After a short hiatus we bring you straight back up to speed with the latest technology news affecting UK businesses - courtesy of marketing and technology writer Justin Firth.
> R.I.P Windows XP
Microsoft may have finally launched Office for iPad, but it is an old Microsoft product which is grabbing all the attention. The Windows XP operating system will no longer be supported by Microsoft - a move which will affect thousands of UK businesses. The 13 year old software is still used on nearly one-third of all computers.
Although Windows XP will still work, security experts warn that the lack of on-going updates will make any system vulnerable to attack with hackers specifically targeting businesses who are slow to upgrade to Windows 8 or move to an alternative system. If your PCs are behind the times, then be assured that you are not the only one. The UK government are paying Microsoft £5.5million to provide departments with an additional year of XP support.
> Business Can Learn From Government IT Spending
The £5.5million paid for one year’s Windows XP support is a drop in the ocean compared to the billions spent on government IT systems over the years. Former government advisor Mark Thompson recently highlighted the failings of previous government IT spending.
According to Thompson departments had a 20 year ‘frenzied splurge’ on bespoke IT systems which were liable to bugs and already outdated at time of launch.
His overall advice for big IT projects; avoid going bespoke unless completely necessary.
> Amazon Joins Streaming TV Race
Amazon has jumped into the ring with Google, Apple, Sky and others by launching Fire TV - a streaming set-top box which provides access to more than 200,000 films and TV series. As well as Amazon’s own media offering, the ‘open’ platform can provide access to Netflix, YouTube and other media services. It also doubles as a simple games console.
As entertainment becomes connected, the major internet companies are fighting to create devices which will be the hub of your living room. It is a battle which will change the nation’s viewing habits as well as the whole TV advertising model for businesses.
As an example of how quickly streaming TV is moving forward, Netflix has announced new 4k ultra-HD streaming content. Yet while the content exists, the infrastructure doesn’t. 4k requires 15Mb broadband which is available to only 15% - 20% of the country.
In fact, it turns out that even the London super rich spend precious minutes staring at a buffering circle. The Guardian recently reported that many luxury London apartments costing up to £22million each still sit at the end of slow internet copper lines.
> Nest Provides Lesson In Bad Product Design
Google-owned Nest - a company specialising in internet connected thermostats and other devices - gave everybody an important lesson when it comes to product design.
Their Protect Gesture Controlled Smoke Alarm could be turned off with a simple wave of a hand - and waving hands is something people tend to do when the house is on fire. Nest has stopped sales of the alarm while they rethink and will be sending updates to sold devices. However, in today’s fast moving tech world, it highlights the dangers of pushing products quickly to market and of incorporating the new trend of using gesture to control devices.
> Apps Out Perform Mobile Web
It’s a marketing question which taxes many business’ marketing departments. When it comes to engaging mobile users, do you develop your own app or rely on a great mobile website?
While many predicted that mobile web would soon outperform app use, new figures from analytics firm Flurry suggest otherwise. Driven by games apps and Facebook, US users spent increased time on apps while mobile web use dropped by a quarter.
Unlike the UK, the US has had widespread 4G connection for over 2 years suggesting that it is usability not poor mobile browsing speed which is pushing app usage.
The Technology News Round Up is written by Justin Firth - Marketing Expert and Technology Enthusiast. To read more about marketing and technology visit Justin’s blog at www.marketingnext.co.uk or follow @marketingnextuk on Twitter
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