Over the last few years, Israeli IT startup Soluto has morphed from simply being PC software that helps users run diagnostics on their hard drives, to a web-based platform that aims to turn you into a one-person Help Desk. In other words, Soluto now allows anyone to offer remote tech support and run diagnostics, whether that be for your mom’s computer or dozens of customers.
From the beginning, Soluto has been focused mainly on individual users, but today the startup is launching a new version of its remote PC manager that brings a handful of new features and beefed-up support to small businesses. In turn, Soluto is also releasing its first trend report, which compares and ranks the market’s best-selling laptops based on reliability and usability, giving small businesses some basic guidelines to consider when purchasing a new PC.
Lately, as tablets continue to eat into worldwide PC shipments and sales, the forecast for both the PC and for Windows has been increasingly grim. A recent report from IDC last month showed that global PC shipments in Q1 were even worse than it had expected, declining by 7.7 percent. The one bright spot for PCs, however, appears to be small businesses, which are expected to buy over 150 million PCs every year until 2017, Soluto founder and CEO Tomer Dvir tells us.
At the same time, 53 percent of small businesses are frustrated by their computing technology, he says. Soluto wants to be a part of the solution by helping SMBs improve their productivity, operations and the overall PC user experience. The startup’s new “Business” plan gives companies a full PC management and support service starting at $9/month, which the founder says makes it considerably more affordable than comparable services.
With the launch of Soluto For Business, the company will still offer a free plan for up to three PCs (or three sessions/week), along with its Pro plan for up to 10 PCs at $9/month, Business Pro for up to 50 PCs at $60 and a Business Plus plan for enterprise users that want support for more than 50 PCs. The company’s new business product allows IT managers to collect all the PCs they monitor in one place, receive email alerts when things go haywire, along with the ability to fix problems or remotely access a PC with one click from any of their devices.
In turn, the new and improved version of Soluto now includes cloud-based, offline support, allowing users to access PCs and fix problems even when the PC they’re fixing is offline, receive automatic activity reports and tap into better communication tools — all of which apply to each of Soluto’s plans.
With three million downloads to date, Soluto is now analyzing 100 million data points each day, including the frequency and types of crashes, app hangs, blue screens of death, boot times and background noise. When viewed in aggregate and put in context, this data can yield some valuable insights on trends in PC performance and help inform purchasing decisions.
So, today, in conjunction with its new plans and features, Soluto released its first industry report, which compares and ranks the best laptops on the market. From here on out, it plans to release new reports each month, which will be available to Business Pro customers. The report is based on a sample of 150K PCs that were analyzed over three months, including data points taken from over one million boots, 224,000 crashes, 84,000 BSoDs and so on.
In its description of the report, Soluto says that its “big-data frustration analytics” are unique because they’re based on “long-term, ongoing analysis of a huge number of PCs” and take into account events like the ones mentioned above (i.e. crashes, etc.).
In turn, it defends its findings by saying that most other “best of” PC lists are based on hands-on reviews made over the course of a few days, or benchmarking software that pushes the machine to the limits. Instead, Soluto’s report is based on real data taken from the experience of actual, live human beings “in the field” under real conditions. Price was not taken into account.
Without further ado, Soluto’s report found that the most reliable and best performing Windows PC laptop is … The 13-inch MacBook Pro. Ha. Yep. MacBook Pros that run Windows in parallel to its native OS X are the most stable, albeit the most expensive. Soluto’s explanation:
A main factor in this machine’s metrics is the fact that every Windows installation on it is clean. Today, with PC manufacturers loading so much crapware on new laptops, this is a bit of an unfair competition. But on the other hand, PC makers should look at this data and aspire to ship PCs that perform just as well as a cleanly installed MacBook Pro.
To its credit, Soluto also lists a few of the disadvantages of running Windows on a Mac, including longer set-up and configuration time and potential driver issues.
In second place, ranking as the top native PC, was the Acer Aspire E1-571. This was surprising even to Soluto’s analysts:
Our data has long shown that Acer machines are very stable and well-performing, but to find the E1-571 so high on the list was surprising even for us. The reason is that Acer’s E series are considered more entry level vs other series, like the V series (which you can find in the 5th place).
Dell’s XPS 13 captured third place, with Dell, Acer and Lenovo making up the rest of the rankings. You can find the full list here.