May 27

Microsoft and Facebook to build subsea cable across Atlantic

Microsoft and Facebook have announced plans to build “MAREA” – a new, high-capacity subsea cable that connects the United States to southern Europe (from Virginia Beach to Spain and then beyond to network hubs in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia).

The construction of the cable will commence in August 2016 with completion expected in October 2017.

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May 09

Microsoft releases Project Server 2016

Microsoft has announced the general availability of Project Server 2016. The release includes Resource Engagements, Capacity and Engagements Heatmap, improved performance, infrastructure consolidation by storing project data in a SharePoint content database, installer integration with SharePoint Server 2016 as well as improvements to the user experience.

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May 06

Microsoft releases Office Online Server

Microsoft has announced the release of Office Online Server (OOS), which allows organisations to provide an on-premises server that delivers browser-based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. OOS running in an organisation’s datacentre offers the same functionality as Office Online and is the successor to Office Web Apps Server 2013.

OOS is designed to work with SharePoint Server 2016, Exchange Server 2016 and Skype for Business Server 2016. It is also backwards compatible with SharePoint Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013 and Lync Server 2013.

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May 05

Microsoft joins Chamber of Digital Commerce

Microsoft has announced that it has joined the Chamber of Digital Commerce. The Digital Chamber is a new trade association focused on the possibilities and potential of distributed ledgers. The most recognised use of distributed ledgers is the ownership and supply of the virtual currency Bitcoin, which uses distributed ledgers to control and verify ownership.

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May 05

Microsoft releases Power BI Embedded SDK for Node JS

Microsoft has announced the availability of the Power BI Embedded SDK for Node JS. The Node JS SDK is open source and targeted at developers that want to use Power BI Embedded in their own products and applications. Developers can access the Power BI Embedded REST APIs, generate app tokens for managing workspace collections and manage workspace content including imports, datasets and workspaces.

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May 03

View on Microsoft’s April activities

Microsoft has continued to apply its focus on iOS and Android as significant targets for its applications and services. These include Calendar Apps for Outlook on iOS and Android, which connects Wunderlist, Facebook and Evernote; content viewing for Skype for Business on Android and updates to iOS as well as Microsoft Translator capabilities for Android users.

The company also announced the availability of the Linux Data Science Virtual Machine on the Azure marketplace. This is a custom VM image built on the OpenLogic CentOS-based Linux version 7.2 and contains several popular data science tools used by data scientists, developers, educators and researchers.

Office 365 has been enhanced with email safety tips providing an added layer of protection; a new look and feel to the Office 365 welcome page that includes a range of new features for administrators and users. Microsoft has also released updates to Excel 2016’s Power Query technology, which is accessed through the Get & Transform section on the Data ribbon.

Extended support for SQL Server 2005 ended on 12 April and marks the end of security updates or hotfixes. Microsoft released their fourth and final SQL Server 2016 release candidate and announced that SQL Server 2016 will be generally available on 1 June 2016.

Microsoft released a public preview of the Azure Media Face Detector, which contains Face and Emotion Detection services. This Media Processor can be used for people counting, movement tracking and gauging audience participation and reaction via facial expressions.

Microsoft has announced that they will be releasing the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer. The update includes Windows Hello Biometric Security for Apps and Microsoft Edge, Window Ink enhancements, increased number of Cortana-enabled apps as well as revisions to the Start Menu.

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May 03

Microsoft releases Azure Cool Blob Storage

Microsoft has announced the general availability of Cool Blob Storage – low cost storage for cool object data. Example use cases for cool storage include backups, media content, scientific data, compliance and archival data. In general, any data which lives for a longer period of time and is accessed less than once a month is a candidate for cool storage.

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May 03

Microsoft integrates Skype for Business with Intune

Microsoft has announced support for mobile application management (MAM) and conditional access capabilities for Skype for Business mobile apps for online customers. These capabilities are delivered through integration with Intune, Microsoft’s cloud-based mobile device and application management solution. Support includes Skype for Business apps on iOS and Android.

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