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.  

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  • Where to go to study for SBSC exam 70-282

    I have been asked a couple of times if there has been any updated info on the 70-282 exam and information on it. While looking through old blog entries I found this: A free webcast series hosted throughout the month of May by David Fabritius is being offered at MSReadiness.com. More information is available here - http://msreadiness.com/study70-282r2 . The Official SBS Blog : Studying for 70-282? This takes you to the MS Web site, where I found out that all the webcasts happened in the past, but the recording and blog are still there for you: To access the Study Group blog, visit us at http://blogs.technet.com/BackRoom . Using Self Test Software's great data bank of approved practice exam questions, we will review the material for the week on Fridays and help you check your preparedness for the actual exam. We will not only be looking at why an answer is correct, but also exploring why answers are wrong. Syllabus for 70-282 Study Group All of the sessions outlined below will be presented at 10 AM PDT on their...
  • The UK SBS Back to Basics Tour

    This will be the 1st one of these tours that I have not attended for four years. Sad times, however that doesn't mean that Mark, Sven and everyone else will not do an amazing job (in fact, to suggest otherwise would be incredibly arrogant of me). So come and see how they can help you sell more and solve more problems over the next 9 months before the end of "FY08" inside Microsoft. "FY09" is of course when SBS Cougar is due to ship, but more on that later on in "FY08"!!! SBS 'Back to Basics' New to selling Microsoft Small Business Server? Or looking for interesting ways to approach selling a Small Business Server solution to your customers? Our 'Back to Basics' seminars cover common configurations, building servers with SBS, and looking at Windows SharePoint Server as a great solution-based approach to SBS for your customers. Small Business Server OEM Pre-Installation Kit: 9am, 30 October Common Configurations with Small Business Server: 4pm, 30 October Windows...
  • Microsoft unveils more online services and additional features for Office Live

    You may well have missed this on Microsoft Press Pass, but I think all partners should read this and work out if there is even more opportunity for them. It was introduced under a title that might not have caught your attention: Microsoft Charts Its Software Services Strategy and Road Map for Businesses Company introduces “Online” services and Microsoft Office Live Workspace, solutions that combine client, server and services offerings to deliver connected computing options for people and businesses. REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 30, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today laid out the next phase in its strategy for online services, offering a road map for new offerings that synthesize client, server and services software for people and businesses. These offerings will combine elements of client-based programs with software that runs large servers and new services delivered over the Internet. The offerings announced expand Microsoft’s existing portfolio of software plus service solutions — solutions that weave together the best...
  • SBSC members now able to sell Educational licenses once changes come in on 1st November

    Grumblings about this started on the Yahoo groups and a few people e-mailed me saying that they did not like the proposed changes coming in under the Authorised Education Reseller programme which required them to be a certified partner or above. After much time, but before the changes come in, we are delighted to be able to announce that being a SBSC partner will also qualify you. Below is the announcement that Jen has asked me to forward. Microsoft Authorised Education Reseller Announcement of UK Programme Changes Overview From November 1 2007 the renewal process for Authorised Education Resellers (AERs) will change. The main requirement, in order to sell academic FPP, Open and School Agreement licensing programmes, will be either ‘Certified’ or ‘Gold Certified’ status. However I have some great news, we have managed to ensure that SBSC partners will not be affected by this change and you do not have to be ‘Certified’ or ‘Gold Certified’ so the SBSC registered partner base can still benefit. Renewal Process From...
  • An amazing deal for UK Students to get Office 2007 ULTIMATE for £39 to own or £13 per year to "rent it" - tell them all about it!

    This offer is called "The Ultimate Steal" and I have to say I can see why. Microsoft is now offering Office 2007 to university students for the sort of price that would normally suggest this was a con or stolen software, although as Steve Clayton has already verified, it is real . The Offer is simple "Get Microsoft® Office Ultimate 2007 for just £38.95 to own or £12.95 to use for one year" As I said this is only open for people in education, but if you go to The Ultimate Steal presented by Microsoft you can get lots more info. A summary, but not complete, eligibility requirements are: You must hold a valid email address at a U.K. educational institution ending in .ac.uk (for example, leina@contoso.university.ac.uk) Be actively enrolled with at least 0.5 course load. You must be able to provide proof of enrollment status (ie, student card) upon request by Microsoft. If you are unable to provide proof of enrollment, you will be required to pay the full retail price of Office Ultimate 2007 (approximate...
  • SBS rebates for partners - get up to $225 back per installation - and don't complain that we only do these in the USA - this is available in many countries, including the UK too

    I just know when a rebate offer goes up on the Microsoft web site that I will get an e-mail asking if it will be available in the UK. For this one the answer is most definitely YES. To prove that it is not a waste of time, I need you to USE the offer, i.e. sell SBS and claim back you money, CALs or D-Link wireless router. Below are the details from the UK web site, but if you go to http://www.sbsoffers.com you will be able to select your country. Since this is a limited time offer, the more you sell now, the more you make - you can make up to 50 claims under this offer!! Take advantage of these offers when you provide on-site, deployment services for Windows ® Small Business Server 2003 R2! Don’t miss this opportunity! From September 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007, the on-site services you may already provide to customers to deploy Microsoft ® Windows ® Small Business Server 2003 R2 could make you eligible to receive some great rewards. Provide on-site deployment services to your customer between September 1, 2007...
  • SBSC and small business partners get a chance to find out more about the market they sell into and Microsoft technology that is here and coming

    Want to talk to Microsoft and hear where we see the market, opportunities and key technologies? Then get to one of these (there are even more dates on the web site) :-) We are taking to the road to see you, our partners! Jump in the driver's seat and join us to find out how we plan to get your business motoring. A top Microsoft technology and business team will map out the latest developments in the server and desktop markets and take you on the journey from market opportunity to technical 'how to' demonstrations. We'll get under the hood of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system, along with the Office Ready PC, giving you detailed insights to get your business moving. And of course, we'll be outlining the route ahead for the new Windows Server 2008, with its built-in web and virtualisation technologies for increasing the reliability and flexibility of your customers' server infrastructure. Additionally we will be running exclusive SBSC pre-sessions at four of the locations...
  • Licensing with Microsoft could be easier, but the need for everyone to make money and provide options is also key

    I saw Vijay's posting on MS licensing and I have to admit I was quite amazed. 1st off it was a huge rant, it seemed to fail to understand the basics of how businesses make money and finally there was not a good suggestion on how to make it better, except to remove the ways to pay. I will do a reply to the blog later, but first I thought I would offer some insight on licensing. Why does Microsoft sell licenses Microsoft uses licensing to get paid for our products. Customers buy the license if they see the value in the products. If the customer does not see the value, they would not buy. People who say Microsoft should give it away or reduce the price seem to not understand the basic economics of supply and demand - every business, while it may have many goals, ultimately has a responsibility to the investors and this is nearly always to make money. Even when I was treasurer for a charity we needed to make money - it was probably the biggest problem we had, followed by how we deliver the services the charity...
  • New Windows Live suite live - and this is how to install on Windows x64

    I am sure many of you have seen that we launched a new wave of the Live suite (Windows Live Writer - which I am using right now, Messenger, Sign-in Assistant, Family Safety, Mail, Toolbar and Photo Gallery - which also uploaded videos to MSN Soapbox). If you want to more about these cool product, go to http://get.live.com/wl/all where it tells you that this is what you get: Connect Hotmail: Next-generation e-mail on the Web Mail: Multiple e-mail accounts on your desktop Messenger: Connect, share, and make every conversation count Find Search: Say hello to the next generation of search Toolbar: Think outside the search box Gallery: Personalize your Windows Live experience Share Spaces: Your blog, your photos, your social network SkyDrive: Password-protected online storage and sharing Photo Gallery: Edit and share photos and videos Writer: Easily publish pictures, videos, and other rich content to your blog Protect OneCare Family Safety: Help keep your kids safe online Get it together Windows Live Home: Start here...
  • The Open XML Vote (OOXML) and why I hate politics

    This is a rant and it is my opinion and does not reflect that of Microsoft or others - It is my Opinion! From 1992 to 1995 I had to write document converters - I had to pick apart binary file formats and translate them to another format. It was hard work and I JUST WISHED people would create a largely encompassing standard for documents that was documented so I did not have to do all the work myself. Role forward to today, Office is still the prominent document format (which is now documented on http://msdn.microsoft.com ), but there is a new kid in town that encompass everything that an Office document is and more. This is the Open XML document format. People have cried for years that they wanted the Office Document standard to become more than a defacto standard, they wanted it to become a format an open standard. It was always going to be large, but to cover all the features and functions available in Office, it would have to be. There is no point in the standard being something different to that used in Office...
  • How to submit your templates to Microsoft for inclusion in the Office Template site

    I saw this and thought it was amazing. If you have a template that is good and you want to make it available to others, simply package it up (save it without personal information in it) and pop along to this site ( https://services.office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/submission.aspx ) to post it. I like this - power to the people!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007 , Templates , Community
  • More on Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1)

    Having been on holiday, I did not look too far before posting my blog post on Vista SP1. Then while reading other peoples blog I discovered that there was some more excellent information out there. As always Susanne has published her communication which I am sure will be updated as more relevant information for small business partners becomes apparent. Kevin has a link to the TechNet site for SP1 on his blog . Finally a HUGE amount of information is shared on the Vista Blog and this Vista Blog entry . Some are a little upset that the GPMC is disappearing, but I've never used it on Vista, so let me know if you care one way or the other. Finally, I got my invite on Connect to sign-up for SP1, so I will let you know more as I load it and am able to share. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista , SP1 , Service Pack 1
  • New blog "hackers @ microsoft"

    A new blog has opened at Microsoft called "hackers @ microsoft". As many people know Microsoft is very strongly involved in the security arena. Part of this is having people who have hacked or now hack against our products to understand how to make them more secure. This group of people know have a voice in the blogsphere. Welcome to a new blog from Microsoft. The focus of this blog is likely to be a little different from most other blogs you'll see on blogs.msdn.com. Microsoft employs some of the best hackers in the world and actively recruits them and develops them. They work on all kinds of projects, whether it be in development, research, testing, management and of course security. Of course, there is controversy even in the word " hacker " but I don't think that should stop us from using it in the manner I think is the most appropriate. At his or her core, a true hacker is someone who is curious and wants to learn how systems work. This can and of course at Microsoft is done in...
  • The Linux is beginning to admit that Microsoft might have some good ideas, but shows that it is still important for you to code the kernel and there still is not a way to know an application will run on it!

    You know me, I like talking about Linux and when I saw these three articles I thought I had to share them. They all came out last week. The 1st article discusses the need for a bit more respect between the Windows an Linux camp. Microsoft has tried to put fact behind the arguments against Linux adoption and while some people think the surveys were doctored (they were not), they did start the discussion as to why each OS was better. I have said before that this should not be a religious discussion, but an evaluation based upon needs. In some cases people will choose Linux, in others Windows. It is nice however to have this recognised by the Linux community. While the article only discusses Microsoft's PR, there is an underlying respect beginning to grow with statements like "has a good track record in fending off competition" have to mean more than just marketing otherwise it paints most users as pretty stupid. One other thing discussed is the fact that the lack of release synchronisation causes users...
  • SBS Technet Chat Transcript published

    Hi folks, this is a really simple one - I had the pleasure of answering some questions at a TechNet chat a few weeks back - that chat has now had a polished transcript published on the web at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/chats/trans/sbs/07_0713_tn_sbs.mspx . thanks David Technorati Tags: SBS , SBS 2003 , SBS 2003 R2 , Technet , Chat
  • Microsoft, web services, new business models and small business

    In the IT market the term "change is the only constant" has been around for years (well, certainly since I left ICL where change was not constant, but that was due to the contract that dictated that everything did not change, so fell behind). Note, this post is purely the ramblings from my mind, not a statement from Microsoft in an Official or Unofficial capacity We've seen big iron, then smaller systems, the rise of SMP, the reduction in IT hardware and software costs for solutions, the rise of Microsoft servers, client server, 3-tier, clustered computing, multi-core and now internet enabled computing. There is much more, of course, to come, but how we deliver IT to customers has changed too. Of course, this is all generalised and some people have always been at one end or the other, but general acceptance is always shifting - remember the ASP business model of the late 90's - dead, yet here it is again with Software as / plus service. The pricing of some services even appears to be £0, yet...
  • Questions from today's Webcast

    I promised to load the questions from todays webcast. The blog on the webcast can be found at Slides from todays Webcast on Windows SharePoint Services on SBS (WSS v2 & WSS v3) . The Questions were: Do uploaded files take up space in the system partition or can they be stored in a different partition They can do - all files are stored in the SQL database, so moving the SQL database will move the files from the system partition. if the existing SharePoint 2 is almost empty - will you loose out anything if you upgrade? Don't upgrade it - do a clean install and then move data across Do you recommend any books for end-user/creators? If you do this search, you can see a couple of books http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=windows+sharepoint+services+book+sbs&src=IE-SearchBox - some people seem to rate the step by step book. You have a contacts list, can a specific detailed with field relevant to my business be created? Any fields can be added or removed from the WSS contacts fields, so yes, you can create...
  • Finally the internal mail arrives announcing two new SBS MVPs in the UK

    You saw it here last folks. Congratulations to both Susanne and Tim and to the existing peeps of Scott, Steve and Nick (since he works the UK patch sometimes). If you know of these two then you know they are hard working people in the SBS community and have probably already read that they have been honoured with the MVP award. They join the ranks previously blazed by Steve, Scott and Nick. I also think that Susanne might have decided that since at least 50% of the photos from the MVP site look scary, she would forgo one just now :-). Their comments about this on there blogs can be found here for Susanne and here for Tim - both humble, but the links to other pages shows what others think. New MVPs in UK Susanne Dansey: Windows Server System - Small Business Server Susanne Dansey has spent her entire career in business development in the IT industry & recognizes that the key to successful customer relationships is empathy, trust and under... Tim Long: Windows Server System - Small Business Server Tim has been...
  • Helping people remember and proving that IT people are creative - DesignIT winner, and 10 other good causes

    I read over at the IT Pros Are Artful. No, Seriously article that there is evidence that IT Pros are creative - well duh!! how else could every IT person I know worth their salt either do the magic of Star Trek's "Scotty" when nothing seems to work properly and cash is low or sell like the Best Salesman in the world . Anyway, here are some details. Alzheimer’s Network Wins Top Prize Said Dajani, a Web site manager at the Alzheimer’s Society, submitted a private communications network for Alzheimer’s patients, and a screen saver that acts as a memory aid for people with dementia. His entry earned DesignIT’s top prize. An artist’s sculpture interpreted the winning technology design, related to Alzheimer’s disease. Dajani received cash and will work with Microsoft technical evangelists to deploy his idea. The Alzheimer’s Society will receive £15,000 ($30,000 U.S.) to implement the system. Four runner-up charities will receive consulting services and software for ideas submitted on their behalf. “Personally...
  • How to use the new Security features in Vista and Internet Explorer to stop malware (spyware and viruses) from infecting your computer - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use these features in Windows Vista and understand how to be a little safer online: Phishing protection in Internet Explorer ActiveX blocking in Internet Explorer Windows Defender in Windows Vista To see the video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. I am hoping that in the near future that the WMV file will be available at new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com. At the moment it is not available there, but a copy can be found here * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and require you to download Silverlight if you don't, but it is a 1MB download How I made it I simply ran through part of my normal demo talking as I went. When presenting to...
  • Thanks Karl and Vlad in the international scene - both good guys, both staying on small business and both very sweet

    They are like chalk and cheese when you 1st meet them. I'm not going to say how, but read their blogs and I know that you will know what I mean. Both have good business sense and both are nice to people they like (I count my self in this camp most of the time). Vlad is a little more outgoing with people he doesn't like , while Karl is more of an organisation basher when they do bad (I'm just sorry it was Microsoft). Both are amazing people and business people (yes, both, not just one or the other) and since they are over the pond, I am less likely to see them with any frequency compared to the many, many, many people this side of the pond. There are others, Susan B, Dean and even Jeff although we never got much time to talk. I hope to personally say "bye for now" to people in the UK. Karl recently said some amazing things about me and I wanted to publicly say thank-you. If you have met him, you will know that his is not the loudest man in the room, yet has insight enough to make everyone...
  • Want TechNet Direct for free - that is all out software for trial and 2 support calls - simply submit two assessments to the Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit

    I have always like the Assess and win program along with the Technology Assessment Toolkit, although some say they have little to learn from it. It is one of those things where someone says "I need more stuff from Microsoft, but not anything to help me sell because I am great at that already." A partner who I respected told me that the format of the kit did not work for them, but they took the questions and used them as a checklist, added some of their own and now it works well. They also said that they don't run through the questions one after another, but have a conversation with their customer, and then fill in the blanks at the end. Anyway, the toolkit is a great way to understand more about your customer and their motivations and then plug some generic data into the engine inside Microsoft that tries to build solutions that match your customers needs. Technet Direct gives you DOWNLOAD access to almost all of Microsoft's software AND two free support calls - and you get this for FREE after...
  • bCentral Moved - now the Microsoft Small Business Centre AND a new blog too

    I blogged about this a week or so ago, but the new site is now up and running and looks pretty fabulous. Click the Image to get to the new site. You can see that it is split into two sections, for those starting a business and those growing a business. Have an explore to find out what is there that you or your customers can use. Remember that bCentral was able to draw over 1/4 million UNIQUE visitors in a month, so your customers might well be on the list. The new blog can be found at http://blogs.technet.com/smallbusiness/default.aspx - it already has some excellent entries which I will be referring to soon. ttfn David Technorati Tags: bCentral , Microsoft , Small Business
  • MicrosoftBlog.com » Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 to Launch on February 27, 2008

    Just a FYI, 6 days after my birthday Microsoft launch another storming set of products. Microsoft announced at its partner conference on July 10 that it will launch Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 together in a single launch on February 27, 2008, in Los Angeles. MicrosoftBlog.com » Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 to Launch on February 27, 2008 ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Server 2008 , Visual Studio , SQL Server 2008 , release date
  • Worldwide Partner Conference - WPC in Denver - what I know so far - Office Live and Windows Live as a platform for partners to build on

    Office Live is already a great success, but today Microsoft announced even more to make it a business for partners to make success for them and their customers. We've released information about partners, solutions and using Windows Live, sample sites and more information on how to make it a business success. Have a look at Microsoft Office Live Launches Partner Program, Helps Partners Reach Small Businesses for more information. Add to this the extra opportunities that Windows Live also brings and the new tools to build on there too ( http://partner.live.com/windowslive/ ) and you really start to get something amazing. The press release Microsoft Office Live Launches Partner Program, Helps Partners Reach Small Businesses includes a reference from Solution Canvas: Solution Canvas is a Glasgow, Scotland-based Microsoft Gold Certified Partner that uses the Microsoft Office Live platform to host justia, a powerful practice management system for small legal firms. justia offers a cost-effective solution that provides...

(c)David Overton 2006-18