Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
Microsoft announces more Azure tools and infrastructure improvements at Inspire
by Florin Bodnarescu
Today during its Inspire digital event, Microsoft unveiled a slew of news about not only Dynamics 365, the Power Platform, and Teams, but also infrastructure and tools enhancements for its cloud platform. For easier browsing, we’ll separate the news in this post by availability, rather than by the specific type of Azure service offered.
Solutions now generally available
To begin with, it’s worth highlighting the fact that a number of updates to networking and Azure Migrate have now reached the GA phase. Among them are advanced specializations, training, and PowerShell support for Azure Migrate, as well as the ability to import and create assessments via uploaded Configuration Management Database data inside the same offering.
Although already unveiled a few days ago, Azure shared disks and Disk Storage have now been made generally available, along with some improvements to Azure Private Link, the extension of single-instance VM SLA to all disk types, support for and much more.
Also GA is Microsoft’s supported distribution of Apache Hadoop, which is fully open source and compatible with the latest version of Hadoop. Thanks to this new version, you’ll be able to provision a new HDInsight cluster based on Apache code built and fully supported by the Redmond giant. Existing customers will be migrated automatically to this new supported distribution.
Rounding off this section is HashiCorp, whose HasiCorp Consul Service (HCS) on Azure is set to be made available via the Azure Marketplace on July 23 in multiple regions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. It’s been in private beta since September of 2019.
This particular service allows folks to provision HashiCorp-managed Consul clusters directly via the Azure dashboard. Service discovery, segmentation and mesh across VMs, hybrid, on-premises, and Kubernetes environments is also possible, with operational burden being placed on HashiCorp’s experts rather than the customer.
Solutions available in preview
By far the biggest announcement from Inspire in regards to available previews is the next-generation of Azure Stack HCI (hyperconverged infrastructure).
Being an Azure service, it allows users to manage Stack HCI and other Azure resources side-by-side from the Azure portal, as well as view and manage VMs running on Stack HCI via Azure Arc, a service announced during Ignite 2019 and enhanced earlier this year during Build. Needless to say, the deep integration with other services from Microsoft’s cloud like Backup, Security Center, and Azure Monitor further enhance this offering. According to Microsoft, due to its “flexible per core subscription model”, the savings are rather noticeable:
Azure Stack HCI includes Extended Security Updates for Server 2008 VMs running on it at no additional cost, as well as new features like Stretch Cluster which gives “native high-availability and disaster recovery” to extend clusters from a single site to multiple ones with ease.
Beyond the service itself, which can be used across various environments, there’s also an integrated systems option available to purchase from various partners, among which Intel and Lenovo – who’s bringing Azure Stack HCI to the ThinkAgile MX1021 edge server platform, to name but one. Azure Stack HCI can be run on existing hardware as well, if it matches Microsoft’s validated node solution.
Staying on the subject of cloud services, last access for Blob Storage is now in public preview, enabling folks to see how often and when the data is accessed. On a related note, Blob Storage now supports Network File System (NFS) 3.0 for read-heavy data workloads, also in public preview.
For the aforementioned Azure Migrate, VMware Solutions assessments and app compatibility support is now in public preview as well.
Last but not least, there’s a preview of Azure Data Factory Managed Virtual Network (VNet) support, which allows users to secure the connection between Data Factory and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) data stores in Azure. This is done through a private connection via Azure Private Link.
By Rich Woods
HTC is back with its first 5G phone, the U20
by Rich Woods
HTC isn't much of a global name in smartphone sales anymore, with its last global flagship phone arriving in 2018. The company is introducing two new phones today though, the U20 5G and the Desire 20 Pro.
The U20 is HTC's first 5G smartphone, packing Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 765G chipset for high-end performance, along with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage. It comes with a 6.8-inch FHD display with a hole-punch cut-out. As for the camera, there's a 48MP main sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro lens. The front camera is 32MP.
And then there's the Desire 20 Pro, as spotted by Android Central. The screen is still FHD+, although it's a bit smaller at 6.5 inches, and it's powered by a Snapdragon 665 instead of the 765. Along with a 3.5mm audio jack, it also packs a 5,000mAh battery and 18W fast charging.
Unfortunately for HTC fans, these devices are only arriving in Taiwan. The U20 is coming on July 1 for NT$18,990 and the Desire 20 Pro is coming on June 18 for NT$8,990.
HTC could launch a 5G flagship phone in July
by Rajesh Pandey
Remember HTC? The company that was once known for its premium flagship Android devices with excellent build quality? It has largely gone into oblivion as its smartphone business has struggled over the last few years to launch a competitive product. The Taiwanese smartphone maker still has not given up on its smartphone business though and it now plans to release a flagship smartphone with 5G connectivity no less in a couple of months from now. The company's last flagship launch was the U12+ in May 2018.
The device will be based on the Snapdragon 865 mobile platform and launch in July. As per the report, the upcoming 5G HTC flagship would feature a design similar to the company's last flagship, the U12+, though it would be updated to reduce the bezels around the display. Other details and specs of HTC's next flagship are unclear as of now.
The report also claims that before HTC's new flagship launch in July, the company will announce a 4G Desire mid-range handset in June. The device would be powered by a Snapdragon 6xx chip from Qualcomm. It is possible that both these products from HTC would only launch in China, though again there's no clarity on that as of now. Given the current economic scenario, HTC's mid-range phone has a higher chance of doing well provided it has the right mix of specs and features.
Are you looking forward to a new flagship smartphone launch from HTC?
By Jay Bonggolto
HTC to launch standalone Cosmos Elite headset and External Tracking Faceplate in April
by Jay Bonggolto
HTC announced today that it will begin selling the standalone Vive Cosmos Elite head-mounted display in April along with a pre-installed External Tracking Faceplate. There's also a standalone version of the faceplate as well.
The Vive Cosmos Elite started rolling out to consumers earlier this month for $899, featuring 2880 x 1700 of combined pixel resolution. The headset-only package will retail for $549 along with a redemption code for Half-Life: Alyx and six months' worth of free Viveport Infinity, both of which are also available for the $199 standalone faceplate.
The HMD's flip-up headset design allows you to switch between reality and virtual settings. The Vive Cosmos Elite and the External Tracking Faceplate also support Vive’s peripherals including its wireless adapter and the Vive Tracker. Both the standalone Cosmos Elite headset and faceplate will be available beginning next month, with shipping dates varying by region.
Cosmos Elite Headset availability:
China and Taiwan - April 16 EU and the UK - April 27 U.S. and Canada - May 1 Australia, Korea, and New Zealand - May Saudi Arabi and the UAE - May 18 Japan - To be announced External Tracking Faceplate availability:
Korea and Taiwan - Late April U.S. and Canada - May 1 EU and the UKUK - May 15 Australia - May Middle East - June 10 Japan - To be announced The faceplate is compatible with base station versions 1.0 or 2.0 as well as the original Vive or Vive Pro controllers. You can also swap it with the original inside-out tracking faceplate that ships with Vive Cosmos.
ProtonMail to come pre-loaded on HTC Exodus and Exodus 1s
by Paul Hill
ProtonMail has announced that it is working with HTC to pre-load its email client on the HTC Exodus and Exodus 1s going forward. The Exodus devices, which are aimed at privacy-conscious customers, will now provide easy access to ProtonMail’s encrypted email services. Proton Technologies said the move is part of its “growing investment in protecting democracy in Asia.”
Commenting on the partnership between ProtonMail and the Taiwanese firm, Founder and CEO of ProtonMail, Andy Yen, said:
While anyone can download ProtonMail from the Google Play Store, the Exodus devices give casual users easy access to privacy-enhancing tools. By shipping with ProtonMail, less technical users that may never have heard of the service will be introduced to it for the first time; this will boost their privacy if they choose to use the service. ProtonMail will also gain new users and perhaps new premium subscribers.
It’s unclear if existing devices will get the ProtonMail app after this announcement but those buying the devices new will have it pre-installed. You can find out more information about HTC’s Exodus devices online.