4 Tech Topics That Are Better Than the Usual Thanksgiving Dinner Talk

By Kelly Cronin
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday that fills our bellies, lets us relax, and of course reunites us with family.  Over dinner you get to share stories and experiences with your loved ones, but sometimes you also have to hold your tongue during heated political debates and never-ending interrogations from your Aunt. If you want to avoid the usual "Are you seeing anyone yet?" questions, try starting an educational discussion on these sweet new technology-related topics (plus they'll finally make you seem smarter and more "with it" than your hot-shot cousin).

1) Microsoft Teams

Microsoft just released a new collaboration tool for business teams.  The new chat-based workspace in Office 365 brings together people, conversations, content, and the tools teams need to achieve more together.  Teams has a variety of features that users can take advantage of to keep on track with projects, meetings, and documents.  You can add new "Teams" that let you create places to talk about anything you need to, a place to upload documents, and schedule a meeting with the team.  These teams can also link with your Office 365 groups and will automatically include OneNote notebooks, tasks from Planner, and meetings scheduled in Outlook.

Learn more about Teams

2) Mixed Reality

 In a rush of new virtual reality gadgets, the Microsoft HoloLens has revolutionized the holographic experience by mixing virtual reality and augmented reality.  You can show your family members some videos of the HoloLens that don't even seem real.  Check out this demo of how the HoloLens could be used here.
The mixed reality experience is giving users the creative world to use the HoloLens for education, business, art, and of course just for fun.  Western Reserve University uses the HoloLens to teach students anatomy.

Watch the video

3) Outlook Customer Manager

Outlook on Office 365 recently added a Customer Manager feature.  Outlook Customer Manager gives you a complete view of your interactions with each customer, helps you track tasks and deals in progress, and surfaces timely reminders. You can stay on top of customer relationships right from Outlook, with no need to install or learn separate tools. The information in the timeline is automatically gathered from the email, calendar and call log data from your Office 365 environment, minimizing the need to manually enter data about your customer interactions.

4) Systems Center Configuration Manager

With System Center Configuration Manager, you can now manage mobile devices using on-premises Configuration Manager infrastructure. All device management and management data is handled on-premises and is not part of Microsoft Intune or other cloud services. This type of device management doesn’t require client software since the capabilities that Configuration Manager uses to manage the devices are built into the device operating systems.

Read the full list of updates here

Enjoy your Thanksgiving meals, and try to keep your relatives talking about some neutral topics rather than openly saying who they voted for this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Windows 10 Creators Update, Surface Studio and more unleash a new wave of creativity

By Suzanne Choney as written on
On Wednesday, Microsoft shared its aspiration to empower a new wave of creativity with the Windows 10 Creators Update, the introduction of Surface Studio and Surface Dial, a new Surface Book and more.
“With Windows 10, our goal is to have the effect of the Gutenberg press on this next generation of computing, enabling 3D creativity, mixed reality, and eSports and game broadcasting for everyone,” says Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Windows and Devices Group.
“At our core, we believe each of us are creators,” Myerson writes on the Windows Blog. “However you choose to create, we are building Windows for each of you. We want to help you make your mark on the world and for Windows to be the place you love to create and play.”

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See how Japan Airlines will transform the way airline mechanics are trained with a mixed reality app built for Microsoft HoloLens. This is just the beginning of what JAL expects to achieve with HoloLens.


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