Services

Microsoft to End Support on XP, Office 2003 & 2008 in 2014

Image Credit: Microsoft Corporation

Image Credit: Microsoft Corporation

When purchasing software, do you ever think about the end-of-life cycle for that particular program? If you’re like everyone else, you probably don’t.

The thing is, all software has a cycle – a period of time when the company will support that particular version of the software.

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So what you purchase today won’t always be supported.

Typically software is no longer supported when there are several newer versions out, or when the software is so outdated that it no longer functions properly on newer computers, whichever comes first.

In early April, 2013, Microsoft announced its plans to phase out support for a few of their older software, a change that could leave businesses (and individuals) in the lurch.

Microsoft’s determination for phasing out software is fairly clear cut – they promise to support their products for a minimum of 10 years, with 5 years of mainstream support, and 5 years of extended support.

And next year, on April 8, 2014, Microsoft is phasing out support on a few (still) popular products:

  • Windows XP
  • Office 2003
  • Office 2008 – Mac Version – support ends April 9, 2014

So what does this change mean for businesses? Well, nothing and everything.

Of course you can continue to use your outdated products, as technically they will still work just like they did before. However, problems requiring support through Microsoft won’t be fixable, and over time you could see even bigger issues.

The larger reality is that if you’re still using these older operating systems and office products, you could probably stand for an update. Newer operating systems, though they require a small learning curve, run faster and help you produce more than their older counterparts. Additionally, newer software boasts better features, and increased security through patches, bug fixes, and software updates.

Though it would require a bit of an initial investment, upgrading your office, particularly if you are still using any of these programs, will end up saving you in the long run in time and money made back due to increased productivity.

If your business is still using these outdated software products, give us a call today. We can help you evaluate which newer versions are right for your business, and help get them implemented and installed so that you aren’t affected by this change.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help you navigate through changes in your software. Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

The Benefits of Using a Large File Transfer Service In-House

Large File Transfer In Progress Shot 2

Screenshot of In-House File Transfer Service – sensitive information redacted.

You and your team worked hard on a project, and now you’re ready to deliver it to the client. But the deliverables include several large files that are too big to send via email. What do you do?

If you are like many businesses, you’ll probably turn to a file transfer service, like Drop Box, SkyDrive, or Google Drive to share the files. However, there are a ton of inherent problems with going this route, most of which involve lack of security and control on a third-party system.

But did you know that there is a better way to transfer files? You could host your own large file transfer service in-house and remove many of the issues involved with third-party services.

Here are just a few of the many advantages to running your own file transfer service.

Faster Service

When large file transfer service software runs in-house, transferring files is much faster for you and your staff.

With a service of this type everything remains in-house, which means whether you’re delivering files to a client, or downloading files a client sent to you, the files are already on your network.

Instead of you having to wait on a service and the slow speed of the internet to access your files, simply access the large file transfer service and grab what you need quickly, over the faster speeds of your internal network.

However, this is a benefit for in-company users only, as employees or clients logged into the service remotely will still be limited by their internet speed.

Share Larger Files

While the third-party file transfer services work in a pinch, there are usually stipulations on the amount of data you can send for free. Most services give you about 2 gigs of storage space before charging you.

However, 2 gigs doesn’t go far when you’ve got large files to send somewhere. Instead of paying the third-party provider to increase your tier level to allow you to send larger files, why not setup an in-house system?

Typically, hosting your system in-house is cheaper than what you would spend with the third-party providers, and you won’t ever have to worry about which tier your account is on, and how much data you can send.

With an in-house large file transfer service, you can send up to 35 gigs at one time without paying any extra. And, there are no reoccurring monthly fees outside of your normal network maintenance costs.

Increased Security

By hosting your file transfer service in-house, you’ll also gain some extra security features.

Remove Worry

With third-party systems, your information and files live on someone else’s servers, and you don’t have control or say so over what they do with their computers. Sure, they may have everything outlined nicely in their Terms of Service (TOS), but when it comes down to it, how much of a guarantee is there really that your data is safe?

Instead, keep your data on your network and you’ll never have to worry about what’s going on with your files.

Security Through Obscurity

If a hacker wants to attack a file sharing system, who are they going to target? Your company, or someone big like Microsoft (who runs Sky Drive)? You guessed it, they’ll go after the big guys every time.

In this way because you’re a small fish in a very large pond, you won’t have to worry about being attacked the same way the big guys do. Oddly enough, it’s because of your obscurity that your security is increased. You’re simply not on their radar.

However, in the event that someone does try to attack, your files are protected behind your firewall, safe from intrusion.

These are just a few of the reasons why we prefer an in-house large file transfer system to a third party alternative.

Do you have concerns about hosting a file transfer system on your network? Give us a call today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help make large file transferring easier. Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

The Importance of a Backup and Disaster Recovery Device

Power Outage

Image Credit: Grant Wickes

While many companies know that it is important to back up their data, many fail to realize that backing up is just half of the equation, especially where catastrophic events are involved.

Take Microsoft for example. One of the largest tech giants got caught with its pants down late last week (Thursday 3/14), rendering some of its services unusable for over 16-hours.

When a routine update failed, it caused an unexpected temperature spike, overheating the data center. Ultimately, it was the overheating which caused extended downtime for many of Microsoft’s online services, including Outlook.com,

Hotmail, Calendar, and SkyDrive. Eventually, human intervention was

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required to help rectify the situation.

If you noticed some downtime late last week, that was why. Do you want to read the whole story? Click here.

While data wasn’t lost, time and access to services were. So what could Microsoft have done differently?

If they were a techQuility client, we would have advised that their systems be setup on a Backup Recovery Device, or BDR. While the BDR’s main function is to backup data at regular, scheduled intervals, it also offers some unique protection against catastrophe and downtime.

With a BDR in place, once we are aware of a catastrophic situation such as overheating servers, we are able to “flip the switch”, moving your data from your servers to the Cloud. This allows your data and servers to be accessed, even remotely, just as you would access them in the office.

When the switchover happens, any changes to your data continues to be backed up, so that you don’t have to worry about continuity. Then, once any issues are resolved, we can migrate your data back to your own network, so you can resume normal operations.

It is really that easy. So don’t let your company get caught pants-down like Microsoft did recently. Instead, take the time to put solutions in place now that will allow you more effectively manage your data and your office, even despite unforeseen events.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help you maintain peace and calm during a catastrophe. Email:julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.