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The following is a post from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft.
One of the best parts of my job is getting the chance to see up close and personal some of the cool things moving from idea to reality. During one of our recent “underground tours” we showed off one project that I think has huge potential, and is super relevant today. This is a little different for us because when it goes on sale, you won’t find it in the electronics aisle, but on the runway. :)
Why runway? Well unlike most of Microsoft’s traditional products, this one is actually an item of clothing, so when it ships, you’ll probably see it at Nordstrom’s, not Fry’s. Now you’re probably thinking, “Clothing, from Microsoft? Really?” Yes, really. And no, this isn’t a line of designer pocket protectors.
The engineers that created it describe it as “a wearable computing appliance that enforces context specific privacy preferences in real world environments.” Let me translate into a better name – The Do Not Tracksuit.
Simply put, it blocks the wearer from being tagged, checked in, scanned, filmed, recorded, hashtagged or poked, in the real world and the virtual world. Because in today’s social media obsessed landscape, too often people can unwittingly become “content” in other people’s lifecasting schemes.
Today, Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the Server & Tools Business, announced the 10 new teams in the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure, powered by TechStars:
We recently released an updated version of Skype for Windows 8 that gives our users higher control over who can contact them by adding the ability to block contacts, as well as other performance improvements.
Last November, Microsoft launched the Windows 8 Apps for Social Good Contest. The public voted for its favorite apps and our judges voted for theirs. A wide variety of apps were submitted covering a number of fields, including health care, nutrition and emergency response.
Below is a screenshot from YumvY, a cooking companion to help you prepare nutritious, healthy meals at home with the goal of addressing the obesity epidemic and related diseases like diabetes. YumvY was the People’s Choice Award Winner.
Today, we released a fresh new interface for the Outlook.com Calendar service that is faster than ever, puts the focus on events, appointments and tasks and lets you take your Calendar with you on any device. Below is a screenshot of the new Calendar service.
For the past 16 years, the Webby Awards have spotlighted beautiful website experiences and the best the online world has to offer.
Now, through a new partnership with Internet Explorer, the Webbys can showcase the last 16 years of winners in the new Winners Gallery + Archive. The new gallery makes use of the best of IE10’s capabilities and the latest Web standards.
Skype has hit a major milestone – Skype users are now spending 2 billion minutes per day connecting with one another!
Just how big is 2 billion minutes? Take a gander at the infographic below to find out.
2 billion minutes infographic by Skype
The start of the Major League Baseball season is a magical time for all fans of America’s pastime. This early in the season, everyone’s team has a chance to make it to the World Series, no matter what happened last year, no matter which home town nine you cheer for.
As a big baseball fan myself, I am excited to report that the MLB.TV App has arrived in the Windows Store. Now, you can watch every out-of-market Major League Baseball game LIVE or on demand in HD with an MLB.TV Premium subscription. (Blackout restrictions apply.)
Big news for developers today.
S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft, announced via a blog post this morning that Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 has shipped.
“Just as with VS2012.1 (which is installed as part of VS2012.2 for those of you who don’t already have VS2012.1 installed), this release contains important fixes as well as a wealth of new functionality, addressing feedback we’ve received from the community and aligning with key software development trends in the market. The new functionality primarily spans (though is not limited to) five areas of investment: agile planning, quality enablement, Windows Store development, line-of-business development, and the general developer experience,” Somasegar writes.
If you’re a WWE fan, prepare to get happy: WWE launches on Xbox in the U.S. today.
The following is a post from Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Windows Server & System Center at Microsoft. This post was originally published on In the Cloud.
Every year there are a handful of audiences that I really look forward to seeing, and the 5,000+ IT professionals who attend the annual Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) are among the very best anywhere in the world.
This is a big week for Microsoft: It’s an opportunity for us to show what we’ve learned from operating 200+ cloud services for 1+ billion people – and how that’s helped us build products that enable our customers to deliver the best possible solutions.
In just a bit, I’ll be taking the stage to deliver the opening keynote of MMS 2013, and I could not be more excited. Today, we announced that two new customers – Domino’s Pizza and Xerox – are now using our infrastructure technologies to deliver critical business applications. We also announced several new product and service updates.
On March 26, Steve Guggenheimer, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President and Chief Evangelist, Developer & Platform Evangelism, announced Build 2013 will take place from June 26 to June 28 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
We have an update for you: Build 2013 is now sold out. However, we encourage those interested in the conference to join the waitlist. For those who are unable to join us in San Francisco, we will extend the Build experience online with live streams of the keynote, sessions, Channel 9 Live and more. Check out http://buildwindows.com for all the details.
Over the past few years, candidates for public office at all levels have sought to take advantage of the latest technology and communications tools to make their political campaigns run more efficiently.
President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign was no different. Obama for America selected Microsoft Lync as its communications platform, keeping its hundreds of staff and volunteers connected to supporters – and each other. Being fully mobile on Lync also enabled their IT staff to support other mission-critical activities to keep the campaign running smoothly.
“When the campaign began in 2011, we couldn’t predict how big it would get or when, so scalability and deployment efficiency were two of the most important features for us,” says Rajeev Chopra, president of the MIS Department Inc. in Chicago and chief information officer at Obama for America. “Controlling our systems with Lync also provided much more flexibility.”
The following is a post by Jonathan Adashek, General Manager, Communications Strategy, Sales & Marketing Services Group, Microsoft.
Have you visited one of our specialty retail stores in the U.S. or Canada? If not, don’t worry, we’re opening in more shopping malls regularly. The Microsoft Specialty Stores have proven so popular since we opened the first ones last fall – we’re opening two Specialty Stores today and three more in mid-April!
Our Specialty Stores sell an array of Microsoft products, including Microsoft Surface Pro with Windows 8 Pro, Microsoft Surface RT, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox/Kinect. By expanding our retail footprint, we have the opportunity to bring Microsoft products and a premium retail experience to life by continuing to offer the choice, value and service our customers have come to expect from the Microsoft Store.
Customers visit the Microsoft Specialty Store in Aventura, Fla. to experience the best of Microsoft's services and products from Microsoft Surface Pro with Window 8 Pro and Window 8 Phones to a variety of accessories.
In this week’s edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the refreshed Outlook.com Calendar service, an update for Skype for Windows 8 and a major Skype milestone and an update to Visual Studio 2012.
The Outlook.com Calendar gets a refresh. On Tuesday, we released a new, modern calendar experience for Outlook.com. The Outlook.com calendar has been entirely redesigned with a modern, intuitive interface that puts you in control of your schedule. Our calendar service is faster than ever, helps you focus on the events and appointments and tasks you've added, and lets you take your calendar with you on any device. The new Outlook.com calendar is rolling out now and will be available around the world this week at https://calendar.live.com/. The Outlook Blog has the whole story. Below are screenshots showing how the new Calendar fits into the same family as your inbox, address book and SkyDrive:
And in Windows Phone app and game news… Free calls, texts, and photo messaging help make Viber one of the most popular VoIP apps in the world. On Tuesday, a new and improved version for Windows Phone 8 arrived in the Store. Download it here. The redesigned app offers free calls with HD sound, pinning of conversations to Start via Live Tiles, lock screen notifications, and beautiful improvements to its look and performance for Windows Phone 8. Get the rest of the story in this post on The Windows Phone Blog. Below are a few screenshots of Viber. Also, don’t miss this post on “Amazing Alex”, a new game from the makers of Angry Birds and this post with six tricks for powering through your inbox on Windows Phone 8.
I tuned into the coverage of the Facebook Home event yesterday and actually had to check my calendar a few times.
Not to see if it was still April Fools Day, but to see if it was somehow still 2011.
Because the content of the presentation was remarkably similar to the launch event we did for Windows Phone two years ago.
When we sat down with a blank sheet of paper and designed Windows Phone, we put three words on the wall to guide the team: “Put People First”.
Those three words were chosen around a pretty powerful but simple insight: People are more important than apps, so phones should be designed around you and the people you care about, not the apps you might use to reach them.
If you’re looking for a way to tap into your creative side, look no further than this roundup of Windows Apps for the visual arts put together over on The Windows Experience Blog by blogger Antonia Blume.
Blume, who majored in painting in college, writes, “These days, it can be a challenge to still find time to draw and paint, so when I got my new Surface, the first thing I did was start exploring its possibilities as an art-making tool.”
The following is a post from Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Marketing, Strategy and Business for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.
Today, Microsoft and Ericsson announced a definitive agreement for Ericsson to acquire Mediaroom, the number one IPTV platform deployed by TV operators around the world. This acquisition is mutually beneficial and strategically aligned for both parties. Ericsson will continue to invest in the growth and success of Mediaroom to the benefit of customers, employees, and the industry. It allows Microsoft to commit 100 percent of its focus on consumer TV strategy with Xbox.
A year from now will mark the final milestone for Windows XP – that of its end of support date.
Starting April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows XP users. This means that customers and partners will no longer receive security updates to the operating system or be able to leverage tech support from Microsoft after this time.
Moving away from Windows XP to a more modern platform in Windows 7 and Windows 8 will ready your IT infrastructure for future technology solutions and growth of your company.
Big news out of the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas today.
Microsoft and NBC Sports Group announced they are partnering to use Windows Azure Media Services across NBC Sports’ digital platforms, including NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com and GolfChannel.com.
Three weeks and nearly 600,000 votes later, the Windows Phone Next App Star contest has a winner: Rudy Huyn of Renne, France and his highly-rated Wikipedia app.
Photography app ProShot from Roseville, Calif.-based Eddie Kezel came in a close second – a very close second. Out of thousands of final round ballots, in the end just 155 separated the two finalists—a testament to just how tough this choice was for voters and how good each of these apps is.
“Huyn’s victory is well deserved. Wikipedia —which after nearly 8,000 customer reviews maintains a perfect five-star average rating— is a tour de force reference app with tons of bells and whistles: It uses the phone’s location to find relevant articles and supports speech recognition, NFC sharing, QR codes, and services such as Pocket (formerly Read It Later) and Instapaper. You can also search in more than 100 languages,” reports Windows Phone Blog Editor Michael Stroh.
Microsoft today announced that the power and automation technology company ABB will deploy Microsoft Office 365 and Yammer to its employees worldwide.
With about 145,000 employees in 100 countries, ABB is transitioning from multiple IT collaboration and messaging solutions to Office 365 to provide a single platform for productivity, communication, collaboration and enterprise social in the cloud.
We’ve got great news for Firefox users today.
msnNOW for Firefox is now available, allowing you to see what’s trending across the Web on msnNOW in a convenient sidebar view while you browse the Internet.
The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2013 for Software Assurance is now available for download. MDOP helps manage and deploy important Windows features like BitLocker and Group Policy, and saves time by helping to make desktop repair planning proactive instead of reactive.
In addition to general quality improvements, we’ve also updated many of the other technologies in MDOP 2013, with enhanced features and benefits ideal for businesses using Windows 8.
The following is a post from Horacio Gutierrez, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft.
Every day, Microsoft researchers push the envelope of computer science in research labs around the world. Their inventions tackle complex questions such as “How do we make uncertain information useful and infer valuable insights from shifting and expanding data as it streams in from devices, sensors and new technology?” We are proud that Infer.NET, one such invention developed in our research labs, has today been recognized with the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s first ever Patents for Humanity Award in the information technology category.
Microsoft researchers have been working on Infer.NET over the last 10 years to provide a framework that makes it much easier to apply advanced machine learning techniques to solve challenging problems. Microsoft provides Infer.NET free of charge for non-commercial purposes, such as scientific or medical research.