Microsoft: higher revenue than expected, cloud growth steamed

Microsoft’s fourth-quarter revenue increased, beating analysts’ expectations. The software company increased revenue 13 percent year over year to $38 billion. Analysts had amed about 36.5 billion dollars. Microsoft has thus in the 17. We are confident that we will exceed expectations in the second quarter in succession.

Although much of the revenue reported in Microsoft’s annual report is due to its cloud business, the growth of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform slowed from 59 percent to 47 percent in three months. As a result, the share price fell by more than two percent at times in after-hours trading on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, it naited at 181.22 euros. Apparently, investors had expected higher increases given the increased use of cloud services triggered by increased home offices during the Corona pandemic, and have now been disappointed by the results.

Profits and losses

In the Office segment, Microsoft was able to increase its revenues year-on-year. There, sales of commercial products and cloud services rose by 5 percent, while sales of consumer products increased by 6 percent. In the consumer sector, Microsoft was able to increase the number of Office 365 users to 42.7 million subscribers. Likewise, the career network LinkedIn contributed positively to the overall revenue with an increase of 10 percent.

Microsoft flight simulator: valve denies problems with steam return policy

The full version of Microsoft Flight Simulator is now available in the Microsoft Store and on Valve’s Steam gaming platform – and is causing frustration among some players on the latter. Because the way it is installed apparently cancels out the Steam return policy for this title. The result: a mass of bad reviews.

Typically, game buyers via Steam have the option to return a game after up to two hours of play and receive the payment amount back. If you buy Flight Simulator via Steam, you first download the actual launcher via Steam, which is about 1 GByte in size. This launcher in turn loads the game data after the obligatory login with a Microsoft account. The problem: Steam considers the active launcher as game time – and the launcher has to download over 90 GByte of data before you can take off.

This was allowed to take over two hours for most players, which usually precluded refunds. In a statement to the game magazine PCGamer Valve writes that the problem is known. Therefore, the time needed to download the game files will not be counted towards the time limit for the right of return.

Machine learning: github launches test flights with ai co-pilots for programming

GitHub has launched a technical preview of machine learning (ML) assistant Copilot. The operators of the version management platform refer to it as "AI Pair Programmer": Like pair programming, the virtual assistant is supposed to give suggestions on how to improve or replace the source code.

The system is based on OpenAI Codex, an AI system designed to convert natural language into source code. OpenAI is behind the Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) language model. GitHub parent Microsoft had invested $1 billion in the company in 2019, which switched from a non-profit business to a capped-profit model two years ago.

copilot when coding

Microsoft uses GPT-3 since May for the low-code platform Power Fx, in order to translate requirements formulated in natural language into Power Fx syntax. OpenAI Codex, in contrast to GPT-3, is specifically designed for code generation. Thus, a large part of the training data for the ML model consists of public source code. This puts Codex in competition with the ML-based code completion tool Tabnine.

Logitech introduces new video conferencing systems

Logitech expands its portfolio of video conferencing systems with three more devices: Rally Bar, Rally Bar Mini and Logitech RoomMate. After laptops, headsets and video cameras boomed in the first wave of mobile working, videoconferencing vendors are now seeing a growing market. This is due to the fact that in the vast majority of meetings, when employees return to the office, they also want to be connected to the meeting when they are elsewhere.

Logitech introduces new video conferencing systems

Rally Bar is designed for rooms of medium coarseness and will be released at the end of the quarter

A flat screen then hangs on the wall in the conference room, with a video bar with camera, speakers, and microphones below it. The first product in Logitech’s new portfolio to be released in the first quarter is Rally Bar. The special thing is the combination of two cameras. Left of center is a wide-angle camera that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to recognize the shape of people and control the orientation and zoom level of the main camera in the center.

Microsoft employees demand waiver of cooperation with u.s. Police

Microsoft employees have urged company CEO Satya Nadella that Microsoft should stop cooperating with U.S. law enforcement agencies, primarily the one in Seattle, in the future. Microsoft should also support a petition for the resignation of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and back demands for demilitarization and police budget cuts. More than 250 employees had expressed solidarity with the mail sent to Nadella on Monday, reports the blog One Zero.

"Our neighborhood has turned into a war zone"

The background is the nationwide protests that flared up in the USA after the black American George Floyd was killed in a violent arrest. Previously, a police officer had been kneeling on his back and neck for several minutes. Police are cracking down on some of the protests – which the Mail describes with the words "Our neighborhood has turned into a war zone".

In the email, published in full by Onezero, the author or authors let slip that they live in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, apparently shaken by increasingly violent protests. According to the mail, helicopter flights, gunfire and police operations with tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades were almost the order of the day, and some Microsoft employees were also affected.

Court decision raises facebook's stock value above one trillion dollars's stock value above one billion dollars

Facebook has become the seventh company to reach a stock market value of more than one trillion dollars. In late trading on Monday (New York time), the share price jumped sharply and exited the trading session with a gain of 4.2 percent. The closing price of 355.64 dollars meant a total value of 1.01 trillion.

The reason for the jump in the share price was that two U.S. competition lawsuits against Facebook were rejected on Monday. Gives investors confidence that Facebook won’t be broken up in the foreseeable future. Lowered risk apparently led to more buy orders for Facebook stock.

US states have watched too long

The lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the one hand, and almost all U.S. states on the other. They accuse Facebook of unlawfully hindering competition for years. Facebook bought Instagram and WhatsApp because they threatened Facebook’s dominance. In addition, Facebook has abused its supremacy to restrict other online services.

Interior ministry wants to reduce dependence on microsoft

The Federal Ministry of the Interior wants to reduce dependence on individual software providers. It has made use of a "strategic market analysis to reduce dependency on individual software vendors" a spokesman for the ministry explained that it had identified areas for improvement.

He was responding to a question from our site about the demands of the Open Source Business Alliance (OSBA). The latter had suggested last week that "alternatives be explored and a strategy developed that does not increase the administration’s dependence on Microsoft, which has already been identified as a pain point".

The Ministry of the Interior responded that the federal government and the federal states have been "strategy for strengthening the digital sovereignty of public administration IT" Identify and implement solutions and measures. These include the German administration cloud and the planned establishment of a center for digital sovereignty. This is intended to reduce dependencies on software suppliers.

Blazor-5.0 crash course: single-page web apps with .net and c# development

The workshop on Microsoft’s still young web framework Blazor, which will be held on 7. December as part of the betterCode() online conference .NET 5.0 is now sold out. Therefore a further date is now offered on 15. January, for which interested parties can register now.

With Blazor, developers from the field of .NET and C# can now program true single-page web applications that run either on the server or on the basis of the WebAssembly VM in any modern browser. WebAssembly does not normally have access to the browser’s DOM. Microsoft has broken this barrier with Blazor. However, some JavaScript is still required in some places.

Topics and concept of the workshop

Speaker of the workshop is Holger Schwichtenberg, among others also blogger on heise Developer. He will present a practical scenario (task management "MiracleList") he offers a compact introduction to SPA programming with Blazor. The most recent version – Blazor 5.0 – will be covered.