As 2014 wraps up, take a look back at the important events and developments in the IT channel. Industry experts weigh in on the big vendor moves, partners’ bumpy transitions to a cloud business model and more.
In telecom news, AT&T’s SDN plans gain traction with Domain 2.0, while global Ethernet switch revenue hits record highs.
SAP SME success is tied to SAP’s implementation partners. But making full use of the SAP suite remains a challenge for small to midsize businesses.
* Administer, monitor, and configure Windows Server 2008/2012 and SQL 2008/2012 providing core and specialized services … a team **Job:** **Systems Services** **Title:** **Windows System Administrator (ITCC # 105) – Top Secret Clearance…
The holiday shopping season is the most important time of the year for retailers, and they’re increasingly turning to data analytics to try to get an advantage over their competition.
Google Cloud Storage rolled out its Cloud Storage Connector in 2014 but not much else. The connector and price cuts were the biggest announcements for the year.
Lately we’ve been focused on providing you with key information on Windows 10 and you’ve had the opportunity to hear from Jim Alkove about several areas of investment for Windows 10 for business – including security and identity, deployment, manageability and enterprise Store capabilities. While we look forward to sharing more on Windows 10 early next year, we wanted to take this opportunity to talk about some of the exciting business ready Windows devices in stores this holiday season. We realize that PC shopping is a year-round exercise for businesses, but among the many devices highlighted for the holiday season this year, there are some great stand-outs for business – here are just a few
Announced at IFA Berlin in September, as a refresh to its ever popular ThinkPad Helix, the Lenovo Helix 2nd Gen. – a detachable 2-in-1, that is even thinner, lighter and has a better battery life than the previous model. Powered by Windows 8.1 Pro, it offers business-grade security, the ability to join a domain, and more. The Helix also has a detachable keyboard, providing options for an on-the-go tablet or use as a traditional laptop, and an active stylus for quick notes using the handwriting recognition feature, adding to your productivity, wherever you are.
Another device announced at IFA Berlin this year, the Lenovo ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One 23, a modular all-in-one desktop offering easy setup for public and private enterprises. The Tiny-in-One monitor allows IT managers to refresh the CPU and monitor separately without having to replace the entire system. The Kensington lock secures both the monitor and the device itself, and is also compatible with other data security features such as Smart USB Protection and Bluetooth lock.
The Dell Latitude 13 7000 Series 2-in-1 is designed to keep you productive – on the road or at the office – with powerful business-class features and security built right in to keep your data protected. Use the device as a detachable 13-inch tablet with six hours of all day battery life, plus four additional hours in the keyboard. The device also touts a full-size business-class single point ISO keyboard with standard backlight and the convenience of two USB 3.0 ports on the keyboard base.
Last but certainly not least, the HP Pro x2 612 is HP’s thin, light and powerful computing alternative for business. Like the Dell Latitude, the HP Pro x2 612 has a battery in the tablet and one in the Power Keyboard, allowing business customers to benefit from the dual batteries with up to 14 hours of battery life. And the HP Pro x2 612 also comes with an optional battery-free Wacom pen with built-in holder. It also offers HP BIOSphere, HP Client Security, and option fingerprint reader to help keep devices safe and secure.
As mentioned, we are working hard to ensure that compatibility between Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 is excellent. This also applies to hardware: we are designing Windows 10 to have the same overall hardware requirements as Windows 7 and Windows 8, making it possible to run Windows 10 on a vast majority of existing devices. For that reason, we see device purchases today as a great investment toward the future. We look forward to sharing more details about the upgrade path soon. And, in the meantime, we welcome your participation in the Windows Insider Program where you can experience new builds as soon as they’re available and have an opportunity to influence product development decisions through the Windows Feedback app directly within the product.
Before heading off for the holidays I wanted to give a little bit of an update on how things are shaping up for Windows 10, especially since we don’t have a build for you this month. I know that some of you are disappointed that we didn’t release another build (though we know some of them escaped….I’m looking at you 9888 & 9901…)* but now that we’ve announced our event on January 21st I can finally explain why we didn’t. We’ve been very hard at work putting together a great build for you that includes a bunch of new features and improvements. As all of those payloads came in we needed to stabilize code, fix any integration issues, and ensure all of the new UX is polished. We’re really focused on making the next build something that we hope you’ll think is awesome. In fact, just so that we have a *daily* reminder to ourselves that we want this build to be great, we even named our build branch FBL_AWESOME. Yeah, it’s a bit corny, but trust me that every Dev that checks in their code and sees that branch name gets an immediate reminder of our goal. We’re super excited to show you what we’ve been up to! Look for a follow-up blog post from us on where to tune-in to the live webcast on January 21st.
This Windows Insider thing seems to be gaining momentum
We have over 1.5 million registered Windows Insiders today which is amazing, and about 450k of you are what we consider “highly active”. In other words, you’re really using the build day to day and putting it through its paces. In fact, Windows Insiders are using Windows 10 preview builds more actively than participants in preview/beta programs for any prior release of Windows.
It’s terrific for us to see this, because that hardcore usage will help us fix all the rough edges and bugs. The reports you send us, both from automated things like crash logs and manually via the Windows Feedback app, are helping us shape the product. My favorite recent example of the latter is a bug that would have been really tricky to catch with test automation or by other means: In certain circumstances (very rare) the OneDrive icon in File Explorer can be replaced by the Outlook icon! That’s the kind of fit and finish bug that real usage at scale by Windows Insiders helps us find and fix.
We’ve made tons of fixes based on your contributions
We continue to be humbled by all the feedback we’re getting from the Windows Insider Program. And we’ve been fixing a lot of the issues that you’ve reported. In fact we’ve fixed almost 1,300 bugs that you’ve reported (or upvoted) so far and are still going! Here’s the breakdown on status of bugs reported so far.
Note that there is a 1:many ratio between reports filed and bugs filed, so thousands of reports can sometimes boil down to 1 bug. Still, the numbers here are pretty impressive.
Many of these are “just bugs” but you’ll also see changes to the UX or features that are based on your suggestions too. For example, we added the option to choose which folder is the default when opening File Explorer, which many of you requested. We also added the ability to turn off recent files and/or frequent folders in “Home”, and added a little animation/transition when opening the Start menu, which were also frequently requested. There are a great many more but we’ll wait to talk about those in more detail soon.
In addition to Feedback reports, we’ve also fixed the most frequently occurring bluescreens and user mode crashes that were reported by you in builds 9841, 9860, and 9879.
The tall line in the chart on top is the 0xAB bluescreen that we patched for 9879 (now you know why we chose that one!) and the tall line in the chart on the bottom is the Explorer.exe crash that we patched for 9879. These reports are critical for us to be able to find and fix the top problems so that when Windows 10 is released it’s rock solid. We know that these crashes are a pain for you, so you really have our sincere thanks for helping us get them fixed. Your experiences also help make the product better for the hundreds of millions of people that will use Windows 10.
Even though we feel great that we were able to get those patches out to deal with top issues, we know that we hit a couple of bumps with servicing that affected you as well. You can see my post in the forum on this for more details. We’re still learning as we go here, particularly since all aspects of how we build and service Windows 10 are being done faster than ever before. We’re confident that this will get smoother as we evolve how we do this, but we do apologize for the bumps and thank you for sticking with us!
An exciting build to come
I’m itching to tell you more about stuff that’s coming. You’ll see some big things, lots of small improvements, and I hope there will be something for each of you to point to and know your influence was felt and appreciated by us. I’m confident that the next build we release will be an exciting one and will show how Windows 10 is evolving with your input.
I wish all of you Happy Holidays and extend my best wishes for you in the New Year. We look forward to showing you more of what we’re working on in Windows 10 in 2015! See you next year!
[Oh, and please keep using Build 9879 and sending us feedback!]
*If you did install 9901 you should know that this build won’t automatically install the next official build – it has a bug that breaks flighting. You’ll need to upgrade manually using the ISOs that are released.
The new Blue Jeans video service, Primetime, enables large-scale — and interactive — webcasting events.
Western Digital’s latest flash deal comes six weeks after Skyera beefed up the capacity to 136 TB of its single-controller 1U skyHawk all-flash array