AWS, Microsoft, Google, and IBM: 2 clouds won’t survive

Four firms control the cloud infrastructure market: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM, and Google, according to a survey by market researcher Synergy. AWS held a 31 percent share in the second quarter, followed by Microsoft with 11 percent, IBM with 8 percent, and Google with 5 percent.

The market could not have evolved in any other way — due to scale.

It takes many billions of dollars to build data centers and the technology infrastructure to support a public cloud. Only providers with deep pockets can play. In fact, dozens of smaller public cloud providers have hit the eject button because they didn’t have the cash flow needed to keep up.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

GE and Microsoft work together on IoT cloud services

GE and Microsoft have teamed up to bring the industrial giant’s Predix platform-as-a-service offering to the Azure cloud, the two companies announced Monday. 

It’s a move that helps add to the portfolio of Internet of Things services available through Microsoft’s cloud platform, at a time when the company is pushing its service for IoT applications. The announcement came during Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, where GE CEO Jeff Immelt talked with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on stage.

Predix is a platform-as-a-service offering that’s designed for building applications that have industrial uses. Predix services that developers can tap into include asset management and anomaly detection offerings, among others. 

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Microsoft expands cloud management licensing to include on-premises tools too

Microsoft Monday announced that customers can now purchase a joint licensing agreement for its cloud-based Operations Management Suite and its on-premises System Center infrastructure manager.

Packaging these separate but related management platforms will encourage customers to use public cloud resources and make it easier to manage hybrid clouds.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Why Brexit could be a data management headache for US companies | Microsoft appears to be building a business app marketplace +

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Network World Cloud Computing

Microsoft: Government’s data gag order practices worse than first thought

Microsoft has significantly upped the tally of U.S. government gag orders slapped on demands for customer information, according to court documents filed last week.

In a revised complaint submitted to a Seattle federal court last Friday, Microsoft said that more than half of all government data demands were bound by a secrecy order that prevented the company from telling customers of its cloud-based services that authorities had asked it to hand over their information.

The original complaint — the first round in a lawsuit Microsoft filed in April against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Attorney General Loretta Lynch — had pegged the number of data demands during the past 18 months at 5,624. Of those, 2,576, or 46%, were tagged with secrecy orders that prevented Microsoft from telling customers it had been compelled to give up their information.

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Network World Cloud Computing

Microsoft invokes Supreme Court opinion in Ireland email case

Microsoft believes its refusal to turn over email held in Ireland to the U.S. government got a boost from an opinion of the Supreme Court on Monday, which upheld that U.S. laws cannot apply extraterritorially unless Congress has explicitly provided for it.

In a decision Monday in a separate case on the extraterritorial application of a provision of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), the Supreme Court set out the ground rules for its analysis, pointing out that “absent clearly expressed congressional intent to the contrary, federal laws will be construed to have only domestic application.” The court was applying a canon of statutory construction known as the presumption against extraterritoriality.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Samsung’s Joyent buy is a swipe at AWS and Microsoft Azure

The Internet of Things is as much about computing as it is about the “things” themselves, and that’s why Samsung Electronics is buying Joyent.

At first glance, a maker of smartphones, home appliances and wearables doesn’t seem like it would need a cloud computing company. But so-called smart objects rely on a lot of number-crunching behind the scenes. A connected security camera can’t handle all its video storage and image analysis by itself, for example, and that’s where cloud services come in.

The real money in IoT will be in the services more than the devices themselves, research firm Gartner says. It’s not entirely up to Samsung to deliver services its devices, but the company sees an opportunity there.

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Network World Cloud Computing

Why Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion, in one word: Cortana

The image above says it all: Microsoft spent $ 26.1 billion to ensure that you’ll never walk into a meeting “cold” again.

Picture a typical business trip: meetings all day, drinks at night. A good salesperson knows his or her contacts before he or she steps foot in the door. But that goes for coworkers as well: How you you make them feel comfortable? How do you make them part of a team? How do you let them know who to approach, both inside and outside the company?

All of this usually takes some effort on your part, or at least a competent assistant. And that’s the role that Microsoft hopes to play, especially with its digital assistant, Cortana, and Office 365.

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Network World Cloud Computing

Microsoft and Amazon look to scoop up SAP workloads headed to the cloud

As SAP holds its annual Sapphire Now user conference in Orlando this week, two of the leading IaaS providers are making the case for running SAP apps on their public clouds.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined SAP CEO Bill McDermott during the Sapphire keynotes on Tuesday to announce a broad partnership between the two companies that will optimize the Azure public cloud to run SAP workloads.

Not to be outdone, early this morning before the keynote even kicked off Amazon Web Services issued a press release announcing a handful of customers – including General Electric, Brooks Brothers and Lionsgate are running SAP apps on its public cloud.

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Network World Cloud Computing

Microsoft sues US government over secret requests for user data

Microsoft has sued the U.S. government in an attempt to strike down a law allowing judges to gag tech companies when law enforcement agencies want access to their users’ data.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, argues that a section of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act is unconstitutional for requiring tech companies to keep requests for data under wraps. 

Microsoft argued the law is unconstitutional under the First Amendment, by limiting the company’s freedom of speech, as well as under the Fourth Amendment’s due process protections. 

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Network World Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Google and Microsoft clouds enter the ring

The public cloud is, frankly, a fascinating place. Sitting on the throne we have the undisputed leader of the public cloud Amazon Web Services, more commonly known by its three-letter acronym, AWS (well, to be fair, IBM disputes the contention that AWS is No. 1 but no one really agrees). We then have an interesting power struggle as two very different vendors battle it out to be next in line.

In one corner we have Google, the company with immense operational experience but some critical flaws. In the other corner stands Microsoft, a late starter in the public cloud and once something of a cloud denier but now reinvigorated and ready to do battle. Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of these two players.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Microsoft pitches developers on building apps for Office users

Microsoft Executive Vice President Qi Lu had an interesting pitch for developers Thursday: Build applications that use data from Microsoft Office.

Microsoft’s crown jewel for building apps that integrate with Office is its Graph set of APIs, which let developers build applications that know how users work with one another. Lu, speaking at the company’s Build developer conference, announced six new APIs to improve the Microsoft Graph, including one that allows developers to see when a group of users is available to meet.

That functionality will let developers build more intelligent applications that help people who use Office to work together, which can help Microsoft tie customers deeper into its productivity ecosystem. According to Lu, API calls to the Microsoft Graph have been growing 420 percent month over month since it was released last year.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Microsoft is not giving up on Universal Windows Platform

Developers this week will hear a lot about Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) for building Windows apps that run across all types of devices, according to a newly released session list for Microsoft’s annual Build conference.

First introduced with Windows 8 as Windows Runtime, UWP is a key feature in Windows 10, enabling development with one API set for PCs, tablets, phones, and other form factors. Presentations will cover aspects such as the UWP App Model and adaptive UI. In one session, Andrew Clinick, group program manager on the Windows Phone team, will introduce app model capabilities ranging from app deployment improvements to capabilities to drive app engagement on devices.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Microsoft reverses course, says ‘no thanks’ to Bitcoin payments

CIO Cloud Computing

Microsoft adds new security enhancements to its cloud offerings

Microsoft is adding a range of new security management and reporting features to its Office 365 and Azure cloud services as part of the company’s holistic approach to enterprise security announced last year.

In April, the company will release a new product called Microsoft Cloud App Security that will allow customers to gain better visibility, control and security for data hosted in cloud apps like Office 365, Box, SalesForce, ServiceNow and Ariba. The new product is based on technology from Adallom, a cloud access security broker Microsoft acquired in September.

Office 365 will also get some new security management capabilities that will be integrated with Microsoft Cloud App Security. These include security alerts that notify administrators of suspicious activity in the service; cloud app discovery that lets IT departments know the cloud services Office 365 users are connecting to; and app permissions, allowing administrators to revoke or approve third-party services that users can connect to Office 365.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Red Hat, Microsoft buddy up to run RHEL in Azure

InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Microsoft will cut some Azure compute prices

Good news for businesses using Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform: their infrastructure bills may be shrinking come February.

Microsoft announced that it will be permanently reducing the prices for its Dv2 compute instances by up to 17 percent next month, depending on the type of instance and what it’s being used for. Users will see the greatest savings if they’re running higher performance Linux instances — up to 17 percent lower prices than they’ve been paying previously. Windows instance discounts top out at a 13 percent reduction compared to current prices.

160115 microsoft Microsoft

Right now, the exact details of the discount are a little bit vague, but Microsoft says that it will publish full pricing details in February when they go into effect. Dv2 instances are designed for applications that require more compute power and temporary disk performance than Microsoft’s A series instances.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Microsoft will cut some Azure compute prices

Good news for businesses using Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform: their infrastructure bills may be shrinking come February.

Microsoft announced that it will be permanently reducing the prices for its Dv2 compute instances by up to 17 percent next month, depending on the type of instance and what it’s being used for. Users will see the greatest savings if they’re running higher performance Linux instances — up to 17 percent lower prices than they’ve been paying previously. Windows instance discounts top out at a 13 percent reduction compared to current prices.

160115 microsoft Microsoft

Right now, the exact details of the discount are a little bit vague, but Microsoft says that it will publish full pricing details in February when they go into effect. Dv2 instances are designed for applications that require more compute power and temporary disk performance than Microsoft’s A series instances.

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CIO Cloud Computing

Apple Acquires Feelings, Microsoft R Update, 2016 Predictions: Big Data Roundup

Apple is getting emotional. The company has acquired a startup that claims its facial recognition software can read your feelings. Meanwhile, Microsoft gets ready to update its R strategy, vendors offer their 2016 big data predictions, and more. Here’s our big data roundup for the week ending January 10, 2016.
InformationWeek: Cloud

Microsoft is the company to watch in 2016

InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Microsoft pursues analytics ambitions with acquisition of Metanautix

Microsoft has furthered its pursuit of enterprise analytics with the acquisition of Metanautix, a company that makes it possible for businesses to pull together all their data and gain insights into it. 

Metanautix’s product can pull information in from a variety of private and public cloud data sources including traditional data warehouses, NoSQL databases like Cassandra and business systems like Salesforce. Once it’s aggregated, businesses can use SQL to query the resulting data pipeline in order to glean insights from the information.

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Network World Cloud Computing

Amazon brings Microsoft users into AWS with Active Directory service

Amazon has launched an AWS Directory Service for Active Directory, a fully managed implementation of Microsoft’s authentication and user management service.

Using Active Directory in Amazon’s cloud will enable companies to bring applications including SQL Server, SharePoint and custom applications built with .NET onto AWS. That’s useful for businesses trying to move into the cloud from an on-premises deployment of Microsoft’s software. 

When companies start using the service, it creates a pair of domain controllers connected to a user’s virtual private cloud running Windows Server 2012 R2. Each domain controller runs in a different availability zone of a user’s choosing inside a single region, and Amazon will handle the nuts-and-bolts of managing things like host monitoring, data replication and snapshots.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Amazon brings Microsoft users into AWS with Active Directory service

Amazon has launched an AWS Directory Service for Active Directory, a fully-managed implementation of Microsoft’s authentication and user management service.

Using Active Directory in Amazon’s cloud will enable companies to bring applications including SQL Server, SharePoint, and custom applications built with .Net onto AWS. That’s useful for businesses trying to move into the cloud from an on-premises deployment of Microsoft’s software. 

When companies start using the service, it creates a pair of domain controllers connected to a user’s virtual private cloud running Windows Server 2012 R2. Each domain controller runs in a different availability zone of a user’s choosing inside a single region, and Amazon will handle the nuts-and-bolts of managing things like host monitoring, data replication and snapshots.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Amazon brings Microsoft users into AWS with Active Directory service

Amazon has launched an AWS Directory Service for Active Directory, a fully-managed implementation of Microsoft’s authentication and user management service.

Using Active Directory in Amazon’s cloud will enable companies to bring applications including SQL Server, SharePoint and custom applications built with .NET onto AWS. That’s useful for businesses trying to move into the cloud from an on-premises deployment of Microsoft’s software. 

When companies start using the service, it creates a pair of domain controllers connected to a user’s virtual private cloud running Windows Server 2012 R2. Each domain controller runs in a different availability zone of a user’s choosing inside a single region, and Amazon will handle the nuts-and-bolts of managing things like host monitoring, data replication and snapshots.

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CIO Cloud Computing