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Microsoft News & Analysis

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."

3 Vendors Lead the Wave for Big Data Predictive Analytics

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Enterprises have lots of solid choices for big data predictive analytics.

That’s the key takeaway from Forrester's just released Wave for Big Data Predictive Analytics Solutions for the second quarter of 2015.

That being said, the products Forrester analysts Mike Gualtieri and Rowan Curran evaluated are quite different.

Data scientists are more likely to appreciated some, while business analysts will like others. Some were built for the cloud, others weren’t.

They all can be used to prepare data sets, develop models using both statistical and machine learning algorithms, deploy and manage predictive analytics lifecycles, and tools for data scientists, business analysts and application developers.

Hate Conference Calls? Maybe This SharePoint Pro Can Help

Anyone who is anyone in the SharePoint community has probably heard of Todd Klindt.

Klindt is a self-described professional computer nerd. He's held that title for about the past 15 years, and has focused on SharePoint about the past eight. "His love affair with SharePoint began one slow day at the office when he discovered SharePoint Team Services 1.0 on the Office XP CD that was holding up his coffee cup, and decided to install it. The rest is history," he writes on his homepage.

It's that kind of passion that fuels his many fans to tune into his weekly podcasts Monday at 8:30 CT. An eclectic collection of humor and insight, the podcasts pair Klindt's homespun Iowa charm with his deep understanding of technology.

3 Tech Giants Lead a Bloated CRM Market, Forrester Claims

The customer relationship management (CRM) market is bloated, Forrester reports — surprising no one. And this big, bulky market is led by three tech giants: Salesforce, SAP CRM and Oracle Siebel, with two more, Microsoft and Pegasystems, snapping at their heels.

The one thing that stands out in Forrester's recently published Wave for CRM Suites for Large Organizations in the first quarter of 2015 is that nothing much is new: we've seen most of these trends in the space before.

Businesses Committed to SharePoint, Despite Stalled Deployments

Since Microsoft unveiled SharePoint back in 2001, it has been one of the fastest growing products in the software giant's history. Along with billions of dollars in revenue, the platform now boasts 125 million users and counting.

Businesses first deployed SharePoint as a point solution for document sharing amongst project teams and as a stand in to files-shares. SharePoint proved a capable solution for these challenges and Microsoft has continually added to its capabilities.

But despite its scope, and as with many types of software, it suffers from a perceived lack of user commitment.

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Microsoft Shops Again: Buys LiveLoop, an Office Collaboration Start-Up

Installing software to collaborate on PowerPoint slides is a drag. Signing into web-hosting services like GoToMeeting, for the same reason, isn’t much better.

Microsoft knows this, so it set out to solve the problem — but not by assigning a team of engineers and UX experts to come up with a remedy. Instead it decided to buy a startup that had already found an answer.

Late yesterday a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the company had acquired Office productivity tool maker LiveLoop. Here’s what the statement said:

“Microsoft is excited to welcome the talented team from LiveLoop to help build great collaboration across Office applications, as part of our strategy and vision to reinvent productivity.”

LiveLoop will be permanently shuttered on April 24, the site acknowledges.

The terms of the sale have not been disclosed.

Microsoft Elbows Its Way Onto Android Devices

Microsoft has forged several new partnerships with tablet makers using the Android operating system, including Samsung and Dell.

Peggy Johnson, executive vice president for business development at Microsoft, said the deals extend Microsoft’s reach in the mobile world and extend its Mobile First, Cloud First strategy.

Microsoft to Host Next-Generation BizTalk Server on Azure

Microsoft is deploying a new, Azure-based platform for applications designed to handle business transactions on mobile devices – apps that can be both designed and deployed in the cloud, by non-professional developers.  Azure App Service will be a web apps platform for the business process management (BPM) market.

As the business world moves away from the monolithic client/server model to a cloud infrastructure based on microservices, the transactional system upon which the world’s financial structure is based, must move with it.

The brains of the world are relocating.  Now it’s time to move its cardiovascular system.

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