Ten

Useful Microsoft Blogs

Amid the Internet blog din you can find a few gems, including these, many of which are written by Microsoft employees sharing inside dope and insightful tips.

10. Kitchen Sink Blog
If you want to keep up on various Microsoft products, or you're just not sure where to start, check out, "The Industry Insiders; Insight from the heart of the IT industry." Here you'll find a cornucopia of info in different product areas, from security to Exchange, Active Directory and SQL Server, along with a smattering of management-level content. Mainly it's pointers to other articles, updated roughly once or twice per week, so it won't overwhelm you.

9. SBS Diva
Susan Bradley is a self-described "wacko SBSer" but she's also an SBS MVP. Her E-Bitz blog—"The Official Blog of the SBS Diva"—is full of leads and educational insights. The prolific diva comments on news events, dispels common misconceptions, proffers licensing advice and occasionally strays from "pure" SBS coverage, opining on topics including voice over IP.

8. Security in a Flash
Donna Buenaventura is about as prolific as the SBS Diva, with as many as five or six posts per day. Her Donna's SecurityFlash blog consists mostly of pointers to other stories and security alerts, serving as a useful compendium of security tidbits. She also keeps the Calendar of Updates Web site, where users can track or post software updates.

Renee Zellweger7. Jerry Maguire Meets Exchange
Its oh-so-cute name— "You Had Me at EHLO"—belies the highly technical and useful content of this blog penned by various members of the Microsoft Exchange team. You'll find everything from an exhaustive entry on memory tuning to articles on topics like OWA customization and this mouthful of an entry: Values in unmergedAttributes and msExchUnMergedAttsPT attributes and your ADC replication. Renee Zellweger would be honored, I'm sure.

6. Exploring IE
No fancy name here, but IEBlog is nonetheless a crucial source of info on Internet Explorer security updates and new features. Topics range from the supremely serious (how to disable the Javaprxy.dll, to prevent the latest security vulnerability) to the extremely useful (how to create pages that print correctly) to the aesthetically pleasing (implementing rounded page corners with IE).

5. Meet Mr. SQL Server
Tom Rizzo, director of SQL Server product management at Microsoft, checks in every week or two with quick and dirty synopses of SQL Server-related announcements, including releases of new tools, event highlights, tips and links to relevant content, such as a timely piece on XML support in SQL Server 2005.

4. Exchanging with Gerod
Gerod Serafin's WebLog, "A day in the life of an Advisory Support Engineer (Exchange)," is a good place for some inside Exchange skinny. Serafin offers up practical, albeit sporadic, tips on how to implement specific Exchange functions.

3. Windows Server Division
A rotating cast of Microsoft characters, anchored by Ward Ralston and Patrick O'Rourke, offer a steady stream of tips on the Windows Server Division WebLog. Suitable for anyone from a Windows Server admin to a journalist hungry for news.

2. All Things Being SQL
Mat Stephen's "All things SQL Server" blog is a collection of news, including patch releases, pointers to other thought-provoking material, submissions from readers and how-tos covering topics such as event handling in SQL 2005 Server Integration Services and deriving data feeds from third-party databases. Stephen, who is a Microsoft IT Pro Evangelist, is also a good writer in his own right, as his piece on business intelligence "without the blah, blah" attests.

1. Security Insiders
Time is of the essence when it comes to security, so every little bit of advance warning helps. As Communications Manager for Security Response at Microsoft, Stephen Toulouse is in a rather unique position to help. Along with Mike Reavey, operations manager for the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSCR), he and a rotating cast of characters offer interesting background behind security goings-on, including Patch Tuesday updates. You'll also find early tips on patches and other security tools.

More Information

MVP Blogs
I had high hopes for this site—http://msmvps.com—which offers a list of blogs maintained by Microsoft MVPs. But it seemed most of those I clicked on were hopelessly out of date, with the notable exceptions of the SBS Diva and Donna's SecurityFlash. If you know of any gems from this MVP list, please post your comments below.

About the Author

Paul Desmond, the founding editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine, is president of the IT publishing firm PDEdit in Southborough, Mass. Reach him at paul@pdedit.com.

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