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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  • Comparing a Word document on Office Web Apps on SkyDrive or Office 365 to Google Apps

    Hi, I’ve been asked this before, so I thought I would share this today.  I don’t use Google Apps, so I don’t have personal experience of the services, however I work with companies who employee’s choose to use the services – often because they can’t access the corporate environment from home or have file size limits that stop them.  Anyway, I do use Word, Excel and PowerPoint and I use quite a lot of the features in my documents (e.g. the book and reports in Word, my personal finance spread sheet in Excel and numerous presentations in PowerPoint).  I’m fussy, I like my documents to render the same, no matter what device I’m accessing them from and especially when I’m presenting.  I’ve always seen the differences when they are shared with products other than Office and have been known to spend a couple of hours fixing them up once they come out of the “other” services.  People ask me why I stick to Microsoft, this is one of the reasons. Today I saw this - http://bit.ly/tSedOC – it has a...
  • Microsoft Cloud Services Get Major Service Updates, New Customers: New features in Microsoft Office 365 and updates to sharing in Microsoft SkyDrive make it easier for people to work together.

    I saw this and just had to blog it.. The graphic on the left has amazing information – 41 of Interband Top 100 run on Microsoft’s cloud productivity services. 90% of Office 365 customers (not the seats, but the customer count) are SMEs with less than 50 employees.  You can guess the big customers from the stats. The PR can be found at Microsoft Cloud Services Get Major Service Updates, New Customers: New features in Microsoft Office 365 and updates to sharing in Microsoft SkyDrive make it easier for people to work together. One last thing I like, since I’ve been hearing people say “SharePoint is hard for file sharing” – SkyDrive works with Office 365 too.  This is simple, drag and drop and works natively with Office! Snippets from the PR statement: Small Businesses and Big Brands Bet on Office 365 More and more large global companies are choosing Office 365 to enable their employees and customers to work together in the cloud. In fact, more than 40 per cent of the global Interbrand list of the 100 top...
  • Perpetually Connecting = PC = latest US Bill Gates and Seinfeld Windows (Vista, Live, Mobile) Adverts

    I see the latest Windows advert is up on http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ .  These are the US adverts and the UK adverts are coming so I’m told.  It is nice Microsoft beginning to emphasize the value of it’s products … I just wish I could see the how the whole series will play out. The latest tag line is Perpetually Connecting which becomes PC. Talking about videos, the same site now has a stack of videos at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/possibilities/products/default.aspx .  Go have a look, you might just surprise yourself!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Vista , Live , Mobile , Windows , Adverts , Bill Gates , Seinfeld
  • 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...
  • Get a makeover for your Office Live Site as well as a Dell Laptop and cash too!

    I just saw this over at https://microsoft.eprize.net/officelivesaveoursiteuk/index.tbapp and thought I would share. We are offering a makeover, £540 in cash and a Dell Laptop. If you have a site, or know someone who does, then forward this on to them. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office Live , Small Business , Competition , Microsoft , Office Live Small Business
  • 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...
  • PhotoZoom using Silverlight and DeepZoom (aka SeaDragon) technology - mine is on Star Wars, but we could create a SBSC one

    The above technology is built using Silverlight 2.0 beta that was announced at MIX08. You can upload photos or import via an RSS feed. I did the later, bit it occurred to me that we should start something like this for SBSC and ISV partners. To see the effect, go to http://photozoom.mslivelabs.com/Album.aspx?alias=Doverton&album=1 and then zoom in and out using the +/- in the top left corner or the scroll wheel on your mouse. It is quite amazing! Hat tip to Steve for this one ttfn David Technorati Tags: SeaDragon , DeepZoom , PhotoZoom , Silverlight , MIX 08 , Developer , SBSC , Star Wars , Community , ISV
  • Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista to enable "Open From" and "Save to" menu items in Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint

    One little feature that others might have missed with the new release of Office Live Workspace is the two nifty buttons for Office to enable direct access from the Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista The Office Live Workspace Update installs three Windows Vista updates (KB945435, KB945145, KB933860) and one Office 2007 update to ensure optimal performance on Windows Vista when using Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with Office Live Workspace. The update improves the performance of opening and saving Workspace documents from these Office programs. In some cases, the update also resolves problems with "Open from Office Live" and "Save to Office Live" functions of the Office Live Add-in . This update is only needed for computers running Windows Vista. Download details: Office Live Workspace Update for Windows Vista ttfn David Technorati Tags: Live , Office Live Small Business , Office Live , Office Live Workspace , Vista , Windows Vista , Save to , Open From
  • Training announcement for ISV who are developing or planning to develop on the Windows Live Platform (Silverlight, Live Controls, Live ID, Messenger, Spaces)

    Another entry from the ISV blog - this time for developing on the Windows Live platform Training announcement for ISV who are developing or planning to develop on the Windows Live Platform. The Partner Readiness have just announced the release of the Windows Live Platform Services course. This 1.5 day deep dive covers the core technical aspects of Windows Live Platform Services including: Overview of Windows Live Silverlight Streaming Windows Live Controls Windows Live Tools for Visual Studio Windows Live Data (Authentication/Delegation model) Live ID Quick Apps Deep Dive (dev.live.com/quickapps) Messenger Presence Spaces APIs Dates currently scheduled are: 28–29 April (London) https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=242857&site=UK&lang=en-uk 14 -15 May (Altrincham) https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher=12&delivery=242858&site=UK&lang=en-uk 9-10 June (London) https://training.partner.microsoft.com/plc/details.aspx?publisher...
  • SkyDrive (free online storage accessed via the web) goes to 5GB, comes out of beta, is available in 38 countries around the world

    I went to my skydrive today and noticed it was not 5GB, not 1GB and no longer beta. According to the official blog besides the things in the blog title it is also: This release also includes bug fixes and improvements to make the site even faster and more reliable . We’re proud of this release — so proud, in fact, that we’re officially removing the Beta tag ! The Windows Live wire blog said ( Windows Live Wire: Bigger, better, faster SkyDrive! ): Improvements to Windows Live SkyDrive , including 5 GB of free online storage , were released to the public today in 38 countries or regions around the world! SkyDrive provides free, password-protected online file storage and sharing. It's a great way to make sure your files are available to you from any computer, without having to carry them around on a flash drive. I also find it really useful for sharing files that may be too big to send in e-mail. It's dead simple to use, so go ahead and try it out . New in this release: Free online storage is increasing from...
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  • UK MSDN Events (Windows Live, Silverlight, Hyper V, Smart Client, Black Marble, Security, Visual Studio 2008 and .Net 3.5)

    I know I should have posted these earlier, but ho-hum - sorry!! 29 January, Reading : MSDN- Building Services: .NET FX 3.5, SOAP, REST, and Beyond . 29 January, Bristol : VBUG -'Code Access Security for Protecting Web Applications'with Chris Seary . 30 January, Birmingham : MSDN - Developing on the Windows Live Platform . 31 January, Reading : Vista Squad UG- Silverlight 2.0 & Hyper V Introduction . 31 January, Bradford : MSDN -What's new in Smart Client Development . 31 January, Bradford : Black Marble's Annual Technical Update for Microsoft Technologies . 31 January, Bradford : Black Marble - Ed Gibson, Microsoft's Chief Security Advisor in the UK . 05 February 2008, Reading : MSDN- What's new in Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Fx 3.5 for the Web Developer . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Events , MSDN Events , Windows Live , Silverlight , Hyper V , Smart Client , Black Marble , Security , Visual Studio 2008 , .Net 3.5
  • Photos, photography, JPEG XR, Photosynth, the future of photography and Seadragons - why all the excitement?

    It's funny working in an industry where if you are not going at 50,000 miles an hour you are considered to be standing still. One area where Microsoft is speeding along is photography. In this post I will explore the announcements, the demos, short and long term products and then the future that lots of people are beginning to see. For me, the fact that people are already seeing such a future and its possibilities is very exciting (both the visions and the fact they are having them without drugs!! (humour)) Look at the recent events: Raw photo support in 2005 - Microsoft and Imaging Industry Leaders Unveil Support for Digital Photo HD (which some people thought was a JPEG killer.. tut tut) - HD Photo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia JPEG XR - JPEG committee supports Photo HD as next gen JPEG TrustedReviews - Official Jpeg Successor Is Microsoft's HD Photo Now this is all very nice, but so what - a better format for bigger pictures, that could be a bit like FAT disks getting FAT32 format, but it is not...
  • Microsoft's Small Business Blog : Fancy winning £5,000?

    I saw this at Microsoft's Small Business Blog : Fancy winning £5,000? and thought I would pass it on. Fancy winning £5,000? We’ve just launched the Microsoft Office Live £5,000 prize draw and you’re amongst the first to hear about it. You have the chance to win £5,000 or one of several £100 Amazon gift cards. Just click the link and enter the prize draw at https://microsoft.eprize.net/officeliveuk . If you haven't explored Office Live yet it really is worth spending some time looking at what it could do for your business. Microsoft Office Live is a set of Internet-based tools aimed at helping small businesses to quickly and easily create a professional web presence. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Small Business , Office Live
  • Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express is available as a release candidate and will be free when it releases. This is all the power of SharePoint search engine integrated into 1 web page

    I have only just been able to start playing with this, but it is looking good. I'm told that it does NOT YET load on SBS, but that the issue is being looked at (the auto config tools that make it so easy clash with the pre-defined IIS settings for SBS) and the plan is to support SBS too. I will look at how to hack it on SBS yet :-) More info can be found at Enterprise Search from Microsoft . So what is it? (basically, web, share and application search capability with lots of abilities, but some important ones picked out below). Familiar Search Experience Empower your users to quickly find the information they need through a familiar Search Center interface Pinpoint the most relevant information you need with recommended best bets , authoritative sources , term definitions , hit highlighting , and query correction . Retrieve concise and clear search results with duplicate collapsing , allowing you to quickly review a wide variety of relevant information. Stay on top of new information relevant to your work...
  • 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...
  • New Windows Live Messenger V8.5 - its all about the look and quality, oh and the web messengering and the buttons ...

    I just saw this (as I have just updated my live suite). Anyway, if you look at the recommended " Nicole’s post " then you quickly discover that for Messenger it is all about the look, experience and quality. However, while this is true, we then have some amazingly cool new features that sit around it, such as Web based IM for people to contact you via a site and adding a "IM me" button to your site. Below are 3 blog entries that tell the whole story. Announcing Windows Live Messenger 8.5! After months of work, and two beta releases the Windows Live Messenger team is proud to release Windows Live Messenger 8.5! We’ve listened to the feedback from our beta users and made this one of the best versions of Messenger ever! If you were a beta user not much has changed for you. We worked hard to improve the overall quality of Messenger though, and we owe a big ‘Thanks!!’ to all of the beta testers that sent us feedback. If you haven’t been a beta tester you can read Nicole’s post about the new features...
  • Linked Live IDs - how to join multiple Hotmail / MSN / Live accounts and change between them

    I have lots of e-mail accounts I use - @msn.com, @hotmail.co.uk, and @live.co.uk and Windows Live Mail enables me to read them all, however now when I am in e-mail I can access my linked e-mail accounts. I simply go to https://account.live.com/ and then add accounts to my linked accounts and then I can change accounts by a simple drop down in the windows live mail site ( http://mail.live.com ). More information can be found at Link Your Live IDs Together! or at http://www.liveside.net/blogs/main/archive/2007/10/18/update-to-windows-live-account-enables-linked-ids.aspx Ok, linking is done - but what would you link the IDs for? When you have linked IDs together you will only need to sign in to Windows Live once and can then switch easily between the accounts. If you are on Windows Live Hotmail for example you can check your email on one account and then simply click the dropdown arrow next to your login in the upper right corner and choose one of your linked IDs that are listed their. Without the need to enter a...
  • Microsoft Small Business Community Blog : What is going to be in "Cougar?"

    I thought I would repost this as it is a very often asked question. Eric who posted this has said as much as can be said today. I hope to be able to break silence soon on more :) The statement for me that has the most interest as many partners don't think about it is " Embracing Live Services". I can honestly say I don't know the details here, but for all those nay sayers about online / live / Software plus Service etc, this is another loud gong that the world is changing! Also, just one of those side notes, Exchange 2007 does not include Outlook anymore (Exchange 2003 did), so your customers must buy Outlook / Office to use Exchange outside the web based views. What is going to be in "Cougar?" There have been a few questions floating around about "Cougar," the next version of Windows Small Business Server, and what it will include and be based on. I thought I would post some of the information that is publicly available to help address some of these questions: Based on the...
  • Microsoft lends a tech hand to U.K. startups

    I feel very close to this team... they sit just down a bit from me :-) All good stuff, plus go to the website if you have something you think could be a candidate. Microsoft lends a tech hand to U.K. startups Microsoft's Startup Accelerator Program will help startups use software technology such as Silverlight and Live Services</WEBTEASER _extended="true"> By Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service Microsoft will assist U.K. startups in using its software technology under a program launched on Monday by CEO Steve Ballmer. The Startup Accelerator Program will include technologies such as Silverlight , Microsoft's multimedia browser plug-in, and Live Services , a group of Web-based applications. Microsoft will also offer assistance in business development, marketing, and sales. Microsoft stands to gain momentum if startup companies are successful in building applications based on its technology. The program could also put Microsoft closer to key startups with technology that Microsoft would rather...
  • Where is David now and what can Maps.Live.com do?

    It is that time of year again, so I will be on holiday again in the English Lake District. While Live Writer, my blogging tool, has the ability to show maps (click the map for more information) http://maps.live.com has also improved amazingly. To show you what I mean, click the link below: http://maps.live.com/?v=2&sp=Point.t1yfjsgqqygt_Holiday___&encType=1 and you will see a screen like this: Switch to Hybrid view to see the satellite and road maps: Zoom to this location by clicking on the pushpin: Switch to 3D mode by pressing the 3D button (it might have to load a control to your browser) and then hold the Ctrl button and drag the mouse down to see a 3D profile: Search for pubs in the area and see them on the 3D map: Now go to London (search for London in the location) and zoom down to start to see the 3D views: As you zoom in more you can turn on the birds eye photography of London - note on the above picture the glowing square - this is one of the birdseye photos - zoom in more to see the actual photos...
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  • Live Search of Books is amazing and respects peoples property and that is just the tip of the iceberg!

    Just recently I have been reading about the improvements in the Live services and then I saw Steve's entry on Live Books ( Live Search Books...wow ) and thought I had better go see what was going on. I went to the live search and searched for my favourite author and sure enough, up came his books, but what was nice is that most people don't know that Robert Heinlein also had an interest in the US economy. Books referring to his works here also appeared. I was then able to see how much of a reference to him was made and even choose to view those pages if the publisher of the book allowed it. Oh, try http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=&mkt=en-US&scope=books&FORM=BBBB to get to the books search I also notices a load of other services you might want to try out: Web, images, videos, news, maps (I'll cover this later), MSN are all standard. Under the more tab though you get: Academic - I've used this to do research into academic papers that interest me Feeds - speaks for itself Health...
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  • Iris World information

    We did promise at IrisWorld that all the information from the event would be available on the website. It is almost all ready. See below for information that is available now and subscribe to this entry to be notified when the video is available for download too. If you click the link here you should see a section like this and if you put in your e-mail address you will get a mail when this is updated. The e-mail address will not be used to contact you in any other way or passed on to anyone else. Excel Demos and Links: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/training/CR100479681033.aspx - Training http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/CH100740791033.aspx - Demos Office Live Choices for Office Live range from free to less than £23 per month for 50 users Setting up websites is very simple and can be free - click the picture at the top of the page to sign up Sharing information with your customers can be simple - click the picture at the top of the page to sign up for the "Workspaces Beta" http://www.officelive...
  • Windows Live Betas (Blog Writer, Windows e-Mail client, Instant Messenger, Photo editing tool, Family Safety tool and hosted storage solution)

    I thought I had documented this, but it appears I did not, so here we are - there are a number of pieces to the Live Services camp now, many have released versions, but the betas are always more interesting. It is also worth noting that these products are all in the Software plus Services camp - Desktop solutions that work with hosted services. It's easy to get these and other Windows Live services all at once. See how . Windows Live Writer Beta Publish rich content to your Windows Live Space and other blogs. It's easy to add photos, maps, tags, and more to your posts. And you can see exactly what your post will look like before you publish it. Windows Live Mail Beta A faster, easier, and safer way to manage your e-mail accounts. Windows Live Messenger Beta Connect, share, and make every conversation count Windows Live Photo Gallery Beta Easily manage and share your photos and videos. Windows Live Family Safety Beta Safer browsing, with rules you personalize. Windows Live SkyDrive Beta Password-protected...
  • Windows Live SkyDrive Updates - 1GB of storage, RSS feeds when someone makes an update and easier sharing of files

    I saw this on the SkyDrive blog and thought I should share it. Updates to Windows Live SkyDrive! These past couple of months since our last release, we asked ourselves, “What can we do to make SkyDrive even better?” The most obvious answer is something that our users have asked us to do: give out more storage. We’re excited to announce that we’re doubling everyone’s storage to 1 GB! Many users told us, “Hey, we want to be notified when someone adds a file to a specific folder,” so we added RSS feeds to public folders. To subscribe to an RSS feed, go to the public folder that you’re interested in, and click on the orange RSS Feed icon at the top right of the page. Then, anytime that folder is updated, you’ll be notified. We love this feature because we get notified as soon as our friends upload new files to their folders. Another thing users told us is that it’s difficult to share a folder with people that aren’t in your address book. People said, “We have to go to Hotmail or Messenger in order to add someone to...
  • Office Live Workspace: New Web Functionality for Microsoft Office

    I thought I should offer some clearer info on what is coming in Office Live Workspace Available at no charge, Office Live Workspace facilitates the following : Access documents anywhere. Organise documents and projects for work, school and home online, and work on them from almost any computer - even one not connected to the company or school network. Save more than 1,000 Microsoft Office documents to one place online and access them via the Web. Share with others. Work collaboratively on a project with others in a password-protected, invitation-only online workspace, helping to eliminate version-control challenges when e-mailing drafts to multiple people. Collaborators who don't have a desktop version of Microsoft Office software can still view and comment on the document in a browser. Extend Microsoft Office. Easily connect to Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint ® , Excel ® and Outlook ® on their PC via the Web. Pre-register for the beta of Office Live Workspace today at www.officelive.co.uk Some people are...

(c)David Overton 2006-17