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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
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
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

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

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
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

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 …
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
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
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

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

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
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
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
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
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
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

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

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
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
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
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
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

Rackspace joins Microsoft's Windows Azure Pack partner army

Cloud-flinger Rackspace has joined Microsoft’s new army of cloud service providers. Rackspace is now running Microsoft’s Cloud Platform at all of its US data centres. That platform is a marketing wrapper that contains Hyper-V, System Center and Windows Server with the more recent Azure Pack to spin up and run VM-based clouds. …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Nov 2014

Ireland: Hey, you. America. Hands off Microsoft's email cloud servers

The Irish government today supported Microsoft in its ongoing fight against US prosecutors – who appear to want access to server hard drives anywhere in the world. Microsoft has garnered serious backing from the technology industry in its case against American investigators. The Feds believe they have the right to access emails …
Iain Thomson, 24 Dec 2014
Microsoft campus

Microsoft brings SUNSHINE – but it's a CLOUDY DAY

Microsoft posted another quarter of respectable results on Monday, matching analysts' earnings estimates and slightly outperforming on revenue, but its strong showing couldn't disguise the continued shakiness in its core software business. The software giant reported total revenues of $26.47bn for the second quarter of its …
Neil McAllister, 26 Jan 2015

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

Microsoft patch batch pre-alerts now for paying customers ONLY

Microsoft is facing fierce criticism over its decision to make pre-notification of upcoming patches available only to paid subscribers. The Advance Notification Service (ANS) formerly made information on upcoming software patches available to the public but from now on the information will be restricted to “premier” customers …
John Leyden, 09 Jan 2015
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 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
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
management consumerisation

Behold our swollen sales digits, crow Microsoft enterprise partners

The financials for a bunch of Microsoft’s top table enterprise licensing channel partners are in, and though none of them are getting rich quickly, there’s seems room enough in straight reselling to make a living. York-based Software Box (SBL) toasted its 25 years of life by bringing home £128.1m in sales for the 12 months ended …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jan 2015
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

Opinion

Lost

Jennifer Baker

European Commission still silent despite Ireland's plea

Neil McAllister

Claims that cloud will drive Oracle's future growth ring hollow

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