Articles about Microsoft

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OK, hyperconverged is the new black. But who's winning at it?

A consultancy reports that Nutanix, Simplivity and VMware lead the SDS/HCI market, while Microsoft, Cisco and HPE lag behind. Interesting... now that HPE has bought SimpliVity it must be a top 2 player and could be numero uno (it is). But lead in what? Certainly not in sales units or revenues; this is mainly a product …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2017
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Your IDE won't change, but YOU will: HELLO! Machine learning

Machine learning has become a buzzword. A branch of Artificial Intelligence, it adds marketing sparkle to everything from intrusion detection tools to business analytics. What is it, exactly, and how can you code it? Programs historically produce precise results using linear instructions. Fetch that file, open it, alter this …
Danny Bradbury, 23 Feb 2017

Microsoft catches up to Valentine's Day Flash flaw massacre

Microsoft's popped out a Security Update for Adobe Flash. Adobe did likewise last week, celebrating hackers' love for Flash by releasing it on Valentine's Day. That dump addressed no fewer than 13 CVEs that allowed code execution due to: Type confusion vulnerability Integer overflow vulnerability Use-after-free …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Feb 2017

Ah, the Raspberry Pi 3. So much love. So much power ... So turn it into a Windows thin client

Using the Raspberry Pi 3 as a Windows thin client is not a new idea, but NComputing has wrapped it all up in a nice package for its target markets of schools and verticals. The NComputing RX300 is a $99 piece of kit that uses the Pi 3 board in two modes: running native Raspbian Linux, or as a Windows VDI thin-client. And …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2017

Facebook scales back AI flagship after chatbots hit 70% f-AI-lure rate

So it begins. Facebook has scaled back its ambitions and refocussed its application of "artificial intelligence" after its AI bots hit a 70 per cent failure rate. Facebook unveiled a bot API for its Messenger IM service at its developer conference last April. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had high hopes. TenCent's WeChat was …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2017

Speaking in Tech: Taxing robot labour for benefit glorious taxpayer

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Regular tech podcasters Greg and Ed are joined by Josh Atwell of NetApp to discuss the rapid pace of innovation and automation and the impact on employment and society. The crew also discuss sexual harassment in the tech industry and Oracle “clawbacks”. The details… (0: …
Team Register, 22 Feb 2017
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Hopping the flash stepping stones to DIMM future

Analysis Up until very recently the main thrust of data access and storage technology development was to make the media faster, hence the move from disk to flash, and flash technology developments to increase capacity. But the opportunity to make further advances is closing and attention is turning to removing the final obstacle to …
Chris Mellor, 22 Feb 2017
Upspin's mascot, Augie

Google devs try to create new global namespace

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a universal and consistent way to give names to files stored on the Internet, so they were easy to find? A universal resource locator, if you like? The problem is that URLs have been clunkified, so Upspin, an experimental project from some Google engineers, offers an easier model: identifying …
Microsoft displays its cloud offerings at Ignite in Atlanta

Dying for Windows 10 Creators Update? But wait, there's more!

Microsoft has confirmed it is planning a second major update for Windows 10, which is to be piloted this year, and is seriously considering releasing it before 2018. This is according to word out of Microsoft's Ignite partner conference in Australia, where the Redmond software giant revealed its map for upcoming operating …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Feb 2017
Paul Berg, at the Open Source Leadership Summit

Meet the chap open-sourcing US govt code – Paul, an ex-Microsoft anti-piracy engineer

Interview In the months ahead, Idaho National Laboratory aims to open-source software for analyzing the quality of cow manure. "It runs a whole bunch of scenarios and numbers and determines what is the most profitable use of the manure that comes out of cows," explained Paul Berg, senior research and development software licensing …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Feb 2017

Your next PC is… your 'Droid? Remix unveils Continuum-killer

Jide, the company founded by three ex-Googlers, has shown how a phone can act as a Continuum-style hub. When plugged into an external monitor, the Android device – with the new and as-yet unreleased cut of Jide's Remix OS – allows the user to work with "desktop-friendly" versions of the apps that are already installed on the …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2017
European flag with sad face

EU privacy gurus peer at Windows 10, still don't like what they see

The EU’s top privacy body has been probing Windows 10, but isn’t satisfied, even after Microsoft agreed to tweak the consent settings. Microsoft unveiled new privacy controls as part of its forthcoming “Creators Update” to Windows 10 due this spring. However, Reuters reports that the Article 29 Working Party, which represents …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Feb 2017
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Suffering ceepie-geepies! Do we need a new processor architecture?

Backgrounder Do we need a new processor architecture? Graphcore says that machine learning computation is different from existing computational types, and will be broad enough in its usage for – as well as accelerated significantly by – a dedicated processor architecture. If UK-based Graphcore is right, then its IPU will join CPU and GPU …
Chris Mellor, 21 Feb 2017
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Ditching your call centre for an app? Be careful not to get SAP-slapped

SAP has scored what threatens to be a pyrrhic victory in court against one of its own customers. A British court sided with the software giant in a case that threatens to drastically increase the amount of money customers must pay it. A judge ruled that SAP's named-user licensing fees must cover any and all software that …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Feb 2017
SimpliVity_Omnicubes

Surprise! HPE says nothing about ProLiant server hardware for SimpliVity OmniCubes

Analysis HPE has closed its SimpliVity acquisition and publicised software porting and migration plans but hasn't said anything about SimpliVity hardware moving to a ProLiant server base. The second-largest hyperconverged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) startup was bought for $650m, and so SimpliVity's hardware added to HPE's two-horse …
Chris Mellor, 20 Feb 2017
Amazon box tipped over, propped against doorframe. Photo by Jeramey Lende via Shutterstock

UnBrex-pected move: Amazon raises UK workforce to 24,000

Amazon has announced its intention to increase its UK workforce to over 24,000 this year. The company said it would be welcoming an additional 5,000 staff to its UK headcount, with the majority expected to be staffing its warehouse “fulfilment centres” dotted around the nation, although no breakdown was provided. Amazon told …
NEW YORK - OCT 15, 2016: Beyonce Knowles attends the TIDAL X: 1015 concert at the Barclays Center on October 15, 2016, in New York. Editorial credit: JStone / Shutterstock, Inc. (editorial use only)

NZ firm tucks into $27m on the back of VR 'hologram' promise

Analysis 8i, a New Zealand based company, last week landed a large B funding round that reads like a who’s who in the Virtual reality world. Its aim is to bring holograms to the masses. This doesn’t actually mean what it says, but it’s still pretty cool. To most of us, a hologram is something that stands in front of us, created in the …
Faultline, 20 Feb 2017
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Love lambda, love Microsoft's Graph Engine. But you fly alone

Analysis Much has changed at Microsoft since Steve Ballmer described Linux as "a cancer" in reaction to the open-source flag-flyer's threat to Redmond's money-spinning Windows business. Three years after Redmond's researchers published their whitepaper on distributed graph engine Trinity, Microsoft has announced that it has released …

DraaS-tic times call for DraaS-tic measures in VMware's cloud

Disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) is an obvious service to run in the cloud, as the business of operating secondary sites is costly and complex. Which is why Microsoft's offered Azure Site Recovery, including for VMware users, and why and data protection vendors such as Zerto have happily stretched to the cloud. And now …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2017
Gorilla icon

Big three clouds, Apple, Facebook are buying all the best cloud tech

Those of you contemplating a cloud startup have two options: get acquired by one of five companies or build an automatic sueball flinger. So says Sam Altman, president of startup factory Y Combinator, in his annual letter describing the organisation's activities. The letter's full of StartupLand cliches - “Our mission is to …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2017
shutterstock_popcorn_cat

Google bellows bug news after Microsoft sails past fix deadline

Google's Project Zero has again revealed a Windows bug before Microsoft fixed it. Project Zero operates under a “once we tell you about a bug you have 90 days to fix it or the kitten gets it or we reveal it to the world” policy. On this occasion, the bug allows attackers to access memory using EMF metafiles, a tool …
Darren Pauli, 20 Feb 2017

Microsoft makes cheeky bid for MongoDB devs on Azure security grounds

Microsoft is attempting to capitalise on a recent spate of ransom attacks on unsecured MongoDB instances by encouraging developers to switch to working with its own Azure-based DocumentDB system. The free version of MongoDB ships with the default TCP port 27017, and with so many administrators failing to run port to change it …

Yee-haw! It's the Friday storage round-up

Not every story is NetApp making a hyperconverged product, or Oracle possibly canning tape products. Here's a roundup of several pieces of news that are nevertheless significant. We wrote about data management startup Komprise some time ago. It tells us it released its product last year, has partnerships with NetApp, EMC, …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017
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Brit watchdog spanks Microsoft, Amazon, Apple into promising fairer cloud contracts

Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have committed to providing cloud storage users with fairer contracts after a crackdown by the UK's Competition Markets Authority (CMA). The companies are the latest cloud storage providers to improve their terms and conditions following the CMA's review of compliance with consumer law in the sector …
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2017
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What does a complex AI model look like? Here's some Friday eye candy from UK biz Graphcore

Pics Brit chip startup Graphcore has produced sexy images of its graph processing. We wrote about Graphcore scoring $30m A-round funding in October. The processor designer came out of two years in XMOS-incubated stealth mode at that time, and was founded by CEO Nigel Toon and CTO Simon Knowles. XMOS is a fabless semiconductor …
Chris Mellor, 17 Feb 2017

'I'm innocent!' says IT contractor on trial after Office 365 bill row spiraled out of control

An IT contractor is facing criminal charges after turning off the Microsoft Office 365 service of a customer he said owed him money. Jim Kubicek, 48, of Cumming, Georgia, US, was arrested and charged with theft by extortion, computer theft, and computer trespass. He denies any wrongdoing, and told The Register: "I am innocent …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Feb 2017
Recreation of a scene from Star Wars A New Hope: Droids R2-D2 and C-3PO escaping the Tantive IV while under Imperial attack. Figures are 6 inch Hasbro Black Series action figures

Oracle's IoT play: Teach business apps and things to talk together

Oracle has revealed another way it thinks it can address the internet of things market, by teaching its existing business apps to talk things' language. Big Red has a colossal portfolio of business apps, among them the Oracle Supply Chain Management Cloud. The company also knows that the supply chain is full of “things” - …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Feb 2017
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft ups Surface slab prices for Brits. Darn weak pound, eh?

Microsoft has increased hardware prices in the UK for a second time this year, citing the decreased value of the weaker sterling currency when repatriated as dollars. Its top-of-the-line Surface Book will today set users back a whopping £3,049, £400 more than it would have cost if purchased yesterday. Price increases across …
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Dirty data, flogged cores: YES, Microsoft SQL Server R Services has its positives

The R language has enjoyed a great reputation in statistical computing and graphics for decades. However, it is also known as something for statisticians. Born around the time of Java, PHP and Python, R lags behind all three by a long chalk on the TIOBE rankings. Yet Microsoft spotted an opportunity in this era of analytics …
Andrew Cobley, 16 Feb 2017
Green data centre

Data centre locations: In the city or up the country?

Promo The obvious difference between using a data centre in the city centre compared to the country is cost, but other factors such as proximity to fibre connections, accessibility, security and just plain convenience, might well lure you back to the centre. Let’s help you decide whether you’d prefer your infrastructure to be uptown, …
David Gordon, 16 Feb 2017

As Microsoft touts Windows Insider for biz, let's take a look at W10's broken 2FA logins

For months now, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update has broken two-factor logins using certain smart cards – and Microsoft has refused to discuss it. According to Reg readers writing in, and W10 users on support forums, folks who have Yubikey two-factor authentication gadgets have been hitting frustrating error messages when …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Feb 2017

Global IPv4 address drought: Seriously, we're done now. We're done

You may have heard this before, but we are really, really running out of public IPv4 addresses. This week, the regional internet registry responsible for Latin America and the Caribbean, LACNIC, announced it has moved to "phase 3" of its plan to dispense with the remaining network addresses, meaning that only companies that …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Feb 2017

OK, it's time to talk mass spying again: America's Section 702 powers are up for renewal

Analysis While the entire US political machinery has been caught up with one Trump-based scandal after another over the past three weeks, larger underlying issues are starting to re-emerge. And top of the list is mass surveillance. Section 702 of America's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) expires at the end of the year – …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Feb 2017
Australian cloud

Dell EMC's 'Spanning' SaaS backup outfit expands into Australia

Dell EMC's software-as-a-service backup outfit, “Spanning”, has expanded into Australia. If the very premise of SaaS backup sounds a bit odd, given the universal promise that SaaS runs from super-redundant bit barns so you don't have to worry about things like backup, know that Spanning's schtick is not primary backup. …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Feb 2017

Microsoft offers drone lovers a simulator

Microsoft has created and released a simulator for drone pilots to help them avoid destroying their toys while running machine learning experiments. Not unreasonably, Redmond has figured out that UAV-fanciers would like a way to generate training data for machine learning algorithms governing autonomous flight in a simulator, …

ASLR-security-busting JavaScript hack demo'd by university boffins

Researchers in Europe have developed a way to exploit a common computer processor feature to bypass a crucial security defense provided by modern operating systems. By abusing the way today's CPUs manage system memory, an attacker can discover where software components, such as libraries and RAM-mapped files, are located in …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Feb 2017
Koala on a rocket

Oracle reveals more rounded Australian *aas

Oracle has flicked the switch on everything-as-a-service in Australia. Big Red has offered software-as-a-service in Australia since 2012. Yesterday it turned on infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service (IaaS and PaaS) too, splashing down its servers in a third-party bit barn rather than build its own. HPE adopted …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Feb 2017

'We need a new Geneva Convention to protect all citizens from snoops'

RSA USA In 1949, the world’s nations came together to sign the Geneva Conventions, according respect in times of war to civilians, soldiers incapable of fighting, and prisoners of war. Now we need to go back and do the same for civilians caught up in online conflict, according to Microsoft. In a keynote at this year's RSA USA …
Iain Thomson, 14 Feb 2017
Valentine card

Roses are red, bugs make you blue, Patch Tuesday is late, because Microsoft loves you

IT admins hoping to get out of the office early for Valentine's Day have received some potentially welcome or heartbreaking news from Microsoft, depending on how they're set up. The Windows slinger says it will hold back its usual monthly release of software security patches while it irons out some last-minute problems with …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Feb 2017
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Amazon Chimes into video-conferencing: Watch out Skype and Google

Amazon has opened a new front in its battle for enterprise applications against Microsoft, Google and Cisco. The giant has unveiled Chime – a cloud-based unified voice, video and chat communications service targeting corporate IT as much as end users. Chime will, Amazon claims, eliminate common frustrations found in video- …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Feb 2017
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It's over? Pat Gelsinger's post vSphere VMware NSX-T opportunity

Sysadmin Blog VMware has recently announced its financial results for 2016, and for a company that's not just satured but that leads the VM market, it had a very good year. Some of this is attributed to accepting that VMware can't beat AWS, so it might as well join them. But VMware's NSX Network Virtualization arguably led the way, doubling …
Trevor Pott, 14 Feb 2017
Fast Cloud

Clouds can compete with HPC, say boffins

The best clouds are genuinely competitive with do-it-yourself high performance computing – and Microsoft's top-tier Azure is the best of the lot. That's the conclusion from research conducted by Mohammad Mohammadi and Timur Bazhirov of Exabyte and offered as a pre-print at Arxiv. The two boffins took a simple approach to …
Shouting match

WTF is up with the W3C, DRM and security bods threatened – we explain

Analysis A lengthy battle over the inclusion of digital rights management as a Web standard is coming to a head, with a set of new guidelines planned for early March. Those guidelines will include the latest attempt at compromise between pragmatists and idealists over how to allow control of content online without undermining the …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Feb 2017
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If you need an in-mem analytics cruncher – and, hey, who doesn't? – Microsoft Graph Engine is now open source

Microsoft Graph Engine, the in-memory-store-slash-computation engine, has been released under the open source MIT license. The GitHub repository contains the source code of Graph Engine and its graph query language, Language Integrated Query, which is already utilized by the Academic Graph Search API in Microsoft Cognitive …
StoreServ_racks

HPE brags its latest 3PAR OS shrinkwrapper better protects data

HPE says its latest 3PAR OS, v 3.3.1, has better data reduction, faster iSCI networking, upgraded data protection and an extra helping of automation to help admin staff. The Adaptive Data Reduction (ADR) feature can reduce capacity needs by up to 75 per cent*, it claims. It includes both in-line deduplication and compression, …
Chris Mellor, 13 Feb 2017
Stealth_bomber

Say a stealthy 'hi' to Gluent, Tachyum and VAST Data

Analysis Three storage startups have hoved into view: Gluent, Tachyum and VAST Data. Gluent is a data silo virtualiser, liking RDBMS to Hadoop data for easier and simpler data analysis. Tachyum aims to, it appears, defeat Moore's Law by devising a new data processing architecture, and VAST Data, the stealthiest of the three, must be …
Chris Mellor, 13 Feb 2017

Munich may dump Linux for Windows

The German city of Munich, which pioneered the use of open source software at scale in government, looks set to replace Linux on the desktop with Windows. The city's government has posted proposal for a new IT policy (PDF in German) that Reg affiliate Heise reports calls for the development of a new Windows-based standard …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Feb 2017
Surface Book

That guy using a Surface you keep seeing around town could be a spy

Microsoft's pointed out that the United States' National Security Agency has added some Surface devices to the nation's okay-for-accessing-secure-information list. That list's proper name is the Commercial Solutions for Classified Program and was created because the US government used to spend years building a secure suite of …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Feb 2017

Lovely. Now someone's ported IoT-menacing Mirai to Windows boxes

The Mirai malware that hijacked hundreds of thousands of IoT gadgets, routers and other devices is now capable of infecting Windows systems. The software nasty, discovered in August 2016, broke into heaps of insecure Linux-powered gizmos worldwide before running distributed denial of service attacks, most notably against DNS …
John Leyden, 10 Feb 2017

Run this in April: UPDATE Azure SET SQLthreat_detection = 'generally available'

Microsoft says it will fully power up its Azure SQL Database Threat Detection service this spring. This technology, which has been in preview mode for the past year or so, monitors for suspicious database activities, and raises the alarm if malicious access is detected. It has been two years in the making, and will enter …