For Meltdown/Spectre, Intel Says Microcode Updates Done, Silicon Fixes Coming

Intel is officially declaring that it's done with the massive effort to provide software updates to protect against Spectre and Meltdown for all the products it has released in the last five years.

The chip maker also says it has redesigned the processors being released later this year to offer additional protections. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 15, 2018 at 1:54 PM0 comments

Researchers Spotlight 'Fascinating' CredSSP Flaw Targeting Windows

Security researchers have discovered a logical flaw in the Credential Security Support Provider (CredSSP) protocol that affects all supported versions of Windows.

Preempt Security reported the flaw to Microsoft last August. Microsoft released a fix for it this week as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday release. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 14, 2018 at 10:39 AM0 comments

Microsoft Readying a Raft of New Features for Teams

Microsoft marked the one-year anniversary of its Teams enterprise chat hub by unveiling new features coming to the service this year, including Cortana integration and a new capability called "Direct Routing."

Originally positioned as Microsoft's answer to Slack, Teams first launched last March as a component of Office 365, which quickly exposed the new platform to the cloud productivity suite's broad base of 120 million users. Microsoft did not provide an update on Monday for how many users Teams has, but the company did report that 200,000 organizations are now using Teams. More recently, Microsoft disclosed that Teams will merge over time with Skype for Business. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 12, 2018 at 1:04 PM0 comments

Kali Linux on the Microsoft App Store: Easier To Install, Harder To Use

Kali Linux hit the Microsoft App Store this week. It's very nearly been reduced to a one-click install for Windows 10 users, and has clear appeal for experienced users.

But if you're thinking of trying out the infamous and powerful penetration testing Linux distribution for the first time now that it's a free and easy install on Windows, there may be a better way. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 07, 2018 at 9:54 AM0 comments

Boom Times for Servers, But PCs and Smartphones Shrink

The PC and smartphone markets stumbled in 2017 even while servers went on a tear, according to recent data from market researcher IDC.

With most of the publicly traded vendor companies having already released their quarterly financial reports (with all those reports' attendant clues), IDC released a slew of research this week recapping the fourth quarter. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 02, 2018 at 9:40 AM0 comments

Microsoft Makes Its Case for E-Mail Privacy to Supreme Court: A Recap

The years-long tangle between Microsoft and U.S. regulators regarding the extent to which the tech giant can legally protect its customers' privacy against government data requests came to a head on Tuesday.

In a lively one-hour discussion, U.S. Supreme Court justices sparred with lawyers from Microsoft and the U.S. government, covering topics from ranging from privacy rights to latency issues to robots conducting overseas seizures. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 28, 2018 at 9:09 AM0 comments

Schuster: AI a Big Focus at Microsoft Inspire

Expect to hear a lot about artificial intelligence (AI) at Microsoft Inspire, the company's annual July partner confab being held this year in Las Vegas.

Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president for Microsoft One Commercial Partner (OCP), talked about Inspire in an interview posted this week on Vince Menzione's "Ultimate Guide to Partnering" webcast. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 28, 2018 at 9:46 AM0 comments

Researchers Identify Suspected North Korean Cyber-Espionage Group

A discrete cyber-espionage group operating on behalf of North Korea is responsible for a years-long series of cyberattacks, security researchers at FireEye said this week.

FireEye dubbed the group APT37 in its report, "APT37 (Reaper): The Overlooked North Korean Actor." The report connects APT37 to other attacks dating back to 2014, including the recent zero-day vulnerability CVE-2018-4878 that was disclosed on Feb. 1. Successful exploitation of that Adobe Flash Player vulnerability could allow an attacker to take control of an affected system. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 21, 2018 at 11:57 AM0 comments

Huddleston Joins Twilio

Ron Huddleston is joining cloud communications platform company Twilio as chief partners officer, the San Francisco-based company announced Monday.

Huddleston, who ran Microsoft's One Commercial Partner organization from its creation a year ago until going on what Microsoft officially described as an indefinite family leave two months ago, will be tasked with building out an ecosystem for ISVs, systems integrators and resellers at Twilio, a 10-year-old company that went public in June 2016. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 12, 2018 at 6:11 AM0 comments

Microsoft Reports Growth in MCS

If you think of Microsoft partners as organizations that consult on and implement Microsoft technology solutions, one of the largest organizations in the channel is Microsoft's own Enterprise Services arm, which includes Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS).

Microsoft generally keeps communications vague about Enterprise Services and MCS, due to the sensitive nature of its occasionally testy relationship with enterprise and federal government partners. Still, the company releases some broad outlines of the group's performance in every financial report, and last week's release was no exception. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 08, 2018 at 9:22 AM0 comments

Connection to Award One-Time Employee Bonuses

Technology solution provider Connection is joining the list of companies offering employee bonuses in the wake of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Connection, which was known as PC Connection from 1982 until late 2016, announced this week that it will pay a $1,000 cash bonus to each employee. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 08, 2018 at 1:34 PM0 comments

Partner Tidbits in Microsoft's Second Quarter Earnings

Behind Microsoft's latest earnings results, which pleased financial analysts even if they didn't do much for the stock price, were a number of directional hints and other key details for Microsoft partners.

CEO Satya Nadella summarized the big picture for the quarter, which included a 12% increase in revenues to $28.9 billion and a 10% bump in operating income to $8.7 billion, this way: "The intelligent cloud and intelligent edge paradigm is fast becoming a reality. Azure growth accelerated. LinkedIn growth accelerated. Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 are driving our growth and transforming the workplace." More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 01, 2018 at 9:31 AM0 comments

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