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Microsoft News & Analysis

Microsoft Tightens the Reins on Office 365

Companies are still signing up for Yammer — despite the fact that user adoption remains a problem. 

In fact, according to Yammer co-founder David Sacks, the British grocery retailing giant Tesco has just inked a 250, 000 seat deal with Yammer. The information was contained in a memo from Sacks to Microsoft employees.

Sacks announced on Twitter late last week that he is leaving Microsoft, but did not specify why.

Startup Offers Free Collaboration Option for Any Web Page

Just as Microsoft blends Yammer into Office365, a startup is offering a free service to add a Facebook-like collaboration tool to any web page.

Lifestreams Technologies, a 2-year-old company based in New Haven, Conn., said the widget can be used on any intranet or public-facing website by adding a snippet of code to the html.

"Most websites today are relatively static," said Peter Prosol, business development director for the 10-person SaaS firm. "You'll find pictures and images and text, but it's more or less as it is. It doesn't change much. But adding a timeline to your site ... it lets you be more dynamic, add new content, refresh and be a little more interactive and engaging to the user."

Microsoft Kicks Oracle's Big Data Butt

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison must be feeling the heat, Forbes reports that the world’s highest paid CEO lost $1.9 billion of his wealth last year.

There, there Larry, no need for crocodile tears, you’ve got your very own Hawaiian island, an America’s Cup winning yacht, a 23 acre estate that is worth $200 million, as well as a dozen other homes in places like Malibu, Calif., Lake Tahoe, Newport, R.I. and Kyoto, Japan. Never mind the fleet of exotic cars and the golf tournament you own.

It’s no wonder that your company isn’t the market-maker it once was. With all those toys and an estimated $49 billion of wealth, who wouldn’t be just a little bit distracted?

The Problem With Yammer? People Don't Use It

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Yammer is being promoted as the new social layer of SharePoint. But Microsoft is also tying it tightly into Office 365. In the past two weeks, this has resulted in the packaging of Yammer with Office 365 small business plans, while the price of Office 365 is also about to be slashed.

There are problems with Yammer. But the problem lies not the product itself.

According to David Lavenda, vice president of product strategy at Harmon.ie, the real problem is that many people who have access to it just won’t use it — or any other social network for that matter.

AvePoint Bridges Box and SharePoint

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You have SharePoint. You have Box. Theoretically, you have all your enterprise information management, governance and collaboration bases covered. Right?

Well, yes … if all your content silos are connected and operating seamlessly. Unfortunately, that's rarely the case.

While there is a lot of patching and connecting to be done to pull all your silos together, it’s a job that’s rarely finished. To help enterprises with two of the most important silos, AvePoint has just announced the release of DocAve Cloud Connect, which bridges Box and SharePoint.

Apple's IBM Play Isn't Only About Selling More iDevices

Apple wants a seat at the enterprise table and IBM will soon be rolling out the red carpet that leads to the boardroom. Sure, Big Blue’s CEO Ginni Rommety might have to help Apple Chief Tim Cook tie his tie and polish his shoes first, but it’s a fair trade.  He might have to tell her the difference between an application and an app. Other than a few small hurdles like those, the earliest days of the IBM and Apple relationship should run smooth.

After all, without needing to sacrifice turf, Rommety’s 103-year-old monolith could be perceived to be cool and forward thinking again. Not only to the old guard that holds IBM Research, with its track record of pushing the boundaries of science, technology and business to make the world work better place, in high regard, but also to the fast tracked execs of the digital generation who have tremendous respect for old guys who get it.

Yes, for IBM the Apple partnership has the potential of doing what Watson hasn’t been able to do —namely making it relevant to Gen Y and the millennials.

Not only that, but Rommety’s slowly sinking ship will be buoyed by consulting fees earned through helping enterprises roll out Mobile in a safe and compliant way.

Could Russia Be Starting a Software/Hardware Cold War?

Russia is considering giving preference to its own hardware and software organizations in a current legislative bill, reducing its reliance on foreign suppliers, Bloomberg reported today

Does this mean a major hit for companies that do business in the country -- such as IBM, Microsoft, HP, Cisco and Oracle? 

Not really.

"In this day and age, every customer is valuable," said Alan Tonelson, an independent policy analyst who blogs at RealityChek. "But total Russia losses seem easily absorbable."

Thank You, Apple-IBM? Why Mega Deal is Good for Microsoft

mobile enterprise, Thank You, Apple-IBM? Why Mega Deal is Good for MicrosoftApple and IBM announce a mega deal that changes the mobile enterprise as we know it -- during the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

Microsoft lays off 18,000 the same week at its conference, about 14 percent of its workforce.

And there's actually a silver lining for Microsoft?

Yes, says Richard Edwards, principal analyst for Enterprise IT at London-based Ovum Research.

"It’s no coincidence that the announcement came as Microsoft was holding its Worldwide Partner Conference," Edwards told CMSWire, "but I actually think the IBM/Apple hook-up will benefit Microsoft in the long run."

Here are the IoT Top 10 Movers and Shakers

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Earlier in the week we identified the most influential companies working on the Internet of Things (IoT).

Using the same research from the marketing influence platform provider Appinions, let’s take a look at the top ten movers and shakers. Just like the list of top 10 companies, this also holds some surprises — not least of which is the influence of two of the top dogs from HP and BlackBerry.

Good Bet or Huge Gamble? Microsoft's Vision for the Future

2014-17-July-Nadella-Speech.jpgSure the Apple IBM partnership is a big deal, but it may not impact your work and your life as much as the vision that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella unveiled at the company’s Worldwide Partners Conference (WPC) yesterday.

You might not have heard much about it, but that’s not because it’s not worthwhile or important -- it’s just that tech news is generally aimed at enterprises, businesses and consumers, not partners (namely, other software companies, systems integrators, product vendors, consulting firms and so on).

But, if you want to know what the future looks like, partners’ conferences are exactly where you get a sneak peek. After all, this is where tech evangelists learn their scripts and where solution providers receive introductions to the kinds of thinking and training they’ll needs to deliver on those promises.

Microsoft Strikes Google by Slashing Office 365 Prices #WPC14

Microsoft announced a few weeks ago that it was going to provide transparency around its Office 365 business. — and also said it would be shaking up the price plans. It did just that at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) and the good news is that prices are going down August 1.

Before popping the champagne corks though. read on. The cheaper edition will be available to new midsize business customers next month. But existing customers will have to wait to the beginning of October 2015 before the full impact of the changes kick-in. So much for rewarding customer loyalty.

Box Takes Storage Limits Off the Table

The file storage wars are over, at least for businesses leveraging Box’s Enterprise Content Collaboration platform.

“It’s no longer about how much content you can store, but what you can do with it,” says Aaron Levie, Box’s co-founder and CEO.

Truth be told, it was always about that, but file storage wasn’t always dirt cheap. Now it is. Levie says that the price has dropped by a factor of over 20,000 over the past two decades.
 

Microsoft Makes It Easier to Move to the Cloud #WPC14

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Much of what's going to be announced this week at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Washington, DC, is already known. 

Satya Nadella underlined Microsoft’s commitment to cloud and mobile computing almost as soon as he took over the reins as CEO, so his message to partners yesterday about pushing cloud computing was not unexpected.

Microsoft is a cloud company and partners need to get on board. The whole focus of Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner's keynote, for example, was cloud, mobile and more cloud. The cloud isn’t the future, he said, it’s the present.

Can You Name the Top 10 IoT Companies?

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The companies that are leading the Internet of Things (IoT) — now and in the future — are beginning to make themselves known. Appinions, in a recently published report, identified the most influential companies and what is driving them.

It probably comes as no surprise that Apple is at the top of the list, followed by Nest and Google. But there are a number of less expected companies in the mix, including — wait for it — BlackBerry.

Are You Running Out of Microsoft Support?

We all remember the warnings and confusion around the end-of-support for Windows XP in April. But support is ending or changing for other Microsoft products, too.

By the end of the year, you will have to pay for support for a whole list of products — and  support for other products will end completely.

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