New and Upcoming Changes from Microsoft

New Features in Microsoft Teams and Office

Microsoft is expanding its feature in Teams and Office to further accommodate workers that are working in a hybrid environment. These features will begin rolling out in September 2021 and will continue to be added through early 2022. A key new feature in Teams will allow for workers that are in the same room doing video conferencing to have individual video panes. In-person workers will no longer need to share a video with the entire conference room, and will instead be able to use their individual cameras in hybrid format teleconferences. An additional upcoming feature will enable presenters to show their videos/face directly on the slides of PowerPoints while presenting. Microsoft continues to add features to accommodate remote and hybrid workers, and more innovations will continue to be added.

Rollout of the New Windows 11 Operating System

Microsoft is set to release the new Windows 11 operating system on October 5, 2021. The rollout will be gradual, with eligible devices receiving the update throughout the remainder of 2021. Windows 11 will feature several new features and upgrades from Windows 10, which was first released 6 years ago. One of these key changes is to the overall look and desktop design. The overall desktop interface and will allow for increased customizable through widgets, virtual desktops, and snap grouping. Further new features include Microsoft Teams integration into the operating system, as well as additional integration with Android device and apps.

Shutting Off of old Outlook Clients from 365 Services

Microsoft has been pushing its customer to switch from its old license based model to a subscription based service for Office and Outlook called 365. On November 1, 2021, the Company will shut off customers using Outlook 2007 and 2010 from using their employer’s 365 services. This will render these older Outlook user’s account unusable without an upgrade. This move is a strong signal that Microsoft is committed to the Office 365 subscription model as the future of the Office platform.

Price Increase of Office/Microsoft 365 Subscriptions

For every remote meeting, establish an agenda so employees know what to expect. This also helps the meeting stay on track.

On March 1, 2022, Microsoft is set to raise the price of the subscription costs for several of its Office 365 plans. The magnitude of the increases depends on the specific plan, but range from 9% to 25% per month. Please find the scheduled increases on the plans below:

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic, up $1 to $6 per month, per user.
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium, up $2 to $22 per month, per user.
  • Office 365 E1, up $2 to $10 per month, per user.
  • Office 365 E3, up $3 to $23 per month, per user.
  • Office 365 E5, up $3 to $38 per month, per user.
  • Microsoft 365 E3, up $4 to $36 per month, per user.

Remote Working Tips

How to make the most out of working from home

Remote work is booming now more than ever as people practice social distancing. Here are some ways to improve your remote work experience.

Set up remote telephone access

Having remote access to your company telephones keeps you from having to use your own phone to make business calls. Remote access allows you to make and answer calls using your business’ phone number.

Schedule meetings far in advance

This gives people the time to clear a part of their schedule to attend the meeting and boost overall meeting attendance.

Establish an agenda for every meeting

For every remote meeting, establish an agenda so employees know what to expect. This also helps the meeting stay on track.

Create a “virtual water cooler”

To recreate the experience of being at a water cooler, set up a virtual location where employees can chat casually and de-stress. This can bring some normalcy back into your workflow.

Use Microsoft Teams

Teams, Microsoft’s virtual workspace, allows for video/audio communication, file sharing, screen sharing, and more. Yottability is offering calls through Teams for clients who have a PBX plan.

For more help on improving your remote working experience, contact your Yottability representative.

New Features on Microsoft Teams

While people are staying home and practicing social distancing, remote work apps have stepped up to help people make the transition to working from home.

Microsoft Teams, a digital work space for businesses, is one of these apps. Teams is introducing new features to compete with Zoom, according to CRN.

Teams, which has been offering audio/video meetings, now also includes the following:

  • Custom backgrounds
  • An “end meeting” button

The following features are planned for a later release:

  • Gallery view for video calls
  • A “raise hand” feature which allows users to send a visual cue when they want to speak
  • Noise suppression

Other Teams features include group chats, instant messaging, and file sharing. Teams also has a more efficient screen sharing system from Zoom that doesn’t require users to share tabs and windows separately.

Yottability is offering calls through Teams for customers who sign up with a PBX (telephone system) plan. To learn more about Yottability’s Teams offerings, click here.

Yottability is OPEN and here to HELP

Dear Valued Customers, 
Like many companies, Yottability has been closely monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 virus and its potential impact to our people, communities and our valued customers.  
Due to the increase in companies requiring their employees to work remotely, we wanted to highlight some of our services that can keep your business running during this uncertain time.  Rest assured we have many different certifications that make us qualified to help your needs in this unprecedented time.  We have been helping the community work remotely since 2010, this is not new to us. 

Remote Phone Service: 

Yottability’s hosted PBX phone service is a VoIP phone system that is cost effective, quick to install and can keep your business connected. 
When paired with our Mobile application you can make calls from your cell phone or computer using your office phone number, and SMS from your company phone number, keeping your team and customers connected, even while working remotely. 
In light of the current situation, we are currently offering any new additional licenses of the “Standard Version” of the Mobile Application for FREE to our hosted PBX customers through the month of May 2020 in hope that it can keep businesses connected.  

Remote Computer and / or VPN Access: 

Yottability has been setting up businesses and schools since 2010 with remote access.  We follow best practices to make sure your organization is safe and secure. 

Through May 2020, new and existing customers we are offering remote and/or VPN setups at a low flat rate and some cases FREE. 

Support Team: 

Yottability has the ability to help your organization and your individual employees remotely.  Our tools allow us to assist in virtually almost any situation.  Printer configuration, allowing remote access, process walkthrough, training and much more.  Call today for affordable flat rate pricing. 

Remote File Sharing and Hosted Email

Share your files safely within your organization or securely with external users. Yottability has many platforms and different ways to do this.  If assistance is needed we are here to help. 

Additionally if you need help with email setup or moving your email to a secure hosted platform, Yottability is authorized Cloud Service Provider that can get you fully setup remotely.   

Cyber Attacks Increase During COVID-19 Crisis

Cyber attacks and cyber threats have been on the rise as more and more people are working remotely during the coronavirus crisis, according to CNBC.

Many meetings and gatherings have moved to Zoom video calls, which have now been susceptible to attacks called “ZoomBombing.” These attacks hijack the screensharing feature to play graphic videos.

TechCrunch recommends the following safety measures to protect your Zoom calls:

  • Disable “Join Before Host” so only you have control of the call.
  • Disable “File Transfer” to prevent viruses.
  • Disable “Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin” to keep booted attendees out of the call.

Cybersecurity is important now more than ever. Businesses need to be protected from security breeches, and a good cybersecurity system provides a strong line of defense and works to prevent and take down cyber attacks.

Yottability is here to help protect and secure your data from cyber threats.

We provide firewall maintenance and support to block certain network traffic and prevent the spread of computer attacks. We also provide “anti” software, which prevents and destroys viruses and malware.

5 Cyber Security Tips

Protecting your devices from cyber threats doesn’t always have to involve a complete tech overhaul. Simple changes can make a big difference.

1. Make strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts.

This task is actually easier than it seems if you have a system for creating passwords, like this Forbes article explains. You could also try using a password manager to keep track of all your passwords.

2. Learn to recognize and avoid email scams.

The easiest way to prevent phishing attacks is to double-check the spelling of sender addresses and URLs in any emails you receive. Also pay attention to the email’s content. Does the offer/inquiry/request seem too good to be true? It probably is!

3. Be safe with your social media accounts.

Monitor them for activity that seems suspicious. Any evidence of posts/messages/etc you didn’t create is likely a sign you’ve been hacked. Also, be careful to not share too much personal information. Hackers could get access to much more than your basic info depending on what you post.

4. Delete the recordings on your digital assistants.

Enjoy using digital assistants but want to keep your information private? Deleting the recordings made by devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. This ensures that your data stays yours.

5. Make sure to do your “sensitive browsing” on secure devices and connections.

Sensitive browsing includes activities such as banking, shopping, or filling out confidential documents. Do these on devices you own and on locked WiFi networks to prevent third parties from getting access to your information.

Windows 7 End of Life

Windows 7 will be reaching its end of life phase on January 14, 2020, meaning “Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs” running on all versions of Windows 7. (source)

Users must upgrade or replace their devices to transition to Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Home, which requires the following minimum specs according to Laptop Mag:

  • Processor: 1GHz process or faster
  • Memory: 1GB of RAM for a 32-bit installation and 2GB of RAM for a 64-bit installation
  • Hard Disk Space: Up to 20GB of space
  • Graphics Card: A screen with a resolution of 800 by 600 or higher, and a DirectX 9 graphics chip

In some cases, it is less expensive and more efficient to purchase a new machine than to upgrade a machine to have these specs.

Devices running on Windows 7 will still work after end of life, but they will be vulnerable to security threats, and Microsoft will provide no technical support, no software updates, and no security updates. It is the company’s way of moving all users over to Windows 10.

Keeping Windows 7 may also make devices more difficult to use because app developers may stop supporting it, according to Laptop Mag.

For more information regarding Windows 7 end of support specifically, visit the Microsoft end of support FAQ.

Yottability is filling up on appointments before January 14, 2020 for upgrades from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Contact us today at (818) 975-0058 or at to schedule an appointment.

On the Fear of 5G

While there are countless tech and business articles praising 5G, there are also articles listing the harms that it could bring. But is this fear of 5G rational?

One concern people have about 5G is its health effects.

The potential damage brought by radio frequency radiation (RFR) has been feared since the dawn of cellphone use. This fear has partially been fueled by the World Heath Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), who categorize RFR as “possibly carcinogenic”. However, as pointed out by an article in Digital Trends, the IARC also “puts coffee and talc-based body powder in the same ‘possibly carcinogenic’ category.”

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Another reason people believe RFR is harmful is one 2018 study done by the National Toxicology Program, which found that high levels of RFR exposure caused brain tumors in rats. Naturally, people interpreted these findings as meaning that cell phones cause cancer. However, the study itself states that the effects on rat and mice “cannot be directly applied to humans” because the RF levels used were much higher than cell phone radiation, and the animals’ entire bodies were exposed to the radiation (as opposed to human RFR exposure only affecting the parts of our bodies holding cell phones). In fact, the study also states that the effects of 2G and 3G radiation used “do not apply to 4G or 5G technologies”.

However, other reports argue that 5G will bring harmful radiation exposure. In 2017, a group of European scientists and doctors released The 5G Appeal, calling for the EU to “halt the roll out of 5G due to serious potential health effects from this new technology”. The number of signatures on the appeal has continued to increase since its release.

The 5G Appeal cites a 2017 study by BioMed Research International that found that increased exposure to wireless phones increased subjects’ risk for glioma, a type of brain tumor. It concluded that RFR should be classified as carcinogenic.

Furthermore, because 5G requires the creation of more antennas, it will lead to more RFR exposure. The appeal asks that the health risks of 5G be evaluated by “impartial EMF-and-health scientists”. It concludes by urging the EU to stick to wired telecommunication.

The European Commission has rejected the appeal, stating that the effects of 5G will not nearly be as harmful as the appeal claims.

Scientists can’t seem to agree on the effects of RFR, according to Wired. It is then up to the discretion of consumers to decide how they feel about 5G when it is released.

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