Tag Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft and iFixit to Bring Official Tools to Independent Repairers



The Repair Association describes the Right to Repair this way: “It’s simple. You bought it, you should own it. Period. You should have the right to use it, modify it, and repair it, whenever, wherever, and however you want. It’s our mission to make sure you can. We fight for your right to fix.”

There is good news for people who want to fix their Microsoft products. Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, wrote the following in a post: iFixit Pro independent repairers, Microsoft Authorized Service Providers, Microsoft Experience Centers, and Microsoft Commercial customers can now purchase Microsoft service tools for Surface devices directly from iFixit.com.

Kyle Wiens also wrote: This program is launching with three tools, as well as weights and accessories, all designed by Microsoft and manufactured by iFixit. These tools enable precision debonding and rebonding of adhesive for select Microsoft Surface models and will undergo the same rigorous quality testing and attention to detail that we give to all of our products.

The three tools are:

  • The Surface Display Bonding Frame
  • The Surface Battery Cover
  • The Surface Display Debonding Tool

Windows Central reported that these tools are not available direct to consumers. However, it does allow companies besides Microsoft to repair consumer and enterprise Surface devices.

In other words, you will still need to take your Surface devices to a store and have someone there repair it for you. This might be easier than trying to send the damaged device to Microsoft and waiting for it to returned to you good as new. My best guess is that having the damaged device repaired by someone at iFixit would be less expensive than buying a brand new Surface.


Pentagon Announced New Cloud Initiative to Replace JEDI



The Pentagon announced a limited request for bids for a new cloud initiative that replaces the cancelled $10 billion, decade-long JEDI contract initiative, TechCrunch reported.

As you may recall, the JEDI contract was contentiously fought over by Microsoft and Amazon, even after the Pentagon announced that they had selected Microsoft. Eventually, the JEDI cloud contract was cancelled.

CNBC reported that the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) said that the Defense Department has solicited bids on their new cloud initiative, called JWCC. It is known as Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability. The Defense Department has solicited bids from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Oracle for cloud contracts.

According to CNBC, the GSA announced the following: “The Government anticipates awarding two IDIQ contracts — one to Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) and one to Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) — but intends to award to all Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) that demonstrate the capability to meet DoD’s requirements.”

This is being handled differently than how things were handled with the JEDI contract. This new cloud initiative appears to have an interest in working with both Microsoft and Amazon Web Services – but also seems to want to award other CSPs that can demonstrate the capability that meets the Department of Defense’s requirements. The JEDI contract was “winner take all” and that led to some complaints when the DoD chose Microsoft over Amazon.

According to TechCrunch, Microsoft and Amazon went to court over the decision, and the Pentagon got tired of it and decided to scrap the JEDI project altogether. As such, there is now a new cloud infrastructure project that appears to be interested in accepting both Microsoft and Amazon Web Services at the same time.

I cannot help but wonder if teams from those two companies will be able to work together, or if one will insist they are not being treated fairly. There is also the possibility that smaller CSPs, who don’t meet the DoD’s requirements, will end up going to court over this.


Microsoft Ignite Starts Today



Microsoft’s Ignite three day conference event starts today with a keynote presentation by CEO Satya Nadella on emerging trends and innovations for business transformation. Along with Envision, Build and Inspire, it’s one of several major conferences hosted by Microsoft each year.

Running from 2nd to 4th November, Ignite is aimed at IT professionals and developers. The event showcases development tools and provides bite-sized training and guidance on getting to grips with new technologies. In pre-pandemic times, it would have been an in-person event costing $$$$, but in the Covid-19 era it’s all on-line and best of all, it’s free to attend.

The overall theme this year is “Take the Lead” and within the conference, there are four streams this year, drawing on both the current environment and new approaches.

  1. Empower everyone for a new world of hybrid work
  2. Innovate anywhere from multicloud to edge
  3. Build a hyperconnected business
  4. Protect everything with end-to-end security

As expected, the programme is chock full of Microsoft goodness: Windows 11, Microsoft 365, Teams, Dynamics 365, Power BI, Azure and so on. There are sessions from beginner level to advanced. Everything from starting to code through to managing Linux endpoints.

I don’t get to program as much as did but I still enjoy keeping up to date with the art of the possible. Being online, it’s easy to drop in on the sessions of interest, and it’s a valuable resource if you’re thinking of a career change. There’s even digital swag, including backgrounds for phones, desktops and Teams, such as the one on the right.

The event starts at 0800 / PDT / 1100 EDT / 1500 GMT with the first keynote 15 minutes later. Last minute registration is still available at the Ignite site.


Microsoft Reversed .NET Change after Open Source Community Feedback



Microsoft reversed a decision to remove a key feature from its upcoming .NET 6 release, after public outcry from the open source community, The Verge reported. According to The Verge, Microsoft angered the .NET open source community earlier this week by removing a key part of the Hot Reload in the upcoming release of .NET, a feature that allows developers to modify source code while an app is running and immediately see the results.

The Verge reported that the .NET 6 feature was one many had been looking forward to in Visual Studio Code and across multiple platforms. Microsoft made what The Verge described a “a controversial last-minute decision to lock it to Visual Studio 2022, a mostly paid product that’s limited to Windows”.

Microsoft responded to the controversy on its Microsoft .NET blog. From the blog post, which was written by Director Program Management, .NET, Scott Hunter:

…First and foremost, we want to apologize. We made a mistake in executing on our decision and took longer than expected to respond back to the community. We have approved the pull request to re-enable this code path and it will be in the GA build of the .NET 6 SDK…

Scott Hunter also wrote: With the runway getting short for the .NET 6 release and Visual Studio 2022, we chose to focus on bringing Hot Reload VS2022 first. We made a mistake in executing this plan in the way it was carried out. In our effort to scope, we inadvertently ended up deleting the source code instead of just not invoking that code path. We underestimated the number of developers that are dependent upon this capability in their environments across scenarios, and how the CLI was being used alongside Visual Studio to drive inner loop productivity by many…

The Verge provided more details. They asked Microsoft to comment on the fact that an executive ordered the change, but the company didn’t want to discuss the controversial decision. “We have taken steps to address the issue that some of our OSS community members have experienced,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “Hot Reload capability will be in the general availability of the .NET 6 SDK available on November 8th.

So, which is it? Did an executive at Microsoft order the change to .NET 6? Or was the removal of .NET 6 a mistake that Microsoft did not intend to make? There is no clear answer.

It appears that one of the controversies here is that the .NET Foundation is an “organization established to support an innovative, commercially friendly, open-source ecosystem around the .NET platform.” The .NET Foundation was incorporated by Microsoft on March 31, 2014 to improve open-source software development and collaboration with the .NET Framework.

It seems to me that a Foundation that is focused on improving open-source software development with the .NET Framework would disagree with Microsoft’s “mistake” that put the .NET 6 feature behind a paywall.


Microsoft aims to save the oceans with new mouse



The environment is on almost everyone’s mind these days. It’s hard to ignore when it keeps reminding us with things like one-hundred-year storms every couple of years and going through the Latin alphabet and into the Greek one while naming storms during one season. 

Most of us try to be conscious of what we do with waste and watch our energy consumption, but the giant garbage pit of the Pacific doesn’t shrink any. There has to be things we can do about it, right? 

Now Microsoft claims to be putting some of that waste to use as part of a new mouse. The shell of the new peripheral is made of twenty percent ocean-recycled plastic and the pack is from one hundred percent recycled material. 

The plastic outer part of the body uses a resin with recycled material made from plastic trash that is recovered from our oceans. The plastic waste then gets turned into pellets, which are eventually blended in with the other materials that make up the outer layer of the mouse. 

The mouse is available now for pre-order, priced at $24.99, and will begin shipping on October 5th. 


Microsoft to Retire Internet Explorer in 2022



Microsoft announced that the future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is Microsoft Edge. Microsoft stated that Microsoft Edge is a faster, more secure and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but is also to able to address a key concern: compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications.

The Verge eported that Internet Explorer has been around for more than 25 years. It has been largely unused by most consumers for years, and Microsoft is retiring it on June 15, 2022.

PCMag reported: “Originally launched in 1995, the much-maligned Internet Explorer has long been irrelevant in today’s consumer market. It holds a measly 3.8% share of the desktop browser space. Google’s Chrome dominates with a nearly 70% share.”

Microsoft provided some information for those who are currently using Internet Explorer:

If you’re a consumer using Internet Explorer at home, Microsoft recommends you transition to Microsoft Edge before June 15, 2022. Microsoft points out that you probably already have it on your device. To find it, search for “Microsoft Edge” using the Windows 10 search box or look for the icon. If you don’t have it, you can download Microsoft Edge.

If you’re an organization using Internet Explorer, Microsoft says you may have a surprisingly large set of legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and apps, built up over many years. According to Microsoft, they found that enterprises have 1,678 legacy apps on average. By moving to Microsoft Edge, organizations get improved compatibility, streamlined productivity, and better browser security plus the ability to extend the life of their legacy websites and apps well beyond the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application retirement date using IE mode.


Microsoft Launched Microsoft Viva for Employees



Microsoft announced that it has launched Microsoft Viva. It is comprised of four modules: Viva Connections, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, and Viva Topics. More modules will be coming.

Microsoft describes Viva Connetions as “a gateway to your digital workplace”. They point out that research from their Work Trend Index shows that nearly 60 percent of workers feel less connected to their team since the move to remote work.

Viva Connections is built on Microsoft 365 capabilities like SharePoint to provide a curated and branded employee destination. Leaders can connect with employees via town halls, and employees can access everything from company news, policies and benefits to employee resource groups or communities they want to join with Microsoft Viva’s integration to Yammer.

Viva Insights gives individuals, managers, and leaders personalized and actionable privacy-protected insights that help everyone in an organization thrive. It brings new personal wellbeing experiences, insights, and recommended actions from Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics into the flow of people’s work in Microsoft Teams.

Viva Learning “makes learning a natural part of both every employee’s daily work and company culture”. Employees can easily discover and share everything from training courses to micro learning content. Managers get the tools they need to assign learning and track the completion of courses to help foster a learning culture.

Viva Topics enables employees to find an expert, understand company acronyms, or surface the content they need. It connects people to the knowledge, in the apps they use every day. Microsoft explains: “Think of Viva Topics as a Wikipedia with AI superpowers for your organization. It uses AI to automatically organize company-wide content and expertise into relevant categories like “projects”, “products”, “processes” and “customers”.

Microsoft Viva has been integrated with: Microsoft 365, Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and third-party products and services that will deliver a complete employee experience in the flow of work.

TechCrunch reported that Viva Insights is “to give managers insights into whether their team (but not individual team members) are at risk of burnout.” It also is to help company leaders “address complex challenges and respond to change by shedding light on organizational work patterns and trends.”

Personally, I think this sounds invasive. In my opinion, it sounds like a mean boss could use Viva Insights to punish an entire team for no reason other than the boss saw analytics that implied that at least one person on the team was less productive than the others.

Microsoft also pointed out that a new dashboard has been introduced for Microsoft Viva and LinkedIn’s Glint customers “that map insights about how people work to employee survey data about how people feel.” Part of the dashboard allows an organization to “leverage data from third-party tools like Zoom, Slack, workday, and SAP SuccessFactors”. It is unclear how Microsoft will prevent those third parties from grabbing employee data via Microsoft Viva.