Archive for January, 2012

January 2012 Technical Rollup: Unified Communications

January 14th, 2012 No comments



OpsVault — Operate and Optimize IT

Microsoft Premier Support UK – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

Antigen & Forefront

Forefront Team Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

Forefront Server Security Support Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs


Exchange Team Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

MCS UK Unified Communications Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

Hosted Messaging Collaboration

Lync, Office Communication Server & LiveMeeting

NextHop – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

Lync Team Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs



NextHop – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

The Master Blog – Site Home – TechNet Blogs


Unleash Your Productivity – Delivering a Great First Impression with Exchange 2010

January 27, 2012 2:00PM Eastern / 11:00AM Pacific

Are you interested in Microsoft productivity solutions and would like to hear more about the technology directly from Microsoft? Join us for 60 minutes to hear Microsoft technology experts deliver information on the latest Microsoft technologies, solution demos and product tips and tricks!

Microsoft Office System Webcast: Outlook 2010: Use Contacts as More Than Just an Address Book (Level 200)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 9:00 AM Time zone: (GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

See how contacts in Microsoft Outlook 2010 can be more than just an email address book. Use your Contacts folder to store email addresses, street addresses, multiple phone numbers, pictures, logos, and any other information that relates to a contact. Create and share distribution lists, and learn how Outlook 2010 also supports vCards (virtual business cards). Additionally, see how tasks can simplify your life by helping you create and manage easy to-do lists in Outlook 2010. This webcast covers the following topics:

  • Creating and managing contacts and distribution lists
  • Working with contacts as electronic business cards
  • Sharing contacts and distribution lists
  • Setting your default address book
  • Creating tasks from email messages
  • Keeping track of your to-do lists with tasks
  • Advanced calendar options

New KBs

Antigen & Forefront

  1. Microsoft Forefront Online Protection for Exchange: How Exchange Hosted Archive handles blind carbon copy (Bcc) recipients


Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition:

  1. Exchange ActiveSync and Outlook Mobile Access errors occur when SSL or forms-based authentication is required for Exchange Server 2003

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition:

  1. How to troubleshoot public folder replication problems in Exchange 2000 Server and in Exchange Server 2003

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Enterprise Edition:

  1. A meeting reminder is set unexpectedly when you send an email message to an Exchange Server user

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Coexistence:

How to extend the Active Directory schema for the Hierarchical Address Book (HAB) on an Exchange Server 2010 server

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Enterprise:

  1. The Seniority Index feature in the Hierarchical Address Book does not work as expected in Exchange Server 2010
  2. The Exchange Server is not a member of Exchange Trusted Subsystem
  3. Some e-mail messages become stuck in an Exchange Server environment

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Standard:

  1. Exchange Server 2010 databases grow very large when the Calendar Snapshot feature is enabled


Microsoft Office Outlook 2003:

  1. Description of the Outlook 2003 Junk Email Filter update: December 13, 2011

Microsoft Office Outlook 2007:

  1. Description of the Outlook 2007 hotfix package (Outlook-x-none.msp, Outlook-en-us.msp): December 13, 2011
  2. The sort order may be incorrect for e-mail messages that you sort by size in Outlook 2007

Microsoft Outlook 2010:

  1. No prompt for credentials when you start Outlook 2010 as an initial application in RDP or as a published application in Citrix Zen
  2. Description of the Outlook 2010 hotfix package (x86 Outlookintl-de-de.msp, x64 Outlookintl-de-de.msp): December 13, 2011
  3. Description of the Outlook 2010 hotfix package (x86 Outlookintl-xx-xx.msp, x64 Outlookintl-xx-xx.msp): December 13, 2011
  4. “Could not connect to server” error message in the Outlook Social Connector
  5. Smart cards are not supported in Outlook 2010 when you access your mailbox by using Outlook Anywhere (RPC/HTTP)
  6. “The operation failed” error message when you try to book a resource mailbox from a shared calendar by using Outlook 2010
  7. Description of the Outlook 2010 hotfix package (x86 Outlook-x-none.msp, x64 Outlook-x-none.msp, Outlookintl-xx-xx.msp): December 13, 2011
  8. You receive unexpected results when you search lots of subfolders in Outlook 2010
  9. Certain appointments that are scheduled to occur on Saturdays disappear from the Calendar view in Outlook 2010
  10. An email message is stuck in the Microsoft Outlook 2010 Outbox.


What to Expect at Your First MVP Summit

January 2nd, 2012 24 comments

Every year, there is a flurry of questions from newly minted MVPs about the annual MVP Summit. This year, more than 1,400 MVPs from 70+ countries will attend more than 700 sessions behind closed doors. As a veteran of nearly a dozen Summits, I’ve created this post to answer the commonly asked questions. Hopefully, it should provide a good bit of info on what to expect. Feel free to ask questions and/or post suggestions and ideas in the comments below. This is a living post.

Keep your MVP profile updated!

I can’t recommend enough about having your MVP profile up to date, especially the “Expertise and Interests” section. This section dictates what session areas you may attend at the Summit. Update it NOW! Also, other MVPs can use your profile to contact you. The first year I attended, I viewed the profiles of other MVPs in my expertise (Exchange, at the time) to learn more about my colleagues. I’ve also had some recruiters and potential customers call after viewing my profile. The MVP profile can be quite beneficial.

What to bring

Here is a list of things of the minimum items you should consider bringing:

  1. Camera – You’ll be meeting a lot of people, putting faces to names. There are a lot of social events and social networking opportunities in which to record the moment. Plus, there are some nice places to visit, or take pictures of, such as Mt. Rainier, Pike’s Place Market, etc.
  2. Business cards – As mentioned above, you’ll be meeting lots of people. If you’re in sales, tread lightly on the marketing push. Stick your cards (and any you receive from others) in the back of your Summit ID holder for easy access throughout the Summit. Don’t have business cards? Places like VistaPrint will print cards for you for as little as $10 USD.
  3. Cold weather clothing – Seattle weather during the Summit time frame can be predictable (rain), and unpredictable (snow). It can be fairly cold during the time of the Summit. Dress in layers to survive. Here is the weather forecast for the area.
  4. A tip from @NikitaP: Wear comfortable shoes. I agree. You’ll do a fair amount of walking, and LOTS of socializing while standing at the various events and venues.
  5. A suitcase with extra space. You’ll get a Summit shirt, you’ll go to the company store, and some product groups give out gifts. There is also the public Microsoft Store at the Bellevue Square, a nice mall near the Summit hotels.
  6. Laptop or iPad for taking notes during technical sessions and keynotes. I recommend Microsoft OneNote, which is available on both the PC and iOS platforms, and runs great on tablets.
  7. If you’re coming from another country, bring a suitable power adapter to use for your gear in the U.S. If you run a Mac, check out the Plug Bug World. It converts your stock Apple MagSafe power adapter to be world-wide compatible. Plus, it adds a USB charging port. I love mine.
  8. Your MVP number. If Microsoft hasn’t received your signed NDA form yet, you may be required to sign one before you’re allowed into the event. The form requires your MVP number.
  9. If you’re from outside the country, check your cell phone’s data plan and roaming limitations. Don’t get caught with an unexpected costly mobile bill.

Arrive early, stay late – dinners, parties and extra events

I recommend padding the summit time frame by a day on each end to allow for extra sight-seeing, additional events, and shopping. Some product groups will have extra sessions, and those take place before or after the regular summit days. If your product group is doing this, you’ll know in advance.

There is a Welcome Reception, a product group event (usually a dinner event), and generally some third-party events like Party with Palermo (a developer based event). In previous years, there was also an Attendee Party. Many of the various groups informally meet at local establishments during the evenings, as well. You’ll stay busy at this event, I guarantee!

Increasingly over the past few years, Twitter has been a busy tool for keeping track of your friends and colleagues at Summit. It’s a great tool for figuring out what trendy bar all of your mates are at.

See the list of official events at

Keynote speeches

Note: There are no scheduled keynotes for Summit 2016. This section is merely for reference.

There are Q&A sessions at the end of each keynote. Here are some guidelines that will avoid people throwing things at you (or at least letting out a groan):

  1. Introduce yourself with your name and MVP area. Avoid anything else.
  2. Make it quick – ask a single question. I’m reminded of the scene in “Back to School” with Rodney Dangerfield where the professor says he “has but one question – in 27 parts”. Don’t hog the time, others have questions, too.
  3. And I hate to say this, but the fact is, if your English isn’t very strong, consider having someone else ask your question, or don’t ask at all. Keynotes are always in English. Every year, someone will ask some questions that very few people can understand due to a language barrier. That leads to awkwardness and unanswered questions.
  4. Don’t ask deep technical questions. The people giving the keynote and answering questions aren’t likely going to know WHY Exchange isn’t running on SQL.
  5. Don’t ask for autographs or selfies.
  6. Don’t bring things to give to them. Those crazy Canadians started that and it got out of control one year (although they do look sharp in their red hockey jerseys).

Engaging the product group

There are some opportunities to engage the product group for your area of expertise. This includes during technical sessions, product group events like dinners, as well as unofficial events. Keep in mind that interaction with the product group should be handled professionally. While it’s important to discuss concerns, please respect their time and efforts. Remember, having access to the product group is a privilege, and you’d be surprised how quickly they stop answering your questions and requests for help if you’re constantly (or worse, publicly) berating of their accomplishments. Also keep in mind that not every person in the product group happens to be in the Redmond area during the Summit time frame. So don’t get angry if the person responsible for your favorite (or despised) feature isn’t there.

Company store

There is an opportunity to take a trip to the company store. It is located right where the hotel buses drop you off on campus. You’re generally given a voucher when you pick up your credentials that allows you to spend up to a specific amount ($120 USD) OF YOUR OWN MONEY on licensed materials such as hardware and software. These are regular consumer products available at employee pricing. You cannot exceed the amount on the voucher, so don’t think you’re gonna get an Xbox console on the cheap. The voucher is generally valid to purchase from a special site online as well (for a limited time), and have the items shipped to you. In the past, if you use part of the amount on your voucher, they take the voucher, and you can’t use “what’s left” of it. Choose accordingly.

You can purchase as much as you want of the other items, including clothing, bags, books, novelties, and other swag. As mentioned above, plan accordingly. Make sure you have room in your suitcase to take the stuff home. Nothing worse than getting a killer deal on something, then having to pay to check another bag on your flight home.

For more information, see the official FAQ section on the company store.

Internet access

Here’s the bad part. The WiFi inside the Microsoft buildings can be sporadic due to the sheer demand, although it has been getting better in recent years. If you can tether via cell phone, or you have an air card/MiFi, keep those handy. Don’t plan on streaming videos, and even doing VPN connections can be very problematic over the guest WiFi. The hotels provide complimentary WiFi in the guest rooms and common areas.

Dress code

There isn’t one. Casual is generally what people wear, with the majority wearing jeans & button down shirts, or golf/polo shirts. Many people wear shirts and jerseys from previous Summits. See my comments above about dressing warm.

Car rentals

Don’t bother. It’s too expensive, and, unless you plan on doing a bunch of tourist stuff, you won’t use it. Keep in mind that hotels will charge you a horrendous fee to park each night. Shuttle buses will take you from official Summit hotels to official Summit events, such as sessions on campus, the Welcome Reception, etc. In the Seattle, Redmond, and Bellevue areas, Uber is very well established. If you’ve never used Uber before, there is one thing to remember. You can’t tip from within the Uber app. Some people don’t tip, others tip in cash.


From the airport, take a taxi or shuttle bus. Many people will coordinate with others and split the bill. Some people recommend the Gray Line, and I’ve used Shuttle Express which typically makes stops at all of the hotels used by Summit attendees. I believe one-way trips are in the $20 range for both. It can easily take 30 minutes (with average traffic) to get from the airport to the hotels.

As mentioned previously, transportation to/from hotels and official Summit locations, including the Attendee Party, is provided by Microsoft. I believe information about that is listed on the Summit website. Many of the “hangouts” in the Bellevue area are all within walking distance from the hotels.

For more information, see the official FAQ section on transportation.

Social networking, NDAs, and such

It’s generally acceptable to mention where you are (check-in). But you are under NDA during the technical sessions, so don’t even THINK about posting ANYTHING you see or hear during official events such as keynotes, sessions, official events, etc. Microsoft monitors social networks during the event, and people have lost their MVP status in the past for tweeting/posting info that was covered by NDA. I would recommend not discussing technical information in public areas, either. Even product code names and internal reference names are taboo in public. I mentioned near the top about bringing cameras. Tread lightly here.

Previously, I’ve seen people win items simply by checking in via Foursquare when going to the public Microsoft Store. There is also a downtown Seattle badge on Foursquare.

Also, the MVP program has Facebook and Twitter feeds to follow (including the #MVP18 hashtag for the Summit, and #MVPBuzz for the program in general). The MVP program also has a blog.


If you’re rooming with someone you haven’t roomed with before, and you snore, buy your roomie some drinks. Someone suggested bringing tennis balls they can lob at you to help stir you a little. Interesting suggestion.

Places of interest

Space Needle – Part of the Seattle skyline, visit the Space Needle and see forever from the observation deck.

Puget Sound Tour – This water based tour goes around Puget Sound and shows the visitor many interesting points of history, including the residence of Mr. Bill Gates.

The Museum of Flight – One of the MVP Summit events was held here a few years ago. Very fun and interesting. See a lot of airplanes from various generations and purposes.

Underground Tour – The Bill Speidel Undeground Tour is a leisurely, guided walking tour beneath Seattle’s sidewalks and streets. As you roam the subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle, our guides regale you with the stories our pioneers didn’t want you to hear. It’s history with a twist!

Pike Place Market – See the fish throwing, visit the various markets, and have some food with a great view.


A great tip from @callkathy – Connect with people outside your expertise. Sit with other people on the bus and at meals.

Another great tip, this one from @AlvinAshcraft – Use FourSquare to find other MVPs.

Microsoft has a pretty decent FAQ page that answers many questions. Check it out.

Have fun!

You will meet new friends, technical contacts, and people who will help you succeed. You’ll finally be able to put faces to the names of people whose blog and Twitter feeds you follow.

If you have any questions about the Summit, please feel free to contact me on Twitter (@PatRichard). Have fun!

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