Marketplace Dynamics

  • Rebalancing the Data Asymmetry

    Posted by Paul Mitchell
    General Manager, Technology Policy Group

    A combination of ubiquitous data, analytics and machine learning is ushering in a transition from the information economy to a knowledge economy – where growth is driven primarily by the production of new ideas, insights, and knowledge. However, data-driven economies are reliant on a dependable supply of data to be sustainable. The current imbalance between the amount of data about individuals held by or accessible to institutions, and the inability of those same individuals to control the use of that data has created an asymmetry of power, resulting in a crisis of trust that was further exacerbated by last year’s revelations about government use of data and other events such as the recent data breaches from large retail outlets. All of this impacts the flow of such data. In the new World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report 2014, a chapter on Rebalancing Socioeconomic Asymmetry in a Data-Driven Economy, co-authored by Microsoft, discusses some of the challenges that will need to be addressed to enable a thriving knowledge economy.

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  • EU privacy authorities approve Microsoft cloud contracts

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    In a post Thursday on The Official Microsoft Blog, Microsoft General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs Brad Smith announced that the European Union’s data protection authorities have found that Microsoft’s enterprise cloud contracts meet the high standards of EU privacy law.

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  • Microsoft’s Spectrum Observatory project opens up for increased collaboration

     Posted by Anoop Gupta
    Lead Software Development Engineer, Technology Policy Group, Microsoft

    On March 31, we released all of the source code for the Microsoft Spectrum Observatory under an open source software license, a move that will increase opportunity for collaboration with academics, governments and others interested in learning more about how wireless spectrum is used.

    Spectrum, the airwaves over which wireless devices communicate, is in increasing demand throughout the world. As mobile broadband access is expanded further than ever before and unprecedented numbers of smart devices come online, efficiently using the wireless spectrum that is available to us becomes more and more important.

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  • Nokia-Microsoft deal approved by Chinese Ministry of Commerce

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    In a post Tuesday on The Official Microsoft Blog, it was announced that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia Devices and Services.

    “MOFCOM’s decision effectively adopts Microsoft’s current patent licensing practices. In reaching its decision, MOFCOM concluded after its investigation that Microsoft holds approximately 200 patent families that are necessary to build an Android smartphone,” wrote David Howard, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, litigation and antitrust, Microsoft.

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  • We’re listening: Additional steps to protect your privacy

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

    Last Thursday, news coverage focused on a case in 2012 in which our investigators accessed the Hotmail content of a user who was trafficking in stolen Microsoft source code. Over the past week, we’ve had the opportunity to reflect further on this issue, and as a result of conversations we’ve had internally and with advocacy groups and other experts, we’ve decided to take an additional step and make an important change to our privacy practices.

    Effective immediately, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property from Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves. Instead, we will refer the matter to law enforcement if further action is required.

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