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Microsoft's New Laptop: The Surface Book

Have you seen Microsoft's new laptop, the Surface Book? You'd be surprised at how no one had created a laptop as attractive as this one before.

The design is sleek and futuristic. Although it's a powerful computer, the creators made it possible to design a machine that's light and thin. You can detach the screen from the keyboard (so it becomes a tablet), it comes with a pen and now you got two gadgets in one. This device will range between $499 to $1,499 and will be offered in three different styles; the Surface Pro (at $899), the Surface Book (at $1,499), and the Surface 3 (at $499). The first two you can pre-order, while the latter is already available for purchase. (See more details at MicrosoftI'll also leave some of the specs below.

What's exciting about this new computer is the fact that it was created for the needs of this era, and not just to get something out that looks techy enough for the regular buyer of these items. The Surface Book is a clear example of progression; the Surface was first introduced in 2012 as a tablet, Microsoft knew that the touch technology needed to make an entry, and after much work, it's been developed and transformed in what we see today through the Surface Book.

 

Software: Windows 10 Pro + Office 30-day trial

Dimensions: 12.30” x 9.14” x 0.51 - 0.90” 

Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB.

Battery life: Up to 12 hours of video playback

Graphics: i5: Intel® HD graphics 520
i5/i7: NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Processor

Memory: 8GB or 16GB RAM

Ports: Two full-size USB 3.0, Full-size SD™ card reader,
SurfaceConnectTM, Headset jack, Mini DisplayPort

Sensors: Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope,
Magnetometer

Exterior: Casing: Magnesium

Weight: Starting at 3.34 pounds including keyboard

Display: Screen: 13.5” PixelSense™ display

Processor: 6th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 or i7

Security: TPM chip for enterprise security

Wireless: 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking

Cameras, Video & Audio: 5.0MP front-facing & 8.0MP rear-facing camera,
1080p HD video recording, Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby® audio

Warranty: 1-year limited hardware warranty

 

 

Microsoft, surface,

 

 

 

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/tech-industry-news.php">Tech Industry News</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/technology.php">Technology</a> | Post Comment | 86

The Joy of PicJoy!

This is a joyous day to give thanks for this constantly growing world of technology because we are saying hello to a new innovative and must have app called PicJoy. The whole idea behind this app was to create a way to easily search through all your mobile photos taken on your phone camera by organizing them into categories by assigning tags. If you are anything like me, you have a million photos on your phone and its impossible to really organize them. I know I am not alone because the average adult has over 2,000 photos on their mobile phone. Yes that's right, over 2,000 photos per adult. It's so easy to take photos these days because they are installed on all of our phones. Who doesn't have a phone without a camera these days? Think real hard... but the answer should be, um everyone has a camera phone. Even if its an old school flip phone, it still has a camera. Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 12.23.50 PM.png

So on average, each of us American adults have 2,000 photos on our phones but do we even have the time to scroll through all of those? This is where great innovations like PicJoy come in handy. This app takes all of the photos you have taken over the years with your phone and uses tags and photo data to organize the photos. Users can search using different tags such as date, time, and even location. Yes I know it sounds amazing and it calms the OCD portion of your brain by offering an organized solution to all your photo qualms. 

The app launched in the App Store in June and had 30,000 downloads within the first 72 hours. The app was featured on the App store in several countries, and even Apple promoted the app on Twitter. The world is filled with joy over the possibilities the app offers. Other picture storing companies have tried to accomplish this same feat like Google and Flickr, but none have been as successful as PicJoy in organizing users photos in a way its easy to use. 

Better believe it that PicJoy is here to stay. I know I am going to open the App Store on my phone now to get my own download. 

 

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/fun-stuff.php">Fun Stuff</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/life-hacks.php">Life Hacks</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/technology.php">Technology</a> | Post Comment | 86

Have Multiple Retail Store Locations? AdWords has a Solution

New Adwords Location ExtensionsLast month, we were talking about some of the new AdWords display ad formats.  Today, Search Engine Land reported that location extensions just got an update that will favor businesses with multiple retail locations.  When users search a query that prompts the advertisement of an advertiser with multiple locations, the system will serve up an ad that includes the three closest locations to the user, assuming the advertiser has location extensions in place.

Single location store owners will not be able to capitalize on the update; however, businesses with three locations can now have ads that are double the size of a traditional search network AdWords ad.  That's a lot of real estate for an advertisement that only charges per click.  The advertisements include your distance from each of the three locations, and users can quickly get direction or call a select location with the touch of a button.

We highly recommend this new extension for any business with multiple locations.  The logic is simple: The new location extension allows advertisers to create larger than normal ads; and, if the advertisement is larger, it will stand out better when it gets served up.  This isn't exciting for single location retail stores; but, if that's what you are, then there are several other extensions that you can use to enhance your AdWords ads too.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/business.php">Business</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/small-business-resources.php">Small Business Resources</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/tech-industry-news.php">Tech Industry News</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/technology.php">Technology</a> | Post Comment | 95

Judgement Day: Windows 7 Stop Date on Halloween

Windows 7 No Longer SupportedThe days of Microsoft Windows 7 are extremely limited.  As was reported back in February, consumer PC sales with Windows 7 will cease to exist after Halloween 2014.  With Windows 7 off the market, consumers in the market for a new laptop or desktop this holiday season will be forced to learn the new interface, known as Windows 8, or move on to another OS. 

This is a slight exaggeration, but this event ends a long era for Microsoft.  That era, which started with the highly popular Windows 95, will go down as changing the way that the common consumer used a personal computer.  It was revolutionary with it's start menu and easy file storage functionality, and it quickly took over households world-wide.

Windows 8, which has gone down as one of Microsoft's least popular releases, will become the standard for all PCs purchased this holiday season, and that could scare away a few would-be buyers.  Windows has also stated that mainstream support of Windows 7 will end on January, 13th 2015.  By giving the software an end of support, Microsoft is telling us that they'd like people to move forward onto the new platform and on with their lives. 

The end of sales, which will definitely catch the attention of the good folks at Apple, could drive more people toward buying macs this season.  We've heard multiple stories about people going to great lengths to avoid using Windows 8, including some folks installing Linux as a last resort.  There are a lot of people who feel standoffish against Apple; and, if those people move away from Windows, where will they go?  Is Linux preparing to surge through the market?  Probably not, but we can't rule out the possibility.

Which operating system do you have installed, and why? 

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/business.php">Business</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/fun-stuff.php">Fun Stuff</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/tech-industry-news.php">Tech Industry News</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/technology.php">Technology</a> | Post Comment | 105

Why Buy Anything When You Can Rent?

Digital Media For Rent Consumer TrendsLast week, we talked about changing consumer trends that could stem from the implementation of the Apple Pay System.  While we are patiently waiting for that evidence to accumulate, we turn our heads to another consumer trend that has quietly moved into the mainstream: Renting.  Many products have been frequently rented over the years, including cars, movies, skis, and more.  Society has seemingly always rented those items; but, over the past few years, we have watched as several other items have become available to renters, and the public has responded by reducing the number of products that they own.

Renting textbooks has evolved from a trend to a staple for college students across the country.  Why spend hundreds of dollars on something that has extremely minimal use after the conclusion of the semester?  In addition to textbooks, you can now rent everything from designer handbags to power tools.   So, with the rental trend on the up, what's happening to consumer trends within the digital media industry?  Just this morning, Wired published a piece stating how Apple and Amazon are in trouble due to the rental trend.  

The irony in the matter is that Apple and Amazon have expedited the trend by offering products that eliminate the need to own.  Amazon Instant Video allows users to stream movies, tv shows and more, from anywhere, without actually downloading anything.  Users simply pay the fee to rent their media, they stream the media, and then the transaction/experience is over.  There is no download, and the user doesn't own the media.  In Apple's case, the increase in iPhone users has led to the increase in streaming music as well.  Companies like Spotify and Pandora offer a more complete listening experience without forcing users to purchase individual media files. 

Both Apple and Amazon have created products that lower their own profit margins.  The WSJ reported that digital music sales through iTunes has dropped by more than 13% in 2014 alone.  Amazon has reported one of their worst quarters in recent history, but both companies continue to press forward as not to fall behind the trends.  It's not like these companies are losing massive amounts of revenue.  Apple's newest iPhone release was record breaking, and Amazon still cashes in on every rental (just not as much as they would with sales).  Do you still buy products that can be rented?  Or, have you become a serial renter to save cash?  Please let us know in the comment section below.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/business.php">Business</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/sales.php">Sales</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/technology.php">Technology</a> | Post Comment | 167

Study of Desktop Search Vs. Mobile Search Trends

A colleague of mine just sent me what looks like the most impressive click through rate (CTR) study we've seen to date.  The study, done by seoClarity, analyzed over two billion impressions and over 200 million clicks, all over a 90 day period, using data from Google Webmaster Tools.  The purpose of the study was to better understand click trends of users on a mobile device vs. those who used a desktop.  The desktop results weren't particularly exciting as you can see below:

Desktop Search Trends

As you can see, there is a clear cut gradual decrease that probably looks the way you'd expect it to look.  The only oddity of this graph is the slight increase from spot nine to spot ten. But, the difference is only .2%, not a major difference, and possibly due the fact that the 10th result is always still visible when a user gets to the bottom of their screen.  On the contrary, take a look at the mobile statistics, which include two dramatic differences:

Mobile Search Trends Click Study

The first shocking statistic is the percentage of clicks that go to the first position!  Almost 28% of mobile users click on the first result, while less than 20% of users click on the first result within using a desktop.  We knew that mobile phones favored the first result, but who would've known that the difference would be so drastic.  Secondly, did you notice that, on the mobile chart, the 4th result receives a 2.8% higher CTR than the third result?  Very Interesting stuff.  Nonetheless, the study truly reveals the importance of attaining that first result, especially when dealing with mobile. 

For more information or to download the study, see the report here.

 

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/business.php">Business</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/life-hacks.php">Life Hacks</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/mobile.php">Mobile</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/optimization-for-web.php">Optimization for Web</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/tech-industry-news.php">Tech Industry News</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/technology.php">Technology</a> | Post Comment | 133

Brick And Mortar High Tech Brick Store Fronts and Showrooms

Amazon Retail StoreIn February of this year, the LunaSoft showroom was opened to the surprise of many Salt Lake and Utah residents.  The store itself is capable of selling websites out of the box, and Luna is proud to offer the deluxe suite of software tools an entrepreneur needs to thrive in today's digital-heavy marketplace.  The Apple Stores have been around for quite some time, and they are the gold standard for high tech stores with their flashy gadgets and awesome hardware.  Since Apple's reported success, we have seen several Microsoft stores pop up across the country.  Now, another major eCommerce player in ready to join the brick and mortar game.  That would be Amazon.

Amazon has hundreds of enormous warehouses that store a countless number of any one of their product offerings, but they have never actually had a retail store before.  To no one's surprise, they've chosen midtown Manhattan as their location (surely there won't be any foot traffic there), and they are anticipating a huge boom of engagement.  This is because New Yorkers will soon be able to return products to a physical store; additionally, it will be used as a small warehouse that is configured for same day delivery to customers in the Big Apple. 

Amazon has been making pushes to increase delivery speeds for quite some time.  Most people are familiar with Amazon's push to use automated drones to deliver products, but the store front is a lot more realistic and current with today's times as opposed to tomorrow's.  Either way, Amazon has teased us with the idea for years, and now we will see how they fare.  They may start competing with a variety of retail stores that have never considered themselves Amazon competitors before.  The only reason we don't use Amazon all the time is that sometimes we need something today, and even overnight shipping can't account for that.  

Users will be given the luxury of same-day pickup on any item that's in stock in the store.  It's even been speculated that they will be able to get any product to their NYC location if an order is placed by a certain time.  Will we be seeing more high tech companies using the brick and mortar method?  Obviously Luna is a big believer in the showroom concept, and we have always expected others to do the same.  We can vouch for the amount of business and buzz that can be accumulated by a store that you can walk in to.  Would you walk into the Amazon store?

 

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4 Smart (and Effective!) Ideas to Attract and Convert the Mobile Market

iPhone Icon

With the explosion in the mobile market, the number of shoppers who opt for mobile devices to serve their shopping needs is only going up. Virtual market places such as Etsy report they are seeing as much as 45% of their site traffic arriving via mobile phones and tablets.

Is your website or mobile device application ready for the future of the online consumer market? Check out our super star strategies for attracting and converting mobile shoppers.

1. (Mobile) Shop 'Til You Drop.

Don’t worry; no money need change hands for this part. We’re merely encouraging you to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Take a look at how your e-commerce store and website stacks up compared to others.

  • What do you like about your go-to mobile e-commerce website?
  • Are there parts you find difficult to navigate?
  • Is it cluttered or clean?

Chances are you’ll begin to see commonalities in mobile market places that receive praise and positive word-of-mouth reviews.

2. Tighten and tailor.

No, not clothes. Think writing.

  • Use short, succinct titles offering only pertinent information.
  • Resist the urge to give too much information.

Research has shown that when it comes to browsing the web, readers skim for key words. TMI is well... too much.

3. Invest in an information bank. 

fingerprint icon

Analytics/website statistics software add-ons are a great way to gain in-depth knowledge about the patterns of your web traffic. Why? Analytics offer you a tool that produces valuable insights in to the patterns of the users who visit your website.

 

Have you ever wondered...

  • Which are the busiest day(s) of the week for your website?
  • The time of day that sees the most traffic? 
  • The types of blog posts and content that garner the most attention?

I've only listed three things and with those alone, the marketers out there can already see how this type of information can be priceless in planning how best to reach potential clients.

Fierce Photography Icon4. Focus on fierce photography.

 

High quality photography is important for desktop websites, but when it comes to mobile, high quality photographs vs. a lack thereof are often key to success within the mobile consumer market.

Despite the fact that screen size and thus, ratio will vary depending on a user’s device of choice, high quality images are critical.

What do you feel are your biggest challenges on competing within the ever increasing mobile market? Leave us a comment or tweet us your questions @Luna__Soft with hashtag #lunamobile.

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/blogging.php">Blogging</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/branding.php">Branding</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/business.php">Business</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/content-marketing.php">Content Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/how-to-tips.php">How To Tips</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/inspiration.php">Inspiration</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/mobile.php">Mobile</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/small-business-resources.php">Small Business Resources</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/social-media.php">Social Media</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/social-media-marketing.php">Social Media Marketing</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/technology.php">Technology</a> | Post Comment | 48

Life Hack: How To Use QR Codes As A Low-Cost, Effective Marketing Tool

qr-marketing
You’ve seen them in grocery stores, on movie posters, on packages you’ve received in the mail. Those tiny squares of black and white digital hieroglyphics are everywhere. They’re called QR Codes (the QR stands for Quick Response) and they’re changing the way that businesses and organizations market and track the success of their products.

There’s a segment of your customer base that isn’t as interested in the magazines on your coffee as they are in the phones in their pockets.

That’s great news, if you want to develop a stronger and more direct connection to your customers. A quick scan with a smart phone can connect your customer with your website, twitter feed, or special promotional page. Coupled with the analytics software on your site you’ll be able to see where your customers go, where they don’t go, and how you can lead them to more relevant content.

Getting Started With QR Codes

Creating QR Codes is fast, simple, and best of all: FREE. Bit.ly and Google both offer QR Codes as part of their URL shortening services.

This is especially handy when you’d like to direct your customers to a special informational page on your site but the URL is too long and would be difficult typing into a smartphone’s keyboard.

For example, typing the below URL would be the ultimate pain if you had to type it into a your smartphone’s URL nav bar:

http://www.lunasoft.com/blog/content-management-comparisons.php

However, if you were to scan the QR Code below, it would enable your smartphone to open the above URL without doing more than opening an app & hitting Scan.

Try it!

QR Code Fun

When you reduce barriers between you and your customers, you create a wealth of information. Once a user has clicked through to your site you’ll be able to interpret that data through your analytics. This enables you to develop an understanding of how many people are scanning your QR Codes, not to mention (and this is totally the point, right?) what types of content or pages are your most popular.

Want to promote a sale? Offer a special promotion? Maybe you're headed to a conference and want to connect with new people on social media... All of these are great opportunities to use a QR code to enable fast, reliable information without placing extra hassle on the users. Another idea? Print out a QR Code, place it in your office reception or greeting area and track your results.

QR Codes Aren’t Magic

While QR Codes are a fantastic and innovative way to connect with your customers, they certainly can’t perform miracles. QR Codes aren’t perfect for every situation. For example, if you own a swimming pool or a sauna, it might not be a good idea to place one where your customers may not have their phone.

An increasing number of your customers are carrying around a smartphone — but not all of them, at least not yet. In the meantime, use QR Codes as sources of more information. You’ll find that using them as a perk will be more effective than using them as a sole point of information.

Feel Free To Experiment

QR Codes are a fantastic low-cost solution to a variety of marketing strategies, and they’re free. Putting one up in your waiting room and track the results could prove to be incredibly valuable to your business. Define what your goal is, then experiment with where you put the QR Code, what you’re linking to and track your results.

Whatever your goals we’re sure that you’ll find the using QR Codes a compelling, low-cost solution to your business and marketing strategy.

Friendly Competition

Of course you're up for some friendly competition! Take the info you've learned about QR codes and generate your own. Here's the fun part: connect with us on FaceBook and Twitter to share your QR creations. Although you could simply link it to your homepage, that's a bit of a cop out, right? We'll feature the most unique and awesome submissions. Sky's the limit, but keep it family friendly. What are you waiting for? Ready? Set? GO!

Posted in <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/business.php">Business</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/fun-stuff.php">Fun Stuff</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/how-to-tips.php">How To Tips</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/inspiration.php">Inspiration</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/life-hacks.php">Life Hacks</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/mobile.php">Mobile</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/sales.php">Sales</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/small-business-resources.php">Small Business Resources</a>, <a href="https://www.lunasoft.com/blog/category/technology.php">Technology</a> | Post Comment