Lexicon Systems, LLC Blog

lex'•i•con: the vocabulary of a branch of knowledge. Thoughts on environment, health & safety (EHS), sustainability and information technology to support them.


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With Windows XP End of Support, Chromebooks are a popular option to Windows PCs

Now that Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, organizations that still use the 13-year-old operating system (OS) must face reality–at some point, they must upgrade their OS, and likely their computer. When Microsoft released Windows XP to market, more organizations provided desktop than laptop computers. Using a laptop meant sacrificing features and forking over more dollars to gain mobility.

Those who have yet to “sunset” Windows XP no longer need to be tethered to their desks (See: Windows XP Sails into the Sunset… Maybe). A world of technologies became available (and affordable) since 2001, notably:

  • Wireless networks (WiFi) and Mobile hotspots (MiFi)
  • Lightweight notebook computers
  • Smartphones, tablets and apps
  • Social networks, Cloud applications and data storage
  • More power-efficient chips and hours of operation between charges
  • Solid state “flash” drives
Image: hp

Image: hp

Windows XP End of Support lets organizations rethink their IT strategies. Businesses and educational institutions alike can consider alternative Windows , Mac and Google OS and hardware. Chromebooks are a popular option, with their simplicity and low entry cost of $275 to $300 USD.

Read 10 Reasons Today’s Chromebooks Look Like a Smart Mobile PC Buy.

 

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Gartner lists top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013

At its Symposium IT Expo in Orlando this week, Gartner analyst David Cappuccio laid out 10 critical tech trends and technologies for the next 5 years.

Cappuccio said that in the last minute, people sent 204 million emails, listened to 61,000 hours of music Pandora, viewed 20 million photos and uploaded 3 million uploads to Flickr,  sent 100,000 tweets, viewed 6 million Facebook posts, logged in to 277,000 Facebook accounts, and performed 2 million plus Google searches.

The trends clearly point to Mobile, Cloud and Internet. In fact, they capture 5 of the top 10 spots for next year. The top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013 are:

  1. Mobile devices battles. In 2013 more people will access the Internet by mobile device than by PC.
  2. Mobile applications and HTML5. JavaScript and HTML5 will become the mainstream app development environment.
  3. Personal Cloud. The Cloud and Cloud services will become more important with increased use and the need to sync several mobile devices.
  4. Internet of things. An increased number of “things” with sensors will connect to the Internet.
  5. Hybrid IT and Cloud computing. The trend towards increasing information managed in hybrid and Cloud applications allows IT departments to take on a coordination role.
  6. Strategic big data. To make strategic decisions, organizations need to aggregate and analyze data from multiple internal and external sources. This differs from the single data warehouse approach.
  7. Actionable analytics. Big data and analytics meet in the Cloud to allow rapid analysis and simulations. People will be able to conduct analysis via mobile devices.
  8. Mainstream in-memory computing. Increased memory capability can improve performance and decrease response time. New software will take advantage of memory capabilities and will allow self-service analytics.
  9. Integrated ecosystems. Software and services will be packaged as “appliances” to address infrastructure or application workload.
  10. Enterprise app stores. Organizations will deliver business applications through private app stores.


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Planned obsolescence

Today I was reminded–again–of how things just don’t last the way they used to. We tried to repair a 2 1/2-year-old desktop computer that bit the dust. The extended warranty ran out at 2 years. So, it was back to the “big box” store to recycle yet another nonfunctional big ticket item.

Per Wikipedia, planned obsolescence is the concept of designing a product with a limited useful life, so that it will become obsolete after some time. This concept favors the manufacturer and stimulates the economy when consumers must purchase a new item to replace the obsolete one. Forms of planned obsolescence in the IT arena include

  • technical or functional obsolescence, where new technologies replace the old. Great examples are personal computers, software, hard drives and storage. A PC can last through about one operating system upgrade, or 3-4 years, before it lacks the speed and memory to run the latest software.
  • systemic obsolescence, where the product can no longer be maintained, and/or the manufacturer stops supporting it. With PCs, Microsoft will support Windows 2-3 versions back. When Windows 8 debuts this week, organizations and consumers will have a limited time to replace systems running Windows XP, which no longer will be supported a number of months from now.
  • obsolescence by depletion, where the product consumes a resource. All printers consume ink/toner, as well as items like print heads, belts and fusers. When my latest ink jet printer needed a set of four new print heads, it was less costly to buy a brand new one. I received a $50 credit for turning in an old printer, and got a replacement with new ink, new print heads and several technical refinements, including “e-printing” from smartphones and tablets and remote PCs.

Admittedly, the desktop computer did not fall neatly into any of these three categories–it simply stopped working, and a $100 1TB hard drive did not fix the problem. But it simply did not last even the 3-4 years we expected. At the same time, we have a fully functional computer that’s 13 years old. We upgraded the operating system a couple of times and installed a DVD drive years ago. It keeps on running.

 


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Windows 8 debuts in October

The Windows Experience Blog earlier this year said,

“With Windows 8, the whole experience of Windows has been reimagined. It’s designed to work on a wide range of devices, from touch-enabled tablets, to laptops, to desktops and all-in-ones. We’ve designed Windows 8 to give you instant access to your apps, your files, and the information you care about most so you can spend less time navigating and more time doing what you actually want to do. You can move between Windows 8 PCs easily and access your files and settings from virtually anywhere. We’ve made touch a first-class experience and navigating with a mouse and keyboard fast and fluid. And just like Windows 7, reliability and security features are built in. It’s the best of Windows 7, made even better.”

Don’t spend too much time looking for the familiar “Start” button, because it’s gone. The new interface displays boldly colored tiles that you can customize to put the information you need at your fingertips—literally, as Windows 8 works on touch screen devices as well as PCs with keyboards.