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We are going to remove Windows 7 systems from SpireTech support effective July 1, 2020.  Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 on January 14th, 2020.  We have been giving everyone some extra time to get those last stragglers out of their networks, but that time is coming to an end in two months.   

Each client primary contact gets a monthly report that includes a system inventory.  If you are still seeing Windows 7 systems in your network, please work to remove them. If you are sitting at a computer still running Windows 7, please request a replacement or upgrade. 

SpireTech has aggressive discounts available from Dell for new systems, please let us know if you require assistance obtaining new hardware or migrating files from old systems.  We are minimizing site calls during the Covid-19 crisis, but we can arrange delivery to your location and perform work remotely.  SpireTech has a flat-fee of $300 per system for labor associated with migrating Windows 7 machines and new computer setups. 

We do not wish to create additional financial hardship for clients.   Read more...


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used with permission from Norton by Symantec, by Steve Symanovich

You’re probably no stranger to those little pop-up windows. They tell you software updates are available for your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

You might be tempted to click on that “Remind me later” button. Don’t do it. Or, at least don’t put off updating your software for long.

Software updates are important to your digital safety and cyber security. The sooner you update, the sooner you’ll feel confident your device is more secure — until the next update reminder.

Why are software updates so important? There are a lot of reasons. Here are 5 that show why it’s important to update software regularly.

1. Software updates do a lot of things

Software updates offer plenty of benefits. It’s all about revisions. These might include repairing security holes that have been discovered and fixing or removing computer bugs. Updates can add new features to your devices and remove outdated ones.  Read more...


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Microsoft regularly releases annual updates to their current operating system, this year it is known as the Fall Creators update (Build 1709).

As more machines are being updated with this release SpireTech’s support specialists have noticed a trend in calls reporting Windows 10 system instabilities.

Some of the concerns that SpireTech is aware of include:

  • Update causes Remote Desktop (RDP) to stop functioning
  • AutoDesk software becoming unstable after the update and frequently crashing
  • Various printer vendors are working to update drivers to support Microsoft’s changes
  • Microsoft .Net Framework packages have become unstable and seem to be causing software crashes
  • Microsoft Office365 Users have reported being unable to install some other software applications if the Office suite software is running at the time

SpireTech’s VIP Managed Service customers, who have their patches managed by Spire, don’t need to be concerned about these issues as this update patch will be deferred until it can appropriately be applied.  Read more...


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After so many warnings about the end of support Windows Server 2003 (and last year, end of support for Windows XP), it might be easy to think that IT professionals are alarmists. How can the end of support for Server 2003 be that serious? Unfortunately, it is as dramatic as it sounds. It is, literally, the end of support for this Microsoft product: if something goes wrong, there is no help.

Now that support for Server 2003 is over, as of July 14, 2015, these are the three major issues businesses and organizations face if they continue to use Server 2003.

  1. Security vulnerabilities.
    Businesses that fail to migrate to a new version of Windows Server are opening the door to cybercriminals and welcoming hackers. Businesses running Server 2003 are sitting ducks without protection from future attacks, and cybercriminals know it. Microsoft will no longer provide security patches or critical fixes. There is no doubt hackers are already at work preparing attacks.
  Read more...

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W10_Laptop_AUX_Clock-01-500x281

With the Windows 10 update notification looming in the taskbar reminding you that it’s a free upgrade for those who would like it, many are considering taking the plunge and installing Microsoft’s latest offering. The question is, should you update to Windows 10 now?

The answer is: Not yet.

The latest version of Windows has addressed many of the shortcomings of the previous versions: The difficult to navigate and often cumbersome tile based interface of Windows 8 is gone, and has been replaced by the more familiar start menu and desktop.  Their Edge browser is a welcome upgrade from Internet Explorer. Microsoft is offering this upgrade free (for the first year only) to anyone who currently has a copy of Windows 7 or above, and whose system meets the minimum requirements.

Still, we would recommend waiting out the first few weeks at least before installing Windows 10. The biggest reason being drivers and stability.  Read more...


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used with permission from Microsoft

exposed_server2003_eos_thumbYou built your business with your own hands. Running, and growing, your business often means long days and late nights.

Wouldn’t you do anything to protect it?

Microsoft has announced that on July 14, 2015 support is ending for Windows Server 2003. If your business is running on this legacy server after July 14, 2015, you could be at risk.

Your business and your employees could be affected. If your business-critical applications—such as payroll, accounting, HR, inventory, email and CRM—are running on Windows Server 2003, your business is at risk.

Your customers could be affected. Does your business accept credit cards? You’ll be out of PCI compliance if you are still using Windows Server 2003.

SpireTech can help. We’ll identify the applications and workloads that are effected, make recommendations for the target destination—which could be Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure, Cloud OS or Office 365—and then plan and manage your migration.  Read more...


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used with permission from Microsoft
by Terry Myerson

windows10_july29Today, I’m excited to share the availability date for Windows 10. In fact, I thought I’d let Cortana, the world’s most personal digital assistant, share the news. You can ask Cortana for the answer! Or if you don’t have a Windows phone or a PC running the Windows 10 Insider Preview handy – you can hear it for yourself here.

Through the feedback and testing of over four million Windows Insiders, we’ve made great progress on Windows 10 and we’re nearly ready to deliver this free upgrade to all of our Windows customers*. Watch the video about Windows 10 Feature Highlights here.

Do Great Things with Windows 10

We designed Windows 10 to create a new generation of Windows for the 1.5 billion people using Windows today in 190 countries around the world. With Windows 10, we start delivering on our vision of more personal computing, defined by trust in how we protect and respect your personal information, mobility of the experience across your devices, and natural interactions with your Windows devices, including speech, touch, ink, and holograms.  Read more...


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used with permission from Microsoft for Work

windows10_starthereWindows 10 is the productivity software that individuals and corporations have been asking for. It has been built collaboratively with customers, and embraces its history while learning from the past to create something that’s both functional and familiar. With this combination, Windows 10 is the operating system that takes us from the modern day into the future.

The different facets of Windows 10 fall into three categories: what’s back, what’s familiar, and what’s new.

What’s back?

The Start menu is back—and it features some of the coolest, most useful improvements. Rather than just bringing the Start menu back, we revisited the idea and also made it more functional.

  • Search is back in the Start menu. It performs just the way you want and expect. It can search installed apps, the Store, Programs, files, and the web. It’s a powerful tool, made even more powerful by its integration with Bing search.
  Read more...

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used with permission from Microsoft

timeisnow

On July 14, 2015, Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2. Organizations that fail to migrate from Windows Server 2003/R2 before this date will be out of compliance with certain existing business standards and possibly expose themselves to vulnerabilities.

Fortunately, migrating to a supported server operating system can help you mitigate these risks and deliver valuable benefits and efficiencies that are not available in Windows Server 2003/R2. To take advantage of this opportunity, your organization will need a clear understanding of the different on-premises and cloud migration options available.

Why now?

End of support for Windows Server 2003/R2 is coming. Transforming your network infrastructure presents an opportunity to stay in compliance with current standards and help you maintain security levels. It is also a chance to innovate not just your server, but the applications that are critical to your business success.  Read more...


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windows10

Windows 10 is the next generation of Microsoft’s device OS that adapts to the devices you’re on and what you’re trying to get done, with a consistent, familiar, and compatible experience that enables you to be more productive.

Future Features

Here is a quick introduction to the first highlighted key features of Windows 10 that are included in the released Technical Preview. This is a sneak peak, and not an exhaustive list of final product features. But what might we be looking forward to?

  • Expanded Start Menu: The familiar Start menu is back, providing one-click access to the functions and files that people use most, and includes a new space to personalize with favorite apps, programs, people, and websites.
  • Apps run in a window: Apps from the Windows Store now open in the same format that desktop programs do. They can be resized and moved around, have title bars at the top allowing for maximizing, minimizing, and closing with a click.
  Read more...
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