Microsoft News Center
The following is a post from Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer.
In October 2012, I wrote a letter to shareholders outlining how the full value of our software will be seen and felt in how people use devices and services at work and in their personal lives. This is a fundamental shift in our business that began several years ago and continues today with the release of Office 365 Home Premium. This is a brand new Office never experienced before.
For the first time, consumers can subscribe to Office as a service instead of purchasing Office as a piece of software to install. The new Office subscription is an entirely new way to think about the productivity experience with entirely new benefits. Over time, the majority of the billion plus people using Office will be using the Office 365 service.
Office 365 Home Premium subscribers receive all the full-featured Office applications they know and love, together with impressive new cloud and social benefits built in.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the highly anticipated Nokia Lumia 900, three major entertainment apps coming to Xbox LIVE and Bing and Skype working better together.
AT&T to sell Nokia Lumia 900 for under $100. We’ve got lots of great Windows Phone news for you this week, but perhaps the biggest piece of news is the announcement that the Nokia Lumia 900 will be available on AT&T for $99 on April 8. Read this Monday post on The Windows Phone Blog for the rest of the story. Also, Nokia announced it will sell its first CDMA Windows Phone in China – the 800C – starting in April. Finally, Microsoft also announced earlier this week that Marketplace has now opened in 13 new markets. To the left is a screenshot of the Lumia 900.
Three major entertainment apps launch on Xbox LIVE. Earlier this week, three major entertainment apps are now available for Xbox LIVE Gold members – Comcast XFINITY TV, HBO GO and MLB.TV, all with Kinect integration.
Since taking down the Kelihos botnet with our partners Kyrus Inc. and Kaspersky Labs in September, the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit has continued to actively investigate the case and pursue new leads with the goal of holding the perpetrators behind the botnet accountable for their actions.
In an amended complaint filed today with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Microsoft alleges that Andrey N. Sabelnikov, a citizen of Russia, is responsible for the operations of the Kelihos botnet.
Mr. Sabelnikov is not the first to be named as a defendant in this case, which has already served as the legal foundation for the successful disruption of a global botnet harming thousands of victims worldwide. In the original complaint filed in September, Microsoft alleged that Dominique Alexander Piatti, dotFREE Group SRO and John Does 1-22 owned a domain cz.cc and used cz.cc to register other subdomains such as lewgdooi.cz.cc used to operate and control the Kelihos botnet.
In 2008, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN, the non-profit corporation charged with coordinating the Internet’s naming system and ensuring the stability and security of the Internet), approved a plan to launch new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) that will complement the current structure of Internet addresses based on “.com,” “.net,” “.org” and others.
Yesterday in London, ICANN published a list of more than 2,000 applications for new gTLDs from businesses and organizations around the world.
In listening to the developer community, the Channel 9 team at Microsoft has heard the positive feedback about Visual Studio Achievements loud and clear: you want more. More than 80,000 downloads of the extension demonstrated that developers see achievement badges as a fun way to socially share the accomplishments they earn in what can sometimes be the lonely act of writing code.
New badges are available today, so now developers can unlock new achievements when using Visual Studio to write code for Windows Azure. Badges can be earned for proper cloud development usage, mobile+cloud scenarios, social gaming scenarios, or a dozen other developer-related accomplishments.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the latest reviews for the Nokia Lumia 900, the out-of-this-world release of Kinect Star Wars, plus Bing, MSN, Skype and more. Check ‘em out!
The reviews are in on the Nokia Lumia 900. The highly anticipated Nokia Lumia 900 becomes available on AT&T on April 8. Curious to hear what some in the technology press are saying about the phone? Check out these reviews from CNN Money, Mashable and Gizmodo for starters, and then head on over to the Windows Phone newsroom to see more. Below is a screenshot of the Lumia 900.
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:
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.
The start of the Major League Baseball season is a magical time for all fans of America’s pastime. This early in the season, everyone’s team has a chance to make it to the World Series, no matter what happened last year, no matter which home town nine you cheer for.
As a big baseball fan myself, I am excited to report that the MLB.TV App has arrived in the Windows Store. Now, you can watch every out-of-market Major League Baseball game LIVE or on demand in HD with an MLB.TV Premium subscription. (Blackout restrictions apply.)
Microsoft continues to expand its presence with the launch of more than 30 U.S. and Canadian pop-up stores for the holiday season.
First announced at this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference, the new stores will expand Microsoft’s footprint to more locations, providing consumers with excellent choice, value, service and an engaging way to experience the best of Microsoft’s products and services.
In January, we shared some thoughts on our approach to developer events, including a commitment to come back with more on our plans for an event this coming fall. Well, here it is: our next developer conference will be this fall, and it's (again) called BUILD. It will be held on Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Wash., from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2.
Yes, that's right ... it's the week after Windows 8 becomes generally available worldwide. And in addition to Windows 8, we will have lots of other stuff to talk about too: Windows Azure, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012, Visual Studio 2012 and much more.
The following is a post from Frank X. Shaw, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications at Microsoft.
There are many advantages to living in a world that is mostly connected. Feedback is immediate. Weak signals are easily amplified. Voices can be heard.
Of course, every benefit has a drawback.
In this world where everyone is a publisher, there is a trend to the extreme – where those who want to stand out opt for sensationalism and hyperbole over nuanced analysis. In this world where page views are currency, heat is often more valued than light. Stark black-and-white caricatures are sometimes more valued than shades-of-gray reality.
It’s been a week like that, from a couple of unlikely sources. :)
So let’s pause for a moment and consider the center.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Alex Kipman, general manager of hardware incubation in the Interactive Entertainment Business; the latest news from Tech North America; Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10.
A career of thriving on ‘Impossible Projects’ – including Kinect for Xbox 360. Alex Kipman, 32, has now led three major innovations at Microsoft and recently received the company’s highest technical honor, the Technical Recognition Award for Outstanding Technical Leadership. The award citation called out not just his technical chops but the determination he brought to the Kinect project that many saw as a seemingly impossible challenge. To read more about Alex, check out this feature story on the Microsoft News Center. Below, Alex (third from left) takes a break on the Microsoft campus with teammates (from left) Jeffrey Margolis, Ben Sugden and Katie Stone Perez.
Like many people, I’ve been enjoying the Olympics so far. Great opening ceremony, great competition… And watching the swimming, football, gymnastics is all a blast. But I have to say that as a runner, I’m looking forward to track and field getting started. And as a runner, it was inspiring the other day to hear about the great Kenyans in this wonderful NPR story.
Iten, Kenya produces some of the world’s fastest runners. Runners there train at 8,000 feet above sea level, and the valley is six miles down. Kenya’s elite runners run up and down these hills every day. And they keep it simple. If these runners want to build their leg strength, they run up more hills. We’ve been doing our own bit of hard core training here at Microsoft, and our engineers across the company have been setting a blistering pace. Let’s go to a tale of the tape.
At the beginning of each year, many of us assess how we (and our developer community) might want to invest our respective time and resources for the year ahead, and we’ve devoted some of that energy in the past few months toward thinking about the various developer conferences we host.
As part of that reflection, we have decided to merge MIX, our spring web conference for developers and designers, into our next major developer conference, which we will host sometime in the coming year. I know a number of folks were wondering about MIX, given the time of year, so we wanted to make sure there’s no ambiguity, and be very clear… there will be no MIX 2012.
For context, the idea to create MIX was conceived in the fall of 2005, literally as the PDC05 main stage was being disassembled after the final keynote. While we reflected on that PDC, there was a lot of discussion around our engagement with the web community, and how we needed a more focused effort around our upcoming plans for Internet Explorer, the roadmap for our web platform, the work we were starting on web standards (we were shipping IE6 at the time), and so on.
Editor’s Note: At the 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bill Gates participated in a roundtable discussion on Opportunity for Youth. It’s a subject Bill is passionate about, because solving the world’s big problems will require energy and creativity of people of all ages, and from future generations. This post also appears on Bill’s personal blog, The Gates Notes.
In my annual letter for 2012, I invited students globally to write their own annual letters about what we need to do to extend the progress the world has made in improving the lives of its poorest people over the past 50 years. I’ve received some innovative and inspiring letters, which I’ve featured on my website. All the insight and ideas these young people brought forward are amazing.
I saw this same level of insight and creativity today at the World Economic Forum, when I sat down with young innovators and leaders, including students who’ve received Imagine Cup grants, to discuss how we can help their peers around the world achieve their dreams. Whether young people want to start a business or a nonprofit, or they want to be the first in their family to go to college, it’s critical to make sure they have what they need to succeed.
I’ve talked on a number of occasions on The Official Microsoft Blog about Natural User Interface (NUI) and the transformational effect this will have on how we interact with technology in the years to come. Kinect is one technology that pushes the boundaries of how we can build more natural ways to interact with technology – through gestures and speech – but that’s only one aspect of our work around NUI.
In the video below, you’ll see Kinect and a number of other technologies, and hear from some of the brightest minds at Microsoft pushing this next frontier of technology forward. As well as gestures and speech, touch is an important part of NUI. Steve Bathiche, who heads up our Applied Sciences Group, shows us Surface 2.0, and Andy Wilson of Microsoft Research shows us a project called LightSpace. Curtis Wong shows us the integration of Worldwide Telescope with Kinect, and introduces the notion that context – what we’re doing, or have done, or where we are located – will all play a part in the emergence of natural user interfaces.
Today, we are pleased to announce that all closing conditions for Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer have been met, and the deal is completed.
We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome the Yammer team to the Microsoft Office Division.
The following is a post from Richard Domigues Boscovich, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit.
As reported by Reuters earlier today, the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, in collaboration with Symantec, has taken down the dangerous Bamital botnet which hijacked people’s search results and took them to potentially dangerous websites that could install malware onto their computer, steal their personal information, or fraudulently charge businesses for online advertisement clicks. Microsoft and Symantec’s research shows that in the last two years, more than eight million computers have been attacked by Bamital, and that the botnet’s search hijacking and click fraud schemes affected many major search engines and browsers, including those offered by Microsoft, Yahoo and Google. Because this threat exploited the search and online advertising platform to harm innocent people, Microsoft and Symantec chose to take action against the Bamital botnet to help protect people and advance cloud security for everyone.
Microsoft and Symantec are proactively informing people that their computers are infected with Bamital through the use of an official webpage that offers victims an easy to use method to remove the infection.
While the Bamital botnet defrauded the entire online advertising platform, which is what allows the Internet and many online services to be free, what’s most concerning is that these cybercriminals made people go to sites that they never intended to go and took control of the computer away from its owner.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got the lowdown on the new and more powerful SkyDrive, memory usage in Windows 8, what’s next for Windows Intune and a few bits and pieces for Windows Phone developers.
Available now: A more powerful SkyDrive. Over the last year we’ve been hard at work building SkyDrive alongside Windows 8, setting out a unique approach to designing personal cloud storage for billions of people by bringing together the best aspects of file, app, and device clouds. Now, we’re excited to take another big step towards our vision by making SkyDrive far more powerful. There are new storage options, apps that connect your devices to SkyDrive, and a more powerful device cloud that lets you “fetch” any file from a Windows PC. Taken together with access from popular mobile phones and a browser, you can now take your SkyDrive with you anywhere, connect it to any app that works with files and folders, and get all the storage you need—making SkyDrive the most powerful personal cloud storage service available. Read this Monday post on Building Windows 8 to get the rest of the story. Below is a screenshot of SkyDrive across a multitude of devices.
The following is a post by Jared Spataro, senior director, Office Division, on the growing role social media is playing in business and how Yammer, SharePoint and Office 365 are coming together to offer a powerful, secure and integrated approach to social collaboration for businesses large and small.
This week we're hosting the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, and one of the key themes is social. While we had more than ten thousand people attend the keynote, I wanted to take the opportunity to share my thoughts on social for those who didn't have a chance to join us in person.
Social has clearly rewired the way we communicate in our personal lives, and there are folks out there claiming that it will do the same for business. I've come to believe that it will have a profound impact on the way people get things done at work.
To understand why, consider the basic premise of the technology: open conversations and personal connections. In a world where the pace of innovation has increased dramatically over the last few decades, the name of the game is agility.
Xbox 360 continued to hold the number one spot in the U.S., selling more units in March than any other console. It was the Xbox 360’s fifteenth consecutive month as the best-selling console in the U.S. Below is a screenshot from "Mass Effect 3", one of the top-selling games in March.
It’s that time again – time for a little Weekend Reading. You know what to do…
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Halo 4 soundtrack. Are you salivating over the prospect for any shred of information, no matter how minute, about Halo 4? Then check out this Thursday post on Next at Microsoft featuring two videos that give you a behind-the-scenes look at the soundtrack and the people making it happen. That’s one of the videos below, just to give you a little taste. Also, don’t miss this Thursday Next at Microsoft post about how Kinect for Windows is helping girls dress like Barbie. Finally, check out this Thursday post on The Official Microsoft Blog about the Xbox 360 maintaining its position as the top console in the U.S.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on when Windows 8 will be available, Microsoft welcoming Yammer into the Office Division, four great Windows Phone apps for the London Olympics and more.
Windows 8 will be available on Oct. 26. Earlier this week, Windows and Windows Live Division President Steven Sinofsky announced at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting that customers will be able to get Windows 8 – whether in upgrade fashion or on a new PC – starting on Oct. 26. You can find out more over on Blogging Windows.
Microsoft by the numbers. From Windows to Xbox, Microsoft’s products and services boast some impressive numbers. But the company’s impact extends beyond sales figures into areas from providing a great place for employees to work to reducing auto traffic on local roads. Check out this collection of visual statistics about Microsoft products and services over on the Microsoft News Center to see the entire slideshow. Below is one of the slides, which shows there were more than 1 million downloads of Windows 8 Consumer Preview in the first 24 of its release.