IT Support and Hardware for Clinics
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News, Information and Updates on Hardware and IT Tools to help improve your Medical practice
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What Software Is Needed In A Medical Office

What Software Is Needed In A Medical Office | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Many medical and clinical offices are progressing to computer-based organizational systems for their offices. Filing, billing, and prescription services are all online now in a majority of practices, subsequently making offices run more efficiently and reducing stress for patients.

If you are preparing to open a new medical office or upgrade your older system to a computer-based one, here are six of the software programs and services you’ll want to look into.

 

Top 6 Medical Office Software Tools for Your Business


There are many different software programs and packages available to suit your needs, depending on your type of practice. Here are 6 ways to schedule patients faster and more efficiently:

 

1. Electronic Medical RecordsThere is a reason that it is difficult to find any medical office that still uses a paper filing system for patient records. Electronic Medical Records, or EMR software, makes all the information you need instantly available without the worry of a page or note getting lost.

 

2. Electronic Prescription software-Prescription software can be integrated with your EMR of choice to automatically submit prescription orders and save time filling medications

 

3. Medical Billing Software Medical billing software can also be integrated with your EMR software to create instant invoices for services rendered. Most billing software also includes the ability to file insurance information and accept credit and debit card payments.


4. HIPAA SecurityIt is always necessary that you have a good security suite to protect your clientele’s extremely sensitive personal information. For any medical office your security system must meet all HIPPA standards.

 

5. Accounting SoftwareAccounting software is designed to help you handle your inventory and general expense accounts without the need for professionally trained and educated accountants.

 

6. Recovery SoftwareIn the event that your computer comes down with a virus, or your computer’s hardware fails in any way, it is very important that you have a system in place to automatically back-up your data to an outside source and restore it when your computer issues are solved.


Keep in mind also that it is very important that you have a decent technical support plan in place also for all of your equipment and software to get you back up and running in case any issues with your programs should arise.

 

How to Reduce Stress in a Medical Office
You will need a scheduling program that automatically protects against common scheduling programs such as double-booking, understaffing, and patient no-shows.

Scheduling software can help you manage patient and staff schedules and send automatic reminders so your patients don’t miss their next appointment.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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How to Create A Medical Practice Business Strategy

How to Create A Medical Practice Business Strategy | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

When doctors begin a practice, a great first step is to create a medical practice business strategy.

 

A Medical Practice Business Strategy is a formal process. It helps to identify your mission, values, goals, projects, timing, barriers, opportunities, and strategies.

 

A well-structured strategic business planning process can help your practice in both the short and the long term. Having a clear strategic plan for your business means providing clear direction for your team. It also helps prevent wasted activities that may actually work against each other.

 

It also offers an opportunity for medical practice owners, medical practice team members to collaborate in choosing the future direction of the practice.

 

The 5 Key Parts of Medical Practice Business Strategy

To begin the process of starting a medical practice business plan, set aside several hours as a team, and break the medical practice business strategy into 5 key areas:

1) Medical Practice Mission Statement

Your mission statement is the overall purpose and driver for all behavior. It should be clear, concise and motivating for all team members. Ideally, it should reflect the practice’s direction for the next 5-10 years.

2) Medical Practice Values Statement

Values are a little more intangible at times, but still very important. Consider what’s important to your medical practice, and how you deliver care. They way you interact with patients and each other are all going to reflect the values you espouse.

3) SWOT Analysis

Take the time to think through the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that are specific to your practice in your location. Given your practice mission and values, in what areas do you excel? Where are you weaker? Based on this, what opportunities and threats to do you see to your practice in the next 5-10 years?

 4) Medical Practice Goals

What are the practice’s specific goals? Financial goals are important, but also think about things like staffing, marketing, IT needs, operations, etc? If this is a new practice, this is the time to think in terms of creating an ideal practice. If this is an established solo or group practice, then perhaps it is a revision of what has been set in the past.

5) Medical Practice Projects

Within each goal will likely be several projects that need to be completed. Of course, any new projects come with a price tag. As these projects will likely be in addition to the day to day operations, have you estimated the time cost of each project? Do your team members have the skills and ability to accomplish the projects on your list?


Should you do it yourself, or hire a professional?

In any medical practice, there are likely to be differences of opinion, and someone outside the organization with no personal stake in the outcome can often help to be a guide for the discussion. An experienced external facilitator or medical practice consultant can also bring to the table lessons learned from other medical practice business strategy planning sessions.

It is very easy to skip this process when starting a medical practice. However without a medical practice business strategy, you also are likely to miss opportunities and make some expensive mistakes as you grow your practice.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Contact Details :

inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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Will Executive Order Impact Cybercrime?

Will Executive Order Impact Cybercrime? | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

President Obama on April 1 issued an executive order that allows the U.S. government to block or seize the assets of suspected "malicious cyber actors." But some legal and security experts already are questioning whether the order is legally defensible or will have any meaningful impact on either cybercrime or online espionage.


"There are so many problems with this," attorney Mark Rasch, a former U.S. Department of Justice official who created its computer crime unit, tells Information Security Media Group, citing, for example, the government's ability to presume someone is guilty, without first having to prove it. "In general, sanctions are a political tool for putting pressure on recalcitrant governments to change their ways, [but] these sanctions are a legal tool to impose punishment without trial on persons we believe to be criminals and hackers."


The Obama administration, however, says that the executive order - officially titled "Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities" is necessary to give the U.S. government much-needed new legal tools in its fight against cybercrime and online espionage. The executive order represents the first time that the White House has authorized broad sanctions to be imposed specifically for cyber-attacks, and regardless of the location of whoever is behind the attacks.


"Our primary focus will be on cyberthreats from overseas, Obama writes on news website Medium. "In many cases, diplomatic and law enforcement tools will still be our most effective response. But targeted sanctions, used judiciously, will give us a new and powerful way to go after the worst of the worst."


The executive order authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury - in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State - to impose such sanctions "on individuals or entities that engage in malicious cyber-enabled activities that create a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy or economic health or financial stability of the United States," Obama says in an April 1 statement distributed by the White House.


While the executive order doesn't define "significant," it says sanctions can be imposed for a variety of reasons, for example, in response to attacks that target critical infrastructure, which disrupt networks - via distributed denial-of-service attacks, for instance - as well as for targeting or stealing trade secrets or personally identifiable information, and for computer crime in general.

Intent: To Fill Gaps

White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel says the executive order is meant to expand the "spectrum of tools" that the government can use to combat cyber-attacks, by supplementing current diplomatic, law enforcement, military, economic and intelligence capabilities.


"It is designed to fill in a gap that we have identified where individuals carrying out significant malicious cyber-attacks are located in places that it's difficult for our diplomatic and law enforcement tools to reach - whether because they're behind the borders of a country that has weak cybersecurity laws, or the government is complicit in or turning a blind eye to the activity that is happening, and we don't have good law enforcement relationships or other kinds of relationships," he said on an April 1 a press call. "So what we're doing is putting in place a tool that will enable us to impose costs on those actors."


John Smith, the Treasury Department's acting director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, which administers and enforces U.S. economic sanctions programs, said on the press call that the executive order elevates cyber-attacks to the realm of such activities as counterterrorism, narcotics trafficking and transnational crime, which the United States targets, regardless of where they're based. Smith says the administration is hoping that by designating cybercrime and online espionage in this manner, more countries will be spurred to put a stop to related activities inside their borders, or which touches their financial system.

Sony Hack Inspired Order

The Washington Post reports that the executive order has been under development for the past two years. But Daniel says the need for the executive order was highlighted after the president called for a "proportional response" to the hack attack against Sony Pictures. "That process informed us as we were finishing up this executive order and highlighted the need for us to have this capability and to have this tool."


The move follows another executive order, signed by the president in January, that imposed sanctions on 10 individuals and three entities associated with the North Korean government, after the FBI attributed the November 2014 hack and wiper malware attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment to "North Korea actors." But numerous information security experts have continued to question that attribution.

Questioning the Rationale

And some legal and security experts are now questioning the rationale behind the new executive order. "It's really built out of frustration, because the international legal process does not deal effective with cybercrime," says Rasch, the former DOJ official. "So there's the urge to take the law into your own hands. Resist that urge."


Rasch adds that another problem with the executive order is that it's not aimed just at state sponsors - or nation-state-backed attackers - but anyone who the U.S. believes has broken the law. Furthermore, it allows the government to impose punishments, such as seizing U.S. citizens' assets, without any due process, or having to first prove the government's case.


The administration says that anyone who wants to contest sanctions that get imposed using this executive order can do so with OFAC, or by filing a lawsuit against the federal government.

Cybercrime Impact?

But will the executive order lead to any meaningful reduction in cybercrime or online espionage? "I'm somewhat skeptical, to say the least," Sean Sullivan, a security adviser for Helsinki, Finland-based anti-virus firm F-Secure, tells ISMG. "There's a great deal of Russian-speaker-based 'espionage as a service' that would be very difficult to do much about. And China seems even more of a challenge. But then again, maybe there are some officials who do actually have American assets to go after - New York real estate, for example."


James A. Lewis, a cyberpolicy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, believes that the new program could have an impact, for example to combat Chinese-promulgated economic espionage. "You have to create a process to change the behavior of people who do cyber-economic espionage," he tells The Washington Post. "Some of that is to create a way to say it's not penalty free. This is an effective penalty. So it moves them in the right direction."

But Rasch thinks it's unlikely that the executive order would fulfill the stated White House purpose of deterring future cybercrime, espionage and large-scale attacks. "The rogues are not going to be deterred by this," he says. "The state sponsors are not going to be deterred by this."


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From Brick and Mortar to Mobile Cloud: How Tech Trends Define Workplace

From Brick and Mortar to Mobile Cloud: How Tech Trends Define Workplace | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

The rise of the Internet and related web technologies has greatly changed the looks of a modern workplace, transforming it into an ever-connected set of devices used from different physical locations.

 

With more and more companies now relying on on-demand resources, brick-and-mortar offices are in most industries becoming replaced by the open ecosystem of mobile workforce.

 

The evident growth of mobile workforce we are seeing nowadays owes a lot to the emergence of cloud computing and a variety of tools it made available online.

 

However, this trend is also a significant factor of creating next-generation mobile professionals who no longer need to be physically present in the office to finish their tasks. Instead, they feel more productive and motivated for professional challenges once their technology-related requirements are fulfilled.

 

How employees see the cloud

The cloud has been a part of our lives for years and by now has gained ground in most areas of our private and professional activities.

 

When it comes to using cloud-based applications for business, employees are not only happy to use this resource, but also believe it is critical for improving their productivity, as revealed in an earlier SpiceWorks survey.

 

This especially relates to file management, sharing and collaboration, which are probably the most striking business areas where cloud has made its impact.

 

One of the primary advantages of the cloud in the increasingly mobile world is the fact employees no longer have to shift between multiple devices and folders to manage their files. With everything in sync, they can better organize their time, as well as the data necessary for achieving business goals.

 

Mobile devices and work from home

The emergence of smart devices and their enhanced performance has certainly transformed the way employees perceive workplace.

 

Nowadays, when most of the tasks can be finished remotely, people seem to feel more productive when working from their homes.

 

Last year’s survey suggests that 33% of employees feel they work more from home, while 40% of managers report significant overall benefits from introducing remote working.

 

Furthermore, an interesting research  found out that 36% of people would rather work remotely than get a raise, which only points to the shifting attitudes of the modern workforce.

 

Naturally, to ensure maximum satisfaction and productivity of their employees, companies then need to come up with flexible working options. Fortunately, given the potential of mobile devices shipped nowadays and a growing number of cost-efficient cloud applications intended to empower contemporary workforce, such flexibility is not necessarily difficult to achieve.

 

Security implications for companies

Certainly, the idea of implementing cloud solutions to business systems is not entirely without the flaws.

 

In fact, many businesses still don’t want to compensate on their security, which is why they steel rely on somewhat more traditional and more secure virtual server hosting environments.

 

Indeed, cloud security and the security of mobile networks have always been sensitive topics in the tech world and now seem to be even more so.

 

Namely, a great number of IT administrators worries about the problems of handling such a dispersed IT infrastructure. In a research by Ponemon Institute and SafeNet, 71% of respondents stated that data security is only getting more difficult to manage.

 

Coupled with a rapid growth of mobile device adoption, it is even more difficult to control business data flow and this seems to be yet another area where cloud and mobility are facing challenges.

 

Conclusions

 

The latest tech trends such as the two described above indeed represent effective ways to transform contemporary employees into more productive, if slightly scattered, workforce.

 

As pointed out by different tech experts, these forms of innovation are defining not only the success of individual companies, but also our society’s future.


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Here's what the internet will look like in 5, 10, and 15 years

Here's what the internet will look like in 5, 10, and 15 years | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

In the past 15 years, widespread internet access has transformed nearly every aspect of how Americans live.

In that time span, Facebook has changed the way we connect with one another, Uber has made it easier for us to get from place to place, and YouTube has brought a seemingly infinite number of entertainment possibilities to our fingertips.

But what about the next 15 years? How will the internet change from what it is today? And more importantly, how will new advancements make our world a fundamentally different place than it was before?

The Onward, Internet project, developed by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, is asking people to submit their ideas for what they'd like to see next on the internet. Some of these suggestions are a little fantastical ("more unicorns"!), while others are more practical ("protect my bank codes better").

We did our own research on what experts predict the internet will look like 5, 10, and 15 years from now.

In general, we can expect the internet to continue expanding to places it has never been accessible before: far-off, rural locations around the world, inside our household appliances, maybe even on Mars. 

Here's what we learned:

In 5 years ...

Five years from now, everyone in the world will be able to use the internet, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt predicted in 2013.

Here in the US, 87% of the adult population is already online, up from 66% in 2005.

In the coming years, nonprofit organizations and internet service providers will work to sign up the remaining 13% of Americans through programs like Connect2Compete, a partnership between the nonprofit EveryoneOn and several major cable companies that allows low-income families to purchase broadband service at a reduced rate.

And while we think of the internet today as something we access from computing devices like laptops and smartphones, in five years, billions of household items from washing machines to door locks will have internet connectivity.

For instance, your refrigerator might have sensors on it that can figure out when you're running low on milk, and that can then use the internet to send an alert to your smartphone. Pretty cool, right?

The technology research firm Gartner expects the so-called "Internet of Things" to grow from the fewer than 1 billion connected objects that existed in 2009 to more than 25 billion in 2020.

Meanwhile, the investment bank Morgan Stanley estimates that number wind up being as high as 75 billion.

In 10 years ...

People will be so connected via the internet that they will be able to create new digital "nations" with other people who share their interests, early internet pioneer David Hughes predicted in a report published by the Pew Research Center's Internet Project.

As a result, Hughes says, traditional countries could have less influence over the people within their geographic boundaries.

University of Michigan associate professor Nicole Ellison predicts that all this connectivity will also make the world a more empathetic place.

Ellison tells the Pew Research Center that the internet will make people living in the developed world more aware of how difficult it is for people living elsewhere to find food, health care, clean water, and education.

As a result, she says, people in developed nations will be inspired to work even harder to help solve these problems.

In 15 years ...

Learning will be easier than ever, predicts Matt Mead, the chief investment officer of Nesta, a UK charity focused on innovation.

In a report published by the accounting firm Grant Thornton, Mead writes that educators will use widespread internet access to teach students more effectively.

He says that teachers will be able to use virtual schools to give students the information they need, and that machine-learning technology will help teachers personalize the lessons on these websites based on students' strengths and weaknesses.

And Earth might not be the only place where the internet will make it easier to obtain information. According to io9's George Dvorsky, there very well could be internet access on Mars by 2030.

While that might sound like something out of science fiction, NASA is planning for interplanetary internet connections right now. In a 2012 test, International Space Station commander Sunita Williams controlled a robot located on the ground in Germany while she was in space.

You can submit your own suggestion for the future of the internet at the Onward, Internet site.


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Julie Christie's curator insight, February 4, 2015 3:08 PM

Have your say!  They are looking for ideas from us - the people!

John Royle's curator insight, March 26, 2015 11:56 AM

This is a great article on the subject of how the internet will change over the next 5 to 10 years. The internet is such an important way for people to connect and this article provides some good information on the topic.

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How to build a strong business worthy password 

How to build a strong business worthy password  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

DO’s

- Use a passphrase instead of a password

o Using a sentence or phrase instead of just one word can be much easier for you and harder for others to guess e.g. allgoodcowsliketoeatgreengrass or if you want it shorter you can substitute it for, agcltegg

- Use abbreviations or purposely misspelled words

o Love to laugh > Luv2Laf

- Replace some letters with symbols or numbers eg. $ for S, 3 for E

o BEST BOSS > B3STB0$$

- Use punctuation! , -

- If you really have a bad memory maybe use:

o A list of password reminders instead of using the password itself e.g. your favorite place may help you remember tr0p1CALPAR1dice

o Passphrases as they can be much easier to remember rather than an acronym of some sort

o LastPass, KeePass, RoboForm, and password keep all passwords accessible and secure with one password

- a hard time figuring out a password? maybe the best option for you is:

o to use a random password generator! The generator will collect letters, numbers, and symbols for a completely randomized password, the catch with this one though is you may have to write this down somewhere for safe keeping as you may find it hard to remember. There are many free services online you can just search ‘password generator’

 

 

DON’Ts

- Consecutive numbers or letters e.g. abcde, qwerty, 1234,

- Including personal information such as a name or birth date

- Reuse the exact same password for everything

o Even the slightest change within the same password can count as a different password

- Use repeating characters e.g. aaaaa, ttt222, 666

- Make all the characters numbers, uppercase or lowercase letters

- Tell others what your password is

- Keep your password the same forever

- Use words found in the dictionary 

o These words can be much easier to guess and spell

 

Date posted: 2018-03-23 | posted by: ozdoc

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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Make Technology Work For You This Year 

Make Technology Work For You This Year  | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

I hope December has been good so far for you and your business. Not sure about you but I’m looking forward to a five day break at the end of the year where I’ll be driving to Brisbane and stopping at a few places on the way.

 

2013 has been a year of implementation and profits. Health businesses that implemented new age solutions and treated their clinic like a business have demonstrated growth, profitability and great success in patient services.

 

I personally believe that this is the only industry where you can comfortably say you’re in a multimillion dollar business that actually helps people. Congratulations to those who found success in 2013 and for those who faced a few challenges, don’t worry. We’ll help you reach that extra level in 2014.

 

This week’s blog is a little different, I’ve taken a chunk from our Business Growth Footprint program and will give it to you for free. The Business Growth Footprint highlights critical aspects of health businesses that focus on risk management and revenue growth. Here I have focussed on the technology part and will share more management and business growth strategies in the future.

 

Neglecting the technology of your clinic is a little bit like neglecting a toothache. Before you know it you’ll end up with a root canal and be a couple of thousands of dollars out of pocket (happened to my friend ? ).

 

On a serious note, practice managers and health business owners have three main frustrations that ultimately turn to three different fears when it comes to neglecting business systems.

Staff downtime, staff frustration and time wasted finding someone to fix the resulting issues usually turn into staff dissatisfaction, job dissatisfaction and loss of income.

 

I’ll help you avoid turning those frustrations into fears by giving you a few easy tips that I know will work very well in your business.

 

Move on from Windows XP

Problem: I can’t stress how important this is. Avoid going to work one morning and not being able to launch Medical Director or Best Practice. Imagine calling for support and being told “We can’t help you”. Your doctors are now ready to see patients but they can’t access any data. This is a typical windows XP scenario.

Solution: I’m going to list out the steps you need to take to handle this:

  • Find someone (or you can do it) who’ll be able to migrate your clinical information and business data from the XP computer to the new one.
  • Contact your clinical vendor for more details.
  • Purchase a Windows 7 computer with at least 4GB RAM, 500GB Hard drive, i5 processor and at least three years warranty.
  • Backup your data and arrange for the migration to be completed outside business hours.
  • Ensure that printers, scanners, PKI certificates, pathology software, business software and emails are all migrated as well.
  • Record the new machine serial number and warranty details in your asset register.

 Systemise your practice

Problem: This is for practice managers and business owners. How frustrating is it trying to do your job but you keep being distracted with other aspects that are not as important? Don’t you wish that your business and team were working in an efficient and productive way?

Solution: Create an online process portal. Your staff will be able to use this portal to access all the relevant steps on how to complete a process. An example would be training a new staff member. Here is what your process page should look like:

  • Write down the title of the process
  • Write down why this process is important
  • Write down who is responsible for this process
  • Write down when this process needs to be used
  • Write down the steps to complete this process
  • If possible create a video showing how to complete this process

Increase your online footprint

Problem: Other clinics in the area are expanding and are seeing more patients. You are also unable to recruit suitable GPs or health professionals to your clinic.

Solution: The reality of this new era in the digital and social world is that having an online footprint (website, social media pages) is the best way to build your business’s reputation and increase exposure.

Websites also help take some of the workload from the front desk staff and allow them to deal with priority tasks.

Create a simple website with the following pages:

  • Profile of the health professionals
  • Profile of the different services
  • Useful information for the patients
  • Contact us page
  • About us page
  • Create a business Facebook page and ask your staff, relatives to share it. This is the number one method for building a quick online footprint
  • Assign one of your staff or health professionals to write a quick tip every week and post it on your website. Educating your patients builds trust.
  • tip every week and post it on your website. Educating your patients
  • builds great trust.

I’ve seen more and more new health businesses pop up in Australia and take on a perceptive online approach. Provide an online website and use it to educate patients whilst at the same time build business creditability. Some may think a websites or social media pages aren’t relevant but research shows that new patients will always check online before using the services of a health business.

Audit your IT platform

Problem: Your complete technology infrastructure has failed as it doesn’t meet the software requirements for 2014. Backups have failed and you’ve lost your clinical data. Doctors are now so P****d off you are about to have a nervous breakdown.

Solution: Start 2014 with an audit of your IT in your business. Have a professional assess your server, computers, network, backups, clinical data size (very very important), security policies, risk management policies and disaster recovery policies. The audit will give you specific knowledge on areas of improvement that you can address before it turns into a disaster. Remember, prevention is better than the cure and this is especially true when it comes to technology.

Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
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inquiry@technicaldr.com or 877-910-0004
www.technicaldr.com

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Windows RT is officially dead

Windows RT is officially dead | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

Microsoft was left alone as the last manufacturer of Windows RT-based tablets, and now the software giant is no longer producing any RT devices. A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed to The Verge that the company is no longer manufacturing its Nokia Lumia 2520 Windows RT tablet. "We are no longer manufacturing Nokia Lumia 2520; however, those still eager to buy Nokia Lumia 2520 should visit Microsoft Retail Stores, MicrosoftStore.com, third-party retailers and resellers for the latest availability." The confirmation comes just a week after Microsoft revealed it has stopped manufacturing the Surface 2, another Windows RT tablet.

While Lenovo, Asus, Samsung, and Dell backed Windows RT initially, all of the tablet makers pulled out due to slow sales and a lack of interest from consumers. It appears that Microsoft’s experiment with ARM-based tablets has largely failed in a tablet market that is starting to show signs of slowing down. A lack of touch-based apps, a confusing desktop mode, and odd naming made Windows RT a bizarre trial for Microsoft. Most PC makers have opted for Intel-based chips in 7- and 8-inch Windows tablets recently.

All eyes are now on Windows 10. Microsoft has shown some features of Windows 10 for phones, but it’s not clear if we’ll see 7- and 8-inch ARM-based Windows 10 devices. A preview version of Windows 10 for tablets is designed for 8-inch devices and above, and Microsoft is not commenting on its plans for future ARM-based tablets. With Surface 2 dead and Surface revenue improving thanks to stronger Surface Pro 3 sales, it’s clear Microsoft is now focused on its "professional" Intel-based tablet. Windows RT is now a distant memory.


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Microsoft did a smart thing by bringing Windows 10 to a $35 PC

Microsoft did a smart thing by bringing Windows 10 to a $35 PC | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

On Monday, Microsoft announced that it would be giving away a free version of Windows 10 for a new, tiny $35 computer known as Raspberry Pi 2.

This is a quiet but important announcement that shows just how much Microsoft has changed under Satya Nadella.

Raspberry Pi is a hugely popular little PC — it's really just a tiny circuit board with a main processor (a CPU), a bunch of memory, and the plugs that let you hook it up to input/output devices like a HDMI video.

Until now, it has always run Linux.

The small computer is a favorite with the "maker" crowd, those people who tinker with electronics to build fun and crazy stuff (home grown versions of Google Glass, electronic penny arcades, musical vegetables ...).

But at $35 apiece, it's also an extremely popular platform for "Internet of Things" apps, the trend where sensors are embedded into ordinary objects, operated by apps, and accessible over the internet.

This is the first time Windows has ever run on Raspberry Pi and what makes that especially noteworthy is that the new Raspberry Pi 2 is not powered by an Intel processor, but by Intel's competitor, ARM.

The only other ARM version of Windows was Microsoft's failed tablet platform, Windows RT, which was an offshoot of Windows 8. Windows RT only ever came out on a handful of devices, and PC makers abandoned it pretty quickly, leaving Microsoft's Surface tablets as the only Windows RT tablets. 

Then, Microsoft confirmed it would kill Windows RT at its Windows 10 press conference when it said that RT would not be updated for Windows 10. Microsoft has also stopped selling the Surface 2, the last tablet to run Windows RT.

That news left people wondering if Microsoft would drop ARM support altogether, and stick by its decades-old partnership with Intel.

But ignoring ARM altogether would have been bad for Microsoft. ARM is the processor of choice for mobile devices, including many IoT devices, because its easy on the battery. IoT is an up-coming market expected to generate billionsmaybe even trillions – of revenue in the next decade.

The Raspberry Pi news means that Microsoft found a newer, and smarter use for its ARM version of Windows Raspberry Pi FoundationThe $35 Raspberry Pi 2 ARM computer will run Windows 10

than an unloved tablet.

And it also means that CEO Satya Nadella's promised that Windows 10 would be a developers dream, running on all sorts of devices from tiny IoT things to giant video screens was for real.

And that's the single most important thing that can save Windows, getting developers excited enough about Windows 10 to write cool new apps for it.

Here's what Eben Upton, Raspberry Pi CEO and founder said about Microsoft when announcing the new version of Pi:

For the last six months we’ve been working closely with Microsoft to bring the forthcoming Windows 10 to Raspberry Pi 2. Microsoft will have much more to share over the coming months. The Raspberry Pi 2-compatible version of Windows 10 will be available free of charge to makers.


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Apple and IBM reveal 10 iOS apps that aim to change the way you work

Apple and IBM reveal 10 iOS apps that aim to change the way you work | IT Support and Hardware for Clinics | Scoop.it

The way banks, airlines, wireless carriers, and even governments do business could soon change if Apple and IBM have anything to say about it. The two companies now have 10 apps designed to streamline business operations behind the scenes, which may lead to better service for the rest of us.

The new apps are the first wave in a lineup that’s expected to include up to 100 iOS apps for business. IBM is firmly entrenched in enterprise, while Apple’s presence in the halls of giant corporations has been largely unofficial, in the form of employees using their personal iPhones to send company emails. So the two companies partnered up in July to bring their complementary strengths to businesses on iOS.

One app called Incident Aware will give police a real-time look at maps and video from crime scenes, as well as information about victims and suspects, and better backup request capabilities.

Another, Sales Assist, is designed to help retail employees offer better service to shoppers by giving them access to customer profiles with past purchase history for improved recommendations. The app also helps staffers manage inventory.

Apple and IBM produced a pair of apps for airlines: Plan Flight for pilots offers a look at flight schedules, flight plans, and crew manifests and the ability to report in-flight problems to crew on the ground. The other, Passenger+, gives flight crews information about passengers so they can tailor special offers to them.

Citi, Sprint, Air Canada, and Banorte are the first four IBM clients using the apps at launch. Apple is offering AppleCare for Enterprise, a 24-hour customer service line, while IBM takes care of on-site issues.

The two companies will continue to release apps throughout 2015.

Why this matters: This isn’t the first time Apple has ventured into enterprise, or the first time the company has worked with IBM (remember the PowerPC?). The partnership is still in early days, but with IBM’s expertise in enterprise needs like data analytics and Apple’s deft design touch, IBM MobileFirst for iOS could become the enterprise suite of tools to beat—and make everyone’s lives a lot easier.




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