DevTeach Montreal keynote streamed live


The DevTeach Montreal 2012 keynote on Windows Azure by Howard Dierking, Program Manager on the Windows Azure Platform and Tools Team at Microsoft in Redmond will be streamed live for those who can't attend.  Read all about it on Canadian Azure Superstar Jonathan Rozenblit' blog.

Beyond VMs: From Saving Money to Adding Value.
Of course everyone wants to save money – right? But how true is this in practice when it comes to cloud computing? And more importantly, if the cloud is little more than a bunch of rented virtual machines hosted by someone else, are you actually saving money? At the end of the day, business exists not to save money, but to make it, and if you’re going to invest in the cloud, you should expect it to help you make money. Put another way, the cloud should be about adding value, not simply reducing costs. Come learn how Windows Azure makes the cloud into something that helps you reach more clients, gain deeper business insights, and yea, even save some money in the process.

Two Azure Active Directory key features now free

Microsoft announced that two Azure Active Directory key features are now free: Access Control and Core Directory & Authentication.

Reduced Pricing for Windows Azure Storage

Great news!  Microsoft just announced a price reduction for the Windows Azure Storage.  Here's the new price table per GB:

If you want to compare prices with Amazon S3 storage, Gaurav Mantri (an Azure MVP), has created an online price calculator.

Visual Studio 2012 ALM Virtual Machine

If you're looking to test drive or train on Visual Studio 2012 ALM, instead of installing the whole thing, one option is to download and use the VS 2012 ALM virtual machine.  Microsoft has just updated it with the Visual Studio Update 1 and updated a few hands-on-labs.  More info here.

Missing the Start menu in Windows 8?

Since I installed Windows 8, I tried to convince myself that I don't need the Windows Start menu any more.  Who needs that old and ancient concept?  Just use the Modern way: hit the Windows key click on a tile or type the first letters of the app you're looking to launch or just create taskbar shortcuts for the apps you use the most.  For sure, it works but I'm almost never in the Metro Modern UI universe, I spent most, it not all my time in desktop mode.  Anyway, last weekend I gave a shot at Start8 from Stardock, just to see how it works.  Well, it's the best $5 I've spent in a long time.  Boy, I never knew how much I missed the Start menu, the program shortcuts, the Run... command, the programs history and of course not having to switch to the Modern UI mode, click on Settings and Power to restart or shutdown my computer.

There are other alternatives but I haven't tried them, this one works like a charm. 

Visual Studio 2012 Image Library

Microsoft did not bundle the Visual Studio image library with VS 2012.  So if you were looking to use the new Modern UI type of icons, you were out of luck until now.  It's now available for download here.

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