From the EditorDowntime is a Four-Letter Word

WHAT'S MORE DISTURBING than snakes on a plane, exploding laptop batteries, and the badly deployed puns in this Editor's Note, all put together? It's the idea that the office you're responsible for might start to fall apart. Downtime is a four-letter word for IT pros (it would not be inappropriate to call it "d***time"), and it's one of the topics we address in this issue.

If you flip through this month's excitement-packed issue, you can't help noticing how great it looks. We've put a lot of effort into upgrading our design, introduced with this issue. Thanks to our art staff, led by Valerie Myers and Amy Filbin, together with designer Jackie Goldberg, we've got a brand new, more sophisticated look that's really easy on the eyes.

While the design is groovy, the articles in this issue can be described as Groove-y. As this strained wordplay indicates, we are taking a look at communication and collaboration, specifically with mail servers and Office Groove 2007. John Morello takes a look at how Louisiana State University used Groove and SharePoint together to modernize an emergency operations center in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

If you're in charge of maintenance and deployment, Windows PE can save you from lots of d***time in your job. Years ago, installs consisted of a stack of 5.25" floppy disks that got carried from machine to machine. Today things are easier, but there are brand-new challenges when you're deploying software to several floors of cubicles—in several states, or even countries. Standardized desktops are now the administrator's best friend, but getting there is always a big challenge.

We've got a special section on deployment this month. We explore Windows PE, which lets you boot into RAM in order to ease desktop deployments. We also take a look at how to automate the deployment and reimaging of servers. We even examine the Local Install Source, a method you can use to deploy, configure, and maintain Office on desktops across your org.

Finally, we have an entertaining piece about the travails of running a small ISP service from frequent contributor R'ykandar Korra'ti. As we went to press, Dara was involved in a serious accident and is now on the mend. We'd like to wish her the best and hope for a speedy recovery.


Thank you to the following Microsoft technical experts: Leon Alexandrou, Richard Bond, Max Ciccotosto, Bo Downey, Glenda Farley, Ryan Hoppe, Jay Kremer, Abbott Lowell, Michael Murgolo, Bruce Payette, Diane Prescott, Dustin Tomlin, Patrick Tousignant, Jim Truher, and Jill Zoeller.

© 2008 Microsoft Corporation and CMP Media, LLC. All rights reserved; reproduction in part or in whole without permission is prohibited.