This week’s technology news from Amicus ITS – Friday 11th October 2013

Bounty hunting that leaves a good taste for Microsoft
Given the escalating problems and financial cost to business from cyber threats, Microsoft have taken the pro-active step of engaging with hackers and the security expert community, to counter vulnerabilities on their latest OS, Windows 8.1. With bounties of up to $100,000 it has resonated already, with a handsome payout to one US security specialist who discovered a defence circumvention technique. Companies across the globe in all sectors and scales should take the opportunity to invest in some security navel gazing to secure the gateways into their infrastructure.

Blue skies – but Clouds still seem scary to some business
With the UK adoption of Cloud getting Government blessing earlier this year, a recent global study found that adoption has still been slower than anticipated. Whilst UK firms are generally warming to the cloud, there are 5 cloud “personas”: Controllers (lacking enthusiasm), Accepters, Experimenters, Believers and Embracers. Barriers include complex data laws, data protection, legislation and regulation issues which create a minefield (critically for financial services, healthcare and petrochemicals). However, good managed service providers should be able to circumvent this to enable companies to regain their commercial agility, competitive edge and offer cost savings.

Upgrading Windows? But are you ready for a new Internet Explorer?
As end of life for Windows XP approaches in April 2014, so does support for IE6 (Internet Explorer 6). The minimum version of IE is determined by Windows. Windows XP lets you run IE 6 and up, Windows 7 is IE 8 and Windows 8 comes with IE 10. IE6 was released over 10 years ago and now only takes 4.9% of browser usage (less than 1% in the UK). Despite this, some corporations still rely on IE6 for custom built web-applications developed exclusively with IE6 in mind. If you have a web platform that has been holding you back from upgrading Windows, now is the time to seek a modern alternative. You can check out Microsoft’s IE6 countdown site here.

Fujitsu announces first fan-cooled, waterproof tablet
Panasonic and others have produced ruggedised laptops and tablets in the past with their ‘tough’ range. This has helped corporations secure mobile devices that would take a physical beating in industries such as construction, field sales and public sector workers. Fujitsu have announced the launch of a tablet cooled by an extractor fan that survives immersion under water. The fan cools the desktop-class i5 processor, making it capable of running specialised corporate applications in practically any work environment. Although devices like these will only interest specific sectors now, there is no limit to how flexible the next generation mobile work force can be.

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