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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  • 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 revenue opportunity with incremental implementation, integration, customisation, and managed services opportunities. Join us at this event to gain further insight, and to understand the sales and implementation opportunities for your business. Please confirm your attendance by registering for; 20/05/09: Manchester – Click here Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus Keckwick Lane Daresbury, WA4 4FS 21/05/09: Birmingham – Click here Coventry TechnoCentre, CUE Ltd Coventry University Technology Park Puma Way Coventry, CV1 2TT To further understand this opportunity watch the Quick Start training video here . Yours sincerely, Simon Gautrey Software-plus-Services Lead Small and Mid- Market Solutions & Partners, UK Date/Venue: 20/05/09: Manchester – Click here Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus Keckwick Lane Daresbury, WA4 4FS 21/05/09: Birmingham – Click here Coventry TechnoCentre, CUE Ltd Coventry University Technology Park Puma Way Coventry, CV1 2TT Agenda: 09.30 – Registration...
  • 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 international act to geek bars • Swag giveaways to inflatable lounges • Designing for compatibility and for the wild • Visualising books to sneak previews • The latest developments in IM, VE and IE8 • Latest developments in RIAs and SSDs • WPF and Silverlight applications at work • • The technology Silverlight | Deep Zoom | Mobile | Expression | ASP.NET/AJAX Windows Live services | XNA | Partnering with Microsoft | Photosynth Robotics Studio | Data | Microsoft Research | Popfly | Advertising It's a full-on interactive event. Be a part of something special. Don't forget the Early Bird offer and register today at www.microsoft.com/uk/remix08/ . Early Bird price £239 (inc.VAT), full price £349 from the 301st ticket. See you there! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Silverlight , Deep Zoom , Mobile , Windows Mobile , Expression , ASP.Net , Ajax , Windows Live Services , XNA , Microsoft , Partner , Photosynth , Robotics Studio , Data , Microsoft Research , Popfly , Advertising
  • 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 fees 51+ 300% of the first month’s subscription fees What is the Reseller Program? Partners in the Reseller Program resell Increase CRM’s hosted services under their own brand and Increase CRM does not contract with their partner’s customer. Typically, the partner will provide all the implementation consulting, user support, system administration and billing services to the customer Reseller Wholesale Fees The Reseller Program guarantees partners a low wholesale fee for hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM that partners can mark-up and offer to their customers, as described in the table below: No. of Users Reseller Partner User Subscription Fee 1 to 250 £30 per user per month 250+ Available on request Comparison of the Partner Programs The table below compares the two partner programs: Responsibility Referral Partner Program Reseller Partner Program Marketing Partner Partner Sales Partner Partner Setup Increase CRM Increase CRM Implementation Partner Partner First line support Increase CRM or partner Partner...
  • 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 and will provide strong service level agreement (SLA) covering high availability, performance, and protection against data loss. Built using enterprise-class SQL Server Database technology as a storage node Industry Standard SQL Server and Windows server technologies. Years of experience running these technologies in-house. Novel distributed data fabric for massive scale out operation. Richer functionality exposed over time based on feedback from business customers. High availability, security, and performance Store and manage multiple copies of the data for reliability. Back up data stored in each data cluster. Geo-redundant data copies to ensure business continuity. Secure data access to help provide business confidentiality and privacy. Input/output (I/O) are optimized for high throughput. Application Agility SQL Server Data Services supports simple web-programming interfaces like SOAP and REST for quick provisioning of web applications. Developers can focus on innovating with data while reducing...
  • 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=12&delivery=242859&site=UK&lang=en-uk Place will be limited so hurry to sign-up! UK ISV Blog : Training announcement for ISV who are developing or planning to develop on the Windows Live Platform. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Live , Developer , Messenger , Spaces , Silverlight , QuickApps , Visual Studio , Live ID , Live
  • 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 support) Invite others to view, edit or comment on documents and workspaces Full document versioning and time-stamping View and comment on documents in the browser, even if Office is not installed Create simple Web notes and Web lists (export to Excel and/or synch with Outlook) Share screen and documents in real time through integration with Microsoft SharedView Brand new features, such as an activity panel, notifications, direct links and multifile upload While this is all very nice, there is actually some excellent materials, including videos and more explaining much at Permanent Link to Microsoft Office Live Workspaces Goes Live and some commentary about Google vs Office Live here and from Tech Radar here which goes as far as to say: Microsoft has launched its equivalent of Google Docs - but without the ability to edit documents. It’s left the actual editing of documents to Office itself and offers Office Live Workspace as a way for individuals and small businesses to share files on the web. A nifty Office...
  • 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 all worlds. While today you probably add value to "on premise" solutions you need to understand how and if you add value should your customer opt for the new services. If you want to deliver theses types of services yourself, look at SPLA agreements and the information at The Microsoft Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) . If you want to build solutions on top of those announced today then look at http://www.microsoft.com/online/partner/learn-more.mspx . Either way you can learn more at http://www.microsoft.com/online/default.mspx . Other's reactions As you can imagine, there have been a few prople covering this, from bloggers to journalists. Below are just some of the items I've seen so far: Press Microsoft to Expand Microsoft Online Services for Businesses of All Sizes (press release) http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Enterprise-Apps/Microsoft-Expands-its-Online-Services/ Microsoft moves further into the cloud.. cautiously http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/saasweek/2008/03/microsoft_expands_ondemand_ser...
  • 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 for offline synching of email, calendar, contacts & tasks Mobile access to email, calendar and contacts from Windows-Powered SmartPhones or PocketPCs Solutions Packager for Web designers FREE when you sign up : Domain name * 500MB fully hosted Website Up to 100 email accounts Contact Manager Document Manager Project Manager Workspace * (.co.uk free for the first 2 years or .com, org, net, .eu free for the first year) Additional affordable features : E-mail marketing beta Search marketing More storage, users and tools Simple Windows Live ID signup process. No need to validate with a credit card any more ! What are you waiting for ? Read more details and signup now at : smallbusiness.officelive.com See what you can do with it. David Technorati Tags: Small Business , Office Live , Office Live Small Business , Web site , domain , e-mail , workspaces , document manager
  • 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 1GB to 5 GB Now available in many more places around the world ( see if it's available where you live ) Faster and more reliable service Not in beta anymore--this time it's official! SkyDrive takes its place in the ever-growing collection of Windows Live offerings (Hotmail, Mail, Photo Gallery, Calendar, Spaces, Writer, Messenger, Events, Toolbar, and OneCare Family Safety). With file storage and sharing on SkyDrive, you have one more tool to help you manage your online world. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SkyDrive , Online Storage
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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: Developer , Silverlight , SharePoint , SQL Server 2008 , Smart Client
  • 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 password again you will get to access that accounts emails. Pretty convenient. Unfortunately this only works on the new Wave 2 products, so you are out of luck on WL Favorites, Gallery or the personalized homepage for now - we guess that at least some these properties will be updated to Wave 2 soon though. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Live IDs , Linked Live IDs , Software plus Service
  • 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 of beta, so now we’ve been able to add some more of the extras that our more advanced users have been asking for. We’re continuing to collect feedback and using it to guide which areas of the product to improve next. Thanks to all of you who were beta testers, have clicked the “feedback” link in Hotmail, or leave constructive comments on the blog. We’re listening! Performance : We’ve been hearing you loud and clear across the world: speed is one of the most important aspects of a web-based email service. We’ve spent more time in this release identifying what parts of the product are slowest and fixing those. We hope that you notice an improvement when this update is released to your account, and we’ll continue our work on performance in future releases. Quality of Service : Our last release went quite smoothly, and we’ve been continuing to monitor the live site to make sure that we’re providing e-mail that is reliable – you always want to be able to get to your mail, and we hear you! More storage! Just when...
  • 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 you pay by clicking on adverts or by others buying adverts for you to see. Business Models Google and salesforce.com have once again shown that non-distributed computing means that a central failure grinds everything to a halt, just as Terminal based computing did before SAS was being considered. While you can architect to reduce these impacts, when they happen, hundreds to millions of people are impacted and if that is your business, it can be fatal. Once upon a time it was building PCs, then custom PCs, then servers, then core infrastructure, now ICT. However this is all the technical "stuff". We now deliver solutions more than just boxes (I know some always did) and the need to move beyond core infrastructure is a business necessity if you have not already moved this way. Excitement about a new "gizmo" (OS, application, gadget etc) is now tempered with "So what can it do to improve my business and is it worth it." One of the conversations I have had repeatedly with partners over...
  • 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 Steve from BMS noted the following: Microsoft WPC 2007 notes at BMS Blog: SBS Consulting in the UK Dynamics CRM Live launched Live Demo by Brad Wilson - General Manager for CRM Ability to download and completely remodel the CRM environment via partner provided XML templates Direct competitor for salesforce.com etc. Early adopter program Only available through partners Focus on making revenue from consultation ttfn David Technorati Tags: WPC , Partner Conference , Dynamics , CRM , CRM Live , Live
  • Peering inside the network with Network Monitor (netmon V3), debuging WMI and other systems problems

    I often spend time debugging systems when things go wrong. Besides the tools at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/default.mspx these are the others I use: Microsoft Network Monitor 3 Network Monitor 3.0 can co-exist with older versions of Network Monitor. NM3 installs in %program files%\Microsoft Network Monitor 3.0, so there is no conflict. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=aa8be06d-4a6a-4b69-b861-2043b665cb53&DisplayLang=en Debug Diagnostic Tool v1.1 The Debug Diagnostic Tool (DebugDiag) is designed to assist in troubleshooting issues such as hangs, slow performance, memory leaks or fragmentation, and crashes in any Win32 user-mode process. The tool includes additional debugging scripts focused on Internet Information Services (IIS) applications, web data access components, COM+ and related Microsoft technologies. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=28bd5941-c458-46f1-b24d-f60151d875a3&DisplayLang=en The WMI Diagnosis Utility -- Version 2.0 WMIDiag.vbs is a VBScript script designed to help you ascertain the current state of the WMI service on a computer. The download package includes the utility itself, a ReadMe file that discusses how the tool works (and how to best use it), and sample spreadsheets that provide information about the default WMI configuration on various versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=d7ba3cd6-18d1-4d05-b11e-4c64192ae97d&DisplayLang=en ttfn David
  • What to use to replace FrontPage (Expression Web or SharePoint Design) and get a free trial

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

    I had a partner ask me about Office Live today, so these are the places you need to start: 1) Client SDK - Windows Live ID Client 1.0 SDK in Alpha 2) Web Based Info - http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/showpost.aspx?postid=924592&siteid=1 and http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/aa905514.aspx 3) Windows SharePoint v3 APIs - Working with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Web Services (what is supported from WSSv3 and what is blocked) 4) Some important sections: How to: Integrate Access 2007 and Excel 2007 with Office Live How to: Integrate Office Live with other Office 2007 applications Chris's unofficial Office Live developer blog That is it for now - the client SDK is key - you can build rich client applications and then share data via the OfficeLive web. nice. ttfn David Technorati tags: Office Live , Live , Saas , Software as a service , software with service
  • 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 forms part of Microsoft's concerted push into the field of "software as a service." In this delivery mechanism, software is remotely hosted and usually paid for on a monthly subscription basis, rather than hosted on a company's own server and paid for up-front. In the marketplace, customers can expect to see "commodity apps" such as those for human resources, customer relationship management ( CRM ) and payroll, said Claire O'Halloran, of Microsoft's partner development group. But the linkup with the U.K. communications giant will also likely provide niche applications geared to the likes of realtors and dentists. Around 30 hosted applications are expected to be available through the marketplace at its launch. Source: Microsoft, BT hook up for hosted apps | Tech News on ZDNet Technorati tags: SaaS , Office Live , Software as a Server , Software and Service , Hosted , Microsoft , BT
  • Office Live is here for testing in the UK

    I am cheating as this artwork is all from the Office Live Website. You can go and claim your own domain and web site for free by going to http://office.microsoft.com/en-GB/officelive/default.aspx . This is an amazing solution for those customers who are too small for SBS or want as much as possible off premise, or want hosted solutions, but don't want full Exchange. Have a go!! ttfn David FREE Attract new customers Get started on the Web for FREE Create a professional Web site Learn more FREE Sign up now FREE .co.uk domain name for the first 10,000 UK customers Compare services Generate repeat business Create a professional Web site Organise your customer information online Share documents with online Workspaces Learn more Free during Beta Sign up now FREE .co.uk domain name for the first 10,000 UK customers Essentials = FREE during Beta, then £11.95 per month * * price excludes VAT Stay on top of your business Create a professional Web site Manage your projects and tasks Organise your customer information online Access your e-mail and appointments from the road Plus more space, more users, and more tools Learn more Free during Beta Sign up now FREE .co.uk domain name for the first 10,000 UK customers Premium = FREE during Beta, then £22.95 per month * * price excludes VAT
  • 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 free. They can then upgrade to get a bunch of other things too, but especially if they are small - this is an amazing solution. If they are larger, then they might not use all the facilities, but they will use some of them - especially the features of the paid for services, which every time I present are seen as amazing value for money. Does Live compete with SBS? No, Yes, well sometimes. If you look at the services offered, some of them could be provided on SBS, but bearing in mind that SBS does so much more and something's that Live offers you could do on SBS, but probably would not, lets look at what is what. You could host e-mail, calendar, contacts, web sites, WSS sites etc on SBS, but would you really do website's and WSS sites on SBS - sometimes, but not always - it depends where people are located vs the network and whether they are internal or external to the local LAN - internal - SBS, external - possibly Live. With the Live services of mail, calendar and contacts - this is like a baby version of...
  • 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 to buy a server, set up an IT infrastructure and hire IT staff to maintain it, then Microsoft Office Live is a perfect solution for your business. A beta version of Microsoft Office live will launch in late 2006.* WHY MICROSOFT OFFICE LIVE? A professional Web site, expertly hosted by Microsoft A secure online workspace for organising and managing customer and business information A complete set of tools for managing time, tasks, projects, and company data that integrates with your existing Microsoft Office programs Register today * At this time, participation in the Microsoft Office Live Beta services program is open to United Kingdom residents only. Due to the number of requests received for this beta, we cannot guarantee participation for every registrant. If you are selected as a beta participant, you will receive an e-mail message from us with further information. Source: Microsoft Office Live Worldwide
  • 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 the right information at the right time, whether it is stored on a WSS site, your local PC or the internet plus many more If you want to see more about the location, as always, have a look at local.live.com - while this does not have the birds eye tools that the Nottingham event has, it is still pretty nifty if you want to view from Satalite imagery and because it is a web page and not some application you have to load onto your PC, it will run from most browsers. http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=50.720347~-3.464669&style=h&lvl=18&sp=aN.sfm1jvgqb4gv_Exeter%2520Ignite%2520Tour_Interquad%2520Learning%250d%2520%2520Unit%25201%250d%2520%2520Abbey%2520Court%250d%2520%2520Eagle%2520Way%250d%2520%2520Sowton%250d%2520%2520Exeter%250d%2520%2520EX2%25207HY%250d%2520%2520_http%253a%252f%252fwww.microsoft.com%252fuk%252fpartner%252ftraining%252fignite%252fdefault.aspx%253fid%253dExeter%2523map _ ttfn David
  • Can small businesses make it online

    Wow, what a questioning title. I am not a "business online" expert, but I did find this article rather interesting and worth a read. It has some nice reminders about the importance of doing the basics right, such as customer service, shipping and core "business" such as invoicing, accounts etc. just a quick one :-) ttfn David P.S. I could suggest that Office Live might be the answer, but for true transactional stuff you need a transactional hosting partner that provides a "basket" function for you - of course, there is Commerce Server 2007....
  • Office Live information from internal Microsoft Briefing - including where partner opportunity might exist

    Those guys at PTS-TV managed to secure an interview with Rajesh Jha who is GM for Office Live . He talks about how some partners are making "mash-ups" and others are building ontop of the solutions as it is a hosted web site and sharepoint. If you need a basic "What is Live", go to this page for more info The beta is coming officially the UK later this year as the US goes live and really provides an opportunity for those low hanging fruit customers who want a web domain and site, e-mail, calendar, contacts and some sharepoint functionality, but don't want a server. Will has put up a few thoughts on his blog . From the Link above, suggested reading includes: Office Live Developer Guide Preview and the Office Live Developer Portal on MSDN Stream (6 mins) Download (12.5mb) ttfn David
  • How to get content filtering (anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-malware), archival services, DR / Continuity and Encryption services for your SBS box at a great price

    As many of you know, I have always argued that MS online services only serve to complement our other solutions. One classic example of this is the Hosted Exchange Services - now before you run around with your fingers in your ears shouting "LALALA", have a look to see what they are. These services work with an existing Exchange server - ala SBS, so there is no threat to the SBS system at all. We then offer 4 services which includes those listed below, but the nice thing is the price. On the How to buy page is lists the prices - these are per user and you can start at 5 users - oh, and this is real per user, so if you have 20 aliases for 5 users (eg sales, support etc) - that is 5 users: Estimated Pricing All prices below are based on estimated retail pricing (per user, per month licensing). This pricing would apply to a small business with as few as 5 users. Services Prices Comments Microsoft Exchange Hosted Filtering $1.75 US Exchange Hosted Filtering is a fully managed service that employs multiple technologies to help prevent spam, viruses, and phishing scams from reaching corporate networks and to help enforce corporate email-use policies. Microsoft Exchange Hosted Encryption $1.90 US Exchange Hosted Encryption is a policy-based email encryption service that uses customizable policies based on users, keywords, character patterns, attachment types, and more to identify messages that require encryption. Microsoft Exchange Hosted Continuity $2.50 US Exchange Hosted Continuity is an email continuity service that is always on, providing your user community with access to the last 30 days of email and the ability to send and receive email in real time, even when the primary email system is unavailable. Microsoft Exchange Hosted Archive $17.25 US Exchange Hosted Archive is a managed service that captures and archives external and internal mail, IM and Bloomberg mail according to your contracted retention period. When the retention period is met, messages are automatically destroyed. Hosted Archive includes...
  • Microsoft's Anti-virus and Anti-spam technologies for an Exchange Server - ForeFront

    This is not something for every Exchange / SBS user, but it might be interesting to some. We have released our "ForeFront" security technologies that includes mail clensing as an option. CNet gave it a small amoutn of coverage, but you can get more information from the Microsoft web site . It is worth noting that to buy ForeFront you need a volume license agreement, hence why I said it *might* not be ideal for smaller businesses. For most SBS customers, the Hosted Exchange Services may well be the right answer at the right price. ttfn David
  • Microsoft's online strategy discussed at analyst meeting

    I saw this article from the NY Times and thought I would share it. It is a report on MS plans for Internet enabling even more things that we do. Some key statements from it included: "any big payoff from those investments would not come for a few years" - so this is a long term play "Internet search, according to Microsoft, will increasingly become seamlessly integrated into the Windows desktop operating system, Office productivity software, cellphones powered by Windows and Xbox video games" - I like the idea of hybrid utilities and the fact that search is a tool for me to do something, rather than something I explicitly have to go to a web site to do "In a demonstration, Mr. Mehdi showed some of the work being done by a group exploring the future of advertising in Microsoft’s research labs. In a digital television prototype, a viewer who liked a dress worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in an episode of “Sex and the City” could click on it, automatically pausing the video, and on the screen an Internet search result would appear, identifying the dress, its maker and a link to buy it" - contextual use of the search utilities - buying a dress rather than searching for a place to buy a dress. "Microsoft executives acknowledge that as computing increasingly gravitates to the Web and often toward ad-supported services, it creates both a technical and business challenge for a company whose great strength is in personal computer desktop software. But the Microsoft vision is that Internet services can complement rather than cannibalize the company’s traditional business if they are built into products like Windows." - This is key for me - people often ask me why Microsoft supports hosted services, Windows and Office Live and products like SBS. The answer is choice, and the fact that one day people will need it all. Imagine a server that has services that make it a better product - that is where we are headed. Some people say SBS and hosted Exchage compete, but they...

(c)David Overton 2006-13