting all of our local resources and escalation paths, I encouraged the issue owner to post the problem to Yammer. Proactively, Larry found our conversation, jumped in and made connections to new resources in the organization, whom we didn’t know. Those resources engaged with us and the customer and the issue was resolved in a matter of days. The customer later came back and said:

These are the types of results that set you apart from your competitors. Impressive.

These moments are no longer ‘ah-ha’ for our team — connecting with people from across the organization, in various roles and geographies, is our new way of working.

Be Interested, Not Interesting

I heard a great quote the other day from Noah Sparks

…Social is not so much an effort to be “interesting” but to be “interested” — that is when the MAGIC happens.

Ironically, to share in a network, you can think intrinsically. Whatmotivates you? What knowledge do you have? What can you SHARE? Then join related groups and subscribe to interesting people and topics. When you can add value, do so. But remember, it’s not about you…it’s about the solution.

A colleague of mine starts out every week by saying:

“I’d like to lean in for a moment. Is there anything I can do to help you this week?”

Our enterprise social network gives him the ability to lean in to people anywhere in the world and help them be successful.

Pieces of a Puzzle

Think of your work as a puzzle. Chances are you don’t have all the pieces when you start. You are immediately limited by what you know, who you know and where you are.

Everybody seems to have part of the answers that someone else needs

Enterprise social networks allow you to work openly and bring together the knowledge and perspective of others you may not have realized to ask. They empower other people to lean in and share, so you get all the pieces to the answer.

Being Helpful

So, to my colleagues that claim they are not ‘social’, I reply:

Being ‘social’ is about being ‘helpful’. It’s expanding the size of our team to include everyone across the company. It’s about being interested (not interesting), leaning in and sharing your piece to the puzzle.


Special thanks to Steve NguyenUrsula Llabres, and Matt Ontell for proofreading and supplying incredibly valuable feedback to this post.

Microsoft + Yammer: Transforming by Working Social —


~ cross posting with Medium ~

30 Days with Office 365 – Week 2 – Chromebook

For week 2, I’m working off of a Samsung Chromebook.


Let’s Get Right To It

Lync is a core tool for daily communication and collaboration.

My experimentation last week had a caveat with Lync; however, this week (on Chromebook) there’s no hiding behind the fact that Lync (desktop) app is critical to get work done.

  • Instant Message – OK – IMs come in as notifications in the top of the page.  After accepting an IM, it opens a new window in IE.  If you IM with a lot of people concurrently, it could be easy to lose the IM windows.  In Chrome, it’s a similar issue except for the fact that you can convert a window into a tab, so you can ‘collect’ them as tabs in a single window.  It helps a little, but still a pain for both platforms.  I would definitely prefer Lync (desktop) or Lync (modern) app on Windows.  If neither of those, I would want IE or Chrome WITH the browser plugin.
  • People Search – GREAT – The people search in “Outlook” or “People” apps of Office 365 return results insanely fast.  From there I can easily IM, email or schedule a meeting with someone.  Because this is so fast, it is one of the big reasons I prefer the browser experience over desktop
  • Conferencing – GOOD – I can join conferences via the browser with excellent feature parity.  On Windows, I can install the browser plugin and desktop share, join the Lync call (voice), etc.  With Chromebook, I’m definitely sunk.  Without the ability to install the plugin, I can’t desktop share or join the voice call.  I have to use my cell phone for this.
  • Desktop Share – BAD – non-existent without browser plugin or Lync on Windows.


  • Without Lync (desktop) installed…I felt hinder.  The browser would be good enough for a quick IM on the go…but not for full day of communication.
  • Notetaking was nearly seamless in the browser.  I am a huge handwritten note taker…which I missed.  If I don’t mind opening a laptop for every meeting, I can type my notes just fine.
  • Email and Yammer were the best and most seamless experience.  The only challenge I had was the lack of local storage.  Some times I would need to save a file locally to upload to another location (more on next line).
  • My biggest concern was the lack of local storage.  Yes, Google Drive was there…but all of the documents placed there would be indexed.  Regardless of the fact that people call it my “personal index” that is data crawled and stored…and give the sensitive of the content I work with…it’s not a viable option for me.
  • For the most part, Word, Excel and PowerPoint worked for my needs (creating, editing in the browser).  I had one proposal that needed some fine tune adjustments.  For that, I had to fall back on my Surface.  It was a 5% case.

Yammer Search in IE

Here’s a quick little tip to add a search provider for Yammer in IE.  It makes searching for a thread in Yammer SUPER fast.

Browse to Yammer and do a Search

Just do a search for “TEST”.  You can optionally search in a group if you want.

Yammer Search TEST


Copy the URL

for example:<>/#/Threads/Search?type=following&utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_group_name=Inbox&search_group=&search_inbox=0&search_startdate=&search_enddate=&search=TEST


Browse to IEInternals Blog

Configure a custom search provider –

Yammer Search Configure


Make sure it says  &search=TEST  in the URL.  Give the search provider a name and click Install


Make a search

Just type a search term in the address bar, then click the Yammer icon Twice

Yammer Search

In my example, I configured it to search within a group

Yammer Search Result


Other Browsers

For example, ou can do this in Chrome as well.  Follow the steps above to get the Search URL.

In Chrome browser Settings… Under Search, click Manage Search Engines

Make sure to follow browser specific instructions.  e.g. for Chrome, replace TEST with %s

Yammer Search Chrome Config


Search in Chrome

Type “” to activate the search then type your search keyword.

Yammer Chrome Search






Tackle Initiatives like a Developer

As a follow up to a recent post I made on Leading a Grassroots Initiative, I wanted to share a strategy I’m following to the “Experimentation” phase of my initiative.

Software development has changed dramatically in the last few years.  No longer can companies afford to do long requirement-gathering sessions.  The needs of the business change too quickly.  Scrum/Agile development isn’t anything new, but it is becoming more critical for projects that need to show value faster.

Leading an initiative can follow many of the same methodology practices as software development.


Learn from developers

Building for Businesses and Users.


  • Scrum Master = Project Manager/Champion (no decision making authority)
  • Product Owner = Program Manager/Strategy Consultant
  • Development Team = Cross-functional team, empowered to agree upon and execute toward sprint commitments



  • Planning Meeting – Maximum time for planning a 30-day sprint is 8 hours.
  • Daily scrum Meeting – 15 minutes total (what was done previous day, what will work on current day)
  • Sprint Review Meeting – Demonstration of what was built/learned from the experiment
  • Sprint Retrospective Meeting – self reflection on the team process, modify team/process for improvement during next spring


As you can see, a lot of parallels can be drawn to application development roles and process, even if the project does not directly involve development.  This is something our team is practicing with success.  It’s not universal, but helps a disparate team come together with a framework for working more effectively.


30 Days with Office 365 – Day 1

I’m kicking off 30 Days with Office 365 experiment with a Day 1 post on my Outlook experience today.  Being one of the more critical tools of my work day, I thought I’d start here and see how it goes.  I definitely wasn’t new to OWA (Outlook Web Access), and felt fairly confident I would be ok for awhile working via the browser.



Login/Launch – I found the initial login/launch incredibly quick. The web page was responsive and I was in to my Inbox in seconds.

Touch Mode – On first login, the website asks me if I want to switch to desktop mode (instead of touch mode), and kindly asks me if I want to remember this setting.  Since I’m on a touch-enabled laptop, I decided to stick with desktop mode for the first day.

Creating/Replying/Deleting – Creating a new message and replying were fast as expected.  Same as with Outlook 2013, if I navigated away from a message (new or reply) a draft would be saved for me automatically.

Moving Messages – No issues moving messages into other folders.  Right-click exposed a context menu just like in Outlook 2013 and drag-and-drop worked as well.



Browser Tab – There wasn’t an easy way to open a second tab for things.  A fairly easy work-around, I simply created a second tab and navigated to the Calendar.

Threading – Every once and a while, this still throws me off.  Threading works as expected, but if you fork a message, the threading does not portray this like it does in Outlook 2013.  It just shows the messages in chronological order, which can give the impression that they were replies of one another, when in fact they just share the same subject.  There are some dots to the left of the threads, but without an authoritative answer, I’m only guess what they mean.

Signature – I am also missing the ability to store multiple signatures, but this is very minor and hasn’t been an issue for me.

Multiple Email – Since I’m in the context of one user account, I don’t have the ability to view/send email from multiple accounts like I would in Outlook 2013.  Easy work around was to have another tab open for my personal accounts.  I didn’t actually do this method, and found myself using my phone more for this scenario.



Meeting Preview – With that out of the way, the Calendar functionality really is good.  The single click preview is awesome.

Meeting Preview

Single Pane – The general ability to do almost everything in a single window is really productive.



Personal Calendar – The biggest downfall for me was the inability to overlay personal calendars.  I have several calendars that I use and having multiple windows open for them is a bit of a hassle.  However, this won’t be the case with everyone and my phone still does an excellent job of aggregating appointments so I can see free/busy across all of them.


I will cover the “People” update under the Lync overview, Day 5



Task Lists – Like Outlook 2013, Tasks are shown from Exchange, but can also be linked from SharePoint Online.  With that, the same great “merged” view of different task lists

Message Followup – I rely on Tasks a lot for following up on email requests and a simple right click allows me to set a follow up flag for emails.

Email Followup



I really couldn’t find any thing that didn’t work.


The email search works as good as Outlook 2013.  However, the filters aren’t easily identifiable.  Here is a list of the filters that work:

From Searches the From field.
To Searches the To field.
Cc Searches the Cc field.
Bcc Searches the Bcc field.
Participants Searches the To, Cc, and Bcc fields.
Subject Searches the subject.
Body or Content Searches the message body.
Sent Searches the date sent. You can search for a specific date or a range of dates separated by two dots (..). You can also search for relative dates: Today, tomorrow, yesterday, this week, next month, last week, past month. You can search for the day of the week or month of the year.
Received Searches for the date received. You can use the same search terms as for Sent.
Category Searches the Category field.
Attachment Searches for the specified attachment by title. For example, attachment:letter.doc will find any message with an attachment named letter.doc.
Has Use has:flag to find items that are flagged.Use has:attachment to find items that have one or more attachments.


Touch Mode

I found Touch Mode great for tablet like scenarios (triaging email, quick responses, managing calendar, etc).  Though, I did have a little bit of trouble initially finding the option to switch back to desktop mode.

Touch Mode On Touch Mode Off
Touch Mode On  Touch Mode Off


All in all – it was a seamless transition for the day.  No challenges navigating or working with the Outlook in the browser.  I definitely did not experience any productivity loss, which was most important.  I don’t think I would have any issues converting over to Outlook (online) long-term, especially with the anticipated release of Office 365 Groups, which will integrate with Yammer.

Follow this on Storify:


SharePoint Conference 2014 – Enterprise Social Sessions

I’m completely plagiarizing this from Christophe Fiessinger…stealing from an internal Yammer post.

Here is a list of Enterprise Social sessions from the recent SharePoint Conference.  See other posts on content from SPC2014:  Day 1  |  Day 2  |  Day 3  |  All Session Recordings (Channel 9)




Executive track


Azure + Chef

Keeping the topic of Open Source going…I thought I’d share a bit of information on Microsoft’s partnership with Chef with Azure.

About 18 months ago, Opscode announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft Azure to support rich Chef integration:

Maximizing the power of public cloud platforms is best accomplished through the use of a dynamic, consistent automation engine. With Windows Azure and Opscode Chef, organizations can now make the most of all Windows Azure offers for Microsoft and Linux-based environments alike, delivering maximum flexibility and ease of use in bringing ideas to market and adapting to business change.

-Christopher Brown, CTO, Opscode


See it in Action

Below is a video of Ross Gardler (Senior Technical Evangelist from Microsoft Open Tech) doing a demo of building cloud resources in Azure with Chef cookbooks. Skip to 7:27




SharePoint Conference 2014 – Day 3

Day 1  |  Day 2  |  Day 3  |  Enterprise Social Sessions (recorded)  |  All Session Recordings (Channel 9)


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Microsoft + Yammer: Transforming by Working Social

InfoPath Update

{more to come}



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