Tag: Work

Surface Book 2

My First Impressions of the Surface Book 2

Last week I got my early (or late) Christmas gift to myself. The Microsoft Surface Book 2 15-inch version was finally shipping to Switzerland. The 13-inch version of the Surface Book 2 was already available last year. I am a long-time Surface user since I got my first Surface and my first Surface Pro back in 2012. As you might remember, I got a new Surface Pro 2017 as a new company device back in July 2017. I picked the Surface Pro as a replacement for my Surface Book, which I used quite a while, and I am very happy with it. It is a light and mobile device, perfect when you are traveling. I think the new Surface Pro with LTE would even be better if you are on the road.

However, one thing I always knew was that I am more productive with a larger screen. Even the 13” Surface Book, made a huge difference against the 12” Surface Pro. The thing is simple, and it is mobility versus screen real estate. I am often working on the go, which means I like mobility. On the other hand, I am also working a couple of hours on the device with no extra screens. Having some extra space on the mobile device makes me more productive.

Surface Book 2 and Surface Pro

When Microsoft announced the new Surface Book 2 13-inch and 15-inch, I knew I want a 15” version. It would give me more screen real estate, more productivity, paired with the Surface quality and design. The combination of a 15” screen in a 3:2 aspect ratio, together with a touch screen and pen support, will provide you with the best possible work setup.

The Surface Book 2 also comes with some performance improvements. With the higher-end models, you get a new 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U quad-core processor, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, which will provide you with the necessary performance. For me, these performance improvements are a nice addition, but not the reason I would upgrade. If you are a creator, designer, editor, you might highly benefit from the additional graphics performance. However, Microsoft also updated the disk to a faster NVMe SSD, and this you can see and feel in your day-to-day tasks.

Surface Book 2 – First Impressions

I haven’t used the Surface Book 2 long enough for a full review, but I want to share my first impressions.

  • Hardware and build quality are amazing as for all the Surface devices, no surprises here.
  • Performance improvements from the 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U quad-core processor and the NVMe SSD are great. They are helping a lot if you are running Docker containers and Hyper-V on your machine. I can also imagine if you are doing graphic intensive work, you also benefit massively from the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060.
  • The fantastic 15” PixelSense display with the 3:2 aspect ratio and a resolution of  3240 x 2160 is just stunning and makes a difference if you need screen real estate. The quality of the display is also fantastic, and you can switch between “Enhanced Mode” and sRGB. And as always, I am thrilled with the Surface Pen support.
  • Yes, you can still detach the screen from the keyboard to use it as a giant 15” tablet.
  • Microsoft now includes 2 x USB type-A (version 3.1 Gen 1), 1 x USB type-C (version 3.1 Gen 1 with USB Power Delivery revision 3.0), 3.5mm headphone jack, 2 x Surface Connect ports, Full-size SDXC card reader. The only thing missing is the Thunderbolt port, but to be honest, I never missed it before, but of course, it would be nice to have it.
  • Of course, the Surface Book 2 15” version is huge if you compare it to the Surface Pro or the Surface Laptop. With 1.9kg also heavier, but with the performance improvements, battery life, and the larger screen, what else can you expect? However, if you undock the screen from the keyboard, the tablet part is still very light.
  • It also provides you with the necessary modern Wi-Fi standards a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology, and built-in Xbox Wireless for the 15-inch version.
  • Since I am using it only for a couple of days, I cannot talk about battery life. Microsoft claims up to 17 hours of video playback. To be honest, the first Surface Book was already very good in terms of battery life. I think, with the Surface Book 2, I will make it through a day.
  • Of course, it also ships with a Windows Hello face authentication camera. A 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video and an 8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video.

Overall my first impression of the Surface Book 2 is fantastic. The Surface Book 2 is the laptop I was waiting for, for a long time. I think this is the best notebook I have ever owned. Are you owning one, or thinking about buying one for yourself? Let me know in the comments.

 



Thomas Maurer Speaking

Speaking at HPE Discover 2017 Madrid

Today I am happy to announce that I have the honor to speak at HPE Discover in Madrid next week. In a presentation together with HP Enterprise I will talk about how HPE and Microsoft improve the Hybrid Cloud experience using Microsoft Azure Stack.

HPE Discover 2017 Madrid Azure Stack

Building your Azure hybrid cloud business is easier when you work with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

With the release of Azure Stack, now is the time to develop your hybrid cloud business. Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft have partnered to make it easy for you to accelerate your business by offering Azure-consistent services with HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack. Come hear about HPE’s solution for Azure Stack and how HPE can help you develop and grow your Azure business. This session is designed for HPE partners.

I hope to see you next week in Madrid, if you have the chance, step by the HIAG Data booth and ask for me.



Speaking at Microsoft Ignite 2017

My impressions from Microsoft Ignite 2017

Okay, I know, Microsoft Ignite 2017 was already a couple of weeks ago. But still, I finally had time to write about my impressions from Microsoft Ignite, after the conference plus my visit in Seattle for the Intelligent Cloud Architect Bootcamp and spending my days in meetings and back at work in Switzerland. Since there is a lot of stuff and important changes coming, I think it is still valid to write about my impressions.

First, I have to say Orlando is great, I really loved spending my time there. This was my second Microsoft Ignite after the first one in Chicago. I have to say, it was very well organized and organizing such a huge conference is definitely not easy.

The Speaking part…

Speaking at Microsoft Ignite 2017 Theater

I had the great opportunity to speak in several Microsoft Ignite sessions and this was huge fun. It is always fun for me to stand in front of a couple of people and show them some stuff I am working on. I not only had the chance to do my Theather session about “Lessons learned from deploying Windows Server 2016”, I also spoke in two breakout sessions about our customer cases focusing on System Center and Storage Spaces Direct.

The Microsoft Ignite 2017 Networking part…

One of the most important parts of such a conference is networking with others. The point is that all the videos are going to be online available for later review, but you get time to meet with people from Microsoft, customers and partners, and talk, share and learn from them. The connections you make at such a conference will be helpful in the future, trust me…

The Learning part…

One of the main reasons for me to attend, was to learn. Not only learn about the latest and greatest technology, but also about where the industry is heading. I believe that our industry is heading to one of the biggest changes in history since the transition from Mainframes to client server topology. I think this is not new to most of us, but what is interesting and something I underestimated is, how fast that transition will be going forward. Cloud Computing, AI, Big Data, IoT and modern applications are going to be big topics in the future and technologies like containers and methods like DevOps are going to accelerate this change. My lesson learned from these events is that we all in the industry have to learn much faster and be ready to adapt to change much quicker.

With that, I hope to see you soon at other conferences and events or again at Microsoft Ignite on September 24 – 28 in Orlando, Florida.



Azure Stack

Speaking at the CLOUD 2017 Infrastruktur & Security Congress Switzerland about Azure Stack

I am happy to announce that I will be speaking aht the CLOUD 2017 Infrastruktur & Security Congress Switzerland on October 26 in Zürich. In the session “The Swiss Azure Stack Cloud – bringing Microsoft Azure to Switzerland” I will talk about a project I have worked on in the past year, very closly with our partners Microsoft, HPE and HIAG Data, to bring Microsoft Azure services to Switzerland using Microsoft Azure Stack.

The Swiss Azure Stack Cloud – bringing Microsoft Azure to Switzerland

The Swiss Azure Stack Cloud – bringing Microsoft Azure to Switzerland

 



Surface Pro

First impressions on the Surface Pro 2017

I am one of the lucky persons owning an brand new Microsoft Surface Pro as a new device for work. This is the my devices I used for the last couple of days and weeks as my daily driver and this allows me to write a quick review about my first impressions about the Surface Pro.

After using the Surface Pro, the Surface Pro 2, the Surface Pro 3, the Surface Book became my daily driver. And I had to say that it is a great notebook. But after using the Surface Pro for awhile, I really got used to the form factor. The 2-in-1 form factor and the small and light design, made the Surface Pro a really great travel companion and this was the reason I decided to go with a Surface Pro again.

Surface Pro 2017

My first impression when I took the Surface Pro out of the box was: “wow, this feels premium”. Even the Surface Pro and the Surface Book always felt really great, Microsoft improved it even more. The amazing premium sound of the kickstand,  the new rounded edges and the display  making it even more premium and as mentioned the build quality is amazing.

The second thing I realized while using it, is the resume form standby is incredible fast. You basically press the on button and you can start working. And this while battery life is still great, I get around a whole working day out of it with a single charge.

Surface Pro 2017 Desk

Unfortunately I couldn’t really test the new Surface Pro Signature Type Cover, because it was not available at launch. But I will included it in my final review, after I have used it for a couple of weeks.

Do you also have a Surface Pro? Let me know what you think in the comments.



Microsoft MVP 2014

Microsoft MVP 2016 Cloud and Datacenter Management

I am proud to announce that I just received my 5th Microsoft MVP Award for my focus in Cloud & Datacenter Management.

Microsoft MVP Award 2016

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2016 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 Cloud and Datacenter Management technical communities during the past year. Also in this email:

  • About your MVP Award Gift
  • How to claim your award benefits
  • Your MVP Identification Number
  • MVP Award Program Code of Conduct

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

 

Patrick Malone
Director
Community & Advocacy Programs
Microsoft

 

This is the 5th Microsoft MVP award in a row since 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The Microsoft 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, learn and place feedback. But of course the Microsoft MVP award also adds some other great advantages. In the past years I had the chance to travel all over the world and speak in different countries and events, and I met a lot of great people, which also became great friends.

Of course there are 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 year over year, my current and former colleagues, the Microsoft MVP community and of course Microsoft employees in Redmond and all over the world.

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

 



SCU Europe 2015 Azure Pack

Speaking at System Center Universe Europe 2016 in Berlin

I am proud to announce that I will speak at System Center Universe Europe 2016 Conference at August 24-26 in Berlin. System Center Universe is a community conference with a strong focus on systems management and virtualization topics such as cloud, datacenter and modern workplace management.  We present top content with top presenters around Microsoft Windows Server, System Center, Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Microsoft Hyper-V and more and want to build the number one conference for those kind of topics across Europe.

I was happy to speak in the past three events at SCU Europe, check out my recaps:

I will speak in two breakout sessions, early morning discussion and I am also part of the ask the experts area for Cloud and Datacenter.

The best of Windows Server 2016

Join this session for the Best of Windows Server 2016 — The New Foundation of your Datacenter. You’ll be one of the first to know about new, exciting improvements that are coming in Windows Server 2016 and how they’ll improve your day-to-day job. In this hour-long presentation Thomas Maurer (Microsoft MVP) will guide you through the highly anticipated innovations including:

•Hyper-V 2016 features

•Nano Server

•Storage Spaces Direct

•Storage Replica

•Windows Server Containers

•And more!

What's new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V

With the next version of Microsoft hypervisor Microsoft released some great new features for your Cloud infrastructure. Come to this session to get the details of all the new stuff that is in Hyper-V and learn about how you can play with it “hands-on.” This session includes also the latest updates from the Technical Previews.

Nano Server and Containers better together!

Have a look at the latest Cloud Technologies from Microsoft. Learn about the next Microsoft Cloud Platform Server called Nano Server and Windows Containers. Both solutions are built for the future and will fundamentally change how we do IT. Learn why we need Nano Server and Windows Containers and how we deploy, manage and operate them.

SCU Europe

You can expect a top quality conference with top quality content. During the conference you have many options to learn and connect. Beside learning we guarantee that you will also have a lot of fun at our parties and make new friends. Here we go with a list of available options you have during the conference:

  • 3 conference days
  • 75+ breakout sessions
  • 1 Keynote session
  • 1 Closing session
  • 1 Pre-Party session
  • 5 parallel tracks
  • Lots of Microsoft MVPs on site
  • Ask the experts area
  • Exhibition area (partners)
  • 1-to-few side meetings
  • Top WiFi infrastructure
  • Power available everywhere
  • Food & beverages
  • Networking Party
  • Closing Party
  • Good connected historical city
  • Hotels near the venue

It is going to be a great conference with a lot of skilled people and a lot to learn and of course a lot of fun. So hopefully see you in Berlin!