Oct 01

View on Microsoft’s September activities

Microsoft has announced that, in early 2016, it will no longer support RC4 cipher in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11. Google and Mozilla have also announced that they are ending support for RC4 in Chrome and Firefox.

This month saw a range of updates to Microsoft’s Cloud Platform product portfolio that included releases and previews covering the GS-Series virtual machines, Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA, Revolution R Enterprise in Azure Marketplace, SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.3, new JDBC 4.2 for SQL Server Driver, Visual Studio 2012 Update 5, Power BI content packs for Adobe Analytics and Azure Mobile Engagement, Azure SQL Database as well as previews of Azure SQL Database Elastic Database Basic and Premium tiers.

Microsoft has announced upcoming previews of its Azure Data Lake offerings, which will include Azure Data Lake Store (a single repository to capture data of any size, type and speed), Azure Data Lake Analytics (a service built on Apache YARN that dynamically scales and introduces U-SQL) as well as Azure HDInsight (a fully managed Apache Hadoop cluster service). Azure Data Lake Tools for Visual Studio will support development projects for Azure Data Lake.

While we are on topics of interest to developers, Microsoft has issued an updated Developer’s Guide to Windows 10 video series with a focus on building Universal Windows apps. The Virtual Academy training courses also allow downloading of source code from GitHub.

Under the auspices of focusing on core Windows 10 Camera and Photo apps, Microsoft has announced the end of support for some of the Lumia apps, which have been removed from the Windows Phone Store.

The apps include Lumia Storyteller, Lumia Beamer, Photobeamer, and Lumia Refocus (which will no longer work due to the termination of the online services) as well as Lumia Panorama and Video Uploader (which will continue to work).

The company continues its strategy of embracing non-Microsoft platforms and has even developed its own Linux distribution for Azure networking, which will be made available as the Azure Cloud Switch (ACS). OneNote now provides support for multitasking, Spotlight search and Apple Pencil on iOS 9 and iPad Pro. There were also demonstrations of a number of enhancements for Office running on the iPad Pro. In addition, Microsoft released HDInsight on Linux.

On the hardware front, Dell is to sell Surface Pro and Surface accessories in the United States and Canada followed by expansion into other worldwide markets. Acer has unveiled PCs and phones designed for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile respectively. Lenovo and Toshiba have also announced their hardware line-up for Windows 10.

For residents in the UK, Microsoft has introduced the display of UK Ordnance Survey Maps to Bing Maps.

Microsoft Office 2016 has been released and focuses on productivity and integration rather new product specific feature additions. The installation has been simplified to the point of creating great frustration (for me), in that you are not even able to specify where it should be installed. So be careful if you have a multiple drive system and your C drive is a small SSD with limited space.

Dec 18

Microsoft releases Analytics Platform System (APS) Appliance Update 3

Microsoft has announced the release of the Analytics Platform System (APS) Appliance Update (AU) 3. APS is Microsoft’s big data in a box appliance for relational data warehouses of scale. The release extends the PolyBase to allow customers to utilise the HDFS infrastructure in Hadoop for ORC files and directory modelling, enables query from Power BI to on premise APS and now uses Windows Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014.

View source article.

Sep 19

Microsoft announces HDInsight public preview for China

Microsoft has announced that Azure HDInsight (Hadoop-as-a-service) is now available for all customers in China as a public preview. Hadoop is an open-source platform for storing and processing massive amounts of data.


Jun 09

Microsoft Announces Apache HBase clusters preview

Microsoft has announced the preview of Apache HBase clusters inside Azure HDInsight. HBase is a NoSQL (“not only Structured Query Language”) database component of the Apache Hadoop ecosystem. HBase is a columnar NoSQL database that was built to run on top of the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). The preview enables customers to run HBase as a managed cluster in the cloud (as an integrated feature of Azure HDInsight). The HBase clusters are configured to store data directly in Azure Blob storage.


Feb 24

Microsoft releases enhancements to Windows Azure

Microsoft has released a number of enhancements to Windows Azure, which include:

  • ExpressRoute: Dedicated, private, high-throughput network connectivity with on-premises
  • Web Sites: Backup and Restore Support
  • Mobile Services: .NET support, Notification Hub Integration, PhoneGap support
  • HDInsight: Hadoop 2.2 support
  • Management: Co-admin limit increased from 10->200 users
  • Monitoring: Service Outage Notifications Integrated within Management Portal
  • Virtual Machines: VM Agent and Background Information Support
  • Active Directory: More SaaS apps, more reports, self-service group management
  • BizTalk Services: EDIFACT protocol support, Service Bus Integration, Backup and Restore


Jan 23

Hortonworks releases HDP 2.0 for Windows Server

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.