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  Microsoft-Press related Technical Updates [Page: 18 of 145] @ TACKtech Corp.  

10.26.2012 - Microsoft Surface Now Available at Microsoft Retail Stores



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NEW YORK — Oct. 26, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that its new PC, Microsoft Surface, is now available for purchase at all Microsoft retail, holiday and online stores in the United States and Canada. Designed to be the ultimate stage for Windows RT, Surface is unique and represents exceptional value, providing an immersive entertainment experience and a foundation for getting things done. With a starting price of US$499,* Surface will be available online at http://www.microsoftstore.com in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. In China and Hong Kong, Surface will be available online at Suning. More details are available at http://www.surface.com.

A variety of Surface accessories are also available for purchase, including Touch Covers in five vibrant colors — black, white, magenta, cyan and red — priced at US$119.99, so customers can express their personal style.** Customers also have the option to purchase a Type Cover in black for US$129.99, which adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.

At all Microsoft retail and holiday store locations, knowledgeable staff are on hand to answer questions and help with Windows RT and Surface setup, so customers can have a great out-of-the-box experience and walk out the door with a product that is personalized for them. Customers can visit http://www.microsoftstore.com to find a Microsoft retail store nearest them.

First unveiled in June, Surface represents an extension of the Windows experience, letting customers work, play and connect with others. From its ultralight durable casing, integrated kickstand and Touch Cover, which allow customers to be productive anywhere, to a full-sized USB port, 16:9 widescreen, high-definition display and 22-degree angle that make it optimal for viewing and sharing content easily, Surface lets customers seamlessly transition between entertainment and creation.

A complete list of Microsoft retail store and holiday store locations is available at http://content.microsoftstore.com/home.aspx?WT.mc_id=onlinestore_footertray.

Those interested in learning more can visit http://www.Surface.com or follow Surface on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Surface and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/surface.

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

* Starting price for Surface 32 GB without black Touch Cover. ** Available Touch Cover colors vary by market.

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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10.25.2012 - Windows 8 Arrives



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NEW YORK Oct. 25, 2012 Microsoft Corp. today announced the global availability of its popular Windows operating system, Windows 8. Beginning Friday, Oct. 26, consumers and businesses worldwide will be able to experience all that Windows 8 has to offer, including a beautiful new user interface and a wide range of applications with the grand opening of the Windows Store. As a result of close work with hardware partners, more than 1,000 certified PCs and tablets, including Microsoft Surface, will be available for the launch of Windows 8 — making it the best lineup of PCs ever across the Windows 8 and Windows RT ecosystem.

“We have reimagined Windows and the result is a stunning lineup of new PCs,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “Windows 8 brings together the best of the PC and the tablet. It works perfect for work and play and it is alive with your world. Every one of our customers will find a PC that they will absolutely love.”

Windows 8 will be available for download to upgrade existing PCs in more than 140 markets and 37 languages at http://www.windows.com/buy beginning at 12:01 a.m. local time and at retail locations around the world. At retail, Windows 8 will be available in two primary versions — Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro — as well as Windows 8 Enterprise for large organizations. Launching at the same time is a new member of the Windows family — Windows RT — designed for ARM-based tablets and available pre-installed on new devices. In addition to Microsoft Office 2013, Windows RT is designed exclusively for apps in the new Windows Store. Windows 8 features the new fast and fluid Start screen that gives people one-click access to the apps and content they care most about. It also features an entirely new Internet Explorer 10 that is perfect for touch, and built-in cloud capabilities with SkyDrive.

Windows 8 can be purchased in a variety of ways from the world’s leading retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy and Staples in the U.S., Casas Bahia in Brazil, Future Shop and Staples in Canada, Suning in China, Media Markt across Europe, FNAC in France, Yamada in Japan, Telmex in Mexico, Dixons in the U.K., and many more, which will feature a variety of offers for customers looking for great deals on Windows 8 PCs, devices and software. Consumers can go to http://www.windows.com/shop to learn about the large array of Windows 8 devices available and find the one that best fits their needs. More information on the great offers around the world is available at http://www.blogs.windows.com.

In addition to the range of new Windows-based devices available, consumers can also upgrade their existing PCs. Through the end of January, consumers currently running PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 are qualified to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of US$39.99. And eligible Windows 7 PCs purchased between June 2, 2012, and Jan. 31, 2013, in more than 140 markets can download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of US$14.99 with the Windows Upgrade Offer, available at http://www.windowsupgradeoffer.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 a pre-release software product that may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the software product when it is 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.

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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10.24.2012 - Microsoft Simplifies Big Data for the Enterprise



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NEW YORK — Oct. 24, 2012 — Today at the O’Reilly Strata Conference + Hadoop World, Microsoft Corp. announced new previews of Windows Azure HDInsight Service and Microsoft HDInsight Server for Windows, the company’s Apache Hadoop-based solutions for Windows Azure and Windows Server. The new previews, available today at http://www.microsoft.com/bigdata, deliver Apache Hadoop compatibility for the enterprise and simplify deployment of Hadoop-based solutions. In addition, delivering these capabilities on the Windows Server and Azure platforms enables customers to use the familiar tools of Excel, PowerPivot for Excel and Power View to easily extract actionable insights from the data.

“Big data should provide answers for business, not complexity for IT,” said David Campbell, technical fellow, Microsoft. “Providing Hadoop compatibility on Windows Server and Azure dramatically lowers the barriers to setup and deployment and enables customers to pull insights from any data, any size, on-premises or in the cloud.”

The company also announced today an expanded partnership with Hortonworks, a commercial vendor of Hadoop, to give customers access to an enterprise-ready distribution of Hadoop with the newly released solutions.

“Hortonworks is the only provider of Apache Hadoop that ensures a 100 percent open source platform,” said Rob Bearden, CEO of Hortonworks. “Our expanded partnership with Microsoft empowers customers to build and deploy on platforms that are fully compatible with Apache Hadoop.”

More information about today’s news and working with big data can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/bigdata.

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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10.23.2012 - Microsoft Previews Windows 8 and New Devices



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Editor's Note, Oct. 22, 2012 - The release was updated after publication to correct the reported number of devices showcased at the event.

SHANGHAI — Oct. 22, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. kicked off global Windows 8 launch celebrations today in China. In the first of a series of celebrations around the world, Microsoft customers and partners joined top company executives at a gathering at Shanghai’s 1933 Grand Theatre to give consumers and commercial customers a sneak peek at new hardware and apps in advance of the Windows 8 worldwide general availability on Oct. 26. Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, and Ralph Haupter, corporate vice president of Microsoft and CEO of Microsoft Greater China Region, attended the celebration.

“Microsoft has a more than 20-year history in the Greater China Region, and we are excited to start our Windows 8 launch series in Shanghai, China, the largest PC market in the world,” Haupter said. He reaffirmed the importance that Microsoft is giving to China and complimented the commitment of our hardware and developers in preparing for Windows 8 over the last couple of months. “Windows 8 ushers in a new era with amazing experiences for Chinese consumers and commercial customers and creates new opportunities for Microsoft partners,” he said.

Windows 8 I s Windows Reimagined

Windows 8 offers a beautiful, new user interface and a wide range of apps with the grand opening of the Windows Store on Oct. 26. Today on display were 52 new devices, designed and optimized for Windows 8 by 15 Microsoft OEM partners. All these devices and more, pre-installed with Windows 8, will be available in China starting Oct. 26.

Microsoft also showed Microsoft Surface with Windows RT, in China, following the announcement of its availability in China on Oct. 16.

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT will be available in China at the Suning stores or http://www.suning.com and the recently launched Microsoft Online Store, www.MicrosoftStore.com.cn.

The new Microsoft Online Store will provide an easy access for a broad range of Microsoft products to Chinese consumers.

Windows 8 also provides opportunities for Chinese developers. They have contributed to the Windows Store with a broad range of apps making China No. 2 market worldwide for all apps available at launch, Haupter pointed out. At today’s event, people are excited to interact with Windows 8 apps and games on Windows 8 devices, including AutoNavi Map, BanBao, China Telecom e Surfacing, Ctrip, PPTV, Renren, QQ, QQ Games, QQ Finance, Sina Weibo, Weather China and Youdao Dictionary. These apps fully displayed the power of the new Windows 8 technology and talent in China.

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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10.19.2012 - Top Universities Choose Office 365 for Education for Enhanced Security and Privacy



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REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 19, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today announced new academic institutions and medical schools that are adopting Microsoft Office 365 for education, the company’s next-generation cloud productivity service, to improve communication and collaboration across campuses while helping meet security, privacy and other regulatory requirements as mandated by the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Duke University, Emory University, Thomas Jefferson University, University of Iowa and University of Washington chose Office 365 after a consortium of leading technology, legal and compliance experts from the academic, public and private sector worked closely with Microsoft to develop a business associate agreement (BAA) to address HIPAA requirements. These institutions and medical schools represent 188,000 additional students, faculty and staff that are using the cloud productivity service. As a result of the collaborative efforts, Microsoft now offers the most comprehensive agreement available to HIPAA-covered entities that manage electronic-protected health information.

Considerations for Moving to the Cloud

Many universities seeking to consolidate resources and save money in their infrastructure and email storage businesses need to combine the benefits of moving to the cloud with assurances around how data is secured and accessed from the cloud. As such, Duke University led a consortium of universities, which included the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa, to find an industry technology partner to help them navigate the current regulatory environment and provide a solution with robust security features that could help prevent data breaches and keep the universities’ sensitive data private in the cloud. Duke will be rolling out Office 365 to all students, faculty and staff to provide the opportunity for cost savings and more effective collaboration across the university and health system.

“A robust, reliable and secure email system is vital to the daily operations of the university and health system,” said Tracy Futhey, vice president of Information Technology and chief information officer, Duke University. “Moving to the Microsoft cloud environment will enable us to achieve greater efficiency and ensure that our users will have the level of protection necessary to keep Duke’s data private, including guaranteeing that our data servers would stay in the U.S.”

Although the federal HIPAA law in large part applies to health organizations that need to protect patient data, education institutions must also adhere to the same HIPAA regulations if school data systems store students’ records that include protected health information. In addition to the medical schools, university hospitals, research departments, school counseling centers and athletic departments are just a few examples of places on campus that store information about students’ physical and mental health. Human resources and benefits departments may also be governed by HIPAA, as they are likely privy to information about healthcare claims that employees are filing.

Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) and Jefferson Medical College, one of the oldest academic medical centers in the United States, were the first academic customers to sign the Office 365 BAA agreement, with more than 5,300 faculty and staff, including 900 practicing clinicians. The combination of research, teaching and clinical staff presented a unique challenge in TJU’s quest to move to the cloud and simultaneously maintain strong privacy protections for its constituents.

“A key deciding factor for TJU was that Office 365 helps enable us to be HIPAA compliant. With Google, we would have never have known where our intellectual property and records were stored,” said Doug Herrick, chief information officer, Thomas Jefferson University. “Microsoft had the willingness to understand our business and be transparent about how it handles security and privacy, which meets the demands of a real enterprise.”

“U.S. healthcare information spans numerous industries and agencies. This makes it essential that we work with healthcare providers and our customers to protect healthcare consumers’ and students’ data, and it all starts with making sure our products are built from the ground up with privacy by design,” said Cameron Evans, chief technology officer, U.S. Education, Microsoft. “Our collaboration with some of the most prominent academic institutions in the country has allowed us to meet the biggest compliance challenges our customers face and ensure that our cloud services offer unprecedented privacy and security capabilities to students, patients and businesses alike.”

Office 365 is the first and only major cloud business productivity service to address the rigors of the federal government’s HIPAA requirements. Microsoft offers a complete range of public, private and hybrid cloud solutions that support covered healthcare entities’ compliance needs. Rather than using separate cloud vendors for productivity, collaboration, application hosting, data storage and relationship management, Microsoft’s customers can consolidate on one cloud, with one infrastructure partner with a common security and privacy framework that is specifically tailored to help meet the compliance needs of healthcare-covered entities.

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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10.18.2012 - Microsoft Employees Raise $1 Billion for Communities Around the World



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Editor's Note — Oct. 18, 2012 — Content in this press release was updated post original publication.

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 18, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today commemorated its 30th Employee Giving Campaign and announced that U.S. employees raised $1 billion in cash since 1983 for approximately 31,000 nonprofits and community organizations around the world. CEO Steve Ballmer announced the milestone during a special town hall event at the Microsoft Redmond campus, which included Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Bill Gates & Steve Ballmer
Bill Gates & Steve Ballmer
October 17, 2012
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Chairman and Founder Bill Gates commemorated Microsoft’s 30th Employee Giving Campaign during a special town hall event today and announced that Microsoft employees have raised $1 billion in cash since 1983 for more than 31,000 nonprofits and community organizations in the U.S. and around the world. Redmond, Wash. — Oct. 18, 2012.
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“Today, I’m thrilled to announce that since our Employee Giving Campaign started in 1983, Microsoft employees have donated a total of $1 billion to more than 31,000 nonprofits around the world,” Ballmer said. “I’m incredibly proud of our employees, and this is truly a time to celebrate, not just because we’ve raised a record amount of funds, but also because together with our nonprofit partners, we have impacted and improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people.”

“From its earliest days, Microsoft employees have been involved in their communities and have helped contribute to their vitality and growth,” Gates said. “Thirty years and $1 billion later, that impact can be felt around the world. The company and its employees have much to be proud of at this remarkable milestone and, I know, will continue to make a positive impact in the years ahead.”

To mark the occasion, Microsoft announced a $25,000 grant to the top four organizations that have received the most funding from Microsoft employees during the span of the campaign: United Way of King County, World Vision International, Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation and the American National Red Cross.

Microsoft Employee Giving Program

Each year, Microsoft matches employee volunteer time at $17 per hour and dollar-for-dollar charitable contributions to all eligible nonprofits up to $12,000 per employee. When the Microsoft giving program began in 1983, approximately 200 employees raised $17,000 for nonprofits. Today, more than 35,000 employees, or approximately 65 percent of Microsoft’s total U.S. workforce, participate, and the company predicts its employees will raise more than $100 million in 2012 for global nonprofits.

“The impact of all that giving is almost incalculable, and the statistics don’t even begin to tell the whole story,” said Jon Fine, CEO, United Way of King County. “Microsoft has created a culture of generosity that has radiated so far into the community. The standard of giving and volunteering by Microsoft employees has raised the bar and influences so many others here and around the world.”

Gregoire attended the event and proclaimed October 2012 as the Microsoft 30th Employee Giving Campaign Month. “The amount of time and money contributed by Microsoft employees is beyond impressive. Given the sheer range and number of organizations that receive its support, it is no exaggeration to say that the Microsoft Employee Giving Campaign has become an indispensable program, serving Washingtonians and people around the country,” Gregoire said.

About the Microsoft Employee Giving Campaign

Microsoft’s annual Employee Giving Campaign is a year-round effort, but there’s a special focus every October on the Redmond campus and in offices around the U.S. It is an opportunity for employees to combine their energy, generosity and creativity to raise money for nonprofit organizations and causes locally, nationally and globally. Beyond the direct donation of time and money to nonprofits, an army of Microsoft employee volunteers plans and executes the monthlong campaign through activities, including a 5K run, an online auction and an “underground” car show.

“Year over year, Microsoft employees have increased their generosity of time, talent and resources, which has led to the continuous growth of the Give Campaign during the past three decades,” said Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel, Microsoft. “As our campaign has grown, we’ve been honored to stand alongside a long list of nonprofit partners and support their invaluable service to communities around the world.”

A Passion for Giving — Employee Stories

Elisa and Greg Graceffo, both Microsoft employees, became involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Northwest Chapter, where Elisa currently sits on the Board of Directors, soon after their oldest daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The chapter’s annual fundraising event is Nordstrom Beat the Bridge to Beat Diabetes, a walk-run that attracts more than 10,000 local participants and raises close to $1.5 million every year. Together, they formed a team, and during the past four years, the couple has raised more than $60,000 for diabetes research as a result of individual donations, including from Microsoft contributors and the Microsoft matching program.

Microsoft employee Alice Kupcik is on the board of directors for the Oaxaca Streetchildren Grassroots, a nonprofit organization in Oaxaca, Mexico, that supports the education of children and young adults from impoverished and indigenous families. Kupcik became involved with the organization during her first trip to Oaxaca in 2007, when she visited the facilities and learned more about the work they do in the community. On her next visit in 2009, she sponsored the education of two young women, and she joined the board of directors in 2010. Kupcik helps with fundraising initiatives and is in the process of obtaining software for the schools through Microsoft’s software donation program in Mexico.

Microsoft Total Giving by the Numbers

• Microsoft employees have donated $1 billion, inclusive of the corporate match, since 1983.

• Microsoft employees in the U.S. have volunteered more than 2 million hours of their time to causes they care about since the company began a volunteer match program in 2005.

• Since 1983, Microsoft and its employees have provided more than $6.5 billion in cash, services and software to nonprofits around the world through localized, company-sponsored giving and volunteer campaigns. This includes in-kind donations.

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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10.17.2012 - Microsoft Announces WOWZAPP 2012, Worldwide Hackathon for Windows



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REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 17, 2012 — Registration has launched for Microsoft Corp.’s WOWZAPP 2012, Worldwide Hackathon for Windows, which will take place Nov. 9–11 in more than 30 locations worldwide. Students and other types of developers across countries such as India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Chile and Greece will work in teams to develop apps that will be published and available for download in the Windows Store.

At the events, students will be provided with the resources they need to build their apps, such as Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8 and a free Windows Store registration code, both available through DreamSpark. In addition, students will be able to test their apps, and developer experts and trainers will be available to answer questions and help participants submit their apps to the Windows Store.

What: Registration has launched for WOWZAPP 2012, Worldwide Hackathon for Windows.

Where: In more than 30 locations around the world. For a full list of sites, with more being added each day, visit http://www.microsoft.com/student.

When: Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, at 5 p.m. to Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, at 5 p.m. local time.

Who: Students, developers and entrepreneurs around the world who are interested in developing Windows Store apps using Windows 8.

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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10.17.2012 - Bing Social Search Team Makes Search ‘Less Lonely’_for test



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As a still-emerging and ever-evolving technology, the field of search has “every hard problem in computing,” Suchter says. It’s massive in scale, has complicated user interface design, low latency, and machine learning, and a lot of factors go into tackling these things. “It’s basically got every challenge except high complexity computer graphics, but with Bing’s rich visuals and animations, we’re getting there too,” Suchter says. “I lucked out getting into social search, this area that is pretty much the big thing going on.” Microsoft News Center (MNC) recently sat down for a conversation with Suchter and two of his team members, Tim Harrington and Paul Yiu, to talk Bing, social search and life in general. When people call Suchter a geek, he unabashedly and happily accepts the compliment. Apart from search, he delights in spending time with his wife, son and daughter, a kindergartner who is learning Mandarin. He also loves building things – bridges, bird houses, human houses – anything that “creates something from nothing.” Harrington, a senior software development engineer, helps develop social search features by day and by night switches gears to a more analog lifestyle – hiking, hanging out with friends, skiing. His wife is a ballet dancer in San Diego, so every third weekend he flies to visit her. Yiu, a program manager, is the crackup of the group – perhaps in part because he learned English primarily by watching American sitcoms. He loves spending time with his wife and child, entertaining friends at home, and has an analogy for just about any situation. MNC: How would you explain Bing’s social search features?

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10.16.2012 - Microsoft Announces New Surface Details



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REDMOND, Wash. Oct. 16, 2012 Microsoft Corp. today released new details about its highly anticipated Microsoft Surface, a tablet PC designed to be the ultimate stage for Windows. In addition to pricing and market availability, the company announced a special limited-quantity pre-order for Surface with Windows RT available 9 a.m. PDT. Those who want to learn more or pre-order can visit http://www.Surface.com.

Surface delivers the power of amazing software and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience. Originally unveiled in June, Surface with Windows RT will initially be available in three SKUs: a 32GB version priced at US$499, a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$599, and a 64GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$699.

A variety of accessories will also be available, including Touch Covers in five vibrant colors — black, white, magenta, cyan and red — priced at US$119.99 so customers can express their personal style (1). Customers will also have the option to purchase a Type Cover in black for US$129.99, which adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.


Surface will be available for purchase beginning Oct. 26, 2012, at all Microsoft Store locations in the United States and Canada, including in all 34 new holiday stores. In addition, Surface will be available for sale online in eight markets across the world: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States. See Surface.com for more details.

Additional Product Information Surface With Windows RT

  • Software - Surface with Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (2) (which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote)

  • Exterior - 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches, 1.5 pounds, VaporMg casing, dark titanium color, volume and power buttons

  • Storage - 32 GB (3); 64 GB

  • CPU - NVIDIA T30, 2 GB of RAM

  • Wireless - Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology

  • Cameras - Two 720p HD cameras, front- and rear-facing

  • Audio - Two microphones, stereo speakers

  • Ports - Full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, headset jack, HD video out port, cover port

  • Sensors - Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass

  • Power Supply - 24W power supply

  • Warranty - One-year limited hardware warranty

  • Apps (included) - Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (2) (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote), Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games

Those interested in learning more or pre-ordering can visit http://www.Surface.com or follow Surface on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Surface and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/surface.

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

1) Available Touch Cover colors may vary by market.

2) Final Office version will be installed via Windows Update when available (free download, ISP fees apply). Some features and programs unsupported. See http://office.com/officeRT.

3) 1 GB = 1 billion bytes; formatted storage capacity may be less.

For more information, press only:

Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, 1 (503) 443-7070, rrt@waggeneredstrom.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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10.16.2012 - Microsoft Reaches Agreement to Acquire StorSimple



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REDMOND, Wash., and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Oct. 16, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. and StorSimple Inc. today announced that Microsoft has reached a definitive agreement to acquire StorSimple, a leader in Cloud-integrated Storage (CiS) solutions. The addition of CiS will advance Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision and help customers more efficiently embrace hybrid cloud computing.

“Customers faced with explosive growth in data are looking to the cloud to help them store, manage and archive that data. But, to be effective, cloud storage needs to integrate with IT’s current investments,” said Michael Park, corporate vice president, Server and Tools Division for Microsoft. “StorSimple’s approach helps customers seamlessly integrate on-premises storage with cloud storage through intelligent automation and management.”

StorSimple solutions combine the data management functions of primary storage, backup, archive and disaster recovery with cloud integration, enabling customers to optimize storage costs, data protection and service agility. With its unique cloud snapshot capability, StorSimple automatically protects and rapidly restores production data using public clouds. Large enterprises across many vertical markets, including retail, oil and gas, manufacturing, consumer goods, healthcare, and financial services, have made their first public cloud deployments using StorSimple.

“Most StorSimple customers are mainstream IT organizations that have chosen Windows Azure as their primary cloud. We are excited to continue to work with Microsoft and bring the combined benefits of StorSimple and Windows Azure to customers around the world,” said Ursheet Parikh, co-founder and CEO, StorSimple.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Additional Resources

Microsoft Azure blog

StorSimple blog

Video gallery

About StorSimple

StorSimple (www.StorSimple.com) is the leader in cloud-integrated storage for Windows. StorSimple securely and transparently integrates cloud storage for on-premises applications and offers a single appliance that delivers high-performance tiered local and cloud storage, live archiving, cloud-based data protection and disaster recovery. StorSimple has uniquely achieved the most stringent “Certified for Windows Server 2008” and was named the Microsoft BizSpark Partner of the Year 2011. StorSimple appliances were named 2011 Products of the Year in the Storage Systems category by Storage Magazine/SearchStorage.com.

For more information, visit www.StorSimple.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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10.15.2012 - Tradedoubler Implements One of the First and Biggest Cloud-Based Solutions in Sweden With the Help of Microsoft



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REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 15, 2012 — Tradedoubler, one of the market leaders in performance-based marketing and technology, has implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, using Microsoft Corp. partner Kentor for implementation, to drive more cross-market sales and to save administrative costs.

After evaluating multiple solutions, Tradedoubler chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online because it provides easy access, is consistently up and running, and includes safety features. In addition, the solution integrated well with the company’s existing systems. It is one of the first and biggest Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online installations in Sweden, covering 500 users in 19 countries.

“After growing rapidly and expanding across Europe, we realized that there were differences in client data management, and we needed to become more sales-focused at an international level to continue the next phase of growth for Tradedoubler,” said Marcel Chaudron, director of Operational Excellence at Tradedoubler. “Now we have real-time insight as to what is happening in the market. Whether in Germany or Spain, thanks to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, we all have the same processes and access to information.”

Tradedoubler arranges and optimizes advertisements between advertisers and media agencies. Its extensive network of more than 2,000 advertisers and 140,000 publishers has a unique reach in Europe.

“Fundamentally, if our customers make money, we make money; therefore, it is critical that our data management is second to none,” Chaudron said.

Tradedoubler wanted a global, safe and large supplier. The company needed a platform that worked well with its other in-house systems, and a security-enhanced cloud solution was also important. Tradedoubler already worked with Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint, so it wanted the same look and feel as well as seamless integration.

“Previously, Tradedoubler managers spent time and energy bringing disparate information from sales teams together into one coherent sales forecast,” said Anders Burestig, manager of Business Solutions at Kentor, the company that implemented the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online system for Tradedoubler. “Now they can do it all in one system, providing real-time insight. This one common CRM cloud-based system for Tradedoubler, one of the first and biggest cloud-based systems in Europe, proves that it works for fast-growing companies.”

“We are more sales-focused as a result,” Chaudron said. “Now we have real-time insight and can follow sales processes in all our markets.” More information about Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is available on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online website, more information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available in the Microsoft Customer Spotlight newsroom.

About Tradedoubler

Tradedoubler is a performance-based digital marketing and technology company. Tradedoubler helps its 2,000 advertiser clients reach their business goals via its network of over 140,000 publishers, improving their digital marketing results, both online and on mobile.

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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10.15.2012 - Introducing Xbox Music: The Ultimate All-in-One Music Service Featuring Free Streaming on Windows 8 and Windows RT Tablets and PCs



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REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 14, 2012 — Today, people need to use multiple music services to get exactly what they want. There are download-to-own music services, Internet radio services and subscription services that allow you to consume all the music you want. But, as more music services have emerged, it’s become harder than ever to enjoy the music you want — and to experience it the way you want it, on any device. Whether it’s music you’ve purchased on your smartphone, a music app on your tablet, listening to songs through the living room TV or turning to Internet radio on your PC at work, the music you love is scattered across different services. Enjoying music today requires too much work.

To solve this problem, Microsoft Corp. is introducing Xbox Music, the first all-in-one music service that gives you the freedom to stream custom-created playlists for free, subscribe to all the music you want or download-to-own your favorite songs. Through the power of the cloud, it effortlessly integrates the music experience across your tablet, PC, phone and TV.1 With more than 30 million songs in the global catalog, Xbox Music begins rolling out around the world tomorrow on Xbox 360 and later this month on Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs and tablets and on mobile phones, starting with Windows Phone 8 at launch and additional platforms later.

“The launch of Xbox Music is a milestone in simplifying digital music on every type of device and on a global scale,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “We’re breaking down the walls that fracture your music experiences today to ensure that music is better and integrated across the screens that you care about most — your tablet, PC, phone and TV.” 1

All the Music You Love, Every Way You Want It

Today, music is hard to manage, and no one has mastered ubiquity or created a service that works together to make music easy for the user. Xbox Music makes music simple by offering immediate and comprehensive discovery across the different types of devices you own, free streaming1 music on Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets and PCs, the ability to purchase songs and albums, a compelling music subscription, and artist-based radio. The all-in-one Xbox Music service includes the following:

  • Free streaming1 music on Windows 8 and Windows RT. Enjoy on-demand access to tens of millions of songs for free on all Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets and PCs. Discovering and enjoying free music on Windows 8 and Windows RT is as easy as typing an artist or song name and hitting “play” — songs are instantly available to stream and for you to create an unlimited amount of playlists.

  • Xbox Music Pass. Want unlimited access to the songs and artists you care about, including offline access? Get an Xbox Music Pass for ad-free, unlimited playback of any track in our subscription catalog across your tablet, PC, phone and Xbox 3601 for US$9.99 per month.2 Xbox Music Pass also unlocks unlimited access to tens of thousands of music videos on your Xbox 360.

  • Xbox Music Store. Want to own the music you love? The Xbox Music Store is a comprehensive MP3 marketplace giving you the opportunity to purchase a single track or entire album on your Windows 8 or Windows RT tablet or PC and Windows Phone 8.

  • Smart DJ. Creating a new form of artist-based radio, the Smart DJ feature is a quick and dynamic way to personalize your collection, discover new favorites and create ultimate playlists by launching instant mixes based on your favorite artists. With unlimited skips and a view of the full recommended music stream, Smart DJ puts you in control of your Internet radio experience.

  • Cloud Storage. Available in the coming year, a scan-and-match feature will take you beyond the 30 million tracks globally offered through Xbox Music. It will add all the music you own to your Xbox Music cloud catalog, including music acquired through other services. This means you can add almost any content you have to your personal Xbox Music collection, even if it’s not available in the Xbox Music catalog.

  • Social Music. Xbox Music will add unique social features in the coming year that let you share your music experiences with friends and family.

  • Platform Expansion. Xbox Music will become available on other platforms in the coming year.

Xbox Music isn’t just a listening experience that shows your tracks in spreadsheets and lists. Taking full advantage of every screen on which you enjoy music, Xbox Music elevates your music experiences with striking visuals. As you listen on your tablet, PC, phone or TV,1 your screen comes to life with artist photos, bios, cover art and discography.

Cloud Powered

The ubiquity of Xbox Music is powered by the cloud. Whether it’s free streaming2 on Windows 8 and Windows RT, a subscription on Windows Phone 8 or tuning into a playlist on Xbox 360 — each experience is cloud-based for immediate access to your entire catalog, making music management simple. With the cloud sync feature, your favorite playlists are no longer held captive by the individual device on which they live. For Xbox Music Pass subscribers, you can create the perfect playlist on your Windows 8 or Windows RT tablet and see it automatically appear on your Xbox 360 or Windows Phone 8.

Music Heard Around the World

Xbox Music launches with a global catalog on par with iTunes, offering 30 million tracks from some of the leading music labels around the world. It will be available on all Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets and PCs and on Windows Phone 8 smartphones, and it will be part of the 2012 console update for Xbox 360. Free streaming1 on Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets and PCs launches Oct. 26 in 15 markets worldwide. Xbox Music Pass will be available for Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 in 22 markets worldwide; it will begin rolling out tomorrow on Xbox 360 in the same markets. Xbox Music Store will also be accessible on Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 in 22 markets worldwide as devices become available. Microsoft will continue introducing Xbox Music in new regions around the world throughout the coming year.

About Xbox

Xbox is Microsoft’s premier entertainment service for the TV, phone, PC and tablet. It’s home to the best and broadest games, as well as one of the world’s largest libraries of music, movies, TV and sports. With Kinect, Xbox 360 transformed gaming and entertainment in the living room with a whole new way to play games and find entertainment — no controller required. 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.

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

1 Limited hours of free streaming after 6 months; unlimited with paid subscription. Compatible devices and Internet required; ISP fees apply. On TV, Xbox Music is streaming only and requires an Xbox 360 console and additional subscriptions (each sold separately). Some Xbox Music content may not be available via Xbox Music Pass and may vary over time and by region. See xbox.com/music.

2 Estimated retail prices. Actual retail prices may vary. Pricing will vary by region.

For assets, please visit http://press.xbox360.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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10.10.2012 - EPHEC Saves Students Time and Money With the Cloud



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REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 10, 2012 — The Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (EPHEC), a university college renowned for its business curriculum, wanted to prepare its business students to work in a world where more and more activities take place online and in virtualized settings, and they needed to do this without making huge investments in technology. EPHEC found the perfect solution to this challenge: Microsoft Office 365 for education.

More than 4,700 students are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at EPHEC, and the university college occupies three separate campuses in and around Brussels. The university college’s email infrastructure consisted of a single aging server, which provided email support only to the faculty and administrators. Before the Office 365 for education implementation, EPHEC did not offer its students any formal email services or electronic collaboration infrastructure. Although faculty and students discussed the move to cloud-based business infrastructures, online collaboration and other forms of instant communication, the students were still unable to work remotely on projects with classmates and professors.

“Today’s students are mobile, flexible and impatient,” said Vincent Fievez, lecturer in IT at EPHEC. “We wanted to use technology to communicate and interact with our students in new ways — and Microsoft Office 365 for education is the perfect solution.”

Office 365 for education provides secured, anywhere access to email, calendars, Office Web Apps, Web conferencing and file sharing. Because the cloud-based services run in datacenters owned and operated by Microsoft, which maintains the servers and the software on a day-to-day basis, EPHEC was able to free up the three IT personnel who had been supporting the email infrastructure to devote their time and attention to other activities.

And because Office 365 for education is offered at no cost to educational institutions, the move from its old email infrastructure effectively eliminated the expense of maintaining that infrastructure, saving EPHEC €7,000 each month.

“Saving money each month is great, but that was not the primary motive for moving to Office 365 for education. The primary reason was to adapt to a changing world,” Fievez said. “We needed to provide an infrastructure that would help prepare our students for the world outside EPHEC. We needed to have them using online services, shared calendars, online collaboration tools and more.”

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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10.09.2012 - Microsoft Announces Reed Hastings Will Not Seek Re-Election



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REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 9, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Reed Hastings, founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix Inc., has decided that he will not seek re-election to Microsoft’s board of directors at the company’s 2012 annual meeting of shareholders.

“Reed has been a terrific board member, and his insights and experience have really helped guide us through a critical period of transformation for both Microsoft and the industry,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.

Hastings, who currently serves as the lead independent director on the Microsoft board, will continue to serve through the annual meeting of Microsoft shareholders in November 2012. The board will appoint a new lead independent director at that time.

“I’m thrilled to have served on the board at such a pivotal time for Microsoft, including the development of Windows 8, Windows RT and Microsoft Surface, which will bring exciting new opportunities for customers and the industry as a whole,” said Hastings, 51, who joined the Microsoft board in March 2007. “I’ve decided to reduce the number of boards I serve on, so that I can focus on Netflix and on my education work.”

Hastings currently serves on the boards of Netflix, Facebook, Microsoft, Dreambox Learning, the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), and the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA).

The Microsoft board has traditionally ranged between nine and 11 members. The board added two new members with extensive tech industry experience earlier this year, with John W. Thompson, CEO of Virtual Instruments and former chairman and CEO of Symantec Corp., joining in February, and Stephen J. Luczo, chairman, president and CEO of Seagate Technology PLC, joining in May.

With Hastings’ decision, nine directors have been nominated for re-election to the Microsoft board: Bill Gates, chairman, Microsoft; Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft; Dina Dublon, former chief financial officer, JPMorgan Chase; Maria M. Klawe, president, Harvey Mudd College; Stephen J. Luczo, chairman, president and CEO, Seagate Technology; David F. Marquardt, general partner, August Capital; Charles H. Noski, former vice chairman, Bank of America Corp.; Dr. Helmut Panke, former chairman of the board of management, BMW AG; and John W. Thompson, CEO, Virtual Instruments.

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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10.04.2012 - Microsoft Acquires PhoneFactor



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REDMOND, Wash., and OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Oct. 4, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. and PhoneFactor Inc. today announced that Microsoft has acquired PhoneFactor, a recognized leader in multifactor authentication (MFA) solutions.

“The acquisition of PhoneFactor will help Microsoft bring effective and easy-to-use multifactor authentication to our cloud services and on-premises applications,” said Bharat Shah, corporate vice president, Server and Tools Division for Microsoft. “In addition, PhoneFactor’s solutions will help Microsoft customers, partners and developers enhance the security of almost any authentication scenario.”

Founded in 2001, PhoneFactor is trusted by hundreds of leading organizations to help secure millions of logins and transactions each year. By leveraging a device nearly every user already has — a phone — PhoneFactor enables rapid deployment of MFA across a wide range of applications. It already works with many Microsoft products and services, including Outlook Web Access and Internet Information Services, and interoperates with Active Directory.

“We are thrilled to join Microsoft and look forward to bringing our secure, cost- effective and convenient authentication solutions to the millions of Microsoft customers, partners and developers around the world,” said Timothy Sutton, CEO and co-founder of PhoneFactor.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About PhoneFactor

PhoneFactor offers the most comprehensive phone-based authentication platform in the marketplace. In addition to its flagship out-of-band phone call and text message methods and mobile authentication options, PhoneFactor offers a robust authentication platform featuring built-in support for leading on-premises and cloud applications, centralized user management, automated enrollment, user self-service, and extensive reporting capabilities.

For more information, visit www.PhoneFactor.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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10.04.2012 - Microsoft Reveals the Most Innovative Schools in the United States



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REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 4, 2012 — As World Teachers’ Day approaches, Microsoft Corp. is announcing the new 2012–2013 Microsoft Innovative Pathfinder and Mentor Schools being inducted as part of its Innovative Schools program. The 99 new Pathfinder Schools and Mentor Schools from 51 countries were chosen because they have strong school leadership and have established a record of innovation and successful change implementation. The U.S. schools were selected from Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington. They have demonstrated student success and are great showcases for how one-to-one computing, rethinking curriculum design, bringing innovation to scale for a district, and creating a climate for technological advancement through professional development can improve learning environments to make a real impact on transforming education.

“These U.S. schools and districts are inspiring examples of how school leaders can push boundaries and drive real change by captivating students’ interest in learning through creative teaching with technology,” said Byron V. Garrett, U.S. Innovative Schools program director, Microsoft. “We know technology alone does not improve student outcomes, but schools with dynamic staff like these are models for why we need to scale more broadly. They show others how to undergo systematic change and increase teacher professional development to make a difference for students.”

The Microsoft Innovative Schools program is an educational program that is part of the Microsoft Partners in Learning Program, a 10-year, nearly $500 million commitment to help transform education systems around the world by connecting teachers and school leaders in a community of professional development. The Innovative Schools program helps school leaders transform their school communities into environments that foster innovative teaching practices and 21st century learning by providing the tools and resources needed for greater impact on educational transformation and student preparation. Through the program, school leaders become part of a global learning community and get access to expert advice and mentoring. A key component of the program is for each school leader to build sharable assets and create tools for other schools to leverage.

First-Year Participants

Microsoft Innovative Pathfinder and Mentor Schools are making the most of these benefits provided to them and are selected through a rigorous application process that includes written and video documentation. Pathfinder Schools have demonstrated a record of innovation that has transformed education and improved student outcomes in their education systems and local communities.

“I am enthusiastic about our designation as a Microsoft Innovative Pathfinder district because this designation will facilitate our sharing and reflecting on best practices with other innovative districts. This type of interaction leads to professional learning and ultimately to improved student achievement,” said Eric Williams, Ed. D., superintendent, York County School District.

“As the third-largest school district in the country, Chicago is committed to providing every student with the opportunity to succeed in a global economy,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago. “It’s innovative collaborations like this one with Microsoft that allow us to give parents a variety of options for a quality education that is best for their children.”

The following are the six U.S. schools inducted as Pathfinder Schools this year:

Lake View High School (Chicago). Lake View is a Chicago public school with an emerging schoolwide Early College STEM program. Lake View’s collaboration with Microsoft and DePaul University provides opportunities for students to develop 21st century academic, technical and life skills for college and beyond. Lake View offers an interdisciplinary Early College STEM program in three IT-related pathways: traditional STEM, arts and humanities. The school’s focus this year is to discover new pathways for increasing student learning in the real world. Through the Early College STEM program, students will be able to earn dual college credit and industry certifications before their graduation.

Great Falls Elementary School (Great Falls, S.C.). Great Falls teachers use a variety of effective technological strategies to engage students through an innovative, challenging curriculum that is focused on inquiry-based, hands-on learning. Teachers work collaboratively to create a culture of excellence by using technology to support learning across the curriculum to address the specific needs of students based on assessment data. As a Professional Development School with Winthrop University, teachers use the Lucy Camera to not only reflect on their teaching practices, but also to share what they have learned about effectively integrating technology into the curriculum with teachers locally and nationally. Great Falls Elementary provides an innovative professional learning culture that allows teachers to collaborate with schools across the world to gain professional knowledge and expertise in innovative instructional strategies.

Loudoun County Public Schools (Ashburn, Va.). Providing mobile devices, a robust wireless network and a learning management system allows Loudoun County Schools to teach with rigorous academic standards through the use of multimedia resources. Loudon County Public Schools developed The Power of Everyone: Collaborations in 21st Century, an instructional initiative designed to connect K–12 students and teachers with other educators from both formal and informal educational institutions around the world.

Birmingham Covington School (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.). The school is committed to being a Global Learning Hub where people can see, learn and participate in intellectually rich, future-orientated activities. Seeking to keep pace with real-world skills that will be demanded of students when they exit the public school system, Birmingham Covington conceived a project titled “Engage,” designed to engage students in problem-based and project-based activities that integrate elements of science, technology education and language arts, as well as the four elements of the enGauge 21st Century Skills: Digital-Age Literacy, Inventive Thinking, Effective Communication and High Productivity. The enGauge project is based on the premise that pre-K–12 schools should incorporate 21st century skills and proficiencies into school curriculum within the context of academic standards.

York County School Division (Yorktown, Va.). The school created a districtwide “bring-your-own-technology initiative” where emphasis is placed on Transformative Learning, meaning students master content and skills while making a difference locally, nationally and globally. Students and teachers bring their own technology to school to complement district-purchased devices. They connect to the district’s wireless network with smartphones, laptops, netbooks, tablets, e-readers, MP3 players and other Internet-ready devices to use the district network’s resources anytime, anyplace and from any device with an Internet connection.

Medina Elementary School (Medina, Wash.). The staff members at Medina are working to instill lifelong learning skills and strategies through a variety of methods, including using the district common curriculum, extensions inside and outside the classroom, and technology to ensure students are prepared for life. Medina staff members provide opportunities for support and extension of the curriculum through differentiation focus on 21st century learning and collaboration. Teachers participate in bimonthly professional development trainings based around application of 21st century learning in the classroom. Students have a half day of school each Wednesday (districtwide) to provide teachers with collaboration and planning time for instruction.

Mentoring for Success

Microsoft Innovative Mentor Schools go a step further to share best practices with Pathfinder Schools, help them develop a vision and help them implement a plan to transform the way their schools operate.

“McGlone Elementary’s participation in the Innovative Schools program has helped us increase student achievement by learning how to integrate new technology like netbooks, online learning environments, Promethean Boards, learner response systems and innovative teaching practices, such as letting students choose how they demonstrate their learning (videos, podcasts, Prezi, etc.), assigning and turning in work online, and collaborating with international students via videoconferencing and blogging,” said Daniel Sharpe, instructional technology leader, McGlone Elementary, Denver. “Partners in Learning allows both teachers and our students to collaborate with international schools to share knowledge and best practices. This year, as a Mentor School, we look to continue this wonderful program by coaching international schools to help them reach their potential in innovative teaching, technology and ultimately prepare students for the future.”

The following are this year’s Mentor School inductees:

McGlone Elementary School (Denver). The school is part of the School Turnaround program, an intensive intervention and leadership development initiative that helps principals turn around failing or underperforming schools. McGlone is using innovation to gain greater flexibility in certain areas of school operation such as curriculum and instruction, staffing, the use of time, and professional development. Students utilize 21st century learning strategies and high-quality resources. McGlone is committed to ensuring that all fifth-grade students’ transition to middle school with the academic skills, language skills and social skills they will need for success in secondary school, college and careers. It serves as a model for successful educational reform for schools across the country.

Highland Tech Charter School (Anchorage, Alaska). The school is dedicated to a mastery-learning model. Attention is placed on individual student learning needs through project-based learning that integrates technology as a key learning tool. Student voice and ownership is encouraged and expected. Multi-age learning environments demonstrate an emphasis on performance over (seat) time. The transparent curriculum is driven by standards, which details what students’ must know and be able to do to receive a diploma. The standards are aligned to local, state and national expectations and reviewed tri-annually. Students are involved in community service, shadowships and internships providing an extensive School to Work program. A commitment to continuous improvement through Performance-Based Learning, Share Leadership and a Shared Vision are the cornerstones to students’ success.

Representatives from the 2012–2013 Pathfinder and Mentor Schools will attend the Partners in Learning Global Forum, Nov. 28–Dec. 1 in Prague, Czech Republic. While there, these representatives will have the opportunity to participate in professional development workshops and network with innovative instructors from around the world who have been recognized by the program this year.

Today’s announcement coincides with World Teachers’ Day, established in 1994 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to celebrate the profession and to promote international standards for teaching.

The Innovative Schools Program is open to any primary or secondary school worldwide that has a focus on creating a culture of innovation that advances the use of Microsoft technology in the learning process, as well as enables students to develop 21st century skills. Schools must sign up for the Partners in Learning Network, a free network giving school leaders and teachers access to a broad range of resources, content, assessment tools, training events, videos, monthly virtual universities, participation in local-level Partners in Learning forums and the Partners in Learning School Research tool to help measure their own innovation. Those schools seeking a deeper level of engagement in the program can then apply to become a Microsoft Innovative Pathfinder School and work toward achieving Microsoft Innovative Mentor School status. More about Partners in Learning, and the opportunity to sign up for the network, is available at http://www.microsoft.com/education/pil/partnersInLearning.aspx.

About Microsoft Partners in Learning

Microsoft Partners in Learning is a 10-year, nearly $500 million commitment by Microsoft to help education systems around the world. Since its inception in 2003, the Partners in Learning program has reached more than 210 million teachers and students in 119 countries. Partners in Learning helps educators and school leaders connect, collaborate, create and share so students can realize their greatest potential. The online Partners in Learning Network is one of the world’s largest global professional networks for educators, connecting millions of teachers and school leaders around the world in a community of professional development.

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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10.02.2012 - The Choice Is Clear: Microsoft Continues Collaboration With Toyota to Drive Its New Global Communications Infrastructure



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REDMOND, Wash. Oct. 1 , 20 12 Microsoft Corp. today announced that Toyota Motor Corp. has chosen Microsoft’s technology platforms to build its communications and collaboration infrastructure for the Toyota family of companies worldwide.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., and other affiliates in North America began the deployment of Microsoft Office 365-dedicated cloud services as their exclusive environment in June 2012. In Japan and other overseas affiliates, Toyota will be leveraging a hybrid model, with on-premises editions of Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Lync and Windows Server.

Microsoft will help Toyota provide these services to more than 200,000 employees around the world during the next two years. The goal of implementing this Microsoft platform is to better support mobile devices, reduce costs, and improve collaboration between employees with state-of-the-art enterprise social networking, conferencing, messaging and information-sharing tools.

“We continually strive to make our business stronger by improving Toyota’s organizational health, and today’s announcement to upgrade our communications is another step toward that goal,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, managing officer at Toyota. “We strongly believe that Microsoft has the most capable platform that delivers ease, excellence and efficiency required to provide the communication experience our employees expect.”

“Toyota’s decision to deploy Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and Windows Server to its 200,000 employees worldwide is further evidence of the enterprise-class quality and scalability of the world’s most popular productivity platform, as well as another key milestone in our growing alliance together,” said Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner. “By seamlessly integrating both cloud and on-premises environments, Toyota will enable its employees to effortlessly collaborate and communicate with each other, whether they are within the same four walls or in locations around the world.”

This announcement represents an expansion of Toyota’s collaboration with Microsoft technologies. In April 2011, Toyota and Microsoft partnered to provide next-generation telematics services using the Windows Azure cloud platform. Today’s announcement expands that initial investment and includes participation in Microsoft early adopter programs to test new products before they are released.

“I am delighted that, following the forging of our strategic agreement in 2011, Toyota has chosen the Microsoft platform to build its global IT communication infrastructure and that our two companies are further expanding their partnership as a result,” said Yasuyuki Higuchi, president and CEO, Microsoft Japan. “The building of a communication infrastructure for the 200,000-plus users in Toyota and its group companies in Japan, America and throughout the world is one of the largest projects that Microsoft has ever undertaken.”

More information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available in 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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09.25.2012 - Knoxville Chamber of Commerce Supports Local Economy With Microsoft



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REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 25, 2012 — The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, recognized as the 2011 National Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives and the leading voice for business in Knoxville, Tenn., and beyond, has switched to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics GP to help innovate and develop new programs and benefits for its member businesses.

“Before Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics GP, the Knoxville Chamber was working in a box,” said Mark Field, senior vice president of membership. “This box impeded us from helping our member businesses reach their potential, but now we feel ahead of the technological curve. More importantly, our customers can see that shift as well.”

With the help of Microsoft partner LMBC Technologies LLC, the chamber created one of its most beneficial resources, Chamber Member MD, which helps small business owners identify potential hazards that might be in the way of achieving their companies’ full potential. The tool then offers customized recommendations to ensure they avoid those hazards if at all possible.

Microsoft Dynamics also enabled the chamber to launch an online interactive business directory called iKnowKnoxville.com. The directory is search engine optimized and allows member businesses to create customized pages that include videos, slide shows, coupons and more, further highlighting their unique business proposition and supporting the local economy.

“The support process that used to take 15 hours each week has been reduced to one hour each week, and the chamber is able to be more relevant to businesses by providing these individualized resources,” Field said. “This benefits us because we are providing much-needed resources to our members, and it benefits our members by allowing them to focus on doing what they do best — running their businesses."

“Later this year, we intend to upgrade to the latest versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics GP,” Field said. “These improvements will ensure that the Microsoft Dynamics implementation will continue to grow with the chamber, but really, I’ve told my peers that Microsoft should be considered for chambers across the nation.”

More information about how organizations are turning to Microsoft technology is available in 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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09.20.2012 - Microsoft Mobilizes to Create Opportunities for 300 Million Youth Around the World



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REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 20, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a new global initiative, Microsoft YouthSpark, that aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries during the next three years. This companywide initiative includes citizenship and other company programs — both new and enhanced — that empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.



Through Microsoft YouthSpark, the company will dedicate the majority of its cash contributions to nonprofits that serve the youth population around the world. In addition, Microsoft YouthSpark will include Office 365 for education, free technology tools for all teachers and students to power learning and collaboration, and Skype in the classroom, a free global community for teachers to connect their students with others around the world.

As part of the initiative, Microsoft is also launching a range of new citizenship programs:

Give for Youth, a global microgiving marketplace focused on raising funds for nonprofits that support youth causes around the world.

Microsoft YouthSpark Hub, an online space where people can explore and access all the youth services, programs and resources provided by Microsoft and its nonprofit partners.

Microsoft Innovate for Good, a global online community enabling youth to collaborate, inspire and support one another while using technology to make a difference in their communities.

Launching the new initiative, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said, “Through Microsoft YouthSpark we are making a commitment to help 300 million young people around the world achieve their dreams by focusing our citizenship efforts and other company resources on connecting young people with opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship. We believe that working with our partners we can help empower young people to change their world, and we are committed to using our technology, talent, time and resources to do that.”

The company’s youth-focused philanthropy will be conducted in close collaboration with nonprofits around the world. These include worldwide organizations such as GlobalGiving Foundation, TakingITGlobal, Telecentre.org Foundation and the International Youth Foundation, as well as regional nonprofits such as Silatech in the Middle East, The Trust for Americas in Latin America, AIESEC International in Europe, and the ASEAN Foundation in Asia. In the United States, Microsoft is announcing its support of five national nonprofits: Boys & Girls Clubs of America, City Year, Junior Achievement USA, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and Year Up Inc.

“Our next generation of citizenship will focus on the next generation of people,” said Brad Smith, executive vice president, Microsoft. “The global unemployment rate for workers younger than 25 is 12.7 percent, which is double the rate for the world as a whole. This is indicative of a growing opportunity divide between young people who have the access, skills and opportunities to be successful and those who do not. We must work together to close the opportunity divide for youth and help secure the future of this generation and the future of our global economy.”

The International Youth Foundation Opportunity for Action report, published in March 2012, showed that nearly 75 million young people worldwide were unemployed in 2011. As the global youth population continues to grow — there are more than 2.2 billion people between the ages of 6 and 24 today — the opportunity divide is widening.

Microsoft YouthSpark goes beyond philanthropy and brings together a range of global programs that empower young people with access to technology and a better education and inspire young people to imagine the opportunities they have to realize their potential, including previously mentioned Office 365 for education and Skype in the classroom, as well as the following:

Partners in Learning. A professional development program for government officials, school leaders and educators to help them with new approaches to teaching and learning, using technology to help students develop 21st century skills.

Microsoft IT Academy. A career-ready education program available to all accredited academic institutions, providing students with 21st century technology.

DreamSpark. Free access to Microsoft designer and developer tools for students and educators, helping advance key technical skills during the high school and college years, a critical time in a student’s development.

Imagine Cup. The world’s premier youth technology competition, which challenges students to apply their knowledge and passion to develop technical solutions for social impact, to develop engaging games, and to demonstrate innovation that can benefit others, local communities and the world.

Students to Business. A program that matches university students with jobs or internships in the technology industry.

BizSpark. A software startup program, providing young entrepreneurs with access to Microsoft software development tools and connections with key industry players, including investors, to help them start a new business.

A full list of Microsoft YouthSpark programs can be found at the YouthSpark Hub.

The YouthSpark feature story provides more information on how U.S. nonprofit organizations are using the new Microsoft funding and a picture slide show of youth stories.

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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09.19.2012 - Microsoft Hardware Debuts Windows 8 Keyboard With Split Backspace-Spacebar Key



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REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 19, 2012 — Building on its previously announced lineup of Windows 8 hardware peripherals, Microsoft Corp. today introduced the Sculpt Comfort Keyboard, an ergonomic keyboard featuring an enlarged split spacebar with optional backspace functionality that enhances typing efficiency and speed. From its thoughtful design and ergonomic shape to the Windows 8-specific keys, the Sculpt Comfort Keyboard is the perfect Windows 8 desktop companion for productivity and comfort.

Research and Design

With the Sculpt Comfort Keyboard, Microsoft is introducing its first keyboard to feature a split backspace-spacebar key. This design choice is the result of internal research that showed 90 percent of typists use only their right thumb to press the spacebar, leaving a lot of unused real estate on the left side of the bar. Research also showed the backspace key is the third most pressed key on the keyboard — behind the spacebar itself and the letter “e” — but constantly striking backspace breaks a person’s typing stride because of its location on the top right-hand corner of the keyboard. In response to these findings, Microsoft made two adjustments to help increase typing efficiency and speed:

• Increased the width of the spacebar to make the bar easier to strike.

• Split the spacebar to make use of the neglected left-hand side as an extra backspace key.

Ergonomics

The Sculpt Comfort Keyboard’s advanced ergonomics are the result of many unique design features. In addition to increasing typing efficiency, the keyboard’s split spacebar also improves ergonomics by virtually eliminating the awkward “pinky reach” to the standard backspace key, keeping wrists in a comfortable position. The keyboard also sports Microsoft’s own Contour Curve design, which features a six-degree bend in the keyboard layout with a dome-shaped arc to help promote a comfortable, neutral wrist position while keeping keys within easy reach. Its removable palm rest can be used for added comfort or easily detached with the press of a button for a sleek, compact look.

Designed by Microsoft, Optimized for Windows

The Sculpt Comfort Keyboard also includes several keys that give customers quick access to the most commonly used Windows 8 features, including Search, Share, Device and Settings hot keys and an updated Windows key. With its wireless USB connectivity, the Sculpt Comfort Keyboard also reduces the unnecessary clutter of wires.

“With Microsoft’s new lineup of Windows 8 peripherals, we designed every piece of hardware to provide the best Windows experience possible on any device,” said Brett Kelleran, general manager of Microsoft Hardware. “The Sculpt Comfort Keyboard brings the best of Microsoft to the desktop — advanced ergonomics, improved productivity, great design and features optimized for Windows.”

The Sculpt Comfort Keyboard will be available soon at the online Microsoft Store and other participating retailers. Estimated retail price is US$59.95*.

More information about this and other Microsoft Hardware products can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/hardware.

About Microsoft Hardware

For 30 years, the Hardware Group has employed innovative engineering, cutting-edge industrial design and extensive usability testing to create products of exceptional quality and durability that enhance the software experience and strengthen the connection between customers and their PCs. Microsoft Hardware leads the industry in ergonomic engineering, industrial design and hardware-software compatibility, offering customers an easier, more convenient and more enjoyable computing experience. More information about Microsoft Hardware is available at http://www.microsoft.com/hardware and http://www.microsofthardwareblog.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.

* Estimated retail price. Actual retail prices may vary.

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: 43288 / Submitted by: The Zilla of Zuron
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