On Tuesday, Microsoft unveiled the latest addition to the Surface line, the Surface Laptop. This is not to be confused with the Surface Book, which is a 2-in-1 convertible laptop. The Surface Laptop is a no frills, regular laptop. No removable screens or keyboards, no kickstands, just a pure laptop. Despite the existence of the Surface Book, many have been clamoring for Microsoft to build a proper laptop to compete with Apple’s Macbook line. While powerful, the Surface Book is expensive and may not fit the needs of regular college student or consumer. Therefore, Microsoft is trying to appeal to the average college student who wants a simple (but not cheap) laptop.
First the techie stuff: The base model starts at $999 and comes with the latest Intel Kaby Lake i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. The processor can be upgraded to an i7, the RAM up to 16GB, and the storage up to 512GB. The screen is a 13.5 inch PixelSense display with a 2256 x 1504 resolution, the same 3:2 aspect ratio as the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. The display is also a touchscreen with support for the Surface Pen. Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of ports around the machine. There is the proprietary Surface connector for power, regular USB-A port, a mini DisplayPort, and a headphone jack. Conspicuously missing is the inclusion of a USB Type C port. According to Windows Central, Microsoft believes that Type C is still in its infancy and thus doesn’t warrant inclusion into the Surface Laptop. They believe most students will still carry a traditional USB thumb drive. This is despite most of Microsoft’s OEM partners like HP, Dell, Asus, and Razer including USB Type C ports into their laptops. Externally, the Surface Laptop features a sleek anodized aluminum body and has the same alcantara fabric around the keyboard that the Surface Pro type covers use. It also comes in four different colors: Burgundy, Platinum, Cobalt Blue, and Graphic Gold.
One of the more interesting features of the Surface Laptop is the fact that’s running Windows 10 S, a version of Windows that only allows Windows Store apps to be installed. If that sounds familiar, that’s because Microsoft tried this strategy somewhat with Windows RT and original Surface tablet. That didn’t work out so well. The primary difference here is that The Surface Laptop can be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for $50. With that upgrade comes the ability to download regular Windows applications. Speaking of Windows 10 S, Microsoft is trying to position that version of Windows into a Chromebook competitor and to hammer that point home, HP and Acer announced $300 computers that run Windows 10 S. Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn’t gotten developers to invest in apps for the Windows Store so only time will tell if this new effort to encroach on the Chromebook’s popularity in schools will pan out. If Microsoft can successfully land in schools then that will hopefully spur developers to create more apps for the Windows Store. The Surface Laptop is available for preorder now and ships June 15th.
Home Office Safety Tips
Here’s some home office safety tips. In today’s digital world more and more companies are allowing their employees to work from home. The employees can increase their productivity when they do not need to commute daily. The only requirement is an internet connection. However, there come some security issues with this freedom and flexibility. You need to create a safe home office environment to reap the benefits of telecommuting.
Security of sensitive data (Home Office Safety)
Cyber security is a big concern for the business houses as more and more people are electing the ‘work from home’ option for freedom and flexibility. It is vital to work from a secured Wi-Fi connection to keep all the sensitive data away from the prying eyes. The companies provide VPN access to its employees, but if someone hacks the home Wi-fi connection or public hotspot, your data could be compromised. Make sure you secure your sensitive data to have proper home office safety.
So, you need to be extra cautious about other devices connected to your wi-fi. You should also invest in a robust anti-virus software. Do not let your family members use your work laptop. You should always follow the company policy of accessing the company network remotely. Your computer should have up-to-date operating systems, antivirus software and regular scanning programs. You should take extra care about storing office files and backup. The storing location should be approved and accessible by your company.
Many organizations ask their employees to read and sign a telework agreement. These agreements clearly mention the home safely checklist. People who want to telecommute must have a separate and secure workstation. The work area should be peaceful and quiet. Your desk height and chair should be proper. You cannot work for longer periods if your table and chair are not comfortable. Your back should be adequately supported. Floors should be dry and free of hazards. You must also keep a first aid kit at your workplace. To avoid fire hazards, there should be more than one exit. You should keep a fire extinguisher too. The workspace should be free of clutter and trash. You should keep your work devices far from flammable items. Your office furniture and equipment should be ergonomically correct. Your table should have enough space for computer, printer, document holder, and phone.
In recent years, computer-related accidents and falls have increased quite a bit. Experts suggest placing the computer or any other work devices away from the edges of desks. You need to organize and secure the open wires to avoid tripping over them. You should install safety covers on unused electrical outlets. You should keep your computer equipment connected to a surge protector. You should not keep any damaged or exposed wiring. Avoid use of extension cords. Keep the electrical plugs and panels in good condition.
The employer often overlooks the health and safety issues of a telecommuter. The teleworkers should have a proper understanding of the hazards of working alone at home. There should be a safety surveillance program to check the ‘work-at-home’ arrangement. Monitoring the safety of every telecommuter is difficult for the company, but they can provide proper safety guidelines to every teleworker. The employees can do self-inspections and send in regular reports to the company HR department.
Customer Satisfaction Should Be Your Number One Priority
No matter what your product or service is, without customers you don’t have a business. This is because customers are the backbone of any business. In fact, customers are so important many businesses have adopted a “customer is always right” policy. Many companies strive to keep their clients happy. However, there are businesses that do not know why customers are important. Here are reasons why your customers should be your number one priority.
Let’s say that your product is so cool it solves many problems. This is very good but without customers to patronize it, you have no business. Customers are important because without them, your company does not need to exist. Businesses exist to provide products and services to customers. In the entrepreneur world, businesses exist to provide products and service that customers consume. Prioritizing customers will let you learn what they want so that the cycle is unbroken.
Helps You Improve
Customers are important not only because they consume your goods and services, but also because they help you improve. By listening to their feedback, you will learn what can make your product/service better. Many companies spend millions of dollars on R&D but there is no better source than the people who patronize your product. By listening to your customer’s feedback regularly, you can improve and tweak your product so that it gets better each time.
Loyal customers are the best brand ambassadors for your products. If they really like your product, they will tell their friends about it. This is good news for businesses because it is free advertising and because it will bring in more customers. Having loyal customers rave about your product to other people is a good way to measure success. By listening to what they want, you are establishing a relationship with your customers. Prioritizing their feedback will gain their trust and they in turn will recommend you to other people.
Customers are also the best source of quality feedback. Remember that they are the ones who are using your products on a regular basis. Prioritizing customers means that you are engaging them. You will have good sources for feedback which allows you to analyze quality information. Following this strategy will let your company analyze and respond better to make your products or services improve which could help boost sales.
Make You Rich
When consumers are happy they consume more of your products which can make you rich. How? Customers like to buy from a brand they trust. They are happy to use a product that is of good quality and will recommend your product so that their friends are happy thereby expanding your customer base. The more people that buy from you, the more potential for profit. Most of the time, more profit means more money inside your pocket.
Ensuring that customers are happy and are prioritized is a good marketing plan. Making them number one is a good way to make your business successful. Prioritizing them could start a chain reaction that can propel your business forward.
Business Insurance And Why You Need It
Business insurance is a requirement that you should not ignore even if you are in a low-risk workplace. For certain business sectors such as healthcare industries, mechanical workshops or amusement parks, getting a liability insurance is essential. Finding the best insurance can be a challenging and complicated process, but it is better to get an insurance coverage. Disasters happen, and you need an authorized protection to save you from severe economic loss.
Why is business insurance necessary?
If you start a business and employ some people, you need to have business insurance. It is a legal requirement. The insurance coverage varies from one country to another. Almost all countries have made it compulsory for the companies to get a liability insurance. You may think that your business is small and has less risk. You can also think that you can afford the losses your companies might face. The business experts always advise getting a proper insurance for every kind of business. There can be natural disasters like floods or earthquakes. Fire accidents and thefts are not the only risks. Your business can incur massive losses due to disruption of work. There can be cash crunch, skilled labor crisis, road work, police barricades and criminal acts too. You should consider all the aspects before buying an insurance coverage for your company.
General Liability Insurance
Almost all trades have some liabilities. So, a general liability insurance is essential. Before you hire some employees for your business, get a liability insurance first. Your company becomes the ‘employer.’ It becomes a legal need if you wish to make your business a limited company. If any of your staff falls ill or faces any fatal accident during working hours, your company becomes liable. You need to discuss with your insurance broker about the amount of liability insurance cover your business needs. If there is any death because of their work in your company, you need to arrange appropriate compensation. So, you should avoid any expense trimming while buying insurance for the company.
Professional Liability Insurance
It is also known as errors & omissions (E&O) insurance. This is not a one-size-fits-all insurance. Each industry has different concerns while running the business. So, you need customized coverage for your business. The professional liability insurance protects the business from the claims that the company was negligent in performing their services accurately. When you buy the E&O insurance, make sure you appoint an attorney for your company who can defend the lawsuits filed against the company.
Property Insurance is a must when you run a business. Be it your own building or leased property, you need coverage. This insurance covers your business inventory, equipment, signage, and furniture from any losses due to fire, storm or burglary. Home based businesses still do not get much coverage from property insurance. You need to ask your insurer for extra coverage.
Apart from the above-mentioned insurance policies, you should get an additional product insurance to cover your manufacturing business. It covers any loss due to manufacturing, distributing and retailing hitches.
Buying insurance for your business is complex. You need a trustworthy insurer. Every business needs a unique package based on the requirements of the company. You should always review your insurance policies and keep them in active status.