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Evolution of Datacenters – Secure, Scalable and Reliable Cloud Services

I often get asked how Microsoft provides over 200 cloud services and what security measures are in place. There is a good video available that addresses how Microsoft delivers cloud services to more than a billion customers and 20 million businesses in over 70 countries. It is also a fascinating view onto the evolution of modern datacenters and their energy efficiency.

Here it goes:

Phone 7 update: not NoDo – DO

I was one of the lucky ones that got a message that the Phone 7 update was ready for me to be installed. This being the one that brings copy-past to my phone (often called NoDo update). Well – NoDo? I would recommend to DO it! The update went smoothly although took quite a while. The estimate at the beginning was about 23 minutes but ultimately, with backing up the phone and everything that Zune does, it was closer to 45 minutes. For the ones that get nervous during the update when they stare at the Zune screen that doesn’t have any progress indicator – no worries – the indicator is on the phone! And yes – it moves – but it moves slow. Very very slow.

So now I am one of the lucky ones that can cut and paste. No big deal you might think but it helps a lot if one uses the phone as a work tool as regularly as I do. That was one of the things that bothered me when I traded my iPhone with the Windows Phone 7 on my first day working at Microsoft. And I never really looked back. While there are still some features missing that would make it even better I am very happy about the underlaying (security) architecture and it doesn’t surprise me that the phone was left undefeated in a hacking competition (together with Android) while the iPhone and RIM were compromised. Looking at the roadmap of the phone we will see some very exciting things coming! Some of them were already announced like the multitasking and the IE9 integration and others are coming later so stay tuned. And with that Gartner might be not far off with their prognosis that by 2015 Windows Phone will have overtook iPhone and RIM and be the second most used phone OS behind Android.

One word for the people that are tempted to update the phone before the release is available for your phone. There are multiple reports on possibilities to force the update but the most common is probably the tool that Chris Walshie developed. The problem is – do you really know what is being installed on your phone? Pocket PC described the process that the tool is downloading a “compromised” file. Well do I want to trust that the compromised file is really not doing anything that it shouldn’t do? What code is landing on my phone that might circumvent some safety features? I am not saying Chris inserted something on purpose but how long will it take that these Chevron.WP7Updater files are easily downloaded from P2P networks and dubious websites and how certain are you that they only contain what they should contain? I for my part don’t want to find out and recommend to think about it, have some patience (I know – also not my strongest suit and I get the temptation very well) and run the update once it is pushed to your phone. In the meantime – check out the Windows Phone blog for more information.

About the Author

Reto is partner at PwC Switzerland. He is leading the Cybersecurity practice and is member of PwC Digital Services leadership Team. He has over 15 years work experience in an information security and risk focused IT environment. Prior to working at PwC he was Microsoft's Chief Security Officer for Western Europe and also has work experience as group CIO, Chief Risk Officer, Technical Director and Program Manager.

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