Google Backup & Sync Update Brings Network-Attached Storage Support

Google Backup and Sync

A new update to the Google Backup & Sync app for MacOS and Windows 10 is rolling out that brings a lot of fixes and a few new features.  The updated build is version 3.39 for those keeping score at home.  This new build was released on February 1st so it is likely that you already have it installed as Google pushes updates to Backup & Sync behind the scenes.

For those who use Network-Attached Storage (NAS), this update is an important one for you as it is finally supported.  You can now backup files and folders stored on a NAS to your Google Drive.  The folder has to be mounted and you will be able to add a NAS folder from the My Computer section of Google Backup & Sync.

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Microsoft Office 2019 Will Only Run on Windows 10

Microsoft Office Logo

In a move that will surprise some, Microsoft has announced that the upcoming Microsoft Office 2019 release will only be able to run on Windows 10 PCs.  According to the announcement, the following platforms will be able to run the perpetual version of Office

  • Any supported Windows 10 SAC release
  • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018
  • The next LTSC release of Windows Server

Further, Microsoft will not support MSI installs for Office 2019 but will be installed only by click-to-run technology.  MSI’s will be offered for the server products.

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Microsoft is Selling the Cortana Powered Harman Kardon Invoke for $99

Harman Kardon Invoke

If you missed out on picking up the beautifully styled Harman Kardon Invoke, powered by Microsoft Cortana, for $99 this past holiday season, now is your time.  Right now at the Microsoft Store you can pick one up for that special price, saving $100 in the process.

I posted my review of the Invoke in December and as I put in that review, it is one of the most stylish smart speakers out there with stunning audio quality as you would expect from Harman Kardon.  At the heart of the Invoke is Microsoft Cortana which, much like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, is a voice command away to help you with tasks or get information.

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Google Chrome Now Available in the Windows Store

Chrome Browser for Windows

[Update 12/20/2017:  It has now been removed.  Microsoft states that the installer violates the store’s policies. ]

Big and somewhat surprising news this morning for Windows 10 users.  Google Chrome is now available for download in the Microsoft Windows Store.  It means that users can now install Chrome on their Windows 10 PCs (except Windows 10S users) without having to side-load it.  This is something that many administrators lock down for security reasons.

Essentially this new app, which is published by Google, is an installer which acts as a shell to go get the browser installed on your PC.  In other words, it is an official channel to go out to the web and download the browser as you would if you were side-loading.

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OneDrive for Windows 10 Update Brings Video Playback Controls

OneDrive for Windows 10

The OneDrive app for Windows 10 has a new update rolling out to users that brings new video playback controls.  The update build, version 17.27 for those keeping score at home, allows you to skip forward or backwards in a video that you are viewing within the cloud storage app.  You can skip backwards in a video in 10 second intervals while skipping ahead is done in 30 second intervals.

Microsoft has also built in keyboard shortcuts in support of the video playback skipping.  By pressing Ctrl+B, you can skip backwards.  Pressing Ctrl+F skips you forward.

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Microsoft Finally Announces The LTE Enabled Surface Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Back in September, I posted on a rumor that an LTE equipped Surface Pro was going to be announced with it likely being available in December of this year.  We can now put those rumors to rest.  The LTE Surface Pro is real.

In London today at the Future Decoded conference, Microsoft announced two LTE versions of the Surface which will be available starting December 1st.  Both models are based on the Intel Core i5 processor and both have the Qualcomm X16 LTE modem with 20 mobile bands support for global use.  The Core i5 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD will be $1149 while the bigger model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD will be $1449.

In all, there are 7 LTE antenna built into Surface with the modem built into the motherboard of the device.  Also, it will support eSIM technology for provisioning without a SIM card.

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What’s New in The Fall Creators Update for Windows 10

My Windows 10 Desktop

What has commonly been referred to as the Fall Creators Update is now rolling out to Windows 10 PCs.  The update brings a lot of new features and refinements that reflects Microsoft’s direction for Windows 10 being the underlying platform for everything going forward on new technologies like Augmented Reality.

As you would expect, the Fall Creators Update has a massive number of improvements under-the-hood that in general, improves the overall performance of the Operating System.  Even if all of the new features don’t get you excited, the overall performance improvements will be welcomed.

But the real win with this update are the app improvements, new features and other general user experience additions.  If you compare Windows 10 when it was first released in July 2015 to this update, they are in many ways vastly different.  The Fall Creators Update adds a huge amount of polish to the platform and Windows 10 with it feels far more complete than any previous iteration.

If I tried to cover ever new facet of this update, this already long article would be even more TL;DR.  Instead, I’m going to highlight over a dozen of the top new features of functions in the update.   You’ll see that the updates cover a wide range of the elements of Windows 10, from Microsoft Edge to Photos to how you interact with Contacts.  It is a comprehensive update to the platform and one that I think the vast majority of users will want to upgrade to as soon as possible.

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