The Official Microsoft Blog

News & Perspectives

July, 2012

  • Introducing – Modern Email for the Next Billion Mailboxes

    Recently, we talked about how we’ve reimagined cloud services for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. And we described new apps for Windows 8, updates to SkyDrive, and how cloud services power the new Office Preview, We’ve also been hard at work on a mission to reimagine personal email – from the datacenter all the way to the user experience. Today, we’re starting to deliver on that goal with a preview of the new – modern email designed for the next billion mailboxes.


  • Microsoft Welcomes Perceptive Pixel to the Office Division

    I’m excited to share that all closing conditions for Microsoft’s acquisition of Perceptive Pixel (PPI) have been met, and the deal is completed. PPI Founder, President, and CTO Jeff Han joins Microsoft as a general manager and will report to Kurt DelBene.

    We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome PPI to the Microsoft Office Division.

  • Weekend Reading: July 27th Edition–Announcing BUILD 2012 & Technology Upgrades for Skype

    In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Windows 8, BUILD 2012, new Windows Phone apps, the new Office, Skype and more.

    Go back to school with the best in tech. Classroom bells won’t start ringing again for a few more weeks, but it’s not too soon for students and their parents to start thinking about the tools young scholars will need once school begins. The latest technology products from Microsoft can help students perform at their best, stay connected to their families and friends back home, and enjoy the school year more. Check out this slideshow on the Microsoft News Center for shopping ideas. Below is a screenshot of the buy a PC, get a free Xbox offer.


  • Announcing BUILD 2012

    In January, we shared some thoughts on our approach to developer events, including a commitment to come back with more on our plans for an event this coming fall. Well, here it is: our next developer conference will be this fall, and it's (again) called BUILD. It will be held on Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Wash., from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2.

    Yes, that's right ... it's the week after Windows 8 becomes generally available worldwide. And in addition to Windows 8, we will have lots of other stuff to talk about too: Windows Azure, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012, Visual Studio 2012 and much more.

  • The Midweek Download: July 25th Edition–Graphics in Windows 8 & Getting Started with the New Office Preview

    In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on the graphics platform in Windows 8, a profile of the thin and slick Samsung Series 9 laptop and a great Getting Started Guide for the new Office Preview.

    Hardware accelerating everything: Windows 8 graphics. When we started to plan the work we’d undertake for graphics in Windows 8, we knew that we would be creating a new, visually rich way for users to interact with apps and with Windows itself. We also knew that we’d be building a new platform for creating Metro style apps, and that we’d be targeting a more diverse set of hardware than ever before. While we had a great graphics platform to start with, there was more work to do in order to support those efforts. Head on over to Building Windows 8 for the whole story.

    Samsung Notebook Series 9: Taking thin and light to the extreme. Selecting a mobile PC is a process of balancing trade-offs. Screen size, computational horsepower, battery life, weight, size, and price are all factors that vary from one type of laptop to another. In the past, you had to choose between capabilities like battery life, size, and performance. These tradeoffs are becoming less pronounced with the new crop of thin and light laptops. Head on over to the Extreme Windows Blog to see a review of the Samsung Series 9, one of the thinnest, lightest laptops in the market today. That’s a screenshot of the Samsung Series 9 below:

  • Weekend Reading: July 20th Edition–Windows 8 Becomes Available on Oct. 26 & Microsoft Welcomes Yammer into the Family

    In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on when Windows 8 will be available, Microsoft welcoming Yammer into the Office Division, four great Windows Phone apps for the London Olympics and more.

    Windows 8 will be available on Oct. 26. Earlier this week, Windows and Windows Live Division President Steven Sinofsky announced at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting that customers will be able to get Windows 8 – whether in upgrade fashion or on a new PC – starting on Oct. 26. You can find out more over on Blogging Windows.

    Microsoft by the numbers. From Windows to Xbox, Microsoft’s products and services boast some impressive numbers. But the company’s impact extends beyond sales figures into areas from providing a great place for employees to work to reducing auto traffic on local roads. Check out this collection of visual statistics about Microsoft products and services over on the Microsoft News Center to see the entire slideshow. Below is one of the slides, which shows there were more than 1 million downloads of Windows 8 Consumer Preview in the first 24 of its release.


  • Microsoft Welcomes Yammer to the Office Division

    Today, we are pleased to announce that all closing conditions for Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer have been met, and the deal is completed.

    We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome the Yammer team to the Microsoft Office Division.

  • The Midweek Download: July 18th Edition–Microsoft Unveils the Office Customer Preview & “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn”

    In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Microsoft raising the curtain on the new Office Customer Preview, “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn”, the launch of Microsoft Streets & Tips 2013 and more.

    Microsoft unveils the new Office. On Monday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the customer preview of the new Microsoft Office, available at The next release features an intuitive design that works beautifully with touch, stylus, mouse or keyboard across new Windows devices, including tablets. The new Office is social and unlocks modern scenarios in reading, note-taking, meetings and communications and will be delivered to subscribers through a cloud service that is always up to date. You can read more about the new Office over on the Microsoft News Center. In the photo below, Steve Ballmer unveils the customer preview of the new Office.

  • Weekend Reading: July 13th Edition–Microsoft Unveils Kinect PlayFit and Launches the Bing Fund

    In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Kinect PlayFit, the new Bing Fund and a final look at the Worldwide Partner Conference.

    Burn calories on Kinect, track them With Kinect PlayFit. At last, a high score your doctor will applaud. Earlier this week, Microsoft unveiled Kinect PlayFit, a new Kinect fitness dashboard on Xbox LIVE that lets players track calories burned across multiple Kinect games. Available as a free download from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, the app calculates and aggregates the calories players burn so they can track their progress over time, see how they rank against friends, and earn Xbox achievements. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center for more detail. Speaking of Kinect, check out this Wednesday post on the Extreme Windows Blog about tapping into the power of Kinect for Windows. Finally, don’t miss this Thursday post on The Official Microsoft Blog about the Xbox 360 maintaining its position as the no. 1 console in the U.S. for the 18th straight month.


  • Xbox 360 Holds No. 1 U.S. Sales Spot for 18th Consecutive Month

    Halfway through 2012, Xbox 360 maintained its lead in the U.S. console market, marking 18 months as the top-selling current-generation console in the U.S.

    June highlights from The NPD Group include:

    · Xbox 360 sold 257,000 units in June, holding 47 percent share of current-generation console sales in the U.S. This marks the 16th consecutive month that Xbox 360 has held more than a 40 percent share of current-generation console sales in the U.S.

    · Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in June (hardware, software and accessories) reached $272 million, the most for any console in the U.S. Consumers spent more on Xbox 360 products than they spent on the other two current-generation consoles combined.

  • The Midweek Download: July 11th Edition–Microsoft Acquires Perceptive Pixel, plus Highlights from the Worldwide Partner Conference

    In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Microsoft acquiring Perceptive Pixel Inc., the Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto and Imagine Cup 2012.

    Microsoft to acquire Perceptive Pixel Inc. Microsoft and Perceptive Pixel announced on Monday that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire PPI, a recognized leader in research, development and production of large-scale, multi-touch display solutions. “The acquisition of PPI allows us to draw on our complementary strengths, and we’re excited to accelerate this market evolution,” said Kurt DelBene, president, Office Division for Microsoft. “PPI’s large touch displays, when combined with hardware from our OEMs, will become powerful Windows 8-based PCs and open new possibilities for productivity and collaboration.” Head on over to the Microsoft News Center for the rest of the story. Below, Perceptive Pixel founder Jeff Han appears onstage at WPC 2012.


  • A New Era Together: Partners and the Microsoft Cloud OS

    Takeshi Numoto

    Here at the Worldwide Partner Conference, it’s exciting to hear the buzz about the opportunities that are in store for our partners and their customers in the cloud. Over the past year alone, we have delivered a number of new solutions to empower the transition to the cloud – from the release of System Center 2012 and SQL Server 2012 to new Windows Azure services and the release candidate of Windows Server 2012 – and we will have more new solutions in the future.

    As Satya Nadella recently described, we are bringing this all together to usher in the era of the “Cloud OS.” With Windows Azure and Windows Server at its core, the Cloud OS takes our strong legacy of running the highest scale application services and petabyte-sized datacenters to the next generation of computing and delivers a modern platform for the world’s applications. And for our customers, this will ultimately result in lower IT costs, faster innovation and greater agility. 

  • Weekend Reading: July 6th Edition–Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals Begin in Australia & Microsoft Names Zeus Botnet Defendants

    n this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Imagine Cup 2012, Microsoft naming new defendants in the Zeus botnet case and an interview with Tony Bates, president of the Skype Division of Microsoft.

    World’s top tech students go for it all Down Under. More than 350 young technologists from 75 countries and regions have gathered in Sydney this week to participate in the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals, the 10th running of the technology competition sponsored by Microsoft. The whirlwind event begins Friday, the judges will announce finalists on Sunday, and overall winners will be announced Tuesday. For more detail, read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center. Below, flag-draped competitors, flashing cameras, big smiles, hoisted trophies – it’s a scene from many a sporting event, but at Imagine Cup the “sport” is using technology to solve the world’s toughest problems.


  • The Midweek Download: Fourth of July Edition–Tapping Into the Power of Kinect, plus Windows 8 Upgrade News

    In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on the Microsoft Accelerator for Kinect, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and more.

    Startup companies take Kinect into uncharted territory. “The Web is a depressingly flat place,” declares Nicolas Tisserand, one half of French startup Manctl. “It’s time to bring some depth to digital life.” Tisserand is explaining why his company temporarily relocated from Lyon to an office building in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. As if on cue, his partner Nicolas Burrus stands up with a Kinect sensor in hand. He slowly circles a visitor to the office where the duo has set up shop. As he does, an interactive 3D rendering of the room and the individual appears on a nearby monitor. For the rest of this story, head on over to the Microsoft News Center. Below, Dave Malcolm, managing director of the Microsoft Accelerator for Kinect, demonstrated how start-up übi interactive can turn any surface into a touchscreen.


  • Microsoft Names Defendants in Zeus Botnets Case; Provides New Evidence to FBI

    A little over three months ago, I wrote here about how Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, along with its financial industry partners and Kyrus Tech, took action to disrupt the dangerous Zeus botnets, known for fueling half a billion dollars in online fraud and identity theft. We are pleased to announce that we have identified and named two defendants as members behind the Zeus botnet family, and that we will also be referring the case to the FBI for criminal review, turning over all of the evidence gathered so far, including evidence of a broader group of perpetrators beyond the named defendants.

    In an amended complaint, filed last week, Microsoft named Yevhen Kulibaba and Yuriy Konovalenko as defendants. Microsoft has learned that these particular defendants were already serving jail time in the United Kingdom for other Zeus malware related charges.