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I have been at Microsoft now since mid-1989. In that time, I have had the opportunity to do a variety of jobs; experience successes and failures, work with truly amazing people, and watch this company emerge as a force for good in the corporate environment and in the world at large. As I look around at our employees, I hope they have the same opportunities I’ve had. This company seems to produce new opportunities for people each and every day.
Being recognized as the number one global workplace by the Great Places to Work Institute is an honor. Our investments in our employees and the opportunities for them have not gone unnoticed. We are particularly proud of the work people get to do every day, and the impact we have on the world around us.
In advance of one of the most significant waves of product launches in Microsoft’s history, today we are unveiling a new logo for the company.
Today’s launch of Windows Server 2012 puts a spotlight on the transformational shift underway across the entire IT ecosystem. This transformation is being driven by an exponential growth of devices used for smarter, more personalized applications, which in turn create an explosion of data and the need for more computing power. It is a world of connected devices and continuous services, and it’s all powered by servers.
This is leading to dramatic changes in how computing, storage and networking come together in scalable, automated, shared and adaptive platforms that deliver modern applications to power the world’s computing experiences. This is cloud computing.
Every year about this time, Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, holds an intimate gathering to discuss the company’s vision for the future: just Craig, a handful of Microsoft thinkers and select media convening for a lively show-and-tell discussion called TechForum.
I’ll have more to share here tomorrow about the prototypes shown and topics discussed during the course of the day.
This morning, Craig and Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB), announced plans to release a non-commercial Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit, or SDK, this spring.
The following is a post from Panos Panay, General Manager of Microsoft Surface.
It’s hard to believe it’s been just over a month since Surface with Windows RT hit the market. The response from Surface customers has been fantastic and exciting to see. In addition to sharing the terrific results that Microsoft is seeing with Windows 8 at a technology conference earlier this week, we also announced that Surface with Windows 8 Pro would be available in January 2013.
Today, I want to share a bit more detail about the growing Surface family of products and Surface with Windows 8 Pro, specifically around pricing. In January, Surface with Windows 8 Pro will be available in two versions and pricing will start at $899:
· 64GB standalone version at $899
· 128GB standalone version at $999
Both versions will both include a Surface pen with Palm Block technology and include the ability to use a Touch Cover or Type Cover (sold separately).
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.
The following post is from Frank Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Communications at Microsoft.
I’m still over in Abu Dhabi, where the only thing hotter than the weather are the new Windows devices unveiled by Nokia this week.
I have to say, I’m really excited for a 1080p Lumia with a third column on my start screen so I can keep a close eye on more people, more news, more stuff.
Of course, even with the 720p display I’m using right now, I could easily spot some coverage today that needs to be corrected.
Seems like the RDF (Reality Distortion Field) typically generated by an Apple event has extended beyond Cupertino.
So let me try to clear some things up.
In our most complex effort to disrupt botnets to date, Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit – in collaboration with Financial Services – Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) and NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association, as well as Kyrus Tech Inc. – has executed a coordinated global action against some of the worst known cybercrime operations fueling online fraud and identity theft today. With this legal and technical action, a number of the most harmful botnets using the Zeus family of malware worldwide have been disrupted in an unprecedented, proactive cross-industry operation against this cybercriminal organization.
Ever since we launched Surface Windows RT late last year, it’s been exciting to see the ongoing customer response to this amazing device. We are also pumped about all the anticipation and excitement in regards to Surface Windows 8 Pro. There have been a tremendous amount of questions to date, and today, I am pleased that we are formally announcing the date of availability. Surface Windows 8 Pro will be available in the U.S. and Canada starting on Feb. 9 through all Microsoft retail stores, microsoftstore.com and at Staples and Best Buy in the U.S. as well as from a number of locations in Canada. Not only has it been fun watching the anticipation, it has been great working with such an amazing team to bring these products to life.
Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, Surface Windows 8 Pro provides the power and performance of a laptop in a tablet package and will run all Windows 8 applications as well as current Windows 7 desktop applications. Last month, we announced Surface Windows 8 Pro pricing starting at $899 and that it will be available in 64 GB and 128 GB models. A Surface Pen is included and makes for an amazing experience for writers, graphic designers or even engineers, and with Palm Block technology writing and drawing is fun for everyone on Surface Windows 8 Pro.
Next week, the Xbox team heads to Los Angeles for E3. Having recently joined the team, I have the benefit of fresh perspective, and one of the things that has struck me is the amount of opportunities we have ahead.
Before joining Xbox, I had the fortune of being a part of some incredible periods of innovation and incubation such as in the early days of Windows and Internet Explorer and more recently with the creation of Bing. I have also had a great passion for gaming and entertainment, and watched the growth of MSN into one of the world’s largest media sites on the Internet.
Summer is a transition time for many people: the break between school years; a vacation before tackling another year of work; and for network television that’s been a guest in our living rooms for so long, summer is a time of transition between seasons.
It’s appropriate then that we are also in the middle of a fundamental transformation of the technology in our living rooms. Traditional broadcast and cable TV are steadily being augmented and enjoyed in new ways such as ‘time-shifted’ and on-demand TV via DVRs and other devices like the Xbox, PCs, tablets and even smartphones. Similarly, DVDs are being replaced by on-demand movie delivery via services such as Netflix and Hulu. And the standard 30- or 60-minute commercial program is no longer the only game in town – today’s entertainment options are a vast cornucopia of content from ultra-short to full length, all delivered over the Internet.
At Microsoft, we believe there’s also a shift underway in how consumers access and control this ever-growing avalanche of TV shows, sports programming, movies, online videos, video games, music and more. At E3, we dropped a few hints regarding how we plan to enhance and expand the entertainment options available to consumers.
Our philosophy is pretty simple: All the entertainment you want, with the people you care about, made easy…
The following is a post from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft.
Last week was the official start of spring here in the Northern Hemisphere. While some folks were out doing “spring cleaning,” we used the opportunity to look back a bit at what has happened in the past season, and to look ahead at what we have coming. From where I sit, it’s busy both ways. Let’s take a look back.
First, we launched a wave of incredible devices and services to our business and consumer customers around the globe and saw growth across a number of businesses.
While we’re still in early days, the numbers are encouraging. There are new PCs and tablets in market and great apps in the Windows Store, with new ones coming every day. Windows Phone has reached 10 percent market share in a number of countries, and according to IDC’s latest report, has shipped more than Blackberry in 26 markets and more than iPhone in seven.
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.
During the last week or so, there has been a fair amount of discussion about how Google is making some unpopular changes to some of its most popular products. You can see some of the concerns and worries about lack of choice and so on in these links.
When we read the coverage last week, it was clear people were honestly wrestling with the choices that had been made for them and were looking for options or alternatives.
The changes Google announced make it harder, not easier, for people to stay in control of their own information. We take a different approach – we work to keep you safe and secure online, to give you control over your data, and to offer you the choice of saving your information on your hard drive, in the cloud, or on both.
Below is a post from Yusuf Mehdi, Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Division, announcing details about a major new update to the Xbox dashboard and the launch of Xbox SmartGlass, which brings games, music, TV and movie experiences off the console and onto your phone, tablet and PC.
Steve Ballmer recently stated that 2012 will be “the most epic year in Microsoft’s history.”
Not only do we have major releases coming to the PC, tablet and phone, but we have worked extremely hard to ensure those screens work together with the other major screen in peoples’ lives, the television. People often call out the role Microsoft design style is playing in this new wave of experiences from the company. Whether you are using a phone, PC, tablet or console that is running our software you have an experience that is distinctively Microsoft, elegant, intuitive and integrated.
Now, there is another common thread that ties all of these experiences together – Xbox entertainment.
Today marks the beginning of two major launches for Xbox entertainment.
Microsoft has a long tradition of tackling tough challenges at a global scale. We have always focused on how our technology can enrich people’s lives, build businesses, and inspire and change the world.
Working on the issues of energy use and environmental change provides another opportunity to make a difference in the world. It’s the right thing to do. And it’s also an opportunity to promote positive change, as the world transitions to new ways of using energy and managing natural resources. That’s why today, Microsoft is taking a significant step to further reduce our environmental footprint.
Beginning in fiscal year 2013 (which starts this July 1), Microsoft will be carbon neutral across all our direct operations including data centers, software development labs, air travel, and office buildings.
The following is a post from Michael Park, Corporate Vice President of Marketing in the Server & Tools Business at Microsoft.
We all know change is constant, especially in technology. Managing through change is always a challenge, but over the past 20 years I’ve found it to be one of the most rewarding aspects of my career in the tech industry.
During the past six months I’ve been talking to IT executives and partners about the big changes and trends in enterprise IT, such as the various cloud computing models, the consumerization of IT, the new generation of connected applications and big data. I’ve shared with them our vision of what we call the Cloud OS and the feedback has been very positive. They see it as a differentiated approach from Microsoft that will help them embrace the transformational changes happening now. Today, Microsoft announced several new products and services that deliver against the Cloud OS, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to further explain it to readers of this blog.
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.
Our industry moves fast and changes faster. And so the way we communicate with our customers must change in equally speedy ways. To ensure it does, we constantly challenge our assumptions. For example:
· What’s the right time and place to make announcements?
· Are we adjusting to the changing dynamics of our customers?
· Are we doing something because it’s the right thing to do, or because “it’s the way we’ve always done it”?
After thinking about questions like these, we have decided that this coming January will be our last keynote presentation and booth at CES. We’ll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we won’t have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing.
A Silicon Valley-based hardware team collaborated with Microsoft Research to overcome technological hurdles with the new time-of-flight sensing camera in Xbox One.
Cyrus Bamji had encountered a challenge. Luckily for him, Microsoft Research had just the solution.
Bamji, Microsoft partner hardware architect for Microsoft’s Silicon Valley-based Architecture and Silicon Management group, and members of his team were trying to incorporate a time-of-flight camera into Xbox One, the successor to the wildly popular Xbox 360.
A time-of-flight camera emits light signals and then measures how long it takes them to return. That needs to be accurate to 1/10,000,000,000 of a second—remember, we’re talking the speed of light here. With such measurements, the camera is able to differentiate light reflecting from objects in a room and the surrounding environment. That provides an accurate depth estimation that enables the shape of those objects to be computed.
Earlier this week, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit permission to disrupt more than 500 different strains of malware with the potential for targeting millions of innocent people. Codenamed “Operation b70,” this legal action and technical disruption proceeded from a Microsoft study which found that cybercriminals infiltrate unsecure supply chains to introduce counterfeit software embedded with malware for the purpose of secretly infecting people’s computers. In disrupting these malware strains, we helped significantly limit the spread of the developing Nitol botnet, our second botnet disruption in the last six months.