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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  • VDI and great video performance using RemoteFX (and licensing it)

    Having written a little about VDI and RHSD the other day, I see that Register has an item about RemoteFX and playing games.  This uses the technology of RDS as well as either VDI or RSHD. While you can play games, Windows 7 renders in all it’s glory too.  One word of warning from a licensing front.  If you are using RemoteFX then you will need an RDS CAL when you are buying the licenses as RemoteFX is licensed by the RDS CAL and remote admin tasks that you can do on a server without needing a RDS CAL does not include playing games (IMHO).  You also need to check that you have a client device that can handle RemoteFX.  While platforms like Citrix, Quest and VMware will enable various remote access technologies that do not use RemoteFX (Citrix and Quest will even allow the use of their own technology or RemoteFX) the device chosen still requires the capabilities to display the high quality applications and games, even if not enough to process it all in the first place! For example, for Citrix...
  • Understanding more about Desktop Virtualisation–VDI and RHSD and how to license it

    [updated 12-Jan 2012 with images and notes about a hosted solution] This is part two of the discussion around VDI and RHSD and this section looks at licensing.  I am frequently asked questions about Microsoft licensing as I look after the relationship between Citrix and Microsoft in the UK. I often hear people getting confused about how to license, or even worse, assuming that licenses are somehow free when using a VDI or DV (Desktop Virtualisation) solution. Having seen the article at Computer Weekly I decided I would share some thoughts on how to get it right. I should say, while I have a lot of experience, always talk to a Microsoft Licensing Specialist . Always! The second comment is that these are my thoughts and experiences not those of Microsoft’s. Always verify your understanding of licensing with a specialist.  Get out the legal documents if required (I do link to the relevant sections) and get formal comments from a certified licensing specialist if you require it. Microsoft licensing moves...
  • Need to buy a copy of Windows 7 or Office 2007 for someone in education - get an educational discount

    HI, I've been asked this many times, so I thought I would blog on it.  Microsoft offers great discounts for people in education (beyond those who work in education).  The best options are: For university students: http://www.microsoft.com/student/discounts/theultimatesteal-uk/default.aspx - – Office £38.95, Windows 7 Pro - £30 For any age group in education - Office 2007 for around £39- £52 depending on which edition (Standard to Enterprise) and Windows 7 upgrades for £40-56 depending on the edition http://www.software4students.co.uk/ http://www.rm.com/shops/thebasement/Range.aspx?nguid=480909c5-102c-4700-8739-f3feedbb6a6d http://www.rm.com/shops/thebasement/Range.aspx?nguid=59137e0c-6185-4d95-a360-a680d60636ea     There are obviously some conditions you have to meet to qualify to use these products and each site has information about them.  If you are in full time education or a parent of someone who is then you likely qualify.  To learn more about Microsoft and education in...
  • What are the legal options for Licensing Windows 7 or Windows Vista? Or how to avoid mis-licensing

    I’m often told that Microsoft licensing is complex, but what I actually find are that this either translates to “I have too many choices - ahhhh!” or “I can’t license in the way I want to” or “I can’t find the information I want to”. Option 1 is always going to happen – the more choice, the more complexity in making the right choice. Option 2 is often “I don’t want to buy lose licenses, why do I have to..” and Option 3 is poor communications on the part of Microsoft. To help with the Option 3 situation there is a new guide on the Microsoft Partner portal that explains one of the areas I’m often asked about – i.e. Windows client licensing. It is really simple. Here are the rules in summary (non-legally binding and please read the guide for full details): A PC has to licensed with a Full retail product (FPP, bought from a shop) or supplied with an OEM license (the OEM option can’t be used after the PC has been bought...
  • Microsoft catches up with illegal software seller

    I’ve been asked in the past why Microsoft didn’t take more action against rogue software resellers. We do and you will have seen adverts about this recently, but I saw this and thought I would share. My advice – if the price looks too good to be true, it is. Microsoft catches up with ITAC owner Barry Omesuh receives custodial sentence and could be forced to sell properties to pay £2.5m fine for parallel importing Written by Kayleigh Bateman CRN , 27 Jan 2009 Software giant Microsoft has claimed a "major victory" in its long-running piracy battle with now defunct Manchester based sub-distributor ITAC. ITAC managing director Barry Omesuh was given a total of seven custodial sentences at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, ranging between one and nine months and to be served concurrently, and also ordered to pay £2.5m in damages. Included in the court order was a grant to Microsoft enabling it to sell Omesuh's properties in order to pay his debts. Despite ITAC having...
  • Small Business Server 2008 downgrade rights questions and answers

    Last night I was at the Merseyside Partner group in Liverpool and once question that got asked again (and was in TPV and London too) was around downgrade rights from SBS 2008 to SBS 2003, so I dug for about 30 seconds and found these items on the Licensing FAQ site Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008 : Q: What are downgrade rights? How do I exercise them? A: Downgrade rights, in general, means that you can use an earlier version of the software acquired. For Windows Small Business Server, this means you are allowed to install and use Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Premium Edition instead of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition, which is what you purchased. You can also install and use Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition instead of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard Edition. At any time, you can install the software you purchased and cease to use the earlier version. If you obtained your server with Windows Small Business Server preinstalled from a partner...
  • How to sell Hosted CRM (CRM Online) in the UK and still retain your customers and a good profit – by working with Increase CRM

    [updated with contact details at 16:38] I have a partners or two that are looking to implement CRM internally and through the conversations about how they could do this came to know of the guys at Increase CRM. The good folks at Increase CRM seem to understand how SBSC partners think because the offerings they have for referral and resellers seem to be quite good to me. if you want the brochure on the subject, let me know, but here is the important piece for partners: What is the Referral Program? Partners in the Referral Program refer their customers to Increase CRM and we offer hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM and support services directly to the customer. Typically, the partner will provide implementation consulting services and may choose to provide first and second line support. Referral Partner Commissions The Referral Program guarantees partners commissions from any customers referred to Increase CRM: Subscribers Commission 5-10 100% of the first month’s subscription fees 11-50 200% of the first month’s subscription...
  • 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...
  • ISVs can learn about Microsoft’s strategy and products and how they fit into selling solutions – come to the events in TVP and Manchester on the 10th and 24th April

    One of the biggest criticisms of Microsoft by our ISV partners is that they don’t know where we are going… well this even should help solve that – see you there perhaps: Introduction 09.30 - 10.00 Registration & coffee 10.00 – 10.15 Welcome & Introduction Deliver Innovative Solutions 10.15 – 10.45 Microsoft strategy direction 10.45 – 11.30 Microsoft technology roadmap 11.30 – 11.50 Coffee break Increase your opportunities 11.50 – 12.15 Marketing & sales initiatives Close more sales 12.15 – 12.30 Services & licensing for sales acceleration Support your Customers 12.30 – 12.45 Technical support resources 12.45 – 13.00 Wrap up with Q&A 13.00 – 14.00 Lunch & networking 10 th Apr, Chicago 1, TVP Registration url: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032373283&Culture=en-GB 24 th Apr, The Lowry, Manchester Registration url: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032373286&Culture=en-GB Enjoy the event! ttfn David Technorati Tags: ISV , Microsoft...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Open License Media can now be purchased and downloaded online

    Open Licence media now available online Open Licence customers in the UK can now buy media online directly from Microsoft, which will potentially reduce the amount of time and money you currently spend on fulfilling Open Licence media orders. Download the Open Media Re-engineering Guide for Partners and a customer-facing presentation . eOpen allows you to: Create and retain personalized views of Open License purchase history information Review your license agreement and product use rights Update your license contact information online View Open License purchases made in more than 180 countries Find and download software available under your license agreements Access your Volume License Product Key to install your software ttfn David Technorati Tags: eOpen , Open License , Licensing , Microsoft
  • Where Customers may obtain License Keys for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

    I've been asked this a few times, so attached is the response I got from the nice Product peeps here in the UK. Since the easiest way to share was a picture - here it is :-) It covers the following license types: Trial MSDN/Technet MSPP MAPS VL BRL SPLA ISV Royalty Again, see http://www.uksmbgirl.co.uk/blog/archives/320 for more information on MS CRM and http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2008/01/17/microsoft-dynamics-crm-4-0-ready-for-download.aspx for download information. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Licensing , MS CRM , CRM
  • New Small Business Oriented blog - Microsoft Police (entry on licensing) and Vista bloody Vista (who's fault is it when things don't work on Vista)

    Susanne Dansey pointed this out to me - Dave is doing some excellent blogging! I like both these entries from January. One discussed the rights and wrongs of what to do with a customer who will not license legally. My personal opinion here is that if they won't pay a software company, how long until they will avoid paying the services company for a quality job. Dave's second post is dealing with someone who has been told that Vista is poor and blames anything that does not work under Vista on Microsoft. I'm not saying that Microsoft is never to blame, but it is nice to see posts like this coming out of the woodwork. Microsoft Police There has been a lot of chatter in the newsgroups recently about Microsoft licensing and what to do if you think the legality of clients software is suspect. Here is my opinion. Funny that, it being my blog Simple, get them to become legitimate (or legal) or walk away. Let’s clarify this. Why I said legitimate or legal is because these can be two separate things....
  • Quick licensing question and answer - the 5 licenses (CALs) that ship with SBS 2003 in the box, are they per user or per device?

    I have seen this question asked several time so thought I would share this one on the blog: http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2003/sbs/techinfo/overview/licensingfaq.mspx Q. How do I know which mode I have selected? A. For the first 5 CALs that come with the server, you should complete the CAL license document. There is a field for writing in whether you would like to choose per user or per device CALs. For CAL add-on packs there are separate SKUs for per user and per device. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 , Licensing , CALs , Per User , Per Device
  • Dissent in the Open Source world between GPL 2 & GPL 3 - Linus Torvalds will be sticking with GPL 2

    I personally don't mind which license type someone chooses to deliver their product with, but I think it should never be used as a shotgun against the developers, contributors or organisations that have been using / developing the software to force them into agreements that were unrecognised prior to that use. GPL 3 was hijacked (in my very personal opinion) by a small group to change the meaning of "free" and change the ethos of the GPL. Today I read that I am not the only person who feels that way. In the interview at InfoWorld, Linus Torvalds, the inventor of Linux explains why he believes GPL 2 is for him. After all, just because someone releases an alternative version of a license, you don't have to use it!! Linux creator Linus Torvalds, in an interview being made public by the Linux Foundation Tuesday, stressed that version 2 of the GPL (GNU General Public License) still makes the most sense for the Linux kernel over the newer GPL version 3. GPL 3, which was released last year by the Free...
  • Lots of Partner training (new url) - Licensing 101, Sales 101, Office PerformancePoint, Office Business Applications (OBA), Enterprise Search, SharePoint Services and Server 2007, Office Communications Server 2007, Infrastructure Optimisation (IO) ...

    [updated with a working URL] Partner Licensing 101 – The next one is being held on the 4 th December 2007 This session will equip sales people with a top level knowledge that will enable them to talk to new and existing customers about Microsoft licensing. Target Audience: This session is aimed primarily at sales people from all Partner types, although it is appropriate for all Partner roles whether in Sales, Purchasing or Technical. The course is ideal for new starters looking for a good introduction to Microsoft licensing or just a great as a refresher for those who have taken a break from Microsoft licensing. This session is suitable for people who present technology solutions to customers from a non-technical perspective and need to demonstrate the correct way for customers to purchase. Click Here to register For further information please contact Carla Symonds. Partner Sales 101 - The next one is being held on the 5 th December 2007 - Aim: This session will equip sales people with the knowledge and skills...
  • Want Office 2007 with a 50% discount? You have until Christmas to upgrade and get a 50% discount with Open Value Subscription

    Again, browsing the small business blog and I thought this was very interesting: Why wait? Upgrade now to 2007 Office and save 50% Until 31 December 2007 you can get a 50% discount off the 2007 Microsoft Office system when you upgrade through the Microsoft Open Value subscription programme. Why do it this way? Because you get a huge discount, you can manage your payments over three years to help your cash flow, you’ll receive a single agreement for all your software licences, and get the benefit of Microsoft Software Assurance, which offers version upgrades and training and partner services. Learn more about the benefits of upgrading here . Microsoft's Small Business Blog : Why wait? Upgrade now to 2007 Office and save 50% ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007 , UK , Discounts
  • Microsoft gets official open-source blessing from OSI for two of its licenses

    Many times Microsoft has been barracked for its "anti-open source" stance, which quite frankly has never existed. However, since we have always made software available under various licenses, it was decided that it was time to get these officially recognise by the people behind the dreaded GPL (that is my humour btw). Not everyone is happy about it as can be read at http://robertogaloppini.net/2007/10/18/open-source-at-microsoft-microsofts-licenses-get-approved-by-osi/ . Microsoft's desire to protect what it considers to be its intellectual property is seen as a threat by some in the open source world. However if you look at MSDN, it has, I suspect, millions of lines of code for people to borrow, use and then sell. I would call that open source of one type as well as codezone for another. In fact, as I have always understood it, Microsoft does not care how you develop or release you code, providing you do it legally! I think Microsoft gets official open-source blessing from OSI for two of its licenses...
  • How to save money when offering licensing to small businesses in the UK at the moment

    [updated to remove some inaccuracies about Susanne's microspeak - sorry Susanne] There are always special offers of some form or another from most companies and Microsoft is no exception (well, except in August when we are still in post financial year clean up :-)). Anyway, the UK SMB Girl aka Susanne Dansey at Westcoast has listed a couple of these.: N-3 Open Value Subscription Offer Promotion ends: 31 December 2007 Programme: OV Subscription Up-to-Date Discount (UTD) is a 50 per cent discount in OV Subscription for the first year invoice for any licence for the current (N) or previous (N-1) version of the selected Small Business or Professional Desktop platform products. For the OVS N-3 promo eligibility for receiving the 50 per cent discount is granted to N-3 versions of Office licences (back to Office 2000). Promtional SKUs are identified on the price list by the word ‘Promo’. Future proofing Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Here’s a heads up to all Microsoft Partners thinking about licensing...
  • IE 7 Update Drops WGA Validation Requirement

    I thought it was worth sharing this - IE 7 will be available to everyone, even those people who "have not paid" for their Windows XP OS. Many people seem to think this is purely an anti-firefox move ( http://www.websearchguide.ca/netblog/archives/006622.html ) IE 7 Update Drops WGA Validation Requirement Microsoft is making its Internet Explorer 7 browser available to all Windows XP users—even those using pirated software—and installation will no longer require that the operating system first be validated as genuine. The company said the move is about security and ecosystem safety, because if even one user in a network is not using the security enhancements provided in IE 7, that user places the entire network at risk. "Microsoft takes its commitment to help protect the entire Windows ecosystem seriously, and we're taking a step to help make consumers safer online. We feel the security enhancements to Internet Explorer 7 are significant enough that it should be available as broadly as possible...
  • 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...
  • Windows Server Virtualization Calculators - what is the best way to license Windows Server when using Virtualised environments

    I saw this and thought I would pass it on since I was talking to one of my customers about this yesterday. To get to the two calculators go to Windows Server Virtualization Calculators Windows Server Virtualization Calculators The Windows Server Virtualization Calculators provide two ways to estimate the number and cost of Windows Server Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition and Datacenter Edition licenses needed for your virtualization scenarios to help you determine the most cost-effective edition of Windows Server. Calculator 1 is designed to estimate the licenses and cost of Windows Server by editions and numerous Microsoft server products on a single, physical server. Calculator 2 is designed to estimate the licenses and cost of only Windows Server by edition for one or multiple physical servers. The calculators are pre-populated with the US dollar Open agreement Estimated Retail Prices that you can update with your organization's prices for more accurate estimates. Calculator 1 lets you interactively...
  • Replying to Vijay's "Who understands Microsoft Licensing?" blog - why I think he is right and wrong

    Nothing like a blog entry on licensing to stir the people into action. Vijay posted a "small" post - Who understands Microsoft Licensing? . I'm now going to respond to both the main blog post and also some of the comments. I highly recommend you read the entry, the comments (some are included below, also for comment) and the linked blogs, especially the entry by Adam at Sorting out the complexity of Microsoft Volume Licensing as well as the others My conclusion to this question is that hardly anyone understands Microsoft Licensing. I’ve been to quite a few Microsoft Partner events and when the above question above is asked there is usually a very low number of businesses who say they understand it. This feedback is given time and time again but nothing really changes. The solution isn’t explaining it over and over again or writing Licensing Reseller Handbooks. If you can't explain something to a customer in a very succint way, then it’s just a waste of time and if as an organisation you have...
  • 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...

(c)David Overton 2006-17