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This week, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) branch of India’s Ministry of Human Resources and Development made a big bet on delivering a brighter future for not only India’s up-and-comers, but for the future of India itself. Recognizing that an educated population is one natural resource that increases in value as it increases in size, AICTE announced the deployment of Microsoft Live@Edu to more than 10,000 technical colleges and institutes throughout India.
Now more than ever, governments all over the world face increasingly tough decisions on how, when and where to invest for ensuring economic stability and spearheading growth. India, in particular, continues to push the envelope on innovation with its current strategy to invest heavily in education.
Well, it’s been a bit of a busy week here at Microsoft, and it’s only Wednesday! This edition of The Midweek Download has stories on the newly revealed family of Surface tablets, Windows 8 Metro app news for developers and a few customer wins for Office 365 (the Danish Red Cross) and Microsoft Dynamics AX (Aston Martin.)
Introducing Surface - a new family of Windows PCs. On Monday at an event in Hollywood, Microsoft unveiled Surface: PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows. Company executives showed two Windows tablets and accessories that feature significant advances in industrial design and attention to detail. Surface is designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise. It delivers the power of amazing software with Windows and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center for all the details. VentureBeat and Slate, among others, covered the news. Below is a screenshot of a Surface tablet.
Innovation runs through everything we do at Microsoft. That’s why I’m delighted to announce the 2012 winners of Microsoft Next. When I launched this global competition last year, I wanted it to demonstrate the impact that innovative people throughout the company are having on our customers and partners. Our goal was to provide our employees with a platform for sharing their work, and the chance for great ideas to be celebrated.
The rapid growth of data volume presents a real opportunity. It’s also a challenge that most organizations are either wrestling with now, or soon will be. As the cost of storing data continues to fall and cloud-hosted storage is increasingly adopted, more IT organizations are transitioning to a “save everything” or ”save more” approach. Accordingly, the question of what to do with all this “big data” comes up frequently in IT conversations.
However, big data by itself glosses over the real story. While most industry talk today focuses on the mechanics of data collection and storage, the opportunity lies in deriving actionable insights from the data you have. Data is an incredibly valuable asset whose value grows and grows as you’re able to gain insight from it.
Xbox 360 continued its lead over competing video-game consoles in August and has now sold more units in the U.S. than any other console for 14 of the past 15 months.
August 2011 highlights from the NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks the video-game industry, include:
· Holding 43 percent share of the overall current-generation console market, Xbox 360 sold 308,000 units in August, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S. for 2011. This marks the sixth month Xbox 360 has had more than 40 percent of the current-generation console market share.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the one-year anniversary of the launch of Office 365, a sneak peek at the Windows Phone 7.8 Start Screen and details on Xbox 360’s presence at the 42nd annual Comic-Con in San Diego.
Microsoft Office 365: A big year in review. One year ago in New York City, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled Office 365. Ballmer predicted that Office 365 would give businesses an edge, and that has been true for companies all over the globe. “Office 365 is a hit with big and small companies alike,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Office Division. “I’m delighted to welcome Lowe’s, Burger King, Japan Airlines and others that have chosen Office 365.” To read more about the one-year anniversary of Office 365, check out this feature story and this press release over on the Microsoft News Center.
Xbox 360 continues to hold the number one spot in the U.S., selling more units than any other console for 14 consecutive months. Sustained consumer demand for Xbox 360 and Kinect have helped maintain its top position, even in the seventh year on the market.
Below is a screenshot of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 bundle. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was one of the top 10 console games last month.
It’s been a momentous year for the Microsoft retail stores. We opened 51 new Full-line and Specialty stores, including our first international stores in Edmonton, Burnaby, Vancouver and Toronto, Canada in just the last year.
Before I dive into what lies ahead, I wanted to reflect on 2012. We know our customers’ shopping needs greatly differ, whether it’s a teen who wants the hottest video game or a parent who wants to ensure their family is safe online. Our store associates work hard to personalize every customer’s experience in making recommendations, and helping with PC setups and other services, allowing customers to walk out the door with a product that’s ready to run. We know our store associates are making an impact when our customers continually express appreciation for how our stores offer the opportunity to interact with Microsoft products that improve the way they live, work and play.
We have always said that we will adjust our strategy, and open additional stores to deliver the choice, value and service our Microsoft customers have come to expect.
Can’t get enough music from the Grunge Era? Is Motown more your style? Or maybe you want to close your eyes, sit back on the couch with a glass of wine and enjoy a little smooth jazz.
Whatever your musical tastes, the Pandora for Windows Phone app has you covered. It’s a music lover’s dream and the Microsoft News Center’s latest App of the Week.
Search for the name of one of your favorite artists, songs or classical composers and Pandora will create a custom "station" that plays similar music. You’ll hear many of your favorite tunes and discover previously undiscovered selections by artists that may be new to you.
A little over three months ago, I wrote here about how Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, along with its financial industry partners and Kyrus Tech, took action to disrupt the dangerous Zeus botnets, known for fueling half a billion dollars in online fraud and identity theft. We are pleased to announce that we have identified and named two defendants as members behind the Zeus botnet family, and that we will also be referring the case to the FBI for criminal review, turning over all of the evidence gathered so far, including evidence of a broader group of perpetrators beyond the named defendants.
In an amended complaint, filed last week, Microsoft named Yevhen Kulibaba and Yuriy Konovalenko as defendants. Microsoft has learned that these particular defendants were already serving jail time in the United Kingdom for other Zeus malware related charges.
This edition of Weekend Reading is a sci-fi fan’s dream. We’ve got stories on the upcoming “Kinect Star Wars” game, a really cool Microsoft Technology Center project called NUIverse and a humorous look at the burgeoning popularity of Internet Explorer 9. Don’t miss ‘em!
“I find your lack of faith disturbing…” If this commercial for the April 3 release of “Kinect Star Wars” doesn’t get you pumped up to learn The Ways of the Force, nothing will. And don’t mess with this kid. She’s fierce. Oh, and Clint Howard is hilarious.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got two behind-the-scenes stories of developers from the Windows Phone team, a story from Next at Microsoft on the blending of the physical and digital worlds and more.
Meet the team making Windows Phone faster. New models of Windows Phone will be equipped with LTE (long-term evolution) capabilities, thanks to a small team of engineers at Microsoft. The Windows Phone Customer Experience Engineering (CXE) team recently finished a project that makes Windows Phones on the AT&T network, such as the new Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II phones announced last week, LTE-capable. For more detail, check out this feature story on the Microsoft News Center. Below is a photo of Kathy Davis, one of the CXE team members.
Xbox 360 is on a serious roll.
Today, Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 continued its reign over its competitors in September and has now sold more units in the U.S. than any other console for 15 of the past 16 months. The popular digital entertainment system is now poised to finish 2011 as the best-selling console. The news follows closely on the heels of our announcement last week that nearly 40 world-leading TV and entertainment providers, including Bravo, Comcast, HBO, Syfy, Verizon FiOS in the U.S., BBC in the UK, Rogers in Canada, Telefónica in Spain and Televisa in Mexico and many others, will begin providing live TV and video-on-demand experiences via Xbox 360 this holiday season.
The massively popular Kinect system also continues to gain momentum. By this holiday season, the Kinect’s portfolio of games will grow to 75 titles – four times larger than last holiday season.
Halfway through 2011, Xbox 360 maintained its lead in the U.S. console market, selling more units in the U.S. than any other console for 12 of the past 13 months.
Even while console and software sales across the industry have slowed, Xbox 360 continues to grow and remains on track to have the biggest year in Xbox history. The console is in the sixth year of its lifecycle.
According to The NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks the digital entertainment market, June Xbox highlights include:
· Holding 48 percent share of the overall current-generation console market share, Xbox 360 sold 507,000 units in June, selling nearly twice as many units as other current-generation platforms and maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S. for 2011.
Since successfully taking down the Rustock botnet on March 16th, Microsoft has continued to analyze the threat, investigate leads on the operations and owners of the botnet and work with Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) worldwide to help the legitimate owners of Rustock-infected computers to clean their computers of malware. Today, the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU), the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) and Trustworthy Computing released a new Special Edition Security Intelligence Report (SIR) entitled “Battling the Rustock Threat.”
This report provides new data on the Rustock botnet and the impact of the malware on computers around the world. In addition to the report, we have released updated data on computer infection reductions we’ve seen since the takedown and a video which captures infected Internet Protocols (IPs) from all around the world attempting to check into the Waledac and Rustock botnets as recently as two weeks ago.
This edition of The Midweek Download has stories on power consumption in Windows 8, a new version of Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone devs, the expansion of the Windows Phone Marketplace to five new markets and much more.
Here’s the latest from Building Windows 8. “Minimizing the power consumption of your PC while maximizing the responsiveness and utility (making it “fast and fluid”), is a significant engineering challenge. While it starts with the work we do in Windows to provide support for the right level resource usage, this work requires developers to take resource utilization into account as they develop their apps. Power efficiency applies to all form factors and all usage scenarios—using less power is the right thing to do for everyone,” writes Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division. Read this Tuesday post on Building Windows 8 for the rest of the story.
Developers, lace up your cleats. A few weeks back, this blog reported on Visual Studio Achievements, which gives developers who use Microsoft Visual Studio a new way to highlight their skills, get recognition for the amazing work they do every day, and add some competitive fun to the development day. Looks like the Windows Phone team has followed suit with Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone.
Microsoft is just chock full of news this week: the just-announced deal with Nokia, Bing’s grabbing up market share and the release of Microsoft’s new Web browser, Internet Explorer 9.
Dig in and enjoy!
Microsoft and Nokia…So happy together. Just in case you missed it, Microsoft and Finnish cell phone maker Nokia announced plans for a broad strategic partnership that has Nokia adopting the Windows Phone operating system as its primary mobile platform. A joint letter from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop goes into the deal in more detail. As part of the agreement, Bing will power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices.
Bing jumps 6 percent. Seattle Times tech reporter Brier Dudley reported in a Feb. 8th blog post that Bing’s share of the U.S. search market rose by 6 percent to 27.44 percent in January while Google fell by 2 percent during the same period. The search market share data came from Experian Hitwise, a global data analytics company. And in this Feb. 10th blog post, ZDNet writer Robin Harris tells us why he switched from Google to Bing.
The IT industry is undergoing a major transformation as cloud computing grows in popularity, and it’s not just in the U.S., it’s worldwide. On the heels of TechEd North America, thousands of IT professionals and developers are gathering in Amsterdam this week – at Microsoft’s full capacity TechEd Europe event - to hear first-hand what the new era of the cloud operating system (OS) is all about. From my keynote to the hundreds of deep technical sessions, attendees will learn about the transformative changes brought about with the cloud and how it can bring new and more efficient opportunities for their business.
Fireworks are a form of global joy. Around the world, at times of great celebration, civilizations have found ways to launch stars into the sky, to create near the earth what we usually can only see from a distance at night. I’ve watched fireworks all over the United States (as recently as Monday of this week!) and in Paris for Bastille Day a few years ago. It’s no wonder that when someone does something spectacular, we call him or her a “star.”
Later this week, I’ll be in New York City, where on Broadway, stars are born. It’s the culmination of our year-long showcase of the brightest young minds, the kickoff of the worldwide finals of the Imagine Cup, an event that brings together teams of students from around the world who utilize Microsoft technology to address some of the world’s toughest challenges.
The Imagine Cup is now in its ninth year, and has become one of the pre-eminent youth technology competitions in the world. Last year, about 325,000 students from more than 100 countries participated. This year, about 352,000 young people from around the globe signed up to compete.
Just over a year ago, we announced that the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU), in cooperation with industry and academic experts, had successfully taken down the botnet Waledac in an operation known as “Operation b49”. Today, I’m happy to announce that based on the knowledge gained in that effort, we have successfully taken down a larger, more notorious and complex botnet known as Rustock. This botnet is estimated to have approximately a million infected computers operating under its control and has been known to be capable of sending billions of spam mails every day, including fake U.S. lottery scams and offers for fake – and potentially dangerous – prescription drugs.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about important Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 milestones, a new hardware partnership between Skype and Logitech and more.
Windows 8 released to manufacturers. Wednesday marked an important milestone in the Windows 8 project. The Windows 8 team is proud to share with you that a short while ago we started releasing Windows 8 to PC OEM and manufacturing partners. This means our next milestone will be the availability of exciting new models of PCs loaded with Windows 8 and online availability of Windows 8 on Oct. 26. You can read more about it on Building Windows 8 and Blogging Windows. Also, don’t miss this blog post on what Windows 8 RTM means for your business or this post on the RTM Windows Store now being open for paid apps and company accounts. To the left is a screenshot of the upcoming Microsoft Surface running a version of Windows 8.
With easier access to funding, technology and mentorship, the barrier to launching a startup has never been lower. However, creating a successful company and breaking through the noise has grown infinitely harder. Last Wednesday, Microsoft hosted the Churchill Club, Silicon Valley’s premier business and technology forum, for a discussion about the current startup environment.