January has been a pretty slow news month, aside from the whole Spectre/Meltdown vulnerability that affected almost every computer everywhere. There’s plenty to read out there on the subject, so we only posted what our own security expert Bill Virtue wrote on the subject so as not to fill these pages with articles you’ve already read. Fortunately, as of this writing there still hasn’t been an official sighting of a Spectre / Meltdown attack, which is a good thing. Early news coverage praised government and the technology industry for a coordinated response, but things unraveled quickly as patches were issued and recalled, tempers flared, and currently things are still confused and unresolved.

Other things did happen in January though! Microsoft released a new version of Office 2016 for Mac, and they simultaneously released a slew of updates and improvements to their Education ecosystem from inclusive learning tools to Intune improvements to $189 devices. Google take note, Microsoft has not ceded the classroom to Chrome, and they are leveraging the full scope of their M365 platform and hardware offerings to up the ante. The winner of the Google/Microsoft battle is students with more choices, so game on.

On the O365 front, Microsoft added file restore to OneDrive for Business. They also brought To Do into the platform so it ties into your full O365 experience. Of course, because Microsoft is machine learning everything these days, To Do helps you prioritize your tasks and yells at you for not getting things done.

In Windows 10 world, Build 1709 (Fall Creators Update) was deployed to business systems on the Semi-Annual Channel. Shortly thereafter Microsoft announced the release of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17083 (Redstone 4). The full list of changes are here. Summary: new privacy tools to inspect telemetry, timeline improvements, and font enhancements.

Azure changes were fast and furious. Rather than list them separately, you can find most of them on the Microsoft Azure Blog where Microsoft does a great job of curating the content. Our favorites were the improvements to the Azure AD authentication platform.