Enterprise IT Watch Blog

March 28, 2011  2:37 PM

Internet Explorer 9: A plus or a ploy?

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

Don’t get blindsided by all of the hype regarding the download numbers of Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9. Feedback and insight from actual users is one of the best ways to gauge what enterprise tools are best for you and your company.

Since there’s been a lot of discussion about Windows 7 this month, it only seemed fitting to get the community’s impressions of Internet Explorer 9 from Microsoft, compatible with Windows 7 and Vista. We polled the IT Knowledge Exchange members and got some interesting and varied responses.

Continued »

March 28, 2011  9:00 AM

Microsoft keeping closer tabs on Apple with SCCM 2012

Michael Morisy Michael Morisy Profile: Michael Morisy

In addition to even further muddying its already confused cloudspeak, Microsoft’s latest and greatest management tool, System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (SCCM 2012), has a few handy tricks up its sleeves to help keep Redmond on top, even when the company is eating competitors’ mobile dust.

SCCM 2012 brings in new support for managing and configuring mobile devices including, as Mary Jo Foley reports, Android, Apple iOS and even Symbian devices. It’s a surprisingly agnostic move with interesting implications, as Foley notes:

My first thought when I heard that SCCM 2012 will enable management of iPads is that Microsoft may be undercutting its own argument that Windows-based slates and tablets are inherently better because IT managers can’t manage iPads as easily and well as they can Windows-based PCs and devices. If Microsoft makes enterprise management of iPads a key selling point, won’t the company be removing one of the advantages it claims for Windows slates?

Possibly, but maybe it’s also just responding to market demands, particularly since Windows Phone 7 OS will probably be a laggard in the field for a few years, at least (although it does also support Windows Phone 7 management), despite whatever catchy advertising campaigns they run.

Hat tip to Ron Miller.

Michael Morisy is the editorial director for ITKnowledgeExchange. He can be followed on Twitter or you can reach him at Michael@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

March 23, 2011  11:14 AM

Tablet wars: Microsoft chooses its next battle

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

When discussion turns to operating systems, there are many other facets to the conversation than there have been in the past. More than desktop computers, consumers must consider what form of computing to deploy the latest operating system on. Enter phones, tablets, slates, and other words like that. With the recent release of Apple’s iPad 2 and its significant improvements over its predecessor, Microsoft isn’t lying down.

Standing up for its enterprise-popular OS, Windows 7, Microsoft has begun promoting Windows 7 tablets, starting with a slew of commercials for the Asus Eee Slate. According to the ads’ messages, the Eee is for everyone, from artists to bloggers to working mothers. Rather than taking the route of Apple’s show-not-tell ads that let the iPad do all of the talking, Microsoft lets its customers do the talking. But they’re not just saying anything: From the street artist to the mom/freelance musician, the predominant message is that Windows 7 tablets are computers, simplified. Run your usual programs without having to deal with an app store or change the way you think of computing; that’s a pretty tempting message for an enterprise audience that doesn’t have the time or the budget to incorporate training or program overhauls.

So what do you think? Is the “next PC” approach from Microsoft tantalizing enough for enterprise IT to bite? Check out the commercials below the jump and let us know in the comments section or email me directly at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.
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March 23, 2011  9:11 AM

Was Stuxnet an inside job?

Michael Morisy Michael Morisy Profile: Michael Morisy

While Stuxnet has been painted as an unprecedented takedown of one government’s facilities by another, the truth is that very little information is known about the worm that rose to prominence with reports that it set back Iranian nuclear enrichment two years. There is even statistical evidence to suggest that, rather than a highly secretive joint-operation between the United States and Israel, Stuxnet might even have been an insider threat.

Forget everything you know about Stuxnet, the Iranian nuclear program and the dawn of a new age of cyber missiles. Forget these things because they’re largely unknowns. They are speculation and distraction from the more important lessons the security, defense and electrical industries should be learning.

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March 20, 2011  8:00 AM

Are you an accidental administrator? We have a book for you.

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

Don Crawley has been a tech trainer for about 13 years, but like the title of his series of books, “The Accidental Administrator”, he sort of stumbled into the profession. Eleven years ago, Crawley started in Cisco routers and developed a lot of training materials. Eventually so many clients expressed how much they liked his training skills that he became the accidental technical trainer.
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March 16, 2011  10:27 AM

Windows 7: The Cost of Compatibility

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

Luckily for most of us, especially end users, Windows 7 is highly compatible with current systems, even running better on the hardware than its predecessor, complete with XP mode or enterprise desktop virtualization to allow XP-specific applications to continue to run. This creates little, if any, turn around time for end users.

According to many who have made the switch, Windows 7’s interface changes are fairly intuitive and user-friendly. Other changes, such as to the notification area in an attempt to make Windows less intrusive, may require workarounds or additional education for staff. IT Knowledge Exchange member IceCubbe points out that many of the systems settings can be difficult to find, despite the updated search function. His suggestion? Take advantage of Microsoft’s “little trick dubbed ‘GodMode'”:
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March 15, 2011  1:10 PM

Windows 7 Upgrade or New Installation: Why or why not?

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

One of the first things to understand before deploying any new system, whether it be applications in the cloud or Windows 7, is that there are no quick fixes for hurting networks. That said, undertaking a move such as a migration to Windows 7 means an equal mix of planning, preparation, and deployment. The enterprise is taking the plunge all over, and it seems the reviews so far have been pretty glowing. These success stories did not happen without a certain amount of planning and work, so in order to experience your own, you should pull out the elbow grease.
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March 14, 2011  12:07 PM

Extra! Extra! Top Blogs for the Latest on Windows 7

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

We’re always looking for places to get the latest and most helpful information, and this month we’re covering Windows 7. We asked the community where they went for Windows 7 information, tips and tricks, and here’s what they said:

Saturno suggested GlobalKnowledgeBlog for its section on Windows 7 that is always being updated with new materials. Engineering Windows and the Windows 7 Team Blog are also great stops on your way to a better understanding of the operating system. Johnstockman enjoys the Microsoft Springboard Windows 7 blog for help in Windows 7 deployment.

Slack400 recommends Windows Networking and SearchEnterpriseDesktop for more in-depth information. Some of his favorite guides on SearchEnterpriseDesktop:

The Windows 7 Blog is another compilation of developments in Windows 7 and Windows in general. Check out IT Knowledge Exchange’s options for Windows 7-related blogs as well: Windows Enterprise Desktop by Ed Tittel, Windows 7: Through the Looking Glass by Tony Bradley, and The ranting of an IT professional by Jason Tramer highlights Windows 7 on a pretty regular basis. Of course, there are always the Enterprise IT Watch Blog and the answer forums for those questions or quirks that you can’t find anywhere else.

Add your own picks in the comments section, the forums, or email me directly at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

March 11, 2011  2:30 PM

Google’s Person Finder deployed after earthquake and tsunami in Japan

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

Google has deployed its Person Finder Crisis Response technology today after news of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. From the site:

A massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific Ocean nearby Northeastern Japan at around 2:46pm on March 11 (JST) causing damage with blackouts, fire and tsunami. On this page we are providing the information regarding the disaster and damage with realtime updates.

Complete with emergency numbers in Japan, message boards, transportation information, and maps, the interactive Crisis Response site primarily offers the chance to report information about missing or injured persons or to request information about someone possibly affected by the quake.

Originally created after the Haiti earthquake and recently deployed in response to the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand last month, the tool was built by Google’s “philanthropic arm, Google.org.” Since the project is open-source there have been non-Google contributors in addition to Google’s Crisis Response team.

For more information on the disaster or the project, go to the Person Finder site directly.

Melanie Yarbrough is the assistant community editor at ITKnowledgeExchange.com. Follow her on Twitter or send her an email at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

March 10, 2011  3:42 PM

250,000 seater for Windows 7

Melanie Yarbrough Profile: MelanieYarbrough

According to a Microsoft press release, T-Systems International, a Deutsche Telekom AG subsidiary and ICT provider, is migrating all of its managed desktop services to Windows 7 Enterprise. Dr. Ferri Abolhazzan, a member of the T-Systems Board of Management and head of production, praised Windows 7’s features and improved security such as BitLocker, DirectAccess, and the support for roaming profiles. The release also highlighted the opportunity to save costs in energy, “The built-in power management features in Windows 7 will help decrease power consumption, as well as prolong the battery life of laptop computers.”

The company is migrating 250,000 managed seats to the new OS, in an effort to standardize desktop deployment. T-Systems isn’t the only company making the migration or singing Windows 7’s praises, so it’s looking good for the OS, whose first service pack was recently released.

Have a different take on Windows 7 or its new service pack? Let us know in the comments section or send me an email at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

Melanie Yarbrough is the assistant community editor at ITKnowledgeExchange.com. Follow her on Twitter or send her an email at Melanie@ITKnowledgeExchange.com.

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