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Microsoft News & Analysis

Your Crib Sheet for Microsoft's World of Data

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When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and his data team took the stage in San Francisco on Wednesday to talk about the company’s strategy, they used a few terms that are not yet in the vernacular. But they soon will be.

And while you’re certainly welcome to figure out what they are and, more importantly, what they mean once you hear them, we figure that, at least some of readers, will want to be among the first to use them.

Google's New Terms of Service Raise Privacy Concerns

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Google has more rights to the personal content users share than most people may have realized.

In its recently updated terms of service, the company acknowledges that it not only scans email, but retains the right to use personal content for marketing and internal development purposes.

If that's not enough to make you jittery, consider this: There could be even less privacy down the line. Google has significant mobile ambitions, including its modular smartphone dubbed Project Ara. Google previewed the phone, now in the earliest stages of development, at a developer event in Santa Clara, Calif. this week.

Cell phones pose multiple privacy problems, including lack of anonymity, location tracking and easy interception.

Make the Customer the Focus of Online Experiences

Nearly seven in 10 customers have had an unsatisfactory e-commerce experience in the past year, according to a new Forrester Wave on customer service solutions. That's a disturbing and eye-opening statistic, noted Kate Leggett, primary author of The Forrester Wave Customer Service Solutions For Enterprise Organizations Q2 2014 (registration required).

Leggett and co-authors Stephen Powers, Michael Facemire and Victoria Boutan identified the 11 most significant customer service solutions, but also warned that not all vendors are making the grade.

Why Microsoft's Reign Will Continue

Leave it to Box CEO and chief Microsoft critic Aaron Levie to spread the word, check out his tweet yesterday:

Obviously Levie was tuned into the same Microsoft Customer data event as we were, and we agree with his conclusion -- Microsoft has an impressive (data) play.

Microsoft Takes Office to the Chrome Store

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Only two weeks after Office landed on iPad and about eight weeks since it made it easy to find through the launch of Office.com, Microsoft is chasing users wherever it can find them -- and in this case it's Chrome Web Store, right in the middle of Google’s own stomping ground.

It also appears to have quietly retired its Scroogled campaign.

It would probably be a bit silly to overestimate the real impact of this, given that users were always able to access Office apps through the Office.com in the Chrome browser. But with a new CEO on board, any sign of changes in the way Microsoft is doing business should be paid attention to. 
 

Huddle Cofounder on SharePoint's Mobile Challenges

2014-10-April-McLoughlin.jpgIf Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella thought he was doing iPad users a favor by offering them Office support, all he accomplished was opening up a great big can of worms called collaboration, prompting some to argue that SharePoint has had its day.

And while changes to Office don't equate changes to SharePoint, the iPad launch spurred on a broader discussion amongst critics of the faults with SharePoint's mobile collaboration capabilities.

Microsoft 'Can't Fail' in Marketing

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Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is like a baseball team holding a 7 to 1 lead in the final inning. Throw strikes, worry about the batter only and make the routine plays.

That's all the team in the field needs to do to win the ballgame. And its all that Microsoft has to do to win in marketing when it takes the field this quarter, according to an industry analyst.

"If it carries through on the execution of getting Dynamics Marketing to market, packaging it wisely in bundles with Dynamics CRM and enabling its channel to sell it, it almost cannot fail to succeed," said Matt Mullen, 451 Research's senior analyst with the social business practice.

How to Survive the Loss of Windows XP

For those of you on one of the 25 percent of workplace computers still running Windows XP, understand you're working on a system that's increasingly vulnerable to attack. This shouldn't be a surprise, however -- Microsoft has been clear about ending support for this operating system (OS) for a long, long time. 

There are so many issues surrounding this morning's announcement that it's almost impossible to count them. But Gartner has put together a list of 10 suggestions to mitigate the risks of continued use.

Nadella Asks Microsoft Developers to 'Keep the Faith' #bldwin

Satya Nadella’s came close to calling for a return to Microsoft's founding principals during his keynote speech at the the company's Build 2014 conference in San Francisco yesterday. The speech by the newly appointed Microsoft CEO contained a lot for Windows lovers and mobile phone fans.  But it also contained repeated pleas for developers to keep the faith -- faith in Windows specifically and Microsoft generally. 

Nadella arrived at the conference facing a number of problems that have arisen from Microsoft’s previous lethargy in meeting new challenges, particularly the rise of mobile. 

SharePoint: A 'Formidable Enterprise Collaboration Platform'

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Everyone knows SharePoint has had problems. However, the Radicati Group just released a report that contains words new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella must be more than happy to hear.

According to the Microsoft SharePoint Market Analysis, 2014-2018, edited by Sara Radicati, Microsoft ironed out the wrinkles in the 2013 edition and now offers a powerful enterprise collaboration platform for business users. 

It's unlikely these claims will go unchallenged, particularly in the file sharing and sync space where companies like Dropbox and Box claim to offer easier file sharing and collaboration possibilities than SharePoint does.

Microsoft is No. 1 Software Vendor, Oracle Takes No. 2 from IBM

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With all the talk about Microsoft’s new CEO and the changes he is likely to bring, it is sometimes forgotten that the company is the biggest software vendor in the world. According to new figures from Gartner, Microsoft retained that crown in 2013, while Oracle muscled past IBM to claim the number two spot. 

That is one of the significant points from the Market Share: All Software Markets, Worldwide, 2013 report, which also notes that Salesforce has pushed itself into 10th position from 12th last year. This is the first time that a cloud or SaaS vendor has managed to make it into the top 10 list.

Microsoft Enters the Marketing Software Ballgame

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Sometime this quarter, a rookie will emerge in the marketing software game. Just so happens this rookie’s name is Microsoft. Microsoft is planning for a Q2 launch of its new marketing capabilities through its acquisition of MarketingPilot.

The new capabilities debut about a year and a half after Microsoft’s acquisition. It will live in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM brand and aims to help marketers drive and manage their campaigns and engage with customers in a personalized manner on multiple devices.

Finally! Office for iPad: Still Want It?

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Let's cut to the chase. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s first press conference since he started 52 days ago was pretty underwhelming.

Yes, he finally announced the launch of Office for iPad, along with the new Enterprise Mobility Suite — surprising just about no one.

But all of those who expected something more from Nadella, like detailed insight about his plans for the company, left disappointed. Aside from discussing his Mobile First, Cloud First strategy and those plans to push all Microsoft customers into the cloud, he didn't say much.

But give him points for being poetic, in person and online. As he noted in a blog post, "As long as human curiosity and ambition drive us to create new things, capture moments and collaborate to get things done, we should expect the world of devices to follow suit."

Google, Amazon Cut Cloud Prices Again

The battle for cloud supremacy intensified again.  At its Cloud Platform Live event Tuesday, Google slashed the prices for its cloud services lower than Amazon and Microsoft. Amazon responded with similar cuts. No news from Microsoft yet, but one thing is clear.

The big winners are cloud users.

Thank You, Jive, Let's Get Producteev

ProducteevDomestic task management is hard enough, unless you’re one of those drones who gets a charge from crossing something off of your “honey do” list. 

Put yourself in the office where teamwork and collaboration are defaults and keeping track of things — like who’s doing what, where’d you put that, when are you going to finish your part so that I can do mine, what’s the priority — becomes a nightmare.

Or not, if you have Producteev, a social task management solution, offered by Jive.

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