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.  

February 2007 - David Overton's Blog

  • Great tools for Internet Explorer: Spell check, Open last closed tab, Auto refresh and more (IE7 Add-ons)

    I love IE7, but it is by no means the perfect browser. Along with every other browser out there it can be heavily customised. Here are the ones I use myself. There are loads at http://www.windowsmarketplace.com/category.aspx?bcatid=834&tabid=1 ieSpell (this is also the spell checker used on the blog site when you are adding something - perhaps into the forums) IESpell is a free Internet Explorer browser extension that spell-checks text-input boxes on a Web page. It should come in particularly handy for users who do a lot of Web-based text entry (Web mail, forums, blogs, diaries). Even if your Web application already includes spell-checking functionality, this utility is faster than a server-side solution. Plus, you get to store and use your personal word list across all your applications instead of having to maintain separate ones on each application. Version 2.5.1 build 106 may include unspecified updates, enhancements, or bug fixes. InlineSearch Inline Search v 1.4.3 (cf. ChangeLog ) is an extremely useful...
  • 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...
  • Outlook 2007 POP3 performance issues and potential fixes - Roundtrip Solutions Blog

    I think it is credit where credit is due here. The community is slowly resolving the issues we are seeing with Office 2007. I have asked John to log a call with Microsoft so that we can track the issues internally, get bugs issued and get fixes out there. Because any fix we produce has to go through threat modeling and regression testing, we rarely release them with haste unless they are impacting a significant number of users or are a security threat. However, John has documented many of the problems and solutions, so it is worth a look Problem with Outlook 2007 - Email Receive is Broken! 19 February 2007 As people start to use Outlook 2007, there is an alarming pattern starting to emerge regarding performance issues when receiving POP3 email. Even the smallest and most trivial of emails can take ages to download and be available, ranging from 30 seconds to minutes. During this time, Outlook and Windows can become slow to respond or become completely unresponsive, usually returning to normal when the send/receive...
  • Easy way to learn Vista, while also learning how to demo it

    Many of you have Windows Vista, but now need to understand what you can do with it. Rather than reading one of the nice big books, you could go look at the www.windowsvistamagazine.co.uk and read all the great info there. You could also go and look at the training available on the Microsoft Partner site. Finally, you could go and get all the tools you need to build a demo system, including the "scripts" for home and business use and then work through them - it will not take more than an hour to work through them, but by the end of it you will know most of the interesting features of both products. Windows Vista for Partners - Your DRT - the site includes: Step 1. Before getting started, learn what it takes to create your own DRT. Download and review the Windows Vista Demo Setup Guide . Step 2. Gain access to the latest tools for DRT development. Download the zip file , which contains Sample documents Demo files Sample applications Management shortcuts Step 3. Need a little direction on how to set up your demo...
  • Microsoft, BT hook up for hosted apps | Tech News on ZDNet

    Given the recent good moves forward with Office Live (UK web site - http://www.officelive.co.uk , partners getting excited - Tim Long , bCentral information on the products and 5 amazing case studies ) I thought I would share this further advancement in the online world. There will always be a place for the small business products that rely on physical servers, but the business by Vlad and many others shows us that the SaaS (Software as a Service and Software AND Service) work well for a business model. The difference between SAAS and SaS, IMHO, is one is rich in both client and web based tools, the other is ONLY rich when connected. Take Exchange and Outlook - Outlook is a great client when connected to Exchange. OWA is a great client too, however Outlook's offline ability is what sets it apart. You can get get great online and offline experiences with SaS. Microsoft and BT are to launch an online marketplace for hosted applications, with small-business customers as the target. The BT Applications Marketplace...
  • Partner Training - Selling Vista and Office to small businesses - Better Together: Microsoft Office 2007 & Windows Vista For The Small Business

    I’m working my way through mails on the train, saw this, so decided to quickly post it through while on the move. Enjoy The course will help Microsoft partners understand more their small business clients, their pains and their goals; and why 2007 Microsoft Office Small Business and Windows Vista Business are essential products to their businesses. It will also help the partner become more familiar with the overall features, functions, and benefits of 2007 Microsoft Office and Windows Vista as they pertain to their Small Business clients. https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/register.aspx?publisher=3&courseid=1871 ttfn David
  • System Builders - Partner training on the OPK for Windows Vista and Office 2007

    This course looks into the new OEM Pre-installation Kit (OPK) for Windows Vista and 2007 Office. It explains to system builders OPK's functions and benefits; how it is deployed; what are some of its terms and requirements; as well as the tools and resources offered. https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/register.aspx?publisher=3&courseid=1875 ttfn David
  • Partner Training - Introduction to Microsoft Partner Program & Windows and Office Genuine Advantage

    This course will help the partner look at this year’s Microsoft Partner Program and how it’s more focused than ever on embracing more of your success, making it easier to differentiate your business and simplifying how you do business with Microsoft. We will also be looking at how Piracy interferes with this great opportunity for new sales and services with Windows Vista and Office 2007. https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/register.aspx?publisher=3&courseid=1876 Ttfn David
  • Why the blue badge will not help you find prospects, but might help you turn them into customers

    I'm going to start with a contentious statement "The Blue Badge is the best scheme in the world for IT partners serving the small business sector". The second thing is that it is not a sales campaign to get people to buy from you. It is a quality assurance and community system. We have been having a bit of a discussion internally today about the "blue badge" - you know, the SBSC logo. This discussion is a little UK focused as some of the features and benefits are UK focused. The discussion was triggered by the questioning blog by Tim Long who wants to see the community do more to promote the benefits of the blue badge. We know this can work - in the US some members put together a radio show and those of you who know Harry Brelsford will remember that he played the commercial they did at many of the events. The simple truth that SBSC is a flag for partners to rally around and build communities, not a flag for prospects to rally around. The people in SBSC have something that sets them apart from the pack, but does...
  • If the Action Pack changes are annoying you, then it is time to stand up and be counted ... by Microsoft

    I'm going to give you a small insight into the inner workings of Microsoft. It is very simple. We work on numbers - some would say just like any computer ;-) Anyway, one number we monitor is partner satisfaction and one measure of this is by how many people are phoning or mailing us and complaining about things (or saying how great they are). I was recently told that while the feedback from this blog and others is spurring change the impact of the Action Pack is not being seen on our satisfaction scores and that the numbers have been favourable (i.e. less people have been phoning in and complaining). So... If you want Action Pack changed - you need to tell us through an official channel for it to be heard louder. It is as simple as that. If 1,000 partners phone Microsoft to complain about it, that is a stronger message than if 100+ people post comments on the blog. How do you contact Microsoft - click this link and the telephone numbers for all around the world can be found! Link to Contact Microsoft thanks, and...
  • The hunt for Jim Gray has not turned up the man yet, even with the best of science looking for him

    Now I have never been good at expressing things that get under my skin, so if this seems awkward, so be it. There was once a man who helped invent the modern day database. In doing so he gave me a career in computers that has changed my life, and countless others. I have had a couple of meetings with Jim and was always in awe of the thoughts and processing that went on in his mind. He could stretch from super computing problems to how data should be made more useable in small businesses. In the one day we spoke about the complete database needs of the UK for all health matters - diagnosis through to information sharing and then discussed how data should be shared and sliced in a 6 man business - and he still ran rings around me, even though 8 years ago I was designing and benchmarking databases up to 170TB and I have been focusing deeply on small business needs for the last four. If you don't know about Jim, have a look at 426 documents that reference him in the acedemic search or read what he was looking at on...
  • 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...
  • Office 2007 training for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Office, Access

    This is the download your own stuff: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT102036981033.aspx - currently 18 slide decks here Training presentation: Outlook 2007—Create great-looking signatures for your e-mail Rating: (16 votes) Training presentation: Microsoft Office—Get up to speed with the 2007 system Rating: (85 votes) Training presentation: PowerPoint 2007—Get up to speed Rating: (101 votes) Training presentation: Outlook 2007—Get out of your Inbox Rating: (21 votes) Training presentation: Microsoft Office—Keyboard shortcuts in the 2007 system Rating: (6 votes) Training presentation: PowerPoint 2007—Create your first presentation Rating: (81 votes) Training presentation: Access 2007—Get up to speed Rating: (17 votes) Training presentation: Word 2007—Get up to speed Rating: (55 votes) Training presentation: PowerPoint 2007—Get visual with SmartArt graphics New! Rating: (7 votes) Training presentation: Outlook 2007—Calendar basics Rating: (49 votes) Training presentation: Excel 2007—Create a chart Rating...
  • Getting started with Word, including Word 2007 training, tools to make moving from Word 2003 (or earlier) to Word 2007 much easier including Word 2003 to 2007 command reference and how to build your own Ribbon tabs

    I saw these links in the latest Microsoft downloads e-mail, but the more I looked into this the more I was amazed: Training materials you can use to deliver training on Word 2007 to your customers Tools that load onto a customers PC to enable them to find Word 2003 commands in Word 2007 Tools that put a useful set of getting started tools into a "Getting Started" tab within word Tools to build your own customised Ribbon tabs I'm going to start with the simplest of tools, the Interactive Command Reference . The Word 2007 Guide- Word 2003 to Word 2007 interactive command reference guide is available online, but the link is to the standalone downloadable version - which gives you an emulation of Word 2003, you click around on it and it then tells you where to find the selected item in Word 2007. great for that "Where has my command gone" conversations. Getting Started Tab for Word 2007 (download here) As you can see this tab has several features - the 1st one takes you off to the online version of the downloadable...
  • Has this blog turned into the Windows Vista Blog?

    It does seem that from being SBS based, then into Small Business partners that the blog has finally morphed into the Vista blog. This is not the case, but I am responding to the needs and requests of the Microsoft partners. SBS 2003 still does an amazing job and should be part of almost any customer request where they have more than 5 PCs (IMHO). However, you know all about SBS, don't you? However I suspect that Office 2007 and Windows Vista are a little bit stranger, so hence the focus. Don't worry - SBS will become more prominent very soon :-) Every dog has its day and this is Vista's and Office's. Give it a week or so and it will be back to the whole ecosystem of Windows Client, Windows Server (or SBS), Office and Windows Mobile. ttfn David
  • Microsoft tool to transfer programs from a Windows XP machine to a Windows Vista machine - Windows Easy Transfer Companion (WETC)

    This tools works alongside the Easy Transfer Wizard using an Easy Transfer Cable, however it has a list of known programs that it will transfer should you so desire. The Windows Easy Transfer Companion (WETC) is a program that you can use to help transfer programs from a computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) to a computer that is running Windows Vista. WETC does not replace Windows Easy Transfer. Instead, WETC is an independent program that complements Windows Easy Transfer. You can use WETC to transfer many kinds of programs between two computers that are connected by an Easy Transfer Cable or by a network connection. For more information click onto http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=931696
  • "I've purchased the Windows Vista anytime upgrade key - I think I need a new disk (DVD)" - "nope" says David

    I've been mucking around with Vista (formally Longhorn) for about 3-4 years. This means that things like "all editions are on the one DVD" is pretty much ingrained in my skill, however sometimes I forget that this was not the norm previously and sometimes trips people up. I got a mail the other day that said (edited a bit and published with permission of the sender): I installed Vista Business on my PC. I read in your blog that if you use a genuine Vista DVD (including a MAPS version), then you would not need the upgrade disk. I tried to upgrade to Ultimate. I made the purchase online and and attempted the upgrade. I need the disk. I went back online and ordered it and now I am waiting to upgradewindowsanydaynow. Did I do something wrong? The answer was very, very simple - take the downloaded utility, run it and when it asks for the Vista DVD, put in the same one you already have. However, since I have to admit that I have NEVER actually bought an upgrade key online I replied: You absolutely should not require...
  • Its not often I get a comment that makes me respond on a personal level, but here is one. Action Pack, life expectance of Microsoft and your business

    I got this comment recently on one of the blogs and decided to respond to each part as it covers so many topics. It seems you have some useful info, albeit widely available, info here, thanks. MS raised its action pack pricing by 50% a few years back. And yes, if you were to use the various server licenses, it would be a fair value. I choose the word fair intentionally, as the intent is, or should be, for IT companies to become experienced with its product, in order to do what?… sell it! The action pack is all about generating sales. We should get it free. The info here is available in other places, but people were having trouble finding it, so I brought it all together in one place. With regard to the Action Pack being free - I completely disagree - If you are selling almost any other product (in any industry) - you might get demonstration items, one or two people might even get the odd free item, but many people will not be able to run their business of of it. You can get eval copies of Vista & Office -...
  • Microsoft official Vista to Vista upgrade information, including how to upgrade from Windows XP and Windows 2000

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/932616/en-us General information about how to install Windows Vista Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) How to determine whether your computer is running a 32-bit version or a 64-bit version of Windows XP Installation choices for Windows XP Home and Windows XP Home N Edition Installation choices for Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Professional N Editions Installation choices for Windows XP Tablet Edition Installation choices for Windows XP Media Center Edition Installation choices for Windows 2000 Upgrade paths between versions of Windows Vista INTRODUCTION This article discusses the installation choices for consumer versions of Windows Vista. This article does not include information about Windows Vista Starter, about Windows Vista Enterprise, or about versions of Windows Vista that you install by using Microsoft Volume Licensing. The method that you use to install Windows Vista depends on the answers to the following questions: Definitions Upgrade to Windows Vista...
  • Did you know how the world is changing - where the business is and what the future holds - have a look to find out

    I saw this posted internally http://www.scottmcleod.org/didyouknow.wmv and it reminded me of a talk Ray Kurzweil he once gave giving timelines for many things. It is worth having a poke around his site - http://www.kurzweilai.net/index.html?flash=1 and also at some of his predictions - http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/business/features/future_perfect/trans6.shtml . By 2009, we won't be carrying around notebook computers or even palmtops you won't see the computers. The visual display's will be written directly onto our retinas from eye glasses and contact lenses so we'll either see a virtual display hovering in air or, even more compellingly, the visual display can overtake our whole visual field of view and create, basically, visual virtual reality. ttfn David
  • 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
  • Upgrading from Windows Vista Home to Vista Business or Vista Ultimate

    Sometimes some people end up with a copy of Windows Vista Home on a machine that they want to use in a business environment. The Windows Anytime Upgrade provides for people moving to Ultimate, but if you just want to move to Business, then this is what you need to know. Windows Vista Home SKUs qualify to use VUP FPP media As the home SKUs have some features that are not present in the business SKU, you have to do a clean install, the same as for Action Pack Upgrades (see How to do a clean install using upgrade media ). You can however do an in-place upgrade to Ultimate. The only media you can use to perform the home to business upgrade is retail upgrade media To preserve the settings that apply and documents etc, you can export your files and settings and then re-import them on the new system using the Easy Transfer Wizard, although things such as parental controls etc would not be there, so no longer work thanks David Technorati tags: Upgrades , Windows Vista , Vista
  • 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...
  • How to use the Windows Anytime Upgrade tools

    [Please also read the Action Pack FAQ on this blog at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/02/13/windows-vista-windows-xp-office-2003-and-office-2007-action-pack-update-my-faq.aspx ] If you want to electronically upgrade from one version of Vista to another then the Windows Anytime Upgrade tools are for you. To understand what versions you can upgrade from, have a look at Why Windows Vista Home can only be Upgraded to Home Ultimate online, but can upgrade via retail . You then need to go to one of the merchants. Mike P posted about this pointing out: So i notice the upgrade links are now working (www.windowsanytimeupgrade.com/maps and https://emea.windowsanytimeupgradestore.com/WAU_DIRECT/home.aspx ) although I'm a little puzzled as to why it costs £110 PER LICENCE!!!!!!!!!!!! MS has arranged several merchants to provide this upgrade service to consumers (as well as providing it direct throught he urls above). There is a huge discrepancy in the pricing... Comet -> https://comet.windowsanytimeupgrade...
  • 1st short coverage of the WAIK (Windows Automated Installation Kit)

    Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) User's Guide for Windows Vista The WAIK is designed to help OEMs, system builders and corporate IT professionals deploy Windows onto new hardware. The kit is a new set of deployment tools for Windows Vista. Download this guide to get the current methods, tools, and requirements for deploying Windows. Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , WAIK , Windows Automated Instakkation Kit , Deployment
1 2 Next >

(c)David Overton 2006-17