Microsoft and HP reveal more details about cloud partnership

Hewlett Packard Enterprise outlined new details about its hybrid cloud partnership with Microsoft in an announcement Tuesday, saying it will provide a new hardware product that integrates with the Azure cloud platform and build its software to take advantage of Microsoft’s offerings.

Companies interested in integrating Microsoft’s Azure cloud with HPE’s on-premises systems can now purchase the new Hyper-Converged 250 for Microsoft Cloud Platform System Standard, an appliance that brings together HPE ProLiant technology and Microsoft’s Azure services. 

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CIO Cloud Computing

Its public cloud soon gone, HP aligns with Microsoft Azure

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has partnered with Microsoft to offer its Azure cloud services to customers, filling a gap when HPE closes its own public cloud early next year.

Microsoft will be a “preferred” public cloud partner to HPE, and HPE will become a “preferred provider” of Microsoft Azure services, CEO Meg Whitman said on HP’s quarterly earnings call Tuesday. She didn’t provide details but said they’ll be forthcoming at HPE’s Discover conference in London next month.

It’s no surprise to see HPE cut its first cloud deal with Microsoft rather than Amazon or Google. The companies work closely in servers and PCs, and they’re both trying to sell customers a mix of on-premises and cloud products.

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Network World Cloud Computing

Its cloud soon gone, HP aligns with Microsoft Azure

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has partnered with Microsoft to offer its Azure cloud services to customers, filling a gap when HPE closes its own public cloud early next year.

Microsoft will be a “preferred” public cloud partner to HPE, and HPE will become a “preferred provider” of Microsoft Azure services, CEO Meg Whitman said on HP’s quarterly earnings call Tuesday. She didn’t provide details but said they’ll be forthcoming at HPE’s Discover conference in London next month.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: How Microsoft is changing its strategy with Dynamics

Go back a handful of years and Microsoft was seen as a big, bad, monolithic vendor that was very much resting on its laurels. The change of CEO marked a turning point for Microsoft, however, and under Satya Nadella the company has shown itself to be innovative, nimble, and a pragmatic operator. This is perhaps best seen in Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, which most commentators see as the most credible public cloud after Amazon Web Services (although, it has to be said, Azure is a distant second to the AWS powerhouse). The company has also done great work with its office productivity applications – Office 365 is now seen as a truly credible cloud office productivity and collaboration offering.

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Network World Cloud Computing

Microsoft turns off the lights on Zune services

As of today, Microsoft never has to mention Zune again. 

On November 15, the company shut down all Zune-related services. That includes the Zune Music Pass subscription program, and the Zune marketplace for buying MP3s. Microsoft announced the termination date a couple months ago

Anyone still subscribing to Zune Music Pass should be automatically switched to Microsoft’s new Groove Music service by now. Annual and three-month subscribers also had the option to cancel the service and get pro-rated refunds. 

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Network World Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Microsoft moves to answer those pesky Safe Harbor concerns

A few weeks ago when the news came out that Safe harbor provisions would no longer be a safe haven for U.S. vendors doing business in Europe, there was plenty of concern about what it would mean for the largest U.S. cloud vendors — Salesforce, Microsoft, Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS) all have massive business in Europe and relied on the Safe Harbor provisions to keep customers feeling secure.

It didn’t take long to see some reactions from the vendor side and just this week Microsoft announced a plan to offer many of its cloud services, including Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online, served directly from data centers in Germany. But that in itself isn’t particularly innovative, and may not actually resolve the issues around jurisdiction. So Microsoft is moving beyond simply having in-country data centers and are delivering services in Germany via a third party. 

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Ex VMware, Microsoft, and Citrix workers set up application container company

In 2006 VMware released a breakthrough technology named dynamic resource scheduling (DRS), which allowed its virtual machine management software to automatically reallocate virtual machines among different applications based on their load.

A startup founded by some of the VMware team members who helped create that feature, which is backed by the former CTO of VMware who oversaw the project, is attempting to bring that same technology natively to application containers.

ContainerX is launching today and hopes to make a splash at the DockerCon EU conference next week in Spain — the semi-annual gathering of all things containers. ContainerX is a year old and has raised $ 2.7 million, including from backers Steve Herrod of General Catalyst, who is the former VMware CTO, and Jerry Chen of Greylock Partners, also a former VMware exec.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Microsoft bolsters artificial intelligence with additions to Project Oxford

Microsoft’s Project Oxford, a suite of developer tools based on the company’s machine learning and artificial intelligence research, is getting a new quintet of services, the company announced at its Future Decoded conference in London. 

Developers can now take advantage of an emotion detection service that looks at a photo and lists an array of emotions that it detects on the subjects’ faces. For each person in an image (up to a certain number), the service will pass back the probabilities that someone is expressing anger, happiness, fear, surprise, disgust, sadness, contempt or nothing at all.

According to Ryan Galgon, a senior program manager at Microsoft, the company built the service after it saw developers using Project Oxford’s existing face detection technology in applications that run sentiment analysis on photographs. The new service makes different applications possible, like editing photos based on the feelings of the people in them.  

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Network World Cloud Computing

Microsoft to acquire data protection firm Secure Islands

Microsoft announced Monday that it has made a deal to acquire Secure Islands, an Israeli company that focuses on protecting companies’ data. Neither company disclosed the terms of the deal.

The acquisition will help Microsoft level up its Azure Rights Management Service, which lets companies protect files individually and in bulk with tools that ensure they aren’t opened or modified by people who are unauthorized to do so. Secure Islands’s services include data classification technology that automatically detects the creation of new files from a variety of sources and then applies a protection policy to it.  

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Microsoft to acquire data protection firm Secure Islands

Microsoft announced Monday that it has made a deal to acquire Secure Islands, an Israeli company that focuses on protecting companies’ data. Neither company disclosed the terms of the deal.

The acquisition will help Microsoft level up its Azure Rights Management Service, which lets companies protect files individually and in bulk with tools that ensure they aren’t opened or modified by people who are unauthorized to do so. Secure Islands’s services include data classification technology that automatically detects the creation of new files from a variety of sources and then applies a protection policy to it.  

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CIO Cloud Computing

Does Oracle have a shot in the IaaS cloud market versus Amazon and Microsoft?

Less than a week after Hewlett-Packard unceremoniously withdrew from the IaaS public cloud market, another legacy IT stalwart has jumped in.

In a grandiose display at the company’s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, Oracle executives, led by czar/Chairman Larry Ellison made an ambitious, weeklong pitch for the company’s cloud. It stretches across all types of cloud options – from private on-premises IaaS systems, to an elastically scalable public cloud, plus a suite of SaaS and application development PaaS components.

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Network World Cloud Computing

Microsoft, losing the mobile race, see its future in the cloud

If mobile and cloud are the two key technology markets of the future, it’s good that Microsoft seems to have a handle on at least one of them.

When the company reported its quarterly financial results Thursday, something stuck out of its statistics: phone hardware revenue had dropped 58 percent year over year, something the company blamed on an “updated strategy.” 

It’s a nice little turn of phrase that belies Microsoft’s shift in focus away from operating Nokia’s devices business like the Finnish handset maker used to, with a wide range of phones. Instead, the company is building a leaner division that will only turn out a few different handsets. That leanness is meant literally: earlier this year, Microsoft cut the employment of 7,800 people, primarily in the phone hardware division. 

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CIO Cloud Computing

Dell and Microsoft announce ‘Azure in a box’ for $9,000 a month

Dell and Microsoft have teamed up to sell a converged system that combines servers, storage and software in an integrated box which they say can connect easily to Microsoft’s Azure cloud services.

Called the Cloud Platform System Standard, it’s aimed at customers building out a hybrid cloud environment, one in which on-premises equipment is linked to the public cloud for services like backup and recovery, or to provide more compute and storage capacity when it’s needed.

It’s a model most of the big IT vendors are pushing, including Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and Oracle. Dell and Microsoft claim their system is different because it runs basically the same software stack that Microsoft uses in its public cloud, making it easy for the on-premises and cloud components to work together, although that’s a claim Oracle is making too.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Apple drops iCloud prices, matches rival storage services from Google and Microsoft

For the second year in a row, Apple reduced prices for its expanded iCloud storage plans, putting costs in line with rivals like Google, Microsoft and Dropbox.

Apple announced changes to iCloud extra storage pricing earlier this month at the event where it unveiled new iPhones, the larger iPad Pro and a revamped Apple TV.

Although the Cupertino, Calif., company did not boost the amount of free storage space — as Computerworld speculated it might — and instead continued to provide just 5GB of iCloud space gratis, it bumped up the $ 0.99 per month plan from 20GB to 50GB, lowered the price of the 200GB plan by 25 percent to $ 2.99 monthly, and halved the 1TB plan’s price to $ 9.99.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Is it opposite day? Microsoft has a new Linux distro

It’s happened at last: Microsoft has its own version of Linux. But don’t expect to download an .ISO just yet. It isn’t publicly available — it’s an internal project developed to help run Microsoft networks such as Azure.

Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Switch (ACS) is not a Linux distribution on the order of Red Hat’s or Ubuntu’s; rather it’s closer to Cumulus Linux. ACS was built specifically for Microsoft’s own needs, and therefore is not a definitive sign that Microsoft is becoming a Linux player.

All in the Microsoft family

As described in a blog post yesterday, ACS is “a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on Linux.” It is intended to run on commodity ASIC hardware from multiple switch vendors and to run Microsoft’s own software for managing network devices.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Microsoft researcher: Why Micro Datacenters really matter to mobile’s future

Microsoft Research distinguished scientist Victor Bahl has been spreading the word about Micro Datacenters, also known by the adorable name “cloudlets,” as a key concept for optimizing the performance and usefulness of mobile and other networked devices via the cloud. Service providers have embraced this vision most strongly from the start, but it won’t be long before enterprise IT pros will likely do the same, Bahl says.

Here’s a more in-depth look at the What, Why and When of mDCs:

victor bahl bio Microsoft

I notice that a lot of the research you’re involved in includes not just mobility, but the cloud. Are the two inextricably linked going forward?

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Network World Cloud Computing

Microsoft levels up web version of Outlook for business customers

Enterprise users who rely on the web interface for Microsoft Outlook email will be getting an upgrade thanks to new features Microsoft announced Tuesday.

The user interface for Outlook on the web (previously known as the Outlook Web App) has been redesigned with a cleaner look and easier access to key features like archiving and moving messages through a new action toolbar. In addition, Microsoft improved the single line view, so users who prefer browsing a condensed version of their inbox will get a streamlined preview of incoming messages. When they click on a message in single line view, it will be displayed in the same window, without spawning a pop-up.

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CIO Cloud Computing