Should You Continue Windows 7 After End Of Life?

During the beginning of the new decade, particularly on the 14th January 2020, Microsoft will retire Windows 7. This means that several security updates will inevitably stop as well. For the majority of individual users and enterprises that will still be using this top rated operating system, security issues will certainly be a factor.

As much as the end of Windows 7 doesn’t come with much welcome, especially from its current users, the trends were quite obvious.  Since the rolling out of the new Windows 10 operating system, not many updated features were introduced to the Windows 7 operating system.  Thus, it was a good idea during this time for many users to switch and transition onto the newly introduced Window 10.

However, this was not the case as Windows 7 operating system remains to be a popular option among using.  As of October 2019, a little bit over a quarter of the 1.5 billion Windows device users still relied on Windows 7 according to the Netmarketshare. With these high numbers of the Windows devices still operating under Windows 7, it begs the question of the safety of the users after the discontinuing of Windows 7.

The Impending Security Threat

After the ending of Windows 7, the number one threat to may users will be unavoidable threats from malware attacks as the devices will be unprotected. Though it is possible to remove malware using tutorials at VirusPup why not stay safe in the first place. The reality of an abandoned operating system with no updates gives many hackers and malware programs a field day to explore different routes and ways to attack the vulnerable devices.

In fact, hackers do love to work with non-existent interruptions that come with an abandoned operating system. A good example of how lethal such security threats can be showcased through the 2017 eternal blue Windows vulnerability was leaked by a hacker group, shadow brokers.

This led to a ransomware attack onto more than 200,000 unpatched Windows devices from unrelated users. During this time, Microsoft issued an emergency patch to all of its users with unpatched systems to prevent the spread of ransomware. However, the damage had already been done. Furthermore, security threats are not isolated.

In 2003, another security flaw in the Windows XP and Server 2003 operating systems left the operating systems susceptible to malware attacks, even to users that had no contact with hackers. During this time, Microsoft did issue a patch for all retired operating systems as well.


The Safety Net

The safety of your windows 7 will not be entirely at risk after retirement after all. At an extra cost, you can still pay for the safety and security of your operating system. As a business, it is costly and virtually useless for Microsoft to maintain all its operating systems at once. This is because, along with the constant updating and maintenance of the system, comes costs paid to engineers that spend the time to do the maintenance.

Thus, it only makes sense to retire older versions of operating systems. However, special arrangements have been developed by Microsoft to maintain older versions of operating systems that are popular amongst its users. During the2015 to 2017 Window 7’s extended support period, Microsoft offered updates for the security of the system.

Additionally, Microsoft also noted that transition in January 2020 after the retiring of windows 7 will not be as smooth for enterprises and large organizations. Thus, to ensure that users still using the operating system post-January 14, Microsoft introduced the Extended Security Update Program that will hold validity till January 2013.

During this period, users are given enough time to make the transition. With this program, enterprise and organization users will pay an annual $50 fee per device during the first year, $100 annual fee in the second and $200 fee in the third year. However, for users that have actively subscribed to windows 10, Microsoft offers a cost-cutting solution by offering the extended security update program free for a whole year.

IoT Windows 7 Devices

In addition to your desktops PCs and laptops, many other devices are commonly known as the Internet of Things devices also use a stripped down version of Windows 7, which is designed to run on devices with limited resources and functionality.  These devices include ATMs, point of sale terminals and medical devices.

The stripped down version of Windows 7 however, doesn’t shield these devices from the risks of security threats. IoT devices are posed with a risk of ransomware attacks and botnet viruses from hackers.  Botnet viruses normally invade the devices and deny the services offered by the device. This is because these smaller devices are normally the epi-center of operations and functions.

Thus, ransomware attackers are normally successfully paid by the owners. The stripped down Windows 7 offers a viable solution to these devices as their limited resource and function prove to be somewhat difficult to accommodate newer operating systems.

Additionally, even if one chooses to use an update system, it means that they need to invest in a newer device which can be too costly. Thus, to keep providing security for such devices at a cost-cutting solution, Microsoft will continue to support the Windows 7 Embedded Standard 7 service pack until October 2020 for some versions and through 2021 for others.

The Transition

It’s safe to say that even though the ending date has confirmed to be January 2020, the chances are that Microsoft will offer yet another critical patch after the deadline. This is because of the myriad of users who will be virtually abandoned without the patches. However, even with this prospect of Microsoft’s safe the day yet again, it is wider and safer for many organizations and enterprises to do the switch and transition now.

As much as it is costly for large organizations and enterprises, it is much easier for single users to do a switch to Windows 10. Thus, other than keeping yourself at risk, why not make a small investment for a newer operating system. Plus, even if you choose to opt for the extended security system, the cost still stands to be almost the same r even more.

What Managing a Business Looks Like in 2020

Technology has slowly assimilated itself as an integral part of running a business over the past decade or so. There are many things that have changed when it comes to running and managing a business thanks to technology, and some aspects are better than others.

Wherever you are personally with technology, there’s no denying that it is a big part of a business these days. If you’re struggling to get yours off the ground and wondering what technology you should be using, we’ve got some answers. Let’s take a look at what managing a business looks like in 2020 when it comes to choosing your essential tech supplies.

1.     Anti-Virus Software

There’s a good chance that you’ll have all of your business information stored on a computer, or multiple computers. Most people who are running a business these days have made everything digital, which is great for efficiency and productivity.

However, there is always the risk of exposing your business data to things like computer viruses. This is why it’s vital that you protect it from this risk through anti-virus software. This is one of the first lines of defense when it comes to your data, and it’s a pretty important one.

2.     Credit Card Processing System

We no longer live in a world where cash is king. Most people these days choose to use their credit cards over cash. This means that you need to make sure that you have a robust, reliable credit card processing system that enables people to purchase your product online.

Not only is this important to protect things on your end, but customers need to know that their credit card information is safe from hackers when they enter it.

3.     Employee Monitoring Software

If you’ve got a mid-sized business or even a large company, you may find it hard at times to keep track of each employee and what their specific job requirements are. While managers can help with this, you also need a way to keep track of their online activity, as well.

This is where employee monitoring software comes in. This is a great way to make sure they stay on task, to increase overall productivity. If everything is digital now in your company, your employees will be spending a lot of time online – and the more you know about how they spend their time, the better you’ll be able to run your business as a whole.

4.     Online Data Storage

Remember when we talked about the all-important business data you have stored on computers? Not only is it at risk of computer viruses, but there’s also the risk of losing it completely if you haven’t backed your company computers up.

Luckily, there are many different ways to store your data online these days. This is a great place to archive all of your business information, without it taking up extra space on those computers. This means that if anything goes wrong with your software system or those computers break down, you won’t lose any vital information.

As you can see, there is a lot to running a business in 2020 – more than you may have thought. With everything online these days, it’s no surprise that there are many different types of software and technological advances that we think are worth implementing with your business model. This is what managing a business looks like these days, and there are many benefits to it.

ACT! versions that work on Windows 8

This account is our QA team’s experience and is not in any way a definitive guide.  We offer it as it may assist others to set expectations with the new Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise operating systems.  Windows 8 RT for Surface is a tablet OS and is not presumed to run the ACT! application.  We will confirm this when our Surface device arrives.

Testing Environment

ACT! 2013 was tested on a new PC: Athlon II X4 645 3.1GHz 64-bit , 4GB DDR3 RAM, Windows 8 Pro 64-bit.

All other tests: Intel Xeon E5520 2.27GHz 64-bit, 2GB RAM, Windows 8 Pro running in VMWare 5.0.0.812388

ACT! versions that work on Windows 8 without issues

  • ACT! 6
  • ACT! 2009 and 2010 – works fine, but you are shown an error message during installation. “This program has compatibility issues (Microsoft SQL Server 2005)”. When running ACT! and upgrading a database we noted the message:  “Exceptions occurred while executing the database Schema Update Script”. Database seemed to successfully update.
  • ACT! 2011
  • ACT! 2012
  • ACT! 2013

ACT! versions that do not work with Windows 8
ACT! 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 – these do not install correctly on Windows 8. An error message is generated that reads “This app cannot run on your PC”.

CompanionLink works with all versions of ACT! 3.0 and higher.

How to sync Samsung Galaxy devices on 64-bit Windows

User comments on Android Central claim that Kies does not support Windows 64-bit.  People with devices like Galaxy Note or Galaxy S3 can not update their devices via Kies because they are using Windows 64-bit computers.  This also prevents them from handling basic functions like Outlook sync with Galaxy devices.

It doesn’t have to be so difficult.  While I’m confident Kies will eventually catch up to the world of 64-bit operating systems, you do have some options today.

CompanionLink supports Windows 32-bit and 64-bit. While CompanionLink does not manage operating system updates to Samsung devices or music or videos like Kies, CompanionLink will keep Outlook on a 64-bit Windows computer in sync with any Samsung Galaxy series device.  The CompanionLink package intelligently detects the bitness of your Windows operating system and adjusts accordingly.  No user interaction or separate software to install.

DejaOffice update for NOOK Color

We improved DejaOffice for NOOK Color. We will release an update to DejaOffice to the NOOK Apps marketplace.  Please download this update if:

1. You use a NOOK Color device
2. You are having problems synchronizing using the USB cable and CompanionLink

Introducing DejaOffice 1.3 for iOS

The first thing you’ll notice when you open the latest update of DejaOffice for iOS is the crisp new graphics. We’ve refreshed the entire app with Retina graphics, perfect for those with the iPhone 4/4S and the new iPad. Beneath the fresh look, though, there’s even more…

Contact Photos

We’ve added the ability to sync pictures to DejaContacts. Now you’ll always be able to attach a face to the name of your next meeting. Due to the way the iPhone handles USB sync, this feature is only available when syncing via WiFi.

Category Enhancements

We’ve redesigned the categories app to make it faster and more reliable. Category colors will now sync from your computer to DejaOffice. If blue equals “Sales” on your PC, it will equal “Sales” in DejaOffice. A small improvement that makes a big difference!

A Better iPad Workflow

The process of adding or editing data has been streamlined.  We’ve made use of popovers to allow you to quickly and easily edit categories, times, dates, priorities, contact links, and more. This adds up to a more efficient workflow for you. And who doesn’t want that?

Overall Performance Improvements

Buttons are easier to tap, data loads faster, you can swipe between records from the details view, and the search function has been improved. Not only that, we’ve squashed a number of pesky bugs. Check out the full release notes for a list of what’s been fixed.

DejaOffice for iOS gets better with each new release and we’re excited for you to download this latest version! It’s free, and in the App Store today. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Full Release Notes:
+ all new and updated graphics for Retina displays on iPhone 4/S and new iPad
+ added contacts pictures to DejaContacts (currently only syncs via Wi-Fi)
+ completely redesigned categories app
+ categories now sync from PC to DejaOffice with matching colors
+ enhanced button feedback throughout DejaOffice
+ refreshed list views – load faster and more efficient, especially for large databases
+ completely redesigned search, no longer tries to search until you hit “search”
+ added Sort By Category to DejaTasks
+ add new context menu for DejaToday settings
+ added swiping between records from view/details view
+ all new logging with send database option to help with troubleshooting
+ DejaOffice now opens in landscape view correctly on first run
-fixed an issue where DejaOffice would crash on some screens in non-English localizations
+ fixed an issue where some calendar events prior to 2000 did not sync
+ fixed an issue where weekly recurring events from/to native didn’t sync with DJO
+ fixed an issue where recurring end dates were not synchronized to/from native
+ fixed an issue where tasks sync one day off in some time zones
+ fixed an issue where syncing an ampersand or tab character did not work via Wi-Fi or CLSH
+ fixed an issue where hyperlinks go away when tapping on white space
+ fixed issues syncing Other address between native Apple contacts and DejaContacts
+ fixed an issue where the Office field did not sync
+ fixed an issue where syncing yearly recurring event to native would crash
+ fixed an issue where the SMS button did not work

Integrated CRM and PIM capabilities arrive for NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color

Great news for NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color owners: you can now download DejaOffice from the NOOK App store. Not familiar with DejaOffice? Read on!

DejaOffice brings a complete CRM productivity suite to the NOOK Tablet and Color. With contacts, calendar, tasks and notes in one app, you can uncover the full potential of your data with color-coded categories, the ability to link contacts to calendar events and tasks, and advanced sort, view, and search options. And, of course, it all syncs with your existing CRM data via CompanionLink

Put simply, DejaOffice is the most powerful PIM available for NOOK. So go get it – it’s free!

Sync the HTC One S with Outlook

Need to sync your new HTC One S with Outlook? We’ve got you covered.

Sync the HTC One S with Outlook

CompanionLink lets you sync your Outlook contacts, calendars, tasks, memos, and more to the One S. And you can customize this sync to your liking – from filtering specific categories to the direction each data type syncs. You can even choose from a variety of sync methods, including USB and WiFi.

Getting started is easy. We have a 14-day free trial, which you can download here. From there, just follow our simple setup guide for your preferred sync method and you’ll have your data on your new phone before you know it.

Questions? Comments? Shout them out in the comments below.

Sync the Nokia Lumia 900 with Outlook

 

Is the Nokia Lumia 900 the latest must-have Windows Phone? All signs point to yes.

Image Credit: PC WorldPositioned as a flagship Windows Phone, the Lumia 900 has been making a big impression among many early reviewers. And with its 4.3″ display, snappy 1.4GHz processor, 8MP camera, and beautiful form factor, these positive reviews seem to be well-earned. The Lumia 900 is, by all means, a solid phone at a great price.

Despite the positive reviews, however, the Lumia 900 is lacking in one big area. Many business users want to know how to sync the Nokia Lumia 900 with Outlook. It will support Exchange sync out of the box, but standalone Outlook users must look elsewhere. CompanionLink offers two methods to sync Outlook contacts, calendar and tasks with the Lumia 900 – via Google or via Window Live.

CompanionLink works by syncing Outlook data to a Google account or Windows Live account. From there the Lumia can be configured to automatically sync with either account over its wireless data connection. For more information on how CompanionLink syncs Windows Phone devices like the Lumia 900, visit www.companionlink.com/windowsphone/.

An Update on Syncing With Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich

CompanionLink fully supports two-way sync with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) devices.

The latest version of Android, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, officially launched a few months back with the Galaxy Nexus. Beyond that, however, sightings of Ice Cream Sandwich on new or existing devices have been few and far between. That’s starting to change.

Just last week, HTC officially released the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade for the Vivid on AT&T. The updates don’t stop there, though. AT&T announced plans to update 10 more Android smartphones and tablets in the near future. And that’s just from one carrier. The others are following suit as well.

At CompanionLink, we’ve had our hands on Ice Cream Sandwich for a while via our Galaxy Nexus. And we’ve been taking advantage of that. Not only have we ensured that DejaOffice runs properly on Android 4.0, but we’ve been busy adding features and improvements designed with this update in mind. For example, some Android 4.0 devices, like the Galaxy Nexus, don’t play nicely with out existing USB sync. To that end, we’ve developed an entirely new USB sync system. It’s even better than before, and it’s in beta right now. We’ll have more on that later.

We’re also taking the time to improve the interface and bring it more in line with the look and feel that Ice Cream Sandwich features. Expect to see those updates soon as well.

If you couldn’t already tell, we’re excited to see Ice Cream Sandwich come to more and more devices. We think it’s the best version of Android yet! But what about you? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.