Microsoft had a busy week this week, as a number of eagerly anticipated products and services were announced as available or coming shortly, while the firm also made a key acquisition and reached another milestone with Windows 10.
The Windows 10 news concerns the number of active devices hitting 300 million worldwide, while Microsoft also warned that a free upgrade offer for users of older versions of Windows will soon expire.
Microsoft also sparked controversy with a change to Windows 10 Pro that removes the ability for IT admins to block user access to the Windows Store and thus prevent them from installing apps.
Microsoft went on the acquisition trail with IoT services firm Solair, while SharePoint Server 2016 was delivered to customers, SQL Server 2016 was disclosed to be coming next month, and the firm delivered a preview of its PowerApps technology that lets non-expert users create business apps.
Windows 10 hits 300 million active users as upgrade deadline nears
Microsoft claims that the latest figures for Windows 10 indicate that it is now being used on 300 million active devices worldwide. Meanwhile, the deadline for users to claim a free upgrade is approaching, as the platform nears the first anniversary of its launch.
Microsoft no longer lets administrators block user access to the Windows Store from Windows 10 Pro
Microsoft has changed the policy that enabled IT departments to stop users accessing the Windows Store and installing apps in Windows 10 Pro, a version of the platform widely used by businesses.
Microsoft acquires Solair to help drive its Internet of Things strategy
Microsoft is continuing to ramp up its activity in the Internet of Things (IoT) arena with the acquisition of an Italian firm specialising in IoT services across a number of industries, a move that will complement the software giant's existing tools and capabilities in this growing sector.
Microsoft delivers SharePoint Server 2016 and talks up roadmap for the collaboration platform
Microsoft has finally declared general availability of SharePoint Server 2016, the on-premise version of its platform for collaboration, file sharing and content management, bringing with it a number of improvements including more hybrid support that enables customers to tap into the capabilities being delivered in cloud services such as Office 365.
Microsoft to release SQL Server 2016 on 1 June
Microsoft's next-generation database platform is set for general availability on 1 June, the firm has disclosed, bringing greater performance for business-critical applications as well as new capabilities for analytics, business intelligence and closer integration with Microsoft's cloud services.
Microsoft offers public preview of PowerApps for building business applications
Microsoft has opened up a public preview of its PowerApps service that is aimed at helping non-programmers to quickly and easily build simple business applications for specific needs. At the same time, the firm detailed a new tool for automating workflows called Microsoft Flow.
Microsoft's OS dominance drops to below 90 per cent
Microsoft's grip on the operating systems market has weakened, with its share dropping to below 90 per cent, with Apple's Mac OS X seizing nearly 10 per cent of the market.
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