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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  • Fixing my Office 365 Lync Voice (P1) and PGi world wide phone integration problems–error ID 3110 (source ID 243)

    I use Office 365.  Probably no surprise for many, but I like the world wide access and simplicity.  However, since leaving Microsoft I found having to Skype people a little frustrating if I wanted to host a multi-party conference call, especially if some people need to dial in using a phone, rather than Lync from a PC.  To this end I ended up purchasing a certified solution from PGi. PGi charge me per minute per person and I have dial in and out capability, so I can dial people to join the call and people can dial in with numbers for most countries around the world.  Perfect, just like the solution I had when I worked at Microsoft. Except it didn’t work.  People could dial the conference number and hear each other and others could be connected via VoIP, but the two groups could not hear each other. Not the solution I wanted.  I ran the DNS tests that Microsoft asks for and did test calls with the nice people from PGi, but nothing was showing up as the error.  Searching the internet...
  • Version 7 of Sync for SkyDrive

    Thank-you for your interest in Sync for SkyDrive. Following all the feedback from version 1, 2 and 6 I’ve finished release 7 (version number 7.0.0.2 in the store) and submitted to the Windows Store where it will be available here: The tool is not free, but it is at the lowest price point I can make for the Windows Store (from the UK). The purpose of the tool is very simple, to enable you to synchronise chosen folders from Microsoft SkyDrive to a Windows RT (or Windows 8) device. While I would like this to be something that happened automatically, the processing time required does not fit into the Microsoft allowed timings for a Windows RT/8 device for battery consumption, so this is still a “user initiated process”. While Windows 8 has a synchronisation tool for the desktop, Windows RT does not, so here is my offering in this space. How does it work The tool scans chosen folders on SkyDrive and the matching folders on your Windows RT device and draws up a list of differences. You can then choose...
  • Do you want to see what is new and search the Windows 8 Store from the web–now you can

    Hi, just a little note as I’ve been using this for a little while now.  You can access the Windows 8 store, search it and filter from this web site - http://metrostore.preweb.sk/ .  It is unofficial, however Vlko and Peter both seem open to suggestions too.   Enjoy David
  • Upgrade Windows XP/Vista/7 to Windows 8 Pro for $40 or £25 AND Media Center Pack for free – until 31st January

    This is a simple offer. Download the upgrade assistant from Microsoft, run the tool, purchase the license for a shockingly low price and get the benefits of Windows 8. Even if you think you might not use it for a year, you can burn the ISO so it is ready. All indications are that the price will increase once this offer expires. So, what is the processes? Go to the web site - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/buy (UK) or http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/buy (US) Press the Download link - Download Pro for £24.99 ERP (UK) or Download Pro for $39.99 ERP (US) ) - note the link is the same for any country for the assistant. Run the assistant and fill in the details, including the purchase options There is also one other thing you may wish to consider. Getting the currently free Media Center Pack. This is also very simple, go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-8/feature-packs (UK) http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/feature-packs (US), enter your e-mail address and get a free...
  • Windows 2012 jump start videos

    Hi, Just a quick note to say that these were shared with me today and they came from the blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoft_press/archive/2012/06/27/free-videos-on-windows-server-2012-from-the-jump-start-series.aspx • Designed for Microsoft Partners, early adopters, and experienced IT Pros/ITDMs familiar with Microsoft server technologies • All twelve (12) modules are under an hour and packed with engaging discussion and real-world demos -- watch them all! Links to Every Module from this Jump Start The HD-quality video recordings of this course are published to TechNet Edge and are highly recommended. Windows Server 2012 is a game-changing release for so many reasons and this course will help experienced IT Pros truly understand why -- check it out! • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (01): Core Hyper-V • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (02a): Virtualization Infrastructure, Part 1 • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (02b): Virtualization Infrastructure, Part 2 • Windows Server 2012 Jump Start (03a): Storage Architecture...
  • Getting my Nokia Lumia 800 to work with Virgin Mobile UK MMS settings (and trimming the SIM too)

    I recently fell of the back of a boat which resulted in my faithful Samsung Omnia being written off.  Since this was a personal phone, I decided to upgrade to a Nokia Lumia 800 as it looked like a fab phone.  I have so far not been disappointed, however I hit two problems. The first was that my SIM was not a micro-sim. I contacted Virgin who told me they were very soon to launch a micro-sim, but not yet.  I bought a 30-day sim from Vodafone in the short term, but then discovered that I could trim the current SIM to fit by following the detailed instructions at http://www.solutios.com/simcutting/ .  All has been happy until my wife asked about sending MMS pictures from her phone.  When I tried to do it from mine, I discovered that it kept on failing with an error and asking me to try again.  This has been the second challenge that I have had with the phone! Searching the web found many frustrated people, some who had resorted to resetting their phones to factory defaults to get things...
  • UK / EMEA Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Practice Accelerator, 16th April, Live Meeting 4 day course

    I saw this and thought I should share it ASAP. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Practice Accelerator, 16th April, Live Meeting Description: 4 day organisational training for partners interested in developing a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure practice. Can be paid for using advisory hours. Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure empowers enterprises with unified management of centralized desktops and corporate data through Microsoft System Center technology. Microsoft VDI offers tremendous value by providing a high performance virtual desktop platform while reducing the cost of deploying virtual desktops. Citrix technology adds value to the Microsoft VDI stack by offering additional scale and flexibility. Take Practice Accelerator for VDI and help your customers extend existing management tools and processes to the virtual desktop environment while reducing management overhead, enabling rapid deployment, improving operational efficiencies and driving business agility. Ten Partner Advisory Hours will be deducted...
  • IE6–> IE8/9/10 and Windows 7 compatibility events with Citrix, Camwood and Quest (3 events)

    Microsoft have teamed up with Camwood , Citrix Systems and Quest Software , all application compatibility experts, to help show you the range of solutions available to help you overcome App Compat road blocks. Join them to learn how browser compatibility issues occur, how to overcome them with Group Policy , virtualisation and simple application fixes and how to develop a successful migration plan. Not only that, they will also cover some of the latest App Compat tools and techniques that apply to desktop, web and server compatibility issues. Take your pick of the dates below and use the links to find out more and Register Now with our partners. Who, Where & When? Thurs 22 nd March Microsoft & Citrix AppDNA Chalfont St. Peter (Easy access via the M40 & M25 as well as rail) 09:00 – 16:00 Register Here Thurs 19 th April Microsoft & Quest ChangeBASE Reading Football Ground (Madejski Stadium) 09:30 – 14:00 (+Stadium Tour!) Register Here Thurs 3 rd May Microsoft & Camwood Cote St Paul’s, London...
  • Turn off Ctrl-Alt-Del in Windows 8

    This is a very quick one.  I saw the videos and saw that Ctrl-Alt-Del was turned off in Windows 8.  While this can be done by setting the local security policy, it can also be done via command prompt.  This is no different to other versions of Windows. If you search for cmd and then right click it to select Run as Administrator Then once cmd is running, use this command (it is all one line) to turn off C-A-D as a requirement: REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableCAD /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f To turn it back on, use this command: REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v DisableCAD /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f   That is it.   ttfn   David
  • Windows Server 8–Remote Desktop and VDI enhancements

    VDI and RDS have been something I’ve been writing about, so I wanted to share the documents I’ve discovered from Microsoft that discuss the new features for VDI and RDS. The 3 documents are: Understand and Troubleshoot Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server "8" Beta This Understand and Troubleshoot Guide (UTG) enables you to learn technical concepts, functionality, and troubleshooting methods for Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server “8” Beta. Date Published: 2/29/2012          Download This Understand and Troubleshoot Guide (UTG) enables you to learn technical concepts, functionality, and troubleshooting methods for Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server “8” Beta. This UTG provides you with: • A technical overview and functional description of this feature. • Technical concepts to help you successfully install, configure, and manage this feature. • User Interface options and settings for configuration and management. • Relevant architecture of this...
  • My Top Tips for Windows 8 so far–closing windows, dual booting, using the keyboard and mouse

    Hi, I loaded Windows 8 Consumer Preview with some concerns about how the new interface would impact me.  As a keyboard user, the Developer Preview just didn’t do enough for me, however Windows 8 is now my primary home OS and I’m loving it.  What is more, my daughter is once again asking to have it (as she wants “Snap”) for her applications. So my top tips are: How to close a Metro Application There are two ways to do this – dragging the open application from the top of the screen to the bottom – you will see something like the screen below (top half is once it is grabbed and the bottom half is as it is dragged to the bottom of the screen). The second way to do this is to hover in the top left corner and one Metro application will show.  However if we now scroll down the left edge the other open applications will show.  We can now right click on one of those and select close. It is also worth noting that we can also snap the application to the left or right hand side of the screen too. Of course...
  • Does Windows Intune require an underlying operating system to load Windows 7 Enterprise Edition?

    I just saw this question being asked, so thought I would should with everyone: Question: “If I have a paid subscription to Windows Intune, do I need an existing Operating System to install the Windows 7 Enterprise license included with the subscription?” Answer: Yes – from the FAQ: What are the Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade rights included with Windows Intune? All of your managed PCs covered by Windows Intune may be upgraded to Windows 7 Enterprise as long as the qualifying OS is one of the following business editions of Windows: Business, Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise. The machines must also meet the Windows 7 system requirements. This list can be found at http://windows.microsoft.com/systemrequirements . In addition to Windows 7 upgrade rights, Windows Intune customers will also have rights to upgrade to future versions of Windows, as well as downgrade rights to older versions. As long as your subscription is active, you will have access to the best version of Windows for your business to standardize...
  • Upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 and manage the PC’s–Windows Intune did this for eLitigation Solutions and reduced IT spend by 30%

    Hi, I’ve just seen the case study on eLitigation solutions and how they did this and reduced costs by 30% in the process.  The case study can be found here .  Electronic Discovery Firm Reduces IT Costs by 30 Percent with Cloud-Based PC Management To meet its various business requirements, eLitigation Solutions needed a stable, well-monitored, and regularly updated PC environment, but the company also wanted to simplify and reduce the cost of managing its PCs. In 2011, eLitigation began using Windows Intune to manage, monitor, and update its PCs. Now the company has standardized its PC environment, enhanced security, and reduced PC costs by 30 percent. This was the problem: Most eLitigation employee PCs were still running the Windows XP operating system and the company wanted to upgrade its PCs to the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system. But at the same time, eLitigation needed to simplify and reduce the cost of managing its PC environment. The Solution: The company worked with InfinIT Consulting, a...
  • Windows Intune feedback and support tools and useful blogs

    I’ve been reading and responding to the posts on the Windows Intune forums site and realised that I should share with everyone the support and feedback tools available for us.  These enable conversations with the support teams and input into the people making decisions about updates and major releases for Windows Intune.  The following sites are available: Support Forum Support for Windows Intune Microsoft Online Services support The forum has responses from the community as well as great Microsoft support people. This site provides resources to enable you to access support by phone and e-mail on technical, non-technical issues, Windows and MDOP This site provides the details for phone and support page access to help with the Microsoft Online Services Customer Portal (MOCP)   Feedback Windows Intune feedback This site provides free-form feedback to the Microsoft team, so not support issues, but product hits, misses and desires   I hope this helps you get more out of Windows Intune as well as...
  • Microsoft Windows Intune V2: Quickstart Administration book released

    Well, nearly 12 months after I started the project my book is now available to buy.  This book is relevant to the latest shipping version of Windows Intune 2.0. Chapters Overview of Cloud Computing Introduction to PC management concepts Overview of Windows Intune features Signing up for Windows Intune and installing the client software Configuring Windows Intune Configuring Management Policy Software Deployment Tracking and reporting Monitoring and responding to Windows Intune alerts Resolve problems using Microsoft DaRT Deploying Windows 7 Enterprise Edition Integration with existing Microsoft Products Purchasing the book Book and / or e-Book from publisher – Packt Publishing Book from Amazon –    Chapters in detail Chapter 1, Overview of Cloud Computing explores the new cloud computing and cloud-based services world that we are moving rapidly towards and includes Windows Intune. Before we can embark on this journey it is important that we understand the benefits and pitfalls that cloud services...
  • Windows Intune Silent Application Deployment hints

    Windows Intune requires application deployment to be a silent (as in no user interaction) process.  Sometimes working out how to do this can be quite hard.  Richard at Windows Intunepedia has shared some information on this that I thought I would also share: Steps to Deploy Adobe Reader X with Windows Intune How to deploy Java 7 Runtime Environment (JRE) with Windows Intune You might also want to look at http://silentinstall.org/ which can help wrapper other installers to ensure they are silent.   ttfn David
  • Windows Intune and firewalls / proxies

    We had this question circulate around at work, so I wanted to share.  Window Intune needs access to the internet.  This means that the services need unhindered access to the internet.  While for most of us, once we are connected, we are connected, some firewall / proxy devices require extra information to be entered into a browser and this is something that Windows Intune cannot deal with. Luckily, Richard at Windows Intunepedia has written about this and quite some time ago .  The key elements are: Ports 80,443 will be needed for outgoing communications and the firewall / proxy must be as follows: If the client computers exist behind an authenticating proxy server, you must configure the proxy server as follows: 1. Confirm that the proxy server supports HTTP and HTTPS. 2. Enable either Non-auth or Negotiate (Kerberos) authentication methods on the proxy. If your proxy server is using the Negotiate (Kerberos) authentication method then you must configure it to allow authentication using computer...
  • Various recent VDI related whitepapers - Citrix, Microsoft, Cisco, NetApp and AppSense (not all together in all whitepapers)

    I believe that Citrix XenDesktop and Microsoft Hyper-V offer the best VDI experience and System Center the best management solution for this configuration (as well as many others).  I work with NetApp and have becoming increasingly impressed by the NetApp / Cisco offerings – FlexPod and then when combined with Citrix / XenDesktop, a killer proposition for easy, reliable VDI.  I’ve also included AppSense in the mix as I’ve also been working with them around their User State Virtualisation technology and where it fits both VDI and physical desktops. These whitepapers overlap various aspects of the above, so here they are: Reference Architecture-Based Design Citrix XenDesktop Built on FlexPod Using Cisco Unified Computing System, Microsoft Hyper-V, and NetApp Storage Some of the key points are: The hosting of Citrix XenDesktop Hosted Virtual Desktops (VDI) and Hosted Shared Virtual Desktops models and FlexCast with Microsoft Hyper-V on Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers and NetApp storage were successfully...
  • Windows 8 from CES–Long Zheng, Running Android Apps on Windows

    Microsoft has not made many significant announcements about Windows 8 since the BUILD conference late last year.  Since then, lots of information about how Windows 8 will work has been delivered through the  blog. At CES, we have seen Windows 8 running on some lovely slate/tablet and ultrabook devices and also on Intel and ARM chipsets.  Long Zheng has been following Windows for a long time and has posted some useful information and an update on the pre-beta build running at CES and a host of screenshots on his blog at Analyzing the Windows 8 demo from CES 2012 keynote . Then of course there is the discussion about native applications and it is interesting that BlueStacks now have a product to run Android applications on Windows too.  This item can be found here . From a devices point of view, I like this video:   There is plenty more, but I wanted to share these items as I liked them!   ttfn David
  • Diagnosing connectivity problems to Exchange and Office 365

    I was asked today about an Outlook synchronisation of the address book over the web (RPC over http) and did some digging and found this excellent diagnosis tool - https://www.testexchangeconnectivity.com .  The nice thing is that it tests many products – Exchange, ActiveSync and Office 365 . Once you start the tool you have to choose what diagnosis you want: or After you have completed your sign-in details, you get the results.  In the example below it shows that my certificate is not publically signed and a number of other issues that I could address if they were the cause of connectivity issues (but I don’t need to as I get the functionality I want with the current setup)   ttfn David
  • 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...
  • Windows Intune learning path–free training for Microsoft Partners

    Eric Ligman tweeted about the new partner learning paths, so I zipped over there to see these excellent items for Windows Intune . I’ve already done some of these, but it is a great way to get up to speed on Windows Intune and how to sell it.   ttfn David
  • 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...
  • Understanding more about Desktop Virtualisation–VDI and RHSD and how to pick between them

    I am frequently asked questions about Microsoft, what our VDI, DV or RHSD solution looks like and how to license it as I look after the relationship between Citrix and Microsoft in the UK. Having seen the article at Computer Weekly I decided I would share some thoughts on what it is and how to license it (licensing in a blog later in the week). On the licensing front, I should say, while I have a lots of experience, always talk to a Microsoft Licensing Specialist . Always! Microsoft licensing moves forward to enable more customer scenarios all the time, so by the time I hit send, it could be out of date already. Sad but true. To quote from the article above, which is very good (except for the licensing sidebar which is confusing IMHO) “But one research firm that has looked at Microsoft’s new EA, has found that Microsoft has, in fact, simplified client access licensing. “ What is DV, VDI and RHSD First off, I’m assuming everyone is clear on the difference between DV and VDI. Ok, maybe not...
  • Useful Windows Intune Documentation–What’s New Factsheet, Best Practices, Trial Guide and FAQ

    I saw this over e-mail at work today and thought I would share with you: - Factsheet (What’s new?) - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh452635.aspx - Best Practices (Deploying Software and Third Party Updates with Windows Intune)  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh441740.aspx - Trial Guide (View the complete Windows Intune Getting Started Guide) http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh441719.aspx - FAQ (Windows Intune: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ))  http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windowsintune/faq/default.aspx   ttfn David
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(c)David Overton 2006-17