Tech advice and news.
From the experts, for you.
Microsoft is soon going to release its latest update for Windows 11, known as "Moment 5" or the "February 24 Moment." This update is expected to start rolling out in the next few weeks and it comes with some noteworthy changes that you'll want to keep an eye on.
But first, let's address one thing: After this update, Microsoft is going back to its roots with annual updates for Windows 11.
What does that mean for you? Well, it means you can expect more stability and fewer major overhauls to your operating system. It's time to bid farewell to those frequent "moment" updates and embrace a more predictable schedule.
Now, let's dive into what Moment 5 has in store for us…
One of the standout features of this update is the enhancement of Windows 11's built-in accessibility features. Microsoft is improving the user experience for those who rely on these.
Voice Access now supports multiple monitors and additional languages. It introduces "voice shortcuts" for custom voice-activated commands. Narrator gains the ability to preview new natural voices and works alongside voice access for various tasks.
One notable change is the ability to write directly into text boxes using a stylus across the operating system. This feature streamlines the use of digital pens, eliminating the need for a dedicated handwriting panel.
For the first time ever, Microsoft is making some in-box apps uninstallable. Apps like Edge, Camera, and Photos can be removed if you don't intend to use them.
Microsoft is also making the Windows Search pane more flexible. This update allows third-party search providers like Google or Yahoo to create plugins for the Windows Search pane. So, if you prefer another search engine over Bing (and let’s face it, many of us do), you'll have the option to switch.
The Nearby Share feature (it’s like Apple's AirDrop) gets a boost with "friendly name" support. You can give your PC a more readable name, making file sharing more user-friendly. Additionally, Windows Spotlight, which displays Bing's background of the day, will become the default wallpaper setting.
Copilot is getting better. It can now be "undocked," making it more versatile and accessible. You'll also find the Copilot interface in the Windows ALT+TAB menu for quick and easy access.
And Microsoft is making changes to the Widgets Board. You’ll be able to disable Microsoft News integration, allowing for a widget-only layout if you prefer not to have news headlines in your Widgets Board. Plus, third-party news services can build plugins to integrate with the Widgets Board, providing more options for users.
Notepad will include a character count feature and an "Edit with Notepad" shortcut in context menus for select file types.
In a nutshell, Moment 5 brings a host of improvements and enhancements to Windows 11, making it more accessible, user-friendly, and versatile.
For business owners, these updates can improve productivity and streamline workflows for you and your team. If you haven’t already made the move to Windows 11, now’s the time! We can help you with that – get in touch.
Microsoft has announced that starting on October 14, 2025, they will no longer provide free support and security updates for Windows 10.
While the idea of paying for updates might raise some eyebrows, let's put this into perspective. By 2025, Windows 10 will be a decade old, and Microsoft is likely to have introduced Windows 12. And as we know, Windows 11 is available today.
Supporting multiple old operating systems can be quite a handful, even for a tech giant like Microsoft.
2025 may seem like a way off, but it’s a good idea to start weighing up your options now. Here they are:
Option 1: Upgrade to Windows 11
Microsoft's preferred option is for you to switch to Windows 11. It's got some fantastic features and free updates until its end of life.
Option 2: Stick with Windows 10 and pay
You can choose to stay with Windows 10, but you'll need to pay for security updates (no new features, though). The exact cost isn't known yet. It'll likely be a subscription for monthly updates.
Option 3: Stick with Windows 10 and don’t update it
Sure, you can continue using Windows 10 without paying, but this isn't advisable. Without updates, your business’s PCs will become vulnerable to threats and security issues. And without Microsoft’s support to fix problems, even tech experts like us have nowhere to go for help. Please don’t take this option!
You've got until October 2025 to decide, so there’s no rush. But if you want your business to thrive this year, we’d highly recommend upgrading to Windows 11 sooner than later. You’ll immediately benefit from some features that could improve your processes and make your team’s jobs easier.
If you're considering the move to Windows 11, or exploring other options, we're here to help make the transition smooth and hassle-free. Get in touch.
Google has unleashed a powerful new tool to make your Gmail inbox a safer and spam-free haven, and it's called RETVec.
But what exactly is RETVec?
Well, let's break it down in simple terms. RETVec stands for Resilient and Efficient Text Vectorizer. Fancy. In plain English, it's a tool that makes Gmail even better at spotting annoying spam emails that try to sneak into your inbox.
Did you know that the people behind spam emails can be very smart to try to avoid detection? Some use invisible characters, something called LEET substitution (like "3xpl4in3d" instead of "explained"), and intentional typos to get past our defenses. But RETVec is trained to be resilient against all these tricks.
Google explains it as mapping words or phrases to real numbers and then using these numbers for further analysis, predictions, and figuring out word similarities. In short, it's like giving Gmail a supercharged spam radar.
How does this benefit you? Gmail's spam detection rate shot up by an impressive 38% with RETVec on the scene. Plus, Gmail's false positive rate dropped by nearly a fifth (that's 19.4% fewer false alarms).
I know that some of you might be wondering if there’s a catch. Well, there's a tiny caveat you should be aware of, especially if your business sends promotional emails.
With RETVec's increased vigilance, some legitimate emails might get caught in the crossfire. It's a good idea to keep an eye on your email analytics to ensure your messages reach their intended recipients.
RETVec isn't just about better security. It's more efficient too. Google reports that the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) usage of the model dropped by a whopping 83%. Smaller models mean reduced computational costs and faster delivery, which is a game-changer for large-scale applications and on-device models. So, it's a win-win situation.
Spam is a go-to weapon for cyber criminals and now RETVec can help keep us better protected. It blocks malicious emails, keeping our data safe and our inboxes clutter-free.
If you don’t use Gmail, don’t feel too left out. It’s likely we’ll see other email providers including Microsoft bringing similar protection in the future.
In the meantime, if you’d like us to review your business’s email security, get in touch.
If you use Google Chrome, you’ll love this. Google has just rolled out a game-changing update that's going to make your browser more powerful than ever.
It’s the revamped Chrome Web Store, featuring a fresh design and exciting new features.
Now, if you're like me, you've probably spent more time than you'd care to admit sifting through the Chrome Web Store in search of the perfect extensions for your browser. Those days of endless scrolling and hunting for that elusive add-on are officially over.
First off, they've introduced new categories to help you quickly find what you need. Whether you're shopping, looking for productivity tools, or are just in the mood for some entertainment, there's a category for you. And the cherry on top? There's now a dedicated section for AI-powered extensions.
These AI-powered extensions are not to be underestimated. Many of them integrate popular chatbots and even some of the best ChatGPT extensions available. Imagine having your own virtual assistant right in your browser, ready to answer questions, provide recommendations, and assist with various tasks.
And it doesn't stop there. Google has also included a 'suggested extensions' section that tailors recommendations based on what you've previously downloaded.
There’s an 'Editors’ spotlight' section which promises to showcase up-and-coming extensions you might have otherwise missed.
Navigating the Chrome Web Store has become even more intuitive. The search bar has moved to the top-right corner of the screen, and Google has enhanced its capabilities. You can filter by all items or focus on featured extensions and themes, making it a breeze to find exactly what you want.
In the top-left corner, you'll find the Extensions tab to dive deeper into add-ons for your browser. Fancy changing the look of Chrome? Simply navigate to the Themes tab. Customization has never been this easy.
While this new Chrome Web Store update is undoubtedly exciting, let's not forget about the importance of staying vigilant when it comes to browser security. Here are a few reminders:
1. Monitor downloads to make sure they’re safe and relevant
2. Never download extensions from third-party websites
3. Make sure everyone in your business is aware of and follows the correct security measures.
4. Regularly update Chrome and your extensions and educate your team about the importance of strong passwords and safe browsing practices.
If you’d like help finding even more productivity-boosting tools for your business, get in touch.
Did you ever imagine a world where the lengthy, complicated passwords people often forget would become a thing of the past?
It seems that day might be arriving sooner than we anticipated.
Google has officially made Passkeys the default sign-in method for all personal accounts on its network, signaling the beginning of a new era in online security.
What's a Passkey, you ask?
It's the next big thing in internet safety. And as a business owner with staff, you should pay attention to this game-changing innovation.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What are Passkeys?
Imagine logging into your account using just a four-digit PIN or your biometric data like fingerprints or facial recognition. That's precisely what a Passkey is.
Simple, isn't it?
But don't let the simplicity fool you. This new technology significantly reduces the likelihood of having your credentials stolen or your account taken over by cyber criminals.
How do Passkeys work?
Creating a Passkey is easy. Head over to Google's official Passkeys website, create a PIN or connect your biometrics (fingerprint or face), link your smartphone, and you're done.
Just remember, your PC needs to run at least Windows 10, or your Mac should have macOS Ventura or above. And on your phone, you need Android 9 or iOS 16.
As of now, this tech works only on Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Google Chrome browsers.
What are the benefits of Passkeys?
According to Google, 64% of people find Passkeys easier to use than traditional login methods.
Not only are they simpler and more secure, they're also faster. Logging in with a Passkey is 40% quicker than using a regular password.
Google's decision to make Passkeys the default sign-in method is just the beginning. The tech giant is already working with select partners to make this new login usable across Chrome and Android. It's already available on Uber and eBay, with plans to expand to WhatsApp soon.
So, it might be wise to start thinking about how Passkeys can benefit your business. After all, Google could soon roll out this feature for business accounts too.
Meantime, if you're not quite ready to embrace Passkeys, you can still opt-out. Just head to the Sign-in options page, find "Skip Password When Possible", and toggle off the switch.
We’d recommend you give it a try and see how much easier – and more secure – it can make things. And of course, if you need any help, get in touch.
Microsoft is rolling out a brand-new version of Teams, its video conference, collaboration, and chat platform. We’re being promised a faster and easier way to work. And we all could use a bit of that, couldn't we?
The new Teams is like the superhero of apps for Windows and Mac. It's faster than a speeding bullet… well, at least twice as fast as the classic version. Plus, it's on a diet, using up to 50% less memory and disk space.
Microsoft went back to the drawing board to reimagine it, make it simpler and more flexible. Now Teams:
This pumped-up version of Teams uses some tech which allows it to share resources with your browser. That reduces how much memory and disk space it needs.
And the initial test results? Teams is twice as quick when loading the app, joining meetings, and switching chats and channels.
This isn’t just for businesses using Windows. Teams on Mac is also getting this performance boost.
Microsoft promises this update will be a game-changer for your productivity. They've improved the user interface, adding in a "mark all as read" feature in activity.
Plus, they're introducing Copilot, an AI assistant that can summarize key points from your chats and calls. Sort of like having your very own personal assistant, just without the coffee runs.
Are you ready to switch to the new and improved Teams? It's rolling out now. Look at the top left corner of your Teams app… if you see “try the new Teams”, then you can flick the switch and try it out.
If you need help with Teams for your business, get in touch.
New research has uncovered an unexpected twist in the tale of cyber security risks – your tech-savvy younger employees may be your biggest vulnerability.
Shocked? Let's dive into the details.
More than 6,500 employees across the globe were surveyed, with an almost equal representation of demographics. The results were rather alarming.
The study found that younger office workers, those 40 or under, are more likely to disregard standard password safety guidelines. Can you believe that 34% admitted to using their birth dates as passwords, compared to just 19% of those over 40?
And it doesn't stop there.
The habit of using the same password across multiple devices was also more prevalent among younger workers, with 38% admitting to doing this.
And let's not even get started on phishing scams. A whopping 23% of the younger demographic didn't report the last phishing attempt they received. Their reasoning? "I didn't think it was important".
But surely they understand the gravity of security threats against businesses, right? Well, not quite.
While ransomware and phishing were acknowledged as critical threats by 23% and 22% of employees respectively, the overall attitude towards cyber security leaves much to be desired.
Here's the kicker: a staggering number of those surveyed revealed that their organizations did NOT provide any mandatory cyber security training.
From the US (30%) to the UK (17%), Netherlands (32%), Japan (35%), India (31%), Germany (22%), France (43%), Australia (29%) and China (65%) – the numbers speak for themselves.
So, are we really to blame our young workforce when it's clear that businesses aren't doing enough to equip their employees with the necessary cyber security skills?
It's high time we stopped treating cyber security as an afterthought and started investing in regular cyber awareness training for everyone in our businesses. Yes, EVERYONE. Not just the tech team or the executives, but every single employee.
At the end of the day, it's not just about protecting your business; it's about creating a safer digital world for us all.
We can help you do that. Get in touch.