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Microsoft News & Analysis

VMware, Microsoft Push Microservices at Their Own Pace

The software architecture of the future is microservices. That much is certain, but what’s up in the air now is whether that future can be pushed far enough ahead for investments in present architecture to be fully amortized before they’re finally allowed to expire.

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger started off his company’s announcements today around virtualized microservices with a bridge metaphor. When you see a vendor break out the bridge metaphor, you realize it’s not a ferry or a steamboat or an airplane. It’s something that stays grounded on both sides.

Don't Hold Your Breath: SharePoint Release Delayed

Microsoft is significantly delaying the release of SharePoint Server 2016 — creating what one industry expert described as a "ripple of sadness" across the Internet.

In a blog post yesterday, Microsoft revealed a new delivery plan for the next on-premises version of Sharepoint. It confirmed that SharePoint Server 2016 will become generally available in the second quarter of 2016, with a public beta in the fourth quarter this year. That is about a year later than originally expected.

Todd Klindt: I'm Not Smart Enough for PowerShell

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Jeff Hicks is a PowerShell MVP, all-around smart guy — and he’s apparently doing community service for something, because he agreed to share his expertise with us.

As he told us, "I had nothing else to do tonight, so I figured I might as well do this. I was literally just going to sit in the corner and stare at the wall until this came up."

Those of you who watch my show know I’m a huge fan of PowerShell. Got a big old crush.

I used to do the PowerShell tip of the week until I ran out of things that I knew about PowerShell. Which means there were only like three weeks of PowerShell tips.

It was very short-lived. But you know, Jeff Hicks and I still travel in the same circles, speak at the same conferences. Our paths have crossed. We’ve chatted about PowerShell. So I wanted to bring him on and just kind of get some honest to goodness PowerShell talent in here to talk about some stuff.

Have You Heard About Exchange Server 2016?

Microsoft has been tight-lipped about its plans for Exchange Server 2016, the on-premises release that it plans to ship in the second half of 2015.

Until last night, that is.

While it won't make the big reveal until Microsoft Ignite kicks off in Chicago early next month, the new release will focus on productivity, collaboration and information governance, according to a blog post by the Microsoft Exchange Team.

The team hinted that many of the changes will be familiar to Office 365 users, noting, "Most of the new features in Exchange Server 2016 were birthed in the cloud and then refined in a feedback loop that includes millions of mailboxes deployed worldwide."

Why Microsoft Delve Is So Very 1990s

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Microsoft's latest updates for Delve include people-based search and discovery, a new Office 365 page authoring tool and mobile apps for Android and iOS.

But Alastair Mitchell, president, CMO and co-founder of  enterprise collaboration vendor Huddle, isn't too excited. Even with all the recent enhancements to the Delve universe, it’s still behind the times.

Of course, he's speaking as a competitor. But he does seem to make some valid points.

Microsoft's Power BI Gets Mobile Muscle

Shortly after Satya Nadella took the helm at Microsoft, he began talking about a “data culture.” Two of his favorite tools —Microsoft Delve and Power BI — are supposed to be key in helping us live and work smarter.

The Microsoft boss has told us this over and over again.

And given that we live in an increasingly mobile-first world, being able to glean intelligence via our mobile devices is a must. So it should come as no great shock that Microsoft today announced that it has acquired Datazen, an industry leader in mobile business intelligence and data visualization on Windows, iOS and Android devices.

Windows Server Changes: What You Need to Know

The operating system upon which a majority of the world’s business applications are managed is transitioning from a monolithic host of massive programs into a minimalistic provider for microservices.

This is from the person responsible for executing this transition for Microsoft: its general manager for Windows Server, Mike Neil.

Whether your CMS, CRM, ERP or any other business applications platform runs in a Windows Server virtual machine or on a Linux system, its underpinnings are in the midst of being swapped out. The entire server world is now an active construction zone.

“From an evolutionary path, it is the direction that we’re going,” Neil said in an interview with CMSWire. “The next stage along that path is really focusing the core pieces of our operating system, for delivery in containers.”

Is Adobe Building A Productivity Cloud?

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It’s been a busy week in the document management space. Adobe let loose its Document Cloud, Accusoft and EMC teamed up on a release, and Microsoft shared some new releases and promises of things to come.

Hello Nano: Your Guide to Microsoft's New Server

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To quite possibly no one’s surprise Wednesday, Microsoft made it official that its “dramatically refactored” Windows Server operating system will be entitled Nano Server. It further acknowledged a preview edition would be made available to testers within a few weeks.

Nano Server will be Microsoft’s minimalistic approach to serving applications, stripped down to the bare essence.

In itself, it's certainly not Windows because it will not have windows, mouse pointers, menu bars or anything else related to a graphical environment.

It's a back-end system and nothing else — a concession, at long last, to the fact that the only thing a server needs to do is manage its share of the workload.

Why You'll Stay Loyal to Dropbox and MS Office

Microsoft and Dropbox have one big thing in common. They both own their audiences where productivity tools are concerned.

Think about it. When you go to create a document, you think Word. To create a spreadsheet, you think Excel. To create a presentation, it’s PowerPoint.

But where will you save your creations if you want to share them or store them in the cloud? Most people think Dropbox rather than OneDrive.

Todd Klindt: Tell Me You Like Me & We'll Party at Ignite

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Microsoft Ignite is less than a month away in Chicago. There's going to be a ton of things going on.

But one of the things you never want to miss when you go to these big conferences is the AvePoint RED Party. They have it every year and it's always crazy, over-the-top. Those AvePoint folks have never thrown a reasonable party in their lives!

There was one that I was at — a lot of them blur together and a lot of them have included things that I just can't speak about publicly — but one of them had a fire dancer — this woman, she had things that were on fire like batons and rings and all kinds of stuff.

I thought it was gonna be dumb. And then I saw it — and it was not dumb.

But anyway, AvePoint is doing it again on Tuesday, May 5 at Chicago Union Station.

So now you may be thinking, "This sounds amazing. How does one get into such a thing?" And I'm going to tell you — even though you may have heard it was sold out.

Microsoft Adds More Security to Select Office 365 Plans

Microsoft is introducing a new security layer to Office 365 with advanced threat protection for Exchange for Office 365 government and business users.

Now in testing, Microsoft expects it to be generally available later this summer.

While Microsoft has made much about the security of Office 365, it's a constant challenge to stay ahead of spammers and other malware producers.

Yammer Co-Founder Wants to Change Your Work - Again

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Adam Pisoni likes to change lives — or at least the way people work.

Pisoni and former PayPal COO David Sacks founded Yammer in 2008.

The enterprise social network arguably changed the way millions of people work. Microsoft bought Yammer for $1.2 billion in 2012.

Three years later, Pisoni is still trying to create change.

This time, he's trying to instigate an entire ideological shift in the way enterprises approach work. In February, he left Microsoft to devote more attention to a number of things, including a project called Responsive.org.

The Spartan Browser for #Win10: What's the Big Deal?

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Microsoft recently released a replacement browser for Internet Explorer to Windows 10 testers. Tentatively dubbed Project Spartan, it's intended as a game-changer for the web.

Come this summer, Windows users on PCs, tablets and smartphones will be interacting with web sites and web apps,the company said, in a “fast, more secure, and more reliable” way.

But is it really such a big deal? Perhaps more importantly, if Microsoft makes significant changes to its Windows browser, will those changes impact the way people work? Or would enterprise web apps users simply avoid that impact the way they avoided Windows 8?

Todd Klindt: Cool Things I've Learned About Windows 10 Preview

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Man I talk a lot. But anyone who listens to my weekly podcasts already knows that.

For those of you who don't know me, I've been a professional computer nerd about 15 years. I've focused on SharePoint about the past eight.

My weekly SharePoint Podcasts air Mondays at 8:30 PM CT. They're brought to you by the folks at Rackspace.

You can find out about all the great SharePoint things we do at Rackspace, which happens to be my employer, by going to sharepoint.rackspace.com.

Anyway, I work from my home in Ames, Iowa, and I don't get a lot of adult interaction during the day. So I've made friends with some of the other tech nerds here in town. Once in a while, we go out and have lunch.

A month or so ago we're all having lunch and one of the guys starts talking about how I should get transcripts for my podcasts. And I'm like, "That's not valuable at all for anybody."

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