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Microsoft made a surprising move this month, announcing that its new cloud software system runs on a Linux-based operating system.

The Windows giant has historically been at odds with Linux and the open-source community, but a Sept. 17 post by Kamala Subramaniam, principal architect for Azure Networking at Microsoft, explained why the company’s adoption of a Linux solution makes sense.

"The Azure Cloud Switch (ACS) is our foray into building our own software for running network devices like switches. It is a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on Linux," wrote Subramaniam. "ACS allows us to debug, fix, and test software bugs much faster. It also allows us the flexibility to scale down the software and develop features that are required for our data center and our networking needs."

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As computers become more advanced, their ability to generate data grows exponentially. Storage devices are evolving to accompany that demand.

1975: The 8-inch floppy disk, which holds 800KB of data, is released

1981: Sony introduces the 3.5-inch floppy disk with 1.44MB of storage

1994: Iomega greatly increases storage capacity with its 100MB zip disk

1997: Recordable CDs offer 700MB of storage capacity

2001: Recordable DVDs hit the market, providing 4.7GB of storage

2004: MicroSD cards bring gigabyte storage capabilities in a small package

2013: Kingston announces a 1TB USB flash drive

Source: Experts Exchange, “Community Toolkit,” June 2015

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Though adoption of cloud computing is continuing at a rapid pace among the business community, that doesn't mean that there aren't some potential bumps in the road that have been identified by several business technology leaders.

“Progressive companies can glean greater loyalty through crowdfunding, turn to the crowd for new co-innovation, and launch their own sharing programs to expand how they serve their customers’ new desires.”

Jeremiah Owyang is a founder of Crowd Companies, which helps businesses connect with customers using web technologies. He shares insights on his blog at

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Beginning in October, businesses that don’t accept EMV cards (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) will be liable for counterfeit fraud that occurs when customers use the new cards.

NerdWallet, which provides consumer financial advice, offers tips for accepting EMV payments.

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It’s no secret consumers use mobile devices to find what they need, weigh options and make quick purchase decisions. Whether a business fits into that equation depends on a cohesive mobile strategy. Here are a few tips to get started, from America’s SBDC:

Test the website: Explore free tools such as Google Webmaster to test the mobile-friendliness of a site and identify areas for improvement.

Don’t ignore mobile ads: Attract impulse buyers searching for products and services by investing in pop-up mobile ads triggered by search.

Learn about responsive design: Prevent a bad mobile experience by ensuring that websites respond optimally to different device screen sizes.

Source: America’s SBDC, “The Power of Going Mobile for Small Business,” June 2015

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An IDC report, sponsored by Iron Mountain, says a comprehensive data archiving strategy can create $7.5 million of additional revenue on average. The study is based on a survey of 1,011 senior data archiving managers from organizations with more than 500 employees across a range of industries.

Half of the companies polled say they saved $1 million or more through risk mitigation and litigation avoidance (the top 21 percent saved more than $10 million). Through cost-cutting alone, 44 percent of the organizations saved $1 million or more (with 18 percent saving more than $10 million). Another 39 percent of the companies generated $1 million or more in revenue (with 15 percent raking in more than $10 million).

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It's no secret that Apple's iPhone was one of the key drivers of the BYOD movement that many IT shops find themselves either embracing or facing up against. The popularity of that particular smartphone led many employees to eschew the company-issued devices. Now, in a partnership announced by both Cisco Systems and Apple, the two companies are actively collaborating to ensure that iOS devices work faster, better and stronger on enterprise networks than ever before, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

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Microsoft's next big operating system upgrade arrived Wednesday, and brings with it a host of new features.

Along with the sleek, new user interface design, the biggest changes that come with Windows 10 are the return of a traditional start menu, Microsoft's new web browser Edge, and Cortana, a personal digital assistant. Windows 10 also comes with a new feature called Continuum which allows for seamless transition of work from a tablet to desktop.

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At the company's annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando, Fla., Microsoft made waves not with an announcement about its new Windows 10 OS, but with a preview of its new collaboration app called, GigJam. The app allow workers to consolidate and share work info via cards, according to a report from Fast Company

GigJam, which was code-named "Magic Glass" during development, is a genuinely new idea. It's a set of apps for PCs, tablets, and phones which let you call up business information—from your own emails to figures from corporate databases—using a built-in version of Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant. The apps format the info on cards. Then you can circle items you'd like to share—crossing out any which must remain confidential—and route them to one or more coworkers. You can choose to make the views you send them read-only or editable, and can annotate them with audio comments and on-screen notes.

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