Windows 10 Security, Exchange Server 2016: Microsoft Roundup

Microsoft sheds some light on its Windows 10 security policies, releases Exchange Server 2016, and plans its flagship store openings.
11 Windows 10 Apps For Your Upgraded PC
11 Windows 10 Apps For Your Upgraded PC
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It has been a busy week for Microsoft, which started the fall season with news of Exchange Server 2016, Azure Data Lake, revamped financial reporting structure, and announcements of its flagship store openings. That doesn't even cover the Windows 10 privacy update.

This week started with the cloud. Microsoft announced an expansion of its Azure Data Lake, now known as Azure Data Lake Store. The update includes a new U-SQL query language and Azure Data Lake Analytics tool designed to simplify big data processing.

Tuesday brought the start of AzureCon, a virtual event in which Microsoft announced a series of changes to the Azure cloud. Applications for the Internet of Things, increased security, and Linux container orchestration will be made available in Azure cloud operations.

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Its broader set of cloud services demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to the cloud and Azure's advancement as a more mature platform.

Microsoft also announced plans to buy "key product and technology assets" from Adxstudios in an effort to strengthen its online services for Dynamics CRM. Adxstudios provides online engagement tools, Web portals, and application life cycle management solutions for the customer relationship management software.

Users of OneDrive for Business will be happy to learn the server has been updated with a new UI and more reliable sync client for Windows and Mac devices. The new sync client is available for preview.

Some of the changes you'll see in the OneDrive UI include a command bar with responsive design, more informative Details pane, enhanced sharing capabilities, and the ability to switch between tree and list view.

This week brought the full rollout of Exchange Server 2016, which became generally available Oct. 1 to on-premises customers. The launch follows a two-month preview period that started at the end of July.

The latest version of Exchange was built in the cloud. It contains a few new tools and improvements, including a new Outlook for Web, e-discovery capabilities, document sharing tools, intelligent search, greater extensibility, simplified architecture, and higher availability.

A week in Redmond wouldn't be complete without an update on Windows 10. Following the backlash from customers concerned about their privacy, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Operating Systems Terry Myerson gave a detailed explanation of how Windows 10 uses your personal data and how you can disable certain capabilities.

Microsoft has reported a shakeup to its existing financial reporting structure, which will go into effect on its next earnings call for the first quarter of its fiscal 2016 calendar.

Going forward, the company will report revenue and operating income in three categories: productivity and business processes, intelligent cloud, and more personal computing. The segments reflect a new corporate mission announced by CEO Satya Nadella earlier this year.

Readers local to NYC can stop by the new Microsoft flagship store, which will open officially Oct. 26. The massive retail space will span five floors and 22,269 square feet. The second-largest flagship location will open in Sydney, Australia, on Nov. 12.

Finally, there was peace between tech giants this week as Microsoft and Google decided to abandon the 20 patent lawsuits they had against each other. This agreement, which also drops lawsuits involving Motorola, puts an end to courtroom battles over technologies including mobile phones, WiFi, patents used in Xbox consoles, and other Windows products, Reuters reported.

Tune in next week, when we'll be reporting on Microsoft's Oct. 6 Windows 10 hardware event.

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Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer