Microsoft News Center
The following post is from Lori Forte Harnick, General Manager, Citizenship & Public Affairs, Microsoft
Microsoft’s corporate mission is to help businesses and people around the world realize their full potential. On Monday, we released the 2013 Citizenship Report, which describes our citizenship work in support of our company’s mission during the last fiscal year and shares our vision for what’s to come.
Together with our annual financial report, which was also released Monday, it provides a full accounting of our fiscal and citizenship priorities and performance.
Here are a few highlights:
· Fiscal year 2013 was a significant one for Microsoft Citizenship, as we focused our philanthropic work on providing education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to youth around the world. Our goal is to reach 300 million youth, over three years, through the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative. In our first year, the initiative created opportunities for more than 103 million youth to imagine and build a better future for themselves and their communities.
· Microsoft donates an average $2 million a day in software donations to nonprofits around the world, making it easier for them to do more good in their communities.
The following post is from Orlando Ayala, chairman of emerging markets at Microsoft.
It is widely known that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in the vitality of local economies around the globe. I was recently reminded just how important SMEs are as growth engines of our economies.
Microsoft commissioned The Boston Consulting Group to conduct an independent study, which surveyed more than 4,000 SMEs in five of the world's largest and most diverse economies: the United States, Germany, China, India and Brazil. The objective was to look at the economic impact of IT on small businesses today.
The study found that tech-savvy SMEs outperformed SMEs using little technology in innovation, job growth and increased revenues over the last three years. SME leaders using technology have grown their businesses and reduced costs, and one important factor seems to be increased worker productivity. According to BCG, if 15 percent of those SMEs that use little technology and 30 percent of SMEs who use moderate amounts of technology adopted the latest IT tools, they could boost their combined revenues by $770 billion and create more than 6 million new jobs in just those five markets combined. Who can afford to leave $770 billion on the table?
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on customers such as Delta, which is giving 11,000 of its pilots Surface 2 tablets; an innovative collaboration between Xbox One and Microsoft Research; and Windows Azure cloud services achieving a critical federal security milestone.
Monday’s announcement that Delta is equipping 11,000 pilots with Surface 2 is just one of several companies in fields from banking to sales to education turning to Microsoft’s tablets. The Delta pilots will find a much lighter load with the Surface 2 electronic flight bag devices, which will be filled with thousands of pages of easily accessible electronic documents, charts, navigational aids, checklists and other key reference materials previously kept in heavy flight bags. Other businesses and organizations that have chosen Surface tablets include Hokkoku Bank, The London School of Business & Finance and Novartis. In a blog post on Wednesday, Surface General Manager Brian Hall reported the pre-order stock of several Surface 2 products are selling out – or close to it.
A Silicon Valley-based hardware team collaborated with Microsoft Research to overcome technological hurdles with the new time-of-flight sensing camera in Xbox One.
Cyrus Bamji had encountered a challenge. Luckily for him, Microsoft Research had just the solution.
Bamji, Microsoft partner hardware architect for Microsoft’s Silicon Valley-based Architecture and Silicon Management group, and members of his team were trying to incorporate a time-of-flight camera into Xbox One, the successor to the wildly popular Xbox 360.
A time-of-flight camera emits light signals and then measures how long it takes them to return. That needs to be accurate to 1/10,000,000,000 of a second—remember, we’re talking the speed of light here. With such measurements, the camera is able to differentiate light reflecting from objects in a room and the surrounding environment. That provides an accurate depth estimation that enables the shape of those objects to be computed.
The following is a guest post from Mike Wysocki, director, Delta Flight Operations Technical and Operational Support.
On Monday, Delta announced its partnership with Microsoft to equip each of our more than 11,000 pilots with Surface 2 electronic flight bag devices operating on Windows RT 8.1. The innovative handheld tablet puts in the hands of our talented group of aviators the right tools to do their job and do it well as they fly more than 160 million passengers safely every year.
Stored on the Surface 2 will be thousands of pages of easily accessible electronic documents, charts, navigational aids, checklists and other key reference materials previously kept in heavy flight bags. Once rolled out to the entire fleet, Delta will see an immediate fuel and cost savings as the cumbersome and heavy paper documents are removed from onboard our aircraft. In fact, the airline expects to eliminate the use of 7.5 million sheets of paper annually while reducing carbon emissions by 26 million pounds on 1.2 million fewer gallons of fuel.
The following is a post from Susie Adams, chief technology officer for Microsoft Federal.
Starting Monday, it will be easier for government organizations to realize the benefits of secure cloud computing.
Microsoft received notice that Windows Azure was granted the FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board (JAB) Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO). Windows Azure is the first public cloud platform, with infrastructure services and platform services, to receive a JAB P-ATO
The Federal government is moving to the cloud, and early on it recognized that, although each agency by law must still authorize and approve the mandated security controls, a streamlined process would be ideal so that individual agencies would know which cloud vendors and services had already been vetted by a central “board” of key agencies. This is what the JAB is. The FedRAMP JAB is comprised of representatives from the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the debut of the next-generation Surface tablets, a major development for Lync 2013 and the Department of Defense and new social networking and business intelligence tools.
The week started off with a first look at the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. You can hear new details about the making of the Surface 2 in this interview with Panos Panay, corporate vice president of Surface. And in this episode of “On the Whiteboard” you can check out some of the new devices’ highlights. Pre-orders began Tuesday morning via www.MicrosoftStore.com, Microsoft Stores and select retailers in several countries. Skype and SkyDrive are also providing Wi-Fi and storage incentives that will help you make the most out of the new Surfaces. You can go to the Microsoft Surface Newsroom to find out everything you want to know about the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.
Earlier this month, Lync 2013 added a new accreditation to the fold by achieving JITC certification for Voice, Video, and Instant Message & Presence (IM&P) at the Joint Interoperability Testing Center in Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this certification, that’s a fancy way of saying it enables Department of Defense (DoD) organizations to connect software, like Microsoft Lync 2013, to the DoD’s information network. Becoming JITC certified is one of the primary ways of validating software’s ability to work and interoperate on the DoD’s Defense Information Switched Network (DISN).
Microsoft Office now puts even more self-serve business intelligence capabilities at your fingertips, thanks to a round of significant updates announced in a Data Platform Insider blog post on Wednesday. The updates beef up the data analysis and visualization features of online service Power BI for Office 365, as well as a couple of key complimentary add-ins for Excel, all of which are currently available in preview versions. Here’s a look at what’s new.
In this episode of “On the Whiteboard,” Editor Pamela Woon is in New York City for the launch of the next generation of Surface devices. She talks to Brian Hall, the general manager of marketing for the Surface team, and gets the inside scoop on the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.
Watch as Microsoft reveals the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2 in New York on Monday. An expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories is also announced.
The Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 and Surface accessories will be available at Microsoft retail stores and select third-party retailers in 22 initial markets, with more announced in the coming months. Pre-orders begin on Tuesday.
On Monday, Microsoft added two new members to the Surface family of tablets – the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2.
Surface 2 (pictured left) and Surface Pro 2 (pictured right) will each have significant updates, including improvements to processing power and battery life, display and camera resolution and the Kickstand, which now has dual angles, so it’s more comfortable for you to use on your lap or at your desk. Enhancements in Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro will make Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 even more powerful and customizable.
Monday marks the 1-year anniversary of the launch of YouthSpark, a global initiative that aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries by 2015.
In its first year, Microsoft created opportunities for 103 million youth. Now, Microsoft is increasing access to computer science education through expansion of TEALS – Technology Education And Literacy in Schools – and providing an enhanced digital literacy and technology skills curriculum through its YouthSpark Hub.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Skype as it celebrates a decade of connecting people and changing lives, a micro-documentary that shows the seamless integration of technology into designs for Fashion Week New York 2013 and a major makeover for Bing.
The inside story of Skype’s first decade has all the elements of an epic tale: Inventive and intrepid founders, wild Estonian parties, brilliant engineering, Tabasco-doused initiations and Silicon Valley intrigue. Skype has grown into a multi-billion-dollar Microsoft asset with 300 million users and has significantly changed the way the world communicates. Skype has become a staple of life's most important milestones – as well as its everyday moments.
If you’ve ever played the ridiculously addictive original “Angry Birds Star Wars” game, this sequel pretty much sells itself. But “Angry Birds Star Wars II” for Windows Phone doubles down on the action by letting you decide if you want to use the Force for good – or take a darker path by joining up with the greedy Pork Federation.
During New York Fashion Week 2013, Microsoft’s technology helped one designer make a bold statement with his latest collection. Veteran designer Cesar Galindo looked to Bing, Windows Phone and Surface to help him realize his vision of “going virtual” in both the presentation and production of an installation at Lincoln Center to showcase his spring 2014 collection, CZAR.
Inventive and intrepid founders, wild Estonian parties, brilliant engineering, Tabasco-doused initiations, Silicon Valley intrigue – it’s all here in the inside story of Skype’s first decade.
Once the little Estonian company that could, Skype has grown into a multi-billion-dollar Microsoft asset and, in a single decade, significantly changed the way the world communicates. This is evident in its 300 million users, yes, but also in the ways those 300 million people are using it.
Skype has become a staple of life's most important milestones, but also its everyday moments. A soldier uses Skype to experience the birth of his child. An explorer speaks to a classroom of children from his laboratory beneath the ocean. A married couple uses Skype to debate paint and carpet samples for a remodel. A pair of young lovers leave Skype running as they fall asleep hundreds of miles apart – but still together.
The Bing team announced a major design refresh on Tuesday, introducing a new logo and combining its semantic and social search options in a single pane to the right of the search box.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on how Microsoft has taken a big step in helping nonprofits harness the power of technology by donating Office 365, the major achievements of the 10-year-old Partners in Learning program and the launch of the Xbox Music service to iOS and Android devices.
Microsoft announced the global availability of Office 365 for Nonprofits through the Technology for Good program on Tuesday. The offer went out to 41 countries, and by July 2014, we’ll roll it out in up to 90 countries. Customers have already experienced the benefits of having access to the cloud and a simpler IT administration structure through Office 365. And better yet, with this donation, there’s no limit on the number of nonprofit employees who can use Office 365 for Nonprofits -- a huge boon to organizations with thousands of staff members.
Xbox 360 maintained its lead in the U.S. console market during August, marking the thirty-second consecutive month it took the number one spot.
According to The NPD Group, a market research firm, Xbox 360 sold 96,000 units, more than any other console in the U.S. during August.
On Wednesday, Tami Reller, executive vice president of marketing at Microsoft, joined Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s PC Client Group, on stage during Skaugen’s keynote at Intel Developer Forum 2013. Reller talked about Windows and the enduring partnership (more than 25 years) between the two companies.
“Customers expect Windows on Intel architecture to provide compatibility and consistency along with personalization, productivity and security – on beautiful, smart, connected devices,” writes Brandon LeBlanc over on Blogging Windows. “And this is even more true with Windows 8.1, which is optimized to power the latest in innovative form factors powered by Intel’s ‘Haswell’ (4th generation Core) processors and ‘Bay Trail’ (Atom) processors that Intel is launching this week at IDF.”
On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a series investments in 15 carbon offset projects in a wide range of countries all over the world.
Here’s a bit of context around these carbon offset investments from Chief Environmental Strategist Rob Bernard: “In 2012, in an effort to further our commitment to reducing Microsoft’s carbon impact, Microsoft pledged to become carbon neutral. To achieve our goal, we have implemented an internal carbon fee which we charge to business groups based on their output of carbon, primarily through electricity and air travel.”
During the fiscal year ended June 30, Microsoft invested in 15 carbon offset projects, including projects in India, Peru, Guatemala, Mongolia, China, Brazil, Kenya, Cambodia, Turkey and the U.S.
On Tuesday, Microsoft took a significant step forward in its mission to help nonprofits harness the power of technology with its announcement of the global availability of Office 365 for Nonprofits through the Technology for Good program.
The following is a post from Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education at Microsoft.
After only a decade, Partners in Learning (PiL) has reached millions of teachers and students, empowering them with technology and resources. The goal in 2003, when the program was first introduced, has not changed dramatically – we set out to provide educators with the resources for teaching 21st century skills and to effectively prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. Our focus is true to Bill Gates’ vision, in that the program continually tackles complex issues with creative problem solving.
The following is a post from John Frank, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft. It was originally published on Microsoft on the Issues.
On Monday, we amended our petition to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). This is an amendment to the motion we filed on June 19.
Since then, working with others in the industry, we’ve been pursuing a variety of options to provide additional transparency about any legal demands we may receive pursuant to U.S. national security authorities. In the context of our FISC litigation, we have spent the last several weeks trying to reach an agreement with the government in an effort to accomplish our ultimate goal more quickly, but, as we highlighted recently, those discussions ended in failure.