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  OS Technical Updates [Page: 4 of 266] @ TACKtech Corp.  

05.13.2014 - Vulnerabilities in iSCSI Could Allow Denial of Service - Version: 1.0



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (May 13, 2014): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves two vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows. The vulnerabilities could allow denial of service if an attacker sends large amounts of specially crafted iSCSI packets over the target network. This vulnerability only affects servers for which the iSCSI target role has been enabled.
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05.13.2014 - Vulnerability in Group Policy Preferences Could Allow Elevation of Privilege - Version: 1.0



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (May 13, 2014): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege if an authenticated attacker uses certain Active Directory Group Policy preferences extensions to configure, distribute and ultimately decrypt the passwords that are stored with Group Policy preferences.
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05.13.2014 - Microsoft and its partners announce new affordable access projects on four continents



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ACCRA, Ghana — May 1 3 , 2014 — Tuesday at the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance Global Summit in Accra, Microsoft Corp. announced new TV white space partnerships and projects on four continents, including its newest partnership with SpectraLink Wireless and Facebook to provide low-cost wireless connectivity to students and faculty at universities in Koforidua, Ghana. Globally, Microsoft is now involved in white spaces pilots in 10 countries.

TV white spaces, the unused portions of wireless spectrum in the frequency bands generally set aside for television transmissions, can be utilized for a range of applications including the following:

  • Providing low-cost connectivity

  • Connecting rural areas to broadband

  • Improving in-building wireless networks

  • Creating hotspots for Internet access

  • Offloading mobile traffic

Microsoft’s commercial partnership with SpectraLink Wireless and research partnership with Facebook will deploy wireless networks covering entire campuses at All Nations University College and Koforidua Polytechnic. This pilot is part of Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative to help improve the continent’s global competitiveness. A core goal of the 4Afrika Initiative is to facilitate access to technology for the masses and to empower African students, entrepreneurs, developers and others to become even more active global citizens.

For students and faculty at the universities, access to the network will be coupled with productivity and communications applications as well as Internet-enabled devices. The networks will use TV white space-enabled radios and other wireless technologies to connect campus buildings, as well as off-campus hostels where students live, to ensure they have access to fast broadband. The project is operating under a TV white space pilot license granted by the Ghana National Communications Authority and is the only TV white space license currently issued in West Africa.

Facebook’s main involvement in the project will be to collaborate with Microsoft and SpectraLink Wireless on joint technology research to better understand how TV white space spectrum and equipment can support wireless Internet users today. These efforts will be led by Facebook’s Connectivity Lab team, who are working on new technologies to support Internet.org’s mission to make Internet access available to the two-thirds of the world not yet connected.

Facebook, Microsoft and SpectraLink Wireless have a like-minded view that a more abundant supply and flexible use of spectrum are important aspects to affordably connect more people to the Internet, and the companies plan to collaborate on the policy front. All three companies involved in this pilot project are also members of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance — a global, cross-industry alliance focused on increasing dynamic access to unused radio frequencies.

“TV white spaces technology, when combined with other low-cost wireless technologies, such as Wi-Fi, offers a substantial opportunity for businesses, consumers and governments around the world to improve the economics of broadband network deployment and service delivery,” said Paul Garnett, director in Microsoft’s Technology Policy Group. “Through these projects worldwide, we are working with local private- and public-sector partners to enable new consumer experiences, while encouraging governments to make needed legal and regulatory changes to allow this technology to be deployed more broadly.”

“This project will provide substantial benefit to students and faculty at the universities,” said John Sarpong, CEO of SpectraLink Wireless. “Until now, students at these universities have not had consistent access to fast broadband, which is key to students’ ability to access information and learning resources online and compete in the 21st-century economy. With SpectraLink Wireless’ Edutech-as-a-Service platform, students and faculty will have access to the best productivity applications on the market and Internet access at true broadband speeds. All at a low cost per user per month. We look forward to rolling this out in Koforidua and the rest of the country.”

Africa is not the only region where the company’s white spaces pilots are flourishing. In Asia, Microsoft has helped to pioneer white spaces pilots in Singapore and the Philippines. Last week, Microsoft was announced as a founding member of Taiwan’s Dynamic Spectrum Access Pilot Group, which aims to contribute to the creation and development of a world-leading dynamic spectrum access ecosystem in Taiwan, leveraging Taiwan’s tremendous capabilities in semiconductor design and fabrication, component and devices manufacturing, and systems integration and solutions. The group includes leading Taiwanese companies, academic and research institutions, as well as Mediatek, the Communications Research Center at the National Taiwan University, and the Taiwan Institute for Information Industry. All are members of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance as well. The group will conduct pilot projects in Taiwan for both rural broadband access and Internet of Things (IoT) applications, such as Smart Grid, using TV white space radios.

In Latin America, Microsoft is involved in the region’s first white spaces pilot in Uruguay, where the company is providing technical support to Plan Ceibal, an initiative supporting the integration of information and communications technologies into the country’s public education system. Plan Ceibal will use TV white space technology provided by Dynamic Spectrum Alliance member 6Harmonics to provide broadband access to ten rural schools.

Finally, in the U.K., Microsoft is working with Ofcom and other partners on a pilot in Glasgow. This will play a key role in providing data to inform Ofcom’s legislative proposals for TV white spaces. The pilot is being led by the Centre for White Space Communications at the University of Strathclyde, with support from the Scottish Government's Demonstrating Digital programme, and will use TV white space radios to enable Wi-Fi hotspots and webcam image backhaul at various outdoor locations within the university’s city center campus.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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05.12.2014 - Microsoft helps enterprises embrace mobile-first, cloud-first world



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HOUSTON — May 12, 2014 — Monday at TechEd North America 2014, Microsoft Corp. announced new services, products and partnerships that remove the barriers to cloud adoption for IT professionals, developers and technology users.

“Mobility and cloud are the future of business, and the future is now,” said Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud & Enterprise Division. “Our differentiated cloud innovations, comprehensive mobile productivity solutions and developer tools help all of our customers realize the true potential of the cloud era.”

Hybrid cloud: the gateway to “cloud-first”

According to Gartner,* “nearly half of large enterprises will likely have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.” Delivering on its commitment to offer the best of both worlds, Microsoft announced the following:

Private connections to the cloud. Available Monday, Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute enables customers to create private connections between Azure and on-premises environments. Through alliances with providers such as AT&T, BT, Equinix, Level 3, SingTel, TelecityGroup, Verizon and Zadara Storage, ExpressRoute offers enterprises new options for embracing the cloud, including fast speeds, security and reliability features, and low latency.

Radically simplified cloud storage. Available in preview, Microsoft Azure Files streamlines cloud storage by enabling a single file share from multiple virtual machines, helping save customers time and money.

Enterprise-grade performance and networking. Microsoft also announced the availability of compute-intensive virtual machine sizes, in-region and cross-region virtual networking connections, and reserved IP addresses. Together, these advancements help customers architect, deploy and manage global-scale services.

API management. Available in preview Monday, Azure API Management lets customers improve interdepartmental information sharing and create new business models by exposing APIs through the cloud.

Protecting cloud investments

As CIOs and IT directors move their businesses to the cloud, they have to secure their technology across on-premises and cloud environments. Microsoft announced on Monday new advancements that help customers better protect their data:

Enhanced disaster recovery. Available in preview next month, Microsoft Azure Site Recovery, formerly Hyper-V Recovery Manager, enables enhanced, cost-effective disaster recovery in the cloud. With this new capability, customers can replicate and recover virtual machines and services to Azure in the event of an outage at their primary datacenter.

New anti-malware. Microsoft Antimalware for Azure, available in preview, offers customers the ability to install an anti-malware agent for both cloud services and virtual machines. In addition, Microsoft announced solutions with cloud security partners Symantec and Trend Micro that integrate with Azure virtual machines.

Enhanced encryption technologies. Beginning in July, Microsoft will begin to deploy new encryption technology for Microsoft Office 365 business customers, ensuring that every file stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business is encrypted with its own key for highly secure content storage.

Expanded data loss prevention. Starting in June, existing Data Loss Prevention capabilities available in Exchange will now expand to include documents stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business for Office 365 E3 enterprise customers. Data Loss Prevention helps prevent the sharing of sensitive content inside and outside an organization.

Fueling “mobile-first” productivity

As customers use even more devices and services, IT must find ways to empower productivity on the go while protecting corporate information. Building on the recently announced Enterprise Mobility Suite, on Monday Microsoft introduced new capabilities that offer industry-leading mobile application management, protection and delivery:

Office mobile app management with Windows Intune. Later this year, Intune and Office 365 will deliver mobile productivity across Office for iPad, iPhone and Android phones including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook Web App. Part of the Enterprise Mobility Suite, Intune will also deliver a tool to help customers manage existing iOS and Android line-of-business apps.

Microsoft Azure RemoteApp. Available Monday in preview, Azure RemoteApp helps companies give mobile employees access to Windows applications across a range of devices. Combining Microsoft’s powerful Remote Desktop Services capabilities with the scale and cost-efficiencies of Microsoft Azure, RemoteApp will help end users stay productive on the go and enable IT to easily scale and meet customer needs.

Enhancing the developer experience

Microsoft also announced a series of tooling and framework updates that enable enterprise developers to embrace development opportunities with next-generation cloud and mobile applications, including these:

Optimized .NET for the cloud. Microsoft shared a preview of the next version of ASP.NET, a streamlined framework and runtime that enables developers to optimize cloud and server workloads with maximum agility and performance. ASP.NET vNext will be a new Microsoft contribution to the .NET Foundation as an open source project.

Advanced mobile development. Microsoft announced a preview of Visual Studio tooling for the Apache Cordova™ platform, allowing developers to easily build multidevice hybrid applications using their HTML and JavaScript skills. Visual Studio developers can now build Windows, iOS and Android native applications with .NET and Xamarin or hybrid applications with Apache Cordova. Microsoft also released Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RTM including support for universal Windows apps.

Agile software development. Today, Microsoft extended Visual Studio Online, the cloud-based application lifecycle management offering, by releasing a set of APIs and service hooks that integrate with third-party services. The new APIs make it easier for organizations to adopt Visual Studio Online without abandoning the tools they’re using today.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Gartner Private Cloud Matures, Hybrid Cloud Is Next, Thomas J. Bittman, Sept. 6, 2013

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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05.06.2014 - San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department chooses Microsoft Office 365 and Windows 8.1 tablets



View Microsoft-Press related news.

REDMOND, Wash. May 6 , 201 4 The San Bernardino County, Calif., Sheriff’s Department has chosen Microsoft Office 365 to put the department on a single, always-up-to-date technology platform. By taking advantage of Microsoft’s cloud services, the sheriff’s department expects to save money, help ensure compliance with security and privacy regulations from the FBI, and enable mobile workers on the front lines of the geographically largest county in the United States. Once Office 365 is fully implemented, it will provide law enforcement officers and support staff with a secured, compliant way to collaborate with each other across 60 locations. Office 365 can also enable the department to better respond to citizen needs, investigate crimes and carry out administrative tasks, in addition to providing better disaster preparedness and quicker, more informed incident response.


Due to budget constraints and a three-year distributed upgrade cycle, the department had multiple offices running different software. The department wanted to unify its platform, which also needed to meet the privacy and security requirements of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) and the California Law Enforcement Telecommunication System (CLETS) for data access and management. Office 365 provides the department with a solution that helps meet these regulatory standards and has enabled the department to merge work onto a single, unified platform.

“I think the ‘aha’ moment for me was when I actually reviewed the documentation that Microsoft had put together for regulatory compliance,” said Ted Byerly, systems development team leader, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. “It went over and above what we expected. They understand what those compliance and regulatory bodies are saying and doing, and they’ve met those requirements.”

Another benefit of Office 365 is the ability to leverage the cloud instead of relying on a limited number of on-premises servers. For example, in the event of disasters such as earthquakes, the Sheriff’s Department is on the front lines of emergency response and employees need to have access to information immediately. Cloud support enables department employees to do that by connecting to systems and data even when power is out in other parts of the county. This means officers can better and more efficiently serve the community in adverse conditions or scenarios.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize that if we can get information to a deputy on the streets faster, we can be safer and take care of the communities much better,” said Shannon Dicus, commander of the information services division, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. “That’s really where the return on investment lies.”

The department is implementing these Microsoft solutions:

  • Office 365. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s adoption of Office 365 is starting with a rollout of 200 seats in April 2014, completed in partnership with Planet Technologies, followed by a phased implementation of an additional 2,800 seats.

  • Microsoft Lync videoconferencing. As part of Office 365, Microsoft Lync videoconferencing capabilities will enable Sheriff’s Department staff to hold face-to-face meetings virtually, instead of requiring staff to drive as much as four hours to attend in-person meetings.

  • Windows 8 ruggedized devices. The department plans to deploy 100 ruggedized Dell devices running Windows 8.1, which meet CJIS and CLETS standards and allow secured, mobile access to data.

“A big part of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s charter is to ensure and protect the safety of its community,” said Michael Donlan, vice president of state and local government, Microsoft. “By moving to a government cloud platform that is reliable, agile and compliant, the department can focus on this mission and work together to build solutions more quickly, efficiently and securely. The upcoming rollout of Microsoft Lync and the Windows 8.1 devices will further enable the department to transform the way it helps citizens and increase its effectiveness.”

The benefits of Office 365 extend beyond enhancing collaboration and citizen services. The department has also been able to free up resources. With the always-updated cloud-supported platform, IT staff no longer have to spend one day a week managing security issues and upgrades for its complex system. Instead, they can focus on other, more strategic projects.

“As a result of using this technology, we’re able to free up some of our employees who have historically been tasked with maintaining our servers,” said John McMahon, sheriff, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. “Those employees will now be able to work on things that will make our deputy sheriffs’ jobs easier. As we continue moving forward, our goal is to provide the best service to the citizens we serve and make access to critical information more available.”

More information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available on the Microsoft Customer Spotlight newsroom.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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05.02.2014 - First U.S.-based Microsoft Innovation Center to debut in Miami



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MIAMI —  May 2, 2014   Microsoft Corp. announced Friday its plans to open the first U.S.-based Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) later this spring. Located in Miami, Florida, the center will be equipped with the latest technology and tools to help drive job creation, increase the number and availability of highly skilled technology specialists, and facilitate collaboration among a variety of diverse groups in the greater Miami area. This facility will be the first of a series of new Microsoft Innovation Centers to be established across the United States, and will also serve as the flagship technology center connecting Miami to key communities in the Latin American (LATAM) region.

As part of the kickoff to Techweek Miami 2014, City of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, and Dr. Susan Amat, founder of Venture Hive, joined Microsoft executives to make the announcement. Venture Hive will host the Microsoft Innovation Center at its downtown Miami location.

“The opening of the Microsoft Innovation Center in Miami signals our commitment to providing our cities and local communities with resources and technology that help spur economic development and create opportunities for shared learning,” said Sanket Akerkar, vice president of Developer & Platform Evangelism, Microsoft. “By building the center in the heart of Miami and making it available to the people, especially youth and students, we’re helping empower the city to become a more prosperous place to live and work.” The Miami MIC will specifically target four primary audiences:

  • Academia. The Miami MIC will provide students with a welcoming space to learn about and receive training from skilled specialists regarding the tools and technologies being used for specific courses or curriculum. In addition, the facility will help students build portfolios and experiential opportunities for better workforce preparedness. Meanwhile, the MIC will offer faculty an open, physical location to ask questions and receive guidance on curriculum development and research projects.

  • Startups. The Miami MIC will provide entrepreneurs and prospective startups with access to Microsoft tools, technology and hardware to help test, develop, and hone their solution or craft. It will also provide access to specialists who can help remediate technical issues, and to potential interns or full-time employees who may have needed expertise or knowledge. In addition, it offers startups a wealth of networking opportunities and the potential to become a BizSpark Network Partner or customer.

  • Government. The Miami MIC will provide a source for job creation as it allows government organizations access to an increased pool of highly skilled workers who have an extensive understanding of technology. Further, the MIC will help put Miami on the map as a center for international innovation and growth.

  • Local and LATAM community. The Miami MIC will provide the local community with access to the latest and greatest in technology, both Microsoft solutions and those provided by community partners. It will offer citizens a space to learn how technology works and how it can be used to create a real impact. In addition, the MIC will serve as the gateway to the LATAM region.

“The Microsoft Innovation Center in Miami has all of the leading-edge tools and technologies needed to motivate our citizens to innovate and grow,” said Carlos Gimenez, mayor of Miami-Dade County. “With all of the training services and engagement opportunities available, the facility will undoubtedly help Miami further transform into a 21st century city.”

“Having the first Microsoft Innovation Center in the U.S. located in Miami demonstrates that our technology community is not only growing, it’s thriving,” said Tomas Regalado, mayor of the City of Miami. “The access we’ll have to top technology and highly specialized workers will be immensely valuable in developing and sustaining our communities — both locally and worldwide.”

Microsoft and Venture Hive have already been working together to help local businesses and startups use technology and tools to fuel development and growth. As part of this collaboration, new and emerging companies have reaped the benefits.

“Both Microsoft and Venture Hive were a central piece for my company’s development and growth,” said Alejandro Muther, chief executive officer of Kimetrics. “They provided us with the technical and managerial tools to help create a successful company. Particularly in our case, that gave us the opportunity to enter the U.S. market. I can only imagine what the Microsoft Innovation Center in Miami will be able to do for people in Miami with the same dreams we had.”

This specific MIC has been established as part of the Microsoft CityNext initiative, a program focused on accelerating innovation in urban areas by harnessing the ideas, energy and expertise of local people to create a healthier, safer and more sustainable place to live. Through CityNext, cities and counties enter into long-term working relationships with Microsoft, and these relationships are documented in alliance agreements. An example of this is the Miami-Dade CityNext Digital Alliance, whose goal is to explore how Microsoft and the county can work together to respond to some of Miami-Dade’s biggest priorities, challenges and initiatives. In addition to support from Miami-Dade County, the Miami MIC has been made possible by a number of local partners, including the city of Miami, Venture Hive, academia, and several startups within the community.

More about the Microsoft Innovation Centers around the world can be learned at Microsoft Innovation Center. More about Microsoft CityNext can be learned at Microsoft CityNext.

About Venture Hive

Venture Hive exists to energize, educate, and cultivate entrepreneurs. Opened in January, 2013, Venture Hive offers governments, institutions, and communities efficient and effective turnkey solutions to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem based on sound educational and economic development principles at the K-12, university, and accelerator levels. Venture Hive is based in Miami, Florida where it runs Accelerator and Incubator programs that act as a laboratory to support the creation of educational content and documentation of best practices to build world-class entrepreneurs. For more information, please visit www.venturehive.co.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to edit ors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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05.01.2014 - Security Update for Internet Explorer - Version: 1.0



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.0 (May 1, 2014): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability in Internet Explorer. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using an affected version of Internet Explorer. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
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05.01.2014 - CDI College chooses Surface to enrich the educational experience



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REDMOND, Wash. — May 1, 2014 — CDI College, one of Canada’s leading career training institutions, is preparing students for success in the workforce of today and the future. An early adopter of tablet technology in the classroom, CDI College will be providing more than 5,800 Surface 2 tablets to students by the end of summer 2014 as one of the primary tools students and faculty will use to facilitate the educational experience across all of its campuses.

CDI College recently completed a pilot program at its Ajax, Ontario, campus and is currently running another pilot program at the Surrey, British Columbia, campus. In each program, the students gained valuable skills that will seamlessly translate to their careers post-graduation. For example, students used their Surface devices to do the following:

• Access the college’s Learning Management System, course materials and assignments online

• Access and read their e-books

• Communicate with faculty and fellow students through email, chat and Skype

• Save and share files with OneDrive or with the integrated USB 3.0 port

• Use Office 2013 to complete class assignments and activities

• Submit assignments for classes and real-time peer review

• Use additional apps such as Flash Cards and Nurse Tabs

“The experience students receive with the enterprise-quality technology of the Surface devices and Microsoft productivity tools help us achieve our goal of preparing them with the skills and experiences they need to succeed in their career now and 20 years from now,” said Dr. Bohdan Bilan, vice president of Academics and Regulatory Affairs at CDI College. “We need to provide students with the tools they will use when they graduate and the skills that will translate in the future as technology continues to evolve, so the Surface 2 and Microsoft software was perfect for us.”

Connected to the Internet, and loaded with the Office 2013 RT suite, including OneDrive storage in the cloud, the Surface devices allow students to read, produce, share and store materials. The Windows 8.1 RT operating system enhances student productivity with the seamless ability to multitask among different applications, for example, simultaneously watch a video and take notes in the OneNote app. Students are also able to search across the operating system, the Web and the cloud at once, and with a USB and HD video out port, students can connect to hundreds of peripheral devices such as printers and projectors.

The Surface offers a solution for a college that teaches a variety of disciplines. Healthcare students can use Windows 8 RT anatomy apps to study anatomy and physiology. Students in the business administrative and accounting programs can create reports, spreadsheets and presentations using the Office RT Suite. In addition to the students, administrators anticipate a number of benefits for faculty, including greater flexibility to interact with students and provide feedback within and outside the classroom.

“The Surface 2 makes it a lot easier for us to learn. You can make more detailed notes, using pictures and highlighting things,” said Marlene Bromley, Practical Nursing student. ” With the Surface 2, I like the splitting of the screens so I can read my PowerPoint presentations and create flash cards as I go, instead of switching back and forth because it was really time-consuming.”

More information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available on the Microsoft Customer Spotlight newsroom.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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04.30.2014 - Microsoft chooses new agencies for creative and media services



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REDMOND, Wash. — April 30, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. announced a new roster of agency partners to handle its advertising and media planning and buying. The company has chosen Interpublic Group (IPG) as its agency of record for advertising and global deployment while Dentsu Aegis will handle media planning, media buying and search advertising.

“We are thrilled to work with the teams at IPG and Dentsu Aegis,” said Chris Capossela, Microsoft executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “We believe both groups will help us communicate more strategically and efficiently in a rapidly evolving marketplace.”

At Interpublic Group, creative, localization and deployment will be handled by various agency teams throughout IPG’s global network.

At Dentsu Aegis, media planning will also be handled by a cross-discipline team spanning the company’s network.

This completes a review of agencies undertaken by Microsoft beginning in January. Microsoft periodically evaluates its agency mix as a best practice to ensure it retains the services that best fit the needs of its evolving business.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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04.30.2014 - BesTV and Microsoft to bring Xbox One to China in September



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SHANGHAI , China — April 29 , 2014 Today Microsoft Corp. announced that in partnership with BesTV New Media Co., a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group, Xbox One will launch into China in September of this year.

The all-in-one games and entertainment system will be the first of its kind to launch in the country, creating mutual opportunities for developers in China to bring their creative content to life both at home and abroad. Xbox One will offer content such as games, entertainment, education and fitness experiences.

This is a major step in the partnership between BesTV and Microsoft after forming their joint venture, E-Home Entertainment Development Company Ltd. in September 2013, when the two jointly announced plans for a new generation of home entertainment and gaming experiences. As part of this, E-Home Entertainment was the first company registered through the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ).

“Launching Xbox One in China is a significant milestone for us and for the industry, and it’s a step forward in our vision to deliver the best games and entertainment experiences to more fans around the world,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president, marketing and strategy, Devices and Studios, Microsoft. “BesTV has a rich history of delivering innovative entertainment content. It is the ideal partner with which to bring the Xbox business to China.”

“The launch of Xbox One here will bring distinction as the first-ever game console with OTT functionality in China,” said Dazhong Zhang, senior vice president, Shanghai Media Group, and chairman, E-Home Entertainment Development Company Ltd. “The launch of Xbox is a milestone for our company in the family entertainment market and will create profit growth opportunities. Furthermore, we will continue our investment and support into research and development for gaming content together with Microsoft. Via our cooperation with the world’s leading team, we will continue to develop video games fused with Chinese culture and provide further distribution support for locally produced Chinese video game content to the world.”

The culture of games and entertainment is rapidly expanding in China, with nearly half a billion people playing games — roughly more than a third of the country’s population and more than the entire population of North America. The gaming industry alone generated more than $13 billion in 2013, a growth of 38 percent over 2012.* While much of that comes from PC, mobile and online gaming, the SFTZ opens the opportunity for Xbox One to bring the next generation of games, entertainment, online education and fitness to a burgeoning market.

“I congratulate BesTV and Microsoft on their joint announcement that the home entertainment system Xbox One will be available in China this September,” said Zhu Yonglei, director of the Shanghai Municipal Press Office. “This is a major achievement for the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, and the collaboration between these two leading brands will bring an unprecedented entertainment experience to consumers in China.”

Enwei Xie will lead Xbox China for Microsoft, bringing years of Microsoft experience both in China and abroad to the endeavor. As general manager of Xbox China, he will also have operation and management responsibility for the joint venture.

“The opportunities are endless for creators to unleash their imaginations for games, online education and fitness experiences for China and beyond,” said Xie. “Creators and gamers alike have eagerly awaited a new generation of entertainment experiences in China, and their wait will be over with the arrival of Xbox One this year.”

As part of the partnership, E-Home Entertainment is investing in an innovation program that will enable creators and developers to build, publish and sell their games on Xbox One in China and in other markets where Xbox is available. Within China, Microsoft will work with traditional retailers to establish a new growth category and partner with BesTV to explore expanded channel opportunities in the telecommunications segment.

This global expansion into new markets later this year continues the most successful launch in Xbox history. More than 5 million Xbox One consoles have been sold-in to retailers in the 13 countries where it’s available today, representing more than 60 percent greater sales than Xbox 360 in the same time period. Building upon this momentum, in September Xbox One will be available in 42 total markets worldwide.

More product and pricing details for Xbox One in China will be shared later this year. For more details about Xbox One, visit www.xbox.com. Press releases and media assets are available at http://news.xbox.com/media.

About BesTV

BesTV New Media Co Ltd (SHA: 600637), a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group (SMG), launched its IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange as the first new media stock in China.

BesTV’s main businesses include Internet protocol television (IPTV) business, home entertainment, OTT set-top boxes, network video business, mobile television business, smart television business, multimedia production business and digital media platform design and construction, firmly establishing the company as a global leader in China’s growing “family entertainment” industry. More information about BesTV can be found online at www.bestv.com.

About Xbox

Xbox is Microsoft’s premier entertainment brand for the TV, phone, PC and tablet. In living rooms or on the go, Xbox is home to the best and broadest games, as well as one of the world’s largest libraries of movies, TV, music and sports. Your favorite games, TV and entertainment come to life in new ways through the power of Kinect, Xbox SmartGlass and Xbox Live, the world’s premier social entertainment network. More information about Xbox can be found online at http://www.xbox.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Source: China Games Industry Annual Conference

The information contained in this press release relates to a pre-release product that may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the product when first commercially released. The press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the press release or the information contained in it.

For assets :

http://news.xbox.com/media

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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04.28.2014 - Microsoft and partners take next step to close the opportunity gap



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REDMOND, Wash. — April 28, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. and its hardware partners on Monday unveiled a range of devices at various price points to help U.S. public school districts make the digital transition. The devices included in today’s pricing announcement are lightweight enough to conduct research and take assessments, while at the same time robust enough to create rich media, develop code and build complex applications. With devices starting under $300, the effort is a part of Microsoft’s global YouthSpark initiative to empower youth through technology and is further evidence of its commitment to providing a range of devices, training and services to teachers and students. Microsoft’s investment is in partnership with President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to advance technology and learning in the classroom.

In addition, Microsoft exam delivery provider Certiport Inc. is providing certification exams worth over $5 million following students’ completion of Microsoft IT Academy training. The Microsoft IT Academy provides a complete technology and certification training solution for schools, enabling students to learn the skills needed for today’s workforce, and is part of Microsoft’s $1 million investment in reaching the 2,000 highest needs schools in the U.S.

“To move students into the future, they need the skills and resources that can bring learning to life and prepare them for the workforce,” said Margo Day, vice president, U.S. Education, Microsoft. “Through Microsoft’s commitment, we are helping bridge the technology skills gap that exists among many students today by providing tools and learning resources that give all students a world-class education and help teachers better use technology in the classroom. Working with our partners to lower costs and provide affordable devices is just one step in the process.”

To fit the various needs of schools, devices from Microsoft partners include a range of form factors, from various-sized tablets to full laptops. Device options include the Acer Travelmate TMB113-E, ASUS Transformer Book T100, Dell Venue 11 Pro, FUJITSU STYLISTIC® Q704, HP 210 Notebook PC and HP ElitePad 1000, Lenovo ThinkPad 11e, Toshiba Satellite® NB15t, and a new student device from Panasonic scheduled to launch at ISTE 2014. All of the devices are Common Core testing compliant and feature Windows 8.1. This special device pricing program is delivered through technology partners that serve K–12 schools. Hardware and device manufacturers will now be able to make specially priced devices available to all U.S. public schools through this offer. Schools can determine the best device for them by visiting the ConnectED devices page, http://www.microsoft.com/eduwindows.

In order to effectively use technology to bolster student learning and outcomes, teachers must be properly trained to weave technology into classroom curriculum. Miami-Dade County Public Schools is a great example of rolling out its 1:1 program effectively. The district recently announced the purchase of over 47,000 HP notebook PCs and tablets for students and teachers. In addition, Microsoft will be offering digital transition training to 700 Miami-Dade teachers in the coming weeks with additional training for 1,000 more teachers over the summer. Across the district, over 350,000 students can download Office 365 via the Student Advantage benefit, which allows Office 365 school customers to access Office 365 ProPlus for all its students at no additional cost. This will support a consistent experience between classroom and home, and supports the district’s bring-your-own-device (BYOD) efforts. In addition, the district is providing Internet access and laptops through EveryoneOn for over 1,000 high-need homes and it is about to begin implementing Microsoft IT Academy in select elementary, middle and high schools.

“Our No. 1 priority is to help students graduate from high school, well prepared to succeed in college or the career of their choosing. That is no simple undertaking with more than 350,000 students,” said Alberto Carvahlo, superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. “Through our work with Microsoft, we’re providing the technology, services and training support our teachers and students need to gain the skills that will ultimately help accomplish our goal, but on top of that, Microsoft IT Academy will give students the certifications that will help get them the jobs of their dreams.”

Schools using Microsoft solutions to improve student outcomes include Clear Creek School District, Fresno Unified School District and the Kentucky Department of Education.

This latest announcement of devices and skills training services demonstrates Microsoft’s progress against President Obama’s ConnectED goals of connecting U.S. schools to the digital age within five years by providing cost-efficient devices and services. In February of this year, Microsoft committed to offering the following elements:

• Communication and collaboration tools with Office 365 Education

• Teacher training and resources through the Microsoft Educator Network, formerly Partners in Learning Network

• Ad-free search with Bing in the Classroom

• Student training and skills development via Microsoft IT Academy

• A powerful and flexible operating system with Windows 8.1 Pro

• Broadband as a critical component to connected learning through Microsoft’s nonprofit partner EveryoneOn

School participation and eligibility

All U.S. public schools are eligible for this unique education offer and can contact their technology reseller or Microsoft for additional details or to access an official letter of eligibility. More information on the offer can also be found at http://www.microsoft.com/education/ConnectED.

About Microsoft in Education

At Microsoft, we are deeply committed to working with governments, communities, schools and educators to use the power of information technology to deliver technology, services and programs that provide anytime, anywhere learning for all. Since 2003, Microsoft has partnered with educators to impact more than 207 million students in 119 countries to date. Through TEACH.Org, Microsoft and other partners, candidates are provided with free access to the online tools and resources necessary to pursue a career in teaching. For more information: http://www.microsoft.com/education.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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04.25.2014 - Microsoft officially welcomes the Nokia Devices and Services business



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Satya Nadella & Stephen Elop share a moment together
Satya Nadella & Stephen Elop share a moment together
April 24, 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (left) and executive vice president of Microsoft Devices Group Stephen Elop share a moment as the deal that brings together Microsoft and the Nokia Devices and Services business closes today.
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REDMOND, Wash. April 25 , 2014 — Microsoft Corp. announced it has completed its acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business. The acquisition has been approved by Nokia shareholders and by governmental regulatory agencies around the world. The completion of the acquisition marks the first step in bringing these two organizations together as one team.

“Today we welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business to our family. The mobile capabilities and assets they bring will advance our transformation,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “Together with our partners, we remain focused on delivering innovation more rapidly in our mobile-first, cloud-first world.”

Reporting to Nadella is former Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop, who will serve as executive vice president of the Microsoft Devices Group, overseeing an expanded devices business that includes Lumia smartphones and tablets, Nokia mobile phones, Xbox hardware, Surface, Perceptive Pixel (PPI) products, and accessories. Microsoft welcomes personnel with deep industry experience in more than 130 sites across 50 countries worldwide, including several factories that design, develop, manufacture, market and sell a broad portfolio of innovative smart devices, mobile phones and services. As part of the transaction, Microsoft will honor all existing Nokia customer warranties for existing devices, beginning April 25, 2014.

Windows Phone is the fastest-growing ecosystem in the smartphone market, and its portfolio of award-winning devices continues to expand. In the fourth quarter of 2013, according to IDC, Windows Phone reinforced its position as a top three smartphone operating system and was the fastest-growing platform among the leading operating systems with 91 percent year-over-year gain.[1] Furthermore, with the Nokia mobile phone business, Microsoft will target the affordable mobile devices market, a $50 billion annual opportunity,[2] delivering the first mobile experience to the next billion people while introducing Microsoft services to new customers around the world.

Microsoft will continue to deliver new value and opportunity, and it will work closely with a range of hardware partners, developers, operators, distributors and retailers, providing platforms, tools, applications and services that enable them to make exceptional devices. With a deeper understanding of hardware and software working as one, the company will strengthen and grow demand for Windows devices overall.

As with any multinational agreement of this size, scale and complexity, Microsoft and Nokia have made adjustments to the deal throughout the close preparation process. As announced previously, Microsoft will not acquire the factory in Masan, South Korea, and the factory in Chennai, India, will stay with Nokia due to the tax liens on Nokia’s assets in India that prevent transfer. As a result, Microsoft will welcome approximately 25,000 transferring employees from around the world.

More information about Microsoft’s expanded family of devices and services is available here.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft refers to Microsoft Corp. and its affiliates, including Microsoft Mobile Oy, a subsidiary of Microsoft. Microsoft Mobile Oy develops, manufactures and distributes Lumia, Asha and Nokia X mobile phones and other devices.

For further information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with Microsoft’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of Microsoft’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, its annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained by contacting Microsoft’s Investor Relations department at (800) 285-7772 or at Microsoft’s Investor Relations website.

All information in this release is as of April 25, 2014. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company’s expectations.

1 IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, February 2014

2 Strategy Analytics Inc.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact the Microsoft Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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04.24.2014 - Microsoft cloud momentum helps drive third-quarter results



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REDMOND, Wash. — April 24, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. today announced revenue of $20.40 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2014. Gross margin, operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $14.46 billion, $6.97 billion, $5.66 billion, and $0.68 per share, respectively.

The following table reconciles our financial results reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) to non-GAAP financial results for the prior year. We have provided this non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding the company’s performance. Management commentary regarding performance and growth refers to non-GAAP financial results.


April 24, 2014

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“This quarter’s results demonstrate the strength of our business, as well as the opportunities we see in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. We are making good progress in our consumer services like Bing and Office 365 Home, and our commercial customers continue to embrace our cloud solutions. Both position us well for long-term growth,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “We are focused on executing rapidly and delivering bold, innovative products that people love to use.”

“We delivered solid, broad-based financial results driven by strong execution and continued cost discipline,” said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Microsoft. “We are focusing our resources to drive growth and long-term shareholder value.”

Devices and Consumer revenue grew 12% to $8.30 billion.

  • Windows OEM revenue grew 4%, driven by strong 19% growth in Windows OEM Pro revenue.

  • Office 365 Home now has 4.4 million subscribers, adding nearly 1 million subscribers in just three months.

  • Microsoft sold in 2.0 million Xbox console units, including 1.2 million Xbox One consoles.

  • Surface revenue grew over 50% to approximately $500 million.

  • Bing U.S. search share grew to 18.6% and search advertising revenue grew 38%.

Commercial revenue grew 7% to $12.23 billion.

  • Office 365 revenue grew over 100%, and commercial seats nearly doubled, demonstrating strong enterprise momentum for Microsoft’s cloud productivity solutions.

  • Azure revenue grew over 150%, and the company has announced more than 40 new features that make the Azure platform more attractive to cloud application developers.

  • Windows volume licensing revenue grew 11%, as business customers continue to make Windows their platform of choice.

  • Lync, SharePoint, and Exchange, our productivity server offerings, collectively grew double-digits.

“Our products and services continue to deliver differentiated business value to our customers, and we continue to win share in areas like cloud services, data platform, and infrastructure management,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. “Our SQL Server business grew double-digits again this quarter, and with the announcements of SQL 2014 and Power BI for Office 365, we offer a unique, comprehensive, end-to-end data and analytics solution.”

Nokia

Microsoft expects to close the acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business on April 25, 2014.

Business Outlook

Microsoft will provide forward-looking guidance in connection with this quarterly earnings announcement on its earnings conference call and webcast.

Webcast Details

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer, Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Frank Brod, chief accounting officer, John Seethoff, deputy general counsel, and Chris Suh, general manager of Investor Relations, will host a conference call and webcast at 2:30 p.m. PDT (5:30 p.m. EDT) today to discuss details of the company’s performance for the quarter and certain forward-looking information. The session may be accessed at http://www.microsoft.com/investor/. The webcast will be available for replay through the close of business on April 24, 2015.

Adjusted Financial Results and Non-GAAP Measures

During the third quarter of fiscal year 2013, GAAP revenue, gross margin, operating income, and diluted earnings per share included the net revenue recognition for the Windows Upgrade Offer, the Office Deferral, the Video Game Deferral, and the European Commission Fine. These items are defined below. In addition to these financial results reported in accordance with GAAP, we have provided certain non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding the company’s performance. Presenting these measures without the impact of these items gives additional insight into operational performance and helps clarify trends affecting the company’s business. For comparability of reporting, management considers this information in conjunction with GAAP amounts in evaluating business performance. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered as a substitute for, or superior to, the measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Non-GAAP Definitions

Revenue deferred on sales of Windows 7 with an option to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro at a discounted price (“Windows Upgrade Offer”).

Revenue deferred on sales of the previous version of the Microsoft Office system with a guarantee to be upgraded to the new Office at minimal or no cost and pre-sales of the new Office to OEMs and retailers before general availability (collectively, the “Office Deferral”).

Revenue deferred on sales of video games with the right to receive specified software upgrades/enhancements (“Video Game Deferral”).

Fine of €561 million ($733 million) assessed by the European Commission in 2013 for violation of an order to provide a browser choice screen with Internet Explorer on PCs sold in Europe (“European Commission Fine”).

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this release that are “forward-looking statements” are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially because of factors such as:

  • intense competition in all of Microsoft’s markets;

  • increasing focus on services presents execution and competitive risks;

  • significant investments in new products and services that may not be profitable;

  • acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances, including our acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business, may have an adverse effect on our business;

  • Microsoft’s continued ability to protect its intellectual property rights;

  • claims that Microsoft has infringed the intellectual property rights of others;

  • the possibility of unauthorized disclosure of significant portions of Microsoft’s source code;

  • cyber-attacks and security vulnerabilities in Microsoft products that could reduce revenue or lead to liability;

  • disclosure of personal data that could result in liability and harm to Microsoft’s reputation;

  • outages, data losses, and disruptions of our online services if we fail to maintain an adequate operations infrastructure;

  • government litigation and regulation that may limit how Microsoft designs and markets its products;

  • Microsoft’s ability to attract and retain talented employees;

  • delays in product development and related product release schedules;

  • adverse economic or market conditions may harm our business;

  • adverse results in legal disputes;

  • unanticipated tax liabilities;

  • our hardware and software products may experience quality or supply problems;

  • impairment of goodwill or amortizable intangible assets causing a charge to earnings;

  • exposure to increased economic and regulatory uncertainties from operating a global business; and

  • catastrophic events or geo-political conditions may disrupt our business.

For more information about risks and uncertainties associated with Microsoft’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of Microsoft’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, its annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained by contacting Microsoft’s Investor Relations department at (800) 285-7772 or at Microsoft’s Investor Relations website at http://www.microsoft.com/investor/.

All information in this release is as of April 24, 2014. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company’s expectations.

For more information, financial analysts and investors only:

Chris Suh, general manager, Investor Relations, (425) 706-4400

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news/. Web links, telephone numbers, and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Shareholder and financial information, as well as today’s 2:30 p.m. PDT conference call with investors and analysts, is available at http://www.microsoft.com/investor/.

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04.22.2014 - Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy (Helsinki Bus Transportation Company) saves money, boosts customer satisfaction with Power BI for Office 365



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Helsinki Bus Transportation Company uses big data and analytics to improve fuel economy, driver performance, and to save money.
Helsinki Bus Transportation Company uses big data and analytics to improve fuel economy, driver performance, and to save money.

HELSINKI , Finland April 21, 201 4 Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy (Helsinki Bus Transportation Co.), in Finland, has selected Microsoft Power BI for Office 365 to analyze operational data to improve business decision-making, fuel economy and customer satisfaction. Using a data warehouse solution developed with CGI (formerly Logica) and using Microsoft software, including Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Office and Power Map, Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy is able to track traffic data, driver performance and gas usage. Within the first two years of implementation, the company has been able to recoup its investment because of the entire solution, seeing as much as 5 percent savings in fuel costs due to more careful driving and improved maintenance. This is no small matter for a business that uses approximately 12 million liters (or approximately 3 million gallons) of gasoline per year, in a country where gas can cost up to three times as much as it does in the United States. There has also been a 7 percent increase in customer satisfaction since deployment.

In May 2013, the company added Power Map to the solution, providing a visualization of operational performance by a single driver or across the system. Mapping the data allows Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy to see which routes experience the most delays and breakdowns and to associate data on individual driver performance with specific traffic incidents or customer feedback. Supervisors can bring map data into conversations with drivers, making it easier to review performance and outline steps for improvement. Power Map visualizations also enable executives to more quickly understand the factors that contribute to cost or performance issues and make more informed long-term decisions.

“There are fleet tracking systems already in the marketplace, but they are only solving for the issue of tracking per vehicle,” said Michael Andersson, technical director at Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy. “Our data warehouse solution can combine the data across all buses and lines, which gives us snapshots of data that are easy to understand and helpful in solving business problems.”

Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy competes for transportation routes through a public tender process with the city. Once a seven-year contract is awarded, the company is not permitted to raise rates for its duration, meaning that any new revenue goals or unexpected expenditures must be offset with cost savings. To help streamline cost analysis, Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy established a data warehouse system to track financial and operational data; at the same time, the company installed sensors on its fleet of buses to capture real-time performance data such as geographic location, braking or accelerating, and fuel consumption. Working with CGI, Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy used Microsoft software to bring together the massive data being collected. The organization used analytics and visual tools to enable a nuanced understanding of fleet operations across the city and over time.

Helsinki Bus Transportation Company uses PowerBI for Excel to visualize emergency braking hotspots.
Helsinki Bus Transportation Company uses PowerBI for Excel to visualize emergency braking hotspots.


“For upper management, it is revealing to visualize the findings in map format,” Andersson said. “The analyst can concentrate on describing what’s behind the figures.”

Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy has seen significant benefits from the solution, including the above-mentioned savings of as much as 5 percent in fuel costs, and customer satisfaction, measured through surveys and interviews, has increased by 7 percent. The company expects to be able to use the data to analyze and establish the specific details of traffic incidents — for example, whether a bus was in motion or whether the driver was braking at the time of a collision.

More information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available on the Microsoft Customer Spotlight newsroom.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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04.22.2014 - Brown University offers Office 365 to students at no additional cost through Microsoft Student Advantage



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REDMOND, Wash. — April 22, 2014 — Brown University has selected Microsoft Office 365 for its students, and is using the Microsoft Student Advantage benefit to extend the service to its student body at no additional cost using their existing Brown credentials. Available since Jan. 1, Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus gives Brown’s approximate 8,600 students the tools they need to complete coursework from any device while in school and compete in the job market after graduation.

Until now, students who wished to use Office had to purchase it for themselves or rely on third-party programs that didn’t always sync well with one another. Office on the Windows platform offers students a full enterprise experience, but many students use a variety of devices, such as iPhones, iPads, PCs and desktop computers, so Brown needed a unified solution that would provide students with the same, robust experience no matter what device they are using. Microsoft Student Advantage, which launched Dec. 1, 2013, enables academic institutions that license Office for staff and faculty to provide Office 365 ProPlus for students at no additional cost.

“When our chief information officer heard about Student Advantage, he wanted us to make it available to students as quickly as possible, and we were able to extend the service to students in about one month,” said Geoffrey Greene, director of IT Support Services, Brown University. “Students have been champing at the bit for this, and faculty have frequently asked us to help students get the solution, so it’s a great benefit for everyone. Plus, a lot of our students use laptops, iPhones and other devices, so Office 365 was the perfect solution for us.”

Extending the Office 365 service to students helps Brown ensure that students have the technical tools they need to succeed in their classes, and that their software is always up to date. The Daily Herald student blog helped alert students to the new offering in time for the start of the new semester.

“The Microsoft Student Advantage is an incredible opportunity for all students to gain access to the Office programs,” said Sazzy Gourley, student at Brown University. “Especially for incoming first-years, or for those who are purchasing new computers, Microsoft Student Advantage makes accessible the technology students need to be academically successful.”

More information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available on the Microsoft Customer Spotlight newsroom.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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04.21.2014 - Microsoft and Motorola Solutions sign licensing agreement



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REDMOND, Wash. — April 21, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. announced on Monday a patent licensing agreement with Motorola Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of communication solutions and services for enterprise and government customers. The license provides worldwide coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Motorola Solutions’ devices running the Android™ platform and Chrome OS™ operating system.

“Microsoft and Motorola Solutions share a respect for intellectual property and a commitment to fair and reasonable patent licensing programs,” said Nick Psyhogeos, general manager, associate general counsel, IP licensing of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “Microsoft prefers licensing to litigation, since licensing is a more effective way to share technology and accelerate the pace of innovation.”

“Our Motorola Solutions communications technology works best for everyone when it is backed with robust intellectual property and patents,” said Joe White, vice president of Enterprise Mobile Computing, Motorola Solutions. “We are pleased to have agreed upon a solution that allows our customers to purchase Android products from Motorola Solutions with confidence.”

Microsoft’s commitment to licensing IP

The patent agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant technology ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 1,100 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that open Microsoft’s IP portfolio for customers, partners and competitors. The program was developed to provide access to Microsoft’s significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio. Microsoft’s specific patent licensing program for Android device-makers has resulted in signed license agreements with numerous companies, including Samsung, ZTE, LG, HTC, Acer and Barnes & Noble.

More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.

About Motorola Solutions

Motorola Solutions is a leading provider of mission-critical communication solutions and services for enterprise and government customers. Through leading-edge innovation and communications technology, it is a global leader that enables its customers to be their best in the moments that matter. Motorola Solutions trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “MSI.” To learn more, visit www.motorolasolutions.com. MOTOROLA, MOTO, MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS, and the Stylized M Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Motorola Trademark Holdings, LLC and are used under license. Android and Chrome OS are trademarks of Google, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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04.17.2014 - Microsoft Security Bulletin MS14-018 - Critical: Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (2950467) - Version: 1.1



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Revision Note: V1.1 (April 17, 2014): Revised bulletin to help clarify that although Internet Explorer 10 is not affected by the vulnerabilities described in this bulletin, an update is available for Internet Explorer 10 that includes non-security updates. See the Update FAQ for details.
Summary: This security update resolves six privately reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. These vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
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04.15.2014 - Microsoft delivers data platform for the era of ambient intelligence



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SAN FRANCISCO April 15 , 201 4 At a customer event in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella showcased innovations available today with the launch of SQL Server 2014, the newest version of the world’s most widely deployed database, and outlined the company’s path to deliver a platform for ambient intelligence. Nadella stressed the importance of a data culture — one that encourages curiosity, action and experimentation — for everyone and every organization. Microsoft also shared the results of new IDC research that shows companies that take a comprehensive approach to data stand to realize an additional 60 percent return on their data assets — a worldwide opportunity of $1.6 trillion.

“The era of ambient intelligence has begun, and we are delivering a platform that allows companies of any size to create a data culture and ensure insights reach every individual in every organization,” Nadella said.

More of Nadella’s thoughts about ambient intelligence and the future of data can be found on the Official Microsoft Blog.

T he data platform for a new era

Built for the era of ambient intelligence, Microsoft’s data platform includes new Internet of Things capabilities and provides customers with the building blocks they need to connect their data, refine and analyze it, and deliver insights to people who can take action.

Today, Microsoft expanded its data platform with new products and services, including the following:

  • Launch of SQL Server 2014. The latest version of the world’s most widely deployed database delivers real-time performance with built-in in-memory technology and public cloud scale and disaster recovery with Microsoft Azure.

  • Limited public preview of the Microsoft Azure Intelligent Systems Service. This new Azure service helps customers embrace the Internet of Things and securely connect to, manage and capture machine-generated data from sensors and devices, regardless of operating system.

  • General availability of the Analytics Platform System (APS). APS combines the best of Microsoft’s SQL Server database and Hadoop technology in one low-cost offering that delivers “big data in a box.”

These new solutions build on 12 months of innovation — including Power BI for Office 365, a cloud-based, self-service business intelligence solution with groundbreaking natural language capability; Azure HDInsight for elastic Hadoop in the cloud; PolyBase to bring structured and unstructured data together in a data warehouse appliance; and Power Query for Excel, which makes it easier for people to discover data — to deliver the most comprehensive data platform with real-time performance built into everything.

More information can be found at the Data Platform Insider blog.

Customers bet on Microsoft to realize their data dividend

Data is currency for business. New research commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by IDC estimates that organizations could realize a “data dividend” of roughly $1.6 trillion in additional revenue, lower costs and improved productivity over the next four years by putting in place a holistic approach to data that spans datasets, analytics and more. The research was conducted among more than 2,000 mid-sized and large organizations in 20 countries worldwide. More information on the methodology can be found at the Microsoft Cloud & Enterprise News Bytes Blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/stbnewsbytes.

“Customers who take a comprehensive approach to their data projects realize a higher data dividend than customers who take a point-by-point approach,” said Dan Vesset, program vice president, Business Analytics and Big Data, at IDC. “This new research shows that by combining diverse data sets, new analytics and insights to more people — at the right time — businesses worldwide can tap into a more than trillion-dollar opportunity over the next four years.”

Customers such as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Condé Nast, Edgenet Inc., KUKA systems GmbH, NASDAQ, telent, Tesla Motors Inc., Virginia Tech and Xerox Corp. are putting Microsoft’s platform to work, driving real business results and increasing their data dividend.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Full View / NID: 47829 / Submitted by: The Zilla of Zuron

04.08.2014 - Microsoft Security Bulletin MS14-019 - Important: Vulnerability in Windows File Handling Component Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2922229) - Version: 1.0



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.0 (April 8, 2014): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user runs specially crafted .bat and .cmd files from a trusted or semi-trusted network location. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit the network location or run the specially crafted files. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to take such action. For example, an attacker could trick users into clicking a link that takes them to the location of the attacker's specially crafted files and subsequently convince them to run them.
Full View / NID: 47886 / Submitted by: The Zilla of Zuron

04.08.2014 - Microsoft Security Bulletin MS14-017 - Critical: Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Word and Office Web Apps Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2949660) - Version: 1.0



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.0 (April 8, 2014): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability and two privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office. The most severe of these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a specially crafted file is opened or previewed in an affected version of Microsoft Office software. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the current user. Customers whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.
Full View / NID: 47885 / Submitted by: The Zilla of Zuron
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