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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  • 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...
  • Set up Microsoft Office Live Small Business Web sites

    The Console setup process ( Once SBS is set up, how to do the basic configuration through the management console ) sets up SBS 2008 for use. One of the options is for a spit personality Office Live for Small Businesses solution. Why split, well the e-mail items are held on the SBS 2008 Exchange server, as will the report site services, but the public web site and WSS external collaboration sites will be hosted on the Office Live servers. This means that things like DNS need a bit more management, but that can all be handled for you. This is how I configured mine: Start the process from the console and say I want a new site. Since SBS 2008 already knows the external address of the SBS box, it offers to enable the DNS to be redirected to Office Live for the www.mydomain.com address We then get into the Office Live sign-up process via the web. One word of note here, I had installed the box as a US system, not a UK system, so it took me to the US site. If you change the language settings in the browser (Tools/Options...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Microsoft Online Services - beta in US, international .. not for a while yet, but you get to see where Microsoft is going!

    What is it? I know Vlad is not going to like this, but even he will admit that this has been on the cards for a while. Software plus services is coming to town in a bigger and bigger way. At the moment there is a limited beta in the US and (just like Google), it has the beta tag on it . So what have we seen today, well we have seen Microsoft stand up and be counted in it's commitment to the software-plus-services strategy. We have seen existing "on premise" solutions of Exchange and SharePoint be offered as a S+S (software-plus-services) alternative for those customers who don't wish to run these themselves. There is no "must switch" or "dropping" of the existing, very successful products, just more options for people. As a customer you would consider whether you get better value running these in-house yourself, or with a partner delivering them for you in-house, or completely outsources to another partner or Microsoft. As a partner you have to consider how you deliver in...
  • Microsoft Office Live Small Business v2 - have you got it already?

    This happened a couple of weeks ago, but it is always worth sharing the improvements in Office Live. Not only do we have this going on, but we also have the beta of Workspaces progressing. Remember, your customers could benefit from Office Live and if you don't offer it, someone else might just offer them Office Live or something else, blocking you out from that customer as they grow in size. Microsoft Office Live Small Business is the award-winning, easy-to-use suite of Web-based software and services designed to help small businesses affordably take, promote and manage their businesses online. Used by nearly 600,000 customers worldwide, Office Live Small Business is available in the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan. The service also provides an excellent environment within which partners can build industry-specific solutions. Office Live Small Business is now available with : Full Firefox 2.0 support for PC & Mac Easy-to-use Website Designer tool or use html/3rd party design tools Outlook Connector...
  • We may live in the Web 1.5/2.0/3.0 world, but most of our customers don't - Online office suites barely register with public, says study

    Just a final one before I go to bed (been at home ill today, so fired off some blogs while I was bed bound) - It is funny how much noise Saas and applications like Office suites online get in the IT press, yet go to your average consumer and you are down with 26% who are aware of them and just 6% who have tried them - and most of these are not regular users. Just reminds us to keep our feet firmly on the same planet as those of our customers, or help them very carefully to step to the new planet. A new study by the NPD Group doesn't paint a great picture for the current state of online productivity suites. If the numbers from a survey of 600 US residents are to be believed, most of us have never heard of, let alone tried, products such as Google Docs or Zoho . Considering various factors such as visibility and the industry's untested waters though, these numbers could be due for a significant shift in the coming years. According to NPD Group numbers, 73 percent of the 600 Americans surveyed have never...
  • 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 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Microsoft unveils more online services and additional features for Office Live

    You may well have missed this on Microsoft Press Pass, but I think all partners should read this and work out if there is even more opportunity for them. It was introduced under a title that might not have caught your attention: Microsoft Charts Its Software Services Strategy and Road Map for Businesses Company introduces “Online” services and Microsoft Office Live Workspace, solutions that combine client, server and services offerings to deliver connected computing options for people and businesses. REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 30, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today laid out the next phase in its strategy for online services, offering a road map for new offerings that synthesize client, server and services software for people and businesses. These offerings will combine elements of client-based programs with software that runs large servers and new services delivered over the Internet. The offerings announced expand Microsoft’s existing portfolio of software plus service solutions — solutions that weave together the best...
  • Windows Live Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better performance, huge amounts of storage, de-dupe of contacts, message forwarding, Out of Office and much more

    You can tell from the title the favourite things I have found testing the latest version of Hotmail - well it is now public - we start rolling these features and more out over the Hotmail clusters. For more information look at the Ellie Powers-Boyle blog post Your mail is here, come and get it!: August: Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better.performance . Obviously if you are a Office Live customer then you will also see these changes coming to you. For the international of us, I have called "Vacation Replies" Out of Office - you know what I mean then :-) 13 August August: Hotmail will soon bring you more of your requests, better performance We went out of beta in May, and we’re already releasing something new. Today, these new features will begin to roll our gradually to all our customers over the next few weeks, so if you don’t immediately see them, be patient, they’re coming! It’s a fun time to be working on Hotmail. We already did a ton of work to get the basics ready to get out...
  • 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...
  • Office Rocker!'s Office Live - Live interview with Tim Kimber (including the BT deal)

    If you have never heard of Office Live, go read the whole interview. If you have heard of it, but don't see the value, go read the interview to see what BT are doing with it. If you do not know about the BT and Microsoft Office Live deal.... I think you get the idea - it is not long, but will make you think for a bit about business models. Office Live - Live interview As Office Live comes out of beta, I thought it would be good to catch up on the latest news. Today I'm joined by Mr Office Live himself - Tim Kimber to tell us more: Hi Tim, perhaps you'd like to introduce yourself and what you do? I'm the Office Live Business & Marketing lead for Microsoft UK. Office Live is a set of web services for Small Businesses to help them get online and start promoting their companies how long has Office Live been available in the UK - is it still in beta? We launched the beta of Office Live in the UK on 21st November 2006, so we've been in market for around 6 months. We came out of beta on 23rd May...
  • Microsoft Office Outlook Connector Beta (how to connect Office Live Basics or Windows Live Hotmail to Outlook)

    Don't you love the way the title of a product described what it is? While this product does what it says on the tin, it misses out the most important thing - what can you connect Outlook to. The answer is e-mail and contacts based on our Hotmail service, so this includes OfficeLive. If you sign up to one of the subscription OfficeLive services (i.e. you pay us to use it) then you get a connector which can do all this AND synchronise your calendar items too. Once in Outlook you can do all the searching, filing and manipulation you want to do. Today you can now download the beta of the next version of the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector. Download: Microsoft Office Outlook Connector (Beta) The Microsoft Office Outlook Connector is designed to let you access your Windows Live Hotmail account through Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007. You will be able to download and install the Connector to sync up your email and contacts in Windows Live Hotmail for free. However, if you are a paid subscriber of MSN Premium, Office...
  • Whatever happened to FrontPage and what has it got to do with SharePoint Designer or Web Expression

    I seem to be being asked this a lot, so I thought I would pop up my simple answer: FrontPage has been both extended and then split into two products. We now have SharePoint Designer which is one child of FrontPage, but obviously ideally suited to modifying SharePoint (and OfficeLive) sites and then we have the “any type of web page editor” which is Expression Web. If you look at http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/web_designer/fpwd_faq.mspx you will also see: How is Expression Web different from Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003? Expression Web builds on Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003 technologies to provide an unprecedented level of support for creating standards-based Web sites. Valuable feedback from customers like you have helped us create a new product that fully supports Web standards such as Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML), cascading style sheets (CSS), and Extensible Markup Language (XML). If you are familiar with FrontPage, then you will find Expression Web easy to use. Expression...
  • Interactive Developer Map - want to develop something on top of a Microsoft platform, but don't know where to go for information - now you can do it all interactively

    Microsoft Office Interactive Developer Map The Microsoft Office Interactive Developer Map is a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) application that helps developers visualize the different programs, servers, services, and tools that will help them build solutions. It allows them to drill down to each product and technology and learn about new features, objects, Web services, namespaces, and schemas required to extend Microsoft Office and build custom Office Business Applications (OBAs) . Source: Interactive Developer Map I have a look at this and was quite impressed with the list of resources available to you. For example - look at the link below - it is the Office Live drill down - look at all the places to get information - I checked - the sites are good! ttfn David
  • Clint Covington: Software design, Microsoft Office Access : Cool As Ice uses Office Live and Access 2007 with custom ribbon

    I saw this and thought you might like to see how one ISV has joined Office Live and an Access application. Web access and rich client applications. Nice!! Here is some information about the Access 2007 application that I’ve developed for Cool As Ice, which is a leading Norfolk-based supplier of air conditioning and refrigeration here in the UK. Cool As Ice wanted a bespoke customer contact system that they could use to hold data securely yet allow their workforce to use that data on their laptops, including adding and altering data, i.e. not just a read-only copy. Access 2007’s integration with Sharepoint meant it could provide the basis for a good solution. The application holds its data in a workspace that is part of my company’s Office Live site. The choice of Office Live to provide the SharePoint part of the solution means that their data is secure and that Cool As Ice do not need to get involved in organising that part of the solution, concentrating instead on the things they do best. Backups of data are...
  • Office Live extensibility - Business Applications, Mash Ups, Workflows, Live IDs, Share data between the public and private (internal) site and rich client side applications

    Office Live is an amazingly flexible web design and business application tool, but understanding how to build customisation services around Office Live can be a bit of a hard one, especially when it includes things like Live ID from a client application. The presentation video from Mix07 goes through the process by initially doing a couple of site design. Then they build a reservation mini application that shares information between custom sharepoint lists internal to the site and present input/output information on the public site. Then workflow is added to make the reservations move from requests to processes when the status is changed and update a calendar. Remember that Office Live is built on a Windows SharePoint Services V3, so a platform that is already hotting up. A simple mashup is built using the customer information and a Local.Live.com map. Finally a client based application is created to log into the web service and then access the lists to update information. While this is nothing revolutionary,...
  • Where to go for information on Office Live in the UK, see a demo, see how to develop against it and even use it as a SharePoint data repository and show the information on the public site

    Tim Kimber the UK Office live product manager sent me these links and they are pretty good: bCentral Office Live SB+ webcast (requires sign-in) - http://www.microsoft.com/uk/businesscentral/small-business-plus/sign-up.aspx?xid=sbplus_ol_bcban Flash demo : http://www.microsoft.com/winme/0703/29661/UK/DEV_Deploy/index.html Office Live Mix presentation : http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1556816&SiteID=1 Tips and Tricks for Using JavaScript on Your Office Live Public Site : http://blogs.msdn.com/doncampbell/archive/2007/04/20/tips-and-tricks-for-using-javascript-on-your-office-live-public-site.aspx Using the collect/display data module (connect to the SharePoint back end) in Office Live : http://channel9.msdn.com/Media/Firesign.html ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office Live , demo , develop
  • What to use to replace FrontPage (Expression Web or SharePoint Design) and get a free trial

    I asked my mate James Akrigg what to do for all those people who use FrontPage 2003 today to edit web pages and wish to progress - here is his response: If I am not modifying SharePoint sites then I would suggest Expression Web .. I have been using this for creating simple sites and creating Vista gadgets. It’s bang up-to-date with all things webified And so if you do have SharePoint then use SharePoint Designer .. without a doubt... At first glance Expression Web and SharePoint Designer look very similar.. but there are some subtle differences, the good news is that it is very easy to use both applications. For more information on SharePoint Designer go to http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointdesigner/FX100487631033.aspx . You can get a free trial at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=BAA3AD86-BFC1-4BD4-9812-D9E710D44F42&displaylang=en For more information on Expression Web go to http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/expression-web/default.mspx . You can get a free trial...

(c)David Overton 2006-18