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Posted by Kerry GodesSenior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations
Skype 4.0 for Linux has arrived! Version 4.0 has four major enhancements, along with a host of smaller ones, offering Linux users the latest in Skype features and many UI improvements. The four big updates are:
This release extends Microsoft’s commitment to support Skype across multiple platforms and devices. Visit the Skype blog for more details on all the improvements that Linux fans can now enjoy and try the new version of Skype for Linux here.
Last week customers had the chance to meet Windows Azure and learn how the cloud platform is becoming even more flexible and open. A great example of this is FloodAlerts, an open data Facebook app in the UK. The service, developed by Shoothill and hosted on Windows Azure, is the world’s first visual representation of flood information, utilizing data supplied by the UK’s Environment Agency. Using Bing Maps to pinpoint accurate flood warnings, FloodAlerts provides users with relevant alerts via wall postings and email notifications. The application recently was a recipient of the Guardian Innovation Nation Awards. You can read more about the app in a blog post by Microsoft’s David Gristwood. Also, we’ll be highlighting more examples of innovations enabled by the combination of Windows Azure and open data solutions in the coming months, so stay tuned.
Posted by James UtzschneiderGeneral Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations
Yesterday, customers had the opportunity to meet Windows Azure and learn more about services in the technical preview that make Windows Azure an even more flexible, open, and powerful cloud platform. The openness and success of the Windows Azure platform is sustained by an unrivaled ecosystem of partners, providing more choices for customers to transition to the cloud on their terms.
As part of the technical preview for Windows Azure Virtual Machines, key partners Canonical, OpenLogic, and SUSE are expanding Windows Azure’s infrastructure-as-a-service capabilities by enabling Linux running on persistent virtual machines. Compatible operating systems and images available through the online gallery now include: OpenLogic CentOS, openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu, and Windows Server. This is because embracing Linux on our platforms is a real business for us.
As enterprise adoption of public, private and hybrid cloud computing grows, Microsoft is working with the ecosystem of vendors and communities to deliver cloud solutions to customers based on their specific needs and scenarios. Further, this new Windows Azure service reflects an ongoing commitment to work with the broader Linux community to provide customer choice, including a core group of Linux kernel developers who accepted our code into the community’s staging tree and worked diligently with us to harden and improve it.
In the cloud, openness is paramount for our customers. Microsoft is committed to giving customers the ability to transition to the cloud on their terms, navigating the path to cloud computing with a unique combination of technology, expertise, and an unrivaled ecosystem of partners. Today is a milestone in this journey, when customers can meet Windows Azure during a live online event at 1pm PDT with Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President of Windows Azure. As Microsoft’s Bill Laing detailed in his blog yesterday, Windows Azure is becoming an even more flexible, open, and powerful cloud platform. As part of today’s technical preview, Microsoft is expanding Windows Azure to include infrastructure-as-a-service capabilities through Windows Azure Virtual Machines, enabling customers to run both their existing Windows and Linux-based applications in the cloud. Compatible operating systems and images available in the online gallery now include CentOS, openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu, and Windows Server, further illustrating Microsoft’s commitment to openness for customers and partners.
Posted by Tony HeyVice President of Microsoft Research Connections
There is a sea of change happening in science: It’s increasingly being driven by data and computation. The practice of science is now enhanced by collecting and analyzing massive quantities of data rather than small, focused experiments. The data are coming from instruments such as satellites, high-throughput biometric screening systems, networks of sensors and telescopes, as well as massive computer simulations. In this decade we will collect more scientific data than we’ve collected so far in the whole of human history. Soon it will be impossible to do any kind of science without computational tools―and the more advanced and powerful, the better for the scientist and the science.
Extending the challenge of increasing data quantities is a corresponding need to collaborate across numerous sources and data consumers. This is driving a trend toward open science data, open access to text and publications, open standards, and open collaboration around computational tools that best serve the science community. There’s a unique role right now for the computer science and IT industries to help scientists unleash the value of their data by allowing more contributors to derive insights, and combine and refine data regardless of its scale and complexity. Microsoft Research aims to play a part in this transformation of the scientific discovery process through offering combinations of breakthrough research, software assets, algorithms, and open collaboration to accelerate the process of reaching insight. This post will be the first of a series of profiles that highlight Microsoft Research collaborations in the spirit of open science and innovation.