April 07, 2014

Dutch government pays millions to extend Microsoft XP support
The move by the Dutch government follows a similar deal the software giant struck with the United Kingdom government. It was announced last week that the UK government agreed to pay more than £5.6 million to Microsoft to continue its support for Windows XP by one year. The deal is expected to see Microsoft provide security updates for XP, Office 2003, and Exchange 2003 software being used on UK public sector PCs. The UK government said it expects the majority of its organisations to migrate away from the XP platform by April 2015.

Benefits of video conferencing include less travel, but it's not No. 1
For decades, enterprises have turned to video conferencing in large part as a means of reducing business travel expenses. However, a recent survey by Duxbury, Mass.-based Wainhouse Research of 4,700 end users of video conferencing found that the incentives for using video are shifting: 94% noted that the biggest benefit was increased efficiency and productivity; 88% cited increased impact of discussions; and 87% said video expedited decision-making -- the same percentage who said it reduced travel. The survey was included in a whitepaper sponsored by video conferencing vendor Polycom.

Ride the commodity IT wave by attempting bold tech strategies
Rather than owning a complex and expensive infrastructure to support back office IT functions, they can now be purchased at commodity prices, often an order of magnitude less expensive than traditional, in-house enterprise software. In the past few years, it has become possible to build a large company IT infrastructure without purchasing hardware, software, or the internal resources to maintain that infrastructure. This has often been regarded as a cost-saving maneuver, or in some cases as a threat to existing IT staff, since their jobs can now be sent "to the cloud.

6 ways the Internet of Things will transform enterprise security
Over the next few years, analysts expect tens of billions of devices to be connected to the Internet in similar fashion. The so-called Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon promises, or threatens, depending on your point of view, to transform our understanding of the Internet and a networked world. A lot of what will transpire will be on consumer-oriented products. But as with everything in technology, what happens in the consumer world will inevitably affect the enterprise. Here in no particular order are six ways the Internet of Things will affect enterprise security:

Supplier innovation: Becoming the customer of choice
In today’s competitive supply markets, the challenge for buying organizations is to make themselves as “attractive” as possible to innovative suppliers, so that they — rather than their industry rivals — get first refusal on new ideas and product enhancements. Attractiveness in this context goes beyond order volumes and the amount of money a customer spends with a supplier each year (although these things are, of course, important) and into areas such as how willing the customer is to listen to ideas, how quickly they make decisions, the extent to which they share development risks/costs, and their effectiveness in commercializing new products.

Microsoft to restore Start menu to Windows
"I'm not here to announce the next version of Windows," Terry Myerson, the head of Microsoft's operating systems engineering group, said at Build. "But I am going to share that we are going all in with this desktop experience to make sure your applications can be accessed and loved by people that love the Windows desktop." Myerson showed off two features of the unnamed update to Windows 8.1: A Start menu and windowed "Modern," ne "Metro," apps on the desktop. Both had been rumored to be coming to a future version of Windows; those claims first surfaced in December 2013.

Bug Fixing Vs. Problem Solving - From Agile to Lean
One of the misconceptions I’ve made while working with software development teams using agile methodologies is that I initially confused bugs with problems ... now believe that our agile team producing bugs was not a Lean system producing learning opportunities : it was a team having quality problems, which is something I have seen with many teams.  The goal of this article is to describe how my thinking has been evolving on the topic of bugs and problems, provide some hints on how to better understand the problems causing bugs in order to improve the performance, and put this into perspective with some real life stories.

Six impossible things Satya Nadella has already done
Microsoft is enjoying a resurgence that many attribute to its new CEO. Satya Nadella is certainly galvanising the company, and the enthusiasm of product teams at the recent Build 2014 conference was noticeable. But for those who have tracked his career at Microsoft, the fact that Nadella's second month in the CEO seat sees the company's stock price climbing high isn't out of step. Like the White Queen, Nadella has been associated with a few things usually considered impossible at Microsoft.

Software-based routers on x86 servers are becoming reality
The concept of software-based routers has been around for well over a decade. The latest versions of software-based routers have been hardened via years of experimentation and deployment. Open source communities, including Quagga and Brocade's Vyatta, have been developing software routing. In addition, advances in server hardware performance mean that more routing functions are now in scope.

5 Steps To Become A Digital Business
Any digital business is still a work in progress. Chances are your company wasn't born digital like Amazon, but chances are also good that, even in slow-moving industries like construction, you'll become the next Borders if you don't adjust to the way customers use digital products and services. Many companies have no problem looking and feeling digital -- a mobile app here, a redesigned website there -- but the real challenge is being digital. That means using technologies like cloud, mobile, and agile development to create better customer experiences that become revenue.

Quote for the day:

"Every exit is an entry somewhere else." -- Tom Stoppard

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