Microsoft Announces Windows 10!


The new Windows 10 Start Menu, with customizable panel

Windows 10 is on its way for a release before the end of 2015! Microsoft announced earlier this week that they are releasing their latest operating system on all platforms before the end of 2015, which includes Xbox, smartphones, tablets, PCs and laptops.

This is very exciting news, however, the first question anyone who’s following Microsoft might ask is: “What happened to Windows 9?”

Microsoft has been talking about its imminent Windows 9 OS, pretty much ever since the backlash over a missing Start Menu in Windows 8. So why are they abandoning 9? They chose to move forward from 9 to create a unified theme between all platforms. Here is the direct response from Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft:

“This product, when you see [it in its], fullness, I think you’ll agree with us that it’s a more appropriate name. That fullness applies to Windows Phone, too, which will see Windows 10 as its next major upgrade. Windows 10 is built for “screens from 4 to 80 inches.”

Terry Myerson, MS Executive Vice President also states:

“Windows 9 name wouldn’t be right, given the new One Microsoft internal strategy. Hence the move to Windows 10.”

This move to Windows 10 is going to be a huge test for Microsoft, as it is increasingly becoming whispered that Windows 8 is considered a failure, along the lines of the Windows Vista OS.

From early previews of this new OS, however, great things have been said. (For anyone who would like to try the early preview of the Windows 10 OS, you can sign up and download the OS for free here: (64-bit preview).)

From the early preview, Microsoft has stated it is interested in taking the best parts of Windows 7 and Windows 8 to combine into creating the best operating system yet. Going to a unified operating system for all of Microsoft’s platforms will present a nice solution to integration of the various platforms into a small business environment, making the transition from smartphone, to laptop, to tablet a much easier process for even the most basic user.

Here at our Everon office we have downloaded and installed the tech preview for Windows 10. Just from the past few hours of reviewing it we can report that Microsoft has included a ton of features that are going to help technicians troubleshoot the OS quicker and more efficiently. Stay tuned for future blogs on the various features and find out what you can expect from Microsoft, with regard to this OS. If you have any questions about it, feel free to call our technicians at 1-888-244-1748. We are pretty excited about the changes they have made and would be happy to share our excitement with anyone willing to listen. :)

Cell Phone Theft: How to protect yourself



shady's blog post (1)In 2012, an estimated 1.6 million Americans had their smartphones stolen. The thefts were particularly common in larger cities. For example, about half of the robberies reported in San Francisco included smartphones [source: Consumer Reports]. About 40 percent of the reported robberies in every major metropolitan area, including Washington, D.C. and New York City, involve the theft of smartphones [source: Metropolitan Police Dept. DC]. One proposal to slow the escalation of these crimes is the installation of a “kill switch” on all phones, allowing the phone to be rendered useless if stolen. Phone carriers have refused to adopt this, however, and the courts have not been able to put this practice into law.

So what can you do to make sure that a thief cannot get away with your phone and information?

There are multiple applications on the market that allow for GPS tracking of your phone, remote wiping of all data, and even the ability to make an alarm sound on your phone if it’s lost — even if the sound is turned off. One company offering such an app is Lookout. They offer a free product for personal users that do all of this plus scan for malware, block malicious websites, and email you the last known location of your phone before the battery died. It is like Lo-Jack for your phone. The free version covers a couple of devices, but you can get the paid version which will allow for business use and installation of many devices, as well as backup of all your contacts and pictures. The business version provides a central management interface where you can locate any device and ensure that they are not infected, exposing your internal network to infections should they connect to wireless or VPN.

While being prepared for loss or theft is always a good idea, voicing your concern to enact a law to mandate a “kill switch” as a standard is the best theft prevention plan proposed to date. The only way currently to avoid theft is awareness of your surroundings, but you can take steps to ensure you are protected from infection, to backup your information, and to recover your device should it go missing.

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


“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….

Blackberry: Going from a Pearl to a Storm


About a year ago I went from a traditional dumb phone, no PDA capabilities, to my very own Blackberry Pearl. I showed my new baby to my friends and coworkers. They gave the keyboard funny looks (it shares letters on each key and uses SureType technology to determine which one you actually want to use when you start typing), and truthfully, I wasn’t too sure about it myself. I wondered if I really needed to get my work email real-time. I hadn’t used the internet much on the old phone and didn’t know how many of the crazy functions I’d really use. Was I getting a tech gizmo gadget doohickey because I would really use everything it had to offer, or because I just wanted it?

Fastforward to now. I can’t live without my crackberry. I check my email first thing when I wake up and right before I go to sleep so that I know what’s going on with work and can help out whenever possible. I Google frequently and am on my way to developing carpal tunnel syndrome from texting so much. My phone is my camera, my schedule, my mp3 player, my link to Facebook, my Gmail account and Google Talk, and basically a piece of me. I feel naked without it. I dread long flights and dead zones. I went camping a month ago and had to drive into town to feel connected again.

However, I have several friends who have even fancier phones. Big, colorful screens. Screens you can touch, swipe, swivel and tap. The navigation button on my Pearl was starting to look a little sad. I liked the size of my phone, but not the size of my screen. I was developing “Touch Screen Envy.” Luckily for me, Blackberry had released the Storm model at the beginning of this year, and I was due for my “New Every Two” with Verizon. I dropped by the store in the mall and walked out with my very own touchscreen smart phone. I’ve had it for a couple days now. I haven’t used it as much as I thought I would; while the interface is sleeker and touching the screen gives me a thrill, the basic functionality is still the same and it’s not as new as an entirely different type of device like a Palm or an iPhone.


I’ve installed Facebook, Gmail, Google Chat and Opera Mini; this process was surprisingly easier than on my Pearl, since the Storm has a fancy section called Application Center which gives download links to a dozen popular applications in one location. I had to search on the Pearl through the browser to get all this stuff installed before. It also comes with an 8GB microSD card, and I’ve already transferred all my music and pictures from my old card onto this new jumbo storage chip.

Email Functionality

Setting it up on our Blackberry Enterprise Server was the same procedure as with the Pearl, even the same menus. However, my emails are now separated from my MMS and SMS Text messages, and I really like this. Now my work stuff is my work stuff and my texts are in another folder. It’s a small thing, but I’m already happier.

Keyboard and Typing

The touchscreen is pretty nifty. I can set the sensitivity in the Options menu, but I haven’t felt the need to update this yet. Being able to swipe the screen sideways while reading emails has been handy; I can move between messages pretty quickly. However, I have found that so far, I type slower. I miss my Pearl’s physical keypad. I’ve used the Storm keyboard in horizontal and vertical mode, and it doesn’t seem to matter, although in vertical orientation it’s the same layout as the Pearl SureType keyboard. I could type a mile a minute on the Pearl and was pretty accurate, too. I find that even though the Storm keyboard highlights the area where your finger touches when pressing a key, I still make many mistakes in my typing. Perhaps this is just me calibrating my touch-style to this particular screen. Perhaps it will drive me nuts in the end. It’s still too early to tell.

I have 30 days to decide whether or not I like this new way of doing business. 30 days of typing and goofing up. Also 30 days of a screen twice the size of my Pearl and the option to “swipe” the screen around. It’s a cool gadget and I’m enjoying getting to know it. We’ll see if I stick with it, or decide to get a Curve instead!

Kristin Mott
Network Engineer Team Lead
Everon Technology Services