Microsoft News Center
Tech News Blogs
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about the launch of “Titanfall” on Xbox One, Office 365 Personal will be offered and Microsoft in Education’s continuing commitment to student privacy rights.
“Titanfall,” the game that really is larger than life, came to Xbox One this week, and there were no shortage of ways to celebrate this first-person shooter that’s giving the genre a big lift. Literally. In the video below, get a running start with the robots with some handy tips and tricks on how to be a master pilot. Take the “Titanfall” personality test to pick your perfect Titan. And learn the weapons that will come your way as you level up.
As the clock struck midnight on March 11, stores around the world began selling “Titanfall,” Microsoft’s new next-gen shooter that combines wall-running, double-jumping action with powerful, fast-paced titan warfare to set the new bar for online multiplayer gameplay.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the annual Microsoft Dynamics Convergence and SharePoint conferences, profiles on five dynamic women in honor of International Women’s Day and the buzz building up to the March 11 release of “Titanfall.”
The Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 in Atlanta showcased how customers are using Dynamics, such as New Belgium Brewing Company’s external sales representatives, Beer Rangers, who brew up sales using Microsoft Dynamics AX. At Convergence, Microsoft unveiled new mobile applications as part of an update to Microsoft Dynamics and joined customers such as Delta Airlines and Lotus F1 in revealing how they are connecting with customers. As customers gather this week for the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas and Convergence in Atlanta, they received an update on Microsoft’s enterprise social vision and road map — including three new social experiences designed to help companies work like a network.
It takes everyone to innovate.
And in advance of International Women’s Day, March 8, we’re celebrating by profiling five dynamic individuals from all corners of the company who are changing the world through technology.
On Saturday, July 13, 2001, Microsoft was alerted to a nasty piece of malware called “Code Red.” In just two weeks, ABC News reported that the Code Red worm had infected more than 300,000 Windows computers around the world. When the news broke, it was like something straight out of a Tom Clancy novel. Microsoft learned early on that if it was going to succeed at building trust with its customers, it could not make security an afterthought when developing its products and services.
So how do you get a large organization like Microsoft to prioritize security with thousands of developers, writing millions of lines of code? How do you get everyone marching toward the same goal?
The following post is from Kirill Tatarinov, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions.
Convergence, Microsoft’s premier business event taking place this week in Atlanta, is a celebration of business achievement and an opportunity to connect, engage and discover. We are pleased to highlight the achievements of great Microsoft customers such as Delta Air Lines, New Belgium Brewery, Lotus F1 and others that are succeeding by connecting with their customers.
This is an exciting time. Microsoft Dynamics is on the cusp of delivering a staggering wave of innovation to the market this spring that will significantly help businesses deliver amazing experiences to their customers. These technologies will deliver value in the areas that organizations need most to connect with their customers – marketing, commerce and sales, customer care and operations. We will also unveil a set of new mobile applications that are part of our update to Microsoft Dynamics. Additionally, we will be enabling cloud deployment of our flagship ERP solution - Dynamics AX - that will allow businesses to more strategically use the power of the cloud.
The following post is from Greg Myers, Vice President, Microsoft Federal.
On Tuesday in Washington D.C., federal technology leaders are gathering – in person and virtually – for Microsoft’s Federal Executive Forum. This annual one-day event brings together people from around the federal government to discuss how technology is helping agencies successfully innovate, leverage the most of existing investments and manage to very tight fiscal constraints. It’s a time for collaboration among agencies, sharing best practices and addressing everything from change management to leveraging what they already own to mastering cloud migration.
The following post is from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Communications at Microsoft.
One of the most interesting things about my job (and by extension, our company) is that I get exposed to a very diverse portfolio of innovations and experiences. One day I might be touring our Garage or getting the inside track on how best to counter “rodeo” attacks in Titanfall (pro tip: electric smoke). Other days, I get to dig in on all the breakthroughs happening to unlock organizational potential and build the workplace of tomorrow. This week, we are staging two conferences that provide a great opportunity to take a moment to look at the latter, and really celebrate some transformational work going on that can streamline the way hundreds of millions of people get things done every day.
Greetings weekend warriors! We’ve got some tasty tidbits to satisfy both the right and the left side of your brain this week. Check it out …
What do some of Microsoft’s brightest minds do in their off time? They tinker. In the Garage. Discover this sanctuary for creativity and problem solving that harkens back to Microsoft’s start-up roots in a highly illustrative, interactive piece, straight from the imagination of the Stories team.
At Mobile World Congress this week, Joe Belfiore noted the steady growth of Windows Phone due to its “highly personal” approach to the smartphone experience. Microsoft also announced new hardware partners as part of the conference as well as plans to evolve Windows 8. Get the skinny on that and the strategy to grow and scale Windows Phone globally, here.
The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the U.S., has selected Office 365 as its faculty and staff email solution.
The district chose Office 365 for its reliability, flexibility and security features, as well as the opportunity to reduce the amount of time the district’s IT team spends on maintaining its infrastructure.
Many records were broken at the Winter Games, but Microsoft can claim credit for helping to break at least one more: The largest-ever audience on an authenticated stream for any sporting event in history. More than 2.1 million people tuned in to watch NBC Sports Digital’s coverage of Team USA versus Canada in the semifinal hockey game, thanks in part to Microsoft’s public cloud platform - Windows Azure.
Like the elite athletes who competed, the Windows Azure cloud platform stepped up to deliver rapid and cost-effective development and operation of a dynamic, high-performance site at scale. During the 18 days of one of the biggest sporting events in the world Windows Azure provided information on the Games to more than 100 million fans and guests through sochi2014.com and delivered more than 6,000 hours of high-definition streaming from Windows Azure Media Services, to 5 broadcasters across 22 countries in 4 continents. This included 204 live streaming channels, more than 100 TB of storage and around 500 billion storage transactions. None of this would have been feasible without a globally distributed public cloud platform like Windows Azure.
The following post is from Takeshi Numoto, Corporate Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise marketing, Microsoft.
Less than a year ago, we announced Windows Azure services for Japan to support the growing demand for Microsoft’s cloud services. I am pleased to share that Windows Azure in Japan East (Saitama Prefecture) and Japan West (Osaka Prefecture), will be generally available later Tuesday.
Japan’s cloud market has grown considerably in the last few years and this growth is only expected to increase, with the projected 2014 forecast estimated at around $1.6 billion, according to IDC. These new regions will help fulfill the current and future needs of our cloud customers with secure and highly available services that help them grow their business. In addition, they provide local customers the ability to achieve data residency and realize data recovery scenarios, as data will be replicated between the two regions.
Some of the company’s – if not the world’s – brightest minds don’t just turn off when the workday is done. They head to The Garage, a sanctuary for creativity and problem solving that harkens back to Microsoft’s start-up roots.
It’s here, fueled by Manny’s and pepperoni pizza, that that the Mouse Without Borders was born, and the idea for the forgotten Outlook attachment reminder was hatched.
The following post is from Dr. Dennis Schmuland, Chief Health Strategy Officer, U.S. Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft.
This week, we are at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's (HIMSS) 2014 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., showing off the innovative ways our partners and customers are using technology to transform the healthcare industry. With the use of mobile devices, social apps, cloud services, and big data and analytics, healthcare providers are able to offer patients better care and lower costs.
Together with some of our partners in the industry, Microsoft on Monday announced new electronic medical record (EMR) apps and solutions on Windows 8.1, Surface and Windows Embedded technology that make better and more streamlined care a reality. This includes our work with leading EMR vendors like Epic’s Hyperspace 2014 app for clinicians. With massive EMR investments and increased EMR adoption now becoming the standard, these new apps on clinical grade devices will enable mobile, multi-disciplinary care teams to more quickly and easily communicate with each other and access their full function EMRs from anywhere at any time.
The following post is from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Communications at Microsoft.
Mobile World Congress is in full swing in Barcelona this week, one of the biggest events of the year for the mobile industry. I love Barcelona, and am sad to miss MWC this year. There is something about the combination of the history and tradition of Barcelona past and the energy and innovation of Barcelona present, with all the attendees of MWC a punctuation mark. And there is always something new, companies with something to say.
Microsoft is no exception. On Sunday afternoon, we hosted a press conference where we reinforced the momentum we’re seeing for Windows Phone – the fastest growing mobile OS with 91 percent year-over-year growth. We announced we’re working with nine new Windows Phone hardware partners , including Foxconn, Gionee, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, LG, Longcheer, JSR, Karbonn and ZTE as well as a collaboration with Qualcomm to help more manufacturers build Windows Phones faster. You can read Joe Belfiore’s blog post from yesterday for more details.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about free cloud storage OneDrive being globally available, Microsoft Dynamics CRM adding more capabilities to deliver even better customer service, and new and updated Bing apps for Windows Phone.
Who knew moving day could be so easy? Microsoft’s free cloud storage, OneDrive, became available this week. Existing SkyDrive customers only need to head over to OneDrive.com and log in to get files moved over. There are some changes we think you’ll like, including automatic camera backup for Android, and the ability to share and view videos just as easily as photos. There’s also some new ways to get more storage, on top of the 7 GB you get for free. And OneDrive is accessible everywhere – on all of Microsoft’s latest devices and services (from Xbox to Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 to Office), as well as on the Web and other platforms, including iOS and Android.
It’s moving day, with free cloud storage OneDrive now globally available — but you don’t have to do a thing. Existing SkyDrive customers are all set: Your files are ready in the new OneDrive, writes Chris Jones on The OneDrive Blog. “All you have to do is head over to OneDrive.com and log in.”
You’ll find some changes, ones we think you’ll like. “We’re rolling out several new capabilities, including automatic camera backup for Android and the ability to share and view videos just as easily as photos,” Jones writes. “We’ve also added new ways for you to earn more storage — on top of the 7 GB we already give you for free. Customers who refer friends can now receive up to 5 GB (in 500 MB increments) for each friend who accepts an invitation to OneDrive, and we’ll even give you 3 GB just for using the camera backup feature, since we want to help make sure you never lose another photo. There’s even a new monthly payment plan, if you’d like a little more flexibility in how you use your storage.”
The following post is from Gurdeep Singh Pall, Corporate Vice President for Lync & Skype Engineering, Microsoft.
It’s great to be in Las Vegas today with almost 2,000 customers, partners and industry professionals for the first day of our second annual Lync Conference. This is my first public appearance since taking over responsibility for Microsoft’s communications business, and as someone involved in Lync since its inception, it is awesome to be able to see first-hand the excitement in the room.
When we launched Lync in 2010, we had a vision of using software to unify the various ways that people communicated at work and to make communications easily accessible from Microsoft Office and the other applications people used every day. Today, I look at stories from Lync customers like Telefónica, Cargill, Adventist Healthcare System and others as signs that our vision was right. It is customers believing in our vision that has helped lead to double-digit revenue growth for Lync every quarter for the last five years, enabling Lync to become a $1 billion dollar business and to ship more unified communications voice lines to enterprises than any other technology company in the world.
The following post is from Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft.
The past year has been a busy one at Microsoft – and not just because of new products, a new acquisition and a new CEO. It has also been a busy time for our employees and their support of the nonprofit community.
In fact, 2013 was a record-breaking year! Microsoft’s employees raised $113 million for 19,123 nonprofit organizations worldwide. Amidst Microsoft’s transformation, the value of community involvement continues to define us as employees.
The following post is from Rob Knies, senior writer, Inside Microsoft Research.
Late in the afternoon on Feb. 13, the lead headline on boston.com read: “Thick blanket of snow falling.” That was just the most recent of a series of similar weather-news blasts in what has been a shivering sort of winter for residents of Boston and environs.
But at the same time over in Cambridge, Mass., a couple of hundred fortunate folks were comfortably nestled into Microsoft Research New England for a heartwarming tribute to one of the greats in computing history: Butler Lampson.
The audience sat transfixed as a succession of computing’s seminal scientists took turns at spinning stories about the early days of computing—and Lampson’s instrumental role along the way.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on making Valentine’s Day memorable using apps, the continuing commitment to empowering youth through YouthSpark initiatives and tips to stay safer online.
The international day of love celebration known as Valentine’s Day inspired Bing, Windows 8.1, the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store to play Cupid. Bing shared l’amour-related search trends, including most romantic cities, as well as hottest dating sites and couples. Bing also showed us how the Bing Food & Drink app and Bing Boards could elevate you to be the master of romance. Windows 8.1 can also help plan the perfect experience with a variety of projects and apps at the ready for romance. Over in the Windows Store, the Valentine’s Day Collection gave us Valentine Cards, Urbanspoon, Cocktail Flow and Allrecipes as more resources to wow sweethearts near and far. If you’re rolling solo this Valentine’s Day, Match.com offers a free service trial. And if you’re still looking for help on the go, you’re in luck. In the Windows Phone Store, the Valentine’s Day Collection gathered together apps like 101 Love Msgsto help you express your love with the press of a button.
The following post is from Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president, Xbox Marketing, Microsoft
The release of January NPD Group data today provides a chance to reflect on the success of Xbox One. We are incredibly humbled and proud to see Xbox One continue to be the best launch of an Xbox in our history. Comparatively, Xbox One consoles have sold at a rate of 2.29 times faster than Xbox 360 in the U.S. in the same timeframe for the first three months on the market. From our blazing start out of the gate, we have continued to see Xbox One delight fans in 13 markets around the world, with many more markets to come this year.
The following post is from Susan Hauser, corporate vice president, Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft.
This week, we are onsite at the Singapore Airshow to announce the latest in airline innovation in collaboration with our partners. Airlines around the world face tough competition, thin margins, increased passenger expectations and, as a result, are seeking new ways to achieve efficiencies while delivering great customer experiences.
Cloud technologies enable greater agility while reducing IT inefficiencies, giving businesses in the aviation industry an unprecedented opportunity to use technology to save costs, increase revenue growth and differentiate themselves from their competitors. Microsoft partners attending the show are delivering solutions that truly embody how cloud innovation is transforming the aviation industry and providing real benefits today.
The following post is from Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President, Data Platform Group.
On Monday we announced that Power BI for Office 365 – our self-service business intelligence solution designed for everyone – is generally available. Power BI empowers all kinds of business users to find relevant information, pull data from Windows Azure and other sources, and prepare compelling business intelligence models for analysis, visualization, and collaboration.
Modernizing business intelligence
Today business intelligence is only used by a fraction of the people that could derive value from it. What we all need is modernized business intelligence which will help everyone get the information they need to understand their job or personal life better. Not just the type of information gained from an Internet search, but also information from expert sources. Now imagine you could bring together these different information sources, discover relationships between facets of information, create new insights and understand your world better. And that you could get others to see what you see, and enable them to collaborate and build on one another’s ideas. And imagine that available on any scale of data and any kinds of computation you might need. Now imagine it’s not just you – but that anyone can access this kind of data-driven discovery and learning.
Power BI brings together many key aspects of the modernization of business intelligence: a public and corporate catalog of data sets and BI models, a way to search for data, a modern app and a Web-first experience, rich interactive visualizations, collaboration capabilities, tools for IT to govern data and models, and a groundbreaking natural language experience for exploring insights. Together, these capabilities will not just change the kinds of insights we can gain from data, but change the reach of those insights as well.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, Windows Azure being used to provide live streaming and on-demand video of the 2014 Winter Games on NBC, and the fourth-largest school district in the U.S. planning to have 100,000 Windows 8 devices in students’ hands by 2015.
Satya Nadella says he is “honored and humbled” to succeed Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer as only the third CEO of Microsoft in nearly four decades. “Our industry does not respect tradition -- it only respects innovation,” he says. “I see a big part of my job as accelerating our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.” The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is “vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform,” he said in a press release. Nadella, 46, was born in India, and was most recently executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. Married with three children, he’s an enthusiastic fan of cricket and also enjoys reading poetry. “It’s like code,” he says, adding that the best code is poetry.