Summary:

For a deeper dive into the topics and technologies covered on Gigaom, check out the latest in-depth analyses on Gigaom Research, our subscription-based research service. This week: Azure steps up to the enterprise, the new web experience, and more.

There was big news this week with the Comcast-Time Warner merger. In case you missed the furor as it was happening, Matthew Ingram explains everything you need to know about the $45 billion deal and why bringing the two largest cable providers together could change TV forever . Meanwhile, on Gigaom Research, our analysts were focused on another industry giant (Microsoft), a new definition for the HR department, and more.

Note: Gigaom Research is a subscription-based research service offering in-depth, timely analysis of developing trends and technologies. Visit research.gigaom.com to learn more about it.

Cloud: Microsoft Windows Azure: strengths and weaknesses
Janakiram MSV

According to analyst Janakiram MSV, just when everyone thought that Microsoft lost the cloud game, the company bounced back to become a formidable player. In this report, he reviews the positive drivers that allow Microsoft to catch up to AWS and the opportunities for improvement including lack of support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and virtual networking.  Scott Gurthrie’s leadership in the developer community has resulted in open source, hybrid cloud, and vertical specific PaaS offerings, and four years after its launch, Azure is finally being validated as an enterprise-ready solution

Mobile: How new devices, networks, and consumer habits will change the web experience
Amy Cravens

Increased mobile content consumption is obvious but adjusting to the design challenge prompts complex questions. Through case studies, Amy Cravens provides a detailed analysis of four primary areas worth consideration: device differences, browser distinctions, network variations, and application performance. By understanding the numerous pain points, resource allocation can be properly managed to optimize the user experience. If a company’s web content is not built for specific device and browser delivery, it will be at a disadvantage to its competitors and risk losing revenue.

Social: A new charter for HR
Stowe Boyd

Analyst Stowe Boyd argues that as the distributed workforce erodes the traditional boundaries of the company, HR must be reformulated, and if executed correctly can get a seat at the executive table through accelerated innovation. “Recent research has shown that only 30 percent of American employees are actively engaged at work,” Boyd notes, “which stands as an indictment of current operating norms and a clarion call for a new charter for HR.” In his latest blog post, Boyd examines the increasing necessity for human resources to work with IT managers, adopt social tools, and embrace network thinking.

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