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

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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

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Microsoft kills best Windows OneDrive feature in new Windows 10 preview

In Windows 8.1, Microsoft integrated its OneDrive cloud storage with the Windows file system, so you see your OneDrive files in Windows Explorer.

There was a twist though: in Explorer you see all your OneDrive files, but they are not actually downloaded to your PC unless you specifically configure a file or folder for “offline”

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Coding Office for cross platform: Microsoft explains its approach

At last month’s @Scale conference in San Francisco, developers from a number of well-known companies (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox and others) spoke about the challenge of scaling applications and services to millions or even billions of users.

Among the speakers was Igor Zaika, Distinguished Engineer in the Microsoft Office team, and the video (embedded below)

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VLC is coming to Windows Phone

The popular media playback app VLC is coming to Windows Phone as well as Windows tablets, according to an email sent to supporters of its Kickstarter project for VLC for WinRT (Windows Runtime).

A new preview release has been made available on the Windows Store, with the following changes:

using libVLC 2.2.0 core, redesign of

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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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Windows “9”: forget the Start menu, consider the apps

This week has seen multiple leaks of early builds of the next version of Windows – sometimes called Windows 9 or “Threshold” – showing Microsoft’s continuing inability to persuade all of its partners to keep secrets.

It seems to me that the leaks are likely to be genuine, though the usual health warnings apply. I

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Alcatel OneTouch on plans for Windows Phone OS tablets

At IFA in Berlin, I spoke to Dan Dery, VP and CMO at Alcatel OneTouch, who told me of the company’s plans for Windows Phone OS tablets. Alcatel OneTouch is part of TCL Corporation, a Chinese global electronics company, though for historical reasons (a 2004 joint venture between TCL and the French company Alcatel-Lucent) it

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Another go at Windows 8 from Microsoft’s hardware partners but strategy puzzles remain

I am at the IFA consumer electronics event in Berlin, and have been struck by the number of new Windows 8 tablets on display. Some are hybrid laptop/tablet affairs, but there are also small tablets at keen prices (less than $199) which look superficially similar to Android tablets.

Under the covers though, they

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Microsoft’s broken Windows Store: an unconvincing official response and the wider questions

Microsoft’s Todd Brix has posted about misleading apps in Windows Store:

Every app store finds its own balance between app quality and choice, which in turn opens the door to people trying to game the system with misleading titles or descriptions. Our approach has long been to create and enforce strong but transparent policies to

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