Microsoft beats revenue expectations, reporting 22% growth in Q1 2022

Microsoft Q1 2022 revenue grew almost 22% year over year, which is the fastest growth since 2018 with revenue growth of 21% over the previous quarter.

  • Intelligent Cloud – which includes Azure, GitHub, Windows etc, was up 31% year over year and delivered $16.96 billion in revenue.
  • Productivity and Business Processes – which includes Dynamics, LinkedIn and Office, was up 22% and delivered $15.04 billion in revenue (within this segment Dynamics itself grew 48%).
  • Personal Computing business, including Windows, devices, gaming and search advertising, was up 12% with$13.31 billion in revenue.

This quarter has seen Microsoft introduce new Surface devices and announce acquisitions of several cyber security start ups including CloudKnox and RiskIQ. They also have taken on Amazon cloud executive Charlie Bell to work on cybersecurity and committed to spend even more security research and development with $20 billion announced over the next 5 years.

Image (C) CNBC

Price rises for Office 365 are coming too… as earlier this quarter, Microsoft annouced that Office 365 commercial licenses were increasing by 10% across all but their E5 suite. This doesn’t affect edu, nfr or consumer.

You can read the full press release here

Cisco Webex will soon let employees connect their Webex Cloud Calling number to their mobile number.

Cisco has annouced a new upcoming enhancement to their Webex Calling platform that extends phone numbers natively to a employees mobile phone allowing them to use the phones keypad rather than the Webex mobile app.

You can read the official annoucement here.

Our innovations released today enable enterprises to be closer to their customers than ever, helping them deliver the best possible customer experience across all channels in real-time.

Jeetu Patel |General manager |Cisco Security & Collaboration

True Single Number Reach

Unlike traditional Single Number Reach service available in Cisco Call Manager and other Softphone services which essentially forward your call to a mobile, Webex Go, allows employees to connect over their mobile network (using their work number) while keeping their personal mobile number hidden. 

A step forward for communication Compliance?

CSOs and CCOs will most likley be interested by this annoucement since, as well as the convenience factor for employees, will help businesses ensure employees adhere by thier compliance and regulatory rules since they can ensure calls go via Webex and are then recorded and monitored for example.

Coming in H1 2022

Cisco said in the annoucement that Webex Go is expected to launch in the US in the first half of 2022, with other geo regions coming at somepoint  in the future.

What about similar services?

Vendors such as Avaya have had a similar function for a while and there are also a number of value added SIP and Mobile providers who offer value added service which provide a similar service.

One such provider (yes a bit of a call out here) is Teleware 365 and their Re:Call service.

Teleware 365 Re:Call Service

Re:Call enables employees to use their personal mobile phone to make and receive business calls, SMS, IM and group chat. This improves the employee experience as it removes the need for a business phone entirely, giving employees the ability to use their own device, the device they already know and love. Its also great in environments that need to adhere to strict communication compliance since it can ensure all calls are logged and recorded.

Hybrid Working in driving innovation

It’s good to see Cisco announcing that they will bringing native mobile extensibility directly (without the need for an app) right into Cisco Webex Calling next calendar year.

It’s pretty much accepted now that the future of work (for most) is hybrid and as such organisations are becoming increasingly focused on ensuring a seamless experience between remote working, the office and of course the experience, security and governance around using personal and work phones/numbers. The typical ask I see is.

• Removing the need for employees to carry two phones, one for personal use and one for business use. This is also good for Corporate Social Responsibility.

• Allowing employees to use their phone of choice without having to have IT control it.

• Allowing employees to separate business and personal use of the phone, providing confidentiality for business and personal data alike with full accountability and control.

• Allows employees to collaborate safely and securely with instant messaging and group chat.

I expect the other leading collaboration vendors like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to follow in the future and in the mean time, service providers like Teleware 365 can provide similar functionality regardless of what UC or voice solution you use.

Welcome your comments as always about this or anything in my blogs and thoughts…

Windows 11 is now available globally

Windows11 Image on Laptop

From midnight last night around the globe, Microsoft pressed the button the availability of Windows 11 which will be offered to eligible Windows 10 PCs from today via Windows Update (or via your IT team if they are ready to press the button on your corporate roll out).

Windows 11 was officially announced to the public in June this year and has endured a short public testing period by Windows Insiders before being made available as an Operating System for everyone (hardware compatibility dependant of course) from 5th Oct 21.

Windows 11 – Born October 5th, 2021

Windows 11 is rolling out in waves

The Windows 11 update will continue rolling out in waves over the holiday and into 2022. Microsoft says it expects to have offered Windows 11 to all eligible Windows 10 PCs by mid-2022, and it will not be forced upon Windows 10 users at any point. Windows 11 is an optional release, and users are free to remain on Windows 10 if they wish. Windows 10 will be getting its own 21H2 release later this year.

As is always the case, Microsoft is also making available offline installation media, as well as the Upgrade Tool that will allow you to install Windows 11 today if you don’t want to wait for it to be offered via Windows Update. The final build of Windows 11 appears to be 22000.194, though that will continue to increase as time passes, as Microsoft continues servicing Windows 11 with bug fixes and security updates.

For Business or for Pleasure

Windows 11 looks different with a simpler, cleaner, and more modern look and feel with many of the key components and stock apps updated. The start menu has also had the biggest overhaul since Windows 8. Beyond the aesthetics and look and feel however, Windows 11 also brings many new features that business users should welcome.

Microsoft say that Windows 11 has been optimised for hybrid working, whereby employees split their time between the home, office and anywhere else they need to work. There has been a focus on improving multi-screen and multi-device set-ups, with options that will help users more easily multi-task and pick up where they left off.

One of my favourite enhancements is a new feature called Snap Layouts, which gives users a greater range of orientation options when multitasking across multiple windows, screens, and applications as you can see in the illustration below.

Windows 11 Snap View Layout Picker
Windows 11 | Snap View Layout Picker

Windows 11 also sets a new benchmark for performance and security, designed to help speed up multi-tasking and memory management whilst (and most importantly), better protecting employees against an ever-growing and evolving cyber attacks and threats with Microsoft’s “Secure from Chip to Cloud” promise for Windows 11.

Windows 11 | Secure from Chip to Cloud

Will my device run Windows 11?

In short, if your device meets the following requires, you will be able to upgrade (or install) Windows 11 on your existing PC.

  • 8th Gen Processor (ok there are some 7-Gens that do work like the Surface Studio 2)
  • 64GB Storage
  • 4GB RAM
  • UEFI Secure Boot with TPM 2.0 Enabled

On personal (our non-managed devices), the easiest way to check compatibility is to use the PC Health Check app that Microsoft have released that will tell you if your device meets the requirements to run Windows 11 or not and gives you a detailed breakdown as to what may be stopping you running it and whether or not they can be resolved (by putting more memory in for example, or upgrading your devices BIOS to support TPM2.0).

You can run this on non-corporate IT managed devices only here:
(thanks to my friend Rowland Hills for spotting the error before)

For managed devices, within an organisation, then IT can check if devices are ready for it using Intune/Endpoint Configuration Manager and can be accessed from and then navigate to “Reports/Endpoint Analytics/Work from anywhere” blade.

Windows 11 Readiness in Microsoft Endpoint Manager

Note: It is possible (though of course not recommended) to attempt to bypass the checks by installing Windows 11 clean on an unsupported device, though your mileage may vary as to whether it works. Microsoft guarantees no updates on devices that are “unsupported” on Windows 11 except for security patches.

New Devices will ship with Windows 11

Windows 11 will be available to buy pre-loaded on new PCs if also meet the minimum requirements. Microsoft say that devices like the Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Pro 8 will be amongst the first to ship with Windows 11 out of box. Lenovo and Dell are also releasing theirs very soon after.

People say Windows 11 isn’t ready

It is…. but there’s still more work to do and things to polish.

Like Windows 10 before that, Windows is services regularly based on feedback from testers and now the wider public and corporate users. Microsoft is already hard at work on the next update to Windows 11, known as version 22H2 that will continue Microsoft’s vision of simplifying and modernising the Windows User Experience throughout. Windows Insiders in the DEV channel have been testing early builds of future builds for a couple of weeks.

We already know that the next build will add a more consistent and complete dark mode, a continued effort in updating legacy interfaces and apps that haven’t changed since Windows 7/8 and Android App Support which is dubbed to be released early 2022. Based on user feedback in the Insider Hub, there will also likely be enhancements to the task bar and start menu such as “re-enabling” drag and drop of files across apps via the taskbar – one of my bug bears in Windows 11.

This is just the beginning…

…of the Windows 11 journey. You can check the Feedback Hub in the OS, visit the Microsoft Blog pages or become a Windows Insider to help shape the future of Windows 11.

New 6-year Microsoft 365 for Education plans annouced

Microsoft has announced a more simple and affordable licensing option for education, with a new inclusive 6 year subscription at less than $5.50 per device per year.

The aim: to offer the best tools and services for education to help teachers teach and learners learn.

Microsoft 365 A1 for “Devices”

The Microsoft 365 A1 for devices license costs just $38 per device for up to six years (so around $6.33 per device per annum), with no limit on the number of students that can access the devices.

I’ll update the blog when UK pricing is published.

Presumably to help them further compete against Google in the Classroom, Microsoft 365 A1 for devices will provide education establishments with all the most popular Microsoft learning apps and tools for a very low and attractive price point.

From 1st November, this new per device license will includes;

  • Full Microsoft 365 apps, including Office and Microsoft Teams.
  • Full Cloud device management through Microsoft Intune for Education.
  • Minecraft: Education Edition.
  • Full desktop versions of the Office apps.

Read more

You can the read the news on the official Microsoft blog here.