Posted by Walter Harp Director of Product Management, Windows Live
Over the past few months, Windows Live has announced several new security features that will provide additional account protection for people on Hotmail, including Single Use Codes, Full Session SSL, SMS-based account recovery, and Trusted Senders – this all in addition to our SmartScreen safety filter, which helps protect people against phishing and malware. You’ll see even more from us in the weeks ahead.
In the last two years, consumer webmail and social networking services across the web have experienced an increase in the incidence of hijacking, which occurs when someone illegally gains access to another person’s account – email, social profile - and then uses that account for malicious activity. In a typical scenario, hackers will hijack large numbers of accounts and then use those accounts to send spam or social invites to the victims’ friends or others on the victims’ contact lists.
As two security experts from Google and Microsoft discussed yesterday on the video embedded in this blog, no consumer email or social networking service is immune to this challenge.
Posted by Pamela PassmanCorporate Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs
I am proud to work for a company like Microsoft that has a long-standing commitment to protecting children. I am especially pleased to be able to share that Microsoft is participating in a new collaborative effort with other technology companies, advocates and the Demi and Ashton Foundation (DNA) to find new ways to put technology to work protecting children from sexual exploitation and abuse.
Today, I joined Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, the co-founders of the DNA Foundation, at the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York City to discuss this effort. At the event, the DNA Foundation launched their “Real Men” campaign to raise awareness about the issues of child sex trafficking and exploitation. They also shared some information about the work Microsoft and others have been exploring with them in a task force to develop creative technological solutions to help address this horrible problem.
Posted by Pamela Passman Corporate Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs
Today we are announcing the latest expansion of our Elevate America program, which aims to provide people across the United States with the technology skills they need to find employment. The Elevate America community initiative will focus on partnering with nonprofits to support job training programs and initiatives in local communities across the country.
Elevate America was launched in February 2009 and since that time we have worked with 32 states and the District of Columbia to distribute over 800,000 training and certification vouchers. In March we announced the Elevate America Veterans initiative which is focusing on building a nationwide coalition to help U.S. veterans and their spouses transition from military to civilian employment. Through this work we have already learned a lot about the complexity of the unemployment issue and the importance of technology skills to those trying to enter or renter the workforce.
The consistent theme across all our Elevate America programs is the necessity for partnership to be at the very core of addressing what is a complex and difficult issue. We acknowledge that while we can bring resources and expertise to bear, ultimately, to be successful, we need the knowledge, reach and skills of partner organizations in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Our Elevate America community initiative builds on a long standing commitment to working with nonprofits on the provision of technology skills training. Since 2003 we have worked in partnership with thousands of nonprofit organizations and reached more than 27 million people.
Today we are issuing a request for proposals (RFP) for nonprofits that have demonstrated expertise in providing employment services with a focus on technology skills training, job placement and related support to connect individuals to sustainable jobs and careers. Following the selection process we are committing $4 million in cash, $6 million worth of software and training curriculum to support the successful applicants over the next two years.
Posted by Dan ReedCorporate Vice President, Technology Strategy and Policy
A few weeks ago, Tim O’Reilly asked me if I would deliver a thought-provoking presentation on cognitive radio technologies and spectrum allocation policy at this year’s Gov 2.0 Summit. In this post, I’d like to share a few highlights of my speech and expand on some related topics.
Today, feature-rich smartphones and mobile computing devices and consumers’ seemingly insatiable appetites for text services, social networking and streaming media are placing unprecedented demands on wireless communication networks. YouTube reports that 24 hours of video is now uploaded to the social video site every 60 seconds, and Cisco projects that streaming video will increase wireless data transmission demands by 20X-40X over the next five years. If you have ever experienced a loss of wireless services in a densely populated area, you understand the problem we’re facing.
In response, cellular carriers are scrambling to build new cell towers and deploy 4G technologies. However, all of this cellular infrastructure investment centers on a very small fraction of the total radio spectrum, allocated via regulatory and auction processes that date back decades to a far simpler and slower moving telecommunications world.
While employment in the overall U.S. economy shrank from 2008 to 2009, the number of jobs in the IT sector held steady, according to data released Tuesday by the U. S. Census Bureau. This finding supports the results of earlier studies that demonstrated how IT employment, and investment in innovation, will contribute to the economic recovery in the U.S. and globally.
IDC found that jobs in the U.S. IT sector will grow at a rate of 1.6 percent annually through 2013, adding more than a million new family wage jobs and creating almost 13,000 new IT businesses -- at the same time overall employment shrinks. The same study found that the 125,000 companies (most of them small and locally owned) in the Microsoft community of partners in the U.S. generated more than $169 billion in revenues for themselves in 2009. The vast majority of these revenues remained in local communities to fuel further growth, opportunity, and innovation. These Microsoft partners accounted for 36 percent of total U.S. IT employment and 39 percent of IT-related taxes.
A 2010 study by Robert Atkinson and Scott Andes of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation found that the growth in IT employment between 1998 and 2008 grew by 26 percent, when overall employment grew by 6 percent.