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Copeland Data News - October, 2012
It is an interesting time of the year for technology. There are new products being released this Fall, including new offerings in the tablet and smartphone world for which we know will trickle down into our world of business.
While browsing this newsletter, if you think of anything you would like to discuss as it applies to your situation, never hesitate to drop me a note. We are here to help and serve any way we can.
Windows 8, as it debuts from Microsoft, is looked to be released to market towards the end of the month. As mentioned previously in editions of Copeland Data News, Windows 8 is a new operating system, and in many ways, vastly different from its predecessors.
Windows 8 is capable of running on PCs, tablets and smartphones. This gives Microsoft the ability to leverage its technology across all current device types which is certainly an advantage over its competition.
You can review the latest on Windows 8 at www.microsoft.com/windows.
Microsoft is planning on offering an UPGRADE offer for any Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 users for $40.00. This is a limited time offer and is available until January 31, 2013.
Many of the user and support issues of Windows 8 are not yet known, so be very careful in implementing this new operating system all too quickly out of the gate. It is not recommended that any business PCs be upgraded to Windows 8 until all compatibility issues have been reviewed in your environment. On the home front, only you can decide if you are ready to take on the Windows 8 upgrade, knowing that there will be a learning curve as well as possible compatibility issues that may not be resolved quickly.
New tablets continue to drive the consumer sector of technology, which in turn is slowly bringing tablets into the workplace.
Amazon has just released several new tablets to give customers a choice and at the same time nip at the heels of Apple's iPad with lower price points. More information can be found HERE.
Apple, on the other hand, has other iPad options up its sleeve, which will bring more variety to their offerings. While we have no details at the time of this writing, iPad is expected to offer a smaller, lower cost tablet to better compete with the success of the original Amazon Kindle Fire.
Barnes & Noble also sparked some recent excitement with their announcement of the Nook HD (7" tablet) and Nook HD+ (9" tablet). These are the first tablets to feature multiple user profiles, which means it really becomes a sharable device among family workers or coworkers.
Web Design for Desktops, Tablets & Phones
Recent changes in HTML/CSS standards are driving a new trend in web design, called "responsive web design." This is a tremendous step towards serving up your website and providing a great end-user experience regardless of the device being used to browse your website.
Traditionally, web servers would listen to incoming requests and provide the programmers with some information so they can guess what type of device was making the request. The most appropriate website (desktop vs. mobile) would be served up, but this still did not take into consideration screen size and resolution differences between devices. With so many types of smartphones and tablets now (not to mention whether they are being used in portrait or landscape mode), this became an expensive proposition to develop websites that may or may not work well on every device. Luckily, we can now rely on responsive web design to do this.
Responsive web design relies on a browser's ability to perform "media queries" and select the best "stylesheet" for the web. This is strictly based on the maximum number of pixels that can be displayed horizontally in a window. These queries update dynamically as windows are resized, so even if you run a very high resolution on a big monitor but prefer to run smaller (non-maximized) browser windows, the layout is adjusted to meet your current window width.
This is probably best illustrated by example. Visit www.bostonglobe.com and play around with your window width. You can see how elements dynamically move around, menus change, and items are resized on-the-fly. This allows developers to build one site that is just styled differently based on current window width. Since it is one set of content, your site remains consistent across all platforms.
If you are considering a website rework, now is a great time to incorporate responsive web design into it. Though it initially costs more to develop various style definitions, you will be providing the best user experience to your mobile visitors while maintaining one set of content. With the rapid increase in tablet/smartphone owners, it is difficult to ignore their expectations when browsing your website.
Odds & Ends
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