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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We already have a cloud platform from Microsoft called Azure. Thousands of organizations and developers are already building and deploying their apps on this service. A new job listing has revealed that Microsoft is developing a new product in which they will offer Windows as a Service. 1st and 3rd party service providers can also build on this Windows as a Service. Even though this sounds similar to what Azure is offering right now, I guess this could be consumer version of Windows offered as a service. We are a team focused on developing services that will power Microsoft’s ability to offer Windows as a Service. You will help will build the software platform that allow 1st and 3rd party service providers to onboard their services on to the Microsoft’s new consumer membership program. You will prototype and develop services that connect partners with consumers to offer an integrated Microsoft ...

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Along with the announcements about big data and insights, Microsoft today released the preview of a powerful new Azure service: Microsoft Azure Automation. With Azure Automation, Microoft has combined the scalability, reliability, and availability of the Azure platform with the management capabilities of System Center. Azure Automation looks and functions similarly online in Azure as SMA does on-prem in the Windows Azure Pack – but it has been built specifically for cloud-based app/workload management. This means that you can automate the management of your public cloud resources using PowerShell, without an on-prem connection at any point in the process. And because Azure Automation operates as a service, there’s no installation, configuration, or maintenance of the service necessary to get (and stay) up and running. Azure Automation allows for powerful integration, automation, and orchestration that has until now been nearly impossible to do at scale: Integrate: Build new and import existing Windows ...

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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 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 today announced that they are revamping the Azure Management Portal with a whole new UX that will delight developers and IT admins. It now offersa fully integrated experience that will enable customers to develop and manage an application in one place, using the platform and tools of their choice. The new portal combines all the components of a cloud application into a single development and management experience. New components include the following: Simplified Resource Management. Rather than managing standalone resources such as Microsoft Azure Web Sites, Visual Studio Projects or databases, customers can now create, manage and analyze their entire application as a single resource group in a unified, customized experience, greatly reducing complexity while enabling scale. Today, the new Azure Manager is also being released through the latest Azure SDK for customers to automate their deployment and management from any client or device. Integrated billing. A new ...

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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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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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ZDNet today reported that Microsoft is planning to rebrand its “Windows Azure” services to “Microsoft Azure”. It was also reported that Microsoft will make this rebranding announcement this week, specifically tomorrow (March 25). The rebranding will go live on April 3, on the 2nd day of Microsoft’s BUILD developer conference in San Francisco. I guess this rebranding effort is to symbolize Azure as a cross-platform/heterogeneous cloud solution rather than just a Windows based Cloud service. The rebranding makes sense, given Windows Azure isn’t all about Windows. Azure customers can run Linux in virtual machines on the operating system. Azure users also can run Oracle databases and middleware, and use non-Windows-specific development tools, including Java, Ruby, PHP and Python. Are you happy with Microsoft Azure name? Source: ZDNet ...

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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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Age of Ascent is a Massively Multiplayer Online game that will be released in early 2015. The first of which is a public alpha test of the PvP dogfighting component is going to be done today. The game developers are using Windows Azure for their game backend and attempting for a Guinness World Record on having the greatest number of concurrent players in the same battlezone at the same time. Age of Ascent will soon be attempting to earn a Guinness World Record. Can you tell us more about that? Yes. During the public alpha of AoA’s PvP dogfighting module we’re hoping to break the current world record for Largest Videogame PvP Battle. What does the record currently look like? Don’t other games have millions of players? The current holders are the excellent folk (and players) at CCP Games for Eve Online, with 4,070 players in a single system; a ...

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  At Microsoft’s Federal Executive Forum, an annual event where people from around the federal government gather together to discuss how technology can be used to improve their workflow and others. As we are seeing in the other industries, Cloud computing is a hot topic among Federal agencies too. The popular public cloud services from Amazon, Salesforce, etc, does not suit their needs. As agencies explore moves to the cloud, many may have solutions already in place, and they need a partner who can help them leverage those, lower security risks and reduce training and implementation costs. In some cases, agencies may often be looking at some new combination of private cloud or even public or dedicated community cloud for government. Our hybrid cloud gives complex government environments the flexibility of working with us on their terms and within their architecture choice. Instead of coming to the table with predisposed ideas of what is best ...

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During the commencement of Sochi Olympic games, Microsoft announced its partnership with NBC to stream thousands of hours of content to millions of users. Today, Microsoft highlighted the work they did with Sochi Olympics games. Various Microsoft technologies like Windows, Windows Azure, SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft ERP, etc, were deployed to run this huge event successfully. “It is a great recognition and honor for Microsoft Russia to become a supplier of the Sochi Olympics. Microsoft technologies ensured that the innovative Olympic Games in Sochi were organized at the highest level and, in our view, contributed to the establishment of a new technological standard for large sports events organization in Russia and the whole world. The website sochi2014.com powered by Windows azure will give the opportunity to Organizing Commettes of the next Games to benefit from the experience and architectural solutions developed by Microsoft and other technology partners of the Organizing ...

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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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Scott Guthrie, well known among developers for his red polo shirts, has been promoted to EVP of Cloud & Enterprise. This is now CEO Satya Nadella’s old position. eWeek snagged his first interview since his promotion. Scott talks about Windows Azure, how they worked with Dev division for lots of integration, competing with Azure, unique position Microsoft holds in this game and more. Here is an excerpt from it. How does all this added together set you up to compete with AWS? I think we’re in a good place right now. The team is executing in Agile. We did a bunch of mobile service announcements. It’s kind of nice because it is kind of rapid and it has the team on its toes. And the quality bar goes up. The biggest thing for us is with the things like BizTalk and Active Directory, it shows us getting very pointy with a ...

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