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Microsoft Makes BI Power Play
February 11, 2014
Microsoft on Monday released Power BI for Office 365, a business intelligence application for its Office 365 Enterprise subscribers. Power BI packages together several features that help business users access information from such sources as Windows Azure and elsewhere. They can then use that data to generate business intelligence models, graphs, charts and other visualizations.
Google Gives Teleconferencing a Chromebox Sheen
February 07, 2014
Google is moving into a new market with the launch of its teleconferencing system, Chromebox for Business. The system uses the Chrome operating system and is built on Chrome's core tenets of simplicity, speed and security. It marries Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps to allow meeting participants to hold high-definition video meetings with document collaboration options.
The New Wireless Wave: Prices Falling, Cloud Rising
February 06, 2014
I get a kick out of reading the media coverage of news events in the wireless sector. Sometimes reporters understand what is happening -- sometimes they don't. AT&T Mobility just reduced the price of its Mobile Share Value Plan. Many wrote about it, but few really understood the issues involved. This is more about a broad industry shift than a single company's strategy.
New Asus Chromebox Sports Shiny $179 Price
February 05, 2014
Asus on Tuesday announced a new Chromebox device priced at just $179, a full $150 less than the Samsung product that's currently its principal competition. Powered by either a fourth-generation Celeron 2955U chip or an Intel Core i3, the diminutive Chrome OS device offers integrated Intel HD graphics, 2 GB or 4 GB of DDR3 memory, and HDMI and DisplayPort for dual display support.
Inside Satya Nadella
February 04, 2014
Satya Nadella on Tuesday took Microsoft's helm as its new CEO. Formerly head of the company's cloud and enterprise division, Nadella replaces the retiring Steve Ballmer. Cofounder Bill Gates shed his chairmanship of the company, moving into a new role as technology advisor. John Thompson has taken over as chairman. Nadella sent an email to Microsoft employees to introduce himself and his vision.
Oracle Calls Out Amazon, Salesforce
February 03, 2014
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said last week that IBM and SAP were no longer in his gun sights. Instead, Oracle is focusing on cloud infrastructure companies such as Amazon and SaaS providers such as Salesforce.com. However, Oracle is "kidding itself" if it thinks it can crack the IaaS/PaaS market any time soon, said Synergy Research Group's John Dinsdale.
Nadella May Be Next in Line for the Microsoft Chalice
January 31, 2014
Microsoft is ready to make its enterprise and cloud head, Satya Nadella, the company's new chief executive officer, and it may replace Bill Gates as chairman, according to reports. Nadella appeared to stand out as one of the stronger options to replace retiring CEO Steve Ballmer several weeks ago, but the plans are not yet set in stone. Nadella reportedly is in contract discussions with the board.
With AirWatch in Tow, VMware Arrives Late to Mobile Party
January 23, 2014
VMware on Wednesday announced it is acquiring enterprise mobile management and security solutions provider AirWatch. The deal, which is expected to close later this quarter subject to the usual regulatory approvals and closing conditions, will expand VMware's reach into the mobile space. AirWatch has more than 10,000 customers worldwide and more than 1,600 employees across nine offices globally.
LogMeIn's Free Service Permanently Logs Out
January 23, 2014
LogMeIn has announced that it will be shutting down its free service and unifying its existing portfolio of paid products in a single offering. Existing users of LogMeIn Free will be given seven days from the next time they log on to the service to upgrade to the premium service at a discounted price of $49. LogMeIn was an early pioneer in what's known in business circles as the "freemium" model.
Internet of Everything Means Trillions for Public Sector
January 22, 2014
It doesn't make too much sense to send a sanitation truck around a predetermined route to empty street-side trash bins if half the bins are empty. It's a waste of employee time and truck fuel to stop unnecessarily at thousands of bins. If the bins could speak for themselves and notify the public works department when they're nearly full, then a more efficient pickup schedule could be implemented.
Intel Deal Could Help Verizon Expand Its TV Horizons
January 21, 2014
Verizon will be acquiring the assets of Intel Media, the developer of the OnCue Cloud TV platform, the companies announced Monday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Verizon noted it hopes to keep in house most of the unit's 350-strong workforce and management team. These assets will allow Verizon to provide enhanced next-generation video services for its clients.
Cloud Powers the Internet of Things
January 18, 2014
The Internet of Things is a key driver of accelerated growth of cloud-based alternatives to traditional on-premises systems and software, and as the new year begins to unfold, it is gaining momentum. The idea of the IoT evolved from the more narrowly focused concept of machine-to-machine communications, which has been floating around for a while and is now getting more attention.
Microsoft Hooks Up With GoDaddy
January 16, 2014
Microsoft and GoDaddy on Tuesday announced they were partnering to market Microsoft's Office 365 to GoDaddy's 12 million small business users. GoDaddy's small business users can attach Office 365 to a domain name and get access to cloud storage and Microsoft's productivity suite. 24/7 live customer service is part of the package. Launched in 2011, Office 365 is a cloud-based app.
Foreign Firms Flee US Cloud Services
January 13, 2014
Further proof that the NSA surveillance scandal is impacting the United States IT industry came on Friday with the publication of a study conducted for Canadian Web hosting and cloud services provider Peer1 Hosting. Fully 64 percent of the 300 UK- and Canada-based respondents to the survey hoped to move data from U.S.-based cloud service providers to their own countries within the next five years.
Salesforce1 Paves Way for Internet of Customers
January 10, 2014
Salesforce on Wednesday kicked off its Salesforce1 world tour in New York, touting the allure of the social, mobile and cloud customer platform to clients. Launched in November at Dreamforce 2013, Salesforce1 drove a 96 percent increase in mobile app active users and a 46 percent increase in active users of custom mobile apps, Salesforce maintained.
Microsoft Buys Cloud Customer-Service Firm
January 07, 2014
Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it will acquire Parature, which provides customer engagement solutions as a service. Parature's technology will add self-service, support ticketing and other capabilities to Microsoft Dynamics. Microsoft reportedly will pay $100 million for the company. "Once the deal closes, Parature will become part of Microsoft," said Parature cofounder and CMO Duke Chung.
Got Cloud? What Companies Want
January 07, 2014
Cloud service users are becoming more vocal about what they want from cloud providers and how they want to pay for it -- and cloud providers may be listening. They are beginning to offer more flexible options and are gradually shifting to utility-style pricing models. There is no single factor driving these changes, but some of the things potential users want are showing up in their offers.
All Things Appy: Top 5 Cloud Storage Apps for Windows 8
January 03, 2014
Cloud storage is a fast-moving arena, with advancements including the ability to store files and folders in the cloud along with metadata on your PC replicating the actual file. The file isn't there and isn't taking up space, but you can see relevant attributes. Other cloud techniques include the ability to sync files only as you need them.
Amazon's Cloud Drifts to China
December 19, 2013
Amazon is charting a new course as it prepares to expand its Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform to China. The company will start inviting select businesses there to take advantage of the platform as part of a limited preview. Amazon will extend invitations to both China-based and multinational companies with customers in the region in early 2014.
'Systems Performance': A Definitive Guide for the Cloud Enterprise
December 17, 2013
Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud is a must-have reference guide for any IT manager or sysadmin whose job involves working with computer systems that are tethered to the cloud. Author Brendan Gregg is no newcomer to writing definitive books on computer networks and system performance, but his latest release could well be his best work so far.

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