Microsoft invests in General Motors’ self-driving subsidiary Cruise


Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is investing in General Motors’ self-driving subsidiary Cruise. In return, Cruise and GM are touting Azure as their “preferred” (though not exclusive) cloud vendor.

According to the January 19 press release about the deal, Cruise will use Azure for its autonomous vehicle solutions. GM will work with Microsoft on collaboration, storage, AI and machine learning, as well as on digital-supply chain, productivity and mobility services. And Microsoft will join GM, Honda and institutional investors in a combined, new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise. (Officials are not sharing the specific amount Microsoft will be investing.)

Microsoft has found success in targeting a number of vertical markets by positioning itself as a tech provider, not a potential head-to-head competitor — which Amazon is in many markets. Autonomous vehicles is one of these areas, and Microsoft already has other partnerships in this space, such

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Microsoft touts more Windows 10 PCs, some with LTE options, at BettFest education show


Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft traditionally makes Windows news at the Bett education conference at the start of each year, and 2021 is no exception. On January 19, Microsoft’s Education unit highlighted a number of new, third-party Windows 10 devices; an updated and less expensive Microsoft Classroom Pen and a new education-focused Teams feature.

The new Windows 10 devices for students that Microsoft officials are touting include:

  • Acer TravelMate Spin B3, starting at $329
  • AcerTravelMate B3, starting at $239
  • Asus ExpertBook BR1100, starting at $279
  • JP-IK Leap Connect T304, starting at $229
  • JP-IK Leap T304, starting at $185

(Note: These are starting prices only, but for devices where an LTE option is available, the starting price is typically $90 to $100 more.) 

Also: For those who had been wondering if Bett would be where Microsoft and partners rolled out the first Windows 10X machines, given education is one of the main targets

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Legacy security architectures threaten to disrupt remote working

As lockdowns and stay-at-home orders persist, protecting the remote workforce will be enterprises’ prime focus in 2021. But as enterprises continue working remotely with very few making a complete return to the office, securing the remote workforce is proving challenging, according to research from Cato Networks.

In its fifth annual IT survey, The future of enterprise networking and security: are you ready for the next leap, the secure access service edge (SASE) platform provider surveyed 2,376 IT leaders to gain detailed insight into how IT organisations have responded to the pandemic and their plans for 2021.

The study revealed that IT teams struggled in the early days of the pandemic, rushing to meet the urgent need for widespread remote access. With only 7% of respondents indicating that everyone will move back to the office, four-fifths of the sample said their companies would continue with a remote workforce in whole

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