Blair Hanley Frank

U.S. Correspondent

Blair Hanley Frank is primarily focused on the public cloud, productivity and operating systems businesses for the IDG News Service, and is based in San Francisco.

Office 365's deskless worker package expands with new features

Office 365's deskless worker package expands with new features

Microsoft is adding new capabilities to one of its cheapest enterprise plans for Office 365, in a push to capture a group of users traditionally underserved by the productivity suite.

Here's how Microsoft is helping companies build IoT hardware

Here's how Microsoft is helping companies build IoT hardware

One of the biggest challenges with building connected hardware is getting from proof-of-concept prototypes to devices that are ready for a large-scale production rollout. Microsoft is aiming to help with that issue through a trio of...

This company is turning FAQs into Alexa skills

This company is turning FAQs into Alexa skills

People looking for an easier path to integrating with Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant have good news on the horizon. NoHold, a company that builds services for making bots, unveiled a project it’s working on that can turn a document...

Google Calendar finally comes to the iPad

Google Calendar finally comes to the iPad

Google’s Calendar app is making a long-awaited move to a new device: Apple’s iPad.

Windows 10's next major update arrives April 11

Windows 10's next major update arrives April 11

After months of waiting, beta tests, and trickles of information about new features, the next major update for Windows 10 will arrive on April 11. Microsoft announced Wednesday that the Creators Update, as it’s known, will start...

BlueJeans teams with Dolby for teleconference audio clarity

BlueJeans teams with Dolby for teleconference audio clarity

BlueJeans customers will be getting improved call quality, thanks to a new partnership the company unveiled Tuesday with Dolby.

Excel for Windows finally gets real-time collaboration

Excel for Windows finally gets real-time collaboration

People working on Excel spreadsheets will be able to do so live from Microsoft’s app for Windows. Microsoft launched a beta update for the app’s real-time co-authoring feature, allowing testers to collaborate with one another on the...

Skype for Business admins gets tool to diagnose call problems

Skype for Business admins gets tool to diagnose call problems

IT administrators managing a fleet of Skype for Business users will have an easier time of diagnosing and fixing problems that may arise for them. Microsoft unveiled the beta of a new Call Analytics Dashboard, which is supposed to...

Microsoft delays tools for third-party Cortana integrations

Microsoft delays tools for third-party Cortana integrations

Microsoft has delayed the release of its tools for connecting other services to the Cortana virtual assistant, a decision that could cause it to lose ground in a crowded industry.

Trello connects to HipChat, BitBucket, Jira and Confluence

Trello connects to HipChat, BitBucket, Jira and Confluence

Trello is getting hooked into the entire Atlassian ecosystem with a series of integrations unveiled Wednesday. The new “power-ups” for the project management software connect it with BitBucket, Jira, HipChat and Confluence, to help...

LinkedIn's Trending Storylines aims to broaden users' news horizons

LinkedIn's Trending Storylines aims to broaden users' news horizons

LinkedIn wants to be its users’ professional news feed, and the company just launched a new feature aimed at providing them with a broad set of perspectives on relevant business news.

Google pulls virtual assistant ad after users complain

Google pulls virtual assistant ad after users complain

Google Home users got a surprise Thursday when their virtual assistants cheerily mentioned that the live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast” is opening in theaters this weekend. The ad has since been pulled.

Oracle promises IaaS growth as cloud business rises

Oracle promises IaaS growth as cloud business rises

Oracle’s third quarter financial results continue to show that the company’s future is in the cloud. On Wednesday, the company reported massive growth in its software- and platform-as-a-service businesses, promising further gains as...

AWS offers Alexa developers free cloud credits

AWS offers Alexa developers free cloud credits

Developers interested in extending the capabilities of Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant have some more free tools in their arsenal, thanks to a program the company announced Wednesday.

AWS follows Google with Reserved Instance flexibility changes

AWS follows Google with Reserved Instance flexibility changes

Customers who have Reserved Instance contracts with Amazon Web Services will be able to subdivide some of their Linux and Unix virtual machine instances while maintaining their capacity discounts, thanks to new pricing changes.

Despite enterprise focus, Google Hangouts won't disappear for consumers

Despite enterprise focus, Google Hangouts won't disappear for consumers

While Google Hangouts is making a shift to serve enterprise users, it won’t be vanishing for consumers.

Microsoft ratchets up group chat competition with Teams launch

Microsoft ratchets up group chat competition with Teams launch

Microsoft’s work chat app Teams hit general availability as part of the company’s push to compete with Slack, HipChat, Google and other players in the group chat market.

Here’s why Google Cloud support is now priced per person

Here’s why Google Cloud support is now priced per person

One of the key messages out of Google Cloud Next last week: The company has gotten serious about serving enterprise customers in a way that meets their needs. A key component of that is a new set of support plans for customers of its...

Microsoft updates Cortana for iOS with a fresh look

Microsoft updates Cortana for iOS with a fresh look

Microsoft gave its Cortana app for iOS a facelift Friday, replacing its old black and blue aesthetic with a new look that puts the assistant’s key features at users’ fingertips.

Google offers new 'Always Free' cloud tier to attract users

Google offers new 'Always Free' cloud tier to attract users

Google is having its customers get a taste of its cloud for free, without a time limited trial. The company quietly launched a new “Always Free” tier that lets people use small amounts of its public cloud services without charge,...

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