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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October 2006 - David Overton's Blog

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  • Back from holiday and ploughing through mail

    Howdy folks, I am well and truly back at my desk, but I received a little over 2,000 mails while I was away, so I am closing them down before I do lots of blog posts. Will be soon. thanks David
  • IE7 shipped - I am sure you all know, but just in case

    The time has come, IE7 has shipped out the door, is available from http://www.microsoft.com/ie and will start coming down via Auto Updates on Windows PCs in a couple of weeks. ttfn David
  • On holiday

    I almost forgot to say, but I will be on holiday for a week, so the blog will be very quiet. I have just popped into an internet cafe and have 8 minutes to go before I get kicked off, so don't expect more from me just now. ttfn David
  • Steve Job's Bloopers

    This happens to everyone - I've certainly had my demos die - especially at SMBNation in Amsterdam, so ho hum. However, so many people enjoy seeing others in pain, I thought I would share :-) http://soapbox.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=ac651701-cd09-4021-9008-bbc5950107f1 ttfn David
  • Office 12 / 2007 - if you do have any Beta hints, tips or stories about how it is changing the way you do things...

    From the Office Pioneers blog ... Reaching the Pioneers Forgot to let you know, if you do have any Beta hints, tips or stories about how it is changing the way you do things, please drop an email to atworkuk@microsoft.com to reach Gill and me :-) Source: Office Pioneer : Reaching the Pioneers
  • Windows Vista demos

    I saw these on the Windows Help site and thought I would post them - these are all short videos to introduce items in Vista Getting started Demo: Desktop basics Demo: Learning to use the mouse Demo: Understanding the parts of your computer Programs, files, and folders Demo: Working with programs Demo: Working with files and folders Demo: Printing Internet and e-mail Demo: Using the web Demo: Using Windows Mail Security and maintenance Demo: Security basics Demo: Understanding user accounts Help and support Demo: Diagnosing problems and getting help Source: Windows Vista demos
  • Daily Telegraph - Story of how SBS and a retail system has greatly enhanced an amazing Manchester Arts and Crafts shop

    I have been to visit Fred Aldous in Manchester - the range of arts and crafts items was baffling to me, a non-artist, however with their help I was able to find the perfect things for my wife. The reason I was there though, was not to buy some paint, but to meet with the current family owners. They are an amazing showcase of what technology can do without damaging the fabric of what makes a family run business great. I have spoken about them before and yesterday someone asked me to provide the references, but the great success has been written up in the Daily Telegraph in the UK, so it is not something I can send out. A quick search of the Telegraph site has produced two stories on Fred's transformation - one as it was happening and one six months later. I strongly suggest a read to learn more! Victorian ledgers give way to age of Epos (Filed: 12/09/2005) A city craft shop founded in 1880 is going for the latest retail software to provide 21st century service, says Selina Mills Source: Telegraph | Money | Victorian ledgers give way to age of Epos and A crafty solution to a notable problem (Filed: 17/10/2006) A leap of faith with an electronic retail system has lightened Rob Aldous's paper load, he tells Selina Mills This time last year, Fred Aldous, the Manchester- based craft shop, had one ancient computer in a corner of an office that nobody used. Regarded as one of the most knowledgeable businesses in the trade, it relied on an ad hoc Post-it note system for ordering, stocktaking and reminders. Notes were everywhere, with urgent messages such as "order more" and "check with Rob" scribbled in a rush. Source: Telegraph | Money | A crafty solution to a notable problem
  • IE7 Installation and Anti-Malware Applications - why you should turn them off for the install!!

    I saw this and because IE is coming soon, thought you might like to read this! IE7 Installation and Anti-Malware Applications A few people have asked why we recommend temporarily disabling anti-virus or anti-spyware applications (which I’ll refer to together as anti-malware) prior to installing IE7, so here’s a little insight to the situation. Along with copying IE7 files to your system, IE7’s setup writes a large number of registry keys. A common way anti-malware applications protect your computer is by preventing writes to certain registry keys used by IE. Any registry key write that fails during setup will cause setup to fail and rollback changes. We work around the problem in most instances by checking permissions at the beginning of setup, but many anti-malware programs monitor the key rather than change permissions. Therefore, setup thinks it has access when it starts, but then fails when it later attempts to write the key. The majority of users likely haven’t seen any such problems even with anti-malware enabled because we work with third-party vendors to identify IE7 setup as ‘safe’ based on something like digital signatures or file hashes. While this could lead us to remove the recommendation to disable anti-malware apps, we’ve decided to leave it in setup because a number of factors may still cause some customers to have this problem. Specifically: With all the anti-malware apps available, we don’t want to assume all of them work just because we haven’t heard of a problem yet. Even anti-malware apps we’ve tested sometimes require the latest definition updates. If a user doesn’t have the latest definitions, he or she may still hit a problem even though we consider the issue resolved. Failed installation is an awful user experience so we take every step to reduce the chances of setup failing. I hope this helps answer some of your questions. John Hrvatin Program Manager Source: IEBlog : IE7 Installation and Anti-Malware Applications
  • Windows Live OneCare safety scanner: Free online tool for PC health and safety

    This has been around for a while, but it is no longet in beta - scan a PC to see how it is doing! Get a free PC safety scan Windows Live OneCare safety scanner is a free service designed to help ensure the health of your PC. Check for and remove viruses Get rid of junk on your hard disk Improve your PC's performance Fix specific PC issues Use the full service scan to check everything. To help fix particular problems on your PC, turn to the individual scanners below. Protection Clean up Tune up Source: Windows Live OneCare safety scanner: Free online tool for PC health and safety
  • Virtual PC Guy's WebLog : Virtual PC 2007 Beta now available!

    FYI - I use this for all my testing, including my WSS v3 on SBS 2003!! Virtual PC 2007 Beta now available! Good news - the Virtual PC 2007 Beta is now available. You can sign up for it here: https://connect.microsoft.com/programdetails.aspx?ProgramDetailsID=874 . Major changes include: Support for hardware virtualization (Intel and AMD) Support for Windows Vista as a host operating system Support for Windows Vista as a guest operating system Note: No support for Aero Glass though - just Aero Basic Support for 64-bit host operating systems Note: Virtual machines are 32-bit only Improved performance There are also a plethora of bug fixes. Some notable ones include: Lots of work to allow Virtual PC to play better with laptop power management Fix for IntelPPM issue ( http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2005/10/24/484461.aspx ) Virtual PC now supports greater than 2.2GB ISO images Source: Virtual PC Guy's WebLog : Virtual PC 2007 Beta now available!
  • iQubed on Vista vs Linux - and not from Microsoft, but a partner who has sold both Microsoft and Linux Solutions

    I like Vijay - he never lets me get away with cutting corners and has an honest perspective on many things. His personal review of what Exchange, Vista and Office will bring to the world is refreshing because he can say he has been there!! Vista vs Linux October 13, 2006 on 6:51 pm | In Linux , Vista | As Vista nears the business launch date of November 2006 the articles doing a comparison are appearing thick and fast. Firstly, let me say I’m an advocate of Open Source and what it has brought to the world. It’s given us some great solutions and powers the heart of the internet as we know it and companies like Google have built their business on it. That’s not a bad achievement! However, Microsoft has a formidable offering to both consumers and businesses alike. This offering is only getting stronger through EVO (Exchange Server 2007, Vista and Office 2007) and issues such as the WGA debacle and delays in Vista aren’t going to make the impact of these new technologies any less dramatic. Source: iQubed Blog » Vista vs Linux
  • Partner Perspectives : Microsoft Financing - commit £1 only!

    Microsoft Financing - commit £1 only! I recently met Nohra Currie who works in the Microsoft Financing team. The service launched just over a year ago and it's proving highly popular with customers. I asked Nohra to explain what it is and how partners can get involved... You're fairly new to Microsoft - what's your initial impression? I have been here for 4 months now! My impressions? Great people, great partners, great customers but how complicated is this organisation! I know why you ask now, it's because you will only get a glowing response during the 'honeymoon period' ask me again in 7 years. What do you add to Microsoft Financing? (i.e. what's your role) I am the Programme Manager for Microsoft Financing, my role is to ensure that we help customers to buy the IT solution they need. Microsoft Financing provides Financing for software, hardware and Partner services. We work together with partners to offer the solutions. Source: Partner Perspectives : Microsoft Financing - commit £1 only!
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  • Small Business News : Small firms 'overlooking' networking benefits

    From bCentral : Small firms 'overlooking' networking benefits Thu, 12 Oct 2006 16:21:12 GMT Many of Britain's small businesses could be losing out to competitors because they are not making enough of networking opportunities. Many of Britain's small businesses could be losing out to competitors because they are not making enough of networking opportunities. The latest research report from Lloyds TSB Business and the SERTeam at the Open University found that two fifths of small firms do not believe that networking can boost their businesses' chance of growth and success. It also shows that one in ten small firms say they do not devote any time to networking, while 42 per cent admit they only get involved a few times a year. Lloyds TSB believes that those businesses that do become adept at networking are likely to gain significant benefits. It reveals how almost three quarters of firms have won new customers over the past year as a direct result of marketing, while two fifths have found new suppliers. more at Small Business News : Small firms 'overlooking' networking benefits
  • Are you a techie who needs to learn more about Sales and Marketing and are willing to commute to Manchester for 1 day...

    We are always being asked to help our partners more and one area is on sales and marketing assistance. If you know how to do sales and marketing, this is not for you. If you don't think you need to know about sales and marketing 'cos it doesn't apply to you, then you probably need to attend the course. Don't believe me, go read Susanne's blog Getting the message out there and then tell me this is not the type of thing you need. OK, so the sales pitch is over, what is on offer? Click this link to get the booking details for a 1 day course on sales and marketing on 8th November. The course is called "Accelerating Sales and Profitability in the Small Business Channel" ttfn David
  • Launch 2007 e-Learning Courses - free for a limited time

    I was browsing Robert McLaws blog entry on Launch 2007 e-Learning Courses and notices a HUGE stack of training courses - well worth checking out. The ones I think you might want to focus on are below - more on the blog. The WSS ones are key for anyone looking at Live people!! ttfn David New 2007 Microsoft Office System - Home & Office Users Free for 90 Days! Course 4622: What's New in Microsoft® Office Access 2007 Summary: This online course introduces the new features and functionality in the latest version of Microsoft Office Access. There have been substantial changes to the user interface in this database application, and this course can help you get up-to-speed quickly. Course 4623: What's New in Microsoft® Office Excel® 2007 Summary: This online course introduces the new features and functionality in the latest version of Microsoft Office Excel. There have been substantial changes to the user interface in this spreadsheet application, and this course can help you get up-to-speed quickly. Course 4624: What's New in Microsoft® Office InfoPath® 2007 Summary: This online course introduces the new features and functionality in the latest version of Microsoft Office InfoPath. Designing and publishing Web-based forms has been made even easier in the latest release of this application, and this course can help you get up-to-speed quickly. Course 4625: What's New in Microsoft® Office OneNote® 2007 Summary: This online course introduces the new features and functionality in the latest version of Microsoft Office OneNote. All of your text-, voice-, and TabletPC-based notes can be saved in one easy to manage application and shared with others, creating a collaborative work environment. Course 4626: What's New in Microsoft® Office Outlook® 2007 Summary: This online course introduces the new features and functionality in the latest version of Microsoft Office Outlook. In addition to managing e-mail, schedules, and contacts, the latest version of Office Outlook provides enhanced task-management capabilities. Course 4627...
  • Do you remember that little "poster" that came with SBS 2003 - do you want to make it better? We want your feedback on the SBS Quick Start Poster

    I saw this over on the SBS Documentation blog - please give generously to make it better in the future!! Using the SBS Quick Start Poster We've entered the planning phase for the next batch of Windows SBS product releases, and we're interested in hearing from those of you who have unfolded and presumably used the "Quick Start" poster that came in the box with the SBS discs. Most importantly, do you find the poster useful? Does it contain information that is helpful to you? Do you use the worksheets in the poster to help collect information about your Internet connection? Where is the poster now? Back in the box? Hanging on the wall? (It does add a big splash of color to a cubicle or drab IT office.) We want to know what you think! Submit your comment or send us your feedback in e-mail . Either way, we want to hear from you! Source: Windows Small Business Server Documentation : Using the SBS Quick Start Poster
  • E-Bitz - SBS MVP the Official Blog of the SBS "Diva" : Now remind me again why it's a bad thing to exclude other vendors from the Kernel?

    There was me ranting on security yesterday and then I spot this post by Susan that says it all Link to E-Bitz - SBS MVP the Official Blog of the SBS "Diva" : Now remind me again why it's a bad thing to exclude other vendors from the Kernel? enjoy David
  • Partner Perspectives - UK magazine for partners - and I'm in it :-)

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006 9:18 AM by UK Partner Online Landing this week The new partner magazine is out this week and it's fab. It's the second edition of the new look magazine that editor Nicola Meek is on point for delivering. It landed on my desk yesterday and I had a read last night over dinner. It really is an interesting read and I got through it in 20-30 mins. There's interesting insights into Microsoft as well as views from partners and industry trends. It blends sales. marketing and technical issues into a compelling read. This issue is all about technology change - very apt given the imminent launch of EVO (Exchange, Vista and Office). I love the front cover - not something you'd expect from an IT company! A problem we have with distribution of the magazine is getting it into your hands. Make sure you've profiled yourself at the Subscription Centre so that you receive it - tell your colleagues so they can get it to. Go to http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/partnering/subscription/ and profile yourself - it takes 2 mins and it's well worth it. Source: Partner Perspectives : Landing this week
  • The UsefulTechnology Blog : The Joys of International Working

    The video on this blog is just amazing - this can be what it is like here, but a bit of planning and you can easily delay things to get time.. of course that delay might hit a product ;-) Link to The UsefulTechnology Blog : The Joys of International Working
  • Windows Vista Software Compatibility List - not from Microsoft

    I saw a link to this on the Windows Vista Magazine site , so here is the link to a great list of what did and did not work with Vista RC1 - I am sure this will get updated for RC2 and RTM. Windows Vista Software Compatibility List From IeXwiki Windows Vista RC 1 Software Compatibility List
  • Small Business News : SME leasing identified as means to growth

    Just saw this on the bCentral news site - always useful to know!! Of course, this can include IT solutions and of course, the MS Finance offers found at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/sales_and_marketing/promotions/default.aspx?page=product can be used to cover the whole solution, so your fees, SBS server and desktops with Office... ;-) SME leasing identified as means to growth Thu, 05 Oct 2006 12:05:05 GMT Leasing has been identified as a cost effective option for smaller businesses, according to the Forum of Private Business (FPB). Leasing has been identified as a cost effective option for smaller businesses, according to the Forum of Private Business (FPB). Source: Small Business News : SME leasing identified as means to growth
  • The Chronicles of Scargill: Office BETA

    Pete Scargill is the IT chair of the Federation of Small Business , and someone who can be fun to read his blog and knock about with - which I need to arrange again anyway. It was nice to see his appreciation for Office is finally public :-) Office BETA Have you tried the Office 2007 beta yet? Well, they've just brought out a "technical refresh" - why these people can't use simple terms like "update" I'll never know, however, for those of you who like to experiment, I have to say before I downloaded Office 2007 I was the first to be critical. "They've changed the interface, that'll never sell2 - well, I got that wrong, it's MARVELOUS. Anyone who thinks that the likes of Open Office can even hold a candle to this need to download the beta and have a tinker with it. I said when Office 2003 came out that it seemed like Microsoft had finally gotten their act together and I still stand by that - but the new stuff is even better! Source: The Chronicles of Scargill: Office BETA
  • Vista and security - are Microsoft doing the right thing?

    This is something I have thought long and hard about and as such I have to caveat things by saying this is my opinion and that I am no more informed than any other member of the public or IT community. Having said that, I have done my time as a Windows Developer and even once worked on emulation systems such as Wine. These protections will be coming to all OSs - so Vista, Longhorn, SBS - all of them! I really think this is some of the worst mud slinging I have seen in a long time and much is wrong! So what have I seen in the Press. McAfee and Symantec have complained that they want the ability to ignore the APIs in Vista and bash at the Kernel directly for security services. However, Kernel code has to be signed for the integrity of the system. Microsoft will not stick to the rules above and will gain advantage by using unknown APIs That the security prompts and center can not be turned off That Microsoft is right to make these changes and want to increase the integrity of the system As someone who once worked on a large secure project I recognise the types of controls Microsoft wants/has to put in place on the Kernel - something that has been around since Windows XP 64-bit addition based on Server SP1 (yes it was). When you have a look at all the nasties out there, some (rootkits often) place drivers on the system to do the "hiding" from you. A driver sits in the kernel and can see and change almost anything that goes on in there - if you are compromised in the Kernel, they you are hosed!! You will never know it and your tools will tell you everything is fine. If you allow some people to not obey these rules, then the dishonest ones will not be hindered by it. Yes it can be disabled, but why would you as a user want to turn it off? I even saw someone say that the Kernel is where the holes are, so it is important that rather than fixing the issues, MS was better off leaving it to others. Well, why not have Ms produce a better kernel and then most users would be happy. Second, long, long before I worked for Microsoft...
  • KB for SBS and your customers - MS06-055: Vulnerability in Vector Markup Language could allow remote code execution

    I almost feel that I don't need to publish this, but even though the next round of patches is just a day away, you need to think about this one too. MS06-055: Vulnerability in Vector Markup Language could allow remote code execution View products that this article applies to. Article ID: 925486 Microsoft has released security bulletin MS06-055. The security bulletin contains all the relevant information about the security update. This information includes file manifest information and deployment options. To view the complete security bulletin, visit one of the following Microsoft Web sites: IT professionals: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms06-055.mspx Source: MS06-055: Vulnerability in Vector Markup Language could allow remote code execution ttfn David
  • Office Rocker! : the launch is not canceled

    Darren Strange wanted to make sure everyone knew that the Office launch is on schedule, so he wrote a blog entry called " the launch is not cancelled " and says: My days now seem to consist of queues of wild people, frothing at the mouth running at me like some sort of marketing shaun of the dead scene screaming "cancel the launch!". People, hear me, take a chill pill, we are launching and we are on track. :-) Things will go wrong when you run a launch. Customer projects deploying the beta are fraught with politics and yes sometimes bugs, shock horror, can crop up when you least need it. But we will launch. We will get our events together, we will sort out who attends, we will get that PO sorted, that content will get written, that speaker briefed, that customer PR form signed, that video will get recorded and edited and how can I be so sure??? ttfn David
  • Vlad Mazek - explains why Work Life Balance is so important

    I came across this on Vlad's blog - I think Vlad finally has a handle on Work Life Balance - have a look at his blog to see the picture and realise what he is saying when getting ready to walk down the Aisle and someone wants him to do just one more thing ;-) Congrats to Vlad as he is now a married man!! Dear Vlad, I am really running on a tight deadline here and as much as I can appreciate that you’re out of town I REALLY need an ETA on <SBS Show, Shockey Monkey, Vladfire>… I am running out of time. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here is your ETA. Provided in 4MP resolution just in case you can’t see my ETA guarantee: Source: Vlad Mazek - Vladville Blog » Blog Archive » Can I have an ETA?
  • IE is Coming This Month...Are you Ready?

    From the IE Blog is the following - we have all heard that IE7 is coming, but that day is almost upon us, so time to get ready. I finally installed IE7 for my wife yesterday - for the 1st time in a long time she actually said "Oh, that is useful" when talking about technology - a win for everyone! IE7 Is Coming This Month...Are you Ready? The final release of IE7 is fast approaching … and I mean really fast … and will be delivered to customers via Automatic Updates a few weeks after it’s available for download. We want to ensure that you are ready and the information below will help get you there. Compatibility with sites, extensions and applications has been a very high priority for us as we develop new features, enhance the existing features and move the platform forward to be more secure and standards compliant. We are continually listening to feedback from our customers, partners and leaders in the industry to resolve major compatibility issues to ensure our common customers have a great experience with IE7. As we make key improvements in areas such as layout and security, some changes need to be made by site owners to work smoothly with IE7. We have produced detailed documentation, tools and other resources to assist site, extension and application owners in their testing and development efforts to ensure they are compatible with IE7. We have also proactively worked with hundreds of companies to resolve issues that were reported through our beta testing to ensure those issues were resolved before IE7 is released. These efforts have been ongoing since last year and have been extremely successful but we can’t ensure 100% compatibility without your help. We need you to test and ensure your sites, extensions, and applications are ready for IE7. We strongly encourage you to do the following ASAP: Download, install and test your products with IE7 RC 1 –This is the fastest and best way to test for compatibility issues. Download the IE7 Readiness Toolkit - This toolkit pulls...
  • Windows Vista RC2 can be downloaded now

    Thank you for your interest in Windows Vista. This page includes information to help you download Windows Vista RC2, a new test build. This build (5744) has a number of improvements and updates from previous builds, and has been through daily testing processes to refine quality and performance. 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 as RC1, and you may not be able to upgrade from this build to the final version of Windows Vista Source: Windows Vista RC2
  • Is Windows still relevant? - Perspectives - CNET News.com

    CNET News.com's Charles Cooper says recent upset over Vista should put a rest to that lingering question . By Charles Cooper In the increasingly Google-YouTube-Web 2.0 age we inhabit, it's become fashionable to dismiss Windows as a relic. I always love these sorts or articles - before I even opened it up I knew what the answer was "no way is Windows Vista irrelevant". It is obvious to me. Sooo many partners, customers, ISVs all have their businesses wrapped up in Windows, even those who are opposing some of the changes. If Windows were not here, how would all those tools vendors sell their products for clients, if the clients were just web terms. How would people work on the move when disconnected (or in the UK - on a train)? So, of course Vista is relevant - people may have views as to how it applies to them, but that is true of anything. What is true is that it offers a great set of features that enhances both business and personal users. Of course, if you have a view, feel free to comment on the blog. ttfn David
  • First public exposure of Office Live v1.5

    http://officelive.microsoft.com/Misc/Links.aspx?linkId=preview If you are interested in solutions for the smaller small business, look at this. ttfn David
  • Having problems with Office 2007 Beta 2 Tech Refresh - tell people here

    I have been asked by a few people how to share feedback with the Office team around problems they are having with the latest Office Beta. The answer is to post an entry onto the community site http://www.microsoft.com/office/community/en-us/default.mspx and then follow up on there to resolve it, or have it rolled up for Microsoft to look at. That is it, simple ;-) ttfn David
  • E-Bitz - SBS MVP the Official Blog of the SBS &quot;Diva&quot; : Upgrading to SQL 2005 workgroup from SQL 2000

    Upgrading to SQL 2005 workgroup from SQL 2000 When upgrading from SQL 2000 to SQL 2005 workgroup there's a couple of things you should read up ahead of time... the first being the "official" upgrade guide . the second is the "Susan" version of the document that just covers the needed steps for upgrading SQL 2000 to SQL 2005. For more information, go to E-Bitz - SBS MVP the Official Blog of the SBS "Diva" : Upgrading to SQL 2005 workgroup from SQL 2000

(c)David Overton 2006-13