April, 2013

  • Microsoft inventors share award-winning ideas on World IP Day

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    It’s easy for us to overlook the role intellectual property can play in improving lives when it contributes to the arts and technology. Patents not only protect new ideas, but also provide an avenue for technology advancements to reach the broader industry, where they are often built upon and grow into even more advanced solutions. Every year on April 26, the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) invites inventors large and small to take some time to remind ourselves what thinkers and doers can do when they put their minds to it.

    Today, Microsoft marks World IP Day by sharing a closer look at two of our inventors who push the envelope with creative inventions. Asta Roseway from Microsoft Research, known for her work on the “Printing Dress”, shares the background of her first patent for a cinematic gaming invention “Spectator Experience,” and Ali Khan from Server and Tools describes the work behind his patent to improve wireless data transmission.

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  • Strong Industry Partnerships Can Address the Evolving Software Piracy Landscape

    Posted by Juan Hardoy
    Director, EMEA Anti-Piracy & Digital Crime, Microsoft

    Today, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Seventh Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy in Istanbul, which was opened by Turkey’s Prime Minister, His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. As with every Global Congress, Microsoft is grateful to its conveners, the World Customs Organization, INTERPOL, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Chamber of Commerce/Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (ICC/BASCAP), as strong allies in the fight against counterfeiting.

    Whether the focus is on toys, merchandise, medicines or software, the organizations that are deeply concerned with counterfeit products and the serious harm that they cause, cuts cross-industry—from the retail, pharmaceutical and consumer goods industries, to governments, law enforcement and consumer protection agencies. It is not surprising then, that the most effective solutions to the collective problem of counterfeiting are rooted in cross-industry partnership and cooperation.

    During our panel discussion on “Capturing the Elusive Infringer on the Internet,” my counterparts at the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, MarkMonitor, UPS and the International Trademark Association and I examined the progress that enforcement officials and IP rights holders have made through new, collaborative processes that are changing the way we address counterfeiting and piracy on the Internet.

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  • With ZTE, Most Major Android Makers Choose Licensing

    Posted by Horacio Gutierrez
    Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

    Today, we’re pleased to announce that ZTE, one of the world’s largest smartphone companies, has joined a long list of companies that have signed patent license agreements with Microsoft. Under the agreement, Microsoft grants ZTE a license to Microsoft’s worldwide patent portfolio for ZTE phones, tablets, computers and other devices running Android and Chrome OS. This follows our announcement last week of a similar agreement with Foxconn’s parent company, Hon Hai.

    The ZTE and Foxconn agreements show once more that technology companies around the world, including some of the world’s largest and fastest growing manufacturers anchored in China, recognize licensing is an effective way to share technology and build on each other’s work, accelerating the pace of innovation and delighting customers.

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  • Microsoft, MPAA & TIME to Host Creativity Conference

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    On the eve of the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Microsoft, along with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and TIME, will host the Creativity Conference on Friday.

    This conference will convene leaders from the world of politics, media, business and the arts to engage in a direct dialogue on the role creativity plays in our economy and in creating the workforce of the future. The event will serve as the framework for an energetic discussion of how creativity strengthens and shapes the U.S. economy.

    As a leader in creativity and innovation, Microsoft understands the critical intersection between technology and the arts and its ability to drive innovation, invention and competitiveness. Creativity plays an integral role in making America a unique force on the world stage. Together, policymakers, educators, business leaders, entrepreneurs and artists can identify the key barriers and opportunities to support and expand the creative community and the economic growth driven by sectors devoted to creativity, such as the technology industry.

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  • Microsoft Testifies on Capitol Hill in Support of Historic Immigration Bill

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    Today, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s General Counsel and Executive Vice President, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the comprehensive immigration bill introduced by the bipartisan group of senators known as the ‘Gang of 8.’ He will be joined on the panel by several industry and policy experts to discuss the importance of high-skilled immigration reform in order to strengthen the economy and foster innovation in the United States.

    Microsoft General Counsel and Executive Vice President Brad Smith testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration reform. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

    Last week, we announced our support of this historic bipartisan immigration bill and have regularly spoken in favor of high-skilled immigration reform and investments in science, math, technology and engineering (STEM) education.

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  • Privacy Campaign Launches: What's Your Privacy Type?

    Posted by Mary Snapp
    Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft

    Last week, Brad Smith wrote a post on the encouraging signs that privacy is not only on peoples’ minds but that real actions are being taken to strengthen consumers’ online privacy. Key groups helping to shape the future of online privacy are moving closer to consensus on standards and rules to better protect people’s information. And consumer groups, as well as consumers themselves, are raising their voices and urging the computing industry to work together to give people more choice and control over how information is collected and shared online.

    Today, we’re showing our commitment to that evolving dialogue with the launch of several consumer-focused actions: a targeted ad campaign in two U.S. cities – Washington, D.C. and Kansas City, MO – and a new online resource for consumers that will help them learn about their privacy behaviors and take steps to shape their online personas.

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  • The View From Washington State: On the Verge of Making Computer Science A Credit That Counts

    Posted by Jane Broom
    Director of Community Affairs, Microsoft

    In a global economy that’s increasingly driven by technological innovation, computer science skills have become as fundamental as the traditional “three R’s.” But unfortunately, our nation’s schools haven’t been able to keep up with the incredible pace of change. In fact, four decades after computing visionaries like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were teenagers, we still live in a country where you have to be one of the fortunate few to be exposed to this field at an early age.

    The state of Washington is typical. Of the 770 public and private high schools in the Evergreen State, only 35 offer the Advanced Placement course in computer science. The scarcity of these courses has an even greater impact on students of color. Of the 542 Washington students who took the AP computer science exam last year, less than 25 were Hispanic, African-American or Native-American.

    A state like Washington, whose economic health depends on the technology sector, should be a national leader in computer science education. Instead, given the needs of our economy, our current situation is a serious problem. But promising steps are being taken – both in Olympia and across the state – to help increase the availability of this foundational skill for all high school students.

    One step in the right direction would be to make computer science count toward a high school graduation requirement in math or science. Only nine states do that today, and Washington isn’t one of them. When it comes to graduation requirements in our state, computer science is considered an elective on par with woodworking – hardly the way a skill that has become foundational in our culture should be addressed in our schools.

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  • Microsoft Supports Introduction of Historic Immigration Bill in the Senate

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

    Today, the U.S. Senate took a significant first step toward reforming our nation’s broken and outdated immigration system with the introduction of comprehensive legislation by the ‘Gang of 8’ Senators. The bipartisan bill will broaden economic prosperity in both the short and long run by increasing access to the best and brightest talent from around the world, while also providing American students and workers with additional STEM education and training opportunities.

    We thank the Senators for their leadership on this proposal and look forward to continuing to help refine the legislation. Microsoft strongly hopes that the legislative process will now move forward, as a comprehensive approach will strengthen our country’s long term economy. The bill contains numerous positive reforms that are essential for the continued growth of the tech sector, such as urgently needed increases in high-skilled visas and solutions to address the extensive backlog in employment-based green cards. It also provides for increased worker portability for visas and removes outdated per country caps for green cards.

    Importantly, the legislation also helps us take steps to build our American workforce by establishing a new STEM education fund. The creation of a new STEM fund will help states invest in innovative programs that will build a stronger pipeline of U.S. workers equipped with the right skills for America’s future jobs.

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  • Looking Ahead: Cause for Optimism for Online Consumer Privacy

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

    Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) at a special summit in Maryland focused on privacy in the digital age. The summit marked a key point in a year-long initiative by NAAG President and Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler aimed at exploring the best ways to manage online privacy risks and how best for NAAG to apply its resources to help ensure that the Internet's major players take meaningful steps to protect privacy online. We at Microsoft definitely appreciated the leadership and work of Attorney General Gansler in making privacy a priority for his office. His goals and the goals of NAAG are very much in line with our belief that, done right, online privacy and the economic model that supports the free Web can take a big step forward.

    At the outset of 2013, I wrote that this could be a pivotal year for our industry as it pertains to prioritizing people’s online privacy. Now, just a few months into the year, there is substantial cause for optimism.

    New leaders with strong commitments to privacy have taken the helm at a number of key groups that will help shape the future of online privacy. Collectively, we’re continuing the hard work needed to reach consensus on standards and rules to better protect people’s information. And consumer groups, as well as consumers themselves, are raising their voices and urging the computing industry to work together to give people more choice and control over how information is collected and shared online.

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  • Creating Opportunities for Women in Latin America

    Posted by Angela Camacho
    Associate General Counsel, Microsoft Latin America

    For the second year in a row, Women and Social Inclusion is a key topic area we’ll be discussing over the next two days at Microsoft’s annual Government Leaders Forum – Latin America and Caribbean in Rio de Janeiro.

    The event brings together government leaders and other influential thinkers to exchange ideas and discuss experiences on the opportunities that Information Technology enables in the region. Distinguished women leaders from the region, including keynote speaker Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the President of Costa Rica, and the ­Minister of Women’s Policy for Brazil, among others, will join us on a panel to discuss technology and the economic empowerment of women.

    Below is a photo from the event. From left to right: Eleonora Menicucci, Minister of Women’s Affairs of Brazil; Beatriz Paredes Rangel, Ambassador of Mexico in Brazil; Lucia Topolansky, First Senator for the Oriental Republic of Uruguay; Alicia Barcena Ibarra, UN Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and The Caribbean (ECLAC); Orlando Ayala, Chairman of Emerging Markets, Microsoft Corporation.

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  • Microsoft Holds Panel on Extending Computer Science Ed to U.S. Students

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    On March 28, approximately 75 leading policy makers and thought-leaders from industry, nonprofit and government engaged in a discussion on how to ensure that U.S. students and schools have what they need to attain the computer science knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to succeed in the global economy.

    The @Microsoft Conversations on Education panel, titled, “Computer Science and Underrepresented Communities: Helping Students Realize Their Full Potential,” began with opening remarks from Microsoft’s Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs Fred Humphries. National Science Foundation Program Director Jeff Forbes, who served as moderator for the panel, opened up the discussion with a presentation that emphasized the importance of computer science and include key statistics framing the issue.

    Panelists included (from left to right) National Science Foundation Program Director Jeff Forbes, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer Brian Forde, American Association for the Advancement of Science Director Dr. Yolanda L. Comedy and National Center for Women and Information Technology CEO and Co-Founder Lucy Sanders. 

    Full Panel

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