Intel Results Climb on Windows XP End of Life

Intel’s results in the PC space improved recently, proof that many are purchasing new systems as they move away from the Windows XP operating system.   One of the important factors in the slow rollover of the XP to more modern OSs is that the economy continues to limp along and people using XP hold on to machines for a very long time.

Tranxition too has seen an uptick and interest in our main product, Migrate7, which migrates user settings and files from XP to Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Here’s the link to the Intel story from TechWeek:   Intel Results

Migrate7 Selected as Migration Tool of Choice by CruxialCIO

We are happy to have been selected as a tool of choice for Windows migrations by CruxialCIO, an important IT blog.

While the content certainly does not rise above a mention, we are in good company.

http://www.cruxialcio.com/7-tools-ease-windows-xp-migration-pain-6415

Where to Obtain Windows 8.1, Update 1

Here’s how you obtain the update to Windows 8.1, Update 1.   Note that in order to receive patches, you’ll need this update.

The Team at Tranxition

 

https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.tomshardware.com/news/microsoft-windows-8-update-patching-modern-ui,26504.html&ct=ga&cd=CAEYBioUMTA0NDQzMTQyMDY5NTMyMzgwNzIyGjI5ZTIxMzBhMTI5ZGE1MzE6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNF6Z3o_jXC7yqc5-66b3n-2GWZGZg

Windows 8.1 Update

OK… so its now official.  This month, Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 Update.

There are three important messages in Windows 8.1 Update’s announcement.

1) The Pin bar is back.

2) You can now kill a program or minimize it again (whew!).  Depending on existing applications to support the new framework was always a risky bet. In reality, it takes most ISVs more than 6 months to a year to support a new OS; especially when Microsoft has not stuck to its guns on its directions so often.

3)  Metro is here to stay.  If you thought that the Windows Classic Interface would come back and Metro would go the way of Walker’s Jamaica Ginger Extract, you were mistaken.  In reality, one can give Microsoft credit for sticking to its direction.  We’ve used Windows 8.1 here on a touch screen HP and its actually quite good. Yes it takes some getting used to. Yes, it could be more obvious to use.  But is it more efficient?  Sometimes.  The Store remains intact, but easier to kill and redirect.

There are some really loud Luddites in the tech world.  It’s a kind of schizophrenia:  people want new capabilities but are wedded to old ways of doing things; they just hate to be intrepid and put the time to master a new approach.

The reception of Windows 8.1 constitutes proof that most people are too busy or unmotivated to learn.  And you can be sure that competitors were out there with jet engines fanning the flames.

If Microsoft had exercised strong risk management at the technology level, they would have already had 8.1 update 1 features in there and turned off long ago.  Then it would have had the option of sending out a configuration update and addressing the issue.   That said, it took guts for Microsoft to do Metro the way it did.  Over here, we can’t say that we are fans of the Redmond company.  But we offer credit where credit is due.

As an aside,  Microsoft rolled out a middle manager to make this announcement.  That’s interesting too.  For something which enabled its enemies to denigrate the company as much as Metro did, rolling out a middle manager (who had the least desirable job in the world this week) makes it seem that no executive in the company wants to be associated with the debacle.  That’s understandable.   But reports of 8.1 being horrible were always greatly exaggerated.

Windows XP Still Going Strong Despite “Logan’s Run”

As we watch the difficult pivot away from older and outdated operating systems, we sit in amazement at the resiliency of Windows XP.   What does the stickiness of Windows XP mean?   In our view, it means that most people are comfortable with how they are using their computers and either don’t know about, or are not interested in, new features as they once were.

Are operating systems too expensive in people’s minds or is it something else?

Why does the cloud not take over more quickly?

See this article:  Windows 8/8.1 Now Holds 10.68% Of Worldwide OS Market Share, Windows XP Still In 29.53% Devices.

Apple offered Mavericks OSX for free this time around. And it’s fascinating to watch both Apple and Microsoft reorienting their OSs towards the cloud.  There is, in our view, more that is analogically similar in their respective approaches than different.

They both:

- have clouds that they have invested heavily in and they want users to use them.
- are making it more ‘difficult’ to keep user settings and data out of the cloud in their default settings.
- organize their installations to make it easy for users to “trip into” the cloud.

 

Apple has even gone so far as to make it nearly impossible to keep iTunes iPhone backups on the local PC in their most recent releases. But while Apple has begun an aggressive process to hand user preferences and settings into the cloud from a user perspective, Microsoft has been much more aggressive in creating cloud technology to represent virtual enterprise, policy-driven environments. And it should.

This is an historic trend happening before our very eyes.  That said, there is much more to be done to make system administrators comfortable with seeing user content hosted and – to some extent controlled – by tech companies.   Custody of data and functionality is important to IT.   (There is a raging battle in physics right now about whether reality is determined more by material existence or variations in an “information field.”   If the information theorists are correct, then controlling data (information) could be materially more important than it’s usually perceived.)

Back to basics;  IT business managers want to see the expense side of IT focused on ways to earn more and spend less on commoditized functions.   Those responsible for IT line management, security, storage, databases and other sub professions are far less sanguine about the direction to outsource the data center.  They wrestle with recent security breaches that have underscored how challenging it is to keep environments secure.  At the same time, putting everyone’s data in the same cloud has also been shown to make “everyone” vulnerable at the same time.   Perhaps it will be the outsourcing of risk itself that will determine the outcome.  Maybe indemnity, insurance, and the ability to blame someone else; in other words, “it wasn’t me!”  will drive IT across the cloud finish line.

Let’s face it, most users just want to get their “stuff” done.  If it’s cloud or local, it matters not much. So much computing happens in the browser these days that perhaps Google’s ChromeOS engineers will be proven mostly right in the end.

X-ing XP

In the end, power users with multiple devices have the most to gain with the new OSs and persona in the cloud.  Those people are not using Windows XP, we surmise.  The real challenge for stragglers on XP is that a number of applications have to be repurchased to work on later version of Windows, if they are available at all.

Additionally, in a “down” economy, people want to keep the old car a few years longer, and they see no good reason to toss a perfectly good PC just to enable more memory and performance.   At the same time, those that do are immediately rewarded with a more modern computing experience.

There’s no question that upgrading from XP is worth it.   Will MS have to play hardball to make it happen?  We think so…

 

KACE 2000 3.6 PC Deployment Device

KACE (Part of Dell) continues to rock the deployment space with the announcement of multi-casting for software images to hundreds of PCs simultaneously.   From CruxialCIO.com:

The new multicasting feature allows companies to deploy system images on up to 250 machines simultaneously.

“With the latest release of our Dell Kace K2000 Deployment Appliance, we offer a smarter approach to systems imaging that will help customers successfully move off Windows XP and be better prepared to handle large-scale deployments across multiple devices and operating systems,” David Kloba, general manager of Endpoint Systems Management for Dell Software, said in a statement.

Traditional imaging was performed by copying disks from machine to machine, Jason Tolu, senior product marketing manager, told CruxialCIO.

“We’ve broken the process down where only a  base image is sent,” he said, noting that the image only goes through the network once.

“Once it gets to router, it splits out,” Tolu explained. “Not only does this make the whole process faster especially as the number of systems goes up,  it also helps with your network bandwidth.”

For enterprises in a significant deployment, a tool like this will save days over other methods.   While the KACE device 2000 still only includes USMT for user state migration, enterprises and their IT service providers should know that they can vastly deepen the user state components transfer by adding Migrate7 in addition to using KACE.   USMT’s Outlook migration, for example, has a map of 99 elements whereas Migrate7′s is 20,000 lines long.  The more settings that are supported, the lower the user disruption and higher quality that result.

That said, we see the inherent and substantial value of multi-casting and applaud KASE/Dell for adding it to their system.

To read the article in the original, go here:http://www.cruxialcio.com/dell-adds-multicasting-task-engine-kace-windows-migration-tool-3992

 

Windows 8.1 Rumored for March 11

Microsoft is reportedly preparing an update to Windows 8.1 for March 11.  It will reportedly allow Metro apps to pinned to the desktop taskbar.  The move anticipates reports that the company will enable Metro apps to run in a window on the desktop in the planned Windows 9.0 to be released in April 2015.

https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.geekwire.com/2014/windows-8-1-update-1-rumored-march-11/&ct=ga&cd=MTA1Mjk2ODI1MzA4ODMxODU2MTY&cad=CAEYAg&usg=AFQjCNFl8Io5_Z0_O5RaexpZ28TPUn8Zkg

Windows XP Phaseout Stirs Malware Fears

One of the most important uses of Tranxition’s user state technology is in the recovery of systems following an attack of malware on a corporate network.   As such, we pay attention to the effects of malware and the evolution of the anti-malware market.  Most of the attention in the antivirus market addresses the effort to raise a wall to detect and remediate infections as they happen.   But as Gen. Curtis LeMay once remarked about defenses against attack in World War II, “the bomber will get through.”    As a result of the open nature of PCs, the typical user is empowered to take actions that can encourage malware penetrations.  As such, most malware depends upon users inadvertently inviting malware onto their devices or visiting websites that inject malware code.

Microsoft’s weekly updates and the daily updates provided by antivirus vendors have made a serious dent in the penetration and stickiness of malware.  With those updates coming to an end, it is imperative to upgrade at this time.  Why?  Fears are increasing that the coming end of Microsoft support for Windows XP, which includes the end of updates, security updates, and vulnerability fixes, will mean an increasing number of infections, a rise in the number of Bot networks, and so on.   For professional and home users that care about the stability, privacy, and security of their computing environments, there literally is no choice but to upgrade to a later or different operating system.

Here is a link to an article addressing XP in Japan.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/01/19/national/windows-xp-phaseout-to-put-13-million-pcs-at-risk-in-japan-experts/

 

Tranxition’s Migrate7 Version 8.6 Released

PORTLAND, OR — January 16, 2014.

Tranxition is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Migrate7 version 8.6.   Migrate 7 Version 8.6 has a number of improvements that will make 8.6 the most trusted solution for enterprise Windows migration.

The solution supports migrations from XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 to Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. This includes 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows.  Additionally, an improved file migration feature, File Rules, now supports more scenarios and delivers better performance.

Migrate7 Version 8.6 includes new content for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, including Folder Options, TaskBar, and Internet Options; plus Windows Libraries and Windows Favorites.  Our new Desktop Files feature works in concert with Desktop Shortcuts to backup and migrate files associated with the Desktop.   An existing feature, Desktop Shortcuts, migrates Shortcuts and Desktop Icons.

Additionally, the new Migrate7 includes support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, Adobe Acrobat Pro XI, and Adobe Acrobat Reader XI.

The product is available for evaluation for 30 days at no cost, immediately.  The retail price remains at $29.99 for one license. Discounts are available for larger orders.  Tranxition affordable maintenance plans include access to all product upgrades.

Migrate7 performs millions of user state migrations every year, saving companies around the globe hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

For more information, to download the evaluation version or to purchase a license, please visit the Tranxition Web Site at http://tranxition.com.

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Windows 9 Cometh

While Windows 8 has been so challenging for Microsoft, news is coming out that the Redmond machine is working hard on an update to Windows 8.1 sometime in 2014.   News is also circulating that a new version of Windows, dubbed “Threshhold,” that may come out as Windows 9.0, is now slated for April 2015.  Tranxition will obviously support these releases as soon as practicable after their release.

The news was published by WinSuperSite.

http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/threshold-be-called-windows-9-ship-april-2015

Most of the time, people are still migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7.  8.1 has improved the migration climate since its release.   Hopefully, the new team at Microsoft will make waves with their new version.  The site reports that Windows 8 has only shipped 25 million copies, which if true underscores the importance that these new releases make the grade with customers.

Apple never went as far with their “metro style” LaunchPad, making it an optional “app” to use with their operating systems.  In retrospect, Apple did not go far enough to make it easier to find and launch apps, they didm”t make the fatal error of making their first iteration a requirement.