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Dunce

Microsoft: Flunked our test? Fear not, techies...

Microsoft knows all about second chances – just look at Windows 8.1 – and now it is giving techies who failed the Certified Professional exam the first time around another bite of the cherry. The company this month has awarded an exclusive contract to testing centre Pearson Vue; it had previously worked exclusively with …
Paul Kunert, 21 Jan 2015
Handshake

Microsoft enlists web security pariah Adobe to help build Internet Explorer-killer Spartan

Microsoft has revealed it's working with Adobe on some aspects of project Spartan, its replacement browser that will confine Internet Explorer to the Antique Code Show. When one contemplates Adobe's contribution to browsers, it's hard not to think of the carnage its Flash plugin has wrought with a seemingly never-ending …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Mar 2015
big droplets falling from rain cloud

Microsoft's Azure goes TITSUP PLANET-WIDE AGAIN in cloud FAIL

Microsoft suffered a major outage on its cloud service Azure overnight. It went titsup just before 1am UK time, and services are only now slowly returning to normal. Microsoft confessed that multiple regions were affected by the "service interruption". Customers around the world using Azure storage, virtual machines, a number …
Team Register, 19 Nov 2014
Quooker Fusion

Microsoft comes right out and says backup software is dead

Microsoft's been making lots of noise lately about its send-your-snapshots-to-the-cloud service Azure Site Recovery. But now it's come right out and said it: Redmond reckons backup software deserves to die. “If cloud storage had existed decades ago, it’s unlikely that the industry would have developed the backup processes that …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Mar 2015
South Park: Stick of Truth

Ugly Microsoft code NUKED Bing and Yahoo! – report

Microsoft and Yahoo!'s search engines may hold much smaller portions of the market, which is dominated by ad giant Google, but netizens still noticed when the services went dark for a short period on Friday. Reuters, citing a person briefed on the outages, reported today that the search engines went titsup after Redmond …
Team Register, 03 Jan 2015
Nokia Lumia 625 displaying Office app

Microsoft opens Office storage back end for iOS love

Users of Microsoft’s Office on iPhone and iPad could now store their vital documents on Apple’s cloud. Microsoft said on Tuesday that it would allow third-party cloud storage providers to integrate natively with the locations picker of iOS Office apps. It didn’t name iCloud, but the implication is clear – all that’s needed now …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Feb 2015

Windows 7 MARKED for DEATH by Microsoft as of NOW

Today, 13 January, is the day on which Microsoft's Windows 7 passes from mainstream support into extended support. The milestone is the first on the road to Microsoft pulling the plug on January 14th, 2020. Windows 7 is a widely-admired version of Windows, as it is more stable than its predecessor Windows Vista and did not try …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jan 2015

Microsoft makes 'business case' for marriage equality

Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith has put forward a business case for marriage equality. The “Microsoft on the issues” blog mostly spends most of its time on topics like privacy and education, so tackling marriage equality is a bit of a departure. Smith starts by saying marriage equality is important to Microsoft because …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Feb 2015

Fait Acompli: Microsoft gobbles Android email upstart for $200m

Microsoft has stumped up a reported $200m for San Francisco-based email app-maker Acompli. That Microsoft wanted to gobble Acompli was the worst-kept secret in the industry: a crazy fingered insider had penned a short-lived blog post that had a URL suggesting Microsoft was acquiring the firm, and hit publish before they were …
Paul Kunert, 01 Dec 2014

Microsoft hints at faster release cadence for Windows 10 previews

After admitting that it hasn't been seeding new builds of Windows 10 as often as many testers had hoped, Microsoft is gearing up to increase its release cadence. Redmond man Gabe Aul tweeted on Thursday that the software giant will have new builds of Windows 10 available soon, and even went as far as to suggest that risk-averse …
Neil McAllister, 13 Mar 2015
Azure App Service

Microsoft's three-way only goes one way: Backends merge into Azure App Service

Microsoft is merging its Azure Websites, Mobile Services, and BizTalk Services into a single service: Azure App Service. The Windows giant hopes the embiggened beast will woo developers to craft applications for all manner of things from smartphones and fondleslabs to desktop web browsers, all deployed from Redmond's cloud. " …
Iain Thomson, 24 Mar 2015
Clouds in blue sky

Time to buy a new hat, cloud bods: Microsoft, Cisco stroll down the aisle again

Like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, except dressed as 900-pound gorillas, Cisco and Microsoft have tied the knot again to expand their cloud partnership. Faced with the question “how can we get more clouds to run exactly the same infrastructure?”, the two have riveted OS platforms with network and computing platforms to …

Windows 10 will finally drop in 'summer' says Microsoft

Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will launch in "summer" this year. The news emerged from an event in China, so it seems safe to assume Redmond means the northern hemisphere's summer between June and August. Executive veep for Windows Terry Myerson says Windows 10 "will launch in 190 countries and 111 languages". We're …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Mar 2015

Microsoft and Oracle are 'not your trusted friends', public sector bods

Software providers such as Microsoft and Oracle are aggressively targeting public sector customers with licence "audit reviews" in a bid to plug falling subscription revenue, according to research. Over one-third of the 436 councils surveyed across the UK have been subject to at least one software licence review in the last 20 …
Kat Hall, 27 Mar 2015
Nokia Lumia 830 group

What's that, Microsoft? Yep, a Lumia and Surface SALES BOOM

Microsoft shipped a record number of Lumia smartphones in the final quarter of calendar year 2014, as Surface revenue finally started to make an impression. Microsoft reported that 10.5 million Lumias shipped, the most in a quarter, on the strength of low-cost devices. However, to put that in perspective, Samsung sold over 78 …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jan 2015
management regulation7

RIP Windows RT: Microsoft murders ARM Surface, Nokia tablets

Microsoft has quietly pulled the plug on the last device to ship running Windows RT, casting doubt on the future of Redmond's ARM fondleslab OS. The software giant confirmed on Wednesday to The Register that it has stopped manufacturing the Nokia Lumia 2520, a 10.1-inch Windows RT tablet with a quad-core ARM processor, an HD …
Neil McAllister, 04 Feb 2015
Surface Pro 3

Microsoft: OK, we'll TRY indirect sales for Surface Pro 3 in Japan

Microsoft is testing a reseller programme for the Surface Pro 3. Speaking at the Canalys Channels Forum Asia, the worldwide veep of Microsoft's small and medium business organisation, Thomas Hansen, said a “limited” trial is under way in Hong Kong and Japan. “We are in the process right now of piloting some expanded channel …
News team, 05 Nov 2014

Google reveals bug Microsoft says is mere gnat

Google has reported a local file flaw affecting Windows 7 and 8.1 32 and 64 -bit systems in the third vulnerability dropped since a spat with Microsoft erupted last week. The vulnerability that allowed a malicious Server Message Block version 2 server to force a client to open arbitrary local files was marked high severity by …
Darren Pauli, 20 Jan 2015

Microsoft tries to defend Irish servers from US g-men invasion, again

Microsoft is continuing its battle against US demands that it hand over e-mail data stored in Ireland, arguing in its appeal that the US government would resist any demand by a foreign government that it hand over data stored in America. Detailed at Digital Constitution, the Microsoft brief filed on December 8 puts the …
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft shareholders approve of CEO Satya Nadella's MASSIVE PACKAGE

A revolt by shareholders at Microsoft's annual general meeting over CEO Satya Nadella wages failed to materialize today – and his executive pay package was approved. Company advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services said it had significant concerns over the size of Nadella's package, which it estimated was worth over $90m …
Iain Thomson, 03 Dec 2014
Satya Nadella speaking at a Microsoft cloud event

Hey look! Microsoft's workforce isn't all white men

Fewer than half of all Microsoft employees are white males, according to the software giant's most recent census data. The numbers [PDF], which were published on December 18 and were first spotted on Friday by the Puget Sound Business Journal, show that white men made up just 47 per cent of Redmond's total workforce at last …
Neil McAllister, 04 Jan 2015
Screenshot of Microsoft promotional video touting Office 2013's cloud integration

All change at Microsoft as Hyde slips into cloudy costume

The head of Microsoft’s enterprise licensing channel has split to take on a newly created role for cloudy partners, in what could be seen as a signal of where the partner power base is shifting. Edward Hyde, director of the licensing solutions providers (LSPs), formerly the large account reseller network, is to become operations …
Paul Kunert, 13 Jan 2015
Windows OEM devices on stage at Computex

Sorry, admins: Microsoft says NO new Windows Server until 2016

While it's looking like the final version of Windows 10 for client PCs could ship before the end of the year, it seems data center admins needn't hold their breaths. Microsoft confirmed on Friday that the next version of Windows Server won't arrive until 2016. "As we continue to advance the development of these products, we plan …
Neil McAllister, 30 Jan 2015
Leonidas, king of Sparta, as portrayed by Gerard Butler in the film 300. Pic copyright: Warner Bros

Spartan on Windows 7? Microsoft is 'watching demand'

Details of Microsoft’s fledgling Windows 10 Spartan browser are emerging with a suggestion of possible support for Windows 7. Redmond’s Spartan team is working on a plan for support for extensions to the Windows 10 browser. Silverlight, HTML and CSS extensions will be supported in Spartan, according to the software giant. “Yes …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Jan 2015

Microsoft now licensing Windows by the user, across multiple devices

Microsoft has changed the way it licences Windows so that it is now possible to buy licences on a per-user basis. Explained here, the main effect of the new policy is that a single licence can now apply to different devices. As Microsoft explains, this new arrangement means it's now possible for employees of organisations that …
News team, 03 Nov 2014

Microsoft BEATS Apple, Google ... to accepting limited Bitcoin payments

Microsoft has quietly added Bitcoin as a payment method for digital content - games and music - thanks to a deal with Bitpay that allows customers to use the cryptocurrency to add money to their MS account. Trouble is, the synthetic dosh still can't be used to pay for physical goods directly, and initially at least, it's Bitcoin …
Lindsay Dodgson, 11 Dec 2014

Wall St wolves tear chunk off Microsoft: There goes $30bn!

The morning after Microsoft published its second quarter figures, its share price tumbled 10 per cent as markets opened in New York – wiping $30bn off its value. Never mind the 3D goggles announced a few days before: a brace of Wall St analysts have cut their estimates and ratings for the software giant. The Street has talked …
Gavin Clarke, 27 Jan 2015
The Office

Microsoft flings Office apps for Android slabs at world+dog

Microsoft has once again made its Office apps for Android tablets available for download, this time opening up the preview program to all comers. The software giant first offered the fondleslab versions of its Android Office apps to a limited trial group in November, but shut down its sign-up page not long after, once it had …
Neil McAllister, 06 Jan 2015
Facepalm by Ron Mander

Microsoft pulls a patch and offers PHANTOM FIX for the mess

Another Patch Tuesday, another mess for Microsoft, which has pulled update 3004394, aka “December 2014 update for Windows Root Certificate Program in Windows”. Redmond says the patch “is causing additional problem on computers that are running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. This includes the …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Dec 2014
Screenshot of Microsoft promotional video touting Office 2013's cloud integration

Microsoft raids Symantec, snaps up UK licensing sales head

Microsoft has confirmed what the channel already knew: Jay Epton, Symantec director of new routes to market for the UK and Ireland, will be moving across to head up enterprise licensing resellers. As El Chan revealed previously, Edward Hyde, the current boss of licensing solutions providers (LSP) is set to be ops director for …
Paul Kunert, 23 Jan 2015
big droplets falling from rain cloud

Microsoft Azure was most FAIL-FILLED cloud of 2014

Microsoft’s cloud had the worst service reliability of the three main players in 2014, according to annual metrics from uptime experts CloudHarmony. Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines suffered 103 outages for the year, resulting in downtime of 42.94 hours. The Azure Object Storage service was offline 138 times, leaving users in …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Jan 2015

Oh SNAP, Microsoft! Asigra steals a march with Office 365 cloudy backup

Enterprise backup firm Asigra has added Office 365 support to its Cloud Backup product. This is a cloud-to-cloud service sending backup data to authorised cloud service providers or to the customer's private cloud. IT admins choose the frequency and granularity of the backups and recovery is said to be both fast and simple, …
Chris Mellor, 11 Dec 2014
Cyanogen

Microsoft 'showers gold' on anti-Google Cyanogen and its Android alternative

Microsoft will invest in alternative Android firmware startup Cyanogen, a report claims. Citing anonymous sources, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Microsoft is slated to become a minority investor in an approximately $70m funding round that will see Cyanogen valued "in the high hundreds of millions." The …
Neil McAllister, 29 Jan 2015

Microsoft's message for Win Server 2003 users: FLEE FOR YOUR LIVES

With 160 days to go before extended support for Windows Server 2003 reaches the end of the line, Microsoft has popped up with some scaremongering tactics helpful advice. Come 14 July, any businesses running the 12-year-old OS will need to cough a princely sum to receive custom support from Microsoft as no more security patches …
Paul Kunert, 04 Feb 2015

Microsoft fires legal salvo at phone 'tech support' scammers

Microsoft has launched its first US lawsuit against companies offering phoney phone support for its products and says it plans further operations in the UK and India to stamp out the scammers. Fake tech support calls have been around for a few years now. A caller will claim to be calling from Microsoft technical support saying …
Iain Thomson, 19 Dec 2014
Woman looks immensely happy while staring into blank screen of unplugged monitor

Microsoft says January Windows 10 build will excite sysadmins

Microsoft will conduct a big, consumer-focussed, reveal of Windows 10's progress in January, and not long afterwards will “move conversation” to the new operating system's features for enterprise users. Microsoft Australia representatives today told The Reg that sysadmins and business users should therefore pay close attention …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Dec 2014

Google and Microsoft, sitting in a tree,
L I C E N S I N GEE!

Google has announced that Microsoft users can now deploy their licenses in its cloud. The announcement means Windows Server, SQL Server, Exchange, SharePoint and other Microsoftery can now happily run in Google's cloud without the need for extra licenses. The news brings Google to parity with Amazon Web Services, so this isn't …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Dec 2014

Want to win Microsoft's cloudy love? Just spend $500

Channel partners that want to cosy up to Microsoft at this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference have got the option to be an extra special pet – cough $500 and they could be within spitting distance of the event… literally. The cloud-and-mobile-first fest is happening in Orlando from 12 to 16 July and costs $1,795 per pass, but …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jan 2015

Microsoft tells big biz: No free Windows 10 for you, crack wallets open

Microsoft has confirmed that, unlike your average Alice and Bob, enterprises won't get a free upgrade to Windows 10 when the new operating system is finally released. "Customers running Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Pro, like small businesses, have an opportunity to upgrade to Windows 10 for free in the first year," said Jim …
Iain Thomson, 31 Jan 2015
Photo of boxes of Microsoft Office for Mac

Microsoft jolts awake, remembers it still makes Office for Mac

Microsoft has finally put a date on what will be its first new version of Office for OS X since 2010. The software giant said that the second half of 2015 will bring the release of the first new version of Office for Mac in more than four years. That edition will bless Mac users with new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Nov 2014
Microsoft-themed Monopoly board

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

3 spectastic Lumias for price of 1 rival flagship: Microsoft sells biz on cheapie experience

MWC 2015 Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop emerged from cryogenic storage at Microsoft to announce two new phones and give a glimpse of mobile Office for Windows 10. But not a lot – more will be revealed at Microsoft’s developer event, Build, in April. Elop, who hasn’t been seen much since Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nokia’s …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Mar 2015
HockeyApp + Microsoft logos

Microsoft shells out the pucks for analytics firm HockeyApp

Microsoft has acquired HockeyApp, a service for testing and analysing apps in development for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Mac OS, for an undisclosed amount. The Stuttgart-based team launched HockeyApp in 2011. Using the service, developers can deploy preview apps to testers, get feedback, analyse crash reports, and view …
Tim Anderson, 11 Dec 2014
Partnership

Microsoft, Dropbox execs go public with their Office hookup

Microsoft and Dropbox have inked a deal to integrate their cloud-hosted stuff: mobile users of Office 365 will be able to automatically save files to their Dropbox account from within Redmond's software. And Dropbox users will also be able to edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files within the Dropbox and share them within the …
Iain Thomson, 04 Nov 2014
Pair of pliers with other tools

Windows 10 apps to rule them all – phones, slabs and PCs: Microsoft pulls out 'universal' tool

Microsoft has released technology previews of new developer tools and an SDK for Windows 10, giving coders their first taste of what it's like to build Windows Universal Apps that run across PCs, phones, and tablets. The tools are available now at no charge to members of Microsoft's Windows Insider program. Like Windows 10 …
Neil McAllister, 23 Mar 2015
Surface 3 in red

Microsoft dumps ARM for Atom with cut-price Surface 3 fondleslab

Pic + vid Microsoft's brief flirtation with ARM-powered Windows RT tablets looks to be over: the Redmond giant has unveiled its latest fondleslab, the Surface 3, which is a dinky Atom-powered slate running a full version of Windows on Intel hardware. Up until this latest tablet, Surfaces have sported ARM-compatible processors, and Surface …
Iain Thomson, 31 Mar 2015
Fight sticker

DAMN YOU! Microsoft blasts Google over zero-day blabgasm

Microsoft has slammed Google for disclosing a security vulnerability in Windows a mere two days before Redmond planned to fix the bug. Google revealed the flaw on 11 January, 90 days after reporting it to Microsoft; the ad giant said the bug can elevate a user's privileges to administrator-level, thanks to some inelegant action …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jan 2015
Hand screwed to a cross

Microsoft turns the power of FINE PRINT onto enterprise licensing

New wording in Microsoft’s enterprise licensing agreements could see customers forced to pay more to Redmond while simultaneously jumping through new licensing hoops. Microsoft has re-worked the fine print of the Enterprise Agreement (EA) in a way that confers greater power on its licensing agents to interpret the rules. It has …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Jan 2015
Satya Nadella speaking at a Microsoft cloud event

US taxmen won't say WHY they're probing Microsoft. So Redmond is suing the IRS

The US Internal Revenue Service has been digging into Microsoft's tax records from 2004 through 2009, and Redmond has filed a lawsuit against the government to find out why. In documents [PDF] filed with the US District Court of the District of Columbia on Monday, Microsoft alleges that the IRS has failed to respond to a Freedom …
Neil McAllister, 24 Nov 2014

Opinion

Alexandre Mesguich

Change is order of day as tech giants shift strategy gears
Partnership

Frank Jennings

Confused? No problem, we have 5, no 6, no 7... lots of standards

Chris Mellor

VC sequence could end not with a bang, but a whimper
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Features

money trap conceptual illustration
Big boys snare the unwary with too-good-to-be-true deals
Angus Highland cow
Pet carriers not wanted for whitebox stampede
FBcoldstoragearray
Sorry OpenStack and Open Compute, we're not all Facebook
Gary Kovacs, CEO of AVG. Pic: World Economic Forum
Scammy download sites? Government snooping? Run of the mill for Gary Kovacs