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

Approaching 30

Approaching 30 years of age is a big deal. It is – for some – the final threshold to adulthood.  For companies in general, approaching 30 is not really a big deal given that many businesses have a 100 year plus tradition. But for a software company approaching 30 really is a big deal.

Has life really changed in the last 30 years? The basics are the same, but how we communicate, do our jobs and plan the future has dramatically changed. Today we use personal computers, tablets, and smart phones to do many routine tasks and have created a world without borders where information is always at your fingertips.

Laplink passed its 29th anniversary in May 2012. Wow! There really aren’t many software companies still around after 30 years.  For Laplink (or Traveling Software as it was called in the early days), it all started with building software for one of the first computing devices – the Radio Shack M100 built by Kyocera. It was running a version of Basic with an i80C85 processor and had between 8 and 32k RAM. (That’s right – “k” as in kilobytes, not megabytes or gigabytes!) The built-in display was an 8×40 character LCD screen. Introduced in 1983, it retailed for over US $ 1,000. As with many tech people back in 1983, the founding members of the Laplink team (led by Mark Eppley) were fascinated by that device!

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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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Laplink Turns 29 Week 3 Prizes

Today is a big day for not only Laplink, but lovers of excellent software worldwide. You guessed right, it’s our third Weekly Prize Giveaway! Get those entries in by sharing, liking, and commenting on our Facebook wall posts or tweeting according to the rules on our Laplink Turns 29 page.

Today we’ll be giving away to 7 lucky winners the following prizes:

 

Laplink Gold + Laplink Cable: Complete connectivity, remote control, file transfer and synchronization.

 

Laplink Everywhere: One click remote access to your PC!

 

Vipre Antivirus 2012: 100,000 new viruses and malware threats are created every day, with this antivirus your PC is protected. Continue reading

Laplink Turns 29 Week 2 Prizes

We’re coming up on picking the second round of prize winners today. Smell that in the air? It’s the sweet, sweet scent of quality software. Get those entries in by sharing, liking, and commenting on our Facebook wall posts or tweeting according to the rules on our Laplink Turns 29 page.

Today we’ll be giving away to 7 lucky winners the following prizes:

 

PCsync + Laplink Cable: The natural choice for fast, easy, automated file transfer and synchronization between PCs and Macs

 

PC Lock: Powerful and sophisticated encryption that automatically protects personal and sensitive data.

 

Vipre Antivirus 2012: 100,000 new viruses and malware threats are created every day, with this antivirus your PC is protected. Continue reading

What’s the deal with security and what the heck is encryption?

It seems with every passing month we hear more and more about information leaks from major corporations or some sort of backdoor into the apps we use everyday. Even Apple, long thought to be ‘above’ all that security problem nonsense has recently found an issue causing them to back pedal around holes found in their FileVault system. What do we really have to worry about at home? Are these problems on the rise or is it just something to expect?

Well, a little of both it would seem. In Symantec’s 2011 Threat Landscape Report we are told that malicious attacks jumped 81% in 2011 over 2010 (or more precisely that Symantec caught 81% of the attacks). The report claims that malware-variants, slightly modified malware that bypasses past fixes, also increased in 2011 by 41%. The report goes on to detail some pretty scary numbers pointing to a definite rise in malicious online attacks (but hey, SPAM has precipitously dropped, so, really, we came out on top right? … right?).

Photo courtesy of anroidpit.com

Symantec’s report tends to focus on malicious attacks against user-systems. These are definite issues as the numbers show, but it doesn’t really reflect the problems presented in the opening of this post. These issues arise from mistakes made in code, holes left open that could allow someone to access information we need kept private. This is where encryption steps in.

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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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Laplink Turns 29 Week 1 Prizes

We’ve almost reached the first drawing of our month-long Laplink Turns 29 contest and that means its time unveil the the first round of prizes! 

Today we’ll be giving away to 7 lucky winners the following prizes:

 

PCmover + Laplink Cable: Our top-of-the-line PC migration software. Transfer files, settings, and programs to a new or upgraded PC in no time.

 

DiskImage: Advanced Backup and Recovery to protect your PC.

 

Vipre Antivirus 2012: 100,000 new viruses and malware threats are created every day, with this antivirus your PC is protected.

 

Roboform: Manage multiple logins and passwords effortlessly across your favorite websites and applications. Continue reading

Microsoft Announces a Two-Year Countdown for Windows XP

Laplink Offers Solution for XP Deadline

In a recent post on The Windows Blog, Microsoft has called for users still using Windows XP to upgrade now lest they be left without critical support when Microsoft terminates Extended Support for the long-lasting operating system.

                                    Sayonara XP support, hello Windows 7!

As of April 8th, 2014 Microsoft will be pulling the plug on all support for Windows XP. This means that users of XP will no longer receive any of the following benefits: Continue reading