Good Bye Windows XP

Windows XP is finally looking at end of life this year.  With 31% of computers still using Windows XP

Windows XP Logo
Windows XP Logo

(Source: NetMarketShare)  What are your options?

Firstly how old is your hardware that Windows XP is installed on?  Some people are running hardware that is 7 or 8 years old, in which case we certainly believe it is time to put this out to pasture, and get yourself a nice shiny new computer.  What if for some reason you are running XP on hardware that is less than 3 years old?
So your options are as follows
  1. Replace the hardware, and then run the Windows Easy Transfer Wizard to migrate your data and settings to your nice New Windows 8 device.  Hopefully you will have purchased something with Windows 8.1 pre-installed! But if you didn’t then you will need to download the Windows 8.1 Upgrade, this will be available in the store.  If it isn’t the first screen you see, then simply run the Windows update, the computer will need to reboot, and then when you visit the store the upgrade will be available.
  2. Keep your current hardware, to install a fresh copy of Windows 8 or even Windows 7 you will need to take a copy of all your data, then install a fresh install, and then restore your Data as per the instructions here http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows7/help/upgrading-from-windows-xp-to-windows-7#T1=tab01
To be honest most hardware that isn’t past it due to age (and by this I mean less than 3 years old) will probably be Windows 7, anything older than this it is time to change the hardware, otherwise you may end up with Hardware failing, and then all the time and expense of getting Windows 7 or Windows 8 running will have been wasted
  • Work more securely
  • Get the latest software
  • Stay supported
  • Reduce Downtime
What options are available to you to upgrade?
  1. Buy new hardware with Windows 8 pre-installed
  2. Buy a boxed product or digital download
  3. Buy Licenses to upgrade the computers in your business

To find out which is the better or cheaper method call us on 01752 546967
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Pirates everywhere

Pirated software

We as a business loss £1000’s of income every year because people use pirated software.
Now apart from it being illegal, there are reasons why you may want to spend a little.

With Pirated software you don’t get any support, when it goes wrong you have to sort it out yourself. If you aren’t able to or get it wrong you could end up with a box of bits, and some software on it!

We had a call recently from someone who had got hold of a Windows 7 Disc, and installed it. However he had lost everything. During the discussion about what had happened, he stated he had been passed the disc by someone, and theirs had all gone through OK!

Now we have only done 1 job for the customer and his PC is about 5-7 years old. And from memory not that powerfully equipped.

He tried to do an in place upgrade, that having failed, and phoning his Friends he then did a fresh install, reformatted the drive, and then lost all of his data. When I said he was looking at a data recovery job, and that I couldn’t say how much of his data we could recover, he decided he would go away and try to reinstall the software again.

Even ignored the warning this would destroy more data??

So you can advise customers, about what they should do, but you can’t make them take the advice. This has been a constant theme recently. For us it means eventually the customer will realise they are wrong and then we have to sort the issue out. But if you want advice, actually take the advice and do something about it.

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Windows 7

So it is here!

Windows 7 is here and yesterday we had endless emails regarding should I upgrade, what will I get?

So the marketing machine of Microsoft has finally got it self together and has produced a good marketing campaign for the Launch of Windows 7.

Some people, who shunned Vista, not because it wasn’t any good or it didn’t work, but because it was different to XP are going to concerned. The User Interface (UI) is obviously been tweaked from Vista, we would recommend that you get to grips with this UI as it isn’t going to go back to the XP interface, which lets face it is the same as it was in Windows 95, and well past a make over. It works better with newer hardware in particular with the search functionality and the use of Hard Drives which may well be a terabyte or larger in size.

Our Recommendation is to get some training in how to use it.

One comment we have heard from people who did make the move to Vista is “We found nothing wrong with Vista as such – but absolutely nothing beneficial about it either” Please remember Windows is the Operating System it’s job is to allow you to use the programs and access features to allow you to actually do the work.

Under the Hood

OK there are some good features under the hood, with the above now published, some of these new features just won’t be found the home group could be a very good feature if you take your laptop home from work, it is a feature that has been mentioned to me from a customer who got his hands on a Release Candidate version of 7

All being well, and software running on it , our recommendation will be the same as it was to Vista, the changes from XP to Vista will only be built on. Likewise the changes from Vista to 7 will only be built on, keep on saying XP is the platform for me, will mean you end up with something to old to repair, and use effectively.

From the real world

For those who followed our experience of using 7 in the real world when Microsoft released it to partners, was far from inspiring. For the first week the systems would crash 2-3 times a day.
During the weekend, and just as we were going to uninstall it we had a whole stack of Windows Updates.
I took the decision to run it for another week, and it has been running ever since (Literally, I think I have turned it off once).

It works, it hasn’t altered anything really we were running Vista before.

The last word is a warning don’t forget if you are administering a WSUS installation then go and add Windows 7 to the products so you have the updates.

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Been a while

Well it’s been over a month since our last post, as we have been very busy, but have still managed to find time to post on twitter. Well lots been going on.

Laptop Repairs
We have been doing lots of laptop repairs including screen replacements, and replacement DC Jacks. We have also been told by our screen supplier that the prices will be rising, and they are already on the way up, an 8.9″ screen we did recently had increased by over £15!

Data Recoveries
Also doing a lot of data recoveries, both physical, and logical. It is always better to have a copy of your data, than relying on it being recoverable. It might just no be recoverable.

Business Support Contracts
This has been growing rapidly, with a whole lot of new business support customers.

Coming Soon
Microsoft will be launching Windows 7 on us next week (22/10/09) We have been running it on some of our desktops for a month for so now. It was a little bit difficult to begin with, as we had issues with some of the drivers, but the platform has been stable for about 3 weeks now.

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