Tag: microsoft

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.

HostForLIFE.eu offers ASP.NET Core 2.0 hosting

Europes-HostForLIFE-To-Support-Moodle-3.1.1-In-The-CloudHostForLIFE.eu, which was created to provide bullet proof hosting, is now offering an ASP.NET Core 2.0 across its entire server environment.

For those who came in very late, ASP.NET is Microsoft’s dynamic website technology, letting developers create data-driven websites using the .NET platform and the latest version is 5 with some rather natty features.

ASP.NET Core 2.0 is a lean .NET stack for building modern web apps. By building ASP.NET Core 2.0 on top of .NET Core 2.0 stuff can be built faster than NetFx or even Netstandard.

.NET Standard 2.0 has a much bigger API surface to cover the intersection between .NET Framework and Xamarin. The company said that its API surface results in 70 per cent of all NuGet packages to be API compatible with .NET Standard 2.0.

The new ASP.NET Core meta-package that includes all features that customer need to build an application, the company said.

“No longer do customer need to pick and choose individual ASP.NET Core features in separate packages as all features are now included in a Microsoft.AspNetCore. All package in the default templates.If there are features customer don’t need in customerr application, our new package trimming features will exclude those binaries in customerr published application output by default. A new default Web Host configuration, codifying the typical defaults of the web host with the WebHost.CreateDefaultBuilder() API,” warbled the firm

HostForLIFE.eu hosts its servers in data centres that are located in Amsterdam, London, Paris, Frankfurt and Seattle.

University asks Microsoft not to erase its cloud data

hqdefault (1)A bankrupt US trade school, the ITT Technical Institutes, is asking a court to stop Microsoft from erasing its cloud data.

The move is being seen as a true 21st century problem and one which could effect channel partners who sell cloudy products.

In a filing to the US District Bankruptcy Court of Southern Indiana, the for-profit university seek an order to bar Vole from wiping the contents of ITT’s Office 365 and webmail accounts for students, faculty, and administrators.

ITT has been under bankruptcy proceedings since September of last year, when it shut down operations and filed for bankruptcy protections.

There had been years of government probes over its ability to stay afloat, and education authorities worried aid money would be lost when ITT went under for good.

A group of trustees has overseen wrapping up ITT’s affairs and settling its outstanding debts. Among those are the bills the school owes on its Office 365 subscription with Microsoft. ITT owes $177,466.46 on an agreement that runs until May 31.

The university wants Microsoft to preserve its data, but was told such a service would cost around $2.5 million.

“The Trustee seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting the Defendants from taking any actions that could result in the destruction, deletion, overwriting, or erasing of any of the Electronic Data or taking any other action or inaction that could affect the preservation of the Electronic Data, until such time the Trustee can determine the most cost effective method of accomplishing turnover of the Electronic Data,” the filing reads.

“Any threat of destruction, deletion, overwriting, or erasing of any of the Electronic Data or any other action or inaction that could affect the preservation of the Electronic Data jeopardizes the Trustee’s efforts to marshal, assess, and preserve estate assets, and to otherwise fulfil her duties under section 704 of the Bankruptcy Code.”

Windows Server shrinks its footprint  

giantfootprintSoftware King of the World, Microsoft, has shrunk Windows Server’s footprint when you run it in Azure.

The slimmed down version of Windows Server is destined for use in Azure’s Managed Disks. This is a storage option that allows the creation of disks without first creating a storage account and without the need to manually assign a universal resource indicator.

Microsoft offers Managed Disks at 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 512GB and a terabyte, with the two smallest sizes a recent addition. But it looks like users had trouble squeezing Windows into the little ones, because Microsoft’s now announced it has “added a second set of Windows Server offerings with 30GB OS disks for Windows Server 2008R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012R2 and Windows Server 2016”.

Microsoft channel partners can now put it into 32GB Managed Disks and save customers “US$2.18 per VM if you choose to deploy with 32GB Standard Managed OS disk vs. 127GB”.

Windows Server 2012 could be installed onto a 32 GB partition that was an absolute minimum value needed for successful installation. It was providing a  Windows Server Core with IIS and no GUI, which was not very useful.

The new Azure version, though, makes it fit rather well into the tighter partition which makes it an easier sale.

Amazon, Microsoft and Google need channel help

R-9020249-1473392859-8701.jpegBeancounters at Canalys say that AWS, Microsoft and Google need the channel as they look to capitalise on the “next phase” of cloud adoption.

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

Canalys principal analyst Matthew Ball said that the three have worked out that building an indirect business will be the only way to maintain that order of growth.

“We’re seeing the next phase of cloud adoption beyond the big marquee projects like Netflix and Snapchat. The cloud providers are now looking at corporate and mid-market accounts, and for that they need greater reach and scale, and that’s where the role of the channel comes in.

“So we are seeing a lot of the big cloud providers, AWS and Google in particular – those that haven’t come from an enterprise IT background – 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. So we believe that the channel will be a part of their go-to-market strategies going forward, especially if they want to maintain their high levels of growth each quarter and year.”

Canalys said that AWS’ Q1 cloud infrastructure sales were more than $3.5bn, but the market leader’s success need not be at the cost of the channel as the rise of cloud has in some cases expanded the role played by resellers.

“The channel has made good business selling datacentre infrastructure in the past, and we believe they still will do going forward. 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. But we’ve seen some partners being affected by cloud and others changing their business model to develop consultancy or professional services to help their customers define a cloud environment.”

Microsoft assimilates 15 resellers to its collective

The BorgMicrosoft has added 15 UK resellers to its new Surface Hub partner programme.

The Surface Hub was launched in Europe with just 20 specialist AV partners, but in February Microsoft opened up the device to its entire partner base through The Surface Hub Distributors Programme for Opportunity Resellers (VAD-OR).

Danielle Crayton, senior product marketing manager at Microsoft UK, said that the Surface Hub “ecosystem” is growing daily and Microsoft’s partners play an essential role in that growth by helping organisations implement new, innovative workplace collaboration strategies and communicate with colleagues across geographies.

“Surface Hub is a new breed of collaboration tool designed to unlock the power of any group and their ideas in real time. This ultimately leads to better solutions and results, regardless of whether teams are in the same room or spread across the globe.”

Microsoft said its Surface Hub customer base has increased globally from 500 customers last July to 2,000 now.

One of the partners was the IT outsourcing giant Capita. Managing director of Capita’s smart buildings divisions Paul Morris said Capita’s cunning plan was to bring users’ experience into the 21st century and embrace the developing role of multimedia technology to support and enable all employees.

“We offer customised audio-visual systems that encompass and deliver seamless collaboration, maximise content delivery and increase productivity within any environment. Surface Hub is a key part of our offering to clients, and we are very proud to have been awarded Authorised Device Reseller (ADR) status.”

Other partners are eBECS, Electrosonic, GV MultiMedia and Pro AV which are now Surface Hub ADRs, while a further 10 partners have been recruited through the VAD-OR programme with distributor Maverick.

Dell in the clouds again

Michael DellGrey box shifter Michael Dell talked up the importance of a ‘multi-cloud’ world and waded in to AWS, Microsoft, and Google by claiming that, for many customers, “public cloud is twice as expensive as on-premise”.

Dell said that while all styles of cloud computing have their merits and applications, customers should not relytoo heavily on any one model, – particularly public cloud.

“If you have a public cloud-first and -only strategy, you will find yourself uncompetitive in the long term. On-premise offers automation capabilities on an unprecedented scale. Many customers have already told us that the public cloud is twice as expensive as on-premise,” he said.

David Goulden, president of Dell EMC, added that Dell’s cloud offering addresses not only generalist productivity and business applications, but also core applications that many enterprises would not typically consider suitable for the cloud arena.

“Most clouds target the millions of general-purpose applications,” he said. “Our cloud strategy targets those, but also targets performance-intensive, mission-critical applications that most customers would not [otherwise] consider running on a cloud or as-a-service basis. We, uniquely, have a hybrid cloud strategy for all your applications.”

Dell EMC is adding its 14th generation of its PowerEdge range of servers this summer and the new VMAX 950F all-flash storage array.

The vendor also boosted its VxRail suite of hyper-converged technology, including the launch of a single-processor unit which allows businesses to invest in hyper-converged infrastructure for a capital investment as low as $25,000.

Dell Financial Services is to a launch a payment offering for hyper-converged infrastructure providing customers with the option of “cloud-like consumption” of the technology.

Microsoft partners celebrate Dynamics 365 launch

Dynamics 365Microsoft has officially launched its Dynamics 365 in the UK, much to the relief of its partners.

For those who came in late, Dynamics 365 is a cloud based service which joins Microsoft Azure and Office 365 that Vole will be managing to help UK businesses reach their potential.

Microsoft’s bog post announcing the release of Dynamics is a heavy sell. It lists off the businesses in the UK that have already taken advantage of Microsoft’s UK cloud regions that went up last year, including the Ministry of Défense and the Met Police.

“The move ensures Microsoft is the first global cloud provider to offer a complete cloud from data centres in the UK.”

The headline case study has come from the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust which uses Dynamics 365 to easily share information between medical professionals and patients.

“The ability to see a complete picture of an individual’s needs means more people can be treated in their own homes rather than in a hospital,” Vole tells us.

Lucy Cassidy, an Advance Practice Physiotherapist at Brighton Hospital said that Dynamics 365 transformed the way her hospital treated patients by putting all relevant information into the hands of clinicians.

“From the moment the service receives a referral, the patient is provided with relevant information on how to manage their injury and we are able to measure the progress of their rehabilitation,” he said.

“The service also means that we are able to track patient feedback and data is automatically collected for our Patient Reported Outcome Measures, a key reporting need for all NHS trusts. Importantly, this data is sent live to clinicians to proactively manage patient outcomes rather than simply sitting in a spreadsheet at the end of the year.”

Vole is pitching its 365 products as a package for partners claiming the three enable companies and organisations to work seamlessly to become more productive, gain new insights into their operations and create greater personalised experiences for customers. Because having seams makes things rather tricky to iron.

Dell EMC cuts cloud deal with Microsoft

lightning-cloudDell EMC talked about its partnership with Microsoft under which channel partners can build on-premises Microsoft Azure clouds using Dell EMC technology.

Dubbed Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack, the she-bang is a turnkey platform for building a hybrid cloud offering with the same look, feel, and technology as the Microsoft Azure public cloud,

A Dell EMC spokesperson said the outfit was using its three years of experience with delivering hybrid clouds.

The Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack is a net-new offering from Dell EMC, particularly in how it differs from the company’s Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, or EHC.

Customers deploying the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud need to add their own domain name space automation, firewall automation, backup and recovery capabilities, and other technologies that together form a private or hybrid cloud.

The Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack is an integrated offering which is Azure-based. It does not use the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud.

The new offering is also different from the Azure Pack, which Dell started shipping in 2015. The Azure Pack is not API-compatible with the Microsoft Azure public cloud.

The Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack targets solution providers and customers who use Microsoft technology. It will be a stand-alone offering combining Dell EMC hyper-converged infrastructure technology with Azure.

The new offering scales from four nodes, which can work with up to about 100 Azure D1 virtual machines, to 12 nodes, or about 600 Azure D1 virtual machines.

Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack provides a single contract support for hybrid Azure deployments, full encryption and security capabilities including the ability to tie policies to virtual machines as they are migrated to new locations, and full data protection capabilities in single tenant and multi-tenant environments.

Microsoft takes on Salesforce with LinkedIn data

microsoft-in-chinaSoftware King of the World, Microsoft, is rolling out upgrades to its sales software using data from LinkedIn.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the cunning plan was central to the company’s long-term strategy for building specialised business software.

The move means improving Vole’s sales software Dynamics 365, so it can take on market leader Salesforce.com.  It is the first thing to come out of Microsoft’s $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, the business-focused social network.

The new features will comb through a salesperson’s email, calendar and LinkedIn relationships to help gauge how warm their relationship is with a potential customer.

The system will recommend ways to save an at-risk deal, like calling in a co-worker who is connected to a potential customer on LinkedIn.

“The artificial intelligence, or AI, capabilities of the software would be central. I want to be able to democratize AI so that any customer using these products is able to, in fact, take their own data and load it into AI for themselves,” Nadella said.

LinkedIn has 500 million members globally, one of the first big milestones for the business social network since its acquisition.

More Microsoft partner consolidation happens

microsoft-in-chinaIt seems that Microsoft’s partners are busy buying each other at the moment with dynamics expert SAGlobal snapping up fM4 Systems.

Both are based in the Cardiff area and have worked together on a number of occasions in the past. But last week, SAGlobal snapped up M4 for an undisclosed sum, in a move which will create a £7 million turnover firm with around 500 staff globally.

It is the latest pair of Microsoft partners to merge. New Signature bought Paradigm, and RedPixie snapped up Cloudamour at the start of last year.  The move is widely seen as a part of a general vendor consolidation which arrived about the same time that Vole moved onto a more cloud orientation.

This meant that vendors need to become more focused on their customer base. Taking another company’s contact list therefore makes a lot of sense.  But many resellers are finding that with Microsoft’s cloud services there is less for them to do that Vole is not doing already. Resellers are scrabbling around looking for  complementary services on top to replace the lost revenue streams.

Meanwhile Microsoft only wants resellers who offer something over and above what they offer themselves in their generic product.

The latest acquisition gives SAGlobal and M4 much needed scale and  shows that the Dynamics channel is maturing.

 

Microsoft and Adobe getting closer

dc34c48293d48b194affb44168216351Microsoft and Adobe  are joining to make their respective sales and marketing software products better at seeing off Salesforce and Oracle.

The pair said they will work together to create a a shared data format between Adobe’s marketing software suite, which the company is re-naming its Experience Cloud, and Microsoft’s sales software, called Dynamics, allowing the software systems to work together seamlessly.

“It’s going to enable to customers to go beyond the current (software) silos they have to navigate today,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the cloud and enterprise division at Microsoft.

For Adobe the partnership builds on a deal it struck with Microsoft last year to use its Azure cloud computing services.

Adobe has been pushing into business-to-business marketing software since it purchased Omniture Inc, a firm that helps website owners track their traffic, for $1.8 billion in 2009. Software that companies use to run digital marketing and advertising campaigns represented about $1.2 billion of Adobe’s $4.6 billion in revenue last year.

Microsoft has been trying to expand Dynamics, its software system for sales people. Teaming with Adobe helps it compete more strongly against Salesforce and Oracle, which both offer a combination of sales and marketing software.

 

Microsoft carries out partner review

Stefan_Lochner_-_Last_Judgement_-_circa_1435Software King of the World, Microsoft, is auditing its partners and sorting out the sheep from the goatees.

Request for proposals (RFPs) were sent out to existing and new distributors last Friday covering much of the software Microsoft puts through distribution especially its full packaged products (FPP), OEM Windows, OEM server and electronic software delivery (ESD) products.

At the moment, Vole uses Tech Data, Ingram, Westcoast, Exertis and Entatech but now it is thought that Microsoft wants its distributors to reflect its recent move into hardware and changes to its business model.

VIP and Ci Distribution have received an invite to bid which could suggest a widening of the distribution channel, or that some big names might be culled.

Ingram and Tech Data recently lost out in a similar review Microsoft completed for its hardware accessories business, which includes mice and keyboards. In that case there were seven distributors were invited to bid for this franchise but only Exertis and Westcoast were successful.

Microsoft tells partners to pass on Surface price hikes

Microsoft campusSoftware king of the world, Microsoft, has told its channel chums to pass on the price increases of its surface gear.

The move is expected to cause a few headaches as resellers will be the ones left explaining why prices have risen.

The reason is the value of the pound and the Brexit tax. There have been some price rises already with the large hardware vendors passed on the currency fluctuations but now everyone is having to do it. This is mostly because the only thing that is selling for 90 euro cents a pound turns out to be the pound.

Vole has said that it is increasing hardware prices on the Surface and the Surface Book by 15 percent, as a direct consequence of the state of Sterling.

The vendor has given the channel some leeway on exactly how much it will pass on those increase, but really a 15 percent increase is about the only way it can happen.

A spokes Vole said that the price increases only affect products and services purchased by individuals, or organisations without volume licensing contracts and will be effective from February 15, 2017.

“For indirect sales where our products and services are sold through partners, final prices will continue to be determined by them,” it  added.

Microsoft is doing its best to encourage the channel to sell more of its Surface line. Schemes like a try-before-you-buy and increased services have all launched in the last few months to tempt more users.

Other vendors that have looked at prices include HP and Apple and earlier this week the speaker manufacturer Sonos revealed that it was also increasing the costs for customers because of exchange rates.

Still at least the UK can be re-assured that as soon as the UK gets out of the EU more than $380 million a week will be spent on the National Health Service.