Microsoft Recalls SharePoint 2013 SP1

April 17, 2014

There may be trouble in paradise for Microsoft. After release SharePoint 2013 to a good deal of positive press, there has been some frustration over the wait for the release of Service Pack 1. Now it seems that Microsoft has had to recall the long-awaited update. Read the details in the Redmond article, “Microsoft Recalls SharePoint 2013 SP1.”

The article begins:

“Microsoft on Thursday said it is blocking downloads of the recently released Service Pack 1 (SP1) for SharePoint Server 2013. Microsoft released SharePoint Server 2013 SP1 in late February or early March through the Microsoft Download Center. However, access to the bits has now been ‘deactivated.’ No information was provided about when an updated service pack would be available. At press time, attempting to download SP1 for SharePoint Server 2013 returns a page not found message.”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime search expert, and spends quite a bit of attention on SharePoint for his Web service, ArnoldIT.com. He finds that enterprise managers and end users are seeking greater ease of use and customization. Setbacks like a service pack recall must be devastating to enterprise teams that finally started to feel like they were gaining ground with SharePoint.

Emily Rae Aldridge, April 17, 2014

Bing Basics, Search Tips to Search Better

April 16, 2014

The article titled Master Bing and the Internet with This Guide to Search Engine Operators on Windows Phone Central focuses on “advanced operator references” to refine Bing search. Anyone who had to write a research essay in a freshman composition class may have had a similar lesson from their friendly librarian, and this article covers the basics admirably. It begins with how to use “and” to request several search terms. The article continues,

“Sometimes when you are searching the web, you want a quick and easy way to find images of a certain size; sure, you could always use the image size buttons within Bing Image search, but buttons are for “noobs”! Use the “ImageSize:” operator to quickly return images of certain dimensions. Valid search values are “small”, “medium”, and “large”. Example: “puppies imagesize:medium” – By typing this query into Bing, you will only receive image results of puppies that are categorized in the medium image size category.”

Other operator references are “contains” (for specific file types), “define” (for searching for a definition of the term), “ext” (also for specific file types, but even more limited), “feed” (for RSS feeds only), “filetype” (if you are bored with “ext”) and “language” (to request search results in a single language). Read the full article for more shortcuts and tips to master Bing search.

Chelsea Kerwin, April 16, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Microsoft Creates its Own Competition

April 15, 2014

A lot of attention has been given to SharePoint’s competition in the file sharing market, namely Box and Dropbox. But it seems that with its latest move Microsoft has actually created its own competition. Read more in the IDM article, “Is OneDrive for Business the SharePoint Alternative?

The author writes:

“OneDrive for Business is Microsoft’s file sync, share and collaboration service. Microsoft announced that OneDrive for Business will become available as a standalone subscription service on March 3. This is good news for those who want the simplicity of Dropbox, but the security and control of Office 365. While some might see this as competition for the usual suspects in the file sharing space — Dropbox, Box, Google Drive — I think it’s a possible alternative to another, namely, SharePoint.”

It is true that while Microsoft touts the many merits of SharePoint beyond simple file sharing, file sharing is what it is best known for. Stephen E. Arnold spends a lot of time covering SharePoint on his Web site, ArnoldIT.com. His coverage proves that while SharePoint is widely adopted, it is also widely contested. It attempts to be all things to all people, but its huge platform is cumbersome. Organizations simply interested in file sharing may in fact look to the simpler OneDrive for Business.

Emily Rae Aldridge, April 15, 2014

Microsoft Office Graph for Oslo Limits Bothersome Data

April 11, 2014

Just what we need—another way to shield folks from information they’d rather not see. Microsoft helps move us in that direction, this time within the enterprise. We learn about the hidden data-narrowing technology in “Social Enterprise, Machine Learning Meet in Microsoft’s Office Graph, Oslo” at eWeek. Oslo is a mobile app created to give users “an at-a-glance view of collaborative Office documents and activities.” The role of Office Graph is to narrow the data stream. Writer Pedro Hernandez tells us:

“Office Graph, while tucked ‘under the hood and never exposed to the user,’ helps users avoid information overload and focus on the task at hand by delivering ‘really personalized and relevant views of their world,’ according to Julia White, general manager of Microsoft Office. This ‘intelligence layer,’ which integrates with SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, Yammer and Office, is the basis of the company’s upcoming Oslo app. Oslo is a mobile-optimized app that ‘cuts through the noise by showing you what you need to know today, and even what’s likely to be important in the near future,’ stated Ashok Kuppusamy, a Microsoft FAST group program manager, in a blog post.”

The app should be available to users of Office 365 within the year. Some of Oslo’s features do sound helpful. For example, since many of us are better at remembering people’s names than project titles or keywords, users can search by colleague name. One can also see what content has been shared, liked, viewed, or modified. But I wonder—do people really need algorithms deciding what to include in “relevant views of their world”?

Cynthia Murrell, April 11, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

April 1, 2014

SharePoint is showcasing its brand new marketing automation features. Dynamics Marketing marks a formal entrance into a market where Microsoft previously had no presence. CMS Wire covers the details in their article, “Will Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Trigger the SharePoint Effect?

Their coverage says:

“At last month’s Convergence conference in Atlanta, Microsoft revealed what it had been internally assembling around its 2012 acquisition of Marketing Resource Management (MRM) specialists MarketingPilot. The resulting digital marketing suite has the potential to shake up the marketplace just as SharePoint did in the enterprise content management (ECM) market in 2001.”

Many wonder if Microsoft Dynamics will enjoy the same momentum as SharePoint, or the “SharePoint effect.” Simply stated, many companies don’t care if Microsoft offers the best product; they just want a simple implementation that integrates with their other Microsoft products. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and covers a lot of SharePoint news on his Web site, ArnoldIT.com. We will have to see if Dynamics Marketing stands the test of time like SharePoint.

Emily Rae Aldridge, April 1, 2014

SQL Server 2014 Coming to SharePoint 2013

March 31, 2014

Microsoft recently announced changes to SharePoint, some well received and others less so. For instance, the next SharePoint server update is planned for 2015. However, in other news, SQL server will be supported within SharePoint 2013. Read more in the Redmond article, “Microsoft Adding SQL Server 2014 Support to SharePoint 2013.”

The article says:

“SharePoint Server 2013 will be capable of supporting SQL Server 2014 when Microsoft releases the next SharePoint cumulative update next month, according to an announcement on Friday. SQL Server 2014 is currently in the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) stage, and is expected to hit general availability on April 1.”

SharePoint is continuing its quest to be all things to all people, incorporating more and more outside components. However, it is becoming more difficult and more complicated for users to manage such complex implementations. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and gives a lot of coverage to SharePoint on his Web site ArnoldIT.com.

Emily Rae Aldridge, March 31, 2014

Bing: A Quote to Note and a Search

March 16, 2014

First, navigate to Bing and run the query “Bing Market Share.” The first hit is to “The Bing Dilemma: What To Do With The Little Search Engine That Can.” The write up contains a chart showing Bing market share. Bing is the orange line. The line way at the top is Google.

 

The Bing Dilemma: What To Do With The Little Search Engine That Can image SEmarket share

In “Bing’s Harry Shum Bags The 2014 Outstanding Technical Leadership Award At Microsoft,” in my opinion there is a quote to note:

“I am proud that we have built a very high-quality search engine comparable to Google and with differentiating features. We have provided to society, even to humanity, a different voice than Google.”

On a philosophical note: If a search engine retrieves in the forest, are its results relevant? Your essay response is 20 percent of your grade.

Stephen E Arnold, March 16, 2014

Windows 8 Integration with SharePoint

March 3, 2014

The switchover to Windows 8 has left many organizations wondering what to do about SharePoint integration. At first glance, native SharePoint support within the new operating system seems negligible. However, a few features reveal themselves upon further inspection. Search Windows Server covers the news in their report, “What’s New for Windows 8 Integration with SharePoint?

The article says:

“You may have heard that Microsoft made some changes to the File Explorer in Windows 8.1. Libraries are hidden by default and a link to SkyDrive appears in its place. If you choose to unhide the Libraries, you’ll notice that the Libraries folder contains two Documents folders. One of these folders corresponds to the local PC while the other points to SkyDrive. The point behind all of this is that Microsoft is trying to encourage end users to save documents on SkyDrive rather than on their local computer.”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and often covers SharePoint on his information service, ArnoldIT.com. Arnold has found that whenever new SharePoint versions are released, or a new Windows OS is released, customers have to adjust to the changes, and user experience often suffers. Focusing on the improvements can often help organizations market the new changes.

Emily Rae Aldridge, March 3, 2014

Programmer Has Problems with Microsoft

January 21, 2014

Has Microsoft lost the ability to quickly pivot with changes in the tech landscape? One programmer explains why it’s now the Java-community life for him in “Thank You Microsoft, and So Long…” at Byte Rot. The blogger known as Aliostad begins by tracing his relationship with assorted programming languages, then looks ahead to changes that are either on their way or already here.

As the article presents them, a couple of these predictions do indeed look bad for Microsoft. For example, the write-up anticipates a tech industry centered around big data solutions, on which Microsoft has not exactly been leading the way. It also asserts that, since horizontal scaling is becoming paramount, middleware like BizTalk and even enterprise databases themselves are on the way out. Check out the article’s reasoning and see whether you agree (at least one of the commenters did not.)

Whatever your opinion of Microsoft’s future, Aliostad has made his game plan for a field in flux.

He shares:

“I will carry on writing C#, ASP.NET Web API and read or write from SQL Server and do my best to write the best code I can. But I will start working on my Unix skills (by using it at home) and pick up one or two JVM languages (Clojure, Scala) and work on Hadoop. I will take Big Data more seriously. I mean real seriously… I need to stay close to where innovation is happening which sadly is not Microsoft now. From the Big Data to Google Glass and cars, it is all happening in the Java communities – and when I mean Java communities I do not mean the language but the ecosystem that is around it. And I will be ready to jump ships if I have to. And still wish Microsoft wakes up to the sound of its shrinking, not only in the PC market but also in its bread and butter, enterprise.”

Is this piece correct, is Microsoft really becoming obsolete? Somehow, I think the behemoth has the resources to adapt, even if it is a little late to the revised game. Spare no tears for Microsoft.

Cynthia Murrell, January 21, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Microsoft Committed to Bing

January 14, 2014

ZDNet takes us inside a recent investor call with Microsoft’s CFO Dave O’Hara about his company’s online services strategy in, “Microsoft: Bing is Not a Bottomless Money Pit (Any More).” For about six years, the company has poured money into building the infrastructure behind Bing‘s datacenter. Now the foundation has been laid, and Microsoft is poised to start seeing its investment pay off.

Reporter Mary Jo Foley explains:

“In keeping with Microsoft management’s claims that Bing isn’t an asset it would make sense to sell at this point, O’Hara stressed that Bing is no longer ‘just’ a Web search engine and that Microsoft has integrated it into an increasing number of its products, such as Windows and Xbox. He said Bing also has given Microsoft a leg up in creating ‘one of the best data sets in the industry,’ which Microsoft will leverage increasingly in future products and services.

Though O’Hara didn’t cite any of these products specifically, a couple of examples of areas where Microsoft’s big-data prowess will come into play are offerings like its cloud-based business intelligence service bundle, Power BI, and the coming ‘Cortana’ personal assistant technology expected to debut first in Windows Phone 8.1 next year.”

Foley is wary of drawing any conclusion about Bing’s profitability, now or in the future, because changes in the way Microsoft reports revenue obscure the value of any particular online product. She notes that, as a whole, the online services division lost $321 million on revenues of $872 million in the most recent quarter. Still, she seems to accept O’Hara’s point: After all that investment, now is the time to go forward with Bing rather than heed calls to sell it off. We shall see whether the strategy pays off down the road.

Cynthia Murrell, January 14, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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