Sangkuriang Internasional selected Windows Azure to host its mobile banking service EMASS (Encrypted Messaging and Secured Services), which is a secure instant messaging service that allows financial institutions to make payments via cell phones. Sangkuriang’s selection criteria stipulated a cloud service that worked well with the wide range of EMASS technologies, including Linux for core server messaging, and support multiple device platforms such as Windows, iOS, Blackberry and Android.
Microsoft has announces that Microsoft Studios has acquired the rights to the “Gears of War” franchise from Epic Games, including rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise.
As a result of the trademark battle with BskyB, Microsoft has announced that it will be rebranding SkyDrive to OneDrive. For current users of either SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro, the service will continue to operate with no loss of content on OneDrive and OneDrive for Business respectively as the new name is rolled out across the portfolio.
Microsoft has rolled out some changes to the Windows Store on boarding and publishing process. Improvements include managing app availability in the Store and simplification of certification requirements.
Microsoft has announced that from 13 March, customers will see lower prices for Block Blobs Storage and Disks/Page Blobs Storage matching AWS’ prices. Microsoft are matching AWS’ lowest prices (US East Region) for S3 and EBS by reducing prices by up to 20% and making the lower prices available in all regions worldwide. For Locally Redundant Disks/Page Blobs Storage the company is reducing prices by up to 28%. They are also reducing the price of Azure Storage transactions by 50%.
The latest release of Lync mobile for Windows Phone and iOS7 devices adds the ability to view shared PowerPoint presentations, lets Windows Phone users control Lync using voice commands, and aligns the Lync Mobile app with the look and feel of iOS7.
Microsoft has released the results of a survey of 10,000 Internet users in 10 countries. Highlights include that Chinese citizens say that personal technology has positively impacted personal freedom more than people in any other country surveyed. Developing countries – especially India – say that personal technology is improving education and health as well as healthcare. Brazil says that personal technology has had a strong impact on arts and culture. China and India say that their quality of life has improved due to personal technology.
Hortonworks has released the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) 2.0 for Windows. This release is engineered on the latest version of Apache Hadoop 2.2 and takes advantage of YARN to offer improved high availability and mean time to recovery as well as incorporate phase 2 of the Stinger initiative and Hbase 0.96 to deliver Snapshots.
Microsoft will use biogas – a by-product that is naturally produced when stabilising municipal waste – from the Dry Creek Water Reclamation Facility in Cheyenne to power the fuel cell-based Data Plant. In turn, the fuel cells, instead of traditional electrical power, will power the servers in the onsite datacentre.
Zippo Manufacturing Company is implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX with full deployment targeted for January 2015. Zippo expect to eliminate the cost of supporting two disparate ERP systems and standardise their business processes across the company.