Windows 10 In July, Azure News: Microsoft Roundup - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software // Operating Systems
News
5/30/2015
10:05 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

Windows 10 In July, Azure News: Microsoft Roundup

Microsoft news this week included updates to Azure, SQL Server 2016, Office for Android and, of course, Windows 10.

7 Bold Tech Ideas That Will Make You Uncomfortable
7 Bold Tech Ideas That Will Make You Uncomfortable
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Windows 10 is this summer, and with it Microsoft is looking is looking to bring along as many partners as possible, even trying to woo Android users. However, let's talk security first. 

This week kicked off with a Microsoft security update. The company has announced a new security appliance called Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) that is designed to monitor and detect account threats in different forms.

The ATA has three unique functionalities, reports Microsoft. It can detect harmful threats like brute force executions, pass-the-ticket (PtT), reconnaissance, and pass-the-hash (PtH) in real-time. It can build a foundation of "normal" user behavior by monitoring user authentication and network access. It can also be used as an audit tool to ID system authorization flaws by scanning the network.

On the mobile front, we learned that Microsoft has sealed a deal with 20 OEMs that will now install its Office platform on Android tablets. Among these companies are industry giants like LG, Sony, Haier, and Prestigio.

[How Twitter, Smartphones Can Assess Crowds]

Microsoft's 20 newest tablet partners will join 11 other businesses, including Samsung, Dell, and Pegatron, all of which formed similar agreements earlier this year. Their hardware will soon come equipped with Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Skype, and OneDrive.

In other Microsoft meets Android news, we learned that the upcoming Windows 10 will accommodate both Android and iOS devices with a built-in Phone Companion app. The app is designed to help iOS and Android users download the features they need to make their smartphones fully compatible with Windows 10.

Among the apps available for download will be Cortana. Microsoft's digital personal assistant will be making its debut in the Apple App Store and Google Play. Once users download, they can access Cortana features across their PC and smartphone.

The Cortana app will be able to help with setting reminders, tracking flights, and completing tasks that were started on a Windows PC. Content and edits will also be stored in Cortana's Notebook across devices.

Microsoft does note that Cortana will have limited functionality on Android and iOS, since it does not have the system access to integrate certain functions. Users will not, for instance, be able to prompt Cortana hands-free with a "Hey, Cortana" greeting, nor will they be able to toggle settings or open apps using Cortana. A preview of the app is coming in a future Windows 10 Insider Preview build.

(Image: Microsoft)

(Image: Microsoft)

News of cloud and big data updates also came from Redmond this week. Microsoft announced the public preview of SQL Server 2016, which it first mentioned at this year's Ignite conference. New features are designed to better protect dormant and active user data, help apply In-Memory OLTP to more applications, and stretch warm and cold transactional data to Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft also released the public preview of Live Encoding for Azure Media Services. The cloud-based workflow simplifies the process of streamlining videos so that customers can run live events from remote locations with only a strong WiFi or mobile network.

Later in the week we learned that Windows 10 is on track for its predicted July release, which first slipped back in April. Neowin reports that mid-July is indeed the targeted sign-off window for the new OS, an update confirmed by "two insiders familiar with the company's plans."

Based on the updates and previews we've seen so far, it looks like Windows 10 will mark a new era for Microsoft. Industry experts agree, as indicated by a new whitepaper from Juniper Research highlighting the top 10 tech leaders of 2015.

In predicting which tech visionaries would prove most influential over the next year, Juniper put Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella in the top slot. No doubt it'll be exciting to see where Nadella's mobile-first, cloud-first strategy takes Microsoft in 2015 -- let's see if he can meet these increasingly higher expectations.

[Did you miss any of the InformationWeek conference in Las Vegas last month? Don't worry: We have you covered. Check out what our speakers had to say and see tweets from the show. Let's keep the conversation going.]

Kelly Sheridan is Associate Editor at Dark Reading. She started her career in business tech journalism at Insurance & Technology and most recently reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft and business IT. Sheridan earned her BA at Villanova University. View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
mejiac
50%
50%
mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
6/1/2015 | 2:15:16 PM
Re: Cortana
@tzubair,

I've used Siri, Cortana and "Ok Google", and all provide a similar yet different experience.

For being productive (creating tasks/reminders), Siri is by far better, since it easilly integrates with my outlook

For web search, "Ok Google" has no competition...it's sometimes the same or better then when one does a web search (Siri and Cortana don't provide the same level of accuracy IMHO). I've tried Siri and "Ok Google" with my 6 year old, and "Ok Google" has been able to "decipher" him a lot more accurately.

Where Cortana shines is that she's embedded in Windows 10... it's pretty cool when you shout accross the room for either a quick answer (weather) or launching your song from your 1 TB hard drive. In this aspect, Cortana for Home Entertainment use is pretty cool

 
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/31/2015 | 11:20:56 PM
Re: Cortana
@tzubair- My experience with Cortana is that it light years ahead of current Siri (though Siri is supposedly about to make a big jump). Cortana doesn't just wait for you to ask a question. Cortana interacts with you and reminds you of things and can help you in ways Siri doesn't yet.

Though, actually I prefer Google Now which is a little less intrusive than Cortana. I can set it up to tell me what I want. Of course, Google Now isn't as interactive but that's a choice I've made.
tzubair
50%
50%
tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
5/30/2015 | 6:01:41 PM
Re: Not so fast, kids
"With Secure Boot, you can't install a dual boot system *without* MS's permission.  This may be fine on mobile devices but since consumers have not yet tossed their laptops/desktops in favor of exclusive use of mobile devices, the problem of the digitally signed Secure Boot remains."

@askqn: I agree. This may prove to be a potential issue because of the permission issue but I think Microsoft might be able to iron these issues out before the launch.
tzubair
50%
50%
tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
5/30/2015 | 5:42:46 PM
Cortana
 

"Among the apps available for download will be Cortana. Microsoft's digital personal assistant will be making its debut in the Apple App Store and Google Play. Once users download, they can access Cortana features across their PC and smartphone."

I wonder how succesful Cortana would be. It seems like it's something similar to Apple's SIRI. SIRI has not gotten a lot of attention after the initial launch so I wonder why Microsoft would take the risk and invest into Cortana. It'd be interesting to see what additional features they offer.

 
asksqn
50%
50%
asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
5/30/2015 | 2:25:35 PM
Not so fast, kids
With regard to laptops/hardware, I don't know how MS can expect any Linux based OS (of which Android is) to be interested in UEFI systems and OEM hardware manufacturers that have removed the ability to disable Secure Boot.  With Secure Boot, you can't install a dual boot system *without* MS's permission.  This may be fine on mobile devices but since consumers have not yet tossed their laptops/desktops in favor of exclusive use of mobile devices, the problem of the digitally signed Secure Boot remains.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends for 2018
As we enter a new year of technology planning, find out about the hot technologies organizations are using to advance their businesses and where the experts say IT is heading.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll