Tag: microsoft

Microsoft buys a new Cycle

7e319356549d95d0190f09ecdfee237eMicrosoft has written a cheque for the cloud firm Cycle Computing in the hope that it will make it easier for its customers to use high-performance computing in the cloud.

Formed in 2012, Cycle Computing uses cloud resources to make big computing possible in the cloud on a large scale.

Its software works with Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform.

Writing in his bog, Azure corporate vice president Jason Zander said: “Combining the most specialised big compute infrastructure available in the public cloud with Cycle Computing’s technology and years of experience with the world’s largest supercomputers, we open up many new possibilities.

As customers continue to look for faster, more efficient ways to run their workloads, Cycle Computing’s depth and expertise is centred on massively scalable applications make them a great fit to join Vole, he said.

Cycle Computing known to be an influential AWS partner so nicking them is a bit of coup in Vole’s greater war with the other providers.

Microsoft strikes back on Surface claims

fightSoftware King of the World, Microsoft, has hit back at Consumer Report claims that its Surface tablets are so badly made that they cannot last longer than a couple of years.

Consumer report said that it refuses to endorse any of Microsoft’s laptops due to ‘two-year breakage rates of 25 percent’.

Consumer Reports said in an article that it was removing its ‘recommended’ status from four of Microsoft’s Surface devices – Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB) and Surface Book (128GB and 256GB) – after its research found that 25 percent of owners will experience problems in the first two years.

It said it would not be recommending any of Microsoft’s Surface devices because the estimated breakage rate for its laptops and tablets was higher than most other brands.

“The differences were statistically significant, which is why Microsoft doesn’t meet CR’s standards for recommended products.”

Consumer Reports tested and scored the devices on a range of factors including display quality, battery life, speed and ergonomics. The data came from the assessment of over 90,000 devices purchased between 2014 and the beginning of 2017.

It also applies to the Surface Pro, although Consumer Reports did praise the gear for its performance.

Microsoft was cross and claimed that the products’ fail rates are far lower than CR’s estimates.

Writing in his bog, the Volish corporate vice president of devices Panos Panay said: “While we respect Consumer Reports, we disagree with their findings. Surface has had quite a journey over the last few years, and we have learned a lot.

“In the Surface team we track quality constantly, using metrics that include failure and return rates. Both our predicted one-to-two-year failure and actual return rates for Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are significantly lower than 25 percent.

“Additionally, we track other indicators of quality such as incidents per unit, which have improved from generation to generation and are now at record lows of well below one percent.”

The Surface family hit the headlines in June when Greenpeace and iFixit scored both Microsoft’s Surface Book and Surface Pro 5 one out of 10 for reparability mostly because it was glued together and impossible to fix without destroying.

Death spiral of the tablet continues

iTomb-design-offers-mourners-touchscreen-tributes-from-the-grave-Macworld-AustraliaThe death spiral of the “game changing” tablet is continuing and soon there will be very few people wanting to buy one anywhere and resellers would be more likely to successfully flog used bog-roll tubes.

According to IDC, the tablet market continued its “downward spiral” in Q2 this year with worldwide shipments falling 3.4 percent.

The year-on-year decline was caused by tight consumer spending, IDC said. There was even a decline in shipments of detachables in Q2, as consumers wait for flagship launches from Apple and Microsoft.

Detachables had previously been a shining light for the tablet market, which has now been in a state of decline for 11 consecutive quarters.

IDC research director Linn Huang said that the tablet market has essentially become a race to see if the burgeoning detachables category can grow fast enough to offset the long-term erosion of the slate market.

However he has not given up hope yet as new product launches from Microsoft and Apple are generally accompanied by subsequent quarters of inflated shipments.

“The reintroduction of Windows to the ARM platform could help remedy the aforementioned hollowing of the middle of the market, and we expect a proliferation of Chrome OS-based detachables in time for the holidays.”

Despite the market decline, three of the top five tablet vendors saw their quarterly shipments increase year on year.

First-placed Apple, third-placed Huawei and fourth-placed Amazon all saw growth, while second-placed Samsung saw flat growth and Lenovo saw a decline.

Office 365 beats traditional software licence

Microsoft campusSoftware king of the earth and the rings of Uranus, Microsoft, has seen commercial revenue from Office 365 beating the revenue generated by its traditional licensing software for the first time.

Releasing its figure for the three months ending 30 June, Vole said overall revenue was up 13 percent year on year to $23.3 billion.

Microsoft revealed that revenue from Office 365 had overtaken revenue from its traditional licensing business.

Microsoft does not release exact revenue figures for Azure, instead grouping it with Dynamics 365 and Office 365, but said Azure revenue for the quarter was up 97 percent year on year.

CEO Satya Nadella said that Microsoft’s world-view of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge was resonating with businesses everywhere.

“Every customer I talk to is looking for innovative technology to drive new growth, as well as a strategic partner who can help build their own digital capability. Microsoft is that trusted partner.”

The importance of Microsoft’s cloud business was highlighted further by a decline in product sales, down 1.5 percent to $13.8 billion. Surface revenue fell two percent, after falling 26 percent in the previous quarter.

Nick McQuire, vice president of enterprise research at CCS Insight, said that Azure will become the market-leading enterprise cloud platform.

“Azure is on track to become the dominant enterprise cloud platform in the industry over the next several years,” he said.

“Few have the reinforcing breadth of a portfolio as vast as Microsoft’s which has been combining over the past few quarters to improve its gross margins. This bodes ominously for rivals such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and IBM which are desperately trying to buck the trend towards commoditisation and falling prices in cloud services.

“While successes in Azure, Office and Dynamics 365, LinkedIn as well as improvements to Surface are positive signs for 2017, the firm is not losing sight of future breakthrough technologies such as artificial intelligence and edge computing. Both are beginning to play an increasingly central role in its positioning for the future.”

 

Nadella joins the chorus singing the Channel’s praises

satya-nadella_650x400_81496331285Software King of the Solar System with exclusivity on the rings of Uranus, Satya Nadella, has been praising Microsoft’s channel to the skies.

Talking to the assembled throngs at the Inspire conference, Nadella thanked Microsoft partners for their commitment and underlined a world of opportunities that they can exploit thanks to digital transformation

Nadella talked about a ‘paradigm shift’ that is being driven by digital transformation. Apparently these rogue paradigms are not the enemy of humanity which need to be defeated by a new female Dr Who but are opportunities for the channel.

The Microsoft CEO told 17,000 partners that Microsoft had an ethos of being partner-led and it will be there in everything it did.

“We see a real rapid shift to a new paradigm that we describe as the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge,” which he said would be defined by three characteristics: everything will be multi-device and multi-sense, be infused with AI and the need for more application development and management.

“With increasing digitisation where every part of our economy is being transformed by digitisation the opportunity is greater than it ever was before,” he said.

He added that Microsoft had always been at the forefront of industry developments being there to democratise the PC, then mobile, the cloud and now the intelligent cloud era. “Being in this industry and being in this ecosystem the opportunity is tremendous.”

He said that it had taken the lessons of the last couple of years and had used that to change how it built its products and developed its go-to-market and partner experiences.

Microsoft admits partners are more cloud savvy

Ominous Clouds over Dublin CityMicrosoft has admitted that it has not kept pace with the speed that its partners have moved to the cloud.

The software king of the world has revealed more details of its newly formed One Commercial Partner business, which brings together all partner-facing teams across the organisation.

One Commercial Partner was first announced in January, as Microsoft revealed plans to bring together its enterprise and SMB teams, and more details have now been announced.

Ron Huddleston commercial vice president of One Commercial Partner, said the new business will incorporate Microsoft’s offerings in technical, marketing, business development and programmes. He declared that the new team is “not just partner led, it’s partner first”.

Microsoft is appointing dedicated channel managers for the first time, which Huddleston claimed will help to fit the right customer with the right partner.

“We’re investing $250 million in connecting partners to customers,” he said. “We’re starting with one new role, globally – the channel manager who specialises in connecting partners to customers. This will feel very different. This is not a partner account manager, they’re focused on customer success.”

Gavriella Schuster, Volish corporate vice president, said that Microsoft has in the past been guilty of asking its partners to ready themselves for digital transformation but, from a sales point of view, had not done so itself.

Schuster realised Microsoft was falling behind its partners and had innovated its engineering, services and business models, but had lagged in the innovation in our sales model and it shows.

She realised that partners had changed and Microsoft had not kept up, and now we were getting in their way.

Microsoft has committed to giving its internal sales teams 10 per cent commission on an Azure solutions that are co-sold with partners. Microsoft account teams will also, for the first time, be aligned by industry – to develop specialisations in specific fields.

Microsoft claims hybrid cloud infrastructure is the winner

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudSoftware King of the World, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella has been insisting that the private versus public cloud debate is over and hybrid infrastructure is the ultimate winner.

Nadella said that the battle between private cloud and public cloud has ended with neither emerging victorious.

Talking to the assembled throngs at the Microsoft Inspire partner conference in Washington, Nadella said that the hybrid infrastructure was the only winner in the private versus public cloud duel.

Vole announced more details of its Azure stack – with integrated systems on hardware from Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo set to start shipping from September.

Nadella said: “It’s clear as day that what is needed is more distributed computing infrastructure – that true hybrid computing fabric – so that you can manage your smart city, smart factory, smart car as well as take advantage of the public cloud.”

Nadella said that Microsoft will reshape everything it does into four solution areas: modern workplace, business applications, applications and infrastructure, and data and artificial intelligence.

He also opened up on the partner benefits of Microsoft 365, which rolls up Office 365 with Windows 10 and other enterprise products.

“When it comes to partner opportunity, it’s tremendous for you to be able to really serve the needs of these customers across the entire depth and breadth of the employee base, and hopefully you even caught that it’s not just about the knowledge worker, it’s even about these first-line workers in retail and other industries,” he said.

Ensono expands Azure with Inframon buy-out

shark_attack_painting-t2 (1)Ensono has written a cheque for cloud management outfit Inframon as part of its cunning plan to expand its Microsoft Azure services in the US and Europe.

Inframon has been expanding in the managed cloud space over the last decade and now offers a converged managed cloud and devices service for the education, healthcare, finance and business services industries. This end-to-end service has made it a suitable target for Ensono.

Jeff VonDeylen, CEO of Ensono said that the organisational and leadership structure would remain the same and Inframon will continue to exist, although it will become known as Inframon, an Ensono company.

Sean Roberts will become general manager, Microsoft Cloud Services and Gordon McKenna will become CTO of Microsoft Cloud Services. Both will report to Ensono’s Brian Klingbeil, the company’s COO.

Microsoft confirms sales re-organisation

downloadSoftware King of the World and parts of Mars, the Moon and the rings of Uranus, has confirmed it is shaking up its global sales department.

While Vole has stopped short of mentioning how many salesVoles will be collecting their P45s, it has claimed that the move will give it a greater ability to deliver cloud services away from the traditional software subscription models.

The global sales team will be streamlined into enterprise and SME. Staff will then be allocated to six industries – manufacturing, financial services, retail, health, education and government.

The categories for software will be modern workplace, business applications, apps and infrastructure and data and AI, with staff being given support to get a greater technical understanding of the technology and services required in those areas.

A company email from worldwide commercial business chief Judson Althoff, global sales and marketing group leader Jean-Philippe Courtois and Chris Capossela, the company’s chief marketing officer said that there was a $4.5 trillion opportunity across the commercial and consumer business.

“We are uniquely positioned to drive our customers’ and partners’ success by leading them through their digital transformations, and becoming their partner of choice. Some of the steps it intends to take include increasing the focus on customer success with partners, “align our selling and partnering efforts by industry for greater digital impact,” it said.

Mobile office goes all wobbly

old_officeMicrosoft’s Office 365 portal encountered problems for a second consecutive working day.

The admin portal for Microsoft’s cloud productivity suite experienced a wobble on Friday, but later in the day Microsoft said it had fixed the bug.  But it turned out that it had not and yesterday it admitted that it was looking into reports of further problems. The problem affects user and admin accounts and is centred around admin portal availability.

Network admins took to Twitter to moan. Users in multiple European countries, including the UK, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Sweden and Lithuania, confirmed that they had experienced difficulties logging in this morning. Others complained that it was working, but was very slow.

Some users have been even daring to say that Microsoft’s O365 is not enterprise ready and that Vole should never had said it was all fixed on Friday.

The danger is that with each outage or service issue, more and more organisations are understanding the risks of entrusting email and application data to a single cloud ecosystem.

A Microsoft representative insisted that the issue was “short lived” and was resolved yesterday morning at a 11am.

Microsoft snaps up Cloudyn

lightning-cloudSoftware King of the World, with shares in the moon and parts of Uranus, has confirmed it is writing a cheque for Israeli  cloud management company Cloudyn.

Writing in his bog, Microsoft director of product management Jeremy Winter confirmed the deal which was leaked to the Israeli press in April, but never confirmed.

The move appears to have involved Infosys which flogged off its entire investment in Cloudyn for a total consideration of approximately  $4,400,000.

Six-year-old Cloudyn offers software that businesses can use to monitor their cloud computing resources from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google. It also monitors clouds based on OpenStack technology.

In his post, Miller cited an unnamed Fortune 500 company that saw a 286 percent  return on investment using Cloudyn’s technology to boost efficiency.

He said that Cloudyn’s technology would become part of Microsoft’s lineup.  Cloudyn CEO Sharon Wagner said the focus on multi-cloud management would continue. That makes sense given that many Fortune 500 companies want to use more than one cloud provider, and in this arena, Microsoft is playing catch-up to the Amazon Web Services cloud juggernaut. It is in Microsoft’s best interest to preach multi-cloud at this point.

Cloudyn raised just over $20 million from investors including Carmel Ventures, Titanium Investments and RDSeed.

Cloud giants need channel for next phase

ae75610647df615b38555f1bc5ac6896Market analyst outfit Canalys says that the cloud giants such as AWS, Microsoft and Google are embracing the channel as they look to capitalise on the “next phase” of cloud adoption.

AWS, Microsoft and Google grew their cloud infrastructure revenues by 43 percent, 93 percent and 74 percent respectively in Q1, year on year, as the overall market rose by 42 percent to $11.4 billion, Canalys said.

But the big three have worked out that building an indirect business will be the only way to maintain that order of growth,

Canalys principal analyst Matthew Ball said that the next phase of cloud adoption means that they are looking at corporate and mid-market accounts, and for that they need greater reach and scale, and to do that they need the channel.

Big cloud providers, AWS and Google have not come from an enterprise IT background so they are starting to mature their partner programmes and channel engagements.

They are looking to focus on that more because they recognise that the channel has those relationships with customers.

Canalys thinks the channel will be a part of their go-to-market strategies, especially if they want to maintain their high levels of growth each quarter and year.

Canalys pegged AWS’ Q1 cloud infrastructure sales at over $3.5 billion but the market leader’s success need not be at the cost of the channel, said Ball, who argued that the rise of cloud has in some cases expanded the role played by resellers.

Ball said that the channel has made good business selling datacentre infrastructure in the past, and will do so.

Cloud is another choice for customers in terms of how they operate their IT environments and, for sure, it’s a concern for channel partners. Some partners have been affected by cloud and others changing their business model to develop consultancy or professional services to help their customers define a cloud environment.

Four software service fraudsters arrested

20120620-162002Software King over all the World, including parts of the moon,  Microsoft has been helping the City of London Police with their inquiries and caused the arrest of four people suspected of committing software service fraud.

A statement published by Action Fraud confirmed that arrests were made in Woking and South Shields yesterday, following a two-year investigation.

Hugh Milward, director of legal affairs at Microsoft, said: “The names of reputable companies like Microsoft are often used by criminals to lull victims into a false sense of security.

“That’s why we partnered with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to track these people down and bring them to justice. It’s a collaboration which can cohesively combat and investigate computer service fraud. Today’s arrests are just the start.”

Software service fraud occurs when victims receive a call from someone claiming to be a software support expert, often from companies like Microsoft, which purport to have uncovered a fault on their machine.

The fraudster then seeks to gain access to the victim’s machine, allowing them to install malicious software.

Having gained access, there is also the possiblity of the fraudster obtaining credentials to log into bank accounts.

Action Fraud said that in the 2016/17 financial year over 34,000 software fraud claims were reported, with losses estimated to be over £20 million.

Commander Dave Clark of City of London Police said: “These arrests are just the beginning of our work, making the best use of specialist skills and expertise from Microsoft, local police forces and international partners to tackle a crime that often targets the most vulnerable in our society.”

Microsoft and City of London Police worked with other affected firms, including BT and TalkTalk, to assess tens of thousands of reports filed with Action Fraud.

Most of the calls originated from India.

Microsoft insists Surface laptop can be repaired

Microsoft campusSoftware king of the world Microsoft is in hot water after an iFixit report said that its Surface Pro was impossible to fix.

A tear-down of the product showed that since most of it was glued down it would be impossible to even change the battery without scrapping the entire computer.

The review said: “The Surface Laptop is not a laptop. It’s a glue-filled monstrosity. There is nothing about it that is upgradable or long-lasting, and it literally can’t be opened without destroying it. Show us the procedure, Microsoft, we’d love to be wrong.”

However, Microsoft has hit back, saying its Surface products are “intended to be serviced by professionals” after being criticised for making its Surface Laptop difficult to take apart for repairs.

After using a variety of tools to prise open the case, iFixit then used an “ultra-dangerous” heat gun to burn the keyboard casing off the chassis, melting several keys in the process.

“As is the case with many products, Surface is built by professionals and is intended to be serviced by professionals,” a Vole representative said.

Most top vendors suffering

220px-Dramaten_mask_2008aNumber crunchers from Gartner group claim that four of the top five IT vendors suffered a fall in sales last year.

Out of Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and IBM, only Google grew its revenues.

In its Gartner, Global Top 100: IT Vendors report, the number crunchers attempted to rank the top 100 largest tech companies based on estimates for their revenue across IT and component market segments.

Despite seeing estimated IT revenue fall from $235 billion to $218 billion year on year, Apple topped the rankings, well ahead of Samsung, which saw its haul shrink from $142 billion to $1391 billion.

Google grew its revenues from $74.9 billion to $90.1 billion, while Microsoft shrank from $88.1 billion to $85.7 billion and IBM fell from $79.6 billion to $77.8 billion.

Gartner said its figures will help illustrate the shift in the industry from the ‘Nexus of Forces’ to digital business as the driver of IT purchasing.

For those who came in late, or find it difficult to care, the Nexus of Forces, Gartner’s term for the convergence of social, mobility, cloud and information. It believes it has propped up many of the IT market’s leading players – including Apple and Google – in recent years.

Gartner vice president John-David Lovelock said that the needs of IT buyers are shifting. CEOs were focused on growth and are more focused on realising business outcomes from their IT spend, Big G said.

We are not sure about this, people have been saying that sort of thing since the 1990s when we started reporting on the IT market. In fact, it was the reason so many companies moved to outsourcing.

Digital giants, like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent will leave their mark in 2017, Gartner said.

These seven companies will be involved in 20 percent of all activities an individual engages in by 2020, Gartner predicted.

“Digital giants effectively become gatekeepers for any business that delivers digital content and services to consumers. Any company that wants to engage consumers in, or through, their digital world will have to consider engaging with one or more of these digital giants,” Lovelock said.