Tag Archives: netflix

Gartner Catalyst 2018: A future without data centers?

SAN DIEGO — Can other organizations do what Netflix has done — run a business without a data center? That’s the question that was posed by Gartner Inc. research vice president Douglas Toombs at the Gartner Catalyst 2018 conference.

While most organizations won’t run 100% of their IT in the cloud, the reality is that many workloads can be moved, Toombs told the audience.

“Your future IT is actually going to be spread across a number of different execution venues, and at each one of these venues you’re trading off control and choice, but you get the benefits of not having to deal with the lower layers,” he said.

Figure out the why, how much and when

When deciding why they are moving to the cloud, the “CEO drive-by strategy” — where the CEO swings in and says, “We need to move a bunch of stuff in the cloud, go make it happen,” — shouldn’t be the starting point, Toombs said.

“In terms of setting out your overall organizational priorities, what we want to do is get away from having just that as the basis and we want to try to think of … the real reasons why,” Toombs said.

Increasing business agility and accessing new technologies should be some of the top reasons why businesses would want to move their applications to the cloud, Toombs said. Once they have a sense of “why,” the next thing is figuring out “how much” of their applications will make the move. For most mainstream enterprises, the sweet spot seems to be somewhere between 40% and 80% of their overall applications, he said.

Businesses then need to figure out the timeframe to make this happen. Those trying to move 50% or 60% of their apps usually give themselves about three years to try and accomplish that goal, he said. If they’re more aggressive — with a target of 80% — they will need a five-year horizon, he said.

Whatever metric you pick, you want to track this very publicly over time within your organization.
Douglas Toombsresearch vice president, Gartner

“We need to get everyone in the organization with a really important job title — could be the top-level titles like CIO, CFO, COO — also in agreement and nodding along with us, and what we suggest for this is actually codifying this into a cloud strategy document,” Toombs told the audience at Gartner Catalyst 2018.

Dissecting application risk

Once organizations have outlined their general strategy, Toombs suggested they incorporate the CIA triad of confidentiality, integrity and availability for risk analysis purposes.

These three core pillars are essential to consider when moving an app to the cloud so the organization can determine potential risk factors.

“You can take these principles and start to think of them in terms of impact levels for an application,” he said. “As we look at an app and consider a potential new execution venue for it, how do we feel about the risk for confidentiality, integrity and availability — is this kind of low, or no risk, or is it really severe?”

Assessing probable execution venues

Organizations need to think very carefully about where their applications go if they exit their data centers, Toombs said. He suggested they assess their applications one-by-one, moving them off into other execution venues when they’re capable and are not going to increase overall risk

“We actually recommend starting with the app tier where you would have to give up the most control and look in the SaaS market,” he said. They can then look at PaaS, and if they have exhausted the PaaS options in the market, they can start to look at IaaS, he said.

However, if they have found an app that probably shouldn’t go to a cloud service but they still want to get to no data centers, organizations could talk to hosting providers that are out there — they’re happy to sell them hardware on a three-year contract and charge monthly for it — or go to a colocation provider. Even if they have put 30% of their apps in a colocation environment, they are not running data center space anymore, he said.

But if for some reason they have found an app that can’t be moved to any one of these execution venues, then they have absolutely justified and documented an app that now needs to stay on premises, he said. “It’s actually very freeing to have a no-go pile and say, ‘You know what, we just don’t think this can go or we just don’t think this is the right time for it, we will come back in three years and look at it again.'”

Kilowatts as a progress metric

While some organizations say they are going to move a certain percentage of their apps to the cloud, others measure in terms of number of racks or number of data centers or square feet of data center, he said.

Toombs suggested using kilowatts of data center processing power as a progress metric. “It is a really interesting metric because it abstracts away the complexities in the technology,” he said.

It also:

  • accounts for other overhead factors such as cooling;
  • easily shows progress with first migration;
  • should be auditable against a utility bill; and
  • works well with kilowatt-denominated colocation contracts.

“But whatever metric you pick, you want to track this very publicly over time within your organization,” he reminded the audience at the Gartner Catalyst 2018 conference. “It is going to give you a bit of a morale boost to go through your 5%, 10%, 15%, and say ‘Hey, we’re getting down the road here.'”

Calling all Gilmore Girls fans! Binge more and watch in 4K with Microsoft Edge

Mild spoilers for seasons 1-7 ahead, read at your own risk.

It’s an exciting week for Gilmore Girls fans around the world as Netflix prepares to release four new installments of the heartwarming fan favorite. More than nine years since the network run of the show ended in 2007, we get the opportunity to catch up with Rory, Lorelai, Emily, Luke, Lane, all the whacky faces of Stars Hollow and, of course, the boyfriends. No matter what “team” you’re on, this promises to be one of the most exciting premiers of all time.

Of course, you want to see Stars Hollow in all its Ultra HD* glory this time around – and today we are happy to announce 4K content from Netflix is now available exclusively for compatible PCs and 2-in-1 devices with Windows 10, including the new Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, premiering November 25th.

Your binge-watching favorites on Netflix are now available in 4K exclusively on compatible PCs and 2-in-1 devices, on Windows 10. Check out the new streaming experience with Microsoft Edge, the only browser that supports Netflix 4K content. If you’re looking for a new Windows 10 device that supports 4K, head over to Microsoft Stores.**

But wait, there’s more! What better way to prepare for this major moment than to re-watch all your old favorites? And since it’s Thanksgiving week for those of us in the US, you might have some downtime on a train, at Grandma’s house or in your childhood bedroom. Make sure you’re making the most of your binge watching experience by streaming your favorite episodes from Netflix on Microsoft Edge. Nothing is worse than your battery dying right at a pivotal moment – what if your screen went dark when Rory sees Jess before Sookie’s wedding? Or right as Logan was about to ask a very important question at Rory’s graduation party? Or, worst case, before you know Luke is “all in”?

When streaming Netflix on Microsoft Edge you can get through at least one more full episode of Gilmore Girls than when streaming on Chrome on battery*** – and you know one episode can be the difference between Chris and Lorelai casually dating and being a married couple.

And now, as I get ready to cozy in for a marathon binge session this week, I leave you with my top twelve must-watch episodes to get ready for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Copper boom!

  • Season 1, Episode 2: The Lorelai’s First Day at Chilton
  • Season 1, Episode 10: Forgiveness and Stuff
  • Season 2, Episode 4: The Roadtrip to Harvard
  • Season 2, Episode 22: I Can’t Get Started
  • Season 3, Episode 7: They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?
  • Season 3, Episode 22: Those Are Strings, Pinocchio
  • Season 4, Episode 22: Raincoats and Recipes
  • Season 5, Episode 7: You Jump, I Jump, Jack
  • Season 5, Episode 22: A House is not A Home
  • Season 6, Episode 7: Twenty-One is the Loneliest Number
  • Season 6, Episode 13: Friday Night’s Alright for Fighting
  • Season 7, Episode 22: Bon Voyage

*Ultra HD availability subject to your Netflix subscription plan, Internet service, device capabilities, and content availability. netflix.com/TermsOfUse
**To run Netflix in 4K on a PC device, it must have a 4K-capable screen and use a 7th Gen Intel® Core™ Processor.
***Battery life varies significantly with settings and other factors.

Netflix Launches New Universal App for Windows 10 as Windows Store Reaches 2.5 Billion Visits

As we wrap up 2015, I’d like to provide you with an update on Windows 10. We’ve seen significant growth since our last announcement of 110 million active devices running Windows 10 and look forward to sharing an update on our overall progress soon. We’re seeing billions and billions of hours spent on Windows 10 each month already, with people browsing the Web, playing games, getting work done, and enjoying thousands of apps.

Netflix for Windows 10 app
The new Netflix app features a more seamless Browse experience

Today, I’d like to focus on some great new partners bringing universal apps to the Windows Store. We recently hit an important milestone, with 2.5 billion visits to the Windows Store since the Windows 10 launch. We’re continuing to welcome new customers to the Windows Store every day – in fact, on Black Friday, we were thrilled to see 75% of our customers were first-time Windows Store purchasers. During our recent 10 Cent Deals promotion, we saw a 29X increase for paid app purchases, with strong repeat traffic. If you haven’t had a chance to take advantage of great deals in the Windows Store this holiday, there’s still time to experience great savings in the Movies & TV section of the Windows Store!*.

With Windows 10, for the first time, we delivered a platform that enables developers to create one app experience that extends across all Windows 10 devices. We’re beginning to see more and more universal apps become available for Windows 10, including new apps from Netflix, Pandora, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and 1-800-Flowers – just in the last week. Uber, Shazam, TuneIn Radio, Box, and Twitter also recently released new apps lighting up all new experiences for Windows.

Netflix – All New Universal App for Windows 10

Netflix has long been one of the top apps on Windows and we were pleased they were one of the first partners to release an app for Windows 10. Since the launch of Windows 10, Netflix has been one of the most downloaded and heavily used apps in our Windows Store.

Today we’re excited to share that an all new Netflix app for Windows 10 PCs and tablets is beginning to rollout in the Windows Store to download this week. And, the new app will be available for mobile phones running Windows 10 in the near future. Netflix shares more about the ease of development on the universal Windows platform on their blog.

The new Netflix app on Windows 10 offers capabilities unique to the app experience, including the ability to pin the app to Start and the Task Bar, Live Tile notifications, and more.

Netflix for Windows 10 was built from the ground up on the Universal Windows Platform. The all-new app features a stunning new user interface and plenty of great Windows 10 feature integrations.

The new Netflix app is one of the best ways to watch Netflix’s vast library of streaming video content from any Windows 10 PC or tablet wherever you are. Everything from the sign-in screen to the Netflix browsing experience has been updated to make it smoother, more responsive, and overall easier to use on Windows 10. Here are just a few of the key new features:

New Design Helps You Quickly Find the Content You Want

One of the biggest areas of investment is the new user interface. The browse experience supports vertical scrolling for categories and horizontal scrolling for items within a category, delivering the optimal navigation model to help you easily find the content you want. The design of the details pages has also been updated.

Netflix for Windows 10 app
The updated Details view features large, cinematic artwork

Live Tile Integration Offers Customization and Ease of Access

The new Netflix app offers small, medium, wide and large tile sizes for pinning the app to your Start menu, you can easily customize your placement of the new Netflix app. Once pinned to the Start menu, the Netflix tile will show artwork from titles in the member’s Continued Watching list.

Advanced Search Options and Built-in Cortana in the New Netflix App

The design of search results has also been updated, with suggested results for some searches. And, the new Netflix app features built-in Cortana commands, allowing you to control the experience and navigate across content using only your voice. You can issue commands like “Cortana, launch Netflix” or “Netflix, find ‘House of Cards.’” Other Cortana commands include “Netflix Search ‘House of Cards’”, “Netflix Look for ‘House of Cards’” and more.

With the new Netflix app on Windows 10, Netflix members have instant access to a wide variety of TV shows and movies, including award-winning original series, documentaries and feature films. Netflix members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere.

The new Netflix app is available across all supported countries and languages and is beginning to rollout in the Windows Store to download this week. A full list of country availability is located here.

We hope you enjoy the new Netflix app on Windows 10!


*Deals available 12/15-12/21 in the US and Canada.

Skype Translator speaks Mandarin and Italian, Build 2015 plans a road tour, Star Wars movie collection comes to Xbox – Weekend Reading: April 10 Edition

The Force is with us big-time this week: We’ve got stories about Skype Translator debuting in Mandarin and Italian, Build 2015 making a first-ever road tour worldwide, and all six Star Wars films being available digitally for the first time on Xbox Video.

Skype Translator adds two more languages, Mandarin and Italian, joining Spanish and English in the preview program. Adding Mandarin Chinese is quite a feat; it’s a “very challenging language to learn, even for Skype Translator,” noted Yasmin Khan in a Skype blog post. “With approximately 10,000 characters and multiple tones, this is one of the most difficult languages for a native English speaker to master, along with Arabic, Japanese and Korean.” Microsoft researchers and scientists in Beijing, China, worked very closely with their U.S.-based colleagues to build the recognition, language and translation models for Mandarin.

Build is doing a road trip! Build 2015, the developers’ conference April 29-May 1 in San Francisco, is sold out, but if you want to see some of Microsoft’s latest technologies and hear Build speakers in person, you’re in luck: Build is going on the road. The Build Tour, from May 18 through June 15, will come to 10 cities around the world: London, New York, Atlanta, Austin, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Mexico City, Singapore, Auckland and Sydney.

Build 2015, developers

Pay it forward by helping teach computer science to high schools students. High schools around the country are in desperate need of your computer science smarts if you’re an engineer, software developer or programmer. An easy way to connect your talent and skills is through Microsoft’s volunteer TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) program. More than 475 TEALS volunteers across the nation now are team-teaching Computer Science 101 and AP Computer Science with classroom teachers in more than 130 schools. Applications are being accepted through May 1. TEALS founder Kevin Wang shares appreciative comments from TEALS students at a recent event.

TEALS, education, computer science

A student participates in a coding activity during a recent TEALS field trip.

All six Star Wars films are available, starting today, for the first time on Digital HD and on Xbox. Also newly available is the Netflix original series “Marvel’s Daredevil.” For Star Wars, exclusives are being offered for Xbox customers who purchase the saga on Xbox Video, including R2-D2 as an Xbox Live avatar and the action-packed Star Wars Pinball Pack for the free-to-play game “Pinball FX 2” for Xbox One or Xbox 360. In “Marvel’s Daredevil,” join Matt Murdock – blinded as a young boy but imbued with extraordinary senses – as he fights injustice by day as a lawyer, and by night as the Super Hero Daredevil. It’s Marvel’s first original series on Netflix, and is the first of four series to come.

Star Wars, Xbox

Office 365 introduced Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection, a robust email filtering service that protects against specific types of advanced threats, including unknown malware and viruses. The system extends the protection already available in Office 365’s Exchange Online Protection. Also in Office news this week: Office Online and Dropbox expanded their ongoing partnership with integration between Dropbox on the Web and Office Online. Now you can browse, open and edit files in Dropbox online with Office Online. You can also create new files in Office Online and save directly to your Dropbox.

Our app of the week is the new Shazam, which makes exploring, buying and sharing music even easier for Windows Phone users. You can now preview favorite Shazams with Xbox Music Playbox and add your favorite songs from Shazam’s Charts to the My Shazam section. Meanwhile, if you’re just starting your taxes (*looks at self*), get some help from Mint, MSN Money and other apps, including TaxCaster, which lets you quickly calculate your estimated tax refund. If, after your tax prep, you’re not in the mood to cook for real, you can still have some fun with the game, “Toca Kitchen 2,” with some crazy new food combinations to try out. Or just let it go, and play the updated “Frozen Free Fall,” with 45 new birthday levels, three new game modes and dazzling dresses.

Shazam, Windows Phone, apps

This week on our global adventure to find people who #DoMore on the Microsoft Instagram page, we traveled to Brazil, where we met Rodrigo Rodrigues, a man of many passions. Follow us on Instagram to see his story.

DoMore, Instagram

That’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading. May the Force be with you for a great weekend, and we’ll see you next Friday!

Posted by Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff