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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Tweets

  • Fixing my Office 365 Lync Voice (P1) and PGi world wide phone integration problems–error ID 3110 (source ID 243)

    I use Office 365.  Probably no surprise for many, but I like the world wide access and simplicity.  However, since leaving Microsoft I found having to Skype people a little frustrating if I wanted to host a multi-party conference call, especially if some people need to dial in using a phone, rather than Lync from a PC.  To this end I ended up purchasing a certified solution from PGi. PGi charge me per minute per person and I have dial in and out capability, so I can dial people to join the call and people can dial in with numbers for most countries around the world.  Perfect, just like the solution I had when I worked at Microsoft. Except it didn’t work.  People could dial the conference number and hear each other and others could be connected via VoIP, but the two groups could not hear each other. Not the solution I wanted.  I ran the DNS tests that Microsoft asks for and did test calls with the nice people from PGi, but nothing was showing up as the error.  Searching the internet showed various potential solutions, but nothing seemed to be working. When I tried to dial people in, I got this error here: Eventually, I came across a post that said it was a licensing problem and the users needed to be un-licensed, left for 15 minutes, then re-licensed.  I tried this and hey-presto, it all worked. So here is the fix I used: Go to http://office.microsoft.com and sign in with your office 365 credentials Select users and groups from the admin screen Select the user you want to enable and press the edit link that looks like a pencil Now press licenses on the left hand side Remove the tick from Lync Online (P1) and select save.  Repeat this for each user that needs to have access to Lync Voice Now, have a nice coffee, leave it at least 5 minutes, but 15 is advised Now go back, do the same again for the users, but re-select Lync Online (P1) and save the changes for each user.   For me, I was able to now schedule a meeting and it all works – hopefully the same will work for...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sun, Sep 22 2013
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  • Version 7 of Sync for SkyDrive

    Thank-you for your interest in Sync for SkyDrive. Following all the feedback from version 1, 2 and 6 I’ve finished release 7 (version number 7.0.0.2 in the store) and submitted to the Windows Store where it will be available here: The tool is not free, but it is at the lowest price point I can make for the Windows Store (from the UK). The purpose of the tool is very simple, to enable you to synchronise chosen folders from Microsoft SkyDrive to a Windows RT (or Windows 8) device. While I would like this to be something that happened automatically, the processing time required does not fit into the Microsoft allowed timings for a Windows RT/8 device for battery consumption, so this is still a “user initiated process”. While Windows 8 has a synchronisation tool for the desktop, Windows RT does not, so here is my offering in this space. How does it work The tool scans chosen folders on SkyDrive and the matching folders on your Windows RT device and draws up a list of differences. You can then choose which of these files to sync across. The first time this happens, if you have manually copied down files from SkyDrive, then the file with the latest time/date stamp will be seen as the most up to date and the application will sync it for you. Once the initial sync has taken place the application will match the files and highlight and updates, new files or files deleted. There is one SkyDrive Restriction to be aware of, while the application can download any file you have on SkyDrive, it can't upload files greater than 100MB. Should you select a file > 100MB to be uploaded, a warning will be displayed and the files will be de-selected. It also cannot download files with a .url extension, again due to a limitation put in place by Microsoft. Warning This tool will be overwriting files in the process of it’s actions – this is after all what syncing an update does. While every attempt has been made to ensure that this is not damaging, no responsibility is taken if data is lost through the use...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Mon, Mar 25 2013
  • Version 6 of Sync for SkyDrive

    Thank-you for your interest in Sync for SkyDrive. Following all the feedback from version 1 and 2, I’ve finished release 6 (version number 2.0.0.26 in the store) and submitted to the Windows Store and can be found at the Windows Store: [27th March 2013] A new version of the application is now in the Windows Store. You can find details of it here . The tool is not free, but it is at the lowest price point I can make for the Windows Store (from the UK). The purpose of the tool is very simple, to enable you to synchronise chosen folders from Microsoft SkyDrive to a Windows RT (or Windows 8) device. While I would like this to be something that happened automatically, the processing time required does not fit into the Microsoft allowed timings for a Windows RT/8 device for battery consumption, so this is still a “user initiated process”. While Windows 8 has a synchronisation tool for the desktop, Windows RT does not, so here is my offering in this space. How does it work The tool scans chosen folders on SkyDrive and the matching folders on your Windows RT device and draws up a list of differences. You can then choose which of these files to sync across. The first time this happens, if you have manually copied down files from SkyDrive, then the file with the latest time/date stamp will be seen as the most up to date and the application will sync it for you. Once the initial sync has taken place the application will match the files and highlight and updates, new files or files deleted. There is one SkyDrive Restriction to be aware of, while the application can download any file you have on SkyDrive, it can't upload files greater than 100MB. Should you select a file > 100MB to be uploaded, a warning will be displayed and the files will be de-selected. Warning This tool will be overwriting files in the process of it’s actions – this is after all what syncing an update does. While every attempt has been made to ensure that this is not damaging, no responsibility is taken if data is lost...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Fri, Mar 8 2013
  • Sync for SkyDrive–version 2 for Windows RT and Windows 8

    Version 2 of Sync for SkyDrive [9th March 2013] A new version of the application is now in the Windows Store. You can find details of it here . Thank-you for your interest in Sync for SkyDrive. Following all the feedback from version 1, I’ve finished version 2 and submitted to the Windows Store. When it is released I will update this with store location. The tool is not free, but it is at the lowest price point I can make for the Windows Store (from the UK). The purpose of the tool is very simple, to enable you to synchronise chosen folders from Microsoft SkyDrive to a Windows RT (or Windows 8) device. While I would like this to be something that happened automatically, the processing time required does not fit into the Microsoft allowed timings for a Windows RT/8 device for battery consumption, so this is still a “user initiated process”. While Windows 8 has a synchronisation tool for the desktop, Windows RT does not, so here is my offering in this space. How does it work The tool scans chosen folders on SkyDrive and the matching folders on your Windows RT device and draws up a list of differences. You can then choose which of these files to sync across. The first time this happens, if you have manually copied down files from SkyDrive, then you will need to “match” them as the time / date stamps for each file will be different. The tool matches the files and highlights the file with the latest date, so it is not too difficult. Once you have completed this, which is done only once, then a few clicks will always bring your local store and SkyDrive up to date. Warning This tool will be overwriting files in the process of it’s actions. While every attempt has been made to ensure that this is not damaging, no responsibility is taken if data is lost through the use of the tool. Having said that, no-one has reported data loss. If you think you are experiencing this, please contact me immediately! Discussion forums I have opened up 3 forums to enable discussions in a more structured way...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sat, Feb 16 2013
  • Sync for Windows SkyDrive

    [updated 25/02/2013] - The next version has now been submitted to Microsoft. Information on the updated version can be found here . This is an update on my Sync tool. Thank-you to all those who have provided input, submitted bugs and made other suggestions. The updated version is not yet ready to go into the Windows Store yet, but feedback and suggestions are still welcome. I’ve been asked by Microsoft to change the logo and name, so this is what we now have: [Changelog] Adding selective folder sync Made more “metro like” with reduced colours, no rounded corners, remove gradient background Bug fixing on file upload Bug fixing on file download Detect deleted files to enable removal Removed the cache files from the SkyDrive sync folder Sync activities now reported in flip out panel New 1st time experience Link to web site included in the settings menu Hopefully the updates will make people happy and unless you are syncing all your folders, after the first time start-up, scanning of both local are SkyDrive folders will be faster. The new look will be something like this: When selecting folder – the ability to select whole trees (double tap/click), single folders (single tap/click) and collapse folders ( italic to show content is hidden): When in file selection mode, folder names in bold have updated files in them: The request list currently has the following in it: Background sync (from the lock screen) Auto select all new and changed files when opening the app I hope to post an update for next week. Thanks David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Tue, Feb 12 2013
  • Simple SkyDrive Sync for Windows 8 and Windows RT

    It has taken a while to get there, however this project is now complete. I’ve managed to write a tool that keeps my SkyDrive and my Windows RT slate in sync. I’m now going through the process to publish this in the Windows Store for all to use and enjoy. [updated 8th Feb 2013] I've received a lot of feedback about the colours, gradient fills, rounded corners etc. I am working on a minor update that will change the colours and then a major update that completely change the layout, work on a folder by folder basis. [updated 12th Feb 2013] To see what the next version will look like and the feature changes, please look at my change log post . [updated 25th Feb 2013] The next version has finally been submitted to Microsoft. Details can be found here . What does the tool do? The tool scans a chosen set of folders on your hard disk and compares these to a corresponding set on SkyDrive. It then notes any where the file date or size is different, or where they only exist on one system (either as an updated file on your local storage or SkyDrive). It then presents these in a list which you can either choose to Sync up. How long the sync takes depends on how much data you have and the speed of your network, however to boost performance the system kicks of several copies at once to maximise your bandwidth. As scanning SkyDrive is a slow process, a local two sync file will be placed on your local storage to speed up the sync and Simple SkyDrive Sync will use these to improve performance as best as it can. As the whole process will take some time, there is an option in Simple SkyDrive Sync to keep the screen active. This will stop your Windows 8 or Windows RT device from going to sleep or suspending the application. If the application is suspended, it will need to start the process again as the file information will be out of date. Privacy information Since I have no need of data about you, the system only communicated with SkyDrive from Microsoft and therefore I will collect no information from you. Should the...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Fri, Feb 1 2013
  • Good WPF 4.5 cookbook from Pavel Yosifovich

    I was looking for a book to bring me up to date with WPF and XAML and talking to my publishers, Packt Publishing, then offered me the Windows Presentation Foundation 4.5 Cookbook by Pavel Yosifovich. I was hoping to review this book sooner, however Christmas and illness got in the way, so here is my slightly late review.  In simple terms, this was an excellent book for me.  I write in both C# and VB.Net (more VB than C#).  I’ve never used WPF or XAML except in the designers from Microsoft and my work is basically hacking those tools without enough experience.  There are lots of features that I could not get working, so I simply coded around them with my 10-20 year old programming knowledge.  This book has enabled me to change this. The book is 437 pages long excluding the index and there are 80 “recipe's” in the book.  While you can dip in and out at random, as with all good knowledge acquisition, starting at the beginning offers the best platform to understand the more complex tasks further on in the book.  There are plenty of screen shots to ensure things are clear and easy to understand in a platform that ultimately delivers UI. If you are interested in WPF, XAML and especially data bound controls, this is a fantastic book for you, even if your experience with XML and C# is not top notch.  As you would expect, this books covers UI elements, controls  and animation, however I also learnt about the Background Worker component as a simple alternative to threads as well as the basics of parallel tasks using the Tasks Parallel Library.   I hope you enjoy the book. It can be purchased on Amazon UK , Amazon US or from Packt Publishing .   ttfn David
  • Merry Christmas for 2012

    Click to advance through the 3 pages
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Thu, Dec 20 2012
  • Do you want to see what is new and search the Windows 8 Store from the web–now you can

    Hi, just a little note as I’ve been using this for a little while now.  You can access the Windows 8 store, search it and filter from this web site - http://metrostore.preweb.sk/ .  It is unofficial, however Vlko and Peter both seem open to suggestions too.   Enjoy David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Fri, Dec 14 2012
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  • Upgrade Windows XP/Vista/7 to Windows 8 Pro for $40 or £25 AND Media Center Pack for free – until 31st January

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

    Hi, I’ve always been open and honest on my blog and it is time to share broadly the news that I’ve left Microsoft.  I’ve been considering my career and a few things became apparent. I wanted a break .  When I joined Microsoft over 12 years ago, a sabbatical was part of the deal.  While this changed during my employment, I’ve decided to take one anyway, so I’ve been putting my feet up over the last few weeks and will continue to do so into the new year.  Obviously, I’m not sitting at home completely idle, but it does mean that I’m generally here when my girls get home from school and cannot say a pressing piece of work is keeping me from spending time with them.  This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but not been able to do so while in full time employment.  Playing The Gunstringer (includes Fruit Ninja Kinect) with Lizzy or visiting the Royal Institute with Molly tonight for the filming of the Christmas Lectures are just two highlights. Finding a new passion .  Looking at this blog, you can tell that the things that made me passionate, that I can share in public, have reduced as has the time to blog on them.  Well, I want that to change, so I’m considering the options for a new adventure out there.  I think cloud is going to grow beyond the expectations of many of my former colleagues along with BYOD, traditional desktops and on-premise server technology.  I’m focusing on something that can light one of those passions again in a way that I can publically share. What about Windows Intune and SBS I may hear you ask?  Well, I think Windows Intune will continue to grow and fill a broader set of needs, reducing some of those that were previously filled by SBS.  The SBS marketplace has changed with many finding an e-mail solution in the cloud more than meets their needs.  For some, the pricing needs tweaking, however I feel that this is becoming more of a commodity, so the SBS license + servicing costs are moving towards the fee paid by the cloud...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Thu, Dec 13 2012
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  • Windows 2012 jump start videos

    Hi, Just a quick note to say that these were shared with me today and they came from the blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoft_press/archive/2012/06/27/free-videos-on-windows-server-2012-from-the-jump-start-series.aspx • Designed for Microsoft Partners, early adopters, and experienced IT Pros/ITDMs familiar with Microsoft server technologies • All twelve (12) modules are under an hour and packed with engaging discussion and real-world demos -- watch them all! Links to Every Module from this Jump Start The HD-quality video recordings of this course are published to TechNet Edge and are highly recommended. Windows Server 2012 is a game-changing release for so many reasons and this course will help experienced IT Pros truly understand why -- check it out! • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (01): Core Hyper-V • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (02a): Virtualization Infrastructure, Part 1 • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (02b): Virtualization Infrastructure, Part 2 • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (03a): Storage Architecture, Part 1 • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (03b): Storage Architecture, Part 2 • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (04): Continuous Availability • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (05a): Multi-Server Management, Part 1 • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (05b): Multi-Server Management, Part 2 • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (06a): Security and Access, Part 1 • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (06b): Security and Access, Part 2 • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (07): Remote Connectivity and Networking • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (08): IIS, DHCP and IPAM   ttfn David
  • Getting my Nokia Lumia 800 to work with Virgin Mobile UK MMS settings (and trimming the SIM too)

    I recently fell of the back of a boat which resulted in my faithful Samsung Omnia being written off.  Since this was a personal phone, I decided to upgrade to a Nokia Lumia 800 as it looked like a fab phone.  I have so far not been disappointed, however I hit two problems. The first was that my SIM was not a micro-sim. I contacted Virgin who told me they were very soon to launch a micro-sim, but not yet.  I bought a 30-day sim from Vodafone in the short term, but then discovered that I could trim the current SIM to fit by following the detailed instructions at http://www.solutios.com/simcutting/ .  All has been happy until my wife asked about sending MMS pictures from her phone.  When I tried to do it from mine, I discovered that it kept on failing with an error and asking me to try again.  This has been the second challenge that I have had with the phone! Searching the web found many frustrated people, some who had resorted to resetting their phones to factory defaults to get things working.  I definitely did not want to do that.  After pulling together information from a number of sources, this is what worked for me.  I should thank John at Virgin's support desk as he also gave me the final piece to "enable" my account for MMS. As a note, I got the APN and MMS settings from the Virgin Mobile pages for an android phone - here for 3G and here for MMS. Here is what I did: Download the Network Setup tool for the Lumia 800 (I suspect it is also available for the 610/710/900).  If you don't have it, you can get it from http://windowsphone.com/s?appid=b95840dc-a542-42a6-bee4-7d1a12f62d2c Ran the tool, selected Virgin as the Operator Pressed the "+" at the bottom to select add apn Entered the following details Connection name: Virgin2 Under Internet APN Access point name: goto.virginmobile.uk Proxy address: 193.30.166.4 Proxy port: 8080 Username: user Password:                 ...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sat, Jun 2 2012
  • UK / EMEA Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Practice Accelerator, 16th April, Live Meeting 4 day course

    I saw this and thought I should share it ASAP. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Practice Accelerator, 16th April, Live Meeting Description: 4 day organisational training for partners interested in developing a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure practice. Can be paid for using advisory hours. Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure empowers enterprises with unified management of centralized desktops and corporate data through Microsoft System Center technology. Microsoft VDI offers tremendous value by providing a high performance virtual desktop platform while reducing the cost of deploying virtual desktops. Citrix technology adds value to the Microsoft VDI stack by offering additional scale and flexibility. Take Practice Accelerator for VDI and help your customers extend existing management tools and processes to the virtual desktop environment while reducing management overhead, enabling rapid deployment, improving operational efficiencies and driving business agility. Ten Partner Advisory Hours will be deducted from your organization's balance when you register. You must cancel your registration 72 hours prior the start of the session to receive a refund on your advisory hours. If your organization has available advisory hours but has not attained a silver or gold competency, contact Partner Technical Services for assistance with registration. Prerequisites: For more information on requirements, please see our information on prerequisites. https://partner.microsoft.com/40128260 – the section for this course are extracted below: PRACTICE ACCELERATOR PRE-REQUISITES:  Practice Accelerator provides intermediate- to advanced-level training in engagement management for deployments. Ideal candidates are engagement managers, consultants, and project managers, and should have a basic knowledge of the technology. Practice Accelerator is not a deep technical training on the solution. Practice Accelerator provides partners with the resources and guidance to help build a services practice.  Partners looking for...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sat, Apr 7 2012
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  • IE6–> IE8/9/10 and Windows 7 compatibility events with Citrix, Camwood and Quest (3 events)

    Microsoft have teamed up with Camwood , Citrix Systems and Quest Software , all application compatibility experts, to help show you the range of solutions available to help you overcome App Compat road blocks. Join them to learn how browser compatibility issues occur, how to overcome them with Group Policy , virtualisation and simple application fixes and how to develop a successful migration plan. Not only that, they will also cover some of the latest App Compat tools and techniques that apply to desktop, web and server compatibility issues. Take your pick of the dates below and use the links to find out more and Register Now with our partners. Who, Where & When? Thurs 22 nd March Microsoft & Citrix AppDNA Chalfont St. Peter (Easy access via the M40 & M25 as well as rail) 09:00 – 16:00 Register Here Thurs 19 th April Microsoft & Quest ChangeBASE Reading Football Ground (Madejski Stadium) 09:30 – 14:00 (+Stadium Tour!) Register Here Thurs 3 rd May Microsoft & Camwood Cote St Paul’s, London 09:30 – 12:45 Register Here ttfn David P.S.  I will be at the Citrix AppDNA event
  • Turn off Ctrl-Alt-Del in Windows 8

    This is a very quick one.  I saw the videos and saw that Ctrl-Alt-Del was turned off in Windows 8.  While this can be done by setting the local security policy, it can also be done via command prompt.  This is no different to other versions of Windows. If you search for cmd and then right click it to select Run as Administrator Then once cmd is running, use this command (it is all one line) to turn off C-A-D as a requirement: REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableCAD /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f To turn it back on, use this command: REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableCAD /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f   That is it.   ttfn   David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sat, Mar 3 2012
  • Windows Server 8–Remote Desktop and VDI enhancements

    VDI and RDS have been something I’ve been writing about, so I wanted to share the documents I’ve discovered from Microsoft that discuss the new features for VDI and RDS. The 3 documents are: Understand and Troubleshoot Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server "8" Beta This Understand and Troubleshoot Guide (UTG) enables you to learn technical concepts, functionality, and troubleshooting methods for Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server “8” Beta. Date Published: 2/29/2012          Download This Understand and Troubleshoot Guide (UTG) enables you to learn technical concepts, functionality, and troubleshooting methods for Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server “8” Beta. This UTG provides you with: • A technical overview and functional description of this feature. • Technical concepts to help you successfully install, configure, and manage this feature. • User Interface options and settings for configuration and management. • Relevant architecture of this feature, with dependencies, and technical implementation. • Primary troubleshooting tools and methods for this feature.   Understand and Troubleshoot Remote Desktop Services Desktop Virtualization in Windows Server "8" Beta This Understand and Troubleshoot Guide (UTG) enables you to learn technical concepts, functionality, and troubleshooting methods for Remote Desktop Services Desktop Virtualization in Windows Server “8” Beta. Date Published: 2/29/2012          Download This Understand and Troubleshoot Guide (UTG) enables you to learn technical concepts, functionality, and troubleshooting methods for Desktop Virtualization in Windows Server “8” Beta. This UTG provides you with: • A technical overview and functional description of this feature. • Technical concepts to help you successfully install, configure, and manage this feature. • User Interface options and settings for configuration and management. • Relevant architecture of this feature, with...
  • My Top Tips for Windows 8 so far–closing windows, dual booting, using the keyboard and mouse

    Hi, I loaded Windows 8 Consumer Preview with some concerns about how the new interface would impact me.  As a keyboard user, the Developer Preview just didn’t do enough for me, however Windows 8 is now my primary home OS and I’m loving it.  What is more, my daughter is once again asking to have it (as she wants “Snap”) for her applications. So my top tips are: How to close a Metro Application There are two ways to do this – dragging the open application from the top of the screen to the bottom – you will see something like the screen below (top half is once it is grabbed and the bottom half is as it is dragged to the bottom of the screen). The second way to do this is to hover in the top left corner and one Metro application will show.  However if we now scroll down the left edge the other open applications will show.  We can now right click on one of those and select close. It is also worth noting that we can also snap the application to the left or right hand side of the screen too. Of course, move down to the bottom and you get your start menu.   Dual Booting Windows 8 and Windows 7 This is quite simple and instructions can be found here in the answers forum , however – there is an option in the installer.  I got the web installer from here . I clicked next a few times and then the installer was downloading: Then you choose Install on another Partition: That is it! Using Windows 8 with a keyboard and mouse So much attention has been paid to using Windows 8 with a touch device that some people think that using a reliable keyboard and mouse is far too difficult.  It is different, but I soon got the hang of it.  The very short video can be found here .   ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Thu, Mar 1 2012
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  • Does Windows Intune require an underlying operating system to load Windows 7 Enterprise Edition?

    I just saw this question being asked, so thought I would should with everyone: Question: “If I have a paid subscription to Windows Intune, do I need an existing Operating System to install the Windows 7 Enterprise license included with the subscription?” Answer: Yes – from the FAQ: What are the Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade rights included with Windows Intune? All of your managed PCs covered by Windows Intune may be upgraded to Windows 7 Enterprise as long as the qualifying OS is one of the following business editions of Windows: Business, Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise. The machines must also meet the Windows 7 system requirements. This list can be found at http://windows.microsoft.com/systemrequirements . In addition to Windows 7 upgrade rights, Windows Intune customers will also have rights to upgrade to future versions of Windows, as well as downgrade rights to older versions. As long as your subscription is active, you will have access to the best version of Windows for your business to standardize on, making your PC environment easier to manage. The operating system does not have to be Windows 7, but you do need a qualifying OS (XP Professional, Vista Business, Enterprise or Ultimate or Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate)   ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Tue, Feb 28 2012
  • Upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 and manage the PC’s–Windows Intune did this for eLitigation Solutions and reduced IT spend by 30%

    Hi, I’ve just seen the case study on eLitigation solutions and how they did this and reduced costs by 30% in the process.  The case study can be found here .  Electronic Discovery Firm Reduces IT Costs by 30 Percent with Cloud-Based PC Management To meet its various business requirements, eLitigation Solutions needed a stable, well-monitored, and regularly updated PC environment, but the company also wanted to simplify and reduce the cost of managing its PCs. In 2011, eLitigation began using Windows Intune to manage, monitor, and update its PCs. Now the company has standardized its PC environment, enhanced security, and reduced PC costs by 30 percent. This was the problem: Most eLitigation employee PCs were still running the Windows XP operating system and the company wanted to upgrade its PCs to the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system. But at the same time, eLitigation needed to simplify and reduce the cost of managing its PC environment. The Solution: The company worked with InfinIT Consulting, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, to determine how it could use Windows Intune, a PC-management and security service from Microsoft, to monitor and update its PCs, provide endpoint protection, and standardize its operating environment. Because Windows Intune is based on cloud technology—remote computing resources delivered as services over the Internet—eLitigation could adopt the service without having to deploy or manage any new software or hardware. In 2011, InfinIT conducted a 30-day pilot at eLitigation with 10 subscriptions to Windows Intune, and at the end of the pilot, eLitigation began managing all of its employee PCs with Windows Intune. By using Windows Intune, InfinIT can help safeguard eLitigation PCs from malware with features built on the same Microsoft Malware Protection Engine used by the Microsoft Forefront Protection Suite. “By managing its PCs with Windows Intune, we can deliver a best-of-breed security solution to eLitigation so that it doesn’t wind up with malware running rampant...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Tue, Feb 28 2012
  • Windows Intune feedback and support tools and useful blogs

    I’ve been reading and responding to the posts on the Windows Intune forums site and realised that I should share with everyone the support and feedback tools available for us.  These enable conversations with the support teams and input into the people making decisions about updates and major releases for Windows Intune.  The following sites are available: Support Forum Support for Windows Intune Microsoft Online Services support The forum has responses from the community as well as great Microsoft support people. This site provides resources to enable you to access support by phone and e-mail on technical, non-technical issues, Windows and MDOP This site provides the details for phone and support page access to help with the Microsoft Online Services Customer Portal (MOCP)   Feedback Windows Intune feedback This site provides free-form feedback to the Microsoft team, so not support issues, but product hits, misses and desires   I hope this helps you get more out of Windows Intune as well as the posts I make and others: David Overton’s site - http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/Windows+Intune/default.aspx James Evans’ blog - http://www.edutech.me.uk/category/intune/ Mike Resseler’s blog - http://scug.be/blogs/intune/archive/tags/Intune/default.aspx Jethro Seghers’ blog - http://jethroseghers.blogspot.com/search/label/Intune   ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Mon, Jan 30 2012
  • Microsoft Windows Intune V2: Quickstart Administration book released

    Well, nearly 12 months after I started the project my book is now available to buy.  This book is relevant to the latest shipping version of Windows Intune 2.0. Chapters Overview of Cloud Computing Introduction to PC management concepts Overview of Windows Intune features Signing up for Windows Intune and installing the client software Configuring Windows Intune Configuring Management Policy Software Deployment Tracking and reporting Monitoring and responding to Windows Intune alerts Resolve problems using Microsoft DaRT Deploying Windows 7 Enterprise Edition Integration with existing Microsoft Products Purchasing the book Book and / or e-Book from publisher – Packt Publishing Book from Amazon –    Chapters in detail Chapter 1, Overview of Cloud Computing explores the new cloud computing and cloud-based services world that we are moving rapidly towards and includes Windows Intune. Before we can embark on this journey it is important that we understand the benefits and pitfalls that cloud services bring with them and how they apply to us. One mechanism to help protect us against the uncertainties is the use of Service Level Agreements, which are explained for Windows Intune. Chapter 2, Introduction to PC Management Concepts introduces the important concepts behind PC management, with a focus on ensuring that the needs of the business are the fundamental driver of the IT policy we implement with Windows Intune. We then explore how the IT policy decisions are taken to reflect these needs and are then able to demonstrate that they are delivering on them. Chapter 3, Overview of Windows Intune Features describes the features within Windows Intune, ensuring that we can take advantage of all of the benefits it has to offer, including anti-malware software, update management for both the Windows Operating System, and Windows applications, software distribution, system alerts and reporting. Chapter 4, Signing Up for Windows Intune and Installing the Client Software walks through the Microsoft Online Services...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Wed, Jan 25 2012
  • Windows Intune Silent Application Deployment hints

    Windows Intune requires application deployment to be a silent (as in no user interaction) process.  Sometimes working out how to do this can be quite hard.  Richard at Windows Intunepedia has shared some information on this that I thought I would also share: Steps to Deploy Adobe Reader X with Windows Intune How to deploy Java 7 Runtime Environment (JRE) with Windows Intune You might also want to look at http://silentinstall.org/ which can help wrapper other installers to ensure they are silent.   ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Thu, Jan 12 2012
  • Windows Intune and firewalls / proxies

    We had this question circulate around at work, so I wanted to share.  Window Intune needs access to the internet.  This means that the services need unhindered access to the internet.  While for most of us, once we are connected, we are connected, some firewall / proxy devices require extra information to be entered into a browser and this is something that Windows Intune cannot deal with. Luckily, Richard at Windows Intunepedia has written about this and quite some time ago .  The key elements are: Ports 80,443 will be needed for outgoing communications and the firewall / proxy must be as follows: If the client computers exist behind an authenticating proxy server, you must configure the proxy server as follows: 1. Confirm that the proxy server supports HTTP and HTTPS. 2. Enable either Non-auth or Negotiate (Kerberos) authentication methods on the proxy. If your proxy server is using the Negotiate (Kerberos) authentication method then you must configure it to allow authentication using computer accounts rather than user accounts . This is because the Windows Intune client agents run using the LocalSystem security context not that of a logged on user. If it is not possible for your proxy to be configured in this manner the agents will not be able to report to that Windows Intune service while they are behind that proxy. More can be found from Richard at   Thanks David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Thu, Jan 12 2012
  • Various recent VDI related whitepapers - Citrix, Microsoft, Cisco, NetApp and AppSense (not all together in all whitepapers)

    I believe that Citrix XenDesktop and Microsoft Hyper-V offer the best VDI experience and System Center the best management solution for this configuration (as well as many others).  I work with NetApp and have becoming increasingly impressed by the NetApp / Cisco offerings – FlexPod and then when combined with Citrix / XenDesktop, a killer proposition for easy, reliable VDI.  I’ve also included AppSense in the mix as I’ve also been working with them around their User State Virtualisation technology and where it fits both VDI and physical desktops. These whitepapers overlap various aspects of the above, so here they are: Reference Architecture-Based Design Citrix XenDesktop Built on FlexPod Using Cisco Unified Computing System, Microsoft Hyper-V, and NetApp Storage Some of the key points are: The hosting of Citrix XenDesktop Hosted Virtual Desktops (VDI) and Hosted Shared Virtual Desktops models and FlexCast with Microsoft Hyper-V on Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers and NetApp storage were successfully validated. The validated environment consisted of a completely virtualized infrastructure with virtual machines hosted by Microsoft Hyper-V. All the virtual desktop and supporting infrastructure components including Active Directory, Citrix Provisioning Server, and the Citrix XenDesktop Desktop Delivery Controllers were hosted in a virtual machine environment on Microsoft Hyper-V. The tested design showed linear scalability when expanding from 1 server to 16 servers. The performance testing showed that the same user desktop experience and response times were achieved with 110 desktops running on 1 server as with 1760 desktops running on 16 servers. The integrated management model and rapid provisioning capabilities of Cisco UCS Manager makes it easy for scaling the number of desktops from small pilots on a single UCS chassis to very large organization-wide deployments running on tens of chassis. The testing validates that the tested reference architecture can scale linearly from 1 chassis to 4 chassis and beyond...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Thu, Jan 12 2012
  • Windows 8 from CES–Long Zheng, Running Android Apps on Windows

    Microsoft has not made many significant announcements about Windows 8 since the BUILD conference late last year.  Since then, lots of information about how Windows 8 will work has been delivered through the  blog. At CES, we have seen Windows 8 running on some lovely slate/tablet and ultrabook devices and also on Intel and ARM chipsets.  Long Zheng has been following Windows for a long time and has posted some useful information and an update on the pre-beta build running at CES and a host of screenshots on his blog at Analyzing the Windows 8 demo from CES 2012 keynote . Then of course there is the discussion about native applications and it is interesting that BlueStacks now have a product to run Android applications on Windows too.  This item can be found here . From a devices point of view, I like this video:   There is plenty more, but I wanted to share these items as I liked them!   ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Wed, Jan 11 2012
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  • Diagnosing connectivity problems to Exchange and Office 365

    I was asked today about an Outlook synchronisation of the address book over the web (RPC over http) and did some digging and found this excellent diagnosis tool - https://www.testexchangeconnectivity.com .  The nice thing is that it tests many products – Exchange, ActiveSync and Office 365 . Once you start the tool you have to choose what diagnosis you want: or After you have completed your sign-in details, you get the results.  In the example below it shows that my certificate is not publically signed and a number of other issues that I could address if they were the cause of connectivity issues (but I don’t need to as I get the functionality I want with the current setup)   ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sat, Jan 7 2012
  • VDI and great video performance using RemoteFX (and licensing it)

    Having written a little about VDI and RHSD the other day, I see that Register has an item about RemoteFX and playing games.  This uses the technology of RDS as well as either VDI or RSHD. While you can play games, Windows 7 renders in all it’s glory too.  One word of warning from a licensing front.  If you are using RemoteFX then you will need an RDS CAL when you are buying the licenses as RemoteFX is licensed by the RDS CAL and remote admin tasks that you can do on a server without needing a RDS CAL does not include playing games (IMHO).  You also need to check that you have a client device that can handle RemoteFX.  While platforms like Citrix, Quest and VMware will enable various remote access technologies that do not use RemoteFX (Citrix and Quest will even allow the use of their own technology or RemoteFX) the device chosen still requires the capabilities to display the high quality applications and games, even if not enough to process it all in the first place! For example, for Citrix to use the GPU on the client to redirect Aero, it requires a Windows Client, even if it is not Windows 7.  Look at http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xendesktop-als/hd-aero-redirection.html for an example: Hardware Windows Aero capable DirectX 9-class GPU that supports: Pixel Shader 2.0 32 bits per pixel 128MB memory 2 GHz non-mobile central processing unit (CPU). Citrix recommends 3 GHz for optimal performance. Note: Dual monitor sessions are supported for user devices with a single GPU. A single GPU is defined as a single entry under Display adapters in Device Manager and not as the number of PCI cards plugged in the device. A single PCI card can have multiple GPUs on it. Software DirectX 9.0c runtime (Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP) What this all means is that you still need a good graphics card somewhere – the desktop or the server and some reasonable network bandwidth if you want good graphics!   ttfn David
  • Windows Intune learning path–free training for Microsoft Partners

    Eric Ligman tweeted about the new partner learning paths, so I zipped over there to see these excellent items for Windows Intune . I’ve already done some of these, but it is a great way to get up to speed on Windows Intune and how to sell it.   ttfn David
  • Understanding more about Desktop Virtualisation–VDI and RHSD and how to license it

    [updated 12-Jan 2012 with images and notes about a hosted solution] This is part two of the discussion around VDI and RHSD and this section looks at licensing.  I am frequently asked questions about Microsoft licensing as I look after the relationship between Citrix and Microsoft in the UK. I often hear people getting confused about how to license, or even worse, assuming that licenses are somehow free when using a VDI or DV (Desktop Virtualisation) solution. Having seen the article at Computer Weekly I decided I would share some thoughts on how to get it right. I should say, while I have a lot of experience, always talk to a Microsoft Licensing Specialist . Always! The second comment is that these are my thoughts and experiences not those of Microsoft’s. Always verify your understanding of licensing with a specialist.  Get out the legal documents if required (I do link to the relevant sections) and get formal comments from a certified licensing specialist if you require it. Microsoft licensing moves forward to enable more customer scenarios all the time, so by the time I hit send, it could be out of date already.  To quote from the article above, which is very good (except for the licensing sidebar which is confusing IMHO) “But one research firm that has looked at Microsoft’s new EA, has found that Microsoft has, in fact, simplified client access licensing. “ If you are not sure what VDI, RHSD (Remote Hosted Shared Desktop – or RDS/TS/XenApp), DV (Desktop Virtualisation) etc means or when to use them, head over to this post here The Licensing piece Now onto the interesting subject of licensing. There is a great FAQ from Microsoft that can answer many questions.  It can be found here . There are some simple tenants here that if followed will avoid pain: No matter how the desktop is delivered, physical or virtual, a number of Microsoft server and CAL licenses will be required.  VDI, RHSD or physical desktops do not change these requirements.  Normal licensing questions and discussions...
  • Understanding more about Desktop Virtualisation–VDI and RHSD and how to pick between them

    I am frequently asked questions about Microsoft, what our VDI, DV or RHSD solution looks like and how to license it as I look after the relationship between Citrix and Microsoft in the UK. Having seen the article at Computer Weekly I decided I would share some thoughts on what it is and how to license it (licensing in a blog later in the week). On the licensing front, I should say, while I have a lots of experience, always talk to a Microsoft Licensing Specialist . Always! Microsoft licensing moves forward to enable more customer scenarios all the time, so by the time I hit send, it could be out of date already. Sad but true. To quote from the article above, which is very good (except for the licensing sidebar which is confusing IMHO) “But one research firm that has looked at Microsoft’s new EA, has found that Microsoft has, in fact, simplified client access licensing. “ What is DV, VDI and RHSD First off, I’m assuming everyone is clear on the difference between DV and VDI. Ok, maybe not, so my 30-second guide: DV (for me) is the use of a Windows Server to serve out desktops or applications from a single Windows Server operating system or the use of VDI or the use of a type 1 or type 2 hypervisor on the desktop to give us a 2nd operating system that we can access applications from. It is bigger than VDI and to be honest, most of the time when people talk to me about VDI, they mean RHSD. RHSD (Remote Hosted Shared Desktops or Remote Desktop Services/Terminal Services) is the use of a Windows Server to serve out desktops or applications from a single Windows Server operating system . Each user see’s the same applications and has no-admin rights VDI is the use of Windows (probably Windows 7 today) served out from a virtual machine running Windows 7 guests (obviously on Hyper-V server as the host for the best performance ) RHSD has been around for years – Terminal Services, Remote Desktop Services are the Microsoft name and Citrix has been offering a solution by many names for years...
  • Useful Windows Intune Documentation–What’s New Factsheet, Best Practices, Trial Guide and FAQ

    I saw this over e-mail at work today and thought I would share with you: - Factsheet (What’s new?) - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh452635.aspx - Best Practices (Deploying Software and Third Party Updates with Windows Intune)  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh441740.aspx - Trial Guide (View the complete Windows Intune Getting Started Guide) http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh441719.aspx - FAQ (Windows Intune: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ))  http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windowsintune/faq/default.aspx   ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Tue, Jan 3 2012
  • Understand the language and process Microsoft uses when selling - Microsoft Solution Selling Process Better Together

    Every company has it’s own process of understanding where a piece of business in their sales process.  In the past I’ve used SCOTMAN or BANT amongst others to do this, but at Microsoft it has a process that incorporates the elements of these, but uses language specific to Microsoft. If you want to be able to understand, share and use this information, even if it is to examine your own processes, watch the video on the Microsoft Partner Learning Centre at http://bit.ly/vSNa7y . I would highly recommend it.   ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Tue, Jan 3 2012
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  • Windows Intune Case Study - Ontario Systems, helping to prove Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard certification PC update reporting

    Ontario Systems is a larger Windows Intune reference with 350 employee PC’s to manage. They needed a better way to manage mobile computers and Windows Intune was the answer to their problems as it enabled them to manage these computers providing they were connected to the Internet and verify this management to enable PCI certification. The two most notable benefits (besides saving money) were: More control, better insight. With the ability to monitor PCs, distribute software and updates, and perform remote tasks from a single console, Ontario Systems has more control and better insight into its PC environment. The IT department will save up to an hour each time it delivers the software updates that employees need to work productively and securely. “Being able to use Windows Intune to issue a security update or remotely initiate a malware scan without interrupting our employees’ workday saves time for the IT staff and helps avoid hours of PC down time,” says Hughes. Better security compliance. By using Windows Intune to quickly produce detailed reports or grant security officers and outside auditors read-only access to the Windows Intune console, Ontario Systems will find it easier to comply with PCI data security standards. “We can produce security reports in minutes instead of half a day,” says Silverthorn. “And with read-only access to Windows Intune, auditors can run the reports they need by themselves, without tying up our IT staff for days at a time.” You can get the full case study material at Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune - Ontario Systems .   ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Tue, Jan 3 2012
  • Windows Intune Case Study - Sora Technologies

    Another case study of an IT partner using Windows Intune to manage themselves and their customers.  I liked this comment: If we had started with Windows Intune, we would have saved approximately $80,000,” says Adams. “Going forward, we expect to save 10% in labour costs because we don’t have to manage servers or write code, which would take one full-time equivalent. We can take care of our customers using fewer resources, which increases our profit margins.” You can find out more at Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune - Sora Technologies . Other notable benefits include: I mproved endpoint protection. When Sora deployed Windows Intune, it saw an immediate improvement in endpoint protection. “Windows Intune beat all the endpoint security tools we’ve used, hands down,” says Adams. “We saw an increase of 50 percent in the number of viruses that the service caught, compared to our previous solution.” Better customer service. Sora provides its customers with monthly reporting and updates on hardware life cycles, so it is looking forward to using the enhanced reporting features in the latest version of Windows Intune. “ With Windows Intune, we can offer better hardware reports and use them in our monthly emails or customer meetings ,” says Adams. Increased business opportunities. Because Windows Intune is a cloud-based service, Sora can expand its reach to customers beyond its local area. “By offering Windows Intune, we hope to open doors to larger customers that need to manage their remote PCs,” says Adams. “Windows Intune and the Microsoft name will really resonate with enterprise customers.” You can learn more about Windows Intune, or start using it today from www.windowsintune.com .   ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Tue, Jan 3 2012
  • Steve Clayton, Microsoft Chief Story Teller at Imagine 2011 on the future as he sees it

    Steve presented at this Microsoft Advertising event in late November, but I wanted to share it because it enables us to get a small insight into Microsoft’s goals.  Interesting quotes include “our goal is to make the technology invisible” and “we probably have over 100 computers in our lives”.  He talks about these trends: The cloud Explosion of devices Displays Everywhere Explosion of data Explosion of social computing Connectivity everywhere Natural interfaces Steve also said he would study as a “data scientist” if he went back to university today as it is and will be the most interesting area to examine! It was nice to see Steve using the voice interface on Xbox before launch and the US version failing to recognise his accent as well as his daughter already expecting all devices to work this way   I have this at home, it is on all Xboxes now, and it is great plus my kids love it and use it all the time.  It is funny listening to Molly talking to the Xbox – she won’t control it any other way! You can find all the speakers information, many videos and PowerPoint at the speakers page (Steve is on day two) or for Steve’s stuff in particular, see below.   Exploring the future of connected experiences. Read more     Watch video      Download PPT
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Mon, Jan 2 2012
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  • Comparing a Word document on Office Web Apps on SkyDrive or Office 365 to Google Apps

    Hi, I’ve been asked this before, so I thought I would share this today.  I don’t use Google Apps, so I don’t have personal experience of the services, however I work with companies who employee’s choose to use the services – often because they can’t access the corporate environment from home or have file size limits that stop them.  Anyway, I do use Word, Excel and PowerPoint and I use quite a lot of the features in my documents (e.g. the book and reports in Word, my personal finance spread sheet in Excel and numerous presentations in PowerPoint).  I’m fussy, I like my documents to render the same, no matter what device I’m accessing them from and especially when I’m presenting.  I’ve always seen the differences when they are shared with products other than Office and have been known to spend a couple of hours fixing them up once they come out of the “other” services.  People ask me why I stick to Microsoft, this is one of the reasons. Today I saw this - http://bit.ly/tSedOC – it has a document available in Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 .  The nice thing is that I can edit both on the web.  Only one renders correctly and only one comes to my PC for full control with all functionality maintained.  I’m sure you can guess which. Now I expect some people to say “but Office 365 is charged for”, which is true, but as a consumer I can use the features of the web applications on SkyDrive for free. Have a look at the site, you may be surprised.   ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Mon, Jan 2 2012
  • How to wake a computer to perform a antimalware scan, particularly useful for Windows Intune

    While having the book reviewed one feature that was asked for, but is not possible with Windows Intune, was the ability to make Windows Intune wake a computer at night and carry out an anti-virus scan. This blog post is referred to in the book when setting the Anti-Malware policy. To solve this, there are two issues to tackle: Wake up the computer Start a scan The answer appears to be that to wake the computer we need to use a task in Task Scheduler and then we need to start a scan. One very important thought here is that we need to ensure the power settings on the computer will put it back to sleep though! The command line required is “ %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Security Client\Antimalware>MpCmdRun.exe -scan -scantype 0 ” While working on this, I also wanted something that could be deployed by Windows Intune. In the end I have written a small piece of software that can create a task that wakes the computer and will start a scan. If you do not want a scan to start, change the program to execute to “ cmd.exe ” and the command arguments to be “ /c ”. This will start the computer and then open and close a command windows. Any other scheduled tasks can then run while the computer is idle, including the Windows Intune scan. So, download Windows Intune Wake Task.zip and extract to a folder. There are 3 files. The DLL is from http://taskscheduler.codeplex.com/ and I am grateful to David Hall for this code. The other two files are the main program and a settings.xml file to enable changing the settings and running as a quiet install for Windows Intune. The program looks like this: I would like to think I don’t have to explain to much, however, here are the basics: The task can run either daily, on a set day each week, or a specific day number of each month (including the last day). It runs at a specific time. The command has 3 parts, the path, the command to run and the command line arguments. The defaults here are those to run a default scan. So now the buttons: Set Task creates...
  • Finally got all the Christmas Lights up for 2011 on the new house

    Hi all, I thought I would share my Christmas lights – I do love them David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Thu, Dec 15 2011
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  • Got the notice that my Windows Intune account will be upgraded to V2

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

    I’ve seen several people try to resolve Windows 7 and IE6 compatibility issues through methods that are not only not supported, but also against the Microsoft IP licensing rules (e.g. removing it from Windows XP and forcing onto Windows 7).  Using a Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server and Citrix or Quest it is possible to put in place a low cost solution where IE is remoted (so you only see the IE 6 browser window, not the whole desktop) on a Windows 7 system.  The pages that require IE6 are shown this way, while other pages are shown locally with IE8/9. You can learn about the Citrix solution here or here for a solution from Quest.  A good write up on the options can be found here - http://www.virtualizationpractice.com/blog/?p=13493 . ttfn David
  • Microsoft Cloud Services Get Major Service Updates, New Customers: New features in Microsoft Office 365 and updates to sharing in Microsoft SkyDrive make it easier for people to work together.

    I saw this and just had to blog it.. The graphic on the left has amazing information – 41 of Interband Top 100 run on Microsoft’s cloud productivity services. 90% of Office 365 customers (not the seats, but the customer count) are SMEs with less than 50 employees.  You can guess the big customers from the stats. The PR can be found at Microsoft Cloud Services Get Major Service Updates, New Customers: New features in Microsoft Office 365 and updates to sharing in Microsoft SkyDrive make it easier for people to work together. One last thing I like, since I’ve been hearing people say “SharePoint is hard for file sharing” – SkyDrive works with Office 365 too.  This is simple, drag and drop and works natively with Office! Snippets from the PR statement: Small Businesses and Big Brands Bet on Office 365 More and more large global companies are choosing Office 365 to enable their employees and customers to work together in the cloud. In fact, more than 40 per cent of the global Interbrand list of the 100 top brands use Office 365 or related cloud productivity services from Microsoft. Among the new customers are Campbell Soup Company and Groupe Marie-Claire, which have recently chosen Office 365 to reap the benefits of cloud productivity. “Office 365 is key to our plans to propel our employees to next-generation innovation in productivity technologies, at a very rapid pace,” said Joe Spagnoletti, senior vice president and chief information officer at Campbell Soup Company. “We’re betting on the cloud — and Office 365 — as we prepare to build a highly collaborative workplace where employees across our global offices can all work together and communicate in a seamless fashion.” Groupe Marie-Claire, a leading fashion magazine published in more than 30 countries, will use Office 365 to modernize the company’s email and collaboration capabilities, while moving away from a costly and inefficient legacy technology. Employees at Groupe Marie-Claire will be able to access email and share documents on a PC, Mac or various...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Fri, Dec 9 2011
  • Blinging Down the House

    I’ve just tweeted on this, but decided to blog on it as well.  The blurb … “During the summer of 2011, the Windows team here in the UK put out the call to all students with tired technology and faded furniture to enter Blinging Down the House. All they needed to do was to ask for help in the form of a simple video entry. The winning entry would then get their technology makeover with the definitive home entertainment setup. “ The winning student was Jack Rose.  He went from this: I like the comments of “and I’ve got man boobs, so the Xbox Kinect would come in handy to exercise” and the line about spreading out the vodka shows thoughtfulness! After all was done he had this: Perfect in time for Christmas – Xbox, 3D TV, tablet and touch screen PC!   ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Thu, Dec 8 2011
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  • Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune - SkyWire

    I saw this case study and wanted to share as it has some fantastic good news in it, highlighting how Windows Intune is helping this customer.  The highlights for me were: Reduced IT Costs SkyWire Media avoided the cost of third-party products that it would need to perform desktop management tasks by using Windows Intune. “I looked at antivirus and malware [malicious software] servers for [U.S.]$8,000 each,” says Malloy. “When you add $2,000 for the software and another $70,000 for a full-time administrator, we were looking at $80,000. Windows Intune saved us from those expenses.” With Windows Intune, SkyWire can retire on-premises solutions. “The software distribution feature now available in Windows Intune will save us an estimated $10,000 in software costs because we can retire the third-party tools that we were using for this purpose,” says Castleberry. Simplified PC Management Now that SkyWire Media has standardized the desktops on Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows Intune has delivered all required updates, it has a clear baseline for future hardware and software purchases. Also, it can easily stay in compliance with software licenses. And by using the Computers workspace, Malloy created computer groups and applied management policies to fine-tune his control over the desktop. “Having the security updates, software deployment, endpoint protection, and reporting and inventorying features in one utility is phenomenal,” says Malloy. Improved IT Support By using Windows Intune, SkyWire Media can prevent malware threats before they interfere with a sales representative’s ability to win new business. “Our support calls are down by 70 per cent, proof that Windows Intune is keeping our sales folks productive. They can rely on their laptops for dependable computing and fool proof SkyWire software demos,” says Castleberry. “That’s good news for our business!” You can read the whole thing at Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune – SkyWire . Thanks David
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and XenApp 6.x Desktop Virtualization Optimization Guide for Windows Server 2008 R2

    Hi, I know that I have mentioned before that Citrix is one of the partners I work with.  Citrix add a huge amount of value to Microsoft Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services and have done so for Windows since before the NT4 days of Terminal Server Edition. They have just released their latest document on optimisations that can be found at CTX131577 - XenApp 6.x Desktop Virtualization - Optimization Guide - Citrix Knowledge Center .   Enjoy! David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Thu, Dec 8 2011
  • Christmas lights - Stage 1 of new home lighting

    Hi, I love Christmas.  I’m not religious, but I really enjoy the happiness it brings people and the fact that everyone seems to spend time not working, with their families or unwinding.  One way I do this is through putting a stupid number of lights on my house.  For the last few years it has looked like this: I moved to a new house this year, so things are a little different.  I’ve not finished yet, but this is what I have so far.  The "train” is hidden and once it is all completed, I will share the final picture.   Just sharing my little pleasure (although I think my electricity supplier likes me doing this as well!)   David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sun, Dec 4 2011
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  • Return on Investment (ROI) calculator for Windows Intune

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

    I’m really proud to have passed an exam towards my The Cloud Accelerate program as you can see from my certificate on the left. I have started with the Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack and I’m now moving up towards cloud accelerate! One of the reasons I like the Essentials Pack is the benefits it provides in terms of software, marketing and simple business tools and there is no fee or sales requirement in the first year! From the web site above, the benefits are: Software Benefits Microsoft Technology License Grant Microsoft Office 365 250 licenses Windows Intune Subscription for 25 PCs Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 250 licenses Windows Azure platform 750 hours of extra-small-compute instance, 25 hours of small-compute instance, 20 gigabytes of storage, and 250,000 storage transactions Microsoft SQL Azure Web Edition database: 1 gigabyte Windows Azure AppFabric: 100,000 access control transactions and 2 service bus connections Data transfer: 25 gigabytes in and 25 gigabytes out Marketing Benefits Listing as Cloud Essentials partner on the Microsoft Pinpoint online marketplace Listing in the Microsoft Office 365 Marketplace Marketing resources Business Benefits Online sales and financial modelling tools Demo Showcase Profitability Modeller Presales and technical support Online Technical Communities for cloud services Requirements For Partners Who Sell and Service For Partners Who Build and Develop Enrol in the Microsoft Partner Network. Sign the Microsoft Online Services Partner Agreement (MOSPA) and complete introductory training and an assessment. To continue receiving these benefits in your second year of enrolment, you must meet a modest sales requirement of 50 seats per product during your first year of enrolment. Enrol in the Microsoft Partner Network. Sign up on Microsoft Platform Ready and register your application. Annual Fee There is no fee for this program. Thanks David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Thu, Nov 24 2011
  • Windows Intune IDC report–A Blueprint for Success for Microsoft Partners–the ups and downs

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

    Hi, Just a quick post to share this document from IDC (sponsored by Microsoft) on Windows Intune from March 2011.  It can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/cloud/docs/IntuneWP.pdf . It shows how companies can benefit from savings of $702 per year through IT staff savings, user productivity and removal of other tools. ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Tue, Nov 22 2011
  • Using Windows Intune with Autotask and ConnectWise

    Having spoken to several partners yesterday at the SMB MVT Tour I mentioned MS CRM’s integration with Windows Intune, but I thought it was worth sharing information on integration with Autotask and ConnectWise. Training and whitepapers can be found here: ConnectWise Windows Intune and Professional Services Automation: ConnectWise Learn about the integration between Windows Intune and business operation system ConnectWise, which offers customer relationship management, service request tracking, sales force automation, and more. (Online, 1 hour) Whitepaper - https://partner.microsoft.com/40165832 Autotask Windows Intune PSA Tools: Autotask This professional services automation (PSA) presentation showcases how to connect Windows Intune and Autotask to help manage customer relationships in a single system. Covers customer relationship management, service requests, contracts, billing management, and reporting. (Online, 1 hour) Whitepaper - https://partner.microsoft.com/40165830 Thanks David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Thu, Nov 17 2011
  • Free internal use Windows Intune, Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online licenses for Microsoft Partners through Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate

    While asking at Microsoft of any information they wanted me to share about Windows Intune Olivia asked me to share this.  I think this is so key, I will share this on the blog too.  Something to remember is that you can join Windows Intune ticketing up to Dynamics CRM Online for a more joined up helpdesk experience. Cloud Essentials is a free programme for all MOSPA-registered partners, without sales or reference obligations. Partners just need to sign up at www.microsoftcloudpartner.com and they can then sign in at this portal to receive the following benefits: Internal user rights for: • 250 licences of Office 365 • 25 subscriptions for Windows Intune • 250 licences for Dynamics CRM Online • Marketing resources • Demo showcase • Profitability Modeller • Online technical communities for Cloud • Listing as Cloud Essentials partner on Microsoft PinPoint online marketplace For partners who are actively selling Cloud, they could become Cloud Accelerate partners after completing three deals (with 150 aggregated seats) of Office365, Intune and/or Dynamics CRM Online, they would receive the following additional benefits: · Increased internal user rights for Intune (100 subscriptions) · Prioritised listing as Cloud Accelerate partner of Microsoft PinPoint online marketplace · Marketing resources · Demo showcase · Profitability Modeller · Online technical communities for Cloud · Microsoft Office 365 Practice Accelerator · 20 partner technical advisory hours · Specialised Cloud training More information can be found about this on www.microsoftcloudpartner.com , or for any partner queries around this scheme please feel free to forward my details. Kind regards, Olivia Excellent information if you were not aware. David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Wed, Nov 16 2011
  • Manage customers with #Windows #Intune and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (Updated)

    As a Microsoft partner (or customer), you can connect Windows Intune to MS-CRM to enable management ticketing from MS-CRM for client computers managed through Windows Intune. The details of how to configure this can be found at https://partner.microsoft.com/india/40169122 and it states “This document shows how Managed Services Providers (MSPs) can use Windows Intune™ in conjunction with Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Online to create and manage customer contracts, establish and automate internal business processes, and create cases based on email messages sent by alerts that track against a customer’s contract.” It also states that: As organizations build their Windows Intune MSP capabilities, they can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to: Track customer accounts. Create and manage contracts and service-level agreements (SLAs) with customers. Create and track cases against customer SLAs. Assign customer cases to Windows Intune technicians. Create workflows and dialogs that enforce standardized business practices. Schedule required customer tasks for Windows Intune technicians. The setup is documented in the file, although the alerting is quite simple: [Updated information] Since posting this it turns out that there is some key information missing. This was highlighted in this forum post http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-GB/windowsintuneprod/thread/0991538d-2a3d-48de-99b4-a1f0fcf51afe and has the following information: I'm afraid this white paper is missing a very important prerequisite of E-mail Router. I mean the whitepaper does not mention the fact that CRM online is not an e-mail client, and cannot receive e-mail messages sent by Windows Intune to notification recipient. For this purpose you need an E-mail Router. E-mail router function can be solved several ways, maybe this link will be helpful: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2011/05/19/crm-online-e-mail-router-yes-we-do-that.aspx I hope this is useful. David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Wed, Nov 16 2011
  • Log files on each PC with Windows Intune

    Windows Intune is a cloud based management service with alerts and information stored in the Microsoft cloud, however sometimes it is very useful to see what is going on, on the actual PC. There are various log files that can be found on the client PC should you wish to explore. These are found at %ProgramFiles%\microsoft\onlinemanagement\logs . We can see several files in here, of which the following are particularly interesting if we want to go diving into the product: Enrollment – This file details the process of a computer enroling with Windows Intune. If the computer fails to appear in the Windows Intune list of computers, this is the log to watch. If enrollment to Windows Intune for the computer was successful we should see the following in the log file: 2011-10-05 09:00:46:615 12260 2d7c Enroll ********* 2011-10-05 09:00:46:615 12260 2d7c Enroll ** END ** Enroll: StartUpdateAgentService: Online Management Updates Service started, or already running 2011-10-05 09:00:46:615 12260 2d7c Enroll ************* HostProtection – This log provides details of any anti-malware activity on the computer. For example, a malware entry will be logged as below: 2011-11-14 13:35:28:093 4076 2b78 EventConsumer::ReportMalwareStatusEvent() - <sco:MalwareStatusEvent xmlns:sco="schemas.microsoft.com/management/services/hostprotection/2009/01" ActivityType="FullStatusResync"> <MalwareStatus> <ID>7480</ID> <Name>RemoteAccess:Win32/RealVNC</Name> <URL> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=37020&amp;name=RemoteAccess%3AWin32%2FRealVNC&amp;threatid=7480 </URL> <Severity>Moderate</Severity> <Category>RemoteControlSoftware</Category> <CurrentStatus>Quarantined</CurrentStatus> <ExecutionStatus>NotBlocked</ExecutionStatus> <LastEventTime>2011-10-22T13:16:50.303630900Z</LastEventTime> <NumDetections>1</NumDetections> </MalwareStatus> PolicyAgent – In here, we can see what...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Tue, Nov 15 2011
  • How to find out about service disruption for Office 365, BPOS, Windows Azure and Windows Intune

    Hi, I got this e-mail from Microsoft, but wanted to share with all should you ever need to get this information.  The key elements are:       1. Today: Educate Yourself 2. During the Event: Stay Informed 3. After the Event: Understand the Situation 1. View service status via the Service Health Dashboards BPOS: Americas: https://health.noam.microsoftonline.com Europe: https://health.emea.microsoftonline.com Asia/Pacific: https://health.apac.microsoftonline.com Windows Azure Service Health Dashboard Windows Intune Service Service Status 2. Office 365 Within the Dashboard, Click on "Service Health" in the left column of the Admin Overview under Support 3. Sign up for Windows Azure and BPOS-S RSS Feeds via the Service Health Dashboards 1. Track customer updates on the service dashboards 2. Subscribe to Twitter Handles: @MSOnline @Office365 @Windows Intune @Windows Azure The Microsoft Online Services Team will convey the latest updates via the above Twitter Accounts. 1. Request the Post Incident Report (PIR) from Support. 2. Meet with your customers to assess the impact. 3. Provide your feedback and feedback on behalf of your customers around the event and communication process. Thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune , Intune , Office 365 , Azure , BPOS , Microsoft
  • Important Notice from Windows Intune about upgrades–you need to uninstall the beta!

    Hi, I just got this alert from Windows Intune which tells me that the beta service will end soon and that I need to uninstall the beta software and if I have a full account, install the new software (or old software to then be upgraded) Important Notice Account:  David Overton Associates Source:    Path:        Type:  Important Notice Description We are pleased to announce that the new features and enhancements that were offered in the Windows Intune July 2011 beta are now commercially available! If you have a paid Windows Intune subscription, your service will be upgraded over the next few weeks, so that you can take advantage of these new features. You do not need to take any action. Your subscription and deployed Windows Intune clients will be automatically upgraded. Two weeks prior to your upgrade date, you will see an alert displayed in the Windows Intune administrator console that indicates the exact date and time when your subscription will be upgraded. If you participated in the Windows Intune July 2011 beta, please note that the beta service will conclude 30 days after the Windows Intune general availability date. After this date, you will no longer be able to access your beta account, and all account data will be deleted. If you choose to sign up for a trial or purchase the commercial release of Windows Intune, you must uninstall the Windows Intune July 2011 beta client software, restore your computers to their original pre-beta state, and install the new client software on all computers that you want to manage with Windows Intune. We highly recommend that you remove the client software and restore your computers to their pre-beta state, even if you choose not to continue using Windows Intune. An uninstall script has been made available to make this task easier. You can download the script here: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=219678 . View this alert in the Windows Intune console:  https://manage.microsoft.com/Site/App.aspx I’ve done a few uninstalls,...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Wed, Nov 2 2011
  • Office 365 integration module beta for Windows SBS 2011 Essentials

    Hi, I just saw this on the wires and wanted to share it, although please note that this build is for evaluation purposes only. You should not install this in a production environment. Microsoft does not license you for, nor support installing in these environments. You can download the preview package from by navigating to it in the download section of the connect site or by using this link . Please refer to Release Documentation for installation and uninstallation instructions. Feedback is very important to Microsoft. In order for Microsoft to gather feedback on any issues encountered while using this build, please submit all bug reports for this release using the bug reporting form on MS Connect , via the http://connect.microsoft.com/SBS web site. It goes without saying that in order to participate in the Beta Program you need to be signed up on the connect site. Thanks David Technorati Tags: SBS 2011 , Office 365 , Cloud , Microsoft , SBSC
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Wed, Nov 2 2011
  • How does a SBS partner win / lose with Windows Intune–discuss

    Hi, I don’t run my own business offering support to customers, but I thought I would put out a suggestion, since some partners have asked me “how do I make money from the cloud?” Before I start I really do have to stress that this is NOT MY DAY JOB and that my opinions here are MINE and not those of Microsoft.  They may align, they may not, but I have been thinking about this and wanted to share MY thoughts and then see what others had to say about it. There are so many answers and depending on the customer, the answer may well be “you can’t, not yet.”  However, I’ve tried to draw 3 comparison graphs on how I see things changing.  I mean, the number of times I’ve heard SBSC partners say “I want the management functionality of SBS, but I don’t want Exchange”, well, we have that with SBS Essentials now.  There are other times when customers don’t visit the office often enough and while Direct Access can solve some problems, only if the customer has the infrastructure for it. If not, unless a PC visits the office or VPN’s in, then the policies do not get applied. So, we know what Windows Intune “does” versus the SBS servers as I’ve described this here . The next question for a partner is what is the impact on my revenue and profit margin.  I’ve tried to depict this with some very simple graphics of this below.  I’m thinking of a customer who wants desktop management or desktop plus Exchange and SharePoint.  It would be great to know if this is too simple or the concept is wrong – please feel free to comment below. SBS costs and profit You can see from the picture that hardware , while expensive have a very small (if any) profit associated to it.  The same is true of software , especially if it is Microsoft software which I’m told has lower margins that some other people’s. We then come onto the services elements.  The first part is i nstallation .  For some people this is a lower revenue and profit part of the process.  This is then followed up by the support element...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Mon, Oct 31 2011
  • Windows Intune V2 Released–it may take a little time to update existing customers

    So I’ve got a bit Windows Intune batty at the moment.  The book is now finished and in review and today I got this lovely e-mail from Microsoft about my own subscription (yes, I do use it myself) What’s new in the October release? • Software Distribution. Centrally deploy most software to managed PCs from the Windows Intune administration console. • Remote Tasks Right-click the name of a computer to perform actions—run a malware scan, update malware definitions, or force a restart. • Extended License Management In addition to many Microsoft ® volume licenses, manage most of your Microsoft retail licenses, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) licenses for Microsoft software, and most third-party software licenses. * • Enhanced Reporting and Filters Create detailed reports on your hardware inventory with new filters, including Manufacturer, Chassis type, Available disk space, Memory installed, and CPU speed. • Read-only Administrator Access When adding service administrators to your Windows Intune account, you can select whether to grant full administrator rights or read-only access to information.   If you have Windows Intune it will take a little while (weeks, not months) for the account to be migrated over, however if you sign up for a trial today you will be provisioned on the new service straight away.   Thanks David Technorati Tags: intune , Windows Intune , Microsoft , Cloud
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Mon, Oct 17 2011
  • The Windows Intune Client components

    Having installed (and uninstalled) Windows Intune a number of times I just wanted to signpost this blog post here that lists the components that are installed and what they do at Coretech by Brian Fahrenholtz .  The information can be found at Windows Intune Client Agent components .  It explains what each of the following does or provides: Microsoft Easy Assist v2 Microsoft Online Management Policy Agent Microsoft Online Management Update Manager Microsoft Policy Platform System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Agent Windows Firewall Configuration Provider Windows Intune Center Windows Intune Endpoint Protection Windows Intune Endpoint Protection Agent Windows Intune Monitoring Agent   Thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune , Microsoft , Cloud
  • Windows Intune V2 moving from Beta to full product (RTW)

    I went to log into the beta Windows Intune console tonight to discover it was “down”, or more importantly, it was directing me to the Service Status page. We can see from this that a number of sites are undergoing maintenance.  When we hover over the sites undergoing maintenance it states:   (The whole service instance was under maintenance from Oct 14 2011 1:00PM (UTC) to Oct 15 2011 3:00AM(UTC) – Wave 2 Beta to RTW URL patch) Hopefully we will see the full product ASAP. David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune , Cloud , Microsoft
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Fri, Oct 14 2011
  • New role–Enablement Partner strategy

    I thought I would share some details of my new role at Microsoft, which is still as a Partner Account Manager, but also responsible for the Enablement Partner strategy.  Obviously this is my day job with my author and blogging work still being a personal project for the evenings and weekends. So what are Enablement Partners you may ask?  Well they are partners who provide technology or services that help a customer (or another partner) deploy their chosen Microsoft technology, but do not deliver the project itself.  This may sound complex, so let me give you some examples: AppSense provide a host of technology, but it is around managing the user so they have a great experience no matter which device they log into and their profile flows between these devices, regardless of which version of Windows they are using (XP, Vista, 7, Server, 64-bit, 32-bit).  The direction is forwards and backwards.  They also offer many other benefits such as locking down licenses to specific devices which is frequently an issue for Project and Visio in an RDS environment.  Customers use this before, during and after upgrades to Windows 7, where a user can still use and update their profile on XP, for example. ChangeBase help customers ready their applications for migration, enabling remediation, packaging and certainty to an often complex area.  App-DNA provide an overlap of capabilities and both partners offering unique differences and benefits to customers and partners – I’m not going to try to differentiate either here. Both and excellent partners and both can easily explain their uniqueness and why you should use them without my help.  Customers often need to do this work before embarking on a migration to Windows 7 or a new version of Quest enable customers to manage, consolidate and migrate from non-Microsoft and legacy communication and collaboration systems to modern Exchange or Office 365.  This can be delivered with Microsoft tools, but frequently Quest simplify this process. ...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sat, Oct 8 2011
  • Using Intune with Sysprepped images

    I've just been through this for my book and some people were asking internally, so I thought I would share this little snippet / preview from the book on the process we have to follow to install Windows Intune from a sysprepped image. This means an image that we want to roll out to lots and lots of computers. Here is the information, based on the blog video found at http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsintune/archive/2011/09/22/adding-the-windows-intune-client-to-an-operating-system-deployment-image.aspx and the help file is located at http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsintune/hh397411.aspx . Image based deployment The latest version of Windows Intune (which is currently in beta, but due to release in less than 2 weeks) brings with it image based deployment where you can place the Windows Intune files on a computer image that will then be loaded onto several computers. There are several steps to this process if you are using the Microsoft deployment tools. 1. Install Windows to the computer 2. Download and extract the files from the Windows Intune zip file and place this on this folder which you will have to create: %Systemdrive%\Temp\Windows_Intune_Setup 3. Add the following lines to SetupComplete,cmd file, normally located or created in the %windir%\setup\scripts folder. Note there are 2 commands, the reg command and the call to the setup %windir%\system32\reg.exe add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Onlinemanagement\Deployment /v WindowsIntuneEnrollPending /t REG_DWORD /d 1 %systemdrive%\temp\Windows_Intune_Setup\Windows_Intune_Setup.exe /PrepareEnroll 4. Seal the image with a command such as the one below. If you wish to create an unattended install then you will have to create the answer file my_unattended_setup.xml for sysprep. To do this, download the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) from http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?2Q . Creating an unattended installation process is beyond this book, however Brian Jackson has an excellent article that can be found at http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx...
  • Microsoft Windows Intune, Quickstart Administration Book moving to Intune V2

    Hi, Given the closeness of Windows Intune V2, I have decided with the publisher to update the book with the Version 2 updates and images. This will mean a slight delay in the book as I can’t finalise it until V2 is released to market. Today I’ve been going through the beta for Windows Intune V2, updating the images, reports and adding content on the new features. The ones I’ve spent some time on or plan to spend time on are: Installation – Done Image based deployment – Done Administrator management – Done License Management – Done Policy Setting – Not started Software distribution – Captured screen shots, need to insert into book Non-Microsoft update distribution – Captured screen shots, need to insert into book Reporting – Not started Alerts – Not started Right Click menus – updated in sections above that are completed My goal is to get the book completed again before October 17th and then to print ASAP for V2. BTW, for great Windows Intune information, look at the official blog at http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsintune/ ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sun, Oct 2 2011
  • When does Windows Intune make sense for a company as the only management solution or hybrid

    I’ve been asked this question several times, so I thought I would share my thoughts. I don’t regularly work with the Windows Intune team at Microsoft as this is not my role, so this is purely my opinion, not in any way endorsed by Microsoft. To start off with, I think Windows Intune makes sense for a company whenever they are considering a cloud based Management strategy. Windows Intune also has the benefit of providing you with Windows and Microsoft anti-Malware software for your computers, so it is a way to get up to date, stay secure and manage the computers. Having said all of this, there are times when Windows Intune makes perfect sense. Smaller organisations have a range of choices to deliver systems management from Microsoft, which they need to pair with security and desktop software updates to deliver a solution the same as Windows Intune. There are also all the options available to larger organisations, but the options tailored for SMEs are functionally rich at a lower price point. These include the SBS 2011 Essentials and SBS 2011 Standard / Premium Products as well as Windows 7 itself. From a comparison point of view, this is how they simply stack up: SBS 2011 Essentials SBS 2011 Standard Windows Intune Windows Server 2008 R2 Yes Yes No, but could be irrelevant ( Yes in Azure ) Active Directory Yes Yes No WSUS No Yes Yes Group Policy No Yes Yes (some) Management tools Simple monitoring Yes Yes Exchange 2010 No Yes No ( Yes in Office 365 ) SharePoint Foundation Optional, but not pre-built Yes No ( Yes in Office 365 ) Premium Add-on Services Optional Optional No ( Yes in Azure ) User / PC limit 25 75 Unlimited Windows 7 (and later versions) No No Yes Anti-malware No (non-centralised for 1-9 PCs) No (non-centralised for 1-9 PCs) Yes Remote shared screen assistance No No Yes Payment Model Up front Up front Subscription Windows Intune gives you the ability to run your infrastructure on-premise or in the cloud. This could include Office 365 or Azure if desired. There are basically two options available...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sat, Oct 1 2011
  • Windows Intune Links worth having

    Since I’ve been working on the Windows Intune book I’ve found a few sources of information that I trust regarding the product.  I thought I would share them: Windows Intune V1 (current production environment) Service Status Dashboard - http://status.manage.microsoft.com/Statuspage/servicedashboard.aspx Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/WindowsIntune?sk=wall Mike Resseler’s blog from the Belgium System Center User Group - http://scug.be/blogs/intune/default.aspx Windows Intune Team Blog - http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsintune/ Windows Intune V2 (beta) Beta fact sheet, documenting the changes between the current V1 product and the V2 beta - http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26704 Finally, if you want to read my book as it is written - https://www.packtpub.com/microsoft-windows-intune-quickstart-administration-enterprise-through-cloud/book   ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sun, Aug 28 2011
  • Windows Intune book update

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

    When using a cloud service, understanding the reliability of the service is vital.  Windows Intune is a management tool and as such, when the service is down it is only management that cannot be performed, rather than the computers going offline themselves, which means the impact is much less to the end users. The Service Status Page provides that information for Windows Intune.  You can see on the image below that you can also scroll back over the last 5 weeks to see what has happened.  The good thing here is that it is a sea of green for the last 5 weeks   Hopefully it will stay that way.  You can also see that there are at least two datacenters for each region, so an outage at one should not stop the service working. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sat, Aug 27 2011
  • Office 365 for small businesses

    I got this e-mail and thought I would share as I love Office 365.  I'm moving my e-mail there as £4 per user per month is just amazing! Are you ready to embrace the cloud computing revolution? It could cost much less than you think. Microsoft Office 365 gives growing businesses access to Microsoft's most advanced collaboration and communication technology – just the thing if you want to become more productive and competitive. It lets you: • Deal with email, work on documents and stay in touch almost anywhere • Share diaries, contacts and tasks with colleagues • Store company documents in a central, secure online filing cabinet • Communicate via online chat, web conferences and email Big capability, small price Microsoft Office 365 costs from £4 per user per month with no upfront costs or capital expenditure. Just pay as you go. It's a surprisingly small amount of money considering the benefits it offers. Just think of how little you get for the same amount: • A gallon of petrol 1 • A single edition of The Economist 2 • Running a single 100w light bulb for a month 3 • An adult ticket from Heathrow to Central London 4 • Approximately 20 minutes' salary for a typical full-time employee 5 Competitive advantage But there's another way to look at it. Microsoft Office 365 costs a fraction of what it would cost to buy, install and manage the kind of hardware and software it would take to provide the same services in-house. For small businesses and growing companies, it is like renting a big company IT department and big company technology for a fraction of the cost. It could be the best bargain your company ever does. Try it for yourself Office 365 changes everything about the way that growing businesses use IT, including the price. Find out for yourself. Join the Microsoft Office 365 beta programme . Kerry Bentley Small Business Marketing Manager Need more information? Why not visit our Small Business website or contact our Small Business team directly . Sign up for the Office 365 beta programme...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Thu, Jun 23 2011
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  • Exporting hardware information from Windows Intune

    As most of you know I am working on my Windows Intune book and I've just finished the 6th chapter. This covers reporting and I was highly frustrated that there is no export or print function on all the hardware information screens, but you can export some of the hardware information. Here is how to do it: Open the Windows Intune Console by going to http://manage.microsoft.com . Select the Computers workspace and find the computer that whose hardware inventory we want to explore or store. Change the Filters setting from None to Hardware classification . We will now see the information about the hardware manufactures and model. If the machine is a non-OEM system then we will see the motherboard manufacturer and model number. We can export this data using the export logo in the top right of the tool bar next to the printer icon. We are prompted to choose between csv (comma separated values) and html files. Only csv files are useful for importing into custom reports. Select .csv File and then press Export . Once we have entered a file to save the content the export is confirmed by the message showing how many rows were exported. Press Close to finish the export. Change the Filters setting to Hardware identity to bring the identity information up. We can again export this data using the export logo in the top right of the tool bar next to the printer icon. Select .csv File and then press Export . Once we have entered a file to save the content the export is confirmed by the message showing how many rows were exported. Press Close to finish the export. To see the full hardware details, do the following: 1. Open the Windows Intune Console by going to http://manage.microsoft.com . Select the Computers workspace and find the computer that whose hardware inventory we want to explore or store. 2. Click on the computer’s Name to show the Computer Properties 3. Select the Hardware tab to show all the hardware information. The first section is specific to the operating system install and the motherboard inside the system...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Wed, Jun 22 2011
  • How to get help from Microsoft - on Office or in general

    I saw in my latest e-mail from Microsoft that there are some additional ways to get help from Microsoft, so I thought I would share them since I was unaware of the twitter route until today. Need some help? Give us a Tweet... If you've got a query give @MicrosoftHelp a Tweet and you'll get a direct response from the team looking after the feed. If you're not already on Twitter, you'll have to join but it's quick and it's free. Start following now . ... or drop into Microsoft Answers The Office forum on Microsoft Answers will give you answers on Word, Excel and PowerPoint topics. Community members help each other out, and Microsoft experts provide their advice free. A problem shared really is a problem halved! Check it out .   ttfn David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Wed, Jun 22 2011
  • First official sight of Windows 8

    Recently, Microsoft said it would not deliver something for tablets and slates until it had something to say that was more game changing. How about a mixture between the phone Metro, traditional Windows applications and touch as a primary interface whether using traditional applications or new ones. For the first glimpse, have a look at: You may also want to read the articles here: http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/01/microsoft-unveils-windows-8-tablet-prototypes/ http://allthingsd.com/20110601/exclusive-making-sense-of-what-we-just-learned-about-windows-8/ ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Windows 8
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Thu, Jun 2 2011
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  • Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune - 70 person IT services company

    Hi all, I thought I would share this Windows Intune case study that has just gone up on Microsoft.com. IT Solutions Provider Offers Simplified PC Management with Cloud-Based Solution “Windows Intune fills the support void that many customers experience for desktop environments. It's the perfect PC management tool.” - Rod Giesbrecht, Chief Executive Officer, Imaginet Business Needs Imaginet offers managed services and custom software development to hundreds of customers worldwide. Many of its customers with dispersed workforces did not have the resources to monitor and manage their client computing environments. Imaginet realized that many of these customers did not have full-time administrators and instead relied on technically astute employees to manage desktops in addition to their regular duties. Without an IT professional to monitor client computers, those computers were often vulnerable to malicious software. Plus, without the technical resources to diligently perform maintenance tasks, when customers did experience an issue with their desktop environment, it was often severe enough to bring business to a halt. Solution Imaginet turned to Windows Intune, a cloud-based PC management and endpoint protection solution. To evaluate the solution first hand, Imaginet adopted Windows Intune to manage 10% of its client computers in March 2011. It takes advantage of the administration console, which administrators can access from any browser enabled with Microsoft Silverlight 3 browser technology, to schedule critical software updates, manage security policies, and monitor PC health. Benefits Imaginet sees several ways its customers can benefit from Windows Intune. Using the cloud-based solution avoids the need for additional IT, which helps reduce capital expenses. Imaginet can schedule critical updates for its customers’ remote workers, which helps those customers ensure a security-enhanced, uniform PC environment. Imaginet and its customers can use a single solution to manage a variety of tasks from a central location...
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Wed, May 11 2011
  • UK Tech.Days 2011 –Transform Your Datacentre with Hyper-V and System Center - 24th May 2011

    As many of you know, I'm getting more excited about how cloud and virtualisation will impact customers and partners.  I wanted to share details about this event on the 24th May 2011. The UK Tech.Days 2011 –Transform Your Datacentre with Hyper-V and System Center event will provide you with an understanding of the latest technical updates for your datacentre & infrastructure investments. This event will share more expert knowledge and information than ever - with deep dive sessions on the Windows Server 2008 R2 platform, Hyper-V virtualization capability, and System Center end-to-end service management capabilities. Join Microsoft and interact live with us, some of our key strategic partners and early adopter customers. For more information, please visit: http://uktechdays.cloudapp.net/techdays-live/delivering-it-as-a-service-with-the-microsoft-private-cloud.aspx 08:30-09:30 Registration 09:30-10:00 Transforming Your Datacentre  10:00-11:00 Building The Foundation: Server Virtualization and Management 11:30- 12:00 HP: Hyper-V Cloud Reference Architecture 12:00-13:15 Managing Your Infrastructure with System Center 14:00-14:30 Risual: Building The Business Case for Private Cloud 14:30-15:45 Hyper-V and System Center – Competitive Comparisons 16:16-16:45 NetApp: Private Cloud Integration Components 16:45-17:45 Bringing Automation and Self-Service To Your Datacentre   Thanks David Technorati Tags: Virtualization , Hyper-V , System Center , Cloud , Private Cloud , Microsoft
  • Windows Intune book chapters

    I'm now about 1/2 way through the Microsoft WIndows Intune book, which is great. Please feel free to ask any questions as I can always incorporate the answers into the book. I thought I would share the chapters for everyone which are: 0. Preface 1. Overview of Cloud Computing 2. Introduction to PC Management Concepts 3. Overview of Windows Intune Features 4. Signing up for Windows Intune and installing the client software 5. Configuring Windows Intune 6. Pro-active Management 7. Monitoring and dealing with alerts, including remote assistance 8. Using and deploying Windows 7 Enterprise with Windows Intune 9. Integration with existing Microsoft Products The book will walk through with a large number of images each of the above as I understand them. I can honestly say that it has been a pleasure exploring Windows Intune and now sharing this will be great fun. As they say, Bring it on!! I'm hoping to have finished all drafts in the next couple of months and I now have four people signed up to review the book, to which I'm very grateful for their time. David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sat, May 7 2011
  • Windows Intune - the book and me

    It is time for me to admit my next project, now that I've finally submitted the first chapter, and that is that I'm writing about Windows Intune. Those who have worked with me in the past will know that I'm not much of a "koolaid" person, but I do believe that Cloud Services will be the way of the future and I think that Windows Intune will be a key pillar of the Microsoft story for our existing customers. To this end I wanted to annoucne that I'm in the writing process of writing a book on configuring and deploying Windows Intune. I remember all the discussions about MOM on SPLA and centralised management with the SBSC partners and the number of conversations I've had with customers and it seems inevitable that Windows Intune will be a huge success. It will also be, in my personal opinion, quite disruptive to the current management offerings of the Microsoft partners in this segment as all cloud services by every company has proven to be so far, including to the SBS customer set. Over the weekend I will finish the 2nd and 3rd chapters and I will then share the plan I've agreed with Packt Publishing for the book. As always, please feel free to let me know what you think about all this. Thanks David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Fri, Apr 15 2011
  • Site going away for a day or two

    Hi all, I am going to be moving home soon and since this site is hosted on my Hyper-V / SBS 2008 system, it will be down for 24-48 hours while everything gets turfed out / installed. Be back online soon! David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Wed, Feb 23 2011
  • Loading SP1 beta onto a Hyper-V R2 system

    I was keen to play with the Hyper-V R2 Service Pack 1 features, so I decided to download and install it, however I could not find anything that was not for Windows 7 or Windows Server (as opposed to Hyper-V Server).  After asking internally I was pointed to what I needed.  The process was fairly simple:   Download the SP1 beta from the Microsoft site and ensure you answer the questions correctly as an IT Pro to ensure you get the opportunity to download.  You will need to update both your Windows 7 / Windows Server client to manage the system as well as the Hyper-V Server, so you might need to download both the x86 and x64 versions as Hyper-V Server is x64 only. Remove the language packs that are not supported by the beta from the Hyper-V Server. To do this you will need to log into the console and run the LPKSETUP.exe program and remove anything that is not as part of the download package (English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish) Run the SP1 update on the Hyper-V Server Run the SP1 update on the Windows 7 Client Open the properties page in your Hyper-V Manager on Windows 7 SP1 and you can now edit the new properties Remember that Remote FX requires a Windows 7 SP1 (beta 1) guest and that Dynamic Memory requires (for the beta only) a Windows Enterprise or Datacenter guest with Standard and Web being supported when it is out of beta. See http://blogs.msdn.com/b/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2010/07/12/dynamic-memory-beta-supported-guest-operating-systems.aspx for some more details on dynamic memory support in the beta.   thanks David Technorati Tags: Hyper-V , Hyper-V R2 , SP1 , Service Pack 1 , Dynamic Memory
  • Technical School: installing and Configuring Small Business Server 2008–June 17th 2010

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

    I got my daily update from the Register today to read about the sad loss of the journalist Guy Kewney .  I met Guy on several occasions in my work with SBS 2003 and I remember his desire to understand how it impacted people and their ability to have a happy successful business.  He occasionally contacted me on IM and I particularly remember one phone call when I was at a conference in Miami and he was having network problems.  The call took nearly 2 hours as we walked through the setup of SBS and then resolved the networking issues.  It was baking for me which is why I remember it, but Guy patiently worked through each issue until he had a system fit for review.  I’ve only worked with 2 or 3 journalists over the years who showed dedication to getting the information right rather than doing something very quick.   Guy, you will be missed. David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Tue, Apr 13 2010
  • Win 20 Netbooks for a UK school – closes 29th March 2010

    I saw this and thought I would pass on - http://blogs.msdn.com/teachers/archive/2010/03/09/don-t-forget-enter-the-innovid-competition-and-win-20-netbooks.aspx   We know how busy things are for teachers this time of year, and if you’re anything like me the sunny weather is a further distraction. So we wanted to take this time to remind you that the deadline for the Innovid video competition is fast approaching! Don’t forget to get your entry in to the Partners in Learning Network before 17:00 on the 29th of March (this month!). All the details you need for the competition can be found in this blog or on the Partners in Learning Network . In addition, Stuart and I have posted a list of frequently asked questions about the competition in this blog , and we’ve updated it in the contest community on the Partners in Learning Network. For those of you who are planning on entering, please make sure to complete a contest entry form and submit that along with your video. We will not be able to accept any videos without the entry form! To further entice you, we have selected the netbooks that will be awarded to the winning teacher’s school. The school will get 20 N105 Netbooks from Stone. These netbooks come installed with Microsoft Windows 7 and will come with a 3-year warranty from Stone and a protective carrying case. For the full specs on the Stone netbook, go to their web site . If you have any questions on the competition, see the Partners in Learning Network, or leave a comment in the blog. We’re looking forward to seeing your Innovids on the 29th – good luck!     Sample how-to videos are posted here: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/education/teachers/free-how-to-videos.aspx And all contest guidelines and terms and conditions can be found on the Partners in Learning Network .     Thanks David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , School , Academic , Netbooks
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Mon, Mar 15 2010
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  • Tech days 2010 – UK, covering Virtualisation, Office 2010, Windows 7, SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio, the Essential Mix, Rich Client and Windows Phone

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

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

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

    It appears to be a snowy time for many people at the moment, so I thought I would share a few pictures from chez Overton.             I hope your enjoying the weather and not freezing.   take care David Technorati Tags: Snow Personal
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Sat, Jan 9 2010
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  • Late post on the Christmas lights on my house for Christmas

    I was late putting the lights up for Christmas due to an operation on my hand, however they made it.  You can see them here - http://davidoverton.com/media/p/12744.aspx and http://davidoverton.com/media/p/12743.aspx   and Thanks and Happy New Year David Technorati Tags: Christmas , Christmas lights , personal
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Fri, Jan 8 2010
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  • Snow and power outages keep bringing UKSBSGUY down

    Just a quick note to say that power problems around my home keep taking the servers out.  Until I get around to hosting my box, this will be an issue.   Sorry   David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Wed, Jan 6 2010
  • Need to buy a copy of Windows 7 or Office 2007 for someone in education - get an educational discount

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

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

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

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

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

    [Updated] I thought I would share two facts that show me just how good the take-up of Windows 7 will be. I was in York yesterday and while sat in the pub one of the ladies working there told me about her new laptop and just how fabulous it was with Windows 7. I’m not used to people telling me how great a product is from the “other side” of the bar. The second was when I started looking at the switch from Windows Vista and Windows XP on my web site – Over 20% of all visitors now are using Windows 7. I've updated the figures until 28th November 2009 I hope you have as much fun with Windows 7 as I am and the bar lady is. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows 7 , Windows , Microsoft
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Fri, Oct 30 2009
  • David Overton on Channel 4's 3 minute wonder - Crisis - my depression!

    It seems like an age ago that I spoke with a film crew about my daughter's at Microsoft's nursery and about the depression that first came visiting over 3 years ago now.  As a result they spent some time with us as we put up the Christmas lights on the house .  This is always a cheerful time of the year for me, but as the video shows I am still very aware of my unhappy side and the understanding my family, especially Melanie show towards me. This simple 3 minute video aired mid-August on Channel 4, but until now was not legally available on line.  Martin, the producer has made mine and the other 7 videos available at http://vimeo.com/channels/microsoftbabies .  All the videos show how the families of Microsoft employees live, work and look after their loved ones.  Mine, shockingly titled Crisis is embedded below: CRISIS from Martin Hampton on Vimeo .   I hope you get to see the very human side of the people that make up Microsoft UK.   thanks   David
    Posted to David Overton's Blog by David Overton on Mon, Oct 5 2009
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  • Must attend UK event - filling up fast - Wembley 7th October - Microsoft Partner Network

    [updated with correct URL] I saw this and thought I should pass it on. Microsoft Partner Network 2009 will explore strategies that enable you to continue to meet customers' needs and exploit new opportunities. Designed for Partner executives and sales leads, this event follows on from the Worldwide Partner Conference in July and provides more details of our UK execution plans. Join us for: - Insights from Microsoft executives as they share the Microsoft vision and strategies together with business growth opportunities and product innovation - A range of Partner-to-Partner online and offline networking opportunities, plus strategic and practical guidance on how to collaborate successfully with other Microsoft Partners - Market insights and guidance on developing customer opportunities - Useful resources to help you sell, market and deploy Microsoft technology, particularly when you find yourself in competitive technology situations - A glimpse into future industry trends and innovation, with exciting demonstrations - An introduction to the UK award winners from the Worldwide Partner Conference 2009. To register your place at this essential event, click the button below and enter invitation code 22BAF4 . You can also register by phone: call 0870 166 6670 . Check the Microsoft Partner Network 2009 website for more details about the event over the coming weeks. You can also sign up to our RSS service , or follow us on Twitter . We look forward to seeing you at Wembley Stadium on 7 October. Kind regards, Scott Dodds General Manager Small, Medium Enterprises & Partners Group - Microsoft UK ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Partners , MPN , MSPP , Event
  • Remote Web Workplace after the updates of 11/08/2009 (that's 11th August)

    Had calls from two of our client's staff this morning who are working from home and connecting to an SBS 2003 server from their own PCs. Both had had this month's security updates downloaded to their PC last night and could not connect to RWW this morning. It turned out that we had to place the URL for their company's SBS box in Trusted Sites in IE. Why it wasn't already there and why it had worked before (they both were running SP3) is a mystery.
  • How to get SBS 2008 to "fix" managing WSUS after you have manually upset it

    Today's post covers what to do when SBS says it no longer can change the WSUS settings from the console.  The exact message is "Windows Small Business Server Update Service is not running because it automatically turns off if you customize Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)". One way round this problem is to manually change all the settings in the WSUS console (from Administrator Tools, select Microsoft Windows Update Services 3.0 SP1) and change the settings as per instructions found at http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2006/07/13/441594.aspx .  I'm a sort of "quick fix" kind of guy, so the easier way is to go to the same tool, but then run the wizard.  The steps are: Start the Wizard   Click through the first two screens and set the updates to come from Microsoft Update Configure the proxy if required and press next.  Then press Start Connecting.  When done, press Next again. Select the language(s) you want to download Make sure "All Products" has been ticked Tick all the classifications - you can optionally leave out "Drivers" if desired Set the schedule - for me, 5am is a good quiet time on my server Tick to begin sync and press Finish.  Now SBS Console will be back on the case for you.   Ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2008 , Small Business Server 2008 , Microsoft , SBSC
  • It has been a while on the blog

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

    If any of you are struggling to get this paragon of brilliantly written software to run on your PC, just unplug the network cable. Seriously. You couldn’t make it up.....
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  • Possible issue with Outlook 2007 SP2 and access to GAL with RPC/HTTP

    Sandy Donald has recently reported on the UKSBSG Yahoo! group that he has seen an issue with Outlook 2007 connecting to the GAL over RPC/HTTP (or Outlook Anywhere if you prefer). He reports the following in his post: "I did some more digging and testing. My conclusions are that after the application of Office 2007 SP2, Outlook cannot reconnect to directories over http. It can reconnect to mailbox and public folders but not directories. So, GAL is not available and the offline message appears. I have restored a client to the pre Office SP2 install status using System Restore (having proven the issue on this client by installing SP2) and after the rather lengthy process of Office 2007 having to do a lot of reconfiguring when Outlook is started (after the System Restore) including an apparently necessary reboot, and error 1719 Windows Installer, - but no reboot occurred. Anyway Outlook 2007 is back to SP1 and, hey presto, Gal is visible and directories are connected over http. You know, on the Outlook client you do CTRL, right click over the Outlook icon in the notification area and then select Connection status and it's evident from there. I have now confirmed this on XP Pro and Vista Business - only with Outlook 2007." If you are seing similar problems then Susan Bradley kindly pointed us at the following blog posts to assist with the uninstall of Office 2007 SP2. http://blogs.technet.com/odsupport/archive/2009/05/08/how-to-uninstall-office-2007-sp2-using-the-2007-office-sp-uninstall-tool.aspx SP2 for Office 2007 is the first service pack for Office client that can be uninstalled. We have a great technical reference available on the Office 2007 Resource Kit (ORK) website that covers SP2 uninstall in detail here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd723551.aspx This blurb from the ORK article above is worth mentioning here before we start the uninstall steps: "The uninstall tool allows the removal of a service pack release, which is a collection of patches. In this case, the release is 2007...
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(c)David Overton 2006-13