The complete guide to using Windows 10 in Education

The complete guide to using Windows 10 in Education

This holiday season, teachers and IT professionals will be enjoying some much needed time off. But, we know your 2016 planning doesn’t stop, not even over the holidays. So we’ve prepared some extra holiday reading material, focused on one of the biggest questions for schools: should you upgrade to Windows 10? 

Read on to see how Windows 10 Education is transforming the classroom.

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A 12-week plan for launching Microsoft Office 365

A 12-week plan for launching Office 365

Picture this: your company has dozens of locations, spread across thousands of miles. You’ve just acquired a few new organizations, each having its own unique communications solutions. You’ve grown, you’ve gotten bigger — but you’re officially a business with no communications or collaboration standards.

As you can imagine, this poses a problem.

At Softchoice, we didn’t have to imagine this scenario. This was our reality just a few months ago. We needed a way to connect the entire organization, closer together. After weeks of collaboration vision sessions and research, identifying what was most important for us as a whole, we finally had a roadmap of the technology solution we needed. Part of the collaboration roadmap included a more prevasive use of Lync and complementary Office 365 capabilities.

Once you’ve done your own due diligence, you need a plan to get there. And Softchoice is ready to provide it.

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SPLA: How do you license a product when it gets deleted?

How do you license a product when it gets deleted?

“Why is this product no longer available?”

This is a question that I’m asked, usually around the time when clients are about to report on licenses, and they no longer see a product that you have been licensing for some time.

Over time, the range of products included in the SPUR and the SPLA price list has changed… and it will change again in the future.

So when a product is deleted from the SPLA program, how do you know whether you may continue to license it?

The program rules are as follows:

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4 Things to Do Once You’ve Migrated Away from Windows XP

4 Things to Do Once You've Migrated Away from Windows XP

You’ve completed your migration away from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8 — now what? One thing we know for sure: the industry has evolved and it isn’t reasonable to expect we will stay on this version of the OS for the next ten years. It was a good run. Let’s move on.

You’ll know an IT project is complete when another one is starting
A new model of OS updates calls for regular and consistent updates. No more waiting for service packs. No more waiting for R2. The updates will be regular and rich. We will want them. Our users will demand them. A new system of devices from tablets, to the Microsoft Surface, to our trusty iOS devices to stuff that hasn’t even been thought up yet will capture the imagination of our users and deliver heartburn to the IT manager. Deep breaths. The features available to our new spectrum of devices are changing…frequently…and our users will no longer tolerate a decade of treading water. We need to supply a better desktop experience.

The emergence of the consumerization of IT and BYOD philosophies has led to a proliferation of devices, and these enable capabilities that simply weren’t possible with XP. This means new ideas are required to keep some control and sanity. That is, however, unless you are have been awarded a gigantic budget increase and a ton of extra head count to help you manage the new stuff that is rolling our week after week.

If you have a huge budget increase and a slew of new people to hire in IT to help you, stop reading. Good job. You are in great shape. SneakerNet will serve you, and your ridiculously growing budget will serve you well for the foreseeable future. Nice work. Well played.

For the rest of us, with slashed budgets and shrinking staff counts, let’s see what we can do.

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What Microsoft Exchange 2003, NSYNC and the Atkins Diet Have in Common

What Microsoft Exchange 2003, NSYNC and the Atkins Diet Have in Common

The April 8, 2014 end-of-extended-support date is approaching for Exchange 2003. How is your organization preparing?

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. And while there may be debate over what “good” actually means, Exchange 2003 is going the way of your favorite boy band or fad diet.

What Exchange 2003 going EOL really means
This is not a case of migrating/upgrading simply for the sake of having the “newest thing”. End of extended support means that Microsoft will no longer provide updates, patches, and customer support.

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Softchoice study finds ‘floodgates’ opening on Windows 7 [Infographic]

Data. Softchoice sure gets a lot of it – from about a million computers a year in fact. When you look at the guts of a million computers a year, you start to see some trends. One trend we’ve been tracking is the surprising longevity of Windows XP — an operating system that has been the ‘comfortable pair of jeans’ for corporate North American desktops for the better part of a decade. It’s an interesting history, but based on our analysis, Windows 7 fever is gripping corporate North America, and things are finally beginning to change.

Now there have been many studies on the ‘intentions’ of organizations to deploy Windows 7, how they planned to do it and when (here’s one, for example). But a chasm often exists between intentions and reality. Another frequently cited data point is Windows 7 shipments. But shipments are just that – shipments. Often the computers that Windows 7 shipped on, particularly in late 2009, were retrofitted with Windows XP to remain compatible with existing corporate infrastructure.

This study is different. What you’ll see in the infographic below is a healthy cross-section of ‘in the wild’ data we gleaned over the course of hundreds of customer IT asset management service engagements. Looking at this data in aggregate provides a much clearer picture of the real state of the union in corporate North America.

After a decade of the status quo, it now looks like change is firmly afoot. The migration to Windows 7, while not complete for most organizations, is underway at quite a clip. Many organizations, it seems, had been taking the ‘wait and see’ approach, as is quite common with desktop operating systems. Well, they waited – and they saw – and now they’re acting.

So is 2011 the “Year of Windows 7”? As we sit here in December, that’s an easy thing to proclaim – at least until 2012 rolls around.