This week was a busy one for Microsoft, with new products and services hitting release and changes being delivered to improve IT services for customers.
Big in the news this week was Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, which is now offering Apache Spark support in the Azure HDInsight service for big data analytics, while the firm detailed how the Azure SQL Database service is being tweaked for better performance. Microsoft also released a FreeBSD virtual machine image for building virtual appliances on Azure.
Meanwhile, Microsoft delivered another Insider Preview for the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update, adding support for Hyper-V Containers.
Also coming in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is extended control over the Edge browser for systems administrators, while Microsoft is open sourcing part of the Edge browser's WebGL rendering technology.
Microsoft officially rolls out Apache Spark on Azure HDInsight cloud service
Microsoft has announced general availability of Apache Spark support for the Azure HDInsight cloud-hosted service for big data analytics, bringing the advantages of the Spark platform for in-memory processing of data to better support real-time analysis.
Microsoft to boost Azure SQL Database performance with compatibility level changes
Microsoft has given notice that it will change the compatibility level used by the Azure SQL Database cloud service. The move will bring it in line with SQL Server 2016, and deliver higher performance for newly created databases, but developers need to be mindful of the change, the firm warned.
Microsoft unveils FreeBSD build for virtual appliances among Azure updates
Microsoft has announced updates to the Azure cloud computing platform, including the availability of a virtual machine using its own build of the FreeBSD operating system to support developers building virtual appliances to run on Azure.
Microsoft adds Docker support with Hyper-V Containers in Windows 10 Preview Build 14361
Microsoft has released the latest preview build for the forthcoming Anniversary Update of Windows 10, delivering the usual clutch of bug fixes and new features, including support for Hyper-V Containers.
Microsoft details zero downtime upgrades for server clusters with Windows Server 2016
Microsoft's Windows Server 2016 will introduce the ability for customers to upgrade Windows Server 2012 R2 clusters to the new version without taking the cluster offline and without the need for a second cluster to take over while the upgrade proceeds.
Microsoft to extend Edge management features in Windows 10 Anniversary Update
Microsoft is to provide enterprise customers with new management capabilities for the Edge browser in Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update release of the platform coming this summer.
Microsoft releases transcompiler for WebGL in Edge browser
Microsoft has released as open source a component of the WebGL renderer in the Edge browser in another example of how the firm is gradually embracing the open source world.
Microsoft partners with Lookout to boost mobile security offerings
Security company Lookout has partnered with Microsoft to integrate its Mobile Threat Protection service into the software firm's Enterprise Mobile Suite.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago