Windows XP

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Category: IT News.

On 8 April Microsoft will finally cease its support for the struggling operating system Windows XP – a decision that’s bound to be met with a mixed reception around the world.

The software, launched in 2001, is still installed on a third of all PCs globally and only Windows 7 (released in 2009) has managed to have any real impact on its usage, being installed on just under half of all PCs today.

But Microsoft would much prefer that people were using the very latest OS, Windows 8.1 as XP has become known as something of a “zombie”.

In fact, its demise has been a long time coming. Microsoft even released an XP End of Support Countdown Gadget just to make sure everyone knew it was soon to be defunct – and this news could be the gentle nudge that PC users have needed to encourage them to upgrade.

So if you’re one of the many users still loyal to XP, be prepared for vultures in the form of hackers, viruses and malware to begin circling over the rotting corpse of XP as Microsoft stop releasing security patches and updates for the soon to be deceased software.

But what has caused this long overdue fall from grace?

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Office for iPad

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Category: IT News, Microsoft Office.

Shares in Microsoft have soared following rumours that their Office suite will soon be available to use on the iPad.

So is there any truth in this latest round of Microsoft-Apple gossip? Well, it seems we won’t have to wait long to find out.

Reuters recently reported that Microsoft had a full version of its Office suite ready to release for on iOS, it just wasn’t sure when the company would make the announcement. Well, the answer could well come sooner rather than later.

Microsoft is holding a media event on Monday March 24th in San Francisco to announce what it called “some news related to the intersection of cloud and mobile”.

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internet cable

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Category: IT News.

On 12 March, 1989 Tim Berners-Lee was working at the Swiss physics laboratory Cern when he produced a technical paper which was the blueprint for The World Wide Web (you may have heard of it).

The immediate response to this ultimately life changing proposal was somewhat underwhelming as his boss commented: “Vague, but exciting”.

Yet 25 years on nobody could have imagined just how revolutionary, groundbreaking and “exciting” this technological breakthrough was to become.

The web has gone from being something that no one had heard of to something none of us can live without – all in a quarter of a century.

From one basic website to almost 200 million around the globe, here are 10 defining moments in the evolution of the World Wide Web – some of which have enabled you to read this blog from the comfort of your home or office.

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Sins of IT Support Companies

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Category: IT News, IT Support.

Does your IT Support ensure your systems are good enough OR do they ensure that they are actually giving you a competitive advantage?

If something goes wrong – do you rest assured that you have an IT support partner you can rely on?

Not sure?  Then consider these seven signs that mean it’s time to consider a new IT support partner…

1. You only talk to your IT Support when something goes wrong

A good IT support firm will perform preventative maintenance to reduce the chance of things breaking in the first place. You should feel able to turn to them for advice whenever you need it – do you have unlimited telephone contact during each working day all in with the price of your contract?

In short, they should be more than The Emergency Service for your business-critical computers. If they’re not, you can almost certainly get better value elsewhere.

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Facebook Farewell

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Category: IT News.

Did you know that Facebook recently celebrated its 10th Birthday?

Where would we be without 10 years of “pokes”, “likes”, and status updates that have kept us riveted regarding the goings-on of people we barely even know?

Probably a whole lot better off, actually. But that’s not the point.

Facebook has certainly changed the way many of us live our lives and connect with friends and family, but I wouldn’t start planning for its 20th celebrations just yet if I were you.

The site that put social networking on the map may have been conceived in a  Harvard dorm room, before going on to become one of the biggest success stories in recent history with 1.23 billion active users – but already there are dissenting voices suggesting it won’t see another 10 years.

If recent studies are to be believed, Facebook’s days are numbered. With some reports suggesting a haemorrhaging of users, apathy among young users and one even comparing it to an infectious disease.

Astonishingly, researchers at Princeton have even predicted that Facebook will lose 80% of its users within the next three years.

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Bad Password

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Category: IT News, Latest.

A list of the 25 most guessed passwords in 2013 has been released – with “123456” being hacked more than any other.

An unoriginal option, maybe, but it’s proven to be the most common and means last year’s most commonly used password – “password” (ironically) – has been relegated to second place.

Other popular passwords in the running included “abc123,” “111111,” and “letmein”.

The list, which is released annually by SplashData and compiled from files containing millions of stolen passwords, is an attempt to highlight the danger of poor personal security and encourage users to come up with more original, as well as stronger passwords.

So, what can you do in order to keep your computer and valuable information safe at all times?

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Computer Virus

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Category: IT News, IT Security, IT Support.

The PC Support Group has issued a warning to all computer users about a type of computer virus attack which appears to be affecting an increased number of systems in recent weeks.

This relatively new type of malware is capable of bypassing anti-virus/anti-malware protection by changing its appearance, and until anti-malware software is made aware of the new ‘strain’ it isn’t able to block it.  This process can take hours from when the virus is released and as a consequence there is a window of time where systems are particularly exposed and vulnerable to attack.

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young people coding

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Category: IT News.

The PC Support Group’s Managing Director, Philip Bird, has offered his backing to the BBC’s proposal of getting more young people coding.

30 years on from trying to make computing mainstream by installing machines into the majority of schools across the country, the BBC has announced plans to “bring coding into every home, business and school in the UK”.

Plans for the scheme are, as yet, unclear but it shows a willingness from the organisation to change the way the nation thinks about coding.

In a speech to staff, BBC director general Tony Hall said that the initiative would launch in 2015.

“We want to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology,” he said.

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Hudl Tesco Tablet

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Category: IT News.

Tesco are set to launch their competition for the increasingly popular tablet market as they aim to compete with major software giants including Apple.

If you thought there was no end to the supermarket’s ability to rival the major brands; you’d be right. Cheap clothing, low cost food brands and now a budget tablet.

But can the Hudl, as it is to be known, stand up to the pricier alternatives on the market?

Let’s get this straight. We’re not talking bargain basement here, the tablet costs £119. Even so, it should still attract a lot of interest from those still not wishing to shell out upwards of £300 for the privilege of surfing and browsing on the move.

Tesco’s tablet will run the latest version of Android, has a 1.5 GHz processor, an HD screen and expandable storage – so they obviously mean business.

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iPhone 5S Finger Print Scan

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Category: IT News, Latest.

The latest generation iPhone was unveiled by Apple at a glitzy event in California earlier this week.

Pairing the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, this is the first time the technology giant has released two handsets on the same day, in what many think is a change of direction for the company.

Despite all the fuss surrounding a possible new budget-friendly version, it’s the latest 5S model that has made all the headlines as phone enthusiasts wait to see what Apple has up its sleeve next.

With the iPhone being Apple’s single biggest product in terms of income, the announcement is a vital part of their strategy for the next 12 months when it comes to seeing-off competition from the likes of Samsung and Nokia in the cut-throat world of smartphones.

So, after all the razzmatazz of this latest Apple announcement – you may find yourself asking: “What exactly is the difference?” and “Why should I upgrade or buy Apple’s latest model?”.

Well, here is a rundown of what you need to know.

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