IT/Enterprise

IT admins rejoice! Microsoft just announced Windows AutoPilot this week, which is new service promises that users will receive new Windows 10 PC’s without having to fiddle with reimaging and drivers.  A Microsoft representative noted, “The Surface team is working with customers and partners to roll out the Windows AutoPilot Deployment program and expects to make it broadly available to customers later this year”. Image from: Vernon Chan, Wikimedia Commons This service will reportedly offer a “zero-touch” set-up. When a device is ordered, a PC vendor will send a “device ID file”. This file... Read more...
It's been a busy week for Microsoft on the security front, and for very different reasons. Earlier this week, we reported on a move by Kaspersky to shed light on the Redmond company's alleged antitrust behavior. Kaspersky claims that Microsoft promotes its own Windows Defender security solution too heavily, while at the same time putting roadblocks in place to make third-party solutions look less attractive. Well, if that wasn't a sure sign that Microsoft cares a lot about its security solution (even if it's a bit too aggressive about it), today's news of an impending security-related... Read more...
As modern datacenters grow, so too do their demands. The processor race is heating up with both ARM and AMD vying to unseat Intel from its throne. Banks of RAM are beginning to become augmented by Intel’s Optane memory and other products leveraging 3D XPoint technology. However, some of the most interesting changes in the industry are happening where all this data is eventually stored. Traditional hard drives have served the computing world well for more than half a century. In recent years, however, solid state storage has become increasingly attractive as it offers improvements over spinning... Read more...
Say goodbye to CodePlex. Microsoft just recently announced that it will be shutting down CodePlex, the eleven year-old open-source project hosting website. Microsoft has disabled the ability to create new projects and will officially shut the website down on December 15th, 2017. CodePlex was initially launched in 2006 in order to share development of open-source software. The website included a number of projects, but was best known for its activities around the .NET framework. The site had manage to accumulate tens of thousands of projects. Why are we bidding adieu to CodePlex? Microsoft is choosing... Read more...
The design of Windows Update in Microsoft's latest Windows 10 OS hasn't been the best-received solution the company has released over the product's life cycle thus far. The updated mechanics for WU is one of the major sticking-points for even wanting to upgrade to Redmond's latest platform (but thankfully, there are improvements coming). No one likes their PC rebooting on its own while they're away from it - and many have lost work because of it random reboots required in an update. Despite that, Microsoft does try to give users and IT managers useful tools from time-to-time, with this latest... Read more...
From the very first day of availability, Microsoft has been so determined to get Windows users to upgrade to Windows 10 that it offered free upgrades. Anyone who was rocking a copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 had an entire year to upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost, and that offer still stands for anyone who uses the accessibility features in Windows. On top of that, Microsoft announced today that customers with Windows subscriptions through its Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program can also now upgrade their Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs to Windows 10. What that means is customers subscribed to... Read more...
When it comes to operating systems of the past two decades, Windows XP had a remarkably long run thanks to its robust app and hardware support (and ubiquity). Microsoft hoped to build on these strengths with its successor, Windows Vista, but ultimately failed. So, when Windows 7 came around, it was seen as a breath of fresh, taking many of the positives of Windows Vista and melding it into a powerful an feature-packed operating system. To many consumers and businesses, Windows 7 has been the “gold standard” for the past seven years and see little reason to upgrade. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 didn’t... Read more...
Micron, the memory maker based out of Boise, Idaho, is introducing a new solid state drive family for enterprise clients that combines the typical fast performance SSDs are known for with atypical capacities culminating in 8 terabytes. The new Micron 5100 Series Enterprise SSDs are purportedly reliable too, delivering the storage trifecta that could have persuaded clients to kick their datacenter's hard disk drives to the curb. Source: Micron That is precisely the angle Micron is taking here. Looking at the total cost of ownership (TCO), Micron compared its 5100 Eco drives with 10,000 RPM hard... Read more...
Over the summer, Microsoft began pushing out the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to consumer PCs (and the Xbox One). While Regular Joes might not mind putting up with bleeding edge software and a few bugs here and there, businesses and those that use Windows 10 in mission critical situations aren’t very keen on taking chances with new updates. Thankfully, Microsoft has just declared that after months of testing by its various customers — including enterprise deployments — that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (aka Windows 10 1607) has been certified as a Current Branch for Business (CBB). “Businesses... Read more...
It's the second Tuesday of the month, so that can mean only one thing: Microsoft has some Windows security updates waiting for us. This month, the company has tackled a total of five "Critical" bugs, so it's highly recommended that every Windows user go and update whether you're at home managing one PC or in the enterprise managing thousands. Security research firm Qualys encourages the same, as the entire update package eradicates five 0-day issues. In all, ten security updates were released affecting browsers, Office, GDI+, kernel drivers, the registry, messaging, and... of course, Adobe Flash.... Read more...
We’ve stated on many occasions that Windows 10 is an excellent operating system, albeit one with a few rough edges that could be smoothed-out. However, Microsoft has angered some users over the past year or so, in its willingness to dance right up to the line of what customers feel is acceptable practice for promoting adoption of its new OS. Further, some feel the company crossed that line with respect to user data collection and privacy concerns. It looks as though Microsoft stands to garner more criticism if its recent patent filing comes to life in a production software product. The title... Read more...
Following a few months of teasing, Microsoft has finally rolled out Windows 10 Enterprise E3, which can be purchased through its official Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. While enterprise-level software solutions are typically feared due to their expense, Microsoft is making the E3 cost-of-entry modest enough to make even small businesses consider making the switch. Microsoft is pricing Windows 10 Enterprise E3 at $7/mo, or $84/yr. While few enjoy the idea of a subscription-based OS, this is one of those products that could pay for itself over time. We're talking enterprise-level control... Read more...
At Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) held in Toronto this week, the company's Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, Yusuf Mehdi, revealed important details about the enterprise editions of its Windows 10 OS. Microsoft has split its Windows 10 Enterprise edition into two different versions, with the "E3" version being the lesser of the two. The top-dog will be called "E5", and will include additional security features, including advanced threat protection with Windows Defender (which kind of sounds like a feature we'd all like). One of the biggest problems smaller companies... Read more...
Micron announced its 9100 Series NVMe enterprise-class solid state drive back in April. The drives come in multiple flavors and form factors, with the Micron 9100 PRO series targeting read-centric environments, while the 9100 MAX targets mixed-use cases. Capacities for the drives in the Micron 9100 series range from 800GB on up to 3.2TB, though all of the drives are outfitted with similar controllers and NAND.Although news of the drives has been circulating for a couple of months now, it was just recently that we got our hands on one for some in-house testing. We’ve been experimenting with a Micron... Read more...
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