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It was a busy year for Microsoft administrators and watchers alike. Among the rise of Satya Nadella as the CEO of Microsoft and the end of Windows XP patches (and its subsequent brief resurrection for a critical update), there were other major stories that our readers clicked on.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella welcomed with a critical eye
There wasn't any doubt: a leadership shift at the top of the computing giant grabbed the most attention from our readers. IT pros we polled were largely positive on Satya Nadella as chief executive with background in cloud services over his predecessor, Steve Ballmer.
Windows XP, declared dead, receives one last patch
Just one month after Windows XP hit its end-of-life stage, Microsoft declared a single-time exception for a major security flaw within the operating system. It could set a precedent that future major public exploits would also have patches released.
SCCM add-ons released for advanced IT management
While System Center Configuration Manager can get the job done for most small enterprise deployments, there are third-party products that can step in specialized situations. Products from Cireson and Adaptiva were released earlier this year to help fill in some gaps Microsoft itself hasn't yet filled.
Microsoft continues cloud improvements, leaving on-premises behind
At TechEd 2014, Microsoft talked up a number of cloud enhancements, but what many IT customers wanted to hear about was not Microsoft Azure, but rather System Center. IT shops are seeing the merger of Intune and ConfigMgr, and Microsoft said it wanted to deliver the updates to both products within similar timeframes.
Expected in 2015, new Windows Server preview adds, removes
Both 2012 and 2013 saw general availability of new Windows Server products -- the 2012 and 2012 R2 editions, respectively. In 2014, however, Microsoft chose to slow down ever so slightly the rapid pace of on-premises releases, delivering just a taste of what is to come in 2015's expected next release of Windows Server alongside the release of Windows 10.
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