Maybe you’ve heard of Microsoft Teams, or perhaps you haven’t. I could spend a few paragraphs ...
Maybe you’ve heard of Microsoft Teams, or perhaps you haven’t. I could spend a few paragraphs introducing you to Teams, but I won’t. If you want a Teams introduction, read this short overview of basic features. Let’s begin setting it up for a law firm. One: Create Back Office Teams First, we need to decide when we create a new Team. I recommend creating a Team by process, project, workflows in the office (HR or Billing), or practice area. However, be mindful of the Team members (people). For example, if your Family Law, Estate Planning, and Probate practice areas all have the same members, make them one Team, with separate channels. (For more tips about organizing Teams check out this Microsoft video). Finally, create a FirmName Team for general firmwide announcements. Stay away from needlessly building Teams by department or role. If you’re not sure about creating a Team for any reason, don’t. If you need it later, you can add it. It’s easier to add Teams than it is to remove or clean up empty ones. Less is more. Two: Create Client Teams Now that you have established the back office Teams let’s talk about the work a law firm does. All firms, even corporate legal, have a client(s) and projects (matters, cases, files). In corporate legal or specific practices, the “clients” may be called something else, division, customer, association, but there is a legal entity you are representing or advising. Create a Team per client. Then add the firm members that work with that client to that Team. These “client Teams” should be public, unless there is a need, like a conflict, to keep them private. Do NOT assign everyone to every Team. Firm members can join a public Team at any time. Each Team automatically gets a general channel (see below for channel definition). But I suggest creating a channel per matter. Depending on your legal practice, you may hit the 200 channel limit quickly. If you think this is the case, you may want to create a Team based on matter, rather than the client. An Office 365 (O365) Global admin can create 500,000 “Teams.” Ordinary users can create 2,500 Teams. When creating a channel per matter, Microsoft automatically creates a folder for documents that pertain to that matter. Channels are dedicated sections within a Team to keep conversations organized by specific topics, projects, disciplines—-whatever works for your Team! Three: Channels Now that we’ve set up our Team, channels, and folders we can start with the tabs. In Teams, you can create tabs for other valuable information. These tabs are then automatically shared with the entire Team and across all devices. The two tabs I recommend are OneNote, for any unstructured note taking, and Planner (Teams also works with Asana, GitHub, and Trello), to manage the case tasks assuming you don’t have a case/practice management system already. Four: Decisions and Tabs At this point, you’re nearly ready to start testing Teams. But there are a few important things to consider. Specifically, firm policies and workflows around Teams. Who sets them up? What happens to a Team when the firm and client no longer work together? What happens to a channel when you close a matter? Will Teams replace your phones or conference tools? How do we name Teams and Channels? As you can see the basics are rather easy but knowing what questions to ask and policies to create can be the tricky part. Additionally, you’ll want to structure training around policies. For example, I can go on YouTube and learn how to add guest users (people outside the firm) to a Team, but what is the firm’s position on this? Should people be allowed? At this point, if you’re anything like me, you’ll play the game before reading the instructions. If so use the screenshot below as a cheat sheet to get started. You’ll see I point out the basic setup in a few words. But if you’ve read the article, you’re better prepare for deployment. Finally remember, Teams has a plethora of features, many of which I have not discussed here, but could be very useful in your practice. If you’re already using Teams, let me know how you deployed it and how it’s going.
Microsoft will start rolling out Teams to its U.S. Government Cloud customers on July 17.
Microsoft will start rolling out Teams to its U.S. Government Cloud customers on July 17. In a blog post on June 28, Microsoft provided an official (and awaited) date for Government Cloud Teams availability. The post says Teams should be available to all eligible Government Cloud users by the end of August 2018. Teams will be available as part of Office 365 for U.S. Government G1, G3, G5 and F1 plans. It also will be available for Microsoft 365 for U.S. Government G3, G5 and F1 plans. Microsoft officials said they "are working to bring Microsoft Teams to the other U.S. government clouds soon." There are some feature differences between Microsoft Teams for commercial customers and Teams for U.S. Government cloud users. Here's Microsoft's chart showing the commercial Teams features that will be unavailable, turned off by default and/or available at some point in the future: Credit: Microsoft Microsoft's Stream video service for business users still isn't available for U.S. Government cloud, which means call/meeting recording in Teams is not yet available either, as it uses Streams. Support for apps (Bots, Tabs, Connectors) is a work in progress, as are unified presence and email notifications. New features for Microsoft Teams will come to Government Cloud customers after they first go to commercial customers, going forward. Microsoft officials said this lag is "due to increased audit requirements and activities to meet the needs" of that environment. Microsoft Teams security and compliance levels include ISO 27001, ISO 27018, EUMC, SOC 1 Type I & II, SOC 2 Type I and II, HIPAA and FedRAMP Moderate, Microsoft's blog post notes. Microsoft originally began rolling out Teams, its group-chat service, in early 2017. There are rumors that Microsoft may at some point release a free version of Teams and not tie its usage to having an Office 365 subscription, but so far there's been no formal announcement of such a plan. what's hot on zdnet
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Vermont is offering $10,000 grants to cover moving expenses for those who want to move to Vermont to work remotely. Vermont's population is aging fast. As a former resident I can tell you there are some pretty good reason. Unless you want to work in hospitality or agriculture, there aren't a whole lot of other jobs. Add to that harsh winters and land values that more resemble California than a state with a shrinking population, and you have a place not exactly welcoming of young people. So, to remedy this troubling trend Vermont is welcoming workers who work remotely to live in Vermont and expand its tax base. While offering $10,000 may seem like a lot just to get some one to come live in your state, it's actually a good bit cheaper than going through the trouble of attracting new industry to the state (states typically incentive companies to locate in their state, and for a heck of a lot more that $10K). Like a lot of things the Green Mountain State does, this is actually a pretty shrewd policy taking advantage of a trend that we're seeing more of every day. Working remotely has been the promise of technology for a long time. I remember seeing commercials in the 90s where people were video conferencing and working collaboratively on the go like this one: https://youtu.be/2kfIFDX9kE4 At the time, the most AT&T could really conjure up when it came to working remotely was reading "a book thousands of miles away" or sending a fax (a *FAX*) from the beach. This could be part of the reason why, in the proceeding two decades, working from home was often code for "I'm not going to work today, but you can call me if you have a question." However, in the past couple years, truly working remotely has started to become a reality, and accessible to all businesses, not just the Fortune 500. This new incentive from Vermont is further proof that the modern office isn't just a building anymore. The modern office is in the cloud and accessible from anywhere you can get an internet connection. It's an indestructible virtual "place" that coworkers can meet, collaborate, and get real work done. Vermont gets it.
We have spoken a lot about how Office 365 enabled users to build better working relationships through the power of collaborative tools. Web conferencing is and has been one of those tools, but far too often people who use Office 365 aren't aware this feature exists. By default your organization can use either the Skype for Business or Teams applications to create a web conference which includes audio, video and screen sharing capabilities. Just like with third party applications like Go to Meeting, if the meeting recipient doesn't have the application, they are still able to participate by using a temporary instance of the application in their web browser. In this video I demonstrate how to create a meeting in Outlook, since that is the application most people use to create normal meeting invites anyway, but meetings can be created in the standalone applications as well. In Outlook, simply go to your Calendar section and instead of selecting the button New Meeting, select New Skype Meeting or New Teams meeting. Skype for Business is in the process of being merged into Teams, so Skype button will eventually go away. If you haven't already made the switch to Teams, then you should definitely start making plans to. Now, one thing that isn't mentioned in the video is the additional license required to make dial-in meetings an option. Without this additional license you can still create a meeting and have your participants join using their Skype or Teams app, but the ability to dial in via phone won't appear. With the additional license though, two lines appear in your meeting invite showing the number to call and the conference ID. This method allows your participants to use a phone instead of the apps to participate in the meeting. Of course if they are dialing in, they don't get to use the video or screen sharing capabilities. The modern office is no longer a physical place, but rather a mentality. Some employees work from home, others work in satellite offices around the country and it becomes hard to maintain a company culture in such an environment. Video conferencing really does make all the difference in the world when having a web conference. You can see you are talking to a real person and not just hearing a disembodied voice on the other end of the phone, allowing you to create that stronger working relationship.
Office 365 has opened up new and exciting ways for people to communicate with one another and we are no longer bound by the traditional communication method of email. With things like sharing documents in OneDrive or SharePoint, to using messaging programs like Skype for Business and now Teams, data has multiple ways of being transferred. But now that the flood gates have been opened and email is now just one of many communication options, how is your organization supposed to keep a record of these message transactions? After all, conventional message capturing methods, such as journaling, only captures email. So, if users in your organization are communicating via Teams and not email, then a message audit will only return partially correct results. That is why Office 365 introduced eDiscovery and Data Governance. With eDiscovery and Data Governance, all messages are captured and retained no matter which method of communication your organization uses. In my most recent livestream, I spoke again with Senior Solutions Architect Jon Webster, about eDiscovery and Data Governance in Office 365. Starting with why it should be enabled to how to configure the settings, this livestream serves as a beginners guide for Office 365 admins. Even though this livestream is directed more so for administrators, I think anyone watching would find relevant information. If you are an end-user wondering what information can be captured, then you may want to take a gander. I say "can be captured" for a reason. Enabling this feature is completely customizable to meet any organization's auditing needs, since not all organizations need to capture the same information. So, for instance, if your organization doesn't really care about or is not legally bound to retain messages in Teams, then you don't haveto turn that setting on. Of course, it is one thing to retain the data and another to actually search through it all. That is why Jon and I also made sure to go through a brief demonstration of the message searching capabilities. It can be as easy as searching the entire organization for keywords in a set time frame, but there are many options to weed out miscellaneous messages and narrow your results to ultra-specific messages. However, even though it often falls on the administrator to setup and run the parameters of message searches, it really shouldn't. Only key people inside the organization should be allowed to audit this data, such as a legal or executive team. That is why included in eDiscovery and Data Governance is a permissions section, where the admin can configure other users to perform specific audit functions. The data is sensitive, so there are at least three different permissions a user must be assigned in order to have full auditing capabilities, otherwise permissions are segmented so that one person doesn't have full control. Capturing email messages is now just one resource an organization needs for compliance and legal needs. Because Office 365 offers its users so many methods to communicate, journaling email messages may no longer cover these obligations. Enabling Data Governance ensures that all relevant messages are captured and retained for your custom retention period. If you still have questions about eDiscovery and Data Governance in Office 365, give us a call and we'll be happy to walk you through it.
Contents 02/09/2018 15 minutes to read Contributors In this article Applies to Windows 10 Windows 10 Mobile Windows 10 IoT Mobile Looking for consumer information? See Windows Update: FAQ The Windows 10 operating system introduces a new way to build, deploy, and service Windows: Windows as a service. Microsoft has reimagined each part of the process, to simplify the lives of IT pros and maintain a consistent Windows 10 experience for its customers. These improvements focus on maximizing customer involvement in Windows development, simplifying the deployment and servicing of Windows client computers, and leveling out the resources needed to deploy and maintain Windows over time. Click the following Microsoft Mechanics video for an overview of the release model, particularly the Semi-Annual Channel. Building Prior to Windows 10, Microsoft released new versions of Windows every few years. This traditional deployment schedule imposed a training burden on users because the feature revisions were often significant. That schedule also meant waiting long periods without new features — a scenario that doesn’t work in today’s rapidly changing world, a world in which new security, management, and deployment capabilities are necessary to address challenges. Windows as a service will deliver smaller feature updates two times per year, around March and September, to help address these issues. In the past, when Microsoft developed new versions of Windows, it typically released technical previews near the end of the process, when Windows was nearly ready to ship. With Windows 10, new features will be delivered to the Windows Insider community as soon as possible — during the development cycle, through a process called flighting — so that organizations can see exactly what Microsoft is developing and start their testing as soon as possible. Microsoft also depends on receiving feedback from organizations throughout the development process so that it can make adjustments as quickly as possible rather than waiting until after release. For more information about the Windows Insider Program and how to sign up, see the section Windows Insider. Of course Microsoft also performs extensive internal testing, with engineering teams installing new builds daily, and larger groups of employees installing builds frequently, all before those builds are ever released to the Windows Insider Program. Deploying Deploying Windows 10 is simpler than with previous versions of Windows. When migrating from earlier versions of Windows, an easy in-place upgrade process can be used to automatically preserve all apps, settings, and data. And once running Windows 10, deployment of Windows 10 feature updates will be equally simple. One of the biggest challenges for organizations when it comes to deploying a new version of Windows is compatibility testing. Whereas compatibility was previously a concern for organizations upgrading to a new version of Windows, Windows 10 is compatible with most hardware and software capable of running on Windows 7 or later. Because of this high level of compatibility, the app compatibility testing process can be greatly simplified. Application compatibility Application compatibility testing has historically been a burden when approaching a Windows deployment or upgrade. With Windows 10, application compatibility from the perspective of desktop applications, websites, and apps built on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) has improved tremendously. Microsoft understands the challenges organizations experienced when they migrated from the Windows XP operating system to Windows 7 and has been working to make Windows 10 upgrades a much better experience. Most Windows 7–compatible desktop applications will be compatible with Windows 10 straight out of the box. Windows 10 achieved such high compatibility because the changes in the existing Win32 application programming interfaces were minimal. Combined with valuable feedback via the Windows Insider Program and diagnostic data, this level of compatibility can be maintained through each feature update. As for websites, Windows 10 includes Internet Explorer 11 and its backward-compatibility modes for legacy websites. Finally, UWP apps follow a compatibility story similar to desktop applications, so most of them will be compatible with Windows 10. For the most important business-critical applications, organizations should still perform testing on a regular basis to validate compatibility with new builds. For remaining applications, consider validating them as part of a pilot deployment process to reduce the time spent on compatibility testing. If it’s unclear whether an application is compatible with Windows 10, IT pros can either consult with the ISV or check the supported software directory at http://www.readyforwindows.com. Device compatibility Device compatibility in Windows 10 is also very strong; new hardware is not needed for Windows 10 as any device capable of running Windows 7 or later can run Windows 10. In fact, the minimum hardware requirements to run Windows 10 are the same as those required for Windows 7. Most hardware drivers that functioned in Windows 8.1, Windows 8, or Windows 7 will continue to function in Windows 10. Servicing Traditional Windows servicing has included several release types: major revisions (e.g., the Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7 operating systems), service packs, and monthly updates. With Windows 10, there are two release types: feature updates that add new functionality twice per year, and quality updates that provide security and reliability fixes at least once a month. With Windows 10, organizations will need to change the way they approach deploying updates. Servicing channels are the first way to separate users into deployment groups for feature and quality updates. With the introduction of servicing channels comes the concept of a deployment ring, which is simply a way to categorize the combination of a deployment group and a servicing channel to group devices for successive waves of deployment. For more information about developing a deployment strategy that leverages servicing channels and deployment rings, see Plan servicing strategy for Windows 10 updates. For information about each servicing tool available for Windows 10, see Servicing tools. To align with this new update delivery model, Windows 10 has three servicing channels, each of which provides different levels of flexibility over when these updates are delivered to client computers. For information about the servicing channels available in Windows 10, see Servicing channels. Naming changes As part of the alignment with Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus, we are adopting common terminology to make it as easy as possible to understand the servicing process. Going forward, these are the new terms we will be using: Semi-Annual Channel - We will be referreing to Current Branch (CB) as "Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)", while Current Branch for Business (CBB) will simply be referred to as "Semi-Annual Channel". Long-Term Servicing Channel - The Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) will be referred to as Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC). Feature updates With Windows 10, Microsoft will package new features into feature updates that can be deployed using existing management tools. Because feature updates are delivered more frequently than with previous Windows releases — twice per year, around March and September, rather than every 3–5 years — changes will be in bite-sized chunks rather than all at once and end user readiness time much shorter. Tip The feature update cadence has been aligned with Office 365 ProPlus updates. Starting with this falls' update, both Windows and Office will deliver their major updates semi-annually, around March and September. See upcoming changes to Office 365 ProPlus update management for more information about changes to Office update management. Quality updates Monthly updates in previous Windows versions were often overwhelming because of the sheer number of updates available each month. Many organizations selectively chose which updates they wanted to install and which they didn’t, and this created countless scenarios in which organizations deployed essential security updates but picked only a subset of non-security fixes. In Windows 10, rather than receiving several updates each month and trying to figure out which the organization needs, which ultimately causes platform fragmentation, administrators will see one cumulative monthly update that supersedes the previous month’s update, containing both security and non-security fixes. This approach makes patching simpler and ensures that customers’ devices are more closely aligned with the testing done at Microsoft, reducing unexpected issues resulting from patching. The left side of Figure 1 provides an example of Windows 7 devices in an enterprise and what their current patch level might look like. On the right is what Microsoft’s test environment PCs contain. This drastic difference is the basis for many compatibility issues and system anomalies related to Windows updates. Figure 1 Servicing channels To align with the new method of delivering feature updates and quality updates in Windows 10, Microsoft introduced the concept of servicing channels to allow customers to designate how frequently their individual devices are updated. For example, an organization may have test devices that the IT department can update with new features as soon as possible, and then specialized devices that require a longer feature update cycle to ensure continuity. With that in mind, Windows 10 offers 3 servicing channels. The Windows Insider Program provides organizations with the opportunity to test and provide feedback on features that will be shipped in the next feature update. The Semi-Annual Channel provides new functionality with twice-per-year feature update releases. Organizations can choose when to deploy updates from the Semi-Annual Channel. The Long Term Servicing Channel, which is designed to be used only for specialized devices (which typically don't run Office) such as those that control medical equipment or ATM machines, receives new feature releases every two to three years. For details about the versions in each servicing channel, see Windows 10 release information. The concept of servicing channels is new, but organizations can use the same management tools they used to manage updates and upgrades in previous versions of Windows. For more information about the servicing tool options for Windows 10 and their capabilities, see Servicing tools. Note Servicing channels are not the only way to separate groups of devices when consuming updates. Each channel can contain subsets of devices, which staggers servicing even further. For information about the servicing strategy and ongoing deployment process for Windows 10, including the role of servicing channels, see Plan servicing strategy for Windows 10 updates. Semi-Annual Channel In the Semi-Annual servicing channel, feature updates are available as soon as Microsoft releases them. Windows 10, version 1511, had few servicing tool options to delay feature updates, limiting the use of the Semi-Annual servicing channel. Windows 10, version 1607 and onward, includes more servicing tools that can delay feature updates for up to 365 days. This servicing modal is ideal for pilot deployments and testing of Windows 10 feature updates and for users such as developers who need to work with the latest features immediately. Once the latest release went through pilot deployment and testing, you choose the timing at which it goes into broad deployment. When Microsoft officially releases a feature update for Windows 10, it is made available to any PC not configured to defer feature updates so that those devices can immediately install it. Organizations that use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, or Windows Update for Business, however, can defer feature updates to selective devices by withholding their approval and deployment. In this scenario, the content available for the Semi-Annual Channel will be available but not necessarily immediately mandatory, depending on the policy of the management system. For more details about Windows 10 servicing tools, see Servicing tools. Organizations are expected to initiate targeted deployment on Semi-Annual Channel releases, while after about 4 months, we will announce broad deployment readiness, indicating that Microsoft, independent software vendors (ISVs), partners, and customers believe that the release is ready for broad deployment. Each feature update release will be supported and updated for 18 months from the time of its release Note Organizations can electively delay feature updates into as many phases as they wish by using one of the servicing tools mentioned in the section Servicing tools. Long-term Servicing Channel Specialized systems—such as PCs that control medical equipment, point-of-sale systems, and ATMs—often require a longer servicing option because of their purpose. These devices typically perform a single important task and don’t need feature updates as frequently as other devices in the organization. It’s more important that these devices be kept as stable and secure as possible than up to date with user interface changes. The LTSC servicing model prevents Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB devices from receiving the usual feature updates and provides only quality updates to ensure that device security stays up to date. With this in mind, quality updates are still immediately available to Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB clients, but customers can choose to defer them by using one of the servicing tools mentioned in the section Servicing tools. Note Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB is a separate Long Term Servicing Channel version. Long-term Servicing channel is not intended for deployment on most or all the PCs in an organization; it should be used only for special-purpose devices. As a general guideline, a PC with Microsoft Office installed is a general-purpose device, typically used by an information worker, and therefore it is better suited for the Semi-Annual servicing channel. Microsoft never publishes feature updates through Windows Update on devices that run Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB. Instead, it typically offers new LTSC releases every 2–3 years, and organizations can choose to install them as in-place upgrades or even skip releases over a 10-year life cycle. Note Windows 10 LTSB will support the currently released silicon at the time of release of the LTSB. As future silicon generations are released, support will be created through future Windows 10 LTSB releases that customers can deploy for those systems. For more information, see Supporting the latest processor and chipsets on Windows in Lifecycle support policy FAQ - Windows Products. The Long-term Servicing Channel is available only in the Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB edition. This build of Windows doesn’t contain many in-box applications, such as Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Store, Cortana (limited search capabilities remain available), Microsoft Mail, Calendar, OneNote, Weather, News, Sports, Money, Photos, Camera, Music, and Clock. Therefore, it’s important to remember that Microsoft has positioned the LTSC model primarily for specialized devices. Note If an organization has devices currently running Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB that it would like to change to the Semi-Annual Channel, it can make the change without losing user data. Because LTSB is its own SKU, however, an upgrade is required from Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB to Windows 10 Enterprise, which supports the Semi-Annual Channel. Windows Insider For many IT pros, gaining visibility into feature updates early—before they’re available to the Semi-Annual Channel — can be both intriguing and valuable for future end user communications as well as provide the means to test for any issues on the next Semi-Annual Channel release. With Windows 10, feature flighting enables Windows Insiders to consume and deploy preproduction code to their test machines, gaining early visibility into the next build. Testing the early builds of Windows 10 helps both Microsoft and its customers because they have the opportunity to discover possible issues before the update is ever publicly available and can report it to Microsoft. Microsoft recommends that all organizations have at least a few PCs enrolled in the Windows Insider Program and provide feedback on any issues they encounter. For information about the Windows Insider Program for Business, go to Windows Insider Program for Business. Note Microsoft recommends that all organizations have at least a few PCs enrolled in the Windows Insider Program, to include the Windows Insider Program in their deployment plans and to provide feedback on any issues they encounter to Microsoft via our Feedback Hub app. The Windows Insider Program isn’t intended to replace Semi-Annual Channel deployments in an organization. Rather, it provides IT pros and other interested parties with pre-release Windows builds that they can test and ultimately provide feedback on to Microsoft. There are many tools with which IT pros can service Windows as a service. Each option has its pros and cons, ranging from capabilities and control to simplicity and low administrative requirements. The following are examples of the servicing tools available to manage Windows as a service updates: Windows Update (stand-alone) provides limited control over feature updates, with IT pros manually configuring the device to be in the Semi-Annual Channel. Organizations can target which devices defer updates by selecting the Defer upgrades check box in StartSettingsUpdate & SecurityAdvanced Options on a Windows 10 client. Windows Update for Business is the second option for servicing Windows as a service. This servicing tool includes control over update deferment and provides centralized management using Group Policy. Windows Update for Business can be used to defer updates by up to 365 days, depending on the version. These deployment options are available to clients in the Semi-Annual Channel. In addition to being able to use Group Policy to manage Windows Update for Business, either option can be configured without requiring any on-premises infrastructure by using Intune. Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) provides extensive control over Windows 10 updates and is natively available in the Windows Server operating system. In addition to the ability to defer updates, organizations can add an approval layer for updates and choose to deploy them to specific computers or groups of computers whenever ready. System Center Configuration Manager provides the greatest control over servicing Windows as a service. IT pros can defer updates, approve them, and have multiple options for targeting deployments and managing bandwidth usage and deployment times. With all these options, which an organization chooses depends on the resources, staff, and expertise its IT organization already has. For example, if IT already uses System Center Configuration Manager to manage Windows updates, it can continue to use it. Similarly, if IT is using WSUS, it can continue to use that. For a consolidated look at the benefits of each tool, see Table 1. Table 1 Servicing tool Can updates be deferred? Ability to approve updates Peer-to-peer option Additional features Windows Update Yes (manual) No Delivery Optimization None Windows Update for Business Yes No Delivery Optimization Other Group Policy objects WSUS Yes Yes BranchCache or Delivery Optimization Upstream/downstream server scalability Configuration Manager Yes Yes BranchCache, Client Peer Cache Distribution points, multiple deployment options Note Due to naming changes, older terms like CB,CBB and LTSB may still be displayed in some of our products. Steps to manage updates for Windows 10 Feedback What type of feedback would you like to provide? Our new feedback system is built on GitHub Issues. For more information on this change, please read our blog post. Loading feedback...
Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update is arriving for PCs and tablets today. Like the previous Fall ...
Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update is arriving for PCs and tablets today. Like the previous Fall Creators Update, it’s full of small features that improve Windows 10 without dramatically changing the platform. Microsoft is only adding one major feature with this update, and it’s the Timeline feature that lets you resume where you left off across multiple Windows 10 machines. Elsewhere there’s easy sharing, quick Bluetooth pairing, a dictation feature, and the ability to mute tabs in Microsoft Edge. Microsoft is also continuing to tweak and improve the Fluent Design system it introduced with the Fall Creators Update. You’ll notice more hover effects when you’re using your mouse in the Start menu or notification center, and there’s a new blur effect on the taskbar. I’ve been testing the Windows 10 April 2018 Update for months now, and these are my favorite new additions. Timeline is the major new feature here, and it replaces the familiar Task View button that shows what apps are currently running on a system. Timeline lets you see what apps are running, but also what apps and activities you’ve used on your Windows 10 PC in the past 30 days. These activities and apps sync across multiple machines, so if you’ve been using a laptop for a document you can easily pick up the same activity on a desktop PC that you’re also signed into. You can also combine Timeline with Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android, and access the smartphone browser history on your PC. Microsoft is updating its mobile Edge apps to support this, and it’s one of the main reasons you might use Timeline. If you’re concerned about the privacy aspects of having documents, apps, and activity history in your Task View, Microsoft disables the device sync by default and you can disable activity history. Windows has had a variety of dictation tools over the years, but Microsoft is creating a quick way to access the built-in Windows 10 version with the April 2018 Update. You can launch it with the windows key + H keyboard shortcut, and it will let you dictate into any app. I even wrote this part of the article using the dictation tool, and if you’ve got a good mic it works really well. Chrome added tab muting recently, and now Microsoft is bringing the same feature to Edge. You can mute loud and annoying websites with this feature, and spare any audio blasting out of your speakers. Microsoft has also tweaked the performance and design of Edge. Microsoft Edge certainly feels better to use as a default browser with this update, but it still needs work to truly compete with Chrome. Microsoft is also adding support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) in this April 2018 update. PWAs are essentially web apps, but they have the full support of Google, Apple, and now Microsoft across mobile and desktop operating systems. This could improve the Windows 10 app situation, and we’re expecting to hear a lot more about PWAs for Windows 10 at Microsoft’s Build conference in May. Scaling desktop apps has always been an issue in Windows, but this latest April 2018 Update is trying to make blurry apps a thing of the past. Windows 10 will now detect if an app is blurry because of a monitor change or if you docked a laptop, and it will attempt to scale it better to stop apps from scaling too small or becoming blurry. Microsoft is adding some great new audio features with this Windows 10 April 2018 Update. You can now set the input or output audio devices per application. You could have Spotify audio blasting out of your speakers, while your browser audio comes through a headset. The new audio settings let you customize both the input and output per application, so it’s also useful if you use different microphones across a variety of apps. Microsoft is adding a simple and quick way to pair Bluetooth accessories. Windows 10 will now produce a notification to quickly connect to a Bluetooth peripheral and pair it. Microsoft is supporting its Surface Precision Mouse for now, and the company is working with Logitech and others to ensure additional hardware will support this quick way to Bluetooth pair in the future. Ever get annoyed with those Windows Defender notifications that tell you Microsoft’s anti-virus just scanned your machine and it’s fine? Yeah, who cares. With the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, you can now suppress these notifications so you’re not told every single time there’s a successful scan. Nearby sharing lets you easily share websites, photos, or documents to nearby Windows 10 machines. It’s not a feature you’re probably going to use all that often, but it works over Bluetooth and is similar to Apple’s AirDrop feature. You can share to devices that are colleagues or friends nearby, and it’s a lot quicker than emailing over a file. Nearby sharing is disabled by default, and you can set it to only receive files from your own devices or everyone nearby. Hopefully Microsoft adds the option to customize this further in the future so you can only receive from contacts. Microsoft is changing and updating its do-not-disturb mode for Windows 10 with this new update. Previously known as Quiet Hours, Focus Assist is a smarter way of stopping notifications popping up when you’re busy. Focus Assist will now automatically mute notifications when you’re playing a game or projecting your presentation to a screen. This stops annoying notifications during a gaming session, or equally important meetings when you don’t want your emails, messages, and other notifications being displayed to the whole conference room. You can also let particular apps break through and still trigger notifications, which is useful if you have a messaging app that you still want to see notifications from while you’re playing a game. Microsoft is making some neat gaming-focused changes to Windows 10 with this update. You can now customize graphics performance per game, allowing you to set games to high performance or power saving. This is particularly useful if you’re using a laptop that’s capable of gaming, but you want certain games not to draw the best performance in order to save battery life. The new feature is available in “graphics settings” in the main settings app. Microsoft is also redesigning the Xbox game bar so it now has a white or black theme with this update.
Microsoft is unveiling a number of new features for its Outlook desktop app, Outlook for iOS / ...
Microsoft is unveiling a number of new features for its Outlook desktop app, Outlook for iOS / Android mobile apps, and the company’s Outlook.com webmail service this week. The new Outlook features that are now available or coming soon are being detailed by Microsoft less than a week after Google started rolling out a new Gmail redesign. Google’s new Gmail features are mostly aimed at business customers, in an attempt to get more businesses using G Suite. Microsoft’s new Outlook features are also primarily aimed at business customers, an area that Microsoft’s traditional Outlook desktop apps for Windows and macOS specialize in. Microsoft is adding bill pay reminders to Outlook.com, that will appear as calendar items if Outlook.com identifies a bill received in an email. The reminders are similar to how travel reservations or package delivery tracking works in Outlook.com, and the due date for the bill will be automatically added to the calendar event. Outlook.com will also send an email two days before the bill is due. Outlook for Windows is also getting some new calendar features that are more targeted towards businesses. Outlook will now offer suggestions for meeting locations in calendar entries, and automatically populate them with information from Bing. Outlook for iOS is also getting similar location support, alongside the option to book meeting room availability from your mobile device. Microsoft is also improving RSVP and tracking meeting attendees in Outlook’s calendar. You’ll soon be able to see the tracked responses to meetings even if you didn’t organize them, so you can see if your boss is going to attend the meeting and whether you actually need to go. Outlook’s calendar on both Windows and Mac is also getting better time zone support. You can now set up a travel calendar entry in one time zone that ends in another, which is particularly useful if you’re looking at flight information. Outlook for Windows now supports viewing three time zones, and Outlook for Mac will also let you see an additional time zone. Microsoft is adding in better support for the emails you’re blind copied in on. If you go to reply to an email where you were in the BCC field, Outlook for Windows will now alert you that you were blind copied, so you avoid a potentially embarrassing email scenario. Outlook for iOS and Android are also getting a number of new features soon. Outlook for iOS will soon support syncing draft emails, making it easier to compose an email on your phone and finish it on your PC. Draft syncing is available on Outlook for Android, Mac, and Windows, and it’s coming to Outlook for iOS this month. Microsoft is also integrating its Office Lens tech into Outlook for Android. Office Lens lets you capture information from a whiteboard, or take photos of a document and have them automatically cropped to look like they were scanned on a professional scanner. This will be built into Outlook for Android, but there’s no word on support for Outlook for iOS yet. On the flip side, Outlook for Android is finally getting quick replies at the bottom of messages. This is already available for the iOS version, and it’s an easier way to reply to an email at the bottom of a message and still see the mail you’re replying to. Outlook for iOS and Android are both getting support for favorite contacts in June. You’ll be able to tag people as favorite, and this will persist across the web and mobile versions of Outlook. Outlook for Android is also getting support to block external content in emails, and the iOS version will include Office 365 Groups support in June.
Over the years, I've had many clients complain about emails not being delivered because of file ...
Over the years, I've had many clients complain about emails not being delivered because of file size limitations. Yes, that 100 page PowerPoint presentation is important, but most mail servers won't accept messages larger than 25mb. Even if your mail server allows you to send messages that are larger than 25mb, if the recipient's mail server caps out at 25mb, then your 26mb message will not be delivered. But why send the email as an attachment to begin with? I've been using OneDrive with Office 365 for only a few months, but I can tell you with all honesty, I will never go back to sending attachments through email again. In case you haven't seen our recent livestream on the different ways you can share files, you can watch the recorded version on the left (don't forget to like and subscribe!). In this livestream, Chris and I focused on the benefits of sharing vs. emailing and we came up with 3 primary benefits. First, sharing provides increased security because of authentication requirements. Second, was the ability to co-author a document in real time (but that's another blog post). Finally, the last benefit was the ability to send really large files. The default message size limit in Office 365 is 25mb, but that can be increased to a max of 150mb by your administrator. So how much larger do you think sharing a file as opposed to attaching a file let's you send? 200mb? 500mb? 1000mb? Try 15gb! That is 100 time larger than the 150mb Office 365 message limit. For those of you who have not had a chance to use the share feature, let me show you how it works. Let's say you are working on a document in an Office program like Word or PowerPoint. In order for the share feature to work, the file must be saved to OneDrive. If your document isn't saved to OneDrive by the time you click the Share button, it will prompt you to save (figure a). Once saved in OneDrive, you'll see a new window where you can then enter in the recipient's email address (figure b) and choose a permission level for the document (figure c). Once you finish making your permission changes, you can then send the message by clicking send. By this point you may be asking yourself, if you aren't emailing the file as an attachment then how will the recipient get the file? It's a good question and luckily it has an simple answer. Take a look at your sent items folder in Outlook. You will notice you sent an email to your recipient when you shared it (or rather, OneDrive did). In that email, your document is not attached, but the body of the message contains an Open button. When your recipient clicks the Open button, they are taken to the shared document in your OneDrive library. That is how sharing enables you to bypass the recipient's file size limit. Your actual email only contains a link to your document and not the document itself. As Chris and I discussed in our livestream, clicking the share button from an Office document is just one way to share. I encourage you to watch the recorded livestream to see the other ways you can share a document. These other ways are useful for when you are dealing with a non-Office file, such as a PDF or even a video file. Break free from file size limits and start sharing.
We help our clients build the modern workplace. The modern workplace is a platform in which your employees can enjoy secure, highly reliable environments for exchanging ideas, having conversations, collaborating, and doing their best work What do we do at Protected Trust? It’s a question we get all the time, and it’s never been a short answer. Throughout the years we’ve tackled a diverse array of technical challenges for businesses from dozens of industries. This has made it hard to give a comprehensive answer, but in the past few years we’ve made great strides in simplifying our business and focusing on delivering a specific set of services really well. We call them pillars and of them we have six. They are the six pillars of a roadmap that we help businesses accomplish, and if we do say so ourselves they are things we are pretty darn good at. We’ve been busy on YouTube and have talked through what each of these pillars means to us so we thought we’d put them all in one place. Pillar #1 Fix embarrassing Wi-Fi If you don’t have great internet access everywhere your employees work in your business, you’re missing out on productivity, causing frustration, and not getting as much out of your technology as you could be. The most common sentiment from clients that we’ve helped address Wi-Fi issues is that they didn’t know what they were missing. If your Wi-Fi is anything less than perfect, we’re here to dial it in and/or upgrade with the best Wi-Fi equipment around. Pillar #2 Simplify Computer Upgrades If your work computer was destroyed today, how bad would that be? For clients with Protected Trust’s Microsoft 365 solution, the answer is “no biggie.” Protected Trust works with you to ensure your company’s data is not only private but indestructible. That includes what’s on workstations and how those workstations are configured. When you’ve got Microsoft 365 with TrustCare, getting back up and running is a simple matter of just grabbing another computer. You can either deploy your entire user to that machine using Microsoft 365 or you can simply log into the Office 365 web portal and have complete access to all of your files and email. Pillar #3 Replace Your File Server With OneDrive File servers are something businesses USED to need. However, with recent advances in cloud technology, the ubiquity of broadband internet access, and services like Sharepoint and OneDrive within Office 365, it’s very rare that businesses aren’t better served using the cloud to store their data. We specialize in helping businesses make the move from physical servers to the cloud. It’s a process that can be fraught with peril, but with Protected Trust you’re working with a team of people that has done this a few thousand times. This experience means less hiccups, less or no downtime, and a smooth transition to the cloud. Pillar #4 Upgrade Your Office Communication Traditional office phones are more expensive and less capable than their modern Voice over IP (VoIP) descendants. Office 365 and with Skype for Business provides an incredible communication tool that not only fills the roll of a traditional phone system, but provides much more in way of video conference calls, being able to pick up your phone from all of your devices, and ease of management. Pillar #5 Don’t buy another server, ever We not only believe Microsoft’s cloud is the best place for your file server, but for your application servers as well. No matter what kind of application you have, there’s no reason it must run on a server in your office or in a data center. We help companies make complete transitions to the cloud. Even that one ancient application running on a server that you were once told had to remain on a server to be secure, can be hosted in Azure with even more security. Pillar #6 Stay Secure Security and privacy is our DNA, and at the heart of everything we do. Our mission is to help your organization create, share and protect digital information and something that every single employee of Protected Trust is committed to. The above 3+ hours of video are a lot to take in, but we have we have even more to say on all these subjects. It’s the stuff we’re passionate about. If your organization needs help with any of these concerns contact us, and we’ll promise to try our best to not talk your ear off about it.
Don’t have an IT team in your small business? Still concerned about security? Well, that’s a good attitude to have. Just because you’re small doesn’t mean you’re not a target, and it’s worthwhile to take these ten simple steps to help keep mobile devices running smoothly and safely. Theft is the Biggest Risk Phishing, malicious websites, social engineering: all aim to steal your usernames and passwords, opening you and your company up to a wide variety of problems. Since anyone can be fooled, the best strategy is to make sure that a stolen password doesn’t offer the keys to the kingdom. Tip 1: Use different passwords for every application or system. This way, if one password is compromised, it doesn’t get the attacker any further traction. Tip 2: Keep track of all those passwords with a password manager, preferably one that synchronizes automatically to keep your smartphone, laptop and desktop all updated. *Bonus Tip: don’t worry about changing those passwords, and don’t make them super-hard to type. Length is the most important thing. Let your password manager suggest something long and secure (10-12 characters are good). Tip 3: If you can turn on two-factor authentication, especially for any financial services, now is the time. Even the simplest type of two-factor authentication, such as requiring a special code sent to your smartphone as a second password, is so much better than normal usernames and passwords and is well worth the effort. Turn on two-factor everywhere it is supported — it makes stealing your passwords much more difficult for the bad guys. Patch, Patch, Patch and Update There’s always a new security alert, but don’t forget that there are decades of old security alerts out there, too. Most people don’t get cracked by the newest thing — they’re compromised by something months or even years old, because they’re not running the current software. Tip 4: If you have just one smartphone, enable automatic software updates both for the operating system and applications. Simplify Smartphone Security with Mobile Device Management Tip 5: If you have more than one phone in your company to worry about, sign up for a cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) small business security solution (Samsung Knox Manage is a good example), and use that to enable firmware and application auto-updating. If it seems like there are too many updates, you may have too many applications loaded. Don’t forget that each one is a potential security risk. Paring down your loaded applications will speed your device, reduce updating complexity and increase overall security. Mobile device management is a great way to make sure that all smartphones have the same configuration for the most important security-related settings. If you’re using Microsoft Office 365, you actually get a very basic MDM tool for free, automatically installed and running on every mobile device that connects to your Office 365 account. Lock Your Phone and Wipe It When You Have To Tip 6: Smartphones are easily lost or stolen. Since most people leave their email and social networking logged in all the time on their phone, a passcode or PIN to unlock the phone is a must. Longer is better than shorter, but most people will only tolerate four to six numbers. Tip 7: Use biometrics if you can. Most newer smartphones have biometric unlock features, such as using fingerprint, iris or face recognition to unlock the phone. These aren’t perfect, but they can speed up the unlock process. They also reduce the chance of “shoulder surfing.” That’s when someone watches you type in your password, just before stealing your phone. Gesture-based passcodes, such as moving your finger in a particular pattern, are especially easy to steal — stick with passcodes and biometrics. Tip 8: If you have an MDM running (whether standalone or Office 365), you can use it to make sure that everyone has passcodes, automatic wipe after multiple failures, and automatic lock turned on. You should also look at remote locking and remote wiping features that are built into MDM tools. Most thieves will turn your phone off instantly — they’re usually interested in selling the phone, not the contents. Tip 9: If you misplace a phone, you can try to remotely wipe it or lock it using MDM. Some MDM tools have a “find my phone” feature as well, which can help track down a misplaced smartphone. Think Before You Connect Smartphones switch quickly between cell networks and Wi-Fi networks, but the security risks are not equivalent. Wi-Fi in your building, if protected by usernames and passwords, can be pretty safe. Open Wi-Fi is another matter — every time you leave the office and use public Wi-Fi, someone can easily monitor your traffic. Tip 10: The safest approach is to try and stay on your cell carrier’s data network as much as you can when on the road. Don’t be tempted by free Wi-Fi — if you have to, bump up your data plan so that you’re not worried about usage on the road. Unless you’re streaming videos, it’s unlikely you’ll exceed your data cap anyway. If your company is paying for multiple phones, you can usually find a plan that lets you pool your data, making overage charges even less likely. Using this list of ten simple tips, you can effectively improve security for small business smartphones, and focus on running your business with fewer worries.