Your Monthly Biz Tech Roundup from Seeto

Welcome to the September edition of Take Ctrl! In this 12th edition of Take Ctrl, we cover the biggest announcements of the last month from Microsoft, Google and OpenAI.

Read on for this month’s news and views that matter from the world of business technology.

We’re putting the spotlight on mergers and acquisitions this month and highlighting how Seeto can help your business navigate the complexities of M&A easily and securely.

The Seeto Take takes a break this month.

Need To Know Now

Microsoft 365

Clipchamp at the bit

Attention future content creators, Microsoft is bringing its cloud-based video editor Clipchamp to Microsoft 365 commercial customers. Creating great, branded video content is about to get easier and faster.

Read more at Windows Central

Looping you in from your desktop to your SaaS universe

Microsoft Loop, Microsoft’s take on Notion, is now available to 365 subscribers in public preview and, what’s more, Microsoft has not only released a Microsoft Loop desktop app on the Microsoft Store, but enabled integrations with Atlassian’s Jira and Trello products –  Microsoft is definitely trying to make Loop happen. It’s a swish product, but the Seeto team are asking themselves “what does this mean for OneNote?” 🤔

Seeto customers, reach out to your TOM to enable the public preview.

Read more about enabling the Public Preview at Microsoft Tech Community
Read more about Loop for Desktop at XDA Developers
Read more about Atlassian integrations at The Petri IT Knowledgebase

UI Candy

Microsoft Office is about to get a new theme. Having teased the new default font, Aptos, last month, we can reveal that you’re about to love teal, which you’ll find in headings, tables and graphs. It’s a strong new identity with strong, moody colours and heavier lines. Existing documents won’t change and those pining for the current Office theme, rest assured it remains available in Office as “Office Theme 2013-2022”.

Read more at Thurrott.com

(Anti-)Trust no-one

In a move to stave off another anti-trust lawsuit in Europe, Microsoft 365 will soon be available without bundled Microsoft Teams at a lower price. This satisfies a regulator, but may not offer much value to customers. The Seeto team asks, how much cheaper will it be once you’re paying for Zoom, Slack and 365? Is it really worth it?

Read more at Windows Central

Google Workspace

Keep it on topic

Q&A moderation has landed in Google Meet. This enables meeting hosts to review and approve questions before they’re shared with meeting attendees. It’s available on the web and mobile devices, in meetings and in-domain live streams. Nobody wants inappropriate, off-topic questions disrupting their event.

Read more at Google Workspace Updates Blog

Brand, beautiful brand

Producing beautiful forms and presentations just got easier in Google Workspace. Organisations can now add default branded templates and themes to Google Slides and Forms. 

Read more at Google Workspace Updates Blog

Squiggle in the box, please

E-signatures in Google Docs will soon be available in a by-application-only beta, open to Google Workspace subscribers with Business Standard or above. This feature could become a significant disruptor for businesses needing casual e-signatures and it will be interesting to see whether Microsoft makes a similar move in this space.

Read more at Google Workspace Updates Blog

Offset your Workspace carbon footprint

You can now track the carbon footprint associated with your organisation’s Google Workspace usage. Google aims to run on carbon-free energy, 24/7, in all data centres and cloud regions by 2030, but they’re not there yet. In the meantime, your business can offset the carbon footprint associated with its Google Workspace usage. You can find out about Seeto’s approach to carbon offset at seeto.co.uk/about-us/sustainability.

Read more at Google Workspace Updates Blog

Security and Privacy

Negligent behaviour

Microsoft is under fire in the wake of the July breach in Azure. Security scanning software, Tenable, CEO, Amit Yoran, has come out as a vocal critic of Microsoft’s security record, calling it “even worse than you think”.

Read more at The Verge

US cybersecurity framework update looks to benefit all sectors

The US standards body, NIST, has released a major update to its widely-used Cybersecurity Framework. Less well known in the UK than our national Cyber Essentials standard and the international standard ISO 27001, it is a competent and comprehensive standard for understanding, reducing and communicating cybersecurity risk.

Read more at the US National Institute for Science and Technology

Monitor your staff if you must, just don’t rely on their consent

This month’s data protection SNAFU, the Government Culture, Media and Sport Committee advised businesses to get consent before monitoring staff. Evidently not avid readers of the EU Data Protection Working Party’s written opinions, it should be noted that you can’t get informed consent from employees because their consent is not considered to be freely given due to the imbalance of power. 

Fortunately, the 2017 opinion provides comprehensive guidance on ; at least until the data protection falls in the pursuit of profit, economic growth and/or inflating Conservative donors’ share prices. 

Read more at The Reg
Read the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party opinion on data processing at work

Update WinRAR

Thanks to a high-severity vulnerability in WinRAR,  arbitrary code could run when files are opened. Update now.

Read more at The Reg

Is your startup at risk?

Although a prime target for hackers, few startups are prepared for the risks they face. Sifted has lined up the top five cyber security mistakes threatening your startup and ways to reduce your risk. If you’re worried about your startup’s cyber risk, speak to Seeto about a Security Health Check.

Read more at Sifted (Possible paywall)

Slack

Slack redesign incoming

Slack is redesigning with a view to being a better messaging app and taming the chaos of your workday. It’s set to be Slack’s biggest redesign and might be divisive. The Seeto team thinks it might be an improvement on the current focus on channels, but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. 

Read more at The Verge

Artificial Intelligence

No ChatGPT for you, UK worker

Over 60% of organisations in the UK have either already banned, or are considering banning, the use of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools. The Seeto team wonders if providers will ever do enough to bring these businesses along for the ride. We expect small businesses will take advantage, whereas large businesses will likely be extremely risk averse and ban it until their risk appetite and the benefits other people are getting from the tools that they’re missing out on balance.

Read more at Computer Weekly

Google releases AI pricing

Those hoping Google’s Duet AI would undercut Microsoft’s Copilot pricing will be sorely disappointed. Google’s Duet AI is now available to Google Workspace subscribers for the princely sum of $30 a month. We agree with The Verge: “that’s a lot to pay for a set of still-very-new AI tools”, even if it offers help with spreadsheets and could make you look better in meetings.

Read more at The Verge

ChatGPT for Enterprise

OpenAI has announced an enterprise-grade version of ChatGPT, offering unlimited access to the GPT-4 engine and additional customisation. Enterprise ChatGPT offers improved security and privacy, as data entered is not used to train the model. Pricing isn’t publicly available, so it’s unlikely to come cheaply.

Read more at OpenAI

Windows

Goodbye, Cortana

Farewell, but will anyone notice? Microsoft has discontinued the Cortana app for Windows 11 in a new update. Cortana could never compete with other digital assistants and Microsoft is now putting its digital assistant focus into AI, these efforts we’re now starting to see appear in Windows Copilot.

Read more at The Verge

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Recent OS Updates

Last updated 4 April 2024

Windows

Microsoft currently supports Windows 10 and Windows 11.

  • Windows 10 version 22H2 (10.0.19045)
  • Windows 11 version 22H2 (10.0.22621) and version 23H2 (10.0.22631)

macOS

Apple officially supports the following Mac operating systems:

  • macOS Sonoma 14.4.1
  • macOS Ventura 13.6.6
  • macOS Monterey 12.7.4

iOS and iPadOS

The supported iPhone and iPad operating systems are:

  • iOS 17.4.1
  • iPadOS 17.4.1

Android

Google supports the following Android operating systems:

  • Android 14
  • Android 13
  • Android 12
  • Android 11

Note that your device manufacturer may not support every version that Google produces security fixes for.

Learn how to check and update your Android version here.