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VMware Cloud on AWS: a game changer? What about Microsoft’s Azure Stack?

The biggest announcement from VMWorld in Las Vegas and then Barcelona was VMware Cloud on AWS; essentially VMware hosts on AWS servers.

A key point is that this really is VMware on AWS infrastructure; the release states “Run VMware software stack directly on metal, without nested virtualization”.

Why would you use this? Because it

…continue reading VMware Cloud on AWS: a game changer? What about Microsoft’s Azure Stack?

An overreaching Office 365 integration from Sage

Sage, a software vendor best known for its accounting software, recently introduced an Office 365 integration in its products called Sage 50C Accounts (the “C” is for cloud).

The integration offers several features including:

Automatic data backup to OneDrive Contact integration so that you can easily see Sage accounts data for contacts in Office 365/Outlook

…continue reading An overreaching Office 365 integration from Sage

Unhealthy Identity synchronization Notification: a trivial solution (and Microsoft’s useless troubleshooter)

If you use Microsoft’s AD Connect, also known as DirSync, you may have received an email like this:

It’s bad news: your Active Directory is not syncing with Office 365. “Azure Active Directory did not register a synchronization attempt from the Identity synchronization tool in the last 24 hours.”

I got this after upgrading

…continue reading Unhealthy Identity synchronization Notification: a trivial solution (and Microsoft’s useless troubleshooter)

Server shipments decline as customers float towards cloud

Gartner reports that worldwide server shipments have declined by 4.2% in the first quarter of 2017.

Not a surprise considering the growth in cloud adoption but there are several points of interest.

One is that although Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is still ahead in revenue (over $3 billion revenue and 24% market share), Dell

…continue reading Server shipments decline as customers float towards cloud

Microsoft financials: cloud good, Surface down, and “We had no material phone revenue this quarter”

Microsoft has released its financial results for the third quarter of its financial year. Revenue was up 8% year on year, and operating income up 6%. I’m always interested in the segmentation of the figures so here is a quick table:

Quarter ending  March 31st 2017 vs quarter ending March 31st 2016, $millions

Segment Revenue

…continue reading Microsoft financials: cloud good, Surface down, and “We had no material phone revenue this quarter”

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Microsoft Office 365 Activation Hassles

Imagine you are a customer of Microsoft’s Office 365 service, including a subscription to the Office desktop applications like Word, Excel and Outlook.

One day you click on the shortcut for Word, but instead of opening, it just shows a “Starting” splash screen which never progresses.

Being smart, you try to start Word in safe

…continue reading Microsoft Office 365 Activation Hassles

From Windows Embedded to cloud: Microsoft announces the Connected Vehicle Platform

Microsoft has announced the Connected Vehicle Platform, at the CES event under way in Las Vegas.

The company is not new to in-car systems, but its track record is disappointing. It used to be all about Windows Embedded, using Windows CE to make a vehicle into a smart device.

Ford was Microsoft’s biggest partner.

…continue reading From Windows Embedded to cloud: Microsoft announces the Connected Vehicle Platform

Amazon Web Services opens London data centers

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has opened a London Region, fulfilling its promise to open data centers in the UK, and joining Microsoft Azure which opened UK data centers in September 2016.

This is the third AWS European region, joining Ireland and Germany, and a fourth region, in France, has also been announced.

A region is

…continue reading Amazon Web Services opens London data centers

Notes from the field: Office 365 Cutover Migration for a small business and the mysteries of mail-enabled users

I assisted a small company in migrating from Small Business Server 2011 to Office 365.

SBS 2011 was the last full edition of Small Business Server, with Exchange included. It still works fine but is getting out of date, and Microsoft has no replacement other than full Exchange and multiple servers at far greater cost,

…continue reading Notes from the field: Office 365 Cutover Migration for a small business and the mysteries of mail-enabled users