BlackBerry and Apple Came Out Victorious in Enterprise-ready OS Battle

This article is a guest post from MSI-ECS, distributor of Trend Micro products.

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New pre-show research from industry analysts and Trend Micro reveals which platforms are secure and manageable enough to use at work

Manila, Philippines—Trend Micro, Inc. a global leader in cloud-based security software and services, recently announced the release of brand new research comparing the ability of several different mobile platforms to meet the demands of use in the enterprise.  The results of the research, carried out by Altimeter Group, Bloor Research and Trend Micro’s own specialists, clearly show that in the opinion of the researchers, BlackBerry 7.0 scored highest across the board, ahead of (in descending order) Apple iOS5, Windows Phone 7.5 and Google’s Android 2.3

Highlights of the findings

The platforms were each scored on a combination of factors including built-in security, application security, authentication, device wipe, device firewall, virtualisation, and many others. BlackBerry attained the highest average score (2.89), followed by iOS (1.7), Windows Phone (1.61) and Android (1.37)

The findings are summarised below:

  • BlackBerry – The researchers commented that corporate-grade security and manageability make this platform the option of choice for the most stringent mobile roles. However, many features and protections that are commonly enabled or enforceable via the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) are not present on devices that are user-provisioned via BlackBerry Internet Services (BIS). In fact, some of the strongest features restricting high-risk activities that users may undertake, such as removal of password protection for the device, may be rendered inactive if a user’s device is not provisioned via the BES.
  • Apple – The iOS application architecture natively provides users much protection because all applications are “sand-boxed” in a common memory environment.  Security in iOS also extends to the physical attributes of the iPhone and iPad.  There are no options for adding removable storage, which in effect provides another layer of protection for users. Apple also compares favourably to BlackBerry insofar as the BlackBerry IT administrator has complete control over the device, whereas in iOS, the IT department can only configure items once the user has supplied their permission
  • Windows Phone - Microsoft has learnt the lessons of the past and created a reasonably robust and secure smartphone operating system in Windows Phone. The OS uses privileges and isolation techniques to create sandbox processes. These “chambers” are based on a policy system that, in turn, defines which system features the processes operating in a chamber can access.
  • Android – Although Android is now available in more recent versions (4.x), version 2.x is still the most widely deployed on existing and new handsets. This is a security risk in itself; there is no central means of providing Operating System updates, meaning that many users remain unprotected from critical vulnerabilities for a prolonged period. On the plus side, it is a privilege-separated operating system and applications can’t access the network without prior consent. Apps run in their individual sandboxed environment and permissions are granted by the user on a per app basis.  Unfortunately the end user often fails to closely inspect the permissions request dialogue in their haste to use the app. It is often unclear, when permissions are given, what the application is actually capable of.

Nigel Stanley, Practice Leader – Security at Bloor Research and one of the report’s authors, said “Security people I work with are scared witless by consumerization and the rapid adoption of these devices. Aside from the technical challenges, organisations need to understand the importance of a decent mobile device security policy and supporting user education.”

Raimund Genes, CTO at Trend Micro and one of the researchers who produced the report, commented: “Against the growing, unstoppable backdrop of consumerization and BYOD, every mobile device is a risk to business. What is interesting in these results is that, whilst some mobile platforms have evolved very noticeably along enterprise lines, there is still a strong ‘consumer marketing’ legacy in some quarters and this is negating some of the progress made on the enterprise front. Indeed, some of the attributes we have examined in the report are still firmly ‘enterprise-unready.’”

To know more about Trend Micro, you may contact MSI-ECS at (02) 688-3181 or [email protected]

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Sara Parker – 2012-04-30 20:11:03

Subject: Guest Post Proposal

Hello,

I was just going through few sites and blogs yesterday and came across your site www.vexite.com too. I really liked the way you have presented your site. I was reading some of your content and really found them interesting and informative. So I was just wondering if I can also do something for your site.

Actually I am a freelance content writer and I love writing articles as a hobby on topics related to Internet and Broadband. What if I provide you with an unique article as a Guest Post. An article that will be informative for your readers. The article will be related to your website and will be appreciated by your readers.

It would be great if you can add a small BIO of mine at the end of the article with my related site\’s links. I guarantee you that the article will be 100% copy scape protected and will be of around 500 words.

Please let me know if this sound good to you, so that we can start working on your article.

Regards

Sara

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Firefox 12 Finally Adds Silent Updates, Mimics Chrome

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I just upgraded to Firefox 12, and just like that there is another update. I just blogged about Firefox 11 and I described there how Firefox\’s market share is shrinking due to Chrome. Chrome is popular and widely used because it is very easy to use. Once you get used to it, you will stick to it. I still remember reading posts how people find the tab placement of Chrome awkward while ditching the title bar altogether. Now look at the top 10 browsers in the market. Everyone followed the direction of Chrome. I don\’t think Firefox is blatantly copying Chrome. I think Chrome just innovated more and now it\’s one of the leading browsers. Everything is a remix but I just wish Firefox is really doing things better.

Improvements and Hidden Updates

There are several hidden updates here, like when you change the entry browser.newtabpage.enabled to true in about:config, then enter about:newtab you will get what seems like 3 x 3 tiles of your most visited websites. We will see the complete \”speed dial\”  or \”new tab page\” feature in Firefox 13.

You don\’t see much improvement as an end-user but under the hood, there are more than 85 improvements to built-in developer tools.

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Silent Updates

The most important update here is the removal of user account control dialog so this is probably the last time you will see the UAC pop-up after upgrading to Firefox 12. The goal is to simplify the upgrade process and push the updates to all users. Instead of using UAC in Windows, Firefox now uses a background service in Windows to update the program when there is an update available — pretty much what Chrome for a long time already. This feature is now planned in Mac and Linux on version 14.

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Why did Mozilla only implemented this now? I could only reason add-ons being the major cause of delay.

If you don\’t know, Firefox needed to switch to a new add-on SDK to allow developers to create add-ons with greater compatibility with future releases of Firefox. This way developers do not need to worry that their add-ons will be incompatible to future versions. Switching to the new add-on SDK required convincing the developers to completely switch to the new SDK and it took time. I don\’t know the exact numbers of developers who switched to the new SDK but since I used Firefox 4 I saw more and more add-ons not requiring immediate update every time I upgrade Firefox and since Firefox 10 I don\’t remember having problems with add-ons at all. And because there is no need to worry about add-ons now, Firefox can automatically update the program without the risk of making installed add-ons incompatible. We will see how effective it is when Mozilla rolls out the next security update or major release.

Switch to Date-based Versioning Already

Speaking of major releases, it seems pointless to talk about version numbers now with the case of Firefox and Chrome but for me Firefox is a special case. I am still wondering if the rapid release cycle actually helps Firefox gain more users and made it easier to use. Looking back, Mozilla could have just called the rapid release cycle, rapid updates cycle — delivering noteworthy updates while keeping the major release number and still use the 6-week iterations. What if they just also use a major development wave every 6 iterations to mark a major release milestone just so we don\’t get ridiculous high version number like Chrome? I think Mozilla can do be better than Chrome here. Seriously, just switch to the data-based versioning already. It makes more sense to have Firefox 2012.04.24. They can go the Ubuntu way as well, say Firefox 12.4 which means that the software was released on April 2012. Makes more sense right?

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Enhance Gmail and Fix Common Annoyances with Gmelius

I love Gmail. It is my primary web email client and I use it in Google Apps for Business as well. My only gripe is that you can\’t really control how it looks and there are little options to modify the user interface the way you like it. You get themes and Gmail labs experimental features but there are basic things that Google left out that\’s why I still look for ways to enhance Gmail using userscript and browser add-ons or extensions. Then comes Gmelius!

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Here are the features that I like in Gmelius:

Gmail without Ads

I don\’t hate ads. Some ads fit their purpose but for some people who really don\’t like ads, this is a great feature.

Clickable Gmail logo

For inexplicable reason Google removed this basic navigation practice to put a home link to Gmail logo. Gmelius puts the missing link back to Gmail logo.

Colorize Navigation Icons with Labels

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Google use monochrome icons for the archive, spam and delete in the latest version of Gmail. This is my number #1 annoyance in Gmail for me because it is easy to confuse yourself with the gray icons even if you know the order already. Gmelius can put the text labels back and also add colored icons to make the navigation more intuitive again. It\’s one of the best feature that really enhances Gmail UX. Great work!

Put Google Reader on the Black Navigation Bar Menu

It is fairly simple option that Google doesn\’t give to users. Finally, there\’s an easy way to put Reader in the top navigation menu. One caveat is that it replaces Google News so if you use both Google News and Google Reader, you have to make a choice. I use Google Reader much more than Google News so it is an easy decision for me to enable this feature.

Toggle Header and Footer to Save Space

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With Gmelius you can also remove the header and footer to get more viewing area for your email. The header could be toggled using shortcut (experimental) and with this feature, you can immediately click sign out at the upper-right corner.

More Features

Of course, there are more features available but those are my personal favorites.

See the screenshot below for more available features.

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You can get Gmelius for Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

There are more Gmail tweaks out there. Let me know what\’s your favorite so far and let me know if you like Gmelius.

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Cloud Storage War Is On, Google Drive Just Arrived

Cloud Storage War

Imagine waging a war on multiple battle fronts. At one end there\’s Apple iCloud on the other end there\’s Dropbox. Not far away, Microsoft SkyDrive, Box, Amazon Cloud Drive and SugarSync are on skirmish like battle royale.  Year after year, rumor has it that Google will finally unveil its own arsenal of cloud service but for many years, it seemed like a vaporware. Then finally, Google Drive came at the center of the battlefield. Is there any chance Google Drive can win this on-going cloud storage war?

Google Drive Advantage

The free storage is 5 GB and the upgrade fee is priced very aggressively. It only cost $30 to get 25Gb more. In addition, when you upgrade you are not only getting storage for files and pictures (through Picasa) but you also get free Gmail storage.

In Dropbox, the smallest upgrade that you can buy is 50Gb and you will pay $.9.99 per month. Box is even more expensive because 25Gb upgrade will cost the same amount but their target market is different. They aim for business.

Skydrive, however, is the cheapest which cost only $10 per year but it only integrates with Office Web Apps and synchronizes with the desktop version of Office suites.

Apple iCloud offers 20Gb for $40 a year so you can say Google is somewhere in the middle of Apple and Microsoft in terms of pricing.

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Supported OS

Clearly enough, Google Drive is aimed to be Google\’s answer to Apple iCloud and Microsoft SkyDrive but iCloud has a different focus so naturally it will have poor support for Windows and other operating system. We will not see iCloud on Android as well.

Google Drive, on the other hand, is already working on the iOS app to put Google Drive on Apple devices but I will not be disappointed if they change their mind. At this moment there is no word whether Google Drive will be ported to Windows Phone as well.

Not surprising,  SkyDrive is not available on Android but it supports iOS devices. I think you know why.

Of all these services compared, only Sugarsync can sync any local file or folder on Mac and PC for free. You have to pay extra for Box to get this feature and this feature is not possible in other services. Unfortunately Sugarsync is not available in Linux.

In terms of integration, Google Drive is not as deep as Dropbox yet but I think Google will reiterate and improve its software for Windows, Mac and Linux.  This is the reason Dropbox is still the most popular cloud storage service out there, and still the easiest to use. No other cloud storage service offers tighter integration on desktops operating systems but Dropbox.  But who knows? The situation might change sooner than later.

Cloud Storage Comparison Chart

Here is the comparison chart that I got from PCWorld comparing the basic features of popular cloud storage services. Take note that Apple iCloud and Amazon Cloud Drive is not shown in the table.

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Final Thoughts

I think Google\’s direct competitor here is mainly Dropbox and SkyDrive. Apple iCloud is quite different and focus only on iOS devices. I didn\’t compare Amazon Cloud Drive because it has a different market target.

Overall I think Google Drive has potential specially for those people who actively use Google services. Having Google Drive is a great addition to your web workflow but there are topics about Google terms of service that you may like look at in detail.

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Windows 8 Enterprise Announced, Windows 8 Ultimate Next?

Before we go straight to the new announced edition, there were 3 editions announced last Monday — namely Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. Many believed that these are few compared to how many editions Windows XP,  Vista and 7 had. But now we know there is a fourth edition, Windows 8 Enterprise. What\’s next? Will we see Windows 8 Ultimate soon?

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History Repeats Itself?

Let\’s go back in history and recall the editions published by Microsoft for the last 10 years. Windows XP had Starter Edition, Home Edition, Professional and Media Center Edition. Not to mention there were several 64-bit flavors of these, as well as special editions without Windows Media Player or  Windows Messenger on different territories namely, Windows XP N, Windows XP K and Windows XP KN. With the rise of netbooks we also saw Windows XP Home Edition ULCPC which means \”ultra low-cost personal computer\” . To add more, there was XP Embedded, commonly known as XPe for embedded systems.

Windows Vista is terrible in having so many editions too but at least the naming schemes are much easier to understand. There were Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions. All except Starter supports x86 and 64-bit processors. Similar to Windows XP, there were N and KN versions such as Home Basic N and Business N which removes Windows media player to conform with European Union and Fair Trade Commission in South Korea respectively.

The most recent and the more successful predecessor to Vista, Windows 7had similar editions namely Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. Again, all except Starter supports x86 and 64-bit processors. It also has N and KN versions.

Windows 8 Enterprise

Enter Windows 8 Enterprise. I was quite happy Microsoft only introduced 3 versions. I thought they are finally reducing the number of editions in Windows 8… but they just announced the fourth version. What is special about this? According in Windows team blog, Windows 8 Enterprise will get all the features of Windows 8 Pro plus more. It will get premium features designed mainly for mobile productivity, security, manageability and virtualization.

Some of these features are: Windows To Go – think bootable Windows 8 on your USB flash drive. For many years Linux supports this feature and Windows is catching up on this trend. It allows companies to support BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or in this case, bring your own PC. DirectAccess function like built-in corporate VPN which allows you remote access inside your company\’s network. BranchCache optimize bandwidth over WAN connections by caching files, websites and other content on a central server. AppLocker lets administrators restrict files and applications that any user can run.

Other features include VDI enhancements and New Windows 8 App Deployment.

Windows 8 Editions Comparison Chart

You may compare the known editions of Windows 8 below.

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So after the announcement of Windows 8 Enterprise, do you think we will see more editions of Windows 8?

By the way, did anyone think of Windows RT as Windows ReTweet?

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Ozaki iCoat Slim-Y iPad Case Puts Smart Cover to Shame

If you think that iPad Smart cover is smart enough, think again.

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Ozaki iCoat Slim-Y is a Reddot Design Award Winner for 2012 due to its insanely good multi-angle smart case design for iPad (3rd generation).

It serves as a smart case, stand and stylus holder all in one. If you are for the hunt for that perfect case, this might be it.

When using the original iPad and iPad 2 Smart cover, you have to swipe your fingers lightly if you put it on a steeper angle because you could knock it over if you are not careful.

On  iCoat Slim-Y, you can put your iPad on stand and even if you exert more pressure while typing on it or when using stylus, it won\’t move. Finally, a case that is very stable. I know a  lot of people are looking for this kind feature so I recommend that you check this out on your favorite stores.

It can also hold the iPad at different angles and orientation, portrait or landscape, by turning it 90, 180 even 360 degrees and it will stand any way you like it. It\’s simply unique and very creative.

It has a detachable stylus holder that slides in and out of the sleeves and any standard stylus will fit it.

If you want to learn more about iCoat Slim-Y watch the demo video and read the local press release below.

Ozaki launches an innovative smart case for the new iPad

iCoat Slim-Y, a Reddot Design Award Winner for 2012, exceeds the limit of the smart case and gives the freedom to stand your iPad either in landscape or portrait mode supported by a 360 degree stability. The ‘Y’ shape creates a tri-axial stand, offering four more angles and a stable platform. Don’t be afraid challenging the screen with heavy typing/touching, your iPad won’t move an inch. iCoat Slim-Y allows you to switch from portrait to landscape in just one flip, to position the screen at a lower or higher angle in just one simple motion. It provides the freedom to display, view, play or work on your content – just to name a few things – easily, effortlessly and with maximum comfort. iCoat Slim-Y is with no doubt the 2012 best business and practical iPad case on the market.
Ozaki continued on, releasing a clean-modern look with four sophisticated Saffiano leather colors: black, white, red and brown and includes a detachable stylus holder in the back, to fit your professional life.
If you ever wanted a modern-looking protective shell with a built-in portrait and landscape stand, without adding extra weight to your iPad, iCoat Slim-Y fits perfectly. iCoat Slim-Y won’t let you down and fall, it becomes your best partner!
Features:

  • Front and back protection
  • Slim size with both portrait and landscape view
  • Adjustable multi-angle viewing mode for landscape view
  • Stands steadily even when playing a touch screen game
  • With a detachable stylus holder (stylus not included)

Ozaki iCoat Slim-Y retails at Php 2,995. Ozaki is distributed in the Philippines by MSI-ECS. For more product information and availability, please contact [email protected] or +63-2688-3181.

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