Top Blogs of 2015

It’s time for our annual countdown of what got your attention most in the world of technology last year (according to our blog figures that is).

It’s probably fair to say 2015 was the year Microsoft came back swinging. They dominated the tech news with their highly acclaimed devices, and the biggest operating system launch in their history.

Apple released some new products too…

Here’s our list of our top 10 most popular posts of 2015 – please enjoy re-living the tech year that was, and let us know in the comments section what you thought 2015 did for the industry.

Our bloggers are really looking forward to bringing you insights into what 2016 has in store for us.

10: ‘Out of Time’ written by David Filmer

Coming in at the number 10 spot is David’s blog about the last flight of the Vulcan (or the AVRO Vulcan XH558 to be specific). A veteran of the Cold War and built to be part of our nuclear deterrent (the Vulcan that is, not David), 2015 was the very last time we’ll see this magnificent aircraft do its thing.

David talks about the significance of this, as well as some thoughtful words about technology in general: eventually, time simply runs out…

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9: ‘Are You Still the Apple of my i?’ written by Steve Cox

Apple held a summer event to announce new services like Apple Music; the UK being the first country outside the US to get Apple Pay; and the new mobile operating system: iOS 9. The announcements were met with quite a lot of criticism which centred on the fact that all these services were already available through other vendors.

Steve’s blog talks about how that never used to be an issue for Apple – they’re famous for coming into an existing market and revolutionising it with a better product. But have they lost their mojo now that the competition has gained its strength?

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8: ‘MicroCool’ written by Mark Williams

Microsoft’s autumn ‘Windows 10 Devices’ event was the equivalent of a giant Candymania ice cream sundae – just when you thought they were done, out comes something else even better.

Highlights included two new Microsoft phones that had Continuum functionality – meaning you can plug them into a display screen and the phone will recognise that, and allow you to have the full PC experience (whilst still using your phone at the same time).

Then there was the Surface Pro 4 – more of that later. Then there was the Surface Book…

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7: ‘Book to the Future: Amazon’s Latest Attempt to Disrupt the Retail Market’ written by Steve Cox

In 1995, Amazon created the ‘never ending bookstore’ and painstakingly found a way to make the online shopping experience a good one – customer reviews, suggestions based on your current criteria or past purchases, and delivery methods which would be an acceptable alternative to walking into a physical store and having a book in your hands immediately.

So what did they do in 2015? They opened a physical bookstore…

Maybe it was just an experiment, maybe it was an attempt to ripple the market some more…

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6: ‘Windows 10: A Game Changer for the Internet?’ written by Warren Free

Whilst the rest of us were talking about how good Windows 10 looked and how much we were looking forward to using it, sensible Warren was looking at the practical side of things.

What if everyone tried to download it on the launch date? It would be the biggest ‘breaking of the internet’ since a certain bird-riding weasel. And if you were able to download it, should you do so right away?

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5: ‘Windows 10: This is a Game Changer’ written by Steve Cox

Well this is embarrassing. We work hard on our titles and try to make them original. Seems like we failed on this occasion…but then again I didn’t foresee a situation when two ‘Game Changer Windows 10’ blogs would appear side by side on a list together…

Anyway, right back at the beginning of 2015 we had our first visual demo of the new features of Windows 10 (also known at the time as the ‘Sincere Apologies for Windows 8’ edition).

One word: HoloLens

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4: ‘Hands on with the Surface Pro 4: Exclusive Review’ written by Paul Burns

A great blog from Paul who tells you everything you need to know about Microsoft’s brand spanking new Surface model, including how it stacks up against Apple’s iPad Pro.

Includes 3 very short video demos of stand out features including Windows Hello (goodbye passwords), the Surface Pen, and how it can be used as both a laptop and a tablet.

Read/ watch the blog

3: ‘Microsoft SharePoint: The Chandler Bing Effect’ written by Liam Harrison

Back in April our Microsoft SharePoint specialist Liam was a TSG newbie, but his friends and family were never quite about to understand what he did for a living. How do you describe a product which has never ending possibilities?

If you’ve ever asked the question ‘What can I do with SharePoint?’ (and it’s a very good question), here’s a very short video of Liam offering a very good explanation…

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2: ‘The Simple Email Scam That Can Earn Fraudsters Millions’ written by Donald McKay

2015 saw some sophisticated, large scale cyber attacks on big brands – Sony and TalkTalk were amongst the most talked about targets. However, what didn’t get written about quite as much were the very common, perhaps less sophisticated attacks, which were going after smaller businesses.

This email scam, although not new, had the potential to cause (and did cause) a lot of monetary damage to the businesses who fell victim to it this year.  We’d recommend you have another read of Donald’s blog to remind yourselves just how much hackers target and trick employees into giving out information they really shouldn’t.

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1: ‘I’m Never Buying a Laptop Again’ written by Steve Cox

It’s a bold statement to make – but so far Steve has stayed true to his word after buying Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 at the beginning of the year. At the time of the Pro 3’s launch, it was make or break for the Surface brand. Versions 1 and 2 were much maligned, and the less said about the RT the better.

However, the Surface Pro 3 blew its predecessors out of the water. Microsoft managed to come up with a genuinely well spec’d, good looking, fast tablet that was enterprise-ready. And it spurred the market for the 2-in-1 device which, now in early 2016, is absolutely thriving.  

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