November 2016
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Beginning Nov. 1, Microsoft’s largest partners like Dell, HP and Lenovo will no longer be able to build and sell new PCs running any version of Windows except Windows 10.

LastPass is introducing LastPass for groups, and changing features offered. Prices are going up for enterprise users. We still think this is the best available choice for password management if properly set up.  More on changes to the free version.

QuickBooks 2017 is on R3. There are some minor enhancements to security, search, and reporting. It will not run on older servers. Requirements

Server 2016 is getting good reviews and seems stable. New features include better virtualization, integration with Azure cloud services, and changes in licensing.

Lacerte 2016 (a tax program for accountants) is out. There are new security requirements.

Consider getting a 27 inch WHQD (2k) Monitor, or an ultra-wide monitor. Prices are down to around $350. You can double your work surface.  4K monitors need to be at least 32 inches or the text is too small to be usable and they are still expensive – about $1000.

 Office 2016 is a worthwhile update, particularly if your subscription provides it for free. Outlook has some significant improvements.  How to update Office.  Microsoft Office 2016 is currently being rolled out to Office 365 subscribers worldwide.

We have had a few clients with Office 365 subscriptions that accidentally updated from Office 2013 to Office 2016.  In one case the Outlook profile got corrupted. Be careful clicking on “update now”.  Instead click on the “Updates for office..” link and see what is being updated


Microsoft continues to add to the MS Office Suite online – called Office 365. Many of the new features are designed for online collaboration and ad-hoc teams. They are heavily promoting storing and working with documents online using OneDrive and SharePoint.
Microsoft Teams is a new collaboration app designed to compete with Slack, BaseCamp and similar online collaboration workspaces. It includes integrated Chat, Videoconferencing, Email, and document and task management for a team workspace. It looks attractive for remote workers.
Microsoft Power BI (Business Intelligence) provides a dashboard of information.
Office 365 Video provides a company video library.
Delve provides a view of shared documents and communications.
Sway provides a quick way to generate and publish a web page.
Yammer provides secure IM. Skype for business may be a better choice.
Newsfeed provides a dashboard for incoming information from coworkers.
Planner provides task management and scheduling, integrated with Outlook and Office.
Skype for Business offers Chat, Video and Voice conferencing and integrates with Outlook.

Exchange Online users now have “Teams”, a more robust version of a distribution group/shared mailbox. External users can now be added to teams.

The Office 365 online console will be customizable in a way similar to the Windows 10 menu.


Outlook Spam filter – starting 1st Nov 2016 there will be no more updates to the system which tries to detect spam in arriving messages. Exchange Server 2016 and earlier which only use the supplied spam filter will also be left without updates.  They just aren’t as effective as online services at keeping up with spam.

 Reuters has discovered that Yahoo created software to allow the US Government (NSA and FBI) to copy all incoming messages or attachments which had certain words or phrases.

Remote Desktop hacks are becoming more common. We recommend turning off Remote Desktop access from the internet – it is just too risky. There are a number of online tools that make automated search and cracking of RDP very easy. Consider implementing multifactor authentication for RDP, restricting it to VPN users, or switching to LogMeIn for users who need remote access.

We have negotiated a better price for Managed Offsite Backups. Starting January, Server offsite backups can back up any amount of data for a flat fee of $25/Month.  Most of our clients will see a significant savings. A few clients who are backing up only specific data will see a price increase, and the opportunity for a more complete backup.  Workstation backups will have flat price of $3/Month, with the ability to back up the entire PC.

Tim Torian
Torian, Group, Inc.

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