Microsoft pivot: Ignite is now its key conference

I have been covering Microsoft for quite a few years and it was always clear to me that the must-attend event, if you want to keep up with the company, was the Professional Developer Conference (PDC), and after that was scrapped, its successor developer event Build.

The reason for this is that at PDC or

…continue reading Microsoft pivot: Ignite is now its key conference

UK South or UK West? Microsoft opens new data centres for Azure and Office 365

Microsoft has opened “multiple data centre locations in the UK” to run Azure and Office 365 cloud services.

I went to the Azure portal to create a new VM, to see the new options. It looks like you have to use the new portal. Here is what I got in the old portal:

…continue reading UK South or UK West? Microsoft opens new data centres for Azure and Office 365

Time for another look at “pure .NET”

Back in the Nineties there was a lot of fuss about “pure Java”. This meant Java code without any native code invocations that tie the application to a specific operating system.

It is possible to write cross-platform Java code that invokes native code, but it adds to the complexity. If it is an operating system

…continue reading Time for another look at “pure .NET”

The battle to own Windows Explorer shell overlay icons, or why your OneDrive green ticks have stopped working

There are a number of dark areas in Windows that do not work quite right. MAXPATH anyone? But here is another one that I have only recently become aware of.

If you use applications such as Mozy, OneDrive (Business or Personal), Adobe Creative Cloud, Tortoise (a developer utility) or Dropbox, you will be familiar with

…continue reading The battle to own Windows Explorer shell overlay icons, or why your OneDrive green ticks have stopped working

What to do when Outlook is stuck on “processing”

I have seen this a couple of times recently, both cases where Outlook 2016 is installed. You start Outlook, it loads plug-ins, then presents a dialog that says “Processing”.

It does this for a long time. What is is processing? Who knows. Will it complete in its own good time? Not sure, but for

…continue reading What to do when Outlook is stuck on “processing”

The case of the disappearing Azure AD application registration

Some time ago I wrote a simple web application which runs on Microsoft Azure and uses Azure Active Directory for authentication. The application is used constantly and has proved reliable; however yesterday it stopped working. A quick debug session showed that the problem was an Azure AD permissions error.

In order to use Azure AD,

…continue reading The case of the disappearing Azure AD application registration

Last thoughts on Windows Phone

Microsoft’s Windows Phone disaster lurched further towards oblivion last week, when Windows boss Terry Myerson emailed employees with the news that “Today I want to share that we are taking the additional step of streamlining our smartphone hardware business, and we anticipate this will impact up to 1,850 jobs worldwide, up to 1,350 of which

…continue reading Last thoughts on Windows Phone

Microsoft Financials: steady, but a turning point as on-premises server business declines

Microsoft has announced its latest financials, and I have made a quick table summarising the year-on-year comparison for the quarter. See the end of this post for what the confusing segment categories represent.

Quarter ending  March 31st 2016 vs quarter ending March 31st 2015, $millions

Segment Revenue Change Operating income Change Productivity and Business Processes

…continue reading Microsoft Financials: steady, but a turning point as on-premises server business declines

Microsoft SQL Server is coming to Linux. What are the implications for Windows Server?

Microsoft is porting SQL Server, its popular database manager, to Linux. According to Executive VP Scott Guthrie:

Today I’m excited to announce our plans to bring SQL Server to Linux as well. This will enable SQL Server to deliver a consistent data platform across Windows Server and Linux, as well as on-premises and cloud. We

…continue reading Microsoft SQL Server is coming to Linux. What are the implications for Windows Server?

Outlook 2016 attachment mysteries and annoyances

Microsoft Outlook 2016 has a new feature which the company highlighted when it first appeared, which is that it sends attachments as links by default, if they are stored in network-accessible locations. The idea is to prevent proliferation of different versions if several respondents make changes and email them back. It also means that everyone

…continue reading Outlook 2016 attachment mysteries and annoyances