SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Roadmap for Skype for Business capabilities coming to Microsoft Teams now available

By: Tiffany Wissner (WENTZEL) Microsoft

Last month at Microsoft Ignite we introduced a new vision for intelligent communications, which includes Microsoft Teams becoming the primary client for communication and collaboration in Office 365. Today we are sharing more detail on our planned roadmap for adding Microsoft Skype for Business capabilities to Teams, so you can plan your onboarding.

Messaging – Teams offers rich instant messaging capabilities today, with persistent chat, as well as private 1:1 and group chat. We expect to deliver RoadMapadditional messaging capabilities in Teams by the end of Q2-2018. Features will include screen sharing during chat and federation between companies.

Meetings – Teams offers collaborative meetings capabilities today, including screen sharing, meeting chats captured in the channel after the meeting, and the preview of audio conferencing. We expect to deliver additional meeting capabilities in Microsoft Teams by the end of Q2-2018. These features include meeting room support with Skype Room Systems, and cloud video interoperability capabilities that allow third party meeting room devices to connect to Teams meetings.

Calling – Today, Teams offers many calling capabilities. Later this quarter, we plan to ship voicemail for Teams. By the end of Q2-2018, we will enable you to use your existing telco voice line to activate calling services in Office 365.

Beyond bringing existing Skype for Business core capabilities to Teams, we are excited about new intelligent communications coming to Teams. As shown at the Ignite Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business General Session, customers will be able to record a meeting and store it in Teams, have transcription added, and be able to search the meeting for key terms. These features will begin rolling out at the end of Q2-2018.

As part of our vision for intelligent communications, we are also taking the opportunity to simplify the naming of our premium communication offerings. PSTN Conferencing will now be known as “Audio Conferencing;” Cloud PBX will now be known as “Phone System;” and PSTN Calling will now be known as “Calling Plan.” We want these names to be more intuitive to both IT and end users as we further integrate communications with collaboration.

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Amazon Launches ‘Business Prime’ to Bring Quick Delivery to Work

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By Spencer Soper
October 24, 2017, 9:54 AM PDT

Amazon.com Inc. launched a Prime membership service for businesses, looking to replicate in the workplace the quick delivery of online orders that made it a go-to shopping destination for households.

Business Prime Shipping, available in the U.S. and Germany, offers free two-day delivery to companies paying $499 to $10,999 a year depending on their size, Amazon said. The subscription program is looking to win business from office supply stores such as Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc.

Business-to-business transactions have been slower to shift online than retail, but could be a bigger revenue opportunity in the long term, said Andy Hoar, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. He estimates the U.S. market will reach $1.2 trillion by 2021, up from $889 billion this year.

 

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Expectations For Smartphone Technology in Near Future

It’s been quite a while since the smartphones, whether the android smartphones or Apple, have not been producing anything special. Looks like in the past few years the only thing changing in the new smartphones is the general look of a phone, and the companies produce a better camera with every successive phone.

So, how will the smartphone future technologies be subject to change or what should we be expecting out of them?

Well, considering the smartphone market in the world of today, it seems like perhaps the Samsung smartphoneamongst all android smartphones might be able to produce something new by the year 2018. Here are some expectations we have from the upcoming smartphones in the following year.

New ways of unlocking:

Keeping under consideration the Samsung Note 8, it unlocks through a finger scanner and an eye scanner at the same time. Although several customers have complained about the finger scanner being at a silly place or the eye scanner hardly working, we hope that in the upcoming Samsung android smartphones, these problems will be fixed and the accuracy of the phones will increase.
Facial scanning sounded almost impossible to us, until this September, when Apple announced that their upcoming iPhone X will be unlocked through facial recognition for higher privacy rate. We hope android phones will introduce this technology as well.

Better displays:

The Note 8 has a display unlike any other though, as it uses an OLED display which can be made thinner, brighter and lighter with a better color accuracy and better contrast than the previous display being used, the LED. The iPhone X also uses the OLED display, leaving the LED behind.
The phones that will be launched in the coming year will probably try to catch up as soon as they can, and will definitely get the OLED display as a distinct feature of their own as well!

Better Battery life:

Better battery life can be expected from the upcoming android smartphones of the year 2018. Have you heard? The iPhone X second edition to be released next September, will be the size of an iPhone 7, however, it is believed that it will have a battery life which will run for as long as 2 days on full charge!

Go completely wireless:

We’re expecting that we will be able to charge our phones wirelessly soon. Wireless charging technology is already available and in use, however we still need a charger (charging pod/dock) and phone needs to be "put to charging". Imagine that simply by walking into a room with such "power router" you would start charging your smartphone. Breaking and losing our wires, or having our plugs get fused is just tiring now. And while we’re at it, we also expect to see wireless ear pods in the smartphone future technologies.

Holograms:

It is hoped that the new phones will have holographic displays. You can have a 3-D display in front of you, so that you can experience and look at from all different positions physically. Holograms today sound like "Star Wars" technology, but they might be closer in future than we believe.

It is believed that perhaps the smartphones have now reached their peaks and new technologies can no longer be introduced. However, these small improvements and changings would introduce a new era to the smartphone technology.

 

Written by: Jeffrey Ulrich, CEO, Chinavasion Wholesale Ltd., tech and cool gadgets enthusiast, creator of the Chinese e-commerce shop in 2004, Shenzhen, China.
For more info visit: www.chinavasion.com 

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Twitter’s Apple Watch app has disappeared

by Sarah Perez (@sarahintampa)

apple watch event0309

The big Twitter news currently may be the expansion of tweets to support 280 characters instead of just 140, but a number of Twitter users recently spotted another notable change, as well: the Twitter Apple Watch app has disappeared. The app’s iTunes App Store page no longer notes compatibility with the Apple Watch, and users who have updated to the latest versions of iOS and watchOS note the Twitter Watch app is no longer available on their smartwatch.

Specifically, with the rollout of the Twitter for iOS (version 7.8) iOS app, the Apple Watch app was removed, we understand.

Twitter would not be the first major tech company to stop supporting the Apple Watch via a native app. Several major app makers, including Google, have abandoned Apple’s smartwatch platform in recent months. For example, Google pulled support for Google Maps on the Apple Watch earlier this year, and retailers including Amazon and eBay did the same.

The challenge for these watch apps in some cases has to do with the fact that a smartwatch is not necessarily the ideal platform for traditional mobile app use – like shopping, for example. But with Google, it was likely also too difficult to compete with the better-integrated Apple Maps app that’s designed to work with Apple’s wearable.

But those removals went largely unnoticed, which indicated that perhaps these apps weren’t as heavily used as the companies had hoped when the Apple Watch app store first launched.

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Microsoft is releasing Office 2019 next year

 
 
Microsoft Office 2019
 

Microsoft is announcing its next major release of Office today at Ignite in Orlando, with a planned release for next year. Office 2019 (arriving in the second half of 2018) will include the usual Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook client apps, alongside server versions of Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business. Microsoft is planning to release preview copies of Office 2019 in the middle of 2018, and the software is primarily designed for organizations that aren’t using the cloud Office 365 versions.

Office 2019 will include better IT capabilities for businesses that aren’t using Office 365, and new ink features like pressure sensitivity, tilt effects, and ink replay. Excel will also include new formulas and charts for data analysis, and PowerPoint will pick up the morph and zoom animation features that Office 365 customers are currently taking advantage of.

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