Windows 8.1 will advance the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of PCs, tablets, and a range of industry devices, and the experiences customers — both consumers and businesses alike — need and will just expect moving forward. It’s Windows 8 even better. Not only will Windows 8.1 respond to customer feedback, but it will add new features and functionality that advance the touch experience and mobile computing’s potential. Windows 8.1 will deliver improvements and enhancements in key areas like personalization, search, the built-in apps, Windows Store experience, and cloud connectivity. Windows 8.1 will also include big bets for business in areas such as management and security – we’ll have more to say on these next week at TechEd North America. MORE
"Tuning in" to the State of the Union means more than just sitting down in front of the television. The way we consume and interact with the news is undergoing an unprecedented transformation and Search can do even more at pivotal moments where customers need a deeper level of information. So Bing is embarking on one of its most ambitious projects yet: hosting what we expect to be the largest interactive State of the Union experience in history at Bing.com/Politics. Bing Pulse will allow Americans to give real-time feedback on the President’s speech, Bing Beat will provide social sentiment tracking, and more. Scheduled to go live at 12 p.m. Pacific on February 9th, the site will be a non-partisan online destination for up-to-the-minute political information and second-screen experiences. MORE...
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. and other affiliates in North America began deploying Microsoft Office 365-dedicated cloud services as their exclusive environment less than a year ago. (In other regions, such as Japan, Toyota will leverage a hybrid model, with on-premise editions of Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Lync, and Windows Server.) Jeff Meisner, editor of the official Microsoft blog, recently discussed the deployment with Zack Hicks, Chief Information Officer at Toyota North America. MORE...
Identity management used to be a much simpler matter. But today's architectures have made it a far more complex game. You've got systems tied together using separate identity providers, identities managed both internally and by public identity providers, external partners who need access to data, and customers who also need varying levels of access. Before diving into this brave new world of identity management, you should get a good grounding in the basic principles that drive a coherent identity infrastructure. Fortunately, there is a new whitepaper that covers the Four Pillars of Identity Management in the Age of Hybrid IT. MORE
Microsoft has launched a new online tool—called Microsoft BI Solution Builder—that can help you build a better platform and strategy for Business Intelligence. It helps you uncover the BI capabilities available in the products you already own as well as indicates what additional products you would need to get the BI capabilities you desire. Microsoft BI Solution Builder even offers potential upgrade paths and additional resources, such as case studies and white papers. MORE...
A few years ago when we started building Windows Azure SQL Database, our Cloud RDBMS service, we assumed that fault-tolerance was a basic requirement of any cloud database offering. Our cloud customers have a diverse set of needs for storage solutions but our focus was to address the needs of the customers who needed an RDBMS for their application. For example, one of our early adopters was building a massive ticket reservation system in Windows Azure. MORE
In Windows 8, we reimagined the browser with IE10. We designed and built IE10 to be the best way to experience the Web on Windows. With the IE10 Release Preview for Windows 7 consumers can now enjoy a fast and fluid Web with the updated IE10 engine on their Windows 7 devices. The release preview of IE10 on Windows 7 is available for download today.
IE10 on Windows 8 brings an entirely new browsing experience and set of capabilities to the Web, such as a new touch first browsing experience and full screen UI for your sites, security improvements that offer the best protection against the most common threats on the Web, improved performance, and support for the HTML5 and CSS3 standards developers need. MORE
Nigel Cain and Damian Flynn recently discussed Virtual Networking in VMM 2012 SP1 on the Virtual Machine Manager Engineering Blog. They continue on this topic with their latest post Networking in VMM 2012 SP1 – Logical Networks. Here they take a closer look at Logical Networks and review some of the key considerations, best practices, and guidance for designing, implementing, and managing this component of your virtualized network solution. MORE...
There are also two fantastic tutorials available in the mobile dev center. The first provides a walkthrough of the basics of configuring your iOS app for push and sending push notifications. The second details how to use a table to store APNS tokens that can then be used to send push notifications to an app’s users.
Just as important as understanding how to use these push notifications, is understanding when to use a push notification versus an SMS versus an email. The easy answer is that it depends on the app. MORE
The Visual Studio F# Team has released a new tutorial that demonstrates how to use F# and C# in a Windows Azure cloud service to create an Internet game. The sample is a crossword game— called WordGrid, which is reminiscent of Scrabble or Words with Friends. This is an excellent primer if you are interested in cloud programming with F# or any other language. MORE...
Do you manage, monitor, and automate VMware in your datacenter using System Center 2012 SP1? If so, you might want to check out this half-day Jump Start course being presented by the IT Pro Evangelism team, Microsoft Learning, and Microsoft Virtual Academy. The event, which takes place on March 14th, will cover: · Managing VMware with Virtual Machine Manager · Monitoring VMware with Operations Manager and Veeam · Automating VMware with Orchestrator · Migrating VMware VMs using Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC). MORE
Today we kicked off the //build/ Conference in Seattle on the Microsoft campus. If you weren’t aware, you can watch a lot of the action live at Channel9.MSDN.com. Head on over and check out the Keynote sessions from Monday or tune into the Tuesday morning Keynote from Microsoft Server and Tools President, Satya Nadella. Satya will be live at 9am PST. Join us! ! MORE
In previous posts, I’ve alluded to one of our key focus areas for Visual Studio 2012 being the theme of connected devices and continuous services. This includes creating a top-notch set of tools in Visual Studio 2012 to both design and build amazing Windows apps and the services that back them.
With Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012 released, I’ve decided to explore and document the end-to-end development of a basic Windows Store app that uses services on the backend. For this task I’ve chosen to use Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8. MORE
Today at the Social Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley, Microsoft announced the five winners of the second annual Imagine Cup Grant. We’re particularly excited as four of the winners developed their apps on Windows Azure.
Grant winners all participated in the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals, a global competition that invites students to develop a technology and create a business plan while gaining a keen understanding of what they need to do to bring their concept to market. Winners will receive funding to jumpstart their projects into mainstream nonprofit and social enterprise opportunities. MORE
The Texas Department of Information Resources is adopting Office 365 for more than 100,000 employees in the largest state-wide deployment of e-mail and collaboration services in the U.S. The state will consolidate systems in an effort to improve its communication and collaboration capabilities across agencies. The move to the cloud offers significant savings in IT spending due to greater efficiencies and increased capacity, while providing employees with Web conferencing, real-time collaboration, and document and calendar sharing. MORE...
To help insurance companies manage their high-performance computing needs, Milliman, a global provider of actuarial software and consulting services, launched a client project that uses Windows Azure to distribute highly complex, mission-critical computing tasks across cloud-based resources. The result is supercomputer-level processing capability that is enormously scalable and powerful, yet can be delivered at a lower cost and with fewer IT resources than through traditional on-premises IT deployments.
The firm’s flagship software solution for the life and financial services industry is MG-ALFA, a sophisticated financial modeling tool used around the world. MG-ALFA, which was first released in the mid-1990s, helps insurance firms with tasks such as product pricing, risk management analysis, and responding to regulatory reporting requirements. MORE
Windows Azure allows you to deploy and host up to 10 web-sites in a free, shared/multi-tenant hosting environment. You can start out developing and testing web sites at no cost using this free shared mode, and it supports the ability to run web sites that serve up to 165MB/day of content (5GB/month). All of the capabilities we introduced in June with this free tier remain the same with today’s update.
Starting with today’s release, you can now elastically scale up your web-site beyond this capability using a new low-cost “shared” option (which we are introducing today) as well as using a “reserved instance” option (which we’ve supported since June). MORE
Making things easier and more efficient while helping you improve productivity, is the name of the game at the Windows Azure Marketplace. In this month’s release, the addition of Windows Azure Active Directory simplifies the user experience, while access to new content expands your capabilities.
Now you can use your Windows Azure Active Directory ID (your Office 365 login) to access the Windows Azure Marketplace. We heard your feedback about improving efficiency. With just a single identity to manage, publishing and promoting—even purchasing--offerings becomes easier. And the process of updating, organizing and managing contact and ecommerce details becomes more secure and streamlined too. MORE
We will be streaming LIVE from TechEd Europe starting with the keynote on Tuesday 26 June at 8:30 AM UTC +1 from Amsterdam (conversion: Monday, June 25, 2012 at 11:30:00 PM Pacific Time). Join us online as we feature Brad Anderson and Jason Zander’s opening keynote. Learn how to manage the new Windows Azure features and services with sessions delivered by Microsoft technical leaders Scott Guthrie and Mark Russinovich. Read more
In our most aggressive botnet operation to date, the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit worked with leaders of the financial services industry, other technology industry partners and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to disrupt a massive cyber threat responsible for stealing people’s online banking information and personal identities. With a court ordered civil seizure warrant from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Microsoft executed a simultaneous operation to disrupt more than 1,400 Citadel botnets which are responsible for over half a billion dollars in losses to people and businesses worldwide. MORE
With the availability of SQL Server 2008 R2 enterprise edition and SQL Server 2012 enterprise edition in Windows Azure Virtual Machines, you now have the option to take advantage of our Enterprise level features such as SQL Server Audit and Transparent Data Encryption in pre-configured, ready-to-deploy, per-minute-billed Windows Azure Virtual Machines! MORE
You may have noticed a steady stream of technical blog posts from the our Premier Field Engineering team covering a variety of Windows Server roles, features and functions. One of the members of that team, Adrian Corona, did an excellent blog post on Active Directory (AD) indexing. The information pertains to Windows Server 2003 and higher. MORE
Many of you are faced with an explosion in data and the resulting cost to store, manage and archive this data is ballooning. This is why cloud storage solutions are so compelling - they provide increased flexibility, almost unlimited scalability, and the improved economics you need. But to realize those benefits, cloud storage needs to be integrated into the enterprise IT infrastructure and application environment. This is where Cloud-integrated Storage (CiS) and StorSimple come in.
Today we have reached a definitive agreement to acquire StorSimple, a leader in an emerging category known as Cloud-integrated Storage (CiS). MORE
In October 2012, I wrote a letter to shareholders outlining how the full value of our software will be seen and felt in how people use devices and services at work and in their personal lives. This is a fundamental shift in our business that began several years ago and continues today with the release of Office 365 Home Premium. This is a brand new Office never experienced before. MORE...
Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview is now available for download so customers can start testing the operating system in their environments. Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview builds on the Window 8.1 Preview, adding premium features designed to address the mobility, security, management and virtualization needs of today’s companies. MORE