Understanding Windows Services in Windows 7

What Are Services?
At the very simplest level, a service is a small, helper program that runs in the background of your computer. When you turn on the computer, the services are one of the first things to get fired up and start working. They make sure that everything starts up properly, has the right permissions, connects properly and – as you continue to use your computer – they help ensure that programs work correctly as well.

Unlike a process, an active service runs regardless of whether a given application is open. This ensures that resources are always available for the components that need them.

How to Access Them
To see the services that are running on your computer right now, you simply need to pull up the Task Manager. Do this by clicking on Ctrl + Shift + Esc. And then clicking on the tab labeled “Services.”

In Windows XP, the task manager doesn’t list services, but you can still access them via the Services Manager. Go to Control Panel ( » Performance and Maintenance) » Administrative Tools » Services. This will pull up the Service Manager.

At first glance you can get a sense of how services are managed and distributed.

If you look closely you’ll notice that not all of them are actually running in the background. In fact, many of the services installed on your computer aren’t running at all, they’re Stopped. You can see this in the “Status” Column.

Head’s up | Whether or not a service is running depends on the particular settings of your system. While it’s good to understand services and know how to monitor them. It’s generally not a good idea to arbitrarily stop and start them without knowing exactly what functions this will affect. That being said, you always have the power to control a service by right-clicking it. The context menu that appears lets you start/stop the service and also provides you with access to options, letting you find out more or adjust the way in which Windows activates it.

Types of Services (Groups)
The list of services is long, and each has a special job. To make it a bit easier to organize, Windows 7 incorporated a set of group names to categorize services according to the types of jobs they actually perform. The most common groups of services you’ll find on a PC are…

DcomLaunch

DcomLaunch handles some of the nuts and bolts of your computer. Inside the DcomLaunch group you’ll find services that make your computer power up, that make plug-and-play applications work and one that makes everything go from off to on.

LocalService

LocalService includes the various services associated with the actions required by a local account, like your personal user-account. The LocalService programs work in isolation from other services for security reasons and ensure that when you log into your computer, the settings associated with your specific user-account load up correctly.

LocalServiceNoNetwork

Services that fall into the LocalServiceNoNetwork include things like your Internet firewall and some security programs. In this group you’ll find any number of Internet activity logs, filtering software and IP settings.

It’s called “NoNetwork” because these items are able to be run without a connection to the local network, like a home or office network. An example service you might find here is the Windows Firewall. If activated, it will run independent of local network access so that another user (one who’s also on the network) can’t turn your firewall on or off. This is part of the integrated security framework that Windows Vista and 7 had built into their operations.

All You Would Want To Know About Service Marketing

1.1 What is marketing?

According to the Chartered Institution of Marketing, “Marketing is the process that identifies, anticipates, and satisfies customer requirements profitably”. Broadly categorizing, a firm either markets goods or services. Services are intangible, perishable, variable, and inseparable. As the primary feature of a service is its intangibility, it should be marketed with proper planning. The growth of service sector industry has been increasing year by year. The government sector, hospitals, insurance and banking companies, law firms and the innumerable consultancies are all examples of service sector industry.

1.2 Classification of Offerings

A firm may offer any one or more of the following offerings in the market:

Pure Tangible Good – These are the core tangible products like books, furniture, soap, or toothpaste. No services are provided along with it.

Tangible Good along with services – These consists of tangible good and one or more services attached to it. There are many examples to this kind, like gadgets, laptops, cars, which also offer their intangible services like customer care, delivery, and repairs.

Hybrid – This kind of offering are characterized by equal proportion of goods and services. One such example are the restaurants where the food is the product and the hospitality and customer service forms the service and both are equally proportionate and important and are bundled together to form the overall product.

Service accompanying minor goods and services – The major portion of this kind of offering is the service and it is combined with small portions of the tangible product. A classic example of this is when a person buys the air ticket. The transportation is the service for which he paid the amount, but the flight transportation also includes food and other services which make the customer experience more enjoyable.

Pure Service – This entails only the service part and no goods are attached along with it. Such kind of offering is the spa or massage which is a pure service and no tangible offering is attached to it.

Having to market a product is an extremely different concept when compared to services marketing. The marketing strategies that are involved in marketing goods and services also vary to a considerable extent. Becoming a part of the market and having to popularize a business involves several different marketing strategies. These strategies should be carefully planned, effectively implemented, monitored, and then revisited to ensure that it fetches the desired outcome. Thereafter it can be decided whether the same strategies should be continued or does it need any amendment. A calculated risk is always better than an unorganized plan, which is why ‘planning’ is a vital step to marketing success.

2. Defining the Offering

There should be clear and distinct picture of what is being offered to the customers. It is thus important that the following questions needs to be atomically answered before beginning to roll the dice.

2.1 What to Offer

Before even trying to decide what service to offer to the customer it is imperative that the firm understands the customer needs and their behavior and for this, a market research definitely helps. The market research should be conducted not only in the prospective customer base but also in the competitor base.

Conducting research in the prospective customer base gives the firm an idea about the following:

• Customer needs and expectation – Questions which fall under this section is: What are the customer needs and what are his expectations? Are his needs being met? If there is a gap between the customer needs and his expectation, it has to be taken into consideration and the service that the firm will offer should fill that gap. If there is no gap still the service should be designed in way that it exceeds the customer expectations.

• Way to bundle the service – It helps in forming a complete service offering, helps in understanding how to project that service in the market and how to sell it.

After the market research has been conducted, the firm then decides what ‘ingredients’ should it put in the offering basket so that it only has a competitive edge over other similar offerings in the market but it also lures the prospects and engages the customers.

2.2 Whom to Offer

Markets are not homogenous and a firm cannot connect with all the customer segments at once. It is important to divide the population into discreet groups so as to acquire results. This also ensures that the required message reaches those that require the service. Hence it becomes vital to decide those segments in the market which can be served effectively by the firm. Deciding on the exact target segments solves many implications which are later raised due to improper plan. Depending on the segments thus decided, marketing, sales, and promotional plans are laid out. If the firm goes wrong in this phase, then all the efforts and resources which are thus involved in marketing and sales are wasted. There are certain questions which need to be answered at this stage:

• Who are the firm’s latent customers?

• How should the customer be divided?

• How many sub-groups do you divide them into?

• What makes these sub-groups differ?

To obtain information so as to differentiate the different sub-groups can be acquired in a number of different ways namely:

• Questionnaires

• Media advertising (Blog, Discussion forums etc)

• Sales analysis

• Face to face marketing

• Counter research

3. Promotional strategies for marketing services

3.1 Push and Pull Strategies