Friday, May 29, 2009

Bing - The Decision Maker

Yesterday Microsoft announced "Bing", a new Internet search engine. The press release mentions how Bing is attempting to revolutionize search by changing the rules of being a "Search Engine" to being a "Decision Engine".

Clearly great search results are at the top of the list, but embedded within those results is organization to help you sift through the data faster, and more efficiently with computer assisted insight. Check out this virtual tour for more details:

On June 3rd, make sure you head over to Bing! for your first chance to try out the search engine.

Bing-it baby!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Windows 7 has “Network Aware” Default Printers

Windows 7

Being a 75% mobile worker, I’m constantly on the move.  This means that I live and breath on my laptop.  Windows 7 has helped me be more productive and efficient. With faster boot times, more reliable sleep/hibernation modes, and improved security and access (such as Direct Access).  My mobile computing has never been easier. 

To make it one step easier, I discovered a particularly nifty feature that I found over at Life Hacker. Windows 7 has a new printer manager feature that allows you to set your default printer dependant on which network you are connected to, perfect for a mobile worker such as myself.

Before we get into details on how to configure this, we should all working hard to reduce our carbon foot print and work on going green in the office.  With new technologies and plenty of access, printing should be one of those last resort things.

Having said that, Windows 7 can switch your default printer depending on which network you’re connected to.  For example, at my home I want the default to be my HP Laser Jet 2506dn printer.  At work I want it to be the crazy Xerox copy center behind the kitchen.

To set this up simply do the following:

  1. Launch into the Control Panel/Devices and Printers dialog
  2. Select one of your printers
  3. Select Manage default printers from the blue-bar under the address window Manage default printers
  4. Now simply choose your network, and the installed printer of preference for that network, and click Update. Manage Default Printers

From this point forward, when you are connected to that network, you’re default printer will always be what you expect.  If you do a lot of printing, might save you some time.  Or if you have users that take laptop to and from work, might save you some support time in the evenings as they go home and try to print from there.

If you’re interested in the Life Hacker post, you can read it here.  Thanks Life Hacker!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thanks for Attending my Tech-Ed Presentation


This past Friday, I was in Los Angeles at Microsoft Tech Ed as I mentioned before. I didn’t have a slot targeted for high attendance: 9am Friday morning, after a big party.  But wow! 45-55 people joined to learn about Small Business Server 2008!

teched meI just wanted to send out a thanks for rolling out of bed to those that made it.  I also wanted to make sure my power point deck was available to all.  Of course, if you weren’t there in person, you lost out on:

  1. Seeing the demo’s in person
  2. Having the ability to ask me or Susan any question in person
  3. Seeing Susan Bradley, our “booth babe” as she called herself.
  4. Having a chance to win a copy of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Unleashed, written by Eriq Neale, co-authored by Susan Bradley.
  5. Obtaining a resource card on SBS resources.

I hope you enjoyed Tech-Ed, I know I did.

Check out Susan’s Blog for a roll-up, a discussion on backup, and our follow-up discussion on migration at the WESS booth.

Additionally, thanks to Susan for her help during the presentation and at the booth with Oliver.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Adding Items to the “Send To” Menu


One of the lesser used features of Windows is the “Send To” menu.  This menu enables you to copy any file to any other location within the “Send To” menu. 

I’m often on out on corporate shares and such and I want to copy files and folders down to my local PC for faster access, or I might just want to move things around my hard drive to get things organized.  Instead of opening up two Windows Explorer Windows, you can use the one, right-click the file you want and go to the “Send To” menu, and then choose to copy it to any location you choose.  But how do you update the “Send To” menu?

image has a simple solution:

  1. Click Start and then Run
  2. In the window that opens type shell:sendto, and Windows Explorer will open directly to the “Send To” menu location.
  3. Simply create a short cut to the location you want to add to your menu, and close explorer

Now when you right-click and choose that “Send To” menu, you get the additional locations you need to make your life more efficient!

(More Details at, this also applies to Vista)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Microsoft Tech-Ed is Next Week!

Microsoft Tech-Ed 2009 North America

Next week I’ll be in Los Angeles to attend Tech-Ed 2009, North America Edition.  Come and join me in room 409 on Friday May 15th from 9am to 10:15am for the session:

Windows Small Business Server 2008: Up and Running in Under an Hour

During the session I will go over all of the core concepts of Windows Small Business Server 2008, and how you can finish setup in just under an hour using a pre-installed server. The MVP community has already started to pick up the excitement.

See you there!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

How to get Live Messenger back in the System Tray on Windows 7

Ok, so Windows 7 has a fancy new task bar, and Windows Live Messenger shows up on the task bar even when it’s closed.  It definitely looks fancy, and it will help folks like my parents and grandparents find messenger on their computer.  I love that I don’t have to explain “that tiny little chess piece in the right hand corner of the screen, no further down, no all the way down, near the clock, no to the left of the clock”.  Yes, I do this often.

However, for me, and probably a lot of power users that take advantage of the fact that Windows can task-switch and have plenty of windows open, you really don’t want Live Messenger to take up a section of that, when you’re used to it sitting right in the corner out of the way.  You can get that back to the way it was in Vista/XP simply by running it in compatibility mode. 

If you want to get Live Messenger back into the System Tray, you can customize that by following these steps:

  1. Simply close Live Messenger by clicking on it and closing it.  Make sure it’s not minimized, but actually closed, so it doesn’t even appear in your Task Manager as a running program
  2. Then browse to c:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Live\Messenger (this could be c:\program files, without the (x86) if you’re running a 32-bit operating system)
  3. Right-click on msnmsgr.exe and choose properties.
  4. Under the Compatibility tab, choose to run this under Windows Vista (SP2) compatibility mode: image
  5. Click OK, and then run messenger again

Now Live Messenger is sitting back in the system tray.  Don’t forget to customize the hiding feature, so it doesn’t hide on you for not using it!!


So, it’s easy to get Live Messenger back in the system tray.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Migrate from SBS 2000 to SBS 2008

Announced this morning over on the SBS User Assistance Blog, was a newly added whitepaper to the MVP Corner on Technet. The paper written by an SBS support engineer from India, Edwin Joseph.  His whitepaper covers the how-to steps on migrating from SBS 2000 to SBS 2008. So if you’ve been itching to upgrade this old piece of software, now you can!

If you want to read more from Edwin, he maintains his own blog.

In the meantime, you can directly download the SBS 2000 to SBS 2008 Whitepaper.