Software

Microsoft 2016: Six Smart Person's Guides you may have missed

Microsoft released numerous applications and updates in 2016, and TechRepublic covered them with our Smart Person's Guides. Mark Kaelin lists six that are worth a revisit.

The year 2016 was a busy one for Microsoft, marked by a multitude of application releases, updates, and upgrades. TechRepublic was there to cover it all, of course. But if you are like most IT professionals operating on the front lines of information technology, you had a very busy year yourself—which means you may have missed some news here and there.

Well, TechRepublic is here to help. Here is a quick list of six TechRepublic Smart Person's Guides pertaining to Microsoft and Microsoft applications that you may have missed in 2016. And just in case you don't know about these guides, they are designed to provide you with the maximum amount of information about a subject in the most efficient way possible.

1. Windows 10

Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 the last operating system you will ever need to purchase. The company released an update in 2016 dubbed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which added several new features and enhancements to security. Windows 10: The smart person's guide provides you with the details.

SEE: Windows 10: The 10 biggest controversies and surprises in 2016

2. Microsoft Teams

Collaboration is a vital part of Microsoft's strategy of owning the business productivity market. The theory is that younger workers in the enterprise are more comfortable with the mobile workforce and enterprises would be wise to tap into that energy. Among the most often used tools for young workers are chat apps. Microsoft Teams: The smart person's guide explains how Teams takes the basic chap app and ramps it up into a fully functional collaboration tool.

3. PowerShell

Administrators of information technology systems have tools and tricks that most users would never touch, much less work with on a regular basis. But that is what makes them admins and not users. PowerShell is a behind-the-scenes, under-the-hood tool that fits into that category. Microsoft made several updates to PowerShell in 2016 which make it even more powerful than before. PowerShell: The smart person's guide offers a look at what it can do.

SEE: Windows administrator's PowerShell script kit (Tech Pro Research)

4. Microsoft Cortana

The latest trend in information technology is the voice-operated digital personal assistant, and Microsoft's submission into this realm is called Cortana. The one thing that makes Cortana different from other digital agents is that the app comes standard with Windows 10. All you have to do is turn it on—but you might want to check out Microsoft Cortana: The smart person's guide first to see what it can do.

5. Microsoft Surface Studio

Microsoft has been making some noise in the market recently by releasing hardware designed to showcase what a properly implemented machine can do with Windows 10. In 2015, Microsoft released the Surface Book. In 2016, the hardware everyone is talking about is the Surface Studio. To put it bluntly, the Surface Studio is the computer Apple should have made in 2016. Microsoft Surface Studio: The smart person's guide covers the features, specs, and capabilities.

SEE: Surface Studio: Here's what's packed inside Microsoft's designer PC (ZDNet)

6. Microsoft Power BI

As enterprises generate more and more data about their operations, customers, and employees, they will need to transform that data into actionable information for decision makers. Power BI provides tools for every employee from the CEO to the mailroom clerk that will do just that—turn data into information. Check out Microsoft Power BI: The smart person's guide to see what the tool offers.

More Smart Person's Guides

TechRepublic published dozens of guides this year, on everything from IBM Watson to agile computing to Windows Server 2016. All the guides are available for free on the TechRepublic Smart Person's Guide repository page. Take a look and catch up on what you may have missed in 2016.

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Your thoughts

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Image: Claudia Cruz/CNET

About Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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