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ITPro SnapShot: What Else Happened This Week? (November 10-17, 2017)

ITPro SnapShot offers a short and snappy round-up on recent industry-related announcements and news around the globe.

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. 


Announcing general availability of Bash in Cloud Shell

Azure users now have an interactive web-based, Linux command-line experience to use a secure and authenticated Azure workstation. They can manage and deploy resources from a native Linux environment in Azure. With this feature there is no need for managing or installing dependencies to accomplish your work because these workstations are already prepared and ready to use from the moment you access them.

Identifying credible content online, with help from the Trust Project

Google's Trust Project is part of the company's efforts to identify indicators that can help readers tell the difference between quality journalism, promotional content, and misinformation. Their initial eight trust indicators include:

  • Best Practices: Who funds the news outlet and their mission, plus an outlet’s commitments to ethics, diverse voices, accuracy, making corrections, and other standards.
  • Author Expertise: Details about the journalist, including their expertise and other stories they have worked on.
  • Type of Work: Labels to distinguish opinion, analysis, and advertiser (or sponsored) content from news reports.
  • Citations and References: For investigative or in-depth stories, access to the sources behind the facts and assertions in a news story.
  • Methods: For in-depth stories, information about why reporters chose to pursue a story and how they went about the process.
  • Locally Sourced: Lets people know that the story has local roots, origin, or expertise.
  • Diverse Voices: A newsroom’s efforts to bring in diverse perspectives.
  • Actionable Feedback: A newsroom’s efforts to engage the public in setting coverage priorities, contributing to the reporting process, and ensuring accuracy.

The publishers are expected to embed information about these trust indicators into the HTML code of the stories page so that when the content is crawled those indicators will get picked up. Next step for Google and its testing partners is to figure out a way to show these indicators on content that ends up in search results.

New data: Software as a Service industry revenue up 23% this year as shift to the cloud continues

A new IDC report shows that companies are making the move to cloud services in big chunks. Software as a Service (Saas) grew by 23% in the first six months of 2017 with more than $43 billion in revenue.

In addition to SaaS, there is also documented growth in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) that accounts for $19.7 billion in revenue combined that is a result of 38% and 50% growth respectively for those areas.

Introducing additional block storage for Amazon Lightsail

This week Amazon announced that Lightsail storage users can now use additional solid state drive storage disks as part of their Lightsail instances. This new configuration allows users to customize their instances and scale a wide range of applications at a predictable pricing structure.

By default, data stored in Lightsail instances is encrypted on all storage disks.

Announcing the Skype Professional Account Preview—doing business online made easy

Microsoft announced at Ignite earlier this year that enterprise and business customers using Skype for Business would eventually be moved to Microsoft Teams as the primary communications channel.

For online professionals who might not be able to use teams to conduct their unique business approaches Microsoft announced a new Skype Professional Account option. 

This desktop client is the perfect fit for someone who conducts business online as say a language or music teacher, personal trainer, instructor, and other similar roles from a remote location. Scheduling, payments, and note keeping are all integrated into this new client.

This client is now in limited preview so head over to the Skype Professional Account webpage to sign-up.

Introducing Certified Kubernetes (and Google Kubernetes Engine!)

Google, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), and the Kubernetes Community have been collaborating to create this program which launched earlier this week.

Certified Kubernetes platforms means you will get these three key features:

  • Smooth migrations between on-premises and cloud environments, and a greater ability to split a single workload across multiple environments 
  • Consistent upgrades
  • Access to community software and support resources

The entire list of certified platforms and distributions is available from the CNCF and includes services from companies like Microsoft, Oracle, and Docker.

End of support for the Excel and PowerPoint viewers and the Office Compatibility Pack

If you are still using one of these file viewers in your organization then it is time to start planning the move away from them and to alternatives that are provided in this blog post.

There are alternatives for Windows 7, 8/8.1, 10, and mobile platforms such as iOS and Android.

In addition to these viewers ending support next year, the Word viewer loses support this month and should be replaced immediately.

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.

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