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.  

Browse by Tags

  • Are you about to renew your Action Pack? If so the Assessment requirement deadline has been extended for existing Subscribers

    Dell Quinn asked me to pass this on: As you may know, on November 30, 2007 Microsoft implemented an assessment requirement for new action pack subscribers. The same requirement was scheduled to take effect on March 1, 2008 for renewing partners that have a subscription expiration date of March 1, 2008 or later. Due to unforeseen system issues, we are extending the assessment deadline for renewing Action Pack subscribers until June 19, 2008 . This means that all renewing partners whose subscription expires on or after June 19, 2008 will need to pass a qualifying assessment with a score of 70% or higher in order to renew their Action Pack subscription. Qualifying assessments last for two years. For more information and a list of eligible courses and assessments, please visit https://partner.microsoft.com/global/40044196 . thanks David Technorati Tags: SBSC , Action Pack , Microsoft , Partners
  • Action Pack Subscribers get Full Windows Vista DVDs - not upgrades and they also get a copy of Ultimate too, plus a stack of materials to sell the product

    Full, not Upgrade Vista product Well anyone who says we don't listen is just talking rubbish!! What am I talking about - I'm talking about the Action Pack and Windows. We moved to non OEM media and boy did it cause a stink, but that has changed again. According to Important changes for Action Pack Subscribers regarding Windows Vista while you are still required to have a legal license for a machine (FPP or OEM) you can now apply full copies (i.e. do a bare metal install) without having to do a double install. There are also a stack of sales materials coming too (I've copied some of the points from the link below): Partner feedback has enabled Microsoft to make the Windows Vista operating system even better. Now you can reap the benefits. Sell more with hardware, software and services built around Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1). And learn how we're making it easier than ever for you to learn, use and sell Windows Vista. Based on partner feedback, we've taken action to improve the partner...
  • 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
  • Action Pack - you now have to take an exam to qualify ... so do so!

    I suspect that you will have seen this everywhere before, but just in case, see below - notice that SBSC and Web Developers, designers and agencies get an even more valueable kit: Enhancing the value of Microsoft Action Pack Subscription In response to feedback from our partners, on 30 November 2007 we will unveil a new renewal and subscription procedure, as well as launch two new special edition kits. This is all part of our continual effort to enhance the value of the Microsoft Action Pack Subscription (MAPS), our quarterly toolkits of software and resources that help our Registered Partners stay competitive, meet their sales goals and grow their business. Essential courses and assessments Starting 30 November, new MAPS subscribers must take an online course and pass an assessment (with a score of 70% or higher). From 1 March 2008, those partners that would like to renew their subscription will also be required to take an online course and pass an assessment. Most courses run for an hour, while our straight...
  • We listen to you - changes that you have requested for Action Pack and where we are with them

    People often wonder what happens to the feedback provided through the blog and the Regional Support Centers, so I thought I would give you a quick update. Below are some things that you have asked for and the current status of them. I know not all the answers are what you want to hear, but at least you know we are working on things Things we have solved Problem Answer Business Contact Manager was not included in Action Pack Product will be included (probably from July) Lack of 64-bit Windows Server Shipped as a special shipment and will be standard from July pack Damaged Actions Packs and missing CDs We apologise for this and ask you to contact the regional support center for replacements. At the moment we are not getting too many complaints about this, but will monitor Can I have 64-bit Vista Hopefully this will be shipped in the next kit Things still in progress (the light is closer for these items than the 2 items in the last section) Problem Answer Downloads for AP subscribers – when will this be generally...
  • Do you want to trial Exchange Server 2007, perhaps talk to the server? If so, look at the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Hosted Trial

    I saw this over at Henrik's blog and throught it might be of interest to the SBSC community. I like this. While I discovered that demoing something like this using a free VoIP service was a bad idea, using OK quality phones delivers an amazing experience. Obviously we will not see Exchange 2007 embedded in SBS until Cougar ships, it can still be provided as a hosted service, on a 2nd machine or for a partner internally using the Action Pack copy that should ship next month (fingers crossed). For more information, pop over to Henrik's blog on the subject, including the link to the trial. Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Hosted Trial Like it was the case right after Exchange 2003 RTM, you can also sign up for an Exchange 2007 tempoary account… “Welcome to the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Hosted Trial web site. You can create a temporary account to experience the features of Exchange Server 2007 which will stay active for 5 days. Your account will be pre-populated with sample messages, calendar appointments and a...
  • Windows Vista, Windows XP, Office 2003, Exchange 2007 and Office 2007 Action Pack Update - my FAQ

    [last updated 8th Mar 2008 Please read http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2008/03/08/action-pack-subscribers-get-full-windows-vista-dvds-not-upgrades-and-they-also-get-a-copy-of-ultimate-too-plus-a-stack-of-materials-to-sell-the-product.aspx to read about how full Vista SP1 will be shipped in the Action Pack ] Inside Microsoft we have been toiling very hard to provide solutions that answer the most common feedback. To this end, perhaps slightly before all the legal stuff gets finalised, here is my FAQ on the subject, however the headlines are: You can continue to use the Windows XP and Office 2003 CDs that were supplied in your Action Pack subscription You can Upgrade from Windows Vista Business to Windows Vista Ultimate. This is not a free upgrade, however you get the benefits of this being thought of as a Not for Resale FPP copy AND it does not expire should you stop using Action Pack* (please see legal statements below) Personally I think this is an amazing offer and I am very grateful to the Windows...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Demo Showcase and Action Pack shipments

    [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 ] Ok, so we failed to hit the January shipment, which is not something I am proud of, but everyone knows that we missed the shipment and my feelings already :-) If you are wanting to Demo Vista and Office then there are a few things you can do: Load it yourself and tell people how you use it Read the case study information on the bCentral web site and tell people about UK small businesses that are benefiting from the products already Portfolio Communications goes green Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 system help PR company A portrait of a small business Photography company snaps up Windows Vista and Office 2007 Accountancy firm profits from Microsoft investment Windows Vista and Office 2007 lift Aggarwal and Co. Load one of your Action Pack instances onto a PC. If you want to upgrade to Ultimate then do so, or run...
  • How to do a clean install using the Action Pack Windows Vista Media

    [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 ] This has been discussed lots on the aliases and in the comments on this blog, so here is what I did to do a clean install. In Summary, the process was: Boot Windows XP on the machine Log in (I used an Administrator Account) Insert Vista DVD Start the Install Type in Product Key Select Advanced install Select the disk and clean install Wait for Install to complete (I am not going to talk you through entering your name etc) Log into Vista Run the "Free up Disk Space" tool from the control panel to remove the Windows.old programs If you are worried about clean installs in the future, use the backup tool to do a hard disk image backup now In pictures, it looks like this: Just to clarify a few things - yes, before you blow away your old OS, don't - you can move it to one side and then migrate any documents and then remove the...
  • Clearing up some things about Vista, Office 2007 and the 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] Hi, there has been a lot of traffic about Vista and the Action Pack, so lets cover some of those off: The DVDs for Vista are for upgrading to Vista from exisitng Windows operating system - however this does not mean that you can not do a clean install - it means that an existing OS MUST exist on the hard disk prior to the install and that the install is started from this OS Updated following 1st comment - You can do a clean install, however a previous OS must exist on the machine and the install is started from this OS. The install process will move all the old directories to windows.old and can be Vista or XP. The clean install will still take a short amount of time. It does mean that there is no need to format the hard disk - it will be a...
  • Windows Vista, Office 2007 and the Action Pack - coming very soon

    [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] I am trying to re-confirm all the details, but this is the latest information I have asked for it to be double checked so as not to upset everyone. Here is the low-down: When will the Action Pack arrive - Before the end of Jan I heard the latest shipment was delayed - It was due to the Office OPK, but should still be there by end of Jan How much is the upgrade to Ultimate Edition - Action Pack subscribers can upgrade to Vista Ultimate for $139 (USD) – per license. Visit www.WindowsAnytimeUpgrade.com/maps to learn more (not active yet) Is the version of Vista an Upgrade or bare metal install (ala recent changes to stop piracy, so not an OEM version) - This is an upgrade, just like the XP discs that ship Can I use this as home - The Action Pack...
  • 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...

(c)David Overton 2006-18