Here’s your daily roundup of news from around the company:

First, this morning Microsoft introduced the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, a new effort through which the company will actively engage in Africa’s economic development to improve its global competitiveness. By 2016, the 4Afrika Initiative plans to help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youth, bring 1 million African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) online, upskill 100,000 members of Africa’s existing workforce and help an additional 100,000 recent graduates develop employability skills, 75 percent of whom Microsoft will help place in jobs. Learn more over on the 4Africa Web site.

In other news, today is Safer Internet Day, and to mark the occasion Microsoft has released the results of its second annual Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI), revealing that more than half (55 percent) of global respondents are experiencing multiple online risks, yet only 16 percent say they take multiple proactive steps to help protect themselves and their data. This year the MCSI also examined mobile safety behaviors, uncovering that although less than half of respondents (42 percent) run software updates on their personal computers, only 28 percent run regular updates on their mobile devices, potentially compounding their risk. Read the latest Microsoft on the Issues blog post to find out more about how you can stay safer online.

Meanwhile, awards season is well underway, and the next big event is the GRAMMY Awards on February 10th. To get you primed for the night, Bing has pulled together some very cool ways to get the latest news, photos and more, from the red carpet to the after parties and all points in between. Bing’s Search Blog has all the details, including a list of most-searched nominees in the top award categories.

Last but not least, the Windows Azure AD team is planning launch a new sign-in experience across Office 365, Windows Azure and other Microsoft services used by organizations around the world. For a look at the new redesign and how it will make your life easier, head over to the Azure Blog.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog