Microsoft News Center
In this edition of The Midweek Download, Windows Azure Active Directory authentication service hits BIG milestone, how Microsoft technologies help Jeep Wranglers coming off the line, and Windows Phone developer tools keep rolling in.
Windows Azure Active Directory processes 200 billion authentications connecting people, data and devices around the globe. At Microsoft, we have been on a transformative journey to cloud computing and we have been working with customers every step of the way. Millions of customers have embraced the cloud and we are excited to share the news that we’ve reached a major milestone in cloud scale computing. Since the inception of the authentication service on the Windows Azure platform in 2010, we have now processed 200 BILLION authentications for 50 MILLION active user accounts. If that number sounds big, you’re right. Check out the blog post where Windows Azure General Manager Bill Hilf breaks down the remarkable numbers going through Windows Azure Active Directory around the clock, around the globe.
The following is a post by Mike Nichols, Corporate Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Bing.
That Holiday Feeling
Even after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you might walk the halls around your office at lunchtime and still find a lot of your colleagues shopping online for the holidays.
And they’ll be in good company. This year, according to shop.org, online sales will jump 12 percent over last year to US$96 billion dollars this holiday season. Because nearly half of all that online shopping will start from search engines, we wanted all consumers to understand exactly what happens when they use search to find those deals.
Specifically, we want to alert you to what Google has done with their shopping site right in time for Christmas. Instead of showing you the most relevant shopping search results for the latest coffee maker you’re looking to buy mom, Google Shopping now decides what to show you – and how prominently to display what product offers they show -- based partially on how much the merchant selling the product has paid them.
Today is Giving Tuesday, a national initiative to give back during the holiday season. Microsoft is a founding partner of this day of giving, and today only, we’ll match any donation 1:1 on Give for Youth, a micro-giving site that makes it possible to fund and follow the dreams of young people around the world, up to a total of $100,000.
In other news, the Bing team has released its always-entertaining look back at the year’s top searches. This year was filled with profound moments and moving stories, such as the Summer Games, the presidential election and Hurricane Sandy, among many others. From rising stars and newborn babies to celebrity scandals and natural disasters, explore the Bing top searches and reminisce about the biggest moments in 2012.
Windows Phone enthusiasts will be excited to find that the Bing Translator app is now available on Windows Phone 8.
Two stories out of Microsoft today:
First: Are olives drenched in hot sauce the breakfast of champions? They are if you’re gaming champ Alex Hebert-Ruiz, a onetime top-10 ranked Halo player and one of the world’s most gifted gamers. Alex now works at Microsoft, where she advocates for Xbox LIVE Arcade games when she's not playing Halo 4. Read this Microsoft News Center profile of Alex to learn more about how her infectious enthusiasm for games and game culture carried her to her latest adventure at Microsoft. That's Alex to the left.
Also, Microsoft has announced the first major update to Visual Studio 2012. The upgrade delivers improved Windows and SharePoint application development, agile team support and continuous quality enablement, all designed to help developers jumpstart productivity and drive down risk.
It’s that time of year again, and Microsoft’s got you covered in the gifts department!
Get a head start on shopping this holiday season with some of the coolest tech around. For a limited time beginning 12 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 22, Microsoft retail stores and the online store are offering great deals on hot products. Whether you’re looking for a new Touch cover for your Surface, a new Xbox 360 console, games or productivity software, you’ll find a great deal for a loved one – or yourself. Check out all the deals and get further details. Or find a Microsoft store near you.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on customers who are setting their businesses apart from the rest using Windows 8 and Windows 8 apps, some great Windows Phone developer tips, and Windows Azure SQL Database being named an Enterprise Cloud Database Leader by Forrester Research.
European customers embrace Windows 8. During the past year we’ve been talking about what Windows 8 means for businesses. Now that Windows 8 is officially available across the globe, so many of our customers are seeing first-hand how Windows 8 can benefit their organizations. Last Wednesday, Windows Commercial Senior Director of Business Planning Erwin Visser reported from Europe where he heard from several businesses using Windows 8. In this Nov. 13 Windows for your Business post, Erwin highlights a few favorite Windows 8 business adoption stories from Europe. And don’t miss Erwin’s post from Dubai from Monday, featuring Emirates airline.
Windows Azure SQL Database named an Enterprise Cloud Database Leader by Forrester Research. In the latest in a series of Windows Azure good news, Forrester Research Inc. has positioned Microsoft as a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Cloud Databases, Q4 2012. In the report posted here, Microsoft received the highest scores of any vendor in Current Offering and Market Presence.
One big story out of Microsoft today:
Dr. Jeannette Wing will join Microsoft Research as vice president, head of Microsoft Research International, reporting to Chief Research Officer Rick Rashid. Wing is a leading figure in computer science research, particularly in formal methods, security and privacy. She has held key positions in both academia and government, most recently at Carnegie Mellon University and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Two stories for you today out of Microsoft:
First, Emirates, one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world, announced today at the Windows 8 launch event in Dubai the development of a line-of-business application for Windows 8 called Knowledge Driven Inflight Service (KIS). An in-flight communication and customer relationship management device first introduced by Emirates for its pursers in 2004, the KIS application will now run on the soon-to-be-launched HP ElitePad 900 business tablets and will enable Emirates to continue to deliver extraordinary customer service and experiences. You can also read more about the news over on the Windows for Your Business Blog.
Also, Microsoft is excited to announce its research and development of the first zero carbon data center - called the Data Plant - that will be completely independent of the grid and will recycle common waste bi-products to sustainably power cloud services.
Also, we’re back again today with another of our favorite ways to experience Bing on Windows 8: The Sports App. The Sports app is your sports companion.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, Microsoft releases its interactive Holiday Look Book, where to get your hands on a Windows Phone 8 device now, plus Jessica Alba and Gwen Stefani share their Windows Phone 8 Start screen.
The Microsoft 2012 Holiday Look Book. Kick off your holiday shopping with the 2012 Holiday Look Book, a shareable, shoppable, touch-enabled gift guide, featuring a collection of top products from Microsoft and its partners. Inspiration for each of the scenes within the Look Book came from conversations with product designers themselves, giving you a never before seen view of the hottest tech products of the season. See exclusive images of Halo 4, the Nokia Lumia 920, the Wedge Touch Mouse and more in the 2012 Holiday Lookbook.
It’s a busy, busy day here at Microsoft!
First, today we mark the tenth anniversary of the launch of Xbox LIVE, defined at the time as "the first comprehensive, online game arena fully dedicated to fast-action broadband gaming experiences." Since then Xbox LIVE has evolved to become Microsoft’s premier entertainment service for the TV, phone, PC and tablet. Initially available to U.S. and Canadian Xbox players, the service is now available in 41 countries and territories around the world. The 10-year journey has been long, but Xbox continually updated Xbox LIVE to add new gaming and entertainment experiences and services to the console for its members. Below, at the Xbox 360: Zero Hour launch event in November 2005, thousands of gamers from around the world witnessed the dawning of the next generation of gaming. Xbox LIVE membership would grow from about 2 million to today's 40 million members.
Big news on the Windows Phone front today.
The Windows Phone Blog is reporting that HTC’s Windows Phone 8X and the Nokia Lumia 810 are now available to T-Mobile USA customers. Head on over to the blog to find out more. That's HTC's Windows Phone 8X to the right.
Also, the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), in coordination with Microsoft, today released the results of a new survey of health and human services departments and agencies nationwide.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on how Office, SharePoint and Yammer will transform the way we work, Internet Explorer 10 bringing HTML5 to Windows Phone 8, and how this year’s Imagine Cup winner has won again.
Putting social to work. This week in Las Vegas, Microsoft hosts the SharePoint Conference and Jared Spataro, senior director of the Office Division, helped kick off the event with a guest post on The Official Microsoft Blog. Jared writes about 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. You can find more SharePoint news over on the Microsoft News Center.
The new SharePoint bets big on social, mobile, cloud. SharePoint news continues on the Office News blog, which announced that collaboration and social technologies are fundamentally changing the way people and teams work, and as we celebrate this pivotal release of SharePoint, we are humbled to announce that the product has reached more than US$2 billion in annual revenue.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer last week took Microsoft's wave of new products on the road, visiting Europe and Israel. In speeches to students in Moscow, tech start-ups in Israel, customers in London, developers in Berlin, and partners in Paris, Ballmer highlighted how Microsoft delivers highly personalized experiences on Windows 8 devices and Windows Phone 8. Below, Ballmer joined Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop on stage to launch Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 in Moscow.
Windows 8 is "the best version of Windows ever built," Ballmer said.
The following is a post from Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications, highlighting some of Microsoft’s recent cloud customer wins with Office 365.
We’ve been kind of busy lately. With all of our recent news around Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Microsoft Surface, Xbox LIVE and Halo 4, several big-time customer wins for Office 365 may have flown under your radar.
Today’s news that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will deploy Office 365 for Government with Hewlett-Packard to 15,000 of its employees (expanding later to up to 600,000 employees agencywide) is just the latest evidence that our cloud-based productivity offering has gained significant traction. If you don’t believe me, you can read more about some of the gains we’ve made against the competition here. :)
The deployment of Office 365 by the Department of Veterans Affairs is merely the latest chapter in Microsoft’s burgeoning cloud services story. In early August, luxury audio and video systems maker Bang & Olufsen adopted Microsoft Office 365 to unify its e-mail, calendaring, collaboration and communication. Later that month, the County of Santa Clara, Calif. did the same for 15,000 employees.
Two weeks ago, we announced that we were working hard on Skype for Windows Phone 8. Just like our bold new experience for Windows 8, the new Skype for Windows Phone will be fast, modern, and beautiful, while still delivering the best of what you've come to expect from Skype.
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.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on apps – find ‘em, get ‘em, build ‘em – including new favorites for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, plus a peek behind the scenes of a Microsoft Store opening.
AT&T sales begin today, Verizon Wireless taking preorders now. Great news for AT&T and Verizon Wireless subscribers: AT&T announced that the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 devices would be available starting today, and Verizon announced yesterday that it is taking preorders for the Windows Phone 8X by HTC and the Nokia Lumia 822 starting today at 1 a.m. EST. That was a few hours ago, so go here to snag your shiny new Windows Phone. For details and links, head over to the Windows Phone Blog.
May the birds be with you: Angry Birds Star Wars is now in the Store. First Cut the Rope, then Angry Birds Space released for Windows Phone 8. Now Rovio’s highly-anticipated mash up between pigs and Princess Leia, has launched worldwide—including for Windows Phone 8. Angry Birds Star Wars, which costs 99 cents in the Store and requires Windows Phone 8, reimagines Angry Birds characters as the Star Wars cast, with a storyline straight from the beloved space opera—from the deserts of Tatooine to the depths of the Pig Star. Your task: Dodge Imperial Pigtroopers, laser turrets, sand people, and the dark side the Force on the way to the ultimate showdown against Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Pigs. Check out the fun trailer below that Rovio created for a taste, and see what else is in store at the Windows Phone Blog.
In October, Xbox 360 maintained its lead in the U.S. console market – marking the 22nd consecutive month as the top-selling console.
October 2012 U.S. NPD highlights include:
· Xbox 360 sold 270,000 units in October, more units than any other console, and held 56 percent share of current-generation console sales in the U.S. This marks the 20th consecutive month that Xbox 360 has held more than a 40 percent share of current-generation console sales in the U.S.
· Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in October (hardware, software and accessories) reached $315 million. Consumers spent more on Xbox 360 products in October than they spent on the other two current-generation consoles combined.
Skype today launched to the public Skype in the workspace (SITW), a new online platform for small businesses to instantly connect with potential customers, partners and suppliers across the globe. The free-to-use tool makes use of the huge network already offered by Skype, allowing millions of small businesses to promote their products and services to new networks and connections. You can read more about it over on The Big Blog.
Here in the States, we just wrapped up the elections. It’s an exciting time where you’re reminded of what a great thing it is to be part of a process and have a voice in your government. The time leading up to the elections is always very busy, with a flurry of activity from the candidates as they try to seal the deal.
It’s been a busy fall here at Microsoft too. We’ve just finished up several big events and announcements launching a series of major products and services over the past several weeks.
It started with a busy September with the launch of Windows Server 2012 and the release of Visual Studio 2012. Then, over the next several weeks, an impressive lineup of beautiful new Windows Phone 8 devices were announced by our partners at Samsung, Nokia and HTC.
In early October, we kicked things into high gear with the unveiling of Xbox Music and an updated Xbox LIVE service. Over the last two weeks, we announced Skype for Windows 8, and launched Windows 8, Surface and Windows Phone 8. On Tuesday, we launched the fourth installment of the blockbuster Halo franchise. And looking ahead a bit, we’re not too far away from the launch of the new Office, which we unveiled over the summer.
Three stories out of Microsoft today:
Microsoft announced today a US$100 million investment in a series of research, development and entrepreneurial initiatives in Brazil, to be hosted in the Barão de Mauá building, a historic heritage site of the city of Rio. Microsoft’s investment is closely aligned to the Brazilian federal information technology plan, TI Maior, put forward by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, which seeks to promote national development and a generation of new opportunities for the country in the area of IT.
Also, Last week, Bing kicked off our series of posts highlighting 8 ways you can search on Windows 8. Today, we’re back with an app that is sure to become an indispensable part of your day: The Weather App powered by Bing.
The following is a blog post by Ted Kummert, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Business Platform Division. Mr. Kummert is keynoting at this week’s PASS Summit 2012, where he’s announcing new capabilities for Microsoft’s data platform that help businesses accelerate their time to insights with any type of data.
This is an exciting time in the world of data. Big data is growing. The cost to store and process data is rapidly dropping. The scale and economics of cloud computing is enabling broader access to incredible levels of computing power for large and small organizations. Combined, these trends underscore the importance and need to find the value in data.
This week, more than 4,000 IT professionals, database administrators and business intelligence specialists are gathered at the PASS Summit in Seattle where I will share Microsoft’s vision for the modern data platform, showcasing new investments with in-memory computing, big data and business intelligence to accelerate insights with any data in this new world of data.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on the engineering team behind “Halo 4”, Windows 8 apps as a business tool and Windows Phone 8 developer news and highlights from Build 2012.
Meet the ‘Halo 4’ Engineers Delivering ‘30 Seconds of Fun’. Doubtless by now, you’ve heard we launched “Halo 4” on Tuesday. But if you’re curious about how the blockbuster game was actually created, you should head on over to the Microsoft News Center and read this Q&A with the engineering team at 343 Industries, the new internal game studio at Microsoft helming the franchise.
Businesses find new opportunities with Windows 8 Apps. On the heels of the official general availability of Windows 8, the Windows for your Business blog shared a few stories from businesses that are leveraging the Windows 8 platform to develop apps to improve employee and customer experiences. Take a look at this press release on the Microsoft News Center on Monday, as well as a complementary blog post that highlights new line of business apps developed by our ISV partners. Get the rest of the story over on the Windows for your Business blog.
Two big stories for you today – “Halo 4” is here and an announcement from Skype:
The Master Chief is back. Poised to become the biggest entertainment launch of the year so far, “Halo 4” is the first chapter of a brand-new saga in the genre-defining, US$3 billion franchise that has shaped entertainment history and sold a staggering 46 million games worldwide. Below, the Master Chief joins fans by Tower Bridge in London on Nov. 5 for the spectacular flight of the “Halo 4” Glyph to celebrate the blockbuster video game’s launch on Xbox 360.