Office 2019 is on its way

As a convenient cloud solution, Office 365 boasts nearly 30 million users. But that’s nothing compared to licensed versions of Microsoft’s productivity suite, which have more than one billion users. Office 2019 was announced in September and it will mean big changes for businesses that want simpler versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and more.

Microsoft Office 2019: release and features

For the past ten years, Microsoft has updated its suite of productivity software every three years. The current version is Office 2016, and in sticking with the schedule Office 2019 will be available for purchase at the end of next year. However, previews of the next version will become available several months before the final release.

According to Microsoft, the newest version of Office will include:

  • The usual Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Office server programs (Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business)
  • Security and IT management enhancements
  • Improved “inking” features for touchscreen usability
  • Streamlined data analysis features in Excel
  • New PowerPoint presentation features like Morph and Zoom

Office 2019 vs. Office 365

The biggest difference between Office 2019 and Office 365 will be price. For the former, users pay a one-time fee to acquire a software license. Once users have a license, they own that version of Office forever (although Microsoft will stop providing support 10 years after the product is released).

With Office 365, users pay a monthly subscription fee and can use applications as long as they don’t fall behind on the bill. Programs included in the Office suite can be accessed online or installed locally (as long as you connect to the internet at least once per month).

Thanks to cloud technology, Office 365 can be updated much more easily than other versions of Office. O365 users will probably have access to Office 2019 features around the same time as its release, possibly sooner.

The only drawback of Office 365 is its IT management requirements. Unlike its licensed counterparts, O365 requires one or more servers to be set up, domains to be maintained, and files to be migrated to the cloud.

Much like an O365 subscription, our managed IT services are charged based on a flat monthly rate. We can help your small- or medium-sized business enjoy all the benefits of the cloud. Just give us a call today.

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Updated Microsoft Office coming soon

Which version of Microsoft Office does your company use? 2010? 2007? Even the newest versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel are from three years old, which makes an Office upgrade a worthwhile consideration. Read on for updates on Microsoft’s newest productivity platform.

Microsoft Office 2019: release and features

For the past ten years, Microsoft has updated its suite of productivity software every three years. The current version is Office 2016, and in sticking with the schedule Office 2019 will be available for purchase at the end of next year. However, previews of the next version will become available several months before the final release.

According to Microsoft, the newest version of Office will include:

  • The usual Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Office server programs (Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business)
  • Security and IT management enhancements
  • Improved “inking” features for touchscreen usability
  • Streamlined data analysis features in Excel
  • New PowerPoint presentation features like Morph and Zoom

Office 2019 vs. Office 365

The biggest difference between Office 2019 and Office 365 will be price. For the former, users pay a one-time fee to acquire a software license. Once users have a license, they own that version of Office forever (although Microsoft will stop providing support 10 years after the product is released).

With Office 365, users pay a monthly subscription fee and can use applications as long as they don’t fall behind on the bill. Programs included in the Office suite can be accessed online or installed locally (as long as you connect to the internet at least once per month).

Thanks to cloud technology, Office 365 can be updated much more easily than other versions of Office. O365 users will probably have access to Office 2019 features around the same time as its release, possibly sooner.

The only drawback of Office 365 is its IT management requirements. Unlike its licensed counterparts, O365 requires one or more servers to be set up, domains to be maintained, and files to be migrated to the cloud.

Much like an O365 subscription, our managed IT services are charged based on a flat monthly rate. We can help your small- or medium-sized business enjoy all the benefits of the cloud. Just give us a call today.

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New version of Microsoft Office announced

Do you use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel on a daily basis? You’re not alone. The Office suite has more than one billion users, and with a new version coming out next year that number could go up. Whether your organization currently uses Office or not, you need to be prepared for the next version.

Microsoft Office 2019: release and features

For the past ten years, Microsoft has updated its suite of productivity software every three years. The current version is Office 2016, and in sticking with the schedule Office 2019 will be available for purchase at the end of next year. However, previews of the next version will become available several months before the final release.

According to Microsoft, the newest version of Office will include:

  • The usual Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Office server programs (Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business)
  • Security and IT management enhancements
  • Improved “inking” features for touchscreen usability
  • Streamlined data analysis features in Excel
  • New PowerPoint presentation features like Morph and Zoom

Office 2019 vs. Office 365

The biggest difference between Office 2019 and Office 365 will be price. For the former, users pay a one-time fee to acquire a software license. Once users have a license, they own that version of Office forever (although Microsoft will stop providing support 10 years after the product is released).

With Office 365, users pay a monthly subscription fee and can use applications as long as they don’t fall behind on the bill. Programs included in the Office suite can be accessed online or installed locally (as long as you connect to the internet at least once per month).

Thanks to cloud technology, Office 365 can be updated much more easily than other versions of Office. O365 users will probably have access to Office 2019 features around the same time as its release, possibly sooner.

The only drawback of Office 365 is its IT management requirements. Unlike its licensed counterparts, O365 requires one or more servers to be set up, domains to be maintained, and files to be migrated to the cloud.

Much like an O365 subscription, our managed IT services are charged based on a flat monthly rate. We can help your small- or medium-sized business enjoy all the benefits of the cloud. Just give us a call today.

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Exciting updates from Microsoft’s conference

In Microsoft’s latest conference, the company has launched brand new software bundles together with bargain-priced Windows devices for schools and businesses; but announced that Skype for Business has seen its day and will no longer be supported. Read on for more details.

Good news for schools and educators

Microsoft recently rolled out Microsoft 365 for Education, which combines Office 365 for Education, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility and Security, and even Minecraft: Education Edition — a game that teaches kids how to code. This new bundle will provide more advanced tools for learning, increase classroom communication capabilities, and improve security.

Note that Office 365 for Education is already free and this will not change. However, the new Microsoft 365 for Education is equipped with more educational apps such as 3D and data virtualization tools, plus Microsoft Teams. While this makes it more tempting to use, all the goodies come with a cost — a per-user, per-month subscription.

In terms of hardware, Microsoft’s Windows 10 S laptops, which are already aimed at school users, will come with free Minecraft Education, Office 365 for Education, and Microsoft Teams — all for a price starting as low as $189.

What’s new for business people

Microsoft is targeting “firstline workers” such as clerks and sales reps with a new enterprise plan called “Microsoft 365 F1.” This software bundle combines Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility and Security, and Microsoft Staffhub to enhance employee productivity.

The company also partners with hardware providers and has come up with Windows 10 S laptops for businesses. These ultra-slim laptops have enhanced security since they only run apps from the Window Store. But the glamor of it all is their wallet-friendly pricing.

HP Stream 14 Pro, Acer Aspire 1, Acer Swift 1, and Lenovo V330 ranges from $275 to $349. The first model is available now, while the rest will be released later this year and in February for Lenovo.

Goodbye Skype for Business

Microsoft officially announced that it will phase out Skype for Business and focus instead on developing “Microsoft Teams,” a communication tool the company launched earlier to compete with Slack.

This is not as dreadful as it may sound, since Skype and Teams share similar architecture, meaning we’ll probably get a better collaboration tool that still retains some of the Skype features we know and love.

New software and gadgets are exciting, yet in reality, not everyone can rush out to buy a new product every time it comes out. A more practical way would be to make use of what you already have. And you can do so with the help of our IT staff; they’ll be more than happy to help you maximize the performance of your current Microsoft software and hardware, or deploy new solutions if you wish. Call us today!

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Microsoft 365 for Education launched

What should school teachers, students, and business people be excited about by the latest Microsoft conference? A rough answer would be something that includes Minecraft, new software bundles, and cut-rate Windows devices. For a detailed answer, read on.

Good news for schools and educators

Microsoft recently rolled out Microsoft 365 for Education, which combines Office 365 for Education, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility and Security, and even Minecraft: Education Edition — a game that teaches kids how to code. This new bundle will provide more advanced tools for learning, increase classroom communication capabilities, and improve security.

Note that Office 365 for Education is already free and this will not change. However, the new Microsoft 365 for Education is equipped with more educational apps such as 3D and data virtualization tools, plus Microsoft Teams. While this makes it more tempting to use, all the goodies come with a cost — a per-user, per-month subscription.

In terms of hardware, Microsoft’s Windows 10 S laptops, which are already aimed at school users, will come with free Minecraft Education, Office 365 for Education, and Microsoft Teams — all for a price starting as low as $189.

What’s new for business people

Microsoft is targeting “firstline workers” such as clerks and sales reps with a new enterprise plan called “Microsoft 365 F1.” This software bundle combines Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility and Security, and Microsoft Staffhub to enhance employee productivity.

The company also partners with hardware providers and has come up with Windows 10 S laptops for businesses. These ultra-slim laptops have enhanced security since they only run apps from the Window Store. But the glamor of it all is their wallet-friendly pricing.

HP Stream 14 Pro, Acer Aspire 1, Acer Swift 1, and Lenovo V330 ranges from $275 to $349. The first model is available now, while the rest will be released later this year and in February for Lenovo.

Goodbye Skype for Business

Microsoft officially announced that it will phase out Skype for Business and focus instead on developing “Microsoft Teams,” a communication tool the company launched earlier to compete with Slack.

This is not as dreadful as it may sound, since Skype and Teams share similar architecture, meaning we’ll probably get a better collaboration tool that still retains some of the Skype features we know and love.

New software and gadgets are exciting, yet in reality, not everyone can rush out to buy a new product every time it comes out. A more practical way would be to make use of what you already have. And you can do so with the help of our IT staff; they’ll be more than happy to help you maximize the performance of your current Microsoft software and hardware, or deploy new solutions if you wish. Call us today!

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Microsoft Ignite 2017: What’s new

For Microsoft fans, the company’s biggest IT conference, Ignite 2017, has revealed many exciting updates, especially for teachers, students, and professionals. We’ve gathered information that’ll surely ignite your interest.

Good news for schools and educators

Microsoft recently rolled out Microsoft 365 for Education, which combines Office 365 for Education, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility and Security, and even Minecraft: Education Edition — a game that teaches kids how to code. This new bundle will provide more advanced tools for learning, increase classroom communication capabilities, and improve security.

Note that Office 365 for Education is already free and this will not change. However, the new Microsoft 365 for Education is equipped with more educational apps such as 3D and data virtualization tools, plus Microsoft Teams. While this makes it more tempting to use, all the goodies come with a cost — a per-user, per-month subscription.

In terms of hardware, Microsoft’s Windows 10 S laptops, which are already aimed at school users, will come with free Minecraft Education, Office 365 for Education, and Microsoft Teams — all for a price starting as low as $189.

What’s new for business people

Microsoft is targeting “firstline workers” such as clerks and sales reps with a new enterprise plan called “Microsoft 365 F1.” This software bundle combines Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility and Security, and Microsoft Staffhub to enhance employee productivity.

The company also partners with hardware providers and has come up with Windows 10 S laptops for businesses. These ultra-slim laptops have enhanced security since they only run apps from the Window Store. But the glamor of it all is their wallet-friendly pricing.

HP Stream 14 Pro, Acer Aspire 1, Acer Swift 1, and Lenovo V330 ranges from $275 to $349. The first model is available now, while the rest will be released later this year and in February for Lenovo.

Goodbye Skype for Business

Microsoft officially announced that it will phase out Skype for Business and focus instead on developing “Microsoft Teams,” a communication tool the company launched earlier to compete with Slack.

This is not as dreadful as it may sound, since Skype and Teams share similar architecture, meaning we’ll probably get a better collaboration tool that still retains some of the Skype features we know and love.

New software and gadgets are exciting, yet in reality, not everyone can rush out to buy a new product every time it comes out. A more practical way would be to make use of what you already have. And you can do so with the help of our IT staff; they’ll be more than happy to help you maximize the performance of your current Microsoft software and hardware, or deploy new solutions if you wish. Call us today!

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macOS High Sierra gives away your password

A glaring security mistake has been discovered in Apple’s most recent desktop operating system. It’s not the sort of vulnerability that requires complicated malware or IT knowledge; anyone can learn this exploit in a matter of minutes to steal your password. Here’s how to stop that from happening.

What is the bug?

The vulnerability pertains to sweeping changes in how macOS stores files. In the High Sierra update, the Apple File System (APFS) was introduced to make opening and saving files much faster. As an added bonus, APFS also added advanced features like drive encryption.

However, users who add a second encrypted APFS partition to their computer’s drive aren’t keeping their data safe from prying eyes.

Let’s imagine you want to create a separate storage partition for your work files. The data contains sensitive information so you encrypt the drive and add a password.

If in the course of setting the password you were to provide a password hint, High Sierra will display your password when anyone clicks Show Hint when accessing the drive. You can see how it’s done in this 45-second video.

When anyone can retrieve your password in a matter of seconds, encryption becomes completely pointless.

How to fix this vulnerability

Sadly, the update for encrypted APFS drives requires much more than installing a patch. As such, we do not recommend trying to fix this issue without professional help if your encrypted partition has irreplaceable data. It is a complicated process and could result in data loss.

Apple procedures for fixing the issue if you’ve already encrypted a drive include:

  1. Installing the most recent macOS update
  2. Backing up the encrypted drive
  3. “Unmounting” and erasing the original drive
  4. Creating a new encrypted APFS drive
  5. Entering a new password and password hint
  6. Restoring the backup from Step 2 to the updated partition

Apple’s macOS is a great operating system. It is reliable, secure, and user friendly — but like any piece of software, it’s not perfect. Don’t make the mistake of assuming macOS is safe enough to protect your data without outside help. For help encrypting your drives or securing your Macs, call us today.

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