June, 2011

  • Microsoft Joins the FCC to Discuss Location-based Services and Privacy

    Posted by Brendon Lynch
    Chief Privacy Officer, Microsoft

    Today, I am representing Microsoft in a Location Based Services Forum hosted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to discuss how consumers can harness the potential of location-based services while still protecting their privacy. Location-based services have become indispensable for many consumers as they unlock rich, rewarding and personalized online experiences – particularly on mobile phones. We commend the FCC for convening stakeholders in a forum that explores the benefits individuals can reap from new services while actively engaging to protect their personal information. The Forum will include discussions on Privacy by Design and consumer education.

  • Microsoft Honored at White House for Online Safety Video

    Posted by Jacqueline Beauchere
    Director of Trustworthy Computing Communications, Microsoft

    On Monday, Microsoft received an award from the White House and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the company’s work in helping to keep individuals and families safer when they go online.

    In a ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office building of the White House and presided over by White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, I was presented with an award for a video my team produced entitled, “Stop. Think. Connect.” That three-word phrase is the product of the Stop. Think. Connect. (STC) Messaging Convention, a coalition of more than 30 companies, non-profits and U.S. government agencies and departments, focused on raising awareness and educating the public about Internet safety. In addition to Microsoft, the STC Convention includes AT&T, Costco, Facebook, Google, McAfee, Symantec, VeriSign, Verizon, Wal-Mart, Yahoo! and others.

  • Cambridge Trial Will Explore Better Use of Broadcast Spectrum

    Posted by Dan Reed
    Corporate Vice President, Technology Policy Strategy & Extreme Computing Group, Microsoft

    Imagine a five-lane freeway at rush hour. Except on this freeway, four of the lanes are assigned to specific purposes and can only be used by a certain class of vehicles. Some of the assigned lanes contain a steady flow of traffic, but others remain clear most of the time. Meanwhile, the rest of us, traveling in thousands of cars, must use the single remaining lane for our commute.

    Thankfully, this situation is not likely to happen on our roadways, but it does with radio spectrum. Our laptops, tablets, smartphones and other connected devices use spectrum to connect and transmit data. When the metaphorical spectrum traffic lanes get jammed, there is no way to avoid the congestion and switch to a clear lane. As a result, users feel the pain of frequent dropped calls and degraded quality of service.

    With more than five billion cell phones and a growing “Internet of Things,” the demands we’re placing on spectrum have run headlong into the traditional ways that society regulates and allocates spectrum use, based on approaches that are nearly a century old.

  • Imagine Cup Competitors Make Their Pitch in Silicon Valley

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues Blog

    A group of students intent on changing the world with technology pitched their ideas to Silicon Valley industry experts, academics, and media on Wednesday.

  • Lightning in the Cloud: How IT-Based Innovation Will Enable the Smart Grid

    Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation.

    Last week, the Obama Administration released a report entitled “A Policy Framework for the 21st Century Grid: Enabling Our Secure Energy Future.”

    The report lays out policy recommendations to extend existing efforts to develop the smart grid as part of a long-term strategy for job growth, innovation and consumer benefits. The framework also highlights the diverse nature of stakeholders, both private and public, who will be integral components in creating the smart grid. The smart grid is a concept that refers to the modernization of the nation’s electricity transmission and distribution system to maintain a reliable, efficient and secure electricity infrastructure that can meet future demand.

  • Microsoft Recognized by Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group

    Posted by David Finn
    Associate General Counsel, Worldwide Anti-piracy & Anti-counterfeiting, Microsoft

    The past year has been a milestone for Microsoft’s global anti-piracy team in many ways.

    We launched global education campaigns that arm consumers with information to protect themselves from the risks of non-genuine software. We continued our investment in developing innovative forensic technologies that track counterfeit activities and criminal syndicates worldwide. Our strategic partnership with local governments made it more difficult for criminal gangs to sell non-genuine software to unsuspecting consumers.

    I’m pleased to share that Microsoft was recognized for these efforts by the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group (GACG). At the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Awards in Paris on June 8, Microsoft received a commendation for our efforts to build awareness and protect consumers from the dangers of software piracy.

  • Innovative Teachers use Technology to Combat Bullying

    Posted by Andrew Ko
    Senior Director, U.S. Partners in Learning, Microsoft

    It’s hard to ignore the pictures in the news of bright-eyed young boys and fresh-faced teen girls with infectious smiles, full of life, and a future full of potential placed under the headline ‘Bullied to Death.’

    Bullying is one of the most pervasive issues affecting every school in the country on campus and online , and is a challenge that parents, teachers and administrators are tasked with tackling every day. With the vast use of social media, the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” has become a thing of the past. Words have become powerful enough to drive students to tragically end their young lives.

    Bullying has emerged as a top theme among the applications for Microsoft’s 2011 US Innovative Education Forum (IEF), with several teacher applicants submitting lessons that use Microsoft technologies to help address the issue of bullying.

  • Microsoft Pledges $25M to New Scholarship Fund

    Posted by Brad Smith
    General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

    Today, Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire signed important legislation creating the new public-private Washington Opportunity Scholarship, an innovative approach to attracting new funding to help stabilize our higher education system and increase the number of Washington students earning bachelor’s degrees.

    To help launch this new program, Microsoft and The Boeing Co. are pledging $25 million apiece over the next five years to the effort. Together with matching state contributions under the new program, this will raise $100 million for scholarships for low- and middle-income students. It’s an important first step towards the goal of creating a billion-dollar endowment for financial aid by the end of this decade.

  • An Update on the Rustock Botnet

    Posted by Richard Boscovich
    Senior Attorney, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit

    In March, we announced that Microsoft had, with the help of industry partners and law enforcement, taken down the notorious spamming botnet, Rustock.

    Since that time, I’m happy to report that the botnet has stayed dead.