Teams meetings with chat bubbles

January 3rd, 2022 by Stephen Jones 410 comments »

With covid omicron rampaging across the globe wishing you all a Happy New Year sounds a somewhat hollow message. So let me pass on some good news.

Microsoft is working on a new update for Teams, for users to see both the messages in chat and the participants in a video call at the same time.

Last year Microsoft , added chat bubbles   so that users don’t miss private messages sent during a video call. Similar to WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, chat bubbles display a floating notification on your screen.

You may not find don’t this is an improvement if it distracts you from the important content discussed in the meeting. It forces you to constantly look around the screen to find and quickly the chat bubbles as they appear and before they disappear.

To turn off the chat bubbles and return to the previous behavior of opening the chat pane, click on the three dots in the control bar to open the menu. Click on the Don’t show chat bubbles item to turn off chat bubbles, see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkR8T8pZfyU)

Using chat bubbles is a personal choice and it doesn’t replace the regular chat window. Microsoft says that chat bubbles make chat more central to a conversation, but it really depends on the type of meeting, the topic being discussed, and the number of participants

Microsoft is now planning to make chat bubbles available for group chats so that everyone can simaltaneously see the conversations happening via text as well as the participants in a video call .

Microsoft soft Teams rooms i was previously called Skype Rooms. With a Teams Rooms display set up in a meeting or conference room, the in-person attendees can focus on one screen rather than have to each stare down at their individual laptop.

With chat bubbles on a Teams Room display, remote workers will also be able to add to the conversation in a meeting room and attendees will see their messages in chat alongside a meeting’s video feed.

This new feature is set to roll out in April of next year and will l be a welcome addition for organizations that have implemented hybrid work practices.

Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Wave 1 December 2021

December 18th, 2021 by Stephen Jones 1,538 comments »

This version has a build number of 10.0.1037 and is available as follows:

  • Preview of release: October 2021
  • General availability of release (self-update): December 2021
  • General availability of release (auto-update): January 2022

This month’s release contains the following exciting new features in Dynamics 365 for Finance & Supply Chain Management for these apps: Finance, Supply Chain Management, Guides, and Project Operations. 

Add payment breakdown on lease payments

Break down lease payments by contract payment types on payment schedule lines to provide greater insight.

Lease impairment enhancements
Display the new asset balance and financial entry from the lease impairment process in the right-of-use asset impairment dialog before posting the right-of-use asset impairment

Adjust posting date automatically during invoice posting

A parameter that lets the system change the posting date automatically according to your business needs

This will  reduce the number of manual steps that accounts payable clerks must complete when it’s necessary to adjust the posting date on multiple vendor invoices and that will reduces manual errors.

Open vendor transaction report

Provides quick access to detailed information about the open transactions for each vendor as of a specific date.

Reverse posted bank statements

Enables the Reverse Statement option in the header of the bank statement

Revert to simple bank reconciliation from advanced bank reconciliation

This feature lets you disable the advanced bank reconciliation functionality for specific bank accounts, which may reduce the complexity of bank reconciliation for some bank accounts.

Unmatch all bank statements and transactions
This feature lets you unmatch all the statements and transactions in one step which enhances efficiency and saves time for users

Define a default state/province for each country/region in the address setup for the global address book

When a default state/province is set, it will be the default value entered in state/province fields when you create a new county or city record for that country/region

Configurable business documents – specific destinations via printer management settings in the reports
Enables the setup and edit of business document-specific destinations by using the print management user interface in the Electronic Reporting (ER) framework use named Electronic Reporting destinations. More types of business documents can now be generated in Finance when using the Electronic Reporting framework

SCM

Enhanced manufacturing execution workloads on scale units

You can now begin work on production and batch orders and report these as finished using the warehouse app, without requiring a round trip to the hub

Setup rules that automatically consume the planned amount of material for each production order

Effective April 2021, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations – Warehousing (the warehouse app) is deprecated and won’t be supported after April 2022.

It is now replaced by the Warehouse Management mobile app, which was released with version 10.0.17 of Supply Chain Management. The new app is a complete replacement but uses same underlying framework, which makes migration easy. If needed, the two apps can be used side-by-side to help users gradually adjust as they learn to use the new app.

Pause tasks in the Warehouse Management mobile app

Users can now temporarily pause their current task and then can safely return to where they left off. This increases the efficiency of warehouse workers by allowing them to stop their current task to perform another more important one, and then return to the original task without losing any information

Enhanced production floor execution interface for process manufacturing

  • This feature provides a state-of-the-art and intuitive user experience for process manufacturers and manufacturers that need to report on batch orders
  • Use the production floor execution interface to report progress on batch orders, including reporting on co-products and by-products

Manufacturing execution systems integration
Data exchange is fully automated and near real time, which keeps data current in both systems and eliminates the need for manual data entry. This offers manufacturers a fast path to realizing their Industry 4.0 ambitions by making it faster and easier to integrate Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management with common manufacturing execution systems.

Planning Optimization support for priority-based planning

Priority driven MRP support for Planning Optimization

Enhancements

The following table lists the feature enhancements that are new for this release. Each of these enhancements provides an incremental improvement to an existing feature. Because they are only enhancements, they aren’t listed in the release plan. However, to ensure that these enhancements won’t conflict with your existing customizations or preferences, each of them is turned off by default (unless otherwise noted).

If you want to turn any of these features on or off, you must do so in feature management, where they are listed using the names shown in the Feature name in feature management column of the following table.

FEATURE ENHANCEMENTS INCLUDED IN THIS RELEASE
ModuleFeature name in feature managementMore information
Asset managementOffset accounts for expenses in work order journalsThis feature lets you specify an offset account for each expense listed in a work order journal. You might typically associate a vendor account with each expense, but other account types are also supported. It adds two new columns (Offset account type and Offset account) to the Expense FastTab on the Work order journal page.
Cost managementCreate related vouchers for standard cost rounding revaluationsWhen an inventory financial posting (such as a sales order invoice or inventory transaction) is made, this feature causes the system to create a separate voucher for any related standard cost rounding revaluations and attach it to the financial posting voucher as a related voucher. Without this feature, the system records standard cost rounding revaluations on the same voucher posting. That behavior can sometimes cause conflicting date information, because the revaluations use the session or system date, whereas financial postings use the posting date.
Master planningAzure Machine Learning Service for demand forecastingThis feature enables the Azure Machine Learning Service to generate demand forecasts based on historical data. For more information, see Demand forecasting setup.
Procurement and sourcingClean up purchase-order update historyThis feature lets you clean up temporary historical records related to purchase-order updates. It adds a new button called Clean up purchase update history to the Action Pane on the All purchase orders page. This feature is enabled by default.
Production control(Preview) Auto-picking of warehouse enabled materials for auto-posted picking listsThis feature lets you auto-pick and resolve inventory dimensions for auto-posted, derived, and backflushed picking list journals.
Production controlValidate expiration of raw materials against planned consumption dateThis feature changes how batch expiration dates are validated when reserving a batch of raw material to be used during production. When this feature is enabled, the batch expiration date is validated against the planned consumption date (the raw material date), as established on the production BOM line or batch order formula line. When this feature is disabled, the batch expiration date is validated against the planned delivery date of the production or batch order (as previously).
Sales and marketingClean up sales update history based on ageThis feature lets you set the maximum age of records to keep when running the Sales update history cleanup periodic task. Older records will be deleted. This is useful for when you set the task to run periodically because the age is always calculated relative to the date the task is run. Without this feature, you can only set a specific date for the oldest records to keep.
Sales and marketingImprove “Top 100” customers report performanceThis feature improves the performance of the Top 100 customers report by always running the report across all customers (which is its intended use) rather than by allowing custom queries. When this feature is enabled, all Records to include settings are disabled in the Top 100 report dialog.
Warehouse managementScale unit support for release to warehouse of outbound ordersWhen this feature is enabled, outbound orders can be released from the hub directly to the scale unit where the orders will be fulfilled.

In Feb2022 we can expect v 10.24

New Feature areaFeatureMore informationEnabled by
Distributed hybrid topologyEnhanced warehouse execution workloads on scale unitsWarehouse management workloads for cloud and edge scale unitsEnabled by default.
PlanningPlanning Optimization support for reorder margin and issue marginSafety marginsEnabled by default.

Enhancements

ModuleFeature name in feature managementMore information
Production controlOn-demand material availability check for production ordersThis feature makes it faster to open the Production orders to release page, which is available from the Production floor management workspace. Without this feature, the system automatically checks whether materials are available for all listed production orders as soon as you open the page, which can take significant time if you have a large number of orders. When this feature is enabled, the system instead provides a toolbar button, which you can use to initiate the materials check only for selected orders and when needed.
Production control(Preview) Register material consumption on the production floor execution interface (non-WMS)This feature enables workers to use the production floor execution interface to register material consumption, batch numbers, and serial numbers. This feature only supports items that are not enabled to use advanced warehouse processes (WMS). Support for WMS-enabled items is scheduled for a future release. Some manufacturers, especially those within the process industries, need to explicitly register the amount of material consumed for each batch or production order. For example, workers might use a scale to weigh the amount of material consumed as they work. To ensure full material traceability, these organizations also need to register which batch numbers were consumed when producing each product.
Production controlReport as finished on warehouse management workload for the cloud and edge scale unitThis feature lets workers use the Warehouse Management mobile app to report a production or batch order as finished when the app is running against a warehouse management workload on a cloud or edge scale unit. For more information, see Report as finished and putaway on a scale unit.
Production controlStart production order on warehouse management workload for the cloud and edge scale unitThis feature enables workers to use the Warehouse Management mobile app to start a production or batch order when the app is running against a warehouse management workload on a cloud or edge scale unit.
Warehouse managementNew load planning workbench pagesEnables two new load planning workbench pages: Inbound load planning workbench and Outbound load planning workbench.

Windows 10 version 21H2, -the “November 2021 Update -Generally Available

November 30th, 2021 by Stephen Jones 17 comments »

This marks the start of a new update release cadence for the Windows 10 operating system. The new OS can be accessed on eligible devices by “seeking” it through the Windows Update service

. Windows 10 systems running version 2004 or later can undergo a fast “in-place upgrade” in which the underlying OS bits get automatically replaced.

It’s also available for IT pros in the usual places, namely, “Windows Server Update Services (including Configuration Manager), Windows Update for Business and the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC),”

Microsoft is promising one reboot to activate the new OS because of the use of “enablement packages” implemented with Windows 10 version 2004 and later versions. New OS bits are already present on machines (in a dormant state) with the enablement package approach.

New Features
Windows 10 version 21H2 has some improvements, that include:

  • The addition of virtual private network APIs for the Universal Windows Platform, which facilitate the use of “common web-based authentication schemes.”
  • Wi-Fi 6 support with “Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 Hash-to-Element protocol (WPA3 H2E),” which promises “better protection from Wi-Fi side-channel attacks that could steal Wi-Fi passwords and other sensitive information,” particularly from home networks.
  • Mobile device management (MDM) parity with Group Policy settings, with 1,400 added MDM settings.
  • Universal Print support for 1GB print jobs per individual user, plus integration with OneDrive for Web, as well as Excel for Web (happening at “end of 2021”).
  • Automatic provisioning of apps for Azure Virtual Desktop users, with copy and paste capabilities between “remote and local apps.”

Windows 10 version 21H2 delivers security updates to other Microsoft products. The list includes the “Windows AI Platform, Windows App Platform and Frameworks, Windows Apps, Windows Cryptography, Windows Fundamentals, Windows Input and Composition, Windows Kernel, Windows Media, Windows Office Media, and Windows Virtualization.”

A major perk for IT pros, though, is the switch to a once-per-year feature update model, which starts with Windows 10 version 21H2 to usher in a new “service channel” change of a once-per-year feature update release cycle, with the update arriving in the second half of a particular year. Microsoft’s next Windows 10 feature update release is planned for release in H2 2022. There will not be an H1 2022 OS release.

Microsoft had been releasing Windows 10 feature updates twice per year, in the spring and fall. A feature update is a completely new version of the Windows operating system. When Windows 11 was released, Microsoft switched to once-per-year feature updates for that OS, and it’s now doing the same thing for Windows 10. The old “sem-iannual channel” term used to describe Windows 10 feature updates is now dropped. Microsoft refers to this release of Windows 10 version 21H2 as a “general availability channel” release.

Support for Windows 10 Version 21H2 Editions
Despite the switch to a once-per-year release model with Windows 10 version 21H2, nothing is changed for how long a feature update will be supported before requiring an upgrade. Microsoft varies the support length based on the Windows 10 edition that’s used. Windows 10 Home and Pro editions will be supported on the November 2021 Update for 18 months, while Enterprise and Education edition users will have 30 months of support. Those support terms didn’t change with this release.

The Windows 10 version 2004 is nearing its end-of-support phase, – Dec. 14, 2021 and when support ends, security updates from Microsoft don’t arrive. The support clock, started (Nov. 11) for Windows 10 version 21H2, Microsoft’s announcement.

General Availability Channel Release
Microsoft recommends that organizations initiate “targeted” deployments of Windows 10 version 21H2 before performing an organization-wide OS rollout. In the past, Microsoft referred to targeted Windows 10 OS releases, which were designed for testing purposes. A targeted release came before a general availability commercial release. Lots of organizations waited for the general availability release to start their OS testing, which wasn’t optimal from Microsoft’s standpoint. Microsoft dropped that targeted nomenclature long ago and started using weirder terms, like “commercial preview.” -even more confusing. Circumstances are clearer now with the Windows 10 version 21H2 general availability channel release stamp. which implies commercial release.

Microsoft Teams for phone calls

November 30th, 2021 by Stephen Jones 1 comment »

Organizations that want to use Microsoft Teams for phone calls will have a new option, starting in January.   

Microsoft is introducing a new product, “Teams Phone with Calling Plan.” that combines the “Microsoft 365 Business Voice” product offering with enterprise capabilities of the “Teams Calling Essentials” product. Those two products will disappear after the new Teams Phone with Calling Plan product gets released.

These product changes will simplify purchasing and bring “enterprise-grade capabilities to SMBs,”.

The overall product changes and pricing are shown in the following diagram from a Microsoft FAQ document (Word doc download):

[Click on image for larger view.]Figure 1. Consolidation and pricing changes for Microsoft Teams products (source: Microsoft FAQ document). The new Teams Phone with Calling Plan product, coming Jan. 1, 2022, will supplant the Business Voice and Teams Calling Essentials products.

Microsoft Business Voice Ending in March
Microsoft Business Voice is a Teams product that sets up Microsoft as an organization’s telephony service provider. It’s for Microsoft 365 and Office 365 users having “300 or fewer people,”

Microsoft is planning to phase out its Business Voice product on March 1, 2022, according to the FAQ document. However, existing Microsoft Business Voice users will be able to renew their subscriptions “until June 30, 2022” or they can choose the Teams Phone with Calling Plan option instead.

While the Teams Calling Essentials product also is going away, no dates were described by Microsoft for its end.

New Teams Phone with Calling Plan Coming Jan. 1
Organizations with Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscriptions that include Microsoft Teams will be offered Teams Phone with Calling Plan. It’s not available yet as a standalone product.

Users of Teams Phone with Calling Plan get 3,000 minutes for domestic calls in the United States and Canada, but just 1,200 minutes for domestic calls in other markets. for Organizations that call outside their domestic zones, Microsoft sells an add-on international calling plan that offers 600 minutes per user per month,.

The calls, conducted from Microsoft Teams, work across mobile networks and the public switched telephone network.

Teams Phone with Calling Plan will be offered through Microsoft’s partners in 33 markets starting on Jan. 1, 2022.

Teams Phone with Calling Plan also will be directly available from the Teams Phone website in the US, UK, and Canada on January 3rd, and in the remainder of markets later in January,” To add Teams Phone with Calling Plan, organizations will need to have one of the following qualifying subscriptions, per the FAQ: “Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Business Standard, Business Premium, F1, F3, E3, A3 and Office 365 F1, F3, E1, E3, A1, A3.”

Teams Phone Option and Calling Plan Option
Alternatively, organizations can buy a “standalone” product called Teams Phone, which “allows them to purchase dial tone from a third-party provider.”

Microsoft also alternatively offers a separate Calling Plan product for Microsoft 365 and Office 365 Teams users to connect to the public switched telephone network (that is, landline phones).

Audio Conferencing Realignment in March
Audio Conferencing is a Teams feature that lets users start conferences with their phones, even when the phones lack the bandwidth for a Teams session.  Microsoft in August to broaden access to the Audio Conferencing beyond Microsoft 365 E5 and Office 365 E5 plans. That announcement came in the context of price hikes for Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscriptions, expected to occur on March 1, 2022.

In its Friday announcement, Microsoft clarified that Audio Conferencing “will be available as part of all Teams-inclusive Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscriptions starting on March 1, 2021.”

Power Bi Updates November 2021

November 19th, 2021 by Stephen Jones 282 comments »

New format pane preview feature, page and bookmark navigators, new text box formatting options, pie, and donut chart rotation and more……..

Reporting New Format Pane — 00:20 Learn more: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/blog/in…

Page and Bookmark Navigators — 05:02

Sort legend — 09:55

Bold/italic/underline for text formatting — 10:36

Text box super/subscript and bulleted lists — 10:59

Pie and donut chart rotation — 11:19

Scorecard visual — 17:44

Update on tenant-level Bing Maps feature switch — 19:33

Data connectivity and preparation Azure Synapse Analytics (New Connector) — 20:23

Google Sheets (New Connector) — 21:11

Azure Cosmos DB V2 (New Connector) — 22:09

Delta Sharing (New Connector) — 22:43

Updated connectors — 23:17

Google BigQuery (Connector Update) Cognite Data Fusion (Connector Update) Dremio Cloud (Connector Update) Service Admin & Governance Datasets hub improvements — 23:34

Azure Lockbox Support for Power BI — 24:21

Power BI Goals — 25:16

Goal level permissions Power Automate Integration Moving goals around the scorecard Showing/hiding and moving columns Mobile Use QR codes with URL parameters (Android and iOS) — 27:28

Updated report filters (Android and iOS) — 28:20

Embedded Analytics Power BI Embedded Gen2 — 29:03

Control embed token expiry — 30:02

Support embedding a Power BI report that contains a paginated report visual — 30:46

Explore your report in the developer playground — 31:20

Visualizations New visuals in AppSource — 32:24

Dual Axis Scatter Plot by Yavda Analytics Download: https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-US…

Growth Rate Chart by DJEENI BV Download: https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-US…

Process Mining with Power BI by AppSphere AG Publisher Download: https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-US… Updated visuals in AppSource — 32:44

Inforiver standard edition by Lumel Learn more: https://inforiver.com/editions/ Download: https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us…

Drill Down Map PRO by ZoomCharts Learn more: https://zoomcharts.com/en/microsoft-p… Download: https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us…

Lipstick Bar Chart by Nova Silva Learn more: https://visuals.novasilva.com/ Download: https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us…

Charticulator (version 1.1.2) Learn more: https://charticulator.com/index.html Download: https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us…33:02

Find report sample files easily in AppSource — 33:11

SharePoint news from Insight 2021

November 9th, 2021 by Stephen Jones No comments »

The SharePoint Server Subscription Edition became generally available this week, Customers install it on their own server hardware, but Microsoft leases it via a subscription.

Microsoft documents on SharePoint Server Subscription Edition,  here.

Subscription-Based App Servers
Current SharePoint Server users can now only purchase the latest SharePoint Server products by subscription. There’s no “SharePoint Server 2022” product .

Expect future releases of Exchange Server, Skype for Business Server and Project Server products to be sold by subscription as Microsoft mentioned this shift of its new application server products to a subscription model last year in October

You can upgrade from SharePoint Server 2019 or SharePoint Server 2016 to the SharePoint Server Subscription Edition.

SharePoint Ignite Improvements
SharePoint Admin Center :

  • Ability to rename a SharePoint Online tenant URL name (preview).
  • OneDrive sync reports now support Mac devices.
  • IT pros can manage Teams and channel-connected team sites.
  • Migration Manager now has file scanning for Box online storage moves.
  • SharePoint Server workflows can be migrated to Power Automate directly.

For sensitivity labels are “more granular. It’s possible to use a label that requires multifactor authentication,. Microsoft is also previewing new “Data Access Governance rights” to monitor sharing activities.

SharePoint users are getting faster upload (5x) and download (10x) speeds, , presumably versus the SharePoint Online service. (

SharePoint Online stores 100 petabytes per month of data. Microsoft has more than 200 datacenters across 34 countries for its SharePoint Online service.)

Other new features include:

New SharePoint Site templates – for retail, healthcare, and non-profit

The latest update will bring three new SharePoint site templates to retail customers, non-profits, and healthcare organisations. All allow organisations to better track, manage information, and collaborate.

HRetail: The new retail management and store collaboration templates allow retail employees to manage the store operation more efficiently and foster a better collaboration environment.

Non-profit: The new volunteer centre template will allow organisers to point volunteers to one place to find key information, access learning materials, and connect with other volunteers.

Healthcare: The new healthcare collaboration template provides medical practices and healthcare agencies with a safe, secure way to share information that can help you provide better patient care and reduce operational costs.

Modern SharePoint site-level term store

An updated experience when creating and managing site-level taxonomy terms; which matches the previously updated, central term store in the SharePoint admin centre. This makes it easier to navigate taxonomies and to create and to edit terms when classifying and discovering Syntex and SharePoint content.

Edit images in SharePoint and OneDrive

Rotate, crop (both freeform crop and fixed aspect ratio crop) and flip your images – horizontally and vertically. This update also includes options to adjust the light and colour saturation of your images. Watch an image transform from muted colours and low contrast to richly coloured and stunning. Make those transformations easily with adjustments for brightness, exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, and colour saturation.

Calendar view in List web part

To build a mini-dashboard for an internal event or project schedule and to represent your list of information as a calendar use the latest SharePoint List web part in Microsoft 365 to display a list from your team or site on a page and to customise it with your own title, view, and even size.

It is a great visual tool for internal communications – especially when things are date-driven.

Metaverse

November 5th, 2021 by Stephen Jones No comments »

Digital transformation over the last 2 years brought a tsunami of change to every industry – from ubiquitous e commerce, to the adoption of telehealth in healthcare to digital wallets in financial services to curbside pickup and contactless shopping in retail – and cybercrime, digital technology has been at the forefront of this seismic shift.

There has been much talk recently about Facebooks recent renaming itself to focus on the metaverse. Microsoft has also long been evolving solutions for the metaverse. So what is it?

It is not the metaverse first imagined by Neal Stephenson in 1992’s “Snow Crash.” Instead, it is a persistent, digital world that is connected to many aspects of the physical world, including people, places and things. In this short video and in this announcement it’s described as a sort of inhabitable Internet (via 3-D avatars instead of people.

During his keynote talk at the Microsoft Ignite event, taking place virtually this week, CEO Satya Nadella described an emerging “metaverse” of digital experiences that will sustain businesses in the new world of hybrid work. Microsoft defines a metaverse as “a digital space inhabited by digital representations of people and things

Nadella’s concluding statement about the metaverse suggested that it would not evolve into an inhuman digital world, reminiscent of “The Matrix” movie:

In a sense, the metaverse enables us to embed computing into the real world and to embed the real world into computing, bringing real presence to any digital space. For years we’ve talked about creating this digital representation of the world. But now we actually have the opportunity to go in that world and participate in it. What’s most important is that we are able to bring our humanity with us and choose how we want to experience this world and who we want to interact with.

Teams Enhancements

November 5th, 2021 by Stephen Jones No comments »

At this year’s Ignite conference. Microsoft announced updates and new features to its business communication platform. Mesh for Microsoft Teams, provides new options for digital meetups with personalized avatars and 3-D environments. Personalized avatars, will give a sense of presence in meetings without turning on cameras.

Users will have more options to join meeting rooms and virtual collaboration spaces using redesigned avatars that will move and react based on your speech . Tuesday’s announcement comes after Facebook unveiled its similar virtual avatar technology that will soon be available in its newly christened Meta social media platform relaunch.

Microsoft said that users will not only be able to come together in new virtual reality rooms, but will be able to collaborate and to share on documents stored in Microsoft 365. Users can join a Mesh room either from their PC, or smartphone or mixed reality device.

This arose from a multiyear collaboration between Microsoft and mega-partner Accenture, an Ireland-based IT services firm that is known for virtual conference and meeting technologies.

Mesh for Microsoft Teams will begin to roll out in 2022 in preview and will launch with a set of prebuilt immersive spaces, with options for organizations to create their own custom spaces to be added.

 Microsoft Teams Enhancements
For Microsoft Teams, the company unveiled more features one of which is the inclusion of a virtual green room to allow organizers and guest speakers to interact in a second virtual space to collaborate on presentation content, monitor chat and socialize. Microsoft said this feature will be available in preview in early 2022.

To secure shared documents a new feature planned for 2022 called Teams Connect. will allow for Teams channels to be shared with outside individuals and organizations, with IT retaining control on how and what documents can be shared.

Teams Chat will be upgraded and it will permit individuals in a Teams organization to use their personal Teams account to chat and collaborate., and also o chat with yourself, which Microsoft said will be useful for personal organization and keeping memos stored in one place.

Google chrome update now to avoid being hacked.

November 2nd, 2021 by Stephen Jones 16 comments »

If you use Google Chrome then update your web browser(s) without delay and use a hidden feature to combat hacking.

This warning is a concern because two of the problems found by the cyber team at Google have been given the dreaded ‘zero day’ rating, which means that it’s highly likely the bug is already known to criminals and hackers.

A ‘zero-day threat’ or vulnerability is a newly discovered software vulnerability for which the developers have zero days to fix the problem because it already has potential to be exploited by hackers. When hackers take advantage of the software security flaw to perform a cyberattack, that is known as a ‘zero-day exploit’.

The latest version of Chrome fixed eight issues with the software, two of those were  high risk. Google confirmed on its Chrome update page that it’s aware of exploits for these two issues codenamed CVE-2021-38000 and CVE-2021-38003 both issues have w been fixed, but users need to update their Chrome browser.

The Stable channel has been updated to 95.0.4638.69 for Windows, and for Mac and Linux the update will roll out soon.

A step-by -step guide on the website reads: “We’ll ask you to change your Google Account password if it might be unsafe, even if you don’t use Password Checkup.”

If you think your Google Account, Gmail or Google products have been hacked, then follow these steps to spot suspicious activity, and get back into your account, and make it more secure.

Sign in to your Google Account

If you can’t sign in, then go to the account recovery page and answer the questions there as best as you can.

Review your account activity

  1. Go to your Google account
  2. Select Security on the left navigation panel
  3. On the Recent security events panel select Review Security events and check for any suspicious activity:
  • If you find activity that didn’t come from you, then select ‘No, it wasn’t me’. Then, follow the steps on the screen to help secure your account.
  • If you did the activity, then select Yes.
  • If you still believe someone else is using your account then go to think link to check whether tis been hacked https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6294825#signs-account-hacked

Take more security steps

Make your account even more secure use s 2-step verification and/or install a more secure browser.

Extensions and plugins

There are several browser extensions that help you to see who is tracking your web-surfing but many of these invasively track themselves. These either help protect you or let you know who is tracking you – while not tracking themselves, or, if they do, it’s minimal..

– HTTPS EverywhereYou might still find yourself visiting a HTTP website that doesn’t support encryption by default? This plugin forces it to use encryption, which helps to protect your online purchases, payment details, and general web surfing from malicious actors who are eavesdropping for theft purposes.

– Privacy Badger: This extension, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), works on and Chrome. It monitors third parties and ad networks that try to track you through cookies and digital fingerprinting and can even auto-block them.

– Disconnect: Disconnect, is an extension available for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, and Opera, can visually show you which websites are tracking your activity in real time. Invisible trackers that monitor you can also be easily blocked with Disconnect. 

What else can you do?

Remember, it’s very hard to escape data collection and surveillance. When you use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter, be aware most of these online services track you and only recently started to adopt end-to-end encryption. Every big tech company – Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Apple – has had issues in the past over their contractors listening to user conversations recorded by their apps and assistants. 

Dynamics POS 2009 and RMS 2.0 end of life.

November 2nd, 2021 by Stephen Jones No comments »
Dynamics POS 2009
In 2015, Microsoft announced that Dynamics POS 2009 would no longer be available to new customers. Existing customers were able to purchase additional licenses until July 9, 2019. This serves as a final notice that Dynamics POS 2009 has been discontinued for existing customers.
Note that mainstream support for Microsoft Dynamics POS 2009 ended on July 8, 2014. For additional details, visit the Support Lifecycle Policy page. You can view the full announcement here.

Dynamics RMS 2.0
In July 2016, Microsoft announced that Dynamics RMS 2.0 would no longer be available to new customers. Existing customers were able to purchase additional licenses until July 13, 2021. This serves as a final notice that Dynamics RMS 2.0 has been discontinued for existing customers.
Mainstream support for Microsoft Dynamics RMS 2.0 ended on July 10, 2016.  For additional details, visit the Support Lifecycle Policy page. You can view the full announcement here.