This Week in Microsoft - Volume 2

Hey everyone, welcome to another edition of Microsoft news. This week brings us some new mobility news, as well as some MEC updates, as well as the Exchange Preferred Architecture.

With it being a bit of a "slow" week in Microsoft, I'm also going to talk about some other important tidbits in tech, such as Net Neutrality, privacy on the internet, as well as the growing shortage of IPv4 addresses.

Read on after the jump:

Starting off with some more fun and educational stuff, Microsoft has posted the videos from MEC 2014 on their channel 9 page. MEC wrapped up a few weeks ago from Texas, and our own Mike Cessna attended and blogged about his experience. I was unable to attend the conference, but I can't wait to see the videos, and possibly attend in the future.

Speaking of MEC: During one of the sessions, Microsoft guru Ross Smith revealed Microsoft's preferred architecture for Exchange 2013. This architecture defines the optimal deployment architecture for Exchange 2013, and is the same architecture that Microsoft themselves use for their Office365 deployment of Exchange in the cloud.

Ross has a fairly detailed post on the Exchange blog outlining everything from namespace design, to datacenter resiliency, server design, DAG design, witness servers, and data resiliency. I highly suggest you check it out and compare your deployment to Microsoft's and see how you stack up, and how you can improve your on-prem installation going forward.

Microsoft has also completed their takeover of Nokia's mobile division. To start out, Microsoft will be renaming the Nokia Mobile division to Microsoft Mobile. Paying about 3.5 billion euros, Microsoft now controls 90% of the Windows Phone market, and holds a bunch of Nokia's previous mobility patents. I hope that this does not mean that Microsoft will want to monopolize the Windows Phone market, a la Apple, and make their OS exclusive to Nokia...err...themselves. I doubt that they would do that, seeing as the market penetration of Windows Phone isn't quite where they would like it, but I'm sure this gives them more leverage in reference hardware and feature sets.

In other news, the next update for Windows 8.1 is expected to be around the September timeframe based on Microsoft's new rapid development methodology.

Following the trend of designing a smaller tablet for more mobile workforces, or just for those that prefer a smaller tablet rather than a laptop replacement, there are reports that indicate that a Surface Mini is most likely coming mid May.

That's about it for interesting news in the Microsoft world, so let's focus our attention on a few other important things.

One of the things that is very near and dear to my heart is Net Neutrality, or the principle that ISPs and Transit Providers should not be able to discriminate on the traffic that travels across their pipes, and should not be able to charge more for priority access to their networks, is seemingly dying a slow death. Tom Wheeler, the FCC chairman (and former lobbyist from the cable industry), has announced that the new net neutrality rules that the FCC is proposing allow for "commercially reasonable" terms between content providers and ISPs. To most of us, this seems like the allowance for ISPs to double dip. Not only are their customers paying the ISP for access to all content on the internet, but this is seemingly a free pass for the same ISPs to turn around and ask the content providers for more money to get that content to the customer. Do you like Netflix? Tough, because they aren't paying a toll to your ISP, who you are already paying for access to Netflix (and the rest of the internet), making your experience god-awful (take it from me, and my 240p streaming of Netflix on Verizon's network).

In other internet news, ARIN has allocated another /8 network this week, and is now down to its final /8 allocation. This means that it has entered its final phase of the IPv4 countdown plan. IP addresses will now be more difficult to get, and the amount of available address space is dwindling. I think it's about time to either start REALLY lighting the fire under our butts and getting to IPv6, or making it a point for a lot of corporations to give back some of their address space. There's no reason that universities need to give each student a public IP address, and no need for some companies to keep multiple /8s for themselves for internal use. Soon we will enter a black market of IPv4 address space.

Finally, something fun. A game company, as a promo for its upcoming game, has created an app that will put together a virtual portfolio of you based on your facebook data. It structures it in the form of a dossier that a government agent or assassin would receive. It's quite a fun way to see if you are over-sharing any info that could be used against you...theoreticaly.

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