Vista SP1

There has been much stir about the upcoming service pack for Windows Vista. Microsoft have made it a priority to work hard on improving the stability of the operating system rather than on performance. While this may seem a little blinkered at first there is a lot of value in this method; when you bear in mind that most computers that will be running Windows Vista will be new computers so many will be of much higher spec than their counterparts running Windows XP so performance will be comparable. Also Vista has had a deal of well publicised problems with compatibility of applications and legacy hardware so it makes sense for Microsoft to focus on improving the core system at this point in time a reserve performance tweaks for the future.

Vista Install ScreenOne of the key thing, from Microsoft’s perspective, that is addressed in Service Pack 1 is the activation hacks that have been found. The latest one which was publicised here exploits the actual activation process my emulating the Bios of certain manufacturers that have special versions of Vista that do not require activation. That said there are performance issues which have been addressed such as the time it takes to copy files from folder-to-folder on the said drive is said to be 25 percent faster and 45 percent faster when copying files from a remote computer not running Vista.

Personally I had stayed away from Vista as the experience I’d had previously had not been good however as Windows XP will no longer be available after this summer (although this could change as it has previously) I felt it was time to take the plunge and just get stuck in. Now having run it for almost 3 weeks and using it on a daily basis I have to say this it has been absolutely fine, I did install Service Pack 1 as soon as Vista was installed and it has been absolutely fine. I have not had one crash or problem to date that can be related to the Vista operating system. Now, I personally feel that this can be largely attributed to Service Pack 1 and while I only ran Vista for 1 day without Service Pack 1 being installed I did not a difference after installing it.

All in all it looks to be a good update to the system and having run it now for a couple of weeks I would recommend it to anyone, it is scheduled for release later this month with it initially being made available to enterprise customers but being made available to the main stream shortly after. For more information visit: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/bb738089.aspx

Posted in IT Support, Microsoft | Leave a comment

The “business” phone

Apple iPhoneAs many of you will have seen from my earlier posting ActiveSync for Exchange server is now available on the iPhone which is supposed to make the unit more appealing to the business user. With this in mind I contacted a friend of mine to let him know of the update as he had been keen to get one of these previously but had been stopped by the lack of support for Exchange Server.

However, I got a call later from him telling me that after contacting O2, whom their current business contract is with, they were unable to supply him with one under their current contract. Basically speaking he was told if he wanted one he would have to go to the local O2 shop and purchase on one of the special tarrifs and have his number ported over to the new contract. Now this seems ok however as with many businesses he has a shared tarrif, i.e. 2000 minutes shared between 3 handsets with free calls between handsets. So by doing this he would then loose the free calls between handsets and also incur another invoice each month, again not too bad for the small business. But if we take this to the enterprise, something Apple are keen to do, it gets more complicated. Let’s say for example we have 100 users in the business and all of them want to have the iPhone as it is “the” business phone to have; this would mean under this system they would have to have 100 separate contracts, 100 invoices sent each month and 100 direct debits to their account…..complete madness.

I mean come’on O2!! You need to look at this properly and create a system that works for the business users whom this product is so clearly targetted. If this is going to continue to be the case then I can see the slow takeup of the iPhone continueing for some time yet.

If anyone has any further information on this or package details which O2 did not want to reveal then please spill the beans I’d be interested to know.

Posted in Business, Mobile | Leave a comment

ActiveSync arrives on the iPhone

It would seem that Apple have been a busy bee working to make the iPhone more appealing to the discerning business users. Many business people that I know have been held back from the iPhone due to the lack of support for Microsoft Exchange which is found in the MS SmartPhone by means of ActiveSync. However, it seems that Apple have been able to come to an agreement with Microsoft and license the ActiveSync technology for use on the iPhone. So what does this mean? Basically it means that everything that you could sync previously on an MS SmartPhone you can now do on the iPhone which means you can sync contacts, calender, push-email and most important it will support remote wiping of the unit should you part company. All of this adds up to a very interesting product which is likely to be able to gather further momentum and likely leave Microsoft standing in the mobile marketplace. The full article is available here.

Posted in IT Support, Microsoft, Mobile | Leave a comment