Microsoft News Center
Love Facebook? Like tinkering with new tech? Then start playing around with the new Facebook for Windows Phone 8 beta app.
And be sure to tell Microsoft and Facebook how to make it better.
How can advertisers keep up with the many ways people consume video these days, switching from phone to TV to Xbox to their laptop or tablet? On Monday, Microsoft Advertising put a stake in the ground on that topic during its Digital Showcase in New York City. In short, the event demonstrated a departure from traditional ad spots that interrupt programming. Instead, attendees saw how they can now take advantage of the new ecosystem of video devices to integrate their messages into the content people want to watch.
One example (see video below) is an exclusive destination on MSN, codenamed “StageDoor,” that presents an entirely different approach to surfacing video content online. “StageDoor” aggregates trusted, brand-safe video content from across different topics and subject matters to reflect the interests of the actual person watching, not just genres or keywords.
Scott Guthrie announced on his ScottGu Blog today that a whole suite of improvements to Windows Azure are available immediately today after Microsoft released the v2.0 update of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET.
“This morning we released the v2.0 update of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET. This is a major refresh of the Windows Azure SDK with some really great new features and enhancements,” said Guthrie, corporate vice president of Windows Azure.
Last night, Microsoft began rolling out a preview version of Skype for Outlook.com, bringing audio and video calling powered by Skype to every Outlook.com inbox. The rollout begins in the United Kingdom and will expand to the United States and Germany in coming weeks.
Not familiar with Outlook.com? It’s the free, personal email service from Microsoft that attracted 60 million new users in its first six months after launch, making it the fastest-growing email service in history.
On Monday, we launched a new ad depicting a wedding that quickly goes off the rails after a battle royale breaks out between rabid smartphone loyalists.
Now, if you’re the type of person who always watches a DVD's special features, you’ll definitely want to check out the behind-the-scenes video filmed during the making of the new ad.
Here’s something to make your next hospital stay a little more bearable: an entertainment and communication device at your bedside that doctors and nurses can also use to tap your healthcare information into.
Such a device was on display at a recent Connecting Healthcare IT conference in Berlin, where Microsoft Partner Clinicall displayed its new bedside terminal based on Windows Embedded 8 technology.
The Microsoft in Education blog today shared the news that the State of Maine has selected the HP ProBook 4440 running Windows 8 as the learning device of choice for all 7th and 8th grade middle school students. This is a watershed moment as Maine has the only statewide-led 1:1 computing program for schools in the United States. The Maine Learning Technology Initiative has been an education benchmark since they began the program in 2001. Ninety-five percent of global businesses use Microsoft Windows for delivering innovation to their customers. Microsoft applauds Gov. Paul LePage’s determination to ensure Maine’s students are prepared for college and careers and have the relevant technology skills that employers are demanding.
“It is important that our students are using technology that they will see and use in the workplace,” said Gov. Paul R. LePage. “This is the lowest-priced proposal, and the laptops use an operating system that is commonly used in the workplace in Maine. These laptops will provide students with the opportunity to enhance their learning and give them experience on the same technology and software they will see in their future careers.”
Struggling economies have tightened education budgets around the world; however, a growing number of school systems are turning to Office 365 to improve collaboration, communications and productivity, all while reducing costs. Microsoft today announced several such institutions in Central and Eastern Europe – schools that are adopting Microsoft Office 365 to prepare their students for a world based on technology. Education institutions across the region, including School Center Skofja Loka (Slovenia), EDUCATIVA (Romania), TEI Kalamata (Greece), Kozminski University (Poland), University of Maribor, Faculty of Economics and Business (Slovenia), and Vaikystes Sodas (Lithuania), are using the cloud to change the way students learn and staff teach.
Wedding season must be right around the corner.
Earlier today, the “other” Steve who writes for this blog posted about “The Proposal,” a new animated Web series from Skype and Microsoft Advertising about young love interrupted. A new Windows Phone ad released today offers another take on the fine line between romance and mayhem, depicting a wedding completely derailed by an all-out brawl between smartphone loyalists.
You can watch the full spot below, and read this post on the Windows Phone Blog to learn more.
Sit on couch, look at screen. It’s the typical scenario for entertainment consumption – streaming a Batman movie, watching as he chases a villain through the noir-looking Gotham City. But what if the entire living room was transformed into Gotham City as you watched?
IllumiRoom, a research project from Microsoft Research, is working to blur the lines between physical and virtual – between your living room, and the game you are playing or movie you are watching. Using a Kinect sensor, researchers have developed a way to project visualizations to surround a display with an extension of what viewers are seeing on the screen – even if a game or movie’s source code is not available. The IllumiRoom prototype aims to enhance traditional viewing and gaming by creating an immersive experience.
Today the Skype U.K. team began a unique 5-part animated series to educate companies on how to use Skype in advertising. Even those who aren’t advertisers may find themselves instantly drawn in. The series is called “The Proposal” and involves a young manager who tries to win his sweetie’s heart while dodging his boss, who threatens to botch things up by appearing at the most inconvenient times.
Before we give away too much, watch episode 1 now and bookmark http://www.skype-opera.com/ to view the entire series throughout the week. While you enjoy the high-tech soap opera, you’ll also get a taste of some of the creative advertising formats and opportunities available on Skype.
Last week we reported how a special Skype video call brought military troops to the red carpet U.S. premiere of Marvel’s Iron Man 3. Today the Skype team blogged about another promotion involving the movie, this one looking for people who carry out heroic deeds every day – without fanfare or rocket packs.
Send a photo of your Everyday Hero, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a prize pack including a Skype-ready TV, Blu-Ray DVD player, Marvel’s Iron Man box set and a family movie night experience.
Seattle is known for having more than its fair share of gray, rainy weather, but when the sunny days of spring finally arrive, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. With warmer weather on the way, the timing is perfect for the arrival of a new update to Bing's stunning Weather app for Windows 8, now available over in the Windows Store.
Photo app favorite Pic Stitch arrived in the Windows Phone Store today, giving Windows Phone shutterbugs a fun and easy way to design framed photo collages. This version of Pic Stitch brings new frame shapes and customized layouts, so you have more creative options for your photos. Improved Facebook compatibility also makes it easier to share your photos (you can email or print your designs too).
The latest update to popular messaging app GroupMe is now available in the Windows Phone Store, and Gizmodo’s take on an earlier version still holds true: “Whether or not you think you need group texting in your life, you won't know how you lived without it once you give it a shot.”
Think of it as a faster, better “Reply All” email, or a social network that includes only the people you need to talk to at a given moment.
Every year on April 26, the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) invites inventors large and small to take some time to remind ourselves what thinkers and doers can do when they put their minds to it.
Today, Microsoft marks World IP Day by sharing a closer look at two of our inventors who push the envelope with creative inventions.
What if a new mother could direct her smartphone to monitor her tweets and other social media interactions and alert her to signs of postpartum depression? That’s one of the possibilities raised by a study that will be presented by a Microsoft Research team at next week’s ACM CHI 2013 conference in Paris.
In addition to the positive aspects of this scenario, the presenters expect the talk to stimulate discussions on ethics and privacy, though the study involved publicly available data with no personally identifiable information.
Military personnel and their families at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington, got a rare treat April 25 as they took part in a live video call with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. During the U.S. premiere of Marvel’s Iron Man 3 at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles, Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Sir Ben Kingsley and more spoke with members of the U.S. military via a custom-built “Skype Suite.”
It wasn’t long ago that patient privacy concerns were a major barrier for health organizations looking to move to the cloud. That changed in December 2011, when Office 365 became the first and only major cloud business productivity service to offer customers a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) that addresses the rigorous regulations of the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Today, Microsoft strengthens that commitment with an updated BAA that meets HIPAA Final Rules for our next-generation cloud services. Johns Hopkins University has been confirmed as one of our first customers to sign with Microsoft’s updated BAA, which also covers Dynamics CRM Online and Windows Azure Core Services. Read more about the update over on the Microsoft News Center.
Since our initial BAA, Office 365 has helped many hospitals, insurers and clinics improve communication, productivity and care coordination, all while lowering IT costs and maintaining HIPAA compliance.
Want to know how underrepresented women and girls are in science and technology in the developed and developing world? Here are a couple of stats to chew on from Alethea Lodge-Clarke, Public-Private Partnerships Manager, International Organizations at Microsoft:
“In the United States, only 18 percent of computer science degrees are earned by women and only 22 percent of software engineers at technology companies are women,” Lodge-Clarke writes in this post over on the Microsoft Citizenship Blog.
Microsoft leads and participates in several initiatives aimed at boosting the number of women and girls in science and technology, and one of those efforts is Girls in ICT Day, “which brings together girls, young women and university students to attend events hosted by ICT companies, NGOs and government agencies around the world.”
Have you ever found yourself on the go and wanting to check your stock portfolio or made a quick trade?
Fidelity Investments app for Window Phone 8 – our latest App of the Week - can do that and much more.
Fidelity customers will appreciate the elegant design and ease-of-use when checking their accounts, creating watch lists or making stock trades.
Today the Bing team announced the launch of Bing Offers, a new destination that aggregates deals from a wide variety of partners.
Bing Offers makes it simple to find great deals by putting them all in one place and letting you search for the deals you actually want, so you don’t have to sift through multiple websites or emails.
The IT team at Tallinn Polytechnic School in Estonia was motived to move to Windows 8 by two things: First, they’re a technical school, so they wanted their students to be using the most current technology. Second, their small IT department needed to simplify management.
Last August, Tallinn joined an early access program for Windows 8 and went on a six-day pilot sprint, testing applications for compatibility. After a few minor tweaks, the decision was made. Eight hours later, using System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (SCCM), they had migrated more than 200 computers to Windows 8.
Read more about Tallinn’s pilot and quick migration to Windows 8 in the Q&A with Heiki Tähis, CIO at Tallinn Polytechnic School, in today’s post on the Microsoft Education Blog.
We just surprised @emperor37anofsf with a signed @blakeshelton guitar! Thanks for tweeting! #MicrosoftCA twitter.com/MicrosoftStore…
— Microsoft Store (@MicrosoftStore) April 25, 2013
We just surprised @emperor37anofsf with a signed @blakeshelton guitar! Thanks for tweeting! #MicrosoftCA twitter.com/MicrosoftStore…
San Franciscans are now filing into the new Microsoft Store in the city’s Westfield San Francisco Centre, where festivities will continue this weekend with a live concert and meet-and-greet with country singer Blake Shelton at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Customers now at the store are picking up tickets to the Saturday performance and a few are winning cool prizes, including @Emperor37ANofSF seen here with his new guitar signed by Shelton.
The Internet Explorer team – in partnership with top-tier interactive agencies and brands – continues to turn out a steady stream of stunning Web experiences like the innovative Contre Jour multi-touch game that took “Best In Show” at this year’s SXSW Interactive awards. Now several of those projects are nominated for this year’s Webby Awards.If the winners were picked based on my own personal time spent, the brilliant 8-bit nostalgia trip of Atari Arcade -- featuring addictive touch-friendly Web versions of some of my Atari childhood favorites, including Missile Command and Asteroids – would sweep the awards. But this is a democracy, so head over to the Webby Awards site today before the midnight deadline and vote for your favorite nominees.
You can see more of the Internet Explorer projects in the running here, and there's a nice behind-the-scenes video about Atari Arcade after the jump.