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Just a few days ago Eric Ligman, Microsoft’s director of partner experience, posted a massive list of free e-books from Microsoft on programming everything Redmondish.

It’s a potential treasure trove for those who develop for Microsoft, or work in a Microsoft environment, and want to broaden their skills. I’ve included a few of the potentially most interesting below — but be sure to check out the full selection.

Web geeks who want to start building Windows 8 apps might want to check out Programming Windows 8 Apps, which will show you how to use your Javascript, HTML, and CSS skills to program for the desktop in Windows 8.

Or, if you’re a mobile developer and are thinking of possibly throwing an app on the Windows Phone platform, Ligman has listed a few books for you as well that will have you up and running with Silverlight, XAML, and sprites in no time.

IT administrators might find this set of books more helpful: a Microsoft Office 365 handbook for the more adventurous, and Office 2010 for the majority of you who are in corporate environments that stay just slightly off the bleeding edge.

Staying with IT theme, Understanding Microsoft Virtualization R2 Solutions might be useful. Server room jockies will likely find something to learn in Windows Server 2012. And database administrators? There are a least eight different SQL e-books in Ligman’s list — all for free.

None these will be helpful, of course, if you’re not in a Microsoft shop.

But for those who are, take a look at both this list and a secondary list that Ligman posted that includes resources on developing for Azure, Microsoft’s cloud:


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