In our last post we talked about the new features in Exchange 2013, and why it’s time to start planning your upgrade. Now for part two - How to Upgrade to Exchange 2013.
Internal IT security personnel at SMBs may have their work cut out for them when it comes to integrating the newest version of Microsoft Office into existing security procedures. According to Microsoft, Office 2013 represents a significant departure from the traditional IT risk management paradigm. According to the company's recently released security overview of the product, Office 2013 presents companies with "a fundamental change from computer-centered identity and authentication to user-centered identity and authentication. This shift enables content, resources, most recently used lists, settings, links to communities, and personalization to roam seamlessly with users as they move from desktop, to tablet, to smartphone, or to a shared or public computer."
A few worrying financial reports just produced by Microsoft suggest at first sight that they may be losing their grip on the desktop. Coming in the same week as their announcement of the latest updates to their Office suite, you might think that the timing could not have focused any more attention on the product line. A closer look at the financial situation however reveals a slightly different story. If you look at their revenue, you’ll see that they have continued to increase at a steady four percent but their results were hit by two items that had been previously announced – one relating to funding upgrades for Windows 8 and the other related to its acquisition of aQuantive as part of its development of online services.
Microsoft has introduced the latest versions of Office 365 in their attempt to move people to cloud computing. You might think that a company who has dominated the desktop so completely over the years would be looking to further consolidate that position. Some had even thought that their latest version of the productivity suite would be somehow streamlined and simplified in how it was delivered. This was prompted by the introduction of the Metro interface in Windows 8. Surely, some have said, Office would not be allowed to be presented as a legacy application. Well, the answer is that it seems to be somewhere in the middle, and this raises interesting questions about Microsoft’s strategies for traditional computers and touch-based computing.
Most Windows 7 users are quite happy with their operating system, believing that Microsoft is a solid IT company that really ‘hit one out of the park this time’. Like any OS, however, Windows 7 tends to bog down over time, taking longer to boot up. Those feeling like their computer is really starting to suck, however, do not have to throw in the towel and buy a new system.
Now that the much-anticipated public preview of Microsoft's Windows 8 has come and gone, industry insiders are expressing strong doubts as to the suitability of the new operating system to provide IT solutions for business users. At issue is the "schizophrenic user interface behavior" present in Windows 8, which makes heavy use of a feature known as the Metro layer. This layer was designed for use on tablet computers but is now being extensively integrated into the Windows 8 experience.
Many small and medium businesses rely on IT solutions such as Microsoft Office products to process daily workflow, yet the Microsoft suite of products does not provide for all of the needs a modern company is likely to experience. For example, Microsoft Office does not yet provide a seamless online/offline interface for working with documents in either location, nor does it provide native clients for many of today's most popular mobile devices. True, there are workaround for some of these challenges, but some companies have elected to migrate away from Microsoft Office entirely due to them, and to the perceived high cost of provisioning all workstations with full licenses for the product suite.
Microsoft has recently released Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) as part of System Center 2012. This tool, positioned as a single, unified management system for virtualized environments, lacks support for outdated versions of Microsoft's virtualization platform but supports all versions of Hyper-V that coordinate with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2. It also functions in cooperation with systems using Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.
Whether you run a business, public service, or a not-for-profit organization, it's now near impossible not to use IT systems to help you. In fact, it could be argued that any business or organization that does not have computer-related systems in place could be losing out significantly, making staying in business very difficult.
Microsoft's Small Business Server 2011 is intended for small organizations and can accommodate as many as 75 user accounts.
Windows Operating Systems, whether installed on server or client computers in a network, benefit from having security patches applied on a regular basis. It is far from true that Windows computers, including servers, can be configured once and continue to function seamlessly thereafter. To remedy this, Microsoft regularly releases software patches for its systems. These small modules are designed to be installed into an existing OS configuration, and to repair elements of the operating system on an ongoing basis.
Businesses that have wanted to widely adopt a tablet-based computing infrastructure have been somewhat stymied to date by the lack of a Microsoft Office app for the most popular tablet in the world: the iPad produced by Apple Computers. That bar to adoption is now slated to vanish; according to released reports, a Microsoft Office app designed to run on the iPad will soon be launched. The app is expected to include the popular Office components of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. There is no word as of yet whether other Office family programs such as Access, FrontPage, or Publisher will also be released in iPad app form.
When it comes to Windows 7, a platform increasingly being used in business and industry in preference to older forms of Windows, the OS comes with many efficiency features that will make the transition worthwhile.
Anyone who has worked extensively in Microsoft Office products such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel may well have encountered the huge advantage to be garnered from recording and using macros. These are small programs that can be executed from within Office applications in order to automate tasks that are performed on a frequent basis. One possible use of a macro, for example, is to take a text file created by a non-Microsoft application and strip it of extraneous data so that its contents can be easily transferred into a spreadsheet or other program.
Windows 7 is a Microsoft operating system that can be used on physical desktops but can also be implemented as part of a virtualized computing environment.
Before Exchange 2010 was released, networked users of Microsoft workstations had fewer options for the creation of email archives. The most typical method used was moving email into Microsoft Outlook and creating personal archives using its functionality.
Windows Server 8 is slated to be the most impressive leap forward from Microsoft's server platforms in a long while. New features of the platform were recently revealed to the public at the BUILD Conference. While some of these have been discussed in previous pre-release blogs and announcements, others came as a welcome surprise to conference participants and attendees.
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and later offer a feature known as "automatic failover" designed to help guarantee database stability. Automatic failover is useful in situations in which information in the primary or main database becomes unavailable for some reason. In these cases, the automatic failover feature causes the secondary or mirror server to function as the primary server until primary server function can be restored.
Cloud technologies are becoming more familiar to business users thanks to the widespread use of remote applications such as Gmail and Google Docs. Less familiar to some users is the SharePoint system, first released by Microsoft in 2001 to provide, as the name suggests, shared access to centrally located data that resides on a central server. SharePoint can be installed as a separate service or can be implemented as part of Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Standard Suite or as part of the new Office 365 platform.