Microsoft News Center
Over the past few years, candidates for public office at all levels have sought to take advantage of the latest technology and communications tools to make their political campaigns run more efficiently.
President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign was no different. Obama for America selected Microsoft Lync as its communications platform, keeping its hundreds of staff and volunteers connected to supporters – and each other. Being fully mobile on Lync also enabled their IT staff to support other mission-critical activities to keep the campaign running smoothly.
“When the campaign began in 2011, we couldn’t predict how big it would get or when, so scalability and deployment efficiency were two of the most important features for us,” says Rajeev Chopra, president of the MIS Department Inc. in Chicago and chief information officer at Obama for America. “Controlling our systems with Lync also provided much more flexibility.”
The following is a post by Jonathan Adashek, General Manager, Communications Strategy, Sales & Marketing Services Group, Microsoft.
Have you visited one of our specialty retail stores in the U.S. or Canada? If not, don’t worry, we’re opening in more shopping malls regularly. The Microsoft Specialty Stores have proven so popular since we opened the first ones last fall – we’re opening two Specialty Stores today and three more in mid-April!
Our Specialty Stores sell an array of Microsoft products, including Microsoft Surface Pro with Windows 8 Pro, Microsoft Surface RT, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox/Kinect. By expanding our retail footprint, we have the opportunity to bring Microsoft products and a premium retail experience to life by continuing to offer the choice, value and service our customers have come to expect from the Microsoft Store.
Customers visit the Microsoft Specialty Store in Aventura, Fla. to experience the best of Microsoft's services and products from Microsoft Surface Pro with Window 8 Pro and Window 8 Phones to a variety of accessories.
In this week’s edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the refreshed Outlook.com Calendar service, an update for Skype for Windows 8 and a major Skype milestone and an update to Visual Studio 2012.
The Outlook.com Calendar gets a refresh. On Tuesday, we released a new, modern calendar experience for Outlook.com. The Outlook.com calendar has been entirely redesigned with a modern, intuitive interface that puts you in control of your schedule. Our calendar service is faster than ever, helps you focus on the events and appointments and tasks you've added, and lets you take your calendar with you on any device. The new Outlook.com calendar is rolling out now and will be available around the world this week at https://calendar.live.com/. The Outlook Blog has the whole story. Below are screenshots showing how the new Calendar fits into the same family as your inbox, address book and SkyDrive:
And in Windows Phone app and game news… Free calls, texts, and photo messaging help make Viber one of the most popular VoIP apps in the world. On Tuesday, a new and improved version for Windows Phone 8 arrived in the Store. Download it here. The redesigned app offers free calls with HD sound, pinning of conversations to Start via Live Tiles, lock screen notifications, and beautiful improvements to its look and performance for Windows Phone 8. Get the rest of the story in this post on The Windows Phone Blog. Below are a few screenshots of Viber. Also, don’t miss this post on “Amazing Alex”, a new game from the makers of Angry Birds and this post with six tricks for powering through your inbox on Windows Phone 8.
The following is a post from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft.
I tuned into the coverage of the Facebook Home event yesterday and actually had to check my calendar a few times.
Not to see if it was still April Fools Day, but to see if it was somehow still 2011.
Because the content of the presentation was remarkably similar to the launch event we did for Windows Phone two years ago.
When we sat down with a blank sheet of paper and designed Windows Phone, we put three words on the wall to guide the team: “Put People First”.
Those three words were chosen around a pretty powerful but simple insight: People are more important than apps, so phones should be designed around you and the people you care about, not the apps you might use to reach them.
If you’re looking for a way to tap into your creative side, look no further than this roundup of Windows Apps for the visual arts put together over on The Windows Experience Blog by blogger Antonia Blume.
Blume, who majored in painting in college, writes, “These days, it can be a challenge to still find time to draw and paint, so when I got my new Surface, the first thing I did was start exploring its possibilities as an art-making tool.”
The following is a post from Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Marketing, Strategy and Business for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.
Today, Microsoft and Ericsson announced a definitive agreement for Ericsson to acquire Mediaroom, the number one IPTV platform deployed by TV operators around the world. This acquisition is mutually beneficial and strategically aligned for both parties. Ericsson will continue to invest in the growth and success of Mediaroom to the benefit of customers, employees, and the industry. It allows Microsoft to commit 100 percent of its focus on consumer TV strategy with Xbox.
A year from now will mark the final milestone for Windows XP – that of its end of support date.
Starting April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows XP users. This means that customers and partners will no longer receive security updates to the operating system or be able to leverage tech support from Microsoft after this time.
Moving away from Windows XP to a more modern platform in Windows 7 and Windows 8 will ready your IT infrastructure for future technology solutions and growth of your company.
Big news out of the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas today.
Microsoft and NBC Sports Group announced they are partnering to use Windows Azure Media Services across NBC Sports’ digital platforms, including NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com and GolfChannel.com.
Three weeks and nearly 600,000 votes later, the Windows Phone Next App Star contest has a winner: Rudy Huyn of Renne, France and his highly-rated Wikipedia app.
Photography app ProShot from Roseville, Calif.-based Eddie Kezel came in a close second – a very close second. Out of thousands of final round ballots, in the end just 155 separated the two finalists—a testament to just how tough this choice was for voters and how good each of these apps is.
“Huyn’s victory is well deserved. Wikipedia —which after nearly 8,000 customer reviews maintains a perfect five-star average rating— is a tour de force reference app with tons of bells and whistles: It uses the phone’s location to find relevant articles and supports speech recognition, NFC sharing, QR codes, and services such as Pocket (formerly Read It Later) and Instapaper. You can also search in more than 100 languages,” reports Windows Phone Blog Editor Michael Stroh.
Microsoft today announced that the power and automation technology company ABB will deploy Microsoft Office 365 and Yammer to its employees worldwide.
With about 145,000 employees in 100 countries, ABB is transitioning from multiple IT collaboration and messaging solutions to Office 365 to provide a single platform for productivity, communication, collaboration and enterprise social in the cloud.
We’ve got great news for Firefox users today.
msnNOW for Firefox is now available, allowing you to see what’s trending across the Web on msnNOW in a convenient sidebar view while you browse the Internet.
The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2013 for Software Assurance is now available for download. MDOP helps manage and deploy important Windows features like BitLocker and Group Policy, and saves time by helping to make desktop repair planning proactive instead of reactive.
In addition to general quality improvements, we’ve also updated many of the other technologies in MDOP 2013, with enhanced features and benefits ideal for businesses using Windows 8.
The following is a post from Horacio Gutierrez, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft.
Every day, Microsoft researchers push the envelope of computer science in research labs around the world. Their inventions tackle complex questions such as “How do we make uncertain information useful and infer valuable insights from shifting and expanding data as it streams in from devices, sensors and new technology?” We are proud that Infer.NET, one such invention developed in our research labs, has today been recognized with the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s first ever Patents for Humanity Award in the information technology category.
Microsoft researchers have been working on Infer.NET over the last 10 years to provide a framework that makes it much easier to apply advanced machine learning techniques to solve challenging problems. Microsoft provides Infer.NET free of charge for non-commercial purposes, such as scientific or medical research.
The Office team has unveiled something really special today – a Microsoft Research project codenamed GeoFlow that lets you plot geographic and temporal data visually, analyze that data in 3D, and create interactive "tours" to share with others.
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.
Today, the Bing team unveiled the “Pin to Pinterest” feature on Bing image search.
Now, you can pin image results directly from Bing to your favorite Pinterest boards. Whether you’re gathering inspiration for a home decorating project, a Memorial Day BBQ or a summer vacation, it’s never been easier to find more pictures and keep track of the ones you love most. See something that catches your eye? Just one click and it’s saved to your Pinterest board.
In 1986, Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash. campus was still a grass- and forest-covered 88-acre plot of land in a sleepy, one-stoplight suburb of Seattle.
Today the campus spans 500 acres and 125 buildings. There’s a soccer field and cricket pitch, miles of wooded walking paths – and 14.9 million square feet of office space and labs that function as an interconnected “smart city” thanks to an “Internet of Things meets Big Data” software solution developed by a small team of Microsoft facilities engineers.
The software, which is saving Microsoft millions of dollars, has been so successful that the company and its partners are now helping building managers across the world deploy the same solution. And with commercial buildings consuming an estimated 40 percent of the world’s total energy, the potential is huge.
Read the story of how Microsoft built the city of the future today on the Microsoft News Center.
It’s spring time now – a time of rebirth and renewal and new beginnings.
In that spirit, the Bing team today announced the rollout of several significant updates to six Bing Apps for Windows 8 – News, Finance, Sports, Weather, Maps and Travel. Below is a screenshot of the Travel app.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will hit theaters on Nov. 22.
To make sure fans have the latest news and developments on the much-anticipated sequel, Internet Explorer has teamed up with Lionsgate Films to create The Hunger Games Explorer. Check out the screenshot of the new site below.
The following is a post from Bill Hilf, General Manager of Windows Azure Product Marketing at Microsoft.
I’m excited to announce that today Microsoft released Windows Azure Infrastructure Services.
Windows Azure is Microsoft’s public cloud platform and Windows Azure Infrastructure Services is a new Windows Azure service that lets customer easily migrate existing applications and infrastructure to the cloud. We have been working hard on this service for some time now, and I wanted to thank our customers for their patience while we worked to get it right and deliver an enterprise grade offering.
The following is a post by Tim Rains, Director of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft.
Today, Microsoft released new research as part of its Security Intelligence Report, volume 14, which takes a close look at the importance of running up-to-date antivirus software on your computer. The research showed that, on average, computers without antivirus software are 5.5 times more likely to be infected.
Antivirus software from Microsoft, McAfee, Symantec and others helps to guard against viruses, remove infections and protect your privacy. It can help protect your computer from malware trying to steal your credit card information, e-mail address book or even the files you’ve saved to your computer. It is one of the most crucial defenses computer users have to help protect against cybercriminals.
Movie fans rejoice! The popular movie app Flixster is now available to Xbox LIVE subscribers in the U.S.!
Over the next couple days we will roll out a major upgrade to Microsoft account, including optional two-step verification to help keep your account more secure.
Microsoft has increasingly focused on delivering connected devices and services that are currently used by more than 700 million people around the world. A Microsoft account is the key that unlocks your experience across these products—from your Windows PC to your Windows Phone, from Xbox to Outlook.com, from SkyDrive and Skype to Office and much more.
Given this critical role for Microsoft account, we remain vigilant in working hard to protect your account, which is why we’re adding an option so you can enable two-step verification to further protect yourself. You should see this option show up in your account in the next few days. You can enable this capability at https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage.
The Windows Phone Blog reported Monday that a major update for the LinkedIn app hit the Windows Phone Store.
Today, we announced several new customers who have adopted Microsoft Dynamics CRM to achieve cost savings, help preserve safety and security and streamline service delivery to improve constituent experiences.
Tomorrow, at the Microsoft Federal Forum event in Washington, D.C., customers like the Department of Veterans Affairs will showcase the way they have used Dynamics to transform their Veterans Relationship Management programs, driving immediate benefit to the time and way in which veterans receive healthcare, claims and business information.