I hope everyone is enjoying what is left of summer 2020 before Labor Day.  This is traditionally a quiet time in the technology industry, but there are many exciting releases coming in the fall (including Apple’s MaxOS 11, Big Sur and iOS/iPadOS 14) and Intel’s 11th generation processors.

Microsoft last week announced a reorganization, placing their hardware and Windows groups under one roof.  Why is that important?  The effect should be better testing to reduce the number of “bad” patches resulting in more stable patches and PCs.  Also announced is a long overdue commonsense change coming to patches: after they are installed, Microsoft will tell you in “plain English” what was installed and what security holes were closed.  Many Microsoft customers are also hoping that the company will change their “servicing” model for Windows 10:  reduce two annual releases (in the spring and the fall) to a single annual release with more extensive testing.

If you use the popular remote control/connection program TeamViewer, please update your software today to prevent hackers from exploiting an opening to spy on your computer.

There were new cell phones announced this month.  Microsoft announced their first cell phone in years, but it is based on Android (not Windows).  It is called the Microsoft Surface Duo which is a device that has two screens attached together.  The phone is running an older mobile processor and does not support 5G.  At this time it is only available for AT&T customers and starts at $1,400 for 128Gb RAM model with deliveries slated to begin in mid-September.  Non-AT&T subscribers can purchase an unlocked Microsoft Surface Duo that will work on the Verizon and T-Mobile cellphone networks.

Samsung also unveiled two new mobile devices: the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Z Fold 2.  The Galaxy Note 20 has been updated to match the specs and features in the previously announced Galaxy S10 but the Galaxy Note 20 comes in a larger form factor with a built-in stylus.  The Samsung phones support 5G and multiple carriers; pricing begins at $1000 for the base model and $1300 for the larger Ultra model.  The Fold 2 is an update to last year’s Fold phone, which like the Microsoft Surface Duo features two screens.  But it differs from the Microsoft phone in that the Fold 2 is a single screen that folds, not two screens.  Although Samsung released the Fold 2’s specs (it includes 5G support) and said it would be available next month, they did not announce the Fold 2’s price.