Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire Xamarin, a platform provider for mobile app development. In conjunction with Visual Studio, Xamarin provides a mobile development offering that enables developers to build mobile apps using C# and deliver fully native mobile app experiences to all major devices – including iOS, Android, and Windows.
Microsoft has announced that Jim Hanna will join Microsoft in a newly created role as Director for Datacentre Sustainability. Jim Hanna previously served as Director of Environmental Affairs at Starbucks.
Microsoft has announced an update to Excel that includes six new functions to simplify some common calculations. The additions are TEXTJOIN and CONCAT to combine a list or range of text strings, MAXIFS and MINIFS to find the maximum or minimum in a range given one or more conditions and IFS and SWITCH to simplify complex nested IF functions.
Microsoft has released Azure AD Connect 1.1, which connects Windows Server Active Directory and Azure Active Directory. The update includes reduction in the sync interval between Azure AD and AD on-premises, automatic upgrade support, support for administration users with MFA or PIM configured and Domain and OU filtering support.
Microsoft has announced that it has started rolling out group video calling on iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets in Western Europe and North America. Microsoft plan to make this feature fully available worldwide in March.
The US Department of Defence has directed all U.S. DoD agencies to begin the deployment of Windows 10 throughout their respective organisations for information systems currently utilising Microsoft Operating Systems. The DoD has taken this step to improve security and is targeting its Windows 10 upgrade for completion in a year.
Microsoft has announced that the new Lumia 650 is available for purchase in select European markets at a suggested pre-tax retail price of $199 USD. The Lumia 650 runs Windows 10, has a profile of 6.9mm, a weight of 122 grams and features 5MP wide-angle front-facing and 8MP rear-facing cameras.
Microsoft has released Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 CTP, which focuses on stability and performance. The update includes a range of bug fixes for Setup, C, C#, Visual Basic and Office development tools; improvements for C# and Visual Basic Analyser; as well as a range of features across other languages and tools.
The company has also released Team Foundation Server 2015 Update 2 RC 1, which includes a variety of new features and improvements.
Microsoft has announced the public preview of Enterprise State Roaming for Windows 10, which provides an enterprise compliant service to sync OS settings across Azure AD joined Windows 10 devices. It includes separation of corporate and consumer data, automatic encryption of data using Azure Rights Management, control over users and devices as well as storing data in an Azure region based on the country associated with the Azure AD directory.
Microsoft has announced the general availability of Azure IoT Hub. The Hub provides a secure way to connect provision and manage IoT devices sending and receiving messages. IoT Hub supports open protocols such as MQTT, HTTPS and AMQPS and simplifies integration with other Azure services, such as Azure Machine Learning and Azure Stream Analytics.