16 Jul 2018
16 Jul 2018

Windows 10 Tip: Windows Ink directly in textbox, new in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update

Author: Athima Chansanchai
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If you prefer to ink instead of type, you can now use your digital pen to write directly in text fields for a more natural experience, thanks to the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

Just tap a space, like a search box, and it expands to give you a comfortable area in which to write. You can even edit what you’ve written with simple, intuitive gestures.

Go to Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink > select, “Write directly into text field” and then tap on a new text field to try the experience. This works with most Store apps, and also in the search field for the Store.

Here’s how to do it:

Gif shows the steps it takes it enable writing directly in a text field

Steps to enabling writing directly in a text field.

Gif of Microsoft Store and search box with someone writing in it instead of typing

Open a search box in an app such as Microsoft Store and it expands so you can write directly in it.

Touch-enabled device required; pen accessory may be sold separately. Tap to ink available in UWP and XAML fields. User must enable in pen settings.

If you like this, check out more Windows 10 Tips.

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16 Jul 2018

Lilly strives to speed innovation with help from Microsoft 365 Enterprise

Author: Ron Markezich, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft
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Profile picture of Ron Markezich.The nearly 40,000 employees of Eli Lilly and Company are on a mission to make medicines that help people live longer, healthier, and more active lives. But they know that developing new treatments for cancer, diabetes, and other debilitating diseases requires collaboration with the best minds working together to foster innovation.

That’s why Lilly takes a collaborative approach to discovering and developing new medicines—between lab researchers and the rest of the company—as well as with a global network of physicians, medical researchers, and healthcare organizations. Working together—creatively and efficiently—can help generate new ideas that fuel innovation. To bring together scientists across hundreds of locations and organizations and truly empower the workforce, Lilly selected Microsoft 365 Enterprise.

While Lilly is in the early stage of deployment, these cloud-based collaboration tools, including Microsoft Teams, are making an impact. Mike Meadows, vice president and chief technology officer at Lilly, says that the technology will allow for enhanced productivity and teamwork, while helping to protect IP:

“Collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams enhance our ability for researchers and other employees to work together in faster and more creative ways, advancing our promise to make life better through innovative medicines. Microsoft 365 helps us bring the best minds together while keeping data secure and addressing regulatory compliance requirements.”

Like enterprise customers across the globe, Lilly sees Microsoft 365 as a robust, intelligent productivity and collaboration solution that empowers employees to be creative and work together. And when deployment of Windows 10 is complete, employees across the company will advance a new culture of work where creative collaboration that sparks critical thinking and innovation happens anywhere, anytime.

At Microsoft, we’re humbled to play a role in helping Lilly make life better for people around the world.

—Ron Markezich

The post Lilly strives to speed innovation with help from Microsoft 365 Enterprise appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

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13 Jul 2018
13 Jul 2018

Dell debuts ‘world’s most powerful 1U rack workstation’

Author: the Microsoft 365 team
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Dell delivers compact solutions that pack a punch, including a 1U rack workstation and towers starting at $649.

Companies of all sizes and budgets looking for powerful, affordable, compact industry-leading workstations now have new choices for their needs from Dell, including the world’s most powerful 1U rack workstation.¹

The Dell Precision 3930 Rack delivers powerful performance in a compact industrial footprint. Its 1U rack height delivers better rack density and extended operating temperatures, while features such as its short depth, dust filters, and legacy ports allow it to integrate seamlessly into complex medical imaging and industrial automation solutions.

Other features include:

  • The rack workstation provides up to 64 GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory thanks to the introduction of Intel Xeon E processors and an 8th Generation Intel Core CPU.
  • The Intel Xeon E processor supports Error Correcting Code (ECC) for increased reliability.
  • The rack workstation offers best-in-class workstation performance and provides the flexibility of up to 250W of doublewide GPUs, and scalability with up to 24 TB of storage.
  • With 3 PCIe slots, including an optional PCI slot, this workstation can tackle complex tasks with ease.
  • A range of NVIDIA Quadro professional GPUs are available. With the Quadro P6000, users benefit from 24GB of GDDR5X and powerful ultra-high-end graphics performance.
  • In addition, customers have the option to choose AMD Radeon Pro graphics.

If your company is looking for versatile, secure, and fast remote 1:1 user access, you can add optional Teradici PCOIP technology. The rack workstation effortlessly integrates into the datacenter, which helps reduce clutter at your desk.

A smaller footprint that doesn’t skimp on performance

Going small can lead to big things, so Dell has built these new entry-level workstations to fuel the future of innovation across engineering design, science, mathematics, and other data- and graphics-intensive fields. Running a highly powerful machine no longer requires having a large work space or a large budget, making this level of performance available to many companies and workers for the first time.

“Customers across Engineering & Manufacturing, Media & Entertainment, and beyond have come to rely on Dell workstations to deliver the highest performing systems for their critical workload. But as we enter the next era of workstations, the conversation is accelerating to immersive workflows utilizing even smaller footprints. Dell is leading the way in this evolution with these new entry-level workstations designed to deliver the ultimate in performance with a substantially smaller footprint,” says Rahul Tikoo, vice president and general manager of Dell Precision. “When access to leading technology improves, innovation flourishes. Sometimes something as simple as a smaller form factor can unleash new ideas and capabilities that have the power to reshape an industry.”

The Dell Precision 3630 Tower is 23 percent smaller² than the previous generation with more expandability, so workers can get the precise solution they need regardless of workspace constraints. It features a range of easy-to-reach ports that make it possible to connect to external data sources, storage devices, and more. It offers scalable storage featuring SATA and PCIe NVMe SSDs, which can be configured for up to 14 TB with RAID support.

As workstation users often create intellectual property, Dell will also offer an optional Smart Card (CAC/PIV) reader to make secure data management easier.

If you’re interested in creating or enjoying VR experiences and other resource-intensive tasks, this workstation is a good choice, thanks to an 8th Generation Intel Core i and new professional-grade Xeon E processors with faster memory speeds up to 2666MHz 64 GB. It also offers up to 225W of NVIDIA Quadro and AMD Radeon Pro graphics support.

The new Dell Precision 3430 Small Form Factor Tower is a great fit for many workstation users, offering many of the same benefits as the Precision 3630, but in an even smaller form factor and up to 55W of graphics support. It’s also expandable with up to 6TB of storage with RAID support.

Dell also introduced support for Intel Core Xseries processors in addition to the Intel Xeon W processor options already available on the Dell Precision 5820 Tower. These new processor options bring the enhanced performance and reliability of a workstation at a more affordable price point for customers.

Adding Intel Optane memory keeps responsiveness high and high-capacity storage costs lower on all these new Dell Precision 3000 series workstations. Customers can expect the same build quality and reliability of the Dell Precision line.

Available now: The Dell Precision 3430 Small Form Factor Tower and the Dell Precision 3630 Tower (both starting at $649) and the Dell Precision 5820 Tower workstation.

Available worldwide July 26, 2018: The Dell Precision 3930 Rack, which starts at $899.


¹When equipped with Intel Xeon E-2186G processor, available 64GB of 2666MHz memory capacity, NVIDIA P6000 graphics and 2xM.2PCIe storage. Based on Dell internal analysis of competitive workstation products as of July 2018.

² Gen-over-Gen claim based on internal testing, July 2018.

The post Dell debuts ‘world’s most powerful 1U rack workstation’ appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

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13 Jul 2018

How SMBs Can Utilize the Cloud To Build Their Business

How SMBs Can Utilize the Cloud To Build Their Business
There has been a lot of talk lately about the cloud and its ability to put small to midsize businesses (SMBs) and startups on a level playing field with large global enterprises. Can this be substantiated or is it a load of trendy hype to push SMBs to cloud-based solutions?  We’ve compiled this breakdown of how the cloud can be used to boost profitability.
The Convenience Factor
It once took smaller companies and startups weeks to launch and configure their own IT infrastructure. Doing so also required a ton of overhead costs. Today’s cloud technology provides the benefits of this very same infrastructure but on an as needed and on-demand basis. SMBs can build a technology infrastructure for themselves online in less than a minute.
For example, a smaller agency that provides apps for its clients, can turn to a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud provider. A PaaS provides companies an environment that enables them to more easily host and deploy apps.  They do this by shielding developers from the hassles that come with the set up, configuration, and management of things like servers and databases.
Without having to worry about things on the infrastructure side, the company and its application developers can focus on creating innovative apps that will generate business revenue. Once their server is online and available, they can launch instantly with a 1-click deployment of their application.
Mission Critical Agility & Scalability
In the tech industry, everyone must channel his or her inner Maverick and Goose* because there is a need… a need for speed. Speed is everything and agility is mission critical. The cloud’s rapid provisioning of computer resources can offer additional storage space in mere minutes rather than weeks.
Having that kind of agility bodes particularly well for the scalability needs of SMBs. As business grows and the need to store more data increases, the cloud is flexible enough to resize your infrastructure on the fly and grow with you.
The cost of cloud-based solutions is much more beneficial to SMBs than the cost of traditional shared or dedicated hosting plans. This eliminates the high overhead that comes with buying dedicated hardware and hiring staff to run the servers.
Cloud technology has empowered SMBs by eliminating any need to make the same kind of costly upfront investments that large enterprise are able to incur. There is no longer a need for SMBs to spend thousands of dollars building out a massive infrastructure to support their big data applications. Better yet, backing up that big data is also inexpensive compared to traditional hosting solutions.
Top Gun, 1986, in case you were wondering
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12 Jul 2018
12 Jul 2018

4 new ways Microsoft 365 takes the work out of teamwork—including free version of Microsoft Teams

Author: Ron Markezich, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft
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It’s been one year since we introduced Microsoft 365, a holistic workplace solution that empowers everyone to work together in a secure way. In that time, Microsoft 365 seats have grown by more than 100 percent, building on the more than 135 million commercial monthly Office 365 users, 200 million Windows 10 commercial devices in use, and over 65 million seats of Enterprise Mobility + Security.

This momentum is driven by customers—in every industry—who are transforming their organizations to enable high performance from a workforce that is more diverse, distributed, and mobile than ever before. Microsoft 365 is designed to empower every type of worker—whether on the first lines of a business, managing a small team, or leading an entire organization.

Today, we are introducing four new ways Microsoft 365 connects people across their organization and improves collaboration habits, including extending the power of Microsoft Teams and new AI-infused capabilities in Microsoft 365.

1—Try Microsoft Teams, now available in a free version

To address the growing collaboration needs of our customers, last year we introduced Microsoft Teams, a powerful hub for teamwork that brings together chat, meetings, calling, files, and apps into a shared workspace in Microsoft 365. Now, more than 200,000 businesses across 181 markets use Teams to collaborate and get work done.

Beginning today, Teams is available in a free version worldwide in 40 languages. Whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or part of a team inside a large organization, you can start using Teams today.

The free version includes the following for up to 300 people:

  • Unlimited chat messages and search.
  • Built-in audio and video calling for individuals, groups, and full team meetups.
  • 10 GB of team file storage plus additional 2 GB per person for personal storage.
  • Integrated, real-time content creation with Office Online apps, including built-in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
  • Unlimited app integrations with 140+ business apps to choose from—including Adobe, Evernote, and Trello.
  • Ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone inside or outside your organization, backed by Microsoft’s secure, global infrastructure.

This new offering provides a powerful introduction to Microsoft 365. Teams in Microsoft 365 includes everything in the free version plus additional storage, enterprise security, and compliance, and it can be used for your whole organization, regardless of size.

As we advance our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, what’s most exciting are the stories of customers taking on big projects with a small workforce, such as The Hustle Media Company—who helps movers, shakers, and doers make their dent in the world. Their popular daily email provides their audience with the tech and business news they need to know.

“As a media company that nearly quadrupled in size over the last year, it became apparent we needed a solution to connect all of The Hustle’s offices. As previous Slack users, we found that Microsoft Teams has all the features that other chat-based apps bring, but the teamwork hub allows everything to live in one place.”
—Adam Ryan, vice president of Media at The Hustle

Or, take it from Urban Agriculture Company, a small business specializing in organic, easy-to-use grow kits of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. After landing on Oprah’s favorite things, founder Chad Corzine turned to Microsoft 365 Business and Teams to manage communication among his rapidly growing departments, onboard employees, and protect customer data.

2—Use new intelligent event capabilities in Microsoft 365

Today, we’re also introducing new capabilities that allow anyone in your organization to create live and on-demand events in Microsoft 365. Events can be viewed in real-time or on-demand, with high-definition video and interactive discussion.

AI-powered services enhance the on-demand experience with:

  • A speaker timeline, which uses facial detection to identify who is talking, so you can easily jump to a particular speaker in the event.
  • Speech-to-text transcription, timecoding, and transcript search, so you can quickly find moments that matter in a recording.
  • Closed captions to make the event more accessible to all.

Events can be as simple or as sophisticated as you prefer. You can use webcams, content, and screen sharing for informal presentations, or stream a studio-quality production for more formal events.

3—Leverage analytics to build better collaboration habits

We’re rolling out the preview of a new Workplace Analytics solution, which uses collaboration insights from the Microsoft Graph, to help teams run efficient meetings, create time for focused work, and respect work/life boundaries. Organizations can use aggregate data in Workplace Analytics to identify opportunities for improving collaboration, then share insights and suggest habits to specific teams using MyAnalytics.

We’re also rolling out nudges, powered by MyAnalytics in Microsoft 365, which deliver habit-changing tips in Outlook, such as flagging that you’re emailing coworkers after hours or suggesting you book focused work time for yourself.

4—Work with others on a shared digital canvas with Microsoft Whiteboard

Microsoft Whiteboard is now generally available for Windows 10, coming soon to iOS, and preview on the web. Whether meeting in person or virtually, people need the ability to collaborate in real-time. The new Whiteboard application enables people to ideate, iterate, and work together both in person and remotely, across multiple devices. Using pen, touch, and keyboard, you can jot down notes, create tables and shapes, freeform drawings, and search and insert images from the web.

Get started

Whether you’re managing a new project or creating your own business, it helps to have your team behind you to brainstorm ideas, tackle the work together, and have some fun along the way. Take your teamwork to the next level and start using Teams today.

Learn more about how Microsoft 365 enables teamwork below:

The post 4 new ways Microsoft 365 takes the work out of teamwork—including free version of Microsoft Teams appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

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12 Jul 2018

Introducing Workplace Analytics solutions and MyAnalytics nudges

Author: Natalie McCullough, General Manager of Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics, and Noelle Beaujon, Product Manager for MyAnalytics
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Collaboration habits can make or break teamwork. When people run efficient meetings, create time for focused work, and respect work/life boundaries their teams thrive. Putting these habits in place is difficult and takes the support of the entire team. Data can create a common language to help members build consensus on important teamwork norms. By shedding light on how work actually gets done, organizations can build more efficient, creative, and engaged teams.

Today, we are announcing two new features—Workplace Analytics solutions and MyAnalytics nudges—designed to put individuals and teams at the center of change.

Workplace Analytics solutions—empower teams to master their time

Workplace Analytics uses data from everyday work in Office 365 to identify collaboration patterns that impact productivity, workforce effectiveness, and employee engagement.

Today, we are introducing solutions to help turn organization-wide insights into action plans for individuals and teams. The first solution—Workplace Analytics solution for teamwork—helps teams build better collaboration habits and master their time by guiding organizations through three steps:

Discover collaboration challenges—Use data from everyday work in Office 365, like emails and meetings, to discover challenges like meeting overload, minimal time for focused work, or high after-hours workload. Combine these insights with engagement survey results to find connections between work patterns and indicators of team health like engagement and innovation scores.

Analysis shows that the marketing team spends far more time in meetings than other teams and could benefit from being enrolled in a change program to help reduce meeting hours.

Empower teams to change—Enroll teams in change programs to help them build better habits like bringing agendas to meetings and blocking time for daily focused work. Participants receive personal productivity insights and action plans powered by MyAnalytics.

When teams are enrolled in a change program, members get access to an action plan in MyAnalytics that shows progress towards meeting team goals.

Measure and improve—Make sure your change programs are successful by measuring progress against goals over time. Iterate and improve as you see which action plans succeed or fail in changing teamwork habits.

This team is four weeks into their change program and has already decreased average weekly meeting hours by 11 percent.

The Workplace Analytics solution for teamwork—accessed via the Solutions tab—is now available in preview for customers using both Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics. Learn more about the Workplace Analytics solution for teamwork.

MyAnalytics nudges—work smarter with data-driven collaboration tips in Outlook

Building better teams starts with transparent, data-driven dialog—but no one is perfect and sticking to good collaboration habits can be challenging in a fast-paced job. Nudges in MyAnalytics can help close the gap by providing friendly, data-driven collaboration tips that surface as you get work done in Office 365.

User sees a notification on a meeting invite that nudges them to set aside time for focused work.

Starting this summer, four types of MyAnalytics nudges will start to surface in Outlook as you read and compose emails and meeting invites.

Get more focus time—Challenging, innovative work requires deep focus and undivided attention. As your calendar fills up with meetings, MyAnalytics will remind you to set aside time for focused work before accepting new invites. You can see available times and block them off without leaving your inbox. MyAnalytics will also notify you when a meeting invite conflicts with a block of focus time that you’ve already scheduled.

Run more effective meetings—Meetings are necessary to get work done, but they often take up the entire week, leaving little time for other work. As you create and receive meeting invites, MyAnalytics will nudge you to put good meeting habits into practice and save precious hours. For example, MyAnalytics will nudge you to delegate coworkers to cover a meeting for you if your schedule is already busy.

Reduce your after-hours impact on coworkers—We announced last year that MyAnalytics summarizes your after-hours impact on coworkers. Now, MyAnalytics will actively nudge you to avoid sending after-hours emails as you draft them to coworkers that you’ve recently impacted outside of regular working hours.

Stay on top of to-do’s and unread email—MyAnalytics already uses AI to remind you of tasks you promised over email to complete for coworkers (and tasks they asked you to get done). Now, MyAnalytics surfaces these reminders as you read emails from coworkers, so you can close out important tasks before taking on new ones. MyAnalytics will also remind you of unread email for your important contacts.

Starting this summer, MyAnalytics users will see nudges on the latest version of Outlook on the web. Users can turn off nudging using the MyAnalytics add-in for Outlook. Read our support article to learn more.

MyAnalytics comes with Office 365 Enterprise E5 and is available as an add-on to other Office 365 enterprise plans. Learn more about MyAnalytics.

The post Introducing Workplace Analytics solutions and MyAnalytics nudges appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

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11 Jul 2018

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