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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Sad cloud

Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals

Apple, Microsoft, HP and other cloud giants are begging Europe for help to stop US feds seizing customers’ data from servers on the Continent. A policy paper [PDF] published on Friday by DigitalEurope – which represents the above goliaths – urged the European Commission to wade into an ongoing legal fight between Uncle Sam and …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Nov 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
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

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 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

Opinion

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Chris Mellor

Tandberg and Sphere3D deals offer hope after 18 bad ones
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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