R.I.P. Microsoft Retail Stores

After 11 years in existence, Microsoft has decided to close all of its retail stores.  Modeled in a very similar fashion to the wildly successful retail stores of its rival and counterpart Apple, I felt that it was a decent way to showcase all of what Microsoft brings to the table as it relates to personal computing and gaming.  Unfortunately for them, they never generated the type of excitement among consumers that they had hoped for.

Interesting enough, they ended up serving as a great benefit to those needing immediate hardware servicing of their devices along with fulfilling some SMB requests.

Askwoody.com has a great post going into great detail about how Microsoft’s stores may have had grand visions upon its inception and opening but evolved into a niche player in serving their customers specialized needs.  Check out the full story here and let me know what you think!

This doesn’t make sense: Edge for Win7

 

Yes, you read it right.  Microsoft will now be “forcing” the installation of the new Chromium Edge browser onto an operating system that has officially reached end of life status and doesn’t even receive the extended security updates for free…

Don’t believe me?  Click on the link here for yourself and get back to me…strange times indeed.

M365 > O365

You may remember my previous post here discussing how Microsoft was going to shift all relevant branding to Microsoft 365 as much as possible.

As this updated article from Gregg Keizer at Computerworld states:

For Microsoft, it’s a case of out with the old, in with the new.  For users, it’s a recipe for confusion.

Even though it may be a change that’s better in the long run, there will be growing pains as Microsoft’s “stakeholders” adjust to the strategy.

Check out the full article here for more details and examples of just how much things have changes in Microsoft’s Office 365…oh wait, I screwed up! lol…I meant to say Microsoft’s 365 ecosystem (sigh for the confusion).

Google Docs vs Microsoft Word

In the words of someone who I’m sure was famous at some point in time, “winning the individual battles is key to winning the overall war”.

Case in point, Google Docs has become very competitive with the ultra popular mainstay Microsoft Word especially when it comes to performance in the enterprise environment.

Preston Galla at Computerworld has done the latest assessment between the two in his latest article here…and at the end of the day, the conclusion he reaches is not surprising when assessing all pros and cons.  Hint: collaboration is key!

Windows 10 Version 2004 is here!

At last, the latest version of Windows 10 is available to the masses.  And despite extensive testing of the operating system dating back to last December, many driver related problems are present.  From Bluetooth, GPU, sound cards, and other peripherals, it seems that no type of device is spared from it.

Hey, at least there haven’t been any reports of files mysteriously vanishing so that’s a start! HAHA!  Anyways, check out a more detailed article here from ZDNet.com to get the full scoop.

And if you do decide to bite the bullet and upgrade, let me know how it goes and if its worth the time…

More “End of Life” extensions

Building on Microsoft’s extensions at the beginning of the month, they have also decided to extend Windows 10 version 1809 Home/Pro edition support along with SharePoint 2010 for an additional six months.

Given the current circumstances, it was most likely inevitable that these announcements were going to be made.

The million dollar question remains (at least to me) is whether Microsoft will extend Office 2010 support which is set to expire in October or would they even entertain the idea of extending support for Windows 7 and Server 2008?

Stay tuned but in the meantime, check out the article here for more info.

Another “End of Life” extension

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, pressure has mounted in the tech industry to extend support for various products and services.  One major announcement having to do with email using Exchange Online is that basic authentication will be phased out in late 2021 instead of its originally scheduled October 2020 date.

Although basic authentication is much less secure than other methods available, it is obvious IT departments around the world are dealing with much more important items (including yours truly) at this time and most likely welcome this news.

Check out the full post from Microsoft here for the full scoop!

Office 365 is becoming Microsoft 365!

After spending much time learning the differences between the two, now Microsoft has decided to drop this on us!  I’m sure this won’t be confusing at all…(cue the sarcasm).

As shown on Microsoft’s website here

Office 365 is becoming Microsoft 365

New name, same great value, same price.

Don’t worry-you don’t need to do a thing. Your product services, apps, and features will stay the same, along with the price. Your subscription name will update automatically in the admin center and your monthly billing statements on or after April 21, 2020.

1) Office 365 Business Essentials    is now   Microsoft 365 Business Basic

2) Office 365 Business Premium     is now   Microsoft 365 Business Standard

3) Microsoft 365 Business is now   Microsoft 365 Business Premium

4) Office 365 Business         is now   Microsoft 365 Apps for business

5) Office 365 ProPlus           is now   Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise

Windows 10 bug affects remote work

According to ZDNet.com, Microsoft has acknowledged that a bug within their Windows 10 operating system is affecting Office 365, Microsoft Teams, and Outlook…three major aspects necessary in order to be effective working from home.

They hope to have a fix in place by the beginning of next month if not sooner; hopefully this doesn’t have too much of an effect on remote users which is pretty much everyone at this point!

Check out the full post here for more!

Windows 10 version 1709 EOL delayed

As a result of the Coronavirus epidemic grasping the world at this time, Microsoft has announced via blog post that its decided to continue supporting version 1709 of Windows 10 (Enterprise/Education editions only) for an additional six months, extending its life until October 13 of this year.

A important note is that the following month, version 1803 will reach end of life on November 10 which makes you wonder if Microsoft will push back all of the other versions for an additional amount of time.  Also, I wonder if this epidemic will sway Microsoft to even consider supporting Windows 7 and Server 2008/2008 R2 which hit EOL on January 14th.  Just a thought…