The Official Microsoft Blog

News & Perspectives

The Official Microsoft Blog

  • Microsoft makes source code for MS-DOS and Word for Windows available to public

    The following post is from Roy Levin, distinguished engineer and managing director, Microsoft Research Silicon Valley.

    MS-DOS Operating Systems

    On Tuesday, we dusted off the source code for early versions of MS-DOS and Word for Windows. With the help of the Computer History Museum, we are making this code available to the public for the first time.

    The museum has done an excellent job of curating some of the most significant historical software programs in computing history. As part of this ongoing project, the museum will make available two of the most widely used software programs of the 1980’s, MS DOS 1.1 and 2.0 and Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1a, to help future generations of technologists better understand the roots of personal computing.

  • Microsoft demos breakthrough in real-time translated conversations

    The following post is from Gurdeep Pall, Corporate Vice President of Skype and Lync at Microsoft.

    It’s been an interesting evening here in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. at the inaugural Code Conference (#CodeCon) where @karaswisher and @waltmossberg are engaging Microsoft CEO @satyanadella in a more than hour-long onstage conversation.  

    During his conversation with Walt and Kara, Satya discussed his views on how we’re evolving to a more personal, more human era of computing, and I had the good fortune to join Satya on stage to demo – for the the first time publicly – an exciting new capability we’re developing for Skype

    Imagine in the very near future technology allowing humans to bridge geographic and language boundaries to connect mind to mind and heart to heart in ways never before possible.

    For more than a decade, Skype has brought people together to make progress on what matters to them. Today, we have more than 300 million connected users each month, and more than 2 billion minutes of conversation a day as Skype breaks down communications barriers by delivering voice and video across a number of devices, from PCs and tablets, to smartphones and TVs. But language barriers have been a blocker to productivity and human connection; Skype Translator helps us overcome this barrier.

  • Updating Internet Explorer and Driving Security

    The following post is from Adrienne Hall, General Manager, Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft.

    The security of our products is something we take incredibly seriously, so the news coverage of the last few days about a vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE) has been tough for our customers and for us.  We take a huge amount of pride that, among widely used browsers, IE is the safest in the world due to its secure development and ability to protect customers, even in the face of cybercriminals who want to break it.

    This means that when we saw the first reports about this vulnerability we said fix it, fix it fast, and fix it for all our customers.  So we did.  The update that does this goes live today at 10 a.m. PDT.

    If you are like most people, you have automatic updates turned on, and you’ll get this new update without having to do anything.  If you haven’t turned it on automatic updates yet, you should do so now.  Click the “Check for Updates” button on the Windows Update portion of your Control Panel to get this going.

  • Microsoft takes on global cybercrime epidemic in tenth malware disruption

    Editor's Note: This blog post was updated with the following new information at 8 a.m. on July 9:

    On Monday, June 30, Microsoft filed a civil suit in a Nevada federal court to disrupt Bladabindi-Jenxcus, a pervasive family of malware that put millions of customers at risk.

    Today both Microsoft Corporation and Vitalwerks Internet Solutions, LLC announce they have reached a settlement in the matter of Microsoft Corporation v. Mutairi, et al.

    Microsoft has reviewed the evidence provided by Vitalwerks and enters into the settlement confident that Vitalwerks was not knowingly involved with the subdomains used to support malware. Those spreading the malware abused Vitalwerks’ services.

    Microsoft identified malware that had escaped Vitalwerks’ detection. Upon notification and review of the evidence, Vitalwerks took immediate corrective action allowing Microsoft to identify victims of this malware. The parties have agreed to permanently disable Vitalwerks subdomains used to control the malware.

    In the process of redirecting traffic to its servers for malware detection, Microsoft acknowledges that a number of Vitalwerks customers were impacted by service outages as a result of a technical error. Microsoft regrets any inconvenience these customers may have experienced.

  • SQL Server 2014 released to manufacturers, will be generally available April 1

    The following post is from Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President, Data Platform Group.

    Today I am very happy to announce SQL Server 2014 has been released to manufacturing and will be generally available on April 1

    SQL Server 2014 is the culmination of thousands of hours of hard work from Microsoft engineers and thousands of hours of testing and input from our preview customers. The result is an important component of Microsoft’s overall cloud-first data platform. The platform delivers breakthrough performance, accelerated insights through tools everyone uses and the ability to scale globally on-premises and in the cloud – letting our customers get the most from their data. 

  • The power of ‘and’

    The following post is from Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft.

    A little over a year ago, we announced the general availability of Azure Infrastructure Services. Since that time, we helped customers realize the power of “and” with Infrastructure Services and Platform Services, Windows and Linux, Oracle, SQL and soon SAP – all in one cloud – so customers get the speed, scale and economic benefits of the cloud no matter what they want to do. Today, I’m excited to share that Gartner has named Microsoft as a Leader in its 2014 Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Magic Quadrant report. This comes on the heels of Gartner recognizing Microsoft as a Leader in the Enterprise Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS) market in its 2014 Enterprise aPaaS Magic Quadrant – making Microsoft the only public cloud vendor to be named a Leader for both PaaS and IaaS.

  • Service Providers light up the Cloud OS

    The following post is from Takeshi Numoto, Corporate Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Marketing, Microsoft.

    Today, Microsoft introduced the Cloud OS Network, a worldwide group of more than 25 leading cloud service providers who have embraced our Cloud OS vision and will deliver hosted services built on the Microsoft Cloud Platform, which includes Windows Server with Hyper-V, System Center and the Windows Azure Pack. This announcement represents important progress against our goals and strategy for Cloud OS. More importantly, it is great news for enterprise customers across the globe.

  • Privacy authorities across Europe approve Microsoft’s cloud commitments

    The following post is from Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft.

    This is an important week for the protection of our customers’ privacy. The European Union’s data protection authorities have found that Microsoft’s enterprise cloud contracts meet the high standards of EU privacy law. This ensures that our customers can use Microsoft services to move data freely through our cloud from Europe to the rest of the world. Building on this approval, we will now take proactive steps to expand these legal protections to benefit all of our enterprise customers.

    The EU’s 28 data protection authorities acted through their “Article 29 Working Party” to provide this approval via a joint letterImportantly, Microsoft is the first – and so far the only – company to receive this approval. This recognition applies to Microsoft’s enterprise cloud services – in particular, Microsoft AzureOffice 365Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Windows Intune.

    By acknowledging that Microsoft’s contractual commitments meet the requirements of the EU’s “model clauses,” Europe’s privacy regulators have said, in effect, that personal data stored in Microsoft’s enterprise cloud is subject to Europe’s rigorous privacy standards no matter where that data is located. This is especially significant given that Europe’s Data Protection Directive sets such a high bar for privacy protection.

  • Microsoft Azure Machine Learning combines power of comprehensive machine learning with benefits of cloud

    The following post is from Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President of Machine Learning at Microsoft.

    Maybe you haven’t noticed it, but machine learning – a way of applying historical data to a problem by creating a model and using it to successfully predict future behavior or trends – is touching more and more lives every day. For example, search engines, online product recommendations, credit card fraud prevention systems, GPS traffic directions and mobile phone personal assistants like Cortana all use the power of machine learning. But we’ve barely scratched the surface of its potential to change the world. Soon machine learning will help to drastically reduce wait times in emergency rooms, predict disease outbreaks and predict and prevent crime. To realize that future, we need to make machine learning more accessible – to every enterprise and, over time, every one.

  • New ecosystem opportunity for Windows devices

    The following post is from Nick Parker, Corporate Vice President, Original Equipment Manufacturer Division at Microsoft.

    Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the Original Equipment Manufacturer Division Nick Parker unveiled nearly 40 new Windows and Windows Phone devices Wednesday at Computex 2014

    It’s great to be back in Taipei for Microsoft’s 12th year of participating in Computex, the second largest technology exhibition in the world. More than 130,000 attendees are expected, along with thousands of industry analysts and technology journalists from various countries. And most importantly, many of our hardware manufacturing partners are participating with us at Computex, many of them from Taiwan and also some global and some newer partners who are building phones and tablets from Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai.

    Our expanding ecosystem of partners is helping us deliver a broad range of Windows devices with new designs across more price points and in new markets. These devices span from the most personalized mobile phones to the most mission critical of Internet scale datacenters, and we continue to invest and drive growth with our partners through innovation in our business model and software and services platforms.

  • Mark your calendars: Announcing Build 2014

    The following is a post from Steve Guggenheimer, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President and Chief Evangelist, Developer & Platform Evangelism.

    It seems like we were just gathered in San Francisco for Build 2013 and yet a lot has happened since that time. Windows 8.1 is in the hands of consumers and there is a great selection of new devices at all sizes and price points coming in time for the holidays. Last month, we released Xbox One and sold more than two million units in the first 18 days. And we continue to see the addition of great new apps, with differentiated user experiences, coming to the platform from top names such as Flipboard, Instagram, Waze, Vine and Mint alongside thousands of local apps growing every day.

    The momentum just keeps building and that is why I’m so excited to announce our next developer conference, Build 2014, which will take place April 2 to April 4 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Save the date and mark your calendar for registration, which opens at 9 a.m. PT on Jan. 14 at

  • A data culture for everyone

    The following post is from Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer at Microsoft.

    In a mobile first, cloud first world, one of the most fascinating truths is that data is not only consumed but also generated at accelerating rates and exponentially increasing quantities.

    As computing becomes ubiquitous, engineers and developers are creating new form factors and cloud services that fit into all the nooks and crannies of everyday life. Car dashboards, light switches, HVAC systems, sneakers, etc. Nearly all interactions and experiences between humans, humans and computers and between computers get digitized. The opportunity we have in this new world is to find a way of catalyzing this data exhaust from ubiquitous computing and converting it into fuel for ambient intelligence. This fuel will power improved experiences, understanding and interactions. When these devices around us gain the capacity to listen to us, respond to us, understand us and act on our behalf, we enter into an entirely new era. The era of ambient intelligence.

  • A cloud for everyone, on every device

    The following post is from Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft.

    In my initial remarks as CEO, I spoke about how Microsoft is embracing the new “mobile-first cloud-first” world. I’ve gotten great feedback around this declaration from customers, employees and partners who are excited to see us communicate this commitment so emphatically. I’ve also been asked a number of interesting questions about the language I used. A common one is actually the simplest and most important to answer: How can twothings be first?

    My honest answer is that I don’t think of the cloud and mobile as two things. They are two facets of one thing. The cloud was created to enable mobility. And mobile devices are really uninteresting without the cloud.

  • Microsoft Azure now generally available in Brazil South region

    The following post is from Takeshi Numoto, Corporate Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Marketing, Microsoft.

    A few weeks ago, we announced that Microsoft Azure was in public preview in Brazil. Today, I am pleased to share that Microsoft Azure is now generally available in our Brazil South region.

    In Brazil, and our other regions around the world, we’ve seen incredible demand for a global enterprise public cloud offering. Globally, more than 1,000 new customers join Azure every day, and revenue grew more than 150 percent in the last quarter. With Microsoft Azure now generally available in the new Brazil South region, even more customers can take advantage of the cloud.

  • Protecting customer data from government snooping

    The following post is from Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft.

    Many of our customers have serious concerns about government surveillance of the Internet.

    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. In particular, recent press stories have reported allegations of governmental interception and collection – without search warrants or legal subpoenas – of customer data as it travels between customers and servers or between company data centers in our industry.

    If true, these efforts threaten to seriously undermine confidence in the security and privacy of online communications. Indeed, government snooping potentially now constitutes an “advanced persistent threat,” alongside sophisticated malware and cyber attacks.

  • Microsoft board of directors update on CEO search

    The following post is from John W. Thompson, a member of Microsoft’s board of directors.

    On Aug. 23, we announced that Steve Ballmer would be retiring from Microsoft within 12 months, and the Board of Directors was launching a search for a replacement, looking both externally and internally. Since then, we’ve been focused on finding the best possible person to lead the company. As we approach the end of the calendar year, there has been natural interest in getting an update on where we are in the process. I’m writing to share this with you here.

    As the chair of the Board’s search committee, I’m pleased with our progress. The Board has taken the thoughtful approach that our shareholders, customers, partners and employees expect and deserve. After defining our criteria, we initially cast a wide net across a number of different industries and skill sets. We identified over 100 possible candidates, talked with several dozen, and then focused our energy intensely on a group of about 20 individuals, all extremely impressive in their own right. As you would expect, as this group has narrowed, we’ve done deeper research and investigation, including with the full Board. We’re moving ahead well, and I expect we’ll complete our work in the early part of 2014.

  • Microsoft contributes cloud server designs to the Open Compute Project

    The following post is from Bill Laing, Corporate Vice President, Cloud & Enterprise, Microsoft.

    On Tuesday, I will deliver a keynote address to 3,000 attendees at the Open Compute Project (OCP) Summit in San Jose, Calif. where I will announce that Microsoft is joining the OCP, a community focused on engineering the most efficient hardware for cloud and high-scale computing via open collaboration. I will also announce that we are contributing to the OCP what we call the Microsoft cloud server specification: the designs for the most advanced server hardware in Microsoft datacenters delivering global cloud services like Windows Azure, Office 365, Bing and others. We are excited to participate in the OCP community and share our cloud innovation with the industry in order to foster more efficient datacenters and the adoption of cloud computing.

    The Microsoft cloud server specification essentially provides the blueprints for the datacenter servers we have designed to deliver the world’s most diverse portfolio of cloud services. These servers are optimized for Windows Server software and built to handle the enormous availability, scalability and efficiency requirements of Windows Azure, our global cloud platform. They offer dramatic improvements over traditional enterprise server designs: up to 40 percent server cost savings, 15 percent power efficiency gains and 50 percent reduction in deployment and service times. We also expect this server design to contribute to our environmental sustainability efforts by reducing network cabling by 1,100 miles and metal by 10,000 tons across our base of 1 million servers.

  • Microsoft helps FBI in GameOver Zeus botnet cleanup

    The following post is from Richard Domingues Boscovich, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit.

    Following Monday’s multi-national action against the GameOver Zeus botnet, we’re pleased to announce that Microsoft, working closely with the FBI and industry partners, has taken action to remove malware, so that infected computers can no longer be used for harm.

    GameOver Zeus, a variant of the Zeus (or Zbot) family of malware, is a highly prevalent password-stealing trojan, according to research by the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report. Dell SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit reports that it was the most active banking trojan of 2013. However, the impact of GameOver Zeus is not limited to the financial industry – nearly all major business and public sector organizations are impacted. Security researchers estimate that between 500,000 and 1 million computers worldwide are infected, and the FBI estimates that Gameover Zeus is responsible for more than $100 million in losses.

  • A soulful singer’s ship comes in

    Editor's note: The following is a post from Jennifer Warnick, a writer for

    Here we go again with another one of those “a guy goes to Web design school, becomes a blues musician instead, takes a job in a cruise ship piano lounge, and is discovered on the high seas and recruited by Microsoft” stories.

    Yawn. Cliché. Tale as old as time, right? No? Let’s try that again.

  • The Nokia Devices and Services acquisition close date

    The following post is from Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft.

    Today we are excited to share that we have completed the steps necessary to finalize Microsoft’s acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business. The transaction will be completed this Friday, April 25, when we’ll officially welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business as part of the Microsoft family.  

    The completion of this acquisition follows several months of planning and will mark a key step on the journey towards integration. This acquisition will help Microsoft accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones. In addition, we look forward to introducing the next billion customers to Microsoft services via Nokia mobile phones.

  • A tale of two countries: Education technology drives growth and transformation

    The following post is from Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education at Microsoft.

    Education reform can be frustratingly slow, held back by resistance to change, budgetary challenges and, oftentimes, a lack of conviction on the part of governments. So when any country makes a decisive commitment to transform its education system, it’s big news.

    On Tuesday, Thailand’s Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) is announcing a sweeping cloud education partnership with Microsoft, one that will provide 8 million students and 400,000 teachers throughout the country with free access to the world's best cloud-enabled productivity software, Microsoft Office 365 for Education. The deal will allow students and teachers throughout the country to create, connect and collaborate on a safe and secure platform. This is the largest cloud education initiative ever, and one that promises to foster sustainable growth and raise Thailand’s overall standard of living for generations to come.

  • TechEd 2014: Moving customers forward in a mobile-first, cloud-first world

    The following post is from Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of Windows Server and System Center at Microsoft.

    This week at Microsoft’s sold-out TechEd North America event conference in Houston, we announced several innovations to help enterprises realize the speed, scale and economics of a mobile-first, cloud-first world. These new technologies transform how we approach business innovation, creating an incredible opportunity for IT professionals, developers and technology users to drive value and boost productivity. But to do that, our customers need help breaking down barriers so they can embrace this fundamental shift.

    Hybrid Cloud infrastructure is the gateway to a cloud-first world, but the deployment process can be complex. This is why Microsoft has invested in new services designed to simplify the transition. To connect on-premises technology with the public cloud, we’ve announced the general availability Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, as well as other enhanced computing and networking capabilities. We’ve also introduced a preview of Azure Files, a new technology that simplifies how files can be shared in the cloud across applications and services.

  • Weekend Reading: May 23rd Edition – Surface Pro 3 unveiled and 8 million students in Thailand get Office 365 for Education

    Weekend warriors, you’ve made it! In addition to the unofficial start to summer, and all of the backyard barbecues and beach picnics you’ve got on tap, this weekend promises an extra day to take in none other than Weekend Reading. Enjoy.

    On Tuesday, Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 3. Envisioned as the tablet that can replace your laptop, this iteration of the Surface features a 12-inch full HD display, 4th-generation Intel® Core™ processor options and a multi-position kickstand that goes from movie mode to working mode to writing mode — all in a package that’s 30 percent thinner than an 11-inch MacBook Air.


  • Devices, services and moments

    The following post is from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Communications, Microsoft.

    As is common during the holiday and New Year season, I find myself in a reflective mood. But oddly enough, I’m not drawn to reflecting on the past 365 days, but simply one of them. The day I’m thinking of was a normal one, not that unlike the other 364 that surrounded it. In fact, the only remarkable thing that happened was that I happened to pause at the end of it and take note of how the extraordinary has become ordinary.

    I woke up, scanned the headlines, checked the sports scores, and looked for Tweets that would enrage me. Did some mail, went for a jog, commuted to work, had some meetings. Drove to the airport, flew to San Francisco, had some more meetings and grabbed dinner. Then I checked into my hotel, called home, said goodnight to my daughter and did some work before going to bed. Like I said, pretty standard stuff.

    But what I took note of at the end of that day was how the technology I used kept up with me, enabling me to make the most of any moment I was in. It didn’t matter whether the moment was personal, professional, at home or in a hotel, driving a car or riding in a plane, working alone, or with a team.

  • Power BI for Office 365 empowers everyone to analyze, visualize and share data in the cloud

    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.