While many users have already made the transition to Windows 10, others have yet to make the jump. Either because they got used to their current version of Windows or other similar factors, they will be, more or less, forced to do so in the immediate future. As of January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7 on laptops and desktops, and it will stop patching it with security updates.

While those using Windows 7 Pro and Enterprise can still extend their security updates until 2023, this will come at a cost based on the number of devices. What's more, this price will increase over time. That said, what are the best features that Windows 10 has to offer in comparison to its previous counterparts?

Enhanced Security Capabilities

For starters, Windows 10 offers better overall security. It gives you the option of subscribing to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, which is a cloud-based service that manages various security threats across all of your Windows 10 computers and devices.

Likewise, the operating system also comes with Windows Defender Exploit Guard. This is a system that finds, quarantines, and removes any malware or ransomware that finds its way into your network.

In addition, it includes several other tools that can stop zero-day attacks, block malicious programs, or isolate any infected devices on your network. If you're using Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise, you will also have access to Windows Defender Application Guard.

This lets you use your Edge browser inside a virtual machine. This way, if your device or those of your employees get infected with malware or ransomware, your devices won't be affected since these will be restricted to the virtual machine.

The Timeline Feature

Windows 10 also comes equipped with a Timeline feature. This feature will take a "snapshot" of all Windows apps you were using at any given time. By clicking on the "Task View" icon on your taskbar, you can select any of these snapshots and continue working where you left off.

The best part about this feature is that you can access these snapshots on all Windows 10 computers that are signed on with the same account. In other words, you can start working on a project on your home computer, then continue working on it in the office.

The My People Feature

Another simple, yet useful Windows 10 feature is My People. This lets you pin ten business contacts as shortcuts in your taskbar. Once pinned, just click on a person to email them or start a conversation.

The Focus Assist Feature

Staying focused while meeting a deadline is becoming increasingly difficult. There are plenty of distractions without Windows having to contribute to them. Focus Assist is a Windows 10 feature that allows you to toggle some or all notifications on or off, thus helping you concentrate on the task at hand.

The Nearby Sharing Feature

Nearby Sharing in Windows 10 is a feature that allows you to share all sorts of documents, photos, links, and videos with nearby devices by using either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Granted, you can share links relatively easily over the browser, but when it comes to large documents, images, or videos, things become a bit more complicated. This feature helps streamline this operation if both PCs, the one you’re sharing from and the one your sharing with, have Windows 10.

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As many of us know, Microsoft will be terminating its service and security support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. It comes at a time when a vast majority of businesses are using it as their default operating system. And even though Microsoft has been advertising Windows 7's end-of-life, many organizations are reticent in making the transition - looking at the whole situation as having to fix something not broken.

Statistics also show that a whopping 31% of IT and cybersecurity professionals from around the world believe that the Windows 7 end-of-life has already occurred, when, in fact, it's due for January 2020. Besides, only 30% knew when it would happen, while 44% felt unprepared or were unsure about what to do next.

There are, of course, several challenges associated with upgrading or replacing the operating system of an organization. For starters, many organizations have a large number of legacy apps, which may or may not work equally as well on Windows 10. Second, this transition will require a fair degree of time, manually testing compatibility processes and ensuring that everything works as it should.

And while some have already made the transition, others are still trying to figure out the best approach that will have the least impact on the day-to-day operations. The biggest worry, however, comes in the form of securing vulnerable endpoints such as remote workers and those operating off the network.

Windows 10 Presents and Easier Transition

Transitioning from an older to a newer version of an operating system has traditionally been a challenge; organizations had to go through every few years. This time, however, Microsoft looked into ways of streamlining this operation for organizations using its system.

For instance, Microsoft has offered more options to make it easier to combine PC management with cloud computing. Also, they've encouraged people to adopt Windows 10 on their personal computers since 2016, thus lowering the need for employee training and familiarity when Windows 10 will become standard in business.

Furthermore, for those using Windows 7 Pro and Windows 7 Enterprise, Microsoft will extend their security updates for three years after January 2020, offering organizations more time to develop a transition strategy. This offer will come at a cost for customers in Volume Licensing and will sell on a per-device basis. The price will also double with every passing year ($50 in the first year, $100 the second year, $200 third year, per device.) This package is only intended to maintain security, not to introduce any new features.


Windows 7 End-of-Life Preparation

The best way to prepare for this inevitability is by starting as early as possible. The first step should be to make an inventory of all applications that need testing for Windows 10 compatibility. Categorize them based on criticality, security, and needs. You can also use the Windows Insider Program which lets you test updates before their release so that you make an informed decision about what a particular update will be able to deliver.

The areas that you will need to focus your efforts the most when it comes to testing will be security, mission-criticality, lowering downtime, and limiting disruption. Least Privilege Accounts and Application Control, for instance, are two upgrades that will improve your overall safety in Windows 10.


Making the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is something that many organizations would like to avoid, but it's something that they'll have to do, regardless. To help you streamline the entire operation and find the best strategy that will fit your needs, Managed Solution is at your service.


As many of us know, Microsoft will stop its service and security support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. Those remaining with this system after that time will do so without any improved updates or security. There is, however, the option for those using Windows 7 Pro and Windows 7 Enterprise to extend their security updates for the next three years, but it will come at a cost. The price will be based on the number of devices and will increase with every passing year.

But aside from the fact that older versions of Windows will no longer have this support, there are other reasons why businesses should migrate their operations on Windows 10. Below is a rundown of some of the most important reasons that will benefit organizations, big and small.

Improved Security

With Windows 10, users will experience a significant boost in system security. On the one hand, this newest version of Windows is great at detecting and preventing ransomware, which locks up the user's data on the computer. Windows 10 also comes equipped with Windows Defender Exploit Guard, which excels at detecting and removing malware.

Similarly, there's the option to subscribe to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, which is a cloud-based service for managing all security threats across your organization. On Windows 10 Enterprise and Professional, you'll also have access to Windows Defender Application Guard, which lets you use the Edge browser in a virtual machine. And if you unknowingly contract malware, it won't infect your network or computer since it will confine in that virtual machine.

Better Updates

By making use of the Unified Update Platform (UUP), Windows 10's Update tool will significantly streamline the update process. To put it simply, the UUP will scan your computer and detect what updates your system needs. It will only download and install those specific updates, meaning that your computer will not have to download the entire package. It can reduce the need for extra storage space and installation time by up to 35%.

Universal Applications

Those who already use Windows 10 know that it comes with an app store. It lets you find the software you need and allows them to run in their sandboxes. It means that they are more secure than their previous counterparts and are integrated with the system, offering you notifications via the Action Center.

Windows 10 also comes equipped with better and more powerful apps of its own such as Calendar, Mail, People, Maps, Photos, Videos, etc. These work equally as well in full-screen, by using touch, or with the traditional mouse and keyboard. Also, you will not have to install different apps for the various devices you are using.

Windows Autopilot

Windows Autopilot allows businesses to set up their system configurations in the cloud, which can then download onto any Windows 10 computer. Every time you add a new device to the company's network, it will automatically configure to the business design setting. These settings can be for the entire organization or tailor-made for every individual department, position, employee, etc. Ultimately, the managing, configuration, and resetting of your company's devices will be completed in only a fraction of the time, and a more secure environment.


While this list of benefits presented here is not exhaustive, it nevertheless, showcases some of the reasons why businesses should migrate to Windows 10 soon. If you are looking to make the transition but don't know where to start, Managed Solution will help you out. Contact our accredited professionals for more information and let's get started today!



Fun for Every Father: Connecting through Xbox One and Windows 10

By Maddie Murray
Happy Father's Day! With technology constantly coming out with the latest and greatest in new games and graphics, it's no wonder dads are developing a love for gaming just like their tech-savvy kids. Now, new Xbox games top the wish lists of fathers across the nation, and what better way to spend a day fully dedicated to him than trying to beat his high score!
Just in time for the holiday, Microsoft Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, announced this month that Microsoft is providing easier ways to connect with people on Xbox Live through new features "Clubs" and "Looking for Group". He also rolled out the new features on Xbox Live coming to Xbox One and Windows 10, all in his annual presentation at the E3 stage talking about the future of gaming at Microsoft.

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"Throughout the week, we celebrate all that is great about gaming – the gamers, the creators, the characters and stories, and everyone responsible for an industry focused on FUN" says Spencer. "It’s about the spirit of connection, competition and achievement amongst a group of like-minded friends, and we feel a responsibility as a team to build and protect that experience for everyone while offering more choices in how they play, who they play with, and the devices they play on."
He then goes on to explain Gaming for Everyone, a new project TEAM XBOX has been working on.
"We saw the opportunity for the industry and felt compelled to do more to make gaming an inclusive environment that embraced everyone. We fundamentally believe that what we build for our fans and the way we show up – inside and outside the walls of Microsoft – is a reflection of who we are. We designed the program to reflect the core values we have as an organization and believe that the program could result in positive change – not only in our workplace but in the products we build for the gamers we serve."


He talks about the past of Xbox, and how they "haven’t always facilitated fun and gaming for everyone," but the Xbox Team has never wavered in their goal of trying to get better. "Everyday. We continue to listen to our fans and make Xbox a place where everyone is welcome, respected and supported," says Spencer. "I’m incredibly excited about what the future holds as we put all of our products through the lens of reflecting the diversity in our audience and inclusion, support and choice for all gamers"
So this Father's Day, whether you're spending it together or across the nation, with help from new features at Xbox, family members who share a love of gaming will never be truly apart.


Happy Father's Day from all of us at Managed Solution!
Learn more about Phil Spencer's work with Xbox One here.
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As one of the biggest, brightest and friendliest IT companies in Southern California we want you to take advantage of our free security assessment or just request a quote for managed services. We can even work on your behalf to get appropriate projects funded by Microsoft. Call Managed Solution at 800-790-1524.


Sustainable success: zero-waste manufacturer grows business with Windows 10

When Megan and Marshall Dostal started making glycerin-based soap from recycled cooking oil, they thought they might have a niche business. By believing in their product and playing to each other’s strengths, they built a successful and sustainable company called Further Products. Now, Further Products uses Windows 10 and Surface Pro 4 devices to help it stay connected, impress customers, grow the business—and make the world a little healthier.

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Megan and Marshall Dostal want to live their lives more or less like everybody else. They just want to use fewer natural resources and generate less waste. An earnest and dynamic couple from South Pasadena, California, the Dostals have turned that perfectly healthy impulse into a successful, innovative business they call Further Products. The company recycles used cooking oil to make sustainable glycerin-based personal care and cleaning products.
In 2008, to run their used Mercedes-Benz, Marshall Dostal started making biofuel in the couple’s garage from waste cooking oil. The process produces glycerin as a byproduct, so Marshall learned how to make it into soap. When they sold some at a trade show, the Dostals thought they might have a promising niche product. “Like something you might sell in the parking lot at a Grateful Dead show,” Marshall jokes.
But the Dostals believed in their idea and worked hard to create a great product that’s time may have come. Today, Further Products recycles waste oil from restaurants all over southern California to make biodiesel and glycerin. It uses the fuel in the company vehicles and purifies the glycerin to manufacture a full line of hand soap, lotion, fragrance oil, candles, and cleaning products that it sells to some of the best retailers, top restaurants, nicest hotels, and biggest property management firms in the country.
The Dostals use Windows 10 and Microsoft Surface Pro 4 devices to stay connected, impress customers, and grow their business. “When I show up for a sales call at a new restaurant, I’m that woman who makes soap from grease,” says Megan Dostal. “Then I bring out my Surface Pro to show them how Further Products will work for them, answer their questions on the spot, and prove to them that we are for real.”

Two people and a lot of moving parts

The Dostals did not know much about starting a business, so they just split the work according to each other’s strengths. Marshall manages production, supply chain, vendors, inventory, distribution, and billing. Megan works on product development, marketing, social media, and communication with customers.
“I'm either working at home or on the go, and Marshall is at the warehouse,” says Megan. “We need high-level technology that is simple to use and helps us stay connected with each other all day.”
In 2015, the Dostals began working with two Surface Pro 4 devices running Windows 10 and two subscriptions for Microsoft Office 365. They both use the tools in Windows 10 and Office 365 to schedule meetings and tasks, create presentations, keep notes, manage business processes, and touch base with each other from anywhere on almost any device. They both like the versatility of the Surface Pro device with detachable keyboard, touchscreen, and Surface Pen.

The best world

Marshall had always used Macs, but he made a seamless transition to Surface Pro 4 and Windows 10. “In laptop mode, Surface Pro has the power and the programs I need, and in tablet mode, I can take it into the warehouse and start counting inventory,” says Marshall. “It’s the best of both worlds, and I’m not tied to my desk.”
If Megan is giving a presentation and doesn’t have a ready answer, she will often send Marshall a quick email or instant message. “He usually responds with a PowerPoint slide or an Excel spreadsheet that I can add quickly to the presentation,” she says. “I love it.”
Megan and Marshall use the Microsoft Edge web browser to research online, download information, or access social media. With just a touch, Megan sets Sticky Note reminders to stay on top of calls and meetings, and the Cortana digital assistant talks her through her busy day. She can use the Surface Pen to write on the tablet screen or actually mark webpages with the inking feature. She also likes Windows Hello facial recognition because it makes signing in to her device fast and easy, and it impresses customers.
“Windows 10 saves me time all day,” she says. “I can toggle between the four different things that I'm constantly doing at the same time, and I like to know that only I can open it.”

How to fuel success and support growth

When Megan and Marshall chose Windows 10 and Surface devices, they introduced portability, mobility, and easy remote collaboration to their already effective working relationship,
“Windows 10 helps us combine our different skill sets and streamline everything we do,” says Marshall.
With the mobility and versatility of their Surface devices, Megan and Marshall can work with and build relationships with a network of vendors, restaurants, and other local businesses. That helps Further Products maintain quality and consistency and helps the Dostals keep up with their growing business.
“I just grab my Surface and I’m on my way with everything I need for that next meeting,” says Megan.
The Dostals like to say that biodiesel fuels their vehicles, glycerin fuels their product line, and Windows 10 fuels their business. “Further Products offers a beautiful personal care experience that people can feel good about,” says Megan. “With Windows 10, we can be authentic, and still responsive enough that our customers know we don’t cut corners to run our business.”
As Further Products has grown from small eco stores to fashionable boutiques, famous restaurants, hotels, and major office buildings, the Dostals have noticed that sustainability is no longer on the fringe. “People almost expect sustainability now, and the more awareness grows, the bigger Further Products gets,” says Megan. “And when a restaurant, hotel, or other business puts a Further Products sign in its bathrooms, our zero-waste story becomes their story.”
“We are proof that you can turn any idea into a big idea,” adds Marshall, “if you don’t compromise on your product—or your technology. As Further Products continues to grow, Windows 10 will be with us every step of the way.”
Read the full case study here.

New Windows 10 upgrade benefits for Windows Cloud Subscriptions in CSP

By Nic Fillingham as written on blogs.windows.com

We’re excited to announce that customers with Windows subscriptions via the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program can now upgrade their Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs and devices to Windows 10 at no additional cost.
This means customers subscribed to Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and E5 as well as Secure Productive Enterprise E3 and E5, can now upgrade their Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs and devices to Windows 10 without the need to purchase separate upgrade licenses.
This is an important benefit addition to Windows cloud subscriptions in CSP as it enables customers who have yet to purchase a new Windows 10 device, or who missed out on the free upgrade to Windows 10 campaign, to take advantage of enterprise-grade security, managed by a trusted partner, for the price of coffee and a donut.
In order to take advantage of this new upgrade benefit, tenant admins for customers with Windows cloud subscriptions can log in to the Office 365 Admin center http://portal.office.com with their Azure Active Directory admin credentials and see options to begin the upgrade on the device they are currently using, share the download link with others in their organization, create installation media or troubleshoot installation.
The Windows 10 upgrade licenses issued as part of this process are perpetual and associated with the device. This means the license will not expire or be revoked if the customer chooses to end their Windows cloud subscription in the CSP program.


The new upgrade benefits are rolling out now and tenant admins with Windows subscriptions in CSP should start to see Windows 10 upgrade options and links in their Office 365 Admin center over the next 48 hours.
We hope these new Windows 10 upgrade benefits will better enable businesses of any size – including those with PCs and devices still on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 – to work with a trusted partner to upgrade to enterprise-grade security and management with flexible, small business pricing from just $7 per user, per month.

Stop syncing a library with the OneDrive for Business app

If you’ve synced OneDrive for Business or a SharePoint site library to folders on your computer, you can stop syncing these folders at any time. When you stop syncing a folder, you disconnect the folder on your computer from the library on the server. You can always sync the library to your computer again.

Why stop syncing a library?

Usually, you stop syncing when you no longer need to sync updates between the folder and the library on the server, or because you’ve completed a project. If something goes wrong with the connection between the folder and the library on the server, you can often fix the problem by stopping the current sync relationship, and start syncing the library again, as if for the first time.
Note:  If you’re having sync problems, you can also run Repair. Repair disconnects and reconnects all libraries you’re currently syncing.
You can also pause syncing a folder. This allows you to temporarily stop syncing a folder without disconnecting it from the library on the server. You might pause syncing if you don’t want to use your system resources for syncing at the present time. You can resume syncing at any time.

Syncing a OneDrive for Business library is a function of Windows and the OneDrive for Business app, and is specific to your computer. You can only pause and stop syncing from your local computer, not from the online app.
Once you've stopped syncing a set of files, you can delete them from either your local computer, or from OneDrive for Business. If you delete a file from OneDrive for Business online, and then sync again, that file will be deleted from your local computer.
You can stop syncing a library, but not individual files or folders under that library.
Learn more about syncing libraries on OneDrive for Business here.


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