Microsoft to tighten screws on traditional Office, Gartner predicts

Microsoft will continue to pressure businesses to adopt Office 365, said a pair of Gartner analysts, by barring all but subscribers from accessing Office 365's online services.

The restriction will go into effect in about two-and-a-half years, said Gartner analysts Michael Silver and Stephen Kleynhans, who authored a for-clients-only report in April.

Their forecast was couched as an assumption that enterprises should build into their IT planning and budgeting. "By YE20 [year-end 2020], it [Microsoft] will announce that only Office 365 ProPlus will be supported for accessing Office 365 online services," wrote Silver and Kleynhans. "Office traditional will not be supported."

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Microsoft quietly cuts off Win7 support for older Intel computers

If your PC doesn?t run Streaming Single Instructions Multiple Data (SIMD) Extensions 2, you apparently won?t be getting any more Win7 patches. At least, that?s what I infer from some clandestine Knowledge Base documentation changes made in the past few days.

Even though Microsoft says it?s supporting Win7 until January 14, 2020, if you have an older machine ? including any Pentium III ? you?ve been blocked, and there?s nothing you can do about it.

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Android's sharing system is morphing into an unpredictable mess

When it comes to technology, it's often the smallest details that make the biggest impact.

Sure, splashy elements like Android's split-screen mode and notification channels made for great new-release bullet points when they came along (in Android 7.0, Nougat and Android 8.0, Oreo, respectively) ? but let's be honest: How often does either actually affect your day-to-day life? If you're like the vast majority of Android phone-owners, the answer is probably "pretty darn rarely."

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Deloitte: Apple?s Health Records an ?inflection point? for healthcare

Which iPhones, iPads support Apple's iOS 12?

Apple earlier this month told iPhone and iPad users that if their devices are currently running iOS 11, they will also run the upcoming iOS 12, an upgrade slated to ship this fall.

According to Apple, the new mobile operating system will be supported on these devices:

  • iPhone X iPhone 6/6 Plus and later;
  • iPhone SE iPhone 5S iPad Pro;
  • 12.9-in., 10.5-in., 9.7-in. iPad Air and later;
  • iPad, 5th generation and later;
  • iPad Mini 2 and later;
  • iPod Touch 6th generation.

[iOS 12 will also be pre-installed on the new iPhone(s) Apple unveils this fall.]

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UC Berkeley puts blockchain training online; thousands sign up

UC Berkeley in 2016 saw the potential for teaching about blockchain with a primary focus on bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies the technology underpins.

At the time, about 70 students signed up.

Next month, the university will kick off an online professional certificate program for blockchain, a three-month, two-part course focusing on cryptocurrencies and permissioned blockchains aimed at equipping students for careers in developing the distributed ledger technology for businesses.

So far, 7,400 students have already signed up.

"We've had other online courses that have done well, mainly STEM-related content... but I'd say this course's early results show very impressive enrollments," said Suzanne Harrison, director of design and development at UC Berkeley.

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Think of it as meeting the needs of the company

Flashback almost three decades, to when this pilot fish is hired as a systems analyst -- and gets an unpleasant surprise.

"When I started with this company, I nearly quit because there were so many meetings!" says fish. "I was told this was necessary to keep everyone informed about what the company was doing.

"After three years, our CIO held a large meeting and told us that, in order to empower us, we were to reduce the number of meetings held. So suddenly I found myself going for weeks without a single meeting.

"Fast forward a few years: We got a new CIO, who informed us that we needed to be in step with the company and to insure we were all informed they would hold meetings each week. More meetings were added, and soon I found myself attending meetings at the same frequency I was when I joined the company.

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Mingis on Tech: What makes a 'Best Place' to work in IT?

There's a reason many of the organizations on Computerworld's latest list of the 100 Best Places to Work in IT show up routinely: They've realized that an engaged IT worker who's encouraged to think (and act) outside the corporate box is often a happy IT worker.

And happy workers are less likely to walk out the door, taking much-needed tech skills with them.

As Val Potter, Computerworld's Managing Editor for Features, explains, companies have found value in encouraging a healthy work/life balance; offering skills training and career growth; providing recognition and rewards programs; allowing for access to top management; emphasizing team work; and giving back to the community.

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Which Macs will run Apple's macOS Mojave?

Apple removed several years' worth of Macs from the list of supported systems when it unveiled macOS 10.14, aka "Mojave," earlier this month.

As the Cupertino, Calif. company has done before, its two-year cycle scratched out Macs that had been able to run the immediate predecessor, macOS High Sierra. Apple's odd-even cadence has alternately retained the prior year's models (odd-numbered years, odd-numbered editions) and dropped models (even-numbered years, even-numbered editions).

In 2016, for instance, macOS Sierra (10.12) struck 2007's, 2008's and some of 2009 Macs from support. Last year, High Sierra (10.13) stuck with the same models as Sierra.

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IDG Contributor Network: AI Windows patching, a new HoloLens and Office updates: the changes they are a-coming

This last week had a couple of interesting changes announced and rumored from Microsoft (disclosure Microsoft is a client of the author). The first was some needed changes to Office that will likely upset a lot of people. The second was the announcement of a Generation 3 HoloLens. (What happened to generation 2? Well, like Windows 9, Microsoft pretty much just skipped it.) And third was the application of AI in the patching process that could dramatically reduce the expense and aggravation attached to it. Let?s talk about each in turn. 

Office updates

Starting with the new Office updates; first a new simplified ribbon designed to help people better focus on their work and more naturally collaborate with others.  It is also more customizable, so the most used features will be easier to access. The appearance of the product better uses the improved graphics performance on newer PCs, so the product will look more modern. And finally, search has been improved with a stronger AI back end that will provide recommendations and a better connection to Microsoft Graph. Microsoft Graph is a new capability in across Microsoft applications that improve user onboarding, helps manage employee profiles, helps with document conversion, and improves email syncing. 

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IDG Contributor Network: How successful wireless companies create the next growth wave

Every successful wireless company rides several different growth waves. Wave after wave, time after time. Those who are not successful ride one growth wave up then down again. This is crucial for long-term success. We can learn some important lessons of exciting growth companies, and others who rode their one growth curve up then down again.

Let?s start with the handset side of the wireless industry.

Over several decades, Motorola was the number one handset maker in the wireless industry. They had been in wireless for decades. If you recall all those TV shows from decades ago, where actors would talk on wireless phones mounted in their cars. That was Motorola in Los Angeles in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

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Win10 Update Facilitation Service joins Update Assistant V2 to make sure you get patched

You can look at the new KB 4056254 Win10 Update Facilitation Service and the re-emergence of Win10 Update Assistant V2 from two different perspectives. On the one hand, you have those poor hapless Win10 users who accidentally munged Windows Update. On the other hand, you have folks with bazookas and flamethrowers who want to keep some semblance of control over updating their machines.

Both groups now face two different Microsoft initiatives to reset Windows Update.

Susan Bradley was looking at some new KB articles over the weekend and stumbled onto KB 4056254, an announcement for a, uh, service known as the Windows 10 Update Facilitation Service. (If you have a hard time thinking of Win10 as a service, try wrapping your mind around the concept of a forced patching bulldozer as a service.)

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Apple?s iOS 12 will save thousands of American lives

Apple will introduce support for a new iPhone technology that will help save thousands of U.S. lives when it ships iOS 12, the company announced.

Help me, I?m here

The first 911 call was made on February 16, 1968.

Since then, usage has grown exponentially.

Today, over 650,000 calls are made in the U.S. each day, and over 200 million emergency calls are made in that country each year. Over 80 percent of these calls (handled by around 6,300 U.S. 911 call centers) come from mobile devices.

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Wait, how can you be unclear on the concept of HEAT?

Consultant pilot fish is called in to deal with this company's newly installed WAN network equipment. The problem: It's overheating in a big way.

But the reason turns out to be no big mystery after all. "The client had an old available computer room with a raised floor," says fish. "But it was quite dirty underfloor, and no cyber-cleaning was considered.

"The new nationwide network equipment and racks were installed. But to negate the problem of the cabinet's top-mounted rack fans dragging crud up from under the floor, it was decided to reverse the top-mounted fans to push the air down into the rack equipment.

"Wonder why there were massive heating problems?

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Good work, and good works, at Cloud for Good

For philanthropically minded people who have crossed into IT from the liberal arts world and want to work from home, Cloud for Good, the No. 1 small organization on Computerworld?s 2018 Best Places to Work in IT list, seems like a perfect employer.

The premium partner is a B corporation, which means it?s a for-profit business certified by the nonprofit B Lab as meeting certain standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. It was founded by Tal Frankfurt, who learned Salesforce when he was working as a fundraiser, trying to better manage donors, participants and volunteers at a nonprofit for at-risk youth in Israel. Gradually, other nonprofit colleagues asked him about how to use the platform, and he started consulting.

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