Small Businesses Aren’t Going To Have It Easy With The Nearing Expiration Of Windows 7
After January 14, 2020, support for Windows 7 will have ended and Microsoft will be halting the operating system’s free security updates and bug fixes. The updates, however, will be available to those willing to spend for the privilege after expiration. This Windows 7 Extended Security Update (ESU) program will be running through January 2023 after its official launch on December 2 this year.
Back in September 2018, Microsoft announced the availability of the Windows 7 ESU program to its most valuable customers, that being mammoth corporations, government agencies with volume licensing subscriptions, medium-sized businesses, and educational institutions with Windows 10 Enterprise or Education subscriptions. In October 2019, Microsoft then extended this program to all business sizes.
Thing is, small businesses and large organizations with active volume licensing contracts can keep using Windows 7. For the latter, a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) from the Volume Licensing Service Center can be downloaded and registered by installing a few servicing stack updates and using a command-line tool. This should deploy ESU to Windows 7 devices. For the former, however, Windows 7 ESUs have to be purchased via one of Microsoft’s partners in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, and this is far more difficult than it appears to be.
If you’re like the majority to click on the official Microsoft website’s FAQs about Extended Security Updates for Windows 7, you will be presented with the Q&A below:
Who should I contact for more information about pricing and ordering for Windows 7 ESU?
VL customers: Please contact your Account Team CE for pricing and ordering information that is tailored to specific customer scenarios.
Customers who are interested in purchasing Windows 7 ESU in CSP should reach out to a CSP partner. You can find a qualified partner at this site.
Using the official link from the site, you will be taken to the Microsoft Solution Providers database where you will be asked to fill in your U.S. business location, the size of your workforce (one to nine employees), and, well, your “products, services, skills, industries, or organizations”. Indicating “Cloud Solution Provider” will bring you eight recommended consultancies with broad-based skill sets demanding high payouts for medium- and large-scale deployment and development tasks – a sure indication that they largely serve big guys with big bucks.
In Ed Bott’s experience, he chose the maximum of three providers, entered a description of what he needed, and provided his contact information before hitting ‘send’. Within 15 minutes, the response he received wasn’t what he hoped for because the “best match” for his request was apparently “unavailable”, followed by the same status for his “second-best match” 12 hours later.
After asking for help from two companies whom Bott already had an established reseller relationship with, a reply saying, “Unfortunately, you would need to reach out to a reseller to purchase this license. We’re not able to sell to an end user directly,” made it to his inbox hours later.
Bott has worked with Microsoft’s cloud partners in the past to know the process doesn’t follow a simple point-click-pay-activate procedure. First, an Azure Active Directory tenant has to be set up in creating a reseller relationship with a partner to allow their access to your Azure AD portal and have them fill your order.
This scenario can be confirmed by another reseller whom Bott contacted as they replied to his request saying,
We received your message regarding Windows 7.
We are Cloud Solution Provider and only provide licenses for customers who have a commercial account.
If you are interested in becoming a commercial customer of Microsoft please let us know.”
To buy a single, good-for-a-year product key that doesn’t require any deployment or support, this is an overview for small businesses that don’t enjoy a volume licensing contract (even if Microsoft has long ago allowed the purchase of Office 365, Microsoft 365, and other cloud-based services directly from the Office 365 portal).
After the Windows 7 support from Microsoft expires on January 14 next year, a full-screen warning will be delivered to all PCs still running Windows 7. Until then, Microsoft can make it informative for users to access the paid updates by adding an option to pay for the extended security updates to the pop-up notifications it has been sending out for several months now. At least this way, people can have it easy by knowing that the program is a dead-end and Windows 10 is a more secure option.
Ed Bott puts it, “It’s almost like Microsoft wants people to become discouraged and give up.”
Goldman Sachs’ Is Employing Novel Ways to Close Billions in M&A Deals
The pandemic prompted nearly all industries to maximize technology to continue the business. The financial sector is no exception, and Goldman Sachs enforced the use of drones to conduct virtual site visits for M&A deals.
Since COVID-19 has made face-to-face interaction and personal visits among groups of bankers and bidders quite risky, the world’s top mergers advisor came up with a viable solution to keep the business going. Goldman Sachs’ global co-head of mergers and acquisitions, Stephan Feldgoise, confirmed that the company now uses drones to create virtual site visits for clients. Through this technology, bidders are able to get a live tour of the companies they are investing in without having to travel to the actual location. It then allows for the financial institution to push forward with this pertinent due diligence step in the M&A process.
A Switch in Wall Street
The coronavirus pandemic forced even the most technologically-resistant institutions in Wall Street to adapt to the current trends and methods. Traditionally, investment banking depended on the relationships of senior bankers with their clients built through hosting social events and lavish dinners. However, the current health crisis has made personal interactions and frequent traveling unsafe, thus completely eliminating this conventional approach of closing mergers and acquisitions.
At present, deals are being closed through virtual meetings that utilize teleconferencing programs such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Cisco Webex. In place of personal site visits, drones are used for live or recorded tours. It has been proving to be successful as over 95% of Goldman’s transactions were done virtually throughout the pandemic. Feldgoise believes that the M&A landscape will not revert to what it was before the incorporation of these new technological tools, given the positive results that the company is currently generating.
Drone Technology is Now a Necessity
Goldman Sachs isn’t the only major financial institution that has been utilizing drone technology. JPMorgan Chase has also been leaning on virtual tools and programs in closing deals. Even smaller investment banks have been using drones to take footage of properties for bidding. In fact, veteran TKO banker Erik Eidem said that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it a necessity to keep the business running.
According to veteran bankers, this shift towards technology changed the entire flow of the M&A process. Advisors no longer have to winnow only a few potential buyers for management presentations, as they are now equipped with the capacity to work with twice as many bidders to increase the probabilities of closing a deal.
Remote technology is predicted to have a long-term impact on business travel among major firms on Wall Street, which will transcend the pandemic. This new set-up allows bankers and potential buyers to finish a meeting in a span of a few hours conveniently and efficiently, rather than the traditional three-day business trip for a presentation. Although bankers will be most likely to revert to seeing their clients personally as often pre-coronavirus, other steps in the closing process that are more logistically complex will be implemented remotely.
How China’s Youth are Capitalizing on the Tech Boom
The young billionaires of China have racked up a joint fortune of $223 billion this year. New billionaires added to the roster through the tech market.
This year, China had 60 billionaires below the age of 40. Out of the 60, 14 of these billionaires joined the Hurun Rich List on the road paved by the tech market that gave way for money to grow despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The tech market boom reveals an extraordinary surge in the riches of China’s affluent population, indicating that the country is home to 878 million, whose joint riches are equating to $4 trillion.
Here Is a List of China’s Youngest Billionaires
Yan Wu, 39:
Yan Wu and her husband, Qicheng Wang, co-founded Hakim Unique. This company focuses on real estate, media, and the Internet. The combined fortune of the couple is $2.5 billion.
Zheng Cao, 37:
Zheng Cao is the vice president of Zhejiang Hanke Technology, a company that produces lithium batteries. This company was founded by his father, Ji Cao. With their combined 70% business stocks, the father and son’s fortune is around $2.5 billion.
Guoyuan Peng, 34:
Guoyuan Peng is currently the chairman of NWY, an education group. The group is estimated to have a $2.6 billion net worth with a 20% increase since 2019.
Wei Cheng, 37:
Wei Cheng is the CEO and founder of DiDi, a ride-hailing giant. Before he launched DiDi in 2012, Wei Cheng was working in Alibaba for 8 years. This year, DiDi continues to be one of China’s most valuable startups. Cheng’s net worth is estimated to be $2.8 billion.
Yifeng Wang, 36:
Yifeng Wang and his father, Miaotong Wang, are the Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Zhejiang Century Huatong Group. This auto company has recently added developing games to its roster. The pair are said to have a net worth of 3.1 billion.
Yixiao Cheng, 35:
Yixaio Cheng is a co-founder of Kuaishou, which is a short film platform. Before Kuaishou, he was a software engineer at HP. He now has a net worth of $3.1 billion.
Tianshi Chen, 35
Chen is a co-founder and CEO of Cambricon Technologies, which makes chips has been used in more than 100 million smartphones. He is said to have a net worth of $3.1 billion.
Li He, 36 and Meng Yang, 38:
These new billionaires were able to catapult their joint wealth with Anker, a tech company that produces Apple chargers. Their net worth is estimated to be $3.7 billion.
Hua Su, 38:
Kuaishou is a company that developed a GIF-making app and now releases short videos. Hua Su, the founder, is worth $3.8 billion.
Huiyan Yang, 39:
Huiyan Yang is officially a crazy, rich Asian. She and her family have a net worth of $33.1 billion.
How Climate Action Can Be Forced by 137 Million Americans That Own Stocks
Climate change is coming sooner than later, which is why climate action is necessary to avoid problems to rise after. Here’s how owning stocks help us.
The US presidential elections are a few days away, and there is a possibility of a political solution that will resolve the climate crisis. Should the Biden administration get elected, they may provide us with climate legislation. However, no one has any guarantee of when that will happen and what the outcome will turn out to be.
While we are under the current administration, the Department of Energy has settled with referring to natural gas as US freedom molecules. This not the introduction to carbon tax the Republicans are hoping for.
So who can we turn to when it comes to immediate climate action? The corporations need to step up. We can see that some companies are jumping into action, like Beyond Petroleum, who is working on implementing their slogan. The company announced that they plan on cutting oil production to 40% in the following decade and expect to reach zero emissions by the year 2050.
It has joined hundreds of companies that are looking at science-based processes when it comes to cutting emissions. Nearly 300 companies that range from apparel to automotive to cutting their emissions to 35%, which is a great objective considering that these companies are responsible for having more emissions than Spain and France combined.
For tech companies, they seem to be in an arms race for sustainability. In 2019, Amazon promised to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans to go carbon neutral by the year 2040 and to reduce enough carbon to offset all its past emissions.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is participating in Transform to Net Zero, which is a group of private companies that aim to achieve net-zero global emissions by no later than 2050.
The latest update for climate action has received both hopeful and cynical reactions—hope that the changes made by corporations can make a significant difference, but cynical about whether or not these commitments will be achieved.
However, Americans who own stock have the capacity to force corporations to take their own step towards climate action. If the 137 million Americans that own stock can convince the corporations they own stock from to take these steps, you can ensure that the climate will improve overtime.
It’s normal to feel some skepticism towards the actions of the corporations as some companies share the lack of concern towards the climate, but with the help of shareholders and voters, they can force these corporations to provide tangible proof of their climate action.
Their reward for this is that they can keep their shareholders because, at the end of the day, you can’t have shareholders if the world isn’t sustainable for living and that companies need shareholders to support their companies and products.
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