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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  • Web Developers were just tooo smart for their own good - they got web pages to look just right in IE6 and didn't see Microsoft fixing the compatibility issues (or some of them) for IE7. Now IE8 has to clean up it's and others mess

    OK, so the title is mine, but you can see here how the defacto standard that was IE4/5/6 meant that people thought IE7 would live by the same rules. If you care about "standards based websites" then the IE team blog on compatibility is a must for you. Compatibility and IE8 In Dean’s recent Internet Explorer 8 and Acid2: A Milestone post, he highlighted our responsibility to deliver both interoperability (web pages working well across different browsers) and backwards compatibility (web pages working well across different versions of IE). We need to do both, so that IE8 continues to work with the billions of pages on the web today that already work in IE6 and IE7 but also makes the development of the next billion pages (in an interoperable way) much easier. Continuing Dean’s theme, I’d like to talk about some steps we are taking in IE8 to achieve these goals. I’ve been on the IE team for over a decade, and I’ve seen us apply the “Don’t Break the Web” rule in six different major versions of IE in different ways. In IE 6, we used the DOCTYPE switch to enable different “modes” of behavior to protect compatibility. When we released IE 6 in 2001, very few pages on the web were in “standards mode” (my team ran a report on the top 200 web sites at the time that reported less than 1%) – few people knew what a DOCTYPE was, and few tools generated them. We used the DOCTYPE switch in IE6 to change the box model to comply with the standards and enable developers to opt-in to the new behavior. We’d already seen so much content written to IE5.x’s non-standard interpretation of the CSS2 spec that we couldn’t change it without causing a slew of problems. In IE7 we made a lot more changes to improve IE’s standards compliance , particularly with CSS. We limited these behavior changes to IE’s “standards mode” only, and we expected that this would help limit compatibility problems as it had in the past. Unfortunately, and somewhat surprisingly to us, this wasn’t true; many of those changes made IE incompatible with content that...
  • Official Google Blog on Microsoft and Yahoo and David Overton's thoughts on it

    This is a personal rant. If you want to read on, please do so, if not, thanks for getting this far. Oh I love how people wave flags "for the greater good" when they really mean "for my own good". Today I saw something that just made me have to comment. Unless you have been in a bunker, you should be aware that Microsoft have made a bid for Yahoo. Google, who obviously care greatly about Yahoo decided to have a pop at it: Yahoo! and the future of the Internet The openness of the Internet is what made Google -- and Yahoo! -- possible. A good idea that users find useful spreads quickly. Businesses can be created around the idea. Users benefit from constant innovation. It's what makes the Internet such an exciting place. So Microsoft's hostile bid for Yahoo! raises troubling questions. This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It's about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation. Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC? While the Internet rewards competitive innovation, Microsoft has frequently sought to establish proprietary monopolies -- and then leverage its dominance into new, adjacent markets. Could the acquisition of Yahoo! allow Microsoft -- despite its legacy of serious legal and regulatory offenses -- to extend unfair practices from browsers and operating systems to the Internet? In addition, Microsoft plus Yahoo! equals an overwhelming share of instant messaging and web email accounts. And between them, the two companies operate the two most heavily trafficked portals on the Internet. Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors' email, IM, and web-based services? Policymakers around the world need to ask these questions -- and consumers deserve satisfying answers. This hostile bid was announced on Friday...
  • 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
  • Have you been on a conference call with Microsoft - ever wondered why you are on hold waiting for the conference leader ... the secrets revealed

    Hi, Saw this - very much noticed the behaviour, the music and then realised "this is not a stunt... this is what we do". Enjoy ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Conference Call , Fun
    Filed under: ,
  • How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista

    My boss had some problems on his PC after installing some tools onto it and upon further diagnosis it appeared to be that the .Net Framework had been corrupted. We did all the usual things of looking in "Add/Remove Programs" etc, adding service packs etc all to no avail. I then came across this blog entry and a fix started to come to light How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista Since the Windows Vista public launch in January 2007, I have been receiving questions about how to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 to try to resolve various bugs. As I previously described here , the 2.0 and 3.0 versions are installed as OS components on Windows Vista and do not appear in the Programs and Features (formerly known as Add/Remove Programs) control panel. Many of the customers I have heard from have tried to use the .NET Framework cleanup tool , but it does not list the .NET Framework 2.0 as a valid removal option when it is run on Windows Vista. This is by design - the cleanup tool does not offer the option to remove any version of the .NET Framework that is an OS component on the OS it is being run on. Aaron Stebner's WebLog : How to repair the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 on Windows Vista The important things seem to be: Don't use the clean up tool Try the command " sfc /scannow " from an elevated command prompt Repair the (V2) framework with the command " %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\ngen.exe update " again from an elevated command prompt The 1st item stops corruption, then 2nd checks the OS's binary (core internal files) are correct and matching their signatures and the final one re-creates all the "native" files from the IL code. ttfn David Technorati Tags: .Net Framework , Support , Windows Vista , Vista
  • 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
  • UK MSDN Events (Windows Live, Silverlight, Hyper V, Smart Client, Black Marble, Security, Visual Studio 2008 and .Net 3.5)

    I know I should have posted these earlier, but ho-hum - sorry!! 29 January, Reading : MSDN- Building Services: .NET FX 3.5, SOAP, REST, and Beyond . 29 January, Bristol : VBUG -'Code Access Security for Protecting Web Applications'with Chris Seary . 30 January, Birmingham : MSDN - Developing on the Windows Live Platform . 31 January, Reading : Vista Squad UG- Silverlight 2.0 & Hyper V Introduction . 31 January, Bradford : MSDN -What's new in Smart Client Development . 31 January, Bradford : Black Marble's Annual Technical Update for Microsoft Technologies . 31 January, Bradford : Black Marble - Ed Gibson, Microsoft's Chief Security Advisor in the UK . 05 February 2008, Reading : MSDN- What's new in Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Fx 3.5 for the Web Developer . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Events , MSDN Events , Windows Live , Silverlight , Hyper V , Smart Client , Black Marble , Security , Visual Studio 2008 , .Net 3.5
  • 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
  • Do you have a good story to tell about you, your customer and the use of Microsoft technology? If so, get your name up in lights (well, the web) and get Microsoft to tell everyone about it

    Microsoft is currently looking for Small Business case studies about how customers use Microsoft products. These case studies include the name of the partner used to install the solution and so are a great way of generating completely free publicity. Case studies are mainly targeted at a customer audience and will be used on our customer website's, in newsletters, in collateral and sometimes in the press. If you would like to nominate any of your customers please go to www.articulatemarketing.com/partner.html and fill in the short form with their details. After you have submitted their details no further work is required from you as we will contact the customer directly for a short interview. Both yourselves and the customer will then be able to review any case studies before they are used. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Small Business , Case Studies
  • New build of Vista SP1 RC Preview to load and rumour that Vista SP1 Confirmed for February 15

    I've been running Vista SP1 builds for a while and I like them. I don't like the process of changing builds which is "simply" a case of uninstalling the old build, letting it reboot twice, updating the registry, doing find updates in windows update, reboot, do it again, reboot, do it again, wait 15 mins, do it again, then let it install for a chunk of time, reboot twice more. Now, you won't have this fun when the "real" update comes out, but us testers simply enjoy this process!! To get the latest preview go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=529d992a-d69e-4c73-9213-7a7f3852c0ca&DisplayLang=en Vista SP1 Confirmed for February 15 – XP SP3 Too? Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is just around the corner. Despite the fact that Microsoft continues to point to the first quarter of 2008 as the deadline for the delivery of Vista's first service pack, it appears that the refresh will drop as early as next month. According to the Redmond company, Vista SP1 is planned for release by the end of March 2008. Microsoft has not shifted from the official timetable and failed to update it in accordance with the development of the operating system. However, it appears now that February 15 was confirmed as the RTM date for Windows Vista SP1. Mid February 2008 is a more realistic date for the launch of Vista SP1, and one that is at the end of the natural course of evolution of the service pack's development process. Taiwanese news outlet DigiTimes, doing a story on the DRAM industry in 2008, cited Pei-lin Pai, a spokesman for DRAM manufacturer Nanya, saying: "the PC market will rebound in the second quarter. The launch of an updated version of Microsoft Vista on February 15, if its prices do not go up too much compared to its previous version, may help boost DRAM sales," (emphasis added). Vista SP1 Confirmed for February 15 – XP SP3 Too? - KezNews.com I can't comment on the date, but mid-Feb is Q1 calendar year 2007. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista...
  • Work on Windows Vienna / Windows 7 has started and the rumours, videos and builds are beginning to fly

    Even though I work at Microsoft I don't know most of what is going on. I can go and ask people and I can read the public sites. I do have the advantage that I can get better confirmation as to whether the stories on the public sites are rubbish or not though . Anyway, this week I've seen lots of information about Windows 7. This version of Windows, like every other version of Windows starts life before it's predecessor is finished, changes several times before is released and solves some of the issues people have with Vista as well as taking the product in new directions. This is not new or news inside Microsoft and excitement because we are working on the next Windows should be tempered - we are always working on the next version of Windows, Office and every other product we do (well, perhaps not Bob v2). As people who were "in" early with Vista, the visual changes happen much later in the product lifecycle and under the hood changes can make a huge difference in things like performance, security and reliability while not being "seen" by anyone. So, while this totally unsurprising work is going on (am I getting the emphasis across that this is not news yet), the rumour factory has been spinning up full speed: The Microsoft Windows Vienna / Windows 7 site has several articles on the subject Anonymous Microsoft Employee Blogging on Windows 7 January 14, 2008 As a crack into the iron curtain surrounding Windows 7, an anonymous blogger claiming to be a Microsoft employee working on the new operating system is now leaking non-sensitive information on a dedicated blog at shippingseven.blogspot.com. While no list of features is being made public, the blogger said that Microsoft uses a central repository for all the Windows 7 features, making the development centralized and well organized. MinWin and Windows Vienna / 7 November 30, 2007 Almost two months ago Eric Traut gave a presentation on operating systems in which MinWin was brought to light for the first time. Although used for running...
  • How to get Windows Desktop Search, SharePoint, Windows Home Server, Search Server, Exchange 2007 and SQL 2005/2008 to see Office 2007 documents in their search filters

    If you use Windows XP and need WDS to index Office 2007 files, or SharePoint, Search Server or any other product that used IFilters then this is the KB article and download for you. This obviously includes Windows Home Server which uses WDS to enable you to quickly search for a file on a file share from Vista This download will install and register IFilters with the Windows Indexing Service. These IFilters are used by Microsoft Search products to index the contents of specific document formats. This Filter Pack includes IFilters for the following formats: .docx, .docm, .pptx, .pptm, .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlsb, .zip, .one, .vdx, .vsd, .vss, .vst, .vdx, .vsx, and .vtx. Because Windows Desktop Search (WDS) consumes IFilters from Windows Indexing Service, the IFilters will be automatically registered and available for use by WDS. To register these IFilters with a specific Search product, please see the associated KB article below: Office SharePoint Server 2007 - Office SharePoint Server 2007 registration steps Search Server 2008 - Search Server 2008 registration steps SharePoint Portal Server 2003 - SharePoint Portal Server 2003 registration steps Windows SharePoint Services v3.0 - Windows SharePoint Services v3.0 registration steps Exchange Server 2007 - Exchange Server 2007 registration steps SQL Server 2005 - SQL Server 2005 registration steps SQL Server 2008 - SQL Server 2008 registration steps Download details: Microsoft Filter Pack ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Home Server , Windows Desktop Search , SharePoint , Windows SharePoint Services , SharePoint Portal Server 2007 , Exchange 2007 , SQL Server , SQL Server 2008 , SQL Server 2005 , Search Server Express Edition 2008
  • Citrix, HP and Brian Madden seem to think "Citrix Access Essentials is actually cool now!"

    I've been doing some work with Citrix and I've started to see a bit on an alignment come together for the small business arena. There are still areas where just a few users on terminal services is just fine - ala the white paper ( SBS 2003, Virtual Server and / or Terminal Services and why use virtualisation and the risks to consider ), but for those who need better management, have more users, heavier applications or poor comms then the Citrix solution is good. Even Brian Madden was impressed and if you read all of his blog article then you will see it took a long time to impress him The next day I sat down with her at iForum. She sat across the table, smiled, leaned in, and asked point-blank why I have been ignoring CAE. Apparently she’d changed positions within Citrix, and whatever it is she’s doing now, she’s very passionate about CAE. I leaned back in my chair, took a sip of Coke, closed my eyes and exhaled, saying, “Vicky, there is nothing at all about CAE that is even remotely interesting.” “That’s where you’re wrong!” she exclaimed, somehow managing more enthusiasm than a minute earlier. “Have you seen v2? We have multiple servers--complete with 100% automatic and transparent failover! We have role-based server configuration! We have simple and automatic status emails to admins! We have an option to buy only the Citrix CALs if you want to upgrade from pure TS!” “Okay, you have my attention.” And she kept it for the next 45 minutes as we discussed what CAE had become today. Here’s a synopsis of what I learned about Citrix Access Essentials 2.0: Like previous versions, CAE v2 is limited to 75 users. However, you can build as many Citrix servers as you need to support whatever application mix and usage scenario you have for those users. In the event that you want to grow larger than that, there is an upgrade path from CAE to Citrix Presentation Server. (This is a licensing upgrade path--you’ll have to rebuild your server environment based on real CPS when you upgrade.) In the vein of multi-server support...
  • Windows Small Business Server 2003 at risk from critical flaw

    Hopefully everyone has seen this, but if not: Windows Small Business Server at risk from critical flaw Microsoft initially omitted Small Business Server from its list of critically affected OSes, but is now offering patches via its automatic update services In an update to its MS08-001 security bulletin, Microsoft said that the latest release of Windows Small Business Server was also critically at risk from a bug in Windows' networking software. The flaw is also considered critical for Windows XP and Vista users. Microsoft did not say why it had initially omitted Small Business Server from its list of critically affected operating systems, but it said that the product's users were being offered patches via Microsoft's various automatic update services. "Customers with Windows Small Business Server 2003 Service Pack 2 should apply the update to remain secure," Microsoft said in its updated bulletin. The bug lies in the way Windows processes networking traffic that uses IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) and MLD (Multicast Listener Discovery) protocols, which are used to send data to many systems at the same time. Microsoft said that an attacker could send specially crafted packets to a victim's machine, which could then allow the attacker to run unauthorized code on a system. Windows Small Business Server at risk from critical flaw | InfoWorld | News | 2008-01-24 | By Robert McMillan, IDG News Service ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 , SBS 2003 R2 , SBS , Security , System Updates
  • Got Lotus ... "Microsoft's ISVs Cashing In On Lotus Exodus" - CRN and VARBusiness - where are the tools

    It is always nice to see good news and SharePoint and Exchange are providing lots of it at the moment. I thought I would share this story and also some tools. Microsoft: ISVs Cashing In On Lotus Exodus Microsoft earlier this week released an updated version of its Transporter Suite for Lotus Domino, a set of tools that helps organizations migrate from IBM Lotus Notes and Domino to Microsoft products. As interest builds around unified communications, Microsoft in the last six months of 2007 saw more than 300 enterprise customers -- representing some 2.8 million users -- begin making the movie to Exchange Server, Office SharePoint Server and the Office suite, according to Clint Patterson, a director with the unified communications group at Microsoft. This groundswell of interest has spawned a whole ecosystem of Microsoft ISVs offering products that ease the migration process. For example, companies that have large amounts of information stored in a Notes database have found it difficult to capture that data and move it over to Sharepoint, said Patterson "There are Microsoft partners of all shapes and sizes engaged in the transition from Notes and Domino. The opportunities for the channel really do span organizations of all sizes," said Patterson. Microsoft: ISVs Cashing In On Lotus Exodus - Software - IT Channel News by CRN and VARBusiness Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Migration Wizard for Lotus Notes The Migration Wizard for Lotus Notes is a tool designed for organizations that are migrating from Lotus Notes/Domino to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=4&srcdisplaylang=en&srccategoryid=&srcfamilyid=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3ffamilyid%3dc105b3e4-3beb-4f1e-8f52-e345af6c3e50%26displaylang%3den Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Connector for Lotus Notes The Connector for Lotus Notes/Domino is a tool designed for organizations that need to coexist during a migration from Lotus Domino to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. http://www.microsoft...
  • Simple Office / Excel information to share with customers

    This is a fab tool - for example, the page has: Inside Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Stop the Press -Microsoft Office Excel 2007 - making working with numbers easier than ever! Where minutes are kept and hours are wasted Well-planned and organised meetings can be very useful. However, not all meetings leave attendees feeling like their time has been well spent! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Excel , Tips
  • Unlocking my Windows Mobile 6 device (HTC / Virgin Lobster 700tv / Orange E650) to load non-signed applications

    I wanted to load Navizon onto my phone to give me GPS type capability even when I don't have a GPS using wireless access point and Mobile Phone Cell triangulation (and it pays me $$'s when I feed it information), however there was an issue with the locked down nature of my E650. Upon searching the web, this page was the one that had the real answer - note you need to sign up to the site to be able to download the magic program: xda-developers - View Single Post - Application unlock for HTC Monet (Virgin Lobster 700tv) Application unlock for HTC Monet (Virgin Lobster 700tv) Been trying everything on the Internet and managed to make some headway with Monet (Virgin Lobster 700tv) unlock (this might work for Meteor/C700 as well). 1. Firstly you need to get rid of the 'registry security policy' lock. Download cert install sp.zip: [see attachment] a. copy "SP_AllowCertificateInstall.cab" to the root of Monet memory or card b. Use file explorer on monet to navigate to file. Click to run. Should run ok. c. Unzip "SDA_ApplicationUnlock.zip" on PC and run "SDA_ApplicationUnlock.exe" whilst Monet is connected via activesync <snipped> ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Mobile , Developer , Applications , Unlocking
  • How to do mapping on a mobile device or laptop without GPS, earn money while contributing to the project and mapping the world using GPS, mobile cell and WiFi access points (Navizon Peer-to-Peer Wireless Positioning system is the product)

    I've started looking at this application and found it better than I had hoped. It is simple - it triangulates your position using Wifi and phone cells and emulates a GPS should you need it for another application. It also uses GPS to capture the settings from the other two items and give them a more accurate placement, so learning information about masts, power etc. So, I've been using this to map my common routes and earn points (*which has just changed as a process), but in a week I've earn't 3274 points and I have not been driving every day and my trips have been short. Once I earn 10,000 points I get $20 courtesy of PayPal. I expect to get a significant amount of those points today on my 2 hours drive to a partner and back. I can also earn points by getting an award for signing people up and them doing the same as me. To sign up for this, go to http://my.navizon.com/Webapps/UserAdmin/register.aspx?referral_code=5D565A5E5C5E which includes my reference code (5D565A5E5C5E). Being referred by me does not decrease any points you get, just adds some to me as a nice way of saying thank-you for referring. You can obviously get your own referral code too. One last thing - to load the application onto my phone I had to unlock it to allow non-signed apps (or apps not signed by Orange to be more specific) to run. This was simple and is detailed at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2008/01/24/unlocking-my-windows-mobile-6-device-htc-virgin-lobster-700tv-orange-e650-to-load-non-signed-applications.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: GPS , Mobile , Mapping , WiFi , Windows Mobile
  • How to get DRM protected media on one PC to play on another (eg stored on a Windows Home Server, playing on a Xbox or another PC)

    This question was asked internally and I was told this is the answer - I've not been able to test it fully, but it appears to be heading in the right direction!! Q. Why can't I play files that are shared by one computer but located on different computer? A. You can use Windows Media Player 11 to share media files that are located on other computers on your home network. However, additional steps are required so that these remote files will play on the devices you are sharing them with. On the remote computer, the media files must be in shared folders. For information about sharing folders, see Windows Help and Support. On the computer that contains the library you are sharing, you must grant users permission to access remote folders, modify registry key values, and monitor the shared folders located on the remote computer. The information in this section covers only granting permissions and modifying registry values. For information about monitoring folders, see What are monitored folders? There are five different procedures for granting permission to remote folders. The first procedure must be done and enables remote content sharing on the computer that contains the library you are sharing. The second procedure grants a specific user account permission to access folders on other computers. However, it will disable sharing for all user accounts except the account you specify. Also, if another user has sharing enabled on this computer, the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service might not start if this procedure is followed. The last three procedures grant anonymous logon permission to access folders on other computers. This means that any user can access the folders; it does not distinguish between user accounts. The third procedure is for users of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (Professional and Media Center editions only); the fourth procedure is for users of all other versions of Windows XP; and the fifth procedure is for users of Windows Vista. For procedures two through five, you should only perform one...
  • Cool and useful Windows Home Server Disk Management add-in

    if Heineken did Home Server Web sites then We Got Served would be their site. I love reading the information that Terry puts on there and what is really good too is the fact that it is a UK site. Not that I object to anyone being successful in any country, but it is nice to have one on home turf too. Anyway, the latest little ditty is the Disk Management add-in from Sam Wood which shows you the status of your disks (capacity used) and where they are in the box (you have to configure this) Add-In: Windows Home Server Disk Management A new add-in was released by developer Sam Wood today, called WHS Disk Management. The add-in is an extension of the standard WHS Server Storage interface, helping users visually identify the physical disks they’re working with. Here’s how it’s used: Select one of the disks, or expand the columns after the disk ID, to see infomation about the disk. It takes awhile to render, because it’s doing a WMI crawl to find the disk controller. You get SCSI bus/port/LUN, plus disk controller. That’s useful information if you know which port is which on your SCSI/SATA controller. Add-In: Windows Home Server Disk Management | We Got Served If you have a Home Server and are a bit techie and like to see what is happening on each disk, this is a must. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Home Server , Home Server , Add-ins
  • Want to make life easier developing databases apps against SQL, XML and other databases (Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL) - look at the Beginning LINQ development articles

    LINQ looks like another amazingly simple move for app developers (I've written a few DB apps myself over the years). While Microsoft provides support for Objects, SQL and XML, others provide for other platforms such as Oracle, MySQL and PostgreSQL ( http://code2code.net/DB_Linq/ ). The reason why it is so nice is because the gap between the process of writing SQL queries and then programming them into your code is considerably removed. For example, a query might now look like: var q = from p in db.Products where p.ProductName == "Pen" select p.ProductID; I think that looks very much like a SQL query, which is really good for developers and database peeps alike, especially since the underlying execution is very efficient. To make understanding all this easier there has been a number of articles written including... Beginning LINQ development, Part 1 Brian Eastwood, Site Editor The Language Integrated Query, or LINQ, is one of the most important of the new features afoot in VB 9.0 and C# 3.0.Developers can use LINQ to query to data sources like ADO.NET, SQL and XML. The idea, of course, is that data queries are now an integrated part of Visual Basic and C# and an immeasurable improvement over data integration in the days of preprocessors. LINQ first emerged at PDC 2005, and though it is intended for the next version of Visual Studio, code-named "Orcas," LINQ is available for use with Visual Studio 2005 . A good starting point for learning more about LINQ is Hooked on LINQ , a wiki for anyone interested in dipping his toe in the water. Among the site's resources are "five-minute overviews" of using LINQ with objects, SQL and XML. For more on LINQ-to-SQL queries, which were previously called DLINQ queries, check out the Scott Guthrie post Understanding LINQ to SQL Query Translations . (Guthrie is the head of ASP.NET development at Microsoft.) Here you can find hints for working with stored procedures, Where clauses and mathematics functions. Beginning LINQ development, Part 1 and...
  • Lots of OneNote PowerToys (file and data importers, Outlook tools, table sums, word count, tools to subpage a page or merge pages, copy to mobile device, template maker, favourites, table of contents and even CRM)

    Many people out there love OneNote. Lots of people have it and don't use it - shame on you - try it, but also try the tutorial so you stand a better chance of "getting" this note taking tool. Anyway, I saw a mail by John listing some of the items posted about by him. It is an impressive list. Here's the list, broken down by area: Migrating to OneNote: 1. Journal import https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/12/21/journal-to-onenote-importer.aspx 2. Text File Importer: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/04/30/customer-feedback-results-in-another-powertoy.aspx 3. Export Outlook Notes to OneNote: https://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2007/02/14/export-your-outlook-notes-to-onenote.aspx 4. Import books from Project Gutenberg: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/05/31/a-tool-to-import-texts-from-project-gutenberg.aspx Outlook Addins: 5. Outlook Email to OneNote: https://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2007/02/06/powertoy-outlook-to-onenote-addin.aspx 6. Task Request https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/12/11/task-requests-from-onenote-meeting-notes-powertoy.aspx 7. Use OneNote instead of Outlook Notes: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/04/16/4-16.aspx Work with data on page: 8. Audio Fine Tuner https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/12/12/media-fine-tuner-powertoy-for-onenote.aspx 9. Table Sums https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/12/10/table-sum-powertoy-for-onenote.aspx 10. Image Rotator https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/12/14/image-rotator-powertoy-for-onenote-2007.aspx 11. Printout Manager: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/09/19/an-addin-to-manage-printouts-to-onenote.aspx 12. Word Count: https://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2007/02/14/onenote-2007-word-count.aspx Working with Pages: 13. Make a Page a Subpage: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/09/07/make-subpage-addin-updated-and-a-lenovo-update.aspx 14. Merge Pages: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/08/16/merge-pages-in-onenote-powertoy.aspx OneNote...
  • 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
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Ready for Download

    Just in case you had not seen it - CRM 4.0 is available - http://www.microsoft.com/beta/downloads/Search.aspx?SearchText=crm . Susanne Dansey has also been to one of the CRM days and has some good info at http://www.uksmbgirl.co.uk/blog/archives/320 . Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Ready for Download By Stuart J. Johnston Microsoft announced Monday that it has released to manufacturing the long-awaited update to its Dynamics-branded customer relationship management software (CRM). Previously codenamed "Titan," the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM actually has two names in its final form. For on-premise, customer-hosted, as well as partner-hosted deployments, the product has been dubbed Dynamics CRM 4.0. The company will also be offering the package on-demand in a Microsoft-hosted environment that it has named Dynamics CRM Live. Existing and new customers will be able to download the update when it's released on the Web this week, a Microsoft official told InternetNews.com . The Microsoft-hosted version, however, continues to run under the early access program that the company began in September. Microsoft plans to take that version live during the first half of 2008, said Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. "[In the meantime,] more than 100 customers are using [CRM Live] at this point," Wilson added. The release of Dynamics CRM 4.0 comes two years after version 3.0 shipped. CEO Steve Ballmer demonstrated CRM Live – a.k.a. CRM 4.0 -- during his keynote at the company's Convergence 2007 conference in March. Probably the most notable feature in CRM 4.0 is its so-called "multitenant" architecture, which enables a hosting partner, for instance, to run only one copy of the server but support multiple customers simultaneously and securely. CRM 4.0 also features support for 25 different languages and multiple currencies, although not all will be available immediately, according to a company statement. Among other additions, the package adds business process automation...
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  • 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...
  • While Microsoft is often accused of being the big bad company on Patents, IBM continues to lead the way

    I always find it sort of silly the way Microsoft is accused of being tight with information on how to develop with our products, yet there is loads and loads of information on MSDN and then the ability to license information as the Samba group did. IBM is often 1st up to hit Microsoft with a "your mean and successful and patent everything" yet here is another article, another year and IBM leads the patent list: This story appeared on Network World at http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/011408-patent-list.html IBM retains slim lead among patent-winners; Samsung, Microsoft gain ground U.S. patent backlog more than 1.1 million after drop in patents issued By Jon Brodkin , NetworkWorld.com, 01/14/08 IBM secured 3,148 patents in 2007, besting all other competitors for the 15th consecutive year, but Big Blue's lead is getting slimmer and Microsoft charged into the top 10 with 1,637 patents, according to an analysis that will be released Monday. Microsoft, which ranked No. 6 on the annual list after failing to crack the top 10 the previous two years, was one of only five companies to achieve even half of IBM’s total patent output, according to IFI Patent Intelligence , a Wolters Kluwer Health business. IBM has flexed its muscle in numerous patent disputes, winning a cash settlement from Amazon last May after claiming Amazon used IBM technology to build many of its e-commerce systems. Earlier this month, IBM convinced the U.S. government to investigate Asustek, a Taiwanese computer vendor accused of using IBM technology without authorization. <snip> Here’s the full top 25 list from IFI: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP, 3,148 patents SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO LTD KR, 2,725 CANON K K JP 1987 MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO LTD JP, 1,941 INTEL CORP, 1,865 MICROSOFT CORP, 1,637 go to the article http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/011408-patent-list.html to see the rest of the list and the rest of the article ttfn David Technorati Tags: IBM , patents
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  • App support could be the party pooper that spoils the virtualisation bash

    People ask me what I think of Virtualisation and whether I would virtualise SBS or Cougar or 10 desktops or more. If we are talking about OS virtualisation, rather than application virtualisation then many people miss what virtualisation is - the running of more operating systems on one single piece of hardware. This means that before you had, for example, 3 OSs to manage and now you have 4 (the OS running the virtualisation technology / layer and the 3 OSs that you now virtualise). Now you do have to manage less hardware, but a single hardware failure now will stop 4 OSs rather than 1, so you need to plan around this. Obviously virtualisation gives you benefits in portability and resources management as well as potentially increased hardware specs without the same increase in costs, but you also need to be aware of the issues. I see two major issues outside of those people often think about (as above): Not enough resources. The process of virtualising an OS costs some tax in terms of performance of CPUs, disk and memory. If you take an OS (such as SBS) that can take 4GB of RAM and 2 x dual core Xeons and eat them for breakfast, then trying to put this cat inside a box bound by virtual limits will have bad consequences. Support. Some Microsoft technology breaks / is not supported inside virtual machines (eg ISA), but don't just think about Microsoft. This little snippet from Computerworld shows that many ISVs see trouble trying to support virtual - App support could be the party pooper that spoils the virtualization bash December 18, 2007 (Computerworld) -- Server virtualization feels unstoppable these days. The worldwide market for virtualization platform software grew 69% last year to $1.1 billion, according to market research firm IDC, which predicts average annual growth of 27% through 2011, when global sales are expected to total $3.5 billion. But several factors could still stall the technology's growth, according to analysts. For instance, software licensing terms often remain too restrictive or expensive...
  • Saw this last year - how right they were "In memoriam: the ISV" - Oracle announces purchase of BEA and Sun announces purchase of MySQL

    So here we are on the day (or a day later) that Sun (JAVA) decides to buy MySQL, finally putting a blow against Oracle who had self selected Linux (personal opinion was Oracle saw the deal having the same money, just less for the OS, so more for them) and BEA gets welded to the Oracle Fusion integration story. Consolidation is indeed the way forward... unless the European Union think that there is too few companies in which case companies will have to give away some corporate asset in order to not be too successful. The article is worth a read.. will everything eventually be owned by Microsoft, Google, Oracle or Symantec ? YEAR END - In memoriam: the ISV By James Niccolai and Chris Kanaracus, IDG News Service, 12/12/07 The world of business software continued its inexorable march toward Total Consolidation in 2007. If IBM was off the mark in 1943 when it (supposedly) predicted a world with only five computers, it might have better luck today with a similar prediction about the software industry. The trend has been under way for years, but the past 12 months saw many of the remaining big names in business software absorbed into other companies, including Hyperion, Business Objects, Cognos, Opsware and webMethods. They join PeopleSoft, Siebel, JD Edwards and JBoss from the recent past. Outside of security companies, it is now difficult to name even a half dozen well-known, best-of-breed vendors that are holding their own. YEAR END - In memoriam: the ISV - Network World Working in the ISV "space" I can tell you that new ventures are coming along just fine and growing well. Yes, some bigger fish gobble some of the smaller fish, but many still swim freely in the sea, making money and changing the world. ttfn David Technorati Tags: ISV , Business
  • We may live in the Web 1.5/2.0/3.0 world, but most of our customers don't - Online office suites barely register with public, says study

    Just a final one before I go to bed (been at home ill today, so fired off some blogs while I was bed bound) - It is funny how much noise Saas and applications like Office suites online get in the IT press, yet go to your average consumer and you are down with 26% who are aware of them and just 6% who have tried them - and most of these are not regular users. Just reminds us to keep our feet firmly on the same planet as those of our customers, or help them very carefully to step to the new planet. A new study by the NPD Group doesn't paint a great picture for the current state of online productivity suites. If the numbers from a survey of 600 US residents are to be believed, most of us have never heard of, let alone tried, products such as Google Docs or Zoho . Considering various factors such as visibility and the industry's untested waters though, these numbers could be due for a significant shift in the coming years. According to NPD Group numbers, 73 percent of the 600 Americans surveyed have never heard of online office suites, while another 20 percent have, but simply haven't tried any for one reason or another. The remaining six percent of respondents are split between those who have heard of the suites and either haven't used them again, use them infrequently, and use both online suites and desktop apps like Microsoft Office. Based on these numbers, some have already written a eulogy for Web 2.0 office suites , but that assessment might be a bit early. Online office suites barely register with public, says study; that may change as they mature ttfn David Technorati Tags: Web 2.0 , SaaS , S+S
  • Make sure your Oracle based applications are being patched - it seems most don't bother! Then don't get complacent as 20% of Windows applications go un-patched too.

    It is funny. As people get more used to patching operating systems they seem to think that makes them bullet proof on the whole system, yet this is simply not the case. With Microsoft products people are used to patching them as needed to reduce the security risks on their systems. Others will sight that their systems are already secure and therefore don't need patching. I remember a few years ago watching the outcome of a Hackathon and the losing team lost not because of the OS security, but because of the application on top of it being unpatched and insecure. If you have an application that uses Oracle, check it is being patched and secured as in a single month Oracle have been known to release 40+ patches. Now before you go and pat yourself on the back for being so good at not having any Oracle systems, you might need to check your Windows applications are also patched. Fro the Windows patch story, look at One-fifth of Windows apps go unpatched - down from 28% last May, but still need to be careful Survey: Most Oracle professionals don't patch Tom Espiner ZDNet.co.uk Two-thirds of Oracle Database professionals are not applying critical patches, security company Sentrigo has found. In a survey of 305 Oracle professionals, Sentrigo found the majority did not apply the Oracle patches released in Oracle Critical Patch Updates. This leaves users' databases open to compromise, according to analyst company Canalys. When asked at various US Oracle User Group meetings last year, the Sentrigo survey found 67.5 percent of respondents said they had never applied any Oracle critical patches, and 90 percent said they had not applied the latest set of patches in the Critical Patch Update, which was released in October 2007. Users cited concerns over downtime and compatibility with applications as reasons not to patch. "On the face of it, these survey results look alarming," said Andy Buss, senior Canalys analyst. "Not patching can leave companies open to compromise. Companies need to get into the routine...
  • One-fifth of Windows apps go unpatched - down from 28% last May, but still need to be careful

    I like Secunia as an organisation. They present huge amounts of data that you can then pick into if you disagree with it. For example, ZDNet recently said that 2007 saw more serious security flaws for Apple OSX compared to Windows using the information provided by Secunia's web site. They also run a scan on people's PC to determin how good/bad they are and while things have improved - it is again too easy to be one of the people throwing things saying "I'm alright because I run Windows Update or applied Service Pack 1". One-fifth of Windows apps go unpatched Updates are available, but users haven't installed them, says Secunia December 28, 2007 (Computerworld) -- One in five applications installed on Windows PCs are missing security patches, a Copenhagen-based vulnerability tracker has reported. According to Secunia APS, more than 20% of the applications scanned by its Personal Software Inspector (PSI) utility were open to attack because available fixes for security flaws had not been applied. "More than 20% of all applications installed on users' PCs have known security flaws, but the users have yet to install the patch provided by the vendor of [the] product," said Jakob Balle, Secunia's development manager, in a post to the company's blog last week. The 20% figure was based on scans of more than 14.5 million applications installed on the Windows PCs operated by users who downloaded and installed Secunia's PSI. The utility scans for some 4,200 different applications and reports on their patch status. The 1-in-5 ratio, however, is an improvement over earlier PSI scans. Last May, Secunia said that 28% of the applications PSI scanned were missing available security updates. One-fifth of Windows apps go unpatched ttfn David Technorati Tags: Security , Patches , System Updates
  • Report: Small businesses moving to Vista fastest | InfoWorld | News | 2008-01-14 | By Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service

    Yes this is a US report, but I believe a similar move is happening in the UK Nearly half of businesses polled in a recent survey are in some phase of updating to Vista, and of those companies, 53 percent are small businesses By Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service January 14, 2008 Nearly half of businesses are in some phase of preparing to update desktops to Windows Vista with small businesses moving the fastest to implement the OS, according to a new report released Monday. The number of organizations evaluating and testing Vista increased from 29 percent in February 2007 to 48 percent by early November 2007, found the report, commissioned by reseller CDW and based on information collected by Walker Information from 772 IT decision makers. Moreover, about 35 percent of companies are currently implementing or have implemented Vista already, compared to 12 percent last February, the report said. The report is the third of a wave of reports on Vista adoption that CDW has done since the OS was in its final testing phases in October 2006. In the latest phase of release, which tracked Vista adoption from October 31 until Nov. 7, 2007, small businesses comprised 53 percent of those companies either using or evaluating Vista. The higher-education segment came in second, with 49 percent reporting that they are evaluating or using the OS, while medium-to-large businesses were third, with 48 percent. Because of lingering hardware and application compatibility issues between existing company IT assets and Vista, CDW still advises customers to move to Vista on a case-by-case basis, said David Cottingham, director of product and partner management at CDW. In the case of small businesses, they may not have the application or hardware dependencies on Windows XP that larger businesses have. "There are still definitely concerns when you get into custom applications in industries that will run on XP," he said. "If [companies] have custom applications that don't run on Vista yet, they're going to stay on XP...
  • Independent study advises IT planners to go OOXML

    I'm not feeling my best, so no comments, but below was an article I found very interesing: Independent study advises IT planners to go OOXML Posted by Mary Jo Foley @ 6:41 am Market researchers with the Burton Group have issued a 37-page study– not commissioned by Microsoft or any other tech vendor — that finds Microsoft’s OOXML document format to be more useful than the rival ODF format backed by Microsoft’s competitors. The new study, freely downloadable (in exchange for registration) from Burton’s Web site is entitled “What’s Up, .DOC? ODF, OOXML, and the Revolutionary Implications of XML in Productivity Applications.” Office Open XML (OOXML) is Microsoft’s XML file format that it made the default in its Office 2007 suite. Open Document Format(ODF) is the file format championed by Sun Microsystems, IBM, Google and other Microsoft competitors. Microsoft is seeking ISO standards approval for OOXML, largely to appease customers who prefer/require standards-compliant products, as well as to head off ODF momentum, especially in developing nations. In September, Microsoft lost its bid to fast-track OOXML through ISO. In February 2008, ISO will hold a ballot-resolution meeting on Microsoft’s OOXML ISO standardization bid. After comparing the respective merits of OOXML and ODF, Burton made its recommendations for IT managers: “Any organization directly or indirectly (e.g., exchanging files with business partners) using Microsoft Office applications should plan to exploit OOXML. In addition to being the default file format in Office 2007, OOXML offers significant compression and security advantages relative to earlier, binary Microsoft Office file formats. “Although moving to OOXML file formats involves some administrative challenges, the opportunities for improved content management and productivity outweigh the short-term inconvenience of migrating from binary file formats.” Burton Group analysts Guy Creese and Peter O’Kelly, authors of the new study, explained why they believe OOXML “will be more pervasive than ODF...
  • How they said "Happy Holidays!" to Star Wars fans in 1977

    Well, it is now over 30 years since Star Wars made me realise that there is more to life and that doing the right thing was something to fight for. However, just as a bit of nostalgia, here is a little posting from the Community Pages sharing how Happy Christmas (non-PC version) was done 30 years ago "Happy Holidays!" Love, 1977 December 21, 2007 Thirty years ago next week, 20th Century Fox began running a newspaper ad for the 1977 holiday season which offered seasons greetings from several Star Wars characters. Even our favorite Grand Moff and Sith Lord offered their best -- we'll chalk that up to New Year's resolutions. Star Wars: Community | "Happy Holidays!" Love, 1977 ttfn David Technorati Tags: Star Wars , Happy Christmas
  • Kids TV Quiz, Original artwork and Times Online. Take the 15 question Quick and see who you are - I was Dangermouse and there is also the ability to win some Dangermouse original artwork!!

    I was invited by Russell Singler of the The Animation Art Gallery to go look at TimesOnline for a quiz and competition to win some of his artwork . I found a discount code for the next ten days that gives 10% off of his work and this fun quiz ( www.timesonline.co.uk/kidstv ) Good grief! You really are Dangermouse Have you been known to loiter around a particular post box in Mayfair? Your character bears a striking resemblance to DM himself, the Chief, the greatest super hero in the world, that most debonair of rodents with the mysterious eye patch. You're obviously as brave as a lion, or even a white mouse. You're as cunning as a cat, (or a white mouse). And you can even do impressive yoga poses while balancing on one finger. Whilst you may be the best thing in the secret service since 001, you're not shy in letting people know all about your dazzling skills. What you really need is a timid assistant to boss about – oh shush Penfold… For the 10% discount at Russell's store, which includes some of the Star Wars artwork I purchased, have a look at http://www.theanimationartgallery.com/ and use the code Jan08 for the next 10 days. ( View All 57 Products for Star Wars for the Star Wars artwork) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Star Wars , Kids TV , TimesOnline , Dangermouse
  • Developing solutions on Windows Home Server

    Some people have asked why WHS is not available on MSDN. Well, it is largely Windows Server and eval media is easy to obtain, so for most people, this should be excellent for developing solutions. A MSDN link has also been created to get to the developer information easily - http://msdn.microsoft.com/windowshomeserver Windows Home Server Windows Home Server enables families with multiple PCs to organize, share, and automatically protect documents, photos, music, and videos. Windows Home Server supports third-party applications and enables integration. Below you will find development guidance and additional resources. What is a Windows Home Server software add-in? Add-ins are supplemental programs that extend the functionality of Windows Home Server. These applications can be added to and managed by Windows Home Server via integration into the Windows Home Server Console, running as a web service on Internet Information Server, or operating in a client/server fashion. Step by Step: Developing an Add-in You develop applications to run on Windows Home Server with APIs, both from Windows Home Server and Windows Server 2003 . Specific guidance about APIs is available in the Windows Home Server SDK . To begin developing for Windows Home Server it is helpful to have an understanding of Visual Studio 2005 , Visual C# , and Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 . The following steps are intended as a check-list to guide you through the process of creating an add-in along with the appropriate technical resources available to you. Evaluate Windows Home Server Order or download an evaluation version for review. 120-day evaluation physical media Review documentation Windows Home Server SDK : Provides tools and information to create your own custom applications for Windows Home Server. Using the SDK, you can learn how to use the Windows Home Server application programming interface (API) to build applications. Technical Briefs : Provides an in-depth look into various features and functionality of key Windows Home Server technologies. (Link...
  • Quick licensing question and answer - the 5 licenses (CALs) that ship with SBS 2003 in the box, are they per user or per device?

    I have seen this question asked several time so thought I would share this one on the blog: http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2003/sbs/techinfo/overview/licensingfaq.mspx Q. How do I know which mode I have selected? A. For the first 5 CALs that come with the server, you should complete the CAL license document. There is a field for writing in whether you would like to choose per user or per device CALs. For CAL add-on packs there are separate SKUs for per user and per device. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 , Licensing , CALs , Per User , Per Device
  • If you are a Virtual Earth wannabe, then you need to know about the UK Partner Day

    This is a simple "if you care about this" posts, but a few people have asked me about MapPoint / Virtual Earth. James has published details at James.Random() : Virtual Earth UK Partner Day on how to integrate Virtual Earth into your applications. Virtual Earth UK Partner Day The Microsoft Virtual Earth EMEA team are holding an event on 6 th February 2008 at the Great House at Sonning to provide you with all the information you require to integrate VE into your business offering. Never before has it been so easy for your clients to track assets, find customers, manage mobile sales force & engineers or make sure their customers find them before they find a competitor! The agenda is not yet finalised but will consist of: · Informative sessions; you will hear from customers and partners who have utilised Virtual Earth as well as technical presentations and the latest updates from VE. · A masterclass from Johannes Kebeck highlighting useful tips and tricks for developers, ensuring you get the most out of the Virtual Earth platform. · A valuable opportunity to network with other partners and developers as well as members of the EMEA Virtual Earth team. The day will run from 9.30am until 5pm and we do hope you can join us. To register your attendance please follow the link below. Click here to register Or call 0870 166 6676 to register by phone. If you have colleagues who would also like to attend please forward them this e-mail. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Virtual Earth , Developer , ISV
  • Macworld - First Trojan reported for the iPhone

    Ahh, once again the joys of lessening the security on a device to enable modification or easier use shows its dark side. Once upon a time geeks could open and hack the software they bought and make their own world a better place. Now, more people do this without the knowledge of the risks they are taking or how to manage them. The result is that "other" things start to happen showing that the need for knowledge is even more important, especially with regard to security. First Trojan reported for the iPhone by Jim Dalrymple While not a huge risk, the first Trojan for the iPhone has been discovered. The first reports came from iPhone enthusiast site Modmyifone.com and were later confirmed by security research company F-Secure. <sniped> F-Secure reported that it was an 11-year-old kid playing with XML files who created the Trojan. “Next time it might be someone else with more skills and with specific target,” they said. Macworld | First Trojan reported for the iPhone ttfn David Technorati Tags: Security , iPhone , Trojan , Malware
  • Windows Server 2003 is beginning to feel left behind with the arrival of Windows Server 2008 inside the Microsoft datacenter - fun videos to watch and learn a few reasons why to use Windows Server 2008

    I saw these and they just made me laugh while sharing a few things about WS2008 vs 2003. Unlike some "new and improved" washing powders, Windows Server 2003 is a good product, but some key areas have been improved to meet people's new and different needs, such as more security, sharing of information, web based applications, minimal systems and virtualisation. The blog entry (which was obviously written before RC1 appeared, but posted afterwards) can be found at Windows Server Division WebLog : About Lone Server . If you want some fun, skip the soapbox video and look at the long video from the blog / link below. About The Lone Server Once I was almost famous. For years, my friends and I were on the front lines: we were the Windows Server 2003 servers that powered Microsoft.com, one of the hottest Web sites in the world. Then, early last summer, everything changed. Quietly, without warning, the new kids took over. Windows Server 2008. Yes, I know, the product’s not even done yet. These were Beta 3 servers, for Pete’s sake. Long way from prime time. But there they were, humming away. No problems. All of ‘em on Windows Server 2008. Except me. The last Windows Server 2003 left at Microsoft.com. Here’s a video (1:58) of my life today: And here’s a longer version (3:14), in case you have as much time to kill as I do: How can this be? If you’re like me (and I know I am), you probably wonder how a product that’s eight months away from shipping can be handed the responsibility of running something as big and important as the Microsoft corporate portal. Fact is, Windows Server 2008 was lurking around MS.com since back when they still called it Longhorn. Those early bits first took live traffic back in ’05. And since then, WS08 has been everybody’s favourite kid. They called it part of the development team. Said it was a prodigy. Given all the cool little jobs. But then, suddenly, to be given the whole enchilada? All of MS.com? While still in Beta friggin’ 3? Unimaginable, but there it was. My only hope is that...
  • Dissent in the Open Source world between GPL 2 & GPL 3 - Linus Torvalds will be sticking with GPL 2

    I personally don't mind which license type someone chooses to deliver their product with, but I think it should never be used as a shotgun against the developers, contributors or organisations that have been using / developing the software to force them into agreements that were unrecognised prior to that use. GPL 3 was hijacked (in my very personal opinion) by a small group to change the meaning of "free" and change the ethos of the GPL. Today I read that I am not the only person who feels that way. In the interview at InfoWorld, Linus Torvalds, the inventor of Linux explains why he believes GPL 2 is for him. After all, just because someone releases an alternative version of a license, you don't have to use it!! Linux creator Linus Torvalds, in an interview being made public by the Linux Foundation Tuesday, stressed that version 2 of the GPL (GNU General Public License) still makes the most sense for the Linux kernel over the newer GPL version 3. GPL 3, which was released last year by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), reflects the FSF''s goals while GPL 2 closely matches what Torvalds thinks a license should do, Torvalds said. "I want to pick the license that makes the most sense for what I want to do. And at this point in time, Version 2 matches what I think we want to do much, much better than Version 3," said Torvalds, who is now a fellow at the foundation. He was interviewed in late-October by Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin. Among GPL 3 highlights are protections against patent infringement lawsuits and provisions for license compatibility. Torvalds acknowledged he had spoken out against GPL 3 before it was released. He had opposed digital rights management provisions in early-2006, calling them burdensome . Linus Torvalds still sticking with GPL 2 | InfoWorld | News | 2008-01-07 | By Paul Krill ttfn David Technorati Tags: GPL , Linux , Linus Torvalds , Open Source
  • From CES 2008: British Telecom (BT) Vision to use Xbox 360 consoles as set-top boxes

    If you have BT broadband then their IPTV solution will be coming to your Xbox 360 too (and BT don't charge for the service either) CES 2008: BT Vision to use Xbox 360 consoles as set-top boxes One exciting snippet of news from Bill Gates's keynotes speech last night, once again concerning us Brits, was that they're partnering with BT to offer the Xbox 360 as their Vision set-top box. This is yet another collaboration between the two giants, with Microsoft's Mediaroom already actually powering their Vision broadband TV service since late 2006. This deal with Xbox 360 might be just what BT need to pull Vision out of the depths and into the mainstream - they only have around 100,000 users, and have fallen dramatically short of their targets. Whilst Gates didn't go into the details last night, the Xbox 360 team has already sent around a press release about the collaboration, claiming it will be available from mid 2008. This means the whole range of on-demand TV and film will be available on the 360, and will be "seamlessly integrated" with Xbox Live. Tech Digest: CES 2008: BT Vision to use Xbox 360 consoles as set-top boxes Some more opinions at http://www.product-reviews.net/2008/01/07/microsoft-and-bt-turn-xbox-into-set-top-box/ and http://msmvps.com/blogs/chrisl/archive/2008/01/07/1444069.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Xbox 360 , IPTV , BT , British Telecom
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  • The Terminal Server Team and Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services from the TechNet Edge

    Terminal Server in Windows Server 2003 is very good, in Windows Server 2008 it is truly great. I also found this very good blog, so I thought I had best share this: Meet the Terminal Services Team Episode III Summary.SeeThisOnC9 After walking us through some of the new features in Terminal Services in Episode I and II, Tad takes the show on the road in this episode. We visit with Sriram Sampath, the dev lead on the TS multi-user kernel. The TS team does some clever things in this release, including the way TS access local devices and authentication of users before creating sessions. Sriram spends most of the time at the whiteboard drawing up the kernel architecture. [Click to read the full post ] It is also worth looking at the rest of the set: Meet the Terminal Services Team Episode III Meet the Terminal Services Team Episode II Meet the Terminal Services team Episode I Does your Terminal Server need a NAP? What is the Gateway up to? No VPN, No corporate access, Terminal Server Gateway says "No Problem" Your applications and Terminal Services Remote App -- A love story Your Browser or Mine, Terminal Services Web Access? Sneak Peek: Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services Overview Home | TechNet Edge ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Server 2003 , Terminal Services , Terminal Server Gateway
  • Video for Bill's last day

    I've seen this mentioned in so many places that I had to share: ttfn David Technorati Tags: Bill Gates , CES , last day
  • CES (Computer Electronics Show) is coming and Microsoft will be there. Want to learn more and watch the keynote...

    I love CES. Yes, it is not business oriented, but it is great to see what everyone / anyone is doing in the consumer end of the market. Microsoft have a little silverlight site for people to find out more: This site can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/ces/ :-) Notice the areas we will be talking about at the bottom of the screen shot - Windows Vista, Xbox 360, Zune, Office, Windows Live, Windows Mobile and Games for Windows... rock on!! You can find links to more information, more ways to view etc at http://www.istartedsomething.com/20080105/bill-gates-ces-2008-keynote/ ttfn David (still officially on holiday)
  • Happy New Year and 1tb drive failures

    I've managed to not blog for a week, which I think is a miracle for me and I am also enjoying the freedom of not working or doing anything too strenuous for the brain. I did think it was worth saying "Happy New Year" to you all and to say that I will be back. On the technology front I had fitted my system under my desk with an additional 1TB of storage to enable further file duplication, however this USB Storage Device has caused more system hiccups than it was worth, so it will be being resigned to another less strategic use in the home - I'm just not sure exactly what yet :-) Have a great New Year and see you when I get back to work on the 7th January. Its been fun doing this for another year. ttfn David
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  • Happy Christmas - see the Santa Cam to see where he has been

    I Love Santa Claus!! I was thrilled to hear Jonathan Ross announce that he had entered British air space. You can see all the Santa cam videos at http://youtube.com/view_play_list?p=26B9B2ACB4AAC849 . One that caught my eye was his visit to the International Space Station: ttfn and a Merry Christmas David Technorati Tags: Christmas , Santa Cam , Santa Claus
  • Silverlight, the UK PR company and Christmas greetings

    I'm enjoying the festive spirit at the moment - the home is well lit and I am officially off from work (officially because I still do a bit here and there). I'm off to the cinema with one of my daughters today and plan to spend some of the afternoon wrapping presents too. What more could one ask for? Well, how about Mason Zimbler writing their seasons greeting card in Silverlight? Well, if it was, then another of my Christmas wishes has been granted . It is quite nice to see a PR company taking the mickey out of themselves a bit, but they are British I suppose!! http://mason-zimbler.com/festivegreetings/ As always, enjoy the holidays David Technorati Tags: Silverlight , Christmas , Personal
  • Happy Christmas / Seasons Greetings - The Overton house is once again lit up for all to see

    I am lucky enough to have understanding neighbours and a family that understands that while I work hard all year, come Christmas I take time off and this includes the house being decorated in Christmas lights. To see them this year, have a look at the photo album - http://uksbsguy.com/photos/doverton/tags/Christmas/default.aspx . I will be posting some comments to the blog, but outside of that, have a GREAT holiday no matter how you celebrate it. See you in 2008. David and Family Technorati Tags: Christmas , Holiday , Personal , Christmas lights
  • Samba developers can now see the Windows Protocols, make their products more interoperable with Microsoft Windows and see where Patents are to then choose to avoid or license

    I have never been known to sugar coat my opinion and one that has been forming recently is that much of the EU work on opening the Windows Media player is undesired by the consumers or the industry. This is my opinion, but I've seen no evidence to the contra. However, the licensing of protocols, while I don't wholly agree with the pricing structure, I see it as a good thing. This is a classic example of a de-facto standard working how it should. Today yet another organisation licensed the protocols, this time for the Samba community (with restrictions on redistribution and patent awareness) and this should deliver the reality of "interoperability, not standards" that I personally feel is the true desire of the world. Update: Microsoft to hand over Windows secrets to Samba team | InfoWorld | News | 2007-12-20 | By Robert McMillan, IDG News Service Developers of open-source Samba software will find their work a little easier thanks to an agreement with Microsoft, signed Thursday, that will give them access to previously secret data on how the Windows operating system works. <snipped> The deal was signed with a nonprofit group called the Protocol Freedom Information Foundation, (PFIF) which negotiated on behalf of the Samba team because Samba is not represented by a corporate entity. PFIF will pay a one-time fee of €10,000 and, in return, will be able to allow open-source developers, including the Samba team, to access the documents. Developers will have to sign nondisclosure agreements and will not be allowed to redistribute Microsoft's documentation, but they will be able to write open-source software that implements the Windows protocols. The deal will also clarify which patents Microsoft believes are related to this technology, making it easier for open-source developers to avoid patent violations. The article is quite negative in tone, ignoring that the licensing process was available before the EU stepped in and giving the glory to the EU, when I believe it is the free-market that made...
  • How to Disable Internet features of Office 2007

    I saw this go around on a thread at work and I have seen it requested for those security conscious partners, so here is the answer (courtesy of Eric Ellis): 1) Via the Office Customisation Tool (OCT) and a custom MSP: — or — 2) Via Group Policy: The difference between the two is that using the OCT will preset the desired configuration during the initial installation (or in a maintenance mode change), but users can change the settings if they desire. Group policy enforces the desired configuration, and if a user makes a change to the setting, they will revert back to the settings defined in the policy during the next application session. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007 , Security , Internet , Group Policy , Office Customisation Tool , OCT
  • Internet Explorer 8 (yep, not yet released) does standards (well Acid anyway)

    Earlier this month on the IE blog there was some discussion about IE8, almost the 1st discussion about this - Internet Explorer 8 . Now they talk about the "Standards Mode" and how for those who want near 100% standards based web sites can live happily together. It is worth saying that it might end up 100% standards based, but since I don't think such a thing exists, all I will say is that is passes all the standards tests. Acid is one of these tests. I strongly recommend you read the the whole blog Internet Explorer 8 and Acid2: A Milestone As a team, we’ve spent the last year heads down working hard on IE8. Last week, we achieved an important milestone that should interest web developers. IE8 now renders the “ Acid2 Face ” correctly in IE8 standards mode. If you’re not a web developer, the details of this blog post probably aren’t all that interesting for you. I’d like you to know that we’re building IE8 for many different customers (consumers, web service providers, independent software vendors, enterprises, web developers, and others), and we’ll cover more details of the non-developer oriented work (e.g. user experience, reliability, security, etc.) in other posts in the future, after MIX . While web developers will immediately recognize what Acid2 means, I want to step back and offer some context for other readers of this blog who may not be familiar with web standards. Briefly: Acid2 is one test of how modern browsers work with some specific features across several different web standards. At first glance, this test seems simple. I think it actually offers a view into the subtle and complex world of web standards in a number of ways. Showing the Acid2 page correctly is a good indication of being standards compliant, but Acid2 itself isn’t a web standard or a web standards compliance test . The publisher of the test, the Web Standards Project , is an advocacy group, not a web standards defining body. When we look at the long lists of standards (even from just one standards body, like the W3C ),...
  • Happy Christmas from Microsoft UK and me (ok, so it says Seasons Greetings, but I think we all can take it to be something about having a nice break if you choose to celebrate it)

    The card itself can be found at the site http://www.seasonal-greetings.com/ , but since this is a nice little Silverlight card I thought I would try my hand at embedding it too, so below is an embedded version of the card. If this gives you problems, let me know. If you feel inclined you can click the NSPCC link and think about how to support them (I do, but so could you) [updated to change Silverlight embedded card to a link since this is now post Christmas] ttfn David Technorati Tags: Seasons Greatings , Happy Christmas , NSPCC , Microsoft
  • Post Install Issues with MS07-069 (IE6 on XPSP2) - Internet Explorer 6 crashes on launch

    Just a quick one for those of you on XP SP2 with the latest security updates. There is a risk of seeing IE start crashing following this update. You have two choices: Don't install the security update - always a bad idea Install the update and deploy a registry fix to solve the problem. The IE team have documented it at Post Install Issues with MS07-069 (IE6 on XPSP2) After downloading the Internet Explorer Cumulative Security Update for December 2007, some customers using IE6 on Windows XP Service Pack 2 have experienced an unexpected crash or hang upon launching Internet Explorer. This might occur while navigating to a website hosting considerable media content (for example: http://msn.com ) resulting in Internet Explorer displaying a dialog that states “Internet Explorer has experienced a problem and needs to close”. If you experience this issue, implement the applicable workaround provided in the following knowledge base article: Microsoft Knowledge Base article 946627 For your security, we strongly recommend that you deploy the Internet Explorer Cumulative Security Update for December 2007 . Terry McCoy Program Manager Internet Explorer Security The KB article has the following information in it ( Internet Explorer 6 crashes after you install security update 942615 on a computer that is running Windows XP Service Pack 2 ) Internet Explorer 6 crashes after you install security update 942615 on a computer that is running Windows XP Service Pack 2 Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk. To work around this problem, follow these steps: Click Start , click Run , type regedit, and then click OK . Locate and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\ On the Edit menu, point to New ,...
  • Mobile browsers and devices that are supported in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and in SharePoint Server 2007

    I saw this pointed out today and had to share. With SharePoint Service v3 & 2007 you can enable simple mobile access. This is covered in the Knowledge Base article Mobile browsers and devices that are supported in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and in SharePoint Server 2007 of which the key items are: INTRODUCTION This article discusses the mobile browsers and devices that are supported in Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Mobile pages refer to the pages that you can access by using any of the following URLs: http://URL/m/ http://URL/_layouts/mobile/default.aspx Note To use the http://URL/m/ URL, you must enable it by using the following command: stsadm -o activatefeature -name MobilityRedirect -URL http://URL By default, the http://URL/_layouts/mobile/default.aspx URL works without any additional enabling. I saw this when David Copeland posted this to a question on an internal alias, so thanks to David for pointing it out. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Mobile , SharePoint , WSS v3 , WSS
  • Service Availability and what it mean, or have a consumer broadband line and get consumer availability (10 hours downtime)

    The UKSBSGUY.com server is on my home broadband connection and this means it does not get business availability. Last night I had another 10 hours downtime and 8 hours earlier in the month. This all sounds bad, but here is where you need to understand SLAs and what availability statistics mean. If I have a 24x7 contract and I want high availability then this is how much downtime I can have through the year: Availability 365 days 31 days 1 day 99% 3.65 days 7.44 hours 14.4 minutes 99.9% 8.76 hours 44.64 minutes 1.44 minutes 99.99% 52.56 minutes 4.46 minutes 0.14 minutes 99.999% 5.26 minutes 0.45 minutes 0.01 minutes From this you can see that I am somewhere between 99% and 99.9%. If I assume 24 hours downtime this year then I am at about 99.7%, which on a consumer service is pretty amazing. Now, if someone offers you a service rebate then you need to consider the service period. For example, if someone offers 99.9% every day and you have a whole days outage, that is 1 day in 365 that they have failed, so any rebate might be very small. Also bear in mind that if the service hours reduces (eg 9-5) then the amount of down time that is in spec reduces, but the service could be available or closed outside the service hours. Hopefully this helps point to what you need to know when offering or signing up to SLAs: Over what period is the availability measured (remember it is possible to offer 99.99% from 9-5 and then 0% outside this, so beware) What is the recourse that is offered if a SLA is missed and how does it fit in the bit picture What is the cost / impact of taking an SLA How do they manage with existing customers What are the exceptions (eg telling you 2 weeks in advance that the service will be down for 8 hours might exclude that service from SLA measures) that is it. Obviously there are a couple of SLA and managed services kings out there such as Karl - http://smallbizthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/09/final-thoughts-managed-services-in.html and the two PALs in the UK (Vijay and Gareth) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Service...
  • WSS v3 Search and Search Server - how to mix the two and fix the error "The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service"

    I got this e-mail the other day: Hi David,From your posting "How to install Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express - including how to install on Windows Home Server" it seems that you had some similar problems that I am experiencing regarding running wss3 and ssx on the same server. In my case it effectively broke the "search this site" option and I'm trying to find a solution to this do you by any chance now what is my problem? I keep getting the error message: The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service . Regards Peter After a bit of research the answer can be found at http://wss.asaris.de/sites/walsh/Lists/WSSv3%20FAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=1256 . While I have not used this, the feedback from Peter was excellent "Thanks a bundle, This was the solution to my problem.", so I feel confident sharing it. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Search Server Express Edition 2008 , Search Server , Windows SharePoint Server , WSS , SSX
  • SBS 2003, Virtual Server and / or Terminal Services and why use virtualisation and the risks to consider

    I need to take my hat off to the PSS guys in India. I "met" Girish on the Microsoft internal aliases and then delivering a Technet chat. I've since seen him post some great blog posts, but also answer key questions in various SBS forums. Alex recently asked the question: They (well I) think it is time to virtualise the three SBS servers that support their three micro businesses (plus a terminal server each). Lower energy costs (down to 1 server from 3), quieter in their office. Girish has recently blogged something that would help implement this: Content Released: Deploying Terminal Services in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Environment Deploying Terminal Services in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Environment This document updates and replaces both "Deploying Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server to Host User Desktops in a Windows Small Business Server Environment" and "Installing Virtual Server 2005 R2 on Windows Small Business Server 2003 with SP1." Kudos to SBS UA team and the SBS Support Staff. Now, he also commented in the SBS forum with some great advice: There are a huge number of caveats that make this a very complex and usually disappointing option. Make sure your understand these KBs: 909840 Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 do not support Virtual PC and Virtual Server for production environments http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;909840 840319 A list of supported host operating systems that you can use to run Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;840319 897613 Microsoft Virtual Server support policy http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;897613 320220 Support policy for Exchange Server 2003 running on hardware virtualization software http://vkbexternal/VKBWebService/ViewContent.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;320220 897614 Windows Server System software not supported within a Microsoft Virtual Server environment http://vkbexternal/VKBWebService/ViewContent...
  • How to buy Microsoft products - for businesses up to 250 PCs

    I saw this ( How to buy Microsoft products ) and thought I should share. Not only does the site have some very simple information on what solution may well be right for each customer and how to choose, but if you are still confused there is a good questionnaire to help you and a link to find your local SBSC partner. Find the right purchasing option for you Volume Licensing Best option for companies that would like to save money on software by buying in bulk. If you are buying more than 5 licences for any mix of Microsoft products, you could save money in comparison to buying boxed software. Learn more Hosted software Best option for businesses that want to outsource IT. You can rent the right to use Microsoft products through an IT provider who offers Software as a Service (SaaS). Learn more Software in a box from a retailer Best option for companies that only need one or two copies of software, or that want the convenience of an instant purchase. You can buy software in a box that contains a licensed software CD for installation on a single computer. Learn more Pre-installed on a new computer Best option for companies with plans to buy new computers. If you are buying new computers for your company, you can have many Microsoft products pre-installed. Learn more Comparison Chart: ttfn David Technorati Tags: Small Business , How to buy Microsoft software , SBSC PALs
  • Do you want a Microsoft Architecture Poster?

    I saw this at Chris's site and thought I would share: Chris Bowen's Blog : Got Tech Posters? There are plenty of technology posters and charts for developers available on MSDN. I didn't realize just how many until I searched for "poster" on MSDN downloads . Here's a list of the more recent ones: [Edited list by David - more on Chris's blog] .NET 3.5 Namespaces Poster The .NET Framework 3.5 Common Namespaces and Types Poster Exchange Component Architecture Poster This poster highlights the architecture and feature set of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. Visual Basic 2008 Keybinding Poster Printable wall poster containing list of useful keyboard shortcuts for Visual Basic 2008 developers Visual C++ 2008 Keybinding Poster List of keybindings for Visual C++ language within Visual Studio and Visual C++ Express 2008 Visual C# 2008 Poster Wall chart showing useful keyboard shortcuts for Visual C# programming language 2007 Office System: Developer Posters Download these posters to learn more about the new features and enhancement to the 2007 Microsoft Office System. Windows Server 2008 Component Posters Windows Server 2008 Component Posters, originally printed in the July 2007 issue of TechNet Magazine. Microsoft Silverlight 1.1 ( Ed: Make that 2.0 ) Developer Reference Poster Microsoft Silverlight Developer Reference Poster ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , .Net Framework , Visual C# , Visual C++ , Office System , Silverlight , Windows Server 2008
  • If you are a developer, what can Windows 2008 do for your developments... lots maybe

    Sorry to sound so vague, but I have to start by saying that Windows Server 2008 is a server platform, not a cure for cancer, so lets put it in perspective and set our expectations high, but not stupidly high expecting it to be revolution. Server 2008 is a quality evolution of Windows Server 2003 and extends and enhanced the Server 2003 offerings. However, if you plan on building applications for the future then Server 2008 will be the place to be. Microsoft have released a document called the "Windows Server 2008 Developer Story" that has a wealth of information on Server 2008 developer directions and how they combine to offer something greater than the sum of the parts. The download site describes itself as: Windows Server 2008 Developer Story An executable containing the Windows Server 2008 Developer Story The Windows Server 2008 Developer Story introduces users to new features of the Windows Server 2008 operating system by providing a cohesive story about how the features fit together to make a compelling platform for developers. The Developer Story topics explain how to take advantage of a new feature or solve a problem using the new Windows technologies. The topics include conceptual information for context and technical specifications for practical application of each scenario. This download contains the Windows Server 2008 Developer Story (ServerDevStory.chm). Download details: Windows Server 2008 Developer Story If you look inside the help file it loads then you get this list of the top 7 ways to take advantage of Windows Server 2008. Top 7 Ways to Light Up Your Apps on Windows Server 2008 Whether you are building Web applications or writing core server-based system services, Windows Server® 2008 provides many new features that you can leverage to build more secure, flexible, and innovative applications. Build More Flexible Web Applications on Internet Information Server 7.0 (IIS7) Extend IIS7 through modules New unified configuration model Administration capabilities using Microsoft.Web.Administration...
  • Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals - download details

    If you do plan to deploy Windows Vista then you need to be aware of the information that these guides can give you: Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals These guides will assist IT Professionals in evaluating and deploying Windows Vista SP1 and are downloadable versions of the SP1 guides found in the Windows Vista Technical Library . (http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsVista/en/library/90a564b9-34af-4a6b-937f-324e1862244b1033.mspx) Files in This Download The links in this section correspond to separate files available in this download. Download the files most appropriate for you. Deployment_Guide_for_the_Release_Candidate_Version_of_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Enterprise_Guidance_for_Application_Compatibility_Testing_and_Windows_Vista_SP1.doc Hotfixes_and_Security_Updates_included_in_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Notable_Changes_in_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1_Release_Candidate.doc Overview_of_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Download details: Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Vista , Service Pack , Service Pack 1 , Release Candidate , Documentation
  • How to get Windows Vista Service Pack 1 RC (legitimately) via the Public Availability Program

    I knew this was coming, but I've not seen it shouted too much. My machine feels more responsive and some operations as mentioned before are faster. If you read the Windows Vista team blog Windows Vista SP1 RC now available for public download you would think it is only available to MSDN and Technet customers. It does have some good pointers though. We're making available today the RC release of Windows Vista SP1, found here on MSDN and here on TechNet , with an FAQ here . I invite you to download, install and use the SP1 RC and let us know about your experience by providing your feedback here . Before you install SP1 RC, please bear in mind the following points of advice, detailed in this short article : If you have a prior version of SP1 Beta installed, you must uninstall it prior to installing RC. This is pre-release code and will change before the final release. This pre-release software is provided for testing purposes only. Microsoft does not recommend installing this software on primary or mission-critical systems. Microsoft recommends that you backup your data prior to installing any pre-release software. Windows Vista SP1 Release Candidate is time-limited software. It will no longer operate after June 30, 2008 and should be uninstalled prior to that date. Support is through self-help and peer support via the Windows Vista SP1 forum . Assisted support (phone, email and online chat) is not available from Microsoft Support for this RC release of SP1. Support is not available via this blog. If you install the Service Pack 1 Release Candidate, it is strongly recommended that you also plan to install the final version of Windows Vista SP1 when it is released in the first quarter of 2008. To do this, you will be required to uninstall this pre-release code. You must have a genuine copy of Windows Vista installed on the computer prior to installing the Windows Vista SP1 update. Thanks to all of you who've expressed interest in testing the RC! To get on the programme for Windows Updates based SP1 RE, have...
  • More on how to use / develop with Silverlight 1.0 and the fact that users are itching for Silverlight 2.0

    I love content produced in Silverlight, in fact, not enough is happening with this technology in my personal opinion inside Microsoft (or at least, inside and coming out), however I have found a few resources worth mentioning. 1st up we have information on Silverlight 1.0 development by Dan Wahlin - My Latest Silverlight Articles - Dan Wahlin's WebLog : My Latest Silverlight Articles Over the past few months I've been writing articles for the .NET Insight insight newsletter covering various ASP.NET AJAX concepts. You can read those article here . I've wrapped up that series and have started writing about Silverlight 1.0. Each week a new article will be published and I'll update them here so check back. The articles are designed to be focused and concise and get straight to the topic without a lot of fluff. Getting Started with Silverlight Using Microsoft's Silverlight Control in a Web Site Understanding Silverlight's createObject and createObjectEx Methods Silverlight XAML Primer 1: Exploring Canvases Silverlight XAML Primer 2: Rectangles, Ellipses, Lines and Text Silverlight XAML Primer 3: Working with Image Brushes and then we have the news that people just can't wait for the next version (was Silverlight 1.1 alpha) Users Itching for Silverlight 2.0 By Darryl K. Taft Microsoft continues to evolve its Silverlight cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for generating rich Internet applications and Web content, and users are anxiously awaiting the features due in the next release. The Redmond, Wash., software giant released Silverlight 1.0 in September, along with a 1.1 update. Then on Nov. 29, Microsoft announced that it was renaming Silverlight 1.1 to Silverlight 2.0. And in addition to adding support for .NET, Microsoft is taking the next version of Silverlight further by adding a comprehensive control model, powerful skinning/theming, data binding and over 20 controls in the box, Microsoft said. "Silverlight 2.0 is the version we're excited about," said Scott Stanfield,...
  • Office 2007 SP1 is here and it does more than just update the desktop - SharePoint gets AJAX for example

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

    From a Microsoft and Microsoft Partner point of view the press article below is great news. IT departments are finding users who are deploying SharePoint to get the benefits and the easy of use that SharePoint offers as well as developers who are building on SharePoint as an application Platform. I recently had a partner who told me that their belief was that Windows 32/64 was the desktop and server operating system, but they saw SharePoint as the web OS. Given the benefits that SP1 provides to SharePoint this is even more the case. http://napps.networkworld.com/news/2007/120707-microsoft-sharepoint.html The analyst firm CMS Watch is claiming the newest version of Microsoft ’s SharePoint is spreading “virally” throughout enterprises, catching IT departments off guard and introducing risks related to uncontrolled content and regulatory compliance . […] CMS Watch says viral proliferation of SharePoint is nothing new, going back to the 2003 version. But Pelz-Sharpe says the “problem is becoming acute now” with the popularity of the 2007 product. SharePoint is a runaway success, reportedly generating $800 million in revenue this year for Microsoft, with 85 million licenses across 17,000 customers, the CMS Watch report states. For those who are finding SharePoint overload then a quick visit to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/sharepointserver/bb507202.aspx should offer some relief. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SharePoint , SharePoint Portal Server , SharePoint Portal Server 2007
  • Windows platform documentation (Windows Server System Reference Architecture, Planning VM Manager deployment, Installing and configuring VM Manager, Windows HPC Server 2008 Technical Overview, Windows Server 2008 Developer and App Compat testing)

    The TRM blog can be found here December 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms Infrastructure Planning and Design The Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) guides are the next version of Windows Server System Reference Architecture. The guides in this series help clarify and streamline design processes for Microsoft infrastructure technologies, with each guide addressing a unique infrastructure technology or scenario. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=5&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3dad3921fb-8224-4681-9064-075fdf042b0c%26DisplayLang%3den Planning a Virtual Machine Manager 2007 Deployment This content provides an introduction to System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2007 and practical guidance for planning a VMM deployment. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=15&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d3e674bc0-bb85-47ae-b73d-f5bc515f1006%26DisplayLang%3den Installing and Configuring Virtual Machine Manager 2007 This content provides information about installing and configuring Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), with all VMM components installed on a single computer or with each VMM component installed on separate computers. This content also provides step-by-step instructions for uninstalling VMM and reinstalling VMM with a database retained from a previous installation. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=23&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d8b09bc46-1a34-450b-86f3-a574602b6450%26DisplayLang%3den Windows HPC Server 2008 Technical Overview Read about benefits and features of Windows HPC Server 2008, the successor to Windows Computer Cluster Server 2003 http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=25&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d7a4544f0-81f2-4778-8a59...
  • Toshiba to Make Solid-State Drives in Push for Flash

    I saw this and had to share - I want flash drives for my laptops - fast, low power... me, me, me!! Toshiba to Make Solid-State Drives in Push for Flash The memory chip maker is seeking to create new sources of demand for flash memory chips. TOKYO (Reuters)—Japanese memory chip maker Toshiba Corp. said on Monday it would make flash-based solid state drives for notebook PCs, as it seeks to create new sources of demand for flash memory chips. The world's No. 2 maker of NAND-type flash memory said its solid state drives would range in capacity from 32 gigabytes to 128 gigabytes, and that it will mass produce the 1.8-inch and 2.5 inch drives in May 2008. Much more info at Toshiba to Make Solid-State Drives in Push for Flash ttfn David Technorati Tags: Storage
  • More on the differences between real world Vista performance and that of a benchmark

    Following up on my articles that discuss Vista performance (I still stick by my statement that it is reasonable to expect Vista to need more resources) at More on Vista vs XP performance - why doesn't everyone want a racing car, but instead do they opt for safety, comfort or even the ability to have more than one passenger? and Vista SP1 beta vs XP SP3 beta and performance - what a load of old <insert your favourite derogatory term here> I saw this and thought it was worth sharing - especially worth watching the video!! The right time to assess Windows Vista's performance Posted by Nick White on Friday, November 30, 2007 4:29 PM Measuring the performance of an operating system is a tricky thing. At the same time, it's the right and necessary thing to do, because performance is one of many criteria important to customers. Part of the trick of measuring performance is to time testing execution with the product cycle such that the results are as meaningful as possible for customers; this helps them make a better decision by making use of the full array of available information. As one example, about a year ago we commissioned a firm called Principled Technologies to conduct a study comparing Windows XP SP2 to Windows Vista RTM. That study found the performance measures of the two operating systems were within the same range for many tasks that home and business users frequently perform under real-world conditions. Windows Vista Team Blog : The right time to assess Windows Vista's performance ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Performance , Vista
  • How to modify the Windows Vista Aurora, bubbles, mystify and ribbons screensaver hidden settings

    I saw this and thought I would share it for those who want to customise the screen savers that ship with Vista. Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings For those of you who are using Windows Vista, you may have noticed that the screen savers that are included do not contain any settings. Actually, they do , but Microsoft didn't include options dialogs for them. Long Zheng posted the settings for the Bubbles, Mystify, and Ribbons screensavers back in September before Windows Vista officially shipped. But he didn't post the settings for Aurora . Through a little bit of digging and guess work, I've uncovered one registry key that actually works for customizing the Aurora screensaver. Let's get started, shall we? Kristan Kenney: Confessions of a Windows Enthusiast : Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista Tweaks , Windows Vista , Vista
  • Mummy, why is there a server in the house (I had to change it for the UK audiences)

    This is a funny campaign from the Home Server team who have been blogging about their new marketing campaign. It made me smile. Have a look at the "book" and the "videos"!! Earlier I posted about our new ad campaign " Stay at Home Servers " and pointed you at the videos (the first of which are getting rave reviews ). Yesterday we posted the full contents of the hit Children's book " Mommy, Why is there a Server in the House? " for your online reading pleasure. Windows Home Server Blog ttfn David Technorati Tags: fun , Home Server
  • Windows platform news (Hyper-V pricing, Technet Edge, HPC 2008)

    The TRM blog can be found here December 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms Microsoft outlines pricing, packaging and licensing for Windows Server 2008, Including the new Microsoft Hyper-V Server product. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/nov07/11-12HyperVPR.mspx Microsoft announces new virtualization offerings, Windows Server 2008 details, System Center product availability at TechEd IT Forum 2007 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/nov07/11-12ITForumPR.mspx Solution Accelerators Take the guesswork out of your deployments. Use these tested and proven automation tools and guides to assess your network and confidently roll out new services employing architectures with baked-in security and manageability. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/solutionaccelerators/default.aspx The TechNet Team have launched Technet Edge, a new community site where IT professionals can go to get the inside scoop on the latest and greatest technologies. http://edge.technet.com/Default.aspx Introducing Microsoft Search Server 2008 http://www.microsoft.com/enterprisesearch/serverproducts/searchserver/default.aspx A successful enterprise search solution gives users efficient access to unstructured data, structured information, and expertise. It helps keep sensitive information secure; is easy to set up, administer, and manage; leaves room for scalability; and allows you to customize and extend your search experience. Search doesn’t have to be complicated. You can deliver it to your organization quickly and easily with Microsoft Search Server 2008 A successful enterprise search solution gives users efficient access to unstructured data, structured information, and expertise. It helps keep sensitive information secure; is easy to set up, administer, and manage; leaves room for scalability; and allows you to customize and extend your search experience. Search doesn’t have to be complicated. You can deliver it to your organization quickly and easily with Microsoft Search Server 2008 Download the Express Edition Free: http...
  • Microsoft Live Labs Volta Team Blog

    I saw this and thought I would share. Write apps with another simple set of tools. Between Popfly, this and more it seems that building on Microsoft is getting easier and easier. Have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/dec07/12-05Volta.mspx for some more info. Announcing Volta: Web Development Using Only the Materials in the Room Today, we are announcing the Volta technology preview , a developer toolset for building multi-tier web applications using existing and familiar tools, techniques and patterns. Volta’s declarative tier-splitting enables developers to postpone architectural decisions about distribution until the last possible responsible moment. Also, thanks to a shared programming model across multiple-tiers, Volta enables new end-to-end profiling and testing for higher levels of application performance, robustness, and reliability. Using the declarative tier-splitting, developers can refine architectural decisions based on this profiling data. This saves time and costs associated with manual refactoring. In effect, Volta extends the .NET platform to further enable the development of software+services applications, using existing and familiar tools and techniques. You architect and build your application as a .NET client application, assigning the portions of the application that run on the server tier and client tier late in the development process. You can target either web browsers or the CLR as clients and Volta handles the complexities of tier-splitting. The compiler creates cross-browser JavaScript for the client tier, web services for the server tier, and all communication, serialization, synchronization, security, and other boilerplate code to tie the tiers together. In effect, Volta offers a best-effort experience in multiple environments without requiring tailoring of the application. Learn more about Volta and download it to try building applications yourself > Microsoft Live Labs Volta Team Blog ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , Volta
  • Great event a kudos to Susanne Dansey and Westcoast following the UK Small Business Forum

    If there was more proof needed that a partner could change how people felt about them by working with the right person then Susanne and Westcoast have done it. I had several people say that without Susanne's guidance Westcoast would not have come onto their radar, which is a resounding vote of confidence. However, the event showed that there is still more work to do in terms of building trust and having the right people in the right places. Some of the questions asked at the forum and answered on Partner Questions from the Small Business Forum show that some people don't understand how this segment of the market works. Oh, and some people is in all companies - Westcoast, Microsoft and some of the partners. I'm not going to "name names", but it is good for everyone to grow together and give a little. I thought I would add some more information to that already given by Susanne. Small Business Accounting; why only direct sales? Volume licensing? Will there be a programme to connect accountants to SBSCs? We are at the beginning of the licensing around this product and other options will become available over time. Bear in mind that while the product is available, the retail launch and "noise" is still some time away. There is already a UK programme for accounts and more information on this can be found on the blog at What is in Office Accounting for accountants... well, multiple account views, sharing, customisation and more, but it is not an practice management solution How do you get license sales recognition even though you’re not one who resells (as in deals with the disti)? I'm going to give you a personal opinion here (like I don't normally), but this is simple. Buying through disti ensures legal software distribution, distribution of marketing materials and funds. Can you imagine someone rewarding people who buy through a set of channels known to have a very significant piracy rate (UK piracy is something like 33%) and for which there is no way to track the sales. Now, there...
  • SQL Server Web casts (Preparing for SQL Server 2008, New T-SQL features, migrating from Access, Policy based management framework, BI, certifications, reducing hardware and maintenance costs)

    From the TRM Blog at November 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - SQL SQL 2005 Webcasts and Virtual Labs SQL Server 2005 is data management and analysis software that delivers enhanced security, availability, and scalability to mission-critical data applications—while making them easier to develop, deploy, and manage. Choose from a wide range of live and on-demand webcasts. Or take part in a virtual lab, which allows you to cut your teeth on the new platform by experimenting with its different capabilities. SQL Server 2005 Webcasts TechNet Webcast: Prepare Yourself for Windows Server 2008 (Part 1 of 8): Product Workload Scenarios (Level 300) – Monday, December 03, 2007 9:30 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada) In this first session of our series, we discuss how Windows Server 2008 addresses key deployment scenarios for customers. We start with an overview of the key product workload scenarios for Windows Server 2008. We cover as many as 10 different scenarios, and we discuss how each scenario can be categorized into one of three different design pillars. While examining the scenarios, we take a closer look at the specific technologies used within the scenario, describe how they are used, and explain why they are needed. We show which technologies comprise each scenario and the value propositions they deliver. Finally, we see how the scenario adds value to Windows Server 2008 and, in some cases, we provide real-world examples of usages for the scenario. TechNet Webcast: Prepare Yourself for Windows Server 2008 (Part 1 of 8): Product Workload Scenarios (Level 300) MSDN Webcast: New T-SQL Programmability Features in SQL Server 2008 (Level 300) – Tuesday, December 04, 2007 1:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada) Join this webcast on new T-SQL programmability features in Microsoft SQL Server 2008, an extension from last year's presentation on top Microsoft SQL Server 2005 T-SQL features. We cover exciting new features such as: New data types (i.e. date/time, filestream, HierarchyID, large UDT, sparse columns) Dependency management...
  • SQL Server Downloads (CTPs - Synchronization Services for ADO.NET, VS 2005 Support for SQL Server 2008, Configuration Manager config packs, Assessment packs for HIPPA, European Union Data Protection Directive (EUDPD), SOX, GLBA, FSMA, ReportViewer samples,

    From the TRM Blog at November 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - SQL Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.NET v2.0 CTP1 Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.NET provides the ability to synchronize data from disparate sources over two-tier, N-tier, and service-based architectures. Rather than simply replicating a database and its schema, the Synchronization Services application programming interface (API) provides a set of components to synchronize data between data services and a local store. Applications are increasingly used on mobile clients, such as laptops and devices, that do not have a consistent or reliable network connection to a central server. It is crucial for these applications to work against a local copy of data on the client. Equally important is the need to synchronize the local copy of the data with a central server when a network connection is available. The Synchronization Services API, which is modeled after the ADO.NET data access APIs, gives you an intuitive way to synchronize data. It makes building applications for occasionally connected environments a logical extension of building applications where you can count on a consistent network connection. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=147c41a9-69f0-496e-b095-dbc5cffd6285&DisplayLang=en Visual Studio 2005 Support for SQL Server 2008, Community Technology Preview This CTP resolves a problem that when you try to open a database connection to SQL Server 2008 by using Visual Studio 2005 design tools, you may receive the following error message: “This server version is not supported. Only servers up to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 are supported.” This CTP addresses this issue, and enables the following Visual Studio functionality for SQL Server 2008 CTP5 : Server Explorer successfully connects to SQL Server 2008, and database objects such as stored procedures and table data can be viewed and edited. Note that table schemas still cannot be viewed or edited in this release. SQL CLR projects that target SQL Server 2008...
  • Looking for where to focus as a developer - latest job ads data suggests Microsoft based technology is the place to be!

    I saw this data on developer jobs at http://www.itjobswatch.co.uk/default.aspx?sortby=0&orderby=0&q=&id=1300&lid=2618 and thought it would make some interesting reading. It shows: lots of demand around MS technologies and reasonable pay (average salary over £40K and about 3rd of the market is focused on MS specific skills) J2EE and Websphere pay/cost the most in terms of staff, but represent just 7.8% of the market demand, so if you are here, you are feeling good!! Old style HTML web jobs are dying in terms of pay (html, CSS, XHTML, JSP) and falling demand in terms of the number of jobs AJAX, the next great web dev scenario is not in high demand, which is a surprise to me For those of you who like graphs, you can see the highest salaries for J2EE & Websphere people, but this is probably caused by the fact that there are so many fewer jobs, so rushing to get skilled in this area could severely weaken any salary advantage. The chart above was created from the data below. Development Skill Average Salary Average salary change Number of Job Ads Percentage of all IT Job Ads .NET £40,685 1.57% 34623 15.72% XML £40,624 -3.55% 19978 9.07% ASP.NET £37,046 0.98% 16975 7.71% HTML £34,228 -1.96% 14740 6.69% J2EE £49,061 1.28% 13049 5.92% CSS £32,981 0.71% 9559 4.34% WebServices £43,242 -0.60% 6686 3.03% JSP £42,265 -4.93% 4761 2.16% AJAX £37,246 -4.56% 4739 2.15% WebSphere £50,239 3.81% 4311 1.96% XHTML £32,747 -0.03% 3848 1.75% ttfn David Technorati Tags: Jobs , Developer , .Net
  • 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
  • Things that have fixed peoples problem running Office on Vista

    From the blog entry I published on How to get rid of the installer / configuration dialog when running Office 2007 and Office 2003 on the same system - for Vista and other versions of Windows I still get people e-mailing me with problems. While I have not been able to solve them all, but here are some solutions that I have seen success with: Problem: POP3 e-mail starts sending then gets stuck/hangs/stops: I have seen your blog at uksbsguy.com and it seems you are my only hope. Brand new laptop, small sized PST file, Vista Home Premium, Outlook 2007 Ultimate. I set up an account in Outlook 2007 to my bog standard POP3 account that has always worked. It starts to download my first email and slowly reaches 3 or 4KB then just hangs . Surprisingly I can sent (SMTP) absolutely fine. If I use another internet connection (dial up modem) instead of LAN then I can receive POP3 as well. But the same LAN connection works for my old laptop (XP/Outlook 2003) all settings same. I also tried the netsh command and the result is as follows: C:\Users\sparekh>netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled Set global command failed on IPv4 The requested operation requires elevation. Sachin The solution: elevated netsh command You need to run an “elevated” command prompt. Find "command prompt" on your start menu, right click it and select “run as administrator” – then try the command "netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled" (without the double quotes) Response: David, Magic! It worked! I elevated command prompt and netsh worked. My IT team spent so many hours and days for this. Thank you very much. Problem: Error code Ox800CCC0E when receiving email Vista running Outlook 2007 I get a Ox800CCC0E error everytime I try to receive email on my vista business machine running Outlook 2007. This problem just started this week. I have had no such problems with outlook since I purchase the machine 5 months ago. I have tried all the troubleshooting steps on your blog : http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive...
  • Open Office 2007 attachments to Outlook Mobile e-mail on Windows Mobile 5 or 6 - update released

    [updated on 4th December with UK English install instructions] As Steve would say, hat tip to Steve's blog . Microsoft Office Mobile 6.1 If you run Windows Mobile 5 or 6 and run Office 2007 (or get attachments from friends that do) this is a must have . You can now read Office 2007 file formats on your mobile device. More details from Jason :) [UK English Install] For those of us not in the US of A this install will complain about installing on our UK English (or other) devices. Fear not, go to the settings screen, move to region settings and change the language to US English. Ignore the prompt to reboot, run the setup on your PC. Once it is all finished it will need to reboot your device. Do so, set the language back to UK English and you now have an updated device. There is no English_UK install :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Mobile , Office 2007
  • How to turn on e-mail logging in Office 2007 and ensure that your ports are open

    I was asked about this a while back and thought I would share. This person has e-mail receiving problems, so I wanted to turn on logging and check that the network ports were really open on his PC: To get a mail log for more details – go to Tools/Options – then the advanced tab/Other button/Enable logging. (mine is not checked – put a tick in yours). The location of the log file can be found at: MAPI (Exchange), POP3, and SMTP transports - The log file has the name OPMLog.log and is located in one of the following locations: c:\Users\ user name \AppData\Local\Temp\Outlook Logging - note this is the location on Windows VISTA You might also want to look at http://www.webpipe.net/howto/Outlook_0x800CCC0E . You will need to install at telnet, but this is documented as: By default, Telnet is not installed with Windows, but you can install it by following the steps below. To install Telnet Client 1. Click the Start button , click Control Panel, click Programs, and then click Turn Windows features on or off. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation. 2. In the Windows Features dialog box, select the Telnet Client check box. 3. Click OK. The installation might take several minutes. If the telnet works, but Outlook cannot get mail, try running “outlook /safe” and see if the same problem happens. If it does not, then it is an add-in. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007 , Windows Vista , logging
  • Microsoft Office System Developer Conference - February 10-13th 2008

    Where: San Jose Convention Center , San Jose, CA Who: 2000 developers and architects who build solutions on the Office platform (Office clients, servers, and services) ODC 2008 will bring together architects, developers, industry technical experts, Microsoft insiders and key partners in a public forum for the first time! Together, we will redefine what it means to be focused on Microsoft Office development, exchange ideas on how to continue innovating in this ever-changing space, and share best practices on how to craft the next generation of Office Business Applications . Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will deliver a special keynote that is not to be missed (and probably one of the last ones, so be there!!). The web site http://www.odc2008.com is now live. Who is the Microsoft Office System Developer Conference for? Those involved or interested in using the Microsoft Office system (clients, servers, and services) as an application development platform. For example, people in technical roles e.g. architects, developers, designers, and technical managers. Will it cost to attend the conference? Yes, there will be a reasonable registration fee for the conference. For those that register early, we will have a special early bird rate as well. Which products/technologies will this conference cover? Obviously, the conference will cover everything in Microsoft Office system, including clients, servers and services, but business productivity applications don’t exist in isolation. More and more, we’re finding that people are using others parts of the technology stack and bringing together various technologies to make applications more compelling. So a great number of sessions will have topics involving Office application development in the context of leading-edge technologies such as VOIP, Silverlight, integration with third-party line of business applications, etc. I’ve heard there’s also a SharePoint Conference. What’s the difference? The SharePoint conference will take place in March 2008 in Redmond, WA. Unlike the Microsoft...
  • 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
  • More on Vista vs XP performance - why doesn't everyone want a racing car, but instead do they opt for safety, comfort or even the ability to have more than one passenger?

    Having been quotes by Vlad and others (or was this others? ), some more views worth reading here and some Windows Blog stuff here I thought I had better make myself a bit clearer. 1st off, this is MY opinion, not something that is sanctioned or designed by anyone else in Microsoft. I did benchmarking for 5 years and won plenty of business by it, but I also understand when a test is Apples to Apples and not Apples to Oranges. If the purpose of Vista was to be the fastest engine for Office 2003 (as was the test), then there is a lot that can be done to the product to make that happen, but that was not the goal, so testing it on that one goal and then saying it fails is a bit poor. You can turn off the new features that "slow" it down if you want, but then you don't get the feature. My car accelerates faster with the air-con turned off, but on hot days, being comfortable is more important that the acceleration, so I opt to go slightly slower rather than get there just a bit quicker. There is more to this though, XP was designed to run on the hardware that was coming, so is Vista. Fro Vista, it's day is yet to come! You might say "bah" to that, but this was true for XP a year after it was released, so this is not new. ( see here for XP releases that show this). So here goes on trying to explain my point of view: What is running on the box Vista runs more under the hood (and graphically) than XP, so unless you believe that after 6 years bedding in XP is still hugely inefficient, you would expect that Vista would have to do more in any given second. Yes, it would be great if I got all the extra goodies for free, but thats not happened for a while, so anyone who gets upset needs to have their expectations reset. I mean, DOS 6.22 flys on todays hardware, as does Windows 95. Yep, it would get shot in about 5 seconds flat, but it would perform well for the apps available back then when it was built:-) In the last section I will discuss some of the things that could be done to make it more level to...
  • Susan B's article that just made me smile or I like to think of it as "how much money is being spent to help competition for no user benefit"

    I've been ranting a bit recently about wanting everything for nothing and then I saw Susan's article - http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2007/11/29/so-how-much-money-has-been-wasted.aspx - and it just goes further to say how much time is spent not moving forward, but going backwards. I thought I would add to the list with the Microsoft-EU debate about Windows Media player. As a Microsoft employee, to comment directly would be very, very bad - apparently the press might think I was expressing a Microsoft opinion and then either me or my employer could be in hot water. So I won't really comment except to state some already published facts and that a huge effort went in to build a version of Windows without Media Player. That is definitely spending money for the user to get less, but if that is what the user wants, then it should be built..... however it was announced that this version has sold well ... 1 in every 15,000 copies of Windows. That version that has cost millions and was the centre of a multi-million case has been used by nearly 0.0066666666666666666666666666666667% of the purchasers of Windows... wow!! Oh, and this is either my very personal opinion, or facts that are already published, so hopefully no law suit to follow. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows , Microsoft
  • SQL Server documentation (Reporting Services, XML in 2008, Spatial Data, Security for DBAs, Consolidation, Synchronisation, Compact Edition books, Scale out Analysis Services)

    From the TRM Blog at November 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - SQL Reporting Services in SQL Server 2008 Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services provides a complete server-based platform that is designed to support a wide variety of reporting needs including managed enterprise reporting, ad-hoc reporting, embedded reporting, and web based reporting to enable organizations to deliver relevant information where needed across the entire enterprise. Reporting Services 2008 provides the tools and features necessary to author a variety of richly formatted reports from a wide range of data sources and provides a comprehensive set of familiar tools used to manage and secure an enterprise reporting solution. Reports are processed and delivered quickly and effectively, enabling users to either receive reports automatically through subscriptions, to access reports from a central report repository on an ad-hoc basis, or to consume reports in context of their business processes through reports directly embedded into their business or web applications. http://www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/whitepapers/sql_2008_ssrs.mspx What's New for XML in SQL Server 2008 Microsoft introduced XML-related capabilities in Microsoft SQL Server 2000 with the FOR XML and OPENXML Transact-SQL keywords, which enabled developers to write Transact-SQL code to retrieve a query result as a stream of XML, and to shred an XML document into a rowset. SQL Server 2005 extended these XML capabilities significantly with the introduction of a native xml data type that supports XSD schema validation, XQuery-based operations, and XML indexing. SQL Server 2008 builds on the XML capabilities of previous releases and provides enhancements to meet the challenges that customers have faced when storing and manipulating XML data in the database. http://www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/whitepapers/sql_2008_xml.mspx Managing Unstructured Data with SQL Server 2008 The proliferation of digital content has significant implications for the way in which organizations store...
  • Download the "How to Sell, Deploy, and Build Business with Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and SBS 2003 R2" now

    I have been asked about this loads of times, but for those of you who want to know more about using WSS v3 and SBS 2003, the guide is finally here at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=59acc518-023e-43c3-b8f3-378c5e387461 . How to Sell, Deploy, and Build Business with Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and SBS 2003 R2 Partner tool to create solutions using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2. File Name: Selling_WSS_and_SBS_Kit.zip Date Published: 11/15/2007 Overview A new partner enablement tool helps you create solutions using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2. Access the toolkit’s resources—including a process cookbook, technical documentation and marketing materials—to learn how to build your business by selling and deploying customized solutions. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 R2 , SBSC , WSS v3 , WSS , SharePoint , Windows SharePoint Services
  • Is Vista really that bad or do we have rose tinted glasses - How well was Windows XP accepted in the early years

    I have had a bit of a rant with Vlad over at Vista SP1 vs. XP SP3 Performance Stats: Flawed Samples or Market Reality? and the comments are good - the communication is very worthwhile, but I thought I would share some of the "what was it like with Windows XP" reality. That does not excuse the issues people see, but rather highlights the fact that with XP, it took some time for things to bed down and hopefully what you are seeing with Vista is a more responsive Microsoft and partner eco-system. Complaints about Whistler (Windows XP and 2003) come in the form of performance, adoption rates, application compatibility, relevance - all things people are complaining about today with Windows Vista. I will say it again - ONLY DEPLOY VISTA IF IT MAKES SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS. What is more, only deploy Windows XP on new machines if there is a compelling reason to NOT deploy Vista . Remember that if you buy Vista Business / Ultimate and downgrade you can then re-load Vista at a later date without having to re-buy the OS. Buy XP and you will have to purchase the OS too. Performance Vista does many things to improve performance, but there is a limit as to how much juice you can squeeze into a firmly boxed space. 1GB of RAM is now a minimum and with multi-core coming along, scaling sideways is not a more important trick that raw performance. Vista has many things under the bonnet to improve performance, but in some scenarios it still does not work like XP. Just look at the "fix" that Alistair found for his Dell - Alistair likes Vista and found out that the Dell SATA drivers were making is go slow ENT Review: Windows XP - I feel I could be reading a Vista review For IT organizations that have already standardized on Windows 2000, however, the rationale for upgrading to Windows XP is altogether less clear cut. <snip> Speed and Performance Considerations We deployed Windows XP on a 1.4-GHz Athlon system (512 MB of RAM); a 1-GHz Toshiba Tecra 8200 laptop (256 MB of RAM); a 500-MHz IBM Thinkpad 570E laptop...
  • 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
  • How to make Office 2007 always save in Office 97-2003 format

    This is another area I get a lot of questions, so I thought I would share the answer. While my person preference is to tell people to load the tools onto Office 2000/XP/2003 machines as documented at How to open Office 2007 (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007) files on Office 2000, Office XP and Office 2003 by downloading the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for File Formats - David Overton's Blog for some people this is not an option. So, how do you force Office to save in the older format? If you want to do it to lots of machines then look at http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2007/07/14/default-save-as-doc-and-xls.aspx . If you want to do it on your own personal machine, try this: Go the the "Opal" or the round Office button, and select Word Options Then go to the save tab and choose the file format you want, so Word 97-2003 for .doc files. You need to do the save in Excel and PowerPoint to get those too do it too. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007 , Office 2003 , Office XP , Office 2000
  • 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...
  • BBC NEWS | TV rivals (BBC, ITV, C4) form on-demand service

    I saw this and had to share. I signed up to the BBC iPlayer service and it is very good. Now all 3 major TV channel providers are looking to put make everything available under one hood ... fantastic. From the BBC news site - BBC NEWS | Entertainment | TV rivals form on-demand service TV rivals form on-demand service Channel 4's Ugly Betty is one of the shows likely to be on the service The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are to launch a joint on-demand service, which will bring together thousands of hours of television programmes in one place. The service is set to go live in 2008 and will offer viewers access to current shows and archive material. Plans will have to be approved by the BBC Trust and the other broadcasters' boards, and a name for the service will be unveiled ahead of its launch. The three broadcasters currently offer their own separate on-demand services. The BBC's iPlayer and ITV's catch-up service will continue to exist along the new online "aggregator", which will provide a complement to the established providers. However, Channel 4's 4oD will no longer be a standalone service once it is incorporated within the project. Programming from all three broadcasters will be available for free download, streaming, rental and purchase via the internet, with expansion on to other platforms planned. ttfn David Technorati Tags: TV on Demand , On Demand , VOD , Internet TV
  • Vista SP1 beta vs XP SP3 beta and performance - what a load of old <insert your favourite derogatory term here>

    I saw the article at ZDNet ( Windows XP outshines Vista in benchmarking test - ZDNet UK ) and at various other places and decided to comment. It compares a 1GB XP machine and a 1GB Vista machine and says that Vista is slower - both using beta service packs. This article links back to the blog of a certain benchmarking company ( http://exo-blog.blogspot.com/2007/11/windows-xp-sp3-yields-performance-gains.html ) and the result was an article with quotes in it like: "Vista, both with and without SP1, performed over two times slower than XP with SP3 in the test, taking over 80 seconds to complete the test, compared to the beta SP3-enhanced XP's 35 seconds. Vista's performance with the service pack increased less than two percent compared to performance without SP1 — much lower than XP's SP3 improvement of 10 percent." Now this annoyed me twice. So did they turn off things like the pre-loading of applications, was this a fresh PC or one where the inbuilt tools could optimise themselves? Did they turn off new features like and anti-spyware and search engine, the graphics etc? You can't add a bundle of new features and get it all for free - they have to load and boot up time is the most likely time. "The tests, run on a Dell XPS M1710 test bed with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo CPU and 1GB of RAM, put Microsoft Office 2007 through a set of productivity tasks, including creating a compound document and supporting workbooks and presentation materials." Now this also annoyed me, even more. a Vista machine with the recommended MINIMUM amount of RAM, but XP with eight times it's minimum recommended. Microsoft clearly recognised that Vista's new features require more memory, as do Office, so they have one machine that is 5 years skinny on features and another that has 5 years worth of extra features and security built in. Come on. What about trying it on a 2GB machine, or one that the tests have been run on a hundred times so the optimisation engines in Vista can get to work. I've done benchmarking...
  • Office Open XML file format information or Standard ECMA-376 and the OOXML SDK information on MSDN

    I saw this question asked internally today, so I thought I would share. If you want to develop to use the Open XML document format you probably want to look at two things. The Microsoft resources (eg http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-gb/office/aa905545.aspx ) and the ECMA resources Standard ECMA-376 . On the MSDN site you will find documentation and a MS SDK (less interest if you are developing using a functional language for your mainframe ). The ECMA site has the following: Standard ECMA-376 Office Open XML File Formats (December 2006) This Standard defines Office Open XML's vocabularies and document representation and packaging. It also specifies requirements for consumers and producers of Office Open XML. An Office Open XML overview is available on the Ecma website. Copy these file(s), free of charge: File name Size (Bytes) Content ECMA-376 Part 1 350 630 zipped DOCX file ECMA-376 Part 1 1 441 795 zipped PDF file ECMA-376 Part 2 341 625 zipped DOCX file with 2 Annexes ECMA-376 Part 2 1 286 494 zipped PDF file with 2 Annexes ECMA-376 Part 3 6 625 515 zipped DOCX file ECMA-376 Part 3 5 930 003 zipped PDF file ECMA-376 Part 4 14 477 799 zipped DOCX file with 4 Annexes ECMA-376 Part 4 29 008 573 zipped PDF file with 4 Annexes ECMA-376 Part 5 99 655 zipped DOCX file ECMA-376 Part 5 687 279 zipped PDF file Just thought I would share for those who know I am a big fan of easy access to the innards of document formats. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Open XML , Office System , Office Open XML , ECMA-376 , Open Standards , Developer
  • What is in Office Accounting for accountants... well, multiple account views, sharing, customisation and more, but it is not an practice management solution

    I saw that someone said on one of the online forums that there was not anything in Office Accounting for Accountants. I beg to differ. This product is not something that offers anywhere near the same capabilities of someone like Iris for Practice Management - it is not designed to do so, it is aimed at small businesses who want a simple to use accounting package and then a tool for accountants to simply extract and manage data from it. I am not an accountant, but Microsoft offer several areas for Accountants with Office Accounting: Ability to customise the product to brand it for a specific organisation, such as an accountant, ISV or partner Ability to monitor several people's accounts from the one place and gather updates via an secure online process (through Office Live) Client sends accounts to accountant, continues using them and then the changes are synchronised back from accountant without data loss Run payroll for multiple clients Single Journal entry with VAT that spans multiple dates, customers and suppliers Full audit on transactions and modifications to spot fraudulent actions easier Ability to produce a number of the reports that accountants may well want to automate A Microsoft backed network designed to listen to the needs of accountant and deliver further benefits for them - aka Microsoft Professional Accountants' Network which also provides the following software and support benefits: Free Support Free unlimited support until September 2009 Access to managed newsgroups Access to invitation-only training events specifically for accounting professionals Free Software One complimentary license of Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2008 One complimentary license of Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2007 All in all I would say that was quite a lot for something that is potentially free for customers and free for accountants!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft Office Accounting , Office Accounting , Office System , MPAN , Microsoft Professional Accountants Network , Accounting , Accountant
  • Another Vista UI tweak - change the size of the thumbnail (preview) picture in Vista Aero when you hover over an icon in the taskbar

    The final one from Ave, another amazing UI tweak. Thumbnail Sizer Thumbnail Sizer allows the user to change the size of Vista's Window thumbnails that show when one hovers over the taskbar button for the window. download from Ave's Vista Apps ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Vista Tweaks , Vista
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(c)David Overton 2006-13