Ten big tech trends from 2010

This was an amazing year for tech. Here are some of the things that struck me as significant.

Sun Java became Oracle Java

Oracle acquired Sun and set about imposing its authority on Java. Java is still Java, but Oracle lacks Sun’s commitment to open source and community – though even in Sun days there

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Microsoft Hyper-V Annoyance: special permissions for VHDs

Today I needed to enlarge a virtual hard drive used by a Hyper-V virtual machine.

No problem: I used the third-party VHD Resizer which successfully copied my existing VHD to a new and larger one.

The snag: when I renamed the VHDs so that the new one took the place of the old, the VM

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Microsoft Outlook 2010 annoyance: tasks do not show in contact activities

I discovered an Outlook 2010 annoyance over this long weekend. A user I’m in touch with uses Outlook 2007 as a simple CRM system. He creates tasks that are linked to contacts, using the Contacts button at the bottom of the New Task window, things like “Call John” with some notes. If he then looks

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Microsoft Exchange 2010 annoyance: certificate wizard incompatible with certificate services

I’ve used the holiday break to do some testing on Exchange 2010. I have a virtual network which includes a machine running Microsoft’s Certificate Services. The wizard generates a .req file which you can submit to a certification authority. In my case I submitted to my own certificate server using the certreq command.  Here’s what

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Remote access to files in Microsoft Small Business Server 2011

Among the most interesting features in the new Small Business Server 2011 standard edition – I suspect it is in the Essentials version as well – is the ability to access shared folders remotely via a web application.

This is actually a feature borrowed from Windows Home Server, which also exposes shared folders in its

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What you read in 2010: top posts on ITWriting.com

With three days to go, traffic on ITWriting.com in 2010 is more than 50% up over that of 2009 with over 1 million unique visitors for the first time. Thank you for your attention in another crazy year in technology.

So what did you read? It is intriguing to look at the stats for the

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Microsoft’s muddled licensing for Office Web Apps

I’ve been reviewing Microsoft’s Small Business Server 2011 – mainly the standard edition as that is the one that is finished. The more interesting cloud-oriented Essentials version is not coming until sometime next year.

In its marketing [pdf] for SBS 2011 Microsoft says:

Get things done from virtually wherever and whenever. With Office Web Apps

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Fixing a slow Windows XP PC

Yesterday I investigated a Windows XP machine that had become so slow it was unusable. It was a Dell Dimension 2350 with 1GB RAM and a 2.00 Ghz Celeron CPU – not too bad a spec for XP – that had been out of use for a while and was being brought back into service

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Single sign-on from Active Directory to Windows Azure: big feature, still challenging

Microsoft has posted a white paper setting out what you need to do in order to have users who are signed on to a local Windows domain seamlessly use an Azure-hosted application, without having to sign in again.

I think this is a huge feature. Maintaining a single user directory is more secure and more

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Microsoft inadvertently shares BPOS offline address books with other customers

According to an email I’ve seen, sent to customers of Microsoft BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite), some users have found their Offline Address Book – an Exchange feature which stores a company’s internal address list – has been downloaded by other BPOS customers:

Microsoft recently became aware that, due to a configuration issue, Offline Address

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