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Top 10 Most Important Products for Microsoft Partners

Windows is still a common denominator in most partners' practices, even in this cloud-first, mobile-first era, a recent RCP reader survey shows.

In a survey this fall, RCP asked readers, "What Microsoft products do you commonly include in customer solutions?" Readers were asked to choose from a list of 17 core business products and they could select as many products as they used. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 01, 2016 at 11:34 AM0 comments

Windows 10, PCaaS Offer Faint Hope for Stability in PC Market

International Data Corp. updated its worldwide PC shipment forecast for 2016 on Wednesday with a projection that's slightly less red than it was in August.

With most of the sales booked for the year, the headline number is a projected decline of 6.4 percent to about 258.2 million units shipped. That's better than the 7.2 percent decline that IDC projected when it last ran the numbers three months ago. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 30, 2016 at 8:19 AM0 comments

Career Development, Containers and Azure: What To Watch for at Live! 360

Live! 360, one of the biggest Microsoft technology-focused events of the year that is not put on by Microsoft itself, kicks off next week in Orlando, Fla.

While the prime audiences for the show are IT professionals and developers, there's a lot of deep content for Microsoft partners. The conference, which is organized by RCP's parent company 1105 Media, combines the long-running Visual Studio Live! and TechMentor conferences with SQL Server Live!, Office and SharePoint Live!, ModernApps Live! and AppDev Trends. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 28, 2016 at 1:13 PM0 comments

Microsoft FastTrack Footprint Gets Bigger

Microsoft offered a rare glimpse into the scale of its FastTrack operations this week.

FastTrack is Microsoft's initiative for accelerating uptake of its cloud products. The program started with Office 365 mail migration projects in 2014 and has expanded to encompass other cloud products over time. At a high level, the FastTrack brand can include three things. The main one is a customer offer, sometimes referred to as a benefit, to bring Microsoft cloud customers up to what Microsoft executives have called a "run state." The idea being that if you buy a Microsoft subscription to the cloud, where operations are supposed to be simpler, the least Microsoft can do is get you up and running in that product at no cost beyond the service subscription. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 17, 2016 at 11:29 AM0 comments

Infrascale Doubles Down on Ransomware Focus

Infrascale, a cloud backup and disaster recovery solution provider that recently relaunched its partner program with a strong emphasis on ransomware, on Thursday unveiled a new ransomware program intended to help partners educate and protect their clients.

"Partners need to be equipped with the knowledge to educate their clients about the pervasiveness of the threat and the characteristics that make one company more vulnerable than the next. Just as important, they must also be equipped with the right technology to detect, combat and mitigate against ransomware to quickly restore encrypted data and systems," said Infrascale's new channel chief Chris Sterbenc in a statement. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 17, 2016 at 1:20 PM0 comments

Study: Office 365 Expands Lead Over Google G Suite

A new study of cloud productivity application usage suggests Microsoft's Office 365 suite is pulling away from Google's G Suite, even as the overall market expands.

The data comes from proprietary research done by Bitglass Inc., a cloud access security broker based in Campbell, Calif. Bitglass used internally developed technologies to scan more than 120,000 companies to determine what products each organization is using. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 16, 2016 at 9:53 AM0 comments

SkyKick and ConnectWise Working on Integration

ConnectWise and SkyKick are working together to integrate SkyKick's cloud partner enablement capabilities into the ConnectWise managed services provider (MSP) tool suite.

Craig Fulton, vice president of product for ConnectWise, demonstrated the integration from the ConnectWise IT Nation stage last week in Orlando, Fla. The demo involved using SkyKick Cloud Backup from within the ConnectWise CloudConsole. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 16, 2016 at 8:57 AM0 comments

Benioff Joins in Ringing the Microsoft Alarm

Is the Satya Nadella honeymoon showing signs of coming to an end? Since not long after taking the CEO job at Microsoft in early 2014, Nadella has enjoyed praise from the media, many longtime critics and old Microsoft competitors.

Two events in the last week recall old battles, patterns and rhetoric. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 16, 2016 at 11:46 AM0 comments

Kaspersky: With Windows 10, Microsoft Gives Defender an Unfair Advantage

Kaspersky Lab is accusing  Microsoft of abusing its control over Windows 10 to put third-party security products at a disadvantage versus Microsoft's own Windows Defender.

The Moscow-based company with U.S. headquarters in Woburn, Mass., has filed an application with the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia and is preparing a similar application for the European Commission, a spokesperson said in an e-mail on Monday. Asked if the company had any plans to file complaints in the United States, the spokesperson said, "Any additional actions will be communicated when appropriate." More

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 14, 2016 at 12:43 PM0 comments

After IoT Hack, Microsoft Unveils New Partner Security Program

In the wake of a massive botnet attack from infected Internet of Things (IoT) devices last week, Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled a limited release of a new Security Program for Azure IoT that involves working with and recommending certain partners to audit customers' IoT implementations.

"This new program brings together a curated set of best-in-class security auditors customers can choose from to perform a security audit on their IoT solutions, find issues and provide recommendations. The Security Program for Azure IoT will work from the ground up, examining everything from a businesses' devices and assets to gateways and even communication to the cloud," wrote Sam George, partner director of program management for Microsoft's Azure IoT, in a blog post announcing the program. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 26, 2016 at 10:48 AM0 comments

First Impressions: Microsoft's Windows 10 Event

Microsoft had its big Windows 10 Event in New York City on Wednesday, with several major product launches and unveilings. From watching the livestream and tracking coverage from RCP Editor at Large Jeff Schwartz who was on site, here are the big takeaways, especially for Microsoft partners.

This Was a 'Consumer' Day
Most, though not all, of Microsoft's announcements on Wednesday were aimed at consumers, in the sense of home users and gamers. Much of it also applied to students and educators, but the main overlap for business customers is in any department that employs creative professionals, who did have plenty to chew on. If some of the new products take off, they could give Microsoft a way to claw its way into the creative professional space that Apple has used as its beachhead into the business market. But for those looking for deployment advancements, system management, security improvements, et cetera, this wasn't your day. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 26, 2016 at 2:17 PM0 comments

Microsoft's Q1 Earnings in 7 Quotes

A strong earnings report from Microsoft on Thursday shot MSFT shares to record levels, largely on cloud growth and revenues. The investor call after the release had some interesting nuggets for Microsoft partners. Some of the key quotes from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and CFO Amy Hood: More

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 21, 2016 at 11:00 AM0 comments