The Official Microsoft Blog

News & Perspectives

January, 2011

  • Weekend Reading: Jan. 28th Edition – Windows Phone 7, the Oscars, NUI and Privacy

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Senior Manager, Corporate Blogs

    This edition of Weekend Reading has a little bit of everything for everyone – Windows Phone 7, Bing, NUI, the Oscars and even a funny video of school children trying to decipher some of the technologies of yesteryear.

    Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. That’s “A Little Night Music” to you, courtesy of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Speaking of Herr Mozart, check out this Jan. 26th post from Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton where he explores the natural user interface abilities of the HTC Mozart smartphone, which runs Windows Phone 7.

  • Microsoft Announces Record Quarterly Revenue and Earnings Per Share

    Today, Microsoft announced record quarterly revenue of $19.95 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010, a 15 percent increase over the adjusted revenue of the comparable quarter in the previous year.

    Earnings per share grew to a record $0.77 per share, a 28 percent increase over the previous year.

    Operating income and net income were $8.17 billion and $6.63 billion, respectively.

    Other highlights from the second quarter include:

  • Statement by Microsoft Investor Relations

    "A preproduction draft of our earnings release was discovered by one or more media sources who then published our results to the web before market close. After consulting with NASDAQ, we have posted our official numbers. We apologize for any confusion...
  • Microsoft is Imagining a NUI future

    You don’t have to look very far to realize that technology is becoming more natural and intuitive. In a typical day, many people use touch or speech to interact with technology—on their phones, at the ATM, at the grocery store and in their cars. The learning curve for working with computers is becoming less and less of a barrier thanks to more natural ways to interact.

    As Craig Mundie has stated on many occasions, technology is beginning to behave like we do. For Microsoft, natural user interface (NUI) technology is an area we’ve invested in for many years. The fruits of those investments are now being seen across many of our products, including Windows Phone 7, Microsoft Surface 2.0, Bing for Mobile and Office 2010 Mini Translator. One product that has gotten a lot of attention recently is our Kinect for Xbox 360, which incorporates facial recognition along with gesture-based and voice control. The device knows who you are, understands your voice or the wave of your hand and is changing the face of gaming as we know it. We’ve also witnessed how Kinect has inspired others to explore the potential of NUI, and we’re excited about the potential that others see in this technology.

  • The DLD Conference in Germany: Sprechen Sie Cloud?

    This week, I had the opportunity to speak at the annual Digital, Life, Design Conference in Munich.

    DLD brings together opinion leaders, pioneers from media, business, government, technology and the arts at the forefront of enriching life’s experiences with technology.  

    Attendees and speakers included Matthew Bishop (the Economist), Marissa Meyer (Google), Esther Dyson, Deepak Chopra and many others. In my particular track, which focused on cloud computing, I was joined by CEO Marc Benioff and Cisco Systems CTO Padmasree Warrior

  • Ballmer Praises Appointment of GE CEO to President’s Jobs Council

    Earlier today, President Barack Obama appointed General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt as chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

    The council’s goal is to serve as a catalyst for ideas and action to improve U.S. economic vitality.
    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer praised Immelt’s appointment as chairman to the council:

  • Weekend Reading: Jan. 21st Edition

    It was a very busy week here at Microsoft.

    Here are eight stories from around the company you may have missed.

    Listen, kids. It DOES get better. In her Jan. 19th Boomtown column on AllThingsD, Kara Swisher writes about the It Gets Better Project, which was “created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years.” In her piece, which was  written in the wake of a rash of suicides by LGBT teenagers, Swisher highlights videos from a number of technology companies, including Microsoft. Last November, Microsoft’s Jacqueline Beauchere blogged about Microsoft’s efforts to fight to stop cyberbullying.

  • Microsoft Global Energy Forum 2011 Kicks off in Houston

    Executives from the oil, gas and technology industries are in Houston today for the eighth annual Microsoft Global Energy Forum.

    The results of the 2011 Oil & Gas Industry Collaboration Survey released today show that industry professionals are collaborating more and more and adopting the use of social media tools into their daily work.

  • Microsoft Announces Global Release of Dynamics CRM Online 2011

    Today, Microsoft announced the worldwide availability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2011.

    The new cloud service will be available in 40 markets and 41 languages and delivers familiar, intelligent and connected experiences to customers.

    For more information regarding the launch, read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center and this press release.

  • Weekend Reading: Jan. 14th Edition

    It’s going to be a soggy weekend in Seattle, according to this MSN weather forecast, so here’s a little Weekend Reading for those who choose not to brave the elements.

    Big year for patents at Microsoft. According to this TechFlash story, Microsoft was granted 3,094 patents in 2010 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. As TechFlash Managing Editor Todd Bishop noted in his piece, the 3,094 patents by Microsoft continued “the steady acceleration displayed by the company in recent years.”

  • Cloud Computing Offers Local Businesses Opportunities for Growth

    As a native of metro Detroit, I see firsthand how our local businesses have been impacted by the economic challenges we have endured over the past few years. This includes a major shift in how one of our once most dominant industries – automotive manufacturing – has needed to re-invent itself to remain competitive globally.

    Adapting to the new norm has been a humbling experience for many, including myself and Microsoft. In Michigan, we have endured tremendous job loss. It wasn’t so long ago that the state’s unemployment rate reached nearly 30 percent. And throughout 2010, that rate was steadily in double digits. However, with a new year upon us, there is renewed hope and energy around what’s possible.

  • It’s Official: 2010 the Biggest Year in Xbox History

    The debut of Kinect and smash-hit games like “Fable III” and “Halo: Reach,” drove Xbox to the biggest year in its history in 2010.

    More December 2010 highlights from NPD, an independent market research firm, include:

  • Fast-growing BizSpark Shows Cloud Computing Benefits

    When we launched BizSpark back in November 2008, our mission was clear: Give startups – the lifeblood of the technology sector – the tools and software they need to succeed.

    Since then, about 35,000 startups from all over the world have enrolled in the program, which provides early-stage businesses with fast and easy access to software development tools and platforms as well as a network of 2,500 network partners – including venture capital firms, university incubators, consultants and angel investors – interested in helping startups grow.

  • Haiti One Year Later: Technology Lessons for Disaster Response

    A year ago today, Haiti was devastated by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

    With millions of people still struggling to survive, the outbreak of cholera in the country and political tensions caused by the recent elections, Haiti remains in a state of crisis.

    Microsoft is one of many companies and organizations involved in the relief effort in Haiti since day one. Our Disaster Response Team has responded to disasters for more than 25 years, with the goal of providing lead non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government organizations (GO) and inter-government organizations (IGO) such as the United Nations with technology to help them communicate and coordinate relief activities.

  • Connections, Reflections and Projections at NRF 2011

    Happy New Year! As we enter 2011, we look to the future with optimism and excitement.

    For those of us gathering this week in New York City for the National Retail Federation’s 100th Annual Convention and Expo, it’s time for both reflection and looking ahead. How did retailers fare in 2010? What’s the latest game-changer that deserves our attention?

  • Microsoft at National Retail Federation’s 100th Anniversary Show – Winning the Tech-Savvy Customer

    This year, the National Retail Federation’s annual trade show – now in its 100th year – will focus on the opportunities and challenges associated with engaging with today’s tech-savvy consumer.

    Today’s consumer comes to every buying decision armed with an arsenal of information that wasn’t easily available just a few years ago. They know more about products, prices and where the items they want are available than ever before.

  • Microsoft releases Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5

    Today, I’m pleased to announce the availability of Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5. 

    Windows Embedded Handheld is the platform that powers enterprise handheld devices. Businesses such as retailers, delivery companies and others that rely on handheld computers depend on Windows Embedded Handheld to run critical business applications in an environment which integrates well with the rest of their systems, making them easy and efficient to use and to maintain. These devices provide mobile workers with access to real-time information such as inventory, product information and pricing; and they help improve customer responsiveness and sales effectiveness, and secure business-critical data.

  • Weekend Reading: CES 2011 Edition

    With the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show about to wind down, I thought now would be a good time to take a look at some of the major announcements Microsoft made in Las Vegas as well as a few other stories that might have gotten missed during all the hub-bub.

  • Microsoft Welcomes the Boys & Girls Club to CES 2011

    Here at CES 2011, I’m struck by how natural and intuitive technology is today.

    The sound of your voice can cue a game to begin, and the touch of a finger can bring up Bing on a Windows 7 PC. Microsoft is turning science fiction into science fact, something that’s amazing to an adult like me.

    We brought a group of kids to our booth from local chapters of the Boys & Girls Club of America, and I’m inspired by the ease with which they used their voices, gestures and touch to interact with technology.

  • Microsoft CES 2011 – More on Kinect, Surface 2.0 and the Touch Mouse

    In his keynote speech on Wednesday at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled some pretty remarkable numbers for the Xbox 360 and Kinect. The full transcript and video of the speech is now available, just in case you missed it. Also, catch all the Microsoft CES news on our CES Newsroom.

    Here’s a quick breakdown of Kinect’s impressive start since its early November launch, as well as some bits and pieces on the console itself and Xbox LIVE:

  • Microsoft CES 2011 - Slick New Kinect Features, Windows and Surface 2.0

    Microsoft made a big splash at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show amid the glitz, glamor and bright lights of Las Vegas.

    In his keynote speech at the Las Vegas Hilton, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a number of major announcements around Xbox 360, new enhancements to Windows Phone 7 and the next generation of Microsoft Surface, the company’s natural user interface technology. The full story is available in the Microsoft News Center.