Home » Cloud Computing strategy » Deep technical evangelism and development team inside the DPE (Developer and Platform Evangelism) unit of Microsoft

Deep technical evangelism and development team inside the DPE (Developer and Platform Evangelism) unit of Microsoft

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It is a fantastic gig – we’re working with developers, designers, and IT pros from across the industry – from the consumer to enterprise to startups to hobbyists – helping them create amazing next generation apps, build the frameworks that make all this easier, and share our experiences with the community.

[John Shewchuk, Technical Fellow at Microsoft, Chief Technology Officer for the Microsoft Developer Platform]

Source: My New Gig [JohnShew‘s MSDN Blog, May 12, 2013] from which the following excerpts will add more information to the above mission statement:

To do this work I have an incredible team with people like Eric Schmidt, who leads our consumer applications efforts and has done ground-breaking work on projects like [NBC’s] Sunday Night Football (which is up for a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Series).

[In fact on May 7 the Sports Emmy was awarded, already 5th time from which the last four awards were won with the program using technology started with Silverlight 3.0 and IIS Smooth Streaming in 2009 for Sunday Night Football live streaming with highly advanced and customized viewing experience. This lead to a continously evolving and expanding cooperation which culminated on April 9th 2013 in the announcement that Microsoft Corp. and NBC Sports Group are partnering to use Windows Azure Media Services across NBC Sports’ digital platforms, including NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com and GolfChannel.com. The new alliance aims to deliver live and on-demand programming of more than 5,000 hours of sporting events plus Sochi 2014 Olympic Games for NBC Sports’ digital platforms. More details about that see later on.]

Patrick Chanezon just joined us from VMware where he was driving their cloud and tools developer relations – he has a ton of expertise in the open source space which will be increasingly important given our new Azure IaaS support for Linux.

… we also get to play with all the newest and coolest technologies we’re delivering to developers these days – everything from Windows to Xbox to Windows Phone – and we connect it to the latest cloud services from Azure, Office, and Bing.

James Whittaker [now as Partner Technical Evangelist at Microsoft] – a known industry disruptor and incredible speaker joins us from Bing where he has been leading the development team making Bing knowledge available programmatically – many people may know him from his viral blog post on why he left Google for Microsoft.

As far as John Shewchuk himself is concerned he is describing his latest achievement in the same post as:

As many of you know, for the last few years I’ve been plugging away deep in the plumbing of enterprise identity and Reimagining Active Directory for the cloud.  It’s been a great experience and I couldn’t be more proud of all the cool stuff that has gone on across the industry to enable the world of claims-based identity and identity as a service.  Over the years I’ve gotten to know many identity leaders including Kim Cameron, Craig Burton, and Andre Durand and have worked with many other great people at companies like Shell, Sun, IBM, Google, and Facebook.
Building on all this collaboration, just a few weeks ago here at Microsoft we reached a major milestone with the official release of Windows Azure Active Directory (AAD). Today all of Microsoft’s major organizational cloud services build on AAD – this includes Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics. AAD supports almost 3 million organizations through 14 global data centers with 99.97% availability.  This level of scale and availability is unprecedented for a turnkey identity management service – it’s a huge accomplishment.  Although I love the SaaS and scale aspects of AAD, I’ve spent my career working with developers – so I’m stoked that we have made all this available to developers through new technologies like the AAD Graph API.
It is always sad to move on from a great project, but with the release of AAD it is an ideal time to transition and start a new role.  So I’m happy to announce that I’m headed to Microsoft’s Developer & Platform Evangelism (DPE) team, working for Steve Guggenheimer.  My role is to lead the team doing the deep technical evangelism and development here in DPE.

If one adds to that John Shewchuk’s all contributions from his Experience profile on LinkedIn:

Technical Fellow
March 2008Present (5 years 2 months)
Current responsibilities include delivering Windows Azure Identity, Access, and Directory Services and defining platform strategy for Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS).
Recent deliverables include Windows Azure Access Control and Application Messaging / Service Bus Services, SQL Azure, and Active Directory.
Member of the Server and Tools Business (STB) Technical Leadership Team. Key participant in the definition of overall technical and business strategy for several divisions across STB.
Distinguished Engineer
20052008 (3 years)
Delivered Windows Communication Foundation (WCF).
Responsible for Active Directory technical strategy. Worked to unify Active Directory product suite. Released Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS).
Software Engineer
19962005 (9 years)
Member of architecture team that drove the first and subsequent releases of .NET.
Drove transformation of Visual Studio to enable web development.
Authored and drove technical strategy for Web standards. Responsible for key cross-industry collaborations with IBM, Sun, and many others. Key participant in defining strategy for enterprise development
Group Program Manager
19931996 (3 years)
Drove the first release of Visual Studio.
Delivered web development tools including Visual InterDev. Later these became the basis for Visual Studio web tools and web execution platform.
Delivered advanced browser features including 2D layout and progressive rendering. Broad range of patents covering many core web technologies.
Vice President and Founder
Daily Planet Software
19901993 (3 years)
Microsoft acquired Daily Planet Software in Q4CY93 [and morphed it into “Blackbird,” the online-content authoring system for MSN].

so after adding all those contributions, not only to Microsoft but to software engineering in general, only then one can really understand how much John Shewchuk is a true larger than life figure. Also note that Microsoft’s DPE unit never had such an outstanding contributor on its staff, not even the units organisationally preceding it (DRG (Developer Relations Group) formed in 1984, ADCU (Application Developer Customer Unit) introduced in 1997, evolved into DPE in October 2011). It is also the first time as Microsoft DPE has a developer related CTO organization properly staffed with excellent contributors. The size of this central to DPE team could be over 100 people and growing, this is the unofficial information. At the moment we know only the leadership figures of the CTO organization:
James Whittaker for the partner activities (as coming from his new LinkdIn title given above)
Patrick Chanezon “initially focused on the enterprise market” (as described by Chanezon in the below details)
Eric Schmidt leading the consumer applications efforts (as explicitly stated by Shewchuk above)

So at this point we can understand this extremely important, we might say strategic addition to the DPE unit only via the professional stance of its leadership figures, including the leader of the team Shewchuk himself. This is why instead of the details sections I am providing here the following one:

More light on the leaders of the new the deep technical evangelism and development team:

James Whittaker’s Quality Software Crusade from Academia to Microsoft, then Google and now back to Microsoft [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, March 14 – April 12, 2012]
James Whittaker‏ @docjamesw 8:19 AM – 8 Apr 13

I gave a blunt, incendiary talk at MS. My punishment: they made it my day job. Watch out world, Microsoft just gave me a speaking role.

James Whittaker‏ @docjamesw 3:54 PM – 8 May 13

I finally “met” the famous @maryjofoley …nice talking to you today.

from which Mary Jo Foley published the following in her Microsoft builds a deep-tech team to attract next-gen developers [ZDNet, May 13, 2013]

Whittaker’s most recent gig at Microsoft was development manager for the Microsoft knowledge platform as part of the Bing team. 

“When Microsoft talks about devices and services, that’s a two-legged stool,” said Whittaker. The third leg is knowledge. We’re embedding knowledge into everything from Xbox, to Office, to third-party products.”

Whittaker said “dev platform” is no longer simply the operating system and related application programming interfaces (APIs). It’s the whole ecosystem, he said, including information that Bing extracts from the Web, like catalogs, weather, and maps. The goal is to make this available inside applications built by both Microsoft and third-party developers. 

“Actions can be performed on these entities. We have hundreds of millions of things we can provide that go beyond the blue links (in search engines),” Whittaker said.

A New Era of Computing [Channel 9 video of the ALM Summit 3 plenary session by James Whittaker, Jan 30, 2013], click on the image to watch (highly recommended)

History will look back and identify September 2012 as the dawn of a new computing paradigm and the official end of the “Search-and-Browse” era [of the 2000s] that Google dominated. James Whittaker talks about this momentous event, shares some history about prior eras, and looks ahead to what this new era brings.


Explanation from the video:

[19:58] September 2012 is “when total search volume went down first. We don’t need to search anymore. It turns out that if you search long enough you find a bunch of stuff, and you hav’nt to search for it anymore.”

[21:00] “Apps are ingesting the web too. Apps are better at searching than browsers and search engines.”

[22:08] “Apps are fundamentally a better way to search because they’re only looking at the part of the web you’ve been interested in. How do we know you are interested in? Because you are using the app.

So our habits are changing and this era has ended.”

In more than the middle [38:26 – 40:00] he is emphasizing the 3 “Experiences” out of Google’s current Top 10 revenue earners rather than “Apps” in the era “when the web goes away” as leading to “Data is currency” for the new era:


In the very end of his presentation (from [46:09] to [52:20]), as forward looking “Know & Do” experience, he is describing and a kind of “screenshot demonstrating” the “I need a vacation” experience which should naturally start in one’s calendar and ending there as well.

Hello Microsoft! [Patrick Chanezon’s blog, May 13, 2013]

On april 29th 2013, I joined Microsoft’s legendary Developer and Platform Evangelism team, where I will initially focus on the Enterprise market. I will report to Technical Fellow John Shewchuk, joining his new team of top-notch technical evangelists, like Xoogler James Whittaker and Microsoft veteran Eric Schmidt. Mary Jo Foley wrote a nice piece about our team on ZDNet today. I will be based in theMicrosoft San Francisco office.

How did it happen?
I spent most of my career competing with Microsoft, at Netscape, Sun, Google and VMware. Competition builds respect, competitors force you to question your assumptions and to constantly evolve. For many of my friends, this move came as a total shock. What made me open to the idea of joining Microsoft is a presentation from Scott Guthrie about Windows Azure at NodeConf 2012 last summer. He presented from a Mac laptop, launched Google Chrome, went to the Cloud9 IDE, edited a Node app pulled from Github, and pushed it to Azure from the cloud IDE: to me this indicated a real change of mentality at Microsoft, and a new openness. Clearly they had listened to what developers ask from a cloud platform. Later on, when my friend Srikanth Satyanarayana pinged me to start conversations with Microsoft, I was open to it. I met with Satya Nadella, and realized that our visions for where the cloud was going were very aligned. Further conversations with Scott Guthrie about Azure, John Shewchuk and Steve Guggenheimer about developer evangelism convinced me this was an adventure I had to take!
Why Microsoft?
Joining Microsoft boils down to 4 reasons: People, Learning, Technology, Impact.
People: in my late 30′s I realized that the people you work with, for and around are as important as what you’re working on. Microsoft has many people I have admired from the outside, like Dare Obasanjo, Eric Meijer, Scott Guthrie, Jon Udell, Scott Hanselman, Jeff Sandquist, Andrew Shuman or Anders Hejlsberg. The team I join has a fantastic roster of A-players with whom I’ll have fun and from whom I will learn.


Learning: I’m a learner at heart. I am curious, I read a lot, and I like to learn from people I work with. I also love to share what I learned with others. My kids loved this book called My Friends, by Taro Gomi, which goes like this: “I learned to walk from my friend the cat, I learned to jump from my friend the dog…”.
In my career it worked the same way: I learned algorithmic from my teacher Christian Vial, I learned internet protocols from my friend Nicolas Pioch, I learned open source from my friend Alejandro Abdelnur, I learned social media from my friend Loic Lemeur, I learned developer relations from my friend Vic Gundotra, I learned platform strategy and storytelling from my friend Charles Fitzgerald… I love doing developer relations, and my two mentors in this area over the past 8 years, Vic and Charles, both came from the Microsoft DPE team. I’m coming to the source for more learning. This team is more than a 1000 people worldwide, and over the past 10 years they defined what tech evangelism is about: they operate at a larger scale and cover a wider scope than any of the teams I worked with. I am very excited to join them.
Technology: Windows Azure is Enterprise ready, more open than people think, and is a complete platform, from infrastructure to services, mobile and Big Data. Azure has matured a lot in the past few years, it covers IaaS, PaaS and Saas, their Paas service is multi-framework and multi-service, with a marketplace of add-ons, it has a mobile backend as a service for Windows Phone, iOS, Android and HTML5, and includes Hadoop and Big Data services. It is in production today, has been battle tested for years as the base for many Microsoft first party apps and services, and is ready for the Enterprise, with a true public/private/hybrid solution: with Windows Server 2013, System Center and Azure you can start building your hybrid cloud today.. The team ships important new features regularly, my favorite being the point to site and software vpn features announced a few weeks ago, which will drastically lower the barrier to create hybrid clouds. Azure is not a Windows/.NET only platform, it is more open than people give it credit for: you can provision Linux VMs, and the PaaS supports .NET, Java, PHP, Node, Python, Ruby, with open source (Apache 2 license) SDKs on Githuband an Eclipse plugin, built by the Microsoft Open Technologies team. Scott Guthrie gives a very good overview of Windows Azure in this video from the Windows Azure Conf 3 weeks ago.


Impact: as a kid, I was reading a lot of science fiction, and got my first computer (a TRS-80) when I was 10 years old. As I explain in many of my presentations (like Portrait of the developer as The Artist), my childhood dreams were to change the world through technology, and more specifically computers. My dreams are far from being fulfilled today: it is true that we have more powerful machines and software tools, and technology changed the world in many aspects, but machines are still hard to program, and software engineering needs to evolve to let us work at a higher level of abstraction.
The move to a devices and services world is an important architecture change like we see every 20 years in the software industry. Cloud platforms have the potential to help developers build smarter applications faster, and change entire areas of the human experience. It has started to happen in the consumer applications space, but the next big wave of change is the consumerization of Enterprise IT, where developers and IT professionals can completely transform the way enterprises work, driving business value faster, enabling new capabilities and business models. My goal is to help them in this transformation, and Microsoft is the place where I can have the most impact.
Here’s a quick video to summarize it all: developers, developers, developers, think big and look up at the sky, its color is Azure!
Developers, Developers, Developers A homage to you, developers I interacted with around the world, in the past 8 years doing developer relations at Google and VMware. http://wordpress.chanezon.com/2013/05/10/goodbye-vmware/
If you have never tried Azure, or have tried it a year ago, sign up for a free trial and give it a go! I hope to see many of you at the Build conference in June in San Francisco.

– Mary Jo Foley published the following about Chanezon in her Microsoft builds a deep-tech team to attract next-gen developers [ZDNet, May 13, 2013]:

We’re at a deep architectural inflection point right now in the enterprise,” said Chanezon. “Devs need new ways of working, new apps and new frameworks. There’s the whole dev-ops movement, plus the move to become more agile.”

Chanezon said he joined Microsoft because he felt the company’s new devices plus services strategy really embraces these changes. He said while Google had devices and services, too, it didn’t have the private/hybrid cloud component which Microsoft also brings to the enterprise-dev table. As a big believer in the power and potential contribution of open source, he said he was encouraged to see that Azure has become a very open-source-friendly platform.

– Mary Jo Foley published the following about Schmidt in her Microsoft builds a deep-tech team to attract next-gen developers [ZDNet, May 13, 2013]:

Schmidt joined DPE six years ago [as director of DPE’s Media and Advertising Initiatives team], bringing his media specialization to the media and entertainment, social and gaming verticals. These are “where people are thinking about attaching devices to a lifestyle,” he said. 

A big target for Schmidt is mobile developers, specifically those writing for iOS and Android who may not know how their skills can be transferred to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. “We’re showing them how what they already know is correlated,” he said, while playing up the message that the iOS and Android gold mines are drying up.

Silverlight delivers online viewing experience for Sunday Night Football [Silverlight and Windows Phone SDK blog, Sept 10, 2009]

The NFL and NBC will be delivering the entire Sunday Night Football season by using Silverlight 3.0 and IIS Smooth Streaming. The first game of the season will be broadcast tonight, with the Tennessee Titans vs. the Pittsburg Steelers. Game starts at 5:00pm PST and you can watch online for free: http://snfextra.nbcsports.com/.


Here are a few of the benefits Silverlight delivers:

  • A full screen video player that is capable of delivering 720p HD video. TV quality on the web.
  • A main HD video feed, plus 4 user-selectable alternate synchronized camera feeds that allows users to switch camera angles themselves. Your TV can’t do that.
  • Adaptive smooth streaming of live HD video, which enables the video player to automatically switch bitrates on the fly depending on networking/CPU conditions. No buffering/stuttering experience.
  • DVR support of the live video, including Pause, Instant Replay, Slow Motion, Skip Forward/Back. You can pause and rewind on live video.
  • Play-by-play data (touchdowns, fumbles, etc) inserted as tooltip chapter markers on the scrubber at the bottom allowing you to quickly seek to key moments. A smarter, contextual DVR.
  • Highlights of major plays created within minutes of the play. NBC is cutting on-demand highlights and publishing them on-the-fly with Smooth Streaming.
  • Sideline interviews with the players. No more channel surfing, you are one click away from additional content.
  • Game statistics. These are live stats coming directly in real-time from the NFL.
  • Game commentary and Q&A with the SNF hosts. Chat with the live TV broadcasters.

Enjoy! http://snfextra.nbcsports.com/

Microsoft Silverlight and NBC Bring Winter Games to the Web in High Definition [Microsoft feature story, Feb 12, 2010]

Microsoft Silverlight is the player of choice for NBC’s online viewing experience of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

REDMOND, Wash. —Feb. 12, 2010 — NBC and Silverlight have once again teamed up to bring Winter Games coverage to the Web – this time in high definition.
For the next 16 days, people all over the world will watch the Winter Games on television. Increasingly, they’ll be tuning in online as the world’s top athletes compete for gold and glory.
NBC will once again use Silverlight, Microsoft’s fast-growing, smooth-streaming video and animation plug-in for browsers, to bring full coverage and highlights to NBCOlympics.com. In 2008 for Beijing, the NBC-Silverlight partnership yielded not only revolutionary Web coverage of a sporting event, but a record number of viewers: 52.1 million people logged on to watch 9.9 million hours of video.
At that time the Silverlight platform was so new that NBC also offered Windows Media Player alongside it. After the success of Beijing and with nearly 50 percent of Internet-connected devices running Silverlight, NBC decided to consolidate on Silverlight for the Vancouver Games.

imageMicrosoft employees Jason Suess (left) and Eric Schmidt take
a break in an NBC production studio.

In addition, NBC and Silverlight teams are working together on other major sporting events such as Wimbledon and NFL Sunday Night Football.

“It’s really been amazing to see that partnership and friendship with NBC grow over the last year and a half,” says Jason Suess, principal technical evangelist for Silverlight. “I expect many more events as our partnership gets tighter and tighter.”
With Silverlight, viewers can rewind and fast forward the action, or use pause and slow-motion. The player also scales the quality of the video to whatever a user’s machine can handle, delivering up to 720p – the highest resolution possible under current digital television standards.
“After Beijing, what we heard loud and clear was if you can provide a higher quality experience, users will definitely spend more time in that experience,” Suess says.
The Silverlight team also worked with NBC to provide special behind-the-scenes tools for the network, including the ability to insert mid-stream advertising, and a rough cut editor that allows NBC personnel to quickly edit and post highlights on the Web.
“With Michael Phelps going for eight gold medals in Beijing, every time he’d win there would be a massive rush to the site to see him winning the latest gold,” Suess says. “The challenge there was for NBC to have the content on the site in time to meet the demand. Now editors can go in literally while a (video) stream is happening and cut a highlight.”
Suess said the Winter Games are at a different scale from the massive Summer Games, with far fewer events and more niche sports. Still, Microsoft has worked hard to provide the most engaging photo and video experience possible, he says.

Silverlight Powered Emmy Nominated Sunday Night Football [Silverlight Team on Silverlight Blog, April 19, 2010]

This NFL season, NBC thrilled football fans by broadcasting Sunday Night Football on 2 screens – television and online. And now, as a result of this great work, Sunday Night Football Extra and NBC Sports have been nominated for a 2010 Sports Emmy® Nomination! NBC Sports teamed with Microsoft Silverlight and Vertigo to design and develop a visual stunning, interactive online video experience. The Sunday Night Football Extra Player featured Microsoft Smooth Streaming technology providing a customized viewing experience that smoothly and automatically adjusted to individual users’ bandwidth and computer’s performance in real time. The SNF Extra Player also touted an interactive user experience featuring an unprecedented five synchronized camera angles all in true 720p HD, slow-motion replay, full DVR controls, real time key plays integration, real-time statistics, and live interaction with commentators.

The Sports Emmy® Awards will be held in New York City on Monday, April 26, 2010, and will recognize outstanding achievement in sports television coverage. This nomination is really the culmination of the innovative thinking, hard work and dedication demonstrated by the team that NBC Sports, Vertigo and a select team of key partners brought together for Sunday Night Football Extra — and Silverlight is the engine that made it possible. If you want to learn more about the nomination, you can also visit Vertigo’s site at http://bit.ly/vertigo-snf.
The Result?
  • Number of Games: 17 football games streamed via Silverlight
  • Average time tuned in: 29 minutes (about 24 minutes longer than average time spent tuning in on broadcast TV)
  • Number of Viewers: Over 2.2 million football fans tuned in on NBCSports.com to watch the Season live and in full HD
  • Hours of Video: Approximately 1 million hours of video streamed
  • Peak users: 38,500 total peak concurrent users
  • What technology made this possible😕 IIS 7, IIS Media Services and Silverlight Rough Cut Editor
Tons of great information about how SNF came together online can be found in the case study and whitepaper live on Microsoft.com.
The Sports Emmy® Awards will be held in New York City on Monday, April 26, 2010, and will recognize outstanding achievement in sports television coverage. This nomination is really the culmination of the innovative thinking, hard work and dedication demonstrated by the team that NBC Sports, Vertigo and a select team of key partners brought together for Sunday Night Football Extra — and Silverlight is the engine that made it possible. If you want to learn more about the nomination, you can also visit Vertigo’s site at http://bit.ly/vertigo-snf.

Interactive Media Player to Bring PDC to Developers Worldwide [Microsoft feature story, Oct 27, 2010]

A new interactive media player will enable developers worldwide to virtually attend this week’s Professional Developers Conference at microsoftpdc.com. Using Silverlight and Windows Azure, Microsoft is providing many of the features NBC used when broadcasting the Olympics online.

With the player, Microsoft is introducing a new way of bringing a live, in-person event to a much broader audience, said Eric Schmidt, Microsoft’s senior director of Developer Platform Evangelism. “The goal is to narrow the gap between audience and speaker,” he said.

Schmidt heads up the team that has helped stream a number of major events recently, including the 2010 U.S. Open Golf Championship, the 2010 Wimbledon Championship, and NBC’s Sunday Night Football. The team’s objective has been to reach large online audiences with immersive and interactive experiences. Along the way, they developed new ways of delivering multi-camera video and built new interactive models inside what has traditionally been just a video player. The team also built out frameworks so that customers and partners can create similar experiences leveraging Microsoft’s platform technologies in a turnkey manner.

With the PDC10 virtual player, Microsoft is doing things it couldn’t have done just a few years ago, said Schmidt. All session content will be available live and on-demand in HD quality, and viewers will have the ability to pause and rewind the video at any point. They also can toggle back and forth between different camera feeds, allowing a viewer to cut between a presenter and the presentation material.

The PDC player has a number of built-in interactive features. Real-time polling will enable speakers to query both the online and in-person audience for live feedback. Live Q&A will help the audience interact with the presenters while they’re delivering a session. And an inline Twitter feed will extend the conversation beyond the online player and into the Twitter domain.


London Olympics Garners Five Awards, Including Outstanding Live Event Turnaround

Sunday Night Football Wins Fifth Consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Series; Super Bowl XLVI Wins for Outstanding Live Sports Special

Bob Costas, Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Pierre McGuire Honored

NEW YORK – May 7, 2013 – NBC Sports Group won 11 Sports Emmy Awards, the most of any sports media company for the third straight year; the London Olympics received five Emmys, including Outstanding Live Event Turnaround; Super Bowl XLVII won for Outstanding Live Sports Special; Sunday Night Football won its fifth consecutive award for Outstanding Live Sports Series; and Bob Costas, Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Pierre McGuire were all honored in their respective categories at the 34th Annual Sports Emmy Awards, presented tonight by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
MARK LAZARUS, NBC SPORTS GROUP CHAIRMAN: “We could not be more proud of our dedicated team. Tonight is particularly special because we were recognized for our coverage of the London Olympics and the NFL, two properties that touch virtually everyone in the NBC Sports Group – and our on-air commentators. It’s rewarding to know that our talent continues to be recognized year in and year out by our peers.”
Formed in January, 2011, the NBC Sports Group consists of NBC Sports, NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel, NBC Olympics, 11 NBC Sports Regional Networks, two regional news networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBCSports.com.
NBCUniversal’s coverage of the London Olympics was honored with a total of five Emmy Awards in the following categories:
  • Outstanding Live Event Turnaround;
  • The George Wensel Technical Achievement Award – NBC, NBC Sports Network, NBCOlympics.com, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, Telemundo;
  • Outstanding Technical Team Studio;
  • The Dick Schaap Outstanding Writing Award;
  • Outstanding New Approaches, Sports Programming – NBCOlympics.com.

For the fifth consecutive year, NBC Sports won Outstanding Live Sports Series for Sunday Night Football. NBC Sports has now won the award in six of the last seven years, also winning in 2007 for its NASCAR coverage.

NBC Sports was also honored with the Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Special for its coverage of Super Bowl XLVI. NBC Sports also received the Emmy in this category for its coverage of Super Bowl XLIII.
Bob Costas was awarded his 25th career Emmy and fifth consecutive for Outstanding Sports Personality-Studio Host. Costas hosted the London Olympics, is the host Football Night in America, NBC Sports’ acclaimed NFL studio show, and Costas Tonight, which airs on NBC Sports Network. He won the Emmy in the same category last year for his work on Football Night.

Al Michaels was awarded the Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality – Play-by-Play, for his work on Sunday Night Football. For Michaels, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 32ndAnnual Sports Emmy Awards in 2011, this marks his seventh career Emmy Award.

Cris Collinsworth was awarded his fifth consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality-Sports Event Analyst. This marks Collinsworth’s 14th career Emmy, which includes wins in 2007 and 2008 in the Studio Analyst category for work on Football Night in America.
Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports Group’s “Inside the Glass” analyst for its NHL coverage, was awarded his first career Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Reporter.

Microsoft Teams Up With NBC Sports Group to Deliver Compelling Sports Programming Across Digital Platforms Using Windows Azure [press release, April 9, 2013]

New alliance aims to deliver live and on-demand programming of more than 5,000 hours of sporting events plus Sochi 2014 Olympic Games for NBC Sports’ digital platforms.

LAS VEGAS — April 9, 2013 — Today at the National Association of Broadcasters Show, Microsoft Corp. and NBC Sports Group announced they are partnering to use Windows Azure Media Services across NBC Sports’ digital platforms, including NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com and GolfChannel.com.

Through the agreement, which rolls out this summer, Microsoft will provide both live-streaming and on-demand viewing services for more than 5,000 hours of games and events on devices, such as smartphones, tablets and PCs. These services will allow sports fans to be able to relive or catch up on their favorite events and highlights that aired on NBC Sports Group platforms.
Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager of digital media at NBC Sports Group discusses how they use Windows Azure across their digital platforms.
“NBC Sports Group is thrilled to be working with Microsoft,” said Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager of digital media at NBC Sports Group. “More and more of our audience is viewing our programming on Internet-enabled devices, so quality of service is important. Also, our programming reaches a national audience and needs to be available under challenging network conditions. We chose Microsoft because of its reputation for delivering an end-to-end experience that allows for seamless, high-quality video for both live and video-on-demand streaming.”
NBC Sports Group’s unique portfolio of properties includes the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, “Sunday Night Football,” Notre Dame Football, Premier League soccer, Major League Soccer, Formula One and IndyCar racing, PGA TOUR, U.S. Open golf, French Open tennis, Triple Crown horse racing, and more.
“Microsoft is constantly looking for innovative ways to utilize the power of the cloud, and we see Windows Azure Media Services as a high-demand offering,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president at Microsoft. “As consumer demand for viewing media online on any available device grows, our partnership with NBC Sports Group gives us the opportunity to provide the best of cloud technology and bring world-class sporting events to audiences when and where they want them.”
Microsoft has a broad partner ecosystem, which extends to the cloud. To bring the NBC Sports Group viewing experience to life, Microsoft is working with iStreamPlanet Co. and its live video workflow management product Aventus. Aventus will integrate with Windows Azure Media Services to provide a scalable, reliable, live video workflow solution to help bring NBC Sports Group programming to the cloud.
NBC Sports Group and iStreamPlanet join a growing list of companies, including European Tour, deltatre, Dolby Laboratories Inc. and Digital Rapids Corp., which are working with Windows Azure to bring their broadcasting audiences or technologies to the cloud.
In addition to Media Services, Windows Azure core services include Mobile Services, Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Websites and Big Data. Customers can go tohttp://www.windowsazure.com for more information and to start their free trial.

– Mary Jo Foley published the following about Shewchuk, the head of the team in her Microsoft builds a deep-tech team to attract next-gen developers [ZDNet, May 13, 2013]:

‘The platform’ is now a collection of capabilities across all of our products,” said John Shewchuk, the head of the recently formed technical evangelism and dev team. Our job is “helping devs stitch together solutions with these technologies.”

“Devs” also is a much broader target audience for Microsoft than it once was. Back in the early DPE days, devs meant professional, full-time programmers. The target audience for Microsoft’s new deep-tech team includes anyone who writes a consumer, business or hybrid application. That means startups, enterprise customers and top consumer and business independent software vendors (ISVs).

The Microsoft toolbox from which devs can choose to mix and match includes many technologies that didn’t exist a decade, or even just a few years, ago. They include everything from Windows Azure technologies, to Bing programming interfaces and datasets, to the WinRT framework underlying Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. Microsoft’s next Xbox, Kinect, Windows Phones, Surfaces, Perceptive Pixel multitouch displays are among the targets for these technologies.

“This is a playground. We get to work with stuff from all the different Microsoft business groups,” said Shewchuk. “It’s like geek heaven.”

The idea of creating this kind of deep-tech team has been percolating since October 2012, when Microsoft veteran Steve Guggenheimer returned to Microsoft to head up DPE, according to Microsoft execs. Guggenheimer, in conjunction with Server and Tools Business chief Satya Nadella and with the blessing of CEO Steve Ballmer, set out to recruit some deeply technical evangelists with far-flung specializations.

Shewchuk, a 20-year Microsoft veteran and one of the company’s Technical Fellows, agreed to spearhead the team. (Microsoft isn’t saying how large the new team is, but I’ve heard it could be over 100 people in size and growing.) Shewchuk, who is now the Chief Technology Officer for the Microsoft Developer Platform, was working for the last several years on Windows Azure, where he helped the company build Windows Azure Active Directory, Service Bus and SQL services. Shewchuk also was a key contributor to a number of other Microsoft dev technologies, including .Net, Visual Studio, Windows Communication Foundation and the WIndows Identity Foundation.

The idea is to bridge our inside developers to outside developers,” Shewchuk said. “We want to get the top developers to adopt our platform.”

Shewchuk described the new deep-tech team as a place where Microsoft pulls together its own “world-class” developers to exchange ideas among themselves and with the outside world. Because Microsoft’s new stack of technologies are all at different places, in terms of their maturity cycle, the Microsoft tech team will do everything from build new frameworks; develop code to tie together disparate products; and make available code and templates for external use using services like GitHub or CodePlex. In some cases, the “developers” who take advantage of these pieces may be Microsoft’s own product teams who may want to incorporate code (and even the developers who wrote it) directly into their units.

More information:
John Shewchuk’s Profile [MSDN, May 2013]

John Shewchuk is a Technical Fellow and the CTO for the Microsoft Developer Platform. John leads the team responsible for technical evangelism and development in DPE; his team partners with developers, designers, and IT pros to build next gen applications using Microsoft’s devices and services and they share those experiences with the developer community. John has been with Microsoft for almost 20 years. Most recently John focused on Azure developing key platform services including Windows Azure Active Directory, Service Bus, and SQL services. He has been a key contributor on wide range of technologies including; Visual Studio, .NET, WCF, WIF, IE, and AD. John is an advocate and contributor to open source and Web standards – most recently he drove many of the contributions Microsoft made to OAuth 2. John has BS in Electrical Engineering from Union College and an MS in Computer Science from Brown University. He lives in Redmond with his wife and four children.

Microsoft Big Brains: John Shewchuk [Mary Jo Foley for All About Microsoft blog of ZDNet, Nov 20, 2008]

Claim to Fame: One of the masterminds behind “Zurich,” a key component of Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure, and a key player in Microsoft’s Federated Identity work [see also: Ozzie foreshadows ‘Zurich,’ Microsoft’s elastic cloud [same author, same place, July 24, 2008]

Bytes by MSDN: John Shewchuk and Rob Bagby discuss “Project Dallas” [on YouTube MrAbdoul9 channel, Jan 29, 2010; on Channel 9, Aug 29, 2010] this is where OAuth is first mentioned

John Shewchuk, a Microsoft Technical Fellow, leads the Project Zurich architecture and strategy teams, which are focused on extending Microsoft’s .NET application development technologies to the Internet “cloud.” Shewchuk works in Microsoft’s Connected Systems Division (CSD) where he leads the technical strategy team. Over the last several years Shewchuk and his team have developed a wide range of Internet-based application messaging and identity federation technologies. Additionally, he was a co-founder of the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) team and has been a key contributor to cross-industry interoperability initiatives. Working in conjunction with others on his team, Shewchuk developed Web services specifications and managed technical collaborations with IBM, Sun, SAP, and many others. He also has been a key leader and contributor to Microsoft’s efforts in federated identity, access control, and privacy. Previously, Shewchuk worked on Microsoft’s development tools and runtimes and played a key role in the development of Visual Studio and .NET. Earlier in his career, he played a role in the development of many Internet technologies including stylesheets, browser behaviors, and Web server controls.

Microsoft unveils AD Azure strategy, ID management reset [John Fontana for Identity Matters blog of ZDNet, May 25, 2012]

After two years of work, Microsoft has unveiled details and its strategy around Active Directory for the cloud, anointing it the centerpiece of a comprehensive online identity management services strategy it thinks will profoundly alter the ID landscape.
The company said changes to the current concepts around identity management need a “reset” to handle the “social enterprise.” Microsoft says it is “reimagining” how its Windows Azure Active Directory (WAAD) service helps developers create apps that connect the directory to SaaS apps and cloud platforms, corporate customers and social networks.
“The term ‘identity management’ will be redefined to include everything needed to provide and consume identity in our increasingly networked and federated world,” Kim Cameron, an icon in the identity field and now a distinguished engineer working on identity at Microsoft, said on his blog. “This is so profound that it constitutes a ‘reset’.”
At the center is WAAD, which is in use today mostly with Office 365 and Windows Intune customers. WAAD is a multitenant service designed for high availability and Internet scale.
In a companion blog post to Cameron’s, John Shewchuk [see also Part 2 of that], a Microsoft Technical Fellow and key cog in the company’s cloud identity engineering, provided some details on WAAD, including new Internet-focused connectivity, mobility and collaboration features to support applications that run in the cloud.
Shewchuk said the aim is to support technologies such as Java, and apps running on mobile devices including the iPhone or other cloud platforms such as Amazon’s AWS.
Shewchuk said WAAD will be the cloud extension to on-premises Active Directory deployments enterprises have already made. The two are married using identity federation and directory synchronization.
He said Microsoft made “significant changes to the internal architecture of Active Directory” in order to create WAAD.
As an example, he said, “Instead of having an individual server operate as the Active Directory store and issue credentials, we split these capabilities into independent roles. We made issuing tokens a scale-out role in Windows Azure, and we partitioned the Active Directory store to operate across many servers and between data centers.”
Some analysts are already noting the challenges Microsoft will have with its cloud directory.
Mark Diodati, a research vice president at Gartner focusing on identity issues, told me in a conversation about changes the cloud is forcing on enterprise ID management that, “the addition of tablets and smartphones into the enterprise device mix exceeds Active Directory’s management capabilities and there is an impedance mismatch using Kerberos across the cloud.”
While Shewchuk laid out the set-up for a Part 2 [see here: Part 2 where OAuth 2 is first mentioned as: “we currently support WS-Federation to enable SSO between the application and the directory. We also see the SAML/P, OAuth 2, and OpenID Connect protocols as a strategic focus and will be increasing support for these protocols”] of his blog that will focus on enhancements to WAAD, Kim Cameron painted the bigger picture on cloud identity going forward.
He said companies adopting cloud technology will see dramatic changes over the next decade in the way identity management is delivered. “We all need to understand this change,” he stressed.
Cameron said identity management as a service “will use the cloud to master the cloud”, and will provide the most reliable and cost-effective options.
“Enterprises will use these services to manage authentication and authorization of internal employees, the supply chain, and customers (including individuals), leads and prospects. Governments will use them when interacting with other government agencies, enterprises and citizens.”
And he added that enterprises will have to move beyond concepts that have guided their thinking to date.

Identity & Access [MSFTws2012 YouTube channel, Nov 20, 2012]

John Shewchuk talks about how to overcome identity and access challenges brought about by continuous services and connected devices. Learn more about Active Directory, Direct Access, and Dynamic Access Control at http://aka.ms/Ytidentity
Current state-of-the-art:
Welcome to the Active Directory Team Blog [MSDN blogs, April 15, 2013]
Announcing some new capabilities in Azure Active Directory Graph Service [Windows Azure Active Directory Graph Team blog on MSDN, May 15, 2013]

BUILD 2013, Windows 8.1, and Microsoft’s Deep-Tech Team: Hopeful News for Devs [Tim Huckaby on DevPro, May 16, 2013]

It’s hard to change a culture. Having worked for or with Microsoft for over 20 years, I can tell you that I have a myriad of colleagues that are Microsoft employees, most of whom I call my friends and respect very much. Over the last several months, I’ve had several discouraging private conversations about where the developer goals, mission, and strategy were headed for Microsoft. I could see the problems and mistakes. Microsoft employees could see them, too. You probably saw them, too. It’s been frustrating. When the head guy in charge of Microsoft development ignores feedback that includes internal feedback from Microsoft and external feedback from folks such as me and you, then that builds a culture of secrecy and fear. Although that head guy is gone now [obvious reference to Steven Sinofsky, ex Microsoft: The victim of an extremely complex web of the “western world” high-tech interests [‘Experiencing the Cloud, Nov 13-20, 2012], it’s still taken a long time to change that culture back to where it should be.
In all honesty, I can tell you that I haven’t been encouraged about the developer platform at Microsoft in a while. However, today I’m encouraged for the first time in a long time. I see the culture changing. I hear people at Microsoft saying that the culture is changing. And there’s several encouraging announcements that are emerging. Suddenly, I’m now excited about the Microsoft’s BUILD 2013 developer conference that’s being held in San Francisco from June 26 to June 28, and I’m not the old guy saying, “Get off my lawn!” However, I’d first like to present you all with some background that made me discouraged in the first place.
Microsoft’s Development Woes
I painfully read a recent blog post about Microsoft’s developer issues. I don’t even know who wrote it. This guy or gal didn’t put his or her name on the blog post. It’s painful because this person makes a ton of good points. Within this blog post, the author goes far enough back to put Win16 into perspective. It’s a very interesting read if you want to talk about the context of Microsoft’s developer problems through time and the speculation surrounding those problems. One of the main points in this article is that Microsoft has hung onto an obsolete Win32 API even though, a decade ago Intel took a completely different tact with the GPU and multi-core processors when it could have picked several versions of Windows over time to start over. However, Microsoft didn’t choose to do this, which has caused developers a lot of pain.
Related: Windows 8 Start Button Shenanigans
Most recently that developer pain has manifested with the introduction of the modern API in Windows 8. The modern API has many developers so confused and angered. A lot of these developers are experiencing anger because the most successfully adopted and beloved developer technology in Microsoft history was seemingly killed by this new modern API: Silverlight. Also seemingly killed was XNA. Several developers are also confused because Microsoft seems to be pushing the message to get users to build enterprise applications in HTML5 and deliver them through the Windows Store.
But, alas, there is hope! Recent announcements and speculations have me really encouraged.
Encouraging Announcements from Microsoft
On May 14, Microsoft officially announced the long rumored Windows Blue, which is officially called Windows 8.1. It will be a free update to Windows 8. Windows 8.1 promises to fix several different problems that folks have been complaining about. It’s important to note that Windows 8.1 isn’t a service pack. It’s a full blown upgrade to the OS. Microsoft promises several exciting things for the developer to be announced at BUILD, which includes the public release of Windows 8.1.
This month a minor Internet hysteria phenomena occurred with the revelation of the Microsoft deep-tech team. Mary Jo Foley wrote it best describing it as Microsoft’s new plan for reaching out to top-tier developers of all sizes to get them to take a look at the new and expanded Microsoft toolbox. There’s several “big guns” who will be leading the effort.
John Shewchuk is one of those “big guns.” I know John from a prior life at Microsoft. He’s a 20-year Microsoft veteran and one of the company’s Technical Fellows. He’s leading the team and serving as the Chief Technology Officer for the Microsoft Developer Platform. This is good news.
My guess is that the deep-tech team was the brainchild of Microsoft veteran Steve Guggenheimer, who took the reins of heading the Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) team in October 2012. Affectionately known as “Guggs,” Steve Guggenheimer has a long and storied career at Microsoft.
Patrick Chanezon is a new hire to Microsoft who will lead the enterprise evangelism efforts in Microsoft’s DPE unit from San Francisco. He joined Microsoft from VMware just weeks ago. This is a key hire that also seems to be really good news.
More about those Microsoft people I respect; the people who get it; the people who affect change.  Scott Guthrie is one of them. But everyone knows who knows the Microsoft Platform knows who Scott Guthrie is. Another one of them is Gabor Fari. You probably don’t know his name. But Gabor is one of the many Microsoft folks who “gets it.” Internally, he’s willing to criticize the company he works for and loves when it deserves it. He’s also the first to garner praise where Microsoft deserves it. Gabor’s title is Director of Life Sciences Solutions, and his grasp of the developer platform at Microsoft is his passion. When discussing the problems of the past and the excitement of the future with Gabor he left me with this, and I believe it’s the perfect way to end this article:
“I am very excited about the latest developments and news that has been released, and I am eagerly anticipating additional news from the BUILD conference. The slumbering lion still has spectacular fangs and teeth; and now he has woken up and is ready to roar.”

Regarding Gabor Fari I will include here the following link:
Sanofi: Global Healthcare Leader Deploys Intelligent Content Framework, Speeds Time-to-Market [Microsoft Case Study, April 16, 2013] from which the following excerpts describe Fari’s involvement and role in strategic developments the best:

In January 2011, Sanofi launched a program called CRUISE—Content Re-Use Information System for Electronic Health. Through CRUISE, the company set out to develop a content management solution that transverses the company’s research and development efforts. The program charter of CRUISE is to implement processes and tools that enable stakeholders to author, assemble, review, approve, reuse, publish, and deliver high-quality, consistent, and compliant content and documentation throughout the product development life cycle—aiding the submission to regulatory agencies and other industry audiences. “The idea is to find ways to intelligently and seamlessly manage content authoring and production,” says Bhanu Bahl, Senior Manager of Clinical Sciences and Operation Platform at Sanofi. “The key business objective is to reduce the effort required to prepare documents through a synergy of optimized processes and enabling technologies.”
CRUISE has three pillars. One pillar involves simplifying the documentation process in a way that makes it possible to reuse content in various materials. Another pillar revolves around services that involve the many different documentation deliverables. The third pillar focuses on the technology solution, which is designed as a content library that tags and classifies information so that it can be easily assembled and searched. “With CRUISE, we are not doing a process redesign,” says Bahl. “We’re building something more tangible, more simplified, and more standardized.”
To address the CRUISE mandate, Sanofi worked closely with Microsoft as well as two members of the Microsoft Partner Network, DITA Exchange and the ArborSys Group. Microsoft provided the Intelligent Content Framework (ICF) and underlying technologies based on Microsoft SharePoint Server and Microsoft Office. DITA Exchange delivered a solution that enables organizations to establish and maintain a “single source of truth” for their strategic content, and to deliver that content consistently across outputs. The ArborSys Group consulted on the tool and process redesign and helped achieve an end-to-end business and technology implementation for regulated industries.

Gabor Fari, Director of Life Sciences Solutions at Microsoft, served as an evangelist in helping to put together the CRUISE team. DITA Exchange had been working closely with Microsoft since 2008 to develop the ICF for regulated industries. It completed the first version of the XML-based solution in February 2009.
As the technology pillar of CRUISE and the engine of EnCORE, DITA Exchange software elevates SharePoint to an XML-based component content management and single-source publishing solution. It enables its customers to comply with regulatory requirements with tools for reusing content in a consistent and accurate way throughout the product development life cycle in the life sciences space. “Microsoft promoted our work to several pharmaceutical companies,” says Andersen. “It led the way in terms of bringing innovative ideas around SCM solutions.”
DITA Exchange began working on the CRUISE implementation in April 2011. The partner participated in planning and supplied the solution used to manage the document output maps, topics, and linking of topics to the maps. “DITA Exchange helped us with content design and the governance structures of information design,” says Allred. “The people at DITA Exchange are masters of their technological domain. They have experience in regulated industries and the knowledge required to get our vision into an operational model.”
The ArborSys Group joined the effort in April 2011. This partner provides business consultancy and technical implementation and helped Sanofi achieve measurable and sustainable results through the implementation of flexible IT solutions that can be adapted for change in a dynamic business climate.
The two partners collaborated on developing the EnCORE platform. The ArborSys Group scoped processes, integrated service management roles and extensions, and trained internal resources.
“Microsoft, DITA Exchange, and the ArborSys Group all provided expertise and leadership in terms of how we define processes and address the three pillars of CRUISE,” says Bahl. “The various disciplines they provided really helped us strategize our best opportunity in terms of development. We share a common vision that has resulted in a very rich, cutting-edge offering that other pharmaceutical companies will probably adopt three to five years from now.”
While many other regulated industries have embraced SCM in recent years, life science organizations have lagged. “It’s no secret that the pharmaceutical industry is conservative,” says Andersen. “People think very carefully before they start anything. Sanofi is absolutely the leader in innovating in the pharmaceutical content management space.”



  1. […] kaliberét. Akinek mindez felkeltette a kiváncsiságát, az minden elérhető részletet megtalál Deep technical evangelism and development team inside the DPE (Developer and Platform Evangelism) un… című, május 17-i trendkövető […]

  2. […] kaliberét. Akinek mindez felkeltette a kiváncsiságát, az minden elérhető részletet megtalál Deep technical evangelism and development team inside the DPE (Developer and Platform Evangelism) un… című, május 17-i trendkövető […]

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