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Microsoft News & Analysis

Alfresco Aims Higher as it Launches v5 #AlfrescoSummit

When you say open source and enterprise content management in the same breath, most practitioners probably think of small and medium businesses rather than global enterprises. With today's launch of version 5 of its core ECM product, it appears Alfresco is out to change that.

Or maybe it's better to say it's already started. The open source vendor is cashing in, quite literally, with the growing complexity, rising costs and cloud-centricity of some of the biggest players in the field, notably Microsoft's SharePoint, which has frustrated many of its users with its seemingly unrelenting push to the cloud

Parlez-Vous Windows 9? Microsoft French Exec Leaks Update

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The Microsoft rumor mill became reality in France.

Reports are blowing up on the Web that a French Microsoft executive revealed Microsoft will unveil Windows 9 next Tuesday.

"Last year we had Windows 8. In the next few minutes, the next few days, we'll be releasing Windows 9," Alain Crozier, president of Microsoft France and a vice president of Microsoft International, said during a company presentation.

Ever since Microsoft sent out invitations to a secret press event for Sept. 30 in San Francisco, rumors have been circulating that it would mark the next major release of Windows.

But no one wants to have the thunder of a secret press conference spontaneously dashed by the mutterings of an international VP. So naturally, the Redmond, Wa. software giant went into backtrack mode immediately, telling ZDNet in a statement, "We look forward to seeing you in late September in San Francisco for the future of Windows, which actually at this stage does not have a name as such."

Microsoft: Get 'Em While They're Young

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What's the best way to make a lifelong customer? Microsoft apparently believes in getting them while they are young. In its latest assault on the productivity suite market, it is offering Office 365 to students for free.

Yes, yes. They were getting it free already through the Student Advantage program, but that wasn’t quick enough.

Microsoft wants all students signed up lickety-split and that means enabling them to sign-up themselves, for free and without all the rough stuff around licenses and school-based IT departments.

Can Akumina Make SharePoint a Web CMS Contender?

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In the age of digital experience, not all companies are rushing into relationships with superpower providers like Adobe, Sitecore and Oracle.

Most, however, already have SharePoint, and many of those are trying to figure out how to extend its use to public-facing websites.

Enter Akumina, a three-year-old company whose founders have extensive experience in building and deploying such websites. It's led by CEO Ed Rogers and COO Steve Sherkanowski, who worked for years managing technical, operations and marketing activities at Ektron.

The Nashua, N.H.-based company recently introduced InterChange, a suite of role-based authoring and site management tools designed to give marketing teams control over SharePoint sites.

SharePoint Users Stick with Older Versions, Eye Hybrid Cloud #SPTechCon

When we caught up in Boston a year ago with SharePoint Technology Conference Chair David Rubinstein, SharePoint 2013, Office 365 capabilities and mobile were all the rage.  

Same conference, next year at the Boston Park Plaza hotel? The cloud. SharePoint Online. When's the big move coming?

The truth is, for most organizations -- at least those among the 1,000 at the conference this week -- they're still flying in 2010 and even 2007 air space when it comes to SharePoint technology.

"The majority of our attendees still sit on 2010 and 2007 versions of SharePoint," said Rubinstein, whose Melville, NY-based media organization, BZ Media, has put on 12 SPTechCons over the last six years. "There's where we're going to be until things change."

Microsoft Puts Pieces Together with Office 365 Home Page

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Google has been making a lot of ground in recent months with the addition of lots of new functionality to Google Apps, now called Google Apps for Work.

And Microsoft hasn’t been slouching either. However, Microsoft upgrades have been a little more subtle — and it’s often hard to track what has been added or even what tools you have at your disposable.

But now we have something concrete: Microsoft just announced that it has upgraded the portal page for Office 365, which is being rolled out to current SharePoint and Exchange customers as of today.

Why You Must Identify Risks in SharePoint Technology #SPTechCon

information management, Why You Must Identify Risks in SharePoint Technology #SPTechCon

SharePoint stakeholders can't know their risks without knowing their requirements.

And they can't know their risks without knowing the potentially adverse effects of those risks.

Bill English, 11-consecutive SharePoint MVP winner, champions these thoughts. Knowing your risks and potential outcomes can lead to strong governance and compliance.

And as English told an audience here today at the SharePoint Technology Conference at the Boston Park Plaza hotel, "Governance is the enforcement of compliance." 

Is Microsoft Going To Preview Windows 9, or Office 16?

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No sooner did the party invitations start landing in people’s mailboxes than the rumor mill cranked up a few gears and went into hyper drive.

According to the invites, which Microsoft started sending out yesterday, the September 30 event will be about Windows.

Speculation is rife already that what we might actually get is a technical preview of the long-awaited Windows 9, but that’s not all. There may also be news of a technical preview of Office.

In Boston, a Microsoft official at the SharePoint Technology Conference only confirmed there will be a September 30 announcement and declined to provide any details when asked by CMSWire. 

Is Microsoft Even Pushing SharePoint Users into the Cloud? #SPTechCon

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BOSTON -- The cloud. SharePoint.

Wait, what? Not me. Not us. Not anytime soon, if ever.

That captures some of the sentiment we heard here among the nearly 1,000 people at the SharePoint Technology Conference at the Boston Park Plaza hotel.

David Maldonado, an analyst programmer at the University of New Mexico's health division (pictured with co-worker Erin Youtzy), came up with a few words to answer the cloud proposition in SharePoint: "HIPAA. Personal information. Health records."

Why History (and the Enterprise) Will Be Kind to Steve Ballmer

2014-16-September-Ballmer.jpgWe hear a lot about Microsoft’s new direction, and we hear a lot about SharePoint. We haven’t heard a lot about how the one impacts the other, but if you’re buying into collaboration (and odds are that you are) then you ought to be thinking about it. And if you think about it just a little, you’ll realize that Steve Ballmer mapped all of this out years ago. We just weren’t listening.

Which Cloud Office Suite: Microsoft or Google? #gartnerpcc

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Gartner Research Vice President Jeffrey Mann has added another snarl to the Microsoft versus Google brawl in the productivity space.

He also took time to fire at IBM’s SocialBusiness for the SmartCloud, calling it a "nice try" that is unlikely to catch on.

Speaking at the Gartner Portals, Content and Collaboration summit in London today, he pointed out that Microsoft, which already has the lion’s share of the market, is going to increase its presence at the expense of other players.

Jive Bridges the Gap to Office 365

If you don’t talk to Office 365, you don’t have an enterprise play. At least when it comes to productivity apps, that is.

OK, maybe that’s not true quite yet. But it soon will be.

That’s why Jive, a leading provider of communication and collaboration solutions for business, has built software connectors for Microsoft Office 365, including Outlook Online, Office Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.

“We’re bridging the gap between on-premise and cloud versions of Microsoft Office and SharePoint to make collaboration and communication seamless,” said Colleen Jansen, vice president of product marketing at Jive.

The Future of SharePoint is the Cloud #gartnerpcc

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It's not exactly ground-breaking, but Jim Murphy, a research director in Gartner's web and cloud group, thinks Microsoft is trying to lure its SharePoint users into the cloud, despite the number of enterprises that are still using it on-premises.

Speaking at this morning’s session on the future of SharePoint at Gartner’s Portals, Content and Collaboration Summit in London, Murphy reassured attendees that there is still plenty of time before time runs out on the on-premises version.

Microsoft Pays $2.5 Billion to Acquire Minecraft Maker

customer experience, Microsoft Pays $2.5 Billion to Acquire Minecraft Maker

Minecraft was having too much fun on its own. The big guys in Redmond, Wash., had to end that.

Microsoft announced today it will acquire Mojang, the Stockholm-based maker of the wildly popular video game Minecraft.

For me, it's that game the kids play with the brick walls, ponds and block-like dudes running around.

For Microsoft, this was worth a multi-billion piece of its cloud and mobile space, where it promises Minecraft players will benefit from "richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect across the Minecraft community."

Gartner Names Wise Choices for Workplace Social Software

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In the market for social software? Gartner included 17 vendors in this year’s Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace. 

Like all of the other Garter Magic Quadrants, it's quite difficult to make the list. And squeezing into the Leaders quadrant is especially challenging. In this case, only Microsoft, IBM, Jive, Salesforce and Tibco managed to earn a spot. 

However, Gartner points out that Challengers offer solutions that have a strong market presence, and adds that these vendors have the market position and resources to become Leaders down the line. VMWare, Atlassian and Sitrion earned spots in this quadrant.

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