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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  • We say that Heroes happen with the '2008 products - see what has been registered by heros so far

    I found this great web site where you can see 150 case studies that are presented in the form of a book with stories in it. Some are a bit slim on detail and others are good. You might enjoy reading it - http://www.microsoft.com/heroeshappenhere/portraitgallery/start.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , heroes
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008, SQL 2008 Launches - Heroes Are Happening Right {Here} Right {Now} in L.A. (well, it was when I went to the web page)

    The launch is finally upon us. 2 of the 3 products are ready, willing and able to work in your business and the 3rd has just delivered another CTP. In the UK we are looking at press events right now, but we have a customer event on the 19th March. To register you need to go to the virtual launch experience: On the Server blog David Lowe wrote about the event and gave some great pointers to more information on blogs Even if you couldn't make it to LA. yourself, or if you haven't been able to register for one of the other 200+ launch events around the world, check out the Virtual Launch Experience online for an incredibly rich and interactive experience that is almost as good as being here. I'll post further updates later today on some of the launch announcements and cool things that are happening here. In the meantime, you can read our full launch press release on the Server and Tools Business News Bytes blog , and you can read more detail on these announcements on the following blogs: http://blogs.msdn.com/somasegar/ http://blogs.technet.com/mapblog/ http://blogs.msdn.com/applicationplatform/ http://blogs.technet.com/dataplatforminsider/ http://blogs.msdn.com/stevemar/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 and .Net 3.5 , SQL 2008 , Launch
  • Application Resources for Windows Server 2008 Launch (2 days to go)

    I was asked the other day about how to make sure if an application is likely to work on Vista or Windows Server 2008 and this blog entry has some of the answers. You may notice things like the App Compatibility toolkit and the cookbook. Between these, you should get all the information you need to ensure applications that work on current and future platforms. Resources for Windows Server 2008 Launch We at Microsoft are on the verge of releasing one of the most powerful and reliable products in the history of the company, Windows Server 2008. Containing numerous improvements and new features, Windows Server 2008 is a product everybody can be proud of. As an ISV, what’s the best way you can get up to speed and research these many improvements, and be aware of any possible application compatibility issues you might run into? Here are some resources to help you with these questions: Windows Server 2008 Product Page : This is the main Microsoft home for Windows Server 2008 as a product. You can find the many links to other Microsoft online properties regarding Windows Server 2008 on this page. Windows Server 2008 MSDN Developer Center : If you are a developer targeting the Windows Server 2008 platform, this is your one-stop-shopping center for all things “Developer” with Windows Server 2008. This dev center will continue to be updated going forward, so make sure to stay tuned for more great content coming to you in the future. Windows Server 2008 Application Compatibility : Although this is simply a part of the Dev Center above, I want to call it out specifically. Application Compatibility is such an important topic for ISVs and Customers alike, that I believe this is a very important collection of resources to be aware of. Especially be aware of the Application Compatibility Cookbook if you are interested in this topic. Innovate On : If you desire more information regarding the Windows Server 2008 Logo Program, this is the place to go. You can find everything from the actual certification requirements, to automated tools...
  • Microsoft Office Live Small Business v2 - have you got it already?

    This happened a couple of weeks ago, but it is always worth sharing the improvements in Office Live. Not only do we have this going on, but we also have the beta of Workspaces progressing. Remember, your customers could benefit from Office Live and if you don't offer it, someone else might just offer them Office Live or something else, blocking you out from that customer as they grow in size. Microsoft Office Live Small Business is the award-winning, easy-to-use suite of Web-based software and services designed to help small businesses affordably take, promote and manage their businesses online. Used by nearly 600,000 customers worldwide, Office Live Small Business is available in the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan. The service also provides an excellent environment within which partners can build industry-specific solutions. Office Live Small Business is now available with : Full Firefox 2.0 support for PC & Mac Easy-to-use Website Designer tool or use html/3rd party design tools Outlook Connector for offline synching of email, calendar, contacts & tasks Mobile access to email, calendar and contacts from Windows-Powered SmartPhones or PocketPCs Solutions Packager for Web designers FREE when you sign up : Domain name * 500MB fully hosted Website Up to 100 email accounts Contact Manager Document Manager Project Manager Workspace * (.co.uk free for the first 2 years or .com, org, net, .eu free for the first year) Additional affordable features : E-mail marketing beta Search marketing More storage, users and tools Simple Windows Live ID signup process. No need to validate with a credit card any more ! What are you waiting for ? Read more details and signup now at : smallbusiness.officelive.com See what you can do with it. David Technorati Tags: Small Business , Office Live , Office Live Small Business , Web site , domain , e-mail , workspaces , document manager
  • Study: .Net overtakes Java

    I saw this and thought I would share it. It gives some positioning of .Net vs Java. There is more to the article that that listed below, but the interesting statements for me was .Net >50% and Java 20%. Oh, and additional to that pure .Net @ 12% while pure Java was at 3%. Ouch!! Study: .Net overtakes Java Microsoft's .Net software development platform is more popular than Java in the enterprise, according to one industry analyst firm's report detailed on Wednesday Info-Tech Research Group said its research found .Net the choice over Java among enterprises of all sizes and industries. Entitled, "It's Official: .Net Roasts Java's Beans," the study explored the relative prevalence of Java and .Net across different types of enterprises and found .Net has gained considerable market share and become the favourite of many enterprises. In conducting its study, Info-Tech said it recently surveyed more than 1,850 organizations of different sizes. Info-Tech's research is not sponsored, a company representative said. Almost half of all enterprises responding to the survey focus primarily on .Net with an additional 12 percent focused exclusively on .Net , the research found. This compares with just 20 percent of enterprises focusing primarily on Java and only 3 percent standardizing solely on it , Info-Tech said. Read the whole article at Tech Watch | InfoWorld Staff | InfoWorld | Study: .Net overtakes Java | November 28, 2007 01:07 PM | By Paul Krill ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , Java , .Net , Develoment , ISV
  • Answers to some of the questions about SBS 2008 (32-bit 2nd server, SCE, beta upgrades, migrating users

    [updated 23rd Feb 2008] After posting on SBS 2008 the other day I've had a few questions, so here are some answers Can the 2nd server be x64 or x86 (32-bit) and can it be used for Terminal Services / Hyper-V / a.n.other purpose The 2nd server can be 32 or 64-bit. It is essentially Windows Server 2008 Standard edition, however it does check it is part of a SBS domain. Therefore it can be used for almost anything a Windows Server can be used for (and SQL can be loaded on it too) Why was System Center Essentials removed from SBS 2008 The short answer is that this was not the right product for SBS owners, however SBS can be used / works with SCE. For this reason SCE can, for example, be loaded on the the 2nd server Can I install SBS 2008 beta (cougar) in my production environment and upgrade to RTM when it releases The answer here is one about the fact that betas are betas and have bugs, so there are risks. Officially the answer is “don’t consider using Cougar beta in your production environment unless you are on the TAP as any problems / migration / upgrades will be unsupported. Should you do so, your only access to any support and guidance will be via the newsgroups” If someone has recently purchased hardware for SBS 2003, can they move to SBS 2008 SBS 2008 has migration wizards that will enable the move from one machine to another. For those where they wish to use existing hardware there is NO in-place upgrade, however you should be able to do the following (assuming the hardware is x64 capable): 1) Copy their existing setup to a virtual machine 2) Install SBS 2008 onto the original hardware and use the migration tools to move SBS to the same box or 1) Backup their SBS 2003 system 2) Install SBS 2008 on the existing hardware 3) Add data back from backup (this is a manual process) Can SBS 2008 be used with Hyper-V Yes, we’re in the process of testing which virtualization scenarios SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 will support, and will provide more information in the future. Can SBS 2003 CALs be used with SBS 2008 No, SBS...
  • Action Pack subscription changes - you should know about them, but they start on 1st March

    I know that this has been well sign-posted and people have discussed the merits etc in the past, however this is a reminder!! As I’m sure you’re aware, from March 1 st all subscribers wishing to renew must pass an assessment. This is what you need to know: 1. We’ve made available on the Partner Portal an enrolment and re-enrolment guide, which will help people with renewals (see: www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/actionpack and https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/40049696 ). 2. The portal also contains all the info that those interested in MAPS need, however if anyone is experiencing issues renewing, we do want to encourage them to call the Regional Support Centre (RSC) for assistance. In the UK that number is: 0800 917 3128. Also if you have any questions regarding your current Action Pack subscription, please call 0870 60 70 700 (press option 1) thanks David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Microsoft Partner Program , SBSC , Action Pack
  • More information on SBS 2008

    I was reading over at Sean Daniel's blog about more info on SBS 2008 and realised there are a couple of pages you need to look at ( Learn more with a product overview ). I've also posted some answers to questions here . Affordable, Integrated Solution Windows Small Business Server 2008 is designed for small businesses. It is designed to work with existing technology, build on Microsoft best practices, and delivers a comprehensive network at an affordable price. Have virtually anytime, anywhere access to your business desktop; including e-mail, files, business applications, and more. Share resources and equipment, such as Internet access, printers, and fax machines, to get the most value from your technology investments. Enjoy compatibility and scalability. As your business needs to change, Windows Small Business Server 2008 can change with you--easily add users, servers and applications, or expand into other Microsoft technologies. Work more efficiently and add more value to your business with an integrated administrative console. Work confidently with a top performing network based on Windows Server 2008 technologies. Protect Your Business Data Windows Small Business Server 2008 helps protect your vital business information from loss, by automatically backing up the computers and servers in your network and helping enable you to recover accidentally deleted files. Use anti-virus and anti-spam protection to help protect your information from malicious attacks, viruses, and spam. Keep your computers and servers current and your network healthy and up to date with the latest updates. Get better control over your business and business information with daily and weekly reports alerting you on the health and security of your technology. A single administrative console gives you or your IT consultant a daily view of PCs and servers and makes it easier to manage common IT tasks. Get an at-a-glance snapshot of the security and health of your PCs and servers from a 'green check' report. Grow Your Business Capacity...
  • Microsoft Windows Essential Server Solutions - Which one is right for you?

    There is lots of information on how to choose the right Essential solution for you (SBS Std, Premium, EBS Std or Premium. A quick sample can be seen below (there is much more on the web site): Which Solution Is Right for You? Learn how the Windows Essential Server Solutions are designed to fit specific needs for small and midsize business. Find which solution will be the right choice for you and your company’s needs. Remember, each business is unique – consult your Microsoft Certified Partner to help determine the best solution for you. Your Need Windows Small Business Server 2008 Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Standard Edition Premium Edition Standard Edition Premium Edition Company Size and Growth Our company needs a secure network for 250 or fewer users today Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008 supports up to 50 users or devices. Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server 2008 supports up to 250 users or devices. Our business is growing at a fast pace and our IT needs are expanding. As your business needs change, these products provide a “technology building block” for additional servers and a seamless transition to the full line of Microsoft Server products, using Transition Packs. We recommend you decide based on your 1-yr and 2-yr growth plans, as well as on your current and future application and performance needs. We are acquiring other companies and need to connect with their data and email immediately until we can incorporate everything into our server network. The Windows Essential Server Solutions products are meant to be the primary network and email system and not a down-level branch office or subsidiary solution. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , SBS 2008 , Windows Small Business Server 2008 , SBSC , Microsoft , Partner , Community
  • SkyDrive (free online storage accessed via the web) goes to 5GB, comes out of beta, is available in 38 countries around the world

    I went to my skydrive today and noticed it was not 5GB, not 1GB and no longer beta. According to the official blog besides the things in the blog title it is also: This release also includes bug fixes and improvements to make the site even faster and more reliable . We’re proud of this release — so proud, in fact, that we’re officially removing the Beta tag ! The Windows Live wire blog said ( Windows Live Wire: Bigger, better, faster SkyDrive! ): Improvements to Windows Live SkyDrive , including 5 GB of free online storage , were released to the public today in 38 countries or regions around the world! SkyDrive provides free, password-protected online file storage and sharing. It's a great way to make sure your files are available to you from any computer, without having to carry them around on a flash drive. I also find it really useful for sharing files that may be too big to send in e-mail. It's dead simple to use, so go ahead and try it out . New in this release: Free online storage is increasing from 1GB to 5 GB Now available in many more places around the world ( see if it's available where you live ) Faster and more reliable service Not in beta anymore--this time it's official! SkyDrive takes its place in the ever-growing collection of Windows Live offerings (Hotmail, Mail, Photo Gallery, Calendar, Spaces, Writer, Messenger, Events, Toolbar, and OneCare Family Safety). With file storage and sharing on SkyDrive, you have one more tool to help you manage your online world. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SkyDrive , Online Storage
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  • Something for Vijay - Microsoft Introduces New Interoperability Principles

    I've not had time to digest all of this, but it looks important enough to get a quick note out. I know Vijay is keen on interop. Virtual Pressroom: Microsoft Makes Strategic Changes in Technology and Business Practices to Expand Interoperability February 21, 2008 Microsoft today announced a set of broad-reaching changes to its technology and business practices to increase the openness of its products and drive greater interoperability, opportunity and choice. These changes are codified into four new interoperability principles and corresponding actions: ensuring open connections; promoting data portability; enhancing support for industry standards; and fostering more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities. Highlights: Press Conference Call with Steve Ballmer, Ray Ozzie, Bob Muglia and Brad Smith: 8:30 am PST, Feb. 21 Video Clip: Tom Robertson, General Manager, Interoperability and Standards (.wmv file, 44 sec) News & Announcements Press Release: Microsoft Makes Strategic Changes in Technology and Business Practices to Expand Interoperability (Feb. 21, 2008) Q&A: New Microsoft Interoperability Principles Ensure Open Connections and Promote Data Portability (Feb. 21, 2008) Media Alert: Microsoft Executives to Make Significant Company Announcement (Feb. 21, 2008) Background Information Microsoft Interoperability Principles Announcement Overview: Microsoft Interoperability Principles (.docx file, 102kb) Quote Sheet: Industry Support for New Microsoft Interoperability Principles Microsoft Interoperability News Archive Audio/Video Video Clip: Tom Robertson, General Manager, Interoperability and Standards, Microsoft, on what the announcement means to developers and customers (.wmv file, 44 sec) Broadcast-quality Video and Broll: The PressPass Broadcast Room (registration required) Microsoft Introduces New Interoperability Principles It will be interesting to see how other "open" vendors react .. are they really welcoming, or do they feel threatened by MS joining...
  • Happy Birthday to me .. thanks for the nice comments

    Since I've had a few mails and texts about this - I thought I would say thank-you for the kind birthday wishes. Yes, I'm getting older - now 37... luckily my daughters keep me young at heart David
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  • Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer Updated - from the Official SBS Blog

    Yesterday we announce SBS 2008 and now there is the updated best practice analyzer for SBS 2003 - The Official SBS Blog : Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer Updated - the updates are below Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer Updated The SBS 2003 Best Practices Analyzer configuration file has been updated with new rules. There are approximately 100 new rules and many pre-existing rules have been improved based on your feedback. To check to see if you have the latest configuration file go to Start>All Programs>SBS Best Practices Analyzer , then click on the About the Best Practices Analyzer link. The updated configuration file version is 2.1.18.0. If you still have the old version (2.1.4.0), click on the Updates and Customer Feedback link. Then click on the Check for Updates Now link. Some of the new rules include: Expanded checks for Blue Shield issues relating to WSUS Checks for the .Net Framework version for Companyweb Resolved some issues with the WSS and DST update checks Checks the SQL Default instance for service pack level/version Information messages regarding Forest/Domain Functional Levels and Exchange Functional level Checks that KB 911829 is installed for OWA/Vista compatibility DNS Forward lookup zones are set to allow secure dynamic updates Verifies IIS keep-alives are enabled Checks ISA 2004 service pack level, and if ISA 2000 is installed recommend that it be upgraded to ISA 2004 using SBS 2003 SP1 media Verifies that no restrictions have been placed on the IWAM or IUSR accounts for workstation or logon hours Checks to see if the LANNIC guid appears to be the internal interface Checks for MSFW instance for service pack level/version Warning if NIC drivers are over a year old Verifies that the reverse lookup zone is configured for allowing secure dynamic updates Verifies that WSUS is integrated with SBS R2 Informational message to show the AD schema version level Attempts to ping other domain controllers to test connectivity to them Verifies that SSL is not required...
  • Small Business Server 2008 (formally known as Cougar) announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the SBS 2008 section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . Windows Small Business Server 2008 Multiplies Business Growth Windows Small Business Server 2008,previously known by the code name “Cougar,” is ideal for organizations with up to 50 PCs, helping them protect business data, expand business productivity and present a professional image to customers. The new version adds a range of features and capabilities to the current, award-winning Small Business Server 2003 R2 product, and is also an example of Microsoft’s “software plus services” vision. For small-business owners and employees, Small Business Server 2008 provides increased security and protection with one-year trial subscriptions to Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server Small Business Edition and the new Windows Live OneCare for Server, and with dramatically simplified server and PC backup technologies. Small Business Server 2008 also integrates with Microsoft Office Live Small Business to simplify setup and management of professional Web sites and private online work spaces. Enhancements to Remote Web Workplace, integration of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, and support for the latest Windows Mobile devices will help employees work remotely and collaborate effectively. For IT managers and technology consultants, Small Business Server 2008 deployment, setup and administration is greatly simplified and improved. A powerful administration console, new monitoring across servers...
  • Windows Essential Business Server announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the Essential Business Server 2008 section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . <snipped> Windows Essential Business Server 2008 for Midsize Companies Windows Essential Business Server 2008 is designed for the needs of midsize organizations with up to 250 desktops, helping IT professionals take control of their systems, reduce time spent “fighting fires” and focus more on strategic efforts to drive business growth. The solution includes built-in IT best practices and provides a unified console for management of key workloads and product licensing, which makes IT budgeting and purchase simpler and more predictable. Windows Essential Business Server combines the technologies of Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, System Center Essentials 2007, the next version of Internet Security and Acceleration Server and, in the Premium Edition, SQL Server 2008 technology. The product will be demonstrated on IBM BladeCenter S and HP BladeSystem c-Class c3000 hardware at the “Heroes Happen Here” launch on Feb. 27 in Los Angeles, and is slated for availability in the second half of 2008. <snipped> More information about Windows Essential Server Solutions is available at http://www.microsoft.com/essential and http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/serversolutions . Now much of this is a repeat of what we already know, but I felt I should share it: Based on x64 technology Capable from 25-250 users, so does...
  • "Windows Essential Server Solutions family of products" announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the "family" section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . To help small and midsize organizations improve business efficiency, increase productivity and drive growth, Microsoft Corp. introduced the Windows Essential Server Solutions family of products, built on Windows Server 2008 and the newest Microsoft server technologies and services. The company also unveiled details about the newly named Windows Small Business Server 2008. The Windows Essential Server Solutions family includes Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 for midsize companies. Microsoft conducted extensive research and gathered in-depth feedback worldwide to design the solutions, in order to meet the unique needs of small and midsize customers and partners. The products integrate the technologies of Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and other Microsoft products and services into all-in-one solutions that are reliable, easy to manage and able to grow with customers. “There are 31.9 million small businesses and 1.2 million midsize companies worldwide in need of powerful IT solutions, * and they typically have very small IT staffs, or none at all,” said Bob Kelly, corporate vice president at Microsoft. “Windows Essential Server Solutions make the benefits of enterprise-class IT accessible, affordable and simpler for smaller organizations and their technology advisors.” Windows Small Business Server 2008 Multiplies Business...
  • Office from the past, ODF and OOXML (Office of today and tomorrow) and why is organic growth nearly always bad for software and why re-writing is not good either

    As I have said many times in the past I used to write document conversation tools. I believe this gives me a valid reason to be able to pass comment on the ODF/OOMXL debate that is raging at the moment. If these types of questions interest you, have a look at the book I talk about later ( In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters (UK) or here for US link ) Lets start with some history about the Office 97-2003 file formats. Joel was writing about this today ( Why are the Microsoft Office file formats so complicated? (And some workarounds) - Joel on Software ). Note that part of what he has commented on is the fact that the documentation for the binary file format is now available from Microsoft: Why are the Microsoft Office file formats so complicated? (And some workarounds) This item ran on the Joel on Software homepage on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 Last week, Microsoft published the binary file formats for Office . These formats appear to be almost completely insane. The Excel 97-2003 file format is a 349 page PDF file. <snipped> If you started reading these documents with the hope of spending a weekend writing some spiffy code that imports Word documents into your blog system, or creates Excel-formatted spreadsheets with your personal finance data, the complexity and length of the spec probably cured you of that desire pretty darn quickly. A normal programmer would conclude that Office’s binary file formats: are deliberately obfuscated are the product of a demented Borg mind were created by insanely bad programmers and are impossible to read or create correctly. You’d be wrong on all four counts. With a little bit of digging, I’ll show you how those file formats got so unbelievably complicated, why it doesn’t reflect bad programming on Microsoft’s part, and what you can do to work around it. The first thing to understand is that the binary file formats were designed with very different design goals than, say, HTML. They were designed to be fast on very old computers. For the early...
  • Microsoft DreamSpark - Free developer tools for students around the world. Think of the opportunities!!

    I heard about this a day or two ago and I have to say this is a MASSIVE move for Microsoft and something that can only do good. As a student you can now download, at no cost, the professional Microsoft development tools. That is all there is to the programme, however this is a dream come true for many educational institutions. Just think of the opportunity - help them implement all this software, when the software is free to the students!! Channel8 described it as : How would you like a free copy of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 ? How about the entire Microsoft Expression Studio ? Not enough...... how about Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and more? For once, something that sounds too good to be true really is this good and really is true. Starting today (or soon in some areas), students worldwide will be able to download our professional development and design tools for free ! It's called DreamSpark and it is upon us. For information on the project from PressPass: PressPass: What is the thinking behind Microsoft DreamSpark? And how did you come up with the name? Wilson: Microsoft DreamSpark is a community-based program to provide students with free access to Microsoft’s industry-leading software development, gaming and design tools. Working with schools, governments, partners and student organizations worldwide, we will be making this available starting today in Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Other countries will come online over the next year, as well as expanding the program to include high school students. The program is open to all students at education institutions worldwide, though those studying science, technology, engineering and math disciplines (STEM-D) are expected to be the first to jump on it. All eligible students need is access to a computer with an internet connection to download the products, as well as free access keys at http://channel8.msdn.com . We call it DreamSpark because every great technology breakthrough starts...
  • What has happened in management over the last 2 months - downloads and information for System Center, MOM, SMS, Forefront and even a bit of ITIL

    This informaiton can be found (and more) at the TRM blog can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . News SMS&MOM http://blogs.technet.com/smsandmom/default.aspx Nexus SC: The System Center Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/systemcenter/ Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 International Client Packs released Two ICP packs for ConfigMgr have been released. ICP1 contains the following languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish ICP2 contains all languages from ICP1 plus the following: Chinese (Simplified),Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Swedish, Turkish Webcasts TechNet Webcast: Client Monitoring with System Center Operations Manager 2007 (Level 200) - Friday, February 29, 11:30 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada) In this session, we show you some of the new features that we have built into Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007. By the end of this session, you will have a good understanding of what we are doing with client monitoring. We start off with a look at some customer challenges around client monitoring and then explain the Microsoft short-term and long-term vision for client monitoring. Next, we discuss the approach that we have taken to make client monitoring as flexible as possible with features like Agentless Exception Monitoring, Aggregated Client Monitoring, and Critical Client Monitoring. We wrap up the webcast with a look at the management packs we are delivering specifically for client monitoring. TechNet Webcast: Client Monitoring with System Center Operations Manager 2007 (Level 200) Downloads SMS and Configuration Manager SC Configuration Manager 2007 ICPs International Client Packs (ICPs) contain international-language clients to use with System Center Configuration Manager (SC Config Mgr) 2007. ICP downloads contain only the Config Mgr client files, not the English-language SC Config Mgr 2007, which is required. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads...
  • BBC NEWS - Machines 'to match man by 2029' says Kurzweil

    I've mentioned it before - Dr Kurzweil is a very interesting man. Wikipedia describes him as: Raymond Kurzweil ( pronounced /kɚzwaɪl/) (born February 12 , 1948 ) is an inventor and futurist. He has been a pioneer in the fields of optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis , speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments . He is the author of several books on health , artificial intelligence , transhumanism , technological singularity , and futurism . The BBC has picked up on an interesting article about the future and the challenges facing humanity for which Ray contributed. Machines 'to match man by 2029' By Helen Briggs Science reporter, BBC News, Boston Tiny machines could roam the body curing diseases Machines will achieve human-level artificial intelligence by 2029, a leading US inventor has predicted. Humanity is on the brink of advances that will see tiny robots implanted in people's brains to make them more intelligent, said Ray Kurzweil. The engineer believes machines and humans will eventually merge through devices implanted in the body to boost intelligence and health. "It's really part of our civilisation," Mr Kurzweil explained. "But that's not going to be an alien invasion of intelligent machines to displace us." Machines were already doing hundreds of things humans used to do, at human levels of intelligence or better, in many different areas, he said. Man versus machine "I've made the case that we will have both the hardware and the software to achieve human level artificial intelligence with the broad suppleness of human intelligence including our emotional intelligence by 2029," he said. read the rest, including the list of challenges at BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Machines 'to match man by 2029' ttfn David Technorati Tags: Personal , Off Topic
  • Life at Microsoft - another comical parody of life in the big machine!

    I saw this and thought I had to share. While not as funny as some, still worth watching. For the record, no-one has ever thrown money at me! Look for the Jedi master mind tricks (failing) at about 4 mins. Life At Microsoft - The Truth Revealed Life At Microsoft - The Truth Revealed People often stop me in the streets to ask "Hey Tina, what's life "really" like at Microsoft? Sometimes I can't even walk outside my house without somebody standing there with a giant neon sign that blinks "What is life "really" like at Microsoft"? Instead of answering every individual separately and so you can save your money on those neon signs. I decided to create a video that would answer that simple yet complex question. I want to throw out a special high-five to the following because without them and a lot of beer this video never would have happened. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , humour , fun , Star Wars
  • Bye Bye Jen Brinton, Hello Lisa and Chris for the UK SBSC and small business partners

    I saw this mail (I have been out the country) while I was away and thought I would share it with those of you. For those of you who don't know who Jen is, she was the person behind the SBSC programme in the UK and was part of the fighting force to get you things like Demo Showcase. Now strangely enough, Chris, some of you will have met - he is a great mate of mine, technical and also the hero of the Demo Showcase. He is known for getting passionate about technology and it being used correctly, so he is an ideal person to get to know! Anyway, here was the e-mail to SBSC members: New Faces as Microsoft Hi All I wanted update you all on some new faces at Microsoft who will be focused on the Small Business Specialist community as part of our continued focus to increase investment in this area. I would also like to take this chance to let you know that I am sad to have to say good-bye to you all! I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as SBSC programme manager and will miss working with you all, however I will be transitioning now to a new role. Firstly I would like to introduce Lisa White to you. Lisa brings a wealth of experience working in IT and the software industry both at Microsoft and beyond. She will be responsible for the small business specialist community going forward as well as having a broader remit around focusing on fostering a strong sense of community within the Microsoft channel. Her first day in her new role will be March 10th. Secondly I would also like to introduce Chris Parkes to you. He is a partner technical specialist who you will soon have the chance to meet. He will be focused on evangelizing Microsoft’s core technologies within the Small Business Specialist Community and brings a huge amount of expertise in the area – many of you know him already! Microsoft’s commitment to the SBSC programme remains strong with a specific focus on continually improving the value that partners receive from the programme. There is a great deal of internal support for the SBSC community and we’re looking forward...
  • Import and export business data in Business Contact Manager 2007 - Outlook with Business Contact Manager - Microsoft Office Online

    Again, something I have been asked before - how to get data into and out of BCM - have a look at Import and export business data in Business Contact Manager 2007 - Outlook with Business Contact Manager - Microsoft Office Online Import and export business data in Business Contact Manager 2007 You can use the Business Data Import and Export wizard to import (import: To bring information from one system or program into another. The system or program receiving the data must somehow support the internal format or structure of the data.) data into or export (export: To copy your Business Contact Manager for Outlook business data to a file of a different format for use in a database, a spreadsheet, or another program.) data from Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2007. What do you want to do? Import data Export data Use the wizard to update an existing database with information from another database ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , BCM , Business Contact Manager , Office 2007 , Office System , CRM , Small Business
  • Business Contact Manager Team Blog - good information, including SQL and VBA tools, Smartphone and product information

    I was hunting for an answer to a questions someone asked me and I came across this the BCM Team Blog. Below are some of the recent posts. It is worth adding to your RSS feed list. Troubleshooting BCM for Pocket PC/Smartphone Get Business Contact Manager with Outlook Standalone How to Change BCM Polling Interval? Happy Holidays Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2007 SP1 is Live Business Contact Manager Team Blog ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , BCM , Business Contact Manager , Office 2007 , Office System , CRM , Small Business
  • All change - Windows Vista SP1 here now for technical customers - it was delayed. It is still a little way away for non-technical people

    Last week Microsoft announced SP1 for Vista to the world , but then said some device drivers were causing problems so there would be a delay to enabled those to be resolved. That is the device drivers, not SP1. Well, as you can imagine, there was a fair amount of noise around this, so the rollout has been changed to enable technical people who were on the beta and MSDN & Technet Plus people to get it much earlier. Someone once asked me why we could not get things on the web quicker - well, if you have a few million people downloading something at the same time it has a hit, so all releases, even system updates, have an element of staggering. From the blog posting Windows Vista Team Blog : Windows Vista SP1 availability for technical customers some salient points are: On Monday (February 4th), we announced the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). Overall, people are excited to hear that we have reached this milestone, but some are disappointed they are not able to immediately download it. <snipped> We've heard the feedback and I want to update you on our plans and progress for making SP1 available to our beta participants, our Volume Licensing customers, and our MSDN/TechNet Plus subscribers: Late Friday we made SP1 RTM available to individuals and companies who participated in the SP1 beta program At the end of this week we will be making the English version of Windows Vista SP1 available to Volume Licensing customers. Other languages will follow soon after Later this month, SP1 will be available to MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers For broad availability, we are still planning to release in mid-March, since we want to be sure that everyone has the smoothest experience possible. I want to be super-clear on one point: Windows Vista SP1 is final. It has been fully released to manufacturing and we do not plan to make any changes to the SP1 code prior to public availability. We are confident in the quality of Windows Vista SP1 and know that it will help improve our customers'...
  • New way to see information on Windows Mobile - regular updates and good detail

    I got the heads up on this on Friday, installed it today and already love it. Go to the MSN Direct site to learn more about what it is and how it works What is it MSN Direct for Windows Mobile is ready for a Technology Preview. It is a Windows Mobile Standard Smartphone application that connects to our information service and delivers the information that you care about – and it updates automatically – and you never have to enter an URL, or wait for a web page to load. What type of info can I get? Weather, Stocks, Top Stories, World news, Sports news, Entertainment news, Business, Travel, Tech, Health, even News of the Weird. *news includes: Top Stories, World news, Sports news, Entertainment news, Business, Travel, Tech, Health, even News of the Weird. Where do I get it from Download MSN Direct Will it work with my phone If it's in our Phone Finder , you're good to go. FAQ How much does MSN Direct cost? Microsoft does not charge anything for download or use of the MSN Direct application. Please note however, that downloading and using MSN Direct requires data connectivity from your wireless carrier, which may charge additional fees. Check with your wireless provider for its coverage areas and service fees. How do I get the MSN Direct application? 1. By Text Message: Enter your phone number on the website, and we will send a link to the download page directly to your mobile phone. 2. From Your Mobile Browser: On your mobile phone, open the web browser and go to http://phone.msndirect.com . Follow the instructions on the page to download and install MSN Direct. Other people have already started writing about it: http://www.modaco.com/content/Smartphone-Standard-News/265282/MWC-2008-Microsoft-releases-MSN-Direct-Technology-Preview-for-Windows-Mobile-Standard/#entry877361 http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/02/11/microsoft-launches-msn-direct-for-windows-mobile/ Personally I would say if you have a Windows Mobile 5 or above phone, download it today!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: MSN Direct , MSN , Windows Mobile...
  • More on Microsoft / Yahoo - Board to Decide Fate of Company Today and The options

    Two more articles that I liked - I have highlighted a couple of items, but it is very much worth reading the full articles: Yahoo Board to Decide Fate of Company Today Sources have indicated to us that Yahoo has scheduled a special board of directors meeting on Friday to determine, effectively, the fate of the company. After a week of hectic negotiating, it’s clear that no one is going to step in with a competing acquisition offer to what Microsoft put on the table last Friday - $31 per share . Softbank, the last real chance for a competing bid, bowed out today and said they would not be challenging the Microsoft offer. There are only two options left. Accept the offer in principal, and try to increase the price with no negotiating leverage at all, or do a deal with Google to outsource search advertising and, likely, search itself. <snipped> A Google Deal - Short Term Independence/Long Term Nightmare If Yahoo were to outsource search to Google, the immediate upside would be 25% or so to Yahoo’s cash flow in the form of increased revenues (revenue per search query would likely jump to 9 cents from 4 cents today), and cost savings from operations (servers) and headcount reduction. That may add $7 billion or so in immediate valuation, or around $5 per share, say some experts we’ve talked to (less than half the premium Microsoft is offering). Nearly a third of Yahoo employees would be shown the door, though. Estimates are that Yahoo employees 1,500 or so people in each of search, the search advertising platform, and advertising sales and operations. All of those employees would likely be fired, unless Yahoo chose to retain its core algorithmic search product. Experts say, however, that good search and the ad platform go hand in hand. Without data from the search advertising side of the business, search itself is hobbled. It’s likely, therefore, that Yahoo would shed all of those jobs to and simply outsource all of search and search marketing to Google. Yahoo has a little over 13,000 employees today (taking into...
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  • Security Vulnerability Research & Defence blog - worth a read for sure - eg MS08-001 - The case of the Moderate, Important, and Critical network vulnerabilities

    My background covers security and I've started reading this blog ( Security Vulnerability Research & Defense ) - it is excellent and definitely worth a read to understand how vulnerabilities work and how to mitigate them!! MS08-001 - The case of the Moderate, Important, and Critical network vulnerabilities Security bulletin MS08-001 addresses vulnerabilities described by two separate CVE numbers, as you can see in the bulletin. This post provides an overview of the two issues, the affected platforms and notes on the severity. We’ll be following this post up with two further entries that look at each issue in more detail. CVE-2007-0066 describes a vulnerability in parsing ICMP router advertisement packets. These packets are not processed by default on any supported version of Windows. If a computer is configured to process router discovery protocol packets and encounters this type of malformed packet, the Windows kernel will bugcheck (blue screen of death) and reboot. A separate blog post goes into more detail about the registry keys governing this behavior on each supported platform. CVE-2007-0069, the more serious of the two vulnerabilities, involves the way the TCP/IP stack handles IGMP protocol packets. Mark researched the exploitability of this issue and you'll find his research and more detail about the vulnerability in the next blog post. For those of you readers who are more visual, here's a picture describing the exposure of the vulnerabilities addressed in the security bulletin, by CVE: Security Vulnerability Research & Defense : MS08-001 - The case of the Moderate, Important, and Critical network vulnerabilities ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Security , MS08-001
  • Where to go to study for SBSC exam 70-282 - help from the community by the community

    This comment was added to my blog the other day, but I think it deserves posting as a blog entry in it's own right: Hi Dave, We've worked up a 70-282 set of resources on a live.space. The effort is thorough and a good starting point for anyone looking at the 70-282 exam. Two particularly useful URL's are: http://wigital.spaces.live.com AND 70-282examteam.events.live.com You are welcome to contribute and/or comment if you have time. Warm Regards, Mark ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBSC , 70-282 , Exam , SBS Server , Community
  • Bill Gates one regret in life - from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    Someone posted about a speech Bill gave and while it is worth reading / watching the whole thing, one thing stood out - his regret and how it is now a focus for his life and money: Bill Gates - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation But taking a serious look back… I do have one big regret. I left Harvard with no real awareness of the awful inequities in the world—the appalling disparities of health, and wealth, and opportunity that condemn millions of people to lives of despair. I learned a lot here at Harvard about new ideas in economics and politics. I got great exposure to the advances being made in the sciences. But humanity’s greatest advances are not in its discoveries—but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity. Whether through democracy, strong public education, quality health care, or broad economic opportunity—reducing inequity is the highest human achievement. I left campus knowing little about the millions of young people cheated out of educational opportunities here in this country. And I knew nothing about the millions of people living in unspeakable poverty and disease in developing countries. It took me decades to find out. I find it humbling to know what inequalities exist in the world and if I am honest, my small moves to change it are really not enough, but Bill Gates and the foundation are doing the right stuff. I need to find a way for me to do more of the right stuff.. until then it will be sponsoring others to do it and my monthly charity payments, but it sounds like I'm paying to ease my conscious . The speech is very interesting and if you have seen Bill present without watching the video you will hear his voice and know when he pauses!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Bill Gates , Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation , Harvard
  • Announcing the Retirement of the Partner TDT and Release of New Product Demos Resource

    Chris Parkes sent a mail round internally telling us about MORE resources & demos etc available to partners. Chris has written about it on his blog (discovered this after I wrote this - here , there may be some comments on his worth reading, so double check!!) The Demo Showcase has been extended to include Deep Dive/Product virtual environments *which are available to all partners * Only Demo Showcase remains as the Gold/Cert benefit moving forwards... The following are now available for immediate download: 2007 Microsoft Office System 47 Hands-on Labs 25 demonstrations Microsoft Forefront and System Center Demonstration Toolkit Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Microsoft System Center Operations Manager Intelligent Application Gateway Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server Forefront Client Security Microsoft Business Intelligence Demo (Data warehousing, reporting and analysis, performance management) Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Microsoft Office 2007 Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Download location is here: https://partner.microsoft.com/global/salesmarketingsection/smsalesdemos/sdproductdemos As for the difference between the two, the web site says: "This collection of Microsoft software product demonstrations is designed to complement the business-scenario-based Demo Showcase sales tool. These demos illustrate product-specific features and functionality in detail, while the Demo Showcase tool helps illustrate how a full range of integrated Microsoft software platform solutions work together in business scenarios. Use the links in the table to download or order the product demos you need." However I was able to access the demo content online at https://partner.microsoft.com/global/salesmarketingsection/smsalesdemos/sddemoshowcase - perhaps as I am a SBSC partner!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Demo Showcase , Technical Demonstration Toolkit , TDT , Demos , Partner , Microsoft
  • Microsoft Gets Gartner's Business Intelligence Top Ranking -- Business Intelligence

    Remember that BI starts with data in Excel and then includes SQL and builds from there. One of the nice things is that BI is now accessible to any business that wants to analyse their business. Now all that is needed is the understanding of what questions do I want to ask and what data do I have that can help me!! Microsoft Gets Gartner's Business Intelligence Top Ranking The company makes a surprise leap ahead of Business Objects and Cognos in its ability to execute on BI products and pricing. Business Objects and Cognos have long been considered the leaders in business intelligence platforms. But in a surprising new report, Gartner ranks Microsoft ahead of those companies in its ability to execute. Gartner's "magic quadrants" are typically annual market evaluations that place software vendors in one of four quadrants within a square: niche players, visionaries, challengers, and leaders. Specific placement within a quadrant depends on a vendor's ability to execute, which moves them upward, and completeness of vision, which moves them to the right. Business Objects, Cognos, and Microsoft were placed among the leaders in Gartner's just-released Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms, 2008. But the research firm placed Microsoft above the other two in its ability to execute, including the competitiveness and success of its BI goods and services, its viability and investment in BI, and the execution of its sales and pricing. In last year's BI platform report, Gartner put Microsoft in the challenger quadrant. Business Objects and Cognos slightly outranked Microsoft in completeness of vision, which includes such things as market understanding, sales strategy, and product development and delivery strategy. By placing the world's largest vendor of commodity software as one of the BI market leaders, Gartner is demonstrating how quickly BI is moving from a specialized, expensive technology into a commodity itself. The rapidly commoditizing BI market, many industry observers believe...
  • Intel chip pass two billion transistors milestone - Tukwila!

    I saw this and thought it was worth sharing - now that performance includes scaling "on chip", this 4 core chip is the next step. This chip is for servers, so I don't expect to see it on my desktop any time soon! Chips pass two billion milestone By Jonathan Fildes Science and technology reporter, BBC News The chip has four separate cores The first chip to pack more than two billion transistors has been launched by silicon giant Intel. The quad-core chip, known as Tukwila, is designed for high-end servers rather than personal computers. It operates at speeds of up to 2GHz, the equivalent of a standard PC chip. It marks the latest milestone in chip technology; Intel released the first processor to contain more than one billion transistors in 2006. "It's not revolutionary, it's another evolutionary step," said Malcolm Penn, an analyst at Future Horizons, of Tukwila. Lots more at BBC NEWS | Technology | Chips pass two billion milestone ttfn David Technorati Tags: Intel , Multi-core , Server
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  • Time to Nominate your solutions for the Awards at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference!

    You may remember people who have one awards at the Worldwide Partner Conference before - is it your time now? I saw Steve Morrow (my boss) has put some great information on the UK ISV blog and while he is thinkking about it from a purely ISV point of view, you could apply under any of the categories. Time to Nominate your Applications for the Awards at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference! Time to submit your entry for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference Awards program! This is a great way to get some free PR. As a finalist or winner you’ll receive promotions that identify your company as part of an elite class of Microsoft partners. Logos will also be displayed in Microsoft Solution Finder. The nomination process is open NOW and closes on 4th April 2008 . Finalists for the 2008 awards will be announced on June 9, 2008. Winners will be announced and recognized at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, July 7-10, 2008. Go to Award Submission Tool For a full list of the award categories can be found here . UK ISV Blog : Time to Nominate your Applications for the Awards at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference! ttfn David Technorati Tags: WWPC , WPC , Worldwide Partner Conference , Microsoft , Awards , ISV , Developer
  • Is your network going to be IPv6 ready?

    You remember IPv6 - it was that thing that people didn't like in Vista and tried to turn it off? Well it is coming and it is coming quickly. I saw this and thought I would remind everyone that what you know about IPv4 is no longer going to be enough. Is your network technology and software up to the task? Switch To IPv6 On Internet's Root Servers Begins The current version -- IPv4, which can accommodate 4.3 billion addresses -- would have run out of addresses by 2012, experts predict. The switch to a new Internet address format has begun, as Web overseers look to provide a pool of virtually unlimited addresses to support the growing number of Internet-connected devices. On Monday, records written in IPv6 were added to the Internet's root servers, making it possible for the first time for computer systems to communicate via the Web using only the new format, the London-based BBC news agency reported. The development marks a milestone in the conversion from IPv4. Switch To IPv6 On Internet's Root Servers Begins -- IPv6 -- InformationWeek MSDN developer resources can be found at ( http://search.msdn.microsoft.com/search/Default.aspx?query=ipv6&brand=msdn&locale=&refinement=00&lang=en-us was used to get these links): IPv6 Guide for Windows Sockets Applications (Windows) This guide provides the information you need to enable your Microsoft® Windows® application to use the next generation of Internet Protocol , version 6 ( IPv6 ) http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms738649.aspx IPv6 Application Development TCP/ Internet Protocol version 6 ( IPv6 ) is a connectionless, unreliable datagram protocol used primarily for addressing and routing packets between hosts. Connectionless means that ... http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa917153.aspx IPv6 Blog : Mythbusters #1: No one is using IPv6 [UPDATED] Hmm, let's bust this myth with a quick experiment. You can all take part. In order to be a valid test, you need to meet the following requirements: 1. You must have a cell phone ....
  • Microsoft and Yahoo merger with Google cartoons

    I saw these and laughed lots: Pavel Constantin, Romania Daryl Cagle, MSNBC.com Enjoy :-) Please do not copy the images as they are (c) the artists and I have paid a royalty to share them. If you like them, please point people to this post ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Yahoo , Google
  • How does Home Server do Remote Access, Media Sharing, Drive Extending (Raid without Raid), Backup of desktop machines and networking without a domain

    For those who need to know: If you haven't seen them yet, there are now 5 technical briefs available on the Windows Home Server web site. They are: Remote Access Media Sharing Drive Extender Home Computer Backup Home Networking Windows Home Server Team Blog : More tech briefs ttfn David Technorati Tags: WHS , Windows Home Server
  • Windows Server 2008 RTMs

    This is covered in many places, but just to be sure As Windows Server 2008 RTMs, Customers and Partners Adopting with Help of New Tools, Training With Windows Server 2008 releasing to manufacturers today, Microsoft has made tools, training and resources available to customers and partners to help make it easier and faster to deploy or build upon the new operating system. REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 4, 2008 – Approaching the company’s largest enterprise launch in its history, Microsoft reached another important milestone today with the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Server 2008. The response from IT professionals and developers has been strong as the company moves toward the worldwide launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 on February 27. As Windows Server 2008 RTMs, Customers and Partners Adopting with Help of New Tools, Training: With Windows Server 2008 releasing to manufacturers today, Microsoft has made tools, training and resources available to customers and partners to help make it easier and faster to deploy or build upon the new operating system. Other MS sites that might matter: Windows Server News on Presspass Windows Server 2008 Web Site Windows Server 2008 Developer Center Web site See how the Lone Server is preparing to Upgrade Heroes Happen Here: Windows Server 2008 Launch ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Server 2008 , RTM , Longhorn
  • Read between the lines of the recent Google/Yahoo/Microsoft announcements

    I saw this and had to share ... just a little too much truth in them I think :-) The Google Strategy Will Backfire We forget that Google is still a very young company. But they just reminded us ... Continue Parsing Yahoo!: What Makes You Think We're Desperate? Given its grim outlook as a stand-alone company, Yahoo! suppresses its glee as it steps into play ... Continue Parsing Google: Don't Trust the Old Bully, Just the New One Parsing Google: Only benevolent giants like us should be able to buys things ... Continue Parsing Microsoft, the New Champion of Choice Protecting the existence of alternatives to a dominant player used to seem like a bad idea in Redmond. Suddenly, Microsoft is using the language it has fought against for so many years ... Continue Spin Blog - Business Spin by Jack Flack - Portfolio.com ttfn David Technorati Tags: Google , Yahoo , Microsoft , Marketing , Spin
  • Web Developers were just tooo smart for their own good - they got web pages to look just right in IE6 and didn't see Microsoft fixing the compatibility issues (or some of them) for IE7. Now IE8 has to clean up it's and others mess

    OK, so the title is mine, but you can see here how the defacto standard that was IE4/5/6 meant that people thought IE7 would live by the same rules. If you care about "standards based websites" then the IE team blog on compatibility is a must for you. Compatibility and IE8 In Dean’s recent Internet Explorer 8 and Acid2: A Milestone post, he highlighted our responsibility to deliver both interoperability (web pages working well across different browsers) and backwards compatibility (web pages working well across different versions of IE). We need to do both, so that IE8 continues to work with the billions of pages on the web today that already work in IE6 and IE7 but also makes the development of the next billion pages (in an interoperable way) much easier. Continuing Dean’s theme, I’d like to talk about some steps we are taking in IE8 to achieve these goals. I’ve been on the IE team for over a decade, and I’ve seen us apply the “Don’t Break the Web” rule in six different major versions of IE in different ways. In IE 6, we used the DOCTYPE switch to enable different “modes” of behavior to protect compatibility. When we released IE 6 in 2001, very few pages on the web were in “standards mode” (my team ran a report on the top 200 web sites at the time that reported less than 1%) – few people knew what a DOCTYPE was, and few tools generated them. We used the DOCTYPE switch in IE6 to change the box model to comply with the standards and enable developers to opt-in to the new behavior. We’d already seen so much content written to IE5.x’s non-standard interpretation of the CSS2 spec that we couldn’t change it without causing a slew of problems. In IE7 we made a lot more changes to improve IE’s standards compliance , particularly with CSS. We limited these behavior changes to IE’s “standards mode” only, and we expected that this would help limit compatibility problems as it had in the past. Unfortunately, and somewhat surprisingly to us, this wasn’t true; many of those changes made IE incompatible with content that...
  • Official Google Blog on Microsoft and Yahoo and David Overton's thoughts on it

    This is a personal rant. If you want to read on, please do so, if not, thanks for getting this far. Oh I love how people wave flags "for the greater good" when they really mean "for my own good". Today I saw something that just made me have to comment. Unless you have been in a bunker, you should be aware that Microsoft have made a bid for Yahoo. Google, who obviously care greatly about Yahoo decided to have a pop at it: Yahoo! and the future of the Internet The openness of the Internet is what made Google -- and Yahoo! -- possible. A good idea that users find useful spreads quickly. Businesses can be created around the idea. Users benefit from constant innovation. It's what makes the Internet such an exciting place. So Microsoft's hostile bid for Yahoo! raises troubling questions. This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It's about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation. Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC? While the Internet rewards competitive innovation, Microsoft has frequently sought to establish proprietary monopolies -- and then leverage its dominance into new, adjacent markets. Could the acquisition of Yahoo! allow Microsoft -- despite its legacy of serious legal and regulatory offenses -- to extend unfair practices from browsers and operating systems to the Internet? In addition, Microsoft plus Yahoo! equals an overwhelming share of instant messaging and web email accounts. And between them, the two companies operate the two most heavily trafficked portals on the Internet. Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors' email, IM, and web-based services? Policymakers around the world need to ask these questions -- and consumers deserve satisfying answers. This hostile bid was announced on Friday...
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 VPC Image

    I saw this and thought I would share for those who had not seen it - Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 VPC Image Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 VPC Image Get familiar with the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 release: Preview Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 in a Virtual PC (VPC) image. Overview This Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 preview leverages Release Candidate (RC0) code in a Virtual PC image. The demo is designed as a one-computer setup with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 server and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 client for Microsoft Outlook. Note: Although the image can be utilised on a single PC or laptop computer, it is strongly suggested that the image be run using an external USB 2.0 hard drive for best performance. If you do not have an external drive, you can run the image locally on the host computer; however, you will experience a decrease in performance. Contents This VPC contains the following: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 (RC0) Microsoft Dynamics CRM Laptop and Desktop Client Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK (C:\CRM Tools\SDK) Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition (SP2) Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Internet Explorer 7 Microsoft Office Professional 2007 Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 POP3 E-Mail Services (No Exchange) Microsoft LCA Approved Sample Data System Requirements Supported Operating Systems Windows Vista operating system; Microsoft Windows XP Other Requirements Personal computer with1.5 GHz or higher processor and at least 2.0 gigabytes (GB) of RAM 12 GB of available hard drive space Super VGA (1024x768) video adapter/monitor Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 software (Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 and Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 also compatible) ttfn David Technorati Tags: MS CRM , CRM , Dynamics , Virtual PC , VPC
  • Open License Media can now be purchased and downloaded online

    Open Licence media now available online Open Licence customers in the UK can now buy media online directly from Microsoft, which will potentially reduce the amount of time and money you currently spend on fulfilling Open Licence media orders. Download the Open Media Re-engineering Guide for Partners and a customer-facing presentation . eOpen allows you to: Create and retain personalized views of Open License purchase history information Review your license agreement and product use rights Update your license contact information online View Open License purchases made in more than 180 countries Find and download software available under your license agreements Access your Volume License Product Key to install your software ttfn David Technorati Tags: eOpen , Open License , Licensing , Microsoft
  • Have you been on a conference call with Microsoft - ever wondered why you are on hold waiting for the conference leader ... the secrets revealed

    Hi, Saw this - very much noticed the behaviour, the music and then realised "this is not a stunt... this is what we do". Enjoy ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Conference Call , Fun
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  • How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista

    My boss had some problems on his PC after installing some tools onto it and upon further diagnosis it appeared to be that the .Net Framework had been corrupted. We did all the usual things of looking in "Add/Remove Programs" etc, adding service packs etc all to no avail. I then came across this blog entry and a fix started to come to light How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista Since the Windows Vista public launch in January 2007, I have been receiving questions about how to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 to try to resolve various bugs. As I previously described here , the 2.0 and 3.0 versions are installed as OS components on Windows Vista and do not appear in the Programs and Features (formerly known as Add/Remove Programs) control panel. Many of the customers I have heard from have tried to use the .NET Framework cleanup tool , but it does not list the .NET Framework 2.0 as a valid removal option when it is run on Windows Vista. This is by design - the cleanup tool does not offer the option to remove any version of the .NET Framework that is an OS component on the OS it is being run on. Aaron Stebner's WebLog : How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista The important things seem to be: Don't use the clean up tool Try the command " sfc /scannow " from an elevated command prompt Repair the (V2) framework with the command " %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\ngen.exe update " again from an elevated command prompt The 1st item stops corruption, then 2nd checks the OS's binary (core internal files) are correct and matching their signatures and the final one re-creates all the "native" files from the IL code. ttfn David Technorati Tags: .Net Framework , Support , Windows Vista , Vista
  • Register Now for the Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 UK Launch Event

    I saw this in the Technet newsletter and thought I would pass it on: The launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 is drawing near and we are pleased to announce the three main launch activities to help you learn more: 1) The main launch event on 19 March at the ICC Birmingham - register now 2) The TechNet and MSDN Roadshows in April and May - pre-register now 3) The Virtual Launch Experience also on 19 March - pre register now ttfn David Technorati Tags: Events , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , Launch

(c)David Overton 2006-13