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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  • Want MIX08 in the UK? Then come to ReMix08 in Brighton on 18th and 19th September and save if you book an early bird place now

    I love what goes on at these events. It would be good to see you there. Here is the little advert: Final chance to save £110 . Very limited Early Bird places left - don't say we didn't warn you! 1,000 web developers, designers, development managers and technology evangelists are going to take the media they love to the next level. Why? Because ReMix UK 08 is getting bigger and better. Scott Guthrie Developer Track Bill Buxton Design and UX Track For Designers, Developers, the Community and Beyond Work Julie Howell, Fortune Cookie • Brendan Dawes, Magnetic North • Paul Foster, Microsoft Evangelist • Guy Smith-Ferrier, Capella • Tim Regan, Microsoft Research • Mike Taulty, Microsoft Developer Evangelist See the website for the growing list of speakers... What's in the mix • Panel discussions to Interactive Mash Ups • Designers and developers hand-in-hand to • All day VJs to conceptual walls • Open Source project, CodePlex • Backnetwork to Moo cards • Photosynth master classes to Microsoft Surface • Our...
  • Want to legally download Microsoft Software (Vista, Office, Works, Maths and Expression) - go to the www.MicrosoftStore.co.uk (UK & Germany for now)

    I would have put money on this not happening this year, but finally there is a legal place for people to download full copies of Microsoft products. Go to http://www.MicrosoftStore.co.uk and you can buy software and download it there and then. At the moment this is limited to the UK and Germany, but I would personally expect it to go broader like all Microsoft ventures! I suspect the list of products will also expand. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Windows Vista , Office 2007 , Works 9 , Expression , Buy , Download , Shop
  • Silverlight Adoption Expected to Triple .. especially when you look at what is in V2

    Forward looking statements are always risky, but I do see Silverlight popping up all over the place. Even the next rev of the theme for this website will be based on Silverlight. in a recent article Evans Data claimed that Silverlight Adoption Expected to Triple . Evans Data official says Microsoft's support of its products will drive the growth of the company's alternative to Adobe Flash over the next 18 months. Despite Adobe Flash's dominance in the world of rich Internet applications, Microsoft's competing offering, Silverlight, is expected to triple its market share, according to a market researcher. In an interview with eWEEK, John Andrews, president and CEO of Evans Data, said that over the next 12 to 18 months, Silverlight should triple its market share. "Flash is the incumbent, the leader," Andrews said. "If you look at Flex, AIR [Adobe Integrated Runtime], Silverlight and Eclipse RCP [Rich Client Platform], all of them have smaller market share. But if you look at the next...
  • Where will your customers be looking for solutions – will they stick to on premise, or will they move towards a S+S or SaaS solution not from you?

    I know the table above is really, really simple, but I wanted to start the ball rolling – I have been thinking about this for ages!! Let me explain the diagram. The horizontal axis signifies how much of a solution is hosted. An example of this might be Office Live or Hotmail, where almost all of the solution is hosted. We then have the “on premise” or on-site IT going vertically. For most people, this is solutions like SBS 2003. A typical S+S solution might be MS CRM Online which has online components, but also enables you to go off-web and use Outlook or one of the mobile clients when on the road. While many thought on-line would be the next best thing even the king of on-line, Google, have recently admitted that it would not always be the answer in the posting they made on April 1st. Steve Clayton did the leg work and checked this was not form of April fool too!! Even the NY Times is talking about it, which to me says it really is going mainstream - http://www.nytimes.com/idg/IDG_002570DE00740E180025742400363509...
  • How to get DNS and DHCP working on a Windows Server from behind the Windows Firewall

    I have a Windows Home Server at home and I decided I wanted it to be responsible for handing out DHCP and DNS addresses in the house. All very good, but when I set up the services none of it worked because of the built in Windows Firewall. While I could have just turned off the Firewall I decided to learn how to put the holes into the firewall to make it work with the firewall, thus maintaining better security. A quick search of the web showed me many settings, but it did not seem to cover the whole picture – then I came across the MS site Windows Firewall Settings which has things broken down into these four handy sections that shall for ever more be my guides to ports and firewalls in the Microsoft world. What is more, as you will see later, the tips in here as to how to get things working, getting over common hurdles is quite stunning too: Windows Firewall Settings: Optional Components Windows Firewall Settings: Remote Administration Tools Windows Firewall Settings: Server Roles Windows Firewall Settings: Services...
  • How UKSBSGUY.com and DavidOverton.com use Dynamic DNS and why it broke the site … anyone have a better provider?

    Hi, My site is hosted by me on the end of a dynamically changing IP address (well, it could change, but has not for about 18 months). To get round this I have bought a number of domains, but they are all changed and updated by a magical piece of software that sits on my server that updates the DNS records for my domains whenever they change. This would be great, except for the fact that having had network/ISP trouble I now have Dynamic DNS trouble: When it works it is great, when not, it is very poor. In this case my provider is http://www.deerfield.com and I use their DNS2Go service – I’ve not found anyone better, so if you have a recommendation, let me know. One nice feature for these guys is that the 1 tool updates 5 domains ( http://davidoverton.com , http://uksbsguy.com , http://ukvistaguy.com are the main 3). If this all sounds a bit wondrous, here, in pictures are the steps: My basic architecture consists of my server, the Dynamic DNS provider, my Domain Registrar, you and the software provided: To set...
  • Making peace between web designers and developers - watch the movie

    This is a nice simple cheeky movie: ";" galleryimg="no" mce_src="http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/WindowsLiveWriter/Makingpeacebetweenwebdesignersanddevelop_E257/videofe25ed816e48.jpg"> It is all about and the finding some . Enjoy David Technorati Tags: Developer , Designer , Harmony , Web-harmony , XAML , Expression
  • If you liked the Deep Zoom (aka Sea Dragon) tool, then you will be blown away by the preview of the Deep Zoom Composer

    I created my Star Wars Deep Zoom preview and really liked it, but then contacted the author of the site to see how I could add more pictures and control the layout &/or host it myself. Normally when I ask these sorts of questions I get a response about "later" and "out of beta", but instead I got pointed to these 3 articles and I have to say Wow!! You can see what someone can do with this technology at The Hard Rock Cafe - http://memorabilia.hardrock.com/ Download the Preview of the Deep Zoom Composer What is the Deep Zoom Composer? Deep Zoom Composer allows you to quickly import your own images, arrange and position them to your liking, and export the final output as either a Deep Zoom Image or Collection that can be fed into Silverlight's MutliScaleImage control. This means that you too can use your own images and display them using our Deep Zoom technology. Download the Deep Zoom Composer However, having done this I needed a simple user guide. At this point the blog Expression Blend...
  • How to Report a Problem Page in IE8 with the Report a Problem Webpage for Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta Add-On

    I've spent the day using IE8 and while it is faster, some pages have problems. If your seeing this, download this add-on to submit to Microsoft. Report a Webpage Problem Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta Add-On The Microsoft Report a Webpage Problem Internet Explorer Add-on allows the user to submit a report to Microsoft for webpages they believe are having rendering problems, scripting errors, or various other types of problems Download details: Report a Webpage Problem Internet Explorer 8.0 Beta Add-On To use, go to the tools menu and select Report a Webpage Problem Then you get to submit a page like this: thanks David Technorati Tags: Beta , Microsoft , IE8 , Internet Explorer , Application Compatibility , Support
  • Microsoft SQL Server Data Services - more online services announced this week

    This is one big week for developers (as Mix was always going to be). We now also have data services in the cloud ( http://www.microsoft.com/sql/dataservices/default.mspx ) On-demand Scalability SQL Server Data Services (SSDS) are highly scalable, on-demand data storage and query processing web services. Businesses use storage resources as needed transforming large upfront capital and operations expenditures into much smaller on-demand costs. On-demand storage and access Store and query your data virtually any time, anywhere on the web. Use and pay for storage resources as you go. Scales easily as your data grows Take advantage of virtually no restriction on the amount of data stored. Use the same service interfaces for your storage needs at any scale. Easy to manage Easy to use web-based service for provisioning, deployment, and monitoring. Lights-out manageability and commodity hardware for lowest service cost. Business-ready SLA SQL Server Data Services are built using robust Microsoft SQL Server database technologies...
  • Internet Explorer (IE8) beta 1 now available ... Wow

    We all new that the super standards mode was coming, but look at all the announcements today, including the downloads : IE8 and CSS 2.1 Testing Since I joined the IE team at the beginning of 2007, it has become clear to me how important it is for web developers to predict how a given browser will work. I’ve certainly heard and read how very important it is to web developers to minimize the cost IE8 and JScript As Dean mentioned yesterday in his post announcing the availability of the Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 for developers , better script performance is of particular interest to the developer community. In conjunction with Dean’s announcement, the JScript Activities and WebSlices in Internet Explorer 8 If you’re like me, you’ve found that it’s pretty hard to keep track of all the new services and sites out there, let alone the ones we use every day. I bookmark my favorite sites and services, but still spend a lot of time trying to find them. A couple IE8 and IP Licensing Some of the first things users may notice...
  • Office Live Workspace is now available (in beta) for all - aka Windows SharePoint Services for all small businesses

    According to the site Workspaces (WSS for Office Live users) is now not quite out of beta, but still has a lot to offer: Anywhere Access Save 1000+ Microsoft Office documents in one place Access them from almost any computer with a Web browser No more flash drives or sending yourself documents via e-mail Learn more Share with Others Invite people to your workspace You control who can view, comment, and edit your documents Stop manually merging versions from multiple people Learn more Extend the Microsoft Office Experience Open and save files directly from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Synchronize contact, task, and event lists with Outlook No need to learn a new program Learn more In terms of what is actually new: Public availability of Office Live Workspace beta at http://workspace.officelive.com with immediate access and no waitlist (English language version only) The easy way to save Office documents to/from the web Organise documents and projects online and work on them from almost any computer (full Firefox...
  • Microsoft Online Services - beta in US, international .. not for a while yet, but you get to see where Microsoft is going!

    What is it? I know Vlad is not going to like this, but even he will admit that this has been on the cards for a while. Software plus services is coming to town in a bigger and bigger way. At the moment there is a limited beta in the US and (just like Google), it has the beta tag on it . So what have we seen today, well we have seen Microsoft stand up and be counted in it's commitment to the software-plus-services strategy. We have seen existing "on premise" solutions of Exchange and SharePoint be offered as a S+S (software-plus-services) alternative for those customers who don't wish to run these themselves. There is no "must switch" or "dropping" of the existing, very successful products, just more options for people. As a customer you would consider whether you get better value running these in-house yourself, or with a partner delivering them for you in-house, or completely outsources to another partner or Microsoft. As a partner you have to consider how you deliver in...
  • 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...
  • Is your network going to be IPv6 ready?

    You remember IPv6 - it was that thing that people didn't like in Vista and tried to turn it off? Well it is coming and it is coming quickly. I saw this and thought I would remind everyone that what you know about IPv4 is no longer going to be enough. Is your network technology and software up to the task? Switch To IPv6 On Internet's Root Servers Begins The current version -- IPv4, which can accommodate 4.3 billion addresses -- would have run out of addresses by 2012, experts predict. The switch to a new Internet address format has begun, as Web overseers look to provide a pool of virtually unlimited addresses to support the growing number of Internet-connected devices. On Monday, records written in IPv6 were added to the Internet's root servers, making it possible for the first time for computer systems to communicate via the Web using only the new format, the London-based BBC news agency reported. The development marks a milestone in the conversion from IPv4. Switch To IPv6 On Internet's Root...
  • Web Developers were just tooo smart for their own good - they got web pages to look just right in IE6 and didn't see Microsoft fixing the compatibility issues (or some of them) for IE7. Now IE8 has to clean up it's and others mess

    OK, so the title is mine, but you can see here how the defacto standard that was IE4/5/6 meant that people thought IE7 would live by the same rules. If you care about "standards based websites" then the IE team blog on compatibility is a must for you. Compatibility and IE8 In Dean’s recent Internet Explorer 8 and Acid2: A Milestone post, he highlighted our responsibility to deliver both interoperability (web pages working well across different browsers) and backwards compatibility (web pages working well across different versions of IE). We need to do both, so that IE8 continues to work with the billions of pages on the web today that already work in IE6 and IE7 but also makes the development of the next billion pages (in an interoperable way) much easier. Continuing Dean’s theme, I’d like to talk about some steps we are taking in IE8 to achieve these goals. I’ve been on the IE team for over a decade, and I’ve seen us apply the “Don’t Break the Web” rule in six different major versions of IE in different...
  • Official Google Blog on Microsoft and Yahoo and David Overton's thoughts on it

    This is a personal rant. If you want to read on, please do so, if not, thanks for getting this far. Oh I love how people wave flags "for the greater good" when they really mean "for my own good". Today I saw something that just made me have to comment. Unless you have been in a bunker, you should be aware that Microsoft have made a bid for Yahoo. Google, who obviously care greatly about Yahoo decided to have a pop at it: Yahoo! and the future of the Internet The openness of the Internet is what made Google -- and Yahoo! -- possible. A good idea that users find useful spreads quickly. Businesses can be created around the idea. Users benefit from constant innovation. It's what makes the Internet such an exciting place. So Microsoft's hostile bid for Yahoo! raises troubling questions. This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It's about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation. Could Microsoft now attempt...
  • How to Disable Internet features of Office 2007

    I saw this go around on a thread at work and I have seen it requested for those security conscious partners, so here is the answer (courtesy of Eric Ellis): 1) Via the Office Customisation Tool (OCT) and a custom MSP: — or — 2) Via Group Policy: The difference between the two is that using the OCT will preset the desired configuration during the initial installation (or in a maintenance mode change), but users can change the settings if they desire. Group policy enforces the desired configuration, and if a user makes a change to the setting, they will revert back to the settings defined in the policy during the next application session. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007 , Security , Internet , Group Policy , Office Customisation Tool , OCT
  • If you are a developer, what can Windows 2008 do for your developments... lots maybe

    Sorry to sound so vague, but I have to start by saying that Windows Server 2008 is a server platform, not a cure for cancer, so lets put it in perspective and set our expectations high, but not stupidly high expecting it to be revolution. Server 2008 is a quality evolution of Windows Server 2003 and extends and enhanced the Server 2003 offerings. However, if you plan on building applications for the future then Server 2008 will be the place to be. Microsoft have released a document called the "Windows Server 2008 Developer Story" that has a wealth of information on Server 2008 developer directions and how they combine to offer something greater than the sum of the parts. The download site describes itself as: Windows Server 2008 Developer Story An executable containing the Windows Server 2008 Developer Story The Windows Server 2008 Developer Story introduces users to new features of the Windows Server 2008 operating system by providing a cohesive story about how the features fit together to make a compelling...
  • Free Developer Events (IIS7, ASP.net 3.5, SharePoint, Windows Server 2008, Web services, SOAP, REST, Windows Live Platform, Visual Studio 2007, Silverlight and Smart Client development)

    Free Developer Events for Customers & Partners: MSDN: Microsoft’s Web Platform. IIS7 and ASP.NET 3.5 Date: 08 January 2008 Location: Reading MSDN: Sharepoint for Developers Date: 10 January 2008 Location: London MSDN: Windows Server 2008 for developers Date: 17 January 2008 Location: Manchester MSDN: Windows Server 2008 for developers Date: 23 January 2008 Location: Edinburgh MSDN: Windows Server 2008 for developers Date: 24 January 2008 Location: Edinburgh MSDN: Building Services: .NET FX 3.5, SOAP, REST, and Beyond Date: 29 January 2008 Location: Reading MSDN: Developing on the Windows Live Platform Date: 30 January 2008 Location: Birmingham MSDN: Web, Web, Web : Visual Studio 2008, ASP.NET 3.5 and Silverlight Date: 31 January 2008 Location: Bristol MSDN: What’s new in Smart Client Development Date: 31 January 2008 Location: Bradford Find out about all MSDN events ttfn David Technorati Tags: IIS7 , ASP.net 3.5 , SharePoint , Windows Server 2008 , Web services , SOAP , REST , Windows Live Platform , Visual...
  • Partner Perspectives : There's a new breed of Web Solution partners

    If you work in the ISV / developer end of the market then there is a chance you will have met Katy already, however here is a person who is passionate about people who design and deliver solutions. When I first sat down and "worked" with Katy (rather than chatting several times previously) it was when I was new to the ISV team and Katy was a beacon of information. Once we had the ISV "bit" done we then spent a considerable amount of time looking at what designers and web developers needed in life. Now, as if by magic she now has a new area of focus... read more at Partner Perspectives : There's a new breed of Web Solution partners . Oh, and yes, it is about Silverlight, Expression Web and more!! There's a new breed of Web Solution partners Katy Hamilton's got something up her sleeve. It's a new brand of partners - the Web Solution partners. The move towards next-gen web applications such as Silverlight and web tools such as Expressions has opened up a whole load of new opportunities...
  • BBC NEWS | TV rivals (BBC, ITV, C4) form on-demand service

    I saw this and had to share. I signed up to the BBC iPlayer service and it is very good. Now all 3 major TV channel providers are looking to put make everything available under one hood ... fantastic. From the BBC news site - BBC NEWS | Entertainment | TV rivals form on-demand service TV rivals form on-demand service Channel 4's Ugly Betty is one of the shows likely to be on the service The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are to launch a joint on-demand service, which will bring together thousands of hours of television programmes in one place. The service is set to go live in 2008 and will offer viewers access to current shows and archive material. Plans will have to be approved by the BBC Trust and the other broadcasters' boards, and a name for the service will be unveiled ahead of its launch. The three broadcasters currently offer their own separate on-demand services. The BBC's iPlayer and ITV's catch-up service will continue to exist along the new online "aggregator", which will provide a...
  • MSDN Events in November (Silverlight dynamic applications, SharePoint, SQL Server 2008, web applications and Smart Client) and not in Reading, but Manchester, Edinburgh, Bradford, Birmingham and Bristol ... and one in Reading

    MSDN Events – Free Technical Events for Your Partners We have the following free MSDN developer events taking place as listed below covering various topics/technologies. It would be great if you could communicate these events with your partners to offer them the opportunity to receive technical 'know-how' demos and insights into our latest technologies. · 15 November 2007, Manchester MSDN: Building Dynamic Web Applications with Microsoft Silverlight · 20 November 2007, Edinburgh MSDN: SharePoint for Developers · 21 November 2007, Edinburgh MSDN: SharePoint for Developers · 22 November 2007, Bradford MSDN: SQL Server 2008 · 27 November 2007, Reading MSDN: An Introduction to the Microsoft Web Platform (and how do it for zip, nvada, zero cost to you) · 28 November 2007, Birmingham MSDN: Web, Web, Web: Visual Studio 2008, ASP.NET 3.5 and Silverlight · 29 November 2007, Bristol MSDN: What’s new in Smart Client Development Click Here If you wish to view the overall events homepage. ttfn David Technorati Tags...
  • Windows Live Writer 2008 - including Vista x64 support, more languages, better compatibility with more blogging services

    I use Windows Live writer for blogging - it does everything I need, well, except write my blogs for me, The latest version has finally released and not as a beta. For a UK version, go to http://g.live.com/1rewlive/en/WLInstaller.exe or follow the link below for all other versions. Finally Final! Published November 6th, 2007 Atom , Windows Live Writer We’re thrilled to bring you the final version of Windows Live Writer 2008 –our first non-beta release! We haven’t added many major new features since Beta 3. We’ve been focused on polishing off our more egregious remaining bugs, while trying hard not to introduce any regressions . Highlights Vista x64 support is back. And not a moment too soon. Generic AtomPub support. Server implementers should see this post and the links therein for excruciating detail. Support for more spell checking languages. Still not nearly as many as we would like, but it’s a start. We also made English spell checking available in all builds. Localized versions for lots of new languages/markets...
  • Microsoft Passes OpenAjax Alliance Interop Tests

    More evidence that Microsoft is playing very nicely with its "open" buddies. The Open Ajax Alliance has confirmed that Microsoft has passed its interop tests. Microsoft Passes OpenAjax Alliance Interop Tests By Darryl K. Taft Microsoft joins several other companies and open-source projects in meeting OpenAjax guidelines. Microsoft has passed the OpenAjax Alliance's suite of interoperability tests to prove that its software can interoperate with other parts of the OpenAjax ecosystem. On the eve of the AJAX World Conference and Expo 2007 West taking place Sept. 23-26 in Santa Clara, Calif., Microsoft officials said the Redmond, Wash., company's software passed the OpenAjax InteropFest 1.0 tests and is interoperable with other AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) components in the OpenAjax ecosystem through the OpenAjax Hub. The OpenAjax Hub is a set of standard JavaScript functionalities defined by the OpenAjax Alliance, with strong focus on being small and fast. Brad Abrams, a project manager...

(c)David Overton 2006-18