All posts by Christine Plein

Microsoft SQL Server 2019 available

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Microsoft announced the availability of Microsoft SQL Server 2019. Microsoft SQL Server 2019 enables enterprises to gain intelligence over all data types, both structured and unstructured, by combining the power of new big data clusters with enhanced data virtualization. These powerful additions to SQL Server enable enterprises to not only store and query big data at scale but also combine it with structured data in whatever database it may reside such as SQL Server, Oracle, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and others. SQL Server also includes built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities to enable comprehensive analytics and AI solutions for all your data needs.

The Microsoft SQL Server 2019 release includes the following products:

  • SQL Server 2019 Standard
  • SQL Server 2019 Standard Core
  • SQL Server 2019 Enterprise
  • SQL Server 2019 Enterprise Core
  • SQL Server 2019 Client Access License (CAL)
  • SQL Server Big Data Node

For further information and the official announcement, please visit: https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2019/11/04/gain-intelligence-over-data-with-sql-server-2019-now-generally-available/

Microsoft Project for the web available

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Microsoft Project for the web, formerly known as Project service, is Microsoft’s most recent offering for cloud-based work and project management. Project for the web provides simple, powerful work management capabilities and can be used by project managers and team members to plan and manage work of any size.

Microsoft Project for the web is the latest addition to the Microsoft Project product family, which includes Project Online desktop client, Project Online, Project Server, and Project desktop. Project for the web (or simply Project) is built on the Microsoft Power Platform and includes the following: Continue reading Microsoft Project for the web available

Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (MDATP) for Cross Platform Devices available from December 1, 2019

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Microsoft announced that effective December 1, 2019, Microsoft will offer Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (MDATP) for non-Windows devices.

Microsoft Defender ATP enables customers to protect their non-Windows devices and detect and respond to advanced attacks while keeping a centralized “single pane of glass” experience. You can avail of MDATP by purchasing one of the following offers:

  • Microsoft 365 E5 (existing).
  • Microsoft 365 E5 Security (existing).
  • New standalone Microsoft Defender ATP for Cross Platform Devices offer, which will be available for purchase only to users with primary non-Windows devices. The user interface brings similar experience to what customers have today on Windows 10 devices.

For more information regarding Microsoft Defender ATP, please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/windows/microsoft-defender-atp?ocid=cx-blog-mmpc

VMware vSphere 6.0 Reaches End of General Support in March 2020

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The End of General Support for vSphere 6.0 is March 12, 2020. This includes the following releases:

  • vCenter Server 6.0,
  • vCenter Update Manager 6.0,
  • ESXi 6.0,
  • Site Recovery Manager 6.0 and 6.1,
  • vSAN 6.0, 6.1 and 6.2,
  • vSphere Data Protection 6.0 and 6.1 and
  • vSphere Replication 6.0 and 6.1.

To maintain your full level of Support and Subscription Services, VMware recommends upgrading to vSphere 6.5 or vSphere 6.7. VMware has extended the general support for vSphere 6.5 to a full five years from date of release, which means the general support for vSphere 6.5 will end on November 15, 2021. The End of General support for vSphere 6.7 will also be on November 15, 2021. For more information, please visit: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/66977.

Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop available

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Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop is now available. Windows Virtual Desktop is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualization service running in the cloud. It’s the only virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that delivers simplified management, multi-session Windows 10, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, and support for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environments. Deploy and scale your Windows desktops and apps on Azure in minutes and get built-in security and compliance features.

For more information on Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop, please visit: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/virtual-desktop/.

For the official Microsoft announcement and future plans, please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2019/09/30/windows-virtual-desktop-generally-available-worldwide/.

Microsoft Planner available in Microsoft 365 F1 & Office 365 F1

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Microsoft Planner has been added to Microsoft 365 F1 and Office 365 F1 commercial and government plans starting at the beginning of October 2019. The Planner functionality is the same as in higher level plans, and there’s no action for a customer to take.

For the full Microsoft announcement, please visit: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Planner-Blog/Planner-is-coming-to-all-F1-commercial-plans-and-government/ba-p/835468.

For more information about Microsoft Planner in general, please visit: https://products.office.com/en-us/business/task-management-software.

Microsoft Windows 7 Extended Security Updates available in Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program

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Microsoft announced that they will extend the availability of paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) to businesses of all sizes. Previously, Windows 7 ESU was only available to Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers in Volume Licensing. The Windows 7 ESU will be sold on a per-device basis with the price increasing each year. Starting on December 1, 2019, businesses of any size can purchase ESU through the cloud solution provider (CSP) program.

For the official Microsoft announcement, please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2019/10/01/windows-small-midsize-businesses-stay-secure-current/.

Here’s also a general FAQ about the Windows 7 End of Support: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4057281/windows-7-support-will-end-on-january-14-2020.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform 2019 Release Wave 2

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With the 2019 Release Wave 2, Microsoft announced innovations in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform starting October 2019. The 2019 Release Wave 2 includes the release of new products and the expanding of the availability of Dynamics 365 products, as well as announcing new offerings for November 1, 2019. For more information and a release overview with guides and videos, please visit: https://dynamics.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications/product-updates/#overview-guides-and-videos.

Microsoft Software Assurance Benefits (SAB) Updates

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Microsoft is retiring two Software Assurance benefits that have similar offerings outside of Software Assurance and changing the eligibility criteria for a third benefit. Specifically, this means:

  1. Microsoft retires the Deployment Planning Services benefit and will fulfill your implementation needs through Microsoft’s premier cloud migration and deployment program Microsoft FastTrack.
  2. Microsoft is investing in new, modern skilling programs. Training vouchers will be phased out as a Software Assurance benefit and will no longer be used to convert to planning services.
  3. Microsoft is adjusting the eligibility criteria of 24×7 support and changing support allocations to align Software Assurance support with Microsoft’s new Unified Support offering.

Continue reading Microsoft Software Assurance Benefits (SAB) Updates

Microsoft Office Online name change

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Microsoft announced that they will remove the branding “Online” for the web version of Office and introduce new terminology for the apps on the web. Apps like Word Online are now called “Word for the web” or “Word in a browser”. This new terminology is already reflected in the product terms. It is important to note that this brand change only applies to Office applications. There is no change to the branding for Microsoft “Online” server products – especially Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Project Online, and Office Online Server. For the official Microsoft announcement, please visit: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-Apps-Blog/Why-Office-Online-is-Now-Simply-Office/ba-p/760207.