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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December 2007 - David Overton's Blog

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  • Happy Christmas - see the Santa Cam to see where he has been

    I Love Santa Claus!! I was thrilled to hear Jonathan Ross announce that he had entered British air space. You can see all the Santa cam videos at http://youtube.com/view_play_list?p=26B9B2ACB4AAC849 . One that caught my eye was his visit to the International Space Station: ttfn and a Merry Christmas David Technorati Tags: Christmas , Santa Cam , Santa Claus
  • Silverlight, the UK PR company and Christmas greetings

    I'm enjoying the festive spirit at the moment - the home is well lit and I am officially off from work (officially because I still do a bit here and there). I'm off to the cinema with one of my daughters today and plan to spend some of the afternoon wrapping presents too. What more could one ask for? Well, how about Mason Zimbler writing their seasons greeting card in Silverlight? Well, if it was, then another of my Christmas wishes has been granted . It is quite nice to see a PR company taking the mickey out of themselves a bit, but they are British I suppose!! http://mason-zimbler.com/festivegreetings/ As always, enjoy the holidays David Technorati Tags: Silverlight , Christmas , Personal
  • Happy Christmas / Seasons Greetings - The Overton house is once again lit up for all to see

    I am lucky enough to have understanding neighbours and a family that understands that while I work hard all year, come Christmas I take time off and this includes the house being decorated in Christmas lights. To see them this year, have a look at the photo album - http://uksbsguy.com/photos/doverton/tags/Christmas/default.aspx . I will be posting some comments to the blog, but outside of that, have a GREAT holiday no matter how you celebrate it. See you in 2008. David and Family Technorati Tags: Christmas , Holiday , Personal , Christmas lights
  • Samba developers can now see the Windows Protocols, make their products more interoperable with Microsoft Windows and see where Patents are to then choose to avoid or license

    I have never been known to sugar coat my opinion and one that has been forming recently is that much of the EU work on opening the Windows Media player is undesired by the consumers or the industry. This is my opinion, but I've seen no evidence to the contra. However, the licensing of protocols, while I don't wholly agree with the pricing structure, I see it as a good thing. This is a classic example of a de-facto standard working how it should. Today yet another organisation licensed the protocols, this time for the Samba community (with restrictions on redistribution and patent awareness) and this should deliver the reality of "interoperability, not standards" that I personally feel is the true desire of the world. Update: Microsoft to hand over Windows secrets to Samba team | InfoWorld | News | 2007-12-20 | By Robert McMillan, IDG News Service Developers of open-source Samba software will find their work a little easier thanks to an agreement with Microsoft, signed Thursday, that will give them access to previously secret data on how the Windows operating system works. <snipped> The deal was signed with a nonprofit group called the Protocol Freedom Information Foundation, (PFIF) which negotiated on behalf of the Samba team because Samba is not represented by a corporate entity. PFIF will pay a one-time fee of €10,000 and, in return, will be able to allow open-source developers, including the Samba team, to access the documents. Developers will have to sign nondisclosure agreements and will not be allowed to redistribute Microsoft's documentation, but they will be able to write open-source software that implements the Windows protocols. The deal will also clarify which patents Microsoft believes are related to this technology, making it easier for open-source developers to avoid patent violations. The article is quite negative in tone, ignoring that the licensing process was available before the EU stepped in and giving the glory to the EU, when I believe it is the free-market that made...
  • How to Disable Internet features of Office 2007

    I saw this go around on a thread at work and I have seen it requested for those security conscious partners, so here is the answer (courtesy of Eric Ellis): 1) Via the Office Customisation Tool (OCT) and a custom MSP: — or — 2) Via Group Policy: The difference between the two is that using the OCT will preset the desired configuration during the initial installation (or in a maintenance mode change), but users can change the settings if they desire. Group policy enforces the desired configuration, and if a user makes a change to the setting, they will revert back to the settings defined in the policy during the next application session. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007 , Security , Internet , Group Policy , Office Customisation Tool , OCT
  • Internet Explorer 8 (yep, not yet released) does standards (well Acid anyway)

    Earlier this month on the IE blog there was some discussion about IE8, almost the 1st discussion about this - Internet Explorer 8 . Now they talk about the "Standards Mode" and how for those who want near 100% standards based web sites can live happily together. It is worth saying that it might end up 100% standards based, but since I don't think such a thing exists, all I will say is that is passes all the standards tests. Acid is one of these tests. I strongly recommend you read the the whole blog Internet Explorer 8 and Acid2: A Milestone As a team, we’ve spent the last year heads down working hard on IE8. Last week, we achieved an important milestone that should interest web developers. IE8 now renders the “ Acid2 Face ” correctly in IE8 standards mode. If you’re not a web developer, the details of this blog post probably aren’t all that interesting for you. I’d like you to know that we’re building IE8 for many different customers (consumers, web service providers, independent software vendors, enterprises, web developers, and others), and we’ll cover more details of the non-developer oriented work (e.g. user experience, reliability, security, etc.) in other posts in the future, after MIX . While web developers will immediately recognize what Acid2 means, I want to step back and offer some context for other readers of this blog who may not be familiar with web standards. Briefly: Acid2 is one test of how modern browsers work with some specific features across several different web standards. At first glance, this test seems simple. I think it actually offers a view into the subtle and complex world of web standards in a number of ways. Showing the Acid2 page correctly is a good indication of being standards compliant, but Acid2 itself isn’t a web standard or a web standards compliance test . The publisher of the test, the Web Standards Project , is an advocacy group, not a web standards defining body. When we look at the long lists of standards (even from just one standards body, like the W3C ),...
  • Happy Christmas from Microsoft UK and me (ok, so it says Seasons Greetings, but I think we all can take it to be something about having a nice break if you choose to celebrate it)

    The card itself can be found at the site http://www.seasonal-greetings.com/ , but since this is a nice little Silverlight card I thought I would try my hand at embedding it too, so below is an embedded version of the card. If this gives you problems, let me know. If you feel inclined you can click the NSPCC link and think about how to support them (I do, but so could you) [updated to change Silverlight embedded card to a link since this is now post Christmas] ttfn David Technorati Tags: Seasons Greatings , Happy Christmas , NSPCC , Microsoft
  • Post Install Issues with MS07-069 (IE6 on XPSP2) - Internet Explorer 6 crashes on launch

    Just a quick one for those of you on XP SP2 with the latest security updates. There is a risk of seeing IE start crashing following this update. You have two choices: Don't install the security update - always a bad idea Install the update and deploy a registry fix to solve the problem. The IE team have documented it at Post Install Issues with MS07-069 (IE6 on XPSP2) After downloading the Internet Explorer Cumulative Security Update for December 2007, some customers using IE6 on Windows XP Service Pack 2 have experienced an unexpected crash or hang upon launching Internet Explorer. This might occur while navigating to a website hosting considerable media content (for example: http://msn.com ) resulting in Internet Explorer displaying a dialog that states “Internet Explorer has experienced a problem and needs to close”. If you experience this issue, implement the applicable workaround provided in the following knowledge base article: Microsoft Knowledge Base article 946627 For your security, we strongly recommend that you deploy the Internet Explorer Cumulative Security Update for December 2007 . Terry McCoy Program Manager Internet Explorer Security The KB article has the following information in it ( Internet Explorer 6 crashes after you install security update 942615 on a computer that is running Windows XP Service Pack 2 ) Internet Explorer 6 crashes after you install security update 942615 on a computer that is running Windows XP Service Pack 2 Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk. To work around this problem, follow these steps: Click Start , click Run , type regedit, and then click OK . Locate and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\ On the Edit menu, point to New ,...
  • Mobile browsers and devices that are supported in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and in SharePoint Server 2007

    I saw this pointed out today and had to share. With SharePoint Service v3 & 2007 you can enable simple mobile access. This is covered in the Knowledge Base article Mobile browsers and devices that are supported in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and in SharePoint Server 2007 of which the key items are: INTRODUCTION This article discusses the mobile browsers and devices that are supported in Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Mobile pages refer to the pages that you can access by using any of the following URLs: http://URL/m/ http://URL/_layouts/mobile/default.aspx Note To use the http://URL/m/ URL, you must enable it by using the following command: stsadm -o activatefeature -name MobilityRedirect -URL http://URL By default, the http://URL/_layouts/mobile/default.aspx URL works without any additional enabling. I saw this when David Copeland posted this to a question on an internal alias, so thanks to David for pointing it out. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Mobile , SharePoint , WSS v3 , WSS
  • Service Availability and what it mean, or have a consumer broadband line and get consumer availability (10 hours downtime)

    The UKSBSGUY.com server is on my home broadband connection and this means it does not get business availability. Last night I had another 10 hours downtime and 8 hours earlier in the month. This all sounds bad, but here is where you need to understand SLAs and what availability statistics mean. If I have a 24x7 contract and I want high availability then this is how much downtime I can have through the year: Availability 365 days 31 days 1 day 99% 3.65 days 7.44 hours 14.4 minutes 99.9% 8.76 hours 44.64 minutes 1.44 minutes 99.99% 52.56 minutes 4.46 minutes 0.14 minutes 99.999% 5.26 minutes 0.45 minutes 0.01 minutes From this you can see that I am somewhere between 99% and 99.9%. If I assume 24 hours downtime this year then I am at about 99.7%, which on a consumer service is pretty amazing. Now, if someone offers you a service rebate then you need to consider the service period. For example, if someone offers 99.9% every day and you have a whole days outage, that is 1 day in 365 that they have failed, so any rebate might be very small. Also bear in mind that if the service hours reduces (eg 9-5) then the amount of down time that is in spec reduces, but the service could be available or closed outside the service hours. Hopefully this helps point to what you need to know when offering or signing up to SLAs: Over what period is the availability measured (remember it is possible to offer 99.99% from 9-5 and then 0% outside this, so beware) What is the recourse that is offered if a SLA is missed and how does it fit in the bit picture What is the cost / impact of taking an SLA How do they manage with existing customers What are the exceptions (eg telling you 2 weeks in advance that the service will be down for 8 hours might exclude that service from SLA measures) that is it. Obviously there are a couple of SLA and managed services kings out there such as Karl - http://smallbizthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/09/final-thoughts-managed-services-in.html and the two PALs in the UK (Vijay and Gareth) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Service...
  • WSS v3 Search and Search Server - how to mix the two and fix the error "The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service"

    I got this e-mail the other day: Hi David,From your posting "How to install Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express - including how to install on Windows Home Server" it seems that you had some similar problems that I am experiencing regarding running wss3 and ssx on the same server. In my case it effectively broke the "search this site" option and I'm trying to find a solution to this do you by any chance now what is my problem? I keep getting the error message: The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service . Regards Peter After a bit of research the answer can be found at http://wss.asaris.de/sites/walsh/Lists/WSSv3%20FAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=1256 . While I have not used this, the feedback from Peter was excellent "Thanks a bundle, This was the solution to my problem.", so I feel confident sharing it. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Search Server Express Edition 2008 , Search Server , Windows SharePoint Server , WSS , SSX
  • SBS 2003, Virtual Server and / or Terminal Services and why use virtualisation and the risks to consider

    I need to take my hat off to the PSS guys in India. I "met" Girish on the Microsoft internal aliases and then delivering a Technet chat. I've since seen him post some great blog posts, but also answer key questions in various SBS forums. Alex recently asked the question: They (well I) think it is time to virtualise the three SBS servers that support their three micro businesses (plus a terminal server each). Lower energy costs (down to 1 server from 3), quieter in their office. Girish has recently blogged something that would help implement this: Content Released: Deploying Terminal Services in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Environment Deploying Terminal Services in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Environment This document updates and replaces both "Deploying Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server to Host User Desktops in a Windows Small Business Server Environment" and "Installing Virtual Server 2005 R2 on Windows Small Business Server 2003 with SP1." Kudos to SBS UA team and the SBS Support Staff. Now, he also commented in the SBS forum with some great advice: There are a huge number of caveats that make this a very complex and usually disappointing option. Make sure your understand these KBs: 909840 Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 do not support Virtual PC and Virtual Server for production environments http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;909840 840319 A list of supported host operating systems that you can use to run Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;840319 897613 Microsoft Virtual Server support policy http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;897613 320220 Support policy for Exchange Server 2003 running on hardware virtualization software http://vkbexternal/VKBWebService/ViewContent.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;320220 897614 Windows Server System software not supported within a Microsoft Virtual Server environment http://vkbexternal/VKBWebService/ViewContent...
  • How to buy Microsoft products - for businesses up to 250 PCs

    I saw this ( How to buy Microsoft products ) and thought I should share. Not only does the site have some very simple information on what solution may well be right for each customer and how to choose, but if you are still confused there is a good questionnaire to help you and a link to find your local SBSC partner. Find the right purchasing option for you Volume Licensing Best option for companies that would like to save money on software by buying in bulk. If you are buying more than 5 licences for any mix of Microsoft products, you could save money in comparison to buying boxed software. Learn more Hosted software Best option for businesses that want to outsource IT. You can rent the right to use Microsoft products through an IT provider who offers Software as a Service (SaaS). Learn more Software in a box from a retailer Best option for companies that only need one or two copies of software, or that want the convenience of an instant purchase. You can buy software in a box that contains a licensed software CD for installation on a single computer. Learn more Pre-installed on a new computer Best option for companies with plans to buy new computers. If you are buying new computers for your company, you can have many Microsoft products pre-installed. Learn more Comparison Chart: ttfn David Technorati Tags: Small Business , How to buy Microsoft software , SBSC PALs
  • Do you want a Microsoft Architecture Poster?

    I saw this at Chris's site and thought I would share: Chris Bowen's Blog : Got Tech Posters? There are plenty of technology posters and charts for developers available on MSDN. I didn't realize just how many until I searched for "poster" on MSDN downloads . Here's a list of the more recent ones: [Edited list by David - more on Chris's blog] .NET 3.5 Namespaces Poster The .NET Framework 3.5 Common Namespaces and Types Poster Exchange Component Architecture Poster This poster highlights the architecture and feature set of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. Visual Basic 2008 Keybinding Poster Printable wall poster containing list of useful keyboard shortcuts for Visual Basic 2008 developers Visual C++ 2008 Keybinding Poster List of keybindings for Visual C++ language within Visual Studio and Visual C++ Express 2008 Visual C# 2008 Poster Wall chart showing useful keyboard shortcuts for Visual C# programming language 2007 Office System: Developer Posters Download these posters to learn more about the new features and enhancement to the 2007 Microsoft Office System. Windows Server 2008 Component Posters Windows Server 2008 Component Posters, originally printed in the July 2007 issue of TechNet Magazine. Microsoft Silverlight 1.1 ( Ed: Make that 2.0 ) Developer Reference Poster Microsoft Silverlight Developer Reference Poster ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , .Net Framework , Visual C# , Visual C++ , Office System , Silverlight , Windows Server 2008
  • If you are a developer, what can Windows 2008 do for your developments... lots maybe

    Sorry to sound so vague, but I have to start by saying that Windows Server 2008 is a server platform, not a cure for cancer, so lets put it in perspective and set our expectations high, but not stupidly high expecting it to be revolution. Server 2008 is a quality evolution of Windows Server 2003 and extends and enhanced the Server 2003 offerings. However, if you plan on building applications for the future then Server 2008 will be the place to be. Microsoft have released a document called the "Windows Server 2008 Developer Story" that has a wealth of information on Server 2008 developer directions and how they combine to offer something greater than the sum of the parts. The download site describes itself as: Windows Server 2008 Developer Story An executable containing the Windows Server 2008 Developer Story The Windows Server 2008 Developer Story introduces users to new features of the Windows Server 2008 operating system by providing a cohesive story about how the features fit together to make a compelling platform for developers. The Developer Story topics explain how to take advantage of a new feature or solve a problem using the new Windows technologies. The topics include conceptual information for context and technical specifications for practical application of each scenario. This download contains the Windows Server 2008 Developer Story (ServerDevStory.chm). Download details: Windows Server 2008 Developer Story If you look inside the help file it loads then you get this list of the top 7 ways to take advantage of Windows Server 2008. Top 7 Ways to Light Up Your Apps on Windows Server 2008 Whether you are building Web applications or writing core server-based system services, Windows Server® 2008 provides many new features that you can leverage to build more secure, flexible, and innovative applications. Build More Flexible Web Applications on Internet Information Server 7.0 (IIS7) Extend IIS7 through modules New unified configuration model Administration capabilities using Microsoft.Web.Administration...
  • Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals - download details

    If you do plan to deploy Windows Vista then you need to be aware of the information that these guides can give you: Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals These guides will assist IT Professionals in evaluating and deploying Windows Vista SP1 and are downloadable versions of the SP1 guides found in the Windows Vista Technical Library . (http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsVista/en/library/90a564b9-34af-4a6b-937f-324e1862244b1033.mspx) Files in This Download The links in this section correspond to separate files available in this download. Download the files most appropriate for you. Deployment_Guide_for_the_Release_Candidate_Version_of_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Enterprise_Guidance_for_Application_Compatibility_Testing_and_Windows_Vista_SP1.doc Hotfixes_and_Security_Updates_included_in_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Notable_Changes_in_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1_Release_Candidate.doc Overview_of_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Download details: Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Vista , Service Pack , Service Pack 1 , Release Candidate , Documentation
  • How to get Windows Vista Service Pack 1 RC (legitimately) via the Public Availability Program

    I knew this was coming, but I've not seen it shouted too much. My machine feels more responsive and some operations as mentioned before are faster. If you read the Windows Vista team blog Windows Vista SP1 RC now available for public download you would think it is only available to MSDN and Technet customers. It does have some good pointers though. We're making available today the RC release of Windows Vista SP1, found here on MSDN and here on TechNet , with an FAQ here . I invite you to download, install and use the SP1 RC and let us know about your experience by providing your feedback here . Before you install SP1 RC, please bear in mind the following points of advice, detailed in this short article : If you have a prior version of SP1 Beta installed, you must uninstall it prior to installing RC. This is pre-release code and will change before the final release. This pre-release software is provided for testing purposes only. Microsoft does not recommend installing this software on primary or mission-critical systems. Microsoft recommends that you backup your data prior to installing any pre-release software. Windows Vista SP1 Release Candidate is time-limited software. It will no longer operate after June 30, 2008 and should be uninstalled prior to that date. Support is through self-help and peer support via the Windows Vista SP1 forum . Assisted support (phone, email and online chat) is not available from Microsoft Support for this RC release of SP1. Support is not available via this blog. If you install the Service Pack 1 Release Candidate, it is strongly recommended that you also plan to install the final version of Windows Vista SP1 when it is released in the first quarter of 2008. To do this, you will be required to uninstall this pre-release code. You must have a genuine copy of Windows Vista installed on the computer prior to installing the Windows Vista SP1 update. Thanks to all of you who've expressed interest in testing the RC! To get on the programme for Windows Updates based SP1 RE, have...
  • More on how to use / develop with Silverlight 1.0 and the fact that users are itching for Silverlight 2.0

    I love content produced in Silverlight, in fact, not enough is happening with this technology in my personal opinion inside Microsoft (or at least, inside and coming out), however I have found a few resources worth mentioning. 1st up we have information on Silverlight 1.0 development by Dan Wahlin - My Latest Silverlight Articles - Dan Wahlin's WebLog : My Latest Silverlight Articles Over the past few months I've been writing articles for the .NET Insight insight newsletter covering various ASP.NET AJAX concepts. You can read those article here . I've wrapped up that series and have started writing about Silverlight 1.0. Each week a new article will be published and I'll update them here so check back. The articles are designed to be focused and concise and get straight to the topic without a lot of fluff. Getting Started with Silverlight Using Microsoft's Silverlight Control in a Web Site Understanding Silverlight's createObject and createObjectEx Methods Silverlight XAML Primer 1: Exploring Canvases Silverlight XAML Primer 2: Rectangles, Ellipses, Lines and Text Silverlight XAML Primer 3: Working with Image Brushes and then we have the news that people just can't wait for the next version (was Silverlight 1.1 alpha) Users Itching for Silverlight 2.0 By Darryl K. Taft Microsoft continues to evolve its Silverlight cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for generating rich Internet applications and Web content, and users are anxiously awaiting the features due in the next release. The Redmond, Wash., software giant released Silverlight 1.0 in September, along with a 1.1 update. Then on Nov. 29, Microsoft announced that it was renaming Silverlight 1.1 to Silverlight 2.0. And in addition to adding support for .NET, Microsoft is taking the next version of Silverlight further by adding a comprehensive control model, powerful skinning/theming, data binding and over 20 controls in the box, Microsoft said. "Silverlight 2.0 is the version we're excited about," said Scott Stanfield,...
  • Office 2007 SP1 is here and it does more than just update the desktop - SharePoint gets AJAX for example

    I'm sure you have heard that the Office 2007 Service Pack is here. Darren Strange has documented what is in it and how to get it at Office 2007 sp1 ready for download today and OfficeRocker! : More detail about sp1 . In answer to Susanne's post at here , hopefully this post has some more info in it One of the little things he puts that I like is: Some other factoids about sp1 There are roughly 2500 fixes in SP1. This an average size for a service pack, but the issues fixed are very important to our customers. Almost 20% of those fixes are direct result of customer requests. Over 500 of those fixes focused on security. There are a total of 24 different releases in 38 languages. There are 683 distinct packages. All have released simultaneously today. If you get the whitepaper then you would be keen to see the information below. Notice that SharePoint amongst other things a developer update to support Ajax and that other server products (Groove and Project Server) are also updated. Stability Microsoft continues to improve its software products by listening to customers and acting on customer requests. With the 2007 Microsoft® Office system Service Pack 1 (SP1), Microsoft demonstrates this commitment by fixing at least the top five software bugs in each application that caused crashes, resulting in an even more stable product. The 2007 Office system SP1 also addresses many minor annoyances and distracting problems that users had to contend with in the initial release. Many of these minor usability and stability fixes are in response to customer requests as well. The following section lists summaries of some of the most notable stability improvements delivered with the 2007 Office system SP1. Access 2007 For third-party applications that use Data Access Object code to synchronize replicated information in a Microsoft Office Access™ 2007 database, Office Access 2007 no longer returns a run-time error that causes the application to close or time out. Communicator 2007 Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 now presents...
  • SharePoint continues to grow - now being considered "viral" in it's take up and what you can do about it.

    From a Microsoft and Microsoft Partner point of view the press article below is great news. IT departments are finding users who are deploying SharePoint to get the benefits and the easy of use that SharePoint offers as well as developers who are building on SharePoint as an application Platform. I recently had a partner who told me that their belief was that Windows 32/64 was the desktop and server operating system, but they saw SharePoint as the web OS. Given the benefits that SP1 provides to SharePoint this is even more the case. http://napps.networkworld.com/news/2007/120707-microsoft-sharepoint.html The analyst firm CMS Watch is claiming the newest version of Microsoft ’s SharePoint is spreading “virally” throughout enterprises, catching IT departments off guard and introducing risks related to uncontrolled content and regulatory compliance . […] CMS Watch says viral proliferation of SharePoint is nothing new, going back to the 2003 version. But Pelz-Sharpe says the “problem is becoming acute now” with the popularity of the 2007 product. SharePoint is a runaway success, reportedly generating $800 million in revenue this year for Microsoft, with 85 million licenses across 17,000 customers, the CMS Watch report states. For those who are finding SharePoint overload then a quick visit to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/sharepointserver/bb507202.aspx should offer some relief. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SharePoint , SharePoint Portal Server , SharePoint Portal Server 2007
  • Windows platform documentation (Windows Server System Reference Architecture, Planning VM Manager deployment, Installing and configuring VM Manager, Windows HPC Server 2008 Technical Overview, Windows Server 2008 Developer and App Compat testing)

    The TRM blog can be found here December 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms Infrastructure Planning and Design The Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) guides are the next version of Windows Server System Reference Architecture. The guides in this series help clarify and streamline design processes for Microsoft infrastructure technologies, with each guide addressing a unique infrastructure technology or scenario. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=5&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3dad3921fb-8224-4681-9064-075fdf042b0c%26DisplayLang%3den Planning a Virtual Machine Manager 2007 Deployment This content provides an introduction to System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2007 and practical guidance for planning a VMM deployment. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=15&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d3e674bc0-bb85-47ae-b73d-f5bc515f1006%26DisplayLang%3den Installing and Configuring Virtual Machine Manager 2007 This content provides information about installing and configuring Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), with all VMM components installed on a single computer or with each VMM component installed on separate computers. This content also provides step-by-step instructions for uninstalling VMM and reinstalling VMM with a database retained from a previous installation. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=23&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d8b09bc46-1a34-450b-86f3-a574602b6450%26DisplayLang%3den Windows HPC Server 2008 Technical Overview Read about benefits and features of Windows HPC Server 2008, the successor to Windows Computer Cluster Server 2003 http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=25&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d7a4544f0-81f2-4778-8a59...
  • Toshiba to Make Solid-State Drives in Push for Flash

    I saw this and had to share - I want flash drives for my laptops - fast, low power... me, me, me!! Toshiba to Make Solid-State Drives in Push for Flash The memory chip maker is seeking to create new sources of demand for flash memory chips. TOKYO (Reuters)—Japanese memory chip maker Toshiba Corp. said on Monday it would make flash-based solid state drives for notebook PCs, as it seeks to create new sources of demand for flash memory chips. The world's No. 2 maker of NAND-type flash memory said its solid state drives would range in capacity from 32 gigabytes to 128 gigabytes, and that it will mass produce the 1.8-inch and 2.5 inch drives in May 2008. Much more info at Toshiba to Make Solid-State Drives in Push for Flash ttfn David Technorati Tags: Storage
  • More on the differences between real world Vista performance and that of a benchmark

    Following up on my articles that discuss Vista performance (I still stick by my statement that it is reasonable to expect Vista to need more resources) at More on Vista vs XP performance - why doesn't everyone want a racing car, but instead do they opt for safety, comfort or even the ability to have more than one passenger? and Vista SP1 beta vs XP SP3 beta and performance - what a load of old <insert your favourite derogatory term here> I saw this and thought it was worth sharing - especially worth watching the video!! The right time to assess Windows Vista's performance Posted by Nick White on Friday, November 30, 2007 4:29 PM Measuring the performance of an operating system is a tricky thing. At the same time, it's the right and necessary thing to do, because performance is one of many criteria important to customers. Part of the trick of measuring performance is to time testing execution with the product cycle such that the results are as meaningful as possible for customers; this helps them make a better decision by making use of the full array of available information. As one example, about a year ago we commissioned a firm called Principled Technologies to conduct a study comparing Windows XP SP2 to Windows Vista RTM. That study found the performance measures of the two operating systems were within the same range for many tasks that home and business users frequently perform under real-world conditions. Windows Vista Team Blog : The right time to assess Windows Vista's performance ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Performance , Vista
  • How to modify the Windows Vista Aurora, bubbles, mystify and ribbons screensaver hidden settings

    I saw this and thought I would share it for those who want to customise the screen savers that ship with Vista. Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings For those of you who are using Windows Vista, you may have noticed that the screen savers that are included do not contain any settings. Actually, they do , but Microsoft didn't include options dialogs for them. Long Zheng posted the settings for the Bubbles, Mystify, and Ribbons screensavers back in September before Windows Vista officially shipped. But he didn't post the settings for Aurora . Through a little bit of digging and guess work, I've uncovered one registry key that actually works for customizing the Aurora screensaver. Let's get started, shall we? Kristan Kenney: Confessions of a Windows Enthusiast : Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista Tweaks , Windows Vista , Vista
  • Mummy, why is there a server in the house (I had to change it for the UK audiences)

    This is a funny campaign from the Home Server team who have been blogging about their new marketing campaign. It made me smile. Have a look at the "book" and the "videos"!! Earlier I posted about our new ad campaign " Stay at Home Servers " and pointed you at the videos (the first of which are getting rave reviews ). Yesterday we posted the full contents of the hit Children's book " Mommy, Why is there a Server in the House? " for your online reading pleasure. Windows Home Server Blog ttfn David Technorati Tags: fun , Home Server
  • Windows platform news (Hyper-V pricing, Technet Edge, HPC 2008)

    The TRM blog can be found here December 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms Microsoft outlines pricing, packaging and licensing for Windows Server 2008, Including the new Microsoft Hyper-V Server product. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/nov07/11-12HyperVPR.mspx Microsoft announces new virtualization offerings, Windows Server 2008 details, System Center product availability at TechEd IT Forum 2007 http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/nov07/11-12ITForumPR.mspx Solution Accelerators Take the guesswork out of your deployments. Use these tested and proven automation tools and guides to assess your network and confidently roll out new services employing architectures with baked-in security and manageability. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/solutionaccelerators/default.aspx The TechNet Team have launched Technet Edge, a new community site where IT professionals can go to get the inside scoop on the latest and greatest technologies. http://edge.technet.com/Default.aspx Introducing Microsoft Search Server 2008 http://www.microsoft.com/enterprisesearch/serverproducts/searchserver/default.aspx A successful enterprise search solution gives users efficient access to unstructured data, structured information, and expertise. It helps keep sensitive information secure; is easy to set up, administer, and manage; leaves room for scalability; and allows you to customize and extend your search experience. Search doesn’t have to be complicated. You can deliver it to your organization quickly and easily with Microsoft Search Server 2008 A successful enterprise search solution gives users efficient access to unstructured data, structured information, and expertise. It helps keep sensitive information secure; is easy to set up, administer, and manage; leaves room for scalability; and allows you to customize and extend your search experience. Search doesn’t have to be complicated. You can deliver it to your organization quickly and easily with Microsoft Search Server 2008 Download the Express Edition Free: http...
  • Microsoft Live Labs Volta Team Blog

    I saw this and thought I would share. Write apps with another simple set of tools. Between Popfly, this and more it seems that building on Microsoft is getting easier and easier. Have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/dec07/12-05Volta.mspx for some more info. Announcing Volta: Web Development Using Only the Materials in the Room Today, we are announcing the Volta technology preview , a developer toolset for building multi-tier web applications using existing and familiar tools, techniques and patterns. Volta’s declarative tier-splitting enables developers to postpone architectural decisions about distribution until the last possible responsible moment. Also, thanks to a shared programming model across multiple-tiers, Volta enables new end-to-end profiling and testing for higher levels of application performance, robustness, and reliability. Using the declarative tier-splitting, developers can refine architectural decisions based on this profiling data. This saves time and costs associated with manual refactoring. In effect, Volta extends the .NET platform to further enable the development of software+services applications, using existing and familiar tools and techniques. You architect and build your application as a .NET client application, assigning the portions of the application that run on the server tier and client tier late in the development process. You can target either web browsers or the CLR as clients and Volta handles the complexities of tier-splitting. The compiler creates cross-browser JavaScript for the client tier, web services for the server tier, and all communication, serialization, synchronization, security, and other boilerplate code to tie the tiers together. In effect, Volta offers a best-effort experience in multiple environments without requiring tailoring of the application. Learn more about Volta and download it to try building applications yourself > Microsoft Live Labs Volta Team Blog ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , Volta
  • Great event a kudos to Susanne Dansey and Westcoast following the UK Small Business Forum

    If there was more proof needed that a partner could change how people felt about them by working with the right person then Susanne and Westcoast have done it. I had several people say that without Susanne's guidance Westcoast would not have come onto their radar, which is a resounding vote of confidence. However, the event showed that there is still more work to do in terms of building trust and having the right people in the right places. Some of the questions asked at the forum and answered on Partner Questions from the Small Business Forum show that some people don't understand how this segment of the market works. Oh, and some people is in all companies - Westcoast, Microsoft and some of the partners. I'm not going to "name names", but it is good for everyone to grow together and give a little. I thought I would add some more information to that already given by Susanne. Small Business Accounting; why only direct sales? Volume licensing? Will there be a programme to connect accountants to SBSCs? We are at the beginning of the licensing around this product and other options will become available over time. Bear in mind that while the product is available, the retail launch and "noise" is still some time away. There is already a UK programme for accounts and more information on this can be found on the blog at What is in Office Accounting for accountants... well, multiple account views, sharing, customisation and more, but it is not an practice management solution How do you get license sales recognition even though you’re not one who resells (as in deals with the disti)? I'm going to give you a personal opinion here (like I don't normally), but this is simple. Buying through disti ensures legal software distribution, distribution of marketing materials and funds. Can you imagine someone rewarding people who buy through a set of channels known to have a very significant piracy rate (UK piracy is something like 33%) and for which there is no way to track the sales. Now, there...
  • SQL Server Web casts (Preparing for SQL Server 2008, New T-SQL features, migrating from Access, Policy based management framework, BI, certifications, reducing hardware and maintenance costs)

    From the TRM Blog at November 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - SQL SQL 2005 Webcasts and Virtual Labs SQL Server 2005 is data management and analysis software that delivers enhanced security, availability, and scalability to mission-critical data applications—while making them easier to develop, deploy, and manage. Choose from a wide range of live and on-demand webcasts. Or take part in a virtual lab, which allows you to cut your teeth on the new platform by experimenting with its different capabilities. SQL Server 2005 Webcasts TechNet Webcast: Prepare Yourself for Windows Server 2008 (Part 1 of 8): Product Workload Scenarios (Level 300) – Monday, December 03, 2007 9:30 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada) In this first session of our series, we discuss how Windows Server 2008 addresses key deployment scenarios for customers. We start with an overview of the key product workload scenarios for Windows Server 2008. We cover as many as 10 different scenarios, and we discuss how each scenario can be categorized into one of three different design pillars. While examining the scenarios, we take a closer look at the specific technologies used within the scenario, describe how they are used, and explain why they are needed. We show which technologies comprise each scenario and the value propositions they deliver. Finally, we see how the scenario adds value to Windows Server 2008 and, in some cases, we provide real-world examples of usages for the scenario. TechNet Webcast: Prepare Yourself for Windows Server 2008 (Part 1 of 8): Product Workload Scenarios (Level 300) MSDN Webcast: New T-SQL Programmability Features in SQL Server 2008 (Level 300) – Tuesday, December 04, 2007 1:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada) Join this webcast on new T-SQL programmability features in Microsoft SQL Server 2008, an extension from last year's presentation on top Microsoft SQL Server 2005 T-SQL features. We cover exciting new features such as: New data types (i.e. date/time, filestream, HierarchyID, large UDT, sparse columns) Dependency management...
  • SQL Server Downloads (CTPs - Synchronization Services for ADO.NET, VS 2005 Support for SQL Server 2008, Configuration Manager config packs, Assessment packs for HIPPA, European Union Data Protection Directive (EUDPD), SOX, GLBA, FSMA, ReportViewer samples,

    From the TRM Blog at November 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - SQL Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.NET v2.0 CTP1 Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.NET provides the ability to synchronize data from disparate sources over two-tier, N-tier, and service-based architectures. Rather than simply replicating a database and its schema, the Synchronization Services application programming interface (API) provides a set of components to synchronize data between data services and a local store. Applications are increasingly used on mobile clients, such as laptops and devices, that do not have a consistent or reliable network connection to a central server. It is crucial for these applications to work against a local copy of data on the client. Equally important is the need to synchronize the local copy of the data with a central server when a network connection is available. The Synchronization Services API, which is modeled after the ADO.NET data access APIs, gives you an intuitive way to synchronize data. It makes building applications for occasionally connected environments a logical extension of building applications where you can count on a consistent network connection. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=147c41a9-69f0-496e-b095-dbc5cffd6285&DisplayLang=en Visual Studio 2005 Support for SQL Server 2008, Community Technology Preview This CTP resolves a problem that when you try to open a database connection to SQL Server 2008 by using Visual Studio 2005 design tools, you may receive the following error message: “This server version is not supported. Only servers up to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 are supported.” This CTP addresses this issue, and enables the following Visual Studio functionality for SQL Server 2008 CTP5 : Server Explorer successfully connects to SQL Server 2008, and database objects such as stored procedures and table data can be viewed and edited. Note that table schemas still cannot be viewed or edited in this release. SQL CLR projects that target SQL Server 2008...
  • Looking for where to focus as a developer - latest job ads data suggests Microsoft based technology is the place to be!

    I saw this data on developer jobs at http://www.itjobswatch.co.uk/default.aspx?sortby=0&orderby=0&q=&id=1300&lid=2618 and thought it would make some interesting reading. It shows: lots of demand around MS technologies and reasonable pay (average salary over £40K and about 3rd of the market is focused on MS specific skills) J2EE and Websphere pay/cost the most in terms of staff, but represent just 7.8% of the market demand, so if you are here, you are feeling good!! Old style HTML web jobs are dying in terms of pay (html, CSS, XHTML, JSP) and falling demand in terms of the number of jobs AJAX, the next great web dev scenario is not in high demand, which is a surprise to me For those of you who like graphs, you can see the highest salaries for J2EE & Websphere people, but this is probably caused by the fact that there are so many fewer jobs, so rushing to get skilled in this area could severely weaken any salary advantage. The chart above was created from the data below. Development Skill Average Salary Average salary change Number of Job Ads Percentage of all IT Job Ads .NET £40,685 1.57% 34623 15.72% XML £40,624 -3.55% 19978 9.07% ASP.NET £37,046 0.98% 16975 7.71% HTML £34,228 -1.96% 14740 6.69% J2EE £49,061 1.28% 13049 5.92% CSS £32,981 0.71% 9559 4.34% WebServices £43,242 -0.60% 6686 3.03% JSP £42,265 -4.93% 4761 2.16% AJAX £37,246 -4.56% 4739 2.15% WebSphere £50,239 3.81% 4311 1.96% XHTML £32,747 -0.03% 3848 1.75% ttfn David Technorati Tags: Jobs , Developer , .Net
  • Free Developer Events (IIS7, ASP.net 3.5, SharePoint, Windows Server 2008, Web services, SOAP, REST, Windows Live Platform, Visual Studio 2007, Silverlight and Smart Client development)

    Free Developer Events for Customers & Partners: MSDN: Microsoft’s Web Platform. IIS7 and ASP.NET 3.5 Date: 08 January 2008 Location: Reading MSDN: Sharepoint for Developers Date: 10 January 2008 Location: London MSDN: Windows Server 2008 for developers Date: 17 January 2008 Location: Manchester MSDN: Windows Server 2008 for developers Date: 23 January 2008 Location: Edinburgh MSDN: Windows Server 2008 for developers Date: 24 January 2008 Location: Edinburgh MSDN: Building Services: .NET FX 3.5, SOAP, REST, and Beyond Date: 29 January 2008 Location: Reading MSDN: Developing on the Windows Live Platform Date: 30 January 2008 Location: Birmingham MSDN: Web, Web, Web : Visual Studio 2008, ASP.NET 3.5 and Silverlight Date: 31 January 2008 Location: Bristol MSDN: What’s new in Smart Client Development Date: 31 January 2008 Location: Bradford Find out about all MSDN events ttfn David Technorati Tags: IIS7 , ASP.net 3.5 , SharePoint , Windows Server 2008 , Web services , SOAP , REST , Windows Live Platform , Visual Studio 2007 , Silverlight and Smart Client development , Developer , Event , Training
  • Things that have fixed peoples problem running Office on Vista

    From the blog entry I published on How to get rid of the installer / configuration dialog when running Office 2007 and Office 2003 on the same system - for Vista and other versions of Windows I still get people e-mailing me with problems. While I have not been able to solve them all, but here are some solutions that I have seen success with: Problem: POP3 e-mail starts sending then gets stuck/hangs/stops: I have seen your blog at uksbsguy.com and it seems you are my only hope. Brand new laptop, small sized PST file, Vista Home Premium, Outlook 2007 Ultimate. I set up an account in Outlook 2007 to my bog standard POP3 account that has always worked. It starts to download my first email and slowly reaches 3 or 4KB then just hangs . Surprisingly I can sent (SMTP) absolutely fine. If I use another internet connection (dial up modem) instead of LAN then I can receive POP3 as well. But the same LAN connection works for my old laptop (XP/Outlook 2003) all settings same. I also tried the netsh command and the result is as follows: C:\Users\sparekh>netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled Set global command failed on IPv4 The requested operation requires elevation. Sachin The solution: elevated netsh command You need to run an “elevated” command prompt. Find "command prompt" on your start menu, right click it and select “run as administrator” – then try the command "netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled" (without the double quotes) Response: David, Magic! It worked! I elevated command prompt and netsh worked. My IT team spent so many hours and days for this. Thank you very much. Problem: Error code Ox800CCC0E when receiving email Vista running Outlook 2007 I get a Ox800CCC0E error everytime I try to receive email on my vista business machine running Outlook 2007. This problem just started this week. I have had no such problems with outlook since I purchase the machine 5 months ago. I have tried all the troubleshooting steps on your blog : http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive...
  • Open Office 2007 attachments to Outlook Mobile e-mail on Windows Mobile 5 or 6 - update released

    [updated on 4th December with UK English install instructions] As Steve would say, hat tip to Steve's blog . Microsoft Office Mobile 6.1 If you run Windows Mobile 5 or 6 and run Office 2007 (or get attachments from friends that do) this is a must have . You can now read Office 2007 file formats on your mobile device. More details from Jason :) [UK English Install] For those of us not in the US of A this install will complain about installing on our UK English (or other) devices. Fear not, go to the settings screen, move to region settings and change the language to US English. Ignore the prompt to reboot, run the setup on your PC. Once it is all finished it will need to reboot your device. Do so, set the language back to UK English and you now have an updated device. There is no English_UK install :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Mobile , Office 2007
  • How to turn on e-mail logging in Office 2007 and ensure that your ports are open

    I was asked about this a while back and thought I would share. This person has e-mail receiving problems, so I wanted to turn on logging and check that the network ports were really open on his PC: To get a mail log for more details – go to Tools/Options – then the advanced tab/Other button/Enable logging. (mine is not checked – put a tick in yours). The location of the log file can be found at: MAPI (Exchange), POP3, and SMTP transports - The log file has the name OPMLog.log and is located in one of the following locations: c:\Users\ user name \AppData\Local\Temp\Outlook Logging - note this is the location on Windows VISTA You might also want to look at http://www.webpipe.net/howto/Outlook_0x800CCC0E . You will need to install at telnet, but this is documented as: By default, Telnet is not installed with Windows, but you can install it by following the steps below. To install Telnet Client 1. Click the Start button , click Control Panel, click Programs, and then click Turn Windows features on or off. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation. 2. In the Windows Features dialog box, select the Telnet Client check box. 3. Click OK. The installation might take several minutes. If the telnet works, but Outlook cannot get mail, try running “outlook /safe” and see if the same problem happens. If it does not, then it is an add-in. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007 , Windows Vista , logging
  • Microsoft Office System Developer Conference - February 10-13th 2008

    Where: San Jose Convention Center , San Jose, CA Who: 2000 developers and architects who build solutions on the Office platform (Office clients, servers, and services) ODC 2008 will bring together architects, developers, industry technical experts, Microsoft insiders and key partners in a public forum for the first time! Together, we will redefine what it means to be focused on Microsoft Office development, exchange ideas on how to continue innovating in this ever-changing space, and share best practices on how to craft the next generation of Office Business Applications . Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will deliver a special keynote that is not to be missed (and probably one of the last ones, so be there!!). The web site http://www.odc2008.com is now live. Who is the Microsoft Office System Developer Conference for? Those involved or interested in using the Microsoft Office system (clients, servers, and services) as an application development platform. For example, people in technical roles e.g. architects, developers, designers, and technical managers. Will it cost to attend the conference? Yes, there will be a reasonable registration fee for the conference. For those that register early, we will have a special early bird rate as well. Which products/technologies will this conference cover? Obviously, the conference will cover everything in Microsoft Office system, including clients, servers and services, but business productivity applications don’t exist in isolation. More and more, we’re finding that people are using others parts of the technology stack and bringing together various technologies to make applications more compelling. So a great number of sessions will have topics involving Office application development in the context of leading-edge technologies such as VOIP, Silverlight, integration with third-party line of business applications, etc. I’ve heard there’s also a SharePoint Conference. What’s the difference? The SharePoint conference will take place in March 2008 in Redmond, WA. Unlike the Microsoft...
  • Partner Perspectives : There's a new breed of Web Solution partners

    If you work in the ISV / developer end of the market then there is a chance you will have met Katy already, however here is a person who is passionate about people who design and deliver solutions. When I first sat down and "worked" with Katy (rather than chatting several times previously) it was when I was new to the ISV team and Katy was a beacon of information. Once we had the ISV "bit" done we then spent a considerable amount of time looking at what designers and web developers needed in life. Now, as if by magic she now has a new area of focus... read more at Partner Perspectives : There's a new breed of Web Solution partners . Oh, and yes, it is about Silverlight, Expression Web and more!! There's a new breed of Web Solution partners Katy Hamilton's got something up her sleeve. It's a new brand of partners - the Web Solution partners. The move towards next-gen web applications such as Silverlight and web tools such as Expressions has opened up a whole load of new opportunities for our partners. We in the MSPP tower recognise this and have updated the MSPP programme by introducing a new partner type. Here's Katy to tell us all: So Katy, you’re no longer looking after ISVs. What are you doing now? Hi Emma, yes that’s right – I have ‘changed direction’! My new role is looking at building the web communities – design and developer. However, my focus on ISV hasn’t completely gone because I am also looking at the ‘Partner’ focus for ‘Next Web’ which ISVs have a major part in! It’s a really exciting time for anyone working in the web space and Microsoft is creating some fantastic support initiatives and benefits – it’s a real ‘watch this space’! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Web solution partners , Web Developers , Web Designers , Microsoft , Partners , Developer
  • More on Vista vs XP performance - why doesn't everyone want a racing car, but instead do they opt for safety, comfort or even the ability to have more than one passenger?

    Having been quotes by Vlad and others (or was this others? ), some more views worth reading here and some Windows Blog stuff here I thought I had better make myself a bit clearer. 1st off, this is MY opinion, not something that is sanctioned or designed by anyone else in Microsoft. I did benchmarking for 5 years and won plenty of business by it, but I also understand when a test is Apples to Apples and not Apples to Oranges. If the purpose of Vista was to be the fastest engine for Office 2003 (as was the test), then there is a lot that can be done to the product to make that happen, but that was not the goal, so testing it on that one goal and then saying it fails is a bit poor. You can turn off the new features that "slow" it down if you want, but then you don't get the feature. My car accelerates faster with the air-con turned off, but on hot days, being comfortable is more important that the acceleration, so I opt to go slightly slower rather than get there just a bit quicker. There is more to this though, XP was designed to run on the hardware that was coming, so is Vista. Fro Vista, it's day is yet to come! You might say "bah" to that, but this was true for XP a year after it was released, so this is not new. ( see here for XP releases that show this). So here goes on trying to explain my point of view: What is running on the box Vista runs more under the hood (and graphically) than XP, so unless you believe that after 6 years bedding in XP is still hugely inefficient, you would expect that Vista would have to do more in any given second. Yes, it would be great if I got all the extra goodies for free, but thats not happened for a while, so anyone who gets upset needs to have their expectations reset. I mean, DOS 6.22 flys on todays hardware, as does Windows 95. Yep, it would get shot in about 5 seconds flat, but it would perform well for the apps available back then when it was built:-) In the last section I will discuss some of the things that could be done to make it more level to...
  • Susan B's article that just made me smile or I like to think of it as "how much money is being spent to help competition for no user benefit"

    I've been ranting a bit recently about wanting everything for nothing and then I saw Susan's article - http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2007/11/29/so-how-much-money-has-been-wasted.aspx - and it just goes further to say how much time is spent not moving forward, but going backwards. I thought I would add to the list with the Microsoft-EU debate about Windows Media player. As a Microsoft employee, to comment directly would be very, very bad - apparently the press might think I was expressing a Microsoft opinion and then either me or my employer could be in hot water. So I won't really comment except to state some already published facts and that a huge effort went in to build a version of Windows without Media Player. That is definitely spending money for the user to get less, but if that is what the user wants, then it should be built..... however it was announced that this version has sold well ... 1 in every 15,000 copies of Windows. That version that has cost millions and was the centre of a multi-million case has been used by nearly 0.0066666666666666666666666666666667% of the purchasers of Windows... wow!! Oh, and this is either my very personal opinion, or facts that are already published, so hopefully no law suit to follow. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows , Microsoft
  • SQL Server documentation (Reporting Services, XML in 2008, Spatial Data, Security for DBAs, Consolidation, Synchronisation, Compact Edition books, Scale out Analysis Services)

    From the TRM Blog at November 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - SQL Reporting Services in SQL Server 2008 Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services provides a complete server-based platform that is designed to support a wide variety of reporting needs including managed enterprise reporting, ad-hoc reporting, embedded reporting, and web based reporting to enable organizations to deliver relevant information where needed across the entire enterprise. Reporting Services 2008 provides the tools and features necessary to author a variety of richly formatted reports from a wide range of data sources and provides a comprehensive set of familiar tools used to manage and secure an enterprise reporting solution. Reports are processed and delivered quickly and effectively, enabling users to either receive reports automatically through subscriptions, to access reports from a central report repository on an ad-hoc basis, or to consume reports in context of their business processes through reports directly embedded into their business or web applications. http://www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/whitepapers/sql_2008_ssrs.mspx What's New for XML in SQL Server 2008 Microsoft introduced XML-related capabilities in Microsoft SQL Server 2000 with the FOR XML and OPENXML Transact-SQL keywords, which enabled developers to write Transact-SQL code to retrieve a query result as a stream of XML, and to shred an XML document into a rowset. SQL Server 2005 extended these XML capabilities significantly with the introduction of a native xml data type that supports XSD schema validation, XQuery-based operations, and XML indexing. SQL Server 2008 builds on the XML capabilities of previous releases and provides enhancements to meet the challenges that customers have faced when storing and manipulating XML data in the database. http://www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/whitepapers/sql_2008_xml.mspx Managing Unstructured Data with SQL Server 2008 The proliferation of digital content has significant implications for the way in which organizations store...
  • Download the "How to Sell, Deploy, and Build Business with Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and SBS 2003 R2" now

    I have been asked about this loads of times, but for those of you who want to know more about using WSS v3 and SBS 2003, the guide is finally here at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=59acc518-023e-43c3-b8f3-378c5e387461 . How to Sell, Deploy, and Build Business with Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and SBS 2003 R2 Partner tool to create solutions using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2. File Name: Selling_WSS_and_SBS_Kit.zip Date Published: 11/15/2007 Overview A new partner enablement tool helps you create solutions using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2. Access the toolkit’s resources—including a process cookbook, technical documentation and marketing materials—to learn how to build your business by selling and deploying customized solutions. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 R2 , SBSC , WSS v3 , WSS , SharePoint , Windows SharePoint Services

(c)David Overton 2006-13