A *WAY-COOL* facility –> A Virtual Lab for PowerPivot

Buried in the launching of CTP3/beta2 bits, is this tidbit: “Microsoft Virtual Lab: PowerPivot for Excel 2010”. Basically this facility is a remotely hosted VM with Excel 2010, PowerPivot for Excel and SQL Server 2008 R2 RDBMS. WOW!

You signup for the course and you have about 2 hrs of connect time with the lab. You don’t need anything on your desktop except a browser and an ActiveX control for the terminal server part. Everything is hosted remotely. You don’t have to build a VM; nor managed it; nor worry about cleanup afterwards. After signing up, it takes a minute or so to fire up and – there you are – you are connected to a remote image with all of the software pre-loaded and ready to go. Didn’t finish in an hour, signup for a second one.

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