Microsoft and Docker have announced beta releases of Docker Machine and Docker Swarm on Azure and Docker Machine support on Hyper-V. Microsoft also announced plans to support Docker Compose in the Azure provisioning pipeline using Docker Azure extension.
Microsoft has released Skype 7.5 for Mac, which includes a range of stability fixes and performance improvements as well as support for 14 new languages.
Microsoft has released a preview of ASP.NET 5. This new release is focused on making ASP.NET leaner, more modular, cross-platform, and optimised for the cloud. ASP.NET 5 is an open source web framework for building web applications that can be developed and run on Windows, Linux and the Mac. ASP.NET 5 is built on the .NET Core runtime, but can also be run on the full .NET Framework for compatibility. This release includes a number of significant architectural changes.
Microsoft has released Visual Studio 2015 CTP 6 and Team Foundation Server 2015 CTP (TFS). The Visual Studio release includes single sign-in, ASP.NET improvements, Xamarin integration improvements, increased range of devices supported by Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova as well as a number of other enhancements. TFS includes performance improvements and licencing changes.
Microsoft has introduced improvements for capturing content into OneNote that includes handwriting in OneNote for iPad and the addition of optical character recognition (OCR), which enables text search within all images that are added to notebooks saved on OneDrive. OCR works with any version of OneNote, from Windows Phone to Mac and OneNote Online.
Microsoft has announced new and enhanced Microsoft data services, which include a preview of Azure HDInsight running on Linux, the general availability of Storm on HDInsight (an open source stream analytics platform), the general availability of Azure Machine Learning, and the availability of Informatica technology (data integration ) on Azure.
Microsoft has released Orleans, an open-source platform that provides a straightforward approach to building high-scale distributed computing applications. Orleans, available for download from GitHub, simplifies programming for developers by removing the need to learn and apply complex concurrency logic or scaling patterns. It was designed for use in the cloud and has been used extensively on Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft has announced a number of features in its February 2015 Azure Backup update. These include long term retention (up to 99 years) so that cloud can be used as tape replacement; offline seeding that allows customers to ship a copy of the initial backup to an Azure datacentre; all DPM workloads can be backed up to Azure; and improved monitoring and reporting in SCOM.
Takenaka Corporation, a Japanese architecture, engineering and construction firm, has created an IoT “smart” energy management solution based on Microsoft Azure. The system collects and analyses data from equipment such as air conditioners and lighting, and also on the flow of building occupants. The data is analysed using Azure Machine Learning to create predictions and trigger actions, turning the heat on, for example, when rooms are in use; choosing the right time to turn down the thermostat to prevent waste. The solution is being field tested at Takenaka’s main office in Tokyo and is expected to be introduced in about 20 buildings in 2015.
Microsoft has announced that it has acquired Sunrise, provider of a calendar app for iOS and Android. The Sunrise app will remain in market and free after the acquisition and will continue to support a wide range of third-party apps and calendar services.