Microsoft News Center
Before you start your Skype video call in Windows 8.1, make sure you’ve checked a few things with your webcam, writes Matthew de Beer, on Skype’s Tips & Tricks Blog.
De Beer offers simple steps to make sure your webcam is installed correctly, and has the right permission and default settings. He also gives tips on how to switch cameras during a call.
A new tutorial and sample code to illustrate Windows Azure Java-related technologies in action have just been published, reports the Windows Azure Blog.
Windows Azure is an open cloud platform, and supports several programming languages and frameworks including Java, as well as Microsoft .NET, Node.js, PHP, Python and Ruby.
The monthly spotlight on indie designers -- The Next Big Thing collection – shines on 30 games, including the fierce but oh-so-adorable “Pocket Army” (shown above). That’s a lot of games to go through, but here are some to get the party started.
Nonprofit organizations and public libraries can now get Windows 8.1 through Microsoft’s software donation program, the Corporate Citizenship Blog reports.
“Thanks to many of you, we received a tremendous response from the nonprofit community around the world with the launch Windows 8,” writes Jane Meseck, Microsoft’s director of corporate citizenship. “Windows 8.1 is an evolution of the Windows 8 vision, bringing together powerful productivity apps and a range of ways to ensure your team can reach the resources they need from any device or location.”
If you can’t get enough of “Scandal,” “Modern Family,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” or other ABC shows, now you don’t have to part with them when you leave the house. WATCH ABC for Windows lets you enjoy those shows wherever and whenever you’re connected to the Internet.
This week, Michael Robinson, Microsoft’s vice president of U.S. Health and Life Sciences, participated in the U.S. News and World Report Hospital of Tomorrow Conference held in Washington, D.C.
The event gave Robinson the opportunity to connect with many leading hospital executives and health care visionaries to explore methods for tackling the range of challenges facing the health systems of today and those in the future.
On Tuesday, Robinson participated in the luncheon keynote session with Peter Slavin, M.D., President of Massachusetts General Hospital, and Shalom Jacobovitz, Chief Executive Officer of the American College of Cardiology. The panel’s moderator was Len Nichols, Ph.D., director and professor, Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics, George Mason University.
The following post is from Satya Nadella, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise, Microsoft. It was originally published on The Official Microsoft Blog.
On Wednesday at Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) event in New York, I joined Cisco CEO John Chambers to announce an expanded partnership between our two companies.
Microsoft and Cisco have a long history of collaborating to help customers address business and technology challenges. Together, we helped customers embrace IP-based client server computing and, most recently, with our pre-validated solutions, we’ve helped customers like ING Direct, nGenx, and the City of Barcelona embrace the private cloud.
The pace of change in our industry continues to accelerate and customers are facing new challenges, including the growth of Internet-connected devices and the explosion of the applications and data that light those devices up. This growth is straining today’s infrastructure as IT struggles to keep up with the demands of new applications. All of this leads to increased complexity and rising costs.
As enterprise IT turns to cloud computing, they will choose providers that put applications and workloads front and center, integrate with a broad ecosystem of industry players, support industry standards and deliver flexibility via hybrid clouds. This is the approach we are taking with our Cloud OS and our expanded partnership with Cisco.
Halo Waypoint is giving “Halo 4” – and players – a first birthday party to remember. On Wednesday only, the site will make a “special ‘Halo 4’ Birthday Fiesta playlist” available, and it will feature “mini festive-colored Spartans and FFA Fiesta Slayer gameplay, served alongside a steady stream of hoorays and confetti!”
Also on Wednesday only, players will be able to pick up the in-game Guilty Spark emblem, Halo Waypoint notes. “Play an online game of War Games or Spartan Ops Matchmaking, and your shiny new 343-themed emblem will be unlocked within the next few weeks.”
When you hit “save” or “save as” you’re used to seeing “computer” as a place to save to, and then maybe going to the desktop or to a specific folder as a landing place for a file or photo. In Windows 8.1, “save to SkyDrive” is a terrific option for that file, photo or even video you may want to save. Why? Because then you can also access it on another PC, Windows tablet or Windows Phone.
It’s a simple process and it “doesn’t even matter if I’m not connected to the Internet,” writes David S. on the Windows Experience Blog. “The doc is automatically saved to my PC and synced to my SkyDrive folder as soon as I connect. Then, when I'm at work, on a different PC, I can just go back to my SkyDrive right on my PC and print out the latest version.”
The Windows Phone developer team has been proactively working with third-party development tool vendors to ensure that their developers can take advantage of the monetization opportunities and global user base on the Windows platforms.
The latest of these vendors is Marmalade, which just released the final version of Marmalade 7, their cross-platform C++ SDK that includes support for Windows Phone 8.
Hundreds of Marmalade developers have already taken advantage of the opportunity to develop for the Windows Phone Store, and to participate in a special Marmalade offer, with rewards for porting your app to the Windows Phone Store.
With Tuesday’s release of “Call of Duty: Ghosts” comes a new “Call of Duty” companion app for Windows Phone 8.
Two crown jewel racetracks of the international racing scene have been announced for “Forza Motorsport 5” – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Silverstone Circuit.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, also known as “The Brickyard” due to its all-brick construction (until 1961, that is), is home to the Indy 500, the premier racing event in the Indy Racing League, America’s top open-wheel competition. Watch the video above to catch a glimpse of the legendary speedway zip by in an open-wheel race car.
Tel Aviv, considered one of the world’s most innovative cities, and a major international tourist destination, once relied on more than 400 information systems “installed on hundreds of servers to deliver services to citizens” and to tourists, writes Maor David-Pur, industry solution manager in government for Microsoft Israel. No more.
In just four months, Tel Aviv’s Project Management office, using the city’s vision for innovation and Microsoft’s CityNext solutions, “built a multi-functional, cloud-based system that integrates several systems into one place,” David-Pur writes Tuesday on the Microsoft in Government Blog.
On Tuesday, Microsoft took another step in its commitment to helping businesses and other organizations harness the power of Windows 8.1 through intelligent systems. In July, the company announced a new Volume Licensing program that allows organizations to access certain versions of Windows Embedded 8. As the Windows Embedded blog reports, Microsoft now extends that program to versions of Windows Embedded 8.1, including Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry.
Games make up a third of all Windows Phone downloads, and indie games are seeing downloads increase by 253 percent on average every month, writes Emilio Salvador Prieto on the Windows Phone Developer Blog. Because of that, and with the GDC Next (Game Developers Conference) in Los Angeles this week, the blog has kicked off a series of posts with advice from developers of some of the best titles in the Windows Phone Store.
This first post focuses on the games and people behind the indie hits, “Monster Stack 3,” “SongArc” (screenshot above), “Sudoku” by Fons Sonnemans and “Ragdoll Run.”
For the past year, Bing has been working hard to help you discover and use contextually relevant apps without having to put down your Windows device. With Windows Phone, Bing introduced a way to include apps within search results. As the Bing Search Blog reports, there are now more than 300 apps that will show up for a given search.
Now that Windows 8.1 is out, some developers are wondering once their apps are updated to 8.1 what that means for customers running Windows 8. Ian LeGrow, Windows group program manager, writes on the Windows App Builder Blog to reassure developers “we’ve created a straightforward path for you to continue working on your app targeted at Windows 8.1 while still supporting your Windows 8 customers.”
Developers update their Windows 8.1 package, and the Windows Store then “makes both versions available, targeting each one at the appropriate version of Windows.”
On Tuesday, users got a sneak peek at Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3, planned for release in April 2014. As the Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX blog reports, new features and tools available through this release will give businesses the ability “to engage with customers on their terms, run agile operations to exceed your customers’ needs, and expand your business to better serve your customers.”
With the new “Avengers Initiative” game from Marvel Entertainment, available now in the Windows and Windows Phone Stores, you can play as either Captain America or the Hulk to track and take down super villains like Abomination and The Skrulls, both of whom have escaped from The Vault (a top-secret S.H.I.E.L.D. facility in the Rocky Mountains).
Independent game developers are just as important to Microsoft as bigger companies, and to make sure indies have the tools they need, the Xbox One add-on for Unity, when it’s released in 2014, will be available at no cost to developers in the ID@Xbox program.
The announcement was made on Xbox Wire Tuesday by Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox, Microsoft’s independent developer self-publishing program for Xbox One. Also to be offered to Xbox One developers in the ID@Xbox program are special Xbox One-only Unity Pro seat licenses.
Ready for vengeance on some barbarian bad guys? “The Fall,” the first episode of the “Ryse: Son of Rome” live-action original series, is available for viewing on Machinima, Xbox Wire reports.
The story is told through the eyes of Marius Titus, a Roman soldier determined to avenge the murder of his family by barbarian bandits.
On Tuesday, Microsoft Ventures announced a new seed-stage investment in startup Ranku, a discovery engine that helps students and adults looking to further their education navigate the process and find reputable online colleges.
“As a growing option for many students, online education can be a great fit and excellent resource for many adults looking to go back to school and working professionals furthering their career. However, comparable information for online institutions can be tough to find,” writes Rahul Sood, general manager of Microsoft Ventures, in a blog post.
Each week, we bring you a new app recommendation from one of our colleagues. This week’s Staff App Pick comes from Nora Kelly, a Group Marketing Manager at Microsoft.
As a mom of two active boys, I like to get them out of the house as often as possible so they can take advantage of the life of the city around us.
The StubHub app for Windows and Windows Phone makes it easy and fast for even my 9-year-old to find events, find available tickets and get the best seats in the house.
On Tuesday in Johannesburg, Microsoft furthered its commitment to the small business sector in Africa by launching its first small- and medium-sized enterprise hub, in South Africa.
The new online hub – which can be found at southafrica.biz4afrika.com – is designed to bring a range of free and highly relevant products and services to SMEs in South Africa. For the first year, this includes helping SMEs get their businesses online, by providing a free .co.za domain, a free website and free email and collaboration tools.
Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner spoke in Johannesburg on Tuesday, and said the opening of the Biz4Afrika hub was a strategic component of Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative announced earlier this year, when the company committed to bringing 1 million African SMEs online in three years’ time.
At its annual Convergence event in Barcelona on Tuesday, Microsoft announced the broad availability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, introduced Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 and heard from a number of customers using Microsoft Dynamics to better engage with their customers.
Microsoft also announced a set of 18 new predefined and configurable process templates that include sports management, healthcare, government and nonprofit, as well as some specialized areas such as prison offender management.
In addition, Microsoft confirmed the availability of new touch-optimized experiences on Windows Phones, iPhones and Android phones that give customers powerful functionality and analytics on the go, without a separate license fee. Also announced was a new global pricing promotion that lets eligible existing and new Microsoft Office 365 customers purchase professional licenses of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and get up to a 40 percent discount on the price of the CRM license, giving them immediate and significant value for their technology investment.