Microsoft Offering Windows 10 Upgrades Through Subscriber Service

Today's topics include Microsoft’s offer of free Windows 10 upgrades to subscription customers, Oracle’s release of a Critical Patch Update that fixes 270 vulnerabilities, Microsoft adds Intel’s cloud-friendly Clear Linux as a virtual machine in the Azure Marketplace, Google’s new cloud audit logging technology is now available.

Businesses that missed out on Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer now have a second chance, provided they subscribe to Windows via the software giant's Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partner program.

Microsoft announced the impending availability of the Windows 10 operating system as a subscription service during the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto on July 12. In September, the companies and its partners began offering Windows 10 Enterprise E3 licenses for $7 per user per month.

Now, as an added perk, Microsoft is enabling those customers to upgrade their Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs at no extra cost. The offer extends to users with Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and E5 subscriptions as well as Secure Productive Enterprise E3 and E5 plans.

Oracle is out with its first Critical Patch Update (CPU) for 2017 and it's a big one. In total, Oracle is patching a staggering 270 different vulnerabilities across its software portfolio, with 121 patches in Oracle's E-Business Suite alone.

Though the January 2017 CPU is a large, it isn't quite the largest patch update that Oracle has ever issued. That dubious distinction falls to Oracle's July 2016 CPU, when 276 different vulnerabilities were patched.

In contrast, the last Oracle CPU of 2016, which was released in October, had 253 vulnerabilities. In its security advisory for the January 2017 CPU, Oracle strongly recommends that organizations patch quickly.

Clear Linux, a distribution of the open-source OS that is optimized for Intel processors, is now available as a virtual machine (VM) in the Azure Marketplace.

Launched in 2015 by chip making giant Intel, Clear Linux is aimed at cloud and data center workloads that run on Intel-based servers, enabling those workloads to exploit the advanced silicon features that Intel bakes into its chips.

Instead of developing another general-purpose distribution of the Linux OS suitable for a variety of workloads, Intel opted for a lightweight, "lean-and-fast" approach, according to the Clear Linux project website.

On Azure, the availability of Clear Linux not only promises brisk performance on Microsoft's cloud, but also streamlined DevOps courtesy of the operating system's stateless capabilities.

Google is making it easier for organizations to keep track of user and administrator activity across almost its entire stack of enterprise cloud applications and services.

The company this week announced beta availability of its Cloud Audit Logging technology on Google Compute Engine, Container Engine, Cloud DNS, Storage, Cloud Key Management Services and other cloud services.

The integration of the logging capability with these services will give organizations a way to keep tabs on who is accessing corporate data in the cloud and how, what they did with that access, where and when.

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