November, 2011

  • Microsoft at COP17: Working Together to Organize Environmental Data

    Posted by Rob Bernard
    Chief Environmental Strategist, Microsoft

    Microsoft is in Durban, South Africa, this week for the 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, otherwise known as COP17. This year, Microsoft is teaming up with a number of organizations to demonstrate how data visualization tools can help transform our understanding of the world. I have little doubt that we can transform how people make decisions about issues surrounding our environment by providing people, organizations and policy makers with interactive maps and tools which help them better understand how society is using its limited resources.

    I am quite excited by a number of the great partnerships we have been working on, which will hopefully contribute to a transition toward a more powerful discussion on environmental issues.

    [Read more...]

  • Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit Talks Cybercrime with “Worm” Author Mark Bowden

    Posted by TJ Campana
    Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit

    I recently had the privilege and pleasure of joining author Mark Bowden and New York Times technology reporter John Markoff at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., where we spoke about Mark’s new book, Worm: The First Digital World War. Worm is an account of the Conficker computer worm and the group of security professionals (myself included) who came together to combat the proliferating malware as members of the Conficker Working Group.

    The Conficker worm first appeared in 2008 and quickly created one of the largest and fastest-growing botnets in the world. Conficker infects computers through a number of mechanisms, including file sharing and via removable drives.

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  • Brad Smith Statement on Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire’s Budget Recommendations

    Microsoft Executive Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith had the following statement regarding Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget recommendations:

    “We’re pleased that Governor Gregoire has prioritized education in her budget recommendations, given the difficult choices she faced among the many programs funded by the state. As we at Microsoft experience first-hand, education is the foundation for the state’s future economic growth and the ability of companies to create and fill jobs here. It’s important for the state to avoid further reductions in higher education funding, as these inevitably would lead either to a decline in quality or yet more tuition increases for students. It’s similarly important to maintain investments in K-12 education across the state, since additional cuts to the classroom and the school year would have a dramatic and damaging effect on student readiness for the 21st century economy.

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  • Microsoft Voices Support for VOW to Hire Heroes Act

    Posted by Bill Kamela
    Senior Policy Counsel, Microsoft

    Today, I was honored to represent Microsoft at the White House as President Barack Obama signed into law a critically important piece of legislation, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. Joining the president at the signing ceremony were the First Lady, the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden, along with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, distinguished leaders from veteran serving organizations (VSO’s) and a number of U.S. veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    This new law will provide our veterans with additional training and employment opportunities as they transition from their military occupations into civilian careers. The passage of this bipartisan legislation is a significant victory for veterans, who too often return home without the support they need for a successful transition into civilian life. We applaud the House and Senate for their unanimous approval of the VOW, which combines components of Senator Patty Murray’s Hiring Heroes Act (S. 951; Report #112-36), and Representative Jeff Miller’s Veterans Opportunity to Work Act (H.R. 2433; Report #112-242).

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  • Talking Cloud Privacy in Washington, D.C.

    Posted by Susie Adams
    Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Federal

    Greater adoption of cloud computing is considered an inevitable trend by regulators and lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle, according to my fellow panelists at Tuesday’s “@Microsoft Conversations on Privacy” at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

    However, we all agreed that the pace of cloud adoption is largely going to be determined by the speed at which cloud providers, consumers and policymakers can clarify roles and responsibilities when it comes to protecting data held by cloud service providers.

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  • Microsoft Examines the Financial Harm of Software Piracy on Play Fair Day

    Posted by David Finn
    Associate General Counsel, Worldwide Anti-Piracy & Anti-Counterfeiting, Microsoft

    In addition to undermining the security of businesses around the world, pirated software robs businesses of the ability to compete. That is why we wanted to demonstrate the financial impact software piracy has on companies that use legal software, and why businesses and countries should take note.

    Today, as part of Microsoft’s global Play Fair Day, we are examining the financial harm software piracy inflicts on those that “play fair” in developing countries. We’re announcing the results of a study we commissioned that measures the direct financial impact on manufacturing companies who use legal software in Brazil, Russia, India and China, four of the fastest-growing countries in the world.

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  • Microsoft Makes Digital Salute to Veterans

    Posted by Scott Pitasky
    Corporate Vice President, Human Resources Talent & Organization Capability Group, Microsoft

    On the eve of Veteran’s Day, Microsoft made a permanent digital salute to mark the service of our employees who have served in the U.S. military.

    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and others revealed the “Wall of Honor” at our Redmond headquarters on Thursday in front of a crowd of employees, thanking them and their families for their sacrifices.

    [Read more...]

  • Microsoft Weighs in on Keeping Young Gamers Safer Online

    Posted by Doug Park
    Director, Online Safety - Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft

    This week, I had the opportunity to join more than 400 educators, safety advocates and industry representatives at the Family Online Safety Institute Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The yearly event focuses on innovative ways to develop and advance safer and healthier online experiences for children.

    The theme of this year’s conference was “Evaluate. Innovate. Collaborate.” The message was clear: we must continue to work together to explore new ways, and utilize new technologies to help keep kids safer online.

    [Read more...]

  • Celebrating the World's Most Innovative and Inspiring Teachers

    Posted by Anthony Salcito
    Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector Education, Microsoft

    I’m excited to be in Washington, D.C. this week among more than 700 of the most talented educators and school leaders from around the world at the 7th annual Partners in Learning Global Forum. This is one of my favorite weeks every year at Microsoft because it’s actually happening with teachers…real people who are using technology in education to impact children’s lives and advancing students’ interest in learning. The opportunity to get inspired by, to learn from and to hear stories from teachers is amazing.

    All these teachers have competed at local and regional events, and have earned a spot to compete for 18 Global Innovative Educator Awards. Some of these teachers are leaving their country or village for the first time ever.

    [Read more...]

  • Attorneys General Commit to Using Powers to Tackle Pirated Software, Call on FTC to Use Their Powers As Well

    Posted by Brad Smith
    Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Microsoft

    The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) today announced that 39 attorneys general, representing both parties and from states across the nation including Washington, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Texas, Michigan, Florida, Colorado and Illinois, sent a letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commissioners affirming their commitment to use their existing state powers, and calling for stronger federal enforcement against companies around the world that use stolen information technology to gain an unfair business advantage and who seek to sell their products in the U.S. The 39 attorneys general represent 36 US states and three US territories: Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

    The letter clearly highlights the impact of the issue and the resolve of the attorneys general to tackle it directly, while also calling for additional state and federal action. As the letter says, “Competition is unfairly distorted…when a manufacturer gains a cost advantage by using stolen information technology. It offends our sense of fairness when such wrongdoers reap a commercial advantage from their illegal acts.”

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  • Super Wi-Fi: An Important Part of our Wireless Broadband Future

    Posted by Dan Reed
    Corporate Vice President, Technology Policy Groups, Microsoft

    The United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is hard at work on ways to bring our nation’s financial house in order, and drive the economic growth essential to our future. While there are many big issues facing the committee, unlicensed spectrum access – one of the smaller issues in play – deserves serious attention, for it has the potential to facilitate substantial long-term innovation, and create increased economic value for the nation and consumers. To ensure this potential is realized, Microsoft urges the Joint Committee to preserve the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority to allocate spectrum for unlicensed use in the broadcast TV bands.

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