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 2008 - David Overton's Blog

  • We say that Heroes happen with the '2008 products - see what has been registered by heros so far

    I found this great web site where you can see 150 case studies that are presented in the form of a book with stories in it. Some are a bit slim on detail and others are good. You might enjoy reading it - http://www.microsoft.com/heroeshappenhere/portraitgallery/start.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , heroes
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008, SQL 2008 Launches - Heroes Are Happening Right {Here} Right {Now} in L.A. (well, it was when I went to the web page)

    The launch is finally upon us. 2 of the 3 products are ready, willing and able to work in your business and the 3rd has just delivered another CTP. In the UK we are looking at press events right now, but we have a customer event on the 19th March. To register you need to go to the virtual launch experience: On the Server blog David Lowe wrote about the event and gave some great pointers to more information on blogs Even if you couldn't make it to LA. yourself, or if you haven't been able to register for one of the other 200+ launch events around the world, check out the Virtual Launch Experience online for an incredibly rich and interactive experience that is almost as good as being here. I'll post further updates later today on some of the launch announcements and cool things that are happening here. In the meantime, you can read our full launch press release on the Server and Tools Business News Bytes blog , and you can read more detail on these announcements on the following blogs: http://blogs...
  • Application Resources for Windows Server 2008 Launch (2 days to go)

    I was asked the other day about how to make sure if an application is likely to work on Vista or Windows Server 2008 and this blog entry has some of the answers. You may notice things like the App Compatibility toolkit and the cookbook. Between these, you should get all the information you need to ensure applications that work on current and future platforms. Resources for Windows Server 2008 Launch We at Microsoft are on the verge of releasing one of the most powerful and reliable products in the history of the company, Windows Server 2008. Containing numerous improvements and new features, Windows Server 2008 is a product everybody can be proud of. As an ISV, what’s the best way you can get up to speed and research these many improvements, and be aware of any possible application compatibility issues you might run into? Here are some resources to help you with these questions: Windows Server 2008 Product Page : This is the main Microsoft home for Windows Server 2008 as a product. You can find the many links...
  • Microsoft Office Live Small Business v2 - have you got it already?

    This happened a couple of weeks ago, but it is always worth sharing the improvements in Office Live. Not only do we have this going on, but we also have the beta of Workspaces progressing. Remember, your customers could benefit from Office Live and if you don't offer it, someone else might just offer them Office Live or something else, blocking you out from that customer as they grow in size. Microsoft Office Live Small Business is the award-winning, easy-to-use suite of Web-based software and services designed to help small businesses affordably take, promote and manage their businesses online. Used by nearly 600,000 customers worldwide, Office Live Small Business is available in the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan. The service also provides an excellent environment within which partners can build industry-specific solutions. Office Live Small Business is now available with : Full Firefox 2.0 support for PC & Mac Easy-to-use Website Designer tool or use html/3rd party design tools Outlook Connector...
  • Study: .Net overtakes Java

    I saw this and thought I would share it. It gives some positioning of .Net vs Java. There is more to the article that that listed below, but the interesting statements for me was .Net >50% and Java 20%. Oh, and additional to that pure .Net @ 12% while pure Java was at 3%. Ouch!! Study: .Net overtakes Java Microsoft's .Net software development platform is more popular than Java in the enterprise, according to one industry analyst firm's report detailed on Wednesday Info-Tech Research Group said its research found .Net the choice over Java among enterprises of all sizes and industries. Entitled, "It's Official: .Net Roasts Java's Beans," the study explored the relative prevalence of Java and .Net across different types of enterprises and found .Net has gained considerable market share and become the favourite of many enterprises. In conducting its study, Info-Tech said it recently surveyed more than 1,850 organizations of different sizes. Info-Tech's research is not sponsored, a...
  • Answers to some of the questions about SBS 2008 (32-bit 2nd server, SCE, beta upgrades, migrating users

    [updated 23rd Feb 2008] After posting on SBS 2008 the other day I've had a few questions, so here are some answers Can the 2nd server be x64 or x86 (32-bit) and can it be used for Terminal Services / Hyper-V / a.n.other purpose The 2nd server can be 32 or 64-bit. It is essentially Windows Server 2008 Standard edition, however it does check it is part of a SBS domain. Therefore it can be used for almost anything a Windows Server can be used for (and SQL can be loaded on it too) Why was System Center Essentials removed from SBS 2008 The short answer is that this was not the right product for SBS owners, however SBS can be used / works with SCE. For this reason SCE can, for example, be loaded on the the 2nd server Can I install SBS 2008 beta (cougar) in my production environment and upgrade to RTM when it releases The answer here is one about the fact that betas are betas and have bugs, so there are risks. Officially the answer is “don’t consider using Cougar beta in your production environment unless you are...
  • Action Pack subscription changes - you should know about them, but they start on 1st March

    I know that this has been well sign-posted and people have discussed the merits etc in the past, however this is a reminder!! As I’m sure you’re aware, from March 1 st all subscribers wishing to renew must pass an assessment. This is what you need to know: 1. We’ve made available on the Partner Portal an enrolment and re-enrolment guide, which will help people with renewals (see: www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/actionpack and https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/40049696 ). 2. The portal also contains all the info that those interested in MAPS need, however if anyone is experiencing issues renewing, we do want to encourage them to call the Regional Support Centre (RSC) for assistance. In the UK that number is: 0800 917 3128. Also if you have any questions regarding your current Action Pack subscription, please call 0870 60 70 700 (press option 1) thanks David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Microsoft Partner Program , SBSC , Action Pack
  • More information on SBS 2008

    I was reading over at Sean Daniel's blog about more info on SBS 2008 and realised there are a couple of pages you need to look at ( Learn more with a product overview ). I've also posted some answers to questions here . Affordable, Integrated Solution Windows Small Business Server 2008 is designed for small businesses. It is designed to work with existing technology, build on Microsoft best practices, and delivers a comprehensive network at an affordable price. Have virtually anytime, anywhere access to your business desktop; including e-mail, files, business applications, and more. Share resources and equipment, such as Internet access, printers, and fax machines, to get the most value from your technology investments. Enjoy compatibility and scalability. As your business needs to change, Windows Small Business Server 2008 can change with you--easily add users, servers and applications, or expand into other Microsoft technologies. Work more efficiently and add more value to your business with an integrated...
  • Microsoft Windows Essential Server Solutions - Which one is right for you?

    There is lots of information on how to choose the right Essential solution for you (SBS Std, Premium, EBS Std or Premium. A quick sample can be seen below (there is much more on the web site): Which Solution Is Right for You? Learn how the Windows Essential Server Solutions are designed to fit specific needs for small and midsize business. Find which solution will be the right choice for you and your company’s needs. Remember, each business is unique – consult your Microsoft Certified Partner to help determine the best solution for you. Your Need Windows Small Business Server 2008 Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Standard Edition Premium Edition Standard Edition Premium Edition Company Size and Growth Our company needs a secure network for 250 or fewer users today Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008 supports up to 50 users or devices. Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server 2008 supports up to 250 users or devices. Our business is growing at a fast pace and our IT needs are expanding. As your...
  • SkyDrive (free online storage accessed via the web) goes to 5GB, comes out of beta, is available in 38 countries around the world

    I went to my skydrive today and noticed it was not 5GB, not 1GB and no longer beta. According to the official blog besides the things in the blog title it is also: This release also includes bug fixes and improvements to make the site even faster and more reliable . We’re proud of this release — so proud, in fact, that we’re officially removing the Beta tag ! The Windows Live wire blog said ( Windows Live Wire: Bigger, better, faster SkyDrive! ): Improvements to Windows Live SkyDrive , including 5 GB of free online storage , were released to the public today in 38 countries or regions around the world! SkyDrive provides free, password-protected online file storage and sharing. It's a great way to make sure your files are available to you from any computer, without having to carry them around on a flash drive. I also find it really useful for sharing files that may be too big to send in e-mail. It's dead simple to use, so go ahead and try it out . New in this release: Free online storage is increasing from...
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  • Something for Vijay - Microsoft Introduces New Interoperability Principles

    I've not had time to digest all of this, but it looks important enough to get a quick note out. I know Vijay is keen on interop. Virtual Pressroom: Microsoft Makes Strategic Changes in Technology and Business Practices to Expand Interoperability February 21, 2008 Microsoft today announced a set of broad-reaching changes to its technology and business practices to increase the openness of its products and drive greater interoperability, opportunity and choice. These changes are codified into four new interoperability principles and corresponding actions: ensuring open connections; promoting data portability; enhancing support for industry standards; and fostering more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities. Highlights: Press Conference Call with Steve Ballmer, Ray Ozzie, Bob Muglia and Brad Smith: 8:30 am PST, Feb. 21 Video Clip: Tom Robertson, General Manager, Interoperability and Standards (.wmv file, 44 sec) News & Announcements Press Release: Microsoft Makes...
  • Happy Birthday to me .. thanks for the nice comments

    Since I've had a few mails and texts about this - I thought I would say thank-you for the kind birthday wishes. Yes, I'm getting older - now 37... luckily my daughters keep me young at heart David
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  • Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer Updated - from the Official SBS Blog

    Yesterday we announce SBS 2008 and now there is the updated best practice analyzer for SBS 2003 - The Official SBS Blog : Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer Updated - the updates are below Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices Analyzer Updated The SBS 2003 Best Practices Analyzer configuration file has been updated with new rules. There are approximately 100 new rules and many pre-existing rules have been improved based on your feedback. To check to see if you have the latest configuration file go to Start>All Programs>SBS Best Practices Analyzer , then click on the About the Best Practices Analyzer link. The updated configuration file version is 2.1.18.0. If you still have the old version (2.1.4.0), click on the Updates and Customer Feedback link. Then click on the Check for Updates Now link. Some of the new rules include: Expanded checks for Blue Shield issues relating to WSUS Checks for the .Net Framework version for Companyweb Resolved some issues with the WSS and DST update checks...
  • Small Business Server 2008 (formally known as Cougar) announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the SBS 2008 section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . Windows Small Business Server 2008 Multiplies Business Growth Windows Small Business Server 2008,previously known by the code name “Cougar,” is ideal for organizations with up to 50 PCs, helping them protect business data, expand business productivity and present a professional image to customers. The new version adds a range of features and capabilities to the current, award-winning Small...
  • Windows Essential Business Server announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the Essential Business Server 2008 section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . <snipped> Windows Essential Business Server 2008 for Midsize Companies Windows Essential Business Server 2008 is designed for the needs of midsize organizations with up to 250 desktops, helping IT professionals take control of their systems, reduce time spent “fighting fires” and focus more on strategic efforts to drive business growth. The solution includes built...
  • "Windows Essential Server Solutions family of products" announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the "family" section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . To help small and midsize organizations improve business efficiency, increase productivity and drive growth, Microsoft Corp. introduced the Windows Essential Server Solutions family of products, built on Windows Server 2008 and the newest Microsoft server technologies and services. The company also unveiled details about the newly named Windows Small Business Server 2008. The Windows...
  • Office from the past, ODF and OOXML (Office of today and tomorrow) and why is organic growth nearly always bad for software and why re-writing is not good either

    As I have said many times in the past I used to write document conversation tools. I believe this gives me a valid reason to be able to pass comment on the ODF/OOMXL debate that is raging at the moment. If these types of questions interest you, have a look at the book I talk about later ( In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters (UK) or here for US link ) Lets start with some history about the Office 97-2003 file formats. Joel was writing about this today ( Why are the Microsoft Office file formats so complicated? (And some workarounds) - Joel on Software ). Note that part of what he has commented on is the fact that the documentation for the binary file format is now available from Microsoft: Why are the Microsoft Office file formats so complicated? (And some workarounds) This item ran on the Joel on Software homepage on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 Last week, Microsoft published the binary file formats for Office . These formats appear to be almost completely insane. The Excel 97...
  • Microsoft DreamSpark - Free developer tools for students around the world. Think of the opportunities!!

    I heard about this a day or two ago and I have to say this is a MASSIVE move for Microsoft and something that can only do good. As a student you can now download, at no cost, the professional Microsoft development tools. That is all there is to the programme, however this is a dream come true for many educational institutions. Just think of the opportunity - help them implement all this software, when the software is free to the students!! Channel8 described it as : How would you like a free copy of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 ? How about the entire Microsoft Expression Studio ? Not enough...... how about Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and more? For once, something that sounds too good to be true really is this good and really is true. Starting today (or soon in some areas), students worldwide will be able to download our professional development and design tools for free ! It's called DreamSpark and it is upon us. For information on the project from PressPass: PressPass: What is the thinking behind Microsoft...
  • What has happened in management over the last 2 months - downloads and information for System Center, MOM, SMS, Forefront and even a bit of ITIL

    This informaiton can be found (and more) at the TRM blog can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . News SMS&MOM http://blogs.technet.com/smsandmom/default.aspx Nexus SC: The System Center Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/systemcenter/ Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 International Client Packs released Two ICP packs for ConfigMgr have been released. ICP1 contains the following languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish ICP2 contains all languages from ICP1 plus the following: Chinese (Simplified),Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Swedish, Turkish Webcasts TechNet Webcast: Client Monitoring with System Center Operations Manager 2007 (Level 200) - Friday, February 29, 11:30 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada) In this session, we show you some of the new features that we have built into Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007. By the end of this session, you will...
  • BBC NEWS - Machines 'to match man by 2029' says Kurzweil

    I've mentioned it before - Dr Kurzweil is a very interesting man. Wikipedia describes him as: Raymond Kurzweil ( pronounced /kɚzwaɪl/) (born February 12 , 1948 ) is an inventor and futurist. He has been a pioneer in the fields of optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis , speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments . He is the author of several books on health , artificial intelligence , transhumanism , technological singularity , and futurism . The BBC has picked up on an interesting article about the future and the challenges facing humanity for which Ray contributed. Machines 'to match man by 2029' By Helen Briggs Science reporter, BBC News, Boston Tiny machines could roam the body curing diseases Machines will achieve human-level artificial intelligence by 2029, a leading US inventor has predicted. Humanity is on the brink of advances that will see tiny robots implanted in people's brains to make them more intelligent, said Ray Kurzweil. The engineer...
  • Life at Microsoft - another comical parody of life in the big machine!

    I saw this and thought I had to share. While not as funny as some, still worth watching. For the record, no-one has ever thrown money at me! Look for the Jedi master mind tricks (failing) at about 4 mins. Life At Microsoft - The Truth Revealed Life At Microsoft - The Truth Revealed People often stop me in the streets to ask "Hey Tina, what's life "really" like at Microsoft? Sometimes I can't even walk outside my house without somebody standing there with a giant neon sign that blinks "What is life "really" like at Microsoft"? Instead of answering every individual separately and so you can save your money on those neon signs. I decided to create a video that would answer that simple yet complex question. I want to throw out a special high-five to the following because without them and a lot of beer this video never would have happened. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , humour , fun , Star Wars
  • Bye Bye Jen Brinton, Hello Lisa and Chris for the UK SBSC and small business partners

    I saw this mail (I have been out the country) while I was away and thought I would share it with those of you. For those of you who don't know who Jen is, she was the person behind the SBSC programme in the UK and was part of the fighting force to get you things like Demo Showcase. Now strangely enough, Chris, some of you will have met - he is a great mate of mine, technical and also the hero of the Demo Showcase. He is known for getting passionate about technology and it being used correctly, so he is an ideal person to get to know! Anyway, here was the e-mail to SBSC members: New Faces as Microsoft Hi All I wanted update you all on some new faces at Microsoft who will be focused on the Small Business Specialist community as part of our continued focus to increase investment in this area. I would also like to take this chance to let you know that I am sad to have to say good-bye to you all! I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as SBSC programme manager and will miss working with you all, however I will be transitioning...
  • Import and export business data in Business Contact Manager 2007 - Outlook with Business Contact Manager - Microsoft Office Online

    Again, something I have been asked before - how to get data into and out of BCM - have a look at Import and export business data in Business Contact Manager 2007 - Outlook with Business Contact Manager - Microsoft Office Online Import and export business data in Business Contact Manager 2007 You can use the Business Data Import and Export wizard to import (import: To bring information from one system or program into another. The system or program receiving the data must somehow support the internal format or structure of the data.) data into or export (export: To copy your Business Contact Manager for Outlook business data to a file of a different format for use in a database, a spreadsheet, or another program.) data from Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2007. What do you want to do? Import data Export data Use the wizard to update an existing database with information from another database ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , BCM , Business Contact Manager , Office 2007 , Office System , CRM , Small Business
  • Business Contact Manager Team Blog - good information, including SQL and VBA tools, Smartphone and product information

    I was hunting for an answer to a questions someone asked me and I came across this the BCM Team Blog. Below are some of the recent posts. It is worth adding to your RSS feed list. Troubleshooting BCM for Pocket PC/Smartphone Get Business Contact Manager with Outlook Standalone How to Change BCM Polling Interval? Happy Holidays Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2007 SP1 is Live Business Contact Manager Team Blog ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , BCM , Business Contact Manager , Office 2007 , Office System , CRM , Small Business
  • All change - Windows Vista SP1 here now for technical customers - it was delayed. It is still a little way away for non-technical people

    Last week Microsoft announced SP1 for Vista to the world , but then said some device drivers were causing problems so there would be a delay to enabled those to be resolved. That is the device drivers, not SP1. Well, as you can imagine, there was a fair amount of noise around this, so the rollout has been changed to enable technical people who were on the beta and MSDN & Technet Plus people to get it much earlier. Someone once asked me why we could not get things on the web quicker - well, if you have a few million people downloading something at the same time it has a hit, so all releases, even system updates, have an element of staggering. From the blog posting Windows Vista Team Blog : Windows Vista SP1 availability for technical customers some salient points are: On Monday (February 4th), we announced the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). Overall, people are excited to hear that we have reached this milestone, but some are disappointed they are not able to immediately...
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(c)David Overton 2006-17