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windows phone 7 logo

Microsoft finally began outlaying plans for the company’s first update to its popular Windows Phone mobile platform. A software update will be rolled out in the near future, a rep from the company says.

The first small update is codenamed “No Donuts” and will be available in Mid March. This is not, however, the first feature-rich update that is still a bit down the road.

“This first update for Windows Phone is designed to improve the software update process itself,” a post on the Windows Phone blog reads. “So while it might not sound exciting, it’s still important because it’s paving the way for all future goodie-filled updates to your phone, such as copy and paste or improved Marketplace search.”

In the meantime, the forthcoming update requires users to plug their phone into a PC and download the update through the Zune PC software.


Microsoft has entered into a partnership with Germany’s T-Systems. The details have not been fully disclosed but it will be a five year partnership that will also include Royal Dutch Shell that will enable Shell employees to use Sharepoint software.

Shell will be purchasing the services dynamically via the net. Shell is already using SharePoint as a central platform for business collaboration, but from April 2011, T-Systems plans to provide a customized version of Microsoft’s SharePoint solution virtually from its own data center.

More on this as it develops.


You may have seen the fancypants Architecture poster thrown out there by the Microsoft Exchange Server team last October. Well, it’s more than just a poster. Exchange ActiveSync is poised to take the world by storm and WindowsITPro took it upon themselves to interview one of the “architects” behind it.

Adam Glick, a senior product manager on the Exchange team, spoke to the publication about the role of Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) and other techniques in Exchange for controlling smartphones and other mobile device connections. It’s a lengthy interview and a great read for those curious minds out there.

Check it out here. Hope you have your reading glasses.


Office for Mac 2011 was just released in October, but it is already beating sales records. Just how fast is it selling? Well, according to Steve Ballmer, the productivity suite is selling at the ridiculous pace of one copy for second. Yowza.

Similarly, in a company blog post, Pat Fox, Office for Mac’s senior director of product management, said the 2011 version of the software had “gone past” the company’s internal sales milestones.


Microsoft has released a bevy of funny ads aimed at Google Apps. The Valentine’s Day themed adds show letters written by customers to Google explaining why Apps just doesn’t cut it and Microsoft’s related products do.

The ads are corny but the sentiment is echoing a lot of what cloud consumers have been saying lately. Namely, that the Microsoft suite of applications is more feature rich and less prone to accidents than its Google counterparts. What do you think? Check out the ads here.


Aptech Limited, provider of IT education, and Windows have teamed up on an unprecedented scale to train 150,000 people in a variety of Microsoft programs.

Under the partnership, Aptech would integrate licensed Microsoft educational content into its IT related career as well as short-term courses. The partnership aims to train and certify the aforementioned 150,000 students by 2022 on Microsoft technologies like Windows Server 2008, Vista, Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Virtualization and Microsoft Certifications.

“Though there are good number of engineering colleges and institutes in India, and every year high number of professionals pass out, there still exists a gap in terms of vocational skills and qualifications. Only 5 per cent students have vocational skills in India compared to 60 per cent in the US, so there’s a stronger need to have vocational skills in the country,” said Ninad Karpe, Aptech Ltd’s CEO & MD.

“There’s a strong trend among Indian students pursuing career in IT sector. Aptech has a collaborative growth model, where with such alliance our students will have more job opportunities globally and good IT skills,” Karpe added.


KEMP Technologies has announced that its LoadMaster products are now approved by Microsoft’s® Exchange Server 2010 qualification program for hardware and software load balancers. KEMP’s LoadMaster product portfolio, now optimized for Exchange Server 2010, delivers server load balancing, application delivery and built-in SSL acceleration.

“We continue to expand our support and services to customers and we are pleased to be approved by Microsoft for Exchange 2010, delivering low-cost load balancers without adding extra costs and features that customers just don’t need,” notes Peter Melerud, KEMP’s co-founder and VP of product management. “Our LoadMaster products easily integrate with Exchange and other Microsoft server applications such as MS Windows Terminal Services (WTS), Office Communications Server (OCS), Lync and SharePoint to maintain high availability and optimal performance.”


Microsoft has announced the availability of the Release Candidate for Windows Small Business 2011 Essentials. This release puts Windows SBS 2011 Essentials just one step away from an RTM, or release to manufacturing, and represents a major step towards the release of the software.

To better server the small business community, the software mammoth has moved to more precisely target the small businesses by designing a “Standard” version of Windows SBS 2011 to serve companies with up to 75 accounts, as well as a lower-tier “Essentials” version for smaller businesses with 25 users or less.

We’ll update you with more information as it becomes available.


Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud computing platform is now one year old, and the Redmond company has announced that there are now more than 31,000 customers using the platform. 20,000 were racked up the first six months alone.

Microsoft is now seeing larger, more established companies like Xerox, T-Mobile, and Travelocity tap into the Azure cloud. “One of the things we’re seeing is cloud computing is moving away from a buzz word to chest beating to something with real business benefits,” said Microsoft’s Amy Barzdukas.

Happy birthday, um, suite of cloud-based programs!

brad brooks

Windows marketing chief Brad Brooks has announced his departure from the company. Mr. Brooks over the Windows advertising campaign beginning in 2008. You may remember his laptop hunter spots.

Why leave? Brooks says it has nothing to do with Microsoft, rather his desire to focus on the future of computing. As such, he has aligned himself with Networks, a cloud provider service.

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HP and Microsoft have teamed up to launch a range of storage appliances consisting of HP servers and storage tuned to run Microsoft applications. The first three systems are designed for Exchange 2010, SQL Server and SharePoint.

This comes hot on the heels of an alliance between the two companies that was announced last year. he HP Business Decision Appliance is optimized for Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft SharePoint, and costs less than $28,000. The HP Enterprise Data Warehouse Appliance is designed to improve scalability and deliver faster queries for SQL Server 2008 R2, and pricing begins at close to $2 million. Pricing for the HP E5000 Messaging System for Microsoft Exchange Server starts at $36,000. Pricing doesn’t include software licenses.