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Richard Speed

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Microsoft flings features at Teams to close the Slack gap

Microsoft rarely misses an opportunity to extoll the virtues of its collaboration platform, Teams, and this month’s Ignite is no exception. Teams, according to the software giant, is “the fastest growing business app in Microsoft history”. As is the norm, a raft of figures was trotted out to back up this fact: 329,000 …
Richard Speed, 25 Sep 2018

Office 2019 lumbers to the stage once more as Microsoft promises future releases

What might well be the last non-cloudy version of Microsoft Office has been nudged gently into the light. The on-premises edition of Office 2019 has shipped and contains all the enhancements that Office 365 ProPlus users have seen over the last three years. Microsoft is at pains to point out that 2019 is a one-time release …
Richard Speed, 25 Sep 2018
Cloud storage

Mac users get to join the OneDrive Files On-Demand festivities

A year after Microsoft reintroduced placeholders for Windows users of OneDrive in the form of "Files On-Demand", Mac users of the cloudy file service are getting the same love. Placeholders were briefly a thing in the Windows 7 and 8.1 worlds and allowed a OneDrive user to view the contents of their cloud file store without …
Richard Speed, 25 Sep 2018
Cloud desktop

Still holding out on Windows 10? Microsoft tempts upgrade with virtual desktop to Azure

Ignite With Windows Virtual Desktop, Microsoft is offering corporate Window 7 users yet another migration path to Windows 10; this time via Azure. Microsoft 365 is about to gain what Redmond is modestly calling “the best virtualized Windows and Office experience delivered on Azure.” Virtualization slingers Citrix and VMware might beg …
Richard Speed, 24 Sep 2018
Surface Hub 2 (pic: Microsoft)

Microsoft adds delayed gratification to the Surface Hub 2 line

Ignite Microsoft has lifted a page from its gaming playbook and split its Surface Hub 2 product into two lines: the 2S and 2X. The Surface Hub has carved itself a niche with businesses that have bought into the Office 365 world, providing an alternative to the meeting-room whiteboard with all manner of collaboration goodness via a …
Richard Speed, 24 Sep 2018
World with light lines representing connectivity connecting various foci on the globe. Pic via Shutterstock

Microsoft's globally distributed data shack Cosmos DB shoots for sky. Or at least 5 nines

Ignite Microsoft today launched a wave of new features to lure punters onto its globally distributed database service, Cosmos DB. Multi-Master is faster Cosmos DB, released just over 18 months ago as an evolution of the Azure DocumentDB NoSQL service, has now gained multi-master functionality, promising a service-level agreement (SLA …
Richard Speed, 24 Sep 2018
kids drink milkshake

That syncing feeling when you realise you may be telling Google more than you thought

Google's Chrome lost more of its shine over the weekend – after the normally calm and reasoned world of Twitter erupted when folks realized the search giant was automatically signing them into its browser. The change appeared in Chrome 69, which rolled out at the beginning of September and initially occupied users with the …
Richard Speed, 24 Sep 2018
A freshly dead hand rises from grave

As one Microsoft Windows product hauls itself out of the grave, others tumble in

As much of the Microsoft world packed up and headed for Ignite, new builds and a surprising resurrection filled a busy week in Redmond. Windows Insider build pace hints at imminent release, if not for that pesky Task Manager The gap between releases for fast and slow Windows Insider rings continued to narrow last week as build …
Richard Speed, 24 Sep 2018

Windows Admin Center gets an update, just in time for Server 2019

Microsoft has released Windows Admin Center 1809 and its SDK, with a variety of tweaks and enhancements to Redmond’s latest take on managing a Windows environment. We took a look at the browser-based product back in April when it was just emerging from its Project Honolulu days and found much to like, but also a bit to dislike …
Richard Speed, 21 Sep 2018
iPhone XS teardown (credit: iFixit)

iFixit engineers have an L of a time pulling apart Apple's iPhone XS

The screwdriver fiddlers at iFixit have inflicted their usual brand of affection upon Apple’s pricey new phones and found a battery of a most unusual shape. Having taken a few short seconds to admire the oh-so-shiny Gorilla Glass cover of the XS and XS Max, the iFixit engineers went at the unfortunate devices with an array of …
Richard Speed, 21 Sep 2018
Skeleton at computer

Still using Skype? Good news! After HOURS of meetings, Microsoft reckons it knows when you're Not Active

Microsoft has tweaked the presence model of its chat platform, Skype, in an effort to calm users still shrieking about lost features in the version 8 "upgrade". Peter Skillman, director of design for Outlook and Skype at Microsoft, shared the good news via Twitter that after "HOURS" of meetings, the team had decided to deal …
Richard Speed, 21 Sep 2018
The revised Start menu in Build 14328

You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?

Imagine you’ve just returned to work from a lengthy sabbatical and found, among the thousands of increasingly shrill and unanswered emails in your mailbox, one telling you that you are now the proud product owner of a bunch of Windows OS apps. What would you do? Steve Teixeira, a general manager in Microsoft’s Windows and …
Richard Speed, 21 Sep 2018
The White STork 5 space truck at Tanegashima Space Center. Pic: JAXA

Bad weather, baulky booster keep ISS 'naut snacks on the ground

International Space Station astronauts looking forward to feasting on some fresh food have a little longer to wait as Japan’s cargo ship has suffered yet another launch delay. Bad weather originally kept Japan’s H-IIB rocket on the launchpad before engineers discovered an issue with the booster, which delayed the launch …
Richard Speed, 20 Sep 2018
Penguins line up to dive into the icy water from the ice floe.

Ubuntu flings 14.04 LTS users a security lifeline, chats some more about Hyper-V

Ubuntu-slinger Canonical has assured us that 14.04 LTS users need not fear the impending end of life of the OS next year, and confirmed it will keep security fixes flowing a little while longer. Long Term Support gets just a little bit longer Ubuntu’s “Long Term Support” (LTS) releases of its Debian-based OS have seen five …
Richard Speed, 20 Sep 2018
Stack of cash

GitLab gets it, grabs $100m to become $1bn firm

Code repository and DevOps outfit, GitLab, has tipped into the $1bn club thanks to a $100m injection of funding from ICONIQ Capital. GitLab had previously pocketed $20m from GV in October 2017 as it strove to move on from just stashing source code for devs that either didn’t want to use GitHub or just couldn’t spell it. The …
Richard Speed, 20 Sep 2018

A spot of Python in your Azure automation? Step right this way, sir

Microsoft this week announced something that may have surprised a few devs who'd seen it lurking in Azure for a while – Python 2 support has finally moved out of preview for Azure runbooks. A runbook is a sequence of operations to automate a routine job. Examples would be managing resources or restarting VMs. Some can be …
Richard Speed, 19 Sep 2018
Microsoft's Surface Hub

Microsoft's collaboration software Teams works on its collaboration hardware Surface Hub

Microsoft has finally made its Teams collaborative software available for the big-bastard-screen Surface Hub. The Microsoft Teams app has been in preview for a few months, available to those brave enough to add its jumped-up whiteboard to the Windows Insider programme. Now, assuming you've kept your Surface Hub relatively up …
Richard Speed, 19 Sep 2018
Two plasticine blobs against a garden landscape

Microsoft Azure gains Availability Zones and Immutable Blobs

Microsoft has announced two more Azure availability zones and hit the red button on Immutable Storage in what must have been a breathless few days for its Azure team. Keeping the Azure lights on The West US 2 and North Europe regions have gained Azure Availability Zones as Microsoft was still reeling from the discovery that …
Richard Speed, 19 Sep 2018
Ubunutu Enhanced Session Mode under Hyper-V

Click your heels, um, mouse thrice and you've quickly got Ubuntu on Hyper-V in Win 10 Pro

Windows 10 users have yet another way to run Linux, thanks to tighter integration between Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor. While creating a virtual machine using Hyper-V in Windows 10 is not a particularly arduous activity, the Fall Creators Update brought in a gallery of virtual machines to boot up on the …
Richard Speed, 19 Sep 2018

Microsoft tries a thinking cap on its cloud – voila, Dynamics 365 gets AI!

Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 got a tickling by AI on Tuesday as the software giant announced new applications aimed at sales and those at the pointy end of customer service, as well as mixed reality demoware creeping closer to reality. Hit me with your AI stick Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s cloudy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) …
Richard Speed, 18 Sep 2018
Money cloud

Kick-Kaas: NetApp gobbles cloudy Kubernetes upstart StackPointCloud

NetApp has snapped up Kubernetes botherer StackPointCloud for an undisclosed sum in a deal that heralds the creation of the inspiringly named NetApp Kubernetes. Snapping up StackPointCloud, specialists in multi-cloud Kubernetes-as-a-service (KaaS) - because, let's face it, there just aren't enough acronyms in DevOps - gives …
Richard Speed, 18 Sep 2018
A woman in a fur coat looking surprised

Early bird access to .NET Framework 4.8? Microsoft, you spoil us

Not to be outdone by its upstart open-source sibling, .NET Core, the team behind the venerable .NET Framework has put out an Early Access version of version 4.8 with toys aplenty for developers. While .NET Core often captures the limelight, and the new Microsoft would point you at it for your cross-platform or lightweight …
Richard Speed, 18 Sep 2018
Voyager probe illustration

The Reg chats with Voyager Imaging Team member Dr Garry E Hunt

Interview It has been 41 years since the Voyager spacecraft left Earth to explore the outer solar system and, eventually, interstellar space. For the sole Brit on the Voyager imaging team, that journey began even earlier, in the 1960s, at Oxford University. Dr Garry E Hunt, then 26, had been working on atmospheric research at Oxford and …
Richard Speed, 18 Sep 2018
Lightning, photo via Shutterstock

Microsoft reveals train of mistakes that killed Azure in the South Central US 'incident'

Microsoft has published the preliminary findings for what it calls “the South Central US incident”, but what many will call “the day the Azure cloud fell from the sky” and it doesn’t make for happy reading. Thunder and lightning, very very frightening As is well known now, high energy storms hit Southern Texas early in the …
Richard Speed, 17 Sep 2018
Flatpak on WSL

App-y, app-y, joy, joy: Pain-free software installer Flatpak (kinda) works on Windows Subsystem for Linux

Windows Subsystem for Linux fans, rejoice! Flatpak can now ease your dependency blues. Sort of. Lead developer Alexander Larsson has announced that software package toolkit Flatpak now works on Windows (or rather the Windows Subsystem for Linux). After a fashion. But then where would Linux users be, if it were not for the need …
Richard Speed, 17 Sep 2018

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