IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

ICYMI: Lesser-Noticed Channel News from the Week that Was

Our weekly roundup of IT stories you may have missed this week. By Rich Freeman

Who has time to read--or write--about everything happening in the world of IT these days? Here’s a roundup of just some of the tech industry stories you may have missed this week, perhaps partly because we never got around to writing about them.

Retail rodeo. Held January 17 to 20 in New York City, the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention and EXPO (aka “NRF”) is the biggest retail industry conference of the year, and as usual hardware and software makers took advantage of the giant crowds to call attention to their newest retail industry products. Some highlights:

New tools for schools. With the education vertical’s buying season coming up fast, Microsoft announced that channel partners can purchase the company’s Surface 3 Education Bundle for up to 30 percent off through March 31st. The discount offer appeared on Microsoft’s UK Higher Education Blog, but is available to resellers everywhere the Surface 3 Education Bundle is sold.

Meanwhile HP Inc. took the wraps off its new Sprout Pro all-in-one, a “blended reality” PC with integrated 3D capture, editing, and printing functionality that lets students and others scan objects into a digital design tool, make changes, and then print their new creation in all its 3D glory.

Hail to the veeps. Several vendors added new names to their executive rosters:

Get phishing-free for free. KnowBe4 LLC, a maker of security education and awareness solutions, launched a free add-in for Microsoft Outlook that lets administrators and channel pros equip employee inboxes with a button they can use to report suspected phishing attacks to IT, safely and with one click, rather than open or simply delete them.

And finally, if you need a good reason to laugh/cry. Password management vendor SplashData Inc. released its latest rundown of the 25 most commonly used passwords, and for the second year running “123456” and “password” placed first and second, proving once again if further proof was needed that an astonishingly large number of people in the world are practically begging to be victims of identity theft. The report was based on more than two million passwords stolen by hackers and leaked onto the Internet.

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