Microsoft Highlights Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 at Ignite Event


Microsoft unveiled a few details about its emerging flagship enterprise products today as it kicked off its Ignite event for IT pros in Atlanta.

The event marked the so-called “launch” of Windows Server 2016 and the launch of System Center 2016. However, a launch doesn’t mean the same thing as “general availability” (GA). The GA of those products, including the ability to purchase the licensing to use them, is planned for mid-October of this year.

Microsoft Aquires AI Startup Genee


Microsoft To Make Office 365 More Conversational with Acquisition of AI Startup Genee. Microsoft is giving Cortana, the company’s AI-based personal digital assistant, a boost with the addition of Genee, a startup Microsoft said it has agreed to acquire for an undisclosed amount. Genee, which launched just two years ago, lets users schedule meetings with individuals or groups by speaking to it.

The addition of Genee builds on Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s plan to bring “conversations-as-a-service” to the mainstream as the next UI and framework for how applications are  used and connected — a strategy he outlined in late March at the company’s annual Build developers conference. Enabling that is the Microsoft Bot Framework and the Cortana Intelligence Suite. Genee is a meeting and scheduling service that connects with all major e-mail and calendaring apps including Outlook, Gmail, Apple’s iCloud and chatbot services offered by Facebook, Twitter and Skype, as well as all SMS-based services.

Cofounders Ben Cheung and Charles Lee, who will join Microsoft, launched Genee to “simplify the time-consuming task of scheduling (and rescheduling) meetings,” said Rajesh Jha, Microsoft’s corporate VP for Outlook and Office 365, in a blog post announcing the deal. “It’s especially useful for large groups and for when you don’t have access to someone’s calendar.”

Can Skype and Office 365 Replace Traditional Enterprise Phone Systems?


Skype for Business Server and the new Cloud PBX option in Office 365 are gradually becoming viable alternatives to traditional telephone systems, but many key features are still under development.

A growing number of enterprises and businesses of all sizes have started taking notice of Microsoft’s latest efforts with its new on-premises Skype for Business Server and the Cloud PBX service recently added to Office 365, which both offer extended telephony and videoconferencing functions and viable public switched telephone network (PSTN) connectivity.

Few large enterprises have switched their entire telephone systems to Skype for Business and Cloud PBX, though experts say it’s underway in many organizations and under serious consideration among numerous others. Many are moving incrementally, some at more advanced stages than others,
while some remain skeptical or have no short-term plans to replace their existing telephone systems with Skype for Business or Cloud PBX.

Observers say a growing number of organizations are in the early stages of deploying or evaluating Microsoft’s telephony offerings because they’re considerably less expensive. Microsoft’s release of Cloud PBX this year has another strong pull: It’s an option to Office 365 subscriptions.

Partnership Effort: Microsoft and Citrix


Microsoft and Citrix explained their cloud and mobile partnership vision that will combine Citrix virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions with Microsoft Azure datacenter solutions.

That vision got presented in a live, hour-long Web-cast talk held on 23rd August by Brad Anderson, corporate vice president for Enterprise Clients and Mobility at Microsoft, and Bill Burley, corporate vice president and general manager of Workspace Spaces at Citrix.

Microsoft acquires Solair, an Italian Company


Microsoft has acquired Solair, moving further into the Internet of Things. Solair is an Italian company whose technology is used by businesses to connect and monitor their equipment and devices — ranging from production lines to espresso machines — using cloud services.

It’s the latest move by Microsoft into the Internet of Things and the concept of an “intelligent cloud” under Microsoft cloud and enterprise chief Scott Guthrie. Solair runs on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, and the company says it will integrate the Solair technology into its Azure IoT Suite for its customers to use. Solair works with businesses in industries including manufacturing, retail, food and beverage and transportation.

Get ready, SQL Server 2016 coming on June 1st


Get ready, SQL Server 2016 coming on June 1st

This post was authored by Tiffany Wissner, Senior Director of Data Platform Marketing. 

SQL Server 2016 is the foundation of Microsoft’s data strategy, encompassing innovations that transform data into intelligent action. With this new release, Microsoft is delivering an end-to-end data management and business analytics solution with mission critical intelligence for your most demanding applications as well as insights on your data on any device. Recently, we had the opportunity to showcase the exciting capabilities and what customers are doing with SQL Server 2016 at our Data Driven event. Building on this momentum, today we are excited to announce the following:

  •  SQL Server 2016 will be generally available on June 1, 2016. This will allow you to build mission-critical, and business critical intelligent applications with the most secure database, the highest performance data warehouse, end-to-end mobile BI on any device, in-database advanced analytics, in-memory capabilities optimized for all workloads, and a consistent experience from on-premises to cloud. These capabilities are built-in to SQL Server for industry-leading low cost of ownership.
  •  New SQL Server 2016 performance benchmarks. Today, Lenovo published a new #1 TPC-H 30 TB world record using SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 on Lenovo System x3950 X6. This result, in addition to recent benchmarks by software and hardware partners, as well as key applications across variety of workloads, proves that SQL Server 2016 is the fastest in-memory database on the planet for your applications.
  •  The SQL Server 2016 editions include Enterprise, Standard, Express, and Developer. In March, we announced that the SQL Server 2016 Developer edition will be a free download to enable broad access to and development on the full capabilities of the latest SQL Server release.


SQL Server general availability

SQL Server 2016 will be generally available on June 1, 2016.  SQL Server 2016 is a comprehensive high performance high scale data platform for your most demanding applications and insights on your data on any device. SQL Server 2016 seamlessly manages both relational and beyond relational (JSON, XML, Hadoop) data, seamlessly integrates structured data with Hadoop data, and seamlessly integrates on-premises data with cloud data. SQL Server 2016 is ideal for:

  •  Mission critical intelligent applications delivering real-time operational intelligence by combining built-in advanced analytics and in-memory technology without having to move the data or impact end user performance.
  •  Enterprise scale data warehousing with enhanced in-memory columnstore that increases query performance by over 100x vs disk based solutions. With SQL Server 2016, you can also access optimized MPP scale out software that can be combined with scale out appliance architecture with our Analytics Platform System (APS).
  • Applications requiring the highest levels of security with new Always Encrypted technology that protects your data at rest and in motion without impacting database performance.
  • Comprehensive business intelligence solutions on mobile devices with an end-to-end mobile BI solution built-in that can deliver insights on any device. You can also manage all of your KPIs, mobile reports and traditional reports from a modern web portal.
  •  New big data solutions that require combining relational data with non-relational data with PolyBase technology built-in that allows you to query structured and unstructured data with the simplicity of T-SQL.
  • Hybrid cloud solutions that can reduce storage costs, improve high availability and

simplify IT operations with new Stretch Database technology. This keeps more of your historical data at your fingertips by transparently and securely stretching warm and cold OLTP data to Microsoft Azure on-demand without application changes. In addition, faster replicas can be placed in Azure to give you cost effective disaster recovery and backups.

With this new innovation, SQL Server 2016 is the first born-in-the-cloud database, where features such as Always Encrypted and Role Level Security were first validated in Azure SQL Database by hundreds of thousands of customers and billions of queries. DocuSign is one customer that’s benefitting from the new capabilities in SQL Server 2016. “We  picked SQL Server for our platform because of its performance and ability to manage all types of data,” said Eric Fleischman, chief architect and vice president of platform engineering, DocuSign. “With the largest banks, insurers and other financial institutions counting on us we need to deliver secure software for our environment. New features in SQL Server 2016 like Always Encrypted allow us to deliver on this promise.” SQL Server is also a recognized leader in Gartner Magic Quadrants for Operational Database, Business Intelligence, Data Warehouse, and Advanced Analytics. Gartner recently named Microsoft as leading the industry in their Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems in both execution and vision. We’re also a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse and Data Management Solutions for Analytics, and Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms, as well as leading in vision in the Magic Quadrant for Advanced Analytics Platforms.

SQL Server 2016 delivers ground-breaking performance and scale

Applications and data warehouses need to manage and process greater volumes of data than ever before and we know performance is one of the top reasons customers upgrade to new versions of software. Today, Lenovo published a new #1 TPC-H 30 TB world record using SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 on Lenovo System x3950 X6.4 This result, in addition to recent benchmarks by software and hardware partners, as well as key applications, show that SQL Server 2016 is the fastest in-memory database on the planet for your applications. SQL Server 2016 owns the top TPC-E performance benchmarks for transaction processing, the top TPC-H performance benchmarks for data warehousing, and the top performance benchmarks with leading business applications like PROS and KPMG. Customers can also gain tremendous performance improvement by simply upgrading to SQL Server 2016 without application changes (e.g. queries will run up to 34x faster). In addition to leading performance benchmarks, SQL

Server 2016 also delivers top price/performance for both workloads.

  •  SQL Server 2016 holds two new TPC-E world record price/performance benchmarks.
  •  With today’s announcements, SQL Server 2016 holds #1 TPC-H 30TB7  benchmark using 12TB RAM support in Windows Server 2016.8 This is in addition to the #1 benchmarks for TPC-H in 10-TB , 3-TB  and 1-TB.
  •  SQL Server 2016 holds top benchmarks for key industry applications (10X faster with PROS, 2.5X faster with KPMG).
  • SQL Server 2016 provides tremendous performance gain upon upgrade for faster queries, faster availability and faster operations.

SQL Server 2016 editions

Today we are announcing the features in our editions, including Enterprise, Standard, and Express. With Enterprise, customers benefit from low cost of ownership with the full capabilities of SQL Server built into a single offering including our mission critical database, high performance data warehouse, rich data integration capabilities, end-to-end mobile business intelligence and built-in advanced analytics. We also are delivering significant value to our customers with SQL Server 2016 Standard including enhanced performance with basic availability, greater scalability up to 24 cores, modern reports, tabular modeling capabilities and robust security that enables multiple layers of protection and allows you to control access to sensitive data. With Express, available as a free download, customers can build and deploy small scale database applications at no cost. In addition to Enterprise, Standard and Express, Developer edition provides access to the full capabilities of SQL Server to build and test new mission critical, intelligent applications. In March, we announced that the SQL Server 2016 Developer edition will also be available as a free download. With Express and Developer edition, we want to make the capabilities of SQL Server 2016 broadly available to developers.

You can learn more about Enterprise Edition, or our other SQL Server 2016 editions.

Get ready for SQL Server 2016 today!

We’re so convinced that SQL Server 2016 is the option for our customers that we announced our offer to move your Oracle databases to SQL Server and receive the necessary licenses of SQL Server—free with software assurance.15 You can still take advantage of this offer and get the one data solution that has everything you need built in. Today, you can download and test out SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate (RC) 3, get ready to upgrade and migrate to SQL Server 2016, and find out more about the Oracle migration offer.

Windows 10 General Availability on July 29th – Windows 10 release date

Windows 10 General Availability on July 29th – Windows 10 release date




The following pricing details of various Windows 10 editions to help you:

Windows 10 Home – $119
Windows 10 Pro – $199
Windows 10 Pro Pack (to upgrade from Home edition to Pro) – $99

The upgrade from  Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 in the first year of launch will be absolutely free of cost.


Windows 10 Hardware Specifications / System Requirements


  • Processor: 1 GHz (gigahertz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1 GB (gigabyte) for 32-bit (x86) or 2 GB for 64-bit (x64)
  • Hard Disk Space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics Card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display Screen Resolution: at least 1024×600
  • Microphone: for Cortana use (optional)
  • Fingerprint Reader + Illuminated Infrared Camera: for Windows Hello* use (optional)