Microsoft News Center
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got developer stories on Windows 8, Windows Phone, Internet Explorer and Windows Azure, plus two cool Microsoft Research profiles.
New on Building Windows 8: Acting on file management feedback. Building Windows 8 previously published three blog posts that discussed the new file management experience in Windows 8: one about the new copy experience, one that detailed the design process we went through for the new conflict experience and one about the changes to Windows Explorer, including the introduction of the ribbon. Those posts prompted great discussion and the Windows team read the approximately 2,200 comments you left. This was wonderful feedback, and, along with information from other feedback channels, the team incorporated it into its design process. Read this Monday post on Building Windows 8 for the rest of the story.
And in Windows Phone developer news this week… Back in November, we announced a developer promotion for U.S. students called “Big App on Campus.” Time is running out to enter. Though we think it’s a no brainer, some of you have asked “Why should I enter?” Read this Jan. 27 post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog to find out why you should enter. Also devs, don’t miss this Tuesday post on memory profiling for application performance.
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.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got a blog post from Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on opportunity for youth and other news from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as well as stories on Data Privacy Day, the Kelihos botnet, Windows Phone and Office 365. Don’t miss any of them!
Bill Gates says young people will change the world. At the World Economic Forum today, Bill Gates participated in a roundtable focused on opportunity for youth, a subject about which he is deeply passionate. To get the rest of this story, read today’s post from Bill on The Official Microsoft Blog. Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith also participated in the roundtable, and you can read his thoughts on youth and the Opportunity Divide in this post on Microsoft on the Issues.
Microsoft names new defendant in Kelihos case. In an amended complaint filed earlier this week with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Microsoft alleged that Andrey N. Sabelnikov, a citizen of Russia, is responsible for the operations of the Kelihos botnet. For more detail, read this Monday post on The Official Microsoft Blog.
Editor’s Note: At the 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bill Gates participated in a roundtable discussion on Opportunity for Youth. It’s a subject Bill is passionate about, because solving the world’s big problems will require energy and creativity of people of all ages, and from future generations. This post also appears on Bill’s personal blog, The Gates Notes.
In my annual letter for 2012, I invited students globally to write their own annual letters about what we need to do to extend the progress the world has made in improving the lives of its poorest people over the past 50 years. I’ve received some innovative and inspiring letters, which I’ve featured on my website. All the insight and ideas these young people brought forward are amazing.
I saw this same level of insight and creativity today at the World Economic Forum, when I sat down with young innovators and leaders, including students who’ve received Imagine Cup grants, to discuss how we can help their peers around the world achieve their dreams. Whether young people want to start a business or a nonprofit, or they want to be the first in their family to go to college, it’s critical to make sure they have what they need to succeed.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got two new stories on Windows 8, some developer event news and People Week v3 on Next at Microsoft. Don’t miss ‘em!
Two more from Building Windows 8. In this Jan. 20 post on Building Windows 8, the Windows team focuses on how it re-engineered the wireless networking stack in the next version of Windows to optimize it for both mobile broadband and Wi-Fi networks. “We’ve done a ton of work to enable mobile broadband providers to make it easy for you to use 3G and 4G connectivity along with Wi-Fi in Windows 8,” writes Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division. Also, check out this Tuesday post that looks at the details of supporting sensors in Windows 8.
Thinking about developer events. At the beginning of each year, many of us assess how we (and our developer community) might want to invest our respective time and resources for the year ahead, and we’ve devoted some of that energy in the past few months toward thinking about the various developer conferences we host. As part of that reflection, we have decided to merge MIX, our spring web conference for developers and designers, into our next major developer conference, which we will host sometime in the coming year. For the rest of this story, read this Tuesday post on The Official Microsoft Blog.
At the beginning of each year, many of us assess how we (and our developer community) might want to invest our respective time and resources for the year ahead, and we’ve devoted some of that energy in the past few months toward thinking about the various developer conferences we host.
As part of that reflection, we have decided to merge MIX, our spring web conference for developers and designers, into our next major developer conference, which we will host sometime in the coming year. I know a number of folks were wondering about MIX, given the time of year, so we wanted to make sure there’s no ambiguity, and be very clear… there will be no MIX 2012.
For context, the idea to create MIX was conceived in the fall of 2005, literally as the PDC05 main stage was being disassembled after the final keynote. While we reflected on that PDC, there was a lot of discussion around our engagement with the web community, and how we needed a more focused effort around our upcoming plans for Internet Explorer, the roadmap for our web platform, the work we were starting on web standards (we were shipping IE6 at the time), and so on.
Jan. 28 is Data Privacy Day. Microsoft observes it by providing guidance to help consumers more safely manage their information online. While 2012 is still new, we recommend that people make a resolution to actively monitor and safeguard their online reputation.
As technology becomes more integrated into people’s lives and the number of connected devices grows, it is important to evaluate whether your online life mirrors the reputation you want others to see.
A person’s interactions online – spanning content that you create and share online and content that others post about you – are considered part of an online profile. Different people and organizations are able to see different parts of the overall picture. As you go through your day e-mailing, texting, sharing information and photos online, making purchases and more, all these activities can contribute to the opinions others form about you.
Since taking down the Kelihos botnet with our partners Kyrus Inc. and Kaspersky Labs in September, the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit has continued to actively investigate the case and pursue new leads with the goal of holding the perpetrators behind the botnet accountable for their actions.
In an amended complaint filed today with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Microsoft alleges that Andrey N. Sabelnikov, a citizen of Russia, is responsible for the operations of the Kelihos botnet.
Mr. Sabelnikov is not the first to be named as a defendant in this case, which has already served as the legal foundation for the successful disruption of a global botnet harming thousands of victims worldwide. In the original complaint filed in September, Microsoft alleged that Dominique Alexander Piatti, dotFREE Group SRO and John Does 1-22 owned a domain cz.cc and used cz.cc to register other subdomains such as lewgdooi.cz.cc used to operate and control the Kelihos botnet.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Microsoft’s second-quarter financial report, a new mobile experience on MSN and a host of others. Don’t miss ‘em!
Microsoft reports record revenue of $20.9 billion in second quarter. On Thursday, Microsoft announced quarterly revenue of $20.89 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, a 5 percent increase from the prior year period. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $7.99 billion, $6.62 billion, and $0.78 per share, compared with $8.17 billion, $6.63 billion and $0.77 per share, respectively, in the prior year period. For more detail, read this press release on the Microsoft News Center.
MSN introduces streamlined mobile experience. MSN Mobile has been redesigned to keep you informed, engaged and entertained regardless of where you are. You can now check top news and entertainment stories more quickly when you’re on the go with our latest release of MSN Mobile. Scan MSN videos, photo galleries and lifestyle content, right from the MSN Mobile home page. Need an umbrella? Want a stock quote? Curious about the score of tonight’s game? Simply swipe down to see the updated modules. You can even find new apps. MSN Mobile keeps you in the know, when you’re on the go. For more detail, read this Thursday post on the MSN Blog. Check out the screenshot below of the streamlined mobile experience on MSN:
Today, Microsoft is joining other Northwest employers Concur, Group Health, Nike, RealNetworks and Vulcan Inc. in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. We believe that passing this bill would be good for our business and good for the state’s economy. I wanted to take a few moments to explain why.
At Microsoft, we pride ourselves on our products and services, our brand, and our global reach. But unquestionably, our employees are our greatest asset.
To be successful, it’s critical that we have a workforce that is as diverse as our customers. Every day, the national and global economies are becoming more diverse. The lifeblood of a business is its ability to understand and connect with its customers. We’re no exception. Now more than ever, the most effective workforce is a diverse workforce.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on a next-gen file system in Windows 8, the new Visual Studio Achievements program, cloud computing and highlights from the National Retail Federation’s annual conference, among others. Check ‘em out.
Building the next generation file system for Windows: ReFS. In this Monday post on Building Windows 8, Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division, writes, “We wanted to continue our dialog about data storage by talking about the next generation file system being introduced in Windows 8. Today, NTFS is the most widely used, advanced, and feature rich file system in broad use. But when you’re reimagining Windows, as we are for Windows 8, we don’t rest on past successes, and so with Windows 8 we are also introducing a newly engineered file system. ReFS, (which stands for Resilient File System), is built on the foundations of NTFS, so it maintains crucial compatibility while at the same time it has been architected and engineered for a new generation of storage technologies and scenarios. In Windows 8, ReFS will be introduced only as part of Windows Server 8, which is the same approach we have used for each and every file system introduction.” Jump on over to Building Windows 8 to get the rest of the story.
Visual Studio Achievements program brings gamification to development. Starting today, developers who use Microsoft Visual Studio have a new way to highlight their skills, get recognition for the amazing work they do every day, and add some competitive fun to the development day. Visual Studio Achievements, a Visual Studio plug-in, enables developers to unlock badges and compete against one another for a place on a leader board based on the code they write, its level of sophistication, and the Visual Studio capabilities they use to do so. For the rest of this story, read today’s post on The Official Microsoft Blog.
Starting today, developers who use Microsoft Visual Studio have a new way to highlight their skills, get recognition for the amazing work they do every day, and add some competitive fun to the development day.
Visual Studio Achievements, a Visual Studio plug-in, enables developers to unlock badges and compete against one another for a place on a leader board based on the code they write, its level of sophistication, and the Visual Studio capabilities they use to do so. Developers finally have the ability to actually show their friends, colleagues, project managers, spouses and customers how good they are at what they do all day and sometimes into the night.
Visual Studio Achievements is both playful and pragmatic. Built on ideas from the developers themselves, it is intended to be a humorous community-building game as well as a path to the many, and, to some, unknown features offered in Visual Studio. This is one of several initiatives Microsoft is undertaking to recognize developers for their tireless and indispensable work.
As the executive in charge of building System Center – and we have great news on that today, with the release candidate now available – one great part of my job is meeting with CIOs and CTOs, touring their datacenters and hearing about their experiences and plans. A common theme I hear in these discussions is that they have realized a great deal of value and savings through virtualization, but now they are ready to take the next step to cloud computing. Not just to save money, but to move faster and help their businesses grow with new applications and capabilities.
Something I often ask these customers about is the ratio of IT employees to servers in their datacenters. This gives me a good idea of the maturity and efficiency of the organization. It is pretty common to hear a ratio of one full time employee to 30 to 40 servers in a typical enterprise datacenter. By contrast, when we look at the Microsoft datacenters that host our cloud services (Bing, Windows Update, Hotmail, Windows Azure) we see a ratio of one employee to four or five thousand servers.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on a stellar year for Xbox 360 and Kinect, a CES wrap-up, Trustworthy Computing’s 10th anniversary and more. Check ‘em out!
Xbox 360 extends win streak to 12 straight months with banner holiday sales. With a strong holiday sales period finishing a banner year, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 ended 2011 as the best-selling current-generation console in the U.S., outselling the second-place console by more than 2.7 million units, according to The NPD Group. The strong December capped an impressive year during which Xbox 360 was the fastest-growing console. It also captured 49 percent of consumer retail spending, with an industry-leading $6.7 billion in sales in the U.S. for the calendar year—more than $2.1 billion on consoles and $4.6 billion on games and accessories, NPD data shows. For more on this story, read this Thursday post on The Official Microsoft Blog.
Big week for Microsoft at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show. Just in case you missed it, Microsoft made a big splash at CES this week with a number of significant announcements, including news that Kinect for Windows will be coming Feb 1., the introduction of the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone on AT&T, a bevy of new Windows 7 devices, several new “must-have” Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone and more. Below is an image of the Nokia Lumia 900, which has the technology press excited:
With a strong holiday sales period finishing a banner year, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 ended 2011 as the best-selling current-generation console in the U.S., outselling the second-place console by more than 2.7 million units, according to The NPD Group.
The strong December capped an impressive year during which Xbox 360 was the fastest-growing console. It also captured 49 percent of consumer retail spending, with an industry-leading $6.7 billion in sales in the U.S. for the calendar year—more than $2.1 billion on consoles and $4.6 billion on games and accessories, NPD data shows.
Xbox 360 was the must-have gift this holiday season with about half of December’s retail spend on games, consoles and accessories going toward Xbox 360 products, totaling more than $1.5 billion, NPD data shows. According to internal Microsoft figures, the company has now sold more than 66 million Xbox 360 consoles and more than 18 million Kinect sensors worldwide, and has nearly 40 million Xbox LIVE members. Below is a screenshot of a bundle inspired by one of this year's most popular games, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3:
Ten years ago this week, during a time when security problems were threatening trust in software products, Chairman Bill Gates sent out a company-wide memo communicating that the company must make trustworthy computing the highest priority for the company and for the industry over the next decade.
Bill Gates’ directive set into motion a series of fundamental changes at Microsoft that changed its culture and still resonates a decade later. The most visible response was the creation of Microsoft’s Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) to ensure that security issues were caught early during the software product development cycle, and that security was not retrofitted into products at the end of that process. The SDL became mandatory at Microsoft and then publicly available so that developers everywhere could embrace the SDL process.
While a focus on security dominated the early days of TwC, we have also raised the bar on reliability and privacy. Better instrumentation such as Windows Error Reporting has led to fewer system disruptions, increasing productivity and alleviating user frustration.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, the first of 2012, we’ve got stories about Kinect for Windows, new markets for Windows Phone developers and a few new posts from Building Windows 8. Check ‘em out!
Kinect for Windows coming Feb. 1. Earlier this week at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft announced that the new Kinect for Windows hardware and accompanying software will be available on Feb. 1 in 12 countries (the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom), at a suggested retail price of US $249. Kinect for Windows hardware will be available, in limited quantities at first, through a variety of resellers and distributors. The price includes a one-year warranty, access to ongoing software updates for both speech and human tracking, and our continued investment in Kinect for Windows-based software advancements. Later this year, we will offer special academic pricing (planned at US $149) for Qualified Educational Users. For the rest of this story, read this Monday post on the Kinect for Windows Blog.
New markets for Windows Phone developers. We’re pleased to start off the New Year with an update to App Hub that will enable you to distribute apps and games to even more customers in more markets. App Hub now allows you to submit apps for distribution in 6 new markets; Argentina, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru and the Philippines.
Greetings from Las Vegas! And what’s not to like about a Microsoft keynote, a surprise host, a non-traditional musical interlude and some great demos? The best way to capture the flavor and fun from the keynote is to watch the replay, but for those looking for highlights, here is my “CliffsNotes” version of what we said and announced.
Tonight, Steve Ballmer took the stage at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. We did it differently this year, surprising the crowd by having Ryan Seacrest interview Steve, host guests onstage for demos, and provide commentary and perspective along the way. Below, Microsoft CES Keynote host Ryan Seacrest checks out Steve's Windows Phone during the company’s opening keynote:
Happy New Year and welcome to the first edition of Weekend Reading for 2012. In this edition, we’ve got stories on the upcoming 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft Flight, CodeFlow, Bing and a few others.
Catch Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote at CES. You can watch Steve Ballmer’s keynote speech live from Las Vegas at 6:30 p.m. PT on Jan. 9 on the Microsoft News Center. CES is an international trade show that showcases the innovative products and technologies shaping consumer technology today. The show runs from Jan. 10 to Jan. 13. Don’t miss it!
Editor’s picks: Turning futuristic visions into reality. From revolutionizing the way we interact with computers to developing tools to speed development of cures for crippling diseases, 2011 was a year of forward-thinking breakthroughs at Microsoft. See this feature story and slide show on the Microsoft News Center for some of the innovations introduced in 2011 and how Microsoft is working to take new technologies from the lab to the living room. Below is a screenshot of Avatar Kinect, the facial recognition technology introduced for Kinect for Xbox 360 in July 2011:
As we gear up for the year ahead, now is a good time to look back at a few signature events that took place in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley area. Many of the latest tech trends emanate from the Silicon Valley, and while Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond, Wash., it is important to keep in mind the level and length of our presence and involvement in the area.
From our retail store opening at Valley Fair and events for startups to a preview of the Windows Store and a discussion on Microsoft’s cloud strategy, the company supports a broad range of initiatives in the industry and community. Microsoft has been in Silicon Valley for more than 30 years and has more than 2,400 employees in the area.
Mobile Acceleration Week for Startups
Startups in the mobile space are a driving force of innovation and are part of the reason the tech industry is thriving.
It’s that time of year again, when people naturally look back on all that’s happened in the last 12 months and try to take stock of it all. We do the same thing here at Microsoft.
Here’s a list of the top 10 posts that were published on The Official Microsoft Blog in 2011, ranked according to readership. In this list, you’ll find news about the Kinect for Windows SDK, Xbox, botnets, our vision of what the future of productivity and digital entertainment look like and a host of others. So, without further ado:
1. Kinect for Windows SDK to Arrive Spring 2011. The Kinect for Xbox 360 in and of itself was a huge story for Microsoft this year. However, as we’ve learned, there’s so much more to the Kinect technology than games and living room entertainment. In late February, the company announced that a Kinect for Windows SDK would arrive in the spring, an announcement that clearly resonated with readers. The Kinect for Windows SDK was developed and released by Microsoft Research (MSR) in collaboration with IEB. It gives academic researchers and enthusiasts access to key pieces of the Kinect system—such as the audio technology, system application programming interfaces and direct control of the Kinect sensor itself so they can develop the next generation of natural user interface (NUI) technologies.
2. The Future of the Living Room. Last summer, Microsoft unveiled its vision for the future of the living room and digital entertainment.
In this, the final 2011 edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on top Microsoft newsmakers, Bing, Kinect, MSN, Office and a great holiday shopping guide for those of you who really, really put off your shopping until the last minute!
Microsoft people: Some of the coolest newsmakers we met in 2011. A real pleasure of working in the Microsoft News Center is being able to introduce you to fascinating people doing interesting and exciting things, both inside and outside the company. It’s a real challenge to pick a selection of these profile stories for our end-of-year slide show. See and hear from some of the people we connected with in 2011, from tech luminaries such as Jaron Lanier and Bill Buxton to lesser-known but equally inspiring Microsoft employees such as Patricia Walsh and Albert Rocker. To see the profiles, read this feature story (and slide show) on the Microsoft News Center.
Bing takes stock of 2011 and the year ahead. A few weeks ago, we shared the top Bing searches for 2011 which captured a snapshot of the year’s most important people, places and moments in time. With 2011 wrapping up and the New Year around the bend, we fielded a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults on how they felt about 2011 and how they plan to ring in 2012. From resolutions to New Year’s Eve celebration plans, read this Tuesday post on the Bing Search Blog to hear what they had to say.
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.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories from Building Windows 8, Internet Explorer, Windows Phone and a few others. Don’t miss ‘em.
And now, these messages from Building Windows 8. If you’re looking for the latest word on Windows 8, look no further than the Building Windows 8 blog. In the past week, the blog has published three new posts you don’t want to miss – Dec. 14th’s “Protecting your digital identity”, Dec. 16th’s “Signing in with a picture password” and Monday’s “Optimizing picture password security”. Check ‘em out.
Sound and sound reproduction: a conversation with Gareth Jones. In this Dec. 16th post, Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton highlights the third in a series of beautiful videos from Microsoft UK’s developer evangelism team. Gareth Jones is a record producer who has worked with Depeche Mode and Erasure. In this 5-minute film, he talks about how he hears the world, the loudness war and offers up some advice on how to produce sounds that work well on small speakers of the kind we have in modern mobile phones.
The office hallways are starting to empty out, the kids are out of school for the holiday break and there’s a festive feeling in the air. If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet, it can be easy to get a little frantic. But as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy says: “Don’t Panic!”
You still have time. You have your sharp intellect and your wit. And you have the power of the Internet at your fingertips.
Just because you’re scrambling to finish up your holiday shopping doesn’t mean you can’t compare prices. Using Windows Phone and Bing, you can comparison shop on the go. Fire up Bing Vision, which allows you to scan a product, a UPC or QR code – and see how much it costs and where to buy it.