Microsoft Azure: new preview portal is “designed like an operating system” but is it better?

How important is the Azure portal, the web-based user interface for managing Microsoft’s cloud computing platform? You can argue that it is not all that important. Developers and users care more about the performance and reliability of the services themselves. You can also control Azure services through PowerShell scripts.

My view is the opposite though.

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Microsoft OneDrive and OneDrive for Business: a guide for the perplexed

Microsoft’s price plans for additional cloud storage are odd:

Hmm, £1.60 per month for 1TB or £3.99 for 200GB. Difficult decision? Especially as OneDrive for Business appears to be a superset of OneDrive:

It is not that simple of course (and see below for how you can get 1TB OneDrive for less). The

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Microsoft integrates Azure websites with hybrid cloud

Microsoft has announced the integration of Azure websites with Azure virtual networks, including access to on-premise resources if you have a site-to-site VPN.

The Virtual Network feature grants your website access to resources running your VNET that includes being able to access web services or databases running on your Azure Virtual Machines. If your VNET

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Microsoft Financials show cloud growth, Nokia loss

Microsoft has announced its financial results for the quarter ending June 30th 2013. How is it doing?

Quarterly revenue is up to $23.38 billion from $20.49 billion year on year, though $1.98 billion of that is phone hardware – Nokia, in other words. Operating income is up to $6.48 billion from $6.07. Net income is

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A note on Azure storage and downloading large files

I have written a simple ASP.NET MVC application for upload and download of files to/from Azure storage.

Getting large file upload to work was the first exercise, described here. That is working well; but what about download?

If your files in Azure storage are public, you can simply serve an URL to the file. If

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Amazon Mobile SDK adds login, data sync, analytics for iOS and Android apps

Amazon Web Services has announced an updated AWS Mobile SDK, which provides libraries for mobile apps using Amazon’s cloud services as a back end. Version 2.0 of the SDK supporting iOS, and Android including Amazon Fire, is now in preview, adding several new features:

Amazon Cognito lets users log in with Amazon, Facebook or Google

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Microsoft repositions for a post-Windows client world

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has penned a rather long public letter which sets out his ambitions for the company. It is not full of surprises for those who have been paying attention, but confirms what we are already seeing in projects such as Office for iPad: Microsoft is positioning itself for a world in which

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Microsoft Azure: growing but still has image problems

I attended a Microsoft Cloud Day in London organised by the Azure User Group; I booked this when Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich was set to attend, but regrettably he cancelled at a late stage. I skipped the substitute keynote by UK Microsoftie Dave Coplin as I heard the very same talk earlier this month, so

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Resilience is not backup: how Codespaces.com lost its data and its business

This morning’s Twitter feed informed me of the closure of codespaces.com, a company offering a repository and project management service to developers, using Git or subversion.

The reason was a malicious intrusion into its admin console for Amazon Web Services, which the company used as the back end for its services. The intruder demanded money,

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Office, Azure Active Directory, and mobile: the three pillars of Microsoft’s cloud

When Microsoft first announced Azure, at its PDC Conference in October 2008, I was not impressed. Here is the press release, if you fancy a look back. It was not so much the technology – though with hindsight Microsoft’s failure to offer plain old Windows VMs from the beginning was a mistake – but rather,

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