A Day in the Life of a Microsoft Evangelist

In my previous blog I talked about the Windows 10 press conference and all the great developments Microsoft has for the future. The announcement was generally well received by the tech press and is bringing a lot of excitement to the Microsoft brand. For me, personally, I cannot wait for all the great enhancements of Windows 10, but I wanted to remind people that the products Microsoft currently have are amazing and they have transformed how I work. The perfect example of how Microsoft’s various products make my life so much easier was demonstrated in the process of writing the Windows 10 blog with my coworker Marc.
Our goal was to watch the announcement, take notes throughout, and then write a blog on it and have it published shortly after the announcement was over. Marc is in Maryland at our TecFac headquarters and I am in Denver. To start, we used Microsoft Lync to call each other. We wanted to be on the phone throughout the press conference to discuss the announcements while taking notes. We could have just as easily called each other on a cell phone, but with Lync as a software running on our PC, it allows us to be on the phone, video conference, IM, and screen share. It gives us many more tools to collaborate with and we don’t have to have a separate device to be on the phone. We can watch the conference, take notes, and be on the phone with just our laptops.
When we pulled up the live stream we both realized it would probably be better to cast the press conference to a larger display and have our full laptop screens to take notes. I took my Microsoft Surface, which is their ultra-portable tablet that runs full Windows 8, and moved into my living room to watch the conference on my TV.   In most circumstances when you want to put your computer screen on a TV you usually need a VGA, HDMI, or Mini Display port cable and are tethered to the screen or maybe a Chromecast.
I used my Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter (yes the name is terrible) and within seconds I am able to make my TV a second monitor. Unlike Chromecast or Apple TV or most other popular casting devices, the Wireless Display Adapter does not need to be connected to any Wi-Fi network in order to cast and it treats the display as a second monitor. So I am sitting on the sofa with my Surface on the coffee table, I have my TV as my second monitor, I throw the conference stream up on the TV and still have Marc on the phone via Lync. The conference is about to start and we need to take notes, and what better application to take notes in than Microsoft OneNote. Marc and I have a shared notebook for various projects and tasks, we create a new page and can both be taking notes at the same time in the same notebook.
Throughout the conference we remain on the phone and discuss what to write about and what to exclude. When the conference finishes I want to move to my work desktop and finish writing the blog. With Microsoft One Drive, transitioning from one PC to another is seamless. All the notes we took in OneNote sync to One Drive cloud storage so all the content we made is already available on my desktop. For our blog we need to use Word for all the formatting so it can be uploaded to WordPress easily. We are able to quickly import notes from OneNote into word and using Microsoft Office 365 Marc and I can again be both working on the blog at the same time in Word Online.
This whole thing might sound like a big plug for anything and everything Microsoft and that we went out of our way to use all Microsoft products, but this was really just what I have found to do the job the best. Of all the Microsoft products we used the most important pieces are Office 365 and Lync. The Surface and Wireless Display Adapter are great but my coworker Marc primarily uses his MacBook Air and Chromecast. The hardware is really personal preference but what is great about the new direction Microsoft is going is that they are hardware agnostic. Marc, on his Mac, can be calling me via Lync, taking notes in OneNote, and collaborating on documents on Office 365 and it’s no different than me being on the Microsoft Surface.
You do not have to wait for Windows 10 to have a great experience with Microsoft products. Office 365, Lync, One Drive, and OneNote can add exceptional value to your business and personal life, regardless if you are a Mac or PC user.
To find out more about how Office 365 and Lync can change your business give me call @ 301.960.0488