Copeland News - April, 2012
We bring you this spring edition of Copeland News. It is a great time of the year to review where you have been, look at what you are doing, and with new energy and vision, set out a course on where you need to be. In our world of business of today, technology is frequently used to help bring a new vision.
While browsing this newsletter, if you think of anything that you would like to discuss as it applies to your situation, never hesitate to drop me a note. We are here to help and serve in any way we can.
In this issue of Copeland News
More on Windows 8
Windows 8 is Microsoft's answer to a client market full of options – PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Today, various Microsoft operating systems run different types of devices: PCs, laptops and some tablets may use Windows 7; handheld devices may use Windows CE; and a Windows phone may use Windows Mobile or Windows Phone. Each of these operating systems thrive in their own domains.
Windows 8 is designed to change all that. Microsoft's goal is to have one operating system running all of these devices. There will be two basic configurations for each install. The legacy configuration will look and act very similar to what we have all come to know Windows PCs to look and feel like. Metro, the new interface, is designed with touch screens in mind, as it allows users to interact with applications using their fingers – similar to what we do today with our tablets and smartphones.
Microsoft now has available what they call Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Unless you are ready to overwrite your current Windows installation or have an extra machine meeting the hardware requirements, we would not recommend downloading and installing the preview at this time. The product is indeed still in development while bugs and other problems are being worked out. Because of its status, Microsoft has kept much information on Windows 8 rather guarded.
Bits and pieces of information on Windows 8 can be found in the "See What's New" section of this site.
Windows 8 may be available this fall, possible around October or November.
Leveraging LinkedIn Connections
If you have not already done so, you should consider your organization or business join LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business-centric social networking site bringing professionals and companies together in a B2B environment. Though some users do upgrade to a paid premium account, most of LinkedIn's users use the free level of membership to meet all their needs.
You should also create a Company page for your organization, which describes and differentiates your business however you choose. You can see an example of our five company pages at the links below:
- Company Overview
- Services Overview
- Service Detail: Website Development/Integration/Design
- Service Detail: Network Design and Management
- Service Detail: Business Systems Development
You can also post job openings and use the social networking aspects of this site to attract new job-seekers.
Once a company is created, you attract followers who, through their list of contacts, increases your profile's reach. Followers are key to driving word of mouth, recommendations and referral or your products or services.
LinkedIn provides social code snippets allowing you to add a "Follow" button or badge on your website to easily attract followers. We have this on every page on our website - something we can do for you as well.
Here are some quick, easy tips to using using LinkedIn:
- Get the Word Out - Ask everyone you know to follow you – customers, partners, friends and family. After all, you never know where the next big opportunity will come from.
- Make it Easy - Add a LinkedIn Company Page "Follow" button on your website and marketing materials. Easy for them, easy for you. While you're at it, use your business cards and other print communications to remind people to follow your company on LinkedIn.
- Optimize Your Message - With our powerful analytics, you can track your followers to see which updates they're liking and sharing. Testing your updates will allow you to fine tune your message and drive higher engagement.
- Encourage followers to like, share, and comment on your posts.
If you haven't already, please follow us on LinkedIn and consider taking a moment to "recommend" any of the services you receive from Copeland Data Systems.
Mobilize Your Website
As smartphones and tablets continue to expand in the consumer market, how you website looks and interacts with smaller footprints needs to be considered. For this reason, many companies are creating lightweight versions of their websites targeting mobile users.
Mobile web browsing is standard for both consumers and for business users alike. What was once was an exception is now a reality, and mobile users expect sites to be easy to use on their smartphones and tablets.
In building a mobile website, the designer must keep the following into consideration:
- Smaller footprint means that screen width has to be managed.
- At the same time, you want to minimize vertical scrolling, as users are less likely to traverse down to unseen content.
- Functions need to be created to breakdown the content logically so mobile users can quickly get to the information they want.
- Careful attention needs to be paid to navigation. A web experience that walks the user through dialogs needs to be broken down into smaller, more "mobile" manageable pieces.
- Remove unnecessary graphics and content. Less screen real-estate means that you need to maximize what is presented and be conscious of your customers' bandwidth.
A mobile presence, depending on the website content, is usually never trivial, and really takes some good design to make it effective. While very sophisticated mobile sites can cost upwards of $100K, smaller sites, in many cases, can be done very affordably.
If you want to see our mobile site, just head to http://copelanddata.mobi. We also do browser detection on copelanddata.com and present this link in our page banner when a mobile device is detected.
If you want to talk about the possibility of a mobile site, please drop us a note.
All-in-One Desktop PCs
Traditional desktop "big box" PCs are not so much in demand these days, as many manufacturers are offering All-in-One Desktop PCs.
While All-in-One Desktop PCs come in many shapes and sizes, the attribute common to all of them is that there is "less of everything." All-in-Ones have a small form factor, so there is less room for add-in cards and additional memory. In many ways, they have the same "lack of flexibility' as many laptops do today. However, these PCs come well-equipped so it is not likely you will need much in additional capacity once you take it out of the box.
Many All-in-Ones today house the CPU in the monitor. Standard size keyboard and mouse are typically offered and, in many cases, they are connected wirelessly.
Most manufacturers, including Dell and HP, offer All-in-One PCs. All-in-Ones are typically priced a little higher than standard desktops and can be purchased for in the $850-$1300 range.
You can learn more about Dell’s All-in-One offerings HERE
If you would like to talk more about All-in-Ones for your office setting, give us a shout.
Did You Know?
A new service called "Online Desktop Plus" allows you to run Windows 7 from an iPad. This service is perfect iPad users who want to use the Microsoft Office Suite (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint) or for those users who want a Flash-based browser. You can try this for free, available from the Apple Store. Use of Online Desktop Plus for Android devices is coming soon.
LogMeIn is now offering a free iPad application that can be used to
RIM is still struggling to excite users with their Blackberry line of phones. The latest trend is that many employees bring their own devices to the workplace and connect them to corporate resources (email, etc). Apple’s iPhone/iPad and the Android line of phones and tablets have infiltrated the corporate setting.
The creation of an app for iPads/iPhones or Android devices for your customers to connect to you is far from trivial. Apps inherently have the challenge of availability on multiple platforms (iPad/iPhone/iPod, Android, and soon, Windows 8). Because of this issue, many businesses choose a web-based solution that just works across all mobile platforms. HTML5 and CSS3, and JQuery are the technologies already with wide adoption in all new browsers that provide new controls to look and feel very much like an app.
Many businesses have done some customization of their Facebook landing page. The new Facebook "TimeLine" function (forced out March 30, 2012) changes some of this, as addressed in this Facebook Help Center page. Let us know if you want assistance in rethinking your Facebook presence.
Your comments are always appreciated...
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