Microsoft Datacentres in the UK

Microsoft announced last month that it had opened three UK data centres, that will host Azure and Office 365. They spoke about this at the UK Partner Summit which I attended.


You may not be able to see clearly from my picture but the UK is the largest cloud market in Europe and over the next four years the market is due to expand to over $9.2bn. It’s important to have local data centres to keep latency as low as possible and for legal reasons surrounding data residency.


The new facilities in Cardiff, Durham and London will host Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and Office 365. Dynamics CRM Online will be added in the first half of 2017.

Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts – The ultimate guide

If your current shortcut vocabulary only stretches to Ctrl + C or Ctrl + V. You’re missing out on tons of time saving shortcut keys that can save you vital seconds and turn you into a Windows Ninja…


Keyboard shortcut Action
Windows key Open or close Start Menu.
Windows key + A Open Action center.
Windows key + C Open Cortana in listening mode.
Windows key + D Display and hide the desktop.
Windows key + E Open File Explorer.
Windows key + G Open Game bar when a game is open.
Windows key + H Open the Share charm.
Windows key + I Open Settings.
Windows key + K Open the Connect quick action.
Windows key + L Lock your PC or switch accounts.
Windows key + M Minimize all windows.
Windows key + R Open Run dialog box.
Windows key + S Open Search.
Windows key + U Open Ease of Access Center.
Windows key + X Open Quick Link menu.
Windows key + Number Open the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number.
Windows key + Left arrow key Snap app windows left.
Windows key + Right arrow key Snap app windows right.
Windows key + Up arrow key Maximize app windows.
Windows key + Down arrow key Minimize app windows.
Windows key + Comma Temporarily peek at the desktop.
Windows key + Ctrl +D Add a virtual desktop.
Windows key + Ctrl + Left or Right arrow Switch between virtual desktops.
Windows key + Ctrl + F4 Close current virtual desktop.
Windows key + Enter Open Narrator.
Windows key + Home Minimize all but the active desktop window (restores all windows on second stroke).
Windows key + PrtScn Capture a screenshot and save in Screenshots folder.
Windows key + Shift + Up arrow Stretch the desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen.
Windows key + Tab Open Task view.
Windows key + “+” key Zoom in using the magnifier.
Windows key + “-” key Zoom out using the magnifier.
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Open Task Manager.
Alt + Tab Switch between open apps.
Alt + Left arrow key Go back.
Alt + Right arrow key Go foward.
Alt + Page Up Move up one screen.
Alt + Page down Move down one screen.
Ctrl + Alt +Tab View open apps
Ctrl + C Copy selected items to clipboard.
Ctrl + X Cut selected items.
Ctrl + V Paste content from clipboard.
Ctrl + A Select all content.
Ctrl + Z Undo an action.
Ctrl + Y Redo an action.
Ctrl + D Delete the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin.
Ctrl + Esc Open the Start Menu.
Ctrl + Shift Switch the keyboard layout.
Ctrl + Shift + Esc Open Task Manager.
Ctrl + F4 Close the active window.

Hands off: Surface Studio



I’ve read a couple of Hands On articles about the new the Surface Studio. So I thought it was about time someone wrote a hands off article. I don’t actually know where I would have to go to get some time with a Surface Studio. Since I’m in Cambridge UK, I could break wander into the Microsoft Research offices near the train station, I bet they’ve got a couple. Otherwise I would probably have to hop on a train to London to try and find one.


Anyway, onto the actual product. It looks great and it’s expensive …okay that is pretty much the meat of this Sunday roast. I think it’s going to sell really well, especially as Apple isn’t going to release a new iMac or Mac Pro for a while I can see quite a few users that would normally buy an iMac being tempted, especially as the iMac doesn’t have a touch screen.

The Surface Dial seems like quite a nice innovation and the fact the screen can tilt to become something that resembles a tablet makes the device handy for a wide range of uses. The hardware design is simple and functional. It feels a lot like something that Andrew Kim would have helped design – maybe check out his blog if you haven’t seen it yet.