Microsoft Delays February Patch Release

Microsoft announced today that they are postponing their February 2017 security update for Windows and other products, which was slated to release today.

The Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) posted the following to their blog this afternoon:

Our top priority is to provide the best possible experience for customers in maintaining and protecting their systems. This month, we discovered a last minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates today.

After considering all options, we made the decision to delay this month’s updates. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this change to the existing plan.

So far, there’s no word on when the updates will release. We will continue to keep you post here on the blog, and on Twitter and Facebook!

Microsoft Launches Teams to Compete with Slack

Microsoft announced last Wednesday that they are bringing together their Office 365 productivity apps, and their strengths, together in a single app: Teams.

As direct competition to Slack, Microsoft Teams is an integrated collaboration app for Office 365 that offers a chat-based approach to communication, along with Office document collaboration and multi-person video chat through Skype.

With Teams, users can add, work, and collaborate in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Meetings, Notes, Planner, SharePoint, OneNote and other Office 365 apps without ever leaving Teams.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella describes, “No two teams are the same, no two projects are the same. There’s no universal tool for teams, but rather a universal toolkit we call Office 365.”

Currently, Slack offers more apps within its directory, but Teams will soon launch more than 150 partner integrations. Right now though, built-in integrations include Asana, Hootsuite, Intercom, and Zendesk.

Also on Wednesday, Slack bought a full page ad in the New York Times to publish an open letter to Microsoft. Read it here.

To read more about Teams, click here.

Microsoft Office Skills Rated Number Four on Most Required Skills List

A new white paper, Keys to the Future: Align Workforce Readiness Skills to Ensure Student Success, looks at the most widely desired skills in today’s workforce, and the skills and competencies that will be most in-demand by 2024. The research, conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC) and sponsored by Microsoft, reveals that the top 20 most required job skills include Microsoft Office, which lands at number 4, and Microsoft PowerPoint, landing at number 16.

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IDC analyzed 76.7 million job postings from 2015 to identify the 20 most commonly required skills for these positions, then examined the skills required for 70 positions that are expected to have above average growth and salary potential between 2016 and 2024 – these are called “high opportunity positions.”

This top 20 list represents skills that are most required across all occupations and are considered “cross-functional skills.” IDC categorized these skills into three overlapping buckets:

  • Communication, integration, and presentation skills
  • Entrepreneurialism and related skills
  • Microsoft, Microsoft Office and other software skills

These cross-functional skills suggest that students require “job readiness” and not “job training” for success, as educators should focus on skills with the broadest applicability.

Cengage creates learning experiences that build confidence and momentum toward the future students want. Learn more about our resources for Microsoft Office here.

New Office 365 Creativity Updates

Just in from the Microsoft Windows 10 Event in New York City: Office 365 is getting its own updates for the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update, which Microsoft says will arrive in “early 2017.”

With Microsoft’s updates, Windows 10 and Office 365 can be regularly updated with fixes, and new features, too. So what’s the Creators Update? Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President for Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, explained that the Creators Update features will include 3D and mixed reality, 4K gaming, and in-game broadcasting.

How does this affect Office? The features within the Creators Update will enhance the digital pen user-experience, offering new ways to interact with your documents and expands options for creating rich, interactive content – this is called Inking.

Inking in Office 365

  • Ink Editor – Strike through words to delete them, circle text to select it, and automatically snap highlighter ink to text.
  • Ink Replay control with Surface Dial – Set the pace at which you review instructions, reveal lesson ideas, and more with the new integration of Surface Dial and Windows 10.
  • Digital Ruler – Draw straight lines and align objects with the help of a built-in digital ruler in PowerPoint.
  • Segment Eraser in PowerPoint – Use this new eraser to remove excess ink for more precise in shapes.

Read more about the Creators Update for Office, and Inking here.

New Microsoft Office Updates for iOS

THIS JUST IN: Good news for iPhone and iPad users, Microsoft is working to deliver new updates for Office on iOS.

As part of their September updates, Office for iOS will get support for Edmodo and Tencent, which means iPhones and iPads will now be allowed to store and access documents through Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft Word is getting Smart Lookup which will allow users the ability to look up a word instantly. By simply pressing and holding on a word or phrase, users can search image information, word definitions, and more without leaving the document.

PowerPoint is also getting an update in the iOS platform. IPhone users can now use their smartphones as laser pointers by simply pressing and holding in the notes section while in presenter mode.

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The Mac platform of the office suite will be updated as well. PowerPoint Designer will be getting a bit of a face-lift and will have improved color guides as well as new audio and video trim options.  Additionally, Office 365 subscribers will get access to a new “focus mode,” which is designed to “remove distractions and improve concentration at work.” There isn’t a concrete release date for this update, but it should go live early September.

For additional information on Microsoft updates for iOS, visit their website.

Computing Student Advisory Team: We Want YOU

Teachers! Do you have highly motivated Introductory Computing students who might like to get involved with Cengage?

Students! Would you like to get involved with Cengage?

We have an exciting opportunity for students to partner with our Computing group as part of a student advisory team!

We are looking for students who are self-motivated with proven leadership, analytical, and communication skills, and are passionate about making a difference and helping others learn!

We’ll PAY students to…

  • Participate fully from August 2016 through May 2017
  • Develop real-world work experience (which looks great on a resume!)
  • Collaborate with students all across the U.S. in a team environment
  • Directly impact education products

Teachers – Recommend any of your students today! Please send us…

  • Student name
  • Student email
  • Why you think this student would be a valuable contributor to the Computing Student Advisory Team

Please send all recommendations to us by Monday, 8/15:

reed.curry@cengage.com

sarah.marks@cengage.com

amy.savino@cengage.com

Students – Email reed.curry@cengage.com, sarah.marks@cengage.com, and amy.savino@cengage.com for an application!

We’re excited to hear from you!