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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  • Windows Intune IDC report–A Blueprint for Success for Microsoft Partners–the ups and downs

    I’ve found another document from the March timeframe from IDC (sponsored by Microsoft) about Windows Intune.  This one talks about how to be successful with Windows Intune.  It can be found here . One area worth exploring in the document is the section entitled “Opportunity Areas for Existing PC Management Practices”. One partner is quoted as saying "I think we could cover more customers than we could today. I don't think we have realized how big the potential is. It could help us win new deals and bigger deals." It does not pull punches either and discusses some areas that partners have been talking to me about.. New Budget Line Item for the Customer The largest change is that for the most part, other third-party, on-premise PC management tools are purchased by partners, and the partners must cover the expense of the tools with their PC management revenue. In contrast, with Windows Intune, the customer signs up for the service with Microsoft, and Microsoft bills the customer directly. What this effectively means is that with Windows Intune, the customer must pay not only the PC management fees to the service provider but also a (new) fee to Microsoft. Microsoft partners face the choice of continuing to charge their standard PC management service price, which results in an effective increase in overall fees the customer must pay, or reducing the price they charge to their customers, which reduces their overall profitability per engagement but keeps the customer whole. Another potential downside to the solution provider is a reduction in customers' stickiness; customers using Windows Intune as their PC management tool could easily pick up their service and move it to another Windows Intune–capable solution provider.          Benefits to the Partner While the challenges to the solution provider business model were viewed as the largest downsides of the Windows Intune model, solution providers interviewed also saw some benefits. One is the lack of hassle...
  • Free internal use Windows Intune, Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online licenses for Microsoft Partners through Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate

    While asking at Microsoft of any information they wanted me to share about Windows Intune Olivia asked me to share this.  I think this is so key, I will share this on the blog too.  Something to remember is that you can join Windows Intune ticketing up to Dynamics CRM Online for a more joined up helpdesk experience. Cloud Essentials is a free programme for all MOSPA-registered partners, without sales or reference obligations. Partners just need to sign up at www.microsoftcloudpartner.com and they can then sign in at this portal to receive the following benefits: Internal user rights for: • 250 licences of Office 365 • 25 subscriptions for Windows Intune • 250 licences for Dynamics CRM Online • Marketing resources • Demo showcase • Profitability Modeller • Online technical communities for Cloud • Listing as Cloud Essentials partner on Microsoft PinPoint online marketplace For partners who are actively selling Cloud, they could become Cloud Accelerate partners after completing three deals (with 150 aggregated seats) of Office365, Intune and/or Dynamics CRM Online, they would receive the following additional benefits: · Increased internal user rights for Intune (100 subscriptions) · Prioritised listing as Cloud Accelerate partner of Microsoft PinPoint online marketplace · Marketing resources · Demo showcase · Profitability Modeller · Online technical communities for Cloud · Microsoft Office 365 Practice Accelerator · 20 partner technical advisory hours · Specialised Cloud training More information can be found about this on www.microsoftcloudpartner.com , or for any partner queries around this scheme please feel free to forward my details. Kind regards, Olivia Excellent information if you were not aware. David
  • Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune - 70 person IT services company

    Hi all, I thought I would share this Windows Intune case study that has just gone up on Microsoft.com. IT Solutions Provider Offers Simplified PC Management with Cloud-Based Solution “Windows Intune fills the support void that many customers experience for desktop environments. It's the perfect PC management tool.” - Rod Giesbrecht, Chief Executive Officer, Imaginet Business Needs Imaginet offers managed services and custom software development to hundreds of customers worldwide. Many of its customers with dispersed workforces did not have the resources to monitor and manage their client computing environments. Imaginet realized that many of these customers did not have full-time administrators and instead relied on technically astute employees to manage desktops in addition to their regular duties. Without an IT professional to monitor client computers, those computers were often vulnerable to malicious software. Plus, without the technical resources to diligently perform maintenance tasks, when customers did experience an issue with their desktop environment, it was often severe enough to bring business to a halt. Solution Imaginet turned to Windows Intune, a cloud-based PC management and endpoint protection solution. To evaluate the solution first hand, Imaginet adopted Windows Intune to manage 10% of its client computers in March 2011. It takes advantage of the administration console, which administrators can access from any browser enabled with Microsoft Silverlight 3 browser technology, to schedule critical software updates, manage security policies, and monitor PC health. Benefits Imaginet sees several ways its customers can benefit from Windows Intune. Using the cloud-based solution avoids the need for additional IT, which helps reduce capital expenses. Imaginet can schedule critical updates for its customers’ remote workers, which helps those customers ensure a security-enhanced, uniform PC environment. Imaginet and its customers can use a single solution to manage a variety of tasks from a central location...
  • Windows Intune - the book and me

    It is time for me to admit my next project, now that I've finally submitted the first chapter, and that is that I'm writing about Windows Intune. Those who have worked with me in the past will know that I'm not much of a "koolaid" person, but I do believe that Cloud Services will be the way of the future and I think that Windows Intune will be a key pillar of the Microsoft story for our existing customers. To this end I wanted to annoucne that I'm in the writing process of writing a book on configuring and deploying Windows Intune. I remember all the discussions about MOM on SPLA and centralised management with the SBSC partners and the number of conversations I've had with customers and it seems inevitable that Windows Intune will be a huge success. It will also be, in my personal opinion, quite disruptive to the current management offerings of the Microsoft partners in this segment as all cloud services by every company has proven to be so far, including to the SBS customer set. Over the weekend I will finish the 2nd and 3rd chapters and I will then share the plan I've agreed with Packt Publishing for the book. As always, please feel free to let me know what you think about all this. Thanks David
  • Technical School: installing and Configuring Small Business Server 2008–June 17th 2010

    Hi, I know this has gone out to UK SBSC partners, but I thought I should let people know through the blog too. Technical School: installing and Configuring Small Business Server 2008 Technical Schools are a series of monthly Live Meetings specifically for the Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC) and Registered partners who specialise in targeting the small to medium sized business market. Taking place on 17 June, 15:00-16:00 (GMT), the next Technical School will be led by Microsoft's David Overton who will provide guidance relating to Small Business Server 2008. Review a recording of last months' Technical School , which discussed Office 2010.   We will cover off the preparation required prior to a migration, the process of installing or migrating and then some FAQ’s of the most commonly asked questions that people have sent me.  These will include: Converting a trial license to a purchased solution Getting rid of the Outlook prompt for username and password Installing the latest service pack for Exchange   Thanks David
  • Tech days 2010 – UK, covering Virtualisation, Office 2010, Windows 7, SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio, the Essential Mix, Rich Client and Windows Phone

    Registration for UK Tech Days events from 12 th to 16 th April is open!. UK Tech Days 2010 is a week-long series of free events run by Microsoft and technical communities to celebrate and inspire developers, IT professionals and IT Managers to get more from Microsoft technology.  Our day events in London will cover the latest technology releases including Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft Office 2010, Virtualisation, Silverlight, Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 plus events focusing on deployment and an IT Manager day. Please visit our website for full details: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/techdays and follow what’s happening @uktechdays   The agenda looks like this: Monday 12th April Tuesday 13th Wednesday 14th Thursday 15th Friday 16th IT Pro Days Virtualization Summit Office 2010 - the next wave Windows 7 - Deployment SQL Server 2008 R2 - The Platform Raising the profile of IT Dev Days Visual Studio 2010 Launch Visual Studio 2010 and .NET The Essential MIX Rich Client Windows Phone   ttfn David Technorati Tags: Virtualisation , Office 2010 , Windows 7 , SQL Server 2008 R2 , Visual Studio , the Essential Mix , Rich Client , Windows Phone
  • Windows and other products coming End of Support information

    Microsoft has an industry leading support lifecycle for it's products with business software generally getting 10 years support and consumer products 5 years, but even then the end of support surprises some individuals and you need to be aware to ensure you are not caught out.  Our support also requires people to adopt service packs within 12-24 months of them being released, depending on the products. here along with all the obsolete products here. Why do I mention all this now, after all, this is not new information, well, we have some significant Windows End of Support (EoS) dates coming up.  With these date looming reminding your customers that moving to Windows 7 and utilizing the many features built into the product can help you achieve simplier support and them a more secure and compliant platform for your users, reduce your help desk costs, and increase performance and reliability for your end users. Remember that a Windows 7 user can record the steps of a problem and send them through to you using the Problem Step Recorder which simplifies support. Here are some key dates to remember: March 1, 2010 – Windows 7 RC pre-expiration shut downs begin. Beginning March 1, the Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) will start to shut down every two hours in preparation for its expiration on June 1, 2010. That means you will need to migrate your RC systems to a released to manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 7; or your previous operating system. Remember to back up all your data as either option will require a clean installation. For more information, read this post on the Windows Team blog. April 13, 2010 – Support for Windows Vista RTM ends. To help ensure your Windows Vista PCs stay secure and up to date, make sure they are running Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Service Pack 2 (SP2). July 13, 2010 – Support for Windows XP SP2 and Windows 2000 ends. If you are running Windows XP, stay more secure by moving to Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) or migrating to Windows 7. Updating your Windows 2000,...
  • List of Windows 7 compatible applications that have been registered with Microsoft and how to get yours registered if you have an application

    I’ve been asked a few times about what software is registered with Microsoft as compatible with Windows 7 or has a certified status with Windows 7. The answers can be found on either of these two web sites: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/en-us/default.aspx – Web based tool to search for software http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/confirmation.aspx?familyId=890e522e-e39e-4278-aebc-186f81e29173&displayLang=en – Download an Excel spreadsheet with the information on it If you are an ISV who wishes to register your information, have a look at the downloadable template or web form here - https://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-7/en-us/partner/submission.aspx To learn more about developing for Windows 7, look here for Independent Software Vendors . You should also look at the ISVAppCompat site - https://www.isvappcompat.com/uk which gives details for how to certify your application and also make a press release about the fact. One of the ISVs I work with is Iris and they have just released their press releases at http://www.iris.co.uk/news__press/news_folder/newswindows_7_strategy.aspx . It all helps customers get what they want from Windows 7. Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year David Technorati Tags: Windows 7 , Windows Client , Microsoft , ISV , Application Compatibility
  • What are the legal options for Licensing Windows 7 or Windows Vista? Or how to avoid mis-licensing

    I’m often told that Microsoft licensing is complex, but what I actually find are that this either translates to “I have too many choices - ahhhh!” or “I can’t license in the way I want to” or “I can’t find the information I want to”. Option 1 is always going to happen – the more choice, the more complexity in making the right choice. Option 2 is often “I don’t want to buy lose licenses, why do I have to..” and Option 3 is poor communications on the part of Microsoft. To help with the Option 3 situation there is a new guide on the Microsoft Partner portal that explains one of the areas I’m often asked about – i.e. Windows client licensing. It is really simple. Here are the rules in summary (non-legally binding and please read the guide for full details): A PC has to licensed with a Full retail product (FPP, bought from a shop) or supplied with an OEM license (the OEM option can’t be used after the PC has been bought and supplied to the end user) Volume Licenses for Windows client is only available as an upgrade to the FPP / OEM eligible license Volume Licenses upgrade only apply to business versions, not Home editions, unless you are a qualifed academic customer and there is more information in the guide. I don’t think that is complex. To “Get Legal” there are various options too. For more details, have a look at this “Windows Licensing Fact Sheet” - download from here . Thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows 7 , Windows Client , Windows , Licensing , Microsoft , Partners , MSPP , Microsoft Partner Network
  • UK event to learn more about Windows 7 (London, Birmingham, Leeds and Edinburgh)

    With the launch of Windows 7 coming this year I thought you might like to know what Microsoft is saying about it. We have four events around the UK to help partners understand more. Event Overview With the launch of Windows 7, within three years of general availability of Windows Vista, we are delighted to invite you to an event so you can experience for yourself the buzz and excitement of Windows 7. The Windows 7 team will show you how you can protect and grow your revenues between now and the launch date and will take you through the journey of converting your customers to Windows 7, whether they currently are on Windows Vista or Windows XP – allowing you the opportunity to extend the sale and ensuring you are selling today. For your chance to see a demonstration of what the press are raving about and experience what businesses will love about Windows 7 first hand, then join us at this additional session. Agenda 5.00pm - Registration 5.30pm - The journey to Windows 7 / Demonstration of Windows 7 7.00pm - Q&A session 7.30pm - Event close 14 th May – Edinburgh Invitation Code: DFBD37 Phone Number: 0870 166 6680 ref: 4116 19 th May - Birmingham Invitation Code: 3095B3 Phone number: 0870 166 6670 ref 4117 4 th June – London Invitation Code: 875122 Phone Number: 0870 166 6680 ref: 4118 16 th June - Leeds Invitation Code: C3EE9D Phone number: 0870 166 6670 ref 4119 Enjoy David Technorati Tags: Windows , Windows Client , Windows 7 , Microsoft , Event
  • Preparing for Windows 7 with ask the expert sessions for technical and sales success for sales people

    I saw this internally and thought I had better share via the blog - a number of ask the expert technical and sales events! Are you ready for Windows 7? The industry is preparing itself for one of the most exciting launches - Windows 7. The press is already buzzing with the launch of Windows 7 – are you ready? “ …it starts up relatively quickly, drivers already exist to make to make peripherals such as scanners and printers work with it, and it does clever things that XP, the version of Windows most people still use, just doesn’t ” The Daily Telegraph – 8 th January 2009 To ensure our partners have the opportunity to understand more about Windows 7 advantages, benefits and features, we have launched a monthly series of Windows 7 Live Meeting events. There will be two strands to this Ask the Expert (technical) and Sales Success for Windows 7 (sales). The Live Meeting sessions will focus on different topics during each session and will last 30 minutes and will contain 15 minutes on “how to” information and a question and answer session for you to pose your questions to our two Windows 7 experts – Jamie Burgess & Laurence Painell. To register your attendance on the Live Meetings then please click on the relevant link below. Ask the Expert · Technical focused 15 min session designed to tackle key technical issues that partners and customers may be experiencing with Windows 7 and these will be based on questions appearing in Windows 7 technical blogs and TechNet. These sessions are designed to be interactive, consumable and focused · Aimed at technical staff and consultants within resellers, system builders and system integrators · Hosted by Jamie Burgess – Partner Technology Specialist Date Time Ask The Expert Wednesday 15 th April 2009 16.00- 16.45 Getting Applications Compatible with Windows 7 Wednesday 20 th May 2009 16.00-16.45 Technical help for OEM & System Builders Wednesday 17 th June 2009 16.00-16.45 Technical training and...
  • SBS 2008 Migrations from SBS 2003 – Keys to Success from the Official SBS Blog

    I started to write about this at SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migration thoughts and issues and Active Directory Health Checks , but after some discussion with the SBS team at Microsoft we now have much more: The Official SBS Blog : SBS 2008 Migrations from SBS 2003 – Keys to Success The purpose of this post is to help you complete your SBS 2003 migrations to SBS 2008 successfully on the first attempt. ……………… much, much more Use this information if you have a non-standard implementation or are concerned about the success of a migration. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2003 , SBS 2008 , Migration , SBSC , Small Business Server 2008
  • 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 2008 Update Rollup 1 Released to fix Vista AV reporting issue and GoDaddy domain registration issue

    Hi everyone, the first roll-up of fixes for SBS 2008 shipped today. It addresses some minor issues, which is good, but always worth being aware of. From the Official SBS 2008 blog SBS 2008 Update Rollup 1 Releases Today Windows Small Business Server 2008 Update Rollup 1 releases today. This rollup package addresses the following issues in Windows Small Business Server 2008. Issue 1 The Security tab in the Windows Small Business Server 2008 Console incorrectly reports the spyware and malware status of Windows Vista Service Pack 1-based clients that are joined to a domain. Specifically, some security applications are reported as incompatible in the antivirus and malware status that is reported. Issue 2 The Internet Address Management Wizard exits unexpectedly when you register a domain name. This issue occurs when you select GoDaddy.com as the provider, and then you click Register Now How to obtain this update This update will be available from the Microsoft Update Web site: http://update.microsoft.com More Information http://support.microsoft.com/KB/958715 The Official SBS Blog : SBS 2008 Update Rollup 1 Releases Today ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , Vista , Windows Vista , Updates , GoDaddy , Anti-virus , Anti-Malware , System Updates , Microsoft , SBSC , Community
  • Citrix Access Essentials, SBS 2008, EBS 2008 and you - Birmingham, 10th Feb

    As many of you know I work with Citrix in the UK. While their product is not appropriate for 100% of the SBS & EBS market, if you would like to know more about the opportunity when you are a Citrix Partner and specifically about Access Essentials for SBS and EBS, you should attend this event. There is also a great prize too :-) If you want to see a blog all about Citrix then look at their official blog here and if you want to see someone in the community talking about his area then look at Brian Madden's info here. www.citrixpartneraccelerator.co.uk Find out how your business could join the fast lane in 2009 by becoming a Citrix partner. It's an exciting time to be part of the Citrix Partner Network™: in the last year we launched new virtualisation solutions, expanded our partnerships with the world's top hardware and software vendors and added new incentives to channel programmes. At our Citrix Partner Accelerator event, you'll learn how these investments could help you develop your business - by offering your customers the most powerful and comprehensive value-added application delivery infrastructure solutions in the market. Get up to speed with Citrix We'll bring you up to speed with the latest Citrix vision and strategy and give you the inside track on new Citrix and partner offerings that could help you stay competitive in 2009. Understand the latest developments within Citrix and in the wider market with keynote speeches from senior Citrix executives. Learn how you can develop new business opportunities by working together with Citrix. Experience the newest application delivery infrastructure solutions through demonstrations and proof of concepts in the technical sessions. Connect with Citrix employees, Citrix Distributors and Citrix Alliance Partners who could transform the way you do business. Focused Workshops for new resellers on developing your business with Citrix, plus a Citrix Access Essentials for Microsoft focused partners and a Citrix strategic sales workshop for those...
  • 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
  • Office Small Business 2007 – get up to 25% off in the UK

    I saw this at the Special Offers site from the Small Business team and thought I would share. Office Small Business 2007 – get up to 25% off Buy Office 2007 Small Business Edition before 17 January and you can get a discount of up to 25%. Enhance productivity in your workplace and manage tasks and your customers more efficiently with Microsoft Office Small Business 2007. Excel, Word, Publisher, Outlook and PowerPoint provide all the tools you need to give your business a professional edge. (Offer applies to FPP (Fully-Packaged Product) only, ie not via volume licensing or OEM etc.) Availability: UK Small Businesses Valid from: December 21 2008 Offer expires: January 17 2009 How to buy: Equanet: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD Equanet: 2007 Version Upgrade Grey Matter: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD MacWarehouse: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD MacWarehouse: 2007 Version Upgrade Microwarehouse: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD Microwarehouse: 2007 Version Upgrade PC World Business: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD PC World Business: 2007 Version Upgrade WStore: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD MS Store: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD Hopefully it will make a nice present for the New Year. Have a Merry Christmas!! David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Small Business , Office 2007 , Offer , Partners
  • Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too

    [updated with “roll your own” information and how to make a 32-bit version of the exe file] I love it when people challenge me to solve a question and today’s prize goes to Simon (thank-you for the questions Simon) who asked me where Connection Manager was on SBS 2008? You remember Connection Manager right, to auto configure the VPNs… Well, the instructions in SBS 2008 are a little less simple. Rather than downloading a pre-configured tool you now need to roll your own. The reasoning, which is quite sound, is that you can access almost everything via the Remote Web Workplace, but for some things, you want a VPN and the way to get it can be found here - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc513974.aspx If you want to create a Connection Manager Install for SBS 2008 you need to add the CMAK to the SBS 2008 install. Go to Server Manager and click to add a feature. Install the CMAK by pressing Next. To start the kit, go to the Start Menu, Administrator Tools and then select Connection Manager Administration Kit. Click next until you need to select the target OS. Select to create a new profile and provide the name and filename (8 characters max) Provide the domain or realm name and include the “separator” character – eg “mydomain\” without the quotes. Select no profiles to merge and press Next Embed the VPN Connection name (eg remote.myserver.com as that is what the SSL certificate will say) into the file and then accept the VPN entry Remove the automatically update phonebook options and leave blank Accept the default entries for VPN, Routing tables, IE Proxy, Custom Actions Now accept the default graphics or add your own logo Accept the default information on help files, support information, User EULA screen, additional files Finally accept the answer and build the file: . You can now chose to put the EXE file somewhere your users can access and then they can download it. One problem solved, more to come. IF YOU ARE DEPLOYING TO A 32-BIT WINDOWS SYSTEM, YOU...
  • Get a RSS feed from Microsoft about what is new for partners (UK at the moment)

    I saw this RSS Hub and decided it had to be shared. Go to https://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/rss/default.aspx . [updated with fixed url - thanks for the comments] It enables the following segmentation: What roles are you interested in? Management Sales and Marketing Technical What areas are you interested in? Partnering Events Programme Information Public Sector Sales and Marketing Small Business Specialist Training West Midlands Type of Business Hosting Independent Software Vendors System Integrators Web Solutions Products and Solutions Dynamics AX Dynamics CRM Dynamics GP Dynamics NAV Dynamics RMS Licensing Microsoft Financing Software-plus-Services Enjoy!! Thanks David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Sales , Marketing , Technical , Community , RSS , Partner Program
  • SBS 2008 now available for download on MSDN

    Hi there folks, so following on from my recent post on the fact that SBS 2008 has released to manufacturing (which means it will be in the shops soon), I saw today that SBS 2008 is now available to download from MSDN : I did notice that there is currently a slight mis-print in that it appears there are two disks for the x86 Windows Server 2008 disk, where as the 2nd one is actually the x64 disk (as noted in the ISO number).   It is also worth stating that for SBS 2008, to remove any issues around “Compatibility”, for those applications that are fussy, simply run them on the premium server which is Server 2008, so runs anything that you could run on Server 2008.   Go grab if you can’t wait to get it any other way … note that you only need disk 1 to install, but the rest to understand recovery and Premium solutions.   Thanks David Technorati Tags: SBSC , SBS , Small Business Server 2008 , Small Business , Developer , MSDN , Partners , Microsoft , Download , SBS 2008
  • Just in case you missed it SBS 2008: Released to Manufacturing and date for launch set

    I know I am very, very, very behind the times on  this, but just in case you missed it …  This means that SBS Cougar is now completely done and now a 100% SBS 2008!! The Official SBS Blog : SBS 2008: Released to Manufacturing! On behalf of the SBS team, I am extremely pleased to announce that Windows Small Business Server 2008 software has been finalized! Today both SBS Standard and Premium are being released to manufacturing, which means we begin the process of finalizing international versions, creating media, building packaging, delivering the product to distribution channels and handing it off to our OEM partners, so it will be widely available by our November 12 launch. (More information about launch will come in the future.) <snipped> We invested in a number of different areas for this release; here’s the big picture of the themes and features in SBS 2008: For IT managers and technology consultants:  · Microsoft’s newest server technologies: Powerful and more secure infrastructure that was rebuilt from the ground up. · IT made easy:  Deployment, setup and administration is dramatically simplified and improved. New tools to manage domain names and data folders.  New single CALs make SBS 2008 licensing more flexible and cost-effective. · Improved Manageability: Monitoring across both servers and client PCs. Customizable, remotely-accessible reports via e-mail and mobile devices · Application Platform: SBS 2008 Premium Edition is an ideal platform for critical business applications, via SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 on a second hardware server For small business owners and employees:  · Greater security: Trial subscriptions to Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Windows Live OneCare for Server. Extensibility model for easy reporting of 3 rd party protection applications. · Better data protection: New block-based server protection technologies that can complete backing up your server in minutes rather than hours. · Simple, easy online marketing and commerce...
  • How long is the grace period on SBS 2008 (how long can you evaluate SBS 2008 without entering a product key)

    I saw this one come up internally and externally, so I thought I would share the answer.  Remember that SBS 2008 is built on Windows Server 2008, Exchange 2007 and SQL 2008 (for the premium edition).  This means that you are bound by the limits of those products.  For SBS Standard this is Windows Server 2008, which is 60 days that can be extended to up to 240 days using the rearm process documented in the KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948472 . SQL2008 has a trial period of 180 days, so if your evaluating SBS 2008 Premium edition you are limited by that.   ttfn   David Technorati Tags: SQL 2008 , Windows Server 2008 , SBS 2008 , SBSC , Partners , Microsoft , Eval , Evaluation , Trial
  • SBS 2008 & EBS 2008 – Virtualisation Webcast

    You can access the webcast at https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=249912# As a quick recap, Microsoft see’s virtualisation as more than than just machine virtualisation.  In the Microsoft, virtualisation is split into: Presentation Virtualisation – What would have previously been known as Terminal Services Application Virtualisation (App-V) – Where applications are “streamed” to your desktop or terminal services presentation without being installed Machine Virtualisation (Desktop aka VDI or Server) – what most people think of as “Virtualisation” Virtualisation will be supported in for a set of scenarios with SBS 2008 and EBS 2008.  The first thing to understand is that the primary node has a large load on it and is not an ideal candidate to act as a host for virtual machines.  You also need to understand that the host can’t really be part of the domain if the primary node of SBS is virtualised on it as there are all sorts of nasty issues around dependency issues. You might want to run some virtualisations scenarios to enable: Enable more “servers” to be run on a single server Enable greater flexibility in migration and DR between machines Enable greater remote access capabilities to desktops or applications via Desktop or Presentation virtualisation So what was announced: SBS 2008 Premium Edition’s 2nd box can be a Presentation Virtualisation host – i.e. run TS on the 2nd box and use the gateway functionality on the 1st system SBS 2008 Premium Edition’s 2nd box can be a Machine Virtualisation host.  This box can run as both a host and guest, providing the host is used to simply run the Hyper-V role.  Both the 1st and 2nd SBS systems can be run as guests on the host. There are some other gotchas that need to be considered: The backup on SBS is based on USB removable disks, however the USB disks are not passed through to the virtual machine in the same way so you need to look at other strategies, such as creating a large VHD in the USB disks and...
  • New UK SBSC Blog, welcome to Emily Lambert to SBSC and Sales training on September 30th

    Some things come and some things go.  Unfortunately someone came and went while we blinked for the UK SBSCers, but every cloud has a silver lining and Emily has popped up as the successor.  If you attend the SBS Group meetings around the country then you will have most likely met Emily. Not only has Emily appeared on the scene to drive SBSC value in the UK, but she has started regular updates to the UK SBSC Blog. A classic example is the sales and licensing entry below.   I’d recommend that you say Hi to Emily at one of the SBSC meetings, catch the new blog and explore the new sales and licensing tools :-) New look Sales and Licensing Induction for Partners The Microsoft Partner Readiness Team have just announced the release of the new look Sales and Licensing Induction for Partners . This session is aimed to equip sales people with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to talk to new and existing customers about the business benefits of Microsoft technologies and associated areas such as licensing. The day will be packed with Microsoft technologies. The agenda is as follows – •  Introduction to the day and the course •  Microsoft Office •  Windows Vista •  The Microsoft Unified Communications solution •  Microsoft Office SharePoint Server •  Other key Microsoft server applications •  Tour of Microsoft Campus (optional) •  Windows Server •  Virtualisation •  The System Center Family •  ForeFront Security •  The fundamentals of Microsoft licensing If you would like to book yourself onto this course on the 30 th September at TVP all you need to do is sign in to the Partner Learning Centre and click HERE! Places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis though, so act quickly if you are interested. UK SBSC   ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBSC , Microsoft , Partners
  • Can't find the WSS (Windows SharePoint Services) sales and marketing toolkit for SBS 2003 - here it was

    I've had someone ask me about the WSS toolkit that was referenced at How to Sell, Deploy, and Build Business with Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and SBS 2003 R2 . The download location has moved to http://www.partnersalesresources.com/Pages/sbskit.aspx# . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows SharePoint Services , WSS v3 , SBS , SBS 2003 R2 , Microsoft , Partners
  • I’ve been asked to write a SBS 2008 book … and it is “in progress”

    I know this is a bit early, but I’ve been asked to write a SBS 2008 book.  I aiming it at those who are not super dooper IT experts, along the lines of the level I blog at, with more explanation for some areas.  I’m awaiting final comments from a solicitor and then hopefully I can sign the contract and then it is count down.  I hope to have finished the book by January, but that might be a bit optimistic!!   I’ll update you as I progress with the book.  If anyone wants to share thoughts, your always welcome, although I can’t promise things will get incorporated.   ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , Book , Personal , Microsoft , Small Business Server 2008
  • 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
  • Why Microsoft Partners should embrace S+S and still deliver on premise solutions

    I was at the Microsoft World Wide Partner Conference when Microsoft announced their S+S (Software plus Services) and some partners decided to throw their toys out the pram and start a whole bunch of scare mongering around the partner opportunity. I’ve decided I will cover both off here, so here are some thoughts – please note, this is not an official communication, but simply my view and response having spoken to partners and Microsoft people alike. What are the customer options? A customer can choose from two non-exclusive models for their IT Services – On Premise on Hosted. The reasons why someone might want to have a solution hosted are many, but can includes: Remove IT from premises Remove soft off of the books Outsource the IT management Deliver IT from the best place for their customers (eg where they have low bandwidth) Outsource IT upgrade & delivery Enable simple price per seat solutions Should a customer choose to have a solution hosted then their is a choice as to who hosts the solution – Microsoft or a partner. It should be noted that just because a customer chooses to have some technology hosted does not mean that all their IT will be or can be, nor does it mean that they suddenly become able to do everything that is needed, thus removing the need for an IT partner. Hosted solutions using Microsoft technology is not new, what is new is the Microsoft hosting and much better licensing opportunities for partners to offer profitable solutions without tying customers into complex licensing schemes. So why should a partner keep with Microsoft and S+S? If you are a SBS 2003 aware and was there for the launch you may well remember throwing tomatoes at people like me because we said you needed to move away from relying on making money purely from the install of SBS 2003. It was the configuring, connecting, customising and enabling that was where the money was going – and the setup process was part of the reason as it got much easier in SBS 2003. This trend has continued and many partners now make very little...
  • SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 and the Action Pack

    I’ve been asked many, many times “Will Small Business Server 2008 or Essential Business Server 2008” be in the Action Pack. The simple answer is “ YES” . As to when, well that depends on the RTM of the actual products, however, we’re trying to get them in as early as possible. Thanks David Technorati Tags: Action Pack , SBSC , Microsoft , SBS 2008 , EBS 2008 , Partners , Support and Tools
  • New SQL 2008 training for UK partners

    Hi, I know I’ve been away a lot recently (closing the year end and then doing some travelling for work), but while cleaning my inbox (ohh, 2500 mails processed, replied too, filed and actioned – yee har!) I came across this and it is bang up to date. SQL 2008 is going to be the hot, hot, hot product for a few months, along with how it sits with other BI solutions, such as SharePoint and PerformancePoint. To help you get started, here are some training opportunities : SQL Server 2008 Database Infrastructure and Scalability This three-day training course will help database administrators understand how to exploit the new performance, scalability, manageability and high-availability enhancements introduced in SQL Server 2008. They will also learn how to exploit these capabilities, ensure application scalability and how to manage a database using the new features. Click here Introduction to SQL Server 2008 BI Solution Development This three day course is designed to give developers the confidence to tackle a BI project, and the content is equally relevant to SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 . This should be attended by developers who are new to the Microsoft BI platform, not those who are familiar with BI development but wish to update their knowledge to SQL Server 2008. Click here Essential SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence for Developers This two day course is targeted at experienced BI developers (or those who have completed the Introduction to SQL Server 2008 BI Solution Development course above) and wish to learn how to exploit the new features of SQL Server 2008 in their BI applications. Click here Enjoy David Technorati Tags: SQL 2008 , Microsoft , Partners , BI , Business Intelligence , Developers , Training
  • How to migrate from SBS 2003 to Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008)

    I’ve spoken about migration several times now for SBS 2008 . The short answer is that migration from one box to another is vital. If a customer wants to do migration on the same box, then this is either expensive (and a very long process) or something that requires moving the server temporarily to another system, or as I prefer, virtualising it. Of course, SBS 2003 is not necessarily supported in a virtual environment, but since all we want to do is migrate from it, not “run it”, this should help you get over this. The details of the process can be found in the Windows Small Business Server 2008 technical library . One of the MOST IMPORTANT things to understand is to create the answer file. This is covered in the migration help below: Windows Small Business Server 2008 Migration Help ( Download ) Provides step-by-step instructions for migrating from Windows SBS 2003 or 2008 to Windows SBS 2008. Last Updated on June 30, 2008 Windows Small Business Server 2008 Product Help ( Download ) Provides step-by-step instructions for using the Windows SBS 2008 server software. Last Updated on June 30, 2008 Downloadable documentation for Windows Small Business Server 2008 Before you start – what you need to remember SBS 2008 is a 64-bit solution requiring x64 capable hardware There is NO 32-bit to 64-bit “in-place” upgrade solution SBS 2008 Standard is a single server solution, while SBS 2008 Premium includes the license and software for a 2nd Windows Server system (as part of the domain) SBS 2008 Premium edition does NOT have ISA as part of the solution. SBS 2003 Premium customers with Software Assurance will be able to “make good” their ISA licenses for a limited amount of time after SBS 2008 is released. SBS 2008 Premium edition has the option to use SQL 2008 Standard edition on either server. SQL 2008 can be downgraded Migration options at high level Add a new server to existing SBS 2003 domain and either Remove old SBS 2003 server Purchase SBS 2008 Premium edition and make old server 2nd server using the license as part of...
  • Microsoft wants to know what you want for the UK SBS 2008 Launch? Time to stop saying you want it better and time to start saying what you actually want and would use!!

    One thing I have never been accused of is holding back my opinion and on the Yahoo Groups recently there has been some discussions around what Microsoft has done for partners. As part of the discussion this blog post from Sonal, the UK Product Manager for SBS 2008 and EBS 2008, came up with a question around what do partners want to see in a UK launch. I thought people who read this blog might like to pop over to Sonal's blog and give a voice to their wants. I've seen suggestions from free beer, which was a Joke I was later told, to license pricing, features and benefits, how to up-sell/cross-sell. The problem with the later items is that they are simply personal to the business doing the selling - why have an upsell to mobile devices if your business can't facilitate it? What do you want to see at the UK SBS 2008 Launch? In May 2006 we had a server event for guys (and gals) who sell server - specifically Small Business Server. We split the event into two - the morning event was for those who were new to selling SBS and the afternoon track was for those who already have a great deal of experience in selling SBS. Both sessions went down a storm where we covered off all sorts from market analytics to Windows Mobile with SBS. With the learnings from that event and feedback from YOU, we're hoping to do it again - but better. So, while James tries to uncover how you want your content delivered, I'm keen to understand what exactly it is that you need from us. And it may seem obvious to you. But tell me anyway. As we plan the UK launch event for around the September/October timeframe, it would be really helpful to hear from you on what you need from us - either at the potential launch event, or before that via webcasts. <snipped - contact details on Sonal's blog> SBS stuff and then some... : What do you want to see at the UK SBS 2008 Launch? ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Marketing , Community , SBSC , Partners
  • Proof that SBSC partners can grow from 1-man businesses into Microsoft Certified Partners – and still be good for small business – congrats Richard Tubb

    I remember the name Richard Tubb being mentioned a few times over the last 2 year and remember him on some of the Live Meetings I delivered and then he launched his blog. One thing that was apparent from his questions, contacts and especially his blog is that this is a man that “got it”. Now there are a few others that I believe live and breathe this attitude and to name some and miss others would be bad, so I wont name any (if you want to know if your on my “I love you man” list, drop me an e-mail, but I’ve probably told you or made time for you, which is a good hint), but one thing about living your life by certain principles is that you still have to live your life. By got it, I mean: is solution, not product oriented Is value sensitive, not price sensitive Believes in the value of the community Is prepared to stand up and be counted for his opinion – which is his, not others Will tell you when he things you are talking… erm… rubbish!! Believes in good processes (eg service plans, documentation etc) If you look at his blog, you will see the above, so it is nice to see the business grow and achieve an amazing milestone. Richard is still a great SBSC partner, but now he is ALSO a Microsoft Certified Partner. Well done - TubbBlog: Netlink IT achieves Microsoft Certified Partner Status I'm chuffed to announce that Netlink IT achieved Microsoft Certified Partner Status this past month gone. After striving to reach the level this Certification demanded for quite some time, the achievement of reaching the goal-post almost got lost in the business that taking on new staff, moving into a new office and re-organising the business brought on! It was March 2006 that Netlink IT became a Microsoft Small Business Specialist Partner - and two years on I think that the SBSC certification , and in particular the benefits of working with the community that surrounds the "blue badge" from that certification, have significantly helped me to grow the company to the stage it's at now. I'm hoping that Microsoft Certified...
  • Set up Microsoft Office Live Small Business Web sites

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. One of the options is for a spit personality Office Live for Small Businesses solution. Why split, well the e-mail items are held on the SBS 2008 Exchange server, as will the report site services, but the public web site and WSS external collaboration sites will be hosted on the Office Live servers. This means that things like DNS need a bit more management, but that can all be handled for you. This is how I configured mine: Start the process from the console and say I want a new site. Since SBS 2008 already knows the external address of the SBS box, it offers to enable the DNS to be redirected to Office Live for the www.mydomain.com address We then get into the Office Live sign-up process via the web. One word of note here, I had installed the box as a US system, not a UK system, so it took me to the US site. If you change the language settings in the browser (Tools/Options/Language) to EN-GB, then you will get the UK site. You can see form the pictures below that the sign-up process is simple and secure. Once you have finished on the web site it all you need to do is to complete the sign in details below. Now for me, that was not the end of the story – the verification e-mail was simply not arriving, even though I requested it to be resent several times. Eventually I discovered it was the spam filter settings rejecting the mail. I have reported this as a bug into Microsoft, but in the mean time, to overcome the situation, have a look at How to change spam settings on Exchange 2007 / SBS 2008 to enable some / all / more spam to be delivered to an account for analysis to see how I resolved it. One again that is it for this stage. Finally, all the SBS 2008 entries can be found at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Tips , SBSC , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Community...
  • SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 video recordings of presentations from the SMB Summit 2008

    If you have looked at the information on setup and install at SBS 2008 Install process (in pictures) and wanted more information then these presentations will be of extreme use to you. They cover both SBS 2008 and EBS 2008. I particularly liked the setup and migration and messaging sessions. SBS 2008 product related sessions SBS 2008 Overview SBS 2008 Setup and Migration Networking Setup and Getting Started Tasks Administration and Management Networking Messaging Storage Management - Backup, Restore, and Server Storage Health and Monitoring Client Experience EBS 2008 product sessions Essential Business Server Overview Installation and Migration Administration and Management Security and Messaging Implementation Differences (between EBS 2008 and SBS 2008) If you want to see more of the information on SBS 2008 , click the link on the left ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , EBS 2008 , Small Busines Server , SBS , Essential Business Servers , Event , SMB Summit , Partner , Community , Small Business , SBSC
  • How to configure server backup in SBS 2008

    [updated due to Vlad's link] - to see the rest of the articles on SBS 2008 click here SBS 2008, like SBS 2003, comes with a server backup tool. Unlike SBS 2003, this one supports USB drives as a great removable solution,but does not support tapes. Tapes are not really required unless you need good archival solutions as keeping a rotation of tapes in a warehouse for 10 years would be more cost effective than keeping a stack of USB drives. The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. As you work down the list in the console you will come to backup. The process to enable this is all quite simple: The 1st time I ran the tool I did not have a removable drive attached to the system, so it failed to start the process properly I then attached my 500GB external drive and started again. I picked my device and gave it a name: Chose what got backed up (note that everything from the system drive gets backed up!), when and then confirm everything Since the backup drives are formatted, you are given one last chance, then off it goes That completed the process before you move down the list. Finally, all the SBS 2008 entries can be found at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Tips , SBSC , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Community , Partner , Console , Backup and Restore , Backup
  • How to configure a Smart Host for Internet e-mail in SBS 2008

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. Once the internet facing services are set up you might have to enable “Smart Hosts” – which basically means that your e-mail is sent out via your ISPs mail server. This is a simple process which I have documented below: Since I am using NTL / Virgin media as my provider, I had to send via mail.ntlworld.com. Do this and and hit next and then the system will send mail this way. That is it. One again that is it for this stage. Finally, all the SBS 2008 entries can be found at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Tips , SBSC , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Community , Partner , Console , E-mail , Smart hosts
  • Setting up services for the internet in SBS 2008 console (domain name, web site, Remote web workplace, e-mail)

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. Once the internet settings are completed, the next big steps is setting up the internet facing services. This is the process I followed: 1) The 1st time I had to create a domain for my server 2) I chose to do this using the provided tools (this then provides DNS management of www.domain.com going to Office Live, but remote.domain.com going to this server and the MX record pointing to the SBS box too. 3) Once you have chosen your provider you go off to a web page to purchase the domain 4) Then you enter your login details It you already have a domain then the process looks like this: 1) Enter your domain and provider details 2) confirm the details and enter them as per step 4 above Continue the process from above as the tool configures the system. Note that if your router does not accept UPnP (or it is turned off, as per mine), then you will get the warning and errors shown in the middle picture below One again that is it for this stage. Finally, all the SBS 2008 entries can be found at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Tips , SBSC , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Community , Partner , Console , Set up internet services
  • Setting up your internet connection in SBS 2008 console

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. One of the first steps is setting up the internet connection. This is the process I followed: The routines automatically detected the router IP address – I had not set it anywhere Then finished off The process of enabling others to communicate with SBS and setting up firewall etc can be found here . Finally, all the SBS 2008 entries can be found at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Tips , SBSC , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Community , Partner , Console , Connect to the internet
  • Simple items in the SBS 2008 Console setup

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) has a few items that are just one or two screens, so rather than dedicating a separate post to them, here they are by themselves: There are then the following steps that took me about 20-mins to complete: 1. Read the document on how to use the SBS console 3. Accept the Customer feedback option 5. Adding a trust certificate (I don’t have one, but I’ll show you the screen shot) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Tips , SBSC , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Community , Partner , Console
  • Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console

    [updated 5th June 2008 - as last 2 sections now online] I saw Vijays’s post on SBS 2008 RC0 Installation Walkthrough (which points to this post – walkthrough ) and while this article has much good information, I had grabbed the install process in screen shot again :-) There were a few interesting points that I thought I would share too: Once the install has finished, you need to do the post install configuration: If you have done it right you will see a screen like this: If you have had a number of problems in the install then you will see something like this: and then . I got this by hitting the power button on the keyboard while the setup was running and while I said “no” to the “do you want to shutdown” prompt, it appears it killed the setup process in the background. If you get this sort of setup, I spent a few hours trying to resolve and while I did re-install exchange and then load ForeFront, it was easier to just re-format and start again. OK, so if it is working the console should look like this: There are then the following steps that took me about 20-mins to complete: Read the document on how to use the SBS console Connect to the Internet Accept the Customer feedback option Set up the Internet address Configure a Smart Host for Internet e-mail Adding a trust certificate (I don’t have one, but I’ll show you the screen shot) Configure server backup Configure Windows Live OneCare for Server Set up Microsoft Office Live Small Business Web sites Finally, all the SBS 2008 entries can be found at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Tips , SBSC , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Community , Partner
  • 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
  • SBS 2008 RC0 Public Preview

    From the official blog – the preview is now available for download After extensive development and private evaluation, I’m pleased to announce that a public preview of Windows Small Business Server 2008 RC0 is now available. Windows SBS 2008 is the next major release in the Windows Small Business Server product family, and it offers a wave of new features for technology consultants and small business owners. There are too many updates and changes to list in one post, but here are some highlights: A new setup and administrative experience that has been re-designed to make initial deployment and day-to-day management significantly easier Many new management features such as extensible monitoring reports, and tools to manage internet domain names, data folders, certificates and more A revamp of the Premium Edition to include both SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition technologies and a 2nd copy of Windows Server 2008 A new server backup wizard built on the Windows Server 2008 block-based backup technologies, which allows you to back up your server in minutes rather than hours A redesigned Remote Web Workplace with new features such as custom links, logos and user to computer mapping Built-in anti-virus and anti-spam support with 120-day trial subscriptions to Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Windows Live OneCare for Server Integration with Microsoft Office Live Small Business to simplify setup and management of professional Web sites and extranets And of course, updates to Microsoft’s newest server technologies: Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, SQL Server 2008, Windows Server Update Services v3, and Windows SharePoint Services v3 To learn more about the product and to enroll in the public preview program, please visit http://technet.microsoft.com/evalcenter/cc184870.aspx . The Official SBS Blog : Announcing Small Business Server 2008 RC0 Public Preview See all the other SBS 2008 items at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft...
  • 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
  • Pricing for SBS 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 released (US FPP) and public beta for EBS, with public beta for SBS 2008 to follow

    My blog has been quiet recently – think of it as a the quiet before the storm (or I’ve been maxed around quarter and year end business, family and partner visits to the US). Anyway, this has crept up on me before I re-installed my server, so I thought I would just share the love. Microsoft Announces Public Preview and Pricing for Windows Essential Server Solutions Today Microsoft announced the following prices for the Windows Essential Server Solutions family: Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five CALs, $1,089 (U.S.); additional CALs $77 each (U.S.) Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition software, including five CALs, $1,899 (U.S.); additional CALs $189 each (U.S.) Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five CALs, $5,472 (U.S.); additional CALs $81 each (U.S.) Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Premium Edition software, including five CALs, $7,163 (U.S.); additional CALs $195 each (U.S.) We also announced availability of the public beta, which is available here: http://www.MultiplyYourPower.com Since I know this will raise some eyebrows I thought I would jump in early: Yes the price has gone up, but so has the value of what is in the box. In many scenarios, due to the single CAL purchases and reduction in Standard CAL prices, the solution will cost less for a customer than SBS 2003 today The Premium product now has a copy of Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition in it to enable SQL on a 2nd server, Terminal Server solutions and more. The Exchange and management components need to stay on the 1st server You ONLY need a Premium CAL for users who are accessing SQL, so if you don’t access SQL, then you can use the Premium product without having to move to Premium CALs, saving you money Happy to hear more about this – I will be discussing the product at the London and Liverpool group meetings over the next month. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Small Business Server 2008 , SBS 2008 , SBS , SBS 2003 , SBSC , Microsoft
  • 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...
  • Extended Promotional offers for SBS 2003 – now available until June 30, 2008

    I saw these on the SBS Offers site and noticed that they have been extended, so here are the things you need to know below. It is worth remembering that it is up to you how you pass these benefits through to your customers!! What? – Promotion Offering: When? – The promotion extension means system builders and resellers can now submit claims for services they deliver between January 1, 2008 and June 30, 2008. Participants will have until July 31, 2008 to complete their claims. *If a partner submitted claims between January 1, 2008 and February 29, 2008 they will be applied to this extension period and cannot exceed 50 claims in total per partner. Who is eligible – All system builders and resellers in the participating countries in Western Europe, Germany, France, UK, APAC, India, MEA, CEE (EU only), and Latam (CCA only). How? – The system builder/reseller goes to www.sbsoffer.com to learn about the offer and the steps needed to redeem: ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 , SBS 2003 R2 , SBSC , Partners , Microsoft , Offers , Promotions , Community
  • Are you about to renew your Action Pack? If so the Assessment requirement deadline has been extended for existing Subscribers

    Dell Quinn asked me to pass this on: As you may know, on November 30, 2007 Microsoft implemented an assessment requirement for new action pack subscribers. The same requirement was scheduled to take effect on March 1, 2008 for renewing partners that have a subscription expiration date of March 1, 2008 or later. Due to unforeseen system issues, we are extending the assessment deadline for renewing Action Pack subscribers until June 19, 2008 . This means that all renewing partners whose subscription expires on or after June 19, 2008 will need to pass a qualifying assessment with a score of 70% or higher in order to renew their Action Pack subscription. Qualifying assessments last for two years. For more information and a list of eligible courses and assessments, please visit https://partner.microsoft.com/global/40044196 . thanks David Technorati Tags: SBSC , Action Pack , Microsoft , Partners
  • If you liked the Deep Zoom (aka Sea Dragon) tool, then you will be blown away by the preview of the Deep Zoom Composer

    I created my Star Wars Deep Zoom preview and really liked it, but then contacted the author of the site to see how I could add more pictures and control the layout &/or host it myself. Normally when I ask these sorts of questions I get a response about "later" and "out of beta", but instead I got pointed to these 3 articles and I have to say Wow!! You can see what someone can do with this technology at The Hard Rock Cafe - http://memorabilia.hardrock.com/ Download the Preview of the Deep Zoom Composer What is the Deep Zoom Composer? Deep Zoom Composer allows you to quickly import your own images, arrange and position them to your liking, and export the final output as either a Deep Zoom Image or Collection that can be fed into Silverlight's MutliScaleImage control. This means that you too can use your own images and display them using our Deep Zoom technology. Download the Deep Zoom Composer However, having done this I needed a simple user guide. At this point the blog Expression Blend and Design : Deep Zoom Composer User Guide came to my aid where there is indeed the user guide to download. The tool is simple, but the guide helps you understand what you are doing. Finally, I had arranged my pictures, however the output did not have zoom and pan capability. Then I found the article Expression Blend and Design : Deep Zoom Sample with MouseWheel / Pan / Click-Zoom which basically enabled me to finish the job off. All quite simple and the output looks fantastic. In your Web Site project, inside your ClientBin folder, you will see a folder called vistaWallpapers. The vistaWallpapers folder contains the images, xml, and bin files Deep Zoom Composer (DZC) output. To reuse this sample for your own projects, delete the vistaWallpapers folder and import your own folder containing the DZC output. Once you have done that, open Page.xaml in your Silverlight project and change the source of your MultiScaleImage control to point to your new folder and its info.bin file in your Web Site project: Once...
  • Manchester SBS Group (Kick Off Meeting) - 27th March 2008 - be there to see how it all starts again - with Chris Parkes, Ceri Thomas and me

    Ceri Thomas is planning a new group in Manchester and Chris Parkes will be there to host things with him for the 1st meeting. I will also be there slightly later in the evening. Below is the mail sent out by Danny Ovens to SBSC members in the area, but all are welcome. Dear Partner New: Manchester SBS Groups (Kick Off Meeting) What is the purpose of the SBS User Group....? SBS User Groups are partner meetings, run by partner, for partners. They are an independent forum that enable partners to meet one another, share best practice, learn how to better engage with IT Vendors and also hear directly from Microsoft about our products and strategies. · Partner to partner networking – how can collaborating, learning what successes others have had, sharing problems and concerns or working as a group help your business · Connect with Vendors – The group can invite Microsoft and others to attend and present to your agenda...be heard! · Plugged in to Manchester Northwest activities – We’re increasing our engagement with partners in the Northwest through events and communities and we’ll keep the forum updated with relevant news · Ability to shape the agenda of the User group in future – What works for you...? Influence the agenda to reflect your needs. The first meeting is being held in Manchester on the 27 th March and if you’d like to register your attendance please do so through the voting buttons above. [to vote from this blog entry, click here: Yes, I'd like to attend I would like to attend but can't make this date I would not like to attend thanks ] Date & Time: Thursday 27 th March, 18:30-21:00 Agenda: 18:30 Welcome, introductions. 19:00 Microsoft Update 19:45 Partner Roundtable – Issues, concerns & successes 20:45 AOB – Agree Next meeting agenda 21:00 Close Venue: One Central Park, Manchester M40 5WW Host Partner Your host partner for the evening will be Ceri Thomas (168tech.co.uk) from 168tech and he will be supported by Chris Parkes, Microsoft Technology Adoption & Solutions Specialist and Dave Overton...
  • 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...
  • Latest news, events and downloads in the Security world from Microsoft - Windows Server 2008, Mobile, employee habits, Antigen, IPSEC, ForeFront, NAP, XP Firewall, System Center

    Each month the TRM blog product this great summary of the Microsoft world in various product areas. The blog can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ News Help your customers securely deploy Windows Server 2008 with the Windows Server 2008 Security Guide! http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=92550 Every day, adversaries attempt to invade your customers’ networks and access their servers—to bring them down, infect them with viruses, or steal information about customers or employees. Your customers are looking to Microsoft and Windows Server® 2008 to help them address these threats. To assist customers in taking full advantage of the rich security features in Windows Server 2008, Microsoft has developed the Windows Server 2008 Security Guide. The Windows Server 2008 Security Guide provides IT professionals with best practices, predefined security templates, and an automated deployment tool to help strengthen the security of servers running Windows Server 2008. Supporting Your Family, Friends, and Neighbours http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=8287993 By Steve Riley, Senior Security Strategist, Trustworthy Computing Have you become a support professional outside of the workplace? Read this article and learn how to discuss security with your family, friends, and neighbours to better help them stay safe and secure online. More Security and Control for Mobile Devices http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=8287995 Learn how to add, manage, secure, and update Windows Mobile devices like you do Windows-based laptops and PCs. Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 provides robust security features and a comprehensive device management solution that helps safeguard your corporate data, reduce the cost and complexity of mobile deployments, and centralize and simplify Windows Mobile device management. Island Hopping: The Infectious Allure of Vendor Swag http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=8287996 The technique of island hopping -- penetrating a network through a weak link and then hopping around systems within that network...
  • Windows Server 2008 - partner training resources specifically to help you get ready for the Server 2008 launch wave.

    I'm hoping that you have seen this elsewhere, but if not, here is a link worth remembering (well 2 - the UK ISV blog and the training links). Windows Server 2008 - partner training resources specifically to help you get ready for the Server 2008 launch wave. If you're planning how to migrate your application to support the Windows 2008 Server platform, read on...we have some training offers that will help you maximise your return on the launch activities happening through March. Windows Server 2008 Accelerated Learning Course – 6 Days Technical Training Windows Server 2008 Upgrade Skills & Certification. Academic, strategic and hands-on experience you need to successfully manage a network infrastructure on the latest Windows Server 2008 operating system. This course will allow you to upgrade your MCSE from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, as well as completing three Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist Certifications. For the most up to date information on this training please visit the Partner Learning Centre by clicking HERE Windows Server 2008 Accelerated Learning Course – 2 Day Technical Training Upgrading, Migrating and Deploying Microsoft Windows Server 2008. This course includes installation, configuration and using the Windows Server Deployment Solutions Accelerator. This course includes theory and hands-on labs. Click HERE for more information and registration Click HERE to learn more about any Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Training that is available. Hurry, all courses have limited spaces . UK ISV Blog ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Server 2008 , Longhorn , Training , Microsoft
  • Office Live Workspace is now available (in beta) for all - aka Windows SharePoint Services for all small businesses

    According to the site Workspaces (WSS for Office Live users) is now not quite out of beta, but still has a lot to offer: Anywhere Access Save 1000+ Microsoft Office documents in one place Access them from almost any computer with a Web browser No more flash drives or sending yourself documents via e-mail Learn more Share with Others Invite people to your workspace You control who can view, comment, and edit your documents Stop manually merging versions from multiple people Learn more Extend the Microsoft Office Experience Open and save files directly from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Synchronize contact, task, and event lists with Outlook No need to learn a new program Learn more In terms of what is actually new: Public availability of Office Live Workspace beta at http://workspace.officelive.com with immediate access and no waitlist (English language version only) The easy way to save Office documents to/from the web Organise documents and projects online and work on them from almost any computer (full Firefox support) Invite others to view, edit or comment on documents and workspaces Full document versioning and time-stamping View and comment on documents in the browser, even if Office is not installed Create simple Web notes and Web lists (export to Excel and/or synch with Outlook) Share screen and documents in real time through integration with Microsoft SharedView Brand new features, such as an activity panel, notifications, direct links and multifile upload While this is all very nice, there is actually some excellent materials, including videos and more explaining much at Permanent Link to Microsoft Office Live Workspaces Goes Live and some commentary about Google vs Office Live here and from Tech Radar here which goes as far as to say: Microsoft has launched its equivalent of Google Docs - but without the ability to edit documents. It’s left the actual editing of documents to Office itself and offers Office Live Workspace as a way for individuals and small businesses to share files on the web. A nifty Office...
  • More ways to engage with customers using the Microsoft advertising campaigns

    [updated 4th March] Many people congratulated Microsoft after the Mr Busy campaigns allowed partners to drive their customers back to them using a MS campaign. Well, this is now being repeated for a number of campaigns. Today I found the click and go site to get them all ( http://www.campaigns.arvato-services.com/ ). You can get 200 post cards or 1,000 e-mails for free and then a low price for additional cards/ e-mails if required. The campaigns covered include: Business Productivity Customer Acquisition and Retention Security and Reliability Small Business PC Mr Busy This method of engaging is not new to the Small Business team and others have covered this before (eg Susanne here ), but it is worth re-highlighting this now as some of the campaigns have been renewed, so go back and visit the site!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Marketing , Campaigns , Business Productivity , Customer Acquisition and Retention , Security and Reliability , Small Business PC , Mr Busy , Partner , SME , Small Business Server 2008 , Mid-Market
  • 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...
  • Technical RollUp : March 2008 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms (Windows, virtualisation, Active Directory, Core, Debugging, Terminal Services, Vista SP1 changes / new / implementation guides)

    As always, from the Technical RollUp : March 2008 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms blog posting. I've removed all the KB article stuff and it is worth pointing out that towards the end of the list are all the docs associated with what has changed with Windows Vista SP1: Blogs and information Windows Virtualization Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/virtualization/ The World Simplified is a Virtual World http://blogs.technet.com/virtualworld/ Ask the Directory Services Team http://blogs.technet.com/askds/ Ask the Performance Team http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/ Microsoft Enterprise Networking Team http://blogs.technet.com/networking/ Ask the Core Team http://blogs.technet.com/askcore/ Microsoft Advanced Windows Debugging and Troubleshooting http://blogs.msdn.com/ntdebugging/ Terminal Services Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/ts/ The Hot Blog http://blogs.technet.com/hot/ Downloads Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1 Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 (WSUS 3.0 SP1) delivers updates to corporate environments from Microsoft Update. This release fixes issue found since the release of the product. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=1&srcdisplaylang=en&srccategoryid=&srcfamilyid=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3ffamilyid%3df87b4c5e-4161-48af-9ff8-a96993c688df%26displaylang%3den Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1 Overview This paper introduces Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 (WSUS 3.0 SP1) and provides information about features, and server and client computer requirements. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=2&srcdisplaylang=en&srccategoryid=&srcfamilyid=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3ffamilyid%3d1b5eac37-bd48-41fd-869b-f9b06fa64a61%26displaylang%3den Release Notes for Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1 These release notes describe known issues affecting Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 (WSUS 3.0 SP1) and include recommendations and requirements for...
  • Action Pack subscription changes - you should know about them, but they start on 1st March

    I know that this has been well sign-posted and people have discussed the merits etc in the past, however this is a reminder!! As I’m sure you’re aware, from March 1 st all subscribers wishing to renew must pass an assessment. This is what you need to know: 1. We’ve made available on the Partner Portal an enrolment and re-enrolment guide, which will help people with renewals (see: www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/actionpack and https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/40049696 ). 2. The portal also contains all the info that those interested in MAPS need, however if anyone is experiencing issues renewing, we do want to encourage them to call the Regional Support Centre (RSC) for assistance. In the UK that number is: 0800 917 3128. Also if you have any questions regarding your current Action Pack subscription, please call 0870 60 70 700 (press option 1) thanks David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Microsoft Partner Program , SBSC , Action Pack
  • Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer Updated - from the Official SBS Blog

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

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

    Chris Parkes sent a mail round internally telling us about MORE resources & demos etc available to partners. Chris has written about it on his blog (discovered this after I wrote this - here , there may be some comments on his worth reading, so double check!!) The Demo Showcase has been extended to include Deep Dive/Product virtual environments *which are available to all partners * Only Demo Showcase remains as the Gold/Cert benefit moving forwards... The following are now available for immediate download: 2007 Microsoft Office System 47 Hands-on Labs 25 demonstrations Microsoft Forefront and System Center Demonstration Toolkit Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Microsoft System Center Operations Manager Intelligent Application Gateway Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server Forefront Client Security Microsoft Business Intelligence Demo (Data warehousing, reporting and analysis, performance management) Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Microsoft Office 2007 Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Download location is here: https://partner.microsoft.com/global/salesmarketingsection/smsalesdemos/sdproductdemos As for the difference between the two, the web site says: "This collection of Microsoft software product demonstrations is designed to complement the business-scenario-based Demo Showcase sales tool. These demos illustrate product-specific features and functionality in detail, while the Demo Showcase tool helps illustrate how a full range of integrated Microsoft software platform solutions work together in business scenarios. Use the links in the table to download or order the product demos you need." However I was able to access the demo content online at https://partner.microsoft.com/global/salesmarketingsection/smsalesdemos/sddemoshowcase - perhaps as I am a SBSC partner!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Demo Showcase , Technical Demonstration Toolkit , TDT , Demos , Partner , Microsoft
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 VPC Image

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

    Open Licence media now available online Open Licence customers in the UK can now buy media online directly from Microsoft, which will potentially reduce the amount of time and money you currently spend on fulfilling Open Licence media orders. Download the Open Media Re-engineering Guide for Partners and a customer-facing presentation . eOpen allows you to: Create and retain personalized views of Open License purchase history information Review your license agreement and product use rights Update your license contact information online View Open License purchases made in more than 180 countries Find and download software available under your license agreements Access your Volume License Product Key to install your software ttfn David Technorati Tags: eOpen , Open License , Licensing , Microsoft
  • Register Now for the Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 UK Launch Event

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

    Technorati Tags: Events , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , Launch , Scott Dodds I will try to publish information from each presenter as I noted it from the audience and then my scribbled notes. I can't guarantee 100% accuracy, but the virtual even should show more of this information and the Partner Portal will have the presentations on them in a weeks time. So... here goes: Microsoft rarely does a launch even for it's partners 2 months before the "big event". It is normally the night before. Scott re-iterated that partners are "extremely important" to Microsoft as they are the feet on the ground talking to customers. If partners have not seen / heard all the messages, technology, plans then how can they participate and recommend to customers? It is also worth noting that we do not have a "Bill Gates" for the customer events - his insight was reserved for our partners! Scott kicked off the day by suggesting that there were 4 areas we were concentrating on (more on these in coming posts): Secure Trusted Platform Virtualisation Next Generation Web Business Intelligence As far as participation goes - there are many ways a partner can participate as highlighted in another blog post, however it will include the new social network community work the UK Partner Team have put together where you can form your own communities as a partner. Scott showed the new roadmap information and forums / blogs / status information available. Scott also pointed out (scarily) that the BBC had access to the event as they were following Bill's last year. Sure enough three small business partners were caught and asked to comment!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Events , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , Launch , Scott Dodds
  • What Bill Gates said he will be working on once he stops his full time role - from 2008 Partner Pre-launch event

    I had the pleasure of attending this event today. The last item was Q&A with Bill Gates and there were a number of questions that you will be able to watch and listen too in the future. However, the one that I thought was most interesting was this one: "What will Bill be doing in his part time capacity with Microsoft and what will the Bill and Melinda Foundation focus on?" His reply was roughly (I made a few scribbled notes, so I hopefully have the gist, if not the words): Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie will take care of the "one Microsoft and R&D function" Bill will focus on 3 areas: Search - still have lots to deliver from the various teams - we have just started to see the beginning of this - in both internet and enterprise areas Office - Bill has always had a keen interest in this area and it will continue. Things to be included are Modelling and declarative rules Natural User Interfaces - more voice, touch, gesture and general non-keyboard interaction with technology For the foundation: Healthcare systems - including disease management in poorer countries Malaria vaccine Use of mobile phones in disconnected regions to share skills, diagnosis and information Micro finance transactions to facilitate these operations Metrics to enable measure of success and targeting Would like to think that within 10 years had a big impact - reduce big diseases in poorer countries by having a vaccine / treatment for around 1/2 of the illnesses (could not say which ones as investing in many areas, but hoped for it to include Malaria) That was it - much more to follow (about the rest of the event) David Technorati Tags: Bill Gates , 2008 Launch , Partners , Gates Foundation
  • Heroes Happen Here - Where are you?

    If you don't know about the Heroes Happen Here :: Home campaign then you are very much behind the times. The Launch events for SQL Server 2008 (errrm), Visual Studio 2008 and Windows Server 2008 are fast approaching and so is your customers ability to buy and use them - do you understand what, why and when? If not, go to the website and see how your customers can benefit and why you should learn more about the product and what you can do to improve your business with these products. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Heroes happen here , Heroes happen {here} , Heroes , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008
  • Get a Microsoft Certification - its easier and there is more on offer

    Why get Certifications? Customer satisfaction - Sixty-six percent of managers believe that certifications improve the level of service and support offered to customers. Revenue results - “Financially successful companies typically invest more in certifying their internal technical team.” Cushing Anderson, Vice President, IDC’s IT Education and Certification research. Project outcomes - High-level performance is achieved when 40% to 55% of a team are Microsoft Certified Professionals. Things that make getting a certification easier You can take advantage of partner-exclusive, training and certification offers available through Partner Skills Plus. These offers can benefit you by enabling you to become certified more quickly and do so at a savings. Here are some of the things I saw: Second Shot - pay for one exam at full price and get two chances to pass. Offer ends 30 th June 2008. IW Skills Accelerator – helping partners get skilled on the Office 2007 technologies. Offer ends 31 st July 2008. Start saving now by visiting www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/partnerskillsplus The launch of Partner Skills Plus, with special offers, can help you prepare, practice and achieve certification success: PREPARE - Training Offer: Exam COACH from Global Mentoring Solutions - Over 60% savings on 60 days of real-time mentoring + 30 free additional days if an exam re-take is required. In order to take advantage of Exam COACH services you will need to request a voucher - you can also view an exam COACH demo . PRACTICE - Practice Test Offer: Practice Test from MeasureUp - Free practice tests on selected exams. Learn more . ACHIEVE - Testing Offer: Certification Exam Savings redeemable at Prometric - 32% savings on all Partner Skills Plus (PS+) exams for Microsoft new generation and Microsoft Dynamics exams. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Certified Professional , Exams , Training
  • Where Customers may obtain License Keys for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

    I've been asked this a few times, so attached is the response I got from the nice Product peeps here in the UK. Since the easiest way to share was a picture - here it is :-) It covers the following license types: Trial MSDN/Technet MSPP MAPS VL BRL SPLA ISV Royalty Again, see http://www.uksmbgirl.co.uk/blog/archives/320 for more information on MS CRM and http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2008/01/17/microsoft-dynamics-crm-4-0-ready-for-download.aspx for download information. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Licensing , MS CRM , CRM
  • Free Developer Events (IIS7, ASP.net 3.5, SharePoint, Windows Server 2008, Web services, SOAP, REST, Windows Live Platform, Visual Studio 2007, Silverlight and Smart Client development)

    Free Developer Events for Customers & Partners: MSDN: Microsoft’s Web Platform. IIS7 and ASP.NET 3.5 Date: 08 January 2008 Location: Reading MSDN: Sharepoint for Developers Date: 10 January 2008 Location: London MSDN: Windows Server 2008 for developers Date: 17 January 2008 Location: Manchester MSDN: Windows Server 2008 for developers Date: 23 January 2008 Location: Edinburgh MSDN: Windows Server 2008 for developers Date: 24 January 2008 Location: Edinburgh MSDN: Building Services: .NET FX 3.5, SOAP, REST, and Beyond Date: 29 January 2008 Location: Reading MSDN: Developing on the Windows Live Platform Date: 30 January 2008 Location: Birmingham MSDN: Web, Web, Web : Visual Studio 2008, ASP.NET 3.5 and Silverlight Date: 31 January 2008 Location: Bristol MSDN: What’s new in Smart Client Development Date: 31 January 2008 Location: Bradford Find out about all MSDN events ttfn David Technorati Tags: IIS7 , ASP.net 3.5 , SharePoint , Windows Server 2008 , Web services , SOAP , REST , Windows Live Platform , Visual Studio 2007 , Silverlight and Smart Client development , Developer , Event , Training
  • Partner Perspectives : There's a new breed of Web Solution partners

    If you work in the ISV / developer end of the market then there is a chance you will have met Katy already, however here is a person who is passionate about people who design and deliver solutions. When I first sat down and "worked" with Katy (rather than chatting several times previously) it was when I was new to the ISV team and Katy was a beacon of information. Once we had the ISV "bit" done we then spent a considerable amount of time looking at what designers and web developers needed in life. Now, as if by magic she now has a new area of focus... read more at Partner Perspectives : There's a new breed of Web Solution partners . Oh, and yes, it is about Silverlight, Expression Web and more!! There's a new breed of Web Solution partners Katy Hamilton's got something up her sleeve. It's a new brand of partners - the Web Solution partners. The move towards next-gen web applications such as Silverlight and web tools such as Expressions has opened up a whole load of new opportunities for our partners. We in the MSPP tower recognise this and have updated the MSPP programme by introducing a new partner type. Here's Katy to tell us all: So Katy, you’re no longer looking after ISVs. What are you doing now? Hi Emma, yes that’s right – I have ‘changed direction’! My new role is looking at building the web communities – design and developer. However, my focus on ISV hasn’t completely gone because I am also looking at the ‘Partner’ focus for ‘Next Web’ which ISVs have a major part in! It’s a really exciting time for anyone working in the web space and Microsoft is creating some fantastic support initiatives and benefits – it’s a real ‘watch this space’! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Web solution partners , Web Developers , Web Designers , Microsoft , Partners , Developer
  • Action Pack - you now have to take an exam to qualify ... so do so!

    I suspect that you will have seen this everywhere before, but just in case, see below - notice that SBSC and Web Developers, designers and agencies get an even more valueable kit: Enhancing the value of Microsoft Action Pack Subscription In response to feedback from our partners, on 30 November 2007 we will unveil a new renewal and subscription procedure, as well as launch two new special edition kits. This is all part of our continual effort to enhance the value of the Microsoft Action Pack Subscription (MAPS), our quarterly toolkits of software and resources that help our Registered Partners stay competitive, meet their sales goals and grow their business. Essential courses and assessments Starting 30 November, new MAPS subscribers must take an online course and pass an assessment (with a score of 70% or higher). From 1 March 2008, those partners that would like to renew their subscription will also be required to take an online course and pass an assessment. Most courses run for an hour, while our straight forward assessments take just 30 minutes. All are 100% subsidised. Launch of special edition kits We're launching two new editions, supplementary to the standard Action Pack kit and offered to qualified partners up to twice per year, at no additional cost. They include: Small Business Specialist Community toolkit for actively enrolled Microsoft Small Business Specialist Partners. Toolkit for Web developers, designers and agencies. Ideal for partners wanting to build a business practice with Web offerings. If you have any questions regarding your current Action Pack subscription, please call the Regional Service Centre on 0800 917 3128 . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Action Pack , SBSC , Web Developers , Developers
  • MSDN Evaluation Center for Office system, Biztalk, SQL Server 2005/2008 and Windows Server 2008

    I just found the MSDN Evaluation Center online today to give you evaluation resources that you might develop against. These include BizTalk Server, Office Communication Server, Office Enterprise , SharePoint Server, SharePoint Designer, SQL Server 2005, 2008, Express 2005 SP2, Windows Server 2008. I've pasted much of the content, but all the download links etc are country specific, so I have removed those. Click on the link above to get to download this stuff! MSDN Evaluation Centre Welcome to the MSDN Evaluation Centre, the central location for all Microsoft developer product trials and beta evaluations. Try a product before you buy it or test the latest beta to see what is in store for the next release. Start at the beginning of the evaluation process and follow the new products as they go through to the final releases. Remember to check back often as new products will be added as they become available. As you evaluate your software, we'll provide you with comprehensive and relevant insights and information delivered to your inbox. Resources like: Webcasts | Virtual Labs | Community insight | White papers| E-Learning | Events Featured Evaluations BizTalk Server BizTalk 2006 R2 Regardless of the size of your organization, you need best-in class infrastructure. BizTalk Server 2006 R2 delivers enterprise-class infrastructure that enables you to connect .NET applications and infrastructure with your non .NET applications and platforms, as well as those of your partners. Office system Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Microsoft’s unified communications platform enables developers to efficiently build secure, productivity enhancing applications on top of an extensible software foundation. Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 provides a comprehensive suite of applications that developers can extend to deliver solutions that make data and processes more accessible and relevant to users. With Office Enterprise 2007 you can build solutions that give users the power to collaborate...
  • Microsoft Releases Another SQL Server 2008 CTP

    I've seen plenty of blog entries saying this has not yet shipped, but I've just been to the download site and SQL Server 2008, November CTP is definitely there: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3BF4C5CA-B905-4EBC-8901-1D4C1D1DA884&displaylang=en There are several people talking about it, such as SQL 2008 CTP5 First Glance , however perhaps the best item I saw was from Steve Lamb who was offering " Would you like with free technical support to help you deploy Windows Server 2008, System Center ". I think that would be a yes :-) Microsoft Releases Another SQL Server 2008 CTP This third update includes compatibility with Windows Vista and the upcoming Windows Server 2008. "SQL Server 2008 running on Windows Server 2008 provides customers with trusted and secure access, high availability through revamped failover clustering, and simplified scripting through Powershell," Francois Ajenstat, director of product management for SQL Server, told eWEEK here at the TechEd IT Forum conference, which starts Nov. 12. This latest CTP, which Ajenstat likens to a traditional second beta, has a lot of substance and new features, he said, noting that the SQL team is targeting one more CTP prior to the product's launch in late February 2008. This latest update to the software also brings with it new features, such as a resource governor, which enables users to define resource limits and priorities for different workloads to ensure predictable performance, and backup compression, which requires less storage to keep backups online and which runs significantly faster since less disk I/O is required, he said. Another new feature, transparent data encryption, enables the encryption of an entire database, data files and log files without the need for application changes. "Encryption enables organizations to meet the demands of regulatory compliance and overall concern for data privacy," Ajenstat said. Also included are new cube design tools to help users streamline the development...
  • MSDN Events in November (Silverlight dynamic applications, SharePoint, SQL Server 2008, web applications and Smart Client) and not in Reading, but Manchester, Edinburgh, Bradford, Birmingham and Bristol ... and one in Reading

    MSDN Events – Free Technical Events for Your Partners We have the following free MSDN developer events taking place as listed below covering various topics/technologies. It would be great if you could communicate these events with your partners to offer them the opportunity to receive technical 'know-how' demos and insights into our latest technologies. · 15 November 2007, Manchester MSDN: Building Dynamic Web Applications with Microsoft Silverlight · 20 November 2007, Edinburgh MSDN: SharePoint for Developers · 21 November 2007, Edinburgh MSDN: SharePoint for Developers · 22 November 2007, Bradford MSDN: SQL Server 2008 · 27 November 2007, Reading MSDN: An Introduction to the Microsoft Web Platform (and how do it for zip, nvada, zero cost to you) · 28 November 2007, Birmingham MSDN: Web, Web, Web: Visual Studio 2008, ASP.NET 3.5 and Silverlight · 29 November 2007, Bristol MSDN: What’s new in Smart Client Development Click Here If you wish to view the overall events homepage. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , Silverlight , SharePoint , SQL Server 2008 , Smart Client
  • Whitepaper on Migrating SBS 2003 to New Hardware

    It is funny how things happen. I was debating with my dad which was better - building a new server and re-joining the clients, migrating via AD in a VPC to give the server the same name or adding the server and dealing with the fact that the "server" has a name change. I then told my dad that I had blogged about this and he should have read the document, only to discover that I had not. I've seen it covered in a few places. I'm always open to feedback on this sort of information. I am pro-VM based migrations but people seem to think they are too hard, so more on that would be really good. The Official SBS Blog : Migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 ... Migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 to New Hardware - E-Bitz ... Whitepaper - Migrating SBS 2003 to New Hardware Microsoft has released a new whitepaper and set of worksheets entitled: ” Migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 to New Hardware “ Sections include: Migrating Windows Small Business Server 2003 to New Hardware Worksheet 1 Source and Destination Computer Information Worksheet 2 SMTP Connector Settings Worksheet 3 Exchange Server 2003 Global Settings Worksheet 4 Location of Data for Line-of-Business Applications and Location of General User Data Worksheet 5 Windows Small Business Server 2003 Settings Worksheet 6 Shared Folder Information The whitepaper outlines the following steps for migrating from an existing computer running Windows SBS 2003 to new hardware: Evaluate the current status of the source server. continued at Whitepaper - Migrating SBS 2003 to New Hardware | NoGeekLeftBehind.com ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 R2 , Migration , Tips
  • Do you know who should be the British Small Business Champion 2008? If so, you might want to read this press release as it also carries a £10,000 prize

    My good friend Peter Scargill is the IT Chair at the FSB ( http://www.fsb.org.uk ) who have spent a good deal of time adopting Microsoft Technology. While looking at their recent press releases I noticed that they have the Small Business Champion 2008 competition running. FSB launches British Small Business Champions 2008 Date: Monday, November 12, 2007 Ref: PR 2007 83 FSB News Release PR/2007/83 Issue date: Monday 12 November 2007 FSB launches British Small Business Champions 2008 The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) today launches British Small Business Champions 2008 (BSBC) to coincide with the start of Enterprise Week. BSBC is the only national awards scheme solely for small businesses. Entries are invited from thriving businesses that are well run and highly regarded by staff and customers. Businesses have to have been trading for at least five years at the time of entering and employ no more than fifty staff. Across the UK, six Area Champions will be chosen and these six businesses will go forward to the national final. One business will be chosen as the National Champion and scoop the top prize of £10,000. For BSBC 2008 there are two additional categories: Young Entrepreneur and Most Promising New Business, both sponsored by AIMS Accountants. These have been chosen as a way for the FSB to show support for the new generation of up-and-coming businesses. Entries in both will go straight to national judging. BSBC was launched by the Federation of Small Businesses in 2002. It is now firmly established as the most prestigious and highly valued of business awards for the small business sector. What former winners say about BSBC: “Entering BSBC is a good exercise for you and your business. It makes you focus on what is good about your business…and helps you identify any weaknesses. I hate forms. Running a small business we have so many. The BSBC one was pretty straightforward.” Graham Barnard, The Happy Hutch Company, BSBC National Champion and Northern Area Champion 2007. continued at FSB Press Releases Got to...
  • Want Office 2007 with a 50% discount? You have until Christmas to upgrade and get a 50% discount with Open Value Subscription

    Again, browsing the small business blog and I thought this was very interesting: Why wait? Upgrade now to 2007 Office and save 50% Until 31 December 2007 you can get a 50% discount off the 2007 Microsoft Office system when you upgrade through the Microsoft Open Value subscription programme. Why do it this way? Because you get a huge discount, you can manage your payments over three years to help your cash flow, you’ll receive a single agreement for all your software licences, and get the benefit of Microsoft Software Assurance, which offers version upgrades and training and partner services. Learn more about the benefits of upgrading here . Microsoft's Small Business Blog : Why wait? Upgrade now to 2007 Office and save 50% ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007 , UK , Discounts
  • Windows Home Server - 120 evaluation CDs, Why get it and what is it about

    I am sure you have seen me blog about home server before ( Windows Home Server is coming ... What can it do- , Microsoft announces Home Server - ever want something like SBS, but targeted at home users with ) and others: ActiveWin - http://www.activewin.com/awin/comments.asp?HeadlineIndex=41455 Firing Squad - http://www.firingsquad.com/news/newsarticle.asp?searchid=18172 Gizmodo - http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/windows-home-server/the-windows-home-server-nitty-gritty-319130.php Sean Alexander - http://blog.seanalexander.com/2007/11/05/HPMediaSmartServerAvailableForPreorderShippingWin30Days.aspx PC Retail - http://www.pcretailmag.com/news/28935/Windows-Home-Server-to-launch-today Well, you can now obtain a 120 day eval if you want to see what it is all about without spending huge amounts of money (approx £5 for shipping in the UK): Why wait? Order the Windows Home Server 120-Day Evaluation Kit now to protect, connect, and organize your photos, videos, music and more. For those who want to know more, there is the Home Server website ( Windows Home Server ) which states the following: Your Family. Your Stuff. Together. For Home Users It's time to brush the digital dust off your captured moments and media—for good. Introducing a simpler, smarter way for families to organize, share and protect photos, videos, music and much more. Windows Home Server brings it all together in a central hub, connecting your home PCs and making it easy to keep and enjoy your family's most important memories. Grandma will love it too. Windows Home Server Now Available - Microsoft announces HP MediaSmart Server, powered by Windows Home Server software, is now on sale on leading retailer web sites. Order yours today! See what the excitement is about - Get a snapshot of how Windows Home Server makes digital life easier for your family. The rave reviews are in - See what people are saying about Windows Home Server. (Hint: It's good news for families.) Any questions? - The answers are a click away. Check out our handy FAQs. For Enthusiasts...
  • Office Rocker! : Ecma Open XML real world stories

    I don't know how many of you read the Office Rocker blog from Darren Strange ( http://blogs.msdn.com/officerocker ), but I did like this entry given all the recent discussions about Open XML. At the end of the day the discussion is not who's standard it is (ISO, ECMA etc) although there does appear to be a pecking order, but more about what people can do once it is in use. Darren has highlighted some people who are actually using Open XML to extend their business. Ecma Open XML real world stories This afternoon I was presenting at the Office Business Applications architects council with the good looking chaps on the right here. I was talking about some of the stories I've come across from our customers and partners who are using Ecma Open XML in their solutions. I have 4 stories published recently about Ecma Open XML that illustrate what I think are 3 significant categories: 1. Integrated add-in Fractal:Edge have a great visual concept for representing the drill down on data using what they call a 'Fractal Map'. The map is an add-in for Excel 2007 effectively but to store the settings for the map - like the data connection details, involves writing this to the file. This is very easy to do in Open XML and means you don't need to lug around a separate config file to travel around with the spreadsheet. They have a really good demo on their website. Being able to use Excel to store the fractalmap made their add-in highly portable which increased its adoption. <snipped> 2. Document interrogation Working out the history of a document, merging changes and looking for compliance violations is an area Workshare have an impressive depth of experience. Previously working with the binary format to do this was very hard not to mention fraught with danger of corrupting the file. Since Open XML, they've been able to create new versions of their products far faster, with greater precision and because poking about in the file is now supported, a much more secure and stable product. <snipped>...
  • Training for users on SharePoint 2007

    From the SharePoint product team: Greetings, Looking for end user training for WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 ? The product team has released the SharePoint End User Training Kit - http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2007/10/11/sharepoint-end-user-training-kit-now-available.aspx . The SharePoint Server 2007 Training includes interactive demos, videos, and articles. You can customize the training to match your site look and feel or use it as is. The SharePoint End User Training Kit will also have a standalone deployment option, which can be installed on a PC and used by an individual. This version of the kit will be available within the next few weeks. For more information about the kit and instructions on how to obtain it, please go to the end user focused " Get the 'Point " blog. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SharePoint , Training
  • Where to go to study for SBSC exam 70-282

    I have been asked a couple of times if there has been any updated info on the 70-282 exam and information on it. While looking through old blog entries I found this: A free webcast series hosted throughout the month of May by David Fabritius is being offered at MSReadiness.com. More information is available here - http://msreadiness.com/study70-282r2 . The Official SBS Blog : Studying for 70-282? This takes you to the MS Web site, where I found out that all the webcasts happened in the past, but the recording and blog are still there for you: To access the Study Group blog, visit us at http://blogs.technet.com/BackRoom . Using Self Test Software's great data bank of approved practice exam questions, we will review the material for the week on Fridays and help you check your preparedness for the actual exam. We will not only be looking at why an answer is correct, but also exploring why answers are wrong. Syllabus for 70-282 Study Group All of the sessions outlined below will be presented at 10 AM PDT on their respective days. The primary references for this webcast series are: Small Business Specialist Primer & 70-282 Exam Preparation Guide by Mulzer and Brelsford Published by SMB Nation Press, ISBN-10: 0-9748-5803-X, ISBN-13: 978-0974858036 Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Administrator’s Companion by Russel, Crawford, and Gerend Published by MS Press, ISBN-10: 0-7356-2020-2, ISBN-13: 978-0735620209 Session 1 , 5/7/2007 Analyzing the Existing Environment & Designing a Business Technology Solution for a Small- to Medium-sized Company, Part 1 Primer, Chapter 3 & pp. 4-15 to 4-18; Companion, pp. 36-39 Session 2 , 5/8/2007 Designing a Business Technology Solution for a Small- to Medium-sized Company, Part 2 & Expanding the Windows Small Business Server 2003 Network Primer, Chapters 4 and 9 Week 1 Practice , 5/11/2007 Sample questions and Q&A from sessions 1 and 2, Analysis & Design Session 3 , 5/14/2007 Installing Windows Small Business Server 2003 Primer, Chapter 5; Companion...
  • The UK SBS Back to Basics Tour

    This will be the 1st one of these tours that I have not attended for four years. Sad times, however that doesn't mean that Mark, Sven and everyone else will not do an amazing job (in fact, to suggest otherwise would be incredibly arrogant of me). So come and see how they can help you sell more and solve more problems over the next 9 months before the end of "FY08" inside Microsoft. "FY09" is of course when SBS Cougar is due to ship, but more on that later on in "FY08"!!! SBS 'Back to Basics' New to selling Microsoft Small Business Server? Or looking for interesting ways to approach selling a Small Business Server solution to your customers? Our 'Back to Basics' seminars cover common configurations, building servers with SBS, and looking at Windows SharePoint Server as a great solution-based approach to SBS for your customers. Small Business Server OEM Pre-Installation Kit: 9am, 30 October Common Configurations with Small Business Server: 4pm, 30 October Windows SharePoint: 9am, 31 October Small Business Server OEM Pre-Installation Kit: 9am, 6 November Common Configurations with Small Business Server: 4pm, 6 November Windows Sharepoint: 9am, 7 November ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 R2 , Training , Windows SharePoint Services
  • UK ISV Blog and more importantly, the ISV Partner Kick-off on September 13th

    I don't think I ever gave Steve Morrow the plug I promised for the UK ISV blog , however since he is now my Boss, I read it more often. I saw this and thought I had better get it out pronto. If you develop software in the UK and sell this in a semi/fully packaged form to your customers, then this is for you. However, even if you can't make the event, subscribe to the blog to see what is happening and when. ISV Partner FY08 Annual Kick-off - Sept 13th TVP, Reading In my haste to get out of the office today to enjoy the great British summer...I forgot to make a quick mention of the ISV Partner Kick-off Event we have planned for Thursday September 13th at Thames Valley Park, Reading. Many of you will already have seen this in either the email we sent out or the Partner New Letter. I think we're got some really interesting initiative to share with you for the year ahead: We'll be telling you about a number of new business development tools and initiative that we'll be launching and running over the next twelve months. We have a new approach to the conundrum of how to demonstrate revenue influence without becoming a Microsoft licensing expert! We'll be sharing our plan for delivering some exciting new technologies along with the programmes we'll be running to support them. If you'd like to attend - please click on the following link to register: ISV Kick-off Event - Sept 13th or call 0870 166 6680 and quote reference 5947 from the UK ISV Blog . ttfn David Technorati Tags: ISVs , Developers , Partner
  • Tool to modify UAC behaviour in Vista using Group Policy - BeyondTrust Privilege Manager

    I am one of those people who always leaves UAC enabled - I like to see when something (*cough* - Adobe Update - *cough*) wants to execute with admin privilege on my system and then get the choice as to whether to allow it or not. However, not everyone likes the choices that are presented by default with the GPOs ( Group Policy Objects ). Coming to the rescue are tools to help enhance these offerings, such as the Privilege Manager from BeyondTrust. Sometimes people forget that Microsoft is a platform for others to build on and this is no different. Their product enables pre-defining the responses to UAC based on a number of variables. While I have NOT tried the product, it is getting good reviews. You can however download an eval copy for free if you so desire. One thing to bear in mind is that when a tool like this is used, you weaken security - why, well, even if you use a SHA1 hash to work out if an application is safe or not, a clever hacker will use plugins, dll's etc to attack that product - it does not have to have the main .exe file to breach the security and once they are in, they are in. You can find out more about Privilege Manager from the FAQ at BeyondTrust | Privilege Manager FAQ , however a short snippet is below (which I have cut around, so there is much more under each section): Applications are targeted on the Application tab, which allows you to specify an application by one of several criteria. This includes: Path to an executable file supports wildcards and environment variables Folder of one or more executable files including wildcards and environment variables Hash rule SHA1 hash of the targeted executable file MSI Path rule target Windows Installer installation of specified packages MSI Folder rule ActiveX rule My gift to those of you who are UAC challenged :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: UAC , Vista , Security , Group Policy
  • News this week - multi-core chips need some software help and some software re-architecting to make them most effective at delivering extra performance .. and of course, there is more multi-core to come!

    I've read the two articles - Computer-Chip Makers Pick Up Pace in Multicore Race - WSJ.com and BetaNews | AMD: Will More CPU Cores Always Mean Better Performance? and realised they were both harping on about the same thing - the need for better use of mutli-core / multi-processor technology. In a former life I helped people make their software take advantage of many cpus and the scheduling of tasks, sharing of information and understand how many processes can put load onto the memory, disk and internal buses is a huge area of learning. Whether it is a 8-core or a SMP 8-processor box, the problems are the same. If 8 cpus all demand a disk read from different regions of the disk, then you have 8 disk seeks, which could mean 1-8 x 8ms wait for the processes. In computer terms, waiting for 64ms for a disk read (as the 8th cpu would do) is almost an eternity for a cpu. What is more, if the disk regions are on 8 separate disks to stop I/O bottlenecks then the i/o bus and front-side-bus might not be able to take that amount of data without some scheduling difficulties. Anyway, it is interesting to hear how task scheduling, memory protection and run-time engines changes make me think that these are really just little scratches on the surface of a deep problem. As anyone will tell you who has got their product running in a 64-node cluster - it takes software re-design and more than just creating a bunch of threads or lock management. Anyway, the articles are worth reading to see where it is going. I have snipped the articles, so click the links above to read the full articles. Computer-Chip Makers - Pick Up Pace in Multicore Race A race to cram more electronic brains on computer chips is accelerating, and prompting new moves to address the difficulty of programming such complex creations. <snipped> "We've really eliminated every reason not to go to quad-core," said Kirk Skaugen, a vice president in Intel's digital enterprise group. {ed - really, what about helping with mutli-processor / multi-core...
  • CRN says "Microsoft Partners Stake Claims In Sharepoint Goldmine"

    I saw this and thought it further highlighted that partners are seeing huge opportunity with SharePoint - both portal and services. You can load WSS v3 onto a SBS box or use WSS v2. The opportunity is still huge. Microsoft Partners Stake Claims In Sharepoint Goldmine It's getting tough to find a Microsoft partner who isn't either reaping the financial benefits of deploying Office Sharepoint Server 2007 or eagerly planning to add it to their portfolio. Released last November, Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007, also known as MOSS, is a workflow and collaboration engine that integrates with the Office platform and features Web content management, enterprise content services, enterprise search, and business process and business intelligence tools. Although it initially attracted interest primarily from medium and large enterprises, Sharepoint is now penetrating the SMB space, says Stephen Moss, COO of NSPI, a security solution provider in Roswell, Ga. that hosts Sharepoint sites for other companies. "Companies of all sizes are beginning to get the idea that content management and portals aren't just exclusive to enterprises," said Moss. Microsoft normally doesn't publish sales figures for individual product lines. But last month at its annual financial analyst meeting, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant said that Sharepoint revenue grew 35 percent to more than $800 million in fiscal year 2007, and is on track to become a billion dollar business. "Sharepoint is growing rapidly because it's the first product from Microsoft that really is a universal framework," said Ken Winell, senior vice president at PCubed, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Gold partner. "Sharepoint is as substantial a product as the Web browser, because of the way you can integrate other platforms tightly into it." Microsoft Partners Stake Claims In Sharepoint Goldmine - Software - IT Channel News by CRN and VARBusiness ttfn David Technorati Tags: SharePoint , Partners , Microsoft
  • 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...
  • Slides from todays Webcast on Windows SharePoint Services on SBS (WSS v2 & WSS v3)

    Today I did my last Webcast on SBS. It was the 3rd of a 3 parter on SBS. Part 1 was about how to use the OPK, part 2 was on Configuring SBS. I will post links to part 1 & 2 later today, but thought I would get the last one out 1st. If you watched the Webcast you will know that explorer crashed on my machine stopping the demos with word and excel working, which was not desired, but I did load 2 beta patches onto my system yesterday, so now the diagnosis as to wether that was the problem begins. Anyway, if you want the slides set they can be found here . Some of the useful links from the deck are: WSS v2 Office 2003 web parts (the last ones) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=38be67a5-2056-46a1-84b1-337ffb549c5c&displaylang=en Samples and information http://www.sharepointcustomization.com/wss/articles.htm Enable Office 2007 support http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/13/how-to-get-companyweb-windows-sharepoint-services-v2-to-work-with-office-2007.aspx Backup and restore of WSS using admin command line http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/support/articles/backup_restore_sbs2003.mspx#EPDAE Recycle bin support in WSS v2 http://mindsharpblogs.com/Todd/archive/2005/10/06/719.aspx WSS v3 Comparison of v2 & v3 features http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsserver/sharepoint/techref/versions.mspx External access to v3 site & renaming it to companyweb http://msmvps.com/blogs/cgross/archive/2007/01/25/companyweb-sharepoint-v3-part-1.aspx - Enable e-mail for WSS v3 site http://www.mrict.co.uk/resources/incoming_email_for_wss_3_and_sbs.asp Since the Office integration failed to fire due to the beta patches I will re-record these and post on the web. ttfn David Technorati Tags: WSS v2 , WSS v3 , Windows SharePoint Services , SBS 2003 , SBS 2003 R2 , Office System
  • Unified Communications

    This information is from the last 2 Technet newsletters ( http://www.microsoft.com/technet ) Unified Communications Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/uc/default.aspx Unified Communications - Office Communication Server 2007 Videos Two videos, one on Office Communications Server 2007 and one on Office RoundTable http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=4&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d67d3e846-ae4a-4b30-9e0c-eac22bd2a58a%26DisplayLang%3den Unified Communications and Collaboration Event Presentation Downloads Unified Communications and Collaborations Event Downloads http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=5&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3da10931b2-dceb-4ddc-8c5a-25c4b2c5804c%26DisplayLang%3den Using Exchange Server 2007 for Unified Messaging and Fax How can you best implement the Unified Messaging (UM) features of Exchange Server 2007? Microsoft IT uses the UM features of Exchange Server 2007 to integrate voice messaging with the internal e-mail messaging environment. This content will detail the technical implementation and deployment strategy for deploying Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging features in the Microsoft enterprise messaging environment. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=9&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3dde6b24ab-0d23-4d82-ac2e-342a86b22580%26DisplayLang%3den ttfn David Technorati Tags: Unified Communications , Office Communications Server , Exchange 2007 , RoundTable
  • Finally the internal mail arrives announcing two new SBS MVPs in the UK

    You saw it here last folks. Congratulations to both Susanne and Tim and to the existing peeps of Scott, Steve and Nick (since he works the UK patch sometimes). If you know of these two then you know they are hard working people in the SBS community and have probably already read that they have been honoured with the MVP award. They join the ranks previously blazed by Steve, Scott and Nick. I also think that Susanne might have decided that since at least 50% of the photos from the MVP site look scary, she would forgo one just now :-). Their comments about this on there blogs can be found here for Susanne and here for Tim - both humble, but the links to other pages shows what others think. New MVPs in UK Susanne Dansey: Windows Server System - Small Business Server Susanne Dansey has spent her entire career in business development in the IT industry & recognizes that the key to successful customer relationships is empathy, trust and under... Tim Long: Windows Server System - Small Business Server Tim has been a software engineer in the telecommunications industry since 1986 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Degree in computing. In 1999 Tim moved to Cal... Existing MVPs in UK and Ireland Scott McKenzie: Windows Server System - Small Business Server Scott has been helping small and medium businesses maximize their use of technology for the past 7 years. He is a former solicitor and holds an MBA from NSU in Florida. Scott... Steve Foster: Windows Server System - Small Business Server Steve has more than 20 years experience in IT. He's worked for a variety of organisations, ranging from small software houses to large government agencies. For the past decade,... Nick Whittome: Windows Server System - Small Business Server Nick Whittome is the Managing Director of NTES Limited, a company he formed in 1999 with his partner Rachel Hogan. Nick has dedicated his skills to small and medium sized bu... ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS MVP , MVP , Community , Microsoft
  • Want to know what is happening on your network, packet for packet - get Microsoft Network Monitor 3.1

    I saw this had been published and thought I would share - it is an amazing tool that I use for diagnosis all the time. Reading http://www.ditii.com/2007/07/03/network-monitor-31-released/ it also reminded me that this includes traces on wireless networks!! Microsoft Network Monitor 3.1 Network Monitor 3.1 is a protocol analyzer. It allows you to capture network traffic, view and analyze it. Version 3.1 is an update and replaces Network Monitor 3.0. Network Monitor 3.x is a complete overhaul of the previous Network Monitor 2.x version. Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003; Windows Server 2003 x64 editions; Windows Vista; Windows XP; Windows XP 64-bit It is suggested that you have a CPU of 1GHz or greater, 1G or greater of Memory and 25 Megs of available Hard Disk space, plus room for capture files. Supports Vista 64 bit as well as 32 bit. Instructions Network Monitor 3.1 can co-exist with Netmon2.x. NM3.1 installs in %program files%\Microsoft Network Monitor 3, so there is no conflict. But it will require that NM3.0 be uninstalled first. The NM3.1 install will do this automatically for you. For Vista, we have a new driver that supports new features available in the NDIS 6.0 driver. If you are using tools that rely on Network Monitor 2.x NPPTools, these tools will no longer work. Capturing on Vista requires NM3.0 or NM3.1, as Netmon2.x does not capture properly on Vista. Warning: Capturing with the NM3 GUI with conversations enabled can use up considerable amount of memory. This may cause a machine to become unresponsive. If you need to capture data for long periods of time, please use the included command line utility, NMCap, and the /DisableConversations switch. Download details: Microsoft Network Monitor 3.1 ttfn David Technorati Tags: NetMon , Network Monitor , Network , Windows Vista , Windows Server 2003 R2 , SBS 2003 , troubleshooting
  • Vista Deployment training

    M icrosoft Windows Vista: Doing Deployment Right! This one-day session is a combination of presentations that focus on growing services opportunities for partners, and a series of new technical exercises that highlight some of the compelling new design enhancements in deploying Windows Vista desktops. Click here to enrol. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista , Deployment , Training
  • Why should a small business use Office 2007

    Once again I thought I would put pen to e-paper on the top reasons I give people to move to Office 2007. I don't think there are many businesses out there that use a PC and don't use some form of office productivity suite and while most use Microsoft Office XX (where XX could be 97, 2000, XP or 2003), some use other products that in my opinion just don't compare for a business that wants to look great and work efficiently. With Office offering a massive choice of products and features, these are the headlines I use when talking to people. For those with a version of Microsoft Office, but not 2007 More Professional and Impressive documents and materials Use Microsoft Publisher 2007 to build sales and marketing materials that look agency made, but are actually in-house work The updated Microsoft Word 2007 has many features to ensure your documents have a professional, consistent look and feel throughout the whole document conforming to your brand goals (no matter how big or small they might be). The readability tests will also share with you how easy it is for someone to understand the document. Writing can be so unengaging, yet pictures are often very time consuming to get right. Using the new text features, features such as subtle shading or reflections or glowing words are a click away and can make text dazzle. For the words that can be better communicated in a picture the impressive Smart Art feature can take a simple list and turn it into a process diagram, or an organisation chart and all with any of the new professional style schemes to be sure to enhance the impact. Most people can recognise an "old" Excel charts - the colours are bland and the charts often quite flat. For this very reason the charts in Office 2007 have been given a significant facelift to ensure they look professional, while still conveying the information they are supposed to. While sending an Office document to someone is very common, sometimes you want to be able to send something they can't edit, such as a price...
  • How to use Office Outlook 2007 with any internet connection and how to access Outlook Web Access from any web browser - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use Outlook via a web browser and via an internet connection: Outlook Web Access with recent browser (IE5 or above) Outlook Web Access basic or lite edition for low speed internet connections Configure Outlook to use RPC over HTTP To see the video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. I am hoping that in the near future that the WMV file will be available at new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com. At the moment it is not available there, but a copy can be found here * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and require you to download Silverlight if you don't, but it is a 1MB download How I made it I simply ran through part of my normal demo talking as I went. When presenting to an audience it is easy to correct anything you do without anyone caring, however I tried to fix up the videos so this was not a problem. This has one drawback which is that the sound is not that good (one of those things I want to fix, but have not yet got round to) due to editing & cutting of the videos. I find it really hard to talk and move the mouse to the right place at the same time without a fluff in either my words or my mouse movements. Having captured the video is was simple to turn them into "Silverlight" Videos that were hosted on the Silverlight Streaming site for your pleasure - if you like them I can do more. Feel free to re-record the audio and play for your customers of make as a download for them. I have cut 10 videos to date and will release them over the next 2 weeks. The videos cover: For Vista - How to copy files to a DVD / CD, Use the recycle bin, Use previous versions for files and Use the built in Vista backup to check for Updates in Windows...
  • How to use the new Security features in Vista and Internet Explorer to stop malware (spyware and viruses) from infecting your computer - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use these features in Windows Vista and understand how to be a little safer online: Phishing protection in Internet Explorer ActiveX blocking in Internet Explorer Windows Defender in Windows Vista To see the video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. I am hoping that in the near future that the WMV file will be available at new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com. At the moment it is not available there, but a copy can be found here * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and require you to download Silverlight if you don't, but it is a 1MB download How I made it I simply ran through part of my normal demo talking as I went. When presenting to an audience it is easy to correct anything you do without anyone caring, however I tried to fix up the videos so this was not a problem. This has one drawback which is that the sound is not that good (one of those things I want to fix, but have not yet got round to) due to editing & cutting of the videos. I find it really hard to talk and move the mouse to the right place at the same time without a fluff in either my words or my mouse movements. Having captured the video is was simple to turn them into "Silverlight" Videos that were hosted on the Silverlight Streaming site for your pleasure - if you like them I can do more. Feel free to re-record the audio and play for your customers of make as a download for them. I have cut 10 videos to date and will release them over the next 2 weeks. The videos cover: For Vista - How to copy files to a DVD / CD, Use the recycle bin, Use previous versions for files and Use the built in Vista backup to check for Updates in Windows Vista use the new Security...
  • Licensing Reseller Handbook are now available for UK partners

    This little tool is something worth downloading and reading to help answer some of those licensing queries and to learn more about selling Volume Licensing and the rules and benefits of other licensing types. Get it from here It walk through: Basic licence types How to become a reseller How to sell these licence's (key messaging and operational info) Product Specific licensing ‘need to knows’ ttfn David Technorati Tags: Licensing , Tools
  • How to find and use an Accounting template to use with Office Excel 2007 and then change it from US to UK currency, change the formatting of dates and drag lists (or Excel Tips and Tricks 1) - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use these features in Excel 2007 and apply them to all of the Office 2007 applications: Find a template and use it - I use an accounting template as it is based on Office 2003 and US based Change the currency cells from dollars to pounds using find and replace for formatting Change the date formatting from US to UK Dragging a list across a range of cells to give column a different month To see the Excel 2007 Video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. If you want to download it as a WMV file then head over to the new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com - It is on this page as an Excel Accounting sample: * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and require you to download Silverlight if you don't, but it is a 1MB download How I made it I simply ran through part of my normal demo talking as I went. When presenting to an audience it is easy to correct anything you do without anyone caring, however I tried to fix up the videos so this was not a problem. This has one drawback which is that the sound is not that good (one of those things I want to fix, but have not yet got round to) due to editing & cutting of the videos. I find it really hard to talk and move the mouse to the right place at the same time without a fluff in either my words or my mouse movements. Having captured the video is was simple to turn them into "Silverlight" Videos that were hosted on the Silverlight Streaming site for your pleasure - if you like them I can do more. Feel free to re-record the audio and play for your customers of make as a download for them. I have cut 10 videos to date and will release them over the next 2 weeks. The videos cover: For Vista - How to...
  • Want TechNet Direct for free - that is all out software for trial and 2 support calls - simply submit two assessments to the Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit

    I have always like the Assess and win program along with the Technology Assessment Toolkit, although some say they have little to learn from it. It is one of those things where someone says "I need more stuff from Microsoft, but not anything to help me sell because I am great at that already." A partner who I respected told me that the format of the kit did not work for them, but they took the questions and used them as a checklist, added some of their own and now it works well. They also said that they don't run through the questions one after another, but have a conversation with their customer, and then fill in the blanks at the end. Anyway, the toolkit is a great way to understand more about your customer and their motivations and then plug some generic data into the engine inside Microsoft that tries to build solutions that match your customers needs. Technet Direct gives you DOWNLOAD access to almost all of Microsoft's software AND two free support calls - and you get this for FREE after submitting two entries into the Assess and Win tool. This is how the Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit website describes the tool Assess the business and technology needs of your small and midsize business prospects using our step-by-step approach. By getting to know your customer’s business needs, you can recommend solutions that fit their long-term goals and that demonstrate real business value. You’ll be on your way to closing the deal and securing life-long customers. New assessments to evaluate your customers’ server, mobile, and desktop needs and to help you identify solutions based on Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 , Windows Mobile , the 2007 Microsoft Office system , and Windows Vista technologies. A customizable question bank that allows you to tailor assessments to your customers’ specific needs. A Windows-based platform that’s compatible with both Microsoft Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Download Toolkit * Need help getting started? Visit the toolkit...

(c)David Overton 2006-13