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.
After 27 public development builds and almost nine months of testing under the code name Redstone 4, Microsoft has confirmed that the next feature update for Windows 10 will be available for download beginning on April 30, 2018.
This feature update is going to officially be called the Windows 10 April 2018 Update according to the announcement blog post.
Yusuf Mehdi, one of the Corporate Vice Presidents for Windows shared these key feature updates that are all about saving you time and making you more productive:
- Focus Assist
- Microsoft Edge
Next week we will have our deep dive on these and other updates that are included in this fifth feature update for Windows 10.
Last year at Microsoft Ignite Microsoft unveiled that they would offer a final supported stand alone edition of their Office productivity suite of software.
The preview for that package of software is now available to Microsoft's commercial customers who have volume licensing agreements with the software company.
Note: Consumers will not be able to test the preview version of Office 2019.
There are updates in this preview to the PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and Word programs and according to Microsoft. Current Office 365 customers already have access to many of these features in their current versions or through the Office Insider program.
If you are looking for OneNote in this package then you should take a look at the announcement made last week about OneNote for Windows 10 (UWP) being the default version of OneNote for Office 2019.
Check out the Frequently Asked Questions about the Office 2019 Preview to learn more details along with download instructions for eligible customers.
Microsoft's Brad Anderson, Corporate VP at Microsoft for Enterprise Mobility and Security shares details on how the Windows 10 April 2018 Update accommodates more efficient management of the modern desktop.
The focus here is on the company's Microsoft 365 offering that includes licensing for Windows 10, Office 365, and associated management tools.
New capabilities and updates for Microsoft 365 which are coming soon include:
- Modern Desktop
- Solutions for First Line Workers
- Streamlined device management with lower costs
- Integrated Administration Experience
- Built-in Compliance
According to Anderson, these updates should result in a modern workplace while providing end users the protection and security for all corporate data and information. Since the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) go into effect less than a month from now - those sound like positives from many perspectives.
If your company is currently running your own version of the Windows Insider Program where employees are testing early release builds of Windows 10 during its development cycle then bookmark this page.
This page on the main Microsoft Docs website will now replace the previous build tracker that was put together by the Windows Insider team at Microsoft. Listed here you will find the current Fast and Slow Ring builds plus the current builds for Server, IoT, and the developers SDK.
Currently not involved in the Windows Insider Program for Business? Visit the official website and learn how you can not only help test the next feature update for Windows 10 but put your company in a position to better prepare for its release and roll out to your end users.
Google has now provided public access to its new version of Gmail that contains enhancements for better efficiencies such as:
- Quick access to attachments from the Inbox
- Snooze Button to help prioritize how quickly different emails need responses
- Easy access to Google Calendar, Tasks (a new to-do app), and Keep
- Nudges for email responses as emails age in your Inbox
- Smart Reply for quicker replies
Updates on the mobile side include high priority notifications, Newsletter unsubscribe recommendations, and warnings about risk emails.
The feature that might finally put a stop to the Reply All craziness is Confidential Mode which enables the sender to remove options for forwarding, copying, downloading, or printing email messages. Email expiration periods are also now available.
Of course, the updates for Gmail will also be part of the Google G Suite of software. G Suite Vice President of Marketing David Thacker, uses this blog post to go into greater detail on the features I mentioned earlier about the upgraded Gmail service.
Many of these new features incorporate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to help you handle the stream of incoming email more efficiently.