Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

Silverlight 2.0 released (updated)

, posted: 14-Oct-2008 07:39

Microsoft have finished off their Silverlight 2.0 browser plug-in and made it available for download along with related developer components such as 'Silverlight Toolkit' which includes dozens of Silverlight controls which are licensed as open source.

Surprising for many is that Silverlight already reaches an audience of 1 in 4 consumers, and in some countries it's understood that about 50% of computers already have Silverlight installed. Recently Microsoft signed a deal with Hewlett (read the entire post)...



Developers, now I need your help

, posted: 9-Oct-2008 00:33

Well, the time has come for one of our talented team members to move onwards to the next step in their career. So we have an opening at Gorilla Technology and Cloud Labs. Details below - if you know anyone who might suit this role please pass the info on.

Junior-Intermediate Microsoft .Net Developer
Gorilla Technology / Cloud Labs - Auckland

Full-time position available in young, exciting and dynamic organisation that is planning for growth in the coming year. Our gro (read the entire post)...



And the winner is... (updated)

, posted: 9-Oct-2008 00:26

My experiment with crowd sourcing a new logo for Cloud Labs is over. It was clearly a success and the winner has been announced. Here it is, with respect to the designer Shtap, and the dozens of others who participated.

Update: Based on comments of my blog readers it appears there is another logo being used by a local company that has some similarities to this one and they also have similarities with their name, so we're evaluating options to modify the logo accordingly.
(read the entire post)...



Update on a Crowd Sourcing experiment

, posted: 1-Oct-2008 21:43

During the early hours of Saturday morning I initiated an experiment in Crowd Sourcing at crowdSpring.com. Read my previous blog entry for the details.

I am pleased to report that in less than five days I have received 96 entries. I'm staggered. If each designer was super quick and spent just 30 minutes on their design then about 50 hours of creativity has flowed so far in contributing to this experimental project.

And what do I think of the quality of the entries. Overall (read the entire post)...



Crowd Sourcing a new logo for Cloud Labs

, posted: 27-Sep-2008 10:29

I've been fascinated by the concept known as crowd sourcing for some time, so last night I decided to start an experiment. I'm engaging the techniques of crowd sourcing to obtain a logo for Cloud Labs (one of my business interests). Right now the process interests me more than the end result - but that said I haven't any particular expectations about the outcome so maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

So far, crowd sourcing creates as many questions as it does answers. In the case of (read the entire post)...



Silverlight 2 reaches release candidate stage

, posted: 27-Sep-2008 02:15

Running a little behind schedule, Microsoft have in the last few hours made Silverlight 2 RC0 available for developers to download. Originally the final release of Silverlight 2 was slated by end of the U.S. Summer which has now been and gone. Indications are however that it will not be long until Silverlight 2 is finalised and released to the public.

A substantial amount of performance, quality and feature improvements are included. Detailed information, and links to developer downlo (read the entire post)...



Microsoft SQL Server Data Services (SSDS) takes SQL to the web

, posted: 24-Sep-2008 21:17

Microsoft are progressing with their cloud based database service - SQL Server Data Services (SSDS) - designed to provide a scalable, on-demand data storage and query processing utility service. Certainly the service could be a boon for organisations who need the flexibility offered by such a managed service, though there will be questions about what the limitations and risks of the service will be.

The beta site promotes the service this way: "SQL Server Data Services (SSDS) are high (read the entire post)...



Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) 2008 RTMs in initial form

, posted: 24-Sep-2008 12:32

Microsoft have finished of the first version of the new Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) which replaces the current ISA Server 2006 product.

This initial version is titled 'Forefront Threat Management Gateway Small Business Edition' and has been released as part of the Microsoft Essential Business Server 2008 suite.

The stand alone versions of TMG are not expected to debut until 2009.

More info is on the TMG blog.
(read the entire post)...



Microsoft Essential Business Server 2008 (EBS 2008) finalised - incl Forefront TMG 2008

, posted: 17-Sep-2008 07:50

Microsoft have today finalised their new server software bundle - Microsoft Essential Business Server 2008. This comes less than 4 weeks after Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 was released to manufacturing.

Of special interest is that this release includes the new Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2008 (previously known as ISA Server). We wonder if an official announcement about the release of Forefront TMG 2008 is imminent.

The official release date for EBS (read the entire post)...



Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) Released to Manufacturing

, posted: 22-Aug-2008 13:03

Microsoft have made the announcement today that Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) has been released to manufacturing (in both Standard and Premium versions). This is a few weeks ahead of the date that many were expecting with the official launch date having recently been announced as 12 November 2008.

This version of SBS requires a 64-bit AMD or Intel CPU for the main server (SBS Standard runs on a single, SBS Premium can run across two servers). As SBS is operat (read the entire post)...