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Firstly a little background if I may... 

My name is Jon Thorpe and I am one of the managing directors of ACS office solutions. I have lived and breathed the world of technology since graduating from Northampton University with a degree in IT and Business, some 26 years ago to my disbelief! 

Put it this way I can remember the first laptop computers going mainstream in 1992 when market giants like Siemens were buying Alan Sugar’s Amstrad ALT286’s, which were designed as portable laptops. If you look back now they were more like long haul luggage but at the time they reduced the need for traditional tools like a notepad and pen. Apologies if you are a member of Generation Z, you might not know what a notepad or pen is!   

Unfortunately, many of the early innovators in the laptop space struggled to produce a device that was reliable, affordable and that weighed less than a crate of beer! It is like a sport isn’t it, there are always new teams or players emerging and changing the landscape. 

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If you fast forward to the millennium the likes of HP, Toshiba, DELL, and IBM were leading the way. They constantly reinvented devices by improving portability, battery life, and general performance.  

As soon as you could run multiple apps at once it all started to get very impressive even though Microsoft was having mixed successes with revisions to its operating systems at the time. I mean we have all had those marmite discussions about varying OS’s. Where one might have prevailed, another seemed to fail. Windows NT, 2000 pro, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and now of course Windows 10. I can even remember Windows v3.11 before 95 and 98. I am really showing my age now! 

Amongst all of the noise, I can’t remember anything stealing the limelight like the launch of the iPad. It was the perfect device to use at home or on the move and it soon started creeping its way into the briefcases of CEO’s everywhere. A combination of seamless engineering, the easy-to-carry build, and the vast apps for both business and play meant the iPad was bound for success. Oh and let us not forget Apple’s famous marketing – that might have helped a little!

The iPad was and still is a great device. At ACS, we deployed them one to one across the business before the lovely BYOD acronym even existed. But for me, 2 years ago the market was turned upside down again with the maturity of Cloud computing and the launch of Office 365 from Microsoft. 

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We all feel comfortable with the Microsoft office suite; Exchange, Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, no matter what device we are using. The apps are simple, familiar, and continue to get better with age, a bit like a good bottle of Rioja really! No productivity features with a bottle of Rioja… although it does win the taste test hands down!  

As I type, exceeding my 300-word limit with every letter, I am trying to think of what else has changed to make our lives easier, or should I say make the use of our time more productive? Which brings me to my new favourite thing in the Microsoft experience, my Microsoft Surface. What a device! For the last 18 months, I have lived with the limitations of not having all my apps and data on one truly mobile gadget. Office 365 and my Surface has changed all of that, and it…is… bliss. 

I mean Lenovo, HP, Toshiba and Dell are competing well but although more money, for me, the Surface wins the war. The extra money spent is repaid in days with the time you save. 

So if you are like me and want to introduce more mobile devices and cloud technology into your business, I am happy to help. Give me a call on 01604 704 014 or tweet me @jont1

Let’s get a conversation going. The possibilities are endless with this IT stuff!  


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