Eric Ligman just posted on the SBSC PALs too…

see for Eric’s post which also gives contact details for the PALs around the world.

My mailbox is protected by Exchange Defender too so take care if sending me any mail.

BTW – Ben Walton is the New Zealand PAL but his contact details aren’t on the page. If you’re from NZ and trying to contact Ben ping me and I’ll pass your message onto him in the meantime.

Small Business Specialist Community Partner Area Lead

So there’s been a lot of noise around the place lately about the SBSC PALs that have been “appointed” by Microsoft. There’s not yet been an official announcement yet – I believe this will be coming around September. I figured it was time I came clean and ‘fessed up that I’m the Australian SBSC PAL for 2007/2008.

What does this mean? What is an SBSC PAL? What does this mean to you? – All good questions.

There has already been a fair bit of explaination of the SBSC PALs by other PALs around the world so rather than regurgitate all the great work they’ve done you can read their view of things on their blogs. See:

Vijay Riyait blog:
Mark Crall:

Elisabeth Vanderverlt:

There are more blog sites for the other PALs – I’ll need to update my list as I get them together.

You can also listen to this Vladcast I did on July 30:

Essentially I don’t see my role in the IT community changing radically. I will continue to work hard to improve the overall IT community as best as I can (with what available time I have) but I guess now I can have a bit louder voice into Microsoft about what we all want to see done to improve things for SBSCs and ultimately for our clients.

For the Australian SBSCs out there, I want to hear from you about what you would like to see changed to make it easier for you to serve your clients. Be realistic here – if I go back to Microsoft telling them that the SBSCs collectively had said that giving them a million dollars each is going to make things truly amazing I think we’ll lose some credibility!

I communicate regularly with the other SBSC PALs around the world (we’re using Groove at the moment – very cool stuff) so we can certainly get some momentum going around the world that could see great change.

SBSCs – it’s time for us to raise our collective voices and be heard. Let me know what you want and we’ll see what can be done.

Products coming to end of support life

Got an email from John, my MS partner account manager. He was forwarding on a newsletter called the “Microsoft Support Lifecycle Customer Informational Update”.

Some relevant (SBS-ised) inclusions are:

SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 3a — Support Ended July 10, 2007, Custom Support available
On July 10, 2007, SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 3a (SP3a) transitioned out of its supported lifecycle. Custom Support will be available and additional details are available from your Technical Account Manager or Account Representative.

SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 0 — Support Ended July 10, 2007
SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 0 (SP0) transitioned out of support on July 10, 2007. Microsoft recommends customers upgrade to Service Pack 1. Please note that Custom Support is not available for this Service Pack.

Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1 — Support Ends January 8, 2008
Support for Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) will end on January 8, 2008.  Customers currently on Service Pack 1 should consider migrating to Service Pack 2.

There are tables included in the newsletter with plenty of products listed showing when mainstream and extended support finish. At the very least you should take note of when key applications being used are being “expired” – don’t want to be caught short.

Note the following URLs:

Microsoft Support Lifecycle Site:   Frequently Asked Questions: Service Pack Information:

If you want to subscribe to this newsletter directly go to

 (sorry about the mixed fonts – it was the cut & paste!!)