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.

To find out more about my Windows Intune BOOK - Microsoft Windows Intune 2.0: Quickstart Administration click here

To find out more about my SBS 2008 BOOK - Small Business Server 2008, Installation, Migration and Configuration click here

June 2007 - David Overton's Blog

David Overton's Blog

Buy my books

Windows Intune:Quickstart Administration

This is the RAW book (Read as Written).
Click here for more information
Buy or pre-order today

SBS 2008 - Installation, Migration and Configuration

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Buy today in book or e-book form

Request a Review Copy



  • Sometimes I wish my brain was just 10% as capable as this

    I got this mail the other night that directed me to this video - it is of a Savant and the process he goes through to prove that he can "see" pi to 20,000+ decimal places and do amazing number feats (anyone do 37^4 in their head?). He was also able to perform other memory feats by turning what he saw into numbers. Bored, late at night having wound myself up with some programming issues, I decided to go stumbling through the web. The very first site was this Youtube video of a guy with an extra-ordinary brain. I think it’s ½ hour long, might be more – I just watched it from start to finish – but it is REALLY worth watching. Incredible. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4913196365903075662 I don't normally spend more than 5 mins on a site like this, but ended up walking through this video constantly amazed at his skill. Upon further investigation it turns out that this man, Daniel Tammet, has a book and blog site - http://www.optimnem.co.uk/ - possibly worth getting! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Daniel Tammet , Savant
  • Fantastic looking MiniPC's from Engadget - SA800 is stacked and ready to roll

    As is always the case, saw this and thought I would pass it on. Oh modular box of silicon affection, how we love thee. The latest -- the SA800 -- from MiniPC (Japan) is a DIY house of fun packing up to a Core 2 Duo T7600, 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 memory, 2.5-inch 40GB SATA disk, and an Intel 945GT chipset. Want more disk, no problem, stack a 3.5-incher in an extra slab above. Better video with HDMI-out or optical drives? Yup, they've got a stackable component for that and more. Have it your way starting early July in Japan. MiniPC's SA800 is stacked and ready to roll Posted Jun 29th 2007 8:57AM by Thomas Ricker Filed under: Desktops MiniPC's SA800 is stacked and ready to roll - Engadget ttfn David Technorati Tags: MiniPC , SA800 , Stacked
  • Spreadsheets and documents based on standards - OpenXML and ODF, ODF and Excel or all 3

    I have been using and referencing standards for a long time. They are great. C# is an ECMA standard for example as are parts of .Net which is how project Mono has managed to come great strides in delivering part of the .Net experience on non-Microsoft platforms. Also my 1st job out after University was writing document converters. So there are two things here - one, what is wrong with more than 1 standard - we have several for networks, several for character sets. Often one standard will work where another will not. Nearly always one standard is driven by an interested party. Open Office is very keen to see greater adoption of ODF. Microsoft is very keen to seen greater adoption of OpenXML. OpenXML is already a European standard (ECMA) and one of the nice things about that is the stability you are offered if you are developing against it. There is no requirement to have Office to use this file format. OK, so we could say "lets not use the European standard and create a similar one, but not quite the same" - so we have Office 2007 and the ECMA standard in one camp competing against a similar almost identical offering elsewhere... not really ideal. Now to ODF, the "why don't we all just use ODF" standard? Well, you know how those little details can be a killer - how about this? The formulas in ODF spreadsheets are NOT covered by the standard, so ANY string that goes into a cell is just that. It is down to the individual implementation as to which formulas to support or not. This alone says to me that ODF can't be used as a serious interchange standard (if it is just used as the document file format for OpenOffice then why bother with it as a standard?). it is the same with Macro's. They can be stored, but no talk about the language they use or how they work, so again, you have a document you can open, but not know if the formulas will work etc. So, if you think there is any merit in having more than 1 document format in the world, please click here and sign the petition . For more information...
  • Site Server host update

    I will be updating the OS that UKSBSGUY.com runs on in the next 24 hours, so expect a couple of hours downtime later. ttfn David
  • Alistair likes Vista and found out that the Dell SATA drivers were making is go slow

    I was browsing the UKSBSG Yahoo Group (a group for UK Small Business Partners) when I noticed Alistair 's post in response to slow Vista systems and I thought I had to share: Hi, Just from experience, I had similar issues on Outlook 2007 and, to a lesser extent, Vista in general - especially on boot, which would take an age. I am using a Dell Dimension 9100, 2GB ram and SATA drives. One would think it would be pretty good, but behaved like a dog. The Microsoft fix made some little difference. What made a huge difference though was updating the SATA drivers on my Dell box. These were not listed under updates and I had to search for them, but it is chalk and cheese now. Persevere, once you have it right it's a dream: I have to say I love Vista, it is stable, runs all our legacy apps, line of business accounting apps, remote jobs and managed to blow away our desktop uptime record - still stable at 60 days uptime. XP struggled at 30. I do strongly suspect that naff drivers are a major factor in the bad press that Vista has been receiving; I suspect it's been too easy to get them through the certification procedure. Anyway, just my two pennoth. Alistair that was it except to say that besides the Updates technology in Vista you should also go and check the OEM provider for your systems and graphics cards to get more from Vista. thanks David Technorati Tags: Vista , Drivers , Performance
  • New CTP of Windows Server 2008 (longhorn) beta - released for Connect, MSDN and TechNet members

    Hello, remember that "longhorny" thing coming later this year? Well it just got another step closer, however the run is that you have to be a TechNet, MSDN or Connect member to get it. Some points to re-iterate - this is the LAST 32-server OS from Microsoft - Windows Server 2008 R2 will be 64-bit (like Cougar) only. You will have to go away and learn about this server to become familiar with Cougar, so at the very least plan to learn it, if not before release, soon after otherwise you will have to learn even more when Cougar releases - and that will be plenty! I picked up this item from Network World that might help a bit. This is the first CTP since Windows Server 2008 Beta 3 was released in April. Microsoft officials say 200,000 copies of Beta 3 have been downloaded . With the new CTP, Internet Information Server (IIS) 7.0 is now an installation option under the Server Core feature of the server. Server Core is made up of the Windows kernel and a set of infrastructure “roles,” which install only the components needed for any of eight specific functions: Active Directory, Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services, DHCP, DNS, File, Print, Windows Media Services and Windows Server Virtualization (when it ships). The idea is to make deployment less complex and more secure by eliminating unneeded services and installing only the parts of the OS needed for a specific workload. IIS 7.0 lets users define a configuration using an XML schema architecture to more easily manage configuration of multiple deployments of the software. It also has a new feature called Failed Request Tracking that helps pinpoint errors in IIS and applications, and allows diagnosis while the software is still running. Windows Server 2008, which is slated to ship by the end of the year, is focused on three primary areas: management, including Server Core; security , such as BitLocker drive encryption and Read-only Domain Controllers; and performance, including a redesigned TCP/IP stack. The server also represents the gateway into the...
  • Can Windows Server 2003 R2 be added to a SBS 2003 SP1 (i.e. non-R2) domain - Yes

    [updated 14:52 27th June 2007] I got this question yesterday and while I will not name names, I felt this should go public. It is from a customer who I believe has been mis-informed by a partner about SBS 2003, SBS 2003 R2 and Windows Server 2003 R2. Here is the mail I got: To: David Overton I have a question concerning compatibility. I have a SBS 2003 with SP1 as my domain controller.... I am about to migrate to a new ERP package and have purchased 2 additional Windows Server 2003 R2 servers from XXXXXXXXXX. I have been told the new servers will not be able to join the Domain and I must upgrade my SBS 2003 to SBS 2003 R2. Is that true?? Here is my reply You have been mis-informed. Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 r2 interoperate without any difficulty. If you are trying to use a specific R2 feature such as remote printer management or FSRM then you might have to upgrade, but joining the domain is not a problem. Also, SBS 2003 R2 enables you to get some extra benefits from your CALs with regard to licensing additional SQL 2005 WG Edition and Exchange 2003 Standard servers. Thanks David Think of this as feedback for company XXXXXXXXX - Windows Server 2003 & Windows Server 2003 R2 work together just fine in a domain, as does Windows Server 2000 and if you really want to push NT4 (OK, so NT4 is ugly). While I have stated that you have to only worry if you are using an R2 specific feature, if you have Active Directory in your domain then you will need to do a schema update IF your R2 boxes are to become DCs in the domain. It is worth saying that at http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/5022eea0-54bc-422f-b98b-ddb836c8ee851033.mspx?mfr=true it states: Update the Active Directory schema on domain controllers. In Windows Server 2003 Active Directory networks, you will need to update the Active Directory schema before: • Installing Windows Server 2003 R2 on a domain controller. • Configuring a Windows Server 2003 R2 server to be a domain controller by using the Active Directory Installation...
  • Best Practices for Exchange Server Public Folders

    I have been asked lots of questions about public folders recently and thought this little section here might come in handy. It is from the Best Practices for Exchange Server Public Folders site on Technet and is geared towards Exchange Server 2000/2003. I have snipped just the articles that I think are useful, so there are more on the page above including the ability to take the document offline. Which Solution Works for You? Before you deploy Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 2003 public folders, you should make sure that the functionality that is provided by public folders meets your business needs. It is a good idea to evaluate the features and functionality that are provided by public folders and to compare them to the data repository solution that is provided by Microsoft Windows® SharePoint® Products and Technologies. For detailed information about both options, see Selecting the Appropriate Public Folder Solution . How to Select the Appropriate Client After you have decided to use public folders, you must determine which client is best suited for your public folder needs. To make this determination, you should understand the difference between the two available top-level hierarchies for public folders and which type of top-level hierarchy suits your organization. For detailed information about how to select a client for Exchange public folder access, see Selecting the Appropriate Client for Exchange Public Folder Access . How to Manage Referrals When a user connects to a public folder store that does not contain a copy of the content that the user is looking for, the user is redirected to another store that has a copy of the content. This process is called referral . For detailed information about referrals, see Exchange Public Folder Best Practices: Understanding Referrals . How to Mail-Enable Public Folders In Exchange Server 5.5, all public folders were mail-enabled and hidden by default. In Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 2003, folders can be mail-enabled or mail-disabled, depending on whether...
  • Vlad Mazek - "What is service management" and "how to avoid being hit by a truck when it is most inconvenient"

    I love Vlad's straight talking. If you get a chance read the whole of the blog entry Vlad Mazek - Vladville Blog » Blog Archive » Windows Server 2003 SP2 EEULA & CYA because as far as I am concerned he is preaching to the converted. I will stand by my view that Service Packs are tested as much as possible, but you need to do your own validation (see Who should test software and service packs - I think vendors,customers and partners - others thi ) to ensure that your application vendor is also happy to support their products on that service pack. If you only have MS products, check the release notes AND SUPPORT.MICROSOFT.COM as both may well have important information. I've extracted part of Vlads process to avoid a bloody head - read his post for more as people like Susan Bradley wishes she had :-) However, a part of me wonders just how heavy the rock was. You know, the one that he was under since Microsoft started releasing service packs. As painful as the above is to read, and as painful as this process has been for him, this outlines the fundamental lack of respect for change management we have in the IT industry. First , where is the full backup of the server that this was done on. At the very least this would have allowed him to take the server back to the last known good configuration. Second , where is the test system on which he checked Act 6.0 for compatibility? Third , never change more than one thing. If you installed the Service Pack and it broke things, do not proceed to install drivers (that likely have not been tested with the said service pack) and do more exotic changes. Fourth , test, test, test, test. Forget about the stuff you should have done before you patched, too late to setup a test vm, too late to do a full backup, too late to check the app vendor for advisories related to the patch, too late. You’re patched, there is a whole new world on your network. Isn’t the first thing to check all the workstations and rerun MBSA, performance testing, reset the performance counter on both...
  • Would you mind joining a chat with the SBS EMEA support team they ask - I say yes, thinking it is internal, but no - on the Web "Join Microsoft SBS Experts for an Online Chat!" - Best come along then to see what advice we can offer

    OK, so this is more my fault than anyone else's, but I was asked to join a chat with the SBS EMEA team and I thought they wanted to chat about how to make things better internally, so I said yes. Then I discover that it is an external chat, with SBS people and partners. OMG!! So anyway, on July 13th around lunchtime there will be a 45 minute "ask the expert" session on all things SBS. Should be fun. Better than my 8 stints on talk sport - not knowing where the next question will come from, or what it will be about!! Join Microsoft SBS Experts for an Online Chat! [Today's tip comes to us courtesy of Karan Rustagi] Small Business Server 2003 Chat (EMEA Community) Join the Small Business Server team for questions and general discussion on SBS 2003. Bring your comments and concerns on the product and discuss them with the team. Friday, July 13, 2007 12:00 - 12:45 P.M. British Summer Time (UTC + 1 hour) 7:00 - 7:45 A.M. Eastern Time 11:00 - 11:45 GMT Join the chat room on the day of the chat: www.microsoft.com/technet/community/chats/chatroom.aspx Click on the link below to add this even to your Outlook Calendar: http://www.microsoft.com/communities/chats/vcs/07_0713_TN_SBS.ics The Official SBS Blog : Join Microsoft SBS Experts for an Online Chat! ttfn David Technorati tags: SBS 2003 , Chat , ask the expert , if you only read one post today
  • Please, Please, Please fill in the SBS Community Survey for 2007 - if you don't tell us about it in the survey, how can we do more / less / fix it for you?

    It has been around for a little while now, but this is a MUST do for us - whether you think things are great or poor. Please fill in the survey and then we can stay up all night and look at the results using the latest holo-projection equipment to understand the multi-dimensional nature of what it takes to please our small business partners. If you don't fill it in, then my R2-D2 projection system will not be used and we will take the 3 replies (two posted by me as a test) and you only get one answer this year. OK, so this is a little humorous, but I hope you get the idea - we need the feedback to make things even better. Don't think you only need to answer it if you need to moan, or you think things are great. Confirming things either way (or even the fact that we have more than one type of partner out there) is all "goodness" as one of my managers used to say. Have I said enough yes? Fill it in, send it off, spank us if we don't respond! Announcing the SBS Community Survey for 2007! The Windows Small Business Server Product Team would like to hear from the Windows SBS Community. This anonymous survey of the Windows SBS Community is brought to you by the Windows SBS Product Team. We want to know how valuable your experience is with the community resources and information that is available to you today as a member of the Windows SBS Community. We also want to know what you think could be done to improve your Windows SBS Community Experience. Please take a couple of minutes to provide us your candid feedback via this survey and let us know what you think. SBS WW Community Survey 2007 Thanks in advance for your feedback. Kevin The SBS, Centro and Windows Home Server Community Lead Blog : Announcing the SBS Community Survey for 2007! ttfn David P.S. David was in a playful mood when this was written. We don't have any R2-D2 style holo-projectors (that they have told me about) and the spanking bit is as in spanking a naughty child - nothing else, except in many regions spanking naughty children...
  • Do you want to IM (messenger) someone in the UK Partner team with a question, but not have their address - now you can try the Partner Bot. It is your Instant Messenger 'data digger' retrieving partner-related information and the answers you need

    This is a long intro, but I got the mail this morning from Alex that this is alive and kicking!!! Go have a conversation - it is even clever enough to know that if you ask for me, this is my blog!! I am very pleased to announce that the PartnerBot is now live. Partner Bot is your Instant Messenger 'data digger', which quickly retrieves partner-related information and shows you where you can find the answers you need. Simply type in your question and Bot will bring back an instant response. Add Bot as a buddy in your Windows Live Messenger contacts and it will always be available whenever you're logged in. Use Partner Bot to Help You Get answers quickly, whether you’re in the office or mobile Find partner resources, like blogs and marketing help, more easily How Do I Add Partner Bot to My Contacts? · Log-in to Windows Live Messenger · Click on 'Add a Contact' icon · Add 'partnerbot@hotmail.com' into Instant Messaging Address > Click here to find out more Please be aware that PartnerBot may guide you to areas of the Partner Portal which can only be accessed by Registered, Certified or Gold Partners, so you may need to sign-in to view this information. ttfn David Technorati Tags: partners , partner bot , Microsoft
  • SMBs more aggressive with Vista upgrade plans - 47% of small and mid-market customers plan to upgrade to Microsoft’s Vista operating system in the fourth quarter of 2007

    I saw this and thought it was another reason why you need to be prepared for Vista and Office 2007. Among small and mid-sized enterprises 47 percent of them plan to upgrade to Microsoft’s Vista operating system in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to a Cowen & Co. survey. The survey, which is done in conjunction with CRN magazine , also found that 78 percent of small and mid-sized businesses will adopt Vista by the second quarter of 2008. Simply put, the small fry will lead the charge when it comes to the Vista upgrade cycle. Cowen analyst Walter Pritchard said in a research note that his firm’s most recent survey is above the adoption rates predicted in February. In February, 43 percent of small businesses indicated they would adopt Vista by the end of 2007. » Survey: SMBs more aggressive with Vista upgrade plans | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista , Small Business
  • Useful MSPP Contacts and Resources - MSPP is Microsoft Partner Program

    I've said it before and I will no doubt say it again, but here are some really useful titbits from the Partner Perspectives Blog (UK Partner Team). Useful MSPP Contacts and Resources I'm running a series of internal training sessions on the Microsoft Partner Programme this week to make sure that everyone is clued up. I thought I'd share with you some useful MSPP contacts and resources which I'm telling your account managers about. I imagine it would be fairly useful for you too! MSPP Contacts: First Point of contact for Programme Questions and Escalations: Regional Service Centre - for MSPP questions (payment of fee, partner points, customer references, portal access, internal use licenses): Partner Tel: 0800 917 3128; email Ask Partner (to-customer licensing and product questions – not internal use MSPP software): 0870 60 70 700; email PR: (for Microsoft quotes and press release kits) ukppr@microsoft.com MS Club: website ; email MSDN: 0800 0517215; email MCP Hotline: Can be utilised by MCP’s only 0800 917 0758/ 0800 096 0137 Empower: isv@msdirectservices.com Action Pack: maps@msdirectservices.com Resources Partner Portal Partner Programme Guide : This guide for partners is updated regularly and covers all aspects of the partner program For Requesting Case Studies: Find case study form online and email to ukpce@microsoft.com Solution Profiler Assistance Partner Perspectives : Useful MSPP Contacts and Resources ttfn David Technorati Tags: Partners , Microsoft , Contacts , Resources
  • You can't use Outlook Web Access because you can't send or reply to mails. You've seen a server update will fix it, but you can't get the server updated - here is the simplest way to work

    I have to thanks Lauren for bringing this to my attention. She had found my posting on how to update Exchange so that this did not happen, but she could not get the SBS / Exchange Server updated. Her research said that using Firefox would fix the problem , but to me this was just a huge sledgehammer to crack a nut, so I guessed there must be a much easier solution and there is. Use "basic" or "light" mode. This may sound complex, but it is about as easy as it gets. Here is the Exchange 2003 login screen, simply select "basic" client and you are done. Here is the Exchange 2007 login screen, simply select "light" and you are done. Gosh, so easy. For the technically minded the issue comes from the Active-X control that Exchange is using. The answer is to either apply the update to the Exchange web components, or use a browser without the Active-X control. ttfn David Technorati tags: Outlook Web Access , IE7 , Internet Explorer
  • Darren Strange of Office 2007 / 12 fame talks about Max Office document converters and the the role of beta software

    I saw this and thought those of you with Mac customers might find this useful if Office 2007 is around or potentially around in their businesses. Also of note is the fact that beta, trial and RTM seems to be very blurred today. Do you ever deploy beta code? I do, often in small environments with big warning labels, but I do do it. Following on from some of your less than exuberant feedback about the new Mac converters, I looked into it. To summarise, the Mac BU have released the beta 1 of the file format converters of Office for Mac. You can download the converter for Word documents here . More info is at the ever useful macmojo blog First thing to point out is that this is a BETA and also that it is a BETA 1. There is a bug-ette in that apparently it doesn't handle some reserved characters from non-english languages or some special Unicode characters such as ™. Any docs that have these characters seem to screw up or don't convert at all. Apparently the issues with Unicode was documented in the help with the beta. There is a fix which will roll out with beta 2 of the converter which is due out soon but I can't tell you when. This is good to know but doesn't answer why it apparently needs admin rights to run. What interests me about this is people's expectation for product quality from a beta 1 now. I remember the day when anything short of RTM was not to be used in production and when beta 1 would be considered only for the enthusiast. Now that we live in the world of Internet startups, betas seem to be the norm. Office Rocker! : beta by far: the role of trial software - click for more! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Mac OS X , Mac Office , Office 2007 , beta
  • Small Biz Thoughts by Karl Palachuk - advice on when to think about a 2nd server with SBS

    Some people still think that SBS only works in a 1 server environment, which is clearly not the case. Karl suggests that perhaps nothing more than SBS should run on an SBS box. Here is a little extract of his thoughts, but click on the link for more information. He might have a point!! "You can host your own internet site: web and email! In addition, you've got all the benefits of Server 2003 and Exchange! Firewall protection. Microsoft's most powerful database. Plus Remote Web Workplace and Sharepoint. And every one of these has been completely revamped and replaced in the last three years. It really is the best $600 product in history." "Golly Gee, Mr. Balmer, That's Swell!" Many people don't sell SBS Premium because . . . to be honest . . . we're already asking that little box with 4GB Max RAM to do an awful lot. Here are a few notes from a conversation with someone on the SBS development team. I don't have permission to attribute his comments, but I don't think the term "NDA" came up either. Consider this as a strategy going forward: Don't install anything on an SBS box. Small Biz Thoughts by Karl Palachuk: Overloading SBS ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 , SBS 2003 R2
  • What are the Top 5 Licensing Questions we get asked in the partner team

    Numbers 1, 2 and 3 are listed below. To be nice to the Partner team I have not included 4 & 5, so you will have to go to the link to get them. Having said that, don't forget that we have a team of people who can answer your licensing questions - not treating you as end users, but treating you as partners. Top 5 Licensing Questions I've had a chat Lisa Michigan from our licensing team, and I asked her what the top five licensing questions were asked to the Ask Partner hotline last month. Here are the questions with the answers! How useful... What downgrade rights does Windows Vista Business have? We have received this question countless times. We are able to answer this question quickly and accurately based on the OEM Vista Business Microsoft Software Licence Terms which state OEM Vista Business can be downgraded to Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Professional 64-Bit Edition and Windows XP Tablet-PC Edition. What media and key can I use when downgrading? Many partners and customers are aware that their MSLT/EULA/PUR permits them to downgrade, however we receive many questions about how customers can take advantage of these downgrade rights. We advise the customer that if their MSLT/EULA/PUR permits downgrade rights then they need to source the media and key themselves. They can use any legitimate Microsoft media that they own including FPP, OEM or Volume Licensing media and will need to use the appropriate key for the appropriate media. How are disaster recovery sites licensed? We receive many calls from partners and customers asking whether they need to acquire additional licences to create a disaster recovery site. We advise customers that all Microsoft software being used at a disaster recovery site needs to be licensed appropriately. The only exception to this rule is through the “Cold Back-Up Server for Disaster Recovery” Software Assurance benefit. Partner Perspectives : Top 5 Licensing Questions ttfn David Technorati Tags: Licensing , Partners , Microsoft
  • Netstreams is cool, but I am not.... - Nick Whittome - "The Naked MVP"

    I saw this and having discussed cool a bit I thought I would share a bit - there is more on Nick's blog. Of course, I don't own an iPod or a Audio Port Netstreams thingy, I just use media center, a Media Center Extender and a xBox 360 for my "piped" music and I don't tell my daughter about iPods :-) Me: “If I get you an iPod, do I become cool again?” Aoife: “Yes, of course”. Then it hit me…. Me: “Hang on… you don’t need an iPod, you can plug your mobile phone into the Audio Port in your room and play the tunes from that through the system”. Aoife: “That makes the NetStreams system cool, not you…” Netstreams is cool, but I am not.... - Nick Whittome - "The Naked MVP" ttfn David Technorati Tags: Fun , Cool
    Filed under:
  • Office Rocker!'s Office Live - Live interview with Tim Kimber (including the BT deal)

    If you have never heard of Office Live, go read the whole interview. If you have heard of it, but don't see the value, go read the interview to see what BT are doing with it. If you do not know about the BT and Microsoft Office Live deal.... I think you get the idea - it is not long, but will make you think for a bit about business models. Office Live - Live interview As Office Live comes out of beta, I thought it would be good to catch up on the latest news. Today I'm joined by Mr Office Live himself - Tim Kimber to tell us more: Hi Tim, perhaps you'd like to introduce yourself and what you do? I'm the Office Live Business & Marketing lead for Microsoft UK. Office Live is a set of web services for Small Businesses to help them get online and start promoting their companies how long has Office Live been available in the UK - is it still in beta? We launched the beta of Office Live in the UK on 21st November 2006, so we've been in market for around 6 months. We came out of beta on 23rd May 2007 Office Rocker! : Office Live - Live interview ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office Live , BT
  • If you want to help shape Office 14 (the next version of Microsoft Office) tell us about yourself and see if you can get on the International Planning Panel

    I saw this and while it is old, thought you might like it: Participate in the Evolution of the Future Microsoft Office Versions Microsoft is committed to continue building solutions that address your needs and requirements. As part of the process for building future solutions, the Microsoft Office International Planning team is recruiting an international user panel. The goal for this panel will be to contribute in helping the Product Planning team get an in-depth understanding on users' habits, needs and requirements. We are convinced that listening to users' feedback is key to the development of great solutions and products. If you would like to participate, please complete the questionnaire. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 14
  • Quick Tip - how to run an application, but not let the writes go back to disk - try Sandboxie

    I have to admit I have not done any extensive testing, but this little tool seems like a good thing to have around! For more information, have a look at Sandboxie . About Sandboxie When you run a program on your computer, data flows from the hard disk to the program via read operations. The data is then processed and displayed, and finally flows back from the progam to the hard disk via write operations. For example, if you run the Freecell program to play a game, it starts by reading the previously recorded statistics, displaying and altering them as you play the game, and finally writing them back to disk for future reference. Sandboxie changes the rules such that write operations do not make it back to your hard disk. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Sandboxie , Tips , application testing
  • SQL 2000/2005 June Downloads including Management Pack, JDBC Drivers, Virtual Hard Disks and Access Migration Assistant

    Microsoft SQL Server 2000 / 2005 Management Pack The SQL Server Management Pack monitors the availability and performance of SQL Server 2000 and 2005 and can issue alerts for configuration problems. Availability and performance monitoring is done using synthetic transactions. In addition, the Management Pack collects Event Log alerts and provides associated knowledge articles with additional user details, possible causes, and suggested resolutions. The Management Pack discovers Database Engines, Database Instances, and Databases and can optionally discover Database File and Database File Group objects. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=8c0f970e-c653-4c15-9e51-6a6cadfca363&DisplayLang=en Microsoft SQL Server 2005 JDBC Driver 1.2 Community Technology Preview April 2007 In its continued commitment to interoperability, Microsoft has released a new Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) driver with SQL Server 2005. The SQL Server 2005 JDBC Driver 1.2 CTP April 2007 download is available to all SQL Server users at no additional charge, and provides access to SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 from any Java application, application server, or Java-enabled applet. This is a Type 4 JDBC driver that provides database connectivity through the standard JDBC application program interfaces (APIs) available in J2EE (Java2 Enterprise Edition). This release of the JDBC Driver is JDBC 3.0 compliant and runs on the Java Development Kit (JDK) version 1.4 and higher. It has been tested against all major application servers including BEA WebLogic, IBM WebSphere, JBoss, and Sun. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=f914793a-6fb4-475f-9537-b8fcb776befd&DisplayLang=en SQL Server Tables and Exchange Web Services The SQL Server Tables and Exchange Web Services sample demonstrates a powerful integration of Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007 and Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005 features. This integration enables you to provide data from both Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server to client applications so that...
  • Microsoft Office Outlook Connector Beta (how to connect Office Live Basics or Windows Live Hotmail to Outlook)

    Don't you love the way the title of a product described what it is? While this product does what it says on the tin, it misses out the most important thing - what can you connect Outlook to. The answer is e-mail and contacts based on our Hotmail service, so this includes OfficeLive. If you sign up to one of the subscription OfficeLive services (i.e. you pay us to use it) then you get a connector which can do all this AND synchronise your calendar items too. Once in Outlook you can do all the searching, filing and manipulation you want to do. Today you can now download the beta of the next version of the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector. Download: Microsoft Office Outlook Connector (Beta) The Microsoft Office Outlook Connector is designed to let you access your Windows Live Hotmail account through Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007. You will be able to download and install the Connector to sync up your email and contacts in Windows Live Hotmail for free. However, if you are a paid subscriber of MSN Premium, Office Live Essentials, or Office Live Premium you will get the added functionality of being able to sync up your calendar, tasks and notes from Outlook to Windows Live Hotmail. I know many of you probably took note to the statement made on the download page of being able to "synchronize your Windows Live Calendar in Outlook". Windows Live Hotmail currently has a built in calendar service which is essentially your Windows Live Calendar. Your calendar from Outlook is published and viewable through this service in Windows Live Hotmail. The Windows Experience Blog : Microsoft Office Outlook Connector Beta Now Available ttfn David Technorati Tags: Outlook , OfficeLive , Sync , beta
  • SQL 2005 Webcasts for June

    SQL 2005 Webcasts and Virtual Labs SQL Server 2005 is data management and analysis software that delivers enhanced security, availability, and scalability to mission-critical data applications—while making them easier to develop, deploy, and manage. Choose from a wide range of live and on-demand webcasts. Or take part in a virtual lab, which allows you to cut your teeth on the new platform by experimenting with its different capabilities. SQL Server 2005 Webcasts Momentum Webcast: Selecting the Right SQL Server 2005 Edition to Fit Your Business (Level 200) – Monday, June 25, 2007. 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada) Microsoft SQL Server 2005 is available in a variety of editions to best match the demands of your business applications. Attend this session to learn about the differences between editions of SQL Server, especially Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition and Standard Edition, so you can avoid the common mistake of choosing the wrong edition to run your mission-critical applications. In this webcast, we present the value of SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition by describing its exclusive features and benefits, and by demonstrating practical usage scenarios. Join this presentation as we compare the capabilities of SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition with those available in SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition. Momentum Webcast: Selecting the Right SQL Server 2005 Edition to Fit Your Business (Level 200) Support WebCast: How to use custom assemblies in SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services This Support WebCast describes how you can use custom code in a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services report. We will cover a typical scenario where you would want to use a custom assembly in a report. The presentation simplifies and outlines all the steps to create, deploy, and troubleshoot custom assemblies that are used with Reporting Services. This presentation discusses how to use embedded code instead of a custom assembly and also discusses the pros and cons of using embedded code compared to using a custom...
  • Next version of SQL announced "Katmai"

    Microsoft SQL Server Code Name “Katmai” SQL Server code name "Katmai," the next release of Microsoft SQL Server, provides a comprehensive data platform that is more secure, reliable, manageable and scalable for your mission critical applications, while enabling developers to create new applications that can store and consume any type of data on any device, and enabling all your users to make informed decisions with relevant insights. http://www.microsoft.com/sql/prodinfo/futureversion/default.mspx http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/may07/05-09KatmaiPR.mspx Technorati Tags: Katmai
  • SQL Server 2005 KB (Knowledge Base or Support) Articles (note the CRM one)

    SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition FIX: Failed assertion message in the Errorlog file when you perform various operations in SQL Server 2005: "Failed Assertion = 'fFalse' Attempt to access expired blob handle (3)" http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=933766 FIX: SQL Server 2005 does not reclaim the disk space that is allocated to the temporary table if the stored procedure is stopped http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=931843 The Batch Requests/sec counter of the SQL Statistics performance object increases one time for each RPC in SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=936637 List of known issues when you install SQL Server 2005 on Windows Server Code Name "Longhorn" http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=936302 How to use Windows Management Instrumentation in SQL Server 2005 to change the account of the SQL Server service or the password of the SQL Server service programmatically http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=936492 A user who is not a member of a required role can still connect to a SQL Server 2005 database after you set the user access option for the database to RESTRICTED_USER http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=935997 After you install a 64-bit version of SQL Server 2005 on a 64-bit version of Windows, the 32-bit entries for SQL Native Client Configuration and for SQL Server 2005 Network Configuration appear in SQL Server Configuration Manager http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=936491 FIX: The query performance is slow when you run a query that uses a user-defined scalar function against an instance of SQL Server 2005 http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=933724 FIX: High CPU utilization by SQL Server 2005 may occur when you use NUMA architecture on a computer that has an x64-based version of SQL Server 2005 installed http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=931821 FIX: Event ID: 1 may be logged when you use a Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) writer to back up a snapshot in SQL Server 2005 http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=934396 FIX: When you run the "dbcc dbreindex"...
  • SQL Server 2000 KB (Knowledge Base or Support) Articles

    SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition FIX: You may receive an assertion or database corruption may occur when you use the bcp utility or the "Bulk Insert" Transact-SQL command to import data in SQL Server 2000 http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=933573 FIX: Error message when you use the sp_addarticle stored procedure to add articles to an existing transactional replication publication in SQL Server 2000: “Cannot create a file when that file already exists” http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=932686 FIX: The Sqldumper.exe utility cannot generate a filtered SQL Server dump file when you use the Remote Desktop Connection service or Terminal Services to connect to a Windows 2000 Server-based computer in SQL Server 2000 http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=928079 FIX: The sp_droparticle stored procedure performs very slowly if the @immediate_sync property is set to TRUE in SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4 http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=932674 SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services FIX: An access violation may occur in SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services when you try to use a 2007 Office system program to open an offline local cube http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=925000 Technorati Tags: SQL Server 2000
  • Windows Home Server Blog : Couldn't have said it better myself - Terry Walsh and the Home Server UK Hero

    The Home Server team have made a shout out to a UK blogger who has lots of Add-ins and How-Two's for Home Server. Worth a peak!! Terry Walsh, some dude from the UK who has a blog ( We Got Served ) all about Windows Home Server, has been doing great things for the community. He's got a list of Add-ins , a bunch of How-Tos , and some great descriptions of the technology of Windows Home Server. Windows Home Server Blog : Couldn't have said it better myself ttfn David Technorati Tags: Home Server , Add-ins , Developer
  • Susan Bradley's found something that does good backup and virtualisation things - StorageCraft

    Susan's blog has recently come under my radar again (meaning I have time to read blogs), so I am posting lots of things from here. This one is a product which if your customer is DR minded could enable them to spawn a Virtual PC/Server and run the backup in it. An awesome addition. He took a backup image he had done of a server, he then fired up virtual pc and restored the backed up "real" server to a virtual one and flagging the "check for hardware changes and deal with it automatically" function that the IT pro version does. Very impressive and very cool. You can even mount the image and browse a read only version of the server if you need to extract data or what not. http://www.storagecraft.com/products/ShadowProtectIT/ Check it out... very cool. The biggest thing at New Orleans.. was not the throwing of the beads...but StorageCraft and Mark Crall - E-Bitz - SBS MVP the Official Blog of the SBS "Diva" ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 R2 , Backup , DR , Virtualisation
  • Is Microsoft finally getting back a "cool" rap - Popfly, Silverlight, Home Server, Surface?

    Again, I saw this on the home Server blog and thought it was worth sharing. Not the information about Surface or Home Server - I have commented on those before, but the fact that people are finally saying these products are cool: Unless you've been hiding in a cave somewhere (or just maybe working really hard this week) you've probably caught some of the incredible buzz for Microsoft Surface , unveiled at the Wall Street Journal's D conference this week. USA Today tech columnist Andrew Kantor says Surface is the "second product in a row ( following Windows Home Server ) to 'just work,' a la Apple." Kantor wrote about Home Server last week, too: "Even if you only have a single computer in your home, dedicating an older machine as a WHS is a good idea simply for the protection against hard disk failure and the ability to pool your drives." ZDNet bloggers Dan Farber and and Larry Dignan also connect Home Server to Surface, saying the two could complement each other. What do you think? Windows Home Server Blog : Surface Other than the UI, there are a few cool features. One is the PopFly Explorer for Visual Studio. With it, you can share pats of your Visual Studio projects to PopFly and share them with people. So in some ways, PopFly can act as a group code repository, which if it works the way I think it does, could make for some informative mashups. Popfly (from an Adobe employee): http://blogs.zdnet.com/Stewart/?p=381 Nevertheless, all gadget lovers will salivate over this new piece of high-tech furniture gadgetry - including me. To quote Butthead, this is the coolest thing I have ever seen! http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/microsoft/microsoft-surface-cool.asp It would be nice to be thought of as cooler :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Cool , Popfly , Surface , Silverlight , Home Server
  • Jason Langridge's WebLog - MR Mobile - tells us that the Windows Vista Windows Mobile Device Center v6.1 has been released

    I've worked with Jason for years, although our paths have diverged recently as he has become more "Enterprise" and I have become more "Small" business. However he is still known inside and outside Microsoft as Mr Mobile (ask Vlad as he talks about " Jason Langridge , the #1 Microsoft Mobile blogger"). Anyway, pop along to Jason's blog to learn much more, including where to get the download if Windows Update is not good enough for you. Windows Mobile Device Center v6.1 Last week the Vista Blog team hinted at an upcoming update to the Windows Mobile Device Center but it finally got released last night. The update is available for download from microsoft.com as well as via Windows Update. As well as focussing on continually improving reliability and performance the update also provides enhanced functionality which includes: • Windows Mobile 6 feature support - Information Rights Management activation - Automatically configure the Windows Mobile 6 device to open IRM-protected documents and files - HTML mail – Set up your Windows Mobile 6 device to sync HTML-formatted mail - Certificate Enrollment - Acquire certificates through the PC the Windows Mobile 6 device is currently connected to - Allow data connections on the Windows Mobile 6 device when connected to the PC - File synchronization for smartphones – Synchronize files with your Windows Mobile 6 devices, including both touch screen and non-touch screen devices • Automatic device authentication - Connect the Windows Mobile device to the PC without the need to enter the device-lock PIN every time upon connect • Product Registration - Register your Windows Mobile device and get connected to information and offers available for your device Jason Langridge's WebLog - MR Mobile! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Mobile , Windows Vista
  • Home Servers that will be look cool in the home and pass the dreaded "partner" test

    I have a Media Center, Home Server, Xbox, Xbox 360, SBS and other machines in my house. The under TV box hides the Xbox and Media Center, the 360 is in the bedroom and the home server (& SBS box) are in the study. I learnt a long time ago that IF I wanted something like Home Server in the living space I needed it to look good. This is one example of what looking cool might be. There is obviously much more to Home Server, so visit the blog if this is a new area for you. More Hockey Puck Photos Heh. Joel just sent me a couple more pics of the "hockey puck". This thing is so amazingly cool that I just have to rant some more about it. First, we commissioned Carbon Design , a local design firm, to dream up some really cool home server form factors about 2 years ago. After a couple of iterations we narrowed it down to 3 ideas: the cube, the slate, and the hockey puck. Carbon built us a few foam models of each of these as well as a bunch of cool looking renderings. These served us well for while as tools for illustrating the concept to executives and partners. As CES 2007 approached, late last year, we decided we needed a working prototype. The goals were to build something that was inanely cool looking, stretched the envelope on size, and expressed the idea that Windows Home Server provides a whole house solution. We re-engaged with Carbon to build a working version of the hockey puck. In a very short timeframe they created 3 working models. Each is based on a nano-ITX mainboard from VIA and 2.5" HDDs. Other cool features: Windows Home Server Blog : More Hockey Puck Photos ttfn David Technorati Tags: Home Server , Cool
  • Susanne Dansey (UK SMB Girl) off to make Westcoast even better as she broadens her horizons

    Congratulations to Susanne on her impending job move. She is the best UK SMB Girl out there :-) She often keeps Microsoft straight with her views and I will always be grateful for her honest conversation and being a good friend. Anyway, as always you can go to her blog, but here is an extract. Note, she is still the UK SMB Girl and not just a Westcoast employee, so remember to treat her as a person and not just a support line for Westcoast. But you can’t take SMB out of the girl! July is going to be a busy time for me, I’m off to the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference to speak at the Small Business Symposium (hope to see you there!) and I’m also off to pastures new in terms of my career. After being with Readycrest for seven years (well really since I was 13 when the sales office was my bedroom!) I’m taking a change in career and will be working with Westcoast Distribution as their Microsoft Channel Development Manager with a specific focus on the SBSC community. I’m not going to talk much more about Westcoast on this blog unless I feel it is appropriate as this site is independent of who I work with/for UK SMB Girl » You can take the girl out of SMB… ttfn David Technorati Tags: community , westcoast , partners
  • Go to MSN today to see a great Office 2007 advert - interact with the web page using a Word 2007 ribbon - today only 12th June

    This is a quick one - hope along to http://uk.msn.com and today you will be greeted with the Office 2007 ribbon bar. You can change the formatting of the picture or the MSN section at the top using the live preview function of Office 2007. This will be 24 hours only I am told, so about 14 3/4 hours left! Image changes as you hover over the formats - available in Office 2007 and now MSN UK for the day!! We also have style changes on the headers. ttfn David Technorati Tags: MSN , Office 2007
  • Developing a solution for Vista - get some help landing the solution with Glidepath

    This is a little old, but I needed to get it out. Basically, if you want some help building applications that take advantage of Windows Vista functionality, go and look at this. Project codename "Glidepath" is an Evangelism initiative targeted at helping MicroISVs get started and be successful with a focus on Windows Vista. Project Glidepath includes a free software factory add-in for Visual Studio 2005 that delivers, via RSS, guidance, content, code samples, step-by-step instructions and even custom tools that help MicroISVs take full advantage of Windows Vista including .NET 3.0 (WPF, WCF, WF, and CardSpace) as well as many non-technical aspects of being a MicroISV. Project Glidepath also features the Windows Vista Spotlight highlighting MicroISV applications available worldwide that are compatible with Windows Vista. Full information plus community forums and a blog are available via www.projectglidepath.net Windows Vista Team Blog : Small Software Developers: Get Flying with Windows Vista ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , Windows Vista
  • Microsoft Webcast: Security Intelligence Report Debrief: July to December 2006 (Level 200) - Thursday, June 14, 2007 8pm UK Time

    I saw this and wondered if anyone wants to attend? Microsoft Webcast: Security Intelligence Report Debrief: July to December 2006 (Level 200) Thursday, June 14, 2007 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada) This public webcast is designed to bring you up to speed on some of the latest threats that Microsoft’s customers and partners are dealing with today. The webcast is presented by the former vice president of the Anti-virus Research and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team (AVERT) for McAfee, Vinny Gullotto. For the past year Vinny has been working as the General Manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (formerly known as MSAV). Please feel free to attend the webcast and to invite customers and/or partners as well. Simply use this link to register: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032340085&Culture=en-US ttfn David
  • If you want to see what imaging, pictures, photosynth or Microsoft Research are doing in this space - go look at this video

    http://www.clipaday.com/videos/ridiculous-image-technology-coming You will see Sea dragon, PhotoSynth and see more. I rate this 10/10!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: PhotoSynth , Seadragon , Microsoft , Research
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager web casts - 18th to 20th June

    I have just seen these, register if you want to know more. Event ID: 1032343756 Title: Microsoft Virtual Server Install and Configure Walk-through Microsoft is presenting new information to help you learn the tips and tricks to install, configure and operate Microsoft Virtual Server SP1. You'll be able to watch live installation steps and ask questions with virtualization expert Allen Stewart. Date: 06-18-2007 from 8:00 am to 9:30 am Pacific Registration Forward Link: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=6924611 Replay URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/msevents/view?id=1032343756&role=attend&pw=NFTRD66 Event ID: 1032343760 Title: Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager Install and Configure Walk-through Microsoft is presenting new information to help you learn earn the tips and tricks to install, configure and operate Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager with Microsoft Virtual Server SP1. You'll be able to watch live installation steps and ask questions with virtualization expert Allen Stewart Date: 06-19-2007 from 8:00 am to 9:30 am Pacific Registration Forward Link: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=6924729 Replay URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/msevents/view?id=1032343760&role=attend&pw=DGWSGF4 Event ID: 1032343763 Title: Microsoft Virtual Server and Data Protection Manager Install and Configure Walk-through Microsoft is presenting new information to help you learn the tips and tricks to install, configure and operate disaster recovery with Microsoft Virtual Server SP1 and Systems Center Data Protection Manager. You'll be able to watch live installation steps and ask questions with virtualization expert Allen Stewart. Date: 06-20-2007 from 8:00 am to 9:30 am Pacific Registration Forward Link: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=6924731 Replay URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/msevents/view?id=1032343763&role=attend&pw=423DFE ttfn David
  • What can Microsoft do to help your business as a Microsoft Partner

    It is rare that I copy a MS web page directly, but the information in here is amazing and worth spreading the news on. I found the Microsoft Partner Drive Your Business web site and not only does it have the information below. It also has references like " Read How a Partner Maintains 100% Growth Year After Year ". If you have seen one or two of them, don't fret - look at all six options and tell me if even one of them was a nice surprise for you. Are you looking for ways to strengthen your business performance? Find out how partners in the Microsoft Partner Programme are outperforming 12 out of 14 industry benchmarks through market differentiation. Find Out the Partner Pathway to Business Performance Is your company as profitable as it could be? Take a comprehensive assessment that measures your business performance across key indicators, including profit margins and revenue growth. Get Your Customised Business Report Increase your market visibility, generate sales leads, and promote your business to peers and customers - you can do all this by simply profiling your business solutions in Solution Profiler. Promote Your Business Create demand, increase sales and reach out to potential customers. A collection of tools and compelling information can help you engage clients and capitalise on revenue-generating business opportunities. Visit the Partner Marketing Centre Explore new markets, expand your services and strengthen your business propositions. Joining forces with other partners can help both of you grow your businesses and benefit from new opportunities. Get Connected with Partner Channel Builder Whether you're a Small Business, a growing ISV, a multinational or somewhere in between, the Microsoft Partner Programme offers a wealth of tools and resources to help you increase profitability. Discover How to Maximise Your Profitability ttfn David Technorati Tags: If you only read one post today , Microsoft , Partners , Sell , Market
  • Starting a business, Susanne always says good things and now has some nice places for information?

    Do you plan to start a business, or know someone who does / is, perhaps even a customer? Well, Susanne Dansey often makes for interesting reading with her views on life in the IT world. She also just posted a link to some areas worth looking at, so click on UK SMB Girl » Starting a business? to find out more. (Obviously the extract has the Microsoft Link in it - there has to be some perks of the job) If you have considered starting a new business and need a little extra push in the right direction, here are a few links for you to check out. The first, is the new Microsoft Startup Centre . It takes you through most aspects that you need to consider when starting up including your sales, finances, marketing, staffing, and branding. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Startup , IT
  • 64-bit servers are the future, but 32-bit Windows Client is undecided

    I wrote about this the other day, that Windows Server 2008 (Longhorn) will be the last 32-bit Server product from Microsoft however some people have taken Bill Laing's comments to include Windows Client (i.e. Vista v.Next). Here is the official low down. Bill Laing, a General Manager in the Microsoft Windows Server Division, has been quoted as saying that Windows Server 2008 will be the last 32-bit operating system. Bill is a server guy and indeed Windows Server 2008 is the last 32-bit server operating system – all future operating systems for server hardware from Microsoft beyond Windows Server 2008 will be 64-bit. A few folks took Bill’s comments on Windows Server and applied them to Windows Client deriving that Windows Vista would be the last 32-bit operating system. That is an incorrect extension. While Windows Vista includes both 32-bit and 64-bit and there is a growing community of drivers for 64-bit Windows Vista we have not decided when Windows Client will follow Windows Server and become 64-bit only. Windows Vista Team Blog : On 64-bit and Windows Client ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , 64-bit
  • You know I like sailing, one day I might even own a big boat, but I hope this does not happen to it - ever!

    This is 110% off topic - http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/general-yachting-discussion/7055-splash.html shows how NOT to launch a multi-million pound boat. ttfn David
  • Sean Daniel on "Where's my next version of SBS?" - Cougar as was known

    I was browsing Vijay's blog and notices a link to Sean Daniel's blog discussing Cougar. While there are many details of Cougar still to be released and some I would imagine still to be decided, here are some of the most interesting things he said: There will be a migration too that will take you from your current SBS to Cougar on ANOTHER BOX. We are still working on this solution. The SBS Backup solution is being completely re-vamped. However, we have made the full switch, and the backup solution will no longer support backing up to tape. Using snapshot technology, the backups will be extremely quick using incrementals that can be scheduled as often as every 30 minutes. A copy of NTBackup will be able to extract files from the old SBS 2003 format, but no new data can be added. Cougar will need to be installed behind some kind of firewall and the single-NIC model will be the only mode. You must use a firewall in front of the SBS box, this can be a hardware router type item, or a software firewall such as ISA. There is more at SeanDaniel.com - SBS 2003 and Technology Discussions: Hey! Where's my next version of SBS? , however I thought that was interesting enough to start things off. ttfn David Technorati tags: Cougar , SBS , Backup , Migration , ISA , x64
  • "Vista, XP Users Equally At Peril To Viruses, Exploits" and then a lengthy retort from Roger A Grimes including the comment that the number of vulnerabilities over a given time for OSs were XP-28, Vista-11, Max OSX-101

    I have been RSS feed and news hunting and found this review in IT Channel News stating that Vista was no more secure than Windows XP. Then I read how things seemless slipped onto the system and I started to get frustrated that they must have turned off every security feature in Vista to get the results. There I was about to write a WTF reply when I found a HUGE one by Roger. There also seemed to be some confusion that Microsoft also still recommends anti-virus software for Vista. I tell people to buy AV software and not some complete "take over everything on your system" suite. Rogers reply is worth reading for sure - Microsoft is far from perfect, but turning off all the security features and then saying it is no more secure is just a little bit silly too. If you look at the number of found vulnerabilities in Windows XP (28) vs. Vista (11) this year, Vista wins again. If that seems like a lot, don't forget Mac OS X has had 101 in the same time period. Cute commercials, but not necessarily a stellar reason to dog Microsoft about. In conclusion, I'm not sure why you choose to run a story that paints Windows Vista as no better security-wise than Windows XP? Sincerely, Roger A. Grimes, Sr. Security Consultant Microsoft ACE Team Author of Windows Vista Security: Securing Vista Against Malicious Attack Review: Vista, XP Users Equally At Peril To Viruses, Exploits - Software - IT Channel News by CRN and VARBusiness ttfn David Technorati Tags: Security , Mac OS X , Windows Vista , Windows XP
  • UK SMB Girl » First Victory for Microsoft against hard-loading reseller

    Technorati Tags: Licensing , Anti-Piracy You asked for us to get tougher and now we are telling you more about it - here is one of the cases. “Microsoft’s tactics to use the small claims courts to penalise resellers found selling counterfeit product has resulted in its first victory, with further cases waiting to be resolved. Michala Alexander, head of anti-piracy at Microsoft, said it had settled out of court for £1,800 with its first small claims target, Bargain Computers of Stoke-on-Trent, but had another eight to ten cases in the pipeline. UK SMB Girl » First Victory for Microsoft against hard-loading reseller ttfn David
  • What is a UK SBSC PAL and where have they been?

    A PAL is a great friend - I did a quick search of Vijay's blog and came up with http://www.iqubed.biz/blog/2007/04/09/sbsc-pals-programme/ however this does not say what a PAL is, do I did a bit more digging (I know as I was involved in the process, but does anyone else?) A quick look at Versand von T-Online Mails unter eigenem Konto in Small Business tells me what I needed to show: Partner Area Lead ( SBSC PAL ). In the UK we have two - Vijay and Gareth of Sytec . Anyway, they had their 1st outing and here is a snippet of what Vijay had to say This was the first outing for the UK SBSC PALs (Gareth and myself) and it was to the SME Day at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Centre in Brussels held over two days. The first day was the VC Summit and a showcase of ISVs that the Microsoft Emerging Business Team had selected and who were looking for potential equity funding. The keynote was given by Craig Mundie , Microsoft’s Chief Research & Strategy Officer. You don’t get much higher up in Microsoft than this as Craig is working alongside Bill Gates, so you have to listen with great care as to what he’s saying. One of the key challenges outlined by Craig Mundie for software vendors was writing applications which could take advantage of multicore CPUs Go to » EU SME Day to read more. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBSC PALs , Community , SBSC
  • The BBC has been using Microsoft research technology to do some AMAZING photo "things" with Photosynth

    No point in me buttering this up, but if you want to see what can be done in 3D with a "bunch of snaps".... I've been really excited about Photosynth since it was first publicly demo'ed about a year ago. But now you can go and play with it yourself and explore some of Britain's most striking buildings along the way. Photosynth is (for my money) the most exciting thing to happen to digital photography in a long time. And to show it off Microsoft has teamed up with the BBC to offer the previews at http://labs.live.com/photosynth/bbc/ . Prepare to be amazed! It's eerily good. The UsefulTechnology Blog: Photosynth in all its glory ttfn David Technorati Tags: Photosync , bbc
    Filed under: ,
  • Windows Server SP2 (SBS 2003 (R2) with SP2 too) RSS/Checksum/TCP fix up now on Microsoft update

    Susan B has probably been at the forefront of SBS 2003 SP2 pains, so it is only right that it is her blog I see this posting on. SP2 RSS/Checksum/TCP fix up now on Microsoft update The Official SBS Blog : New SBS 2003 Updates released through Microsoft Update and WSUS: http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2007/06/08/new-sbs-2003-updates-released-through-microsoft-update-and-wsus.aspx New on Microsoft update is a sp2 patch that you should be installing BEFORE you install SP2. But the problem is that only gets MU'd offered up to you AFTER you install SP2. At that point in time there is a chance (especially with ISA on the box and broadcom nics) that you'll lose RDP/VPN. So I'm sticking with my recommendations from before.... SP2 RSS/Checksum/TCP fix up now on Microsoft update - E-Bitz - SBS MVP the Official Blog of the SBS "Diva" ttfn David Technorati Tags: Service Packs , SP2 , SBS 2003 R2 , SBS 2003
  • BMS in the UK understands how to use the Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit - do you?

    I get asked about this quite a lot - so Microsoft has this thing, the "TAT". I've looked at it and it is just a bunch of questions. Yep, but you can change the questions and all the results are stored and if you know what you are doing, you can use it to build an IT strategy for your customers which means that you go back to them regularly and take their IT onto the next stage for their business. I don't think this is rocket science, but perhaps it is something that we don't do enough of - look for the opportunities in a programmatic way. Now of course, this could be a very slavish process, but at Steve says: The questions are now much more relevant to the SME market and you don’t feel so uncomfortable asking your customers. We don’t just run through all the questions one after the other but slot them in to the rest of the presentation. It feels less like the Spanish Inquisition that way! We’ve conducted several surveys so far and they don’t just have to be prospective customers. You can survey your existing customers as well which we have found really useful as it starts the ball rolling on subjects that they maybe haven’t discussed with us previously such as desktop refresh timescales for example. Conducting the survey is really just the start. Once completed you can then start to spec. up a proposal based on the answers. It’s a great opportunity to open a dialog with your customers and prospects. BMS Blog: Everything SBS in the UK. » Business & Technology Assessment Toolkit ttfn David Technorati Tags: Technology Assessment Toolkit , SBSC , SBS 2003
  • Google Checkout downchecked by UK users (The Register) and Google doesn't mind not asking about Privacy

    I'm obviously in a little bit of a carefree mood as I am going to offer my personal opinion on one of the Internet greats. Google has built an amazing advertising business through search, but their company slogan of "Do no evil" seems to be more "deny any evil doing". Lets be honest, Google is a business, like any other who's primary aim is to live longer, grow bigger and feed shareholders. I have seen a few things that Google do that I don't like. I don't like them reading my e-mails, the meta data of the documents I have, my every browser move. These have been discussed by others many times before, but this week I have seen two storied that smacked of "sorry we got it wrong... its not our fault". I remember the reaction when I said sorry on the blog and it seems that a little bit of that humble pie is needed elsewhere (and more at Microsoft obviously). The two areas I am thinking about are their Checkout tool and their mapping tools. The Register, who I have had the pleasure of doing interviews with personally wrote: Or maybe not. Here are a few emails we've received from UK Checkout users: Google checkout is having major problems transferring money into people's bank accounts. They are ignoring emails and refusing to do comment or acknowledge the matter. I myself have 14,500 pounds stuck in google since the 21st of May and i am not alone. a quick look at their forums shows it's quite widespread. Other users of the Google forums agree . And there's more: The [Google Checkout] affiliate program offered by Ebuyer stole my money! I used the Google checkout function, which enticed me with the offer of a £10 discount. The system refused both of my cards, saying they were declined (they both had plenty of credit). I decided to shun my £10 discount and just use Ebuyer's standard checkout system. My order went through without a hitch. Two days later, Google Checkout sent me an email saying that they were sorry about declining my card as this was a fault of...
    Filed under: ,
  • System Center Essentials web casts

    To follow up on the SCE information - please note that once a webcast has run it is normally available for "on demand" viewing. Manage the IT Environment of Your Mid-Sized Business More Efficiently Discover Microsoft System Center Essentials 2007, the new unified IT management solution specifically designed for mid-sized businesses. In this webcast, we provide an overview of System Center Essentials 2007 and demonstrate how it enables IT professionals to manage their IT environments proactively by simplifying tasks and automating complex tasks from a single console. Learn how the built-in troubleshooting and asset inventory can help you save time and increase productivity while maximizing the availability of a secure IT environment. Presenter: Pete Zerger, Consulting Practice Partner, AKOS Technology Services http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032336459&CountryCode=US Managing a Microsoft Infrastructure Meet availability and performance requirements for your business-critical applications with Microsoft infrastructure management products, technologies, and solutions offerings. Leverage these online resources for an in-depth look into Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007, Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager, Microsoft Operations Manager 2005, and more. TechNet Webcast: Deploying and Upgrading to System Center Essentials 2007 (Level 200) Tuesday, May 29, 2007 1:00 P.M.–2:30 P.M. Pacific Time TechNet Webcast: System Center Operations Manager 2007 Technical Overview (Level 200) Monday, June 11, 2007 11:30 A.M.–1:00 P.M. Pacific Time TechNet Webcast: Client Monitoring with System Center Operations Manager 2007 (Level 200) Monday, June 18, 2007 11:30 A.M.–1:00 P.M. Pacific Time TechNet Webcast: What's New in Systems Management Server 2003 SP3 (Level 200) Tuesday, June 19, 2007 1:00 P.M.–2:00 P.M. Pacific Time TechNet Webcast: System Center Operations Manager 2007 Installation and Management Pack Migration (Level 200) Friday, June...
  • Managing Windows Systems using System Center Essentials 2007

    We already have suggested that this will be coming in the next version of SBS, so you might want to start playing around with this now. If you are an Action Pack subscriber you should be able to do this anyway. I thought these might be useful to you Download the 90-day Evaluation Software, read White Papers and more here... http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/sce/default.mspx Configuration management is becoming more important and while I don't expect the majority of the small business partner community to adopt this, some might be interested in how this can help them and make up their own mind. System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Beta 2 Product Feature Quizzes The System Center Configuration Manager 2007 User Assistance team has created a set of 7 quizzes to help you assess your understanding of the dependencies and requirements for key features of Configuration Manager. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=b9fb478a-ec98-47f2-b31e-57443a8ae88f&DisplayLang=en Configuration Manager Documentation Library Download the latest online version of the Configuration Manager Documentation Library. More recent than the documentation available on the Beta 2 CD. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sms/smsv4/smsv4_help/6ffe5c59-3858-49c5-83cb-16f63823187c.mspx?mfr=true ttfn David Technorati Tags: System Center Essentials , Configuration Management
  • Old but cool News - Sony 9mm OLED display @ 1080p resolution

    Going through old mails and found this - maybe one day I will get a new screen: Thin displays Sony Demos 9mm-thick High-Def OLED Displays “Look and yearn folks. This here is Sony’s new OLED display. It’s an obscene 9mm thick yet it packs a 1080p resolution along with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Just as a recap, OLED displays are thinner and brighter than their LCD counterparts and they suck up less power.” ttfn David
    Filed under:
  • Whatever happened to FrontPage and what has it got to do with SharePoint Designer or Web Expression

    I seem to be being asked this a lot, so I thought I would pop up my simple answer: FrontPage has been both extended and then split into two products. We now have SharePoint Designer which is one child of FrontPage, but obviously ideally suited to modifying SharePoint (and OfficeLive) sites and then we have the “any type of web page editor” which is Expression Web. If you look at http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/web_designer/fpwd_faq.mspx you will also see: How is Expression Web different from Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003? Expression Web builds on Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003 technologies to provide an unprecedented level of support for creating standards-based Web sites. Valuable feedback from customers like you have helped us create a new product that fully supports Web standards such as Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML), cascading style sheets (CSS), and Extensible Markup Language (XML). If you are familiar with FrontPage, then you will find Expression Web easy to use. Expression Web has strong CSS support and takes full advantage of the power of ASP.NET 2.0 with integrated support for server and user controls. Who is Expression Web for? Expression Web is designed for creative professionals. However, experienced WYSIWYG Web designers will also appreciate the extensive features of Expression Web. No technical background is required to start using Expression Web. Convenient task panes and menus help users build attractive and compelling Web pages without knowing any markup or server code. How is Expression Web different from Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007? Microsoft Office SharePoint® Designer 2007puts the emphasis on creating and customizing SharePoint Web sites. Expression Web is a new product for creating standards-based Web sites. The two products share common technologies including a high-fidelity design surface with deep support for CSS and ASP.NET. Can I use Expression Web to work on files created in FrontPage? Yes. You can use Expression Web to open Web sites created...
  • Windows XP and Windows Vista feature comparison for small businesses

    I saw this at http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/products/wowpc/CompareWindows.aspx and thought this would be a great sales tool. While Vista has many new and unique features people often want to discuss how it compares to previous versions - this is a good place to start to go down that list. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows XP , Windows Vista , Comparison , Small Business
  • Office XP, 2003, 2007 feature comparison for small businesses

    I saw this on the Small Business site in the US and thought it was an excellent tool as to what has changed between the versions of Office from XP through to Office 2007. Simply go to http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/products/wowpc/CompareOffice.aspx and click out the tabs to get the details. Ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office System , Office 2007 , Office 2003 , Office XP , Comparison , Small Business
  • Getting data out of or into Office 2007 documents just got easier with the Open XML gets an SDK

    If you are still undecided in the Open XML debate, or decided but want tools to make it easier then hop over to James blog and have a look at Views on Windows Vista : Open XML gets an SDK : Yesterday Microsoft announced a SDK (Software Development Kit) for SDK which allows developers to create code which works well with the Open XML thanks to the libraries, samples and documentation provided by the SDK. You can download the SDK here . If you now think that having this as a standard is a good idea, please go to here to add your vote. ttfn David Technorati tags: open XML , Office 2007 , Office System
  • If you want to get prepared for administrating future systems (Exchange 2007, Windows Server 2008) you will need to learn PowerShell - Techworlds PowerShell review

    I saw this and thought I would post here. Microsoft Windows PowerShell 1.0 review Is Microsoft’s new tool a power shell or an egg shell? By David Cartwright, techworld List price:Free Pros: Brings Windows scripting into the .NET era, allowing you to do far more than you could with VBScript. Cons: The syntax will take you some getting used to – an IntelliSense equivalent would be a nice touch. Buying advice: Getting PowerShell is a no-brainer. It’s a no-cost scripting tool that you’ll find a use for before long, so it makes sense to get a copy now and get to grips with it a bit before you have to start using it in anger. "If you’re used to DOS batch files, VBScript scripts or Unix shell scripts, you’ll find this experience next to useless when trying to get to grips with PowerShell. The syntax is like nothing I’ve ever come across (and I’ve used all three of the above extensively)" "This said, it’s not the hardest thing in the world to get used to. It’s just a case of learning the keywords and, most importantly, figuring out how to find your way around the help system. The reason for the latter is simple: if, like me, you’re a Visual Studio developer, you’re used to having IntelliSense – a clever little gizmo that enumerates all the possible expansions whenever you type an object name and hit the “.” key, so you don’t have to remember all the members of an object. No IntelliSense means having to type “get-help” a lot – but at least the help function is pretty comprehensive" "and in fact, most of the common ones have been done for you so they look like DOS commands. So “Get-ChildItem” has been aliased to the more familiar “DIR”." Read the whole article at Techworld.com - Software Applications Reviews - Microsoft Windows PowerShell Review Microsoft's PowerShell site can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/management/powershell/default.mspx with over 500 sample scripts at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/hubs/msh.mspx that do almost administrative...
  • We listen to you - changes that you have requested for Action Pack and where we are with them

    People often wonder what happens to the feedback provided through the blog and the Regional Support Centers, so I thought I would give you a quick update. Below are some things that you have asked for and the current status of them. I know not all the answers are what you want to hear, but at least you know we are working on things Things we have solved Problem Answer Business Contact Manager was not included in Action Pack Product will be included (probably from July) Lack of 64-bit Windows Server Shipped as a special shipment and will be standard from July pack Damaged Actions Packs and missing CDs We apologise for this and ask you to contact the regional support center for replacements. At the moment we are not getting too many complaints about this, but will monitor Can I have 64-bit Vista Hopefully this will be shipped in the next kit Things still in progress (the light is closer for these items than the 2 items in the last section) Problem Answer Downloads for AP subscribers – when will this be generally available? We are aware of the need. In the short term if you want downloads, please look at TechNet, which also provides you with two support calls as part of the cost Shipment of Office OPK We are still trying to work through this Groove in the next version of MAPS? Nothing to announce yet, but again, working on it Things we can't fix yet, but are still trying to find a way to fix Problem Answer Absence of SharePoint Designer from MAPS This is not currently due to be shipped in the Action Pack Ability of MAPS edition of Office 2007 to run on Terminal Services There is currently no Volume License software in the Action Pack and it would be a significant change to vary from this. While we understand the issue, we can not resolve this at this time. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Action Pack , MAPS
  • Time constraints if you want to upgrade Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS) Premium SP1 - SBS 2003 Premium ISA 2004 CD must be ordered before 31st December 2007

    I saw this and having had a few people who could not order, or have not ordered yet, this is about as loud as I can make it!!! From The Official SBS Blog : Upgrading Existing Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS) Installations to SBS 2003 SP1 - GET IT BEFORE THE END OF 2007 OR DON'T GET ISA 2004!!! SBS 2003 Premium customers may order an SP1 Premium CD3 which contains the ISA 2004 technologies. The site above has direct links for ordering: North America: Order your Premium Edition CD3 online . If you encounter problems during your ordering process, please contact a customer service representative at 1-800-360-7561. Europe/Middle East/Africa: Order your Premium Edition CD3 online . If you encounter problems during your ordering process, please contact a customer service representative at direct-mar@msdirectservices.com . ttfn David Technorati tags: SBS 2003 SP1
  • If you want Windows XP Pro on a new machine, buy Windows Vista (Business or Ultimate) and then downgrade

    I’m not sure how many people are aware of this, but if you buy a Windows Vista Business or Ultimate then you can use a Windows XP CD (which you have legal access to) to load Windows XP onto that machine. When you need the product key / or need to activate, this will potentially fail, but a quick call to the activation centre with your Vista product key should give you all the details you need. Then when you are ready to put Vista onto that machine, you can do without the cost of buying it anew. Alternatively you can buy Windows XP today and should you ever want to load Vista, you can give more money to a shop to get a copy again. For further information go to http://oem.microsoft.com/script/sites/public/licensing.htm More information can be found in this one page document OEM Downgrade from Vista to Windows XP ttfn David Please Note the following (in legalese) Windows Vista Downgrade Rights Clarification Per the EULA and OEM DTOS Agreement, the end user customer is responsible for supplying media for the OEM or customer to create the downgrade product image on the customer system. Neither Microsoft, the OEMs, nor the system builders are responsible for supplying this media. VL customers already have the necessary media. For non-VL customers, the easiest way to obtain this media is to buy a single FPP copy of Windows XP Pro or use an existing FPP copy of Windows XP Pro if they already own one. That media can then be used to downgrade Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate machines to Windows XP Pro. If the customer uses a product key for Windows XP Pro that they’ve previously activated, that machine will likely fail activation. If the downgraded machine fails activation the customer will be prompted to call the product activation call center to request a key that will enable them to pass activation. The customer should mention that they’re exercising their downgrade rights to the customer service representative in the activation call center.

(c)David Overton 2006-13