People Search and Bing Search – Bing 2.0 – Never Leave Bing


I like Bing.  While I struggle to use the phrase at the same comfort level I use "Google It" I suppose I can catch on to "Bing it" one day.  One thing I like about Bing right now, and the number one reason why I dislike Google for this, is when searching for athletes, or people in general, is the Wikipedia result.  Google is in bed with Wikipedia on too many levels.  While I do agree that Wikipedia is a very powerful and useful tool, I also feel it has it has a time and place and I do not always want the Wiki answer to my query.  Not to mention Bing keeps you in Bing even when viewing a Wikipedia article (See image below).  So really you never leave Bing.  You can stay and do research all day long without having to leave.  Microsoft really thought this part of search through and beat Google to the punch on getting users to stick around for awhile.  I know if I was paying for ads for targeted search results, I would want that user on the page as long as we could keep them until they clicked my ad.  This makes Bing’s ads a little more valuable when they have more visability to the same user within a few given queries.


While Bing is just as likely to return a Wikipedia result as the number one result when searching for a person, Bing Search went a little further and added some great info ahead of the Wikipedia result.  I can now search for an NFL player for example and get a photo along with instant stats and basic information.  It allows me to share this information with other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter quickly and easily without having to leave Bing. I can also email or copy this information with a click of a button.  this is very useful and very practical.  This is great because I am often looking for some of this information quickly and I often want to share it with others as well.  To make this even better it will show me the most recent game played and the outcome as well as the next upcoming game or information.  This alone can save several clicks while trying to find basic information.


This helps Microsoft in many ways as well.  Microsoft, who had invested billions into Bing, is able to catch users at Bing, rather than sending them off to a site or two for this information.  Statistics tell us that the average search engine visit involves 4 searches.  If you can keep your visitors on your site without having to visit other sites you grow the opportunity for them to stay on your site and take advantage of paid advertising or other features.


What internal Microsoft employees have dubbed the new features that have been coming November and December of 2009 "Bing 2.0"  we, as end users, are seeing better visual search results like images and videos where relevant.  While Bing has a long road to go, it is making its name as far more than a search engine and Microsoft’s marketing is telling us all about it.




Visual Search makes broad searches more interesting.



View Wikipedia articles within Bing.


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SharePoint 2010 VHD from Microsoft (For Parnters)


There is a new offering for the SharePoint Deployment Planning Services (SDPS).  It is for and upgrade track.  Partners familiar with the SDPS will now be able to offer this starting December 10th for their clients that already have SharePoint Server 2007 and are looking to upgrade to SharePoint 2010.


The best part about this is the VHD Microsoft is going to make available this time around will have way more "stuff" with SharePoint 2010 on it and yet have a much smaller footprint.  Let’s hope by much smaller they get far below the 40GB BI VHD I am running from them now.


They will have over 1200 fake AD users to demo OCS and social networking as well as Performance Point and some cool BCS features. 


Partners will be able to download this from the partner and SDPS site December 10, 2009


This is out today 1/22/10.  If you are a partner you know where to get it.

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Groove…I mean SharePoint Workspaces – Way Too Easy


This really does not deserve a blog entry.  I am just excited about how easy it is to do this. 


Here is my scenario with 2007 without Groove and why I love SharePoint Workspace.


1. I have about 20 templates in a Document Library that I use daily for documents, but these are updated by other people.  Problem is I am not always connected to my network and often do not want to log in.  So I have copied them to a folder on my laptop and set up an alert to let me know if one of these gets updated so I am always using the right version.  Now this works fine if I was wearing super baggy jeans and living in 2007…Well it works I suppose.  Thanks to SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint Workspace my woes are all over.


Now it is so easy too.


Ummm… Click Sync to Workspace.  That’s it.  You are done.  Really That’s it.  Connect an entire site and include all the documents in that site if you want.  This is a dream come true.


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Assest Management in SharePoint 2010 – Videos in SharePoint 2010

Assest management – This is a pretty cool feature.  Allowing you to control media files such as video, audio and images.  This is a new twist on the photo library – even though that is still there.
No you can preview videos right from SharePoint.  Very cool!
You can upload documents to the assest library and add the meta data to it.
Preview Assests
View videos and audio right within SharePoint.  No need for Media player or downloading videos.
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Twitter Password Hacked

This is just annoying.  This morning I find out I fell for the oldest trick in the book and clicked a link from Tweetdeck and it took me to Twitter – or so I thought.  It actually just looked liked twitter and had a different URL.  I was duped and should have known better. 
So I had massive SPAM Tweets sent out on my behalf for half the day. 
Learn from me if you can.  Verify what you are doing before you put in your username and password.  Lucky for me it was just twitter and not something more important.  For me – lessond learned.
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Speaking at SharePoint Saturday – Phoenix Nov. 21st


If you are going to be in the Phoenix area on Saturday, November 21st I will speaking on Upgrades and Migrations to SharePoint 2010.  Please come join us for SharePoint Saturday in Phoenix.

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SharePoint 2010 Boot to VHD and Installing SharePoint 2010

So you want to boot from VHD to run SharePoint 2010. This was a little bit harder than I expected.  First time through anyway.  I recommend using Sun Box to create the Server 2008 R2 .VHD that you will be booting from.  Once you can boot to Server 2008 R2 you install SharePoint 2010 and SQl as usual. See bottom of post for links to installing Sharepoint 2010.
Once you do it it becomes very easy.
Because this information is all over the place I will just add links to where I got the most useful information.  I am just addig for those that want to use this for a SharePoint 2010 demo/dev box.

How to Boot from VHD (VHD booting re-visited.)

Some while back I wrote about boot from VHD. To re-cap, in Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 (including core, and Hyper-V Server R2) the boot loader is capable of mounting a VHD file and booting from it as though it were a physical disk. There is no virtualization going on, just the necessary smarts to use the same format. If you try use this to boot older operating systems the boot process will start, but the machine will crash quite early on when it finds the system/boot device(s) aren’t really disks (virtualization hides this fact).

So for it all to work first you need the BootMgr from Windows 7 / Server 2008-R2 (it lurks in the hidden System partition). Obviously you have this if the main OS on the machine is Windows 7 or Server 2008-R2, but if you want add a VHD as a second OS on a system running  Vista / Server 2008 you can just update BootMgr (the easiest place to get it is probably the install DVD) . It supports some new features but the Boot Configuration Database file (BCD) your system already has remains valid – it just doesn’t contain any of the new features so this should have no unwanted side effects.

Second you need a VHD image, into which you have installed an OS which understands boot from VHD. This is easy enough to build in Hyper-V but there are other ways. There are TWO preparation steps which I forgot: the first is that VHD needs to be sysprep’d (%windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe) otherwise you’ll create conflicting clones. This can be fixed once you have got the OS booting from VHD, but you won’t get it to boot unless you create a boot configuration database on the partition where the OS resides in the VHD. You should be able to do this when you’re building the VHD, or you can mount the VHD and do it after the fact, either way you are looking for  %windir%\system32\bcdboot.exe, you’ll find it on Windows 7 and Server 2008-R2 , but NOT on Hyper-V server and not on older OSes. Run it as bcdboot V:\Windows /s V:   where V: is the volume letter for a mounted Vhd , or the drive letter of of the boot drive if the OS is running in hyper-V. I omitted this step when updating my release candidate set-ups to final code last night and it throws an ugly error. That led to my second mistake: I thought the problem was with the BCD. 

Since I wasn’t thinking clearly (I thought ‘I just do this before I go to bed’ ! ) I went to edit the BCD. Now… after the explanation above you’d be able to work out that you need to edit the BCD with the latest tools (BCDEdit). If you’re working on Windows 7 / Server 2008-R2 you don’t need to worry. But if you’re adding a VHD-Booting OS to a machine running Windows Vista/Server 2008 (which I was) and try to manage boot from VHD with the tools those OSes provided you’ll be on path to frustration, and (in my case) insomnia. After much puzzlement, I ended up back at BCD which would only boot Windows Server 2008, with the right version of BCDEdit.
So I was ready for the third step. I had my files in C:\VHD\Win7.VHD so the 3 commands I needed were to clone the existing entry and modify it for boot from VHD, thus

bcdedit /copy {default} /d "Windows Server 2008-R2 From VHD"

/d specifies the description you’ll see in the boot menu, the command will copy the default entry and return a guid e.g. {cbd971bf-b7b8-4885-951a-fa03044f5d71}, copy the GUID you’ll need it in the next 2 commands. If there is no OS on the drive you can copy the boot folder from the windows setup disk and modify the {default} entry in the same way as you’d modify the copy, just use {default} in place of the guid.

bcdedit /set {cbd971bf-b7b8-4885-951a-fa03044f5d71} device “vhd=[locate]\vhd\win7.vhd”

bcdedit /set {cbd971bf-b7b8-4885-951a-fa03044f5d71} Osdevice “vhd=[locate]\vhd\win7.vhd”

(use your own guid, obviously)

You can check any of the other settings for booting the OS with bcdedit /enum. If they need changing it’s back to bcdedit /set but if it looks right, it’s time to reboot and see if it works. I put this last part into a video I have on TechNet edge which shows some of the other uses of VHD files, but I glossed over making the VHD and getting the right versions of the tools. 

Incidentally in my last post I mentioned the announcement Hyper-v Server now boots from flash provided you have made a bootable flash device the steps above will let you set this up. Be warned though, that to be properly supported the setup will need to be “blessed” by the hardware vendor.

NEED A VIDEO OF IT?  Thanks to Keith Comb here is a great video

This video descibes how to set it up and is very good.
How to install SharePoint 2010 single server.  This one is all over, but here is the best link to this information I have found.
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