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Learning Tools & Resources from Microsoft

On many occasions I have had people ask me “Where can I learn about Microsoft’s product X”, or “Is there anywhere I can go to get free training”. Well, here is a list of just a few of the resources Microsoft provides to us all so we can get educated and try out many software titles before making an investment.

  • TechNet Support – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/ms772425
    Search for Knowledge Base articles created from real support issues. This is a great first step in trying to find a solution to a problem you’re having
  • TechNet Library – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library
    Software almost never comes with any documentation these days. If you’re looking for the full documentation for any of Microsoft’s products, then take a look in the TechNet Library.
  • TechEd Videos (now available to the public) –http://www.microsoft.com/techedonline
    If you’re not familiar with it, TechEd is one of the biggest tech conferences in the Microsoft world. If you didn’t get a chance to attend in person, or you missed some of the tracks, you can view videos of the sessions online. This was formerly open to members only, but is now available to the public.
  • TechNet Social Forums –http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums
    This is a free service where users can post their issues and ask questions about various Microsoft products and services. This is a great place to find resources provided by Microsoft MVPs.
  • TechNet Blogs by Microsoft Evangelists & other personnel –http://blogs.technet.com and http://blogs.msdn.com
    Many of Microsoft’s staff, including the Evangelists you see at any of the live Microsoft events, keep blogs on MSDN and TechNet. Check them out and learn about new products, events, and ways to resolve those pesky issues you’ve been running into.
  • Microsoft Virtual Academy – http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com
    Learn all about virtualization and cloud computing in the Microsoft world. View tracks about Hyper-V, Azure, Office 365, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Software as a Service (Saas), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and much more. This is a site I highly recommend checking out for anyone planning for a future in IT. Virtualization and cloud computing are here today, and they are here to stay!
  • Microsoft Script Repository –http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter
    If you play with PowerShell or VB Scripts, then you’ll love Microsoft’s Script Repository. There are many example scripts which you can modify and use to meet your own needs. I’m always amazed at some of the “out of the box” thinking in some of these scripts.
  • Microsoft Events in your area – http://events.microsoft.com
    Microsoft is constantly doing Deep Dive and Fire Starter events in all corners of the US. Take a look at the Events site to see what is coming up in your area… oh yeah; there are tons of webcasts and podcasts on this site too!
  • Microsoft Learning Plans – http://www.microsoftlearningplans.com
    Interested in certification, or perhaps just looking to learn about a specific technology or product? Microsoft Learning Plans (part of the MS Partner Network) can help be your virtual guidance counselor. This site can help you figure out what topics you need to master before attempting the exams.
  • Trial software from TechNet Evaluation Center & Test environment/lab use software from TechNet Plus
    Now that you’ve learned more than you thought you ever could, it is time to play with the software. Through Microsoft’s TechNet Evaluation Center (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter), you can download trial software such as a 90-day Trial of Windows 7 Enterprise. If you have a TechNet Plus subscription, you can download and install full copies of even more of Microsoft’s titles (even old copies of DOS).

Now this is only a few of the things that Microsoft provides to try to educate us on the cheap. Please feel free to post a reply with any other good resources you have found.

About the author

Robert Borges

About Robert...

I have been in the IT industry since 1993 focusing mainly in networking. Though I got an early start as an amateur computer enthusiast, and wrote my first database app at age 12, I started my professional career working in the MIS department of one of the largest liquor distributors in the northeast. I started out there as a systems operator on the company’s two mainframe systems. From there I moved into PC support, and help design and implement the company’s first client-server network… This was back in the days of Win NT 3.51. I also worked on my first migration to NT 4.0 back then.

From there I went on to work with Novell 3.x and 4.x along with Windows domains and active directory environments. Working my way up from technician, to specialist, to administrator, and eventually all the way up to Sr. Engineer. I spent many years working for consulting firms, 9 of which I owned and operated my own firm.
Over the years, I have worked with (at an expert level) various versions of: Windows client and server operating systems (including Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2);various virtualization technologies (Hyper-V, Virtual Server, Virtual PC, VMware, etc…); MS-SQL server 6.5- 2008 R2; Exchange 4-2010, and much more.

I am now Director of Information Systems at Bay State Integrated Technology focusing on cloud computing and IT service, with expertise in: IT Infrastructure & Architecture, IT Security, and Cloud Computing platforms & technologies (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS).

I am in a constant state of learning about new products, and new versions of products. Many of which we end up implementing in lab environments and sometimes for our clients. I have a pretty broad range of expertise and experience. It is my goal to share some of this experience on this blog to help enrich the IT community.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.robertborges.us/2012/04/learning-resources/learning-tools-resources-from-microsoft-2/

1 ping

  1. Microsoft’s TechNet Subscription Service is Going Away for Good » Robert Borges Blog

    […] Fear Not! Microsoft is offering some alternatives to the TechNet Subscription service. Also check out my prior blog post with a more comprehensive list of Learning Tools & Resources from Microsoft. […]

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