IDG Contributor Network: SharePoint Server 2016 preview overview

Just when you are getting cozy and comfortable with SharePoint 2013, the SharePoint Server 2016 preview is released (Aug. 24). (You can download the notes here, along with information about system requirements and installation instructions.) The preview release also included an announcement that the SharePoint Server 2016 RTM release is expected to sometime in Q2 of 2016.

Now some of you may be thinking, “What, SharePoint 2016???” And rightfully so, because less than two years ago, there were rumors that Microsoft might not release another on-premises version of SharePoint — which would’ve forced everyone to Office 365’s SharePoint Online. In fact, for a period of time Microsoft was only improving SharePoint Online by adding features and functionality not found in the on-premises release.

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12 ways to improve Apple Music

I pay for Apple Music and have no intention of ceasing to do so. I’m getting a lot out of the service, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. I’ve been kicking it around the last three months and here’s some tweaks I think would make it even better.

We know Apple is improving the service already. Vice president, iTunes International, Oliver Schusser told The Guardian this week:

“There’s a lot of work going into making the product better. Our focus is on editorial and playlists, and obviously we have teams all around the world working on that, but we’re also adding features and cleaning up certain things.”

With this in mind, I also suggest these improvements:

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Microsoft strikes a deal with Asus: We won’t sue if you put Office on your Android devices

Microsoft has apparently traded an agreement not to sue Asustek over its Android patents in exchange for an a deal that will put Office software on Android smartphones and tablets designed by Asus.

About a day after Microsoft and Google buried the hatchet with their own patent agreement, Asus and Microsoft also made peace. In a statement on Thursday, the two companies said they’d expanded a previous patent licensing agreement between the two companies that covers Asus-made Android phone and tablets and “Microsoft software, devices and services.”

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Amazon launches managed Elasticsearch service

While Amazon Web Services made a name for itself by providing raw computing power and data storage at rock-bottom prices, the company has been moving toward providing services that do more of the heavy lifting for developers and administrators in exchange for a higher price.

Amazon Elasticsearch Service is a new product in that vein that’s designed to make it easier for developers to implement the popular Elasticsearch open-source search and analytics engine that lives in the AWS cloud. Users can set up an Elasticsearch service cluster using the AWS Management Console, command-line tools, or the Amazon Elasticsearch Service API. They can set up parameters like instance count and what sort of storage their search instance should use.

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Microsoft stays in the on-premises email server game with launch of Exchange 2016

Microsoft has been aggressively pushing its cloud services for applications such as email, but it also remains committed to selling software that customers run in their own data centers. That’s why, on Thursday, the company released Exchange Server 2016.

The latest version of Microsoft’s calendaring and mail server product includes several new features for enterprise customers, including a set of improvements to the web-based Outlook experience, eDiscovery functionality, collaboration and search. 

Exchange Server 2016’s search has been updated to provide more accurate and complete results to users. The update brings capabilities like search suggestions, people suggestions and the ability for users to search for events in their calendars. The server software’s eDiscovery pipeline has been enhanced with new search architecture that’s asynchronous and can distribute search work across multiple servers.

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Amazon launches managed Elasticsearch service

While Amazon Web Services made a name for itself by providing raw computing power and data storage at rock-bottom prices, the company has been moving toward providing services that do more of the heavy lifting for developers and administrators in exchange for a higher price.

Amazon Elasticsearch Service is a new product in that vein that’s designed to make it easier for developers to implement the popular Elasticsearch open-source search and analytics engine that lives in the AWS cloud. Users can set up an Elasticsearch service cluster using the AWS Management Console, command-line tools, or the Amazon Elasticsearch Service API. They can set up parameters like instance count and what sort of storage their search instance should use.

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Looking back: Viruses that led to a path of destruction

Viruses
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Image by Bixentro

The world of computer viruses has changed drastically over the last 25 years or so. In the early days, Internet users were very naïve towards email attachments, contributing to the alarming speed that viruses could spread across the globe. Nowadays, viruses very rarely land in our inboxes due to preconfigured firewalls and strict measures from the likes of Gmail and Outlook. SSLs.com compiled this list of some of the most notorious, destructive viruses that wreaked havoc on the Internet.

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IDG Contributor Network: Best Buy’s robot reinforces the chain’s perceived weakness

A Best Buy experiment in New York City is using a giant (350-foot-tall) robot to grab DVDs, CDs, video games, headphones and chargers for customers. There’s no doubt that this will prove to be an attention-generating novelty in Manhattan, but will it ultimately prove counterproductive for Best Buy?

In their battle with e-tailers — especially Amazon — retailers need to push customer service and associate interactions. The more impersonal the interactions, the more ground that is ceded to e-tailers. To be fair, there are two ways of spinning this. Best Buy has pushed the “freeing up” argument, where the robot is freeing up associates to spend more time on personal interactions.

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IDG Contributor Network: Best Buy’s robot reinforces the chain’s received weakness

A Best Buy experiment in New York City is using a giant (350-foot-tall) robot to grab DVDs, CDs, video games, headphones and chargers for customers. There’s no doubt that this will prove to be an attention-generating novelty in Manhattan, but will it ultimately prove counterproductive for Best Buy?

In their battle with e-tailers — especially Amazon — retailers need to push customer service and associate interactions. The more impersonal the interactions, the more ground that is ceded to e-tailers. To be fair, there are two ways of spinning this. Best Buy has pushed the “freeing up” argument, where the robot is freeing up associates to spend more time on personal interactions.

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