David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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February 2007 - David Overton's Blog

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  • Great tools for Internet Explorer: Spell check, Open last closed tab, Auto refresh and more (IE7 Add-ons)

    I love IE7, but it is by no means the perfect browser. Along with every other browser out there it can be heavily customised. Here are the ones I use myself. There are loads at http://www.windowsmarketplace.com/category.aspx?bcatid=834&tabid=1 ieSpell (this is also the spell checker used on the blog site when you are adding something - perhaps into the forums) IESpell is a free Internet Explorer browser extension that spell-checks text-input boxes on a Web page. It should come in particularly handy for users who do a lot of Web-based text entry (Web mail, forums, blogs, diaries). Even if your Web application already includes spell-checking functionality, this utility is faster than a server-side solution. Plus, you get to store and use your personal word list across all your applications instead of having to maintain separate ones on each application. Version 2.5.1 build 106 may include unspecified updates, enhancements, or bug fixes. InlineSearch Inline Search v 1.4.3 (cf. ChangeLog ) is an extremely useful free add-on for Internet Explorer that mimics Firefox's search behavior. It turns searching in a web page into a non modal research experience coupled with a find as you type facility. It integrates flawlessly into IE (version 5.5 or above), giving it that little extra that makes you a lot more efficient when you are looking for a specific piece of information. IE7pro IE7pro is an must have add-on for Internet Explorer 7, which adds lots of features and extras that make your IE easier, more useful, more secure and more customizable. Some features: Support Double click to close tab; Support mouse gesture; Support view page info and save flash/video; Support session crash recovery; Support block ADs; Support refresh Tab; Support save whole page to image; Support quick switch proxy; Support custom User Agent.Version 0.9.10 adds Web Pages Autoscroll, Enhances tabs management Emulate "Open in New Tab" in context menu when Drag & Drop url; Supports new Tab from search bar; Supports new Tab when left-click in...
  • Using Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 Network

    [updated 28th Feb 2007 - 07:47 with correct link for Outlook 2007 and Windows XP] Use this document to join computers that are running Windows Vista to your Windows Small Business Server 2003 network using the "Update for Windows Small Business Server 2003: Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 compatibility (KB 926505). http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=46E95C56-1A4C-45BD-8D69-5F41FF8F1F22&displaylang=en File Name: SBSVista_Conceptual.doc Date Published: 2/8/2007 Download Size: 265 KB The “Update for Windows Small Business Server 2003: Vista and Outlook 2007 compatibility (KB 926505)” adds support for the Client Deployment tools in Windows Small Business Server (Windows SBS), and it resolves compatibility issues for running Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 in a Windows SBS network. Use this document to join computers running Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 in your Windows SBS network. You might also want to look at: · Vista and Office 2007 FAQs · Related Knowledge Base Articles KB 926505 – Update for Windows Small Business Server 2003: Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 compatibility · KB 911829 – Outlook Web Access (OWA) update · KB 929556 – Firewall Client for ISA Server · KB 930414 – ISA Server 2004 update package for Vista 64-bit editions · KB 930955 – Vista User Profile WMI Provider KB 931905 – Regarding Outlook users; note: this is a catch all KB for someone who has XP with Outlook 2007 – a separate update is not required, it is the same update as mentioned in KB 926505 Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Small Business , SBSC , SBS 2003 , Small Business Server 2003
  • Outlook 2007 POP3 performance issues and potential fixes - Roundtrip Solutions Blog

    I think it is credit where credit is due here. The community is slowly resolving the issues we are seeing with Office 2007. I have asked John to log a call with Microsoft so that we can track the issues internally, get bugs issued and get fixes out there. Because any fix we produce has to go through threat modeling and regression testing, we rarely release them with haste unless they are impacting a significant number of users or are a security threat. However, John has documented many of the problems and solutions, so it is worth a look Problem with Outlook 2007 - Email Receive is Broken! 19 February 2007 As people start to use Outlook 2007, there is an alarming pattern starting to emerge regarding performance issues when receiving POP3 email. Even the smallest and most trivial of emails can take ages to download and be available, ranging from 30 seconds to minutes. During this time, Outlook and Windows can become slow to respond or become completely unresponsive, usually returning to normal when the send/receive cycle has completed. Source: Roundtrip Solutions Blog Technorati tags: Office 2007 , Outlook , Pop3
  • Easy way to learn Vista, while also learning how to demo it

    Many of you have Windows Vista, but now need to understand what you can do with it. Rather than reading one of the nice big books, you could go look at the www.windowsvistamagazine.co.uk and read all the great info there. You could also go and look at the training available on the Microsoft Partner site. Finally, you could go and get all the tools you need to build a demo system, including the "scripts" for home and business use and then work through them - it will not take more than an hour to work through them, but by the end of it you will know most of the interesting features of both products. Windows Vista for Partners - Your DRT - the site includes: Step 1. Before getting started, learn what it takes to create your own DRT. Download and review the Windows Vista Demo Setup Guide . Step 2. Gain access to the latest tools for DRT development. Download the zip file , which contains Sample documents Demo files Sample applications Management shortcuts Step 3. Need a little direction on how to set up your demo? Download a demo script. ( Consumer and Business demo scripts are available.) Step 4. Showcase your solutions with Windows Vista through your new demo account. Links to check out: Find Windows Internet Explorer 7 demos . Find the Healthcare Prototype , a sample Gadget for Windows Sidebar. Technorati tags: Windows Vista , Vista , Vista Demo
  • Microsoft, BT hook up for hosted apps | Tech News on ZDNet

    Given the recent good moves forward with Office Live (UK web site - http://www.officelive.co.uk , partners getting excited - Tim Long , bCentral information on the products and 5 amazing case studies ) I thought I would share this further advancement in the online world. There will always be a place for the small business products that rely on physical servers, but the business by Vlad and many others shows us that the SaaS (Software as a Service and Software AND Service) work well for a business model. The difference between SAAS and SaS, IMHO, is one is rich in both client and web based tools, the other is ONLY rich when connected. Take Exchange and Outlook - Outlook is a great client when connected to Exchange. OWA is a great client too, however Outlook's offline ability is what sets it apart. You can get get great online and offline experiences with SaS. Microsoft and BT are to launch an online marketplace for hosted applications, with small-business customers as the target. The BT Applications Marketplace forms part of Microsoft's concerted push into the field of "software as a service." In this delivery mechanism, software is remotely hosted and usually paid for on a monthly subscription basis, rather than hosted on a company's own server and paid for up-front. In the marketplace, customers can expect to see "commodity apps" such as those for human resources, customer relationship management ( CRM ) and payroll, said Claire O'Halloran, of Microsoft's partner development group. But the linkup with the U.K. communications giant will also likely provide niche applications geared to the likes of realtors and dentists. Around 30 hosted applications are expected to be available through the marketplace at its launch. Source: Microsoft, BT hook up for hosted apps | Tech News on ZDNet Technorati tags: SaaS , Office Live , Software as a Server , Software and Service , Hosted , Microsoft , BT
  • Partner Training - Selling Vista and Office to small businesses - Better Together: Microsoft Office 2007 & Windows Vista For The Small Business

    I’m working my way through mails on the train, saw this, so decided to quickly post it through while on the move. Enjoy The course will help Microsoft partners understand more their small business clients, their pains and their goals; and why 2007 Microsoft Office Small Business and Windows Vista Business are essential products to their businesses. It will also help the partner become more familiar with the overall features, functions, and benefits of 2007 Microsoft Office and Windows Vista as they pertain to their Small Business clients. https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/register.aspx?publisher=3&courseid=1871 ttfn David
  • System Builders - Partner training on the OPK for Windows Vista and Office 2007

    This course looks into the new OEM Pre-installation Kit (OPK) for Windows Vista and 2007 Office. It explains to system builders OPK's functions and benefits; how it is deployed; what are some of its terms and requirements; as well as the tools and resources offered. https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/register.aspx?publisher=3&courseid=1875 ttfn David
  • Partner Training - Introduction to Microsoft Partner Program & Windows and Office Genuine Advantage

    This course will help the partner look at this year’s Microsoft Partner Program and how it’s more focused than ever on embracing more of your success, making it easier to differentiate your business and simplifying how you do business with Microsoft. We will also be looking at how Piracy interferes with this great opportunity for new sales and services with Windows Vista and Office 2007. https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/register.aspx?publisher=3&courseid=1876 Ttfn David
  • Why the blue badge will not help you find prospects, but might help you turn them into customers

    I'm going to start with a contentious statement "The Blue Badge is the best scheme in the world for IT partners serving the small business sector". The second thing is that it is not a sales campaign to get people to buy from you. It is a quality assurance and community system. We have been having a bit of a discussion internally today about the "blue badge" - you know, the SBSC logo. This discussion is a little UK focused as some of the features and benefits are UK focused. The discussion was triggered by the questioning blog by Tim Long who wants to see the community do more to promote the benefits of the blue badge. We know this can work - in the US some members put together a radio show and those of you who know Harry Brelsford will remember that he played the commercial they did at many of the events. The simple truth that SBSC is a flag for partners to rally around and build communities, not a flag for prospects to rally around. The people in SBSC have something that sets them apart from the pack, but does not completely separate them from it. They need to find and sell to their prospects as they always have done and the blue badge should be one of the tools they have. However, there is also fair criticism that the blue badge is not plastered over more places to drive awareness. Unfortunately this is not about to change, so while not desirable, we need to move on and see how it can be leveraged with the limited coverage we have (bCentral, Small Business Campaigns, Press Releases around small business, work with RDAs and Business Links) which is still quite good versus not having the badge. There is something I heard recently at the SBSC Small Business Symposium (yes, one of the benefits of being SBSC) and I think this is key. Gareth from Sytec Systems and Technology Ltd said (I am paraphrasing) “ Not all our prospects have heard of "Certified Partner" or "SBSC". It was not important to them. It is our job to make it important to them ”. The key here is that we don’t need to tell the world – just the prospect...
  • If the Action Pack changes are annoying you, then it is time to stand up and be counted ... by Microsoft

    I'm going to give you a small insight into the inner workings of Microsoft. It is very simple. We work on numbers - some would say just like any computer ;-) Anyway, one number we monitor is partner satisfaction and one measure of this is by how many people are phoning or mailing us and complaining about things (or saying how great they are). I was recently told that while the feedback from this blog and others is spurring change the impact of the Action Pack is not being seen on our satisfaction scores and that the numbers have been favourable (i.e. less people have been phoning in and complaining). So... If you want Action Pack changed - you need to tell us through an official channel for it to be heard louder. It is as simple as that. If 1,000 partners phone Microsoft to complain about it, that is a stronger message than if 100+ people post comments on the blog. How do you contact Microsoft - click this link and the telephone numbers for all around the world can be found! Link to Contact Microsoft thanks, and happy calling. David
  • The hunt for Jim Gray has not turned up the man yet, even with the best of science looking for him

    Now I have never been good at expressing things that get under my skin, so if this seems awkward, so be it. There was once a man who helped invent the modern day database. In doing so he gave me a career in computers that has changed my life, and countless others. I have had a couple of meetings with Jim and was always in awe of the thoughts and processing that went on in his mind. He could stretch from super computing problems to how data should be made more useable in small businesses. In the one day we spoke about the complete database needs of the UK for all health matters - diagnosis through to information sharing and then discussed how data should be shared and sliced in a 6 man business - and he still ran rings around me, even though 8 years ago I was designing and benchmarking databases up to 170TB and I have been focusing deeply on small business needs for the last four. If you don't know about Jim, have a look at 426 documents that reference him in the acedemic search or read what he was looking at on his site ( Jim Gray, Microsoft Research Home Page ) and you will realise that muchof your IT life has been touched by him. Recently he went to sea on a personal trip and did not return. However, such is his impact on people that the boundaries of traditionally competing organisations did not stop the sharing of information in the effort to find him. Jim helped build the map searching tools we all use now, so both Microsoft and Google brought their communities to bear on examining the raw satellite images in an attempt to find his craft. Several research and prototype search tools were used in an attempt to find his boat, or its remains. Not all searches were electronic - some people hand examined unprocessed images for hours on end. Volunteers flew sorties to attempt an extensive search by air NASA allowed one of its "non-military" spy planes to be used to continue the search There are so many stories of how people from all over have helped to try to find this man it is touching to know as a community that...
  • I'm sorry - I am not perfect and nor is Microsoft. Sometimes it is our fault

    I can be abrasive sometimes and whether it "is my fault" or not, I don't always understand others' point of views. To this I would like to say "It is my fault". Now, if you have got up off the floor, let me give you a few examples. I say "contact our customer support" and you say "I don't have time". Before I rant - OK, I understand this, if you could share the bug at some time, we will try to fix it. We haven't been able to identify it yet, so need your help I say "There is no OEM media, get over it" and you say "I need OEM media to do my installs". OK, I can't fix this one. I do understand where you are coming from. If I were to share the fact that in the UK, which is a low piracy country, our tests so far have shown between 10-15% of all copies of Windows are pirated and many come from Action Packs and other OEM keys, does that help understand why this is such an issue? I do wish I could give you back OEM media, but I've been told it is just not possible. While Microsoft did publish the changes coming, I now get the impression that many did not realise that this was linked to the change in qualifying an upgrade, making the process different to Windows XP The list goes on, however why did I even start this? Well a man I respect lots is Joel. I started reading his latest filing: "Now I was fuming. Squiggly lines were coming up out of my head. I was a half hour late to work and had to go to the locksmith for a third time. I was tempted just to give up on him. But I decided to give this loser one more chance." "Seven steps to remarkable customer service http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/customerservice.html It then carries on: I stomped into the store, ready to unleash my fury. “It still doesn’t work?” he asked. “Let me see.” He looked at it. I was sputtering, trying to figure out how best to express my rage at being forced to spend the morning going back and forth. “Ah. It’s my fault,” he said. And suddenly, I wasn’t mad at all. Mysteriously, the words “it’s my fault” completely defused me. That was all it took...
  • Office 2007 training for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Office, Access

    This is the download your own stuff: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT102036981033.aspx - currently 18 slide decks here Training presentation: Outlook 2007—Create great-looking signatures for your e-mail Rating: (16 votes) Training presentation: Microsoft Office—Get up to speed with the 2007 system Rating: (85 votes) Training presentation: PowerPoint 2007—Get up to speed Rating: (101 votes) Training presentation: Outlook 2007—Get out of your Inbox Rating: (21 votes) Training presentation: Microsoft Office—Keyboard shortcuts in the 2007 system Rating: (6 votes) Training presentation: PowerPoint 2007—Create your first presentation Rating: (81 votes) Training presentation: Access 2007—Get up to speed Rating: (17 votes) Training presentation: Word 2007—Get up to speed Rating: (55 votes) Training presentation: PowerPoint 2007—Get visual with SmartArt graphics New! Rating: (7 votes) Training presentation: Outlook 2007—Calendar basics Rating: (49 votes) Training presentation: Excel 2007—Create a chart Rating: (29 votes) Training presentation: Outlook 2007—Get up to speed Rating: (12 votes) Training presentation: Excel 2007—Get up to speed Rating: (54 votes) Training presentation: Excel 2007—Enter formulas Rating: (14 votes) Training presentation: Excel 2007—Create your first workbook Rating: (17 votes) Training presentation: Microsoft Office—How the 2007 system helps you to stay safer Rating: (7 votes) Training presentation: Outlook 2007—Create and use your own Electronic Business Card Rating: (3 votes) Training presentation: Excel 2007—Get started with PivotTable reports New! Version: PowerPoint 2000 or later Then there is the online training, all of which can be found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/training/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati tags: Office training , Office 2007 , Training
  • Getting started with Word, including Word 2007 training, tools to make moving from Word 2003 (or earlier) to Word 2007 much easier including Word 2003 to 2007 command reference and how to build your own Ribbon tabs

    I saw these links in the latest Microsoft downloads e-mail, but the more I looked into this the more I was amazed: Training materials you can use to deliver training on Word 2007 to your customers Tools that load onto a customers PC to enable them to find Word 2003 commands in Word 2007 Tools that put a useful set of getting started tools into a "Getting Started" tab within word Tools to build your own customised Ribbon tabs I'm going to start with the simplest of tools, the Interactive Command Reference . The Word 2007 Guide- Word 2003 to Word 2007 interactive command reference guide is available online, but the link is to the standalone downloadable version - which gives you an emulation of Word 2003, you click around on it and it then tells you where to find the selected item in Word 2007. great for that "Where has my command gone" conversations. Getting Started Tab for Word 2007 (download here) As you can see this tab has several features - the 1st one takes you off to the online version of the downloadable tool stated above. It then takes your to several pieces of online training - the best of which was the online demos on how to use word ( http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/HA101672751033.aspx ) and then the 4 online courses ( http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/training/CR100654561033.aspx ) covering Up to speed with Word 2007 , Length: 40 min, Rating: (2032 votes) Up to speed with the 2007 Office system , Length: 30 min, Rating: (547 votes) Security I: How the 2007 Office system helps you to stay safer , Length: 20 min, Rating: (167 votes) Keyboard shortcuts in the 2007 Office system , Length: 30 min, Rating: (445 votes) For delivering training yourself or going along in a self paced way, there are a number of PowerPoints that you can download and tailor to your needs. All of the current Office training is linked off of this site , but the only item on Word that is downloadable is currently located at Training presentation- Word 2007—Get up to speed Finally, if you like the Getting Started Tab, then the...
  • Has this blog turned into the Windows Vista Blog?

    It does seem that from being SBS based, then into Small Business partners that the blog has finally morphed into the Vista blog. This is not the case, but I am responding to the needs and requests of the Microsoft partners. SBS 2003 still does an amazing job and should be part of almost any customer request where they have more than 5 PCs (IMHO). However, you know all about SBS, don't you? However I suspect that Office 2007 and Windows Vista are a little bit stranger, so hence the focus. Don't worry - SBS will become more prominent very soon :-) Every dog has its day and this is Vista's and Office's. Give it a week or so and it will be back to the whole ecosystem of Windows Client, Windows Server (or SBS), Office and Windows Mobile. ttfn David
  • Microsoft tool to transfer programs from a Windows XP machine to a Windows Vista machine - Windows Easy Transfer Companion (WETC)

    This tools works alongside the Easy Transfer Wizard using an Easy Transfer Cable, however it has a list of known programs that it will transfer should you so desire. The Windows Easy Transfer Companion (WETC) is a program that you can use to help transfer programs from a computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) to a computer that is running Windows Vista. WETC does not replace Windows Easy Transfer. Instead, WETC is an independent program that complements Windows Easy Transfer. You can use WETC to transfer many kinds of programs between two computers that are connected by an Easy Transfer Cable or by a network connection. For more information click onto http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=931696
  • "I've purchased the Windows Vista anytime upgrade key - I think I need a new disk (DVD)" - "nope" says David

    I've been mucking around with Vista (formally Longhorn) for about 3-4 years. This means that things like "all editions are on the one DVD" is pretty much ingrained in my skill, however sometimes I forget that this was not the norm previously and sometimes trips people up. I got a mail the other day that said (edited a bit and published with permission of the sender): I installed Vista Business on my PC. I read in your blog that if you use a genuine Vista DVD (including a MAPS version), then you would not need the upgrade disk. I tried to upgrade to Ultimate. I made the purchase online and and attempted the upgrade. I need the disk. I went back online and ordered it and now I am waiting to upgradewindowsanydaynow. Did I do something wrong? The answer was very, very simple - take the downloaded utility, run it and when it asks for the Vista DVD, put in the same one you already have. However, since I have to admit that I have NEVER actually bought an upgrade key online I replied: You absolutely should not require the disk, can you describe the process to me - it should be something like: You may the purchase Download the code Run the code Insert your Vista DVD Let the install happen. Could you a) test the process and b) send me a screenshot of the error(s). Being the lucky (or well researched) person, I quickly got the reply back: Despite all my experience and training, I felt uncomfortable when it came to launching the original Install again. It just didn't seem intuitive. I felt it should have been more evident as I was inserting the Vista disk that it would lead to an upgrade. Got Ultimate installed now. THANKS!!! It does work - it may seem a bit odd that on the one DVD, contained in the 1 WIM file are all the files required for Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, all the "N" versions and recovery information. However that is what a single instance manager can do for your disk copying technology (i.e. the ImageX technology used by Vista). ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista Upgrade , Windows upgrades , Windows...
  • Its not often I get a comment that makes me respond on a personal level, but here is one. Action Pack, life expectance of Microsoft and your business

    I got this comment recently on one of the blogs and decided to respond to each part as it covers so many topics. It seems you have some useful info, albeit widely available, info here, thanks. MS raised its action pack pricing by 50% a few years back. And yes, if you were to use the various server licenses, it would be a fair value. I choose the word fair intentionally, as the intent is, or should be, for IT companies to become experienced with its product, in order to do what?… sell it! The action pack is all about generating sales. We should get it free. The info here is available in other places, but people were having trouble finding it, so I brought it all together in one place. With regard to the Action Pack being free - I completely disagree - If you are selling almost any other product (in any industry) - you might get demonstration items, one or two people might even get the odd free item, but many people will not be able to run their business of of it. You can get eval copies of Vista & Office - online trials etc, but if you can't see the value in the products (yes, even the upgrades, Office 2007 and the servers) when you are paying a fraction of the price that your customers are paying then I personally doubt it is right for you - at £200, £500 or £0. You are running a business, just like your many of your customers - you invest in that business and this is not a large investment. Does Intel or AMD give you free processors for all your systems when a new one comes out? How about your hardware, Internet connection or so on. If you are selling to home users, they have to pay quite a chunk for the hardware, software and your time - if you can't honestly say "I would spend that money on that" that I am sure your customers will figure it out. End user experiences, either SMB, corporate, individual or otherwise should be the primary concern. In short, I obviously don’t have direct access to the volume of consultants you said you do, but I can’t find anyone, online or otherwise, that’s happy with this “upgrade...
  • Microsoft official Vista to Vista upgrade information, including how to upgrade from Windows XP and Windows 2000

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/932616/en-us General information about how to install Windows Vista Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) How to determine whether your computer is running a 32-bit version or a 64-bit version of Windows XP Installation choices for Windows XP Home and Windows XP Home N Edition Installation choices for Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Professional N Editions Installation choices for Windows XP Tablet Edition Installation choices for Windows XP Media Center Edition Installation choices for Windows 2000 Upgrade paths between versions of Windows Vista INTRODUCTION This article discusses the installation choices for consumer versions of Windows Vista. This article does not include information about Windows Vista Starter, about Windows Vista Enterprise, or about versions of Windows Vista that you install by using Microsoft Volume Licensing. The method that you use to install Windows Vista depends on the answers to the following questions: Definitions Upgrade to Windows Vista An upgrade to Windows Vista preserves the currently installed personal files, settings, and programs. You can upgrade only certain versions of Windows to certain versions of Windows Vista. Custom installation (clean installation) of Windows Vista A custom installation or clean installation of Windows Vista does not preserve the currently installed personal files, settings, and programs. Windows Vista is installed without third-party programs. You can perform a custom installation of Windows Vista by using either an upgrade license or a full product license. However, if you own an upgrade license, you must start the installation in the current version of Windows. At the installation choice menu, select Custom to perform this action. The upgrade version of Windows Vista An upgrade version of Windows Vista is a license that lets you install Windows Vista if you already own a compliant, licensed version of Windows. You can perform either an upgrade installation or a custom installation of Windows Vista by using...
  • Did you know how the world is changing - where the business is and what the future holds - have a look to find out

    I saw this posted internally http://www.scottmcleod.org/didyouknow.wmv and it reminded me of a talk Ray Kurzweil he once gave giving timelines for many things. It is worth having a poke around his site - http://www.kurzweilai.net/index.html?flash=1 and also at some of his predictions - http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/business/features/future_perfect/trans6.shtml . By 2009, we won't be carrying around notebook computers or even palmtops you won't see the computers. The visual display's will be written directly onto our retinas from eye glasses and contact lenses so we'll either see a virtual display hovering in air or, even more compellingly, the visual display can overtake our whole visual field of view and create, basically, visual virtual reality. ttfn David
  • Just as predicted - Vista is driving new PC Sales - are you driving these into your customers?

    I was reading this http://news.com.com/Sales+of+boxed+Vista+copies+down+over+XP/2100-1016_3-6159700.html?tag=nefd.top and it said that Vista boxed product was down by 59% compared to XP and 32% by revenue (means people are buying Ultimate), but then noticed that it said PC sales were up 67%.. hmm, so I wonder what was on those. What we are seeing is people buying new PCs rather than upgrading. While people are doing that, perhaps we should ask our customers if they would like to take advantage of the great things that Vista, Office SBS and Windows Mobile can do for them and put together a package, potentially using Open Value Subscription to spread the cost (or finance) and help them get that new PC and everything else they need in 1 easy go :) ttfn David
  • Upgrading from Windows Vista Home to Vista Business or Vista Ultimate

    Sometimes some people end up with a copy of Windows Vista Home on a machine that they want to use in a business environment. The Windows Anytime Upgrade provides for people moving to Ultimate, but if you just want to move to Business, then this is what you need to know. Windows Vista Home SKUs qualify to use VUP FPP media As the home SKUs have some features that are not present in the business SKU, you have to do a clean install, the same as for Action Pack Upgrades (see How to do a clean install using upgrade media ). You can however do an in-place upgrade to Ultimate. The only media you can use to perform the home to business upgrade is retail upgrade media To preserve the settings that apply and documents etc, you can export your files and settings and then re-import them on the new system using the Easy Transfer Wizard, although things such as parental controls etc would not be there, so no longer work thanks David Technorati tags: Upgrades , Windows Vista , Vista
  • Winning with Windows Mobile tour

    Jason Language has just noted that the "Winning with Windows Mobile" tour is about to take off at http://blogs.msdn.com/jasonlan/archive/2007/01/18/windows-mobile-briefing-winning-with-windows-mobile.aspx . These include developer, enterprise (yuck) and partner sessions. The only problem I have is while it is cross-emea, it does not include the UK. If you want to see this come to the UK - add a comment on Jason's or mine blog saying so :) Event Agenda Developer Track: Keynote – Develop and Win with Windows Mobile Windows Mobile Today Extending Windows Mobile Applications Fun with Windows Mobile Networking Reception for Partners, Hosters and Developers. Enterprise Track: Windows Mobile Enterprise Session Mobile Operator Presentation Partner Readiness Track: Partner Session – Windows Mobile Strategy Partner Session – Go to Market Messages WM applications session – Pull through extra revenue by selling WM Networking Reception for Partners, Hosters and Developers To check the dates they are in each country and if you want to attend you can register HERE
  • How to use the Windows Anytime Upgrade tools

    [Please also read the Action Pack FAQ on this blog at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/02/13/windows-vista-windows-xp-office-2003-and-office-2007-action-pack-update-my-faq.aspx ] If you want to electronically upgrade from one version of Vista to another then the Windows Anytime Upgrade tools are for you. To understand what versions you can upgrade from, have a look at Why Windows Vista Home can only be Upgraded to Home Ultimate online, but can upgrade via retail . You then need to go to one of the merchants. Mike P posted about this pointing out: So i notice the upgrade links are now working (www.windowsanytimeupgrade.com/maps and https://emea.windowsanytimeupgradestore.com/WAU_DIRECT/home.aspx ) although I'm a little puzzled as to why it costs £110 PER LICENCE!!!!!!!!!!!! MS has arranged several merchants to provide this upgrade service to consumers (as well as providing it direct throught he urls above). There is a huge discrepancy in the pricing... Comet -> https://comet.windowsanytimeupgrade-emea.com/WAU/Home.aspx -> £94.99 PC World -> https://pcworld.windowsanytimeupgrade-emea.com/WAU/Home.aspx -> £109.99 FNAC -> https://fnac.windowsanytimeupgrade-emea.com/WAU/Home.aspx -> £118.00 Vaio -> https://vaio.windowsanytimeupgrade-emea.com/WAU/Home.aspx -> £80.00 To see the complete list of EU merchants see https://www.windowsanytimeupgrade-emea.com/WAU/SelectMerchant.aspx From a Microsoft Action Pack Subscription point of view, you can either use the Microsoft site with software at our recommended price or one of the others. Mike posted the numbers above, so don't shoot me if the prices change. One thing to note, if you have a legel legit Vista DVD (action pack, OEM, FPP etc) then you DO NOT need to order the DVD with the kit. Finally, the upgrade is just that, so expect to still have to comply with the upgrade requirements of Windows Vista. ttfn David Technorati tags: Windows Vista , Vista , Action Pack , Windows Anytime Upgrade
  • 1st short coverage of the WAIK (Windows Automated Installation Kit)

    Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) User's Guide for Windows Vista The WAIK is designed to help OEMs, system builders and corporate IT professionals deploy Windows onto new hardware. The kit is a new set of deployment tools for Windows Vista. Download this guide to get the current methods, tools, and requirements for deploying Windows. Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , WAIK , Windows Automated Instakkation Kit , Deployment
  • IIS and SSL troubleshooting tools from Microsoft

    WFetch 1.4 A tool aimed at helping resolve problems where the browser is unable to connect to a Web site. SSL Diagnostics Version 1.1 (x64) Download this troubleshooting tool for Internet Information Services (IIS). SSL Diagnostics Version 1.1 (x86) Download this troubleshooting tool for Internet Information Services (IIS). Technorati tags: IIS , support tools , SSL , browser
  • Why Windows Vista Home can only be Upgraded to Home Ultimate online, but can upgrade via retail media from XP Home to Vista Business (or any other version)

    Following a bit of a discussion on the user groups around this area, I thought I would add my thoughts here. Many home PC users will be getting Windows Vista Home Premium and then potentially discovering that they really wanted the business edition ( SKU ) as they are not just home users. The problem we have is that if you look at the Windows Vista product feature matrix you will notice item like those to the left (click to see larger image) where features are available in the Home edition, but not the business edition. When people "upgrade" within the same release of the OS they expect to not loose features and some of those features include items that Microsoft potentially pays licensing for. Because of these reasons, home users can either "upgrade" to Ultimate, or buy Business in retail and do a full clean install. Now, if someone has any version of Windows XP or Windows 2000 then they can "upgrade" to any of the Windows Vista editions, however the key item to note here is that if someone will loose functionality, they will end up doing a clean install (by running from the existing install of Windows) of Vista. This is detailed at Upgrade Paths for Windows Vista and a link to the key table is provided on the right. Hopefully this makes it all clear, but if not, drop a comment on and I will respond. ttfn David Technorati tags: vista , windows Vista , upgrades , vista home , vista business , vista ultimate , windows upgrades
  • WMDC (Windows Mobile Device Center) has finally shipped, so now all those Vista / Windows Mobile sync woes can go away

    This was one question that was asked just too many times... and I could not give an answer on when a the final product was going to ship. Then, there I was reading Vijay's blog and what did I find " Windows Mobile Device Center Released " - linking to here (ultimately, via the Windows Vista blog). Anyway, go get it David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Windows Client , Windows Mobile , ActiveSync , WMDC
  • Demo Showcase and Action Pack shipments

    [Please also read the Action Pack FAQ on this blog at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/02/13/windows-vista-windows-xp-office-2003-and-office-2007-action-pack-update-my-faq.aspx ] Ok, so we failed to hit the January shipment, which is not something I am proud of, but everyone knows that we missed the shipment and my feelings already :-) If you are wanting to Demo Vista and Office then there are a few things you can do: Load it yourself and tell people how you use it Read the case study information on the bCentral web site and tell people about UK small businesses that are benefiting from the products already Portfolio Communications goes green Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 system help PR company A portrait of a small business Photography company snaps up Windows Vista and Office 2007 Accountancy firm profits from Microsoft investment Windows Vista and Office 2007 lift Aggarwal and Co. Load one of your Action Pack instances onto a PC. If you want to upgrade to Ultimate then do so, or run a demo copy (don't put in the product key) and choose the edition you want. Download one of our demo scripts & tools and do it yourself Office 2007 - https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/40034400?PS=95000131 How to build a Vista Demo system - Create your own DRT on the latest release of Windows Vista Vista Demo Script - Windows Vista Demo Script ttfn David Technorati tags: SBSC , Office 2007 , Windows Vista , Vista , Demo , Small Business , Case Studies
  • Blog abuse - how to comment on my blog

    I have quite thick skin, but a few things really get my goat, so it is time I published my rules This my blog, not Microsoft's or for that matter, anyone else's Comments posted to the blog should respect me and others posting here, otherwise they won't get published As to no.2, that means talking to me and referring to Microsoft as Microshaft or M$ will stop your comments being published - I have added them to the spam engine as high count spam words Comments should refer to the blog or previous comments - it is not to share YOUR view of the world, industry or your life Comments should not be used to advertise products, your website or other places you want people to go to for your advantage (a link to more information that is informational is OK) Posting to tell me that I missed and apostrophe is useful, but I failed English 1st time at school, so the odd grammar mistake is to be expected - this is not some polished communications vehicle that is managed - it is the dribble that extends from my brain, down my often traveling and tired fingers I have recently not published several comments based on the above, which I had assumed was obvious to all, but now I felt the need to publish this to get it in the open. Have a great day David
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  • Is your Hardware ready for Vista yet - or "David's unofficial hardware guide"

    I saw Susanne's post on Vista ready hardware over at http://www.uksmbgirl.co.uk/blog/archives/106 and decided it was worth chipping in a few thoughts of my own. Many PCs will run Vista and while this has been discussed until people were blue in the face, much mis-information has also been published about it, so I thought I would give you the "David's unofficial guide to Hardware" To start with Microsoft has published both minimums and recommended minimums for hardware, with the later being a 1GHz or above machine with 1GB of memory. As has always been the case, power users may well require more. I am writing this on a 2GHz laptop with 1GB of memory and I consider myself a power user (my index engine reports 91,941 documents indexed - so I consider myself a power user :-) ) Does my laptop sometimes run slow - yes, but it is due to that PowerUser status and not enough RAM. My XP machine was a 3GHz Centrino with 2GB of RAM and I will upgrade the RAM on this at some time. One other way I speed the machine up - turn off the Aero graphics to Aero Basic - this frees up some memory used by the video system. So hardware - many reviews has said things like "x% of the PCs will require upgrades to get the full Vista experience" where "x" ranges from 40 to 99 depending on the reviewer and the amount of scientific work done to come up with the number. The key word here is FULL . If you don't want the graphics, then many more older desktops will work just fine. In terms of drivers, I run machines at home that are anything up to 3-4 years old and range from 768MB of RAM up to 4GB. Nearly all the drivers shipped with the Vista DVDs or in the case of the sound driver for one of them, was downloaded automatically. What can I say, run the upgrade Wizards and see for yourself. Articles that discuss the upgrade process that you might be interested in are: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/aa905088.aspx http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/aa905090.aspx For detailed "official" guidance on hardware, have a look at...
  • The Windows Vista and Office Consumer and Small Business Launch - 30th Jan, The British Library, London, UK.... and some demos you MUST run to understand what ISVs will do with Windows Vista.. and a couple of case studies

    Finally the day has come and the rest of us (well, you - but I felt that excited anyway) without a Volume License (or if you work at Microsoft) could get and use Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System (known as Office from here on in). The British Library was chosen as two Leonardo De Vinci codices were being brought together for the 1st time in over 500 years. One was owned by the British Library and the other by Bill Gates, who appeared in person to launch the event. These books, plus other treasures from the British Library can be accessed and downloaded from http://www.bl.uk - I've put some info on how to demo it at British Library Demo of Vista and the Windows Presentation Foundation and the Windows Vista Magazine have put their copy in the same format http://wpf.windowsvistamagazine.co.uk/ttpdownload/browserapp.xbap . As always I would like to thanks everyone involved - the partners and their customers who helped to shape and deliver Windows Vista and Office and the Windows and Office teams who put up with my rantings and demands and finally (still) invited me to the launch event to see it all so close up. Anyway, the day in pictures (clicking on the thumbnails will bring up a larger version - some will go "massive" as they quailty is better on those) The day started with a discussion between the customers, Doug Richard , the customers, the partners and Microsoft - think of this as a "what I'm going to ask you, so don't be scared... unless a great insight grabs me, and then I'll ask you something different" session The characters includr Richard Abel, with a great reference at http://www.bcentral.co.uk/products/accountancy-firm-aggarwal-profits-from-windows-vista-and-office-2007.mspx?xid=sbissues_020207 then the man in the blue shirt with the beardy is Mike Haigh - Windows Client Supremo for Small and Mid-Market customers. Next to Mike is the man who runs Bradley Photography and who said on stage "Using these tools has saved me time and will result in me saving 2 months in every 12) - his story can be found...
  • British Library Demo of Vista and the Windows Presentation Foundation

    If you go to www.bl.uk you will have the option to either go to Page Turner V2 or the British Library web site. Go to the Page Turner web site and open the Luttrell book. Zoom in and out, then turn to page 4&5. You use the Ctrl key to make your mouse move the book around and the shift+Ctrl to rotate the book. To turn a page, just drag it across. Remember that this is running in your browser!! Some things to notice the page turns as the real material does - physics The images are super detailed and can be zoomed in on The GOLD on the pages reflects as you move the book Now close this book and open the Golf Book and go to page 6&7 and then turn on the audio or text and follow the story. Technorati tags: Community , VIsta , Office 2007 , Small business , British Library , Windows Presentation Foundation , WPF , Demo
  • Windows Vista Security "Guide", why Jim Allchin doesn't use Anti-Virus software for his son and why some people just don't want to have improved security unless you pay them for it.

    OK, so I saw that the Vista Security Guide ( http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsvistasecurity/archive/2007/01/05/windows-vista-security-guide-1-2-released.aspx ) had been updated - it is worth knowing more about the security model in Vista, how we protect against some threats and how it might impact your applications (eg if a non-admin application wants to send UI information to an admin one), Group Policy, Settings etc. Now, while security is important, so are the basics, like turning on the auto-updates, firewalls and anti-malware software. Well, MS now supplies a great anti-spyware product built into Windows in the form of Defender and the firewall can now be configured on outbound comms as well as inbound if you want, but no AV in the product. So, you need a 3rd party AV product (or Windows OneCare)... well, Jill Allchin, who delivered the Vista project for all of us does not use one for his son's machine.... http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2006/12/19/windows-vista-and-protection-from-malware.aspx Then having been through all of this, there are some who want to take the great steps forward in Vista that allow Jim to do this and put us back 6 years and have a company that makes money by keeping the fear up and security quality down. One of the great progresses in Vista, even if you do notice it most when setting up, is the UAC control, so why would you want to outsource it to a programme that can be fooled? More info at http://www.windows-now.com/blogs/robert/archive/2007/01/10/symantec-anti-uac-product-is-a-very-bad-idea.aspx ttfn David
  • Vista related Wow or Launch Sites

    http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2007/01/10/the-wow-starts-now.aspx talks about a number of Vista related web sites, so I thought I would start to find them all for you to look at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/default.mspx - the official Windows Vista site - make sure you look at the 100 reasons to get Vista ;-) Geesh, only 100!! http://showUsYourWow.com - great site to showcase your "WoW" http://www.vanishingpointgame.com/ - like puzzles, you'll love this - with the final prize being anything from PC & XBox goodies to a trip into almost space :-) http://www.microsoft.co.uk/evosupremo/ - test your knowledge and get some great some more great prizes http://www.clearification.com/ - strange and wacky site, but could be just right for your mind
  • One word for the 2007 Office System

    This is a really simple exercise - If you have used Office, please summarise it in one word. The word from me is "Stylish"
  • One word for Vista

    This is a really simple exercise - If you have used Vista, please summarise it in one word. The word from me is "inspiring"

(c)David Overton 2006-13