Like all Apple innovations, MacBook also comes on priority list of a computer geek because of its sleek design and high performance. But choosing between MacBook Pro and MacBook Air has grown difficult over time, especially after the 13-inch version of both devices.

Initially, Apple’s MacBook Air seemed to entice the design-savvy while MacBook Pro attracts the productivity-savvy. Before the recent version, both the devices were a focus of one set of group while less preferred by the other. But with the new 13-inch devices, the difference in the features has seemed to be less significant and thus have become more difficult for users to pick the best option.
Hence, we are once again here to help one make the best choice. We have run a comparison of both devices features for one’s convenience, in order to assist in making the smart purchase. Read on the following to know:


From the very start, MB Air had an upper hand over MB Pro in terms of screen resolution i.e. 1440×900 pixels over 1280×800 pixels. MB Pro does have bright screen but fails to win because of its high glare.


Since MB Air has always been the designer-savvy, they are more sleek and light than Pro version. And if one is willing to travel with MB, then MB Air is the ideal choice with its light weight which stands at 2.96 pounds compared to MB Pro weight of 4.5 pounds. But the latter has more ports than MB Air, and also a DVD drive. So here, the scores are leveled.


Contrary to MB Air design, MB Pro’s performance has always been its highlight. It comes with a powerful processor of 2.5 Hz Dual-core Intel core i5 processor, with a Turbo Boost of up to 3.1 GHz. On the other hand, MB Air has a processor of 3.1 GHz and Turbo boost of up to 2.8 GHz. Although it’s an improvement in MB Air processor but it still is not equal to MB pro; hence MB Pro wins here.


When comparing the storage of two devices, MB Pro takes the lead with its 500 GB storage for music, movies or photos. While on the other hand, MB Air has a total of 128 GB of SSD Storage which can be upgraded to 512 GB but for that, one has to pay Apple some extra bucks, taking its price to $2,000. Although MB Air comes with s speedy SSD, but MB Pro seems a better option with its high storage.


While it seems initially that MB Pro might also be winning over here with its 63 Whr lithium polymer (li-po) battery compared to 50 Whr of MB Air’s Li-po battery; the latter’s ultra-low voltage processor cancels out the former’s dominance over here. Apple also rates both the devices to work 7 hours on ‘Wireless Web usage’. So once again it’s a draw.

Final Verdict

Apple’s decision of pricing the two devices at same rate has really led to customers’ confusion. Both devices are extremely efficient and come with many similar features. But the performance and high storage option of MB pro with an option of external USB port makes it more of a potential choice.

Although we would rate MB Pro higher, but MB Air provides the option of easy travel and more sleek design than its competitor. So the final decision rests with the need of the customers. Whether one would prefer more light, thin, faster and crisp picture MB Air or the high performance MB pro.

Note: Here, Price comparison is not provided because both devices come at the same price.

 (The article was written for Rasala Publications Brand, PCWorld Pakistan)




At last, October 26 will witness the release of much-awaited software of the year: Microsoft’s Windows 8. Microsoft has long been dominant in the PC industry but with the new software, it will try to create a market for itself in the growing Smartphones and tablet industry. Considering the decline of PCs in the world, Microsoft was sooner or late expected to enter the tablet industry.

For past 20 years, Microsoft enjoyed supremacy in the tech market but as the dynamics are changing, Apple and Google have emerged as potential threat for the company. And to step up in the competition, the company has released its very first OS for the touch devices.

As Microsoft popularity graph has declined in recent times, a question arises in mind: whether Windows 8 will be able to bring back its glory or it is the wrong gamble the company is putting its money on?

Is Windows 8 a big Gamble?

Microsoft has always dominated the PC market with its desktop operating system but it would not be the case for Windows 8. A new “Metro” styled UI will for the very first time is the company’s attempt in shifting from desktop PC to touch screen. This is not the very first time PC will be introduced to touch UI, despite of the failure of previous attempts in this regard. Keeping that in mind, one wonders is Windows 8 the biggest gamble on part of Microsoft?

Probably it will be and also a dangerous attempt too. This is because of the fact that the previous attempts in this regard have utterly failed to impress the consumers. Most of the PCs consumers have very well adopted the touch screen for tablets and Smartphone but will they welcome the same on PCs is vey much skeptical. Surely, Windows 8 will be a great experience for tablet and Smartphone users but it may very well disappoint the average keyboard and mouse PC user of Microsoft. And since the company is still a leader in the PC industry, it could not afford the decision to backfire in this area of business which will ultimately result in greater loss of its customers.

Moreover, the biggest hurdle in the success of Windows 8 is Windows app Store. Despite the release date of OS so near, the app store is not well developed and have considerably innumerous apps, compared to those present on Apple and Android ecosystem. This has raised serious consideration on the success of Windows 8 which surely has a lot to offer. And if it failed to score high on App store, the other feature might very well go neglected. Currently, both Android and iOS have about 5, 00,000 apps in their respective stores and Windows store lies far behind in the race with 1, 00,000 apps. Although Microsoft is urging developers community to contribute more towards enhancing its ecosystem, few apps have managed to finally made it to App store platform. As the release date approaches near, the danger looms more now than ever before.

Apart from that, there are many positives too that could make the new OS a win-win situation for the Software giant. The Metro interface with tiles is more easily accessible and comparatively faster than Apple’s freeze tiles, even more intuitive. Moreover, the greatest advantage here for Microsoft lies in the fact that it offers integration of cloud storage with social media. Since Microsoft has always been trusted in terms of its services, the cloud service will also make it a priority in the enterprise world ahead of other operating systems.

Besides that it also fits best in the BYOD era of enterprise environment, specifically because of its new enterprise friendly features.

To sum it all, Windows 8 seems pretty much of a both win and lost situation for the Software maker. It may very well position it in the Smartphone and tablet market, ahead of its competitors, despite being a new player in this field. On the contrary, it may lead to its demise in its own PC market –where it still is a leader. So as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer himself calls Windows 8 ‘their riskiest product bet’ ever, we have to wait and see how it turns out –in its favor or against. For now, the clock has started ticking.

(The article was written for Rasala Publications Group’s Brand, CIOPakistan)


The decline of the desktop PCs and redundancy of light-weighted smart devices –tablets and Smartphones – served as a catalyst for the manufacturing of Ultra books. As notebooks and desktops PCs provide less convenience to travel with, Ultrabook stand out to meet the need of traditional desktop user with more sleek and trendy outlook that fits well with the smart devices ecosystem.

In order to parallel the demands of enterprises, Dell introduced new ultra book “latitude 6420u” which is also ‘first enterprise-class Ultrabook’. So how does the new device a better option while providing both the design and functions of Smart devices and traditional PCs, let us examine.

When Dell introduced latitude, its main target was the business market and not the consumer one – though it can be used by them too. Hence, it was specifically designed to match the requirements of today’s corporate industry with more efficient performance and productivity than can be gained from tablets and Smartphones. Following are some of the exclusive features that make it a high-end enterprise Ultrabook.

The standout feature for the latitude 6430u is the option of replaceable battery and memory. As the work load of the organization is constantly increasing, the replaceable battery will provide the corporate customers accessibility to carry and continue their work while travelling. Moreover, the replaceable RAM will serve to the rescue if the in-built memory modules run short of the required space.

The Ultra book which features a spill-resistant keyboard, also offer a freefall hard disk to prevent data loss. In recent times, where the data security is one of the major concerns of the organization, this will make the new device more compatible with the corporate industry.

Another more interesting feature is the 14-inch device comes with MIL-STD-810 testing. This testing is a US Military standard done to test the device in harsh conditions. Considering that it is not a tough book but still managed to survived the testing, provides the added benefit of carrying the device in different environments.

While being the thinnest and lightest Ultrabook by Dell –21 mm thick and weighs 1.7 kg – the device also runs Intel’s vPro platform. This specific feature was introduced by Intel for Notebooks, laptops and Ultrabooks. It provides IT departments with easy access for data management and remote wipes while also supporting the smartcard reader and an optional fingerprint scanner.

Apart from the above mentioned features, the sleek design and anti-glare surface of the new device makes it more tech-savvy option for enterprises to meet their requirements of traditional desktop computers.

In an era of BYOD revolution in enterprise, the established PC industry is coping up with the recent innovations while keeping the transition of traditional computers to Smart devices coherent with the introduction of Ultrabooks. The Ultrabook in the enterprise parallels both: flexibility of the smart devices and productivity of the traditional computers.


The exponential growth of the human resources, the changing political and economic conditions, the expanding business needs and functions today, in effect, have also implicated the role of Human Resource in the corporate environment. Once a service provider, HR management today has become a business partner that has[1] a direct impact on all the needs and business processes while driving the strategic choices at the centre of the business.

HR managers today face the gruesome task of not just training and managing the available resources but also [2]to find the skilled workforce present in the market. This is because there lays a gap between the skills developed in the educational institutes and the ones the workplaces demand. Analyzing the recruitment perspective for the IT-skilled people, this gap widens further because the academic world for the IT professionals is different from the practical world of the enterprises. Hence, we will examine how recruitment is done today and how it should be done to produce a valuable workforce.

Taking the right approach/Navigating the right channel

In recent times, where IT has become an integral part of the business environment, HR managers demand professionals with both business and technological skills. But when it comes to recruiting, the criterion may not be the same for all the organizations.

The problem here is not the availability of limited resources always; but a major problem lies in finding and approaching the right talent. As the technological dependence in corporate sector is increasing, the IT-related hiring is expected to be increased in next few years. Even in our local industry, [3]the IT graduates which are expected to be hired in are 70% and 55% for the next two years.

Finding and approaching the cream of IT skilled professionals from the market is where the recruitment and the efficiency of HR come into play. This can be achieved while implying some of the following suggested practices, rather than going for the conventional practices found in the industry.

It has been found that the conventional methods of [4]Newspaper ads, employment agencies, walk-ins, and friends and family yield have resulted in producing some of the poorest performers. On the other hand, Employee referral and former employees were found to be a more feasible option, leading to some of the best performers produced.

Besides this, it has been found that most of the organizations rely on one channel for job advertisement while giving less consideration to the other. Today, Internet has become a major part of every individual’s life but still most of the individuals give it less priority for Job searching versus regular job advertisements. (Zall, 2000).

Hence, it is best for the enterprises to navigate all the available channels for job advertisements, if possible. Otherwise, the most popular channel should be adopted in this regard which is accessible by the majority of the population. In this way, it will bring increased skilled professionals to the company.

Paralleling the industry and academic skills

The demand for the IT professionals is ever increasing in the enterprise market. According to the findings from the CIO IT related hiring trend survey of the local industry, the IT strength has doubled in 2010-2011 locally. Keeping this in mind, the IT-related academic programs have increased both locally and internationally to produce more skilled individuals.

But here the dilemma is: the academic training is insufficient to match the practical life requirements. Hence, the most efficient of the graduates are found to be less significant if not provided with necessary training.

Therefore, most of the organizations prefer technically viable professionals than the degree holders. Today, most of the top level executives i.e. 71% considered IT certifications and technical expertise in evaluating personnel, as found in CIO IT related hiring forecast survey conducted among the top 30 senior IT executives in the local industry.

Since technical knowledge is mandatory, it is good that local IT executives consider it an important evaluation criterion. This will not only facilitate in utilizing fewer resources for training but also yield a more productive workforce for the organization.

Moreover, the recent demand of business knowledge in IT professionals – IT supports businesses development and operations to about 79% and 73% respectively –requires them to have business related knowledge and certifications also. While the technical knowledge will help them to understand new or complex technologies; the business knowledge will help them better understand the processes and increase their productivity for the business while adding value to it.

In addition to this, the IT managers can also consult IT-related Human resource contracting firms which can provide them with more technically-efficient resources. This will help in reducing both the time and costs for recruiting purposes.

As the business processes become more integrated and inter-related, the need for bringing the right talent to the respective business function has become more imperative. The knowledge and skills both play an important role in assessing the performance of the individual and this should be done before welcoming the new resource to one’s organization. This will help in providing the resource for the longer terms, which in effect, will add to saving time and cost for the business while reducing the training and searching of the human resources.

[1] Boxall & Purcell, 2000

[2] According to global survey, conducted by McKinsey Quarterly in 2006 and 2007, finding the talented people is the single most important challenge for organizations.

[3] According to the survey findings of CIO IT related hiring trends 2011.

[4] Found in Wiley’s review of literature on recruiting methods (1992).

(The article was written for Rasala Publications Group’s Brand, CIOPakistan)


Achieving a successful business name is one thing while maintaining it is quiet other. For businesses today, the parameter of success lies on how competent a strategy one implies to run its business, especially in times of adversity. Risk management and an effective business contingency plan are imperative to the role of a CSO, and an absence of one of these may drive the business into doldrums. Therefore, it is essential for a business, more specifically the CSO, to plan out disaster management strategy beforehand to keep a business going in case of any disaster ­–that may result from a number of reasons natural/man-made disasters, biological/geo-political events. But disaster management can be a tricky thing, keeping in mind the budget constraints for the IT department.

Hence, the question arises: How can the IT heads lead the way for effective business continuity strategy with the restricted budget allocated to them. Although it may sound a daunting task; it is very much achievable.

Following are some of the most feasible options to lead business continuity for an organization, according to some of the CIOs while keeping in mind the budget constraints.

Back up data on Cloud

In case of any disaster, the foremost concern of the C-level executive is always the data security and data recovery. For this purpose, in-house physical data backup is suggested as the priority option while also keeping an online backup. But setting a data centre or backing up data at another physical location requires high cost which may not be affordable by all in the industry. Hence, Tim Barbee, CIO of North Central Texas Council of Governments, recommends of backing up data on cloud like Microsoft’s (MSFT) Cloud business solution which provide similar data backup and recovery option as can be achieved from a data centre. Therefore, it is more of a cost-effective and secure data recovery option for the IT heads to consider while strategizing the business contingency plan.

Allocate your backup space

Suggested by Marty Gomberg, SVP and CIO of A&E Television Networks, the idea behind this is to divide the time slots for the end users in the enterprise to access the data and perform their critical tasks in the limited time and space available. For business continuity, it is essential to perform the critical tasks which form the core of the business. Hence, the rotation of the physical and virtual access among the key personnel involved for performing these tasks may prove to be cost and time effective disaster recovery technique, as evident from Gomberg’s experience.

Use all the available resources

It is presumed that the IT heads often forget to include the most important of assets in their business contingency plan: their people. This, Paul J.Cottey, CIO of Accretive Health, believes is the most important and least costly resource that could play a major role in disaster recovery.

Since businesses processes, including communication, are highly technology dependent, the failure of the systems may become a big hindrance in carrying out the business contingency plan. This is because, mot of the contact information of the desired personnel in times of disaster recovery, is stored online. Hence, a system failure could also block the access to the desired individual.
In case of such scenario, Cottey suggested that a hard-copy list of personal email addresses and phone numbers for critical IT support Staff should be maintained. This will provide the CIOs to reach the required person if faced with any potential disaster.

In today’s environment, disaster management strategy is the top priority of most of the IT executives but the effectiveness of business contingency plan is what makes the IT head stand out – if business is met with any potential disaster. Keeping that in mind, a cost-effective strategy should be laid out which should involve all the useful and available resources at hand. The focus should be on the organization, not on the practices in the industry because the budget and resources vary from organization to organization. Hence, the more narrow and closely disaster recovery plan to one’s business is; the more successful it will prove for the business continuity.

(The article was written for Rasala Publications Group’s Brand, CIOPakistan)


Thankfully, the state of IT in Pakistan today is in much better shape than it was a few years back. Now the thing have started to come in place, gradually though. But one could not deny the fact that IT industry is the country is making an accelerated growth. Although IT developments date back from 80’s in the country; the phenomenal growth that industry has witnessed over the past decade would have not been possible without the internet –which actually entered the market in 1996. In the recent corporate environment, where IT has become an integral part of business processes, we trace back the development of IT in this particular area in the country.

Business Software and Hardware in Pakistan

The development of the IT industry can be reflected from the presence of the software and hardware manufactured in the country. First of all, when it comes to the hardware, there has not been much growth in the country and the industry is still very much reliant on the imported technology, either done directly or through a vendor. It seems that hardware still is not the domain of the local IT professionals.

On the other hand, the software industry is on the boom. Since our primary area of focus over here is Enterprise market, we will look on the Systems software and Application Software business in the industry. Like the hardware, Systems software comes very much from the developed countries, either by import or from the vendors who supply hardware to the companies.

But the scenario for Application software which includes business programs and applications is overwhelming. To date, it has been estimated that the country booms about 660 software houses which are not only catering to the local business industry with their software but also exporting it to other regions. These software cover as diversified area as database management, internet applications, eCommerce, CAD/CAM management systems etc. Not only this, the wide range of products available caters to fit the respective business vertical needs well.

Much of the credit for the growth of the software industry rests on the efforts and policies of the government to enhance the IT infrastructure in the country, otherwise it would not have been possible for the emerging players in information technology to develop and polish their skills. It is because of these efforts that today Pakistan’s software industry has a total worth of US$ 50-100 million which could well grow in the near future.
Apart from the government efforts, much growth of local software in the corporate market is possible because of two reasons:

  1. Highly skilled IT professionals is available in large quantity
  2. The emphasis of the local software houses on quality and well-managed processes

Since the local software houses are competing with each other to provide the best business solutions, the competition has become more tough and productive. We still have very few software companies with either ISO 9000 or CMM (Capability Maturity Model) certifications but the good thing is the number is increasing.

Since most of the international players like IBM, ORACLE, SAP, SIEMEN etc. have also very much invested in the local market because of the suitable environment available – with low cost and highly skilled IT professionals –it has become highly difficult for the local software houses to enter the business arena.

The problem with the software industry is the services provided are not at par excellence and are unable to deliver the desired work. Here it is noteworthy that this is not because of only the poor services of the software providers but also may result because of the inadequate knowledge of the local customer who acquires any technology without keeping the specifications in mind.

Like the global market, the software selling in the local industry has grown immensely over the last decade for the corporate clients. Many of the international software bigwigs are also investing in the country because of the fact that the country garners huge human resource and the cost of operations is comparatively low.

The growth of IT industry has made the country an attraction on international scale, and more and more IT related import is entering the country. The enterprise market locally has greatly realized the potential of information technology for enhancement of their business growth and is shaping their IT procurement policy. Since the IT procurement has become one of the most sought after business decision of the CIOs/IT Head, there lays immense potential for the growth of the IT sellers which covers both the developers community and the local vendors.

(The article was written for Rasala Publications Group’s Brand, CIOPakistan)