Microsoft’s today made no.of announcements at TechEd North America event conference in Houston, which will help enterprises realize the speed, scale and economics of a mobile-first, cloud-first world. From the general availability Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, announcement of Azure Files preview, Microsoft Azure Site Recovery preview for disaster recovery and Microsoft Azure Antimalware to protect your VMs and services running Azure, there are lots more. Read the full press release below. Press Release: HOUSTON — May 12, 2014 — Monday at TechEd North America 2014, Microsoft Corp. announced new services, products and partnerships that remove the barriers to cloud adoption for IT professionals, developers and technology users. “Mobility and cloud are the future of business, and the future is now,” said Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud & Enterprise Division. “Our differentiated cloud innovations, comprehensive mobile productivity solutions and developer tools help all of our customers realize the true potential of ...

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  According to the recent data from Synergy Research Group, Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure grew by over 154% YoY which is almost 2.3 times faster than Amazon Web Services which recorded 67% growth. Amazon is still the cloud infrastructure business leader with 27% market share which is more than all the next 5 five competitors combined. IBM, Salesforce and Google are trailing behind Microsoft(8%) in which IBM, Salesforce, and Google, have 6.5%, 6%, and 4.5% share of the market, respectively. AWS has been forcing the cloud market to slash their margin every other quarter. Microsoft has been forced to reduce the price of their services in an effort to match the prices of Amazon. Given Microsoft’s strong brand among the enterprise, Microsoft is positioned better to compete against Amazon than anyone else. Microsoft Azure made price cuts that matched AWS’ cuts in many categories, and exceeded it in several others. The software giant chopped computing prices by ...

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According to the survey by Netcraft which includes responses from over 975,262,468 sites, Microsoft is threatening the position of Apache as the top web server. Microsoft gained about 9 million additional sites this month, increasing its market share by a further 0.37 percentage points. So, Apache still leads with 37.6% of all sites, while Microsoft is now just 4.1 percentage points behind. If the trend continues, Microsoft may become the No.1 in the web server market in the coming months. Nearly seven million of this month’s new websites are using Microsoft IIS. Around 11 thousand of these new sites are hosted on the Microsoft Azure platform (including a few phishing sites), helping to maintain Microsoft’s position as the largest Windows hosting company in terms on web-facing computers. Most of the new IIS sites at Azure are hosted in the US, with more than a third of the total being hosted in ...

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Microsoft released its third quarter (Q3) earnings earlier today for fiscal year 2014 (FY14). This is the first quarter under new CEO Satya Nadella. The earnings report contained a number of interesting pieces of the enterprise side of Microsoft is doing. Windows Azure grew over 150% in the third quarter. Windows volume licensing was up 11% with business customers. Lync, SharePoint, and Exchange, our productivity server offerings, collectively grew double-digits and office commercial revenue was up 6%. Server product revenue up 10%. Total commercial licensing revenue grew 3% to 10.32 billion. SQL server revenue grew 15%. Other commercial revenue was up 31% to $1.90 billion. Commercial cloud revenue grew 101% with Office 365 growing 100% and Windows Azure revenue growing 150%. Gross margins were up 6% to 80% gross margins! All this contributed to commercial revenue of $12.23 billion, up 7%. Compare this to Devices and Consumer with revenue of ...

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Microsoft today announced a basic pricing tier for Azure Web Sites as part of the April update. Microsoft already has Free, Shared, or Standard mode for running websites and this Basic mode is a new one. This new Basic pricing tier includes all the core Azure Web Sites abilities which allows you to run production sites at a lower cost. Basic pricing tier offers up to three instances of dedicated Virtual Machine running your web sites, SSL support, Scheduled Jobs, Endpoint Monitoring and more. To make things simple, Microsoft has listed the the main differences and properties: Free web sites: These are primarily for evaluation purposes, enabling a free playground for anyone who wishes to experience Azure Web Sites at no cost. Free web sites have no SLA. Shared web sites: These reduce some of the restrictive quotas associated with Free, allowing you to run your web sites 24×7. However, shared web sites are ...

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Microsoft recently announced the launch of public preview of Microsoft Azure Brazil Region. And the service will transition to general availability in the coming weeks. As Microsoft is looking to expand their service availability throughout the world, this expansion will provide a significant number of services in Brazil region and network availability that is on par with the industry in the local market. With today’s public preview, customers in the region will experience better performance through reduced latency, and have the option to maintain three copies of their data in country through Locally Redundant Storage (LRS). However, if customers prefer Geo Redundant Storage (GRS), which is the default option, their data will be replicated to our US South Central region for increased durability. The Microsoft Azure website has been updated to provide information on service availability and pricing in the Brazil South region.  During the preview period, Azure services including Compute, ...

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The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. Popular internet services like Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Messenger and many others are affected by this bug. Microsoft today confirmed that Microsoft Account and Microsoft Azure, along with most Microsoft Services, were not impacted by the OpenSSL vulnerability. The Heartbleed vulnerability in OpenSSL (CVE-2014-0160) has received a significant amount of attention recently.  While the discovered issue is specific to OpenSSL, many customers are wondering whether this affects Microsoft’s offerings, specifically Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Account and Microsoft Azure, along with most Microsoft Services, were not impacted by the OpenSSL vulnerability. Windows’ implementation of SSL/TLS was also not impacted. Microsoft Azure Web Sites, Microsoft Azure Pack Web Sites and Microsoft Azure Web Roles do not use OpenSSL to terminate SSL ...

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Microsoft today announced the expansion of Azure ExpressRoute ecosystem with new alliances with BT and Verizon. Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute ecosystem already includes AT&T, Equinix and Level 3 in the US. With these new partnerships, Microsoft is reducing barriers for adoption of cloud computing and accelerating the growth of Microsoft Azure by providing a more secure and reliable connectivity option for enterprise customers. BT announcement: BT and Microsoft announced today a global agreement to provide customers with high performance and more secure connectivity to Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud platform, with Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute. Customers will be able to take advantage of the flexibility and agility offered by cloud resources, with the assurance of a dedicated, more secure connection to their data and applications. Azure ExpressRoute allows customers to bypass the public Internet when connecting to Azure through a private connection based on BT’s IP Connect VPN service. As a result, ...

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Along with the announcement about the launch of Office for iPad and Enterprise Mobility Suite, Microsoft also announced the general availability of Azure Active Directory (AD) Premium service in April 2014. Azure AD Premium is an identity and access management service designed to meet the demanding requirements of large enterprises. With Azure AD Premium customers can reset forgotten passwords, manage their groups and set up company branded portals for launching these SaaS applications with a single set of corporate credentials. Azure AD Premium provides identity and access management capabilities in the cloud with a 99.9% SLA, and no limitation on the number of resources in your directory. Application access management. Azure AD provides employees with single sign-on access to their cloud applications from many different browsers and mobile devices. With recent additions there over 1200 cloud applications in the AD Application Gallery. Azure AD Premium lets you assign application access ...

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Microsoft has scheduled a press event in San Francisco this week on Thursday. As per previous reports, Satya Nadella will reveal Office for iPad at the event. Mary Jo Foley today reported that along with Office for iPad, Microsoft will also reveal  Enterprise Mobility Suite that will allow corporate IT to manage all the devices of their employees through Microsoft’s services. That suite, a licensing bundle known as the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), is for large enterprise customers who need to manage centrally iPads, iPhones, Android devices, Windows devices and more, according to sources of mine who’ve requested anonymity. EMS will provide a way for enterprises to acquire several Microsoft technologies for bring your own device (BYOD) scenarios, my tipsters say. Included in the suite are Windows Intune, a new Microsoft Azure Active Directory ‘Premium’ offering and Azure Rights Management Services. Read more from the link below. Source: ZDNet ...

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Microsoft today officially announced the general availability of Windows Azure in China, with that Microsoft becomes the first global public cloud provider in China. Last year, Microsoft launched a public preview of Windows Azure in China to meet the demands of local cloud needs. 21Vianet will be operating Windows Azure for Microsoft in China. In May of last year, we announced that Microsoft Azure would be coming to China, launching a public preview to support the growing appetite for cloud services in this important region. Today, I am pleased to share that Microsoft Azure, operated by 21Vianet, is now generally available for our customers in China. This significant milestone makes us the first global company to make onshore public cloud services available to customers in China, through 21Vianet. To ensure a compliant, enterprise-grade public cloud experience, Microsoft has partnered with 21Vianet within China to deliver Microsoft Azure to our customers ...

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As we reported yesterday, Microsoft has officially announced that they are rebranding Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure. Microsoft did this re-branding to highlight the fact that Microsoft Azure supports broadest set of operating systems, languages, and services of any public cloud not just Windows. Today we are announcing that Windows Azure will be renamed to Microsoft Azure, beginning April 3, 2014. This change reflects Microsoft’s strategy and focus on Azure as the public cloud platform for customers as well as for our own services Office 365, Dynamics CRM, Bing, OneDrive, Skype, and Xbox Live. Our commitment to deliver an enterprise-grade cloud platform for the world’s applications is greater than ever. Today we support one of  the broadest set of operating systems, languages, and services of any public cloud—from Windows, SQL and .NET to Python, Ruby, Node.js, Java, Hadoop, Linux, and Oracle. In today’s mobile-first, cloud-first, data-powered world, customers want a ...

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Netcraft today reported that Microsoft has passed Amazon to become the largest Windows hosting company. The report was measured by the number of web-facing Windows computers. It reported that Microsoft now has 23,400 web-facing Windows computers against Amazon’s 22,600. Netcraft cited Windows Azure as the main reason behind this growth. They also speculated that Windows Azure’s new Web Sites service could also be the reason. Microsoft’s growth is predominantly a result of the growth of Windows Azure: Azure now accounts for close to 90% of all web-facing computers at Microsoft. Windows Azure has grown by almost 50% since May 2013, during the February 2014 Web Server survey Netcraft found 27,000 web-facing computers (both Windows and Linux) using the cloud computing platform.  Many of Microsoft’s own services are powered by Windows Azure including Office 365, Xbox Live, Skype, and OneDrive. Windows Azure Web Sites service — available to the general public since June ...

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As Microsoft’s Enterprise and Cloud chief Satya Nadella has been appointed as the CEO of the company, his old position was left in void. Many of us expected Scott Guthrie to take over Satya’s old position and it seems like Microsoft has done the same. Microsoft announced internally today that Scott Guthrie has been promoted to his new position on February 4. ZDnet’s Mary Jo Foley summarized people who will be working now with Guthrie, Nadella had quite a few direct reports, in addition to Guthrie, who was the Corporate Vice President of Azure Program Management, as a result of various reorgs. Among them were: Bill Laing, who was the Corporate Vice President (CVP) of Development for Windows and System Center; Brad Anderson, CVP of Program Management; Jason Zander CVP of Development for Windows Azure; Quentin Clark, CVP of Program Management for Microsoft’s former Data Platform Group; Dave Campbell, who ...

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Based on various reports from Bloomberg, Recode, and many other news publications, Microsoft’s current executive vice president of Cloud and Enterprise group is likely to become CEO of Microsoft. GigaOM’s Om Malik did an interview with Satya few months back and he published it yesterday. It is an very interesting interview in which Om asks questions like, “What does the future of Microsoft productivity apps and Microsoft’s Enterprise business look like, say in 2020?”, “What is your biggest challenge right now from a cloud and enterprise standpoint in the company?” and more. I find the answers from Satya to these questions are great. One of the highlights of the interview was when he was asked about the challenge for the incoming CEO of Microsoft, read his full response below. What do you think is the big challenge for the incoming CEO of Microsoft? I’d say our current challenge and our ...

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  Analyst firm Gartner today released their Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Application Platform as a Service. Microsoft was placed in the leaders quadrant by Gartner. Salesforce is the only company that is ahead of Microsoft in this space. A PaaS that is designed to enable runtime deployment, management and maintenance of cloud business application services is an application PaaS (aPaaS). An aPaaS that is designed to support the enterprise requirements for business applications and application projects is an enterprise aPaaS. Their comment about Microsoft, Microsoft Microsoft’s offering, Windows Azure, has evolved into an environment that supports IaaS and PaaS models. As a result of adding full IaaS capabilities, as well as fleshing out its private cloud strategy, the vendor now provides the onramps that are making PaaS much more approachable for enterprises. The vendor’s approach is to focus on a “cloud first” push toward frequent updates and an aggressive approach ...

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