• Adobe Acrobat – Free Converters actually work better

    If you’ve been spending $250 on Adobe Acrobat licenses just because everyone in your organization needs a pdf converter of some kind, it’s time to save some money and speed up your users as well. Bottom line is that very few users in an organization need the Adobe Acrobat product. Unless you are a document publisher or designer you can get by easily (and I’d venture to say happily) with two free products that replace Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Reader.

    Even if you use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader product, you no doubt have noticed how long it takes to load each time you want to open a pdf file. And that’s not the half of it – literally. Acrobat Reader is SO inefficient that it partially loads on start-up of your computer, just so you don’t pull your hair out waiting for it to finish loading each time you open a document. (Don’t believe me? – Open MSconfig and look at your startup items). And then of course there are all those documents that Acrobat Reader just refuses to display at all. The solution? REMOVE Acrobat Reader from your system and replace it with the tiny Foxit Reader.

    Foxit Reader is a free PDF document viewer and printer, with incredible small size (only 2.55 M download size), lightning-fast launch speed and a rich feature set. Not only do pdf files open instantaneously (and that’s not an exaggeration), you can actually select portions of documents, copy and paste text and do other things that Reader just won’t let you do without buying it’s high-maintenance parent. Download it here – and thank me later.

    Sure, that’s easy you say, but how about converting documents to pdf? Adobe couldn’t possibly sell Acrobat for $250 if there were products out there that do it free, you say. Wrong. There are several. They may not have the entire feature set of a full-fledged Adobe Acrobat, but I’ve been using one of them for six years now and have not needed a single feature that is unique to Acrobat. Again, 90% of your users can get by easily with CutePDF Writer.

    Get it at http://www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp

    CutePDF works the same way Acrobat does. It shows up in your printer list as a selection and immediately converts and presents the converted document. It’s FREE for personal, commercial, government or educational use! No watermarks! No popup Web ads! Time to break the Adobe stranglehold on our budgets!

  • Vista is the New Coke – Forrester Research Reports

    According to Forrester Research, Windows Vista is the ‘New Coke’ of Operating Systems. After being on the market for over a year Vista currently has only 8% market share among enterprise users according to a recent report by Thomas Mendel, Ph.D. of Forrester Research.   Of the 50,000 enterprise users surveyed by the Cambridge, Mass., analyst firm, 87.1% were still running Windows XP at the end of June, compared to 8.8% for Vista. The low number is of obvious concern to Microsoft now that Vista has been on the market for a full eighteen months.

    Other interesting excerpts from the report:

    • Mac’s have increased their share of enterprise desktops from 3.7% to 4.5% in the last 6 months, while Linux share interestingly enough has fallen from 1.8% to 0.5% over the same period. (I’d question Forrester’s sampling techniques on that one.)
    • The report also found that 19.4% of corporate users now use Firefox as their browser up from 16.8% just six months ago – all at the expense of Internet Explorer.
    • The report suggests that enterprises thinking about upgrading to Vista consider Intel’s recent decision NOT to upgrade it’s 80,000 desktops and laptops. As reported in the New York Times last month an Intel source reported that the company made its decision after a lengthy analysis by its internal technology staff of the costs and potential benefits of moving to Windows Vista, which has drawn fire from many customers as a buggy, bloated program that requires costly hardware upgrades to run smoothly.