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Microsoft at Ignite: Building on Office 365, getting more like Google, Adobe mysteries and FPGA magic

I’m just back from Microsoft’s Ignite event in Atlanta, Georgia, where around 23,000 attendees mostly in IT admin roles assembled to learn about the company’s platform.

There are always many different aspects to this type of event. The keynotes (there were two) are for news and marketing hype, while there is lots of solid technical

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Azure Stack on show at Microsoft Ignite

At the Expo here at Microsoft’s Ignite you can see Azure Stack – though behind glass.

Azure Stack is Microsoft’s on-premises edition of Azure, a private cloud in a box. Technical Preview 2 has just been released, with two new services: Azure Queue Storage and Azure Key Vault. You can try it out

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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

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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:

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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