When Azure Breaks: Lessons For Every Cloud Programmer

Microsoft’s Azure cloud service aims for near-perfect uptime, but that doesn’t mean it is immune from major disasters. Here are some examples of the mistakes Microsoft has made that have caused Azure to temporarily break, and the lessons you can learn as a developer no matter what cloud platform you deploy.

Why Office 365 Home Is A Better Buy Than Office 365 Personal

Having announced it last month, Microsoft’s cut-price edition of its Office 365 subscription suite, Office 365 Personal, went on sale yesterday. While it might be tempting to save $40 by purchasing the Personal edition, we think that’s a mistake and you’d be better off with the Home edition. This is why.

Microsoft Analytics Platform System Is 'Big Data In A Box'

Microsoft’s Analytics Platform System — a combination of its recently-released SQL Server 2014 platform with Hadoop and Power BI Excel-based tools for drilling into large data sets — went into general availability today.

Office Updates: Word Online Improves Comments, Excel Stops Mangling VBA

The free online versions of Word and Excel don’t have all the features of the paid version, but they’re steadily coming closer. The latest batch of updates includes improved comment support in Word and the ability to correctly open spreadsheets which include VBA code in Excel.

Developers Can Now Submit Windows Universal Apps

Earlier this month, Microsoft outlined the concept of universal apps which can run on both Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 developers. From today, Microsoft is accepting submissions for universal apps.

Cloud Patches: WorkSpaces Down Under, Azure Shifts Monitoring Nodes

Last week in cloud computing: AWS announced a stack of new features in Australia, while Azure shifted its monitoring nodes.

Slow File Copying? Try Turning Off Your Antivirus Temporarily

Good antivirus software, once installed, doesn’t make its presence known until its needed — that is, it’s detected a virus, trojan or other nasty and it requires your attention. Unfortunately, while it’s nice not to be bothered by unnecessary dialogs, it makes it easier to forget it’s running in the background, monitoring file operations. This isn’t usually a problem, unless you happen to be copying a few gigabytes of data.

Use Google Maps Instead Of Bing For Contacts In Outlook

Among its many awesome features, Microsoft Outlook allows you to easily map a contact’s address using Bing Maps, making it simple to find their location. If you would rather use Google Maps instead, a simple registry edit will fix that.

Windows 8.1 Update Is Rolling Out Now

Windows 8.1 Update, the oddly-named newest version of Windows that makes Windows 8.1 much more friendly to keyboard and mouse users, has officially started rolling out from today. It’s a free update for Windows 8.1 (and 8) owners, but you might not see it show up immediately on your system.

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Now Migrates VMware Images To Azure

Microsoft’s Virtual Machine Converter automatically converts VMware virtual machines into the Hyper-V platform. The newly-released version 2.0 adds another trick: the ability to automatically migrate existing VMware images into Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.