Microsoft Web Platform Installer Beta

Deploying Microsoft IIS wesbites isn’t always the easiest thing in the world, due to all the various pre requisites you need such as .Net Framework, certain drivers’s certainly caught me out a few times over the years! If this happens to you, don’t worry because now help is at hand with:

Microsoft Web Platform Installer Beta (download here) or more info here

What does it do?

It’s a single tool that helps you get started installing the Microsoft Web Platform including:

· ASP.NET components

· SQL Server 2008 Express Edition (and all required pre-requisite software)

· IIS Extensions such as Secure FTP, Web Playlists, URL Rewriter, and much more!

· Visual Web Developer

· .NET Framework 3.5 SP1

· SQL Server Driver for PHP

and Supported Operating Systems are: Windows Vista RTM, Windows Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 released

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 has been released.

“What are you talking about? It’s been out for months!” you say…nearly but not quite.

This is the standalone Hyper-V server, so while it includes the core parts of the kernel as related to Hyper-V, there are no other roles available for installation. This is a pure Hypervisor that site on bare metal, and allows you to run up to 192 VM’s on a single machine!!

It doesn’t have much of a GUI (Graphical User Interface)-bit of an old school vibe but hey, that’s cool! Also, you can manage it from a Windows Server 2008 installation or indeed a Vista SP1 machine with the Remote Server Admin Tools Pack installed.

Microsoft expect the main uses for this product to be:

  • Test and Development
  • Basic Server Consolidation
  • Branch Office Consolidation
  • Hosted Desktop Virtualization (VDI)
  • You can download HYper-V Server 2008 here


    More info can be found over at Matt “VirtualBoy” McSpirit’s blog here

    Twitter in Outlook

    Twitter in Outlook: Pointless-maybe, useful-yes, easy to do-certainly sir!

    I could never see the fuss around Twitter until recently. All of a sudden I found myself checking the twitter site again and again to see what updates had been posted or if I had something to say myself. That quickly became annoying and impractical, so I had a look around and found OutWit from TechHit.

    This allows you to receive the twitters of others directly to a folder in Outlook and best of all, gives you a text box in the top menu that lets you update your status directly from your desktop client!

    Download it here:

    It’s a tiny 520Kb file, installs in minutes and is great to use!

    Have fun and feel free to add me on Twitter (RichG_Bechtle)



    Microsoft Server Software VHD’s

    Microsoft have released a slew of Virtual Hard Disks (VHD’s) making it quick and easy to evaluate Microsoft software for free, in your environment.

    Their “Run IT on a Virtual Hard Disk” initiative can be found here:

    and includes product such as:

    • Exchange 2007
    • Sharepoint 2007
    • Windows Vista
    • System Center
    • and many more

    By installing these on a virtual machine, you can have the application up and running very quickly, reducing the amount of time that Test & Dev takes..which can only be a good thing right? :-)

    pptPlex:Powerpoint Deaths Preventable

    As great a tool as Powerpoint is, there’s no escaping the fact that it can amazingly boring if in the wrong hands. This can detract from the content and make the viewers think that is as mind-numbing as 672 slides, where the text is exactly the same as the speaker’s audio.

    So by rights if we can make it funky, awesome, cool and interesting then these attributes will be applied to your content..and that can only be a good thing surely?

    pptPlex is a plug-in that explores an alternate method for presenting a PowerPoint slide deck. Using pptPlex, you can present your slides as a tour through a zoomable canvas instead of a series of linear slides.”

    I’ve been using pptPlex to update some of my internal training presentations for the sales teams, and it really does work! It’s a breeze to use, does what it says on the tin and is free :-)

    Download it from:

    and check out the pptPlex blog here:

    The post about controlling it with a Wiimote is pretty cool!!!



    OCS 2007 Blackberry Client

    The CrBlackberry is pretty prevalent in the corporate world these days whether we like it or not, so Microsoft have just released a Blackberry client for OCS 2007-their brilliant Unified Communications software.

    Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 for your BlackBerry Smartphone

    BlackBerry® Client for use with Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007 allows you to engage in immediate interactive communication while you’re on the go. Exchange text messages with other Microsoft® Office Communicator users on your BlackBerry® smartphone*, whether they’re using a desktop computer, BlackBerry smartphone or other mobile device.

    Enjoy Familiar Features Wirelessly

    Enjoy a desktop-like experience on your BlackBerry smartphone, with features and functionality you’re already familiar with from Microsoft Office Communicator. There’s no need to compromise just because you are away from your computer.

    • Initiate and manage group chat sessions of three or more participants from your smartphone
    • View the presence status of contacts, such as online, busy, do not disturb, be right back, away or appear offline and set your own status to inform others of your availability
    • Enjoy a synchronized contact list, with the same contacts available on your BlackBerry smartphone and your computer
    • Find contacts quickly with the quick find function and picture association
    • Receive alerts when team members become available
    • Communicate more effectively with emoticons
    • And more

    Integrates with other BlackBerry Smartphone Applications

    You will also enjoy tight integration with other applications on your BlackBerry smartphone:

    • Set your presence status from your home screen icon
    • View the presence status of contacts directly from your address book
    • Check your spelling and edit autotext on your instant messages
    • Initiate phone calls or browser sessions directly from phone numbers or URLs embedded in instant messages
    • Voice integration with ‘Click to Call’

    Download or get more info at:

    I discovered this via – check it out!