Windows Live Writer not working with Blogger again

Windows Live Writer has once again stopped working with Blogger. This means I can’t post until things get fixed. Live Writer has recently been open sourced by Microsoft but that project also doesn’t work with Blogger. Hopefully it gets sorted soon and I can back to posting.

Very frustrating and may have to consider alternatives if the situation continues.

Hang in there, back soon.

Power BI adds Cortana integration


One of the regular Power BI demos that i do involves using the natural language query engine at the top of the dashboard. The above example is from a spreadsheet I uploaded to my Power BI environment that contains information about all the Olympic medal winners.


So if I now type total medals by country into the query Power BI automatically provides me with the visualisation as you see above.


But if I wake Cortana up by saying “hey cortana” and then asking “total gold medals australia by sport” you’ll see from above that it comes back with some Power BI suggestions.


If I now select one of these you’ll see that it pulls the information from that same spreadsheet I was just using in Power BI.

That now means Cortana is integrated with Power BI! Pretty cool eh? So how do you configure that?

The first step in the process is to integrate Office 365 and Cortana. I have detailed that previously at:

Connecting Cortana to Office 365

Next, you’ll need to go into the Power BI Dashboard for the data set you wish to integrate with Cortana.


Select the COG in the top right corner of the dashboard for the dataset and then the Settings option from the menu that appears.


Ensure you have the desired dataset selected on the left. Then on the right ensure option Enable Cortana to access this dataset is checked.

Now users who have access to that Power BI dataset and have Cortana enabled and linked to their Office 365 account can query data by voice or simply by typing into the search box.

Another REALLY impressive new features is Quick Insights. Here I’ll use the Chicago Crime Statistics spreadsheet that I’ve also uploaded into my Power BI environment.


Select the ellipse (three dots) to the right of the data source under the Datasets heading in the lower left of the Power BI screen.

From the menu that appears (shown above) select View Insights.


You’ll now see a list of discovered “insights” displayed as shown above. But how are these “insights’ generated?

Power BI’s new Quick Insights feature allows you to run a variety of analytical algorithms on your data to search for potential insights with the click of a mouse. Through a partnership with Microsoft Research, we’re honing a growing list of algorithms to discover and visualize correlations, outliers, trends, seasonality, change points in trends, and major factors within your data, automatically, within seconds.

It gets even more impressive than that as detailed here:

Announcing Power BI integration with Cortana and new ways to quickly find insights in your data

Aside from all the new cool Power BI stuff the integration with Cortana illustrates another benefit of the Microsoft platform and how services like Cortana are being integrated across everything!

This stuff just keeps getting better!

Microsoft Devices Day Slides

I was lucky enough to be recently involved with the Microsoft Devices Day Roadshow around Australia, during which I presented on Office 365.

The first session was news around Office 365. That presentation is shown above and can be downloaded from my site directly at:

The second session I presented was all around building offerings beyond just simple email with Office 365.

You’ll find the slides from that session above as well as at:

This second session was more focused on white boarding solutions around Office 365 and that may not come across in the deck. However, there is other stuff in there that may benefit people so feel free to download it.

If you have any questions about these sessions, whether you attended or not, feel free to contact me as I’m happy to share with your directly more details on either of these.

I take this opportunity to thank Microsoft for the opportunity to present as well as everyone who attended.

Need to Know podcast–Episode 94

I’m joined by a returning guest, Microsoft MVP Troy Hunt to discuss the Ashley Madison hack and the impact that it had on Troy’s site Have I been Pwned? You’ll not only get a fascinating look inside a high profile hack but you’ll also learn a lot about Azure and how Troy utilises it effectively to handle the scale required for just such an event.

As always, a big thank you to Marc Kean for producing this episode and doing the intro and outros.

You can listen to this episode at:

or subscribe to this and all episodes in iTunes at:

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send me any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show. I’m also on the hunt for some co-presenters so if you are interested on being a regular part of the show please contact me.


Troy Hunt

Have I Been Pwned

Office 365 E5 SKU

Power BI adds Bing content pack

OneDrive for Business shared link expiry now available

Azure Backup now does servers

Microsoft Findtime

Enterprise Mobility Suite

Power BI adds Bing content pack


Power BI is a free (yes the basic offering is free) tool from Microsoft that allows you to analyse and report on data from all sorts of sources. You can upload your own spreadsheet for analysis and you can use the built in contents packs as you see above.

Microsoft has just release the Bing content pack for Power BI allowing you to analyse search terms.


To configure, all you need to do is all the Bing content pack from the Data Sources option. You’ll then need to enter a search term you wish to track (here “Office 365”.


Then you’ll get a dashboard you can start configuring.

The only limitation at the moment for the Bing Content Pack is that it doesn’t support the natural language query that the other content packs do. Hopefully, that feature will be coming in the future because that would really be a killer addition.

In the mean time, if you haven’t had a look at Power BI head over to:

and sign for a free account and start making your data visual.

OneDrive for Business expiration of share links now available


You should find, if not already then soon, that you can now set an expiry time on something you share from your OneDrive for Business as shown above.

This gives you much greater control over your files by being able to automatically revoke access to information after a certain number of days.

This ability is not yet available in SharePoint Team Sites but I would expect to appear there soon as well.

For more information on sharing files from your OneDrive for Business see:

Share documents or folders in Office 365

Azure Backup now does servers

Azure backup has allowed to backup up files and folders from servers and workstations to Azure very quickly, easily and cheaply. I have detailed this previously at;

Azure desktop backup

As announced here:

Announcing Microsoft Azure Backup Server

Azure backup now has the ability to backup server workloads like Exchange, SharePoint and SQL to both a local storage location as well as to Azure storage.This means that it can not only protect files and folders but all of the data on premises just as quickly and easily as it could for files and folder, however now there is also the added ability to have a local copy of the backup as well.

This now makes Azure backup a really compelling option for any business and provides the flexibility many demand.


To get started have a look at the above links or login to your Azure backup vault and download the Application Workload client to get started.

Microsoft Findtime

Microsoft has just released a new product for Office 365 that allows you to more easily schedule meetings with both people inside and outside your organisation.

Take a look at these two videos for more information.

Basically, it is a add-in for Outlook on your desktop and your Outlook Online.


When you select the meeting poll button you’ll get a new pane in your Outlook on the desktop like that shown above where you can select a few options for a meeting to send to every one.


You can then post those option into the email and send it off, in this case, to someone outside the organisation. If they were inside the organisation you would see their availability.


The recipient receives the email invite with a link to a page as shown above allowing them to vote on a suitable times.


You get the same style of interface from Outlook Online as you can see above when requesting an appointment.


You receive notification of those preferences as shown above.


Once the times are clear for everyone the meeting is automatically finalised.


A new calendar appointment item is automatically added to everyone inside your organisation with the meeting details as shown above.


While those outside the business receive a normal calendar appointment, as shown above, in an email they can accept and add to their calendar.


You can now also login to a web dashboard to see and manage your appointment requests as you see above.

I’ve only started to play around with Findtime but I gotta say it is really cool and is going to be a big benefit to many people. Best part? It’s free for Office 365 subscribers, so go to

and get started today!