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  OS Technical Updates [Page: 8 of 262] @ TACKtech Corp.  

10.08.2013 - MS13-086 - Important : Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Word Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2885084) - Version: 1.0



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (October 8, 2013): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves two privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office. The vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a specially crafted file is opened in an affected version of Microsoft Word or other affected Microsoft Office software. An attacker who successfully exploited the 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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10.08.2013 - MS13-087 - Important : Vulnerability in Silverlight Could Allow Information Disclosure (2890788) - Version: 1.0



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (October 8, 2013): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Silverlight. The vulnerability could allow information disclosure if an attacker hosts a website that contains a specially crafted Silverlight application that could exploit this vulnerability and then convinces a user to view the website. The attacker could also take advantage of compromised websites and websites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements. Such websites could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit a website. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit a website, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or in an Instant Messenger message that takes them to the attacker's website. It could also be possible to display specially crafted web content by using banner advertisements or by using other methods to deliver web content to affected systems.
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10.07.2013 - Microsoft unleashes fall wave of enterprise cloud solutions



View Microsoft-Press related news.

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 7, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced a wave of new enterprise products and services to help companies seize the opportunities of cloud computing and overcome today’s top IT challenges. Complementing Office 365 and other services, these new offerings deliver on Microsoft’s enterprise cloud strategy.

Satya Nadella, Cloud and Enterprise executive vice president, said, “As enterprises move to the cloud they are going to bet on vendors that have best-in-class software as a service applications, operate a global public cloud that supports a broad ecosystem of third party services, and deliver multi-cloud mobility through true hybrid solutions. If you look across the vendor landscape, you can see that only Microsoft is truly delivering in all of those areas.” More comments from Nadella can be found on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Hybrid infrastructure and modern applications

To help customers build IT infrastructure that delivers continuous services and applications across clouds, on Oct. 18 Microsoft will release Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2. Together, these new products empower companies to create datacenters without boundaries using Hyper-V for high-scale virtualization; high-performance storage at dramatically lower costs; built-in, software-defined networking; and hybrid business continuity. The new Windows Azure Pack runs on top of Windows Server and System Center, enabling enterprises and service providers to deliver self-service infrastructure and platforms from their datacenters.

Building on these hybrid cloud platforms, customers can use Visual Studio 2013 and the new .NET 4.5.1, also available Oct. 18, to create modern applications for devices and services. As software development becomes pervasive within every company, the new Visual Studio 2013 Modern Lifecycle Management solution helps enable development teams, businesspeople and IT managers to build and deliver better applications, faster.

Enabling enterprise cloud adoption

Recognizing that most enterprises will take a hybrid approach to cloud, Microsoft wants to help customers utilize their investments in on-premises software solutions toward the adoption of cloud computing. On Nov. 1, Microsoft will offer Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers access to discounted Windows Azure prices, regardless of upfront commitment, without overuse penalties and with the flexibility of annual payments.

As another part of this effort to reduce cloud adoption barriers, Microsoft on Monday announced a strategic partnership with Equinix Inc. Building on recently announced partnerships with AT&T and others, this alliance will provide customers with even more options for private and fast connections to the cloud. Customers will be able to connect their networks with Windows Azure at Equinix exchange locations for greater throughput, availability and security features.

Governments are among the most demanding enterprise customers. To help U.S. federal, state and local government agencies realize the benefits of public cloud computing, Microsoft is introducing its Windows Azure US Government Cloud. This will offer U.S. government customers a dedicated community cloud for data, applications and infrastructure, hosted in the continental U.S. and managed by U.S. personnel. Windows Azure has been granted FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board Provisional Authority to Operate, making it the first public cloud of its kind to achieve this level of government authorization.

Data platform and insights

As part of its vision to help more people unlock actionable insights from big data, Microsoft next week will release a second preview of SQL Server 2014. The new version offers industry-leading in-memory technologies at no additional cost, giving customers 10 times to 30 times performance improvements without application rewrites or new hardware. SQL Server 2014 also works with Windows Azure to give customers built-in cloud backup and disaster recovery.

For big data analytics, later this month Microsoft will release Windows Azure HDInsight Service, an Apache Hadoop-based service that works with SQL Server and widely used business intelligence tools, such as Microsoft Excel and Power BI for Office 365. With Power BI, people can combine private and public data in the cloud for rich visualizations and fast insights.

People and devices in the cloud

The proliferation of cloud applications, data and consumer devices is moving many enterprises to a bring-your-own-device model. The new release of Windows Intune, also available Oct. 18, combines with System Center Configuration Manager to help IT departments give mobile employees security-enhanced access to the applications and data they need on the Windows, iOS and Android devices of their choice. This unified management environment for PCs and mobile devices complements the new access and information protection capabilities in Windows Server 2012 R2.

Further, with Windows Server 2012 R2 Microsoft is introducing the Microsoft Remote Desktop app, available for download in applications stores later this month, to provide easy access to PCs and virtual desktops on variety of devices and platforms, including Windows, Windows RT, iOS, OS X and Android.

Software as a service business solutions

The next major version of the company’s CRM solution, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Fall ’13 will be available later this month, helping make customer interactions more personal via contextual information for deeper insights than the previous version, delivered on a variety of devices.* The on-premises version is expected to be available later in the fall for deployment either in-house or hosted by a partner. More information is available here. In addition, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2 is now available, offering small and midsize businesses interoperability with Office 365, full multitenant support, and a range of tools designed to support large-scale hosting of the application on Windows Azure.

More information on Monday’s announcements can be found at the Microsoft News Center.

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

* Devices include Windows 8 tablets and iPad tablets with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013; Windows Phone 8, iPhone and Android phone shortly following the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 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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10.07.2013 - The CardLinx Association formed to grow next-generation offers ecosystem, card linked offers



View Microsoft-Press related news.

LAS VEGAS — Oct. 7, 2013 — Monday at the Money 2020 event in Las Vegas, leading merchants and companies from ecommerce, banking, payments and social media unveiled The CardLinx Association, a new interoperability organization to enhance the consumer experience with local commerce and card linked offers. Founding members of The CardLinx Association include Microsoft Corp., Bank of America, Discover, Deem, Facebook, First Data Corp., Linkable Networks Inc., LivingSocial, MasterCard, Affinity Solutions Inc., CardSpring Inc. and Cardlytics.

As the “offers” space has become more popular, consumers have often found it cumbersome to take advantage of the variety of offers, which has slowed growth in the industry. Card linked offers help solve that problem by giving merchants and advertisers the ability to deliver an offer or deal to consumers via their credit, debit or other payment cards without having to use a paper coupon, voucher or promotion code on their mobile devices. The mission of The CardLinx Association is to establish increased interoperability, eliminate friction and promote the growth of the card linked offers industry.

The CardLinx Association membership is open to financial institutions, publishers, advertisers and merchants, merchant acquirers, payment networks and offer technology companies. The association will develop and institute common business practices and interoperability standards to minimize friction in the sourcing, serving, publishing, redeeming and cross-syndicating of card linked offers — ultimately leading to the growth of the industry. Companies interested in joining the association should visit http://www.cardlinx.org.

“We’re focused on connecting digital advertising to the physical world in a way that minimizes friction for merchants and consumers so they can engage with each other in valuable ways. We believe that card linked offers will play a key role in delivering on this promise, which is why we’re eager and committed to be one of the founding members of The CardLinx Association,” said Erik Jorgensen, general manager of Local Advertising with Microsoft. “We’re excited to partner with other industry leaders to bring this to life via The CardLinx Association.”

“The CardLinx Association brings together thought leaders across a variety of important linked industries, allowing us to define a set of standards and services that will make it easier for consumers to shop and for merchants to sell their goods and services,” said Silvio Tavares, founding CEO of The CardLinx Association.

Tavares and founding members of The CardLinx Association will host a presentation to share more about their commitment to standardizing card linked offers Monday at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the ARIA Resort & Casino in the Starvine Meeting Rooms 10 and 11.

About The CardLinx Association

The mission of the non-profit CardLinx Association is to establish increased interoperability, eliminate friction and promote the growth of the card linked offers industry. On behalf of its members, the Association develops and institutes common business practices and industry services to minimize and eliminate friction in the sourcing, serving, publishing, redeeming, and cross-syndicating of card linked offers — ultimately leading to the growth of the industry. Companies interested in joining should visit www.cardlinx.org.

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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10.05.2013 - New research highlights potential for technology to help fuel significant revenue and job growth by SMEs



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Denpasar , Bali, INDONESIA Oct . 5 , 2013 Tech-savvy small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) created more new jobs and drove more revenue gains over the past three years than SMEs using little technology, according to new research commissioned by Microsoft Corp. and independently conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm and a leading adviser on business strategy.

Successful Tech-Savvy SMEs
Successful Tech-Savvy SMEs
October 03, 2013
How Microsoft enables their productivity and growth
Downloads:
Web

The BCG report, Ahead of the Curve: Lessons on Technology and Growth From Small Business Leaders, which is being published Saturday, found there is potential for SME revenue to grow by a combined $770 billion in the five primary countries if more SMEs could achieve the growth rates of those SMEs that use modern IT. These same SMEs could add some 6.2 million new jobs in those countries alone. What’s more, BCG believes that this association between IT adoption and growth would be consistent in countries across the world.

“SMEs are a critical growth engine for jobs and economies today, and we wanted to better understand the impact of technology on these small businesses,” said Orlando Ayala, corporate vice president and Microsoft chairman of Emerging Markets. “Since the economic crisis, many economies have struggled to return to strong economic growth and to create new jobs, and this research suggests strongly that greater use of advanced IT by SMEs can potentially boost both growth and employment.”

BCG’s research found that over the past three years, IT-enabled SMEs, which BCG refers to as “technology leaders,” grew revenues 15 percentage points faster and created twice as many jobs as SMEs that use less technology. The research also revealed that across nearly all product categories, these fast-growing SMEs use more Microsoft solutions than any other products, and that SMEs view Microsoft as the top partner for new and future technology needs. In fact, when asked what technologies survey respondents could not live without, they chose Microsoft Office as the top productivity application over all others. What’s more, SMEs that adopted Microsoft Cloud services grew faster than SMEs that do not use any Microsoft products.

“The BCG research revealed that Microsoft products and services are the No. 1 choice of these technology leaders,” said Vahé Torossian, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Worldwide Small and Mid-Market Solutions and Partners organization. “Microsoft is the brand that small businesses trust and use to power their growth.”

The BCG report argued that the latest wave of technological advancement, such as cloud services, brings potential for the most far-reaching innovation and business growth ever, creating an opportunity for more SMEs to achieve the growth rates of technology leaders by leveraging technology to fuel productivity and growth. The research revealed that high-performing SMEs stayed ahead of mainstream IT adoption, riding new waves of advancement to improve productivity, connect with new customers and markets, particularly outside their own region or country, and compete with much larger players. These companies employ the full range of available tools — from productivity software to Internet connectivity and cloud-based services.

But at the same time, the research revealed a risk, because SMEs’ adoption of IT is decidedly uneven. Across the world, many SMEs, and their customers, don’t have access to modern broadband networks, and many lack the skills to get the most out of IT. Many SMEs are also still using large amounts of old and less efficient hardware and software. New devices are also sometimes very expensive due to high import duties, and SMEs are concerned about online security and privacy. But the growth prospects described in the study are too important for governments and the IT industry to ignore.

The risk of a growing technology gulf is relevant to governments looking to maximize economic growth, and it is an opportunity for policy-makers and the IT industry to implement strategies to remove barriers to IT adoption by addressing small businesses’ top concerns about using more technology.

“Our objective is to help more SMEs transition to, and benefit from, modern IT,” Torossian said. “For customers, it means providing product training and helping SMEs understand the full range of available devices and services, but it also means community investments such as skills training and partnering with governments and communities to remove the bigger, systemic barriers that hold SMEs back.”

The results of the BCG survey of more than 4,000 SMEs in five of the world’s largest and most diverse economies were consistent across all industry sectors, but there were some surprises from emerging markets and with women-owned firms. Technology leaders in emerging markets grew jobs and revenue faster than in developed markets and are even quicker than their developed market counterparts to embrace new tools, and women-owned firms are among the most technically advanced, innovative and successful firms interviewed.

“What we are seeing is that technology can help level the playing field for groups with historical disadvantages in business, and we would like to see more SMEs benefit from being technology leaders,” Ayala said. “Microsoft is committed to enabling people from all over the world and bridging the gender gap in computing careers with tools and programs to provide opportunities in the computing field for business growth and innovation.”

A copy of the report can be downloaded at http://www.bcgperspectives.com.

More about how Microsoft is working with SMEs can be found at

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/presskits/SMETechLeaders/default.aspx .

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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09.30.2013 - Microsoft achieves FedRAMP JAB P-ATO for Windows Azure



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REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 30, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. announced Monday that its public cloud platform, Windows Azure, has been granted Provisional Authorities to Operate (P-ATO) from the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Joint Authorization Board (JAB). Windows Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables customers to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters.

Windows Azure is the first public cloud platform, with infrastructure services and platform services, to receive a JAB P-ATO. This level of federal compliance helps assure Microsoft customers that Windows Azure has undergone the necessary security assessments. This opens the door for agencies to quickly meet U.S. government Cloud First Computing initiatives and realize the benefits of the cloud using Windows Azure.

“Given the rigorous process involved in achieving this level of FedRAMP compliance, which includes a greater depth of review than that of an agency-level authorization, Microsoft customers using Windows Azure can trust it meets FedRAMP’s rigorous standards,” said Susie Adams, chief technology officer, Microsoft Federal. “This is the highest level of FedRAMP ATO available, and it is a great honor for Microsoft to receive this certification. In addition, the pragmatic and holistic approach we took in achieving the provisional ATO for Windows Azure and its underlying datacenters will help pave the way for FedRAMP P-ATOs for even more Microsoft cloud services.”

“With the June 2014 FedRAMP security requirements deadline rapidly approaching, it is paramount for cloud service providers and agencies to get compliant ATOs in place,” said Matt Goodrich, program manager for FedRAMP’s Program Management Office at the U.S. General Services Administration. “The announcement today of Microsoft’s provisional authorizations for Windows Azure demonstrates that different types of cloud services — public to private and infrastructure to software — can meet the rigorous security requirements for FedRAMP.”

FedRAMP is a U.S. government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. The JAB is the primary governance group of the FedRAMP program, consisting of the chief information officers of the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. General Services Administration.

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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09.30.2013 - Delta to equip 11,000 pilots with Microsoft Surface 2 electronic flight bags



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ATLANTA and REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 30, 2013 — Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) is equipping its 11,000 pilots with electronic flight bags using the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet. Device rollout to pilots flying the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 fleets will start later this year and all Delta cockpits are projected to be paperless by the end of 2014.

The Surface 2 will run on the Windows RT 8.1 platform and provide flight crews real-time access to essential tools and the most up-to-date flight-related resources including key charts, reference documents and checklists while saving the airline $13 million per year in fuel and associated costs.

“Delta’s electronic flight bag running on Surface 2 continues the technological strides Delta has been making to give our crews the best tools to keep them flying safely and efficiently,” said Capt. Steve Dickson, Delta’s senior vice president – Flight Operations. “This intuitive device puts key information at their fingertips right when they need it. By eliminating paper, we’ll reduce clutter and minimize time spent looking for flight information allowing our pilots the opportunity for greater situational awareness in the air and on the ground.”

Electronic flight bag to support real-time access to resources

Delta’s electronic flight bag will leverage Jeppesen’s industry-leading FliteDeck Pro application built specifically for the Windows 8.1 platform. The interactive software gives flight crews quicker and more efficient access to key, real-time information and resources such as dynamic charts and navigation utilities which help them better manage the safe operation of their aircraft.

“Delivering digital flight information through FliteDeck Pro on the Surface tablet platform will increase situational awareness and improve operational efficiency for Air Lines,” said Tim Huegel, director, Jeppesen Aviation Portfolio Management.  “This EFB integration program highlights a successful collaboration between , Microsoft and Jeppesen and we congratulate on the digital transformation of their flight deck operations.” 

With the Windows RT 8.1 operating system, pilots will be able to open two applications side-by-side, offering, for example, the opportunity to assess weather information alongside proposed flight paths. The Live Tile user interface in Windows 8.1 can feed up-to-the-minute information to crew members while the true high-resolution 1080p touchscreen display of the Surface 2 adds detail to maps and other resources.

Delta expects to receive approval from the FAA to use the tablets during all phases of flight next year, a process that follows an extensive period of testing on board Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 aircraft. Approvals for all fleet types are expected by the end of the year. The Surface tablets fully integrate handheld technology in the flight deck, streamlining organization of necessary materials and ensuring continuity of information accessed by pilots while giving them the latest tools to drive operational and cost improvements. The reduction of paper in the cockpit also reduces clutter and allows pilots to spend more time focusing on flying the aircraft as they will benefit from an intuitive user interface with functions to find key information faster without having to hunt for appropriate manuals in flight bags or page through paper documents.

“The integration of the electronic flight bag is part of Delta’s broader move to upgrade flight deck equipment, deploy technology enhancements and take advantage of airspace modernization efforts,” said Dickson. “With these improvements, we’re able to reduce the airline’s environmental impact while providing a great deal of flexibility to continue to add mobile technology solutions into our flying operations.”

Maximizing efficiencies for environmental benefit

Rolling out the Surface 2 tablets across the entire fleet and eliminating paper in the cockpit means the carrier will remove traditional 38-pound pilot flight bags maintained on board aircraft for each pilot. That critical weight reduction is expected to reduce fuel usage by an estimated 1.2 million gallons per year which translates to a 26 million pound reduction in carbon emissions — the equivalent of taking more than 2,500 passenger cars off the road. Additionally, the tablet will cut the airline’s paper usage by 7.5 million sheets annually and save an estimated 900 trees each year.

In the coming years, Delta plans to expand the functionality of the EFB equipment and increase the efficiency of the operation by providing pilots with electronic dispatch and flight release information, access to real-time weather forecasts, up-to-the-minute operational information and dynamic communication with aircraft technicians on the ground.

“We set out to make Surface the most productive tablet, so we couldn’t be more excited to help Delta pilots be more productive and help the environment,” said Brian Hall, Surface General Manager at Microsoft Corp. “This announcement demonstrates Delta’s absolute commitment to bringing the best in technology innovation onto their flight operations. The full HD Surface screen and 10-hour battery life will be perfect for flights where Delta pilots will get seamless real-time data and visualization in a variety of lighting conditions. And then they can be productive off the plane with Microsoft Office and our click-in keyboard. We look forward to seeing how Delta amazes us with its Surface tablets.”

The move to a paperless cockpit follows Delta’s industry-leading launch of handheld devices for its 19,000 flight attendants, which run on Windows Phone-based software. Delta flight attendants began using the Nokia Lumia 820 in August and are able to access customer and flight information while using Dynamics for Retail technology for easy onboard customer purchases.

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.

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

About Delta

Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. Delta was named by Fortune magazine as the most admired airline worldwide in its 2013 World’s Most Admired Companies airline industry list, topping the list for the second time in three years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 317destinations in 57 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs nearly 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry’s leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. Delta is investing more than $3 billion in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on delta.com, Twitter @Delta, Google.com/+Delta and Facebook.com/delta.

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09.24.2013 - Microsoft to discuss new reporting segments



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REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 24, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. will webcast a conference call to discuss the new reporting segments on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 on the Microsoft Investor Relations website at http://www.microsoft.com/investor/. A live webcast of the conference call will be made available at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time on the Microsoft Investor Relations website at http://www.microsoft.com/investor/.

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

For more information, financial analysts and investors only:

Investor Relations, Microsoft, (425) 706-4400

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/news/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Shareholder and financial information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/investor/.

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09.24.2013 - AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo agree to streamline access to premium ad inventory for advertisers



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NEW YORK — Sept. 24, 2013 — AOL Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo on Tuesday announced that they have each committed to converge around a common set of API specifications for the premium programmatic digital advertising sales channel. The goal is to make it easier for advertisers and agencies to procure premium digital advertising by reducing the friction in discovering, ordering and paying for premium inventory.

The companies are committing to work together on a defined set of APIs that will better automate the process for buying premium digital advertising. The absence of this type of standardization and common specifications has historically inhibited the growth of the online media business. Although the programmatic buying model has helped address an industrywide need to buy inventory faster and more efficiently — through direct response and real-time bidded mechanisms — it has yet to address the challenges brand marketers and publishers face when seeking to predictably and seamlessly reach consumers across multiple devices via premium digital advertising offerings.

AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo will make the API specifications available in the coming months. The companies encourage other publishers and ad technology vendors in the industry to adopt or adhere to the API specifications, which should enable ecosystem growth.

“Microsoft, together with AOL and Yahoo, is committed to the growth of programmatic premium,” said Rik van der Kooi, corporate vice president, Microsoft Advertising. “We see this approach as being both ‘advertiser friendly’ and ‘publisher friendly’ – something that will address the challenges and inefficiencies that make it hard to scale big brand buys on the Internet. Ultimately, we believe this will serve as a catalyst to unlock pent-up demand for premium publisher offerings and help speed the migration of offline media spend to online.”

Previously, the buying and selling of premium ad offerings had been largely constrained by manual sales processes. The alignment around a set of API specifications will complement current direct sales channels and remove barriers for both advertisers wanting to buy and publishers wanting to sell programmatically.

“We’re working to programmatically enable the more than 50 percent of inventory that is currently sold via manual processes,” said Seth Demsey, senior vice president, global advertising products and strategy at AOL Networks. “This is digital’s next salvo in the efficiency war, bringing more premium inventory online. Agencies and brands have spoken. Automation of manual processes is a key priority. This is our collective response and the beginning of the journey to simplify the ecosystem and shift more TV budgets online.” “We are thrilled to work with Microsoft and AOL to collectively improve programmatic buying — simplifying the process for advertisers to buy premium digital ad inventory and making it easier for them to do business overall,” said Dennis Buchheim, vice president, product management for display advertising at Yahoo. “Aligning our APIs helps create a thriving digital ad environment where advertisers can feel confident that their programmatic efforts help maximize potential for high-quality premium ad placements and a higher return on their ad dollars.”

The announcement has been met with support from a number of companies in the ecosystem, including Yieldex, which runs the largest revenue and inventory analytics platform for digital publishers.

“We are thrilled to work with Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL to collectively improve programmatic buying — simplifying the process for agencies to buy premium digital ad inventory,” said Tom Shields, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Yieldex. “Our mission is to make it easier for premium publishers to increase efficiency and maximize revenue. Supporting these new standards helps our customers maintain their premium value while enabling them to realize the benefits of selling programmatically."

About AOL

AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The home of a world-class collection of premium brands, AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions.

About Yahoo

Yahoo is focused on making the world's daily habits inspiring and entertaining. By creating highly personalized experiences for our users, we keep people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the world. In turn, we create value for advertisers by connecting them with the audiences that build their businesses. Yahoo is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has offices located throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC) and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. For more information, visit the pressroom (pressroom.yahoo.net) or the company's blog (yahoo.tumblr.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.

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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09.23.2013 - Microsoft announces expanded resources through YouthSpark initiative



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REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 23, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced the availability of new and expanded technology education and skills training programs for youth as the company marked the first year of progress and impact of its global Microsoft YouthSpark initiative. Building upon the opportunities created for 103 million youth during its first year, Microsoft is increasing access to computer science education through expansion of TEALS —Technology Education And Literacy in Schools — and providing an enhanced digital literacy and technology skills curriculum through its Microsoft YouthSpark Hub.

“Working with our nonprofit partners around the world, we see how technology education can be a great equalizer of opportunity and employment for youth,” said Lori Forte Harnick, general manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs at Microsoft. “Whether it is basic digital literacy or computer science engineering, there is a positive impact for young people of all ages and geographies when they have greater access to technology education. We are enhancing YouthSpark to provide that greater access.”

According to a new report released today by the International Youth Foundation (IYF), the global youth unemployment rate is expected to reach 12.8 percent by 2018. As the technology sector continues to drive economic growth, youth with ICT skills will find themselves better qualified for new employment and entrepreneurial activities. According to Code.org, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that half of the STEM jobs in the U.S. will be in computing occupations, with more than 150,000 job openings annually, making it one of the fastest-growing fields in the country. In addition, these jobs pay 75 percent more than the national median annual salary and span a breadth of industries, with two-thirds of computing jobs in sectors other than information technology, including manufacturing, defense, heath care, finance and government. Globally, according to the study “Connecting to Work” from The World Bank, in India, for example, jobs in the ICT industry pay up to twice what service-sector jobs pay, whereas in the Philippines an entry-level tech job pays, on average, 38 percent more than minimum wage.

“A global approach to youth development is essential for long-term, worldwide economic growth, and providing access to advanced IT skills and education should be a critical element of that approach,” said Bill Reese, president and CEO of the International Youth Foundation. “At IYF, we believe we have a responsibility to young people around the world to answer and echo their call for a broad-based, international strategy to address issues that affect their present and future lives and to help them harness their own passion and innovation to build brighter futures.”

To give youth a head start in gaining critical technology skills that are required for today’s jobs, Microsoft launched on Monday a new game-based and interactive digital literacy curriculum for Microsoft Office 2013 on the YouthSpark Hub. Through this online curriculum, youth around the world have free access — anytime and anywhere — to learning the basics of word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and databases. The YouthSpark Hub also includes training materials and instructional resources from Microsoft partners, such as Khan Academy and the Sprout e-course from TakingITGlobal.

For young people who are ready to take the next step in their technology education, Microsoft is building and expanding computer science education in many countries. In the U.S., Microsoft’s TEALS expansion will nearly double the number of high schools where software engineers are voluntarily partnering with in-service faculty to teach basic and Advanced Placement computer science courses. The expansion of the TEALS program now includes 70 schools in 12 states with 280 volunteers that will teach 3,000 students during the 2013–2014 school year.

Since the launch of YouthSpark in September 2012, Microsoft has created new education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for 103 million young people around the world. In partnership with 186 youth-serving nonprofits and through its own programs and products, such as Office 365 for Education, Skype in the Classroom, Partners in Learning, Microsoft DreamSpark and DigiGirlz, Microsoft has expanded digital inclusion and access to technology and training for 78.6 million youth; inspired and empowered 14.9 million future innovators through tools, mentorships and events; and increased employability and entrepreneurial skills opportunities for 9.9 million young adults.

“As we have worked with young people on their most critical challenges throughout the year, we have been inspired by their leadership and passion to seize these opportunities to enhance not only their own lives, but also the world around them,” Harnick said. “For this reason, we see a strong correlation between youth development and global economic growth and believe there is great value in investing in youth as a critical path toward investing in the future.”

About Microsoft YouthSpark

Microsoft YouthSpark is a global initiative that aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries by 2015. This companywide initiative includes Citizenship and other company programs that empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship. Explore the YouthSpark Impact Map and meet the YouthSpark Stars to read more about how young people are reaching new heights through YouthSpark programs.

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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09.23.2013 - Microsoft unveils Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 and new accessories



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NEW YORK — Sept. 23, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced that the Microsoft Surface family of tablets is growing. Two new Surface models — Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 — along with an expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories, will be available at Microsoft retail stores, http://www.MicrosoftStore.com and select third-party retailers in 22 initial markets, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States on Oct. 22 and China in early November. Additional markets will be announced in the coming months.

Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 each benefit from significant updates, including improvements to processing power and battery life, to display and camera resolution, and to the Kickstand, now with dual angles, so it’s more comfortable for you to use your Surface on your lap or at your desk. Enhancements in Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro make Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 even more powerful and customizable.

Pre-order Surface

Customers can pre-order Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 starting at 8 a.m. EDT on Sept. 24, 2013, at http://www.MicrosoftStore.com, Microsoft Stores, and Best Buy in the U.S. and Canada, as well as select retailers in most Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 launch markets.

Value-added services

To help people get the most out of Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, customers purchasing either device will receive free Skype calling to landlines in more than 60 countries for one year, unlimited Skype WiFi on their Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 at more than 2 million hot spots worldwide for one year, and 200 GB of free SkyDrive storage for two years.

Surface 2

Surface 2 is the most productive tablet for personal use. It offers all the entertainment and gaming capabilities you expect from a tablet, along with the ability to get work done. Surface 2 is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, making apps run faster and smoother and increasing battery life to up to 10 hours for video playback. The 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD display now renders 1080p video for enjoying shows and movies, and its full-size USB port has been upgraded to USB 3.0 for up to four times faster file transfers. Camera resolution has also increased, with a 3.5-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel rear camera, both capable of capturing 1080p video and featuring improved low-light performance, making face-to-face conversations with your favorite people crisp and clear. Even with these and other upgrades, Surface 2 is slightly thinner and lighter than its predecessor.

Surface 2 will ship with Windows RT 8.1, bringing improvements in key areas such as personalization, search, multitasking, built-in apps, the Windows Store experience and cloud connectivity. The new Xbox Music allows you to stream millions of songs for free, and an updated Video app and great games from the Windows Store such as “Halo: Spartan Assault” will ensure that you never run out of ways to play. When it’s time to get serious, Surface 2 is pre-loaded with Office Home & Student 2013 RT and Outlook RT; simply click in a Touch or Type Cover and get to work.

Surface 2 is available in 32GB and 64GB configurations[1]; it will start at $449.

Surface Pro 2

Surface Pro 2 is the successor to Surface Pro and, like its predecessor, is a true laptop replacement, capable of running virtually all your Windows software including the full Microsoft Office suite,[2] as well as apps from the Windows Store. Surface Pro 2 offers the portability and simplicity of a tablet when you want it and the power and flexibility of a laptop when you need it. It is powered by a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor which, combined with other improvements, delivers increased performance and up to 60 percent longer battery life than Surface Pro.

Starting at $899, Surface Pro 2 will be offered in 64GB and 128GB configurations with 4 GB of RAM and 256GB and 512GB configurations with 8 GB of RAM.[1]

Full specs are available at http://www.Surface.com/pre-order.

New Accessories

Today’s announcement also includes seven new accessories that will make Surface even more flexible, more portable and more productive:

• Touch Cover 2. Thinner and lighter than the original Touch Cover, measuring only 2.75 mm thin, Touch Cover 2 features backlit keys for even better readability. Touch Cover 2 is more rigid, registers keystrokes with greater accuracy and features updated sensors that support a variety of gestures across the entire keyboard. Touch Cover 2 has an estimated retail price of $119.99. It will be available for pre-order on Sept. 24 in all markets where Surface devices are available for pre-order.

• Type Cover 2. Type Cover 2 features the same super-thin, lightweight design of the original Type Cover, but it’s now backlit and will be available in Cyan, Magenta, Purple and Black in the coming months. It’s also more rigid, providing a better lap-typing experience, and is designed to be noticeably quieter when striking keys. Type Cover 2 will have an estimated retail price of $129.99. It will be available for pre-order on Sept. 24 in all markets where Surface devices are available for pre-order.[3]

• Power Cover. Power Cover delivers the same great typing experience you get with Type Cover while extending the battery life of your Surface 2, Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 by up to 50 percent to help you make it through that late-night meeting or the entire flight. Power Cover will have an estimated retail price of $199.99 and has a projected release date of early 2014.

• Docking Station for Surface Pro. The Docking Station for Surface Pro lets you quickly connect Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 to desktop PC peripherals in a single step, taking you from laptop to desktop in an instant. While Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2 is docked, it can connect with an external monitor, Ethernet, speakers and power supply. PC peripherals connect via its one USB 3.0 port and three USB 2.0 ports. The Docking Station for Surface Pro will have an estimated retail price of $199.99 and has a projected release date of early 2014.

• Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers. The Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers connects magnetically to any Touch or Type Cover, letting you type from anywhere in the room using Bluetooth technology, so it is even easier to connect Surface to a TV or monitor[4] and type from another location, such as the couch. Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers will have an estimated retail price of $59.99. It will be available for pre-order in the U.S. and Canada beginning Sept. 24.

• Car Charger with USB. Car Charger plugs into most cars’ power or lighter ports and charges Surface without the need for an additional adapter. It also features a USB port to allow simultaneous charging of a phone or other device. Car Charger will have an estimated retail price of $49.99 and has a projected release date of early 2014.

• Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition. This special-edition Arc Touch Mouse has been updated to match the look of Surface. Like other Arc Touch mice, it is designed for comfort and flattens for portability. It connects via Bluetooth 3.0, freeing Surface’s USB port for use by other devices. Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition will have an estimated retail price of $69.99 and will be available for pre-order in the U.S. and Canada on Sept. 24. Distribution in additional markets is projected to begin in the coming months.

More information on Surface is available at http://www.Surface.com.

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

The information contained in this press release relates to pre-release software products that may be substantially modified before their first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the software products 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.

[1] System software uses significant storage space. Available storage is subject to change based on system software updates and apps usage. 1 GB = 1 billion bytes. See Surface.com/storage for more details. Initial quantities of Surface Pro 2 with 512 GB will be limited.

[2] Office sold separately.

[3] The Black and Purple Type Cover 2 will be available for pre-order. Other colors will be available in the coming months.

[4] Adapter required; sold separately.

For broadcast download: Visit http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/presskits/surface for b-roll clips.

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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09.18.2013 - MS13-023 - Critical : Vulnerability in Microsoft Visio Viewer 2010 Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2801261) - Version: 1.2



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.2 (September 18, 2013): Corrected language in the vulnerability FAQ, How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability? This is an informational change only.
Summary: This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Office. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Visio file. An attacker who successfully exploited the 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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09.18.2013 - AT&T and Microsoft to bring enterprise-grade security, speed and reliability to cloud for businesses



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DALLAS Sept . 18 , 2013 — AT&T ** and Microsoft Corp. today announced they will deliver a security-enhanced and reliable cloud solution that will allow enterprise customers to connect to Microsoft’s cloud platform using a private network.

The new solution will use breakthrough cloud integration technology from AT&T to pair virtual private networking with Microsoft’s industry-leading Windows Azure cloud platform. Customers of the solution are expected to benefit from the enterprise-grade security of virtual private networking, with as much as 50 percent lower latency than the public Internet, and access to cloud resources from any site using almost any wired or wireless device.

“This is a game changer for businesses that have been seeking a more secure way to reap the benefits of cloud services,” said Andy Geisse, CEO, AT&T Business Solutions. “By bringing the security and performance of our virtual private network to Windows Azure, we expect to energize enterprise demand for cloud solutions.”

Enterprises continue to cite concerns about security and reliable performance in their decision to adopt cloud computing. Working together, Microsoft and AT&T will address these concerns by enabling enterprise customers to quickly and reliably connect applications and services from their own datacenters (private clouds) to the Windows Azure cloud service using the protective confines and high transmission speeds of a highly-secure virtual private network.

AT&T’s cloud integration technology, AT&T NetBond, bonds networking and computing resources together and automates functions that are often performed manually. It allows the network and compute resources to flex in tandem to support the fluctuating demands on systems that enterprise cloud users often experience throughout the year. AT&T customers are already able to take advantage of the technology with AT&T’s own cloud offers.

The new cloud solution takes advantage of the Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology underpinning AT&T’s virtual private network solution. According to independent research firm Forrester Research Inc., 70 percent of multinational enterprises have already adopted global MPLS services*, high-performance networks that make it easy to create secure, virtual links between multiple geographic locations.

“There’s no question that the time for cloud computing is now, and it’s critical we help enterprises embrace the cloud on their terms,” said Satya Nadella, executive vice president of Cloud and Enterprise for Microsoft. “Through this strategic alliance with AT&T, we can reduce the barriers to entry for cloud computing by providing a more secure and reliable connectivity option for enterprise customers, accelerating the growth of cloud computing and the rapid adoption of Windows Azure.”

AT&T serves 3.5 million business customers and is the leading provider of IP-based services to multinational corporations, providing MPLS-based IP services to 187 countries, which represent 99 percent of the world’s economy. According to independent research firm Forrester, AT&T is a global leader in managed global MPLS services.* Similarly, Microsoft is a leader in the enterprise cloud space, with more than 50 percent of the Fortune 500 using Windows Azure and an unparalleled adoption rate at nearly 1,000 customers per day.

The new integrated solution is expected to be available in first half of 2014.

* Forrester Research Inc., March 2013, “The Forrester Wave™: Managed Global MPLS Services,” Q1 2013

**AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T U-verse® brand. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.

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.

Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com/aboutus or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/att and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/att.

© 2013 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

4G LTE speed claim based on national carriers’ average 4G LTE download speeds. Reliability claim based on data transfer completion rates on nationwide 4G LTE networks. 4G LTE availability varies.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Information set forth in this news release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update or revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.

For more information, press only:

Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide for Microsoft, (503) 443-7070, rrt@waggeneredstrom.com

Kally Masino, AT&T Corporate Communications, (214) 782-7195, km3929@att.com


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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09.17.2013 - Microsoft announces quarterly dividend increase and share repurchase program



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REDMOND, Wash. — Sept . 1 7 , 20 1 3 Microsoft Corp. announced on Tuesday that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.28 per share, reflecting a 5 cent or 22 percent increase over the previous quarter’s dividend. The dividend is payable Dec. 12, 2013, to shareholders of record on Nov. 21, 2013. The ex-dividend date will be Nov. 19, 2013.

The board of directors also approved a new share repurchase program authorizing up to $40 billion in share repurchases. The new share repurchase program, which has no expiration date, replaces the previous $40 billion share repurchase program that was set to expire Sept. 30, 2013.

“These actions reflect a continued commitment to returning cash to our shareholders,” said Amy Hood, chief financial officer of 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.

For more information, financial analysts and investors only:
Investor Relations, Microsoft, (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 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/investor.

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09.17.2013 - Shell Brazil chooses Windows Phone to lower costs and increase employee productivity



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SAO PAULO — Sept. 17, 2013 Microsoft Brazil and Shell on Tuesday announced that Shell will deploy approximately 200 Windows Phone 8 devices to company distributors, which will increase its number of Windows Phone devices from 100 to 300 during 2013. These devices will support the entire sales force of the company’s distribution network in Brazil, which is made up of company resellers tasked with visiting individual gas stations to collect client requests. The newly deployed Nokia Lumia devices, including models such as the Lumia 520 and the Lumia 920, were chosen based on cost benefits and security.

The adoption of these Windows Phone 8 devices has enabled the company to significantly lower costs, which would not have been possible with the iOS devices Shell also considered. The phones have also helped improve the productivity of its commercial team, which previously required software installation and updates to be made on each individual device. Now Shell is able to make these changes directly on the server, and the program is updated automatically on all fixed and mobile networks.

To increase the data analysis resources available to the team, Shell invested in Blink Mobile, a sales force automation solution developed by Microsoft solutions partner Blink Systems. The investment in this application is a reflection of Shell’s strategy to increase productivity throughout its distributor network with the use of better-equipped devices. Automatic updating is another important advantage of the Blink Systems application. Now Shell distributors have a tool that streamlines searches, accelerates the ordering process and is easy to use for the sales force. Thanks to the incorporation of the Windows Phone-based app, the network is now easier to use and more practical in terms of information gathering.

In addition to the cost benefit and reliability of the platform, Windows Phone integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Microsoft servers used at Shell. Windows Phone supports advanced security and administration solutions, which can be synced with other devices running the same platform. “This effortless integration has been a determining factor in the decision-making process for companies such as Shell,” said Celso Winik, managing director of Windows Phone at Microsoft.

About Microsoft Braz il

Founded in 1989, Microsoft Brazil has 14 offices throughout the country and generates locally direct opportunities in technology for over 18,000 companies and 424,000 professionals. In the last 10 years, the company has invested more than R$167 million in social projects, bringing technology to schools, universities, NGOs and communities in need. Microsoft Brazil is one of the 112 subsidiaries of Microsoft Corp., founded in 1975, the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help companies and individuals realize their full potential.

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.

More information is available at :

Press Relations Center: Microsoft Notícias
Microsoft Brazil on Twitter: @MicrosoftBR
Microsoft Brazil on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MSFTBrasil
Microsoft Brazil Blog: http://www.blogmicrosoftbrasil.com.br
Microsoft Brazil Interoperability Blog: Porta 25

 

For more information, press only :

Bruna Cortez, FSB Comunicações, (11) 3165-9655, bruna.cortez@fsb.com.br

Ana Cristina, FSB Comunicações, (11) 3165-9655, ana.cristina@fsb.com.br

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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09.16.2013 - Banks put customers first with Microsoft Dynamics CRM



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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Sept. 17, 2013 — At the Sibos global financial services event in Dubai, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) on Tuesday announced that a number of leading global financial institutions are modernizing their business operations and choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM as the platform to shift from transaction-based businesses to customer-centric businesses.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been designed from the ground up to help businesses engage and delight their customers by delivering exceptional customer experiences and interactions. Financial institutions are drawn to the customer-first design philosophy and the fact that Microsoft Dynamics CRM works seamlessly with other productivity applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft SharePoint and Yammer. Microsoft Dynamics CRM gives financial institutions a powerful solution to drive proactive interactions with end customers, provide deep client insight, and deliver intelligent offers and custom-built experiences, enabling banks to improve customer retention, add new customers and improve advisor productivity. In essence, Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps financial institutions become a true trusted advisor for their clients.

Prioritizing customer service is the key competitive differentiator for Metro Bank, Great Britain’s first new bank in more than a century. Microsoft Dynamics CRM, combined with Microsoft devices and services, is the foundation of Metro Bank’s customer-first strategy.

“As the first new high street bank in the U.K. for over 100 years, our unique, customer-focused model is reinventing the rules of retail banking,” said Paul Marriott-Clarke, commercial director at Metro Bank. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps us enhance our customers’ experiences, combining traditional face-to-face service in our stores with amazing technology to ensure our customers receive the very best in service and convenience.”

MKB Bank, the second-largest bank by equity in Hungary, chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM to steer all customer-related processes in the bank and keep up with growth. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, MKB improved customer service times by 25 percent, decreased customer churn by 5 percent and increased profit earned on the primary banking customer segment by 20 percent in the same period.

“Customer service is our top priority, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM gave us a comprehensive view of customers and integrated access to all channels,” said Laszlo Kiraly, head of CRM and E-Channels at MKB. “Our CRM-driven front-end system has become the core application for our business. It is now our primary platform for collaboration, better efficiency and a superior multichannel experience.”

Volkskreditbank AG (VKB) tapped Microsoft Dynamics CRM to help it become one of the most customer-oriented banks in Austria. The results have been undeniable: a 32 percent boost in sales productivity, an 18 percent increase in customer service quality and a 95 percent decrease in the time needed to provide analyses and reports, giving managers and executives a near-real-time view into the health of the business.

“We needed a CRM solution to power our entire bank, not just a single division or set of products,” said Michael Reifetshamer, IT manager at VKB. “Our experience with Microsoft Dynamics CRM shows that we made the right choice.”

ABN AMRO Bank NV improved customer service by implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM and connecting it to its asset management system to provide a single view of each customer account.

“Dynamics CRM is a robust solution tool,” said Su Kia Tan, head of Process & Project Management for ABN AMRO Bank. “We use it to support our end users in managing business growth and productivity improvement with necessary controls built on customized and streamlined workflows.”

And at the end of the day, to become a customer-centric organization banks must first start thinking from their customers’ perspectives. They need tools, technologies and processes that allow them to address customer inquiries anywhere, anytime. Banks need tools that provide complete and holistic views of their customers and enable them to reach out with intelligent and timely offers. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the tool that ultimately allows them to become trusted advisors to their customers.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers and prospects can learn more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the financial services space at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-financial-services.aspx. In addition, they can follow and engage with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM community @MSDynamicsCRM, at http://www.twitter.com/msdynamicscrm.

About Microsoft Dynamics

At the heart of every successful business are the people who make things happen. Microsoft Dynamics designs modern business solutions that empower individuals with intuitive tools that allow them to do their best work. Our proactive, easy-to-use business applications adapt to the way people and systems work, enabling businesses to rapidly deploy and be forward-looking in an ever-changing world.

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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09.16.2013 - Bing.com and FOX News team up to bring real-time online polling to nightly news; Bing Pulse featured on 'Special Report with Bret Baier'



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REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 16, 2013 — Bing.com and FOX News Channel (FNC) are teaming up on the Bing Pulse online voting tool, enabling viewers to share their opinions and reactions to news commentary in real time online at http://Bing.com/politics. With the new feature, viewers will have the opportunity to interact with the panel segment on FNC’s “Special Report with Bret Baier” (weeknights at 6 p.m. ET) to offer their feedback instantaneously.

“This is a first for evening news,” said Josh Gottheimer, general manager of Strategic and Special Projects at Microsoft Corp. “With the Bing Pulse, viewers get a seat at the table to weigh in on the discussion. It’s the perfect marriage of the Internet, Bing’s big data technology and television news programming.”

Earlier this year, Bing and FNC debuted the Bing Pulse as part of the network’s coverage of the 2013 State of the Union address. The breakthrough Bing Pulse recorded the largest live online poll in history, garnering 12.9 million votes during President Obama’s live address. Real-time results from the tool were shown on the network and available at http://Bing.com/politics.

How it works

The Bing Pulse allows people to join the conversation by “voting” every five seconds on their reactions to the content they are watching during the panel’s discussions. Viewers simply go to http://Bing.com/politics from a computer, tablet or mobile device to connect with the conversation. Unlike typical polls, the Bing Pulse allows people to self-identify as male or female and register their party affiliation. The Bing Pulse enables Americans to track and share opinions on the top issues of the day. As the panel discussion progresses on the program, viewers have five choices to characterize how they are feeling about the discussion: strongly agree, somewhat agree, neutral, somewhat disagree and strongly disagree.

The live count of the number of “pulses,” or votes, is shown as a line graph of how users react to language and issues throughout the discussion that is visible on-screen. In addition to measuring the sentiment of the audience about the conversation, the Bing Pulse also provides an intensity score, which highlights the moments on the panel segment when the greatest number of viewers voted at the same time.

Data is split by gender and political affiliation. During the course of the program’s panel, the Bing Pulse features updated results every few seconds on the TV screen with data also available at http://Bing.com/politics. Final results are reported at the end of the program.

During a monthlong pilot of the tool on the Friday editions of “Special Report” in August, millions of votes were cast and as many as 60,000 votes per minute were recorded during the panel discussions on the program.

About Bing

Bing is the search engine from Microsoft, designed for people who do. For people like you who are always doing more and don’t have time to sit still. Now, only Bing brings together the best search and the best people from your social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, to help you spend less time searching and more time doing. So whether you’re on your PC or on your phone, Bing is designed not just to connect you to the information you are looking for, but also to help you get things done right on Bing.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.

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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09.15.2013 - Industry partners showcase new financial services apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8



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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Sept. 16, 2013 — As Sibos 2013 gets underway, SunGard, Thomson Reuters, Temenos and FreedomPay are announcing new apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 that will help financial services companies across the world grow their businesses with mobile experiences for employees and customers.

According to Gartner, “CIOs see these technologies as disrupting business fundamentally over the next 10 years. When asked which digital technologies would be most disruptive, 70 percent of CIOs cited mobile technologies, followed by big data/analytics at 55 percent, social media at 54 percent and public cloud at 51 percent.”* By year end of 2015, 40 percent of all in-person interactions between banks and their customers will be initiated or completed using a tablet computer.**

“Customers have more information and ways to connect than ever before. Providing an easy, do-it-your-way experience that is personally and professionally relevant is essential to customer retention and acquisition. Competition is coming from non-banks and changing the financial services industry landscape, and the bottom line is more important than ever,” said Karen Cone, general manager, Microsoft Financial Services. “Microsoft and our industry partners are focused on building great mobile experiences to help financial services institutions harness this new technology and evolve their businesses.”

Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices continue Microsoft’s long history of providing the security, manageability and compliance that financial services companies rely on. As financial services go mobile, the importance of access control, data security and computing power become even more important. App builders for the financial services industry recognize the power of the Windows 8 platform on mobile devices as essential to providing the solutions that their customers demand. Windows 8 enables new critical business mobility and productivity scenarios that meet the rigorous IT standards for security, manageability and support required in today’s financial services industry.

SunGard removes barriers between branch employees and customers

In today’s bank branch environment, employees need to be able to move around and engage customers on their terms, and Windows 8 devices help them do this. SunGard is announcing the availability of its tablet banking solution, Ambit Concierge, on Windows 8. SunGard’s Ambit Concierge helps empower relationship managers with real-time, secured mobile access to customer, product and service information, helping to deliver a more personalized, convenient service to enhance the customer experience. Combining the rich functionality of Ambit Concierge with the affordability, enhanced security and mass usability of Windows 8 will help retail banks address the growing need for increased connectivity to multiple information sources and channels. This will help empower relationship managers and drive growth through more competitive client service.

Thomson Reuters helps make board meetings more secure

Thomson Reuters is announcing its BoardLink app for Windows 8 this week. BoardLink offers company board members an easy, direct and more secure way to access and share information. Today, many board meetings require a physical book of documents for board members to review, which can present security concerns. The boards of public companies also face heightened scrutiny from investors, regulators and the media, and therefore increasingly rely on technology for support and assistance. BoardLink encrypts the important information on meeting attendees’ tablets, provides links to Thomson Reuters’ market information, and ensures attendees are informed and prepared with continuously updated information. The BoardLink app for Windows 8 allows users to seamlessly integrate their board experience across desktop and mobile devices. Board members can access data from remote locations around the clock without compromising security. Developing on Windows 8 also allows BoardLink to reach new audiences around the world.

Temenos creates central location for data

Temenos, the market-leading provider of banking software systems, announced a prototype Temenos Treasury Management Dashboard app for Windows 8. The app provides a central location for all essential data for treasury managers and senior bank members. Using the intuitive Windows 8 touch navigation and live tiles, the Treasury Management Dashboard app provides a constantly updated and centralized view of risk and positioning, giving users the ability to better manage potential opportunities and challenges.

FreedomPay and Windows Phone 8 make mobile money easy

FreedomPay, a mobile payment and incentive company, has developed the FreedomPay Commerce Platform, available first on Windows Phone 8, which allows consumers to use the platform as a mobile wallet to pay at local stores and get exclusive mobile incentives. Payment cards, offers and loyalty cards are secured in the SEEK digital wallet, which simplifies the consumer’s payment experience. It also benefits banks, as they can white label the powerful commerce platform to target consumers based on buying habits and use the app to deliver highly relevant offers to them. By taking advantage of the intuitive user experience on Windows Phone 8, FreedomPay gets a more immersive app experience, including benefits such as Live Tiles, enhanced search and an easy-to-navigate, user-centric interface.

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 press release, “Gartner Executive Program Survey of More Than 2,000 CIOs Shows Digital Technologies Are Top Priorities in 2013,” Jan. 16, 2013, http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2304615

** Gartner, “Predicts 2013: External Forces Will Increasingly Challenge Banks and Investment Services Firms,” published Nov. 20, 2012.

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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09.13.2013 - MS13-073 - Important : Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Excel Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2858300) - Version: 1.1



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.1 (September 13, 2013): Revised bulletin to announce detection changes for the Microsoft Excel 2003 update (2810048), Microsoft Excel 2007 update (2760583), Microsoft Excel Viewer update (2760590), and Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack update (2760588). These are detection changes only. There were no changes to the update files. Customers who have successfully installed the updates do not need to take any action. Also updated the Known Issues entry in the Knowledge Base Article section from "Yes" to "None".
Summary: This security update resolves three privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office. The most severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Office file with an affected version of Microsoft Excel or other affected Microsoft Office software. An attacker who successfully exploited the most severe 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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09.13.2013 - MS13-063 - Important : Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2859537) - Version: 1.2



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.2 (September 13, 2013): Corrected update replacement for all affected software excluding Windows XP and Windows 8. This is an informational change only.
Summary: This security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability and three privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The most severe vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker logged on locally and ran a specially crafted application. An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to log on locally to exploit these vulnerabilities. The vulnerabilities could not be exploited remotely or by anonymous users.
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