Spring 2013 Newsletter ...
Downhill slide... Microsoft, Oracle, and business
Disclaimer... the opinions expressed in the following are purely my own, although likely shared by many others.
Usually in these newsletters I try to give you tips, tricks, and various warnings and things to avoid. This time I wish I had better news. As some of you may know, I'm a bit of an analyst. How many of you have given up on your Windows XP computer because it has become very slow? You've tried defragmenting, scanners, registry cleaners, yet nothing seems to fix it. Ambitious people with good backups erase and reload the hard drive and it works good again, but only for a while. The problem is poor programming. Windows XP has had three Service Packs and over 300 updates. When your XP machine is running like it is stuck in mud, Ctrl-Alt-Del and start task manager. Look at wuclient . I have seen where wuclient (Windows Update) will take 10-20% of your processing time and 20% of the working memory. That will bring an already taxed computer to its knees. In my opinion, most updates are not written for efficiency. It seems all Microsoft products go down this same road. To add insult to injury, every two years there seems to be a release of a new Windows or Office product, complete with new bugs and in the case of Windows 8, a new interface. Microsoft claims good sales of Windows 8. It is no wonder, did you try to buy a new computer without it? For business folks reading this, the news is terrible. Will your business critical software run on Windows 8?? What if a critical computer that MUST have Windows XP fails? What do you do when Microsoft stops issuing security patches for XP? I know of one situation where a Windows 2000 server is online, but there is no antivirus software available for it. I wish I had answers. I hope major software companies continue to port their products to Apple. (Disclosure, I do hold Apple stock, even after the shakiness lately.) Play with Windows 8 in a store and then think about what will happen when you put it on the desktops in your offices. It's not a nice learning curve for busy people.
Do you remember Sun Microsystems? They made good hardware, did Java and supported Open Office. They were purchased by Oracle, the big database company. Since then, Java seems to have developed constant security problems, required updates, and even tries to install a free toolbar with the updates! Java isn't really "free" now. Oracle expects a return on all parts of its investment. Oracle also purchased Primavera Software. Primavera made a good contract manager for companies working on large projects. After Oracle took control, the quality became horrible, installations became undocumented guesswork with functions that did not work. If you follow "Dillbert", this seems a bit like the same company to me. A while ago I received a call regarding Contract Manager not working. The client called and got support. The problem was a Java (remember, owned by Oracle) update broke it. The fix was to remove the Java update (and leave the security hole) on a business system. Nice job, Oracle. And by the way, look at the Java Icon in the Windows Control Panel. Look at the default Temporary Internet Files IT creates for itself. 1,000,000,000 bytes should be enough of your hard drive space, don't you think? You can adjust it from there. I like to make it a LOT smaller.
On software updates... does anyone disagree that this is getting ridiculous? Adobe I can handle. I REALLY liked the jump from Reader 9.x to Reader 10. The new features like signing are great! Updates that make life easier or software less buggy are good. Security updates are good provided they don't create a pile of 300+ mismatched bandages that slow the computer or interfere with existing software. Did you ever complain about Intuit or other product updates? Some of these are to fix bugs or add features, but most are likely to maintain compatibility with Microsoft's updates.
On Cloud Computing... it strikes me the reason for more people moving to "the cloud" is to enable things to simply work. I know of a legacy system that was never truly ported to Windows. The same system has been rebuilt "in the cloud" with Citrix and a browser the only requirements on the local machine, along with Internet. This solve the Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, training, and all the other Microsoft-induced desktop problems for both the software company and the local business as well. We just have to hope the Internet connection stays "up".
One continuing reminder on anti-malware products... I recommend frequent scans with Malwarebytes available free at http://www.malwarebytes.org Be sure you are downloading malwarebytes and not one of the paid sponsor products. My favorite antivirus is still the FREE Microsoft Security Essentials. No charges and it is reasonably fast. Microsoft has taken a media hit with this. They should know WIndows security better than anyone. Hopefully they will get their act together on this. http://redmondmag.com/articles/2012/12/05/microsoft-security-essentials-fails.aspx You can download Security Essentials at http://www.microsoft.com. Click on Security. And NEVER use more than one virus protection product at a time. (Malwarebytes scanner is a removal tool, use it in addition to your current product. They also offer a protection product too.)
That's it for this newsletter... enjoy the rest of spring !!
Until next time... Happy Computing !
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