End of Support for Windows Vista RTM, XP SP2 and Windows 2000

End of Support Dates for Windows Vista RTM, Windows XP SP2, and Windows 2000

As announced in 2008, support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Windows 2000 will end on July 13, 2010. Support for Windows Vista Release to Manufacturing (RTM) will end on April 13, 2010. To help ensure your Windows Vista PCs stay secure and up to date, make sure they are running Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) or SP2. If you are running Windows XP, stay more secure by moving to Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) or migrating to Windows 7. If you are running Windows 2000, we recommend that you move to Windows 7 as no additional support or updates will be offered for the Windows 2000 operating system. Visit the End of Support Center for more details.


2 New System Center Betas available

System Center Essentials 2010

PM blog – http://blogs.technet.com/systemcenteressentials/archive/2009/09/29/sce-2010-public-beta-is-here.aspx


SCE 2010 is designed specifically for mid-sized organizations and delivers a unified physical and virtual IT management experience.

It enables you to better secure, update, monitor, and troubleshoot from a single console, so you can efficiently and proactively manage your IT environment:

· A unified solution with a single console for managing your physical and virtual servers, client computers, hardware, software, and IT services

· Smart alert notifications of IT issues, providing expert diagnostic information to accelerate problem diagnosis and quickly resolve issues before they cause downtime

· Simplify complex management tasks, like creation of virtual servers, software deployment, update management, and inventory collection

· And designed to be easy to deploy and maintain, exclusively for mid-sized organizations

System Center Data Protection Manager 2010

PM blog – http://blogs.technet.com/jbuff/archive/2009/09/29/announcing-the-beta-for-dpm-2010.aspx


There are lots of reasons to be excited about DPM 2010.  Here are a few:

· Virtualization folks get item-level restore from within VM backups, as well as support for LiveMigration (CSV) scenarios for Hyper-V R2

· SharePoint folks lose the need for a Recovery Farm and gain auto-protection of new content databases

· SQL Server administrators get auto-protection at a SQL instance level, huge scalability increases and a self-service restore utility for DBAs

· Exchange managers get support for Exchange 2010, including DAG configurations, as well as CCR/SCR

· Windows client users get protection and recovery for remote laptops, with protection online and offline

· Disaster Recovery planners get lots of new options around multi-site chaining and protection between sites

· And everyone gets new enterprise scalability, reliability and manageability enhancements


Year 2009 – MS global relationship survey is out

Hi Everyone,

if you’re an IT Pro in Singapore, i want to hear from you. Look out for the Global Relationship Survey, it could land in your inbox.

In Microsoft Singapore, we look at this survey very seriously. I cannot tell you enough of how much we value this survey. We plan and deliver very much as per what our customers like you tell us. Your feedback are valuable. You may not see immediate reaction or receive a person reply from us, but be assured, we look into every single feedback.

Some may take much longer than others to work upon. Please give us time. As far as IT Pros are concerned, we want to drive maximum benefits to the everyday heroes. YOU!

To help us deliver value to you, please fill up this survey. It will be delivered from the domain "@satisfaction.ipsos.com". Be sure to whitelist this email domain and watch out for the Global Relationship Survey (GRS). Survey will take place from 15th September 09 to 16th October 2009.



Gartner: IT Spending Cuts Don’t Always Reduce Cost

As enterprises finalize their annual budgets, some clients use the terms "spending" and "cost" interchangeably. This highlights a challenge in the financial management of IT.


· IT costs are created as a result of spending on IT products and services, but many of these costs are not incurred during the current financial year. CFOs who are driving spending cuts this year may even be increasing IT costs.

· IT budget cuts do not necessarily cut business demand for IT services if business units can source services externally or even run their own. Emergency spending cuts can also increase the cost of service delivery by shifting costs into other budgets or years.

· As soon as an organization commits to IT products and services, it commits to the cost of operating them. Ongoing spending on structural costs cannot be contained by capital cuts that prevent restructuring projects from reducing costs.

· Costs can only be restructured as a result of coordinated enterprise IT strategy, sourcing and procurement activity. Instead of requiring a business case only for new projects, enterprises should review the business case for all costs to avoid making hasty decisions.


Spending is often controlled by project and operating budgets, but few organizations track or control IT-related costs as effectively. The reasons include:

· Business planning horizons can be shorter than IT life cycles.

· Cost planning and accounting are expensive.

· No IT product does everything.

· Competing priorities affect budget planning.

Such excuses offer no comfort to investors. IT is typically 2% to 12% of operating costs (see "IT Spending and Staffing Report, 2008"), and cash-flow challenges include software at around 20% and storage at approximately 8% of the IT budget. Tough times require better financial controls and prompt organizations to rethink the cost of IT.

Panic spending cuts are unlikely to be sustained. Even if emergency spending cuts are necessary, review ongoing costs. A few clients are even starting to optimize IT supply chains for the new economy in case the recovery does not restore previous market conditions.

What You Need to Know

IT spending is only the visible extent of IT costs. Not all related IT spending is in the current IT budget. The facilities group, and not the IT organization, could pay for power and cooling, for example. Many costs have yet to be planned: Life cycle cost management is essential for assets and services.

IT organizations are under competitive pressure to steer a course close to these cost icebergs at full speed (see Figure 1). The right navigational aids, such as IT asset management, are essential to avoid the largest but least-visible part of the iceberg — unbudgeted cost, such as the invoice that follows a software audit. Any hole in cash flow can sink an enterprise. Focus on the most dangerous part of the cost iceberg below the surface, not just the visible spending.

Figure 1. Cost Icebergs


Source: Gartner (February 2009)

Highly compartmentalized, independent budgets create a false sense of security, while causing "everyone for themselves" behaviors that shift cost between silos and financial years. Use central cost planning and reporting to build consensus on sustainable savings, and avoid panic cuts that only make matters worse.

Inaction also creates cost. Some capacity and maintenance cost increases cannot be avoided with aging assets. Review life cycle costs as part of your total cost of ownership. Even with IT asset and cost management systems, traditional business skills are needed to plot a course to safety. Reassign project managers from postponed projects to review current operational cost structures to create sustainable spending.

External source: http://www.gartner.com/resources/165100/165142/findings_from_inquiries_it_s_165142.pdf


Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Servers 2008

Just to let everyone know, Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 are available for evaluation on TechNet. TechNet subscribers, please login to your subscription and download it.

We have posted on TechNet Evaluation Center the links that have gone live on November 12th

SBS Landing Page – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/cc184870.aspx

EBS Landing Page – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/cc184869.aspx

If you want a TechNet subscription, contact me about {Insiders} TSP. By doing a relevant project, Microsoft will give you TechNet subscription for free.


Microsoft ‘not against’ open source

In the past months, if you subscribe the the local version of TechNet Flash, you would have heard from me numerous times about Microsoft working with Open Source. If you could recall BattleStations from Tyler Projects, their PHP gaming application on Facebook achieved significant performance improvements when running on Windows 2008 with FastCGI vs running on a Linux with Apache.

This time, i would like to share with you an article over at MIS-Asia. http://www.mis-asia.com/news/articles/microsoft-not-against-open-source

Reading deeper into the article, i was struck by surprise. I didn’t know Microsoft did so much for Open Source. To date, Microsoft employees and the developer communities have worked on some 6000 open source projects. Read about the article here.