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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

Topic: azure

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December 9, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Microsoft officially unveils its government-ready cloud

Microsoft’s government-branded cloud is open for business.

The company has been welcoming governments that want to use Microsoft data centers for years, of course. But in releasing what it calls Azure government cloud, Microsoft aims to create an off-the-shelf type product that will convince more corners of the U.S. government that its data centers are safe and reliable.

What’s the difference between storing data for a government and regular folks? Microsoft offers to physically segregate sensitive government data storage and computer power from its other servers, and restrict access to the data to screened U.S. citizens. The company also offers support for a paper-trail roadmap that can keep government agencies in compliance with citizens’ privacy or other legal standards. (Microsoft put together a graphic of the alphabet soup of regulations the government cloud is designed to play nicely with.)

Microsoft in 2012 committed to stitching together the various arms of its cloud offerings in a way tailored for government agencies.

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Comments | More in Cloud computing | Topics: azure, dynamics, government

November 20, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Microsoft’s Azure stumble a worrying one

It’s risky to play armchair psychologist. But it’s probably safe to say that one of the things that keeps Microsoft executives awake at night happened earlier this week: the company’s cloud stopped working.

A good chunk of Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing services went offline for about 11 hours on Monday, disrupting service for Microsoft customers in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The BBC has a good rundown of how this hit some clients — from preventing health care workers from accessing their email and documents to a social media startup’s site going dark.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the cloud for Microsoft. It’s the second part of Chief Executive Satya Nadella’s “mobile first, cloud first” mantra, and a big reason Microsoft’s done pretty well financially recently even as some other tech giants that cater to business customers faltered.

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Comments | More in Cloud computing | Topics: azure, cloud, microsoft

November 11, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Seattle police body camera maker plugs into Microsoft’s cloud

A Seattle company is rolling out the latest application for Microsoft’s expanding cloud: storing the footage taken by police cameras.

Police departments have been taking video — think dashboard cams — for decades. But with the increasing push to record more of officers’ interactions with citizens, the volume of data is growing fast.

Vievu’s answer? Upload the footage to Microsoft’s servers.

Vievu said Tuesday that it has built software on Microsoft’s Azure platform that offers law enforcement agencies the ability to send footage from the company’s line of body and car-mounted cameras to Microsoft’s data centers.

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Comments | More in Cloud computing, Microsoft, Windows Azure | Topics: azure, government, Seattle

October 21, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Analysts find some of Microsoft’s growing cloud metrics eye-catching

[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times Oct. 21, 2014.]

At a small gathering in San Francisco for reporters and analysts Monday, Microsoft announced a number of new cloud products and services.

But it wasn’t so much the offerings themselves that grabbed attention as some of the figures that Microsoft executives threw out.

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: azure, cloud

April 4, 2014 at 9:09 AM

At Microsoft’s Build conference, some see new openness to open source and cross platform

[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times April 4, 2014.]

SAN FRANCISCO ­ — Though Satya Nadella did not appear during the keynote on the second day of Build, a certain spirit of openness some attribute to the new Microsoft CEO seemed to pervade the announcements.

On Thursday, in a keynote centered on advancements in the company’s tools and cloud services for developers, the executives onstage at the annual conference also made sure to emphasize the cross-platform capabilities of its offerings and even made open source one of its largest pieces of code.

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: azure, build, open source

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