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Over the next couple days we will roll out a major upgrade to Microsoft account, including optional two-step verification to help keep your account more secure.
Microsoft has increasingly focused on delivering connected devices and services that are currently used by more than 700 million people around the world. A Microsoft account is the key that unlocks your experience across these products—from your Windows PC to your Windows Phone, from Xbox to Outlook.com, from SkyDrive and Skype to Office and much more.
Given this critical role for Microsoft account, we remain vigilant in working hard to protect your account, which is why we’re adding an option so you can enable two-step verification to further protect yourself. You should see this option show up in your account in the next few days. You can enable this capability at https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage.
The following is a post from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft.
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.
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.)
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.
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 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.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on major Xbox news, new apps (Tumblr and Fidelity Investments) coming to Windows Phone, expanding Surface Pro and Surface RT availability and more. Don’t miss any of them!
#XboxReveal. Lots of Xbox news to talk about this week. First and foremost, we revealed that on May 21, we’ll mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment. On that day, we’ll be holding a special press event on the Xbox campus, and we invite you to join us via the live global stream that will be available on Xbox.com, Xbox LIVE and broadcast on Spike TV if you are in the U.S. or Canada. On that day, we’ll share our vision for Xbox, and give you a real taste of the future. Read this post over on Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson to get the full story. Also, on Tuesday, it was announced that Pizza Hut is launching the first-of-a-kind ordering app, allowing Xbox LIVE members in the U.S. to purchase pizza, wings, pasta and more from Xbox 360. The full menu, including new products, can be ordered from the Xbox LIVE dashboard and operated using an Xbox 360 controller or hand gestures and voices commands via Kinect for Xbox 360. And, last but not least, don’t miss this Tuesday announcement on the CW app coming to Xbox.
The following is a post by Tim Rains, Director of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft.
Today, Microsoft released new research as part of its Security Intelligence Report, volume 14, which takes a close look at the importance of running up-to-date antivirus software on your computer. The research showed that, on average, computers without antivirus software are 5.5 times more likely to be infected.
Antivirus software from Microsoft, McAfee, Symantec and others helps to guard against viruses, remove infections and protect your privacy. It can help protect your computer from malware trying to steal your credit card information, e-mail address book or even the files you’ve saved to your computer. It is one of the most crucial defenses computer users have to help protect against cybercriminals.
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.
Four very cool apps for Windows 8 made their debut at DEMO Mobile2013 today as teams from as far away as Poland and Australia competed for attention in front of Silicon Valley’s leading mobile investors, developers and designers in San Francisco.
Two Windows 8 apps launched on stage. They were TouchMail, a modern, touch-first e-mail app that inspired tweets marveling at how easy it made visual e-mail look, and KinectHealth, a mobile-ready exercise solution created by Bob Summers. KinectHealth was demonstrated by his founding partner Amanda Russell, a fitness entrepreneur who has used the opportunity working with Microsoft and Summers to get her very own TV show.
Her workout videos currently run in the app, but the attention the app is receiving and the high quality she delivers have created a perfect collaboration between KinectHealth and a major TV network, she said.
Summers, who used KinectHealth to shed 30 pounds and 18 percent of his body mass in preparation for a marathon, says the app utilizes cameras and accelerometers to deliver fun workouts to the phone. It also makes fitness social, by using the camera to port in fitness fanatics with other members of the lifestyle community around the world.
In March, Xbox 360 maintained its position as the number one console in the U.S., selling more units than any other console and marking the 27th consecutive month as the best-selling console.
March highlights from The NPD Group include:
· Xbox 360 sold 261,000 units, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S.
· Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform reached $402 million, (hardware, software and accessories), the most for any console in the U.S.
· During the month of March, Xbox 360 held six of the top 10 console game titles including: “Bioshock Infinite,” “NBA 2K13,” “Gears of War: Judgment,” “Tomb Raider,” “The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.”
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.
On May 21, we’ll mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment. On that day, we’ll be holding a special press event on the Xbox campus, and we invite you to join us via the live global stream that will be available on Xbox.com, Xbox LIVE and broadcast on Spike TV if you are in the U.S. or Canada.
On that day, we’ll share our vision for Xbox, and give you a real taste of the future. Then, 19 days later at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, we’ll continue the conversation and showcase our full lineup of blockbuster games.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got a great roundup of new Windows Phone apps and games, our agreement with Ericsson to acquire Mediaroom, two big Cloud customer wins and a cool Microsoft Research project codenamed GeoFlow.
Windows Phone app roundup. The Windows Phone Store continues to stock up on cool games and apps. Earlier this week, Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, a first-person shooter from Xbox and Gameloft that pushes the boundaries of mobile gaming, arrived in the Windows Phone Store. The game puts you in the boots of an elite soldier helping his unit to avert global devastation in the wake of a nuclear disaster. Gameloft pulled out all the stops on this one. Check out the video below to get a look at the game and read this post on The Windows Phone Blog. Also, Windows Phone Blog Editor Michael Stroh reported that four games are on sale until Monday, including Monster Island, Gravity Guy, Fragger and iStunt 2. Finally, Windows Phone blogger Casey McGee wrote this roundup of Windows Phone apps he used while on a 33-mile backcountry adventure.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got some great stories for you, including an in-depth and visually rich look at Microsoft’s 500-acre, 125-building campus and the small team of Microsoft facilities engineers that runs it.
How a scrappy team of Microsoft engineers quietly built the city of the future. In 1986, Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash. campus was still a grass- and forest-covered 88-acre plot of land in a sleepy, one-stoplight suburb of Seattle. Today, the campus spans 500 acres and 125 buildings. There’s a soccer field and cricket pitch, miles of wooded walking paths – and 14.9 million square feet of office space and labs that function as an interconnected “smart city” thanks to an “Internet of Things meets Big Data” software solution developed by a small team of Microsoft facilities engineers. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center and check out this visual piece of storytelling.
Today, we announced several new customers who have adopted Microsoft Dynamics CRM to achieve cost savings, help preserve safety and security and streamline service delivery to improve constituent experiences.
Tomorrow, at the Microsoft Federal Forum event in Washington, D.C., customers like the Department of Veterans Affairs will showcase the way they have used Dynamics to transform their Veterans Relationship Management programs, driving immediate benefit to the time and way in which veterans receive healthcare, claims and business information.
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.
Though concern for the environment is always top of mind at Microsoft, Earth Day is a good moment in time for taking a step back and reflecting on environmental initiatives and activities across the entire company.
To that end, I’ve put together a roundup of environmentally themed stories from across several different groups here at Microsoft.
New LiveANDES app helps citizens give endangered species a fighting chance. It’s easy to feel helpless when we hear about species falling into extinction in far-away lands. But now, thanks to a new app that Microsoft Research developed in partnership with researchers from two organizations in Latin America, hikers and other nature enthusiasts can play an important role in keeping endangered species alive. The app is called LiveANDES and is part of a system designed to collect, house and analyze data about Latin America’s wildlife. Watch the video below and then head on over to the Microsoft Research Connections Blog to get the rest of this great story.
The Windows Phone Blog reported Monday that a major update for the LinkedIn app hit the Windows Phone Store.
The Office team has unveiled something really special today – a Microsoft Research project codenamed GeoFlow that lets you plot geographic and temporal data visually, analyze that data in 3D, and create interactive "tours" to share with others.
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.
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 1986, Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash. campus was still a grass- and forest-covered 88-acre plot of land in a sleepy, one-stoplight suburb of Seattle.
Today the campus spans 500 acres and 125 buildings. There’s a soccer field and cricket pitch, miles of wooded walking paths – and 14.9 million square feet of office space and labs that function as an interconnected “smart city” thanks to an “Internet of Things meets Big Data” software solution developed by a small team of Microsoft facilities engineers.
The software, which is saving Microsoft millions of dollars, has been so successful that the company and its partners are now helping building managers across the world deploy the same solution. And with commercial buildings consuming an estimated 40 percent of the world’s total energy, the potential is huge.
Read the story of how Microsoft built the city of the future today on the Microsoft News Center.
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.
Movie fans rejoice! The popular movie app Flixster is now available to Xbox LIVE subscribers in the U.S.!