The real reasons to blame Windows 8 for plummeting PC sales

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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PC sales suffered a 14 percent drop in the first quarter, the largest drop for a single quarter in the 20 years that IDC has been tracking the data. Fingers immediately began pointing at Windows 8, but the new Microsoft OS isn’t to blame—at least not in the way you might think.

Traditional PC sales are down. There's no arguing that. However, it’s misguided to assume it’s the result of a failure on the part of Windows 8. Rather, it's because the definition of "PC" is evolving.

In addition, Windows 8 runs well on older hardware and was offered at a bargain price. That means there has been less incentive to buy a new PC, even for users who wanted Windows 8. Many who did purchase new hardware for Windows 8 chose a Surface Pro, another tablet, or a tablet-PC hybrid. This skews the data because analysts aren't tracking PCs and tablets as a unified market.

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Want Microsoft Office on iOS or Android? You may wait until 2014

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Microsoft is making a big mistake. Assuming the leaked Office 'Gemini' roadmap is both legitimate and accurate, it appears that neither Outlook RT nor Office for iOS and Android will arrive any time soon. By the time they do, it’s possible nobody will care.

Mary Jo Foley—a respected and reliable source of inside information from Redmond—shed some light today on what we can expect from the Microsoft Office team. According to a leaked roadmap, Office RT apps will be available this fall alongside the expected launch of Windows “Blue”, followed by a refresh of the Office RT apps, and a new version of Office for Mac in early 2014.

Outlook RT may not arrive until late 2014.
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Prepare now to survive the end of Windows XP

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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The one-year countdown to the end of support for Windows XP began ticking down yesterday. If you’re still using the ancient, legacy version of Windows, it’s time to consider your next move.

To be clear, your PC will not burst into flames next year—at least, if it does, it won’t have anything to do with the expiration of Windows XP supportWhen XP support ends, Microsoft will no longer invest any resources to maintain or update it. Windows XP will still continue to work just as well as it has for the past decade.

In that case, why should you be concerned? Two words: Patch Tuesday.

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Patch Tuesday leaves Internet Explorer zero day untouched

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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It’s Patch Tuesday time again. This month Microsoft has unleashed nine new security bulletins. Nine is a reasonably high number of updates, however, only two of them are rated as Critical. So, it’s actually a little more laid back than most months, but there’s still cause for concern.

There are seven security bulletins rated as Important, which affect a range of platforms and services including Active Directory, the Windows antimalware client, and the Windows Kernel. The two Critical security bulletins apply to Internet Explorer and Remote Desktop. Be prepared—most of the patches require a reboot.

Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys, suggests that IT admins focus on Internet Explorer first. “This month, the most important bulletin to apply to your infrastructure is MS13-028, which contains a new release of Internet Explorer (IE) covering all versions of the browser starting with IE6 going to IE10, and also including Windows RT, the operating system for mobile devices and tablets.”

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The paperless office continues to elude us

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Since the dawn of personal computers there have been predictions of an all-digital future where paper was little but a distant memory. Decades later, it seems like we’ve made progress toward the “paperless office,” but the Utopian vision is still a long way off.

Adobe, which bought digital signature company Echosign in 2011, conducted a study to find out how things are progressing on the road to our all-digital documents future. The study is based on data gathered from an online survey among 1051 U.S. managers who draft, send or sign contracts and agreements at small, medium and large companies.

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Amazon Cloud is great, but not for business

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Amazon added a new element to its Cloud Drive service this week that expands it usefulness. The new Cloud Drive Sync app keeps files in sync across different devices and platforms, and pits Amazon Cloud Drive head-to-head against rivals such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple. However, businesses should steer clear of Amazon Cloud Drive.

The Amazon Cloud Drive Sync app is available for Windows or Mac OS X. Similar to other cloud file syncing tools, the app places a folder on your PC. Any files saved to the designated folder are automatically synced to Amazon Cloud Drive, and instantly available from any device that can access Amazon Cloud.

By default, the local Amazon Cloud Drive folder created on a Windows or Mac OS X PC includes sub-folders for Documents, Pictures, and Videos. Amazon doesn’t offer a very consistent experience across platforms, though.

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4 things Microsoft Office 'Gemini' needs to succeed

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Whether talking about the constellation in the night sky or the sign of the zodiac, the word "Gemini" is synonymous with twins. It's no coincidence that Gemini is reportedly the code name for an upcoming Microsoft Office build that could be the twin project to Windows Blue. Together, the two efforts represent a complete shift in the way Microsoft develops and rolls out software.

According to Mary Jo Foley, a respected authority on Microsoft with reliable inside sources,  Gemini will be released inititally this fall alongside Windows Blue, with new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

For Office, Gemini could have multiple meanings. It could even be an altogether new Microsoft Office suite, a fraternal twin to the existing Office 2013. Perhaps instead of replacing Office 2013, Gemini will be a suite of Office MX apps designed for the Windows 8 Modern interface, following in the style of the current OneNote MX.

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