Blair Hanley FrankU.S. Correspondent, IDG News Service

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.

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Microsoft launches Windows 10 beta program for business users

Business users get access to their own version of the Windows 10 beta program this week. On Friday, Microsoft unveiled the Windows Insider Program for Business, alongside its first post-Creators Update Windows 10 beta.

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Facebook's M assistant launches in US, will offer chat suggestions

More than a year after introducing a virtual assistant in its Messenger app, Facebook is launching M to the masses.

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Tableau switches to subscription pricing for its BI products

Tableau is making a big change in the way it sells its business intelligence products. The company announced Thursday that all of its software will be available as a subscription, rather than a single license plus a service fee.

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Google is helping to build another Asia-Pacific submarine cable

Google is investing in another massive undersea fiber-optic cable as a part of its plans to build out network connectivity around the world. The company announced Wednesday that it is helping to fund a project called Indigo, which will connect Jakarta, Singapore, Perth and Sydney to one another.

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Google says its AI chips smoke CPUs, GPUs in performance tests

Google released a paper Wednesday detailing the benefits of using its dedicated Tensor Processing Units for machine learning inference, and the results are staggering.

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Google's Espresso networking tech takes SD-WAN to internet scale

Google is working to accelerate the performance of its applications over the internet by building out a software-defined network at broad scale. On Tuesday, the company announced Espresso, a system that provides increased network performance to users of the company’s applications.

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DigitalOcean adds free monitoring to its cloud virtual machines

DigitalOcean’s cloud platform became more useful to developers running production applications on Tuesday with the addition of monitoring capabilities for its virtual machines.

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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.

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HelloSign branches out to fix frustrating forms

Getting set up at a new job can be a frustrating maze of forms that require overlapping information to be entered perfectly. That’s the idea behind HelloWorks, a new service from HelloSign designed to simplify the process of filling out forms.

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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 (PoC) prototypes to a devices that are ready for a large-scale production rollout. Microsoft is aiming to help with that issue through a trio of lab spaces that allow companies to come in and work with experts on building internet-connected hardware.

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This company is turning FAQs into Amazon Echo 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 into an Alexa skill.

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Google Calendar finally comes to the iPad

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

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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 rolling out to users of the company’s latest operating system in roughly two weeks.

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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, starting Tuesday. Microsoft launched a beta update for the app’s real-time co-authoring feature, letting testers collaborate with one another on the same file from inside the app.

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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. Dolby is working with the videoconferencing company to improve call clarity for people using its service.