The COVID-19 pandemic has postponed the Tokyo Olympics, scrubbed all faculty sports activities and silenced presidential marketing campaign rallies, so it should not be any shock that the disaster has additionally upended plans Microsoft as soon as had set in related stone.
But due to the work-at-home mandate set by many companies, Microsoft has confronted different pressures by dint of its place as the maker of Windows and Office, two expertise cornerstones of contemporary firms.
Along with rivals Google and Apple, Microsoft was amongst the first U.S. corporations to ship staff domestic, certainly one of the first to begin tearing up calendars. Since early March, it really is made a rating and extra modifications to product timelines, launched deals particular to work-at-home or the pandemic, and taken motion to shutter shops and symposiums.
Computerworld has collected a few of the many modifications Microsoft’s made – consider this as a one-stop-shop for the modifications that almost all have an effect on prospects, enterprise above all – and we’ll proceed to add to the catalog so long as the disruption lasts.
Bookmark this web page, come returned quickly and usually. We’ll attempt to preserve it as recent as potential.
Delays and new dates
SQL Server cumulative updates are pushed returned a month
On April 21, Microsoft mentioned it could push returned the releases of upcoming SQL Server updates by a month.
“Starting in May 2020, Microsoft will delay the launch date for all mainstream supported SQL Server Cumulative Updates (CUs) out by one month,” the firm famous in a rising checklist of servicing modifications prompted by the pandemic.
SQL Server’s CUs are delivered on an uncommon schedule. Each version of the database software program receives month-to-month CUs for the first 12 months after launch, after which the tempo slows to quarterly for the following 4 years. (The two components, one 12 months plus 4 years, make up the software program’s half-decade of “Mainstream” assist.)
The one-month push-back signifies that the subsequent SQL Server CUs will likely be:
- SQL Server 2019 CU 5 on June 16
- SQL Server 2016 SP2 CU 13 on June 16
- SQL Server 2017 CU 21 on July 21
Windows 10 1809 will get six extra months
On April 14, Microsoft added Windows 10 1809 to the assist extension checklist, giving prospects working Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro – and area of interest working methods like Windows 10 Pro Education and Windows 10 Pro for Workstations – six extra months of assist. Rather than having assist expire May 12, these customers of 1809 may have till Nov. 10 to improve to a more moderen model.
While Windows 10 Home and Pro prospects will find yourself with a complete of 24 months of assist for 1809, these working Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education will obtain their customary 30 months, the assist lifespan for these working methods of every improve marked as yy09 in Microsoft’s numeric format. Windows 10 Enterprise and Education 1809 exhausts assist on May 11, 2021.
Server-side stuff receives further assist, too
Microsoft has additionally stretched out assist for a number of server titles due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SharePoint Server 2010 (and the much less well-known SharePoint Foundation 2010 and Project Server 2010) acquired six (shock) extra months of assist. Originally set to go away assist on Oct. 13, the new ending date will likely be April 13, 2021.
Windows Server model 1809 had its assist lengthened by the identical period of time and to the identical remaining date as Windows 10 1809. Windows Server 1809, which debuted a 12 months and a half in the past, will obtain safety updates by Nov. 10.
Microsoft gave the identical therapy to Configuration Manager 1810, pushing its assist cutoff from May 27 to Dec. 1.
Windows 10 1709 retirement deadline prolonged
In mid-March, Microsoft added six months to the assist lifecycle of Windows 10 Enterprise 1709 and Windows 10 Education 1709, telling prospects that it could present safety updates till Oct. 13. The unique drop-dead date had been April 14.
The extension pushed the assist lifecycle from 30 months to a complete of 36 months, the longest ever for a Windows 10 improve.
Third- and fourth-week Windows non-security updates stop in May
Microsoft will discontinue serving all optionally available non-security releases – these designated as C and D updates, issued throughout the third and fourth weeks of every month, respectively – as of May. The purpose: “We are prioritizing our deal with safety updates,” the firm mentioned in March.
The stoppage will apply to all variations of Windows and Windows Server, from the latest (Windows 10 1909) to the oldest (Windows Server 2008 R2).
Directive that may have disabled Basic Authentication in Exchange Online postponed to ’21
In September 2019, Microsoft instructed prospects utilizing Exchange Online – a key element of Office 365 – that it could flip off Basic Authentication for a number of separate providers and protocols, together with Exchange ActiveSync, IMAP and POP, on Oct. 13, 2020. (Basic Authentication is the easy but acquainted username + password mannequin; it’s much less safe from assault than Modern Authentication, which usually features a multi-factor authentication (MFA) backup, akin to sending a safety code to the consumer’s smartphone.)
That Microsoft commandment has been postponed to “the second half of 2021.” (Microsoft mentioned it could declare a exact date “when we have now a greater understanding of the influence of the [COVID-19 crisis] state of affairs.”
Edge will assist TLS 1.0 and 1.1 till July
Rather than comply with by on a multi-vendor pledge to drop assist for these out of date encryption protocols in early 2020, Microsoft as an alternative gave them a restricted reprieve. Edge will ban TLS 1.0 and 1.1 “no sooner” than Edge 84, slated to launch round July 1.
The not-dead-yet Internet Explorer (IE) and the legacy Edge are to disable the protocols by default as of Sept. 8.
Certifications’ retirement deferred to January 2021
Near the finish of March, Microsoft bowed to a rising tide of customers’ calls for that they’ve extra time to end their work towards quite a few certifications the firm was going to retire this summer season.
In February, Microsoft introduced that every one “remaining exams related to Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) [and] Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) will retire on June 30, 2020.”
The retirements had been a part of an overhaul of Microsoft’s certification packages that emphasised role-based coaching versus the product-based certifications of earlier than.
A user-generated petition sought extra time for folks to end exams for which they’d put time and cash into preparation. Once the COVID-19 pandemic went international, take a look at facilities had been shuttered and coaching courses canceled, making it unimaginable to full all the pieces by the deadline.
Microsoft set the new retirement date as Jan. 31, 2021.
The new deals
Free recommendation on servicing Windows 10 remotely
Microsoft will begin one thing it really is known as “workplace hours” on Wednesday, April 22, the place its consultants and engineers will stand by to reply questions from IT admins about managing Windows 10 for distant employees. The hour-long session will happen between 8-9 a.m. PT at this digital location.
At least two different dates – April 28, 4-5 p.m. PT and May 6 8-9 a.m. PT – have already been scheduled.
More details about the workplace hours deal can be found right here.
Teams let out
Microsoft launched free Teams in early March as certainly one of its first responses to the creating pandemic. Restrictions apply, naturally, however they are not onerous. Sign up begins right here.
Businesses can even get everybody in the firm onto Teams free of charge. The “Microsoft Teams Exploratory” program lets staff with out Teams however with an Azure Active Directory-managed e-mail handle request a Teams license. (The request have to be initiated by the consumer; it can’t be claimed by an IT administrator for a consumer.) The no-charge license will likely be good till the firm’s subsequent enterprise settlement anniversary or subscription renewal that falls in or after January 2021.
More info, together with how directors can handle the Teams license, might be discovered on this assist doc.
Free Office 365 E1
In March, Microsoft rolled out a free supply for Office 365 E1 “in response to the elevated want for workers to make money working from home (WFH) in response to the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) outbreak.” Interested companies should work with their present Microsoft account consultant – if they’ve one – or failing that, with a Microsoft reseller. (Customers can search right here for a reseller if they are not now working with one.)
The supply offers an E1 license for up to six months. The subscription plan, which prices $Eight per consumer per 30 days when bought on an annual foundation, is the lowest-priced Office 365 Enterprise plan and consists of web-based apps (Word, Excel and so on) moderately than the extra succesful desktop functions. It additionally consists of cloud-based e-mail, cloud storage and Teams, the so-hot-it’s-on-fire video conferencing/assembly software program.
At that value, the supply is value round $50 per consumer.
More info is on the market right here.
(A plan analogous to E1, however for U.S. authorities companies and places of work, G1, can be trialed freed from can charge for six months. Those particulars can be found right here.)
Six free months of Microsoft 365 Business Basic
Until the finish of June, Microsoft is providing six free months of the lowest-priced Microsoft 365 subscription plan to new business prospects who commit to an annual plan.
Customers will likely be charged for the seventh by twelve months of the 12 months’s subscription. The said value for the plan is $5 per consumer per 30 days.
Microsoft 365 Business Basic – generally known as Office 365 Business Essentials earlier than Microsoft rebranded components of its line-up – offers entry to a number of Redmond-run providers, together with cloud-based Exchange e-mail, OneDrive for Business cupboard space (1TB per consumer) and the collaborative Teams platform. It does not embody domestically put in productiveness functions akin to Word, Excel and PowerPoint, now collectively generally known as Microsoft 365 Apps, however as an alternative affords the web-based variations.
Microsoft has dealt with the free-six-month Business Basic deal since early April, however in May additionally let Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs) course of the promotional subscriptions. More info is on the market on-line.
Build 2020 goes just-digital, all Microsoft occasions comply with go well with
Microsoft’s annual builders convention, initially to happen in Seattle, was stored on the calendar however went digital-only in March, when Washington state was the U.S. viral hotspot. In early April, the firm mentioned that all its occasions by the finish of June 2021 can be “digital-first,” though like many organizations, concurrently promised that it could “proceed to consider the state of affairs” and return to a pre-COVID strategy “when the state of affairs permits.”
Closed all retail
Microsoft shuttered its retail shops – the bulk of the 80-plus areas are in the U.S. – in mid-March. “All Microsoft Store areas are at the moment closed till additional discover,” the firm mentioned on its location portal.
The firm has supplied digital workshops to substitute the in-store coaching periods it had run earlier. Not surprisingly, amongst these workshops is one known as “Microsoft Teams Training for Business – Master working at domestic with Microsoft Teams.”
Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.