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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  • 3D Rotating (swaying gently back and forth) User Pictures in Windows Vista Start Menu

    Another User interface trick that I am now using from Vishal's blog - it just adds minor touches to Vistas UI. 3D Rotating User Pic in Windows Vista Start Menu Ave’s 3D UserPic In the old longhorn 4xxx days, the startmenu user picture was more animated as it was today. Today, we get a cheap alpha-fading effect when you hover over an item: the user picture simply blends with the icon for a while. Back in the days, the user picture was actually rotating when you had the start menu opened. This application tries to achieve that effect. Screenshot ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista Tweaks , Windows Vista , Vista
  • Glass/ translucent Toast and balloons in Vista from Tweaking with Vishal

    I got a mail from a MVP asking me to link to his site. This is not that uncommon an experience, but often I can not find anything in common, however Vishal's request is different. I found lots to link about. Added to this is the fact that Steve Clayton recently blogged on something I covered ages ago (Steve's was at Change your Vista logon screen and mine at Vista enhancements and utilities (changing the screen savers, adding extra search functionality , but I've just realised he's not got me on his blog roll!!) The 1st link is how to go from the "new" opaque balloons translucent ones ala early betas of Vista Glass Toast: Get longhorn 4xxx style Glassy notification balloons in Windows XP / 2003 and Vista From this To this: GlassToast Download link and more at Glass Toast: Get longhorn 4xxx style Glassy notification balloons in Windows XP / 2003 and Vista | Tweaking with Vishal ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista Tweaks , Windows Vista , Aero
  • What has Visual Studio 2008 got for developers of applications for Windows Mobile devices

    I saw the story at Visual Studio 2008 adds mobile application features that summarised the new features in Visual Studio 2008 for mobile application developers and realised that developing for the small platform is getting easier and easier. I plan to see a master at work in a couple of weeks on using the .Net Micro framework, which is even smaller, but the stuff you can produce with the stuff for mobile is amazingly flexible. Eric has an update on training available for Visual Studio 2008 which includes the Compact Framework stuff at Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit updated for RTM Visual Studio 2008 adds mobile application features <snipped> Microsoft says, "developers will be able to build a mobile device client application that works [even] in a partially connected environment. The application will be able to send and receive data from a server, even if the device disconnects or roams." New features for developers, summarized previously by a post on the Windows Mobile Team Blog , include: Automated functional testing of managed code An enhanced device emulator (version 3.0) that permits simulation of real-world changes in device state, such as signal dropoff or battery running dead NET Compact Framework 3.5 , introducing new features such as LINQ and as an implementation of the Windows Communication Foundation enabling device to device and device to server communication over the Exchange Activesync transport The ability to build SQL Server 3.5 Compact Edition applications using the Visual Studio 2008 designer experience Mobile developers need to use Visual Studio 2008 above to build Windows Mobile applications, according to the blog post. Those who already have the Windows Mobile 6 SDK or SDK Refresh installed will need to reinstall it after they're done with installing Visual Studio 2008. Visual Studio 2008 supports the following platforms: .NET Compact Framework 3.5 .NET Compact Framework 2.0 .NET Compact Framework 1.0 (projects will be upgraded to 2.0) Windows Mobile 6 (by installing the...
  • Photos, photography, JPEG XR, Photosynth, the future of photography and Seadragons - why all the excitement?

    It's funny working in an industry where if you are not going at 50,000 miles an hour you are considered to be standing still. One area where Microsoft is speeding along is photography. In this post I will explore the announcements, the demos, short and long term products and then the future that lots of people are beginning to see. For me, the fact that people are already seeing such a future and its possibilities is very exciting (both the visions and the fact they are having them without drugs!! (humour)) Look at the recent events: Raw photo support in 2005 - Microsoft and Imaging Industry Leaders Unveil Support for Digital Photo HD (which some people thought was a JPEG killer.. tut tut) - HD Photo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia JPEG XR - JPEG committee supports Photo HD as next gen JPEG TrustedReviews - Official Jpeg Successor Is Microsoft's HD Photo Now this is all very nice, but so what - a better format for bigger pictures, that could be a bit like FAT disks getting FAT32 format, but it is not. Now read about Photosynth and Seadeagon and you realise that people are not just seeing a HD future, but a future where seeing details and accessing them is much, much easier: The demos by themselves are awesome - Chris Koenig : Seadragon and Photosynth If you haven't already seen Seadragon or Photosynth , then you need to watch this video from TED 07 . The speaker, Blaise Aguera y Arcas , is an Architect at Microsoft, and responsible for the Seadragon product. This is AMAZING technology - absolutely unbelievable what they've been able to do here. You can try out Photosynth for yourself today, but Seadragon itself is not publicly available (I can't wait to get my hands on this Seadragon demo)! The short term future is described by people like Pete: Microsoft & Photography - Pete's Eats I've been a heavy Photoshop user since v2.5 now but thought I'd do some research at Microsoft to see what kinds of things we have to offer too. I have to say, I was pretty surprised at the content...
  • Lots of Partner training (new url) - Licensing 101, Sales 101, Office PerformancePoint, Office Business Applications (OBA), Enterprise Search, SharePoint Services and Server 2007, Office Communications Server 2007, Infrastructure Optimisation (IO) ...

    [updated with a working URL] Partner Licensing 101 – The next one is being held on the 4 th December 2007 This session will equip sales people with a top level knowledge that will enable them to talk to new and existing customers about Microsoft licensing. Target Audience: This session is aimed primarily at sales people from all Partner types, although it is appropriate for all Partner roles whether in Sales, Purchasing or Technical. The course is ideal for new starters looking for a good introduction to Microsoft licensing or just a great as a refresher for those who have taken a break from Microsoft licensing. This session is suitable for people who present technology solutions to customers from a non-technical perspective and need to demonstrate the correct way for customers to purchase. Click Here to register For further information please contact Carla Symonds. Partner Sales 101 - The next one is being held on the 5 th December 2007 - Aim: This session will equip sales people with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to talk to new and existing customers about the business benefits of Microsoft technologies, and associated areas such as licensing. -Target Audience: This session is aimed at sales people. People within a partner organisation who present technology solutions to customers from a non-technical or business point of view and people who are not technical experts and do not demonstrate software, but talk about the possible solution outcome. -Objectives: For the sales person to gain an understanding of all key Microsoft technologies, with additional focus on infrastructure, and the Portals and Business Intelligence solutions, Windows Vista, Office 2007,the Microsoft Dynamics products and the fundamentals of Microsoft licensing. Click Here to register for the 5 th December 2007. For further information please contact Carla Symonds. Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 Technical training. This four day instructor-led workshop provides students with the knowledge and skills to architect...
  • Microsoft Releases Another SQL Server 2008 CTP

    I've seen plenty of blog entries saying this has not yet shipped, but I've just been to the download site and SQL Server 2008, November CTP is definitely there: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3BF4C5CA-B905-4EBC-8901-1D4C1D1DA884&displaylang=en There are several people talking about it, such as SQL 2008 CTP5 First Glance , however perhaps the best item I saw was from Steve Lamb who was offering " Would you like with free technical support to help you deploy Windows Server 2008, System Center ". I think that would be a yes :-) Microsoft Releases Another SQL Server 2008 CTP This third update includes compatibility with Windows Vista and the upcoming Windows Server 2008. "SQL Server 2008 running on Windows Server 2008 provides customers with trusted and secure access, high availability through revamped failover clustering, and simplified scripting through Powershell," Francois Ajenstat, director of product management for SQL Server, told eWEEK here at the TechEd IT Forum conference, which starts Nov. 12. This latest CTP, which Ajenstat likens to a traditional second beta, has a lot of substance and new features, he said, noting that the SQL team is targeting one more CTP prior to the product's launch in late February 2008. This latest update to the software also brings with it new features, such as a resource governor, which enables users to define resource limits and priorities for different workloads to ensure predictable performance, and backup compression, which requires less storage to keep backups online and which runs significantly faster since less disk I/O is required, he said. Another new feature, transparent data encryption, enables the encryption of an entire database, data files and log files without the need for application changes. "Encryption enables organizations to meet the demands of regulatory compliance and overall concern for data privacy," Ajenstat said. Also included are new cube design tools to help users streamline the development...
  • Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 Released - MSDN members can download the product and the Express and trial versions are available for download now too.

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

    A while back I had the pleasure of working with some guys in one of the UK's largest and probably most capable data recovery companies. They did everything from simple recoveries to physically broken media recovery and proved that the excuse "the dog ate my homework Mrs Teacher" could be proven and recovered from. Well, that was then. Now a group from this company, including Justin who I worked with have broken away to create their own small business and they continue to offer a huge amount of experience and are keen to work with SBSC partners to build their network and solutions. They offer 8 people each with years of experience from one of the leading recovery vendors Clean blench facilities for handling all levels of hardware related data recovery from all storage media. No fix no fee and trade pricing from less than £200 [ed: they did name a price, but I decided you could go talk to them to learn more] . Flexible service options. Standard services turnaround in an average of 2-3 days. Computer forensics and electronic discovery capabilities also. Justin said to me "I am sure you are aware of lots of companies offering data recovery services at the logical or software fix level, but we are really into the physically damaged drives with issues such as burn out chips on the PCB, head crashes or even seized bearings that most smaller DR companies have issues dealing with." I've used them for both simple and complex recoveries and it was always worth it. To contact them go and have a look at Palmer Data Recovery or can also e-mail Justin directly at jreynolds@palmerdata.com . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Data recovery , Small Business , SBSC
  • MSDN Events in November (Silverlight dynamic applications, SharePoint, SQL Server 2008, web applications and Smart Client) and not in Reading, but Manchester, Edinburgh, Bradford, Birmingham and Bristol ... and one in Reading

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

    I found this blog and realised several things. 1) The Brelsford family (no, they are not related) are very good in the small business space. 2) I now have a BCM 2007 hero. Who am I talking about? Bill Brelsford - http://blog.rebarbusinessbuilders.com/about.html - who says "For the past 20 years, I have been working with and for small businesses in a variety of roles." I love BCM and here are some of the things he has written about BCM. It is worth noting that Bill does not just write about BCM, but many things including marketing and many other issues that a small business would face. BCM: Setting Up Marketing Campaigns in BCM Tracking Customer Anniversary Dates in BCM Getting Started Managing Suspects in BCM Small Business CRM It has to be worth a look. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Business Contact Manager , BCM , Small Business
  • When digging holes in the garden, watch out for suspicious objects... it might mean you have to get the bomb squad out!!

    It was a rare weekend, I had agreed to do some digging in my parents garden to put up two arches. Some of you will know my dad - Derek Overton from various SBSC events. They live just over the way from a piece of MOD land that used to be used for all sorts of things and bangs were not unusual. Anyway, we were drilling into the ground when we hit something that should not be there - it was tubular and metallic. Having joked a bit that "who knows what it could be when around here" Dad decided to call the police. They arrived, examined it, decided since one of them used to be in the army that it could be dangerous, so calls were made to the bomb squad. The bomb squad said it sounded potentially hazardous, so came for a visit :-) The neighbours were obviously quite interested when we had 2, then 3 police cars out the front of the house and finally the bomb squad van and army folk. Finally, several hours after the 1st phone call the object was declared safe and that it had not ever have been a threat, but was shaped very similarly to some known ordinance, hence the concern. Right, back to work and life. David Technorati Tags: Personal , Bomb Disposal
  • How to start a VPN automatically on boot with Windows

    My dad was asking me about a branch office solution where clients connected to the AD controller, but needed to VPN to get to the AD. My preferred option is to either have a VPN on the router or a DC in the branch office, but failing both of those, perhaps this is the answer? Starting a VPN automatically on boot with Windows XP I recently needed to figure out how to make a Windows XP machine connect to a particular VPN automatically on reboot, before anyone logged into the machine. I eventually managed to assemble bits and pieces of information floating around the net into a working solution to the problem, but it wasn’t completely addressed in any single location, so I thought I’d stick the details in my blog for other people to Google and use (if you found this blog entry useful, please add a comment and let me know!). The first thing I tried was to look for a property I could set on the VPN network connection to tell Windows that I wanted this connection to start automatically when the machine boots. I couldn’t find one; I doubt there is one. <the details on how to fix this are in the blog at Something better to do » Blog Archive » Starting a VPN automatically on boot with Windows XP > ttfn David Technorati Tags: Branch Office , VPN , Windows
  • Do you need a Windows server solution for people with 50-250 users? Have you heard of "Centro"? Well, Windows Server Centro is now the Windows Essential Business Server and you can now participate in the beta!

    From the http://blogs.technet.com/kevin_beares/archive/2007/11/07/windows-server-centro-is-officially-unveiled-and-has-a-new-name.aspx a small amount about Centro and the tech beta. This is produced by the same team who build SBS 2003 R2 and SBS Cougar. More on those next year. Windows® Essential Business Server is the new Microsoft server solution for small to medium businesses, with 50 to 250 client computers in their organizations. Windows®Essential Business Server offers a standardized server configuration that is designed to meet the needs of most midsize businesses. The configuration is optimized to meet the currently recommended practices for networking, security, collaboration, and remote access. The tightly integrated Windows Essential Business Server simplifies setup, migration, and licensing for Microsoft infrastructure server products that a midsize business uses most frequently. Most network services and resources are managed through a single Windows®Essential Business Server Administration Console, which is accessible from anywhere on the network or remotely over a virtual private network. Windows®Essential Business Server is installed on three physical servers. These are referred to by their primary roles in the network: Windows®Essential Business Server Management Server – Centralizes management of your Windows Server "Centro" network. Enables and manages worker collaboration and network services. Windows®Essential Business Server Security Server – Manages security, Internet access, and remote-worker connectivity. Windows®Essential Business Server Messaging Server – Provides messaging capabilities and manages network services. If you are interested in joining the Windows®Essential Business Server upcoming Beta 2 effort; Please go to http://connect.microsoft.com , Click on Invitations and sign in with your Windows Live ID (Passport ID). Enter the following invite ID: EBSE-VKDP-276Y . You will be asked to take a short survey. Once you complete the survey we will evaluate your application for...
  • Microsoft's Small Business Blog : Fancy winning £5,000?

    I saw this at Microsoft's Small Business Blog : Fancy winning £5,000? and thought I would pass it on. Fancy winning £5,000? We’ve just launched the Microsoft Office Live £5,000 prize draw and you’re amongst the first to hear about it. You have the chance to win £5,000 or one of several £100 Amazon gift cards. Just click the link and enter the prize draw at https://microsoft.eprize.net/officeliveuk . If you haven't explored Office Live yet it really is worth spending some time looking at what it could do for your business. Microsoft Office Live is a set of Internet-based tools aimed at helping small businesses to quickly and easily create a professional web presence. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Small Business , Office Live
  • New reliability, compatibility, USB and MCE Updates to Windows Vista available via Windows Update now. The USB update fixes 1-2% of all Vista crashes!!

    I saw this on the blog and thought I would tell you all about it. I'm testing SP1, so I did not see it on my updates, but SP1 has this in it, so I think it is worth getting!! New Updates to Windows Vista available via Windows Update this week As you probably know and as we’ve mentioned in previous posts, we use Windows Update to periodically deliver updates for Windows Vista. We do this so that customers need not wait for a service pack or another or larger release to benefit from the ongoing improvements we make to Windows. With Windows Update, we can regularly service Windows as quickly, effectively and unobtrusively as possible, so that keeping your Windows OS up-to-date is easier and more convenient for you. All you have to do is make sure you are signed up to have updates installed automatically, and you’re good to go. Continuous improvement is the name of this game. The non-security updates planned for release through Windows Update this week include: An update on system compatibility, reliability and stability : extends the battery life for mobile devices, improves stability of wireless network services, and shortens recovery time after Windows Vista experiences a period of inactivity, among other fixes. An update to USB core components : mainly affects systems returning from sleep or hibernation, fixing problems causing 1-2% of all crashes reported. An update to Windows Media Center : among other things, affects interaction issues occurring between Media Center PC and Microsoft Xbox 360 when Xbox 360 is used as a Media Center Extender. The links in the above list will lead you to the KB article related to each update in case you want more information on them. And, when they’re made available via Windows Update (expected to occur Tuesday 13th), you can also right-click each entry in Windows Update to get its 400-word summary description. These and similar updates will be wrapped into SP1 for those of you considering installing them in one fell swoop. We’ll let you know here on the blog when we have more...
  • Office Accounting Professional 2008 ships in the UK ... download the free Express version, buy or try the Professional version for extra features (Multi user, SQL support, sales order, purchase order etc) and also sign up for online services (Paypal, BACS

    Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2008 It is finally here!! There are 2 major versions - the free version and the paid for version, plus a number of add-on services you might want to buy too. You can get lots of information at http://www.msofficeaccounting.co.uk/default.aspx and if you are an accountant then the Microsoft Professional Accounting Network is for you ( http://accounting.microsoft.com/mpanuk.aspx ). You can download the Express Version here: You can Download Free Trial here It says about itself: Microsoft® Office Accounting Professional is an easy to use, comprehensive accounting package that works with other Office applications you already know. Easy to learn and use Works just like Word, Excel and Outlook Get started in minutes with wizards that import your data Save time managing everyday tasks Share and reuse data across Word, Excel and Outlook Manage customers, suppliers, employees and stock Pay bills, track expenses, send invoices and bank online Get a complete view of your business Run customisable reports so you always know how you’re doing See all your important data in one glance with the Digital Dashboard Get reminders of important deadlines, pending bills and overdue invoices Product Overview information is available here: Product Overview Product Overview Below are the product features and the comparison between the 2 versions Top Features Click for details Get up and running in minutes Import data from Sage © or Excel * Choose from dozens of business templates to set up your company Work in the familiar Microsoft Office interface Visit the Resource Centre to get help with common questions Save time on everyday tasks Track your income and expenses Manage customers, suppliers and employees Print cheques, create quotes and invoices Bank online and download transactions Get paid faster with PayPal invoices Get reminders for recurring documents and activities Save time with Office integration Track billable time, create quotes and send invoices in Outlook Export reports to Excel with one...
  • Ricardo (you know, the engine / power train experts) now offer their solutions on Windows Server 20003 Compute Cluster Edition. Cool. Windows HPC is moving along nicely. Oh, Corporate Modelling is not doing badly either!

    I've been very lucky this year to get some great accounts. I have two in the HPC world, neither sit in my traditional small business space, but their solutions are still amazing to understand. Corporate Modelling who offer a great new concept in business process management, modelling and business solution creation, using the latest techniques in business service modelling, process modelling, business solution and application generation techniques. This is a great platform for requirements such as new insurance products and six-sigma to mention a few. I hope to have more to say about this soon. Anyway, Ricardo . They have just had their European User Conference which I have to admit more than stretched me in trying to understand some of the details of what goes on inside an engine, but one thing I did get loud and clear was that to "simulate" that information with a high degree of accuracy takes a LOT of computing power A single run could take days on a powerful workstation, thus tying up the workstation, so Ricardo have been offering HPC solutions that chop the problem up and significantly reduce the run time. Until now this offering did not include Windows as a HPC platform, but that has now all changed. Windows based HPC is now offered by Ricardo and they think it will clear up some problems their customers have with drivers and management of the clusters. Microsoft offers a special version of Windows Server specifically designed and priced for the compute intensive area of HPC. When talking to people able the HPC offering from Ricardo people sighted three reasons they wanted clusters: Reduce the time taken for a run Increase the accuracy of a simulation Run a spread of options in one go, but not increase the time to get results In terms of why people would or should look at a Windows HPC solution, Ricardo gave me the following advice: People who run Windows desktops need the extra compute power, but were not prepared to go for a non-Microsoft solutions now have a solution For some, setting up, running...
  • Whitepaper on Migrating SBS 2003 to New Hardware

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

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

    Again, browsing the small business blog and I thought this was very interesting: Why wait? Upgrade now to 2007 Office and save 50% Until 31 December 2007 you can get a 50% discount off the 2007 Microsoft Office system when you upgrade through the Microsoft Open Value subscription programme. Why do it this way? Because you get a huge discount, you can manage your payments over three years to help your cash flow, you’ll receive a single agreement for all your software licences, and get the benefit of Microsoft Software Assurance, which offers version upgrades and training and partner services. Learn more about the benefits of upgrading here . Microsoft's Small Business Blog : Why wait? Upgrade now to 2007 Office and save 50% ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007 , UK , Discounts
  • Windows Vista UK Web Special Offers (I saw 18% off at one site and yes, it is legit)!!

    I just saw this at Windows Vista: Special Offers retailers are offering 15%+ off of Vista. You need to look at the sites yourself to determine which one has the best price for your needs, but still - nice amount to have removed in the UK!!. Shop By Retailer Shop By Brand Shop By System Builder ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista , Discounts , UK
  • UK SMB Girl » DemoShowcase goes SBSC

    This is old news, but in-case you have not seen it, here we go. The Demo Showcase is an extremely valuable sales and learning tool, but it is also a benefit of the being a Certified Partner. Most SBSC partners are not Certified partners though, so this is a great win. DemoShowcase goes SBSC October 25th, 2007 Great news! Microsoft Corp. have finally allowed one of the greatest tools that bridges the gap between the techies and the sales teams. Vijay announced it on his blog after the much anticipated Worldwide SBSC PALs meeting. Thank you to Nigel Postings and Chris Parkes for taking the feedback the Community has been generating over the last few months regarding this and helping to make a difference with the big guns. Keep an eye out for it in your Action Packs (I assume?) UK SMB Girl » DemoShowcase goes SBSC ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBSC , Demo Showcase
  • Fixing the last 2 problems with my Search Server Express - DCOM error 10016 (application settings do not grant Activation Permission form COM) and Gather warning 2436 for Search Services on my home server

    Obviously when I wrote the last blog entry on installing search server , not quite everything was working, although I did not realise it until a few errors appeared in the event log. The errors appear below - one is a DCOM permissions error and the other is a Gather error. The DCOM error Event Type: Error Event Source: DCOM Event Category: None Event ID: 10016 Date: 09/11/2007 Time: 06:35:26 User: NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE Computer: HOMESERVER Description: The application-specific permission settings do not grant Local Activation permission for the COM Server application with CLSID {61738644-F196-11D0-9953-00C04FD919C1} to the user NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE SID (S-1-5-20). This security permission can be modified using the Component Services administrative tool. For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp. Fixing the DCOM error is all about setting permissions in the DCOM system. The magical application was IIS WAMREG admin Service. I worked this out by following the instructions in the KB article at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/920783 . The Gatherer error Event Type: Warning Event Source: Windows SharePoint Services 3 Search Event Category: Gatherer Event ID: 2436 Date: 09/11/2007 Time: 06:50:19 User: N/A Computer: HOMESERVER Description: The start address <sts3://homeserver/contentdbid={d067c159-4b98-4bb4-85d9-0d440121788b}> cannot be crawled. Context: Application 'Search index file on the search server', Catalog 'Search' Details: The object was not found. (0x80041201) For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp. This error relates to the fact that we have removed the search from http://<servername> and added a different virtual server name. If you look at http://www.kevincornwell.com/blog/index.php/windows-sharepoint-services-wss-30-search-setup-notes/ then you will see that you need to also change the Alternate Access Mappings. Do this and your event viewer errors will go!...
  • How to install Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express - including how to install on Windows Home Server

    I wrote about the search products the other day, but I then decided to take it for a spin. The easiest server for me to install on was a Windows Home Server, so here is the process. Download the software and run the setup program and run the preparation tool: Now run the installation tool. For me, I don't want much installed on the C drive, but I do have some drives known as E and F. Once this is done, now go via the web to configure it. I asked for it to crawl my file shares, web sites and more I then did a test search and it all worked :-) Now, when I went back to the WHS sites, things were not so good. I discovered that the new site that Search Express clashed. There was 2 things I needed to do. One was to change the host header for the search site so that it did not clash with the default site. This is done in IIS admin and if you need instructions on how to do this, just drop a comment for me to know. Anyway, do this, but that was not enough. It enabled the default web site to start, but now search was broken. To fix that I had to set up SharePoint so that it knew about the new name for the site. The place that documents this is http://store.bamboosolutions.com/kb/article.aspx?id=10460 . Use the information to create a new site for "SharePoint - 80". Use the new host header you put in for the site and don't forget to add an entry to the DNS if needed! That was it, Search installed and WHS back to normal. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Home Server , Search Express Edition 2008
  • Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express is available as a release candidate and will be free when it releases. This is all the power of SharePoint search engine integrated into 1 web page

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

    I saw this question recently and thought I would publish the answer: "NO, nothing special is needed, although your ISP must allow web port access" Windows Home Server uses a dynamic DNS service to enable access to http://<servername>.homeserver.com , can configure your router to open the appropriate ports (80, 443, and those needed for remote access) and if you share a guest password to your friend/relatives, they will be able to browse your pictures. More information on the domain can be found at http://blogs.technet.com/homeserver/archive/2007/08/08/homeserver-com.aspx To do it, open the Home Server Console Open the settings page Go to the remote access page Select the change or configure option to get to the main wizard Type in your Windows Live ID details (only 1 domain per ID / server) Choose the domain name you want Confirm the domain is available and press go that is it. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Home Server , Tips , homeserver.com
  • Windows Live Writer 2008 - including Vista x64 support, more languages, better compatibility with more blogging services

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

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

    I have lots of e-mail accounts I use - @msn.com, @hotmail.co.uk, and @live.co.uk and Windows Live Mail enables me to read them all, however now when I am in e-mail I can access my linked e-mail accounts. I simply go to https://account.live.com/ and then add accounts to my linked accounts and then I can change accounts by a simple drop down in the windows live mail site ( http://mail.live.com ). More information can be found at Link Your Live IDs Together! or at http://www.liveside.net/blogs/main/archive/2007/10/18/update-to-windows-live-account-enables-linked-ids.aspx Ok, linking is done - but what would you link the IDs for? When you have linked IDs together you will only need to sign in to Windows Live once and can then switch easily between the accounts. If you are on Windows Live Hotmail for example you can check your email on one account and then simply click the dropdown arrow next to your login in the upper right corner and choose one of your linked IDs that are listed their. Without the need to enter a password again you will get to access that accounts emails. Pretty convenient. Unfortunately this only works on the new Wave 2 products, so you are out of luck on WL Favorites, Gallery or the personalized homepage for now - we guess that at least some these properties will be updated to Wave 2 soon though. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Live IDs , Linked Live IDs , Software plus Service
  • Steve Clayton: Geek In Disguise - his new gig - no longer being my boss and now a servant!!

    Steve describes himself as my loyal blogging servant... how the tides have changed from when he was my boss. Ahhh!! Not my servant, but yours... post blogging edits are a wonderful thing. Well Steve was my boss, not bad really :-) Anyway, he is now a good part of the Software+Services drive in Microsoft and that is a warning bell for anyone ignoring Microsoft in this sector - Steve normally drives success!. My new gig 05 November 2007, 19:11:43 | stevecla01 "This transformation from software to software-plus-services is a very, very big deal for our company," - Ray Ozzie Today I started a new gig at Microsoft that has a lot to do with the image above. Hugh kindly drew this a few months back and I was quick to snag it as I knew it would become my new card. Basically I'm working in a part of the organisation known as Microsoft International and helping to shape how we talk about Software + Services internally and externally. It's a big new adventure and I'm really looking forward to it. It means I'm no longer managing the PTS team which I'll miss as they're just a great bunch of guys doing outstanding work, but the opportunity to be involved this deeply with S+S was something I couldn't pass up. I'll have involvement in a few other projects I can't talk about but S+S will be my main schtick. Steve Clayton: Geek In Disguise ttfn David Technorati Tags: Software plus Service , Steve Clayton , Microsoft
  • Windows Home Server - 120 evaluation CDs, Why get it and what is it about

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

    This is an extract from the TRM blog which can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . I have removed the KB article list and some items which I don't think are relevant to small business / ISV partners, however the full info can be found on the blog page too Unified Communications Partners Rally Around Microsoft Unified Communications Software Q&A: Microsoft partners discuss how and why they are taking advantage of the company’s unified communications platform to meet the needs of customers and tap into a US$45 billion market opportunity. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/oct07/10-16uclaunch.mspx Exchange Team Blog http://msexchangeteam.com/default.aspx Outlook Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/outlook/default.aspx Unified Communications Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/uc/default.aspx This content is for informational purposes only. Microsoft makes no warranties express or implied, as to the information in this document. If you are a customer of Microsoft, please refer to the terms and conditions which cover the provision of support and consulting services to you/your organization. If you are not corresponding in the course of, or in connection with a Microsoft contract or program with its own terms and conditions, please note that no liability is accepted by Microsoft for the contents of this document. TRM contributors this month were Mark Hawkins, Justin Zarb ttfn David Technorati Tags: Exchange 2007 , Unified Communications
  • Microsoft lands itself as India's best company to work for!!

    I'm against anyone who gets too xenophobic or protective of "jobs in my country". Jobs should be filled according to the needs of a company and all aspects that lead to the definition of "needs" should be taken into account. While I am staunchly loyal to the UK, if a job is better filled outside of it then I see that as a problem with the UK if it can not justify that job being offered here rather than any other country. if another country can offer a company a better package, then that is good for that country. It could be Wales, Ireland, France, India, USA or Australia (surely that is why Robbie has gone back home). This means, in my opinion, those who work outside these shores and deliver some service back to the UK were picked because they are the person for the job, especially when they have to deliver to multiple countries!! Working for Microsoft has made me realise just how multi-cultural the world is and how diverse the talent pool can be. In my job I have worked with people from all continents (except the very cold icy one) and I have been greatly impressed with their ability to work across boundaries. I've received plenty of complements for these people and a few thanking me for the "local" person who turned out to be in another country after all. Providing quality is good, I think the "needs" bit has been answered. Now, not every job outside the UK or the US is "taken" from those countries, although I hear plenty of flack about it in the two countries. So, how nice was it to see this headline "The best companies to work for in India - #1 - Microsoft" at Business Today - Beta - India's leading business magazine . The best companies to work for in India Microsoft India - A vista unlike any other The software giant from Redmond makes a stunning entry into BT’s Best Companies to Work for in India list at #1. Quite a feat for a corporation that runs six different units in India. Microsoft’s secret sauce Leadership development : The company...
  • There I was talking about Office Business Applications (OBA) and there is training around the UK available

    From the Empower Blog I saw: Office Business Applications (OBA) Technical Briefing This two day technical briefing explores an emerging category of applications, known as Office Business Applications (OBA). It explores the technologies that underpin them, in particular Microsoft Office 2007, Windows SharePoint Services, Microsoft Office SharePoint Services and Open XML. This two-day course is run as a seminar and the labs are provided as a take-away for attendees to go through in their own time. For more information and to enrol, follow the link to the Partner Learning Centre and sign in using your Partner Program login and password. OBA Briefing ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office Business Applications , OBA , Training
  • How amazing in Windows Home Server? We Got Served blog shows that Paul Thurrott thinks it is amazing and a sign that innovation is alive and kicking at Microsoft. And no, small businesses should still go for SBS

    I just love the extract that Terry has pulled out at Paul Thurrott Reviews Windows Home Server | We Got Served . It shows that the SBS team who produced Windows Home Server (WHS) are a very good bunch at delivering solution oriented servers. Paul Thurrott Reviews Windows Home Server Posted by: Terry Walsh If you remain to be convinced by Windows Home Server, Paul Thurrott’s review offers an enthusiastic, yet balanced view of its strengths and weaknesses… thanks for the shout-out, Paul. Overall, WHS is a wonderful solution for problems you never knew you had. But make no mistake, these are very real problems that need to be addressed, and WHS does so in spectacular fashion. I’m looking forward to what the Home Server team does next, but even now in this initial release, they’ve spun some magic. Anyone who doubts whether innovation is alive and well at Microsoft simply needs to take a look at this product. Highly recommended Some people have asked me if WHS should go into small businesses and most of the time the answer should be no. If they honestly don't need the e-mail, firewall, domain, server backup, WSS, WSUS etc features of SBS and are less than 10 people then there is a sliver that WHS is right for them, however to be safe for the future, I would go SBS for now. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Home Server
  • SQL Server 2008 info (Data Warehousing, magic quadrant positioning and SQL 2005 benchmarks)

    This is an extract from the TRM blog which can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . I have removed the KB article list and some items which I don't think are relevant to small business / ISV partners, however the full info can be found on the blog page too News SQL Server 2008 Solutions – Your Data, Any Place, Any Time Microsoft SQL Server 2008 provides a trusted, productive, and intelligent data platform that enables you to run your most demanding mission critical applications, reduce time and cost of development and management of applications, and deliver actionable insight to your entire organization. http://www.microsoft.com/sql/2008/default.mspx http://download.microsoft.com/download/B/F/2/BF24C54E-5635-4C79-AFB4-0C3F840E79F4/SQLServer2008_Datasheet_Final.pdf SQL Server 2008 Solutions – Redefining Pervasive Insight SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence platform provides a scalable BI platform optimized for data integration, reporting, and analysis enabling organizations to deliver intelligence where users want it. Delivering on the data platform vision, Microsoft continues to invest in and evolve pervasive insight which allows customers to deliver real-time insight broadly and deeply within their organizations, with rich and personalized data experiences. Spend 10 minutes with Tom Casey, General Manager, Microsoft SQL Server to learn about how SQL Server 2008 delivers pervasive insight across the organization. http://www.microsoft.com/sql/2008/solutions/bi.mspx http://www.microsoft.com/sql/2008/bi/index.html SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services – Delivering Relevant Information across the Enterprise Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2008 Reporting Services provides a complete server-based platform designed to support and the entire enterprise reporting lifecycle enabling organizations to deliver relevant information where needed across the entire enterprise. http://www.microsoft.com/sql/2008/technologies/reporting.mspx Microsoft Is Positioned in Leaders Quadrant of Latest Magic Quadrant for Data Warehousing ...
  • Vista sales are more than off and why Apple always smells of roses, even when it has BSOD problems of its own while Microsoft is so heavily criticised

    As many people know, I love Windows Vista. I think it is often sold short and people look at other OSs with rose tinted glasses. Part of this is due to past faults of Microsoft who once upon a time did have too many BSODs and where security was not taken seriously, but now days security is often placed above usability (although there is very careful attention to both) and BSODs are now more likely to be caused by dodgy unsigned drivers rather than MS code or some rogue application. Even these occurrences seems to be few and very far between. I believe that while many people criticise Vista, this is often a sheep like repetition rather than 1st hand experience. Susan has a little post comparing when people say "Vista Sucks", but when pressed with "Have you tried it?" retort with "I've heard" ( http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2007/09/19/quot-i-ve-heard-quot.aspx ). I still feel that much of Vistas bad press comes from the "I've heard" camp. Just to stress this further Microsoft Watch commented on the double standards of operating systems at the moment and I felt a very strong kinship with the comments raised in the article, of which I have a snippet below. It is also interesting to see that while Microsoft has to deal with a gazillion different hardware and software combinations that Apple have managed to blue screen their new OS which has a much smaller base of hardware and software ( Leopard install issues ). It really upset an "Apple fanboy" who was shoving his Leopard disk in my face to discover the blue screen issue!! This week, a number of tech journalists gave glowing reviews of Leopard. They received the software on Mac Book Pro laptops provided by Apple. Nowhere have I seen anyone gripe about conflicts of interest. But when Microsoft's PR agency sent bloggers preloaded Vista notebooks ahead of the operating system's launch, there were ridiculous accusations of attempted bribery . The accusations made it difficult for those receiving the...
  • SQL Server November Events and Webcasts (Data mining, spatial applications, performance tuning, reporting, overview and troubleshooting)

    This is an extract from the TRM blog which can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . I have removed the KB article list and some items which I don't think are relevant to small business / ISV partners, however the full info can be found on the blog page too Events / WebCasts 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: Deliver Actionable Insight Throughout Your Organization with Data Mining (Part 1 of 3): Your First Project with SQL Server Data Mining (Level 200) – Thursday, November 01, 2007 8:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada) Many users are intrigued and excited to see data mining available in the Microsoft SQL Server product, but many don't know how to start using these features. In this webcast, we lead you through the first steps to success for your data mining projects. We look at the overall architecture of data mining and the kinds of problems that can be solved. We also look at important points for your first project, such as choosing the right algorithms and testing your mining models. TechNet Webcast: Deliver Actionable Insight Throughout Your Organization with Data Mining (Part 1 of 3): Your First Project with SQL Server Data Mining (Level 200) MSDN Webcast: Building Spatial Applications with SQL Server 2008 (Level 300) – Thursday, November 01, 2007 9:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada) Microsoft SQL Server 2008 delivers new spatial data types that enable you to consume, use, and extend location-based data through spatial-enabled applications. Attend this webcast to learn how to use spatial functionality in next version of SQL Server to build and optimize...
  • SQL Server 2008 new documentation (Overviews, development, OLTP, tuning for 2000/2005, SOA, Oracle and Sybase migration) and downloads (JDBC, PHP)

    This is an extract from the TRM blog which can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . I have removed the KB article list and some items which I don't think are relevant to small business / ISV partners, however the full info can be found on the blog page too Documents SQL Server 2008 Product Overview For organizations to be successful and thrive in today’s world of data, they need a vision that addresses key data trends. The data platform vision of Microsoft helps organizations meet these data explosion needs and the next generation of data-driven applications. Microsoft will continue to invest in and evolve the following key areas to support their data platform vision: mission-critical enterprise data platform, dynamic development, relational data, and business intelligence. Read this paper to learn about the Microsoft Data Platform Vision and how SQL Server 2008 meets the needs of the next generation of data-driven applications. http://www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/whitepapers/sql2008Overview.mspx Business Intelligence in SQL Server 2008 Microsoft SQL Server 2008 makes business intelligence (BI) available to everyone through deep integration with Microsoft Office, providing the right tool, to the right user, at the right price. The result is that employees at all levels of an organization can see and help to influence the performance of the business by working with tools that are both easy to use and powerful. Integration with the 2007 Microsoft Office System enables users to view business performance in a way that they understand and which feels comfortable; and the introduction of PerformancePoint Server 2007, helps customers to gain actionable insight into the entire organization so they can monitor, analyze, and plan their businesses, as well as drive alignment, accountability, and actionable insight across the entire organization. http://www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/whitepapers/sql_2008_bi.mspx Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Microsoft Data Platform Development Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and the...
  • Microsoft Management software (System Center) - product information updates, trial software, web casts

    This is an extract from the TRM blog which can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . I have removed the KB article list and some items which I don't think are relevant to small business / ISV partners, however the full info can be found on the blog page too News System Center Operations Manager – Microsoft/Gartner Video Watch this presentation describing some of the benefits of Operations Manager to help IT deliver to your business. Features, David Williams (Research VP, Gartner) & Eric Berg (Director, Systems Centre Product Management – Microsoft) http://www.accelacast.com/programs/gartner_microsoft_411/ Downloads System Center Trial Software With the new release of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 adding to the System Center family, why not evaluate the capabilities of some of the other Microsoft System Center family of products with these downloadable trial and Beta software versions. http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/evaluation/trial/default.mspx Events/WebCasts TechNet Webcast: System Center Operations Manager 2007 Installation and Management Pack Migration (Level 200) Friday, November 02, 2007 - 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Pacific Time Blain Barton, IT Pro Evangelist, Microsoft Corporation http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032352708&Culture=en-US TechNet Webcast: Microsoft Deploys System Center Data Protection Manager 2.0 (Level 300) Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Pacific Time Ajay Malhotra, Group Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032355960&Culture=en-US TechNet Webcast: System Center Configuration Manager: The Datacenter (Level 300) Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Pacific Time Jeff Wettlaufer, Senior Technical Product Manager, Microsoft Corporation http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032356603&Culture=en-US TechNet Webcast: Introducing SoftGrid to the World (Level 200) Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM Pacific Time Kevin...
  • An update from Vijay on the SBSC PALs Quarterly Conference Call and further evidence that Microsoft might sometimes be slow to react to feedback, but it does react and the results are often good

    I saw this post of Vijays ( » SBSC PALs Quarterly Conference Call ) and thought it was worth highlighting some of it: Michael Risse, VP of the Small and Midmarket Business Group has issued an open letter to SBSC Partners about the issues with Solution Finder. Demo Showcase 2007 will be available to all SBSC Partners, shipping this December. I clarified that it will be the Virtual Server Images and not just the canned simulations and Andrea said it will be the full versions. The Managed Newsgroups are now 24 hour in the UK and other selected countries from last week. Special Edition Toolkit will ship in December provided you are a SBSC Partner before 30 November. You will get Vista anytime upgrade to Ultimate from Business, eval of Forefront for Sharepoint/Exchange, Demo Showcase 2007, Brand Tools, Viral Videos, Licensing Guidance, printable Small Business Guide. Customer Campaigns around the following areas (hopefully call to action will be go to a SBSC Partner but depends upon how Microsoft UK implements them) Security and Reliability Business Productivity Customer Acquisition & Retention Business Solutions Also, Microsoft are asking where we would like support from Microsoft to build business in new areas such as CRM, Sharepoint, SCE, Security and/or vertical market segments. For all the requests, Vista Ultimate will be part of the offering to SBSC partners and the special recognition that SBSC partners continues to grow. It is also nice to see that the managed newsgroups are now manned 24hrs, so PLEASE use them to help diagnose problems. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBSC , SBSC PALs , Vista Ultimate , Managed Newsgroups
  • Where to start to build products that integrate with Microsoft Office

    I came across the OBA (Office Business Applications) web site www.OBACentral.com which has lots of information about nearly 200 OBA solutions. While there is a getting started and "on ramp" information on the site, I found the MSDN site ( Office Integration ) which I like almost as much. Given the prevalence of the Office Platform, assuming it is there and building on it can make life much easier!! Office Integration Need to integrate two or more Office products? Need to integrate Office products with other Microsoft products and technologies? Want to learn about designing and building applications using the Microsoft Office System? This section of the portal provides pointers to resources that will help you build real-world business solutions. Office Business Applications The 2007 Microsoft Office system provides a comprehensive set of servers, clients, and tools to make it easier for enterprises, software vendors and developers to build and deploy a new class of business applications called Office Business Applications (OBAs). OBAs connect Line of Business (LOB) systems with the people that use them through the familiar user interface of Microsoft Office. OBAs enable businesses to extend the Microsoft Office clients and servers into business processes running in LOB applications such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Supply Chain Management (SCM). This enables enterprises to create new value from existing IT investments by combining them in innovative ways. Microsoft Office System for Architects With the 2007 Office System, Microsoft Office has evolved beyond a productivity suite into a unified solutions platform that makes enterprise data and processes more accessible and relevant to users. Composed of clients, servers, services, and tools, it provides a single infrastructure for communication and collaboration, business intelligence, and content management solutions. This MSDN Solution Architecture Center brings together relevant ideas, concepts, and best...
  • Microsoft Windows security tools, Server 2008 readiness, step-by-step guides, virtualisation updates, synctoy beta, VHDs and LOTS on the new Terminal Services

    This is an extract from the TRM blog which can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . I have removed the KB article list and some items which I don't think are relevant to small business / ISV partners, however the full info can be found on the blog page too. News Microsoft Security Assessment Tool 3.0 The Microsoft Security Assessment Tool (MSAT) is a risk-assessment application designed to provide information and recommendations about best practices for security within an information technology (IT) infrastructure. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623431 Start your Microsoft Windows 2008 Readiness Right Here Focus on readiness for Windows Server 2008 now, and you can be the one who stands out when initiatives happen - and when promotion decisions are made. Let Microsoft Learning resources give you the head start you need to transition your skills and credentials to the latest Windows Server technologies - from free elearning clinics and free ebook downloads. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623432 Get an Extra Shot at Microsoft Certification For a limited time, you can get an extra chance to pass any Microsoft IT Professional, Developer or Microsoft Dynamics Certification exam - free. Register for this offer before your first exam and you'll get two shots at success. Register now! http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623434 The Windows Server 2008 Upgrade Exam Is Coming Update your skills and get ready for the Windows Server 2008 certification exam with special offers on e-learning collections and classroom training. http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7623435 Documents Windows Server 2008 Technical Overviews These technical overviews provide IT Professionals with information about how a Windows Server 2008 technology works. They may also cover design and planning considerations and basic setup and operating instructions. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=46dc26d6-af47-43f0-b3de-521831fe09d6&DisplayLang=en Windows Server 2008 Step-by-Step Guides These step-by-step guides help IT...
  • Get an extra go at a MS exam and free e-learning course for Windows Server 2008 and sample chapters on Exchange 2007

    Get an Extra Shot at Microsoft Certification For a limited time, you can get an extra chance to pass any Microsoft IT Professional, Developer or Microsoft Dynamics Certification exam - free. Register for this offer before your first exam and you'll get two shots at success. Sign up now After you register, you can take advantage of special training and certification deals from Microsoft. Windows Server 2008 Take advantage of free official Microsoft E-Learning courses and a free e-book that will help you develop expertise in this new generation of Windows Server technologies. View this offer and more Exchange Server 2007 Download sample chapters from new Microsoft Press books. Get the information that you need to transition your skills and prepare for the new certifications—from the experts. View this offer and more ttfn David Technorati Tags: MS exam re-take voucher , Windows Server 2008 , Exchange 2007
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  • A comprehensive list of Microsoft Blogs and Web Resources about Security

    Ed Gibson pointed this out today - a "to be continually updated" list of Microsoft security blogs that relate to various products from Microsoft - Security Blog di Feliciano Intini : Microsoft Blogs and Web Resources about Security 1.0 Network Security 1.1 ISA Server ISA Server Product Team Blog 1.1.1 ISA 2000 1.1.2 ISA 2004 1.1.3 ISA 2006 1.2 Remote Access & Quarantine Services Routing and Remote Access Blog 1.2.1 ISA 2006 QS 1.2.2 Win2003 QS 1.2.3 Win2003 RAS/IAS 1.3 NAP Solution Network Access Protection Blog 1.4 VPN Solutions ISA Server Product Team Blog Routing and Remote Access Blog 1.4.1 Win2003 RRAS VPN 1.4.2 ISA 2006 VPN 1.4.3 Internet Application Gateway 2007 1.5 Wireless Security Windows Core Networking Blog 1.6 IPSEC Windows Core Networking Blog 1.6.1 Win2003 IPSEC 1.6.2 Server & Domain Isolation Solution 2.0 Host Security 2.1 Client OS Security 2.1.1 Windows 2000 client security 2.1.2 Windows XP security 2.1.3 Windows Vista security Windows Vista Security Blog Windows Genuine Advantage Blog 2.2 Server OS Security Windows Server Team Blog 2.2.1 Windows 2000 Server security 2.2.2 Windows Server 2003 security 2.2.3 Windows Server 2008 security 2.3 Windows Mobile Security Windows Mobile Team Blog 2.4 Security Update & Compliance Management solutions Microsoft Security Response Center 2.4.1 Windows Update, Microsoft Update & Automatic Update Agent Microsoft Update Team Blog 2.4.2 WSUS WSUS Product Team Blog WSUS 2.0 WSUS 3.0 2.4.3 SMS & System Center Configuration Manager SMS 2.0 SMS 2003 System Center Configuration Manager 2007 2.4.4 Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer MBSA 1.2.1 MBSA 2.0 2.5 Anti-Malware Solutions (for host systems) Anti-Malware Engineering Team 2.5.1 Windows Defender 2.5.2 Forefront Client Security Microsoft Forefront Client Security Team Blog 2.5.3 Windows Live OneCare Windows Live OneCare Team Blog Windows Live Safety Center Team Blog 3.0 Application Security 3.1 Application & Platform Core Security...
  • Releasing the Source Code for the .NET Framework - not going Open Source

    Another step in the direction of openness of the .Net code, this is how Visual Studio 2008 will enable developers to step into the code for .Net while debugging their products. Scott is a fantastic man to follow if you want to develop for the MS platform. Some people are mis-quoting this access to information as .Net going open, which is not true at all. If you read Microsoft did not open source .NET. They just released the source code to public from Krish you will see the correction of this perception. However, openness and transparency is a good thing, so I don't see this as bad. Releasing the Source Code for the .NET Framework Libraries One of the things my team has been working to enable has been the ability for .NET developers to download and browse the source code of the .NET Framework libraries, and to easily enable debugging support in them. Today I'm excited to announce that we'll be providing this with the .NET 3.5 and VS 2008 release later this year. We'll begin by offering the source code (with source file comments included) for the .NET Base Class Libraries (System, System.IO, System.Collections, System.Configuration, System.Threading, System.Net, System.Security, System.Runtime, System.Text, etc), ASP.NET (System.Web), Windows Forms (System.Windows.Forms), ADO.NET (System.Data), XML (System.Xml), and WPF (System.Windows). We'll then be adding more libraries in the months ahead (including WCF, Workflow, and LINQ). The source code will be released under the Microsoft Reference License (MS-RL). You'll be able to download the .NET Framework source libraries via a standalone install (allowing you to use any text editor to browse it locally). We will also provide integrated debugging support of it within VS 2008. <snip> In the screen-shot above, you can see that we've set a debugger breakpoint in my page where we are calling GridView1.DataBind(). Previously there was no way to drill into this DataBind() method to see how it was implemented. Now with VS 2008 you'll be able...
  • MSDN events around the UK - North, South, Scotland and London! Covers SharePoint, Silverlight, SQL 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and .Net 3.5

    I saw this and thought I would pass it on. If you are interested in SharePoint, Silverlight, SQL 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and .Net 3.5 then you should look at these: MSDN Southern Events Developing on the Windows Live Platform Date: 6 November 2007 Location: Reading An Introduction to the Microsoft Web Platform (and how to do it for zip, nyada, zero cost to you) Date: 27 November 2007 Location: Reading What's New in Smart Client Development Date: 29 November 2007 Location: Bristol SQL Server 2008 Date: 4 December 2007 Location: Reading Find out about all MSDN events MSDN London Events Building Dynamic Web Applications with Microsoft Silverlight Date: 8 November 2007 Location: London What's New in Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Fx 3.5 for the Web Developer Date: 6 December 2007 Location: London Find out about all MSDN events MSDN Northern Events Building Dynamic Web Applications with Microsoft Silverlight Date: 15 November 2007 Location: Manchester SQL Server 2008 Date: 22 November 2007 Location: Bradford Web, Web, Web: Visual Studio 2008, ASP.NET 3.5 and Silverlight Date: 28 November 2007 Location: Birmingham Find out about all MSDN events MSDN Scottish Events SharePoint for Developers Date: 20 November 2007 Location: Edinburgh SharePoint for Developers Date: 21 November 2007 Location: Edinburgh Find out about all MSDN events ttfn David Technorati Tags: Events , MSDN Events , Developers , SharePoint , Silverlight , SQL 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 and .Net 3.5
  • Microsoft Small Business Community Blog : What is going to be in "Cougar?"

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

    Another blog to add to your list of blogs worth reading - the Windows Server division blog - http://blogs.technet.com/windowsserver . As an example, here is a snippet about how WSS and Windows Server 2008 will be allowed to follow different timelines and paths by NOT being shipped on the same DVD, or how to choose between Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008 and Citrix Windows Server 2008 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Update As we’re getting closer to release, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 is returning to how it was previously available to Windows Server 2008 customers. Specifically, we are going back to making it available as a separate download that is available to customers at no additional charge. This is how Windows SharePoint Services was available to Windows Server 2003 customers (pre-R2). With the beta and RC0 versions of Windows Server 2008, we offered it in the Windows Server 2008 software. Starting with RC1 and going forward, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 will have to be downloaded separately. Basically, we made this decision to allow customers to most conveniently obtain the technology while allowing Microsoft to have flexibility in the Windows SharePoint Services development process. If you have not looked at WSS 3.0, be sure to download it and peek around. It offers great collaboration, social computing and document management features and provides a rich composite application development platform based on our .NET technologies. The SharePoint team is working hard on great new features and releases that customers will continue to see delivered via download. For more guidance re: installation/evaluation updates, see: http://download.microsoft.com/download/b/9/e/b9e27997-7a8e-493c-b23b-58eeaa3214c8/WSSGuide.doc . Windows Server Division WebLog : Windows Server 2008 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Update and Citrix iForum wrap: TS, Xen and Linux losing I thought that I'd follow-up my post the other day - questions about when to use Terminal Services vs. Citrix -- by pointing out ERICOM...
  • For once a balanced review of the market and Windows Vista

    I am used to seeing reports that come from one end or another of the spectrum - either Vista is amazing and everyone else is stupid, or 70%+ of the worlds computers are still not running Vista, so it is an obvious flop. Obviously, given the view that there are now something like a billion PCs in the world, you can't expect them all to be running Vista. At the same time, Microsoft announcing that 88m people were now with Vista is a pretty strong indication that things are going the right way. The article at The balance sheet on Windows Vista | CNET News.com is very balanced on both sides. I thought that it could and would be useful to anyone discussing who should and should not run Windows Vista. Here is a except that hopefully gives you a flavour of both sides (much more by clicking the above link). I should point out that recently I have been contacted by NT4 and Windows 98 users :-) The company said it is seeing some positive signs on the business front, notably a rise in the number of businesses signing long-term deals that cover Windows. "They wouldn't be signing these agreements if they didn't have the intent to (deploy Vista)," said Mike Nash, vice president of Windows product management. But while corporations may be planning their Vista move, most large companies that are buying PCs are still immediately reinstalling Windows XP, said IDC analyst Al Gillen. "That's completely normal behavior," Gillen said, though it has quashed Microsoft's hopes of getting businesses to move more quickly to a new operating system by developing new tools for running compatibility checks and aiding in deployment. Businesses are "certainly not rushing into it more quickly than they have other Windows (releases)," Gillen said. Historically, large companies tend to drag their feet on deploying new operating systems, he said, not wanting to be in the leading edge and preferring to wait as bugs and compatibility issues are ironed out. A catalyst for some businesses could be the first...
  • Back from holiday, blog site mails and comments being processed today / tonight. 1st step of upgrades done, Windows Home Server to serve pictures

    I'm Back!! I have a stack of e-mails, posts and comments to respond to (434 e-mails that require a response left). I hope to do this today / tonight. I upgraded my Windows Home Server from Evaluation to RTM over the weekend which was the cause of the planned downtime. I also took the time to write the process of moving the blog from one machine to another, so I am now fully prepared should I have to do that again. Holiday was fab as was the location. I have uploaded a few photos to http://uksbsguy.com/photos/doverton/category1167.aspx and to show off the home server and a add-in called Whiist - http://overton.homeserver.com/lakes07 Unlike last year where Lizzy meant that I did a bit of sleeping (see the UKSBSGUY site logo), it was nice to get out. You can see the how nice the scenery was: Nice walks with the family Anyway, that is a quick extra add-in for Home Server and a few piccies from my week off. Now, back to those e-mails. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Personal , Windows Home Server
  • How to use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) in Office 2007 (using OneNote or a small tool)

    As you know I have been away on holiday and I fly away again tomorrow. While I was traveling I asked my dad to send me a recipe for some scones. He was unable to find the OCR tool in Office 2007, but with the help of OneNote 2007 it was very easy. Paste the image you wish to OCR into OneNote and let it do the rest. I found the answer at OneNote 2007: OCR Rocks this researcher's world | Techwillow where there is more information, but in summary: This is how it works: Take any image of text, paste it into OneNote, right-click on it and select Copy Text from Picture . That's it, you can then paste it anywhere as text. What's more OneNote will automatically OCR and index all your images (if you enable this in the settings) so you can search through your clippings. Now, of course you might not have OneNote, but that does not mean you don't get scanning. As the project at http://www.codeproject.com/office/modi.asp points out, you can use their code and the Office 2007 scanning tools to make it work too. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007 , OCR
  • Site disruption - upgrading some OS's and moving around some hardware

    The site might be up and down a bit as I move things around over the weekend. I am upgrading to newer versions two operating systems and moving the site onto a VPC for a short while. I will post when all is done :-) ttfn David
  • Office Rocker! : Ecma Open XML real world stories

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

    We all know that the next version of SBS will be based on Windows Server 2008 and that it will be x64 based. Many of the benefits of SBS Cougar will come from Windows Server 2008 (Longhorn), so if you want to be with the leading pack on SBS, you need to be up there with Windows Server 2008. ComputerWorld recently noted that the "long march" to the release of this product was signaled by the release of the latest RC candidate. It is worth getting this to start to understand Windows Server 2008. There are a host of features in the standard edition that should make life easier. For more info, access to code, virtual PCs etc on Server 2008, have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008 . Also, since it will be possible to run virtual machines on this system (again), you can take advantage of the amazing Terminal Server features with your clients by using TS inside a VM too. From ComputerWorld - Microsoft Begins Buildup to Longhorn's Release The long march to the release of Windows Server 2008, a.k.a. Longhorn Server, continued last week, as Microsoft Corp. made the first “release candidate” version available for downloading from its Web site. Several IT managers who are testing the beta predecessors of Release Candidate 0 said they’re largely impressed, though not without some reservations. Robbie Roberts, IT manager at Windrush Frozen Foods Ltd. in Oxford, England, has been using the upcoming operating system in live applications for two months. “We were involved in the Windows Server 2003 rollout, and we had tons of [bug] problems,” he said. “We absolutely expected tons of problems with Windows Server 2008. But — hand on heart — we’ve had none.” IT officials in Georgia’s Fulton County, where Atlanta is located, said that Windows Server 2008 has made it easier to tighten security through steps such as locking down unused ports and preventing insecure systems from connecting to the county’s network. But, they added, there is still a lack of support for key third-party applications. As a result...
  • Microsoft switching SharePoint to claims-based authentication - The Password is changing

    You've heard it before, well this seems to suggest that the password or AD based auth is just too wrong! So SharePoint is going as open as possible!! Microsoft switching SharePoint to claims-based authentication By John Fontana , Network World, 10/16/07 Microsoft is replacing the authentication system for SharePoint Server and plans to make the collaboration platform one of the first of the company’s marquee applications to rely on a new claims-based identity model . The goal is to have SharePoint incorporate an authentication model that works with any corporate identity system, including Active Directory, LDAPv3-based directories, application-specific databases and new user-centric identity models, such as LiveID, OpenID and InfoCard systems, including Microsoft’s CardSpace and Novell ’s Digital Me. Microsoft switching SharePoint to claims-based authentication - Network World ttfn David Technorati Tags: SharePoint , Claims-Based Authentication , Security
  • Microsoft lends a tech hand to U.K. startups

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

    Back in the days when I was a developer, Borland allowed me to see all the tips and tricks inside their Windows libraries. It gave me insight and examples on how to "do" things that I could see them doing, but was unable to replicate. Well this is now happening with the .Net framework. Microsoft opening up .Net Framework libraries By releasing the libraries under its Reference License and Shared Source Initiative, Microsoft has made the .Net source code viewable but unmodifiable By Paul Krill Opening up to developers, Microsoft is releasing its .Net Framework libraries under the Microsoft Reference License, which allows viewing of source code but not modification or redistribution, the company said on Wednesday. The release gives developers the opportunity to better understand the inner workings of the framework's source code, Microsoft said. Microsoft's efforts fall under the company's Shared Source initiative, which allows for sharing of source code; Shared Source has been viewed as Microsoft's answer to open source, in which users can view selected source code. Also, Microsoft will introduce a capability in the upcoming Visual Studio 2008 developer tools package to allow .Net Framework developers to debug into .Net Framework source code. "One of the things my team has been working to enable has been the ability for .Net developers to download and browse the source code of the .Net Framework libraries and to easily enable debugging support in them," said Microsoft's Scott Guthrie, general manager in the Microsoft Developer Division, in his blog . "Today I'm excited to announce that we'll be providing this with the .Net 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 release later this year," he said. The initiative begins with offering source code with source file components for the following technologies: * Net Base Class Libraries (including System, System.IO, System.Collections, System.Configuration, System.Threading, System.Net, System.Security, System.Runtime, and System...
  • .NET Survival Guide by Redmond Developer News

    Great tips for Microsoft Developers - on a side note, those who said .Net would never take off... dropped to 64% of people targeting Windows (of course, more people are targeting the Web): .NET Survival Guide Eight essential skills and technologies for Windows developers. by Chris Kanaracus with RDN Staff If you're a .NET developer today, the landscape has to be looking pretty murky. On the one hand, Microsoft's dominance has clearly eroded, thanks to key rivals whose market penetration has come at Redmond's expense, open source alternatives and the remarkable growth in the power and reach of Web-based programming. A recent Evans Data Corp. survey validates the challenges facing the .NET community, revealing that the portion of developers targeting Windows continued to decline, to 64.8 percent this year from 74 percent in 2006. Despite these shifts, .NET- and Windows-based development remains the dominant programming platform for user-facing clients, Web applications and business-critical systems. Microsoft Visual Studio (VS) is unrivaled among integrated development environments (IDEs), and is on track to grow even stronger when VS 2008 ships early next year. Rich Internet Applications | SOA and Web Services | Data-Driven Development Dynamic Languages in Managed Code | Office Development Platform Mad About Multi-Core | Development Testing | Web Development Technology Urgency Risk Maturity Recommendations Rich Internet Applications (RIA) High Low Moderate Deploy SOA and Web Services High High Moderate Study Data-Driven Development High Moderate Low Study Dynamic Languages High Low Low Study Office Development Moderate Low Moderate Deploy Multi-Core Moderate Moderate Low Study Development Testing Moderate Low Moderate Deploy Web Development High Low Moderate Study Each of sections has a full explanation at Redmond Developer News | .NET Survival Guide ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , .Net
  • Microsoft gets official open-source blessing from OSI for two of its licenses

    Many times Microsoft has been barracked for its "anti-open source" stance, which quite frankly has never existed. However, since we have always made software available under various licenses, it was decided that it was time to get these officially recognise by the people behind the dreaded GPL (that is my humour btw). Not everyone is happy about it as can be read at http://robertogaloppini.net/2007/10/18/open-source-at-microsoft-microsofts-licenses-get-approved-by-osi/ . Microsoft's desire to protect what it considers to be its intellectual property is seen as a threat by some in the open source world. However if you look at MSDN, it has, I suspect, millions of lines of code for people to borrow, use and then sell. I would call that open source of one type as well as codezone for another. In fact, as I have always understood it, Microsoft does not care how you develop or release you code, providing you do it legally! I think Microsoft gets official open-source blessing from OSI for two of its licenses covers most points Microsoft gets official open-source blessing from OSI for two of its licenses By Ryan Paul | Published: October 16, 2007 - 01:41PM CT The Open Source Initiative (OSI), the organization responsible for maintaining the definition of open source and evaluating open source licenses, has officially approved the Microsoft Community (Ms-CL) and Permissive (Ms-PL) licenses. Microsoft submitted its Shared Source licenses shortly after announcing plans to do so at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention earlier this year. OSI president Michael Tiemann responded by pointing out that three of Microsoft's five Shared Source licenses impose restrictions that are clearly inconsistent with the Open Source definition, but acknowledged that the two licenses submitted by Microsoft had merit and would be evaluated. "The decision to approve was informed by the overwhelming (though not unanimous) consensus from the open-source community that these licenses satisfied the 10 criteria of the Open Source...
  • Microsoft Passes OpenAjax Alliance Interop Tests

    More evidence that Microsoft is playing very nicely with its "open" buddies. The Open Ajax Alliance has confirmed that Microsoft has passed its interop tests. Microsoft Passes OpenAjax Alliance Interop Tests By Darryl K. Taft Microsoft joins several other companies and open-source projects in meeting OpenAjax guidelines. Microsoft has passed the OpenAjax Alliance's suite of interoperability tests to prove that its software can interoperate with other parts of the OpenAjax ecosystem. On the eve of the AJAX World Conference and Expo 2007 West taking place Sept. 23-26 in Santa Clara, Calif., Microsoft officials said the Redmond, Wash., company's software passed the OpenAjax InteropFest 1.0 tests and is interoperable with other AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) components in the OpenAjax ecosystem through the OpenAjax Hub. The OpenAjax Hub is a set of standard JavaScript functionalities defined by the OpenAjax Alliance, with strong focus on being small and fast. Brad Abrams, a project manager for Microsoft's ASP.Net Atlas, wrote in his blog Sept. 23 that Microsoft passed the OpenAjax InteropFest test. Bertand Le Roy, a Microsoft engineer who prepared the Microsoft entry for the OpenAjax test, also blogged about the entry and the testing process itself. <snipped> The organization's key objective is to accelerate customer success with AJAX by promoting a customer's ability to mix and match solutions from AJAX technology providers and by helping to drive the future of the AJAX ecosystem, OpenAjax officials said. Microsoft Passes OpenAjax Alliance Interop Tests If this is right up your street then you might want to look at ASP.NET AJAX plays well with other AJAX frameworks or Too Much Choice with AJAX . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , OpenAjax
  • Where is David now and what can Maps.Live.com do?

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

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

    I always say that every contact you have with your customers is marketing and that marketing is not "hard", but does require some thought. Well I thought you might like this teleseminar. Learn How To Create Magnificent Marketing Materials John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing will be conducting a 3 part teleseminar that will teach you how to create marketing materials that educate and connect with your prospects. In this series, you will learn how to create a marketing kit, learn how to use stories in your marketing to connect on an emotional level, and learn how to develop and use case studies and testimonials in your marketing. Small Business Building Blocks: Learn How To Create Magnificent Marketing Materials ttfn David Technorati Tags: Marketing , Small Business
  • Be there or be square - Westcoast Small Business Forum - 29th November, Reading

    What can I say - an amazing line up of presenters, plus a chance to throw pies at me as I do a song and dance for 1 hour. Seriously though, look at the agenda and wonder how you survived without it!! Westcoast Small Business Forum Get yourself booked onto our Small Business Forum which takes place on November 29th at Microsoft’s Thames Valley Campus. Spaces are limited (unless you’re happy to sit on laps?!) so get yourself booked on now. First come, first served. Full details are available by clicking here . We’ll be updating it with a few more events that are coming up this year in the UK that we think you’ll be interested in. Look forward to seeing you there! Oh, and guess who’s also found another site to blog on… UK SMB Girl » Westcoast Small Business Forum ttfn David Technorati Tags: If you only read one post today , Small Business , SBSC , Community , Westcoast , Event
  • We're Microsoft, we know everything... not

    I saw this little posting by Darren and it reminded me of several stories. One was the "mobile expert" around Denver this year and the other is the types of mails I sometimes get. I have had mails that say things like: My computer is not working, can you fix it for me I am having problems with Outlook Apple won't support iTunes on Vista, but I want to use it, so can you fix it for me? and my favourite I am having a problem where by people can't e-mail me back...... what e-mail address did they give.... What is really so funny about many of these is that they leave no contact details . Just their name. Now, even if I was able to fix their problems (and sometimes I can), without contact details it makes my life much harder to truly resolve the problems. Am I responsible for Windows Mobile Software? Today Gareth and I were walking along 16th Mall Street after having had some breakfast and I was wearing my Windows Mobile cap, as you do in Downtown Denver. I guy randomly stopped me and asked me if I worked for Microsoft and I said yes (although what I should’ve said was I work “with” Microsoft and not “for” them)!! He then prceeded to show me his phone and said “Windows Mobile software sucks” and so I explained to him that I personally didn’t write the software. As we walked away he continued by saying that I should get someone in Microsoft to fix it -”of course I’ll get someone right on it and get back to you on it” was my reply!! Office Rocker! : We're Microsoft, we know everything No we don't. But that doesn't stop people thinking we are the guys who control the Internet and can bend the IT time and space. Always a pleasure to chat with Jason earlier today as I waited to do my presentation on Office futures. It can be hard to present on the future of technology not just because we are talking about closely guarded secrets and its not because we can't plan, we do - no it's mainly just made harder because we don't actually own a frickin crystal ball. Jason's story about the...
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  • A SBS Blog to watch - Moloy Tandon's Blog - Ask Me

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

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

    Now this sounds familiar - compromise the dev tools and they compromise all products produced with them. Enterprises using open source software to engineer custom applications could be vulnerable to a newly discovered class of hack attack, a security firm claimed today. Fortify Software 's Security Research Group reported that so-called 'cross-build injection attacks' could allow a hacker to insert code into the target program while it is being constructed. The use of open source coding tools have opened the doors to "possible system-wide exploits", according to Fortify. If an attacker compromises either the server that hosts a component, or the DNS server that the build machine uses to locate that server, he could use these vulnerabilities to take full control of the build machine and possibly other machines on the remote network. Fortify discovered that, during the application build process, systems that automatically download external dependencies, including the popular Ant, Maven and Ivy tools, are particularly vulnerable. Hackers eye open source coding tools - vnunet.com ttfn David Technorati Tags: Security , Developer tools , Open Source
  • Windows is now getting too difficult to hack, so the hackers sights are moving elsewhere, but that does not mean security is now easier.

    I have heard many times how Windows is the big target for virus and phishing nasty people in general, but more and more people are showing that Windows is just too hard to hack when applications and other platforms offer so much more opportunity. From the article at eBay: Phishers getting better organized, attacking Linux Dave Cullinane, eBay's chief information and security officer said that in his previous job protecting a bank from phishers "The vast majority of the threats we saw were rootkitted Linux boxes, which was rather startling. We expected Microsoft boxes. Rootkit software covers the tracks of the attackers and can be extremely difficult to detect. According to Cullinane, none of the Linux operators whose machines had been compromised were even aware they'd been infected. Although Linux has long been considered more secure than Windows, many of the programs that run on top of Linux have known security vulnerabilities, and if an attacker were to exploit an unpatched bug on a misconfigured system, he could seize control of the machine. " In the same article it also mentions: "We see a lot of Linux machines used in phishing," said Alfred Huger, vice president for Symantec Security Response. "We see them as part of the command and control networks for botnets, but we rarely see them be the actual bots. Botnets are almost uniformly Windows-based." Since Linux machines can be used to more easily create specially crafted networking packets, they can be used in highly sophisticated online attacks, said Iftach Amit, director of security research with Finjan Inc.'s malicious code research center. Now this might sound like a load of old "mine is better than yours", but there is much more to this. Oracle, who on the whole don't make that many products, released their latest set of patches, just 51 this month - http://techworld.com/applications/news/index.cfm?newsID=10369&pagtype=all , compared to a much smaller set from Microsoft. What is worth noting is...
  • Iris World information

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

    You have seen the Exchange, SQL, Security and Windows best practice scanners, well now we have all that SBS expertise wrapped up into an SBS scanner - enjoy!! SBS now has a Best Practices Analyzer! The Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer examines a server that is running Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Windows SBS) and presents a list of information and errors that administrators should review. The Windows SBS Best Practices Analyzer examines the server and collects configuration information from many sources including: Active Directory Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Registry Metabase After collecting information about server configuration, the Windows SBS Best Practices Analyzer verifies that the information is correct and then presents administrators with a list of issues sorted by severity. The list describes each issue and provides a recommendation or possible solution. System Requirements Supported Operating Systems: Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Any version of Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003) Links KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940439 Download http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3874527A-DE19-49BB-800F-352F3B6F2922&displaylang=en So take a look and let us know what you think about it! (Feedback email address is in the KB article). The Official SBS Blog : SBS now has a Best Practices Analyzer! ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 R2 , Best practices , If you only read one post today
  • Training for users on SharePoint 2007

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

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

    I saw this and just thought it was very silly. I do need to point out that this is a personal opinion and not one that represents Microsoft or that of its employees. However I do think that this idea ranks right up there with "everyone should write their own software" which an certain Open Source advocate once said to me. So let me get this right, the reasons why people like pre-loaded software are: Machines can be turned on and used OEM supplied software is supported by the same people who supplied the hardware, so one stop show OEM software is great value and often less than retail software Drivers and add-on software are all provided in the box so no searching around to set the system up More tools in the box from 3rd party vendors No technical knowledge required to set up machine The reasons why OEMs like pre-loaded software are: Machine will be usable as soon as turned on making happy customers Easier to support a known installation configuration Financial incentive from some 3rd party software packages to pre-load their software The reasons why some people don't like pre-loaded software are: They might get something they don't want Removal can be cumbersome Now, if we remove all pre-loaded software and make it all the end users responsibility, then the pain of what works, how it is supported, how to get the drivers, pay retail prices and potentially higher prices for the hardware if the 3rd party subsidisation is removed. Of course OEMs are starting to answer the two dislikes with more PCs being available with either plain Windows, a.n. other OS or bare. To prove just how silly an idea this is, look at Windows N - that "much sort after" item by consumers. Recent figures suggested that 1 in 15,000 copies of Windows in Europe is the "N" version that does not have Media Player - that is just 0.0066667% of the consumers when given the choice said yes, yet the market owned by non Windows Media Player products is higher I am sure, so did the idea of removing the options for consumers...
  • How to give a user the ability to send mail 'on behalf of' a Public Folder

    I have been asked several times how someone can have an e-mail alias, such as "support@mycompany.com" which not only receives into a public folder, but also has the ability to send e-mails. Obviously the setting up of the public folder, e-mail etc is well documented, but since I have been asked this again I thought I would share my source of knowledge - How to Give a User the Ability to Send Mail on Behalf of a Public Folder How to Give a User the Ability to Send Mail on Behalf of a Public Folder To give a user the ability to send mail on behalf of a public folder, perform the following procedure. In Exchange System Manager, under Folders , right-click the public folder for which you want to give a user the ability to send mail, and then click Properties . Click Exchange General , and then click Delivery Options . Click Add to specify a user. You may have to make additional modifications if the following conditions are true: The user's mailbox resides in a domain that is different from the public folder's domain. The user's mailbox resides on a server that is located in a site that does not contain any domain controllers for the domain that hosts the public folder. Use one of the following additional steps: Add the Exchange Domain Servers security group of the child domain with Read permissions to the ACL of the Microsoft Exchange System Objects container in the parent domain. This method is the recommended method for working around this problem. Move one domain controller from the parent domain to the user's Exchange 2003 site. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Exchange , SBS 2003 , Send e-mail from public folder
  • How I do my webcast videos - using SnagIt Screen Capture and Sharing tools

    You may have seen a number of videos that I have recorded that were screen captures and my voice. To do this I use the tools from Techsmith - Snagit. For £24 I was able to buy the tools to record my screen and put it all together. Overall I think it was a great investment which you can also get from http://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.asp . I have stored my videos on Windows Live Storage - more details of all the videos at Videos on Office usage - Document Inspector, Excel Templates and formatting, Outlook on the go and enhancing word documents for Office and Videos on Vista usage - Checking for updates, Backup options, Offline file options, How to use security in Internet Explorer, Sharing files for Vista. While SnagIt produces .AVI files, good of Windows Movie Maker did the last little conversion to WMV files. If you want output to many other formats, Nick has some pointers to more locations at Techsmith release new SnagIt Accessories - Nick Whittome - The Naked MVP . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Snagit
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  • Videos on Vista usage - Checking for updates, Backup options, Offline file options, How to use security in Internet Explorer, Sharing files

    I have documented some of these before, but now all of them are here. - How to backup information in Vista using Restore Previous Versions, writing to DVDs and the built in backup tools - How to use Windows Updates to get patches for the system - How Internet Explorer 7 and Vista protect you - just remember to say no!! - How to take files offline in Vista and Outlook (for SharePoint files) - Sharing files using Windows Messenger ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista
  • Videos on Office usage - Document Inspector, Excel Templates and formatting, Outlook on the go and enhancing word documents

    I have documented some of these videos before, but I thought I would document them all now - How to use the document inspector - How to find a template for Excel and then customise it for UK dates and currency, change the formatting and more - How to use conditional formatting in Excel - How to use Outlook Web Access and Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTP) - How to enhance a document using various things - cover pages, table of contents, pictures, smart art, formatting ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007
  • Changed web site style again which might upset how the blog looks

    Following on from people who wanted a quicker blog, I have moved to another theme by Nick at http://www.nbdev.co.uk . If you are seeing the blog "messed up", then you need to set your site options to Athena by clicking Edit Profile in the top right corner: and then selecting the site options and choosing your theme: thanks David
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  • Windows Live SkyDrive Updates - 1GB of storage, RSS feeds when someone makes an update and easier sharing of files

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

    [updated to remove some inaccuracies about Susanne's microspeak - sorry Susanne] There are always special offers of some form or another from most companies and Microsoft is no exception (well, except in August when we are still in post financial year clean up :-)). Anyway, the UK SMB Girl aka Susanne Dansey at Westcoast has listed a couple of these.: N-3 Open Value Subscription Offer Promotion ends: 31 December 2007 Programme: OV Subscription Up-to-Date Discount (UTD) is a 50 per cent discount in OV Subscription for the first year invoice for any licence for the current (N) or previous (N-1) version of the selected Small Business or Professional Desktop platform products. For the OVS N-3 promo eligibility for receiving the 50 per cent discount is granted to N-3 versions of Office licences (back to Office 2000). Promtional SKUs are identified on the price list by the word ‘Promo’. Future proofing Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Here’s a heads up to all Microsoft Partners thinking about licensing SBS 2003 so that you can save 15% on Windows SBS 2003 R2 (standard edition) for you and your clients (should you wish!). Offer: Save 15% on Windows SBS 2003 R2 Standard Edition License types: L only, L+SA Offer descriptions: Partners get an additional 15% off the regular Partner price for the Standard Edition of Windows SBS 2003 R2 (license only and license + Software Assurance). Partners are eligible to pass savings onto their customers. Offer good only when bought in a VL License (L or L+SA). SA will allow customer to upgrade to the next version of Windows SBS for free. Offer fulfillment: Partner discounts are available directly from official Microsoft distributors (such as me) Duration and timing: September 2007 through December 31, 2007 Considerations: The Windows Small Business Server CALs are not included in this discount How to hold a conversation with your customer regarding this offer AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, how to talk about SBS 2003: “Can I ask you, if you got hit by a virus, are you 100% confident...
  • Ballmer Talks Cloud, Advertising, SAAS and what is Microsoft doing about it

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

    I saw this on good old X (part of the GUI stuff for Unix and Linux systems) and it reminded me that although these codebases have had millions of hours of review (I worked on X systems from 1992-1995 inside a security project) they still have holes in them. Anyone who thinks security is something that is fixed by more eyes, just using A/V or not using Microsoft can find many more of these sorts of examples. It is also nice to see that the Microsoft Secure by Default / Secure by Design project was well received at Sun :-) X Font Server (xfs) Security Hole in Solaris As noted in the ZDNet posting X Font Server flaw hits Sun Solaris hard , the recently announced X font server vulnerabilities not only affect Solaris, but are exposed to the network by default in some Solaris installs. What the article fails to mention is that it's only older installs that are vulnerable by default - Solaris versions up through Solaris 10 6/06 run xfs by default from inetd listening to the network. Solaris 10 11/06 and later Solaris 10 releases ask you at install time if you want your network services to default to being open or closed. Solaris Nevada/Express just closes them all by default and requires you to turn back on the ones you want. (These changes came from the Solaris Secure by Default project , which has more information on its project pages.) X Font Server (xfs) Security Hole in Solaris [Alan Coopersmith's Weblog] ttfn David Technorati Tags: Security
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  • IIS and SharePoint and ISA updates, information and web casts for this month

    This information comes from the Technical Rollup Mail blog which can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . I extract the sections and then remove some of the items that don't work for me for ISVs and/or SBSC partners. News 6 new case studies published this month - http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/search.aspx?ProTaxID=1265&NoDays=30 IIS The Tasty Morsels Found In Dogfood… MSCOM OPS Top 10 Changes In IIS7.0 http://blogs.technet.com/mscom/archive/2007/09/07/the-tasty-morsels-found-in-dogfood-mscom-ops-top-10-changes-in-iis7-0.aspx The .NET Show: IIS 7.0 (Shipping with Windows Vista will be the latest version of Internet Information Services (IIS), which includes a broad collection of features and capabilities that have been anxiously awaited by both developers and IT Pros. Scott Guthrie and Bill Staples describe and demo new features in IIS 7.0. ) http://msdn.microsoft.com/theshow/episode.aspx?xml=theshow/en/episode056/manifest.xml Sharepoint Technologies Correction for last month where we missed the URL off from this post The great Office Server smorgasbord: SharePoint 2007 - Microsoft's five new Office Servers give Office 2007 users a wealth of new features and capabilities. We examine how in this four-part series, starting with SharePoint 2007 So here it is: http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/08/13/33TCmoss_1.html SharePoint Designer Microsoft SharePoint Designer team looking for customer needs for data design, view and functionality. Copies of Office Professional are available in a sweepstake for all entrants. http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepointdesigner/archive/2007/09/19/sharepoint-designer-data-team-survey.aspx Latest Product test Drive Test Drive Microsoft Office and SharePoint 2007 in a new online package http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/HA101687261033.aspx Introducing the Performance Point Developer Portal Performance Point Server 2007 provides all the functionality that is needed for performance management. Performance Point offers features that not only help analysts monitor...
  • And another great thing about Windows Home Server - Vista gives instant searches on all files on the home server shares

    Someone asked today why Windows Home Server has the Windows Desktop Search tool on the box and the reply that came back I thought was worth of a blog entry. When you connect to a share on Windows Home Server (eg \\homeserver\music ) and do a search in the top right corner, then your Vista PC will search the WDS index and not the actual files, meaning that I can search by 400 albums for anything related to Disney in about 1/4 of a second :-) Nice! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Home Server , Vista , Windows Desktop Search
  • Installing WSS v3 on a Member Server in an SBS Network

    I have spoken before about how to install WSS on the SBS box, so it was quite nice to see the article on how to install on a member server - much simpler to do many less problems. Installing WSS v3 on a Member Server in an SBS Network If you’ve got a member server in your SBS network (especially if that server is a beefy SQL box) it may make sense from a performance standpoint to install Windows SharePoint Services version 3 on the member server instead of directly on the SBS box. This is actually a pretty straight-forward process, but in case you’re not totally comfortable with WSS v3 yet, the procedure is documented below using a combination of a Microsoft e-book and the WSS on SBS instructions Chad came up with for SBS. Installing WSS v3 on a Member Server in an SBS Network | NoGeekLeftBehind.com ttfn David Technorati Tags: WSS v3 , SharePoint , SBS 2003
  • The Official SBS Blog : New Best Practices for SP2 KB - From June, but worth getting out there

    I should have mentioned this before, but I appear to have been a bit bad at reading others blog and forwarding on :-) Anyway, since the release notes for SP2 can't be updated, here are the latest best practice KB articles. This is just a quick note about the availability of a new KB published today to help consolidate some of the information that we've posted on this blog. Best practices and known issues when you install Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 on a Windows Small Business Server 2003-based computer http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=939421 The Official SBS Blog : New Best Practices for SP2 KB ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Server 2003 SP2 , Best Practices
  • Fix for Excel 2007 and Excel Services calculation errors

    I know that a few people had the pleasure of throwing a few pies at Microsoft when this was discovered, but a fix is now available. Description of the Excel 2007 hotfix package: October 9, 2007 This hotfix package fixes the following issue that was not previously documented in a Microsoft Knowledge Base article: When you perform a calculation in Excel 2007, the following behavior occurs: The result of the calculation is a number from 65534.99999999995 to 65535. The calculation is performed correctly. However, the result is incorrectly shown as 100000. The result of the calculation is a number from 65535.99999999995 to 65536. The calculation is performed correctly. However, the result is incorrectly shown as 100001. To resolve this problem, apply this hotfix. After you apply the hotfix, recalculate the spreadsheets that are in manual calculation mode. When you do this, the values in the spreadsheet will be updated to the correct values. Excel 2007 Download the Excel 2007 hotfix package now. ( http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/1/3/61343075-aa12-4152-a761-fccc16d6cef4/office-kb943075-fullfile-x86-glb.exe ) Excel Services Download the 32-bit Excel Services 2007 hotfix package now. ( http://download.microsoft.com/download/c/d/c/cdcccd84-86cd-4199-b01c-1df2dac66534/office-kb943076-fullfile-x86-glb.exe ) Download the 64-bit Excel Services 2007 hotfix package now. ( http://download.microsoft.com/download/c/d/c/cdcccd84-86cd-4199-b01c-1df2dac66534/office-kb943076-fullfile-x64-glb.exe ) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Excel 2007 , Excel Services , Hotfix
  • Windows Home Server to be made available on MSDN?

    I have to admit that this is not what I had been told, but Some think Windows Home Server will not be made available on MSDN .. if it is hurray, if not, then it will be back to an eval copy or god forbid... buying one!! Windows Home Server to be made available on MSDN? October 9th, 2007 — Philip Churchill It has been announced on the MSDN Subscriptions Weblog that their acquisitions team is working with the product group to include Windows Home Server in the MSDN offering. The WebLog which is run by the managers of the online and offline MSDN Subscription program stated that they expect WHS will be offered, but do not have an estimate of availability. Windows Home Server to be made available on MSDN? « MS Windows Home Server ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Home Server , MSDN
  • Where to go to study for SBSC exam 70-282

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

    This question was asked in the forum, but after a bit of research I thought I would share this more broadly. Here is what I discovered: There is a group policy object to enable / disable task manager You can also replace the file that gets run when Task Manager is requested, but this is done using the debug options Group Policy to enable / disable For the Group Policy options, a quick search on Live Search takes me to http://www.infopackets.com/channels/en/windows/gazette/2003/20030821_enable_taskmanager_for_windows_2000_and_xp.htm which basically points to: Open Regedit Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ System. Look for: DisableTaskMgr. Click on REG_DWORD. Value: 1=Enable this key (disables TaskManager) Value: 0=Disable (actually enables TaskManager) Replace Task Manager with another program Then for the how to replace the program you basically need to set the options for taskmgr.exe to replace it with another program using the debug options. This means that you want to do the following: Open Regedit Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Image File Execution Options \ taskmgr.exe Look for: Debugger - if it exists then the program listed gets executed, if it is not present then taskmgr.exe is executed eg "Debugger"="C:\SOFTWARE\TOOLS\PROCESSEXPLORER\PROCEXP.EXE" Now while this sounds simple, if you have UAC on and the program you are calling requires elevation then you will hit problems. http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/replacing-task-manager-with-process-explorer-in-vista discusses how to work around them. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows , Vista , Task Manager
  • IIS Outserves Apache on Fortune 1000 Websites while ASP.NET Deployments Grow

    For those who think IIS is not good enough, safe enough, capable, used etc, then have a look at this article. It seems that now IIS accounts for more Fortune 1000 companies web sites than all the competition put together. If you are developing or recommending, it looks like more business opportunity exists in the IIS world than anywhere else. If you want to know a bit more about developing solutions, look at http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.education.web4lib/10138 and Microsoft to Release Windows Server 2008 RCO, and for some IIS7 webcasts .. IIS7 Web casts IIS Outserves Apache on Fortune 1000 Websites while ASP.NET Deployments Grow Since 2003, Port80 Software has periodically surveyed the public sites of Fortune 1000 companies to determine their use of web and application hosting technologies. In a survey released in mid-August, the Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0 Web server (IIS 6) gained 9.5 percent since August 2006 and passed IIS 5 to lead the survey for the first time, outserving the open source Apache server and all other web servers among Fortune 1000 sites. Overall, IIS 4, 5, 6 and 7 deployments continue a four-year lead in the survey with a combined 55.0 percent share of all Fortune 1000 corporate sites versus Apache's 24.9 percent share. In a related Port80 Software survey, Microsoft ASP.NET and ASP application server environments are currently used on 51.5 percent of Fortune 1000 sites, an increase of 7.9 percent since 2005. Other application servers like Java platforms (J2EE, JSP, WebLogic, WebSphere, and Tomcat), PHP, and ColdFusion all combined to account for 24.0 percent of Fortune 1000 site deployments. Heavier use of ASP.NET among Fortune 1000 sites is to be expected, given the prevalence of Microsoft IIS on the same sites. Much has changed since 2003, when Apache's dominance was relatively unquestioned in the industry. "While Netcraft's recent surveys demonstrate the rise of Microsoft's Internet Information Services across the Internet at large, Port80 Software continues...
  • Business Contact Manage 2007 (BCM) with LinkedIn and/or Windows Mobile

    I was reading the Small Business Building Blocks blog and noticed this handy time for BCM and LinkedIn. As many of you know BCM is a favourite product of mine and one that providing the machine has the grunt is an excellent productivity tool. I've been playing around with the LinkedIn toolbar for Outlook . One of the issues that I constantly run into with tools like this is that they are made to work with Outlook contacts but don't always work with Business Contact Manager (BCM). I've had better luck with this add-in than others, so I thought I would post a little about what I have found. If anyone has figured out a better way to address these issues, I'd love to hear from you. The LinkedIn toolbar has a couple of ways to create contacts. One is from the LinkedIn dashboard, when it recognizes a contact in LinkedIn or your e-mail folders that is not set up as a contact. A second way is to use the "grab" button to create a contact from text or an e-mail signature. When LinkedIn creates a contact, it creates an Outlook contact and saves it in an Outlook folder called "Collected Contacts". I want to create Business Contacts, not Outlook Contacts. One way to accomplish this is to 1) Create the contact and then 2) drag the newly created contact from the Collected Contacts folder to the Business Contacts folder. Once you have done this, you can open the contact and add any Business Contact fields that you need to. Another option is to change the folder that the LinkedIn toolbar uses to the contacts that it creates. For more information see the rest of the article at http://blog.rebarbusinessbuilders.com/rebar/2007/10/using-the-linke.html . Then I noticed Chris's post at http://www.chrisrue.com/funcave/2007/08/sync-bcm-and-public-folder-items-to-your-windows-mobile-device.html that talks about how to get almost anything sync'd to a Windows Mobile device, so if you want you can add better syncing between BCM and Windows Mobile over and above the MS app to do this. ttfn David Technorati...
  • What's In A 'Small-Business' Label? - Forbes.com

    I saw this and thought I would share it. As small business partners we need to decide what the "Small Business" means and tell our partners and customers. It is not about sticking a label on something that fits everything, but actually customising it for the real small business customer. And I don't mean the less than 1,000 person business, but the sub 100, sub 50 and even sub 10. It is worth reading the rest of the article to see what is said about brand and laptops. What's In A 'Small-Business' Label? Lisa LaMotta , 09.12.07, 6:00 AM ET It's one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book: Make the same product, but sell it to a new audience. That's what large retailers and manufactures have been doing lately to tap the lucrative small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) segment. Last month, for example, Best Buy (nyse: BBY - news - people ) added a Professional Series label, which signifies products putatively geared for small businesses, though many have mass appeal as well. Dell Computer (nasdaq: DELL - news - people ) insists its new Vostro line of notebooks is perfect for small fries, while virtually all the options are available on other machines. And AT&T (nyse: T - news - people ) sells the same telephone and cable connections under the SMB banner as they do for plain old consumers. Can you blame these guys? See-through as this strategy sounds, it's also very effective--and perfectly legal. As long as companies aren't making any false claims (after all, these products aren't not appropriate for small businesses), the Federal Trade Commission has no beef. <snip> To be fair, many products bearing the "small business" moniker work just fine. But it's a bit of a stretch to claim that many of them are specifically tailored for that segment. “A phone line is a phone line," admits John Reagan, vice president of business marketing for AT&T. Some so-called small-business products deserve the distinction more than others. Take Microsoft 's...
  • Office Live Workspace: New Web Functionality for Microsoft Office

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

    If you like the look of Microsoft Office Live for Small Business and Office Live Workspaces, then you might also like this from BT. It looks even more like understanding how to build a business on the back of Windows SharePoint Services is going to be vital in the small business space! BT launches free business tools U.K. telecom company offers BT Business Builder, which bundles free management applications for small businesses. By David Meyer Special to CNET News.com Published: September 11, 2007, 8:34 AM PDT U.K. telecom company BT Group has added a set of business-management tools to its portfolio of free hosted applications for small businesses. BT Business Builder incorporates bookkeeping, invoicing, sales, planning, payroll, human resources, and health and safety tools, together with a news-alert service covering new business legislation. <snipped - go to site to see more >BT, which is gradually shifting its image from telecommunications incumbent to global IT services giant , has already launched several hosted services for small businesses this year. BT Tradespace, launched in April, is a free social-networking and marketing facility designed to let small business set up an online presence easily via a series of templates. BT Workspace, launched in January, is a Microsoft SharePoint-based collaboration tool. BT launches free business tools | CNET News.com Other related items include http://blog.echosign.com/2007/07/btmicrosoft-all.html and http://ukbroadbandfinder.blogspot.com/2007/10/bt-tradespace-new-features.html thanks David Technorati Tags: BT , WSS , SharePoint , Workspaces
  • Transition Pack Pointers for SBS 2003 peeps

    Just to recap on these links since I still get questions about the Transition Pack. These are some good starting points for understanding Transition Pack (pay special attention to the registry key portion if they have Backup Exec installed): http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2006/01/12/417350.aspx and http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2006/02/24/420521.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 , Translation Pack
  • IE 7 Update Drops WGA Validation Requirement

    I thought it was worth sharing this - IE 7 will be available to everyone, even those people who "have not paid" for their Windows XP OS. Many people seem to think this is purely an anti-firefox move ( http://www.websearchguide.ca/netblog/archives/006622.html ) IE 7 Update Drops WGA Validation Requirement Microsoft is making its Internet Explorer 7 browser available to all Windows XP users—even those using pirated software—and installation will no longer require that the operating system first be validated as genuine. The company said the move is about security and ecosystem safety, because if even one user in a network is not using the security enhancements provided in IE 7, that user places the entire network at risk. "Microsoft takes its commitment to help protect the entire Windows ecosystem seriously, and we're taking a step to help make consumers safer online. We feel the security enhancements to Internet Explorer 7 are significant enough that it should be available as broadly as possible, and this means making it available to all users of IE 7-compatible Windows operating systems," Steve Reynolds, program manager for Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., told eWEEK. "With today's Installation and Availability Update, IE 7 installation will no longer require Windows Genuine Advantage validation, and will be available to all Windows XP users," he said. <sniped> Reynolds also claimed in a blog posting that the browser, which was released in October 2006, "is well on its way to becoming the most used browser in the world, and we've seen lots of evidence that IE 7 makes it safer and easier to accomplish everyday tasks online." As evidence, he said the built-in phishing filter has protected consumers from known phishing Web sites an average of 900,000 times a week, and that it is also the "first and still the only browser with native support for extended validation SSL [Secure Sockets Layer] certificates, which help prevent online fraud." At the time...
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(c)David Overton 2006-13