Microsoft today announced that the European Union’s data protection authorities have found that Microsoft’s enterprise cloud contracts meet the high standards of EU privacy law. This enables enterprise customers to use Microsoft services to move data freely through cloud from Europe to the rest of the world. This approval applies to Microsoft’s enterprise cloud services – in particular, Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Windows Intune. The EU’s 28 data protection authorities acted through their “Article 29 Working Party” to provide this approval via a joint letter. Importantly, Microsoft is the first – and so far the only – company to receive this approval. By acknowledging that Microsoft’s contractual commitments meet the requirements of the EU’s “model clauses,” Europe’s privacy regulators have said, in effect, that personal data stored in Microsoft’s enterprise cloud is subject to Europe’s rigorous privacy standards no matter where that data is located. This ...

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Microsoft announced Windows Azure services for Japan last year, today Microsoft announced that Windows Azure in Japan East (Saitama Prefecture) and Japan West (Osaka Prefecture), will be generally available later Tuesday. Microsoft highlighted that fact that storage usage for Windows Azure has grown 10x in the last 15 months in Japan along and this Azure Services availability in Japan will serve the purpose well for these customers. Japan’s cloud market has grown considerably in the last few years and this growth is only expected to increase, with the projected 2014 forecast estimated at around $1.6 billion, according to IDC. These new regions will help fulfill the current and future needs of our cloud customers with secure and highly available services that help them grow their business. In addition, they provide local customers the ability to achieve data residency and realize data recovery scenarios, as data will be replicated between the ...

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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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At Microsoft Project Conference 2014, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Project has steadily grown with more than 20 million people are using Project across businesses of all sizes right now. Microsoft also demoed no.of upcoming enhancements to Microsoft Project and revealed a new SKU called Project Lite which costs as low as $7 per user/month. We’re pleased to introduce Project Lite, a new cloud offering that will become available on May 1, 2014. Project Lite is designed specifically for project team members, with features to view/update Tasks, enter Issues/Risks and Timesheets. At just $7 per user/month, instead of the original $33 per user/month with an annual subscription, Project Lite will bring powerful cloud service to even more people and significantly lower Total Cost of Ownership for our customers. Read more from Office blog here. ...

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Microsoft is competing with market leader Amazon in providing cloud services. They are already in price war and delivering reliable and top notch performance is a must have in this business. The cloud pricing scheme differs on performance levels and the new patent from Microsoft researchers revealed a new pricing approach where customers can either bid a price they’re willing to pay or to be quoted a price based on the system’s estimate of the resources needed to deliver that performance. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft delivers this pricing scheme to its customers. Abstract: Described are performance-based pricing models for pricing execution of a client job in a cloud service. Client-provided performance-related parameters are used to determine a price. The price may be a minimum bid price that is evaluated against a bid received from client bidder to accept or reject the bid. Alternatively, the price may be returned ...

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Microsoft today discussed about the much garnered Xbox Live Compute feature on Xbox One. The Xbox Live Cloud service is specifically designed to enable game creators to utilize the scalable computing resources that Microsoft deploys within their regional datacenters. This compute resources will allow game developers to enhance their game experiences beyond what is generally possible with the limited resources of a console. Microsoft is even giving game developers the cloud computing power for FREE so they can more easily transition to building games on Xbox One for the cloud. Microsoft has listed some advantages of using Xbox Live Cloud. Read it below. The really exciting part becomes evident when we consider a few things game creators can do when they use these additional computing resources in the cloud: Higher fidelity game experiences – As I mentioned before, cloud compute can enable developers to offload computations for all sorts of environmental elements. In a ...

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Microsoft made a number of announcements at E3 regarding new gaming features for the Xbox One New Level of Cloud Integration: With the Azure powered cloud backing Xbox Live, everything is more convenient and accessible. All of your games and entertainment to be stored and saved on Xbox Live, so you can instantly access them anytime, from any Xbox One. You do not have to wait for a system or application updates. Xbox One will always be up-to-date and ready for you – wherever you left off. Developers can take advantage of the 300,000 servers backing Xbox Live when we launch this fall to build immersive worlds.   Expanded Achievements: The all-new achievements system for Xbox One is no longer confined to a single game. We want gamers to be rewarded for skill, participation and time-based challenges. Plus, developers can take advantage of the power of Xbox Live to continue ...

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The July issue of Game Informer seems to have been released a little early with information regarding an Xbox One mech-shooter TitanFall inside of it.  NeoGAF member Catman86, who received an early copy of the magazine, summarized highlights from the article: - Xbox One, PC - Xbox 360 version developed by someone else - Planned to target current gen, but realized that they couldn’t run it - Started to look into next gen and the answer they got from Microsoft intrigued them - They said they needed to focus on fewer hardware. In the future they are open to more. - Plan to use Microsoft’s Cloud for dedicated servers and physics and AI calculations - Spring 2014 Release Date - Source Engine. Building new engine = too much time. - Source gives them 60 fps - Modified Source - “Rewriting major portions of it”. - Going for a District 9 or ...

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Nasuni today released their report on performance of Cloud Storage Providers. Nasuni tested five clouds: Amazon S3, Microsoft Windows Azure Blob Storage, Google Cloud Storage, HP Cloud Object Storage, and Rackspace Cloud Files. Microsoft Azure has trumped the last year leader Amazon S3 in various cases. Across the three tests, Windows Azure emerged as a top performer in all categories, and the leader in two out of three: Speed: Azure was 56 percent faster than the No. 2 Amazon S3 in write speed, and 39 percent faster at reading files than the No. 2 HP Cloud Object Storage in read speed. Availability: Azure’s average response time was 25 percent faster than Amazon S3, which had the second fastest average time. Scalability: Amazon S3 varied only 0.6 percent from its average the scaling tests, with Microsoft Windows Azure varying 1.9 percent (both very acceptable levels of variance). The two OpenStack-based clouds ...

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Microsoft is investing $150 million to expand its new data center in southern Virginia and will build a second data center facility and add 21 megawatts of power capacity at its new location in Boydton, Virginia, even as it is still completing the $499 million first phase of the project. Microsoft is also believed to be expanding its data centers in West Des Moines, Iowa and Dublin, Ireland. Microsoft’s new facility will feature the use of its container-based design known as IT-PAC (short for Pre-Assembled Component). They are designed to operate in all environments, and employ a free cooling approach in which fresh air is drawn into the enclosure through louvers in the side of the container – which effectively functions as a huge air handler with racks of servers inside. “Microsoft is excited to once again expand its cloud infrastructure and services capacities in Boydton,” said Dayne Sampson, corporate ...

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Microsoft first announced Windows Intune last July, its cloud based PC management solution. The Windows Intune cloud service helps you centrally manage and secure your PCs thru a simple web-based console through browser. Today Microsoft announced that Windows Intune will be available for purchase or a free 30–day trial in more than 35 countries. Microsoft touts the following key areas where Intune will help the administrators, 1)Help manage and secure PCs anywhere with cloud services. 2)Provide the best Windows experience with Windows 7. 3)Fits your business with simple setup, maintenance, and billing.   For more details visit www.windowsintune.com ...

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