Enterprise, Workstation, Data Center, Cloud, Networking, Software News And Reviews

In-depth product reviews and news of enterprise, workstation, networking, cloud, SMB, data center and software products and services.

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 of the company's patent filing is “Query Formulation Via Task Continuum” and it aims to make it easier... 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 and policies, and not to mention enterprise-level security. In its official blog post, Microsoft notes... 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 face is that their software is far too expensive, but Windows 10 Enterprise E3 hopes to solve that... 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 9100 MAX 2.4TB HHHL NVMe drive for a couple of weeks and will detail its performance on the pages... Read more...
The second wave of 802.11ac routers are now shipping, and they offer a tantalizing performance benefit over the previous routers we’ve reviewed (at least with their older firmware) — the ability to broadcast multiple data streams to several clients at once. This technology, named MU-MIMO, which stands for Multiple User: Multiple Input, Multiple Output, is just now starting to roll out, and is different in one obvious way to the previous technology, named simply MIMO. The previous solution was only able to broadcast multiple streams of data, but could only transmit to one client at a time, whereas this new MU-MIMO technology can send multiple data streams to multiple users at the same time, so... Read more...
To say that Microsoft's Surface Hub has had a bit of a rough start would be an understatement. Time and time again, just when we thought it was about to officially launch, Microsoft would pull up the reins announcing the wait would be a bit longer. But, no more. Surface Hub is here, and it's shipping. Microsoft's Surface Hub is designed primarily for the enterprise, with the goal of helping teams accomplish more collaboratively. This isn't just some marketing fluff; Microsoft itself has been using Surface Hub in house for the same purposes it's promoting. Brian Hall, Microsoft's GM of Devices Marketing says about the Hub: "I can tell you confidently, our Surface team works together better because... Read more...
A few botched updates from Microsoft this week have us questioning their forced update strategy with Windows 10.  If you've had issues logging into your Windows 7 computer, if Outlook is crashing randomly, or if you are unable to open documents from Sharepoint, the fixes are below.  The troublesome KB's in question are KB3055034, KB3101521, and KB3097877.KB3055034 was actually released in October but most users probably haven't encountered any issues stemming from it because it seems to only break Office programs when files are opened from Sharepoint.  We are covering it now because Microsoft has now released a superseding KB3101521 update which, well, still breaks Sharepoint... Read more...
About a week ago, it was revealed that Microsoft was going to be taking yet another step in the wrong direction with Windows 10. This time, it planned to forego telling us regular consumers what its Windows 10 updates would actually entail. We wouldn't know what caused a breakage if one were to occur, and worse, we wouldn't know whether or not we were vulnerable to exploits (or whether they were patched.) As ridiculous as this is for the home user, it's downright absurd for enterprise customers. It could be argued that enterprise computing should be weighed even higher than consumer computing, because it has to work, and has to work flawlessly. Any downtime results in lost dollars, so for Microsoft... Read more...
The upgrade cycle begins, with Microsoft’s latest operating system--the highly anticipated Windows 10--rolling out over Windows Update for free, for users of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. For those that are ready to take the plunge over the weekend, there are some things to note. While this guide is by no means exhaustive, there are some useful reminders here as well as some potential pitfalls that may rear their ugly head during the upgrade process. So far, Microsoft has been rolling out the upgrade in waves and stages. If you are not one of the ‘lucky’ ones to be in the first wave, you can take matters into your own hands and begin the upgrade process manually. While the process is mostly simple,... Read more...
Microsoft is done being undercut by Google and its low-priced, cloud-driven Chromebooks. During its Worldwide Partner Conference, Redmond revealed its own inexpensive alternative, the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook. The $169 Windows 10 notebook will hit stores in August.  Acer's Aspire One Cloudbook will sport an 11.6-inch screen and ship with Microsoft's upcoming Windows 10, and another model will be available with a 14-inch display. We know little else about the Cloudbook, but at $169 the price alone is an aggressive statement. Chromebooks are far from capturing a majority slice of the market, but they're catching on. A recent forecast by Gartner predicts that the Google OS laptops will... Read more...
Earlier this month, Microsoft offered more details and availability information for its forthcoming Surface Hub system. With pre-orders starting July 1st, these 55-inch or 84-inch machines offer a new collaborative version of the Surface experience for businesses, scientists, education and perhaps even power user consumers. Last week, while visiting our friends at CDW in Chicago, (more on this in the days ahead, think logistics and tech inventory powerhouse), we got to spend some time downtown at Microsoft's Envisioning Center. Microsoft Technical Solutions Specialist, Mark Skoog showcased the company's Perceptive Pixel technology that they've been developing further since its acquisition back... Read more...
First announced late last fall, Microsoft's video component for Office 365 is now available worldwide to its enterprise customers. Microsoft's goal here is to allow companies to relay information via video throughout the organization using apps and an interface they're familiar with. One key advantage is that companies can get off of YouTube, with its insecure "Unlisted" option. Office 365 Video will work on any device that supports HTML5, and at the moment, there's just a single app available so far, for the iPhone. On Android? Just load up an HTML5-equipped browser, and the service should work just fine. Microsoft designed the Video interface with a responsive design, so whether on a desktop,... Read more...
Depending on the "3D" we're talking about, it could either be amazing, or "meh". 3D gaming? Awesome. 3D movies? Meh. 3D memory? Incredible. Why? Because with 3D stacked memory technology instantly gives a hearty boost to both density and bandwidth. There's a reason both AMD and NVIDIA are going to be making use of 3D memory in their respective future graphics cards. To help put things into immediate perspective, take a look at the "gumstick" SSD in the shot above (the long card). Because of their 3D memory, Micron and Intel say that hitting 3.5TB on drives of this size will be possible. Meanwhile, our traditional 2.5-inch SSDs could surpass 10TB. This kind of storage is the kind of density you... Read more...
When Microsoft said on Wednesday that the next Windows 10 preview build would be available "within the week", I'm not sure anyone actually expected it to land before the weekend. But, it has, and I'd have to say that it's worth getting excited for. Why? Because it includes not only the feature-rich Cortana AI assistant, it also includes Continuum, the technology that will allow you to switch between tablet and laptop mode seamlessly. Notably, and unfortunately, this current build, which is numbered 9926, doesn't include Microsoft's much-anticipated Spartan Web browser. It's expected that a new build in February will take care of that, as well introduce the Windows 10 beta to mobile devices. Another... Read more...
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