SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Millions of people are still running Windows XP

By: John Zorabedian    

It’s been two years since Microsoft ended support for Windows XP, the popular operating system that’s been around since 2001 and which many people just don’t seem willing to let goWindowsXP

Microsoft did about all it could to drag XP-ers into the present with pop-up warnings urging them that they need to upgrade, and a free migration tool to help people transfer their files and settings to Windows 7 or Windows 8.

It’s not merely that Microsoft wants to get everybody onto the latest version of Windows, although it has certainly gone to great lengths recently to get people to upgrade to Windows 10, whether they want to or not.

But as we at Naked Security repeatedly warned XP users, the end of support means “zero-days forever,” because those vulnerabilities will never be patched – and XP computers are sitting ducks for cybercriminals to attack.

And yet there are still millions of XP computers connecting to the internet, where all manner of malware is waiting to pounce.

Windows XP was still running on 10.9% of all desktops as of March 2016, according to stats compiled by Net Applications.

To put that in perspective, according to Net Applications’ figures, Windows XP is still the third-most popular desktop OS, trailing only Windows 7 (51.9%) and Windows 10 (14.2%).

And there are more PCs running XP than Windows 8.1 (9.6%), and all versions of Mac OS X combined (7.8%).

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O365/Win10 Roadshow: NYC Applause, ATL and CHI This Week!

O365/Win10 Roadshow: NYC Applause, ATL and CHI This Week!

Like the primary elections, the Office 365 / Windows 10 workshops are coming fast and furious in March. Last week over 110+attendees enjoyed and applauded Grant Thompson’s amazing independent outside-looking-in view of Office 365 and Windows 10.

“Thank you for putting on the 2016 Road Show. I especially want to thank Grant Thompson for his presentations, both the formal topics and side discussions answered many questions I had about Windows 10 deployments, Azure AD, Office 365 implementation and the CSP program. The AppRiver and Webroot presentations were enlightening also. It was a very worthwhile day.”

Doug Steinschneider, DCS Group, Fairfield, CT

new york feb29 roadshow

“Harry, I went to this event with Marc Harrison It was one of the best events I"ve attended in a while. Within 90 minutes - I gained enough value to make the trip worth my time…the vendors / speakers were top notch. Thanks.” Joe

Please join us this week in Atlanta and Chicago – followed by Washington DC and Carolette! The workshops are complimentary and all geek, all the time. Discover more here: http://2016roadshow.smbnation.com/

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Super Monday – Roadshow in NYC Feb 29th and BEYOND!

This is the all of those starting up – attending our roadshow workshops is a great first step!

Until I sat down to write this update on our Office 365/ Windows 10 Roadshow, I hadn’t truly thought about us behaving similarly to a political campaign in the Spring primary season, but there are some parallels. We launched last Tuesday in our own state (favorite son) in Redmond. The capable audience enjoyed the expert content delivery from our own Grant Thompson was not only well-received but the launch feedback has allowed us to update the curriculum. That’s a common training function – improve the content for each city moving forward.

redmondpizza

Attendees enjoying PIZZA UP at our Redmond workshop - February 23rd! 

Another parallel is that we’re road warriors on a roadshow. We’re going from state-to-state over the next few months. The full schedule is here. There is still time to sign-up for New York as it’s Monday, February 28, 2016. So click over and sign-up for the following future dates:


• New York City, February 29th
• Atlanta, March 9th
• Chicago, March 11th
• Washington DC, April 12th
• Charlotte, April 14th
• Phoenix, May 10th 
• Los Angles, May 31st
• San Francisco, June 2nd

So we focus on the technical aspects of Office 365 and Windows 10 in our roadshow workshops. Perhaps the most popular speech was the Office 365 Security speech. Timely, spot on and ready for consumption. 
Join us – the event is complimentary. Discover more and sign up here: http://2016roadshow.smbnation.com/

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Office 365 Security Blues – Roadshow Content Added

When having conversations with long-time SMB Nation peeps, those steeped in Small Business Server (SBS), the mere mention of Office 365 brings a response focused on security concerns. We got the message and received the memo. So based on popular (and I’d add populist) demand, we’ve added a security lecture to our popular Office 365 and Windows 10 roadshow.

 349 X 115 MOD REG RND2

So building a wall to keep the bad guys out isn’t completely realistic (although a firewall is LOL), our expert speaker Grant Thompson does touch on important Office 365 Officesecuritysecurity topics (listed below) that you might not have considered. In fact, I’ll go so far as to assert we are offering content that includes something for everyone and more importantly, something YOU DO NOT KNOW! In fact, if you honestly knew everything in this lecture, we’ll refund your workshop fee. That would be very easy as the workshop is complimentary LOL!

Office 365 security topics:

  • Encrypted Data at Rest and in Transit 
  •  Automated operations and Just-In-Time Access
  • Everything is designed to Fail
  • Customer LockBox
  • Data Loss Prevention 
  •  Information protection using RMS
  •  RMS OneDrive for Business Sync 
  •  Sync block for non-domain PCS
  •  Enteprise Mobility and Security Suite: Discussion and Demo! 
  •  Four Layer End-to-End Security 
  •  Compliance – CJIS standards 
  •  Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics
  • Hybrid Identity
  • Common Identity and Access Problem 
  •  Manage your external identities 
  •  Windows Azure Active Directory Premium
  • Device and Application Protection via Intune

We take our responsibility as a independent ombudsman seriously representing you. Therefore, we hope we’ve earned your trust and more importantly your desire to attend one of our workshops traveling the US this spring.

You can learn more here: http://2016roadshow.smbnation.com/.

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Breaking News – 2016 Readership Results!

Thank you for participating in our 2016 Readership Survey – it’s good for us and good for you. Here are the results:

Nearly 2/3 of you defined yourself as MSPs at 62.84%. The remaining responses included break-fix, consultant, system integrator, business consultant and ISV.

Technical content areas you are interested in, in order of strength, are: Office 365, Windows 10, and Windows Server. As you can see in the figure, AWS, Azure and Skype are less popular topics for you.

Not surprisingly, with respect to segments, you want coverage on the small and medium business (SMB) area. You are not interested in government and education. Enterprise, home and consumer were all tied for a distant second.

In terms of general areas, you were very interested in more coverage of SECURITY! Second was legacy technologies and third was cloud. Losers included Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) with both topics tied for last.

Your interests in “styles” was won by the “How To…Business” category followed by a tie with “How To…Technical” and stories on products and services. The notion of “Best of” contests finished a distant last.

When it came to social topics, you want more coverage on Start-ups, Shutdowns and Start-overs. The good news is that we’re closely listening to you and intend to make these area(s) pillars of our coverage in 2016! Tied for second was industry hiring and firings and gossip (lawsuits, etc.). Last place goes to political coverage. I thought political coverage might be a bit higher with the 2016 election year in the US.

Finally, a couple of standout comments included desire for an improvement in our newsletter being displayed on mobile devices, Hybrid Exchange/O365 articles and more technical content. There was also a shout-out to SharePoint. One person shared that “I expect this to provide content related to my work and revenue streams.”

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Windows 10 + Office 365 & Special Topics = Immediate Knowledge Power!

Thu, Nov 19, 2015 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PST

Presented by: & Harry Brelsford CEO of SMB Nation and Grant Thompson Founding Partner MG Technology Group

Join us for Part III of our three-part webinar series focused on Windows 10.

In this installment, we direct our expertise to discussing Office 365 integrations with Windows 10 plus a host of special topics that have accumulated over the first two webinars.  Windows 10

Topics include:

  • Windows 10 with Office 365 is the Azure AD Join
  • Any special reason why you are still using Office 2013 instead of Ofiice 2016? 
  • What’s the current state of OneDrive storage with Windows 10 and Office 365? 
  • Can you have both a personal and business OneDrive? 
  • What is the difference Windows Home and Windows Business SKUs? 
  • Windows Media Center was removed form Windows 10. Does Microsoft plan to make it available in any way or is there a workaround to regain that functionality? 
  • Is there a Windows 10 Certification exam available yet?
  • What about the Microsoft "snooping" in Windows 10 and other security concerns?
  • Through Virtualization - can I control two simultaneous outgoing audio streams (two disparate audio jacks/cards) 
  • And MUCH MORE…

Also remember since your customers are attending, you can register this event with Microsoft Community Connections and receive giveaway software and materials

349 X 115 MOD REG RND2

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Deploying Windows 10 Webinar / Thursday Nov 12, 2015 12 PM - 1 PM PST

Presented by: Harry Brelsford CEO of SMB Nation & Grant Thompson Founding Partner of MG Technology Group

Want to learn more about Windows 10? Wondering where to find the information? Sign up here! 

Join us next Thursday for an educational webinar on Deploying Windows 10. - windows 10 logo

This webinar will take you through Windows10 deployment from an outside-looking-in independent expert viewpoint. Needless to say, there are new and updated ways to deploy Windows 10. In this session, we review new recommendations for upgrading existing devices using a simple in-place upgrade process, provisioning tools for transforming new devices into ones ready for enterprise use, as well as updates to traditional deployment tools and techniques (ADK and beyond). We also talk about application compatibility, hardware requirements, and other common deployment questions.

Bottom Line: You’ll learn about the new release cycle, Azure AD, upgrade paths and scenarios, dynamic provisioning, and more. And can you really run Windows 10 on a stick?
Be sure to invite your customers to show them how the Windows 10 solutions can help them operate more efficiently and empower them to grow their business.

Also remember since your customers are attending, you can register this event with Microsoft Community Connections and receive giveaway software and materials.

349 X 115 MOD REG RND2

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Ten Killer Features in Windows 10 / SMB Nation Webinar!

Sign up today! SMB Nation Webinar 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PDT. Thursday, November 5th

Presented by: Harry Brelsford CEO of SMB Nation & Grant Thompson Founding Partner of MG Technology Group

This session will take you through what’s best in Windows 10. Expert Grant Thompson will filter out the “noise” so customers receive “signal” and are immediately productive at the end of this one hour investment.windows 10 logo

Discover:
01. The Start button (Yah!)
02. Windows Store Apps
03. Cortana
04. Edge Browser
05. Virtual desktops/Task View
06. Action Center
07. Core Apps – Revamped and Revised!
08. Xbox….yes….Xbox!
09. Continuum (not the RMM company – a touchscreen-ism)
10. Unified Settings - sorta

Be sure to invite your customers to show them how the Windows 10 solutions can help them operate more efficiently and empower them to grow their business.

Also remember since your customers are attending, you can register this event with Microsoft Community Connections and receive giveaway software and materials.

Registrationhttps://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1312087581753858

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Microsoft Unveils New Windows 10 Devices, Surface Book

By Jeffrey Schwartz, Redmond Channel Partner Magazine - 

Microsoft showcased its own new hardware products for Windows 10 at a recent New York event.

Inviting media, analysts and Windows Insiders, the company rolled out two new Lumia phones, an upgrade to its Surface Pro line and the company's debut into the high-end laptop market with the new Surface Book. The hardware rollouts put some metal around Windows 10, which originally launched back in July.windows 10 logo

Microsoft described today's product launches as the "beginning of a new era" for Windows. The company also will support upcoming product rollouts by its key OEM partners, including Dell, Hewlett Packard, Acer, Asus, Fujitsu, Panasonic, LG and Toshiba.

The biggest surprise was the introduction of the new 13.5-inch Surface Book. It's a convertible laptop and tablet that Microsoft officials claim can run 12 hours on a single charge and is two times more powerful than a MacBook Pro. "It redefines everything you would expect in a laptop," said Panos Panay, Microsoft's Surface VP, describing it as "the ultimate laptop" too many times to count.

The Surface Book starts at $1,499 for an i5-based system using the new Intel Core 6 processor with 8GB of RAM and scales up to an i7-based system with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB drive, both supporting optional Nvidia GPUs. The Surface Book is targeted at artists, engineers and gamers who require significant processing power. When the top part is removed from the keyboard to function as a "clipboard," it weighs 1.6 pounds; with the keyboard, it weighs 3.5 pounds. The device has a 13.5-inch 10 point multitouch PixelSense display that renders up to 6 million pixels at 267DPI, Panay said. "There's nothing close to it," he said. A new Surface Pen supports 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity. "If you look at a photo on it, it will look real, if you look at a video it'll immerse you," Panay said. The top-end system will cost a hefty $2,699.

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D&H offers VAR programs for Win10

Tech distributor D&H Distributing announced today it’s offering new programs, services and training opportunities to support resellers after the recent release of Windows 10. dandh

Its support for VARs includes Windows 10-oriented webcasts and seminars, a Windows 10 Partner Services marketing template and support from D&H’s Microsoft experts on its Solutions Team.

“We’ve had a Windows 10 upgrade path in place for VARs for some time,” said Jeff Davis, senior vice president of sales at D&H Distributing. “We’re looking to support our resellers regarding the new operating system, whether that means helping them educate end-users about new features, identifying the more familiar characteristics of the system, or supporting upgrades and greenfield installations. Based on the responses we’ve gotten to our current trainings, there is huge interest in the channel. We want our VARs to be on top of this transition, reengaging with their end-customers to further entrench themselves as trusted IT providers.”

D&H’s Windows 10 resources are available here.

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