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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  • If you have upgraded your SBS WSSv2 Companyweb site to WSS v3, there is hope to fix it

    Technorati tags: WSS , Companyweb , Windows SharePoint Services , SBS 2003 R2 , sbs 2003 I have seen two entries on this today that need flagging. The 1st is the re-iteration by Susan Bradley that everything works baring e-mail in a WSS v3 site - providing you are not upgrading a WSSv2 site on SBS. Side-by-side installs work with this exception. It is still vital that you read this document before you do the upgrade. However, I have had several people mail me asking how to recover. I asked the same question inside Microsoft and was told that a potential solution has been documented in a blog - http://blogs.technet.com/edwalt/archive/2006/11/29/removing-wss-3-0-companyweb-upgrade-restoring-wss-2-0-on-sbs-2003.aspx . This is almost certainly great news for those who ruin their site. There is a word of warning - you need a backup of your WSS v3 companyweb database. ttfn David
  • Using Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 Network

    [updated 28th Feb 2007 - 07:47 with correct link for Outlook 2007 and Windows XP] Use this document to join computers that are running Windows Vista to your Windows Small Business Server 2003 network using the "Update for Windows Small Business Server 2003: Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 compatibility (KB 926505). http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=46E95C56-1A4C-45BD-8D69-5F41FF8F1F22&displaylang=en File Name: SBSVista_Conceptual.doc Date Published: 2/8/2007 Download Size: 265 KB The “Update for Windows Small Business Server 2003: Vista and Outlook 2007 compatibility (KB 926505)” adds support for the Client Deployment tools in Windows Small Business Server (Windows SBS), and it resolves compatibility issues for running Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 in a Windows SBS network. Use this document to join computers running Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 in your Windows SBS network. You might also want to look at: · Vista and Office 2007 FAQs · Related Knowledge Base Articles KB 926505 – Update for Windows Small Business Server 2003: Windows Vista and Outlook 2007 compatibility · KB 911829 – Outlook Web Access (OWA) update · KB 929556 – Firewall Client for ISA Server · KB 930414 – ISA Server 2004 update package for Vista 64-bit editions · KB 930955 – Vista User Profile WMI Provider KB 931905 – Regarding Outlook users; note: this is a catch all KB for someone who has XP with Outlook 2007 – a separate update is not required, it is the same update as mentioned in KB 926505 Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Small Business , SBSC , SBS 2003 , Small Business Server 2003
  • I'm sorry - I am not perfect and nor is Microsoft. Sometimes it is our fault

    I can be abrasive sometimes and whether it "is my fault" or not, I don't always understand others' point of views. To this I would like to say "It is my fault". Now, if you have got up off the floor, let me give you a few examples. I say "contact our customer support" and you say "I don't have time". Before I rant - OK, I understand this, if you could share the bug at some time, we will try to fix it. We haven't been able to identify it yet, so need your help I say "There is no OEM media, get over it" and you say "I need OEM media to do my installs". OK, I can't fix this one. I do understand where you are coming from. If I were to share the fact that in the UK, which is a low piracy country, our tests so far have shown between 10-15% of all copies of Windows are pirated and many come from Action Packs and other OEM keys, does that help understand why this is such an issue? I do wish I could give you back OEM media, but I've been told it is just not possible. While Microsoft did publish the changes coming, I now get the impression that many did not realise that this was linked to the change in qualifying an upgrade, making the process different to Windows XP The list goes on, however why did I even start this? Well a man I respect lots is Joel. I started reading his latest filing: "Now I was fuming. Squiggly lines were coming up out of my head. I was a half hour late to work and had to go to the locksmith for a third time. I was tempted just to give up on him. But I decided to give this loser one more chance." "Seven steps to remarkable customer service http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/customerservice.html It then carries on: I stomped into the store, ready to unleash my fury. “It still doesn’t work?” he asked. “Let me see.” He looked at it. I was sputtering, trying to figure out how best to express my rage at being forced to spend the morning going back and forth. “Ah. It’s my fault,” he said. And suddenly, I wasn’t mad at all. Mysteriously, the words “it’s my fault” completely defused me. That was all it took...
  • Just as predicted - Vista is driving new PC Sales - are you driving these into your customers?

    I was reading this http://news.com.com/Sales+of+boxed+Vista+copies+down+over+XP/2100-1016_3-6159700.html?tag=nefd.top and it said that Vista boxed product was down by 59% compared to XP and 32% by revenue (means people are buying Ultimate), but then noticed that it said PC sales were up 67%.. hmm, so I wonder what was on those. What we are seeing is people buying new PCs rather than upgrading. While people are doing that, perhaps we should ask our customers if they would like to take advantage of the great things that Vista, Office SBS and Windows Mobile can do for them and put together a package, potentially using Open Value Subscription to spread the cost (or finance) and help them get that new PC and everything else they need in 1 easy go :) ttfn David
  • IIS and SSL troubleshooting tools from Microsoft

    WFetch 1.4 A tool aimed at helping resolve problems where the browser is unable to connect to a Web site. SSL Diagnostics Version 1.1 (x64) Download this troubleshooting tool for Internet Information Services (IIS). SSL Diagnostics Version 1.1 (x86) Download this troubleshooting tool for Internet Information Services (IIS). Technorati tags: IIS , support tools , SSL , browser
  • Microsoft software for Charities in the UK

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

    BIG REMINDER - DO NOT DO THIS TO COMPANYWEB ON SBS Upgrade Toolkit for Windows SharePoint Services Sites and Templates Find guidance and tools to successfully upgrade your Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 custom sites and templates. The result: A set of custom sites and templates that will operate in a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 environment. This toolkit also includes a set of upgraded Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 application templates.
  • Debug Diagnostic Tool v1.1 - troubleshoot hangs, slow performance, memory leaks and crashes in any Win32 user-mode process

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

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

    If you will be in the Reading area on the night before the SBSC Symposium, then come along to Reading and have a drink and catch up with the community. You'll have the opportunity to mix and chat to different members of the regional groups as well as exchange ideas about business (or anything you like!). No agenda has been set for the evening (as yet); think of it as a regional SBS group meeting on steroids! The VIP area has been booked out for our meeting so there’ll be plenty of space to spread out and relax. Members of the community, Microsoft, and other vendors will be available to chat to and this will hopefully be a great start to the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Symposium. And just a reminder, while some drinks will be bought, more food and drink is available, but sorry guys, you've gotta pay for yourselves!
  • IE 7 reaches 100 million users | CNET News.com

    This is an interesting one - I have IE 7 installed on all my machines except my SBS 2003 server and the reason for it not being on there is because I like to have an IE6 hanging around for those sites where I have no other option - and browsing on the server (sorry Susan) is something I really, really try to avoid, so the site must be important enough to me, trusted and not need any java etc before I will consider using it. Anyway, that means that 7 PCs in the house (counting the 2 work laptops) are IE 7. I have not found a site that does not work yet, although some like the Live Spaces photo uploading tool is a bit of a pain in the bum to get working (you need to run as admin in Vista). IE 7 reaches 100 million users Web browser now second only to IE 6 in terms of usage in the U.S., Microsoft announces. More than 100 million people have installed Internet Explorer 7, making it the second most used browser in the U.S., trailing only its predecessor--IE 6, the software maker said Friday. "I'm pleased to report that on January 8, we had the 100 millionth IE7 installation," Microsoft Group Program Manager Tony Chor said on the IE blog . "However, even more important than installations is usage. According to WebSideStory (the company we use to measure browser usage), as of this week, over 25 percent of all visitors to Web sites in the U.S. were using IE7, making IE7 the second most used browser after IE6." Microsoft said it expects IE 7 usage to grow as the company completes more localized versions, offers it up to more Windows XP users through Automatic Update and releases Vista to consumers at the end of the month. The final version of the new browser has been available for download by XP users since October and is also built into Vista. Source: IE 7 reaches 100 million users | CNET News.com
  • Windows Vista, Office 2007 and the Action Pack - coming very soon

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

    Do you know Robbie? Have you met him, if so, then you will feel justa little sorry for Aileen in this short film (possibly up for a Bafta) staring the two of them. I did record one, but alas, like many things I do, it ended up on the cutting room floor!! Jog along to Partner-TV: Small Business Specialist Competency for a little glimpse of stardom in action and find out what is coming your way. ttfn David
  • Its a sad day, but Vlad no longer runs his business on SBS - well, maybe not sad as he still runs lots of SBS businesses and he has grown beyond his SBS server

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

    This has been said may times, SBS 2003 was designed with WSS v2 in mind and the clever SBS team are spending their time getting Cougar ready for shipping, so have not gone and re-worked SBS for WSS v3. There are some great documents that describe how to safely add WSS v3 alongside WSS v2 (i.e. the Companyweb site), but now we have some tips as to how to get a bit more from it. 1st off, you need to read the blogs at http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2006/11/30/wss-v3-0-installation-on-sbs-2003.aspx and http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2006/11/19/loading-windows-sharepoint-services-v3-wssv3-onto-sbs-2003.aspx (as this has some examples of what can go wrong if you don't pay attention). Then hop over to Using CompanyWeb from within WSS 3.0 and see how you can start to build it out. Perhaps someone will build a companyweb V3 that links into the original companyweb site, but skins it all in WSS V3? Hope this helps and thanks to Mark Stanfill for putting these up. ttfn David
  • The SBS Diva spots why your workstations (and sometimes your SBS servers) are spiking at 100% CPU this month after the patches (yes, it is the Update services)

    Updated 08:07am 12th January - the blog title used to suggest this was a server issue - Susan pointed out that this is a client / workstation issue much more I had to blog this one - if you are seeing CPU spiking when patches are being installed, go look at http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2007/01/10/on-patch-tuesday-if-you-are-seeing-a-spike-in-cpu.aspx ttfn David
  • Microsoft announces Home Server - ever want something like SBS, but targeted at home users with home user functionality (i.e. no Exchange, but wizards and tools around storage and media, sharing etc)

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

    I knew this was not the easiest thing to do today, but good old Susan has blogged the links on what to do. Note, this should be followed carefully :-) ttfn David
  • Back from holiday, whats been hot in 2006

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

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

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

    Exchange 2007 - what a product :-) I was guilty of underselling it at the Bristol SBS Partner Group. I said some of the features people wanted were only in the Enterprise Edition, but I was wrong, they are in the Standard Edition, but require the Enterprise License (which is a top up on the standard License). Obviously SBS 2003 can work with Exchange 2007, but only on a seperate server as SBS 2003 is 32-bit only and production Exchange 2007 is 64-bit only. The enterprise CAL is only a few dollars on top of the Standard CAL, so if you want the features, definately something to look for. So, what is the difference between the two version? http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/editions.mspx Exchange Server 2007 Edition Offerings Feature Standard Edition Enterprise Edition Storage Group Support 5 storage groups 50 storage groups Database Support 5 databases 50 databases Database Storage Limit No software storage limit; storage limit is hardware dependent No software storage limit; storage limit is hardware dependent Single Copy Clusters Not supported Supported Local Continuous Replication Supported Supported Cluster Continuous Replication Not supported Supported Exchange Server 2007 CAL Offerings Feature Standard CAL Enterprise CAL* Standard CAL + Enterprise CAL E-mail, shared calendaring, contacts, tasks, management Outlook Web Access Exchange ActiveSync Unified Messaging Per-User/Per-Distribution List Journaling Managed E-mail Folders Exchange Hosted Filtering** Forefront Security for Exchange Server** For pricing and information about the CALs, go look at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/howtobuy/default.mspx Exchange Server 2007 Standard CAL - $67 US The Exchange Server 2007 user/device CAL is required for each user/device gaining access to the server, and entitles access rights to both editions of Exchange Server. Exchange Server 2007 Enterprise CAL License and Software Assurance (L&SA)* - $25 US The Exchange Enterprise CAL provides access to Unified Messaging and advanced compliance, as well as Forefront...
  • 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...
  • ISA 2004, meet Vista, Vista, meet ISA 2004 client so that you can now work!!

    If you are using Vista and ISA, you will be used to getting a compatibility warning when the client loads. Well, this KB and download gives you a time when that is no longer the truth :-) From the joys of Susan B's blog View article... .. How to obtain the version of Firewall Client for ISA Server (December 2006) that includes Windows Vista support: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929556 Finally the ISA firewall client that will support Vista is out today and there's a new WSUS category to boot! As always, be careful when playing with your systems ttfn David
  • Great group leaders and Richard Evans, Tom Crosbie and Susanne Dansey moving on

    I love the small business community. Some days I hate it too. This year we have seen great strides forward, but the fear by me has always been how many people are driving it. Don't get me wrong - I think the community is amazing and more than capable at driving things forward for itself, but some pigs are more equal (driving) than others. This year there have been some stand-out heros, who have consistently provided feedback to Microsoft as to what more we should be doing to help. That is what I see easily. They also lead their groups, build the local community and put business opportunities in front of people around them. Three of those people have moved from group leaders to being back into community at large - and I am not sure that this has been recognised - both in terms of their efforts to the community and also the help they have given Microsoft. The three people are Tom, Richard and Susanne. They all did great things with their groups - taking them to new heights (other group leaders do this, but have not moved on yet, so I will shout out to them later) - but they are now "just" members of their groups. Richard sent this to his group "I said at the meeting in May where we made a lot of the decisions regarding the self-funding, and elected the various officers of the group, that I would be standing down as Chairman in October. I had decided this for several reasons, but mainly the fact that I now feel that we have a strong core of a group, and that someone else should come in with new ideas and drive to push the group forward. It is always a danger in such an organisation, that the founder stays too long, and the organisation becomes 'his' rather than reflecting the needs of the members." Susanne sent this a couple of days ago "And I take the opportunity to inform you all that I will be stepping down from my role within the Kent group and this meeting will be my last as leader – I have had a great year and a bit organising it but I feel it is time for others to take more control. Thanks to everyone who has...
  • Have you loaded R2, changed the settings in WSUS and now the R2 controlling of WSUS no longer works?

    I know this has happened to me, and a partner contacted me last week and it had happened to them. The green check (tick for the English speaking crowd ;-) ) turns to a blue one. This means that it is still running, but the WSUS console is now in control, not the nice things in R2. I tried to fix it by following the info in the KB article, but it just didn't work. I was then pointed to the blog by the SBS heros and all my questions went away once I had followed the instructions. To get to the road to the Emerald city, go to http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2006/07/13/441594.aspx Why Emerald city - green check - green city... Oh, go watch the Wizard of Oz :-) ttfn David
  • Is Microsoft Driving Innovation Or Playing Catch-Up With Rivals?

    I saw this over at the Wall Street Jounral ( http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB116490323676636989-HnHPKLzkyy9xKy2wnokbd2bc_bE_20071130.html ) and it made me think. Can I point to Innovation from Microsoft in the small business arena? I'd be happy on your thoughts, but her are some areas I think MS is innovating: SBS - an amazing package of great technologies, not just the "enterprise" version at a lower price, but some thought put in to make the wizards workable for small businesses, with defaults that won't scale to 5,000 users, but will work just fine for 100 Publisher to enable small businesses to participate in marketing and image management without having to learn a package as complex as Pagemager or Quark Express - something I used to earn great money training people to use Office 2007 - making great presentation of documents accessable without a marketing degree Vista - Getting the balance right between onus on the user vs the system for security I have some more in mind, but what do you think?
  • Who is Captain Campaign and how to sell more?

    Time and again the number one question I get outside the technical arena is people want leads from Microsoft - "go and advertise for me and hand me the leads so I can do business with these customers." I know this sounds pointed, and it is meant to, I have had partners be even more direct with me as to what they think Microsoft should do for them to make them acquiring customers easier! Now we do do advertising, but we don't "hand" the leads to you. We take customers to the "find a partner tool" on bCentral and ask them to find a partner. If the find you, click on the link for you, but the web site does not entice them to call, there is nothing we can do about it as Microsoft - (have you asked some prospective customers to look at your website to see if it is a plus or a minus?). So what can we do to help, well, besides our campaigns, we can help you run mini-campaigns that align to what we do ourselves, but you get to customise it to your needs. To find out how this works, how to do it and who captain campaign is, click the nice graphic above! To help get a bit of fun into the process, we also have a funky screensaver that can be downloaded from https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/salesmarketing/createdemand/40035272 As always, let me know what you think, or if not me, why not let Lorrayne know - more about her at http://blogs.technet.com/msppuk/archive/2006/12/05/who-fits-size-9-red-boots.aspx ttfn David
  • Are your customers getting too much junk into Outlook - use this tool to tell Microsoft about it

    I saw this on the Technet Newsletter and thought it was worthwhile. Obviously you will have enabled IMF in Exchange on SBS 2003, so what else can you do? The Junk E-mail Reporting Tool lets you directly report junk e-mail to Microsoft and its affiliates for analysis to help us improve the effectiveness of our junk e-mail filtering technologies. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=53541292-ce94-4c5b-9127-b7d56f11b619&DisplayLang=en
  • How to manage Shadow Copies (Previous Versions of files) in Windows Vista and SBS 2003

    At the Kent partner group I was asked if shadow copies applied to all volumes or just the main system volume. To find out the answer I typed "vssadmin list shadowstorage" and the result was: C:\Windows\system32>vssadmin list shadowstorage vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool (C) Copyright 2001-2005 Microsoft Corp. Shadow Copy Storage association For volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{f2dea953-2674-11db-b0e9-806e6f6e6963}\ Shadow Copy Storage volume: (C:)\\?\Volume{f2dea953-2674-11db-b0e9-806e6f6e6963}\ Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 5.622 GB Allocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 5.874 GB Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 6.05 GB Shadow Copy Storage association For volume: (E:)\\?\Volume{f2dea955-2674-11db-b0e9-806e6f6e6963}\ Shadow Copy Storage volume: (E:)\\?\Volume{f2dea955-2674-11db-b0e9-806e6f6e6963}\ Used Shadow Copy Storage space: 33.453 MB Allocated Shadow Copy Storage space: 300 MB Maximum Shadow Copy Storage space: 961.343 MB This tells me how much storage is used on each disk and whether it is enabled. Vssadmin does much more (the Server 2003 information can be found at http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/89d2e411-6977-4808-9ad5-476c9eaecaa51033.mspx?mfr=true You can also control the amount of space used etc using this command too.
  • Loading Windows SharePoint Services V3 (WSSv3) onto SBS 2003

    WSS V3 has many new refinements, but putting it on SBS 2003 is something that has to be considered due to the impact. From the documentation, this is what it says: This is Version 1 of this document. To download the latest updated version, visit the Microsoft Web site ( http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=77404 ). The update might contain critical information that was not available when this document was published. The Microsoft® Windows® Small Business Server 2003 server software (Windows SBS) deeply integrates key Microsoft business productivity server products, including Microsoft Windows SharePoint® Services 2.0. A new version of the Windows SharePoint technology, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, is now available, and it provides enhanced features for your Windows SBS network. However, some of the differences between Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 break the integration between Windows SBS and Windows SharePoint Services. For this reason, if you want to install Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 on a Windows SBS network, you must install it side-by-side with Windows SharePoint Services 2.0. This leaves your existing http://companyweb Web site intact, and it also creates a new Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Web site . When you install Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 on your server, do not choose Gradual upgrade or In-place upgrade. If you do, several Windows SBS administration tools will fail, and you might lose data on your Windows SharePoint Services sites. You must choose No, do not upgrade at this time, which results in a side-by-side installation. You must maintain your http://companyweb Web site as a Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 installation. Upgrading the site to Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 is not supported. After you install Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 side-by-side with Windows SharePoint Services 2.0, Windows SBS administrative tools continue to work properly with Windows SharePoint Services 2.0, but do not interact with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. Windows...
  • Need a machine to practice or simulate Windows Server, Exchange 2007, SQL 2005 or ISA 2006? Download the pre-configured VHDs for these virtual machines

    I am sure you have seen these already, but if not, these are great tools to help when you quickly need a machine to test something on, or spend longer learning about a product. I know you can get the disks in the action pack, but then you have to load it up on a PC or VPC - this saves you all the trouble. Windows Server 2003 R2 Windows Server 2003 R2 helps to simplify branch server management, can improve identity and access management, helps to reduce storage management costs, provides a rich Web platform, and offers cost-effective server virtualization. In this VHD, you'll have the opportunity to road-test new and improved features and functionality of Windows Server 2003, including management and usability enhancements to Active Directory. Exchange Server 2007 Learn how to take advantage of key features of Exchange Server 2007. This VHD provides an exploration of Active Directory and the new features in Exchange Server 2007, new features in Outlook Web Access 2007, enforcing compliance and retention policies in Exchange Server 2007, and more. SQL Server 2005 SQL Server 2005 is data management and analysis software that helps deliver increased scalability, availability, and security to enterprise data and analytical applications while helping to make them easier to create, deploy, and manage. In this VHD, you will get to experience many of the new features in SQL Server 2005. ISA Server 2006 VHD This download comes as a pre-configured VHD. ISA Server 2006 is the integrated edge security gateway that helps protect your IT environment from Internet-based threats while providing users with fast and secure remote access to applications and data. For a complete list of Microsoft products and technologies in a VHD, visit the VHD Download Center . Source: Run IT on a Virtual Hard Disk
  • Vista and Office 2007 for Small Business (responding to more comments) - and the EVO Tour and more learnings (updated with links)

    Well, the EVO Tour is underway, with some initial bad feedback, we have taken that on board and now the feedback is MUCH better from all partners, including SBSC members, so the inital concerns appear have been answered - which is well done to the team for such a quick turnaround. When I answered the previous complaints " here ", I wanted to respond more fully to Martin's comments, so I will do that here. This is what Martin said that I will respond to now: "because this customer has temps that may or may not work on these platforms[David: Vista machines], the changes in UI between XP and Vista are significant that this solution[David: Using Vista on some machine] will not work. They believe (and so do I knowing the workforce) they are going to have to upgrade all of their Computers all 35 Desktops. On top of this, they are then going to have to ensure that all of the other LOB Apps run, and then train all users on the diverencies. That will cost the IT budget for the next 12 months so just isn't going to happen!! I understand the problem - you could make those machines use the Classic look and feel until all machines are upgraded - this will resolve many of the "training" problems that you talk about. Also, it is good that an application problem is fixed by moving to Vista. Now on to the problem of machine upgrades. Unless this customer has a Volume License agreement, then it will be 35 copies of FPP product. Why not consider Open Value Subscription (OVS) as a way to make this easier to swallow - the cost is spread over 3 years, lower due to rental rather than ownership, plus other benefits that OVS brings, including- Home Usage rights, e-training voucher - which should help with learning that new UI - staff purchase right, upgrades to the next version when it ships and so on. If your customer will also need some new PCs, why not consider putting the whole lot under a MS Finance agreement, which can have 6 months @ £50 per month and then reasonable terms after this. Hopefully all of this starts to get a real return...
  • Recapping - what parts of Server 2003 R2 are in SBS 2003 R2

    This is one question I get asked a lot, which parts of R2 are in SBS 2003 R2. Obviously SBS 2003 R2 has the new WSUS tools for small business, which make patching easier, but people often ask about the other elements. This is discussed in more detail at http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2006/02/28/420825.aspx . We have heard that some people want DFS-R, but this is not part of this package. Sorry - we are aware of the desire. ttfn David
  • BSOD screensaver - how to frighten people

    I saw this little ditty that is part of the SysInternals acquisition - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/Miscellaneous/BlueScreen.mspx - it simulates a BSOD on your system as a screen saver and then even goes as far as to show the boot screen. Amazingly funny and I had to check that the machine was really ok by stopping the screen saver. Enjoy
  • Restoring SBS 2003 to different hardware

    I saw this internal comment from Mark Stanfill and thought it was too good not to share. When moving to new hardware, this article is a good reference point: 249694 How to move a Windows installation to different hardware http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;249694 This article pre-supposes that they know a lot of details about their server (ACPI settings, filter drivers, HAL, etc) that they may not have access to. You should set the expectation that they will likely have to change some BIOS settings and that failures are likely and will have to be troubleshot on a case-by-case basis. If they have any concerns, this is a case where a call to CSS is highly advisable. Mark Stanfill, MCSE+I, MCSE 2000/2003, MCDBA Technical Lead, SBS http://blogs.technet.com/sbs One really important item in the mail - " If you have any concerns - call the support desk " - in the UK this might cost a couple of hundred pounds, but when doing a recovery and you are having problems, it might save you days of sweat, which has got to be worth the cash. What is more, if you have a TechNet+ subscription, or are a Certified or above partner, you have support call incidents as part of the package, so why not use them!! ttfn David
  • Help test Centro - MS's beta &/or TAP that requires 3 x64 machines and includes Longhorn and Exchange?

    From the SBS Blog: We are looking for a few good testers to help influence the direction of this new Microsoft® Windows Server Solutions Product. Do you have three 64 bit machines that you can spare to test some of the most exciting technology Microsoft is working on? I know the system requirements are a daunting one, but this is the only way we can test "Centro". So, if you are already on the Longhorn Beta or the Exchange Beta, then you are already two thirds of the way there. For more information, codes to access the beta, how to sign up etc, go look at The SBS and Centro Community Lead Blog : So, what is "Centro" you ask...........?
  • Important Sneak Peak – UK Small Business Symposium coming

    I can't reveal all the details, although I am sure others will, however we are working on special event for SBSC members. This event design incorporates your feedback and suggestions as to what you want to hear about, share as a community as well as information Microsoft needs to share with you. Expect useful information, the opportunity to network with your peers, Microsoft and partners and the ability to socialise too J The timeframe for this event is February 2007, in Reading, Manchester (or Leeds) and Edinburgh, although more sessions will happen in the afternoon in Reading due to availability of speakers and rooms. The ROUGH agenda looks like this Morning: UK Exec who actually cares about Small Business (such as Natalie Ayres - Director of SMS&P*) talking about: What's the view from the top? Why does everything you've heard matter? What's the opportunity for partners? Aileen Hannah – responsible for SBSC programme in the UK, talking about: Highlights & lowlights of the program so far Latest resources & benefits for partners Reference partner success stories Steve Haddock – responsible for the Disty partners with some special news for SBSC partners talking about: Latest trend data Where Microsoft are investing What's the opportunity for partners? David Overton and Matt McSpirit from the PTS team and guest TAP** partner and customer talking about Vista & Office: Value for small businesses & partners TAP Partner preso with actual customers Challenges they faced & how to overcome Tim Kimber, David Overton, and others talking about new products: Office Live Antigen / Forefront AdCentre Afternoon: The afternoon will include Panel and Technology led sessions with many presenters from the SBSC community as well as Microsoft: Panel Sessions: Building a better business model How to market your business Partner Power, working with the community Working with your regional Small Business infrastructure (eg BusinessLink, RDA, Accountants, FSB) Technology & MS Sessions: How I use and sell CRM Licensing...
  • Daily Telegraph - Story of how SBS and a retail system has greatly enhanced an amazing Manchester Arts and Crafts shop

    I have been to visit Fred Aldous in Manchester - the range of arts and crafts items was baffling to me, a non-artist, however with their help I was able to find the perfect things for my wife. The reason I was there though, was not to buy some paint, but to meet with the current family owners. They are an amazing showcase of what technology can do without damaging the fabric of what makes a family run business great. I have spoken about them before and yesterday someone asked me to provide the references, but the great success has been written up in the Daily Telegraph in the UK, so it is not something I can send out. A quick search of the Telegraph site has produced two stories on Fred's transformation - one as it was happening and one six months later. I strongly suggest a read to learn more! Victorian ledgers give way to age of Epos (Filed: 12/09/2005) A city craft shop founded in 1880 is going for the latest retail software to provide 21st century service, says Selina Mills Source: Telegraph | Money | Victorian ledgers give way to age of Epos and A crafty solution to a notable problem (Filed: 17/10/2006) A leap of faith with an electronic retail system has lightened Rob Aldous's paper load, he tells Selina Mills This time last year, Fred Aldous, the Manchester- based craft shop, had one ancient computer in a corner of an office that nobody used. Regarded as one of the most knowledgeable businesses in the trade, it relied on an ad hoc Post-it note system for ordering, stocktaking and reminders. Notes were everywhere, with urgent messages such as "order more" and "check with Rob" scribbled in a rush. Source: Telegraph | Money | A crafty solution to a notable problem
  • IE7 Installation and Anti-Malware Applications - why you should turn them off for the install!!

    I saw this and because IE is coming soon, thought you might like to read this! IE7 Installation and Anti-Malware Applications A few people have asked why we recommend temporarily disabling anti-virus or anti-spyware applications (which I’ll refer to together as anti-malware) prior to installing IE7, so here’s a little insight to the situation. Along with copying IE7 files to your system, IE7’s setup writes a large number of registry keys. A common way anti-malware applications protect your computer is by preventing writes to certain registry keys used by IE. Any registry key write that fails during setup will cause setup to fail and rollback changes. We work around the problem in most instances by checking permissions at the beginning of setup, but many anti-malware programs monitor the key rather than change permissions. Therefore, setup thinks it has access when it starts, but then fails when it later attempts to write the key. The majority of users likely haven’t seen any such problems even with anti-malware enabled because we work with third-party vendors to identify IE7 setup as ‘safe’ based on something like digital signatures or file hashes. While this could lead us to remove the recommendation to disable anti-malware apps, we’ve decided to leave it in setup because a number of factors may still cause some customers to have this problem. Specifically: With all the anti-malware apps available, we don’t want to assume all of them work just because we haven’t heard of a problem yet. Even anti-malware apps we’ve tested sometimes require the latest definition updates. If a user doesn’t have the latest definitions, he or she may still hit a problem even though we consider the issue resolved. Failed installation is an awful user experience so we take every step to reduce the chances of setup failing. I hope this helps answer some of your questions. John Hrvatin Program Manager Source: IEBlog : IE7 Installation and Anti-Malware Applications
  • Virtual PC Guy's WebLog : Virtual PC 2007 Beta now available!

    FYI - I use this for all my testing, including my WSS v3 on SBS 2003!! Virtual PC 2007 Beta now available! Good news - the Virtual PC 2007 Beta is now available. You can sign up for it here: https://connect.microsoft.com/programdetails.aspx?ProgramDetailsID=874 . Major changes include: Support for hardware virtualization (Intel and AMD) Support for Windows Vista as a host operating system Support for Windows Vista as a guest operating system Note: No support for Aero Glass though - just Aero Basic Support for 64-bit host operating systems Note: Virtual machines are 32-bit only Improved performance There are also a plethora of bug fixes. Some notable ones include: Lots of work to allow Virtual PC to play better with laptop power management Fix for IntelPPM issue ( http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2005/10/24/484461.aspx ) Virtual PC now supports greater than 2.2GB ISO images Source: Virtual PC Guy's WebLog : Virtual PC 2007 Beta now available!
  • iQubed on Vista vs Linux - and not from Microsoft, but a partner who has sold both Microsoft and Linux Solutions

    I like Vijay - he never lets me get away with cutting corners and has an honest perspective on many things. His personal review of what Exchange, Vista and Office will bring to the world is refreshing because he can say he has been there!! Vista vs Linux October 13, 2006 on 6:51 pm | In Linux , Vista | As Vista nears the business launch date of November 2006 the articles doing a comparison are appearing thick and fast. Firstly, let me say I’m an advocate of Open Source and what it has brought to the world. It’s given us some great solutions and powers the heart of the internet as we know it and companies like Google have built their business on it. That’s not a bad achievement! However, Microsoft has a formidable offering to both consumers and businesses alike. This offering is only getting stronger through EVO (Exchange Server 2007, Vista and Office 2007) and issues such as the WGA debacle and delays in Vista aren’t going to make the impact of these new technologies any less dramatic. Source: iQubed Blog » Vista vs Linux
  • Small Business News : Small firms 'overlooking' networking benefits

    From bCentral : Small firms 'overlooking' networking benefits Thu, 12 Oct 2006 16:21:12 GMT Many of Britain's small businesses could be losing out to competitors because they are not making enough of networking opportunities. Many of Britain's small businesses could be losing out to competitors because they are not making enough of networking opportunities. The latest research report from Lloyds TSB Business and the SERTeam at the Open University found that two fifths of small firms do not believe that networking can boost their businesses' chance of growth and success. It also shows that one in ten small firms say they do not devote any time to networking, while 42 per cent admit they only get involved a few times a year. Lloyds TSB believes that those businesses that do become adept at networking are likely to gain significant benefits. It reveals how almost three quarters of firms have won new customers over the past year as a direct result of marketing, while two fifths have found new suppliers. more at Small Business News : Small firms 'overlooking' networking benefits
  • Do you remember that little "poster" that came with SBS 2003 - do you want to make it better? We want your feedback on the SBS Quick Start Poster

    I saw this over on the SBS Documentation blog - please give generously to make it better in the future!! Using the SBS Quick Start Poster We've entered the planning phase for the next batch of Windows SBS product releases, and we're interested in hearing from those of you who have unfolded and presumably used the "Quick Start" poster that came in the box with the SBS discs. Most importantly, do you find the poster useful? Does it contain information that is helpful to you? Do you use the worksheets in the poster to help collect information about your Internet connection? Where is the poster now? Back in the box? Hanging on the wall? (It does add a big splash of color to a cubicle or drab IT office.) We want to know what you think! Submit your comment or send us your feedback in e-mail . Either way, we want to hear from you! Source: Windows Small Business Server Documentation : Using the SBS Quick Start Poster
  • Small Business News : SME leasing identified as means to growth

    Just saw this on the bCentral news site - always useful to know!! Of course, this can include IT solutions and of course, the MS Finance offers found at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/sales_and_marketing/promotions/default.aspx?page=product can be used to cover the whole solution, so your fees, SBS server and desktops with Office... ;-) SME leasing identified as means to growth Thu, 05 Oct 2006 12:05:05 GMT Leasing has been identified as a cost effective option for smaller businesses, according to the Forum of Private Business (FPB). Leasing has been identified as a cost effective option for smaller businesses, according to the Forum of Private Business (FPB). Source: Small Business News : SME leasing identified as means to growth
  • Vista and security - are Microsoft doing the right thing?

    This is something I have thought long and hard about and as such I have to caveat things by saying this is my opinion and that I am no more informed than any other member of the public or IT community. Having said that, I have done my time as a Windows Developer and even once worked on emulation systems such as Wine. These protections will be coming to all OSs - so Vista, Longhorn, SBS - all of them! I really think this is some of the worst mud slinging I have seen in a long time and much is wrong! So what have I seen in the Press. McAfee and Symantec have complained that they want the ability to ignore the APIs in Vista and bash at the Kernel directly for security services. However, Kernel code has to be signed for the integrity of the system. Microsoft will not stick to the rules above and will gain advantage by using unknown APIs That the security prompts and center can not be turned off That Microsoft is right to make these changes and want to increase the integrity of the system As someone who once worked on a large secure project I recognise the types of controls Microsoft wants/has to put in place on the Kernel - something that has been around since Windows XP 64-bit addition based on Server SP1 (yes it was). When you have a look at all the nasties out there, some (rootkits often) place drivers on the system to do the "hiding" from you. A driver sits in the kernel and can see and change almost anything that goes on in there - if you are compromised in the Kernel, they you are hosed!! You will never know it and your tools will tell you everything is fine. If you allow some people to not obey these rules, then the dishonest ones will not be hindered by it. Yes it can be disabled, but why would you as a user want to turn it off? I even saw someone say that the Kernel is where the holes are, so it is important that rather than fixing the issues, MS was better off leaving it to others. Well, why not have Ms produce a better kernel and then most users would be happy. Second, long, long before I worked for Microsoft...
  • KB for SBS and your customers - MS06-055: Vulnerability in Vector Markup Language could allow remote code execution

    I almost feel that I don't need to publish this, but even though the next round of patches is just a day away, you need to think about this one too. MS06-055: Vulnerability in Vector Markup Language could allow remote code execution View products that this article applies to. Article ID: 925486 Microsoft has released security bulletin MS06-055. The security bulletin contains all the relevant information about the security update. This information includes file manifest information and deployment options. To view the complete security bulletin, visit one of the following Microsoft Web sites: IT professionals: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms06-055.mspx Source: MS06-055: Vulnerability in Vector Markup Language could allow remote code execution ttfn David
  • IE is Coming This Month...Are you Ready?

    From the IE Blog is the following - we have all heard that IE7 is coming, but that day is almost upon us, so time to get ready. I finally installed IE7 for my wife yesterday - for the 1st time in a long time she actually said "Oh, that is useful" when talking about technology - a win for everyone! IE7 Is Coming This Month...Are you Ready? The final release of IE7 is fast approaching … and I mean really fast … and will be delivered to customers via Automatic Updates a few weeks after it’s available for download. We want to ensure that you are ready and the information below will help get you there. Compatibility with sites, extensions and applications has been a very high priority for us as we develop new features, enhance the existing features and move the platform forward to be more secure and standards compliant. We are continually listening to feedback from our customers, partners and leaders in the industry to resolve major compatibility issues to ensure our common customers have a great experience with IE7. As we make key improvements in areas such as layout and security, some changes need to be made by site owners to work smoothly with IE7. We have produced detailed documentation, tools and other resources to assist site, extension and application owners in their testing and development efforts to ensure they are compatible with IE7. We have also proactively worked with hundreds of companies to resolve issues that were reported through our beta testing to ensure those issues were resolved before IE7 is released. These efforts have been ongoing since last year and have been extremely successful but we can’t ensure 100% compatibility without your help. We need you to test and ensure your sites, extensions, and applications are ready for IE7. We strongly encourage you to do the following ASAP: Download, install and test your products with IE7 RC 1 –This is the fastest and best way to test for compatibility issues. Download the IE7 Readiness Toolkit - This toolkit pulls...
  • E-Bitz - SBS MVP the Official Blog of the SBS "Diva" : Upgrading to SQL 2005 workgroup from SQL 2000

    Upgrading to SQL 2005 workgroup from SQL 2000 When upgrading from SQL 2000 to SQL 2005 workgroup there's a couple of things you should read up ahead of time... the first being the "official" upgrade guide . the second is the "Susan" version of the document that just covers the needed steps for upgrading SQL 2000 to SQL 2005. For more information, go to E-Bitz - SBS MVP the Official Blog of the SBS "Diva" : Upgrading to SQL 2005 workgroup from SQL 2000
  • Compatibility Chart for Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Product, Server applications and desktop)

    A great new set of pages that shows what works and does not work with SBS 2003. using a simple traffic light system = The product is an integrated component of Windows SBS, or it is known to be compatible with Windows SBS. The product was tested and you can obtain support for this configuration. = The product has not been fully tested on Windows SBS and support for this configuration is not available from the Windows SBS product support team. Other groups may offer support for this configuration; contact the appropriate group for information. Some product features may not be fully functional in a Windows SBS environment. = Not compatible. The product is known not to work and you should not install the product in a Windows SBS environment. Product Technologies Compatibility Chart for Windows Small Business Server 2003 An at-a-glance compatibility chart for installing and running standalone versions of SBS 2003 technology on a server running Windows Small Business Server 2003. Server Application Compatibility Chart for Windows Small Business Server 2003 An at-a-glance compatibility chart for installing and running Microsoft collaboration and line-of-business applications on your SBS 2003 server. Desktop Technology Compatibility Chart for Windows Small Business Server 2003 An at-a-glance compatibility chart for installing and running Microsoft desktop technology on your SBS 2003 network. ttfn David
  • Small Business Server: Master Your Domain: Build a Corporate Network at Home -- TechNet Magazine, October 2006

    I saw this and thought of all of you who use SBS, like me, and wondered how many people will now go and build a corporate network for the home. I have just 5 PCs on home network, 1 Media Center Extender, 1 xbox and 1 xbox 360 :-). The article is not huge, but for some, useful. Master Your Domain: Build a Corporate Network at Home We're hardcore IT guys at heart, and we want well-managed, smooth-running computers—not only at work, but at home as well. We're willing to put some time into making that happen. We're also privacy and security geeks. We like running things ourselves to retain the desired level of freedom and control. We wanted an affordable solution that would provide easily shared resources (files, calendars, printing, and so on) to benefit all family members. We wanted an integrated solution that was familiar to us so we didn't have to cobble together a smattering of independent pieces. We wanted a flexible solution that could be expanded upon to do new things later. Enter Microsoft ® Windows ® Small Business Server 2003 R2 (SBS R2). Source: Small Business Server: Master Your Domain: Build a Corporate Network at Home -- TechNet Magazine, October 2006
  • James Akrigg points out some good old Windows SharePoint Services v3 (Office 2007) on/offline training available

    I was perusing James' blog and noticed this on part of a site about sharepoint, so thought I would forward. To compliment the above resource we also have 'Clinic 5045: Inside Look at Developing with Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint® Services 3.0' . This covers everything you are going to need to get started creating solutions on SharePoint Services. The clinic will enable you to: Describe Site and Workspace management and Document storage. Describe Integration with ASP.NET and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 . Describe Sites, Lists, Content Types and Collaborative features. Describe Programming with WSS and using the WSS Event model. Describe the Property Bag and Change Log. Describe SharePoint Pages, Master Pages and Content Pages. Describe Custom Views and Templates. SharePoint Designer Describe Web parts and Workflow support. Describe the Administrative object model. Describe how to create deployable Windows SharePoint Services-based solutions. Describe the Feature framework. Describe the Solution deployment model. Each of these courses can be downloaded and run offline, so if like me you travel a lot, this could be a great way to learn on the move. Oh and if you hurry they won't cost you a thing. Well that's all for now. I hope this helps and please keep those comments coming. James Akrigg Source: James Akrigg .:. Out of Office : SharePoint : “There’s no point if you don’t share!”
  • Windows SharePoint Services Podcast with Bob Sutton - Senior Product Manager

    I saw this over tat the IW Center and thought you might be interested. I am in the middle of finding out if SBS can run WSS v3 nicely. I know that all the wizards will not work, but what else will? Anyway, for those who want to know what is coming in v3 - listen to the podcast on the site! Windows SharePoint Services Prodcast - Bob Sutton, Senior Product Manager One of the questions I get asked frequently is "What's the difference betweeen Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server?" Usually I answer by saying that WSS is the basic "free" version of our web collaboration platform which supports small teams of users working on documents and projects together. However, the new version of WSS is significantly enhanced and there's something in it for everyone. I recently interviewed Bob Sutton, who is a Senior Product Manager responsible for Windows SharePoint Services "v3". In this prodcast, Bob talks about some of the new features in the upcoming version of WSS, such as blogs, wikis and RSS support. He also spends a good amount of time talking about using Windows SharePoint Services v3 in an "offline" mode, using Outlook 2007, Access 2007 or Groove 2007 to cache content locally to your machine. From a usability perspective, Bob discusses how the new version of WSS is easier to naviagate with bread crumbs and left navigation menus. He also spends time talking about the dual recycle bin, where both an end user and an adminstrator can restore an individual item from a SharePoint list or document library. This was the number one help desk call and this improvement should improve the overall managibility of WSS. Bob also drills down into the new security model where users can set the security on a per item basis. Bob also highlights that WSS uses the Windows Workflow Foundation for workflow and has implemented "master pages" to make deploying more consistent sites easier. Source: The IW Center
  • UK SMB Girl - RIP SBSC Premium Programme - what happened and what do you think

    Susanne is a little gem sometimes and today is no different - she has posted an interesting review of the SBSC programme and it's changes . The programme largely revolves around partners who sell SBS, although it is aimed at any who services small businesses (just in case you somehow have not heard of it). We are making changes this year, which included the removal of the Premium part of the badge. SBSC compares very favourably to the Certified Partner Programme in so much as you don't have to give Microsoft £1,000 or have to have 2 people certified in the same subject area. Membership to SBSC does not cost money, but does require an MCP in one of two areas and the passing of a simple sales and marketing exam. If you are already a SBSC member your opinion as to what else should be on the list of requirements will be key to shaping the implementation for next year. Benefits of SBSC membership: Microsoft notices you over the other 25,000+ registered partners in the UK Access to the private managed news groups which are monitored and answered by our support teams Partner finder tools show SBSC partners 1st Small Business advertising campaigns refer people to the partner finder tool and SBSC partners Ability to apply for co-funded campaigns Access to private livemeetings to discuss technology, business and the small business market. 1st to be asked for Technology Adoption Programme - so help beta and provide feedback on our products and then do some marketing Access to the UK Small Business team, so people like me you can find out more about sbsc at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/sbsc ttfn David
  • SBS R2 Webcasts from the US

    Small Business Webcast: The Benefits of Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 (Part 1 of 3): Get the Green Check of Software Health and Keep Your Business Up and Running (Level 100) Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM Pacific Time Jeffrey Lin, Business Development Manager, Microsoft Corporation http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032308419&Culture=en-US Small Business Webcast: The Benefits of Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 (Part 2 of 3): Save Time and Money by Doing More with Less (Level 100) Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM Pacific Time Greg Randall, Business Development Manager, Microsoft Corporation http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032308416&Culture=en-US ttfn David
  • James Akrigg is in the house and Out of Office... one of my best mentors FINALLY starts blogging

    This day has been a long time coming. James is someone who I always contact when I want to think out the box and apply creative solutions to problems. He is very technology savvy, but hides it much, much, much more than most people I speak to, when speaking to the business suit type of people. His skills cover almost anything from the Office System - old and new, Developer and OS (including Vista) and even has a good deal of search and online technology inside his head. Finally, he is a no BS type of guy. I would strongly recommend looking at his blog over at James Akrigg .:. Out of Office ttfn David
  • Want to know much more about SBS and the Remote Web Workplace - go look here

    I was browsing the Official SBS Blog when I came across this. If you do not understand what the settings for RWW are, how to use it or modify the features, go to the blog entry Inside the Remote Web Workplace - Part I and everything will be answered ;-) ttfn David
  • Remote Desktop issues and a hotfix - information from Susan B again

    You can tell I am in catch up mode on the blog today. Just saw the article If you do remote support of servers - I think you need to call for this hotfix on Susan's Blog and decided this is something we all need to include into our patching cycle this month, so go and request the hotfix. ttfn David
  • 2nd server need a CAL in SBS environment - not with R2

    This discussion came up yesterday internally and I thought I would share this as it has been discussed before In the Licensing FAQ: http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2003/sbs/evaluation/faq/licensing.mspx it states: Q. Do additional servers in my SBS 2003 R2 network require a CAL to connect to the domain? A. You do not need a CAL for additional servers to connect to the domain. ttfn David
  • Installing the Windows SBS 2003 R2 Premium Technologies

    This simple guide covers what you need to know to install the Premium Technologies. Installing SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition You can install SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition as your database for a business application. Additionally, you can upgrade the instance of Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (Windows) (MSDE) that is used by Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services if you want to be able to search document libraries in your company's internal Web site. For step-by-step instructions about how to install SQL Server 2005, download the file sqlinstallsteps.htm below. Installing ISA Server 2004 You can install ISA Server 2004 as the firewall for your local network. For step-by-step instructions about how to install ISA Server 2004 with Service Pack 1, download the file isainstallsteps.htm below. Installing FrontPage 2003 You can install FrontPage 2003 on one computer in your Windows SBS network and then use FrontPage to create or modify your Internet Web site. Note It is recommended that you do not install FrontPage on your computer that is running Windows SBS 2003 R2. You should install it on another computer in your network instead. Download details: Installing the Windows SBS 2003 R2 Premium Technologies ttfn David
  • Transition Pack for Windows SBS 2003 R2

    Very small and simple documentation on how to move from SBS 2003 R2 to Windows Server Standard 2003 R2, Exchange 2003 SP2 etc. These documents cover Standard and Premium editions. Download details: Transition Pack for Windows SBS 2003 R2 ttfn David
  • How patching should be done for all servers and clients - by Susan Bradley (super Jedi)

    I still fear Susan and what she would do if I ever made a serious security blunder. Luckily for me, I haven't yet. I also love the way she tells you the way it should be and makes it easy. I went through the process of evaluating my patches and then installing those I thought were needed (I do have some Office components on my test server, but I am hoping she will let me off for that). I was thinking on how to write this up when I say Susan's entry The risk evaluation of patching and saw she put it exactly how I would have done. What is my message - use her process and your customers will be as safe as can be expected. In fact, I applied the IMF patch immediately, which resulted in Exchange being offline for a few minutes, which when using Outlook 2003 or 2007 is no biggie at all. ttfn David
  • Is Windows SharePoint Services taking ages to display the gallery when you are trying to add a web part?

    This is a quick one to speed up WSS when using it, especially when doing demos. The service by default will try to connect to the web to get the online gallery - remove this and things speed up amazingly :-). For into on how to change this, have a look at Is it taking ages to display the gallery when you are trying to add a web part? ttfn David
  • Small Business Security Guidance (via Group Policy)

    These are a little old, as in published on 21st July 2006, but still great step by step guides on how to ensure that servers and clients connected to them are secure. They do not just look at SBS 2003, but also Windows 2000 & Windows Server 2003 server environments too. How to Configure Windows Firewall in a Small Business Environment using Group Policy.doc How to Configure Windows XP SP2 Network Protection Technologies in a Small Business Environment.doc Securing Internet Information Services 6.0.doc Link to Download details: Small Business Security Guidance ttfn David
  • Microsoft acquired Win Internals (SysInternals.com)

    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/jul06/07-18WinternalsPR.mspx This is a bit of old news, but I have not reported it. There has always been a set of amazing tools that were usable to diagnose inside Windows, they were sold from a company called WinInternals, who then produced a set of free tools on the web site http://www.sysinternals.com . These tools I normally use are below. I use them for those questions like "what file is failing to load", or "where is it looking in the registry" or "what process is using all the CPU". Filemon This monitoring tool lets you see all file system activity in real-time. MoveFile Schedule file rename and delete commands for the next reboot. This can be useful for cleaning stubborn or in-use malware files. PageDefrag Defragment your paging files and Registry hives! PendMove See what files are scheduled for delete or rename the next time the system boots. Autoruns See what programs are configured to startup automatically when your system boots and you login. Autoruns also shows you the full list of Registry and file locations where applications can configure auto-start settings. Process Explorer Find out what files, registry keys and other objects processes have open, which DLLs they have loaded, and more. This uniquely powerful utility will even show you who owns each process TCPView See all open TCP and UDP endpoints. On Windows NT, 2000 and XP TCPView even displays the name of the process that owns each endpoint. Includes a command-line version, tcpvcon. Regmon This monitoring tool lets you see all Registry activity in real-time. Winobj The ultimate Object Manager namespace viewer is here. Enjoy the tools and expect to see more as these become MS items. ttfn David
  • Do you use Business Critical Support - did you know you need to re-register each year now?

    This one was a bit of a surprise to me, but my Dad, who is an IT Consultant phoned me up to explain that when he range business critical support for a customer down situation he was told that his registration had lapsed. He then had to go through a process to re-register before his call could be processed - and this all took valuable time. I put this down to my Dad's unique way of finding problems with systems, however the very next day I got a mail from another partner who hit exactly the same thing, so think of this as a warning, go give yourself the ability to call MS Support without them charging you when your customers are "down". To get more information and registration information (it is not a long process honest), go to Register for free- Business Critical Telephone Support for registration and http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/tech_support/b... for information. Once you are set up, you MUST note your Support ID - this is the magic that will make it work when you need it. ttfn David
  • Got SBS 2003 R2 and need to update it to the current version - look at this KB

    http://support.Microsoft.com/kb/923432/ SYMPTOMS The initial release media for Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 contains the wrong version of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2). This update installs the correct version of the affected Exchange Server 2003 SP2 files. Different versions for some of these files can be found in other folders on the server. For this update, only the installation folders in the following table apply. Note This update applies to you if the version level of any of the following files is 06.05.7638.1. This update does not apply to you if the version level of all the following files is 06.05.7638.2. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/924000/en-us This article describes the steps that you must take to upgrade the initial release media of Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 (Windows SBS 2003 R2) to include the final release version of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition ttfn David
  • Updated templates for Windows SharePoint Services V2 (WSS)

    Again, writing blog entries while on train, but from the Microsoft Download Notification mail I see the following: Windows SharePoint Services Applications Template: Project Team Management The Project Team Site application for Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services provides a central location for the project manager and team to collaborate during all phases of the project lifecycle from initiation to close-out. Windows SharePoint Services Applications Template: All Templates (English) This download contains all downloadable application templates in the English language for Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services. ttfn David
  • What do the Stone Roses, Chris Parkes and the Demo Showcase have in common? Apparently small business solutions that come in fours!!

    Chris, who I previously mentioned the other day, has been up to his old tricks. Not only does he think that the Demo Showcase is an amazing tool for everyone to be able to show and tell how a computer solution can solve real business problems, but he has done an amazing job of describing exactly what is in the kit for the small business partner. The small business demos cover a wide range of technologies, but everything is built using 1 SBS Virtual PC and one XP client VPC. This means that showing things like mobile devices and how they work is much easier than just showing 1 person a PDA or mobile phone. It also enables you to show accounting solutions, CRM etc and each one comes with an amazing script that you can change to suit your needs and they are even tailored to who you are talking to, be it the owner manager or the sales people, etc! For more info, pictures and the ability to leave comments, pop along to The Demo Showcase & Small Business & The Stone Roses ttfn David
  • Microsoft Small Business Specialists Community Managed Newsgroups

    This is so important I just had to blog on it. As a SBSC member you now have access to a superb support organisation to answer your questions. No longer do you have to rely on me being there for you (as I have not been for the last couple of weeks). To get there, go to Microsoft Small Business Specialists Community Managed Newsgroups and go through the sign-in process. You can ask questions on any Microsoft Technology and someone from the community or Microsoft will be able to help, and often in a very speedy way. Give it a try - you will be amazed and it might just save your bacon one night in front of a server. ttfn David
  • What does the bCentral "Flexible Working Solutions from Microsoft" mean to you as a partner?

    I just opened up the latest newsletter from bCentral - if you don't get them, you should as hundred of thousands of people in the UK read the bCentral site and access this information. And if you were not sure, bCentral is the one stop shop from Microsoft for UK small businesses to find information on anything from finance to marketing (with a bit of technology in the middle). Anyway, while reading it, the top article was: Top tips to flexible working The benefits flexible working can bring to your business are significant. With the right technology, a flexible culture truly enhances the way you work because customers are better served and your employees are better looked after. For ten top tips to flexible working, download our free guide. Download the guide >> I thought, this looks interesting - the guide is a fantastic starter to explaining what the benefits of flexible working are for small businesses, so a simple read, and potentially mailing it to key prospects and customers would be top of my list for this month, especially since you now know that Microsoft will also be advertising around this topic. Also on this page, and this is a real tell, is a survey that you have to participate in to see the results, but the question is: What do 'flexible working' practices mean to you? More time to spend with family/friends I never miss important news from work Being at home for deliveries! The odd extra day off It's harder to get away from the office... Again, it is interesting to see what this means to people. For more, follow the link to the site, sign-up to the newsletter and enjoy the useful information. ttfn David Link to Flexible Working Solutions from Microsoft (bCentral site)
  • What is the Demo Showcase and how do you use it?

    I have a mate at work, Chris, who has always been a good and clever egg the whole time I have known him. He is also very passionate about partners getting the right level of support as well as liking Stoke City, but something's just have to be forgiven. One thing he has got a bee in his bonnet about this year is the Demo Showcase, which we will be using for all our demos going forward for a while. If you have been to an ignite tour, that was based on an early version of the Showcase DVD set. Chris has been a prolific blogger on the subject - this is a great tool for you to use, so look at: Whoever heard of the Demo Showcase for the People Ready Business? The Demo Showcase Line Up What Does the Demo Showcase Look Like (Physically)? What Does the Demo Showcase Look Like (in Reality?) The Demo Showcase Team Tactics ttfn David
  • Understanding Workflow in WSS and Office 2007

    Many people have been asking about Windows SharePoint Services and Workflow and how this will work with SBS 2003. While I can not say how WSS v3 will be supported on SBS, the issue is likely to be one of the wizards and fax tools no working rather than the WSS v3 itself not working. One of the good features of WSS is the new workflow features that are available. From within the document it states: Many kinds of processes in many different kinds of organizations can benefit from automated support for human workflow. Examples include: Approval : A common aspect of human-oriented business processes is the need to get approval from multiple participants. What’s being approved can vary widely, ranging from a Word document containing next year’s marketing plan to an expense report from a trip to a conference. In every case, some number of people must review the information, perhaps appending comments, then indicate approval or rejection. Coordinating group efforts : Whether it’s preparing a response to an RFP, managing the translation of a document into one or more languages, or something else, many processes require people to work together in an organized way. By defining the steps of the process in an automated workflow, the group’s work can be made more efficient and the process itself more predictable. Issue tracking : Many business processes generate a list of outstanding issues. An automated workflow can be used to maintain that list, assign issues to the people capable of resolving them, and track the status of that resolution. Rather than me continuing to rattle on, it might be worth heading over to Chris's blog on Workflow and WSS to find out more. Over the next couple of weeks I will get WSS up and running on SBS and find out what works and breaks. ttfn David
  • Running Vista RC1 on SBS 2003

    This is just a very quick note to say that good old Sean has published a nice document on how to get SBS 2003 and the tools working with Vista RC1. For more info: SeanDaniel.com on SBS 2003 & other Tech-stuff: Looking to run Vista RC1 on SBS 2003? ttfn David
  • SMB Nation in Seattle in early September

    I remember this time last year - people were debating the benefits of SMBNation - was it worth the cash, then a nice sized bunch left the safe shores of the uk and traveled across the shiny pond and mottled country to arrive in Seattle. Behold, what they found was not quite gold and definitely not fools gold, but was jolly worth while. Advice, information and access to the right people mean that you get your cash back pretty quickly in terms of sales, saved time and swapped opportunities, but it is absolutely an investment. The reason by Susanne is going is listed here, as well as some of the comments from last year and some of the comments from the one in Amsterdam can be found at sbsbpi . The agenda is quite chocker, so worth a look at http://www.smbnation.com/ . ttfn David
  • So your profile info is on MS Partner site and partner finder, so now you MUST update your solution profiles to be found - here is why and how it takes 10 mins

    You are all hopefully aware of the need to update your profile information and the web site url in it so that when one of the small businesses follows up on one of our campaigns and clicks on the find a partner link (UK) they can find information about you that makes them want to buy from you. Well, we are now talking about solutions to our customers and this is where you can now create and update your solution profile so that you can have several solutions profiled on the site. Each solution can have a completely separate description and URL, so no longer does everything have to be generic. This means that if a customer is looking for a sharing solution, they find out about by searching the solution finder tool, click on it, read more, then click the url that is not generic, so they actually call you and buy something from you. How do you do all this, here is the profile that took me a good 5-10 minutes to put together - I suggest you spend a bit more time on yours, but it will be worth it as we move to the new system over time. So here are the steps: Step 1 is simple, write a title that people will think "that is what I want" and then write about the solution in honest terms such that a customer or partner will think "This is for me". Remember that customers who are not technical will read this, so don't over-use jargon etc Step 2 , tick the elements that you offer in this solution. Is it hardware, software, services or a combination of them. Also, what products do you support in this solution. This is important as the solution finder will be used on product pages to find solutions built using a specific product Step 3 , select the horizontal, industry (vertical) and customer size information. Remember to scroll right down to the bottom to tick Small Business Step 4 , Pick all the locations and languages you serve to ensure only people in your catchment see your solution. It is better for people who you are unwilling to travel too to not see your stuff Step 5 , fill in the contact information...
  • USATODAY.com - Cybercrooks constantly find new ways into PCs

    I was reading this article and it reminded me of a few things. Sometimes when sitting in the Microsoft camp we say how good / bad others are at security, but rarely reflect on what people need to do and why. When there is a known issue with a package, I suspect many don't go to a test environment and pull the patch apart, many just do a quick test on 1 pc and then deploy wider. Obviously SBS 2003 R2 makes this process easier as you can now control the deployment and retraction of patches via the console. It also reminds me that it a patch is needed, it is really a mute discussion on how many issues it fixes, reboots or any other aspect - if your systems are vulnerable, you need to patch of mitigate. To do neither is inviting huge issues - and I have seen plenty of customers with issues. What I did also see was a comparison table showing that systems often thought to not be at risk, such as those by Apple, can still be very susceptible. When a security issue exists on a system, it does not matter if 1 or a 100 people are gunning for you, you will be got. It is a bit like the human body - just because you have some medicine and some vaccinations, if you miss a preventative medicine and then get exposed to the illness, you will get ill. If each month there are 1 or 100 issues with your security, they will all be tested, so you need to patch them all, on any system from any organization. It is nice to see that MS does not top the list, even when including Office, Windows, Media Player and IE all in 1 go. Obviously for info on R2 go to the SBS website , for Security patches, visit the security site and finally, for general advice, try the http://www.getsafeonline.org . ttfn David
  • 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
  • Getting IE to search UKSBSGUY.com, companyweb or any other site you happen to like

    I like using IE 7 - I use the tabs all the time, I like the integrated search, I use the Live Toolbar too. Then I discovered that I could add new search times into the IE7 and I thought this was amazing. I have included the web site that builds custom searches and also two search config downloads - one that enables searching of UKSBSGUY.com and one that searches http://Companyweb - assuming you have search enabled as per this entry . (For completeness I also include SBSBPI and UKSBSG search clauses too) So, how to build your own search options for the nice little box in IE7 - go to IE 7 Search Builder page and follow the instructions (which is basically doing a search on whatever page you prefer with the text TEST and then past the URL. The searches can be found at the download page on UKSBSGuy.com. ttfn David
  • Enabling Search against your Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) site, such as SBS 2003's companyweb

    I went looking for this post from me today on the web site and was astounded to discover that I had not done it. So, here is the deal - your nice WSS sites can all have search enabled by default - and this means search inside all the documents with them understood (rather than some poor quality text search that can not deal with binary file formats). To enable this it is very simple: 1) Load SQL onto your system choosing to upgrade the instance called SHAREPOINT 2) Go to the SharePoint Admin Page (on SBS this is http://localhost:8081/SearchAdmin.aspx ) and tick the box 3) go to the home page of your WSS site and notice the search box in the top right corner If you want to add more search providers, go look for IFilters and for PDF capability, go to http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2006/06/27/674.aspx ttfn David
  • Great R2 Spoof Advert based on DaVinci Code - good humour

    Microsoft often pokes fun at itself, but due to one of our competitors taking it a little too seriously some years back, these rarely come out to play in public. Well, have a look at this one . It was posted by Jules in the UKSBSG forum and I also got private messages from a few people saying that we should use this in the UK. ttfn David
  • Need to gen up on Windows Server 2003 Administration- then try this Webcast

    Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Administration Webcast Series Get the most out of the management and administration features of Windows Server 2003 with this series. ttfn David
  • Nottingham, England, 7th September - be there to learn so much more - Small Business Partner Ignite Tour

    Click the map above to see the Local.Live.Com technology at work - you can get driving instructions to the venue, see the area by birds' eye view, map view etc. We will be there (I will be for sure) explaining, showing via live demos, talk about how to sell and make money while enabling your customers to get more from their systems, get truly mobile (using XP, Office, SBS, Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and Windows mobile solutions), more productive and easier to manage. If you want more details, go to http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/training/ignite/default.aspx?id=Nottingham ttfn David - see you there
  • 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
  • SBS 2003 R2 delay and what people are saying baout it - especially Vlad

    Sometimes you have to shout about when you think things are right while others are putting it down. SBS 2003 R2 - I have had sooooooo many conversations over the last 9 months about why this feature is in or out. I ended up being very blunt, saying, this is the 2nd release of SBS 2003, it has a bunch of new features ala Windows Server 2003 R2, yes, it might not have everything in we wanted, but the "Green Check" and SQL 2005 are significant enough that NEW customers and existing customers should look at it. Now, here we are, having just releases SBS 2003 R2 and we are pulling it back in due to bugs, before it has reached the shelves for most people. I was expecting flak, but instead I see comments like this at Vlad's site saying thanks for us actually being bold enough to fix the problem. It is also worth going to his site to see the video!!! This is why I love the Small Biz community - we can be honest with each other. At the Small Biz Blog we were able to say that there is a quality issue and we wanted to fix it before it got out the door. We get credit from Larry for making this move. I have spent 5 years in MS working with partners and also journalists, and this is easily the nicest response I have had for this type of issue, so THANK-YOU small business community for making this an enjoyable place to work ttfn David
  • R2 delayed by a few bad files

    I knew a day or so that this was coming - R2 was delayed because a few of the core files were "old" versions and should have been updated. As expected this will delay R2 being in the shops and at distributors. As expected Susan B has blogged on this and I saw it at ZDNet . The usual SBS Team are saying very little about it, as you would expect, but worth looking at http://seanda.blogspot.com/2006/07/r2-recalled.html . So, still coming, just a wee bit delayed. ho hum - better it is stopped now than when in the hands of customers!! ttfn David
  • Microsoft releases campaign builder tool for partners - Non-marketing folks can use it (as well as the marketing ones) as a step by step process for delivering Microsoft aligned marketing campaigns to your customers

    Imagine the scene - Microsoft is running a marketing set of events and awareness to encourage customers to buy their technology. We tell customers that they need to work with SBSC specialists and point them to the bCentral web site. However, at the same time, you also get the materials you need from Microsoft to run your own campaign - be it post cards, handouts, telephone scripts, letters. And using a simple tool it will take you a few minutes to create the materials. Below is a walkthrough of how I built a campaign for SBS using 5 types of material (Telemarketing script, Postcard, Business Letter, e-Mail and Flyer) 1st off, you need to visit the Campaign Builder Web site and log in. This enabled you to choose the campaign that is right for you. You may notice it looked at the fact that I am a registered partner with the SBSC badge, so suggested the SBS Campaign (there are also campaigns for solutions that major in Office, Windows, CRM and so on). One I had selected the campaigns, it is simply a case of walking through the process. I ticked the boxes for all 5 templates offered and hit the next button. I then proceeded to fill in the details for each template, modifying them from the standard MS text where desired and inserting my logo etc. At any time I could stop - so after I had competed the two above, this is what the summary of the process showed: I then continued on in the same vane and completed the e-mail, flyer and call script. This then took me to the fulfilment screen - here I can choose to have these printed and potentially managed by Arvato, or I can take the materials and run. I opted to download the materials for myself. I then had the ability to download these materials - very simply really. While I would strongly recommend you do not use the materials I produced - you can see them here: Campaign Builder - Business Letter.pdf Business_Letter-Letter.mht Business_Letter-Envelope.mht Email.mht Flyer.pdf Flyer-Front.mht (zipped) Flyer-Back.mht Postcard.pdf Postcard-Front.mht Postcard-Back.mht Telemarketing_Script...
  • UK Research shows that small business owner managers are doing everything to avoid working at the weekend - is this good or bad news for IT suppliers?

    I came across this article which suggests that small business owner / managers are avoiding working at the weekend. The article is backed by research from Barclays Bank . There are a few facts that really sound out to me: The development and uptake of new technologies is having a positive impact on hours worked: - 46 per cent of businesses with internet access work a standard 5 day week, compared to just 35 per cent of those without. Owners of small and medium businesses in the UK work 24 hours longer each week than the rest of the UK workforce 43 per cent said they now will not work weekends compared to 36 per cent in 2003 and Sundays have become even more precious with only 29 per cent admitting to working on that day compared to 36 per cent in 2003. On average entrepreneurs are spending over 15 hours a week – equivalent to almost two full days for most workers – on administration. Six out of ten entrepreneurs feel that regulation is a barrier to doing business, particularly in larger SMEs, where owners highlighted the impact of employment regulation (PAYE and payroll, health and safety, pensions) and accounting regulation (tax and VAT). #1 is a real win for putting in IT and internet connectivity, could you ask your customer "would you like to reduce the hours you have to work? Research from Barclays suggests that you are 11% less likely to have to work longer than a standard 5 day week with Technology helping you" #2 and #3 show that these business owners do not want to work at the weekend - depending on your relationship with your customer and their requirements, this either means you no longer have to (so they want to see you work which means it will be a week day - hurray) or their "free down time" is the weekend. These points also provide the capability to talk about how going mobile with SBS and either Windows XP or Windows mobile could if not unleash them from the business, enable them to work from better locations. #4 is also a real winner - if administrivia really is such...
  • Find all the Microsoft MVP and employee blogs around SBS 2003

    I just found this tool that lists all the MS & MVP blogs that relate to SBS - they can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/communities/blogs/PortalResults.mspx?ResultPage=1&Charset=iso-8859-1&BlogPart=Blog&BlogCategory=f9e5172a-da57-4efb-ac8d-3eebbfeecf1f or via the OPML File . ttfn David
  • Too technical to successfully sell or market you and your business and your capabilities - think again!

    I often find it interesting when talking to many small business partners about their business. These people are often very credible and capable technically, but struggle when it comes to "running a business" especially on some aspects of "marketing". I have been wondering how to offer credible assistance to partners that see themselves in this space, as often described by the book E-Myth Revisited - Why most small businesses don't work and what to do about it - people go in to business for a multitude of reasons, often to make money out of their skills (technical in the case of small businesses) - not to run a business. While on my hunt for information around this area I came across another of Susanne's wonderful blog entries on marketing . She once again articulated that everything you do leaves your customer with an impression of you - so best ensure that every employee (from you down) knows what impression you want to leave. The next thing is to understand some basic tools of being a technical person and how to sell. I have three rules here - which may well be teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, but always worth checking out: What is the business need? The key here for me is to always ask why someone wants something, not what they want. By understanding what it will enable them to do, or what problem will it solve enables you to make sure this is correct and fits the purpose, rather than it being something they have mis-understood from the sunday papers. Find the business reason and costs are often justifiable at this point in terms of savings to the business Tell stories of yours or others success & benefits through the use of technology. If you are not using it yourself - it is hard to relate to the benefits. If you can tell how another customer "spent more time at home" or "made more cash available" or "became more profitable" or "found customer quotes in 5 mins instead or 2 hours" etc - this is very powerful stuff. Shut up. As technical...
  • Review of SBS vs 3 Linux Solutions - do these people really know what a business needs

    http://www.crn.com/sections/breakingnews/breakingnews.jhtml;jsessionid=DL55IXWI4XNX4QSNDLOSKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleId=190900821 As always, it is interesting to have to see your own product being compared to others. Having read this article, it is balanced in many ways, but a few things annoyed me. They compared the Premium version of SBS to the Linux versions, even though no Premium functionality was used - and then said it did not compare price favourably. Well, call me a bit cynical, but if the SBS product were to have been compared at the Standard pricing, I think any price difference would have disappeared Having an AJAX enabled web based browser is no-where near as useful to most businesses as the ability to use mobile enabled e-mail on a phone or pda, web based browsing AND full blown Outlook in Cached mode which offer better mobile usage and functionality when remote from the office Application compatibility is often a key reason for choosing a server - the SBS server provides a platform for core LOB applications, be they based on Windows, .Net or web (ASP) The SBS Backup is critisized, which can be a length process if you are doing a "tin" replacment backup, however this should be a last resort- when the server has physically "blown up". In the majority of cases, users simply want to recover a file or e-mail. The tools within SBS enable this through the previous versions feature for files and recover deleted items for e-mail, thus removing the need of an administrator to perform any recovery work. OK, rant over - always worth seeing what is being said, but it is all about trying to catch SBS rather than do something better. I am sure Vijay will have something to say on this :-)
  • Great Training on Small Business+

    Small Business+ has been seen as something that might be scary for a few partners - is Microsoft trying to take away the very business that most partners are searching for? This is interesting as I was talking to one partner last week who said that the types of questions that SB+ sought to answer were the ones that when they charged the customer for the support, customer got upset. The reason for this was that when a customer phones up and asks a question that takes just 5 minutes to resolve, how do you bill them - per the 5 minutes, by the quarter of an hour. If you try to track all of these, you end up in a admin mess and often a costly one at that. Since the original concern, not much in the way of bad press has aired, so I can only assume this was not the killer many had assumed. Also add to the fact that we are working on how to give a pre-selected partner contact details to the customer means that this can become a support service for both the partner and customer rather than a burden to the partner. Now, looking on SB+ this weekend I saw a HUGE array of training available, which can be used to brush up on your skills as a partner, or for your customer directly. For example, I noticed that the following business training is available (as an example of some of the training). Completing the training will enhance your skills, and also enable your customer to further appreciate the benefits of the IT you are providing, so use it, value it and perhaps need more sooner rather than later. All this and more can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/businesscentral/small-business-plus/default.aspx?xid=sbp_bc_lnk Business Training Financial Management: Managing Cash Flow and Profitability Financial Management: Managing Cash Flow and Profitability (UK) Financial Management: Setting Up Your Accounting and Tracking Business Finances Financial Management: Setting Up Your Accounting and Tracking Business Finances (UK) Marketing: Getting Publicity in the Media Marketing: Getting Publicity in the Media (UK) Marketing: Keeping...
  • Updated Technology Assessment Toolkit – Understand your customers and deliver the right solution

    Hopefully you have all heard of the Technology Assessment Toolkit – if not, it is a great set of tools, whitepapers, presentations and other "stuff" to enable you to quickly take your customer through the thought process as to what technology can do for them and how you can deliver the value their business needs. One award submission to the Worldwide Partner Conference awards stated – "We make great use of the Small Business Technology Assessment Toolkit we received from Microsoft. This has proved to be an invaluable tool for us and our clients in outlining their business / IT requirements & defining the solutions. We provide an excellent service to our clients & they recognise this from the hard work we put in for every installation—from sales, design, installation & post-installation support—they know they are in good hands and we would never let them down." As to the actual contents of the toolkit: Ready-to-use "Business Assessment" guide Comprehensive "Technology Assessment" guide Microsoft Small Business Solution Selling guide Three-year planning template Sample proposal Customizable sales and marketing tools Datasheets, presentations, white papers and more Information on Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 and Microsoft products designed for small business, such as Office 2003 Small Business Edition, Windows XP Professional, Microsoft CRM 3.0, Windows Mobile, and more To learn more about this, go visit https://www.mssboffers.com/default.aspx . There is also the readiness centre to learn about best practices on using the toolkit to be found at https://partner.microsoft.com/global/40029617 Ttfn David
  • Finding device drivers for Windows systems

    Every so often someone asks me how to get device "xxx" working. Obviously the 1st stage to this is to finding the right device driver. Sometimes this can be hard to track down - one thing to look for is the hardare ID from device manager. The ID is made up of the bus type, vendor, major and minor ids. You can do a search for the vendor ID on the internet and once you have that, try their site for a device driver. This is sometimes a long winded process, but normally yields results. One alternative that I spotted today to this was the Microsoft Technet site for drivers . This site has both Microsoft controlled and non-affiliated sites that can help with the device driver searching. When Vista comes along, searching for device drivers will be an even bigger goal of the Update function that ships in the box. ttfn David
  • David Overton moving to a solution / revenue based role (it means I need to help partners sell)

    Many people ask me what I do and sometimes they are amazed with the answer "I help Microsoft Partners build solutions that deliver value to their small business partners – for free". This is a great job and part of it is to engage with as many partners as possible to improve the quality and knowledge around the solutions that can be built upon Microsoft technology. This year my role has a slightly different focus, but the way I achieve it will have many similarities. It has becoming important for me to ensure that partners are not just technically capable, but also selling solutions, sometimes even offering their customers alternative licensing options to suit their business needs. Some may see this as me selling out in some way, but while I love technology, if it is not applied correctly and you and I can't make money out of it, then there is a limit to the business value of the technology. I will still be blogging, posting on both business and technical ideas, but also be discussing how to sell solutions, what the licensing options truly mean, what extras you can add to a sale to add value for you and the customer. I'll even be discussing how online services are an opportunity for you, but more on this later. On this note, is there more I should do to help you sell more, have more customers and make more money? If so, let me know what is needed, whether it is something from Microsoft or David. Comments are open on this one, so fire a comment onto the blog. Expect to see a post on the work we are doing with the Technet team to get you even more technical resources and the process for access to all those nice betas, hosted services and where they fit as part of a solution and the options on licensing to make it easier for your customer to understand the value of technology and even buy earlier. Ttfn David
  • Understand what the community can do for you–See Susanne, Mark and Tom from the WW Partner Conf

    They were great – they came from the UK and they told the world how to get the benefits of the community – still don't understand it, try reading these: Vladfire Episode 2: SBS Show — True Hollywood Story Vladfire Episode 3: Jump into the community & SBSC with Susanne Dansey Ttfn David
  • How to patch your SBS 2003 system using hotpatching and not have to reboot this month (July)

    One of the bad things about the monthly patch cycle is that a reboot is often required. Now while 10-15 minutes of downtime is not a great price to pay for good security, this does work out at a system performance of 99.97% availability for 24x7 systems, so not exactly shabby. With Server 2003 SP1 came a technology that not many people have noticed, called HOT PATCHING - where an OS patch is applied without having to reboot the system, even though a normal patch would require a reboot. Not every patch can work in this scenario, but if you can reduce the issues, so be it. Looking at this month, many of the patches are for office etc, but there are 3 for Windows Server, of which 2 can be applied as hot patches. Teh one which can not is the DHCP one, so if your server is not using DHCP client, i.e. is using static IP addresses, then you do not have to rush to patch this. In this case, you can use hotpatching. Simple download the two downloads and run as below: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=48f03ad7-38f9-48f4-bbfc-14c52e9c942a&displaylang=en http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=c5e274a8-f962-4944-8878-6b88b1592bbf&displaylang=en WindowsServer2003-KB917159-x86-ENU.exe /hotpatch:enable Windowsserver2003-kb917537-x86-enu /norestart /hotpatch:enable that is it - your system will update and not need a reboot. Amazing ttfn David
  • Summary of Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) just before I leave

    so, I have about 5 mins to write this, so it will be short & sweet. From the Small Business pre-day: event was sold out people told us licensing was still not up to scratch, but Eric Ligman's lessthancoffee.com site was very useful Much of the information for people was how to run a small business as it 1) enables us all to understand what is going on in the minds of our customers and 2) since many SBSC members are small businesses, hopefully gives them some ideas on how to be more successful as a business The Sloan Brothers were the highlight for me in advice ( http://startupnation.com ) - they said Got for 10% of the Watermelon, not 90% of the grape - this basically meant get funding and help to grow your business - keeping ownership of your business is more than just the number of shares - it is being there, so even if other people own 90% of the equity, you are still in charge. Outsource non-core skills Hitch your wagon to a star - eg Microsoft, but also someone local who will recommend you - so you get business by the power of recommendation from someone your customers will trust Harness the eye of PR - basically, PR is whatever you do for it, but use it, write it yourself or outsource, but make it have impact Manage your burn rate - know at all times how much cash you have and balance needs vs this my favourite - Know thy end game - to help you make decisions about all of the above you need to know what you want to achieve - is it to sell the business, to chair, to work until you are 90.... what is it - know this and many decisions canbe done on does it help me achieve this or not. There were many other announcements at WPC, which can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/wwpc/materials.mspx One other key thing that James Akrigg said to me: "Why are we always talking to people about their pain points? We also need to find out about their aspirations. " This was a key thing for me. ttfn David
  • Virtualising SBS 2003 - the low down

    This question was asked internally and I thought the information was worth sharing, so thanks to Mark Stanfill for providing the answer: SBS 2003 is supported in virtual environments. The only unsupported component is ISA 2004, which (for rather obvious reasons) is not supported on Virtual Server (see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/897614/ ). Exchange also has a number of hardware and software requirements that need to be very carefully weighed against a hardware solution. For the complete rundown, see these articles: Support policy for Exchange Server 2003 running on hardware virtualization software http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;[LN];320220 Microsoft Virtual Server support policy http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;[LN];897613 Running Domain Controllers in Virtual Server 2005 http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=64DB845D-F7A3-4209-8ED2-E261A117FC6B&displaylang=en Virtual Server Technical Overview White Paper http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/overview/vs2005tech.mspx ttfn David

(c)David Overton 2006-13