January, 2012

  • The Time Has Come to Help Youth Cross the Opportunity Divide

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

    A good deal of discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week has focused on “The Great Transformation” and how technology, leadership and innovation can improve the state of the world for future generations. It’s a vital discussion. Young people represent our collective future. They will be our leaders, our doctors, our scientists, our teachers, innovators and entrepreneurs. But today young people face enormous challenges. While specific challenges vary around the world, it is clear that a fundamental challenge is emerging everywhere – an opportunity divide for young people. While some young people are prospering, others are struggling because they lack the education, skills or opportunities they need to succeed.

    More than 100 million youth worldwide lack access to any sort of education and more than 77 million young people are unemployed. Unemployment rates are consistently higher for young people than any other group. There has been unprecedented change in recent years, from a surge in international trade that has fundamentally changed the global economy to major breakthroughs in science that have transformed the way we live. Technology has been a major driving force behind this change, and a major force for good in our economies and societies. But these forces have also created new challenges and caused new dislocations. And the rate of change isn’t slowing.

    [Read more...]

  • Making Privacy Work for Everybody

    Posted by Ronald Zink
    Chief Operating Officer, European Union Affairs, Microsoft

    A big question for governments and business at the moment, and indeed for users of the Internet all over the world, is how personal data – a person’s identity, personal materials, financial or sensitive information – can be protected in a workable and effective way. This is particularly important in an age where we have ubiquitous connectivity, online business and social networking, and flows and storage of information all over the world on all kinds of computers and devices.

    This is an important question for everybody, but not a new one for Microsoft. In fact, 10 years ago, Bill Gates himself focused our company’s developers on making sure that ‘privacy by design’ was implemented into all of our products and services, in an initiative he called ‘Trustworthy Computing’ -- which still drives our ethos today. I have blogged before on some of the practical examples of how Microsoft’s ‘privacy by design’ protects consumers using our browser, Xbox, Office, Cloud and other products.

    Today marks the release of a proposed new set of regulations in Europe to protect personal data, which reflects some important principles and improvements of Europe’s laws in this area. These rules were last updated in 1995 when the Internet was largely in its infancy.

    [Read more...]

  • Microsoft Partners with D.C. on Digital Education and Economic Development Initiative

    Posted by Fred Humphries
    Vice President, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft

    Washington, D.C. has been resilient through the economic turmoil of the past three years, but our region still faces significant challenges.

    The world is changing fast, driven by changes like globalization and the rapid adoption of new technologies. These changes present huge opportunities, but they demand new skills and capabilities, especially in the area of science and technology. To help District residents navigate these opportunities and challenges, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray today announced a partnership with Microsoft designed to improve the region’s economic competitiveness by making technology, education and training more accessible to residents and local businesses.

    We see an emerging “opportunity divide”- especially for young people - between those who have the skills, education and opportunities they need to thrive in this new world and those who don’t, and risk getting left further behind.

    [Read more...]

  • White House CTO Talks Future of Tech in 2012 with Microsoft and Politico

    Posted by Fred Humphries
    Vice President, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft

    Earlier today, Microsoft and Politico hosted a conversation with White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra on the future of technology at Microsoft’s Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The event, moderated by Politico tech policy writers, featured an interactive discussion covering the top tech issues of 2012, including privacy, piracy, patent law and spectrum reform.

    An overall theme that emerged was the vital role of technology innovation in driving today’s global marketplace. Chopra emphasized the link by pointing out that it is not “just about technology itself, it’s how technology can modernize sectors of the economy to improve economic growth.” This discussion was especially timely coming on the eve of the President’s State of the Union speech tomorrow night to the U.S. Congress.

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  • Microsoft to Host Conversation with Politico on Jan. 23

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues Blog

    Ahead of President Obama’s Jan. 24 State of the Union Address, White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra will be the featured guest on Jan. 23 at a joint Microsoft-POLITICO “innovation conversation” at Microsoft’s Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

    Reporters from POLITICO will be on hand to ask Chopra about the status of the President’s innovation agenda, to preview the State of the Union speech, and to get insights on the Administration’s 2012 tech policy agenda.

    Those outside of Washington, D.C. can still participate by viewing the live Webcast starting at 8 a.m. ET. The event Webcast will also be archived for later viewing.

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  • Trustworthy Computing’s Impact a Decade On: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

    Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Rich Mogull, founder of Securosis LLC, an independent security consulting firm. Prior to founding Securosis, Rich was a leading analyst at Gartner. He has 12 total years of experience as a security analyst.

    Depending on your age, you might remember when the U.S. Hockey dream team won the 1980 Olympics, the first moon landing, or where you were as we entered the new millennium.

    Me? Well, aside from some of those items, I'm chagrined to admit I remember when Bill Gates' Trustworthy Computing Initiative memo was released to the public. Not that there's anything wrong with that; depending on how you feel about certain levels of security geekery.

    Unlike some other people I expect to be writing about Trustworthy Computing’s 10th anniversary this week, I wasn't an employee at Microsoft when the memo was released. At the time, I was working as an analyst at Gartner, and I was one of the people who contributed to the initial analysis.

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