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

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  • Comparing a Word document on Office Web Apps on SkyDrive or Office 365 to Google Apps

    Hi, I’ve been asked this before, so I thought I would share this today.  I don’t use Google Apps, so I don’t have personal experience of the services, however I work with companies who employee’s choose to use the services – often because they can’t access the corporate environment from home or have file size limits that stop them.  Anyway, I do use Word, Excel and PowerPoint and I use quite a lot of the features in my documents (e.g. the book and reports in Word, my personal finance spread sheet in Excel and numerous presentations in PowerPoint).  I’m fussy, I like my documents to render the same, no matter what device I’m accessing them from and especially when I’m presenting.  I’ve always seen the differences when they are shared with products other than Office and have been known to spend a couple of hours fixing them up once they come out of the “other” services.  People ask me why I stick to Microsoft, this is one of the reasons. Today I saw this - http://bit.ly/tSedOC – it has a document available in Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 .  The nice thing is that I can edit both on the web.  Only one renders correctly and only one comes to my PC for full control with all functionality maintained.  I’m sure you can guess which. Now I expect some people to say “but Office 365 is charged for”, which is true, but as a consumer I can use the features of the web applications on SkyDrive for free. Have a look at the site, you may be surprised.   ttfn David
  • Microsoft Cloud Services Get Major Service Updates, New Customers: New features in Microsoft Office 365 and updates to sharing in Microsoft SkyDrive make it easier for people to work together.

    I saw this and just had to blog it.. The graphic on the left has amazing information – 41 of Interband Top 100 run on Microsoft’s cloud productivity services. 90% of Office 365 customers (not the seats, but the customer count) are SMEs with less than 50 employees.  You can guess the big customers from the stats. The PR can be found at Microsoft Cloud Services Get Major Service Updates, New Customers: New features in Microsoft Office 365 and updates to sharing in Microsoft SkyDrive make it easier for people to work together. One last thing I like, since I’ve been hearing people say “SharePoint is hard for file sharing” – SkyDrive works with Office 365 too.  This is simple, drag and drop and works natively with Office! Snippets from the PR statement: Small Businesses and Big Brands Bet on Office 365 More and more large global companies are choosing Office 365 to enable their employees and customers to work together in the cloud. In fact, more than 40 per cent of the global Interbrand list of the 100 top brands use Office 365 or related cloud productivity services from Microsoft. Among the new customers are Campbell Soup Company and Groupe Marie-Claire, which have recently chosen Office 365 to reap the benefits of cloud productivity. “Office 365 is key to our plans to propel our employees to next-generation innovation in productivity technologies, at a very rapid pace,” said Joe Spagnoletti, senior vice president and chief information officer at Campbell Soup Company. “We’re betting on the cloud — and Office 365 — as we prepare to build a highly collaborative workplace where employees across our global offices can all work together and communicate in a seamless fashion.” Groupe Marie-Claire, a leading fashion magazine published in more than 30 countries, will use Office 365 to modernize the company’s email and collaboration capabilities, while moving away from a costly and inefficient legacy technology. Employees at Groupe Marie-Claire will be able to access email and share documents on a PC, Mac or various...
  • Perpetually Connecting = PC = latest US Bill Gates and Seinfeld Windows (Vista, Live, Mobile) Adverts

    I see the latest Windows advert is up on http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ .  These are the US adverts and the UK adverts are coming so I’m told.  It is nice Microsoft beginning to emphasize the value of it’s products … I just wish I could see the how the whole series will play out. The latest tag line is Perpetually Connecting which becomes PC. Talking about videos, the same site now has a stack of videos at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/possibilities/products/default.aspx .  Go have a look, you might just surprise yourself!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Vista , Live , Mobile , Windows , Adverts , Bill Gates , Seinfeld
  • 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
  • Get a makeover for your Office Live Site as well as a Dell Laptop and cash too!

    I just saw this over at https://microsoft.eprize.net/officelivesaveoursiteuk/index.tbapp and thought I would share. We are offering a makeover, £540 in cash and a Dell Laptop. If you have a site, or know someone who does, then forward this on to them. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office Live , Small Business , Competition , Microsoft , Office Live Small Business
  • 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...
  • PhotoZoom using Silverlight and DeepZoom (aka SeaDragon) technology - mine is on Star Wars, but we could create a SBSC one

    The above technology is built using Silverlight 2.0 beta that was announced at MIX08. You can upload photos or import via an RSS feed. I did the later, bit it occurred to me that we should start something like this for SBSC and ISV partners. To see the effect, go to http://photozoom.mslivelabs.com/Album.aspx?alias=Doverton&album=1 and then zoom in and out using the +/- in the top left corner or the scroll wheel on your mouse. It is quite amazing! Hat tip to Steve for this one ttfn David Technorati Tags: SeaDragon , DeepZoom , PhotoZoom , Silverlight , MIX 08 , Developer , SBSC , Star Wars , Community , ISV
  • Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista to enable "Open From" and "Save to" menu items in Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint

    One little feature that others might have missed with the new release of Office Live Workspace is the two nifty buttons for Office to enable direct access from the Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista The Office Live Workspace Update installs three Windows Vista updates (KB945435, KB945145, KB933860) and one Office 2007 update to ensure optimal performance on Windows Vista when using Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with Office Live Workspace. The update improves the performance of opening and saving Workspace documents from these Office programs. In some cases, the update also resolves problems with "Open from Office Live" and "Save to Office Live" functions of the Office Live Add-in . This update is only needed for computers running Windows Vista. Download details: Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista ttfn David Technorati Tags: Live , Office Live Small Business , Office Live , Office Live Workspace , Vista , Windows Vista , Save to , Open From
  • Training announcement for ISV who are developing or planning to develop on the Windows Live Platform (Silverlight, Live Controls, Live ID, Messenger, Spaces)

    Another entry from the ISV blog - this time for developing on the Windows Live platform Training announcement for ISV who are developing or planning to develop on the Windows Live Platform. The Partner Readiness have just announced the release of the Windows Live Platform Services course. This 1.5 day deep dive covers the core technical aspects of Windows Live Platform Services including: Overview of Windows Live Silverlight Streaming Windows Live Controls Windows Live Tools for Visual Studio Windows Live Data (Authentication/Delegation model) Live ID Quick Apps Deep Dive (dev.live.com/quickapps) Messenger Presence Spaces APIs Dates currently scheduled are: 28–29 April (London) https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=242857&site=UK&lang=en-uk 14 -15 May (Altrincham) https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=242858&site=UK&lang=en-uk 9-10 June (London) https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=242859&site=UK&lang=en-uk Place will be limited so hurry to sign-up! UK ISV Blog : Training announcement for ISV who are developing or planning to develop on the Windows Live Platform. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Live , Developer , Messenger , Spaces , Silverlight , QuickApps , Visual Studio , Live ID , Live
  • SkyDrive (free online storage accessed via the web) goes to 5GB, comes out of beta, is available in 38 countries around the world

    I went to my skydrive today and noticed it was not 5GB, not 1GB and no longer beta. According to the official blog besides the things in the blog title it is also: This release also includes bug fixes and improvements to make the site even faster and more reliable . We’re proud of this release — so proud, in fact, that we’re officially removing the Beta tag ! The Windows Live wire blog said ( Windows Live Wire: Bigger, better, faster SkyDrive! ): Improvements to Windows Live SkyDrive , including 5 GB of free online storage , were released to the public today in 38 countries or regions around the world! SkyDrive provides free, password-protected online file storage and sharing. It's a great way to make sure your files are available to you from any computer, without having to carry them around on a flash drive. I also find it really useful for sharing files that may be too big to send in e-mail. It's dead simple to use, so go ahead and try it out . New in this release: Free online storage is increasing from 1GB to 5 GB Now available in many more places around the world ( see if it's available where you live ) Faster and more reliable service Not in beta anymore--this time it's official! SkyDrive takes its place in the ever-growing collection of Windows Live offerings (Hotmail, Mail, Photo Gallery, Calendar, Spaces, Writer, Messenger, Events, Toolbar, and OneCare Family Safety). With file storage and sharing on SkyDrive, you have one more tool to help you manage your online world. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SkyDrive , Online Storage
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  • UK MSDN Events (Windows Live, Silverlight, Hyper V, Smart Client, Black Marble, Security, Visual Studio 2008 and .Net 3.5)

    I know I should have posted these earlier, but ho-hum - sorry!! 29 January, Reading : MSDN- Building Services: .NET FX 3.5, SOAP, REST, and Beyond . 29 January, Bristol : VBUG -'Code Access Security for Protecting Web Applications'with Chris Seary . 30 January, Birmingham : MSDN - Developing on the Windows Live Platform . 31 January, Reading : Vista Squad UG- Silverlight 2.0 & Hyper V Introduction . 31 January, Bradford : MSDN -What's new in Smart Client Development . 31 January, Bradford : Black Marble's Annual Technical Update for Microsoft Technologies . 31 January, Bradford : Black Marble - Ed Gibson, Microsoft's Chief Security Advisor in the UK . 05 February 2008, Reading : MSDN- What's new in Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Fx 3.5 for the Web Developer . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Events , MSDN Events , Windows Live , Silverlight , Hyper V , Smart Client , Black Marble , Security , Visual Studio 2008 , .Net 3.5
  • 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...
  • Microsoft's Small Business Blog : Fancy winning £5,000?

    I saw this at Microsoft's Small Business Blog : Fancy winning £5,000? and thought I would pass it on. Fancy winning £5,000? We’ve just launched the Microsoft Office Live £5,000 prize draw and you’re amongst the first to hear about it. You have the chance to win £5,000 or one of several £100 Amazon gift cards. Just click the link and enter the prize draw at https://microsoft.eprize.net/officeliveuk . If you haven't explored Office Live yet it really is worth spending some time looking at what it could do for your business. Microsoft Office Live is a set of Internet-based tools aimed at helping small businesses to quickly and easily create a professional web presence. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Small Business , Office Live
  • Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express is available as a release candidate and will be free when it releases. This is all the power of SharePoint search engine integrated into 1 web page

    I have only just been able to start playing with this, but it is looking good. I'm told that it does NOT YET load on SBS, but that the issue is being looked at (the auto config tools that make it so easy clash with the pre-defined IIS settings for SBS) and the plan is to support SBS too. I will look at how to hack it on SBS yet :-) More info can be found at Enterprise Search from Microsoft . So what is it? (basically, web, share and application search capability with lots of abilities, but some important ones picked out below). Familiar Search Experience Empower your users to quickly find the information they need through a familiar Search Center interface Pinpoint the most relevant information you need with recommended best bets , authoritative sources , term definitions , hit highlighting , and query correction . Retrieve concise and clear search results with duplicate collapsing , allowing you to quickly review a wide variety of relevant information. Stay on top of new information relevant to your work by subscribing to update notifications of your search results using e-mail and RSS alerts . Build upon a familiar user interface and application platform that lets you customize your search experience and the actions you can take on your search results. Search Center. Empower your people to quickly find the information they need through a familiar, web-style search interface and easy-to-use query syntax. Re-configure the layout of Search Center elements without writing any code. Content Summaries. Quickly browse textual summaries of content that appears in the context of your search terms. Hit Highlighting. Quickly spot where your search terms appear in search results and content summaries. Best Bets and Definitions. Highlights editorialized sites or definitions for common search terms likely to have a single authoritative answer. Query Correction. Receive helpful "Did you mean?" suggestions for misspelled queries. Duplicate Collapsing. Find the content you're looking for faster using more concise...
  • Windows Live Writer 2008 - including Vista x64 support, more languages, better compatibility with more blogging services

    I use Windows Live writer for blogging - it does everything I need, well, except write my blogs for me, The latest version has finally released and not as a beta. For a UK version, go to http://g.live.com/1rewlive/en/WLInstaller.exe or follow the link below for all other versions. Finally Final! Published November 6th, 2007 Atom , Windows Live Writer We’re thrilled to bring you the final version of Windows Live Writer 2008 –our first non-beta release! We haven’t added many major new features since Beta 3. We’ve been focused on polishing off our more egregious remaining bugs, while trying hard not to introduce any regressions . Highlights Vista x64 support is back. And not a moment too soon. Generic AtomPub support. Server implementers should see this post and the links therein for excruciating detail. Support for more spell checking languages. Still not nearly as many as we would like, but it’s a start. We also made English spell checking available in all builds. Localized versions for lots of new languages/markets. Dozens of languages supported now–hard to believe Beta 1 was hard coded for English! Simpler Windows Live Spaces configuration. We were running into a lot of problems with the new "cid"-based Space names. This has been fixed. Support for higher-resolution images on Spaces. No more automatic resizing down to 600×600. Blogger image uploading fixed for externally hosted blogs. Due to a… quirk… in Picasaweb, images would appear broken in Blogger blogs that weren’t on blogspot.com. This has been fixed, although I still recommend using FTP-based image hosting if you can. <pre> handling in XHTML mode is fixed. Beta 3 would collapse whitespace in all tags, including <pre>, in XHTML mode. It took some ugly hacks, but it should work correctly now. Lowlights No support for XP x64 or Windows Server 2003. However, the hacks that worked for Beta 3 will probably continue to work for Final. Thanks to all of you out there that use Windows Live Writer and have given us so much valuable feedback over...
  • New Windows Live Messenger V8.5 - its all about the look and quality, oh and the web messengering and the buttons ...

    I just saw this (as I have just updated my live suite). Anyway, if you look at the recommended " Nicole’s post " then you quickly discover that for Messenger it is all about the look, experience and quality. However, while this is true, we then have some amazingly cool new features that sit around it, such as Web based IM for people to contact you via a site and adding a "IM me" button to your site. Below are 3 blog entries that tell the whole story. Announcing Windows Live Messenger 8.5! After months of work, and two beta releases the Windows Live Messenger team is proud to release Windows Live Messenger 8.5! We’ve listened to the feedback from our beta users and made this one of the best versions of Messenger ever! If you were a beta user not much has changed for you. We worked hard to improve the overall quality of Messenger though, and we owe a big ‘Thanks!!’ to all of the beta testers that sent us feedback. If you haven’t been a beta tester you can read Nicole’s post about the new features in 8.5. Windows Live Messenger isn’t the only program getting released today. In fact a lot of Windows Live products are celebrating a new launch today. Be sure and check out the blogs of Mail , Photo Gallery , and Writer for all of the new features, then go Get Windows Live ! Let your friends IM you from anywhere!! I am very excited! Now you can create your OWN IM button to put on your blog or in your email signature. Just go to www.messengerbuttons.com and create your own button, it has a lot of cool ways to personalize your button. This makes it even easier for your friends to find you on IM. Once you have created your button, it is also easy to add it to your Windows Live Space, Outlook, Hotmail or Windows Live Mail! Here is a button I created. Who wants IMs from the web? I do! I do! <snipped> The Windows Live™ Messenger IM Control lets people on the Web reach you in Messenger by showing your Messenger status on your web site, blog, or social networking profile. The Windows Live™ Messenger IM Control...
  • Linked Live IDs - how to join multiple Hotmail / MSN / Live accounts and change between them

    I have lots of e-mail accounts I use - @msn.com, @hotmail.co.uk, and @live.co.uk and Windows Live Mail enables me to read them all, however now when I am in e-mail I can access my linked e-mail accounts. I simply go to https://account.live.com/ and then add accounts to my linked accounts and then I can change accounts by a simple drop down in the windows live mail site ( http://mail.live.com ). More information can be found at Link Your Live IDs Together! or at http://www.liveside.net/blogs/main/archive/2007/10/18/update-to-windows-live-account-enables-linked-ids.aspx Ok, linking is done - but what would you link the IDs for? When you have linked IDs together you will only need to sign in to Windows Live once and can then switch easily between the accounts. If you are on Windows Live Hotmail for example you can check your email on one account and then simply click the dropdown arrow next to your login in the upper right corner and choose one of your linked IDs that are listed their. Without the need to enter a password again you will get to access that accounts emails. Pretty convenient. Unfortunately this only works on the new Wave 2 products, so you are out of luck on WL Favorites, Gallery or the personalized homepage for now - we guess that at least some these properties will be updated to Wave 2 soon though. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Live IDs , Linked Live IDs , Software plus Service
  • Microsoft Small Business Community Blog : What is going to be in "Cougar?"

    I thought I would repost this as it is a very often asked question. Eric who posted this has said as much as can be said today. I hope to be able to break silence soon on more :) The statement for me that has the most interest as many partners don't think about it is " Embracing Live Services". I can honestly say I don't know the details here, but for all those nay sayers about online / live / Software plus Service etc, this is another loud gong that the world is changing! Also, just one of those side notes, Exchange 2007 does not include Outlook anymore (Exchange 2003 did), so your customers must buy Outlook / Office to use Exchange outside the web based views. What is going to be in "Cougar?" There have been a few questions floating around about "Cougar," the next version of Windows Small Business Server, and what it will include and be based on. I thought I would post some of the information that is publicly available to help address some of these questions: Based on the Windows Server 2008 platform and technology wave Cougar will include these technologies: Windows Server 2008 Exchange Server 2007 Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 SQL Server 2005 System Center Essentials Dramatically improved management, protection, and business productivity Emphasis on simplicity and integration Providing value for new and existing partners Embracing Live Services 64-bit only Microsoft Small Business Community Blog : What is going to be in "Cougar?" ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS Cougar , Cougar , Software plus Service , Windows Server 2008 , Exchange 2007 , System Center Essentials
  • Microsoft lends a tech hand to U.K. startups

    I feel very close to this team... they sit just down a bit from me :-) All good stuff, plus go to the website if you have something you think could be a candidate. Microsoft lends a tech hand to U.K. startups Microsoft's Startup Accelerator Program will help startups use software technology such as Silverlight and Live Services</WEBTEASER _extended="true"> By Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service Microsoft will assist U.K. startups in using its software technology under a program launched on Monday by CEO Steve Ballmer. The Startup Accelerator Program will include technologies such as Silverlight , Microsoft's multimedia browser plug-in, and Live Services , a group of Web-based applications. Microsoft will also offer assistance in business development, marketing, and sales. Microsoft stands to gain momentum if startup companies are successful in building applications based on its technology. The program could also put Microsoft closer to key startups with technology that Microsoft would rather buy than develop itself. At least five companies have joined the program so far: Ether Digital, which has a platform for video content over IP; Zebtab, which has a desktop video application; Corebridge, involved in customer relationship management and communication software; ViaPost, which focuses on electronic document delivery; and Miomi, with a Web site that lets people mesh their own content with interactive timelines. Microsoft already has the U.K. Emerging Business Team , which works with startup companies and venture capital organizations. Microsoft lends a tech hand to U.K. startups | InfoWorld | News | 2007-10-01 | By Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service ttfn David Technorati Tags: Startups , Microsoft , Silverlight , Live Services , UK
  • Where is David now and what can Maps.Live.com do?

    It is that time of year again, so I will be on holiday again in the English Lake District. While Live Writer, my blogging tool, has the ability to show maps (click the map for more information) http://maps.live.com has also improved amazingly. To show you what I mean, click the link below: http://maps.live.com/?v=2&sp=Point.t1yfjsgqqygt_Holiday___&encType=1 and you will see a screen like this: Switch to Hybrid view to see the satellite and road maps: Zoom to this location by clicking on the pushpin: Switch to 3D mode by pressing the 3D button (it might have to load a control to your browser) and then hold the Ctrl button and drag the mouse down to see a 3D profile: Search for pubs in the area and see them on the 3D map: Now go to London (search for London in the location) and zoom down to start to see the 3D views: As you zoom in more you can turn on the birds eye photography of London - note on the above picture the glowing square - this is one of the birdseye photos - zoom in more to see the actual photos. You can also see some of the 3D models showing themselves and then how things flip between all the views. The easiest way to see all of this is a little video - have a look at this video. Some of the "jerkiness" on the video is due to the capture - it was very smooth on my PC :-) ttfn David
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  • Live Search of Books is amazing and respects peoples property and that is just the tip of the iceberg!

    Just recently I have been reading about the improvements in the Live services and then I saw Steve's entry on Live Books ( Live Search Books...wow ) and thought I had better go see what was going on. I went to the live search and searched for my favourite author and sure enough, up came his books, but what was nice is that most people don't know that Robert Heinlein also had an interest in the US economy. Books referring to his works here also appeared. I was then able to see how much of a reference to him was made and even choose to view those pages if the publisher of the book allowed it. Oh, try http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=&mkt=en-US&scope=books&FORM=BBBB to get to the books search I also notices a load of other services you might want to try out: Web, images, videos, news, maps (I'll cover this later), MSN are all standard. Under the more tab though you get: Academic - I've used this to do research into academic papers that interest me Feeds - speaks for itself Health - See screen shot below Local - find local services - this is especially GREAT when using on a mobile - http://m.live.com Classifieds QnA - Ask questions and see if someone will answer them Macros - write macros to restrict / improve searches and then make them available to others The Book Search This is how my book search went - I put in the contents I wanted to see if a book. Not the books have summary information and then when you hover over them, more detail is provided, including where and how much of the book your looking at has references to the items you want to search Click on the book to see more To respect peoples property, the author may request a limit of how many pages you can view. To make this work, you might be prompted to sign in The pages in my book, with the detail I wanted to read Now for healthcare This is just a quick aside. I searched for back pain in the health care section - I got 3 sections of results - articles, web searches and sponsored links. Amazingly clear and simple. I'll...
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  • Iris World information

    We did promise at IrisWorld that all the information from the event would be available on the website. It is almost all ready. See below for information that is available now and subscribe to this entry to be notified when the video is available for download too. If you click the link here you should see a section like this and if you put in your e-mail address you will get a mail when this is updated. The e-mail address will not be used to contact you in any other way or passed on to anyone else. Excel Demos and Links: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/training/CR100479681033.aspx - Training http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/CH100740791033.aspx - Demos Office Live Choices for Office Live range from free to less than £23 per month for 50 users Setting up websites is very simple and can be free - click the picture at the top of the page to sign up Sharing information with your customers can be simple - click the picture at the top of the page to sign up for the "Workspaces Beta" http://www.officelive.co.uk Office Word 2007 Enhancing templates to be a bit more intelligent is very simple Enhancing templates and documents to be more of a sales tool is very simple http://www.microsoft.com/uk/office Screen Cast (video) of the demos We have recorded this, but the Microphone was a bit close and sounds very squeeky and now I have lost my voice. As soon as I can speak normally again this will be published. thanks David and Dom Technorati Tags: Iris World , Excel , Word 2007 , Office Live , Workspaces
  • Windows Live Betas (Blog Writer, Windows e-Mail client, Instant Messenger, Photo editing tool, Family Safety tool and hosted storage solution)

    I thought I had documented this, but it appears I did not, so here we are - there are a number of pieces to the Live Services camp now, many have released versions, but the betas are always more interesting. It is also worth noting that these products are all in the Software plus Services camp - Desktop solutions that work with hosted services. It's easy to get these and other Windows Live services all at once. See how . Windows Live Writer Beta Publish rich content to your Windows Live Space and other blogs. It's easy to add photos, maps, tags, and more to your posts. And you can see exactly what your post will look like before you publish it. Windows Live Mail Beta A faster, easier, and safer way to manage your e-mail accounts. Windows Live Messenger Beta Connect, share, and make every conversation count Windows Live Photo Gallery Beta Easily manage and share your photos and videos. Windows Live Family Safety Beta Safer browsing, with rules you personalize. Windows Live SkyDrive Beta Password-protected online file storage and sharing. Windows Live Betas ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Live Services , Betas , Software plus Service
  • Windows Live SkyDrive Updates - 1GB of storage, RSS feeds when someone makes an update and easier sharing of files

    I saw this on the SkyDrive blog and thought I should share it. Updates to Windows Live SkyDrive! These past couple of months since our last release, we asked ourselves, “What can we do to make SkyDrive even better?” The most obvious answer is something that our users have asked us to do: give out more storage. We’re excited to announce that we’re doubling everyone’s storage to 1 GB! Many users told us, “Hey, we want to be notified when someone adds a file to a specific folder,” so we added RSS feeds to public folders. To subscribe to an RSS feed, go to the public folder that you’re interested in, and click on the orange RSS Feed icon at the top right of the page. Then, anytime that folder is updated, you’ll be notified. We love this feature because we get notified as soon as our friends upload new files to their folders. Another thing users told us is that it’s difficult to share a folder with people that aren’t in your address book. People said, “We have to go to Hotmail or Messenger in order to add someone to our address books. Why can’t we just do it on SkyDrive itself?” We fixed that. Now, you can share with anyone directly from SkyDrive by typing in your friend’s e-mail address. Finally, users told us that it would be nice to know who uploaded each file. So, we now display the name of the person that added each file. We’re excited about these new features, and we hope you like them. Check out the new version, and let us know what you think . --Windows Live SkyDrive Team Windows Live SkyDrive Team Blog: Updates to Windows Live SkyDrive! ttfn David Technorati tags: SkyDrive
  • Office Live Workspace: New Web Functionality for Microsoft Office

    I thought I should offer some clearer info on what is coming in Office Live Workspace Available at no charge, Office Live Workspace facilitates the following : Access documents anywhere. Organise documents and projects for work, school and home online, and work on them from almost any computer - even one not connected to the company or school network. Save more than 1,000 Microsoft Office documents to one place online and access them via the Web. Share with others. Work collaboratively on a project with others in a password-protected, invitation-only online workspace, helping to eliminate version-control challenges when e-mailing drafts to multiple people. Collaborators who don't have a desktop version of Microsoft Office software can still view and comment on the document in a browser. Extend Microsoft Office. Easily connect to Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint ® , Excel ® and Outlook ® on their PC via the Web. Pre-register for the beta of Office Live Workspace today at www.officelive.co.uk Some people are equating this to Google Docs ( Microsoft Unveils its Answer to Google Docs ), but this is about sharing information using Office or other tools. It is not about 2 people being online at the same time editing the same document. While people talk about this I have never had a need to do this, so for me, all the functionality of Office, plus an online place to share and store them is much better. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office Live , Windows SharePoint 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...
  • How to read UKSBSGUY (or any other web site) in another language (German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese and Arabic)

    I saw this and think it is amazing - I know there are already lots of translation services out there, but I like the way things are presented at this site. If you want to do free text or web site translation, have a look at http://translator.live.com/ . Once I'd tested translating a phrase or two (why do I always translate to Arabic??) I thought I would run UKSBSGUY through it. To see the site with just a toolbar to select the language - go to http://translator.start.com//BV.aspx?&MKT=en-GB#http://uksbsguy.com/ . You have a choice of several views - side by side top and bottom original with tooltip translation translated with original text in a tooltip I really like the last option, but play around with them yourself. - translated with English tooltips - English with translated tooltips - Top and bottom - Side by side ttfn David Technorati Tags: Translation , Live
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  • New Windows Live suite live - and this is how to install on Windows x64

    I am sure many of you have seen that we launched a new wave of the Live suite (Windows Live Writer - which I am using right now, Messenger, Sign-in Assistant, Family Safety, Mail, Toolbar and Photo Gallery - which also uploaded videos to MSN Soapbox). If you want to more about these cool product, go to http://get.live.com/wl/all where it tells you that this is what you get: Connect Hotmail: Next-generation e-mail on the Web Mail: Multiple e-mail accounts on your desktop Messenger: Connect, share, and make every conversation count Find Search: Say hello to the next generation of search Toolbar: Think outside the search box Gallery: Personalize your Windows Live experience Share Spaces: Your blog, your photos, your social network SkyDrive: Password-protected online storage and sharing Photo Gallery: Edit and share photos and videos Writer: Easily publish pictures, videos, and other rich content to your blog Protect OneCare Family Safety: Help keep your kids safe online Get it together Windows Live Home: Start here for search, blogging, e-mail, and more Now some partners and customers have notices a little problem - getting this great stuff running on 64-bit Windows. An extract from anti|tgtsoft shows the best way forward (which is obviously not supported, but all told seems to work just fine): Here’s how to get the latest builds installed on your machine: Patch WLinstaller.exe At offset 0×1B9F0, change 74 to EB Execute WLinstaller.exe Attempt to install all products, ignore the installer errors and exit Navigate to %systemroot%\Syswow64\config\systemprofile\AppData\ Local\WindowsLiveInstaller\MsiSources Use the handy dandy chart below to install the products you want to install/update. Windows Live Writer Install_{1F973A7F-3FE4-4D11-A9A2-E869C2899A7D}.msi Windows Live Messenger Install_{508CE775-4BA4-4748-82DF-FE28DA9F03B0}.msi Windows Live Sign-In Assistant Install_{CB5EA99C-8A5B-49F2-9A1A-2EF78BE4DB41}.msi Windows Live Mail Install_{EDB619FD-4E71-403C-8E99-DFC9CF9DD345}.msi Windows Live Toolbar Install_{C6876FE6-A314...
  • Windows Live Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better performance, huge amounts of storage, de-dupe of contacts, message forwarding, Out of Office and much more

    You can tell from the title the favourite things I have found testing the latest version of Hotmail - well it is now public - we start rolling these features and more out over the Hotmail clusters. For more information look at the Ellie Powers-Boyle blog post Your mail is here, come and get it!: August: Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better.performance . Obviously if you are a Office Live customer then you will also see these changes coming to you. For the international of us, I have called "Vacation Replies" Out of Office - you know what I mean then :-) 13 August August: Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better performance We went out of beta in May, and we’re already releasing something new. Today, these new features will begin to roll our gradually to all our customers over the next few weeks, so if you don’t immediately see them, be patient, they’re coming! It’s a fun time to be working on Hotmail. We already did a ton of work to get the basics ready to get out of beta, so now we’ve been able to add some more of the extras that our more advanced users have been asking for. We’re continuing to collect feedback and using it to guide which areas of the product to improve next. Thanks to all of you who were beta testers, have clicked the “feedback” link in Hotmail, or leave constructive comments on the blog. We’re listening! Performance : We’ve been hearing you loud and clear across the world: speed is one of the most important aspects of a web-based email service. We’ve spent more time in this release identifying what parts of the product are slowest and fixing those. We hope that you notice an improvement when this update is released to your account, and we’ll continue our work on performance in future releases. Quality of Service : Our last release went quite smoothly, and we’ve been continuing to monitor the live site to make sure that we’re providing e-mail that is reliable – you always want to be able to get to your mail, and we hear you! More storage! Just when...
  • Microsoft launches beta of "skydrive" - a disk in the cloud (and now you can use it in the UK too)

    Another "it is here" moment. Skydrive gives you, today, 500MB of storage in the cloud, free of charge. You can set up permissions to control who can read and write files. I love it. In fact, I love it so much that I have put all my demo videos that I recorded recently up there. The Skydrive team blog can be found at http://skydriveteam.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!977F793E846B3C96!124.entry . Click for the Training Videos to be downloaded as videos. Top features for me are: Upload and download documents with permissions on files Embed file stores in web pages Drag and drop upload process Accessible everywhere For some eye candy: - Home Screen - Documents sub folder - Folder Options - Change Folder Permissions - Embed your SkyDrive into your web site - Drag and drop files for uploading - The upload process - Non ActiveX upload page ttfn David Technorati Tags: SkyDrive , Live , SAS
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  • Mix:UK 07 - Want to know more about building solutions using Silverlight, Expression and Live Services in the UK? With UK Early Bird registration until 10th August

    I intend to be there - it will be great if you can be there too if this is for you. I have to say I think it is an incredibly exciting area. Have a look at Mix:UK 07 for more information. Latest event news: Registration and schedule now live! About Mix:UK 07 Mix:UK 07 is the premier event for web designers and web developers to: Get creative inspiration from design and development gurus, web agencies and innovators Discover how technologies like Silverlight, Expression and Live Services are already being used to create a new generation of rich media experiences and RIAs (Rich Interactive Applications) Connect with others in the industry who, like yourself, have a passion for innovation and creativity and have built personal and business success on that passion. Register now, early-bird rate expires soon! Until the 10th of August 2007 we’re offering a discounted early bird registration price of £199, saving you £100 from the standard price of £299. Speakers Announced to Date. We are proud to announce that Scott Guthrie, General Manager in Microsoft's Developer Division, will deliver the keynote for the event along with George Moore, General Manager for the Windows Live Developer Group. In addition, Scott will be delivering a number of sessions on Silverlight and ASP.NET. Other speakers just announced include: Andy Hood , Creative Development Director, AKQA Beau Ambur , CEO of Metaliq Inc Paul Dawson , Head of Interactive Media, Conchango Danny Thorpe , Senior Software Designer and previously architect of the Gears API at Google, and former Chief Scientist at Borland and Chief Architect of the Delphi compiler Pete Barr-Watson , Interactive design industry veteran and best-selling author Check out the full lineup of speakers here . What others have said about the Microsoft technologies to be presented at Mix:UK 07 Technorati Tags: Silverlight , Expression Web , Expression Suite , Live Services , RIA , Developers , ISVs
  • How to get delivery problems examined by Microsoft for Windows Live Hotmail

    This is a really quick post, but sometimes people talk about delivery problems with Windows Live Hotmail and want to know if the problem is with Hotmail or some other part of the system. There is a team who can help with deliverability issues and will investigate these issues after a small amount of self checks (is the power turned on, do you have internet access, are the Hotmail servers working correctly etc). To get access to this team you need to fill out a form that can be found by going to http://postmaster.live.com/Troubleshooting.aspx and following the link to contact support under the " “Sender services, tools, and issue submission" section. As you can see from the image on the left, there are a number of items you can get help with. thanks David Technorati Tags: Hotmail , Windows Live Hotmail , troubleshooting
  • Worldwide Partner Conference - WPC in Denver - what I know so far - Office Live and Windows Live as a platform for partners to build on

    Office Live is already a great success, but today Microsoft announced even more to make it a business for partners to make success for them and their customers. We've released information about partners, solutions and using Windows Live, sample sites and more information on how to make it a business success. Have a look at Microsoft Office Live Launches Partner Program, Helps Partners Reach Small Businesses for more information. Add to this the extra opportunities that Windows Live also brings and the new tools to build on there too ( http://partner.live.com/windowslive/ ) and you really start to get something amazing. The press release Microsoft Office Live Launches Partner Program, Helps Partners Reach Small Businesses includes a reference from Solution Canvas: Solution Canvas is a Glasgow, Scotland-based Microsoft Gold Certified Partner that uses the Microsoft Office Live platform to host justia, a powerful practice management system for small legal firms. justia offers a cost-effective solution that provides improved financial control and an umbrella view of client activities for smaller law firms that are trying keep costs down. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office Live , Windows Live , Small Business
  • Worldwide Partner Conference - WPC in Denver - what I know so far - Dynamics CRM Live

    Microsoft Announces Product Offerings and Customer Early Access Program for Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM - This could be huge - $44 per calendar month per user for Professional CRM and $59 for Enterprise edition (Professional Edition plus offline support)!!! Then, when you thought it was not so good for partners, look at the models: With the new Live service, partners in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM ecosystem will have new opportunities to deliver value to their customers and to drive revenue for their businesses by developing and deploying solutions across the three deployment options — Live, on-premise and partner-hosted models . For revenue in the new Live model, partners will be compensated on a recurring basis, not a one-time basis; each year they will receive 10 percent of the yearly Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription revenue for each customer for whom they are the partner of record. During 2008, a special incentive will allow partners to receive 15 percent of the SaaS subscription revenue for that year Steve from BMS noted the following: Microsoft WPC 2007 notes at BMS Blog: SBS Consulting in the UK Dynamics CRM Live launched Live Demo by Brad Wilson - General Manager for CRM Ability to download and completely remodel the CRM environment via partner provided XML templates Direct competitor for salesforce.com etc. Early adopter program Only available through partners Focus on making revenue from consultation ttfn David Technorati Tags: WPC , Partner Conference , Dynamics , CRM , CRM Live , Live
  • Virtual Earth and Silverlight enable you to hunt aliens in many places

    This little mashup of Microsoft technologies just shows how things are going to change in the future. You can shoot aliens at any location that has birds eye view (In the UK that includes ( Wembley Stadium , Blackpool Tower , Millennium Dome and Brighton Pier ) http://www.andybeaulieu.com/silverlight/DestroyAll/Default.html?latitude=40.689059&longitude=-74.04455 ttfn David Technorati Tags: Local.live.com , silverlight
  • Office Rocker!'s Office Live - Live interview with Tim Kimber (including the BT deal)

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

    Don't you love the way the title of a product described what it is? While this product does what it says on the tin, it misses out the most important thing - what can you connect Outlook to. The answer is e-mail and contacts based on our Hotmail service, so this includes OfficeLive. If you sign up to one of the subscription OfficeLive services (i.e. you pay us to use it) then you get a connector which can do all this AND synchronise your calendar items too. Once in Outlook you can do all the searching, filing and manipulation you want to do. Today you can now download the beta of the next version of the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector. Download: Microsoft Office Outlook Connector (Beta) The Microsoft Office Outlook Connector is designed to let you access your Windows Live Hotmail account through Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007. You will be able to download and install the Connector to sync up your email and contacts in Windows Live Hotmail for free. However, if you are a paid subscriber of MSN Premium, Office Live Essentials, or Office Live Premium you will get the added functionality of being able to sync up your calendar, tasks and notes from Outlook to Windows Live Hotmail. I know many of you probably took note to the statement made on the download page of being able to "synchronize your Windows Live Calendar in Outlook". Windows Live Hotmail currently has a built in calendar service which is essentially your Windows Live Calendar. Your calendar from Outlook is published and viewable through this service in Windows Live Hotmail. The Windows Experience Blog : Microsoft Office Outlook Connector Beta Now Available ttfn David Technorati Tags: Outlook , OfficeLive , Sync , beta
  • Windows Live Writer Beta 2 Now Available (The best blogging tool in the world)

    OK, so this is beta number 3 for the day and the one I use for about 95% of my blog writing. Hope along to Writer Zone: Windows Live Writer Beta 2 Now Available to get all the details, but once again, here is the summary: from here :-) This release incorporates a ton of feedback from our discussion forums and your blogs. Here are some of the new features you'll find in Beta 2: New Authoring Capabilities Inline spell checking Table editing Ability to add categories Page authoring for WordPress and TypePad Support for excerpts and extended entries Improved hyperlinking and image insertion Paste Special Integration and Compatibility SharePoint 2007 support New APIs enabling custom extensions by weblog providers Automatic synchronization of local and online edits Integration with Windows Live Gallery Support for Blogger Labels Plus... New look and feel Available in 6 languages Improved accessibility and keyboard support Many other frequently requested enhancements! Tables and spell checking Adding categories Page authoring We're also excited to announce that Windows Live Spaces , WordPress , and TypePad have all taken advantage of our new Provider Customization API to expose additional service-specific features within the Writer UI. ttfn David Technorati Tags: beta , live , writer
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  • Windows Live Mail beta

    This is beta number two from the Live team today - Windows Live Mail. My family now use it to access our Window Live Hotmail and other e-mail accounts. Anyway, for all the gossip, hop over to their blog at Windows Live Mail . Below is what has changed (well, in fact this is less that what has changed as there is so much goodness - go to the blog to get more information) Click here to get the latest build! Here are the build specifics... Build #: 12.0.1184.0517 (just refer to it as build 1184); Languages available: English, German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese What’s New? Setup It’s much faster than it was in the past. Shortcuts for Windows Mail and OE will be replaced by WL Mail shortcuts. New Windows Live location in the Start Menu. Sign-In Auto-configuration of your accounts. Windows Live ID (formerly known as Passport…) signin not required. Migration of your old accounts. Now you’re in! Sleek new frame Improved shortcut buttons Compact View for folders No more visual advertisements Updates to the compose page Stationery button in the toolbar! Improved Spell-checking. Summary tab for contact info. ttfn David Technorati Tags: beta , Live , Mail
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  • Windows Live Messenger v8.5 beta 1 is released

    I know that you like the odd beta, so this is the 1st of 3 I will post today, so enjoy the code. Lots more information and pictures at Inside Windows Live Messenger . Important Details: Get Messenger 8.5 Beta1 (build 517) here Markets (Country + Language) in order to get this Beta out asap we limited the number of supported markets. If your market is not listed below, please know that we are working on it! English - United States, United Kingdom, India French - France Japanese - Japan German - Germany Chinese (Simplified) - China Spanish - United States, Spain What's new (ever get the feeling that this is a usability and eye candy update) Setup - the look, the desktop short cut, the start menu short cuts, Microsoft Update Sign-in - the look Menus - the look and feel Contact Window - the look Conversation Window - the look and a little feel New Emoticon - the bunny ttfn David Technorati Tags: beta , Messenger , Live
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  • Games for Windows - Live beta announcement and invitation

    Are you interested in being part of a select group that is invited to help beta test a new service that lets PC game players connect with their friends on the Xbox through the LIVE gaming network? If you are, please read on. The registration period for this upcoming beta testing opportunity will only be available for a limited time. To be considered you will need to complete the Games for Windows - Live Beta application survey. Please only submit the survey once. Multiple entries will not improve your chances at being chosen. If you are interested in participating please direct go to https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=363 ttfn David
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  • Raise money for good causes by IMing

    Lots of people have blogged on this before, but we need more people doing it. Go here , follow the instructions to add to your Live Messenger and you are giving money. At the moment the organisations are US based, but I am happy to give to UNICEF, so it works for me. How to do it: i’m starts with you. When you start an i’m conversation you start giving. Download the Windows Live Messenger instant messenger service. There's no charge and it's easy to download and use. Place the text code corresponding to the cause of your choice into your Display Name. Keep having i’m conversations so you can keep funding the cause doing the work most important to you. Already have the version 8.1 of Windows Live Messenger? Start contributing using i’m Organisations you can give to are shown on the left. ttfn David
  • Building Office Live applications - this is where you need to start

    I had a partner ask me about Office Live today, so these are the places you need to start: 1) Client SDK - Windows Live ID Client 1.0 SDK in Alpha 2) Web Based Info - http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/showpost.aspx?postid=924592&siteid=1 and http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905514.aspx 3) Windows SharePoint v3 APIs - Working with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Web Services (what is supported from WSSv3 and what is blocked) 4) Some important sections: How to: Integrate Access 2007 and Excel 2007 with Office Live How to: Integrate Office Live with other Office 2007 applications Chris's unofficial Office Live developer blog That is it for now - the client SDK is key - you can build rich client applications and then share data via the OfficeLive web. nice. ttfn David Technorati tags: Office Live , Live , Saas , Software as a service , software with service
  • Microsoft, BT hook up for hosted apps | Tech News on ZDNet

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

    I am cheating as this artwork is all from the Office Live Website. You can go and claim your own domain and web site for free by going to http://office.microsoft.com/en-GB/officelive/default.aspx . This is an amazing solution for those customers who are too small for SBS or want as much as possible off premise, or want hosted solutions, but don't want full Exchange. Have a go!! ttfn David FREE Attract new customers Get started on the Web for FREE Create a professional Web site Learn more FREE Sign up now FREE .co.uk domain name for the first 10,000 UK customers Compare services Generate repeat business Create a professional Web site Organise your customer information online Share documents with online Workspaces Learn more Free during Beta Sign up now FREE .co.uk domain name for the first 10,000 UK customers Essentials = FREE during Beta, then £11.95 per month * * price excludes VAT Stay on top of your business Create a professional Web site Manage your projects and tasks Organise your customer information online Access your e-mail and appointments from the road Plus more space, more users, and more tools Learn more Free during Beta Sign up now FREE .co.uk domain name for the first 10,000 UK customers Premium = FREE during Beta, then £22.95 per month * * price excludes VAT
  • Microsoft announces Home Server - ever want something like SBS, but targeted at home users with home user functionality (i.e. no Exchange, but wizards and tools around storage and media, sharing etc)

    Finally Microsoft will deliver you a server that sits at home, is ideally suited for everyone in the house to use. It could even find itself into really small businesses in combination with Offie Live (backup and central monitoring provided by Home Server and e-mail, calendar, domain etc provided by Live). So what is it, well, think SBS, remove Exchange, SQL and ISA, update the wizards and remote access to be applicable for data sharing and a home network (but still keep them), then add some cool features like adding new disks the existing sharing volumes so exapansion is simply slotting in a new disk. This is Quattro, or Q or Home Server and the beta is coming soon too!! As is always, several people already blogged on it and gave some great links, but go check out the following: The Press Release Susan bradley's tour de force and more Official SBS, Centro & Home Server Blog 2nd Blog Susanne's hardware find and link to the marketing site and finally, even Vlad wanted one !! Now there are a few people who say they don't want a server at home, in any form, which is just fine - don't worry about the product - just because it is there does not mean you have to buy it. For those who do, this is cool... now how can I get on the beta ;-) ttfn David
  • Office Live beta in the UK and how it works & competes with SBS 2003

    I have been behind on my blogging (have you noticed)? I was at the Bristol SBS group Christmas dinner (did I say thanks yet to Richard and Mark?) and we got to discussing Office Live. So first off, as to what Live is, why not go and have a look at Eileen Browns blog on it and then lets get down to the discussion points. They were: Who really wants this type of solution? Does Live compete with SBS? Can I make money out of Live If someone has Live, can I sell them SBS too? If someone has Live, can I "upgrade" them from this to SBS? So lets answer these is order: Who really wants this type of solution? Well, there are loads of small businesses out there that want a web site, some more professional e-mail addresses than simply "davidovertonatsomecompany@hotmail.com" (don't try mailing this address, if it exists, then they won't like it, but more likely it will not). Office Live will give them a website of http://www.somecompany.com e-mail addresses that at "@somecompany.com" and a simple way to build the site - for free. They can then upgrade to get a bunch of other things too, but especially if they are small - this is an amazing solution. If they are larger, then they might not use all the facilities, but they will use some of them - especially the features of the paid for services, which every time I present are seen as amazing value for money. Does Live compete with SBS? No, Yes, well sometimes. If you look at the services offered, some of them could be provided on SBS, but bearing in mind that SBS does so much more and something's that Live offers you could do on SBS, but probably would not, lets look at what is what. You could host e-mail, calendar, contacts, web sites, WSS sites etc on SBS, but would you really do website's and WSS sites on SBS - sometimes, but not always - it depends where people are located vs the network and whether they are internal or external to the local LAN - internal - SBS, external - possibly Live. With the Live services of mail, calendar and contacts - this is like a baby version of...
  • Important Sneak Peak – UK Small Business Symposium coming

    I can't reveal all the details, although I am sure others will, however we are working on special event for SBSC members. This event design incorporates your feedback and suggestions as to what you want to hear about, share as a community as well as information Microsoft needs to share with you. Expect useful information, the opportunity to network with your peers, Microsoft and partners and the ability to socialise too J The timeframe for this event is February 2007, in Reading, Manchester (or Leeds) and Edinburgh, although more sessions will happen in the afternoon in Reading due to availability of speakers and rooms. The ROUGH agenda looks like this Morning: UK Exec who actually cares about Small Business (such as Natalie Ayres - Director of SMS&P*) talking about: What's the view from the top? Why does everything you've heard matter? What's the opportunity for partners? Aileen Hannah – responsible for SBSC programme in the UK, talking about: Highlights & lowlights of the program so far Latest resources & benefits for partners Reference partner success stories Steve Haddock – responsible for the Disty partners with some special news for SBSC partners talking about: Latest trend data Where Microsoft are investing What's the opportunity for partners? David Overton and Matt McSpirit from the PTS team and guest TAP** partner and customer talking about Vista & Office: Value for small businesses & partners TAP Partner preso with actual customers Challenges they faced & how to overcome Tim Kimber, David Overton, and others talking about new products: Office Live Antigen / Forefront AdCentre Afternoon: The afternoon will include Panel and Technology led sessions with many presenters from the SBSC community as well as Microsoft: Panel Sessions: Building a better business model How to market your business Partner Power, working with the community Working with your regional Small Business infrastructure (eg BusinessLink, RDA, Accountants, FSB) Technology & MS Sessions: How I use and sell CRM Licensing...
  • Windows Live OneCare safety scanner: Free online tool for PC health and safety

    This has been around for a while, but it is no longet in beta - scan a PC to see how it is doing! Get a free PC safety scan Windows Live OneCare safety scanner is a free service designed to help ensure the health of your PC. Check for and remove viruses Get rid of junk on your hard disk Improve your PC's performance Fix specific PC issues Use the full service scan to check everything. To help fix particular problems on your PC, turn to the individual scanners below. Protection Clean up Tune up Source: Windows Live OneCare safety scanner: Free online tool for PC health and safety
  • Launch 2007 e-Learning Courses - free for a limited time

    I was browsing Robert McLaws blog entry on Launch 2007 e-Learning Courses and notices a HUGE stack of training courses - well worth checking out. The ones I think you might want to focus on are below - more on the blog. The WSS ones are key for anyone looking at Live people!! ttfn David New 2007 Microsoft Office System - Home & Office Users Free for 90 Days! Course 4622: What's New in Microsoft® Office Access 2007 Summary: This online course introduces the new features and functionality in the latest version of Microsoft Office Access. There have been substantial changes to the user interface in this database application, and this course can help you get up-to-speed quickly. Course 4623: What's New in Microsoft® Office Excel® 2007 Summary: This online course introduces the new features and functionality in the latest version of Microsoft Office Excel. There have been substantial changes to the user interface in this spreadsheet application, and this course can help you get up-to-speed quickly. Course 4624: What's New in Microsoft® Office InfoPath® 2007 Summary: This online course introduces the new features and functionality in the latest version of Microsoft Office InfoPath. Designing and publishing Web-based forms has been made even easier in the latest release of this application, and this course can help you get up-to-speed quickly. Course 4625: What's New in Microsoft® Office OneNote® 2007 Summary: This online course introduces the new features and functionality in the latest version of Microsoft Office OneNote. All of your text-, voice-, and TabletPC-based notes can be saved in one easy to manage application and shared with others, creating a collaborative work environment. Course 4626: What's New in Microsoft® Office Outlook® 2007 Summary: This online course introduces the new features and functionality in the latest version of Microsoft Office Outlook. In addition to managing e-mail, schedules, and contacts, the latest version of Office Outlook provides enhanced task-management capabilities. Course 4627...
  • First public exposure of Office Live v1.5

    http://officelive.microsoft.com/Misc/Links.aspx?linkId=preview If you are interested in solutions for the smaller small business, look at this. ttfn David
  • This is broken! Great web site about broken signs, projects etc

    I was reading this blog from the Live Writer site and came across this link - it is just one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. Link to ...the musings of a psycho...: This is broken! enjoy David
  • What is going on in the world of Windows Live Ideas - IM, chat and web

    You can see any Live areas you have access too by going to http://ideas.live.com You can now IM to Yahoo Messenger users. Try it | Learn more | View blog The Live.com site continues to be updated - there is just so much you can do to your home page. If you have not been here, have a go at http://www.live.com and see how much fun it can be. Try it | Learn more | View blog There are lots of things you can load onto your Live.com page, your toolbar, Live Messenger and more - the place to configure all this is the Gallery - http://gallery.live.com Of course, there is also: messenger.live.com toolbar.live.com ttfn David
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  • Office Live information from internal Microsoft Briefing - including where partner opportunity might exist

    Those guys at PTS-TV managed to secure an interview with Rajesh Jha who is GM for Office Live . He talks about how some partners are making "mash-ups" and others are building ontop of the solutions as it is a hosted web site and sharepoint. If you need a basic "What is Live", go to this page for more info The beta is coming officially the UK later this year as the US goes live and really provides an opportunity for those low hanging fruit customers who want a web domain and site, e-mail, calendar, contacts and some sharepoint functionality, but don't want a server. Will has put up a few thoughts on his blog . From the Link above, suggested reading includes: Office Live Developer Guide Preview and the Office Live Developer Portal on MSDN Stream (6 mins) Download (12.5mb) ttfn David
  • Microsoft local.live.com map technology - when it works, it is amazing - or just have a nostalgic look at Concorde

    I have just posted a blog item about the latest SB Ignite tour event - hurray I hear you all say, but the thing that got my attention was I went to local.live.com to get a map and it offered me 3 views - road, aerial view (using satellite imagery) and then Birds' eye view. This is just an awesome, awesome, way to see where you are going - have a look at the blog entry - Nottingham, England, 7th September - be there to learn so much more - Small Business Partner Ign and click on picture then play around or click the concord map above - get your personal driving instructions, look at the hotel that is the destination for 8 different angles - makes it so, so, so much easier. I was just blown away by this. Not every location has a birds eye view yet, but the aerial images, routing and the occasional birds eye views are amazing. For more information on Birds' eye images, go to http://www.birdseyetourist.com or to see the local.live.com blog have a look at http://virtualearth.spaces.live.com/PersonalSpace.... ttfn David
  • Microsoft's online strategy discussed at analyst meeting

    I saw this article from the NY Times and thought I would share it. It is a report on MS plans for Internet enabling even more things that we do. Some key statements from it included: "any big payoff from those investments would not come for a few years" - so this is a long term play "Internet search, according to Microsoft, will increasingly become seamlessly integrated into the Windows desktop operating system, Office productivity software, cellphones powered by Windows and Xbox video games" - I like the idea of hybrid utilities and the fact that search is a tool for me to do something, rather than something I explicitly have to go to a web site to do "In a demonstration, Mr. Mehdi showed some of the work being done by a group exploring the future of advertising in Microsoft’s research labs. In a digital television prototype, a viewer who liked a dress worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in an episode of “Sex and the City” could click on it, automatically pausing the video, and on the screen an Internet search result would appear, identifying the dress, its maker and a link to buy it" - contextual use of the search utilities - buying a dress rather than searching for a place to buy a dress. "Microsoft executives acknowledge that as computing increasingly gravitates to the Web and often toward ad-supported services, it creates both a technical and business challenge for a company whose great strength is in personal computer desktop software. But the Microsoft vision is that Internet services can complement rather than cannibalize the company’s traditional business if they are built into products like Windows." - This is key for me - people often ask me why Microsoft supports hosted services, Windows and Office Live and products like SBS. The answer is choice, and the fact that one day people will need it all. Imagine a server that has services that make it a better product - that is where we are headed. Some people say SBS and hosted Exchage compete, but they...

(c)David Overton 2006-13