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Microsoft Azure Sphere chip for end-to-end IoT security from the Cloud to Network Edge

“MediaTek is a good partner [for Microsoft] to have for its Azure Sphere secure IoT chip,” said Laura DiDio, principal analyst with ITIC. “They will provide a Wi-Fi controller, the processor will run Microsoft’s Linux-based IoT OS and you’ve now got a highly secure, connected device at a decent price point.”

Channel Futures, April 17, 2018

Microsoft Reorganization:

“Microsoft has actually been moving away from Windows and more towards the cloud, analytics and AI for the past ten years,” explained Laura DiDio, an analyst at ITIC. “This did not happen overnight.” DiDio pointed out that Nadella has made major changes quickly during his tenure. “That’s the way you have to move,” to stay relevant, she said. “You’ve got to be agile to stay ahead of the game.”

The changes don’t mean that Microsoft is totally giving up on Windows, DiDio said. But they do mean that Nadella is focusing the company’s energies around stronger assets.

“They’re de-emphasizing Windows,” she said, in order to become a stronger “player in cloud and artificial intelligence, because that’s where the money is.”

CNN Money, March 29, 2018

Failure to deliver reliability and uptime:

“Time is money,” DiDio says. “Systems, networks and connectivity devices are subject to failure. If the downtime persists for any significant length of time, it can be expensive in terms of monetary losses. It can disrupt operations, decrease worker productivity and negatively impact the organization’s business partners, customers and suppliers.

“A security outage of any significant duration can also be a PR nightmare and damage the company’s reputation, causing lost business,” DiDio says. “Reliability and uptime go hand in hand with a comprehensive, detailed backup and disaster recovery plan that also includes an internal operational level agreement that designates a chain of command in the event of any type of service disruption.”

Every organization should have a disaster recovery plan that includes an itemized list of who to contact at vendor organizations, cloud and third-party service providers, DiDio says. “The CISO should also know what the company’s contracts stipulate as the response time from vendors, cloud, and third-party service providers to respond to and thwart security incidents and track down the hackers,” she says.

CSO Online, November 21, 2017

Cal State University and Hartnell College Launching Cohort Program:

“Since 2013, the two institutions have promoted this program as a way to attract minorities, women and students who are the first in their families to attend college to Computer Science and STEM subjects. The Cohort program nurtures these students by having them take their CS classes as a group.” DiDio says. It also helps them adjust more quickly to college life by providing them with group study and life skills classes to help them stick with CS as a major and graduate.

“So far, so good. A 75% majority of students enrolled in the CSUMB/Hartnell CS Cohort program graduate. This is well above the national average of about 30%,” DiDio notes.

ITIC Corp, November 17, 2017

Burger King Ad Creates Whopper of a Mess:

“In the Internet of Things environment, where you can have “an ecosystem or ecosystems of ecosystems interconnected, the attack vector universe is potentially limitless,” noted Laura DiDio, research director for IoT at 451 Research.

The risks are “everywhere, and what you can do is mitigate risk to an acceptable level,” she told the E-Commerce Times — but that requires vendors to make secure products.

E-Commerce Times, April 13, 2017

United Airlines Customer Service Snafus:

United’s behavior was “cavalier and callous,” said Laura DiDio, research director for IoT at 451 Research.

“The deck is stacked against passengers these days,” she told CRM Buyer.

However, this situation “is a PR nightmare for United Airlines,” DiDio added, “and it’s not going away.”

CRMBuyer, April 11, 2017

Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to support SQL Server 2008 and keep the momentum going for its latest enhanced database offering. On September 29, the company will launch the SQL Server 2008 Experience, a year-long series of in-person events designed to introduce “350,000+ customers, partners and community members” to the new features and benefits of its database offering.

Additionally, Microsoft is touting the merits of SQL Server 2008 on a new Website: http://www.moresqlserver.com. And it also just released the results of the new Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) performance benchmark tests for Microsoft SQL Server 2008. The TPC ranked Microsoft SQL Server 2008 #1 on price/performance on servers using Intel’s new Dunnington x64 processors, and as the top performance leader using IBM’s new System x3950 M2 server.

There’s no doubt that SQL Server 2008 boasts greatly improved features, functions, scalability, security, management and reliability compared to the 2005 version, and a more powerful, robust and manageable SQL Server 2008 is a must for Microsoft. The company is going head to head with industry powerhouses including IBM’s DB2 and Oracle’s 11g database running on Linux. So 2009 is shaping up to be an extremely competitive and crucial year for database vendors and their respective customers.

At this point, Microsoft is a strong number three behind Oracle and IBM in the database arena, according to both Gartner Group and IDC. The latest statistics show Oracle with approximately 42% market share; IBM second with about 21% and Microsoft with an estimated 19% of the database market. The financial stakes are also high: Oracle’s database revenue is well over $7 billion; IBM realizes close to $3.5 billion from database sales and Microsoft SQL Server generates close to $3 billion in annual sales.

In order to retain its existing installed base and increase its presence – particularly among SMBs and large enterprises, Microsoft must hit the ground running with SQL Server 2008. There is no margin for error from either a technical or a marketing standpoint. Hence, Microsoft is marshalling all its forces.

SQL Server 2008 incorporates a slew of new management capabilities such as: policy management; configuration servers; data collector/management warehouse and a multiple server query capability. Such features are crucial for database administrators, particularly those in large enterprises who are charged with overseeing complex and geographically dispersed database environments that may include hundreds or thousands of physical and virtual servers encompassing tens of thousands of databases.

The SQL Server 2008 Policy Management feature enables database administrators to create and execute configuration policies against one or more servers while the Data Collector facility obviates the need for managers to create custom solutions to cull data from their database server environments.

Data Collector lets administrators utilize the SQL Server Agent and SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) to create a framework that collects and stores data while delivering a detailed history of error handling, auditing, and collection.

Just as important as SQL Server 2008’s new management functions are the accompanying documentation and training that Microsoft is making available for the database platform via its Website, TechNet and its Software Assurance maintenance and upgrade program. Vendor rivalries aside, the chief impediments to users upgrading to any new software platform are the cost and complexity of the migration. These factors are even more crucial when weighed against the cost constraints of the current economic downturn. Microsoft’s TechNet provides SQL Server 2008 customers with ample, “at-your-fingertips” documentation and troubleshooting tips as they prepare to upgrade.

In addition, customers who have purchased Microsoft’s Software Assurance will be able to get significant discounts on training as well as access to Elearning tools. The combination of TechNet and Software Assurance can save IT departments and the corporation untold thousands to millions in capital and operational expenditures and cut upgrade time by 25% to 65% depending on the size and scope of the deployment. And in the event that any significant bugs or performance glitches arise, Microsoft must move quickly and decisively to publicly address the problems and issue the necessary patches without dissembling or temporizing.

Overall, Microsoft has assembled all of the necessary technology and business components to make SQL Server 2008 a winner. The latest Microsoft database has the performance, scalability and management to make the upgrade path easy. The excellent documentation and technical support offered by TechNet is also a plus. Companies worried about budgetary constraints (and who isn’t?) will also find monetary relief from the inherent value of the myriad Software Assurance benefits.

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