Business Technology Perspectives Blog

Jun 7, 2012

Windows IT Pro Authors Speaking at TechEd

Finding the best sessions can sometimes take some work, so I thought I’d take some of the guesswork out of your TechEd session selection by pointing out the sessions that are being presented or co-presented by Windows IT Pro editors, freelancers, and contributing editors....More
Jun 5, 2012

The Windows IT Pro Guide to Microsoft TechEd 2012 3

This year's TechEd is less than a week away, and a team of editors from Windows IT Pro will be covering the event live from Orlando, FL. Getting the most out of TechEd can sometimes be a challenge, so I've put together some tips and advice for IT pros visiting the show that may be useful....More
Jun 1, 2012

Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate Now Available

While the newly-announced Windows 8 Release Preview has been getting the bulk of tech press attention over the last few days, Microsoft has also reached a significant milestone in the development of Windows Server 2012 (formerly known as Windows Server 8), announcing yesterday that the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate is now available for download....More
May 11, 2012

Microsoft Revamps Bing with Social Search, Updated UI

Google is the undisputed king of internet search, but Microsoft has been a distant (albeit tenacious) competitor. Microsoft hopes to change that situation with some forthcoming updates to the Bing service....More
Feb 21, 2012

Is the Kindle Fire Gaining Traction in the Enterprise? 1

While the iPad makes up the lion's share of tablet devices, Amazon's Kindle Fire is starting to gain traction in the consumer space, and some early signs indicate that the Kindle Fire may find some success in the corporate environment as well....More
Jan 5, 2012

Microsoft Financing Looks to Help Cash-Strapped IT Departments 2

With the global economy still in the doldrums, beleaguered IT professionals and IT managers are struggling to do more with less. Part of their strategy for staying afloat revolves around sticking with legacy software that is still getting the job done, like the legion of IT departments that are opting to stay with Windows XP rather than upgrade to Windows 7. Computer hardware is also cheaper and more powerful than ever, a situation that leads many businesses to solider on with older equipment that is still getting the job done. Yet not every IT department can afford to stay with legacy hardware and software systems, and sometimes -- for the sake of ensuring critical business tasks or functions – new investments must be made in IT resources. Recognizing that businesses may need help in financing new software and hardware purchases, Microsoft has ramped up promotion of their Microsoft Financing arm that provides a number of financial services for Microsoft customers. To get the latest on what Microsoft Financing can offer customers, I recently spoke with Seth Eisner, general manager of Microsoft Financing. Eisner mentioned that Microsoft Financing generally helps customers with three different financial scenarios. "We can help customers map their payments to deployments, or help them align financing around their budget cycles," Eisner said. "We also help customers with periodic payments that work [more effectively] with their cash flow situation...our financing options allow us to help customers buy more, buy better, buy bigger, and buy more often." In a statement included in a news release as part of the renewed publicity push for Microsoft Financing, Microsoft partner Steria -- a provider of IT business services in Europe -- said that Microsoft Financing has helped them streamline their IT operations. "We’ve known about financing but not for software," says Phillip Cournot, purchasing officer at Steria. "We’ve used other sourc...More
Dec 14, 2011

IT Pro Holiday Gift Guide

In the interest of helping readers with their Christmas shopping--and with tongue partially planted in cheek--I’d like to present this gift guide of both serious (and not-so-serious) holiday gifts for your favorite IT pros....More
Dec 6, 2011

Tablets in the Office: What's Your Take? - 06 Dec 2011

Tablets have been a hot topic in the news these days, from the iPad's dominance of the tablet market to the recent surge of interest in (and impressive sales for) the new Amazon Kindle Fire. I recently purchased a Kindle Fire for my own use, and I should have more thoughts to share on my experience with the device soon. (In the interim check out Paul Thurrott's review of the Kindle Fire.) All of this naturally leads to a discussion about whether Windows IT Pro readers are adopting tablets for personal use and/or office duty. We recently launched an online survey about tablet usage, and some of the early feedback (based on more than 100 responses) is that many IT professionals are already adopting and supporting tablets in the workplace.   While the results of this survey are interesting so far, I'd love to hear directly from IT professionals about what tablets your company is adopting, and why they're adopting them. It's a well-documented fact that the iPad has started to find its way into the workplace, including a commanding position as the tablet of choice for the healthcare industry. Windows 8 tablets will join the Kindle Fire and iPad in late 2012, and will surely help drive even more tablets into small businesses and enterprises everywhere. So what is your organization currently doing with tablets? Are you evaluating them as part of a test period, or are you and your co-workers already using tablets to get your daily business done? Add a comment to this blog post, take a few minutes to complete our tablet survey (and get a chance to win a $200 pre-paid VISA card), or start up a discussion about tablets in the workplace on Twitter. Follow Jeff James on Twitter at @jeffjames3 – Google+ add Jeff to your circles Follow Windows IT Pro on Twitter at @windowsitpro...More
Nov 11, 2011

How Apple's Bets on Siri (and C3 Technologies) Could Pay Big Dividends

Over the last decade, Apple has grown into a company that excels at making smart acquisitions, taking risky bets on emerging technologies, and then refining those acquisitions and technology into compelling consumer products....More
Nov 8, 2011

Ten Reasons why the iPhone 4S is Selling Like Crazy 5

As of this writing, the iPhone 4S has officially sold more than 4 million units in 3 days, and is on track to become the best-selling iPhone ever. It's also arguably the most popular smartphone in the world at the moment, based on individual hardware sales (not OS market share, a metric that Android still owns)....More
Nov 4, 2011

GM Moving 100,000 Employees to Google Apps? 2

The ongoing war between Microsoft and Google over cloud-based email and collaboration tools just got kicked up a notch thanks to a recent story by the Wall Street Journal that indicates Google has signed a tentative agreement with automotive supergiant General Motors to move 100,000 employees to Google "email and online-collaboration software." Google and Microsoft have been locked in a bitter struggle over cloud-based email and office productivity tools for the last year or so, with Google leveraging Gmail and Google Apps to slowly gain ground against Microsoft's still-overwhelming dominance in the office email and productivity application space, anchored by Exchange and Office, respectively. Microsoft ratcheted up the pressure on Google earlier this year when it rolled out Office 365, its largely cloud-based answer to Gmail and Google Apps. (Note: See our Office 365 vs. Google Apps webinar for multiple perspectives on both solutions.) The Wall Street Journal also references unnamed sources familiar with the deal that said the contract requires "Google to meet certain requirements before GM makes a final decision to deploy the software." If Google does manage to win a contact with GM, it would be one of the largest Google Apps business deployments to date, and serves as a counterpoint to Google's recent difficulties delivering on promises made in a contract with the City of Los Angeles that it was awarded two years ago. Competition is always good for the consumer, so the aggressive back and forth between Microsoft and Google over their competing cloud offerings makes for better products and provides better value for customers. It’s also makes for a very entertaining spectator sport. Popcorn, anyone? Follow Jeff James on Twitter at @jeffjames3 – Google+ add Jeff to your circles Follow Windows IT Pro on Twitter at @windowsitpro...More
Oct 27, 2011

HP Reverses Course, Decides to Stay in PC Business

HP issued a statement earlier today indicating that it had reversed course on the controversial decision -- made by ex-CEO Leo Apotheker -- to exit the personal computer business. The decision to keep the personal systems group (PSG) is the first major decision by new HP CEO Meg Whitman, who joined HP less than a month ago, soon after Apotheker was ousted by the HP board of directors. "HP objectively evaluated the strategic, financial and operational impact of spinning off PSG. It’s clear after our analysis that keeping PSG within HP is right for customers and partners, right for shareholders, and right for employees,” Whitman said in a prepared statement. "HP is committed to PSG, and together we are stronger." Apotheker's decision to exit the PC business and shutter HP's newly-acquired WebOS device business generated a storm of controversy, created uncertainty about HP's future product efforts, and helped hasten the departure of Apotheker, who was working to transform HP into an enterprise software and services business in the same mold as IBM. Hired in September 2010, Apotheker only lasted 11 months at HP, and was replaced by Whitman in late September 2011. HP's statement indicated that a "data-driven evaluation" was used to determine the value of PSG to the company, and that the cost to create a stand-alone PC business was prohibitive and "outweighed any benefits of separation." It's unclear how much money HP lost in the period after it announced its decision to spin off its PC business, but the confusion generated by the decision likely led many IT purchasing managers to consider other hardware vendors for system upgrades. Who wants to buy PCs from a company that has announced it plans to exit the PC business? A webcast and some additional information about the reversal are located at HP's PSG Decision info page. What are your thoughts about HP's change of heart in the PC business? Let me know what you think by adding a co...More
Oct 21, 2011

MC Hammer Plans to Launch Search Engine

MC Hammer (born Stanley Kirk Burrell) was a staple of the rap music scene back in the 1980's and early 1990's. Now he's launching WireDoo, a new venture that enters the search market currently dominated by the likes of Google and Microsoft's Bing. Hammer announced the new service this week at O’Reilly Media’s Web 2.0 conference. The service is still in beta (register at the the WireDoo beta signup page) but Hammer hopes to have WireDoo provide a more context-aware approach to search. During his presentation at Web 2.0, Hammer suggested that WireDoo would focus on “relationship search” and attempt to do a better job of surfacing related content to internet searches. An example: Providing information on car loans and car safety ratings for someone searching for a car. You have to get the former rap superstar credit for going toe-to-toe (or algorithm to algorithm) against Microsoft and Google, but the search engine graveyard is filled with the bones of competitors who couldn’t differentiate themselves from the aforementioned search titans. While we wish Hammer luck on his endeavor, we also couldn’t help putting together some potential SIri-like phrases that a WireDoo search app could utter when people are using it, all pulled from Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” lyrics: Search for diets: “Dance to this and you’re gonna get thinner.” Search for school schedules: “Ring the bell, school’s back in.” Search for MC Hammer: “You talkin’ about the Hammer, you talkin’ about a show.” Search for dating site: “Get a fly girl and catch this beat.” Search taking too long? “Makin’ ‘em sweat, that’s what I’m given’ em!” And, of course, when a search fails: “You can’t touch this.” Follow Jeff James on Twitter at @jeffjames3 – Google+ add Jeff to your circles Follow Windows IT Pro on Twitter at @windowsitpro...More
Oct 13, 2011

Microsoft Reveals More Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Details

Microsoft took the wraps off Windows Server 8 at their BUILD conference last month, and additional product details are continuing to trickle out from Redmond....More
Sep 29, 2011

Update: Windows 8 Security Features

There haven't been too many other details come to light about what new security features Windows 8 may include, but there has been enough news and rumors in certain areas to lead us to speculate a bit....More
Sep 14, 2011

Windows Server 2012 Storage Feature Overview 3

Microsoft is taking the wraps off of the latest version of Windows Server -- Windows Server 2012 -- at their BUILD conference in Anaheim, CA this morning. I joined a few other Windows IT Pro editors at an invite-only press event last week to get an advance look at what Windows Server 2012 has to offer....More
Sep 13, 2011

BUILD: Windows 8 "Reimagines Windows from the Chipset to the User Experience"

Microsoft’s Steve Sinofsky kicked off Microsoft BUILD in Anaheim, CA this morning by giving a demonstration of Windows 8, which Sinofsky says will "Reimagine Windows from the chipset to the [user] experience"...More
Sep 12, 2011

BUILD: Microsoft Previews Windows 8, Windows Server 2012

We’re expecting a flood of new information about Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 this week, mainly centered around Microsoft’s upcoming BUILD conference (September 13-16) in Anaheim, CA....More
Aug 26, 2011

Microsoft Hyper-V Resources on Twitter

In a few days I'll be packing my bags, racing to the airport, scurrying through the terminal, and shouldering my way through all the other IT pros, journalists, analysts, marketing people, and other virtualization-focused folks heading to VMworld in Las Vegas this year. VMware and their partners will undoubtedly have lots of product briefings, demos, interviews and other things to keep we attendees busy at the show. But before I sign off for my weekend of travel preparation -- something that I find as enjoyable as watching paint dry on another coat of drying paint -- I wanted to point the spotlight on Microsoft's Hyper-V community, since most of my blogging from next week will be related to VMworld. More IT pros that ever are using Twitter to find product news, get help with technical questions, and connect with other people in their industry. Microsoft's Hyper-V community is no exception, and there are several Twitter accounts that anyone interested in Hyper-V should follow. (Remember to keep tabs on the #hyperv hashtag on Twitter as well, and take a look at our guide to Twitter hashtags for IT professionals. ) Before I get to the list, I should point out the criteria I used to put this list together. There many very smart people who know Hyper-V inside and out, but if they don't have a Twitter account that deals primarily with Hyper-V, they're not on this list. I'm also open to suggestions and additions: If you've found someone on Twitter that is an excellent source for Hyper-V news, help, and information that I’ve omitted, please let me know by dropping me an email or giving me a shout-out (@jeffjames3) on Twitter.   @virtualization - Official Twitter account of the Microsoft Virtualization team. A good resource for the latest Hyper-V news and announcements direct from Microsoft.   @HyperVKing – Operated by a self-described “Microsoft enthusiast and author of Hyper-V technology papers,” this twitter account provides a near-continuous stream of li...More
Aug 24, 2011

Breaking: Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO

CNN is reporting that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has just resigned as CEO of Apple, and in his resignation letter Jobs recommends current Apple COO Tim Cook as his replacement....More
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