A great week in Amazon book reviews

As part of our overall program for improving our customers’ satisfaction with our titles, the Microsoft Press team (publisher, editorial director, managing editor, all the editors, the covers team) meets every week to go over the Amazon reviews of Microsoft Press books posted during the previous week. We do this to look for areas of improvement and specific customer issues that we can address immediately (for example, a download link not working). This week we’re going over the reviews, 27 of them, that were posted during the week that ended July 26, 2010. We’d like to share those reviews today because we are always striving for just such a week of customer feedback (and always looking to fine-tune our publishing program to make such weeks more common)!

Thank you to everyone for the kind words and the feedback. If you’d like to give us even more detailed feedback about a book (anonymously, by the way), please take advantage of our survey: 


The same team reviews all survey-generated feedback regularly too.  (In fact, our next customer feedback meeting is to examine the survey feedback on ten recent Training Kits.)

Thanks again for staying in touch and demanding quality.


9780735627192          Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 Best Practices

[5 stars] They have finally written a true best practices book

I have been teaching Microsoft Exchange for years. And i have often complained that Microsoft is Great with level 200 material for the beginner. But they often left out the design information or best practices. This book really brings it home and explains alot of the design concepts and even some of the general architecture that many people are not aware of. it has comments and insight from Consultants all over the globe that have been doing this in the field for years. And it really ties it all together.

This is not a best practices list. They actually try to explain why things should be done in a certain way. I am recommending it to all my customers and students.

9780735638877          Microsoft® Silverlight® 4 Step By Step

[4 stars] Great intro of Silverlight

This book even though is an intro book for Silverlight is very nicely done. You will need to read more, but it does what it is expected from it good. The Windows Phone 7 chapters in my opinion are the best, also the data and WCF RIA Services are good. So it is recommended, then you should get in my opinion the PRO Silverlight with C# book, to go deeper.

9780735626973          Microsoft® Office 2010 Plain & Simple

[5 stars] Plain Simple Microsoft 2010

This book is very informative, yet not overly complex for one to understand. The basics of the Microsoft 2010 programs are velly well explained and the illustrations make it easy and fun to learn even the more complex ideas. One of the best software books that I have ever read, and would highly recomend it to any beginner as well as the more advanced student who wants to learn and apply Miscrosoft 2010 programs.

9780735626973          Microsoft® Office 2010 Plain & Simple

[5 stars] Like it Says, "Plain and SImple

Like the other books in the "Plain and Simple" series, this book gives straight forward instructions about how to accomplish various tasks in Microsoft Office. While I am an experienced user of Microsoft Office, this book still has given me several new ideas about how to use the program suite. It does an excellent job of introducing new features in Office 2010.

As always, the "Plain and Simple" books do not use a lot of jargon, but get down to the subject in a clear concise way.

9780735626973          Microsoft® Office 2010 Plain & Simple

[5 stars] Incredible Bargain Incredible Product

For anyone looking to learn Microsoft Office in the easiest way possible, you cannot go wrong with this book.  Printed in beautiful FULL COLOR, this book will show all newbies the ins and outs of using Microsoft Office so you can be creating amazing results in no time at all!!

The writing is tight, the pictures jump out at the page, and this is amazing.  I simply cannot believe how much you get for so little money.  Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher, OneNote and more, it's all here.

Is this book for power users that want to learn how to do everything and anything in these apps?  No, but that's not the target demographic here.  If you want a book that will show you the basics and do it in an easy to learn way, look no further!!


9780735627147          Programming Microsoft® ASP.NET MVC

[4 stars] Very comprehensive and easy reading

This book is very comprehensive.  If you have no knowledge of MVC or even if you are working with the original ASP.Net MVC framework you will gain a greater understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of MVC.  One particular part of the book I enjoy was the detailed explanation of the different frameworks (MVC, PM, PVM, PVVM, Model1, Model2) and the comparison to the new MVC 2.  This helped me better understand where I could benefit from the MVC  2 framework in some of my current and upcoming projects.

The completeness of the coverage of the new features is impressive. With this book being very technical it was a very easy read and even easier to understand the concepts that were being explained.  I did feel like at times the notes and comments were out of control and at time seem to distract from the topic.  I would of liked to see some of those comments integrated into the flow of the topic instead of isolated.  Overall, this is a must book for all architects and  highly recommend for those looking to gain a deeper understanding of the new MVC 2 framework.

9780735627048          CLR via C#, Third Edition

[5 stars] Great explanation of .NET

I've been developing in C# for 8 years, and this book is the most clear, in-depth book on how the CLR works I have ever read.  It starts from the bottom, by explaining what the CLR is, how it works, and how to best use it.  The best section is the Threading section.  It goes over the different models of threading, how they work internally, and when to use them.  I've been able to immediately apply what I've learned in this book to my current work.

9780735627123          Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant

[5 stars] Must have for the Exchange 2010 admin

This book is a must have for anyone running Exchange 2010. It has information in it I have found no where else. Anytime I have any sort of issue I start with this book and it usually has exactly what I need to correct many of the problems I have come across. From one roll-up update shutting off all the services, to the correct privileges in IIS, and setting up Outlook Anywhere.

9780735626652          Windows® 7 Inside Out

[5 stars] Excelent reference

I have used Inside Out fer Vista as an excelent reference for several years so it was only natural to order Inside Out for 7 to have as a reference for Windows 7. The soft copy on CD makes it a great searchable reference on the computer.

9780735625624          MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-562): Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.5—ASP.NET Application Development

[3 stars] hard to read book but need class

I got this book when I went to CED Solutions MCPD ASP.NET 3.5 Developer last may and that made the book really help understand the material.


MCPD ASP.Net Developer 3.5

9780735626188          Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 MDX Step by Step

[5 stars] Very good if you want to learn MDX

I tried several other books on MDX, and for beginner, this is head and shoulders above the rest. There are some issues with installing samples from CD, but once you past that, it's a smooth sailing. I went through the book literally step by step, and it worked well for me.

9780735625136          MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-640): Configuring Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory®

[3 stars] Get's the job done but with lots of errors

This book will help you to pass the test but you might have a frustrating experience with it along the way. 

If you visit the errata site, you will find a large number of posted errors, some of which are confirmed by the authors.  There are also a lot of other errors that have not been confirmed by the authors.  This is frustrating because you have to be on a constant lookout of wrong information as you study this text and if you're not familiar with the content, how do you know if the unconfirmed errors are legit or not?

Despite these misgivings, this is probably still the best training book out there.  Although, I think it should be used along with other materials.

9780735625488          Microsoft® Certified Application Specialist Study Guide: 2007 Microsoft Office System Edition

[4 stars] Adequate even if you have never touched 2007 before.

I just passed the Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook Exams (I'm a master now!) with great thanks to this book. I hadn't touched Office in over 3 years, so 2007 was completely new. If you are technically intuitive and familiar with an earlier version of Office, you can absolutely pass the exams with just this book. As other reviewers have noted, if you need a step-by-step introduction to the Office Suite, look elsewhere. If you aren't comfortable with a little trial and error, this isn't for you. But, if you are like me, and pick up computer hardware/software fairly easily, this will be more than adequate. I gave myself a week per chapter and ended up with ~ 950+ in both Word and Outlook, ~880 in Excel and 1000 in Powerpoint. I'm still debating if I want to complete the Access exam. So I highly recommend this book if you fit the parameters above or you use Office 2007 on a regular basis.

P.S.- The free practice exams are extremely beneficial.

9780735625877          The Presentation Toolkit: Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® 2007 Step by Step and Beyond Bullet Points

[5 stars] Great Pair of Books

These books are very helpful in creating presentations.  I have used Powerpoint for a long time but, with these two books, I have easily been able to add much more functionality and impact to my presentations.

9780735622999          Microsoft® Office Publisher 2007 Step by Step

[5 stars] Learn Publisher Quickly

I recently inherited the editor's position on a newsletter for a non-profit organization that I volunteer for.  They sent me the format for the newsletter in Publisher. I had little to no experience with Publisher.  I first scanned the book to get familiar with it and then read the chapters that applied to what I was working on.  It has been a really great resource.

9780735623682          Inside Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007

[4 stars] Great crash course book

Currently helping me jump right in to a project, and it seems to be doing the job. I don't have any other sharepoint books to compare this to, but I like it so far.

9780735623255          Microsoft® Office Access™ 2007 Inside Out

[5 stars] Boy, You Can't Beat This Title!!!

A CD is included!!! This is the best reference guide to Access  2007 there is. It's organized and full of solutions to problems a new user can encounter. Can be a pricey title, but what do you expect - something for a few dollars?

9780735623217          Microsoft® Office Excel® 2007 Inside Out

[5 stars] This is another title that gets a bad rap...

...because the authors interject humor within the pages. But, so what? Is it any good or not? Dodge and Stinson are two of the most capable writers on software today. Do you want to leanrn how to construct an effective spreadsheet, or not?

9780735622920          Microsoft® Office Access™ 2007 Plain & Simple

[4 stars] Give This Title a Break!!!

Some of these reviews do not give this title enough credit. Give the book a break!! Try using it and the book while experimenting!!!

It is a good title!! And, no I don't work for the author or publisher!!

9780735622913          Microsoft® Office Excel® 2007 Plain & Simple

[4 stars] Good book

I really like this book, because it is simple and easy to understand. I would recommend this book to others.

9780735623033          Microsoft® Office Access™ 2007 Step by Step

[5 stars] Another Good One!!

Though nothing is perfect, this title comes close. But, again nothing is perfect. This title is worth the price and worth working through some of the ideas. And, if you do, you'll like it...

9780735623040          Microsoft® Office Excel® 2007 Step by Step

[5 stars] Errors? What Errors?

I saw a review that claimed this title has errors. What errors did this guy find? Or, was he the one who made the mistakes? Not being naughty here, but this title doesn't deserve anything but a positive review. It really is a good title and anyone who says otherwise needs to tell the reading public much more than what he/she told...

9780735619678          Code Complete, Second Edition

[5 stars] Required Reading

I was told this was a classic, must read for every programmer. I found that it is a classic, must-read that no programmer should be without.

9780735619272          MCAD/MCSD Self-Paced Training Kit: Developing Web Applications with Microsoft® Visual Basic® .NET and Microsoft Visual C#® .NET, Second Edition

[5 stars] Very Suited for What I Needed

My main need for this product was to verify to myself that I comprehended the .NET web development material.

As for the text, the example code is clean and there are plenty of screen shots. So far I am very pleased.

9780735618015          Applied XML Programming for Microsoft® .NET

[5 stars] Senior Software Engineer

Anyone that writes software around the XML standard absolutely needs this text book! The author has done a stellar job at describing the strengths and limitations of XML from a programmer's perspective.  In addition, he has provided very clear programming examples that in some cases can be cut-and-pasted right into your source file.

What I like the most about Dino's approach is that he takes the time to explain things in a brief paragraph format, and then provides simple examples of what he just described.  He not only knows this subject - but also how to explain it to others.

This book has earned a place on my 'Top Shelf'.

Great job Dino !

9780735611313          Code

[5 stars] Very descriptive as to the inner-workings of a computer

I recall the book being split into three parts:

The first third of this book is a crash-course in various "codes" used for communicating -- Morse code, Braille, and eventually Binary/Octal/Decimal/Hexadecimal.  The author simply explains how to communicate messages using only 2 signals (on/off).  This

The second third of the book delves into the history of computing, automated machinery, using electrical signals to convey messages (starting with the telegraph), and eventually working up to "Switches" -- the basic building block of a computers.  From there, the author explains, very slowly and clearly, how to build a rudimentary computer.  Even if you are not interested in the logical diagrams of circuits, you could easily skip past these sections and still find a wealth of information in the book. 

In the third part of the book, after building our basic computer, the author goes into Processors: when they were popular and mass-produced, how people programmed with them, what each chip does, etc.  The author explains how newer computers had different processors, and how the x86 chip is still commonly used in PCs today. The author also explains how advances in technology are trending.

The book is a little dated -- my edition was only current up to the year 2000.  However, not much has changed in how a computer is made and powers itself on since 2000.  This is a must-read for anyone interested in being a programmer or computer electrical engineer. It's also vital for anyone who really wants to know how a computer works.

9781556156779          Advanced Windows®

[4 stars] Old but great

This is obviously old but, still relevant and sometimes better than using MFC. Good book.

Comments (1)
  1. ciupaz says:

    In recent years, Microsoft Press books have improved a lot their quality. And they are becoming my books of reference for everything related to the .NET world and SQL Server.

Comments are closed.

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