Office 2019 for Windows + Mac: What are the Feature Differences?

OFFICE 2019 FOR WINDOWS FEATURES

What’s new in the Office Desktop apps for Windows in Office 2019 versus Office 2016?

Word – “Get work done easier”

  • Black theme
  • Learning tools (captions and audio descriptions)
  • Speech feature (text-to-speech)
  • Improved inking functionality
  • Accessibility improvements

Excel – “Perform better data analysis”

  • Funnel charts, 2D maps, and timelines
  • New Excel functions and connectors
  • Ability to publish Excel to PowerBI
  • PowerPivot enhancements
  • PowerQuery enhancements

PowerPoint –“Create more impactful content”

  • Zoom capabilities for ordering of slides within presentations
  • Morph transition feature
  • Ability to insert and manage Icons, SVG, and 3D models
  • Improved roaming pencil case

Outlook – “Manage email more efficiently”

  • Updated contact cards
  • Office 365 Groups (requires exchange online account)
  • @mentions
  • Focused inbox
  • Travel and delivery summary cards

What are the feature differences between Office 2019 and Office 365 for Windows?  Office 2019 is an upgrade to earlier versions of on-premises Office, including Office 2016. Office 365 is the subscription service of Office, and it will have the most creative, collaborative, intelligent, and secure features to go along with cloud connectivity. The following Office 365 features are not included in Office 2019 for Windows.

Unlocks creativity

  • Editor in Word
  • Tap in Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook
  • Designer in PowerPoint
  • Researcher in Word
  • Ideas in Excel
  • Data Types in Excel

Built for teamwork

  • Real time collaboration across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  Real-time collaboration is available in Office 2019 but only as part of Word 2019, and only when used in combination with SharePoint Online.
  • @mentions in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Integrated for simplicity

  • Shared computer licensing
  • Language packs included
  • FastTrack Options
  • Intune Integration

Intelligent security

  • ATP in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive for Business..  Requires Exchange Online account and ATP subscription (standalone or included in Office 365 E5).
  • Office 365 Message Encryption
  • Office Enterprise Protection**
  • Add sensitivity label in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.  Features coming to Office 365 ProPlus.

OFFICE 2019 FOR MAC FEATURES

What’s new with the Office Desktop apps in Office 2019 for Mac versus Office 2016 for Mac?

Word

“Get work done easier”

  • Focus Mode
  • Translator
  • Improved inking functionality
  • Customizable Office ribbons
  • Accessibility improvements

Excel

“Perform better data analysis”

  • Funnel charts, 2D maps, and timelines
  • New Excel functions (CONCAT, TEXTJOIN, IFS, SWITCH)

PowerPoint

“Create more impactful content”

  • Morph transition feature
  • Ability to insert and manage Icons, SVG, and 3D models
  • Improved roaming pencil case
  • 4K video export
  • Play in-click sequence

Outlook

“Manage email more efficiently”

  • @mentions
  • Focused inbox
  • Office 365 Groups.  Requires an Exchange Online account.
  • Travel and delivery summary cards
  • Send Later function to delay or schedule delivery of email messages
  • Read and delivery receipts
  • Email templates

What are the feature differences between Office 2019 for Mac and Office 365 for Mac?  Office 2019 is an upgrade to earlier versions of on-premises Office, including Office 2016.  Office 365 is the subscription service of Office, and it will have the most creative, collaborative, intelligent, and secure features to go along with cloud connectivity. The following Office 365 ProPlus features are not included in Office 2019 for Mac.

Unlocks creativity

  • Researcher
  • Data Types
  • Resume Assistant

Built for teamwork

  • Real time collaboration
  • @mentions in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Shared documents
  • Activity and Version History

Integrated for simplicity

  • Google calendar & contacts in Outlook
  • Online versions of applications
  • Access on any device
  • Standard .pkg installer
  • Intune and Configuration Manager integration
  • Jamf Pro Integration
  • MAU caching server

Intelligent security

  • ATP Safe Attachments.  Must have an E5 subscription or purchased a separate ATP subscription (for E1, E3, and ProPlus standalone SKUs).
  • ATP Safe Links.   Must have an E5 subscription or purchased a separate ATP subscription (for E1, E3, and ProPlus standalone SKUs).
  • ATP URL Detonation..  Must have an E5 subscription or purchased a separate ATP subscription (for E1, E3, and ProPlus standalone SKUs).
  • Information Rights Management.  Must have an Office 365 E1, E3, or E5 subscription.
  • Exchange Online Protection.  Must have an Office 365 E1, E3, or E5 subscription.

Reach out to Bryley Systems for any additional information regarding Microsoft Office 2019.  You may contact us at 978.562.6077, or at ITExperts@Bryley.com.  We are here to help.

Reference:  Reprinted: Microsoft Support. Office 2019 / FAQ. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4133312/office-2019-commercial-for-windows-and-mac-frequently-asked-questions.  Bryley is a Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions Provider.

What’s New with Office 2019?

Commercial customers can now purchase Microsoft Office 2019 for Windows and Mac. Office 2019 is the next perpetual release of Office. It includes significant improvements over Microsoft Office 2016 and earlier versions of on-premises Office.

What’s New with Office 2019?

  1. Advanced presentation features. While PowerPoint is still one of the most popular and commonly-used presentation solutions available, there are plenty of others who view it as dated.  In order to stay relevant, Microsoft has incorporated more advanced presentation features in Office 2019. These include things like enhanced Morph and Zoom capabilities to help you create a more sophisticated and dynamic presentation.  Those features are already included in Office 365 ProPlus, but are not available to people who are currently operating with Office 2016.
  2. More powerful data analysis. When it comes to data management and analysis, Excel still reigns supreme. Office plans to kick things up a notch in the 2019 version of the software. Customers should expect even more powerful features, such as new formulas, new charts (like funnel charts and 2D maps), the ability to publish from Excel to Power BI (Microsoft’s own business analytics service), and enhancements for PowerPivot and PowerQuery.
  3. Improved inking features.  Those who use Microsoft Surface devices are probably already big fans of the digital pen that allow them to draw, note, and scribble directly onto their device’s screen. Office 2019 will introduce all new inking capabilities across all apps—such as pressure sensitivity, tilt effects that adjust the ink’s thickness depending on the angle of the pen, and even a roaming pencil case, which allows users to store and organize their favorite pens, pencils, and highlighters to roam with them across their different devices.
  4. Easier email management. Iif you’re an Outlook user, the release of Office 2019 shouldn’t leave you in the dark. Microsoft has tried to remove the hassle and headaches out of email management.

According to Microsoft, these include things like:

  • Updated contact cards
  • Office 365 Groups
  • @mentions
  • Focused inbox
  • Travel package cards

General Information

What did you announce on September 24, 2018?  Office 2019 is now available as a one-time purchase for commercial users. Office 2019 is available for both Windows and macOS, and includes classic versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. The Windows version also includes Publisher 2019, Access 2019, Project 2019, and Visio 2019. Office 2019 applications don’t receive feature updates but do receive regular security and stability updates.

If I have Office 365, do I need to get Office 2019?  No. Office 365 is our always-up-to-date version of the Office apps, and subscribers already have a version of Office that has all the functionality that’s in Office 2019 and more. See a comparison of Office 365 ProPlus and Office 2019.

Is OneNote included in Office 2019?  With the introduction of Office 2019, OneNote for Windows 10 replaces OneNote 2016 as the default OneNote experience on Windows for Office 365 and Office 2019. OneNote for Windows 10 is included with Windows 10. If you’d prefer to use OneNote 2016, you can install it at any time, including as part of a volume install with the Office Deployment Tool. There are no similar changes for OneNote for Mac: it will install as part of Office 2019, if it is not already present, and includes additional functionality for Office 2019 customers. It also remains available as a free download from the Apple App Store. Learn more, including about feature differences across platforms.

Who is the audience for this release?  The commercial release of Office 2019 is geared toward volume-licensed commercial customers who have a specific need for on-premises or hybrid deployment and want to have the latest version of Office applications and services available for that scenario.

When will consumer versions of Office 2019 be available?  Consumer versions of Office 2019 are available starting October 2, 2018.

What is the difference between Office 2019 (on-premises; one-time purchase) and Office 365 (subscription)?  Office 2019 (for both Windows and Mac) is a one-time purchase and does not receive feature updates after you purchase it. Office 2019 includes a meaningful subset of features that are found in Office 365, but it’s not part of Office 365. Office 2019 will receive quality and security updates as required.

Office 365 is a user-based subscription service powered by the Microsoft cloud. It provides access to a suite of services beyond what the on-premises version has and receives feature updates on an ongoing basis. It includes the most productive, secure, and up-to-date features.

How should a customer choose the most appropriate version of Office for their specific scenario?  For many customers, Office 365 is the way to go. It’s the most secure, intelligent and collaborative version of Office. However, going to the cloud is a journey, and our customers may be in different stages of that journey. This includes hybrid and on-premises. To support those customers, we have Office 2019, a valuable new release of Office with a subset of features from Office 365. To assess which version of Office best fits your organization’s needs, contact us at 978.562.6077, or at ITExperts@Bryley.com.

Why is Microsoft offering Office 2019 when it has shifted its strategy to Office 365 in the cloud? Most of our cloud-powered innovation is coming to Office 365 and Microsoft 365. However, we recognize that some customers can’t move to the cloud in the near term. We want to support all our customers in their journey to the cloud, at the pace that makes the most sense to them.

Will there be on-premises versions of Office beyond Office 2019? Moving to the cloud is a journey with many considerations along the way. Therefore, we remain committed to on-premises customers and plan to do additional releases post Office 2019.

How do I know whether my PC or Mac can run Office 2019?  Office 2019 is compatible with Windows 10 and the three most recent versions of macOS.

  • For the best experience, use the latest version of any operating system. See the system requirements page for the full set of requirements for running Office 2019.

 

Note: When a new version of macOS is released, Office 2019 for Mac’s Operating System requirement becomes the then-current three most recent versions at that time: the new version of macOS and the previous two versions. For example, at the time macOS 10.14 is generally available from Apple, Office for Mac will support macOS 10.12, 10.13, and 10.14. Learn more about the latest macOS release here.

Will Office be identical on a PC and on a Mac? No. Office applications are customized for each platform. The Office applications available for Mac users and the specific features that are included may differ from those available for PC users.

Can people with earlier versions of Office open documents I created by using Office 2019?  People who use Office 365, Office 2016, Office 2013, and Office 2010 applications can open documents created by using Office 2019 without any additional action.

How do I activate Office 2019 for my organization? The activation methods for Office 2019 are the same as they were for Office 2016:

  • If you use KMS keys, then you have to set up a 2019 KMS Host to activate against.
  • If you use MAK keys, then you can either activate over the Internet (recommended) or if offline, activate over the telephone.

For more information about activation of volume licensed versions of Office 2019, see here.

Is Internet access required to use Office 2019?  No, you don’t have to be connected to the Internet to use the Office 2019 applications, such as Word 2019, Excel 2019, and PowerPoint 2019, because the applications are fully installed on your computer.

Is Internet access required to update Office 2019?  Although updates for Office 2019 are made available through the Internet, they can be hosted on-premises for disconnected networks.

How do I upgrade my Office apps? If you make a one-time purchase of Office, you don’t receive an automatic upgrade. If you use Office 365, you already have the most current version of Office. For more information, see this Office article.

LANGUAGE SUPPORT FOR OFFICE 2019

For which languages is Office 2019 available?  For a full list of supported languages, see here. Not all languages are available in all countries/regions.

Can I use Office 2019 in languages other than the one I originally purchased?  Microsoft offers simple and cost-effective solutions for multilingual environments. You can install language accessory packs after you install Office 2019 to add additional display, help, or proofing tools. For more information about how to add languages, see here.

SUPPORT AND SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS FOR WINDOWS

What support comes with Office 2019 for Windows? Microsoft Office 2019 for Windows provides 5 years of mainstream support plus two 2 years of extended support as an exception to the 10-year Fixed Lifecycle Policy term. This seven-year term aligns with the support period for Office 2016.

Office 2019 is supported on the following:

  • Any supported Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel
  • Windows 10 Enterprise Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) 2018
  • The next LTSC release of Windows Server

Why has Microsoft switched to a 5+2 years support model for Office 2019 for Windows? Modern software not only provides new features to help people do their best work, but also new, more efficient manageability solutions and more comprehensive approaches to security. Software that is a decade old or more, and hasn’t benefited from this innovation, is difficult to secure and inherently less productive. As the pace of change accelerates, it has become imperative to move our software to a more modern cadence.  By adopting the 5+2 year period, Office 2019 will help reduce this exposure.

What experience can I expect with Office 2019 vs. Office 365 if I’m running Windows 7 or 8 on my system?  Office 2019 is not supported on Windows 7 or Windows 8.  For Office 365 installed on Windows 7 or Windows 8:

  • Windows 7 with Extended Security Updates (ESU) is supported through January 2023.
  • Windows 7 without ESU is supported through January 2020.
  • Windows 8.1 is supported through January 2023.

Can Office 2019 run alongside Office 2016?   No. Office 2019 and Office 2016 cannot run concurrently on either Windows or Mac.

SUPPORT AND SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS FOR MAC

What support comes with Office 2019 for Mac?  Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac provides 5 years of mainstream support. This 5-year term is aligned with the support model for Office 2016 for Mac.

What are the system requirements for running Office 2019 on Mac?  Office 2019 for Mac is supported on the three most recent versions of macOS. When a new version of macOS is released, the Office 2019 for Mac Operating System requirement becomes the three most recent versions at that time. That is, the new version of macOS plus the previous two versions.  For the best experience, use the latest version of any operating system.

Can Office 2019 for Mac run alongside Office 2016 for Mac?  No. Office 2019 and Office 2016 cannot run concurrently on either Windows or Mac.

 

Reach out to Bryley Systems for any additional information regarding Microsoft Office 2019.  You may contact us at 978.562.6077, or at ITExperts@Bryley.com.  We are here to help.

Reference:  Reprint: Microsoft Support. Office 2019 / FAQ. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4133312/office-2019-commercial-for-windows-and-mac-frequently-asked-questions. Bryley is a Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions Provider.

Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10? Eeny, meeny, miny, moe?

By Anna D, Client Relationship Manager, Bryley Systems

Choosing which Windows operating system (OS) to install on your computer is not child’s play.

I know, because as the Bryley Systems’ Client Relationship Manager, I have this conversation with clients over and over again, especially when clients are purchasing new computers.

Here’s what I recommend.

If you are purchasing new computers for your organization, you should seriously consider installing Windows 10. 

Some clients want to install Windows 7, perhaps because they’re familiar with it. However, Windows 7 has a relatively short lifespan. It will be at “end of life” on January 14th, 2020.  This means that Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates for that operating system, in which case your computer will be more susceptible to viruses and your organization will not be compliant.  In 3 years, you will have to upgrade that operating system. An upgrade involves labor costs, software licensing, and employee downtime. Not the best idea.

What about Windows 8? Good question. Windows 8 was the operating system that Microsoft “abandoned,” probably because it was not well received. Windows 8 was only around for 3 years, making it one of the most short-lived operating system licenses that Microsoft has ever released. What’s more, many distributors are not stocking their inventory with computers that have Windows 8 or 8.1 pre-installed. That’s a problem.

That brings us to Windows 10, which is definitely my recommendation. Of course, prior to installing Windows 10, you need to find out if all of your applications are compatible with this newest operating system.  We can help you make that determination.

Transitioning to a new operating system isn’t always easy, but it is a best practice and we can guide you through the process. For more information, please call Bryley Systems at 978-562-6077 or toll free at 844-449-8770. Of course, you can also email us at ITExperts@Bryley.com.

Office 365 Changes

Office 365 recently announced some updates to the platform.  Below is a list of changes taken from their Message Center:

 

Sept. 18th
Updated feature: Office 365 login screen
How does this affect me?
Any user logging into Office 365, from anywhere in the EU, will see a cookie disclosure banner. This banner will show the first time the user loads the page and will not show again for a few months, or until cookies are cleared on the browser. There is no action the user has to take on this banner and there is no change in workflow. This change is intended to meet EU regulatory requirements.   This process should be completed by the end of September.

Sept. 19th
Updated feature: Office 365 multi-factor authentication screens

How does this affect me?
If you have multi-factor authentication (MFA) turned on, users in your organization will see an updated experience for MFA screens that matches the new sign-in experience. This will only show when users opt-in to see the new sign-in experience, by clicking “try it now”. If users do not opt-in, they will continue to see MFA screens in the current experience. This change will start rolling out in the next few days.

What do I need to do to prepare for this change?
There is nothing needed on your end, but you may consider user training.

Sept, 20th

Known Issue: Email access in iOS 11
If you are using the native mail app on your iPhone or iPad, and upgrade to iOS 11, you may encounter issues.

How does this affect me?
Due to an incompatibility in the new release of iOS, users of the built-in Apple Mail app in iOS 11 may be unable to sync their Office 365 mailbox or login to their accounts. iOS 9 or 10 users are not affected.

What do I need to do to fix this?
Microsoft and Apple are working to resolve this issue.  In the meantime, it is suggested that you download the free Outlook for iOS client, available in the App Store.

Windows Server 2016

Lawrence Strauss of Strauss and Strauss

This is an exciting time in business computing. We’ve witnessed dramatically new improvements in systems, architecture, storage, and networking. Windows Server 2016 offers the promise of helping organizations deal with all these rapid changes within the entirely familiar Windows environment.

Windows Server 2016 (expect a fall release [as of this writing Windows Server 2016 is in Technical Preview 4]) represents developments that ensure stability and easy adaptability to provide a software environment able to help organizations weather the pace of change. Stability is achieved by delivering increased ways of isolating data on your servers and in the Cloud. Easy adaptability comes from moving more and more functionality to the Cloud, where both software and its underlying hardware can continue to develop; your organization sees only the benefits of these changes, not the costly interruptions.

Today’s Windows Server is a Swiss army knife that has the ability to run millions of different applications, which is where the problem lies: The base operating system (OS) continues to grow in size and complexity. (The overhead of a traditional Windows Server providing a single-core service is staggering: Simple features, such as DNS or DHCP, require a 20GB server installation.)

Windows Server Core, a full Windows Server OS without the GUI, was first introduced with Windows Server 2008 and helped address this issue. Now, Nano Server is the next step in the evolution toward a small-footprint base OS.

Nano Server is possibly the most revolutionary element of this Windows Server release. As its name indicates, Nano Server is a very lightweight OS that can host applications built on frameworks like .Net, or Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtual machines.

Nano Server is made for remote management with scripting automation through small pieces of modular code, rather than by traditional GUI OS management techniques. It is managed by PowerShell. Nano Server is incredibly efficient in that it shrinks the OS footprint by 93 percent, the number of patches and maintenance by 92 percent, and the number of reboots by 80 percent. These efficiencies make it ideal for Cloud-based implementations.

Microsoft’s Nano Server is a unique departure for Microsoft and, according to the company, the future of the Windows Server platform. Linux has a head start with its microservices journey but Microsoft has shown an uncanny ability to turn on a dime when needed. If Microsoft can find the balancing point between the agile, quick, streamlined, container platforms that are still versatile enough to support the gigantic Windows developer community, all while allowing balanced administration, Nano Server could be a game changer. While this all sounds like a lot to balance (and it is), let’s not forget the improvements Microsoft made with Server Core from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012, which put Windows Server Core 2012 into the enterprise with the proper balance between performance, versatility, and managerial features. Nano Server looks to be that evolutionary and revolutionary step for Windows Server.

It is very unlikely that Nano Server will replace the traditional server OS overnight; Microsoft is still working on tools for the administrator to support it. (Windows Server Core 2008 suffered slow deployment due to the lack of remote tools for the administrator, a problem that was addressed in Windows Server 2012.) The other challenge will be developing applications for the Nano Server. (Since these containers do not run a full installation of the .Net Framework, it will require developers to redesign at least part of their applications to take advantage of the .Net core framework.) While this may seem troubling, streamlining the server to focus only on exactly what it needs to do is ideal in today’s world, where a system administrator’s time is so heavily focused on administration duties, such as patching and security hardening.

The ideal target with Nano Server is the infrastructure of native, Cloud-based applications. The small footprint in disk space and code help to make the Nano Server a platform that should require little patching or maintenance – making it ideal for Cloud-based environments.

The Nano Server isn’t Microsoft starting over – but it is pretty close. Without the traditional .Net Framework, remote management is needed. Even many of the traditional hooks that allow servers with graphical user interfaces to perform remote management are missing.

Moving toward miniaturization, while based on the Microsoft server platform, has much of the interface, application stack, and traditional .Net framework removed. The Nano Server becomes a lightweight host for Hyper-V VMs or applications designed to run on the .Net Core framework.

The other important functions for Nano Server are in Hyper-V and scale-out file-server roles. Both of these roles fit very well within Azure and the Cloud-based strategy that Microsoft is moving forward with.

The Hyper-V role should be of particular interest to many administrators looking to use Hyper-V as an alternative to VMware. While Nano Server is still not as streamlined as VMware’s ESXi, it is a great step in the right direction and an improvement over Windows Server Core. However, the unique thing about Nano Server is that it can run on bare metal, as a virtual machine, or even as a container, something VMware’s ESXi cannot do, giving the developer and administrator the ultimate in flexibility.

Windows Server 2016 also offers robust support for containers and virtualization. Containers are isolated sections of data that can host applications, including the OS software needed to run those applications. This allows software requiring different operating systems to easily coexist on the same server. Windows Server 2016 supports open-source Docker containers that offer the promise of a more efficient, lightweight approach to application deployment than most organizations are currently implementing.

Unlike virtual machines (VMs), however, containers still expose the underlying operating-system version and capabilities. New Hyper-V Containers, however, offer a blend of features from Hyper-V virtual machines and Windows Containers. Like a VM, Hyper-V Containers provide isolation from the underlying operating system, but like a container it uses a filesystem for deploying single apps. The benefits to organizations of this isolation include increased security, the ability to address problems without having them affect other operations, and an increase in the number of entirely independent functionality handled on the same architecture; additionally in DevOps situations, everyone involved has the exact same conditions in which to write, test, and use.

To aid in disaster recovery and to speed failover, Microsoft has introduced Storage Replica, which gives you the ability to replicate entire volumes at the block level in either synchronous or asynchronous modes.

Storage Spaces Direct is an advancement over Storage Spaces’ high availability, storage-management software. Storage Spaces Direct gives you the ability to build a highly available storage system using only directly attached disks on each node. Also Storage Spaces Direct enables organizations to make use of new hardware like NVMe (NVM Express) SSDs and older HDDs; locally accessible node storage can be used as shared storage.

The Resilient File System (ReFS) is another feature that was introduced with Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. Designed from the beginning to be more resistant to corruption than its predecessor, ReFS brings many advantages to the NTFS on-disk format. Microsoft has elevated both the usefulness and the importance of ReFS in Windows Server 2016 TP2 by making it the preferred file system for Hyper-V workloads.

This has huge performance implications for Hyper-V. For starters, you should see new virtual machines with a fixed-size VHDX created almost as fast as you hit return. The same advantages apply to creating checkpoint files and to merging VHDX files created when you make a backup. These capabilities resemble what ODX (Offloaded Data Transfers) can do on larger storage appliances. One point you need to keep in mind is that ReFS allocates the storage for these operations without initializing it, meaning there could be residual data left over from previous files.

With Windows Server 2016, your organization gets the functionality to build a Cloud infrastructure and to run a self-service, high-density Cloud. In microservices implementation, Nano Server, dramatically cuts the weight of OS services and is, per Microsoft, the future of the Windows Server platform. Containerization and improved virtualization allow you to create protected environments making issues easy to address. There’s a lot in this important, evolutionary step for Windows Server.

Microsoft’s focus on delivering a hybrid Cloud platform is clearly dictating the direction it’s taking in Windows Server 2016. Improvements to Hyper-V mean it’s easier to host and manage virtual machines as you upgrade your host environment, while PowerShell takes center stage with the arrival of the headless Nano Server option.

OneNote: A hidden gem in Microsoft Office

Gavin Livingstone, Bryley Systems Inc., January 2016

Microsoft first introduced OneNote with Microsoft Office 2003; since then, it has gone through five iterations and has become a useful utility to record free-form ideas and collaborate with others on any device, from Windows to iOS to Android. (See Wikipedia’s write-up on OneNote.)

Microsoft says that OneNote is “…a digital notebook for your to-do lists, lecture and meeting notes, vacation plans, or anything you want to organize.”

Key benefits:

  • Use anywhere, on any device
  • Work collaboratively with others
  • Keep all your ideas, notes, images, everything together in one place

I have been using OneNote for the past two months to replace my old, spiral-bound notebook. I setup my major groupings by Tabs (Executive, Meetings, Archive, etc.) and I then setup Pages within each Tab for my major task-groupings (Planning, Setup KPIs, ToDo, etc.). Within each Page, I setup a task list with task items.

For example, within my Executive Tab in the Page named “Planning –2016” I have:

  • Five-year plan:
    • 2016
    • 2017
    • 2018
    • 2019
    • 2020
  • Quarterly-plan
    • Q1
    • Q2
    • Q3
    • Q4

Each item within a task-list has a checkbox (called a To Do Tag), so that I can check it off when completed. When all items within all task-lists are completed, I move the Page to my Tab that I named Archive.

Within OneNote, I move Tabs left-to-right to arrange by priority. Likewise, within a Tab, I constantly shift higher-priority task-groupings (Pages) upward as their urgency increases.

I can include emails, documents, handwritten notes, and graphics within each Page.

Because it syncs securely and works with different devices, I have OneNote on my Ultrabook and on my Android tablet to allow use anywhere, anytime.

Can Windows 10 revitalize the PC?

With the introduction of Windows 10 this summer past, Microsoft (and its PC vendors like HP, Inc., Dell, Lenovo, etc.) are hoping for a significant surge in the sales of Windows-based desktops, notebooks, and tablets. However, the results to date have been modest at best.

Microsoft seems to have done a good job with Windows 10:

  • The update process is free (for a year), reasonably easy (for individuals, but not as much for organizations), and somewhat user-friendly. Also, updates are now “continuous”, mimicking the operating system-update policies of competitors Google and Apple. 1
  • Windows 10 is more secure with enhanced security features and improved look/touch login via Windows Hello.
  • There are new, useful features like Cortana (voice-activated assistant) and Edge (Internet browser replacing the old Internet Explorer).
  • Microsoft added built-in apps like Maps, Photos, Groove, Movies & TV, etc.
  • There are many, new, mostly free apps by third-party developers. 2
  • Reset and Refresh have been optimized for SSD drives.3
  • Some of the wrongs with Windows 8 (ie: no Start Menu) are now righted.

Windows is also somewhat of a player in mobile devices with increasing sales in Microsoft Surface (now a $1B business) and Lumina phones (purchased from Nokia), which contributes about $2B quarterly. (Although growing, these sales represent only 3% of the sales of mobile devices worldwide.) 4

These improvements seem to be part of Microsoft’s two-part mission:

  • Have Windows 10 run across as many devices and screens as possible, and
  • Make consumers love Windows 10, rather than just need it.

On the positive side:

  • Microsoft reports that Windows 10 is installed on over 110M devices to date.
  • Gartner predicts that Windows 10 installations will eclipse Windows XP and Windows 7 by 2019.

However, Windows is losing market share (and has been for some time) to other mobile devices like smartphones and tablets; there are over 2B people running Google Android or Apple iOS-based devices compared to about 1.5B running Microsoft Windows. 5

Another troubling trend: Although PC ownership is relatively stable among adults (at about 73%), PC ownership among 18 to 29 year olds dropped from 89% in 2012 to 78% in 2015. (This may change as these younger folk enter the workforce and require a full-sized keyboard and large or multiple monitors.) 6

Basically, Windows 10 is off to a good start, but only time will tell if the Windows franchise will retain its powerhouse status.

References

  1. Windows 10 is here and you can get it for free at Microsoft.com.
  2. 10 (mostly) free must-have Windows 10 apps by Paul Mah at ComputerWorld.
  3. Windows 10: Disk Optimization by Russell Smith at Petri.com.
  4. Microsoft gets hardware foothold as Surface, Lumina sales jump by Nick Statt at CNET on 1/26/2015.
  5. Windows 10 Launch Results: A Success or Fail? in the 7/31/2015 edition of The Gazette Review.
  6. Smartphones, Tablets Take Toll On PC Ownership Among Youth by Joseph Palencher from the November 3, 2015 edition of Twice.

Bryley Basics: Enabling GodMode in Windows 10 (and Windows 8)

With Windows 8 and Windows 10, Settings and Control Panel are separate entities with different functions; it would be nice to access both from the same folder when making configuration changes, rather than switching between the two.

GodMode is a simple and useful Windows shortcut:  It combines Settings and Control Panel into one folder on your desktop.

To enable GodMode:

  • Create a new folder on your desktop.
  • Copy and paste the following into the folder’s name: {ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
  • You will now have a folder named GodMode that contains all Settings and the Control Panel

Please review Sarah Jacobson Purewal’s article Activate GodMode in Windows 10 in the August 18, 2015 edition of CNet.

Introducing Microsoft Office 2016

Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows should launch on September 22nd; the Macintosh version released in July.  After this upcoming release, perpetual licenses of Office 2013 and earlier versions will be difficult to acquire legally.

Significant changes include:

  • Create, open, edit, and save Cloud-based documents
  • Real-time co-authoring
  • New Tell Me search tool

Not so significant features include:

  • Contextual-information via Insights
  • Data-loss prevention
  • Colorful themes

Requirements:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or later
  • Exchange Server 2010, 2013, or the upcoming 2016

The last requirement, updating Exchange Server to support Microsoft Office 2016, will take some planning and effort and should be completed before deploying Microsoft Office 2016.  Note:  The Autodiscover service within Exchange Server 2010 and 2013, which has a default configuration suitable only for simple networks, may also need to be reconfigured and republished.  (For example:  An organization with VPN users will likely need to adjust the Autodiscover service on their Exchange Server.)

See the article Office 2016 for Windows expected to launch on September 22nd by Tom Warren of The Verge.

Migrating to Windows 10 – Now, later, or never?

Migrations bring about change in the lives of technology end-users, whether desired or not.  Often, the IT-support team receives undeserved blame for issues with a new operating system; although, they can help smooth the way by testing core software applications and devices for compatibility before upgrading.

So, here you are with new computers that ship with multiple versions of Windows; which to deploy?  You know there are going to be compatibility issues; there always are.  (Our current VPN client does not yet work with Windows 10 and I have heard of issues with Google’s Chrome on Windows 10.)  Also, there are individuals within your organization who will have trouble adapting to a new user environment.

These are the issues you will need to address when migrating to Windows 10:

  • Equipment compatibility
  • Application compatibility
  • User acceptance

Equipment compatibility

Equipment-compatibility issues exist because Windows has always been everything to everyone:  Windows supports most any printer, scanner, fax, camera, or device as long as the manufacturer conforms to Microsoft specifications, which might include creating a Windows device driver (a small application designed to translate instructions between the device and the operating system) to enable all features.

Likewise, your desktop or notebook computer might not be compatible with Windows 10; you will need (at a minimum):

  • 1GHz processor
  • 1Gb of RAM for 32-bit deployment or 2Gb for 64-bit deployment
  • 20Gb of disk space
  • DirectX9 display with 800×600 display

Please see the Windows 10 specifications for details.

Applications compatibility

Software applications must also conform to Microsoft specifications; however, updating applications to work with a new operating system takes time and effort.  So, older, legacy applications not built to current-day Windows standards can be slow to comply, particularly those from smaller developers, who might not have the resources necessary to make them compatible.  These developers might suggest: “Don’t upgrade now” or “Use XP Compatibility mode”, but usually offer no specific timetable or long-term work-around.

Cloud-based applications have an advantage over most legacy applications; they are likely browser-dependent (and operating-system independent) and are updated continually.  However, you can run into compatibility issues with different browser versions and even different browsers.

User acceptance

An often under-appreciated issue is the changes to the user interface, particularly its look-and-feel; Microsoft received significant criticism with Windows 8.x and the fundamental changes in how it interacts with the end-users.

 

Migration techniques

The safe method, one that many organizations adopt, is to delay migration until:

  • All computers are known to have sufficient resources to run Windows 10.
  • Hardware compatibility issues are identified and resolved, either through updates or hardware replacement.
  • All applications are tested and compatibility issues are either resolved, the application is replaced, or a work-around is established.
  • Training is budgeted and approved.
  • Proper planning is completed to ensure a smooth transition.

However, organizations with limited budgets might not be able to invest fully in this process; they likely need to add a computer or two, right now.

For those already using Windows 8.x:

  • Applications and device drivers that work with Windows 8.x will likely work with Windows 10 (since the underlying framework is similar in both editions).
  • You can use the Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant to help identify application- compatibility issues with Windows 8.1, which will also be an issue with Windows 10.

Unfortunately, there is no substitute for testing; put in the time and do it right!

Often, it can be more effective to replace an aging printer (or similar device) than to try and make it work with a new version of Windows; the time to research, locate, install new device drivers (if they exist), test, and then update all migrated workstations can easily exceed the cost of deploying a new, modern device (with more features and greater functionality).

Training is necessary:  Group sessions to introduce the basics and answer questions are effective in getting things started.  Follow-up, small-group training or individual hand-holding can alleviate fears and improve productivity.

For training, Microsoft offers these free, Windows 10 training resources:

Now, later, or never

Basically, if you use Windows-based applications, you main options are:

  • Upgrade to Windows 10 without charge by July 29, 2016
  • Leave Windows-desktop entirely
  • Don’t change anything, ever

Microsoft is allowing anyone with a qualified and genuine copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 to upgrade to Windows 10 for free through July 29, 2016.  So, you can upgrade your existing equipment without licensing fees once you have completed compatibility testing, training, etc.

The second option, leave Windows, suggests one of two courses of action:

  • Switch to a non-Microsoft-dependent application.
  • Use a virtual environment to provide Windows-based applications. You can deploy these applications through a virtual server, either on-premise or remotely (i.e.:  via Bryley’s Hosted Cloud Server) that can provide access to your Windows-based application by running it on an older, Windows-based operating system.

The last option is extreme; it can work for a number of years, particularly if you are not replacing desktop computers, but will eventually require a change.  Basically, you are avoiding the inevitable.

We have begun the planning and application testing for our Windows 10 rollout; I’ll update our progress in future issues.

Visit How to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1 by Ed Tittle in the February 12th edition of CIO and Preston Gralla’s article: Excited about the imminent release of Windows 10? You might want to wait in the July 21st issue of ComputerWorld.