Buying renewable energy should be easy — here’s one way to make it less complex – Microsoft on the Issues

By Brian Janous, Microsoft General Manager of Energy and Sustainability; Kenneth Davies, Microsoft Director of Innovation for Energy Strategy & Research; and Lee Taylor, cofounder and CEO, REsurety

It would be difficult to overestimate the impact that corporate procurement of renewable energy, primarily through power purchase agreements (PPAs), has had on the overall renewable market. In less than a decade, renewable energy created from corporate PPAs went from zero to more than 13 gigawatts in the U.S. alone.  Microsoft is one of the largest players in this market, beginning with a 110-megawatt wind project in Texas in 2013 to a portfolio of more than 1.2 gigawatts in six states and three continents.

This rapid growth, both within our portfolio and beyond, is because these deals are good for business. Renewable energy agreements help companies meet sustainability commitments customers increasingly expect and – if structured properly – do so in a way that provides a hedge against the risk of rising electricity costs on the open market. The fuel for renewable energy projects – the wind and the sun – are free, enabling a fixed price over the length of the agreement. However, as the market has matured, it’s become clear that other risks and complexities exist within the PPA structure that may inhibit their effectiveness as risk management tools. The failure to simplify this complex process and mitigate the risk assumed by the buyer could endanger the corporate procurement market, causing it to slow or stall out completely.

We want to see continued growth of renewables. That is why today, Microsoft and REsurety, along with their partners at Nephila Climate (“Nephila”) and Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, Inc.’s Alternative Risk Transfer unit (Allianz) announced a new solution that mitigates those risks. We’re calling it a volume firming agreement (VFA), and Microsoft, in addition to co-developing it, will become the first adopter.

The concept of a VFA has its roots in late 2010, when Nephila Capital approached several of the first corporate renewable energy buyers with the idea of helping them manage the risks inherent in PPAs. At the time, however, the idea was just that. Unable to find a corporate buyer willing to put in the effort to help co-develop what would become the VFA, Nephila elected instead to sponsor an MBA project at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, led by Lee Taylor. Upon graduation, Taylor turned that concept into a company, REsurety. In 2016, Nephila and REsurety finally found that corporate partner in Microsoft, when we signed a PPA with Allianz for the output of the 178-megawatt Bloom wind project in Kansas. This was the first Proxy Generation PPA, winning honors as North American Wind Project of the Year, and laying the groundwork for today’s VFA.

VFAs are intended to be a simple fix to a big challenge with renewable energy PPAs, namely that these deals expose the buyer to all the weather-related risks of power production, and the inherent intermittent nature of wind and solar means there are hourly issues to be addressed. Put simply, the power needs of buyers are static but the power from the project varies on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis.

While it’s true that the fixed-price nature of PPAs provide the buyer some protection against a long-term increase in price, the hourly variability of wind and solar creates near-term complexity and risk. In periods when the wind or solar project is producing more than average, the market value of this energy is often lower due to the impact of additional supply in the market. Conversely, in periods when it is producing less than average, the market price is often high.  In other words, volume and price move inversely. This variability and the financial impact are difficult for even the savviest energy buyers and a substantial deterrent to smaller companies, as well as retailers, looking to engage in the renewables market.

But what is undesirable to buyers is very attractive to others, namely insurance companies whose core business revolves around taking weather-related risks, including temperature, rain, snow, wind and so on. VFAs effectively remove the risk related to how future weather conditions will impact the financial value of a PPA from buyers and reallocates it to people who want that risk.

As the market for VFAs and similar products grow, we believe it will create new incentives for those who now bear these risks to procure storage resources and other assets capable of physically balancing the intermittency of renewables. Through the aggregation of risk, these insurers will be able to procure resources at economies of scale that even Microsoft is unable to achieve. In that way, today’s financial firming solution is tomorrow’s physical firming solution, accelerating the adoption of storage and other resources required to eventually transition to a 100 percent carbon-free power generation system.

VFAs are not a replacement for PPAs, nor are they a product Microsoft is selling. They are contracts that simply sit atop new PPAs, or existing PPAs, mitigating the risk to the buyer. Microsoft has signed three of these contracts with Allianz, in conjunction with their partners at Nephila, covering three wind projects in the U.S. in Texas, Illinois and Kansas, totaling almost 500 megawatts. As Microsoft continues to purchase renewable energy to power our operations, we anticipate utilizing VFAs to firm the energy and match our consumption on an hourly basis.

At Microsoft, we are committed to driving a more sustainable future beyond our own four walls. That is why our corporate energy commitments are far broader than just megawatts. We intend to support and enable the transformation of the energy sector using our buying power and innovations so everyone can benefit. REsurety is also focused on enabling the growth of renewable energy by providing tools to understand and manage risks.

The partnership between our two organizations leverages deep expertise in markets, risk and the challenges buyers face in these markets. That is why we’re confident that innovations like the VFA will make it cheaper and easier to procure renewable energy, enabling corporate buyers of all sizes, as well as retailers, to play a role in enabling the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

We invite other corporate buyers to take a more in-depth look at our white paper expounding on the role of Proxy Generation PPAs in the implementation of VFAs, co-authored by Microsoft, REsurety and Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP, available today here, or contact us. We’re looking forward to a future where even more corporations can participate in the renewable energy market, which would be a big step toward a low-carbon future for the planet.

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Buying renewable energy should be easy — here’s one way to make it less complex – Microsoft on the Issues

By Brian Janous, Microsoft General Manager of Energy and Sustainability; Kenneth Davies, Microsoft Director of Innovation for Energy Strategy & Research; and Lee Taylor, cofounder and CEO, REsurety

It would be difficult to overestimate the impact that corporate procurement of renewable energy, primarily through power purchase agreements (PPAs), has had on the overall renewable market. In less than a decade, renewable energy created from corporate PPAs went from zero to more than 13 gigawatts in the U.S. alone.  Microsoft is one of the largest players in this market, beginning with a 110-megawatt wind project in Texas in 2013 to a portfolio of more than 1.2 gigawatts in six states and three continents.

This rapid growth, both within our portfolio and beyond, is because these deals are good for business. Renewable energy agreements help companies meet sustainability commitments customers increasingly expect and – if structured properly – do so in a way that provides a hedge against the risk of rising electricity costs on the open market. The fuel for renewable energy projects – the wind and the sun – are free, enabling a fixed price over the length of the agreement. However, as the market has matured, it’s become clear that other risks and complexities exist within the PPA structure that may inhibit their effectiveness as risk management tools. The failure to simplify this complex process and mitigate the risk assumed by the buyer could endanger the corporate procurement market, causing it to slow or stall out completely.

We want to see continued growth of renewables. That is why today, Microsoft and REsurety, along with their partners at Nephila Climate (“Nephila”) and Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, Inc.’s Alternative Risk Transfer unit (Allianz) announced a new solution that mitigates those risks. We’re calling it a volume firming agreement (VFA), and Microsoft, in addition to co-developing it, will become the first adopter.

The concept of a VFA has its roots in late 2010, when Nephila Capital approached several of the first corporate renewable energy buyers with the idea of helping them manage the risks inherent in PPAs. At the time, however, the idea was just that. Unable to find a corporate buyer willing to put in the effort to help co-develop what would become the VFA, Nephila elected instead to sponsor an MBA project at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, led by Lee Taylor. Upon graduation, Taylor turned that concept into a company, REsurety. In 2016, Nephila and REsurety finally found that corporate partner in Microsoft, when we signed a PPA with Allianz for the output of the 178-megawatt Bloom wind project in Kansas. This was the first Proxy Generation PPA, winning honors as North American Wind Project of the Year, and laying the groundwork for today’s VFA.

VFAs are intended to be a simple fix to a big challenge with renewable energy PPAs, namely that these deals expose the buyer to all the weather-related risks of power production, and the inherent intermittent nature of wind and solar means there are hourly issues to be addressed. Put simply, the power needs of buyers are static but the power from the project varies on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis.

While it’s true that the fixed-price nature of PPAs provide the buyer some protection against a long-term increase in price, the hourly variability of wind and solar creates near-term complexity and risk. In periods when the wind or solar project is producing more than average, the market value of this energy is often lower due to the impact of additional supply in the market. Conversely, in periods when it is producing less than average, the market price is often high.  In other words, volume and price move inversely. This variability and the financial impact are difficult for even the savviest energy buyers and a substantial deterrent to smaller companies, as well as retailers, looking to engage in the renewables market.

But what is undesirable to buyers is very attractive to others, namely insurance companies whose core business revolves around taking weather-related risks, including temperature, rain, snow, wind and so on. VFAs effectively remove the risk related to how future weather conditions will impact the financial value of a PPA from buyers and reallocates it to people who want that risk.

As the market for VFAs and similar products grow, we believe it will create new incentives for those who now bear these risks to procure storage resources and other assets capable of physically balancing the intermittency of renewables. Through the aggregation of risk, these insurers will be able to procure resources at economies of scale that even Microsoft is unable to achieve. In that way, today’s financial firming solution is tomorrow’s physical firming solution, accelerating the adoption of storage and other resources required to eventually transition to a 100 percent carbon-free power generation system.

VFAs are not a replacement for PPAs, nor are they a product Microsoft is selling. They are contracts that simply sit atop new PPAs, or existing PPAs, mitigating the risk to the buyer. Microsoft has signed three of these contracts with Allianz, in conjunction with their partners at Nephila, covering three wind projects in the U.S. in Texas, Illinois and Kansas, totaling almost 500 megawatts. As Microsoft continues to purchase renewable energy to power our operations, we anticipate utilizing VFAs to firm the energy and match our consumption on an hourly basis.

At Microsoft, we are committed to driving a more sustainable future beyond our own four walls. That is why our corporate energy commitments are far broader than just megawatts. We intend to support and enable the transformation of the energy sector using our buying power and innovations so everyone can benefit. REsurety is also focused on enabling the growth of renewable energy by providing tools to understand and manage risks.

The partnership between our two organizations leverages deep expertise in markets, risk and the challenges buyers face in these markets. That is why we’re confident that innovations like the VFA will make it cheaper and easier to procure renewable energy, enabling corporate buyers of all sizes, as well as retailers, to play a role in enabling the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

We invite other corporate buyers to take a more in-depth look at our white paper expounding on the role of Proxy Generation PPAs in the implementation of VFAs, co-authored by Microsoft, REsurety and Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP, available today here, or contact us. We’re looking forward to a future where even more corporations can participate in the renewable energy market, which would be a big step toward a low-carbon future for the planet.

Tags: ,

New Relic acquisition of CoScale boosts Kubernetes prowess

The New Relic acquisition of CoScale will hasten delivery for Kubernetes support in its application performance…

monitoring and infrastructure products, as enterprises face a plethora of choices for container monitoring.

CoScale, founded as a cloud monitoring company in Belgium in 2013, pivoted to focus on container monitoring in 2014, then Kubernetes in 2016. As a result, its container monitoring tools boast advanced features such as automated anomaly detection and metrics correlation for Kubernetes environments, which will help New Relic Inc. stand out from competitors, such as Cisco AppDynamics, to capture enterprise IT pros’ attention.

“We saw a lot of overlap with our product roadmap for deep Kubernetes monitoring,” said Ramon Guiu, senior director of product management for New Relic. “We hope to reuse and integrate as much of [CoScale’s] IP as possible into our products.”

To that end, CoScale’s employees will move to New Relic’s development center in Barcelona, Spain. The New Relic acquisition also pulls in CoScale’s partnership with Red Hat for OpenShift monitoring. The Kubernetes-based OpenShift Container Platform is popular for container orchestration among New Relic users, Guiu said.

Ramon GuiuRamon Guiu

These features reflect CoScale’s early focus on containers and Kubernetes monitoring, analysts say, and the New Relic acquisition could help it overtake and surpass the rest of the market if it quickly integrates these CoScale features.

“In the past few months, every briefing with every monitoring vendor has focused on Kubernetes,” said Nancy Gohring, analyst at 451 Research, who tracks the IT monitoring market. “CoScale was already offering Kubernetes support in April 2017 — an age ago by technology standards — and now, New Relic could have those capabilities much more quickly than if they had to develop them.”

New Relic vs. AppDynamics

New Relic released its first support for Kubernetes integration in July 2018, but that integration required developers to manually correlate application performance monitoring (APM) and New Relic Infrastructure data with Kubernetes services via the Kubernetes Downward API, according to the company. New Relic released anomaly detection support for its APM and infrastructure tools in September 2018, but that, too, required developer effort to set divergence and duration thresholds for anomalies that trigger alerts.

By contrast, Cisco’s AppDynamics released Kubernetes support in May 2018 that included automated anomaly detection and correlation between APM and Kubernetes infrastructure data, as well as integration with business metrics in Business iQ.

AppDynamics also turned heads in 2018 among New Relic users with distributed request tracing, a feature it’s offered since 2015, which correlates metrics on requests between nodes in microservices infrastructures, where applications may consist of services written in multiple programming languages. New Relic released distributed request tracing features in July 2018.

Whatever New Relic can do with Kubernetes we’d like to see, because we don’t have to worry about protecting [New Relic servers] behind the firewall.
Andy Clarksite reliability engineer, Build.com

“We’ve been using New Relic for at least five years, but we also looked at AppDynamics [in 2018] for distributed tracing,” said Andy Clark, site reliability engineer at Build.com Inc., a home improvement ecommerce retailer in Chico, Calif. “We could use that to automatically link up front-end and back-end services in a microservices infrastructure and trace problems back to their original requests.”

Build.com abandoned that evaluation when New Relic released its own version and will soon implement that capability, along with New Relic’s automated root cause analysis features, Clark said. Build.com has also looked into the open source Prometheus system for granular Kubernetes monitoring, though it would rather have Kubernetes monitoring built in to New Relic’s SaaS-based dashboards.

“Whatever New Relic can do with Kubernetes we’d like to see, because we don’t have to worry about protecting [New Relic servers] behind the firewall,” Clark said.

Monitoring and enterprise IT infrastructure management vendors including Sysdig, Red Hat and Rancher have integrated Prometheus time-series monitoring into their products in 2018.

CoScale refines Kubernetes monitoring

New Relic’s adoption of CoScale’s container monitoring brings unique features to the table beyond automated anomaly detection and application correlations. Its approaches to monitoring functions, such as event variable integration and agentless monitoring, meet the needs of container environments as opposed to VMs. These features are also more advanced than what New Relic — and many other container monitoring competitors — can offer.

Event variable integration comes into play when CoScale monitors stateful containerized applications, such as PostgreSQL or MySQL databases, as detailed in an August 2017 blog post by CoScale product manager Peter Arijs. CoScale’s monitoring agents supply containerized databases with access credentials as needed when database metrics are collected, rather than expose credential information continually, a security risk.

Similarly, CoScale can launch and collect data as needed through plug-ins for applications such as Nginx and Redis. This gives CoScale’s tool visibility into containerized applications but doesn’t require those containers to install and run plug-ins continually, which slows performance.

For Sale – 2x eMachines ER1401

Hi….

I have 2x eMachines ER1401 for sale. They are in good condition, a few scratches on the case due to their age. Everything working fine. They come with the power supply only.

Specs:

1.3 GHz AMD Athlon II Neo Processor K325
nVidia nForce 9200 Chipset
250GB 5400rpm SATA hard drive
Multi-in-One Digital Media Card Reader: MultiMediaCard, Secure Digital Card, Memory Stick, xDPicture Card
10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port), integrated 802.11b/g/n wireless

£40 each.

Will sort pictures out if there is any interest in them. Thanks for looking.

Price and currency: £40 each
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PPG or BT
Location: Liverpool
Advertised elsewhere?: advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Buying renewable energy should be easy — here’s one way to make it less complex – Microsoft on the Issues

By Brian Janous, Microsoft General Manager of Energy and Sustainability; Kenneth Davies, Microsoft Director of Innovation for Energy Strategy & Research; and Lee Taylor, cofounder and CEO, REsurety

It would be difficult to overestimate the impact that corporate procurement of renewable energy, primarily through power purchase agreements (PPAs), has had on the overall renewable market. In less than a decade, renewable energy created from corporate PPAs went from zero to more than 13 gigawatts in the U.S. alone.  Microsoft is one of the largest players in this market, beginning with a 110-megawatt wind project in Texas in 2013 to a portfolio of more than 1.2 gigawatts in six states and three continents.

This rapid growth, both within our portfolio and beyond, is because these deals are good for business. Renewable energy agreements help companies meet sustainability commitments customers increasingly expect and – if structured properly – do so in a way that provides a hedge against the risk of rising electricity costs on the open market. The fuel for renewable energy projects – the wind and the sun – are free, enabling a fixed price over the length of the agreement. However, as the market has matured, it’s become clear that other risks and complexities exist within the PPA structure that may inhibit their effectiveness as risk management tools. The failure to simplify this complex process and mitigate the risk assumed by the buyer could endanger the corporate procurement market, causing it to slow or stall out completely.

We want to see continued growth of renewables. That is why today, Microsoft and REsurety, along with their partners at Nephila Climate (“Nephila”) and Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, Inc.’s Alternative Risk Transfer unit (Allianz) announced a new solution that mitigates those risks. We’re calling it a volume firming agreement (VFA), and Microsoft, in addition to co-developing it, will become the first adopter.

The concept of a VFA has its roots in late 2010, when Nephila Capital approached several of the first corporate renewable energy buyers with the idea of helping them manage the risks inherent in PPAs. At the time, however, the idea was just that. Unable to find a corporate buyer willing to put in the effort to help co-develop what would become the VFA, Nephila elected instead to sponsor an MBA project at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, led by Lee Taylor. Upon graduation, Taylor turned that concept into a company, REsurety. In 2016, Nephila and REsurety finally found that corporate partner in Microsoft, when we signed a PPA with Allianz for the output of the 178-megawatt Bloom wind project in Kansas. This was the first Proxy Generation PPA, winning honors as North American Wind Project of the Year, and laying the groundwork for today’s VFA.

VFAs are intended to be a simple fix to a big challenge with renewable energy PPAs, namely that these deals expose the buyer to all the weather-related risks of power production, and the inherent intermittent nature of wind and solar means there are hourly issues to be addressed. Put simply, the power needs of buyers are static but the power from the project varies on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis.

While it’s true that the fixed-price nature of PPAs provide the buyer some protection against a long-term increase in price, the hourly variability of wind and solar creates near-term complexity and risk. In periods when the wind or solar project is producing more than average, the market value of this energy is often lower due to the impact of additional supply in the market. Conversely, in periods when it is producing less than average, the market price is often high.  In other words, volume and price move inversely. This variability and the financial impact are difficult for even the savviest energy buyers and a substantial deterrent to smaller companies, as well as retailers, looking to engage in the renewables market.

But what is undesirable to buyers is very attractive to others, namely insurance companies whose core business revolves around taking weather-related risks, including temperature, rain, snow, wind and so on. VFAs effectively remove the risk related to how future weather conditions will impact the financial value of a PPA from buyers and reallocates it to people who want that risk.

As the market for VFAs and similar products grow, we believe it will create new incentives for those who now bear these risks to procure storage resources and other assets capable of physically balancing the intermittency of renewables. Through the aggregation of risk, these insurers will be able to procure resources at economies of scale that even Microsoft is unable to achieve. In that way, today’s financial firming solution is tomorrow’s physical firming solution, accelerating the adoption of storage and other resources required to eventually transition to a 100 percent carbon-free power generation system.

VFAs are not a replacement for PPAs, nor are they a product Microsoft is selling. They are contracts that simply sit atop new PPAs, or existing PPAs, mitigating the risk to the buyer. Microsoft has signed three of these contracts with Allianz, in conjunction with their partners at Nephila, covering three wind projects in the U.S. in Texas, Illinois and Kansas, totaling almost 500 megawatts. As Microsoft continues to purchase renewable energy to power our operations, we anticipate utilizing VFAs to firm the energy and match our consumption on an hourly basis.

At Microsoft, we are committed to driving a more sustainable future beyond our own four walls. That is why our corporate energy commitments are far broader than just megawatts. We intend to support and enable the transformation of the energy sector using our buying power and innovations so everyone can benefit. REsurety is also focused on enabling the growth of renewable energy by providing tools to understand and manage risks.

The partnership between our two organizations leverages deep expertise in markets, risk and the challenges buyers face in these markets. That is why we’re confident that innovations like the VFA will make it cheaper and easier to procure renewable energy, enabling corporate buyers of all sizes, as well as retailers, to play a role in enabling the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

We invite other corporate buyers to take a more in-depth look at our white paper expounding on the role of Proxy Generation PPAs in the implementation of VFAs, co-authored by Microsoft, REsurety and Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP, available today here, or contact us. We’re looking forward to a future where even more corporations can participate in the renewable energy market, which would be a big step toward a low-carbon future for the planet.

Tags: ,

Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 available today – Microsoft Devices Blog

Today, we’re excited to launch the all new Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 in markets around the world. We’ve seen great momentum already for these products and I can’t wait for our fans to experience them.
When we started on this journey with Surface, we gave people the ability to choose a device that would adapt to their lives and help them accomplish more. As the way we work and live has changed around the world Surface and Microsoft have also evolved. We’ve grown to deliver a full, integrated portfolio of products to help you do more, dream more and achieve more.
We’re a team of passionate product makers, putting our hearts into creating devices, software, apps and features to push you forward. Helping to maximize the ingenuity of our customers, so they can do and create amazing things.
We’re inspired by the artists, scientists, engineers and poets that help to shape our future. Their passion drives us and ultimately leads us to craft the next generation of devices.
Our products, a symphony of technology between Windows, Surface, Office and AI, are designed to amplify your ideas, get you into your flow and let you build what’s in your mind and heart. Like an instrument, our products, our technology fades to the background so you can focus on your craft.
But what does that mean and how does it help you?
When someone asks me that, asks why we would want beautiful devices to fade into the background, I tell them about my daughter Sophia and her piano. How when she plays there is a moment – a moment when she forgets the piano, the pedals under her feet, the bench she sits on, the sheets in front of her – and in this moment of inspiration, of greatness, she’s in her flow. It’s just her and the music. In order for that moment to happen, for her to forget about everything else, the piano must be perfectly tuned, the bench the right height, the music sheets at eye level.
For our customers, Surface, Windows, Office, and the experience they create together is the instrument. An instrument we’ve tuned perfectly to fade to the background, so you don’t have to think about all the little things, you can just get in your flow and capture those moments of greatness, of focus, of inspiration, to make the most of your time.

Get in your flow anytime, anywhere with Surface Pro 6
The first Quad-Core Processor in a Surface Pro comes to life on Surface Pro 6 – an instrument of versatility, portability and power, coming in a gorgeous, all new matte black finish.
We wanted this product to be the device you can bring with you anywhere since you never know when or where your moments of inspiration will strike.
While the refined exterior may look familiar, this is a new generation of Surface Pro, we’ve redesigned the architecture inside the device to deliver astounding power with the 8th Generation Quad-Core Intel Processor, all while still offering up to 13.5 hours of battery life.
Providing what you need to transition between work life, home life and everything in between no matter where you are. Built with Windows and Office it can handle the powerful desktop apps you need, without compromising the thin and light form factor you love.
Surface Laptop 2 – beauty and power to make the most of your ideas
The blend of beauty and incredible performance on Surface Laptop 2 keeps everything you love about the first-generation form factor with so much more built in to keep you productive and inspired.
With an all new 8th generation Quad-Core processor, Surface Laptop 2 is 85 percent more powerful than Surface Laptop.
Even with all that power Surface Laptop 2 has an incredible 14.5 hours of all-day battery life, incredible display quality, beautiful design and easy portability. The Alcantara® material covering the keyboard draws you in, a perfect tone-on-tone balance with the gorgeous colors. Every detail on this product has been thought through, from the depth of the new matte black finish to the redesign of the thermal system to keep the quiet elegance of the device.
Matte black isn’t the only new finish highlighting the incredible design of Surface Laptop 2. On Monday in Beijing, we also introduced an all new blush finish as an exclusive for the Chinese market.

You bring our products to life
Nothing inspires the team more than seeing the amazing things our customers do with our products. Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 are available in markets around the world today, and I truly believe that when you have your hands on them, when you experience them for yourself, you will understand what it means to have technology fade to the background, so you can focus on what’s important to you and save time for what really matters.
Availability details:
Available today in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and United States.

Updated October 16, 2018 6:36 am

Workplace by Facebook app adds multicompany chat

Playing catch-up with rivals Microsoft and Slack, Facebook unveiled this week a series of updates to its nascent communication and collaboration platform for businesses.

The Workplace by Facebook app now lets businesses instant message and video conference with partners or customers through Workplace Chat. The feature avoids the need for businesses to create guest accounts when working with external collaborators (as long as those other parties also use Workplace).

Previously, Workplace only supported multi-company communication through membership in shared groups, which work similarly to groups in consumer Facebook. The multicompany chat feature brings the business platform more on par with enterprise messaging software from Slack, Microsoft and Cisco.

Facebook also added a “do not disturb” setting to Workplace Chat (another common feature) and will let users pin important chat threads to the top of their feeds. Another update gives users the ability to create sub-threads by replying to specific messages within Workplace Chat.

“The central theme I see Facebook focusing on is employee experience,” said Alan Lepofsky, analyst at Constellation Research, based in Cupertino, Calif. “They are adding features that allow employees to connect and build relationships with both their colleagues, as well as external customers and partners.”

Launched in 2016, the Workplace by Facebook app has a similar interface to consumer Facebook but is a separate platform with no digital links to the people and pages that exist on the consumer site. Businesses that have begun using Workplace have said they were attracted to it because they knew employees would be familiar with how to use it.

Facebook has attempted to position Workplace as a collaboration app similar to Slack or Microsoft Teams. So far, however, it appears that many businesses are using Workplace more like an intranet website than as a collaboration tool. Facebook is also trying to cater to those types of customers, though, announcing this week better controls for promoting important announcements in the news feed.

Workplace has attracted more than 30,000 organizations worldwide over the past two years, including big brands such as Walmart and Starbucks. However, the user number may be padded by nonprofits, which get to use the platform for free.

“As vendors fight for market share, I’m quite impressed by the number of large-scale deployments Workplace is reporting,” Lepofsky said. (Workplace still trails Microsoft Teams, which is used by 329,000 organizations, and Slack, which is used by 500,000 organizations.)

Safety check comes to Workplace by Facebook app

Safety check is the latest feature of the consumer platform that Facebook is revamping and customizing for the Workplace by Facebook app. Businesses will get access to the tool — launched on the consumer side in 2014 — early next year.

Safety check will help businesses communicate with their employees during emergencies. The feature lets employees mark themselves as “safe” — or request assistance — during, for example, a hurricane or a fire in the office.

Administrators will be able to send notifications to employees through the Workplace news feed, as well as through a bot in Workplace Chat. The tool automatically generates a spreadsheet of those employees to track who has or has not responded.  

The feature is unique in the enterprise collaboration market, but it remains to be seen whether it adds enough value to the platform to attract more customers. Facebook will also need to continue adding integrations with third-party business apps if it wants businesses to use it for more than just community-building.

“Facebook has created an easy-to-use, easily accessible collaboration platform for businesses,” said Wayne Kurtzman, analyst at IDC. “Using the familiar Facebook look and feel make it different and more intuitive than Slack or Microsoft Teams, but the latter have more integrations available, which would add to productivity.”

For Sale – NUC 5i5RYH – I5, 16gb ram, 64gb SSD

Selling my Intel NUC 5i5RYH. Been used for general light browsing and movies. Will come with 16gb sodimm ram already installed and a 64gb sandisk ssd. Drive will be fully formatted so NO OS WILL BE INSTALLED.

Unit itself is in good condition with no visible cosmetic marks on the sides – the lid has swirl marks from cleaning but thats it.

I might have the original box but please assume a suitable box will be used for sending if I cant find the original.

systemInfo.png IMG_20180902_113232.jpg

Price and currency: 250
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Birmingham
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.