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ITPro SnapShot: What Else Happened This Week? (Mar. 2 - Mar. 9, 2018)

ITPro SnapShot offers a short and snappy round-up on the week's industry-related announcements and news around the globe. Here's what happened in the last week.

There's a lot of product announcements every week -- and sooner or later, something gets announced that you'll want to know. Every Friday, we'll connect some of these newsy little dots and draw a picture as to what's going on with tech vendors and industry trends.

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Three Things You Need to Know About Windows Developer Day

This week, Microsoft introduced three key items that will be supported in the next feature update for Windows. That update is expected to be generally available next month. The three items are:

- Modern Applications for a Modern Workplace reinforces the capabilities that are possible for UWP apps as the native app platform for Windows apps on any device. The company introduced a new Modern WebView using the Microsoft Edge rendering engine, MSIX, that will use a container solution to accommodate Win32, WPF, Windows Forms and UWP applications; new Adaptive Cards will give developers options for surfacing their apps data across the next update of Windows 10 in features like Timeline and bots in Skype and Teams.

- Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Modern Experiences will enable developers to use AI in the form of pre-trained machine learning models. These models will provideflexibility to execute the AI tasks on the device or in the cloud depending on customer scenarios such as upload sizes and using devices in a disconnected state.

- Windows Internet of Things (IoT) in the Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge will support interconnected devices with Windows IoT Core and Windows IoT Enterprise versions of Windows 10. 

Amazon WorkSpaces Reduces User Fees for Qualified Education Institutions

WorkSpaces is a Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering from Amazon that allows companies to provide cloud based virtual Windows Desktops to users. This week's announcement from Amazon provides educational institutions who use this service with savings up to 14% each month as they use this technology.

If you work for an educational institution which might benefit from this discount, contact your Amazon account representative to discuss implementing the new pricing structure for your DaaS usage.

Optimizing Your Cloud Storage Performance: Google Cloud Performance Atlas

Google believes their cloud storage performance will work well for most users out of the box, but this week they shared details on how developers can pull together their own unique scenarios and use some tips to optimize that performance even more.

Their collection of pro tips for Google Cloud begins with knowing/measuring baseline performance, then working to improve functionality. These improvements include more efficient uploads based on upload size, avoiding sequential naming bottleneck, setting optimal fetch size for improving downloads, and optimizing Google's GSUTIL tool which allows users to access cloud storage resources from the command line.

Microsoft Releases Automation for HIPAA/HITRUST Compliance

If you are in the healthcare industry, then you know how critical it is to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST).

This week Microsoft announced that they now have blueprints that can be used to automate compliance with these two laws by applying these compliance templates to your apps, scripts, and other content to insure you are taking the right steps to protect these two classes of sensitive information.

AWS Service Catalog Launches Brand Your Console to Deliver a Customizable User Experience

Customization is often a much desired option for the various services we use as it allows the systems and interfaces to display in a particular manner.

For AWS users, there are finally options to use your own branding on the AWS portal you use to access and manage your cloud services. Customization includes the ability to upload a logo, PNG, JPG, and SVG formats are supported, plus you can select a primary interface color along with an accent color.

While a feature like this is not an earth shattering addition, as the cloud and local resources begin to blue their edges, having the ability to help distinguish certain access points can prevent confusion and lead to more efficiencies.

Google: Android P Developer Preview

Even though the Oreo update to Android has barely begun its rollout, Google is making the next version of Android available as a developer preview. Google warns that this release is intended just for developers and not the general public as it is like any other pre-release software - buggy and likely to impact device performance.

You can read the release notes for Android P here to get started.

At this point we do not know what Google will eventually call this release but maybe Pancake would be a good choice as it would continue the string of food related names like Oreo, Nougat, and Marshmallow.

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