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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January 2007 - David Overton's Blog

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  • Vista Versions Joke

    This is a little dig at the versions of Vista available (luckily they missed out Mandated Euro "N" versions). This comes from John on the UKSBSG Yahoo Groups. Of course, at the end, once the 30th Jan is up, then it would be Windows Vista Ultimate Edition ;-) ttfn David
  • Microsoft software for Charities in the UK

    OK, so once upon a time I used to give out software for charities, but those days are gone. However, there is a fantastic deal available for charities via the Charity Exchange. The software is donated by Microsoft (and others) and then an administration charge is added. There are various criteria to be met to use the Charity Technology Exchange, but the overall pricing is VERY good for charities - and of course, if the software is discounted as this is the right thing to do, perhaps so should the services too ;-) Anyway, the site can he found at http://www.ctxchange.org/ctx/browse_products/microsoft/default.asp and the prices include software assurance, so the Office 2003 and Windows XP prices entitle the charity to Office 2007 and Windows Vista Enterprise (as it is a Volume License). An example would be a 50 seat SBS Premium solution with Windows XP and Office 2003 (both upgradable - also note that a previous Windows OS is required on the PC to load the Windows OS - it is an upgrade, not a version that can be installed on a bare hard disk) SBS - £37 5 CAL Pack x 9 - £11 x 9 = £101 Windows XP Upgrades x 50 - £4 x 50 = £200 Office 2003 Pro x 50 - £11 x 50 = £550 Grand Total = £888 - +VAT - including Software Assurance While I don't have UK prices, SBS would be $1,500, the CAL packs would be 9 x $495, Office is around $450 I think - so this marks a HUGE saving. These were the prices yesterday. Now, tell me why every Charity can't upgrade? ttfn David
  • How to do a clean install using the Action Pack Windows Vista Media

    [Please also read the Action Pack FAQ on this blog at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/02/13/windows-vista-windows-xp-office-2003-and-office-2007-action-pack-update-my-faq.aspx ] This has been discussed lots on the aliases and in the comments on this blog, so here is what I did to do a clean install. In Summary, the process was: Boot Windows XP on the machine Log in (I used an Administrator Account) Insert Vista DVD Start the Install Type in Product Key Select Advanced install Select the disk and clean install Wait for Install to complete (I am not going to talk you through entering your name etc) Log into Vista Run the "Free up Disk Space" tool from the control panel to remove the Windows.old programs If you are worried about clean installs in the future, use the backup tool to do a hard disk image backup now In pictures, it looks like this: Just to clarify a few things - yes, before you blow away your old OS, don't - you can move it to one side and then migrate any documents and then remove the old install using a tool designed to do just this. Things that will lead to misery are: Trying to do the install by Booting from the DVD Doing an install without entering the product key (yes, you can do this) as when it comes to activate, it will fail as the product key required a Windows XP OS to install from Trying to work around the WGA checks Formatting the Old Windows Off the machine before doing the upgrade If you need to build a short term VPC for test of Demo use then simply do not enter a product key and you get a version you can use for a short time without issue. If you need a longer term demonstration system then order the Demonstration Toolkit at windows vista demo readiness toolkit - last time I checked it was still showing a RC build, but expect this to change very soon. ttfn David
  • Use and learn about Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007 in Virtual Labs

    Windows Vista: Virtual Lab Express In this 30-minute Virtual Lab Express, you will configure new security features in Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Vista. You can also watch our live and on-demand Windows Vista TechNet webcasts . 2007 Microsoft Office System: Virtual Lab Express Get a quick, hands-on overview of the 2007 Office system. In just 30 minutes, familiarise yourself with the new Ribbon bar, use the mini-toolbar and see how you can take advantage of Live Preview and the Gallery in the Office 2007 user interface. Also, watch our live and on-demand Office 2007 system webcasts for IT professionals and download Office system podcasts . Exchange Server 2007: Virtual Lab Express Get a quick, hands-on overview of Exchange Server 2007. In just 30 minutes, familiarise yourself with the Exchange Management Console and Outlook Web Access, and work with compliance and records management rules. Also, watch our live and on-demand Exchange Server webcasts and download Exchange Server podcasts . Technorati tags: vista , office 2007 , Action Pack , microsoft , small business , virtual pc , virtual server , virtualisation
  • Clearing up some things about Vista, Office 2007 and the Action Pack

    [updated - see the FAQ at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/02/12/windows-vista-windows-xp-office-2003-and-office-2007-action-pack-update-my-faq.aspx for more information on the benefits of the Action Pack and in answer to the questions raised in the comments] Hi, there has been a lot of traffic about Vista and the Action Pack, so lets cover some of those off: The DVDs for Vista are for upgrading to Vista from exisitng Windows operating system - however this does not mean that you can not do a clean install - it means that an existing OS MUST exist on the hard disk prior to the install and that the install is started from this OS Updated following 1st comment - You can do a clean install, however a previous OS must exist on the machine and the install is started from this OS. The install process will move all the old directories to windows.old and can be Vista or XP. The clean install will still take a short amount of time. It does mean that there is no need to format the hard disk - it will be a pure clean install. This is NOT a change of policy - Microsoft provided OEM disks for testing, not to enable you to not buy the Windows OS - this is the same for Certified Partners and every type of MS Customer and partner - if you previously thought you did not have to buy the OS, then this was a mis-communication from Microsoft in my opinion The changes to checking for an existing OS is not an Action Pack change, but a Windows Vista change You have licenses for 10 OS -whether they are Windows XP (assuming you subscribed to the Action Pack when we shipped Windows XP) or Windows Vista You can run your internal business using the software provided with the Action Pack - you can not use it at home or at a customer, however you can perform testing with it - the details are on the web sites below. You get 1 product key for Office 2007 which can be used to install on the 10 PCs Having said all this, I have sought formal, legal confirmation around the following areas: How long your right to use Windows XP lasts -...
  • SQL 2005 Events in UK from Technet team and others

    SQL Server 24 April 2007, Manchester: Introduction to SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services At this event we'll look at SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence and the components and features that make up the Reporting Services platform. At the end of the session you should be able to create and publish reports to enhance your organisation's business knowledge. 31 May 2007, Reading: Advanced SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services Find out about the advanced techniques for building reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services and the Microsoft Visual Studio-based Report Designer. Other topics at this event include using the built-in expression language, report parameterisation and supporting multiple data sources. Receive a walk-through of sample reports and discover tips and tricks for using the Report Definition Language (RDL).
  • So you don't get Exchange 2007 in the Action Pack, but want to evaluate it

    Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Now Available for Evaluation Make your evaluation period as efficient as possible: Downloading the software automatically registers you to receive relevant resources for the discovery, assessment and deployment stages. You'll receive links to webcasts, e-learning, virtual labs and more.
  • Upgrade Toolkit for Windows SharePoint Services Sites and Templates

    BIG REMINDER - DO NOT DO THIS TO COMPANYWEB ON SBS Upgrade Toolkit for Windows SharePoint Services Sites and Templates Find guidance and tools to successfully upgrade your Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 custom sites and templates. The result: A set of custom sites and templates that will operate in a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 environment. This toolkit also includes a set of upgraded Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 application templates.
  • Vista Events in UK from Technet team and others

    Windows 14 - 15 March 2007, Reading: TechNet Brings You a Two-Day Seminar in Association with John Craddock Hear real world experience from leading technical experts with a flair for presenting deep technical content in an engaging and informative style. John Craddock and Sally Storey are IT systems specialists who have designed and implemented computing systems, from embedded high-speed industrial controllers to distributed IT solutions. (This is a chargeable event, for which there is a registration fee of £360 +VAT) Windows Vista 31 January 2007, London: Windows Vista System Integrity Technologies Historically, operating systems have lived in their own little bubbles of trust. Every part of an operating system assumed that every other part was exactly what it claimed to be and performed only what it claimed it could do. Recent attacks, though, have shown that such implicit trust is no longer suitable for computers that connect to hostile environments. In this session, Steve Lamb introduces the security features in Windows Vista and shows how they help to prevent these environments taking over your computer. 29 May 2007, Manchester: Windows Vista System Integrity Technologies Windows Vista features 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 explains how these technologies work.
  • Office 2007 and Office System events from Technet team and others

    Exchange 16 May 2007, Reading: Overview of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 At this session we will discuss how Exchange gives administrators more control, provides 'anywhere access' to your inbox, and in-built security and protection mechanisms. We'll also cover the new Exchange Management Console, and look at how Windows PowerShell, the new administrative interface, provides a rich command-line experience. We will finish with a look at the significant client-side improvements and transport rules. SharePoint 25 April 2007, Reading: Planning and Deploying Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Part 1 Find out what SharePoint Server 2007 has to offer. At this session we will present the concepts of topology, server roles and network conditions. We'll also provide an overview of administration features, introduce the three-tier administration model and explain various security topics. Third-party Events 8 February 2007, Microsoft TVP, Reading: SharePoint User Group The first main SUGUK meeting this year is probably the most exciting one for the user group to date. Lawrence Liu, Senior Technical Product Manager and Community Lead, is dropping in from Redmond on his way to the SharePoint Conference in Berlin. The meeting will feature an introduction to the Fab 40 application templates which should all be available to download by 8 February. Lawrence will take the group through some of them and explain the overall vision of the application templates and future directions. Also covered will be the Office 14 Road map: If you're excited by Microsoft Office 2007, wait till you see what's on the road map for Office 14. As well as finding out some of the plans of the SharePoint team, this will be your chance to feed back your thoughts on MOSS 2007, and what you'd like to see addressed in the next version. To be held in Building 3, TVP, Reading from 6-9pm. You can register on the site . Quest Software and Exchange Deployment Quest Software is running half-day seminars around deployment of Exchange 2007 in Dublin, London, Leeds...
  • Office 2007 Webcasts (US and on-demand recorded)

    Many of these are focused on much larger customers, but if you want to have a peek, do so. ttfn David Live Webcasts Microsoft Webcast: Building Composite Applications Using the 2007 Office System Thursday, January 25, 2007 11:00 A.M.–12:00 P.M. Pacific Time Microsoft Webcast: Deploying the 2007 Office System Wednesday, January 31, 2007 11:00 A.M.–12:00 P.M. Pacific Time Microsoft Webcast: Overview and Demonstration of myBI Thursday, February 1, 2007 11:00 A.M.–12:00 P.M. Pacific Time Microsoft Webcast: Deploying Exchange Server 2007 Thursday, February 8, 2007 11:00 A.M.–12:00 P.M. Pacific Time Microsoft Webcast: Improve Productivity and Communication Using Office SharePoint Server 2007 (Level 100) Thursday, February 22, 2007 11:00 A.M.–12:00 P.M. Pacific Time On-Demand Webcasts Microsoft Webcast: Introducing Exchange Server 2007, the Next Generation Messaging Platform from Microsoft Original Air Date: October 25, 2006 Customer Rating: Microsoft Webcast: Optimizing ROI with the Microsoft Branch Office Infrastructure Solution Original Air Date: October 11, 2006 Customer Rating: Microsoft Webcast: Optimizing Your infrastructure with Windows Vista, Exchange Server 2007 and the 2007 Office system Original Air Date: November 8, 2006 Customer Rating: Microsoft Webcast: Planning and Deploying a Secure Messaging Solution with Exchange Server 2007 Original Air Date: November 14, 2006 Customer Rating: Microsoft Webcast: Using the 2007 Office System as a Business-Productivity Platform Original Air Date: November 2, 2006 Customer Rating: New Microsoft Webcast: Using the 2007 Office System for Business Intelligence Original Air Date: January 11, 2007 Customer Rating: Microsoft Webcast: Using the 2007 Office System for Enterprise Content Management Original Air Date: November 15, 2006 Customer Rating: Source: IT Manager Connections: Build Business and Careers on the Microsoft Platform
  • Vista Webcasts US and on-demand

    Live Webcasts Microsoft Webcast: Maintaining Windows Vista Wednesday, January 24, 2007 11:00 A.M.–12:00 P.M. Pacific Time On-Demand Webcasts New Microsoft Webcast: Best Practices for Deploying Windows Vista Original Air Date: January 18, 2007 Microsoft Webcast: Get a Head Start on Windows Vista Original Air Date: June 23, 2006 Microsoft Webcast: Introduction to Windows Vista Original Air Date: October 4, 2006 Microsoft Webcast: Optimizing Your infrastructure with Windows Vista, Exchange Server 2007 and the 2007 Office system Original Air Date: November 8, 2006 Microsoft Webcast: Planning a Successful Windows Vista Implementation Original Air Date: December 6, 2006 Source: IT Manager Connections: Build Business and Careers on the Microsoft Platform
  • Get the Application Compatibility Toolkit to ensure applications will work with Vista

    So you have Vista, not how do you make sure you applications will run? Use this toolkit (which will also sort out things for Windows XP SP2 too: Are Your Existing Applications Compatible with Your New Windows Operating System? Use the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit and additional application compatibility resources to find out if your applications are compatible with Windows Vista or Windows XP Service Pack 2. ttfn David Technorati tags: vista , microsoft , small business
  • Design an IT Solution for Charity and get up to 15,000 pounds of software and hardware to make it a reality

    I went to the press launch for the UK Design IT competition at the Kinetica Museum of Art and Technology in London and saw some amazing things. However, the purpose of the evening was to share the successes of last years competition and ensure people were aware of this years. If you want to see one of the most curious mechanical pieces of art, have a look at this movie (filmed with a strobe light on) - http://uksbsguy.com/images/kinetica.mov Details are on the site at http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=6084193 DesignIT Competition: An Innovative Way to Make a Difference If you dedicate time to a charity, this competition is a great opportunity for you to help even more. We are asking you to send us a system design that will improve the IT infrastructure of a charity of your choice. If you don't have a particular charity in mind, don't worry, as we have asked the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Leonard Cheshire and Global Action Plan to supply us with details of problems that require a creative solution. You have to work to a budget of £15,000 and this must include all software and hardware. You can submit anything from a picture-perfect Visio diagram to a sketch from a whiteboard, and your system design can include more than just Microsoft technology. ttfn David
  • Debug Diagnostic Tool v1.1 - troubleshoot hangs, slow performance, memory leaks and crashes in any Win32 user-mode process

    I saw this and thought of you :-) Seriously, if you are trying to resolve these issues then these tools can be very useful indeed. Debug Diagnostic Tool v1.1 The Debug Diagnostic Tool (DebugDiag) is designed to assist in troubleshooting issues such as hangs, slow performance, memory leaks or fragmentation, and crashes in any Win32 user-mode process. The tool includes additional debugging scripts focused on Internet Information Services (IIS) applications, web data access components, COM+ and related Microsoft technologies. Source: Download details: Debug Diagnostic Tool v1.1 ttfn David
  • SBSC UK Symposium is coming - quick - sign up or miss out

    The Symposium is coming - 1/2 MS Speakers coving MS Strategy, Products such as EVO, Live, Security and much much more, but not only do you get all this. You also get experts from your community presenting to you about how to make it work, be it with Technology, business practises or the community iteself. This is the one event of the year to find out what Microsoft is doing and planning on doing, how you can join in, and then what the community has been doing and will be doing and how this can be of huge use to you and your business. (Updated 16th Jan - Link to book the event is http://www.microsoft.co.uk/events/EventDetail.aspx?eventid=8591 ) Susanne has a little bit about it here - http://www.uksmbgirl.co.uk/blog/archives/124 and there is more at SIGN-UP Page http://www.bmsnet.co.uk/blog/?p=30 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SBSManchester/message/124 http://www.sbsbpi.co.uk/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?p=2225#2225 See you there. ttfn David
  • Small Business Partner Community ‘Catch Up’ Evening - Come to the SBSC Symposium "pre-drinks" - yes, drinks the night before the Reading event (so drinks on the 31st January)

    If you will be in the Reading area on the night before the SBSC Symposium, then come along to Reading and have a drink and catch up with the community. You'll have the opportunity to mix and chat to different members of the regional groups as well as exchange ideas about business (or anything you like!). No agenda has been set for the evening (as yet); think of it as a regional SBS group meeting on steroids! The VIP area has been booked out for our meeting so there’ll be plenty of space to spread out and relax. Members of the community, Microsoft, and other vendors will be available to chat to and this will hopefully be a great start to the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Symposium. And just a reminder, while some drinks will be bought, more food and drink is available, but sorry guys, you've gotta pay for yourselves!
  • Download details: Business Desktop Deployment 2007 (BDD) - Deployments for Vista and Office made simpler - not for very simple / very small customers

    In theory, BDD is not for what MS calls small business customers - i.e. less than 25 PCs, but for some the tools are amazing. The BDD is described as: "A tool that provides the depth of guidance and tooling to make the Windows Vista and 2007 Office system deployment process predictable and scalable. Many of the tools and guides within BDD 2007 can even be used throughout the desktop management life cycle to provision new users, maintain images, and centrally manage drivers and applications. BDD 2007 also introduces the new Deployment Workbench, which enables users to build and manage multiple OS configurations, define network deployment points and network shares, inject drivers, attach language packs, and chain applications. It even helps generate ISO and WIM images using Windows PE that can be deployed in a networked environment or using DVDs offline. BDD 2007 also alleviates much of the scripting requirements of previous BDD versions by incorporating a stand-alone task sequencer derived from System Center Configuration Manager 2007. BDD continues to offer the flexibility for Zero Touch Installation with Systems Management Server 2003 and Lite Touch Installation with minimal infrastructure requirements." The Solution Accelerator for Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) is best-practice guidance for desktop deployment. BDD is targeted at companies that want to reduce deployment time, effort, and cost by increasing the level of automation. It allows administrators to deploy desktops with Zero Touch and Lite Touch interaction at the target PCs. This solution also helps organizations move to a managed environment with standardized desktop images. BDD 2007 is offered in two versions to support Solution Accelerator component installation on x64 or x86 hosts. Select the version that corresponds with your host hardware type. Both versions of BDD 2007 support deployment of x86 and x64 client operating systems. To view this solution online at TechNet, click here . System Requirements Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server...
  • Office Live is here for testing in the UK

    I am cheating as this artwork is all from the Office Live Website. You can go and claim your own domain and web site for free by going to http://office.microsoft.com/en-GB/officelive/default.aspx . This is an amazing solution for those customers who are too small for SBS or want as much as possible off premise, or want hosted solutions, but don't want full Exchange. Have a go!! ttfn David FREE Attract new customers Get started on the Web for FREE Create a professional Web site Learn more FREE Sign up now FREE .co.uk domain name for the first 10,000 UK customers Compare services Generate repeat business Create a professional Web site Organise your customer information online Share documents with online Workspaces Learn more Free during Beta Sign up now FREE .co.uk domain name for the first 10,000 UK customers Essentials = FREE during Beta, then £11.95 per month * * price excludes VAT Stay on top of your business Create a professional Web site Manage your projects and tasks Organise your customer information online Access your e-mail and appointments from the road Plus more space, more users, and more tools Learn more Free during Beta Sign up now FREE .co.uk domain name for the first 10,000 UK customers Premium = FREE during Beta, then £22.95 per month * * price excludes VAT
  • What do Small Businesses worry about in IT?

    I just saw this re-sent internally and the data is quite UK centric, so: 63% of small businesses put data back and privacy as a top priority 7.6% of UK small business software spending was on Anti-Virus, in 2006 they planned to spend 10% more on data security - Source AMI 2006 50% of small businesses have as a priority to deploy in house or hosting data back up and disaster recovery (AMI) ttfn David
  • If you don't know what OBA is, then you might want to watch the Partner TV episode: Ben Tamblyn on Office Business Applications

    OBA is not the nicest sounding acronyms, but we still seem to use it. Oh well. If you want to know more about performance management and business intelligence, or these terms mean nothing to you and you are now getting worried, then watch Partner TV at http://blogs.msdn.com/ptstv/archive/2006/11/28/partner-tv-ben-tamblyn-on-office-business-applications.aspx ttfn David
  • Problems with Girlfriend 1.0 (&1.2), Fiancee 1.0 and Wife 1.0

    Again, this was sent to me by my good lady. This was sent to me by my wife as 2 of 2. The other one can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/01/16/problems-with-boyfriend-5-0-husband-1-0-and-nagging-5-3-humour.aspx Dear Technical Support, 18 months ago, I upgraded to Girlfriend 1.0 from DrinkingMates 4.2 , which I had used for years without any trouble. However, there are apparently conflicts between these two products and the only solution was to try and run Girlfriend 1.0 with the sound turned off. To make matters worse, Girlfriend 1.0 is incompatible with several other applications, such as LadsNightOut 3.1 , Football 4.5 , and Playboy 6.9 .Successive versions of GirlFriend proved no better. I tried a shareware program, Slapper 2.1 , but it had many bugs and left a virus in my system, forcing me to shut down completely for several weeks. Eventually, I tried to run GirlFriend 1.2 and Girlfriend 1.0 at the same time, only to discover that when these two systems detected each other they caused severe damage to my hardware. I eventually upgraded to Fiancée 1.0 , only to discover that this product soon had to be upgraded further to Wife 1.0 . While Wife 1.0 tends to use up all my available resources, it does come bundled with FreeSexPlus and Cleanhouse2007 . Shortly after this upgrade, however, I found that Wife 1.0 could be very unstable and costly to run. Any mistakes I made were automatically stored in Wife 1.0's memory and could not be deleted. They then resurfaced months later when I had forgotten about them. Wife 1.0 also has an automatic Diary , Explorer and E-mail filter , and can, without warning, launch TurboStrop and Multi-Whinge . These latter products have no Help files, and I have to try to guess what the problem is. Additional problems are that Wife 1.0 needs updating regularly, requiring ShoeShop Browser for new attachments and Hairstyle Express which needs to be reinstalled every other week. Also, when Wife 1.0 attaches itself to my Audi TT Convertible hard drive, it often crashes...
  • Problems with Boyfriend 5.0, Husband 1.0 and Nagging 5.3 (Humour)

    This was sent to me by my wife as 1 of 2. The other one can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/01/17/problems-with-girlfriend-1-0-amp-1-2-fiancee-1-0-and-wife-1-0.aspx Dear Tech Support: Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in the overall performance, particularly in the Flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0. In addition, Husband 1.0 un-installed many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed undesirable programs such as: Football 5.0 , Rugby 4.3 and Cricket 3.0 . Conversation 8.0 no longer runs; it simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, to no avail. What can I do? Signed, Desperate ************************************************************* Dear Desperate: First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System. Try entering the command: C:/I-THOUGHT-YOU-LOVED-ME to download Tears 6.2 , which should automatically install Guilt 3.0 . If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewellery 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5 , Happy Hour 7.0 , or Beer 6.1 . WARNING: Beer 6.1 is a very nasty program that will create Snoring Loudly. CAUTION: Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law. This is not a supported application and will crash Husband 1.0 . In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot apply new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. I personally would recommend Hot Food 3.0 and Lingerie 7.7 . Good Luck, Tech Support
  • IE 7 reaches 100 million users | CNET News.com

    This is an interesting one - I have IE 7 installed on all my machines except my SBS 2003 server and the reason for it not being on there is because I like to have an IE6 hanging around for those sites where I have no other option - and browsing on the server (sorry Susan) is something I really, really try to avoid, so the site must be important enough to me, trusted and not need any java etc before I will consider using it. Anyway, that means that 7 PCs in the house (counting the 2 work laptops) are IE 7. I have not found a site that does not work yet, although some like the Live Spaces photo uploading tool is a bit of a pain in the bum to get working (you need to run as admin in Vista). IE 7 reaches 100 million users Web browser now second only to IE 6 in terms of usage in the U.S., Microsoft announces. More than 100 million people have installed Internet Explorer 7, making it the second most used browser in the U.S., trailing only its predecessor--IE 6, the software maker said Friday. "I'm pleased to report that on January 8, we had the 100 millionth IE7 installation," Microsoft Group Program Manager Tony Chor said on the IE blog . "However, even more important than installations is usage. According to WebSideStory (the company we use to measure browser usage), as of this week, over 25 percent of all visitors to Web sites in the U.S. were using IE7, making IE7 the second most used browser after IE6." Microsoft said it expects IE 7 usage to grow as the company completes more localized versions, offers it up to more Windows XP users through Automatic Update and releases Vista to consumers at the end of the month. The final version of the new browser has been available for download by XP users since October and is also built into Vista. Source: IE 7 reaches 100 million users | CNET News.com
  • Birmingham SB Partner Group - January 22nd event - Vista and Office from the Inside

    I got a mail from Vijay and never quite made the "putting it on the blog", so before time runs out too much, two great colleagues of mine are presenting Office and Vista and obviously, having the group meeting. From the web site http://www.nxtgenug.net/ViewEvent.aspx?EventID=39 this is the information. Matt and James are truly well versed in both products and will be able to answer any and all questions. The Association of Midlands IT Professionals (MITPRO) and NxtGenUG team up to bring you an evening of Vista! Matt McSpirit and James Senior, otherwise known as "The Vista Boyz" from the Vista Partner Technical Specialists will talk about the various new features of Vista and Office 2007 and how they affect the SMB. Vista as a development platform will be looked at in the second part of the session and how Vista is the platform on which to create better applications. Members are invited to bring a guest to this event, although we ask that the guest uses the registration page to sign up to NxtGenUG and then registers for the event themselves ttfn David
  • If you are interested in Exchange 2007 integration with PBXs, here is some more information

    I was wondering over Eileens blog and came to this one - Configuring your PBX for Exchange 2007 - it talks about a preview of documentation covering VoIP gateways, PBXs and gateway. Have a look at the blog and link for more info. Just as a btw, the list is quite extensive: The following PBXs are supported by the Dialogic NetStructure PBX-IP Media Gateway (PIMG). PBX manufacturer PBX Model/Type PIMG model and additional signaling Avaya Definity G3 S8100, S8300, S8700, & S8710 (Communications Mgr SW V2.0 or later versions) PIMG80DNIV4 Avaya Magix PIMG80DNIV4 Mitel SX-200D, SX-200 Light, SX-2000 Light, SX-2000 S, SX-2000 VS, SX-200 ICP PIMG80MTLDNIV4 Nortel Meridian 1 - Option 11, 21, 21A, 51, 61, 71, and 81, Meridian SL1 - Generic X11, Release 15 or later versions, Nortel Communication Server - 1000M, 1000S, 1000E with Rls V3.0 or later versions PIMG80DNIV4 Nortel SL 100 PIMG80LSV4 Analog connectivity using SMDI serial protocol NEC 2000, 2400, 2400 IPX PIMG80DNIV4 Siemens HiCom 300E CS PIMG80DNIV4 Siemens HiCom 300E (European) PIMG80LSV4 Analog connectivity using Inband DTMF signaling. Siemens 8000 (SW release 80003 or later versions), 9000 (All versions) 9751 (All version of SW release 9005),9751 (SW release 9006.3 or later versions) PIMG80RLMDNIV4 Ericsson MD110 PIMG80LSV4 Analog connectivity by using the MD110 RS232 protocol Intecom PIMG800LSV4 Analog connectivity by using SMDI serial protocol Others include: Alcatel Toshiba Various PIMG80LSV4 Analog connectivity using either Inband DTMF or SMDI The following PBXs are supported by the Dialogic NetStructure T1/E1 Media Gateway (TIMG). PBX manufacturer PBX Model/Type Required software version Avaya Definity G3 Version 3 or later versions Avaya S8500 Communications Manager SW V2.0 or later versions Mitel SX-2000 S, SX-2000 VS LW 34 Mitel 3300 Version 5.1.4.8 Nortel Meridian 1- Option 11c Release 15 or later versions, and options 19 and 46 are required NEC 2400 IMX Release 5200 Dec. 92 1b or later versions Siemens Hicom 300E CS Release 9006.4 or later versions (only...
  • Partner TV and how you can do your own marketing and sell more using Captain Campaign

    I've mentioned Captain Campaign before and now Lorrayne Gilbert talks on Partner-TV about marketing with him. This episode of Partner-TV can be found here . After watching this you will be better equipped to do your own marketing, even if it is to just 5 new customers. What is more, you will probably be better at it if you use the tools :-) ttfn David
  • So you like shortcuts - commands to quickly do things without resorting to the UI - have a look at how to do them here

    Ewan is a tall chap who used to work in the SE team (which was the team I joined in Microsoft) many years ago. He then went off and did some Exchange EMEA type roles and his skills were sorly missed. Well, he is back "in the UK" (he never left, but his heart was elsewhere). And this posting is beginning to cause a bit of a stir. http://blogs.technet.com/ewan/archive/2007/01/02/some-more-useful-windows-shortcuts.aspx My favourites are for quick keyboard things in Outlook: In Outlook, CTRL-2 switches to the Calendar, CTRL-3 to Contacts, and CTRL-1 back to Inbox. Handy if you're often flicking around to arrange a meeting with lots of people... Still in Outlook, when viewing the Calendar ALT-= switches to Month view, ALT- "-" (next to equals sign) switches to the week view, and ALT- number displays the number of days forward from the current date (eg ALT-9 will show 9 day view). Have a look to see what else he can teach you :-) ttfn David
  • Site Keeps on Growing, stats for last month had over 400,000 hits - thank-you

    I always hope this site is appreciated by people and so far, the statistics seems to show this. Here are the page hits results - they are now constantly updated at http://uksbsguy.com/stats.aspx Date RSS Feeds Web Hits Total Hits March 2006 2,802 15,700 18,502 April 2006 12,735 32,885 45,620 May 2006 21,366 62,321 83,687 June 2006 33,788 140,650 174,438 July 2006 43,263 140,947 184,210 August 2006 52,821 181,843 234,664 September 2006 65,643 186,650 252,293 October 2006 84,413 282,805 367,218 November 2006 84,301 266,947 351,248 December 2006 89,339 340,435 429,774 January 2007 52,334 171,492 223,826 Totals 542,805 1,822,675 2,365,480
  • Windows Vista, Office 2007 and the Action Pack - coming very soon

    [updated - see the FAQ at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/02/12/windows-vista-windows-xp-office-2003-and-office-2007-action-pack-update-my-faq.aspx for more information on the benefits of the Action Pack and in answer to the questions raised in the comments] I am trying to re-confirm all the details, but this is the latest information I have asked for it to be double checked so as not to upset everyone. Here is the low-down: When will the Action Pack arrive - Before the end of Jan I heard the latest shipment was delayed - It was due to the Office OPK, but should still be there by end of Jan How much is the upgrade to Ultimate Edition - Action Pack subscribers can upgrade to Vista Ultimate for $139 (USD) – per license. Visit www.WindowsAnytimeUpgrade.com/maps to learn more (not active yet) Is the version of Vista an Upgrade or bare metal install (ala recent changes to stop piracy, so not an OEM version) - This is an upgrade, just like the XP discs that ship Can I use this as home - The Action Pack is licensed for use in the Partner Organisation only What is in this shipment? Software • Windows Vista Business • Microsoft® Office Enterprise 2007 • Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007 • Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007 with Business Contact Manager • Microsoft Office Visio® 2007 • Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 • Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 • Microsoft Expression® Web • Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2007 (U.S. only). 2007 Microsoft Office System and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Partner Sales Tool The launch of the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 present a significant opportunity for Microsoft partners. This Reseller Toolkit helps partners articulate product benefits and packaging and licensing offers. To learn more and download this tool, go to: https://partner.microsoft.com/global/resellertoolkit . Office Ready OPK Note: At the time this Action Pack was produced, the 2007 Microsoft Office Ready Master Kit (OPK) was not finalized...
  • How the iPhone is changing the perception of Apple

    I think Apple can do some amazing things with hardware and making some categories exceptionally sexy (can you remember MP3 players before the iPod) is one of their core talents. This has led to a large following who "ooh" and "ahh" after almost anything Apple make from a keen almost religious following. I then saw the iPhone and was amazed by the number of people who said "wow, all that in one device - why hasn't anyone else thought of this" - I almost spilt my cornflakes - this is not a new. Then there was the "what a nice device" - I like to feel my buttons, so nope, this, along with a whole host of other phones like it is not for me. Is the styling great... well, each to their own. I think Vlad summarised it well with the iMeToo , but for some people, all the previous messaging about phones has not hit the mark and the iPhone might just be what some people need to move on their thinking as to what a device might do for them. Vijay links to seth's blog on this very subject at http://www.iqubed.biz/blog/?p=193 . I then noticed when browsing the Guardian Online that the whole "Reality Distortion field" around Steve Jobs is discussed: Is that Mr Jobs? This is reality calling, about your iPhone - Observer, Sunday January 14 2007, John Naughton Last week saw two events in the annual calendar of the computing industry. The first was the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a gargantuan technofest that attracts thousands of companies, and tens of thousands of visitors every day. The second was Macworld Expo, the annual gathering of a small, semi-religious cult in San Francisco. One was the annual gathering of an (...) This surge of technoporn was just an especially vivid illustration of the 'Reality Distortion Field' that surrounds Jobs. And it turns out that the field distorts the judgment not just of journalists but also of 'analysts' who are paid to give detached advice to professional investors. The wonderful Good Morning Silicon Valley blog sampled the vapourings of these high-priced oracles and came up with some...
  • How Microsoft UK deployed Windows Vista and Office 2007

    Partner TV has been busy recently, with this discussion about Microsoft UK's own deployment of Vista and Office 2007 . An except from the site says: James Senior talks to Asif Jinnah, the Senior IT manager for Microsoft UK, about the internal deployment of Vista and Office 2007. Asif also talks about best practices using Microsoft tools and services to help with deploying images (for example Windows Deployment Services Windows Desktop Search and System Management Server [SMS]). Asif was previously part of the team responsible for launching the “Microsoft Deployment Centre of Excellence” (CoE) in the UK to educate partners and customers on how best to deploy operating systems. To learn more, click the link above - the video is only 11 minutes long. ttfn David
  • SBSC (Small Business Specialist Community) has a little chat about what is coming up on Partner TV

    Do you know Robbie? Have you met him, if so, then you will feel justa little sorry for Aileen in this short film (possibly up for a Bafta) staring the two of them. I did record one, but alas, like many things I do, it ended up on the cutting room floor!! Jog along to Partner-TV: Small Business Specialist Competency for a little glimpse of stardom in action and find out what is coming your way. ttfn David
  • London SMB IT Pros group meeting - Monday January 15th

    Hello peeps, I just saw this mail from Ian remind people that the next London group meeting is tomorrow (today if you are reading this on Monday morning). The special thing to note about this meeting is that it is no longer at the Microsoft location in London, but a nice drinking and meeting establishment that most regulars to the meeting will know of :-) Anyway, details etc below: Just to remind you that the next meeting of the London SMB IT Pros group is MONDAY night 15th January at the Sun & 13 Cantons, 21 Great Pulteney St, London, W1F 9NG, just up the road from the Microsoft Offices. A map and a few more details can be found on the following map: http://maps.live.com/?v=2&cid=174788104E27AD26!188 Three things on the agenda this month. The first is "Virtualisation: benefits, pitfalls and business benefits". Vin Jauhal & Steve Foster have both recently done Virtual Server-based projects for their clients and will be sharing their experiences from these to help us all understand the pros and cons of virtualisation techniques for our clients. The second is our usual War Stories spot. I've got a couple of interesting ones this month, both positive(!) so come along to share with others and to get assistance with any thorny issues you might have. After that we will continue our discussions of how to take the group forward. The minutes of the last meeting are below. Again my thanks goes to Tom Valentin who drafted, redrafted and checked these minutes with the attendees. Because we have to pay for the use of the room there will be a charge of £5-00 each for this month's meeting to cover the cost of the room and then a contribution of around £3-4 for food. Please come along with your ideas and see if we can use each other to add value to our businesses and consequently to our clients and the services we provide to them. Should be another interesting evening! Also if you have a small projector that might be useful as there is a screen in the venue, but no projector. Cheers Ian Watkins ttfn David
  • Do you want to beta test Centro, the big brother to SBS based on Longhorn by becoming a TAP partner?

    It is strange how some things are so different and yet so similar. If I was to talk to you about a product from Microsoft that ran Windows, Exchange, SQL and ISA and had some management capability then you might think I was talking about SBS, but this time, that is not so. This time I am talking about the grown up brother - codename "Centro". We are looking for a few good men (or women) to test this and potentially even roll this out with some customers. This is not something to just say yes to without actually being able to test it somehow, but if you think this is you, then here are the details: Windows Server "Centro" Technical Beta and Technology Adopter Programme Microsoft are shipping a private beta of its upcoming 64-bit server product for midsize businesses, codenamed "Centro. The server, which is an x64-only version of Longhorn targeted at smaller enterprises will integrate together Exchange 2007, System Centre Essentials, SQL Server 2005 and ISA Server. We are urgently looking for Partners to give us feedback on Windows Server “Centro”. If you have a partner who is willing to test some next generation technology then please ask them to sign up to the Beta. Centro will provide IT professionals in midsize businesses with simplified, guided installation across multiple servers, using a single administration console that will provide a unified view of the network . That will include providing consolidated alerts and automated wizards. Centro, which is due out in 2008, will also provide integrated license reporting aimed at making it easier for IT professionals to track the licenses used in their company. How Partners sign up to the Beta: Go to http://connect.microsoft.com , click on Invitations sign in with their Windows Live ID (Passport ID) and enter the following invite ID; Extr-GHBC-JCJM . They will be asked to take a short Survey. Once they complete the survey they should look for an email from MsftConn@microsoft.com . If you don't already trust this address, please add it to your trusted email addresses...
  • Its a sad day, but Vlad no longer runs his business on SBS - well, maybe not sad as he still runs lots of SBS businesses and he has grown beyond his SBS server

    They said it could happen, but no-one believed them. Could and would people out-grow SBS? Well the answer is yes, people do - we see sales of the transition pack going through the system so we know it happens :-) Did Vlad use the transition pack - it sounds unlikely as he has lost his wizards, which you do get to keep (but no guarantees about the scalability of them). For more information on the Transition Pack (which saves you money moving to non-SBS editions) have a look here . For Vlads post on leaving the SBS fraternity, go here . Whilst we are on the subject, congratulations to Vlad for getting his 2nd MVP award too. Well done - perhaps this was an indication that you were always going to outgrown SBS :-) For other information on the Transition Pack, have a look at http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=sbs+transition+pack ttfn David
  • Using Companyweb with WSS V3 on a SBS box and more information on not shooting yourself

    This has been said may times, SBS 2003 was designed with WSS v2 in mind and the clever SBS team are spending their time getting Cougar ready for shipping, so have not gone and re-worked SBS for WSS v3. There are some great documents that describe how to safely add WSS v3 alongside WSS v2 (i.e. the Companyweb site), but now we have some tips as to how to get a bit more from it. 1st off, you need to read the blogs at http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2006/11/30/wss-v3-0-installation-on-sbs-2003.aspx and http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2006/11/19/loading-windows-sharepoint-services-v3-wssv3-onto-sbs-2003.aspx (as this has some examples of what can go wrong if you don't pay attention). Then hop over to Using CompanyWeb from within WSS 3.0 and see how you can start to build it out. Perhaps someone will build a companyweb V3 that links into the original companyweb site, but skins it all in WSS V3? Hope this helps and thanks to Mark Stanfill for putting these up. ttfn David
  • Recovering files from sharepoint databases without all the hassle - or ever wondered where the files were in the SQL database anyway

    I found this at the Official SBS blog and while this is not a supported tool, it is an amazing piece of information to have. A quick snippet from the article states : [Today's tip comes to us courtesy of Ed Walters .] Administrators often need to extract a small number of files or even a single file from a SharePoint database, and may not necessarily want to go through the process of an entire disaster recovery to retrieve them. SharePoint Database Explorer can be useful in cases where you have the database files, but it is inconvenient (or impossible) to restore them to a SharePoint site. Common scenarios we've seen are: A customer has overwritten an important document in SharePoint and no local copy is available; document versioning has not been enabled for the library. The customer does not want to force users to log off the server during normal business hours. In this case, you would simply restore the database files from backup, mount them, and retrieve the documents. During disaster recovery, if no backups other than the database files exist, we may manually extract the files from the database as a "belt and suspenders" approach to disaster recovery. This is also useful if there are any concerns about ACLs moving documents to a server in a new domain. This method is not recommended for extensive disaster recovery procedures where a large number of document libraries must be exported, but we've found it to be sufficient for many SBS deployments. A critical change has been made to a document, and the author(s) is not sure of the date the document should be restored back to. Again, no versioning is in place. Multiple copies of the document must be recovered for comparison. It's easier to restore 3 databases and extract the document than it is to restore, mount, and extend 3 SharePoint sites. One to save for a rainy day!! ttfn David
  • The SBS Diva spots why your workstations (and sometimes your SBS servers) are spiking at 100% CPU this month after the patches (yes, it is the Update services)

    Updated 08:07am 12th January - the blog title used to suggest this was a server issue - Susan pointed out that this is a client / workstation issue much more I had to blog this one - if you are seeing CPU spiking when patches are being installed, go look at http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2007/01/10/on-patch-tuesday-if-you-are-seeing-a-spike-in-cpu.aspx ttfn David
  • A bit late (from me, not the team), but Happy New Year

    Our nice Partner Group in the UK wanted to say Happy New Year.. http://blogs.msdn.com/ptstv/archive/2007/01/04/partner-tv-happy-new-year-from-the-uk-partner-group.aspx ttfn and have a great year. David
  • Microsoft announces Home Server - ever want something like SBS, but targeted at home users with home user functionality (i.e. no Exchange, but wizards and tools around storage and media, sharing etc)

    Finally Microsoft will deliver you a server that sits at home, is ideally suited for everyone in the house to use. It could even find itself into really small businesses in combination with Offie Live (backup and central monitoring provided by Home Server and e-mail, calendar, domain etc provided by Live). So what is it, well, think SBS, remove Exchange, SQL and ISA, update the wizards and remote access to be applicable for data sharing and a home network (but still keep them), then add some cool features like adding new disks the existing sharing volumes so exapansion is simply slotting in a new disk. This is Quattro, or Q or Home Server and the beta is coming soon too!! As is always, several people already blogged on it and gave some great links, but go check out the following: The Press Release Susan bradley's tour de force and more Official SBS, Centro & Home Server Blog 2nd Blog Susanne's hardware find and link to the marketing site and finally, even Vlad wanted one !! Now there are a few people who say they don't want a server at home, in any form, which is just fine - don't worry about the product - just because it is there does not mean you have to buy it. For those who do, this is cool... now how can I get on the beta ;-) ttfn David
  • Need to install Windows Server 2003 admin tools on a Vista PC

    I knew this was not the easiest thing to do today, but good old Susan has blogged the links on what to do. Note, this should be followed carefully :-) ttfn David
  • How to get great moving Aurora background on your Vista desktop today

    There is a benchmark / system test tool in Vista called WinSAT. You can test all sorts of things and those of you who want to poke around in it you can. However I found a less than used feature and it gives you an expensive Aurora backdrop in Windows. To make this work, open up an elevated cmd prompt and type the following: start /B winsat aurora & net stop uxsms & net start uxsms This will set the winsat tool running and give you a nice backdrop and re-enable aero on your desktop. You may need to press the Windows key to see yoru task bar again. Please note WinSAT is a test program, not designed to be a backdrop displayer, but it does look very pretty. ttfn David
  • Back from holiday, whats been hot in 2006

    A few people commented on my "on holiday" messenger tag line and said they felt better once things were "fair" and I was back in the office. Well I am back - and having done the inital cull, I am down to just 474 outstanding mails that need some form of attention. What did people spend time talking to me about in 2006: CRM - what it is, how to sell it, how to get training on it and why should customers care Windows SharePoint Services - to date the highest hit link on the blog site. How to configure, load, install, use, customise and then finally upgrade to v3 Licensing - This wss a strange one - historically, many small business partners have sold OEM or FPP only, but the discussion about what license when has really heated up with several partners now proving out the model that Open Value (and OV Subscription) are very useful sales tools as they help build a long term relationship with the customer, potentially reduce the up front cost of the solution and ensure your customer is always up to date on licenses meaning that services opportunities increase to implement the new technologies Community - has been a hot topic with many groups springing up around the country although membership and attendance has been fluctuating. There has been much, much more than this though - there has The Betas - Vista, Office, Exchange, Small Business Accounting, Office Live and Longhorn - People really showed their technical / geek glands last year with a huge amount of interest in future products. Now don't take that as any form of insult, since I definately played with a loas of them, but playing with them should be balanced with business opportunity. If you don't intend on selling it, then don't play with it (unless it is for the geek pleasure of it). Now these products are here for Volume Licensing customers, and launching on 30th Jan for everyone else (well, in the UK anyway) Marketing / doing business - was also discussed in quite some detail with many people finding this the hardest part of being in business - how to let customers...
  • installing sbs and other documents you should always have a recap of

    None of this is necessarily new information, but since many of the questions I get asked about on the blog site relate to documentation, here are my links to save from Microsoft on SBS. When people ask me "How do I ...." and then anything from install WSS v3 without frying the box to install SBS to in an existing domain. For starters I ask people to look at this link here for all the important docs. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sbs/2003/default.mspx Sometimes the search only throws up R2 versions of docs and I think the SP1 versions are still good, especially for the setup, installation and migration scenarios: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sbs/2003/plan/gsg/chptr3c.mspx Have you ever had a backup fail, or achvesync or one of a miriad of other errors and wanted somewhere to look that was specific to SBS, then this link is for you http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/6/1/561c9fd7-0e27-4525-94ec-4d2d38f61aa3/TSHT_SBS.htm . It covers: Troubleshooting Server Setup Troubleshooting Users and Groups Troubleshooting Client Computers Troubleshooting Mobile Devices Troubleshooting E-mail Troubleshooting Monitoring Troubleshooting Backup and Restore Troubleshooting Internet Access Troubleshooting Your Intranet Troubleshooting Shared Network Resources Troubleshooting Remote Connections Troubleshooting Client Computer Licensing This page also points you to wards the SBS 2003 Support Page (Solutions Center) which is always worth knowing - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/ph/3208 and the RSS feed (which almost always has nothing in it) of http://support.microsoft.com/common/rss.aspx?rssid=3208 . Having said that, the SBS Documentation RSS feed and blog is very much worth knowing about and it is at http://blogs.msdn.com/sbsdocsteam/archive/2006/10/26/meet-the-sbs-docs-team.aspx ttfn David
  • Exchange 2007, Cougar and Centro for small (and larger) businesses

    So there I am being a good citizen and not releasing confidential information and then I read about Cougar on the web. I then find that my fellow bloggers are also talking about these products in some form or another. Finally, to top it off, I am challenged by Susan Bradley to answer why Small Businesses need Exchange 2007 . Enough is enough, so I decided to finally start the conversation on these products. 1st up, lets examine Exchange 2007. You can NOT run it on an existing SBS 2003 server as it requires Windows Server x64. The various features and licensing of Exchange 2007 are discussed on my post here . To get Exchange 2007 today, before the launch of Cougar, you will need to buy a 2nd server, Exchange 2007, Windows 2003 Standard x64, Exchange 2007 CALs. This is NOT something for most small businesses. So who is it for? If you want: People who need LOTS of Exchange storage People who like the idea of a continious backup of their Exchange store Unified messaging (including phoning and talking to youe Exchange Server) Hosted message filtering before it reaches your server Forefront security (Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware/Anti-Spam) The last 3 require an Enterprise CAL, but can still be delivered with Exchange 2007 Standard. If these, along with the newer OWA, clustering support and Windows Crossbow additional support are of interest, then your customer may well be too. If not, then many small businesses, for the price point and the simplified support using the wizards, will enjoy SBS 2003 R2 today until Cougar ships. What is in Cougar, well it is a very simple statement today - based on Windows Server Longhorn, with Exchange 2007, latest Windows SharePoint Services and almost certainly some / all of System Center / ISA / SQL and more. If it helps, I am part of the limited beta of Cougar - and it is nice. The newer technologies are great and again more will be revealed in the future, but Cougar is slated for 2008, so not something to get super excited about just yet. Centro is SBS grown up for businesses of 50-250 CALs...

(c)David Overton 2006-13