Laplink and Intel® partner to create a new version of PCmover

I hear the same story frequently from different friends and colleagues. Every time someone asks me what Laplink does and I tell them about PCmover, the answer is often, “I wish that I would have known about PCmover before I set up my new PC! It took me days to get it configured manually.” Not surprisingly, studies from Microsoft and Intel come to the same conclusion: Users dread buying a new PC or even postpone the purchase because they fear the pain of setting up the new PC. Re-installing all the applications, transferring the data and redoing the settings are all tedious and time-consuming. Although a user’s PC may be dated and significantly better hardware is available on the market, the user probably has their current PC set up exactly how they like it. Their PC is not the fastest and doesn’t have all the new features, but the user knows how it works.

Laplink has partnered with Microsoft, Intel and the major PC manufacturers for many years, but the cooperation has been mostly limited to sales and marketing. The exception is Intel, with whom we have shared years of technology cooperation and co-development on several projects. Although Intel is not selling directly to end users, they are highly motivated to build components that benefit consumers. They want to ensure that software is optimized with the Intel hardware to take advantage of the innovation that Intel is creating.

Last year, Intel contacted us and announced they were committed to helping make the transition to a new PC easier for users. Central to the theme was how users are “migrating” or transferring their data, settings and even applications to the new PC. After in-depth research of the process, Intel initiated a new discussion with us. Their team had a very clear message: (1) PCmover is the best product in the market to address this issue; and (2) Reviews show that PCmover struggles to deal with environmental issues like PC networking and application compatibility that lie outside Laplink’s control.  Together we identified a number of reasons why the non-expert user has difficulty with these issues when using PCmover. We decided it would be best to re-do the interaction of the user between our product and the outside factors, namely the user interface.

The project was parsed into five parts: (1) Current user behavior; (2) New UI design; (3) Development; (4) Testing and feedback; and (5) Optimization. The tech team battled optimization and worked to make the transfer faster and more reliable with the latest generation of processors. Simultaneously, the user experience and marketing teams completed a prolonged analysis, evaluated many iterations of a new UI approach, monitored user testing, and finally provided new specifications to development. After an intense six months with long hours the new version of PCmover was ready.

Software development has drastically changed over the years. I remember well the early days of PC computing. A new version was released, burned onto a floppy disc, bundled with a user guide and off it went to printing and distribution. Today, the release has to be accompanied with not only a new user guide, but new web pages, new setup for e-commerce, complex product and serial number schemas, continued user testing, and deployment of updates.

Innovating PCmover continues even beyond the new release. Working with Intel and their worldwide teams, we wanted to make the software available to more retailers in more countries than ever before. We added new languages like Indonesian, Thai, Turkish, and Polish, thereby making PCmover available in nearly twenty different languages.

Working with Intel has been extremely rewarding and I am grateful to all the contributors who helped to make the product better. Getting feedback from our customers, partners, and resellers gives us the opportunity to drive innovation every day. This process does not stop, as we work to continually provide better service and products for our customers.

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PCmover Saves Days of PC Setup

The other day I got some feedback about PCmover from David in Arizona that I wanted to share with everyone. It’s so great to hear from our customers and learn from them.

“I have been using PCmover for about 10 years. Migrating many systems from XP to Vista to Win 7 to Win 10. It always makes my work much less and as you learn how to use PCmover effectively it’s even more reliable.

I just used a copy of PCmover last week. After installing Windows 10 on the new computer I decided to set all my settings manually rather than transfer them. After my customization was done on the new PC I loaded PCmover on both machines Source and Target and used a [Laplink] USB cable (2.0) to do the transfer…I deselected moving my movies and music files as I restored those using an external drive I use for archiving. So I was basically transferring all my PROGRAMS (Over 100) and other files.

A little over an hour later DONE!!!!

I checked all the files and all the PROGRAMS….ALL of my files and PROGRAMS had been transferred and only one or two required to be reactivated.

That would have taken me at least a week to do working all day long.  Pretty good value for money…

The thing is…PCmover really is an awesome product. I hate it when I see people in review forums say it doesn’t work…I’ve been using PCmover for a long time and can definitely attest to it working and working very well. ”

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Windows 10 Impact on IT departments and how to eliminate costly migration issues for Enterprises

The Windows 10 feature set suggests many areas which may impact IT departments in the future. A recent survey found that 80% of large enterprises and 71% of businesses plan to migrate to the new OS in the next 18 months after release, suggesting that it will be even more popular than Windows 7, which still commands a very large market share, particularly in enterprises. This was probably too optimistic, but the vast majority of organization are preparing their migration.
Microsoft has made it also very clear that a major focus of Windows 10 is the business users:
•   Better usability via new, advanced Start Menu, better windows and desktop management (e.g. task viewer), seamless integration (windowing) of new “metro” apps, and so on.
•   Better/faster/more secure browsing experience (Edge)
•   Cross device familiarity and universal apps – this is very important for larger organizations. The ability to run and manage different form-factors with the same OS will accelerate mobile adoption in enterprise
•   Enterprise apps can be built “once” and deployed (optimized) for all devices (although it is not that easy) – all supported via a central, unified App Store.
•   Extended Mobile management
•   Voice Recognition – Smart Assistance: Cortana can be a change agent of how consumer interact with the desktop PC. Voice recognitions and machine learning will enable new and innovative scenarios
•   Lowering Cost of ownership
•   Security improvements / Support of two factor authentication
Windows 10 promises to deliver advanced security and management capabilities along with ongoing innovation and security updates for businesses of all sizes. These new capabilities will deliver a host of benefits to organizations, enabling them to make key enhancements across their IT landscape and maximize ROI.

The Impact on Migration
Windows 10 will be the next big migration for IT teams to undertake, and they need to adapt to this reality if they are to continue delivering a positive and consistent user experience across the corporation. There are a number of key issues to consider, such as:
•   The still existing base of machines running Windows XP (NT/Vista), adding to the complexity of deployed Windows 7 and 8/8.1 PCs.
•   More migrations will occur simultaneously, including software, applications and devices. This means less time for IT teams to prepare and test new upgrades, likely resulting in issues following the deployment.
•   Technical scenarios are these days are far more complex, with greater connectivity and interdependencies across systems and key applications.
•   Scenarios are now more complex largely because of a multitude of devices and new form factors. Many new devices are running operating systems like Android and Apple iOS, thus adding to the complexity.
With so many migrations now taking place in increasingly complex environments, desktop or end-user oriented IT teams run the risk of underestimating the time, complexity and overall project management involved. Further, the impact of post migration help-desk support must also be understood and accounted for.
The end result is that it is more difficult than ever to deliver effective management of policies and user privileges, while providing a positive user experience.

Understanding the Cost Issues
We have broken down the most common complaints and the mistakes organizations are making that result in unexpected costs.
1.   Many organizations underestimate the time end users spend to become familiarized with their new PC system, as well as problems with migrating existing user data, and settings recovery. This time can easily exceed three to four hours. These soft costs are often not part of IT budgets, but are of great concern for business owners experiencing employee-productivity drops.
2.   End user customizations are frequently not considered in the overall plan. Customization are mostly left for the employee to complete on company time. Customizations like reapplying and creating settings for the new desktop can be beyond a normal users’ comprehension, leading to a surge in PC helpdesk requests with associated cost of $50 or more per call.
3.   The third mistake is underestimating the logistics associated with PC migrations for users in remote locations and international subsidiaries, which can prove to be extremely difficult. The need to outsource to a contractor or flying a staff member to a site, causes deployment issues and costs to rise quickly.
4.   The fourth, and final, mistake occurs inadvertently when data and settings are left behind. In a recent study conducted with enterprise level IT departments, the results were troubling: 27% of respondents who used various tools for transferring data and settings reported data loss in the process.
The Market for PC Migration Solutions
Windows 10 will cause businesses and IT teams to increasingly respect the fact that end user computing is changing. What is happening in the OS market is comparable to the BYOD revolution that saw the number and variety of devices on the corporate network sky rocket. This has and still is raises a number of challenges in terms of control and management.
The PC, tablets, and other devices have evolved into very powerful systems. Because today, we have dozens of vital applications, several gigabytes of data, and thousands of settings in the Windows registry, reestablishing all that on a new PC is time-consuming and near impossible to streamlined for a company.
With new PC deployments on the forefront of many IT teams’ tasks, issues surrounding the fact that there are few tools at the enterprise level to successfully complete this endeavor. Proven solutions like PCmover® Enterprise are not always known within many IT Organizations.
Organizations need a solution with minimal interruption to employees’ productivity, save time and resources, and will seamlessly migrate files, folders, and applications vital to each employee’s daily workflow. An IT professional at one of the largest PC manufacturers once stated: “We are supporting thousands of large organizations to deploy their PCs. We do everything from logistics, imaging, tagging, and bringing the PC to the workplace. We do not, however, have a solution for the actual migration between two desktops.”
Laplink developed a simple view into the Enterprise Value Quadrant. The costs associated with the migration are rules by two factors: the way PCs are managed, and the physical location of the PCs. If PCs are managed solely by the IT department, users do not have admin rights, data and settings are stored on servers, and the PCs are centralized within one location, then the benefit from PCmover tends to be minimal. However, if the PCs are managed by the users and are decentralized, the benefit from PCmover is the highest.
Experience indicates, there is no large organization that will fit into any of these quadrants solely, but rather will have different departments or groups that are scattered over this matrix. It can be assumed that PCmover might not be the tool for every PC, but it is the tool for every organization. It is the perfect tool for a managed migration of un-managed desktops.

An Effective Enterprise Solution
Laplink developed PCmover® Enterprise to make the workstation migration process effective and cost-efficient. It automates the transfer of selected applications, data, and settings to a new PC. This including user accounts, applications’ environments, applications’ add-ons, background pictures, favorites, and more.
PCmover Enterprise is an OS-independent transfer tool that allows to migrate to the newest version of Windows, including Windows 10. All migration scenarios are supported, and it has been proven successful in migration projects ranging from 100 to 100,000 PCs.
PCmover Enterprise has an easy-to-use wizard that does not require any developer knowledge and enables the IT Administrator to set the rules. IT departments are able to predefine certain rules and policies within the organization to fit all cases.
The Policy Manager allows IT Administrators to pre-check a variety of choices within the program to create a predefined version of the product that can be executed by a user or an IT engineer with minimal interaction. The experienced user might require all options to be open to them, but most users in an organization may be better off with a no-touch or light-touch solution to minimize user errors.
PCmover Enterprise by Laplink Software is the solution for every organization that has over 100 PCs. It will save a minimum of $300 per PC deployed, eliminating the need for extended project cycles. Using PCmover helps organizations decrease unbudgeted costs during the projects, and dramatically decreases productivity loss.
No matter where you are in your deployments of new PCs or operating systems, PCmover® Enterprise will help make the process streamlined, cost-effective, and efficient.

The Everlasting Backup Dilemma

The Problem

Every time a device breaks or a hard drive crashes, we remember the need to back up our data. The majority of us have no current backup. What is worse, we have no backup plan. Today, all of our valuable data – documents, pictures, videos – are scattered over different devices and different backup media. The amount of data we store is growing every day. Gartner predicted that the average storage per household will reach 3.3 terabytes in 2016, of which 64% will be stored locally[i]. With the emergence of mobile devices and the quality of media captured at any moment in our life, data volumes are increasing exponentially.

And yet, we spend little time thinking about how to securely store data: this is part of the everlasting backup dilemma we all face.

Many options to consider.

Business users are very diligent when protecting corporate data. Data is captured on servers which have two sets of safety precautions tied to the operation. Most data servers run with RAID systems which are able to recover the data even if one of the hard drives crashes. Additionally, servers are backed up (often daily) to counteract any server failure. This is too pricey and too complex for any household to try implementing, but the principles should apply anyway: backup and backup the backup!

The easiest way to back up your data is with cloud providers. They offer a vast amount of storage with security built in.

In Windows 10, Microsoft makes it easy to store your data with OneDrive. Google and Apple offer similar services, but for PC users, OneDrive is nicely integrated with your PC. However, as the forecast from Gartner shows, most users will not consider online storage for all their data. Some might not like to have their data in the hands of others, some feel that online data is subject to government snooping, and others just don’t want to keep it locally. Period.

All points make sense; we have to ask ourselves if online storage is “forever”? Will providers shut down unused accounts that are used for longtime storage? Do I always have access to the data?

The majority, however, choose local storage, which means having external or internal hard drives with enough space for us to load the backups or sync our data. There is nothing wrong with it, but we have to remember: backup the backup. Hard drives do go down. I remember that my backup external drive broke the very same time as the internal drive. I still believe it was some kind of power surge. Some heavy data users in a household have a separate data server which will need to be backed up as well.

Another good option is DVD storage. Common DVDs hold 4.7 GB of data; that is a lot of space for documents and pictures, but not for movies or high resolutions graphics.  Blu-ray disc provide storage capacity up to 100 GB of data.

With the availability of inexpensive high capacity hard drives at about $ 50 per terabyte, we have dismissed the good old CD. They are easier to manage, but – and this is a big but – hard drives do break.

Organization is key.

No matter what medium we choose, organization is key. With so much data being collected, we have to organize our data in order to find it again. And that is another problem with online data storage, where folders grow out of control, or we collect hard drives as much as the data itself. How do we ever want to find the right data? (Granted, the search tools are wonderful these days and they do find a lot of stuff fast.)

However, with more data, we have to create a good system of what to store, how to store it, and how to retrieve it.  Since everyone likes their own system, it is hard to prescribe the perfect system. I do like to back up my PCs at a certain time and archive the image. Backing up your whole PC will also preserve your applications, which might be necessary to run to interpret the data.  I also recommend a backup of all external drives periodically.

A new and innovative local storage solution.

Recently I got re-introduced to M-Disc, a long term storage solution that is both secure and very long-lasting. M-Disc is a new kind of DVD and Blu-ray disc, which lasts basically forever and is a perfect medium for storage. Capacity is the same at 4.7GB (DVD), 25 GB (Blue-ray) and 100GB (Blue-ray), although the lifetime has been extended tenfold.

With M-Disc, you can have a secure and long-lasting archive of your data, your PC images and the various libraries you wish to keep. They are local and can be stored in any place (i.e. your bank vault).

Even if the initial costs of having an M-Disc compatible drive and the discs might be a touch higher, it is a cheaper solution for the long run. Check out www.mdisc.com and learn about this innovative approach.

Ashampoo (www.ashampoo.com) and Nero (www.nero.com) are two companies who embraced this new technology with their burning software.

[i] “Forecast: Consumer Digital Storage Needs, 2010-2016.” The report is available on Gartner’s website here.

It’s Time to Buy a New PC

Making history, Microsoft released its first hardware device worthy of competing in the marketplace. The Surface Book is a 13.5-inch laptop with “a killer display, maxed-out guts, a funky cool hinge, and a display that detaches to become a thick, powerful tablet” (source.) It’s also $1,500, which is on par with Apple’s Macbook laptop series.

New and exciting laptops and convertibles (laptop/tablet) are announced everyday from major hardware manufacturers like HP, Dell, Toshiba or Lenovo. But with Microsoft’s announcement of their new hardware devices on October 6th, even critics were cheering.

With the new Windows 10 available on these new devices, it is officially the time to retire your old hardware; there has never been a better time to buy a new device. Whatever you buy, remember that Laplink’s PCmover will save your day by making a migration of your old Windows PC’s documents, folders, pictures, music, videos, user profiles, thousands of settings, and programs (applications) easy to move. PCmover automates a tedious, manual process, making it painless.PCmover-Professional-Left-New

It’s time to buy a new PC, and when you do,be sure to buy PCmover Professional with it!

Reseller Marketing Strategies: Bringing It Together

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about marketing tips for Resellers.

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Together, the marketing channels and suggested tips and graphic elements create an enhanced offering that will give your customers the information they need when they’re ready to make a decision.

Two out of three shoppers say they’ve abandoned a sale because they couldn’t get the information they felt was necessary.

With the right tools, your customers will have what they need when they need it–and be able to confidently click “Buy.”

Additional messaging to use:

Free 24/7 Transfer Assistance

For users who plan to perform the upgrade themselves, Laplink provides a free 24/7 hotline, which helps users through the process. The Free Transfer Assistance focuses on the user experience and helps them achieve a successful migration.

30-day Money Back Guarantee

If users are not completely satisfied with a software product they purchased, Laplink offers a no-hassle 30-day money back guarantee.

Free upgrades for current users

With the release of PCmover version 10, users who currently have PCmover licenses can upgrade to version 10 for free when they check for updates.

Summary

PCmover is the essential tool for moving all files, folders, applications, and personalized user settings from an old PC’s operating system to a new operating system quickly and easily.

Using our recommended marketing tips and tools, you’ll be able to capitalize on the opportunity presented by the Windows 10 release, and offer your clients a valuable product that will make their migration easy!

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Microsoft and Laplink Partnership: PCmover Express for free

Laplink announced today that PCmover has been selected by Microsoft as its recommended migration solution for Windows users, with a free download of PCmover Express for personal use available here.

“Microsoft looks forward to continuing our collaboration with Laplink,” said Shad Larsen, Director of Business Planning at Microsoft, in a press release. “We wanted to make it easier for customers to migrate their personal files and settings from their older Windows PC to a new Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 PC, and Laplink delivers a great solution with their PCmover Express software.”

The free offer for PCmover Express will be available on Windows.com in 18 markets beginning today and expiring August 31, 2016. The offer is available for personal, non-commercial use. It requires the destination PC to be running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 and not joined to a domain.

Commercial users can purchase a license for PCmover Express that provides commercial use rights for about $20. While PCmover Express does not transfer applications, that functionality is provided with PCmover Professional as an available upgrade.

We previously worked with Microsoft to provide Windows users with migration software in support of Windows XP customers moving to new Windows PCs. Extending this relationship to Windows 10 was an easy decision.

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We’re fully committed to this Microsoft partnership in support of all Windows users. Our latest version of PCmover makes it easier than ever for customers running Windows XP, all the way to the latest release of Windows 10, to migrate their personal files, folders, and other settings to their new PC.

We’re seeing strong demand for Windows 10 by both consumer and commercial customers. And as customers buy new Windows 10 devices, we believe they will discover Laplink’s migration solutions provide great choice and flexibility, saving time and money for consumers, SMB, and enterprises.

Transferring your personal files, folders, and other settings to a new PC can sometimes be time-consuming and difficult. But our PCmover software provides an easy-to-use solution with a wizard driven interface, allowing users to automatically transfer selected user profiles, files, and settings to a new device from an old PC. We also offer Free Transfer Assistance, providing certified experts 24/7 to assist with migrations.

For larger organizations, we offer an enterprise version of PCmover, which allows IT to manage migrations even for unmanaged PCs. Already in use by thousands of major companies and organizations, it continues to be the fastest growing enterprise migration solution. Complimentary evaluations of PCmover Enterprise and more detailed information is available from our website.

Windows 10 Impact on IT Departments: Part III

We have broken down the most common complaints and the mistakes organizations are making that result in unexpected costs.

  1. Many organizations underestimate the time end users spend to become familiarized with their new PC system, as well as problems with migrating existing user data, and settings recovery. This time can easily exceed three to four hours. These soft costs are often not part of IT budgets, but are of great concern for business owners experiencing employee-productivity drops.
  2. End user customizations are frequently not considered in the overall plan. Customization are mostly left for the employee to complete on company time. Customizations like reapplying and creating settings for the new desktop can be beyond a normal users’ comprehension, leading to a surge in PC helpdesk requests with associated cost of $50 or more per call.
  3. The third mistake is underestimating the logistics associated with PC migrations for users in remote locations and international subsidiaries, which can prove to be extremely difficult. The need to outsource to a contractor or flying a staff member to a site, causes deployment issues and costs to rise quickly.
  4. The fourth, and final, mistake occurs inadvertently when data and settings are left behind. In a recent study conducted with enterprise level IT departments, the results were troubling: 27% of respondents who used various tools for transferring data and settings reported data loss in the process.

Windows 10 will cause businesses and IT teams to increasingly respect the fact that end user computing is changing. What is happening in the OS market is comparable to the BYOD revolution that saw the number and variety of devices on the corporate network sky rocket. This has and still is raises a number of challenges in terms of control and management.

The PC, tablets, and other devices have evolved into very powerful systems. Because today, we have dozens of vital applications, several gigabytes of data, and thousands of settings in the Windows registry, reestablishing all that on a new PC is time-consuming and near impossible to streamlined for a company.

With new PC deployments on the forefront of many IT teams tasks, issues surrounding the fact that there are few tools at the enterprise level to successfully complete this endeavor. Proven solutions like PCmover® Enterprise are not always known within many IT Organizations.

PCmover Enterprise

Organizations need a solution with minimal interruption to employees’ productivity, save time and resources, and will seamlessly migrate files, folders, and applications vital to each employee’s daily workflow. An IT professional at one of the largest PC manufacturers once stated: “We are supporting thousands of large organizations to deploy their PCs. We do everything from logistics, imaging, tagging, and bringing the PC to the workplace. We do not, however, have a solution for the actual migration between two desktops.”

Windows 10 Impact on IT Departments: Part II

The Impact on Migration

Windows 10 will be the next big migration for IT teams to undertake, and they need to adapt to this reality if they are to continue delivering a positive and consistent user experience across the corporation.

The complexity of PC migrations is growing, given the number of different Versions of Windows in play, differences between 32- and 64-bit architectures and the proliferation of new devices and form factors.

Thomas U. Koll, Chairman and CEO, Laplink

There are a number of key issues to consider, such as:

  • The still existing base of machines running Windows XP (NT/Vista), adding to the complexity of deployed Windows 7 and 8/8.1 PCs.
  • More migrations will occur simultaneously, including software, applications and devices. This means less time for IT teams to prepare and test new upgrades, likely resulting in issues following the deployment.
  • Technical scenarios are these days are far more complex, with greater connectivity and interdependencies across systems and key applications.
  • Scenarios are now more complex largely because of a multitude of devices and new form factors. Many new devices are running operating systems like Android and Apple iOS, thus adding to the complexity.

The end result is that it is more difficult than ever to deliver effective management of policies and user privileges, while providing a positive user experience.

According to an IDC study, the typical PC replacement scenario costs the average organization $527 per PC upgraded.

With so many migrations now taking place in increasingly complex environments, desktop or end-user oriented IT teams run the risk of underestimating the time, complexity and overall project management involved. Further, the impact of post migration help-desk support must also be understood and accounted for.