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Google Tests Some Inbox Features on Gmail for Android

Last September, Google announced the closure of the Inbox platform. During all this time the service was then used by Google developers as a real incubator of ideas for Gmail and, despite the initial perplexities, it was still appreciated by many users who even preferred it to the classic service e-mail offered by Google itself.

Now for Google, it seems that the time has come to integrate, as promised, additional features of Inbox within Gmail so much so that the company would start testing core features, such as bundles and reminders, in a new version of the Gmail app for Android.

These rumours come from a screenshot appeared on Reddit inherent to an internal build of a renewed version of Gmail for Android.

Inbox by Gmail

Source: Reddit

The image shows how the application will integrate bundles, a function that can organize and group similar emails under one group, and perhaps reminders. This last function, always in the case where the image will prove to be real, should allow users to quickly create and schedule tasks.

Google would then also introduce the possibility to show in the email feed only the elements “set at the top” and the function that allows users to quickly mark all messages as read.

According to Reddit, there is still a lot of work to do, so it is likely that you will have to wait a long time before you can get your hands on this new version of Gmail.

Source: Reddit

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Google Plus Will Shutdown on April 2nd: What to Do

Google Plus will shut down, and it will do it sooner than expected. This is announced by the same Californian company that, in a post on the support pages, reveals the next steps that will lead to “shut down” on April 2nd.

As you will surely remember, everything was born from the discovery of a bug in the API of the Mountain View social portal, a (serious) fact that compromised the security of 500,000 users. Given also the lack of success of the platform (the company speaks clearly and without too many words of “poor use”), Google has “seized the opportunity” to announce the closure, at least in the consumer version, intending to continue the development path for that enterprise dedicated to companies.

ALSO READ: Microsoft to Release Google G Suite to Office365 Migration Tool

On April 2, your Google+ account and all the Google+ pages you’ve created will be turned off and we’ll begin to delete content from Google+ consumer accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ will also be deleted in your Album Archive and on Google+ pages. You can download and save your content, but remember to do so before April. Please note that photos and videos backed up on Google Photos will not be deleted.

It will take several months before the process of deleting user content is completed, so it will still be normal to find some traces of the account (and content) for example for G Suite users.

Google plus: What You Need to Do by 2nd April

Google Plus will shut down: What You Need to Do by 2nd April

  • Starting February 4th, you will no longer be able to create profiles, pages, communities or events on Google+
  • From the beginning of March, the owners or moderators of the communities on Google+ will be able to download all the data, including “additional” data such as the authors or the photos of each community post.
  • From the “next few weeks” the log-in on sites through Google+ will stop working, although in several cases it will be automatically replaced with the Google button.
  • The February 4 will be removed the ability to access Blogger comments via Google+ (and March 7 on all other sites). Warning: all comments made via Google+ will be deleted from April 2nd.
  • On 2 April the service will be permanently deactivated.
  • For G Suite customers: the Google+ account will remain active, and will soon receive new features.

Source: Google+ Help

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Code Jumper: Physical Programming Language for Visually Impaired Students

The abstract world of coding is ideal for people who are blind or visually impaired, but there is a high barrier to entry to begin with the students who first have to learn to touch the type, for example.

Today at the BETT training fair, Microsoft announced Code Jumper, a wired hardware device designed to teach blind children or those who have an otherwise compromised vision to code.

ALSO READ: Microsoft Unveils Several Educational Features on Microsoft Teams

Instead of rummaging through tablet screens or typing in laptops, students extract brightly coloured plastic pods, connecting them with thick white wires and then adjusting the pod buttons and knobs. These physical components will be used to create computer programs that can tell stories, make music and even beat jokes.

“There’s really no equivalent to this physical way of programming,” said Jonathan Fogg, head of IT and information technology at the New College of Worcester.

Early access to basic coding skills is important, Fogg said, because many children who are blind or visually impaired are attracted to careers in computer science. He thinks this is partly due to the fact that many of the abilities children with low vision develop to navigate the world make them good at the kind of computational thinking that is useful for a career in computer science. And, he said, traditionally it was a career more accessible to those who are blind or visually impaired, due to tools such as screen readers.

“This is an opportunity for thousands of people to have significant and well-paid jobs,” said Larry Skutchan, director of technology and product research for APH.

Microsoft video on Code Jumper

Watch the video from Microsoft on Code Jumper explaining the technology below:


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Microsoft Unveils Several Educational Features on Microsoft Teams

Microsoft recently unveiled quite a lot of new features in Microsoft Teams focusing on educational customers such as the new Grade Sync feature that will automatically send grades from Teams Assignments to Student Information System, the ability for teachers to grade Teams Assignments from Teams app for iOS and Android, a new and simplified assignments experience, Moodle LMS integration, rubric sharing, assignment categories, Safari support, stickers and more.

New Educational Features on Microsoft Teams

1. Grade Sync to connect Teams to your SIS!  Say hello to Grade Sync, which automatically sends grades from Teams Assignments directly to your Student Information System, saving teachers lots of time. Grade Sync will be coming to systems like PowerSchool, Infinite Campus, Capita SIMS and many others soon. If you would like to join the Grade Sync preview release, sign up here.

2. Mobile grading. You asked and we answered. Now, teachers can grade Teams Assignments from anywhere on an iOS or Android device using the Teams app!

ALSO READ: Microsoft Teams for Android Updated with New Call-related Features

3. Turnitin integration.  Turnitin allows teachers to check student submissions for multiple forms of plagiarism and helps teach the value of academic integrity, proper attribution, and authentic writing. With our new integration, coming soon, Turnitin subscribers will have access directly within Teams Assignments!

4. Free Computer Science Curriculum in Teams with MakeCode!  This month, we’ll kick off a beta which will allow teachers to access MakeCode, Microsoft’s free platform for creating engaging computer science activities directly within Teams Assignments. Teachers can help students get started building their own programs using drag-and-drop block coding or JavaScript. You can even provide feedback to students and grade.

5. Assignments are faster and easier to use. Coming soon, you’ll see a new and simplified assignments experience. With the latest updates, you’ll be able to grade faster than before and save time creating new assignments.

Source: Microsoft

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You Can Now Blur Background on Skype Desktop App for Windows and Mac

Microsoft lately made public a new Skype Insider Preview build for its Desktop apps for Windows, Mac and Linux. This skype desktop app v8.37.76 update currently allows you to blur your background during video calls.

Also Read: Why Skype for Business Is a Tool Every Business Needs Right Now

Regardless of whether you want the focus of the call to only be on you, or you are in a busy place that doesn’t need to be seen blur my background will carefully blur everything except you.

Skype Desktop App

How to Enable Background Blur on Skype Desktop App

Anybody can enable this feature during a call in two ways, by right-clicking on your own video or through the new on-hover video settings. The new on-hover settings to camera button allow you to quickly switch camera or turn on blur my background with ease.


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Microsoft Adds Two New Offering for Microsoft 365 Security

Microsoft is growing its new Microsoft 365 subscription packages by adding two additionally pricing structures to help customers ease into the future of the company’s software and services offerings.

The first of the two new offerings come in as Microsoft 365 Identity & Threat Protection with Azure ATP, Windows Defender ATP and Office 365 ATP, Microsoft Cloud App Security and Azure Active Directory for $12.00 per user per month for customers.

The second offering combines Microsoft 365 Information Protection & Compliance package with Office 365 Advance Compliance and Azure Information Protection services for $10.00 per user per month.

There are no price increases or service impacts associated with any of these changes. The new Identity & Threat Protection and Information Protection & Compliance offerings are designed to provide customers with simpler purchase, deployment, and adoption of these security and compliance workloads.

The two new offerings are poised to be enticing protection bundles for customers who require certain aspects of Microsoft’s 365 solutions without shelling out for the Full Monty of Microsoft 365 E5 which includes everything but the kitchen sink for $54.00 per user per month.

According to Microsoft’s corporate vice president Ron Markezuch, the new plans will be offered in parallel to all Microsoft 365 plans but appear to be aimed at customers on the E3 track.

The new plans are set to appear for customers starting February 1, 2019, and if necessary, customers will still be able to purchase security and compliance components as standalone items.

culled: OnMSFT


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Microsoft May Be Planning a Consumer Subscription of Its Microsoft 365 Bundle

Microsoft is apparently working on a consumer version of Microsoft 365, the enterprise bundle that includes Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet spotted a recent job posting for a Product Manager for the “M365 Consumer Subscription” that will join a new team “building a customer-focused subscription globally for Microsoft’s various consumer services.”

The job posting doesn’t explicitly mention what this “Microsoft 365 Consumer subscription” will include, but the project is supervised by the Modern Life & Devices team, which oversees many different products. “As one of the company’s largest multi-billion-dollar revenue businesses, the area includes the Windows platform and ecosystem, the Microsoft Surface device portfolio, Office 365 consumer services, Skype, Microsoft’s intelligent agent in Cortana and search efforts with Bing, as well as the Microsoft Education Team,” the job listing says.

ALSO READ: Cloud for Africa: Microsoft Azure Region in Africa Going Live Within Weeks

This new Microsoft 365 Consumer subscription may focus more on “prosumers.” This what Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Modern Life and Devices suggested when he unveiled Microsoft’s new “Modern Live Services” initiative earlier this year. The exec acknowledged at the time that Microsoft’s core value proposition is productivity and that the company should try to make productivity more sexy.

One question we have is if Microsoft will also plans to include its own Surface hardware in the Microsoft 365 Consumer subscription. Adding the brand new Surface Go to the mix would certainly help to make the bundle more appealing, especially for consumers who have yet to buy a Surface device.

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Cloud for Africa: Microsoft Azure Region in Africa Going Live Within Weeks

Over a year or more, Microsoft reported that it would convey two new data centres situated in South Africa, South Africa North in Johannesburg and South Africa West in Cape Town.

Presently, year and a half later, Microsoft South Africa’s Director of Commercial Partners, Lionel Moyal, has reported that the two Azure datacenter locales are expected to go live “within weeks” towards the end of 2018.

ALSO READ: Microsoft to Release Google G Suite to Office365 Migration Tool

Calling the centres “a cloud for Africa”, he noticed that “latency won’t be an issue any more.”

The declaration pursues Amazon saying in October 2018 that AWS was to open Data Centers in South Africa by 2020.

Lionel was addressing business people and new companies at the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018 in South Africa, where he urged specialists to skill up in cloud technologies, machine learning, AI, mobile technologies, development tools, noted that he anticipated that South Africa would include 112,000 IT explicit jobs by 2022.

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Image Functionality for Microsoft’s Sticky Notes App Coming Soon

Recently, Microsoft’s Jen Gentleman teased some upcoming image functionality for the Sticky Notes app earlier yesterday on her Twitter account.

Sticky Notes App image functionality

The tweet simply read, “What say you?  #WindowsInsiders” and was accompanied by an image of the feature in action on three different sticky notes. The hashtag used obviously implies that Windows Insiders will get to test images in Sticky Notes before the functionality is rolled out to the average user.

The modern Sticky Notes app began as a lightweight alternative to OneNote but has been gaining more and more features recently, making it a potential future rival for the latter.

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Microsoft to Release Google G Suite to Office365 Migration Tool

Microsoft is readying tools to help customers migrate from G Suite to Office 365 which could be available by the second quarter of 2019.

Microsoft added to its Office 365 roadmap last week mention of a coming Google G Suite to Office 365 “migration experience.” The offering is in development and will be ready by Q2 calendar 2019, according to the roadmap.

ALSO READ: Microsoft Unveils Azure Virtual WAN and Azure Firewall

G Suite office365 migration

Here’s the roadmap entry, in full:

“We’ve heard the feedback and we’re excited to announce the new G Suite migration experience which will allow you to directly migrate email, calendar and contacts from Google G Suite to Office 365! Our highly secure solution ensures your data is directly migrated to Office 365, with no resting points along the way. We’re also adding support for migrating mailbox in batches.”

As Morgan noted, Google already has an Exchange migration tool. And while admins already can migrate IMAP mailboxes from G Suite using migration endpoints, but this option doesn’t migrate contacts or calendar items in an automated way, Morgan noted.

On, Tony Redmond wonders whether the reason Microsoft is finally working on these migration tools is because migration from the Exchange on-premises installed base to Office 365 is tailing off and Microsoft needs “more fuel to maintain its growth.”

There’s no word on when Microsoft will show off a preview of this coming tool.

Culled from ZDNet

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