Tuesday, September 23, 2008

HP ConfigureAIDER

In Australia, the land of the mostly overseas PM, we used to have two tools that helped a lot when we wanted to build custom HP configurations - HP Piper Configurator for laptops, desktops and workstations and HP ConfigureAIDER for building servers.

Now that HP has decided to replace their perfectly functional ConfigureAIDER tool with their totally and mindnumbingly useless and confusing configuration tool that is often a) offline, b) dysfunctional and c) simply too confusing to use, well, I wonder if they are trying to make IBM's sales targets for them and if they are receiving any kickbacks for the number of HP resellers who are seriously considering moving to IBM Servers.

Right now, Ingram Micro's and Dicker Data's Server Pre-Sales teams are being hit harder with "what do I need for this server" queries due to this tool being usable by the HP coders who wrote it and maybe the guy in there who approved it. No regular humans can use it and get a proper system build out of it.

Bring on increased sales for IBM is what they are saying, I think!


The Outspoken Wookie

Monday, September 22, 2008


Out of respect for Cletus from The Simpsons, and because Simon kept referring to him as Cletus, I've decided to officially call my 1.8 m (6 ft) Bredli Python "Cletus". It is only fair as he *is* a redneck (the snake, not Simon)! :)

So, here's a pic of Cletus climbing off his hide/platform up into the branches I have in his vivarium.

And here's one where he decided to strike a pose for the camera.

Here's one where he started to climb up the corner of the vivarium to explore what was up there, but then decided to look elsewhere.

And here's one of Cletus climbing the glass, not in the corner, just to show that he's quite capable of climbing up over any moderate sized barrier!

Out of interest, the vivarium is 950*1250*600 mm (H*W*D) and made out of pine which has been thoroughly stained/waterproofed. Unsealed pine enclosures are rather bad because unsealed pine can outgas a number of aromatic hydrocarbons which are toxic to reptiles. For more information on this, have a read of this document.

The floor of the viv (which is fully waterproofed) is covered with newspaper and then on top of that is a piece of Natural 40 turf as sourced from http://www.OzTurf.com.au/ - tell Jeanette I sent you. :) OzTurf produces a number of different products - we had a look at both the Lifelike 40 and Natural 40 and decided the Natural 40 would suit us (SImon and I) best. So far it has worked out well. I have 2 pieces for this viv - one in, one waiting - and 4 pieces for my Jungle vivarium (a pair of them installed, a pair waiting).

What I do is when I clean the vivs out, I take out the turf and newspaper, clean out the viv with F10 disinfectant (available at pretty much any decent pet shop and vet supply store), replace the newspaper, put in the spare turf, and then clean the old turf, disinfect it with F10, leave it in the sun to dry, and then store it ready for the next viv clean. I also give a precautionary spray of the turf and any branches in the viv with Top of Descent just before re-introducing the snake.

When I decide on names for my two Jungle Pythons, I'll post some pics of them here as well. Right now I'm looking at "Mickey" and Minnie" because they eat mice (well, rats) or "Alfredo" and "Collette" (from Ratatouille). I'm open to suggestions on names!


The Outspoken Wookie

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Richard Wright (Pink Floyd) Dies at 65

In some very sad news for Pink Floyd fans, Richard Wright - keyboard player, composer and founding member - died on Sep 15, 2008 from cancer. Syd Barrett, another of the founding members, died in July, 2006. We're really starting to lose some of the most influential musicians of the 70s-90s and it is a sad part of life.

Rick was a well respected, gentle man of the rock 'n' roll world and will be greatly missed.


The Outspoken Wookie

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cisco Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Jabber

In addition to Cisco's recent announcement to acquire PostPath (read my blog entry on this), Cisco has on the 19 September, 2008, announced its intent to acquire privately held Jabber, Inc., a provider of presence and messaging software. Based in Denver, Jabber will work with Cisco to enhance the existing presence and messaging functions of Cisco's Collaboration portfolio.

It looks like Cisco is taking things seriously in the communications market and is looking at Commercial, open standards and Open Source as its sources of solutions. Nothing like keeping one's options open. :)


The Outspoken Wookie

Friday, September 19, 2008

International Talk Like A Pirate Day


I'll not be talkin' yer antivirus here, ye scurvy dogs. I'm sayin' that t'day is a day all ye lubbers can rise above the bilge rats ye normally come from and try t' be one o' us. Arrr, ye probably won't get there, but try yer hardest!

If yer payin' attention to http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html and http://www.venganza.org/ than ye have a chance o' not walkin' the plank, me hearties. If yer not payin' attention, then it be the bilge or the plank - take yer choice!

Where's me grog? Arrr, that be better!

Keep yer eyes off me buxom wench and ye'll last longer on this ship. An' keep away from me booty if ye know what's good fer ye.

We're in fer a long sail and there's gonna be some treasure fer the takin', so sharpen yer cutlass and let's haul keel.


The Outspoken Wookie

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Windows Vista Firewall Pt 2

One thing that Amy Babinchak pointed out that I failed to mention in my previous blog entry was that by default, not only is all outbound filtering disabled in the Microsoft Vista Windows Firewall, but so too is all logging.

So, once you have the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security applet open and have clicked on Windows Firewall Properties, if you click on the "Customize" button in the Logging section of each of the three profiles mentioned in my previous blog entry, you will see that, as the image below shows, all logging is disabled.

Now this isn't very secure, Microsoft, is it? Not only is all outbound filtering disabled by default on a product that you spout as being a lot better than your previous inbound-only firewall, but all logging is also disabled by default. Where's the "secure by design" in that?

So, I'd strongly recommend that everyone enables the logging where appropriate - on domain-joined desktops and laptops, that would be in the "Domain" profile. On non-domain joined desktops and laptops, that would be the "Private" profile, and in addition to this, on all laptops you would also do this in the "Public" tab.


The Outspoken Wookie

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hilton Blogs Robbie Blogging Hilton's Post

OK, whatever that means. :)

I'm not going to repeat this, so go here and have a read.


The Outspoken Wookie.

Windows Vista Firewall

One of the big complaints about the firewall included with Windows XP was that it only managed inbound traffic and did nothing whatsoever to manage outbound traffic. That was a bit of an oversight - even after the XP Security Service Pack (SP2) this wasn't addressed.

This is where products like the free Comodo Firewall Pro, the US$39/year Comodo Firewall Pro Plus, the $39.95/year (or cheaper) Outpost Firewall Pro, the obviously free Online Armor Free, the $39.95/year Online Armor and various other firewalls came into their own - providing significantly better protection of your network and its data than the inbuilt Windows Firewall in Windows XP could manage.

So along came Vista with its bi-directional firewall and much rejoicing was had! Well, so we thought. With Microsoft's focus on security, you'd have thought that they would have, by default, enabled outbound filtering in the Vista Firewall. It would be a sensible thing to have done, you'd have thought. Right? Nope, apparently not - by default this outbound filtering is not only disabled, but also not able to be enabled in the one place you'd look for it - the Windows Firewall Control Panel applet.

FFS, what's the reasoning behind that?

Anyway, here's how to turn on this outbound firewall feature that should have been a) enabled by default and b) configurable via the Control Panel applet:

1. In the "Start Search" bar, type "firewall" and select the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security tool

2. Click on the Windows Firewall Properties link in the "Overview" box

3. For the Domain Profile, Private Profile and Public Profile, change the "Outbound Connections: Allow (default)" to "Outbound Connections: Block" to ensure that all traffic that is not covered by a rule is blocked.

4. If you want to manually edit the outbound rules, you do so back in the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security applet in the "Outbound Rules" section.


The Outspoken Wookie

October 2008 MAPS Shipment

As Robbie mentioned, the October 2008 MAPS shipment will contain both SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 - so we're actually going to be receiving product before our clients do, which is a nice change for MAPS.

Personally, I feel that EBS 2008 should have only been shipped to SBSCs as pretty much no Registered Members who are not SBSCs will be interested in EBS. It would have been an enticement for those Registered Members not already SBSCs to become an SBSC so they can participate in the SBSC community and gain a working knowledge of SBS 2008 and EBS 2008.

Apparently, we're also (finally) getting a copy of Windows Home Server 1.0 and the Terminal Server 2008 Licenses. The TS Licenses will be handy as we've already had Windows Server 2008 shipped (Standard, not Enterprise, meaning testing with multiple Server OS instances under Hyper-V is impossible) perviously without these Licenses.


The Outspoken Wookie

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Google's Chrome loses a bit of its shine

When Google released Chrome I was rather interested. Then I found out it was based on Safari - generally regarded as the worst of the Windows browsers available, the least functional and the most insecure. But Google says that they have planned and built a secure browser.

Bullshit they have!

Google's Chrome browser has had more security flaws found in its first month of life than IE7 had in close to a year! That's an outstanding achievement! :(

Now, to mention only one of the many issues Chrome has, it allows - by default - files to be downloaded to the filesystem without prompting. I mean, how mind numbingly stupid would that have been in 1998, let alone now in 2008? And now this "feature" has been exploited.

To quote Nick FitzGerald as stated on the Bugtraq list:

...in a browser announced with such a massive hoopla about how it's been double-especially-extra-security-hardened from the outset, _that something more obviously sensible_ was not the _shipping default configuration_ is gob-stoppingly stupid; a fundamentally noob-ish design error.

In short, something that does not bode well for the product living up to the marketing hype.

Oh, and slapping the standard "we're Google so couldn't be arsed finishing it so will call it beta" label on it makes no difference. Fundamentally stupid is fundamentally stupid at whatever point in the development process that "feature" made its way into the product.

Come on guys - if you want to trump Microsoft, this is NOT the way to go about it. Security, Security, Security (to paraphrase a man I don't particularly think is doing anywhere near an acceptable job).


The Outspoken Wookie

EBS 2008 hits RTM

The English version of EBS has finally hit RTM, as reported here. This means that both SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 will be hitting the shelves (officially) on November 12.

That's good news for all SBSCs worldwide who've been waiting for these new products - an update to SBS 2003 and a completely new mid-market solution in EBS 2008. (OK, not completely new, as this is replacing the badly cobbeld together Medium Biz Infra Server bundle, but seriously more integrated, enough to be called a new product, I'd think.)

So, both SBS and EBS will definitely be available for the Nov 12 launch party - woohoo!

For more information on EBS 2008, have a look at Ollie's EBS blog.


The Outspoken Wookie

Recent Apple Updates

This past week or so, Apple has been busy releasing fixes and updates for a lot of their software. Below is a list of these updates and links to more information on each one:

  1. QuickTime 7.5.5

  2. Bonjour for Windows 1.0.5

  3. iTunes 8.0

  4. iPod touch v2.1

  5. iPhone 2.1

  6. Mac OS X 10.5.5 with Security Update 2008-006


The Outspoken Wookie

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cisco Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire PostPath

OK, so I'm a couple of weeks behind here, but this is interesting news. A while back, I blogged about PostPath and then gave a list of products that are alternatives to Microsoft's products in the SMB and other markets. Well, on 27 August, 2008, Cisco (yes, THAT Cisco) announced its intent to acquire PostPath Inc. Not a bad $215m investment, I'd think!
"The acquisition of PostPath complements our strategy to develop an integrated collaboration platform designed for how we work today and into the future, providing real productivity gains and a more satisfying user experience", said Doug Dennerline, Cisco senior vice president, Collaboration Software Group. "Our 'cloud-based' delivery model offers our customers rapid deployment and compelling economics."

Read the Cisco Press Release for more information.


The Outspoken Wookie

Sunday, September 14, 2008

iTunes 8 - or is that iBSOD 8?

It looks like Apple has released an update to their recently released iTunes 8 software due to an extraordinary number of BSODs, STOP errors and general system instability that iTunes 8 caused. It appears that a number of the "extra" applications that Apple included with the latest iTunes+Quicktime update are the cause of the Apple-generated Windows instabilities.

Now, we don't install nor support Quicktime on our client's computers unless there's a good business reason that they need it. If they need Quicktime playback, we install and support the Quicktime Alternative as it provides the functionality without the bloatware.

iTunes 8, an 80 MB download as compared to the 25 MB size of Windows Media Player, includes a known to be unstable USB driver. The updated iTunes 8 installation rolls this back to the earlier driver which is less unstable. Why not a) fix the driver or b) drop it altogether as it isn't needed, well it wouldn't be if Apple wrote iTunes properly.

Now, add this iTunes 8 issue (admittedly, this particular issue has been somewhat addressed now) with the rest of the iPhone issues, such as almost useless GPS, laggy response times, no capability of uing it as a modem for a laptop, lack of cut and paste, no wireless sync with iTunes, 15 minute maximum before the screen locks, slow 3G speeds in Australia, lots of dropped calls (fixed by firmware 2.02), weak reception indoors, iTunes Store issues that occasionally de-activate the iPhone, making it able to make only emergency calls, MobileMe issues, the fact that despite locking your iPhone, your contacts, web browser cache and other details are available to anyone with a want to find this information and yet more issues, I have to wonder why anyone would actually want to buy an iPhone?

Also, were it Microsoft releasing all of this "additional" functionality without mentioning it (aka the iTunes 8 update), the EU and various other anti-competitive bodies as well as a great many people worldwide would be condemning this. Because it is Apple, it seems to pass by under the radar. Does something smell bad here?


The Outspoken Wookie

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Volume Licensing Boot Camps

There's been a lot of talk about this next topic, maybe, maybe too much talk. This is not a rebel topic, this is MICROSOFT VOLUME LICENSING BOOT CAMPS!!!

OK, so paraphrasing Bono there may have been in bad taste, but since when I have been Mr Good Taste? :) Anyway, people keep asking for Volume Licensing training, and here's another round of it for us. And for those SBSC members in Perth, Microsoft has not forgotten you - head in to the Microsoft offices in St George's Terrace en masse and remind them that they have a good SMB IT community over there that they need to support, not just their big mining clients.

Speaking of Perth SBSCs, how about you join the ANZ-SMB-ITS and ANZ-SBSC Yahoo! Groups so we can all keep in touch?

Want to build your licensing capabilities and strengthen your understanding of new technologies?

Ingram Micro and Microsoft would like to invite you to attend the first in a new series of Volume Licensing Boot Camps. This series of Boot Camps scheduled for September/October will help build your licensing capabilities in the areas of Open License, Open Value, and strengthen your understanding of Software Assurance, Software Asset Management and Virtualisation. Boot Camps will be run on a quarterly basis with new sessions available each time, and fantastic prizes to be won.

The first sessions are:


24 Sep 2008 8:30AM to 11:00AM AEST

7 Oct 2008 8:30AM to 11:00AM AWST


8 Oct 2008 8:30AM to 11:00AM AEST
9 Oct 2008 8:30AM to 11:00AM AEST

For people in regional areas, there will also be a LiveMeeting (Webinar) on the 5th November from 08:30-11:00 AEST. For further details about the agenda, locations, and to register your attendance, please click here.

Be sure to pass this invitation to other interested parties and peers.

For more Microsoft training, click here
For more information on Volume Licensing, visit the Partner Portal.


The Outspoken Wookie

Intellitron Closes Down

Intellitron, a local Brisbane distributor of various IT products closed its doors last night.

It is with great regret that I announce, effective immediately, Intellitron
has ceased trading. I would like to take this opportunity to thank every
one of you for your support over the many years, and I wish you well for the

Please be aware, any backorders will NOT be processed.

To help you source products you previous purchased through
Intellitron,please contact Jim at XIT Distribution, and he will try to fulfill
your order, and track down your products.
Phone: 3866 5000

Rohan Holt.

I don't know what caused this, but their rather high prices and low variety of product lines may have had something to do with it - on more than one occasion I could buy items at retail prices that were significantly under their wholesale ex tax prices Intellitron offered. I wonder how this bodes for the 155% increase in price of SBS 2008 over SBS 2003?


The Outspoken Wookie

First Full LHC Test A Success

At 10:28 (local) on Sep 10, 2008, the LHC test of sending a proton beam right around the 27km circuit was announced as a success! WOOHOO. This is excellent news. As you may have figured, my business is named after a family of subatomic particles - Quarks - because of the amount of research I had to do on them in 1984 to prove to a science teacher I had that they actually existed and that his knowledge wasn't all-encompassing. Well, Quarks are as real as I am - which now dispels the hope that some people had that I was just a bad figment of their imagination! :)

So, if you have a look at the CERN Press site, you can see the press release as well as a number of pictures of what the control room was like during this initial full test.

Currently they are tuning beam 2 - have a look at the LHC Beam Setup page to see what's being seen by the CERN control room.

Progress towards the first collision is good - we should see the first collision by sometime later this year if all keeps going well and some real results from the LCH in the next year. Things are looking promising for discovering what mass and gravity actually are.


The Outspoken Wookie

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Response Point Still Not Here

Well, I'm still waiting for my Response Point system to arrive from the 'States. When it arrives, I'll have a look at it and see how functional/useful these are - from all reports, they seem to be rather nice.

I actually had an inquiry for a VoIP system this week where Response Point would have been idea, were it actually available for sale in Australia. There's still no official ETA on this. So I will put a competing product into the quote instead.

Hoping it turns up some time soon - I really do want to see how these things go...


The Outspoken Wookie

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday Morning (no thanks to Gwen)

Here I sit, broken hearted, tried to... get away earlier, but, well, that's not happened, so I may as well blog! :)

As we all know, I went to both Tech Ed (the WESS Pre-Day) in Sydney last Tuesday as the SBSC PAL and also to the IT Aged Care conference in Melbourne on Thursday as both an IT consultant, a representative of two of our clients, and on behalf of Clipsal Australia and their Vieo platform. It was good catching up in Sydney with a number of the SBSCs from around Australia on the Tuesday (and for dinner on the Monday evening), however I'd like to have spent more time at Tech Ed to get a bit more of a feeling about the SBSC program from those who were staying on for the full event. As your SBSC PAL, if I don't know what you want from the program and how you feel about it thus far, I cannot represent your thoughts and feelings to neither Microsoft Australia nor Microsoft Corp. So...

It seems that Robbie's not alone. From what I hear, Tech Ed US didn't deliver enough technical training to attendees around WESS, it appears as though Tech Ed EMEA has no WESS Pre-Day at all, and as I mentioned in an earlier blog post, it seems that the Virtualization Pre-Day event at Tech Ed AU was also a little light on technical content. So, at least there's something to be positive about - it seemsd that across the board, with a few exceptions (such as the SharePoint Pre-Day at Tech Ed AU), Microsoft worldwide didn't deliver what the attendees expected on a technical level. Robbie's in great company! :)

Now, what was mentioned to me (and from on stage) is that the technical training we received from Wayne Small and Lingan Satkunanathan was right from the Microsoft WESS Level 300 content. This just means that Microsoft, as far as WESS goes, is missing the mark on what we consider Level 300 content to be and what they consider it to be. For what we, the SBSCs, expected from Level 300 content, have a look at this link - sure, it is specifically for support webcasts, but the definitions are still valid. It seems that Microsoft uses a different scale for their WESS content.

One very big positive for Microsoft Australia is that they cared enough about WESS to actually run a Tech Ed Pre-Day event centred around it. That is different from a lot of the rest of the world. This goes to show that some of the people inside Microsoft Australia care enough about us to hold this event, even though the focus may have been off target. Compare us to small, insignificant places like the EU and US, and we're ahead by a fair margin! :)

Robbie has recently blogged that "... it really struck me that far & away the best part of my job is getting to engage with people who see their involvement in this space not just as a job, not even a career, but truly a vocation. Almost a calling if you will..." - it seems that some people in Microsoft are finally "getting" SMB. We're a community, whether Microsoft (or other third parties) recognize this or not. We're a passionate bunch. We often call things as we see them, and this at times will cause a bit of squirming with our suppliers. Microsoft knows this. Acronis knows this. Symantec doesn't care about this. Those companies that recognize we're commenting and caring about their stuff are the companies who will do in this marketplace - those that ignore our comments and feelings will be shunned by the SMB community. It has always been that way and, as far as I can tell, will remain the same for quite some time.

One good example of how we are treated is Microsoft's PSS Callback for SBS. Microsoft no longer cares enough about supporting SBS to actually stay on a call and direct it to someone who can assist - instead they will eventually call back. Eventually may be an hour or four later, but in the mean time we've done due diligence and determined that this is a serious issue, serious enough for us to call PSS and ask them to help us out. We don't call them when we can't work out how to change the background image - we call them once we've Googled, asked around other colleagues, and have a client in dire need of getting this box back and running *now* (not some time after we get a call back). This shows the myopic view of SMB that Microsoft Corp has - it is a bad omen for EBS, Windows Server, Exchange, SQL, BizTalk, CRM, Sharepoint and all of their other products too. If we feel we're being palmed off as insignificant by this treatment, we need to make our voices heard, and that is exactly what your PALs are here for - to represent your concerns and feelings to Microsoft Corp. If we say nothing, we're accepting that this treatment of SBS is a good thing.

I have some other positive news about SMB with respect to Microsoft Australia - they are starting to understand that if we offer feedback (as asked for) over many years and we hear nothing back nor see anything positive from Microsoft (Roadshows being dropped, Support being dropped to call back, etc) then we have no other option to feel as though our feedback is falling on deaf ears. They are starting to understand that we want to take part in ongoing communication with Microsoft Australia to better develop both Microsoft Australia's and our own business strategies in the SMB marketplace. They are starting to take us seriously when we offer input that we've been asked to give and realize that they can no longer ignore us and have us support them for it. They realize that to increase Partner satisfaction scores, they need to increase Partner satisfaction, and ignoring your Partner channel, asking the end users why they have a Small Business IT provider as they are a waste of money is not the way to achieve this. The only way to increase Partner satisfaction is to take the Partners seriously.

So, I'm waiting to hear back on a summary of the recent meeting that a number of SBSCs had with Microsoft at Tech Ed on Tuesday evening, following on from the APC meeting that I blogged about earlier, and will post more about what's happening when all of the attendees have had a chance to check through the summary and offer any relevant input. This is definitely a positive step with respect to the SBSC Program here in Australia and as the Australian SBSC PAL, it is something that I'm glad to have a hand in starting. With any luck, this also means that I can stop using a sledge hammer on Microsoft/Microsoft Australia now that I can see the ball starting to roll and use a mallet instead just to keep it rolling. You never know...


The Outspoken Wookie

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

WESS Tech Ed Pre-Day Post 4

Robbie just took the stage and explained that he'd heard that people were disappointed in the lack of Level 300 training here at Tech Ed. He also explained that he'd heard that we need info on how to sell SBS/EBS, some info on the install procedure and some presentations from Wayne.

He took responsibility for the content and apologised if we'd not received what we'd expected.

That took balls - good on him.


The Outspoken Wookie

Tech Ed Virtualization Pre-Day

Now, I'm not there, but I'm hearing that there's a lot of Sales and Marketing content to this pre-day event as well that was unexpected. The technical content is rather low-level as well.

Glad to hear (in a way) that this is across the board, so it is an issue that Microsoft Australia as a whole needs to address.

Robbie - when you read this, at least you can feel better about this now! :)


The Outspoken Wookie

WESS Tech Ed Pre-Day Post Lunch

OK, it is now 1:30 PM and we're back from lunch and immediately into EBS Sales stuff - again, I must have missed the "Sales and Marketing Ed" part of Tech Ed. :(

I'm still disappointed by the lack of Level 300 content here.

The coffee's not bad.

Wi-Fi is working well! There's enough signal coverage here that I'm sure there's going to be less nerdy kids in the world - this can only be a good thing! :)

In case anyone wonders, when The Wayne and Robbie did their "SBS+EBS Deep Dive Tour" a few months back, if you attended those, you'd have received the vast majority of the tech info we've revceived here today. So if you went there and didn't make it to the WESS Pre-Day, you've received a fair bit of the training anyway. You just didn't get to network with all of the friendly SBSCers and Partners who've made their way here for the day. :)

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying the day was not worth it - it is a *REALLY* good start to get Tech Ed to recognise the SMB sector, but there needs to be some work put into the technical content for next year's Pre-Day. And yes, if anyone has input on this, we're all ears! I think I mentioned before and I'm saying it again - congrats to Robbie and the SMB team in at Microsoft who have put this day together and managed to get this day up and running. If we're going to have a fair bit of Sales and Marketing content at Tech Ed, I think we also need to be informed before the event - not that the content wasn't valid, just it wasn't technical.


The Outspoken Wookie

VL and FPP Pricing now released

I've just updated my recent SBS 2008 VL pricing post with the new FPP pricing that Robbie just mentioned.


The Outspoken Wookie

Windows Server CALs Made Simple

OK, since The Wayne has said that I have put this info up here, I'd better post it here. The info is actually on our website.

When I get some time (yeah, right - as if THAT is gonna happen) I'll put more info on my http://www.hiltontravis.com/ website...


The Outspoken Wookie

WESS Tech Ed Pre-Day Post 3

11:07 and The Wayne is now on stage with Lingan, so here's hoping for some tech content to Tech Ed! :)

Basic SBS 2008 installation walkthru... :(

OK, we've also received some other information that's useful, especially The Wayne's "Touching Clients" tips. :) As for what it is, I'll wait for the slide deck so I can remember it. :)

Level 300 tech training? Nope. BUT at least it is a start and Robbie has managed to get MS.au to et this event to actually happen. I may not be overly excited by the low level of tech info in this training - mainly overview stuff and such at this point - but we FINALLY had Tech Ed realise SMB exists and needs to be catered for. That is a huge step forward.


The Outspoken Wookie

WESS Tech Ed Pre-Day Post 2

OK, 10:30 and now the Tech part of Tech Ed starts...

So, the next 2h are a deep, deep, deep dive into SBS 2008, after lunch is EBS 2008.

So, first we get Dean Calvert on Selling SBS 2008... how exactly is this "Technical"? Nothing against Dean, but is ths really "Tech Ed" material? Are we at MS Sales and Marketing Ed? It feels that way right now...

Well, Robbie *did* ask for honest and open feedback...


The Outspoken Wookie

SBS 2008 VL Pricing

Robbie Announced SBS 2008 Open Licensing pricing

Product Base Cost (5 CALs)
SBS 2008 Standard $1694
Addidional CALs $120

SBS 2008 Premium $2954
Addidional CALs $294

Remember, SBS 2008 Premium users ONLY need Premium CALs if they use the Premium functionality (basically, SQL).

Compare that to US$1089 for Standard, and you see how overpriced Microsoft Australia still remains, despite hounding from their partners for quite some time now.

And here's the FPP pricing:

T72-02383 Windows Small Bus Server Std 2008 English DVD 5 Clt $1,902 ERP
T75-02411 Windows Small Bus Server Prem 2008 English 2 DVD 5 Clt $3,313 ERP


The Outspoken Wookie

WESS Tech Ed Pre-Day Post 1

Here I sit in the WESS Pre Day. I feel I need to blog.

Robbie gave a good intro to what to expect from the day, found out where people were from, then asked Partners to give honest feedback to Microsoft. Hang on - isn't that what I've been doing and copping flack from inside Microsoft about? Have we ALL been doing this for many years and getting almost totally nowhere? What's changed? He mentioned nothing about what has changed inside Microsoft to allow them to action some of these things they've been hearing for years, yet he asks for honest input. How many of us need to give this before they listen?

I REALLY hope that the attendees here give their honest and open feedback - I have a feeling, from what I've been hearing, that they will be shocked to find out what we, their Partners, think of them. I know I'm going to continue giving this feedback on behalf of both Quark IT and also the SBSC members in Australia as their PAL.

Microsoft - you asked for it, so now you have no right to ask me to tone down what I'm saying. Sorry, but it is now out in the open!

Also, so far, this is APC all over - more Groundhog Day. We've been here for close to 90 minutes now and haven't gone close to anything technical. Sorry Lingan, we know what SBS and EBS are and giving us marketing information IS NOT what Tech Ed was sold to be. There, that's open and honest.

Again, I don't think they quite get it yet.

This means that I have a lot of work to do over the next 10 months and some of it isn't going to be falling on friendly ears, some of it will be harsh, and some of it will be listened to and acted upon. I honestly am doing this only so Microsoft can become a better friend to SMB, so we can work better with Microsot, so our clients can have a better Microsoft experience - basically so we can all do better, make more money, and keep our clients happy.

Why else would I spend my efforts doing this?


The Outspoken Wookie