16 Apr 2018

New intelligent security tools and technologies to help manage cyberthreats

Author: the Microsoft 365 team
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At a news conference in San Francisco today, we announced new intelligent security innovations—including Microsoft Secure Score, Attack Simulator, and more—to help strengthen the way businesses manage threats from cloud to edge. Read the full story on the Microsoft Secure blog.

The post New intelligent security tools and technologies to help manage cyberthreats appeared first on Office Blogs.

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13 Apr 2018
12 Apr 2018
12 Apr 2018

Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17643 for Skip Ahead

Author: Dona Sarkar
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Hello Windows Insiders!

Today, we are releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17643 (RS5) to Windows Insiders who opted in to Skip Ahead.

What’s new in Build 17643

Sets + Office = Awesome

Sets with Office 365 makes it easy to group, recall, and refresh data sources for all your projects. Whether updating your Excel budget each month with stock prices and credit card expenses, incorporating data from multiple reports and websites into a PowerPoint, or managing citations for your book report in Word, Sets with Office 365 helps you get more done, faster.

Sets with Office 365 makes it easy to group, recall, and refresh data sources for all your projects.

With today’s build – Windows Insiders who are also Office Insiders can try out Sets with Office. You must be an Office 365 subscriber running the latest version of the Office 365 desktop apps for the Sets experience to light up. If you’re not already an Office Insider, you can sign-up here. Additionally, if you’re not an Office 365 subscriber, you can sign-up for a trial here.

Sets Improvements

  • Sets is now enabled for most desktop (Win32) apps that use a default and non-customized title bar. Apps that customize their title bar will not have Sets (e.g. Paint.exe).
  • If you’ve opened a Microsoft Edge window within Sets, you can now drag that tab around within the set, as well as drop it in another Sets window. Dragging between a Sets window and a standalone Microsoft Edge window does not yet work.

NOTE: Some Insiders may see Sets disappear temporarily after installing this build. Sets should return in 1-2 days or upon the next reboot of your PC.

Microsoft Edge Improvements

Microsoft WebDriver is now a Feature on Demand: We’ve made Microsoft WebDriver a Feature on Demand (FoD) to make it easier to get the right version for your device. You can install WebDriver by turning on Developer Mode, or by going to Settings > Apps > Apps & features > Manage optional features and installing it standalone.

This should address one of the biggest pain points we see from customers around binary mismatches, as FoD’s match the build/branch/flavor automatically. This also means that the standalone download will no longer be made available for insiders or future stable versions of Windows, as installation is now built into Windows.

Microsoft WebDriver now gets installed to C:WindowsSystem32 and will automatically be on the PATH for the machine once installed. We are now shipping 64-bit Microsoft WebDriver to x64 machines. Note, there is a known issue for x64 machines building in Visual Studio with Selenium, where by default Visual Studio builds 32bit and will only check the C:WindowsSysWOW64 folder for PATH variables. To work around this issue, target and build 64bit from Visual Studio. In a future build, we plan to publish both 32bit and 64bit binaries in our FoD for 64bit machines, which should address this issue.

Data Sense Improvements

Roaming Usage: Does your device have a SIM? We’ve updated Data Usage Settings to let you know how much data you are using while roaming! The roaming usage info will appear once you start using roaming data. As a reminder, if you’d like to enable or disable roaming altogether, you can find the option under Cellular Settings.

Settings open to Data Usage page, showing 138 MB of roaming data used

Magnifier Improvements

Choose where to keep the mouse cursor: We’ve heard your feedback asking us for a way to keep your mouse centered on the screen in Full-Screen mode, and with this build, we’re making it happen! This new option under Settings > Ease of Access > Magnifier > “Keep your mouse…” > “centered on the screen” enables easier tracking and use of the mouse, especially helpful at higher magnification levels.

More options for increments: You’ve also been asking for even more control of your zoom level increments, so we’ve taken a moment to add two new increments to the list: 5% and 10%.

We love feedback! In case you haven’t noticed it already, we have a new Magnifier node in the Feedback Hub under Ease of Access > Magnifier. We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts about using Magnifier – click this link to open our section in the Feedback Hub.

General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC

  • We fixed an issue where Reveal would sometimes not appear if you moved your mouse over and off an element repeatedly.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in a noticeable screen flicker when the screen adjusts after rotating your device.
  • We fixed an issue where the spellchecking menu would always appear on the primary monitor on PCs with multiple monitors, rather than the monitor with the red squiggled word.

Known issues

  • If you open Settings and clicking on any links to the Microsoft Store or links in tips, Settings will crash. This includes the links to get themes and fonts from the Microsoft Store, as well as the link to Windows Defender.
  • On resuming from sleep, the desktop may be momentarily visible before the Lock screen displays as expected.
  • When Movies & TV user denies access to its videos library (through the “Let Movies & TV access your videos library?” popup window or through Windows privacy settings), Movies & TV crashes when the user navigates to the “Personal” tab.
  • Tiling and cascading windows, including features like “View Side by Side” in Word, will not work for inactive tabs.
  • The Office Visual Basic Editor window will currently be tabbed but is not intended to be in the future.
  • Opening an Office document while the same app has an existing document open may cause an unintended switch to the last active document. This will also happen when closing a sheet in Excel while other sheets remain open.
  • Local files or non-Microsoft cloud files will not be automatically restored and no error message will be provided to alert the user to that fact.
  • Sets UX for Office Win32 desktop apps is not final.  The experience will be refined over time based on feedback.
  • The top of some Win32 desktop app windows may appear slightly underneath the tab bar when created maximized. To work around the issue, restore and re-maximize the window.
  • Closing one tab may sometimes minimize the entire set.
  • File Explorer ribbon doesn’t stay pinned open across restart.
  • We’re aware of an issue that causes Narrator to read extra text when invoking Alt + Tab, and we’re working on a fix.
  • Using arrow and Page Up / Page Down keys doesn’t work to scroll webpages in Microsoft Edge. You’ll need to use another input method (mouse, touch, or touchpad).

No downtime for Hustle-As-A-Service,
Dona <3


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12 Apr 2018

Breaking News: Downtime Kills Small Businesses


Breaking News: Downtime Kills Small Businesses
Downtime is bad news for any business whether big or small.
A recent two-hour New York Times’ downtime occurrence sent Twitter ablaze and their stock price plummeting.
Google going down for one to five hours resulted in lost revenue up to $500,000 and decreased overall web traffic by 40%.
We know what you’re thinking. Holy crap, Google makes $100,000 an hour? Yeah… insane, huh?
While the hourly cost of downtime for a small-to-medium sized business won’t be nearly as large as that astronomical Google figure, downtime is often more detrimental to smaller companies. Smaller enterprises are more susceptible to downtime and are neither large nor profitable enough to sustain its short and long-term effects.
Downtime Leads to Unhappy/Unproductive Employees
Even the happiest of employees become dissatisfied when they can’t perform basic day-to-day job functions or properly service customers or clients.
While some employees may use downtime as an excuse to lean back, put their feet up, and comfortably collect their hourly pay, we’re talking about those employees who come to work to actually work.
And don’t forget your IT guy or tech crew. They can’t necessarily sit back and twiddle their thumbs when downtime occurs because they’re typically taking the brunt of the storm. They will ultimately grow tired of the daily routine of having to put out fires and having neither the additional manpower nor resources to change things for the better.
These things lead to high employee turnover and the expenses that come with training and re-training a revolving door of employees.
Downtime Leads to Customer Dissatisfaction
Customers and clients grow weary whenever critical components of your operations – or the services they either expect or pay for – cannot be accessed.
Nearly 50% of customers will move on to a competitor if they encounter downtime of five minutes or more. These customers represent significant lost revenue.
While some suggest this is a bigger problem in the retail sector, other types of businesses are impacted as well. Have you ever clicked a link from search engine results only to quickly bolt when the page didn’t load, you couldn’t complete an online transaction, or you were greeted with a “Technical Difficulties – Be Back Up Soon!” message?
Did you give up on finding what you were looking for or did you wait it out? You did neither. You went back to Google and found someone else offering a similar service or product that satisfied your yearning for instant gratification.
Downtime Ruins Your Reputation
One of the most commonly overlooked consequences of downtime is the hit your company’s reputation takes online. In this age of social media, one person’s bad experience is broadcast to dozens or even hundreds of followers. Bad news spreads faster than ever and has lasting repercussions.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffet.
Protect Your Bottom Line
The challenge for small businesses has always been how to minimize single-point-of-failure downtime using their limited IT resources. This is why downtime kills so many small businesses. They can’t prevent it and they can’t react quickly enough.
Thankfully, there are end-to-end business continuity solutions available today that integrate Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software, 24/7 access to a Network Operations Center (NOC), and advanced backup and disaster recovery solutions to alleviate this issue.
Not only do these methods minimize downtime and get businesses back up and running quickly, but they can reduce the cost of technology infrastructure maintenance by as much as 80 percent.
It’s time that small businesses stop being victims to the silent killer that is downtime.
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11 Apr 2018
11 Apr 2018

Boosting agility in the fight against cybercrime—McAfee embraces the modern workplace with Microsoft 365

Author: Guest Author
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The McAfee logo.

Today’s post was written by Mark Mincin, senior vice president and chief information officer at McAfee.

Image of Mark Mincin, senior vice president and chief information officer at McAfee.At McAfee, the world’s largest dedicated security technology company, we exist to protect our customers from threats to their cybersecurity, on all fronts. The explosion of different devices connected to the internet, including doorbells, refrigerators, security cameras, and endpoints inside and outside corporate firewalls, has ushered in new risks—and new opportunities for us to offer protection.

Less than a year ago, McAfee separated from Intel. We had a unique chance to revitalize our IT organization with a clean slate and a cloud-first strategy to take advantage of these new market opportunities. We chose Microsoft 365 E5 to facilitate rapid deployment and create an IT environment that fosters speed and agility—our foremost values. The fact that we can stand up robust capabilities in a short period of time means we can provision infrastructure to innovate cybersecurity products quickly and keep our customers safe.

Today, we have a modern workplace environment that helps accelerate innovation to address the changing cybersecurity landscape. Using cloud services that are integrated, mobile, and richly collaborative means we can get to innovation faster, helping McAfee stay ahead in a digital market. It’s not about how many hours we are in front of a computer, it’s about how we can impact the business. And the ecosystem we are developing allows people to be more productive at their work—brainstorming and communicating in real-time, anywhere, on any device, working seamlessly in workflows across the different cloud services. This is how we will be able to better support our customers and keep their digital assets secure.

Mobility, too, was a large part of our decision to move to Microsoft 365. A substantial number of our employees are mobile, and keeping them productive anytime, anywhere aligns with our corporate culture of agility. Today, if a McAfee employee is on the road, or at their desk, the work experience and ability to contribute is the same. In the past, much of our employees’ work required a VPN; today, single sign-on to all the Office 365 services goes a long way to increasing productivity and creating a better user experience. I’m also excited about the Microsoft services we have yet to deploy. For example, MyAnalytics is a hidden gem, poised to help us understand how we spend our time at work. I can’t wait to see how we leverage this data to unlock an even more productive, creative enterprise.

With Microsoft Teams, we are beginning to realize our vision for an agile, collaborative organization. These integrated hubs for teamwork in Office 365 are used by 50 IT leaders from around the globe to focus on some of our most critical challenges and opportunities inside IT; we call them the Five Big Rocks. We created a Teams site for each one, where employees meet, share information, and collaborate through creative teamwork. For instance, one team is devoted to increasing IT velocity, using collaborative tools to move forward with innovative ideas around a more agile business. Other teams address how to drive customer satisfaction, how to grow talent in the organization, and how to measure IT value. This last team sends a weekly IT scorecard to our CEO, demonstrating the value of IT to the business at large. The real-time nature of the platform is a vast improvement over lengthy email threads, and we are all working more efficiently as a result.

Using the array of tools available with Office 365, we can create value by reducing extraneous software in our environment. It came to my attention shortly after joining McAfee that there were as many as 2,800 Box accounts in use throughout the organization. This struck me as a perfect opportunity to cut down on a significant expense: we moved 95 percent of these workloads to SharePoint Online and OneDrive—rich collaboration tools we already had available in Office 365.

We are just at the outset of our cloud journey, but already the environment we have created with Microsoft 365 fosters productive, mobile collaboration and teamwork. It’s a direct reflection of our tagline—together is power—and I’m excited to see how it plays out for McAfee in the coming years.

Read the case study for more on the how McAfee is using the Microsoft 365 Cloud to boost agility, speed, and security.

The post Boosting agility in the fight against cybercrime—McAfee embraces the modern workplace with Microsoft 365 appeared first on Office Blogs.

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11 Apr 2018

HP’s new Windows 10 devices include convertibles, notebooks, desktops, gaming laptops, and more

Author: Elana Pidgeon
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What’s new in HP’s Pavilion portfolio:

These devices arrive built-in with your digital personal assistant Cortana* and comprehensive protection with Windows Defender, and, with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you have options to save files in OneDrive and access them like any other file on your PC without filling up disk space, download files on-demand, or select files to always be available offline. Some also include fingerprint readers that light up Windows Hello for fast and secure login.

The new HP Pavilion x360s 14 and 15 convertibles are infused with premium features and design elements empowering you to tackle any task.

HP Pavilion x360s 14 and 15 convertibles' keybooard

Specific features include:

  • Windows Hello with a fingerprint reader on select models for a safe, secure, and quick logon experience
  • Chrome-plated hinge allows you to switch your device into four different modes, while simultaneous pen and touch functionality with Windows Ink allow you to turn the convertible into a canvas for drawing on photos or marking up webpages in Microsoft Edge
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 dual and quad processors with discrete graphics options
  • A NVIDIA MX130 Graphics option on select 14-inch models and an AMD Radeon 530 Graphics option on select 15-inch models
  • Narrow bezel design allows a 14 and 15-inch diagonal HD or FHD IPS display to fit in 13-inch and 14-inch chassis, respectively

Pricing and availability: HP Pavilion x360 14-inch starting price is $499 and planned to be available via HP.com May 9, 2018 and BestBuy on June 10, 2018. HP Pavilion x360 15-inch starting price is $579 and planned to be available via HP.com and other retailers on May 9, 2018.

HP’s new line-up of Pavilion 14 and 15-inch notebooks offer power and quality in stylish, ultra-portable designs.

Pavilion 14 and 15-inch notebook

Specific features include:

  • A rainbow of rich, new colors and options for HD and FHD IPS displays with micro-edge bezels
  • The lift hinge supports a more comfortable typing experience and improve airflow to keep the device running cool
  • Up to 11.75 hours of battery life depending on the model, and 8th Gen Intel Core processors or the latest AMD Ryzen Mobile Processor with Radeon Vega Graphics on select models
  • Up to 512 GB of SSD or up to 2 TB HDDs on the 15-inch device. Dual storage options are available providing plenty of hard drive capacity with the added speed and responsiveness of an SSD. In addition, Intel Optane memory for storage acceleration is offered on select models
  • Dual speakers custom tuned by B&O Play with HP Audio Boost for rich, authentic audio
  • Fingerprint reader option on the 14-inch Pavilion model facilitates safe, secure, and quick login with Windows Hello

Pricing and Availability: HP Pavilion Notebook 14-inch starting price is $369 and planned to be available via retailers on June 3, 2018. HP Pavilion Notebook 15-inch starting price is $629 and planned to be available via HP.com and other retailers on May 30, 2018.

The 2018 HP Pavilion Desktop portfolio offers big performance and a sleek, space-saving design.

HP Pavilion Desktop

Specific features include:

  • Up to 8th Gen Intel Core i+ processors or the new 2nd generation AMD Ryzen processors and discrete graphic options up to NVIDIA GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580 cards.
  • Up to 512 GB SSDs, up to 3 TB HDDs, optional dual storage, and optional Intel Optane memory
  • Surround Sound 5.1 offers a great audio experience and HP Audio Stream from streaming music from the phone to your PC speakers.

HP Pavilion Gaming lineup provides mainstream gamers with dynamic performance, bold design, and everyday versatility

This lineup, powered by Windows 10, comes with simple, built-in Mixer streaming for low-latency, interactive moments for viewers and streamers to engage with other gamers, while Xbox Play Anywhere enables you to buy a game once and play it on both your Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.

Game and create on-the-go with the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15

HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15

Specific features include:

  • Experience outstanding computing power with up to high performance 6 core mobile 8th Gen Intel Core i7+ H-series processors or up to mainstream, quad core mobile 8th Gen Intel Core i7 U-series processors to help get through a variety of tasks before jumping into a favorite game.
  • Select storage options for HDD-only up to 2 TB, up to 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD, dual storage option up to 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD with 1 TB HDD or 128 GB PCIe NVMe SSD with 2 TB HDD, or configurations with a HDD up to 1 TB paired with 16 GB of Intel Optane memory for storage acceleration
  • Graphics cards up to AMD Radeon RX 560X card or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with MAX-Q Design
  • Narrow bezels allow for immersive visuals on the 15.6-inch diagonal display offered in 144Hz 1080p, 60Hz 1080p, and 60Hz 4K display options
  • Audio custom-tuned by B&O Play with HP Audio Boost technology supporting dual speakers, all mounted at the top of the keyboard deck for an immersive audio experience
  • Fast Wi-Fi with a 2×2 antenna on all configurations and an option supporting Gigabit speeds

Pricing and availability: The HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop starting price is $799.00 and planned to be available via HP.com and other retailers on May 27, 2018.

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktops 690 and 790 power the latest games while maintaining reliable performance at a great price.

HP Pavilion Gaming Desktops 690 and 790

Features of the HP Pavilion Gaming 690 Desktop include:

  • Up to 6 core 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processors or up to 2nd Generation AMD Ryzen processors, while support for up to 16 GB of DDR4 RAM for multi-tasking while gaming.
  • Game on: Jump into the newest titles at recommended settings tailored for great experiences with GPUs up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580 cards.
  • Supports upgrading needs: Capable of holding half-length graphics cards and up to three storage devices with two DIMM.

Pricing and availability: HP Pavilion Gaming 690 starting price is $549.00 and planned to be available via HP.com and other retailers on April 15, 2018.

Features of the HP Pavilion Gaming 790 Desktop include:

  • Up to 6 core 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and up to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM
  • Graphics cards up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 or AMD Radeon RX 580 GPUs
  • Outfit it with full-length graphics cards, up to four storage devices, and four DIMM support for greater upgrade capabilities.

Pricing and availability: HP Pavilion Gaming 790 starting price is $649 and planned to be available via HP.com on April 30, 2018 and other retailers on June 3, 2018.

For more information on all the devices announced today, head over to HP.com.

*Cortana available in select markets.

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10 Apr 2018
10 Apr 2018

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