How Microsoft can save itself in the mobile world

Once upon a time, Microsoft encountered a foe in the PC market. What it did then is what it should do now in the mobile market.

Microsoft continues to pursue its fatal attraction to proprietary mobile devices, much like Michael Douglas pursued Glen Close in the 1987 movie Fatal Attraction.

Its earnings announcement last night exceeded analysts’ expectations, and seem to suggest that Microsoft doesn’t need to own the endpoint to thrive. But Microsoft’s odds of outflanking Apple and Google are slim.

With so many positive developments in Microsoft’s core businesses, what can possibly be gained from a small, tenuous share of the smartphone market at the risk of Nokia entering a BlackBerry-like downward spiral?

Though Nokia’s $7 billion acquisition cost is small relative to Microsoft’s wealth, competition with Apple and Google in the smartphone market confuses consumers, and likely confuses Microsoft. Microsoft should take a lesson from itself and accommodate Android and iOS in the same way it once accommodated Apple’s Mac in the PC market. It extended Office and Outlook to the Mac platform and made a great margin on every Mac that shipped to customers who needed document interoperability and email with Microsoft’s enormous base.

Nokia’s performance last quarter was dismal. Radio Free Mobile predicted smartphone revenues to grow by 12% in this last quarter. In comparison Nokia revenue declined by 2%.

Radio Free Mobile’s Richard Windsor noted four main problems described in Microsoft’s earning’s announcement.

“Android is getting better at the cheaper price points, making the Lumia 520 not such great value at $135. Low-end Lumia needs to be refreshed to re-extend the gap to Android.

“Microsoft continues to make a total mess of telling users why they should buy a Lumia device, meaning that there is very little pull for the ecosystem from the handset end.

“The app store is still woefully inadequate when compared to iOS and Android and this is a major turn off for prospective buyers of the devices.

“The change in ownership may have distracted the business from pushing the devices to the best of its ability. I am hopeful that this quarter will see this fix.”

Windsor also noted the truly bright side of Microsoft’s performance:

“Microsoft reported excellent results and guidance, confounding the PC skeptics.”

Revenues and earnings exceeded analysts’ expectations thanks to Microsoft’s strong performance in enterprise, cloud and even consumer segments. Xbox and Microsoft Office shipments were both strong, for example.

Windsor expects a rebound in the PC market due to the end of life and support for Windows XP. Corporations have limited alternatives to remaining on XP. Though locked down, proprietary configurations of XP images may prevail for some time within a well-defended enterprise perimeter, without security available after April of this year, this strategy is a ticking time bomb beyond the short-term transition to Windows 7.

The Nokia business will never produce great margins. If small initial margins were the price for dominating the world’s pockets with Nokia smartphones the way Microsoft once dominated the desktop, the endeavor would be worth it for Microsoft. It is hard to imagine a scenario where that will happen, though.

However, Microsoft could create its own bright mobile future if it would just follow what it learned with the Mac and extended all of its core businesses to integrate seamlessly with iOS.

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Amazon posted 16,100 IT jobs last year, tops in U.S.

Service firms, tech vendors and Best Buy also among top posters of U.S. IT job ads

The employer with the most IT job postings last year was, with 16,146 ads, exceeding most other IT firms by a wide margin, according to a new report.

The three top runners-up in 2013 U.S. job postings were Accenture, at 14,240 and Deloitte, at 13,077 job ads, according to CompTIA’s annual IT Industry Outlook report.

Accenture, recently hired by the U.S. government to be the new lead contractor for the troubled web site, and Deloitte, are IT services firms. Amazon recently won a contract with the CIA to develop a compute cloud. It has been hiring IT staff with security clearances.

CompTIA based the report on data from Burning Glass Technologies in Boston, which analyzes online job postings from approximately 32,000 jobs sites.

Microsoft had the fourth most IT job postings at 12,435, followed by Best Buy with 10,725 job ads, and IBM at 10,221, according to CompTIA, a trade association that also runs a professional certification program.

Best Buy’s IT hiring may be due to its computer user support and Geek Squad operation, said Matthew Sigelman, the CEO of Burning Glass.

Sigelman said Best Buy’s hiring also represents the growing importance of “middle skill” IT jobs, or those that don’t necessarily require a bachelor’s degree. Last year, Burning Glass saw about 200,000 job ads in IT that did not require a bachelor’s degree, he said.

“For those who don’t have a corporate help desk to turn to, in many cases they are turning to Best Buy and Staples,” said Sigelman.

Burning Glass de-duplicates the job postings, and then uses text analytics to read each job posting and mine out the particular skills employers are looking for, including educational credentials, and certifications, said Dan Restuccia, the firm’s director of applied research and communications.

Rounding out the top 10 in CompTIA’s listings are General Dynamics, 9,705; Science Applications International Corp., 7,146; Lockheed Martin, 6,995; Hewlett-Packard, 6,923.

Both HP and IBM have been laying off employees as well as hiring.

CompTIA warns that not all the posting lead to new hires, and companies may hire internally, outsource the work, postpone the hire or withdraw the job postings.

Using online job postings to assess what’s going on is something The Conference Board does as well, although its monthly report tracks hiring across all industries. The Conference Board recently reported that advertised vacancies were up 125,600 in December to 5.3 million, but government labor data said the economy only added 74,000 jobs in December.

In its forecast for the year ahead, CompTIA predicts a worldwide IT industry hiring growth rate of 3.4% with upside potential of 5.9%. Its survey found that mid-sized IT firms will be more aggressive in hiring for both technical and non-technical positions.



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Microsoft will furnish malware assassin to XP users until mid-2015

Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) to scrub infected XP PCs for more than a year after Microsoft ends patches

Microsoft confirmed on Friday that it will continue to offer its malware scrubbing program to Windows XP users for more than a year after it stops patching the operating system.

“Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool is aligned with the company’s anti-malware engines and signatures, and as such the removal tool will continue to be provided for Windows XP through July 14, 2015,” a company spokesperson wrote in an email reply to questions.

The Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) is updated monthly as Microsoft targets specific major malware families it believes are the biggest threats at the time. It’s distributed through Microsoft’s Windows Update service and the business-grade Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) on “Patch Tuesday,” the date each month when the company ships security patches and other fixes to customers. The MSRT automatically installs and then runs in a seek-and-destroy mission.

Users can also manually download the MSRT from Microsoft’s website.

MSRT is not an antivirus program, but rather a cleanup utility designed to eradicate malware that has already wormed onto a Windows PC. The tool was first released in 2005.

The extension of MSRT’s availability for Windows XP was part of Microsoft’s decision last Wednesday to offer new anti-malware signatures to XP customers who run the company’s free Security Essentials antivirus (AV) software.

Originally, Microsoft had said it would stop shipping Security Essentials’ signature updates to XP PCs after April 8. But in a tacit nod to XP’s widespread use, Microsoft postponed the cut-off until July 14, 2015.

Microsoft will ship its final public security patches for Windows XP in less than three months, ending nearly 13 years of support for the ultra-successful OS.

Microsoft did not reply Saturday to follow-up questions asking what channels it will use to distribute the malware eraser between April 8, 2014, and July 14, 2015.

If Microsoft continued to deliver the MSRT via Windows Update, the tool would be a valuable weapon in containing infections on Windows XP PCs.

Say a new malware family popped up, or an older one began infecting large numbers of Windows PCs, including those still running XP. Microsoft would be able to revise MSRT so it targets the new or suddenly aggressive malware for detection and deletion, and automatically put it on XP systems. Not only would that keep the remaining XP owners safer, but it would also reduce the number of compromised computers that could in turn be used by hackers to infect machines running the still-supported Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems.

The impact of the MSRT extension would be more muted if Microsoft required users to download the tool themselves. Even so, MSRT is a very popular download — currently No. 2 on the company’s Download Center — indicating that large numbers of customers seek it out.

Although Microsoft has been urging customers to drop XP before the April 8 deadline for a new OS or PC, millions of machines worldwide will continue to run the aged OS for months and maybe even years to come.

According to metrics company Net Applications, Windows XP’s user share — the percentage of all personal computer owners who went online with that OS — stood at 29% at the end of December 2014. Computerworld has forecast that at least 25% of all personal computers will be running the operating system at the end of April, and about 20% at the end of this year.

Those numbers were at the root of Microsoft’s recent moves to help out XP users: While the company has remained adamant that bug patches will be discontinued after April 8, some cracks in its “Death to XP” policy have appeared, including the continued availability of Security Essentials’ signatures and the lifespan extension for the MSRT.

The explanation: Microsoft has decided it best for all concerned — including itself and its reputation — that it throw some security bones, if only small ones, to those who can’t or won’t upgrade from XP.

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Microsoft extends malware protection to XP foot-draggers

Even after support for XP ends in April anti-malware updates will continue for more than a year

Microsoft ends support for Windows XP in April, but it will keep updating anti-malware software for the operating system for more than a year afterwards.

Malware signature updates for System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune – all used by businesses – will continue through July 14, 2015, the company’s Malware Protection Center blog says. Updates for the consumer product Security Essentials will also be extended.

The added support is meant to help customers finish their expected switch from XP to a supported operating system. One of the dangers of staying with XP after support ends is that any vulnerabilities discovered after April 8 won’t be patched.

Microsoft says the anti-malware protection isn’t as effective as patches and running an operating system that is more secure to begin with and then applying patches as soon as they become available.

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70-485 Advanced Metro style App Development using C#

You have been instructed to satisfy the uploading and downloading prerequisites as per the
business prerequisites.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should consider accessing the web.config file.
B. You should consider accessing the app.config file.
C. You should consider accessing the App.xaml file.
D. You should consider accessing the Package.appxmanifest file.

Answer: D


You are required to make sure that media and other content files are allowed to be downloaded as
per the prerequisites. You are planning to add code to the existing App.xaml.cs file.
Which of the following is the interface that should be used?

A. The IReadOnlyCollection<T> interface.
B. The IReadOnlyList<T> interface.
C. The ICollection<T> interface.
D. The IList<T> interface.

Answer: B


You have been instructed to satisfy the prerequisites with regards to the app uploading media and
files to the media manager service.
Which of the following is a method that should be included in the code?

A. The PickMultipleFilesAsync method.
B. The PickFilesSync method.
C. The PickMultipleFilesSync method.
D. The PickSingleFilesAsync method.

Answer: C


You have been tasked with making sure that the picture viewer page is applied in such a way that
the business prerequisites are satisfied.
You are preparing to write the necessary code.
Which of the following classes should be included in the code? (Choose all that apply.)

A. The ItemsWrapGrid class.
B. The GridViewItem class.
C. The GridView class.
D. The WrapGrid class.

Answer: C,D


You have been tasked with making sure that file download requirements supported according to
the prerequisites. You need to specify a task type property in the app manifest.
Which of the following is the tab in the app manifest that you should access?

A. The Application UI tab.
B. The Capabilities tab.
C. The Declarations tab.
D. The Packaging tab.

Answer: C


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Microsoft to buy Parature to bulk up Dynamics CRM

Purchase brings self-service technology

Businesses customers of Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM will be able to offer their customers more self-service options, at least that’s the idea behind the company’s plan to buy up Parature, which specializes in cloud-based customer engagement.

Microsoft says it has reached a definitive agreement to buy the company for an undisclosed amount in order to boost customers’ ability to find answers to their questions without having to contact customer-service reps. Parature software also gives customers a range of options for reaching service reps when necessary.

+[Also on Network World – What’s Microsoft going to look like after Ballmer? | 13 FREE! Windows 8.1 apps to make you more productive +

Bob Stutz, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Dynamics CRM says in a blog that the deal marks a significant milestone for his organization by expanding options for delivering customer care.

Parature cloud services include self-service customer care Web portals, access via Facebook, mobile customer care, live chat, and a strong knowledge base, Stutz says.

Parature customers include, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and IBM.

After the deal goes through Microsoft says it will continue selling Parature products and services and support all Parature customers.
Dynamics CRM competes against and Oracle.

Over the past year or so Microsoft has made two other purchases to enhance features of Dynamics CRM, MarketingPilot for automating marketing campaigns and Netbreeze for social-media sentiment analysis.

Earlier Microsoft bought Yammer and Skype, both of which have added new features to Dynamics CRM.

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70-492 Upgrade your MCPD: Web Developer 4 to MCSD: Web Applications

You have received instructions to make sure that the Views\CyclingLog\_CalculateSpeed.cshtml
partial view, from the Views\Cyclelog \GetLog.cshtml, is configured to show the cyclist’s average
speed per kilometer.
You need to write the necessary code to apply the view.
Which of the following is a method that should be included in your code?

A. The DisplayFor method.
B. The ExhibitFor method.
C. The PresentFor method.
D. The ConcealFor method.

Answer: A


You have been instructed to meet the business requirements with regards to security.
You are required to make changes to the CyclingLogController.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should consider adding code to assign users the Administrator role.
B. You should consider adding code to assign users the Advanced Operator role.
C. You should consider adding code to assign users the Author role.
D. You should consider adding code to assign users the Report Security Administrator role.

Answer: A


You have been instructed to insert a line of code into your existing code that allows for the
“Distance” header of the table to be displayed in bold in the Views/CyclingLog/GetLog.cshtml
Which of the following should be included in the line of code?

A. You should consider including the :first-child pseudo-class.
B. You should consider including the :last-child pseudo-class.
C. You should consider including the :nth-child pseudo-class.
D. You should consider including the :nth-last-child(n) pseudo-class.

Answer: C


You have been asked to make sure that the edit action of RunLogController is extended.
You start by writing the following lines of code:
[ActionName (“Editlog”)]
You are required to make use of a specific attribute next.
Which of the following is the attribute in question?

A. The [ValueProviderCollection] attribute.
B. The [ValidateInput] attribute.
C. The [ValidateAntiForgeryToken] attribute.
D. The [ValidatableObjectAdapter] attribute.

Answer: C


You have been tasked with making sure that the application is configured to make use of a custom
role provider, named CyclingLogRoleProvider.
Which of the following actions should you take?

A. You should consider making changes to the machine.config file.
B. You should consider making changes to the app.config file.
C. You should consider making changes to the web.config file.
D. You should consider making changes to the client.config file.

Answer: C


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Windows 8 Update: As Windows XP wanes, Windows 8 scoops up users

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 laptops get faster

Windows 8/8.1 has topped 10% market share for the first time, apparently picking up a few users from among those who are finally leaving Windows XP behind.

According to Web analytics firm NetMarkeshare, users of all versions of Windows 8 amounted to 10.49% of Internet users for the month of December, up from 9.25% in December. This as users of Windows XP have dipped from 31.22% to 28.98%.

+Also on Network World: 7 things on Microsoft’s 2014 to-do list | China prefers to stick with dying Windows XP rather than upgrade | 10 reasons to take a Chromebook on the road +

While the showing for Windows 8/8.1 is a milestone, it is also part of a gradual trend. Since last February, use of the operating system has risen 7.82 percentage points while XP has dropped 10.01. Windows 7 use has moved up 2.97 points over the same period, so it seems most of those abandoning XP have moved to Windows 7 or 8/8.1.

Over the same period, Windows Vista dipped 1.56 points.

NetMarketshare’s data is gathered from the browsers of visitors to its customers’ 40,000-plus Web sites worldwide. The firm breaks down the sites as 46% commercial, 18% corporate, 10% content and 29% other, including government, search engine marketers and .org groups. Seventy six percent participate in pay per click programs to drive traffic to their sites, the company says.

Surface Pro 2 upgrade
Surface Pro 2

While it’s not an official hardware overhaul, customers who buy Microsoft Surface Pro 2 laptops now will get faster machines than those who bought them last month.

That’s because the Windows 8 devices are being built with a better CPU than the earlier versions, according to a report by WinBeta. The newer Surface Pro 2s have Intel i5 4300U (1.9Ghz) CPUs vs the older versions that had i5 4200U (1.6Ghz) processors.

Here’s how Microsoft explained the changes to WinBeta: “Microsoft routinely makes small changes to internal components over the lifetime of a product, based on numerous factors including supply chain partnerships, availability, and value for our customers. With any change to hardware or software, we work to ensure that the product experience remains excellent.”

Chromebooks rule on reports disheartening holiday sales from a Windows 8 perspective: Chromebooks are outselling the best-selling Windows 8 laptops.

According to the site’s Best Sellers, two Chromebooks – Acer C720 and Samsung Chromebook – are ranked No. 1 and 2 with two Windows 8 devices – Asus Transformer Book T100TA-C1-G and Asus X200CA-HCL1104G – coming in third and fourth.
Price seems to be a factor. The Chromebooks sell for $199 and $179, respectively, while the Windows devices go for $448 and $298.
Another blow to Windows 8: Toshiba’s Satellite C55-A5245 came in fifth – equipped with Windows 7.

Surface 2 BitLocker woes

Microsoft is promising a Jan. 14 solution to a Surface 2 software problem that has the device demanding the BitLocker recovery key when it boots up.


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How to get a job in healthcare IT

How to get a job in healthcare IT
Electronic records. Digital and wireless medical devices. Healthcare reform. Aging population. All signs point to healthcare as a stable, long-term choice for IT careers.

Looking for an industry with long-term stability for your IT career? There’s probably no safer bet than healthcare. Redwood City, Calif.-based recruiting firm Robert Half Technology tracked the top five fastest-growing industries in the United States in nine separate regions in 2012; in seven of the nine regions, healthcare ranked first or second, and it was third in the other two regions. And in four of those regions, the associated industry of medical technology showed up as well.

Likewise, in its 2012 survey, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives reported that average salaries for senior healthcare IT positions ranged from $128,193 for directors of IS or IT up to $310,326 for CIOs. (According to, the comparative average salary across all IT verticals is higher for a director of IT but lower for a CIO.)

And current rates are trending in the $400,000 range for chief medical information officers, executives who combine both medical and informatics degrees, according to medical executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, based in Oak Brook, Ill.

If those quantitative measures aren’t enough for you, consider the qualitative evidence. Healthcare, perhaps more than any other industry, is beset by change — with a lot of mandated by new laws and regulations that can only efficiently be implemented through technology. Add to that the increasing use of electronic medical records (EMRs), digital and wireless medical devices and a bulge in the aging population, and healthcare’s viability as a career couldn’t be clearer.


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74-324 Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses

You work as a Network Administrator for a company named The company has a single
Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain and has 4000 employees. Each employee has
a desktop or portable laptop computer running Windows 7 Professional.
You are planning to implement Office 365 in a hybrid deployment. Some of the employees will
need to access the services in Office 365 from outside the corporate network including from smart
phones and home computers.
You want to configure single sign-on for all Office 365 users.
You need to minimize the number of servers in the Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS)
infrastructure for the planned deployment whilst ensuring that single sign-on will continue to
function in the event of a single server failure.
How many dedicated AD FS servers should you configure? (Choose two)

A. One federation server.
B. Two federation servers.
C. Three federation servers.
D. Four federation servers.
E. One federation server proxy.
F. Two federation server proxies.
G. Three federation server proxies.
H. Four federation server proxies.

Answer: B,F


Your role of Desktop Support Technician at includes the maintenance and management
of the company’s client computers.
The client computers have various operating system and Microsoft Office configurations. The
configurations are listed in the following table.

The company plans to deploy Office 365.
Which of the client computer configurations meet the minimum requirements for Office 365?
(Choose all that apply)

A. Configuration 1
B. Configuration 2
C. Configuration 3
D. Configuration 4
E. Configuration 5
F. Configuration 6
G. Configuration 7

Answer: D,F,G


You work for a company named Your role of Systems Administrator includes the
management of the company’s Office 365 subscription.
You assign a user named Mia the Password Administrator role in Office 365.
Which of the following statements are true? (Choose all that apply).

A. Mia is automatically assigned to the Recipient Management role group in Exchange Online.
B. Mia is automatically assigned to the Help Desk role group in Exchange Online.
C. Mia can reset the password of a User Management Administrator account.
D. Mia can modify the accounts of Global Administrators.
E. Mia is automatically assigned to the View-Only Organization Management role group in
Exchange Online.

Answer: B,E


You work for a company named Your role of Systems Administrator includes the
management of the company’s Office 365 subscription.
You want to provision a user account in Office 365 and assign an Office 365 license during the
provisioning process.
How can you provision the account?

A. By running the New MsolUser PowerShell cmdlet.
B. By running the Set-MsolUser PowerShell cmdlet.
C. By running the Add-MsolGroupMember PowerShell cmdlet.
D. By running the New-MsolServicePrincipal PowerShell cmdlet.

Answer: A


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