Notes on Windows 10

Microsoft has offered all windows 7 and 8 users a free upgrade to windows 10 – if accepted within one year. Windows 10 official release was available July 29, 2015. I have two windows 7 machines. I have reserved copies of Windows 7 before the release date – as Microsoft suggested. And I’m much better off having installed it. But things were not always smooth.

And you need to follow the layman tech articles coming out. Not all are favorable. For example, in Windows 10 is for Suckers it talked about buggy releases. But I haven’t experienced this. But while my Dell desk top installed in two hours, the HP desktop kept pushing out a failed release. So I found this article entitled Windows 10: How to skip the line and claim your free upgrade right now. For a few dollars you can purchase a UBS flash drive at Walmart or Target. I got one with 16 gig and put the executable on the UBS flash drive. It still took me five hours to complete.

Next I ran into the problem of security. I had Norton Security Suite from Comcast. But Comcast didn’t have an update for Windows 10.

The default windows defender has given less than stellar results. Just look at Microsoft sinks in antivirus tests, as Avira, Bitdefender hit top scores. You can review free antivirus tests in articles. I have all the CM Security products on my Android devices and their Clean Master on my PC. Since I am familiar with 360 Total Security, I installed it on my PC machines.

Then a week later, Comcast got Norton Security Suite available for Windows 10. The trouble is I could install it on my desktop. But my laptop couldn’t connect to the Norton registration server. Since I didn’t want to spend hours talking to Comcast and Norton tech reps who may not be technically knowledgeable – I kept 360 Total Security and downloaded its optional Glass Wire firewall (under tool box) on my laptop. While Norton Security Suite is operational on my desktop.

The article 15 best security software of 2015 UK: best antivirus, best antispyware – how to secure your PC | How to get rid of virus rates both well. And I operate both behind a router and hardware firewall. If you run a weekly scan with the free Malwarebytes software, it helps keep things clean.  I just can’t figure out why Norton would install Apache.  It’s running in my task manager.

Folks get a break by installing Windows 10, via end of life cycle support. This is found at Windows 10 Vs Windows 8 Vs Windows 7: What’s The Difference?. You can find guides at Windows 10: The smart person’s guide. There are also some privacy concerns that are covered in articles at:

Not all default Windows applications are good. I recommend the free or open source recommendations at Microsoft Windows 10: Five free apps you should download. In addition to what they recommend, I would add the email client Thunderbird and a zip utility like Pea Zip.  Keep apps up to date.  That’s why I use File Hippo for freeware and open source software.

Backup is now an automatic function. This means I turn on my terabyte external drives when I boot up the computer.

So far, so good. I am still taking a break. But will write if I have something to say. In the meantime, enjoy The Worst Bugs in Windows 10 and How to Fix Them

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Collaborating With Video – An Overview

 

Before you we get into an in-depth discussion regarding collaborating with video, let us learn a few things about video collaboration. It is a process of collaboration between virtual team members carried out via video conferencing, which is a technology-mediated method of communication.

Collaborating With Video - An Overview

Let us discuss the new way of communication that has off late become extremely famous.

It has altered face to face collaboration

There are a number of techniques, which the end users can use for making calls. They are Skype, Google Video, YouTube and the likes. The users can use these forms to make calls, post and share videos, establish libraries, showcase creativity and do a lot of other activities in the virtual world. All these modes of video communication have affected the business fraternity in a great way, by helping them market their products and service, and thus, businesses are surging ahead strongly with these modes of video collaboration.

The Enterprise Video Difference 

Businesses nowadays, regardless of whether they are small, medium or large scale, rely heavily on a wide range of applications for running their corporate network effectively. That includes the various web based video as well as collaboration apps for mobile devices.

Enterprise Video Collaboration

The most important feature of modern enterprise video collaboration is that it has the capacity to pull together even a remote team of experts from across the globe collaboratively and put each and every member face to face in a meeting, without having to travel or even leaving their work stations and that is what makes the difference for the businesses today.

End-To-End Video Services

Video collaboration involves effective use of software that provides end-to-end service, which provides reliability as well as quality of service for broad adaptation backed with success.

Video collaborations are extremely easy to use, and they come up with video concierge services as well, which give an extra echelon of support for lengthy and important video meetings or events involving a large number of people, like financial reporting, introductions of new products or service, and company-wide announcements, AGMs and the likes.

User Friendly Domain

The technology comes up with a user friendly domain, with a central delivery, command and control mechanism, which can manage and at the same time, distribute the digital content in a jiffy, and in a seamless way from a centrally located point, without any hiccup whatsoever. The digital contents are of several types like static, dynamic and real time visual content. Besides, the technology can also be used to impart clear as well as consistent training and other activities related education, delivery of corporate updates, and content related to compliance across the entire organization.

Thanks to the advent of video collaboration, video services are using the cloud. This implies that it is now possible to avail video conferencing, without the need to invest in and operate expensive and complicated video infrastructure.

Video collaboration is completely different from the cloud video services available in the market. This is in fact a service that can be managed using the cloud and facilitates in establishing connection among telepresence systems, meeting rooms, software-based endpoints like tablets and desktops and executive appliances. The end users can not only internally connect with colleagues and co-workers but also with the suppliers and customers that use compatible systems. These videos can be streamed to other users and even recorded to later references. Organizations can easily offer customer support that is both responsive and efficient.

About the Author

Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.

Should VoIP Be Regulated?

The growing penetration of Internet into our workspaces as well as homes has enriched our lives but at the same time it has thrown up some unique challenges. Data on the web moves freely and openly. Will it be the same for VoIP calls and data pertaining to the calls? Are the businesses going to accept that the calls move freely when they are being transmitted over the Internet? The assumption of this fact might be easy for many, especially when any kind of regulation on the web is not accepted easily and often resisted. However, if it is the business VoIP connection then regulations on it has to be there for the benefit of the business.

VOIP

Rules and Regulations

If you have recently switched to VoIP then in the coming days you might even adopt mobile VoIP as well. You will need to drill deeper into the VoIP regulations if you wish to safeguard your VoIP connections against a variety of malpractices. The VoIP users in the E.U. countries and North America have to abide by some of the regulation when the VoIP connection leverages PSTN connection. The regulation has to be put because the legacy carriers do not want to lose money and needs to be compensated when their network is used. The corporate users are able to receive the services at cheaper rates but here the VoIP connection complies with the legacy standards. This is needed because the service providers are compelled to provide good quality.

For the VoIP connection that does not leverage the PSTN, regulations are generally not used. For instance when Skype has to use such a connection, it uses the PC to PC communication. On the other hand when business make use of such applications they tend to prefer quality over the free services. The limited features and integration disabilities does not make the experience better.

In case you are a user who belongs to the zone where both the regulated as well as unregulated VoIP connections are used then the quality of the connections will definitely vary. For the business that want to focus on their core business functions, partnering with a provider that providers regulated VoIP will prove to be very useful. You will have to find out how things work out in reality and then take your decision regarding the regulation.

Is Windows 10 a good thing?

Windows has an official preview video. If you follow tech news, you find Windows is offering a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users. You just need to survey some recent articles:

And some articles like Trusted Reviews, are asking the question: Windows 10 vs Windows 7: Should you upgrade? They do offer some points I would consider:

  • “One of the least talked about improvements of Windows 8, and subsequently Windows 10, is that it does include a raft of performance upgrades.” I wonder how it will fair with third party software? I like to run high quality free and open source software. Will Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome run as fast as Windows explorer? Will Thunderbird be just as fast – if not faster – on Windows 10 then my current Windows 7?
  • “However, Windows 10 ups the ante by adding Windows Store apps and web search, as well as a much more organized results page.” Windows 7 search is not bad. In fact, I wasn’t sure how Microsoft could improve it.
  • “What’s more, it includes Cortana, the digital personal assistant.” Someday we may be able to talk to our computer, like we see in the Star Trek TV and movie series. But now is not that time. If I look at the Google and Bing language translators, they have a long ways to go. They do get things wrong, as I’m relearning French and Spanish, and learning Portuguese. How can they realize what I am saying and translate it into commands a machine can understand? Voice recognition is a long ways off, as far as perfection goes.
  • The other points the article considers is a better file management system. But it is a tab bit slower than Windows 7 on gaming. And the monitor is more customizable. All nice points to consider. But none of these is a show stopper.
  • “As such, if you’ve got a copy of Windows 7 you’d almost be foolish not to upgrade.” What about security? I haven’t seen a comparison of Windows 7 and Windows 10 security. Perhaps more articles will address this aspect in the future?

So how will Windows roll this out? Well, Network world said Microsoft will reportedly release Windows 10 RTM in June . Tech Republic thinks Microsoft for the enterprise is doing fine. This is reflected in A Microsoft we can actually believe.

What will I do? I plan to wait until the first official release is in place. Whether that is in June – or as I can guess – sometime a bit later. No early preview version for me. But I like what I see and it will extend the time I can use an operating system on Windows hardware – without purchasing a new upgrade. I hope Microsoft goes the way of Apple and Ubuntu and offers free operating system upgrades to existing users.

On another note, I will share an article I like by Seth Godin: Is Google making the web stupid?

Free Microsoft Operating System Upgrades?

 

A BT Internet payphone loading Windows XP Embe...

A BT Internet payphone loading Windows XP Embedded. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A week or two ago, there was a good article entitled The case for making Windows (upgrades) free at case. Actually, this would have helped some of my friends. They have been running XP on their home computers. One didn’t want to spend the one hundred and fifty dollars Windows wanted. What alternative did they have? I ended up installing the Linux Ubuntu system with long-term support. Ubuntu also jumped from 12.04 to 14 and some decimal. The upgrade worded well with all the existing hardware. The best benefit was saving a hundred and fifty dollars.

Another friend was running XP on their home computer. I ran the Windows upgrade adviser and there was some hardware upgrades they needed to apply. I recommended that they go visit a friend of mine, who specializes in computer repair. The reason is that they would have the recommended hardware upgrades.

Then there is Apple. I think Apple does a good job of offering free upgrades. This is something Microsoft should look at and emulate. The only concern I have with Apple products is that the Apple centers are few and far between. For me to get instruction, buy an Apple computer and/or get it repaired, I would have to drive a half hour to visit a center. For Microsoft products, there are different ma and pa repair shop for fixing problems nearby. There are also Microsoft embedded computers for sale at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Amazon, etc.

Probably in a year or two, I’ll either be forced to upgrade from Windows 7 or buy new machines with the latest operating system. Or I could take a twenty-minute drive and see what Apple has to offer. Or I could get a machine running a long-term support version of Ubuntu. If I took the Apple route, I’ll probably also take the Ubuntu route on another machine. Perhaps that is my solution to Windows and operating system upgrade payments.

One point the article made is this: “More importantly, though, Microsoft doesn’t need to charge for Windows upgrades. Technology changes over time. Hardware crashes and dies. There will be customers who will cling to their 10-year old hardware, but many will still buy new PCs to replace broken hardware, get a faster processor, or take advantage of the latest USB or Wi-Fi standards.”

Ten years? Why not? After all, you can run a car that long and use high quality, after market parts. And if the car needs a new engine, it’s easier to drop in a manufactured on than buy a new car.

Then there’s another article entitled 3 Reasons Microsoft Should Make Windows 10 Free. What are the three reason? According to the article, they are:

  • “People really didn’t like Windows 8 “
  • “Everyone thought the Start menu was going to be a Win 8 update”
  • “Microsoft needs to do the right thing”

And what was the wrong thing it did? According to the article, “Microsoft released an OS that was hard-to-use on non-touch devices that took away features its customers liked. It then ran a full-tilt marketing plan to coerce users to switch – including dropping support for Windows XP.”

All I can ask is this: Will we ever see the day of free Microsoft operating system upgrades? In the meantime, check out The geekiest tech jokes on the internet

Windows and free software

 

Windows mobile

Windows mobile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A while back, I wrote about my problems with Ubuntu and Windows. It was entitled Problems with Ubuntu and Windows 7 on same machine. Now I was left with a choice – either run Windows or Ubuntu by itself. So I opted to run just Windows, as it was already installed.

Now I’m not anti- Windows, anti-Linux nor Anti-Apple. It’s just with Mac stuff, I don’t have any experience with it. But for now, I will stick with Windows and a paid security suite. I feel that the paid security versions are a bit above the free ones. I recommend the site Filehippo and installing their update checker.

But most folks need a word processor and Excel sheet solution. They also need a solution to read Word documents – in Excel and Word. For a viewer, I recommend installing the Kingsoft office suite. It associates itself with all the Microsoft office suite document types. But for real work, you can’t beat Libre Office. The license agreement of Open Office allows Libre Office to include any features Open Office creates – but not the other way around.

For zip files, I use Peazip. It’s an active project and constantly being worked on. I also believe it uses some elements of 7-Zip.

VLC media player for playing sound and video files. Audacity is used as a sound editor and recorder. Both are great tools.

Skype is still my preferred communication tool – even though it is owned by Microsoft. It’s free and you know it won’t have conflicts with any Windows supported operating system. If I was looking for an alternative, then I would choose Google Hangouts.

For browsers, I prefer Firefox and Google Chrome. But I also have Opera installed, should I ever need it. I do believe that internet Explorer is a good browser. I just prefer the open source versions and the developed extensions.

I really need to plug Malwarebytes as a good scan tool. Each week, I do a quick scan with both my paid security suite and Malwarebytes. Of course, I don’t run them at the same time. I think that between the two tools, they can detect any problem that comes your way. And if you send any email attachments to the Virus Total scanner, it should ensure you are clean.

For a mail client, nothing can be Thunderbird. You can configure all your email accounts with it and handle your mail with one tool.

Then there’s the Java Run time Environment. While there are open source alternatives, I still go with the one from Oracle. Sure, it’s not open source. But you have a big company behind it and it’s very stable and often being developed.

Anything else? Sure. If you run a Mac, then I would also install File Hippo update checker and get software from their site. Why pay either Microsoft or Apple for software, when you can get either a free and/or open source alternative?

Is WhatsApp a Threat to Mobile Calls?

 

 

 

Llamadas en WhatsApp

 

The growing rise in the number of users of WhatsApp has thrown the obvious question – will it be a threat to mobile calls? Well, it is still early days to predict any such outcome for the mobile app that has created a renewed interest in mobile based VoIP systems. WhatsApp is continuously working towards new upgrades that would make it even friendlier for iOS7. VoIP calls are now the latest offering from WhatsApp and it wants to be among the top newsmakers this year.

 

The new version of WhatsApp promises to be different in terms of the features but the looks and overall feel will remain unchanged. There are changes that would change the game in the VoIP world. Yes, finally WhatsApp is bringing the VoIP calls into its application and this will be direct challenge to the users of other services like Skype. The revolutionary VoIP calling facility was long awaited for and finally it is being integrated with the latest updates. The call can be initialized by opening to a flight or an open chat on the iPhone. You will be able to automatically dial the contact when you see his/her name flashing on the top. The VoIP calls will be initiated through a new icon called the WhatsApp Call.

It can be said that the VoIP feature offered by WhatsApp will take away a bit of the shine from mobile calls but to say that it would completely kill the same will be an overstatement. Mobile calls have their own charm and that I really feel cannot be overrun by the VoIP feature in WhatsApp. It is also interesting to note that not everyone is accessing WhatsApp whereas there is hardly anyone who does not make mobile calls.

 

Sizing up WhatsApp and Twitter

Sizing up WhatsApp and Twitter (Photo credit: Tsahi Levent-Levi)

Over the last two years, WhatsApp had witnessed phenomenal fan-following and popularity and obviously no other app could match its popularity. It is interesting to find out that there are many other apps that are performing really well but none has been successful like WhatsApp. WhatsApp has been able to create a loyal fan-following for itself through a variety of one-to-one chat and group chat options. Mobile phone calls can’t really be replaced by the apps like WhatsApp as there are a number of elements that makes mobile calls much better than the VoIP calls.

 

Mobile phones will not require the internet connection on the phone to place calls but for the VoIP to be active on WhatsApp, users will have to switch on the internet. The internet connection on mobile phones also suffers from the same connection problems which are bound to affect the call quality. VoIP calls are heavily dependent on the type of internet connection and if there is even a simple problem with the connection, the call quality immediately takes a beating. This is where mobile calls score higher than the VoIP calls through mobile apps like WhatsApp.

Mobile calls are not under any real threat from the latest smartphone apps like WhatsApp because it still is the most reliable means of communication. Neither is it affected by weather nor does it have to rely on the internet connection for placing calls. Irrespective of the users, the mobile phones can be used for calls by anyone but to run complex apps like WhatsApp, users need to have a level of understanding about using mobile applications. The only real threat would be the cheap call costs that is often associated with VoIP but once this barrier too is overcome by mobile phone companies, apps like WhatsApp will not be able to provide much of a competition.

Author Bio:

Michelle Patterson has been learning and writing about the new IP based communication technologies on One Communication Blog. She loves sharing information about VoIP. Read her post to keep yourself updated.

 

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