Universal Apps: a look at Microsoft’s first efforts on Phone and PC

Windows 10 for phones is now available on preview; I wrote a first-look piece for The Register here. I like it better than I had expected; it is a bit laggy but pretty much stable and with some compelling new features.

The main interest of the preview for me though is the appearance of first-party

…continue reading Universal Apps: a look at Microsoft’s first efforts on Phone and PC

Microsoft open sources heart of .NET: CoreCLR runtime now on GitHub

Microsoft’s CoreCLR is now available on GitHub. We knew this was coming, but it is still a significant step, since this piece is the very heart of .NET: the execution engine that consumes a .NET IL (Intermediate Language) executable and compiles it to machine code for execution. The IL can easily be decompiled back to

…continue reading Microsoft open sources heart of .NET: CoreCLR runtime now on GitHub

Microsoft risks enterprise credibility by pushing out insecure mobile Outlook

One thing about Microsoft: it may not be the greatest for usability or convenience, but it does understand enterprise requirements around compliance and protecting corporate data.

At least, I thought it did.

That confidence has been undermined by the release yesterday of new “Outlook” mobile apps for iOS and Android.

I read the cheery blog

…continue reading Microsoft risks enterprise credibility by pushing out insecure mobile Outlook

Microsoft Financials

Microsoft has released figures for its second quarter, ending December 31st 2014. Here is my simple summary of the figures showing the segment breakdown:

Quarter ending  December 31st 2014 vs quarter ending December 31st 2013, $millions

Segment Revenue Change Gross margin Change Devices and Consumer Licensing 4167 -1377 3876 -1105 Computing and Gaming Hardware 3997

…continue reading Microsoft Financials

The Windows 10 web browser story: it’s complex

Microsoft’s Jason Weber has posted details of the web browser story in Windows 10.

There will be two browsers and two rendering engines in Windows 10:

Project Spartan is the “universal app” version of the browser, the successor to Metro IE. Internet Explorer will remain.

The two rendering engines are EdgeHTML (new) and MSHTML (old).

…continue reading The Windows 10 web browser story: it’s complex

Windows 10 and HoloLens: quick thoughts and questions following the January reveal

Microsoft is revealing its Windows 10 plans in stages, presumably in part to build up expectation and get feedback, and in part because some pieces are ready to show before others.

Today in Redmond Microsoft shared a number of new features. In quick summary:

Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for all Windows

…continue reading Windows 10 and HoloLens: quick thoughts and questions following the January reveal

Reserved IPs and other Microsoft Azure annoyances

I have been doing a little work with Microsoft’s Azure platform recently. A common requirement is that you want a VM which is internet-accessible with a custom domain, for which the best solution is to create a A record in your DNS pointing to the IP number of the VM. In order to do this

…continue reading Reserved IPs and other Microsoft Azure annoyances

So that was 2014: Samsung stumbles, all change for Microsoft, Sony hack, more cloud, more mobile

What happened in 2014? One thing I did not predict is that Samsung lost its momentum. Here are Gartner’s figures for global smartphone sales by vendor, for the third quarter of 2014:

Samsung is still huge, of course. But in 2013, Samsung seemed to be in such control of its premium brand that it

…continue reading So that was 2014: Samsung stumbles, all change for Microsoft, Sony hack, more cloud, more mobile

SSD storage has come to Azure VMs, along with faster Azure SQL

Microsoft has introduced SSD storage for Azure VMs. This is a catch-up with Amazon which has been offering this at least since June 2014. It is an important feature though, and now in preview. The SSDs are part of the Azure storage service but can only be used for disks attached to VMs, not for

…continue reading SSD storage has come to Azure VMs, along with faster Azure SQL

Windows Phone wobbles: why users are losing heart

When Microsoft acquired Nokia in April this year, there was always a risk that the Windows Phone platform would lose momentum (yes there was some momentum).

Nokia was better at marketing, better at hardware innovation, and better at the all-important operator relations than Microsoft itself.

I consider the launch of Windows Phone 7 in

…continue reading Windows Phone wobbles: why users are losing heart