Microsoft Roundtable- Review and More info


Morning people!

Thought I’d share a couple of facts that help show just how innovative, advanced and cool the Roundtable is.

  1. It can equalize the light in the room so if you’ve got a dark spot, or light streaming through a big window-it keeps it all looking nice and even lighting-wise.
  2. Automatic Head-Size Equalization: This helps make the views of people aroun the table uniform regardless of their distance from the camera so:

becomes

giving an easier to use, professional looking video conference.

I’ll be posting about my first-hand experiences with Roundtable once my unit arrives but until then, Tom Keating over at:

http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/microsoft/microsoft-roundtable-review.asp

does a great job!

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:

http://www.officelabs.com/projects/pptPlex/Pages/default.aspx

and check out the pptPlex blog here:

http://www.officelabs.com/Pages/Blog.aspx

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

Cheers

Rich

Microsoft Office 2007/2003 Compatibility


Microsoft Office 2007 is a great package…Outlook 2007 is much more efficient and user friendly, there are loads of new features in all the Office elements (Word, Excel etc) and my favourite part-OneNote 2007-will get it’s own post soon (I hope!) However, If you’re one of the people who hasn’t been able to upgrade yet,for whatever reason (corporate policy, fear, apathy, incorrect planetary alignments etc), it can be a problem when you receive a file saved in the 2007 format (docx, xlsx, pptx etc) and you can’t open it. Getting the file re-sent in the 2003 format takes time and doesn’t always look good..well help is at hand.

The Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats lets older versions of Office (back to 2000) open the new 2007 formats and can be downloaded from:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=941B3470-3AE9-4AEE-8F43-C6BB74CD1466&displaylang=en

Some of the new features of 2007 such as extra formatting, formulas etc can be lost when using an older version-so if possible it’s best to upgrade, but until that time this makes it all a lot easier!

Vista MUI’s-Extra Languages


Recently I’ve had a few people asking about MUI packs with Vista and it can be a bit confusing for all of us. As I hope this blog will become more well read than the Meditations of Mr Aurelius/Heat magazine I thought I’d post up the info here as a handy reference guide 🙂

MUI’s are only available with Vista Enterprise (Vista Business with Software Assurance) or Vista Ultimate, so OEM Vista Business isn’t eligible. Unless, you buy OEM Vista Business and then enroll it into Software Assurance.

 

The alternative is to download the LIP (Language Interface Pack), which is free and provides “a translated version of the most widely used areas of the user interface.” This means it does leave some areas in the “Parent Language” so for example if you had English Vista with a French LIP..some bits would still show up in English.

 

To see more information, go to:

http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/35a1b021-d96c-49a5-8d8f-5e9d64ab5ecc1033.mspx

 

or to download the LIP’s, you can go to:

http://www.microsoft.com/unlimitedpotential/programs/llp.mspx

 

I hope this helps but if you’ve got any questions/suggestions, drop a comment and let me know.

 

Cheers

Rich

 

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:

http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/server/exchange/ocs2007.jsp

I discovered this via http://blogs.technet.com/jkruse/default.aspx – check it out!

Microsoft Roundtable-21st Century Video Conferencing


This thing is awesome! It came out of the MS Research team a few years back and now it’s been re-designed and is better than ever!

It’s a video conferencing device with some really neat features. It’s got a 360° camera and it tracks the active speaker, so you can move with the flow of conversation.

It’s got a lot of people excited here at Bechtle & we can’t stop selling them, so it’s clearly got users excited too!

Funky looking and useful
Funky looking and useful

Also, a lot of people criticise Microsoft for not being innovative and original, but this is one of the freshest things I’ve seen for a long time…I say “way to go MS”!

If you’re looking for a way to improve long distance meetings and/or save on fuel costs and reduce your carbon footprint, this is a great way to go about it 😉

Intro


Welcome, Acceptus…or Ahoy Hoy if you prefer.

This blog is primarily going to contain info on happenings in the world of software-with a particular focus on the company we all love to love..Microsoft.

This could be new products, updates, downloads, trials, changes, rumours or any combination thereof….plus I’ll throw in some pretty much un-related stuff…just to keep you on your toes 🙂

There’s a lot of info floating around the InterWebs and sometimes it can be hard to keep track of. Hopefully these ruminations will help make it all a little easier.

I’m more than happy to hear comments, thoughts, suggestions etc so please….comment away!