The Official Microsoft Blog

News & Perspectives

June, 2012

  • Weekend Reading: June 1st Edition–The New Bing Makes its Debut, Windows 8 Release Preview Becomes Available and Photosynth Arrives in Marketplace, plus SkyDrive, Office 365 & E3

    This edition of Weekend Reading is chock full of major news nuggets, including the launch of the new Bing, the availability of Windows 8 Release Preview, an E3 teaser and the debut of a beautiful new camera app for Windows Phone called Photosynth.

    New Bing, available today, takes you from searching to doing. Do you ever feel like you’re spending too much time searching and not enough time doing? If so, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey conducted by Bing and Impulse Research, nearly 75 percent of people spend more time than they would like searching for information online. Time wasted searching is a thing of the past with the new Bing design, which brings together information from the Web, experts and enthusiasts, and your friends to help you do more — available today at http://www.bing.com. You can find out more about the new Bing over on the Microsoft News Center. Also, don’t miss this Bing Search Blog post about Bing’s new Snapshot feature, and be sure to watch the video below with Online Services Division President Qi Lu. Finally, check out today’s blog post on the Bing Summer of Doing.

    Get Microsoft Silverlight
  • The Midweek Download: June 6th Edition–Kinect for Windows at Work & Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate Becomes Available

    In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on some interesting uses of Kinect for Windows and Surface, Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate and Microsoft Research.

    Kinect head tracking with a transparent display. Next at Microsoft Editor Steve Clayton recently stumbled across the work of Second Story, a creative agency based out of Portland, Ore. that builds interactive experiences. What led him to them is their outstanding work using two Microsoft technologies in particular – Kinect and Surface 2.0. Read this Tuesday post on Next at Microsoft for the full story and don’t forget to check out the video below. Also, be sure not to miss this May 30 post on Next about a French duo that captures the world in 3D with Kinect for Windows.

  • Welcome to the Era of the Cloud OS for Infrastructure!

    Satya Nadella

    Twenty years ago at Microsoft’s first annual TechEd conference, we gathered to talk about the industry transformation from mainframe to minis to client/server computing. The vehicle for that transformation was the Windows operating system. Today at TechEd, we’re again talking about the industry transformation: the transformation to the cloud. Once again, the Windows operating system is the vehicle for this transformation.

    Let me step back. At the most basic level, any operating system has two “jobs”: it needs to manage the underlying hardware, and it needs to provide a platform for applications. The fundamental role of an operating system has not changed, but the scale at which servers are deployed and the type of applications now available or in development are changing massively. On the hardware front, the “unit” of hardware abstraction that a server OS manages has now reached the “datacenter” level. And by that I mean a datacenter ranging from the smallest cluster of a few servers to the very massive footprint of one of Microsoft’s global installations with thousands of servers across multiple geographically distributed datacenters. 

  • Weekend Reading: June 8th Edition–An E3 News Roundup & A Close Look at the Nokia Lumia 900 Limited Edition “Batphone”

    It only comes once a year, but here is your Weekend Reading: The E3 Edition – bringing you all the highlights from the Los Angeles entertainment expo. We’ve also got stories on the limited edition Nokia Lumia 900 “Batphone”, the FAA choosing Office 365 for e-mail and collaboration in the cloud and much more.

    A look back at E3 2012. Earlier this week, the Xbox 360 console charged into its seventh Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) buoyed by a bundle of blockbuster game releases led by Halo 4 and a set of new entertainment experiences that will push Xbox farther into the living room, and onto PCs, tablets and phones. Microsoft also revealed a set of new Xbox content, partners and apps – including bringing Internet Explorer to the console for the first time. The company also introduced a new music service and Xbox SmartGlass, a new app that brings an immersive entertainment experience to all devices. You can read more about it over on the Microsoft News Center and in this letter on Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson from Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox LIVE. Below is a screenshot of Halo 4:

  • The Midweek Download: June 13th Edition–Focus in Kinect Innovator Alex Kipman & the Latest from TechEd North America

    In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Alex Kipman, general manager of hardware incubation in the Interactive Entertainment Business; the latest news from Tech North America; Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10.

    A career of thriving on ‘Impossible Projects’ – including Kinect for Xbox 360. Alex Kipman, 32, has now led three major innovations at Microsoft and recently received the company’s highest technical honor, the Technical Recognition Award for Outstanding Technical Leadership. The award citation called out not just his technical chops but the determination he brought to the Kinect project that many saw as a seemingly impossible challenge. To read more about Alex, check out this feature story on the Microsoft News Center. Below, Alex (third from left) takes a break on the Microsoft campus with teammates (from left) Jeffrey Margolis, Ben Sugden and Katie Stone Perez.

    06-12Kipman01_Web

  • ICANN’s “gTLD Reveal Day” is Another Step in the Internet’s Evolution

    Craig Mundie

    In 2008, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN, the non-profit corporation charged with coordinating the Internet’s naming system and ensuring the stability and security of the Internet), approved a plan to launch new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) that will complement the current structure of Internet addresses based on “.com,” “.net,” “.org” and others.

    Yesterday in London, ICANN published a list of more than 2,000 applications for new gTLDs from businesses and organizations around the world.

  • Xbox 360 Remains the Top-selling Console of 2012

    Xbox 360 sold more units in May in the U.S. than any other console or handheld gaming device, maintaining its position as the best-selling console in the U.S. for the past 17 months.

    May highlights from The NPD Group include:

    · Xbox 360 sold 160,000 units, representing a 45 percent share of current-generation console sales in the U.S. This marks the 15th consecutive month that Xbox 360 has held more than a 40 percent share of current-generation console sales in the U.S.

  • Weekend Reading: June 15th Edition–Bing Teams up with Yelp on Search & Skype Launches Conversation Ads

    In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Bing teaming up with Yelp, a Skype advertising update and a great slideshow to help last-minute shoppers pick the right gift for Father’s Day.

    Bing and Yelp help you do more with local search. As one of the Web’s leading local listing services, Yelp is a great resource that helps connect you with local businesses and restaurants. Scanning reviews from real people can often make the difference between the perfect night out and wishing you had stayed in. At Bing, we’re dedicated to helping you do more, so we are pleased to roll out increased Yelp coverage in Bing search results. Read this Thursday post on the Bing Search Blog for the whole story. And don’t miss this Tuesday post about Qwiki arriving on Bing.

  • The Midweek Download: June 20th Edition–Microsoft Unveils the Surface Tablet, Announces Office 365 & Dynamics AX Customers

    Well, it’s been a bit of a busy week here at Microsoft, and it’s only Wednesday! This edition of The Midweek Download has stories on the newly revealed family of Surface tablets, Windows 8 Metro app news for developers and a few customer wins for Office 365 (the Danish Red Cross) and Microsoft Dynamics AX (Aston Martin.)

    Introducing Surface - a new family of Windows PCs. On Monday at an event in Hollywood, Microsoft unveiled Surface: PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows. Company executives showed two Windows tablets and accessories that feature significant advances in industrial design and attention to detail. Surface is designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise. It delivers the power of amazing software with Windows and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center for all the details. VentureBeat and Slate, among others, covered the news. Below is a screenshot of a Surface tablet.

    surface_Web

  • Weekend Reading: June 22nd Edition–Microsoft Offers a Sneak Peek of Windows Phone 8

    Well, we had quite a week here at Microsoft, as you may have heard. And here’s the latest edition of Weekend Reading to catch up everyone who might have missed the news. Check it out!

    Announcing Windows Phone 8. It’s time to start telling you about the next exciting chapter of our story: Windows Phone 8. Officially announced this morning in San Francisco, it’s the most advanced mobile OS Microsoft has ever made and will arrive on new phones later this year. This Wednesday post on The Windows Phone Blog from Joe Belfiore gives a high-level sneak peek at the Windows Phone 8 platform and tell you just some of what it’s going to make possible. This isn’t a full disclosure of everything in Windows Phone 8—look for a more complete tour of new features later. However, some of the new features include multi-core processor support, bigger and sharper screens, NFC wireless sharing and Wallet (which keeps debit and credit cards, coupons, boarding passes, and other important info right at your fingertips.) Below is a screenshot of the new Windows Phone 8 start screen:

    WindowsPhone8StartScSet1_Page

  • Microsoft Acquires Yammer to Accelerate Enterprise Social Networking

    Kurt DelBene

    Last October, I posted a concept video showing Microsoft’s view on the future of productivity. The video envisions how mobile devices, social computing, interactive content, cloud computing and natural user interfaces will change the way we get things done at home, at work and at school.

    In our personal lives, it’s obvious that social computing has made a huge impact in how we connect with information and each other. Businesses are just starting to take advantage of the benefits of social computing, and I believe it will redefine how we’ll work together in the years ahead.

    Today, I am excited to announce that we have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Yammer, the world’s fastest-growing enterprise social networking service.

  • Technology Professionals Gather at TechEd Europe to Celebrate the Era of the Cloud OS

    Brad Anderson

    The IT industry is undergoing a major transformation as cloud computing grows in popularity, and it’s not just in the U.S., it’s worldwide. On the heels of TechEd North America, thousands of IT professionals and developers are gathering in Amsterdam this week – at Microsoft’s full capacity TechEd Europe event - to hear first-hand what the new era of the cloud operating system (OS) is all about. From my keynote to the hundreds of deep technical sessions, attendees will learn about the transformative changes brought about with the cloud and how it can bring new and more efficient opportunities for their business.

  • The Midweek Download: June 27th Edition–Microsoft Acquires Enterprise Social Networks Provider Yammer

    The news just keeps on coming! This edition of The Midweek Download has stories on Microsoft acquiring Yammer, TechEd Europe and Windows Phone 8.

    Microsoft acquires Yammer. Microsoft and Yammer announced Monday that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Yammer, a leading provider of enterprise social networks, for $1.2 billion in cash. Yammer will join the Microsoft Office Division, led by division President Kurt DelBene, and the team will continue to report to current CEO David Sacks. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center and read this post by Kurt on The Official Microsoft Blog for the whole story.

    Technology professionals gather at TechEd Europe to celebrate the era of the Cloud OS. The IT industry is undergoing a major transformation as cloud computing grows in popularity, and it’s not just in the U.S., it’s worldwide.

  • Weekend Reading: June 29th Edition–Office 365 Celebrates its First Birthday & a Sneak Peek at the Windows Phone 7.8 Start Screen

    In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the one-year anniversary of the launch of Office 365, a sneak peek at the Windows Phone 7.8 Start Screen and details on Xbox 360’s presence at the 42nd annual Comic-Con in San Diego.

    Microsoft Office 365: A big year in review. One year ago in New York City, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled Office 365. Ballmer predicted that Office 365 would give businesses an edge, and that has been true for companies all over the globe. “Office 365 is a hit with big and small companies alike,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Office Division. “I’m delighted to welcome Lowe’s, Burger King, Japan Airlines and others that have chosen Office 365.” To read more about the one-year anniversary of Office 365, check out this feature story and this press release over on the Microsoft News Center.