Best Windows 10 web browser: The favorites for 2017 [This post has been completely updated and republished several times since its initial publication in 2013. Most recent update: July 26, 2017.] Microsoft has a well-established support lifecycle for its software products. As I've noted before, it's basically an agreement that the company makes with everyone who purchases a license to use its core products, Windows (desktop and server) and Office. That assurance of support is especially important for business customers, who tend to be conservative in their approach to upgrades. Historically, the support lifecycle for each new version of Windows or Office is 10 years, with mainstream support for five years and extended support for another five years. (For details on what each support phase means and how end-of-support dates are calculated, see the end of this post.) The 10-year support lifecycle is in the process of changing, as Microsoft moves to its "Windows as a service" … [Read more...] about When will Microsoft end support for your version of Windows or Office?
Office 365 deployment project plan
Encouraging collaboration is increasingly important in enterprises, with applications like Slack and Stride (Atlassian’s replacement for its own HipChat) getting ground-up adoption. Microsoft has its own Teams collaboration tool shipping as part of Office 365 Enterprise. (Microsoft also plans on folding Skype for Business conferencing client into Teams.)Since its formal release about a year ago, Teams has added more integration features and a command line-like approach to application control. That encourages a move to self-service devops procedures using Teams as a host of what’s become known as chatops. It’s a model that uses platform integration to bring apps directly into team conversations, via bots and other chat-based tools. That is, you can talk directly with apps, one-to-one or as part of a team conversation.Instead of triggering a build, for example, in an IDE or a continuous-integration server, a development team can review test results in a Teams room. The … [Read more...] about How to use Microsoft Teams for chatops
Microsoft’s Cortana voice-based personal assistant has always seemed a little out of place in the enterprise. It’s a useful tool for search, for reminders, and for letting you know when you need to leave to get to that meeting on time. But compared to Amazon Alexa’s growing list of skills, it’s lagging in the personal assistant race.Yes, it connects to Office 365 and LinkedIn to give you some insight into your work, but then again so does Alexa. But if Microsoft delivers the Windows promises made last week at its Build 2017 developer conference, that’s all going to change.As part of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s rearticulation of his original “mobile first, cloud first” vision as one of “an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge,” Cortana is getting a promotion. More than a basic piece of personal assistant software, with the next release of Windows 10 it will be the face of the intelligent agents that will populate … [Read more...] about Cortana moves way beyond being a personal assistant
With technology increasingly intertwined with all aspects of business, [email protected] can help you -- from prosumers to small businesses with fewer than five employees -- get started.If your small business is like most, it runs on Microsoft Office.You're probably also pondering whether it's time to switch from the traditional perpetual-license versions of Office to an Office 365 subscription.In theory, making that switch offers multiple advantages. You get a predictable cost instead of having to budget for upgrades every few years. You can install Office apps on multiple devices without activation hassles. Continuous updates and improvements remove some of the headaches of having to buy, install and manage upgrades every few years. You also get access to an ever-expanding assortment of cloud-based services. But making the decision to switch is just the first step. Much more important is choosing the right Office 365 edition. And with more than a dozen editions to choose from, at prices … [Read more...] about Five factors to consider when moving to Office 365
With technology increasingly intertwined with all aspects of business, [email protected] can help you -- prosumers to small businesses with fewer than five employees -- get started.Amid the frenzy and excitement of starting your own small business, the need to evaluate and procure technology systems is probably the least interesting task on your to-do list.But choosing the right technology arsenal for your growing small business is a critical process, even if it's hard to imagine how certain systems will fit into your operations both now and in the future.For small businesses, customer relationship management (CRM) software is one of those potential head-scratchers. CRM is technically nonessential, but it's designed to help you build and maintain better relationships with your customers and drive higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. At its simplest, CRM software is a database of customer interactions that businesses use to help their sales teams and service reps increase sales and improve … [Read more...] about Is CRM essential for your small business? Probably