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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March 2007 - David Overton's Blog

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  • View and Search the Windows Vista Registry from the Windows Shell (Explorer) through this Namespace Extensions

    I came across this due to someone pointing it out internally - talk about awesome. The Windows Registry Shell Namespace Extension allows Windows Explorer to view and interact with the Windows Registry data via Explorer windows. It demonstrates existing Shell extensibility points like IShellFolder2 and SHCreateShellFolderView and also demonstrates new concepts in Vista including the property system, property schema extensibility, and content indexing via Protocol Handlers. This project is implemented using C++ and ATL. This release includes all of the latest deltas and addresses the installation issues for systems without VS2005. This is a temporary fix until James finishes the WIX setup. Installation notes: - Download/open the zip file. - If you have VS2005 installed, just double-click RegNamespace.msi. - If you don't have VS2005, run Setup.exe. This will install the necessary VC Redistrubutable. Source: Windows Vista Registry Shell Namespace Extensions ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Search , Registry
  • Dreamscapes 3D spinning earth background where lighting changes depending on the time of day - for Vista, amazing!

    I just have to share some of the pictures my PC created while running Dreamscapes (free from StarDock at http://dream.wincustomize.com/ ) - this one is of the planet Earth spinning, but the view of the earth changes depending on the time of day, so you get to see the light polution if it is night etc. It also works well, as you might expect with Flip 3D: See the tools to produce this and much more at: http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/26/vista-enhancements-and-utilities-changing-the-screen-savers-adding-extra-search-functionality-to-the-start-menu-objectdock-logon-screen-changer-windows-blinds-and-wim-image-modifier.aspx http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/26/vista-has-flip-3d-for-changing-applications-well-here-are-some-more-3d-cube-based-virtual-desktop-window-switcher-rotation-based-flip-3d.aspx http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/03/26/changing-vista-boot-screens-and-opening-yourself-up-to-rootkits-or-not.aspx
  • Vista enhancements and utilities (changing the screen savers, adding extra search functionality to the start menu, Objectdock, logon screen changer, Windows Blinds and WIM Image modifier)

    Changing the screen saver settings: http://tweakvista.com/Article39129.aspx (make ribbons fatter, increase the number of them and so on) Start++ - search tools from WDS in Vista: http://brandonlive.com/2007/02/22/new-tool-i-made-for-vista-start/ “clear” aero theme for Winblinds for Vista: http://www.skinbase.org/rate.php?skins=32542 Logon Screen changer (free from StarDock when released, part of Object Dock during beta): See http://www.stardock.com/newsitem.asp?id=942 and skins at http://www.wincustomize.com/skins.aspx?libid=65 DreamScenes, Dream Maker and Dynamic Dreams – some free, some charged for, for Ultimate Users: http://dream.wincustomize.com/ and http://www.stardock.com/products/deskscapes/ - these include triggers in the “dreams” vLite – image tweaking tool: http://www.vlite.net/about.html ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Dreamscene , Logon Screen Changer , Dynamic Dreams , vLite
  • Changing Vista boot screens and opening yourself up to rootkits (or not)

    I love people who want to customise WIndows Vista and some of my previous posts have covered this, however you can go too far - you can hack the OS. While I understand the desire to "hack" the OS to get customisations, there are better ways. This particular example is where people want to change the boot screen in Vista. The ability to do this will be coming from StarDock soon, but until then people have taken to modifying the existing OS files. THERE IS ALWAYS a change that by downloading someones customised file to your PC and it being loaded so early on in the boot process that it could do nasty things, especially since these files are in now way certified by Microsoft. A classic example of this can be found here when people want to change the boot logo - this could easily be a social engineering attack. The instructions tell someone to remove the access and security permissions from a core system file, overwrite it with one that might make the system look prettier during boot, but who knows what else will happen as a result of the change? This is also known as a trojan horse - as you accept it through the gates on the assumption that it is a gift from the gods, but infact inside it has lots of the enemies troops. You have a choice - compromise your system security or wait until StarDock release thier boot screen changer. Is it really worth risking the integrity of your system for a pretty graphic for a few seconds during startup? http://www.myvistaboot.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1 Changing the boot screen: http://tweakvista.com/article38970.aspx Boot screen logo generator: http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=527262 ttfn David
  • Vista has Flip 3D for changing applications, well here are some more (3d cube based virtual desktop, Window Switcher, Rotation based flip 3d

    3d cube based virtual desktop: http://chsalmon.club.fr/index.php?en/Download Rotation based Flip 3D: http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=529816 Alternative to flip-3d (switcher): http://insentient.net/
  • FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) workshop presentations (IT Management using Microsoft technologies and Sales and Marketing using Microsoft solutions)

    I recently delivered the following workshop at the FSB conference in Belfast and promised to upload these files as promised. Making the management of your IT easier using your Microsoft software and services Understand how standard Microsoft software and online services can solve many common IT headaches, including security, backup and management of your PCs and business policies. File can be downloaded from http://uksbsguy.com/files/FSB%20_%20IT%20Management.pptx Technologies : Windows Vista, Small Business Server 2003 R2, Office Live Improving your sales and marketing using Microsoft Software and Online Services? Many people want to get more from software, but often don’t know where to start. In this session we will go through a process to improve the consistency and look of your documents as well as demonstrate how to use the Office tools and online services to better manage your customer information, improve your marketing efforts both on and offline and close the loop in a marketing campaign to them. File can be downloaded from http://uksbsguy.com/files/FSB%20_%20Sales%20and%20Marketing.pptx Technologies : Windows Vista, Small Business Server 2003 R2, Office Live, Office 2007 Small Business Edition, Windows Mobile
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  • iQubed Blog » You gotta love Linux - why, you can do this on Windows too

    I saw this over at Vijay's blog and remember these commands from my *nix days. I then thought, well I do these on Windows, so I had better share how to do it on Windows too. 1st - create DVDs and CDs from ISOs - get the MS utility from the Server 2003 Resource Kit - CDBurn.exe and DVDBurn.exe - from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9d467a69-57ff-4ae7-96ee-b18c4790cffd&DisplayLang=en 2nd - mount ISOs on XP & Vista - use the tool located at Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel for Windows XP - note on Vista as it loads a device driver you need to run from an elevated CMD prompt and then you will only be able to access the drive you create from tasks running as admin, such as the elevated cmd prompt. There are 3rd party tools that also do this, such as daemon tools too (and then the non-admin parts of Vista work too) You gotta love Linux March 20th, 2007 by vijay I was loving Linux today because I needed to download an ISO, the IBM ServeRAID 7K bootable CD. I used Linux to download the ISO then burn the ISO to CD using “cdrecord”. I was able to mount the ISO on the local filesystem using the following command mount -o -loop -t iso9660 filename.iso /mnt/iso This allows you to browse the contents of the ISO without writing it to CD. There’s not a native tool in Vista to write ISOs, so having Linux around was great. Source: iQubed Blog » Blog Archive » You gotta love Linux ttfn David Technorati tags: ISO mount , ISO burn , Windows XP , Windows Vista , VIsta
  • Who should test software and service packs - I think vendors,customers and partners - others think it is just Microsoft (vendors)

    I saw this in a forum and got a bit upset by it... it read: “SP2 is not going anywhere near anything we manage until some other people have tried it and seen whether it has any unexpected side effects.” This was followed by “What would happen if everyone took that attitude? I believe that we have to take responsibility for testing these service packs ourselves for the benefit of our customers, not waiting for someone else to try it first.” And then “That's MS's job - not ours.“ And “It's not about whether others can be bothered it's about whose job it is to test these patches. It's not mine, nor my customers. There are far too many Microsoft bashers and there are far too many Microsoft sycophants - the rest of us just get shouted down when we say it like we see it.” The last comment really got my goat, so much so that I posted back to the forum this reply, but I thought I would make it wider as I think the conversation should be discussed broader. Now in defence, I have snipped little bits of the conversations to highlight the point and people posted things like: “And do you think MS didn't test it? Give them a break. I am of the opinion that as soon as something new comes out you go like this: First week On your test box (or if none then home system) Second week On your own production domain if there has been no 'blog storm' Third week On 10-30% of your clients Fourth week onwards Slowly install on the remains of your client base until after 10 weeks or so all is done Key thing is to keep an eye on the blogs and SBS2K Yahoo group” And “Well I am with you Ian on this - its exactly what I do - test, test, test, check, verify, and test! IF other cannot be bothered, leave them to it !” In the end, this is what I posted. Flame me if you disagree, comment either way, but I think that IT professionals are part of solution and that means testing software, not on behalf of the vendor, but on behalf of the customer who should not have to pay IF something is rolled out and is untested and does not work as expected. My Post...
  • Symantec "Microsoft Listed as Most Secure OS"

    Wow, you have to wonder whether this hurt them to say this :-) Now I am a believer that any security vulnerability is bad and that the longer it is out there then the more likely it is to exploit it. If "people" only have one way to crack into your system, then they can still get in and the longer it is out there then the more likely it is that it will be used, however always nice to see that MS is trying hard and while not perfect, is doing better than other people who throw stones at MS. Of course, Windows also has more in it, so being better with more features in the box is even nicer and this is across all versions of Windows, not just the latest (Vista) for example. I think it shows that the IT industry has more work to do in this area - as Ed the Fed said - "this is a journey." Surprise, Microsoft Listed as Most Secure OS By Andy Patrizio UPDATED: Microsoft is frequently dinged for having insecure products, with security holes and vulnerabilities. But Symantec ( Quote ), no friend of Microsoft, said in its latest research report that when it comes to widely-used operating systems, Microsoft is doing better overall than its leading commercial competitors. The information was a part of Symantec's 11th Internet Security Threat Report . The report, released this week, covered a huge range of security and vulnerability issues over the last six months of 2006, including operating systems. The report found that Microsoft Windows had the fewest number of patches and the shortest average patch development time of the five operating systems it monitored in the last six months of 2006. <snip> During this period, 39 vulnerabilities , 12 of which were ranked high priority or severe, were found in Microsoft Windows and the company took an average of 21 days to fix them . It's an increase of the 22 vulnerabilities and 13-day turnaround time for the first half of 2006 but still bested the competition handily. <snip> Then there's Mac OS X. Despite the latest TV ads ridiculing the security in Vista with a Matrix ...
  • I love the press - saying that organisations are "banning" Vista when they are doing normal testing - and then writing another story when they get it wrong!!

    I read with interest the previosu stories about large oganisations banning Vista deployments, wondering if this was anything but normal policy. Then this story broke where NIST in the US "were irked" at suggestions that the ban was in anyway but normal practice until they finish testing Explaining a Vista ban The National Institute of Standards and Technology has put a moratorium on using Windows Vista, but that's business as usual, says agency's CIO. newsmaker The prestigious National Institute of Standards and Technology has put a ban on Windows Vista, but that's standard procedure, according to NIST's chief information officer. NIST, which does research and sets standards for things like cryptography for government use , is among several federal agencies that have put a moratorium on the use of Vista . The agencies are taking some time to make sure that the new Microsoft operating system meets their needs. It is not unusual that large organizations aren't rushing to install major software updates. These organizations tend to do a lot of testing before upgrading. The same happened when Microsoft released Windows XP, and again with Service Pack 2 for Windows XP . Microsoft widely released Vista in late January . Simon Szykman, chief information officer at NIST , was slightly irked by some of the media reports on his agency's move, which painted the ban as a major slap in Microsoft's face. In fact, Szykman said, this is business as usual. Ultimately, NIST expects many of its PCs will run Vista. Still, Microsoft has predicted a swift adoption of Vista by businesses . Source: Explaining a Vista ban | Newsmakers | CNET News.com ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Testing
  • Do you want to trial Exchange Server 2007, perhaps talk to the server? If so, look at the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Hosted Trial

    I saw this over at Henrik's blog and throught it might be of interest to the SBSC community. I like this. While I discovered that demoing something like this using a free VoIP service was a bad idea, using OK quality phones delivers an amazing experience. Obviously we will not see Exchange 2007 embedded in SBS until Cougar ships, it can still be provided as a hosted service, on a 2nd machine or for a partner internally using the Action Pack copy that should ship next month (fingers crossed). For more information, pop over to Henrik's blog on the subject, including the link to the trial. Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Hosted Trial Like it was the case right after Exchange 2003 RTM, you can also sign up for an Exchange 2007 tempoary account… “Welcome to the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Hosted Trial web site. You can create a temporary account to experience the features of Exchange Server 2007 which will stay active for 5 days. Your account will be pre-populated with sample messages, calendar appointments and a voice message to help you have a rich experience. You will be able to send and receive mail, schedule meetings, and adjust your options. You can access your account via Outlook Web Access, Outlook, or an Exchange Active-Sync compatible application. Please review your pre-populated messages for details.” Source: Henrik Walther Blog » Blog Archive » Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Hosted Trial ttfn David Technorati tags: Exchange 2007 , Trial , OWA
  • UK Vista Community Group - First Meeting - March 28th

    Vista Squad The place to discuss Windows Vista and the .NET Framework 3.0. We're excited to announce the inaugural meeting of the Vista Squad! The event will be held between 18:15 and 21:15 on Wednesday 28th March 2007 at Microsoft's HQ, Thames Valley Park, Reading. This will be a great opportunity to meet other members, discuss Vista and see two cracking presentations. If you'd like to come pop your name in a comment and we'll add you to the list. The line-up is as follows: 18:15-18:30: Refreshments 18:30-18:45: Introduction session to introduce the group, the key people involved and finally our aims and goals – (Ray Booysen, Scott Belton, Robert Knapp) 18:45-19:45: Presentation 1 - Are you ready for Vista - Windows hardware assessment tools (Scott Belton) 19:45-20:15: Break - Food, refreshments and networking 20:15-21:15: Presentation 2 - WCF Introduction– (tbc) 21:15: Roundup and close Source: Announcements : First Meeting
  • Help and Support Service not working / there after Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) is applied to a machine

    I had some apps fail on my machine yesterday after I got back from the TechNet event, so off I went to diagnose. It was then that I discovered that the help and support service had gone. Vanished, Vamoosh. I did find this little baby in the event log though: Event Type: Error Event Source: HELPSVC Event Category: None Event ID: 16387 Date: 14/03/2007 Time: 11:44:31 User: N/A Computer: SERVER Description: Service could not be deleted Being of a speedy nature I fired a mail off internally only to be told "yep, we know about and are investigating and we have already blogged about it" - http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2007/03/20/help-and-support-service-missing-after-installing-windows-2003-service-pack-2.aspx There is a fix there, which I used, works and is great, so no harm done, just a small panic.
  • Microsoft Rolling Out ODF Document Converter and participating in Standards processes

    This is not new news, but when I was at the Technet event yesterday it did come up. Someone asked about the what and why of Open XML and Open Document format. Luckily Darren Strange was on hand to answer the question (which he has done before). ODF is a great standard, but does not allow for amny of the things that our customers want, such as charts (to name just one). It is not unusual to have more than one standard way to do things (such as ASCII and EBDIC for character sets), so while ECMA has ratified OpenXML we are now working with a 2 nd standards body (ISO) to also get OpenXML ratified there too. For more information about the ODF converter, have a look at http://sourceforge.net/projects/odftranslator/ for the code and this article for news - Microsoft Rolling Out ODF Document Converter . Ttfn David
  • Running Office 2003 on Windows Vista and running other applications that work on Windows XP on Vista

    [updated 19th March 14:45 - added App Compat fixes KB article] I seem to be being asked this question a lot, so I thought I would blog the answer. The short answer is yes, you can run Office 2003 on Windows Vista . For that matter, you can run many other applications on Windows Vista too. For those who want details on how to do this, go to this page . Lets start from the top - most Windows applications run unmodified under Windows Vista. Some have been designed to, others have been certified to ensure they do. Details of this list can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933305 and includes products like Office 2003 (and 2007) and so on including those by Corel and so on. There is also then community maintained lists, such as http://www.iexbeta.com/wiki/index.php/Windows_Vista_Software_Compatibility_List for software that people believes does or does not work. Microsoft have released patches to Vista to increase the number of applications that run without any changes or user interaction. Details of this patch at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932246 Should you get a program that will not run in Vista then there are a number of features that continue to enhance the ability to run untested / older software on your PC. The simplest of these is the "compatibility tab" where you can go and choose compatibility mode or OS version you wish to run the application as. On the same page will be options to change screen resolution, always run as an administrator, disable visual themes, dpi scaling and desktop composition. You might also find this tab is grayed out - normally due to the fact that the program is not linked to a .exe, but to a MSI install (e.g. the office applications). To get round this you may have to create a new shortcut linking to the actual exe file required. If you don't know how to do this - start the application, open up Windows Task manager (press Ctrl-Shift+Esc) and go to the process, then right click on it and select properties - this should help you. If this fails, which is might...
  • BBC News Online | Technology | Decoys fix quantum key swapping

    As some of you might know, my background was in Security for a while and I studied how Quantium keys and security could be used while at University (RHUL for those who want to look it up, although for me it used to be called Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London). Anyway, quantum keys and entanglement were the talk of the days and how bullet proof they were. Well now it appears that they might not be quite so amazing, or at least our ability to use them without leakage. Anyway, I saw this at the BBC technology site and it is nice to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel :-) Decoys fix quantum key swapping British scientists have found a way to fix a vulnerability in quantum cryptographic systems. If left unpatched, the flaw would make it possible to grab information about the keys used to scramble information without being detected. The flaw emerges because of the way that laser diodes emit the photons of light used to carry quantum key data. Using decoy photons, researchers can spot when attackers are eavesdropping on secure communication channels. Source: BBC News Online | Technology | Decoys fix quantum key swapping ttfn David Technorati tags: Security , Quantium
  • Peering inside the network with Network Monitor (netmon V3), debuging WMI and other systems problems

    I often spend time debugging systems when things go wrong. Besides the tools at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/default.mspx these are the others I use: Microsoft Network Monitor 3 Network Monitor 3.0 can co-exist with older versions of Network Monitor. NM3 installs in %program files%\Microsoft Network Monitor 3.0, so there is no conflict. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=aa8be06d-4a6a-4b69-b861-2043b665cb53&DisplayLang=en 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. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=28bd5941-c458-46f1-b24d-f60151d875a3&DisplayLang=en The WMI Diagnosis Utility -- Version 2.0 WMIDiag.vbs is a VBScript script designed to help you ascertain the current state of the WMI service on a computer. The download package includes the utility itself, a ReadMe file that discusses how the tool works (and how to best use it), and sample spreadsheets that provide information about the default WMI configuration on various versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=d7ba3cd6-18d1-4d05-b11e-4c64192ae97d&DisplayLang=en ttfn David
  • Games for Windows - Live beta announcement and invitation

    Are you interested in being part of a select group that is invited to help beta test a new service that lets PC game players connect with their friends on the Xbox through the LIVE gaming network? If you are, please read on. The registration period for this upcoming beta testing opportunity will only be available for a limited time. To be considered you will need to complete the Games for Windows - Live Beta application survey. Please only submit the survey once. Multiple entries will not improve your chances at being chosen. If you are interested in participating please direct go to https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=363 ttfn David
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  • HD Photo Plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® Software (Beta Release for Windows) - The future after JPEG?

    I'm not really much of a photographer myself - all my cameras are snappers and the pictures I take are just that - snaps. Now Jo in the Office is a Pro and has sold many of her photographs. Every so often I ask her about Office Collaboration, SharePoint, Content Management to understand what can be used in the small biz space and then spend time talking about which camera I should get :-) I heard recently about HD Photo which is "and format for end to end digital photographers" (Press release " Microsoft Announces HD Photo, a New Imaging File Format With Advanced "). It is worth noting that to speed release there is a HD Photo Plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® Software (Beta Release for Windows) too. If you've ever paid close attention to your photos you will know that a "lossy" format means that you loose some of the detail compared to the original, but get much smaller files. Now "HD Photo fully preserves the original image fidelity with high dynamic range while still allowing for significant improvement in compression size." It might even help my snaps look better too. ttfn David Technorati tags: HD Photo , Adobe Photoshop , WIndows Vista , Digital Photography
  • Korea sees robotics as a key future area and is pumping in R&D to build on it, Robots learning to walk, Robots helping the elderly and finally the Microsoft

    I really like to see robotics coming ahead leaps and bounds and also a bit of Azimov fear and the requirements of "ethical roles and functions". I have a lego Mindstorm kit that Mel bought me a while back, but somehow I don't think this is quite where they are. Having said that, if you are into robotics, it might be worth you having a look at http://msdn.microsoft.com/robotics/ ttfn David Technorati tags: robotics Robotic ethics Robotic age poses ethical dilemma “The South Korean government has identified robotics as a key economic driver and is pumping millions of dollars into research. “The government plans to set ethical guidelines concerning the roles and functions of robots as robots are expected to develop strong intelligence in the near future,” the ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said.” Learning to walk Walking robot steps up the pace “A humanoid robot is teaching itself to walk and eventually run around a California research lab. Dexter took its first tentative steps only a few days after it first discovered how to stand upright. Dexter’s designers say their robot differs from commercially available predecessors because it can learn from its mistakes.” Robots for the elderly University of Tokyo crafts tea-grabbing humanoid to serve you better “In an effort to create a tactical team of droids ready and willing to serve the aging population of Japan, the team is working with Kawada Industries Inc. to create friendly robots that can assist folks with around the house chores such as pouring tea and cleaning the dishes. Several models were out and about during a recent demonstration, as one wheeled bot delivered beverages to its master, and other renditions responded to human movements and the bevy of sensors installed in the floor and sofa of a room.”
  • The Small Business Summit is coming - 19th - 23rd March - watch online

    [updated 29th March 2007] Now the event has happened you need to go to http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/small-business-summit/FY07/SummitVideo/Watch.aspx to watch the various sessions. The Microsoft Small Business Summit is just around the corner: March 19-23. It's free, it's online, and we don't want you to miss it. To help you get the best value and training for your business, we've identified the top webcasts from the Small Business Summit. With links below, we've also simplified the process of adding your chosen webcasts as appointments on your Outlook calendar. On the date and time of your preferred webcasts, you have two easy options for viewing the live webcasts : Click the linked webcast title below. -Or- Click the linked webcast title in the Outlook appointment text. Note: To view the webcasts, you must have Windows Media Player installed. March 19, Day one (9:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Pacific Time) 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM - Keynote: Solutions for Small Business Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft Learn about new products designed to address the needs of your small business and to make a positive impact on your bottom line. Add this webcast to your calendar 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM - The Importance of Branding Julie Clark, Founder of Baby Einstein Hear from the woman who started a business in her basement and within five years built a brand with annual sales of more than $25 million. Add this webcast to your calendar 11:00 AM - Noon - The Art of Innovation Guy Kawasaki, Author and Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures Learn strategic steps for creating new products and services. Renew your commitment to innovation. Add this webcast to your calendar Noon - 1:00 PM - The Economy and the Small Business Owner Wayne Best, Chief Economist, Visa USA Hear this top business analyst explain how economic trends can affect your small business. Add this webcast to your calendar 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM - Small Biz Success Stories Moderated by Cindy Bates, General Manager, Microsoft Get tips and inspiration from battle...
  • Do you want to be able to see PDFs previewed in Outlook 2007 and the preview pane in Vista Explorer? What about C#, VB, SQL and javascript code?

    This has been banded about a lot inside Microsoft, but it is just too good to ignore. Enjoy!! Foxit PDF Preview Handler in my daily work i spend a majority of my 'computing' time in outlook. communicating with peers, team members, customers, etc. is mostly done via communication (sad, i know). a lot of that time it involves sending information attachments back and forth, using office documents, etc. i've said a lot about how much i love the preview functionality within vista and office 2007. i even wrote a code preview handler for .cs, .vb, .sql, .js files. one of the samples in the msdn article was for pdf files...of which i receive a lot. i don't use adobe reader because i think it is overkill for reading pdf's personally. the sample, however, relies on having adobe reader installed...which i didn't like. i started working with the foxit activex sdk , because i love their reader product. after some communication with the team at foxit, we started collaborating. as a result of that collaboration, foxit software and i partnered to create the 'foxit pdf preview handler' which you can download for free! this is a pdf preview handler for outlook 2007 and windows vista. the current version requires vista, but we are working on a windows xp version for outlook 2007 on winxp. what this enables you to do is, well...the following: Source: Foxit PDF Preview Handler ttfn David Technorati tags: PDF , PDF Previewer , Outlook 2007 , Vista Explorer , Preview Pane
  • Deploying Vista to many desktops from Small Business Server 2003 with SP2 (R2 or R1) using Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) tools

    A nice man named Zack dropped me a mail asking about the Business Desktop Deployment (BDD) tools and "real" documentation, which led to Matt in the PTS team writing about all the great tools (see below). I then installed SP2 for Windows Server 2003 and realised that my SBS 2003 system now has the capabilities of BDD to deploy Vista desktops (in my case, pre-configured with Office 2007 too). Wow. I went and checked and the Windows Deployment Services admin controls are there on my SBS SP2 system, so you can use this information to enable PXE deployments of Windows if you want. These can include other programs such as Office and anti-virus products and also be pre-configures to join the domain etc. Business Desktop Deployment 2007 - Resources Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:43 AM by mattmcspirit For those of you out there who have an interest in the different ways that you can deploy Windows Vista, Office 2007 and your other applications, you may be interested in the Business Desktop Deployment Workbench, or BDD for short. So, what is it? Well, the BDD is essentially, your one-stop-shop for deployment when it comes to our new wave of technology. Want to customise your Vista install? Want to inject drivers for hardware into images? Want to customise WinPE 2.0? Want to easily create Unattend.xml files? Want next week's winning lottery numbers? OK, BDD can't help you with that last one, but it can allow you to do all the others! Source: Peering through Windows... ttfn David Technorati tags: BDD , Business Desktop Deployment , SBS 2003 , Service Pack 2 , SP2 , SBS 2003 SP2
  • Small Business Server 2003 (SP1 and R2) upgrading to SP2 and Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) information - including the fact that you do NOT have to uninstall IE7

    [updated 21th March 14:15] This is just a quick note to say that the release notes are WRONG (and will be changed) in stating that IE7 has to be uninstalled. Also, if you have automatic updates turned on, SP2 will still prompt prior to an install as the EULA needs to be accepted, so no discovering that it was installed by the note that the server has rebooted. I did the install today my system is fine and I have had it confirmed that unless you specifically fall into the problem areas listed in http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/932600 : You upgrade from an evaluation copy of Windows Small Business Server 2003 to the full retail version. You upgrade from Windows Server 2003 to the full retail version of Windows Small Business Server 2003. You migrate to Windows Server 2003 from Windows Small Business Server by using the Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Transition Pack. For information on SP2 and what it delivers, please look at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsserver/sp2.mspx . This is a follow up to several people blogging ( Susan , Vlad , Nick and many more) who, in my personal opinion, were right to say that some notice should have been given about the date of shipment!! Mark Stanfill of the offical SBS blog has also put some more information up at http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2007/03/14/can-i-install-windows-server-2003-sp2-on-sbs-2003.aspx and while writing I noticed that Susan also has details at http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2007/03/14/install-sp2-over-the-top-of-ie7.aspx [update] The text has been replaced on the web. The link for the release notes now points here - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=b6fcca62-c291-4303-8cb8-cdb255d849f6&DisplayLang=en (Note the old web page still physically exists – so if customers have bookmarked the old one they need to update their bookmark… or follow the links once again) The new text on the webpage is as follows <snip> Internet Explorer You do not need to uninstall Internet Explorer 7 prior to installing...
  • Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Vista for Microsoft (UK) Partners' Friends and Family

    [updated 18th March 08:44am] - The links are working now - hurray Now before someone goes and shoots this down, we have managed a small discount for Microsoft UK Partners' friends and family. It is not a half price discount or anything close, but if you know someone who was going to buy our software or wanted too, it is now a more attractive price :-) Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Vista for your Friends and Family Are you experiencing the 'WOW' of the new Microsoft Office system and Windows Vista yet? If you are you'll probably want your friends and family to feel it too! To help you spread the WOW factor Microsoft Partner DABS is offering a special price to Microsoft Partners' friends and family on the home-use versions of these exciting new releases*. Product Special Friends and Family Price** Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student £85.00 Vista Home Premium £185.00 Vista Home Premium Upgrade £123.50 *Please note: These products are not discounted. The products on offer are legitimate software applications for home use only. Prices may change at any time and there is no guarantee of availability. This promotion runs until 30 June 2007. There’s more info’ and details how to order at https://partner.microsoft.com/uk/40037033 . To access these offers Partners will need to log-in to the Partner Portal. ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Offers , Partners , UK
  • Are you finding Outlook Web Access (OWA or e-mail from Remote Web Workplace) is showing errors or "image not found" red crosses when accessed from Vista? Another catch by Kevin at Neoblog

    I'm beginning to think I need a subscription from Neoblog to appear higher in my list. I have not tested this, so let me know if there are any issues, but here is the information he has posted. OWA and Vista Posted on February 14th, 2007 by Kevin Higerty If you use Outlook Web Access and have recently upgraded to Vista you will find that you can’t reply or do any action on an email, typically the edit area shows a ‘image not found’ red x in the corner. This is because Windows Vista no longer includes support for the ActiveX control that is used for HTML editing in Outlook Web Access, you need to apply a hotfix to Exchange. Source, more details and the link to the fix: neoblog » OWA and Vista ttfn David Technorati tags: Windows Vista , Vista , Exchange 2003 , SBS 2003 R2 , SBS 2003 , Small Business Server 2003 , Outlook Web Access , OWA
  • Using Vista and getting a slower performing network? Perhaps with SBS or other network equipment? Then you need to read Kevin's post at Neoblog.

    We all know that sometimes things sloooowwwwwiiinnnngggg down can be a real drag. Some people have seen this sort of thing with Vista and while sometimes it is to do with drivers (do I need to say wireless here??), others it could be one of the "nice" new features in Vista. In the latter example I can give you a good pointer to help. Susanne Dansey pointed this out to me, which is a posting by Kevin Higerty on this very problem - pop along to his blog to get the low down. I’ve been running Vista on my SBS network for a while, well since the January Action Pack, and have noticed resource access to the SBS box getting slower and slower over the last few days. At the same time I had issues like log on’s taking 2 minutes, explorer time outs and generally the whole system running like a dog. The two symptoms have turned out to be seperate, but combined they are a ‘throw the sodding pc outa the window’ type scenario. Slow networking is due to the auto tuning of TCP/IP in Vista which is turned on by default. Source: neoblog » Vista + Network = Slow ttfn David Technorati tags: Windows Vista , Network , Slow , Auto Tuning , Syn
  • Vista, by itself, and business value - what can you get

    I was a little horrified to see a small business group posting that said " In my opinion, there is nothing in Vista that warrants an upgrade at this time for businesses." Oh my golly gosh thought me. Has this person actually looked at the stuff we have to better explain what the benefits are? (I don't know, but if they have then Microsoft needs to do a better job, if not, then Microsoft needs to do a better job telling everyone). 1st off though, just as many people have commented - I expect many people to buy Vista with a new PC, but I also believe that the decision to buy a new PC will in part be driven by Vista as opposed to just hardware needs. OK, where does Vista add value to businesses (this is where I use it) over Windows XP out the box today and even more so over Windows 2000: Work More Efficiently Searching for documents, e-mails, contacts Preview files without opening them via thumbnails and preview pane Shrink to fit for IE printing Finding open programs, items on start menu, control panel items Enhance performance with ReadyBoost Glancable information with Gadgets Staying Connected "File" file sharing Ad-hoc wireless networking Wireless security manager Windows Mobile Device Center Data protection and integrity Automatic PC backups Previous versions of files, even when out the office Anti-phishing technologies Anti-spyware tools UAC and protected mode in IE File and disk encryption Image based backup and restore Systems Management Reliability Monitor Enhanced Event Viewer Memory Checker Problem History Enhanced Remote Desktop Recovery tools Sales and Marketing Fax and Scan tools Photo Editing tools XPS Support Faster response when opening the lid Dual use - home and business use Parential controls Media Center DVD Playback and burning Many many more It is worth looking at the version comparison document on http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/products/wowpc/CompareWindows.aspx and the Vista comparison guide that can be downloaded at http://download.microsoft.com/download/E/5/E/E5E1A4B0-124F-4A6E-A152...
  • How to get Companyweb (Windows SharePoint Services v2) to work with Office 2007

    [updated 9th August 2007 to add read/write document registry change] A few people said this was a showstopper for them in recommneding Office 2007 to their customers so I figured it had to be fixed. I nixed a huge amount of work from the right stuff blog " Office 2007 File Icons for Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 " and the script work from http://blogs.msdn.com/karstenj/archive/2006/01/03/508888.aspx . The problems were: 1) no icons for files 2) file types not recognised by companyweb 3) downloads could not be opened as the file type was said to be a compressed file 4) could not edit from companyweb OK, so here is the process. 1. Download the icons from here and put them into folder C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\TEMPLATE\IMAGES\ (read the item on the the right stuff to pick your files) 2. Update the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\TEMPLATE\XML\docicon.xml file with the information below into the ByExtension section <Mapping Key="docx" Value="docx.gif" EditText="Microsoft Office Word" OpenControl="SharePoint.OpenDocuments"/> <Mapping Key="docm" Value="docm.gif" EditText="Microsoft Office Word" OpenControl="SharePoint.OpenDocuments"/> <Mapping Key="dotx" Value="dotx.gif" EditText="Microsoft Office Word" OpenControl="SharePoint.OpenDocuments"/> <Mapping Key="dotm" Value="dotm.gif" EditText="Microsoft Office Word" OpenControl="SharePoint.OpenDocuments"/> <Mapping Key="xlsx" Value="xlsx.gif" EditText="Microsoft Office Excel" OpenControl="SharePoint.OpenDocuments"/> <Mapping Key="xlsm" Value="xlsm.gif" EditText="Microsoft Office Excel" OpenControl="SharePoint.OpenDocuments"/> <Mapping Key="xltx" Value="xltx...
  • The hybrid sleep feature and the hibernation feature in Windows Vista may become unavailable after you use the Disk Cleanup Tool (or fix hibernation not working)

    [updated 12th March 2007 21:03] This particular problem went round the internal discussions groups - having told people how to turn on hibernation and suggested a KB article on it, Armelle O'Neal told me that is has already been written up in KB Article (928897) . SYMPTOMS After you use the Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows Vista, you may experience the following symptoms: You cannot see the Hibernate option in Power Options. When you use the sleep feature, the computer does not recover its settings if power is lost. CAUSE This problem occurs when the Disk Cleanup Tool disables the hibernation file. The hibernation file must be enabled to access the hybrid sleep feature and the hibernation feature in Windows Vista. When the hibernation file is disabled, and the hybrid sleep feature is enabled, a backup of open programs and open files will not be saved to the disk when you use the sleep feature in Windows Vista. Additionally, if the computer loses power while the Windows is in sleep mode, open programs and open files will not be recovered, and any unsaved work will be lost. RESOLUTION To resolve this problem in Windows Vista, run the powercfg -h on command at an Administrative command prompt to enable the hibernate feature and the hybrid sleep feature. To run this command, follow these steps: 1. Click Start , click All Programs , and then click Accessories . 2. Right-click Command Prompt , click Run as administrator , type powercfg -h on, and then press ENTER. If this fails, it is normally because the command prompt is not actually running at an admin level - click here for my " how to tell " Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Hibernate
  • How to start an administrative (or elevated) command prompt and tell if you got it right (in Vista)

    I have had a few people tell me that they have had problems getting an administrative command prompt up and running in Vista. If you have done it correctly then a windows will open just like the one to the left. Notice that it has opened into the X:\windows\system32 directory and that it has the title "Administrator: X:\windows\system32\cmd.exe. Anything else and I would be suspicious. The process is simple - do either of these Click Start , click All Programs , and then click Accessories . Right-click Command Prompt , click Run as administrator or Click Start Type cmd into the search box and wait for Command Prompt or cmd.exe to appear in the list Press CTRL-Shift-Enter Either way, you should get an User Account Control (UAC) prompt appear with a BLUE banner on the top - press Continue here. For more information on User Account Control go to here ttfn David Technorati tags: Windows Vista , Elevate , run as Administrator , Vista Ultimate , Security
  • Remote Desktop Connection (mstsc) always has the wrong domain name, IP address or always prompting me about security - here are the fixes

    One of my UK SBSC partners asked me how to do a couple things in Remote Desktop using the new Vista RDP v6 client as they were bugging the hell out of him and others (I asked him how Vista was going). Since he admins a number of SBS boxes, these were his top (valid) gripes: Stop putting in IP addresses for the domain name Stop the pre-prompt for credentials when TSing to another system Stop the statement about security every time I try to remote admin into things The good news is that much of this has been documented else where. Stop putting in IP addresses for the domain name Problem is that you fill in a screen like this and get a prompt as below. Notice it has the domain name as the IP address? The quick answer is to type the username as <domain>\<username> - eg abusiness\administrator. This will change the domain name. Stop the pre-prompt for credentials when TSing to another system Now the pre-prompting for credentials is the process we have just seen above. This is required in domains where Network Level Authentication will stop the TS connection without the appropriate credentials before the connection is made. Details of this can be found at http://blogs.msdn.com/ts/archive/2007/01/22/vista-remote-desktop-connection-authentication-faq.aspx#_When_to_use Stop the statement about security every time I try to remote admin into things This is again due to increased security levels. It can be solved by either editing your RDP file (the default.rdp file is in your documents folder - it is a text file) or by going tothe advanced tab and tellit it to always connect. This information can be found at both http://weblogs.asp.net/owscott/archive/2006/11/10/Vista_2700_s-Remote-Desktop-Prompt.aspx and http://blogs.msdn.com/ts/archive/2007/01/22/vista-remote-desktop-connection-authentication-faq.aspx#_How_to_eliminate ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Terminal Server , RDP , Remote Desktop , Credential Prompt
  • Loading Office 2003 into Vista and fixing the problem with the EULA always coming up

    [updated 9:50 22nd July to include link to stop install dialog coming up when installing both Office 2003 and 2007 on the same machine] Having written about application compatibility and repeatedly answered the question as to whether Vista can run Office 2003 (yes it can), I decided to do a set of pictures for every step of the way. In doing this I got to the bottom of a couple of problems - i.e. how to I get the service packs for Office and how do I stop the EULA from constantly appearing. Here is my picturesque walk through. Step 1 - Boot up Vista and insert the Office CD . Insert the CD with Office on it and it should automatically start with a dialog box askign you if you want to run setup. Step 2 - Accept the User Access Control (UAC) dialog . If the dialog does not look just like the one in the 2nd screenshot below then this is a worry! All untampered Office installs should have a "blue bar" at the top of the UAC prompt box Step 3 - Follow the normal Office install Process (Note if it is a corporate version some or all of these screens might be missing). The screen shots below show everything from the setup initialising, entering a product key, entering your personal details, choosing the install type - I personally always do a "complete" install and then the product installing and finishing. Step 4 - Accept the EULA and activate the products. Find word on the menu, run it, accept the End User License Agreement (EULA) and finally activate the product if required to do so. For the update process to work you must exit all open Office applications. Step 5 - Update and patch the product . Skip straight to 5b for the right process or read 5a for more information. Step 5a - Note - this is for information only - this is what happens if you do this (try to use the Office Update in the products or on the web site), however you can go straight to step 5b without any issue. Step 5b - update the product using Microsoft Update (eg go to the start menu and type Updates and select Windows Update from the...
  • Top 5 Tips to start working with Open Licensing ( in the UK )

    I saw this and thought I would share Check out the Licensing Wheel in the EVO GA Kit which can be ordered on the Partner Portal. The wheel matches the type and size of customer with suitable licensing packages and is a great starting point for a discussion with your client. Have a look at Gear Up – a book available online or in print that acts as a definitive sales guide to all Microsoft’s licensing products. Gear Up gives you the background on the full range of licensing options and the advantages they will offer different customers Use the Licensing Configurator – once you have ascertained your client’s exact requirements the Licensing Configurator will give you a robust and accurate picture of the right programme for them Talk to Ask Partner at 0870 60 70 700. The team will answer any questions and help you get started with selling Open If you’d like to offer your customer Open through someone else, talk to either a Large Account Reseller or one of Microsoft’s specialist Partners with the Gold Licensing competency. Ask Partner will put you in touch. All these tools and information resources are available on https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/licensing/ or can be ordered by calling Ask Partner. To read other Partner’s stories on how they grew their key accounts with Open visit our website https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/licensing/40023302 ttfn David
  • Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager and Small Business Accounting 2006 - Update for Vista and Office 2007 support

    Service Pack 4 for Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager Update and for Small Business Accounting 2006 fixes the following issues that were not previously documented in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: Application compatibility with Windows Vista Application compatibility between Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager Update and Office Accounting 2007 Source: Description of Service Pack 4 for Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager Update and for Small Business Accounting 2006 ttfn David Technorati tags: BCM , Business Contact Manager , Small business , CRM , Service Pack
  • Was Vista's arrival a surprises to anyone? No? Then how come so many people were unprepared - hardware vendors, ISVs, even Microsoft to an extent

    Lets start off by saying this is a RANT. If you don't like rants, look away now. I saw this in CRN and it made me laugh and cry. We have seen news that iTunes has undisclosed issues with Vista (even after being fixed ), poor drivers from nVidia and others and even enough to stop a BBC reporter from getting it going , yet from the list below, most are down to 3rd parties. I have only a little sympathy for hardware partners who didn't get drivers out - I was at WinHEC 3 and 2 years ago when the need to build drivers was hammered home. I have seen the offers of help to ISVs to get their applications working. I have seen the large amount of online training available for partners of all sizes to understand the benefits of the products. However, I have also seen the difficulties people have in when to bet on Vista and deploy the resources - I think its success has taken a few people by surprise! Microsoft is certainly happy with the launch . If like me, when you have 2 years to solve a problem it is always tomorrows problem, until eventually the deadline looms and it suddenly urgent - perhaps many face this issue. Of course, I am hugely over simplifying the issue. Some people chose not to move, saying that they would wait until there was enough market demand. Others, so the rumours say, have no desire to make older versions of hardware or software work on Vista and are using it as a lever to drive upgrades. Finally, the meaning of "minimum requirements" somehow seems to have been lost on people, so when all editions other than basic recommend a minimum of 1GB, that should not be seen as optimum for all users, but the minimum. I am frankly amazed that some vendors "top" PCs are not Vista compatible and it is because they were not ready - I thought the product was delayed to help these guys get ready - and if lower spec machines are working... gosh! While others have got it all working, on new machines and with new hardware designed for Vista style PCs . For application issues, many uncertified Windows Vista Apps May Work...
  • Microsoft Virtualisation technologies and roadmap days

    44SE003 - Microsoft virtualisation technologies and roadmap 1 Day, 23 Mar 2007, Reading 44SE003 - Microsoft virtualisation technologies and roadmap 1 Day, 26 Mar 2007, Edinburgh 44SE003 - Microsoft virtualisation technologies and roadmap Summary This event focuses on giving you a thorough overview of Microsoft’s current technologies and future strategy in virtualisation, to prepare you for what you can do now and what you should plan for in the run-up to Windows Server Virtualisation. Overview Microsoft’s vision and strategy for virtualisation Why Microsoft? Drilldown: Virtual Server Drilldown: SC VMM Drilldown ttfn David
  • Nick talks sage into posting a fix for Sage Line 50 and Office 2007

    I was browsing Nick Whittome’s blog when I came across this : Sage Line 50 Version 12 - A fix for the ACCREP32.DLL error I would like to publicly thank Sage – specifically Lydia Coakley in Sage Ireland – for listening to my whining and helping me work directly with the Line 50 Development team on getting a fix . Please note that this fix is unsupported at this time, but should be in an update to the version 12 patches soon. In the mean time, this will get your Sage Line 50 version 12 working correctly with Outlook 2007. Good to see them moving on this. Ttfn David Published with BlogMailr
  • You may notice a red address bar in internt explorer (IE7) for bad sites, but now you can see Green for Safe sites

    In an effort to combat phishing scams, Microsoft has rolled out a feature in Internet Explorer 7 that displays Web sites with a new type of security certification in an address bar with a green background. A bit of press on this at Internet Explorer 7 Gives Secure Web Sites the Green Light and some MS info at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/ie/features.mspx (look at dynamic security) where it states: Color-coded notifications appear next to the address bar to make you aware of website security and privacy settings. The Address Bar changes to green for websites bearing new High Assurance certificates, indicating the site owner has completed extensive identity verification checks. Phishing Filter notifications, certificate names, and the gold padlock icon also appear next to the address bar for better visibility. You can easily display certificate and privacy detail information with a single click on the Security Status bar. Ttfn David Technorati tags: Internet Explorer , IE7 , Security , Green Bar Published with BlogMailr
  • Virtual PC 2007 released

    With support for Vista and Office 2007 being key for people inside and outside of Microsoft we have had two updates recently to support this. This entry relates to Virtual PC 2007 and another will relate to SQL 2005 SP2. You can find out about Virtual PC 2007 at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx , however the key features over and above the 2004 product are: · Support for Windows Vista as a host · Support for Windows Vista as a guest · Support for Windows Vista 64-bit as a host · Improved performance compared to Virtual PC 2004 Ttfn David Technorati tags: Virtualisation , Virtual PC , Vista , Windows Vista , x64
  • SQL SP2 updates to support Vista and Office 2007

    With support for Vista and Office 2007 being key for people inside and outside of Microsoft we have had two updates recently to support this. This entry relates to SQL 2005 SP2 and another will relate to Virtual PC 2007. Microsoft announced the release the web of SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2. SP2 is an important deliverable for SQL Server, providing support for Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System in addition to delivering important enhancements for customers. It can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/sql/sp2.mspx . For me, the performance of my reports on my reporting server went up significantly. Ttfn David Technorati tags: SQL Server 2005 , SQL 2005 , SQL SP2 , Vista Published with BlogMailr
  • Windows Vista, Windows XP, Office 2003, Exchange 2007 and Office 2007 Action Pack Update - my FAQ

    [last updated 8th Mar 2008 Please read http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2008/03/08/action-pack-subscribers-get-full-windows-vista-dvds-not-upgrades-and-they-also-get-a-copy-of-ultimate-too-plus-a-stack-of-materials-to-sell-the-product.aspx to read about how full Vista SP1 will be shipped in the Action Pack ] Inside Microsoft we have been toiling very hard to provide solutions that answer the most common feedback. To this end, perhaps slightly before all the legal stuff gets finalised, here is my FAQ on the subject, however the headlines are: You can continue to use the Windows XP and Office 2003 CDs that were supplied in your Action Pack subscription You can Upgrade from Windows Vista Business to Windows Vista Ultimate. This is not a free upgrade, however you get the benefits of this being thought of as a Not for Resale FPP copy AND it does not expire should you stop using Action Pack* (please see legal statements below) Personally I think this is an amazing offer and I am very grateful to the Windows Vista for taking this unusual step Questions: Can I continue to use Windows XP and Office 2003 as previously shipped in the Action Pack, even if my subscription has been renewed? I understand that Windows Vista in the Action Pack is an Upgrade Edition, however I want to do clean installs - how can I do this? I understand that Windows Vista in the Action Pack is the Business Edition, but I want Ultimate , how do I get this? I understand that there are multiple sites available to purchase the Windows Anytime Upgrade from, can I use any of these with the Action Pack DVDs? I need to build a short term demo system , how can I do that without using one of my keys (for any version - from Home Basic thru to Ultimate )? I would like OEM media for Windows Vista? Can I run my business using the Action Pack ? What happens if I need the key again , eg if I have to re-install the OS on the same machine again? How can I create a system that dual boots Windwows XP and Windows Vista ? Can I upgrade from a Vista Home edition...
  • March 2007 - UK Technical Rollup Mail - SQL

    I am shamelessly forwarding this from an internal alias: SQL Server News Now Available – SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 With New Features, Increased Performance Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (SP2) enables all editions of SQL Server 2005 to take advantage of the enhancements within Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System including SQL Server Analysis Services and Reporting Services improvements for Office 2007; increased interoperability; and enhanced manageability and data compression. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/sql/2005/downloads/servicepacks/sp2.mspx SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 Press Release Here: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/feb07/02-19SQLSP2PR.mspx What’s New In SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb283536.aspx A List Of The Bugs That Have Been Fixed In SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 This article contains information about the bugs fixed in SQL Server 2005 SP2. Please note: (1) other fixes that are not documented may be included in the service pack and (2) this list will be updated when more articles are released. http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;921896 Documents SQL Server Questions and Answers From The Latest Technet Magazine Database Size, Mirroring, Marked Transactions and More… http://www.microsoft.com/technet/technetmag/issues/2007/02/SQLQA/default.aspx Case Study: Denmark Telecom Leader Slashes Costs with 6 Terabyte Data Warehouse on SQL Server 2005 http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=200154 Downloads SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 – Related Downloads SQL Server 2005 SP2 To update SQL Server 2005 with Service Pack 2, click the link below and download the files most appropriate for you. Download SQL Server 2005 SP2 SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP2 (February 2007) Download SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP2 Update For Books Online (February 2007) Download an updated version of Books Online for Microsoft SQL Server 2005, the primary documentation...
  • Vista x64 and Action Pack

    I have updated the FAQ, but I can now confirm that there is an intention to ship Vista x64 to partners via the Action Pack, although all the details for the process have not be sorted, meaning that I cannot yet confirm which pack they will be shipping in. As soon as I get more information I will share it, but for now, be aware that we have again put in place a solution to the issues raised by partners around their desires for the Action Pack. ttfn David Technorati tags: Action Pack , Windows Client , Windows Vista and XP , Windows Vista , x64
  • Jeff Raikes (Important Exec at Microsoft) talkes about lots of things, including how Office might go in a SaaS / SwS world

    This is funny, I was discussing Software as a Service (SaaS) / Software with Service (SwS) with a few people the other day. I said that I thought Exchange and Outlook were the best examples of Software WITH Service and why SWS is better than SAAS. Lets run through a scenario, it’s OK, not brilliant, but highlights the point. Client Server – a bit like Outlook with a POP3 account and no offline functionality. Service only – Exchange without any client except Outlook Web Access – full web based access – the 07 version is great, but no offline capability and limited by what a browser can do. Software WITH Service – Outlook connected to Exchange 07 – can use on the web (OWA) can use disconnected – Outlook in Cached mode. You get the best when the two are connected and working together. To me, this is the ideal of the future – I get what I want when I want it – like now, on a train, writing this blog – I hit send, when I sync up, it will appear on my blog. Magic and the 3 hours on the train are useful catch-up time for me. Some applications just don’t add value being browser or internet ONLY based – eg the Office desktop apps. While I might be connected 50-60% of the time, not being able to use them the rest of the time is a huge pain, so I just can’t. Others, I am very happy to live with only when connected, so they are great – these are to be honest new category applications (IMHO) than traditional applications. Anyway, what did Jeff have to say about all this: "...I think Exchange is a platform that will more rapidly move to a service form than Office client applications, where most of the time you want to optimise the power at your fingertips. ...I don't get a lot of interest in running Word over the internet. Bandwidth is precious, and most people have Office. Nobody's crystal ball is perfect, but I think in a few years those who say software is dead will go the way of those people who said PCs were dead and network computing was the thing. The reason is, people get very focused in on trying to undermine Microsoft...
  • Is it me, or is Apple using just slightly arrogant language aboutthe iPhone?

    I saw this and just decided I had to write about it. In the UK we are used to buying a phone at a cost, or for a lower to zero value with a contract. As I understand it, the iPhone will cost $499 in the states when tied to a contract. Wow, so I obviously just don’t get it as that is not up my street at all. Then I saw this and almost balked “realize that free mobile phones are worthless”. They are not free though – they are tied to a contract, so cost money each month. I found this offensive – obviously just getting sensitive in my old age. I still love my Windows Mobile phone J : Apple Expects Huge Demand for iPhones Apple's COO predicts that 10 million customers will pay at least $499 to buy an iPhone next year because they will realize most free mobile phones are worthless. I then saw this and it made me smile a little: Eight Reasons to Think Twice about Buying an iPhone With its hefty price tag, restriction to a single carrier, and departure from many traditional smartphone features, buying the iPhone requires careful forethought. Ttfn David Technorati tags: Apple , iPhone
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  • Raise money for good causes by IMing

    Lots of people have blogged on this before, but we need more people doing it. Go here , follow the instructions to add to your Live Messenger and you are giving money. At the moment the organisations are US based, but I am happy to give to UNICEF, so it works for me. How to do it: i’m starts with you. When you start an i’m conversation you start giving. Download the Windows Live Messenger instant messenger service. There's no charge and it's easy to download and use. Place the text code corresponding to the cause of your choice into your Display Name. Keep having i’m conversations so you can keep funding the cause doing the work most important to you. Already have the version 8.1 of Windows Live Messenger? Start contributing using i’m Organisations you can give to are shown on the left. ttfn David
  • Need to learn a bit about that developer thingy that goes on with Microsoft Technology? Never been "dot Netted" before (.Net to those in the know)? Now you can quietly get up and running with the Beginner Developer Learning Center

    This is shameless ripped from Beginner Developer Learning Center: Beginner Developer Learning Center Home as it looks just what some of us need. Overview Welcome to the Beginner Developer Learning Center - a centralized learning environment specifically targeted to beginning programmers. Here you'll find a rich array of learning content that starts with the very basics, and guides you through step-by-step to becoming a fully-fledged developer! No experience or programming knowledge required - so dive right in! For an overview of all the lessons available on this site, see My Learning Path . All lessons in the Beginner Developer Learning Center are organized into two development tracks: Windows Development and Web Development. Web Development Are you interested in creating dynamic web sites, or building online applications and services? Then this is the Development Track for you! Windows Development Would you like to customize your desktop with cool utilities or build fun Windows applications and PC games? Then you should explore this Development Track In addition, all Lessons are classified into Tiers or levels of difficulty to make it easier to choose the right lessons for your skill level. Tier 1 Lessons are a great place to start if you're brand-new to programming. Most of these lessons don't assume any prior software development knowledge and will take the time to introduce basic concepts. Tier 2 Lessons assume you understand the foundations of .NET development. These lessons will proceed at a faster pace, and cover a lot of the core concepts of Windows and Web development. By the end of these lessons, you should be able to create a basic, working application! Tier 3 Lessons follow up on the skills learned in Tier 2. These lessons expand your knowledge of Windows and Web development with more advanced concepts such as data access and debugging. If you finish the Tier 3 lessons, Congratulations – you've graduated from the Beginner Developer Learning Center and can officially call yourself a Software Developer!
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  • Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack including Softgrid and Sys Internals - 1/2 day technical overview

    The half day overview for partners is scheduled for 28 th March in Reading at Microsoft Thames Valley Park 44SE002 - Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack: why it’s more than just Softgrid 44SE002 - Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack: why it’s more than just Softgrid Summary This event provides the background to Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack, its components, licencing, positioning, strategy and future. It includes a drilldown on the Softgrid application virtualisation technology. Recommended Audience This event is aimed primarily at technical sales staff within partner organisations delivering Microsoft desktop and infrastructur Details Register Detailed Agenda Background and context: overview and positioning of Core Infrastructure Optimisation (IO) Software Assurance (SA): range of benefits eg Desktop Deployment Planning Service Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack: positioning within SA Licencing Elements available outside SA MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack) Technical overview of all 4 components Example scenarios Relationship to other tools Future strategy Softgrid Applications: The Root of Complexity Approaches to Cure Complexity SoftGrid’s Mission: Software as a Service What It Does (and Doesn't do) Microsoft SoftGrid Benefits SoftGrid For Windows Desktops SoftGrid For Terminal Services SoftGrid Virtual Application Servers SoftGrid Sequencer SoftGrid Management Web Service SoftGrid Data Store Application Virtualization Explained On-Demand Streaming of Virtual Apps Putting it all together SMS 2003 Operating modes Considerations / Thoughts SoftGrid RoadMap ttfn David Technorati tags: MDOP , Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack , Training , SA , Software Assurance
  • Help us to shape next-generation 64-bit technology - from Microsoft Partner Newsletter

    Help us to shape next-generation 64-bit technology We are shipping a private beta of our upcoming 64-bit server for medium-size businesses, codenamed 'Centro', and we're looking for partners to test the technology and give us feedback. The server, which is an x64-only version of Longhorn targeted at smaller enterprises, will integrate Exchange 2007, System Centre Essentials, SQL Server 2005 and ISA Server. To sign up to the beta programme, go to http://connect.microsoft.com/ , click on 'Invitations' (in the left-hand navigation) and sign in with your Windows Live ID (Passport ID). Then enter the following invite ID; Extr-GHBC-JCJM. You will be asked to take a short survey. When you have completed the survey you will receive an email from MsftConn@microsoft.com . If you don't already trust this address, please add it to your trusted email addresses. More information on the beta programme More information on Centro Technorati tags: Centro , Beta , Exchange 2007 , System Center Essentials , SQL Server 2005
  • Vista is a sizable segment of the community that visit my SBS site

    I thought this was worth mentioning - I just pulled up the stats for my UKSBSGUY.com site to discover that Vista is doing nicely - nice to see partners moving to the Operating System and using it. Windows XP - 68% Vista - 23% Windows 2000 - 3% Windows NT - 2% (is that really still out there) Mac Intel - 1% Linux - 1% Mac OS - 1% Windows 98 - 1% (well 0.55%)
  • Win £15,000 for a UK charity with a good design

    In a nutshell, DesignIT is about recognising the IT community for its innovation and demonstrating how it can be used to benefit a charity in the UK. Feedback from IT professionals shows that while their practical nut-and-bolts contributions are clear, the creativity applied is often less appreciated. In order to highlight the elegance and finesse that underlies the best system solutions and prove that a creative use of technology can really change people's lives, Microsoft have teamed up with Computing , the leading business technology magazine, to invite IT professionals to meet this challenge. To find out more: www.microsoft.com/uk/designit
  • Sales tools, campaigns, downloads and brochures for Selling the Small Business PC (running Vista and Office 2007)

    Kerry in the Small Business team sent me this mail, so I thought I would forward it on. It is worth knowing that items from the stock shop are often free, including P&P. I’m getting lots of questions about what is available to partners to use to support the small business PC campaign. Details have been included in the campaign updates – but I understand the volume of email we all receive, so hopefully this will be more specific to your needs. We have the following produced and available: Item Details Where to get it! Campaign Builder This campaign promotes our latest product releases specifically for small businesses, Windows Vista™ Business and Microsoft® Office Small Business 2007 promoting how it’s going to transform the way they do business. Aimed at the small business owner/manager, it highlights how Windows Vista™ Business and Microsoft® Office Small Business 2007 introduces powerful new technologies that empower them and their employees to do so much more with their PC. Ultimately, helping them collaborate and communicate more effectively, increase sales, improve security and lower business costs. View Details Marketing Elements: Postcard , Business Letter , Email , Flyer Top 10 reasons sheet Printed and soft copy docuemnt outlining the top ten reasons why a small business would want a PC running Vista and Office Available in partner market M1486 – Top 10 WOW Small Business PC factsheet and Office 20076 and Vista Top 10 Reasons download Small Business PC brochure Printed and soft copy Available in partner market M1485 – Small Business WOW Brochure and as a download WOW Brochure Small Business WOW poster Printed and soft copy Available in partner market M1487 – WOW poster – small business Banners to go on website Various sizes (attached) Attached below. To be loaded on partner website Online demo See bCentral to see what this demo looks like www.bcentral.co.uk/vistaoffice Partners can potentially host this - total site is 46MB - contact me if you want to host yourself SBPC event in a box Part of EVO kit...
  • How to speed up displaying other peoples calendar in Outlook 2007

    If you have Exchange in use then Outlook 2007 may well have the caching of people's calendars turned on. This means that when you open a calendar you have to wait for the cache to populate, which can slow things down a bit sometimes. This is how to turn it back to how it was with Outlook 2003. 1. Go to the Tools Menu and select Account Settings 2. Select your Exchange Account and press the change button 3. Press the more settings button 4. Select the 2nd tab (Advanced) 5. Un-tick the "Download shared folders" option. Note that this will stop cached Sharepoint folders from downloading into Outlook too. 6. Press OK until all options are saved. ttfn David Technorati tags: Outlook 2007 , calendar , Office 2007 performance
  • Windows Vista for beginners - new Vista Wallpaper collection by Hamad Darwish

    I found this great site - http://www.vista4beginners.com - which has some interesting content - first up, some great new wallpapers for Vista - which are great Vistas. Vista Wallpapers Collection Fri, 03/02/2007 - 11:46 — admin Today we are very pleased to announce that our site is hosting a great collection of Windows Vista wallpapers that did not make the cut into the final Vista Collection. The author of these great wallpapers is Hamad Darwish - a talented young man from Kuwait with a passion for photography. Read more Source: Windows Vista for beginners | Windows Vista made simple Technorati tags: Windows Vista , Vista , Wallpaper
  • Infopath training

    There are then a number of labs online - http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb251751.aspx covering Lab 1: Publishing an InfoPath 2007 Form Template to a Server Running InfoPath Forms Services Lab 2: Deploying and Managing InfoPath 2007 Forms Lab 3: Integrating InfoPath 2007 with the Data Connection Library Lab 4: Enabling Digital Signatures in InfoPath 2007 Form Templates Lab 5: Importing Word Forms into InfoPath 2007 Lab 6: Using InfoPath 2007 E-mail Forms Lab 7: Restricting Permissions to InfoPath 2007 Forms and Form Templates Lab 8: Using the InfoPath 2007 Object Model and Visual Studio Tools for Applications Lab 9: Designing InfoPath 2007 Forms for Mobile Web Browsers Lab 10: Creating and Inserting InfoPath 2007 Template Parts Lab 11: Integrating InfoPath 2007 Forms in Web Sites Using Visual Studio Lab 12: Using SharePoint Server Workflows with InfoPath 2007 To use these labs you need a number of downloads found at InfoPath 2007 Sample: Training Labs . ttfn David Technorati tags: Infopath , Training , Developer
  • Microsoft Office Small Business 2007 60 day trial (download)

    Microsoft Office system - Office Small Business 2007 English 60 Day trial (Not to US - [ed - makes a change for it to be excluding US rather than only US]) (download it) Source: Microsoft Office Online Technorati tags: Office 2007 , Office Small Business , Office Live , Trial
  • What to use to replace FrontPage (Expression Web or SharePoint Design) and get a free trial

    I asked my mate James Akrigg what to do for all those people who use FrontPage 2003 today to edit web pages and wish to progress - here is his response: If I am not modifying SharePoint sites then I would suggest Expression Web .. I have been using this for creating simple sites and creating Vista gadgets. It’s bang up-to-date with all things webified And so if you do have SharePoint then use SharePoint Designer .. without a doubt... At first glance Expression Web and SharePoint Designer look very similar.. but there are some subtle differences, the good news is that it is very easy to use both applications. For more information on SharePoint Designer go to http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointdesigner/FX100487631033.aspx . You can get a free trial at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=BAA3AD86-BFC1-4BD4-9812-D9E710D44F42&displaylang=en For more information on Expression Web go to http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/expression-web/default.mspx . You can get a free trial at http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/expression-web/free-trial.mspx ttfn David Technorati tags: SharePoint , Expression , SharePoint Designer , Expression Web , Trial
  • Building Office Live applications - this is where you need to start

    I had a partner ask me about Office Live today, so these are the places you need to start: 1) Client SDK - Windows Live ID Client 1.0 SDK in Alpha 2) Web Based Info - http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/showpost.aspx?postid=924592&siteid=1 and http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905514.aspx 3) Windows SharePoint v3 APIs - Working with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Web Services (what is supported from WSSv3 and what is blocked) 4) Some important sections: How to: Integrate Access 2007 and Excel 2007 with Office Live How to: Integrate Office Live with other Office 2007 applications Chris's unofficial Office Live developer blog That is it for now - the client SDK is key - you can build rich client applications and then share data via the OfficeLive web. nice. ttfn David Technorati tags: Office Live , Live , Saas , Software as a service , software with service
  • If you have upgraded your SBS WSSv2 Companyweb site to WSS v3, there is hope to fix it

    Technorati tags: WSS , Companyweb , Windows SharePoint Services , SBS 2003 R2 , sbs 2003 I have seen two entries on this today that need flagging. The 1st is the re-iteration by Susan Bradley that everything works baring e-mail in a WSS v3 site - providing you are not upgrading a WSSv2 site on SBS. Side-by-side installs work with this exception. It is still vital that you read this document before you do the upgrade. However, I have had several people mail me asking how to recover. I asked the same question inside Microsoft and was told that a potential solution has been documented in a blog - http://blogs.technet.com/edwalt/archive/2006/11/29/removing-wss-3-0-companyweb-upgrade-restoring-wss-2-0-on-sbs-2003.aspx . This is almost certainly great news for those who ruin their site. There is a word of warning - you need a backup of your WSS v3 companyweb database. ttfn David

(c)David Overton 2006-13