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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  • Tech days 2010 – UK, covering Virtualisation, Office 2010, Windows 7, SQL Server 2008 R2, Visual Studio, the Essential Mix, Rich Client and Windows Phone

    Registration for UK Tech Days events from 12 th to 16 th April is open!. UK Tech Days 2010 is a week-long series of free events run by Microsoft and technical communities to celebrate and inspire developers, IT professionals and IT Managers to get more from Microsoft technology.  Our day events in London will cover the latest technology releases including Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft Office 2010, Virtualisation, Silverlight, Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 plus events focusing on deployment and an IT Manager day. Please visit our website for full details: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/techdays and follow what’s happening @uktechdays   The agenda looks like this: Monday 12th April Tuesday 13th Wednesday 14th Thursday 15th Friday 16th IT Pro Days Virtualization Summit Office 2010 - the next wave Windows 7 - Deployment SQL Server 2008 R2 - The Platform Raising the profile of IT Dev Days Visual Studio 2010 Launch Visual Studio 2010 and .NET The Essential MIX Rich Client Windows...
  • Developer Events in September and October in the UK

    I just saw this, so thought I would pass it on: Join other developers at free regional Microsoft Technical Events to receive technical know-how demos from Microsoft experts, insights into our latest technologies and a chance to meet and talk to other developers. Events nearest to you MSDN Event: Rich Internet Applications with Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 Location: Reading Date: 2 September 2008 MSDN Event: Rich Internet Applications with Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 Location: London Date: 4 September 2008 MSDN Event: What's New in Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1? Location: Reading Date: 2 October 2008 MSDN: What's New in Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1? Location: Bristol Date: 22 October 2008 MSDN Roadshow Re-Run Location: London Date: 24 October 2008 ttfn David Technorati Tags: Developer , RIA , Rich Internet Applications , Visual Studio 2008 and .Net 3.5 , Service Pack 1 , Microsoft , Events
  • 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...
  • New SQL 2008 training for UK partners

    Hi, I know I’ve been away a lot recently (closing the year end and then doing some travelling for work), but while cleaning my inbox (ohh, 2500 mails processed, replied too, filed and actioned – yee har!) I came across this and it is bang up to date. SQL 2008 is going to be the hot, hot, hot product for a few months, along with how it sits with other BI solutions, such as SharePoint and PerformancePoint. To help you get started, here are some training opportunities : SQL Server 2008 Database Infrastructure and Scalability This three-day training course will help database administrators understand how to exploit the new performance, scalability, manageability and high-availability enhancements introduced in SQL Server 2008. They will also learn how to exploit these capabilities, ensure application scalability and how to manage a database using the new features. Click here Introduction to SQL Server 2008 BI Solution Development This three day course is designed to give developers the confidence to tackle a BI project...
  • 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...
  • Understand the key security engineering activities that you need to be aware of in application development. Written by a Microsoft UK employee - "The Developer Highway code" as a download or a traditional book

    It you write code then you need to understand how to write secure code. If you want to understand how to write code that is secure by design then you need to seek the help of people who "have been there". Microsoft has helped thousands of people write applications that do not leak information and Paul's book has helped even more. The Developer Highway Code , written by Paul Maher of Microsoft, is a concise handbook that captures and summarises the key security engineering activities that should be an integral part of the software development process. This companion guide should be a must for any Developer, Architect, Tester etc. undertaking software development...The book is presented in easy to read checklist form, covering essential guidance on writing and releasing secure code. The book has been downloaded by over 100,000 people and over 20,000 actual books are out there ... and now it has been updated!! In case you are still not convinced, please read the following endorsements: “The developer...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Technical RollUp : March 2008 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms (Windows, virtualisation, Active Directory, Core, Debugging, Terminal Services, Vista SP1 changes / new / implementation guides)

    As always, from the Technical RollUp : March 2008 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms blog posting. I've removed all the KB article stuff and it is worth pointing out that towards the end of the list are all the docs associated with what has changed with Windows Vista SP1: Blogs and information Windows Virtualization Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/virtualization/ The World Simplified is a Virtual World http://blogs.technet.com/virtualworld/ Ask the Directory Services Team http://blogs.technet.com/askds/ Ask the Performance Team http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/ Microsoft Enterprise Networking Team http://blogs.technet.com/networking/ Ask the Core Team http://blogs.technet.com/askcore/ Microsoft Advanced Windows Debugging and Troubleshooting http://blogs.msdn.com/ntdebugging/ Terminal Services Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/ts/ The Hot Blog http://blogs.technet.com/hot/ Downloads Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1 Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 (WSUS 3.0 SP1) delivers updates to...
  • Application Resources for Windows Server 2008 Launch (2 days to go)

    I was asked the other day about how to make sure if an application is likely to work on Vista or Windows Server 2008 and this blog entry has some of the answers. You may notice things like the App Compatibility toolkit and the cookbook. Between these, you should get all the information you need to ensure applications that work on current and future platforms. Resources for Windows Server 2008 Launch We at Microsoft are on the verge of releasing one of the most powerful and reliable products in the history of the company, Windows Server 2008. Containing numerous improvements and new features, Windows Server 2008 is a product everybody can be proud of. As an ISV, what’s the best way you can get up to speed and research these many improvements, and be aware of any possible application compatibility issues you might run into? Here are some resources to help you with these questions: Windows Server 2008 Product Page : This is the main Microsoft home for Windows Server 2008 as a product. You can find the many links...
  • Study: .Net overtakes Java

    I saw this and thought I would share it. It gives some positioning of .Net vs Java. There is more to the article that that listed below, but the interesting statements for me was .Net >50% and Java 20%. Oh, and additional to that pure .Net @ 12% while pure Java was at 3%. Ouch!! Study: .Net overtakes Java Microsoft's .Net software development platform is more popular than Java in the enterprise, according to one industry analyst firm's report detailed on Wednesday Info-Tech Research Group said its research found .Net the choice over Java among enterprises of all sizes and industries. Entitled, "It's Official: .Net Roasts Java's Beans," the study explored the relative prevalence of Java and .Net across different types of enterprises and found .Net has gained considerable market share and become the favourite of many enterprises. In conducting its study, Info-Tech said it recently surveyed more than 1,850 organizations of different sizes. Info-Tech's research is not sponsored, a...
  • Office from the past, ODF and OOXML (Office of today and tomorrow) and why is organic growth nearly always bad for software and why re-writing is not good either

    As I have said many times in the past I used to write document conversation tools. I believe this gives me a valid reason to be able to pass comment on the ODF/OOMXL debate that is raging at the moment. If these types of questions interest you, have a look at the book I talk about later ( In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters (UK) or here for US link ) Lets start with some history about the Office 97-2003 file formats. Joel was writing about this today ( Why are the Microsoft Office file formats so complicated? (And some workarounds) - Joel on Software ). Note that part of what he has commented on is the fact that the documentation for the binary file format is now available from Microsoft: Why are the Microsoft Office file formats so complicated? (And some workarounds) This item ran on the Joel on Software homepage on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 Last week, Microsoft published the binary file formats for Office . These formats appear to be almost completely insane. The Excel 97...
  • Microsoft DreamSpark - Free developer tools for students around the world. Think of the opportunities!!

    I heard about this a day or two ago and I have to say this is a MASSIVE move for Microsoft and something that can only do good. As a student you can now download, at no cost, the professional Microsoft development tools. That is all there is to the programme, however this is a dream come true for many educational institutions. Just think of the opportunity - help them implement all this software, when the software is free to the students!! Channel8 described it as : How would you like a free copy of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 ? How about the entire Microsoft Expression Studio ? Not enough...... how about Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and more? For once, something that sounds too good to be true really is this good and really is true. Starting today (or soon in some areas), students worldwide will be able to download our professional development and design tools for free ! It's called DreamSpark and it is upon us. For information on the project from PressPass: PressPass: What is the thinking behind Microsoft...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • Help to make the Office 2007 document type a standard (Open XML) - click the link

    I love standards - they make life easier. TCP is one, ODF is one, SNA is one, ASCII and EBDIC are. Even PDF is one. It just makes life easier. In this connected world standards are a good thing and sometimes more than one standard is very good. Microsoft has offered the Open XML (Office 2007 document format) as a standard too. We can have it as a standard in a short time frame or a long time frame. I want you to sign the petition to help it happen in the short time frame. Even Novell are supporting this as they see it as just making their customers lives easier. Go here and sign the petition to help move things forward in the short time frame. If you want to see how developers could use the standard have a look at http://openxmldeveloper.org/posts.aspx . You might wonder why I am asking you to do this. Well I've read the text at the microsoft.com site on Open XML and I like the idea of this being a public standard that people can write to without having to pay for the right to do so and the knowledge that...
  • Was Vista's arrival a surprises to anyone? No? Then how come so many people were unprepared - hardware vendors, ISVs, even Microsoft to an extent

    Lets start off by saying this is a RANT. If you don't like rants, look away now. I saw this in CRN and it made me laugh and cry. We have seen news that iTunes has undisclosed issues with Vista (even after being fixed ), poor drivers from nVidia and others and even enough to stop a BBC reporter from getting it going , yet from the list below, most are down to 3rd parties. I have only a little sympathy for hardware partners who didn't get drivers out - I was at WinHEC 3 and 2 years ago when the need to build drivers was hammered home. I have seen the offers of help to ISVs to get their applications working. I have seen the large amount of online training available for partners of all sizes to understand the benefits of the products. However, I have also seen the difficulties people have in when to bet on Vista and deploy the resources - I think its success has taken a few people by surprise! Microsoft is certainly happy with the launch . If like me, when you have 2 years to solve a problem it is always tomorrows...
  • IE 7 reaches 100 million users | CNET News.com

    This is an interesting one - I have IE 7 installed on all my machines except my SBS 2003 server and the reason for it not being on there is because I like to have an IE6 hanging around for those sites where I have no other option - and browsing on the server (sorry Susan) is something I really, really try to avoid, so the site must be important enough to me, trusted and not need any java etc before I will consider using it. Anyway, that means that 7 PCs in the house (counting the 2 work laptops) are IE 7. I have not found a site that does not work yet, although some like the Live Spaces photo uploading tool is a bit of a pain in the bum to get working (you need to run as admin in Vista). IE 7 reaches 100 million users Web browser now second only to IE 6 in terms of usage in the U.S., Microsoft announces. More than 100 million people have installed Internet Explorer 7, making it the second most used browser in the U.S., trailing only its predecessor--IE 6, the software maker said Friday. "I'm pleased to report...

(c)David Overton 2006-18