Posts tagged "upgrade"

10 trends to watch for in 2017

10 trends to watch for in 2017

January 5th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Data, Desktop, Devices, Newsletters, Operating System, Security, Services 0 thoughts on “10 trends to watch for in 2017”

Smart machines are getting smarter, and a new IT reality has dawned.

The machines are rising. Artificial intelligence (AI) has proven it’ll be no fun at a party, having taken down the world’s best player at the difficult strategy game Go. If that makes you anxious, good news: virtual reality (VR) is being used by doctors to help patients with anxiety. We live in interesting times, so what’s going to be especially interesting to watch this year?

so what’s going to be especially interesting to watch this year

So what’s going to be especially interesting to watch this year

 

1. Security concerns increase

The only novelty in this prediction is where the danger is coming from: increased reliance on IoT means more breaches of security and privacy.

2. AI and consumer experience

Even big players are only scratching the surface when it comes to using machine-learning to improve customer service. Look for:

  • Much more personalized customer interaction
  • More social presence
  • Immediate answers to consumer queries

3. Better cross-browser compatibility

Less sexy than AI but fundamental, W3C (world wide web consortium) specification, and (maybe) better JavaScript libraries could see cross-browser compatibility issues become a thing of the past. Good news if your business does business online.

4. Increased VR activity

Who doesn’t want to be in VR when it’s new and shiny and has applications as far-ranging as therapy and gaming? Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have put a waterfall of money into VR, but it’s the startups you want to watch. Will VR be the cornerstone of the next Microsoft or Apple?

5. Mobile grows

By 2020, 70% of the world’s population will have a smartphone. If you’re still asking mobile browsers to pinch and squeeze, it’s time to act.

By 2020, 70% of the world’s population will have a smartphone

By 2020, 70% of the world’s population will have a smartphone

6. No more money for IT

You can watch the rise of AI and VR, but this might not be the year you get to invest in them. Spiceworks, a network of IT professionals, -has surveyed the IT world and confirmed that IT budgets will be flat (or down) in 2017, and they’re not expecting to take on new employees, either.

7. Laptops eating desktops’ narrow lead

Consumers have long bought more laptops than desktops. Now, companies are budgeting more for laptops, bringing the budgets for both to par according to Spiceworks’ network data and surveys.

8. Windows 10 business adoption to exceed 70%

Over 10 weeks in 2015, 11% of organizations said yes to Microsoft’s offer of a free Windows 10 upgrade. By halfway through last year, 40% were onboard. The trend line suggests 73% of organizations will be using Windows 10 by July.

9. “Cloud first” strategies will drive adoption of Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2016 offers improved virtualization features, better security, more advanced software-defined storage functionality, and better integration with popular cloud services. That will drive adoption, although it won’t be until Windows Server 2008 reaches end-of-life in 2020 that its successor will dominate.

10. Don’t hold your breath for OS upgrades

Flat budgets will mean delays in upgrading operating systems. More than half of businesses are running at least one copy of Windows XP somewhere, despite it reaching end-of-life in 2014.

Let the Think specialists help you and your company! Please contact our sales team at [email protected] if you would like our recommendations or a quote.

Start the year on a secure note

Start the Year on a Secure Note

January 5th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Data, Desktop, Devices, Newsletters, Operating System, Security, Services 0 thoughts on “Start the Year on a Secure Note”

9 hardware and software vulnerabilities you should address now.

Research from Spiceworks, a network of IT professionals, highlighted more than 70% of respondents rated security as their top concern for 2017. Here are nine things that should be keeping you up at night…

70% of respondents rated security as their top concern

70% of respondents rated security as their top concern

 

Aging hardware

Sure, software is the greater risk, but many hardware vulnerabilities are software-based. Older equipment is often without built-in security features like:

  • Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) with Secure Boot
  • Self-healing basic input/output system (BIOS)
  • Pre-boot authentication (PBA)
  • Self-encrypting drives

That’s why you should be auditing and planning to remove:

  • Computers with conventional BIOS, because they can’t run Secure Boot, which helps to prevent malware loading during the boot process.
  • Computers without pre-boot authentication or a trusted platform module (TPM), which stop the operating system from loading until the user enters authentication information, such as a password.
  • Old routers, which can have serious vulnerabilities.
  • Drives that don’t self-encrypt. Self-encrypting drives (SEDs) need a password (in addition to the OS login password), and the technology automatically encrypts and decrypts data on the drive.

On a side note, old drives leave you vulnerable in another way: you could lose data when they fail, which they will.

you could lose data when they fail, which they will

You could lose data when they fail, which they will

Tired software

Getting your hardware straight will almost always involve spending money, but fixing up software could be as simple as running those free updates you never got around to. Here’s what to look at:

  • Unpatched or out-of-date operating systems: Windows XP has been beyond its support period for nearly three years but is still running all over the world despite there being no updates, no technical assistance, and limited efficacy with anti-virus. And old operating systems always have fewer security features than new ones.
  • Unpatched or out-of-date productivity software: It’s highly risky to run unpatched versions of Microsoft Office, especially older versions like Office 2002, Office 2003, and Office 2007. They can give a hacker access to the rest of a system, with particularly catastrophic consequences if the user has administrative privileges.
  • Legacy custom applications: If running an old version of Office is a risk, imagine the danger of running legacy custom software, particularly if you’re no longer doing business with the vendor (or the vendor is no longer in business). When your legacy software was being coded, the vendor probably wasn’t thinking of the sort of security attacks that are common today.
  • Unpatched web browsers: No browser is entirely free of security vulnerabilities. Common vulnerabilities include URL spoofing, cross-site scripting, injection attacks, exploitable viruses, buffer overflow, ActiveX exploits, and many more. Always, always run the most recent version.
  • Out-of-date plug-ins: Everybody loves a plug-in, but they have a high potential for disaster, especially if you’re not running the latest versions.

Let the Think specialists help you and your company! Please contact our sales team at [email protected] if you would like our recommendations or a quote.

Is It Time To Let Go Of Windows 7?

November 3rd, 2016 Posted by Best Practices, Microsoft, Operating System, Windows 10, Windows 7 0 thoughts on “Is It Time To Let Go Of Windows 7?”
In September, Microsoft told the world that the number of monthly active users of Windows 10 had gone past 400 million. Many of those users are consumers, but businesses are making the leap as well. What’s surprising about that is that Windows 10 is only a year old. Historically, businesses have taken years to manage the switch to a new operating system.

The change is being seen in places that might have been expected to take a more conservative view, including the US Department of Defense and global consulting giant Accenture.

Accenture CIO Andrew Wilson told a conference audience that his department had already upgraded 100,000 of the organization’s PCs to Windows 10. And that was just the start. The company has 375,000 employees.

Wilson acknowledged that just a few years ago, he would have stood by the sidelines seeing how other enterprises fared with the switch over. Accenture waited until Windows 7 was two years old before making the changes—twice as long as it has waited to move to Windows 10.

Windows 10 had gone past 400 million

(more…)

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Free Windows 10 Upgrade!

August 13th, 2015 Posted by Services 0 thoughts on “Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Free Windows 10 Upgrade!”

Free Windows 10 Upgrade

We all dread the release of another Microsoft operating system because of the price tag that comes attached to it. It is the very reason why some people are still on Windows XP (hopefully no one is relying on an earlier version of Windows)! But what’s this? Microsoft is offering a free upgrade to its newest operating system, Windows 10?

Should You Upgrade to Windows 10?

Yes. It is true. Well, not if you are on Windows XP or Vista, sorry. But if you have Windows 7 or higher, you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free. This morning my laptop popped up an upgrade box that said, “Reserve your free copy of Windows 10 before it is too late.” So this may not be an everlasting offer; I would recommend jumping on the opportunity if you can!

Though I have not gone through the free upgrade experience myself, the numerous articles that I have read are actually recognizing Windows 10 as being a solid operating system and a recommended upgrade! I do plan on upgrading soon. While still similar to Windows 8.1, there were some improvements Microsoft made based on customer feedback… or so they say!

Gone is that dreadful Start screen and the child-like full-screen app page. And added is your personal digital assistant, Cortana, virtual desktop capabilities, and the DirectX 12 graphics API (The Windows 10 upgrade: Who should do it, who could wait).

How to Avoid Windows 10 Upgrade Scams

It is also important to note that one should be hyper-aware of the scammers that are also taking advantage of the free Windows 10 offering. Email scams are popping up left and right, and as always, looking more legit than ever before.

Knowledge is your greatest ally, so be sure you do your research and always err on the side of caution. Below is an example of a recent Windows 10 email scam from Beware this Windows 10 upgrade scam.

Windows 10 ransomware email

Windows 10 ransomware email (credit Cisco)

Notice the incorrect characters, the large zip attachment, and the footer of the email noting it has been scanned for viruses. A free Windows 10 upgrade is hard to pass up, but just make sure you are not getting scammed in the process!

Need Help?

It is also crucial to ensure application compatibility before upgrading to Windows 10, so if you have any questions or are unsure about the compatibility of your critical applications, please contact Think prior to performing an upgrade!

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