Posted on June 26, 2012 by James Young
You may be thinking “…no way that this prediction is accurate…this guy is smoking crack!”
Yes, it’s true that current Windows tablets and phones are so scarce that their total volume is a mere rounding error when compared to the volume of iOS and Android devices in the marketplace today. But that’s today. Remember yesterday? Just 10 years ago, in 2002, Apple was the rounding error. Back then, if someone would have said that in 10 years time Apple products would dominate the tech world and become more valuable than Microsoft and Google combined, the comment above (about smoking crack) would have been levied to that guy.
So what’s around the corner with Windows 8 that’s so awesome for the enterprise?
- live tiles
- a single OS kernel across ALL windows devices
- all your apps and documents, available from any of your devices, with the same UI
- it’s Microsoft
1. Live Tiles
By now everyone has heard about live tiles. Think about them as a live stock ticker feed like you see on CNN’s Headline News. Rather than using static icons for your apps, tiles display live information on them, even when an application is not running. For example, a weather app will display the latest weather. An email app will display the latest emails arriving in your inbox. Live tiles make static iPhone app icons look downright archaic.
2. A Single OS Kernel Among All Windows Devices
Microsoft has figured out how to cram the entire Windows kernel into a smartphone, even when running on an ARM chip. That means that nearly all of those custom enterprise apps that your organization developed will run on the new Windows 8 hardware, even on phones. Some apps will need to be recompiled, of course, to be compatible with ARM chips and the Metro interface, but the ability to port entire C++ apps across all devices running Windows 8 is huge! This is something that not even Apple apps can touch in the enterprise.
3. All Your Apps and Docs, From All Your Devices, In a Common Interface
Let’s face it. Change is sometimes hard to deal with, and more so for the older generation. With Windows 8, you learn how to navigate a single OS, and it’s the same regardless of whether you are using a tablet, PC, laptop, or even a phone. The interface — and the apps — are the same. Microsoft Office, with Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, works the same on any device running Windows 8. And document sharing among all your devices is seamless. Try that on a Droid. Not possible.
4. It’s Microsoft
Everyone loves to bash Microsoft. But make no mistake: Microsoft always learns from their missteps, and they are a force to be reckoned with by the time they figure out what they did wrong. Not convinced? Is Netscape, the maker of the original web browser, still here today? No. Netscape was first, but Microsoft prevailed. Likewise, Apple was first with an amazing phone OS in 2007 (a mere 5 years ago), but the jury is out whether they will maintain that lead 5 years from now. And Microsoft understands the enterprise’s security needs better than anyone. IT departments at nearly all mid-size and large enterprises are very Microsoft-friendly. There’s no way that Apple or Google’s Android can penetrate the IT departments the way that Microsoft has and will continue to do so.
Will Windows 8 also dominate the consumer space? Probably not, at least not in the near term. But in my opinion, Windows 8 will dominate the enterprise mobile space once again, and it won’t take long to do it. It’s coming, and not a day too soon.
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Posted on June 12, 2012 by James Young
Simply put, Adesso Web Client (AWC) is a server-side version of Adesso that happens to work over any web browser. Its core use case is for field data entry on modern browsers such as Safari on iOS, Firefox on PC/Mac, Chrome, and even IE on PC. Imagine your Adesso application, but accessible over a web browser. That’s basically it. Nothing more.
How is it different from regular Adesso Client?
Because it runs over a web browser, there are some inherent limitations in AWC. This includes the following:
- It runs in online mode, meaning you need a live internet connection to use it
- Binaries are currently in read-only mode, meaning that photo capture, signatures, and the like are read only
- Some of the more complex functions in the Adesso expression engine are not supported
If it can’t do those things with AWC, then why should I use it?
Well, it’s free for Adesso users. There’s no fee to use it. The typical use case of AWC is for basic field data capture and/or editing using a standard web browser, including your mobile phone. There’s no software to download or install. It just works, as long as you have Internet connectivity. It’s great for editing records that were entered by another person and for entering new records where you are simply entering text, picking values from list boxes, selecting radio buttons, etc.
What are the benefits to using AWC?
- It’s free (for Adesso users)
- It runs over a browser, so there’s no software to download or install
- It syncs automatically. Because it’s already connected to the server, you don’t need to click on the sync button (which doesn’t even exist in AWC)
- It runs on iPhones, iPads, Android Phones, Windows Phones, etc
When will more features be available on AWC?
We are working on improving AWC. Currently, this is version 1.0. By this time next year, it should be pretty close to parity with the standard Adesso Client app, except that it will be limited to online only, not offline.
Would you like to be notified of upcoming changes and developments? Fill out the form below!
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Posted on May 21, 2012 by admin
When Windows 8 hits the market, many home users who upgrade or purchase new devices with the updated operating system (OS) will likely face some confusion. For most of the years that Microsoft Windows has been on the market and for most of the upgrades that have been offered for the OS, many key factors have remained the same.
This is all about to change, and in a big way.
What Will Be New?
When you log into Windows 8, you’re going to notice some immediate differences from prior OS versions:
- No start menu
- Program tiles instead of icons
- Mobile device-like interface
No Start Menu
The Start menu has been at the heart of the Windows OS since Windows 95. It’s where users go to open programs, run the command prompt, open recent documents, and much more. Windows 8 throws that concept out the window, to be replaced with a “Start Screen” that will allegedly make opening and switching between applications a smoother process for desktop and mobile users alike.
Program Tiles Instead of Icons
If you’re accustomed to the program icons on every version of Windows, right up to Windows 7, you’re familiar with the idea of them being an image representation with the program/file name. On Windows 8, these items will be live and will behave like you would expect them to behave on your mobile device. For example, the icon for a program that gives you weather reports may simply display the temperature, allowing you to avoid opening up the application to get the information that you want.
Mobile Device-Like Interface
In Windows 8, you will be dealing with an interface that is more similar to what you would see on a mobile device than what you would expect on a desktop computer OS. Windows 8 is designed to offer a very similar user interface across several different types of devices, helping users to bridge the gap between their desktop computers and mobile devices. From the app-like icons to the touch-screen compatibility, this new OS is a huge step from both previous versions of its own software as well as any of the OS software currently offered by competitors.
While the changes seem to be endless, those who already use mobile devices will probably transition easily. Those who have avoided joining the mobile movement, however, might experience a learning curve. Fortunately, Windows 8 will also offer a “classic” mode that is similar in layout to the previous OS versions to help the transition go more smoothly.
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Posted on May 16, 2012 by admin
Microsoft always releases operating systems in different versions for different types of users. Windows 8 will be no different than any of their other releases. As is typical, there will be versions designed for business users and home users, but Microsoft is also releasing a version for very technically advanced users, which may make for an interesting twist on the usual software release.
Windows 8 editions include four products. They are:
- Windows 8
- Windows 8 Enterprise
- Windows 8 Pro
- Windows RT
Standard users: Windows 8 will be the basic version of the operating system and will be suitable for the vast majority of users. This version of the operating system will be the right choice for those who just want to boot up their computer, have everything work, and get to enjoying the experience.
Large businesses/corporations: Windows 8 Enterprise is obvious in terms of its target audience . This version is the one that large businesses and corporations will roll out on their computers.
Advanced users: For those who want a bit more control, there is Windows Pro. It’s designed for business users who may need more customization options for their computers. Unlike Windows Enterprise and Windows RT, however, this version will also be available to consumers.
Equipment manufacturers: Windows RT is only available for equipment manufacturers. It’s the version of Windows 8 designed for ARM-based tablets, and you cannot buy this version for one computer. You have to buy it in volume, and it will not be available in stores.
Microsoft Built It, Now Who Will Come?
The rate of adoption of Windows 8 remains to be seen. In the past, Windows has had some versions that have received rather widespread and fast adoption in business settings—XP, for example—but has also seen some versions flounder, such as Vista. The preview version of Windows 8 can give you insight into what this operating system has to offer. If you’re not ready to commit to the trial, however, remember that more and more information is being released as the hype around the new operating system grows…and we’ll be doing our best to make sure you can find that information here!
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Posted on May 14, 2012 by admin
Computer technology used to be so expensive that only businesses or the very rich could afford to purchase computers or mobile devices. Those days are long behind us, with more and more consumers buying into the latest in technology. In fact, for many workers, their personal devices are also their business devices. They get work email on their mobile phones, access company resources on their own tablets, and perform other tasks every day that involve blending their technology with software available to both users and businesses…such as Windows 8. This, perhaps, provides a way for Windows 8 to get into the business — and tablet — market.
Where mobile devices are concerned, most of the world seems dominated by Apple and Android. Microsoft’s efforts to get in on the mobile and tablet computer world have been feeble, at best. The new Microsoft Windows 8 operating system, however, just may change all of this. With its cross-device compatibility, it offers something that none of the other competitors, even Apple, have been able to manage yet. Users will be able to download an App on their desktop, create a file, and open that same file on their tablet through the same App. No more desktop version versus tablet version. No more tablet version versus mobile device version.
Just Windows 8.
Couple cross-compatibility with Microsoft’s already popular Office suite, and you’ve got one killer combination.
Though Windows 8 on tablets will not run all the software that users are accustomed to using on their desktop PCs (primarily legacy software), it will have versions of Office software that can be downloaded from the Windows Store. One download, and an employee’s Outlook profile can be ported to their tablet without any issues. The same can be said for any Microsoft product and Windows 8 tablets.
If Windows 8 takes off enough among personal users, they’re likely to take it to work with them, and that means that there is real potential to displace the iPad and other mobile devices that dominate the market at present. Microsoft has, for a very long time, not been a very significant presence in the mobile computing world, but we have a feeling that all of that is about to change.
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Posted on May 11, 2012 by admin
When you have a large corporation and you’re responsible for its Information Technology (IT) assets, it’s important to make sure that any upgrades actually offer the company something and don’t end up costing time and money. Windows 8 will be on the market in late 2012, and Microsoft is already making overtures to businesses. Here are some of the benefits that the company is touting.
1: Better Security
Windows 8, according to Microsoft, will be a safer alternative for businesses that have personnel who bring their own devices to work. This is because apps purchased for mobile devices must go through the Windows Store (similar to how Apple is able to regulate apps by forcing device owners to purchase them through their App Store). Additional security enhancements include SmartScreen technology and Windows Defender. SmartScreen technology, which detects potentially malicious sites, will be included with the Operating System (OS) and will automatically scan files as they are downloaded. Microsoft has also made improvements to Windows Defender so that users who fail to renew trial antivirus subscriptions will still have basic protection.
2: Volume Licensing
A software assurance agreement is the only way that any corporation can get their hands on Windows 8 Enterprise. The benefits, however, include some significant savings – the volume licensing price is nearly 30% less than the regular price.
3: Cloud Management
According to tech blogs, cloud management tools will be used for ARM-based devices to provide some of the services that are currently handled by Active Directory in Windows Server. This may or may not win favor among corporate clients. The changeover offers a lot in terms of new features and flexibly, but it also may put some network admins off about parting with the very popular Active Directory feature.
4: To Go
There is a mobile version of Windows 8 that users can boot from a USB drive. This allows company employees to take their corporate Windows 8 desktop with them and to load it up whenever they wish. It also allows IT administrators to set up that version so that the network is kept as safe as possible.
5: Faster Boot-Up
According to an article by ITBusinessEdge, Windows 8 can boot up in as little as 8 seconds. This will save businesses a lot of time in the long run, particularly when employees must shut down their systems because of new software installations or updates.
There are plenty of other developments on the way from Microsoft with their Windows 8 OS. When the debut does come around, it should be a busy day in IT departments around the world.
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Posted on May 9, 2012 by admin
The Android Market. The iPhone App Store. By now, nearly everyone has heard of one or both of these virtual shopping centers for mobile apps. With the arrival of Windows 8, another will be added to that list – the Windows Store. It will be at the heart of Windows 8 and will make it possible for people to download or purchase the new “apps” that go along with the new operating system (OS).
Apps and Downloads
Like app stores for other platforms, the Windows Store will allow users to download applications compatible with their OS, be they mobile or desktop apps. It will allow them to get everything from very expensive, business applications like Microsoft Office to inexpensive or free, third-party applications that enhance the Windows 8 experience.
Microsoft will be allowing independent developers to build apps, but they will only be able to distribute those apps through the Windows Store. This way, Microsoft can check the apps that developers upload to make sure that they’re safe for users. This element of control in the online store will function to protect users and the OS itself.
Limits on Apps
There are some limitations on what kind of apps can be uploaded to the Windows Store. The following are banned:
- Adult content
- Content that glamorizes illegal activity
- Obscenity and defamatory software
- Apps that facilitate illegal activity
The guidelines are not surprising and are pretty much in line with Microsoft’s image as a business-friendly platform. The restrictions should not prevent any legitimate developers from getting their work featured in the Windows Store.
Will it Last?
The Windows Store will be a particularly big draw for those who own tablets, as those will not support all applications that run on Windows 8 and will require software specifically from the Windows Store. Whether the Windows Store will be as popular as its rivals, however, will probably depend more on the customer’s preference for devices and whether they run a Windows OS than the actual usefulness of the store. Only time will tell.
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Posted on May 2, 2012 by admin
For some people, the fact that mobile applications gather location data and use it to provide services is an intolerable violation of their privacy. For others, it doesn’t really matter as long as their mobile device can direct them to a nearby Starbucks. So what will change in regards to location data with Windows 8?
Windows Location Provider
In Windows 7, the Default Location Provider supplied location data via user input in the Control Panel. This was the only built-in location provider; any others had to be installed.
The Windows Location Provider will replace the Default Location Provider in Windows 8 and will operate in an entirely different manner. Windows 8 will use Wi-Fi access points and your IP address to determine where you are and give that information to some applications. There are some cases where this may be beneficial to you:
- When you need GPS service
- When you need local information
- When you need weather information
- When you need to find nearby stores
Some of the applications that get this information, no doubt, will be ones that users install themselves and that provide a service based on having information about their present location.
The way that Windows 8 gathers location information is really quite interesting, no matter what people may think about how that data is used. The operating system can reach out to nearby Wi-Fi networks and get latitude and longitude information. This is accurate to approximately 350 meters in urban areas, according to Microsoft. The OS can also use your IP address, which gives a location that is accurate to approximately 15 miles.
So where’s the off switch?
Having the option to turn off this data gathering, of course, would be the only requirement for the users who do not want it to be part of their Windows experience. Fortunately, both users and administrators will have the ability to enable or disable location settings through the Settings charm in the control panel. Users can also opt in or out on a per-app basis.
While the ability of Windows 8 to determine your approximate location might make some nervous, Microsoft is clear that they will not use location data improperly (click here for their privacy statement). As indicated above, the power is in your hands!
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Posted on April 30, 2012 by admin
Changing operating system (OS) versions always involves some risk in the business world, especially if employees have trouble adjusting to a new user interface (UI). Also, if an old version of a much-used program needs to be updated, the expense can be considerable for businesses. But what about in the case of the upcoming Windows 8 everyone is talking about?
Windows consumers expect, when an OS is upgraded, that their previously purchased software will continue to be compatible with the new OS. For the desktop version of Windows 8, this will hold true. When it comes to the increasingly popular world of tablets, however, the situation gets a bit murky.
With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft will also start issuing two different types of mobile devices – Windows on ARM (WOA) and Windows x86/64 (Intel-based). Legacy Microsoft software will be compatible with Windows x86/64, and users will also have access to the new UI offered by Windows 8, as well as many of the applications in the Windows Store.
WOA, however, is a different ballpark. It will only run applications for the Metro system, so choices will be somewhat limited compared to the desktop version and the Intel tablet version. Office 15 will be available for the system, however, and there will be a great many different apps for Metro in the Windows Store.
There are plenty of changes in store for business and personal users once the Windows 8 OS hits the market. This OS is designed with the type of aesthetic that you’ll be used to seeing in mobile applications. Even if your old programs work with the OS, you’ll be using them in an entirely different way.
If you have a tablet device, you cannot purchase Windows 8 RT for that device separately. The manufacturer will have installed Windows 8 RT on the device for you. If you want to get more out of your Windows experience, running your old software will be an option on your desktop but not on mobile ARM devices. The Windows Store will become vital for these Windows 8 users. In many ways, acquiring, downloading, and using software is likely to be more akin to doing so on a mobile device than it is to the experience that people will be accustomed to having on desktop computers.
Why ARM over Intel? How to tell the difference?
If you don’t already use a ton of Windows-based software or don’t mind switching to a newer version of Office, it obviously won’t matter which option you choose, and ARM tablets are supposedly geared towards increased mobility (via longer battery life). If you are currently running expensive, Windows-based software, however, you should probably avoid the ARM tablets. This especially holds true for businesses as opposed to consumers; for most businesses, buying brand new, compatible software for all employees could get pricey.
As for determining the difference so you don’t accidentally end up with the wrong tablet – according to an article by Brooke Crothers with CNET, Microsoft’s Steve Sinofsky wrote, “We do want to assure you that, when a consumer buys a WOA (Windows on ARM) PC, it will be clearly labeled and branded so as to avoid potential confusion with Windows 8 on x86/64.”
What do you think? Will this new model for mobile devices hurt or help Windows 8? Will consumers and businesses get confused by the array of options available? Do you plan to buy an ARM device or an Intel-based one?
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Posted on April 25, 2012 by admin
If you ask most network administrators what their most important tools are, Active Directory is likely to be included in the list. This networking tool is used for so many different tasks that it’s hard to imagine the networking world without it; however, that is exactly what network admins are going to have to do in the near future. According to ZDNet and other sources, Active Directory will be no more once Windows 8 enters the market (this applies only to Windows on ARM [WOA], not Windows on Intel).
What is Active Directory?
Active Directory is an exceptionally powerful tool. It’s what network administrators use to set the security for networks, to add and remove users, to bring in users from remote locations, and more. Permissions and groups are at the heart of security and, because of that, losing this feature is a very big deal for network administrators who are accustomed to controlling their networks through Active Directory.
What is the Alternative?
Windows 8 is going to require some big changes for network administrators. According to ZDNet, the solution for Active Directory tasks will be Intune, a cloud-based program that will cost $11 per user per month. This means that administrators will have to take their user management into the cloud, something about which not all of them will likely be pleased. The operating system (OS) is also going to require that administrators learn to manage RT, the Windows 8 version for tablet devices. This will entail some effort, and (according to sources quoted in the ZDNet article) not all network administrators are impressed with what Windows 8 has to offer versus more well known options, such as iPad tablets.
Change and Resistance
There is always a lot of resistance to changing over from one OS to another, especially when that new OS involves changes that take away administrative tools that network experts are accustomed to and that they’ve come to understand very well. For many network administrators, using Active Directory to add and remove users, change security, and address other issues could be done almost on pure reflex; as such, this will be a big loss.
Windows NT, however, came and went, and so did many other products and interfaces before it. Windows 8 will likely redefine how a lot of tasks get done in the business world, and network administrators will not be exempt from the changes.
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