Are you aware that when you purchase qualifying Microsoft products you could be getting a percentage of that money back from Microsoft? Back in September I wrote a blog about Microsoft announcing their SMB Advantage program which is one of many subsidy programs that Microsoft had going at the time. They went ahead and extended that promotion in the beginning of January with the intent of running it through the end of that month but due to its success, they came back and extended it through the end of February.
Business data continues to grow exponentially, and trying to make sense of all of the information that is coming in is essential to maintaining a thriving business. The ultimate success of an organization can, in part, be determined by the tools the organization provides to their employees as they contend with this new surge of data.
Have you ever entered a meeting where the presenter fumbles around for the first 10 minutes with all the different devices that he or she will need? A projector or large monitor, an audio or videoconferencing system, a traditional or interactive whiteboard, and at least one computer are essential in conference rooms these days. Unfortunately, when they’re not working or when people don’t know how to use them, they can hurt productivity more than help.
If you haven’t heard already, Exchange Hosted Encryption (EHE) has gone through a name-rebranding and Microsoft is calling the new version: Office 365 Message Encryption. Office 365 message Encryption includes ALL the capabilities of EHE – plus new features. Office 365 Message Encryption allows email users to easily send encrypted emails to anyone – internally or externally. In return, the recipients of encrypted messages can easily view their encrypted messages and return encrypted replies.
Power BI is a cloud-based business intelligence (BI) service that provides users a powerful way to work with data in familiar tools they use every day – Excel and Office 365. Power BI is geared towards all kinds of business users which allows them to locate relevant information, pull data from the likes of Windows Azure and multiple other sources, and aid in building comprehensive BI models for analysis, visualization, and collaboration.
Microsoft is adding Multi-Factor Authentication for Office 365 available in most of their subscription offerings. Offerings that will include the Multi-factor authentication are: Office 365 Midsize Business, Enterprise Plans (E1-E4), Academic offerings, nonprofit offerings, as well as stand – Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. Government customer that qualify for the G SKU will also have access to multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication will not be included in Office 365 Small Business or Office 365 Dedicated plans at this time.
There has been a lot of activity around storage and high availability in light of how users’ access affects their ability to accomplish their jobs. Various methods are used to protect organizations from losing a file from an accidental delete or catastrophic server issue. These methods include SAN snapshots, Backups, Backup tools such as System Center DPM or third party solutions.
Microsoft has named Satya Nadella, a 22-year Microsoft veteran, its new CEO. He is the 3rd person to be named CEO of Microsoft since the company was founded in 1975.
On March 13, 2014, Microsoft will be cutting the price of its Blob Storage, Disk/Page Blob Storage by up to 20%! In addition, the cost of Locally Redundant Disks/Page Blob Storage will be cut by up to 28% as the cost of Azure storage transactions by 50%.
These price cuts will be applied worldwide making Azure storage actually cheaper than Amazon Web Services in many regions. Microsoft has made a pledge to match or beat AWS prices and these cuts are a prime example of that strategy.
It is nothing new when Microsoft announces that they are changing the name of their products. Remember BPOS before it was Office 365 or LiveMeeting before it was Lync? (We could probably name a handful more) So, it shouldn’t be a big surprise to hear that this name change comes months after Microsoft agreed to rebrand SkyDrive after a legal dispute with European company British Sky Broadcasting Group over the trademarked name SkyDrive.