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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  • Win 20 Netbooks for a UK school – closes 29th March 2010

    I saw this and thought I would pass on - http://blogs.msdn.com/teachers/archive/2010/03/09/don-t-forget-enter-the-innovid-competition-and-win-20-netbooks.aspx   We know how busy things are for teachers this time of year, and if you’re anything like me the sunny weather is a further distraction. So we wanted to take this time to remind you that the deadline for the Innovid video competition is fast approaching! Don’t forget to get your entry in to the Partners in Learning Network before 17:00 on the 29th of March (this month!). All the details you need for the competition can be found in this blog or on the Partners in Learning Network . In addition, Stuart and I have posted a list of frequently asked questions about the competition in this blog , and we’ve updated it in the contest community on the Partners in Learning Network. For those of you who are planning on entering, please make sure to complete a contest entry form and submit that along with your video. We will not be able to accept any videos without the entry form! To further entice you, we have selected the netbooks that will be awarded to the winning teacher’s school. The school will get 20 N105 Netbooks from Stone. These netbooks come installed with Microsoft Windows 7 and will come with a 3-year warranty from Stone and a protective carrying case. For the full specs on the Stone netbook, go to their web site . If you have any questions on the competition, see the Partners in Learning Network, or leave a comment in the blog. We’re looking forward to seeing your Innovids on the 29th – good luck!     Sample how-to videos are posted here: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/education/teachers/free-how-to-videos.aspx And all contest guidelines and terms and conditions can be found on the Partners in Learning Network .     Thanks David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , School , Academic , Netbooks
  • Need to buy a copy of Windows 7 or Office 2007 for someone in education - get an educational discount

    HI, I've been asked this many times, so I thought I would blog on it.  Microsoft offers great discounts for people in education (beyond those who work in education).  The best options are: For university students: http://www.microsoft.com/student/discounts/theultimatesteal-uk/default.aspx - – Office £38.95, Windows 7 Pro - £30 For any age group in education - Office 2007 for around £39- £52 depending on which edition (Standard to Enterprise) and Windows 7 upgrades for £40-56 depending on the edition http://www.software4students.co.uk/ http://www.rm.com/shops/thebasement/Range.aspx?nguid=480909c5-102c-4700-8739-f3feedbb6a6d http://www.rm.com/shops/thebasement/Range.aspx?nguid=59137e0c-6185-4d95-a360-a680d60636ea     There are obviously some conditions you have to meet to qualify to use these products and each site has information about them.  If you are in full time education or a parent of someone who is then you likely qualify.  To learn more about Microsoft and education in the UK, have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/education/default.aspx .  You will notice that both the organisations I linked above are linked on the Microsoft page, but I have experience with the above two.   Thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows 7 , Office 2007 , Education , Student discount , Microsoft
  • 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...
  • SBSC members now able to sell Educational licenses once changes come in on 1st November

    Grumblings about this started on the Yahoo groups and a few people e-mailed me saying that they did not like the proposed changes coming in under the Authorised Education Reseller programme which required them to be a certified partner or above. After much time, but before the changes come in, we are delighted to be able to announce that being a SBSC partner will also qualify you. Below is the announcement that Jen has asked me to forward. Microsoft Authorised Education Reseller Announcement of UK Programme Changes Overview From November 1 2007 the renewal process for Authorised Education Resellers (AERs) will change. The main requirement, in order to sell academic FPP, Open and School Agreement licensing programmes, will be either ‘Certified’ or ‘Gold Certified’ status. However I have some great news, we have managed to ensure that SBSC partners will not be affected by this change and you do not have to be ‘Certified’ or ‘Gold Certified’ so the SBSC registered partner base can still benefit. Renewal Process From November 1 2007 the process for AER renewal will be as follows: 1. AER accesses the web site as normal: https://aer.microsoft.com/aer/default.aspx 2. Partner enters existing AER number and then their unique MSPP number 3. The web site does a background check against the MSPP web site to determine certified or gold certified status along with SBSC. 4. Partners already certified/SBSC proceed through to the next part of the site where they are required to re-do the Academic Licensing exam. 5. On successful completion their AER renewal status is confirmed. 6. If the partner does not have certified, gold certified or SBSC status they are advised that this is required and redirected to the MSPP site for further information on becoming a Certified Partner. The web site will also cater for partners that are already certified to renew early i.e. ahead of their annual renewal date. What you should do now - As an SBSC partner, no further action is needed until it is time to renew your AER status. - Further information...
  • SBS 2003 R2 & CALsare now on the Academic Price list so you can sell SBS to schools again :-)

    Hi guys, I've just picked this up from one of our internats web chats and thought I would share it. SBS will be on the Academic Price List and available in all languages (SBS Standard, Premium + 5 CAL packs) through Volume Licensing as of April 1st. For FPP, retailers will be able to get the product as of May 4th. This is great news and I have had it confirmed that it is on Wescoasts price list, plus some other distributors. ttfn David
  • Help to make the Office 2007 document type a standard (Open XML) - click the link

    I love standards - they make life easier. TCP is one, ODF is one, SNA is one, ASCII and EBDIC are. Even PDF is one. It just makes life easier. In this connected world standards are a good thing and sometimes more than one standard is very good. Microsoft has offered the Open XML (Office 2007 document format) as a standard too. We can have it as a standard in a short time frame or a long time frame. I want you to sign the petition to help it happen in the short time frame. Even Novell are supporting this as they see it as just making their customers lives easier. Go here and sign the petition to help move things forward in the short time frame. If you want to see how developers could use the standard have a look at http://openxmldeveloper.org/posts.aspx . You might wonder why I am asking you to do this. Well I've read the text at the microsoft.com site on Open XML and I like the idea of this being a public standard that people can write to without having to pay for the right to do so and the knowledge that writing to the standard will give them good interoperability. My 1st three years after University was writing document converters, including those for Microsoft Office and Open XML would have made my life MUCH MUCH easier. To aid interoperability, XML-based file formats can unlock data in documents and help integrate front- and back-office processes. Recognising these benefits, Microsoft has implemented XML-based formats in successive releases of Office. Both public and private sector customers have expressed their preference for making Open XML an open standard so that they have broad rights to use, without cost, any Microsoft patents necessary to implement all or part of the format. Responding to this, Microsoft and others called for the standardisation of Open XML. On 7 Dec 2006 Ecma International, a highly respected standardisation body, approved the adoption of Open XML as an international open standard. The strengths of Ecma Open XML are clear: Ecma Open XML was developed through the collaborative efforts...

(c)David Overton 2006-13