Microsoft News Center
The following post is from Frank Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Communications at Microsoft.
I’m still over in Abu Dhabi, where the only thing hotter than the weather are the new Windows devices unveiled by Nokia this week.
I have to say, I’m really excited for a 1080p Lumia with a third column on my start screen so I can keep a close eye on more people, more news, more stuff.
Of course, even with the 720p display I’m using right now, I could easily spot some coverage today that needs to be corrected.
Seems like the RDF (Reality Distortion Field) typically generated by an Apple event has extended beyond Cupertino.
So let me try to clear some things up.
A critical milestone was reached this month in the State of California with the Department of Justice and Microsoft jointly signing an agreement confirming that Office 365 helps organizations meet strict federal regulatory requirements around security and privacy.
What this means is that any California state Office 365 customer can now have its law enforcement agencies use Office 365 as the cloud productivity, communication and collaboration solution and still comply with the FBI Criminal Justice Information Security Policy requirements.
“Just like we did with Texas, we worked closely with California officials to ensure that Microsoft offerings could meet the high demands of CJIS,” writes Mike Donlan, vice president of U.S. State and Local Government at Microsoft, in a post over on the Microsoft in Government Blog.
If you often watch TV while keeping one eye on your phone for incoming emails, or while playing a game on your tablet, you’ll like Skype for Windows 8.1, available now.
Skype for Windows 8.1, which will work on any Windows 8.1 device, lets you multitask while keeping a Skype chat going, without missing a beat – or a moment.
The news that an official Instagram app for Windows Phone 8 will be available “in the coming weeks” may dominate the headlines coming out of Nokia World in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, but the fact is, a whole bevy of great apps and games for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 were announced.
Some of the ones that stick out in Windows Phone Blog Editor Michael Stroh’s mind include Xbox Video, “FIFA 14,” “Temple Run 2” and new games from Ubisoft.
Some of the other apps announced at Nokia World include: CamScanner (a document management app for individuals, small businesses, organizations, governments and schools), ESPN F1 (the official ESPN F1 app for Windows Phone brings you the best Formula One coverage across the globe) and Nokia Storyteller (an app that automatically integrates your phone pictures with location information, then plots this chronological picture journey on a map.)
On Tuesday at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi, Nokia unveiled the 10.1-inch Lumia 2520 tablet, powered by Windows 8.1 RT.
The Lumia 2520 will come in a wide array of colors, including red and white in a glossy finish, and cyan and black in a matte finish. Its 10.1-inch, 1080p display features Corning Gorilla Glass 2 with almost 180 degree viewing angles.
If you were up into the early morning hours of Tuesday to watch the Webcast of the Nokia World event in Abu Dhabi, then you know it was basically one blockbuster piece of news after another.
Microsoft on Tuesday announced that its newest Surface models — Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 — along with an expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories are now available for purchase at Microsoft retail stores, http://www.microsoftstore.com, select third-party retailers and authorized commercial resellers in 21 initial markets, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The new Surface products will be available in China in early November.
“Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are the most productive tablets on the planet, and they each benefit from significant updates, including improvements to processing power and battery life, display and camera resolution, and the kickstand — now featuring a second, wider angle so it’s more comfortable to use Surface on your lap or at your desk,” Microsoft shared in a press release. “Enhancements in Windows 8.1 RT and Windows 8.1 Pro make Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 even more powerful and customizable.”
Knowledgeable staff are on hand at all Microsoft retail store locations to answer questions and help with Surface setup, so customers have a great out-of-box experience and walk out the door with a product personalized for them. To find a Microsoft retail store near you, visit http://www.microsoftstore.com.
Nokia will hold a press event at 12 a.m. PT on Oct. 22 at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. You can watch the webcast from the event at Nokia Conversations.
There will also be additional interactive sessions that will follow, going into more detail about the news that is announced. Those sessions have “historically been reserved for the press, bloggers, partners and analysts” attending Nokia World, writes Ian Delaney, the editor of Conversations, but “we’re extremely pleased and excited to be able to offer them here on Conversations, for the first time.”
In this episode of “On the Whiteboard,” Editor Pamela Woon sits down with Derrick Connell, Bing’s corporate vice president, to show how easy it is to find what you want quickly using Bing Smart Search on Windows 8.1.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the release of Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8 Update 3, Microsoft Ventures’ first seed investment and major app news! Check ‘em out.
Windows 8.1 now available! Global availability of Windows 8.1 is now here, bringing a variety of new features and improvements to Windows 8 that we think people will really enjoy. We listened to customer feedback and are delivering many of the improvements we’ve been asked for. If you’re a consumer and already have a Windows 8 device, you can now download the free update to Windows 8.1 online through the Windows Store. If you’re a consumer who has a device running Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP or the Windows 8.1 Preview, visit Windows.com, which will detect your operating system and provide you with the information you need to get Windows 8.1 on your device. You can read more about it over on Blogging Windows. Also, you won’t want to miss this guest post on Blogging Windows from Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Operating Systems at Microsoft, which talks about how with Windows 8.1, you’ll have one cohesive experience across all your devices. Also, Windows 8.1 is available to all commercial customers and partners. As Microsoft has shared before, Windows 8.1 represents a significant milestone for our business customers. It builds on our vision to offer businesses the most powerful and flexible modern operating system across devices, helps customers enable their mobile users wherever they are working, and combines that flexibility with the manageability and security IT Pros demand. You can get that story over on the Windows for your Business blog. Finally, Microsoft also announced that the Windows Store is now open for developers submitting apps targeting Windows 8.1. Check out this post on the Windows App Builder Blog for that story. That’s a screenshot of the People App for Windows 8.1 below.
In October, Xbox 360 reached 80 million consoles sold to retailers worldwide and maintained its lead as the number one selling console in the U.S. in 2013.
Also on Thursday, market research firm NPD released new statistics for the video game console market. NPD highlights from September include:
· Last month marked the biggest September software sales ever for Xbox 360, with sales reaching $401.2 million the most for any console in the U.S. · Xbox 360 continues to see strong consumer demand with an amazing lineup of titles. In fact, Xbox 360 held five of the top 10 consoles games during the month of September including: “Grand Theft Auto V,” “FIFA 14,” “Madden NFL 14,” “Diablo III” and “NBA 2K14.” · Xbox 360 remains the number one selling console in the U.S. in 2013, with 1.6 million units sold this year.
Windows 8.1 is finally here – and it even brought a few friends to the launch party, including a new official Facebook app for Windows.
Beginning Thursday, Windows 8.1 is available to all commercial customers and partners. As Microsoft has shared before, Windows 8.1 represents a significant milestone for our business customers. It builds on our vision to offer businesses the most powerful and flexible modern operating system across devices, helps customers enable their mobile users wherever they are working, and combines that flexibility with the manageability and security IT Pros demand.
With advancements in user experience, manageability, security, mobility and networking, Windows 8.1 is designed to help organizations drive their business forward with increased productivity, whether it be through connected mobile scenarios or by streamlining processes.
As Erwin Visser, general manager, Windows Commercial, notes in the Windows for Your Business blog, companies are already taking advantage of Windows 8.1 Enterprise to transform their business operations and empower increasingly mobile workforces – examples include UnitedHealth Group, Boeing and Campari Australia.
With Thursday’s availability of Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013, Microsoft also announced that the Windows Store is now open for developers submitting apps targeting Windows 8.1.
And if you already have an app in the Store for Windows 8 users, you’ll want to check out the info on retargeting your app. You can import your existing project into Visual Studio and make changes as needed to take advantage of the new features in Windows 8.1. Once you’ve finished building, it’s easy to add your Windows 8.1 packages to your current app so that customers who’ve upgraded to Windows 8.1 will see the latest version of your app. (Of course, you can also continue to update your Windows 8 apps as needed.)
Global availability of Windows 8.1 is now here, bringing a variety of new features and improvements to Windows 8 that we think people will really enjoy. We listened to customer feedback and are delivering many of the improvements we’ve been asked for.
If you’re a consumer and already have a Windows 8 device, you can now download the free update to Windows 8.1 online through the Windows Store. If you’re a consumer who has a device running Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP or the Windows 8.1 Preview, visit Windows.com, which will detect your operating system and provide you with the information you need to get Windows 8.1 on your device. Need more information? Read this FAQ for answers to many of the most common questions about getting Windows 8.1.
On Thursday, S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft, announced that the final releases of Visual Studio 2013, .NET 4.5.1, and Team Foundation Server 2013 are now available for download. MSDN subscribers can download here.
“Visual Studio 2013 is the best tool for developers and teams to build and deliver modern, connected applications on all of Microsoft’s platforms,” Somasegar said. “From Windows Azure and SQL Server to Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8, Visual Studio 2013 supports the breadth of Microsoft’s developer platforms.”
As part of Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision, Visual Studio 2013 enables developers to build modern business applications that take advantage of the cloud and target a variety of devices and end-user experiences, all delivered within today’s rapid and dynamic application lifecycles.
On Tuesday, it was announced that Microsoft Ventures has made its first seed-stage investment: Tel Aviv, Israel-based SkyGiraffe.
“SkyGiraffe provides a SaaS platform that helps businesses deploy enterprise-grade mobile applications on any device immediately and without the need for writing code,” writes Raul Sood, general manager of Microsoft Ventures, in a post over on the Microsoft Ventures Blog.
The following post is from Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal & Corporate Affairs at Microsoft.
Abril Vela started her final year of high school like a lot of other seniors – giving a lot of thought to what she wants to do after she graduates. Thanks to technology-oriented programs like DigiGirlz, a Microsoft YouthSpark program, and educators who have mentored her over the years, Abril plans to follow her passion and become a computer engineer.
This fall, we want to help make 10 million more moments like hers happen during Computer Science Education week. For this reason, Microsoft on Monday joined Code.org in announcing a nationwide campaign urging schools, teachers and parents across the country to participate in the “Hour of Code” Initiative. Held during Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 9 to Dec. 15), this initiative will help introduce more than 10 million students to computer programming and the exciting careers of the future.
Windows Phone 8 Update 3 will roll out to existing phones over the next several months, bringing with it a bevy of improvements and new capabilities.
Also announced Monday was the Windows Phone Developer Preview, which allows developers to get pre-release builds of Windows Phone updates on your dev phones before they are generally available to consumers.
Some of the new features included in Windows Phone Update 3 include a bigger Start screen for more Live Tiles (pictured left), a new, customizable Driving Mode and better accessibility options.
According to the Windows Phone Blog, “the new update paves the way for future Windows Phone devices with 5- and 6-inch touch screens. The larger, 1080p HD displays on these devices will make Windows Phone even more personal—for example by sporting jumbo-sized Start screens with room for six Live Tiles across instead of four.”
Also, Windows Phone 8 Update 3 will provide support for Qualcomm’s 8974 quad-core processor. The added horsepower that this chip delivers should make our already-fluid operating system perform even better.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on interviews that shed light on top Xbox games, the launch of a new wave of enterprise cloud products and services, and major updates to apps for social networking powerhouses.
The Xbox world was abuzz with interviews of people behind top games. For fans of “FIFA 14,” there’s an Xbox Wire exclusive interview with the game’s producer, Santiago Jaramillo. NFL followers will probably enjoy the Xbox Wire exclusive interview with “Madden NFL 25” producer Seann Graddy and designer Brad Lippmanushers – as well as the video below, which showcases the new CoachGlass companion app that works with SmartGlass. And those who are looking forward to “Tom Clancy’s The Division” will get some scoops through the Xbox Wire interview with Massive Entertainment’s Fredrik Rundqvist, executive producer, and Ryan Barnard, game director.
In this episode of “On the Whiteboard,” Editor Pamela Woon takes you to a permanent video art installation at the Seattle Art Museum. Powered by Windows Server, it gives onlookers a constantly changing reflection of the city around them through pre-recorded video scenes of the urban landscape.
The following post is from Satya Nadella, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft.
Today as we launch our fall wave of enterprise cloud products and services, I’ve been reflecting on how things change. A few years ago when I joined what was then the Server and Tools Business, I had the opportunity to talk to financial analysts about our business. Interestingly, after I covered the trends and trajectory of a $19 billion business – what would independently be one of the top three software companies in the world – there were no questions. Zero.
Well, recently that has changed. As of late, there has been a lot of interest in what I call the commercial business, which spans nearly every area of enterprise IT and represents about 58 percent of Microsoft’s total revenue. It’s a critical business for us, with great momentum and one to which we are incredibly committed.
The following post is from Lori Forte Harnick, General Manager, Citizenship & Public Affairs, Microsoft
Microsoft’s corporate mission is to help businesses and people around the world realize their full potential. On Monday, we released the 2013 Citizenship Report, which describes our citizenship work in support of our company’s mission during the last fiscal year and shares our vision for what’s to come.
Together with our annual financial report, which was also released Monday, it provides a full accounting of our fiscal and citizenship priorities and performance.
Here are a few highlights:
· Fiscal year 2013 was a significant one for Microsoft Citizenship, as we focused our philanthropic work on providing education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to youth around the world. Our goal is to reach 300 million youth, over three years, through the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative. In our first year, the initiative created opportunities for more than 103 million youth to imagine and build a better future for themselves and their communities.
· Microsoft donates an average $2 million a day in software donations to nonprofits around the world, making it easier for them to do more good in their communities.
The following post is from Orlando Ayala, chairman of emerging markets at Microsoft.
It is widely known that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in the vitality of local economies around the globe. I was recently reminded just how important SMEs are as growth engines of our economies.
Microsoft commissioned The Boston Consulting Group to conduct an independent study, which surveyed more than 4,000 SMEs in five of the world's largest and most diverse economies: the United States, Germany, China, India and Brazil. The objective was to look at the economic impact of IT on small businesses today.
The study found that tech-savvy SMEs outperformed SMEs using little technology in innovation, job growth and increased revenues over the last three years. SME leaders using technology have grown their businesses and reduced costs, and one important factor seems to be increased worker productivity. According to BCG, if 15 percent of those SMEs that use little technology and 30 percent of SMEs who use moderate amounts of technology adopted the latest IT tools, they could boost their combined revenues by $770 billion and create more than 6 million new jobs in just those five markets combined. Who can afford to leave $770 billion on the table?
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on customers such as Delta, which is giving 11,000 of its pilots Surface 2 tablets; an innovative collaboration between Xbox One and Microsoft Research; and Windows Azure cloud services achieving a critical federal security milestone.
Monday’s announcement that Delta is equipping 11,000 pilots with Surface 2 is just one of several companies in fields from banking to sales to education turning to Microsoft’s tablets. The Delta pilots will find a much lighter load with the Surface 2 electronic flight bag devices, which will be filled with thousands of pages of easily accessible electronic documents, charts, navigational aids, checklists and other key reference materials previously kept in heavy flight bags. Other businesses and organizations that have chosen Surface tablets include Hokkoku Bank, The London School of Business & Finance and Novartis. In a blog post on Wednesday, Surface General Manager Brian Hall reported the pre-order stock of several Surface 2 products are selling out – or close to it.