Microsoft News Center
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories about the 20th anniversary of Microsoft Research, how Nokia developers can learn Windows Phone even faster and a look at another feature of Windows 8.
The magic behind the curtain: celebrating MSR’s 20th anniversary. September 2011 marks the 20th anniversary of MSR. To celebrate the occasion, MSR is hosting a day of conversations at many Microsoft research labs around the globe to discuss the key technology trends—like natural user interface, “big data,” and machine learning—that are transforming the way people use computers and what they can do for us. Want to know more? Check out this Tuesday post on The Official Microsoft Blog.
Signing in to Windows 8 with a Windows Live ID. “With Windows 8, we introduce the optional capability to sign in to your PC with a Windows Live ID and, by doing so, gaining the ability to roam a broad range of settings across all of your PCs,” writes Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division on Building Windows 8. In this Monday post on Building Windows 8 by Katie Frigon, the group program manager of the You-Centered Experience team, describes the feature and its benefits. Don’t miss it.
Anyone who follows Microsoft knows that this week’s news is mostly focused on BUILD, a new event held in Anaheim, Calif. from Sept. 13th to Sept. 16th that outlines for developers Microsoft’s roadmap for the future. Read on for a round-up of all the news made at BUILD so far.
Microsoft presents Windows 8 developer preview. At day one of the developer-focused BUILD conference on Tuesday, Microsoft showcased a detailed preview of the next major release of Windows, code-named “Windows 8.” The company also detailed new tools for developers to help write applications for more than 1 billion people around the world who use Windows every day. Read this press release, which features a six-image slide show of Windows 8 images, on the Microsoft News Center to get the full story. Not enough detail for you? Then check out this Tuesday post on Building Windows 8 from Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division and this feature story focused on how BUILD will outline new opportunities for developers.
Today, we’re kicking off a new feature on The Official Microsoft Blog called Daily Update, which is designed to keep readers of the blog up to speed on selected stories and news of the day here at Microsoft.
For this, the inaugural edition of Daily Update, we have two cool stories for you:
· Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds were founded in 1869, but that hasn’t stopped the team from using the latest and greatest technologies to keep their business on the cutting edge and enhance the fan experience.
Xbox 360 maintained its position as the top console in the U.S. last month, selling more units than any other platform, according to new data from The NPD Group.
April also marked the 28th consecutive month that the Xbox 360 was the best-selling console in the U.S.
April highlights from NPD include:
· Holding 42 percent share of current-generation console sales, Xbox 360 sold 130,000 units in April, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S.
· Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in April (hardware, software and accessories) reached $208 million, the most for any console in the U.S.
· During the month of April, Xbox 360 held six of the top 10 console game titles including: “NBA 2K13,” “Dead Island: Riptide,” “BioShock Infinite,” Defiance,” Injustice: Gods Among Us” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.”
Four big stories out of Microsoft today, including a sneak preview of new Windows 8 tablets, pre-order information for Windows 8 Pro, the second episode of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn and an update on the TV White Spaces wireless broadband question.
· Microsoft’s hardware partners are about to unleash a wave of new Windows 8 devices in all shapes and sizes. For consumers and businesses, that breadth offers the chance to find just the right PC no matter their needs. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center to see a slideshow of these slick new devices. To the left is a screenshot of the Asus VivoTa RT.
· Starting today, you can reserve a packaged DVD of the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $69.99 USD ERP* (U.S.) at select retailers. You will want to upgrade your PC to Windows 8 Pro sooner rather than later - this upgrade promotion for Windows 8 Pro both online and at retail runs only through to Jan. 31, 2013.
Xbox 360 kept its lead in the U.S. console market in September, marking the 21st month in a row as the top-selling current-generation console in the U.S.
September 2012 U.S. NPD highlights include:
· Xbox 360 sold 270,000 units in September, more units than any other current-generation console, and held 49 percent share of current-generation console sales in the U.S. This marks the 19th consecutive month that Xbox 360 has held more than a 40 percent share of current-generation console sales in the U.S.
The Xbox team announced today that it’s making some big updates to Xbox One in response to feedback from customers. You can read more about the updates, which include connectivity requirements and licensing updates, in this post on Xbox Wire from IEB President Don Mattrick.
The following is a post from Mark Penn, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft.
On February 12th at 9pm ET, America will tune into one of the most anticipated events on the political calendar – the State of the Union address.
However, “tuning in” to the State of the Union means more than just sitting down in front of the television. A recent Bing survey found nearly 75 percent of Americans identified themselves as active participants or observers in online political discussions. As that number grows, the way we consume and interact with the news is undergoing an unprecedented transformation. Search can do even more at pivotal moments where customers need a deeper level of information and act as a companion experience to live events such as the State of the Union Address.
With that in mind, Bing is embarking on one of its most ambitious projects yet: hosting what we expect to be the largest interactive State of the Union experience in history at Bing.com/Politics. Scheduled to go live at 12 p.m. Pacific on February 9th, the site will be a non-partisan online destination designed to meet this growing need for up-to-the-minute political information and second-screen experiences that are a great companion to political broadcasts.
Since we launched Bing, we’ve been hard at work to deliver relevant, useful search results. At its heart, Bing is really about empowering people with knowledge – by helping customers make sense of all the information on the web, in social networks, and in the world around them so that they can accomplish more in their everyday lives. Powered by Bing search technology and its unique social search experience, Bing.com/Politics also builds upon the popularity of our previous Bing Elections 2012 site, which drew nearly 8 million visitors on Elections Night.
Tomorrow, in partnership with FOX News Channel and Foxnews.com, we will launch the Bing Pulse, which will for the first time enable Americans to give real-time feedback on the President’s speech. The Bing Pulse will allow people to join the conversation by “voting” every five seconds on their reactions to the President’s speech. Real time results of the Bing Pulse will be shown at Bing.com/Politics and on FOX News Channel. We think this will be the largest live online poll in history.
Today Microsoft and Japan’s National Institute of Informatics (NII) announced a joint program that will give university researchers free access to Windows Azure cloud computing resources for the “Info-Plosion Project.” This project is aimed at developing new and better ways to retrieve information and follows a similar agreement with the National Science Foundation to provide researchers with Windows Azure resources for scientific technical computing.
These cloud research engagement projects are helping usher in a new era of technical computing. Technical computing, a.k.a. high performance computing, is all about using many computers simultaneously to do complex calculations on massive amounts of data. Extracting valuable insights from these oceans of data allows scientists to build sophisticated simulations and models of the world around us in an effort to answer large and complex questions. Scientific research of all types, along with industries such as manufacturing, finance and digital content creation, is naturally a hotbed for technical computing. But researchers still need better, simpler ways to take advantage of the technology.
As I’ve described in previous posts, Microsoft’s technical computing initiative is focused on empowering a broader group of people to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. Our aim is mainstream technical computing with tools, platforms and services that take advantage of computing power across the desktop, servers and the cloud.
Bringing technical computing to the cloud is truly a cornerstone of our initiative. As Dan Reed, corporate vice president of Technology Strategy and Policy, says “Cloud computing can transform how research is conducted, accelerating scientific exploration, discovery and results.” By providing academics, as well as those in business and government, with access to virtually unlimited computing horsepower we can empower scientific breakthroughs that impact all walks of life. And complementing this effort is investment in simpler, more efficient solutions to build technical computing applications.
That’s one of the better lines from the newest Windows Phone commercial entitled “The Recital,” our latest irreverent take on the smartphone wars.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Microsoft’s role in protecting customer data, how 150,000 students, administrators and staff members in Canada have started using Office 365 and Microsoft Research’s first Artist in Residence.
Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president of Microsoft’s Legal & Corporate Affairs, wrote about how “many of our customers have serious concerns about government surveillance of the Internet.” He added, “We share their concerns. That’s why we are taking steps to ensure governments use legal process rather than technological brute force to access customer data. Like many others, we are especially alarmed by recent allegations in the press of a broader and concerted effort by some governments to circumvent online security measures – and in our view, legal processes and protections – in order to surreptitiously collect private customer data.”
The following is a post from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft.
Yesterday was a lot of fun. Watching the Xbox team put the new Xbox One through its paces, hearing the reaction in the room and on Twitter, seeing all the work that people put in come to life = just wow.
For some time now, we’ve been talking about Microsoft’s transformation to a devices and services company. Make no mistake, we’re still a software company at our core, but increasingly the value of that software is expressed through the devices and services we deliver to consumers and businesses.
That transformation came to 1080p HD life yesterday with our introduction of Xbox One. And it wasn’t just the fantastic device on center stage, it was the amazing content from our partners, the other Microsoft services lighting it up, and the other Microsoft devices making it work as one.
Xbox 360 sold 302,000 units in February, marking its 26th consecutive month as the number-one selling console in the U.S., according to data released today by The NPD Group.
February highlights from The NPD Group include:
· Holding 41 percent share of current-generation console sales, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S.
· Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in February (hardware, software and accessories) was the most for any console in the U.S.
· During the month of February, Xbox 360 held five of the top 10 console game titles including: “Crysis 3,” “Aliens: Colonial Marines,” “Dead Space 3,” “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” and “NBA 2K13.”
This spring, Xbox 360 continues to bring new offerings to consumers. Available for a limited time, the new Spring Value Bundle includes a 250GB Xbox 360, wireless controller, wired headset, “Darksiders II” and “Batman: Arkham City” for $299.
The digital world is binary. It’s a zero or a one, the switch is on or it’s off.
There are times when I think the industry dialogue is deeply influenced by this binary nature, and sometimes can be overly black and white. So often, in their rush to declare one era over and a new one begun, the pundits overlook the nuances that really matter in a world that isn’t as black-and-white as it might seem.
Seldom are there stark endings and new beginnings – it’s more likely an evolution from one phase to the next. I’m reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s wonderful article a couple of years ago in The New Yorker, Creation Myth. In it, he traces the origins of the computer mouse from Doug Engelbart’s original concept in the mid-sixties, to Xerox PARC and then Apple. “If you lined up Engelbart’s mouse, Xerox’s mouse, and Apple’s mouse, you would not see the serial reproduction of an object. You would see the evolution of a concept.”
That’s why I especially enjoyed ars technica’s headline after our earnings report last Thursday: Microsoft fails to notice the death of the PC, posts record revenue figures instead.
Last night in West Los Angeles, Microsoft teamed up with Best Buy and Major League Soccer to celebrate the grand opening of the Windows Store Only at Best Buy. Hundreds of customers and fans were treated to clinics and drills on a custom-built soccer field in the Best Buy parking lot, with a special appearance from U.S. National Men’s soccer star and LA Galaxy legend Cobi Jones, as well as hands-on demos of fitness and nutrition apps like Daily Workouts, Endomondo and BallStrike on Windows 8 devices.
Later that night, lucky fans were able to meet former U.S. Men’s National Team player Clint Mathis and legendary Galaxy star Mauricio Cienfuegos. Here’s what some of the attendees had to say about their experience, via Twitter:
LA radio personality @ChueyMartinez turned up the excitement at the event:
We here baby #winstoreBBY in #WestLA I'll be here from 3:30- 5:30 Pico & Sawtelle Come out and say hi!! @bbynews :) pic.twitter.com/DllwwJy3qL
— Chuey Martinez (@ChueyMartinez) August 7, 2013
We here baby #winstoreBBY in #WestLA I'll be here from 3:30- 5:30 Pico & Sawtelle Come out and say hi!! @bbynews :) pic.twitter.com/DllwwJy3qL
With the end of 2010 right around the corner, this edition of Weekend Reading focuses on the year that was and the year that could be, along with an interesting story about how the fiber-optic market has finally come full circle a decade after the telecom depression of the early 2000s.
Without further ado, here is your New Year’s Eve edition of Weekend Reading:
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got a great roundup of new Windows Phone apps and games, our agreement with Ericsson to acquire Mediaroom, two big Cloud customer wins and a cool Microsoft Research project codenamed GeoFlow.
Windows Phone app roundup. The Windows Phone Store continues to stock up on cool games and apps. Earlier this week, Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, a first-person shooter from Xbox and Gameloft that pushes the boundaries of mobile gaming, arrived in the Windows Phone Store. The game puts you in the boots of an elite soldier helping his unit to avert global devastation in the wake of a nuclear disaster. Gameloft pulled out all the stops on this one. Check out the video below to get a look at the game and read this post on The Windows Phone Blog. Also, Windows Phone Blog Editor Michael Stroh reported that four games are on sale until Monday, including Monster Island, Gravity Guy, Fragger and iStunt 2. Finally, Windows Phone blogger Casey McGee wrote this roundup of Windows Phone apps he used while on a 33-mile backcountry adventure.
It’s here and, as usual, it’s beautiful. We’re talking about the new Nokia Lumia 1020, which comes with a 41-megapixel sensor that puts the 1020’s camera on par with most digital SLRs.
“The phone—which comes in yellow, white, and black—will initially debut at AT&T for $299.99 with a two-year contract. AT&T kicks off online preorders on July 16. The phone, which runs on the carrier’s 4G LTE network, officially goes on sale July 26,” Windows Phone Blog Editor Michael Stroh reports in a post today.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on customers who are setting their businesses apart from the rest using Windows 8 and Windows 8 apps, some great Windows Phone developer tips, and Windows Azure SQL Database being named an Enterprise Cloud Database Leader by Forrester Research.
European customers embrace Windows 8. During the past year we’ve been talking about what Windows 8 means for businesses. Now that Windows 8 is officially available across the globe, so many of our customers are seeing first-hand how Windows 8 can benefit their organizations. Last Wednesday, Windows Commercial Senior Director of Business Planning Erwin Visser reported from Europe where he heard from several businesses using Windows 8. In this Nov. 13 Windows for your Business post, Erwin highlights a few favorite Windows 8 business adoption stories from Europe. And don’t miss Erwin’s post from Dubai from Monday, featuring Emirates airline.
Windows Azure SQL Database named an Enterprise Cloud Database Leader by Forrester Research. In the latest in a series of Windows Azure good news, Forrester Research Inc. has positioned Microsoft as a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Cloud Databases, Q4 2012. In the report posted here, Microsoft received the highest scores of any vendor in Current Offering and Market Presence.