Microsoft News Center
It’s a busy week on the developer news front at Microsoft – check out stories below about the new Windows Azure Toolkit for social games, another significant milestone for Windows Phone developers, a Microsoft Research project code-named “Daytona” and another series of in-depth profiles on the Next at Microsoft Blog focused on Microsoft designers.
Build Your Next Game with the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games. Today at Seattle Casual Connect, we announced the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games. This toolkit includes accelerators, common libraries, and deployment tools to help developers quickly get started building social games. Additionally, the toolkit provides samples and guidance for other scenarios, such as using Facebook credits to monetize a game. Read today’s post on the Windows Azure Blog for the whole story.
Windows Phone Developers Get New App Hub Features. This week marks another significant developer milestone on the path to the release of Mango and also gives Microsoft a chance to talk about where we’re headed. Today, we are officially announcing the rollout of the new App Hub developer portal with key new functionality, multiple enhancements and support for several new markets.
Following the Google Health announcement, a number of people have questioned whether Microsoft will continue to develop HealthVault without another vendor like Google to ‘compete’ against. The reality is that we’ve always viewed the status quo as our biggest competitor and Google as an ally in the movement to transform health care around the world – so we’re sorry to lose their voice in the discussion.
Since Google’s announcement, the two companies have worked together to create ways for Google Health users to transfer their data into Microsoft HealthVault. Today, we announced an option that leverages the Direct Project protocol for encrypted messaging to enable the data transfer with just a few clicks.
And what about HealthVault? Will Microsoft continue to invest? HealthVault is not peripheral to Microsoft’s health IT business – it’s core to our strategy and to what we believe is required to truly make a difference in health and health care.
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.
This week, Microsoft announced the winners of the 2011 Imagine Cup and held the Worldwide Partner Conference, a four-day event in Los Angeles for the company’s more than 640,000 global partners. On Thursday, it was also announced that the Xbox 360 maintained its position as the number one console in the U.S. for the sixth consecutive month.
Imagine Cup 2011 winners revealed. On Wednesday, Microsoft announced the winners of the ninth annual Microsoft Imagine Cup, the world’s premier student technology competition, honoring student innovations that address global problems such as improving road and fire safety, eradicating poverty, and creating a more sustainable environment. The company also unveiled plans to launch a three-year, $3 million competitive grant program to help recipients realize their vision of solving the world’s toughest problems. For the rest of this story, read this press release.
The Worldwide Partner Conference. As many know, Microsoft this week held a four-day event in Los Angeles for its more than 640,000 global partners.
Halfway through 2011, Xbox 360 maintained its lead in the U.S. console market, selling more units in the U.S. than any other console for 12 of the past 13 months.
Even while console and software sales across the industry have slowed, Xbox 360 continues to grow and remains on track to have the biggest year in Xbox history. The console is in the sixth year of its lifecycle.
According to The NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks the digital entertainment market, June Xbox highlights include:
· Holding 48 percent share of the overall current-generation console market share, Xbox 360 sold 507,000 units in June, selling nearly twice as many units as other current-generation platforms and maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S. for 2011.
Yesterday at our Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), I talked to thousands of our partners about the opportunities and challenges presented by our industry’s shift to cloud computing.
While the path to cloud computing might be different for each customer, the economics, agility and focus the cloud provides will eventually prove irresistible to customers. For our partners, the resulting economic opportunity to work with those customers will, I believe, be equally irresistible.
Despite the clear opportunity and benefits of cloud computing, the shift may not be easy. However, while it may be challenging, it is necessary. At Microsoft, we are keenly aware of this challenge as we shift the world’s largest software business to the cloud, and we are committed to bringing our partners with us. Partners already work with us today, helping customers realize the benefits of the public cloud.
So far this week, the biggest stories out of Microsoft are the Worldwide Partner Conference and the 2011 Imagine Cup. Read on for those and other news bits in this week’s edition of the Midweek Download.
Worldwide Partner Conference Round Up. This week, Microsoft celebrates the accomplishments of its 640,000 partners from all areas of the globe at the four-day Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles. On day one of WPC, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer credited our partners with helping to make Windows 7 the fastest-selling operating system in history and announced that more than 400 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold to date. On day two of WPC, Satya Nadella, president of the Server and Tools Business, discussed how partners can benefit from the transition to cloud computing by helping customers improve agility, focus on business goals and reduce costs. Not enough WPC news for you? Then check out this feature story on the Microsoft News Center that highlights the benefits of cloud computing and the value of vertical applications and services as well as this feature story with Windows Phone “Mango” partner news. Also on day two, Microsoft announced tools and solutions to help partners capitalize on the opportunities in cloud computing. For more updates on WPC, go to the Microsoft News Center.
More women than ever at Imagine Cup. As just about anyone who’s paying attention to the technology industry knows, this is the week that the 2011 Imagine Cup finalists were named.
Just in case you missed it, the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals are now under way in New York City.
Recently, the Official Microsoft Blog had the chance to catch up with Dr. John White, Executive Director and CEO of the New York City-based Association for Computing Machinery, the world’s largest educational and scientific society focused on computing and computer science.
During our talk, Dr. White touched upon some of the benefits student technology competitions like Imagine Cup provide to both participants and the tech sector at large.
Today in Weekend Reading, we’ve got a bevy of great stories for you – everything from Windows Phone to progress on the Rustock spambot to an inspiring story about a visually impaired Microsoft employee who recently broke both the women’s and men’s world records for blind ironman competitors.
Imagine Cup and the Worldwide Partner Conference. At the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals, dozens of student teams showcase software projects that in some cases are already improving disaster relief efforts. Check out this feature story on the Microsoft News Center for more detail. Also, the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) starts next week – so don’t miss this Thursday post on the Official Microsoft Blog about WPC and the Imagine Cup Finals from Frank X. Shaw, corporate vice president of corporate communications here at Microsoft.
Hotmail still new and cool – even after 15 years. 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. For more on this story, check out this Tuesday post on the Official Microsoft Blog.
Fireworks are a form of global joy. Around the world, at times of great celebration, civilizations have found ways to launch stars into the sky, to create near the earth what we usually can only see from a distance at night. I’ve watched fireworks all over the United States (as recently as Monday of this week!) and in Paris for Bastille Day a few years ago. It’s no wonder that when someone does something spectacular, we call him or her a “star.”
Later this week, I’ll be in New York City, where on Broadway, stars are born. It’s the culmination of our year-long showcase of the brightest young minds, the kickoff of the worldwide finals of the Imagine Cup, an event that brings together teams of students from around the world who utilize Microsoft technology to address some of the world’s toughest challenges.
The Imagine Cup is now in its ninth year, and has become one of the pre-eminent youth technology competitions in the world. Last year, about 325,000 students from more than 100 countries participated. This year, about 352,000 young people from around the globe signed up to compete.
The Fourth of July holiday may mean a shortened week at Microsoft, but it didn’t keep the company from making news on a number of fronts, including the next version of Internet Explorer.
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.
Since successfully taking down the Rustock botnet on March 16th, Microsoft has continued to analyze the threat, investigate leads on the operations and owners of the botnet and work with Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) worldwide to help the legitimate owners of Rustock-infected computers to clean their computers of malware. Today, the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU), the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) and Trustworthy Computing released a new Special Edition Security Intelligence Report (SIR) entitled “Battling the Rustock Threat.”
This report provides new data on the Rustock botnet and the impact of the malware on computers around the world. In addition to the report, we have released updated data on computer infection reductions we’ve seen since the takedown and a video which captures infected Internet Protocols (IPs) from all around the world attempting to check into the Waledac and Rustock botnets as recently as two weeks ago.
Just in case you missed it, Microsoft announced the availability of Office 365 earlier this week. The company also made big news on several other fronts, including Windows Phone, Hotmail and others.
Angry Birds and AmazonFresh now on Windows Phone. It’s been a big week for Windows Phone. Earlier this week, it was announced that the ultra-popular game Angry Birds has arrived on the Windows Phone mobile platform. As if that wasn’t big enough news, Microsoft also announced AmazonFresh, a new app exclusive to Windows Phone from the online retailing giant that enables customers to place grocery orders from their phones.
Ringing in “Mango.” “Custom ringtones are coming” to Windows Phone, according to this Tuesday post on the Windows Phone Blog by Alice Luu, a program manager on the Windows Phone Engineering Team.
This week in the Midweek Download, we’ve got great news for Windows Phone developers, as well as another big story out of Microsoft – Office 365.
Developers get a goody basket full of Mangos. In only a few months, Microsoft has surpassed the more established RIM marketplace in the number of real apps available to customers. Since beginning this journey with the new Windows Phone developer platform, we have aspired to be transparent, easy to build for and easy to partner with. We know that one of the most impactful things we can do for developers is to help them get their hands on the actual product. For Mango, that starts today with an early access program for developers. For more detail, read today’s post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog.
And in other Windows phone news…
This week’s edition of Weekend Reading has news on Xbox 360, the re-launch of SkyDrive, Windows Phone, Kinect and other stories from around Microsoft.
And away we go!
In Xbox 360 news this week…Xbox 360 and Kinect made the headlines in a number of publications this week, including CNBC and Geekwire. In this nearly 8-minute video, CNBC's Tyler Mathisen visits Microsoft and takes a look at how Xbox is faring in the marketplace. Also, on Wednesday, Geekwire’s Todd Bishop profiled Xbox 360 software engineer Laura Massey in the online tech pub’s “Geek of the Week” segment. Finally, it was recently announced that Microsoft led all gaming platforms with 55 nominations for the 2011 Game Critics Awards (nine more than in 2010.)
A first look at the rebuilt SkyDrive. On Monday, Microsoft relaunched Windows Live SkyDrive, incorporating HTML5 and taking advantage of recent browser advances to provide a much-improved experience for accessing and sharing Microsoft Office documents, photos and more in the cloud.
Today’s edition of the Midweek Download has new reviews of Windows Phone “Mango" and a few other news bits from all around Microsoft. See what you think…
Windows Phone 7 “Mango” reviews are in! PCMag says this about the next version of the Windows Phone mobile platform: “Windows Phone 7 takes a genuinely different approach to communication than its main rivals.” Here’s what Gizmodo writes: “Pending some killer Nokia hardware or radical Android redesign, I think the choice this fall for all but the nerdiest of nerds is going to be very simple. iPhone or Windows Phone. Nothing else is that pleasant.” To see what others are saying about “Mango,” check out this list of top stories in the Windows Phone news room.
Microsoft kicked off the People’s Choice Award today for the Imagine Cup 2011, a global student technology competition to address humanitarian issues.
Starting from a field of more than 350,000 students, more than 400 of the brightest young minds from 70 countries will travel to New York City, July 8 to July 13, to showcase their innovative ideas for using technology to solve global problems.
World IPv6 Day was on June 8th and was a resounding success.
IPv6 is the next generation of the Internet Protocol, and defines how computers communicate and address each other across networks. The current version of the Internet Protocol, IPv4, is not able to support the growing number of devices connected to the Internet. This concern, among other issues, is driving the Internet to upgrade to IPv6. IPv6 provides critical performance and architecture improvements for all networks, and will enable a better, faster and more capable Internet.
World IPv6 Day was a one-day test of IPv6 support, with dozens of websites across the technology industry enabling IPv6 access for a 24-hour period. Here at Microsoft, we provided IPv6 access to www.microsoft.com, www.bing.com and www.xbox.com as well as Microsoft advertising services, without any incident.
Microsoft made news on multiple fronts this week, including three big ones – the Kinect for Windows SDK, the one-year anniversary of Office 2010 and Xbox 360.
Here’s the round up:
Kinect for Windows SDK is here! On Thursday, Microsoft announced the arrival of the Kinect for Windows software development kit, which includes not only drivers but also APIs, device interfaces, installer documents and resource materials. It’s another exciting milestone for a technology that has captured the imagination of millions, and has become the fastest selling computer electronics device of all time. For more on this story, read Thursday’s post on the Next at Microsoft Blog. CNET, among other news media, also covered the story.
Anticipation for the Kinect or Windows software development kit beta has been high, and we promised we’d launch before the end of spring.
Well, today is the day - at 10:00 a.m., the SDK will be available for free from Microsoft Research. The SDK includes not only drivers but also APIs, device interfaces, installer documents and resource materials. It’s another exciting milestone for a technology that has captured the imagination of millions, and has become the fastest selling computer electronics device of all time.
Back in February, we announced the intention to release an SDK, and at MIX11, we showed some of the projects that were already underway with the SDK inside and outside of Microsoft.
This week in The Midweek Download, check out stories on how Windows Azure helps fight disease, new tools for Android developers looking to port their apps over to Windows Phone and a host of other news bits.
Unfolding the protein mystery. Cloud computing is helping biologists uncloud one of nature’s biggest mysteries: proteins. Microsoft has partnered with the University of Washington’s Baker Laboratory, one of the world’s top computational biology labs, to give scientists access to some high-caliber computing power. That, in turn, helps them explore and understand proteins, which could eventually lead to thwarting everything from Alzheimer's to Malaria, and from cancer to salmonella. For more on how Windows Azure is being used to fight disease, read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center.
New tools for Android devs interested in Windows Phone. Following up with the Windows Phone guidance and API mapping tool for iPhone developers announced a few weeks ago, Microsoft released a comprehensive package for Android developers on June 9th to easily learn Windows Phone and port their app to Microsoft’s phone platform.
What a month it’s been for Xbox!
First, Microsoft announced major plans for the world’s best-selling entertainment hub at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, including new game titles from blockbuster franchises like Halo, Gears of War and Call of Duty. Also at E3, the company introduced voice search with Bing on Xbox and Kinect that will enable people to use their voice to tell their Xbox what entertainment content they are looking for. As if that wasn’t enough, Microsoft also announced that UFC and YouTube will join ESPN, Hulu + and Netflix on Xbox LIVE.
And if anyone has any doubt that 2011 continues to be the year of Xbox 360, check out the latest numbers from NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks the digital entertainment industry. For starters, Xbox 360 has sold more consoles than any other platform for 11 of the past 12 months in the United States. Now in the seventh year of its lifecycle, Xbox 360 is on pace to have the biggest year in its history, a feat never achieved by any console in history.
May 2011 NPD highlights include:
• Xbox 360 sold 270,000 units in May, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S.
Lots of news out of Microsoft this week, and not all of it was related to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
Some highlights: Microsoft pledged $25 million over five years to a new education initiative in Washington State, acquired Prodiance and announced new social capabilities in Bing for Mobile.
Fresh from E3: Xbox LIVE enhancements and new games for Windows Phone. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced some new Xbox LIVE functionality coming in the release of Windows Phone code-named Mango, in addition to some awesome new game titles such as “Beards and Beaks,” “Hasta la Muerte," “Top Gun” and “Splinter Cell.” Also, Windows Phone users will soon find an update to the Xbox LIVE Extras app – this is the new Avatar Marketplace! Now, you have more options to customize your Avatar with a wide range of props and clothing right on your phone. For a complete wrap up on all the news out of E3, read this Tuesday post on the Official Microsoft Blog.
Windows Phone “Mango” and SkyDrive. Microsoft is committed to offering cloud services that deliver access to your information across devices and platforms.
It’s been a busy week at Microsoft this week, what with the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) going on in Los Angeles and all, but Microsoft made lots of news in the last week not related to E3. Check it out…
Delaware schools adopt Microsoft cloud suite. The Delaware Department of Education announced Tuesday that it is working with Microsoft to bring Microsoft Live@edu, an innovative suite of online communication and collaboration tools, to students, faculty and staff in district and charter schools throughout the state. The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) will initially migrate approximately 20,000 faculty and staff to this no-cost platform in June 2011, with the goal being to move everyone to Microsoft Live@edu, as well as offer it to the more-than-129,000-student population, over the next two years. Read this press release on the Microsoft News Center for more detail.
Fujitsu and Microsoft team up on cloud. Fujitsu Ltd. and Microsoft today announced that the first release of its Global Cloud Platform service powered by Windows Azure, running in Fujitsu’s datacenter in Japan, will be launched in August 2011.