Office 365: Office Mobile is now available for Droid phones

On Wednesday (8/31/13), Microsoft extended Office Mobile to users with Office 365 subscriptions and Android smartphones.  There is no additional cost to Office 365 subscribers.

As with the version for the iPhone, Office Mobile is meant to complement Office on a personal computer so it’s actually “Office light”, allowing Android owners to access, view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on their smartphones or create Word and Excel docs (but not PowerPoint docs) from scratch on those handsets. Outlook is not part of the deal. Users who use the mobile app can access documents on Microsoft’s cloud-based SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro.

The Android version can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, but the app itself is only available for Android phones, not tablets. If you have a tablet, Microsoft recommends you use Office Web Apps instead. Office 365 subscribers can employ Office Mobile for Android on up to 5 phones.

If you would like to know more, send an email to john.O365droid813@hawkisg.com.

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Helix Engineering

The New Rip and Flip Tablet/PC From Lenovo is almost here. This Device will give you the best of both worlds! The screen can detach to become a Tablet, or you can dock the tablet in to the keyboard in one of two directions based on what you need to use it for.

Ask us how we can get this device into your hands!

 

Below is a video for more information.

HelixEngineering

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New Windows 8 Products by Lenovo

Lenovo has several new products geared specifically for Windows 8. Which one fits your needs?

The Thinkpad 2 – your standard tablet but with Windows 8 Pro, this is one of the few Tablets that will allow you the benefits of an always connected device but also allows you to install desktop applications.

Ideapad Lynx – The Windows RT device that has a dock that you can plug the tablet into to double the battery life.

Ideapad Yoga 11 – This device is more like your typical laptop, but the screen can make a full 365 degree turn so you can use this device in 4 different modes. This device runs on Windows RT.

Ideapad Yoga 13 – just like the Yoga 11, but a little bit bigger and runs Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro.

Thinkpad Twist – The business windows 8 convertible, This has easy access sim card slot to quickly and easily make this device capable of WLAN data access, for business on the road. This has a screen that can turn around and can still be used as a tablet. all in an ultra book slim design.

 

If you want more information on these devices or how we can help you get one, call us at 314-727-1174

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Mobile Security Starting to Become a Problem?

As more and more of our business is being done from our mobile devices like tablets and phones, do you know if you are protecting your data? A new vulnerability has been discovered that allows hackers to take control over your mobile device. So any information that you may have on there, personal and business, could be compromised. The only mobile OS that this does not effect? Windows Phone 7. Because Microsoft choose to opt out of the Web-kit based Mobile Browser, and in fact use their desktop Internet Explorer (Optimized to run on mobile phones) you can know that one wrong link will not jeopardize your phone.

Windows Phone only smartphone OS immune to Webkit vulnerability | wpcentral | Windows Phone News, Forums, and Reviews.

Windows 8 Everywhere

With the announcement of Windows 8 coming out later this year, Microsoft has been making some major changes to the way we will look at computers and how all of our devices are able to interact with each other. One such device that is is starting gain attention is Windows Phone 7. You may have seen many new devices start popping up at the four major wireless carriers or have read one on the numerous reviews on this phone OS, but things are about to go to a whole new level. We should soon be hearing the lastest projects that the Phone Division has been working on, and the next major update to windows phone.

If you think that Microsoft is still behind Apple and Google in terms of what they can offer to consumers you may want to think again. Windows Phone 8 will be the next major release for the Windows Phone OS, but there have been a list of features that have been released to let us know what exatcly we can expect to see.

  • Support for dual cores
  • Support for four different resolutions, though no specifics were given
  • NFC support added, including payment and content sharing with WP8 and Windows 8 machines
  • Carrier control and branding of “wallet” element is possible via SIM or phone hardware
  • MicroSD support added for expandable storage
  • Transitions to core components from desktop, including kernel, network stack, security components and media support
  • Simplified porting of desktop apps to mobile
  • Zune desktop integration scrapped in favor of new, unnamed syncing app
  • Deeper Skydrive integration, including ability to sync data such as music collections
  • Xbox Companion app will get Windows 8 partner client
  • Native code support, simplified porting from Android and iOS
  • App-to-app communication and integration
  • Skype client with deep OS hooks that will make it almost identical to placing standard voice calls
  • Camera app now supports “lenses” which allow third parties to skin and add features to camera interface
  • DataSmart tracks and reports usage via app and live tile
  • Gives preferential treatment to WiFi, can automatically connect to carrier-owned hotspots
  • Proxy server will compress websites in Internet Explorer 10 up to 30 percent
  • Native Bitlocker encryption
  • Support for proprietary, custom built apps to be deployed behind company firewalls

So for everyone looking into the future, you may want to consider what Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 can do for you. If you have any questions on how Hawk iSolutions Group, Inc. can help you and your business then give us a call. Let us help you plan the future technology of your business.

Lenovo 2012 Lineup

Lenovo is starting out the new year with a bang. It is a new year and that means it is time for a lineup refresh from Lenovo. Is your business in need of new computers or laptops but not looking to pay big bucks for current high end computer?

Well Lenovo has just released a product you may be interested in, the B – series. This new line from Lenovo has all the basics that you know and love about Lenovo including but not limited to: Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0 with rapid boost, Think Vantage Suite, OneKey Rescue System, and many more. This line up will give your business the most bang for the buck with out compromising your experience.

Do you need something that requires more portability? Then you may be interested in the ThinkPad T-series This is the no compromise laptop that will give you the ultra portable weight as well as the 14″ or 15″ screen. You do not have to settle for a 10 lb laptop just to get that slightly bigger screen or sacrifice the DVD drive either. This is Lenovo’s thin and light machine that is built to withstand anything you can throw at it.

Maybe you are looking for the ultra portable, high performance, and longer battery life laptop. You may say well that is not possible to have that in one computer, but yes you can have all of it. With the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid, this super light laptop weighs in at just 3.7 lbs. and can get you up to 5 hours of battery life. The bigger kick is that the battery can get an 80% charge in right around 30 minutes so you will not be stuck working next to an outlet for hours until you get a decent battery charge. This is one of the few laptops that can come with a hybrid drive where you get the performance of an Solid State Drive and the storage capacity of a standard drive. This is the ultimate laptop and built for those who travel.

Those were just a few of the laptops that we will start seeing here in the next few months, but Lenovo does more than just laptops, they also have some great desktop products as well.

One desktop product that would find a great home in conference rooms or desks with room for bigger towers is the IdeaCentre Q180. This is the world’s smallest full functioning desktop. Powered with the latest Atom Dual Core Processor it can handle and PowerPoint presentation you can toss it way, all while using up very little energy. If you need a DVD player, you can also snap on the Blu-Ray drive accessory.

Need something a little bit bigger than the Q180, there there is also the ThinkCentre Edge 91z. This All-in-one device gives you a full computer and monitor in on single stand alone device. You will be able to see everything on the screen with the 21.5″ Full-HD LED display. Not only can you see everything, but you will also get a computer that can boot in under 15 seconds.

 

With these new products there are many new possibilities available for you to help your business become more effective. Call Hawkisg  to see if we can find a solution that works for you.

“More for less” in tough economic times

It’s no secret that economic indicators point to a possible US recession in 2008. Financial markets have recently declined, driving key stock indexes to their lowest levels in more than a year. In an economic downturn, some businesses are more vulnerable to recession than others. When times get tough, people tend to tighten their belts and look for ways to fix or cut expenses and increase revenue. There are a variety of ways that businesses can leverage and better manage their IT assets to accomplish both.

As organizations look for ways to maintain productivity while fixing costs, IT Automation is one of the first areas a business should consider. Using a “managed” approach to IT service delivery leads to exploration of innovative and more cost efficient options such as remote systems management, fixed price service agreements, and higher service levels with fewer resources.

Surviving any economic decline also requires maintaining the core lifeline of the business by ensuring pro-active IT management, security, IT governance, regulatory compliance, data protection, timely customer migration and the implementation of best practices.

The Managed Service model is the ideal solution for business of all sizes to meet their budget conscious objectives, allowing businesses to focus on their business; increasing revenue, decrease staffing requirements and maintain existing equipment. An unforseen benefit is that company employess experience higher levels of support and less frustration when support is provided by experienced professionals.

Call Hawk iSolutions Group to discuss how Hawk iLAN can provide “more for less” in these troubled economic times.

Elimante E-mail Overload

E-mail driving you crazy? Every time you delete one, do five more show up? Are you finding it impossible to answer every e-mail you receive? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’re not alone!

Some people are even declaring e-mail bankruptcy — they dump every e-mail in their inbox and start over. If that’s not an option for you, then here are 10 tips to reduce e-mail overload.

 1. Get a good spam filter. Even if it saves you just 10 minutes a day, that adds up to over 59 hours a year.   Hawk iSPAM is our spam protection service.  Our own use of Hawk iSPAM shows that 18.8% of our messages were legitimate e-mails during the year 2007.  That means that 81.2% of incoming e-mail was spam.  Because of Hawk iSPAM, our productivity is not impacted by this useless ‘junk.’  Some of our other clients who use Hawk iSPAM are finding that as much as 98% of there e-mail traffic is spam.  Can your spam filter provide details like this?

2. Cancel subscriptions to unwanted mailing lists, and opt-out of LEGITIMATE e-zines. But be careful! Trying to opt-out of spam e-mails will only alert the sender that they have a LIVE address. Also, make sure you are careful to check the “unsubscribe” or “opt-out” box when purchasing items online.

3. Ask your friends to remove you from joke groups or chain messages. Simply explain your situation and, if they are good friends, they’ll take you out of their message group.  You can set up a Yahoo e-mail account to keep your personal e-mails separate from work related e-mails.

4. Don’t post or publish your e-mail on web sites. Spammers will steal it and put it on their lists.

5. Don’t respond to every e-mail you receive. Yes, it’s okay NOT to respond to some e-mails. If it’s a group e-mail, don’t respond with “okay” or “:)” — it’s not necessary unless the sender is specifically asking you a question or requesting a response.

6. Be succinct. Restrict your messages to a few sentences. If you can’t, pick up the phone or talk in person. This will avoid the back-and-forth of e-mail conversation.

7. Take advantage of subject lines. If possible, put your question in the subject line, or your message. If that’s not possible, make your subject line very descriptive so the recipient knows what your message is about. Here’s another tip; create a set of codes with your coworkers and place them in the subject line to help them process and prioritize messages. For example, use “FYI” for informational messages. Use “AR” for action required and “URG” for urgent.

8.   Block time to answer your e-mail and fight the temptation to check your e-mail every few minutes. You will save yourself a lot of time and be far more productive.

9.   Respond to messages when you open them so you only read them once. If the e-mail requires an action step, schedule the action step and delete it from your inbox.

10. Set time aside in the morning and the evening to process your inbox. Shoot for a completely empty inbox. File messages you need to keep and set reminders for messages that require you to follow up.

5 Things You Should Know Before Buying a New Computer

When you are ready to buy a new computer, one of the first questions you may ask yourself is, “Where can I get the best deal?” Obviously you don’t want to pay more than you have to, but there are other considerations besides price that you should consider before making your decision. If you shop the local electronics superstores for weekly specials, you can easily get a standard machine at a good price. This option would work best for you if you’re not too picky or if you don’t have any special requirements for gaming, graphics, or special software requirements. If you buy over the Internet from a major manufacturer such as Dell or Gateway, you’ll get more choice and customization on the components, chip speed, RAM, hard drive size, and video components, but you’ll pay a slightly higher price. The biggest downside to buying online is that you’ll have a hard time getting technical support if something goes wrong. You face the prospect of paying someone like HiSG to fix a warranty-covered machine simply because the manufacturer is making it next to impossible to get the problem taken care of. In many cases, these companies have help desk people located in countries outside of the US, which means you might have a hard time communicating with them, or getting to a supervisor. Sometimes only a component (like the hard drive) will go bad. When this happens, you’ll have to ship the entire machine back to the manufacture and wait a couple of weeks for them to repair it and ship it back. You also run the risk of losing all your data and configurations unless you have a reliable backup. If you have special requirements, need help in selecting a machine, or if service before, during, and AFTER the sale is important, then you’ll want to buy from a local shop like Hawk iSolutions Group, Inc.

Here Are 5 Big Reasons To
Buy Your Next PC From Hawk iSolutions Group, Inc.:

 1. You’ll get a senior technician who will take time to explain your options, answer your questions,  and help you make a good buying decision based on what YOU need, not what I have to clear off my store shelves. If you buy from an electronics superstore, there’s a good chance you’ll end up talking to a teenager working on commission who doesn’t have any real technical expertise. Since they don’t offer custom-built machines, they will try to talk you into buying whatever they have in-store which may not necessarily be the best choice for your specific needs. If you buy online, you’ll get very little or no help in selecting the right combination of components and options, so this works best ONLY for those individuals who really know what they are buying.

2. Superior technical support and service after the sale. If you’ve ever dealt with a manufacturer’s technical support in the past, you know how frustrating it can be. After waiting on hold for days, you’ll end up speaking with a “technician” who doesn’t have a clue. Most of the time they’re reading from a script and taking you through a series of system checks you could have done on your own. Whenever you have a problem with a machine that you purchased from us, we’ll troubleshoot it. Plus, you won’t have to wait on hold when you call, which brings me to another point

3.  If you need technical support on a computer that you bought from us, you won’t go through “voicemail-jail” or be transferred to another country. You actually get to speak to a friendly, local technician.

4.  We’ll set up your e-mail account, Internet access, check your virus protection, set up your firewall, and other preferences and settings. When you buy from a superstore or online, it’s up to you to configure your new machine.

5.   We’ll look at your old PC to verify if it is just needs a little make-over.  Maybe you just need more memory and a video card added. If you simply want to “upgrade” your PC to save a few dollars, we will gladly do it for you, with the solution being in your best interest. This is something that no other store or online supplier will offer.The bottom line is this: if you are shopping solely on price and aren’t too picky, then watch the weekend papers for sales at your local electronic superstore. They can offer a great price on a standard machine. Usually you can save anywhere from $100—$200 buying this way. For semi-customization at a decent price, check the Internet. There are hundreds of online resellers offering PCs at competitive prices.For the best customization, service, and support after the sale, buy from Hawk iSolutions Group, Inc. You’ll pay a little bit more but we’ll make sure you get exactly what you need without any hassle or problems.  

BSA scares small companies by . . . Playing software cop

Copyright watchdog targets illegitimate use and gets big settlements.

Michael Gaertner worried he could lose his company. A group called the Business Software Alliance was claiming that his 10-person architectural firm was using unlicensed software.

The alliance demanded $67,000 – most of one year’s profit – or else it would seek more in court.

“It just scared the hell out of me,” Gaertner said.

An analysis by The Associated Press reveals that targeting small businesses is lucrative for the Business Software Alliance, the main copyright-enforcement watchdog for such companies as Microsoft Corp., Adobe Systems Inc. and Symantec Corp.

Of the $13 million that the BSA reaped in software violation settlements with North American companies last year, almost 90 percent came from small businesses, the AP found.

The BSA is well within its rights to wring expensive punishments aimed at stopping the willful software copying that undoubtedly happens in many businesses. And its leaders say they concentrate on small businesses because that’s where illegitimate use of software is rampant.

But software experts say the picture has more shades of gray. Companies of all sizes inadvertently break licensing rules because of problems the software industry itself has created. Unable or unwilling to create technological blocks against copying, the industry has saddled its customers with complex licensing agreements that are hard to master.

In that view, the BSA amasses most of its bounties from small businesses because they have fewer technological, organizational and legal resources to avoid a run-in.

In Gaertner’s case, employees had been unable to open files with the firm’s drafting software, so they worked around it by installing programs they found on their own, breaking company rules, he said. And receipts for legitimate software had been lost in the hubbub of running his company.

“It was basically just a lack of knowledge and sloppy record-keeping on my part,” said Gaertner, who got a settlement that cost him $40,000.

In the United States, the largest software market, piracy rates have not budged since 2004. BSA critics say that is because making examples out of small businesses has little deterrent effect, because many company owners don’t realize they’re violating copyrights.

“If you were driving down the street and you got a speeding ticket, and there was no speed limit sign, it probably would be thrown out of court,” said Barbara Rembiesa, head of the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers.

Yet the BSA is getting more aggressive. Its CEO says software licenses are not as difficult as critics contend. It has dropped an amnesty campaign.  

“The software vendors have every right to collect the license fees they’re entitled to,” said Tom Adolph, an attorney who has defended against BSA claims. “It’s the tactics of the BSA that rankle me.”

Much of the BSA’s fight against counterfeit software and illegal copying happens overseas. In countries with the highest piracy rates, like China, the BSA pushes governments to crack down, arguing that greater respect for intellectual property would stimulate investment in their economies.
One result is that the BSA says the worldwide percentage of software that was illegitimately obtained has dropped to 35 percent, from 43 percent in 1996. However, the BSA says piracy still takes a $40 billion bite out of a $246 billion industry annually. In the United States, where the piracy rate is a worldwide-low 21 percent, the BSA works with law enforcement and websites like eBay to stop suspiciously cheap software sales online. 

Far more contentious, however, is its focus on forms of what it calls piracy by business users. The money harvested in these crackdowns stays with the alliance to fuel its operations.

In extreme cases, the BSA will get court approval to raid companies in search of evidence.

But there are ways to get in trouble that do not begin with intentional cheating. Companies often simply fail to follow the letter of the licensing agreements that accompany software programs. The problem is big enough that there are companies that help other businesses manage their software.

For example, if a computer gets handed down from one person in an organization to another, software on the machine needs to be deleted unless the company has multiple licenses for it. But many companies forget or don’t realize that, especially if the recipient of the machine would never need to use the previous owner’s software.

Robert Holleyman, the BSA’s CEO, countered that many companies figure out how to get their software in order.

“I don’t agree with the assumption that license management is necessarily a complex task,” he said.

Software-management gurus say the BSA could do more to assist companies – which are, after all, its members’ customers.

“Instead of just being the software police, be the police in the sense of helping old ladies across the street,” said Barbara Scott, a software consultant for Redemtech Inc. “The BSA could become more of a partner with organizations that they’re hammering as well.”

The BSA points out that under copyright law, it could collect up to $150,000 per infringed work if it prevailed in a lawsuit, or $30,000 if the incident was unintentional. By seeking less, BSA leaders say, they give violators a break.

The BSA also used to offer occasional grace periods. The BSA would alert companies to the piracy question and give them 30 days to buy licenses without penalty.

But the BSA no longer offers such amnesties.

Instead it has pushed harder for unhappy employees to “nail your boss” with anonymous tips about piracy. In 2005, it sweetened the deal, offering $50,000 rewards to whistleblowers in the U.S. It raised the limit to $1 million this year.

Gaertner, who worried his BSA encounter would crush his business, wants to rid himself of the Autodesk, Microsoft and Adobe software involved in the case. “It’s not like they have really good software. It’s just that it’s widespread and it’s commonly used,” he said. “It’s going to be a while, but eventually, we plan to get completely disengaged from those software vendors that participate in the BSA.”

    • Brian Bergstein
    • The Associated Press
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
    • November 27, 2007
    • Section: Business
    • Edition: Second Edition
    • Page C1