December, 2010

  • Online Privacy & Balance – Our Perspective

    Posted by Peter Cullen
    Chief Privacy Strategist

    Any discussion of online privacy today can quickly become polarized and shed more heat than light. It is clear that privacy remains a key topic and also clear the discussion centers on finding the right balance of investments by both companies and the advertising industry that will provide meaningful choice, control and protection for the consumer’s information and that contribute to growing consumer trust and which supports the content to which people have grown accustomed. Privacy by Design is but one investment area receiving a lot of dialogue. Today we announced functionality we intend to provide in IE9 that both advances and demonstrates Privacy by Design and provides consumers with more choices to control information about their online activities. However, the industry together can also continue to contribute additional investments that will help grow trust.

  • Celebrating Patent Achievements in 2010

    There is little doubt that 2010 will go down in history as a significant year for creativity and invention at Microsoft.

    We’ve released numerous compelling offerings this year, including Office 2010, Windows Phone 7, Kinect, cloud computing solutions such as Windows Azure and Office 365 and ongoing enhancements to Bing. People are excited about the new experiences we’re enabling. 

    The New York Times has praised Kinect for delivering a user-experience that “no other company or system can even dream of providing.” Gizmodo has called Windows Phone 7 “the most exciting thing to happen to phones in a long time.” 

  • Digital Transformation: Principles for Effective E-Government

    By Craig Shank
    General Manager, Interoperability Group

    In a Brussels speech last week, Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, said: “We are now living through a permanent digital revolution. This long and peaceful revolution is changing how we organize our lives. Powerful computing platforms are creating new markets and we are finding new ways to leverage user creativity.”

    One of the ways that this digital revolution manifests itself is in how citizens expect to interact with government.  Especially in light of the economic downturn, citizens the world over are increasingly calling for  greater transparency, greater accountability, greater efficiency and ease of use in government services akin to that offered by online service providers like Amazon, eBay and others.

    The move toward e-government has been under way for quite some time, but efforts have often been stymied by organizational, legal, semantic and technical obstacles. For example, data is often locked up in islands of legacy technology, governments have differing legal requirements for access to that data, and the meaning of similar data in different systems can vary substantially. Far-flung geographies, multiple languages and complex nation-state relationships – such as those faced by agencies working on e-government solutions in India and the European Union – further complicate challenges facing the public sector.

    Governments increasingly recognize these challenges and are stepping up their efforts to improve how they deliver service digitally. This week OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), a worldwide standards consortium, together with the World Bank’s e-Development Group, will hold a Transformational Government Workshop in Washington, D.C., which is designed to help the public sector use information and communications technology (ICT) more effectively. Next week in Brussels, representatives from EU member states will meet at the Lift-off towards “Open Government” conference, which has a particular focus on cross-border interoperability for e-Government services.

  • Microsoft Adds New Defendant in Click Laundering Lawsuit

    We have sought leave of the court to amend our complaint to add Vertro Inc. as another defendant involved as an upstream provider of illegitimate click traffic for RedOrbit.

  • Top Microsoft on the Issues Blog Posts of 2010

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Senior Manager, Corporate Blogs

    The past year saw Microsoft involved in a number of important legal and policy issues across the globe, including intellectual property, competition, Internet security, child safety on the Web and the tragic events in Haiti.

    I’d like to take you on a tour of the 10 blog posts that attracted the highest readership during 2010:

  • Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith Delivers Commencement Speech at WSU

    Today, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Legal and Corporate Affairs, gave the commencement speech for winter graduation at Washington State University. 

    Brad spoke about the importance of seizing every opportunity by fully committing yourself to your endeavors, how innovation and new ideas are the catalyst to move not only the state of Washington, but the country forward, and the need for everyone to make a commitment to community involvement.

  • Making e-Government Work Better

    Posted by Ron Zink
    Chief Operating Officer, European Union Affairs

    This week has seen the launch of several initiatives by the European Commission to improve e-Government services for European citizens, including an overall action plan and a new Framework to make these services work better.

    For more detail, read the full blog post on Microsoft Europe.

  • Microsoft Supports Commerce Department’s Call for More Online Privacy Protection

    Posted by Brad Smith
    Senior Vice President and General Counsel

    Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce released a “Green Paper” that outlines the department’s position on a number of timely privacy issues.

    Microsoft supports the framework contained in the Green Paper and commends the agency for its focus on ways to ensure consumers’ private data is protected.

  • Investment in Federal Research Enables Innovation

    Posted by Elizabeth L. Grossman
    Technology Strategy & Policy

    Why do governments and companies fund research? 

    There are many reasons -- one is to discover new things, to restock the cache of ideas and insights that feed innovation and job creation. Another is to educate and maintain a pool of talent that is skilled in critical thinking and armed with newly created knowledge to better grow our economy and tackle societal challenges. For these reasons, Microsoft makes significant investments in research. However, we do so in the context of the larger research community and federal support for science. 

  • FTC Publishes Online Privacy Report

    Posted by Brendon Lynch

    Chief Privacy Officer, Microsoft


    The Federal Trade Commission today released a major report on consumer privacy online.  You can read the report here.


    Microsoft has long recognized the critical importance of privacy to our customers. Our internal tools and processes help ensure that privacy is incorporated into Microsoft products and services.  


    Internet Explorer 8 has some of the most robust privacy features on the market, including being the first to introduce InPrivate Browsing, rich integrated cookie controls, and still being the only browser to offer consumers InPrivate Filtering.  Internet Explorer 9 will continue this focus and leadership on enabling our customers’ choice and control with respect to their online privacy.


    We appreciate the Federal Trade Commission’s efforts to advance consumer privacy protections and welcome the opportunity to review the FTC’s Privacy Report. We were pleased to participate in the series of roundtables that formed the basis for the report, and support the FTC’s continued work to engage all interested stakeholders on these important issues.

  • West Africa takes lead in fighting "419" scams

    Advance fee fraud is one of the most common and notorious scams, deceiving people to believe they will receive a large sum of money if they pay a smaller sum up front.

  • Statement by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA)

    Posted by Steve Ballmer
    Microsoft CEO

    “Congratulations to President Obama and President Lee of South Korea on their final agreement to the U.S. – Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  Microsoft has been a steadfast supporter of this precedent-setting agreement with South Korea, the United States’  7th largest trading partner. Today’s news signals that trade agreements will be an important part of a renewed U.S. strategy to create jobs, eliminate trade barriers and strengthen global economic ties. This agreement contains trade rules that will boost the competitiveness of U.S. technology companies and promote economic growth and job creation in the United States.

    Microsoft welcomes completion of the KORUS FTA and looks forward to its expeditious ratification and implementation by the United States and Korea.”

  • Microsoft Announces Immediate Availability of Unilateral Software License for Eligible Organizations

    By Nancy Anderson, Deputy General Counsel and Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Sales Group Microsoft is pleased to announce the immediate availability of a unilateral software license for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and small, independent...