Microsoft joins key industry groups to deliver on promise of the Internet of Things

The following post is from Kevin Dallas, General Manager, IoT, Microsoft.


The Internet of Things (IoT) represents an undeniable opportunity across a range of industries, a topic many of my colleagues have covered at length over the past few months. We believe that there is a critical set of work our industry must undertake in order to make sure we deliver the right set of platforms and services to realize the IoT opportunity.

Microsoft is committed to being an active participant in these discussions, and today I am pleased to share that we are joining two key industry efforts to help drive the right set of industry outcomes for IoT:

· Microsoft has joined the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and its founding members AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel in a collaboration that extends across industry, academia and government. The IIC’s goal is to reduce customers’ required time and complexity for building intelligent systems through open interoperability standards and common architectures to connect smart devices, machines, people, processes and data.

· Microsoft has joined the AllSeen Alliance, which was established in December 2013 to address a major challenge facing IoT, enabling smart, connected devices and objects to work together regardless of brand, operating system and other infrastructure considerations. AllSeen Alliance members are collaborating on a universal software framework, based on AllJoyn open source code, which allows devices to autonomously discover and interact with nearby products regardless of their underlying proprietary technology or communications protocols. Microsoft joins Cisco, Haier, LG, Panasonic, Qualcomm Connected Experiences Inc., Sharp, Silicon Image, Technicolor and TP-Link, in addition to more than 40 other member companies.

We believe the promise of IoT lies in making new and existing devices smarter by connecting them to services in the cloud. At Microsoft, we are focused both on a powerful device platform and great services through Microsoft Azure to deliver great technology to developers, partners and customers.

In order for us to collectively realize the full potential of IoT, it’s imperative we have the right conversations as a community to enable these new and emerging devices and cloud services to be able to communicate and interact properly. It’s a big moment for the industry, and we face a critical choice – do we adopt a standards-based approach that enables scale and interoperability, or do we allow the industry to fracture into miniature ecosystems that encourage lock-in and forces customers to work harder to get the benefit out of the more than 212 billion “connected things” IDC predicted we’ll see by the end of 2020?

In many ways, our opportunity is similar to the early days of the Web. Imagine if the http protocol was not a standard adopted by everyone? Would the Web have been as impactful in creating the global connectivity and business opportunities that have defined the past two decades? These are industry challenges. No single company will solve these problems, and the need to make sure we are on the right path together is stronger than ever as new devices and services are launched almost every day.

Our recent Windows, Azure Intelligent Systems Service, and Azure Machine Learning announcements represent some of our most recent examples of the investments we’re making in a comprehensive and robust M2M/SCADA platform to power the Internet of Your Things.

We look forward to engaging with IIC and AllSeen Alliance members to develop technologies that will improve peoples’ lives while fostering the interoperability, security and the dependability of the systems on which the world is built.

Microsoft joins key industry groups to deliver on promise of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) represents an undeniable opportunity across a range of industries, a topic many of my colleagues have covered at length over the past few months. We believe that there is a critical set of work our industry must undertake in order to make sure we deliver the right set of platforms and services to realize the IoT opportunity.

Microsoft is committed to being an active participant in these discussions, and today I am pleased to share that we are joining two key industry efforts to help drive the right set of industry outcomes for IoT:

· Microsoft has joined the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and its founding members AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel in a collaboration that extends across industry, academia and government. The IIC’s goal is to reduce customers’ required time and complexity for building intelligent systems through open interoperability standards and common architectures to connect smart devices, machines, people, processes and data.

· Microsoft has joined the AllSeen Alliance, which was established in December 2013 to address a major challenge facing IoT, enabling smart, connected devices and objects to work together regardless of brand, operating system and other infrastructure considerations. AllSeen Alliance members are collaborating on a universal software framework, based on AllJoyn open source code, which allows devices to autonomously discover and interact with nearby products regardless of their underlying proprietary technology or communications protocols. Microsoft joins Cisco, Haier, LG, Panasonic, Qualcomm Connected Experiences Inc., Sharp, Silicon Image, Technicolor and TP-Link, in addition to more than 40 other member companies.

We believe the promise of IoT lies in making new and existing devices smarter by connecting them to services in the cloud. At Microsoft, we are focused both on a powerful device platform and great services through Microsoft Azure to deliver great technology to developers, partners and customers.

In order for us to collectively realize the full potential of IoT, it’s imperative we have the right conversations as a community to enable these new and emerging devices and cloud services to be able to communicate and interact properly. It’s a big moment for the industry, and we face a critical choice – do we adopt a standards-based approach that enables scale and interoperability, or do we allow the industry to fracture into miniature ecosystems that encourage lock-in and forces customers to work harder to get the benefit out of the more than 212 billion “connected things” IDC predicted we’ll see by the end of 2020?

In many ways, our opportunity is similar to the early days of the Web. Imagine if the http protocol was not a standard adopted by everyone? Would the Web have been as impactful in creating the global connectivity and business opportunities that have defined the past two decades? These are industry challenges. No single company will solve these problems, and the need to make sure we are on the right path together is stronger than ever as new devices and services are launched almost every day.

Our recent Windows, Azure Intelligent Systems Service, and Azure Machine Learning announcements represent some of our most recent examples of the investments we’re making in a comprehensive and robust M2M/SCADA platform to power the Internet of Your Things.

We look forward to engaging with IIC and AllSeen Alliance members to develop technologies that will improve peoples’ lives while fostering the interoperability, security and the dependability of the systems on which the world is built.

Is Office exec Julia White the face of a new Microsoft?

Editor’s note: The following is a post from Thomas Kohnstamm, a writer for microsoft.com/stories.


To say that a lot was at stake would be an understatement.

The San Francisco launch event for Office for iPad was Satya Nadella’s first appearance as the CEO of Microsoft in the Bay Area tech industry and media epicenter. And Office for iPad represents Nadella’s determination to create a mobile first, cloud first Microsoft that is committed to making cloud services like Office available on every device, no matter the platform.

As Nadella’s co-presenter, Julia White, general manager of product marketing for Office, was praised for her energetic hands-on demo – but also her sense of style.

“I think Julia White’s very cool leather jacket should have its own Twitter account,” tweeted Mashable editor Lance Ulanoff at the recent Office for iPad launch event in San Francisco. Eventually everyone from tech bloggers to the New York Post weighed in on White’s sartorial triumph.

Typically, tech product launches don’t spark viral fashion discussions (at least not complimentary ones), but then, this wasn’t just any product launch.

Despite the fact that White is a 13-year veteran of the company, she embraces change and fights to move both technology and business to its future state. She’s never been afraid to challenge the conventional thinking and stand out from the crowd.

Read the full profile at microsoft.com/stories.

Is Office exec Julia White the face of a new Microsoft?

To say that a lot was at stake would be an understatement.

The San Francisco launch event for Office for iPad was Satya Nadella’s first appearance as the CEO of Microsoft in the Bay Area tech industry and media epicenter. And Office for iPad represents Nadella’s determination to create a mobile first, cloud first Microsoft that is committed to making cloud services like Office available on every device, no matter the platform.

As Nadella’s co-presenter, Julia White, general manager of product marketing for Office, was praised for her energetic hands-on demo – but also her sense of style.

“I think Julia White’s very cool leather jacket should have its own Twitter account,” tweeted Mashable editor Lance Ulanoff at the recent Office for iPad launch event in San Francisco. Eventually everyone from tech bloggers to the New York Post weighed in on White’s sartorial triumph.

Typically, tech product launches don’t spark viral fashion discussions (at least not complimentary ones), but then, this wasn’t just any product launch.

Despite the fact that White is a 13-year veteran of the company, she embraces change and fights to move both technology and business to its future state. She’s never been afraid to challenge the conventional thinking and stand out from the crowd.

Read the full profile at microsoft.com/stories.

Microsoft takes on global cybercrime epidemic in tenth malware disruption

The following post is from Richard Domingues Boscovich, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit.


Playing offense against cybercriminals is what drives me and everyone here at the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit. Today, Microsoft has upped the ante against global cybercrime, taking legal action to clean up malware and help ensure customers stay safer online. In a civil case filed on June 19, Microsoft named two foreign nationals, Mohamed Benabdellah and Naser Al Mutairi, and a U.S. company, Vitalwerks Internet Solutions, LLC (doing business as No-IP.com), for their roles in creating, controlling, and assisting in infecting millions of computers with malicious software—harming Microsoft, its customers and the public at large.

We’re taking No-IP to task as the owner of infrastructure frequently exploited by cybercriminals to infect innocent victims with the Bladabindi (NJrat) and Jenxcus (NJw0rm) family of malware. In the past, we’ve predominately seen botnets originating in Eastern Europe; however, the authors, owners and distributors of this malware are Kuwaiti and Algerian nationals. The social media-savvy cybercriminals have promoted their wares across the Internet, offering step-by-step instructions to completely control millions of unsuspecting victims’ computers to conduct illicit crimes—demonstrating that cybercrime is indeed a global epidemic.

Free Dynamic DNS is an easy target for cybercriminals

Dynamic Domain Name Service (DNS) is essentially a method of automatically updating a listing in the Internet’s address book, and is a vital part of the Internet. However, if not properly managed, a free Dynamic DNS service like No-IP can hold top-rank among abused domains. Of the 10 global malware disruptions in which we’ve been involved, this action has the potential to be the largest in terms of infection cleanup. Our research revealed that out of all Dynamic DNS providers, No-IP domains are used 93 percent of the time for Bladabindi-Jenxcus infections, which are the most prevalent among the 245 different types of malware currently exploiting No-IP domains. Microsoft has seen more than 7.4 million Bladabindi-Jenxcus detections over the past 12 months, which doesn’t account for detections by other anti-virus providers. Despite numerous reports by the security community on No-IP domain abuse, the company has not taken sufficient steps to correct, remedy, prevent or control the abuse or help keep its domains safe from malicious activity.

For a look at how cybercriminals leverage services like No-IP, and advice for customers to help ensure a safer online experience, please see the graphic below.

Microsoft legal and technical actions

On June 19, Microsoft filed for an ex parte temporary restraining order (TRO) from the U.S. District Court for Nevada against No-IP. On June 26, the court granted our request and made Microsoft the DNS authority for the company’s 23 free No-IP domains, allowing us to identify and route all known bad traffic to the Microsoft sinkhole and classify the identified threats. The new threat information will be added to Microsoft’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Program (CTIP) and provided to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and global Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to help repair the damage caused by Bladabindi-Jenxcus and other types of malware. The Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit worked closely with Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center to identify, reverse engineer and develop a remedy for the threat to clean infected computers. We also worked with A10 Networks, leveraging Microsoft Azure, to configure a sophisticated system to manage the high volume of computer connections generated by botnets such as Bladabindi-Jenxcus.

As malware authors continue to pollute the Internet, domain owners must act responsibly by monitoring for and defending against cybercrime on their infrastructure. If free Dynamic DNS providers like No-IP exercise care and follow industry best practices, it will be more difficult for cybercriminals to operate anonymously and harder to victimize people online. Meanwhile, we will continue to take proactive measures to help protect our customers and hold malicious actors accountable for their actions.

This is the third malware disruption by Microsoft since the November unveiling of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center—a center of excellence for advancing the global fight against cybercrime. This case and operation are ongoing, and we will continue to provide updates as they become available. To stay up to date on the latest developments on the fight against cybercrime, follow the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit on Facebook and Twitter. Microsoft provides free tools and information to help customers clean and regain control of their computers at www.microsoft.com/security.

Can you run Windows Server 2012 R2 on Windows Server 2008 R2?

I have been asked this question a couple of times recently.  The odd thing, to me anyway, is that most of the people who have asked me have stated:

I read this article: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc794868(v=ws.10).aspx about supported guest operating systems for Windows Server 2008 R2, and did not see Windows Server 2012 R2 listed.  Is it supported?

The answer is – no.  That is why it is not listed.

Generally speaking, we make sure that the we support the release immediately after the host operating system (i.e. 2012 on 2008 R2, 2012 R2 on 2012, etc…).  But we do not go beyond that.

If you really want to run Windows Server 2012 R2 in a virtual machine – I highly recommend that you upgrade your host first.  Besides which, there are so many great new features in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 that you should want to take advantage of!

Cheers,
Ben