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Enterprise Application News
Sep 28, 2020

Microsoft Patch Alert: September 2020
What September's patching frenzy lacked in fireworks, it more than compensated for in volume - and belligerence. Server 2016 hiccups on Security Options. Win10 version 2004 surprises - Lenovo still hasn't fixed its Blue Screen-inducing Biometric Security setting; the TRIM function still tries to trim spinning hard disks; for some, Start goes wonky, Action Center disappears, and there's the usual litany of odd, one-off bug reports.

As of early today, we're still waiting for the Win10 version 2004 "optional, non-security, C/D/E Week" patch, but all of the other expected September patches are in.

Defrag woes in Win10 version 2004 largely fixed, but TRIM still nips As I've mentioned many times, Windows 10 version 2004 shipped with a bug that causes the Windows Optimizer Drives defrag tool to skip updating the completion date on defrag runs. As a result, defrags occur much more frequently than necessary. Microsoft has known about the bug since January - months before 2004 shipped -- but didn't bother to acknowledge it until a fix appeared this month.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Sep 28, 2020

Great news for intranets at Microsoft Ignite 2020
Microsoft's annual gathering of tech leaders and practitioners was delivered as a digital event last week. There was a lot of news - so much that it was compiled in a digital Book of News. In this post, I focus on a few of my favorite announcements for communicators and intranet managers.

Global navigation (finally) with the SharePoint app bar Global navigation has long been tops on my wish list for modern SharePoint intranets. My favorite announcement at Ignite 2020 involved the new SharePoint app bar (aka, global navigation). The SharePoint app bar is configured in the Home site. It allows you to take the navigation on your home site and bring it to a narrow left rail that persists everywhere in SharePoint.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 28, 2020

Dual biometrics for banking: Double trouble or super-secure?
In an unusual experiment, two European banks (one in Hungary, the other in Spain) are trying to boost security and - nonintuitively - convenience by layering one biometric authentication method on top of another.

The two biometrics are facial recognition and palm recognition - both performed via a mobile device - and the banks are Hungary's OTP Bank and Spain's Liberbank; the vendor behind the effort promises imminent deployments in Slovenia and the UK. It's clear that such an approach would theoretically be more secure, but is such a combo going to mean too much friction for the typical customer? Or will users accept a minute amount of additional effort to better safeguard their money?

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 28, 2020

5 HomeKit-compatible solutions for working from home
It should be pretty clear now that the new normal involves working from home for much longer than most originally anticipated, so it makes sense to invest in optimizing the experience.

Managing the new normal We've moved from phase one of COVID-19 response. It's no longer about making the best of what we have or rushing to put something - anything - in place to enable us to work remotely.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 28, 2020

The best Android file manager apps
File management isn't the sexiest subject surrounding smartphone ownership — but if you use your device for productivity, it's an important area to consider.

Your phone, after all, is your on-the-go connection to the world. It's the always-available PC of our modern computing era. And whether your work involves presentations, PDFs, documents, or images, you're bound to find yourself fumbling around with files on your pocket-sized screen sooner or later.

With the right tools, though, dealing with files from your phone doesn't have to be a hassle. And the good news? Android's got plenty of outstanding options.

These are the best, organized by what they'll help you accomplish.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 25, 2020

Will Apple Silicon slow enterprise Mac deployment?
Apple's decision to migrate Macs to Apple Silicon opens up interesting opportunities for enterprise IT but also poses some challenges, not least of which is further balkanization unless the company ensures its products play nice with others.

The good, the bad and the FUD-ly The good side of the move to Apple Silicon on enterprise Macs is better interoperability with those growing fleets of iPhones and iPads and the opportunity for new innovation.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 25, 2020

What is IFTTT? How to use If This, Then That services
You've no doubt heard of software as a service. Those who are deeply into IT will nod their heads in recognition when acronyms such as IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) are tossed around, too. But here's one "*aaS" you might not have heard of yet: everything as a service. And it's the future, according to Linden Tibbets, CEO and co-founder of IFTTT.

But what exactly is IFTTT? And how does it relate to the idea of everything as a service? Here's what you need to know.

What is IFTTT? IFTTT derives its name from the programming conditional statement "if this, then that." What the company provides is a software platform that connects apps, devices and services from different developers in order to trigger one or more automations involving those apps, devices and services.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 25, 2020

Flashback Friday: You're welcome
It's sometime around the turn of the millennium, and this pilot fish is part of the small corporate IT staff for a regional engineering firm.

"Part of our job was general user support for the marketing and sales staff, most of whom were issued laptops to use," says fish. "Of course, there was no training on how to use them.

"So one Sunday morning around 8 a.m., I get a phone call at home from one of our VP of sales gurus. He was sitting in a hotel room a good distance away, trying to access his email. Nothing worked, and he needed help now — never mind that we were not supposed to provide support from home or work overtime."

But the VP doesn't want to hear it, so fish starts troubleshooting, and soon determines that the VP's hotel room has digital phones and his laptop has an analog modem.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 25, 2020

How to protect your privacy in Windows 10
There has been some concern that Windows 10 gathers too much private information from users. Whether you think Microsoft's operating system crosses the privacy line or just want to make sure you protect as much of your personal life as possible, we're here to help. Here's how to protect your privacy in just a few minutes.

Note: This story has been updated for the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, version 2004. If you have an earlier release of Windows 10, some things may be different.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 25, 2020

Microsoft steps up Teams: Finally, the next generation of remote conferencing
Disclosure: The companies mentioned are clients of the author.

This week, I attended Microsoft Ignite, and one of the sessions that caught my attention involved Microsoft Teams. The video conferencing market has been gravitating to two main offerings of late: Teams and Zoom. Large companies often use Teams, while Zoom is more common with smaller companies, charities and individuals. 

Let's talk about video conferencing, both from the perspective of the latest Microsoft Teams updates and what I expect to come next.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 24, 2020

How to set up a work-from-home ‘office' for the long term
Working from home is hardly a new phenomenon, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it an unplanned requirement for many office and knowledge workers. Even as the coronavirus crisis eventually recedes, many employers will have discovered that they don't need large office buildings, and many employees will have discovered that they don't need to be in the office every day or spend hours commuting.

But many people have set up makeshift home offices for the pandemic that won't work well for the long term. In addition to having the right equipment, the physical setup — the ergonomics of the workspace — is critical, especially around avoiding repetitive strain injuries that a bad setup can cause. I suffered such RSI issues 20 years ago and narrowly avoided a relapse a year ago, so I know what it takes to get back to and stay in a workable status.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 24, 2020

10 hidden tricks for making the most of Android gestures
Getting around Android sure ain't what it used to be.

Google's made some serious changes to the Android navigation experience over the past few years, going from the old-style three-button setup to a somewhat clunky early gesture model in Android 9, then a whole other new gesture system in Android 10, and then finally a slightly refined version of that same gesture model with this year's Android 11 release.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 23, 2020

Next perpetual version of Office to debut in 2021
Microsoft will create at least one more Office suite, the company said this week during its annual Ignite conference.

The next perpetual licensed Office will be released for both Windows and macOS in the second half of 2021, Microsoft said in a Tuesday post to a company blog.

Office's perpetual version is the one that a company purchases once with an up-front payment, typically as part of a volume licensing deal, rather than "rented" by paying monthly subscription fees. A perpetual license payment provides the rights to run the application suite as long as one wants, even long after Microsoft stops serving security updates if the user is willing to take risks. It can be installed on just one PC or Mac, and so is tied to that device, not to its current user.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 23, 2020

Google takes on Airtable, Microsoft Lists with Tables work-tracking app
Google has unveiled its take on the market for highly customizable work-tracking apps with the beta launch of Tables.? 

Created in Google's Area 120 project incubator, Tables combines spreadsheet and database functionality with a "no-code" approach that lets users create simple apps to meet individual needs. This could mean anything from a tailored timesheet forms to a support ticket queue or even serve as a lightweight CRM.?

Enterprise Application News
Sep 23, 2020

Microsoft's forthcoming Outlook for Mac should boost WFH
Microsoft has been watching what remote workers need and seems to have introduced some of these features in the forthcoming October release of Microsoft Outlook for Mac, which adds new tools, customizations and more for Mac users working in Outlook-based enterprises.

Feels like a Mac app Microsoft moved fast to support Apple's new operating systems this year, including the recent addition of support for use of Outlook (or Edge) as default email client/browser on iOS and iPadOS 14.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 23, 2020

Pandemic gives VDI a new lease on life
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shift to working from home have brought about numerous technological disruptions, many centered around how organizations deliver IT services to their workforce. Technologies that were dabbled in before, like videoconferencing, have suddenly become standard practice.

Such is the case with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), also known as desktop virtualization or thin-client computing. Led by vendors such as Citrix, Microsoft, Cisco, and VMware, it has been around for decades and hasn't changed much in that time. But with companies' entire workforces now connecting to corporate networks from home, sometimes without a company-issued laptop with a VPN and all the necessary settings for secure access, VDI is getting a second look.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Sep 23, 2020

Wayback Wednesday: No good deed goes unpunished
This pilot fish's post-college job for a credit card company largely involves typing data from telemarketers into a database and then printing out stacks of reports every night.

"One day, I got the bright idea to put my IT degree to good use and recommend putting the reporting data on the company intranet," fish says. "That would save me the step of having to print and reprint reports every night at the end of my shift — and save a few trees."

So fish develops a simple, cheap proposal: nothing new required except a new web server. Then he pitches the idea to his boss, who asks a lot of questions but eventually says OK. She pitches the idea to her boss, who green-lights it — so long as it stays within its tiny budget and actually delivers the benefits.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 22, 2020

Microsoft Teams gets custom layouts, new Together ‘scenes'
Microsoft will enable Teams users to overlay a presenter's video feed when displaying content such as slides - part of its aim to improve meetings as the number of video calls rockets during the pandemic.  

The feature, due out later this year, is among a handful of updates to the Teams collaboration platform unveiled at Microsoft's Ignite conference Tuesday. The company also highlighted enhancements to office-based meeting tools and new capabilities to promote employee wellbeing.

The custom layouts feature lets users place a video feed of a meeting presenter onto the foreground of a PowerPoint presentation,  thanks to the same artificial intelligence  segmentation technology used in Teams background blur and Together mode. This will enable meeting participants to view the presenter's hand and face gestures, as well as allow for weather forecaster-style highlighting of content.  

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 22, 2020

IT admins want one, and only one, Windows 10 upgrade annually
IT administrators voiced strong support for Microsoft's move to a fewer-than-two-upgrades-a-year Windows 10 cadence, even as many question the way the Redmond, Wash. developer has reduced the number of refreshes.

Approximately 75% of nearly 500 IT professionals said that Windows 10's feature upgrades - which officially remain on a twice-annual schedule - should be released no more than once a year. More than half of those admins - 40% of all polled - voted for one upgrade per year while the remainder, or 35%, chose the one-every-two-years option from a survey on patching, updating and upgrading.

[ Further reading: How to handle Windows 10 updates ] Less than 8% picked a twice-a-year cadence as their preference, and only a tenth of that - or 0.8% - want more than two each year on themselves and their colleagues.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Sep 22, 2020

Android 11's biggest letdown
Android 11's got plenty of good stuff going on, both on the surface and under the hood — but one of the release's most promising new additions is turning out to be one of its least compelling elements.

I'm talking about Bubbles, the long-under-development feature that first came into the picture as part of last year's Android 10 update but ended up getting pushed back to this year's release. If you haven't thought much about Bubbles since getting Android 11 (or since reading about the software, if you're using a non-Pixel phone and still waiting), well, I can't say that I blame ya.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 22, 2020

Apple's Tim Cook shares his company's WFH experience
It still seems a little counter-intuitive that one of the world's biggest technology firms was also one of the least amenable to remote working, but this, I've heard, describes the culture at Apple pre-COVID-19.

Now things have changed there, just as they have elsewhere.

Going back better Speaking during a more extensive interview conducted at The Atlantic Festival, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed his company's experience around remote working, explaining that around 10% to 15% of company staff have been working at the office during the pandemic. The remaining 85% to 90% of Apple employees are currently working from home, he said, admitting that he does so himself, some of the time.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 22, 2020

Maybe it's therapeutic
This pilot fish is at a remote office to help a user, Barney, with a software problem, but he can't help noticing that Barney periodically jumps in his chair. Fish finally asks Barney if he's feeling OK, and Barney says he's fine, but he periodically gets a mild shock from his desk.

It's a mid-century steel-frame desk with a Formica top. This office has had some renovations, and fish wonders whether something was mis-wired. It's not his area of responsibility as IT desktop support, but fish decides to just take a look.

Behind Barney's desk he finds a large wire paperclip that had managed to contact the hot pole of a slightly loose plug in a power strip and the steel leg of the desk. As long as Barney's contact was with the Formica desktop, nothing would happen, but when he brushed the steel trim around the edge, he'd get a shock.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 22, 2020

How IT can keep remote workers' Windows 7 PCs safe
In the time of COVID-19, with so many people working from home, it's inevitable that many will be using Windows 7 devices. And that's a big security problem for IT. As of January 2020, Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft. That means no security patches — particularly dangerous at a time when many people are connecting to enterprise networks from their Windows 7 PCs.

It adds up to one of the biggest security risks many companies have seen for some time. Unpatched systems can be more easily hacked than ones that regularly receive security patches. Hackers go after low-hanging fruit — and right now Windows 7 is the lowest fruit there is. As the FBI stated in an August 2020 warning to businesses:

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Sep 21, 2020

iOS 14: What's new for enterprise IT?
Apple has introduced a selection of interesting improvements for iOS and Mac admins in the recently introduced iOS 14, including new APIs for mobile device management (MDM) and usability improvements.

The easy (but good) stuff One of the better enhancements is the introduction of choice. iPhone and iPad users can now choose which web browser and/or email app they want to use. While Safari is highly secure (and more secure in the latest OS iterations), the real beauty of this improvement is in email, as enterprises built around use of Microsoft Office will now be able to standardize on use of Outlook on enterprise mobile devices. The process is pretty simple: Install the app you want to use and then set it as default in application Settings on the device.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 21, 2020

Memory-Lane Monday: An ounce of prevention is worth a pounding headache
A very large thunderstorm is headed for this company's data center, and there's reason to worry, says a pilot fish working there.

The company is the product of several mergers back in the late '90s, when it was decided that the newest data center would be the new company's production data center. That particular data center was, of course, built for a much smaller company than the merged entity, so it had to be immediately expanded.

Laments fish: "In the intervening years, the quantity of servers and network and disk hardware in the data center increased rapidly, but the UPS and emergency generator didn't keep up with the growth."

Nonetheless, with that big storm on the way, a high-level manager overrides the advice of the technical support team and decides to switch the data center over to emergency power, rather than risk the possibility that the city power could be disrupted.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 21, 2020

The state of ethnic minorities in U.S. tech: 2020
The tech industry has been talking about increasing minority participation for decades — I wrote my first story on the topic for an IEEE Computer Society magazine in 1990, and things have changed little since then.

This year, B2B review site TrustRadius surveyed employees at both tech providers and IT organizations to find out the status of ethnic minorities in the tech industry, and sought out minority voices for a direct take. The People of Color Tech Report released today drew 1,207 respondents, 53% of whom identified as people of color: 16% were Black, 16% Asian, 12% Hispanic, 5% Indigenous, and 7% other non-White, such as mixed-race.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 18, 2020

The NVIDIA-Arm merger could change how we work
If the merger between Arm and NVIDIA is approved (I expect Great Britain, the EU, and China will have reservations), the result could be a massive change in AI capability. And, given that Arm is dominant in mobile devices and IoT, and NVIDIA is dominant in both graphics and AI training, it's a merger that could have a dramatic impact on how we work as well.

We've had several efforts, most recently from Dell and Microsoft, to integrate smartphones with PCs. But there has been no dedicated bridge hardware vendor yet.  Yes, Microsoft seems to be working in that direction with its Surface Duo, but it is a niche product and if it does go mainstream, it likely won't be until its third version.  Qualcomm could do this, but its Always Connected PC effort is just getting off the ground - even though the company does have critical mass with cell phones. Even so,  Qualcomm doesn't seem that interested in blending the two concepts. 

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 18, 2020

Mozilla tightens belt, folds two Firefox services
A year and a half after launching the free file-sharing service Firefox Send, Mozilla canned the concept, part of a retrenchment that began this summer when the organization laid off a quarter of its workforce.

Firefox Notes, another service that got its start from the Test Pilot program, also went under the knife Thursday. Notes will be decommissioned on Android Nov. 1, and Mozilla will not provide security updates to the desktop browser's add-on after that date.

"As Mozilla tightens and refines its product focus in 2020, today we are announcing the end of life for two legacy services that grew out of the Firefox Test Pilot program," Mozilla said in an unsigned post to its primary blog.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 18, 2020

Q&A: NearForm CCO Larry Breen on contacting-tracing apps
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, governments around the world have highlighted the importance of contact-tracing apps to monitor infection levels, let people know when they may have been exposed and as a pre-cursor to a safe return to the office.

However, getting a contact-tracing app right is not easy - just look at the British government's lengthy (and expensive) failed first attempt to launch an app in England as evidence. From privacy concerns to issues around centralized vs decentralized models, there have been few countries to release an app that was both successful and had widespread adoption.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Sep 18, 2020

The worst version of Windows ever released
Twenty years ago this month Microsoft released a stink bomb of an operating system, Windows Me. Unstable, unloved and unusable, that was Windows Me. Many people believe it was the worst version of Windows ever built.

The anniversary got me thinking: Was Windows Me really the worst Windows ever, or was it outdone by other notable flops?

I've used every version of Windows since the Windows 1.x version that shipped with the desktop publishing program Aldus PageMaker (later Adobe PageMaker), so I've had plenty of experience with the best and worst of Windows. Here's my list of the worst three Windows versions of all time. I'm offering them in order of ascending horribleness, so you'll have to wait to get to the bottom of the article to find the worst of the worst.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 18, 2020

Flashback Friday: Let's review: Step 1 …
This pilot fish sets up a point-of-sale system for a local restaurant that's moving into a new location, but two days later, one of the owners calls and says the system isn't working. They're getting a message on one of the stations that it can't connect to the server.

Any problems with the server? asks fish.

"I don't think so, but it's turned off right now."

Fish: I have a suggestion …

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 18, 2020

Foldable smartphones are important, even if you never get one
Samsung recently announced its second-generation Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G and Microsoft announced its Surface Duo foldable devices. Others have tried foldables in the past with limited success (LG, Huawei, Motorola), so why push these out these now?

The market for smartphones has gone tepid, with overall sales falling (and not just because of COVID-19). With little incentive to upgrade due to a lack of major compelling new features, couple with increasing prices on premium smartphones, people are keeping their devices longer. (This is true for both Android and iOS phones.)

[ Keep up on the latest thought leadership, insights, how-to, and analysis on IT through Computerworld's newsletters. ] Users who once kept their devices for an average of 12 to 18 months now routinely stretch that out to a more PC-like 24 to 36 months. Vendors believe, rightly so, that new and innovative products will drive sales in an otherwise saturating market - Apple has played this strategy well over the years. And innovative new products like foldables can drive a renewed interest and increase sales.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 17, 2020

Apple's Time Flies event recap; iPad Air vs iPad Pro
Apple released two new Apple Watches, new generations of the iPad and iPad Air and new subscription services and plans at its Time Flies event on September 15. Macworld senior writer Michael Simon and Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis join Juliet to discuss highlights and how new releases compare to previous generations. Plus, is the iPad Air as good as the iPad Pro for enterprise use? And when can you expect to see the iPhone 12 and new MacBook events? 

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 17, 2020

Apple upgrades Safari on Catalina and Mojave in annual exercise
Apple on Wednesday upgraded Safari for Mac owners running macOS Catalina or macOS Mojave, giving those users a new browser before releasing the Big Sur operating system refresh.

Safari 14 can be downloaded by selecting "System Preferences" from the Apple menu, then clicking on the "Software Update" icon.

[ Related: 9 steps to lock down corporate browsers ] The browser will also be bundled with macOS 11, aka Big Sur, which has yet to be given a release date. This week's upgrade targets users who will, whether permanently or temporarily, stick with 2019's Catalina or 2018's Mojave.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 17, 2020

Why you need Apple support to secure the C-suite
I get it. You're one of those enterprises that doesn't (yet) support Apple products among employees, but does that moratorium extend to the C-suite? I'm willing to bet it does not, and that's why even Windows-only IT must learn how to secure Apple's products.

Ignore the fantasy, this is reality The reality is that Apple's products are popular in the enterprise. And while there are many businesses that don't officially support them, one section of civic society that pretty much always do their own thing no matter what they ask others to do are the boys and girls in the C-suite. I can still recall the number of CFO's I spoke with early on in the iPad days who were deeply interested in trying the Apple tablet. Many did.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 17, 2020

Biggest tech IPOs of 2020
The 2019 calendar year will long be remembered in the eyes of public market watchers as the year of WeWork. Once billed as the most valuable startup in the United States, the company unraveled in dramatic fashion after filing its S-1 with the SEC, thanks to numerous issues with the company's business model and management practices.

This event, along with a succession of dud listings from such big names as Slack and Uber, spooked the markets, with IPO registration withdrawals up almost 50 percent in 2019, according to research firm Renaissance Capital. This left a sizeable backlog of potential listings for 2020, with the holiday rental company Airbnb headlining that list.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 17, 2020

At this point, 5G is a bad joke
Who doesn't want more bandwidth?

I sure do, and I currently have 300Mbps to my home office via Spectrum cable. What I really want is a Gigabit via fiber optic to my doorstep. Maybe I'll get it someday. But, what I do know for a fact is I'm not going to get Gigabit-per-second speeds from 5G. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever.

At the moment, there are a lot of things the telecomms are telling you in one ad after another that's just not true. I know - shocking news right? But, even by their standards, 5G is pretty bogus.

[ Related: Enterprise mobility 2020: In a pandemic, UEM to the rescue ] Let's start with the name itself. There is no single "5G." There are, in fact, three different varieties, with very different kinds of performance.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 17, 2020

Google's Chrome OS pivot matters more than you think
Don't look now, but Chrome OS is about to undergo the biggest and most transformative change in the platform's history.

It's something we've actually been hearing about since April but that's just starting to take shape publicly for the first time this week. And while its practical, surface-level significance is without a doubt massive, the philosophical effect of the shift may be the most monumental of all.

Buckle up, gang. We've got some seriously deep thinking to do.

Chrome OS and the browser foundation We'll go beyond the surface to explore the next-level impact of this move in a second — but first, let's address the basics of what's happening here and why it matters from a practical perspective. Google, in case you haven't heard, is working on an ambitious plan to separate Chrome the browser from Chrome OS the operating system. As it stands now, Chrome itself is an integral part of Chrome OS. It's built right into the operating system. And that creates a couple of unfortunate challenges.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 17, 2020

Windows 10 upgrades are rarely useful, say IT admins
A majority of IT administrators polled this summer said that the twice-a-year Windows 10 feature upgrades are not useful - or rarely so - a stunning stance considering how much effort Microsoft puts into building the updates.

About 58% of nearly 500 business professionals who are responsible for servicing Windows at their workplaces said that Windows 10 feature upgrades - two annually, one each in the spring and fall - were either not useful (24%) or rarely useful (34%).

[ Related: Windows 10 version 2004: Key enterprise features ] Only 20% contended that the upgrades were useful in some fashion, while a slightly larger chunk - 22% - choose a noncommittal neutral as a response, claiming that the operating system's updates were neither useful nor not useful. (It might be best to consider this answer as undecided since in this binary world if something is not not useful, that must mean it is useful.)

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 16, 2020

There's something in the iPad Air for enterprise IT
As anticipated, Apple recently announced new watches, iPads and services and you can read all about these products in a few minutes here, but two announcements stand out as particularly interesting for enterprise users: 

iPad Air 4 and the A14 Bionic processor it contains.

A breath of iPad Air Apple's fourth gen iPad Air was the star of the show, primarily because the tablet now contains Apple's most powerful A14 processor, which isn't yet available in any other product including the iPad Pro or iPhone. It will be in future.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 16, 2020

Wayback Wednesday: A little too literal-minded
This pilot fish takes a job teaching at a local college, and his office is right next to the IT department.

"I helped out between classes when the IT guys were swamped," says fish. "One day while the IT staff was out to lunch, I heard the phone ring and no one was manning the help desk, so I fielded the call."

The caller is the office manager, and she's complaining that her printer won't print. Fish doesn't have a class for a couple of hours, so he decides to see what he can do and heads to her office.

Turns out the fix is simple: The printer is out of paper. Fish explains this to the office manager, who asks fish where she should get paper from. Fish shrugs — that's not his department.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 16, 2020

Q&A: Airtable CEO talks up automation, low-code and team collaboration
It's been a big week for Airtable and its customizable spreadsheet platform. On top of unveiling new features designed to boost its automation, low-code and team collaboration cred, the San Francisco, Ca.-based company unveiled $185 million in series D funding.

Founded in 2012, Airtable has seen a sharp rise in during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 200,000 businesses now using its app. By combining the power of a database with the accessibility of a spreadsheet, Airtable lets users create shared apps for a variety of purposes, whether as a task management tool or a simple CRM platform. The company's approach has proved popular and others have launched similar services; Microsoft unveiled its Lists app earlier this year and Amazon Web Service's Honeycode offers comparable functions.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Sep 15, 2020

Miss Inbox? Gmail has hidden remnants of its sorting superpowers
It's been nearly a year and a half since our beloved Google Inbox service made its way into the virtual beyond — and I don't know about you, but I'm still mourning its absence.

Sure, you can kinda-sorta recreate some of its features within Gmail, including its time-based delivery system for certain types of messages. You can even bring a minimalist, Inbox-inspired approach into Gmail's interface, thanks to the ongoing work of one of the app's original creators and designers.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 15, 2020

How COVID-19 has changed IT's focus and plans for 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic - and the lockdowns that followed last spring - wrought changes across IT operations and strategy as businesses and employees adjusted to a new environment. But what changes were made, and which ones are likely to last?

Spiceworks Ziff Davis, a B2B tech marketplace, polled 1,073 IT buyers in North America and Europe in June and July 2020 to find out. The results in its 2021 State of IT report, released today, show that the pandemic-fueled transformation will continue, affecting both planning and budgets for the long term.

[ Keep up on the latest thought leadership, insights, how-to, and analysis on IT through Computerworld's newsletters. ] The survey shows that 76% of businesses envision long-term IT changes, with more than half planning to retain flexible work policies (such as remote work); 64% of companies enabled remote work in 2020 due to the pandemic.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 15, 2020

Apple and the future of work
We've learned a lot during the pandemic. We've learned that remote working can be productive and that multi-cloud, multi-platform deployments are very likely to form key components of the future enterprise. And we've learned that Apple's products are good for business.

Cloud services for the people Think about on-premises and off-site service provision:

While it's true that heavily regulated industries will keep key components of their enterprise stack on premises (or at least at highly secure server farms), they will still make use of cloud-based services for some of their implementation.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 15, 2020

And the motherboard slipped right out
It's the '90s, and this pilot fish is working in a company that makes a national brand of snack cake. When a co-worker on the help desk gets a call saying that the computer in the shortening-pumping room has stopped working, fish decides to tag along.

They find the sanitation crew mopping up several hundred pounds of shortening that had escaped from a broken pipe coupler. Sitting on the floor is the PC that has stopped working, a Dell GX1. The height of the flood is plain to see from the high-shortening mark on the PC's case: around four inches.

The electronics are probably baked, so to speak, but they have nothing to lose, so they remove the motherboard and steam-clean it, letting it set for a week to dry thoroughly.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 14, 2020

Nvidia's $40B deal for Arm could affect Apple
Nvidia, best known as a major player in graphics processing, today announced it had locked down a deal to purchase U.K.-based chip licensing giant Arm Limited for $40 billion.

According to Bloomberg, Nvidia will pay Arm's current owner, SoftBank Group, $12 billion in cash and $21.5 billion in stock, along with other payments, including a signing bonus and possible milestone moneys based on meeting performance targets.

Arm does not manufacture silicon; instead it designs processors. It then licenses those designs for others to customize - or not - before fabricators crank out chips from silicon wafers. Arm's impact has been massive, primarily because its made-for-mobile chips have powered virtually every smartphone since Apple's 2007 introduction of its iPhone.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 14, 2020

Office 365: A guide to the updates
Office 365 and Microsoft 365 subscribers always have the latest version of Microsoft Office — currently Office 2019. They also get more frequent software updates than those who have purchased Office 2019 without a subscription, which means subscribers have access to the latest features, security patches and bug fixes. But it can be hard to keep track of the changes in each update and know when they're available. We're doing this for you, so you don't have to.

Following are summaries of the updates to Office 365/Microsoft 365 for Windows, with the latest releases shown first. We'll add info about new updates as they're rolled out.

Note: This story covers updates released to regular Office 365/Microsoft 365 for Windows subscribers. If you're a member of Microsoft's Office Insider preview program or want to get a sneak peek at upcoming features, see the company's "Release notes for Office for Windows Desktop (Beta builds)" page.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 14, 2020

Memory-Lane Monday: Sneakynet
This contractor pilot fish is at a client site — and, as usual, he and his cohorts are dealing with issues that weren't originally contemplated when they were brought in.

"The network was going crazy," fish reports. "This was a big site, with lots of routers and subnets, all carefully segregated. Something was hosing this big time, and sniffers told us we were seeing ‘contamination' between subnets."

Fish and his team eventually pin down where the contamination is happening. It's in two subnets in adjacent wings of the corporate building: the ones for the legal department and software development.

So fish and his team decide to walk the floor to see if they can spot anything out of the ordinary.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 14, 2020

Inside Apple's 'Bionic Virtual Meeting Room'
In the near future, you'll attend meetings in a conference room that exists in your Apple AR glasses.

Enterprise Application News
Sep 14, 2020

Edge computing and 5G give business apps a boost
Over the past decade, advances in cloud computing have driven a centralized approach to system administration and operations, while the growth of mobile computing, SaaS, and the internet of things (IoT) have driven computing toward a distributed architecture. With the rollout of 5G and edge computing technologies, companies are now looking to take advantage of both approaches while boosting performance for their applications.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 14, 2020

Edge computing: The next generation of innovation
The future of enterprise tech won't be confined to the data center mothership -- nor even the public cloud. Wedded to the internet of things, edge computing puts processing horsepower wherever it needs to go.

Enterprise Application News
Sep 12, 2020

Microsoft will bundle updates to streamline patching
Microsoft this week changed how it will deliver updates to the parts of Windows 10 that receive and install files from Windows Update, claiming that a new bundling approach will eliminate confusion and streamline the OS's regular refreshes.

Up to now, Microsoft has distributed each servicing stack update (SSU) separately from any cumulative update (CU). The new practice will combine the two - SSU and CU - into one package for download and deployment by IT administrators.

[ Related: Windows 10 May 2020 Update (a.k.a. 2004) review ] Most Windows end users would be hard pressed to define SSU, even though their PCs have received numerous examples. Not an update to the Windows Update service itself, an SSU is instead a refresh of the components of Windows 10 needed to receive, verify and install files from that service. SSUs are a necessary part of the Windows servicing and maintenance ecosystem, as Microsoft makes plain.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 11, 2020

How IBM's Watson could boost productivity during the New Normal
IBM had a briefing this week on how its Watson AI product was used at the U.S. Open  and something jumped out at me that could help overtaxed workers get more work done.

I'm hearing a lot of complaints about people having to jump into back-to-back virtual meetings - and getting less done as a result. With fires up and down the west coast, the ongoing pandemic, weird weather and - in the U.S. - an election, folks are getting overwhelmed. What struck me this week is that Watson could serve as the basis for a virtual assistant to attend meetings (particularly those that are overlapping), take notes, and help us focus on the items to which we need to pay attention. 

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 11, 2020

A fat Windows Update for September's Patch Tuesday
Microsoft has released 129 updates to its Windows ecosystem, but the good news  this month is that we are not responding to any zero-days or publicly reported vulnerabilities. Microsoft appears to be getting serious about removing Adobe Flash Player (a good thing) and we see a very broad update to Windows desktops and servers. Unusually, Microsoft's browsers are not a huge focus this month, and both the Microsoft Office (excluding SharePoint) and development platform have received only a few, lower profile patches.

[ Related: Microsoft revamps Windows Insider release vernacular ] We have included a helpful infographic, which this month looks a little lopsided as all of the attention should be on Windows components.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 11, 2020

Pro tip: Sock away a clean copy of Windows 10 (2004)
Downloading a clean copy of Windows 10 version 2004 is remarkably easy, doesn't take very long (if you have a fast internet connection), and may well save your keester at some point. Don't worry, it's 100% legal and, at worst, will occupy about 8 GB on a convenient drive for a while.

Nothin' to it.

Step 1. In Windows 10, use the Media Creation Tool If you have a PC with a license for Windows 10, the easiest way to get version 2004 involves Microsoft's Media Creation Tool. Go to the Download Windows 10 site and under "Create Windows 10 installation media," click the link marked Download tool now. 

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 11, 2020

Tech event calendar 2020: Upcoming shows, conferences and IT expos


Tech Events Event Description Starts Ends Location Oracle OpenWorld Oracle's annual convention brings together IT management, business decision-makers and line-of-business end users. Typically, the conference includes keynotes from leadership at Oracle and from other partner organizations. More 2,500 additional sessions and workshops focus on other IT and business-related topics. 2020-09-21 2020-09-24 Las Vegas, NV PagerDuty Summit 2020 (Online only) This event brings together companies like Google, IBM, Microsoft to discuss and explore significant trends in DevOps to help companies become more proactive and real-time organizations. 2020-09-21 2020-09-24 Online, Virtual Computex Taipei Based in Asia, this massive technology trade show and expo focuses on information and communications technology, supply chain and IoT ecosystems. 2020-09-28 2020-09-30 Taipei, Taiwan MSPWorld 2020 (Online only) MSPWorld offers a vendor-agnostic focus on Managed Service providers a

Enterprise Application News
Sep 11, 2020

How Jamf plans to let Microsoft Endpoint manage enterprise iPhones
While it's widely known that Apple is enjoying growing use across the enterprise, it's also true that employee choice means most businesses must support multiple platforms. A new solution promises to make that task a little easier.

Managing hybrid environments with Azure Jamf is currently previewing its new iOS Device Compliance solution and expects to introduce it later this year. What does it do?

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 11, 2020

New solution lets Microsoft Endpoint manage enterprise iPhones
While it's widely known that Apple is enjoying growing use across the enterprise, it's also true that employee choice means most businesses must support multiple platforms. Now a new solution promises to make that task a little easier.

Managing hybrid environments with Azure Jamf is currently previewing its new iOS Device Compliance solution and expects to introduce it later this year. What does it do?

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 11, 2020

Android versions: A living history from 1.0 to 11
What a long, strange trip it's been.

From its inaugural release to today, Android has transformed visually, conceptually and functionally — time and time again. Google's mobile operating system may have started out scrappy, but holy moly, has it ever evolved.

Here's a fast-paced tour of Android version highlights from the platform's birth to present. (Feel free to skip ahead if you just want to see what's new in Android 11.)

Android versions 1.0 to 1.1: The early days Android made its official public debut in 2008 with Android 1.0 — a release so ancient it didn't even have a cute codename.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 11, 2020

Flashback Friday: Comply and die
At this government-connected facility, all software development needs a final approval from upper management before it goes into production, says a pilot fish working there.

"The approval meetings involve a short presentation of the software, what has changed from the previous version and what bugs have been fixed," says fish. "If upper management agrees, it's approved and released and we go back to work on the next release.

"We only submitted bug reports for bona fide bugs that needed to be tracked for fixing, not for all code changes. If the change was an improvement, it went on our list of improvements for the future. If someone checked in a version with a missing comma, we just made the change to fix it."

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 10, 2020

Apple's September 15 event: Why Apple may host multiple events
Apple's September event may look a bit different this year, but the (virtual) show will still go on. Expect to see the new Apple Watch Series 6 and updated iPad Air at the September 15 "Time Flies" event. Rumors suggest that Apple will not announce the upcoming 5G iPhone 12 at this event and opt for an event later this fall. Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis and Macworld senior writer Michael Simon join Juliet to discuss why Apple may host multiple events this fall and what product launches to expect when.

Check out Mike's latest article about the September 15th event: https://www.macworld.com/article/3574449/if-new-iphones-arent-coming-at-the-annual-iphone-event-what-will-apple-release.html

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 10, 2020

How to get Android 11's best features on any phone today
Android 11 has officially landed — although for most phone-carrying mammals in the world, its arrival is still mostly just theoretical.

You know how this works by now, right? Google announces a fancy new Android version. It sends the software out to its own self-made Pixel phones more or less immediately. With the occasional small exception, most other Android device-makers yawn, stretch, and go about their regular business without so much as even acknowledging the new release or making a peep about their plans to provide it — and then, somewhere between a few months and a few hundred days later, they finally get around to processing the thing and getting it into the hands of their highest-paying customers.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 10, 2020

Beaucoup bugs beset this month's Windows patches
Someday, you'll tell your grandkids about the halcyon days of July and August 2020, when Microsoft took pity on us poor patching souls and introduced few bugs in its stew of Patch Tuesday patches.

Now, it looks like we're well on our way to another mess.

[ Related: Microsoft makes 'major-minor' Windows 10 release cadence the new normal ] Although it's still too early to throw up your hands and peremptorily pass on the September crop, I assure you that there is no joy in Patchville.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 10, 2020

Four operating systems: One device. How the Chromebook will become the universal laptop.
Soon, you'll be able to run not just Chrome OS, Android, and Linux on your Chromebook but Windows applications as well. Here's how and what that will mean for your company's PCs and laptops.

Enterprise Application News
Sep 10, 2020

Linux apps on Chrome OS: An easy-to-follow guide
Google's Chrome OS platform sure isn't what it used to be.

The software that started out as a strictly web-centric entity — with everything revolving around the Chrome browser and apps that could operate inside it — has evolved into one of modern computing's most versatile operating systems. Contemporary Chromebooks still run all the standard web-based stuff, of course, but they're also capable of connecting to Google's entire Play Store and running almost any Android app imaginable. On the enterprise front, some Chromebooks will soon be able to support Windows apps. And if all of that isn't enough, many models now have the ability to run Linux apps as well.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 09, 2020

Microsoft puts Application Guard for Office into public preview
Microsoft has launched a public preview of "Microsoft Defender Application Guard for Office," a defensive technology that quarantines untrusted Office documents so that attack code carried by malicious files can't reach the operating system or its applications.

On Monday, a senior cybersecurity engineer with the Redmond, Wash. company explained how Application Guard for Office worked and more importantly, walked customers through its operationm - something that existing documentation omitted when the public preview was launched late last month.

[ Related: 10 productivity-boosting apps for Microsoft Teams ] "Microsoft Office will open files from potentially unsafe locations in?Microsoft Defender Application Guard, a secure container, that is isolated from the device through hardware-based virtualization," John Barbare wrote in a post to a Microsoft blog. "When Microsoft Office opens files in Microsoft Defender Application Guard, a user can then securely read,?edit,?print, and?save?the files without having to re-open files outside of the container."

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 09, 2020

Is Apple about to ‘iPod mini' the Apple Watch?
Decoding the latest Apple announcement, it seems the Apple Watch may soon graduate from its status as a subordinate accessory for iPhones into a full weight product family in its own right. Why do I think this:

The iPhone event that wasn't When Apple told the world it will hold an event on September 15, industry watchers were confused. They'd heard that the new iPhones may be delayed until October or beyond, while industry insiders such as Jon Prosser, Mark Gurman and many others were telling us that the event won't see an iPhone 12 launch, but will instead see the debut of the Apple Watch Series 6 and iPad Air 4 (the watch seemingly confirmed by stray code on the Apple YouTube page).

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 09, 2020

7 smart adjustments to make Android 11 more efficient
It's here! After months of testing and more than a little teasing, Google officially took the wraps off its beefy Android 11 update on Tuesday. The software is already rolling out to Google's own Pixel phones, as you'd expect, and should be making its way to more devices before long.

You've probably heard plenty about Android 11's most important additions and even its hidden gems by now — and if not, by golly, the ever-so-subtly included links in the first part of this sentence will get you caught up in no time. (Funny how that works, isn't it?) Now, though, it's time to turn our attention to some purely practical matters and think through specific steps you should take in order to make the most of what Android 11 has to offer.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 09, 2020

Wayback Wednesday: You can't blame marketing this time
Flashback a few years to when this support pilot fish gets a frantic call from a marketing guy at a trade show.

"He was setting up a graphics terminal to demo his stuff," says fish. "The show started in a couple of hours and he couldn't get the terminal to talk to our service.

"After discussing the problem with him, it turned out he didn't know that he had to plug the serial cable from the modem into the back of the terminal. When he said to me, ‘What's that?' I knew I was going to have to do a lot of hand-holding."

But the marketing guy follows fish's instructions, and soon the big terminal is working fine. Marketing guy thanks fish, and then gets back to the job of collecting more customers.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 08, 2020

Apple announces Sept. 15 event, but is it for iPhone?
Apple has announced the date of its next event, which will be streamed globally from Apple Park on Sept. 15, starting at 10 a.m. PT/ 1 p.m. ET.

What will Apple introduce? As of now, there's a great deal of expectation surrounding this event. Will Apple use the moment to introduce the many products it has been expected to reveal this fall, or will the show be a prelude to a second "Special Event"?

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 08, 2020

Apple announces September 15 event, but is it for iPhone?
Apple has announced the date of its next event, which will be streamed globally from Apple Park on September 15, starting at 10am PDT.

What will Apple introduce? At time of writing there's a great deal of expectation concerning this event. Will Apple use the moment to introduce the many products that it has been expected to this fall, or will the show be a prelude to a second "Special Event"?

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 08, 2020

Biggest technology acquisitions of 2020
Last year marked a slight decrease in global technology M&A activity from the blockbuster year that was 2018 - when SAP bought Qualtrics for $8 billion, IBM acquired Red Hat for a staggering $33 billion and Broadcom picked up CA Technologies for $18.9 billion in cash.

As of the end of Q3 2019, technology M&A deals worth $245 billion had been announced globally, marking a decrease of 25% year-on-year according to GlobalData.

Which mergers and acquisitions does 2020 have in store? If January alone is anything to go by, there will be no slowing of major deals across the industry, with security already proving to be a hot area.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 08, 2020

Mobile workforce to reach 93.5M in U.S. by ‘24
The U.S. mobile worker population is set to jump from 78.5 million to 93.5 million by 2024, according to IDC, as businesses digitize processes and support larger remote workforces. The move to a more mobile workforce has implications for IT spending, business processes and the ability to maintain efficiencies outside the office.

In general, IDC expects the number of mobile workers to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% over five years - outpacing the overall workforce growth in the U.S. over the same period. Mobile workers will account for almost 60% of the entire U.S. workforce by the end of the 2024, the research firm said, with businesses expected to spend around a third (32%) of their overall IT budgets on mobile hardware, software and services.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 08, 2020

Please hold for Nice Barney
This pilot fish runs the night support shift, and fairly regularly they have to call a particular DBA when they're stumped. He is just that good you could be sure he'd have the answer.

But when he answered the phone, he would cuss and yell, smear the caller with every name in the book, and then hang up. Within five minutes, he would call back on the manager hotline and say, "This is Barney. I am awake now. How can I help you?" Friendly as that dinosaur of the same name.

According to Barney's wife, he was just the same when she woke him suddenly — nastier than a hungry T-rex.

Wishing to bypass the ugly Barney and get to the helpful, friendly one right away, they get him a pager, which he puts next to his pillow. When it buzzes, he can vent his five minutes of bile with no one to hear it. Then he calls in and fixes whatever the problem is.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 07, 2020

Worst may be over for U.S. IT job losses in COVID-19 pandemic
Although the U.S. IT and telecommunications job market is still expected to shrink by 64,000 jobs in 2020 versus 2019, the worst may be over - and about a third of the IT jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to have come back by 2021. That's according to the most recent survey of IT executives by management consultancy Janco Associates.

For the first time in six months, August saw a net gain in the number of IT jobs: up 6,900. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also revised the number of IT jobs lost in July, showing 4,400 fewer jobs were lost than originally reported. Still, over the last 12 months, IT jobs fell by 81,800, nearly erasing the 90,200 jobs gained in 2019.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 07, 2020

With Patch Tuesday here, get Windows Update locked down
Every month we see the same pattern: Microsoft releases its Patch Tuesday regimen; the blogosphere flies into a frenzy about security holes that have to be patched right this minute; some patches have bugs; Microsoft fixes many of them in a week or two, warns about others, and stays mum on far too many.

Normal Windows users are left in the lurch. On the one hand, you have the threat of imminent malware mayhem. On the other, you have the threat of poorly tested patches. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

[ Related: Windows 10 version 2004: Key enterprise features ] It's been like that for years. Don't believe it? Computerworld has month-by-month details for the past three years here.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 07, 2020

With Patch Tuesday near, get Windows Update locked down
Every month we see the same pattern: Microsoft releases its Patch Tuesday regimen; the blogosphere flies into a frenzy about security holes that have to be patched right this minute; some patches have bugs; Microsoft fixes many of them in a week or two, warns about others, and stays mum on far too many.

Normal Windows users are left in the lurch. On the one hand, you have the threat of imminent malware mayhem. On the other, you have the threat of poorly tested patches. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

[ Related: Windows 10 version 2004: Key enterprise features ] It's been like that for years. Don't believe it? Computerworld has month-by-month details for the past three years here.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 07, 2020

How Apple Watch helps you get work done
Apple Watch hosts several tools to help you get things done. What follows is a short collection of them and how to set them up to be most useful.

Reminders on Apple Watch I use Reminders on my Apple Watch for almost everything - from cooking times to project deadlines to scheduling calls. All it takes is one push on the Digital Crown to summon Siri, and I can then speak the request: "Remind me to attend the group Zoom meeting Friday," for example, or "Hey Siri, set a timer for two hours," to help you focus.

What's great about this is that once you set the Reminder you don't need to think about it again. The limitation is that you will only receive one reminder notification at the time you set, but you can change this on your iPhone.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 07, 2020

Fast forward: What's coming in future versions of Chrome?
Chrome looms over the browser landscape like a leviathan.

With more than 70% of the world's browser user share - a measure of browser activity calculated by analytics company Net Applications - Google's Chrome has crushed the competition. Rivals, from Microsoft's Edge to Mozilla's Firefox, survive on single-digit shares that seem liable to evaporate on short notice.

So, it's no surprise that when Chrome moves, others feel the tremors. With each upgrade - something Computerworld tracks in the What's in the latest Chrome update? series - and every time Google talks of future plans, opponents pay attention to hear what they may have to copy to stay competitive.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 07, 2020

Memory-Lane Monday: OK, so it's no problem for you, but what about your PC?
User complains that her PC has no network connectivity, so this help desk pilot fish gives her a call to do basic troubleshooting before making a desk-side visit.

"I describe the network cable to her and ask her to confirm that it's connected firmly on both ends," says fish. "Check. I ask her to restart her computer. She does. The problem persists."

So fish starts trying to determine whether the problem is with all network functions, or only some. Can she use the web? "No," user says. OK, can you send or receive email? "Oh, yes, no problems there," she says.

Ah, fish says, so it's only some network functions that are having problems? Some things aren't working, but email is?

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 04, 2020

Yes, you can install the August Windows and Office patches now
It looks like we're good to go with Microsoft's August Windows and Office patches. The second cumulative update for Windows 8.1, KB 4578013, throws some Virtual Private Networks out of kilter, and the Win7 patches may knock out your printers (for those of you paying for Win7 Extended Security Updates). But most of the other bugs appear to be squashed.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 04, 2020

Apple strengthens commitment to human rights with new policy
Apple has once again responded to critics with the publication of a human rights policy it says commits the company to "freedom of information and expression."

Freedom of expression "At Apple, we are optimistic about technology's awesome potential for good," says CEO Tim Cook. "But we know that it won't happen on its own. Every day, we work to infuse the devices we make with the humanity that makes us."

However, the document also points out that Apple is required to obey the law.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 04, 2020

The new Surface Duo could be the perfect workstation
Editor's note: Microsoft is a client of the author.

Last week, I had an interesting chat with Israel Sumano, senior director of infrastruture services at Southland Industries. He has around 450 engineers using Workspot's cloud desktop solution running on Microsoft Azure. Most of these people are using old desktops, but he has been using an S20 Ultra to host his desktop. That's why I wanted to talk to him.

I know a bit about Workstation users: they demand - and typically get - the hardware they want, and Workstations tend to be several times more expensive than PCs. So the idea of putting a firm's engineering staff onto what amounts to a thin-client solution shouldn't work. But the plan is to put these engineers on Microsoft's new Duo, which is the first Smartphone in some time (other than a BlackBerry) with a serious business focus. 

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 04, 2020

Flashback Friday: Eh, I guess it could happen to anybody
It's the mid-1970s, and this programmer pilot fish works for an IT service provider that supports several big insurance companies.

"We ran a huge (at that time) mainframe and a nationwide network and, of course, a large computer room," says fish.

One winter night, fish is there working on a new program. There's a blizzard outside, so when the mainframe operator has finished running the nightly batch, fish tells him to go home, figuring he knows enough to compile his code.

But not long after, while fish is waiting for a compile to finish, all the lights freeze on the teletype-style console and it stops printing.

That's a problem. It's 3 a.m. in the middle of a blizzard, the system won't work without a console, and fish knows everything has to be up and running in a few hours. He puts in a service call.

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 03, 2020

The Chromebook's new secret weapon
Google's Chrome OS platform is a lot of different things. It's a simple place for web-centric computing. It's a natural extension of Android and the future of the "Android tablet." It's a place to run Linux apps — and soon, if you're in the right enterprise environment, a place to run Windows apps, too (!).

To read this article in full, please click here



Enterprise Application News
Sep 03, 2020

Apple sets scene for 5G ‘for the rest of us'
We all think Apple will introduce 5G support in the next-generation iPhone, but it looks seriously as if it has a wider plan to turn the mass market on to the mobile broadband standard.

Apple's services are built for mobile Apple has been heavily focused on building out its services in recent years, and there's a great deal of activity going on in this space:

Apple TV : This service continues to generate attention as high profile A-listers sign up to work with Apple on future shows. Apple Music: The company recently added two new radio channels, dropped the Beats name and continues to build out and add content to its music streaming service. iOS 14 adds integration with Snapchat, improved search and a few other features. Apple Arcade: While Arcade still seems to be short of a hit game, recent bad blood between Apple and Epic suggests a wider competitive rift. Given Apple's focus on Metal and ARKit, does the company intend publishing a range of AR titles that compete? Apple News: The company continues to woo users with cut price deals and partnerships, though publishers seem disappointed at the revenues raised. What's most notable in recent days as we head toward the inexorable online iPhone 12 range announcement is the emergence of new deal packages from Apple and selected

Enterprise Application News
Sep 03, 2020

Windows by the numbers: No dog days for Windows 10
Windows 10 rediscovered its appetite for share last month as it grew to represent almost 70% of all instances of Microsoft's OS.

According to U.S. metrics vendor Net Applications, Windows 10 grew by 1.2 percentage points to reach 60.6% of global operating system share in August, accounting for 69.6% of all Windows editions. As usual, the second number is the more important of the two; August's was 1.4 points higher than July's.

[ Related: Microsoft revamps Windows Insider release vernacular ] Windows 10's percentage of only Windows PCs (that's the 69.6%) was larger than the percentage of all personal computers (the 60.6%), because Windows does not power every system. In August, Windows was the OS of slightly fewer than 87% of the world's personal computers, down just half of one-tenth of a point from July. Of the remaining 13%, all but four-tenths of a percentage point ran macOS, Linux or Chrome OS.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 03, 2020

Using low code platforms to learn development skills
Low code and no code platforms are valuable IT tools. They make it easy for employees outside of the IT team to develop apps that simplify business processes. And in some cases, they can aid in the transition from amateur developer or Excel power user to professional programmer. InfoWorld senior writer Serdar Yegulalp joins Juliet to discuss how employees interested in development can use low code platforms to learn basic skills before jumping into code.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 02, 2020

How Apple is being deployed across the COVID-19 enterprise
Enterprises worldwide have upgraded employees with Apple solutions to support remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jamf CEO Dean Hager confirmed during his company's first post-IPO fiscal call.

Apple in the enterprise hits rapid growth The deployment of Apple in the enterprise appears to be accelerating.

"Our business predominantly grows through the enterprise and education acceptance of using Apple products at school or work," Hager said. "And that acceptance within the enterprise is actually outpacing even the device growth that you see," he added.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 02, 2020

Wayback Wednesday: For my next trick …
Pilot fish is assigned to write a program to handle call center requests — everything from service scheduling and machine tracking to engineering change requests and design issues.

"Doing my best due diligence, I went from one department head to the next, pen and paper in hand, and asked each one for specific ideas of what they wanted," says fish. "Each of them responded the same: ‘I don't know. Put something together and then we'll tweak it.'"

Undaunted, fish goes to potential users in each department, asking for input. But it's the same story: "Put something together and we'll figure it out from there."

Fish thinks long and hard — how can he write this with no input? But he gets a devilish idea and soon tells all the department heads and the company president to assemble for a demonstration in a meeting room. He has second thoughts when the president actually shows up, but it's too late to change course.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 01, 2020

Top web browsers 2020: Firefox, IE, Chrome all fall
Mozilla's Firefox slumped, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) crashed, and even Google's Chrome dropped last month in the global struggle for market share.

August was as unkind to browsers as the year has been to their users.

According to data published yesterday by California-based analytics company Net Applications, Firefox's share fell by two-tenths of a percentage point, ending August at 7.1%, a record low in its years-long decline. The last time the browser held such a small share was more than 15 years ago, in March 2005, as it was building to be a legitimate alternate to the then-monarch IE.

By Net Applications' measurements, Firefox lost the equivalent of 2.2% of its share during August. Mozilla's own data — in the form of monthly average users, or MAU — also showed a decline for Firefox, albeit a smaller 1.3% downturn.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 01, 2020

Responding to pressure, Apple requests developer feedback
Critics always mock this claim, but Apple listens to feedback from across its ecosystem, and a couple of recent developer relations changes suggest it is thinking to recent criticisms of its App Store policies.

An epic challenge In just a few years, Tim Cook's Apple has managed to develop, build and evangelize a global mobile platform.

It is responsible for the hardware design, platform development and to maintain a framework for its own and third-party services while also ensuring its creations are capable of answering new demands as these emerge.

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 01, 2020

5 fantastic Android 10 features you probably forget to use
We're officially in the final countdown to the launch of Android 11, which is expected to arrive any week now — but forget the shiny new stuff for a second. I'd be willing to wager there are some worthwhile treats in the current Android version that you either overlooked entirely or maybe thought about for a few minutes and then forgot to keep using.

Any Android update has a lot to digest, after all, and it's all too easy to let certain things slip by. But Android 10's got some subtle gems that are well worth putting back on your radar and embracing. And whether you end up seeing Android 11 within days of its arrival or waiting an eternity for the update to reach your phone, reminding yourself to take advantage of these features will make your life easier — both now and into the future. (Yes, they're all still present in Android 11!)

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Enterprise Application News
Sep 01, 2020

Elementary
It's 1984, and the small law firm where this basically non-techie pilot fish works has finally agreed to his suggestion to get computers and inkjet printers for all the secretaries.

Fish's stock rises when productivity soars, so he doesn't mind that he'll be in charge of fixing any of the machines that start to act up.

And the computers do have their moments and require constant hardware and software tinkering. Fortunately, the printers never fail. In fact, things are going pretty well, until one computer starts rebooting itself, for no apparent reason, several times a day, costing the secretary who uses it to lose all her work in progress.

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Enterprise Application News
Aug 31, 2020

Microsoft Patch Alert: August 2020
With Windows 10 2004 gradually creeping (I use the term intentionally) onto more machines, faults and foibles are coming out of the woodwork. It looks like a fix for the long-lamented version 2004 defrag bugs is on the way, but we aren't there yet. Lenovo isn't too happy with the August version 2004 cumulative update. It's still too early to move to 2004, in my opinion — and those problems ensure I'll keep 2004 off my machines for a while.

Meanwhile, Microsoft extended the end of support date for Win10 version 1803 — a move that'll interest exactly nobody except for admins with aging Win10 machines. Windows 8.1 patchers got left out in the Remote Access cold for a week. The .NET security updates have an odd, acknowledged bug with a manual registry workaround.

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Enterprise Application News
Aug 31, 2020

What's in the latest Chrome update? 10% faster page loads, more tab tweaks
Google last week released Chrome 85, boasting of several enhancements to the browser's tab-based user interface and a 10% reduction in page load times.

The Mountain View, Calif. company also paid out more than $10,000 in bounties to security researchers who reported some of the 20 vulnerabilities addressed in Chrome 85. Two of the bugs were marked "High," Google's second-most-serious threat level. One of those flaws, which Google said was in the iOS version of Chrome, was reported by a member of Microsoft's browser vulnerability research team. Microsoft now relies on the same core technologies — those produced by the Google-dominated Chromium project — for its Edge browser as Google does for Chrome.

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Enterprise Application News
Aug 31, 2020

The best ways to run Windows 10 on a Mac
Microsoft's Windows operating system still dominates on computers, but Apple's macOS is in use by 17% of the global desktop computing population, according to StatCounter — and by 27% of U.S. computers, 29% of British computers, and 25% of Canadian computers. Businesses have long been even more Windows-centric, but macOS has found a place in several key segments: software development, creative and marketing work (such as image editing, video production, and layout), and website design and creation.

The Mac is a solid enterprise computer, despite the Windows bias prevalent in IT. And as more people work from home, the chances that an employee is using a Mac for business are now higher than ever.

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(Insider Story)

Enterprise Application News
Aug 31, 2020

Memory-Lane Monday: While we're chatting, I should mention about the big red switch …
Flashback to 1988, when this pilot fish's IT experience is limited to work at computer stores on standalone PCs. But then he's hired to work in a real data center — raised floor, glass walls and full of Wang minicomputers.

"I was given an introductory walkthrough by my boss, then shown to my cubicle just outside the glass wall and left there," says fish. "I was awestruck. A real computer, on a network!"

Fish reads through his employee welcome packet, then logs into his terminal for the first time. Up pops a menu of choices. Gingerly, fish begins exploring. One menu option is WSNSTART. Fish selects that and presses Enter.

Several screens flash by in quick succession, and then the main menu reappears.

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Enterprise Application News
Aug 28, 2020

Apple fall 2020 product launches: iPhone, iPad and Mac preview
 It's almost September, which means Apple's fall product launches are right around the corner. While there may not be a single big event this year, expect individual events around the release of the new 5G iPhone 12 and the first Apple Silicon Mac. Plus, be on the lookout for the refreshed iPad Air, new AirPods and the Apple Watch Series 6. Macworld senior writer Michael Simon and Computerworld executive editor Ken Mingis join Juliet to discuss this fall's biggest Apple announcements and when to expect them.

Check out last week's episode about the new 27-inch Mac: https://youtu.be/ZSPcvEpp6ho

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