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ITPro SnapShot: What Else Happened This Week? (Jan. 12 - 19, 2017)

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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Announcing Windows Server Insider Preview Build 17074

Last year Microsoft committed to offering semi-annual feature updates to its core Windows Server product and this build is the first release in the testing process for that product.

In this latest testing build Microsoft has updated the following features:

  • Storage Spaces Direct (S2D)
  • Failover Clustering
  • Dedup support for ReFS and S2D

If you want to test these builds, which are released about once per month, just head over to the Microsoft Tech Community for more information.

Windows 10 SDK Preview Build 17069 now available

Another first release of this new year is the latest Windows 10 Software Development Kit (SDK). This release, which is for Windows 10 Build 17069 or later, provides developers early access to APIs and new features that are being planned for the next feature update of Windows 10.

That feature update, currently code named Redstone 4, is expected to be released in the March 2018 time frame.

Introducing the security center for G Suite—security analytics and best practices from Google

Google is starting the new year off with a new security center for its G Suite productivity package.

Administrators will be able to use this new portal to look at security analytics, insights, and recommendations from Google to help an organization take actions to protect user/customer data.

This tool will provide three key items:

  1. One page snapshot of key security information
  2. Use security data/analytics to identify potential threats before they are actively exploited among your users
  3. Use recommendations that are based on your analytics data to reduce and manage security related risks

G Suite Enterprise customers should be able to access the Security Center in the Admin console within the next few days according to Google.

Google Assistant Actions Page

Google absolutely blanketed Las Vegas and CES 2018 with its Google Assistant logo. Voice assistants were the big ticket item for many consumer products to enable voice control for everything from cars to toilets.

If you recently purchased a Google Home based device or use the Google Assistant on your smartphone a new portal will help you explore exactly what the Assistant is capable of.

According to the page, there are more than one million things to try with Google Assistant and based upon my tests many of them are immediately available just by invoking the action's key phrase. On Amazon's Alexa service, many of the skills must be installed to work.

Cloud AutoML: Making AI accessible to every business

This service is part of Google's commitment to bring ML/AI to all businesses through cloud-based services, even if no one in the company has an AI background.

This first release under the Cloud AutoML approach will be AutoML Vision and provide tools that will allow companies to create their own ML models that can do image recognition.

Through a drag and drop UI, companies will be able to upload images to train their models and then push those models for real time use on the Google Cloud.

Cloud AutoML delivers these features:

  • Increased accuracy for more accurate models
  • Faster turnaround time to production-ready models
  • Easy to use UI

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709) fully available

Microsoft's Director of Program Management for Windows Servicing and Delivery announced this week that the fourth feature update for Windows 10, which was made available to the general public last October, is now available for all customers who are on Windows 10.

Consumers should now have access to the Fall Creators Update through Windows Update which will download and install automatically or it can be started manually.

According to Microsoft, enterprise and business customers who are actively deploying the Windows 10 feature updates can go ahead and push Version 1709, aka the Fall Creators Update, to its end users machines or use it in the evaluation process for their companies migration.

There are just two years of lifecycle support left for the very popular Windows 7 which is in use by many corporate customers so getting started now with your Windows 10 migration is a good idea to get you ahead of that support expiration.

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