More Free EBooks from Microsoft Press

You have to give Microsoft Learning (and Microsoft Press) credit… they have finally figured out that their parent company will make more money if they help people to learn their products, rather than charging them for the privilege.

When the Microsoft Virtual Academy went on-line we were all thrilled, and continue to be so as more courses become available.  However some of us still like having books that we can reference, rather than having to go through an entire course.  For that reason I am thrilled that they are offering a series of ebooks from Microsoft Press – written by some of the top experts in the field – for free.  Simply go to the site (here) and download them all… in either .PDF format, EPUB format, or .Mobi for Kindle.

Now here’s what they aren’t telling you, which they should.  You see, I don’t have a Kindle, I have a Kobo.  After all, I did spend several months consulting for the parent company, and I love the device.  If you go onto the Kobo site and do some quick searches, you will find that a lot of these books that are available for free from Microsoft Virtual Academy are also available as free ebooks from the Kobo store.  I was hoping this would be the case, so I went and checked, and sure enough I just downloaded a bunch of Windows Server and System Center books to my library, which I will now sync to my device.  Amazing!  I cannot attest that the entire library is available… but I downloaded five books on System Center and two on Windows Server, and none of the ones I was looking for were missing.

Now if you`ll excuse me, I have some System Center books I need to start reading! 🙂


Free Books from MS Press

My office is NEVER this neat...

As many people know I covet books, and have been collecting (hoarding?) technical books since I got back into IT.  So when Eric Ligman  pings me an entire list of free eBooks available from Microsoft Press for download, I was thrilled… as you should be!

Now here is my dirty little secret that will get me banned by most environmentally-friendly organizations: I still prefer to have the physical books on my shelf.  I like sitting down and reading books, I like being able to pull them from my shelf for reference, put sticky-notes in and even mark them up when needed. 

Don’t get me wrong… I love eBooks too.  I have a whole collection of them, not to mention the plethora of eBooks that I have on my Kindle app (and hopefully soon my Kobo).  It is great to have access to an entire library at your fingertips and take it wherever you go.  Unfortunately these devices require batteries, cannot be used during takeoff and landing, and have been known to break.  These are just some of the reasons why I have always been happy with technical reference books that come with the electronic version included on CD, or were available for download with proof of purchase.

Alas, I know I am a dying breed.  Most of us (you?) prefer eBooks and the simplicity, cleanliness, and ease of access.  You know that I am lagging behind when even my mother and my father have Kindles and take them everywhere they go.  My father, who used to love shopping for books and would actually visit bookstores in every city he went to, has jumped on the eBook bandwagon.  When they moved recently from their apartment of twenty-eight years they gave away hundreds of books, claiming to be happy to free up the space.

However there is a flip-side to that.  last month when my mother came to visit she complained that her Kindle was broken; I don’t remember what the problem was, only that I saw her reading several of our actual books during her stay.  They may tear, but they never break down.

Here is a list of books that Microsoft Press has made available to you for free… I have them sorted by topic but, just like my bookshelves, you can opt to rearrange them however you like!

Windows Server

A Guide to Claims-Based Identity and Access Control, Second Edition
Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2
Introducing Windows Server 2012
Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions: From the Desktop to the Datacenter, Second Edition
TCP/IP Fundamentals for Microsoft Windows

System Center

Cmdlet Reference for App Controller in System Center 2012 SP1
Technical Documentation for System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager


Administrator’s Guide for Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 5.0
Administrator’s Guide for Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring 1.0
Administrator’s Guide for Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 7
Administrator’s Guide for Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 8.0
Administrator’s Guide for Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) 1.0
Deploying Windows 7: Essential Guidance
Developing an end-to-end Windows Store app using C++ and XAML: Hilo
Developing an end-to-end Windows Store app using JavaScript: Hilo
Prism for the Windows Runtime: Developing a Windows Store business app using C#, XAML, and Prism
Programming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript


Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Step by Step for Anyone 


Deployment guide for Office 2013
First Look: Microsoft Office 2010
Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime
Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses: Help and How To
Security and Privacy for Microsoft Office 2010 Users


Explore SharePoint 2013
Deployment guide for SharePoint 2013
Test Lab Guide: eBook for SharePoint Server 2013 Intranet and Team Sites
Create a Balanced Scorecard
Configure Kerberos Authentication for SharePoint 2010 Products
SharePoint Server for Business Intelligence
Get started with SharePoint Server 2010
Deployment guide for SharePoint Server 2010
Upgrading to SharePoint Server 2010
Profile synchronization guide for SharePoint Server 2010
Remote BLOB storage for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
Governance guide for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
Business continuity management for SharePoint Server 2010
Technical reference for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

SQL Server

5 Tips for a Smooth SSIS Upgrade to SQL Server 2012
A Hitchiker’s Guide to Microsoft StreamInsight Queries
Books Online: Backup and Restore of SQL Server Databases
Books Online: Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) Reference
Books Online: Data Mining Extensions (DMX) Reference
Books Online: Data Quality Services
Books Online: High Availability Solutions
Books Online: Master Data Services
Books Online: Monitor and Tune for Performance
Books Online: Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) Reference
Books Online: SQL Server Distributed Replay
Books Online: Transact-SQL Data Definition Language (DDL) Reference
Books Online: Transact-SQL Data Manipulation Language (DML) Reference
Books Online: XQuery Language Reference
Extracting and Loading SharePoint Data in SQL Server Integration Services
Integration Services: Extending Packages with Scripting
Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Master Data Services Capacity Guidelines
Microsoft SQL Server AlwaysOn Solutions Guide for High Availability and Disaster Recovery
Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services Multidimensional Performance and Operations Guide
Multidimensional Model Programming
Optimized Bulk Loading of Data into Oracle
Planning Disaster Recovery for Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services in SharePoint Integrated Mode
QuickStart: Learn DAX Basics in 30 Minutes
SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Data Mining
SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Multidimensional Modeling
SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Analysis Services – Tabular Modeling
SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Reporting Services
SQL Server 2012 Tutorials: Writing Transact-SQL Statements
SQL Server 2012 Upgrade Technical Guide
SQL Server Community FAQs Manual

Visual Studio

Better Unit Testing with Microsoft Fakes
Dependency Injection with Unity
Developer’s Guide to Microsoft Enterprise Library
Moving to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
Testing for Continuous Delivery with Visual Studio 2012
Upgrade Team Foundation Server 2012: the ultimate upgrade guide

Web Development

ASP.NET Multi-Tier Windows Azure Application Using Storage Tables, Queues, and Blobs
ASP.NET Web Deployment using Visual Studio
ASP.NET Web Deployment with SQL Server Compact using Visual Studio 2010
Developing Modern Mobile Web Apps
The Entity Framework 4.0 and ASP.NET Web Forms – Getting Started
Getting Started with ASP.NET 4.5 Web Forms (Beta)
Getting Started with the Entity Framework 4.1 using ASP.NET MVC
Intro to ASP.NET MVC 4 with Visual Studio (Beta)
Introducing ASP.NET Web Pages 2
Project Silk: Client-Side Web Development for Modern Browsers

Windows Azure

Autoscaling Application Block and Transient Fault Handling Application Block Reference
Building Elastic and Resilient Cloud Applications – Developer’s Guide to the Enterprise Library 5.0 Integration Pack for Windows Azure
Building Hybrid Applications in the Cloud on Windows Azure
Create Your First Application – Node.js and Windows Azure
Developing Multi-tenant Applications for the Cloud on Windows Azure (3rd Edition)
Drupal on Windows Azure
Exploring CQRS and Event Sourcing: A journey into high scalability, availability, and maintainability with Windows Azure
Migrating Data-Centric Applications to Windows Azure
Moving Applications to the Cloud, 2nd Edition
Moving Applications to the Cloud on Windows Azure (3rd Edition)
Using Windows Azure Mobile Services to Cloud-Enable your iOS Apps
Using Windows Azure Mobile Services to Cloud-Enable Your Windows Phone 8 Apps
Using Windows Azure Mobile Services to Cloud-Enable your Windows Store Apps in C#
Using Windows Azure Mobile Services to Cloud-Enable Your Windows Store Apps in JavaScript
Windows Azure and SQL Database Tutorials
Windows Azure Prescriptive Guidance
Windows Azure Service Bus Reference

Windows Phone

Developing an Advanced Windows Phone 7.5 App that Connects to the Cloud
Programming Windows Phone 7

**To read Eric’s original blog post about this click here.

Windows Server 2012: Free EBook!

For the last few months I have been talking about Windows Server 2012, and I am thrilled to see that so many of you are downloading it and using the Release Candidate.  When the product does release so many IT Pros will be ready to hit the ground running! 

If you, like me, are one of these who wants the newest and the best and want to take the time to learn it properly, there is a great new book from Microsoft Press (By Mitch Tulloch and the Windows Server Team) available for free on-line.  You can download it by clicking here:

Now if you were fortunate enough to be at TechEd last week, they were handing out hard copies (which is my personal preference).  I assume that they will be doing the same next week at TechEd Europe…

By the way, the book is based on the beta release, not the Release Candidate.  So there may be some changes that you have to be aware of.  Relax though… it’s still pre-release software, and will be ready when it goes to market! 🙂

The MVP Global Summit – My experience, for Microsoft Press

I had forgotten about this post.  In February I attended Microsoft’s Global MVP Summit in Redmond, Washington.  In anticipation of that I was asked by my MVP Lead and Microsoft Press to write a blog article about it.  I usually write my articles in one sitting, but this one took place over four days.  I hope you like it!