Microsoft

Should You Upgrade to Windows 8? Questions to Consider

posted  by Anonymous -  Mon, 22/10/2012 - 11:58  

Windows 8 has a brand-new look and feel, so make sure it is right for your organization. 
By Ginny Mies
 
Windows 8 is unlike any operating system Microsoft has ever released — and that's a good thing. The bigger, bolder user interface is built for touchscreen tablets and PCs, as well as traditional desktop and laptop computers. The new Start screen resembles what you'd find on a smartphone or tablet with clean font, bright colors, and dynamic images. But Windows 8 also retains many of the features from Windows 7, so your staff should have no trouble getting used to the new interface. Looks aside, Windows 8 also offers some new features that may help your staff's productivity as well as the performance and longevity of your organization's computers. 
 
To help you decide whether Windows 8 is a good fit for your organization, we’ve come up with four questions for you to consider.
 
Will Your Organization Benefit from Windows 8’s New Features?
 
The new Start screen replaces the Start menu found in the lower-left corner of previous versions of Windows. You can "pin" apps, contacts, and favorite websites to the Start screen to quickly access them. Microsoft will also have a variety of special Start screen apps (both free and paid) through the Windows Store, which you can get to by clicking its dedicated tile on the Start screen. 
 
If you'd like the more traditional desktop view, you can click the "Desktop" tile. To switch back to the Start screen from the desktop, click in the lower left-hand corner where you'd expect to find the Start button in preceding versions of Windows. You can also toggle between the two views by pressing the Windows key, found on the lower left-hand side of your keyboard. It is easy to work strictly in the desktop if you can't get used to the new Start screen.  
 
One of the big design changes in Windows 8 is the addition of "charms" in both the desktop and Start screen views. Hover your mouse to the right edge of your screen, and you’ll see icons representing Search and Sharing functionality. Using the Search charm, you can easily search within a folder or application, or use it to prompt a Bing search in Internet Explorer. 
Here are a few more advantages of Windows 8 to consider:
 
  • Better performance: Windows 8 uses less RAM and CPU resources than Windows 7 and therefore runs faster. For more on Windows 8's performance, see this benchmark comparison between Windows 7 and Windows 8 from PCWorld. 
  • Works well on older machines: Windows 8 will not only work on your older IT equipment, but it runs faster than Windows 7.
  • Energy efficient: Windows 8 saves battery life by dropping to a low-power state when you're not doing anything power-intensive.
  • Security: Windows 8 comes with Windows Defender, which protects against malware and spyware. For more on Windows Defender and other security enhancements, read Windows 8 Security: What's New, What's Different.
  • Protection against hardware failure: Windows 8's Storage Spaces employs a software-based RAID system to protect data and ensure that it remains available in the event of a computer crash.
  • SkyDrive integration: Microsoft’s cloud storage program is built into just about every application in Windows 8. 
  • Multilingual: You can more easily switch between display languages, and additional display languages are available in Windows 8, which is of value to multilingual organizations. 

Does Your Hardware Support Windows 8?
 
Next, you should confirm that your computers can support Windows 8. If your hardware supports Windows 7, you should have no issues upgrading to Windows 8. Though Windows 8 is also designed for touch-friendly devices, you can comfortably operate it with just a mouse and keyboard.
 
Windows 8 is available in a 32-bit and a 64-bit version. These versions have different requirements. 

Requirement

32-bit

64-bit

Processor

1 GHz or faster

1 GHz or faster

RAM

1 GB

2 GB

Hard disk space

16 GB

20 GB

Graphics card

Microsoft DirectX 9
graphics device with WDDM driver

Microsoft DirectX 9
graphics device with WDDM driver

Will Your Programs Run on Windows 8?
Before upgrading, you should also determine whether your programs are compatible with Windows 8. If you’re upgrading from Windows 7, you should be able to keep most of your existing software. 
 
First, evaluate what software you have. If your organization’s computers aren’t standardized (in other words, if not every computer in your office runs the same programs), you may need to survey your users or use a free auditing program like Spiceworks IT Desktop to determine which programs are running on your computers.
Next, check if your software is compatible with Windows 8. You can run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant before you install the operating system. Alternately, you can also check Microsoft’s Windows 8 Compatibility Center, which lists the compatibility status of Microsoft and third-party products and software. Don’t see your software listed? You can also check your software vendors' websites to make sure your programs run on Windows 8.
 
If you have programs that run only on Windows XP, you won't be able to run them on Windows 8. Unlike Windows 7, Windows 8 doesn’t have a special XP or Vista mode for running those programs. You also have the option to install Windows 8 on a virtual machine, like VirtualBox or the VMWare Player on an actual Windows XP machine. For more on virtualization, read TechSoup's Virtualization 101 article. 
 
Which Edition Should You Get?
 
Microsoft has simplified the Windows 8 editions line-up, giving customers four different versions to choose from: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise, and Windows 8 RT. Windows 8 Enterprise has the same features as Windows 8 Pro plus six additional features for businesses. Note that if you are currently running any Home edition of Windows 7, you will not be able to use the Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise upgrade software available from BiGTech Donations Program. However you may be eligible to request the Windows 8 Get Genuine full OS software. Read our article How to Upgrade to Windows 8 for more information. 
The following chart shows feature differences between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.

Feature
name

Windows
8 Pro

Windows
8 Enterprise

Start screen, Live Tiles, Apps (Mail,
Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos , SkyDrive, Music, Video)

 

x

 

x

Windows To Go

 

x

BitLocker and BitLocker To Go

x

x

VPN client

x

x

DirectAccess

 

x

Remote Desktop

x

x

Client Hyper-V built-in virtualization
(64-bit versions only)

 

x

Conclusion
 
Windows 8's revamped look will likely require a learning curve for your organization's employees. A brown bag workshop on Windows 8's new features and functionality might be useful for your staff before upgrading.
Note: As of April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP, so if your organization's systems are still running Windows XP you should start planning an upgrade to either Windows 8 or Windows 7 as soon as possible. Windows 7 and Vista support will continue until 2017, if you decide that now is not the right time to upgrade. 
tags:  Microsoft

How to Upgrade to Windows 8

posted  by Anonymous -  Mon, 22/10/2012 - 10:26  

Tips for acquiring and upgrading to Microsoft’s latest operating system

By Ginny Mies


If your organization decides that it's ready to switch to Windows 8 and has verified that it meets the technical requirements to do so, it is time to make an upgrade plan. This article will walk you through steps to take before and during an install.


This article is geared toward the accidental techie who is comfortable installing software and who has only a handful of computers (fewer than 10) to upgrade. Those looking for tips on virtualized environments, unattended installs, or network-wide mass deployment can find support on Microsoft TechNet Windows 8 Technical Library Roadmap. 


Before You Begin

When Microsoft released Windows 7, we outlined a checklist of easy computing steps to ensure a painless upgrade from Vista or XP. Even though Windows 8 might look like a completely new operating system, these steps are still relevant for moving from Windows 7. Before you start upgrading your organization's systems to Windows 8, make sure to go through the checklist.

Getting Windows 8

Obtaining through BiGTech: Organizations eligible under the Microsoft Donation Program can request upgrade versions of Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise. Note that you cannot upgrade from any Home edition of Windows 7. See a summary of Volume Licensing Product Use Rights for specific licensing details. The full, base version of Windows 8 Pro is also available at BiGTech Donations Program via Microsoft's Get Genuine program. The full version is only available to eligible organizations that cannot use the Upgrade version and is limited to 50 licenses of any combination of Get Genuine products. More information about all Windows 8 products can be found on BiGTech’s Windows 8 Page.

New Donation Request:  If you've never requested software via BiGTech's Microsoft Donation Program, read this overview of the program and find out if your organization is eligible. 

Upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise using Software Assurance: If you have requested a Microsoft PC operating system donation with Software Assurance within the past two years, you are eligible for a free upgrade to the latest operating system through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center, where you can download the installation files. You can upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise from any Windows license that is covered with Software Assurance.  For more information, visit TechSoup's Volume Licensing Service Center - Software Assurance Benefits page. 

Download ISO files: BiGTech encourages organizations to go green and download installation software rather than have discs sent to you. Learn how to download software from Microsoft's Volume Licensing Service Center and how to install Microsoft Windows from downloaded ISO files. 

Installing Windows 8

Once you decide to make the switch to Windows 8, you have a few options for deploying it. If you are upgrading from Windows 7, you can do an in-place upgrade. Your system settings, as well as your installed applications and user settings, are preserved. This requires minimal reconfiguration, and you won’t need to re-install your programs after you've upgraded. 

You can also opt to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 through a custom install, which is also known as a "clean" install. This means your programs, files, and settings are not preserved. You will need to back up your files and programs before upgrading and then re-install them afterwards. 

If you're upgrading from Windows Vista or XP, the line between in-place upgrade and custom install becomes a bit blurred. Depending on which operating system you're upgrading from, you will have a choice of what you can keep when you move over to the various versions of Windows 8. The following chart outlines what you can keep when upgrading from one version to another. 

 

Current operating system

New operating system

What you can keep

Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate

 

Windows 8 Pro

·         In-place upgrade: programs

·         Windows settings

·         User accounts and files

Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise

 

Windows 8 Enterprise

·         In-place upgrade: programs

·         Windows settings

·         User accounts and files

Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 or 21

Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro

Personal files and Windows settings

Windows XP with Service Pack 3

Windows 8 or Windows Pro

Personal files only

1If you are running Windows Vista RTM (release to manufacturing), you can keep your personal files only if you upgrade to Windows 8. We highly recommend downloading a free patch from Windows Update before upgrading so you can keep your Windows settings as well.

 32-Bit or 64-Bit? 

If you're questioning whether you should get a 32-bit or 64-bit version, Microsoft makes it fairly easy on you. You can upgrade to a 32-bit version of Windows 8 only if you’re running a 32-bit version of Windows. And it is the same for 64-bit versions; you can’t go from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows 8 or vice versa.

Once you've decided on an installation method, the actual process of installing Windows 8 is simple. The Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant will warn you about hardware and software compatibility issues on your system. If you have a program that's not compatible, the Upgrade Assistant will remove it and restart the installation. Make sure to have your product key handy, as you'll need it to complete the installation. 

Next, you have a choice of color themes for Windows 8 as well the opportunity to name your PC. Don't like the color you picked? You'll have more customization options after you finish installing Windows 8. You will also be asked to pick between Express settings or Custom settings. For most users, Express settings are adequate, but be sure to read through the list of settings you'll opt into. Finally, you will be asked to enter your Microsoft account information. If you don't have an account already, you can sign up for one from the prompt screen. 

And you're done! You are now running the brand-new Windows 8. 


tags:  Microsoft

Next stop is Mumbai. Only ten seats left! We Begin on September 26, 2012

posted  by Anonymous -  Fri, 14/09/2012 - 14:13  

I am missing Hyderabad already! Though my stay was as short as three nights and four days, the city’s warm and helpful people, positive air and just everything makes me want to go back right now! I’d gone there for a ConnectIT workshop that NASSCOM Foundation organizes every now and then.

The Workshop:
ConnectIT workshops are three day long, hands-on training workshops organized by NASSCOM Foundation and Microsoft in order to build the capacity of non- for- profits and Government Officers by facilitating technology enabled skills development. It was inspiring to see about 25 people from 15 different NGOs from the city enthusiastically participate in the workshop. A pre-workshop test taken by all the participants reported 51% success. Putting it simply, these NGOs had some experience in IT enabled services (usually at admin level) and hence made an interesting audience to talk about IT at a strategic level to.

And so we were all set! The trainer, Karim Padaniya along with Ram, Soumya, Professor, Sridhar, Robin, Kailas, Zahed and I together set the ball rolling for the exciting three days ahead. These few made sure the entire workshop was interactive while the others chipped in a bit less frequently. A hearty thanks to Shiva of Sanaari Software Pvt. Ltd. for the venue and especially for shielding us from the 3 hour long daily power-cuts. 

As you may notice in the agenda of the workshop, we always start with the topics Better Documentation and Project Management as most NGOs find this more challenging than anything else. Some key features of Word and Excel that are lesser known among most users got applauded. Other topics that were instant favorites were Skydrive, Movie Maker, Publisher and Social Media.

There has never been a single ConnectIT workshop that has limited its discussions to the topics mentioned in the agenda. Following the tradition, this one wasn’t any different. A major problem faced by a majority of NGOs in our country is regular updation of their respective websites. Either its a painstaking process or expensive. Having dealt with this topic before, we shared a few best practices.  Based on the other questions, we introduced a new session,’Power of Internet’ that should ensure that our participants don’t miss our trainer after the workshop. :) One of the feedbacks we got was what Ram from IKYA Global Foundation had to say.

Along with these sessions, other services offered by NASSCOM Foundation (specifically for NGOs in India) were also introduced. We were glad to know that a majority of the NGOs present there had registered with www.bigtech.in program wherein NASSCOM Foundation provides technology donations that complements our training workshops. It was a great experience in totality adding new people to our network as it always is! 

Next stop - Mumbai, 26 - 28 Sept. 2012. We did our first ConnectIT workshop in Mumbai back in 2009 so its time we revisited our NGO partners. One can register for the Mumbai workshop with this link.  

And one last thing about the Hyderabad crowd - the post-workshop test results showed an increase of 15%!

Yours,
Prashant Pandit
AVP & Tech Officer, NASSCOM Foundation

 

tags:  Microsoft

Donated Microsoft Windows 7 Upgrades for Nonprofits

posted  by Anonymous -  Tue, 14/08/2012 - 18:08  

Microsoft donates more than 200 of its products — including Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise Upgrades — to eligible nonprofits through BiGTech. Organizations that join BiGTech, register an organization, and qualify can request and receive donations of Microsoft products and many more products from other BiGTech donor partners.


Microsoft 7 Upgrade Solutions



Windows Operating Systems Upgrade

See all Microsoft product donations available through BiGTech.

All donated and discounted products are available to qualifying NGOs for a small administrative fee that partially subsidizes BiGTech's operations.

Donated Microsoft Software for Nonprofits

posted  by Anonymous -  Tue, 14/08/2012 - 15:43    Microsoft donates more than 200 of its software products — including Microsoft Office 2010, Windows 7 Upgrades, Windows Server software, and more — to eligible nonprofits through BiGTech. Organizations that join BiGTech, register, and qualify can request and receive donations of Microsoft products and many more products from other BiGTech donor partners.

Microsoft Office Donations Now Available

Microsoft Office Donations Now AvailableThe following Microsoft Office products are available now through BiGTech:

Microsoft Office

Windows Operating System Upgrades  

All donated and discounted products are available to qualifying NGOs for a small administrative fee that partially subsidizes BiGTech's operations.for Mac Standard 2011
tags:  Microsoft

'Harnessing Information Technology for Non-profits’ 6 March 2012, 9am to 2pm

posted  by Anonymous -  Wed, 29/02/2012 - 19:15  

Join leaders from Government, leading non-profits and IT companies in an interactive discussion at NASSCOM Foundation's ConnectIT conference in Patna on March 6, 2012.

 Venue
Bihar Industries Association
Industry House, Sinha Library Road, Patna -  800001, (Bihar)

Unique opportunity for decision makers from non-profits, government and corporates for a first-hand preview of the potential of technology.

 Exclusive panel discussions to share and explore topics such as:

·  Potential of Technology for Government and NGOs

·  Relating Technology to Development Work

·  Web 2.0 & Development sector

·  IT Capacity Building for NGOs

ConnectIT is the advanced IT skills development program conducted in partnership with Microsoft. NASSCOM Foundation has so far impacted over 1400 non-profits in seven states by training more than 2300 personnel, donated Rs. 20 cr. of software to more than 600 NGOs. The NASSCOM Social Innovation Honours recognizes innovation in ICT for social development initiatives.

At the ConnectIT Day on 6 March, NASSCOM Foundation will announce the commencement of upcoming workshops in Bihar and participants will get a chance to register their non-profit. 

Click here for Registration

For more information
E-mail:connectit@nasscomfoundation.org
call: Vikas Kamble -
  09223501938; Santosh More - 9223300450

tags:  Microsoft

bigtech software support helps us to transfer computer skills to rural youth and women's

posted  by Anonymous -  Mon, 30/01/2012 - 10:05   Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) promoted non profit organization Sakhi Social Enterprise Network, a initiative for (eschool)entrepreneurship and (vschool)employment.these schools are providing multi skills to rural youth and women's. bigtech software support helps us to transfer computer skills to rural youth and women's from latur,osmanabad,solapur,nanded and washim (maharashtra)

Sahnewaz

posted  by Anonymous -  Fri, 23/12/2011 - 23:28   hkd assam

Microsoft Offers Get Genuine Windows: Full Operating Systems Versions Now Available

posted  by Anonymous -  Tue, 26/07/2011 - 16:43  

As part of the recent updates to the Microsoft Software Donation Program, Microsoft made donations of full versions of its Windows operating systems available through the Microsoft Get Genuine program.

Your organization might have PCs with illegal, free, or basic operating systems — either from accepting donated machines or buying the computers at bargain-basement prices.  Microsoft’s Get Genuine program offers your organization a one-time chance to get your existing computers running fully legitimate and upgradable Windows operating systems, enabling your organization to easily upgrade through TechSoup when a more recent OS version is needed or released.

To be eligible for the Get Genuine donations, the existing computers on which your organization will install the full Windows OS software must currently have one of the following:

·       Counterfeit, pirated, or otherwise illegal, unlicensed, or improperly licensed Windows operating systems

·       Home Premium, Home Basic, or Starter editions of Windows 7 or Windows Vista

·       Home or Starter editions of Windows XP

·       Linux, FreeDOS, or other operating systems

·       No operating systems

 

Special Rules for Get Genuine Product Requests: 

 

· Eligible organizations may place only one request ever for Get Genuine products.

 

· Requests for Get Genuine products may not contain any other products.

 

· During check-out, the Get Genuine Windows Agreement for Small and Medium Organizations must be accepted on behalf of the organization.

Request Get Genuine Products here

Request Carefully — Get Genuine Windows OS Products Are a One-Time Donation

Microsoft-eligible organizations can request donations of full Get Genuine Windows operating systems only once, ever, so please make sure to plan your request carefully. Since the Get Genuine products are part of the Windows Desktop Operating Systems title group, a request for this product will count against your two-year cycle allotment of 50 licenses in the Windows Desktop Operating Systems title group.

Windows Upgrade Still Available

If your existing PCs already have a qualifying base operating system in place, you can still request the Windows OS Upgrades donations that TechSoup has always offered.  Since you only have one chance to request Get Genuine Windows OS products ever, you should request the standard upgrade products if you have one of the following qualified, base Operating Systems already in place on your machine:

·       Enterprise, Professional, or Ultimate editions of Windows 7 or Windows Vista

·       XP Professional version of Windows XP

·       Windows 2000 Professional

·       Windows NT Workstation 4.0

·       Windows 98 (2nd Edition)

·       Apple Macintosh

 

Still Have Questions? Easily see what you can request from Microsoft: To help you manage your Microsoft donations, TechSoup has created the Microsoft Donation Center (accessible from the Donation Request/History page under My Account), where nonprofits can get all key details in one place. Organizations can easily track what they’ve received so far, what remains of their software allotment, when their cycle resets, and the value of Microsoft software donations to date.

 

Help Us Donate More: Spread the word!

Many organizations have benefited from software donations from Microsoft, but there are many more still to reach! Help us spread the word to our fellow nonprofits. Check out this great video on the impact of Microsoft software donations and share it with your networks.  You can find more on Facebook and follow via Twitter @mfstcitizenship.

Good news! Updates to the Microsoft Software Donation Program

posted  by Anonymous -  Tue, 26/07/2011 - 13:54  

Beginning today, July 27, 2011, organizations now have more flexibility regarding when they can request Microsoft software donations and in the product donations available. And, to make navigating the program easier, we’re introducing the Microsoft Donation Center, where eligible organizations can easily track their Microsoft requests, see the value of donations received to date, and more.

 

How the Microsoft Program Updates Benefit Your Organization

 

      Request what you need, when you need it: Organizations can now request Microsoft products as needed, not just once per year. Also, there is no longer a five-seat minimum requirement, so an organization can request just one license if that is all it needs.

      Get more complete solutions: Now organizations can request up to 10 different Microsoft titles in each two-year cycle instead of 6, helping them to build more complete solutions to help them meet their missions. And, with the addition of Microsoft’s Get Genuine Windows product, organizations can ensure their existing computers are running genuine versions of Microsoft operating systems (learn more about Get Genuine here).

      Easily see Microsoft donations details at a glance: To help organizations manage their Microsoft donations, TechSoup has created the Microsoft Donation Center (accessible from the My requests link next to the My account link), where nonprofits can get all the key details in one place. Organizations can easily track what’s been donated so far, what remains of their software allotment, when their cycle resets, and more nonprofit resources available from Microsoft.

      Existing Microsoft Cycles Have Been Reset: If your organization is already participating in the Microsoft Software Donation Program through TechSoup, your cycle has been reset! Your two-year donation cycle will start again when you place your first Microsoft request after July 27, 2011, and will reset every two years on the anniversary of that request. Orders placed before July 27, 2011, will not count against your new Microsoft software donation allotment.

To learn more about the updates to the Microsoft Software Donation Program and how they affect your organization, visit our Overview of the Microsoft Software Donation Program. Together with Microsoft, we’re excited to help you understand the updates and how they can benefit your organization, and – ultimately – your community.

 

Help Us Donate More: Spread the word!

Many organizations have benefited from software donations from Microsoft, but there are many more still to reach! Help us spread the word to our fellow nonprofits. Check out this great video(in English) on the impact of Microsoft software donations and share it with your networks.  You can also follow @msftcitizenship on Twitter (in English) to hear more or find them on Facebook

tags:  Microsoft, Software
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