Microsoft has announced the general worldwide availability of Microsoft 365 Business, which is targeted at small and medium-sized businesses with up to 300 employees. The solution includes the Office 365 suite of productivity and collaboration tools as well as device management and security tools for Windows 10 PCs, mobile devices and apps. The offering incorporates Microsoft Connections, Listings and Invoicing for Microsoft 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium customers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
Microsoft has started delivering the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The rollout is using Windows Update and will be phased over a period of time starting with newer machines. The release includes enhancements to Cortana, Edge, accessibility features, security and inking. Other features are OneDrive offline file access, ransomware protection, pin people to the taskbar as well as Windows Mixed Reality and a unified Store for Windows 10 and Xbox.
Microsoft has announced that it has started rolling out the LinkedIn app for Windows 10 PCs to the Windows Store. The app provides an integrated experience accessible from the Start menu and taskbar as well as using the Action Centre and Live Tile to provide real-time notifications.
Microsoft has announced that it has started the Windows 10 Creators Update rollout as a free update for Windows 10 users. The update includes 3D in Windows 10, built-in game broadcasting, Microsoft Edge improvements and enhanced security features.
Microsoft has started its worldwide roll out of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. The release includes Windows Ink, improvements to security with Windows Defender and Windows Hello for apps and websites, extensions for Microsoft Edge, updates to Cortana as well as user interface refinements to the Start Menu and Action Centre.
Microsoft has announced the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update SDK, along with Visual Studio 2015 Update 3. The new SDK contains enhancements to the Universal Windows Platform and includes updated APIs for Windows Ink, Cortana and Windows Hello as well as improved Tools and Bridges for iOS and Android Developers.
Microsoft has announced the release of a new version of System Center Configuration Manager (1606). The update includes new features and enhancements in security and data protection, application management, content distribution, deployment and provisioning, end user experience as well as new functionality for customers using Configuration Manager in hybrid mode with Microsoft Intune. This version also provides support for the Windows 10 Anniversary update.
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 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.
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.