The Official Microsoft Blog

News & Perspectives

June, 2013

  • Leading the Enterprise Cloud Era

    The following is a post from Satya Nadella, President of the Server & Tools Business at Microsoft.

    Today, I sent an internal mail to Microsoft employees to kick off a wave of product updates we are delivering to our customers and partners at TechEd North America 2013. The purpose of my mail was to share both the progress we have made and encourage all of our more than 90,000 employees to keep pushing in our efforts to revolutionize the enterprise cloud landscape.

    I am sharing this email with you, our customers, partners and media, to provide context on the transformation we have made, and to highlight Microsoft’s deep focus and commitment on the cloud. I encourage you to tune into the TechEd keynote, read the press release and sign up to receive preview software as it becomes available over the upcoming weeks.

  • Acer adds new Windows 8 PCs, including Iconia W3 8-inch tablet and expanded Aspire series

    An eye-catching 8.1-inch tablet called the Iconia W3 is among the new Windows 8 devices that Acer announced at COMPUTEX today, reports Windows blogger Brandon LeBlanc.

  • Read PDFs on the fly: the official Adobe Reader app for Windows Phone 8 is here!

    Adobe Systems this morning released the official PDF document reader for Windows Phone 8 – a free download. That means it’s now easier to open and read a variety PDF documents – even those that are password protected – from your Windows Phone.

    As with the Adobe PDF Reader for Windows, this version allows you to copy and paste, search text for specific words, and zoom in and out on a page. Hyperlinks and bookmarks are also supported, so you can fully and easily consume PDFs from your mobile device. One feature set sure to be a favorite with Windows Phone users is document navigation. The Adobe Reader app for Windows Phone 8 lets you quickly navigate through large PDFs using the thumbnail view, then focus on specific pages using page-by-page or continuous scroll modes.

  • How to watch the June 10 Xbox media briefing and more from E3

    Chomping at the bit to find out more about Xbox One and new Xbox game titles coming down the pike? Major Nelson has posted a helpful table that lists where and when you can watch live coverage of Xbox at E3 June 10-13 in Los Angeles.

    Watch the main Xbox event at 9:30 a.m. PT on June 10 via a live global stream, either on Xbox Live or If you are in the U.S. or Canada, you can also watch the broadcast on Spike TV.  The 90-minute show will be presented without commercial interruptions, and will be available on-demand later in the day for viewing on and Xbox Live.

  • ASUS unveils new PCs at COMPUTEX 2013

    At COMPUTEX 2013 in Taipei, ASUS displayed the eye-catching Zenbook Infinity and unveiled several new Windows 8 devices, including two new all-in-one PCs; a 56mm-tall PC called the VivoPC; the VivoMouse, which can be a mouse, touchpad or PC remote; the N550 laptop; and two new ultrabooks.

  • Dell announces the new XPS 11 and enhancements to other PCs at COMPUTEX 2013

    Dell at COMPUTEX today announced a new XPS as well as performance and security enhancements to several Windows 8 PCs, writes Brandon LeBlanc over at the Windows Experience Blog.

    Coming later this year to the XPS lineup is the Dell XPS 11, a brand-new, 2-in-1 convertible ultrabook. Its 360-degree rotation design makes it a breeze to switch from a tablet to a laptop, while staying slim and lightweight at only 14.9mm thin and starting at 2.5 pounds. Its display is a stunning Quad HD with 2560 x 1440 resolution, and has a backlit solid surface touch keyboard.

  • Increased battery life, incredible integrated graphics: Intel launches 4th-generation Core processors

    Intel is launching the 4th-generation Intel Core processors (codename “Haswell”), which includes their Core i3, i5 and i7 processor lines. Brandon LeBlanc over at the Windows Experience Blog writes that the new processors are designed with mobility in mind, and deliver significant increases in battery life, improved performance and incredible integrated graphics for Windows PCs and tablets.

  • Thinner than a standing dime – Razer Blade gaming laptop packs a big punch

    Razer has announced two new high-performance gaming laptops sure to make any gamer sit up and take notice: the 14-inch Razer Blade and 17-inch Razer Blade Pro. They’re not only thinner and lighter than equivalent laptops from Razer, but are also equipped with high-performance capabilities for play and work.

  • ‘Halo: Spartan Assault’ coming to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 in July

    The next installment in the Halo franchise will be available exclusively for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Launching in July, Xbox Wire notes that it’s the first Halo game created for touch-based devices.

    “Halo: Spartan Assault” is a top-down shooter featuring simple controls and a more casual gaming experience designed to appeal to Halo newbies as well as hardcore gamers. It’s set between “Halo 3” and “Halo 4” in the franchise’s larger storyline, and lets you play as either Commander Sarah Palmer or Spartan Davis.

  • Devices lead the way as OEMs focus on opportunity with Windows

    The following is a blog post from Nick Parker, Corporate Vice President, Original Equipment Manufacturer Division at Microsoft.

    COMPUTEX 2013 in Taipei is the second-largest computer exhibition in the world, drawing a large audience of hardware manufacturers and developers to showcase their latest technologies. I had the opportunity to deliver a keynote today at the event, joined by key business leaders at Microsoft, to talk about how touch and Windows 8.1 bring new growth to PCs, how non-touch PCs are even more exciting on Windows 8.1, the investments we’re making on small form factors with our partners and the incredible progress we’re seeing on apps that demonstrate the compelling Microsoft experience across devices.

    This has been a transformational year for the industry and for our business. Our partnerships across the ecosystem have never been more important, as together we are bringing new capabilities and enabling new experiences to consumers and businesses. The device market this year alone is projected to be 2.9 billion smartphones, tablets, PCs, servers and embedded industry devices, and our goal is to continue delivering the value of Windows across the industry.

    We’re proud of the momentum we’ve seen with Windows 8 and the ecosystem of hardware, apps and services that it enables. But we’re not stopping there.

  • Sony’s big reveal at COMPUTEX includes VAIO Pro 11/13, “SurfSlider” VAIO Duo 13

    Sony showed off two new laptops today at COMPUTEX 2013 – the VAIO Pro and the VAIO Duo 13 (pictured above).

    The VAIO Duo 13 also has a design that’s sure to appeal to those who can’t decide between a tablet and a laptop. It’s a next-gen “slider hybrid PC,” which means that it goes quickly back and forth between a tablet and a laptop. The screen slides back to reveal a full-sized keyboard and trackpad using a newly engineered hinge Sony calls a “SurfSlider.”

  • Windows 8.1 updates unveiled at COMPUTEX 2013

    As part of a keynote today at COMPUTEX 2013, Windows CFO and CMO Tami Reller announced that Outlook 2013 RT will be coming to Windows RT tablets as part of Windows 8.1, Windows blogger Brandon LeBlanc reports over on Blogging Windows.

    In addition, Antoine Leblond, corporate vice president of Windows Program Management, gave Microsoft’s very first public demo of the upcoming Windows 8.1 update – touching upon many of the exciting improvements Antoine highlighted in his blog post from last week.

  • Microsoft works with financial services industry leaders, law enforcement and others to disrupt massive financial cybercrime ring

    The following is a post from Richard Domingues Boscovich, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit.

    In our most aggressive botnet operation to date, the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit worked with leaders of the financial services industry, other technology industry partners and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to disrupt a massive cyber threat responsible for stealing people’s online banking information and personal identities. With a court ordered civil seizure warrant from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Microsoft executed a simultaneous operation to disrupt more than 1,400 Citadel botnets which are responsible for over half a billion dollars in losses to people and businesses worldwide.

    Meanwhile, the FBI took coordinated separate steps related to the operation. This collaborative action – codenamed Operation b54 – is Microsoft’s seventh botnet operation to date and part of a growing proactive effort by both the public and private sector to fight cybercrime, help protect people and businesses from online fraud and identity theft, and enhance cloud security for everyone. This operation marks the first time that law enforcement and the private sector have worked together in this way to execute a civil seizure warrant as part of a botnet disruption operation.

  • Xbox Wire offers details on connectivity, licensing and privacy features for Xbox One

    Xbox One, unveiled on May 21, puts you at the center of all your games, TV, movies, music, sports and more. It’s designed for today and the decade ahead, and with Xbox Live, it’s going to be even more powerful, personal and intelligent.

    Today, the Xbox team is sharing more information about the vision for Xbox One as a modern, connected device.

    For full details, take a look at this Xbox Wire post.

  • Weekend Reading: June 7th Edition – New Windows devices step into the spotlight at COMPUTEX 2013

    This edition of Weekend Reading gives you insights from COMPUTEX 2013 and TechEd 2013, the big scoop about a cybercrime operation that stole half a billion dollars and a first for the “Halo” franchise.

    New Windows devices step into the spotlight at COMPUTEX 2013. COMPUTEX 2013 in Taipei is the second-largest computer exhibition in the world, drawing a large audience of hardware manufacturers and developers to showcase their latest technologies. For your drooling pleasure, here’s a story with a slideshow at the end that showcases the waves of Windows 8 devices presented at COMPUTEX. And if you still can’t get enough of hardware gazing, check out these Dells and other devices on the Windows Experience Blog. And on those tablets with Windows RT, customers will now find Outlook 2013 RT. To read more about COMPUTEX 2013, check out this Wednesday post from Nick Parker, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Original Equipment Manufacturer Division, over on The Official Microsoft Blog as well as this press release.

  • The design revolution at Microsoft is anything but flat

    The following is a guest post from Steve Clayton, Editor of Next at Microsoft. It was originally published on Next at Microsoft.

    At heart, I’m a frustrated designer – I only wish I could draw something like the sketches above, let alone turn it in to a product like Xbox One or Kinect. It’s this fascination that has led me to immerse myself in the world of design at Microsoft and while that may sound like an oxymoron to some, the last 3 years have seen a design revolution at Microsoft.

  • Xbox One launch details, pricing and more

    Microsoft today announced launch details for the highly anticipated Xbox One, which introduces a new world of games, music, live TV, movies, sports, apps and Skype, all personalized to your interests and accessible with the sound of your voice. Xbox One is the ultimate all-in-one entertainment system built for the 21st century living room.

    Xbox One will launch in 21 markets across the world this November.

  • Games, games, games: Xbox unveils a new generation of games at E3

    It’s all about games today on the eve of E3!

    Microsoft Studios and the world’s biggest and most renowned publishers have unveiled a lineup of blockbuster games for the Xbox One games and entertainment system, with a ton of exclusive titles – more, in fact, than any time in the history of Xbox.

  • New look for Xbox 360: smaller, sleeker and available now


    Whether you’re updating your Xbox console system or have waited this long to get one, the newest Xbox 360 will satisfy the gamers in your life.

    Xbox 360, which has sold more than 76 million consoles worldwide, has a sleek, more compact design that aligns with the new Xbox One family.

    “Xbox 360 offers unrivaled value — with more great games, an Xbox Live community with 48 million members, and a compelling lineup of apps, sports, movies, TV and music,” said Yusuf Mehdi, marketing and strategy, Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft. “We’ve taken all we have learned these past eight years and engineered a new Xbox 360 console that is elegant and accessible to anyone. There’s never been a better time to experience everything Xbox 360 has to offer.”

  • Xbox Live members: Marc Whitten describes broad range of new features coming your way

    As Xbox Live begins its next chapter, a quick look back is in order. Since October 2005, members have logged more than 72 billion hours on the service. That’s nearly 8.3 million years! With that kind of wind in its sails, the Xbox Live team is excited to introduce a wide range of innovation and changes coming this year based on feedback from its far-reaching community.

    Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten summarized the changes today in a letter to Xbox Live members.

    In the gaming arena, a new level of cloud integration will make everything on Xbox Live more convenient and accessible, including all your games and entertainment. Gamers will also see big improvements with an all-new achievements system for Xbox One, Smart Match, and in the area of social, all new ways to record, edit, share and broadcast epic gaming moments directly on your TV.

  • “It’s all about the games” in Xbox's E3 2013 Media Briefing

    If you missed Monday’s E3 2013 Xbox Media Briefing, this almost two-minute video will catch you up on the highlights, including a first look at the extended trailer for “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” on Xbox One, the new console for Xbox 360, and special deals on Xbox Live.

    But really, it’s all about the games – whether they’re played on Xbox 360, Xbox One or SmartGlass with Xbox One. The video is perfect for those with a low attention span (raising hand here), because it’s a blitzkrieg of riveting excerpts. You’ll see flashes of Game DVR, the “Halo” debut on Xbox One, “Sunset Overdrive,” “Killer Instinct,” and other games that have mesmerized a community of 76 million.

  • Sneak peek: Microsoft showcasing experiences that go beyond at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

    The following is a post from Frank Holland, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Advertising and Online.

    Over seven days in June each year, the advertising industry comes together at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to learn from the best and celebrate work that is changing the marketing landscape. Celebrating its 60th year, Cannes Lions 2013 is expected to be the largest ever with at least 11,000 delegates attending from more than 90 countries. We have been a proud sponsor of the Festival and the Cyber Lions Awards for the past 12 years and will have a strong presence at the event again this year, which starts on Sunday, June 16.

    Throughout the week, people will be asking what the next advertising technology or platform will be and how to leverage the current ones. As you will see and hear from us at Cannes Lions, our vision for digital advertising goes beyond just products and specific technologies, trends and tactics. It is truly about putting the consumer experience at the center of everything we do.

  • Microsoft and Best Buy team up to create the Windows Store only at Best Buy

    Looking to purchase a Surface Pro or Windows Phone 8 device, but you want to actually hold it in your hands before laying down your hard-earned cash?

    Well, it just got easier to demo one of the many awesome Microsoft devices through a new strategic partnership announced today that will create the Windows Store only at Best Buy, a comprehensive store-within-a-store in 500 Best Buy locations across the United States and more than 100 Best Buy and Future Shop locations in Canada.

  • Scale matters: Windows Azure, Windows Stores & Xbox One

    The following is a post from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft.

    Scale is a word I come across frequently these days.

    In this era of cloud computing, system scalability is key. Satya Nadella focused on the significance of scale a couple of weeks ago in his post about the era of the cloud OS.

    It’s interesting to think about scale from a software architecture perspective, as we move from the scale-up systems of the past, to the horizontal scale-out systems of the future. I don’t pretend to be a software engineer, but I realize this shift is significant.

    Scale is significant in business, too, as the Wikipedia description of scalability correctly notes. In fact, it’s the first word that came to mind yesterday when we announced our strategic partnership with Best Buy to create Windows Stores within 500 U.S. Best Buys and more than 100 Best Buy and Future Shop locations in Canada. These stores-within-a-store will roll out between now and September and will have more than 1,200 Best Buy Microsoft-trained sales associates ready to help consumers make the most informed decisions.

    Boom! Horizontal scale. In about 100 days.

  • Weekend Reading: June 14th Edition–It’s all about E3

    In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on E3, Microsoft and Best Buy teaming up to create new Windows Stores only at Best Buy and more.

    News from the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. It was a big week for Microsoft and Xbox fans at E3. Just weeks after unveiling the Xbox One, Microsoft unleashed a wave of news at E3, and Xbox Wire covered it all. However, here are a few of the highlights: Xbox unveils a new generation of games; a letter from Marc Whitten, chief product officer in the Interactive Entertainment Business, on cool new features coming to Xbox Live; a breakdown of some of the awesome accessories coming for Xbox One; Major Nelson’s update on changes coming to Xbox Achievements; Xbox One breaking pre-order records on; IEB President Don Mattrick participating in a panel on interactive experiences with legendary Star Wars creator George Lucas, luminary filmmaker Steven Spielberg and others at USC; the unveiling of open-wheel race cars for “Forza Motorsport 5” for Xbox One; and the debut of the new Xbox 360. Finally, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications Frank Shaw penned this wrap up of some of the biggest news of the week for readers of The Official Microsoft Blog. Below is video from Xbox's E3 media briefing.