Friday, September 29, 2006

SBS UG Tour - Thank you Tampa!

My departure from Tampa ended the 2006 Small Business Server User Group Tour. I've had a great time travelling down the coast and talking to all of you. We really do appreciate the attendance levels we've hit. I hope you've enjoyed checking out the latest Vista and Office demos, learning about the "ribbon" and full text search. I also hope you've learned something about how Small Business Server 2003 R2 works. Again, if I can answer any questions, please feel free to drop me a comment on my blog, I'll reply to your comment with an answer (usually within a few days).

Let's see if I can recall some of the questions the Tampa croud asked:

Q: Can Vista's new Meeting Space be used from the Internet?
A: I don't believe so, it has to be the same network. We believe it will work over a VPN connection, although performance may very here.

Q: Can you revert back to the old toolbar in Office 2007?
A: Unfortunately, not. Although we believe the new ribbon will be more intuitive than the previous tool bars, and education will most likely only be needed for saving.

Q: Where did the Run command go from the start menu in Vista? How do we launch the command prompt?
A: you can simply type "command" or "cmd" into the search bar and it will run the command, or search the start menu and show you the link. You can also still press WIN+R to pop-up the old fashioned run dialog.

So now the tour is over, I can share with those of you who didn't attend, some of the great things you missed.

Office 2007

  • A new navigation toolbar called "the ribbon" helps you use more features in Word/Excel/PowerPoint without having to search forever to find them.

  • What you see *before* you get it, mousing over features changes the actual item on the page prior to you clicking so you can get the right formatting/feature everytime

  • The hover menu. Save mouse movement by having common text tasks show up next to highlighted text in Word.

  • Improved pictures/Graphics. No longer neccessary to import graphics to get a professional look and feel

  • Integration with SharePoint v3. Link document libraries to Sharepoint for offline access, documents will sync up when you're back online. Overlay calendars and pick free/busy time, edit sharepoint calendars simply from within Outlook.
  • SharePoint v3 - templates! Version Tracking! Recycle bins!

  • Sharepoint Designer, a vastly improved environment for editing SharePoint replacing Frontpage

Windows Vista

  • Full text search, everything

  • Enhanced security using bitlocker

  • ReadyBoost to speed up your system with common tasks using a simple flash disk

  • Aero "glass" UI, and the WIN+TAB 3D task switcher

  • The transparent sidebar with endless gadgets

Small Business Server 2003 R2

  • Updated Server Status reports -- no more scrolling!

  • Simplified patch management, critical patches are automatically approved!

  • Customizable update management, reboot your PCs when it's convenient for you!

  • Ehanced security and performance around Mobility

  • Expanded CAL rights, use SBS CALs to cover additional SQL/Exchange boxes in the network

  • File System Resource Manager. Get reports on disk usage, block file types (*.mp3, *.wma) from being stored on the server, directory level quota management

... and much much more

Remember, if you're not an SBSC, it's definately something to consider. I believe for a short time, contact your user group lead for discounts on obtaining this qualification.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

SBS UG Tour - Thank you Charlotte!

Well, we're past the half way point of the last leg of the SBS User Group Tour. I wanted to give a quick shout out to the folks in Charlotte for making me fell so welcome (especially MVPs Grey, Andy & the User Group lead, Marc)! If you're not a member of a user group, the Charlotte User Group is great bunch of guys n' gals.

So let's see if I can recall some of the questions we talked about last night:
Q:I use the SBS 2003 backup wizard, what's its deficiencies?
A: The SBS backup wizard was designed primarily for a single box backup solution. If you have additional servers in your network that you wish to backup, another solution may be in order. In addition, the Restore to new hardware, while it works if the hardware is similar (i.e. Dell-->Dell, HP-->HP) if you're moving to completely different hardware, the restore process is not optimized for this. Another solution was mentioned, but I can't recall it.

Q: Does SBS Backup use compression?
A: SBS backup is configured to use hardware compression. If the device the backup is going to supports it, the data will be compressed. In most cases, this means that the tape backup is compressed, but the hard drive backup is not.

Q:Are there any plans to include DFS (Distributed File System) in SBS for branch offices?
A: No. SBS is designed for smaller businesses, you'll want to keep your eye on Microsoft's Mid Market Solution, Codename: Centro. I can't disclose any more information at this time.

Q:Is there a way to upgrade my Windows Mobile 2003 device to Windows Mobile 2005?
A: You should check the website of the manufacturer, or the website of your cellular service provider, if an update is not provided for your device on these sites, chances are one is not available.

Q:Can I Upgrade to R2 and not upgrade SQL 2000?
A: No, all components must be upgraded, it's in the Microsoft SBS FAQ. For a little bit of more information, I started a thread with our marketing folk to see why this was the case.

That's all I can remember, again, thanks to all who attended, the SBSC private sessions as well as the actual event. And thanks to Grey who went out of his way to drive me around! (PS. Grey actually has a voice, I don't think I've heard him say more than 5 words at a time before! ;o) )

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

SBS UG Tour - Thank you New York!

We just wrapped up the NYC event, I think it was a great success! Thanks to "Jonny Cash" for hosting the event in his user group. Thanks to the Microsoft folk who helped present and facilitate. Here are some of the questions we had in the room.

Q: When is R2 going to be available?
A: I thought it was, but I've heard this now in multiple places, so I went back to our release management for the story. R2 will be in the October Action Pack, it's available via open license today, Retail it varies by distributor, and there are no guaruntees as to when it will be available, and major OEMs are distributing it already.

Q: Does R2 have the ability to purchase 1 CAL at a time?
A: Single CAL is available only through a bundled offering for Open Value licensing (ie. a purchase of XP, Office, and SBS together). Everyone who knows *how* you can get this is off traveling around the world. I'll try to update this post when I get the answser, if someone knows, please reply to this post for the benefit of others.

Those are teh questions that I recalled, if there was one (or another one) that you wanted answering, please feel free to post it as a comment, it will get answered.

Monday, September 25, 2006

SBS UG Tour - Thank you New England!

Well, Just finished wrapping up the New England User Group event. Thanks for hosting! I had a great time presenting, and believe the content of the whole night went really well.

So, as promised here are the questions that popped in my head as questions that were asked that I wanted to make sure the world got answers for:

Q: If I run SBS at work, and SBS at home, how can my laptop be used on both networks? do I use the http://homeserver/connectcomputer wizard?
A: No, if you have more than one domain, pick the domain you want the computer to spend the most of it's time in. This domain will manage that computer with patches, software, policies, security etc. Every other domain you acquire an IP address from is considered a "public" network to that laptop. When wishing to access resources on that other domain (provided you have access to it) you need to cache your credentials in your domain profile for your work network. To do this you can access \\homeserver\users and click "remember my password", or you can do it the more robust way, by going into Control Pannel, Users Accounts, Advanced Tab, Manage Passwords button. In here you can add the domain account for your 2nd or 3rd domain to automatically pass these credentials for access to these sites.

Q: How come Outlook 2003 has to be running in order for Exchange 2003 SP2 IMF to filter junk email?
It doesn't. My guess as to what's happening is the Exchange IMF filters are set lowers than Outlook 2003's filters. There is a relationship between the SCL index of Exchange and the SCL (High/Medium/Low) of Outlook 2003. On my home server, I have EXTREMELY rare false positives with 7 to permanently delete and 3 to move to junk email. I probably get two peices of junk in my inbox a month, and one real peice of email in my junk email box a month, pretty good levels if you ask me. As I mentioned tonight, an SCL of 3 or 4 on Exchange, works out to a HIGH in Outlook, so plan accordingly and adjust these numbers over time! Don't make drastic changes!

Those are the two that stood out in my mind, if there are others New England, drop me a comment and I will answer them.

New York, see you tomorrow night!

Windows Mobile + Feature Pack Rules!

I'm out here in Boston for the SBS User Group Tour, and we have a little panic. Apparently now I'm supposed to be doing the presentations for Vista and Office above and beyond SBS R2. Hrm, problem, because I don't have the hardware/software combo to demo it (laptop needs to be XP, because Vista RC1 has a driver bug for this specific video card on outputting to the external monitor... kinda needed for presentations).

My User Group Lead, Scott, says "Oh, we'll just call Blah Blah" at the Microsoft office here in Redmond, she'll hook us up, oh wait, I don't have her phone number here".

Out comes my shiny Windows Mobile Phone, I click Contacts, then Find Online, type in her last name and click Find.

.... At *blazing* edge speeds, her contact information comes directly down to my phone, I open it, click on the work number and the phone is ringing!

Did you hear me? It's ringing! No 411, no Operator, no "call to the buddy back at the office", it's just ringing!

I leave a voice mail, she calls me back, we had the presenter mixed up and I'm off the hook. I still had to bost about Windows Mobile 5 with the Feature Pack.

Rock on!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Mobilizing the Microsoft Stack - Mobility Road Tour

Hey Folks,

Starting on 10/2, the Microsoft TS2 group will be showing off some of the latest gadgets, plus have reps from Verizon, Brightpoint, and Palm at many of the sessions. For the first 40 Microsoft Partners, there will be FREE Windows Mobile devices (The catch is that they have to deploy a Windows Mobile solution within 60 days of the event; details are on the invitation link). Apparently, registration is limited, so sign up today!

10/02/06 - Monday, Washington, DC
10/02/06 - Monday, San Francisco, CA
10/03/06 - Tuesday, Downers Grove, IL
10/03/06 - Tuesday, Malvern, PA
10/04/06 - Wednesday, Southfield, MI
10/04/06 - Wednesday, Dallas, TX
10/04/06 - Wednesday, Phoenix, AZ
10/05/06 - Thursday, Tampa, FL
10/16/06 - Monday, Irvine, CA
10/19/06 - Thursday, Waltham, MA
10/25/06 - Wednesday, Raleigh, NC
10/26/06 - Thursday, Iselin, NJ
11/03/06 - Friday, Denver, CO

Just click a link to sign up!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

SBS Usergroup Tour

My week of travel is arriving soon. I'll be heading to the east coast of the US to complete the final leg of the Small Business Server User Group Tour. I'm hoping to use this blog to post the questions and answers that I get from the usergroup tour.

Anyways, it's going to be a fun week. Boston on Monday, New York on Tuesday, Charlotte on Wednesday and Tampa on Thursday, then travel back to Seattle on Friday.

If you're on the east coast, make sure you stop in at one of the events! See you there!