Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Windows Live has their next Beta available to try out

If you’re an avid user of Windows Live Services, and software like I am, you might be interested to know that the latest beta software is out.  You can get it from their download site.

The new MSN Messenger has a completely new look (so far), with the ability to add Favorite contacts, and direct access into spaces.

I’m using the new Windows Live Writer to type up this blog post, and now I can preview it, and view the source!

But my favorite is the updated Windows Live Mail client, now with access to a personal calendar!  This is nicely bundled with a new release of Windows Live Calendar.  You’ll need a copy of Outlook if you plan on porting your old calendar objects to the new calendar, but beyond that, it seems very slick.  I can’t wait to keep playing with the new features!

Monday, September 29, 2008

UserGroup Tour Q&A: San Fran, Irvine, San Diego

During the User Group Tour that just completed, I ended up receiving a lot of questions.  I thought it would be beneficial to add the Q&A here to my blog for all to read.  There is no order to the questions (other than first come first served), and this blog post will be updated over time, so if you get it with your RSS feed, you may want to view it online and return later.

Let's dive into the questions I've received so far:

Question: What is the size limit of the Exchange Store with SBS 2008

Answer: With Exchange 2007 Standard edition included with SBS 2008, the store limits are the same as with Exchange Enterprise server.  With a limit of 250GB, to 16TB (with a registry key toggle). More information here.


Question: Can I migrate to SBS 2008 from SBS 2003 and SBS 2003 R2?

Answer: Yes, you can migrate from both editions using the same documentation available here.


Question: What are the important links from the deck

Answer: There were a few: Hyper-V Proposed Support on the SBS blog, The SharePoint Kit, The Official SBS Blog, Nick King's Marketing Blog, and SBS 2008 Public Newsgroups.


Question: Can the second server be used in TS-Application mode, so you don't have to connect to the entire desktop to run an application?

Answer: Yes, but it requires additional TS CALs

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pimp Your Infrastructure!

Struggling with Old Hardware for your mid-sized business? Don't have the budget to upgrade this year? Well, Pimp My Infrastructure is coming to a down near you!

Today, the Pimp My Infrastructure contest started. To give you an idea of what happens, we've put together a little video:

It is customer directed, but if the customer submits their reseller name under “reseller”, the reseller receives a US$5,000 shopping spree from HP. There will be one winner in the SBS category and one for EBS. The contest closes on the 20th of October, so get started now!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm a PC


Most of you are familiar with the "I'm a MAC" commercials that have been run on TV for quite some time now.  Microsoft has finally produced a line of commercials to remind folks that there is a PC out there, and it is a very very connected, and personal device.

To view the source of the commercials, check out the I'm a PC Launch page.

Creating a "New E-Mail" Link in the Quick Start Menu

Personally, I'm all about efficiency on a computer.  Computers and Software should make your life easier, not harder.  In the office, I have 3 monitors, one of which always runs Outlook, so the "New E-Mail" link on Outlook is always accessible without 10 ALT+TAB key strokes.  On my laptop, with the limited sized monitor, and only one at that, getting to Outlook can take some time to start that new e-mail message.

So, I added a "New E-Mail" link to the Quick Launch menu.

It's not that hard, here are the steps that I use:

  1. Right-Click on your desktop and point to New and then click on Shortcut.
  2. In the wizard that opens, you're prompted for the item you'd like to point to, type in mailto: (don't forget the colon) and click Next
  3. For the friendly name on the next page, change it to New E-Mail (this helps with the mouse over) and then click Finish.

At this point you have a link to a new e-mail message using your default mail client (mine is of course Outlook).  Now, unfortunately, since Outlook is associated with the mailto: OS shortcut, you end up with the Outlook icon.  This can be confusing as you will also look for this icon to actually launch Outlook.  So we need to change the icon to the envelope icon.  Here's how:

  1. Right-Click on the new shortcut you just created, and click on Properties
  2. Click on Change Icon.
  3. Click the Browse button and point the browser to "C:\Program Files\Windows Mail\MSOERES.dll".  This is the Windows Mail (previously known as Outlook Express) icon repository, and click OK.
  4. Select the envelop icon
    1. image
  5. Then close all of the property pages using the OK buttons

Now you have a shortcut for a new e-mail message, the next step is just to drag and drop it into the Quick Launch menu, and now there is no need to minimize what you're doing or ALT+TAB to Outlook just to start a new mail message.

Seconds saved over and over could mean you now have time to go out and grab that coffee after all.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Adding Servers to your SBS 2008 Network

Many people think that Windows SBS networks can only have one Domain Controller. Let me set the record straight right now.

All versions of Small Business Server can have any number of additional servers, and even additional domain controllers.  SBS only has to hold the FSMO roles.  With the new SBS 2008 Premium edition, the second server can be used as a domain controller, or you can add any number of servers.  The Premium edition of SBS 2008 is just another copy of Windows Server, a cheaper version, to get you started on your server farm.

All the copies of SBS, you can add any number of servers that you want!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How the Connect to the Internet Wizard works

Last month I posted how the Internet Address Management Wizard works.  Today, over on the official blog, the Customer Support folks have enlightened you on how the Connect to the Internet Address Wizard works.

It's a very important blog post to read, especially if you want to optimize your installations of Windows SBS 2008.  Key things to know from this post include:

  • Automatic Router discovery only works on 192.168.x.1 and 192.168.x.254 for locations for your Router IP address
  • DHCP disabled on the router is the best configuration, to allow things to progress smoothly through setup
  • You can only setup SBS 2008 as a single-NIC environment, on a private IP address, like 192.168.x.x
  • DHCP on the SBS server will be setup in a Class-C Subnet ( in all cases
  • SBS will consume the network addressing of your router, if it's discoverable

Some things that weren't mentioned that I wanted to point out are the following:

  • If you change your Router at any time during the lifecycle of your SBS server, simply just run the Connect to the Internet Wizard again
  • If you want your IP address at a different IP than .2, you can simply change it within the network card, and run the Fix My Network Wizard.

Understanding the tools that come with Windows SBS 2008, will only make you faster and more efficient at your installs, so check out the Official SBS blog on CTIW!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bob Muglia talks about his home Network

Over on TechNet Edge, Bob Muglia, Senior VP of Windows Server (yes, the guy who runs SBS, EBS, Home Server, Windows Server, SQL, etc.) talks about why he runs 9 servers in his home. Check it out:

Bob Muglia - Senior VP by day, IT Pro by night

The video is a tad old, but talks about what Bob does to help understand the small and mid-market spaces.

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's Virtually Windows SBS 2008

Ever since Hyper-V débuted, and Virtual Machine has been supporting x64 architecture, people have been thinking about running SBS 2008 in a Virtual machine.  In fact, many of our beta testers have been running Virtual copies of SBS 2008 for some time now.  The question always was "is it supported". While official support is still pending based on any copies of SQL included in the machine, a tentative plan has been posted over at the SBS Official Blog.

Looks like there will be three scenarios:

1) Virtualizing the SBS Standard Server


2) Virtualizing both the Standard and Premium SBS servers


3) Keeping SBS Standard Physical and using Premium as a Virtualization Parent


Let me know which one you're most excited about!  To learn more, read the Official SBS Blog post on Virtualization.

Windows Essential Business Server has RTM'd!

Similar and not far behind Windows Small Business Server 2008; The Essential Business Server has been released to Manufacturing.  Thus, by the same launch date for the Windows Essential Solutions Family, of November 12th, 2008, both products will be available in many of the retail channels.  Additional pricing, and support information will be available by this time.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Changing the SBS Technology I work on for a while...

Taking some time away from the PC for a week.  I am going to still be working on SBS Technology though... just slightly different SBS Technology  ;o)

SBS Technology in Poland

[As a side note, this SBS Technology was found in Poland when Leszek, a co-worker was there a few weeks ago.  Seems like we have a bit more technology then Poland does...]

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

SBS 2008 has shipped, EBS is next, prepare your Mid-sized Biz!

As you know, Windows SBS 2008 has RTM'd! ... And right on the heals of SBS, comes out the new Essential Business Server.  If you are a medium-sized business, or help manage a medium-sized business, and are anticipating the release of this product, why wait?  You can get started today!

The EBS team has provided a Jumpstart Online Kit that will help you determine, through a seven-step process if Windows EBS is the right fit for your business, including how to start or improve your Windows EBS Practices.  The tool includes checklists, resources and Return on Investment calculators to help you prepare and set you up for EBS.

Plus there is some marketing "Jumbo" as well.  :o)

Seriously, the tool offered to scan and offer you suggestions on your network is top-notch, over 90 checks and solutions taken from Microsoft's top-notch enterprise specialists support group, all boiled down into a single tool.  If you're running a medium-sized business on Windows, or planning to get EBS at some point, definitely check out the tools available at the Jumpstart Online Kit.