Microsoft has acquired Cycle Computing, a vendor of cloud computing orchestration. The acquisition is intended to help simplify the use of High-Performance Computing (HPC) and other Big Computing capabilities in the cloud. Cycle Computing’s technology will also be used to enhance Microsoft’s support of Linux HPC workloads and help extend on-premise workloads to the cloud.
Microsoft has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cloudyn, a provider of cloud services cost management tools. These tools enable enterprise customers to identify, measure and analyse consumption as well as forecast future cloud spending. The offerings will be incorporated into Microsoft’s product portfolio to provide a set of multi-cloud management, security and governance solutions.
Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire Hexadite, a company delivering agentless, automatic incident investigation and remediation solutions. Hexadite will be fully absorbed into Microsoft as part of the Windows and Devices Group and its endpoint security automated remediation used to extend Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection for commercial Windows 10 customers.
Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire Intentional Software, a company focused on creating productivity applications. The founder of the company, Charles Simonyi, is an ex-Microsoft employee responsible for the development of Word and Excel. Simonyi and his team will become part of the Office group.
Microsoft has announced that it has acquired Simplygon, a developer of automatic 3D data-optimisation solutions. Simplygon was developed by Donya Labs AB, a privately held company based in Sweden and specialises in 3D game optimisation as well as helping creators and users of 3D data optimise content pipelines and streamline workflows.
Microsoft has agreed to acquire Maluuba, a Montreal-based company with deep learning research labs for natural language understanding. Sam Pasupalak and his Maluuba co-founder as well as the research team will become part of Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research organisation.
Microsoft has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Genee, an artificial-intelligence-powered scheduling service. Genee uses natural language processing and decision-making algorithms to make interacting with a virtual assistant the same as with a human one. Microsoft plans to incorporate these capabilities into Office 365.
Microsoft’s Xbox team has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Beam, an interactive livestreaming service that gives viewers the ability to watch and play along with game streamers in real-time.
The most significant event this month has been Microsoft’s announcement of its planned acquisition of LinkedIn. This will be the largest acquisition in Microsoft’s corporate history. Microsoft’s CEO believes that LinkedIn information can be incorporated into Office 365 and Dynamics and envisages a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on an individual’s current project with Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn. There are also other potential synergies with Office 665, Dynamics CRM & ERP as well as advertising products and services.
Microsoft continues extending its services to non-Microsoft platforms with Translator for Amazon Fire available from the Amazon Underground app store and Outlook watch face for Android Wear.
Microsoft has announced that it will use Apache Spark to power its big data and analytics offerings, which includes Cortana Intelligence Suite, Power BI and Microsoft R Server.
The CRM 2016 spring wave includes Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1, Dynamics CRM 2016 Service Pack 1, Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 1 and Social Engagement 2016 Update 1.5.
Microsoft has featured in a number of Gartner’s Magic Quadrants. Identity and Access Management as a Service (IDaaS) for 2016 and Azure Active Directory was placed in the “leaders” quadrant with a favourable completeness of vision assignment. A visionary placement for Intune and the Enterprise Mobility Suite in the Enterprise Mobility Management Magic Quadrant as well as a Leader in the Mobile Application Development Platforms Magic Quadrant.
Of interest is the release of Microsoft’s first holographic email and calendaring apps, Outlook Mail and Calendar, to Microsoft HoloLens.
Microsoft has announced Azure Information Protection, which is a new service that builds on Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS) and its Secure Islands acquisition. There are no changes for current Azure RMS customers until the General Availability of Azure Information Protection later this calendar year.
A preview of Azure AD Conditional Access policies for Exchange and SharePoint Online has been made available. These policies can be used to require multi-factor authentication (MFA) or block access based on network location.
Microsoft will release its Windows 10 Anniversary Update on 2 August. There have been quite a few test builds of the Anniversary Update for Fast Ring PC and phone testers. The Start Menu and Action Centre include a range of refinements and changes as well as significant updates to Edge, which starts to support add-ins.
Microsoft has announced that it has acquired messaging app developer Wand Labs. The Wand team will join the Bing engineering and platform team to add their expertise to the work Microsoft is doing in the area of intelligent agents and chat bots. The acquisition is intended to help accelerate the development of Conversation as a Platform.