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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

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 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
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 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
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

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 begins war against fake phone tech support scams

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
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
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

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

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 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
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
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 …
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
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

Microsoft's 'loss leader' Office 365 pricing strategy? NO THANKS

Microsoft’s advice to its channel partners to sell Office 365 as a loss leader to lure in small and medium sized customers is not something that sits well with suppliers, at least not in Blighty. Thomas Hansen, worldwide veep for Microsoft's Small and Medium Business organisation told attendees at the Asian Canalys Channels …
Paul Kunert, 07 Nov 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

TALE OF FAIL: Microsoft offers blow-by-blow Azure outage account

Microsoft has published a full, frank, and ugly account of just what went wrong when Azure Storage entered Total Inability To Support Usual Performance – TITSUP - mode in November. The nub of the problem was that Azure's update procedures and code had “... a gap in the deployment tooling that relied on human decisions and …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Dec 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

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

Microsoft, rivals together fight US govt's cloud data snatch

Microsoft has drummed up an impressive amount of support in its fight against the American government – which is demanding access to the US giant's servers in Ireland. Stateside prosecutors are trying to extract emails from systems on non-US soil using a search warrant obtained in a US court, and Microsoft is having none of it. …
Iain Thomson, 15 Dec 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
Crystal ball via http://www.manoftaste.de/

Microsoft says to expect AWESOME things of Windows 10 in January

Microsoft says Windows Insider program members shouldn't be upset that no more Windows 10 Preview builds are coming this year, because the build that's expected to arrive in late January will be awesome – literally. According to a blog post by Microsoft engineering manager Gabe Aul, Redmond devs are so excited about that …
Neil McAllister, 17 Dec 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)

Updated 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
Confused computer keyboard

Microsoft tells resellers to use Office 365 as loss leader

Thomas Hansen, worldwide veep of Microsoft's small and medium business organisation, has urged resellers to adopt a “flexible” attitude to profit when selling Office 365 at a conference in China - as those who sign up for the cloudy suite become easier to up-sell to other Microsoft offerings. Speaking at the Canalys Channels …
News team, 05 Nov 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

Opinion

Neil McAllister

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

Neil McAllister

How the cloud taught Redmond to play by a new set of rules

Features

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