Windows 8 Myths

Here's a great list of Windows 8 Myths from Michael Otey over at WindowsITPros.

1) You might as well get used to Windows 8 because it’s inevitable. Windows 8 is most certainly not any more inevitable than Windows Vista was. Like Windows Vista, Windows 8 is off to a slow start. But I expect that Microsoft is going to be coming out with an update that helps address some of main pain points in the initial release. So if you don’t like Windows 8, just hold off, because a subsequent version is going to get better.


2) Windows 8 is unusable without a touch screen. Windows 8 is different from any previous version of Windows. At first it’s confusing, and in my opinion in day-to-day use it’s not as productive as Windows 7. However, Windows 8 is definitely very useable. While not as efficient as Windows 7, you learn how to cope with its differences. Basically, I just wound up living on the desktop side and junking up my desktop with a zillion shortcuts to make up for the missing Start menu. Start8 or Classic Shell can also help make Windows 8 more livable.


3) Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7. Nope. Sorry it’s not. But it’s not slower either. To me, Windows 8 seems identical to Windows 7 in terms of speed. If there’s any difference, I can’t see it, and I’m looking. Maybe Windows 8 is faster if you’re running on new faster hardware, but then that’s really the hardware. Right?


4) Windows 8 boots faster than Windows 7. This is true. Windows 8 boots faster than Windows 7, but so what? The last time I booted my desktop was well over a month ago. I doubt many people are spending a lot of time worrying about how long it takes their desktop to boot.


5) The new Start screen is better than the old Start menu. I’ve heard this myth from some Windows 8 supporters, but I just don’t see it, at least not on non-touch devices. The old hierarchical Start menu provided quick access to all of your programs. The new flat Start screen requires paging to see what’s there, and it doesn’t show everything anyway. It also lacks jump lists and Recent item options and quick access to My Computer, Networking, the Control Panel, and Administrative Tools. To be fair, tiles can show you dynamic content, but gadgets did that as well.


6) Windows 8 is not for the enterprise. Microsoft may be marketing Windows 8 to the consumer (perhaps not altogether successfully because Microsoft is no longer a consumer-oriented company), but Windows 8 inherits all of the Windows 7 enterprise features like full AD support, Bitlocker, Windows To Go, DirectAccess, BranchCache, and Applocker. Windows 8 can definitely be used successfully in the enterprise.


7) Old Windows programs won’t run. Microsoft has only themselves to blame for this one. It’s true that the ARM-based Windows RT version of the OS will not run the old x86-x64 Windows programs. However, Windows 8 and Windows RT are really different things. The vast majority of x86 and x64 programs run just fine on Windows 8. I ran into a few devices that aren’t supported, but all the programs and games I ran worked fine. Sometimes you have to wonder why they even named Windows RT “Windows.” After all, the UI formerly known as Metro is designed to run one App at a time, not to have multiple windows open.

I have no doubt that touch is the way of the future, but I also know we’re just not there yet. Microsoft designed Windows 8 with a bit too much eye on the future and forgot about where the rest of the world is really at. Those are some of the biggest myths about Windows 8 that I’ve run across. If you have some Windows 8 myths that you’d like to dispel, share your comments here.

Read the complete article here–

Tim Wilkey, NCITE


Thank you WindowsXP!

 DEARLY BELOVED, we are gathered here to say goodbye to Microsoft Windows XP.  Born October 25, 2001, XP stood as a shining light in the operating systems community for three reasons.

First, XP came from hardy stock, built upon the foundaton of Windows NT, not Windows 95.  THe infusion of new blood did much to erase the demons of earlier Windows, diagnosed in the media as "DLL Hell."  XP did struggle with blackouts, labeled by rumormongers like TMZ as "the blue screen of death," but by and large it lived a happy and productive life…..

Read the rest of James E. Gaskin's OBIT for Windows XP!


Cloud Update – Microsoft’s Status


Will Microsoft's Cloud OS Revolutionize IT?

Here's a great article that answers that guestion.  The article is by Jeff James and he posts regularly over at Petri–

Cloud computing was the latest buzzword in the IT industry a few years ago, and it's had several years worth of growing pains while vendors worked to address the security, privacy,

Jeff James

and compliance concerns of public cloud solutions. While some of those issues still remain, cloud computing has emerged as an important component of an overall IT strategy.

Microsoft has embraced the cloud in all of its public, private, and hybrid varieties, and has gone so far as to create a product development and marketing strategy hinged on the 'Cloud OS' brand moniker. Microsoft made a host of announcements related to their Cloud OS strategy earlier this week, including significant updates to System Center 2012, Windows Azure, and Windows Intune. If you want more info on the cloud, be sure to check out Matt Hester's guide to Windows Azure and our introduction to VMware vCloud by David Davis.

Thanks for reading,
Jeff James, Editorial Director,
Petri IT Knowledgebase


Rate your risk and readiness…

IBM's Business Continuity Index

I was browsing IBM's small-medium business pages today and ran across this useful business tool.  Here's the intro to the tool straight from the site–

"Where is your enterprise vulnerable? Do your risk management activities consist of quick responses to today's threats, or do they actually help you better manage risk for the business?

Get an accurate picture of your company's stance on risk and resilience with the Business Continuity Index from IBM. The tool provides a set of 25 questions that delivers an overall score for your risk maturity—then goes the next step with recommendations for improvement. Share your results within your organization and see where you stack up in your industry."

IBM is compiling an index across varying industries.  The graphic below will link you to the actual tool if you want to see results for your own organization or business.




Professional Web Design: Techniques and Templates

Book Cover for Professional Web Design by Clint EccherProfessional Web Design: Techniques and Templates by Clint Eccher

If your small business or organization has been around for 10 years or more you are probably on your 2nd or 3rd or 4th iteration of your website.   You may have traveled the path of paying thousands for a site back in the 90's, to then having the site go dormant to then having your neighbor or nephew overhaul the site with updated content but a less professional design.  

Perhaps you have grown and now have an in-house staffer or standing IT guy who works on your site.   Wherever you at this stage of your business, Clint Eccher's book might be worth a look.  It contains a beneficial primer to the big-picture of planning for, comping and creating a working website.  There are sections that are useful for the owner, the designer and the programmer (coder) whether those are three people or one person covering all three roles.

Book Cover for Professional Web Design by Clint Eccher

The book is in its 4th edition and though updated contains a plethora of references to the 90's (when all the website craze was getting fully underway) and to 56k modems.   However, rather than this being a total distraction, it actually provides some good contect for understanding how things started and how they progressed and what has been learned in the meantime about good looking, useful websites.

The picture of the book cover above should link you to an Amazon listing with all the book's vitals.




Computer/Network Security Issue – Action Required

URGENT Action RequiredJava Security Issue

Please read this message thoroughly and distribute to every computer user in your company without delay. The 6 steps required are easy to take, but unfortunately, manual. The entire process from start to finish should take less than 2 minutes.

Over the weekend, the United States Department of Homeland Security issued an urgent advisory regarding a vulnerability in Java, a software technology that runs in the background and is required for many web sites and applications. Many of you may not actually use Java, but if you do any type of online banking, reporting or online meetings such as GoToMeeting, you do use and require Java.

The following steps walk you through installing the latest update. After installing, this update you will be prompted to confirm that you want to allow Java to run whenever you call for it. As a result, you will notice new prompts from time to time and you should only OK them if you are completely confident about the software or web site you are using.

Step 1: Open your Control Panel and then open the Java Control Panel by double clicking on the Java icon.

Step 2: Click the Update tab and then click the Update Now button.

Step 3: You will get a message that an update is available for Java 7 Update 11. Click the Install button to install this.

Step 4: Please clear the checkbox to install the Ask Toolbar as we feel this is a security risk to add another toolbar to your Internet browser.

Step 5: Allow the update to run by closing the Java Control Panel and any other applications that may be listed. Simply click the Close Programs and Continue button to allow the software to install. Please be sure you have saved any work prior to this point:

Step 6: Confirm the update has successfully installed. Close the installer and close your Control Panel.



The Back of the Napkin

I will put this one in the category of things to read that are "outside" my normal thought box.  This wonderful book grabbed my attention right off the bat.

The opening story by author Dan Roam was enough to get me hooked.  He explains how, with 1 day's notice, he filled-in for a colleauge who was scheduled to make a major sales speech.  He spent most of the 24 hours making the trip from New York to London.  He didn't know the topic or the audience.  He received his briefing in-flight.

It was during a conversation with a member of the team for which his company was consulting that he discovered the power of pictures for solving problems and selling ideas.

Read how this picture, drawn on a napkin, on the plane, not only saved the day but led to a perfect meeting wth a highly educated audience.

The author makes the point early and often that you don't need to be an artist to use the ideas he gives you.  So don't let that stop you from taking a look.

We all know how effective pictures can be in summarizing and solidifying important concepts….so why not use them in our business communications!


Can’t save file in Windows Server 2008 R2

A 3rd party vendor called me to complain that a server I had just setup and given her remote access to would not allow her to save a file to a subdirectory of C:\Program Files.  She had administrator privileges on the box, which was a member server of a domain.  As I was too busy to google the answer at the time, I suggested she do a file-save-as in her notepad editing session (she was simply changing the contents of a flat configuration file) to a different directory and then copy the changed version of the file to the desired destination.

This worked fine, but I'm curious now as to how I managed to not run into this behavior before.

Maybe I'm doing well less "configuration file" editing than I remember or maybe it is not that common anymore for a program to need to save its settings to the "program files" directory.

I will have to dig now to satisfy my curiosity.