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Social workplace tools are changing the way people work. They break down organizational and geographical silos, bringing us closer to our corporate colleagues – and the knowledge they possess. However, unlike our Facebook friends, where we know who to ask for a restaurant recommendation versus who to go to for movie picks, workplace social means encountering a lot of people you don’t know. And a lot of people who don’t know you. To remedy this, the Yammer blog today shares tips on creating a winning Yammer profile.
By building out a professional profile on your Yammer account, you help others find what and who they’re looking for more quickly. For example, which profile would you find more valuable: “Tom from marketing” or “Tom, who has experience deploying international marketing systems”?
nsquared, a Sydney, Australia company that is passionate about learning and technology, has developed three new applications that take advantage of Kinect for Windows to provide users with interactive, natural user interface experiences.
In a guest post over on the Kinect for Windows Blog, Celeste Humphrey, business development consultant at nsquared, and Dr. Neil Roodyn, director of nsquared, go into detail about some truly amazing products for education, hospitality and events nsquared has created using Kinect for Windows:
· nsquared sky spelling – this new application, aimed at children aged 4 to 12, makes it fun to learn to spell in an interactive and collaborative environment. Each child selects a character or vehicle, such as a dragon, a biplane or a butterfly, and then flies as that character through the sky to capture letters that complete the spelling of various words. (That’s a screenshot of sky spelling above).
The Next Big Thing Collection is one of the most popular collections in the Windows Phone Store because it lets us showcase some of the latest and greatest games from our community of indie developers.
If you’re into indie games, then you’ll be happy to know we just added 11 new titles to the collection that we think you’ll love, from Finger Party to Epic Battle Dude.
Windows Phone Blog Editor Michael Stroh has highlighted four of his personal favorites to whet your appetite and put you ahead of the curve.
In many industries you’ll find substantial reluctance to embrace social networking tools and explore the productivity gains they can bring. That’s not so true in the media and telecom industries, according to new research Microsoft published on May 27.
Publishing and media employees embrace social media in a major way compared to their counterparts in other industries. Only 38 percent of respondents say social tools are a distraction at work, and just 33 percent say using social tools at work is frowned upon, both of which are the lowest of all industry respondents. In addition, 44 percent of respondents say they use social media to promote a work-related initiative, by far the highest of all industries.
If you live in the U.S. or Canada, from now to June 30 is a great time to buy a Surface RT, because you’ll get a free Touch Cover, Touch Cover Limited Edition, or Type Cover in the bargain.
Touch and Type Cover do a lot more than just protect and personalize your Surface RT. By providing a keyboard that goes everywhere with you, they let you get real work done. With Office Home & Student 2013 RT pre-installed - which includes versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote - a Touch Cover or Type Cover is the perfect accessory for your Surface.
Microsoft's weeklong look at social networking in the workplace continues today at the Vertical Industries blog, which shines a light on the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers rely on social tools every day to keep their businesses running smoothly and to keep their employees connected--no matter where in the world they are.
"Imagine you are a remote employee working on an oil rig in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. If an issue arises, you need to nimbly and efficiently contact your numerous colleagues and vendors who may be in offices hundreds of miles away. Social networking tools make this possible and help prevent minor issues from becoming catastrophes," according to the post.
Today, the Windows team offered a first look at Windows 8.1, and one of the many enhancements is a reimagined search experience that’s faster, more fluid and more powerful than ever.
“We think your digital world should be accessible without having to actually ‘go to search,’” writes Bing exec Derrick Connell on the Bing Search Blog. “Just like few people say they are going to ‘go online,’ we want to make ‘searching’ something that’s just there when you need it.”
There are 700 technical training sessions at the upcoming TechEd North America event in New Orleans. Successful IT pros know that, rather than being overwhelmed, this treasure trove of learning calls for a clear strategy.
The Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform Team is here to help with tips, insider information, and 11 ways to get the most out of a visit to TechEd North America. Let the server and cloud experts guide you to the right seminars and sessions, help you join the myITforum Twitter Army, and show you how to meet and interact with experts and likeminded “birds of a feather.”
Graph source: Gallup, 21st Century Skills and the Workplace: A 2013 Microsoft Partners in Learning and Pearson Foundation Study
Think back to when you were in high school. How many times did you say to your parents, “Why do I need to learn algebra? When am I ever going to use algebra in real life?”
While the question may seem youthful and naïve, the underlying sentiment is just as true today as it was back then and should not be ignored: Students thirst for an education that empowers them to solve real-world problems.
Some of the most enthusiastic applause during the May 21 unveiling of Xbox One came during demos of the brand-new Kinect. It’s not hard to see why when you watch the two new videos that dive into the details of the eyes, ears and brains behind the updated device.
For starters, the new Kinect has three times the fidelity of the first-generation Kinect, so it can recognize details like the wrinkles in your shirt, facial expressions and the fingers on your hand. Game developers will take advantage of this heightened fidelity to deliver more realistic gameplay, and the ways you interact with your Xbox will improve as the device recognizes more of your movements.
Craftsmanship. Design. Refinement to the tenth of a millimeter. The Xbox One console was developed with all of these in mind to become the ultimate gaming and entertainment system.
In a new Xbox Wire post, Carl Ledbetter, creative director of Industrial Design at Microsoft, and other members of the design team talk about the big ideas and small touches that went into creating something customers old and new will love.
One of the best ways to experience the power of Skype is on Windows Phone 8. If you haven’t already, we highly recommend you download the app from the Windows Phone Store.
Meantime, the folks at Skype have put together a set of tips and tricks over on the Skype Blogs covering some of the main things you’ll want to do with Skype on your Windows Phone device, including:
• Adding a contact • Sending an instant message
How does a company transform humdrum ideas into humdingers? For aerospace and manufacturing giant Textron, the answer is social networking.
With 33,000 employees in 25 countries, "the competitive advantage that is available to us by tapping into the knowledge and skills that those employees bring to bear is incredible," said Adele Suddes, vice president of Communications at Textron. "If employees have a venue where they can put an idea out there and have others morph it, that idea can suddenly go from so-so to awesome."
Every week, the Windows Phone Store team offers three great apps at a discount of 50 percent or more. This week, we’ve got a mix of great apps, indie games and Xbox titles:
· Flightradar24 – your Windows Phone becomes a pocket air traffic control, letting you view details and track the flight paths of planes aloft worldwide, right now. ($.99, regularly $2.99)
· Cradle to the Grave – you’re one of three survivors fighting off zombies bent on overtaking the world. ($.99, regularly $1.99)
Early birds take note, the second release candidate for Visual Studio 2012.3 shipped this week and is available for you to kick the tires on.
“We are getting close to shipping Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2012.3 (Update 3),” Brian Harry posted on his blog today. “We’re down to fixing just the last few bugs and if you are thinking of upgrading to Update 3, now would be a good time to give it a try and let us know if there are any last minute issues we need to fix.”
Antoine Leblond, corporate vice president of Windows Program Management, today provided a "first look" at Windows 8.1 on the Windows blog.
In his post, Leblond underscored that Windows 8.1 is an update to Windows 8. He gave a high-level look at the improvements and enhancements in Windows 8.1 in key areas like personalization, search, built-in apps, the Windows Store experience, and cloud connectivity.
Windows 8.1 will be available later this year as a free update to Windows 8 through the Windows Store, the same way customers are getting app updates today, Leblond said.
The following is a post from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft. It was originally posted on The Official Microsoft Blog.
I’m at the 11th edition of All Things Digital, one of my favorite events. Smart people, interesting interviews on the main stage, great conversations outside the interviews. Tim Cook kicked things off last night, and in keeping with the theme of the event, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher discussed what it means to be in a “Post PC” era. How much do I love this topic :)
On one hand, looking around the conference, there were iPads and other tablets as far as the eye could see. On the other hand, (as I noted in a tweet), most of the people around me were using their iPads exactly as they would a laptop – physical keyboard attached, typing away, connected to a network of some kind, creating a document or tweet or blog or article. In that context, it’s hard to distinguish between a tablet and a notebook or laptop. The form factors are different, but let’s be clear, each is a PC.
Later after dinner, a group of us (including Walt) were talking, and I was trying to make the point that we’re getting hung up on semantics in an unnecessary way and probably are more in agreement than not.
It’s happened to all of us – we get comfortable in a nice, dark movie theater, eagerly anticipating the start of the show, and someone – there’s always one, isn’t there – just won’t stop texting on their phone.
Results released today from Microsoft’s Safer Online poll identified five mobile pet peeves that both men and women find most annoying:
1. Constant phone-checking (44 percent)
2. Loud talkers (41 percent)
3. Using or not silencing phones when socially appropriate (40 percent)
4. Using one’s phone during face-to-face conversation (39 percent), and
5. Delaying traffic due to mobile-phone use (35 percent)
“To the cloud!” A new study shows that more and more organizations are turning to cloud computing as a way to grow their business – and a way to refine their business strategy.
“The next two years will be the era of hybrid cloud, with 68 percent of customers planning to adopt hybrid cloud models — up from 49 percent today,” said Marco Limena, vice president, Hosting Service Providers Business, Microsoft. “In addition, the survey found that as customers begin to move their IT environments into the cloud, software is sticky and brand is even more important.”
A new and improved (and free) version of the Windows Phone App for Desktop is now available for download.
The app allows Windows Phone owners to sync music, photos and other media between your Windows Phone and your Windows PC, Windows Phone blogger Drew Williams reports.
The new app includes some handy new features:
· Expanded podcast support. Support for iTunes podcasts has been a useful feature in the preview versions of the app, but many people get their podcasts from other sources. Now, as long as your podcasts are saved in a folder, you can automatically sync them to your phone.
Eighty-six hard-working teams of young developers have a date in St. Petersburg, Russia in July to compete in the 11thannual Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in pursuit of $1,000,000 in cash prizes and other awards.
Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier technology program and competition for students to learn, build and compete using innovative tools, platforms and services.
“For more than a decade, Imagine Cup has cultivated entrepreneurship in students and has provided them with a vehicle to bring their creativity to life through apps, software platforms and social networks,” said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and chief evangelist at Microsoft. “Participating in initiatives such as Imagine Cup, DreamSpark and BizSpark gives students skills to transition from the classroom to the professional world as business owners, programmers, game designers and entrepreneurs.”
They say when it rains, it pours, and in the world of big data it feels like monsoon season as more and more governments are moving their vast repositories of data into the cloud and opening them up to the public.
Recently, the City of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada announced the launch of its Open Government Data Initiative (OGDI) DataLab project. Also, the City of Bremen in Germany took its Open Data project mobile. Created by a local student, the Open Bremen smartphone application provides citizens with quick access to local data and information, such as addresses and directions to city attractions.
Now, it looks like the United Kingdom’s Meteorological Office (Met Office) is jumping into the game, according to a post today on the Openness @ Microsoft Blog.
This week Microsoft is taking a look at social networking in the workplace. Kicking things off was a global survey that highlighted workers' growing desire for social technology at the office.
Over at the Microsoft Vertical Industries blog, they're exploring how retail employees responded:
"Those in retail were more likely than people in other industries to avoid using social tools at the office because they are worried they will give the impression that they aren’t working. In addition, 45 percent of respondents said their management is concerned that employees will disclose sensitive company information through these tools. But 75 percent of retail respondents say they like using new technologies that make them more productive at work, and almost half of say they could do their job better if management was more supportive of social tools."
The Office News blog reports that the new Office is officially the best-selling edition yet, selling at an average rate of one per second.
Office 365 Home Premium has also hit a milestone, passing 1 million subscribers in just over 100 days. That’s a quicker climb to the million mark than some of the most popular services out there, as you can see in this infographic:
Curious about the games coming to Xbox One? Can you be in L.A. by 8:30 a.m. on June 10? If so, head over to Major Nelson's blog for a chance to win a pass to the Xbox E3 Media Briefing. The Major is giving away 250 tickets to the event, which will unveil the games planned for Xbox One and Xbox 360. Visit his blog to learn more and enter to win.