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The Anti-Piracy team at Microsoft launched a global campaign this week to inform small businesses about the risk of counterfeit software creeping into their business when acquiring or downloading software from the Internet. Most business buyers know to avoid questionable street-corner vendors when purchasing software for their business, yet they may not think twice about ordering software from an unfamiliar but professional looking website that offers steep discounts.
Hidden in Plain Sight
Counterfeit software lurks around every corner and can find its way into business settings in a number of different ways - auction websites, peer-to-peer networks, online retailers selling illegal software - there are several common paths. And counterfeiters spend a lot of time and energy making illicit software-purchasing sites look and feel like the real thing.
In our most complex effort to disrupt botnets to date, Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit – in collaboration with Financial Services – Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) and NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association, as well as Kyrus Tech Inc. – has executed a coordinated global action against some of the worst known cybercrime operations fueling online fraud and identity theft today. With this legal and technical action, a number of the most harmful botnets using the Zeus family of malware worldwide have been disrupted in an unprecedented, proactive cross-industry operation against this cybercriminal organization.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on a “Hunger Games” Web experience, Windows Phone arriving in China, Microsoft making PhotoDNA technology available to law enforcement and more. Read on!
Go inside “The Hunger Games.” Everybody’s talking about it. The Hunger Games. The pages of the bestselling trilogy introduced readers to a captivating set of characters living in a post-apocalyptic world, and on Friday the movie adaptation of the first book brought that world to life. Thanks to a partnership between Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team and Lionsgate, fans of The Hunger Games can dive in and experience the world of Panem and its opulent and oppressive Capitol city today. Earlier this week, Lionsgate and Microsoft launched a “game-changing” Web experience that pulls visitors into the world of The Hunger Games from the moment they step off their train in the Capitol city. Read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center and this March 20 post on the Exploring IE Blog to get the rest of the scoop. Check out the screenshot below of Panem:
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’re got stories on Convergence 2012, the Windows Phone Marketplace accepting submissions for new markets, the State of Minnesota moving to Office 365 and more.
Convergence 2012. This week at the Convergence conference in Houston, Microsoft Business Solutions will lay out our roadmap for delivering Microsoft Dynamics ERP offerings in the cloud, delivering on the promise made at last year’s event. The roadmap reflects Microsoft’s customer focused approach, targeting two key market segments — the first wave will target small and mid-market companies, with the second wave expanding those offerings to enterprise customers. For more on Convergence, read this Monday post on The Official Microsoft Blog and this feature story and this press release on the Microsoft News Center. Below is a photo of fans cheering on the New York Jets. The storied NFL franchise uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage a wealth of information.
This week at the Convergence conference in Houston, Microsoft Business Solutions will lay out our roadmap for delivering Microsoft Dynamics ERP offerings in the cloud, delivering on the promise made at last year’s event. The roadmap reflects Microsoft’s customer focused approach, targeting two key market segments — the first wave will target small and mid-market companies, with the second wave expanding those offerings to enterprise customers.
Our cloud work is informed by multiple influences:
· Experience. Microsoft builds and operates some of the largest cloud services at scale from Bing to Hotmail and Xbox Live and beyond.
The scale of the online child pornography problem and the amount of data associated with these types of investigations is massive. This is why we are proud to announce that we are partnering with NetClean to make our Microsoft PhotoDNA image matching technology available to law enforcement at no cost to help enhance their child sex abuse investigations – empowering them to more efficiently identify and rescue victims and bring abusers to justice.
Since 2002, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has reviewed more than 65 million images and videos of child sexual exploitation reported by law enforcement.
This edition of Weekend Reading is a sci-fi fan’s dream. We’ve got stories on the upcoming “Kinect Star Wars” game, a really cool Microsoft Technology Center project called NUIverse and a humorous look at the burgeoning popularity of Internet Explorer 9. Don’t miss ‘em!
“I find your lack of faith disturbing…” If this commercial for the April 3 release of “Kinect Star Wars” doesn’t get you pumped up to learn The Ways of the Force, nothing will. And don’t mess with this kid. She’s fierce. Oh, and Clint Howard is hilarious.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on the Windows 8 consumer preview, Microsoft Research, Internet Explorer 10, Windows Phone and Windows Azure. Don’t miss any of them!
Web browsing in Windows 8 Consumer Preview with IE10. “We have considerably improved the underlying browsing engine with performance, standards, and features as we have previously blogged about. IE10 designed for a Metro style experience is a new and improved way of browsing, where you can truly focus on the information you want to browse rather than the task of browsing – a fully immersive experience. At the same time it provides all of the safety and controls you are used to – tabs, keyboard shortcuts, InPrivate browsing, and more,” writes Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division in this Tuesday post on Building Windows 8. And be sure to check out this March 6 post focused on going behind the scenes building Windows 8.
Beamatron: Kinect enabled augmented reality concept. Beamatron is an example of the trend we’re exploring that blends the physical world with the virtual world. It’s augmented reality concept that combines a projector and Kinect sensor on a pan tilt moving head – of the kind you may find in a nightclub. The setup utilizes KinectFusion to build a 3D model of a space and enables projected graphics to react in physically appropriate ways. For example a virtual car can be driven around the floor of the room bumping into actual obstacles and running over real ramps. Read this Tuesday post on Next at Microsoft, which features the 2-minute video below, for the entire story.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on TechFest 2012, the Windows 8 consumer preview, upcoming Xbox 360 games, the hit Windows Phone game Wordament and more.
TechFest 2012. TechFest, the annual Microsoft Research wow-fest at the Microsoft Conference Center, began earlier this week. The tech extravaganza includes 154 demos and displays of the latest work from Microsoft Research (MSR) labs around the world. TechFest also includes more than 24 lectures on key technology topics. For more information, read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center, which features a cool slideshow. Next at Microsoft Editor Steve Clayton covered TechFest with a series of profiles highlighting several of the demos from earlier this week, including the keynote address, FetchClimate, search, Cliplets and a wearable multitouch projector. Don’t miss any of them! Below is a screenshot of a project delivers a new, low-cost technique for instantly polling students in the classroom:
Xbox 360 continues to hold the number one spot in the U.S., selling more units than any other console for 14 consecutive months. Sustained consumer demand for Xbox 360 and Kinect have helped maintain its top position, even in the seventh year on the market.
Below is a screenshot of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 bundle. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was one of the top 10 console games last month.
The rapid growth of data volume presents a real opportunity. It’s also a challenge that most organizations are either wrestling with now, or soon will be. As the cost of storing data continues to fall and cloud-hosted storage is increasingly adopted, more IT organizations are transitioning to a “save everything” or ”save more” approach. Accordingly, the question of what to do with all this “big data” comes up frequently in IT conversations.
However, big data by itself glosses over the real story. While most industry talk today focuses on the mechanics of data collection and storage, the opportunity lies in deriving actionable insights from the data you have. Data is an incredibly valuable asset whose value grows and grows as you’re able to gain insight from it.
I have been in the technology industry for more than 30 years, so you can imagine the many technological changes I have seen during my career. One reason I have stayed in this industry is because I get to experience the major impact that technological advancements can have on small businesses, large corporations, educational institutions and consumers. Improvements in technology open new opportunities that were once almost unimaginable. We witnessed it when Bill Gates transformed the industry into what at the time seemed unthinkable – a PC on every desk and in every home.
Perhaps the biggest transformation affecting technology today is the transition to the cloud from the previous client-server computing model. The cloud gives businesses efficient ways to reduce IT costs and invest in broad innovation, creating economic growth and new job opportunities. In fact, an IDC study commissioned by Microsoft and released today discovered that cloud computing will help create nearly 1.1 million U.S. jobs by 2015 and that the U.S. accounted for 62 percent of worldwide spending for public IT cloud services last year.
It’s been a big week for Microsoft on numerous fronts. In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about the Windows 8 consumer preview, Windows Phone and Skype news from Mobile World Congress, plus Bing, MSN and a new Xbox 360 bundle. Check ‘em out!
Microsoft announces Windows 8 consumer preview. The Windows 8 Consumer Preview offers a more robust experience for testing the world’s most popular operating system and is available to the widest range of people yet following the initial release of the Windows 8 Developer Preview late last year. The Developer Preview received more than 3 million downloads. For more on this story, read this press release on the Microsoft News Center and this Wednesday post on The Windows Experience Blog. And for a deeper dive on how the Windows 8 consumer preview touches other parts of Microsoft, check out these Wednesday posts on The Bing Search Blog and Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson. Below, Antoine Leblond, Corporate Vice President, Windows Web Services, shows off new Metro style apps in the Windows Store as part of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview event in Barcelona on Wednesday:
We’ve got a heavy duty edition of The Midweek Download for you today, with stories on the Windows 8 consumer preview, TechForum 2012, a Microsoft distinguished scientist being recognized by the Anita Borg Institute and more. Don’t miss any of them!
Welcome to Windows 8 – the consumer preview. Today is a big day for the Windows team. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we unveiled the Windows 8 Consumer Preview to our partners and press. Based on a broad range of feedback, we have made over 100,000 code changes and the Consumer Preview represents a refined product ready for broad and daily usage by those of you willing to test a pre-release OS. You can download the Consumer Preview starting now at http://preview.windows.com. If you tried the Windows 8 Developer Preview, then you are going to be delighted to see a broad range of product changes and improvements based on feedback from many sources. For the rest of this story, read today’s post on Building Windows 8 from Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division. Check out the screenshot of the Windows 8 start screen below:
From the beginning, Trustworthy Computing’s mission was billed as a long-term journey. As Microsoft marked the 10-year milestone of TwC last month, we also looked forward and recognized that evolving IT models and societal changes have made the relentless pursuit of TwC more important than ever. Today at the RSA Conference 2012, I’m providing my vision for Trustworthy Computing Next within a keynote and sharing a new white paper.
There are three major forces of change. First, with a proliferation of devices, services, and sensors, people are excited about the potential of the cloud and big data. Organizations in both the public and private sectors are racing to provide computer users new features and capabilities. Big data unlocks enormous potential, from more effective health care to better business analytics. And while big data may also provide new insights into the reliability and security of our IT ecosystem, the uses of big data will also raise important privacy questions, particularly as we seek to balance the potential benefits of big data with the risks to both society and the individual.
Today in Madrid, we announced an agreement with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) through which we will help drive technology adoption, particularly focused on cloud computing, for the tourism industry.
This deal will benefit the 155 UNWTO member countries and the more than 400 affiliate members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities, by helping them apply cloud technologies to improve business efficiency and innovation.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about Bing’s Linked Pages, a new Microsoft board member and Pinspiration, a Windows Phone app that can help satisfy your Pinterest addiction.
Make a good search impression with Bing’s Linked Pages. With people search being such a high volume pastime, we're taking it a step further by letting you have more control in how you show up on Bing. Beginning today, with Linked Pages, we’re letting you link websites related to you in search results. Now, your friends looking for you online can find what you want them to find. You can also link pages to your friends to help them shine on Bing as well. Read this Wednesday post on The Bing Search Blog for the rest of the story. Below is a screenshot of Bing Linked Pages:
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories from Building Windows 8, the re-designed Windows logo, Windows Phone evangelists, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and more. Check ‘em out!
Three from Building Windows 8. If you can’t get enough news on Windows 8, check out these three new posts from Building Windows 8 – reliably measuring browser performance, SkyDrive and Windows 8 and using the language you want on Windows 8. Don’t miss ‘em!
The Windows logo redesigned. We have said that Windows 8 is a complete reimagination of the Windows operating system. Nothing has been left unexplored, including the Windows logo, to evaluate how it held up to modern PC sensibilities. The Windows logo is a strong and widely recognized mark, but when we stepped back and analyzed it, we realized an evolution of our logo would better reflect our Metro style design principles and we also felt there was an opportunity to reconnect with some of the powerful characteristics of previous incarnations. To get the rest of this story, read this Feb. 17 post on Blogging Windows. Below is a screenshot of the new logo:
Last week, Microsoft launched msnNOW, a new service from MSN at now.msn.com, created to help you stay in the know. msnNOW is the first service to surface the latest buzz from Facebook, Twitter, Bing and BreakingNews.com, all in one place.
Obviously, we here at Microsoft think it’s pretty cool, but we’d like to know which features of msnNOW readers like the most.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got the scoop on the launch of msnNOW, a new and improved Facebook app for Windows Phone and a new Microsoft Research project called Layerscape.
MSN launches msnNOW to keep you in the know. Ever feel like you have to jump from site to site in order to piece together what’s happening in the world? Good news for those who like to stay up-to-date on the latest trends — msnNOW, a new service from MSN at now.msn.com, will help you stay in the know. msnNOW is the first service to surface the latest buzz from Facebook, Twitter, Bing and BreakingNews.com, all in one place. It cuts through the clutter of the Web, providing an up-to-the-minute view of breaking trends and the hottest social conversations, what people are saying about them, and why they matter. For more on this story, read this feature story and this press release on the Microsoft News Center and this Wednesday post on The MSN Blog. Watch the video below to get a look at the technology, people and passion behind msnNOW:
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve stories on Windows on ARM, a distinguished Microsoft engineer named to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, a profile on members of the Windows Server team and much more.
Building Windows for the ARM processor architecture. This Feb. 9 post on Building Windows 8 (penned by Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division) is about the technical foundation of what we call, for the purposes of this post, Windows on ARM, or WOA. WOA is a new member of the Windows family, much like Windows Server, Windows Embedded, or Windows Phone. As with those products, WOA builds on the foundation of Windows, has a very high degree of commonality and very significant shared code with Windows 8, and will be developed for, sold, and supported as part of the largest computing ecosystem in the world. Don’t miss it! Also, check out this Tuesday post on enabling accessibility in Windows 8.
Microsoft engineer named to U.S. NAE. One of the singular advantages of working for Microsoft—and for Microsoft Research, in particular—is the opportunity to work on products and technologies that have a positive influence on multitudes worldwide. Henrique Malvar, Microsoft distinguished engineer and chief scientist at Microsoft Research, knows that all too well—as do his peers. On Feb. 9, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced that Malvar (pictured below) had been elected as a member of that prestigious group. Read this Feb. 10 post on Inside Microsoft Research for the whole story.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Xbox 360 ending 2011 as the number-one selling console in the world, a record breaking year for Microsoft’s Employee Giving Campaign, Safer Internet Day and a super-duper cool slideshow on a slew of new thin Windows 7 laptops.
Xbox 360 maintains lead in U.S. console market in January. Kicking off 2012, Xbox 360 continues to lead the console market, turning in another month as the best-selling console in the U.S. Just last week, Xbox 360 was revealed as the number-one selling console worldwide in 2011, according to publicly disclosed financial data from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Read this Thursday post on The Official Microsoft Blog for the rest of the story. And don’t forget that on April 3, the Kinect Star Wars bundle and game will be released – Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson has more on that on his blog. Below is a screenshot of the R2D2-inspired limited edition console:
Kicking off 2012, Xbox 360 continues to lead the console market, turning in another month as the best-selling console in the U.S.
NPD highlights from January include:
· Xbox 360 sold more than 270,000 units in January, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S. This marks the thirteenth straight month Xbox 360 was the top-selling console in the U.S.
· Holding a 49 percent share of current-generation console sales, total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in January (hardware, software and accessories) reached $301 million, the most for any console in the U.S. This marks the eleventh consecutive month Xbox 360 has held more than 40 percent of the current-generation console market share.
This edition of The Midweek Download has stories on power consumption in Windows 8, a new version of Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone devs, the expansion of the Windows Phone Marketplace to five new markets and much more.
Here’s the latest from Building Windows 8. “Minimizing the power consumption of your PC while maximizing the responsiveness and utility (making it “fast and fluid”), is a significant engineering challenge. While it starts with the work we do in Windows to provide support for the right level resource usage, this work requires developers to take resource utilization into account as they develop their apps. Power efficiency applies to all form factors and all usage scenarios—using less power is the right thing to do for everyone,” writes Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division. Read this Tuesday post on Building Windows 8 for the rest of the story.
Developers, lace up your cleats. A few weeks back, this blog reported on Visual Studio Achievements, which gives developers who use Microsoft Visual Studio 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. Looks like the Windows Phone team has followed suit with Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone.
Editor’s Note: This post, co-authored by Kathleen Hogan, co-chair of the 2011 Microsoft Giving Campaign and Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Services, and S. Somasegar, co-chair of the 2011 Microsoft Giving Campaign and Corporate Vice President, Developer Division, was originally posted on the Microsoft Citizenship Blog.
We share one the best part-time jobs in the world. As co-chairs of the annual Microsoft Giving Campaign, we get the opportunity to see firsthand how our colleagues bring passion, creativity and generosity to raise much needed funds for community organizations around the globe. In 2010, we raised an outstanding $96 million. We wondered if we could go higher in 2011 and we did, knowing our employees would rise to the challenge.
In 2011 Microsoft employees across the United States raised $100.5 million, which includes corporate matching. This marks our biggest year yet, and brings the total amount of money raised by employees to $946 million since our giving program started in 1983.