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

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  • Must attend UK event - filling up fast - Wembley 7th October - Microsoft Partner Network

    [updated with correct URL] I saw this and thought I should pass it on. Microsoft Partner Network 2009 will explore strategies that enable you to continue to meet customers' needs and exploit new opportunities. Designed for Partner executives and sales leads, this event follows on from the Worldwide Partner Conference in July and provides more details of our UK execution plans. Join us for: - Insights from Microsoft executives as they share the Microsoft vision and strategies together with business growth opportunities and product innovation - A range of Partner-to-Partner online and offline networking opportunities, plus strategic and practical guidance on how to collaborate successfully with other Microsoft Partners - Market insights and guidance on developing customer opportunities - Useful resources to help you sell, market and deploy Microsoft technology, particularly when you find yourself in competitive technology situations - A glimpse into future industry trends and innovation, with exciting demonstrations - An introduction to the UK award winners from the Worldwide Partner Conference 2009. To register your place at this essential event, click the button below and enter invitation code 22BAF4 . You can also register by phone: call 0870 166 6670 . Check the Microsoft Partner Network 2009 website for more details about the event over the coming weeks. You can also sign up to our RSS service , or follow us on Twitter . We look forward to seeing you at Wembley Stadium on 7 October. Kind regards, Scott Dodds General Manager Small, Medium Enterprises & Partners Group - Microsoft UK ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Partners , MPN , MSPP , Event
  • SBS 2008, Installing, migrating and configuring BOOK now available to pre-order

    [updated 2nd May 2009] Hi everyone. My SBS 2008 book is in now available to order. Details below. If you want to ask questions once you have the book, go to http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?13 . To order the book click http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?1M Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration David Overton Set up and run your small business server making it deliver big business impact · Step-by-step guidance through the installation and configuration process with numerous pictures · Successfully install SBS 2008 into your business, either as a new installation or by migrating from SBS 2003 · Configure hosted web sites for public and secure information exchange using Office Live for Small Business and Office Live Workspaces · An illustrative book for people with basic technical skills and no SBS background In More Detail Available April 2009. Order now! Cover price £24.99 Packt Special Offer £22.49 save 10% Multi-buy Discount £20.49 save 18% Hurray David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , Small Business Server 2008 , Book , Personal , If you only read one blog today , SBSC , Microsoft
  • Get a Comic Relief Word Search here and donate

    [updated so can be downloaded without a sign in] Hi, My 8 year old daughter has created a word search. It is a PDF file that you can print out and draw on, nothing more complex than that. If you would like to download it and play, please donate too . Thanks David Technorati Tags: Comic Relief , Charity , if you only read one post today
  • Windows 7 downloads to end on the 10th – get it now

    I’ve been running Windows 7 since the public beta. It is, I have to say, an extra ordinarily strong beta. So much so I now run this on my work and home machine as the default OS and I have not looked back. That is not to say it is without faults, but the fact that the screen resolution get’s stuck occasionally is not what I call a major fault. So, the important thing is that the ability to download the beta is ending on the 10th of February. If you intended on getting it, but “no just yet”, don’t delay. Download it, get the key and then load at your leisure. From the team in the UK: The Windows 7 beta is only available until the 10 th February to download, so get your copy now ! MSDN and TechNet Subscribers will continue to have access to the Windows 7 Beta bits throughout the Windows 7 Beta phase. The above dates do not apply to MSDN and TechNet Subscribers. Product keys for the Windows 7 Beta will continue to be available. So if you have the Windows 7 Beta but didn’t get a product key you will be able to do so even after February 12th. To get more information on Windows 7, check out the following resources: Windows 7 TechCentre Windows 7 Beta Deployment Guide Windows 7 Forums Visit the Springboard Series blog to keep an eye on all the announcements Enjoy David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Windows 7 , If you only read one post today
  • Catalog of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Installation Error Messages

    So there I was talking about migration issues and Chris Pucket pointed to this GREAT store of error messages and resolutions for SBS installs.  I've copied the links for now, but expect them to be updated over time!! Still let me know Migration issues on the link above! Catalog of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Installation Error Messages This topic links to information about errors that you might encounter while installing Windows SBS 2008. If you encounter an error that does not appear on this page, see “Troubleshooting Windows Small Business Server 2008” in the Windows Small Business Server Technical Library (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=111318). Click a link to view information about that error message. An error occurred while installing or configuring a Windows SBS 2008 application An error occurred while promoting the server to a domain controller Anti-spam agents for Exchange Server 2007 cannot be installed Anti-spam automatic updates for Exchange Server 2007 cannot be configured Anti-spam settings for e-mail cannot be configured Cannot create the Active Directory structure required to create users, groups, and computer accounts for Windows Small Business Server 2008 Cannot enable network discovery Configure Windows SBS SharePoint Site E-mail antivirus template settings were not applied E-mail distribution groups cannot be created E-mail notifications about the folder quota are not configured Exchange ActiveSync mailbox policy settings cannot be configured Exchange Server 2007 backup and recovery cannot be configured Exchange Server 2007 cannot be installed Exchange Server 2007 tasks cannot be configured Folder Redirection is not configured Gadgets are not configured HTTP Proxy is not installed Incoming and outgoing e-mail for Windows SharePoint Services cannot be configured Internet Information Services (IIS) was not configured Organizational units in Active Directory Domain Services cannot be configured Organizational units in Active Directory Domain Services cannot be created Remote...
  • SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migration thoughts and issues

    I've been part of a lively debate on the Yahoo UK SBS Group about how to migrate from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 and what the issues are.  The information I have so far is good, but I need much more to take it to the product teams. For sure, the issues so far are: Concerns around the "state" of AD before a migration is started - how do you check it - look at this blog post Concerns around the Exchange migration in terms of time taken and failure scenarios - how to remove the chances of this? Concerns around "on-site" versus "off-site" strategies Concerns around recovery options in the event of failures (restore from backup not being ideal if you want it diagnosed) My problem is that I have no data to take to the Microsoft product teams, which means I can't ask them to fix things so this is a two fold open invitation. If you have had an issue, share it via comments below, but also PLEASE e-mail ( doverton@microsoft.com ) as well so I can get in touch with you and potentially the product teams too.  If you put your mail in the blog then others can see it.  You are also welcome to just e-mail me, but then there will not be discussion in public, which might be a shame. Share other concerns so I can get them documented and addressed, but also use the Microsoft support - you can always send me the SR numbers if you want me to tie them together. That is it - may the knowledge sharing continue!   David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 , SBS 2008 , migration , Microsoft , Small Business Server , SBSC , Community , Partners
  • How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration

    Someone posted this question on a discussion group at work and it got me thinking. If you bought a nice new system over the last 2 or so years in preparation for SBS 2008 (Cougar as was or even SBS v.Next) and had it installed with SBS 2003 you've probably heard that SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 is a 2 box migration and needs the Swing technique to do an on box migration. I've come up with a much simpler solution, but your hardware might need some additions to make it work. So here is what you need: Box with 6GB of RAM minimum (4GB for SBS 2008, 1GB for SBS 2003 and 1GB for Hyper-V server). 1 new disk for SBS 2008 system disk and 1 disk to hold Hyper-V (which could be small if desired or temporary) System that meets the minimum system requirements of Hyper-V ( http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/system-requirements.mspx ) You need to ensure your hardware is really up to spec and is fit enough that you want your new SBS 2008 system to run on it for the next 2+ years, otherwise this may well be a false economy. The process in outline is below. If you need more detailed information, let me know and I'll knock something up (as well as this may possibly end up in the book) Take a full system backup before starting Take existing system and add RAM and 2 disks Install Hyper-V Server onto 1 disk Install Hyper-V manager onto a client PC ( see here for details ) Configure the network to all nodes can connect to a real physical network that has your internet router and firewall on it Configure a virtual machine with pass-through disks that point to each of your SBS 2003 disks. To make a disk visible in Hyper-V console as a pass-through see here . Only configure approx 1GB of memory as you only need it to run well enough to perform a migration. Start and boot the SBS 2003 VM. Check that all services start (or can be started if there is a timing issue) and that all data is available. Install the integration Services Setup disk, run the setup and reboot when asked Create another virtual machine with 4GB of RAM that...
  • David Overton's first book - Installing and Configuring SBS 2008, including migration from SBS 2003

    [updated 5th May 2009] Hi, If you are interested in ordering a copy, click here and you will be taken through to the Packt Publishing ordering page, with a choice of electronic (e-book in for form of a PDF) or Softback traditional book or both available for immediate shipment . If you are interested in other locations, click here . For a small amount of information on each chapter, see the items below. Introductions Introduction to SBS 2008 Preparing to migrate from SBS 2003 Installing SBS 2008 and connecting to the Internet Migrating systems and settings from SBS 2003 Migrating email from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 Migrating the CompanyWeb SharePoint site Migrating users and data from SBS 2003 Configuring your services Securing your server Managing users and their computers Working with SBS Services as a user Introduction to SBS 2008 management The chapter flow is well described by this picture: To order the book click http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?1M Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration David Overton Set up and run your small business server making it deliver big business impact · Step-by-step guidance through the installation and configuration process with numerous pictures · Successfully install SBS 2008 into your business, either as a new installation or by migrating from SBS 2003 · Configure hosted web sites for public and secure information exchange using Office Live for Small Business and Office Live Workspaces · An illustrative book for people with basic technical skills and no SBS background Cover price £24.99 Packt Special Offer £22.49 save 10% Multi-buy Discount £20.49 save 18% The book has many screen shots in it to keep things clear. I'm also relying on a group of people to help me keep it on track. They are (in alphibetical order): Alex Stanier - IT 4 Business - http://www.stanier.co.uk/ Gavin Barkey - EJC.IT - http://www.ejc.it Ian Watkins - Oxbridge Technologies - http://www.oxbridgetechnology.co.uk/ Leslie...
  • Internet Explorer security vulnerability fix now available – think of it as an early Christmas present… now about Firefox’s 3 issues this week…

    I think everyone knows that an urgent security issue has arisen in IE this week and Microsoft has taken the (wise) decision to publish a fix outside the normal 2nd Tuesday release cycle. Some have said switch browser because of this issue, but not only can that be complex, but most browsers suffer security issues so once again the only real protection is to wrap in cotton wool and hide. Or, use the built in features of Vista and IE7/8 which means protected mode and NOT running as admin. You might ask why a Christmas present? Well, if this continued un-patched then your information is seriously at risk and that would make for a very bad Christmas if your credit card information was stolen!! Either way, if you have IE on your systems then you will need to update your systems urgently. Of course, my Hyper-V server (or Windows Core for that matter) don’t have IE, so no updates for them!!! Just for completeness, here is the information from the Technet newsletter Internet Explorer Security Update I wanted to update you on the Advance Notification of security update MS08-078 which will address a new vulnerability allowing remote code execution in all affected versions of Internet Explorer products. We plan to release this update on December 17th, around 10 a.m. Pacific Time (6pm UK time) through Automatic Updates and Microsoft Update. We encourage you to test and deploy this update as soon as possible. Our investigations of the known attacks have verified that they are not successful against customers who have applied the security update. You may be interested to know, that in response to the threat we mobilized security engineering teams worldwide right away to develop, test and deliver a security update of appropriate quality for worldwide distribution in the unprecedented time of eight days. We also published the Microsoft Security Advisory 961051 . Microsoft's teams worked constantly to identify more options for customers and updated this advisory 5 times in six days. We remain committed to building secure...
  • Want MIX08 in the UK? Then come to ReMix08 in Brighton on 18th and 19th September and save if you book an early bird place now

    I love what goes on at these events. It would be good to see you there. Here is the little advert: Final chance to save £110 . Very limited Early Bird places left - don't say we didn't warn you! 1,000 web developers, designers, development managers and technology evangelists are going to take the media they love to the next level. Why? Because ReMix UK 08 is getting bigger and better. Scott Guthrie Developer Track Bill Buxton Design and UX Track For Designers, Developers, the Community and Beyond Work Julie Howell, Fortune Cookie • Brendan Dawes, Magnetic North • Paul Foster, Microsoft Evangelist • Guy Smith-Ferrier, Capella • Tim Regan, Microsoft Research • Mike Taulty, Microsoft Developer Evangelist See the website for the growing list of speakers... What's in the mix • Panel discussions to Interactive Mash Ups • Designers and developers hand-in-hand to • All day VJs to conceptual walls • Open Source project, CodePlex • Backnetwork to Moo cards • Photosynth master classes to Microsoft Surface • Our international act to geek bars • Swag giveaways to inflatable lounges • Designing for compatibility and for the wild • Visualising books to sneak previews • The latest developments in IM, VE and IE8 • Latest developments in RIAs and SSDs • WPF and Silverlight applications at work • • The technology Silverlight | Deep Zoom | Mobile | Expression | ASP.NET/AJAX Windows Live services | XNA | Partnering with Microsoft | Photosynth Robotics Studio | Data | Microsoft Research | Popfly | Advertising It's a full-on interactive event. Be a part of something special. Don't forget the Early Bird offer and register today at www.microsoft.com/uk/remix08/ . Early Bird price £239 (inc.VAT), full price £349 from the 301st ticket. See you there! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Silverlight , Deep Zoom , Mobile , Windows Mobile , Expression , ASP.Net , Ajax , Windows Live Services , XNA , Microsoft , Partner , Photosynth , Robotics Studio , Data , Microsoft Research , Popfly , Advertising
  • Do you like my blog? If so, why not nominate me for the Computer Weekly IT Blog awards?

    [update - I missed the nomination deadline, so don't vote for me!! double update - I've been accepted - so DO vote] I was browsing Steve Clayton’s blog today and noticed these awards. While I’m not one to play copy-cat, I’d like to think my blog posts are useful (well, enough people read them). So, there appears to be a bit of a competition – if you like what read hear, consider nominating me :-) You can read more about this at http://www.computerweekly.com/blogawards.htm . Nominate me in Company Blogs Thanks David Technorati Tags: Personal , If you only read one post today , blog
  • SBS 2008 Install process (in pictures)

    Having announced the SBS preview at SBS 2008 RC0 Public Preview I’ve tried to capture the SBS install process in pictures – I don’t think it needs much explanation. If you have an OEM then much of this will be resolved by the Answer kit. To find out about the OEM install process, have a look at TechNet Edge Video- SBS 2008 setup . Other blogger's have covered the release: http://sbs.seandaniel.com/2008/05/windows-small-business-server-2008_28.html http://blogs.technet.com/windowsserver/archive/2008/05/28/announcing-small-business-server-2008-rc0-public-preview.aspx http://blogs.technet.com/sbsaustralia/archive/2008/05/29/sbs-2008-public-beta-now-available-come-get-it.aspx SBS 2008 starts with something akin to Windows Server 2008 and / or Vista Setup Once this is completed, there are extra steps that are specific to SBS 2008: It is possible that your system does not meet quite the right specification – mine has less than 4GB of RAM, while not a blocker, is a warning! You need to set the clock correctly (time and time zone) to ensure all the certificates work correctly Install updates is a good idea!! Some more installs Enter the information about your organisation Now it tries to name your domain, user etc. The marketing messages while install happens: That is the setup part of the process done. The next entry will be the SBS console process to finish the install (and a few mistakes I made). See all the other SBS 2008 items at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Partners , SBS 2008 , SBS , Small Business , SBSC
  • How to find ANY command on the new Office Ribbon – Search for it with Search Commands

    There is a great web site out from Microsoft called OfficeLabs and one of the 1st great things published is: Project: Search Commands  Search Commands helps you find commands, options, wizards, and galleries in Microsoft Office 2007 Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Just type what you’re looking for in your own words and click the command you need. Search Commands also includes Guided Help, which acts as a tour guide for specific tasks. Crave more info? FAQ - get answers to frequently asked questions Blog - read the latest news from the team Discussions - connect with other users  Click here to download. Requirements: 32 bit Windows XP or Windows Vista. Office 2007. Limitations: English only. Works with Word, Excel and PowerPoint only. Give it a try!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Word 2007 , Excel 2007 , Office 2007 , Search , Ribbon , find , If you only read one post today
  • How to sell Hosted CRM (CRM Online) in the UK and still retain your customers and a good profit – by working with Increase CRM

    [updated with contact details at 16:38] I have a partners or two that are looking to implement CRM internally and through the conversations about how they could do this came to know of the guys at Increase CRM. The good folks at Increase CRM seem to understand how SBSC partners think because the offerings they have for referral and resellers seem to be quite good to me. if you want the brochure on the subject, let me know, but here is the important piece for partners: What is the Referral Program? Partners in the Referral Program refer their customers to Increase CRM and we offer hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM and support services directly to the customer. Typically, the partner will provide implementation consulting services and may choose to provide first and second line support. Referral Partner Commissions The Referral Program guarantees partners commissions from any customers referred to Increase CRM: Subscribers Commission 5-10 100% of the first month’s subscription fees 11-50 200% of the first month’s subscription fees 51+ 300% of the first month’s subscription fees What is the Reseller Program? Partners in the Reseller Program resell Increase CRM’s hosted services under their own brand and Increase CRM does not contract with their partner’s customer. Typically, the partner will provide all the implementation consulting, user support, system administration and billing services to the customer Reseller Wholesale Fees The Reseller Program guarantees partners a low wholesale fee for hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM that partners can mark-up and offer to their customers, as described in the table below: No. of Users Reseller Partner User Subscription Fee 1 to 250 £30 per user per month 250+ Available on request Comparison of the Partner Programs The table below compares the two partner programs: Responsibility Referral Partner Program Reseller Partner Program Marketing Partner Partner Sales Partner Partner Setup Increase CRM Increase CRM Implementation Partner Partner First line support Increase CRM or partner Partner...
  • Where will your customers be looking for solutions – will they stick to on premise, or will they move towards a S+S or SaaS solution not from you?

    I know the table above is really, really simple, but I wanted to start the ball rolling – I have been thinking about this for ages!! Let me explain the diagram. The horizontal axis signifies how much of a solution is hosted. An example of this might be Office Live or Hotmail, where almost all of the solution is hosted. We then have the “on premise” or on-site IT going vertically. For most people, this is solutions like SBS 2003. A typical S+S solution might be MS CRM Online which has online components, but also enables you to go off-web and use Outlook or one of the mobile clients when on the road. While many thought on-line would be the next best thing even the king of on-line, Google, have recently admitted that it would not always be the answer in the posting they made on April 1st. Steve Clayton did the leg work and checked this was not form of April fool too!! Even the NY Times is talking about it, which to me says it really is going mainstream - http://www.nytimes.com/idg/IDG_002570DE00740E180025742400363509.html . Ok, so that is the picture out the way, now lets talk about the question. Which question you ask… well, this one: Will any of your customers be running in the “S+S or hosted” marketplace in 5+ years time? Now while that is a good question, I expect most of you will say … some, definitely not all, but some. How many customers can you afford to lose to a S+S provider? Now this leads to an even bigger question …. What will you have done to ensure they are still your customers, as opposed to someone who is skilled in S+S? Personally I find this question much more concerning as many people can’t articulate any plans they have to capture these customers!! So what do I suggest … If you are a services partner I recommend you start to look at SaaS services like Office Live that are slowly moving towards S+S or S+S services like CRM online and start to plan how you could add value to them and make money in the future. If you are an ISV, then now is the time to start to look at services like the Sync Framework...
  • Added DavidOverton.com to the domains that get to UK SBS GUY. What do you think I should be?

    I’ve taken back control of this domain and will at some point be changing the site look and feel to reflect this. This does NOT mean that my focus on subjects around technology, small business, Microsoft and partners will be changing one single drop. It is just that my role at Microsoft is no longer as the UKSBSGUY and I thought about how to better reflect what this should be. This site is my outlet, along with a few others and already has several domains that point to it, such as http://ukvistaguy.com . What do you think – can you think of a better domain I should go for – feel free to comment or e-mail me!! Over time expect http://davidoverton.com to become the primary domain even though the old one will still work. ttfn David Technorati Tags: David Overton , davidoverton.com , Personal Technorati Profile - link for Technorati blog claim
  • Action Pack Subscribers get Full Windows Vista DVDs - not upgrades and they also get a copy of Ultimate too, plus a stack of materials to sell the product

    Full, not Upgrade Vista product Well anyone who says we don't listen is just talking rubbish!! What am I talking about - I'm talking about the Action Pack and Windows. We moved to non OEM media and boy did it cause a stink, but that has changed again. According to Important changes for Action Pack Subscribers regarding Windows Vista while you are still required to have a legal license for a machine (FPP or OEM) you can now apply full copies (i.e. do a bare metal install) without having to do a double install. There are also a stack of sales materials coming too (I've copied some of the points from the link below): Partner feedback has enabled Microsoft to make the Windows Vista operating system even better. Now you can reap the benefits. Sell more with hardware, software and services built around Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1). And learn how we're making it easier than ever for you to learn, use and sell Windows Vista. Based on partner feedback, we've taken action to improve the partner experience in support of Windows Vista: Mid-March 2008 delivery of Microsoft Windows Vista Business with SP1 in a special Action Pack shipment to partners worldwide. To make it easier for you to deploy the final release of Windows Vista SP1 for internal use, all subscribers will receive full code*. Not currently an Action Pack subscriber? Find out how to subscribe . New subscribers will receive Windows Vista with SP1 as part of the April 2008 Welcome Kit. One licence for Windows Vista Ultimate with SP1 (full code*) for internal use, so you can discuss this product's benefits and features with customers who need a single PC to fulfil their work, travel and entertainment needs. This software will be delivered in the regular Action Pack quarterly update (April 2008) for current subscribers and for new Action Pack subscribers starting in April 2008. A comprehensive set of readiness resources to arm you to sell and support Windows Vista SP1 solutions for your small- or medium-size-business customers as momentum...
  • Microsoft Online Services - beta in US, international .. not for a while yet, but you get to see where Microsoft is going!

    What is it? I know Vlad is not going to like this, but even he will admit that this has been on the cards for a while. Software plus services is coming to town in a bigger and bigger way. At the moment there is a limited beta in the US and (just like Google), it has the beta tag on it . So what have we seen today, well we have seen Microsoft stand up and be counted in it's commitment to the software-plus-services strategy. We have seen existing "on premise" solutions of Exchange and SharePoint be offered as a S+S (software-plus-services) alternative for those customers who don't wish to run these themselves. There is no "must switch" or "dropping" of the existing, very successful products, just more options for people. As a customer you would consider whether you get better value running these in-house yourself, or with a partner delivering them for you in-house, or completely outsources to another partner or Microsoft. As a partner you have to consider how you deliver in all worlds. While today you probably add value to "on premise" solutions you need to understand how and if you add value should your customer opt for the new services. If you want to deliver theses types of services yourself, look at SPLA agreements and the information at The Microsoft Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) . If you want to build solutions on top of those announced today then look at http://www.microsoft.com/online/partner/learn-more.mspx . Either way you can learn more at http://www.microsoft.com/online/default.mspx . Other's reactions As you can imagine, there have been a few prople covering this, from bloggers to journalists. Below are just some of the items I've seen so far: Press Microsoft to Expand Microsoft Online Services for Businesses of All Sizes (press release) http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Enterprise-Apps/Microsoft-Expands-its-Online-Services/ Microsoft moves further into the cloud.. cautiously http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/saasweek/2008/03/microsoft_expands_ondemand_ser...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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...
  • Do you have a good story to tell about you, your customer and the use of Microsoft technology? If so, get your name up in lights (well, the web) and get Microsoft to tell everyone about it

    Microsoft is currently looking for Small Business case studies about how customers use Microsoft products. These case studies include the name of the partner used to install the solution and so are a great way of generating completely free publicity. Case studies are mainly targeted at a customer audience and will be used on our customer website's, in newsletters, in collateral and sometimes in the press. If you would like to nominate any of your customers please go to www.articulatemarketing.com/partner.html and fill in the short form with their details. After you have submitted their details no further work is required from you as we will contact the customer directly for a short interview. Both yourselves and the customer will then be able to review any case studies before they are used. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Small Business , Case Studies
  • Happy Christmas - see the Santa Cam to see where he has been

    I Love Santa Claus!! I was thrilled to hear Jonathan Ross announce that he had entered British air space. You can see all the Santa cam videos at http://youtube.com/view_play_list?p=26B9B2ACB4AAC849 . One that caught my eye was his visit to the International Space Station: ttfn and a Merry Christmas David Technorati Tags: Christmas , Santa Cam , Santa Claus
  • Happy Christmas from Microsoft UK and me (ok, so it says Seasons Greetings, but I think we all can take it to be something about having a nice break if you choose to celebrate it)

    The card itself can be found at the site http://www.seasonal-greetings.com/ , but since this is a nice little Silverlight card I thought I would try my hand at embedding it too, so below is an embedded version of the card. If this gives you problems, let me know. If you feel inclined you can click the NSPCC link and think about how to support them (I do, but so could you) [updated to change Silverlight embedded card to a link since this is now post Christmas] ttfn David Technorati Tags: Seasons Greatings , Happy Christmas , NSPCC , Microsoft
  • Office 2007 SP1 is here and it does more than just update the desktop - SharePoint gets AJAX for example

    I'm sure you have heard that the Office 2007 Service Pack is here. Darren Strange has documented what is in it and how to get it at Office 2007 sp1 ready for download today and OfficeRocker! : More detail about sp1 . In answer to Susanne's post at here , hopefully this post has some more info in it One of the little things he puts that I like is: Some other factoids about sp1 There are roughly 2500 fixes in SP1. This an average size for a service pack, but the issues fixed are very important to our customers. Almost 20% of those fixes are direct result of customer requests. Over 500 of those fixes focused on security. There are a total of 24 different releases in 38 languages. There are 683 distinct packages. All have released simultaneously today. If you get the whitepaper then you would be keen to see the information below. Notice that SharePoint amongst other things a developer update to support Ajax and that other server products (Groove and Project Server) are also updated. Stability Microsoft continues to improve its software products by listening to customers and acting on customer requests. With the 2007 Microsoft® Office system Service Pack 1 (SP1), Microsoft demonstrates this commitment by fixing at least the top five software bugs in each application that caused crashes, resulting in an even more stable product. The 2007 Office system SP1 also addresses many minor annoyances and distracting problems that users had to contend with in the initial release. Many of these minor usability and stability fixes are in response to customer requests as well. The following section lists summaries of some of the most notable stability improvements delivered with the 2007 Office system SP1. Access 2007 For third-party applications that use Data Access Object code to synchronize replicated information in a Microsoft Office Access™ 2007 database, Office Access 2007 no longer returns a run-time error that causes the application to close or time out. Communicator 2007 Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 now presents...
  • Photos, photography, JPEG XR, Photosynth, the future of photography and Seadragons - why all the excitement?

    It's funny working in an industry where if you are not going at 50,000 miles an hour you are considered to be standing still. One area where Microsoft is speeding along is photography. In this post I will explore the announcements, the demos, short and long term products and then the future that lots of people are beginning to see. For me, the fact that people are already seeing such a future and its possibilities is very exciting (both the visions and the fact they are having them without drugs!! (humour)) Look at the recent events: Raw photo support in 2005 - Microsoft and Imaging Industry Leaders Unveil Support for Digital Photo HD (which some people thought was a JPEG killer.. tut tut) - HD Photo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia JPEG XR - JPEG committee supports Photo HD as next gen JPEG TrustedReviews - Official Jpeg Successor Is Microsoft's HD Photo Now this is all very nice, but so what - a better format for bigger pictures, that could be a bit like FAT disks getting FAT32 format, but it is not. Now read about Photosynth and Seadeagon and you realise that people are not just seeing a HD future, but a future where seeing details and accessing them is much, much easier: The demos by themselves are awesome - Chris Koenig : Seadragon and Photosynth If you haven't already seen Seadragon or Photosynth , then you need to watch this video from TED 07 . The speaker, Blaise Aguera y Arcas , is an Architect at Microsoft, and responsible for the Seadragon product. This is AMAZING technology - absolutely unbelievable what they've been able to do here. You can try out Photosynth for yourself today, but Seadragon itself is not publicly available (I can't wait to get my hands on this Seadragon demo)! The short term future is described by people like Pete: Microsoft & Photography - Pete's Eats I've been a heavy Photoshop user since v2.5 now but thought I'd do some research at Microsoft to see what kinds of things we have to offer too. I have to say, I was pretty surprised at the content...
  • Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 Released - MSDN members can download the product and the Express and trial versions are available for download now too.

    I just saw this as Scott's blog while preparing something on SQL 2008 CTP. This is an amazing set of tools now released!! Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 Released Today we shipped Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5. You can download the final release using one of the links below: If you are a MSDN subscriber, you can download your copy from the MSDN subscription site (note: some of the builds are just finishing being uploaded now - so check back later during the day if you don't see it yet). If you are a non-MSDN subscriber, you can download a 90-day free trial edition of Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite here . A 90-day trial edition of Visual Studio 2008 Professional (which will be a slightly smaller download) will be available next week. A 90-day free trial edition of Team Foundation Server can also be downloaded here . If you want to use the free Visual Studio 2008 Express editions (which are much smaller and totally free), you can download them here . If you want to just install the .NET Framework 3.5 runtime, you can download it here . Quick Tour of Some of the New Features VS 2008 Multi-Targeting Support <snipped - see the original blog entry for more> ASP.NET AJAX and JavaScript Support <snipped - see the original blog entry for more> VS 2008 Web Designer and CSS Support <snipped - see the original blog entry for more> Language Improvements and LINQ <snipped - see the original blog entry for more> Data Access Improvements with LINQ to SQL <snipped - see the original blog entry for more> Browsing the .NET Framework Library Source using Visual Studio <snipped - see the original blog entry for more> Lots of other improvements <snipped - see the original blog entry for more> The list above is only a small set of the improvements coming. For client development VS 2008 includes WPF designer and project support. ClickOnce and WPF XBAPs now work with FireFox. WinForms and WPF projects can also now use the ASP.NET Application Services (Membership, Roles, Profile) for roaming...
  • Do you need a Windows server solution for people with 50-250 users? Have you heard of "Centro"? Well, Windows Server Centro is now the Windows Essential Business Server and you can now participate in the beta!

    From the http://blogs.technet.com/kevin_beares/archive/2007/11/07/windows-server-centro-is-officially-unveiled-and-has-a-new-name.aspx a small amount about Centro and the tech beta. This is produced by the same team who build SBS 2003 R2 and SBS Cougar. More on those next year. Windows® Essential Business Server is the new Microsoft server solution for small to medium businesses, with 50 to 250 client computers in their organizations. Windows®Essential Business Server offers a standardized server configuration that is designed to meet the needs of most midsize businesses. The configuration is optimized to meet the currently recommended practices for networking, security, collaboration, and remote access. The tightly integrated Windows Essential Business Server simplifies setup, migration, and licensing for Microsoft infrastructure server products that a midsize business uses most frequently. Most network services and resources are managed through a single Windows®Essential Business Server Administration Console, which is accessible from anywhere on the network or remotely over a virtual private network. Windows®Essential Business Server is installed on three physical servers. These are referred to by their primary roles in the network: Windows®Essential Business Server Management Server – Centralizes management of your Windows Server "Centro" network. Enables and manages worker collaboration and network services. Windows®Essential Business Server Security Server – Manages security, Internet access, and remote-worker connectivity. Windows®Essential Business Server Messaging Server – Provides messaging capabilities and manages network services. If you are interested in joining the Windows®Essential Business Server upcoming Beta 2 effort; Please go to http://connect.microsoft.com , Click on Invitations and sign in with your Windows Live ID (Passport ID). Enter the following invite ID: EBSE-VKDP-276Y . You will be asked to take a short survey. Once you complete the survey we will evaluate your application for...
  • Office Accounting Professional 2008 ships in the UK ... download the free Express version, buy or try the Professional version for extra features (Multi user, SQL support, sales order, purchase order etc) and also sign up for online services (Paypal, BACS

    Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2008 It is finally here!! There are 2 major versions - the free version and the paid for version, plus a number of add-on services you might want to buy too. You can get lots of information at http://www.msofficeaccounting.co.uk/default.aspx and if you are an accountant then the Microsoft Professional Accounting Network is for you ( http://accounting.microsoft.com/mpanuk.aspx ). You can download the Express Version here: You can Download Free Trial here It says about itself: Microsoft® Office Accounting Professional is an easy to use, comprehensive accounting package that works with other Office applications you already know. Easy to learn and use Works just like Word, Excel and Outlook Get started in minutes with wizards that import your data Save time managing everyday tasks Share and reuse data across Word, Excel and Outlook Manage customers, suppliers, employees and stock Pay bills, track expenses, send invoices and bank online Get a complete view of your business Run customisable reports so you always know how you’re doing See all your important data in one glance with the Digital Dashboard Get reminders of important deadlines, pending bills and overdue invoices Product Overview information is available here: Product Overview Product Overview Below are the product features and the comparison between the 2 versions Top Features Click for details Get up and running in minutes Import data from Sage © or Excel * Choose from dozens of business templates to set up your company Work in the familiar Microsoft Office interface Visit the Resource Centre to get help with common questions Save time on everyday tasks Track your income and expenses Manage customers, suppliers and employees Print cheques, create quotes and invoices Bank online and download transactions Get paid faster with PayPal invoices Get reminders for recurring documents and activities Save time with Office integration Track billable time, create quotes and send invoices in Outlook Export reports to Excel with one...
  • A SBS Blog to watch - Girish's Graffiti : How to use Performance Monitor Wizard (PerfWiz) on SBS

    This is just one example of the many blog entries on this blog that is again worth watching. Is it also worth mentioning that Girish supports SBS? Go to Girish's Graffiti to see lots of good stuff. How to use Performance Monitor Wizard (PerfWiz) on SBS You can download PerfWiz from here; http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=31fccd98-c3a1-4644-9622-faa046d69214&displaylang=en Many times when you have performance issues on your server you can use this tool to simplify creating performance counters. This will benefit you in the following way; you don't need to do this one by one manually and this would be a head start before you call for support. Because for most performance issues you may find that we would want to collect this from your system. So here is a step by step on how can do this More information at Girish's Graffiti : How to use Performance Monitor Wizard (PerfWiz) on SBS ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS , Blog , If you only read one post today
  • Be there or be square - Westcoast Small Business Forum - 29th November, Reading

    What can I say - an amazing line up of presenters, plus a chance to throw pies at me as I do a song and dance for 1 hour. Seriously though, look at the agenda and wonder how you survived without it!! Westcoast Small Business Forum Get yourself booked onto our Small Business Forum which takes place on November 29th at Microsoft’s Thames Valley Campus. Spaces are limited (unless you’re happy to sit on laps?!) so get yourself booked on now. First come, first served. Full details are available by clicking here . We’ll be updating it with a few more events that are coming up this year in the UK that we think you’ll be interested in. Look forward to seeing you there! Oh, and guess who’s also found another site to blog on… UK SMB Girl » Westcoast Small Business Forum ttfn David Technorati Tags: If you only read one post today , Small Business , SBSC , Community , Westcoast , Event
  • A SBS Blog to watch - Moloy Tandon's Blog - Ask Me

    This is just one example of the many blog entries on this blog that is worth watching. Is it also worth mentioning that Moloy supports SBS? Go to Moloy Tandon's Blog - Ask Me to see lots of good stuff. Upcoming Events: Small Business Server 2003 Webinar We've arranged three Small Business Server webinars to cover topics that we think you may be interested in. You can watch these webinars from the comfort of your own PC and there will be an opportunity for you to ask questions at the end. But hurry! Spaces are limited so ensure you register as soon as possible. The Small Business Server OEM pre-installation kit Join us for the first of our three-part webinar series, focusing on Microsoft Small Business Server. We'll be looking at how to: Automate the build process - using features such as auto-unattend Centrally manage your installations - by using network-based deployment Incorporate third party drivers - and pre-install additional applications Add unique customisations - to promote your company and support offerings We'll also touch on creating images to help you save time on future installations and finish with a question and answer session. Tuesday 30th October, 9am-10am - Register Tuesday 6th November, 9am-10am - Register Common configurations with Small Business Server In part two of our series on Small Business Server we'll be investigating common configurations. This session will include: Hardware and network infrastructure considerations, including how to set up, email or transfer from an ISP Security Troubleshooting techniques and common pitfalls Tuesday 30th October, 4pm-5pm - Register Tuesday 6th November, 4pm-5pm - Register Windows SharePoint Services In the third and final part of our series on Windows Small Business Server we'll look in detail at Windows SharePoint Services. Key capabilities of Windows SharePoint Services version 2.0 around web-based team working Options for ongoing management Introducing Windows SharePoint Services version 3.0 Wednesday 31st October, 9am-10am...
  • From the Official SBS Blog - SBS now has a Best Practices Analyzer!

    You have seen the Exchange, SQL, Security and Windows best practice scanners, well now we have all that SBS expertise wrapped up into an SBS scanner - enjoy!! SBS now has a Best Practices Analyzer! The Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer examines a server that is running Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Windows SBS) and presents a list of information and errors that administrators should review. The Windows SBS Best Practices Analyzer examines the server and collects configuration information from many sources including: Active Directory Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Registry Metabase After collecting information about server configuration, the Windows SBS Best Practices Analyzer verifies that the information is correct and then presents administrators with a list of issues sorted by severity. The list describes each issue and provides a recommendation or possible solution. System Requirements Supported Operating Systems: Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Any version of Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003) Links KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940439 Download http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3874527A-DE19-49BB-800F-352F3B6F2922&displaylang=en So take a look and let us know what you think about it! (Feedback email address is in the KB article). The Official SBS Blog : SBS now has a Best Practices Analyzer! ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 R2 , Best practices , If you only read one post today
  • Ballmer Talks Cloud, Advertising, SAAS and what is Microsoft doing about it

    Software as a Service, Software plus Services etc, etc is a hot topic, but the reality for most of us is that for today we need to deliver traditional software while planning for the future. Steve Ballmer discusses this and more at the Gartner ITxpo 2007 event. I have snipped a few words that I thought were interesting, but please read the rest of the article for more info. For a video of Steve on Microsoft in the online world, have a look at Steve's blog at Steve Ballmer video - The Online Opportunity Ballmer addressed what appeared to be recurring questions among attendees: What is Microsoft's strategy around SAAS (software as a service), and what is Microsoft's answer to Google? Ballmer made it clear during the session that seeing any similarities between Microsoft and Google would be a mistake. "We don't look alike at all," he said. There is a "world of search and advertising, where Google is the leader; we're number three, working to be number two and then working to be number one." Microsoft has been able to differentiate itself in certain verticals such as shopping and through its user interface, Ballmer said. He then said that in productivity and business computing, Google's offerings are "not as good as 'me-too.' We haven't seen a lot from the other guys." Moreover, Ballmer said he sees the on-demand, cloud-computing world evolving differently in the short term than over the long term. He focused on Microsoft's four major business models: the PC, the Web, the enterprise market, and devices and entertainment. "We need to bring them together, and as we bring them together, the cloud will get more important," Ballmer said. "But we're not going to move to a world where everything is on thin client. We aspire to bring the rest of all of these models together." <snipped> And SAAS is one of the facets of Microsoft's Web strategy. Still, Ballmer said, users will never be able to do as good a job with a services...
  • Microsoft unveils more online services and additional features for Office Live

    You may well have missed this on Microsoft Press Pass, but I think all partners should read this and work out if there is even more opportunity for them. It was introduced under a title that might not have caught your attention: Microsoft Charts Its Software Services Strategy and Road Map for Businesses Company introduces “Online” services and Microsoft Office Live Workspace, solutions that combine client, server and services offerings to deliver connected computing options for people and businesses. REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 30, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today laid out the next phase in its strategy for online services, offering a road map for new offerings that synthesize client, server and services software for people and businesses. These offerings will combine elements of client-based programs with software that runs large servers and new services delivered over the Internet. The offerings announced expand Microsoft’s existing portfolio of software plus service solutions — solutions that weave together the best of software and Internet services to provide a new generation of rich, seamless experiences that are personalized, integrated and available online anywhere. This approach gives individuals and organizations greater freedom of choice in how they interact with the people, information and activities they value most. Microsoft plans to deliver a wide variety of new solutions during the coming months under two key families of service offerings: “Live” and “Online.” “Live” services from Microsoft are designed primarily for individuals, business end-users and virtual work groups. Live offerings span entertainment, communication and productivity. These services emphasize ease of use, simplicity of access and flexibility, and are ideally suited for situations where people either don’t have access to professional technical expertise or don’t require high levels of system management. “Online” services are for organizations with more advanced IT needs where power and flexibility are critical. Online services from Microsoft...
  • SBS rebates for partners - get up to $225 back per installation - and don't complain that we only do these in the USA - this is available in many countries, including the UK too

    I just know when a rebate offer goes up on the Microsoft web site that I will get an e-mail asking if it will be available in the UK. For this one the answer is most definitely YES. To prove that it is not a waste of time, I need you to USE the offer, i.e. sell SBS and claim back you money, CALs or D-Link wireless router. Below are the details from the UK web site, but if you go to http://www.sbsoffers.com you will be able to select your country. Since this is a limited time offer, the more you sell now, the more you make - you can make up to 50 claims under this offer!! Take advantage of these offers when you provide on-site, deployment services for Windows ® Small Business Server 2003 R2! Don’t miss this opportunity! From September 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007, the on-site services you may already provide to customers to deploy Microsoft ® Windows ® Small Business Server 2003 R2 could make you eligible to receive some great rewards. Provide on-site deployment services to your customer between September 1, 2007 and December 31, 2007. Submit your valid Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Certificate of Authenticity or Volume License Number and then upload, fax or mail your deployment services invoice Choose which offer you would like to receive! Server Rebate Offer - UK rebate site ttfn David Technorati Tags: If you only read one post today , SBS 2003 R2 , Rebate , SBSC , Partners , Microsoft
  • The Open XML Vote (OOXML) and why I hate politics

    This is a rant and it is my opinion and does not reflect that of Microsoft or others - It is my Opinion! From 1992 to 1995 I had to write document converters - I had to pick apart binary file formats and translate them to another format. It was hard work and I JUST WISHED people would create a largely encompassing standard for documents that was documented so I did not have to do all the work myself. Role forward to today, Office is still the prominent document format (which is now documented on http://msdn.microsoft.com ), but there is a new kid in town that encompass everything that an Office document is and more. This is the Open XML document format. People have cried for years that they wanted the Office Document standard to become more than a defacto standard, they wanted it to become a format an open standard. It was always going to be large, but to cover all the features and functions available in Office, it would have to be. There is no point in the standard being something different to that used in Office as it would be useless. Today, something like 600 million people use the Office document standard and Open XML format is growing too with tools existing for previous versions of Office prior to 2007 to make the use of the ECMA standard seamless for users. So what happens, Microsoft submits their file formats to the standards bodies and while it is accepted by ECMA a HUGE POLITICAL effort is made to stop it becoming an ISO standard. I don't mind people saying they want more documentation, but the only reason I can think why people want to stop it becoming an ISO standard is because they don't want it to be easier for people to use Office documents - they want it to be hard, to make use of Office harder for developers, not easier. This means that those who said "make it a standard" really meant "don't use it because it is not a standard and that is the only weapon we have as to why you should not use it". You may disagree with me, but a while ago I tried to enter the discussion...
  • Microsoft, web services, new business models and small business

    In the IT market the term "change is the only constant" has been around for years (well, certainly since I left ICL where change was not constant, but that was due to the contract that dictated that everything did not change, so fell behind). Note, this post is purely the ramblings from my mind, not a statement from Microsoft in an Official or Unofficial capacity We've seen big iron, then smaller systems, the rise of SMP, the reduction in IT hardware and software costs for solutions, the rise of Microsoft servers, client server, 3-tier, clustered computing, multi-core and now internet enabled computing. There is much more, of course, to come, but how we deliver IT to customers has changed too. Of course, this is all generalised and some people have always been at one end or the other, but general acceptance is always shifting - remember the ASP business model of the late 90's - dead, yet here it is again with Software as / plus service. The pricing of some services even appears to be £0, yet you pay by clicking on adverts or by others buying adverts for you to see. Business Models Google and salesforce.com have once again shown that non-distributed computing means that a central failure grinds everything to a halt, just as Terminal based computing did before SAS was being considered. While you can architect to reduce these impacts, when they happen, hundreds to millions of people are impacted and if that is your business, it can be fatal. Once upon a time it was building PCs, then custom PCs, then servers, then core infrastructure, now ICT. However this is all the technical "stuff". We now deliver solutions more than just boxes (I know some always did) and the need to move beyond core infrastructure is a business necessity if you have not already moved this way. Excitement about a new "gizmo" (OS, application, gadget etc) is now tempered with "So what can it do to improve my business and is it worth it." One of the conversations I have had repeatedly with partners over...
  • WPC Partner Conference in Denver - what is on and how to follow it even if you can't be there

    The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference is an amazing opportunity to understand what Microsoft is planning on doing for its partners over the next 12 months, what changes will be happening to our products, look Microsoft in the eye and ask your question and to build relationships with other partners and people inside Microsoft to benefit your business. Some of the speakers include UK Small Business partners, such as Susanne Dansey , Gareth Brown and Andy Trish . They represent two areas of the community and their own companies, Westcoast a Microsoft distributor aiming at the small business end of the partner market and thriving, now Gold Certified SBSC partners who two years ago were not on Microsoft's radar and have made being a SBSC partner a real benefit. In terms of what is on that is just for small business partners we had the Symposium yesterday. As to what was expected, here is the small business blog http://blogs.msdn.com/mssmallbiz/archive/2007/07/03/3677168.aspx Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference: We know many of you will also be participating in the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) beginning Tuesday, July 10. There are several special activities planned especially for small business partners that you will want to add to your Conference schedule: · Network with your peers before you arrive by joining the Small Business Discussion Group . This group is hosted on WPC Connect and is a great way for you to stay current, share ideas, and discuss what you have seen and heard at the conference. · Also check out the Small Business Specialist Community Blog on WPC Connect to get an early glimpse of what to expect at both the Small Business Symposium and the Worldwide Partner Conference. Visit the Small Business Partner "Yellow" Lounge . This lounge is a gathering place for connecting with people who care about small business as much as you do. The Lounge is located across from Lobby F, near the 14th Street entrance to the Convention Center. C ome chat with Microsoft about small business technologies...
  • David Overton moving on to pastures new

    With a tear in my eye the time has come for me to move my stick hut somewhere new. I have loved working in and with the small business community and with a set of awesome partners who can complain and nag, but normally with good cause and that are more willing to say thank-you and "good job" when the time is right. To you all I take my hat off for making me feel so welcome. As a legacy we now have SBSC up and running, partner groups that support themselves, a voice into Microsoft from the smaller end of the partner community and a better understanding of the motivations of both Microsoft and our partners. We also have a new level of engagement with customers. I wish I could take credit for all of this, but I am just a figurehead for a great team of people inside Microsoft. A nice chap called Mark in the OEM team will be helping to drive Cougar knowledge through the community when the time comes (no, this is not the time yet, trust me), SBSC has been supported by Jen as many of you would have seen from the e-mails and SBS has a product manager who cares in the form of Sonal. Finally campaigns like Mr Busy prove that while we still have some implementation details to improve on, the ideas are getting better and better and the team responsible for these will continue to push forward on this front. They say you can take the boy out of the small business, but not small business out of the boy and this will be true for me - the blog will continue and I will still try to be a voice of reason and rant as I feel appropriate and pass on comments to the right people internally within Microsoft, just realise that I have less time to do this now. This points to the fact that I will still be with Microsoft. My next challenge is to help those ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) who wish it to move further along a path with Microsoft to do so, whether they already work with us today or not. This should be a fun challenge - viewing all of the Microsoft world as a platform rather than a solution, but this is something I have...
  • New Microsoft UK Small Business Blog and bye bye bCentral

    Well, we are in a new financial year and the small business team has undergone several changes. While internally things are being shaken around a bit (as every year - there should be more news soon on this), the web site bCentral is being moved and there is a new pretty cool blog to go visit. Much more business than my blog today. The new website should be up in a day or two and the blog is http://blogs.technet.com/smallbusiness/ . I will be contributing to it every so often, so expect some more here. ttfn David Technorati Tags: if you only read one post today , bCentral , Small Business
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Can customers find you on the Microsoft web site? Did you know that the "old" method for customers to find you is being turned off on June 14th? Have you added your solution Finder profile yet? If not, prepare to disappear

    Promote your business online The Microsoft Resource Directory, listing all Microsoft partners, will be retired on 14 June, when all traffic will be redirected to the increasingly popular Solution Finder tool. This is where existing and potential customers can search for partners who offer the specific business solutions they are looking for. To be included in this partner listing, and to help increase your sale leads at no additional cost, you need to ensure your business offerings are entered in our Solutions Profiler tool. This is a great opportunity to promote your business online and it takes just a few minutes to profile your solutions. I saw this and somehow figured that a few people might need a little prompting. I have written on how easy it is to add a solution using solution finder here . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Solution Finder , Partners [updated @ 2:20pm to fix access error]
  • WOW!!! Microsoft Surface has just made me say - "I have to have one" and so does everyone else in the family too. This is seriously cool (and not really much to do for most small businesses)

    [updated 1:05 with more information and moving silverlight code to a 2nd page] I'm a difficult person to impress - Silverlight is one technology that impresses me seriously as to the future direction of media and web applications. Now however we have a new platform that I really like the look of - Surface . Have a look at the web site - see the possibilities of this touch and object sensitive device. Put a camera on it and the pictures poor out of it. look at photos and movies on it. It is just a wow, how cool is that type of device. Maybe I should run some form of competition on the blog and see if anyone wants to win one when they ship!! For more information go to www.microsoft.com/surface/ with the "Executive Q&A: What the new surface computing category means for Microsoft and consumers" found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/may07/05-29Surface.mspx and the general PR at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/may07/05-29MSSurfacePR.mspx . Finally you can see more at http://www.on10.net/Blogs/larry/first-look-microsoft-surfacing-computing/ . I have uploaded some photos to the site , but since I wanted to show how easy Popfly was too so instead have a look at the photos using Silverlight too. [updated to remove silverlight dependency on viewing the blog, however you can click the image to see the carousel working for real] ttfn David Technorati Tags: Surface , SIlverlight , popfly , table
  • The "If you only read one post today, this is the one" Post tag is coming

    I was talking to Adrian from EJC.IT yesterday (a great Small Business partner) and one comment that was made was that I sometimes post lots of entries and knowing which one to read if only one was to be read was hard. So, I have decided to create the " If you only read one post today " tag for those blog entries that fall into the category. Obviously this is one as it is the 1st one and tells you about it :-) [updated 11:33 on 23/05/2007] The URL to get just these posts is http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/If+you+only+read+one+post+today/default.aspx and the RSS feed for this is http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/rss.aspx?Tags=If+you+only+read+one+post+today&AndTags=1 ttfn David Technorati Tags: If you only read one post today
  • Want Microsoft to get you leads - this is how you do it

    One of the most commonly asked questions is "How do I get Microsoft to send me leads?" While we run campaigns that point people to the bCentral site and the find a small business IT advisor process some want more direct action. Well, using the Mr Busy campaign you can now get us to carry our a campaign on your behalf. Yes, that is right, we will carry out a campaign on your behalf to people you want to - either by e-mail (EM) or post (DM). The process is really simple - go here and read the instructions. For the Post Card campaign we know that using post cards effectively communicate with your customers and provide short and focused information. You can customise the postcard with your company details, your logo and a relevant web URL and phone number. We advise that the URL you supply has information about the IT healthcheck to increase the number of customers then contacting you. Your postcards will be sent directly to your customers in a neutral envelope within five business days of you submitting the contact list. The timing for a e-mail campaign are good as research has shown that more marketing messages are reach their targets via email than previously. A helpful and targeted communication, headed by a pertinent subject line is an excellent and fast way to contact your customers! Your emails will be sent within two calendar days and you will receive a full reporting, including emails sent, links clicked, bounced emails etc. With this report you will be able to identify the potential within your customer base. To see the output is may be worth putting yourself on the list of recipients :-) In each case it is a 3 stage process: Personalise the campaign Provide company logo It gets sent out Enjoy and tell me about your successes. ttfn David Technorati Tags: If you only read one post today , marketing , it healthcheck

(c)David Overton 2006-13