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China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain

China's antitrust regulator has given Microsoft 20 days to hand over a written explanation of how the Windows OS works together with the bundled Office software suite as part of its probe into the firm’s alleged monopoly activities. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) said in a statement (translated by …
Robot wearing mortar board and brandishing certificates

Microsoft changes cert test providers, hints at fun new exams

Microsoft will part ways with Prometric, the outfit that currently provides exams for some of Redmond's certifications. Prometric is on the outer as of December 31st, 2014 and Pearson Vue has the gig as of September 4th. The good news is that if you hold an unexpired, prepaid Prometric exam voucher you can use it at either …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Sep 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

More Microsoft staffers shown the door in Round 3 of job cuts

Microsoft sent another 3,000 staffers packing on Wednesday, after the third round of layoffs in CEO Satya Nadella's multi-phase restructuring program. The Seattle Times reports that 638 employees in and around Microsoft's Puget Sound headquarters lost their jobs, with the remainder coming from various sites around the globe. By …
Neil McAllister, 29 Oct 2014

Yes, we know Active Directory cloud sync is a MESS, says Microsoft

Microsoft has made a confession: “integrating your on premises identities with Azure AD is harder than it should be” and requires “too many pages of documentation to read, too many different tools to download and configure, and far too much on premises hardware required.” It has also done something about it, in the form of a new …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Aug 2014

Salesforce and Microsoft to unleash integrations ... next year

SaaS superpower Salesforce has revealed the details of its cloudy collaboration with Microsoft, and the main detail is that the fruits of the relationship won't be delivered until deep into 2015. Redmond's corporate veep for Windows marketing Tony Prophe appeared alongside Salesforce supremo Marc Benioff at the latter company's …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Oct 2014

Warm breeze of consolidation blows through Microsoft channel

A trickle of activity in the Microsoft small biz channel has seen Gold partner minnow Core Technology Systems devour small but perfectly formed on-prem and cloudy CRM consultancy Excitation. In a canned statement, Conor Callanan, CEO at Core, claimed the buy gives it a ready made CRM practice and “rounds out” its web-based …
Paul Kunert, 08 Sep 2014
Satya Nadella speaking at a Microsoft cloud event

Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'

"Microsoft loves Linux" is generally not something one expects to hear, but that was one of the messages that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivered at a San Francisco media event touting Redmond's cloud offerings on Monday. According to Nadella, 20 per cent of Microsoft's Azure cloud is already Linux and the software giant plans …
Neil McAllister, 20 Oct 2014
euros_channel_money

Microsoft: Yeah, about that 50% post-Christmas customer price hike...

Microsoft has cooked up a post-Christmas gift for service providers to prolong their festive cheer – price hikes of up to 50 per cent on volume licensing agreements. The move has been interpreted by channel partners and hosting firms alike as Microsoft upping the cost for on-premise wares to make its cloudy stuff look more …
Paul Kunert, 07 Oct 2014

Microsoft staff brace for next round of layoffs – expected Thursday

The coffee machines at Microsoft will be taking a hammering from nervous workers after a report that the company will lay off another tranche of staff on Thursday. Back in July Microsoft announced it will lay off 18,000 employees in a reorganization lasting six months; 12,500 have since been shown the door, with the vast …
Iain Thomson, 17 Sep 2014
Alain Crozier microsoft

Le whoops! Microsoft France boss blows lid off 'Windows 9' event

When Microsoft sent out invitations to a secret press event for September 30 in San Francisco, rumors spread that it would mark the next major release of Windows. Now the president of Microsoft France has blown apart Microsoft's attempt at Applesque PR – by letting slip that "Windows 9" is indeed coming. "Last year we had …
Iain Thomson, 23 Sep 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft's axeman Nadella fills baskets with 2,100 fresh heads

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has brought down his axe again, sending off the next batch of the 18,000 employees he has promised will lose their jobs by the end of the year. The Redmond supremo issued about 2,100 pink slips on Thursday, the Seattle Times reports, bringing the total number of layoffs to approximately 15,100 and …
Neil McAllister, 18 Sep 2014

Microsoft rolls up more Windows Server 2012 R2 updates

Microsoft has issued a new “rollup” of enhancements and fixes to Windows Server 2012 R2. The new rollup is the third for the OS and, as is described here, offers downloads for more than 40 issues. Perhaps the most notable addition is the Office 365 management pack, as it gives Windows Server admins the chance to “monitor the …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jul 2014
Robot wearing mortar board and brandishing certificates

Microsoft's MCSE and MCSD will become HARDER to win

Microsoft has decided it won't replace the Masters-level certifications it once described as the "pinnacle" of a Redmond-centric IT pro's education. Redmond ”retired” the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM), and Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) certifications last year. At the time …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2014
Running girls

Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US

Microsoft has joined the wearables market with “band”, a fitness-monitor-cum-smartwatch, which is accompanied by a suite of online services dubbed “Microsoft Health”. There's more than a hint of raised middle finger directed at Cupertino in the dual announcements, as Band is on sale now for US$199 and is said to have enough …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Oct 2014
Nokia Lumia 610

Microsoft adds wireless industry legend John Stanton to its board

Microsoft has added some mobile expertise to its board of directors, signing up wireless pioneer John Stanton, the former chairman of broadband firm Clearwire. Redmond chief Satya Nadella made it clear in his chat about the firm’s full year results earlier this month that Microsoft wants to be “mobile first, cloud first” under …
Columns of coins in the cloud

Amazon's hybrid cloud: EC2 wrangled by Microsoft's control freak

Hybrid clouds are the new black: world+dog has decided that some workloads just won't ever ascend into the elastosphere, but that running a private and public cloud from separate control freaks is a dumb idea. That's why vSphere can span your on-premises bit barn and vCloud Air, and Azure Pack does the same trick but with Azure …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Oct 2014
Zombie cloud

Microsoft confirms Surface NOT DEAD YET, next-gen version coming

Microsoft says it's still committed to its Surface tablets despite disappointing sales, and that it will keep pushing the kit through at least one more generation of the hardware. The software giant wasted no time in responding to a report by Taiwanese business rag DigiTimes that claimed Microsoft was "not very aggressive about …
Neil McAllister, 09 Oct 2014
gavel_judgment_channel

Microsoft tells judge: Hold us in contempt of court, we're NOT giving user emails to US govt

At Microsoft's own request, a judge has held the software giant in contempt of court for failing to comply with an order to give US authorities access to customer emails housed in a data center in Dublin, Ireland. Redmond's request was made jointly with government prosecutors, with the aim of expediting its appeal of the July 31 …
Neil McAllister, 10 Sep 2014
Toshiba Encore Windows 8.1 tablet

Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip

Microsoft is putting on its poker face amid growing rumors that it plans to unveil "Windows 9" at the end of next month. For weeks and weeks now, it's been speculated that Redmond's next major operating system release, known thus far by its code name "Threshold", will make a public debut in 2014: it's believed Microsoft will …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Aug 2014

Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store

Microsoft has turned 1,500 applications out of the Windows Store, the app bazaar for Windows 8 devices. In a post titled How we’re addressing misleading apps in Windows Store, Microsoft explains it has conducted a promised spring clean by changing the rules for admission to the store and will henceforth insist on the following …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2014
Adobe Media Server for HDS/HLS streams on HP servers

Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data

Apple, Cisco, Verizon and AT&T are considering joining Microsoft’s battle against the US government to safeguard customers' privacy – but European corps should also take note. Microsoft is embroiled in a legal case to resist US authorities’ efforts to seize emails stored on servers in Ireland. The warrant was issued in December …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Oct 2014

Microsoft brings own security info exchange to the world

Microsoft has announced a “a security and threat information exchange platform for analysts and researchers working in cybersecurity.” Dubbed “Interflow”, Redmond says the new service is “a distributed system where users decide what communities to form, what data feeds to bring to their communities, and with whom to share data …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jun 2014
Tools in Office Touch

'Microsoft Research slides' show touch-enabled Office - report

Leaked screenshots have been posted online purportedly showing the UI for Office Touch for Windows 8. The slides are part of a presentation posted by Microsoft Research that is now no longer available. Versions of slides were still on mirror sites at time of writing. The presentation was caught by Winsupersite’s Paul Thurrott. …
Gavin Clarke, 20 May 2014

Big Azure? Microsoft and IBM ink deal on business cloud

IBM and Microsoft’s Azure cloud are blending after the two firms inked an enterprise partnership. Big Blue and Microsoft on Wednesday committed to host and integrate their enterprise software on their respective clouds. Also, they'll work together on deeper developer and VM support. Staples of enterprise IT spanning servers, …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Oct 2014
Microsoft Surface bomb

Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day

Speculation that Microsoft contemplated a “mini” version of its Surface fondleslabs, but decided not to let it see the light of day, has been confirmed in Redmond's 8-K form lodged with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The filing includes a section on “Computing and Gaming Hardware” that says “Current year cost …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jul 2014
usb-heated slippers

Microsoft Azure goes TITSUP (Total Inability To Support Usual Performance)

Microsoft is struggling to sort out an Azure cloud outage that has today left users around the world unable to access various services. According to a message posted to the Azure service status page, the outage spans "Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Websites, Automation, Service Bus, Backup, Site Recovery, HDInsight, Mobile …
Neil McAllister, 18 Aug 2014
One Windows: Windows 10 will be delivered on multiple device types

Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all

Windows doesn't have the best reputation for security, but Microsoft has been outlining a series of improvements in the new operating system that it believes will stymie hackers and leave corporate data more secure. "We're no longer facing an evolution in security threats but a revolution," Chris Hallum, senior product manager …
Iain Thomson, 22 Oct 2014

Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER

With cloud storage rapidly becoming a commodity, Microsoft has taken the next logical step in the file-syncing bunfight, doing away with storage quotas altogether for paying customers of its subscription Office 365 offerings. Redmond began opening up the data-hosting sluices in June, when it gave every Office 365 subscriber 1TB …
Neil McAllister, 27 Oct 2014
Logging onto Windows 10 with a mobile for 2-factor authentication

Microsoft shows off spanking Win 10 PCs, compute-tastic Azure

Microsoft's TechEd Europe conference is under way in Barcelona, and this morning Microsoft corporate VP Joe Belfiore showed new management features in the forthcoming Windows 10. Users will be able to log into Windows 10 using Azure Active Directory (AD), the cloud-based directory also used by Office 365, and get access to the …
Tim Anderson, 28 Oct 2014
Columns of coins in the cloud

Microsoft Gold and Silver cloudy boy makes big hires

Microsoft’s cloudy poster boy Content and Code has parachuted in a couple of directors to free up time for CEO and co-founder Tim Wallis to work on special biz dev projects. The London-based based Microsoft partner, which carries Gold and Silver badge certifications, has hired big hitting former ISC and Kelway exec Simon Lawless …
Paul Kunert, 05 Sep 2014
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Microsoft confirms Office 365 price rise

Life is about to get more expensive for some folk living in Microsoft's Office 365 world with a 15 per cent price hike in the offing from August. This is the first time Redmond has decided to ignore the unwritten laws of the cloudy industry by upping its price list for punters - those with an Enterprise Agreement that haven't …
Paul Kunert, 03 Jul 2014

Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?

What is being described as the "biggest round of job cuts" to hit Microsoft for five years is on its way, or so we've been told. The software mammoth “could” unveil staff cuts that were alluded to by chief executive Satya Nadella in his flabby PR-authored communication last week. The cuts are reported to be the biggest in five …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Jul 2014

Confirmed: Salesforce partners with 'evil empire' Microsoft

Salesforce is teaming up with Microsoft, a company Salesforce chief Marc Benioff used to call the "evil empire". Putting to rest rumors from earlier today, the two companies have announced they are burying the hatchet – and will team up so that Windows users can more easily access Salesforce's tech from within Microsoft's …
Jack Clark, 29 May 2014

'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

New videos of a "Windows 9" variant have emerged, and to this hack's eyes they look to have brought Windows up to speed with tricks that various desktop flavours of Unix have had for a decade or more. The feature in question is being described as “multiple desktops” and looks an awful lot like the “workspaces” that have been …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Sep 2014
cloud

Microsoft: Pssst, small resellers, want to sling our cloud?

Microsoft is preparing to give its channel partners another way of selling Azure to their customers. The new "Open Licensing" option gives resellers and other channel partner types a way to sell a small amount of Microsoft's Azure public cloud to a customer without having to enter into an Enterprise Agreement (EA) with Redmond …
Jack Clark, 22 May 2014

Microsoft blasts sueball at Samsung over Android patent royalties

Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Samsung in a US court on Friday, claiming the Korean firm was in breach of an earlier cross-licensing agreement relating to Android technology patents. The two companies sealed their licensing deal in 2011, back in the days when Microsoft was threatening to sue all and sundry over patents …
Neil McAllister, 01 Aug 2014

DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides

Hackers are exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in Windows using malicious PowerPoint documents, Microsoft and security firms warn. An advisory from Microsoft warns that the as-yet-unpatched flaw is present in all supported versions of Windows except Windows Server 2003 and has already been abused in "limited, targeted attacks …
John Leyden, 22 Oct 2014

Visual Studio Online goes titsup as Microsoft wrestles with database

Microsoft's Visual Studio Online services for software developers are in the midst of a total outage that has lasted for more than four hours. The Redmond giant has blamed a database snafu. The services, which were launched in November 2013 to coincide with general availability of Visual Studio 2013, are hosted on Redmond's …
Neil McAllister, 14 Aug 2014
Microsoft Surface bomb

Microsoft hints at smaller Surface

Microsoft has invited media to a “small gathering” at which it will discuss its Surface fondleslabs. The event will take place on May 20th and the use of the diminutive is sparking speculation Redmond will give the world a smaller Surface. The speculation relies on past comments from Microsoft to the effect that it feels …
Simon Sharwood, 06 May 2014
Microsoft campus

Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!

Microsoft is kicking off a corporate overhaul with the introduction of new policies shrinking the number of corporate conventions and contracted workers. The company said in an email to partner firms that it would place an 18-month limit on the tenure of all contracted employees. Those who hit the limit will be asked to take six …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2014
fingers pointing at man

Microsoft: OK, Office 365 sellers – you can be customers' 'first contact'

Microsoft has relinquished more control over the way third-party suppliers can manage Office 365 and Windows InTune punters, finally making the channel the "first point of contact" for customers. It is now three years since the online productivity suite hit the streets. It took two years until Microsoft would allow third-party …
Paul Kunert, 16 Jul 2014

Microsoft swings axe at 18,000 bods in its largest ever round of layoffs

Microsoft is preparing to lay off as many as 18,000 workers – the biggest loss of heads in the software giant’s history – and the Nokia unit is bearing the brunt. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Thursday it would cut 14 percent of its 127,000-strong workforce over the next 12 months. It dropped the news before the markets …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Jul 2014

Microsoft and EMC: 'We need UK channel execs'

Microsoft and EMC are on the hunt for a local channel exec after saying their respective farewells to Amanda Sleight and Terry Beale, with both bound for EMEA-wide positions. Sleight is one of longest serving partner sales directors in Blighty after notching up 14 and a half years on the job. "Amanda is moving to a role within …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jun 2014
Screenshot of Microsoft promotional video touting Office 2013's cloud integration

Office 365 Microsoft's fastest growing business, ever - Microsoft

Office 365 is the “fastest growing business” in Microsoft’s history, the software giant has claimed. Microsoft reckons it has seen a 150 per cent increase in the number of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) adopting Office 365 in the last year. Windows Azure, the company’s alternative to Amazon’s public cloud, now has …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jan 2014
Satya Nadella

Microsoft: Cloud-o-bile still only small slice of softening revenue pie

Microsoft reported revenues that beat estimates for Q1 of fiscal 2015, boosted by strong growth in cloud and mobility. But its solid-looking numbers belied ongoing softness in its traditional core markets. Total revenues for the three months ending on September 30 were $23.20bn, a 25 per cent year-on-year increase but flat from …
Neil McAllister, 23 Oct 2014

X marks the chop: Microsoft takes axe to Nokia's Android venture

Microsoft's Android phones are the latest casualty of the company's axe. The X range was only launched in February this year, before the acquisition of Nokia's devices unit had been completed, but the mutant 'droids will soon be phased out, says CEO Satya Nadella. Microsoft is getting rid of up to 18,000 jobs as it digests the …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jul 2014

Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations

Microsoft has started issuing increasingly stern warnings to move from the soon-to-be-unsupported Windows Server 2003, but has also just found an obstacle to migrations away from the operating system. The problem manifests when users run Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2012 R2 domain controllers serving the same domain. …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2014

Microsoft unwraps new auto data-protection in Office 365 tools

Microsoft is expanding its Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tools. DLP is a way of tagging content to mark it as sensitive data and subject to policy, such as a rule that states “data must be encrypted” or “may not be shared outside the organisation”. DLP is already available for email in Exchange, Outlook and Office 365, and is now …
Tim Anderson, 28 Oct 2014
management regulation1

Microsoft challenges US gov over attempts to search overseas data

Microsoft has challenged a ruling that would allow US government authorities to search its overseas facilities. The company said in a petition filed to the US District Court for Southern New York that it objects to an order that would allow law enforcement to search all Microsoft-owned facilities worldwide. At the heart of the …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jun 2014
Microsoft campus

Shift up, Ballmer: Microsoft expands board, makes room for activist investor

Microsoft has appointed activist investor Mason Morfit to its board after his investment firm ValueAct Capital agitated for a greater say on how the company is run. ValueAct bought a $2bn stake in the software firm last April and immediately started to campaign for change at the company. By August, Microsoft had capitulated, …

Opinion

Microsoft Surface bomb
Killer whale

Chris Mellor

Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'

Tim Worstall

Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen

Features

No, silly... he was the fall guy for years of Finnish folly
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Frodo and the Ring
Microsoft's strategy is to make Store apps popular. Good luck with that