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...
  • 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...
  • How to copy or archive files by year using the command line and robocopy

    I got this question via e-mail and decided I would post the answer here in a blog. (Updated 16th Feb 2017 with a typo correction) I want transfer all files created in Office Word 2003 by year (annual batchs - ex: 2005, 2006, etc.) to external HD. How can to do this? I will appreciate your answer. Edgar To do this via the command line you can use Robocopy which is present in Windows Vista and Windows 7. If you have Windows XP download the Server 2003 Resource Toolkit and install it. Robocopy will be part of the install and found in the install directory. The actual command would look like this and would need to be entered into a command prompt: for /L %x in (2009,-1,2000) do robocopy source destination \%x *.doc? /maxage:%x0101 /minage:%x1231 /s To break it down a bit.. for /L %x in (2009,-1,2000) do This creates a counter from 2009 up in steps of -1 (or down in steps of 1) until 2000 is reached. Each time the counter changes it is set into %x, so %x will become 2009, 2008 and so on. It then executes the command...
  • Business Productivity Online Suite training for partners in Manchester and Birmingham

    Business Productivity Online Suite Launch Join us in Birmingham and Manchester The UK software market is evolving, and customers are looking to embrace the change. Forecasted growth for subscription software is expected to achieve an annual growth rate of +30% during the next three years - considerably outpacing traditional market growth and providing a tremendous resale and service opportunity for Microsoft partners. In a tough economy, subscription services are more digestible to cash strapped customers. Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), provides a new IT solution for their needs, delivering enterprise-class software as a subscription service, hosted by Microsoft and sold by you. Costing £10.04 for the entire suite, per user per month, BPOS includes: > Microsoft Exchange Online > Microsoft SharePoint Online > Microsoft Office Live Meeting > Microsoft Office Communications Online > Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services For Microsoft Partners BPOS provides an annuity...
  • The PowerPoint Team Blog : A Picture + 1000 Words…

    Want to know how to create amazing work in PowerPoint – look at the PowerPoint team blog! The PowerPoint Team Blog : A Picture + 1000 Words… We learn best by examples. And the better the example, the better the results. That’s why its a pleasure to point you to a new group of PowerPoint examples that are stunning, inventive, evocative… simply beautiful. Nice enough if it stops there, but each and every one of these examples includes very detailed instructions on how you can reconstruct the design, and learn how to apply the technique to your own work. Animation for graphics and text, static text effects, photographic effects, new background techniques, Smart Art and transition effects… this is a holiday present come early for PowerPoint users. And they’re free! Get them here . Here’s a small sample, which of course does not include the amazing animated designs. And in case you’re wondering, this is the work of PowerPoint MVP Julie Terberg of Terberg Design . Julie...
  • Office Small Business 2007 – get up to 25% off in the UK

    I saw this at the Special Offers site from the Small Business team and thought I would share. Office Small Business 2007 – get up to 25% off Buy Office 2007 Small Business Edition before 17 January and you can get a discount of up to 25%. Enhance productivity in your workplace and manage tasks and your customers more efficiently with Microsoft Office Small Business 2007. Excel, Word, Publisher, Outlook and PowerPoint provide all the tools you need to give your business a professional edge. (Offer applies to FPP (Fully-Packaged Product) only, ie not via volume licensing or OEM etc.) Availability: UK Small Businesses Valid from: December 21 2008 Offer expires: January 17 2009 How to buy: Equanet: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD Equanet: 2007 Version Upgrade Grey Matter: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD MacWarehouse: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD MacWarehouse: 2007 Version Upgrade Microwarehouse: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD Microwarehouse: 2007 Version Upgrade PC World Business...
  • Can't find the WSS (Windows SharePoint Services) sales and marketing toolkit for SBS 2003 - here it was

    I've had someone ask me about the WSS toolkit that was referenced at How to Sell, Deploy, and Build Business with Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and SBS 2003 R2 . The download location has moved to http://www.partnersalesresources.com/Pages/sbskit.aspx# . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows SharePoint Services , WSS v3 , SBS , SBS 2003 R2 , Microsoft , Partners
  • How to find ANY command on the new Office Ribbon – Search for it with Search Commands

    There is a great web site out from Microsoft called OfficeLabs and one of the 1st great things published is: Project: Search Commands  Search Commands helps you find commands, options, wizards, and galleries in Microsoft Office 2007 Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Just type what you’re looking for in your own words and click the command you need. Search Commands also includes Guided Help, which acts as a tour guide for specific tasks. Crave more info? FAQ - get answers to frequently asked questions Blog - read the latest news from the team Discussions - connect with other users  Click here to download. Requirements: 32 bit Windows XP or Windows Vista. Office 2007. Limitations: English only. Works with Word, Excel and PowerPoint only. Give it a try!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Word 2007 , Excel 2007 , Office 2007 , Search , Ribbon , find , If you only read one post today
  • 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...
  • More ways to engage with customers using the Microsoft advertising campaigns

    [updated 4th March] Many people congratulated Microsoft after the Mr Busy campaigns allowed partners to drive their customers back to them using a MS campaign. Well, this is now being repeated for a number of campaigns. Today I found the click and go site to get them all ( http://www.campaigns.arvato-services.com/ ). You can get 200 post cards or 1,000 e-mails for free and then a low price for additional cards/ e-mails if required. The campaigns covered include: Business Productivity Customer Acquisition and Retention Security and Reliability Small Business PC Mr Busy This method of engaging is not new to the Small Business team and others have covered this before (eg Susanne here ), but it is worth re-highlighting this now as some of the campaigns have been renewed, so go back and visit the site!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Marketing , Campaigns , Business Productivity , Customer Acquisition and Retention , Security and Reliability , Small Business PC , Mr Busy , Partner , SME , Small Business Server...
  • 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 switching SharePoint to claims-based authentication - The Password is changing

    You've heard it before, well this seems to suggest that the password or AD based auth is just too wrong! So SharePoint is going as open as possible!! Microsoft switching SharePoint to claims-based authentication By John Fontana , Network World, 10/16/07 Microsoft is replacing the authentication system for SharePoint Server and plans to make the collaboration platform one of the first of the company’s marquee applications to rely on a new claims-based identity model . The goal is to have SharePoint incorporate an authentication model that works with any corporate identity system, including Active Directory, LDAPv3-based directories, application-specific databases and new user-centric identity models, such as LiveID, OpenID and InfoCard systems, including Microsoft’s CardSpace and Novell ’s Digital Me. Microsoft switching SharePoint to claims-based authentication - Network World ttfn David Technorati Tags: SharePoint , Claims-Based Authentication , Security
  • 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...
  • Show Classic Menus and Toolbars on Ribbon of Office 2007 - two product choices

    I saw a blog entry at Susan Bradley's blog about her now deploying Office 2007 with a classic menu . It was worth of a blog link for all those who want to stick to the old, old ways where you search for items over multiple menus (especially if you turn on personalised menus which hide all the things you don't use regularly). The tool looks slick, but then I found a 2nd one are realised that some cunning ISVs had seen this as their great opportunity to fill a gap that is very unlikely to be filled by Microsoft. The Two solutions are shown below and can be linked to from pschmid.net - RibbonCustomizer™ Feature Tour - Part 3: Classic UI Tabs and Show Classic Menus and Toolbars on Ribbon of Office 2007 : V1.1 Feature Tour - Part 3: Classic UI Tabs RibbonCustomizer™ V1.1 ships with a set of Classic UI tabs for Excel, PowerPoint and Word 2007. Those tabs emulate the Office 2003 menus and toolbars in Office 2007. We provide these tabs to help you familiarize yourself faster with the new Ribbon User Interface...
  • How to use Office Outlook 2007 with any internet connection and how to access Outlook Web Access from any web browser - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use Outlook via a web browser and via an internet connection: Outlook Web Access with recent browser (IE5 or above) Outlook Web Access basic or lite edition for low speed internet connections Configure Outlook to use RPC over HTTP To see the video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. I am hoping that in the near future that the WMV file will be available at new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com. At the moment it is not available there, but a copy can be found here * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and require you to download Silverlight if you don't, but it is a 1MB download How I made it I simply ran through part of my normal demo talking...
  • Worldwide Partner Conference - WPC in Denver - what I know so far - Office Live and Windows Live as a platform for partners to build on

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

    With a tear in my eye the time has come for me to move my stick hut somewhere new. I have loved working in and with the small business community and with a set of awesome partners who can complain and nag, but normally with good cause and that are more willing to say thank-you and "good job" when the time is right. To you all I take my hat off for making me feel so welcome. As a legacy we now have SBSC up and running, partner groups that support themselves, a voice into Microsoft from the smaller end of the partner community and a better understanding of the motivations of both Microsoft and our partners. We also have a new level of engagement with customers. I wish I could take credit for all of this, but I am just a figurehead for a great team of people inside Microsoft. A nice chap called Mark in the OEM team will be helping to drive Cougar knowledge through the community when the time comes (no, this is not the time yet, trust me), SBSC has been supported by Jen as many of you would have seen from...
  • Win an XBOX 360 or 5 x Office and Vista while getting Microsoft to pay some or all of your Marketing Campaign Builder Expenses for Small Business PC, Branch Office solutions or Build Customer Connections Campaigns. Time limited - ends 30th April 2007

    Hopefully I have your attention, which is good. Microsoft UK are trying to encourage the use of our marketing tools and also gain some feedback. First of all, the prizes for the best feedback - an Xbox 360 system OR 5 x Vista Ultimate AND 5 x Office 2007 Pro. Next, the cash - we can offer a limited number of people £150 towards a marketing campaign - if that covers the whole of the campaign, then so be it and it has cost you nothing! This money is to be used at the UK Partner Campaign Builder portal. OK, so now for the pitch! As many of you know we like to help our partners in many ways here at Microsoft and one area that small business partners have asked for help is in the marketing area. Campaign Builder is a one stop shop to either produce materials and run the campaign yourself, or use the agency to run the campaign for you (or at least print the materials). Well, we have a limited number of discount vouchers to make this a £150 easier process. The idea is simple to do, simply do the following this April...
  • 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...
  • Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Vista for Microsoft (UK) Partners' Friends and Family

    [updated 18th March 08:44am] - The links are working now - hurray Now before someone goes and shoots this down, we have managed a small discount for Microsoft UK Partners' friends and family. It is not a half price discount or anything close, but if you know someone who was going to buy our software or wanted too, it is now a more attractive price :-) Microsoft Office 2007 and Windows Vista for your Friends and Family Are you experiencing the 'WOW' of the new Microsoft Office system and Windows Vista yet? If you are you'll probably want your friends and family to feel it too! To help you spread the WOW factor Microsoft Partner DABS is offering a special price to Microsoft Partners' friends and family on the home-use versions of these exciting new releases*. Product Special Friends and Family Price** Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student £85.00 Vista Home Premium £185.00 Vista Home Premium Upgrade £123.50 *Please note: These products are not discounted. The products on offer are legitimate software applications...
  • Microsoft software for Charities in the UK

    OK, so once upon a time I used to give out software for charities, but those days are gone. However, there is a fantastic deal available for charities via the Charity Exchange. The software is donated by Microsoft (and others) and then an administration charge is added. There are various criteria to be met to use the Charity Technology Exchange, but the overall pricing is VERY good for charities - and of course, if the software is discounted as this is the right thing to do, perhaps so should the services too ;-) Anyway, the site can he found at http://www.ctxchange.org/ctx/browse_products/microsoft/default.asp and the prices include software assurance, so the Office 2003 and Windows XP prices entitle the charity to Office 2007 and Windows Vista Enterprise (as it is a Volume License). An example would be a 50 seat SBS Premium solution with Windows XP and Office 2003 (both upgradable - also note that a previous Windows OS is required on the PC to load the Windows OS - it is an upgrade, not a version that can be...
  • How Microsoft UK deployed Windows Vista and Office 2007

    Partner TV has been busy recently, with this discussion about Microsoft UK's own deployment of Vista and Office 2007 . An except from the site says: James Senior talks to Asif Jinnah, the Senior IT manager for Microsoft UK, about the internal deployment of Vista and Office 2007. Asif also talks about best practices using Microsoft tools and services to help with deploying images (for example Windows Deployment Services Windows Desktop Search and System Management Server [SMS]). Asif was previously part of the team responsible for launching the “Microsoft Deployment Centre of Excellence” (CoE) in the UK to educate partners and customers on how best to deploy operating systems. To learn more, click the link above - the video is only 11 minutes long. ttfn David

(c)David Overton 2006-18