SMART Blog

Smart Services has been providing independent agents with proactive, fast, and expert technology services since 1991.

Azure Platforms Are Increasingly Providing Value

Azure Platforms Are Increasingly Providing Value

Microsoft is best known for its operating system and productivity software, but these days one part of its company is growing faster than any other: its Azure cloud platform. Let’s take a look at the Azure cloud, some features that businesses use it for, and how it can fit into your IT strategy.

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Locking Down Your Network with Active Directory

Locking Down Your Network with Active Directory

Active Directory is a feature of most Windows Server operating systems. In other words, if your organization has a Windows server, you most likely have Active Directory. Active Directory essentially dishes out access permissions to your users as they are logged in to the network.

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Alert: 27 Vulnerabilities Patched in Latest Round of Windows Updates

Alert: 27 Vulnerabilities Patched in Latest Round of Windows Updates

Microsoft's latest round of security patches resolved 27 vulnerabilities affecting Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, the Edge browser, and other software. It’s important to patch these vulnerabilities as soon as possible. If, on the other hand, you’ve already applied the latest security patches, you have little to fear.

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Microsoft Enters the Technology as a Service Market

Microsoft Enters the Technology as a Service Market

One of Microsoft’s latest moves to appeal to business owners is its Technology as a Service program, allowing small businesses to purchase Surface products, accessories, and support via a monthly payment plan. The plan allows for upgrades, although some fees may apply as dictated by the lease.

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If You’re Running Older Versions of Internet Explorer, Java, or Flash, Your PC is at Risk

If You’re Running Older Versions of Internet Explorer, Java, or Flash, Your PC is at Risk

It’s important that your business uses the most recent version of any operating systems and software solutions used by your workforce, but Internet Explorer “fans” have had a rough start to 2016. Nearly a quarter of all Windows PCs are still using unsupported versions of Internet Explorer, half of which are still running Windows XP.

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Sneaky: Some Microsoft Users are Reporting Unwanted Upgrades to Windows 10

Sneaky: Some Microsoft Users are Reporting Unwanted Upgrades to Windows 10

Windows 10, the latest operating system in Microsoft’s repertoire, has several business-friendly features that can potentially improve your organization’s workflow. However, many users are reporting that Windows 10 is installing on their devices automatically without their consent. If this is true, and your organization’s software is upgraded without your consent, you could be facing a big issue.

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Finally, Microsoft Cuts the Cord on Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10

b2ap3_thumbnail_ie_end_of_support_400.jpgAs of two weeks ago, Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10, are no longer supported by Microsoft. That’s right; no more patches or security updates for IE. This makes continuing to use older versions of Windows a cause for concern. Perhaps this is for the best, but in light of this news, users of IE will want to either update to IE 11 or switch to a new browser.

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How Windows Tablets Can Enhance Your Business, Part I

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_8.1_tablet_400.jpgSmartphones and tablets are the new norm. Most professionals have begun to utilize mobile devices to accomplish tasks when they are away from their work PC. Not to say that these devices offer all that much in the way of productivity. Sure, there are plenty of software titles either ported over from the PC or developed directly for the mobile environment, but sometimes these titles don’t offer the functionality, or they take up too many of the device’s resources to be of much use. With these variables to consider, manufacturers are searching for the best way to deliver devices with enhanced productivity capabilities, right out of the box. One of these manufacturers is Microsoft.

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Internet Explorer 8 Zero-Day Vulnerability Found, but Not Patched

b2ap3_thumbnail_vulnerability_microsoft_400.jpgWith the world still on edge about the recent vulnerability found in most versions of Internet Explorer, another one has been discovered, this time in Internet Explorer 8. This bug allows a hacker to execute malicious code when a user opens an infected email or webpage.

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XP Support is Down, but Not Out

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_xp_400.jpgThe news that Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, one of its most successful operating systems, was a great blow to many who loved the software. The greatest blow, however, will likely prove to be hackers, who will be able to break into the system now that Microsoft is not providing security patches.

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Windows XP is Dead. Let it Go.

b2ap3_thumbnail_sq-3-400.pngIf you haven't yet upgraded from Windows XP, then you and 29% of the world must have strong reasons for hanging on to a twelve year old product. Unfortunately, everybody's strong reasons won't hold water come April 8th when Microsoft stops supporting XP with new security patches.

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Can New Leadership at Microsoft Change the Tech World

b2ap3_thumbnail_Satya_Nadella_CEO_400.jpgThe CEO baton at Microsoft has been passed from Steve Ballmer to Satya Nadella, making Nadella the third CEO in Microsoft's well-publicized history. You may not think that this will have an impact on your business, but considering how intertwined Microsoft is with the the global economy, you may be surprised to learn that this move will affect your company.

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Windows XP is a Security Risk for Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_xpvirus400.jpgWindows XP is slated by Microsoft to have its support end on April 8, 2014. This means that everyone using XP beyond this date will no longer be able to receive security updates from Microsoft, which will turn Windows XP into a liability. You may be waiting until April to upgrade, but as you will see, even waiting a few months to upgrade is a risky move.

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It’s Time to Retire Windows XP

b2ap3_thumbnail_xp400.jpgIf you haven't yet upgraded from Windows XP, then you (and 500 million users) must have strong reasons for hanging on to a twelve year old product. Unfortunately, everybody's strong reasons won't hold water come April 8th, 2014 when Microsoft stops supporting XP with new security patches.

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New Windows 8.1 Release Looks to Address User Issues

b2ap3_thumbnail_8point1-400.jpgOn October 17, Microsoft publicly released the Windows 8.1 update. It is the first major update for Windows 8 and Windows RT. The Windows 8.1 update was designed to confront some of the usability issues that Windows 8 PC users have encountered since the release of the OS, last year.

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Tip: Use Word to Fill in Scanned Documents

b2ap3_thumbnail_word400.pngHave you ever got stuck having to fill out a paper document, only to butcher it with your handwriting? Paper forms filled out with sloppy handwriting are unprofessional and may even miscommunicate an important detail. To help your paper forms look professional, Microsoft Word allows you to scan the doc and then enter text; we'll show you how!

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Windows is Feeling Blue about the Start Button

b2ap3_thumbnail_W8Blue400.jpgIt takes a big person to admit when they're wrong, and there's nothing bigger than Microsoft. Windows 8 hasn't sold like Microsoft anticipated, and users pin the blame solely on one little button, the Start button, or the lack thereof. With Windows Blue (officially previewing June 26), it's rumored that Microsoft is remorsefully bringing back the button.

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