Cameo Insights

Cameo Innovations’ Quarterly Newsletter
Autumn/Fall 2017

Featured in this quarter’s newsletter:

Microsoft Office 2007 End of Life

Microsoft products generally have a 10-year life cycle starting from the date of their initial release. With Office 2007, the end of this life cycle occurred on October 10th. This was also the date for the end-of-life of Office for Mac 2011.

This doesn’t imply that Office 2007, or Office for Mac 2011, will stop working – you can continue to use these products if you’ve licensed them, but it means that they are no longer supported by Microsoft.

It also means there will be no bug fixes released for issues that are identified and no security fixes made available for vulnerabilities that are subsequently discovered. In our view, it’s unwise to continue to use these products, as bugs and vulnerabilities are likely to be discovered, and malware authors and hackers will be able to take advantage of them because no fixes will be available.

Microsoft recommends users of Office 2007 or Office for Mac 2011 upgrade as soon as possible. For a single machine, you can upgrade to Office 2016; small organisations should upgrade to Office 365 for Business. If you’d like advice on how to do this, and a recommendation about which version of Office 365 for Business might be most appropriate for your organisation, please contact us.

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Cameo Innovations achieves Microsoft Silver Partner status

Cameo Innovations is delighted to announce that it has achieved Silver status in the Microsoft Partner program. This achievement reflects Cameo Innovations’ successful relationship with both our clients and with Microsoft.

Becoming a Microsoft Silver Partner is a result of the company qualifying for the “Silver Small & Midmarket Cloud Solutions Competency”. To achieve this competency, among other qualifications, Microsoft required several of our clients to provide references for us confirming their satisfaction with our services and the benefits we delivered. We thank them for their willingness to do this.

Achieving Silver Microsoft Partner status means that Cameo Innovations is even better able to provide valuable advice to our current and future clients on how to best deploy, configure and manage their Microsoft Cloud technology. This enables them to reduce their costs, get better value from their technology investment, integrate their business processes, and improve the way their business operates.

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Key features in Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update

Microsoft has now established a schedule of regular updates for Windows 10. It releases major updates twice a year, and labels these “Creators Update” with intermediate minor releases as and when necessary.

Tuesday October 17th saw the release of the Windows 10 2017 Fall Creators Update. Here we have a look at some of the key features in it.

Probably the best new feature is the incorporation of OneDrive “file on demand” into Windows. We’ll explore this in a little more detail elsewhere in this newsletter.

Other new features include:

  • Setting each WiFi connection to “Public” or “Private” in the connection itself. This is a sensible security precaution which was previously hidden in network settings. It’s now immediately available when you connect to a new WiFi network.
  • Power Throttling is a slider setting that allows you to balance improved performance against longer battery life.
  • Cortana, the Microsoft voice assistant, previously had its settings in its own app, but now they’re integrated into the full “Settings” app. Much easier to find.
  • “My People” enables you to pin individual contacts to the taskbar – allowing you to Skype, message or email them directly from the taskbar. Great for family and colleagues you’re regularly in touch with.
  • Microsoft’s new Edge browser gets a set of user-interface and usability improvements including a full-screen mode.
  • Sound improvements include the ability to adjust sound volumes for individual apps – personally I’ve wanted this capability for ages.
  • Task Manager includes performance of graphics processors (GPUs) as well as systems processors.
  • Settings has been reorganised, with related settings grouped together, so it’s much easier to find the stuff you need.
  • Security enhancements include adding “Exploit Protection” to Windows Defender, as well as Controlled Folder Access which is intended as a defence against ransomware – allowing you to select which apps have access to system files and folders.

The Fall Creators Update is a major update, available free of charge to Windows 10 users and automatically installed by Windows Update unless you pause updates. We recommend that you install it just for the security improvements alone. But there’s a lot more in there which makes Windows 10 easier to use and manage.

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Cameo Innovations moves to new office in Medway

You find many stories in the press and in social media about how wonderful it is to be able to work from home. The cloud and tools like Office 365 support those who want to be able to include working from home in their work/life balance. We may be old fashioned, but we relish working in a professional office environment, so we’re delighted to announce that as of Monday October 23rd, Cameo Innovations will be operating from a “proper” office at:

38 Riverside
Sir Thomas Longley Road
Medway City Estate,
Rochester,
ME2 4DP

We’ve changed our contact details on the website and for our Microsoft Partner account and in Google. The beauty of IP telephony means that our main switchboard number: 020 3745 6111 remains unchanged. But we love not having to move the cat off the printer when we need to print something. It’s good to be working in a professional office environment again! We’ll blog and post some pictures when we’ve settled in.

And for those of you west of London, you can be reassured that our outpost in the Thames Valley is still there – yes, Mike will still be working from home some of the time.

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GDPR is getting closer

The new General Data Protection Regulation comes into force next May. It’s a Europe-wide replacement for existing data protection laws which implemented the 1995 Data Protection Directive. In the UK GDPR introduces some significant changes from the existing Data Protection Act. And the UK government has made it clear that even after Brexit the new rules will continue to apply, so don’t think Brexit gives you an excuse for ignoring it.

These new rules apply to all UK businesses, large and small. If you’ve done nothing about them so far then it’s time to start thinking about what you need to do to comply. And if you think that your business is sufficiently small that the regulator won’t take any notice – don’t be so sure. Your customers, whether consumer or business, will be expecting you to comply. If you don’t, and if your actions make it apparent that you’re not compliant, the first place they’re likely to go is the regulator – the Information Commissioner’s Office(ICO). And the first thing you may know about it is that you get a call from someone at the ICO saying they’re about to arrive for an audit!

The first thing to do is to download the ICO’s excellent “12 steps” document that suggests the first steps you should take to achieve compliance. Download it here or click on the image. We also have several blogs and a short white paper you might want to read.

But whatever you do, start thinking about achieving GDPR compliance today.

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OneDrive “File on Demand” and version history

OneDrive “File on Demand” is one of the key new usability features in the Microsoft Fall Creators Update for Windows 10.

This is particularly useful when you have limited space on your desktop device and you’re synchronising with a larger cloud file system. OneDrive already included the capability to do “selective sync” allowing you to choose which files and folders you synchronise with your desktop, leaving the others in the cloud until you need them.

File on demand” extends this so that Windows Explorer shows all the files that are stored in OneDrive in the cloud, whether they’re synced with your local storage or not. When you click on one that isn’t synced, OneDrive will download it – making it immediately available for you to work on. It will then sync the file from that point onwards. OneDrive will do this each time you click on files that are not currently synced until you run out of storage space on your local device. Then you’ll have to decide which files to stop syncing to free up space.

Version history is the other feature of OneDrive for Business to be aware of. It’s not new, but it’s very useful. When you update or modify a file you’re syncing with OneDrive in the cloud, OneDrive retains the previous version. It does that for every previous version for at least the last 30 days. So, if you modify a file and then wish you hadn’t, or worse, you’re the victim of a ransomware attack, you can revert to the previous version of the file quite easily.

To access previous versions, right-click on the OneDrive for Business icon on the taskbar and select “Manage storage”; this will launch the web access to your OneDrive. Select Documents and you’ll see a link for each file’s version history shown. Click on Version History and you’ll see each of the previous versions. From here you can view, restore or delete any of these previous versions. (Note that this is different from right clicking on a file in Windows Explorer and selecting “Restore Previous Versions” which can’t access the previous versions stored in OneDrive.)

Click on the thumbnail image to see the right-click menu and Manage Storage dialog for Documents on my own OneDrive for Business (this will open in a new tab).

It’s even possible to revert the entire OneDrive file store back one version in one go, but to do this you’ll need to raise a support request with Microsoft.

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Tech Support: Are you regularly having to login to Office 365 or OneDrive?

Are you an Office 365 user that’s constantly being prompted for your Office 365 account credentials? For instance, when you click on Skype for Business or OneDrive? Then it’s likely you’re doing one of two things:

  1. You’re running Office 365 on OS X on a Mac, or
  2. You’re logging into Windows 10 with an account different from the one you use for Office 365

Well if you’re running it on a Mac, that’s fine (I do that too) but there’s nothing you can do about occasionally having to re-authenticate yourself. Sorry.

But if you’re running Office 365 on Windows 10 and you’re frequently being shown an Office 365 login dialog, there’s an easy fix: Change your Windows 10 login to use the email address and password that you use for Office 365. Then when you log into Windows 10, your credentials will be automatically shared with Office 365 and you won’t be pestered again.

To set this up, log into Windows 10 with your normal credentials, and go to Settings. Click on Accounts and go to Access Work or School and click the + Connect button, where you’ll be asked to enter a work or school email address. Enter your Office 365 account credentials. When you’re ready to use this account, select the Start button, select your current account picture and then select Switch Account. Sign in with your Office 365 account email and password.

Problem solved!

Note: When you first sign in to Windows 10 with your Office 365 account credentials it’s effectively a new Windows 10 account, so you’ll need to set up your email credentials in Outlook, and the link between your OneDrive for Business in the cloud and a folder on your computer. However, doing this once is surely a small price to pay to avoid having to regularly re-authenticate yourself. Isn’t it?

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