Archive for June, 2011
CertKingdom Microsoft’s 70 270 test is all about gauging your aptitude in implementing, administering, and troubleshooting Windows XP Professional like a desktop operating system in whichever network setting, mainly, middle to very big computing environments. Once you pass this exam you will grow to be a MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional). This test is also like a gateway to the MCSA 2003 & MCSE 2003 certifications.
Why you need the Windows XP Professional 70 270 test?
By passing this exam, you get qualified for various high tech job roles, such as network administrator, systems engineer, information systems administrator, systems administrator, tech support engineers, network analysts, technical consultants and systems analysts. For more info about this test you can visit Microsoft’s website.
This MCP certification is suitable for those who are interested in working in a complex and high tech computing setting of medium and large scale organizations. And although you don’t have to pass any prerequisites for taking part, it is still advised that you gather no less than one year’s experience in installing and managing desktop operating systems in a network setting.
The number of questions you have to attempt is approximately 50 in 120 minutes. The passing score is 700. This exam usually comprises of Hot Area, Multiple Choice, Drag and Drop, Build a Tree, build list and reorder type questions. Although there are no case studies here, you should be ready to face unexpected simulation questions.
You can prepare for this exam using 70-270 sample tests and training available on the web. Also, the study materials for the 70-270 Exam are now available at highly affordable costs in various websites that offer certification exam resources. Moreover, these courses are also available as e-learning courses that you can attend online.
Given the length of this exam, you’ll need to be well versed in every facet of Windows XP Professional. I’m going to break exam 70-270 down into several broad categories, including installation, basic administration, hardware devices and drivers, monitoring and optimizing, configuring the desktop environment, network configuration, and security free Cisco practice tests. I’ll cover each of these categories in depth in the following sections.
Microsoft announced the winners in its embeddedSPARK 2011 challenge, which asked contestants to come up with interesting Windows Embedded Compact 7 devices. The $15,000 first-prize winner is a flying camera designed to locate disaster victims; the $5,000 second prize goes to a touchscreen meal planner with a Windows Phone 7-style user interface; and the $1,000 third prize is awarded to a electronic bulletin board whose contents can be manipulated over the Internet
Microsoft’s embeddedSPARK 2011 Challenge is the latest version of a content that was originally called Sparks Will Fly, aimed at academics, developers, and hobbyists. (The latter event was, in turn, inspired by the Embedded Development category of the company’s Imagine Cup for students, whose ninth year is currently under way and will finish next month in New York.)
The first round of the event ended in January, when contestants were to submit a one- to three-page outlining an embedded project “that approaches media in a new and innovative way.” In February, 75 winners were chosen to advance to round two of the event, and received an embedded SPARK hardware/software kit (described later in this story) with which to create their projects.
In May, the three finalists were revealed in a post on the embeddedSPARK forum by contest organizer “Steel” (a.k.a Gitte-Lena Andersen, pictured). At the time, Microsoft said each would receive a flight to the 2011 Windows Embedded DevDive, a new event at the company’s main campus that’s replacing the Mobile and Embedded Developer Conference (canceled in 2008).
We’re not sure what became of the DevDive, but the finalists presented their projects at Microsoft’s campus in Redmond on Jun. 22, according to a new blog posting by Windows Embedded Software Architect Olivier Bloch.
According to Bloch (pictured), the $15,000 first prize went to Sebastian Londoo Salcedo for “ARS8VER,” a flying camera designed to locate disaster victims. The $5,000 second prize went to Gianni Rosa Gallina for “KitchenPal,” a touchscreen meal planner with integrated barcode scanning with a Windows Phone 7-like user interface.The $1,000 third prize went to Marco Boidora for “Digital Blackboard,” an electronic bulletin board whose contents can be viewed over the web.
Flying disaster relief
According to Sebastian Salcedeo’s formal submission, ARS8VER is a device intended to locate people who are in need of rescue following disasters such as earthquakes. It incorporates a quadricopter capable of flying for about 35 minutes on a change, an embedded PC, a solar panel, Wi-Fi, a camera, and a GPS receiver.
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Salcedo writes that the ARS8VER — designed to be controlled remotely from either a laptop or a Windows Phone 7 device — can find victims two different ways. Images from its camera are processed via facial recognition software; meantime, auto captured via its microphone is filtered to remove the helicopter noise and analyze the range (from 300 to 3000Hz) occupied by the human voice, detecting cries for help.
It’s said the ARS8VER also includes a GPS receiver, allowing mapping of what areas have been searched and indicating the exact location of any victims who have been found. When the device’s batteries begin to die, it drifts to the ground, transmitting its location so that it can be collected later. (At that point, it can also start recharging itself using the solar panel, Salcedo says.)
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All-in-one kitchen assistant
Gianni Rosa Gallina’s KitchenPal is described as a “three-in-one device with touchscreen display, suitable for housewives, housekeepers, and people who love cooking.” It includes a pantry and shopping list assistant, a recipe organizer, and a meal planner, he writes.
According to Gallina, the KitchenPal device itself has a compact base unit and a seven-inch touchscreen display. It is designed to work with a smartphone application — available in versions for both Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7.5 — that, among other things, can scan barcodes using a device’s camera. Cloud-based synchronization using Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform is also provided, he adds.
Gallina’s proposal did not provide a lot of detail on how the KitchenPal is used, but it does cite the ability to share recipes via Facebook and touches on another particularly interesting aspect. Namely, it’s said that the device’s user interface is very similar to the one for Windows Phone 7, thanks to the Fleux open-source project. Fleux was designed to mimic the Metro user interface on Windows Mobile 6.x devices via the .NET Compact Framework, but Gallina reports that he was able to port it to the KitchenPal’s WIndows Embedded Compact 7 operating system too.
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A 21st-century blackboard
Created by Marco Bodoira, whose “Guitar Multi Effect” project won the embeddedSPARK 2010 contest last April, the Digital Blackboard is designed to help members of a household create shopping lists and collaborate on other tasks. It consists of a touchscreen PC with a custom interface written using Expression Blend, and featuring widgets that can be placed anywhere on the screen.
The Digital Blackboard
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According to Bodoira, widgets include:
* Shopping list — this allows creating a list of things to be purchased, then later clicking on them to indicate when they’ve been purchased
* Weather forecast — this shows the weather of a selected city, importing data from an RSS feed
* Facebook — this allows logging onto Facebook and adding a new status phrase
* Note — resembling a Post-It note, this allows entering any desired text
* Calendar — this shows both the date and also lists friends’ birthdays, extracting information about the latter from a Facebook profile
* Clock — shows the time, and can also offer kitchen timers
* Photo slideshow — retrieves photos from Facebook; switches to full-screen mode when other Digital Blackboard functions are not being used
* Marketplace — allows downloading and installing new widgets as well as deleting those that aren’t being usedWhile the above functionality is interesting all on its own, Bodoira adds that data from each widget is sent to the cloud. As a result, it may be accessed by the Windows Phone 7 application shown below.
The Digital Blackboard Windows Phone application
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A mobile device can’t provide exactly the same view as the blackboard, because of screen size limitations. Therefore, Bodoira notes, the panorama shown above allows users to access dedicated shopping list, birthdays, and “remember” screens. Users can make changes on their phones, and the modifications will be relayed back to the at-home Digital Blackboard, he adds.
Accessing the Digital Blackboard via a web browswer
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According to Bodoira, users can also gain access to the Digital Blackboard and make changes from any web browser that’s compatible with Microsoft’s Silverlight. A demo version (above) of this functionality is provided at http://www.marcobodoira.altervista.org/blackboard/, he adds.
The Digital Blackboard
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The hardware platform
According to Steel, the embeddedSPARK 2011 contest hardware consisted of Icop’s VDX-6318, featuring an 800MHz Vortex 86SX processor and 256MB of RAM. Contestants were able to build relatively small devices, since the VDX-6318 (below) measures 3.94 x 2.6 inches.
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Functionality is comparable to that found in the hardware used in previous contests, and is said to include:
* VGA and TFT-LCD support
* integrated 10/100 Ethernet, with RJ45 connector
* 3 RS232 ports, and 1 RS232/422/485 port
* 4 USB 2.0 host ports
* PS/2 keyboard/mouse suport
* 2 16-bit GPIOs
* 1 EIDE (UltraDMA-100/66/33) port
The VDX-6318 does not provide a CompactFlash slot. However, that’s not really an issue, as Steel noted when she announced the choice of hardware, because the device will be supplied with a 512GB flash module that behaves just like a typical IDE hard drive — aside from being faster!
Steel’s February posting added that Microsoft would provide contestants with a pre-built Windows Embedded Compact 7 image, Eboot, and bootloader. Also included were to be an SDK (software development kit), BSP (board support package), sample code, and a step-by-step jump start guide, she noted.
The Digital Blackboard and KitchenPal discussed above both used theVDX-6318. As indicated in the diagram of the ARS8VER, however, thatdevice instead employs a main board extracted from Icop’s eBox-3310A-MSJK (a device sanctioned by Microsoft for use in previous contests). The eBox employs a 1GHz MSTI PDX-600 (a version of DMP’s Vortex86DX), and its motherboard was presumably chosen for the quadricopter because it’s lighter than the VDX-6318.
Further information on the embeddedSPARK 2011 Contest may be found on Microsoft’s website, here, while more details on the hardware appear on the Windows Embedded Compact 7 Jump Start Kit page.
Google claims ‘365 reasons’ to use Gmail and Google Docs
Microsoft launch of Office 365 has Google feeling pressure to explain why businesses should use Gmail and Google Docs instead of Microsoft’s cloud-based Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and Office.
Google Apps is one of the top market forces pushing Microsoft into offering online-only versions of its major business productivity products, but Google hasn’t significantly cut into Microsoft’s office products market share.
FIERCE RIVALS: The 10 bloodiest battles Microsoft and Google fought in 2010
With Microsoft expected to make Office 365 generally available in an announcement Tuesday, Google Apps product manager Shan Sinha penned a blog post titled “365 reasons to consider Google Apps.”
Sinha was the founder and CEO of DocVerse, whose technology was acquired by Google and replaced with Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, which brings Google’s online collaboration features to standard versions of the Microsoft product.
Coincidentally, Sinha also previously worked for Microsoft in SQL Server and SharePoint product strategy from 2004 to 2007. While Sinha wasn’t able to list a full 365 reasons to consider Google Apps, he used his blog post to stress Google’s completely browser-based approach to productivity software, which he believes is more conducive to collaboration.
While Office 365 lets customers host Exchange, SharePoint and Lync servers in Microsoft data centers, the browser-based versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint don’t have all the capabilities of the on-premises version of Office.
“Office 365 is for individuals. Apps is for teams,” Sinha writes. “Most of us no longer spend our days working on our own. We work with others: creating, collaborating, sharing. With Apps you can work with multiple people in the same document. … You can see people type in real time, and share a file in just two clicks. Discussions bring people into your documents for rich conversations. You don’t need to buy additional licenses to work with others, or hope people outside your company have upgraded to the same software. If you have a Google account, you can collaborate.”
Sinha also published a chart showing a list of features Google offers that are either missing from Office 365 or require pricier plans.
While Google Apps costs $5 per user per month (or $50 per year), Office 365 starts at $2 per user per month for just basic email, moves up to $6 for a small business package and up to $27 per user per month for an enterprise option that includes all the online offerings plus the non-cloud Office Professional Plus.
Some of the Google features that aren’t included in any version of Office 365, Sinha writes, are “data export capabilities to prevent lock-in” and multi-user editing of documents and spreadsheets for mobile users.
While Google offers email archiving for an extra $1 per user each month, Microsoft customers have to pay at least $24 per user per month for a plan that includes that feature, he writes. Sinha acknowledges that some features in Office 365 aren’t available from Google, including unlimited email storage and hosted voicemail, and an on-premises PBX voice system.
Firstly, in my opinion, the key to pass MS exam is to make a study plan for your preparation 70-291.Of course, it is also important to get best materials or some useful advicefrom those who had passed your exams for us to prepare 70-291.
Secondly, you should do much practice to know what your disadvantage is or you should reinforce.
If you can achieve both above points, you absolutely pass your MCSE 2003 70-291.
For all this, I just want to make it clear what is my key point in my experience or the most useful advice in my opinion I can give you to prepare MCSA 70-291. En, I did pass my exam in about 2 months. In my opinion, MS Press Book 70-291, MS Readiness Review Suite, and ActualKey are best materials for us to prepare 70-291. Besides, I used MS Virtual PC 2007. And you want to know the detailed information, please read my detailed plan.
I did a job at a local school, en I could not spare much time for MS 70-291 exam. Generally Speaking, I just could study for approximately 2 hours per day weekdays, about 4 hours per day at the weekends.
Although I did not have much time to study 70-291 Exam, I could concentrate my attention on books or practice when I wanted to study.
1. Firstly, I started reading the MS Press book for the first time and made notes on relevant points that I could either forget or need to reinforce. I managed to get the MS Press book down to around 150 pages of A4 note paper.
2. Then at the end of each Chapter, I would then install and use whatever I had learnt from the MS Press book, configuring it to mimic my working environment.
3. Once I had finished the MS Press book, I then used ActualKey. When I had watched the first objective video, I then took the Objective Exam in on the MS Press CD. The purpose of this was to reinforce the oldest material that I had learnt.
4. I then rebuilt my whole entire Lab, to reinforce everything that I had learnt.
5. I then kept going over my Notes on a daily basis at work, during lunch, in the evening. Just a brief flick threw. Don’t ignore this. It could help us a lot.
6. The last of all I took the MS Readiness Review tests on a daily basis. Normally did around one a day for three days before the exam as not to get to many questions repeated. Also in my limited experience so far, the MS Readiness Review free Microsoft practice IT questions has always been a lot harder than the exam.
7. Take the exam and just believe in yourself!
Google is retiring two influential projects: Google Health and PowerMeter. Neither project attracted enough users to make it worthwhile supporting them, the company said.
Google Health, a free service that stores your personal health information, will end January 1, 2012. All its data available for download for a year following the shutdown. PowerMeter, another free tool that helps monitor your home energy usage, will end September 16, 2011.
The company says it will attempt to make it simple for people to gather their data stored on these services and transition to other, similar services.
Currently, users can grab their Google Health data as a PDF, HTML file, ZIP file or in one of several formats. Also, Google will soon allow users to “directly transfer your health data to other services that support the Direct Project protocol, an emerging open standard for efficient health data exchange.” PowerMeter data will be available only as a CSV file for current PowerMeter users.
“While they didn’t scale as we had hoped, we believe they did highlight the importance of access to information in areas where it’s traditionally been difficult,” wrote Aaron Brown, Google senior project manager, in an official blog post.
“By helping people make more informed decisions through greater access to more information, we believe Google Health and PowerMeter have been trailblazers in their respective categories,” Brown added. “Ultimately though, we want to satisfy the most pressing needs for the greatest number of people. In the case of these two products, our inability to scale has led us to focus our priorities elsewhere.”
Apple has reportedly changed a part of iOS 5 to make it impossible for iPhone users to downgrade their phone’s firmware, even if they’d rather run an earlier version.
The iPhone Dev Team, a well-known group of iPhone hackers, first discovered the change in an unlocked developer’s version of iOS 5, which is expected to be released this fall.
Normally, to restore your iPhone to an earlier version, you’d save “SHSH blobs” (which are like digital signatures to authenticate software) at a specific timestamp and use a third-party app to restore your firmware back to that time. The SHSH blobs are static and can be used as often as you like.
But the team found that in iOS 5, Apple has prevented people from being able to save these blobs for a specific timestamp. Instead, Apple will re-assign your phone a new SHSH blob each time your reboot your device in jailbreak mode, making saved blobs irrelevant since Apple can just reject ones that were saved.
This only affects untethered jailbreaks, so one way around it is to simply connect your iPhone to your computer and boot it up in jailbreak mode each time. But realistically, who lugs around a computer with their iPhones?
Furthermore, as the hackers note, this new system only applies to iOS 5.0 blobs and beyond. You’ll still be able to revert to pre-iOS 5.0 versions with your saved blobs, but from 5.0 onwards, there is no turning back.
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Microsoft’s vision of a Windows-only cloud is ambitious, but too many features are currently still in beta
IaaS is a smart choice for ConnectEDU
It’s important to understand what’s not production quality today, since we didn’t test these features. These are beta or CTP:
• Virtual Machine Roles – uploadable VM payloads based on virtual hard disks (VHD); Hyper-V features are beta and CTP for eventual use in both IaaS and PaaS models
• Azure Connect – Provides secure IP-level connectivity between Windows Azure and your enterprise — no current VPNs for public/private cloud constructs in production
• Azure Traffic Manager – Load balancing traffic management to multiple host environments with three qualities: performance, failover, or round-robin balancing; this is an IaaS feature not currently seen often in PaaS models
• SQL Azure Reporting -which is both CTP and invitation-only
• Connectivity to Microsoft’s SaaS BPOS services
• Federated identity options; Active Directory doesn’t work today
• Public/Private interaction via the Windows Azure Appliance Platform works only for a few private customers, and is likely CTP
• Mirroring or cluster creation is unavailable
• Microsoft Systems Center modules don’t really work because Active Directory federation isn’t possible (among other reasons)
• Our current product licenses aren’t transferrable; SQL Server, Windows 2008R2, and .Net licenses aren’t usable on Azure — but might be after VHDs work. After all, on a VHD you can load what you want
• Developers and business partners can’t use Microsoft Service Provider Licensing Agreements to cover Windows Azure use currently
• Local storage persistence is CTP; only BLOB storage is guaranteed to be persistent after an instance reboot. Drive C is as good as the instance not rebooting unless you unload it from a BLOB first, after the local NTFS drive is initialized after a reboot.
We tested Windows Azure by obtaining an Azure account. Once the account was in service, we chose an instance size, a role, then started to work testing the instance with Microsoft Visual Studio.
Eclipse, and a stunning number of third-party tools — largely using REST communications — are used to talk to .Net functionality inside of an instance. The Windows Azure Server instance storage drives are NTFS volumes, and made using page BLOBs as an NTFS-formatted Virtual Hard Drive.
SQL Azure databases can be connected and used by an Azure 2008 R2 instance, and SQL Azure instances are able to be communicated with via client-side APIs from an external source.
Azure instances are controlled through AppFabric, which is an Azure-resident cloud middleware API and messaging infrastructure — a service bus in Microsoft parlance. It’s used for access control, instance setup, and chooses how, given the choices we made, an instance would be hosted. Eventually, AppFabric can be used to provide proposed access identity control between distributed and connected apps or potentially (beta alert) internal appliance-like applications. Storage/metadata caching services are also available from AppFabric, but these were not tested.
Google confirmed Friday that the Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation into the company, and began what might be called a PR campaign to defend its practices.
In a blog post, Google said the FTC had “begun a review of our business”. Google did not say what specific types of documents the FTC was asking for.
Attorneys general in California, New York, and Ohio have also mounte their own investigations, the Financial Times reported.
On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the FTC was interested in exploring the relationship between Google’s search results and its own sites, possibly whether Google unfairly retained users onto its own sites, rather than directing them elsewhere within the Web, to rival sites.
“At Google, we’ve always focused on putting the user first,” Amit Singhal, a Google fellow, wrote in the post. “We aim to provide relevant answers as quickly as possible—and our product innovation and engineering talent have delivered results that users seem to like, in a world where the competition is only one click away. Still, we recognize that our success has led to greater scrutiny.”
Google said that it received the FTC’s request on Thursday, when a Google spokeswoman had denied comment.
Singhal’s also post tried to lay out what Google does for the customer: “do what’s best for the user,” “provide the most relevant answers as quickly as possible,” “label advertisements clearly,” “be transparent,” and achieve “loyalty, not lock-in”.
“These are the principles that guide us, and we know they’ll stand up to scrutiny,” Singhal said. “We’re committed to giving you choices, ensuring that businesses can grow and create jobs, and, ultimately, fostering an Internet that benefits us all.”
Google controls a dominant position in the search market, and its collection of Web sites often makes it the top destination for Web surfers. This month, Google sites raked in more than a billion unique visitors in the month of May, the first time an Internet company has reached that milestone, according to comScore data. Microsoft finished second.
Antitrust law focuses on not whether a company has achieved a monopoly, but whether it abuses that monopoly to create monopolies in other markets. Defining what or what is not a market can be the linchpin of the investigation. The FTC’s investigation, if it occurs, would be the first step in a process that could end with a formal lawsuit.
Some have called the investigation Web 2.0’s version of the historic battles between Microsoft and the Department of Justice. The DOJ’s oversight of Microsoft ended in May.
To date, much of the investigation into Google’s search practices has been centered in Europe, where the EU opened an investigation into Google’s search practices last November. Three companies – Foundem, a French legal search engine called ejustice.fr, and Ciao! from Bing, levied complaints against Google. EJustice’s parent, 1PlusV, added its own complaint in February. Google executives had dismissed the complaints as ones driven by Microsoft, a competitor.
FairSearch, an organization that includes Foundem, Microsoft, TripAdvisor, Travelocity, Hotwire, Expedia, and others, said in a statement Thursday that they were “encouraged” by the news.
“Google engages in anti-competitive behavior across many vertical categories of search that harms consumers by restricting the ability of other companies to compete to put the best products and services in front of Internet users, who should be allowed to pick winners and losers online, not Google,” FairSearch wrote. “The result of Google’s anti-competitive practices is to curb innovation and investment in new technologies by other companies.”
Google: a GPS for the Internet?
Finally, Singhal pointed users to a “competition site,” which appeared, on first glance, to avoid talking about competition and instead focus on Google’s contributions to the search market and to the Internet culture at large.
Only one section of that site (“Supporting a Competitive Web”) addresses competition directly. There, Google compares itself to a “GPS” for the Web.
“Google serves more like a GPS on the Internet highway—not an on-ramp. It helps people get around, but it’s not necessary. If someone knows where he wants to go, he can navigate to those destinations directly, whether it’s Craigslist, the New York Times websites, or icanhascheezburger.com.”
The post is accompanied by a photo illustration showing Google as an in-dash entertainment/navigation system, with a Yahoo printed map to the “Best of the Internet” close by. Bing is represented by a GPS device as well, but mounted to the windshield.
Reaction The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank, criticized the deal. “Few modern markets are as vibrant and innovative as Internet search. Google and its rivals are engaged in fierce competition that has benefited consumers tremendously,” Ryan Radia, CEI Associate Director of Technology Studies, said in a statement. “Yet this FTC appears hell-bent on beating up on big, successful businesses, including Intel, Apple, and now Google. This investigation may be welcome news to Google’s rivals, but it’s bad news for consumers.” Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 4:28 PM with additional comments.
The online magazine is produced by a new group that appears to be aimed at supporting the company’s public sector efforts
Microsoft has quietly created a new group, the office of civic innovation, as well as a new online magazine designed to promote its public sector initiatives.
The new office of civic innovation is a seven-person team based in Washington, D.C., and part of Microsoft’s Public Sector division, said Mark Drapeau, editor and chief of the new online magazine, Publicyte, and a member of the new team. The company first talked about the group at a launch party for the magazine in Washington, D.C., earlier this week.
Workers in the office of civic innovation will try to innovate the way the Public Sector group sells products and communicates with customers, he said.
Drapeau hopes to make Publicyte, the digital magazine, “a great source of creative thought leadership on technology and innovation for different public sector verticals” like government, education and health care. “We want to present Microsoft in a new light to influential people in the public and civic sectors and through the media that covers it,” he said.
Drapeau will contribute articles to the site as will other Microsoft writers and outside contributors. “It’s a Microsoft website so it’s going to be Microsoft-friendly, but we have a lot of latitude about the kind of content and opinions that are expressed,” he said.
Microsoft did not officially announce the magazine. “It’s a bit under the radar. I want to build an audience organically,” he said.
Publicyte will be successful if it influences public and civic sector professionals, he said. “If we can change the way people think about issues like social media and government, we’ve done our jobs,” he said.
Drapeau started out as a researcher studying animal behavior and their social networks and he said he can apply some of that work to his current position running Publicyte. He’s been working in Microsoft’s Public Sector division for about a year-and-a-half.
Microsoft has been in a heated battle with Google over the past couple of years for contracts to offer products and services to public sector organizations, like government agencies and schools. Publicyte and the civic innovation office appear aimed at shaping Microsoft’s image and boosting its success in the sector.