Windows Server 2019 is now available in preview

Microsoft today announced the next version of Windows Server, which launches later this year under the not completely unexpected moniker of “Windows Server 2019.” Developers and operations teams that want to get access to the bits can now get the first preview build through Microsoft’s Insider Program.

This next version comes with plenty of new features, but it’s also worth noting that this is the next release in the Long-Term Servicing Channel for Windows Server, which means that customers will get five years of mainstream support and can get an extra five years of extended support. Users also can opt for a semi-annual channel that features — surprise — two releases per year for those teams that want to get faster access to new features. Microsoft recommends the long-term option for infrastructure scenarios like running SQL Server or SharePoint.

So what’s new in Windows Server 2019? Given Microsoft’s focus on hybrid cloud deployments, it’s no surprise that Windows Server also embraces these scenarios. Specifically, this means that Windows Server 2019 will be able to easily connect to Microsoft Azure and that users will be able to integrate Azure Backup, File Sync, disaster recover and other services into they Windows Server deployments.

Microsoft also added a number of new security features, which are mostly based on what the company has learned from running Azure and previous version of Windows. These include new shielded VMs for protecting Linux applications and support for Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, one of Microsoft’s flagship security products that helps guard machines against attacks and zero-day exploits.

With this release, Microsoft is also bringing its container technologies from the semi-annual release channel to the long-term release channel. These include the ability to run Linux containers on Windows and the Windows Subsystem for Linux that enables this, as well as the ability to run Bash scripts on Windows. And for those of you who are really into containers, Microsoft also today noted that it will offer more container orchestration choices, including Kubernetes support, soon. These will first come to the semi-annual channel, though.

You can find a more detailed breakdown of what’s new in this release here.

MIB: Not your Grandfather’s Emerging Markets

Think of investing in emerging markets (EM), and one tends to think of commodities, and therefore the U.S. dollar. That may have been true previously, but it is no longer the case today. Commodities now account for only 15 percent of EM economies, down significantly from just a decade ago. Manufacturing and technology have grown…

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The post MIB: Not your Grandfather’s Emerging Markets appeared first on The Big Picture.

Salesforce is reportedly in talks to acquire Mulesoft and the stock is going nuts

After previously investing in Mulesoft, it looks like Salesforce may finish off the deal and is in advanced talks to acquire the data management software provider altogether, according to a report from Reuters this morning.

Mulesoft works with companies to bring together different sources of data like varying APIs. That’s important for companies that have data coming in from all over the place, whether that’s online applications or actual devices, and the company says it has Netflix and Spotify as customers. It would also give Salesforce another piece of the lock-in puzzle for enterprises that need to increasingly manage larger and larger pools of data as they look to start pumping out machine learning tools that can act on all that data.

As usual, these talks could fall apart — we saw this happen with Twitter a few years ago after the company looked at buying what was essentially the largest customer service channel on the planet (as in, great for whining at brands) — but Reuters reports that the deal could be announced as soon as this week. Mulesoft’s stock jumped nearly 20% this year after it went public last year amid a wave of enterprise IPOs jumping through the so-called IPO window while it’s open.

Salesforce is increasingly making a push into AI with products like Einstein, which it launched in 2016. Those tools give businesses predictive services and recommendations, a hallmark of what can come out of increasing piles of data based on customer activity. But all of that data has to come from somewhere, and for now, there are providers outside of the Salesforce ecosystem that stitch all that together. Having it all in one central place makes it easier to parse them through these machine learning algorithms and start building predictive models for their operations.

We reached out to Salesforce and Mulesoft for comment and will update the post when we hear back.

UK inflation rate hits seven-month low as Brexit effect fades – business live

Boost for hard-pressed consumers as Britain’s inflation rate drops to its lowest since July 2017

Time for a quick recap

Commenting on today’s inflation figures, ONS Head of CPI Phil Gooding said:

Despite Facebook’s deepening problems, the US stock market is recovering from Monday’s losses.

The Dow Jones industrial average, which shed 335 points yesterday, is up 180 today.

Back on inflation, our economics editor Larry Elliott has warned that the Bank of England could raise interest rates in May – if wages rise over the next couple of months.

He writes:

Earnings growth has been creeping up and before too long earnings will be increasing more quickly than prices. The sharper than expected fall in inflation means the return to rising real incomes will occur sooner and that will mean stronger growth and – from the MPC’s perspective – the threat of higher wage inflation.

While there has been little in recent economic data to justify a May increase in rates, earnings data will be crucial. If the annual increase edges closer to 3%, a spring rise will be a real possibility.

Related: UK inflation is falling fast – that’s good and bad news

No sign of a bounceback for Facebook yet:

#Facebook shares down again today as authorities on both sides of the Atlantic call for answers over the #CambridgeAnalytica scandal.

Over in New York, shares in Facebook have fallen by another 3% at the start of trading.

That’s on top of yesterday’s 6.7% rout, and knocks another $15bn off its market capitalisation.

I have today written to @facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calling on him to give oral evidence to @CommonsCMS following recent reports in @guardian and @nytimes

European stock markets have recovered a little ground this morning, after yesterday’s selloff.

In London the FTSE 100 has gained 22 points, having slumped to a 15-month low on Monday.

Elsewhere in the markets, legendary motor racing star-turned-airline manager Niki Lauda has landed a deal with Ryanair.

Jane Foley, head of foreign exchange strategy at Rabobank, believes the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee will raise interest rates at least once this year.

“Our expectation is of no change to rates at this week’s BoE meeting] but of a rise at the May meeting. In our view, though, the market is still focusing too much on the committee’s voting patterns. It is possible for every member to hold steady this time while also planning to vote for a hike in May.

“The markets are better served by reading the Bank’s minutes closely and observing Mark Carney’s comments. It was clear at Davos, for example, that he was readying the markets for a potential rate increase during the first half of the year.

The pound has dipped slightly, following the news that Britain’s consumer prices index has dropped to a seven-month low.

Traders are calculating that the inflation slowdown makes a UK interest rate rise a little less likely in the next few months.

Pound drops against dollar as Britain’s inflation rate falls more than forecast

Households won’t be popping champagne bottles open when wages finally start rising faster than inflation.

Economist Rupert Seggins has shown how workers’ earnings power has been badly eroded since the financial crisis, meaning people are poorer in real terms:

In for the long haul. Cost of living squeeze easing means real average earnings deteriorating at a less fast rate. Need cost of living squeeze to end to start recovering lost ground. Then there’s miles of ground to make up to actually recover lost real purchasing power since 08.

In other news, the threat of a global trade war has hit investor confidence in Germany:


House price inflation also fell last month, but is still rising faster than wages.

The average house price rose by 4.9% in the 12 months to January, down from 5% a month earlier.

It’s possible that wages will catch up with inflation this month, predicts Stephen Clarke, senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation.

“Import-driven inflation is clearly slowing. Food and beverage prices are rising at a slower rate than last month and further falls are likely. We can also see a slowdown in transport inflation, contributing just 0.35 ppts to annual inflation down from 0.8ppts a year ago, and the price of utilities is rising at a slower rate than before. Both are underpinned by a fall in the price of energy from its New Year highs.

“The sharp fall in inflation means we could be seeing an earlier end to the pay squeeze than previously expected, perhaps as early as this month”

What this means for households? Pay squeeze could be coming to an end a bit earlier than expected, though likely to persist (albeit marginally) in tomorrow’s figures (4)

Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, insists that the government is helping families cope with inflation.

“We know families feel the cost of living at the end of every working week.

From next month a typical taxpayer will pay 1,000 less income tax than in 2010.

Latest stats from @ONS show inflation fell to 2.7% in February.

‍♀️ Inflation is expected to keep falling this year

We’ve ✂️ cut taxes and raised the National Living Wage, helping to increase pay for the lowest earners by 7% above inflation

“Britain’s living standards crisis is far from over. Today’s fall in prices may ease the pressure a bit. But working people will still be worse off at the end of this parliament than before the crash.

“The government must up its game. Millions of workers haven’t had a proper pay rise in years.

The latest figures show inflation falling.

The fall in prices will ease the pressure a bit, but working people will still be worse off at the end of this parliament than before the crash.

It’s now 14 months since the pound hit a 31-year low against the US dollar at $1.20, driving import prices higher.

Sterling has since recovered to around $1,40. Phil Gooding, head of CPI at the Office for National Statistics, believes the impact of the pound’s slide is now fading:

“A small fall in petrol prices alongside food prices rising more slowly than last year helped pull down inflation, as many of the early 2017 price increases due to the previous depreciation of the pound have started to work through the system.

“Hotel prices also fell and the cost of ferry tickets rose more slowly than last year, when prices were collected on Valentine’s Day when many people could have been taking mini-breaks.”

The battle against inflation isn’t over, warns Andrew Sentance, senior economic adviser at PwC.

He predicts that consumer prices could push higher this month, as retailers and transport firms prepare for Easter:

“It is not a surprise to see UK inflations tarting to fall back – from 3% in January to 2.7% in February. Forecasters were expecting price increases to ease back this year. But the rate of reduction is likely to remain slow and volatile. The fact that Easter is early this year could push inflation back up again in March.

The UK recovery is now nearly nine years old, and yet our official interest rate is exactly where it was nine years ago. A further interest rate rise would be justified this Spring – which would show that the UK is following the lead of the US Federal Reserve in embarking on a policy of gradual and careful interest rate rises.”

This slowdown in inflation should bring some relief to poorer families, says Richard Lim of Retail Economics:

“Key areas driving the decline included transport and food which comprise a large chunk of expenditure, especially for the least affluent households.

“While real earnings remain in negative territory, the financial pinch will continue to ease and we expect growth to resurface by mid-2018.”

Jeremy Cook, chief economist at WorldFirst, predicts that UK pay rises could overtake inflation soon:

“Following the decision by the ONS to exclude pork pies and nightclub bottled lagers from the inflation basket, we will soon get to a point wherein the declines the pound suffered following the EU referendum go a similar way.

CPI at 2.7% is the lowest since July of last year and while wages are hardly setting the world alight, we could be within a few months of real wages turning positive for the first time since the beginning of last year.”

Related: Business Today: sign up for a morning shot of financial news

British inflation seems to be falling back from its recent peak, says Suren Thiru of the British Chambers of Commerce:

Looks increasingly likely that the UK is now past the peak of the recent spike in CPI #inflation and price growth will ease further over the coming months as the impact of the post-EU referendum decline in sterling drops out of the calculation

#inflation imported into the UK has been slowing for 12 months. Nothing in today’s @ONS data to alter our view that a 25bp increase in May is all we will get from the Bank of England in 2018. Consumer spending headwinds during H2 should mute core inflation pressures.

Average earnings at 2.5%, inflation now at 2.7% – the wage data lag inflation figures, but evidence that this year the incomes squeeze could come to an end

More detail:

This drop in inflation suggests that the impact of the Brexit vote is finally fading.

Transport and food has the biggest downward impact on inflation, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Breaking! UK inflation has fallen to its lowest since last July.

The consumer prices index has fallen to 2.7% in February, from 3% in January, taking some pressure off hard-pressed households.

Real wages in the UK have been falling since last spring, so the end of the cost of living squeeze can’t come soon enough.

New data from Barclaycard shows that 39% of people feel poorer than a year ago, due to rising inflation. Food and fuel prices are a key factor.

Economist Sam Tombs predicts that today’s inflation data will cut the chances that the Bank of England raises interest rates this spring.

Key UK #inflation data out at 9:30. Most economists (myself included) think CPI inflation dropped to 2.8% in Feb, from 3.0% in Jan. Would be below the MPC’s 2.9% forecast and undermine the case for a May rate hike.

Just in: Europe’s trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, is jetting to America to insist that the EU is excluded from the new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

Malmström, who has already threatened retaliatory action on American products, will meet with commerce secretary Wilbur Ross.

Off to Washington DC. Will be Meeting Secretary of Commerce Mr Ross. Will insist that EU as a whole is excluded from tariff measures. We should work together to adress overcapacity in steel and aluminium.

The President has “a broad view of the national security concept”

Economist Rupert Seggins is tweeting some handy charts about inflation:

1. UK inflation figures for February out at 9.30 today. Consensus for CPI is for a fall to 2.8%y/y from January’s 3%y/y

2. The focus for UK inflation continues to be core inflation. The impact from sterling showed up sooner than history would suggest, but it is still unclear how long sterling will take to pass through. Consensus is for 2.5%y/y in February, down from January’s 2.7%y/y.

3. Compared to the US & Euro Area, UK inflation is clearly higher, but not wildly so. Core inflation continues to be at the heart of it, but food price inflation has also been notably higher. Energy inflation, as ever, is a global thing.

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

Britain’s inflation is in the spotlight today, and for the first time in months we might get some good news.

The British pound will be front and centre this morning in light of the release of the UK inflation report.

The Consumer Price Index is the number one concern for the Bank of England as the rallying inflation has forced the British central bank to grow more hawkish and signal three rate hikes over the next three years. Today’s report will be important in assessing when the first hike for this year will come.

Related: Where’s Zuck? Facebook CEO silent as data harvesting scandal unfolds

“It’s time for Mark Zuckerberg to stop hiding behind his Facebook page.”

This is not the first time that Facebook have been caught being lax over their controls; both users and regulators are going to want this to be the last or at least see the firm go to extraordinary lengths to prevent incidences like this happening again. The next few weeks will be crucial as to how Facebook responds to the allegation.

Tuesday’s Financial Times: “Uber halts self-drive tests after autonomous car kills pedestrian” #tomorrowspaperstoday

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