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.

Ever since Microsoft announced that its Xbox One would have some sort of unspecified cloud streaming capability that would allow it to offload game processing into the cloud, speculation has run rampant over precisely what that capability would look like, or what form it would take. The announcement of yet another cloud streaming project at the company has partially answered the question: Microsoft still isn't sure.  According to a new job posting, Microsoft is looking for a "self-motivated, driven, collaborative, and flexible" candidate to seek "the simplest and most elegant" solutions to difficult problems while working on what the company acknowledges is a "v1" product. In Microsoft parlance,... Read more...
By this point, everyone and their dog should know that the oddly-named Windows 10 is en route. Months ago, Microsoft released a developer preview that anyone could download, and surprisingly enough, it happens to be very, very good. I've personally been running it on and off and have been quite pleased with it. The only reason I go back to my Windows 8 install is because I don't feel like spending the time to install all of my apps on an OS that's essentially a beta. Given the fact that we know so much about Windows 10 already, it might seem a little odd that Microsoft, according to The Verge, is planning to have a proper announcement this coming January that will target the consumer audience.... Read more...
It seems like we can't go a single month without seeing a major change happen at Microsoft that wouldn't have likely happened had the company still been under the rule of Steve Ballmer. Today, another such change is tossed on the pile, and it's a great one for anyone using a Windows Phone 8 device. When Windows Phone 8 dropped, it left a lot of WP users in the dark - they simply had no hope of updating their phone to Redmond's latest and greatest. Considering the fact that Microsoft's a follower in the smartphone market, you'd think that it'd try very hard to cater to its pre-existing customers, but in this particular case, it hadn't. Now, we can see that the company has likely learned its lesson,... Read more...
It might not be its main business, but cloud storage is something Microsoft takes very seriously, and lately, it seems like the company takes great pleasure in getting under the skin of its competitors. This past summer, the company followed-up Google's decision to offer 1TB for 10 bucks a month with the same kind of plan, and afterwards, many questioned what Dropbox's next move would be. Well, it took just two months to find out - Dropbox would also be offering a 1TB plan for $10 a month. I'd like to think at that point, Google and Dropbox hoped Microsoft would chill for a while, but Redmond was having none of it. Just last Monday, the company announced that it'd be offering unlimited storage... Read more...
There's a fine line to balance when it comes to providing users with a comprehensive backup service and providing that service in a manner that fundamentally compromises the security of the people it's supposed to be protecting. According to security researcher Jeffrey Paul, iCloud has thoroughly breached that barrier thanks to unwelcome changes baked into OS X 10.10 (Yosemite). Here's the problem: Prior to now, if you were working in an application -- even a basic application like TextEdit (the Mac version of Notepad), and you quit the application, the machine would automatically save your documents and open the application with your previously-entered information when you relaunched it. It... Read more...
In case you haven't noticed, companies small and large seem to believe that health -- and in particular, connected health -- is the next major cash cow. As fitness slots into the mainstream attention, it's an ideal time for the likes of Apple, Google, LG, Samsung, Fitbit, and now Microsoft to make a splash in both health and wearables. Microsoft is joining the war this week with a new platform called Microsoft Health. According to the company, it sees an opportunity to bring devices and services together to allow end users to "combine the information they collect and use the power of the cloud to turn that data in to something more valuable." The Microsoft Health platform includes a cloud service... Read more...
Microsoft seems to be doing all it can to make sure that Windows 10 will do better than its current Windows 8 operating system. The developer has been busy with the Windows 10 preview, rolling out updates, and asking consumers to join its Windows Insider Program and the latter seems to be paying off. According to Microsoft, the number of registrants for the program hit 1 million over the weekend. With such a large pool of testers, the company has received over 200,000 pieces of user feedback on the preview build of Windows 10 which means there is a lot of feedback to sift through. “People on the team are hard at work poring through all the feedback, categorizing and processing it, and cycling... Read more...
It looks like Microsoft is really hoping to entice people over to Windows 10 considering that Windows 8 has failed to take off. With its latest announcement that DirectX 12 will be included with Windows 10, Microsoft is targeting game developers and gamers. On its DirectX developer blog, Microsoft revealed additional incentives for game developers who would join its Windows Insider program. Those who sign up and are accepted, will receive everything they might need to help jumpstart their DirectX 12 development. This includes updated runtime, API headers, samples, drivers, and documentations. Microsoft also revealed that it has worked with Epic Games so that Unreal Engine 4.4 will support DX12.... Read more...
Microsoft decided to really shake things up today when, instead of announcing what many expected to be called Windows 9, they jumped right to announcing their next OS as Windows 10. Many of the leaks and rumored feature enhancements were in fact accurate, though with full details on how Microsoft will implement these features and new information on other enhancements as well, it has become much more clear that the Redmond team wants to not only simplify the experience for novice and power uses alike but also bring a common, “delightful” experience across all platforms and usage models. One Product Family, One Platform, One Store One of the more important announcements at the... Read more...
Despite being limited by the capabilities of the SATA interface, many solid state drive manufacturers continue to innovate and introduce new products that improve on previous generation products. For example, Micron recently released its M550 series of drives, which was an evolution of the previously released M500 series, but built around newer, 20nm NAND flash memory and featuring enhanced/updated firmware. The M550 proved to be an excellent all around performer, outpacing many competing products in a number of tests, but again, operating within the limitations of its SATA interface. Today, Micron is at it again, though the drives we’ll be showing you here are targeted at a different... Read more...
Buzz has been building for the last week that Microsoft would soon unveil the next version of DirectX at the upcoming Games Developer Conference (GDC). Microsoft has now confirmed that its discussion forums at the show won't just be to discuss updates to DX11, but that it's putting a full court press behind the DirectX 12 brand and concept. This is something of a reversal for Microsoft, which has previously been mum on its plans for the API. It responded sharply over a year ago, when an AMD executive claimed that future versions of the API were essentially dead, but it's been over four years since DX11 debuted. Since then, we've seen point updates released and attached to Windows 8... and that's... Read more...
For Windows users of all kinds, the Windows "Blue" 8.1 update has been long-awaited. Those who've been using the base OS since launch have no doubt been anticipating some of the enhancements that are coming, while many others have been waiting patiently to see if the update manages to right enough wrongs to help persuade them to make the move. Has Microsoft succeeded in either of these cases? That's what we hope to find out. At the moment, Windows 8.1 is available only as a preview, and if you are looking to give it a try, there are a couple of things to be aware of. The most important is the fact that once you upgrade, you can't easily downgrade - so you may wish to try the update in a... Read more...
Micron is announcing a brand new, enterprise-class solid state drive today, the RealSSD P400m. We have a looked at a number of Micron-built solid state drives in the past, including the ultra high-end RealSSD P320h PCI Express-based beast and the consumer-targeted RealSSD C300, but what makes the P400m somewhat different is that it was designed from start to finish by Micron’s NAND and SSD engineering teams to provide high endurance and reliability and superior data protection. That’s not to say Micron’s previous products lacked in those departments, but the P400m goes a few steps further with custom NAND and firmware and physical power loss protection designed for mainstream enterprise... Read more...
After freaking out the gaming community with an email that seemed to signal the end of DirectX, Microsoft is now assuring everyone that DirectX is alive and well. The Microsoft XNA toolset is what’s being cut loose. It looks like DirectX isn't going anywhere, after all. The confusion arose from an email that was sent to DirectX/XNA MVPs by Microsoft. The email told MVPs that the MVP Award Program for DirectX/XNA would be retired by April 1 of 2014, giving many people the impression that both components were being put out to pasture. After a flurry of news reports on the topic, Mary Jo Foley got to the bottom of the issue: Microsoft goofed. The company confirmed that the email was inaccurate... Read more...
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