Computer News & Safety – Harry Waldron Rotating Header Image

June 28th, 2018:

Windows 10 – Windows Sets TAB interface postponed in Redstone 5

The Windows 10 FALL 2018 feature release will not include the new “Windows Sets” tabular interface as shared below:

Windows Sets is a new Windows interface feature that was first previewed in November 2017 and will make every window into a tabbed window—has been removed from the latest Insider Preview build of Windows 10. Moreover, the Verge is reporting that the feature won’t be coming back in this year’s next major update, due in October.

The promise of Sets is certainly high. Putting tabs in every window is a way of solving certain long-standing requests, such as the demand for tabs in Explorer. But Sets went far beyond this, allowing collections of different applications to be grouped together with tabs to switch them. As such, Sets became a way of managing one’s workspace, allowing you to combine, say, a Word window of a school paper with the online resources that you’re using to write the paper.

The next version of Windows, likely to be version 1809 with the codename “Redstone 5,” is also going to be a special release. Version 1809 is going to be blessed as a long-term support channel (LTSC) release, meaning that instead of 18 months of patches and support, it’ll receive the traditional 10 years of support and security fixes. If it weren’t an LTSC release, one might expect Microsoft to release a first iteration of Sets—for example, a Sets that only worked with modern applications built using the UWP API along with Win32 applications that used standard title bars.

Microsoft says that it’s still working on improving the Sets experience and that the feature isn’t gone for good. But Sets looks like it needs more time in development than is available.

Microsoft Azure – Multifactor Authentication is new Default for ADMINS

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is where 2 or more verification processes are performed before security access is granted.  Single factor authenticaion is usually just the password alone (and much weaker control than MFA).  The Microsoft Azure cloud now requires all Administrator accounts to be set with MFA controls, by default which is a much stronger control than passwords alone.

Microsoft is bringing multifactor authentication (MFA) to organizations that manage Azure Active Directory tenancies.  The idea is to make MFA a “baseline policy” for all organizations with Azure AD account administrators. MFA is a secondary identity verification scheme beyond using a password. It typically might entail answering an automated cell phone call or responding to a text message before granting access.

On Friday, Microsoft announced that it is previewing MFA for protecting “privileged Azure AD accounts.” By privileged accounts, Microsoft is referring to the IT pro administrator user accounts that an organization uses to manage Microsoft’s identity and access management service. The preview currently can be accessed within the Azure Portal by going to the Conditional Access blade. There’s an option in there to turn on the baseline policy and “Require MFA for administrators.” The interface lets organizations specify which Azure AD administrators will be subject to using MFA. The options include:

1.Global administrator
2.SharePoint administrator
3.Exchange administrator
4.Conditional access administrator
5.Security administrator

Leadership – How to give and receive Constructive Criticism

The John Maxwell leadership training center shares valuable insight on How to give and receive constructive criticism:

This is how entrepreneurs, leaders and executives come to be successful — by asking the simple question, “How can I make this better?” When it comes to handling criticism, this is what I’ve learned:

RECEIVING CRITICISM Resist playing defense. When we hear criticism, everyone’s first reaction deep inside is, “That’s not true!” This is a natural reaction. But you must resist letting this thought go any further. Responding to criticism is not about defending your actions, but understanding where the criticism is coming from. Take a mental step back and assess the situation. Be patient, stay composed and really listen to what is being said.

Take it personally, but then get over it. I hate when people say “don’t take it personally,” because if you are directing a comment at me, is there really any other way to take it? So, take it personally, but then get over it. Use the information you are given in a productive way, and don’t hang on to hurt feelings or any self-deprecated thoughts. They aren’t useful to you.

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. No one is perfect. We all lead as best we can with the tools at our disposal. Criticism is a learning opportunity if you allow it to be. It should be thought of as a moment to learn something new about yourself, and an opportunity to “course correct” your leadership. I speak a lot about investing in people. Don’t forget that you are one of your people.

GIVING CRITICISM Be constructive. The goal of giving criticism should always be to improve the given situation. You should never “vent” your frustrations to an employee, but help them understand what the problem is. Avoid the “blame game” or personal attacks — the language you use is key to constructive criticism. It also never hurts to layer criticism with compliments — let your employees know where they are thriving. By giving criticism, you want to inspire motivation to fix the problem or change the behavior. In my experience, employees who feel like their work is not appreciated don’t take the initiative to grow.

Be specific. Consider your words carefully. Don’t wrap many issues together — this only muddles your critique and will leave your employee exiting your office not quite understanding what the issues is. Be precise with your words, and give detailed examples of behaviors that need to change. Employees should have a clear road map detailing what they need to do and how they can quickly achieve it.

FINAL NOTE ON CRITICSNot all criticism is constructive. The sad fact is, there are always people who want to see you fail. An essential part of leadership is quickly discerning who these people are so you can put on the blinders. These people and the comments they give are not meant to help you, and therefore, hold no value to you.