Archive for the 'SharePoint' Category

Groove strikes back: Live Mesh

Am I the only one seeing that Microsoft’s Live Mesh announced yesterday is conceptually a new version of Groove?

Ever since Microsoft bought Groove in 2005 the product seemed to be a foster child in the Office family. Not included in most of Office SKUs, not really advancing the technology, lacking a clear place on the family picture (instead standing somewhat vaguely behind the really loved SharePoint).

Last week on the MVP Summit Groove MVPs applied significant pressure on Ray Ozzie and Steve Ballmer (see transcript) trying to get an answer of where Groove is going and basically not getting much. I would summarize the official vision as: Groove is becoming more integrated with SharePoint, but it will not become a complete offline solution for it any time soon, nor is there a decision whether it should.

Well, yesterday, Groove stroke back. And it is not called Groove any more – it’s Live Mesh. But just go through the screenshot gallery and you’ll see Windows folders becoming Groove-like workspaces with file sharing and sync across devices with associated members lists, news, and discussions.

In addition to the basic Groove functionality, there is also a web access page (hosted by Microsoft) and remote desktop functionality (kind of lame if the goal is to replace an application engine, but probably fine for troubleshooting and getting to your workplace remotely during trips).

So to me, Live Mesh is not Microsoft’s OS in the cloud. It is the new real Groove (as opposed to the old Groove shipped with Office) developed by the core Groove fans (including Ray himself) and having no SharePoint dependencies this time around. 😉

An offtopic for this blog, but I could not help it.

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PowerShell Adoption by Platform

I have always wondered how much is PowerShell adopted across various administrative tasks. Now I finally found the stats.
Windows Server and Active Directory are far ahead, with Windows Desktop being a runner-up, Exchange on distant 3rd and everything else far behind.

PowerShell use survey statistics by application and platform

My take on the data:

  • Server and AD management tasks are far ahead of everything else. Too bad the survey didn’t distinguish between the two.
  • It is a bit surprising the desktops took number 2. My guess is that respondents just meant using PowerShell on their desktop for their personal needs. Despite existing 3rd-party solutions I doubt PowerShell v1 can be used that widely for mass desktop management. I think we will need to wait for v2 and remoting to see this taking off.
  • Not surprisingly almost a 3rd of respondents are not using PowerShell for admin tasks at all. After all, there is some learning curve involved here and PowerShell is not yet available for any platform.
  • Almost a quarter of PowerShell users employ it for Exchange 2007. A very good result! After all, Exchange 2007 was released not that long ago, and has just got its SP1.
  • In general, it looks like platforms with no cmdlets available don’t really get PowerShell fans. .NET can be used to manage SQL and SharePoint – but look how much behind are they! Exchange 2003 can actually be managed with PowerShell, but there are no native cmdlets built-in – and as result PowerShell use is just 1.5%. Compare that to 23.4% Exchange 2007 got!
  • I wonder why Operations Manager is relatively low. Less adopted than Exchange 2007? OpsMgr admins less willing to script? OpsMgr tasks not really requiring scripting and command-line use?

The survey was carried out by Quest Software and took place in the very end of December 2007 and early January 2008. It was promoted at, this blog, and a few other PowerShell blogs. About 200 people responded. The exact question was: “Select the systems you are currently managing with Windows PowerShell“.

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SharePoint Management Trials on a Virtual Machine Image

This was a big week for us: for the first time ever Quest Software is offering trial versions of its product as virtual machine images.

That means that if you are interested in SharePoint management, reporting, or item-level recovery you can simply download the trial virtual machine image that has both SharePoint and the tools deployed for you and just open the image with Virtual Server, VMWare player, or your other favorite virtualization software.

We believe that this provides a much better evaluation experience: significantly easier than making you deploy a test lab yourself (or try new software in production!) and much more true-to-life than flash demos.

The current images are pretty big but we plan of making them smaller in the future. If this approach proves to be a success (which I am sure it will) in a few years you’ll see all our products having virtual machine sandboxes as the primary method of trial version distribution.

Virtual machine appliances are not that widely spread in the Windows world today but I believe that this is starting to change.

If you want to read about how this project emerged and why it took us so long to get here I would recommend reading this ComputerWorld article: Microsoft offers a peak at software distribution future.

P.S. Just found that Volker from Microsoft’s VHD team blogged about that as well. Volker did a lot to make this happen. Big kudos to him and his team!

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© 2007-2014 Dmitry Sotnikov

June 2021

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