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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September 2006 - David Overton's Blog

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  • Compatibility Chart for Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Product, Server applications and desktop)

    A great new set of pages that shows what works and does not work with SBS 2003. using a simple traffic light system = The product is an integrated component of Windows SBS, or it is known to be compatible with Windows SBS. The product was tested and you can obtain support for this configuration. = The product has not been fully tested on Windows SBS and support for this configuration is not available from the Windows SBS product support team. Other groups may offer support for this configuration; contact the appropriate group for information. Some product features may not be fully functional in a Windows SBS environment. = Not compatible. The product is known not to work and you should not install the product in a Windows SBS environment. Product Technologies Compatibility Chart for Windows Small Business Server 2003 An at-a-glance compatibility chart for installing and running standalone versions of SBS 2003 technology on a server running Windows Small Business Server 2003. Server Application Compatibility Chart for Windows Small Business Server 2003 An at-a-glance compatibility chart for installing and running Microsoft collaboration and line-of-business applications on your SBS 2003 server. Desktop Technology Compatibility Chart for Windows Small Business Server 2003 An at-a-glance compatibility chart for installing and running Microsoft desktop technology on your SBS 2003 network. ttfn David
  • Microsoft's Office 2007 Word team are blogging

    http://blogs.msdn.com/microsoft_office_word/ ttfn David
  • Updating to SharePoint Beta 2 Technical Refresh (B2TR)

    Downloads (MOSS - Microsoft Office SharePoint Server) MOSS 2007 Beta 2 to B2TR Patching Procedure (with screenshots) http://blog.funknstyle.com/?p=542 WSS 3.0 Beta 2 to B2TR Patching Procedure (with screenshots) http://blog.funknstyle.com/?p=545 MOSS 2007 B2+B2TR Slipstream Clean Installation Procedure http://www.sharepointblogs.com/files/12210/download.aspx MOSS 2007 B2+B2TR Slipstream Clean Installation Procedure (screencast; in Flash format) http://www.sharepointblogs.com/files/12212/download.aspx WSS 3.0 B2+B2TR Slipstream Clean Installation Procedure (with screenshots) http://jopx.blogspot.com/2006/09/installing-wss-30-beta2-tr-slipstream.html Still Using Office 2003? Make Sure You're Compatible Are you still using Office 2003? Make sure you can open and edit the documents sent to you by colleagues who are using the 2007 Office system. Keep your installation updated and install the Compatibility Pack, and you can ensure that the new Open XML Formats of the 2007 Office system don't cause you compatibility headaches. http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/converter.mspx
  • This months' SharePoint downloads, webcasts

    Mon, 02 Oct 2006 : Momentum Webcast: A Sneak Peek at Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, the Cornerstone of the 2007 Office System (Level 100) In this webcast, we explore some key features IT professionals are anticipating in the upcoming release of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. SharePoint Server 2007 is an integrated suite of server applications that promotes effective organization by giving you comprehensive control over electronic content, accelerating shared business processes, and facilitating better-informed decision making and information sharing. We discuss portal and search functionality and features like collaboration, business intelligence, business forms, and content management—including documents, records, and Web content. See how SharePoint Server 2007 enables you to support intranets, extranets, and Web applications across your enterprise within one integrated platform. Join this session to discover how these innovations provide you with powerful tools to make a strategic impact. http://www.microsoft.com/events/EventDetails.aspx?CMTYSvcSource=MSCOMMedia&Params=%7eCMTYDataSvcParams%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22ID%22+Value%3d%221032308626%22%2f%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22ProviderID%22+Value%3d%22A6B43178-497C-4225-BA42-DF595171F04C%22%2f%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22lang%22+Value%3d%22en%22%2f%5e%7earg+Name%3d%22cr%22+Value%3d%22US%22%2f%5e%7esParams%5e%7e%2fsParams%5e%7e%2fCMTYDataSvcParams%5e Mon, 02 Oct 2006 : MSDN Webcast: Office SharePoint Server 2007 Business Data Catalog (Part 2 of 2): Developing Web Services (Level 200) Beyond giving you the ability to integrate portals with enterprise data and applications with minimal code, the Business Data Catalog (BDC) in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 also introduces several specific development opportunities. In the second half of this two-part webcast, we show you how to create Web services that are fully optimized for the BDC. We also show you how to use BDC-registered metadata to create your own automatically...
  • IIS7 & Vista information

    Jonathan Goodyear Marks IIS7 as the "Difference" in Windows Vista There are many cool features in Windows Vista that might make one developer happy over another. For President of ASPSoft Jonathan Goodyear, though, it is clear he sees ... http://forums.iis.net/1392889/ShowThread.aspx#1392889 Shipped! RC1 Out-the-Door! Learn from the all-new Updated IIS7 Articles Windows Vista Release Candidate (RC) 1 is out the door with a fresh new build of IIS7. This is an exciting time for the IIS team as we draw near the full release i ... http://forums.iis.net/1391795/ShowThread.aspx#1391795
  • Small Business Server: Master Your Domain: Build a Corporate Network at Home -- TechNet Magazine, October 2006

    I saw this and thought of all of you who use SBS, like me, and wondered how many people will now go and build a corporate network for the home. I have just 5 PCs on home network, 1 Media Center Extender, 1 xbox and 1 xbox 360 :-). The article is not huge, but for some, useful. Master Your Domain: Build a Corporate Network at Home We're hardcore IT guys at heart, and we want well-managed, smooth-running computers—not only at work, but at home as well. We're willing to put some time into making that happen. We're also privacy and security geeks. We like running things ourselves to retain the desired level of freedom and control. We wanted an affordable solution that would provide easily shared resources (files, calendars, printing, and so on) to benefit all family members. We wanted an integrated solution that was familiar to us so we didn't have to cobble together a smattering of independent pieces. We wanted a flexible solution that could be expanded upon to do new things later. Enter Microsoft ® Windows ® Small Business Server 2003 R2 (SBS R2). Source: Small Business Server: Master Your Domain: Build a Corporate Network at Home -- TechNet Magazine, October 2006
  • Happy 50th, hard drive. But will you make it to 60?

    I saw today that the good old hard disk is 50 years old - I remember my winchester drives, I remember my 1st PC 5MB hard disk. Now my laptop has 2 x 80GB hard disks and my PCs at home are powered by disks totaling a few TB. What is interesting is whether "platters" will be replaced by RAM in some way. To learn more, go look at Happy 50th, hard drive. But will you make it to 60? at ComputerWorld. ttfn David
  • Office 2007 training clinics

    First Look Office 2007 - instructor-led training and Hands-on Labs (Halo) Course 3370: Getting Started with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, one-day clinic Course 3041: Deploying Microsoft Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System Client Products, half-day clinic Course 3374: Getting Started with Microsoft Office 2007 Sharepoint Server, one-day Halo Course 3199: Getting Started with the 2007 Microsoft Office System, half-day clinic Course 3372: Getting Started with the 2007 Microsoft Office System, half-day Halo Course 3369: Getting Started with Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0, half-day clinic Course 3373: Getting Started with Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0, half-day Halo ttfn David
  • Do your Small Business customers want to tell Microsoft about how they interact

    Let customers have their say Do any of your customers hold strong opinions on Microsoft? We'd like to know how small businesses think we could communicate more effectively with them. Over the coming year we will be reviewing all our communication channels, ranging from bCentral, our small business portal, to our literature and advertising. Participants will be able to choose the level of involvement they prefer, whether it's just an email to us, or taking part in a full usability study of our web site. To register an interest in this programme please email Dan Stone or telephone 0118 9093911. ttfn David
  • Microsoft Office Live is coming to the UK - domain name, website, branded e-mail - hosted by Microsoft

    If you have a customer who wants these capabilities, but does not have the resources or cash to buy it, then Office Live could be quite amazing for you. Microsoft Office Live is coming - what is it Today, more than ever before, an Internet presence is indispensable for small businesses. That’s why Microsoft is introducing Microsoft Office Live — a set of affordable business productivity services designed to help you grow your business more easily by establishing a professional presence online. Microsoft Office Live will provide your company with its own domain name, Web site, and company-branded e-mail accounts for free. Additionally, Microsoft Office Live will offer you and your employees expert business management applications, such as customer, project, and document management tools, and a security-enhanced private Web site — affordably managed and maintained by Microsoft — where you can work together and share information with your employees, customers, suppliers, and contractors. If you’re not at the stage to buy a server, set up an IT infrastructure and hire IT staff to maintain it, then Microsoft Office Live is a perfect solution for your business. A beta version of Microsoft Office live will launch in late 2006.* WHY MICROSOFT OFFICE LIVE? A professional Web site, expertly hosted by Microsoft A secure online workspace for organising and managing customer and business information A complete set of tools for managing time, tasks, projects, and company data that integrates with your existing Microsoft Office programs Register today * At this time, participation in the Microsoft Office Live Beta services program is open to United Kingdom residents only. Due to the number of requests received for this beta, we cannot guarantee participation for every registrant. If you are selected as a beta participant, you will receive an e-mail message from us with further information. Source: Microsoft Office Live Worldwide
  • UK Exchange, Vista and Office (EVO) Events from 25th October through to January

    As you may have noticed, EVO is the buzz word at Microsoft - we needed another acronym after all - and the training is underway. Find out more are the UK Events : Event details The Dates 25th October - ICC, Birmingham 6th November - Microsoft Campus Reading 8th November - UBC Manchester 9th November - Watershed Theatre Bristol 10th November - Cavendish Centre London 16th November - Microsoft Campus Reading 21st November - Showcase Cinema Leeds 16th January - UBC, Manchester The content This year Microsoft will launch Microsoft Exchange Server 2007; Windows Vista; and the 2007 Microsoft Office system (EVO). Microsoft has invested almost $20b in R&D and analysts IDC predict partner services opportunity to be around €47billion euros. Don't miss the launch for Microsoft’s EVO partner ready business at venues throughout the UK. Attend the EVO Partner Roadshow to learn about: How to get ready for the launch and exploit Microsoft’s largest ever technology release Solution selling scenarios and demos for EVO and the people-ready business How the EVO technology stack represents a platform for partners to increase hardware and services opportunities How to answer tricky questions from customers and identify early business opportunities You should attend if you want to: Understand how EVO solutions can solve real business problems. This 90 minute session will focus largely on demos which you will be able to take away with you at the end of the session. This session provides the starting point for a wider activity of partner readiness which involves a number of readiness paths which you can preview at the Partner EVO Microsite. Understand how to position the different products and SKUs appropriately for your customers AGENDA: 0900hrs - Registration 0930hrs - Session Commences 1100hrs - Session Finish and Event Close for non-Microsoft Campus events * Additional content for events at Microsoft Campus Only - SEE BELOW 1115hrs - Windows Vista & Office 2007: The Partner Opportunity 1315hrs - Approx close for Microsoft Campus...
  • Quick Vista keyboard tip - using ctrl with Alt-Tab and Windows-tab

    this is a really quick tip - if you press the CTRL key when pressing Alt-Tab or Windows key-tab, which brings up the task picker and flip-3d screens, then the screens will not disappear as soon as you let go of the keys. You can now use your mouse to pick a task or scroll through the windows on flip 3d. ttfn David
  • Vista get's ISO image mounting from Daemon Tools

    For those who have ISOs (eg the ones from MSDN or Vista downloads) and you want to mount them under Vista, Daemon have said they are up to the task. I use the tools and like them too :-) ttfn David DAEMON TOOLS V4.0.6 released! Dear Community, today we release the new V4.0.6 of both, X64 and X86(32bit) version of DaemonTools. There's also a new SPTD-Driver included. Please check out our download-section Changelog: - randomizer (partially also drivernames) enhanced - some AntiBlacklist countermeasures - bugfixes - full vista support Source: THE DAEMONS HOME
  • New Microsoft UK site for partners around Vista, Office and Exchange 2007

    Lots of information here, so go grab a seat, watch the videos and get the info. Expect this to be updated over time too. Click picture for details Ttfn David
  • James Akrigg points out some good old Windows SharePoint Services v3 (Office 2007) on/offline training available

    I was perusing James' blog and noticed this on part of a site about sharepoint, so thought I would forward. To compliment the above resource we also have 'Clinic 5045: Inside Look at Developing with Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint® Services 3.0' . This covers everything you are going to need to get started creating solutions on SharePoint Services. The clinic will enable you to: Describe Site and Workspace management and Document storage. Describe Integration with ASP.NET and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 . Describe Sites, Lists, Content Types and Collaborative features. Describe Programming with WSS and using the WSS Event model. Describe the Property Bag and Change Log. Describe SharePoint Pages, Master Pages and Content Pages. Describe Custom Views and Templates. SharePoint Designer Describe Web parts and Workflow support. Describe the Administrative object model. Describe how to create deployable Windows SharePoint Services-based solutions. Describe the Feature framework. Describe the Solution deployment model. Each of these courses can be downloaded and run offline, so if like me you travel a lot, this could be a great way to learn on the move. Oh and if you hurry they won't cost you a thing. Well that's all for now. I hope this helps and please keep those comments coming. James Akrigg Source: James Akrigg .:. Out of Office : SharePoint : “There’s no point if you don’t share!”
  • The Virtual Partner Conference - Partners - Microsoft UK - starts on 27th September

    OK, so I think I said at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2006/09... that this started today, but it in fact tomorrow. Line up still looks good! The Virtual Partner Conference goes live on 27 September 2006, with video sessions from key speakers within Microsoft and accredited external speakers. Here's a taste of what you can expect: Hear David James (Henley Management College) and Nigel Montgomery (AMR Research) talking about the UK market trends, the opportunity areas and how you can align your business to take full advantage. Listen to our plans for the coming year... in the areas you're interested in. We have video sessions with key speakers discussing our plans in each business area and what the opportunity is for you. Hear our plans for Vista and Office straight from the product managers themselves - along with demos of the new software to get you clued up. Get the latest information on the Partner Programme and find out how you can make the most of being a Microsoft Partner. And much more... Source: The Virtual Partner Conference - Partners - Microsoft UK ttfn David
  • Meet the person who runs the Microsoft Partner Programme ...Miss Young

    Something my daddy told me (well, actually most of the sales people I have ever worked with) is that you should always know the people you work with or rely on in some way. Nicola is one of those people that if you get the action pack, carry the SBSC badge or use the MS Partner site has a hand in your interaction with Microsoft. There are obviously other people, like Alex and Aileen who work on the site and own the SBSC programme, but Nicola used to work in a small business, so reading about her is never a bad thing! Below is just an extract - read the whole thing on the Partner Perspectives blog. ttfn David Introducing the Microsoft Partner Programme (MSPP) Manager...Miss Young Nicola Young has been almost 3 months in role. She sits opposite me so I know her rather well - that's a good thing! She's a great person. So let me introduce you to her. Some words from the lady herself... You've been 3 months in your role as MSPP Manager. How's it going? I'm really enjoying the new role, my head is spinning to lots of new ideas plus as well as handling partner questions I'm also the point of contact within Microsoft UK to supply the business with intelligence on our channel. I'm making lots of use of pivot tables in Office 07 and my hairdresser is loving the extra money I'm having to spend to cover up all that extra grey hair! What will partners see changing now that you've arrived?! I hope so! One of my main aims for the programme is to add the relationship back in by going back to basics and making sure we talk to partners at the right time about the right topic. You know what it's like for our partners having worked for a partner yourself. What do you think we should focus on to make life easier for partners? I think partner engagement is one of the most important things we can focus on. At my old company we use to call ourselves the sizzle in the frying pan - we were such a small part of CRM deals that we had to shout very loud to be heard. My main frustration with the vendors we worked with was a lack of local engagement...
  • Poor Chris Parkes - he compares his people ready business life to the marketing message - and brings down the house!!

    I am not one to laugh at other's misfortunes... or at least not very often, but Chris had arranged to go to the Kent Partner Group meeting, when I asked him how it went he gave me some story about hit house falling down. Being the sport he is, this is part of his blog entry on the whole sad affair. I still say it is an extreme way to avoid meeting partners, but that is Chris for you! I am sure he will be at the group soon! Source: Chris Parkes: A PC is not just for Christmas... : A Day in The Life (of the People Ready Business) A Day in the Life of...Ken 8:00 - 9:00 AM Check email/voicemail messages 9:00 - 10:00 Review cash on hand and bank balances 10:00 - 12:00 PM Attend scheduled meetings 12:00 - 1:00 Have lunch 1:00 - 2:00 Meet with accounting staff 2:00 - 3:30 Review finances/prepare reports 3:30 - 5:00 Continue work on current projects/work on the To Do list generated from meetings 5:00 - 7:00 PM Review and respond to email messages/work on a facilities issue/go home A Day in the Life of...Chris 2:15 - 2:30 AM Get woken up by an almighty crashing sound and vibrating floor/go downstairs to investigate 2:30 - 2:35 Realise that you can't get into the lounge as something is blocking the door/decide to leave until daylight/go back to bed. 2:35 - 3:15 Sleep 3:15 - 3:25 Wide awake again due to more noise. 3:25 - 7:00 Sleep 7:00 - 9:00 Head downstairs to find ceiling has fallen in/begin clean up operation/rescue TV and XBox 360. ttfn David
  • Windows SharePoint Services Podcast with Bob Sutton - Senior Product Manager

    I saw this over tat the IW Center and thought you might be interested. I am in the middle of finding out if SBS can run WSS v3 nicely. I know that all the wizards will not work, but what else will? Anyway, for those who want to know what is coming in v3 - listen to the podcast on the site! Windows SharePoint Services Prodcast - Bob Sutton, Senior Product Manager One of the questions I get asked frequently is "What's the difference betweeen Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server?" Usually I answer by saying that WSS is the basic "free" version of our web collaboration platform which supports small teams of users working on documents and projects together. However, the new version of WSS is significantly enhanced and there's something in it for everyone. I recently interviewed Bob Sutton, who is a Senior Product Manager responsible for Windows SharePoint Services "v3". In this prodcast, Bob talks about some of the new features in the upcoming version of WSS, such as blogs, wikis and RSS support. He also spends a good amount of time talking about using Windows SharePoint Services v3 in an "offline" mode, using Outlook 2007, Access 2007 or Groove 2007 to cache content locally to your machine. From a usability perspective, Bob discusses how the new version of WSS is easier to naviagate with bread crumbs and left navigation menus. He also spends time talking about the dual recycle bin, where both an end user and an adminstrator can restore an individual item from a SharePoint list or document library. This was the number one help desk call and this improvement should improve the overall managibility of WSS. Bob also drills down into the new security model where users can set the security on a per item basis. Bob also highlights that WSS uses the Windows Workflow Foundation for workflow and has implemented "master pages" to make deploying more consistent sites easier. Source: The IW Center
  • Registry hacks for the Windows Vista screensavers at istartedsomething

    Fro information on how to change the screen savers, go look at the link below. I found this info on the Windows Vista Magazine blog - http://www.windowsvistamagazine.co.uk/page/windows... The sad sad fact is Windows Vista will be shipping with screensavers without the options to be configured, however they were originally designed to be customizable. Stephen Coy tells me this feature might be available after Vista ships, perhaps in a powertoy or service pack? But if you can’t wait, then you can follow the steps below to customize the screensavers through the registry. Source: Registry hacks for the Windows Vista screensavers at istartedsomething
  • GPLv3 Could Kill Open Source, Top Linux Developers Warn

    Every product appears to have a license, even those that are "free" - interesting read that even the free licenses seem to be coming under fire. Many of the top Linux developers have announced their objections to the proposed GPLv3. In a position paper released Sept. 22, leading Linux developers like Andrew Morton, James E.J. Bottomley, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Christoph Hellwig, and six others explained in detail why they "reject the current license proposal." Source: GPLv3 Could Kill Open Source, Top Linux Developers Warn
  • Keystroke heaven for Vista - and how to shutdown via the keyboard

    I noticed these two magic keystroke links at the Windows Vista™ Magazine blog site, but I thought I would add another. How to shutdown with the keyboard: Ctrl+Esc, Right, Right, Right, u Ctrl+Esc will open the start menu, which can also be done by pressing the Windows-key ttfn David
  • Office Rocker! : Coping with change

    This is definitely a great blog entry - about how organisations and people manage change. Some things change I have a lot of debates at the moment about how hard it will be for people and companies to adjust to the new release of Office. The first discussion usually surrounds the new user interface and how different it is. I'm not going to go over all the reasons behind the contextual approach again. The research in our labs, and this matches what I observe with the people I know who start using 2007, is that it takes between 2 days and a couple of weeks to feel at home in the new user interface. Now this is NOT how much downtime each user suffers making the transition, it is the time it takes for them to feel as confident with the new release and to take advantage of the new usability. <snip> If it all goes wrong and you really can't find your favourite feature the Office online animations are fab. These give you a mock up of 2003 UI, you click on your beloved feature and it switches to show you where it is in 2007. Word 2003 to 2007 Interactive Command Reference Guide Excel 2003 to 2007 Interactive Command Reference Guide PowerPoint 2003 to 2007 Interactive Command Reference Guide There are also an impressive and growing list of training resources which give you bitesized lessons which companies are free to reuse. Books like this one are also great companions (under a tenner) if you are trying the betas. Source: Office Rocker! : Coping with change
  • Windows Vista build 5728 - post RC1 build - get it now

    This page includes information to help you download a special test build of Windows Vista. This build (5728) has a number of improvements and updates from RC1, but has not been put through the same internal testing process as RC1 and therefore may be unstable in certain installations. We are making this release available for a limited time only (and only by download) in order to get broad distribution and testing in a variety of PC configurations. Please note: This build may not have the same level of support or servicing via Windows Update, and you may not be able to upgrade to the final version of Windows Vista . To continue, please use the links below to start the download. Otherwise, please click here to access the download for Windows Vista RC1 (build 5600) . Link to Windows Vista build 5728 ttfn David
  • Is Vista just a new and improved whitener ala soap powders, or have things really changed?

    I obviously work closely with small business partners and a thread at the SBSBPI.co.uk website got me thinking. The question that was asked is why is Windows XP, which has always been a great product, suddenly a "bad" product, so much so that people need to buy a new operating system, Windows Vista . To answer this, lets look at a few things - is Windows XP bad - nope, it is an excellent operating system, but it has a design that was delivered 5 years ago, with a major security overhaul with XP SP2. SP2 was a good security fix, but it still left the onus on the user to understand the risks they were taking. From a user interface point of view, people have got used the XP interface - well, except for you die hard folks who only use the classic interface, get with the program - use a mouse and the non-classic control panel - you know you can do it!! Windows XP is then supplemented by Defender, 3rd party anti-virus products, anti-spam, filters, toolbars, search and other powertoys to lift it to a "desirable" state. Now let's look at what has changed in the last 5 years since Windows XP was designed an released: The Internet - people use it for everything, Web, IM, core business applications, sharing information, finding friends and researching information Data volumes - remember when a 32MB USB still was big enough - is it now? As the amount of data goes up, so does the need to manage it. Security - things have changed here - the threats from both amateur and organized groups is far greater now, so therefore is the need for corporate ownership of the problem rather than the individual user. Even the value of data has increased, so protecting information on laptops is more important - remember the person who left gulf war plans in the back of his car - disk encryption is a business need by more and more, especially if it only costs a few pounds. Mobility - how common were wireless networks 5 years ago versus now - and what is more, people looking to garner information over them, such as bank details...
  • UK SMB Girl - RIP SBSC Premium Programme - what happened and what do you think

    Susanne is a little gem sometimes and today is no different - she has posted an interesting review of the SBSC programme and it's changes . The programme largely revolves around partners who sell SBS, although it is aimed at any who services small businesses (just in case you somehow have not heard of it). We are making changes this year, which included the removal of the Premium part of the badge. SBSC compares very favourably to the Certified Partner Programme in so much as you don't have to give Microsoft £1,000 or have to have 2 people certified in the same subject area. Membership to SBSC does not cost money, but does require an MCP in one of two areas and the passing of a simple sales and marketing exam. If you are already a SBSC member your opinion as to what else should be on the list of requirements will be key to shaping the implementation for next year. Benefits of SBSC membership: Microsoft notices you over the other 25,000+ registered partners in the UK Access to the private managed news groups which are monitored and answered by our support teams Partner finder tools show SBSC partners 1st Small Business advertising campaigns refer people to the partner finder tool and SBSC partners Ability to apply for co-funded campaigns Access to private livemeetings to discuss technology, business and the small business market. 1st to be asked for Technology Adoption Programme - so help beta and provide feedback on our products and then do some marketing Access to the UK Small Business team, so people like me you can find out more about sbsc at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/sbsc ttfn David
  • Online postage service launched

    I saw this at the BBC web site and thought it was too good to miss - this is something businesses can easily make use of - another reason to have an internet connection!! Online postage service launched Online postage will cost the same as traditional stamps People are now able to buy their postage online, without any stamps, for the first time under a new free initiative from the Royal Mail. Source: BBC NEWS | Business | Online postage service launched
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  • Microsoft Partner Virtual conference coming

    We are publishing a long list of mini-presentations, aka the virtual conference on 26th September. You will be able to hear loads about Microsoft, our plans and products from the managers and people in the know. Below are just some of the items I think might be of interest to you. For a full list, go to http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/partnerconfere... on or after 26th September. Some of the topics include: Karl Noakes introduces the Virtual Partner Conference. David James from Henley Management College talks about what successful businesses are doing today outside of our industry and within it. Hear a discussion between Nigel Montgomery of AMR Research and David James of Henley Management about the UK market trends, opportunity areas and how you can align your business to take full advantage. Steve Marsh talks you through the 2007 Microsoft Office System, addressing key areas including personal productivity, communication and collaboration, enterprise content management and business intelligence. Exploring some of the key benefits of the partner programme, this session will cover how being a Microsoft partner, whether you are Registered or a Gold Partner, will reduce your IT costs; receive sales opportunities and enable you to support your customers. Chris Parkes takes you through a demo of the new Demo Showcase for the People Ready Business to help you understand how you can accelerate sales as customers experience first-hand how Microsoft technology can meet their business needs. With so much information coming from Microsoft this session will cover how you can engage with Microsoft and stay up to date on the latest news. Hear from Karl Noakes how Microsoft will be going to market this year with an overview of the People Ready Business advertising campaigns, the Exchange Vista and Office launch, and our core customer campaigns. There's no doubt Vista launch will fundamentally change the way many people work. Hear about the UK opportunity and how you can make the most of it. James and Matt take you on a 10 minute...
  • Do you want to benefit from Microsoft marketing - using the tools, getting the system to work for you and riding on the campaigns?

    Ok, so I went to an internal presentation the other day on all the marketing tools available to you as a partner and I was amazed at them all. I have already blogged on some, such as solution profiler and campaign builder, but there are loads, and potentially even some cash to co-fund them (this is a sometimes, so don't beat me up if not all the time). The call to action was to spend just 15 minutes watching this video for gold and certified for more information as well as to bookmark www.Microsoft.com/UK/partner/marketing and attend the great marketing training that can be online or in a classroom. Go spend the time and get more from Microsoft, such as marketing materials to your door, routes to get to customers and other partners and skilling to make you more effective in this difficult area. ttfn David
  • James Akrigg on the The Blog Frog - aka why you should blog and why this year is so important - $20B of R&D finally being released on the world - and that means, Office, Vista and Exchange

    If you have read my previous posts on James you will know that I respect him as a friend and colleague, but his arrival at blogging was still a good 12 months late. He describes why you should blog and what made him decide to finally take up the simplest way to communicate with people. Perhaps more interestingly was his number 1 reason: Compelling Event Number 1. I realised that this year is perhaps the year of greatest potential I have ever seen in my 20+ years in the IT industry. Microsoft is about to release over 20 billion dollars of research and development through product and technology releases. There is so much new opportunity that this will enable for customers and partners of Microsoft that I needed a way of communicating more of the details for both technical and business audiences. I wanted to compliment some of the great blogs my team and other colleagues had created by bringing my own insights and useful information to as many people as possible. The answer 'Blog'. Source: James Akrigg .:. Out of Office : Today’s Special - ‘The Blog Frog’. I strongly suggest that if you don't blog, you should and if you read blogs, James should be on your hit list. To try to put that in perspective, this month I expect about 8,000 unique readers of this blog and about 230,000 page hits - surely with such a large audience this solution can't be wrong? ttfn David
  • Microsoft Office Tips and Tricks, including Office 2003 and Office 2007

    The Office Tips and Tricks website is up and running and now has content on both Office 2003 and Office 2007. What's New: 2007 Microsoft Office release Live Webcasts! Tips & Tricks for the 2007 Microsoft Office release: Great Document Formatting Made Simple with Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint Thursday, September 21, 2006 A First Look at Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 Tuesday, September 26, 2006 Advanced Tips & Tricks for the 2007 Microsoft Office release: Customize Your Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Documents in No Time Thursday, September 28, 2006 Source: Microsoft Office Tips & Tricks ttfn David
  • Windows Vista Tips and Tricks

    The Tips and Tricks website is now up - includes demo scripts and will include webcasts etc. Today the content was: Check out these great downloadable guides that give you easy access to helpful tips & tricks for Windows Vista. Windows Vista Tip Sheet Windows Vista Top 10 Tips & Tricks Webcast schedule will be updated regularly. Microsoft Webcast: Be One of the First to See Tips & Tricks for Windows Vista This webcast will give you a first look at the great new features found in Windows Vista. A new user interface, great, new search and organize features, enhanced security, great tips on using Internet Explorer® 7, and easy, practical information and desktop tips that will make you more productive right away. Join us for this informative and fun webcast on the new Windows Vista operating system. Coming in October 2006—check back for registration. ttfn David
  • Training tools for Windows Vista

    I have found the tips and tricks website and found these items that I think might be very useful - the learning whitepaper is a great example. If you are responsible for training employees in your company this is the place for you! Take a look at the tools below that can help you develop a customized tips & tricks presentation or plan for your company. Windows Vista Tips & Tricks Demo Script Windows Vista Tips & Tricks Intro Slide Deck New Learning Resources for Windows Vista White Paper: Learning Windows Vista in the Workplace Enterprise Learning Framework on TechNet Source: Windows Vista™ Tips & Tricks
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Help and Support Beta - online

    I found this on the web today and thought people should know that they can get help and answers. HARDWARE AND DRIVERS PROGRAMS PERSONALIZE YOUR COMPUTER PRINTING FILES AND FOLDERS PICTURES AND VIDEO SECURITY INTERNET NETWORKING MAINTENANCE MUSIC GAMES Source: Microsoft Windows Vista Help and Support Beta ttfn David
  • Shortcut keys to opens programs on the Quick Launch Bar in Vista

    I was over the Windows Vista Magazine and saw this - great little bit of help!! New shortcut opens any program Here's a neat tip I learned while I was talking to Microsoft last week: keyboard shortcuts for the Quick Launch icons in Vista. You can open any icon in the Quick Launch bar (just to the right of the Start button) by holding down the Windows key and pressing what I'll call the "rank number" of the icon - the number that corresponds to its position in the list. So, in my desktop here, Windows + 1 opens Outlook, Windows + 2 opens Internet Explorer, Windows + 5 opens the Snipping Tool and so on. Source: Windows Vista™ Magazine ttfn David
  • 50% off Microsoft Office And Windows Professional upgrades

    I saw this and thought it was worth suggesting to any customer who is not up to date yet - get the latest MS software and pay for it each year on subscription rather than large lump payments, plus the 1st payment has a 50% reduction if you have Windows 2000 or above and Office 97 or above. Plus, your customers are entitled to Vista Business Edition, Office 2007 and all the extra benefits, such as training vouchers, home usage rights etc. The Offer If your business already runs a current or previous version of Microsoft Office Professional Edition or Windows, you can save 50% on your first year’s subscription when you upgrade to the latest edition before 31 December 2006. Source: 50% off Microsoft Office And Windows Professional upgrades ttfn David
  • SBS R2 Webcasts from the US

    Small Business Webcast: The Benefits of Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 (Part 1 of 3): Get the Green Check of Software Health and Keep Your Business Up and Running (Level 100) Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM Pacific Time Jeffrey Lin, Business Development Manager, Microsoft Corporation http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032308419&Culture=en-US Small Business Webcast: The Benefits of Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 (Part 2 of 3): Save Time and Money by Doing More with Less (Level 100) Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM Pacific Time Greg Randall, Business Development Manager, Microsoft Corporation http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032308416&Culture=en-US ttfn David
  • James Akrigg is in the house and Out of Office... one of my best mentors FINALLY starts blogging

    This day has been a long time coming. James is someone who I always contact when I want to think out the box and apply creative solutions to problems. He is very technology savvy, but hides it much, much, much more than most people I speak to, when speaking to the business suit type of people. His skills cover almost anything from the Office System - old and new, Developer and OS (including Vista) and even has a good deal of search and online technology inside his head. Finally, he is a no BS type of guy. I would strongly recommend looking at his blog over at James Akrigg .:. Out of Office ttfn David
  • Want to know much more about SBS and the Remote Web Workplace - go look here

    I was browsing the Official SBS Blog when I came across this. If you do not understand what the settings for RWW are, how to use it or modify the features, go to the blog entry Inside the Remote Web Workplace - Part I and everything will be answered ;-) ttfn David
  • Remote Desktop issues and a hotfix - information from Susan B again

    You can tell I am in catch up mode on the blog today. Just saw the article If you do remote support of servers - I think you need to call for this hotfix on Susan's Blog and decided this is something we all need to include into our patching cycle this month, so go and request the hotfix. ttfn David
  • 2nd server need a CAL in SBS environment - not with R2

    This discussion came up yesterday internally and I thought I would share this as it has been discussed before In the Licensing FAQ: http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2003/sbs/evaluation/faq/licensing.mspx it states: Q. Do additional servers in my SBS 2003 R2 network require a CAL to connect to the domain? A. You do not need a CAL for additional servers to connect to the domain. ttfn David
  • Installing the Windows SBS 2003 R2 Premium Technologies

    This simple guide covers what you need to know to install the Premium Technologies. Installing SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition You can install SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition as your database for a business application. Additionally, you can upgrade the instance of Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (Windows) (MSDE) that is used by Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services if you want to be able to search document libraries in your company's internal Web site. For step-by-step instructions about how to install SQL Server 2005, download the file sqlinstallsteps.htm below. Installing ISA Server 2004 You can install ISA Server 2004 as the firewall for your local network. For step-by-step instructions about how to install ISA Server 2004 with Service Pack 1, download the file isainstallsteps.htm below. Installing FrontPage 2003 You can install FrontPage 2003 on one computer in your Windows SBS network and then use FrontPage to create or modify your Internet Web site. Note It is recommended that you do not install FrontPage on your computer that is running Windows SBS 2003 R2. You should install it on another computer in your network instead. Download details: Installing the Windows SBS 2003 R2 Premium Technologies ttfn David
  • Transition Pack for Windows SBS 2003 R2

    Very small and simple documentation on how to move from SBS 2003 R2 to Windows Server Standard 2003 R2, Exchange 2003 SP2 etc. These documents cover Standard and Premium editions. Download details: Transition Pack for Windows SBS 2003 R2 ttfn David
  • Want to play with Vista, but don't want to install it - Welcome to the Microsoft Virtual Lab for Windows Vista

    I have had a few people say they don't have the resources to load and explore Vista, but wanted to see more. Well now you can explore all the following subjects without leaving your desk or loading a DVD. The Vista lab covers the following areas: Microsoft Virtual Lab Express: Exploring New Functionality in Internet Explorer 7 Using System Image Manager to Automate Windows Vista Installations Windows Vista: Image Engineering Configuring Windows Firewall with Advanced Security Exploring New Group Policy Settings in Windows Vista Exploring User Account Control in Windows Vista Migrating User State from Windows XP to Windows Vista Managing Windows Vista and Windows Server Longhorn Network Bandwidth with Policy-based Quality of Service Managing Windows Vista Using New Management Technologies Source: Microsoft Virtual Lab: Windows Vista Enjoy them! ttfn David
  • CRM Webcast focusing on the customer's needs that CRM can help solve

    CRM: Focus on the Customer Tune in and learn how you can help increase sales success, deliver superior customer service, and make informed, agile business decisions with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Whether your organization is currently using Microsoft CRM or considering it, this Webcast series offers demos and interaction with CRM experts that you won’t want to miss. ttfn David
  • How patching should be done for all servers and clients - by Susan Bradley (super Jedi)

    I still fear Susan and what she would do if I ever made a serious security blunder. Luckily for me, I haven't yet. I also love the way she tells you the way it should be and makes it easy. I went through the process of evaluating my patches and then installing those I thought were needed (I do have some Office components on my test server, but I am hoping she will let me off for that). I was thinking on how to write this up when I say Susan's entry The risk evaluation of patching and saw she put it exactly how I would have done. What is my message - use her process and your customers will be as safe as can be expected. In fact, I applied the IMF patch immediately, which resulted in Exchange being offline for a few minutes, which when using Outlook 2003 or 2007 is no biggie at all. ttfn David
  • BitLocker is very secure, so how can you prepare for when you or your customer looses their key / password so their disk is not turned to mush?

    I have been asked this before - how can someone recover information if they forget their BitLocker password. One of the things that Bitlocker does now is offer a recovery mechanism. This is not something that can be done post a failure, but at the time a disk is encrypted. This is documented on the Bitlocker Team's blog at Open Sesame: BitLocker Recovery Passwords . ttfn David
  • If you are interested in the Full Disk Encryption(BitLocker&trade; Drive Encryption) feature in Vista - it has been made over

    This tool has been made over, simplified and is now far less confusing. While the full capability to re-partition the disk if required is not automated, the info at BitLocker™ Drive Encryption Team Blog : BitLocker Makeover also provides RC1 step by step instructions too. ttfn David
  • Is Windows SharePoint Services taking ages to display the gallery when you are trying to add a web part?

    This is a quick one to speed up WSS when using it, especially when doing demos. The service by default will try to connect to the web to get the online gallery - remove this and things speed up amazingly :-). For into on how to change this, have a look at Is it taking ages to display the gallery when you are trying to add a web part? ttfn David
  • Running SQL Server on Microsoft Windows Server Longhorn or Microsoft Windows Vista

    Most people do not run SQL on their Windows client PCs, with the exception of MSDE. Windows Vista will not support MSDE (aka SQL 2000), so applications dependant on SQL will need to be moved to SQL Express, which in simple terms is SQL 2005 MSDE on steroids. I have checked and Microsoft will be releasing updates to it's packages that are supported on Vista to move them to SQL Express. Obviously, if you are looking at Vista, check with other 3rd parties to ensure they are doing the same. More details can be found at Running SQL Server on "Microsoft Windows Server Longhorn" or Microsoft Windows Vista . ttfn David
  • Windows XP SP1 support is ending in October

    Support Ends for Windows XP Service Pack 1 http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=5159878 Effective October 10, 2006, support for Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) will end. After this date, Microsoft will no longer provide any incident support or security updates. To enhance the security of your computer and to continue receiving updates, we recommend upgrading to Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). To learn more about this upgrade and the free technical support provided to download and install the service pack, visit the Web site http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=5159908 . You know the answer, if your customers are not on XP SP2, time to move them up. ttfn David
  • Small Business Security Guidance (Windows Clients and Peer to Peer networks)

    These documents are slightly old, as in published in late July 2006, but very much worth a read and a potentially useful as a checklist for those customers without servers in their environment. Protecting Client Computers from Network Attacks.doc Securing Remote Clients and Portable Computers.doc Securing Windows XP Professional in a Peer-to-Peer Networking Environment.doc Link to Download details: Small Business Security Guidance ttfn David
  • Small Business Security Guidance (via Group Policy)

    These are a little old, as in published on 21st July 2006, but still great step by step guides on how to ensure that servers and clients connected to them are secure. They do not just look at SBS 2003, but also Windows 2000 & Windows Server 2003 server environments too. How to Configure Windows Firewall in a Small Business Environment using Group Policy.doc How to Configure Windows XP SP2 Network Protection Technologies in a Small Business Environment.doc Securing Internet Information Services 6.0.doc Link to Download details: Small Business Security Guidance ttfn David
  • Simple tool - online alarm clock - ever needed a really big alarm clock on your PC?

    Maybe it is just me, but I often want a huge clock on my PC when I am in a hotel, and I want there to be a wake up call. This web site gives me exactly what I want - http://onlineclock.net/ ttfn David
  • Fair and honest appraisal of the browser wars - Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Netscape and Firefox

    I am someone who likes the best browser for me. While I have often tried other browsers, I have always come back to IE based ones. I say IE based ones as I was a Avant and Maxthon user for a good 2 years until IE7 came on the scene. I loved tabbed browsing and those browsers gave me that. The discussion can be found at the CRN web site and does an amazing job of describing the browser wars and talking about who won each round. What might surprise many is that MS has not won many, but does have a large base now and the verdict is open for the next round. For the record, I now use IE7, I still get tabbed browsing and quick tabs and I have not yet had a site I could not browse, so that is great. I LOVE the new security features - protected mode and anti-phishing technology. I save trees with the "about time" feature of shrink to fit for printing and when I start the browser, it opens up the 8 pages I want it to in tabs, so no longer choosing which page will be my homepage, I have 8. (as it happens, they are Valdville , UKSMBGirl , this blog , Steve Clayton 's page, Live.com and some stats pages). If you have not yet got IE7 (as part of Vista or for Windows XP), download it now. ttfn David
  • Office 2007 beta 2 Tech Refresh 2 is available to download

    Hopefully you are aware of Office 2007, the soon to be released next version of Office. Microsoft previously had made this available to 2.5M people for download and then beyond that was on a cost recovery basis. Well, the refresh is out, with a huge number of improvements and available for download with the number expected to be much higher than the previous beta build. To go get this, go to http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview ttfn David
  • Vista could create 50,000 jobs in Europe

    Recently there has been discussion about Vista in Europe around security - some to-ing and fro-ing around if there will be a requirement to ship a version without security features. While all this stuff has been going on, there has also been some discussion around the impact of Vista on the European economy. Vista could create 50,000 jobs in Europe | Tech News on ZDNet European Launch of Windows Vista is on Track ttfn David
  • how up with technology (E-typed) is your neighbourhood (or Britain's digital tribes)

    I love the User Experience Trends Blog that covers all sorts of weird and wacky things, but saw this and just had to comment on it. UCL have mapped the country and put postcodes into technology usage. I didn't agree with mine, so added the feedback. Anyway, here is the item from the blog: Classifying by technology use Britain's digital tribes revealed . "Households in Britain can be classified into 23 "e-types" depending on their access to technology, say researchers. E-types include mobile explorers, the e-committed and rational utilitarians. [...] Every postcode in Britain has been assigned a classification which people can check online to see if they agree with the researcher's analysis. "What really emerges is that almost all of the types have some interaction with technology," said Professor Paul Longley, who led the study at UCL. "In a sense we are all digital now"" ttfn David
  • Want to understand the details about Windows Vista's changes to the network stack, IP6, diagnostics etc

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsvista/netw... will be your answer. ttfn David
  • Want to understand more about BitLocker (drive encryption) in Vista and how to set it up?

    Vista has loads of features, but for those small businesses who think that spending the small amount extra to get Software Assurance for the Enterprise version or Ultimate Edition to get the disk fully encrypted, so that even with physical access to the machine the disk is still unreadable, this is the info you need. I don't see all small businesses needing this, but for those that do, here is how to set it up and understand what it is doing. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=90c3a9c7-e324-404d-afad-e8f52885419d&DisplayLang=en ttfn David
  • Microsoft acquired Win Internals (SysInternals.com)

    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/jul06/07-18WinternalsPR.mspx This is a bit of old news, but I have not reported it. There has always been a set of amazing tools that were usable to diagnose inside Windows, they were sold from a company called WinInternals, who then produced a set of free tools on the web site http://www.sysinternals.com . These tools I normally use are below. I use them for those questions like "what file is failing to load", or "where is it looking in the registry" or "what process is using all the CPU". Filemon This monitoring tool lets you see all file system activity in real-time. MoveFile Schedule file rename and delete commands for the next reboot. This can be useful for cleaning stubborn or in-use malware files. PageDefrag Defragment your paging files and Registry hives! PendMove See what files are scheduled for delete or rename the next time the system boots. Autoruns See what programs are configured to startup automatically when your system boots and you login. Autoruns also shows you the full list of Registry and file locations where applications can configure auto-start settings. Process Explorer Find out what files, registry keys and other objects processes have open, which DLLs they have loaded, and more. This uniquely powerful utility will even show you who owns each process TCPView See all open TCP and UDP endpoints. On Windows NT, 2000 and XP TCPView even displays the name of the process that owns each endpoint. Includes a command-line version, tcpvcon. Regmon This monitoring tool lets you see all Registry activity in real-time. Winobj The ultimate Object Manager namespace viewer is here. Enjoy the tools and expect to see more as these become MS items. ttfn David
  • Do you need to edit XML files

    If you need to edit XML files, this is the tool for you: XML Notepad 2006 that is it, enjoy ttfn David
  • Save as PDF download for Office 2007 on the net for download

    This little feature was hotly debated as to whether any legal action would occur when Microsoft shipped it, but the download is now on the web. details on where to download are below, but lets talk about the use of this in a business context. While some people have said this is a nice feature why should anyone really care about it. Well, lets this of the uses of PDFs (I know we could discuss XPS, but most people know PDF, so PDF it is). Anyway, PDFs are often documents sent out in "final" form, such as an invoice, contract, purchase order, etc. Many smaller organisations want to send out these final documents, but the only option for them was to send a word document or excel spreadsheet. While these are as universal as PDF in terms of people being able to read them, they could also change them which is bad for those documents that you don't want people to change. Enter the Save as PDF feature - now you can send them documents which without some out of the ordinary methods, are now read-only. To get the download, according to the Downloads Newsletter: 2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS This download allows you to export and save to the PDF and XPS formats in eight 2007 Microsoft Office programs. It also allows you to send as e-mail attachment in the PDF and XPS formats in a subset of these programs. ttfn David
  • Do you use Business Critical Support - did you know you need to re-register each year now?

    This one was a bit of a surprise to me, but my Dad, who is an IT Consultant phoned me up to explain that when he range business critical support for a customer down situation he was told that his registration had lapsed. He then had to go through a process to re-register before his call could be processed - and this all took valuable time. I put this down to my Dad's unique way of finding problems with systems, however the very next day I got a mail from another partner who hit exactly the same thing, so think of this as a warning, go give yourself the ability to call MS Support without them charging you when your customers are "down". To get more information and registration information (it is not a long process honest), go to Register for free- Business Critical Telephone Support for registration and http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/tech_support/b... for information. Once you are set up, you MUST note your Support ID - this is the magic that will make it work when you need it. ttfn David
  • Do you want to help your customers use more of Office and value your advice more?

    This is a fab tool - for example, the page has: Inside Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Stop the Press -Microsoft Office Excel 2007 - making working with numbers easier than ever! Where minutes are kept and hours are wasted Well-planned and organised meetings can be very useful. However, not all meetings leave attendees feeling like their time has been well spent! Internet Explorer 7 RC1 Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) RC1 is now available with new features. Download it today! Making the most of Virtual Meetings with Live Meeting Transform the way you operate at work Get more done in meetings Edit Data quickly Instead of using the formula bar to edit the contents of a cell, you can edit directly in the cell by double clicking it. View archive Have a look for much, much more. ttfn David
  • Financing help from Microsoft for customer - partners can finance the whole deal, services, software and hardware - get the 1st 6 months for £50 per month followed by 36 monthly payments

    Buy now pay later '6/50' promotion from Microsoft Financing This attractive low-start offer will help drive adoption of new product releases, providing you with a simple, compelling way to sell IT solutions, including software, hardware and your own services. Customers pay just £50 each month for the first six months, and the loan balance is then paid in 36 monthly installments. Financing is available for the complete Microsoft solution, not just the Microsoft product elements. This is not always the most competitive rate a customer can get, but it is extremely useful especially when the rates the customer has been offered is not so good. ttfn David
  • Got SBS 2003 R2 and need to update it to the current version - look at this KB

    http://support.Microsoft.com/kb/923432/ SYMPTOMS The initial release media for Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 contains the wrong version of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2). This update installs the correct version of the affected Exchange Server 2003 SP2 files. Different versions for some of these files can be found in other folders on the server. For this update, only the installation folders in the following table apply. Note This update applies to you if the version level of any of the following files is 06.05.7638.1. This update does not apply to you if the version level of all the following files is 06.05.7638.2. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/924000/en-us This article describes the steps that you must take to upgrade the initial release media of Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 (Windows SBS 2003 R2) to include the final release version of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition ttfn David
  • Updated templates for Windows SharePoint Services V2 (WSS)

    Again, writing blog entries while on train, but from the Microsoft Download Notification mail I see the following: Windows SharePoint Services Applications Template: Project Team Management The Project Team Site application for Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services provides a central location for the project manager and team to collaborate during all phases of the project lifecycle from initiation to close-out. Windows SharePoint Services Applications Template: All Templates (English) This download contains all downloadable application templates in the English language for Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services. ttfn David
  • Two Windows Vista events next week in London and Reading

    11 September 2006, London: Windows Vista System Integrity Technologies Windows Vista will ship with several new system integrity technologies, including code integrity, secure start-up, service hardening, mandatory integrity control and Internet Explorer protected mode. In this session, Steve Lamb explores how these technologies work to thwart malware's attempts to take over your computer. 14 September 2006, Reading: What's New in Administering Vista? In this session, we will examine Group Policy functionality improvements that have been made with Windows Vista. We will describe the new and updated features and how these help to alleviate the problems that were present with previous versions of Windows. ttfn David
  • Utility to make web sites think that IE7 is IE6 for compatibility reasons

    I am working on the train on my way to the Nottingham Ignite Tour and while on the way say this in an old Microsoft Download Notification mail . Some websites check what make and version of web browser you are using before deciding what to send you in the way of HTML etc. This is all very good and often leads to a great user experience with the website, unless the website does not know how to deal with IE7 and then throws a bit of a wobbler. If you meet a website like this, then this utility is for you: User Agent String Utility Version 2 This utility opens an Internet Explorer 7.0 window that is configured to report its identity to Web sites as being Internet Explorer 6.0 for sites not yet configured to recognize version 7.0. ttfn David
  • What do the Stone Roses, Chris Parkes and the Demo Showcase have in common? Apparently small business solutions that come in fours!!

    Chris, who I previously mentioned the other day, has been up to his old tricks. Not only does he think that the Demo Showcase is an amazing tool for everyone to be able to show and tell how a computer solution can solve real business problems, but he has done an amazing job of describing exactly what is in the kit for the small business partner. The small business demos cover a wide range of technologies, but everything is built using 1 SBS Virtual PC and one XP client VPC. This means that showing things like mobile devices and how they work is much easier than just showing 1 person a PDA or mobile phone. It also enables you to show accounting solutions, CRM etc and each one comes with an amazing script that you can change to suit your needs and they are even tailored to who you are talking to, be it the owner manager or the sales people, etc! For more info, pictures and the ability to leave comments, pop along to The Demo Showcase & Small Business & The Stone Roses ttfn David
  • UK Partner Technical Specialists... Who are they, who were they?

    So I WAS a PTS and now there is a different team, but Susanne has blogged on it, so go read her blog on who they are now and learn what I used to do :-) I am obviously above being part of that elite group, but I am still here for the community. They do cover a wide range of technologies and solutions from Microsoft, so they are a great place to get information, visit blogs and see what is what. If the PTS do not cover the technology you want, then as a member of SBSC you get access to managed newsgroups (which means you get prompt answers from MS people and the community). Now, the photo on the left is a bit old, but we were having a nice time out on the town - so much so that we had a drink or two - and I studiously took the photo, so I am not in it. My head was so muddled that when they found Keira Knightley in the bar, they got her autograph on someone's hand and rather than going downstairs with a camera and taking a snap, I snapped the autographed hand !! ttfn David
  • Microsoft Small Business Specialists Community Managed Newsgroups

    This is so important I just had to blog on it. As a SBSC member you now have access to a superb support organisation to answer your questions. No longer do you have to rely on me being there for you (as I have not been for the last couple of weeks). To get there, go to Microsoft Small Business Specialists Community Managed Newsgroups and go through the sign-in process. You can ask questions on any Microsoft Technology and someone from the community or Microsoft will be able to help, and often in a very speedy way. Give it a try - you will be amazed and it might just save your bacon one night in front of a server. ttfn David
  • Microsoft sets Vista prices, expands testing | CNET News.com

    Just a quick one to say that MS has discussed Vista Pricing in the US at CNet . While I have no idea how this translates to the UK, this is how it came out. More information is formally announced on the Microsoft site : Full retail versions of Vista Upgrades from XP Windows Vista Ultimate, $399 Windows Vista Ultimate, $259 Windows Vista Business, $299 Windows Vista Business, $199 Windows Vista Home Premium, $239 Windows Vista Home Premium, $159 Windows Vista Home Basic, $199 Windows Vista Home Basic, $99 A quick search of a US site showed XP Home @ $199, upgrade @ $99, Pro @ $299, upgrade @ $199 ttfn David
  • What does the bCentral "Flexible Working Solutions from Microsoft" mean to you as a partner?

    I just opened up the latest newsletter from bCentral - if you don't get them, you should as hundred of thousands of people in the UK read the bCentral site and access this information. And if you were not sure, bCentral is the one stop shop from Microsoft for UK small businesses to find information on anything from finance to marketing (with a bit of technology in the middle). Anyway, while reading it, the top article was: Top tips to flexible working The benefits flexible working can bring to your business are significant. With the right technology, a flexible culture truly enhances the way you work because customers are better served and your employees are better looked after. For ten top tips to flexible working, download our free guide. Download the guide >> I thought, this looks interesting - the guide is a fantastic starter to explaining what the benefits of flexible working are for small businesses, so a simple read, and potentially mailing it to key prospects and customers would be top of my list for this month, especially since you now know that Microsoft will also be advertising around this topic. Also on this page, and this is a real tell, is a survey that you have to participate in to see the results, but the question is: What do 'flexible working' practices mean to you? More time to spend with family/friends I never miss important news from work Being at home for deliveries! The odd extra day off It's harder to get away from the office... Again, it is interesting to see what this means to people. For more, follow the link to the site, sign-up to the newsletter and enjoy the useful information. ttfn David Link to Flexible Working Solutions from Microsoft (bCentral site)
  • What is the Demo Showcase and how do you use it?

    I have a mate at work, Chris, who has always been a good and clever egg the whole time I have known him. He is also very passionate about partners getting the right level of support as well as liking Stoke City, but something's just have to be forgiven. One thing he has got a bee in his bonnet about this year is the Demo Showcase, which we will be using for all our demos going forward for a while. If you have been to an ignite tour, that was based on an early version of the Showcase DVD set. Chris has been a prolific blogger on the subject - this is a great tool for you to use, so look at: Whoever heard of the Demo Showcase for the People Ready Business? The Demo Showcase Line Up What Does the Demo Showcase Look Like (Physically)? What Does the Demo Showcase Look Like (in Reality?) The Demo Showcase Team Tactics ttfn David
  • Short chance to offer feedback on the Vista Security Guide

    The Vista Security Guide will be released to Beta on September 6 th exclusively through Microsoft Connect. It will be available to anyone who signs in at https://connect.microsoft.com/InvitationUse.aspx?ProgramID=820&InvitationID=VSG-P74P-BFTH&SiteID=14 . The Beta period will extend for just three weeks, during which we’ll be accepting and triaging bugs and comments. To support this Beta release, the development and program management teams will deliver a LiveMeeting on Wednesday September 6 th . Details are below. We want to welcome as many customers and partners into the Beta as possible to gather the most feedback and ensure that we ship a customer-driven solution. With that in mind, feel free to forward this information to anyone you think might benefit from attending the session. We’ll be describing the guide, how we developed it, the best way to use it, and one really cool new tool that can save lots of time in the test and deployment phases. We will also take questions at the end of the presentation, so this is a great opportunity for customers to directly interact with the security guide team. Livemeeting details: Topic: Windows Vista Security Guide Abstract: The Vista Security Guide in now in Beta! This session reviews the structure of the guide, discusses some of the old and new approaches for deploying security configuration, and demonstrates how the guide leverages some of the new security technologies built into Windows Vista. Date and Time : September 6, 2006, 8 am – 10 am PT To join this Live Meeting up to a half hour before the session starts, click here . ( https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/microsoft/join?id=5TNM3W&role=attend&pw=6379 ) Live Meeting FAQ Installing Live Meeting Install the Windows-based Meeting Console before your meeting: http://r.office.microsoft.com/r/rlidLiveMeeting?p1=7&p2=en_US&p3=LMInfo&p4=DownloadWindowsConsole
  • Understanding Workflow in WSS and Office 2007

    Many people have been asking about Windows SharePoint Services and Workflow and how this will work with SBS 2003. While I can not say how WSS v3 will be supported on SBS, the issue is likely to be one of the wizards and fax tools no working rather than the WSS v3 itself not working. One of the good features of WSS is the new workflow features that are available. From within the document it states: Many kinds of processes in many different kinds of organizations can benefit from automated support for human workflow. Examples include: Approval : A common aspect of human-oriented business processes is the need to get approval from multiple participants. What’s being approved can vary widely, ranging from a Word document containing next year’s marketing plan to an expense report from a trip to a conference. In every case, some number of people must review the information, perhaps appending comments, then indicate approval or rejection. Coordinating group efforts : Whether it’s preparing a response to an RFP, managing the translation of a document into one or more languages, or something else, many processes require people to work together in an organized way. By defining the steps of the process in an automated workflow, the group’s work can be made more efficient and the process itself more predictable. Issue tracking : Many business processes generate a list of outstanding issues. An automated workflow can be used to maintain that list, assign issues to the people capable of resolving them, and track the status of that resolution. Rather than me continuing to rattle on, it might be worth heading over to Chris's blog on Workflow and WSS to find out more. Over the next couple of weeks I will get WSS up and running on SBS and find out what works and breaks. ttfn David
  • Personality test based on Jung - Myers-Briggs typology

    Someone recently asked me my Myers-Briggs personality type and while I had taken this test a long time ago, I could not remember my type. I went to the Personality test based on Jung - Myers-Briggs typology and answered the 40 questions. It came back with the following information - always an interesting read. Purely for fun. Your Type is ENTP Extroverted Intuitive Thinking Perceiving Strength of the preferences % 22 12 38 22 ENTP type description by D.Keirsey ENTP type description by J. Butt and M.M. Heiss Qualitative analysis of your type formula You are: slightly expressed extrovert slightly expressed intuitive personality moderately expressed thinking personality slightly expressed perceiving personality ttfn David
  • Finger improving - stitches removed

    I am not one who likes to dwell on things, but the doctors have said I can drive and this is in part to the progress of my finger. I am off the big pain killers too, so the mind is less numbed, although I do now feel like I want my drugs back - they made the world a more smiley place. To see how I did this, go to here . For those who like the gross things in life, once again, some links to the gory detail: Finger from above before the stitches were removed Finger from side before the stitches were removed Finger from above after the stitches were removed ttfn David
  • More Vista Gadgets

    I just popped along to http://gallery.microsoft.com/Results.aspx?vista=la... and saw that there was a number of Vista gadgets, 24 in total. For an RSS feed of the last 10, go to http://gallery.microsoft.com/rss.aspx?r=1&q=&l=1&s... ttfn David
  • Windows Vista Team Blog : It's Official: Windows Vista RC1 Is Complete

    Again, fingers still missing on left hand, so just a quick one to say that RC1 has started the shift out the door. Expect to see if on the official sites over the coming hours and days. Lots of new features, the platform to build and certify applications against and start the serious hardware testing for too. ttfn David Link to Windows Vista Team Blog : It's Official: Windows Vista RC1 Is Complete
  • Running Vista RC1 on SBS 2003

    This is just a very quick note to say that good old Sean has published a nice document on how to get SBS 2003 and the tools working with Vista RC1. For more info: SeanDaniel.com on SBS 2003 & other Tech-stuff: Looking to run Vista RC1 on SBS 2003? ttfn David

(c)David Overton 2006-13