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Thursday, July 24, 2014

News roundup: This week's tech topics

From Microsoft's recent OS announcement to wearables in the workplace, these four topics are grabbing headlines this week.

Category:   Enterprise Mobility

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Here's what's happening in the tech sphere this week:

Microsoft plans unified OS 
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently confirmed the tech giant's intentions to unify its operating systems into one universal Windows OS. This would replace three separate systems, which are used to fuel various devices, such as PCs, tablets and smartphones. 

"This means one operating system that covers all screen sizes," Nadella said on the quarterly conference call, according to Business Insider. "We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes."

A common foundation would facilitate streamlined application development, a boon for programmers working on Windows tools. The source noted that the consolidated version will most likely emerge with Windows 9, which is expected in 2015.

Commenting on this announcement, ZDNet explained that there will still be multiple Windows variants, such as for enterprise and personal use, but a single Microsoft team will be able to work on all of these products. Furthermore, the shift enables a unified store for applications that cross all platforms.

Enabling the Internet of Things: DIY technology
Everyday consumers can now create Internet-of-Things devices, thanks to a new product by littleBits. Top Tech News reported that the company has developed cloud-enabled technology called cloudBit that allows people to link their other gadgets to the Internet. For example, someone could attach cloudBit to his or her coffee-maker to control it remotely.

"Until now, building for the Internet of Things has been reserved for large companies and experts, limiting the power of what's possible and the rate of innovation," said Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of littleBits, according to the news source. "People can now re-create the most popular connected devices, prototype the next billion-dollar idea, or solve their own unique problem."

The devices are expected to hit stores in August.

BYOD security concerns continue to worry InfoSec pros 
A recent survey sponsored by Vectra Networks revealed that information security professionals remain concerned about the security implications of bring-your-own-device policies. According to SC Magazine, 74 percent of respondents were most worried about protecting business information, 69 percent focused on customer and employee data, and 66 percent were concerned about keeping documents safe.

Mike Banic, Vectra Networks vice president of marketing, told the magazine that companies must go deeper than "perimeter security," putting measures in place that protect information at the very center of the network. Monitoring for anomalies, for example, brings organizations one step closer to a proactive, comprehensive security approach.

Wearables expected to hit the enterprise 
At a panel discussion at the Wearable Tech Expo in New York, experts predicted that the "most meaningful early use" of wearables will take place in the enterprise and industrial workspaces, according to NetworkWorld. Although high-impact consumer applications for the technology are still fairly distant, the panelists predicted that there are already strong use cases for the devices in professional settings.

In particular, the gadgets could enable employees to work hands-free, which is valuable for a number of tasks, the source noted. APX Labs Vice President Ed English explained that wearables could be disruptive developments because they empower workers to do things that would be impossible otherwise.