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Microsoft made a series of new announcements, earlier this week. These include a new Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac, a first fully automated DNA data storage system, and the Revived Microsoft Office Assistant, Clippy.

Microsoft Defender ATP for Mac

Microsoft team announced yesterday that it’s expanding the reach of the core components of its security platforms (including the new Threat & Vulnerability Management) to Mac devices. Also, the name of these unified endpoint security platforms has been updated to Microsoft Defender ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) from the prior Windows Defender ATP, keeping in mind its new cross-platform nature.

“We’ve been working closely with industry partners to enable Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) customers to protect their non-Windows devices while keeping a centralized “single pane of glass” experience”, states the Microsoft Team.

Users can install the Microsoft Defender ATP client on devices running macOS Mojave, macOS High Sierra, or macOS Sierra to manage and protect these devices. This app offers next-gen anti-malware protection, allowing users to review and perform configuration of their protection. Users can also configure the advanced settings, including disabling or enabling real-time protection, cloud-delivered protection, and automatic sample submission among others.

Moreover, devices with alerts and detections will also get surfaced in the Microsoft Defender ATP portal. Security analysts and admins can then further review these alerts on Mac devices.

Other than that, the Microsoft team also plans to bring Microsoft Intune in the future. This would enable the users to configure and deploy the settings via alternative Mac and MDM management tools such as JAMF.

Fully automated DNA data storage system

Microsoft announced the new and first fully automated DNA data storage system, yesterday. The system allows with the storage and retrieval of data in manufactured DNA. This move is aimed at moving the DNA tech out of the research lab and into commercial data centers, says the Microsoft team.

The team (Microsoft researchers and University of Washington) successfully encoded the word “hello” in snippets of fabricated DNA. They then further converted it back to digital data with the help of a fully automated end-to-end system.

This automated DNA data storage system makes use of the software developed by the Microsoft and UW team that helps convert the ones and zeros of digital data into the As, Ts, Cs, and Gs (the building blocks of DNA). It then leverages the inexpensive, ‘off-the-shelf’  lab equipment to allow the flow of necessary liquids and chemicals into a synthesizer. This synthesizer then builds the manufactured snippets of DNA and pushes them into a storage vessel.

In case the system wants to retrieve the information, it can add other chemicals to properly prepare the DNA and uses microfluidic pumps to push the liquids into other parts of the system. This system is then able to “read” the DNA sequences and convert them back to information understandable by a computer.

According to the researchers,the goal of the project was not to prove how fast or inexpensively the system could work, but simply to demonstrate that automation is possible”

Revived Office Assistant Clippy

Microsoft revived its 90s Microsoft Office Assistant, called Clippy, earlier this week on Tuesday. Microsoft Office team brought back Clippy as an app that can offer animated Clippy stickers on chats in Microsoft Teams, company’s group chat software.These Clippy stickers were also released on Microsoft’s official Office developer GitHub page, allowing all the Microsoft Teams users to import and use these stickers for free.

However, Clippy was removed yet again the next day. This is because the “brand police” within Microsoft was not happy with the reappearance of Clippy on Microsoft Teams, reports The Verge. The GitHub project associated with the same has also been removed. Clippy fans, however, are not happy with the company’s decision and have started a thread requesting Microsoft to bring back Clippy in Microsoft Teams.

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Tech writer at the Packt Hub. Dreamer, book nerd, lover of scented candles, karaoke, and Gilmore Girls.