Microsoft Offers Preview of Mobile-Friendly SharePoint Server 2016

Today's topics include the preview of Microsoft's mobile-friendly SharePoint 2016 server, Toronto Police are hunting for the hackers behind the Ashley Madison Website breach, a court decision upholds a federal agency's authority to sue businesses that fail to adequately secure customer data and the Power BI Desktop update brings Excel users into the fold.

In a nod to mobility's influence on enterprise IT, Microsoft is beefing up the mobile collaboration experience on its next version of SharePoint Server.

Microsoft announced on Aug. 24 the release of the SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview, which includes new features aimed at the mobile enterprise. Mobile and touch enhancements are among the new features, Bill Baer, senior technical product manager for Microsoft's SharePoint team, announced in a blog post.

The Toronto Police Service announced in a press conference on Aug. 24 that it is leading a global investigation into the hack of infidelity Website Ashley Madison.

During the conference, Toronto Police announced that Avid Life Media (AVM), the owner and operator of the Ashley Madison site, offered a $500,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the Ashley Madison database leak.

In a decision that cites a litany of basic security blunders, the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously found that the Federal Trade Commission has the authority to sue Wyndham Hotels for unfair cyber-security practices that, "taken together, unreasonably and unnecessarily exposed consumers' personal data to unauthorized access and theft."

The decision lists a series of network security practices that came to light after a trio of data breaches in 2008 and 2009. The security failures include storing customer payment data in unencrypted text.

Microsoft wants to help business users unearth insights that may be locked away in Excel workbooks with the latest update to Power BI Desktop.

Formerly called Power BI Designer, Power BI Desktop is the free data exploration and interactive reporting tool that enables users to run analytics on various sources of business data, including Google Analytics, SQL Server and Salesforce, to name a few.

Now users have another option—Excel. Miguel Llopis, program manager for Microsoft Power BI, announced that the new import capability "makes it possible for users to convert their Excel Workbooks containing Power Query queries, Power Pivot models and Power View worksheets into a Power BI Desktop file."

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