Microsoft News Center
As the president of the Office Division, people often ask me what Microsoft’s view is on the future of productivity. I think one of the best ways to answer a question like that is to show our vision by sharing a new concept video.
We create these videos to help tell the story we see unfolding in technology, and how it will impact our lives in the future. The video shows our vision for a future where technology extends and highlights our productive capabilities; it helps us manage our time better, focus our attention on the most important things, and foster meaningful connections with the people we care about.
All of the ideas in the video are based on real technology. Some of the capabilities, such as speech recognition, real time collaboration and data visualization already exist today. Others are not yet available in specific products, but represent active research and development happening at Microsoft and other companies.
The following is a post from Steve Guggenheimer, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President and Chief Evangelist, Developer & Platform Evangelism.
Editor's Update: 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.
In the past year, we’ve introduced an assortment of new opportunities to build incredible apps and experiences on Windows, and developers all over the world have taken advantage of it. Just look at the last few weeks - we’ve seen great apps like Twitter on Windows 8 and Pandora on Windows Phone 8 as great examples of developers really taking advantage of the platform in a way that users love. But we're also seeing users increasingly expect their experiences on multiple screens, and Skulls of the Shogun is a great example of how Windows is the best place for developers to capitalize on the opportunity.
And the opportunity is big: we saw more than 100 million downloads from the Windows Store in the first two months after GA, we crossed the 1 billion downloads mark in the Windows Phone Store, we saw a doubling of Windows Azure compute usage in just the last six months and much more. And developers are taking notice.
To make sure everyone knows what we’re planning and can participate in this rapidly growing ecosystem, I’m pleased to announce and personally invite you to our next developer conference, Build 2013, which is taking place June 26-28, 2013 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
In 1999, I was gobsmacked by reading the NY Times Magazine about top inventions – each article made me pause and say “of course,” none more so than the history of the wood screw. Without it, what would civilization be like? Less sturdy, for sure. And at the time, it was no doubt greeted with the equivalent of a big “meh.” History is made in the moment but defined over time, and through that lens, it’s clear that 30 years ago, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on Aug. 12, 1981, was a seminal moment. Why? It was the unveiling of the IBM 5150 personal computer.
Other PCs preceded it.
· The Apple II
· The Commodore PET
· The Osborne 1
· The Tandy TRS-80
But the introduction of the IBM PC was a defining moment for our industry.
Today, Microsoft announced Windows Azure Toolkits for Devices, consisting of assets for Windows Phone, iOS and a preview of tools for Android.
Using the toolkits, developers can use the cloud to accelerate the creation of applications on the major mobile platforms. Companies, including Groupon, are taking advantage to create a unified approach to cloud-to-mobile user experience.
The average consumer uses many different devices. The PC, the phone and an array of smart Web-connected devices have created diverse computing scenarios for millions of users. For developers, this is an unparalleled opportunity - Forrester predicts that by 2015, the mobile apps services market will exceed $7 billion.
Last month, I shared with you that the Rustock botnet has remained inactive since Microsoft and its partners took it offline on March 16th.
Today, we take our pursuit a step further. After publishing notices in two Russian newspapers last month to notify the Rustock operators of the civil lawsuit, we decided to augment our civil discovery efforts to identify those responsible for controlling the notorious Rustock botnet by issuing a monetary reward in the amount of $250,000 for new information that results in the identification, arrest and criminal conviction of such individual(s).
This reward offer stems from Microsoft’s recognition that the Rustock botnet is responsible for a number of criminal activities and serves to underscore our commitment to tracking down those behind it.
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.
This edition of Weekend Reading is chock full of major news nuggets, including the launch of the new Bing, the availability of Windows 8 Release Preview, an E3 teaser and the debut of a beautiful new camera app for Windows Phone called Photosynth.
New Bing, available today, takes you from searching to doing. Do you ever feel like you’re spending too much time searching and not enough time doing? If so, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey conducted by Bing and Impulse Research, nearly 75 percent of people spend more time than they would like searching for information online. Time wasted searching is a thing of the past with the new Bing design, which brings together information from the Web, experts and enthusiasts, and your friends to help you do more — available today at http://www.bing.com. You can find out more about the new Bing over on the Microsoft News Center. Also, don’t miss this Bing Search Blog post about Bing’s new Snapshot feature, and be sure to watch the video below with Online Services Division President Qi Lu. Finally, check out today’s blog post on the Bing Summer of Doing.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on two awesome HTML5 experiences powered by Internet Explorer, three gorgeous new apps for Windows Phone, Skype rolling out on Xfinity in 10 markets and much, much more. Don’t miss any of them!
“Prometheus” and Brandon Generator – two HTML5 experiences powered by Internet Explorer. In preparation for the upcoming film Prometheus (in theaters on June 8), Weyland Industries is accepting applicants to join the crew of the Project Prometheus spaceship. Now, the Internet Explorer team is proud to announce our partnership with Fox Studios to create the Project Prometheus Training Center — designed entirely in HTML5 — giving fans the chance to demonstrate they are capable of being a crew member on the Prometheus ship. Read this Wednesday post on the Exploring IE Blog for the rest of the story. Mashable also covered the story. And don’t miss this feature story and slide show on the Microsoft News Center focused on The Random Adventures of Brandon Generator, the brainchild of filmmaker Edgar Wright, comic book artist Tommy Lee Edwards, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team – and you. The audience is being invited to help shape the four-episode series of animated shorts by suggesting characters, plots, nemeses and entire scenes. The site received thousands of submissions after the first episode premiered in mid-April, which ended with a plea to help Brandon overcome his writer’s block. Below is a screen shot from the Project Prometheus Training Center.
Twenty years ago at Microsoft’s first annual TechEd conference, we gathered to talk about the industry transformation from mainframe to minis to client/server computing. The vehicle for that transformation was the Windows operating system. Today at TechEd, we’re again talking about the industry transformation: the transformation to the cloud. Once again, the Windows operating system is the vehicle for this transformation.
Let me step back. At the most basic level, any operating system has two “jobs”: it needs to manage the underlying hardware, and it needs to provide a platform for applications. The fundamental role of an operating system has not changed, but the scale at which servers are deployed and the type of applications now available or in development are changing massively. On the hardware front, the “unit” of hardware abstraction that a server OS manages has now reached the “datacenter” level. And by that I mean a datacenter ranging from the smallest cluster of a few servers to the very massive footprint of one of Microsoft’s global installations with thousands of servers across multiple geographically distributed datacenters.
Building on the recent successes of the Rustock and Waledac botnet takedowns, I’m pleased to announce that Microsoft has taken down the Kelihos botnet in an operation codenamed “Operation b79” using similar legal and technical measures that resulted in our previous successful botnet takedowns.
Kelihos, also known by some as “Waledac 2.0” given its suspected ties to the first botnet Microsoft took down, is not as massive as the Rustock spambot. However, this takedown represents a significant advance in Microsoft’s fight against botnets nonetheless. This takedown will be the first time Microsoft has named a defendant in one of its civil cases involving a botnet and as of approximately 8:15 a.m. Central Europe time on Sept. 26th, the defendants were personally notified of the action.
The Kelihos takedown is intended to send a strong message to those behind botnets that it’s unwise for them to simply try to update their code and rebuild a botnet once we’ve dismantled it. When Microsoft takes a botnet down, we intend to keep it down – and we will continue to take action to protect our customers and platforms and hold botherders accountable for their actions.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s trip to Asia, a new agreement between Microsoft and the Vatican that will bring Office 365 to millions of students and the new Facebook app for Windows Phone now in Marketplace.
Steve Ballmer highlights opportunities in Asia. Steve Ballmer was in Asia this week, speaking at events in Japan, China, Korea and India. Developers, customers, partners and students told Ballmer how excited they are about Microsoft’s coming products and services in Asia, including Windows 8. "Windows 8 is at the forefront of what we're doing and I think at the forefront of the ways in which we can create real opportunity for us and for our partners," Ballmer said at a Windows Partner Executive Summit in Tokyo. "No matter what you do, Windows 8 should unlock for all of us new opportunities." See more photos from Ballmer’s tour in this slide show. Below are two images from the slide show:
Xbox 360 led the U.S. console market for the seventh consecutive month and has sold more units in the U.S. than any other console for 13 of the past 14 months.
Though the video-game console and software market has slowed industry wide, Xbox 360 remains on track to have the biggest year in Xbox history – an unprecedented feat in the sixth year of its lifecycle.
July 2011 highlights from the NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks the video-game industry, include:
I am delighted to announce the deal with Microsoft has formally closed, and Skype is now a division of Microsoft. This represents a huge leap forward in Skype’s mission to be the communications choice for a billion people every day.
Joining forces with Microsoft is the best way to accelerate this mission and capitalize on our position at the intersection of social, mobile and video communications. Simply put, we want to transform communications.
It was a busy week for the company, as Bing announced some exciting new features in their most significant update since they launched three years ago. We heard about a great new Windows Phone from Samsung and a very cool new augmented reality app from Nokia. And, of course, Mother’s Day approaches, so some advice from Skype on how to make the day special for mom.
The “New” Bing Unveiled: Transforming Search from Finding to Doing. On Thursday, the Bing team held an event in San Francisco to showcase the “new” Bing, a major update to the Bing Search engine, which includes a revamped UI and deeper integration with social media to help people spend less time searching and more time doing. The team introduced three major updates to Bing. Below is a screenshot of the new Bing.
The following is a post from Tony Bates, President, Skype Division at Microsoft.
I’m excited to be in San Diego today giving the inaugural Lync Conference keynote address. We have a sold out show with our growing community of customers, partners and Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs). Key industry influencers from the analyst and press communities have joined us as well.
From the living room to the boardroom: Our vision for the future of communicationsI am excited to outline our vision for the future of communications in my keynote today. It’s about re-humanizing communications “from the living room to the boardroom.” People are at the center of this vision. All day, every day, we are all simultaneously consumers and professionals, friends, family and colleagues – and our communications technologies need to move between these dimensions as seamlessly as we do.
Today people adapt to the requirements of technology. Multiple devices, applications and networks each have their own rules and identities and require that we conform to them. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
In the ongoing quest for a metaphor that illustrates slow versus rapid change, it’s hard to top the boiled frog. You know the one – drop a frog in hot water and out it leaps; place it in cold water and put it on the stove and the frog will sit there and cook. Atlantic writer and one-time Microsoft employee James Fallows has the most thorough debunking of the metaphor extant, but such is the power of the meme that it continues to show up, even in otherwise reputable publications.
For me, the above perfectly illustrates how hard it can be to recognize a transformation, especially when the transformation takes time (also known as slowly turning up the heat). Case in point: Xbox and entertainment. For the last 10 years at Microsoft, we’ve been turning up the heat on how we think about Xbox, and next week at E3 you will get a chance to see how far we’ve come.
This past Monday on the Fourth of July, Hotmail celebrated its 15th anniversary. Make no mistake - Hotmail has come a long way in those 15 years, and to commemorate a number of important milestones over the last several months, we thought we'd show off a list of 15 insanely cool things you might not know about Hotmail.
This is not the Hotmail of 2005:
1) Hotmail in 2011 is not Hotmail in 2005 (or Hotmail in 2010, for that matter.)
2) Hotmail is really, really fast – 10-20x faster than last year, and even faster than Gmail in certain areas.
Last October, I posted a concept video showing Microsoft’s view on the future of productivity. The video envisions how mobile devices, social computing, interactive content, cloud computing and natural user interfaces will change the way we get things done at home, at work and at school.
In our personal lives, it’s obvious that social computing has made a huge impact in how we connect with information and each other. Businesses are just starting to take advantage of the benefits of social computing, and I believe it will redefine how we’ll work together in the years ahead.
Today, I am excited to announce that we have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Yammer, the world’s fastest-growing enterprise social networking service.
It only comes once a year, but here is your Weekend Reading: The E3 Edition – bringing you all the highlights from the Los Angeles entertainment expo. We’ve also got stories on the limited edition Nokia Lumia 900 “Batphone”, the FAA choosing Office 365 for e-mail and collaboration in the cloud and much more.
A look back at E3 2012. Earlier this week, the Xbox 360 console charged into its seventh Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) buoyed by a bundle of blockbuster game releases led by Halo 4 and a set of new entertainment experiences that will push Xbox farther into the living room, and onto PCs, tablets and phones. Microsoft also revealed a set of new Xbox content, partners and apps – including bringing Internet Explorer to the console for the first time. The company also introduced a new music service and Xbox SmartGlass, a new app that brings an immersive entertainment experience to all devices. You can read more about it over on the Microsoft News Center and in this letter on Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson from Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox LIVE. Below is a screenshot of Halo 4:
Today, the Catholic International Education Office (OIEC) took an exciting step toward delivering a brighter future for Catholic students around the world, demonstrating there is no greater resource to invest in than that of youth. Recognizing changes were needed to provide their students with the 21st century skills they’ll need in their future careers, OIEC is partnering with Microsoft to bring Office 365 and other resources to more than 200,000 Catholic schools all over the world with the potential to reach 43 million students.
The partnership between OIEC and Microsoft deploys some of the newest technologies, including more than 4.5 million subscriptions to Office 365 for education – a free tool for educators and students worldwide, which will be made available this summer during the first wave of deployment.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Barnes & Noble and Microsoft announcing a new strategic partnership, Microsoft Research opening a lab in New York City and the new web Marketplace. Check ‘em out.
Barnes & Noble, Microsoft form strategic partnership. Barnes & Noble and Microsoft announced on Monday the formation of a strategic partnership in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary, which will build upon the history of strong innovation in digital reading technologies from both companies. The partnership will accelerate the transition to e-reading, which is revolutionizing the way people consume, create, share and enjoy digital content. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center to get the full story.
Microsoft Research opens lab in New York City. In the two decades since the formation of Microsoft Research, the organization has grown from its beginnings on Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in Redmond, Wash., into a global research force with 12 labs across four continents — all devoted to advancing the state of the art in computing research and contributing cutting-edge advancements to Microsoft products.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on big updates for Bing, some new apps for Windows Phone and some previews of what you'll see from Windows 8 and IE10.
Bing Updates Available for Test Drive. You may have heard last week about some big updates coming to Bing that we think will provide you a new and exciting way to search. The new features began to roll-out Tuesday here in the U.S. You can check out some of the new features at http://www.bing.com/new.
You can also learn more about the updates from the video below, which provides a nice overview of what you'll find in the new Bing some and background on the new features. With a refreshed design, the new snapshot feature for instant access to action-oriented information, or get advice and recommendations from friends and experts with the new social sidebar, it's a big release for the Bing team, and we hope you like it.
You don’t have to look very far to realize that technology is becoming more natural and intuitive. In a typical day, many people use touch or speech to interact with technology—on their phones, at the ATM, at the grocery store and in their cars. The learning curve for working with computers is becoming less and less of a barrier thanks to more natural ways to interact.
As Craig Mundie has stated on many occasions, technology is beginning to behave like we do. For Microsoft, natural user interface (NUI) technology is an area we’ve invested in for many years. The fruits of those investments are now being seen across many of our products, including Windows Phone 7, Microsoft Surface 2.0, Bing for Mobile and Office 2010 Mini Translator. One product that has gotten a lot of attention recently is our Kinect for Xbox 360, which incorporates facial recognition along with gesture-based and voice control. The device knows who you are, understands your voice or the wave of your hand and is changing the face of gaming as we know it. We’ve also witnessed how Kinect has inspired others to explore the potential of NUI, and we’re excited about the potential that others see in this technology.
This is an exciting holiday for Microsoft, with new Surface tablets and Windows 8 PCs, Windows Phone 8 devices and experiences for Xbox 360 with Kinect and more arriving just in time for the season. Check out the four videos below to see great gift ideas for everyone on your list.
Give the gift of cool tech to everyone on your list. Microsoft's Ben Reed highlights some of our favorite items for the holiday season, including the Surface tablet with the Fresh Paint app, the Wedge Touch Mouse and Mobile Keyboard, and Skype gift cards.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Bing teaming up with Yelp, a Skype advertising update and a great slideshow to help last-minute shoppers pick the right gift for Father’s Day.
Bing and Yelp help you do more with local search. As one of the Web’s leading local listing services, Yelp is a great resource that helps connect you with local businesses and restaurants. Scanning reviews from real people can often make the difference between the perfect night out and wishing you had stayed in. At Bing, we’re dedicated to helping you do more, so we are pleased to roll out increased Yelp coverage in Bing search results. Read this Thursday post on the Bing Search Blog for the whole story. And don’t miss this Tuesday post about Qwiki arriving on Bing.