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Office 2016 released

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Microsoft has announced Office 2016 for Mac and PC. The software suite not only offers new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, but also includes new tools for online productivity and collaboration.

Microsoft as launched Office 2016. The apps are the latest addition to Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based subscription service that helps people do their best work, together. The company also announced new and enhanced Office 365 services built for team productivity.

“The way people work has changed dramatically, and that’s why Microsoft is focused on reinventing productivity and business processes for the mobile-first, cloud-first world,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “These latest innovations take another big step forward in transforming Office from a familiar set of individual productivity apps to a connected set of apps and services designed for modern working, collaboration and teamwork.”

Nadella wrote about the new Office on the Official Microsoft Blog. Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office Client Applications and Services team, provided more insights about Office 2016 on the Office Blog.

Office 2016 delivers new versions of the Office desktop apps for Windows, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Project, Visio and Access. By subscribing to Office 365, customers can get always-up-to-date, fully installed apps for use across their devices, combined with a continually evolving set of consumer and commercial services, such as OneDrive online storage, Skype for Business, Delve, Yammer and enterprise-grade security features.

Together, the new Office and Windows 10 are the most complete solution for doing. The Office 2016 apps run beautifully on the best Windows ever, including the new Sway for Windows 10 to create shareable, interactive stories that look great on any screen. Windows Hello logs you into Windows and Office 365 in one simple step. Office Mobile apps on Windows 10 empower on-the-go productivity, and work with Continuum so you can use your phone like a PC. Cortana connects with Office 365 to help with tasks such as meeting preparation, with Outlook integration coming in November.

Built for teamwork

The Office 2016 apps simplify collaboration and remove barriers to team success.

·       Co-authoring is now provided in Word, PowerPoint and OneNote desktop software, including real-time typing in Word that lets you see others’ edits as they make them.

·       Skype in-app integration across the rich client apps allows you to IM, screen share, talk or video chat right in your docs.

·       Office 365 Groups are now an integrated part of the Outlook 2016 client app and available on your favorite mobile device through the Outlook Groups app, delivering a consistent team experience across the suite.

In addition, new Office 365 solutions that combine the power of apps and services for better collaboration are coming soon.

·       Introduced today, Office 365 Planner helps teams organize their work, with the ability to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, set due dates, and update status with visual dashboards and email notifications. Planner will be available in preview to Office 365 First Release customers starting next quarter.

·       Significant new updates to OneDrive for Business are coming later this month, including a new sync client for Windows and Mac, which will deliver selective sync and enhanced reliability. Updates also include increased file size and volume limits per user, a new user interface in the browser, mobile enhancements, and new IT and developer features.

·       Unveiled earlier this year, GigJam is available Tuesday in private preview and will become part of Office 365 in 2016. GigJam is an unprecedented new way for teams to accomplish tasks and transform business processes by breaking down the barriers between devices, apps and people.

Works for you

Office 2016 provides built-in intelligence to help you work faster and smarter.

·       Outlook 2016 provides the smartest inbox yet, with lightning-fast search and automatic removal of low-priority mail. Everyone on the To: line has the right access to documents with modern, cloud-based attachments.

·       Tell Me helps you quickly find the right Office feature or command, and Smart Lookup brings insights from the Web right into your documents.

·       Excel 2016 now includes integrated publishing to Power BI and new modern chart types to help you make the most of your data.

·       The most recently used documents list allows you to pick up right where you left off, traveling with you across your devices, whether you are working in Office Online, in the Office Mobile apps or in the Office 2016 desktop apps.

The most secured Office

Office 2016 apps with Office 365 deliver new capabilities for better enterprise security and protection.

·       Built-in Data Loss Prevention across Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook significantly reduces the risk of leaking sensitive data, giving IT administrators tools to manage content authoring and document sharing policies.

·       Multifactor authentication ensures secured access to content anywhere when you’re away from the corporate network.

·       Enterprise Data Protection will be available for the Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 later this year and for the desktop apps early next year, enabling secured content sharing within corporate boundaries.

Availability and requirements

The new Office 2016 apps are available in 40 languages and require Windows 7 or later. Starting Tuesday, Office 365 subscribers can choose to download the new Office 2016 apps as part of their subscription. Automatic updates will begin rolling out to consumer and small-business subscribers next month, and to commercial customers early next year. Office 2016 is also available as a one-time purchase for both PCs and Macs.

Customers can visit one of the more than 110 Microsoft Stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico to discover and purchase the new Office. While there, they can participate in a free, one-hour Office 2016 workshop and visit the in-store Answer Desk, a one-stop shop for your Office needs.

 

More information is available at http://www.Office365.com.

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Get your passwords in shape

New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.

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Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions.  Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.

Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.

I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords

Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication.  However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.

As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.

But what constitutes a strong password?  A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).

Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to web browsers.

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Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future

By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.

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On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:

  • A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
  • Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
  • Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.

With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.

Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.

In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.

As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:

AFRICA CODE WEEK

Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.

In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.

The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.

Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)

A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.

According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.

Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.

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