As we know from years of partnership and experience, Microsoft technologies rarely remain static and August, in the end, has proven to be one of those months where the pace of change has seemed overwhelming.
As always your team at MicroWarehouse will be ready to answer any questions that you may have or to help you adjust your business plans to adopt any of these exciting new technologies. Before we get to the product announcements for August, a bit of news broke midway through the month, that some customers and partners have always feared might happen.
Microsoft has indeed introduced new prices for Microsoft365 & Office365 plans. This is the first increase in 10 years as they state themselves, but this has come at a precarious time for certain verticals and businesses who could be labouring their way through this Covid 19 pandemic. The KEY takeaway for partners is that these price changes will not take effect until March 2022. We have time to prepare our communications and start to plan with our clients what their strategic path forward in terms of Microsoft technology and what their licensing requirements will be.
Another interesting side note from this announcement is that Audio Conferencing will be bundled into M365 & O365 Plans at no additional cost any longer. Some clouds can have silver linings, and this one does add value, particularly as we will see the shift back to office work, and more people might be traveling while a Teams call is taking place. The ability to dial in will give them a voice in that meeting that is usually more reliable than the 4G connection on any of our motorways.
For More information on that announcement see the Microsoft 365 Blog post here New pricing for Microsoft 365 | Microsoft 365 Blog
Please note, we have not yet been issued Sterling or Euro Price changes, once we have them we will share them with you.
This sneaky little announcement came across my desk via Twitter, thanks to @TomWarren. Do follow him if you do not already or follow me as I act as an echo chamber for his content @Marchett1Guido or both. Anyway back to the point which is Windows 11 will start to roll out across the globe as a free update to pcs that will support it from the 5th of October.
Microsoft are calling this the Operating system for the Hybrid world of work. I can’t say that I have gotten my hands on it yet, but I know some of my colleagues have been playing with it. Users can expect a slick new “Mac Like” experience. Did I just say that, yes I did and it will remain there too. It is designed to let people make it their own and has some handy features like Teams OS integration and the ability to snap multiple apps to various screens. The Docking experience has also been something Microsoft has worked hard on, and to be fair it looks very clever remembering which screen you had various apps on and placing them right back there when you re-dock to keep you in your “Workflow State of mind”.
For Partners, the management of Windows 11 will be similar to that of 10. It is built on the foundation of Windows 10 and updates will become more manageable with updates flowing annually and support for each version running for 24 months on Pro and 36 months on Enterprise and Educational versions.
This is of course a great chance for partners too who maybe helping clients with sourcing new hardware. With M365 BP, Windows 11 and Autopilot, partners can really start to re-think the delivery mechanism of endpoints for their clients. I am really looking forward to seeing some of the innovative solutions that the partner community come up with in Ireland.
For More information on Windows 11 going live see the Windows Blog here Windows 11 available on October 5 | Windows Experience Blog
Security has been front and centre for businesses of all sizes, and I implore all partners to make sure that it is front and centre of their clients minds. Cyber attacks are on the rise, and there is no one silver bullet, but Microsoft do offer huge value in this space. They are adding to their list of services with an announcement today of a new member of the Defender family of services.
Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 is a lighter version of its big brother plan 2, that for some companies, they think it is overkill. In response, Microsoft has made the P1 version in an effort to make the service available and potentially scalable to a larger market. Its features will carry the following services
With Microsoft Defender for Endpoint P1, customers will get the following core capabilities:
If you take a close look at the blog there is a simpler explanation of what the above actually means for your clients, and you as a partner. What is also interesting is in the name, it isn’t called Windows Defender, it is Defender for endpoint, allowing to you install this across Windows, MAC OS, IOS and Android, giving the partners the ability to address all endpoints from a threat protection point of view, centrally managed with Intune. Further driving the value of the M365 suites into your clients.
For more details on what is included in Defender for EndPoint P1 see the Blog: Introducing Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 – Microsoft Tech Community
When you add these all to the announcements of Microsoft Inspire, it looks like it will be a busy year for us all. As always, the team in MicroWarehouse is here to help with your queries or any assistance that you need in understanding any of the above.
Contact us any time for assistance or if you would like to book some time into my diary to discuss any of the above. Follow Book time in my Diary to book straight into my calendar for a chat.
Finally, we also have a number of upcoming events in relation to Modern work in the coming weeks as listed below:
Modern Work Place Summer Update: Microsoft 365 – September / Summer Update – MicroWarehouse (mwh.ie)
Microsoft Teams MS 700 Learning: MS-700: Managing Microsoft Teams – MicroWarehouse (mwh.ie)
Nexus Voice for Microsoft Teams: Nexus – Microsoft Teams Phone System – MicroWarehouse (mwh.ie)
*JUST ANNOUNCED* Windows 365 Windows 365 – MicroWarehouse (mwh.ie)
Surface Device Series of Webinars Surface Webinar Series (mwh.ie)
Stay safe & regards,