Mark Bower

Random thoughts on Collaborative Apps, Social Software and SharePoint in the Enterprise

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  • Blog Post: Office in Education

    Following up on yesterdays post, I just want to add that there is also a set of cool customizations available for Word, Excel and PowerPoint to make them more useful for students and teachers. Learning Essentials for Microsoft Office provides templates and toolbars for Office products plus academic tutorials...
  • Blog Post: Highlights of 18 months of blogging

    I've been blogging for 18 months now and as I was looking through the stats yesterday I thought I'd share with you my most popular posts. What's in a name? The Information Worker, The Knowledge Worker and The Structured Task Worker Customizing SharePoint Context Menus InfoPath 2003 Form Viewer...
  • Blog Post: Want to be a Microsoft Consultant?

    We are looking for an experienced SharePoint/CMS consultant to come and join our team based out of Reading, UK. The official job description is below. This is a really exciting time to join Microsoft as we are just starting to ramp up for the Office 12 launch next year. If you think you fit the bill...
  • Blog Post: Office 2003 SP2 Available for Download

    Anytime now Service Pack 2 for Office 2003 should be available for download. Key enhancements include: · Improved Security – SP2 includes an enhancement to Outlook to help prevent “Phishing.” Outlook has also improved the handling of “Junk” email. Junk messages are now rendered as plain text, preventing...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio 2005 Release Candidate Available for Download

    Visual Studio 2005 Release Candidate is now available for download from the MSDN subscriber download site. The build is compatible with the September CTP of SQL Server. Both of these builds will be handed out to PDC attendees in the keynote session later today. You will note there is no number associated...
  • Blog Post: Now that's what I call customer service

    [No Office/Dev content in this post, so look away now if you are not interested] On my way back from Seattle I was caught up in the chaos at Heathrow last weekend. Strike action caused all British Airways flights to be cancelled for around 36hrs, including mine into London . By the time I heard about...
  • Blog Post: New Download: Redaction tool for Word 2003

    Redaction is the careful editing of a document to remove confidential information. The Microsoft Office Word 2003 Redaction Add-in makes it easy for you to mark sections of a document for redaction. You can then redact the document so that the sections you specified are blacked out. You can either print...
  • Blog Post: Registered and ready to go...TechReady1

    Arrived in Seattle late last night after a marathon 21 hour journey. There are just too many people headed into Seattle this weekend - all the good flights are full. There were a couple of plus points to the journey. We got fabulous views of the glaciers of southern Greenland as we came across the...
  • Blog Post: Tesla: Desktop Tagging and Collaboration

    Korby Parnell writes that videos of the presentations from the 2nd annual Microsoft Social Computing Symposium are online. Anyone interested in collab topics would do well to take a look at these. One that caught my eye is a session from Microsoft Research: "Tesla and Tagging for the desktop". This is...
  • Blog Post: Problems installing SQL 2005 April CTP

    I hit a showstopper installing the SQL Server 2005 April CTP. I think the problem may have been related to having an instance of SQL Server 2000 already installed on the box. During setup I got the following error message. "SQL Server Setup could not connect to the database service for server configuration...
  • Blog Post: Windows Desktop Search RTW

    Windows Desktop Search has been Released to Web: http://toolbar.msn.com/ The Beta version, then branded as MSN Desktop Search, shipped around Dec of last year. New in this version you will see the Preview Pane, much like the one in Outlook, and an improved indexing back-off algorithm. This really...
  • Blog Post: Task oriented Windows

    Interesting discussion on Ryan Dawson's blog around a task-oriented UI for Windows. http://www.longhornblogs.com/rdawson/archive/2005/05/12/14064.aspx
  • Blog Post: BBC makes it content available to developers free of charge

    This is an interesting move by the BBC. It is opening up its content and providing APIs free-of-charge to enable developers to create non-commercial applications. “backstage.bbc.co.uk attempts to encourage and support those who have provided most of the innovation on the internet - the passionate...
  • Blog Post: Is Windows Too Complex for Structured Task Workers?

    A number of my customers have recently presented me with an interesting question. Some CIOs and architects I have been talking to have latched onto the web part capabilities in SPS and are envisioning a solution for structured task workers that makes it easier for them to do their job. The basic...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 - coming to a download site near you!

    Good news! Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 and the SQL Server April CTP are on their way. The Beta 2 build is currently being prepped to go live on MSDN subscriber downloads. If you have been desperately waiting for these bits (and I know I have) then your wait should be over by the early part of next week...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Acquires Groove Networks

    Microsoft on Thursday said it will acquire Groove Networks and make Groove's founder, Ray Ozzie , chief technology officer at the software giant. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Microsoft said it will incorporate Groove's collaboration software into its Office line of desktop productivity...
  • Blog Post: New Project

    Been a bit quiet of late as I have been working on a couple of 3 week proof-of-concept projects. These are very intensive and leave little time for anything else. With those projects now out of the way I am moving onto 6 month project where our technology platform will be .NET Framework 2.0 and VSTO...
  • Blog Post: At last…an integrated web/email/NNTP discussion platform!

    Rob Howard ’s recent post on the future of Community Server Forums (formerly ASP . NET Forums) ties in nicely with my main gripe about discussion lists. In Rob ’s case his team are planning to implement NNTP access to their fora. Rob also reports plans for list-serv integration too. This is way cool...
  • Blog Post: Blogmap

    This is neat. Chandu Thota has updated his blogmap project to provide a resource where you can search for blogs by geographic location of the author. If you own a blog simply add your details to the web site and get a map on your blog like the one on the left.
  • Blog Post: MSDN 'Nuggets'

    I remember having a chat with Joel Semeniuk last Autumn around the usefulness (or not) of webcasts. My contention was that they are great for little snippets of information - particularly highly visual demos, but the longer webcasts just pass me by. I'd rather pick up a book or online article so that...
  • Blog Post: Threading, Responsive UIs and the End of the Free Lunch

    [...Or Deciding Between Synchronous and Asynchronous Programming Models] There was a time when software developers had to spend many hours optimising their code - minimizing memory footprint and trying to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of the available hardware. That skill has almost died...
  • Blog Post: Choosing Between Smart Client and Thin Client Architectures

    Great new article from David Hill in the MS Architect's Journal on choosing between smart client and thin client architecture. Also discusses the advantaged of using the MS Office applications as a smart client host to your solutions. http://msdn.microsoft.com/architecture/default.aspx?pull=/library...
  • Blog Post: Early news on Exchange 12 features

    Looks like our execs have started talking about some of the features planned for Exchange 12: http://news.com.com/Next+Exchange+to+combine+e-mail%2C+voice+mail/2100-1012_3-5542542.html
  • Blog Post: How To Submit Ideas and Suggestions for Microsoft Office Products

    Do you have an idea for a new feature or addition to one of the Office products? Maybe there is something about the way a feature works that really annoys you? Believe it or not, there is a simple way to submit your ideas to the Office team for consideration. The problem is the web page is hidden away...
  • Blog Post: Mark your diaries: 2005 PDC

    The dates for the 2005 PDC have been announced: 13-16 Sep in Los Angeles. ( http://msdn.microsoft.com/events/pdc/ ) This should coincide nicely with the Longhorn Beta 1 release and give a good guide to what you can expect in the final version of the WinFx platform.
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