February 2022


Reminder: Windows 10 versions 2004 and prior will not receive further Windows security updates. The upgrade to the current Windows 10 21H2 version is free and recommended.

We still recommend that business users wait to install Windows 11. Another group of fixes to known bugs will be released this month, along with some features not included in the original release. The update includes a preview of the ability to run Android apps.

Reminder: Microsoft 365 prices will go up in March. Purchase any licenses or renewals this month to get the existing (lower) price. It is possible to extend your existing subscription prior to the price increases.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic (from $5 to $6 per user),

Microsoft 365 Business Premium (from $20 to $22),

Office 365 E1 (from $8 to $10),

Office 365 E3 (from $20 to $23),

Office 365 E5 (from $35 to $38),

Microsoft 365 E3 (from $32 to $36)

Microsoft Defender is now included with several Microsoft 365 plans at no extra cost. Configuration is needed to take full advantage of the new features.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Review.

Samsung to Announce Galaxy S22 Lineup on February 9.

Pixel 6 review.

Microsoft Teams can turn your phone into a walkie-talkie.

Loop components in Microsoft Teams allow you to embed lists and other things into chat.

Android 13 is set to improve Bluetooth audio streaming when released late this year.

Bluetooth LE Audio will offer drastically improved battery life and a more stable connection, all without a drop in audio quality. Devices are in development now.

Sonos has acquired Bluetooth audio startup T2 Software, likely to develop Bluetooth LE Audio devices.

Google to Remove Smart Speaker Functionality due to Sonos lawsuit.

Legacy Google G Suite users will be able to migrate to free accounts. Google will be closing free Gmail (G Suite) accounts that use a registered domain name.

Gmail’s redesign looks more like Outlook – coming this month.

Microsoft plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, a gaming company.

Citrix has announced plans to be acquired by a venture capital company.

Starlink premium internet service is now available.

IRS will Soon Require ID.me with selfies for Online Access.

By the summer of 2022, the only way to log in to irs.gov will be through ID.me, an online identity verification service that requires applicants to submit copies of bills and identity documents, as well as a live video feed of their faces via a mobile device. Some 27 states already use ID.me to screen for identity thieves applying for benefits in someone else’s name. The authentication process can take a lot of work and time, so you may want to get it set up before you need it.

Computer chip supply chain report from the US Chamber of Commerce.

“…This means a disruption overseas, which might shut down a semiconductor plant for 2-3 weeks, has the potential to disable a manufacturing facility and furlough workers in the United States if that facility only has 3-5 days of inventory.”

LinkedIn Workforce Report

LinkedIn provides a monthly report of employment trends by business type and location.

Microsoft Worklab

Information on the changing workforce:

“…one large survey last year found that more than half of employees globally would quit their jobs if not provided with significant flexibility post-pandemic.”

Microsoft 2021 Work trends index

“…46% of the workforce is planning to move because they can now work remotely.

…One in five global survey respondents say their employer doesn’t care about their work-life balance. Fifty-four percent feel overworked. Thirty-nine percent feel exhausted. And trillions of productivity signals from Microsoft 365 quantify the precise digital exhaustion workers are feeling.”

Online entertainment subscription battles are heating up

Subscribers often join for a short time to access a specific show

Netflix Raises Prices Again by about $1 across account types.


EyeMed agrees $600,000 settlement over 2020 data breach

The Office of the Attorney General concluded that the original email account was not protected with multi-factor authentication (MFA). Another reason to enable MFA for your email accounts

Unsecured AWS server exposed 3TB in airport employee records

The Microsoft Pluton processor

The Pluton CPU design incorporates security key storage into the CPU, eliminating the risk of hacking the PC directly from the motherboard.



Erick Sierra has left us to take a job with Visalia Unified. Annette Leon is taking over his duties. Many of you have met her on the phone.

By Tim Torian

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The Torian Group Times Newsletter is a service to our clients, and anyone who finds it useful. Topics include security updates; known problems with recent patches; new and upcoming software and hardware that might affect your business; and information about technology in the Visalia area.  It is free to anyone who wishes to subscribe by providing their name and email address. We will not do anything with this information other than sending the newsletter – no unsolicited marketing of any kind.

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