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.  

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  • The Windows Intune Client components

    Having installed (and uninstalled) Windows Intune a number of times I just wanted to signpost this blog post here that lists the components that are installed and what they do at Coretech by Brian Fahrenholtz .  The information can be found at Windows Intune Client Agent components .  It explains what each of the following does or provides: Microsoft Easy Assist v2 Microsoft Online Management Policy Agent Microsoft Online Management Update Manager Microsoft Policy Platform System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Agent Windows Firewall Configuration Provider Windows Intune Center Windows Intune Endpoint Protection Windows Intune Endpoint Protection Agent Windows Intune Monitoring Agent   Thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune , Microsoft , Cloud
  • Business Productivity Online Suite training for partners in Manchester and Birmingham

    Business Productivity Online Suite Launch Join us in Birmingham and Manchester The UK software market is evolving, and customers are looking to embrace the change. Forecasted growth for subscription software is expected to achieve an annual growth rate of +30% during the next three years - considerably outpacing traditional market growth and providing a tremendous resale and service opportunity for Microsoft partners. In a tough economy, subscription services are more digestible to cash strapped customers. Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), provides a new IT solution for their needs, delivering enterprise-class software as a subscription service, hosted by Microsoft and sold by you. Costing £10.04 for the entire suite, per user per month, BPOS includes: > Microsoft Exchange Online > Microsoft SharePoint Online > Microsoft Office Live Meeting > Microsoft Office Communications Online > Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services For Microsoft Partners BPOS provides an annuity...
  • Want MIX08 in the UK? Then come to ReMix08 in Brighton on 18th and 19th September and save if you book an early bird place now

    I love what goes on at these events. It would be good to see you there. Here is the little advert: Final chance to save £110 . Very limited Early Bird places left - don't say we didn't warn you! 1,000 web developers, designers, development managers and technology evangelists are going to take the media they love to the next level. Why? Because ReMix UK 08 is getting bigger and better. Scott Guthrie Developer Track Bill Buxton Design and UX Track For Designers, Developers, the Community and Beyond Work Julie Howell, Fortune Cookie • Brendan Dawes, Magnetic North • Paul Foster, Microsoft Evangelist • Guy Smith-Ferrier, Capella • Tim Regan, Microsoft Research • Mike Taulty, Microsoft Developer Evangelist See the website for the growing list of speakers... What's in the mix • Panel discussions to Interactive Mash Ups • Designers and developers hand-in-hand to • All day VJs to conceptual walls • Open Source project, CodePlex • Backnetwork to Moo cards • Photosynth master classes to Microsoft Surface • Our...
  • How to sell Hosted CRM (CRM Online) in the UK and still retain your customers and a good profit – by working with Increase CRM

    [updated with contact details at 16:38] I have a partners or two that are looking to implement CRM internally and through the conversations about how they could do this came to know of the guys at Increase CRM. The good folks at Increase CRM seem to understand how SBSC partners think because the offerings they have for referral and resellers seem to be quite good to me. if you want the brochure on the subject, let me know, but here is the important piece for partners: What is the Referral Program? Partners in the Referral Program refer their customers to Increase CRM and we offer hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM and support services directly to the customer. Typically, the partner will provide implementation consulting services and may choose to provide first and second line support. Referral Partner Commissions The Referral Program guarantees partners commissions from any customers referred to Increase CRM: Subscribers Commission 5-10 100% of the first month’s subscription fees 11-50 200% of the first month’s subscription...
  • Microsoft SQL Server Data Services - more online services announced this week

    This is one big week for developers (as Mix was always going to be). We now also have data services in the cloud ( http://www.microsoft.com/sql/dataservices/default.mspx ) On-demand Scalability SQL Server Data Services (SSDS) are highly scalable, on-demand data storage and query processing web services. Businesses use storage resources as needed transforming large upfront capital and operations expenditures into much smaller on-demand costs. On-demand storage and access Store and query your data virtually any time, anywhere on the web. Use and pay for storage resources as you go. Scales easily as your data grows Take advantage of virtually no restriction on the amount of data stored. Use the same service interfaces for your storage needs at any scale. Easy to manage Easy to use web-based service for provisioning, deployment, and monitoring. Lights-out manageability and commodity hardware for lowest service cost. Business-ready SLA SQL Server Data Services are built using robust Microsoft SQL Server database technologies...
  • Training announcement for ISV who are developing or planning to develop on the Windows Live Platform (Silverlight, Live Controls, Live ID, Messenger, Spaces)

    Another entry from the ISV blog - this time for developing on the Windows Live platform Training announcement for ISV who are developing or planning to develop on the Windows Live Platform. The Partner Readiness have just announced the release of the Windows Live Platform Services course. This 1.5 day deep dive covers the core technical aspects of Windows Live Platform Services including: Overview of Windows Live Silverlight Streaming Windows Live Controls Windows Live Tools for Visual Studio Windows Live Data (Authentication/Delegation model) Live ID Quick Apps Deep Dive (dev.live.com/quickapps) Messenger Presence Spaces APIs Dates currently scheduled are: 28–29 April (London) https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=242857&site=UK&lang=en-uk 14 -15 May (Altrincham) https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=242858&site=UK&lang=en-uk 9-10 June (London) https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher...
  • Office Live Workspace is now available (in beta) for all - aka Windows SharePoint Services for all small businesses

    According to the site Workspaces (WSS for Office Live users) is now not quite out of beta, but still has a lot to offer: Anywhere Access Save 1000+ Microsoft Office documents in one place Access them from almost any computer with a Web browser No more flash drives or sending yourself documents via e-mail Learn more Share with Others Invite people to your workspace You control who can view, comment, and edit your documents Stop manually merging versions from multiple people Learn more Extend the Microsoft Office Experience Open and save files directly from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Synchronize contact, task, and event lists with Outlook No need to learn a new program Learn more In terms of what is actually new: Public availability of Office Live Workspace beta at http://workspace.officelive.com with immediate access and no waitlist (English language version only) The easy way to save Office documents to/from the web Organise documents and projects online and work on them from almost any computer (full Firefox...
  • Microsoft Online Services - beta in US, international .. not for a while yet, but you get to see where Microsoft is going!

    What is it? I know Vlad is not going to like this, but even he will admit that this has been on the cards for a while. Software plus services is coming to town in a bigger and bigger way. At the moment there is a limited beta in the US and (just like Google), it has the beta tag on it . So what have we seen today, well we have seen Microsoft stand up and be counted in it's commitment to the software-plus-services strategy. We have seen existing "on premise" solutions of Exchange and SharePoint be offered as a S+S (software-plus-services) alternative for those customers who don't wish to run these themselves. There is no "must switch" or "dropping" of the existing, very successful products, just more options for people. As a customer you would consider whether you get better value running these in-house yourself, or with a partner delivering them for you in-house, or completely outsources to another partner or Microsoft. As a partner you have to consider how you deliver in...
  • Microsoft Office Live Small Business v2 - have you got it already?

    This happened a couple of weeks ago, but it is always worth sharing the improvements in Office Live. Not only do we have this going on, but we also have the beta of Workspaces progressing. Remember, your customers could benefit from Office Live and if you don't offer it, someone else might just offer them Office Live or something else, blocking you out from that customer as they grow in size. Microsoft Office Live Small Business is the award-winning, easy-to-use suite of Web-based software and services designed to help small businesses affordably take, promote and manage their businesses online. Used by nearly 600,000 customers worldwide, Office Live Small Business is available in the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan. The service also provides an excellent environment within which partners can build industry-specific solutions. Office Live Small Business is now available with : Full Firefox 2.0 support for PC & Mac Easy-to-use Website Designer tool or use html/3rd party design tools Outlook Connector...
  • SkyDrive (free online storage accessed via the web) goes to 5GB, comes out of beta, is available in 38 countries around the world

    I went to my skydrive today and noticed it was not 5GB, not 1GB and no longer beta. According to the official blog besides the things in the blog title it is also: This release also includes bug fixes and improvements to make the site even faster and more reliable . We’re proud of this release — so proud, in fact, that we’re officially removing the Beta tag ! The Windows Live wire blog said ( Windows Live Wire: Bigger, better, faster SkyDrive! ): Improvements to Windows Live SkyDrive , including 5 GB of free online storage , were released to the public today in 38 countries or regions around the world! SkyDrive provides free, password-protected online file storage and sharing. It's a great way to make sure your files are available to you from any computer, without having to carry them around on a flash drive. I also find it really useful for sharing files that may be too big to send in e-mail. It's dead simple to use, so go ahead and try it out . New in this release: Free online storage is increasing from...
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  • MSDN Events in November (Silverlight dynamic applications, SharePoint, SQL Server 2008, web applications and Smart Client) and not in Reading, but Manchester, Edinburgh, Bradford, Birmingham and Bristol ... and one in Reading

    MSDN Events – Free Technical Events for Your Partners We have the following free MSDN developer events taking place as listed below covering various topics/technologies. It would be great if you could communicate these events with your partners to offer them the opportunity to receive technical 'know-how' demos and insights into our latest technologies. · 15 November 2007, Manchester MSDN: Building Dynamic Web Applications with Microsoft Silverlight · 20 November 2007, Edinburgh MSDN: SharePoint for Developers · 21 November 2007, Edinburgh MSDN: SharePoint for Developers · 22 November 2007, Bradford MSDN: SQL Server 2008 · 27 November 2007, Reading MSDN: An Introduction to the Microsoft Web Platform (and how do it for zip, nvada, zero cost to you) · 28 November 2007, Birmingham MSDN: Web, Web, Web: Visual Studio 2008, ASP.NET 3.5 and Silverlight · 29 November 2007, Bristol MSDN: What’s new in Smart Client Development Click Here If you wish to view the overall events homepage. ttfn David Technorati Tags...
  • Linked Live IDs - how to join multiple Hotmail / MSN / Live accounts and change between them

    I have lots of e-mail accounts I use - @msn.com, @hotmail.co.uk, and @live.co.uk and Windows Live Mail enables me to read them all, however now when I am in e-mail I can access my linked e-mail accounts. I simply go to https://account.live.com/ and then add accounts to my linked accounts and then I can change accounts by a simple drop down in the windows live mail site ( http://mail.live.com ). More information can be found at Link Your Live IDs Together! or at http://www.liveside.net/blogs/main/archive/2007/10/18/update-to-windows-live-account-enables-linked-ids.aspx Ok, linking is done - but what would you link the IDs for? When you have linked IDs together you will only need to sign in to Windows Live once and can then switch easily between the accounts. If you are on Windows Live Hotmail for example you can check your email on one account and then simply click the dropdown arrow next to your login in the upper right corner and choose one of your linked IDs that are listed their. Without the need to enter a...
  • Windows Live Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better performance, huge amounts of storage, de-dupe of contacts, message forwarding, Out of Office and much more

    You can tell from the title the favourite things I have found testing the latest version of Hotmail - well it is now public - we start rolling these features and more out over the Hotmail clusters. For more information look at the Ellie Powers-Boyle blog post Your mail is here, come and get it!: August: Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better.performance . Obviously if you are a Office Live customer then you will also see these changes coming to you. For the international of us, I have called "Vacation Replies" Out of Office - you know what I mean then :-) 13 August August: Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better performance We went out of beta in May, and we’re already releasing something new. Today, these new features will begin to roll our gradually to all our customers over the next few weeks, so if you don’t immediately see them, be patient, they’re coming! It’s a fun time to be working on Hotmail. We already did a ton of work to get the basics ready to get out...
  • Microsoft launches beta of "skydrive" - a disk in the cloud (and now you can use it in the UK too)

    Another "it is here" moment. Skydrive gives you, today, 500MB of storage in the cloud, free of charge. You can set up permissions to control who can read and write files. I love it. In fact, I love it so much that I have put all my demo videos that I recorded recently up there. The Skydrive team blog can be found at http://skydriveteam.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!977F793E846B3C96!124.entry . Click for the Training Videos to be downloaded as videos. Top features for me are: Upload and download documents with permissions on files Embed file stores in web pages Drag and drop upload process Accessible everywhere For some eye candy: - Home Screen - Documents sub folder - Folder Options - Change Folder Permissions - Embed your SkyDrive into your web site - Drag and drop files for uploading - The upload process - Non ActiveX upload page ttfn David Technorati Tags: SkyDrive , Live , SAS
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  • Microsoft, web services, new business models and small business

    In the IT market the term "change is the only constant" has been around for years (well, certainly since I left ICL where change was not constant, but that was due to the contract that dictated that everything did not change, so fell behind). Note, this post is purely the ramblings from my mind, not a statement from Microsoft in an Official or Unofficial capacity We've seen big iron, then smaller systems, the rise of SMP, the reduction in IT hardware and software costs for solutions, the rise of Microsoft servers, client server, 3-tier, clustered computing, multi-core and now internet enabled computing. There is much more, of course, to come, but how we deliver IT to customers has changed too. Of course, this is all generalised and some people have always been at one end or the other, but general acceptance is always shifting - remember the ASP business model of the late 90's - dead, yet here it is again with Software as / plus service. The pricing of some services even appears to be £0, yet...
  • Worldwide Partner Conference - WPC in Denver - what I know so far - Dynamics CRM Live

    Microsoft Announces Product Offerings and Customer Early Access Program for Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM - This could be huge - $44 per calendar month per user for Professional CRM and $59 for Enterprise edition (Professional Edition plus offline support)!!! Then, when you thought it was not so good for partners, look at the models: With the new Live service, partners in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM ecosystem will have new opportunities to deliver value to their customers and to drive revenue for their businesses by developing and deploying solutions across the three deployment options — Live, on-premise and partner-hosted models . For revenue in the new Live model, partners will be compensated on a recurring basis, not a one-time basis; each year they will receive 10 percent of the yearly Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription revenue for each customer for whom they are the partner of record. During 2008, a special incentive will allow partners to receive 15 percent of the SaaS subscription revenue for that year...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • Microsoft, BT hook up for hosted apps | Tech News on ZDNet

    Given the recent good moves forward with Office Live (UK web site - http://www.officelive.co.uk , partners getting excited - Tim Long , bCentral information on the products and 5 amazing case studies ) I thought I would share this further advancement in the online world. There will always be a place for the small business products that rely on physical servers, but the business by Vlad and many others shows us that the SaaS (Software as a Service and Software AND Service) work well for a business model. The difference between SAAS and SaS, IMHO, is one is rich in both client and web based tools, the other is ONLY rich when connected. Take Exchange and Outlook - Outlook is a great client when connected to Exchange. OWA is a great client too, however Outlook's offline ability is what sets it apart. You can get get great online and offline experiences with SaS. Microsoft and BT are to launch an online marketplace for hosted applications, with small-business customers as the target. The BT Applications Marketplace...
  • Office Live is here for testing in the UK

    I am cheating as this artwork is all from the Office Live Website. You can go and claim your own domain and web site for free by going to http://office.microsoft.com/en-GB/officelive/default.aspx . This is an amazing solution for those customers who are too small for SBS or want as much as possible off premise, or want hosted solutions, but don't want full Exchange. Have a go!! ttfn David FREE Attract new customers Get started on the Web for FREE Create a professional Web site Learn more FREE Sign up now FREE .co.uk domain name for the first 10,000 UK customers Compare services Generate repeat business Create a professional Web site Organise your customer information online Share documents with online Workspaces Learn more Free during Beta Sign up now FREE .co.uk domain name for the first 10,000 UK customers Essentials = FREE during Beta, then £11.95 per month * * price excludes VAT Stay on top of your business Create a professional Web site Manage your projects and tasks Organise your customer information online...
  • Its a sad day, but Vlad no longer runs his business on SBS - well, maybe not sad as he still runs lots of SBS businesses and he has grown beyond his SBS server

    They said it could happen, but no-one believed them. Could and would people out-grow SBS? Well the answer is yes, people do - we see sales of the transition pack going through the system so we know it happens :-) Did Vlad use the transition pack - it sounds unlikely as he has lost his wizards, which you do get to keep (but no guarantees about the scalability of them). For more information on the Transition Pack (which saves you money moving to non-SBS editions) have a look here . For Vlads post on leaving the SBS fraternity, go here . Whilst we are on the subject, congratulations to Vlad for getting his 2nd MVP award too. Well done - perhaps this was an indication that you were always going to outgrown SBS :-) For other information on the Transition Pack, have a look at http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=sbs+transition+pack ttfn David
  • Office Live beta in the UK and how it works & competes with SBS 2003

    I have been behind on my blogging (have you noticed)? I was at the Bristol SBS group Christmas dinner (did I say thanks yet to Richard and Mark?) and we got to discussing Office Live. So first off, as to what Live is, why not go and have a look at Eileen Browns blog on it and then lets get down to the discussion points. They were: Who really wants this type of solution? Does Live compete with SBS? Can I make money out of Live If someone has Live, can I sell them SBS too? If someone has Live, can I "upgrade" them from this to SBS? So lets answer these is order: Who really wants this type of solution? Well, there are loads of small businesses out there that want a web site, some more professional e-mail addresses than simply "davidovertonatsomecompany@hotmail.com" (don't try mailing this address, if it exists, then they won't like it, but more likely it will not). Office Live will give them a website of http://www.somecompany.com e-mail addresses that at "@somecompany.com" and a simple way to build the site - for...
  • Microsoft Office Live is coming to the UK - domain name, website, branded e-mail - hosted by Microsoft

    If you have a customer who wants these capabilities, but does not have the resources or cash to buy it, then Office Live could be quite amazing for you. Microsoft Office Live is coming - what is it Today, more than ever before, an Internet presence is indispensable for small businesses. That’s why Microsoft is introducing Microsoft Office Live — a set of affordable business productivity services designed to help you grow your business more easily by establishing a professional presence online. Microsoft Office Live will provide your company with its own domain name, Web site, and company-branded e-mail accounts for free. Additionally, Microsoft Office Live will offer you and your employees expert business management applications, such as customer, project, and document management tools, and a security-enhanced private Web site — affordably managed and maintained by Microsoft — where you can work together and share information with your employees, customers, suppliers, and contractors. If you’re not at the stage...
  • Are you near Exeter, then sign up quickly for the Small Business Ignite Tour as it is coming to you on the 29th August from 6pm

    Once again the Small Business Ignite Tour is coming out and this time it is Exeter. You need to sign-up quickly, so go to http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/training/ignite/default.aspx?id=Exeter and sign up for the Small Business Tour (as opposed to the tour with a date in the past). If you do not know about the Small Business Ignite Tour, then this is the rough agenda: Introduce just how big the business opportunity is in the land of small business Introduce the topics of Flexible Working and Collaborative Business as these will be the basis of marketing campaigns this year from Microsoft into small business customers Demonstrate technologies that you can deliver to give your customers the benefits they demand - such as : working from home or on the road, using the tools in SBS, Windows XP or Windows Mobile Sharing files between workers, customers and suppliers in a natural and secure way using WSS and Office When to consider a hosted solution and when to consider SBS How to stop searching and start finding...

(c)David Overton 2006-17