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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  • Perpetually Connecting = PC = latest US Bill Gates and Seinfeld Windows (Vista, Live, Mobile) Adverts

    I see the latest Windows advert is up on http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ .  These are the US adverts and the UK adverts are coming so I’m told.  It is nice Microsoft beginning to emphasize the value of it’s products … I just wish I could see the how the whole series will play out. The latest tag line is Perpetually Connecting which becomes PC. Talking about videos, the same site now has a stack of videos at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/possibilities/products/default.aspx .  Go have a look, you might just surprise yourself!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Vista , Live , Mobile , Windows , Adverts , Bill Gates , Seinfeld
  • Want MIX08 in the UK? Then come to ReMix08 in Brighton on 18th and 19th September and save if you book an early bird place now

    I love what goes on at these events. It would be good to see you there. Here is the little advert: Final chance to save £110 . Very limited Early Bird places left - don't say we didn't warn you! 1,000 web developers, designers, development managers and technology evangelists are going to take the media they love to the next level. Why? Because ReMix UK 08 is getting bigger and better. Scott Guthrie Developer Track Bill Buxton Design and UX Track For Designers, Developers, the Community and Beyond Work Julie Howell, Fortune Cookie • Brendan Dawes, Magnetic North • Paul Foster, Microsoft Evangelist • Guy Smith-Ferrier, Capella • Tim Regan, Microsoft Research • Mike Taulty, Microsoft Developer Evangelist See the website for the growing list of speakers... What's in the mix • Panel discussions to Interactive Mash Ups • Designers and developers hand-in-hand to • All day VJs to conceptual walls • Open Source project, CodePlex • Backnetwork to Moo cards • Photosynth master classes to Microsoft Surface • Our international act to geek bars • Swag giveaways to inflatable lounges • Designing for compatibility and for the wild • Visualising books to sneak previews • The latest developments in IM, VE and IE8 • Latest developments in RIAs and SSDs • WPF and Silverlight applications at work • • The technology Silverlight | Deep Zoom | Mobile | Expression | ASP.NET/AJAX Windows Live services | XNA | Partnering with Microsoft | Photosynth Robotics Studio | Data | Microsoft Research | Popfly | Advertising It's a full-on interactive event. Be a part of something special. Don't forget the Early Bird offer and register today at www.microsoft.com/uk/remix08/ . Early Bird price £239 (inc.VAT), full price £349 from the 301st ticket. See you there! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Silverlight , Deep Zoom , Mobile , Windows Mobile , Expression , ASP.Net , Ajax , Windows Live Services , XNA , Microsoft , Partner , Photosynth , Robotics Studio , Data , Microsoft Research , Popfly , Advertising
  • More ways to engage with customers using the Microsoft advertising campaigns

    [updated 4th March] Many people congratulated Microsoft after the Mr Busy campaigns allowed partners to drive their customers back to them using a MS campaign. Well, this is now being repeated for a number of campaigns. Today I found the click and go site to get them all ( http://www.campaigns.arvato-services.com/ ). You can get 200 post cards or 1,000 e-mails for free and then a low price for additional cards/ e-mails if required. The campaigns covered include: Business Productivity Customer Acquisition and Retention Security and Reliability Small Business PC Mr Busy This method of engaging is not new to the Small Business team and others have covered this before (eg Susanne here ), but it is worth re-highlighting this now as some of the campaigns have been renewed, so go back and visit the site!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Marketing , Campaigns , Business Productivity , Customer Acquisition and Retention , Security and Reliability , Small Business PC , Mr Busy , Partner , SME , Small Business Server 2008 , Mid-Market
  • New way to see information on Windows Mobile - regular updates and good detail

    I got the heads up on this on Friday, installed it today and already love it. Go to the MSN Direct site to learn more about what it is and how it works What is it MSN Direct for Windows Mobile is ready for a Technology Preview. It is a Windows Mobile Standard Smartphone application that connects to our information service and delivers the information that you care about – and it updates automatically – and you never have to enter an URL, or wait for a web page to load. What type of info can I get? Weather, Stocks, Top Stories, World news, Sports news, Entertainment news, Business, Travel, Tech, Health, even News of the Weird. *news includes: Top Stories, World news, Sports news, Entertainment news, Business, Travel, Tech, Health, even News of the Weird. Where do I get it from Download MSN Direct Will it work with my phone If it's in our Phone Finder , you're good to go. FAQ How much does MSN Direct cost? Microsoft does not charge anything for download or use of the MSN Direct application. Please note however, that downloading and using MSN Direct requires data connectivity from your wireless carrier, which may charge additional fees. Check with your wireless provider for its coverage areas and service fees. How do I get the MSN Direct application? 1. By Text Message: Enter your phone number on the website, and we will send a link to the download page directly to your mobile phone. 2. From Your Mobile Browser: On your mobile phone, open the web browser and go to http://phone.msndirect.com . Follow the instructions on the page to download and install MSN Direct. Other people have already started writing about it: http://www.modaco.com/content/Smartphone-Standard-News/265282/MWC-2008-Microsoft-releases-MSN-Direct-Technology-Preview-for-Windows-Mobile-Standard/#entry877361 http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/02/11/microsoft-launches-msn-direct-for-windows-mobile/ Personally I would say if you have a Windows Mobile 5 or above phone, download it today!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: MSN Direct , MSN , Windows Mobile...
  • Unlocking my Windows Mobile 6 device (HTC / Virgin Lobster 700tv / Orange E650) to load non-signed applications

    I wanted to load Navizon onto my phone to give me GPS type capability even when I don't have a GPS using wireless access point and Mobile Phone Cell triangulation (and it pays me $$'s when I feed it information), however there was an issue with the locked down nature of my E650. Upon searching the web, this page was the one that had the real answer - note you need to sign up to the site to be able to download the magic program: xda-developers - View Single Post - Application unlock for HTC Monet (Virgin Lobster 700tv) Application unlock for HTC Monet (Virgin Lobster 700tv) Been trying everything on the Internet and managed to make some headway with Monet (Virgin Lobster 700tv) unlock (this might work for Meteor/C700 as well). 1. Firstly you need to get rid of the 'registry security policy' lock. Download cert install sp.zip: [see attachment] a. copy "SP_AllowCertificateInstall.cab" to the root of Monet memory or card b. Use file explorer on monet to navigate to file. Click to run. Should run ok. c. Unzip "SDA_ApplicationUnlock.zip" on PC and run "SDA_ApplicationUnlock.exe" whilst Monet is connected via activesync <snipped> ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Mobile , Developer , Applications , Unlocking
  • How to do mapping on a mobile device or laptop without GPS, earn money while contributing to the project and mapping the world using GPS, mobile cell and WiFi access points (Navizon Peer-to-Peer Wireless Positioning system is the product)

    I've started looking at this application and found it better than I had hoped. It is simple - it triangulates your position using Wifi and phone cells and emulates a GPS should you need it for another application. It also uses GPS to capture the settings from the other two items and give them a more accurate placement, so learning information about masts, power etc. So, I've been using this to map my common routes and earn points (*which has just changed as a process), but in a week I've earn't 3274 points and I have not been driving every day and my trips have been short. Once I earn 10,000 points I get $20 courtesy of PayPal. I expect to get a significant amount of those points today on my 2 hours drive to a partner and back. I can also earn points by getting an award for signing people up and them doing the same as me. To sign up for this, go to http://my.navizon.com/Webapps/UserAdmin/register.aspx?referral_code=5D565A5E5C5E which includes my reference code (5D565A5E5C5E). Being referred by me does not decrease any points you get, just adds some to me as a nice way of saying thank-you for referring. You can obviously get your own referral code too. One last thing - to load the application onto my phone I had to unlock it to allow non-signed apps (or apps not signed by Orange to be more specific) to run. This was simple and is detailed at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2008/01/24/unlocking-my-windows-mobile-6-device-htc-virgin-lobster-700tv-orange-e650-to-load-non-signed-applications.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: GPS , Mobile , Mapping , WiFi , Windows Mobile
  • Lots of OneNote PowerToys (file and data importers, Outlook tools, table sums, word count, tools to subpage a page or merge pages, copy to mobile device, template maker, favourites, table of contents and even CRM)

    Many people out there love OneNote. Lots of people have it and don't use it - shame on you - try it, but also try the tutorial so you stand a better chance of "getting" this note taking tool. Anyway, I saw a mail by John listing some of the items posted about by him. It is an impressive list. Here's the list, broken down by area: Migrating to OneNote: 1. Journal import https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/12/21/journal-to-onenote-importer.aspx 2. Text File Importer: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/04/30/customer-feedback-results-in-another-powertoy.aspx 3. Export Outlook Notes to OneNote: https://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2007/02/14/export-your-outlook-notes-to-onenote.aspx 4. Import books from Project Gutenberg: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/05/31/a-tool-to-import-texts-from-project-gutenberg.aspx Outlook Addins: 5. Outlook Email to OneNote: https://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2007/02/06/powertoy-outlook-to-onenote-addin.aspx 6. Task Request https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/12/11/task-requests-from-onenote-meeting-notes-powertoy.aspx 7. Use OneNote instead of Outlook Notes: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/04/16/4-16.aspx Work with data on page: 8. Audio Fine Tuner https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/12/12/media-fine-tuner-powertoy-for-onenote.aspx 9. Table Sums https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/12/10/table-sum-powertoy-for-onenote.aspx 10. Image Rotator https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/12/14/image-rotator-powertoy-for-onenote-2007.aspx 11. Printout Manager: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/09/19/an-addin-to-manage-printouts-to-onenote.aspx 12. Word Count: https://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2007/02/14/onenote-2007-word-count.aspx Working with Pages: 13. Make a Page a Subpage: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/09/07/make-subpage-addin-updated-and-a-lenovo-update.aspx 14. Merge Pages: https://blogs.msdn.com/johnguin/archive/2007/08/16/merge-pages-in-onenote-powertoy.aspx OneNote...
  • SQL Server Downloads (CTPs - Synchronization Services for ADO.NET, VS 2005 Support for SQL Server 2008, Configuration Manager config packs, Assessment packs for HIPPA, European Union Data Protection Directive (EUDPD), SOX, GLBA, FSMA, ReportViewer samples,

    From the TRM Blog at November 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - SQL Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.NET v2.0 CTP1 Microsoft Synchronization Services for ADO.NET provides the ability to synchronize data from disparate sources over two-tier, N-tier, and service-based architectures. Rather than simply replicating a database and its schema, the Synchronization Services application programming interface (API) provides a set of components to synchronize data between data services and a local store. Applications are increasingly used on mobile clients, such as laptops and devices, that do not have a consistent or reliable network connection to a central server. It is crucial for these applications to work against a local copy of data on the client. Equally important is the need to synchronize the local copy of the data with a central server when a network connection is available. The Synchronization Services API, which is modeled after the ADO.NET data access APIs, gives you an intuitive way to synchronize data. It makes building applications for occasionally connected environments a logical extension of building applications where you can count on a consistent network connection. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=147c41a9-69f0-496e-b095-dbc5cffd6285&DisplayLang=en Visual Studio 2005 Support for SQL Server 2008, Community Technology Preview This CTP resolves a problem that when you try to open a database connection to SQL Server 2008 by using Visual Studio 2005 design tools, you may receive the following error message: “This server version is not supported. Only servers up to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 are supported.” This CTP addresses this issue, and enables the following Visual Studio functionality for SQL Server 2008 CTP5 : Server Explorer successfully connects to SQL Server 2008, and database objects such as stored procedures and table data can be viewed and edited. Note that table schemas still cannot be viewed or edited in this release. SQL CLR projects that target SQL Server 2008...
  • Open Office 2007 attachments to Outlook Mobile e-mail on Windows Mobile 5 or 6 - update released

    [updated on 4th December with UK English install instructions] As Steve would say, hat tip to Steve's blog . Microsoft Office Mobile 6.1 If you run Windows Mobile 5 or 6 and run Office 2007 (or get attachments from friends that do) this is a must have . You can now read Office 2007 file formats on your mobile device. More details from Jason :) [UK English Install] For those of us not in the US of A this install will complain about installing on our UK English (or other) devices. Fear not, go to the settings screen, move to region settings and change the language to US English. Ignore the prompt to reboot, run the setup on your PC. Once it is all finished it will need to reboot your device. Do so, set the language back to UK English and you now have an updated device. There is no English_UK install :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Mobile , Office 2007
  • What has Visual Studio 2008 got for developers of applications for Windows Mobile devices

    I saw the story at Visual Studio 2008 adds mobile application features that summarised the new features in Visual Studio 2008 for mobile application developers and realised that developing for the small platform is getting easier and easier. I plan to see a master at work in a couple of weeks on using the .Net Micro framework, which is even smaller, but the stuff you can produce with the stuff for mobile is amazingly flexible. Eric has an update on training available for Visual Studio 2008 which includes the Compact Framework stuff at Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit updated for RTM Visual Studio 2008 adds mobile application features <snipped> Microsoft says, "developers will be able to build a mobile device client application that works [even] in a partially connected environment. The application will be able to send and receive data from a server, even if the device disconnects or roams." New features for developers, summarized previously by a post on the Windows Mobile Team Blog , include: Automated functional testing of managed code An enhanced device emulator (version 3.0) that permits simulation of real-world changes in device state, such as signal dropoff or battery running dead NET Compact Framework 3.5 , introducing new features such as LINQ and as an implementation of the Windows Communication Foundation enabling device to device and device to server communication over the Exchange Activesync transport The ability to build SQL Server 3.5 Compact Edition applications using the Visual Studio 2008 designer experience Mobile developers need to use Visual Studio 2008 above to build Windows Mobile applications, according to the blog post. Those who already have the Windows Mobile 6 SDK or SDK Refresh installed will need to reinstall it after they're done with installing Visual Studio 2008. Visual Studio 2008 supports the following platforms: .NET Compact Framework 3.5 .NET Compact Framework 2.0 .NET Compact Framework 1.0 (projects will be upgraded to 2.0) Windows Mobile 6 (by installing the...
  • Business Contact Manage 2007 (BCM) with LinkedIn and/or Windows Mobile

    I was reading the Small Business Building Blocks blog and noticed this handy time for BCM and LinkedIn. As many of you know BCM is a favourite product of mine and one that providing the machine has the grunt is an excellent productivity tool. I've been playing around with the LinkedIn toolbar for Outlook . One of the issues that I constantly run into with tools like this is that they are made to work with Outlook contacts but don't always work with Business Contact Manager (BCM). I've had better luck with this add-in than others, so I thought I would post a little about what I have found. If anyone has figured out a better way to address these issues, I'd love to hear from you. The LinkedIn toolbar has a couple of ways to create contacts. One is from the LinkedIn dashboard, when it recognizes a contact in LinkedIn or your e-mail folders that is not set up as a contact. A second way is to use the "grab" button to create a contact from text or an e-mail signature. When LinkedIn creates a contact, it creates an Outlook contact and saves it in an Outlook folder called "Collected Contacts". I want to create Business Contacts, not Outlook Contacts. One way to accomplish this is to 1) Create the contact and then 2) drag the newly created contact from the Collected Contacts folder to the Business Contacts folder. Once you have done this, you can open the contact and add any Business Contact fields that you need to. Another option is to change the folder that the LinkedIn toolbar uses to the contacts that it creates. For more information see the rest of the article at http://blog.rebarbusinessbuilders.com/rebar/2007/10/using-the-linke.html . Then I noticed Chris's post at http://www.chrisrue.com/funcave/2007/08/sync-bcm-and-public-folder-items-to-your-windows-mobile-device.html that talks about how to get almost anything sync'd to a Windows Mobile device, so if you want you can add better syncing between BCM and Windows Mobile over and above the MS app to do this. ttfn David Technorati...
  • Why should a small business use Office 2007

    Once again I thought I would put pen to e-paper on the top reasons I give people to move to Office 2007. I don't think there are many businesses out there that use a PC and don't use some form of office productivity suite and while most use Microsoft Office XX (where XX could be 97, 2000, XP or 2003), some use other products that in my opinion just don't compare for a business that wants to look great and work efficiently. With Office offering a massive choice of products and features, these are the headlines I use when talking to people. For those with a version of Microsoft Office, but not 2007 More Professional and Impressive documents and materials Use Microsoft Publisher 2007 to build sales and marketing materials that look agency made, but are actually in-house work The updated Microsoft Word 2007 has many features to ensure your documents have a professional, consistent look and feel throughout the whole document conforming to your brand goals (no matter how big or small they might be). The readability tests will also share with you how easy it is for someone to understand the document. Writing can be so unengaging, yet pictures are often very time consuming to get right. Using the new text features, features such as subtle shading or reflections or glowing words are a click away and can make text dazzle. For the words that can be better communicated in a picture the impressive Smart Art feature can take a simple list and turn it into a process diagram, or an organisation chart and all with any of the new professional style schemes to be sure to enhance the impact. Most people can recognise an "old" Excel charts - the colours are bland and the charts often quite flat. For this very reason the charts in Office 2007 have been given a significant facelift to ensure they look professional, while still conveying the information they are supposed to. While sending an Office document to someone is very common, sometimes you want to be able to send something they can't edit, such as a price...
  • Jason Langridge's WebLog - MR Mobile - tells us that the Windows Vista Windows Mobile Device Center v6.1 has been released

    I've worked with Jason for years, although our paths have diverged recently as he has become more "Enterprise" and I have become more "Small" business. However he is still known inside and outside Microsoft as Mr Mobile (ask Vlad as he talks about " Jason Langridge , the #1 Microsoft Mobile blogger"). Anyway, pop along to Jason's blog to learn much more, including where to get the download if Windows Update is not good enough for you. Windows Mobile Device Center v6.1 Last week the Vista Blog team hinted at an upcoming update to the Windows Mobile Device Center but it finally got released last night. The update is available for download from microsoft.com as well as via Windows Update. As well as focussing on continually improving reliability and performance the update also provides enhanced functionality which includes: • Windows Mobile 6 feature support - Information Rights Management activation - Automatically configure the Windows Mobile 6 device to open IRM-protected documents and files - HTML mail – Set up your Windows Mobile 6 device to sync HTML-formatted mail - Certificate Enrollment - Acquire certificates through the PC the Windows Mobile 6 device is currently connected to - Allow data connections on the Windows Mobile 6 device when connected to the PC - File synchronization for smartphones – Synchronize files with your Windows Mobile 6 devices, including both touch screen and non-touch screen devices • Automatic device authentication - Connect the Windows Mobile device to the PC without the need to enter the device-lock PIN every time upon connect • Product Registration - Register your Windows Mobile device and get connected to information and offers available for your device Jason Langridge's WebLog - MR Mobile! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Mobile , Windows Vista
  • Want Microsoft to get you leads - this is how you do it

    One of the most commonly asked questions is "How do I get Microsoft to send me leads?" While we run campaigns that point people to the bCentral site and the find a small business IT advisor process some want more direct action. Well, using the Mr Busy campaign you can now get us to carry our a campaign on your behalf. Yes, that is right, we will carry out a campaign on your behalf to people you want to - either by e-mail (EM) or post (DM). The process is really simple - go here and read the instructions. For the Post Card campaign we know that using post cards effectively communicate with your customers and provide short and focused information. You can customise the postcard with your company details, your logo and a relevant web URL and phone number. We advise that the URL you supply has information about the IT healthcheck to increase the number of customers then contacting you. Your postcards will be sent directly to your customers in a neutral envelope within five business days of you submitting the contact list. The timing for a e-mail campaign are good as research has shown that more marketing messages are reach their targets via email than previously. A helpful and targeted communication, headed by a pertinent subject line is an excellent and fast way to contact your customers! Your emails will be sent within two calendar days and you will receive a full reporting, including emails sent, links clicked, bounced emails etc. With this report you will be able to identify the potential within your customer base. To see the output is may be worth putting yourself on the list of recipients :-) In each case it is a 3 stage process: Personalise the campaign Provide company logo It gets sent out Enjoy and tell me about your successes. ttfn David Technorati Tags: If you only read one post today , marketing , it healthcheck
  • ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - Firewall, VPN and Proxy - all the server stuff can still be used with Vista clients too

    So you have sold SBS and Windows Mobile, but your customer gets a problem - how do you diagnose it and fix it - have a look at the ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - Firewall, VPN and Proxy . It contains the following sections: Installation Initial Configuration USB Issues Guest Issues Firewall and Proxy Issues Outlook Errors Synchronization Errors Mobile Information Server / Outlook Mobile Access Exchange ActiveSync Error Codes and Solutions Missing Calendar, Contacts or Tasks Items Security Advisories ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - General ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - Limitations ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - 85010014 ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - Firewall, VPN, Proxy ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - Logs & Services ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - Connection Flow USB Advanced Network Functionality Microsoft ActiveSync 4.2 Troubleshooting Using ActiveSync 4.x and Visual Studio 2005 and the Emulator Understanding ActiveSync or WMDC Partnerships ttfn David Technorati tags: Troubleshooting , ActiveSync , Windows Mobile
  • Channel Expo Show presentations - Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Windows Server (SBS, Naked, Home Server and Longhorn) sales slides

    If you visited the Channel Expo show this year then you probably saw one or two Microsoft presentations on desktop and server solutions. James Akrigg and Matt McSpirit provided the desktop entertainment while I covered off what servers we have out there and what is coming in the near future. We promised the slides and here they are: Desktop (Windows Vista and Office 2007)- Office 2007 PowerPoint Desktop (Windows Vista and Office 2007)- PDF Server (SBS, Windows Server 2003 R2, Longhorn and Home Server) - Office 2007 PowerPoint Server (SBS, Windows Server 2003 R2, Longhorn and Home Server) - PDF James has an amazing blog (Out of Office) at http://blogs.technet.com/outofoffice Matt touches many aspects of desktop technology including that for small business at http://blogs.technet.com/mattmcspirit Have a look at the blogs and enjoy the presentations. ttfn David Technorati tags: Channel Expo , Vista , Office 2007 , SBS 2003 , Nakes Servers , Home Server , Longhorn
  • 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
  • Winning with Windows Mobile tour

    Jason Language has just noted that the "Winning with Windows Mobile" tour is about to take off at http://blogs.msdn.com/jasonlan/archive/2007/01/18/windows-mobile-briefing-winning-with-windows-mobile.aspx . These include developer, enterprise (yuck) and partner sessions. The only problem I have is while it is cross-emea, it does not include the UK. If you want to see this come to the UK - add a comment on Jason's or mine blog saying so :) Event Agenda Developer Track: Keynote – Develop and Win with Windows Mobile Windows Mobile Today Extending Windows Mobile Applications Fun with Windows Mobile Networking Reception for Partners, Hosters and Developers. Enterprise Track: Windows Mobile Enterprise Session Mobile Operator Presentation Partner Readiness Track: Partner Session – Windows Mobile Strategy Partner Session – Go to Market Messages WM applications session – Pull through extra revenue by selling WM Networking Reception for Partners, Hosters and Developers To check the dates they are in each country and if you want to attend you can register HERE
  • WMDC (Windows Mobile Device Center) has finally shipped, so now all those Vista / Windows Mobile sync woes can go away

    This was one question that was asked just too many times... and I could not give an answer on when a the final product was going to ship. Then, there I was reading Vijay's blog and what did I find " Windows Mobile Device Center Released " - linking to here (ultimately, via the Windows Vista blog). Anyway, go get it David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Windows Client , Windows Mobile , ActiveSync , WMDC
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Off to Partner Conference in Boston - see you blogging from there

    Hello, just a quick note to say that I am due to fly today @ 11am to Boston for the Partner Conference - if you are going then I will see you there, if not, you can read about it here. ttfn David
  • UK Managing Director Leaves the UK bound for Microsoft Corp - welcome to Gordon Frazer from South Africa

    Today we had a bit of a kick of for FY07 (Financial Year 07 in Microsoft) and a review of FY 06. We had a healthy year with excellent growth (this is no way a prediction of the MS Company results) and we also did a bit of sweeping a few things out. It has been speculated for a little while that Alistair Baker would be moving on and today we had it confirmed. As of 31st July, the new MD of MS UK will be Gordon Frazer from the South African Sub. He did seem like a very positive and fired up person, so I think this will be nothing but goodness, as will having another Brit in the power halls at MS in the States. For the press release, have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/press/content/presscentre/releases/2006/07/PR03662.mspx ttfn David
  • Bad links now fixed

    Sooo many of you clicked the links in the posts from the last two days, but got an OWA screen that I had to go back and edit about 16 posts. All fixed now - thanks to Rob for pointing it out. ttfn David
  • Draft release of my web log analyser tool (using IIS Log files)

    People have asked for my tools I use to produce my site statistics, so I have released a draft cut. It should all work. To get the best out of it you need a $20 subscription to http://www.maxmind.com/app/web_services_guide#city and MapPoint , but otherwise it works - without both these it is fully functional, but no maps. The source can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/files/11/files/entry735.aspx and the exes at http://uksbsguy.com/files/11/files/entry736.aspx . ttfn David
  • The best event at Microsofts World Wide Partner Conference - about you and the community, presented by the community - Mark Taylor, Susanne Dansey and Tom Crosby

    This years World Wide Partner Conference should be a storming success - yes, I will be attending for the 1st time and presenting, but that is not why. Why, you ask, well probably one of the most important sessions for those who work in the Small Business market is going to be the sessons on the community. And one of the best will be presented by 3 fine community members in the UK. These people do not work for Microsoft and the community they represent is not owned by Microsoft, but we walk the same path helping eachother out because it has benefit to our business to do so, The short answer is to be there, at the Small Business Symposium on Monday 10th July. Look for the Community presentation by these three. You will learn what has powered the UK & Irish communities both in terms of their success and the individual partner success. They have broadened their relationships beyond just Microsoft and are having real impact with other vendors such as HP, CA etc. Finally, they will deliver a one-two on resources for you, but not necessarily the MS Partner program, but things like SMB Nation, blogs, community forums, events etc. If at the end of it you do not understand how the community can benefit you, your business and how to find the answers easier, then you have been sat in the wrong room!! I will post the room details closer to the time. ttfn David
  • OFF TOPIC - Feel the force - See Star Wars Lego II - The Original Trilogy Game - AWESOME

    As some of you may know, I am a true Star Wars Geek. I love all 6 films - yes, even Jar Jar. I had heard about the 2nd game - me & Molly are loving the 1st game and then I saw this on MSN Video - amazing! Cool features - all the characters, the ability to go off piste with any vehicle and the ability to take characters apart and create new ones - just like you would with Lego Pieces :-) ttfn David
  • Giving money to good causes - Warren Buffet follows Bill and Melinda

    One of the reasons I picked Microsoft to work for was that I felt the company had a goal stronger than "to make money for the shareholders", but also to actually do some good in the world. Bill Gates has announced that he is planning to slowly transisition to a part time role in Microsoft over the next two years to dedicate his time to the Bill and Melinda Foundation who have already given away billions to help those in need. (See http://www.gatesfoundation.com/AboutUs/Announcements/Announce-060615.htm for Bill's transition. For some astounding stats, look at http://www.gatesfoundation.com/MediaCenter/FactSheet/ - snipped from it: Number of employees: 241 Endowment: $29.2 billion Total grant commitments since inception: $10.5 billion Total 2005 grant payments: $1.36 billion Illustrative Grant Commitments United Negro College Fund , Gates Millennium Scholars Program - $1 billion The GAVI Alliance - $1.5 billion Malaria Vaccine Initiative - $258 million Save the Children , Saving Newborn Lives - $110 million United Way of King County , Seattle, WA, - $55 million Knowledgeworks Foundation - $20 million National Council of Culture & Arts , Mexico Library Project - $11.7 million Public Access Computing Hardware Upgrade Program , Multiple library systems - $5.3 million Now I read that Warren Buffet is to give away 85% of his 40B$ wealth to charity, with 5/6 going to the above fund. For more info, see http://www.gatesfoundation.com/AboutUs/Announcements/Announce-060625.htm This is what I want to help others do, while Microsoft makes lots of donations, by making MS successful, I enable these people to continue to do this. I think Microsoft donates something like 7% of its cash each year to good causes - not many other companies can say they do that. When working recently with the SBS product team in the UK I discovered that we give away 4+ copies of SBS plus associated software to UK needy causes a month. That is just SBS, we also give away many other products too. I know that the nay sayers could say "why not give away...
  • I Need you to comment on a blog - should the Technet guys run a seperate Small Business track?

    Hi folks, it is not often I put out an ask like this, but on Eileen Browns excellent blog she has the following around Exchange 2007 ( http://blogs.technet.com/eileen_brown/archive/2006/06/16/technet_events.aspx ): Exchange - going small or large? A lot of the questions I get when I'm out at the roadshow are about Exchange and what Exchange 2007 can do for organisations. <lots snipped> When I decided on the content this year, I went for topics that I thought would appeal to people wanting to know about up and coming technologies. An overview of the new features in 2007 Office System, Exchange 2007 and Vista, with the new features of Windows Server R2, and ISA Server too. But I reckon that 75% of the questions that I've had this week concern Small Business Server and various aspects of SBS architecture. So my question is...Should we include an SBS track in future events? and if so, what do you want us to cover on this potential SBS track? Should we deliver this event in conjunction with Partners at their offices (which may mean smaller events and audiences) or carry on with larger events that hold an SBS track. I'd love to know your thoughts. Add your comments, and let me know as our planning for next year has just started... Not only is the question an excellent one, but if you want to get another part of Microsoft delivering content for you and your technical customers, should now - go to her blog and post an answer on the comments section!! Go to http://blogs.technet.com/eileen_brown/archive/2006/06/16/technet_events.aspx to do so. ttfn David
  • Want to see Windows Mobile 5 working ala the SB Ignite Tour in your own demo environment

    The Funboy ala Chris has published this step by step guide to using the Windows Mobile 5 emulator with SBS to learn the WM5 funky functionality. Perhaps the most annoying thing is that the reason I fly to Boston for the World Wide Partner Conference is to demostrate part of the new People Ready Business Demo DVD mobility demos, including the stuff Chris has painstakingly documented . There is a huge amount of learning in Chris's page, so don't be thinking you can skip it. One further piece of software I would load onto this demo is to load Mobile Admin toolkit. When loading this on SBS, it will create a 2nd default web site which you will basically not be able to access. I then went to IIS admin, gave it a host header of MobileAdmin and made it available on the internal network. To access the admin tools I then access http://mobileadmin/mobileadmin . There might have been a security issue with the folder - can't remember, but I am sure you are all capable of ensuring the folders have the right permissions for the web. This is discussed in some detail here ttfn David
  • Site look and feel updated

    I found some amazing site themes at http://japan.communityserver.info/ and have updated the default site with this. If you wish to change it back, click http://uksbsguy.com/user/EditProfile.aspx and select the site theme of "default for CS2.0". You might also notice the Posts on this site Zoom Cloud showing you a cloud of the keywords mentioned on the site. See the site in it's full glory at http://uksbsguy.com ttfn David
  • Off Topic - How not to retain customers - Someone wants to cancel their AOL subscription

    I just had tto post this. Microsoft sometimes gets a bit of a kicking about support, but things like the Official SBS podcast , changes to search on our http://support.microsoft.com site, people like me and even the huge SBS community have changed most peoples experience with our support. When I say this, you just have to laugh in amazement as to what was going through this guys mind? http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=5ff445af-bf5c-4c3c-9424-ff467ea97a87&f=rssimbot_us_default ttfn David
  • OFF TOPIC - Overton Family has another child - Lizzy May

    Hello everyone, just a quick note to say that today Lizzy May was born into this world at 2:24am GMT. She is happy and health, as is her mum and the rest of us. She weighs 6lbs 15 1/2 ounces and was 54cms long. If you want to see some lovely pictures, go to http://uksbsguy.com/photos/doverton/category1018.aspx obviously this will slow down some of the posts over the next few days or weeks. ttfn David
  • Do you want to understand more about Small Biz and Microsoft, meet cool people, influence and discuss our strategy

    OK, so the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is coming. As with many things in the MS International world, we have some firsts coming up. The WPC is always a huge event for understanding and changing MS strategy and networking with both key MS people and also key people in the community. This is also the time to hear from industry experts about the external influences on the market and how to take advantage and prepare for them. You may think this all sounds a big "la-de-da", but a little while ago at WPC someone asked Steve B in an open session why MS people had great demos, but our partners did not. Within 6 months we had added the Technical Demonstration Toolkit for partners to our offerings. You can have this impact if you ask the right questions too. We have a day in the pre-conference dedicated to Small Business, with a fee for non-SBSC members, but SBSC people get entry for free. More information on the conference can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/partner/events/wwpartnerconference/ and it is already being discussed on http://www.sbsbpi.co.uk at http://www.sbsbpi.co.uk/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?p=1708#1708 While I don't have all the final information (in fact it is very draft), below is what I can share. Now I do have a baby due in June, but all being well I may well be there with you. If you want more information, let me know. We understand that being a partner who sells to small businesses means working hard day in and day out to help your customers, leaving you little time to learn about new market opportunities, or network with other partners that sell to the small-business market segment. To help you continue to capitalise on this market opportunity, we are hosting an all-day event to help you get the download on industry trends and market insights. The Microsoft Small Business Symposium 2006 will be held July 10, 2006—the day before the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference kicks off—in the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts. · Hear the latest from industry experts. · Network...
  • Don't forget you can ask me questions and get answers today online - Live - 4:30pm

    I have a web conference today that you are welcome to join. I will be answering questions about ISA 2004, Windows mobile and branch office deployments. You can register by going to http://msevents-eu.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=118770024&EventCategory=4&culture=en-GB&CountryCode=GB and you will get the web links. See you there ttfn David
  • Want to know a litttle bit about our other products - watch it here

    The team I am part of is a fun little group and we made a roup of videos which discuss our technology. Each video is just a few minutes long, but might give you the overview you need before or after the meetings. The videos we have are: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo01-gettingemailanywhere.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo03-realtimecommunications.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo04-datavisualisation.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo05-portals.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo06-electronicforms.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo08a-businesssolutions.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo08b-businesssolutions.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo08c-businesssolutions.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo11-crm.wvx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/blog/demo13-enterpriseprojectmanagement.wvx I am sure you can figure out which is which. ttfn David
  • Getting Windows Mobile V5.0 working with SBS 2003

    OK, so I did not realise we had actually written this up, but at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=62797 is the document you need to help you do this. One quick point to make, with Windows Mobile 5.0 you can no longer turn off Certificate Checking, so you will need to buy a certificate that matches one of the roots on the phone - and this list can be changed by each carrier, so do your homework!! Windows Mobile V5 also has the always-up-to-date functionality that people often ask for, so this is just another reason to sell these solutions. Just to add a bit more spice, I also run ALK's Co-Pilot GPS routing tool on my phone - something the "other" devices are not really good at :-) ttfn David

(c)David Overton 2006-13