Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
From businesses in Southwest Florida, to U.S. government agencies, to schools and universities in Eastern and Central Europe, more and more organizations are moving to Microsoft Office 365. For this suite of software, it’s all about the cloud.
Office 365 is a subscription service that offers hosted email and all the latest office programs such as Word, Excel and Access. Businesses that want to have immediate access to their data at any time in any place where there is an Internet connection are warming up to it.
Office 365’s full office suite includes many of the same types of software programs that you use every day – word processing, spreadsheet, database, Outlook mail, the instant-messaging client Lync, and publishing apps among them. A small business can sign up for an annual subscription for $150 a year for five users. These are full-featured applications plus “extras” that include a shared calendar, a 25GB mailbox with virus and spam protection, and 10 gigabytes of cloud storage space per user. Other per-employee packages are also available.
Office 365 is also proving to be a prudent tool in terms of a business’s budget. Many of our clients are realizing the economic advantage of having software products working off the cloud as opposed to being on-premise: reduced maintenance time and costs, and transfer of liability. That’s because Microsoft maintains the IT servers, not you. So the real savings is not having to service equipment because there is no equipment when you’re hosting in the cloud.
There are many good reasons to look into an annual subscription to Office 365, but it may not make sense for every business. Give us a call, or send an e-mail now, and we’ll set up a consultation to see if Office 365 is right for you.
Friday, October 26th, 2012
The biggest Windows operating system change since Windows 95 is upon us, and CRS Technology Consultants has checked it out. Microsoft Windows 8 hit the stores today and will be standard on nearly all PCs sold to consumers.
Hang on to your mouse and set some time aside to get schooled on it because Windows 8 is a radical change when compared to all other previous Windows systems. Windows 8 gives us a completely different look and feel, as it is designed to be a crossover OS of sorts to play well across all PC laptops, smartphones and tablets – to tie them all together. It’s an all-new touch interface makes it especially suited for mobile devices.
Perhaps the biggest news is that in place of the familiar Start menu and icons, Windows 8 shows applications as an array of colorful tiles, which can feature updated information from the applications. For instance, an image from a user’s social-media contacts will show in the “People” tile, while a photo from a user’s collection will show in the “Photos” tile. And your” News” tile may show an image from The Associated Press, as Microsoft is licensed to use the newswire’s content.
Here are a few details:
• The tiles are big, making it convenient for touchscreen users.
• Applications fill the whole screen, so it’s convenient for tablet users.
• In comparison to Windows 7, the small buttons that surround applications, like for controlling the speaker volume, are hidden. That gives for an uncluttered look, but you’ll have to figure out how to access the buttons. Clean look, yes, but at the sake of obviousness.
• It runs pretty quickly on tablet-style machines, but there is no real power perk for laptops and desktops that have limited processing power (in case you’re thinking of upgrading from an older operating system).
And if you’re buying anew PC and the thought of the OS change really rubs you the wrong way, there’s good news: Windows 8 has an old-school “classic” feature presented as just another app on the Start Screen so you can have your old familiar look back in no time.
The bottom line? It looks like Microsoft is staying relevant in a world where desktop and even laptop usage are declining, and smartphones and tablets are becoming more dominant. Just be ready to spend some time learning the ins, the outs and the quirkiness of Windows 8. Give it some time. That’s progress, right?