The (near-term) future of computer technology – Microsoft versus Google

The crystal ball is still foggy, but here are my thoughts on Microsoft versus Google and (what I believe is) the battle for world domination.  (Microsoft sales are around $77B, primarily from Windows software (25%), business software (32%), and server software (25%); Google is about $55B with approximately 87% of its revenue from advertising.)

Notice, I did not include Apple:  The big play is between Microsoft and Google and it is occurring across multiple lines:

  • Google (search) versus Bing
  • Microsoft Office versus Google Apps
  • Google Android versus Microsoft Windows

Google (search) versus Bing

In the search-engine market, there is no comparison with Google (#1) capturing an average of 67% of monthly queries in the US while Bing (#2) captures only 17%.  In search, queries equate to advertising revenue, the heart of Google’s success.  (Search is currently not a significant part of Microsoft’s sales.)

Google’s familiar, plain-white background seems functional, but also trendy with the occasional changes to the GOOGLE moniker.  Bing’s full-screen, image-based background usually displays beautiful vistas or current events; the scrollable “Popular Now” bar across the bottom adds an items-of-interest aspect.

Bing (aka Microsoft) suggests comparing the two via www.BingItOn.com.

Winner (by a wide margin) is Google; Bing is interesting, but it will take some major work to break Google’s dominance in this area.

Microsoft Office versus Google Apps

When it comes to productivity applications; Microsoft Office 2013 owns the market at 92% while the newer Office 365, Microsoft’s Cloud-based answer to Google Apps, exceeds $1B per year.  (For details, please see the April 19, 2013Forbes article athttp://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2013/04/19/microsoft-shakes-off-pc-slump-as-office-and-servers-sales-swell/.)

Microsoft continues to focus on Office 365; pricing now starts at $96 per year, new features have been added, and partners can sell this service directly to users.

Although Microsoft productivity applications dominate on the desktop, Google Apps is a serious contender to Office 2013 and Office 365 with an estimated 33% to 50% share of Cloud-based productivity apps.  The primary difference: Google Apps was Cloud-based from the start; it doesn’t have all of the features of Microsoft Office, but is relevant on more platforms, is free to consumers, and costs just $50 per

year for users of Google Apps for Business.

So, Google Apps plays well in a heterogeneous, consumer/small-business world.  Also, Google has moved its popular Postini anti-spam service into Google Apps, a move that has angered and confused many of its (former) Postini clients, but one that makes sense from the perspective of beefing up Google Apps for Business to battle against Office 365.

For details, please see the 4/23/2013 article by Kurt Mackie of Redmond Magazineat http://redmondmag.com/articles/2013/04/23/gains-for-google-in-cloud-office.aspx?sc_lang=en.  To compare Office 365 to Google Apps, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBtYFM6Zy0o

Winner (by a strong, but potentially diminishing margin) is Microsoft; Microsoft dominates the desktop, but mobile users are changing the landscape.

Google Android versus Microsoft Windows

In terms of projected sales of mobile devices, Google’s Android (DROID) owns the market at 79% while Microsoft Windows is at just 3.3%.  However, if you include desktop computers, a declining market, Windows is still prevalent across organizations throughout the world.

Google introduced Android in 2007; it is a Linux-based, open-source operating system designed for touchscreen devices.  Its strength is its robustness and ease-of-use, which led to a brisk rate of adoption by users and application developers.

Windows 8 was introduced in October of 2012.  It was designed to be compatible with its predecessors (Windows XP and Windows 7) while introducing a touch-enabled, tile-based, user interface that has been more frustrating than enabling.  To date, it has failed to meet even modest expectations.  (Windows 8.1, a free, significant upgrade to Windows 8, will release on October 17th with the hope of changing this trend.)

Currently a draw if you include both mobile devices and desktop computers:  Microsoft owns the desktop while Google owns mobile devices; Windows 8.1 provides hope, but might be too little too late to penetrate the mobility market.

If nothing else, expect prices to decrease as the competition heats up.

Bryley Basics: Getting you informed in 100 words or less

Tips on email attachments

Most folk send attachments with their emails; it is a quick, easy way to share a file with the email recipient.  However, attachments can have a negative impact on your computer-network infrastructure:

  • Emails saved with attachments consume storage.
  • Large attachments slow performance and may be rejected by the provider.
  • Attachments copied to a distribution list (a group of email users) are copied multiple times, once for each user, which can impact network bandwidth.

In addition, emails received with attachments should be treated cautiously, since attachments may become sources of infection.  Basic suggestions when receiving:

  • Do not open if the sender is unknown or suspect.
  • Limit total attachments to under one Gb; zip files greater than one Gb.

 

 

Security concern with popular, home-based, Internet routers

Independent Security Evaluators, a Baltimore-based security firm, stated that 13 Internet routers sold for home use were vulnerable to attack if the hacker had network access and could obtain the username and password of the router.  These routers include:

  • Linksys WRT310v2
  • Netgear’s WNDR4700
  • TP-Link’s WR1043N
  • Verizon’s FiOS Actiontec MI424WR-GEN3I
  • D-Link’s DIR865L
  • Belkin’s N300, N900 and F5D8236-4 v2 models

Basic suggestions:

  • Check to see if your home-based Internet modem/router is named above.  If so, check with the manufacturer to ensure that all security updates have been applied.
  • Change the login credentials using a complex password.  (Please review the article “Simple passwords = disaster” in our January 2013 Bryley Tips and Information.)

 

ComputerWorld.com — Popular Home Routers Contain Critical Security Vulnerabilities has the full story by Jeremy Kirk at ComputerWorld.

HP still top PC manufacturer worldwide in a slowing market

Despite internal issues, HP remained the top manufacturer of PCs worldwide in Q4 of 2012 followed by Lenovo (the Chinese firm that purchased IBM’s PC business in 2005) and then Dell. Overall, PC shipments dropped 6.4% from Q4 of 2011.

Dan Reisinger of eWeek notes that Q4 of 2012 is the first time in five years where the PC market declined; possibly due to economic conditions or the increasing popularity of tablets. Other potential factors noted by Mr. Reisinger:

  • Declining innovation in PCs
  • PCs last longer, slowing replacement
  • PCs are a boring commodity, no longer competing for mainstream interests

Go to HP tops Lenovo in lackluster PC market for the full briefing from Lance Whitney at CNet News. Visit HP barely maintains PC lead over Lenovo in Q4, says IDC for a related article from Sharon Gaudin at ComputerWorld. Visit PC Sales Persistently Declining: 10 Reasons Why for more from Don Reisinger of eWeek.

Preview into Microsoft Office 2013

In addition to Windows 8, I have also been using Office 2013 over the past few months; I like some things, but not everything:
• Excel updates ripple slowly down the page; they seemed to run a bit faster in previous versions.
• The top-right Window icons have shifted somewhat; the Minimize icon ( _ ) is now in the middle rather than on the left while the Help icon is now on the left.
Since I rarely use the Help icon, but occasionally use the Minimize icon, I dislike this change

Booting Windows 8 into Safe Mode

Safe Mode is useful for diagnosing PC problems. Because Windows 8 starts quickly, you cannot get into Safe Mode by pressing [F8] during the boot-up process (as you could with previous versions of Windows). The new procedure:

  • Go to Settings and then select Power
  • Hold [Shift] and then press Restart to open System Recovery Options
  • Select Troubleshoot from System Recovery Options
  • Select Advanced options
  • Select Startup Settings
  • Enable Safe Mode

$295 Raised for Hudson Charities by Bryley Systems Inc. and Yours for Children, Inc.

Bryley Systems and Yours for Children together raised $295 for the Hudson Food Bank and the Hudson Boys & Girls Club.  The money was generated through a free giveaway of refurbished PCs in exchange for the suggested donation of $35 to either Hudson non-profit organization.  

With the generous contribution of 9 used PCs by Yours for Children, Bryley Systems was able to rebuild and provide the PCs for the donations.  Not only did the swap prove successful, but it also promotes a greener solution to the removal of office equipment via renewal and recycling.  Bryley Systems has performed this PC-for-donations fundraising twice in 2012 and approximately annually since October 2002 and this will not be the last time that such a fundraising strategy is demonstrated.

Yours for Children, a nonprofit Massachusetts sponsor of the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program is located at 303-313 Washington Street in Auburn, MA.  Bryley Systems, a Managed IT Service Provider, is located at 12 Main Street in downtown Hudson.

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Garin Livingston, Bryley’s Senior Tech, rebuilds donated PCs.

http://www.wbjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130218/PRINTEDITION/130219952/0/FRONTPAGE

 

Job Promotion at Bryley Systems

I am very pleased to announce that Michelle Denio has been promoted to the position of Administrative Support Technician. Michelle is a key member of Bryley’s Technical Service Department and with this new expanded role she will be able to use her expertise and knowledge of Bryley’s clients to everyone’s advantage.   Congratulations!!!!

52_BryleySystems2

 

Hudson Sun

System Builders Await Surface’s Impact

Gavin Livingstone, President of Bryley Systems, talks to Channel Pro Networkabout Microsoft’s Surface tablet.  Read the full article System Builders Await Surface’s Impact

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Garin Livingstone Passes his Windows 7 Exam!

Congrats Garin Livingstone, Bryley Systems Senior Tech, for successfully completing and passing your Windows 7 configuring class and test!!! image