Office 2007 Still In Use

IT Portal reports Two thirds of businesses still run Office 2007.

Spiceworks found that:

… 82 per cent of businesses in the UK, US and Canada are still using older, on-premise version of Office, with Office XP, Office 2003 and Office 2007 being used. Office 2010 is most commonly used, 43 per cent use Office 2013 and 17 per cent run Office 2016.

As a developer, I have one computer that still runs Office 2007 because I may end up writing a .net program that needs to access that version.

As to other companies using Office 2007, there are reasons. Some people don’t want to change. They know how to get what they need to get done done. Many companies figure that they have spent the money, have the product, and have no reason to change. Others don’t want to spend the time or money to re-train staff and spend money on upgrades. Neither is a small expense. There are lot of other solid reasons for not changing.

My attitude is that almost all companies should choose one of two paths. Either get on a Microsoft Office 365 program or go with LibreOffice. Either way, you will be far ahead of where you are now. The Office 365 program offers a lot of bang for the buck and is not so expensive as to be prohibitive. Office 365 is from $8.25 per user per month to $35 per user per month. I and my clients usually opt for “E3” $20 per month per user packages that cover everything I would ever need. LibreOffice is free and very powerful. LibreOffice is open source and has a very active developer base.

Do yourself, your employees, and your clients a favor, look into your options.

English MEP Windows XP Nightmare

I would hate to be an undercover cop in England!

Slashdot’s article, London Metropolitan Police’s 18,000 Windows XP PCs Is a Disaster Waiting To Happen points out a big problem. That is 18,000 potential nightmares that have access to highly private data.

They are working on upgrading to Windows 8.1. If they are as efficient as I expect them to be, the upgrade could be completed just after hell freezes over…

Unlike many, I’m not all that worried about the OS issue. I figure they have a Muhammadan insurgency about to kick off, so the police buildings will all be fire-bombed anyway. Maybe the decision makers are smarter than I thought.

PowerShell to Replace the Command Prompt

Slashdot has an article indicating that Microsoft Replaces Command Prompt with PowerShell in Latest Windows 10 Build the push to PowerShell from the Command Line is starting to happen. This won’t be all that important to many computer users but it will be critical for computer specialists.

The PowerShell and the Command Line are text screens wherein many useful functions involving setups, configurations, and general maintenance can be efficiently achieved. The move to PowerShell is going to force a lot of changes that aren’t necessary.

While the PowerShell is extremely powerful, it uses a radically different approach it its command structure and the commands that are used.

Here is an example. Lets say I want to know what the total file size usage is the the G:\test directory. I want the total for ALL of the subdirectories as well.

In the Command Line:
DIR G:\test /s

To do that with the PowerShell:
Get-ChildItem g:\test -recurse | measure-object -property length -sum

Do you notice a little more typing? Don’t get me wrong. There are some incredible things that you can do with PowerShell that very useful for computer professionals. Here is one of my favorites (it is in a script):
cd hkcu:
dir

cd hkcu:
cd software
cd microsoft
cd windows
cd CurrentVersion
cd Run
dir

The above code fragment returns a list of all RUN items from the registry. In other words, a list of tasks that start every time Windows starts.

As a business person, what does it mean to you? There is going to be a learning process and your computer people are going to be very grumpy. The Microsoft philosophy of we can stuff this nice new feature, that many don’t want, down their throats is still alive and well.

If you are computer specialist, start learning PowerShell. From one pro to another, we know just what an ugly mess Redmond is creating for some ivory tower egg-head’s latest computer science dissertation.

Office 365 Security Issue Left Accounts Open for at least Seven Hours

Slashdot.org has a article that is bound to get one’s attention.

“Office 365 Flaw Allowed Anyone To Log In To Almost Any Business Account”

On January 5th, 2016, seven hours after being notified of the security flaw, Microsoft had resolved the issue. It affected users who had configured domais as federated. Put simply, if you are using Office 365 for a unified login on your network, your accounts were vulnerable.

Among those affected were Telefonika, Caltex Australia, Aston Martin, Helly Hansen, Georgia State University, Japan Airlines, Santa Clara County, City of Chicago,IL, British Airways, Microsoft, Vodafone, Verizon and many others.

Note, a far more technical and full explanation is presented on the Economy of Mechanism site.

The bottom line is this. Online resources will always have potential security issues. As someone with experience as an administrator for over 25 years, I can guarantee that that is also the case with local servers. In this case, I am not overly worried, because I’ve always avoided federated domains to avoid just this type of issue…

Is your data safe? For the most part yes. I guarantee the large online providers like Microsoft are doing their best. They wrote the software you are using and understand it better than any of us do.

Windows 10 Full Screen Ads on Lockscreen

Slashdot is reporting that:

“Windows 10 has now started showing full screen ads on users’ lock screens…”

The article is nice enough to tell users how to turn off that garbage:

Follow these steps to disable Windows Spotlight:
Open the Start Menu and search for “Lock Screen Settings.”; Under “Background,” select either Picture or Slideshow, instead of Windows Spotlight.

Microsoft really wants angry users. They are going to push every opportunity to use people’s bandwidth to sell product. I believe that alternate operating systems accessing web apps will eventually eliminate the Microsoft issues. Until that day, we will have to do our best to avoid “upgrading” to Windows 10, where possible.