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.  

January 2008 - David Overton's Blog

  • 2008 Pre-Launch event with Bill Gates - Scott Dodds and why Partners are important

    Technorati Tags: Events , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , Launch , Scott Dodds I will try to publish information from each presenter as I noted it from the audience and then my scribbled notes. I can't guarantee 100% accuracy, but the virtual even should show more of this information and the Partner Portal will have the presentations on them in a weeks time. So... here goes: Microsoft rarely does a launch even for it's partners 2 months before the "big event". It is normally the night before. Scott re-iterated that partners are "extremely important" to Microsoft as they are the feet on the ground talking to customers. If partners have not seen / heard all the messages, technology, plans then how can they participate and recommend to customers? It is also worth noting that we do not have a "Bill Gates" for the customer events - his insight was reserved for our partners! Scott kicked off the day by suggesting that there were 4 areas we were concentrating...
  • What Bill Gates said he will be working on once he stops his full time role - from 2008 Partner Pre-launch event

    I had the pleasure of attending this event today. The last item was Q&A with Bill Gates and there were a number of questions that you will be able to watch and listen too in the future. However, the one that I thought was most interesting was this one: "What will Bill be doing in his part time capacity with Microsoft and what will the Bill and Melinda Foundation focus on?" His reply was roughly (I made a few scribbled notes, so I hopefully have the gist, if not the words): Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie will take care of the "one Microsoft and R&D function" Bill will focus on 3 areas: Search - still have lots to deliver from the various teams - we have just started to see the beginning of this - in both internet and enterprise areas Office - Bill has always had a keen interest in this area and it will continue. Things to be included are Modelling and declarative rules Natural User Interfaces - more voice, touch, gesture and general non-keyboard interaction with technology For the foundation...
  • Heroes Happen Here - Where are you?

    If you don't know about the Heroes Happen Here :: Home campaign then you are very much behind the times. The Launch events for SQL Server 2008 (errrm), Visual Studio 2008 and Windows Server 2008 are fast approaching and so is your customers ability to buy and use them - do you understand what, why and when? If not, go to the website and see how your customers can benefit and why you should learn more about the product and what you can do to improve your business with these products. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Heroes happen here , Heroes happen {here} , Heroes , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008
  • UK MSDN Events (Windows Live, Silverlight, Hyper V, Smart Client, Black Marble, Security, Visual Studio 2008 and .Net 3.5)

    I know I should have posted these earlier, but ho-hum - sorry!! 29 January, Reading : MSDN- Building Services: .NET FX 3.5, SOAP, REST, and Beyond . 29 January, Bristol : VBUG -'Code Access Security for Protecting Web Applications'with Chris Seary . 30 January, Birmingham : MSDN - Developing on the Windows Live Platform . 31 January, Reading : Vista Squad UG- Silverlight 2.0 & Hyper V Introduction . 31 January, Bradford : MSDN -What's new in Smart Client Development . 31 January, Bradford : Black Marble's Annual Technical Update for Microsoft Technologies . 31 January, Bradford : Black Marble - Ed Gibson, Microsoft's Chief Security Advisor in the UK . 05 February 2008, Reading : MSDN- What's new in Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Fx 3.5 for the Web Developer . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Events , MSDN Events , Windows Live , Silverlight , Hyper V , Smart Client , Black Marble , Security , Visual Studio 2008 , .Net 3.5
  • Get a Microsoft Certification - its easier and there is more on offer

    Why get Certifications? Customer satisfaction - Sixty-six percent of managers believe that certifications improve the level of service and support offered to customers. Revenue results - “Financially successful companies typically invest more in certifying their internal technical team.” Cushing Anderson, Vice President, IDC’s IT Education and Certification research. Project outcomes - High-level performance is achieved when 40% to 55% of a team are Microsoft Certified Professionals. Things that make getting a certification easier You can take advantage of partner-exclusive, training and certification offers available through Partner Skills Plus. These offers can benefit you by enabling you to become certified more quickly and do so at a savings. Here are some of the things I saw: Second Shot - pay for one exam at full price and get two chances to pass. Offer ends 30 th June 2008. IW Skills Accelerator – helping partners get skilled on the Office 2007 technologies. Offer ends 31 st July 2008. Start saving now...
  • Do you have a good story to tell about you, your customer and the use of Microsoft technology? If so, get your name up in lights (well, the web) and get Microsoft to tell everyone about it

    Microsoft is currently looking for Small Business case studies about how customers use Microsoft products. These case studies include the name of the partner used to install the solution and so are a great way of generating completely free publicity. Case studies are mainly targeted at a customer audience and will be used on our customer website's, in newsletters, in collateral and sometimes in the press. If you would like to nominate any of your customers please go to www.articulatemarketing.com/partner.html and fill in the short form with their details. After you have submitted their details no further work is required from you as we will contact the customer directly for a short interview. Both yourselves and the customer will then be able to review any case studies before they are used. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Small Business , Case Studies
  • New build of Vista SP1 RC Preview to load and rumour that Vista SP1 Confirmed for February 15

    I've been running Vista SP1 builds for a while and I like them. I don't like the process of changing builds which is "simply" a case of uninstalling the old build, letting it reboot twice, updating the registry, doing find updates in windows update, reboot, do it again, reboot, do it again, wait 15 mins, do it again, then let it install for a chunk of time, reboot twice more. Now, you won't have this fun when the "real" update comes out, but us testers simply enjoy this process!! To get the latest preview go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=529d992a-d69e-4c73-9213-7a7f3852c0ca&DisplayLang=en Vista SP1 Confirmed for February 15 – XP SP3 Too? Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is just around the corner. Despite the fact that Microsoft continues to point to the first quarter of 2008 as the deadline for the delivery of Vista's first service pack, it appears that the refresh will drop as early as next month. According to the Redmond company, Vista SP1 is...
  • Work on Windows Vienna / Windows 7 has started and the rumours, videos and builds are beginning to fly

    Even though I work at Microsoft I don't know most of what is going on. I can go and ask people and I can read the public sites. I do have the advantage that I can get better confirmation as to whether the stories on the public sites are rubbish or not though . Anyway, this week I've seen lots of information about Windows 7. This version of Windows, like every other version of Windows starts life before it's predecessor is finished, changes several times before is released and solves some of the issues people have with Vista as well as taking the product in new directions. This is not new or news inside Microsoft and excitement because we are working on the next Windows should be tempered - we are always working on the next version of Windows, Office and every other product we do (well, perhaps not Bob v2). As people who were "in" early with Vista, the visual changes happen much later in the product lifecycle and under the hood changes can make a huge difference in things like performance...
  • How to get Windows Desktop Search, SharePoint, Windows Home Server, Search Server, Exchange 2007 and SQL 2005/2008 to see Office 2007 documents in their search filters

    If you use Windows XP and need WDS to index Office 2007 files, or SharePoint, Search Server or any other product that used IFilters then this is the KB article and download for you. This obviously includes Windows Home Server which uses WDS to enable you to quickly search for a file on a file share from Vista This download will install and register IFilters with the Windows Indexing Service. These IFilters are used by Microsoft Search products to index the contents of specific document formats. This Filter Pack includes IFilters for the following formats: .docx, .docm, .pptx, .pptm, .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlsb, .zip, .one, .vdx, .vsd, .vss, .vst, .vdx, .vsx, and .vtx. Because Windows Desktop Search (WDS) consumes IFilters from Windows Indexing Service, the IFilters will be automatically registered and available for use by WDS. To register these IFilters with a specific Search product, please see the associated KB article below: Office SharePoint Server 2007 - Office SharePoint Server 2007 registration steps Search Server...
  • Citrix, HP and Brian Madden seem to think "Citrix Access Essentials is actually cool now!"

    I've been doing some work with Citrix and I've started to see a bit on an alignment come together for the small business arena. There are still areas where just a few users on terminal services is just fine - ala the white paper ( SBS 2003, Virtual Server and / or Terminal Services and why use virtualisation and the risks to consider ), but for those who need better management, have more users, heavier applications or poor comms then the Citrix solution is good. Even Brian Madden was impressed and if you read all of his blog article then you will see it took a long time to impress him The next day I sat down with her at iForum. She sat across the table, smiled, leaned in, and asked point-blank why I have been ignoring CAE. Apparently she’d changed positions within Citrix, and whatever it is she’s doing now, she’s very passionate about CAE. I leaned back in my chair, took a sip of Coke, closed my eyes and exhaled, saying, “Vicky, there is nothing at all about CAE that is even remotely interesting.” “That...
  • Windows Small Business Server 2003 at risk from critical flaw

    Hopefully everyone has seen this, but if not: Windows Small Business Server at risk from critical flaw Microsoft initially omitted Small Business Server from its list of critically affected OSes, but is now offering patches via its automatic update services In an update to its MS08-001 security bulletin, Microsoft said that the latest release of Windows Small Business Server was also critically at risk from a bug in Windows' networking software. The flaw is also considered critical for Windows XP and Vista users. Microsoft did not say why it had initially omitted Small Business Server from its list of critically affected operating systems, but it said that the product's users were being offered patches via Microsoft's various automatic update services. "Customers with Windows Small Business Server 2003 Service Pack 2 should apply the update to remain secure," Microsoft said in its updated bulletin. The bug lies in the way Windows processes networking traffic that uses IGMP (Internet Group...
  • Got Lotus ... "Microsoft's ISVs Cashing In On Lotus Exodus" - CRN and VARBusiness - where are the tools

    It is always nice to see good news and SharePoint and Exchange are providing lots of it at the moment. I thought I would share this story and also some tools. Microsoft: ISVs Cashing In On Lotus Exodus Microsoft earlier this week released an updated version of its Transporter Suite for Lotus Domino, a set of tools that helps organizations migrate from IBM Lotus Notes and Domino to Microsoft products. As interest builds around unified communications, Microsoft in the last six months of 2007 saw more than 300 enterprise customers -- representing some 2.8 million users -- begin making the movie to Exchange Server, Office SharePoint Server and the Office suite, according to Clint Patterson, a director with the unified communications group at Microsoft. This groundswell of interest has spawned a whole ecosystem of Microsoft ISVs offering products that ease the migration process. For example, companies that have large amounts of information stored in a Notes database have found it difficult to capture that data and...
  • Simple Office / Excel information to share with customers

    This is a fab tool - for example, the page has: Inside Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Stop the Press -Microsoft Office Excel 2007 - making working with numbers easier than ever! Where minutes are kept and hours are wasted Well-planned and organised meetings can be very useful. However, not all meetings leave attendees feeling like their time has been well spent! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Excel , Tips
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • How to get DRM protected media on one PC to play on another (eg stored on a Windows Home Server, playing on a Xbox or another PC)

    This question was asked internally and I was told this is the answer - I've not been able to test it fully, but it appears to be heading in the right direction!! Q. Why can't I play files that are shared by one computer but located on different computer? A. You can use Windows Media Player 11 to share media files that are located on other computers on your home network. However, additional steps are required so that these remote files will play on the devices you are sharing them with. On the remote computer, the media files must be in shared folders. For information about sharing folders, see Windows Help and Support. On the computer that contains the library you are sharing, you must grant users permission to access remote folders, modify registry key values, and monitor the shared folders located on the remote computer. The information in this section covers only granting permissions and modifying registry values. For information about monitoring folders, see What are monitored folders? There are five...
  • Cool and useful Windows Home Server Disk Management add-in

    if Heineken did Home Server Web sites then We Got Served would be their site. I love reading the information that Terry puts on there and what is really good too is the fact that it is a UK site. Not that I object to anyone being successful in any country, but it is nice to have one on home turf too. Anyway, the latest little ditty is the Disk Management add-in from Sam Wood which shows you the status of your disks (capacity used) and where they are in the box (you have to configure this) Add-In: Windows Home Server Disk Management A new add-in was released by developer Sam Wood today, called WHS Disk Management. The add-in is an extension of the standard WHS Server Storage interface, helping users visually identify the physical disks they’re working with. Here’s how it’s used: Select one of the disks, or expand the columns after the disk ID, to see infomation about the disk. It takes awhile to render, because it’s doing a WMI crawl to find the disk controller. You get SCSI bus/port/LUN, plus disk controller....
  • Want to make life easier developing databases apps against SQL, XML and other databases (Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL) - look at the Beginning LINQ development articles

    LINQ looks like another amazingly simple move for app developers (I've written a few DB apps myself over the years). While Microsoft provides support for Objects, SQL and XML, others provide for other platforms such as Oracle, MySQL and PostgreSQL ( http://code2code.net/DB_Linq/ ). The reason why it is so nice is because the gap between the process of writing SQL queries and then programming them into your code is considerably removed. For example, a query might now look like: var q = from p in db.Products where p.ProductName == "Pen" select p.ProductID; I think that looks very much like a SQL query, which is really good for developers and database peeps alike, especially since the underlying execution is very efficient. To make understanding all this easier there has been a number of articles written including... Beginning LINQ development, Part 1 Brian Eastwood, Site Editor The Language Integrated Query, or LINQ, is one of the most important of the new features afoot in VB 9.0 and C# 3.0.Developers...
  • 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...
  • Where Customers may obtain License Keys for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

    I've been asked this a few times, so attached is the response I got from the nice Product peeps here in the UK. Since the easiest way to share was a picture - here it is :-) It covers the following license types: Trial MSDN/Technet MSPP MAPS VL BRL SPLA ISV Royalty Again, see http://www.uksmbgirl.co.uk/blog/archives/320 for more information on MS CRM and http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2008/01/17/microsoft-dynamics-crm-4-0-ready-for-download.aspx for download information. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Licensing , MS CRM , CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Ready for Download

    Just in case you had not seen it - CRM 4.0 is available - http://www.microsoft.com/beta/downloads/Search.aspx?SearchText=crm . Susanne Dansey has also been to one of the CRM days and has some good info at http://www.uksmbgirl.co.uk/blog/archives/320 . Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Ready for Download By Stuart J. Johnston Microsoft announced Monday that it has released to manufacturing the long-awaited update to its Dynamics-branded customer relationship management software (CRM). Previously codenamed "Titan," the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM actually has two names in its final form. For on-premise, customer-hosted, as well as partner-hosted deployments, the product has been dubbed Dynamics CRM 4.0. The company will also be offering the package on-demand in a Microsoft-hosted environment that it has named Dynamics CRM Live. Existing and new customers will be able to download the update when it's released on the Web this week, a Microsoft official told InternetNews.com . The Microsoft-hosted...
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  • New Small Business Oriented blog - Microsoft Police (entry on licensing) and Vista bloody Vista (who's fault is it when things don't work on Vista)

    Susanne Dansey pointed this out to me - Dave is doing some excellent blogging! I like both these entries from January. One discussed the rights and wrongs of what to do with a customer who will not license legally. My personal opinion here is that if they won't pay a software company, how long until they will avoid paying the services company for a quality job. Dave's second post is dealing with someone who has been told that Vista is poor and blames anything that does not work under Vista on Microsoft. I'm not saying that Microsoft is never to blame, but it is nice to see posts like this coming out of the woodwork. Microsoft Police There has been a lot of chatter in the newsgroups recently about Microsoft licensing and what to do if you think the legality of clients software is suspect. Here is my opinion. Funny that, it being my blog Simple, get them to become legitimate (or legal) or walk away. Let’s clarify this. Why I said legitimate or legal is because these can be two separate things....
  • While Microsoft is often accused of being the big bad company on Patents, IBM continues to lead the way

    I always find it sort of silly the way Microsoft is accused of being tight with information on how to develop with our products, yet there is loads and loads of information on MSDN and then the ability to license information as the Samba group did. IBM is often 1st up to hit Microsoft with a "your mean and successful and patent everything" yet here is another article, another year and IBM leads the patent list: This story appeared on Network World at http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/011408-patent-list.html IBM retains slim lead among patent-winners; Samsung, Microsoft gain ground U.S. patent backlog more than 1.1 million after drop in patents issued By Jon Brodkin , NetworkWorld.com, 01/14/08 IBM secured 3,148 patents in 2007, besting all other competitors for the 15th consecutive year, but Big Blue's lead is getting slimmer and Microsoft charged into the top 10 with 1,637 patents, according to an analysis that will be released Monday. Microsoft, which ranked No. 6 on the annual list after failing...
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  • App support could be the party pooper that spoils the virtualisation bash

    People ask me what I think of Virtualisation and whether I would virtualise SBS or Cougar or 10 desktops or more. If we are talking about OS virtualisation, rather than application virtualisation then many people miss what virtualisation is - the running of more operating systems on one single piece of hardware. This means that before you had, for example, 3 OSs to manage and now you have 4 (the OS running the virtualisation technology / layer and the 3 OSs that you now virtualise). Now you do have to manage less hardware, but a single hardware failure now will stop 4 OSs rather than 1, so you need to plan around this. Obviously virtualisation gives you benefits in portability and resources management as well as potentially increased hardware specs without the same increase in costs, but you also need to be aware of the issues. I see two major issues outside of those people often think about (as above): Not enough resources. The process of virtualising an OS costs some tax in terms of performance of CPUs, disk...
  • Saw this last year - how right they were "In memoriam: the ISV" - Oracle announces purchase of BEA and Sun announces purchase of MySQL

    So here we are on the day (or a day later) that Sun (JAVA) decides to buy MySQL, finally putting a blow against Oracle who had self selected Linux (personal opinion was Oracle saw the deal having the same money, just less for the OS, so more for them) and BEA gets welded to the Oracle Fusion integration story. Consolidation is indeed the way forward... unless the European Union think that there is too few companies in which case companies will have to give away some corporate asset in order to not be too successful. The article is worth a read.. will everything eventually be owned by Microsoft, Google, Oracle or Symantec ? YEAR END - In memoriam: the ISV By James Niccolai and Chris Kanaracus, IDG News Service, 12/12/07 The world of business software continued its inexorable march toward Total Consolidation in 2007. If IBM was off the mark in 1943 when it (supposedly) predicted a world with only five computers, it might have better luck today with a similar prediction about the software industry. The trend has...
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(c)David Overton 2006-17