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Microsoft Teams with Volkswagen for Azure Cloud Automated Driving Solutions

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Microsoft is expanding its reach in automotive through a new collaboration with Volkswagen Group. Microsoft and the German car-making giant will work together to create automated driving (AD) solutions. This is an extension of the companies’ existing cloud partnership stemming from 2018.

Specifically, Volkswagen Software Organisation will work with Microsoft Azure to create an Automated Driving Platform (ADP). This solution will function in the cloud based on Microsoft’s data capabilities. VW hopes Microsoft can help to deliver global scale to its AD aspirations.

“As we transform Volkswagen Group into a digital mobility provider, we are looking to continuously increase the efficiency of our software development. We are building the Automated Driving Platform with Microsoft to simplify our developers’ work through one scalable and data-based engineering environment. By combining our comprehensive expertise in the development of connected driving solutions with Microsoft’s cloud and software engineering know-how, we will accelerate the delivery of safe and comfortable mobility services,” said Dirk Hilgenberg, CEO of the Car.Software Organisation.

Microsoft in Automotive

ADP running on Microsoft Azure will improve the efficiency of the company’s existing advanced driver assistance systems (ADADS). By working with VW, Microsoft is expanding its reach in automotive. The company already has partnerships with BMW with the Open Manufacturing Platform and its own Connected Vehicle Platform.

“This is the next evolution of our foundational work with the Volkswagen Group to enhance their transformation as a software-driven mobility provider,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud + AI at Microsoft. “The power of Microsoft Azure and its compute, data and AI capabilities will enable Volkswagen to deliver secure and reliable automated driving solutions to their customers faster.”

VW wants to leverage Microsoft’s cloud to streamline the developer experience when creating automated driving solutions. Machine learning, data, and compute services from Microsoft will help drive the company’s development of technologies to create a single development environment.

Tip of the day:

Is your system drive constantly full and you need to free up space regularly? Try Windows 10 Disk Cleanup in extended mode which goes far beyond the standard procedure. Our tutorial also shows you how to create a desktop shortcut to run this advanced method right from the desktop.

 

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft: Windows 10 Team 2020 Update Finally Coming to All Surface Hub Users

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Of all the Windows 10 SKUs, Microsoft’s Windows 10 Team is perhaps the least discussed. Developed for the company’s Surface Hub large-screen devices, the variant has been with us for several years. Microsoft has now updated users about its plans for the next phase of updates for Windows 10 Team.

In October, the company promised the Windows 10 Team 2020 Update. It arrived that same month, but the rollout was problematic. In December, Microsoft confirmed the update was on ice because of post-installation problems.

Now, Microsoft is back with an update about the update. According to Microsoft, a majority of customers received the update during the initial phase. The first two stages of the rollout covered Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, UK, Japan, Italy, and Switzerland. By time the update was halted, 70% of Surface Hub devices were updated, including the Surface Hub 2S units.

Microsoft went to phase three to deliver the update to customers in the United States and Germany. The company also had plans for a phase four covering the rest of the world. It was these two phases that were postponed.

Available Now

After seemingly solving the issue, Microsoft says Windows 10 Team 2020 Update is now available. Specifically, users of the Surface Hub 2S can get the release through Windows Update for Business. Microsoft says it will come to Windows Update proper during February.

Users of the first-generation Surface Hub, the update will come to both Windows Update for Business and Windows Update next month. However, the update is also available right now through the Surface Hub Recovery Tool.

After all that mess, it’s worth noting some of the new features coming to Windows 10 Team. Microsoft’s new Chromium Edge browser is coming pre-installed in this build for the first time. Surface Hub will also (finally) be able to support two pens at the same time. Deeper integration with Microsoft Teams is also included.

Tip of the day:

If you need to create an ad-hoc network, you can do it on Windows 10. In our tutorial we show you how to easily create a shareable wireless internet connection in Windows 10 as a free WIFI hotspot.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Getting Dynamic View Improved Together Mode, and Backgrounds on Android

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Users of Microsoft Teams will soon receive a new tool that will make slides more visible to a meeting host during events. Microsoft calls the feature Dynamic View, and it is for the desktop version of the service. Microsoft says the tool will roll out to all users during March. Microsoft also has some new features coming to Android users.

Starting with Dynamic View, it allows meeting hosts to have better visibility of content shared in a group. The tool automatically adjusts the size of content, such as images and slides during a meeting.

In the Microsoft Teams roadmap, Microsoft explains how the tool will help video participants:

“Dynamic view automatically optimizes shared content and video participants in Teams meetings. New controls let you personalize the view to suit your preferences and needs, such as the ability to show shared content and specific participants side-by-side.”

Elsewhere, desktop users will also be getting more scenes for Together Mode. This is a feature that leverages AI to take the faces of participants in a meeting and place them in a virtual room.

Teams on Android

Over on Android, the roadmap shows a few new tools coming to mobile users of Teams. Background effects are now extending to Google’s platform. Microsoft has recently updated Teams to make it even easier to place a custom background on a video feed. Thanks to the new simplified method, new custom backgrounds can be added in seconds.

Microsoft spent much of 2020 playing catch up to Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic. Heading into the crisis, Zoom was well-placed to become the video conferencing tool of choice. Microsoft was at the time still pushing Teams as more of a workplace collaboration package.

As COVID-19 changed the enterprise landscape and the work at home era began, Microsoft saw the potential of Teams as a rival to Zoom. It’s true Teams is unlikely to match Zoom’s huge numbers. However, there’s no doubt Teams is a huge success in its own right.

That can be seen by the fact Zoom is now moving the other way. Whereas Microsoft has been pushing Teams against its rival, Zoom is now pushing back. We recently reported the company is now working on its own email and calendar service in an effort to become more of a rounded enterprise tool.

Tip of the day:

Did you know that Windows 10´s Task Manager lets you set CPU affinity to claw back some resources from running apps and give selected apps higher priority. Our tutorial shows how you can use this helpful feature.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams and Zoom Come to Raspberry Pi O

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If you have a device running Raspberry Pi OS, you are getting a welcome update this week. According to Raspberry Pi Trading, the Debian-based platform is getting Chromium browser version 84. Importantly, this means the OS can get with the times and support communication apps like Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

Raspberry Pi OS is based on the foundation of Google Chrome and ships in SD cards to work on Raspberry Pi hardware. By making changes to Chromium 84, the company has been able to bring support for video conferencing apps.

Alongside support for Microsoft Teams and Zoom, users can also tap into Google Meet for chats and meetings.

In some ways, the company is late to the party considering the rise in usage of these apps this year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of millions of people have been working remotely. Tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become essential for many workers, educators, and students.

Now that Raspberry Pi OS is up to speed with the demand for these apps, users will get them on their device. “They should all now work smoothly on your Raspberry Pi’s Chromium,” says Simon Long, a user experience engineer for the company.

That’s not the only major support news in this update. Raspberry Pi Trading has also confirmed it is dropping support for Adobe Flash Player. That falls in line with what other OS developers are doing, including Google on Chrome. Flash is simply too insecure these days, especially as it has mostly been replaced by standards like WebGL and HTML5.

Adobe realizes this and Raspberry Pi’s decision comes at the right time:

“Flash Player is being retired by Adobe at the end of the year, so this release will be the last that includes it. Most websites have now stopped requiring Flash Player, so this hopefully isn’t something that anyone notices,” adds Long.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Rooms Debuts Device as a Service Solution

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As part of Microsoft’s goal to dominate the virtual conferencing space, the company debuted Microsoft Teams Rooms in 2019. An evolution of Skype Rooms, this is hardware that taps into Microsoft Teams to make meeting experiences better. However, it’s not always cheap to set up hardware installations in meeting spaces.

Microsoft thinks it can help customers manage the cost with a new Device as a Service (DaaS) solution. With the new initiative, smaller organizations can spread the cost of Microsoft Teams Rooms devices.

Microsoft’s Teams Device as a Service gives customers a way to purchase Rooms hardware through monthly plans. Payments come from trusted partners and Microsoft says the DaaS comes with the following benefits:

  • Reduced up-front costs
    Free up your budget for additional IT investments with monthly payments instead of a large initial purchase.
  • Scalable plans for your business
    Add devices from our portfolio to your shopping cart as your business grows.
  • Access to the latest technology
    At the end of your contract, sign up for a refreshed wave of our latest innovations instead of purchasing one solution.”
  • Wide range of solutions
    Choose from phones, peripherals, room systems, and accessories to create custom bundles.
  • Financing and shopping made easy
    Eliminate high up-front costs by breaking down your device order into smaller, regular monthly payments.

Interested customers get started by choosing hardware from the Microsoft Teams online catalog. Next they select the duration of the payment plan and pass through financing assessment.

Rooms

Microsoft Teams Rooms are devices built by partner OEMs for meeting rooms and videoconferencing. Meetings begin with a single touch, through a feature known as “One Touch Join”. Elsewhere, using Microsoft Teams, hardware can detect open conference spaces.

Partner OEMs adopting Microsoft Teams Rooms include HP, Logitech, Lenovo, and Polycom.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Teams

What you need to know about Microsoft Teams Room Systems

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Background to Microsoft Teams Room Systems

With the release of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft has introduced the use of Microsoft Teams Room Systems.  Microsoft Team Room systems build upon the experience of Skype for Business certified devices and ultimately take them even further with even more integration into Microsoft 365. The units are now capable of integrating into Intune and you can administer through Microsoft Teams admin centre.

What is it we need?

Microsoft Teams Room System

First things first, we need a Microsoft Teams Certified Room System. The room systems have been around for some time and have matured as a product. Original Room Systems supplied by companies like Logitech as a Smart Dock required you to build a Microsoft Surface Pro running Windows 10 into a docking station provided. You can then use that as your Microsoft Teams Room System. Thankfully the devices have matured significantly; they now run a hardened Windows 10 IoT that allows you to partially configure before they arrive at your location and then signed in and updated through the normal provisioning services. This is a massive improvement in historical systems.

Licenses

Standard: The most straightforward license we require is a Meeting Room License; there are two versions of the license.  The standard license, which retails at $15 per month, includes integration into Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, a Microsoft Phone System license, Microsoft PSTN audio conferencing, Microsoft InTune, and worldwide availability.

Premium: The premium license, which is a hefty $50 per month, comes with everything included in standard plus Microsoft Teams Room Managed Services. With the Premium managed services means that you get your room systems automatically updated, the devices are reviewed to see if they have any issues located on them, they are monitored all the time.  We get intelligent dashboarding that indicate where the issues are and what needs to happen to keep the devices healthy.  You can see in the enclosed example that the outline of what an unhealthy Meeting room system looks like and how it is currently suffering from the USB Camera being removed.

Screenshot of Microsoft Teams Room Systems

The outputs from these services can then be made into alerts which then can also be made into automated remediation activities which resolve some of the incidents on your behalf.

Read more: Using sensitivity labels with SharePoint sites, Microsoft Teams, and M365 groups – Part 1

These services can also be made part of a ServiceNow integration, where Microsoft will provide an automated tier 1 support and will provide rudimentary troubleshooting and will provide incident diagnostics and prescriptive guidance with simple cause and actions.

You also get enhanced insights about how the systems are being used.  Daily reports and dashboards around the performance of the room and the daily activities as well as trend analysis.

You can get a lot out of the Premium License but it certainly does come at an additional price.  This would need to be weighed into the overall solution.

Summary of what is required:

  • Device
  • License (Meeting Room Standard or Premium)
  • Administrator Rights with Office 365 Tenant – significant enough to create a meeting room within Exchange, assign licenses, and enable Microsoft Teams.  In this scenario, I’ve used a global admin account.

How to enable a Microsoft Teams Room System:

From PowerShell as an admin:

You’ll need the Exchange Online PowerShell Module

You’ll need the Microsoft Azure Active Directory Module

You’ll also need the Skype for Business Online Module

Connecting to Microsoft 365:

Validating Licenses:

Once all the pre-requisites are completed, and you can sign in successfully into Microsoft Teams, Exchange online. The Azure active directory services, the SKU list will need to be validated.

Validate meeting room licenses, validate MEETING_ROOM appears, in this scenario, we are applying a Standard Meeting Room license.

Assigning the variables:

In this scenario, I have created a new meeting room within Exchange online.

  • $newRoom  This exchange meeting room has an alias of mtr@wynnware.com. This is the address we will use to sign in to the Microsoft Teams room.
  • $name The name of the meeting room is known as Microsoft Teams Room; however, this is likely to be something similar to – Ground Floor Meeting Room 1 or similar at your locations.
  • $pwd Password is submitted the first time in the exact text. You can configure this to auto-renew or to auto change in the future where the device and Azure AD can allow the device to change passwords regularly to adhere to your security policies.
  • $license The Meeting Room license type, which we have identified in the Get-MsolAccountSku as above.
  • $location The last bit of information is the location in which your meeting room resides.  In my scenario, the device is located in the United Kingdom, so GB’s location will be used.

Configure the following for attributes for each meeting room required:

Creating a new mailbox for the room

Once you’ve set the variables, you can create the meeting room.

The replication warning is not uncommon; it is purely a warning and not a failure.

Mailbox configuration

After 30 seconds to let Office 365 replicate through and in this commandlet, we assign the password never to expire and we are setting the usage location.

Assign the Microsoft Meeting Room License:

Assigning the Microsoft Meeting Room license will allow the mailbox/meeting room account to become active.

Setting a mailbox tip

I find setting a mailbox tip helps when someone books a room so they know that the room is ready to be used as such, clearly this information can be amended to suit your organisation.  This is a sample of one used previously.

Enabling automatic calendar invites

It’s good to have an automated response and an automatic acceptance if the meeting room is free by best practice.

Finding Registrar Pool

First, we need to know what the online registrar pool is. To do this we run the following commandlet.

Enable the meeting room for Microsoft Teams

Using the information found above, the meeting room is then enabled to use Microsoft Teams.

Outbound PSTN Calling

On some occasions, a meeting room may need to make outbound calls to a telephone number.  On these occasions, the following PSTN configuration will need to be made.

If outbound calling is required – Assign Calling Plan, in this example, a PSTN2 calling plan is assigned.

Source Practical365

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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Personal Version Gets Desktop Feature Update

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Microsoft Teams is available as a consumer version these days. Microsoft launched the consumer Teams alongside Microsoft 365 Family. Over the months, both Android and iOS have gotten some interesting consumer fronted features. Now it is the turn of the PC version.

Microsoft Teams consumer users on Windows 10 and browsers can now pick up some new tools in preview. It is worth noting many of these new PC consumer features borrow heavily from business tools on Microsoft Teams, albeit with a twist.

For example, users can now start chats and create groups of up to 250 people, and see up to 49 people in Gallery or Together Mode. Furthermore, chats can now by synced from mobile versions of consumer Teams to PC and browser versions.

Below is the full list of new tools available for the service:

  • “Start a personal chat or create a group chat with up to 250 people.
  • Seamlessly sync existing chats from a phone to a computer and continue conversations on the device of your choice.
  • Talk all day for free with friends and family via video or audio calls.
  • Share video meeting invites with anyone, even if they don’t have Teams.
  • View up to 49 people in one frame in Gallery view or Together mode.
  • Upload and share photos and videos from your computer in any personal or group chat.”

If you are unfamiliar with Microsoft Teams for consumers, it is not a separate application. Instead it is baked into the regular Teams experience. Users can tap into the consumer side of the app by adding a personal account.

Microsoft is currently only running consumer Teams in preview for select customers.

Mobile Features

While this latest update is focusing on the desktop version playing catch up, Microsoft says some new tools are also coming to mobile users. For example, it is now possible to chat with people who do not have the Teams app on their phone.

The following features are also coming to iOS and Android in the coming weeks:

  • Add group events from your chats to your device’s calendar.
  • Get task and location updates in your activity feed.
  • Add a photo to your personal Safe.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams Power Apps and Dataverse Integrations Leave Preview

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Through 2020, a slew of features and abilities have come to Microsoft Teams, making an already powerful app even more so. In the latest boost for the workplace chat/collaboration service, Microsoft is adding new Power Apps and its Dataverse service to Teams.

Microsoft is pitching Teams as a true competitor to Zoom these days. While the battle for enterprise chat is more weighted in Zoom’s favour, in terms of additional abilities there’s no doubt Teams leads the way.

Integration with Power Apps and Power Virtual Apps adds abilities to Microsoft Teams that Zoom cannot achieve. In terms of Power Apps, Teams users can now create custom low-code applications that work within the platform.

Teams hosts an app studio that developers can use to build apps and deploy them across an organization. One of the benefits of using the app studio is apps are automatically ready to roll out across platforms and devices by using Teams.

It’s a similar story with Power Virtual Agents, which allow users in Teams to create their own chatbots. With minimum coding, bots can be built in the bot studio for the creation of tools to be used within an organization.

Microsoft Dataverse

Microsoft Teams is also getting an integration with Redmond’s Dataverse service. This ability is leaving preview and now becoming generally available for all Teams users:

“Dataverse for Teams provides a subset of the full Microsoft Dataverse (formerly known as CDS) capabilities but more than enough to get started building apps and bots for your organizations. Dataverse for Teams also improves application lifecycle management, allowing customers seamless upgrades to more robust offerings when their apps and data outgrow what comes with their Office 365 or Microsoft 365 licenses.”

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Warns of Microsoft Teams “FakeUpdates” Attack Campaigns

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Microsoft has been doing a lot this year to make Microsoft Teams stand out from the workplace collaboration/communication crowd. Despite several security improvements, the popular service is still a target for attacks. That makes sense considering how popular Teams is and that it integrates with Office 365 and wider systems.

Microsoft researchers say threat actors are leveraging fake ads for Microsoft Teams to deploy backdoor attacks on victim machines. It seems the attacks are based on the Cobalt Strike to enter networks and install malware.

It is worth noting there is no direct issue within Microsoft Teams. Rather, attackers are using Teams to create legitimacy for their attack. Microsoft says customers should be aware of “FakeUpdates” campaigns.

Bleeping Computer found a security advisory by the company that warns customers. This advisory has not been made public by Microsoft. Instead, it is being sent privately to Teams customers.

FakeUpdates attacks work in a similar way to other phishing campaigns. Attackers target users by sending them something that looks legitimate, in this case a call to update Microsoft Teams. Unwitting victims will engage with the message and malware is installed on their system.

Targets

The report suggests threat actors are targeting K12 education organizations. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, these organizations have become heavily reliant on services like Microsoft Teams.

As noted, the attacks use the Cobalt Strike, which is a commodity attack-simulation that spreads malware. It is best known for ransomware attacks and has also been used to exploit the Zerologon vulnerability we have been tracking in recent months.

Organizations also can limit their attack surface to keep attackers at bay by blocking executable files that do not meet specific criteria or blocking JavaScript and VBScript code from downloading executable content, Microsoft advised.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Offering Bonuses to Microsoft Teams Employees Helping to Beat Zoom

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During 2020, Microsoft Teams has become one of the most important of Microsoft’s user-facing services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, usage numbers for communication tools went through the stratosphere. While Microsoft Team was along for the ride with massive growth, rival Zoom grew even more.

Microsoft is now reportedly offering employees bonuses if they can specifically help Microsoft Teams “win against Zoom and WebEx for meetings.”

A report by Business Insider centered on leaked internal documents details Microsoft’s bonus plans. This also shows the company is clearly serious about overturning Zoom in the ongoing communication app wars.

At the start of this year, any thoughts about Teams and Zoom being major competitors were fleeting. Microsoft was driving Teams against Slack for the last few years and Zoom was an also ran with a few million users.

When COVID-19 hit, Zoom’s usage surged from 10 million to over 300 million in a matter of weeks. Suddenly it was the big meetings app and Microsoft wanted some of the action. Increasingly, the company has been steering Teams towards Zoom in terms of features.

Yes, Teams still competes with Slack, but it also targeting more video/chat communication. Microsoft believes with Office 365 behind it, Teams can provide a service that combines the best of its main rivals into a single service.

Bonuses

Let’s be clear, Zoom is thriving, but it is not like Teams is struggling. During Microsoft’s fiscal Q1 earnings call last month the company confirmed Teams usage is now at 115 million daily active users. In fact, during the era of the communication app wars, many apps are doing well. Slack, Google Meet, and others.

Still, Microsoft believes it can do more and is enticing employees to help in its fight against Zoom. Bonuses will be given to employees who deliver on “core priorities.” While these priorities are different for each role, they incentify employees to achieve “critical indicators of success.”

For the cloud role, Microsoft says the core priority is to “create customer value by accelerating cloud consumption/usage, supportability, and influence upsell – drive monthly active usage [MAU] of meetings on Teams, and platform and apps on Teams.”

It is worth noting Microsoft has not confirmed whether these bonuses are real or not.

Source Winbuzzer

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