The Official Microsoft Blog

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The Official Microsoft Blog

  • Microsoft and salesforce.com announce strategic partnership

    Microsoft and salesforce.com announced a strategic partnership Thursday to connect salesforce.com’s customer relationship management apps and platform to Microsoft Office and Windows.

    “We are excited to partner with salesforce.com and help customers thrive in a mobile and cloud-first world,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a press release. “Working together we’ll deliver new solutions that connect the customer insights of Salesforce to the cloud productivity of Office 365, the cloud platform of Azure and the mobility of Windows, so our customers can do more.”

  • James Whittaker on the art of making truly killer presentations

    Editor's note: The following is a post from Jennifer Warnick, a writer for microsoft.com/stories.


    It’s a Friday afternoon, and James Whittaker is sitting at Hi-Fi Brewing in Redmond. Laptop open, pint to the side, he’s working on his latest brainchild, a manuscript called “The Art of Stage Presence.”

    After spending his career leading various deeply technical charges, Whittaker has spent the last year tucking his metaphorical soap box into countless overhead compartments as he travels the globe speaking about Microsoft. Stage presence, he said, is his super power.

  • Spell e-d-u-c-a-t-i-o-n: Each spelling bee participant receives new Surface, Office 365 and Skype gift card

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    Yan Zhong, Skype program manager at Microsoft, far left, when she competed in the national spelling bee during her middle school years.

    Each of the 281 participants in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee got an extra boost from Microsoft Tuesday night to help them with their education, and to make sure the bonds they create with other competitors around the world can continue.

    The spellers, who range in age from 8 to 15, each received a brand new Surface device and Office 365. They also got a Skype gift card that can be used with the Skype app on their new Surface devices. “That way, everyone will be able to maintain the new friendships they’ve formed, no matter where their friends are located around the globe,” writes Yan Zhong, Skype program manager at Microsoft. Zhong was a spelling bee competitor in the late 1990s, when she was in middle school.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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  • Explore the world of Microsoft in pictures

    Satya Nadella on his first day as Microsoft CEO, February 4, 2014. Photo by Brian Smale.


    A few weeks ago, the Microsoft Stories team noticed something. With every amazing person we meet, and every epic moment we cover, our family photo album gets a little thicker. In fact, it’s pretty much bursting at the seams. So we’ve created a new place where we can share our favorite photos from the world of Microsoft with you. We’re calling it Snaps. Take a peek and let us know what you think!

  • 10 reasons businesses need a strategy for the Internet of Things now

    The following post is from Susan Hauser, Corporate Vice President, Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft.


    The Internet of Things (IoT), one of the top enterprise trends of 2014, affects not only businesses but society at large. It is fundamentally changing the way we do business, it’s surfacing greater efficiencies, driving deeper customer connections and introducing new business models and revenue streams.

    I frequently get asked about the benefits a company can realize in adopting their own IoT strategy, so we’ve developed a “top 10” list I’d like to share. Here are a few of the highlights:

    1. Get a jump-start on your competition. As more enterprises adopt strategies to capitalize on IoT, it’s becoming increasingly important to do the same—like those who have grown business 70 percent after connecting a factory floor to technicians in Italy, taken thousands of cars off the streets of Paris through an intelligent car-sharing service or united disparate data streams and systems in a hospital to provide physicians anywhere, anytime access to critical patient data.

  • 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.

  • Pre-order Surface Pro 3 now

    Pre-orders for Surface Pro 3, introduced Tuesday at an event in New York, have begun.

    Surface Pro 3 has 4th-generation Intel Core processor options and a 12-inch screen, but weighs just 1.76 pounds and is 0.36 inches thin. This makes it the most powerful, thinnest and lightest Surface Pro yet.

  • Surface Pro 3: Sleek, lightweight and the ‘tablet that can replace your laptop’

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    Surface Pro 3 has up to nine hours of Web-browsing battery life, Surface Pro 3 has all the power, performance and mobility of a laptop in an incredibly lightweight, versatile form. It also has a 12-inch ClearType Full HD display, 4th-generation Intel Core processor and up to 8GB of RAM.
    Surface Pro 3: Thinner, faster, lighter
    May 20, 2014
    Surface Pro 3 has up to nine hours of Web-browsing battery life, Surface Pro 3 has all the power, performance and mobility of a laptop in an incredibly lightweight, versatile form. It also has a 12-inch ClearType Full HD display, 4th-generation Intel Core processor and up to 8GB of RAM.
    Image: Web

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    The Surface Pro 3, introduced Tuesday, is the sleekest Surface yet, weighing just 1.76 pounds with a new, stunning 12-inch screen and processing power to let you do the things you want and the battery power to get you through a school day, workday or weekend getaway.

    “Surface Pro 3 is the tablet that can replace your laptop — packing all the performance of a fully powered laptop into a thin, light and beautifully designed device,” said Panos Panay, corporate vice president, Microsoft Surface, in a press release.

  • Thin and lightweight Surface Pro 3 with 12-inch screen announced

    The Surface Pro 3 –  the most powerful, thinnest and lightest Surface Pro yet – was announced Tuesday. It has a 12-inch screen, weighs just 1.76 pounds and is 0.36 inches thin. The Surface Pro 3 is both a “full PC and a brilliant tablet,” says Panos Panay, Microsoft corporate vice president for Surface Computing, who unveiled the new Surface at a live event in New York City.

  • Watch now: Surface event live webcast is underway

    Grab a cup of joe and join us for the Surface event live webcast from New York City. It started at 8 a.m. PT, and you can watch it all on the Microsoft News Center.

    Be sure to follow Surface on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest.

  • Watch the Surface event live Tuesday at 8 a.m. PT

    Join us at 8 a.m. PT Tuesday, May 20, when the Surface team holds a live event from New York City. Watch the event live on the Microsoft News Center.

    You also may want to follow Surface on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest.

  • Connecting Microsoft’s mobile and cloud solutions to the universe of data in SAP software

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


    For more than 20 years, Microsoft and SAP have worked together to help customers who run their business on SAP’s mission critical software do so with Microsoft’s industry leading platforms and productivity solutions. Today, I’m excited to announce an extension of our partnership that’s focused on giving enterprise customers increased flexibility and better insights – in the cloud and on mobile devices.

    Windows Server is a great platform for SAP business applications, and now we’re taking that to the cloud. By the end of June, SAP will certify a number of their business applications to run on Microsoft Azure, including SAP Business Suite software, SAP Business All-In-One solution, SAP Mobile Platform, SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (SAP ASE) and the developer edition of the SAP HANA® platform. This means customers will be able to get the mission-critical benefits of SAP software – used by 86 percent of the global Fortune 500 – on our enterprise-grade public cloud. They will be able to move existing applications and services, or deploy new ones in minutes using the SAP Cloud Appliance Library tool, to Azure and benefit from nearly unlimited computing capacity.

     

  • Weekend Reading: May 16th Edition — New cloud services highlighted at TechEd North America and the Windows Store gets an update

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    In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about new services announced at TechEd 2014 that will remove barriers to cloud adoption, a refresh of the Windows Store that makes it easier to find apps, and new apps and games like “Wordament Snap Attack” and “Spider-Man 2.”

    At TechEd North America 2014 in Houston, Microsoft announced new services, products and partnerships that remove the barriers to cloud adoption for IT professionals, developers and technology users. To connect on-premises technology with the public cloud, Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, as well as other enhanced computing and networking capabilities. Microsoft also introduced a preview of Azure Files, a new technology that simplifies how files can be shared in the cloud across applications and services.

  • The return of Master Chief: ‘Halo 5: Guardians’ coming fall 2015 on Xbox One

    “Halo 5: Guardians,” the next installment in the saga of the Master Chief, will launch on Xbox One in fall of 2015, Bonnie Ross, 343 Industries general manager announced Friday.

    “’Halo 5: Guardians’ is a bigger effort than ‘Halo 4,’” she writes in a post on Xbox Wire. “That applies to the content and scope of the game, as well as the technology in what’s now a brand new and more powerful engine. Certainly there are some core elements carried over from prior games, but we’ve invested a huge effort in retooling our tech to take full advantage of the Xbox One’s hardware and ecosystem to create worlds and experiences worthy of next-gen.”

  • Forecasting clouds – for everyone

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


    Apologies to Charles Dickens, but these days I imagine a lot of people working in IT might describe their world by saying “It was the best of times. It was the cloudiest of times.”

    Because the era of cloud computing is here. There is no longer any real argument about that.

    Any remaining questions are more of the “when and how” variety, not the “why and who” type.

    And yet, despite nearly unanimous agreement around its potential, some businesses have open questions around how best to proceed.

    No two companies’ cloud journeys are the same, just as no two businesses are the same.

  • Fans get more choices for Xbox One

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    Microsoft is bringing more value to Xbox Live Gold members and offering all Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners access to entertainment apps whether or not they have an Xbox Live Gold membership, and Xbox One will be available for $399 without Kinect, a new console option made in response to fan feedback, Xbox head Phil Spencer announced Tuesday.

    “Since the beginning, we have focused on delivering great games and entertainment experiences for you,” he writes in a post on Xbox Wire. “Your feedback matters to us and it shapes the products and services we build. Your feedback showed up in the Xbox One console we launched back in November and in the monthly updates we’ve delivered since.”

  • 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 9th Edition—Microsoft Office Mix reinvents PowerPoint presentations

    In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the new Microsoft Office Mix, the latest in cybersecurity reports and several ways Skype can help make Mother’s Day more memorable.

    Office Mix, a cloud-based service that helps create and share interactive lessons using PowerPoint, became available Thursday as a free preview. You can also add videos and exercises from websites like the CK-12 Foundation and Khan Academy. Read more about it on Next at MicrosoftInside Microsoft ResearchMicrosoft in Education and the Office Blogs. Also in the Office world, New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority will be deploying 22,000 seats of Microsoft Office 365 for cloud-based email and productivity. On the other side of the country, the San Bernardino County, Calif., Sheriff’s Department will also implement Microsoft Office 365so it can better respond to citizen needs, investigate crimes and carry out administrative tasks.

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  • Microsoft cybersecurity report: 70 percent decline in severe security vulnerabilities, but criminals aren’t giving up

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    Microsoft’s latest cybersecurity report, released Wednesday, shows a 70 percent decline in the number of severe vulnerabilities that were exploited in Microsoft products between 2010 and 2013. The report suggests that the security measures Microsoft has included in newer software has helped make life more difficult for would-be attackers, writes Tim Rains, Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing director.

    But the data also indicates that cybercriminals are increasingly using deceptive tactics in their attempts to compromise computer systems. In the second half of 2013, there was a noticeable increase in cybercriminal activity where attackers used deceptive practices; in the last quarter of 2013, “the number of computers impacted as a result of deceptive tactics more than tripled,” Rains says.

  • Find out how to build a LEGO robot with Microsoft tools

    In a recent robotics competition called “Build for Good,” a handful of companies from the Seattle area answered a challenge from LEGO to create a robot that solves a problem or improves daily life.

  • Baltimore County Public Schools choose 150,000 Windows devices to transform teaching and learning

    Baltimore County Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance, students, and teachers take the ultimate selfie with a HP Elitebook 810 Revolve.

    Baltimore County Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance, students, and teachers take the ultimate selfie with a HP Elitebook 810 Revolve.

    The following post is from Margo Day, Vice President, U.S. Education, Microsoft.


    Earlier this week we announced new low-cost devices with our partners to help close the technology gap in U.S. schools. Devices are just the first step to having true, significant impact in education, it also takes transformational learning methods. Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) is on an exciting journey to make this happen for students and we are thrilled to be part of it.

  • First Microsoft Innovation Center in the U.S. to Open in Miami

    Visitors of the Microsoft Innovation Center in Miami get a sneak peek of the technology, tools, and services the facility will offer the community when it opens later this spring.
    Visitors of the Microsoft Innovation Center in Miami get a sneak peek of the technology, tools, and services the facility will offer the community when it opens later this spring.

    The following post is from Sanket Akerkar, Vice President of Developer & Platform Evangelism, Microsoft.


    On Friday, to kick-off Techweek Miami 2014, Microsoft formally announced plans to open the first U.S.-based Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) in Miami.

    Based in downtown Miami, the center will be a state-of-the-art facility that offers a comprehensive set of technology, tools and services to startups, governments, students, faculty and the greater Miami community to help foster innovation, collaboration and economic growth.

  • Don’t fall for tech support scammers offering costly PC cleanup 'solutions'

    The following post is from Kirsten Kliphouse, Corporate Vice President, Customer Service and Support at Microsoft.


    We’re all familiar with how telemarketers occasionally interrupt our lives, often at the most inopportune times. However, even more upsetting is receiving an unexpected phone call claiming that your PC has been infected with viruses and can be cleaned only for a hefty fee. What’s worse is that the caller is almost certainly a fake — a bad guy who pretends to work for Microsoft or one of our partners.

    Sound familiar? This tech scam follows a well-known pattern. A phone call comes in from a blocked or international number, and the caller urgently claims to be a Microsoft-certified tech agent who has detected viruses or malware on your Windows PC that must be fixed right away. These callers use scare tactics such as telling you to check your Event Viewer to reveal a bunch of “errors” or even ask to take over your PC remotely to reveal more so-called problems. And, inevitably, they demand payment via credit card or online payment system, usually to the tune of several hundred dollars, to clean your PC. If you resist, they often get angry or even threaten to destroy data on your computer.