Microsoft News Center
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Microsoft’s new Cloud OS Network, Xbox One sales and a gift guide for goodies under 100 bucks to help you get through the holidays.
On Thursday, Microsoft introduced the Cloud OS Network, a worldwide group of more than 25 leading cloud service providers who have embraced our Cloud OS vision and will deliver hosted services built on the Microsoft Cloud Platform, which includes Windows Server with Hyper-V, System Center and the Windows Azure Pack. To get the rest of the story, read this post on The Official Microsoft Blog from Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president of Cloud and Enterprise Marketing, and watch the video below.
Xbox has seen record-breaking sales with the recent announcement of Xbox One selling more than 2 million units through to consumers worldwide since its launch. November NPD Group figures released Thursday revealed 909,132 Xbox One units were sold in the U.S. in the console’s first nine days, making it the fastest selling console on the market in the U.S. Xbox One sales averaged a volume of 101,000 consoles per day, significantly outpacing the nearest competitor.
The following post is from Takeshi Numoto, Corporate Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Marketing, Microsoft.
Today, Microsoft introduced the Cloud OS Network, a worldwide group of more than 25 leading cloud service providers who have embraced our Cloud OS vision and will deliver hosted services built on the Microsoft Cloud Platform, which includes Windows Server with Hyper-V, System Center and the Windows Azure Pack. This announcement represents important progress against our goals and strategy for Cloud OS. More importantly, it is great news for enterprise customers across the globe.
Since its launch 18 days ago, Xbox One is proving to be the must-have gift this holiday season, with more than 2 million consoles sold through to consumers worldwide, averaging over 111,111 units sold per day – a record-setting pace for Xbox. The millions of fans around the world who have purchased Xbox One have shown incredible engagement with the all-in-one games and entertainment system, spending more than 83 million hours in games, TV and apps on Xbox One since the system launched on Nov. 22.
“We continue to be humbled and overwhelmed by the positive response from our fans,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of strategy and marketing for Xbox. “We are thrilled to see sales of Xbox One on a record-setting pace, with over 2 million Xbox One consoles in homes around the world. Demand is exceeding supply in our 13 launch markets and Xbox One is sold out at most retailers. We’re also particularly excited to see consumers engaging in a wide range of games and entertainment experiences on the platform, with more than 1 million paid transactions on Xbox Live to date.”
With the Nobel Prizes awarded Tuesday, the Nobel organization’s website is being inundated with visitors from around the globe who want to read all the details.
Every year, the world is watching when Nobel Prizes are awarded to leading figures that are changing the world for the better. When the prestigious Laureates are announced in October and when they receive their prizes in December, the Nobel Prize website sees a 100 fold increase in visitors – taking traffic up to as many as 3 million hits in just one week.
The following post is from Satya Nadella, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise, Microsoft.
On Tuesday at LeWeb’13 in Paris, I joined Om Malik on stage to talk with thousands of entrepreneurs, startups and large companies about technology and where we’re headed as an industry. The theme of this year’s conference is The Next 10 Years, and we spent our time talking about the new ideas we see from startups around the world and how their work is shaping the future.
Today software intermediates — and digitizes — many of the things we do in business, life and our world. New technologies help businesses engage with customers in more meaningful ways, connect us to our friends and families, and allow us to see, interact with and share our world in ways never before possible. But we’re only at the beginning.
The following post is from Eric Doerr, Group Program Manager, Microsoft Account.
We’re excited to announce that over the next couple of days we’re rolling out a few new capabilities – based on your ongoing feedback – that give you more visibility and control of your Microsoft account.
Last April we announced the release of two-step verification to the more than 700 million people around the world who use a Microsoft account.
This is an important capability that allows any of our customers – whether they use a Windows PC or Windows Phone device, Outlook.com, SkyDrive, Xbox and more services – to add an additional layer of access control to their account. In the eight months since we released this feature, we’ve seen impressive adoption. Every day, thousands more users enable this extra protection for their account. We’re also delighted to see that customers who have turned on two-step verification are less likely to experience illegal activities with their accounts. If you have not yet activated two-step verification, we highly recommend you do.
The following post is from Satya Nadella, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft.
Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) is an important moment for everyone, especially youth, to learn how the ability to code can open doors to future careers in unexpected ways. One of the activities I am most excited about is the “Hour of Code” campaign. In partnership with Code.org and other leading tech companies, Microsoft is encouraging 10 million students of all ages to spend an hour this week learning basic coding skills, while hopefully having some fun in the process.
Among many activities to help get kids started this week, everyone is invited to join us at a Microsoft store where employees will be offering free coding lessons on Kodu Game Lab and TouchDevelop. We’re also partnering on and hosting various other coding events across the country from Washington, D.C. to Silicon Valley.
Right now, less than 2.4 percent of college students graduate with a degree in computer science, yet computer programming jobs are growing at twice the national average and are among the top paying fields.
The following post is from Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft. It was originally published on Microsoft on the Issues.
Today, we are joining AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Yahoo in calling for reforms of government surveillance.
Since Microsoft was founded, we’ve believed technology is a powerful tool that can help people. In that belief we remain steadfast.
But we also recognize another important point. People won’t use technology they don’t trust. Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it.
Last week we announced that we’re taking new steps to reduce the risk of government snooping. Today we’re joining with others across our industry to call on governments to adhere to specific principles with respect to surveillance.
It’s just one hour. But it’s an hour that could change young lives forever, and help guide them to a better future. That’s why Microsoft is challenging as many young people as possible to participate in the “Hour of Code” during Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 9-15.
“Hour of Code” is an introduction to computer science, and if those two words – “computer science” – scare or intrigue you, consider taking part. “Hour of Code” is aimed at demystifying “code” and showing that anyone can learn the basics. Anyone. (Yes, adults, you are absolutely encouraged to participate, too!)
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Microsoft’s role in protecting customer data, how 150,000 students, administrators and staff members in Canada have started using Office 365 and Microsoft Research’s first Artist in Residence.
Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president of Microsoft’s Legal & Corporate Affairs, wrote about how “many of our customers have serious concerns about government surveillance of the Internet.” He added, “We share their concerns. That’s why we are taking steps to ensure governments use legal process rather than technological brute force to access customer data. Like many others, we are especially alarmed by recent allegations in the press of a broader and concerted effort by some governments to circumvent online security measures – and in our view, legal processes and protections – in order to surreptitiously collect private customer data.”
The following is a post from Richard Domingues Boscovich, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit.
For the third time this year, Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit has successfully disrupted a dangerous botnet that has impacted millions of innocent people. Today, we’re pleased to announce that Microsoft, in conjunction with Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and technology industry leaders such as A10 Networks, has taken action against the rampant Sirefef botnet, also known as ZeroAccess. The ZeroAccess botnet has infected nearly two million computers all over the world and cost online advertisers upwards of $2.7 million each month.
The following post is from Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft.
Many of our customers have serious concerns about government surveillance of the Internet.
We share their concerns. That’s why we are taking steps to ensure governments use legal process rather than technological brute force to access customer data.
Like many others, we are especially alarmed by recent allegations in the press of a broader and concerted effort by some governments to circumvent online security measures – and in our view, legal processes and protections – in order to surreptitiously collect private customer data. In particular, recent press stories have reported allegations of governmental interception and collection – without search warrants or legal subpoenas – of customer data as it travels between customers and servers or between company data centers in our industry.
If true, these efforts threaten to seriously undermine confidence in the security and privacy of online communications. Indeed, government snooping potentially now constitutes an “advanced persistent threat,” alongside sophisticated malware and cyber attacks.
On Wednesday, Microsoft announced it will invest in the development of a new Windows Azure region in Brazil. The investment represents an important step in the company’s cloud expansion strategy and its commitment to the country and Latin America.
Worldwide, Windows Azure is currently available in 89 countries and 19 currencies, and Microsoft will expand this into Brazil in the first half of 2014. As Steven Martin, general manager of Windows Azure, says in a post over on the Windows Azure Blog, the Windows Azure Brazil Region will provide better performance for local companies through reduced latency. Additionally, customers will be able to opt for Locally Redundant Storage (LRS), which will maintain three copies of their data in Brazil, preserving data residency.
On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that Canada’s second-largest public school board – the Peel District School Board – has deployed Microsoft Office 365 to more than 150,000 students, administrators and staff members.
“The launch provides the district with the capabilities once reserved for the world’s largest corporations and, according to a recent IDC study, allows the board to give students the technology needed to gain the third most-valued skill, Microsoft Office proficiency, for the high-growth, high-wage jobs of the future,” according to a press release over on the Microsoft News Center.
The district considered offerings from other companies, but chose Office 365 because it supports multiple operating systems and mobile platforms, thereby supporting the district’s bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiative.
The following post is from Roger Capriotti, senior director of product marketing, Microsoft. It was originally published on The Fire Hose.
The redesigned homepage for NORAD Tracks Santa.
Every December, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (“NORAD”) serves the important role of ensuring that Santa’s journey around the world is safe. Since 1955, children of all ages have tracked his route with the help of NORAD’s radar, satellites and jet fighters. This year, Microsoft has lent a hand to make the experience the most magical yet, putting a fresh spin on the time-honored tradition with the launch of the new www.NORADSanta.org. This isn’t the first time Microsoft has worked with NORAD Tracks Santa. Last year, we provided our interactive Bing Maps to give people at home an interactive visual of Santa’s whereabouts on Christmas Eve, which was powered by Windows Azure, as well as apps for Windows and Windows Phone that allowed people a platform to play and learn.
Each year Bing looks back at the top U.S. searches of the last 12 months, and in their 2013 report, powerful women unquestionably took the prize.
Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the things we’re thankful for and reconnect with family and friends over a good meal. Here are eight apps for Windows and Windows Phone to help make sure you have a safe, hassle-free and enjoyable holiday.
Bing Food & Drink
The Bing Food & Drink app is a must-have on your tablet or laptop for Thanksgiving. The new app makes it easy to explore recipes from all around the world, choose from more than 100,000 wines and cocktails, and learn tips from celebrity chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Tom Colicchio to make your next meal a taste-tempting success with family and friends. Not that you have to be a celebrity chef to cook a mean bird or get those garlic mashed potatoes just right.
Bing Food & Drink provides immaculate photos (as seen in the screenshot above), easy-to-follow instructions and tools such as a shopping list and meal planner to help you prepare your Thanksgiving dinner. You can also use the app to enter notes or upload your own favorite recipes, and then share them with a single tap of your finger – a great way to make the relatives happy when they ask for your sweet potato pie recipe!
You might have seen Ryan Asdourian in action before. He’s often on stage delivering high-profile demos of Microsoft devices and services at company events. But seeing him in “Blitz Mode” as the green-feathered mascot of the Seattle Seahawks is something else altogether.
Xbox One launched Friday to much fanfare and celebrations all over the world. The Xbox team has confirmed that the launch of Xbox One was the biggest in Xbox history, with more than one million consoles sold worldwide in less than 24 hours. The new mark surpasses day one Xbox 360 sales and sets a new record for Microsoft.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the worldwide launch of the Xbox One, Windows Phone getting Instagram and holiday shopping help galore.
On Nov. 22, after months of anticipation, Microsoft launched Xbox One with parties around the globe, starting in New Zealand and Australia, and extending to Los Angeles, New York, London and Paris, among other places. In New Zealand, Dan Livingstone was one happy guy, being among the very first to have the console in his hands.
Call it early New Year’s Eve, or even early Christmas: Gamers around the globe are taking part in launch celebrations Thursday for the Xbox One, some at parties and rock concerts in venues from New York to Zealand, others watching a live broadcast on Spike TV, and many by lining up at retail stores to be among the first to buy the new console when it goes on sale at midnight Friday.
In New York, “Dead Rising 3” zombies, “Ryse: Son of Rome” Roman soldiers and “Forza Motorsport 5” supercars converged on Times Square, along with thousands of gamers. As billboards glowed Xbox green, rappers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis entertained 1,000 fans at the Best Buy Theater.
The launch of Xbox One on Friday signals the beginning of a new era for gaming and interactive entertainment. With the deepest and most varied launch lineup in Xbox history, the new games and exclusive titles tap the incredible power of new hardware and the cloud, as well as exclusive features such as Xbox Live, Kinect and Xbox One SmartGlass that bring a new world of gaming to life.
To celebrate the launch of Xbox One, Microsoft retail stores are hosting Xbox One Sports Star Challenges in several U.S. cities and in Toronto, Canada this weekend – and you’re invited to participate. Most of the challenges take place on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., but see specific details below for each city.
Entrants will see if they have what it takes to beat sports celebrities at games played on Xbox One. There will be prizes given out during the event, and guests can pick up a signed autograph from the celebrity.
On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that a dedicated YouTube app is officially coming to Xbox One. Whether you use YouTube to get hints on how to pass a particularly difficult level of your favorite game, watch music videos, learn the fishtail braid or view upcoming movie trailers, it’ll all be available for you right on Xbox One.
You’ll have the same great content and the same great experience, such as the ability to stream vids in 1080p, just as you would on your PC. You’ll be able to find and watch whatever you want, and best of all, be able to do that in new, cool ways. You’ll be able to control the app with your voice, including playing, pausing and fast forwarding. You’ll be able to grab the screen to scroll through vid selections. You’ll also be able to stay up-to-date with all your favorite channels with Subscriptions.