The Official Microsoft Blog

News & Perspectives

June, 2011

  • World IPv6 Day – Next Generation of Internet Successfully Tested

    World IPv6 Day was on June 8th and was a resounding success.

    IPv6 is the next generation of the Internet Protocol, and defines how computers communicate and address each other across networks. The current version of the Internet Protocol, IPv4, is not able to support the growing number of devices connected to the Internet. This concern, among other issues, is driving the Internet to upgrade to IPv6. IPv6 provides critical performance and architecture improvements for all networks, and will enable a better, faster and more capable Internet.

    World IPv6 Day was a one-day test of IPv6 support, with dozens of websites across the technology industry enabling IPv6 access for a 24-hour period. Here at Microsoft, we provided IPv6 access to, and as well as Microsoft advertising services, without any incident.

  • Microsoft Supports Next Generation of the Internet with World IPv6 Day

    Today, Microsoft will join other members of the Internet Society (ISOC) in support of World IPv6 Day as part of a broad industry effort to test the next generation Internet Protocol (IPv6). We’re providing IPv6 access to, and for a one-day test of this vastly improved Internet Protocol.

    Users with IPv6 Internet capabilities should automatically utilize IPv6 when connecting to a participating website. To use IPv6, your Internet Service Provider needs to support it, as well as your computer.

  • Hot on the Trail of the Rustock Botnet

    In March, we announced that Microsoft had, with the help of industry partners and law enforcement, taken down the notorious spamming botnet, Rustock.

    Since that time, I’m happy to report that the botnet has stayed dead. Our technical countermeasures have worked effectively to prevent the bot’s self-defense mechanisms from reanimating it. Moreover, in the months since the takedown, we’ve seen the number of infected IP addresses (a loose proxy for the number of infected computers) decline as more and more people update their software or get malware removed from their PCs.

  • Kinect for Windows SDK – It’s Here!

    Anticipation for the Kinect or Windows software development kit beta has been high, and we promised we’d launch before the end of spring.

    Well, today is the day - at 10:00 a.m., the SDK will be available for free from Microsoft Research. The SDK includes not only drivers but also APIs, device interfaces, installer documents and resource materials. It’s another exciting milestone for a technology that has captured the imagination of millions, and has become the fastest selling computer electronics device of all time.

    Back in February, we announced the intention to release an SDK, and at MIX11, we showed some of the projects that were already underway with the SDK inside and outside of Microsoft.

  • Xbox Builds on E3 Momentum & Nabs No. 1 Spot in U.S. Yet Again

    What a month it’s been for Xbox!

    First, Microsoft announced major plans for the world’s best-selling entertainment hub at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, including new game titles from blockbuster franchises like Halo, Gears of War and Call of Duty. Also at E3, the company introduced voice search with Bing on Xbox and Kinect that will enable people to use their voice to tell their Xbox what entertainment content they are looking for. As if that wasn’t enough, Microsoft also announced that UFC and YouTube will join ESPN, Hulu + and Netflix on Xbox LIVE.

    And if anyone has any doubt that 2011 continues to be the year of Xbox 360, check out the latest numbers from NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks the digital entertainment industry. For starters, Xbox 360 has sold more consoles than any other platform for 11 of the past 12 months in the United States. Now in the seventh year of its lifecycle, Xbox 360 is on pace to have the biggest year in its history, a feat never achieved by any console in history.

    May 2011 NPD highlights include:

    • Xbox 360 sold 270,000 units in May, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S.

  • Weekend Reading: June 24th Edition–Xbox Gets Major Kudos, plus SkyDrive, Windows Phone “Mango”, Kinect, Imagine Cup and STB Chief Satya Nadella

    This week’s edition of Weekend Reading has news on Xbox 360, the re-launch of SkyDrive, Windows Phone, Kinect and other stories from around Microsoft.

    And away we go!

    In Xbox 360 news this week…Xbox 360 and Kinect made the headlines in a number of publications this week, including CNBC and Geekwire. In this nearly 8-minute video, CNBC's Tyler Mathisen visits Microsoft and takes a look at how Xbox is faring in the marketplace. Also, on Wednesday, Geekwire’s Todd Bishop profiled Xbox 360 software engineer Laura Massey in the online tech pub’s “Geek of the Week” segment. Finally, it was recently announced that Microsoft led all gaming platforms with 55 nominations for the 2011 Game Critics Awards (nine more than in 2010.)

    A first look at the rebuilt SkyDrive. On Monday, Microsoft relaunched Windows Live SkyDrive, incorporating HTML5 and taking advantage of recent browser advances to provide a much-improved experience for accessing and sharing Microsoft Office documents, photos and more in the cloud.

  • Weekend Reading: June 3rd Edition–Microsoft previews “Windows 8” at D9 conference, plus Windows Phone, Xbox 360, E3 and Bing

    Let’s get into it. The big news this week out of Microsoft is obviously the unveiling of some of the UI for the next version of the Windows operating system – internally codenamed “Windows 8.”

    And AWAY we go…

    “Windows 8” makes a splash. This isn’t going to be your father’s version of Windows. As many now know, on Wednesday, Microsoft raised the curtain on the next version of Windows at All Things D’s D9 conference in California. The demonstration and related news from the Computex Exhibition in Taipei, showed that  future “Windows 8”-based PCs will scale from touch-only small screens through to large screens, with or without a keyboard and mouse. Don’t take my word for it though – go see for yourself. The Microsoft News Center has this video gallery and this image gallery so you can get a closer look at the new OS. Also, be sure to read this Wednesday post on Blogging Windows and this post by All Things D’s Ina Fried.

    Xbox: Now THAT’S entertainment! With all the excitement around “Windows 8,” once could almost forget that the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is almost upon us.

  • Weekend Reading: June 17th Edition–Kinect for Windows SDK is here plus Office 2010, Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Microsoft Research

    Microsoft made news on multiple fronts this week, including three big ones – the Kinect for Windows SDK, the one-year anniversary of Office 2010 and Xbox 360.

    Here’s the round up:

    Kinect for Windows SDK is here! On Thursday, Microsoft announced the arrival of the Kinect for Windows software development kit, which includes not only drivers but also APIs, device interfaces, installer documents and resource materials. It’s another exciting milestone for a technology that has captured the imagination of millions, and has become the fastest selling computer electronics device of all time. For more on this story, read Thursday’s post on the Next at Microsoft Blog. CNET, among other news media, also covered the story.

  • The Midweek Download: June 8th Edition–Delaware Schools Move to plus BUILD, Windows Phone Marketplace, “Windows 8” and TRON on IE9

    It’s been a busy week at Microsoft this week, what with the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) going on in Los Angeles and all, but Microsoft made lots of news in the last week not related to E3. Check it out…

    Delaware schools adopt Microsoft cloud suite. The Delaware Department of Education announced Tuesday that it is working with Microsoft to bring Microsoft Live@edu, an innovative suite of online communication and collaboration tools, to students, faculty and staff in district and charter schools throughout the state. The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) will initially migrate approximately 20,000 faculty and staff to this no-cost platform in June 2011, with the goal being to move everyone to Microsoft Live@edu, as well as offer it to the more-than-129,000-student population, over the next two years. Read this press release on the Microsoft News Center for more detail.

    Fujitsu and Microsoft team up on cloud. Fujitsu Ltd. and Microsoft today announced that the first release of its Global Cloud Platform service powered by Windows Azure, running in Fujitsu’s datacenter in Japan, will be launched in August 2011.

  • Microsoft E3 2011 Roundup–Halo, Gears of War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, UFC and YouTube on Xbox Live and Bing Voice Search on Kinect

    Microsoft kicked off the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles on Monday with an intense presentation of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the next installment in the hit game franchise. Want to know how intense? Check out this video in the Xbox newsroom on the Microsoft News Center.

    In addition to Call of Duty, Microsoft announced new game titles from blockbuster franchises like Halo and Gears of War. The company also unveiled a flood of new Kinect games (Star Wars!) and entertainment experiences, including voice search with Bing on Xbox and Kinect.

  • The Midweek Download: June 29th Edition–Windows Phone Devs Get a Basket of “Mango” plus Office 365, Nokia, Internet Explorer and Silverlight

    This week in the Midweek Download, we’ve got great news for Windows Phone developers, as well as another big story out of Microsoft – Office 365.

    Developers get a goody basket full of Mangos. In only a few months, Microsoft has surpassed the more established RIM marketplace in the number of real apps available to customers. Since beginning this journey with the new Windows Phone developer platform, we have aspired to be transparent, easy to build for and easy to partner with. We know that one of the most impactful things we can do for developers is to help them get their hands on the actual product. For Mango, that starts today with an early access program for developers. For more detail, read today’s post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog.

    And in other Windows phone news…

  • The Midweek Download: June 22nd Edition–Windows Phone “Mango” Reviews, plus the Internet of Things, Windows Azure, IE9 and World IPv6 Day

    Today’s edition of the Midweek Download has new reviews of Windows Phone “Mango" and a few other news bits from all around Microsoft. See what you think…

    Windows Phone 7 “Mango” reviews are in! PCMag says this about the next version of the Windows Phone mobile platform: “Windows Phone 7 takes a genuinely different approach to communication than its main rivals.” Here’s what Gizmodo writes: “Pending some killer Nokia hardware or radical Android redesign, I think the choice this fall for all but the nerdiest of nerds is going to be very simple. iPhone or Windows Phone. Nothing else is that pleasant.” To see what others are saying about “Mango,” check out this list of top stories in the Windows Phone news room.

  • Weekend Reading: June 10th Edition–Microsoft announces new Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone at E3, plus Bing, MSN, Windows Live and Sir Richard Branson

    Lots of news out of Microsoft this week, and not all of it was related to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

    Some highlights: Microsoft pledged $25 million over five years to a new education initiative in Washington State, acquired Prodiance and announced new social capabilities in Bing for Mobile.

    Fresh from E3: Xbox LIVE enhancements and new games for Windows Phone. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced some new Xbox LIVE functionality coming in the release of Windows Phone code-named Mango, in addition to some awesome new game titles such as “Beards and Beaks,” “Hasta la Muerte," “Top Gun” and “Splinter Cell.” Also, Windows Phone users will soon find an update to the Xbox LIVE Extras app – this is the new Avatar Marketplace! Now, you have more options to customize your Avatar with a wide range of props and clothing right on your phone. For a complete wrap up on all the news out of E3, read this Tuesday post on the Official Microsoft Blog.

    Windows Phone “Mango” and SkyDrive. Microsoft is committed to offering cloud services that deliver access to your information across devices and platforms.

  • The Midweek Download: June 15th Edition–New Windows Phone Tools for Android Devs plus Windows Azure, HealthVault, IE9 and Dynamics CRM

    This week in The Midweek Download, check out stories on how Windows Azure helps fight disease, new tools for Android developers looking to port their apps over to Windows Phone and a host of other news bits.

    Unfolding the protein mystery. Cloud computing is helping biologists uncloud one of nature’s biggest mysteries: proteins. Microsoft has partnered with the University of Washington’s Baker Laboratory, one of the world’s top computational biology labs, to give scientists access to some high-caliber computing power. That, in turn, helps them explore and understand proteins, which could eventually lead to thwarting everything from Alzheimer's to Malaria, and from cancer to salmonella. For more on how Windows Azure is being used to fight disease, read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center.

    New tools for Android devs interested in Windows Phone. Following up with the Windows Phone guidance and API mapping tool for iPhone developers announced a few weeks ago, Microsoft released a comprehensive package for Android developers on June 9th to easily learn Windows Phone and port their app to Microsoft’s phone platform.

  • Cast Your Vote with Eva Longoria

    Microsoft kicked off the People’s Choice Award today for the Imagine Cup 2011, a global student technology competition to address humanitarian issues.

    Starting from a field of more than 350,000 students, more than 400 of the brightest young minds from 70 countries will travel to New York City, July 8 to July 13, to showcase their innovative ideas for using technology to solve global problems.

  • The Midweek Download: June 1st Edition–Computex is where it’s at, plus Windows Phone and Internet Explorer 9

    This week, Microsoft has a major presence at Computex, where it has shown off a bevy of new Windows devices. Also, check out a few news bits on the continued growth of Internet Explorer 9 and a closer look at IE9 Mobile, coming to Windows Phone this fall.

    Computex is where it’s at. During its ninth year at COMPUTEX, Microsoft is showing off more than 130 new, innovative Windows-based devices brought to market by more than 50 of its hardware partners. In its booth, Microsoft showed off nearly 100 PCs, either newly available or soon-to-be-released, ranging from ultraportable thin and light notebooks as well as small and always-connected companions to secure business laptops, high-performance entertainment notebooks and high-end gaming rigs. Check out this feature story on the Microsoft News Center, which includes a 19-image slideshow of some of the Windows devices on display at the show. Not enough to sate your Computex jones? Then watch this video of a guided tour of Microsoft’s Computex booth plus this transcript of the keynote by Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of the original equipment manufacturer division at Microsoft.

    IE9 for Windows Phone “Mango” in the spotlight. IE9 Mobile represents a huge jump forward for Microsoft on the mobile platform, effectively unifying the company’s underlying code base for the browser with the desktop version. In this Tuesday post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, blogger Joe Marini outlines some of the main principles Microsoft is following as it builds IE9 Mobile.