Editor’s note: There is a lot going on in the world of IT, from emerging technologies to digital transformation and new cybersecurity threats. However, we can’t possibly cover it all, so we’ll bring you This Week in IT, a curated summary of IT and enterprise technology stories each week.
Zoom is reportedly preparing email and calendar product launches
Zoom is reportedly preparing to launch new email and calendar products in an attempt to make the Zoom platform a more comprehensive suite of business tools and better compete with the likes of Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.
First reported by The Information, citing anonymous sources, the videoconferencing giant could announce those new offerings as soon as its Zoomtopia conference in November. This comes nearly two years of the company quietly developing the new services. Zoom CEO Eric Yuan reportedly wants to transform the company from a videoconferencing platform into a fully-fledged communication platform. The company has recently rolled out improvements to its Chat capabilities.
Red Hat announces flexible work policy
Red Hat is embracing flexible workplace arrangements and is giving the majority of its employees full autonomy to choose where they want to work. The enterprise Linux provider says no employee is required to be in the office, and the company is offering employees a work-from-home stiped to cover the costs of remote work.
Employees that do go into the office need to book work stations online. Red Hat office spaces now contain fewer desks and booths, couches and small collaboration spaces.
Red hat is also introducing quarterly “recharge” days—essentially a company-wide day off—to address burnout.
New Microsoft 365 app update experience
Microsoft is introducing a new update experience for Microsoft 365 apps called update under lock, a new feature that uses Click-to-Run technology that helps IT teams reach compliance within their timeframes without disrupting end users. It is designed to reduce the need for abrupt forced updates and make updates more reliable by saving app state before closing.
Update under lock will try to shut down any Office apps running when it is safe to do so, and after the update is applied, apps will be restored to their previous state—all in about four seconds.
U.S. government issues security guidance to software companies
The U.S. Office of Management and Budget is issuing guidance to ensure federal agencies use software that has been built using common cybersecurity practices. The guidance comes after two years of supply chain attacks and software vulnerabilities that threaten U.S. national security and the security of private organizations as well.
According to Chris DeRusha, federal CISO and deputy national cyber director, the guidance was developed with input from the public sector, private sector and academia. The guidance directs agencies to use only software that complies with secure software development standards, creates a self-attestation form for software producers and agencies, and will allow the federal government to quickly identify security gaps when new vulnerabilities are discovered.
Apple adds new security features in iOS16
Apple is adding a host of new security features to iOS devices with the release of iOS16, including passkeys that are synced across Apple devices through iCloud Keychain, faster security updates, Lockdown Mode and more.