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Microsoft Band

Microsoft Band powered by Microsoft Health

Microsoft today announced a new product called Microsoft Band. The Microsoft Band focuses on health and fitness and comes with over 10 different sensors for health, sports and sleep tracking like built-in GPS and 24-hour heart rate monitoring to help you reach your fitness goals.

  • 24-hour heart rate monitor: Gives you a better understanding of your calorie burn, sleep patterns, and peak and resting heart rate so you can perform at your best.
  • Run: Whether you’re on the treadmill at the gym or outdoors in the rain or sun, you can view your run summary on your band with personalized metrics in the phone app including pace splits and heart rate.
  • Steps: Set a goal and track your progress. Microsoft Band calculates the calories you’ve burned and the distance you’ve traveled each day.
  • Built-in GPS: Measures the distance you’ve run and tracks your pace and route. Save your favorites to retrace your steps and challenge yourself later.
  • Calorie tracking: Count the calories you burn each day. View daily or weekly stats, set goals, and receive a virtual “high-five” when you reach them.
  • Sleep tracking: When activated, Microsoft Band tracks the length and quality of your sleep. Analyze the sleep charts in your app to gain insights about your slumber.
  • Guided Workouts: Fun and challenging workouts from fitness partners like Gold’s Gym, Shape, and Men’s Fitness with exercise prompts on the band and much more in the app.
  • Goal setting: Challenge yourself by setting daily step and calorie goals. Microsoft Band notifies you when you meet them so that you can stay motivated.
  • UV monitor: Get a quick read of the UV Index while you’re out and about.

Cloud-based service Microsoft Health

Microsoft Health Cloud

 

Microsoft Health is a cloud-based service that helps you live healthier by providing actionable insights based on data gathered from the fitness devices and apps that you use every day. Activity-tracking devices like the new Microsoft Band, smart watches, and mobile phones plus services like RunKeeper or MyFitnessPal connect easily to Microsoft Health. Using this fitness data and our Intelligence Engine in the cloud, Microsoft Health provides valuable, personal insights so you can reach your fitness goals.

Be more productive

Microsoft Band Smartwatch

But the Microsoft Band is much more. It also offers a lot of features as a smartwatch or personal assistant. Which shows you the usual stuff like text messages, meetings, calls, Facebook and Twitter integration but if you are using a Windows Phone you also have Cortana (the personal assistant on Windows Phone) integrated. These features should not only help you trough your daily life, they also should make you more productive and help you to keep your phone in your pocket.

Some of the function Microsoft offers in terms of notifications and alerts.

  • Text Messaging: Get your text messages right on your wrist.
  • Calls: See incoming call and voicemail notifications on your band.
  • Calendar: Microsoft Band stays in sync with the calendar on your phone, reminding you of important events throughout the day so you can be where you need to be.
  • Email: Monitor and preview email activity right on your band, so you don’t have to pull out your phone in the middle of your lunch date.
  • Smart notifications: Choose which alerts you get on your wrist. Change the notification settings on your phone and your Microsoft Band will match.
  • Watch mode: Turn on “Watch Mode” to always display today’s time and date without pressing any buttons.
  • Facebook & Facebook Messenger: Stay up to date on Facebook without having to check your phone. Get the latest posts, comments, photo notifications, and personal messages on your band.
  • Twitter: Tweets, mentions, retweets, messages, new followers. Set your preferences on your phone and see it all on your wrist.
  • Cortana: If you’re using Windows Phone 8.1, you can take notes and set reminders with your voice using Cortana personal assistant.
  • Weather: Get real-time weather conditions and a 5-day forecast to plan your week.
  • Finance: Create a watch list for select stocks in your Microsoft Health app. View the latest ticker activity right on your wrist.
  • Starbucks: No need to reach for your wallet. Enjoy coffee on the go with your Starbucks card ready to scan at arm’s length.
  • Timer & Stopwatch: Time your laps or your entire workout with the stopwatch. Set alarms to wake up silently or remind you to go for a run.
  • Do-not-disturb mode: Tap the icon on your band to turn all notifications off.
  • Personalization: With your choice of background designs and colors, let Microsoft Band reflect your personality.
  • Display: The full color touch display is bright and easy to read, even in direct sunlight.
  • Bluetooth 4.0: With Bluetooth 4.0, your data syncs to your phone in the background, so Microsoft Band is always up to date. You don’t have to log in to get the latest.

Works with the phone you own

Microsoft Band iPhone and Android

 

The Microsoft Band not just works with Windows or Windows Phone devices, it can also be used on iOS or Android devices.

Microsoft says the battery life of the Microsoft Band will be up to 48h and is only available in the US for $199 (Microsoft Store). I am totally looking forward to replace my Nike Fuelband with this devices.



System Center Universe Europe 2014

Videointerview with Thomas Maurer at the SCU Europe in Basel

Carsten Rachfahl (Microsoft MVP Hyper-V) did interview me at System Center Universe Europe 2014 in Basel. We talked a little about my sessions I did at SCU 2014 and my job at itnetx.



Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0

Microsoft releases Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0

Microsoft today released the next version of the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC). (MVMC) is a Microsoft-supported, stand-alone solution for the IT pros or solution provider who wants to convert virtual machines and disks from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts and Microsoft Azure.

In MVMC 3.0 Microsoft adds the ability to convert a physical computer running Windows Server 2008 or above server operating systems or Windows Vista or above client operating systems to a Virtual Machine. This feature was highly claimed by the community, since the P2V (Physical to Virtual) Migration feature was removed in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2.

MVMC can be deployed with minimal dependencies. Because MVMC provides native support for Windows PowerShell, it enables scripting and integration with data center automation workflows such as those authored and run within Microsoft System Center Orchestrator 2012 R2 or Service Management Automation. It can also be invoked through the Windows PowerShell command-line interface. The solution is simple to download, install, and use. In addition to the Windows PowerShell capability, MVMC provides a wizard-driven GUI to facilitate virtual machine conversion.

This tool can not only help you to migrate from VMware or physical computers to Hyper-V, it also allows you to directly upload the Virtual Machine to Microsoft Azure.

MVMC3 migrate to Hyper-V or Azure

You can get the new version of the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 3.0 in the Microsoft Download Center.



E2EVC Copenhagen

Speaking at E2EVC 2014 Barcelona

This year I was already speaking at the E2E Virtualization Conference in Brussels. Together with Michael Rüefli I was talking about the Microsoft CloudOS and how you can build a Cloud based on this technology such as Windows Server, Hyper-V, Storage Spaces and Windows Azure Pack.

From 24-26 October the E2EVC will take place in Barcelona, Spain. In one session I will speak about Disaster Recovery with Hyper-V Replica and Microsoft Azure Site Recovery Manager. I will show you how you can failover your Virtual environment from one datacenter to another or how you can failover your Virtual Machines to Microsoft Azure.

 



Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE

Veeam Announces Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE

This week I had the chance to be in Las Vegas at the VeeamON 2014 conference and so far it was an absolutely great event, but I will write about that in another blog post. Veeam also did announce the Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE which allows you to backup not only Windows based notebooks, tablets and desktops, it also allows you to backup physical Windows Server machines, which will make a lot of people very happy. Veeam points out that this will be a free release of a standalone product which will not be integrated in to the Veeam Suite. This means there will be no central management console which kind of makes it not useful for large scale deployments. But for highly virtualized environments this can be a great solution to backup a few of your remaining physical servers.

One More Thing

A beta version of Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE will be released in November and Veeam is looking for feedback. If you want to know more about it checkout Mike Resseler’s (Product Strategy Specialist for Veeam and Microsoft MVP) blog post.

Veeam Endpoint Backup Free



Microsoft MVP

Microsoft MVP 2014 Hyper-V

Since it is a really busy time, launch of the Preview of Windows 10, System Center and Windows Server, I almost forgot about the renomination of my Microsoft MVP status. So I am even more happy and proud that my Microsoft MVP status was renewed for another year.

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2014 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Hyper-V technical communities during the past year.

The Microsoft MVP Award provides us the unique opportunity to celebrate and honor your significant contributions and say “Thank you for your technical leadership.”

Mike Hickman Director Community Engagement Microsoft

This is the third Microsoft MVP award since 2012 and 2013. The Microsofft MVP award and the included opportunities add a huge benefit like the Microsoft MVP summit where you have the chance to talk to the Microsoft Product Groups and enter your feedback. But of course the Microsoft MVP award also adds some other great advantages.

  • I have met a lot of great people from Microsoft, other MVPs, other Tech experts, friends or customers.
  • I have attended some great events like the MVP Summit, the E2EVC or the System Center Universe.
  • and much much more…

There are of course a lot of people I have to thank but I want to keep the list as short as possible. I would like to thank my employer itnetx which is supporting me in the best possible way, current and former colleagues, Microsoft MVPs (just a great community) and of course Microsoft employees.

Get more information about the Microsoft MVP award: Microsoft MVP Award Website



Windows 10 Product Familiy

Windows 10, Windows Server and System Center Technical Preview

Yesterday Microsoft announced the new name and some of the features of the next version of Windows, called Windows 10. Windows 10 will bring a lot of new features for enterprises and also consumers. It will make switching between touch and non-touch inputs a lot easier and will make you a lot more productive. Microsoft brings Windows to a whole range of devices and is talking about releasing one product family, one platform and one store for the next version of Windows. This doesn’t mean to have one single UI but you will find the same core everywhere.

Windows 10 will bring a lot of new features such as:

Windows 10 Virtual Desktops

  • Start menu: The familiar Start menu is back, but it brings with it a new customizable space for your favorite apps and Live Tiles.
  • Everything runs in a window: Apps from the Windows Store now open in the same format that desktop apps do and can be resized and moved around, and have title bars at the top allowing for maximize, minimize, and close with a click.
  • Snap enhancements: You can now have four apps snapped on the same screen with a new quadrant layout. Windows will also show other apps and programs running for additional snapping and even make smart suggestions on filling available screen space with other open apps.
  • New task view button: There’s a new task-view button on the taskbar for quick switching between open files and quick access to any desktops you create.
  • Multiple desktops: Create desktops for different purposes and projects and switch between these desktops easily and pick up where you left off on each desktop.
  • Find files faster: File Explorer now displays your recent files and frequently visited folders making for finding files you’ve worked on is easier.

Check out the Introducing Windows 10 – the best Windows yet

Today Microsoft is releasing the Windows 10 Technical Preview and also the Technical Preview for System Center and Windows Server.

Some of the cloud innovation features Microsoft will release with the Technical Preview of System Center and Windows Server::

  • Infrastructure upgrades: Rolling upgrades for Hyper-V clusters to the next version of Windows Server without downtime for your applications and workloads. This includes support for mixed versions as you transition your infrastructure.
  • Networking:  New components for our software-defined networking stack that enable greater flexibility and control, including a network controller role to manage virtual and physical networks.
  • Storage: New synchronous storage replication that enhances availability for key applications and workloads plus storage Quality of Service to deliver minimum and maximum IOPS in environments with workloads with diverse storage requirements.
  • Remote Desktop: Enhanced application compatibility with OpenGL and OpenCL support.
  • Identity and Access Management: New scenarios to reduce the risk profile of administrators with elevated rights, including time-based access with fine-grained privileges, and new application publishing capabilities.

You can download the latest version of the Windows 10 Technical Preview on the Windows Preview Site

And you can get the Technical Preview for System Center and Windows Server from MSDN or test it directly in Microsoft Azure.