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Microsoft News & Analysis

Renewed Buyout Talk Lifts Jive Shares

Shares of Jive Software jumped during the past few days on renewed reports that the social business provider is seeking a buyer.

Talk of a takeover has risen repeatedly since last May when Bloomberg News reported SAP passed on the deal. The latest report came on Tuesday when Re/code writer Arick Hesseldahl reported the company has been seeking a sale over the past several months with the help of the investment bank Qatalyst Partners, which is led by Frank Quattrone.

Company officials were mum. "We don't comment on rumors," said investor relations spokesman Brian Denyeau. Company spokeswoman Amanda Pires added nothing.

Robert Scoble: The Scobleizer Talks Life, Work and Technology

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill SobelRobert Scoble — aka The Scobleizer — works at Rackspace, where he's building a community for people fanatical about the Internet called building43. But that just scratches the surface. Scoble has been making a name for himself on the Internet for a while now.

"There’s a really excellent about page over on Wikipedia about me. I didn’t write a single word about it, but I do watch to make sure it’s accurate," he told me.

So let's start there. He's best known for his (late great) blog, Scobleizer, which came to prominence during his tenure as a technology evangelist at Microsoft. It earned him a mention in the Economist in 2005, which noted Scoble had become

a minor celebrity among geeks worldwide, who read his blog religiously. Impressively, he has also succeeded where small armies of more conventional public-relations types have been failing abjectly for years: he has made Microsoft, with its history of monopolistic bullying, appear marginally but noticeably less evil to the outside world, and especially to the independent software developers that are his core audience."

Google Drive Offers Add-Ons, Cash to Microsoft Office Users

add-ons.jpgOne hit apparently deserves another. Just a few weeks after Microsoft Office dealt another blow in the ongoing slugfest with Google Drive, the Internet giant is fighting back.

In the past three days, Google has made two announcements that are creating new disruptions.  One of them — a new Office 365 to Google Apps referral program — seems specifically designed to annoy Microsoft,  while the  other, the release of third-party add-ons to Google Apps, adds additional functionality.

End-to-End E-Discovery in Office and Office 365 #SPC14

Microsoft’s messaging on e-discovery hasn't changed much since it first launched the service two years ago, but some recent notable changes give it a better position for luring in new customers. If you've never seen the e-discovery platform on the Microsoft stack, start with my first article on the topic as a primer -- it provides the necessary background for understanding what's happened in the last two years. During a session at SharePoint Conference 2014, Quentin Christensen, program manager at Microsoft, provided details on the overall e-discovery story in Office and Office 365.

Our 2 Cents on Forrester Wave for Big Data Hadoop Solutions

Analyst reports can be a big bore -- the Forrester Wave: Big Data Hadoop Solutions, Q1 2014 ($2495 fee) is not.

Its authors, Mike Gualtieri and Noel Yuhanna, have done a bang-up job writing in simple English and giving a spot-on overview of what the market looks like:“cutthroat,” where “pure-play upstarts (Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR) must capture market share quickly to make venture investors happy” and in which “stalwart enterprise software vendors (IBM, Pivotal, Teradata) must avoid being disintermediated.” 

Document Mgt Roll-up: Mostly SharePoint #SPC14

You can argue it if you want, but this week was all about SharePoint -- and little about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and AX. In fact, as one of our editors pointed out, there’s more SharePoint than you could shake a stick at — largely as a result of the SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas.

In no particular order, here are some of the items that either slipped under the radar or which caught our attention. There is also some mention of Microsoft Convergence Dynamics.

Navigating the Microsoft Forms Roadmap #SPC14

Tuesday morning at the SharePoint conference people packed the room for the news on the updated Forms Strategy from Microsoft. Since the announcement that InfoPath 2013 would be the last release, the community has been waiting to see what would come next.

Socializing SharePoint #SPC14

Socializing SharePoint #SPC14"Work like a Network." Spend enough time at SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas and you're bound to run into this message. It’s central to the short-term improvements that answer questions about Yammer and SharePoint, and even more central to new investments that Microsoft calls Inline Social, Groups and Office Graph.

Since Microsoft acquired Yammer in 2012, it has marched forward with the message of “Yammer First.” The company has encouraged businesses to lead with Yammer whenever possible and promised new integrations that will transform the ways users work together.

In two keynotes at the SharePoint Conference yesterday, Microsoft revealed some of the new ways it is integrating Yammer into existing Microsoft tools. Here are our takeaways.

Want to Move SharePoint Data to Office 365? Find a Vendor #SPC14

As Microsoft unraveled its long-tangled plans to integrate Office365 and SharePoint this week, one big question remains: How will legacy data move from existing on premises files into the cloud?

Data migration vendors once feared the folks in Redmond would develop an in-house solution.  But now it appears Microsoft will encourage its customers to choose a third-party vendor -- and the vendors are poised to reap the harvest.

At this week's SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft executives spent almost the entire first day singing the praises of the marriage of Office365 and SharePoint. Soon, you'll be able to add maps in Outlook messages, collaborate on files in Yammer groups and switch seamlessly between Office apps, finding the documents you want in a flash on any computer where you sign into your Microsoft account. As Jared Spataro, general manager for Microsoft's Office division, noted, Office365 has grown into a $1.5 billion business for the software giant, and its growth is accelerating with this announcement.

Microsoft Wants to Change Business Culture, Technology #CONV14

Microsoft is running two big conferences at the same time. The SharePoint 2014 conference began in Las Vegas yesterday, while Dynamics Convergence kicks off today in Atlanta with a keynote from Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions. According to the pre-conference notes, this year will all be about customer views and developing top customer experiences.

Bill Clinton Calls for Free Ukraine in Speech to Technologists

Bill Clinton Calls for Free Ukraine in Speech to TechnologistsFormer President Bill Clinton today called for a free Ukraine and called the former government there "clearly corrupt and ineffective." He also called on technologists in the audience to help resolve global economic inequality.

Speaking to an audience of thousands of software specialists gathered in Las Vegas for Microsoft's SharePoint Conference 2014, he told the audience the two leading obstacles to stability in the world today are political violence and financial inequality, and he called on technologists to help ease them through investment by government, innovation in the private sector and programs by nonprofit foundations like the Gates Foundation and his own foundation.

OpenText SharePoint Services Release Unites ERP, ECM #SPC14

OpenText SharePoint Services Release Unites ERP, ECM #SPC2014SharePoint Conference 2014 kicked off this morning and the vendors are wasting no time announcing new releases. OpenText started the ball rolling with the release of OpenText Microsoft SharePoint Services (SPS) for Extended ECM for SAP Solutions. The combined solution brings together the worlds of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

Document Mgt Roll-Up: Facebook Quashes Its Email Service

docmgmtrollup.jpgWe saw a lot of action in the document management world recently, with Facebook closing the door on its much ignored email service, a rebranded Web Apps from Microsoft and a new Service Pack released by AvePoint aimed at improving data governance. Accusoft kept busy with the upgrade of its Prizm document viewer, while WatchDox offered a free document editor to its users.

Microsoft's Anxiety Shows as April XP Deadline Nears

MSFT store.jpg.jpg

It’s rare that you read a blog post that combines hard sell and desperation in equal measure.

But Microsoft has managed to do just that in a blog post that urges users to give up on Windows XP and upgrade. Upgrade to what, you might ask? Windows 8.1, of course.  And while you’re at it, buy a new computer.

 

IBM, Microsoft, SAP, SAS Lead Gartner's BI Analytics Magic Quadrant

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms is one of the most dynamic quadrants Gartner produces. It reflects a market that is still growing and intensely competitive. However, all is not well in paradise.

Enterprises are looking to expand the use or even standardize their data discovery platforms for larger business intelligence (BI) deployments. But Gartner reports that many vendors lack the enterprise features around governance, administration and scalability that are required to do this.

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