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I think most 4sysops readers will be interested in Microsoft's new book, Introducing Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview. According to our poll, Windows Server 2016 is currently the most popular topic for IT pros. Although the Windows client edition has drawn some criticism in recent years, Windows Server is gaining popularity with every new release. I think the fact that Microsoft released this eBook now indicates that Windows Server 2016 is almost ready to be released.
Ed Bott's new book, Windows 10 IT Pro Essentials: Top 10 Tools, is probably more for the newbie admin than for the experienced IT pro. However, if you haven't yet had the chance to get acquainted with Windows 10, you might want to have look at this book.
In case you are wondering, the top 10 tools for the Windows IT pro are File Explorer, Registry Editor, Event Viewer, Task Manager, Disk Management, Sysinternals Suite, Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset, Windows PowerShell and the Command Prompt, Hyper-V, and Microsoft Azure.
You may ask why Azure has been downgraded to a Windows 10 tool. Well, IT pros can build a test environment for in Windows 10 in Azure. I've tried this before and wasn't very happy with it. I don't think Azure can compete here with desktop virtualization tools. However, if you want to test a large number of Windows 10 machines, the cloud is the place to go.
Microsoft Press also published a new book in the Microsoft Azure Essentials series. The title of the book, Microsoft Azure Essentials: Migrating SQL Server Databases to Azure, is perhaps a bit misleading, as only one of the five chapters discusses migration. The other four chapters can be seen as an introduction to SQL Server in Azure.
Yet another new free eBook from Microsoft Press covers the topic Planning and Preparing for Microsoft SharePoint Hybrid. This is how Jeremy Taylor, the author, explains SharePoint Hybrid in the book:
SharePoint hybrid is like an extended service topology that spans your on-premises SharePoint farm and integrated Office 365 collaboration capabilities such as SharePoint Online, Yammer, and One Drive for Business.
Two years ago or so, I wouldn't have added the fourth Microsoft Press eBook, The Security Development Lifecycle. However, the distinction between managing software and developing software is becoming more and more blurred. Having said that, if you write a PowerShell script every now and then, this book is certainly overkill. Actually, this book is not even for developers as Michael Howard ad Steve Lipner explain:
It's probably best to start by explaining who is not the primary audience for this book; this is not a book for developers. That said, we don't mean that developers should not read this book. We mean there is very little code in this book and no real implementation best practices that would apply to developers. This book is more broadly aimed at two sets of people. The first group includes management and people who manage software development teams and the software development processes within their organizations. The second group includes designers and architects.
In other words, the content of this book is highly abstract and won't really help you write secure code. However if you manage a DevOps team and value security, you will probably be a bit more sensitive about security after reading the eBook.
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What I really like about Microsoft's eBooks that they are available in EBUB and Mobi (Kindle) format. I always find it odd when publishers claim to release an eBook and then only offer a PDF version. Try to read a "PDF-eBook" on your phone or eReader, and you will understand what I mean. PDF is definitely not an eBook format. The problem is already in the name: "Printable Document Format." PDF is optimized for printing, and once you print a document is no longer an eBook, right?
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30 minutes of wrestling Microsoft to login, they can keep the books. Waving bye-bye.
Most of the free Microsoft eBooks can be downloaded without login.