Microsoft officially ended its support for Windows XP last week. More that 25% of the internet connected PCs are still running Windows XP and the vast majority of them are from enterprises and government agencies. Last week we reported that UK government has signed a deal with Microsoft to provide Windows XP support and security updates across the whole UK public sector for 12 months after regular support for the operating system ends on 8 April. The agreement is worth £5.548m (over $7.6 million), and covers critical and important security updates for Windows XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003, all of which have reached end of life in Microsoft’s normal product cycles. In a similar way, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be paying Microsoft millions for an extra year of security patches. ZDNet today reported that Microsoft has reduced the price of such custom support for Windows XP customers. ...

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The Internet of Things promises vast opportunities, but it also poses challenges for businesses that seek to take action and realize tangible results, as it can seem overwhelming, complicated and expensive. With its latest announcements, Microsoft is trying to help enterprises drive business value while building on existing technology assets, devices and data. Microsoft today announced the Microsoft Azure Intelligent Systems Service helps enterprises embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) by securely connecting, managing and capturing machine-generated data from a variety of sensors and devices. You can watch this video to see how IoT built on Microsoft’s platform is transforming the world’s first underground railway in London. The Microsoft Azure Intelligent Systems Service marks a critical expansion of the comprehensive Microsoft cloud-first data platform. This includes addressing challenges enterprises face securely connecting, managing and capturing machine-generated data from industry devices, sensors and other line-of-business (LoB) assets across a range of OS platforms. Enterprises ...

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  Microsoft India has launched a new hotline number for Indian startups and entrepreneurs to clarify their business and technical questions. Press Release: Microsoft Ventures in India announced the launch of “JumpStart,” a hotline to provide startups and entrepreneurs with a resource to ask business and technical questions. Open during business hours Monday-Friday (9am to 5pm IST), a team of dedicated professionals will be available to answer questions at 1 (800) 200-2114, a toll free number across India. “Microsoft Ventures supports startups at every stage of maturity by providing them with the tools, resources and expertise they need to succeed,” said Joseph Landes, General Manager, Developer & Platform Evangelism, Microsoft India. “Our experience has shown that a major pain point for startups across the ecosystem in India, irrespective of their stage of maturity, is the lack of real-time support for various critical queries they face. JumpStart fills a major gap ...

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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 is making a number of announcements at the Build conference regarding sideloaded apps.  Businesses often have internal apps that they do not want to publish to the Windows Store.  Sideloading is a way of installing an app without going through the traditional process of finding and downloading the app from the Windows Store.  Sideloading can be managed by the IT department. Enterprises can now get rights to sideload apps very cheaply, for a little as $100: Enterprise Sideloading– In May, we will grant Enterprise Sideloading rights to organizations in certain Volume License programs, regardless of what product they purchase, at no additional cost. Other customers who want to deploy custom line-of-business Windows 8.1 apps can purchase Enterprise Sideloading rights for an unlimited number of devices through Volume Licensing at approximately $100. For additional information on sideloading licensing, review the Windows Volume Licensing Guide. Windows is also providing developers with ...

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Microsoft yesterday announced that Windows 8.1 Update is available on MSDN and TechNet. For consumers, it will be made available via Windows Update (WU) beginning on April 8th and for Volume Licensing customers later this month. This Windows 8.1 update delivers important capabilities designed for the enterprise that includes updated Internet Explorer 11 with new Enterprise Mode, extended Mobile Device Management and more. Read about it in detail below. Better Internet Explorer Compatibility – Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer improves Internet Explorer 8 compatibility on Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. Meaning that IE11, the most secure and enterprise-ready browser, can now run legacy IE8 web-based applications and modern sites seamlessly side-by-side. Companies can standardize on the latest version of Internet Explorer across all Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 devices, experiencing increased performance, improved security, better backward compatibility, and support for modern web standards. UI Improvements – ...

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  Microsoft is keeping up to its promise of matching the price of Amazon for its Windows Azure services. As Amazon announced price reductions last week, Microsoft followed up with theirs today. Consistent with our previously announced commitment to match Amazon on prices for commodity services, we are cutting prices on compute by up to 35% and storage by up to 65%. We recognize that economics are a primary driver for some customers adopting cloud, and stand by our commitment to match prices and be best-in-class on price performance. Microsoft has also announced new Basic instance, On April 3, we will introduce a new tier of General Purpose Instances called “Basic” (A0-A4) that offers similar machine configurations as the Standard tier of instances offered today (Extra Small [A0] to Extra Large [A4]). These instances will cost up to 27% less than the corresponding instances in use today (which will now be ...

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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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 You can now watch the live webcast of Microsoft’s CEO discussing the intersection of cloud and mobile at an event in San Francisco. Microsoft announced this event few weeks back with no specific information regarding the announcements to be made. According to various reports, Microsoft is going to announce Office for iPad. Office for iPad is one of the most expected product by consumers, industry watchers and investors. It benefits the whole industry except the fact that Microsoft Windows platform is losing the exclusivity. Also, Microsoft is expected to make announcement regarding Enterprise Mobility Suite that will allow corporate IT to manage all the devices of their employees through Microsoft’s services. Watch the event live here. ...

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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 announced Project Siena (code name) technology back in December last year. This Windows Store app allowed users without any programming can create apps that harness the power of corporate data and content, and web services. Some examples of the kinds of apps people have been building are Apps for consuming information, for example, product catalogs, video-based lesson plans Apps for on-the-spot decisions, for example, adjusting insurance claims, accessorizing outfits and Apps for tasks that involve capturing pictures, audio, handwriting and other real world input. Today, they have released beta 2  version of the app in Windows Store. It now allows you to connect apps to powerful web services – from popular consumer services to enterprise SaaS to services created by IT. Change log: • Quick start: create an app by merely selecting a folder full of images • Add translate, search, speak, and social network connections to any app • Easily and securely ...

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Microsoft had its first Windows Azure conference in India for the past two days. During the conference, Microsoft shared many details about the Windows Azure business in India and their momentum. Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India said, “We are adding over 2000 commercial cloud customers every month in India and these are customers across all industry sectors – banking, manufacturing, healthcare and media, and across large, mid-sized and small companies.” Microsoft said that scalability, reduced costs, flexibility, business agility and speed in new service roll-out are some of the reasons Windows Azure is chosen Enterprise customers.  Microsoft has 10,000 partners and engages with an ecosystem of 1.6 million developers in the country. Windows Azure Enterprise Customers in India include Three leading private banks Five leading auto manufacturers Four leading healthcare organizations Three leading media houses Five leading Indian SIs are also building solutions on Windows Azure for global consumption “Our ...

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SharePoint Online now allows up to 1TB of storage for OneDrive for Business and SharePoint site collections in Office 365. An administrator can specify which specific users they want to assign new upper quotas of 50GB, 100GB, 250GB, 500GB or 1TB quota. The catch to this is once the default quota of 25GB for a user is exceeded you will be pulling storage out of the overall pooled tenant storage allocation (10GB + 500MB x total number of users) in the tenant.   If you have 10,000 A2 licensed users that equals 5TB of pooled tenant storage available.   You decide to up OneDrive for Business quota from default 25GB to 250GB for 4 users which consumes 1TB out of the 5TB leaving 4TB remaining of the overall pooled storage.   You can purchase more pooled tenant storage at a per GB / per Month charge if you require more. ...

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Microsoft has updated the Lync app for Windows 8/RT devices in Windows Store. The update is mainly focused on Lync Meeting presenters which brings most common features that are available in the desktop app. As a result, you can now manage your meeting participants from the modern Lync app. For most users of Windows 8.1, Lync will upgrade automatically within 24 hours. To get the update sooner, search for Lync and click Install. In addition to new features, we also continue to improve the ease of use for Lync.  We think you’ll like what we’ve done in this update.  Here’s an overview of what’s new: This update includes: Manage meeting participants individually or as a group. You can mute a participant, send a private IM, view their contact card, promote to presenter or demote to an attendee. You can also invite more participants, mute all audience, and admit people to the meeting who are waiting in ...

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Microsoft Office suite didn’t add any completely new app in the past few years. Speaking to GeekWire,  John Case, a Microsoft Office corporate vice president for marketing hinted about the next generation app experiences that is coming soon from the Office team. He highlighted the fact that the OneNote app which was added as a completely new app to Office suite in 2003 is now being used by millions of people. “We’ll do more things like that, that will be about different form factors and different applications,” he said. “The Office suite has been very consistent. We haven’t had new apps in a long time. We’ll have some new app investments coming. New ways of creating content, new ways of storing and organizing content.” “As much we love Word, Excel and PowerPoint, there’s another generation of app experiences we want to enable. Some of it will feel like big stuff, ...

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Currently, there is no way you can buy Windows Enterprise Edition SKU without Software Assurance agreements. It is changing now as Microsoft has confirmed that they are selling Windows Enterprise as a standalone upgrade option. Mary Jo Foley reported about this change and received the official confirmation from Microsoft about their new policy. Read it below. “We have heard from customers of all sizes who could benefit from being able to use Windows Enterprise and we have responded to that feedback with the availability of Windows Enterprise as a standalone upgrade option. Additionally some customers per internal policy are unable to enter annuity agreements. This change expands the availability of the Enterprise edition to now include these customers. Windows Enterprise will be available as a standalone upgrade SKU in the Open and Select/Select Plus programs beginning March 1, 2014. “Besides the new set of options to obtain Windows Enterprise, for most ...

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