@Colinsteele asked a good question this morning.
Good question and it presents one of the advantages that the iPhone has over Android. With Android there are an increasing number of flavors of the operating system. You can be sitting right next to somebody who has the exact same phone you do and you could have different versions of the operating system. You could be on 2.2, he's on 2.3. Or worse.
Our firm has standardized on Android smartphones but not all on the same device - there are some Thunderbolts, some DroidXs...even an original Moto Droid I think. And there could easily be 3 or 4 DIFFERENT versions of the OS in our firm. Which does sometimes make support a bit tricky. And it's just going to get worse if Google doesn't figure out a way to get a handle on it.
It's not just that people are choosing not to upgrade - like a PC user stubbornly clinging to Vista - but rather that the upgrades just aren't available. Verizon seems to roll out Android updates as slowly as somebody who would roll out updates really slowly. The guy at the Verizon store gave me a winning smile and told me that my shiny new HTC Thunderbolt was the top of the line and that it would be the first to get new updates as they came out. That was quite a while ago and here I sit with 2.2.1 still while some of my friends frolic with their 2.3 (or later) devices.
Every now and then I actually do click the "Check New" button to see if there is an update silently waiting for me...but that's the triumph of hope over experience. They might as well rename that button "Don't Expect Much".
And the new Kindle Fire, which I'm excited about, promises to tweak the issue in a different way - its version of Android (which is open source, so anybody can fiddle with it) is reported to be a pretty major fork in the code. A fork is where a developer breaks off from the previous stream of code and from then on future versions of his code is fundamentally different from the same version (i.e. 2.5 vs. 2.5) from the original development stream. Which means that it won't be enough to say "Hey, I'm on Android 3.7!" You may have to know if you're on Amazon Android 3.7 or Google Android 3.7. (or maybe Motorola 3.7 or HTC 3.7 or...)
Open source is exciting and leads to some exciting (and a lot of awful) development. But it also can be a support nightmare and tends to chase the neophytes who just want the thing to work without wondering why their screen looks different from their coworker's screen.
In that regard Apple's monolithic iOS, with its homogeneous devices marching in relative lockstep, can be appealing.
Anyhow, I'm going to go be disappointed again...Menu...Settings...Software Update....<sigh>
Some of you have Columbus Day off...but the Monday Morning Technologist doesn't.
Experts Explain Greatest Threats to Cloud Computing (Network World)
What I find most interesting about this article is not the conflicting opinions about which is the greatest threat to cloud computing, but that they got together a bunch of experts who each identified different threats to cloud computing. Companies considering a move to the Cloud should consider ALL of these issues before moving confidential or mission-critical data or systems to the Cloud.
ThunderBolt Users Get a Glimpse?
There was a report that the HTC ThunderBolt was finally going to get an OS update and that the update actually DID release...but only very briefly. Apparently a couple of bugs that affected certain features caused the update to be pulled again until those bugs can be fixed - no idea what the timeframe for that is. Some users are frustrated because the bugs in question would seem to affect only a small subset of users, but Verizon/HTC is probably doing the right thing to pull the update back until they can get it right.
I can only imagine how challenging it must be for developers of Android Apps by the way. Not only do you have dozens of different devices out there with different processors, memory and screen sizes, but you've even got a whole bunch of different flavors of the operating system.
Microsoft Patch Tuesday
Microsoft's Patch Tuesday will be tomorrow and there are going to be 23 new patches out, of which 2 are rated critical. Be sure to take care of your patches for all of your Windows systems!
Of course, one thing that's harder to patch is your users. Many of the high profile hacks/breaches we've seen lately have been the direct result of a careless or uneducated user doing something dumb - like clicking a malicious link or opening an attachment from a suspicious source. Be sure to invest in your users - give them the training they need, don't get complacent. It will pay off for you.
Encrypt Those Portable Devices
Just another reminder - because I'm *STILL* seeing unencrypted portable devices in the field with company data on them. It's not hard or expensive to do. But it IS hard AND expensive to deal with a data compromise that results from a lost, unencrypted, device. Here's an article that might help: "Encrypting Your Portable Devices with TrueCrypt"
I wonder how many people have just said "Uh, o.k.!" and opened the attached file anyhow? <sad sigh>
And no, it didn't really come from a GMail account.
This week Microsoft has awarded Roland Schorr & Tower CEO Ben M. Schorr with the "Most Valuable Professional" (MVP) award for the 16th straight year. Ben has been supporting Outlook, Exchange, OneNote...heck, the whole Microsoft Office suite as well as Office365, Windows and many other solutions for businesses world-wide for nearly 22 years. He's very honored to receive this award as recognition for his role in supporting the business and technology community once again.
Today is the 6-year birthday of Roland Schorr & Tower!
Six years ago today three partners formed a new consulting firm in Honolulu, Hawaii that rose from the ashes of a Swedish-based firm that two of the partners had worked for. Since then we've helped a lot of companies and grown from one office to three. We've travelled all over the world and met a lot of nice folks.
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank our clients, staff, vendors, partners and supporters for six great years.
Looking forward to the next six years!