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.  

December 2006 - David Overton's Blog

  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • Personal Success - helping others

    I get a great deal of personal satisfaction out of helping others. That is not to say that I don't also enjoy achieving things physically myself or cracking problems myself, but seeing others benefit from an interaction is what gives me the biggest buzz. I have ahd this on my fridge since shortly after my 1st child was born and I try still today to have it as a mantra today. "To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson I found this online at http://www.transitionslifecoaching.co.uk/2006/09/success-ralph-waldo-emerson.html I would like to say that I think that this is the ethos of most people you meet in life, and especially in Microsoft and then...
  • Being a search "Power User" in Vista and Office 2007

    Vista has lots of new features and while the new user interface (UI) is very cute, cuddly and even makes life easier, one of the most useful features that I find is the new search facility. I recently heard the term “stop searching and start finding” and realised that this was probably a great description to goal of searching – it still takes effort, so time to spill the beans on how to find things easier in Vista. One quick thing to point out is that Vista will index not just the file names and dates, but also the contents of your files too. This process will busy itself on your machine when Vista is 1 st loaded, so give it some time, but once it is done, it is done. I let this onetime slowdown happen while I was asleep as I left running overnight to index my 40-50GB of documents and photos. There are four places where the search tools show their hand in Vista before you start putting other applications on that use this technology, such as Office 2007: Start Menu (find programs and a quick file search tool) Search...
  • Download Vista RTM and Office 2007 RTM for evaluation from Technet Online Subscripition, plus two technical support calls, plus access to our betas - just £230 in UK

    I was talking with members of the South West of England small biz group last night and the topic of Vista and Office access and Technet came up. Being a dutiful person, I came and spoke to the Technet team here and this is what I found out. Action Pack gives you licenses you can use to run your business and evaluate solutions for your customers. Technet Plus gives you two support calls, access to managed news groups (ask and get your technical questions answered), and the ability to download and evaluate MS products and beta products. To me, this means that every serious partner that wants to play with betas or products long before a customer can get hold of them should get an Action Pack subecription to give them intenral use licenses and Technet for the beta access. More information on the Technet from the web site http://www.microsoft.com/uk/technet/abouttn/buynow.mspx : Buy TechNet Plus Direct (Online) £230 - 1st time £170 - renewal Buy TechNet Plus (DVD) £330 - 1st time £270 - renewal Telephone Support Every...
  • Seasons Greetings (Happy Christmas in my house) and throw snowballs at the UK Partner team

    Updated with game URL This is a simple festive one. The UK Partner team have a simple set of questions, which if you get enough right answers (of course you will all get 5 out of 5) then you get to throw snowballs at them. Fancy playing the quiz and game yourself? While they are all heros for the work they have delivered this year, including content for the SBSC members, the person I would personally aim for is Karl (suited on the left). I've only had a chance to play once, and I scored 17. Let me know how you do in the comments!! Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year from everyone at Microsoft, and from me!! ttfn David
  • Can't wait for Office 2007 - get the full product trial

    If you are wanting to play with Office, you can now get a trial from here . You can play with this until you get your full version. Yes, this is RTM code and yes, this is a DOWNLOAD. That's it 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...
  • Expression web developer tools could change how we build web sites

    Microsoft Unveils Expression Tools Suite, Flash Killer I saw this last week and I know a few of the SBSC members are looking at these dev tools. I am no longer a hot developer, but this stuff looks good. The mobile / Embedded versions also look powerful. The article is summaried as "Microsoft announces Expression Studio, a new integrated suite of its design tools, including the new Expression Media asset management tool. The software giant also announces a new preview of its "Flash killer" technology. Should Adobe be worried?" For those who do not know what the Expression suite is, it is focused on professional designers. You can find out more about Expression at http://www.microsoft.com/expression . We have the 1st product and others in Community Technology Preview (CTP - similar to beta process). Information on the released product can be found at Expression Web 1.0 , is available today at online retailers such as Amazon . The CTP products include Expression Design (CTP) and Expression Blend (Beta) (previously...
  • Person who invented COBOL was born 100 years ago - you might not like COBOL, but it is still vitally important to business applications

    I was reading the CNet news article at http://news.com.com/100+years+of+Grace+Hopper/2100-1007_3-6142101.html and it reminded me of having to learn COBOL at University. While it can be a pig to do graphics and other things in, it is a great language to write business applications. COBOL for .Net exists, as do many, many libraries to make file, graphics and web services a reality. There are even some small buziness apps written in COBOL as its ability to manage business rules and maintain integrity is still good. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a .Net developer, but many of the good practices in development today have their heritage in COBOL (or Pascal ;-) ) So this is just a raised glass to the language that will never die (a bit like Mainframes). ttfn David
  • 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?
  • Office 2007, XML and standards

    Well, the day has finally arrived, the XML file formats used in Office 2007 are now ECMA standards. This is something that can be used to extract data from office files without having to write your own document decoders (something I used to do for a living waaay back when). XML file formats is not a new thing - Office 2003 XML formats are available, like the 2007 ones, royalty free, but this time a standards body has approved the standard. For reading I would suggest http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/HA102058151033.aspx followed by the ones below. 2007 Office System: XML Schema Reference This download contains reference documentation for the 2007 Microsoft Office system XML schemas. 2007 Office System Sample: Manipulating Office Open XML Formats Files This is a set of sample files and Visual Studio project files that illustrate how to manipulate Office Open XML format documents programmatically. ttfn David
  • Do you get e-mails offering pirated software at discount rates and want Microsoft to do something about it?

    I got a mail from one of the community leads the other day about "downloading Office 2007 for a 80% discount". These mails are always fraudulent - in many cases you will not even be sent any software, pirated or stolen, but your credit card details will be re-used. Should you be sent something, as said, it will not be legal, so at best will be stolen, at worse, will be hacked together and probably contain spy/malware too. This business damages us all, so if you are in the UK and wish to report it, please just foward these mails to the UK Piracy team at ukpiracy@microsoft.com . thanks David
  • Office 2007 and Vista coming in January Action Pack

    [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] One of the most asked questions I get is "When will it ship in the action pack". Well, the January Action pack starts shiping in the 2nd week on January, so before General Availability Launch (GA). This is what it will contain: Software Included software in January 2007 MAPS: • 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 Because Action pack is for business use, you are not getting Vista Ultimate, but we are working on a special partner rate to upgrade to Ultimate - more news in...
  • 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...

(c)David Overton 2006-17