Android vs iOS vs Windows vs Blackberry! Who will reign supreme?

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Let’s compare size: you know that size sometimes does matter.

According to a Gartner, a leading information technology research company, Android OS phoned finished 2013 with a 78.4% market share, Apple’s iOS accounted for 15.6 %, Microsoft Windows phones were at 3.2%, Blackberry at 1.9 %, and other operating systems came in at just .9 %. So if size matters, then Android is the way to go. Check out the pretty chart:

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So here is my take on the whole situation:

Android

  • I have an Android phone, currently Samsung Galaxy s3.  Aside from the fact I like the virility of the operating system, I really like the phone hardware. I will be upgrading to a Galaxy s5 when it comes out later this year.
  • Majority of the apps are free, and Android has the second largest app market, behind Apple (but you have to pretty much pay for everything on Apple).
  • Good advantages for remote management and has very good integration with Google Cloud and other cloud products.
  • Overall I find the Android OS to be the most well-rounded for both personal and business uses.
  • Android is a really cool name.

 Apple IOS: 

  • My wife has an iPhone 4 or 5 ( not really sure).
  •  If you own various Apple products you’ll have easy integration with them.
  • It has the largest app market, but you pretty much have to pay to play anything good (in my opinion).
  • If you are looking for some bells and whistles but still want grandma to be cool, this is it.
  • I am biased on Apple products. While I think they are great, they can be challenging for integration as well as management in a business environment.
  • It seems all the kids on the playground (and their grandparents) have iPhones nowadays.

Windows Phone: 

  • I am going to buy my parents a Windows phone, due to some very low cost of entry on certain models. Also the fact the tile screen icons are huge and easy on the eyes.
  • I do not think this is ready for business, it really gears towards multimedia and connecting to the web. If you are in the social media space I would really recommend to check it out.
  • Great integration with Office 365, Skype, Facebook and other mainstream cloud products.
  • Small app market, but there are huge pushes already in progress to close the gap.
  • I am a fan of the hardware on some of the phones but I get really annoyed by the Tiling feature of the OS.  Think Windows 8, but on a mini-screen.

Blackberry:

  • I have some old relics and I plan to keep them. When I did have the old Blackberries I loved them: they were fast, light, had a great battery, and the keyboard was just great. I could respond to an email on the phone at the same speed it would take me on my laptop keyboard.
  • It has the best security and integration if you have a Blackberry Enterprise Server.
  • Fastest handle time from when an email gets sent to its delivery on any phone I have seen.
  • Some of the phones that have recently been introduced are not really that great.
  • Blackberry’s app market is not really good. I was on it one time, and I just gave up.
  • Right now there is just no reason to go with them unless you are in banking, government, or really need specific security requirements.

Keep in mind that these are just my personal thoughts. The best way to decide for yourself is to play with the operating system to see what your personal preference is and go from there.

How to Shop for A New Cell Phone: Advice I got from the techsperts

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“We’re sorry. Your mobile device does not appear to be supported by our website.”

I like my three year-old (ancient!) Windows-based Samsung Focus. But the increasing frequency with which I get surf-blocked by those words, now that I’m trying to do more with my cell phone – like banking – makes me think it’s time for a new one. And since I know less about technology than my 12 year-old (who I made sure was there when the Comcast guy came), I decided to get advice from some real pros: the techs here at work.

Which platform is the best: iOS, Android, or Windows?

Most of the guys preferred the Android platform for its sheer volume of free apps and its flexibility of customization. But, many of them cautioned, they’re techs. They know their way around Gadgetland. As Alex Straffin, Everon’s Technical Services Manager put it, “Android for nerds, iOS for noobs.” However, while most of them agreed that Windows and iOS are easier to use, both of those platforms are somewhat restricted to their own Windows or Apple universes. Principal Project Manager Wah Lee noted, “If you want well-rounded everything, Android is the best.”

cell phone blogWhy kind of phone do you have now? Do you like it? If you bought a new phone tomorrow, what would you get, and why?

Jeremy Bienemann, our L2 Supervisor has an iPhone that he said worked well. “My wife is not very tech savvy, so I have to use one that is easy for her to use. I also want to keep my phone compatible with hers.” Daryl Patino, an L2 Tech, has an HTC One that he likes (“for reasons most consumers would never care for”), and Simon Tolstopyatenko, an Everon Field Engineer, loves his Sony Xperia Z Ultra, which, he claims, is “the biggest, thinnest, most powerful phone you can buy.”

But the repeated answer that came up from the rest of my respondents was the Samsung Galaxy, either the s3 or s4, and they all liked it. In fact, the only thing that would stop them from purchasing the same phone again, if the need arose, would be whether or not the s5 had come out yet.  (Hmm… I already have a Samsung that’s served me well….)

Josh Hansen, our Client Technology Advisor added that in addition to your preferred platform there are four key things to look for in a new phone: “Battery life, reception quality, RAM, and how many processor cores it has .” Processor cores? “More is better,” he explained. “A 1Ghz duo core is better than a 2Ghz mono core.”

Thanks, guys. I’m a bit more comfortable about all of this. Think I feel a shopping spree coming on….

How to set user passwords to never expire in Office 365

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In this TechTip, we’ll address the issue of how to configure your users’ passwords to never expire in Office 365. This is a question that I get with some consistency, and it deserves some attention because it’s not as simple as pointing and clicking. (It bears mentioning that you CAN change the password expiration policy from within the Microsoft Online Portal, but you’re limited to a maximum of 730 days.)

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**NOTE: Making your password policies lax to the point of not enforcing a password expiry is a BAD security practice, and I DO NOT recommend doing so. That having been said…

 

First thing you’re going to want to do is make sure that your computer is set up and configured properly to use Powershell and connect it to Office 365. After that, you will also want to ensure that you’ve set up the Windows Azure AD modules for Powershell.

Following the steps in the third link, you’re going to want to connect to Azure by firing up Powershell and using the following commands (make sure you’re using administrator credentials!):

Import-Module MSOnline
$365Creds = Get-Credential
Connect-MsolService -Credential $365Creds

Once you’re connected, you can apply the policy to an individual user, or to all users by typing in (or copy/pasting) the following commands:

 

Individual user All users
Set-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName user@domain.com -PasswordNeverExpires $true Get-MSOLUser | Set-MsolUser -PasswordNeverExpires $true

 

That’s all there is to it! It’s important to note that making the change in Powershell WILL NOT reflect in MOP – the portal will still retain whatever value it was originally set to. The reason for this is because the “All Users” change in Powershell only applies to the current users in your tenant. Any new users created will have the policy in MOP applied to them.

How to configure Powershell to work with Windows Azure AD

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In a previous TechTip, I discussed the specifics and nuances of how to install and configure Powershell for use with Office 365. For 99% of the things that I’ve needed Powershell for in 365, this setup works perfectly. For the remaining 1%, there is an additional set of things we need to download and install – and that’s what we’re going to address in this post.

“Windows Azure” as Microsoft calls it, is the cloud-based Active Directory environment that Office 365 leverages. In order to do anything with Azure through Powershell, we need to first install the Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant. Make sure that you choose the version that’s applicable to your operating system… 32 or 64 bit. Download here.

Once you’ve installed the sign-in assistant, you then need to download and install the appropriate version of the Azure AD module for your operating system below:

32-bit: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?linkid=236298
64-bit: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?linkid=236297

Once that’s done, then go ahead and fire up Powershell and type in the following commands (making sure to use administrator credentials for your 365 tenant):

 

Import-Module MSOnline
$365Creds = Get-Credential
Connect-MsolService -Credential $365Creds

 

The variable declaration command will prompt you for your administrator credentials.

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That’s it! You’re ready to go with Windows Azure and Office 365!

How to stop a Hung Service

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Hello everyone,
Have you ever had those pesky problems with services not stopping when you are trying to restart a application? Or the application hangs and windows will not stop the process. Here is a quick and easy way to stop the service and kill the process.

 

1: Query the process

 

To kill the service you have to know its PID or Process ID. To find this just type the following in at a command prompt

sc queryex servicename

<Enter>

Replace ‘servicename’ with the services registry name. For example: Print Spooler is spooler. (See Picture)

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2: Identify the PID

After running the query you will by presented with a list of details. You will want to locate the PID. (Highlighted)

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Now that you have the PID, you can run the following command to kill the hung process:

taskkill /f /pid [PID]

<Enter>
This will force kill the hung service. (See Picture)

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