Microsoft tweaks OneNote to make it an even stronger cross-platform business tool

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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OneNote is like the forgotten step-child of Microsoft Office. It’s rarely mentioned alongside Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as one of the core applications of Office, yet it’s very popular, and available across a range of platforms the rest of Office only dreams of. Today, Microsoft is rolling out new iPhone, iPad, and Android apps, and enhancing the capabilities of OneNote to deliver a more consistent, and powerful platform for business users.

The Microsoft Office suite is available for both Windows and Mac OS X, but Office 2011 for Mac lacks OneNote—leaving Mac users to use the OneNote Web App version. Although OneNote isn’t yet available natively for Mac OS X, Microsoft does provide OneNote apps for Windows Phone, iOS (both iPhone and iPad), and Android, as well as a version that works in the Windows 8 Metro interface. Today’s update makes the cross-platform functionality more reliable and consistent.

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Passwords aren’t dying any time soon. Here's how to manage them effectively.

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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It’s tough to keep track of all of your passwords. In spite of advances in biometrics, and increased attention on the value of two-factor authentication, passwords remain the primary means of digital security. They're also one of the weakest links in the security chain. If we can’t get rid of passwords, we need a better way to manage them.

Remember when passwords were going to die out? Bill Gates told an audience, "There is no doubt that over time, people are going to rely less and less on passwords. People use the same password on different systems, they write them down and they just don't meet the challenge for anything you really want to secure."

That was in early 2004. Nearly a decade later we still rely heavily on passwords, and passwords still suffer from all of the same weaknesses Gates described.

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BlackBerry can rise from the ashes as a leader in MDM

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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The clock is winding down on BlackBerry’s days as a mobile OS or mobile device maker. BlackBerry divulged its quarterly earnings figures today, and it’s not a pretty picture: BlackBerry the company will survive, but it’s time to throw in the towel on BlackBerry the mobile platform vendor.

Wall Street expected 7.3 million smartphone shipments. The reality was a more meager 6.8 million smartphones. Wall Street projected that BlackBerry would ship 3.3 million BlackBerry 10 devices—one bullish analyst went so far as to suggest that number would be 3.6 million. The tally for BB10 devices was a mere 2.7 million. Wall Street projected revenue of $3.4 billion, but BlackBerry reported a paltry $3.1 billion.

Heins revealed disappointing results for the most recent quarter.
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Windows 8.1 also has a few business-oriented tricks up its sleeve

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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The Windows 8.1 Preview launched yesterday with much fanfare at Microsoft’s Build conference in San Francisco. On the other side of the planet, meanwhile, Microsoft was kicking off TechEd Europe, where it revealed the features and benefits of Windows 8.1 for business users.

The upcoming free update includes a massive number of tweaks and new features. Many of them—such as the ability to swipe your hand in front of a webcam to turn pages, and the ability to wirelessly stream media to a TV via an Xbox game console—are aimed exclusively at consumers.

Windows 8.1 makes Windows 8 much more functional for business use.
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Facebook breach highlights data security's "weakest link" syndrome

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Facebook recently disclosed that a system glitch resulted in the exposure of sensitive personal data from as many as six million users. The impact from this particular breach seems relatively inconsequential, but it’s a sign of a larger problem when it comes to protecting personal data on the Web.

Let’s start with a little about the incident itself. The Facebook data breach is related to the Download Your Information feature. When someone downloads their Facebook contact data, the glitch exposed email addresses and personal phone numbers for contacts even if that data was not visible on Facebook itself.

A glitch exposed data on six million Facebook accounts.
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Microsoft is the big winner in new Oracle cloud partnership

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Microsoft and Oracle are working together? Oh, wait. I guess that should be a statement instead of a question. The two companies have joined forces in a new cloud venture. It seems Larry Ellison has embraced the wisdom of that ancient Arabic proverb “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

The nuts and bolts of the deal are that Microsoft and Oracle are teaming up to deliver Oracle software via Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure. Azure customers will be able to run Java, Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic Server, and even Oracle Linux on Windows Server Hyper-V or Windows Azure, and Oracle will deliver full certification and support.

Oracle will certify and support its software to work with Windows Azure.
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Encryption can’t protect your data while you’re logged in

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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You carry a lot of data and sensitive information on your laptop, tablet, and smartphone. The standard method of protecting that information from prying eyes is to encrypt it, rendering the data inaccessible. But with most encryption software, that information becomes accessible the moment you log in to the device as a matter of convenience.

Think about what information that might be: names, postal and email addresses, and phone numbers for friends, family, clients, and business associates; calendar events indicating where you’ll be and when you’ll be there; personal photographs; and more. You might also have proprietary information about your company, clients, information that companies have entrusted you under the terms of non-disclosure agreements, and other sensitive information that should be secured.

Encrypting data protects it from unauthorized access.
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