Tag Archives: made

How gamers with disabilities helped design the new Xbox Adaptive Controller’s elegantly accessible packaging

Romney said the experience has made him think about packaging differently.

“We have customers in our store every single day who buy product. I look at our laptop boxes and how they have to be opened. How many steps, how much packaging and how much of a barrier do each of those pieces become to someone with a mobility limitation?”

Romney thinks the Xbox Adaptive Controller packaging has the potential to set a new standard.

“I think it’s going to change how we look at things in the industry, in terms of how we make boxes. And I think it has to,” he said. “I think as a case study of inclusive design, the Xbox Adaptive Controller is going to make a brilliant example of how you do it, and how you include your audience and design with a population, rather than for a population.”

For Marshall and Weiser, the packaging project was challenging, time-consuming — and ultimately rewarding.

“It was a really powerful experience,” Marshall said. “I don’t think you realize, until you’re required to think differently, what you take for granted. As a designer, when you see things through a completely different lens, it’s paradigm-shifting.”

Said Weiser: “We put in a lot of extra time on it, but it was a pleasure to be able to work on this type of project. It’s great that we’re focused on this as a company.”

Discussions are underway about how Microsoft might use the learnings from the Xbox Adaptive Controller packaging. Marshall hopes the deceptively simple-looking box can serve as a springboard for future efforts.

“It’s certainly changing how we’re looking at packaging. We’re excited about moving forward from this point with a new lens and looking at what we can do,” he said.

“We’re really excited to take this journey on.”

GCP Marketplace beats AWS, Azure to Kubernetes app store

Google Cloud Platform has made the first foray into a new frontier of Kubernetes ease of use with a cloud app store that includes apps preconfigured to run smoothly on the notoriously persnickety container orchestration platform.

As Kubernetes becomes the de facto container orchestration standard for enterprise DevOps shops, helping customers tame the notoriously complex management of the platform has become de rigueur for software vendors and public cloud service providers. Google stepped further into that territory with GCP Marketplace, a Kubernetes app store with application packages that can automatically be deployed onto container clusters with one click and then billed through Google Cloud Platform as a service.

A search of the AWS Marketplace for “Kubernetes” turned up Kubernetes infrastructure packages by Rancher, Bitnami and CoreOS, but not prepackaged apps from vendors such as Nginx and Elastic ready to be deployed on Kubernetes clusters, which is what GCP Marketplace offers. Another search of the Azure Marketplace returned similar results.

Just because Google is first to market with this Kubernetes app store doesn’t mean that what the company has done is magic.

“These marketplaces are based on Kubernetes template technologies such as Helm charts, so they’re widely available to everyone,” said Gary Chen, an analyst at IDC in Framingham, Mass. “I’m sure if [AWS and Azure] don’t have it, they are already working on something like this.”

Google executives said Helm charts factored into some of the app packages it created with partners, but in some cases it created GCP Marketplace offerings by way of its work with independent software vendors.

“Our approach gives vendors flexibility to use Helm or other packaging mechanisms, given that there isn’t a clear standard today,” the company said through a spokesperson.

GCP Marketplace Kubernetes apps
A screenshot of Kubernetes apps in the revamped GCP Marketplace.

Initially, GCP Marketplace apps offer click-to-deploy support onto Kubernetes clusters that run in Google Kubernetes Engine, and GKE does telemetry monitoring and logging on those apps in addition to offering billing support.

But there’s nothing that precludes these packages to eventually run on premises or even in other public cloud providers’ infrastructures, said Jennifer Lin, product director for Google Cloud.

“It’s always within the realm of possibility, but not something we’re announcing today,” she said.

There is precedent for GCP products with third-party cloud management capabilities — the Google Stackdriver cloud monitoring tool, for example, can be used with AWS and Azure resources.

Initial app partners include the usual suspects among open source cloud-native infrastructure and middleware projects such as GitLab, Couchbase, CloudBees, Cassandra, InfluxDB, Elasticsearch, Prometheus, Nginx, RabbitMQ and Apache Spark. Commonly used web apps such as WordPress and a container security utility from Aqua Security Software will also be available in the initial release of GCP Marketplace.

Mainstream enterprise customers will look for more traditional apps such as MySQL, SQL Server and Oracle databases, as well as back-office and productivity apps. Lin said Google plans more mainstream app support, but she declined to specify which apps are on the GCP Marketplace roadmap.

Stolen digital certificates used in Plead malware spread

Stolen digital certificates at the center of a new malware campaign made the malicious software appear safe before it stole user passwords.

An espionage group used stolen digital certificates to sign Plead backdoor malware and a password stealer component used in attacks in East Asia, according to Anton Cherepanov, senior malware researcher at ESET. The password stealer targeted Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers, as well as Microsoft Outlook.

Cherepanov determined the certificates were likely stolen because the malware code was signed with the “exact same certificate … used to sign non-malicious D-Link software.”

“Recently, the JPCERT published a thorough analysis of the Plead backdoor, which, according to Trend Micro, is used by the cyberespionage group BlackTech,” Cherepanov wrote in a blog post. “Along with the Plead samples signed with the D-Link certificate, ESET researchers have also identified samples signed using a certificate belonging to a Taiwanese security company named Changing Information Technology Inc. Despite the fact that the Changing Information Technology Inc. certificate was revoked on July ‎4, ‎2017, the BlackTech group is still using it to sign their malicious tools.”

ESET researchers contacted D-Link about the stolen digital certificates, and D-Link revoked the compromised certificate on July 3.

Cherepanov said this case was different from recent issues with compromised SSL certificates because the stolen digital certificates were used to sign malicious files, and “unlike SSL certificates, the code signing certificates can’t be obtained for free.”

“Misusing digital certificates is one of the many ways cybercriminals try to mask their malicious intentions — as the stolen certificates let malware appear like legitimate applications, the malware has a greater chance of sneaking past security measures without raising suspicion,” Cherepanov wrote via email. “This technique also helps attackers to circumvent native/built-in protective measures of the OS based on the validity of these certificates. Also noteworthy, certificates from a Taiwan-based company were stolen and misused by Stuxnet.”

Kevin Bocek, vice president of security strategy and threat intelligence at Venafi, said “there’s no doubt we’re going to see a lot more of these attacks in the future,” where machine identities and stolen digital certificates are being abused by malicious actors.

“Code signing certificates are a method to ensure the identity of the code developer. Ideally, they verify that the software has been published by a trusted company. They also double-check the software to ensure that it hasn’t degraded, become corrupted, or been tampered with,” Bocek wrote via email. “Because of the power of these certificates, if they fall into the wrong hands they can be the ultimate ‘keys to the kingdom’. Any attacker or developer with malicious intent can obtain a private key for code signing if they really want to. What deters most of them is that they have to register with the [certificate authority] to obtain one, which makes it much easier to identity them if they distribute malicious code. This is why there is a thriving black market for stolen code-signing certificates.”

Jump In With Two New Xbox One Bundles

Games play best on Xbox One, but for those of you that haven’t already made the jump, we have two new bundles joining the Xbox One family today: the Xbox One X PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle and the Xbox One S Minecraft Bundle. More details below:

Xbox One X PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle

With over 8 million players on Xbox One, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been one of the most popular games on the platform since its release as a console launch exclusive in the Xbox Game Preview program. Today, you can join the Battle Royale phenomenon with the Xbox One X PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle, which comes with the following:

  • Xbox One X with a 1TB hard drive
  • Xbox Wireless Controller
  • Full-game download of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds enhanced for Xbox One X
  • 1-month Xbox Game Pass trial
  • 1-month Xbox Live Gold trial

The Xbox One X PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle is available later this week for $499 USD at most major retailers worldwide.

Xbox One S Minecraft Bundle

If the Xbox One S is more your style, we’ve also got the Xbox One S Minecraft Bundle. Beat the summer heat with the cool new Update Aquatic and explore new ocean biomes, shipwrecks, ruins and more. Infinite worlds and ways to play can be found in this bundle, as well as the option to play with your friends on nearly any other platform thanks to Xbox Live! Join millions of players in the Minecraft community on Xbox, Windows, Nintendo Switch and mobile devices with this new bundle, which comes with the following:

⦁ Full-game download of Minecraft featuring the exciting Update Aquatic plus the Explorer’s Pack
⦁ Season one of Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure
⦁ 1-month Xbox Game Pass trial
⦁ 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial

The Xbox One S Minecraft Bundle starts shipping today and will be available soon for $299 USD at select retailers in select regions. In the U.S., the bundle is exclusively available at Microsoft Store and Walmart.

Xbox One is the only console system that plays the best games of the past, present and future with more than 1,300 games available today – including over 200 exclusives and over 400 Xbox classics. If you’re on Xbox One S or Xbox One X, you can also enjoy the ultimate 4K entertainment experience with a built-in 4K UHD Blu-ray player, premium audio with Dolby Atmos support and the fastest, most reliable gaming network with Xbox Live.

For more information on Xbox One, visit xbox.com or Microsoft Store, near you or online.

Hyper-converged infrastructure solutions: Scale, Nutanix tap channel

Scale Computing and Nutanix both made channel partner moves this week in the hyper-converged infrastructure solutions market.

Scale Computing launched a managed service provider (MSP) program with an updated pricing model. The new Opex subscription is based on price per node, per month. The company said the MSP pricing model aims to boost partner profitability and reduce Capex.

The MSP program also provides features that Scale Computing said enables partners to sell disaster recovery as a service, infrastructure services, and remote management as a service. The company said the new channel initiative follows increased demand for Scale Computing’s HC3 platform in the hyper-converged infrastructure solutions space.

MSPs can purchase HC3 appliances based on Scale Computing and Lenovo hardware or as an “on-premises data center in a box,” according to the company.

Nutanix, meanwhile, has teamed up with Lenovo to launch the Velocity partner program for selling Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS software in the midmarket space.

The program features incentives, marketing support, accelerated selling processes and product bundles based on Lenovo’s HX hyper-converged appliance, Nutanix said. Nutanix and Lenovo will also release a new hyper-converged product, Lenovo ThinkAgile HX Certified Nodes, targeting enterprise customers.

Other hyper-convergence vendors are targeting MSPs and resellers in their channel partnership strategy plans. Pivot3 earlier this year reported a more than 65% sales increase from the first half of 2017 to the second half of that year.

Hyper-converged infrastructure solutions, meanwhile, have become an important technology for MSPs and other channel partners. The benefits of hyper-converged offerings have expanded beyond initial use cases such as virtual desktop infrastructure to other applications such as virtual machine clustering and production-side deployments. In addition, channel partner executives identified hyper-converged infrastructure solutions as among the technologies setting the pace this year in the storage market.

Chart showing hyper-converged benefits, challenges and use cases
Channel partners are seeing increased demand as more CIOs adopt hyper-converged infrastructure solutions.

Commvault: Changes ahead for channel strategy

Data management vendor Commvault has established a three-year plan to revamp its channel program and strategy.   

The changes come after Commvault’s appointment of Scott Strubel, vice president of worldwide channels, in late April of this year. Strubel joined Commvault from NetApp, where he served as vice president of the Americas partner organization. According to Strubel, Commvault’s long-term channel refresh will focus on four pillars — predictability, consistency and profitability, combined with simplicity — with several updates rolling out in the coming months.

“We will soon be making announcements on what our partners are going to see in the new partner program,” Strubel said.

Commvault partners can expect to see significant changes to the pricing and packaging of products, he noted. Changes include plans to decrease the number of SKUs, as well as parts required to build solutions. Additionally, Commvault will introduce new sales and technical enablement resources. “We will make multiple system-based and people-based venues available to our partners to get better enabled on selling the newly simplified Commvault solutions and taking them to market,” he said.

Strubel also revealed plans for more investments in demand generation, bringing “more leads to our partners in the coming year than we have brought in any year prior.”

Lifesize retools partner program

Lifesize, a video collaboration vendor based in Austin, Texas, has revamped its channel partnership strategy in an effort to boost partner margins.

The Lifesize partner program now offers a two-tiered incentive structure. The first tier rewards distributors for finding net new resellers for Lifesize, while the second tier rewards distributors as their existing resellers move up in the Lifesize program, from Silver to Gold status, for example.

“It’s not enough to just find new partners. We need all partners to grow their Lifesize business,” said Tim Maloney, senior vice president of worldwide channels at Lifesize. The company currently has more than 1,500 partners.

Maloney said partners will play a central role in launching Lifesize Dash, a recently announced software-based collaboration offering for small meeting spaces. The product, priced at less than $1,000, will be available in the third quarter of 2018.

Other news

  • Ensono, a hybrid IT services provider, closed on its purchase of Wipro Ltd.’s hosted data center services business in the U.S., Europe and Singapore. Acquisition activity among cloud services and hosting providers has intensified in recent months.
  • Twilio, a cloud communications platform company, launched Twilio Build, a channel program that offers go-to-market support, training and certification, and a partner success team. Twilio said the program has two partner tiers — Registered and Gold — as well as a marketplace where partners can showcase their Twilio offerings.
  • SolarWinds MSP, an IT service management solution provider, unveiled MSP Pulse, a benchmarking tool for MSPs. The tool was developed in partnership with The 2112 Group.
  • JASK, a security operations center platform vendor, said it has raised $25 million in Series B funding. The company said the funding round, led by Kleiner Perkins, will let the company “expand global sales channels,” increase hiring and focus on platform development. JASK launched a channel partnership strategy and program earlier this year.
  • CloudJumper, a workspace-as-a-service platform vendor, is partnering with Synoptek, an MSP. Synoptek will private label CloudJumper’s cloud workspace platform and streaming app services.
  • Tech Data signed a distributor agreement with Omnicharge, a power-source vendor, to provide its multiport power bank and power station products. Omnicharge said it products come with one-year limited warranty and lifetime customer support.
  • Atmosera, a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider, appointed Ellie Soleymani as director of marketing and Mark Lipscomb as director of customer success.

For Sale – Surface book 2 15″, Not even 1 week old!

Looking to sell this. After buying it it made me realise that I want something a bit more powerful.
The specs are good but I want a 1070.
Bought from John Lewis so has just under 2 years warranty left+That includes accidental care.

The SB2 is:
15″
16GB Ram
512GB SSD
GTX 1060 6GB
I7-8650U

Looking for £2600 but open to offers especially if Local.

Price and currency: £2600
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Hornchurch
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.

Why healthcare APIs will save lives, money and time

Stan Huff, M.D., chief medical informatics officer at Intermountain Healthcare, made a strong case for medical platform interoperability, healthcare APIs and an open source approach to health IT at an Object Management Group conference in Boston on Monday.

IT departments in most industries have long been enthusiastic users of APIs – standard software building blocks that make development and interoperability easier. They’ve also participated in the open source movement, where code is shared, reused and improved upon for the common good.

In the health IT space, however, these concepts have been slower to gain traction, and Apple just recently became the first company to open up its Health Record API to developers. Apple’s API is based on the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard, which was created in 2014 and is arguably the most talked about of the healthcare APIs today.

But being talked about is a long way from being implemented, and that, Huff was quick to stress, is the major problem. “FHIR is really easy to implement,” he told a room full of physicians. “It’s had unprecedented support from EHR companies. But it’s young still. We have a vision, but we just need to get there.”

What healthcare APIs can jump-start

The vision is a world where any electronic health record system could communicate with any other system; data could be gathered and mined; and, ultimately, decision engines could be built that could improve patient care, cut costs, reduce medical errors and even help with doctor burnout, Huff said.

To make his point, he shared some stark data. Citing a Johns Hopkins study, Huff said approximately 250,000 people die a year due to medical error, making errors the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. That is five times the amount of people who die in auto accidents, he said.

And then there is the issue of cost, because each EHR system at each hospital needs unique applications created for it. “That’s like saying we need 50 different versions of Yelp for each hospital,” he said. “Our architecture is wrong. It’s set up so that we can’t share what we’ve created. We’re paying an incredible price for software. Each useful app is created or re-created on each platform, and we pay for it.”

To be more specific, Huff said Intermountain, based in Murray, Utah, has developed 150 clinical decision support engines that offer best practices and advice on everything from diabetes to heart health.

“But that 150 really represents the low-hanging fruit,” he said. “We need 5,000 rules or modules, and there’s no scalable path to get there. And there’s no scalable path to pass that information on to community hospitals.”

If we do this right, we could save 100,000 lives a year.
Stan HuffM.D., chief medical informatics officer, Intermountain Healthcare

One large hospital was able to develop 13 of these decision engines in six months, but they’re specific to the EHR in use and would be “cost-prohibitive” to share with other hospitals.

To get started with healthcare APIs and down the path of interoperability, Huff said IT professionals need to ask themselves three questions:

  • What data should be collected?
  • How should the data be modeled?
  • And what does the data mean?

Asking, and then answering, those questions will kick-start the interoperability journey, help decide on the correct healthcare APIs and eventually will lead to sweeping changes in medicine.

“If we do this right, we could save 100,000 lives a year,” he said. “We could go from being right 50% of the time to 80% of the time. And we could get new EHR systems for millions, rather than billions.”

For Sale – Surface book 2 15″, Not even 1 week old!

Looking to sell this. After buying it it made me realise that I want something a bit more powerful.
The specs are good but I want a 1070.
Bought from John Lewis so has just under 2 years warranty left+That includes accidental care.

The SB2 is:
15″
16GB Ram
512GB SSD
GTX 1060 6GB
I7-8650U

Looking for £2600 but open to offers especially if Local.

Price and currency: £2600
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Hornchurch
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.

Introducing Evernote for Microsoft Teams

Over the years, Evernote has made teamwork easier by building integrations with a host of powerful apps, including Microsoft Outlook, Salesforce, Google Drive, Slack, and many others. Today we’re pleased to add another big name to that list.

Introducing Evernote for Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is the communication hub for productive companies, where teams can chat, share messages, and move projects forward. As part of the Office 365 suite, it enables colleagues to share emails, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and manage the flow of information.

Our latest integration brings Evernote into the context of your conversations in Teams so you can easily reference specific notes within a conversation, and access notes without having to leave the Teams experience.

With Evernote for Microsoft Teams, you can seamlessly share, pin, edit, and search your Evernote content—right from the Microsoft Teams app. This helps you work without interruption and keeps everyone on the same page.

We sat down with Mansoor Malik, Principal Product Manager for Microsoft Teams, and Leo Gong, Senior Product Manager at Evernote, to get their thoughts on this new integration. We asked them why the partnership between Evernote and Microsoft is so exciting, and what it means for customers and the future of teamwork.

Q: What does integrating with Evernote bring to the Microsoft Teams product, and how will users benefit?

Mansoor Malik (Microsoft): Microsoft Teams democratizes information. It makes it available, brings transparency to it, and ensures everyone has access to it.

With this integration, users can now access their Evernote content and share it with the whole team—in one place, and in the same channel. You don’t have to remember a URL or switch back and forth between Teams and Evernote. It’s all right there.

Leo Gong (Evernote): For a lot of our customers, Evernote is their second brain. It’s where they collect all their information and the ideas they’re working on. Combining these two places allows them to easily tap into that knowledge hub and share it with everyone.

Let’s say you’re trying to plan logistics around a product launch in Microsoft Teams. Being able to access Evernote allows you to keep a record of what people are agreeing upon, and what the current plan is—in parallel to the conversation.

Q: What is the problem that this solves for users?

MM: You may have to-dos that you want to add in Evernote, and you may want to start talking about them. You can either share a snippet of it in Teams and start a conversation that way, or you can pin it as a tab and have the conversation around that tab.

What’s cool is that the conversation you have, in context with the note that’s pinned, happens right there. It can also be persistent so it stays within the chat. So anyone from the team can either jump into that conversation in real time or, if they come in later, reply to it in the same thread, with the same context.

LG: Many people use Evernote as a repository for their business’s information. This integration helps them very easily share that information whenever they’re asked.

Also, the same questions often get asked again and again. The Pinned tab allows you to pin a note in the channel with answers to all those frequently asked questions, so it’s easily accessible for others.

Finally, there can often be 10 to 20 different messages that you need to consider when you’re making a decision. It gets unmanageable very quickly. So it’s good to have a tab, one place to keep a list of “What’s the decision we just made, and what are the next steps?”

Q. What do you think people struggle with the most when it comes to sharing information within a team setting?

MM: Before, if you wanted to share something, you’d have to open up your email and attach a Word document or a file, and send it to somebody—even your colleague who’s sitting in the next office. Then you’d have to wait for their reply, then revise it, and so on. This integration means that those conversations, those decisions, can be documented, edited, and captured in real time, so you don’t have to wait for the back and forth.

LG: I think it’s the friction around sharing information. Even beyond this initial launch, we’re interested in making that easier. How can we automate the sharing of information? That’s something we think about.

Q: In your experience, how have workflows evolved over time? Do you find that people are asking for integrations with their favorite tools often?

MM: Employees today are on twice as many teams as they were five years ago. The amount of time that employees spend engaging in collaborative work—in meetings, on phone calls, or answering emails—has increased about 50 percent. It takes up to 80 percent more of employees’ time. Notwithstanding that, productivity experiences are getting fragmented over time, leading to reduced productivity, change fatigue, and reduced employee sentiment and morale. This integration tries to reunify the experience to address these issues.

LG: Workplaces are evolving to include more specialized tools, so more than ever we see a lot of different teams, and a lot of individuals, wanting and expecting choice at work.

Even with note editing, which is a relatively simple use case, there are so many tools out there and each of them has different strengths. Integrations allow customers to use the tools that will make them effective, because they’re able to bring their own tools into their collaborative work.

Evernote integrates with all types of documents and helps people share notes very easily, so that they can choose the tools they need to make them effective. With Microsoft Teams, you don’t have to use a specific database or a specific task management tool. Teams becomes the glue that helps you and your team work together—even if they’re on different systems.

Q: When integrating with another product, is there a typical checklist you go through? What makes this partnership a good fit?

MM: We look at how we can add value to our mutual customers. Specifically, we look at common teamwork productivity scenarios and ways to make it easier for people to get their job done, to make their experience more valuable, and enhance it so that they feel like it’s easy.

Evernote is a great fit for Teams because people are already working together in teams. Having Evernote integrated there just makes sense, to help them get their job done faster.

The other thing we look at is shared vision with our partners around the digital and cultural transformation that’s happening in the modern workplace. We certainly have to snap to that.

LG: It’s the same for us. The top bar that we need to clear is: Is there a natural fit in the users’ workflows? Does this measurably make their lives better? And second, what do we have to offer Microsoft? How does this make Evernote users more successful as well? And lastly, it’s a feasibility consideration, which is: Can we build it and how quickly?

Q: From a strategic product perspective, how do you keep up with the needs of an increasingly demanding customer?

MM: We’re always listening to our customer feedback, whether it’s on Twitter, UserVoice, or within our end product feedback tool. We also look at the way people are working and features they’re asking for, whether it’s apps for mobile, or even desktop.

We’re also trying to envision what the future of work will look like on a longer-term horizon. As the workforce changes, as Millennials get on board, they definitely have new demands. We look into that, we prioritize it, and we put it in the backlog. Whatever is most asked for gets done first, and we go down the stack from there.

LG: One, it’s having an ear to the ground. We spend a lot of time talking to our customers, and often we’ll see opportunities for improvement.

Two, is doing pretty extensive testing with features that we want to launch, and making sure that we’re doing it in a way that’s actually helpful to our users. You don’t want to necessarily implement exactly what the customer is requesting because often it’s a symptom of a greater or undiscovered need. So we think about what they’re really trying to say, and what they’re really struggling with.

Q: I imagine that can be hard at times, like doing a bit of detective work.

LG: Exactly.

MM: Yep, totally agree.

Q: There has been a shift from having competitors to the idea of “playing well with others.” What is your view on adopting this approach from the technology standpoint?

MM: We’re building a product for collaboration, so we have to be collaborative. By working and playing with others, we help our customers and users get the most value. And in this particular case, it really helps increase their productivity, and users love it. So if we can increase productivity, if we can keep the user engaged, even if it’s working with a competitor or a partner, so be it. That’s why we are open and willing to let people use the tools they want to use. Because we believe that tools and technology facilitate productivity and enable customers to get more done faster.

LG: Playing well with others has always been a core value for Evernote. We help you capture your thoughts and information—wherever it comes from.

As to how we adopt it from a technology standpoint, it means building our product in a modular way so we’re not just supporting a single document type. We’re architecting the app in a way where it can accept any document type as a module, so you can plug-and-play additional ones in the future.

It’s a win-win because building a product in a way that supports integrations speeds up your own development. Your developers will thank you because when they’re trying to extend functionality into the product in the future, they will also benefit.

Q: Advancements in technology have made it possible for people to work anywhere, from any device. How can we keep up with the demands of such a highly connected workforce?

MM: Every team is different. Every individual is different, and they have their unique preferences and needs. As a platform, Microsoft Teams enables people to bring anything they want in terms of the apps and services they use the most. By doing so they can customize Microsoft Teams to fit their needs better for their increased productivity.

By allowing these types of integrations, by working well with other partners and competitors, we’re meeting the demands of a highly connected workforce. At the same time, we’re making sure, as Evernote is, that we’re cross-platform, cross-device, multi-screen. We want to make sure that wherever you are, however you’re connected, you can get your work done.

LG: In a way, the causation is a little fuzzy because having integrations enables you to work from anywhere and from any device. At the same time, integrations help you live better in a world like that.

I think where Microsoft Teams is really helpful is that it provides a hub for you to manage a lot of complexity. Because if everybody’s using 20 different apps, it becomes very difficult to manage. But if there’s some way for you to start centralizing your communications, with all of your sharing in one place, it helps people manage the overload of information.

Q: What do you see changing in the next five years with regard to the way people are working? And how are you looking to solve that with new product features and/or updates?

MM: Everybody is looking to get stuff done faster. What we are thinking, with these integrations, is how we can use machine learning or AI to help them do that.

For example, imagine you’re making a note that you need to send marketing materials for review and approval. It’d be cool if, as you’re typing or talking about it, an AI bot senses that this is actually a task that needs to be created and assigned to somebody, and then followed up on. Those are ways that we can improve productivity by doing things for people on their behalf.

Call recording, transcription, and translation is also something that we are looking into. All this stuff can get done automatically.

LG: I see there being two related trends. One is that there’s a rapid acceleration of the amount of information that people are consuming. Number two is that technology has gotten to a point where it’s actually possible to help users manage that overflow of information, so we’re at a really interesting time.

The first thing that will really help people is better aggregation and integrations. I see Evernote being the place that helps you manage your information by integrating with the tools you use to create information, and collecting all of that in one central hub.

The second piece of technology is, as Mansoor mentioned, AI and machine learning. The interesting thing that we’ll be able to do in the next five years is apply machine learning to help users make sense of information that they’re getting. Because it’s really important to be able to sift through it all and figure out what’s important.

The analogy I love to give is: If I walk into your kitchen, it might be really tidy, but I don’t know where anything is kept. Machine learning allows us to surface your items in your kitchen, in a context that makes sense with regard to how I organize and how I think.

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To find out for yourself how much more your team can achieve, simply head over to the Microsoft App Store and install Evernote for Microsoft Teams today. For more information, check out this Quick Start Guide.

For Sale – Surface book 2 15″, Not even 1 week old!

Looking to sell this. After buying it it made me realise that I want something a bit more powerful.
The specs are good but I want a 1070.
Bought from John Lewis so has just under 2 years warranty left+That includes accidental care.

The SB2 is:
15″
16GB Ram
512GB SSD
GTX 1060 6GB
I7-8650U

Looking for £2600 but open to offers especially if Local.

Price and currency: £2600
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Hornchurch
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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