Posted by Horacio GutierrezCorporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
As many of you may have seen, Microsoft filed an action today in the International Trade Commission and in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against Motorola, Inc. for infringement of nine Microsoft patents by Motorola’s Android-based smartphones. We have released a press statement about our suit, but I thought I would provide a bit more context here around the innovations infringed by Motorola’s Android-based smartphones and how our suit fits into ongoing developments in the smartphone space.
As we all know, smartphones have become an integral part of people’s daily lives and are used for a variety of tasks beyond making phone calls; from watching video and listening to music to staying in touch with family and friends. The Microsoft innovations at issue in this case help make smartphones “smart.” Indeed, our patents relate to key features that users have come to expect from every smartphone. The ability to send and receive email on-the-go has driven smartphone adoption. Nowadays, everyone expects to receive e-mail from multiple services in real time, to read it on their phones, and to reply or send new messages out – in continuous and seamless synchronization with their email services. Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync, a proprietary technology that we developed, makes this possible.
But people manage more than email from their devices, they manage their lives. Users can not only send and receive email from smartphones; they can also manage their calendars. Their phones will remind them of appointments and allow them to schedule new ones. Similarly, users maintain lists of contacts on their phones, so that they can easily stay connected – by phone, text message, or email – to the people they interact with most. Again, our technology enables people to see their calendar and email contacts on their phone, and to manage their calendar and contacts from whatever device they are using.
People use smartphones for much more as well: they surf the web, play music and videos, and run apps. Consumers expect more and more from their smartphones every day, making their phones resemble not so much a phone as a handheld computer. Of course, for certain apps to run efficiently on handheld devices, they must be notified of changes in signal strength and battery power and the device must manage memory for storing data. Given the wide range of functionality smartphones offer, they also need to be able to display relevant choices for users efficiently. Microsoft’s patented technologies tackle all of these challenges.
Posted by Scott CharneyCorporate Vice President, Trustworthy Computing For more than two decades, people have struggled to understand the cyber threat, evaluate the risks to individuals, organizations (including nation-states), and society at large, and craft appropriate responses. Although many organizations have invested significantly in information assurance, most computer security experts believe that a well-resourced and persistent adversary will more often than not be successful in attacking systems, especially if raising defenses is the only response to an attack. For this reason, increasing attention is being paid to deterring such attacks in the first instance, especially by governments that have the power to investigate criminal activity and use a wide range of tools to respond to other public safety and national security concerns. Notwithstanding this emerging discussion, it appears to many people that neither governments nor industry are well-positioned to respond to this highly complex threat and that, from a policy and tactical perspective, there is considerable paralysis. In my Rethinking Cyber Threats and Strategies paper I discuss a framework for categorizing and assessing cyber threats, the problem with attribution, and possible ways for society to prevent and respond to cyber threats. In my speech today at the International Security Solutions Europe (ISSE) Conference in Berlin, Germany, I proposed one possible approach to addressing botnets and other malware impacting consumer machines. This approach involves implementing a global collective defense of Internet health much like what we see in place today in the world of public health. I outline my vision in a new position paper Microsoft is publishing today titled “Collective Defense: Applying Public Health Models to the Internet.”
Posted by Anthony Salcito Vice President for Worldwide Education
This week I’m in Cape Town, South Africa and lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the most innovative education leaders, teachers and administrators in the world. We’re all gathered here for the sixth annual Worldwide Innovation Education Forum (IEF), the first time for the event ever to be held on African soil.
Attendees of this event include more than 500 educators, school leaders and government officials representing over 60 countries that continue to creatively and effectively use technology in their curriculum to help improve the way students learn. This is the worldwide finale of a year’s worth of country and regional events, during which 200,000 participants were whittled down to 125 teacher finalists presenting at IEF this week.
Posted by Michael Hintze Associate General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation
At Microsoft, we are committed to protecting consumers’ privacy online. There has been renewed public attention on online data collection practices and the use of that data to personalize the advertising and other content displayed online. Microsoft has been engaged and working on these important privacy issues for many years.
For instance, we participated in a recent series of privacy roundtables conducted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that addressed these very topics, and have worked with the Commission as it developed privacy guidelines covering this type of data collection and usage. We have testified in a Congressional hearing on the topic of online behavioral advertising. And we’ve worked with industry groups in developing new privacy protections designed to increase transparency and user control with regard to online targeted advertising.
Posted by Brad Smith Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Microsoft is very pleased to announce another $3 million, three-year donation to Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), just two years after we helped establish the organization with a similar investment.
KIND is a pro bono organization dedicated to providing legal representation to the roughly 8,000 unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in the U.S. who face deportation hearings. It is great to see the progress KIND has made since its launch. Up and running in seven cities throughout the U.S., KIND has helped nearly 2,000 children, ranging from 2 to 18 years old, from more than 35 countries. This has been possible through the training and support of lawyers from more than 60 law firms and corporate legal departments who have donated their time to represent these children in immigration court proceedings.