Microsoft SteadyState Leaves Institutions in Unsteady State – Alternative Freeware to the Rescue

Since Microsoft SteadyState has been discontinued, many cash-strapped educational institutions have no spare funds to purchase third-party software. Addressing this dire need, the freeware Reboot Restore Rx is a free and simple way of keeping these public PCs from going "out of order."

Blaine, WA (PRWEB) March 27, 2013

Horizon DataSys, the global leader in instant restore tools for PC management, gains increasing momentum with it Free software Reboot Restore Rx. Since its release last week, Reboot Restore Rx is quickly becoming the go-to replacement for the discontinued Microsoft SteadyState software.

Managing public access computers such as school computer labs, is an arduous task. Teachers are constantly finding themselves spending significant time and effort protecting their shared computers from unauthorized changes. Due to reduced educational budgets, most small schools require tools that non-technical staff could manage on their own. “Rural school systems around the country don’t have IT departments or dedicated PC techs on staff,” says Kully Pawa, Senior Account Executive. “So it’s up to teachers to find tools that are both easy to use and manage.”

This need was somewhat addressed by Microsoft in 2005. SteadyState (formerly called Shared Computer Toolkit) was part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s ongoing drive to put computers into schools and libraries. SteadyState, was offered by Microsoft as a free alternative for preventing unwanted changes to public PCs.

Why Windows SteadyState Failed to Gain Acceptance

The basic concept behind SteadyState was admirable. However, it was not designed with teachers or librarians in mind. The idea behind SteadyState was to offer a simple-to-use application that non-technical teachers and librarians could use to protect their classroom PC’s. Instead, teachers would have to be familiar with Group Policies, Active Directory, and even Windows Server Update Services, in order to actually do the basics with SteadyState. “The product did not make the connection with its intended audience,” says Lyle Patel, President. “SteadyState should have been designed with the layperson in mind. These folks have little, if any, IT training. One would need to be an MCSE technician in order to get the full benefits of SteadyState to work.”

SteadyState involved a cumbersome process designed for a very basic need. Unsurprisingly, there was very little adoption among the under-served educational market. In fact, SteadyState soon became popular with higher level IT professionals and not the teachers that it was designed to originally benefit. Perhaps, due to these sorts of support-related issues, Microsoft opted to discontinue SteadyState in 2010. Today Microsoft has no plans to re-introduce SteadyState for Windows 8.

So what are schools to do? Free Alternative to SteadyState

SteadyState failed those it was intended to help. Originally designed for teachers, SteadyState lacked the single most important requirement for adoption: simplicity. “The basics need to be met. Reboot Restore Rx, by contrast, was designed with the rural teacher in mind,” adds Patel. “Some teachers have zero tech skills, yet they are mandated to manage a small group of public computers. Their organizations, also have little money for expensive commercial solutions.”

To meet the specific needs of these small schools and libraries, Horizon DataSys has stripped their instant restore technology down to its simplest form. The new freeware is called Reboot Restore Rx. It’s a simple and elegant solution that does one thing: restores PC’s on every reboot. And it does exceptionally well. “Anybody can use Reboot Restore Rx. Although its technology is complex, novice users just need to know how to point-and-click, or just simply hit the reset button!”explains Patel. “We took a page out of Steve Jobs' playbook: We kept it insanely simple!”

Reboot Restore Rx was officially launched last week, with an overwhelmingly positive reception from the educational and tech communities. “… As these organizations' technology requirements grow and they need more functionality, we offer a progressive upgrade path with our RollBack Rx technology,” says Patel. When asked, "Why create a freeware utility for users?" Patel responded simply, “Because we can! Reboot Restore Rx is a small enough project for Horizon DataSys. We met many of these teaching professionals at various conferences and they described a very basic need, that remained effectively unmet for a few years. Someone had to step up to the plate. Being leaders in PC Roll-back technology, we felt that this was our calling.”

About Horizon DataSys
Horizon DataSys Corporation is a privately held software company in Blaine, WA with offices in Canada, and UK. Horizon DataSys develops and distributes computer software applications designed for end-users and enterprises. The company specializes in end-point PC management, OS integrity, and instant restore. The company's business solutions allow organizations to reduce risks related to software corruption, inadvertent changes, malicious hacks, virus infections, and unauthorized PC access. It's primary offerings include its Instant Restoration Suite (Rollback Rx, Drive Vaccine, and Drive Cloner) and Virtual Desktop. In addition to its many off-the-shelf turnkey products it also supports clients to customize solutions that suit the specific needs of their IT environment.


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