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Microsoft apologises for yet another BPOS outage

Microsoft has apologised for another Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) outage that left customers across the pond struggling to access email. Only last month, the software firm was forced to say sorry after its troubled online service crashed for three hours, which followed problems in May. Microsoft confirmed the …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jul 2011
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Microsoft BPOS biz-cloud hit by another outage

Microsoft cloud execs are crossing their fingers that Office 365, the pending successor to the Business Productivity Online Suite, is a safer bet for customers following yet another crash in North America. Customers across the region and in London reported problems logging into the hosted service – Exchange Online and SharePoint …
Paul Kunert, 23 Jun 2011

Microsoft BPOS encourages jacuzzi use at Wise Group

Glasgow-based Wise Group has worked for a generation in Scotland to help get jobs for ex-offenders and the long-term unemployed. With a creaking IT system, many small offices and little cash to spend, Wise CIO Alan Lee-Bourke decided that his best chance of putting a jacuzzi in his server room was to use Microsoft BPOS to …
Phil Mitchell, 08 Jun 2011
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Microsoft gives BPOS customers credit note for latest crash

Microsoft UK has vowed to provide BPOS customers with vouchers against future credits following seven hours of downtime at the weekend. This is the latest in a series of embarrassing cloud outages for Redmond after a summer of interruptions began in May, but differs from other incidents in that an "Act of God" was responsible …
Paul Kunert, 10 Aug 2011
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Microsoft BPOS cloud outage burns Exchange converts

Microsoft has served up another apology for the unreliability of its cloud after burning converts to its BPOS collaboration service by killing their email. Dave Thompson, corporate vice president for Microsoft's online services, has been telling customers who've gone "all in" on Microsoft's BPOS cloud that he's really "sorry for …
Gavin Clarke, 13 May 2011

Don't trust us? Try these Office 365 stats, says Microsoft

Microsoft will publish data on the reliability of Office 365 to boost confidence in the online service – and yet it also warned that more outages are possible. The software giant said in a blog titled Cloud services you can trust: Office 365 availability that it now plans to publish uptime numbers for Office 365. The figures …
Gavin Clarke, 09 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Office 365 - what's in it for you? Speak your brains

Microsoft Office is the planet’s most ubiquitous productivity suite and Word and Excel still set the standard on personal productivity apps. The way the software suite is embedded in each office's day-to-day business means that with each new update, Microsoft finds itself struggling to convince people to upgrade. After all, the …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Google finally wins DoI cloud apps contract

Google has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by winning the US Department of the Interior (DoI) contract for its Apps for Government platform, after Microsoft had snaffled the original deal. "We’re honored that the Department of the Interior has selected Google Apps for Government, and we look forward to working closely …
Iain Thomson, 02 May 2012
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Office 365, Hotmail and SkyDrive hit by outage

A new month and another outage for Microsoft's Office 365 cloud service. This time it had company as Hotmail and SkyDrive were also downed by the same DNS (Domain Name System) issue. Luckily for Europe, outages started in the middle of last night when most of us were tucked up in bed – 4am GMT and lasted for around three-and-a- …
Paul Kunert, 09 Sep 2011
The Register breaking news

Office 365 gives Aston Martin a smoother ride

Aston Martin, James Bond's favourite sports car maker, celebrates its centenary this year. The company recently shifted its disparate office IT onto Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365. Designing, building and selling high-performance cars requires reliable systems that can deal with data-dense diagrams and images. Aston …
John Oates, 04 Jun 2013
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ASA probes Microsoft cloud reliability claims

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) is checking out a complaint about claims from Microsoft that it can guarantee 99.9 per cent uptime on its cloud services. The Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) has been prone to outages. And even its successor, Office 365, has gone down twice since its launch in late June, leading …
Paul Kunert, 14 Sep 2011

That's it, we're all really OLD: Google's Gmail is 10 ALREADY

Gmail shook up the world of free web email in the mid-2000s, but 10 years after going public in 2004, Google’s service offers much more than simply firing emails around the world. When Google unveiled Gmail on 1 April, 2004, the company’s co-founders reckoned the service was just its way of making email better. Gmail was, we …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Apr 2014
The Register breaking news

Lightning strikes cloud: Amazon, MS downed

Microsoft has been left reeling again after another BPOS crash but at least on this occasion it was not alone, as Amazon's EC2 web services were also downed by the same act of God in Europe. A bolt of lightning struck a transformer at a power utility provider in Dublin, causing an explosion that took down the back-systems last …
Paul Kunert, 08 Aug 2011
The Register breaking news

City of London takes non-profit to the cloud

Who is the shadowy City of London Corporation? Actually it is not shadowy at all, it's the City's local government. In our latest Future of Productivity podcast Adam Hand tells Tim Phillips how the City of London Corporation helped TheCityUK, a non-profit organisation that promotes UK financial services, to migrate its …
Tim Phillips, 18 Apr 2011
The Register breaking news

Microsoft coughs to wobbly Office Live problems

Microsoft has admitted that its soon-to-be retired Office Live product has been struggling to serve up accounts and websites for its small business customers for the best part of a week. "The issue has been resolved and the service is now functioning normally. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience," wrote product manager …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 May 2011
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Microsoft: Office 365 outages 'will' happen

Microsoft is confident that Office 365 – its second generation cloud service – will prove more resilient than the Business Productivity Online Suite but it cannot guarantee uptime. BPOS gained a pretty bad rep due to a series of outages, the most recent coming just last week, and users were praying that the new cloud iteration …
Paul Kunert, 30 Jun 2011
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Microsoft's anti–Google Docs weapon locked and loaded

The rebranded edition of Microsoft's answer to Google Docs is officially launching on June 28, a top company executive has revealed. Jon Roskill, corporate vice president for the worldwide partner group, has Tweeted that the beta label comes off the productivity and collaboration cloud on June 28, when it will become generally …
Gavin Clarke, 03 Jun 2011

Philippines tech industries survive floods

To the west of the Philippines' capital, Manila, lies Laguna De Bay, a colossal freshwater lake that has just become the site of what can loosely be called maritime services startups. The new businesses sprung up weeks ago after the annual monsoon hit the Philippines harder than usual. The lake filled, then spilled into …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Aug 2012
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Microsoft claims state first with Minnesota cloud

Microsoft's crusade to convert earth-bound customers into cloud floaters has landed an army of 30,000 government email and collaboration users in the US state of Minnesota. The state will stop running its own Exchange email servers for executive-branch communications, and will switch to Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) …
Gavin Clarke, 29 Sep 2010
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Microsoft online app melodrama wins federal certification

Microsoft's BPOS-Federal suite of online business applications has been certified for use by the US government. Which highlights the fact that it wasn't certified earlier. Earlier this month, Microsoft made headlines when it accused Google of making "misleading security claims" to the US government, an accusation that hinged on …
Cade Metz, 21 Apr 2011
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Microsoft stumps up titsup Azure cloud compo

Microsoft has confirmed to El Reg that it will cough up service credits for customers walloped by the recent Azure outage. Under its T&Cs, Redmond offers financially backed service level agreements (SLAs) covering its cloud portfolio, and previously dished out credit notes to BPOS users for a seven-hour blackout in the summer. …
Paul Kunert, 07 Mar 2012
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Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online users suffer outages

Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online customers stateside suffered a major outage yesterday for more than five hours. The issues first emerged at about 11am Pacific Daylight Time (7pm BST), with users in the US and Canada complaining on Twitter that they could not access email while administrators were unable to manage or …
Paul Kunert, 18 Aug 2011
The Register breaking news

OMG - It's raining raw fish in tasty little packages

Fast fishy food chain YO Sushi! plans to buy servers no more as it heads into the cloud, according to IT manager Billy Waters. A much needed infrastructure refresh was looming for the firm which carves up raw fish and serves it on conveyer belts for punters, as it was using Microsoft Exchange, Office and other apps on seven year …
Paul Kunert, 07 Nov 2011
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Microsoft shakes up Office 365 channel payments

Microsoft is trying to talk to resellers about Office 365 in a language they understand: cold hard cash ... but the message is still failing to resonate with some. Redmond is paying dealers three months upfront for selling its cloud services instead of just one month as had been the case with the Business Producivity Online …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2011
The Register breaking news

Watchdog urged to probe Microsoft's cloud claims... again

The Advertising Standards Authority has been asked to reopen an investigation into Microsoft's boasts of 99.9 per cent uptime for its cloud services. The plea follows complaints that the ad watchdog did not properly tackle Redmond the first time round. As revealed a while back, the ASA was asked by a Microsoft customer to probe …
Paul Kunert, 04 Nov 2011
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IBM floats Notes for Microsoft Exchange wobblers

IBM has shot back in the escalating war with Microsoft, offering email and collaboration in the cloud. Big Blue has unveiled a hosted groupware service based on a multi-tenant version of its Domino server, along with pricing that matches cuts made by Microsoft in its Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS) suite a year ago …
Gavin Clarke, 06 Oct 2010
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Google Apps contracts promise no 'scheduled downtime'

Google has updated the contracts for its Google Apps suite so that they no longer make allowances for scheduled maintenance, and that any downtime - no matter how small - will be counted and applied to the customer's agreement. Mountain View announced the change to its Google Apps service level aggreements (SLAs) with a Friday- …
Cade Metz, 14 Jan 2011
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Umbrella-wielding Steve Ballmer gets cloudy with Office 365

Prepackaged software giant Microsoft uncorked its latest online business productivity service, dubbed Office 365, today. It's essentially a re-branding exercise by Redmond, which has replaced the firm's clunkily-named Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) of apps with a cloud-based offering for biz customers. But the song …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Jun 2011
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Microsoft hangs head, makes apology for US cloud bust

Microsoft admitted yesterday what has been pretty clear to many of its US customers for the past few weeks – it has recently failed to match its promise of reliably providing some of its business services via the cloud. “We aspire to deliver quality services, and in the last couple of weeks, we have fallen short of this …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Sep 2010
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Microsoft loses Office 365 man

Microsoft may have its head in the clouds a little too much at the moment, given that it just lost its corporate veep of online services. Dave Thompson, who headed up Redmond's Office 365 business, is retiring from the company later this year after 21 years at Microsoft. Microsoft shoved its productivity suite of apps into a …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Jan 2011
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Microsoft dives into cloud as resellers ask: 'What's in it for me?'

“We're rebooting, re-pivoting, re-transitioning the whole company around betting big on cloud services,” said Microsoft CFO Kevin Turner at the company’s 2010 Worldwide Partner Conference earlier this year. Turner was talking about hosted services – based mainly on Exchange and SharePoint – along with the Azure application and …
Tim Anderson, 10 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

RIM PlayBook to sync with Microsoft Exchange cloud

The PlayBook – the iPad challenger from BlackBerry maker RIM – is following Apple's device into the workplace with the assistance of Microsoft. People getting Exchange emails will be able to synchronize with the version of Exchange Server behind Microsoft's forthcoming Office 365 cloud suite, RIM said on Thursday. Sync with …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Google lures Microsoft Officers with Docs plug-in

Google has launched a service designed to pilfer Microsoft Office users. On Monday, the search giant released Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office, a service that lets Microsoft customers upload Office docs to Google's servers, so they can be edited and exchanged via Mountain View's existing Google Docs online word …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Software as a service: Separating the bells from the whistles

The most obvious attraction of software as a service (SaaS) is that it gives small firms access to software they could not otherwise afford. In exchange for handing their data over to the care of someone with a huge data centre, they also benefit from economies of scale. But since there is no such thing as a free lunch, these …
Lucy Sherriff, 24 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

SaaS for speedy relief of licence headaches

Managing software licensing has to be one of the least fun aspects of an IT professional’s life. For one thing, it is medically proven* that there is no better means of inducing a headache than trying to read the whole of a software licence. And that is before you get to the logistics of managing the things: making sure they are …
Lucy Sherriff, 21 Jul 2011
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Chuck Exchange mailboxes into the cloud... sysadmin style

How do we migrate Exchange mailboxes into the cloud? A customer of mine has recently approached me with a request to move his mail hosting into the cloud, and it had to include BlackBerry support. After some discussion of the options available, a hosted exchange solution was deemed best, with Microsoft's own Office 365 emerging …
Trevor Pott, 23 May 2012
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Google Apps v Microsoft Office 365: Rumble in the enterprise

Microsoft's Office 365 has come out of beta. But does it have what it takes to counter Google Apps? Office 365 has four cloud-hosted components: Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, and Office Web Apps, which you can use to access the other three from a browser. The addition of Dynamics CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is planned. …
Tim Anderson, 28 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Microsoft gets dirty with Gmail cloud cash fight

Microsoft is so committed to the cloud that it's throwing everything at rivals like Google to crack open the door on sales and gain momentum online. Chief operating officer Kevin Turner painted a rosy future for Microsoft in the cloud for Wall Street this week, but at the same time, Microsoft has been getting dirty. The Reg has …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Jul 2010
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Google in preemptive strike on Microsoft Office 365

Google Apps product manager Shan Sinha was once director of strategy for Microsoft SharePoint, Redmond's longstanding effort to facilitate business collaboration over the net. Sinha left Microsoft in the fall of 2007 to create DocVerse, a service that bypassed SharePoint, plugging Microsoft Office clients into Google Apps. …
Cade Metz, 28 Jun 2011
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Office 365: Can Microsoft replace Microsoft?

When it comes to selling new versions of Office, Microsoft's toughest competitor isn't IBM or Google. It's Microsoft. Typically, when Microsoft releases brand new version of its desktop productivity suite, large numbers of customers cling to the versions they already have. The old versions do exactly what they want, and the new …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Jun 2011
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Microsoft hit by cloudy downtime in US

Microsoft suffered a two-hour long outage of some of its hosted software services in North America yesterday. According to an IDG report, the company was hit by a performance issue at one of its data centres on Monday. The downtime led to customers being unable to access some of Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Aug 2010
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Google suit halts Microsoft fed contract

Google has successfully prevented the US Department of the Interior from awarding a $49.3 million email contract to Microsoft. At least temporarily. Late last year, Google sued the Department of the Interior (DOI), claiming it didn't give Google a fair chance to win a contract to provide email and collaboration services for its …
Cade Metz, 05 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Microsoft pushes WP7 plans for enterprise

Microsoft was always going to struggle to get coverage of its TechEd developer conference, and particularly its Windows Phone 7 plans, in the week of iPhone 4. But it is trying its best, outlining the WP7 strategy for its most natural market, the mobile enterprise. In addition, details of one of the first WP7 handsets likely to …
Wireless Watch, 08 Jun 2010
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Microsoft gets in a spin, announces Office 365

Microsoft has shoved its productivity suite of apps into a cloud-based service it has dubbed "Office 365" that is aimed at business customers. The company said that Office 365 would replace its clunkily-named Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). Office Live Small Business and Live@edu will also be ditched in a brand …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

Getting data in and out of a cloud service

Two problems with getting data in and out of a cloud service: the technology, meaning bandwidth and networking protocols, and contractual obligations. There are limits to what can be done to download terabytes of data faster, but the right tools can certainly make things simpler. And as usual when taking on contracts, cloud …
Lucy Sherriff, 17 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Microsoft 'record' results beat Jedi mind trickery

Microsoft has reported record financial results for the quarter ending June 30, and the big money maker was Windows. Despite attempts at Jedi mind trickery involving cloud services, the company remains firmly wedded to the earth-bound PC. Revenue for Windows jumped 43 per cent during the company's fiscal fourth quarter, to $4. …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Jul 2010
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Microsoft accuses Google of misleading feds over app security

Microsoft has accused Google of making "misleading security claims" to the US government, as the two companies continue to spar over the use of their respective online application suites among government agencies. With a recent lawsuit, various public statements, and posts to its website, Google has said that its Google Apps for …
Cade Metz, 11 Apr 2011
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Phoenix jacks up profits

Phoenix IT Group is on the lookout for acquisitions this year as it looks to build on a solid financial performance in the 12 months to March. The services group reported turnover of £108.9m, up 23.3 per cent on the year, with pre-tax profit of £17.9m, up 61.9 per cent. Its order book stands at £148.7m, up 19 per cent. Chief …
Team Register, 18 May 2006