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Microsoft Refund Azure Cloud Users

Posted on: March 4th, 2013 by Ashley No Comments


Redmond Giant has stated that compensation will be paid to the users of the Azure Cloud system after the system was offline for 12 Hours due to a expired SSL Certificate. The users of the Azure system were greeted with what has been labelled the “blue sky of death” from the well-known “Blue screen of death”(BSOD). The Redmond’s SLA (service Level agreements) state that Credits will be given to users of the Azure system . Windows Azure was taken down by a silly error, The error caused wide outage across every part of the company’s network including the XBOX live network going down. Redmond confirmed the cause of the problem at 8PM on Saturday and that all systems where back online.

Statement form Microsoft said:
“Given the scope of the outage, we will pro-actively provide credits to impacted customers in accordance with our SLA,”

SLA’s at Microsoft state that the provide to be up for 99.9% of the time This works out to be that they would allow for nine hours downtime – Azure was down for nine hours.

Compensation of credits will not really cost Microsoft anything but least there are admitting fault, While the offer of Compensation is acceptable I feel that most people will be wondering how this silly schoolboy error actually happened and how they will safe guard this in the future.

Internet Explorer 10 is on its way and here to stay

Posted on: March 1st, 2013 by Ashley No Comments


After the long wait from Microsoft, the development team have released Internet Explorer 10 to users of Windows 7. Users of Windows 7 will get the update from the windows update service over the next few days.

This update has been on hold while the Windows 8 quick fixes and updates were rolling out during the launch phase.  With Internet Explorer being Microsoft’s preferred browser of choice for Windows 8 and Server 2012, preparing IE10 for Windows 7 was not such an easy task. Currently there are no plans for any updates for Windows Vista or indeed the dying Windows XP.

A statement from the Internet Explorer development team said: “With this final release, IE10 brings the same leading standards support, with improved performance, security, privacy, reliability that consumers enjoy on Windows 8, to Windows 7 customers,”

Sources for Internet Explorer 10 have said that the new version is 20% faster for real websites in tests against the current top dog Google Chrome. As well as this, the new version also states compatibility with 30 new web standards that were not compatible in Internet Explorer 9. This pushes the standards forward providing improvements to hardware acceleration for many features.

To demonstrate the new features and improvements Microsoft decided to show off with a fully working game of Minesweeper that is based on HTML5 and other recent web standards.

No official date has been given for the start of the roll out via Windows Update, only that it will be in the next few weeks and all customers running Windows Seven and Server 2008 R2 SP1 will be able to receive the update.

Microsoft want you to pay more and get less with the new Office 2013 surprise

Posted on: February 21st, 2013 by Ashley No Comments


Microsoft have today pointed out to users and resellers that the new version of office 2013, will only be able to be used on one Computer and not transferred to another machine even if you uninstall it from the first.

Over the past few weeks there has been an outrage with the news that Microsoft have changed the terms of its new office suite. Cast as the new flagship office that integrates with office 365 it will now prevent users from upgrading their machine and using their still using the original office installation.

The paragraph that has caused the most outrage is the following from the terms and conditions:

“You may not transfer the software to another computer or user. You may transfer the software directly to a third party only as installed on the licensed computer, with the Certificate of Authenticity label and this agreement. Before the transfer, that party must agree that this agreement applies to the transfer and use of the software. You may not retain any copies.”

So in basic terms this means that if you wish to give your version of office away, you will have to give them your whole PC with the software installed.  Microsoft expect you to purchase a brand new version for every PC.  On top of this, Office 2013 is on average more expensive than Office 2010 was only a couple of months ago.

Is this Microsoft trying to defeat the license cheats or run a new get rich scheme – who knows?

All that is known is that the Redmond giant has put these terms in place and do not seem to be moving from them.

A Microsoft staffer did state that the “Office 2010 was chosen by a majority of customers worldwide” So who thinks that they read the fine print that stated these same rules with the PKC versions of office 2010 not being transferable.

Office terms and conditions make it very clear with the following:

We do not sell our software or your copy of it – we only license it. Under our license we grant you the right to install and run that one copy on one computer (the licensed computer) for use by one person at a time, but only if you comply with all the terms of this agreement. Our software license is permanently assigned to the licensed computer.

Is this not the same trick that rival computer firm Apple pulled when a popular film star wanted to leave his large iTunes collection to his family when he dies via his will.

At what point will customers start to fight back with open source versions of Office like Libre Office and Open Office.

Windows 8, The Final Word

Posted on: August 16th, 2012 by Ashley No Comments


Windows 8 is heralded as the next operating system from Microsoft but with major changes to the user interface how will businesses take it.

First off, we need to look at the key difference in the operating system, as Microsoft look towards the future they see trends of people picking up tablet devices and mobile phones, not sitting at desktops and typing for hours. This has lead to the development of the new ‘Modern U.I.’ (Previously known as ‘Metro U.I.’), a radically different user interface than what our users know today. This ‘Modern U.I.’ replaces the Windows 7 Start menu with a full screen, bright and bold interface comprised of tiles rather than standard shortcut links. These tiles are able to show live information from sources such as weather and social media sites.

This unfortunately for businesses means that users have a large amount of scrolling to do to before they see that normal programs, Programs are arranged in an ad-hoc way rather than the standard alphabetical list users are used to. With customisation users can arrange the icons to display up to 24 tiles on the first screen, normally enough for most users. However in my experience, most users wont do this, Windows XP, Vista and 7 all had features available to “Pin to Start” since 2002 yet I still see a significant number of users relying on the ‘recently opened programs list’ and getting very confused when an application disappears.

As a side note, When looking at the New ‘Modern U.I.’ take a look back at Windows 3.1 Program manager (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Program_Manager) and let me know if you see anything familiar, Have we really moved forward?

Next we look at the ‘Modern U.I.’ Apps themselves, designed for a world of touch screen devices they seem to include larger bold interfaces, and few features the business workforce will find this slow and bulky from general workstations.

The one saving grace we have is the option to run these items in the normal Windows 7 style desktop environment, but it does mean just another couple of clicks every time we want to start a program. By default Windows 8 include no way to open internet explorer directly on the desktop, the user must first open the ‘modern U.I.’ App and then switch to the desktop mode using the spanner icon at the bottom of the screen.

As you may have noticed, the windows in the above preview do not have traditional close buttons and there is not task bar at the bottom of the screen to allow switching between apps, instead everything must be found by learning a series of gestures that are designed for a hand not a mouse and never seem to work first time you try them. To close a Modern UI app the user must grab an imaginary handle somewhere at the top of the windows and drag the app down to the bottom of the screen out the way. To switch between applications the user must move the mouse to the top left hand corner, until the task switching icon appears, once this has appeared the user needs to swipe the mouse down the side of the screen without moving too far from the edge. and if done correctly the user should see a task bar appear similar to below.

However you wont be able to switch directly into most programs, instead you must first load the desktop, then switch to the programs you want in the normal windows 7 methods by using the bottom task bar. These modification make the user experience feel like you are running two completely different operating systems, firstly the windows 7 that we are all familiar with, and secondly an operating system designed beautifully to work for touch screen tablets and phones but with no regard to the workforce who generally make up the largest proportion of an operating systems sales. While both interfaces work well for their purpose, Microsoft seems to have attempted to bolt the two together and have created something that totally fails to form a practical operating system for the corporate marketplace.

 

Google Backs Down From European Commission Investigation

Posted on: July 3rd, 2012 by Ashley No Comments


Two years ago, The European Commission started taking a closer interest in Google’s market dominance after receiving substantial complaints from its rivals.

Today a Google spokesperson announced that they would be looking to redress some of their business practices to fall in line with the European Commission’s concerns.

So far the European Commission have highlighted concerns in Google favouring its own services in search results, the management of adverts appearing next to search results as they are displayed, how it displays third party web content and how its business practices affect access to buy advertising on rival networks.

ICOMP (The Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace) were pleased with the announcement however we can only wonder as to ICOMP’s motives when a key partner in the venture, Microsoft, are set to benefit significantly from these changes in their own advertising ventures.

Microsoft ‘Surface’ to Compete Against iPad and Android

Posted on: June 19th, 2012 by admin No Comments


Microsoft has announced that they have been developing a new range of tablets dubbed ‘surface’.

They will run Windows 8 using the new and controversial Metro interface.

The main bonus with these tablets is that they will be compatible with software such as the Microsoft Office suite, although it is currently not known if this will be bundled along with the new tablets or whether they will have to be paid for separately.

The tablet range will also be compatible with existing Windows software, but some of the applications may need to be adjusted for use with Windows 8 – so don’t expect immediate compatibility!

Website and Domain Host Attacked

Posted on: May 24th, 2012 by admin No Comments


123-Reg, a popular website and domain host has been under attack – it is thought that the attack has originated from China.

Thousands of 123-Reg clients have seen their websites go offline – something you don’t want to see when your website is at the heart of your business.

The attack, known as a Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS for short) is where multiple computers, typically thousands in a botnet, send as many requests as they can to a website resulting in the web server being unable to cope with the demand.

It seems that on this occasion the DDoS attack was successful.

If you’re interested in secure, reliable and affordable business website hosting then take a look at our Tetrabyte Business Website Hosting page.

Above Expectation: Microsoft quarterly profits rise!

Posted on: April 20th, 2012 by admin No Comments


Microsoft beat expectations in the first quarter of 2012.

Even though Microsoft’s entertainment division which includes the Xbox feel in profits by 16%, Windows Sales rose 4% against a forcast of a 4% reduction making the companies overall profits rise by a total of 6%.

Microsoft stated its business division saw revenues increase by 9% “reflecting the continued strength of Office 2010”.

After-hours trading in New York saw Microsoft shares rise by 3%.

Steve Ballmer Microsoft’s chief executive said “We’re driving toward exciting launches across the entire company, while delivering strong financial results,”

“With the upcoming release of new Windows 8 PCs and tablets, the next version of Office, and a wide array of products and services for the enterprise and consumers, we will be delivering exceptional value to all our customers in the year ahead.”

 

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