Tag : cost

iPhone on Verizon

Its been quite some time, back and forth between when and how this was going to happen.  A lot of blogs and gossip articles have been written between many reputable websites.  After years and years of speculation, the Verizon iPhone is real. As Verizon president Lowell McAdam put it, “If the press writes something long enough, eventually it becomes true.”  I find this really funny after all the publicity that Verizon put in the media.  It’s ironic how Mac really stayed out of the subject matter and for the most part never drew a line in the sand with a yes or no.  The word comes fresh out of Verizon’s press conference in New York City, where the company has confirmed that they plan to offer the iPhone 4 early next month. Update: February 10th, to be specific.  From what has been published so far, the Verizon iPhone 4 appears to be identical to the AT&T iPhone 4 .

It does not support Verizon’s 4G/LTE network, and Apple took their standard “We don’t talk about future products” stance when questioned on the matter. The 16GB iPhone 4 will set you back $199.99, while the 32GB model will cost you $299.99 (both prices on a 2 year contract.  Additionally, it looks like it’ll have at least one feature that the AT&T model doesn’t (currently): WiFi hotspot, which allows the iPhone to act as a Cell-Data-Fueled-Wi-Fi router for up to 5 devices.

MAC Microsoft Office 2011- Finally Got it Right

It feels like I have been waiting forever for the new release of Office for the Mac.  With Microsoft Office for the Mac 2011 (Home and Student version, $119; Home and Business version, $149), Microsoft has finally gotten it right. After a string of disappointing releases, the new Mac version of the world’s most widely-used office suite is a spectacular success, and an unexpected triumph for Microsoft’s Macintosh group. Compared with Office for the Mac 2008 and its predecessors, Office 2011 is innovative, better-designed, startlingly faster, vastly more powerful, and far more compatible with Office for Windows. It even includes a few features that outclass anything in its Windows-based counterpart, Microsoft Office 2010 ($499, 4 stars). If you’re a casual, light-duty office-suite user or a student, iWork ’09 ($79, 4 stars) is still a great option, but if you’ve got heavy-duty work to perform on the Mac, you’ll want Office for the Mac 2011.  The cost for the suite is pretty reasonable for the applications you get.

Office for the Mac still has some minor weaknesses, and at least one feature that’s less powerful than in the previous version—Office no longer syncs calendars with iCal. Overall, it’s the best office suite ever for using the Mac as a serious platform for getting work done.  Office for the Mac comes in two versions, a Home and Student Version (single user package, $119; three-user family package $149) and a Home and Business Version (single user package, $199; licensed for two machines, $279). The Home and Student version includes Word 2011, Excel 2011, PowerPoint 2011. The Home and Business version matches the Home and Student version plus Outlook 2011, which replaces the Entourage mail, calendar, and contact manager app in recent versions.

Pros: Fast, flexible office application suite. Most powerful Mac office software. Highly compatible with Office for Windows. Well-integrated with OS X. Visual Basic for Applications recorded and programmed macros fully supported. Newly-designed Outlook replaces Entourage as mail/calendar/contact app.
Cons: No calendar synching with iCal. Outlook won’t synch with or retrieve mail from Exchange Server 2003 or earlier.
Bottom Line: Office for the Mac roars back with fast, powerful application suite the best of its kind for the OS X platform.

Microsoft Lync Review – Analysis of Microsoft Lync – Is Microsoft Lync Viable | BVA IT Consulting Blog

BVA has reviewed and looked at the new Microsoft Lync.  The new name for the next generation of our real-time communications products, known until today as Communications Server and Communicator. Over the last five years Microsoft has been on a journey to transform communications with the power of software.  Lync delivers on this vision by unifying enterprise voice, instant messaging and web, audio and video conferencing into a new, connected communications experience.  A key part of the release is the re-branding to Microsoft Lync.  Lync, a combination of “link” and “sync”, is about connecting people in new ways anytime, anywhere.  Beyond simplifying and shortening the current branding, customer research found that the name Lync appeals to end users and IT pros, even more than descriptive options like Communicator. This could seriously be an alternative to an on-site VOIP phone system via reliability, feature set, integration with Microsoft technologies, as well as cost.

The feedback on Lync 2010 has been pretty good from initial testers.  Here is a sample of the types of comments that Microsoft got from the TAP programs and internal beta:

  • “Just love, love, love the new UI.”
  • “An incredibly comprehensive set of tools, including integration into workflow with SharePoint”
  • “Everything I’ve tried to do, I’ve been successful so far.”
  • “[OCS 14] looks more user-friendly and visually it’s like, ‘wow’. It looks better and aesthetics are a lot better, especially when you are using an application nine hours a day.”
  • “The overall user experience is more engaging, convenient, and social-oriented, when compared to 2007 or 2007 R2. Thank you! :-)”

I’ve been using Lync – and as my only ‘phone’ – for the past month and the experience has been pretty solid.  A few of my favorite features:
1.       Switch between your head-set and phone in the middle of a call with device switching.
2.       Gotta run? Leave the office and take your call with you on your mobile phone.
3.       Select multiple people and click to make a group call, and then drag-and-drop someone into the conference from Outlook.
4.       Connect with family while you’re travelling – start a high-definition voice and video conversation with a Windows Live Messenger user.
5.       Hush that annoying meeting participant.   When someone is causing bad audio on the conference call, Lync will identify which phone to mute to improve quality – and productivity.

Something to consider moving forward when looking at different communication methods.  Is VOIP the way to go?