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Why the operating system is becoming irrelevant


As always it starts with a question and this time the question was – can I run Logmein on a linux system? In this case the answer was no and I pointed the client in the direction of Teamviewer instead.

At the moment software manufacturers are writing their software for certain operating systems only (for example LogMein doesn’t work on Linux) but with more and more users now turning to the internet to get their work done, for example using Google Docs or Office 365, or using apps does it actually matter what the underlying system is?

Lets take the consumer (ie home) market first. Here the PC is on its last legs and tablets and smartphones are on the rise.  Where previously you had to have a copy of Windows to be productive this is no longer the case (Office 365 for iphone anyone?).  You can now get apps on your tablet that allow you do accomplish almost anything.  For example on my Blackberry Playbook I purchased an app called Smart Office 2 which allows me to produce and edit .doc or .xls files from my tablet.  The same can be found on Android and iOS too. Failing that you can use Office 365 or Google Docs straight through your browser and use online storage to back up your files.  There are numerous apps for remote desktop software, photo editing etc.  In fact you can get apps for almost everything.  In this environment it doesn’t matter what operating your system is running.

Now let us turn our attention to the business environment where it is not so clear cut.  At the moment you are either a Linux business, an Apple business or a Windows one.  Yes you can have a mixture of all three but on the whole a business will use one operating system across all their computers.  Here businesses tend to stick with software that runs on their platforms, which makes it easier to support, however iPads and iPhones (and Android to a lesser extent) are slowly beginning to encroach on the traditional PC’s (PC’s will still be around for a long time yet).  With the advent of BYOD (Bring your Own Device) this will only increase and the only realistic way for businesses to support all these different devices is to put all the data in the cloud.  If you are accessing data online (again taking Google Apps as an example) it doesn’t matter what system you have so long as it can access the internet.  The ‘mobile takeover’ hasn’t happened yet but it is slowly making ground.

So what do you think does it matter what operating system you use to get things done? Let me know!!

About the Author

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Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

 

Will Windows 8 break Microsoft?

There has been a lot of talk around the internet lately about what will happen if Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8, doesn’t take off.  The majority of the speculation surrounds what will happen to Microsoft itself if it doesn’t.  The short answer is a lot and also not a lot and below I will explain why.

Desktop

Microsoft’s is the dominant force in the world of the desktop operating system – fact.  If Windows 8 doesn’t take off would customers turn towards Apple or even Linux?  Some customers might switch to another operating system but the majority would probably switch back to Windows 7 (just like they switched back to XP when Vista flopped).  If this did happen Microsoft would continue to sell Windows 7 licenses instead and so by default increase revenues.

Tablets

This is where Windows 8 should work and work well.  I have played with Windows 8 in a virtual machine and would say it is useless on a desktop but should be pretty good as a tablet operating system.  To put it blunt it has to work here!!  Apple and Android between them have over 85% of the tablet market so if Microsoft wants a piece of the pie then Windows 8 has to work.  If not then I can’t see them competing in the future as they have been late to the party already.

Windows Phone

Again Microsoft were late to the party when it came to smartphones and their previous offerings haven’t been great. Windows 8 should be good on a smartphone but if customers don’t buy it then it could be the last hurrah for Microsoft in the smartphone market.


The Enterprise

This is Microsoft’s nest egg.  They dominate the enterprise and will probably continue to do so for quite a while.  While it is true the enterprise are looking at Windows 8 with some trepidation, if it is not for them they will revert back to Windows 7.

So to conclude.  If Microsoft 8 doesn’t take off will it break Microsoft? No.  They might have to admit defeat in the tablet and smartphone markets but their core business (business software and desktop operating systems) would still continue and with everything slowly moving to the cloud anyway there is always new opportunities.

What do you think?

About the Author

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

How to refresh your PC


We have all been there. Your computer is slowing down, is old(ish) and you are thinking about changing it for a new model. Do you really need to spend hundred of pounds on a new shiny model or is there a cheaper way to reclaim your computers lost performance?

So before you go spending all that money lets try to refresh your PC.  Because most people run some form of Windows we will concentrate on that.

1. Run a complete virus and spyware scan. I can recommend Avast Free (antivirus) and Spybot -Search and Destroy (spyware) for this. This area is of course personal choice but I would recommend these to any of my clients.

2. Get rid of any old programs you have installed but hardly use. Word of warning here – only get rid of programs that you have installed and you know what they do. If you don’t know what a specific program does then my advice is to leave it alone or you could mess up your system.

3. Use disk clean up. This is a tool within Windows that helps you to free up hard disk space by deleting unnecessary files. It can be found by right clicking on the icon for your computers hard disk. The tool itself is safe but there are three items you need to be wary of – Office Setup files, compress old files and Hibernation File Cleaner. Personally I would leave these items well alone just incase.

4. Defragmentation. Your windows hard disk is like a filing cabinet in the way it stores data. Over time some files will be moved into other locations or worse, files will get split up and stored in diffent locations. When this happens it takes the operating system longer to retrieve all the parts of a file and therefore slows down your system. When you run the defrag program it basically orders your files allowing the operating system to locate the files quicker. It can be run by locating your hard drive in Computer and right clicking. Choose the tools tab and click the “Defragment now” button.

5. Reinstalling your operating system. At some point you may have so much “junk” on your system that it is quicker and easier to reinstall the operating system from scratch. For this you will need a windows installation disk and your activation code. However if your PC / laptop came with Windows pre-installed after 2001 there is a good chance that you should be able to go back to factory settings- usually by accessing your BIOS. You can access your BIOS by checking your screen prior to windows loading and pressing the appropriate buttons; something like F2 or Delete.

I would advise you to try to refresh your PC before buying a new one. If however you still require more performance we will discuss hardware upgrades next time.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT Support, laptop repairs and Computer repairs to both personal and business clients in and around Stirling. For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find my blog, testimonials, services and much more.  Start supporting a local business today so I can start supporting you.

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