The Perils of the Cloud

The “cloud” is hot.

We all talk about the next great thing: solutions for cloud computing. Venture Capitalists are raising new funds for cloud computing, software companies are rapidly developing new solutions for the cloud, and new services are announced every day. It is clear that since the late 1990s, we have seen a strong demand for application services in the cloud or application services hosted in the cloud, although the names have changed. “Cloud” is just the new name. The promise is great: new Internet-based applications that don’t require local implementations, opportunities for easily and quickly connecting users to new services, and simple but robust back-end management of these cloud services.

As a result, there are great new services that can make our daily business routines so much easier than before and without any upfront investment. Take one category that is strategic to all companies selling, marketing, and supporting customers: customer relationship management (CRM). Traditionally, these applications were residing on your PC or on the company’s server. The implementation of  larger sales forces was extremely complex and expensive while small businesses could live with a desktop application and home offices often used Outlook as their main depository for customer information. Now, however, for a small monthly fee we see highly complex and beneficial cloud services that offer full-featured systems only large companies could afford in the past. No setup costs, no IT investments –  just register, pay, and go. No doubt these services have improved the efficiency and effectiveness of sales organizations greatly. And some of these service companies are generating billions in revenues by satisfying the needs of their customers. Life is good.

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The TOP 10 Reasons to Use Laplink® PCmover® Enterprise

Often I am asked to name the top 10 reasons why our customers select PCmover Enterprise. Each organization has different requirements, which means not all these reasons are applicable to every situation. However, from many discussions and customer feedback, I have comprised this generalized list:

  1. PCmover copies applications from an old PC to a new PC and “installs” them automatically, even between different versions of Windows. This is actually not easy. No other product available offers this feature. Most competing solutions move data and settings only; or if they move applications, the usage scenario is very restricted (e.g., copying an image of the old PC to a virtual machine on the new PC).
  2. The Policy Manager in PCmover Enterprise allows the IT administrator to easily structure the migration of applications, data, and settings to the specific needs of the organization, department, or user group. Migration options for PCmover can be pre-defined in a policy file that allows the end-user or IT staff to execute the actual migration of applications, data, and settings while still being controlled by the administrator. The Policy Manager, unlike many IT tools, is easy to learn and requires no third-party consultants or programmers. An IT administrator can create a policy with minimal training, providing full control with flexibility to execute from a centralized location or to do so in a decentralized process. And PCmover will provide reports and notifications to supervisors. The result is “IT Managed migrations even for unmanaged PCs” which only PCmover can deliver.
  3. PCmover saves organizations a minimum of $300 dollars per desktop deployed or upgraded. In general, PCmover generates savings for any organization, from businesses to educational institutions to government agencies. In some extreme examples, we have customers claim that PCmover has saved them over $1500 in logistical costs per new PC deployed/ A migration could be performed locally in a remote location without sending IT personnel or shipping loaner PCs back and forth – all while allowing the IT administrator to remain in full control of the migration. Laplink has published several white papers on the subject. Continue reading

Windows 8 – Ramping Up for Another Beta Candidate

Here at Laplink we love new technology. As a software company it’s in our blood to be on the hunt for interesting or impactful developments in the tech world. And as a Gold-Certified partner of Microsoft, much of the software we create helps to better the experience users and businesses have with Microsoft products. Because of these two points we are very excited about Windows 8 and what it will mean to consumer’s world-wide. And if Windows 8 is doing anything, it’s generating some impactful discussion. Just check out this recent developer’s blog post regarding some recent UI changes. It’s more of a short-novel than a blog post, but interesting none-the-less.

We’re certainly getting closer to the rumored October release of Windows 8 (though nothing has been officially announced). In the next few weeks there is expected to be much more discussion regarding the final version and remaining beta candidates of Microsoft’s newest OS. Back in April we were told that the Windows 8 Release Preview would be landing in early June, and it just so happens that on June 6th Microsoft’s Steven Guggenheimer will be delivering a keynote address at Computex TAIPEI. Hopefully it will be here that we get a good preview or even a release announcement for the Release Preview of Windows 8.

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The Ease of PCmover

First off we’d like to thank everyone for their comments on our weekly prize post. You guys rock! The winners have been notified, but luckily there are still weeks more of prizes so don’t let up.

Photo courtesy of addictivetips.com

We here at Laplink just plain love good software. Finding (or in our case building) software that eliminates unnecessary headaches or confusion when interacting with your PC is our goal in life. For many years we’ve had our focus turned to PC migration. The transferring of files, settings and applications is what we know how to do better than anyone (humble, but true brag). Every once in a while though we want to give it up to those articles/bloggers out there who also give out a helping hand to users looking to avoid the pain and tedium of transferring to a new PC and/or OS.

Usman Javaid over at addictivetips.com wrote an article describing how to easily transfer files and settings using the native Windows Easy Transfer (or WET) utility on Windows. We really enjoyed the article as it helped give people an insight into what they might need to prepare for if they wish to upgrade to Windows 8. If you’re looking to upgrade to Win 8 or Win 7 for that matter, it gives a very detailed look at the WET option for transferring.

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“File Storage Device” Migration

We got a great question the other day on twitter from @jethrosan and had to share it with you. He asked the following:

We sure do, it can be done with PCmover® using the “File Storage Device” migration option. So, if you are wanting to conduct an in-place upgrade of your existing PC to a CLEAN install of Windows® 7 here are the steps to complete this type of migration:

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Disk Imaging Technology Timeline

Remember when making a back-up of your data meant calling in a scribe and dictating for hours to the rhythm of a quillquill scratching on parchment? Well. Maybe not. But imaging technology has come a long way since the dark ages of quill8-bit graphics and floppy disks. Evolving since the early 90s, disk imaging technology has made three prominent leaps of progress over the last two decades, resulting in the imaging software we’re familiar with today.

Join us now, won’t you, for a journey along the Disk Imaging Technology Timeline:

511076668_b651d4e444_tEarly to mid 90s: Disk imaging and cloning technology becomes readily available to consumers, but is fairly limited in function. Users may use software to create an image of their PC, but that image is tied to the computer – images can only be restored to the same PC. The process requires a large number of floppy disks; tempers flare. Continue reading

The Power of the Internet is Expanding

The internet: it is impossible to ignore and nearly impossible to avoid. As our world becomes more interconnected, our standards for information access and data sharing are steadily rising. No one wants to wait for hours to download files, or to share them between computers – we need our information now. And that is why the CRS-3 caught my attention.

Cisco CRS-3

Cisco CRS-3 (Credit: Cisco Systems)

On March 9th, Cisco introduced the CRS-3, a next generation internet router. The new router offers 12 times the traffic capacity of its predecessors, while handling 322 terabits of traffic per second. Now, don’t confuse this router with the one sitting below your desk; this router will be sold to the world’s largest internet providers (AT&T, Verizon, Level3, just to name a few) and will benefit high-speed internet users around the globe.

Although the incorporation of this new technology will occur relatively soon, you probably won’t notice much of a difference – the improvement is not intended to boost the general internet. However, it will boost a growing necessity: video. Continue reading

Laplink partnership with Enterprise Integration – Interview with COO Tracey Brown

Laplink Software, Inc. and Enterprise Integration, Inc. today officially announced a partnership to provide Windows 7 upgrade services to enterprise clients throughout North America. We sat down with Tracey Brown, Enterprise Integration’s Chief Operations Officer, to find out a little more about the obstacles his clients face everyday and what computing trends he sees in the future.picture_bio_tracybrown_lg

What is the background of Enterprise Integration [EI]?

“EI has a rich background from both a technology delivery and a technology training perspective. As a company we thrive on the “Raving Fan” brand of service where going above and beyond for our customers is first and foremost in our action and intent.  We started off as a small business with a very big client and were able to leverage lessons learned, create a solid vision and execute to share that knowledge across a much larger base of mid-sized clients.  We are a managed service provider for all of IT Operations, from Service Desk to Operations Architecture Strategy.  We are Gold Microsoft Partner, Platinum Citrix, Advanced Cisco, VM Ware Enterprise, Riverbed and Net App.” Continue reading

PCmover Image Assistant – Interview with CTO

Laplink CTO, Jack WilsonWe sat down with our Chief Technology Officer Jack Wilson and asked him what he thought were some of the most import features of the new and upcoming PCmover Image Assistant. Here’s what he said:

“Many times in the past people have contacted us saying that their computer died but they have an image of the hard drive – and how can the image be restored to a new PC.

“Often, this can’t be done easily. Even when the imaging software supports a “hardware independent” restore there can be problems. Sometimes it is because the computer is different or the image expects the hard drive to have the same format, partitions or size.  PCmover Image Assistant will give you complete independence by allowing the PC user to take a disk image (or even the actual hard drive itself) from any computer and restore it to any new computer, regardless of the hardware or the operating system on the new machine.” Continue reading

Windows 7 Adoption Moving Fast

Windows 7 adoption has been very strong. Below you can see how quickly the OS has been gaining share in its first few months compared to Windows Vista’s first few months according to Net Applications, a sales intelligence provider. Net Application compiles data from numerous different sources including people who visit their website as well statistics from their customers. According to their website, they track 160 million computer users per month. But with still almost 68 percent of us using XP, that’s 108,000,000 PCs, if you’re counting.

Operating System Market Share

 

 

December, 2009

 

OSgraph

Operating System

Total Market Share

Windows

92.21%

Mac

5.11%

Linux

1.02%

Java ME

0.53%

iPhone

0.44%

Symbian

0.23%

iPod Touch

0.09%

Windows Mobile

0.06%

Android

0.05%

Playstation

0.04%

BlackBerry

0.03%

FreeBSD

0.01%

Palm

0.01%

Nintendo Wii

0.01%

SunOS

0.01%

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