Monday, July 19, 2010

Discovering Windows Server Codename “Aurora”

HP has teamed up with Becky Och’s, one of our Senior Program managers on the team to talk about what’s in Windows Server Codename ”Aurora”, the new cloud integrated version of Small Business Server.  Becky recorded a short video with the HP Coffee Coaching team to get you up to speed.  As with all Coffee Coaching videos, this one is 4 minutes, which makes it a great video to get up to speed on “Aurora” while you’re wolfing down your morning coffee.

Jump into Coffee Coaching and get more great videos from HP and Microsoft on “Aurora” and other Small Business Products:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Guy Haycock discusses the SMB Announcements at WPC 2010

Up on, Aaron managed to get our Product Planner, Guy Haycock, on camera talking about the announcements of “Aurora” and “SBS7”.

Source Video:

Windows Server Codename “Aurora” Video Walkthrough

Wow, over on WeGotServed, Terry found an awesome video that talks about Aurora from our very own Michael Leworthy, product planner for SBS. He talks about the differences between “SBS7” and “Aurora”, and why you might want Aurora over SBS7

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Source is We Got Served.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Announcing the next releases of Windows Small Business Server

Today we (as in our fearless leader Kevin Kean) pulled the lid off what our team has been working on for the past few years. Two new versions of Windows Small Business Server. That’s right. TWO new versions.

From a traditional standpoint, we’ve continued the single-server mantra with Windows Small Business Server “SBS7”. This version includes updates to all the major products in SBS, such as Windows Server 2008 R2, Exchange Server 2010 SP1, SharePoint 2010 Foundation, WSUS 3.0, and SQL 2008 R2 (with Premium edition). These new versions provide our customers with security and management. We also included a brand-spanking new version of Remote Web Workplace! This version of SBS will continue to support the familiar 75 users

The second version, code named Windows Small Business Server “Aurora” is the new edition of SBS. It’s cheaper than SBS7, and is even a lighter weight “first server” option for small businesses as is a hybrid server delivering both on premise services, as well integrates with the cloud. It also includes PC Backup, and server backup/restore capabilities. The same new version of Remote Web Workplace! This version of SBS will support up to 25 users.


“Aurora” also brings a key new functionality of add-ins to drive integration between new and existing on-line services with Aurora. Developers can find the SDK on Connect. We have been working with a lot of partners with SBS Aurora such as Symantec, Level Platforms and Disk Keeper are all making statements this week around plans to integrate products with SBS Aurora. HP is not only showing SBS Aurora in their booth at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, but has a sneak peek at And you’re sure to hear more as we get closer to releasing the preview.

You can sign-up to be notified when the Preview of these servers are available over on the SBS Connect website.

It’s nice to finally be able to talk about the products I’ve been working on for the last number of years!

[Official Blog Post on the Official SBS Blog]

[First discovered review of SBS7 and Aurora, by Paul Thurrott]

Friday, July 09, 2010

Windows Home Server “Vail” Remote Web Access Extensibility

The 3rd in a series of blog posts on Vail extensibility went live today, teaching the developer in you how to extend the Remote Web Access website.  The full article can be found on the Windows Home Server blog - “Vail” Remote Web Access and Its Extensibility

What is new in Remote Web Access site of Vail?

Let’s check out the latest look & feel of Remote Web Access site first (RWA site for short). Pretty, hah? Do you like it? :-)


When we designed this new RWA site, we had two visions to guide our engineering team. First, we want to provide an easy, reliable way for users to access their data and computers from anywhere, anytime, on any device. Second, we want to provide an extensible platform for OEM and ISV partners/developers to add tightly integrated remote web access value. The second vision maps exactly to the extensibility framework of RWA site.

Basically, every built-in feature you are looking at (i.e. Computers, Shared Folders, Media Library, etc) is built on top of the extensibility framework. All the APIs we used are public to you (our favorite developers) as well. We can build it, you can build it.

Besides the look & feel and extra functionalities, the extensibility framework is the key difference comparing the new and old Remote Web Access sites.

For reference, here are the previous posts:

Happy Development!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

How to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi Networks

Over on, one of my favorite sites, they talk a bit about how to stay safe on Public, or even those looming “open” networks that you might discover in an apartment building.  It’s important to consider these because network traffic, when not encrypted, bounces off other computers or is just visible to snooping computers and can leave you compromised.  In fact, this is one reason I refuse to use straight-up POP3 (without SSL), because back in University, my roommate showed me how he was just getting usernames and passwords to email addresses on Rogers ISP.  Kind of scary when you see that.

Browse on over to LifeHacker to get details, but I’ll copy the essentials here for easy reading.  Lifehacker also provides both Windows 7 and MAC UI and instructions.  I’ll copy the Windows ones here

Turn off File & Printer Sharing

Enable Your Firewall

Use SSL Where Possible

Consider using VPN

Turn it off when you’re done

Change to the Public Profile

Some other things I’d recommend above and beyond are:

  1. Make sure you have an Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware solution installed.  If you don’t have one, there is a few free ones, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, which is what I use.
  2. Make sure the password you use for your PC is a strong one.
  3. Don’t save standard SSIDs such as “DLink” or “Linksys” or “Netgear” into your saved networks to prevent accidental connections to bad networks.
  4. Opt into Microsoft Update to keep all your software up to date.  And ensure it’s all up to date.
  5. Ensure your Bluetooth network adapter isn’t discoverable (although this is more of a personal area network, instead of a WiFi network)

As it turns out, that little “unsecure lock” you see on those public Wi-Fi networks is there for a reason, to give you extra warnings to head, as mentioned above.

It’s a zoo out there, stay safe!