July, 2011

  • An Interview with Microsoft Board Member Charles H. Noski

    Posted by John Seethoff
    Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft

    Charles H. Noski has been a Microsoft director since 2003. He recently sat down for an interview for another installment of our profiles on Microsoft’s Channel 9 featuring our board of directors.

    In his interview, Mr. Noski discusses his background, what it’s like to be a member of the Microsoft board, and offers a behind the scenes view of how the board operates.

  • Microsoft Shares Source Code for Wi-Fi Data Collection Software

    Posted by Reid Kuhn
    Partner Group Program Manager, Windows Phone Engineering Team, Microsoft

    There continues to be a high level of public interest in how and why companies collect Wi-Fi access point information. Windows Phone division president Andy Lees recently talked about the privacy principles that were used in designing location-based services on Windows Phone 7. As part of our ongoing commitment to consumer privacy, we are taking an additional step to provide even more transparency about how we gather information through managed driving to provide location-based services.

    Today, Microsoft is sharing relevant portions of the source code for our managed driving data collection software to provide those interested an opportunity to review the code we use for collection of such information. The source code is hosted on the MSDN web site. The source code demonstrates both the type and amount of data we collect when surveying Wi-Fi access points through managed driving.

  • Jobs Follow Talent: The Need for Education and High-Skilled Immigration Reform

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

    Today, I had the opportunity to discuss the need for education and high-skilled immigration reform when I testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security at a hearing on “The Economic Imperative for Immigration Reform.”

    The essence of my testimony is that while we undoubtedly have a jobs problem in this country, closer analysis shows it is also a talent and skills problem. In a world where jobs follow talent, we need to increase the skills of the American workforce if we are to succeed economically.

    Education is clearly a priority. Today, we face a dual unemployment rate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics last month estimated that the unemployment rate for individuals with a college degree or more is only 4.4 percent. For those individuals with only a high school diploma, the unemployment rate is 10 percent. And the problem may get worse. According to a recent Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce study, between 1973 and 2008, the share of jobs in the U.S. economy that required postsecondary education rose from 28 percent to 59 percent. This share is projected to rise to 63 percent by 2018. The same study shows that by 2018 we are likely to fall short on the number of college graduates our economy needs. We have a skills gap.

    [Read more...]

  • Initiating “Conversations on Privacy”

    Posted by Brendon Lynch
    Chief Privacy Officer, Microsoft

    As we engage with people around the world, it is clear that privacy issues are top of mind for consumers, businesses, governments and policymakers. It seems like every day there is a new story highlighting concerns related to the collection, use and protection of personal data. Legislators and regulators are carefully monitoring the landscape, and actively exploring ways to protect consumers’ privacy. Meanwhile, consumers are getting more engaged, and asking important questions about how data is protected.

    To advance this discussion, Microsoft is launching a series of privacy conversations at our Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Microsoft has a longstanding commitment to privacy, and works hard to earn the trust of customers around the world by, in part, developing and adopting meaningful privacy practices.

     

  • Battling the Rustock Threat

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues Blog

    Since successfully taking down the Rustock botnet on March 16th, Microsoft has continued to analyze the threat, investigate leads on the operations and owners of the botnet and work with Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) worldwide to help the legitimate owners of Rustock-infected computers to clean their computers of malware. Today, the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU), the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) and Trustworthy Computing released a new Special Edition Security Intelligence Report (SIR) entitled “Battling the Rustock Threat.”

    This report provides new data on the Rustock botnet and the impact of the malware on computers around the world.

  • Microsoft Announces $15M for Research and Development on Next-Gen Learning Models

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues Blog

    Recognizing it will take all of us…schools, parents, guardians, foundations, governments and corporate partners to meet the challenges facing our kids today…we are honored to be invited this afternoon to meet with President Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Senior White House Advisors, and industry leaders, for a roundtable discussion on education reform. We are hopeful that gatherings such as this will continue to elevate the conversation and remind us all that providing every child a quality educational experience must be a right of this country, not a privilege.

  • Managing Our “Beachfront” Spectrum for the Public Good

    Posted by Paul Garnett
    Director, Technology Policy, Microsoft

    Summertime often conjures up memories of days spent at the beach – waves crashing, sand castles, beach balls, surfing, swimming and ice cream. For the vast majority of Americans, that time is spent at a public beach – places with names like Crane’s, Ocean Shores, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Presque Isle and yes, even Marconi, named for the telecommunications pioneer.

    Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Communications and Technology holds a hearing on a legislative proposal that would require all newly allocated radio spectrum to be auctioned. That would include spectrum reallocated in the TV bands, including the white spaces spectrum, soon to be used by innovative new types of unlicensed devices based on dynamic spectrum access techniques.

  • U.S. Education Secretary Duncan Stops by at the Imagine Cup

    Posted by Curt Kolcun
    Vice President, U.S. Public Sector, Microsoft

    Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stopped by the Imagine Cup Finals at Lincoln Center in New York.

    I had the opportunity to walk through the student showcase with him as he met with some of the student teams competing at the event.