Windows Azure

Microsoft's OneDrive to take on Google Drive and Dropbox

Over the years, critics occasionally -- and justifiably -- slammed Microsoft for cramming too many features into its software. But could that ingrained habit yet work to Microsoft's advantage as it relaunches its consumer cloud storage service in a young market that's up for grabs?

Microsoft on Wednesday officially announced the global availability of its rebranded cloud storage service OneDrive. Microsoft originally called the service SkyDrive but was forced to rebrand after British Sky Broadcasting, the biggest pay-television broadcaster in the United Kingdom, sued and won a trademark lawsuit over use of the name.

Besides the new markings, … Read more

Ballmer: I'm long on Microsoft and remain a big believer

Steve Ballmer strode onto stage, facing an audience of financial analysts who haven't always given him rave reviews and didn't mince words.

"We've built a heck of a good company," said Ballmer, making his last appearance at the annual financial analyst meeting as Microsoft's chief executive on Thursday.

This was part status update on the company's current business and part occasion to set the record straight -- as interpreted by a CEO who has never been bashful about waving the Microsoft flag.

"I won't talk as a CEO. I want to … Read more

Microsoft boosts HomeOS with a new Lab of Things

Microsoft Research is continuing to advance work on its home operating system (HomeOS) project. The latest new component is the addition of a new framework, called the Lab of Things (LOT), which allows researchers to better study connected device usage in homes and other physical spaces.

Microsoft is fielding a first beta of the LOT software development kit (SDK), seemingly in conjunction with the opening day of the annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit event in Redmond. The SDK is available for download from Microsoft's CodePlex site.

Microsoft's HomeOS, as I've blogged before, is what it sounds like: … Read more

Microsoft makes Windows Azure services generally available

Microsoft is continuing to move more of its "preview" versions of its Windows Azure services to "general availability." The latest two to get the GA nod are Azure Mobile Services and Azure Web Sites.

Microsoft used its Day 2 keynote Thursday at the Microsoft Build 2013 developer conference to make the announcements.

Windows Azure Mobile services allow developers building Windows, Windows Phone, iOS and Android apps to store data in the Azure cloud, authenticate users, and send push notifications. Microsoft announced Azure Mobile Services preview in August 2012 and added Android support a few months ago.… Read more

Microsoft's Build 2013 keynote: Join us Wednesday (live blog)

Microsoft will gather thousands of developers in San Francisco this week for its Build conference, with much of this year's event focused on generating excitement about updates to its Windows 8 operating system.

CNET will be there live on Wednesday, giving you the blow by blow of the opening keynote, with photos and running commentary as well. The keynote, which will offer a look at the Windows 8.1 update, starts at 9 a.m. PT at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco.

You can tune in here:

CNET's live coverage of Microsoft Build 2013 keynote

The … Read more

Microsoft, Oracle join forces to stomp on cloud rivals

Microsoft and Oracle announced a lot of piece parts with their June 24 partnership around Azure and Oracle databases and middleware.

Here's your Cliff Notes version: Oracle apps are now certified to run on Windows Server, Hyper-V, and Windows Azure. Up until today, they were only certified to run on Windows Server. Oracle Linux also gets added to the list of Linux varianst supported in Azure's VMs, too.

Microsoft already has been certifying its own applications on Windows Azure, including its SQL Server database. (Here's a list of which versions of various database, security and other enterprise … Read more

Windows' role at the core of Microsoft's Xbox One

Microsoft's Xbox One home-entertainment console has three operating systems at its core, company officials said during the Tuesday unveiling of the device.

Why three? Marc Whitten, Microsoft's chief production officer of its Interactive Entertainment Business, explained during the hour-long reveal event in Redmond, that there'd be an Xbox operating system, the kernel of Windows, and a third operating system designed to handle switching, multitasking and control inside the Xbox One.

Microsoft officials told back in April something similar. From the Wired story:

"The Xbox One simultaneously runs three separate operating systems. First comes the … Read more

Microsoft working on 'Mohoro' Windows desktop as a service

In yet another example of its growing emphasis on remaking itself as a devices and services company, Microsoft looks to be developing a pay-per-use "Windows desktop as a service" that will run on Windows Azure.

The desktop virtualization service, codenamed Mohoro, that's in very early development phase, from what I've heard from sources. I don't know the final launch target, but wouldn't be surprised if it isn't until the second half of 2014.

Mohoro is a town located on island of Grande Comore in the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean. Given members … Read more

Microsoft's Azure gets competitive with $1B in revenue

While Amazon is still king in the cloud computing world, it appears that Microsoft's Azure software is on the up and up. Not only have Azure subscriptions risen 48 percent over the past six months, but Azure and related Microsoft cloud service software earned $1 billion in revenue over the past year for the first time ever, according to Bloomberg.

Making the "billion-dollar club" is pretty significant -- considering the slumping PC market. Microsoft revealed these new performance details to Bloomberg in an interview on Monday.

Twenty percent of companies use Azure, while 71 percent go to … Read more

Microsoft moves to match Amazon Web Services

Microsoft wants the world to know it is ready to go head-to-head with Amazon Web Services on both features and price.

As expected, Microsoft today announced that its Linux and Windows Server virtual machines (VMs) on Windows Azure are now generally available and ready for deployment. These are the persistent VMs that Microsoft publicly unveiled last June, and which provide users with a way to run existing Linux and Windows Server apps in the Azure cloud without having to completely rewrite them.

Microsoft announced last year that these persistent VMs will allow users to run Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows … Read more