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Enterprise Application News
Oct 19, 2020

Zoomtopia 2020: Zoom looks to super-charge videoconferencing
At its fourth annual Zoomtopia event last week, videoconferencing platform Zoom unveiled a host of new features aimed at improving the in-meeting experience for its more than 300 million daily active participants.

With Europe bracing for a second wave and the U.S. still reporting hundreds of daily coronavirus deaths, the proliferation of virtual events and meetings remains a defining features of 2020. Not surprisingly, Zoom says it's adding 100,000 users per quarter and has seen a big jump in stock values this year.

Here's a closer look at what Zoom announced at Zoomtopia 2020.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 19, 2020

Zoom's new encryption approach is incremental, but better
Just like their consumer counterparts, enterprise IT execs have flocked to Zoom for all manner of meetings. But security has invariably taken a backseat to convenience and availability, as anyone who has endured a Zoom intruder knows all too well.

Zoom this week (it hasn't yet said exactly when) will roll out its upgraded encryption option. But it comes at the cost of surrendering various popular features. And it also does not come with improved authentication and identification of users, a capability Zoom now is promising to deliver sometime in 2021.

Zoom describes its current encryption offering as adequate, but not ideal:

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 19, 2020

Microsoft focuses on Office, less so on Windows, and offers nothing for browsers on Patch Tuesday
This posting is a little later than usual due to a number of late-in-the-week updates from Microsoft last week. We started off with no publicly reported zero-days or active exploits in the wild. (As we were working with Microsoft, we felt that an out-of-bound patch was imminent that would change our advice on patch cycles for October. But it appears the final "change" for this release was a relatively minor update to Visual Studio - leading to no change in our recommendations in this benign update.)

Things to watch out for include: updates to Win32K (always a crowd-pleaser),a  change to a core business application dependency (MSXML6 libraries) and potentially difficult troubleshooting scenarios in an update to Microsoft's Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Oct 19, 2020

What's in the latest Edge update? Rollbacks and new browser telemetry policies
Microsoft earlier this month released Edge 86, adding a "rollback" function that will let IT admins restore an earlier version of the browser and enhancing the built-in PDF viewer with support for document tables of content.

The Redmond, Wash. company also patched at least 19 security vulnerabilities, the most serious marked as "High," the second level, below "Critical," in a four-step ranking system. (Google's Chrome, which like Edge is built on the open-source Chromium project's code, included fixes for 35 flaws, 27 of which were enumerated when it was released Oct. 6.)

Although Edge will update automatically in the background, to force an upgrade, select "About Microsoft Edge" from the Help and Feedback menu under the ellipsis at the upper right; the resulting tab shows that the browser has been updated or displays the download process before presenting a "Restart" button. People new to Edge can manually download version 86 for Windows or macOS. The Android and iOS browsers can be found in the Google Play and App Store e-marts, respectively.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 16, 2020

Best productivity practices during the pandemic
Over the last couple of weeks, I've been chatting with people at four multi-national companies I work with who've seen productivity and revenue increase during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been surprisingly consistent about why they've benefited from this New Normal. I've also been following some of the schools that have done as well and interestingly, for once, education seems to be ahead of the curve with its more-aggressive technology use. 

[ Related: Remote working, now and forevermore? ] Let's talk about that this week.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 16, 2020

What the new iPhone 12 means for 5G
By now, you've probably heard that Apple's iPhone 12 lineup will have 5G capabilities. And you have also probably heard us discuss how 5G speeds are still only available in some parts of the country with some carriers. Apple will almost certainly sell millions of iPhone 12s. With millions of new 5G users, will carriers accelerate the rate of 5G deployment? And when can consumers expect to get the most out of 5G speeds? Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis and Macworld senior writer Michael Simon join Juliet to discuss how the iPhone 12 may or may not change the 5G landscape and who exactly can take advantage of these new speeds.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 16, 2020

Tech event calendar 2020: Upcoming shows, conferences and IT expos


Tech Events Event Description Starts Ends Location Acronis Global Cyber Summit The Summit allows attendees to meet with Acronis execs, partners and customers and offers technical breakouts focused on security innovation, forward-looking keynotes, and time to network directly with data security experts, industry leaders and company insiders. 2020-10-19 2020-10-21 Miami Beach, FL Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Americas (Online only) This event is designed to help CIOs and IT leaders learn how to "shape technology to respond to adversity and discover digital business strategic planning tools and techniques to achieve business continuity" - particularly in light of the ongoing global pandemic. 2020-10-19 2020-10-22 Online, Virtual CDP Week (Online only) Segment's event is designed to help companies improve customer experiences using customer data. CDP Week's speakers will focus on showing companies how to accelerate growth, look at industry trends, and figure out how stay ahead amid today's digital transformation. 2020-10-19 2020-10-22 Online, Virtual

Enterprise Application News
Oct 16, 2020

Signal intelligence shows strong iPhone 12 demand
Businesses hoping to deploy fleets of Apple's first 5G phones may have a wait on their hands, as pre-orders appear to be inordinately strong. At time of writing, Apple's ordering systems are already creaking under the strain as the devices go on sale, (though people seem to be having more luck using the Apple Store app).

Triple measures iPhone 12 pre-reservations sold out in 45-minutes in Taiwan this morning, local reports claim, and it seems the volume of orders is triple that of the iPhone 11 in 2019.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 15, 2020

The evolution of Apple's iPhone
The iPhone, then and now The Evolution of the iPhone [cover]" data-license="IDG"/Image by IDG / Apple

The iPhone has come a long way since its arrival in 2007.

First iPhone The Evolution of the iPhone The Original iPhone" data-license="IDG"/Image by IDG / Apple

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 15, 2020

The Pixel purchasing puzzle of 2020
It's a weird year for Pixel phones.

I've been spending some time with Google's current trio of homemade Android devices — the flagship Pixel 5, the budget-minded Pixel 4a, and the confusingly in-between Pixel 4a (5G) — and lemme tell ya: This isn't your typical Pixel lineup.

Between Google's pivot to a more value-minded approach and the midyear manufacturing delays caused by this lovely little pandemic of ours, the Pixel family of 2020 ended up looking pretty different than what we've grown accustomed to expecting. And if you're thinking of picking up a new Pixel phone for yourself or your workplace, it's more than a little difficult to sort out which model makes the most sense for any given purpose and whether it's a worthwhile upgrade from an older Pixel model.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 15, 2020

Zoom is becoming what Apple's FaceTime should have been
There's no doubt that Zoom is one of the few tech winners of the pandemic. That company is now becoming what Apple's FaceTime should have become: A platform for personal and enterprise collaboration.

So how and why did Apple drop the (video) ball?

A lost opportunity I can still recall that when FaceTime was first introduced and we were told Apple planned to make a standard of the tech, which would have made it available across multiple platforms. Then-CEO Steve Jobs said:

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 15, 2020

Is Windows the greatest cyberthreat to the 2020 US election?
If there's going to be a successful cyberattack on the 2020 U.S election, you can be sure Windows will be involved. It's the world's biggest exposed attack vector and the weapon of choice of cybercriminals and intelligence agencies the world over. In addition, the world's biggest botnets are made up of millions of infected Windows PCs used to launch cyberattacks.

There's some evidence that Windows-based attacks may be imminent or have already started. The good news: U.S. cyberagencies are already going after potential intruders — and Microsoft just essentially brought down the world's largest botnet.

[ Keep up on the latest thought leadership, insights, how-to, and analysis on IT through Computerworld's newsletters. ] Still, with voting under way and Nov. 3 fast approaching, there's plenty to worry about, especially because this year's possible wave of election cyberthreats differs from those launched before.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Oct 14, 2020

Microsoft ends support for Office 2010, bangs the Office 365 gong
Microsoft on Tuesday reminded customers that Office 2010 and Office 2016 for Mac have received their final security updates, as the suites have now dropped off the company's support list.

And as Microsoft has done before, the Redmond, Wash. company exploited the end of support to pitch customers on changing to the subscription-based Office 365.

"We'll no longer provide technical support, bug fixes, or security updates for these products, and organizations that continue to use them may face increased security risks and compliance issues over time," Jared Spataro, an executive in the Microsoft 365 group, wrote in an Oct. 13 post to a company blog.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 14, 2020

What's next for 5G now that Apple supports it in the iPhone 12?
Coverage is patchy, not all 5G networks are the same, and for most Apple customers in most places and on most networks, the speed increase you'll get using it will be more like fast LTE than anything more profound.

So, what's next for the much-ballyhooed 5G now that Apple's introduced the iPhone 12?

When 5G isn't really 5G Most of the world's networks now offer some form of 5G, including Verizon in the U.S. and EE in the UK. The problem is that deployment isn't universal and in many cases, you'll only find a 5G network in urban areas — though deployment will now accelerate.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 14, 2020

Where next for 5G now Apple supports it in iPhone 12?
Coverage is patchy, not all 5G networks are the same, and for most Apple customers in most places and on most networks, the speed increase you'll get using it will be more like fast LTE than anything more profound. So, what's next for 5G now Apple's introduced iPhone 12?

When 5G isn't really 5G Most of the world's networks now offer some form of 5G, including Verizon in the U.S. and EE in the UK. The problem is that deployment isn't universal and in many cases, you'll only find a 5G network in urban areas, though deployment will now accelerate.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 13, 2020

Fast forward: What's coming in future versions of Chrome?
Chrome is the tops.

With 70% of the world's browser user share — a measure of browser activity calculated by analytics company Net Applications — Google's Chrome has led the rankings for over four years. Rivals, from Microsoft's Edge to Mozilla's Firefox, survive on single-digit shares that pose no threat to Chrome's dominance.

So, it's no surprise that Chrome's changes have an outsized impact. With each upgrade — which Computerworld tracks in the What's in the latest Chrome update? series — and at whenever Google talks of future plans, everyone pays attention, from the browser's users and IT administrators to competitors.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 13, 2020

How Apple's iPhone 12 may boost your business
As expected, Apple has introduced its new iPhone 12 range (the entry-level iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, Pro, and Pro Max) and $99 HomePod mini.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 13, 2020

Office 365: A guide to the updates
Office 365 and Microsoft 365 subscribers always have the latest version of Microsoft Office — currently Office 2019. They also get more frequent software updates than those who have purchased Office 2019 without a subscription, which means subscribers have access to the latest features, security patches and bug fixes. But it can be hard to keep track of the changes in each update and know when they're available. We're doing this for you, so you don't have to.

Following are summaries of the updates to Office 365/Microsoft 365 for Windows, with the latest releases shown first. We'll add info about new updates as they're rolled out.

Note: This story covers updates released to regular Office 365/Microsoft 365 for Windows subscribers. If you're a member of Microsoft's Office Insider preview program or want to get a sneak peek at upcoming features, see the company's "Release notes for Office for Windows Desktop (Beta builds)" page.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 13, 2020

Start training for a career as an electrical engineer for just $60
Our reliance on fossil fuels is set to decrease dramatically in the next couple of decades. The State of California, for instance, recently announced plans to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by the year 2035 ? just 15 years from now ? forcing us all to go electric. While this obviously means huge changes for the industry, it also means that there's never been a better time to consider a career in the field of electrical engineering. 

Professionals who design, build, and maintain complex circuits are called electrical engineers. And they're going to play a pivotal role in our not so distant future. As of right now, professionals earn annual salaries that start in the $90K range and, with experience, go up from there. When you consider that the demand for these professionals is expected to skyrocket in the coming years, then it's only reasonable to assume that those salaries will increase by just as much.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 13, 2020

How to add practically anything into the Android 11 power menu
One of Android 11's most useful additions is the new connected-device command center that comes up whenever you press and hold your phone's power button. Have you seen that thing yet? By default, it has controls for smart lights and other connected gadgets associated with your phone and/or Google account — but with a teensy bit of tinkering, you can actually expand it to include controls for almost anything your curiously moist brain can cook up.

Maybe you want to add in a simpler shortcut for activating Android's now-rather-buried split-screen function, for instance. Maybe you want to implement a one-tap link to a specific section of your system settings. Or maybe you want to create a time-saving tile that you can tap to compose a specific prewritten email or text message for on-the-fly sending — a thank you for a meeting with a client, perhaps, or an "on my way" update to send to a colleague or significant other (maybe even with your location attached!). The options are practically endless.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 13, 2020

WTH is happening with Office 365?
I'm used to having Windows updates being a complete crap show, but Outlook? Office!? What's going on here?

Every few months I take a swing at yet another disastrous Windows update or patch. I really don't want to. But, darn it, when it comes to fixing Windows 10 or adding a new feature, Microsoft is the gang that can't shoot straight. Until recently, I thought it was doing a great job with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings such as Office 365 and Outlook.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Oct 13, 2020

IT leaders grapple with the new normal
Five articles examine the challenges faced by leaders across all segments of IT - and the solutions that have made a difference.

Enterprise Application News
Oct 13, 2020

How to sustain IT workplace culture — without the workplace
When the COVID-19 crisis bore down in mid-March, the IT team at Enova International diligently fired on all cylinders to convert the company to remote work, including standing up a contact center with nearly 700 employees. Powered by an initial adrenaline rush, employee engagement was high, and everyone banded together to maximize remote work.

Months into the pandemic, enthusiasm began to wane. Employees of the online financial services provider lamented the lack of physical connections to co-workers — not to mention access to an office environment flush with choice perks, from a 24/7 snack kitchen stocked with craft beers and curated wines to subsidized on-site manicures, massages, and haircuts. To sustain Enova's employee-centered focus, the company had to figure out how to translate its physical perks and corporate culture into the virtual world to keep employees happy, engaged, and productive during what's turned into a prolonged period of remote work.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 12, 2020

Biggest technology acquisitions of 2020
Last year marked a slight decrease in global technology M&A activity from the blockbuster year that was 2018 - when SAP bought Qualtrics for $8 billion, IBM acquired Red Hat for a staggering $33 billion and Broadcom picked up CA Technologies for $18.9 billion in cash.

As of the end of Q3 2019, technology M&A deals worth $245 billion had been announced globally, marking a decrease of 25% year-on-year according to GlobalData.

Which mergers and acquisitions does 2020 have in store? If January alone is anything to go by, there will be no slowing of major deals across the industry, with security already proving to be a hot area.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 12, 2020

Apple is working to make AR part of everyday life
Apple continues to develop its plans for the highly secure location-aware ultra-wideband (UWB) standard and is expected to place its U1 chips inside the iPhone 12 range, next-generation Apple TV and HomePod devices, reports claim.

Why does this matter?

UWB is a spatially aware technology that provides precise location data and also works better through walls than Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 12, 2020

As Patch Tuesday nears, be sure Windows Update is paused
Some people believe that you need to get new Windows and Office patches installed the minute they roll out the Windows Update chute. Those who snooze get bit by malware, or so the theory goes.

In fact, we've seen very few instances in the past years where a newly patched security hole has turned into a widespread security threat in less than a few weeks. If you're protecting uranium enrichment centrifuges from deep-pocket adversaries, all bets are off, of course. But for normal, everyday Windows users, the chance of getting bit by a bad patch far outweighs the immediate threat to your trusty ol' PC.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 12, 2020

How to block the Windows 10 October 2020 Update, version 20H2, from installing
The October Windows 10 feature update is almost here, and that means it's time to upgrade right away. Just kidding! You'll want to ensure that your system stays on a supported prior version until the bugs are ironed out.

First off, let me introduce myself. I'm Susan Bradley, a certified public accountant who also runs the technology at my firm and dabbles a bit in computer forensics. Because I work at a small firm, I've kept track of security for the firm for many years. As a result, I've come to specialize in Windows and Office patches and am one of the moderators of the mailing list at patchmanagement.org.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 09, 2020

An Apple iPhone a day keeps the doctor away
We know the pandemic has impacted the way we work, forcing enterprises to embrace work from home models, but it is also driving innovation in digital health prompting the evolution of remote diagnosis and home care.

Award-winning company, Butterfly Network, is part of this change.

The digital health ecosystem We know Apple is focused on developing its platforms to support digital health, but even it can't invent everything, and the latest news from Butterfly Networks should put smartphones in every medical bag.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 09, 2020

An iPhone a day keeps the doctor away
We know the pandemic has affected the way we work, forcing enterprises to embrace work-from-home models. But it is also driving innovation in digital health, prompting the evolution of remote diagnosis and home care.

Award-winning company, Butterfly Network, is part of this change.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 09, 2020

Apple's 'Hi, Speed' event preview: New 5G iPhone 12
Apple announced its second fall event for Tuesday, October 13. Expect to see the new additions to the iPhone lineup, including the iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Mini. Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis and Macworld writer Michael Simon join Juliet to discuss features of the new iPhone 12, whether or not users will be able to access 5G speeds and what other products may be announced at the "Hi, Speed" event.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 09, 2020

What's in the latest Chrome update? Check for hacked passwords on mobile
Google this week released Chrome 86, adding a password checking feature to the browser's iOS and Android versions, and warning desktop users of sites trying to trick them into visiting.

The Mountain View, Calif. company also paid out more than $76,000 in bounties to security researchers who reported some of the 35 vulnerabilities addressed in Chrome 86. One bug was marked "Critical," Google's most-serious threat level. (Critical vulnerabilities are rare in Chrome.) Seven others were tagged as "High," the next threat level down. The critical flaw was reported by researcher Man Yue Mo of GitHub Security Lab.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 09, 2020

An introduction to Windows 10's new PowerToys
Back in the 1990s, Windows users had access to a number of small, free software tools from Microsoft handy for everyday tasks, such as accessing desktop items from a menu on the taskbar or quickly changing the screen resolution. Collectively, these programs were called "PowerToys" (see the eponymous Wikipedia article for more history and a list of items).

Today, Microsoft offers a set of tools under the control of a single UWP app by the same name. Unlike the ‘90s tools, which had to be downloaded and installed individually, the newest Windows 10 PowerToys app gives users access to all available PowerToys in one go.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 08, 2020

Microsoft 365 to get big Nvidia AI-editing boost
Disclosure: Most of the vendors mentioned are clients of the author.

Nvidia's big fall show, GTC (GPU Technology Conference), offered a lot of artificial intelligence news this week, ranging from autonomous robots to AIs that write the software they use. This matters to me because I'm a heavy Microsoft 365 user — I currently rely on Grammarly for automated editing — and Nvidia announced that Microsoft would be using Nvidia's AI in Microsoft 365, initially for grammar correction, Q&A helper bots, and text prediction. 

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 08, 2020

IBM set to spin-off managed service business to focus on hybrid cloud
IBM plans to dedicate itself to hybrid cloud, AI, quantum computing, and mainframe technologies, and is breaking out its $19B Managed Infrastructure Services group in order to do so.

Enterprise Application News
Oct 08, 2020

What we think we know about Apple Silicon Macs
Following years of speculation, Apple confirmed its plans to move to Apple Silicon at WWDC 2020.

The move will likely help maintain interest in the Mac, particularly among enterprise professionals already using iPhones - though initial deployment will be limited as IT puts the new Macs through rigorous testing and approval processes. So, what do we think we know about these new Macs?

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 08, 2020

How Microsoft will end Office's perpetual licensing
Microsoft may have hinted at how it plans to end its decades-long practice of selling Office as one-time-payment licenses.

During the Redmond, Wash. company's Ignite technical conference, held virtually last month because of the pandemic, Microsoft announced that the next version of its on-premises Exchange Server — the de facto email server in the enterprise — will be available only as a subscription-based product, thus ending licensing that let customers pay just once for the software.

"This is going to be a version of Exchange that will only be available with the purchase of a subscription," said Greg Taylor, director of product marketing for Exchange, in a video posted just prior to Ignite. "This subscription entitles you to updates and support for the lifetime of your subscription."

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Oct 08, 2020

The million-dollar Android-Chrome-OS question
Believe it or not, today marks exactly one month since Android 11 arrived in the world, all fresh-faced and bare-bottomed — and yet as of this moment, precisely one Android device-maker has managed to get the no-longer-so-newborn software into the hands of its highest-paying customers.

Yes, indeed, Google is the sole company to send out Android 11 in any widespread, non-beta manner, a full 31 days since the software's release. That's a step backwards from last year, where we at least saw one other manufacturer getting the current Android version out to its latest flagship phone within that first month.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 08, 2020

Make way for the new head of remote work
Large organizations are suddenly hiring for a new position that will change your work life forever. Here's what you need to know.

Enterprise Application News
Oct 07, 2020

Slack will soon let users DM people in other organizations
Slack has taken another step in its efforts to replace email, adding the ability to send direct messages between users in separate organizations.

The company has been pushing the concept of intercompany communications for a while, first with the introduction of shared channels in 2017 that lets two companies create chat groups for shared projects and more recently with the launch of Slack Connect in June.

The product of extensive re-architecting of Slack's underlying technology, Connect essentially expanded the reach of shared channels, with support for conversations between employees at many more organizations. It's an approach that has proved popular: there are now 56,000 organizations working in Slack Connect using 100,000 shared channels.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 07, 2020

Apple is introducing iPhone Health Records to UK and Canada
Apple continues to develop its plans for digital health. It has now begun introducing its innovative Health Records feature within the Health app for iPhone users in the UK and Canada.

Growing support for Health Records In excess of 500 U.S. institutions comprising 11,000 care locations already support Health Records on the iPhone, which let users securely (and privately) view and store their medical records on their device.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 07, 2020

Minority tech startups in the US have seen almost no progress in VC funding
Black and Latinx tech startup founders have made almost no progress in securing venture capital (VC) funding over the past seven years in the US, a Crunchbase study released today found. During that period, startups helmed by Black and Latinx founders received just 2.4% of VC investments; so far this year, that figure is slightly higher at 2.6%.

Reasons cited for the persistent low percentage derive from the greater poverty among those groups relative to the White population. Black and Latinx would-be founders have much less access to their own seed capital and to resources from family and community members to launch their firms, yet such "bootstrapping" is considered an essential first step before investors will join in. And they often lack the professional or college networks that can be crucial to connecting with initial "angel" investors or to the venture capital community that typically funds later rounds.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 07, 2020

Troubleshooting Windows 10 with Reliability Monitor
The built-in Windows 10 Reliability Monitor is an often-overlooked troubleshooting gem. It's actually a specialized subset of Windows' longstanding general-purpose Performance Monitor tool (perfmon.exe). But because Reliability Monitor zeros in and tracks a limited set of errors and changes on Windows desktops, it offers immediate value and diagnostic information to administrators and power users trying to puzzle their way through crashes, failures, hiccups and more.

Launching Reliability Monitor There are many ways to get to Reliability Monitor in Windows 10. At the search box, if you type reli you'll usually see an entry that reads "View reliability history" pop up in response. Clicking that will open up the Reliability Monitor window. You can also click the Start button and then the Settings icon and search for reli to get the same menu option, as shown in Figure 1.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Oct 06, 2020

G Suite is now Workspace, as Google adds pricing tier, feature updates
Google's G Suite is getting a new name — Workspace — as the company looks to position the software as a hub for remote teamwork and tolls out several feature upgrades and a new payment tier. Workspace includes a variety of apps, including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet and others.

As of April, Google Workspace had 6 million paid business customers. That was same month the company claimed to be adding 3 million new individual users to its Meet video platform daily as a result of the pandemic-led rise in home working.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 06, 2020

An indispensable note-taking tool for Chrome
Most folks don't realize it, but Chrome's New Tab page — y'know, that screen with the Google logo and search box that you see every time you open up a new tab on your computer — is actually packed with productivity-boosting potential. The onus just falls upon you to tap into it and transform that wasted-space default into an invaluable asset.

And man, are there options aplenty. I've tried out tons of New Tab page replacements over the years, and I'm constantly experimenting with new possibilities to keep (ahem) tabs on what's out there and figure out what works best for me. And while there are lots of interesting ways you can repurpose your personal New Tab page — to anything from a multisource search panel to a cross-service document hub or even an Android-like widget-filled home screen — I've consistently found that, for my own style of working, nothing is as practical as a simple and effective notepad.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 06, 2020

Apple's T2 Mac security chip may be vulnerable, researcher claims
A security researcher claims to have figured out how to break the T2 security chip on modern Intel-based Macs using a pair of exploits developed to jailbreak older phones. Apple has not commented on these claims.

What the research claims The claim seems to be that because the T2 chip is based on the older A10 series Apple processor, it is possible to use two jailbreak tools (Checkm8 and Blackbird) to modify the behavior of T2, or even install malware to the chip.

It's not an easy hack: Not only must an attacker have local access to the Mac, but they must connect to the target Mac using a non-standard "debugging" USB-C cable and run a version of a jailbreaking software package during startup.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 06, 2020

US IT jobs gain for second month in pandemic recovery
Although the  IT and telecommunications job market in the US is still expected to shrink by 64,000 jobs this year compared to 2019, the recovery of IT jobs lost during the early days of the pandemic continued for a second month. The most recent survey of IT executives by management consultancy Janco Associates shows that about 12,200 IT jobs were added in September following a net gain of 6,900 in August. 

At the outset of the pandemic, more than 105,000 US IT jobs were lost as companies retrenched in the face of COVID-19, more than erasing the 90,200 jobs added in all of 2019. Those losses have been partially addressed since through rehiring and new hires. As a result, over the last nine months, IT jobs were down by 85,000.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 06, 2020

Wire targets Zoom, Teams and others with secure video upgrades
Secure communication platform Wire has overhauled its video conferencing capabilities and now allows more users to simultaneously have fully encrypted video calls.

Beginning today, Wire users will be able to video chat with up to 12 people and voice call with up to 25. While video conferencing rivals Zoom and Webex already offer end-to-end encryption on some plans, Wire's latest move will provide that high level of security to all its users. Wire now boasts that it offers "the world's first completely end-to-end encrypted video environment."

As many companies enter their seventh month of employees working from home, the demand for video conferencing services has not had any let up. That has led to something of an arms race as Microsoft, Zoom and a variety of other services have in recent months announced upgrades and feature tweaks of their own.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Oct 05, 2020

Windows by the numbers: Real gains or just an illusion?
Increases in Windows 7's share, Windows 10's, too, were more mirage than material last month.

According to California-based analytics company Net Applications, Windows 7 grew by half a percentage point to finish September with 22.8% of the global personal computer operating system share. However, when calculated as a portion of only Windows, that share climbed just one-tenth of a point, to 25.8%. This second number was the more important of the two, as it was a truer representation of Windows 7's path.

(Windows 7's percentage of only Windows PCs (the 25.8%) was larger than the percentage of all personal computers (the 22.8%), because Windows does not power every system. In September, Windows was the OS of 88.3% of the world's personal computers, up an amazing 1.3 percentage points from August. Of the remaining 11% and change, all but a tiny slice ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS.)

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 05, 2020

Current trends in Mac security threats
Current trends involving Mac threats indicate that while attempts are on the rise, users remain the first line of defense — particularly as "show up when you want to" (SUWYWT) becomes the future of work.

The security risk remains In the first few weeks of the pandemic, we saw multiple businesses invest in VPN software and new hardware as they equipped employees to work from home. In the UK, for example, Starling Bank claimed it purchased every available MacBook as the pandemic struck.

Now that working from home (WFH) is normalized, there's a need to take stock of security concerns and remind employees of good security procedure on all platforms, including Macs. Apple's platform seems to have enjoyed incredibly strong sales as companies upgraded for WFH, but even with better inherent security those Macs must also be protected.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 05, 2020

Working from home? Slow broadband, remote security remain top issues
Unreliable home broadband connectivity is the primary technical challenge businesses are having to deal with as remote working continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That's one takeaway from a survey of 100 C-level executives and IT professionals in the US by Navisite designed to highlight the biggest headaches for organizations providing IT services to workers since offices began to close in March.

[ Related: Remote working, now and forevermore? ] Around half (51%) of those surveyed said they experienced some "IT pains" during the rapid shift to support home workers, while almost a third (29%) continue to face technical challenges.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 05, 2020

The financial market is driving monitor development to head-mounted displays
Disclosure: The companies mentioned are clients of the author.

I have two unique monitors in my home office developed for the financial market, a 43-in. square monitor and a 49-in. panoramic monitor — both from Dell. Though they  could also be used in healthcare and call centers, they were designed for the financial industry, which is famous for analysts and traders who run multiple PCs and multiple monitors. (My 42-in. screen was designed to replace four 17-in. monitors placed in a grid, while my 49-in. display replaces two side-by-side 27-in. monitors. 

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 02, 2020

Windows 10: A guide to the updates
The launch of a major Windows 10 update isn't the end of a process — it's really just the beginning. As soon as one of Microsoft's twice-yearly feature updates is released, the company quickly gets to work on improving it by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.

Here we've summarized what you need to know about every Windows 10 update being released to the public. First come updates to the latest version of Windows 10 — version 2004, known as the May 2020 Update — with the most recent updates on top.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 02, 2020

Windows 10 Insider Previews: A guide to the builds
Microsoft never sleeps. Even before Microsoft made the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (version 2004) generally available to users, the company began working on upcoming feature updates to Windows 10. As it did with version 2004, Microsoft has been releasing a series of public preview builds to members of Microsoft's Windows Insider Program.

After years of using "Redstone" in its code names for upcoming releases, Microsoft switched to a new format with version 1903, released in May 2019. The code names now use a YYH1/YYH2 format, with the YY standing for the last two numbers of the year and H1 or H2 referring to the first or second half of the year. So Windows 10 version 2004, which was released in May 2020, was code-named "20H1" (for first half of 2020). The next feature update, due in the fall of 2020, is code-named 20H2.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 02, 2020

The coast is clear to install September's Windows and Office patches
There are a few odd problems with the September Microsoft patches, but they're relatively sporadic and reasonably-well understood. That makes it's a good time to get the outstanding updates installed, though you should avoid the "optional" patches.

I'm still not ready to put Windows 10 version 2004 on my main machines. The "E Week" optional, non-security patch, KB 4577063, fixes two well-known bugs and many dozens of lesser bugs (none of which were officially documented, by the way) in the latest released version of Windows 10. @mikemeinz has hit several replicated bugs in Win10 version 2004, and bug reports continue to hit my inbox.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 02, 2020

What the Pixel 5 means for Google's smartphone strategy
Google recently announced its latest addition to its smartphone lineup, the Pixel 5. It comes with a lower price tag than previous Pixel phones and a new Google smartphone strategy. Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis and Macworld and PCWorld senior writer Michael Simon join Juliet to discuss strategy, how it compares to Apple's and Samsung's strategies and what it means for the future of the Pixel and the smartphone landscape as a whole.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 02, 2020

Top web browsers 2020: Chrome takes a punch, Firefox stays alive
Google's Chrome took a punch last month, falling a full percentage point in browser share, while Microsoft's Edge added a third as much to its bucket.

Meanwhile, Mozilla's Firefox effectively held steady.

According to data published Thursday by U.S. analytics vendor Net Applications, Chrome's September share tanked to 69.9%, falling back under the important psychological bar of 70% for the first time since May. The one-point decline was the largest since October 2019, when Chrome dumped 1.1 points.

September's decline meant that Chrome has fallen for two straight months, very uncharacteristic of the browser leader. Chrome last had a two-month downturn in November-December 2019. After that earlier loss, Chrome rebounded by adding four full percentage points over the following three quarters. In other words, while it may be tempting to see any sustained slide as evidence that Chrome has peaked, previous predictions along those lines have been proven wrong. Several times.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 01, 2020

Microsoft's Brad Anderson on Apple in the enterprise
When it comes to Apple in the enterprise, Microsoft wants to make the experience as smooth as possible. At this weeks JNUC2020 event I (virtually) spoke with Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of the Enterprise Client & Mobility (ECM) team, Brad Anderson, who shared insights on his company's work with Jamf and the emerging new normal of remote work.

Securing the remote enterprise The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rate of digital transformation, underlining the need for Microsoft to support device choice and improve cloud-based collaboration.

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Enterprise Application News
Oct 01, 2020

The beauty and the shame of Google's Pixel 5 gamble
What is a "Google phone"? That's a question I've been trying to wrap my moist mammal-brain around for many a moon now, and the answer has rarely stayed still for long.

Early on, back when the "Google phone" concept first came around with the Nexus line of devices (pour one out, everyone), the idea was meant to represent a dramatic shakeup of the phone-buying experience. The first Nexus phone, the now-classic Nexus One, had not only high-end hardware (for the time) but also a wild-seeming web-based sales model where you'd buy the phone unlocked, direct from Google, and without any carrier involvement. (Things were pretty different back in the prehistoric time of 2010 — as this Nexus launch video will quickly remind you.)

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 30, 2020

Lessons learned: Provisioning new employees during a pandemic
COVID-19 means just about everyone who can do so now works from home. But the rapid pace at which this happened put IT under a great deal of pressure, so, what have we learned that may help in future?

The digital transformation continues The JNUC conference this week sees 15,000 Apple-in-the-enterprise IT staff come together, and a lot of the focus is on the challenges of rapid migration to remote work. The scale of this migration is vast, and it seems to be continuing at pace.

Microsoft Vice President Brad Anderson shared a little data to illustrate this: "We're seeing 1.5 million new devices every seven days coming into the cloud to be managed (by Microsoft Endpoint Manager) and that's Windows, iOS, Mac and Android." (Italics mine.)

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 30, 2020

How IT can use COVID-19 mobile crowdsourcing data to safeguard workers
In just a few short months, COVID-19 has changed enterprise operations and, in almost all cases, changed them permanently. The environments that CISOs have to protect and that CIOs have to maintain has completely flipped since last year (from 90% internal to 90% external) and that dramatically shapes how employees or contractors interact with their employers and clients.

Amid the hardships, costs and deaths, enterprises are looking to come out of the pandemic disaster in a stronger position. Corporate executives who have for decades resisted widespread corporate telecommuting, are now accepting the work-from-home shift and many are even impressed by it. Security operations are now getting the green light for vast digitization and upgrades that they have been pursuing for years.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 30, 2020

How Jamf fits into the enterprise device management landscape
Earlier this summer, Jamf — a Minneapolis company devoted to bridging the gap between Apple devices and the enterprise/education market — launched a successful IPO despite the pandemic. Once a niche player, the company has emerged as the go-to provider of management solutions that take over where Apple leaves off when it comes to Macs, iPads and iPhones in business (and education). As I noted two years ago, Jamf has become a de facto replacement for Apple's enterprise support team, placing a strong emphasis on engaging with its customers.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Sep 29, 2020

What's in the latest Firefox upgrade? UI and auto-fill fresheners
Mozilla last week refreshed Firefox to version 81, adding a new standard theme for the browser, improving its PDF skills and automatically filing in credit card information.

Engineers also patched six vulnerabilities, half of them labeled "High," Firefox's second-most-serious label. Unlike many Firefox upgrades, version 81 did not fix any bugs marked "Critical."

Firefox 81 can be downloaded for Windows, macOS and Linux from Mozilla's site. Because Firefox updates in the background, most users need only relaunch the browser to get the latest version. To manually update on Windows, pull up the menu under the three horizontal bars at the upper right, then click the help icon (the question mark within a circle). Choose "About Firefox." (On macOS, "About Firefox" can be found under the "Firefox" menu.) The resulting page shows that the browser is either up to date or describes the refresh process.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 29, 2020

JNUC 2020 opens with big news for Apple and Azure
Apple in the enterprise focused company, Jamf, kicked off its virtual JNUC conference today with a deluge of news and information for Mac, iPhone and iPad using enterprises.

Apple and Microsoft together for work The show comes at a pivotal moment in the transformation of enterprise IT. Not only is work becoming virtual, but Apple's presence in the space continues to grow.

The move to virtual conferences means the event has more attendees than ever before, with around 15,000 people attending, the company said.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 29, 2020

Microsoft pushes Edge as 'best for business' in battle with Chrome
Microsoft last week pitched Edge as "the browser for business," as in fact, "the best browser for business," and revealed some of the new features and functionality it will use to convince customers that its aspirations are more than posturing.

Edge, which Microsoft relaunched in January after tearing it down to the studs and rebuilding it with the same code from the Chromium project that powers Google's Chrome, has managed to scratch its way into second place on the world's browser standings. At the end of August, approximately 8.5% of all browser activity was attributed to Edge. That was a mere 1.5 percentage points higher than at the January restart, equivalent to about two-tenths of a point per month.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Sep 29, 2020

How to fix Android's Smart Lock Trusted Places feature
Android's Smart Lock feature is spectacular — that is, when it actually works.

Smart Lock has been around since 2014's Android 5.0 era (which, according to my calculations, was approximately "an eternity" ago by 2020 standards). The basic idea behind it is to make securing your smartphone less inconvenient, thus making it more likely that you'll actually use a pattern, PIN, passcode, or person-paw press (also known as a fingerprint) to keep your data safe. The sensational headlines about big, bad malware monsters lurking in the dark and waiting to pounce on unsuspecting victims may be scary, after all, but here in the real world, you're far more likely to suffer from your own self-made security shortcomings than from any sort of theoretical threat.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 28, 2020

Microsoft Patch Alert: September 2020
What September's patching frenzy lacked in fireworks, it more than compensated for in volume - and belligerence. Server 2016 hiccups on Security Options. Win10 version 2004 surprises - Lenovo still hasn't fixed its Blue Screen-inducing Biometric Security setting; the TRIM function still tries to trim spinning hard disks; for some, Start goes wonky, Action Center disappears, and there's the usual litany of odd, one-off bug reports.

As of early today, we're still waiting for the Win10 version 2004 "optional, non-security, C/D/E Week" patch, but all of the other expected September patches are in.

Defrag woes in Win10 version 2004 largely fixed, but TRIM still nips As I've mentioned many times, Windows 10 version 2004 shipped with a bug that causes the Windows Optimizer Drives defrag tool to skip updating the completion date on defrag runs. As a result, defrags occur much more frequently than necessary. Microsoft has known about the bug since January - months before 2004 shipped -- but didn't bother to acknowledge it until a fix appeared this month.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Sep 28, 2020

Great news for intranets at Microsoft Ignite 2020
Microsoft's annual gathering of tech leaders and practitioners was delivered as a digital event last week. There was a lot of news - so much that it was compiled in a digital Book of News. In this post, I focus on a few of my favorite announcements for communicators and intranet managers.

Global navigation (finally) with the SharePoint app bar Global navigation has long been tops on my wish list for modern SharePoint intranets. My favorite announcement at Ignite 2020 involved the new SharePoint app bar (aka, global navigation). The SharePoint app bar is configured in the Home site. It allows you to take the navigation on your home site and bring it to a narrow left rail that persists everywhere in SharePoint.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 28, 2020

Dual biometrics for banking: Double trouble or super-secure?
In an unusual experiment, two European banks (one in Hungary, the other in Spain) are trying to boost security and - nonintuitively - convenience by layering one biometric authentication method on top of another.

The two biometrics are facial recognition and palm recognition - both performed via a mobile device - and the banks are Hungary's OTP Bank and Spain's Liberbank; the vendor behind the effort promises imminent deployments in Slovenia and the UK. It's clear that such an approach would theoretically be more secure, but is such a combo going to mean too much friction for the typical customer? Or will users accept a minute amount of additional effort to better safeguard their money?

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 28, 2020

5 HomeKit-compatible solutions for working from home
It should be pretty clear now that the new normal involves working from home for much longer than most originally anticipated, so it makes sense to invest in optimizing the experience.

Managing the new normal We've moved from phase one of COVID-19 response. It's no longer about making the best of what we have or rushing to put something - anything - in place to enable us to work remotely.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 28, 2020

The best Android file manager apps
File management isn't the sexiest subject surrounding smartphone ownership — but if you use your device for productivity, it's an important area to consider.

Your phone, after all, is your on-the-go connection to the world. It's the always-available PC of our modern computing era. And whether your work involves presentations, PDFs, documents, or images, you're bound to find yourself fumbling around with files on your pocket-sized screen sooner or later.

With the right tools, though, dealing with files from your phone doesn't have to be a hassle. And the good news? Android's got plenty of outstanding options.

These are the best, organized by what they'll help you accomplish.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 25, 2020

Will Apple Silicon slow enterprise Mac deployment?
Apple's decision to migrate Macs to Apple Silicon opens up interesting opportunities for enterprise IT but also poses some challenges, not least of which is further balkanization unless the company ensures its products play nice with others.

The good, the bad and the FUD-ly The good side of the move to Apple Silicon on enterprise Macs is better interoperability with those growing fleets of iPhones and iPads and the opportunity for new innovation.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 25, 2020

What is IFTTT? How to use If This, Then That services
You've no doubt heard of software as a service. Those who are deeply into IT will nod their heads in recognition when acronyms such as IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) are tossed around, too. But here's one "*aaS" you might not have heard of yet: everything as a service. And it's the future, according to Linden Tibbets, CEO and co-founder of IFTTT.

But what exactly is IFTTT? And how does it relate to the idea of everything as a service? Here's what you need to know.

What is IFTTT? IFTTT derives its name from the programming conditional statement "if this, then that." What the company provides is a software platform that connects apps, devices and services from different developers in order to trigger one or more automations involving those apps, devices and services.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 25, 2020

Microsoft steps up Teams: Finally, the next generation of remote conferencing
Disclosure: The companies mentioned are clients of the author.

This week, I attended Microsoft Ignite, and one of the sessions that caught my attention involved Microsoft Teams. The video conferencing market has been gravitating to two main offerings of late: Teams and Zoom. Large companies often use Teams, while Zoom is more common with smaller companies, charities and individuals. 

Let's talk about video conferencing, both from the perspective of the latest Microsoft Teams updates and what I expect to come next.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 25, 2020

How to protect your privacy in Windows 10
There has been some concern that Windows 10 gathers too much private information from users. Whether you think Microsoft's operating system crosses the privacy line or just want to make sure you protect as much of your personal life as possible, we're here to help. Here's how to protect your privacy in just a few minutes.

Note: This story has been updated for the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, version 2004. If you have an earlier release of Windows 10, some things may be different.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 25, 2020

Flashback Friday: You're welcome
It's sometime around the turn of the millennium, and this pilot fish is part of the small corporate IT staff for a regional engineering firm.

"Part of our job was general user support for the marketing and sales staff, most of whom were issued laptops to use," says fish. "Of course, there was no training on how to use them.

"So one Sunday morning around 8 a.m., I get a phone call at home from one of our VP of sales gurus. He was sitting in a hotel room a good distance away, trying to access his email. Nothing worked, and he needed help now — never mind that we were not supposed to provide support from home or work overtime."

But the VP doesn't want to hear it, so fish starts troubleshooting, and soon determines that the VP's hotel room has digital phones and his laptop has an analog modem.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 24, 2020

How to set up a work-from-home ‘office' for the long term
Working from home is hardly a new phenomenon, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it an unplanned requirement for many office and knowledge workers. Even as the coronavirus crisis eventually recedes, many employers will have discovered that they don't need large office buildings, and many employees will have discovered that they don't need to be in the office every day or spend hours commuting.

But many people have set up makeshift home offices for the pandemic that won't work well for the long term. In addition to having the right equipment, the physical setup — the ergonomics of the workspace — is critical, especially around avoiding repetitive strain injuries that a bad setup can cause. I suffered such RSI issues 20 years ago and narrowly avoided a relapse a year ago, so I know what it takes to get back to and stay in a workable status.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 24, 2020

10 hidden tricks for making the most of Android gestures
Getting around Android sure ain't what it used to be.

Google's made some serious changes to the Android navigation experience over the past few years, going from the old-style three-button setup to a somewhat clunky early gesture model in Android 9, then a whole other new gesture system in Android 10, and then finally a slightly refined version of that same gesture model with this year's Android 11 release.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 23, 2020

Next perpetual version of Office to debut in 2021
Microsoft will create at least one more Office suite, the company said this week during its annual Ignite conference.

The next perpetual licensed Office will be released for both Windows and macOS in the second half of 2021, Microsoft said in a Tuesday post to a company blog.

Office's perpetual version is the one that a company purchases once with an up-front payment, typically as part of a volume licensing deal, rather than "rented" by paying monthly subscription fees. A perpetual license payment provides the rights to run the application suite as long as one wants, even long after Microsoft stops serving security updates if the user is willing to take risks. It can be installed on just one PC or Mac, and so is tied to that device, not to its current user.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 23, 2020

Google takes on Airtable, Microsoft Lists with Tables work-tracking app
Google has unveiled its take on the market for highly customizable work-tracking apps with the beta launch of Tables.? 

Created in Google's Area 120 project incubator, Tables combines spreadsheet and database functionality with a "no-code" approach that lets users create simple apps to meet individual needs. This could mean anything from a tailored timesheet forms to a support ticket queue or even serve as a lightweight CRM.?

Enterprise Application News
Sep 23, 2020

Microsoft's forthcoming Outlook for Mac should boost WFH
Microsoft has been watching what remote workers need and seems to have introduced some of these features in the forthcoming October release of Microsoft Outlook for Mac, which adds new tools, customizations and more for Mac users working in Outlook-based enterprises.

Feels like a Mac app Microsoft moved fast to support Apple's new operating systems this year, including the recent addition of support for use of Outlook (or Edge) as default email client/browser on iOS and iPadOS 14.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 23, 2020

Pandemic gives VDI a new lease on life
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shift to working from home have brought about numerous technological disruptions, many centered around how organizations deliver IT services to their workforce. Technologies that were dabbled in before, like videoconferencing, have suddenly become standard practice.

Such is the case with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), also known as desktop virtualization or thin-client computing. Led by vendors such as Citrix, Microsoft, Cisco, and VMware, it has been around for decades and hasn't changed much in that time. But with companies' entire workforces now connecting to corporate networks from home, sometimes without a company-issued laptop with a VPN and all the necessary settings for secure access, VDI is getting a second look.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Sep 23, 2020

Wayback Wednesday: No good deed goes unpunished
This pilot fish's post-college job for a credit card company largely involves typing data from telemarketers into a database and then printing out stacks of reports every night.

"One day, I got the bright idea to put my IT degree to good use and recommend putting the reporting data on the company intranet," fish says. "That would save me the step of having to print and reprint reports every night at the end of my shift — and save a few trees."

So fish develops a simple, cheap proposal: nothing new required except a new web server. Then he pitches the idea to his boss, who asks a lot of questions but eventually says OK. She pitches the idea to her boss, who green-lights it — so long as it stays within its tiny budget and actually delivers the benefits.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 22, 2020

Microsoft Teams gets custom layouts, new Together ‘scenes'
Microsoft will enable Teams users to overlay a presenter's video feed when displaying content such as slides - part of its aim to improve meetings as the number of video calls rockets during the pandemic.  

The feature, due out later this year, is among a handful of updates to the Teams collaboration platform unveiled at Microsoft's Ignite conference Tuesday. The company also highlighted enhancements to office-based meeting tools and new capabilities to promote employee wellbeing.

The custom layouts feature lets users place a video feed of a meeting presenter onto the foreground of a PowerPoint presentation,  thanks to the same artificial intelligence  segmentation technology used in Teams background blur and Together mode. This will enable meeting participants to view the presenter's hand and face gestures, as well as allow for weather forecaster-style highlighting of content.  

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 22, 2020

IT admins want one, and only one, Windows 10 upgrade annually
IT administrators voiced strong support for Microsoft's move to a fewer-than-two-upgrades-a-year Windows 10 cadence, even as many question the way the Redmond, Wash. developer has reduced the number of refreshes.

Approximately 75% of nearly 500 IT professionals said that Windows 10's feature upgrades - which officially remain on a twice-annual schedule - should be released no more than once a year. More than half of those admins - 40% of all polled - voted for one upgrade per year while the remainder, or 35%, chose the one-every-two-years option from a survey on patching, updating and upgrading.

[ Further reading: How to handle Windows 10 updates ] Less than 8% picked a twice-a-year cadence as their preference, and only a tenth of that - or 0.8% - want more than two each year on themselves and their colleagues.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Sep 22, 2020

Android 11's biggest letdown
Android 11's got plenty of good stuff going on, both on the surface and under the hood — but one of the release's most promising new additions is turning out to be one of its least compelling elements.

I'm talking about Bubbles, the long-under-development feature that first came into the picture as part of last year's Android 10 update but ended up getting pushed back to this year's release. If you haven't thought much about Bubbles since getting Android 11 (or since reading about the software, if you're using a non-Pixel phone and still waiting), well, I can't say that I blame ya.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 22, 2020

Apple's Tim Cook shares his company's WFH experience
It still seems a little counter-intuitive that one of the world's biggest technology firms was also one of the least amenable to remote working, but this, I've heard, describes the culture at Apple pre-COVID-19.

Now things have changed there, just as they have elsewhere.

Going back better Speaking during a more extensive interview conducted at The Atlantic Festival, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed his company's experience around remote working, explaining that around 10% to 15% of company staff have been working at the office during the pandemic. The remaining 85% to 90% of Apple employees are currently working from home, he said, admitting that he does so himself, some of the time.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 22, 2020

How IT can keep remote workers' Windows 7 PCs safe
In the time of COVID-19, with so many people working from home, it's inevitable that many will be using Windows 7 devices. And that's a big security problem for IT. As of January 2020, Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft. That means no security patches — particularly dangerous at a time when many people are connecting to enterprise networks from their Windows 7 PCs.

It adds up to one of the biggest security risks many companies have seen for some time. Unpatched systems can be more easily hacked than ones that regularly receive security patches. Hackers go after low-hanging fruit — and right now Windows 7 is the lowest fruit there is. As the FBI stated in an August 2020 warning to businesses:

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Sep 22, 2020

Maybe it's therapeutic
This pilot fish is at a remote office to help a user, Barney, with a software problem, but he can't help noticing that Barney periodically jumps in his chair. Fish finally asks Barney if he's feeling OK, and Barney says he's fine, but he periodically gets a mild shock from his desk.

It's a mid-century steel-frame desk with a Formica top. This office has had some renovations, and fish wonders whether something was mis-wired. It's not his area of responsibility as IT desktop support, but fish decides to just take a look.

Behind Barney's desk he finds a large wire paperclip that had managed to contact the hot pole of a slightly loose plug in a power strip and the steel leg of the desk. As long as Barney's contact was with the Formica desktop, nothing would happen, but when he brushed the steel trim around the edge, he'd get a shock.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 21, 2020

iOS 14: What's new for enterprise IT?
Apple has introduced a selection of interesting improvements for iOS and Mac admins in the recently introduced iOS 14, including new APIs for mobile device management (MDM) and usability improvements.

The easy (but good) stuff One of the better enhancements is the introduction of choice. iPhone and iPad users can now choose which web browser and/or email app they want to use. While Safari is highly secure (and more secure in the latest OS iterations), the real beauty of this improvement is in email, as enterprises built around use of Microsoft Office will now be able to standardize on use of Outlook on enterprise mobile devices. The process is pretty simple: Install the app you want to use and then set it as default in application Settings on the device.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 21, 2020

Memory-Lane Monday: An ounce of prevention is worth a pounding headache
A very large thunderstorm is headed for this company's data center, and there's reason to worry, says a pilot fish working there.

The company is the product of several mergers back in the late '90s, when it was decided that the newest data center would be the new company's production data center. That particular data center was, of course, built for a much smaller company than the merged entity, so it had to be immediately expanded.

Laments fish: "In the intervening years, the quantity of servers and network and disk hardware in the data center increased rapidly, but the UPS and emergency generator didn't keep up with the growth."

Nonetheless, with that big storm on the way, a high-level manager overrides the advice of the technical support team and decides to switch the data center over to emergency power, rather than risk the possibility that the city power could be disrupted.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 21, 2020

The state of ethnic minorities in U.S. tech: 2020
The tech industry has been talking about increasing minority participation for decades — I wrote my first story on the topic for an IEEE Computer Society magazine in 1990, and things have changed little since then.

This year, B2B review site TrustRadius surveyed employees at both tech providers and IT organizations to find out the status of ethnic minorities in the tech industry, and sought out minority voices for a direct take. The People of Color Tech Report released today drew 1,207 respondents, 53% of whom identified as people of color: 16% were Black, 16% Asian, 12% Hispanic, 5% Indigenous, and 7% other non-White, such as mixed-race.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 18, 2020

The NVIDIA-Arm merger could change how we work
If the merger between Arm and NVIDIA is approved (I expect Great Britain, the EU, and China will have reservations), the result could be a massive change in AI capability. And, given that Arm is dominant in mobile devices and IoT, and NVIDIA is dominant in both graphics and AI training, it's a merger that could have a dramatic impact on how we work as well.

We've had several efforts, most recently from Dell and Microsoft, to integrate smartphones with PCs. But there has been no dedicated bridge hardware vendor yet.  Yes, Microsoft seems to be working in that direction with its Surface Duo, but it is a niche product and if it does go mainstream, it likely won't be until its third version.  Qualcomm could do this, but its Always Connected PC effort is just getting off the ground - even though the company does have critical mass with cell phones. Even so,  Qualcomm doesn't seem that interested in blending the two concepts. 

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 18, 2020

Mozilla tightens belt, folds two Firefox services
A year and a half after launching the free file-sharing service Firefox Send, Mozilla canned the concept, part of a retrenchment that began this summer when the organization laid off a quarter of its workforce.

Firefox Notes, another service that got its start from the Test Pilot program, also went under the knife Thursday. Notes will be decommissioned on Android Nov. 1, and Mozilla will not provide security updates to the desktop browser's add-on after that date.

"As Mozilla tightens and refines its product focus in 2020, today we are announcing the end of life for two legacy services that grew out of the Firefox Test Pilot program," Mozilla said in an unsigned post to its primary blog.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 18, 2020

Q&A: NearForm CCO Larry Breen on contacting-tracing apps
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, governments around the world have highlighted the importance of contact-tracing apps to monitor infection levels, let people know when they may have been exposed and as a pre-cursor to a safe return to the office.

However, getting a contact-tracing app right is not easy - just look at the British government's lengthy (and expensive) failed first attempt to launch an app in England as evidence. From privacy concerns to issues around centralized vs decentralized models, there have been few countries to release an app that was both successful and had widespread adoption.

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(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Sep 18, 2020

Flashback Friday: Let's review: Step 1 …
This pilot fish sets up a point-of-sale system for a local restaurant that's moving into a new location, but two days later, one of the owners calls and says the system isn't working. They're getting a message on one of the stations that it can't connect to the server.

Any problems with the server? asks fish.

"I don't think so, but it's turned off right now."

Fish: I have a suggestion …

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 18, 2020

The worst version of Windows ever released
Twenty years ago this month Microsoft released a stink bomb of an operating system, Windows Me. Unstable, unloved and unusable, that was Windows Me. Many people believe it was the worst version of Windows ever built.

The anniversary got me thinking: Was Windows Me really the worst Windows ever, or was it outdone by other notable flops?

I've used every version of Windows since the Windows 1.x version that shipped with the desktop publishing program Aldus PageMaker (later Adobe PageMaker), so I've had plenty of experience with the best and worst of Windows. Here's my list of the worst three Windows versions of all time. I'm offering them in order of ascending horribleness, so you'll have to wait to get to the bottom of the article to find the worst of the worst.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 18, 2020

Foldable smartphones are important, even if you never get one
Samsung recently announced its second-generation Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G and Microsoft announced its Surface Duo foldable devices. Others have tried foldables in the past with limited success (LG, Huawei, Motorola), so why push these out these now?

The market for smartphones has gone tepid, with overall sales falling (and not just because of COVID-19). With little incentive to upgrade due to a lack of major compelling new features, couple with increasing prices on premium smartphones, people are keeping their devices longer. (This is true for both Android and iOS phones.)

[ Keep up on the latest thought leadership, insights, how-to, and analysis on IT through Computerworld's newsletters. ] Users who once kept their devices for an average of 12 to 18 months now routinely stretch that out to a more PC-like 24 to 36 months. Vendors believe, rightly so, that new and innovative products will drive sales in an otherwise saturating market - Apple has played this strategy well over the years. And innovative new products like foldables can drive a renewed interest and increase sales.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 17, 2020

Apple's Time Flies event recap; iPad Air vs iPad Pro
Apple released two new Apple Watches, new generations of the iPad and iPad Air and new subscription services and plans at its Time Flies event on September 15. Macworld senior writer Michael Simon and Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis join Juliet to discuss highlights and how new releases compare to previous generations. Plus, is the iPad Air as good as the iPad Pro for enterprise use? And when can you expect to see the iPhone 12 and new MacBook events? 

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 17, 2020

Apple upgrades Safari on Catalina and Mojave in annual exercise
Apple on Wednesday upgraded Safari for Mac owners running macOS Catalina or macOS Mojave, giving those users a new browser before releasing the Big Sur operating system refresh.

Safari 14 can be downloaded by selecting "System Preferences" from the Apple menu, then clicking on the "Software Update" icon.

[ Related: 9 steps to lock down corporate browsers ] The browser will also be bundled with macOS 11, aka Big Sur, which has yet to be given a release date. This week's upgrade targets users who will, whether permanently or temporarily, stick with 2019's Catalina or 2018's Mojave.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 17, 2020

Why you need Apple support to secure the C-suite
I get it. You're one of those enterprises that doesn't (yet) support Apple products among employees, but does that moratorium extend to the C-suite? I'm willing to bet it does not, and that's why even Windows-only IT must learn how to secure Apple's products.

Ignore the fantasy, this is reality The reality is that Apple's products are popular in the enterprise. And while there are many businesses that don't officially support them, one section of civic society that pretty much always do their own thing no matter what they ask others to do are the boys and girls in the C-suite. I can still recall the number of CFO's I spoke with early on in the iPad days who were deeply interested in trying the Apple tablet. Many did.

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