A Microsoft Surface user review

I’ve never owned a tablet device. No, really. I’m serious. Twenty-two percent of adults across the U.S. (and counting) own tablets, but I was not one of them.

Until recently, that is. Two weeks ago Pat Hart, SHI’s Director of Software Licensing, determined to bring me out of the dark ages, handed me a newly released Microsoft Surface. His instructions to me: “Try not to break this thing on the first day.”

It was good advice and, for a moment, seemed likely that I would fail this task. Getting the device out of the box was a challenge. It was like the Surface was packed inside a giant Chinese finger trap: The harder I pulled on the black and white interlocked cardboard box, the more the device refused to budge. I dropped the package on my kitchen counter five to six times before my wife finally came to see what was making all that noise. She took the box, flipped it over, and the Surface slid gently out onto the counter.

Surface (and spouse): 1. Ed: 0. (more…)

Is your Microsoft licensing in compliance? A quick reference guide

This is a big week for Microsoft — the Windows 8 launch today, the release of Microsoft Surface tomorrow. Media and techies have been hyping these new products for months, both for their innovation — some are calling Surface the “PC of the future” — and also for the licensing re-haul associated with them.

Caitlin already touched on the licensing changes inherent with Windows 8, so we won’t be going there today. Instead of looking forward, we thought we’d take a quick look back at how Microsoft got here. Below we’ve compiled a handy table recapping the new Microsoft products launched in 2012 and the licensing models associated with each. Let this serve as a quick reference to make sure your software licensing is in compliance. (more…)

Direct2Dell blog tells the SHI and Dell story

Being in this business for 15 or so years has its benefits. I was reminded of a major one when I was interviewed for a blog post now appearing on Direct2Dell.com: being involved in the partnership between SHI and Dell.

“SHI sells hardware?” you might ask. “SHI sells Dell?”

The answers are “yes!” and “yes!” But our 23-year legacy in volume licensing expertise and a company named derived from the words “Software House International” sometimes obfuscates this reality for customers.

SHI interviewed on Direct2Dell blog

PROFITABLE PARTNERSHIP: Ed McNamara tells the SHI and Dell story.

We are particularly proud of our partnership with Dell and how far it has come over the years. I welcomed the chance to interview with Direct2Dell about what makes this relationship so mutually successful and how Dell’s growth, particularly its acquisitions (such as the recent acquisition of Quest Software) can affect companies within the IT channel. (more…)

SAN, NAS, or both: Which is best for your users?

When customers outgrow their current storage environment, or are trying to add new storage to their networks, I’m often asked what type of storage they should buy. The answer is easy. Customers should go with the top storage solutions that have always been available: network attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN). What’s harder is determining which solution is ideal for different scenarios. Today, I’ll be outlining the differences between the two, and going over when customers should combine them.

NETWORK ATTACHED STORAGE: File-level storage used for collaboration

NAS, the first type of storage solution available, is file-level storage, and it’s mainly used for collaboration. So if a customer needs a solution that will accommodate many users all collaborating on a single project simultaneously, NAS is the way to go. It eliminates the confusion of keeping and storing multiple copies of a document as it goes through revisions in local storage, and cluttering up the storage space. NAS also provides data protection, so if you lose your laptop or your hard drive crashes, the files you’re working on are not lost. (more…)