Understanding how Microsoft products make each other better!

I was recently looking to understand the various benefits Microsoft products/services bring to each other. I wanted this to help my customers get the most out of the Microsoft solutions they already owned by maximizing the value they brought to each other but also to help see how other solutions may not only bring value in their own right but enhance their existing solutions.

My first thought was to create a spreadsheet of the various benefits and I quickly ended up with a spreadsheet with nearly 100 entries (which was in no way complete) and looked a little like the below. This was clearly not very effective.

MBT in excel

MBT in excel

My next thought was to take these relationships and plot them all out in Visio which gave me the output below. Still not that friendly.

Relationships in Visio form

Relationships in Visio form

Visio did at least help me work out the best way to layout the products based on the relationships so next I tried manually creating a picture and this did kind of work and actually becomes the basis of my later application main page.

A nicer way to see the relationships between products.

A nicer way to see the relationships between products.

But then how do I show the actual specific benefits between products. I started a basic Windows 8 application, Microsoft Better Together (MBT), that allowed you to click on a product to see the actual specific relationship detail. Originally this was just a static picture for each product but this was impractical but you get the idea.

First MBT Alpha main page

First MBT Alpha main page

First MBT Alpha Hyper-V page

First MBT Alpha Hyper-V page

I’m happy to say I carried on the application and now have a version in the store with an initial screen as shown below in addition to product detail of not just the benefits but also basic descriptions and licensing information.

The current MBT application in the store.

The current MBT application in the store.

You can find the application in the Windows Store just by searching for Savill or the direct link is http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-US/app/microsoft-better-together/e6f68479-7da7-477b-87d9-6849b6cf6754.

mbtsearch

Then just install and I would love to hear what you think about it. The application will run an introduction video when you run it for the first time.

mbtstoremain

 

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