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Microsoft Shares Hybrid Work Roadmap following Work Trend Index 2022 Report

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At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago (yes, it’s been two years folks), Microsoft was one of the first companies to understand how the health crisis would transform the workplace. Of course, two years on, the idea of working from home, combining remote/on premises work, has become common… the age of the hybrid workplace is here.

Today, Microsoft is highlighting how it has embraced hybrid work within its own organization with the Microsoft Work Trend Index 2022 report. Furthermore, the company is showing how it is integrating hybrid work solutions into its products, such as Microsoft 365, Windows 11, and Microsoft Teams.

Starting with the second annual Work Trend Index report, Microsoft surveyed 31,000 people in 31 countries using data from LinkedIn and Microsoft 365. It shows there seem to be a growing disconnect over what businesses expect and what employees want regarding hybrid work.

Specifically, 51% of organizations say they plan to return to total full-time office hours by the end of the year. At the same time, a majority of employees say they prefer to mix work between the office and home. Perhaps this fundamental disagreement is why 41% of employees say they are considering leaving their job.

What is clear is that even if organizations envision are return to pre-pandemic norms, that is unlikely to happen. Employees now understand they can remain productive in a hybrid work environment.

Microsoft’s Hybrid Work Roadmap

Microsoft is one board with the hybrid work revolution and is gearing up a wide selection of its service to appeal to the growing hybrid work crowd. Specifically, the company is today discussing hybrid-focused changes coming to Microsoft Teams, PowerPoint, Outlook, and even Surface devices.

Starting with Outlook, the email client will get a new RSVP feature. This will make it easy for meeting attendees to say whether they will be present in person or virtually. Microsoft says the ability will come to the public preview of Outlook for Web during Q2.On Microsoft Teams, several enhancements are coming soon to appeal to remote users. Starting today, Teams has a new layout known as “Front Row.” This positions the video gallery at the bottom of the screen so those who are physically present in a meeting can see remote participants face to face.

In Microsoft Teams Rooms, those who attend in person can join meetings from their device to remote workers can see who is present. Microsoft says this is important in conference situations because only 8 percent of all conference rooms have video abilities.

On the hardware side, Microsoft is introducing a Surface Hub 2 smart camera:

“Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera reframes, adjusts lighting, and enables incredibly wide angles of view, all without any warping, distortions, or depth-of-field issues that might otherwise limit what is visible,” explains Steven Bathiche, corporate vice president of Windows and devices at Microsoft. “The team put tremendous work into tuning the experience to capture and frame what is occurring in the room while being smooth and natural for remote viewers or participants.”

More Hybrid Features

PowerPoint is still a core component of the meetings realm. Microsoft says it is merging the recording studio and cameo features together to create a more seamless and efficient PowerPoint. Cameo is a tool that works with cameras in Microsoft Teams by integrating them into a presentation. Recording studio allows the addition of audio recording on any slide. Microsoft will finalize this merger of the two tools during Q2.

Tip of the day: Windows sometimes refuses to delete certain folders or files. In our tutorial we show you how to take action in such a case and still erase the affected files from your hard drive.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Power BI Gets More Efficient Multi-Geo Capacities

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Microsoft has this week delivered some performance enhancements for its Power BI services. Specifically, the company has expanded the capabilities of the Multi-Geo capacities. According to Microsoft, users can now connect to remote regions more efficiently.

Power BI Multi Geo capacities are purposely configured in remote locations, allowing uses to not be limited to their home region.

However, accessing the capacities was previously complicated. It involved moving through a multi-stage connection. Users had to make a connection through their home region and the remote region. The costs of doing this became too steep for many users.
Microsoft says the new performance enhancement brings important changes. Users can now connect to the remote region more easily. For example, users can now make a connection with the remote capacity without needing to access their home region.
This is important because it reduces load times, boosts performance, and cuts overheads.
“With the latest improvement, remote users dependent on the remote capacity for viewing reports do not need to have their browsers connect to the home region while viewing and interacting with reports, making reports load faster and the data exploration experience faster and more responsive.”
Microsoft says improved Multi-Geo capacities are now available across all browsers and in all regions. However, the company says it is not available on Power BI Mobile or the Embedded flavor of the service. As for Mobile support, Microsoft says it will arrive in the coming weeks.
Multi-Select Tool
Speaking of the Power BI Mobile experience, earlier this month Microsoft brought Multi-Select to iOS and Android.
“We’ve added the capability to multi-select multiple data points in a report page. When multi-select is turned on, each data point you tap is added to the other selected data points, with the combined results automatically highlighted in all the visuals in the page. To turn on multi-select mode, go to the app settings page.”

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Explains Rust Project Verona Development to Improve Coding Security

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Microsoft has expanded on its experimentation with Mozilla’s Rust programming language, which the company is developing. Redmond explains the goal of Rust development is to make Windows coding more secure, under the codename Project Verona.

The company has previously discussed the potential security benefits of Rust but not expanded on the details. Earlier this year, Microsoft signaled its interest in the language as an alternative to C and C++ for Windows developers.

While C and C++ remain very popular, they are aging languages. Rust is a modern programming tool that is considered “memory-safe languages”. That’s because it is specifically designed to protect against vulnerabilities in memory corruption.

Microsoft has said it is exploring the idea of re-writing its products in Rust. The company’s interest in the security-focused language to combat a consistent problem. Specifically, the company points out over 70% of all patches it sent out over the last 10-years dealt with memory bugs. Rust was developed to deal with these problems.

Early experiments with Rust were successful, albeit with some features missing.

Project Verona

Matthew Parkinson, a Microsoft researcher from the Cambridge Computer Lab in the UK   gave a talk last week explaining the company’s vision for dealing with memory issues. Specifically, the company is working with MemGC (Memory Garbage Collector) on Edge and Internet Explorer.

“We built a garbage collector (GC) for the DOM. That big bulge in use-after-free was basically people finding ways of exploiting memory management in the DOM engine in IE,” said Parkinson.

“And then [Microsoft] introduced MemGC, which is a conservative GC for the DOM. It was very targeted at this particular style of vulnerability and then basically eradicated that as an attack vector.”

Microsoft is rewriting some components in Rust in an effort to make coding more secure.

“If we want compartments, and to carve up the legacy bits of our code so [attackers’] exploit code can’t get out, what do we need in the language design that can help with that?”

source- windbuzzer

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