IT jobs will grow 22% through 2020, says U.S.

Biennial update says offshoring will limit growth in some occupations, while healthcare IT provides a boost

Computerworld – WASHINGTON — U.S. officials on Thursday said that offshoring will hurt the growth of U.S. programming jobs in this decade, though expansion of healthcare IT and mobile networks will in turn increase demand for software developers, support technicians and systems analysts.

By 2020, employment in all computer occupations is expected to increase by 22%, but some IT fields will fare better than others, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) biennial update of employment projections.

Comparative growth rates
Projected 10-year growth Compared to other categories
Increase 29% or more Much faster than average
Increase 20% to 28% Faster than average
Increase 10% to 19% About average
Increase 3% to 9% More slowly than average
Decrease 2% to increase 2% Little or no change
Decrease 3% to 9% Decline slowly or moderately
Decrease 10% or more Decline rapidly
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Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Demand for software developers will be the strongest in this period, with increases ranging from 28% to 32%, depending on the type of software development.

The BLS update imagines what IT employment will look like through 2020.

The agency’s forecasts, particularly for technology-related jobs, are often controversial because they can’t account for rapid market changes and tech disruptions. But its estimates are often cited in various policy debates on issues ranging from education to immigration.

The IT employment growth rate projected by the BLS was characterized as “anemic” by Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates, a research firm that analyzes IT wage and employment trends.

“When you consider the overall demand for systems and applications in high-growth markets like China and India, [the BLS projections] mean the U.S. will be doing a diminishing portion of the development and implementation work,” said Janulaitis. “If that’s the case, the U.S. will no longer be the leader in IT.

“The BLS projections are a bad sign for the U.S. IT graduates from universities. Those numbers do not cover the net growth necessary to give all of the graduates jobs,” Janulaitis added.

The outlook varies from occupation to occupation. Here’s a look at the BLS projections for various tech jobs.
Database administrators

Demand for database administrators is expected to increase by 31%, with 33,900 jobs being added this decade as enterprises endeavor to cull valuable information from an ever-growing mountain of data.

The field employed 110,800 people in 2010 at a median salary of $73,490.
IT managers

For IT managers, employment is projected to increase by 55,800 jobs, or 18%, to 363,700 jobs by 2020.

The BLS said growth in the healthcare industry and the need for more IT security may spur an increase in the number IT management jobs, but the agency added that “cloud computing may shift some IT services to computer systems design and related services firms, concentrating jobs in that industry.”

The median pay for IT managers in 2010 was $115,780.
Job growth forecast
Job title May 2010 employment 2020 jobs forecast Job growth forecast Pct job growth forecast Expected growth rate thru 2020 May 2010 median wage
Software developers, systems software 392,300 519,400 127,100 32% Much faster than average $ 94,180
Database administrators 110,800 144,800 34,000 31% Much faster than average $ 73,490
Network & computer system admins 347,300 443,800 96,500 28% Faster than average $ 69,160
Software developers, applications 520,800 664,500 143,700 28% Faster than average $ 87,790
Computer systems analyst 544,400 664,800 120,400 22% Faster than average $ 77,740
Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and Computer Network Architects 302,300 367,900 65,600 22% Faster than average $ 75,660
Computer & information systems managers 307,900 363,700 55,800 18% About average $115,780
Computer support specialists 607,100 717,100 110,000 18% About average $ 46,260
Computer programmers 363,100 406,800 43,700 12% Average $ 71,380
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

Computer programmers
The IT occupation expected to show the weakest growth is computer programming, which is also the profession most susceptible to offshoring.

The number of people employed as computer programmers will increase by just 12% through the decade, from 363,100 in 2010 to 406,800 by 2020, the BLS projects.

That’s less than the expected 14% increase in the number of U.S. jobs across all occupations, IT and otherwise, over the same period, according to the BLS.

Offshoring was blamed for relatively weak growth in demand for computer programmers.

“Since computer programming can be done from anywhere in the world, companies often hire programmers in countries where wages are lower,” said the BLS. “This ongoing trend will limit growth for computer programmers in the United States.”

The median pay for programmers in 2010 was $71,380.
Help desk, technical support

The healthcare industry’s growth and its shift to electronic records will help spur demand for computer support specialists, a job category that includes help desk personnel.

There were 607,000 people employed in computer support in 2010. That figure is expected to grow to 717,000 by 2020, for an 18% increase.

The 2010 median pay for computer support specialists was $46,260.

Technical support workers are also being hurt by a shift of jobs to other countries, though the BLS is a little more optimistic about the outlook for this occupation.

“A recent trend to move jobs to lower-cost regions of the United States may offset some loss of jobs to other countries,” the bureau said, referring to the trend of hiring people who handle call center duties largely from their homes.
Systems analysts

The BLS projects that the number of computer systems analysts will grow by 22% through 2020, thanks to the spread of mobile networks and the expanded use of computerized healthcare tools, such as e-prescription systems.

The number of computer system analysts in the U.S. in 2010 was 544,000. That figure is expected to rise 22% to 664,800 by 2020. The median salary of a systems analyst was $77,740 in 2010.
Software developers

The BLS said there were 913,100 software developers in the U.S. 2010; they were earning a median salary of $90,530.

The bureau forecasts that the number of software development jobs will increase by 30%, or 270,900, through 2020.

The fastest rate of growth (32%) will be for system software developers, and the lowest (28%) will be for application developers, the bureau said.
Other IT occupations

In 2010, there were 347,200 network and computer systems administrators employed in the U.S., earning a median wage of $69,160. Employment in these occupations is expected to grow by 96,600 jobs, or 28%, through 2020.

The BLS lumps information security analysts, Web developers and computer network architects in a single category. It said a combined 302,300 people held those positions in 2010 and projected that employment in that category would grow 22% to 367,900 jobs by 2020. The median pay for all workers in that category was $75,660 in 2010.

BLS critics
Ron Hira, an associate professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, said the BLS IT forecasts have been wildly wrong in the past.

“Volatile occupations tend to be subject to bad forecasts, and it’s clear that computer occupation employment levels are very hard to forecast,” said Hira.

“The forecasts are biased toward the most recent history in the occupation,” he said.

Hira said he would place more stock in growth projections for a predictable profession. Citing primary school teachers as an example, he pointed out that the BLS can estimate the number of births during the decade and factor in teacher-student ratios to reach an estimate of employment growth.

The BLS has “no methodology to estimate technological disruptions that can increase demand for computer occupations,” said Hira, citing the rapid increases in the use of the Internet and ERP systems as examples of IT disruptions.

David Foote, CEO of Foote Partners, an IT labor market research firm, scoffed at the BLS’s projections and said they extended too far out into the future to be reliable.

In light of “current market volatility and uncertainty which is unprecedented,” Foote said that anyone who makes a 10-year IT employment projection “is kidding themselves.”

The projections don’t take into account the rate of technological change, he said.

Foote said the BLS only identifies a “small group” of IT jobs and doesn’t track the new kinds of technology jobs that combine business and IT experience to create hybrid professions. Much of that is being driven by the demands to find useful ways to apply use so-called big data in a business.
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How to Migrate from Windows XP to 7, Windows Server 2003 to 2008 R2

With Microsoft ending support for these old operating systems, now’s the time to plan your transition to the latest versions

When it comes to adopting new operating systems and applications, common practice among system administrators is to delay adoption until the release of the first service pack. Admins found plenty of reasons to put off moving from Windows XP to Windows Vista, and then to Windows 7: The new operating systems demanded more capable hardware, the user interface changes required user training, and there were compatibility issues with legacy hardware and applications.
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Get ready for Windows 8 support headaches
These days, it’s becoming difficult to find device drivers and applications compatible with Windows XP. More importantly, Microsoft has ended mainstream support for Windows XP, and extended support ends in 2014. New PCs come with Windows 7 by default, so admins must support both operating systems anyway. And with Microsoft widely expected to ship Windows 8 in October, can your business afford to be two or three OS generations behind? Unless you intend to set aside the first-service-pack rule, it’s time to bite the bullet and move forward.

Server admins are even more conservative. In this case, Windows Server 2008 R2 requires 64-bit hardware, and the interface is just different enough to make them nervous. The latest server applications, however, are compatible only with the newer operating system. Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 2003 in 2010, and extended support ends in 2015.

Here are the top six decisions you’ll need to make before embarking on a migration:

1. Should you install the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version?
At the desktop level, there are few advantages to installing the 64-bit version of Windows 7. The biggest reason to stick with the 32-bit version is that you might have difficulty finding 64-bit drivers for legacy hardware. And some applications don’t function well in a 64-bit environment. Unless you’re positive you won’t need to support legacy hardware, or if you have specific needs that can be filled only by a 64-bit OS (addressing more than 3GB of RAM, for instance), you should set up most desktops with the 32-bit OS.

There is no 32-bit version of Windows 2008 R2. You can run 32-bit applications, but 32-bit support is not installed by default

2. Can you find compatible device drivers?
As we’ve already mentioned, you might have difficulty finding Windows 7 drivers for legacy hardware, ranging from old printers and scanners to specialized tools such as pointaof-sale devices that rely on legacy serial ports. In fact, any new PCs you acquire probably won’t even be outfitted with parallel or serial ports. Make a list of these devices and decide whether you’ll replace them or retain some Windows XP computers to continue running them.

3. Which applications will need upgrades?
You can run Office 2003 on Windows 7, but no one would recommend running Office 2010 on Windows XP. Make a list of the applications that will need to be updated and remember that users will need training on both the new operating system and the new applications.

On the server side, Exchange 2003 or 2007 will run on Windows Server 2003, but Exchange 2010 requires Windows 2008.The same is true for the latest versions of SharePoint, SQL Server, and most other server applications. To reduce the impact on the enterprise, you might want to install new servers along with the new server applications, and then migrate users and their data from the old server to the new.

4. Should you upgrade in place, or start fresh?
When upgrading desktop systems, you have two choices: Install the new OS in an existing system, or start fresh with new hardware. Windows 7’s system requirements are beyond the capabilities of most PCs that came with Windows XP installed, so you might need to beef up the hardware to upgrade in place. The same is true of servers put in service when Windows Server 2003 was new.

Upgrading in place enables you to transfer user settings, application settings, and more from the old hardware to the new using the Windows migration tool or aftermarket tools. Most applications will have to be reinstalled, and you’ll want to run Microsoft’s Windows 7 compatibility tester to determine if any of the old applications will have problems running on the new OS.

5. Is virtual desktop infrastructure a viable alternative?
You can avoid acquiring new desktop hardware by deploying virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Set up a server application that runs virtual iterations of both Windows 7 and Windows XP desktops, and your users will use their existing Windows XP machines to access these environments. This will help them transition to Windows 7 while ensuring continued access to their familiar Windows XP desktops and legacy applications. VDI will require server and networking infrastructure that will likely offset the savings realized by retaining your old desktop hardware. In the long run, however, VDI will simplify desktop management, and your users will experience an easier transition.

6. Should you invest in migration tools?
Migration tools can ease the pain of a mass upgrade by transferring operating system settings, application settings, and even some applications and drivers from old systems to new ones. Users can spend dozens of hours setting up their applications just the way they like, updating dictionaries in word processors; recreating macros, templates, and forms; and so on. The cost of such tools could be offset by avoiding such productivity loss.

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70-659 Q&A / Study Guide / Testing Engine

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You work as a Network Administrator at The network consists of a single Active
Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain. All servers run Windows Server 2008 R2 and all
client computers Windows 7 Professional.
The company network consists of an internal LAN and a perimeter network. The two networks are
separated by an internal corporate firewall. An external corporate firewall connects the perimeter
network to the Internet.
The network includes virtual machines (VMs) running on host servers contained in both the
internal network and the perimeter network.
You have recently installed a server named Certkingdom-VMM1 on the internal network. Certkingdom-VMM1 runs
Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 R2 and will be used to manage
the virtual environment.
You are now in the process of deploying VMM agents on the host servers. You have configured
the port number for the VMM agents and configured the internal corporate firewall to allow
communications on the appropriate port number.
What else do you need to configure to ensure that the VMM agents can communicate with CertkingdomVMM1?

A. You need to configure the name of the VMM server (Certkingdom-VMM1).
B. You need to configure the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) of a domain controller.
C. You need to configure the name of a SQL Server.
D. You need to configure an encryption key.

Answer: D


You work as a Network Administrator at The network consists of a single Active
Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain. All servers run Windows Server 2008 R2 and all
client computers Windows 7 Professional.
The company network consists of two subnets. The Development subnet is used by the
Development department. The Production subnet is used by all other company departments.
You install a Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V server named Certkingdom-VMHost1 in the Production
subnet. Certkingdom-VMHost1 contains two network interface cards named NIC1 and NIC2. You have
configured NIC1 as a management interface.
You want to configure Certkingdom-VMHost1 to host virtual machines on both the Production subnet and
the Development subnet.
How should you configure Certkingdom-VMHost1?

A. You should use VLAN tags for the VMs and configure NIC2 to use Trunk Mode.
B. You should assign NIC2 as an additional management interface.
C. You should configure both adapters to support jumbo frames.
D. You should configure NIC1 with an IP address in the Production subnet and configure NIC2
with an IP address in the Development subnet.

Answer: A


You work as a Network Administrator at The network consists of a single Active
Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain. All servers in the network run Windows Server 2008 R2.
A server named Certkingdom-VMM1 runs Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008
R2 and is used to manage the company’s virtual environment.
The company includes a Development department. Users in the Development department use
their computers to develop and test software applications for use by other company departments and customers.
You install a Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V server named Certkingdom-VMTest1 in the Development
department. Certkingdom-VMTest1 will host virtual machines (VMs) for the Development department
users to use to test their applications.
You need to ensure that the VMs are completely isolated from production servers.
How can you ensure that the test VMs can communicate with each other while being isolated from
the host server and the rest of the network?

A. By configuring the VMs to connect to a Dedicated virtual network.
B. By configuring the VMs to connect to an Internal virtual network.
C. By configuring the VMs to connect to a Local virtual network.
D. By configuring the VMs to connect to a Private virtual network.

Answer: D


You work as a Network Administrator at The network consists of a single Active
Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain.
You are configuring a virtual environment for the company. You have an iSCSI storage disk array
that will be used to store virtual machines (VMs).
You install a server named Certkingdom-Host1 that runs a Server Core Installation of Windows Server 2008 R2.
You need to configure Certkingdom-Host1 to store to VMs on the iSCSI disk array.
Which two of the following tools could you use?

A. You could use Disk Management.
B. You could use Diskpart.exe.
C. You could use iSCSICLI.exe.
D. You could use iSCSICPL.exe.

Answer: C,D


You work as a Network Administrator at The network consists of a single Active
Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain named
The company network consists of an internal LAN and a perimeter network. To comply with
company security policy, servers located in the perimeter network are not members of the domain.
A Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 server named Certkingdom-VMHost1 is located in the perimeter network.
You relocate Certkingdom-VMHost1 into the internal network. You now need to join Certkingdom-VMHost1 to the AD DS domain.
How should you join Certkingdom-VMHost1 to the domain?

A. You should use the System Properties control panel applet.
B. You should use the Netsh command line utility.
C. You should use the Hyper-V configuration utility (hvconfig).
D. You should use the dcpromo utility.

Answer: D


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Windows 8 update: Dell thinks it can sell Windows 8 tablets

Plus IDC thinks PC sales rely on Win 8, other rumors

Dell thinks it can make a buck off Windows 8 tablets, despite the fact that it pretty much abandoned its Android tablets last year.

More: Windows 8’s 8 top apps (so far)

More: Windows Server 8: Ten Features Managers Will Love
Dell’s Chief Commercial Officer Steve Felice told Reuters this week that he thinks disaffection with iPads by corporate IT departments creates an opportunity to sell mobile devices that run on Windows – something they are familiar with.

“On the commercial side there are a lot of concerns about security, interoperability, systems and device management, and I think Dell is in the best position to meet those,” Felice saiys.

In addition to taking a run at Windows 8 Dell may also fire up its Android tablets again, but that is to be seen. “We have a roadmap for tablets that we haven’t announced yet,” he says. “You’ll see some announcements…for the back half of the year. We don’t think that this market is closed off in any way.”

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Butting heads with iPads
Two postings by Microsoft indicate that it’s not only inevitable that tablets based on Windows 8 be compared to iPads, Microsoft is actually encouraging the comparison. First, the company supports a Web page that instructs Windows 8 developers how to reshape their iPad apps into Metro style apps, and points to a site that details how much they can get paid for those apps. It also touts certain Metro navigation and control features as being superior to those employed by Apple.

The second posting on the Building Windows 8 blog outlines the screen resolutions that Windows 8 tablets can support. It turns out the maximum screen resolution is higher than that for the new iPad and its famous Retina display. The post is about how to write Metro apps so they look good on any screen size with any resolution above minimum Windows 8 requirements, but it’s hard to miss that the maximum resolution (291 ppi) is greater than the new iPad’s (265).

PC market health relies on Windows 8
IDC reports that the growth of PC sales in 2011 were slow and that it will stay slow through midyear. It says there is some hope at the end of this year and the beginning of next for increased growth, but that will depend on Windows 8. “2012 and 2013 will bring significant changes for Microsoft and the PC community,” says IDC analyst Jay Chou. “Windows 8 and Ultrabooks are a definitive step in the right direction to recapturing the relevance of the PC, but its promise of meshing a tablet experience with a PC body will likely entail a period of trial and error, thus the market will likely see modest growth in the near term.” That’s a lot of pressure on Windows 8, which clearly has been tuned for touchscreen tablets. Microsoft may be trying to help out the PC market by its persistent use of the term PC for things that are clearly not PCs. For example, it refers to its Windows on ARM devices – mainly tablets – as WOA PCs.

Windows 8 due out in October
This old general consensus earned new headlines this week when Bloomberg reported that anonymous sources confirmed October as the launch month. In addition to pointing up the hysteria surrounding the pending release, the story also served to put forth some detail about what Windows 8 devices will be ready to roll on launch day. The same unnamed sources say three ARM tablets and more than 40 X86 machines will be ready to go with the debut.

Fixing Windows 8 still broken
The visceral rantings of a former Microsoft employee struggling to come to grips with Windows 8 were abruptly ended about a week ago when his site went blank. So did his Twitter account, according to Network World blogger Andy Patrizio. He wonders if Microsoft might have been behind shutting down the site and its mostly negative posts about the frustrations of learning the new operating system. Microsoft wouldn’t comment.

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70-595 Q&A / Study Guide / Testing Engine

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You are employed as a developer at makes use of BizTalk Server 2010 in
their environment.
You have designed a BizTalk Server 2010 messaging solution for processing XML messages. You
then configured the solution to makes use of a solitary Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) activity
and BAM tracking profile to obtain content values from a message.
When a message is received, a portion of the values are bound to a receive port. When a
message is sent, the rest of the values are bound to a send port.
You have been instructed to make sure that a single record that includes all content values is
created for each message.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should consider making use of the BizTalk Tracking Profile Utility (bttdeploy.exe) to
redeploy the tracking profile used in this solution.
B. You should consider linking a complete value to ActivityID field.
C. You should consider adding a relationship to the BAM tracking profile.
D. You should consider configuring the solution to make use of another Business Activity
Monitoring (BAM) activity.

Answer: C


You are employed as a developer at You are currently in the process of designing a
BizTalk Server 2010 orchestration for’s environment.
You have already created and saved a policy, named CertkingdomEmployeeBonus, to compute an
employee’s bonus based on year-to-date sales via the Business Rule Composer. You have also
included a Call Rules shape in the new BizTalk Server 2010 orchestration.
When you access the BizTalk Orchestration Designer, you are unable to find CertkingdomEmployeeBonus
in the menu of accessible policies.
It is imperative that CertkingdomEmployeeBonus is made available.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should consider publish CertkingdomEmployeeBonus from the BizTalk Orchestration Designer.
B. You should consider publish CertkingdomEmployeeBonus from the Business Rules Composer.
C. You should consider creating and publishing a vocabulary containing a definition that
references the XML schema used to evaluate CertkingdomEmployeeBonus from the Business Rules Composer.
D. You should consider creating and publishing a vocabulary containing a definition that
references the XML schema used to evaluate CertkingdomEmployeeBonus from the BizTalk Orchestration Designer.

Answer: B

You are employed as an administrator at is a shipping company that uses
radio frequency identification (RFID) readers with a server shipping management system built on
BizTalk Server 2010 to track shipped containers.
Subsequent to defining a custom tag event, named ContainerArrivalEvent, you include the
SqlServerSink component to the RFID process using the RFID manager.
You are required to make sure that only the custom tag event is logged.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should make use of the Inline XSLT script type.
B. You should make use of the fully qualified assembly name for the EventType property.
C. You should make use of the Inline C# script type.
D. You should make use of the Generic EventType property.

Answer: D

You are employed as an administrator at has a BizTalk Server 2010
environment. has three trading partners to which EDI purchase orders are regularly sent.’s
trading partners make use of email, instead of through response messages, to confirm purchase
order acknowledgements. Furthermore,’s three trading partners employ identical
versions of the purchase order message. The only difference is that the product types for each
trading partner are defined by custom codes, which are not included in the standard BizTalk
purchase order schemas.
You have been instructed to make sure that a purchase order schema is used for each trading
partner when sending purchase orders. Each purchase order schema should contain the required
custom product type codes for that particular trading partner.
Which two of the following actions should you take? (

A. You should consider defining a local host setting for each of the three trading partners via the
transaction set settings for the party.
B. You should consider defining an envelope for each of the three trading partners via the
transaction set settings for the party.
C. You should consider making use of the default namespace defined by BizTalk for EDI
D. You should consider defining a custom namespace for each BizTalk schema.

Answer: B,C

You work as a BizTalk Server 2010 administrator at makes use of a BizTalk
Server 2010 orchestration that calls a Business Rules Engine policy.
You have previously configured the policy to assess test scores for passes or fails. You then
deployed The BizTalk solution, as well as the policy.
When decides to increase the value of a passing score, you are instructed to make the
necessary changes to the policy so that the adjusted rule parameter is displayed.
Which of the following actions should you take? (Choose all that apply.)

A. You should create a new version of the policy in the Business Rules Composer
B. You should create a different policy with a new name that includes the changed parameter in
the Business Rules Composer.
C. You should create a new vocabulary in the Business Rules Composer.
D. You should create a new version of the policy in the Business Rules Composer
E. Add the new parameter to this vocabulary
F. You should edit this version to reflect the changed parameter.
G. You should deploy the new version.
H. You should publish the new version.
I. You should publish the vocabulary.
J. You should deploy the new policy.

Answer: C,E,I

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Outlook 2010 cheat sheet

How to find your way around Microsoft Outlook 2010 and make the most of its new features

Computerworld – If you’ve just upgraded to Outlook 2010 from an earlier version, expect to see some very big changes, most notably the ubiquity of the Ribbon interface. The Ribbon first made its appearance in Outlook 2007, but in a relatively minor way — on the main Outlook screen there’s no Ribbon, but when you open or compose an email, the Ribbon appears. Now it’s everywhere.

There are other significant changes in Outlook 2010 compared to earlier versions, including integration with social media networks like Facebook and improved handling of threaded messages.

Whether you’re coming to Outlook 2010 from Outlook 2003, 2007 or a different email client, we’ve got you covered. This cheat sheet shows you how to get around; it also explores features that are brand new in Outlook 2010.

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Yes, Microsoft wants Windows 8 to compete with iPads

Yes, Microsoft wants Windows 8 to compete with iPads
Windows development blog shows how to translate iPad apps into Metro apps

If there was any doubt that Microsoft wants to grab some of the iPad market, there’s none any more: Now Microsoft has a web page that shows developers how to translate iPad apps into Windows 8 ones with a Metro style look and feel.

“In this case study we want to help designers and developers who are familiar with iOS to reimagine their apps using Metro style design principles,” says the blog. “We show you how to translate common user interface and experience patterns found in iPad apps to Windows 8 Metro style apps.”
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TEST YOURSELF: Do you know the New iPad?
Why would anyone want to do that? “To learn more about the business opportunity of Windows 8, see Selling Apps,” the posting says early on. Ultimately that leads to a site with this enticement: “With successful apps on Windows, you’ll make more money than the industry standard, earning 80% of every customer dollar, after an app makes more than 25,000 USD in sales. For the first 25,000 USD of an app’s sales, you get the industry-standard 70%.”

Money aside, the case-study post shows how an iPad photo journal application was adapted to fit with Metro style. Both Windows 8 and iOS on iPads cater to touch commands and navigation, but where iPads rely on icons and toolbars, Windows 8 centers around words on tiles and hiding toolbars.

In converting to Windows 8 the first thing to go from the iPad app is the “chrome” – the navigation bar, pagination controls and the bottom control bar, resulting in a less cluttered application surface. In the Windows 8 version, they are gone but are less necessary because the navigation hierarchy is flattened.

For example, the hub screen for the iPad app shows a single photo for each of the 12 months, with a tab to switch to comments about the photos.

In the Windows 8 version the hub screen is a single month with a featured large photo for the month with other, smaller photos from that month displayed next to it. About a third of the same screen is devoted to comments. For more comments, tap (it’s designed for touchscreen) the Recent Comment header. For more pictures, tap the This Month header.

A second navigation alternative involves pinch to zoom – making a pinching gesture while touching the screen to pull out hierarchically from a single photo to sets of 12 squares or tiles, each set representing a different year. Users can, for instance, go from a photo from March 2012 to a photo from July 2010 by pinching the March photo, zooming out to the sets of tiles, tapping the one for July 2010 and sorting through the photos that are brought up. There is no navigation bar.

With the iPad app, the same transition calls for tapping a Years button on the navigation bar at the top of the screen, selecting the year as it appears in a popover box and then sorting through that year.

Similarly, commands are hidden off screen and can be drawn up from the bottom or down from the top with a finger swipe. The commands shown depend on what object on the screen is designated. So if a photo is highlighted, the commands might include delete or upload.

In the iPad app, that is done via the always visible navigation bar.

On the iPad app, search is done via a search window on the app’s home page. With Metro, it’s always available on the charms bar – a bar of a consistent set of icons that can be swiped out from the right hand side of the screen. It searches the application that the user is inside of.

The features go on and on, including sharing content between applications and to various social networking sites.

2 HotMobile papers that grabbed us: WalkSafe and SpinLoc

WalkSafe keeps pedestrians from walking into cars; SpinLoc lets you twirl to figure out where you are

The recent HotMobile conference in San Diego attracted dozens of top mobile technology researchers who presented papers on their latest findings. While we didn’t attend the event, a couple of papers jumped out at us while browsing the agenda.

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Researchers from Dartmouth University’s Mobile Sensing Group and the University of Bologna presented a paper titled “WalkSafe: A Pedestrian Safety App for Mobile Phone Users Who Walk and Talk While Crossing Roads.” Their research resulted in a free app called WalkSafe that’s been on the Android Market since last year and that “operates at the intersection of vision, learning and mobile computing.”

ANDROID APPS: 10 best new ones for fun and, uh, work
The app exploits a mobile phone’s back camera to detect approaching vehicles and alert the user, via vibration or sound, of the impending danger. It also uses the phone’s accelerometer sensors. The researchers used machine learning algorithms to allow the phone to detect vehicles during active calls. Studies of the app have shown it delivers few false positives, though doesn’t identify all oncoming vehicles.

The researchers acknowledge that other apps exist that allow users to text or email and walk by showing the road ahead as a background image, but cite findings that even with such an app phone users are probably too distracted to attend to their own safety. Other apps have been developed to initiate communications between cars and pedestrians, but the researchers say broad implementation would be very involved and “perhaps, unlikely.”

Future research includes improving vehicle detection to include bicycles, motor bikes and more, as well as improving detection of vehicles at night, since that’s when so many pedestrian accidents occur. Barbara Wang, one of the Dartmouth researchers who is now at Google, says there are no plans to extend the app beyond Android anytime soon.
A fresh spin on wireless localization

Another research paper that caught our eyes was “SpinLoc: Spin Once to Know Your Location,” from researchers at Duke University and the University of South Carolina. The researchers say that while location-based apps have exploded of late, most don’t involve indoor localization, which could be used, for example, to orient yourself in a shopping mall or big engineering building on a college campus.

Souvik Sen from Duke describes the research as being about indoor localization using existing Wi-Fi deployments. “The technique requires no painful war driving, but requires the user to spin around once to find her location. As the user spins, we find that her body blocks the incoming WiFi signal. The dip in signal strength is the highest when her body is exactly between the access point and her phone. Thus by finding the minimum signal strength and using the corresponding phone compass value, it is possible to find the direction of the AP from her phone. If we can hear multiple APs (a very general setting), we can triangulate with these directions, and find the user’s location. Preliminary work shows a localization accuracy of 5 meters, and we are hoping to reduce that in our future work.”

Who knows, maybe WalkSafe and SpinLoc will need to be combined some day to keep people from twirling into oncoming shopping carts.
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Review: Android-based Wi-Fi stumblers

Four easy-to-use wireless management and security tools that cost under $2

Wi-Fi stumblers are handy when checking for channel usage, signal strength, security status, and detecting rogue access points, in situations where enterprise-level tools aren’t necessary. We recently reviewed stumblers for your PC or laptop. Here’s a look at a few Wi-Fi stumblers for your Android smartphone or tablet, which makes it even more convenient for quick and simple wireless checks. Read a story version of this.

Meraki WiFi Stumbler (Free)
This is one of the most basic Wi-Fi stumblers, but can still be useful for simple channel and signal checks for access points in the 2.4GHz band. Once you open it, you’ll find a small bar graph showing how many access points are detected per channel (1 – 11 only), which can quickly help you identify possible channel overlapping. It also displays in numerical values how many SSIDs and access points are detected. You’ll also find a SSID list, displaying the channel(s), signal (RSSI in dB), security type, and any detected access point vendor.

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Meraki WiFi Stumbler
On the bottom of the app you’ll find a convenient Email Results button. Tap it and it will automatically summarize the scan results in the body of a message and also attach a CSV document, which includes the relevant details and the GPS coordinates as well.

Wifi Analyzer (Free)
This is a more advanced Wi-Fi stumbler, giving you multiple ways to view the access point details. In addition to the common 2.4-GHz band, it also supports the 5-GHz band on supported devices. Though by default it’s AD-supported, you can actually hide the ADs for a week at a time via the Settings.

Though by default it only shows WPA or WPA2, you can make it show full security methods via the Settings. Then you can distinguish between the PSK and EAP modes of WPA/WPA2 and the TKIP and CCMP encryption types. If you’re connected to an access point, you’ll also see the details (SSID, MAC, and IP) on top of the AP list screen.

The time graph screen shows a line graph displaying the access point signals over time in negative dBm values, which you can also filter to show only selected access points. The channel rating screen gives you recommendations on channel usage, basically showing which ones have the least signals. The signal meter screen can help you find a selected access point with a visual signal meter and sound effect.

Wifi Tracker ($1.56)
Designed for larger wireless surveys, audits, or war drives, this stumbler logs the Wi-Fi details and GPS location info for you to export a variety of ways. It can produce and send a KML file for Google Earth viewing, CVS file for Kismet or spreadsheet viewing, and can even upload real-time to or your own web server.

WLANController WiFi Scanner ($0.99)
This Wi-Fi stumbler is designed for larger wireless surveys, audits, war drives, and basic rogue AP detection of the 2.4 GHz and (on supported devices) 5 GHz bands. The app serves as a sensor/client for a cloud-based distributed Wi-Fi scanning solution, so no results are shown on the device itself. You must sign up for their free or paid service to view the scan results online.