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Microsoft's Amazon-like Azure public cloud is four months away from going live. The company confirmed Tuesday the widely held supposition that Azure would go commercial at its Professional Developers Conference in mid-November. Microsoft also deigned to start explaining what it's going to cost developers to use it after November 17. Until then the technical preview will continue to be free to all comers. Azure will be available on a consumption basis, a subscription basis, and as volume licenses integrated into existing agreements with Microsoft. Microsoft's not ready with the subscription prices that are meant to offer predictable costs or the price discounts that it'll trade for usage commitment but as a basic utility Azure will run 12 cents an hour for the computer infrastructure; 15 cents a gigabyte for the storage; and one cent for every 10,000 storage transactions... (more)

Ray Ozzie, Microsoft Chief Software Architect Leaving Company Unexpectedly

Ray Ozzie, Bill Gates' hand-picked replacement as Microsoft's chief software architect and the father of the Azure cloud, is leaving the company. Steve Ballmer sent out an all-hands e-mail saying so Monday. Ballmer also said Ozzie will not be replaced. Ballmer calls his job "unique." In his place, Ballmer says Microsoft has "a strong planning process, strong technical leaders in each business group and strong innovation heading to the market." There is no explanation for why Ozzie is leaving or what he will do next. Ballmer says he has no plans. When exactly he departs is unclear; apparently he will be sticking around through a transition and paying some attention to the entertainment space before he leaves. Here is the e-mail: From: Steveb Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2010 To: Microsoft - All Employees Subject: Ray Ozzie Transition This past March marked a signifi... (more)

Yahoo’s Wasting Away

SEO Journal on Ulitzer Microsoft hasn't been able to make a dent in Google's top-heavy market share in search but it appears to be doing a nice job sucking the vital juices out of its intended partner Yahoo. According to the latest figures from comScore, Bing, Microsoft's new search engine, was a breath away from claiming 10% of US searches in October, up a half-a-point over September while poor consumptive Yahoo at 18%, a new low, lost eight-tenths of a point. Yahoo used to be a plumper 20%-21%. Google like Microsoft was also up a half point. AOL's got a shrinking 2.9% and it's on the block with Microsoft considered the likely buyer. According to the Dow Jones blog All Things Digital, the source on goings-on with Microsoft and Yahoo, the pair is close to finally signing a belated definitive agreement detailing their convoluted alliance. Maybe by the end of the wee... (more)

The New Efficiency: Experience the Virtual Launch

Right now, you can test drive the innovations at the heart of the new efficiency - free. •  Three Innovations •  Three Free Downloads Download free trials and demo the latest features. Windows 7 works the way you work, helping you reduce management costs, improve productivity, and manage risks through enhanced security and control. Windows Server 2008 R2 enables dynamic provisioning and management of virtual workloads, and combines with Windows 7 to make branch offices more cost-effective and remote workers more productive. Exchange Server 2010 can simplify administration and deployment of messaging, improve archiving capabilities, and extend your messaging across multiple access points. Download free trials and demo the latest features. ... (more)

Windows 7 SP1 Beta Due

Microsoft expects to have a public beta of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) out by next month. There won't be any new Windows 7-specific features and most of the bug fixes have already been released making it a largely ceremonial milestone that many companies like to pass before they deploy. There will be some new Hyper-V features apropos of cloud computing and graphics acceleration widgetry for remote desktops. A public beta of a service pack for Windows Server 2008 R2 is also due in July. By the way, Windows Server AppFabric has RTM'd. It's supposed to simplify the development and management of composite applications by improving speed, elastic scale and high availability through distributed caching capabilities and new tools. ... (more)

The Rise of Things, Internet of Things

End-user computing devices have followed a trajectory of faster, smaller, and cheaper for several decades: adding better connectivity, more natural interfaces, but largely remaining a device with a screen and human input device. This model is breaking down as computation and connectivity collide with ordinary real-world things. These things often have existing physical methods of interacting with them that we culturally don't want to change or no interface at all. I've been involved with devices for much of my professional career, starting with television set top boxes at Microsoft for the better part of a decade, then working in mobile as part of the Android team at Google, and most recently in the Internet of Things at Nest Labs before rejoining Microsoft as part of our platform strategy team. In my current role, one of my focus areas has been to think about so ... (more)

Microsoft and Third Party Software

Well, you may also call this the work of a Virtual Microsoft Evangelist. I am using virtual evangelist in the sense of not being connected with or paid for by Microsoft in any way  (except my familarity with its products). In here, I Iist the articles I wrote for a number of years on Microsoft products and how they connect with third party software.  Articles related to Microsoft technology with Oracle, SQL Anywhere, ColdFusion, Sun Microsystems and Crystal Reports. 2005 Exploring OLAP Cube with Visual Basic Crystal Report from OLAP Data Introduction Using DTS: Import From/Export To a Non-Microsoft Database 2006 Querying SQL 2000 Server with ColdFusion Connecting to SQL 2005 Server from the Java Studio Creator JSP Basics with Java Studio Creator 2 for VB Programmers JSP Consumer for a Visual Studio Created Web Service Using Sun Java Studio Creator Migrating an MS Acc... (more)

New Features in PowerBuilder 11.5

In the previous articles in this series, we looked at FDCC changes (part 1) and GUI enhancements (part 2) in PowerBuilder 11.5. In this article, we'll be looking at the enhancements that were added to PowerBuilder 11.5 that are specifically related to .NET targets. The one thing we won't be covering in this regard is the .NET security enhancements that were covered in a previous PBDJ article: "Applying Code Access Security in PowerBuilder .NET Applications" by Maggie Lv. Strong Named Assemblies The .NET framework allows the author to sign an assembly so that it has a "strong name." Such signing provides a number of benefits including: Verification of the integrity of the assembly. The .NET runtime will ensure that the assembly being loaded has not been modified. Versioning. You can have several different versions of the assembly installed and each application will u... (more)

Business Apps Example for Silverlight 3 RTM

Continuing in our discussion of Silverlight 3 and  the brand new update to .NET RIA Services and the update the example from my Mix09 talk “building business applications with Silverlight 3”. You can watch the original  video of the full session  The demo requires (all 100% free and always free): VS2008 SP1 (Which includes Sql Express 2008) Silverlight 3 RTM .NET RIA Services July '09 Preview Also, download the full demo files and check out the running application. Today, we will talk about Rich Data Query.    Rich Data Query Next up, let’s talk about data query.  Nearly every business application deals with data.   Let’s look at how to do this with .NET RIA Services.   We will start out in the web project.   For this example I will use an Entity Framework data model, but RIA Services works great with any form of data from plain olld CLR objects to an xml file, to web ... (more)

Microsoft Turning Corners

Mini-MSFT is back, with a post about Microsoft turning The Corner.  It’s interesting to contrast his point of view with that of MG Siegler over at ParisLemon.  Given my own perception of  Valley bias on the part of Siegler (he is one of the new voices of TechCrunch after all), it’s great to see that we’re making progress which is being met with receptivity and not suspicion.  Further, everyone is focused on the most important beneficiaries - customers. I have to admit, since returning to the company a little over a year ago, I have had this sense that things are looking up.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s no shortage of frustrations for me, but that’s to be expected when you come from a tiny company where you were the founder and CEO to a large company where you a cog in a wheel. With the new fiscal year, I have a new role and a new team, and I plan on making liberal... (more)

SQL Data Services Rebranded to ‘SQL Azure’

Microsoft announced the rebranding of SQL Services to SQL Azure. SQL Server is the data platform of Windows Server so it made sense to align the name of the relational database platform of Windows Azure, SQL Azure. SQL Azure is built on the SQL Server technology foundation which delivers relational database capabilities in the cloud. The next CTP of now SQL Azure will be in August. You can, however, get started today with SQL Express. Over the next days there will be more details about SQL Azure, including posting the first round of SQL Azure Database documentation to MSDN. Also the SQL Azure prices will be announced on Monday. Related posts: Email Archiving in the Windows Azure Cloud Using SQL Data Services I wrote previously about the potential of SQL Data Services, the... SQL Data Services. Your Database in the Cloud. One thing in the Microsoft cloud I find real... (more)