Amazon and Microsoft are well along in their plans to offer hosted desktops as a cloud service. In 2014 you will have the option to use a virtual computer to access a copy of Windows with your documents and programs from any device, including tablets.
There are problems to overcome and questions to be answered about availability and security, but the advantages may overcome the initial concerns more quickly than you’d guess. One interesting thing to consider: there are several hundred million Windows XP computers in the world. […] continued
This is one possible future for small business computing.
You sit down at a monitor and keyboard. There’s no computer in sight but there’s a login prompt onscreen. Log in with your user ID and password and your Windows desktop appears. Open up Explorer and browse to your files. Use Outlook and Word and your company’s line-of-business programs. Browse the Internet with your preferred browser and your bookmarks.
This doesn’t have to be done at your desk in your cubicle. Any monitor will do. […] continued
Science fiction readers are familiar with novels that describe a near-future built on an outlandish concept, followed by an Afterword where the authors reveal that they are describing very real technology that is further developed than you realized. (Recent examples, all recommended: Daemon by Daniel Suarez, about artificial intelligence; Zero Day by Mark Russinovich, about cyberterrorism; and Nexus by Ramez Naam, about brain-to-brain communication.)
Let me describe a possible future to explain why you might never buy another desktop computer. It will take three articles: one to explain today’s computing environment, one to describe the science fiction future, and an afterword about the companies that are working right now to bring you that future. […] continued
LastPass released a major update this week. LastPass 3.0 gives the essential password manager a streamlined look and introduces some new features. If you’re a LastPass user, you’ll see some new things happening onscreen as you move around password fields. Don’t be unnerved! The changes will seem to be for the better, I think, after we get used to them.
LastPass is a free program that memorizes each password typed into a web site and automatically fills it in when you return to the same site. Once it’s up and running, the master password for LastPass is the only password you have to remember. […] continued
When you buy a new computer with Windows 8.1 or upgrade a Windows 8 computer, Skydrive gains some subtle and interesting new features. Microsoft has engineered Skydrive so it is even more deeply integrated into the operating system, making it simpler to set up and start using it. More interesting, although largely invisible to you, Microsoft has developed a way to sync your files that uses less disk space, which is important for us when we use Skydrive with tablets and notebooks that have limited amounts of storage.
The improvements to Skydrive are arguably one of the best things about Windows 8.1. […] continued
The news is full of the technical problems that have kept many people from navigating the web site set up for the Affordable Care Act marketplace. I don’t want to discuss the politics of the Affordable Care Act, but there is one aspect of the technical problem that is familiar from long experience: it’s very difficult to introduce a new service and have sufficient capacity for it to start successfully. It does not necessarily mean that the service will fail in the long term.
Lately I’ve seen an increase in the number of web sites warning that I’m running an unsupported version of Internet Explorer, or recommending that I upgrade to the latest version. In some cases, the web sites refuse to load at all. Autotask, for example, will not go past this screen because it “does not support the browser you are using.”
I’ve had clients see that warning in the last few weeks at bank web sites (it appeared recently for one client logging into Exchange Bank), at Martindale for lawyers, at some Google services – Google Calendar, for example – and many others. […] continued
Office 365 business users are getting more storage space for free. Exchange mailboxes are doubling in size, permitting storage of up to 50Gb per mailbox, and Skydrive Pro storage capacity is being increased from 7Gb to 25Gb for each user. The increased mailbox space was announced here, and the increased Skydrive Pro storage was announced here. (There has not been any change to the consumer Skydrive service, which is separate from Skydrive Pro – here’s an article that explains the difference. Skydrive’s free storage is still 7Gb for now.)
Other numbers are being increased at the same time – increased space for shared mailboxes in Exchange Online and bigger file uploads for Skydrive Pro (files up to 2Gb are now permitted). […] continued
Microsoft assembled some numbers to show that Office 365 has had almost no downtime for the last year. For four quarters in a row, the Office 365 services (hosted Exchange email, Sharepoint, Lync, and Office Web Apps) were up and running more than 99.9% of the time – between 99.94% and 99.98%, to be exact.
The uptime numbers measure all customers – business, government, and educational institutions – and cover services worldwide, with no breakdown by country or region. There may be specific individuals or businesses that fell below those marks.
The Service Soon Not To Be Known As Skydrive got some nice updates recently – along with a court decision that gives Microsoft yet another nasty branding problem.
The good news is that Skydrive continues to add new features at a rapid pace. (If you’re new to Skydrive, you’ll find lots of articles here to help you get caught up.)
PHOTOS If you have photos stored in Skydrive, the Skydrive web site now offers new options for viewing them. Skydrive automatically adapts to the resolution of the display you’re using, so high-resolution photos look better on high-resolution monitors. There’s a new display that shows all photos by date, regardless of the folders they’re stored in, and a new filter in case you want to narrow that a bit. […] continued