Amazon considering to offer office suite
Amazon is planning a possible coup to offer free office suite products to gain market share from Google and Microsoft. Amazon wishes to utilize the power of their AWS platform and in turn that would possible create additional sales. The initial stage is to build on their WorkMail calendar application and the WorkDocs file storage. The two apps, in conjunction with others reportedly currently in development by Amazon may be packaged at some point soon to fight the Microsoft Office 365 and Google G suites.
AWS had an update in 2016 to the AWS AppStream service that allows compatible desktop apps to be run through AWS from any HTML5 compliant device. The AWS suite provides high profits for Amazon which generated roughly 3.5 billion dollars just in the last quarter.
As always you can create a free account with AWS to use their WorkDocs or WorkMail products until you or the company’s storage hits the limitations where a nominal charge is implemented. The cloud application war has begun and will not complete for another year or two especially who is the winner in all of this. Microsoft and Apple have placed storage limitations due to the cost of giving it away. Usually a plan like this is to gain people who will join for free and then issue limitations. Once the people are enjoying the product they usually do not leave and it seems that AWS is looking to do the similar thing.
As always the idea of placing documents on a secured server is one thing but placing it on a cloud could lead to security risks. You can view any Yahoo history for the past few years of hackers gaining access to personal information.
Microsoft Windows 10 Creators Update will prevent bloatware by restricting 32 bit applications.
Microsoft will have a new feature added when the Windows 10 Creators Update is available by preventing what they consider is bloatware, the 32 bit application from being installed by using the Windows Store. There are countless applications still compiled as a 32 bit application and thus will be restricted from being sold via the Windows Store.
This feature is obviously disabled by default, but users can enable it really easily if they want. By providing this feature, users can keep their PC “safe and reliable” by getting a warning whenever they attempt to install a 32 bit application. Microsoft offers two different options for the feature: you can completely prevent installation of Win32 apps, or you can allow users to install them anyway via a dialog box.
For countless applications all this means is that you should have a 64 bit application if the company decides to use the Windows Store option to deliver new software. Adobe Photoshop, Google Chrome, etc. mostly any application you see in the Program Files (X86) indicates that it is a 32 bit while the 64 bit applications reside in the regular program files folder. For companies that had to have the code signing in the Windows application now they are being forced to make a decision whether to support nothing but 64 bit design and development.
End users will not have to do anything but keep the option / feature disabled, which will allow you to not be bothered with the warning. This seems to be either Microsoft forcing the development companies to start preparing to release only 64 bit but then again Microsoft’s ideas sometimes fall to the wayside if there is a push not to use or complain about this option. Click here for additional infomation
Possible Topics at Apple WWDC 2017
Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference is moving to San Jose, Calif. in 2017 where the company will likely introduce new versions of iOS and macOS Sierra as well as a peek at the next generation iPhone. As it has always been it is a love fest for all Apple fans watching and hopefully seeing something inventive that will change the way we live.
- Possible iOS 11 Update – Apple is expected to showcase some improvements in iOS 11, including design tweaks, better handling of notifications and perhaps even multi-user support. Bundled apps also should get updates
- New macOS edition – a new version of Apple’s desktop operating system, macOS. Details on Apple’s plans for macOS are slim, but they could include a slight design update, enhancements to built-in apps such as Safari and Mail and faster performance.
- Apple Music upgrades. Possible better content search and other new features to make it much easier to locate a song.
- Apple new direction into original content. It is possible that Apple TV may get it’s own channel ? Apple already has its first series in the pipeline, “Planet of the Apps,” and is expected to unveil more programming at WWDC.
- Apple Carplay – Since most of us are living in cars traveling to different destinations, Apple knows by putting something into the car that works with their iTunes would be a real big event. They have to quickly get this into play since Android is not in the immediate picture so Apple has a chance to take a major step.
- Apple Smart-Home push – Will homekit get better to allow an iPhone to control the devices as well as your oven ? At the moment Amazon Alexa is a pretty good product at doing things like that with voice control and Apple does have Siri, so we’ll see.
- Health Care – the problem with this will be the HIPPA laws which medical records on a unsecured device will never happen, this is most likely is a nice idea but will take time to implement.
- Apple TV – Apple is dying to get this in everyone’s home but content as well as HD / HDR support is very important.
- Iphone 8 – what can they possibly do to the iphone to make it better and not lose any more market to the Android ? A new design, bigger screen and better battery would be the key features one would think.
Apple has given the world some of the greatest tools to use while away from home and now they want to start getting more integrated into your daily activities. There are only 2 smart phones as previously discussed the Android and Iphone, so Apple knows that they can take the iPhone only up to a certain point. They must start blocking Amazon from taking market from other areas. This will be one of the biggest Apple conferences on what direction they are going towards.
Four steps to reduce the pain of Windows 7 installations using cumulative updates
Excellent article by Ed Bott about reinstalling a fresh Windows 7 machine. A few simple steps and you can cut down the amount of time necessary to install Windows 7. As an technical person the time and effort to reinstall any operating system can be long and boring. Various times in the day you need to stop to review what point you are up to and go back to the other tasks at hand.
Windows 7 celebrates its eighth birthday in 2017. Based on Microsoft there will be a 10-year support plan so the phase out will happen sometime in 2020. There has been numerous updates over the past 8 years so it does take a lot of time to download and install the pieces. As everyone knows there are so many security updates with Windows 7 and the operating system is still very populate with folks. Baron Software still recommends to move over to Windows 10 but if your machine is running fine then wait until a new machine is necessary. On the corporate side it is much more difficult due to the facts that there could be many machines within a company that have to be upgraded.
Bott also provides a link for the users that use an offline image for distribution using different deployment tools.
The biggest thing as time progresses is whether to use the 32 or 64 bit versions. You have to keep that in mind. The time it has taken for everyone to move from 32 bit has been long but we do believe within the next 5 years the 32 bit will go along with the 16 bit.
These simple steps are described in the article by Bott in detail
Step 1: Download the updates you need, before you need them
Step 2: Install Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 without connecting to a network
Step 3: Install the standalone update packages offline
Step 4: Connect to the internet and check for updates
The robot that takes your job should pay taxes, says Bill Gates
Only Bill Gates would come up with something to create a tax system against robot usage. Click here to view the interview for yourself the conversation. After viewing the video the question arises about who or what can be taxed and does this open up a door to things to take away your money. Gates has been a billionaire for years and you wonder if he has way too much time on his hands. This comes from a person who has a heated driveway that melts the snow during the winter months. Based on what Gates mentions it seems he should be taxed from taking jobs from shovel driven folks and using automation to remove the snow.
Mass Production and the Robotic Age
Automation has been in the American industry for the past 40 years, does the car industry get taxed for having robotic machines that build cars on the line or other areas. Click here for the brief history of robotic assembly lines.
Gates tends to come up with some nutty concepts much like the building of farms in Africa but then cried out about global warming due to cutting down the forests. He tends to mean well but as proven over the Microsoft years he tends to generate failures as well. Can someone mention BOB or VISTA ? Gates is looking to hand out his money to charities which is the best thing he can do instead of coming up with ideas of taking other people’s money. As described in books that concerned Gates, he was always one to be cheap and frown on anyone he thought was taking his money. So does that make it right for him to come up with a tax plan ?
The 2017 Microsoft Product Roadmap
The 2017 Microsoft Product Roadmap has been updated and released for the public to view what is going to be coming this year. One large item is the MS SQL Server release for Linux. This alone may open the doors for Microsoft to take over the Linux market from MYSQL who has been the center piece on Linux for years. This year’s product roadmap looks to be a bit less crowded, though major changes are on tap for Microsoft’s productivity solutions, while Windows 10 is poised for another landmark update. https://rcpmag.com/articles/2011/02/01/the-2011-microsoft-product-roadmap.aspx
Microsoft is attacking the Linux arena at this point giving Windows developers the necessary tools to work with MS Code to build Python applications or access a SQL server.
Microsoft Visual Studio 2017
Another major release will be Visual Studio 2017 that will:
- Enhancements to productivity: Visual Studio 2017 features new filtering capabilities in IntelliSense, improvements to navigation and debugging, live code analysis and editing, and the ability to access files without projects.
- More streamlined development for the cloud: “Visual Studio 2017 RC improves DevOps workflows from Git-based version control to making it much simpler to create continuous integration and continuous deployment pipelines,” according to Montgomery.
- Speed and performance improvements: Visual Studio 2017 is faster to install and start up, has a smaller memory footprint, and loads solutions between two to four times faster than its predecessor.
The roadmap looks pretty strong with the different avenues that developers can grow new products and possibly get additional business / profits from. Microsoft also will be delivering a new XBox as well as the Surface Pro 5 so 2017 seems to be a strong Microsoft year to come.
Majority of smartphones run either Android or iOS
Gartner has released their latest findings that most smartphone users have known, you are using Android or iOS. Android and iOS accounted for 99.6 percent of all smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2016. The scale is inching more in favor with Android but it is a pretty bleak picture for Blackberry and Windows Phone. Google and Apple are dominating the industry and with these types of numbers it is next to impossible for any other firm to compete with them.
Of the 432 million smartphones sold in the last quarter, 352 million ran Android (81.7 percent) and 77 million ran iOS (17.9 percent), but what happened to the other players? Well, in the same quarter, Windows Phone managed to round up 0.3 percent of the market, while BlackBerry was reduced to a rounding error. The once-great firm sold just over 200,000 units, amounting to 0.0 percent market share.
Just 3 years ago, Gartner and Microsoft thought they were going to take over the market but as you can see that is further from the truth. BlackBerry would still be hanging around as sizable (if small) player but to be quite honest it seems that the writing is on the wall for these 2 products. The belief is that Blackberry will disappear very soon and the bottom line on Windows Phone is coming as well in 2017.
The smartphone market continues to shift into making a device that is used for almost everything in life. So predictions for any future mobile OS that will compete against these two most likely will never happen. Th e only issue as you can see is that there are only 2 vendors, will new capabilities continue to come out or do we have the best we are going to get for the years to come.
Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan for your database (SQL)
Idera recently had a fantastic webinar that went over the creation of a disaster recovery plan concerning your databases. This should be a high critical piece of work usually done by DBAs within a company. Let’s go over a simple set of plans that depending on the type of company you are dealing with, can be done either large or small.
- Backups. All backups should be done with incremental or full backups of your database. There should be a protected network folder that contains the incremental in one and the full backups (usually done once a week) in a separate folder. An incremental is a backup that contains only a snapshot of transactions that are done during a day while a full backup contains the entire database.
- Data model. A data model provides a visual as well as a detailed layout of each database / table that provides a method for someone to read and understand how the data is stored. It can be noted as a roadmap that contains the relationships between the tables within the database as well as the keys / indexes that work with the tables.
- User security profiles. Each DBA should have a listing of the usernames / passwords in a safe area. In the event a fellow member leaves but they had the password on a specific database you now possibly have the way in. There are numerous companies that tend to not have that and during the exit interviews it becomes lost.
- Contact listing of people. The contact list contains the individuals that have to be notified if a database is corrupted and has to be repaired or restored from the backups. You can set the priority of each person as well.
- Checklist. By having a checklist of what to do in the event of a DRP it will keep you focus on getting everything back up and running. One missed step could push you back thus delaying the recovery.
- Backup life cycles. Each company is different and whether the backups are taken off site for now long and when are they removed / erased. You have to plan this out and the usually lifecycle is between 3 months to a year.
These are only minor steps but at least they do enforce a DRP that any DBA needs to have in place prior to the disaster happening.
Happy 15th Birthday .NET!
Today marks the 15th anniversary since .NET debuted to the world. On February 13th, 2002, the first version of .NET was released as part of Visual Studio.NET. Microsoft was building its “Next Generation Windows Services” and unleashed a new level of productivity with Visual Studio.NET. Since the beginning, the .NET platform has allowed developers to quickly build and deploy robust applications, starting with Windows desktop and web server applications in 2002. You got an entire managed framework for building distributed Windows applications, ASP.NET was introduced as the next generation Active Server Pages for web-based development, and a new language, C# came to be.
With the release of Visual Studio 2017 coming on March 7th and Visual Studio’s 20th anniversary, .NET Core tools reach 1.0. Tune in March 7th and watch the keynote and live Q&A panels. The biggest question for developers will be the Visual Studio 2017 release whether to go with the community or professional version.
Happy Birthday to Delphi at 22 years and counting
Well with the next release, “Godzilla – Tokyo” currently in beta testing and getting prepared to support Linux servers, there is no better way then to shout out a happy birthday to Delphi.
Delphi was originally developed by Borland as a rapid application development tool for Windows as the successor of Turbo Pascal. Delphi added full object-orientation to the existing language, and since then the language has grown and supports many other modern language features, including generics and anonymous methods, as well as unusual features such as inbuilt string types and native COM support. Delphi and its C++ counterpart, C++Builder, share many core components, notably the IDE, the Visual Component Library (VCL), and much of the RTL, and are compatible with each other: C++Builder 6 and onwards can consume Delphi-language files and C++ in the one project, and packages compiled with C++Builder written in C++ can be used from within Delphi. In 2007, the products were released jointly as RAD Studio. RAD Studio is a shared host for Delphi and C++Builder, and can be purchased with either or both.
Delphi, part of RAD Studio, includes a code editor with Code Insight(code completion), Error Insight (real-time error-checking), and other features; refactoring; a visual forms designer for both VCL (native Windows) and FMX (cross-platform, partially native per platform); an integrated debugger for all platforms including mobile; source control (SVN, git, and Mercurial); and support for third-party plugins. It has strong database support. Delphi is remarkably fast to compile: unlike any other common languages, including C# and Swift, it is not unusual for a Delphi project of a million lines to compile in a few seconds – one benchmark gave 170,000 lines per second. It is under active development, with (in 2016) releases every six months, with new platforms being added approximately every second release.
Baron Software have used the product since the beginning with their award winning applications thanks to Delphi which is the best RAD solution available today. Happy Birthday with much more to come.