Jun 09

Microsoft signs agreement to acquire Hexadite

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.

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Jul 08

Microsoft releases Always Encrypted for Azure SQL Database

Microsoft has announced the general availability of Always Encrypted in Azure SQL Database. The solution encrypts information in the database at all times including query processing, and allows decryption at the point of use by authorised staff or applications that need to process the data. Encryption keys are managed outside of the database.

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Jun 09

Microsoft releases Enterprise State Roaming service for Windows 10

Microsoft has announced the general availability of the Enterprise State Roaming service for Windows 10. The service is part of Azure AD Premium and provides enhanced security and control of the OS and app state data that are roamed between enterprise owned devices. All synced data is encrypted before leaving the device and backed by an enterprise compliant storage service in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

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Jun 01

View on Microsoft’s May activities

In spite of selling off its entry level feature phones, along with more staff reductions planned, Microsoft has said that it will continue to support and develop the Lumia brand. Given the company’s ever shrinking mobile phone market share coupled with Satya Nadella’s focus, this is not a huge surprise. Will we see the launch of a Surface Phone at some time in the future?

Microsoft is partnering with the Jenkins community to offer both compute resources and technical expertise to build a development and delivery infrastructure on Linux and Java in the Azure cloud.

Cloud services continue to be the company’s focus as it unveils its vision and roadmap for SharePoint, which focuses on providing file sharing and collaboration on any device as well as becoming an open and extensible platform.

May’s updates to Office 365 include real-time chat integration into the web experiences, as well as new capabilities in Outlook and Visio. The Power BI Desktop May Update, features improvements to Report View, the ability to Publish to a Pyramid Server, analytics and data connectivity.

The company has announced the availability of the PowerShell module for Azure Machine Learning in public preview mode. This is a .NET based PowerShell DLL module that allows end users to manage Azure ML workspaces, experiments, datasets, web services and web service endpoints.

The latest volume of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR) has been published and includes threat data from the second half of 2015 as well as longer term trend data on industry vulnerabilities, exploits, malware and malicious websites.

Microsoft has reported that Windows 10 is now running on 300 million active devices around the world. There have been a number of Insider Build releases that include the revised Start Menu as well as a range of other refinements.

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Mar 02

Microsoft announces Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection

Microsoft has announced that it is developing Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, a new service for enterprises to detect, investigate and respond to advanced attacks on their networks. The offering will provide a new post-breach layer of protection to Windows 10 and is a combination of client technology built into the operating system and a cloud service. It will help detect threats that have made it past other defences, provide enterprises with information to investigate the breach across endpoints and offer response recommendations.

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Dec 01

View on Microsoft’s November activities

A relatively quiet month for Microsoft with much of its marketing energies focused on promoting Office 365, Windows 10 and associated devices as well as more in-depth information about its latest cloud service offerings.

Microsoft has announced plans to deliver commercial cloud services from datacentre regions in multiple cities within the UK and announced the expansion of regional hubs in Ireland and the Netherlands. General availability of Azure and Office 365 from local UK datacentres is expected in late 2016, with Dynamics CRM Online following shortly thereafter.

Red Hat has recognised Azure as a Certified Cloud and Service Provider, which enables customers to migrate Red Hat subscriptions to Azure and maintain their direct relationship with Red Hat.

FieldOne from Microsoft is available for purchase and can be installed directly within Office 365. FieldOne was acquired by Microsoft and provides field service management capabilities for delivering services to customers in the field.

Microsoft has announced plans to enhance its protection of customer data with a Cyber Defence Operations Centre and the new Microsoft Enterprise Cybersecurity Group. The company also revealed that its annual investment in security research and development is more than a billion dollars.

Microsoft has published its Security Intelligence Report Volume 19, which includes threat data from the first half of 2015 as well as longer term trend data on industry vulnerabilities, exploits, malware and malicious websites.

Microsoft HoloLens has partnered with Volvo Cars to explore automotive and technology scenarios in the context of people’s car buying experience. In addition Microsoft HoloLens has announced a partnership with Autodesk Fusion 360 on a solution focused on how industrial designers, mechanical engineers and other product development fields work together.

Microsoft has released 30 feature updates to “Get & Transform” in Excel 2016 and the Power Query add-in for Excel 2013 and 2010. The company has also released a new Bing app for iPhone.

Finally, in the spirit of the forthcoming holiday season, Microsoft’s Halo World Championship starts on 6 December with a $1.7 million prize pool.

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Sep 01

Microsoft releases Advanced Threat Analytics

Microsoft has announced that its Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) is generally available. ATA is a new on-premises product that brings Azure AD style security monitoring and anomaly detection on premise. The product is based on the work done by Aorato, a company Microsoft acquired in November 2014 and is designed to help detect suspicious user and entity activities, known malicious attacks as well as security issues.

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Aug 28

Microsoft releases new Azure Active Directory security features

Microsoft has released a number of new security features to Azure Active Directory. These include a security wizard, a security dashboard, security alerts, security reviews, multi-factor authentication for privileged role activation and Office 365 workload-specific privileged roles.

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May 28

Microsoft unveils SQL Server 2016 public preview

Microsoft has released a public preview of SQL Server 2016. The preview features Always Encrypted, which adds a security layer that only provides the client with decryption keys and keeps the data encrypted during transactions and computations. Other features include improved operational analytics and and hyper-scale.

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