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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  • Good WPF 4.5 cookbook from Pavel Yosifovich

    I was looking for a book to bring me up to date with WPF and XAML and talking to my publishers, Packt Publishing, then offered me the Windows Presentation Foundation 4.5 Cookbook by Pavel Yosifovich. I was hoping to review this book sooner, however Christmas and illness got in the way, so here is my slightly late review.  In simple terms, this was an excellent book for me.  I write in both C# and VB.Net (more VB than C#).  I’ve never used WPF or XAML except in the designers from Microsoft and my work is basically hacking those tools without enough experience.  There are lots of features that I could not get working, so I simply coded around them with my 10-20 year old programming knowledge.  This book has enabled me to change this. The book is 437 pages long excluding the index and there are 80 “recipe's” in the book.  While you can dip in and out at random, as with all good knowledge acquisition, starting at the beginning offers the best platform to understand the more complex tasks further on in the book.  There are plenty of screen shots to ensure things are clear and easy to understand in a platform that ultimately delivers UI. If you are interested in WPF, XAML and especially data bound controls, this is a fantastic book for you, even if your experience with XML and C# is not top notch.  As you would expect, this books covers UI elements, controls  and animation, however I also learnt about the Background Worker component as a simple alternative to threads as well as the basics of parallel tasks using the Tasks Parallel Library.   I hope you enjoy the book. It can be purchased on Amazon UK , Amazon US or from Packt Publishing .   ttfn David
  • Upgrade Windows XP/Vista/7 to Windows 8 Pro for $40 or £25 AND Media Center Pack for free – until 31st January

    This is a simple offer. Download the upgrade assistant from Microsoft, run the tool, purchase the license for a shockingly low price and get the benefits of Windows 8. Even if you think you might not use it for a year, you can burn the ISO so it is ready. All indications are that the price will increase once this offer expires. So, what is the processes? Go to the web site - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/buy (UK) or http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/buy (US) Press the Download link - Download Pro for £24.99 ERP (UK) or Download Pro for $39.99 ERP (US) ) - note the link is the same for any country for the assistant. Run the assistant and fill in the details, including the purchase options There is also one other thing you may wish to consider. Getting the currently free Media Center Pack. This is also very simple, go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-8/feature-packs (UK) http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/feature-packs (US), enter your e-mail address and get a free key e-mailed to you. This is so simple, it has to be worth doing and much cheaper than purchasing full price from February! The nice thing is that you can download an ISO, or do an “online” upgrade and you get the PID, so installing from the ISO later is simple. For the PC to be able to run Windows 8, the upgrade assistant will guide you, plus all the usual T’s and C’s can be found on the Microsoft pages. ttfn David
  • IE6–> IE8/9/10 and Windows 7 compatibility events with Citrix, Camwood and Quest (3 events)

    Microsoft have teamed up with Camwood , Citrix Systems and Quest Software , all application compatibility experts, to help show you the range of solutions available to help you overcome App Compat road blocks. Join them to learn how browser compatibility issues occur, how to overcome them with Group Policy , virtualisation and simple application fixes and how to develop a successful migration plan. Not only that, they will also cover some of the latest App Compat tools and techniques that apply to desktop, web and server compatibility issues. Take your pick of the dates below and use the links to find out more and Register Now with our partners. Who, Where & When? Thurs 22 nd March Microsoft & Citrix AppDNA Chalfont St. Peter (Easy access via the M40 & M25 as well as rail) 09:00 – 16:00 Register Here Thurs 19 th April Microsoft & Quest ChangeBASE Reading Football Ground (Madejski Stadium) 09:30 – 14:00 (+Stadium Tour!) Register Here Thurs 3 rd May Microsoft & Camwood Cote St Paul’s, London 09:30 – 12:45 Register Here ttfn David P.S.  I will be at the Citrix AppDNA event
  • Does Windows Intune require an underlying operating system to load Windows 7 Enterprise Edition?

    I just saw this question being asked, so thought I would should with everyone: Question: “If I have a paid subscription to Windows Intune, do I need an existing Operating System to install the Windows 7 Enterprise license included with the subscription?” Answer: Yes – from the FAQ: What are the Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade rights included with Windows Intune? All of your managed PCs covered by Windows Intune may be upgraded to Windows 7 Enterprise as long as the qualifying OS is one of the following business editions of Windows: Business, Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise. The machines must also meet the Windows 7 system requirements. This list can be found at http://windows.microsoft.com/systemrequirements . In addition to Windows 7 upgrade rights, Windows Intune customers will also have rights to upgrade to future versions of Windows, as well as downgrade rights to older versions. As long as your subscription is active, you will have access to the best version of Windows for your business to standardize on, making your PC environment easier to manage. The operating system does not have to be Windows 7, but you do need a qualifying OS (XP Professional, Vista Business, Enterprise or Ultimate or Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate)   ttfn David
  • Upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 and manage the PC’s–Windows Intune did this for eLitigation Solutions and reduced IT spend by 30%

    Hi, I’ve just seen the case study on eLitigation solutions and how they did this and reduced costs by 30% in the process.  The case study can be found here .  Electronic Discovery Firm Reduces IT Costs by 30 Percent with Cloud-Based PC Management To meet its various business requirements, eLitigation Solutions needed a stable, well-monitored, and regularly updated PC environment, but the company also wanted to simplify and reduce the cost of managing its PCs. In 2011, eLitigation began using Windows Intune to manage, monitor, and update its PCs. Now the company has standardized its PC environment, enhanced security, and reduced PC costs by 30 percent. This was the problem: Most eLitigation employee PCs were still running the Windows XP operating system and the company wanted to upgrade its PCs to the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system. But at the same time, eLitigation needed to simplify and reduce the cost of managing its PC environment. The Solution: The company worked with InfinIT Consulting, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, to determine how it could use Windows Intune, a PC-management and security service from Microsoft, to monitor and update its PCs, provide endpoint protection, and standardize its operating environment. Because Windows Intune is based on cloud technology—remote computing resources delivered as services over the Internet—eLitigation could adopt the service without having to deploy or manage any new software or hardware. In 2011, InfinIT conducted a 30-day pilot at eLitigation with 10 subscriptions to Windows Intune, and at the end of the pilot, eLitigation began managing all of its employee PCs with Windows Intune. By using Windows Intune, InfinIT can help safeguard eLitigation PCs from malware with features built on the same Microsoft Malware Protection Engine used by the Microsoft Forefront Protection Suite. “By managing its PCs with Windows Intune, we can deliver a best-of-breed security solution to eLitigation so that it doesn’t wind up with malware running rampant...
  • Windows Intune feedback and support tools and useful blogs

    I’ve been reading and responding to the posts on the Windows Intune forums site and realised that I should share with everyone the support and feedback tools available for us.  These enable conversations with the support teams and input into the people making decisions about updates and major releases for Windows Intune.  The following sites are available: Support Forum Support for Windows Intune Microsoft Online Services support The forum has responses from the community as well as great Microsoft support people. This site provides resources to enable you to access support by phone and e-mail on technical, non-technical issues, Windows and MDOP This site provides the details for phone and support page access to help with the Microsoft Online Services Customer Portal (MOCP)   Feedback Windows Intune feedback This site provides free-form feedback to the Microsoft team, so not support issues, but product hits, misses and desires   I hope this helps you get more out of Windows Intune as well as the posts I make and others: David Overton’s site - http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/Windows+Intune/default.aspx James Evans’ blog - http://www.edutech.me.uk/category/intune/ Mike Resseler’s blog - http://scug.be/blogs/intune/archive/tags/Intune/default.aspx Jethro Seghers’ blog - http://jethroseghers.blogspot.com/search/label/Intune   ttfn David
  • Microsoft Windows Intune V2: Quickstart Administration book released

    Well, nearly 12 months after I started the project my book is now available to buy.  This book is relevant to the latest shipping version of Windows Intune 2.0. Chapters Overview of Cloud Computing Introduction to PC management concepts Overview of Windows Intune features Signing up for Windows Intune and installing the client software Configuring Windows Intune Configuring Management Policy Software Deployment Tracking and reporting Monitoring and responding to Windows Intune alerts Resolve problems using Microsoft DaRT Deploying Windows 7 Enterprise Edition Integration with existing Microsoft Products Purchasing the book Book and / or e-Book from publisher – Packt Publishing Book from Amazon –    Chapters in detail Chapter 1, Overview of Cloud Computing explores the new cloud computing and cloud-based services world that we are moving rapidly towards and includes Windows Intune. Before we can embark on this journey it is important that we understand the benefits and pitfalls that cloud services bring with them and how they apply to us. One mechanism to help protect us against the uncertainties is the use of Service Level Agreements, which are explained for Windows Intune. Chapter 2, Introduction to PC Management Concepts introduces the important concepts behind PC management, with a focus on ensuring that the needs of the business are the fundamental driver of the IT policy we implement with Windows Intune. We then explore how the IT policy decisions are taken to reflect these needs and are then able to demonstrate that they are delivering on them. Chapter 3, Overview of Windows Intune Features describes the features within Windows Intune, ensuring that we can take advantage of all of the benefits it has to offer, including anti-malware software, update management for both the Windows Operating System, and Windows applications, software distribution, system alerts and reporting. Chapter 4, Signing Up for Windows Intune and Installing the Client Software walks through the Microsoft Online Services...
  • Windows Intune Silent Application Deployment hints

    Windows Intune requires application deployment to be a silent (as in no user interaction) process.  Sometimes working out how to do this can be quite hard.  Richard at Windows Intunepedia has shared some information on this that I thought I would also share: Steps to Deploy Adobe Reader X with Windows Intune How to deploy Java 7 Runtime Environment (JRE) with Windows Intune You might also want to look at http://silentinstall.org/ which can help wrapper other installers to ensure they are silent.   ttfn David
  • Windows Intune learning path–free training for Microsoft Partners

    Eric Ligman tweeted about the new partner learning paths, so I zipped over there to see these excellent items for Windows Intune . I’ve already done some of these, but it is a great way to get up to speed on Windows Intune and how to sell it.   ttfn David
  • How to wake a computer to perform a antimalware scan, particularly useful for Windows Intune

    While having the book reviewed one feature that was asked for, but is not possible with Windows Intune, was the ability to make Windows Intune wake a computer at night and carry out an anti-virus scan. This blog post is referred to in the book when setting the Anti-Malware policy. To solve this, there are two issues to tackle: Wake up the computer Start a scan The answer appears to be that to wake the computer we need to use a task in Task Scheduler and then we need to start a scan. One very important thought here is that we need to ensure the power settings on the computer will put it back to sleep though! The command line required is “ %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Security Client\Antimalware>MpCmdRun.exe -scan -scantype 0 ” While working on this, I also wanted something that could be deployed by Windows Intune. In the end I have written a small piece of software that can create a task that wakes the computer and will start a scan. If you do not want a scan to start, change the program to execute to “ cmd.exe ” and the command arguments to be “ /c ”. This will start the computer and then open and close a command windows. Any other scheduled tasks can then run while the computer is idle, including the Windows Intune scan. So, download Windows Intune Wake Task.zip and extract to a folder. There are 3 files. The DLL is from http://taskscheduler.codeplex.com/ and I am grateful to David Hall for this code. The other two files are the main program and a settings.xml file to enable changing the settings and running as a quiet install for Windows Intune. The program looks like this: I would like to think I don’t have to explain to much, however, here are the basics: The task can run either daily, on a set day each week, or a specific day number of each month (including the last day). It runs at a specific time. The command has 3 parts, the path, the command to run and the command line arguments. The defaults here are those to run a default scan. So now the buttons: Set Task creates...
  • Got the notice that my Windows Intune account will be upgraded to V2

    Hi, even though the Windows Intune V2 service has been out for a little while, my existing V1 accounts have not yet been upgraded.  Today I got this e-mail telling me that it was now scheduled to happen in 4 days time. When I clicked on the link, I was taken to the alert that looks like this in the console: It talks about the “Account Details page” to find out more information.  I know Windows Intune quite well and I was not sure what the Account Details page was.  However, if we go to the Administration workspace and look at the Administration Overview then at the top of the page we see… “Planned account migration date: 12/16/2011” – OK, so it is in US date format, but at least it is coming this week!! I just wanted to share that the updates are coming and where to get the date from.   Thanks David
  • How to Address Internet Explorer 6 Incompatibility Issues with Windows 7

    I’ve seen several people try to resolve Windows 7 and IE6 compatibility issues through methods that are not only not supported, but also against the Microsoft IP licensing rules (e.g. removing it from Windows XP and forcing onto Windows 7).  Using a Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server and Citrix or Quest it is possible to put in place a low cost solution where IE is remoted (so you only see the IE 6 browser window, not the whole desktop) on a Windows 7 system.  The pages that require IE6 are shown this way, while other pages are shown locally with IE8/9. You can learn about the Citrix solution here or here for a solution from Quest.  A good write up on the options can be found here - http://www.virtualizationpractice.com/blog/?p=13493 . ttfn David
  • Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune - SkyWire

    I saw this case study and wanted to share as it has some fantastic good news in it, highlighting how Windows Intune is helping this customer.  The highlights for me were: Reduced IT Costs SkyWire Media avoided the cost of third-party products that it would need to perform desktop management tasks by using Windows Intune. “I looked at antivirus and malware [malicious software] servers for [U.S.]$8,000 each,” says Malloy. “When you add $2,000 for the software and another $70,000 for a full-time administrator, we were looking at $80,000. Windows Intune saved us from those expenses.” With Windows Intune, SkyWire can retire on-premises solutions. “The software distribution feature now available in Windows Intune will save us an estimated $10,000 in software costs because we can retire the third-party tools that we were using for this purpose,” says Castleberry. Simplified PC Management Now that SkyWire Media has standardized the desktops on Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows Intune has delivered all required updates, it has a clear baseline for future hardware and software purchases. Also, it can easily stay in compliance with software licenses. And by using the Computers workspace, Malloy created computer groups and applied management policies to fine-tune his control over the desktop. “Having the security updates, software deployment, endpoint protection, and reporting and inventorying features in one utility is phenomenal,” says Malloy. Improved IT Support By using Windows Intune, SkyWire Media can prevent malware threats before they interfere with a sales representative’s ability to win new business. “Our support calls are down by 70 per cent, proof that Windows Intune is keeping our sales folks productive. They can rely on their laptops for dependable computing and fool proof SkyWire software demos,” says Castleberry. “That’s good news for our business!” You can read the whole thing at Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune – SkyWire . Thanks David
  • Return on Investment (ROI) calculator for Windows Intune

    I’ve just come across this tool for Windows Intune.  As with any “benefits” calculator, the results simply reflect the quality of the data you put in – garbage in, garbage out. Since my computers managed by Windows Intune are already on Windows 7, have anti-malware loaded and other benefits, the results came out lower compared to those on Windows XP.  If you don’t have Windows 7, for example, the benefits are much higher. The calculator can be found at http://windowsintuneroi.valueprism.com/ and the excel version can be found at here .  The Excel version suggested that if I had 100 Windows XP computers the benefits would be as follows:   I hope this is useful   David
  • Windows Cloud Essentials Pack–Microsoft Partners can get Windows Intune internal use for free (and Office 365)

    I’m really proud to have passed an exam towards my The Cloud Accelerate program as you can see from my certificate on the left. I have started with the Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack and I’m now moving up towards cloud accelerate! One of the reasons I like the Essentials Pack is the benefits it provides in terms of software, marketing and simple business tools and there is no fee or sales requirement in the first year! From the web site above, the benefits are: Software Benefits Microsoft Technology License Grant Microsoft Office 365 250 licenses Windows Intune Subscription for 25 PCs Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 250 licenses Windows Azure platform 750 hours of extra-small-compute instance, 25 hours of small-compute instance, 20 gigabytes of storage, and 250,000 storage transactions Microsoft SQL Azure Web Edition database: 1 gigabyte Windows Azure AppFabric: 100,000 access control transactions and 2 service bus connections Data transfer: 25 gigabytes in and 25 gigabytes out Marketing Benefits Listing as Cloud Essentials partner on the Microsoft Pinpoint online marketplace Listing in the Microsoft Office 365 Marketplace Marketing resources Business Benefits Online sales and financial modelling tools Demo Showcase Profitability Modeller Presales and technical support Online Technical Communities for cloud services Requirements For Partners Who Sell and Service For Partners Who Build and Develop Enrol in the Microsoft Partner Network. Sign the Microsoft Online Services Partner Agreement (MOSPA) and complete introductory training and an assessment. To continue receiving these benefits in your second year of enrolment, you must meet a modest sales requirement of 50 seats per product during your first year of enrolment. Enrol in the Microsoft Partner Network. Sign up on Microsoft Platform Ready and register your application. Annual Fee There is no fee for this program. Thanks David
  • 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...
  • How Windows Intune can lower costs and raise productivity

    Hi, Just a quick post to share this document from IDC (sponsored by Microsoft) on Windows Intune from March 2011.  It can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/cloud/docs/IntuneWP.pdf . It shows how companies can benefit from savings of $702 per year through IT staff savings, user productivity and removal of other tools. ttfn David
  • The Windows Intune Client components

    Having installed (and uninstalled) Windows Intune a number of times I just wanted to signpost this blog post here that lists the components that are installed and what they do at Coretech by Brian Fahrenholtz .  The information can be found at Windows Intune Client Agent components .  It explains what each of the following does or provides: Microsoft Easy Assist v2 Microsoft Online Management Policy Agent Microsoft Online Management Update Manager Microsoft Policy Platform System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Agent Windows Firewall Configuration Provider Windows Intune Center Windows Intune Endpoint Protection Windows Intune Endpoint Protection Agent Windows Intune Monitoring Agent   Thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune , Microsoft , Cloud
  • Using Intune with Sysprepped images

    I've just been through this for my book and some people were asking internally, so I thought I would share this little snippet / preview from the book on the process we have to follow to install Windows Intune from a sysprepped image. This means an image that we want to roll out to lots and lots of computers. Here is the information, based on the blog video found at http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsintune/archive/2011/09/22/adding-the-windows-intune-client-to-an-operating-system-deployment-image.aspx and the help file is located at http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsintune/hh397411.aspx . Image based deployment The latest version of Windows Intune (which is currently in beta, but due to release in less than 2 weeks) brings with it image based deployment where you can place the Windows Intune files on a computer image that will then be loaded onto several computers. There are several steps to this process if you are using the Microsoft deployment tools. 1. Install Windows to the computer 2. Download and extract the files from the Windows Intune zip file and place this on this folder which you will have to create: %Systemdrive%\Temp\Windows_Intune_Setup 3. Add the following lines to SetupComplete,cmd file, normally located or created in the %windir%\setup\scripts folder. Note there are 2 commands, the reg command and the call to the setup %windir%\system32\reg.exe add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Onlinemanagement\Deployment /v WindowsIntuneEnrollPending /t REG_DWORD /d 1 %systemdrive%\temp\Windows_Intune_Setup\Windows_Intune_Setup.exe /PrepareEnroll 4. Seal the image with a command such as the one below. If you wish to create an unattended install then you will have to create the answer file my_unattended_setup.xml for sysprep. To do this, download the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) from http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?2Q . Creating an unattended installation process is beyond this book, however Brian Jackson has an excellent article that can be found at http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx...
  • Windows Intune book update

    Well, I’ve finally finished the drafts for all chapters of the soon to be published book called Microsoft Windows Intune, Quickstart Administration . It would have been sooner if my lovely mother had not fallen ill and passed away. I don’t regret the delay in finishing the book, but that we had so little time in the end and that she was not here to see it finish. The book is now awaiting review and editorial updates before it is finally published. Update - 2/10/2010 - Since the launch of Windows Intune V2 is so close, I'm updating to V2 now. This means that you can no longer access the work in progress chapters. I hope to resolve this in a few weeks time. The book has undergone some structural changes while I was writing it. The chapters are now: 1. Overview of Cloud Computing 2. Introduction to PC Management Concepts 3. Overview of Windows Intune Features 4. Signing up for Intune and installing the client software 5. Configuring Windows Intune 6. Configuring management policy 7. Tracking and reporting 8. Monitoring and dealing with alerts, including remote assistance 9. Resolving problems using Microsoft DaRT 10.Using and deploying Windows 7 Enterprise with Windows Intune 11.Integration with existing Microsoft Products You can access the book “in progress” and buy it from here . Once this is solidly out the way and the V2 beta has stabilised I will look to work on a V2 book too. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune
  • Loading SP1 beta onto a Hyper-V R2 system

    I was keen to play with the Hyper-V R2 Service Pack 1 features, so I decided to download and install it, however I could not find anything that was not for Windows 7 or Windows Server (as opposed to Hyper-V Server).  After asking internally I was pointed to what I needed.  The process was fairly simple:   Download the SP1 beta from the Microsoft site and ensure you answer the questions correctly as an IT Pro to ensure you get the opportunity to download.  You will need to update both your Windows 7 / Windows Server client to manage the system as well as the Hyper-V Server, so you might need to download both the x86 and x64 versions as Hyper-V Server is x64 only. Remove the language packs that are not supported by the beta from the Hyper-V Server. To do this you will need to log into the console and run the LPKSETUP.exe program and remove anything that is not as part of the download package (English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish) Run the SP1 update on the Hyper-V Server Run the SP1 update on the Windows 7 Client Open the properties page in your Hyper-V Manager on Windows 7 SP1 and you can now edit the new properties Remember that Remote FX requires a Windows 7 SP1 (beta 1) guest and that Dynamic Memory requires (for the beta only) a Windows Enterprise or Datacenter guest with Standard and Web being supported when it is out of beta. See http://blogs.msdn.com/b/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2010/07/12/dynamic-memory-beta-supported-guest-operating-systems.aspx for some more details on dynamic memory support in the beta.   thanks David Technorati Tags: Hyper-V , Hyper-V R2 , SP1 , Service Pack 1 , Dynamic Memory
  • 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,...
  • Windows 7 appreciation continues to grow

    I saw these three articles and thought I would share.  How are you getting on with Windows 7?  And for those who say that Vista adoption was very poor, it was not statistically different to that of Windows XP, so you can't just say "oh, that was Vista, XP was much better!" Adoption of Windows 7 Continues to Swell Computerworld - February 01, 2010 Windows 7 took just three months to reach a penetration benchmark that Windows Vista needed almost a year to reach, according to a report by NetApplications.   SMBs Step Up Plans to Adopt Windows 7 eWeek - February 02, 2010 Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are accelerating plans to migrate to Windows 7, according to a global survey conducted by network management specialist Spiceworks.   Customer Satisfaction with Windows 7 Rises Bloomberg News - February 01, 2010 Microsoft has received a bigger boost in customer satisfaction from Windows 7 than Apple did from its most recent upgrade of Mac OS X, according to market research firm YouGov. On my own site, Windows 7 has clearly overtaken Windows Vista and is having an impact on Windows XP too.   ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows 7 , Microsoft
  • Need to buy a copy of Windows 7 or Office 2007 for someone in education - get an educational discount

    HI, I've been asked this many times, so I thought I would blog on it.  Microsoft offers great discounts for people in education (beyond those who work in education).  The best options are: For university students: http://www.microsoft.com/student/discounts/theultimatesteal-uk/default.aspx - – Office £38.95, Windows 7 Pro - £30 For any age group in education - Office 2007 for around £39- £52 depending on which edition (Standard to Enterprise) and Windows 7 upgrades for £40-56 depending on the edition http://www.software4students.co.uk/ http://www.rm.com/shops/thebasement/Range.aspx?nguid=480909c5-102c-4700-8739-f3feedbb6a6d http://www.rm.com/shops/thebasement/Range.aspx?nguid=59137e0c-6185-4d95-a360-a680d60636ea     There are obviously some conditions you have to meet to qualify to use these products and each site has information about them.  If you are in full time education or a parent of someone who is then you likely qualify.  To learn more about Microsoft and education in the UK, have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/education/default.aspx .  You will notice that both the organisations I linked above are linked on the Microsoft page, but I have experience with the above two.   Thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows 7 , Office 2007 , Education , Student discount , Microsoft
  • Server line-up for small businesses (and home) is increasing in options (or complexity for some) - SBS 2008, Home, Foundation, Windows Standard Server or BPOS - how do you choose?

    This is a long running question that people ask me - how to position the various server options from Microsoft for small businesses. The more choice Microsoft offers, the more complex it can become if you do not have a starting point to find the right product for a customer. So, Home Server, Foundation Server and SBS - what is it all about, especially when you look at something like Windows 7 or BPOS too? N.B. To get a detailed feature comparison between SBS 2003 and SBS 2008 have a look at the excellent work of Sean at http://sbs.seandaniel.com/2008/08/what-different-between-sbs-2003-and-sbs.html . Well, in the home or the smaller sized business market (think sweet spot of 1-7 users IMHO) there are a number of MS products that could fit the bill… Windows Client PC as a server (don't do this for businesses) Windows Home Server Foundation server Windows Server Small Business Server Online solution Server Options I suspect people know the options here, but here is a very short run-down on each and why you might or might not look at them: Windows 7 Client PC as a server Great to share files between a few PCs on a trusted network. Only with Windows 7 do you start to get better sharing security via the home group and many server oriented pieces of software can't run on it. Great for home hub (my Media Center does a bit of this), but please save your self trouble and get a server for the work environment. You will save of time and money of management very quickly in a business. Also note that server software will often not install on a Client PC. Windows Home Server This is a fantastic home hub server with functionality to hold and protect your shared files by duplicating them, backing up desktop PCs and providing remote access. Today it is built on Windows Server 2003 technology, but it does the job well. If in a business you simply want a place to store files and backups without managed security or any other server functionality and web based accessed to those files, it can do an OK job. For more info of...
  • How to put Windows 7 (either purchased ISO or DVD) onto a USB stick for faster installation or installation onto a Netbook without a DVD drive

    I've had to tell a few people about this recently, so I thought I should actually write a blog post on this.  The options are very simple and easy. Buy Windows 7 on DVD and use or buy a 4GB (or larger) USB Stick and then make a USB stick bootable and copy the files to the stick.  Details on how to make it bootable can be found here - http://www.techmixer.com/install-windows-vista-from-bootable-usb-flash-memory-drive/ .  You literally copy all the files from the DVD to the USB stick for this to work. To do this, enter this command into the run box (press Windows-Key + R) or a command prompt window - robocopy d:\ e:\ /s - this assumes that the DVD drive is D: and that the USB stick is E: - change them as required. Buy Windows 7 as an ISO from the Microsoft store ( http://emea.microsoftstore.com/uk/ ) and use the Microsoft tool from http://store.microsoft.com/Help/ISO-Tool to copy this to a USB stick (as mentioned above) buy a USB DVD Drive (not my preferred option) I hope this helps.   David Technorati Tags: Windows 7 , Windows , ISO , Microsoft , Tips and Tricks
  • 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
  • Windows 7 adoption is storming

    [Updated] I thought I would share two facts that show me just how good the take-up of Windows 7 will be. I was in York yesterday and while sat in the pub one of the ladies working there told me about her new laptop and just how fabulous it was with Windows 7. I’m not used to people telling me how great a product is from the “other side” of the bar. The second was when I started looking at the switch from Windows Vista and Windows XP on my web site – Over 20% of all visitors now are using Windows 7. I've updated the figures until 28th November 2009 I hope you have as much fun with Windows 7 as I am and the bar lady is. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows 7 , Windows , Microsoft
  • It has been a while on the blog

    Well hello again, I've been away for quite some time - work has been very time consuming and two members of my family have required some dedicated attention while they have not been feeling well (and no, no swine flu). I'm hoping to start finding more time to "do" the blog and potentially a "tips and tricks" section for SBS 2008 based on my learning's to date. I do still have quite some work backlog, but I'll try to post some of the blog backlog too - I have hundreds of items to post!! See you soon - and keep the questions coming. David
  • How to copy or archive files by year using the command line and robocopy

    I got this question via e-mail and decided I would post the answer here in a blog. I want transfer all files created in Office Word 2003 by year (annual batchs - ex: 2005, 2006, etc.) to external HD. How can to do this? I will appreciate your answer. Edgar To do this via the command line you can use Robocopy which is present in Windows Vista and Windows 7.  If you have Windows XP download the Server 2003 Resource Toolkit and install it.  Robocopy will be part of the install and found in the install directory. The actual command would look like this and would need to be entered into a command prompt: for /L %x in (2009,-1,2000) do robocopy source destination \%x *.doc? /minage:%x0101 /maxage:%x1231 /s To break it down a bit.. for /L %x in (2009,-1,2000) do This creates a counter from 2009 up in steps of -1 (or down in steps of 1) until 2000 is reached.  Each time the counter changes it is set into %x, so %x will become 2009, 2008 and so on.  It then executes the command after to "do". robocopy source destination \%x *.doc? /minage:%x0101 /maxage:%x1231 /s The robocopy command is very flexible.  Details of it can be found on the wiki page here .  The first two parameters are the sounce and destination locations.  so it might be c:\users\david\documents and F:\document_backup.  Note the \%x on the end.  This means it will put the files inside a folder on the destination location that matches the year you are archiving. *.doc? is a limiter to the files to be copied - if you want all files, simply remove it.  This will copy all Office 2003 and 2007 document files - if you only want Office 2003, use *.doc and don't include the question mark. The minage and maxage state how old the file is.  It can either be in days or a date in the form of yyyymmdd.  So with the %x set to 2009, the command will have /minage:20090101 /maxage:20091231 which equates to everything in 2009 and so on. The /s copies all subdirectories too You can optionally put the /MOV...
  • 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...
  • Windows 7 and VHDs – it can mount them and can even be installed into one and booted from!

    Windows 7 is the theme while I am away and thought I would share this little nugget with you. Windows 7 has a lovely feature where it can mount and read / write VHD virtual hard disks. Now this is good, but you can create one and install Windows 7 inside it. You can then boot it up as normal, but it is portable at this point, so it is easy to backup, copy or examine on another system. How to do this… well, look here - http://www.iishacks.com/index.php/2009/01/11/install-and-boot-windows-7-beta-or-windows-server-2008-r2-beta-on-vhd ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows 7 , VHD , Windows Server 2008 R2 , Microsoft
  • Hyper-V Security and Management from Windows 7

    [modified 2/11/09 with new link] I’ve seen two Hyper-V announcements this week. One is about the new Security Guide and the other is how to manage Hyper-V from Windows 7. Security Guide Hyper-V Security Guide–Beta Now Available! Are your customers concerned about attacks on their virtualized servers? Help them secure their virtual environments with the Hyper-V Security Guide. The Hyper-V Security Guide , now under development, has tested guidance and best practices to boost the security of virtualized Windows Server environments. Want an advance look at this free guide? Join the beta program. Then bookmark this link to the program site to get the latest information about upcoming events. Hyper-V Management from Windows 7 This is something that caught me out. The Hyper-V Management tools for Vista do not load on Windows 7, but tools have been published. Go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=7d2f6ad7-656b-4313-a005-4e344e43997d and install this. Then go to the Windows Features tool in Control Panel and find the Role Administration Tools. Select Hyper-V Tools from there and bob is your uncle. Thanks David Technorati Tags: Hyper-V , Microsoft , Windows 7 , Windows Vista , Windows Server 2008 , Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows 7 tips and secrets

    I LOVE using Windows 7. I keep on going “oh, that’s nice” when I discover things, so what are my top LOVE’s: Speed – it runs much, much better on my laptop and does NOT keep the hard disk chattering Thumbnails – when you hover over a thumbnail it hides all the other windows and shows you that one on the screen IE tabs shown as thumbnails. I use IE tabs a lot and sometimes finding the right tab is hard. In Windows 7 I can flick through the thumbnails in the task pane and it flips through the tabs Jump lists – you now get a recently used list for any application – so Excel just shows the Excel recently used files, Word the word documents and so on. The are available by the program icons, but also if you right click on the program on the task bar Opening another copy of the program – hold shift and click on the icon in the task bar and another instance is spawned Fixing icons onto the task bar – now if there is a program you always start, fix it to the task bar and it will be there with the jump list before you even start it Colour coding of task bar icons. When you are downloading a file in Internet explorer you see a green bar progressing through the task bar icon – you can see how far through the download it is without having to open the window. Also, copy some files and minimised the dialog. The icon will turn red if you need to give it runs out of space, for example New Resource Manager – oh, what a diagnostic joy. Want to see how long it takes for comms for a particular application – select it and look at the network tab. It will show you each connection and how each connection is performing. Dragging items into the favourites bar in Explorer, so that “always using” folder is always right at the top of the list There are many more items, but I just wanted to share some. Tim Sneath has also documents a whole gamut of items I love on his blog - Tim Sneath - The Bumper List of Windows 7 Secrets . Ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows...
  • Windows 7 downloads to end on the 10th – get it now

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

    Susanne Dansey pointed this out to me - Dave is doing some excellent blogging! I like both these entries from January. One discussed the rights and wrongs of what to do with a customer who will not license legally. My personal opinion here is that if they won't pay a software company, how long until they will avoid paying the services company for a quality job. Dave's second post is dealing with someone who has been told that Vista is poor and blames anything that does not work under Vista on Microsoft. I'm not saying that Microsoft is never to blame, but it is nice to see posts like this coming out of the woodwork. Microsoft Police There has been a lot of chatter in the newsgroups recently about Microsoft licensing and what to do if you think the legality of clients software is suspect. Here is my opinion. Funny that, it being my blog Simple, get them to become legitimate (or legal) or walk away. Let’s clarify this. Why I said legitimate or legal is because these can be two separate things. Why? well frankly, just because Microsoft and it’s lawyers say something should be the case, it doesn’t mean that it is the law. <snipped - click link above to read more> Vista, bloody Vista! I was having a friendly discussion in the pub at the weekend and was introduced to a college lecturer. He spoke quite fluently about IT in his college even though he admitted he is not very technically minded. Then it came…Why Vista he asked, it knackers things, so his techie people tell him? Windows 98 which he has at home is fine GRRRR! Except, it isn’t fine. His PC was falling apart at the seams, things just weren’t working. The more I questioned the more it became like a broken record. Why had Microsoft not left things alone. The fact that his quite clearly 18million year old dial-up modem wasn’t working was obviously Microsofts fault. They only update things in order to screw money out of poor victims like him. (This did stay friendly I hasten to add and many more pints were...
  • How to get the Office Assistant in Office 2003 (clippy) to work in Windows Vista, i.e. remove the "Not enough memory" error messages

    [updated 24th January 2009 with new download location for x64 systems] [updated 31st December 2009 with Windows 7 information] I have been asked this question several times and finally dug into the system to make it work. N.B. while this will work with Windows 7 the "agent" will have a pink background. Given the age of this technology it is unlikely to be fixed. The solution The Office Assistant relies on some "agent" technologies. To fix this we need to install the agent technologies and then copy a DLL across. Since I was playing around it is possible that there is an extra step or two that is not actually needed, but since this is a small process and simple to do I don't think it will do any harm. What is more, I was not about to rebuild a system, load Vista and Office 2003 just to see if I could remove a 10 second step :-) Download the MSAgent technology from http://www.microsoft.com/msagent - select the CORE files, so for me that was this item - Download the Microsoft Agent core components (395 KB exe) Download the MSAgent2.exe file from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=E11BF712-7862-45BA-826D-44AE3A11836F&displaylang=en Run the download, accepting the UAC prompt (the security prompt) - select the option "This program installed correctly" Open an elevated command prompt - have a look at How to start an administrative (or elevated) command prompt and tell if you got it right (in Vista) if you are unsure how to do this. The window should have the title " Administrator: Command Prompt " if you have it right. type the following commands into the prompt (each line will probably start with "c:\windows\system32>" - don't worry about this (if you are using a x64 (64-bit) version of Windows replace "system32" with "system" in the commands below) copy c:\windows\msagent\agentdpv.dll c:\windows\system32 regsvr32 c:\windows\msagent\agentdpv.dll That is it. If you get error messages check the command prompt has the...
  • Hybrid Disk Drives - Using Flash RAM to make disk drives more performant and reliable - and Vista ReadyDrive

    There is a great article at Computer World that talks about these hybrid drives as they are known. If you are not aware of them, then here is a very quick rundown. What are they: Traditional Hard Disk with larger cache (256MB-2GB) Uses Flash RAM instead of normal RAM Why is this interesting: Cache size is much larger Cache is not lost when power is turned off Disk can stay spun down for longer as cache can manage read/writes, saving batteries and reducing heat Saves 90% of the power required to read from disk when using the Flash RAM Improves boot time as some boot code can be stored in FLASH - or pre-cached at shutdown or hybernation There are two types of solution - one puts the cache physically on the drive and the other puts it on the motherboard, but the idea is the same. Some people worry about the life of the flash as there will be considerable writing to it. This is one of a couple of areas where Vista comes into the picture. Vista can be aware of the cache, so will manage disk reads, writes, spin up & spin-down requests differently. It can also help with the cache layout, ensuring spread usage of the cache to reduce the wear on the flash itself, this prolonging life. If you want to know more about this, go have a look at the WinHEC presentation that is now available. ttfn David

(c)David Overton 2006-13