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News roundup: Chef does Windows, XP turns 10, and HP ARMs its servers

In this week's server news summary, learn how Opscode Chef enables Windows cloud automation, look back at XP's legacy, and get the latest on the ARM-Intel chip battle.

As you wind down another week, catch up on the server-related news you may have missed, including details on Windows' new Chef support, a discussion of XP's past (and short future), and perspective on how HP could shake up the server processor market.

Windows environments welcome Chef
Can you smell what OpsCode is cooking? If you're working in a Windows environment, now you can – the company's open source cloud configuration and automation framework, Chef, is now available for Windows administrators. With the update, Chef can now be applied to PowerShell, Internet Information Services, SQL Server and other components, according to GigaOm. Interested? The Register runs down the various licensing options, including Hosted Chef (the SaaS version) and Private Chef, which runs in an enterprise's data center. Can either really make IT admin sexy, as Wired suggests? Only time will tell.
More on cloud automation: IT shops try new tools to up server-to-admin ratios

Windows XP "celebrates" 10 years
IT shops probably aren't throwing parties in honor of Microsoft's "most enduring enterprise OS to date" (InformationWeek) , probably because they're too busy figuring out how to upgrade their systems before the product is officially retired in April 2014. Still, many outlets have taken a look back this week, to try and understand XP's success since first launching on October 25, 2001. WinSuperSite's Paul Thurrott offers photos from that fateful day; Wired Enterprise notes that the original ads for the software actually predicted the future of computing; BetaNews explores how the product improved over the last decade; and ComputerWorld questions whether we're even celebrating the right date
More on XP: Options for Windows XP's end of life, Is now the time to upgrade?

HP to ARM its servers
The ARM-Intel battle is heating up, as Bloomberg reports that HP is partnering with the ARM-owned Calxeda to build chips for its servers, entering a $9 billion market that until now has been dominated by Intel. The move could mean increased support for virtualized servers, as the next ARM processors, A7 and A15, will be optimized for virtualization – meaning HP could be improving its position in the IT market. 
More: HP risks fading fortunes as a top IT supplier

HP backtracks, keeps PC business
Newly appointed CEO Meg Whitman took  our advice and reversed  Hewlett-Packard's decision to spin off the PC business, saying this week it will keep it will hold on to its $40 billion business  for the long term. In a press release issued by the company, Whitman said, "HP is committed to [its Personal Systems Group], and together we are stronger." On a conference call this week Whitman said that while the company is on track to deliver a product in the Windows 8 tablet category when Micrsoft ships the OS, no decision has been made about its line of WebOS devices, which it began selling this year following the acquisition of Palm. Could we see a reemergence of the HP tablet at CES in January?
More: A look back at HP's PC fiasco

Azure storage gets cheaper
Microsoft announced Thursday that the price of Windows Azure Storage will be lowered from $0.15 to $0.14 per GB per month, effective immediately for all existing customers. There will also be commitment discounts for high-volume customers using more than 1 TB of storage per month.
More on Windows Azure:
Azure and Windows Server 8, Making sense of the VM role


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