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  Microsoft-Press related Technical Updates [Page: 19 of 145] @ TACKtech Corp.  

09.18.2012 - Microsoft Names Longtime Entertainment Executive Nancy Tellem Entertainment & Digital Media President



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Nancy Tellem
Nancy Tellem
September 17, 2012
Nancy Tellem, former president of CBS Network Television Entertainment Group, has joined Microsoft as Entertainment & Digital Media president.

REDMOND, Wash. Sept. 18, 2012 Microsoft Corp. today announced that Nancy Tellem, former president of CBS Network Television Entertainment Group, has joined Microsoft as Entertainment & Digital Media president.

In her role reporting to Phil Spencer, corporate vice president, Microsoft Studios, Tellem will oversee the launch of a newly created production studio in Los Angeles that will develop interactive and linear content for Xbox and other devices. In addition to running the production studio, she will help spearhead the company’s efforts to turn Xbox into a destination where consumers can enjoy all their entertainment in one place.

Tellem and her group will collaborate with the creative community to develop unique, compelling storytelling experiences for the Xbox brand. More than just a gaming console, Xbox has evolved into a consumer destination for the world’s most popular TV, movies, music and sports content. With a roster of more than 65 entertainment apps, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, MLB.TV, ESPN, YouTube and VEVO, global video consumption on Xbox LIVE has increased 140 percent during the past year. In addition, this September, Microsoft will introduce 2-way TV experiences from renowned entertainment partners Sesame Workshop and National Geographic that will further expand the Xbox platform beyond games, offering entertainment options for everyone in the family.

“I am excited to be a part of the continued evolution of Xbox from a gaming console to the hub of every household’s entertainment experience,” Tellem said. “The Xbox is already a consumer favorite, and we now have a tremendous opportunity to transform it into the center of all things entertainment — from games, music and fitness to news, sports, live events, television series and movies — so consumers have one destination for all their entertainment needs. I look forward to building a studio team that embraces the challenges of creating true interactive content that the Xbox platform supports and to work with talent to create content that will change the way entertainment content is experienced and delivered.”

“Whether you are voting for your favorite contestant on a TV show or playing a game, entertainment is becoming more personalized and social, driven by the Internet and new tools to interact with content,” Spencer said. “We are embarking on a new chapter with the creation of a studio dedicated to making original interactive and linear content, and I’m excited to have Nancy leading this effort.”

“With her impressive background in entertainment innovation, I am thrilled to have Nancy join our team,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business Group at Microsoft. “Under her direction, we look forward to building and extending our creative offerings from the living room to all your devices.”

Tellem has been a CBS executive since 1997, most recently as senior adviser to CEO Leslie Moonves, where she explored business and strategic opportunities — domestic and international — involving content partnerships, new production models, emerging media and technologies. As president of the CBS Network Television Entertainment Group, Tellem supervised programming, development, production, business affairs and operations. She oversaw the network’s prime-time, daytime, late-night and Saturday morning lineups (with shows like “CSI,” “Survivor,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The King of Queens”). Before joining CBS, Tellem was executive vice president of Business and Financial Affairs for Warner Bros. Television and was part of the team that launched the landmark programs “Friends” and “ER.”

In 2006, Tellem was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame for her contributions to the electronic arts. In 2008, Forbes ranked her 32nd on its list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” and Entertainment Weekly named her the third-smartest person in TV for quickly restoring CBS’s entire primetime lineup after the 100-day writers’ strike. That same year, the National Association of Television Program Executives awarded Tellem a Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award in recognition of her “extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision in the process of creating TV programming.”

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.

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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09.18.2012 - Microsoft Announces Increase in Quarterly Dividend; Gilmartin to Retire From Microsoft Board of Directors



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REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 18, 20 12 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.23 per share, reflecting a 3 cent or 15 percent increase over the previous quarter’s dividend. The dividend is payable December 13, 2012 to shareholders of record on November 15, 2012. The ex-dividend date will be November 13, 2012.

The company also announced that Raymond V. Gilmartin, former chairman, president and chief executive officer of Merck & Co., Inc., has decided that after 11 years of service, he will retire from and not seek re-election to Microsoft’s board of directors at the company’s 2012 annual meeting of shareholders.

Gilmartin, 71, who joined the Microsoft board in 2001, is reducing his professional commitments to free up more personal time. “It’s been a real pleasure to work with Microsoft during a transformative period for the company, and see first-hand the vision and dedication that are reshaping Microsoft’s future and the future of the industry,” Gilmartin said.

“Ray has been a strong and insightful member of the board. We appreciate his many contributions over the past eleven years,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive officer.

With Gilmartin’s departure, the Microsoft board will have ten members: Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman; Steve Ballmer; Dina Dublon, former chief financial officer of JPMorgan Chase; Reed Hastings, founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix Inc.; Maria M. Klawe, president, Harvey Mudd College; Stephen J. Luczo, chairman, president and CEO of Seagate Technology PLC; David F. Marquardt, general partner at August Capital; Charles H. Noski, former vice chairman of Bank of America Corp.; Dr. Helmut G. W. Panke, former chairman of the board of management at BMW AG; and John W. Thompson, CEO of 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.

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 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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09.18.2012 - Microsoft Signs Licensing Agreement With Research In Motion



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REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 18, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. announced today that Microsoft and Research In Motion (RIM) have signed a patent licensing agreement that gives RIM broad access to the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) for certain BlackBerry devices of RIM. exFAT is a modern file system from Microsoft that facilitates large files for audiovisual media and enables seamless data portability and an easy interchange between desktop PCs and other electronic devices.

exFAT improves on its predecessor, the FAT system, and greatly expands the size of files that flash memory devices can handle by five times over previous FAT technology. It also increases the speed with which those files can be accessed. The exFAT file system not only facilitates large files for use of audiovisual media, it enables seamless data portability and an easy interchange between desktop PCs and a variety of electronic devices.

“Today’s smartphones and tablets require the capacity to display richer images and data than traditional cellular phones,” said David Kaefer, general manager of Intellectual Property (IP) Licensing at Microsoft. “This agreement with RIM highlights how a modern file system, such as exFAT can help directly address the specific needs of customers in the mobile industry.”

Microsoft’s Commitment to Intellectual Property Collaboration

Microsoft offers flexible IP licensing programs that give companies access to many of the foundational technologies in its own products, allowing those companies to build devices, applications and services that work seamlessly with each other.

Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 1100 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft’s significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio.

Microsoft has entered into similar licensing agreements with several leading consumer electronics manufacturers through its IP licensing program, including Panasonic Corp., SANYO Electric Company Ltd., Sony Corp. and Canon Inc.

More information on Microsoft’s IP licensing program is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing, and information specifically related to Microsoft’s exFAT licensing program is available here.

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

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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09.17.2012 - Microsoft Outlines Revenue Recognition for the Office Offer



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REDMOND, Wash. September 17, 2012 Microsoft Corp. today announced the details of the Office offer providing consumers, students and small businesses who buy qualifying Office 2010 or Office for Mac 2011 the option to upgrade during the time of promotion.

Starting October 19, people who purchase Office 2010 or Office for Mac 2011 will qualify to download, for free, one year of Office 365 Home Premium or the equivalent Office 2013 offering, when available. Small business customers in applicable markets will also be eligible for a three-month trial of Office 365 Small Business Premium.

For additional details on the Office offer, please see the company’s announcement at http://blogs.office.com/b/office-news/.

In association with the Office offer, Microsoft will defer revenue from eligible sales under the program to the earlier of the fulfillment date or the program’s expiration date. For the first quarter of fiscal year 2013, Microsoft will defer an estimated $100 million to $140 million of revenue related to licenses sold into distribution channels that will be subsequently sold to end customers under the terms of the offer. The deferral only impacts the timing of revenue recognition and will not impact cash flows from operations.

About Microsoft

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

Forward-Looking Statements

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

  • execution and competitive risks in transitioning to cloud-based computing;

  • challenges to Microsoft’s business model;

  • intense competition in all of Microsoft’s markets;

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

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

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

  • actual or perceived security vulnerabilities in Microsoft products that could reduce revenue or lead to liability;

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

  • outages and disruptions of services provided to customers directly or through third parties if Microsoft fails to maintain an adequate operations infrastructure;

  • government litigation and regulation affecting how Microsoft designs and markets its products;

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

  • delays in product development and related product release schedules;

  • significant business investments that may not gain customer acceptance and produce offsetting increases in revenue;

  • unfavorable changes in general economic conditions, disruption of our partner networks or sales channels, or the availability of credit that affect demand for Microsoft’s products and services or the value of our investment portfolio;

  • adverse results in legal disputes;

  • unanticipated tax liabilities;

  • quality or supply problems in Microsoft’s consumer hardware or other vertically integrated hardware and software products;

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

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

  • geopolitical conditions, natural disaster, cyberattack or other catastrophic events disrupting Microsoft’s business; and

  • acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances that adversely affect the business.

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

All information in this release is as of September 17, 2012. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company’s expectations.

For more information, financial analysts and investors only:

Bill Koefoed, general manager, Investor Relations, (425) 706-4400

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news/. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Shareholder and financial information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/investor/.

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09.13.2012 - PreEmptive Solutions and Microsoft Partner to Provide Exception Analytics in Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012



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CLEVELAND, O hio , and REDMOND, W ash. Sept . 13, 2012 Microsoft Corp. and PreEmptive Solutions announced today that PreEmptive Analytics and Dotfuscator CE will be included in Microsoft Visual Studio 2012. Dotfuscator CE, which has been included with every version of Visual Studio since Visual Studio 2003, prevents the reverse engineering of Microsoft .NET applications and includes basic application monitoring capabilities. The Visual Studio 2012 version, renamed PreEmptive Analytics and Dotfuscator Community Edition™, has been expanded to include exception monitoring and response.

For the first time, a repository and rules engine that aggregates and analyzes incoming exception alerts will be included with Team Foundation Server 2012. When rules are triggered, work items are created or updated, providing near real-time visibility into production.

“We’ve worked closely with our longstanding partner, PreEmptive Solutions, to create high-quality tools that help teams successfully manage the development lifecycle of modern applications,” said Mitra Azizirad, general manager of Developer Tools Marketing and Sales at Microsoft. “Through its integration with Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012, PreEmptive Analytics quickly connects development and operations teams, improving the operations team’s response time to production incidents and creating a more collaborative development environment.”

“PreEmptive Analytics provides an end-to-end solution connecting development and operations to provide clarity around development priorities, improve application quality and increase operational response,” said Gabriel Torok, CEO of PreEmptive Solutions.

Dotfuscator Software Services Community Edition is scheduled to ship with all versions of Visual Studio 2012 (other than Visual Studio Express) at no additional charge.

About PreEmptive Solutions

PreEmptive Solutions’ software and managed services monitor, measure and protect applications across cloud, on-premise, Internet and mobile platforms. Leveraging PreEmptive’s application analytics and protection solutions, development organizations materially improve application quality, user satisfaction and development ROI across today’s distributed and increasingly heterogeneous computing architectures. For more information, visit www.preemptive.com or call +1 440.443.7200.

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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09.06.2012 - Bing Challenges Nation to 'Bing It On'



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REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 6, 2012 — Beginning today, America can click and choose which Web search results it prefers by participating in the Bing It On Challenge, available at Bing.com. Based on research that indicates people prefer Bing Web search results over Google, Bing is inviting consumers to come and see for themselves with an online test designed to show that the quality of Bing’s Web search results has surpassed Google’s.

Although most people identify themselves as Google searchers, an independent study commissioned by Microsoft Corp. shows people chose Bing Web search results over Google nearly 2-to-1 in blind comparison tests.* Given those findings, Bing decided it is time to let people see for themselves that there is a better option in search.

“Relevancy of search results is the No. 1 driver of search engine preference, and independent research shows that people chose Bing’s Web search results over Google’s nearly 2-to-1,” said Mike Nichols, corporate vice president and chief marketing officer of Bing. “It’s time to break the Google habit and learn why you deserve more from your search engine.”

How Does It Work?

The Bing It On Challenge is a fun and easy online test that allows you to compare Bing and Google’s Web search results. The challenge is simple — conduct five search queries of your choice and compare unbranded Web search results from Bing and Google side by side. For each search result, you choose a winner or declare it a “draw.” Next the test shows you which search engine came out on top and lets you share the Bing It On Challenge with others via Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

“In addition to better search results, Bing also includes useful information from your friends and experts from Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Foursquare and more, which is not available on Google,” Nichols said. “If you want the best search results and a new, more useful way to search with your friends, try Bing today.”

The Campaign

Bing It On will be promoted via a nationwide television and online ad campaign launching tonight during MTV’s Video Music Awards. During the coming months, the Bing It On Challenge will also be prominently featured in Microsoft retail stores nationwide, as well as via pop-up Bing It On Challenge stations across the country. You can follow along on the Bing Facebook page, @Bing Twitter handle and Twitter hashtag #bingiton.

Today, Bing is also launching the Bing It On sweepstakes, giving people a chance to win a big box of awesome Microsoft prizes, including a Microsoft Surface, Windows 8, an Xbox 360 with Kinect for Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE, a Windows Phone, and more, simply by tweeting out a designated Bing It On Challenge tweet. The sweepstakes will run until Oct. 18, 2012. Visit http://www.bingsweeps.com to find the tweet and for more details on how to participate.

About the Research

Bing It On Challenge research was based on a study conducted by Answers Research, an independent research company based in San Diego. The research is based on a comparison of the Web search results pane only; it excludes ads and material in other parts of the page such as Bing’s Snapshot and Social Search panes and Google’s Knowledge Graph. Learn more at http://www.bingiton.com.

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.

* Based on a comparison of Web search results pane only; excludes ads, Bing’s Snapshot and Social Search panes, and Google’s Knowledge Graph. Learn more at http://www.bingiton.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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09.04.2012 - Windows Server 2012 Powers the Cloud OS



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REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 4, 2012 — Today in a global online launch event Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft Server and Tools Business, announced the general availability of Windows Server 2012. In his keynote speech, Nadella described how Windows Server 2012 is a cornerstone of the Cloud OS, which provides one consistent platform across private, hosted and public clouds.

“The operating system has always been the heartbeat of IT and is now undergoing a renaissance in the new world of continuous cloud services, connected devices and big data,” Nadella said. “Microsoft’s unique legacy in the most widely used operating systems, applications and cloud services positions us to deliver the Cloud OS, based on Windows Server and Windows Azure, helping customers achieve a datacenter without boundaries.”



Enabling the Modern Datacenter

Microsoft built Windows Server 2012 from the cloud up, applying its experience operating global datacenters that rely on hundreds of thousands of servers to deliver more than 200 cloud services. Windows Server 2012 expands the definition of a server operating system, with significant new advancements in virtualization, storage, networking and automation. Hundreds of new features can help customers achieve a transformational leap in the speed, scale and power of their datacenters and applications. In combination with Windows Azure and System Center, Windows Server 2012 empowers customers to manage and deliver applications and services across private, hosted and public clouds.

Customers Find Success With Windows Server 2012

Customers can use their existing skills and investments in systems management, application development, database, identity and virtualization to take advantage of Windows Server 2012 and realize the promise of cloud computing. Many enterprise customers are already seeing tremendous value in early deployments. A survey of 70 early adopter customers from across the globe revealed that they expect, on average, 52 percent reduction in downtime, 41 percent reduction in workload deployment time, and 15 hours of productivity time saved per year, per employee. 91 percent of the companies surveyed expect a reduction in server administration labor, and 88 percent expect reduction in network administration labor.*

Menzies Aviation, an airline passenger and cargo handling company that employs more than 17,000 people, is using Windows Server 2012 to provide identity access management and information access policies to its employees as it rapidly incorporates newly acquired businesses.

“We are very impressed by Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft’s overall solution to help us manage our systems and applications across our private cloud environments as they scale with our business,” said Martin Gallington, senior vice president of IT at Menzies Aviation. “This is a dramatic leap forward, matched by a simple, cost-effective pricing model.”

Equifax is a global information solutions provider that organizes and assimilates data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide. It now counts on Windows Server 2012 for improved reliability and uptime of its information services to clients.

“Windows Server 2012 revolutionizes how we can operate our datacenter, allowing us to better meet our commitments,” said Bryan Garcia, chief technology officer at Equifax. “The new high availably technologies help us deliver ‘always-on’ applications, and we’re betting on Hyper-V as a critical component of our private cloud strategy. We are gaining tremendous efficiencies, which translate into more time to innovate for company growth.”

More information about Windows Server 2012 and the Cloud OS is available here. Read Satya Nadella’s post on The Official Microsoft Blog here. The conversation on Twitter can be followed at #WinServer.

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

* “Windows Server 2012 Rapid Deployment Program: TCO Study Whitepaper,” Microsoft Corp., June 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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08.31.2012 - Quest Software Simplifies Email Migration for Customers With Windows Azure



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REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 31, 2012 — Quest Software is simplifying how customers of all sizes move their email to the cloud with its email migration solution, Quest OnDemand Migration for Email. The solution is based on Windows Azure and helps customers migrate to Microsoft Office 365. By running the solution on Windows Azure, Quest was able to give companies large and small a fast, low-cost, low-risk way to migrate email to cloud environments.

Quest recognized that many customers wanted to migrate their email messaging from both on-premises infrastructures and other cloud solutions to Office 365 but had questions about the migration, noting that several email migration tools in the market were difficult to set up and required the deployment of on-site servers for large mailbox migrations. As a result, Quest created an email migration solution that could be delivered using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment model with Windows Azure in which customers do not need to install or maintain any software for the move, helping save time and money.

“We wanted customers to gain instantaneous access to our migration product via any Web browser and start migrating users within minutes, not weeks,” said Ron Robbins, product manager, Migration Solutions at Quest Software.

By hosting its solution on Windows Azure, Quest can scale to meet its customers’ needs — from small businesses with hundreds of mailboxes to large enterprises with tens of thousands of mailboxes — all while keeping its migration service affordable. Quest’s pay-as-you-go pricing model, which is enabled by Windows Azure’s pricing model, also gives customers the flexibility to migrate all their users at once or spread the investment over time.

To date, Quest has migrated tens of thousands of email seats to Office 365 using OnDemand Migration for Email, and does so with exceptional levels of performance and availability from Windows Azure. Microsoft’s cloud platform also gives Quest the ability to expand its global reach.

“We can expand our markets because Windows Azure has datacenters worldwide,” Robbins said. “Deploying our own SaaS infrastructure worldwide would be cost-prohibitive, but with Windows Azure we can reach new markets without infrastructure concerns.”

Read more about Quest Software’s development of Quest OnDemand Migration for Email on Windows Azure in the case study.

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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08.29.2012 - Microsoft Appoints Stephen Schueler as Corporate Vice President of Retail Sales and Marketing



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REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 29, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Stephen Schueler will join the company as corporate vice president of Retail Sales and Marketing. In his position, Schueler will be responsible for driving demand through global retail partners and ensuring customers receive a great service experience.

Schueler joins Microsoft from Procter & Gamble, where he most recently served as general manager for the Global Retail Operations Group responsible for global merchandising, promotion, and the third-party selling organizations. He will report to Chris Capossela, Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft.

“I am pleased to have someone with Steve’s talent and deep experience leading our retail sales and marketing efforts,” said Capossela. “Steve is joining us at a pivotal moment for the company as we prepare to deliver Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and the new Office, as well as new Xbox 360 and Kinect experiences such as ‘Halo 4’ and ‘Nike+ Kinect.’”

“Microsoft has a strong history of partnering with the world’s most successful retail organizations,” said Schueler. “I look forward to deepening our relationships as we enter the most exciting launch season in Microsoft’s history. This is an incredible opportunity to draw upon my 24 years of retail experience at P&G and apply my learnings to the innovative world of technology.”

Schueler joined Procter & Gamble in 1988. Prior to leading Global Retail Operations he served as general manager of Procter & Gamble’s Eastern Europe Distribution Company, where he helped set the go-to-market strategy, vision, and planning for the organization. Steve has a long history with international business after working in the US, Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

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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08.29.2012 - Microsoft Launches More Expansive Imagine Cup 2013



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REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 29, 2012 — Students ages 16 and older can now register for Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013, the world’s premier student technology competition, in its 11th year. To inspire more students and encourage a wider variety of aspiring innovators to participate, Microsoft Corp. has redesigned Imagine Cup around three new core competitions — World Citizenship, Games and Innovation — and more than doubled the prize money to US$300,000.

More than 1.65 million students across the globe have participated in Imagine Cup during the past decade, creating applications and games that address the world’s toughest social problems. The 2013 competition builds on the core elements that have been most popular with students in the past 10 years — social impact and gaming — while expanding the competition’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. In Imagine Cup 2013, students may compete in the following competitions:

• World Citizenship. Honors the software application developed on Microsoft platforms with the greatest potential to make a positive impact on humanity. For example, a project might address education-, social- or healthcare-related problems.

• Games. Honors the most engaging and entertaining games targeting teens and youth, built on Microsoft platforms (Windows 8, Windows Phone, Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit, and Xbox Indie Games).

• Innovation. Honors apps that give consumers inspiration and innovation at their fingertips, whether it be a new spin on social networks, online shopping or search, built with Microsoft tools and technology.

In addition to the competitions, students can register to compete in online Challenges focused on specific technologies and platforms, including Windows 8, Windows Azure and Windows Phone.

Imagine Cup is a global, yearlong competition that culminates in a Worldwide Finals event, to take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, July 8–11, 2013. Worldwide Finalists will also have the chance to apply for Microsoft Imagine Cup Grants as part of a three-year, $3 million investment by Microsoft to help students turn their ideas into reality.

“Imagine Cup is the beginning of a lifelong journey for a young entrepreneur, inventor, designer, developer or innovator,” said John Scott Tynes, Imagine Cup competition strategy and development manager. “With the evolution of Imagine Cup, we’re further inspiring students from all academic backgrounds to collaborate on applications and seize opportunities post-Imagine Cup to polish their applications, gain the support they need to bring their technology to market, and fully realize their potential to impact their local communities and the world.”

Many Imagine Cup participants, such as team Wormhole IT, which competed in the Worldwide Finals in 2007, have taken lessons learned from Imagine Cup to enhance their projects and launch small businesses post-event. “Without Imagine Cup, we would have never received the feedback that we needed to turn our application into a reality,” said Sally Buberman, of Wormhole IT, who participated as judge at this year’s competition. “It was more than a competition; it was the chance to showcase our application and learn what it would take to launch a profitable business based upon our idea.” Wormhole IT, with locations in Argentina and the U.S., offers webconferencing and online platforms that can be used for educators to communicate with students in different locations, especially in developing regions where connectivity is poor.

Students interested in signing up for Imagine Cup 2013 may register on the website, http://www.imaginecup.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.

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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08.23.2012 - Microsoft to Launch “Election 2012 Hub on Xbox LIVE”



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REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 23, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today announced “Election 2012 on Xbox LIVE,” a unique opportunity for Xbox 360 owners to watch and interact with live election coverage of the presidential debates, learn the facts about the candidates and issues from Face the Facts USA, register to vote through Rock the Vote, and participate in live daily polling from YouGov. NBCNews.com will deliver daily election programming to keep users up-to-date on the latest news and analysis about the election and the candidates. All these experiences will be featured on a brand new Election 2012 Hub on Xbox LIVE. Members will be able to fully access the first wave of content, which will focus on convention-related news, beginning Monday, Aug. 27.

Through this innovative platform, U.S.-based Xbox LIVE* members — part of a large, diverse and actively engaged audience of more than 40 million members worldwide — will be able to interact in real time throughout the three scheduled presidential debates, as well as enjoy live feeds from the Republican and Democratic national conventions. Xbox LIVE members will also be able to voice their opinions by responding to poll questions throughout live programming of the debates and other unique election events hosted on Xbox LIVE throughout the campaign season.

“We want to provide our passionate Xbox LIVE community with a great way to experience the election process with TV that makes them participants — and not just viewers,” said Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “This is a great example of how our Xbox capabilities are making the promise of interactive television a reality.”

“As a leader in digital and broadcast news, NBC News is always looking for more places to deliver its high-quality multimedia content, particularly in this critical campaign year. This relationship with Xbox LIVE is a unique opportunity to expand our reach on a really innovative platform,” said Vivian Schiller, senior vice president and chief digital officer at NBC News.

Additional original programming will be featured through the Election Hub on Xbox LIVE with the “Conversations with the Next Generation” youth town halls in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 29 and Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 5. National Journal, The Atlantic and Microsoft are working together on these one-of-a-kind events at the Republican and Democratic national conventions to engage with younger Americans and students in a dialogue about issues facing their generation. The event moderators, including NBC’s Chuck Todd and Chelsea Clinton, will lead keynote interviews, panel discussions and audience Q&A with unique perspectives on the youth vote, education and the future of America’s economy. Participants such as George P. Bush; Kal Penn; Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill.; MTV's Andrew Jenks; Michelle Rhee; OUR TIME’s Matthew Segal; and the national presidents of both the Young Democrats of America and the Young Republican National Federation will further explore ways in which people can empower youths to get involved in the political process and make their voices heard.

“Technology has been a transformative force in politics during recent years,” said Fred Humphries, vice president of government affairs at Microsoft. “The launch of the Election 2012 Hub on Xbox LIVE marks another exciting moment of change. This platform will innovate how some voters engage in the political process, and it provides greater access to valuable information such as the perspectives of youth at our town halls, newscasts and voter registrations. By bringing the elections directly into the home through this Xbox platform, we hope to encourage greater participation in the democratic process this fall.”

As part of Election 2012 coverage, Xbox LIVE is joining with Face the Facts USA, a nonpartisan, independently funded research initiative supported by The George Washington University and backed by “Americans who believe facts should come first in the national debate.” Thanks to this initiative, Xbox LIVE members will have access to videos that will help them more accurately understand the major issues surrounding the election and the candidates involved. Frank Sesno, former CNN correspondent, anchor and Washington bureau chief and director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University, will host this important video content.

Microsoft has also teamed up with Rock the Vote to encourage and facilitate voter registration. Rock the Vote will deliver information and programming directly into the Election 2012 Hub on Xbox LIVE, while also providing local voter information and the ability to register to vote through http://www.xbox.com/election2012. Rock the Vote will also make available exclusive musical content to be streamed directly to the Xbox LIVE community. Xbox and Rock the Vote previously worked together in 2008, successfully driving tens of thousands of citizens to register to vote and become active participants in the election process.

“We are thrilled to be working with Xbox again to deliver important election and voter registration content to millions of voters through this truly unique and impressive Xbox LIVE platform,” said Chrissy Faessen, vice president of Marketing and Communications at Rock the Vote. “There’s a growing audience of individuals getting their election information solely from online platforms; Microsoft has set itself apart by providing for its users a level of content and interactivity that’s second to none.”

Underlying this entire experience will be daily polling of the Xbox LIVE community aligned with relevant happenings on the campaign trail. Working with YouGov, the daily results will be weighed to reflect both the Xbox community and likely voters. Further, timely polling will provide quick feedback from the Xbox community during major campaign events this fall.

To understand more about the political attitudes, behaviors and issue priorities of Xbox LIVE members, Xbox commissioned StrategyOne to conduct a survey of 1,678 Xbox LIVE households. The survey, which was conducted June 19 to July 3, 2012, found that 40 percent are Xbox Swing Voters — those who are not firmly committed to a presidential candidate.

Xbox Swing Voters say the most important issues facing the country are unemployment and jobs (39 percent), healthcare (29 percent) and taxes (22 percent). Xbox Swing Voters say they follow politics and public policy matters in the news at least once per week, including 23 percent who follow these issues daily. Thirty-nine percent say they often watch information about the presidential election with other people in their household.

“A large, engaged but uncommitted audience, Xbox Swing Voters are a technically savvy and passionate voting bloc,” said Douglas Rivers, YouGov’s chief innovations officer. “We’re proud to be working with Microsoft and its game-changing, interactive Xbox LIVE platform to provide meaningful insights that are shaping the current election landscape.”

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://xbox.com/election2012.

About Face the Facts USA

Face the Facts USA is a project of the Center for Innovative Media at The George Washington University that presents myth-busting facts as a starting point for better understanding of America’s seemingly intractable problems. Working with a number of digital media, university and outreach partners, Face the Facts USA aims to re-engage Americans in the political process, using the facts behind the major challenges facing our country – not opinion or partisan rants – as the basis for civil conversation, consensus building and consideration of potential alternatives and solutions.

About Rock the Vote

Rock the Vote's mission is to engage and build political power for young people in our country. Using music, popular culture, new technologies and grassroots organizing for more than 20 years, Rock the Vote has registered more than 5 million young people. As the tidal wave of Millennial generation voters continues to establish its power at the polls, Rock the Vote will register millions more young people and make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.rockthevote.com.

About StrategyOne Methodology

StrategyOne surveyed 1,678 U.S. adults who own and use an Xbox 360 and have a LIVE membership. The survey was conducted June 19 through July 3, 2012 and included 324 landline, 684 cellphone and 670 online interviews. The overall margin of error is plus or minus 2.4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

About YouGov Methodology

YouGov is a global polling and market research organization with offices in the U.K., U.S., Germany, Scandinavia, and Middle East. YouGov uses the Internet to provide fast, accurate and actionable data about what people are thinking and doing all over the world. YouGov is listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM market and trades under the symbol YOU. In the U.S., YouGov has compiled an impressive track record in predicting both national results (with an error of less than one percent in 2006, 2008 and 2010) and over 200 state and local elections. YouGov is adapting its methodology to support polling on the Xbox LIVE platform. Xbox LIVE has a large and surprisingly diverse userbase that will be offered the opportunity to participate in online polls and real-time dial groups starting with the 2012 election campaign. YouGov is responsible for creating questions and analyzing the large quantities of responses collected from Xbox LIVE users. Daily tracking polls and live event instant polls will allow a closer and more detailed picture of what Americans think than ever before.

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.

* Xbox LIVE Gold membership required for some events and features, including live coverage and select video content. See xbox.com/election2012.

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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08.22.2012 - County of Santa Clara to Adopt Microsoft Cloud Solution for 15,000 Employees



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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Aug. 22, 2012 — The County of Santa Clara today announced it will upgrade and consolidate its multiple, countywide email systems as part of its ongoing efforts to transform its operations, improve the quality and efficiency of its services to county residents, and streamline IT management costs.

The County of Santa Clara’s principal product is public services, which are provided by more than 15,000 employees across 26 diverse agencies and departments. Among the services are the operation of a public hospital and health system; a 45,000-acre system of urban and mountain parks, trails, lakes, streams and open spaces; tax collection; social services; law and justice operations; roads and airports; and conducting elections. In short, the county could be described as a conglomerate.

“Our midmanagers and frontline employees are in a unique position to help the county find workable solutions to challenges,” said Jeffrey V. Smith, county executive, who established the Center for Leadership and Transformation (CLT), a strategic in-house program to transform the way the county does business. “By standardizing the way we approach technology and procurement, we will be able to enhance efficiencies throughout the organization and finance them within existing resources.”

According to the CLT, until recently, various county departments made technology decisions in isolation, which led to fragmentation, redundancies and unnecessary costs. The CLT provides opportunities for employee teams to tackle some of the county’s toughest and most immediate issues and transform operations. The team of managers assigned to technology determined that by consolidating and leveraging technology dollars, the county could achieve considerable savings and efficiencies and create a foundation for broader integration of IT business solutions.

After a competitive bidding process, the County of Santa Clara selected Microsoft Office 365 and took the opportunity to look across and consolidate IT assets, providing significant cost savings to the county and more than 36 new products. The cost for this expansion was just under 10 percent more than previously spent.

The countywide Enterprise Software License Agreement provides the county with significant benefits, such as the following:

• Better visibility into its IT assets

• Improved mission performance through productivity, unified communications and collaboration tools (Office 365, Microsoft Lync and UC/Collaboration)

• Better governance and control over IT spending

• The ability to leverage buying power as a large organization

“We selected Office 365 because it addressed a wide spectrum of county needs,” said Joyce Wing, chief information officer. “The selection of this solution and our IT consolidation efforts have enabled us to nearly double the number of employees covered and will provide our staff with new tools and collaboration technologies to help better serve our residents. Now our staff will be able to move forward collaboratively and take advantage of many new capabilities.”

The county has numerous remote field staff, which creates the need to share information electronically in a confidential manner, consistent with regulations that govern privacy and other sensitive information. This new approach will increase the mobility of workers by providing access virtually anywhere, any time and with any device and will provide the ability to share documents across the organization electronically, which is mostly completed manually today. The cost to the county will be $3.6 million annually for the entire workforce. Before this agreement, only half the county staff was covered, at a cost of $3.3 million.

“The County of Santa Clara has a long track record as a progressive leader in utilizing new technologies to improve the resident services it provides,” said Stuart McKee, chief technology officer for U.S. State and Local Government at Microsoft Corp. “We look forward to a strong continued partnership with Santa Clara to equip and support all its workers with the tools they need to transform their operations, collaborate from virtually anywhere using any device and, ultimately, better serve the public.”

One of the attractive benefits of Office 365 is the ability to provide a hybrid system that accommodates most county application and security requirements to interact with cloud solutions while providing a local option for highly sensitive communications using advanced security protections.

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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08.10.2012 - Tampa Educators, Students to Benefit From New Microsoft Digital Education Initiative With City, Hillsborough County Public Schools



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TAMPA, F la. Aug. 10 , 2012 — With the goal of preparing local students for the opportunities of tomorrow’s economy, Microsoft Corp. is working with the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) to implement a strategic digital education initiative across the region. On Saturday, Aug. 11, a “Back to School With Microsoft” event will kick off the activities to train more than 500 local educators as part of the effort to modernize in-classroom teaching with Microsoft technologies, boost students’ technology skills, and emphasize the value of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning in preparation for 21st century careers.

“As one of the largest school districts in the nation, Hillsborough County is taking a leading role in extending high-tech skills training and new educational tools to its community of teachers and students,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson. “This strategic relationship with Microsoft will help us equip future generations with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in tomorrow’s economy as we roll out Microsoft IT Academy Program offerings to more than 214 schools throughout our state.”

This collaboration with the City of Tampa and HCPS is part of Microsoft’s efforts to help prepare youth for the jobs of tomorrow. In the current economy, science and technology continue to drive innovation while creating jobs, yet a growing number of today’s students face an opportunity divide — a growing gap between those who have the access, skills and opportunities to be successful and those who do not.

Florida’s First District w ide IT Academy

HCPS is participating in Florida’s pilot implementation of the Microsoft IT Academy Program, which provides a complete IT education solution that bridges the world of education with the world of work. Together with Microsoft and the Florida Department of Education, HCPS will roll out the IT Academy Program across its 27 high schools and 18 middle schools as a STEM-focused elective for students in the upcoming 2012–2013 school year.

“The Microsoft IT Academy fits perfectly with our goal of preparing our students for careers in the 21st century,” said MaryEllen Elia, Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent. “This is a wonderful partnership that will benefit our teachers and our students, and I’m grateful to Microsoft and the City of Tampa for their commitment.”

Beginning with the Aug. 11 “Back to School With Microsoft” technology showcase, more than 500 HCPS teachers in attendance will have access to 60 professional development sessions that show how Microsoft technologies can be used to support education goals and interactive learning in the classroom. Development sessions range from using Kinect for Xbox 360 in education to supporting rapid e-learning.

With the IT Academy training, educators get professional development so they can stay abreast of the latest Microsoft technologies and easily integrate these technologies into their existing curriculum and lesson plans to meet the individual learning needs of their students. Educators can build their own success, as well as earn certifications ranging from becoming a Microsoft Innovative Educator to the ITA certifications that dive more deeply in specific Microsoft technologies taught through the IT Academy courses.

Through the IT Academy Program, students will have access to hundreds of Web-based e-learning courses and receive hands-on experience with the latest Microsoft software and programs, giving them an edge to gaining job-ready skills and industry credentials while still in school.

Shaping Tampa’s Future

Microsoft is committed to the Tampa Bay region, particularly to support efforts that will help youth realize new opportunities. Through Microsoft’s long-term work with the people and organizations of the Tampa Bay region, a number of training, education and community programs are surfacing, which include these:

  • A pilot program that will feature the use of Kinect consoles in a dozen HCPS classrooms which will establish the use of interactive, gesture-based learning.

  • The DigiGirlz education program will provide local middle and high school girls with the opportunity to learn about careers in technology, connect with Microsoft employees, and participate in hands-on computer and technology workshops. Over the past 12 years, DigiGirlz has reached 19,000 girls in more than 20 states and 17 countries.

  • Kodu programming and game-development technology will be incorporated into the HCPS curriculum, helping students develop IT skills by creating games on the PC and Xbox using the simple, visual programming language designed for use by children.

“We’re thrilled to work with the City of Tampa and HCPS to bring the best technologies to area educators to help students realize their full potential,” said Marietta Davis, general manager for Microsoft’s Southeast District. “This is yet another important partnership we’ve formed as part of our commitment to help create positive and lasting impacts in the metropolitan areas in which we live and work. In the Tampa region, our commitment starts with schools and students.”

In addition to Microsoft’s work with Tampa on these education and community outreach initiatives, Microsoft has also worked with the city on a variety of other programs aimed at making a real impact in the region. Notably, Microsoft recently teamed up with the Tampa Police Department on a jointly funded public safety initiative aimed at modernizing the department’s systems used for crime analysis, reporting and reduction, which included an investment in Microsoft SharePoint and SQL Server technologies.

Microsoft has also joined the board of the Tampa Bay Partnership, a public-private organization supporting economic growth and development in the region, and recently made a $25,000 commitment to the organization and its programs.

Youth Engagement at National Political Conventions

Microsoft is also working with National Journal and The Atlantic to host a “Conversations With the Next Generation” town hall on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at The Improv Theater in Ybor. The one-of-a-kind event will feature political leaders, policy experts and journalists who will engage in a dialogue with younger Americans and students about the critical issues they face.

Notable Tampa participants include Superintendent Elia and youth leaders such as Brian Goff, student body president, University of South Florida-Tampa. National participants include Chelsea Clinton, George P. Bush and Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill. Microsoft will also sponsor a sister event at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

These conversations are part of Microsoft’s commitment to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. Microsofts citizenship mission is to globally serve the needs of communities and fulfill its responsibilities to the public. Microsoft programs have a focus on helping youth and young adults around the world obtain the skills they need, and connect them to greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship. Microsoft has the unique ability, through technology and partnerships, to make education and learning more accessible and more engaging for these young people.

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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08.08.2012 - New York City Police Department and Microsoft Partner to Bring Real-Time Crime Prevention and Counterterrorism Technology Solution to Global Law Enforcement Agencies



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N EW YORK Aug. 8 , 201 2 New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced a partnership with Microsoft Corp. designed to bring the latest crime prevention and counterterrorism technology capabilities to worldwide law enforcement, public safety and intelligence agencies, among others.

The NYPD teamed with Microsoft to develop the Domain Awareness System (DAS), a sophisticated law enforcement technology solution that aggregates and analyzes public safety data in real time, providing NYPD investigators and analysts with a comprehensive view of potential threats and criminal activity.

Partnership Announcement in New York
Partnership Announcement in New York
August 07, 2012
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during a news conference in New York, August 8, 2012, joined by New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly (left) and Microsoft Vice President of Americas Services Mike McDuffie (right).
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For example, analysts are notified of suspicious packages and vehicles, and NYPD personnel can actively search for suspects using advanced technologies such as smart cameras and license plate readers.

The NYPD and Microsoft jointly developed the DAS by bringing together Microsoft’s technical expertise and technologies with the day-to-day experience and knowledge of NYPD officers. The result is a solution that is uniquely tailored to meet the specific needs of its users. As part of the agreement, the NYPD will receive 30 percent of revenue from the sales of the DAS system to other customers worldwide.

“Part of the reason we have been able to continue driving down crime to record lows while devoting considerable resources to counterterrorism is our heavy investment in technology and our willingness to develop new, cutting-edge solutions to keep New Yorkers safe,” Bloomberg said. “This new system capitalizes on new, powerful policing software that allows police officers and other personnel to more quickly access relevant information gathered from existing cameras, 911 calls, previous crime reports, and other existing tools and technology. It will help the NYPD do more to prevent crimes from occurring and help them respond to crimes even more effectively. And because the NYPD built the system in partnership with Microsoft, the sale of the product will generate revenue for the city that will fund more new crime-prevention and counterterrorism programs.”

“The system is a transformative tool because it was created by police officers for police officers,” Kelly said. “Its development is a testament to the talent and experience of our officers. And this agreement with Microsoft will allow the NYPD to continue to fund innovative counterterrorism and crime prevention programs.”

DAS combines NYPD operational knowledge with Microsoft technology expertise, and Microsoft is now bringing the solution to market in an effort to extend these capabilities to other jurisdictions. Public safety organizations interested in deploying DAS will go through a process of customization based on unique organizational and regional requirements.

“Microsoft is honored to partner with the NYPD to provide these important public safety capabilities to other jurisdictions,” said Kathleen Hogan, corporate vice president of Microsoft Services. “The NYPD is a respected leader and is continually innovating to help ensure the safety of New York’s citizens. It is a privilege to support its work with our technology and professional services.”

For more information on the solution, law enforcement organizations can contact JPSINFO@Microsoft.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.

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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08.07.2012 - Microsoft Enters Licensing Agreement With Sharp



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REDMOND, Wash . August 7, 2012 Microsoft Corp. has entered into an IP licensing agreement with Sharp Corp. to use the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT). The agreement covers the use of exFAT in smartphones distributed by Sharp based on the Android platform. Today’s deal marks continued momentum by Microsoft for its exFAT technology licensing program.

exFAT is a modern file system that facilitates large files for audiovisual media and enables seamless data portability for an easy interchange of files between desktop PCs and other electronic devices. exFAT improves on its predecessor, the FAT file system, and greatly expands the size of files that flash memory devices can handle — by more than five times over the previous technology. It also greatly increases the speed with which those files can be accessed.

Today’s agreement allows Sharp to incorporate the latest file system from Microsoft in its product portfolio and deliver faster response times and greater storage capabilities to consumers around the globe.

“Consumers today move from mobile phones, to PCs, to home entertainment systems throughout their day — and they expect their media to move as seamlessly across those devices as they do,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “This agreement allows Sharp to continue to stay ahead of the curve and give people around the world entertainment and productivity experiences that truly fit their lifestyles.”

Microsoft’s Commitment to Intellectual Property Collaboration

Microsoft offers flexible IP licensing programs that give companies access to many of the foundational technologies in its own products, allowing those companies to build devices, applications and services that work seamlessly with one another.

Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 1,100 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft’s significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio.

Microsoft has entered into similar exFAT patent licensing agreements with several leading consumer electronics manufacturers through its IP licensing program, including Panasonic Corp., SANYO Electric Company Ltd., Sony Corp. and Canon Inc.

More information on Microsoft’s IP licensing program is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing, and information specifically related to Microsoft’s exFAT licensing program is available here.

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

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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08.02.2012 - The Nation’s Top Educators Awarded at Microsoft Partners in Learning U.S. Forum



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REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 2 , 201 2 Microsoft Corp. today announced 16 educators from California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Texas and Washington have been selected as winners of the Partners in Learning U.S. Forum. The annual event recognizes innovative teachers and school leaders who creatively and effectively use technology in their curriculum to help improve the way kids learn and increase student success. Out of thousands that applied, 100 educators from 25 states attended the event to compete for the opportunity to represent the United States at the Partners in Learning Global Forum this November.


“These winning educators are catalysts for change and are the best in the nation at embracing technology to inspire and engage students and help transform education in their local communities,” said Andrew Ko, general manager, U.S. Partners in Learning, Microsoft. “They all are incredibly passionate and driven to make an impact on each and every student they teach. Their creative project-based-learning classroom activities show real impact on student learning and success and should be scaled out as best practices in their own school districts and across the country.”

Winning Educators

Winning projects immerse students in active, hands-on learning, guiding them to employ collaboration and creative problem-solving skills. The 11 outstanding projects focus on encouraging entrepreneurial thinking in students, virtual learning for students with learning differences, creative uses of gaming to enhance critical thinking and service learning projects in which students engage with their community. The projects exhibit the educators’ abilities to exceed strict academic standards while making learning fun and effective for their students.

The following are Partners in Learning 2012 U.S. Forum winners:

Collaboration

  • First Place: Jamie Ewing; Mount View Elementary, Seattle, Wash.

  • Runner-up: Julie Hembree; AG Bell Elementary, Kirkland, Wash.

Knowledge Building & Critical Thinking

  • First Place: Jennifer Bevill; LSU Laboratory School, Baton Rouge, La.

  • Runner-up: Cheryl Arnett and Melany Neton; Sunset Elementary School, Craig, Colo.

Extended Learning Beyond the Classroom

  • First Place: Pauline Roberts and Rick Joseph; Birmingham Covington School, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

  • TIE Runner-up: Sarah Collins and Jo Spark; Moody Elementary, Moody, Texas

  • TIE Runner-up: Jolie Barker; Slaughter Elementary, McKinney, Texas

Cutting - Edge Use of Technology for Learning

  • First Place: Robin Lowell and Sherry Hahn; Washington State School for the Blind, Vancouver, Wash.

  • Runner-up: June Teisan and Alexandra Beels; Harper Woods Secondary School, Harper Woods, Mich.

Educator as Innovator and Change Agent

  • First Place: Gregg Witkin; Boynton Continuation High School, San Jose, Calif.

Educator’s Choice

  • First Place: Todd LaVogue; Roosevelt Community Middle School, West Palm Beach, Fla.

The winning projects were scored based on a comprehensive judging rubric that incorporated research-based criteria for 21st century teaching and learning. Full descriptions of the winning projects can be found on the Microsoft TeachTec blog. A distinguished panel of judges — including representatives from the Arizona House of Representatives, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education from Washington, D.C, Chicago Public Schools and International Society for Technology in Education, as well as other U.S. superintendents and university and education leaders — evaluated the educator projects.

The winning educators will advance to the Partners in Learning Global Forum, which will take place in Prague Nov. 28 through Dec. 1. This ninth annual Partners in Learning Global Forum is the culmination of local and regional events that reach nearly 200,000 participants from more than 115 countries. 

Hosted by Microsoft Partners in Learning, the Partners in Learning U.S. Forum is one of a series of regional forums taking place around the world. This annual event is designed to promote the sharing and scaling of exceptional practices of learning that incorporate technology in the classroom, to recognize and celebrate leading educators and innovative schools in the United States, and to offer educators opportunities for professional development and collaborate with and learn from peers across the country.

Current news on Microsoft educator events, competitions and news in the U.S. is available on Facebook, Twitter (@TeachTec and #PiLUS) and the TeachTec blog.

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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08.02.2012 - Bang & Olufsen Hears the Sound of Savings With Office 365



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REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 2, 2012 — Luxury audio and video systems maker Bang & Olufsen has adopted Microsoft Office 365 to unify its email, calendaring, collaboration and communication. The company wanted to upgrade its email system from the limitations of Lotus Notes to a less-expensive, easier-to-scale cloud solution: Office 365. The company now has all 2,000 employees using Office 365.

“We investigated whether we should continue relying on internal servers or go with a cloud solution. And we realized that we could save money by going to the cloud with Office 365,” said Ole Damsgaard, senior director of IT & Shared Service Centre at Bang & Olufsen. “It was easy to integrate Office 365 into our existing work environment and for our employees to start using it right away because they already know tools like Outlook and other Microsoft products.”

Founded in 1925 in Struer, Denmark, Bang & Olufsen is world-renowned for its high-end TVs, loudspeakers, MP3 player docks and audio systems that are often built into luxury vehicles, including those made by Audi, BMW, Mercedes-AMG and Aston Martin.

Internal competition for limited IT resources kept pushing an email upgrade to the back burner. However, Damsgaard knew the company needed an up-to-date, top-of-the line email, conferencing and file-sharing solution.

“We’re always in competition with other projects for funding,” Damsgaard said. “We have a limited amount of resources and money. Often, upgrading our software is secondary to meeting other business objectives.”

About 75 percent of Bang & Olufsen’s employees work remotely. However, the email solution they were using, Lotus Notes, was only accessible to the 150 employees who had company-provided smartphones. The other 1,350 mobile workers were left without access.

Recommended by Proactive, Bang & Olufsen’s IT provider, Office 365 was determined to be a cost-effective solution at a time when Bang & Olufsen had to decide between building its own IT environment — complete with on-premises servers — or moving to the cloud.

With Office 365, Bang & Olufsen will reduce travel and IT costs, improve access and ease of use, and enjoy email, calendars and conferencing that work better together:

Less spending on travel and IT. Compared with an internally hosted solution, Bang & Olufsen is saving 82 percent on IT operations by using Office 365.

Improved remote accessibility. With Office 365, employees can access email from virtually any smartphone, a remote PC or other mobile devices.

Familiar, easy-to-use interface. Learning how to use Lotus Notes presented a challenge to most new Bang & Olufsen employees. Today, new staff members are typically already familiar with their Outlook email and require little to no training to use Office 365.

Seamless integration among services. With Office 365, an employee can quickly check a colleague’s calendar for availability, email an invitation and then click the URL in the invite to start the meeting.

“Our employees are used to using Outlook and other Microsoft products. It was easy to integrate Office 365 into our existing work environment and for our workers to start using it right away because they already know the tools,” Damsgaard said. “And now, everybody who has a smartphone can very easily access their emails and calendars.”

More Microsoft customer success stories are available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/presskits/customerspotlight.

More information on Microsoft Office 365 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/office.

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

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

Full View / NID: 42798 / Submitted by: The Zilla of Zuron

07.30.2012 - EmployBridge Puts People to Work Across the US With Help From Microsoft Dynamics CRM



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REDMOND, Wash. — July 30, 2012 — EmployBridge, a national leader in staffing and workforce solutions with more than 155 locations throughout the U.S., has chosen Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to develop and implement an online solution that enables the company to fill “great jobs with great people.” This new solution supports the entire job-seeking process, from the candidate’s initial application to final matching of candidates to jobs.

With the help of Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Credera, EmployBridge developed what came to be known as the Online Applicant Entry (OAE), a specialty solution using the Dynamics CRM solution that is transparent to end users but supports the entire application process. The new OAE was further integrated with other applications used by EmployBridge for finding the best candidates for clients, including pre-employment screening, skills and personality profile testing. The time savings were tremendous — a process that could take weeks, according to EmployBridge CIO Chris Loope, dwindled to a few days.

“After initially reviewing customer relationship management (CRM) solutions from several providers, we determined that Microsoft Dynamics would be the best solution for our broad range of needs,” Loope said. “Better yet, it leveraged our existing investment in Microsoft technology with our applicant tracking system.”

Previously the process required applicants to visit their nearest branch location in person to fill out an application that consisted of several pages, which could take in excess of 20 minutes, followed by hours of time-consuming paperwork and processing by EmployBridge employees.

Since the implementation, applicants can now access the application process online at any time, from any computer with an Internet connection. Easy-to-understand instructions carefully guide them through each step, helping to ensure that forms are fully completed with the proper information. Applicants also can electronically “sign” and submit documents such as W-4 forms, which eliminates the need to fax, mail or hand deliver documents that require a signature. As a result of the OAE solution, EmployBridge processes four times as many applicants as it was processing previously, improving the organization’s ability to find the right person for the right job.

For EmployBridge managers, OAE has helped reduce tasks that could take hours to mere minutes. Managers can quickly review each application to determine the best candidates for specific job opportunities. Detailed qualification checks required by each client are conducted automatically, helping to increase the speed and accuracy of the qualification process.

“We can calculate a clear return on investment with our OAE solution, based on greater efficiencies and lower operating costs,” Loope said. “Equally important, this solution has helped us serve our applicants and clients even better ? and that’s always our goal at EmployBridge.”

Learn more about the creation of EmployBridge’s innovative business solution with Credera at http://blog.credera.com/type/videos/great-work-with-great-clients-employbridge.

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

About EmployBridge

EmployBridge is the fastest-growing national provider of staffing and workforce solutions in the country. Created from the combination of several successful staffing organizations during the 1990s, EmployBridge provides staffing solutions for a specific number of work areas, including logistics staffing, transportation services, administrative and manufacturing support, accounting services, and medical staffing. The company now has 155 locations throughout the U.S. Learn more about the company at www.employbridge.com.

About Credera

Credera is a full-service management and technology consulting firm. Our clients range from Fortune 1,000 companies to emerging industry leaders. We provide expert, objective advice to help solve complex business and technology challenges. Our deep capabilities in strategy, organization, process, analytics and technology help our clients improve their performance. Clients depend on our ability to anticipate, recognize and address their specific needs. Credera’s consultants work with some of the world’s best known brands in a variety of industries, including Brinker, C Spire, EmployBridge, GameStop, Interstate Batteries, National Geographic, Neiman Marcus, Pep Boys, The Container Store and many more emerging industry leaders around the country. Founded in 1999, Credera is headquartered in Dallas, TX, and hosts offices and staffing locations around the country, including Houston, Austin and Denver. More information is available at www.credera.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.

Full View / NID: 42764 / Submitted by: The Zilla of Zuron

07.30.2012 - Microsoft Announces New Mice and Keyboards Designed for Windows 8



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REDMOND, Wash. — July 30, 2012 — For the past 30 years, Microsoft Corp. has introduced hardware that helps people interact better and more easily with Windows. Today, Microsoft Hardware continues the tradition with the introduction of new products that work beautifully with Windows 8.

Wedge Touch Mouse

Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse packs full functionality into an ultracompact frame that’s great for a mobile lifestyle. Small enough to fit in your pocket, the Wedge Touch Mouse is designed to complement your Windows experience in all its forms, providing four-way touch scrolling and navigation at your fingertips.

• Its artful and minimalist design also comes free of cables or USB transceivers — you simply turn it on and connect it to your Bluetooth-enabled laptop or tablet for a clutter-free experience.

• It features BlueTrack Technology so you can use it on virtually any surface, whether you’re in a conference room, a coffee shop or at home on your couch.*

• It includes Backpack Mode to power down and sleep along with the computer it’s paired to, extending battery life.

• Pricing: estimated retail price of US$69.95.

Wedge Mobile Keyboard

The new ultraslim Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard brings full-size keyboard comfort, efficiency and speed to a tablet. Designed specifically for tablet users, Wedge Mobile Keyboard includes some of the most commonly used features, such as Windows Hot Keys and built-in media keys.

• The lightweight design makes it easy to carry, and its full-sized keyset provides a comfortable experience that makes typing a breeze.

• Its durable cover not only helps protect your keyboard from scratches but also quickly converts into a tablet stand. When you’re done using it, simply snap the cover back on the keyboard to power it down before you stash it in your bag.

• Bluetooth technology lets you wirelessly connect to your tablet without a cable or transceiver.

• Pricing: estimated retail price of US$79.95.

Sculpt Touch Mouse

Designed to provide comfort matched with portability, the Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse is a great solution for smooth and easy navigation with a Windows 8-based PC.

• With a four-way touch scroll strip, you can breeze up and down, left and right, and through applications and documents with a simple finger swipe, making it great for navigating the Windows 8 Start screen.

• Sculpt Touch Mouse uses Bluetooth technology, so you can wirelessly connect to your tablet without a cable or transceiver.

• Pricing: estimated retail price of US$49.95.

Sculpt Mobile Keyboard

The Microsoft Sculpt Mobile Keyboard provides an ideal balance of mobility, comfort and productivity. A full-size keyboard with Microsoft’s Comfort Curve design and Bluetooth connectivity, the Sculpt Mobile Keyboard is built to be the ideal travel companion.

• At just more than one pound, the keyboard is perfect for on-the-go computing with high-quality construction built for travel.

• Its Comfort Curve design helps position the hands and wrists in a natural and comfortable resting position.

• Battery-saving technology powers the keyboard down into sleep mode after a period of inactivity. The keyboard wakes up and reconnects with the simple tap of a key.

• Pricing: estimated retail price of US$49.95.

Touch Mouse — Updated Gesture Settings for Windows 8

As promised, the Microsoft Touch Mouse will obtain updated functionality specifically designed for Windows 8 with new gesture settings to easily navigate the new UI.

• One-finger swipes allow customers to move naturally and intuitively side to side or up and down, shifting content on screen.

• Two-finger movements manage apps, switch through open apps and show app commands.

• Three fingers allow customers to zoom in and out.

• Thumb gestures navigate backward and forward within apps.

• Pricing: estimated retail price of US$79.95.

Beginning with the introduction of the Microsoft Mouse, the Microsoft Hardware Group has designed its hardware to specifically light up features in Windows. Optimized for Windows 8, Microsoft’s new lineup of mice and keyboards are loaded with features including Bluetooth connectivity, BlueTrack Technology for tracking on virtually any surface,* and specific functionality that gives customers a fast and fluid way to navigate in their world with Windows 8. The hardware is designed by Microsoft and optimized for Windows, desktop, laptop and tablet so users can have the best computing experience for any lifestyle.

“Our new mice and keyboards really light up Windows, providing fast and fluid navigation, increased productivity, and enhanced mobility packaged in sleek, stylish designs,” said Brett Kelleran, general manager, Microsoft Hardware. “Microsoft Hardware is designed by Microsoft, optimized for Windows.”

From desktop and notebook to ultrabook and tablet PCs, Microsoft’s newest accessories are the perfect companion for Windows.

Product Availability

All products will be available soon at the online Microsoft Store and through other retailers.

More information about these 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.

* BlueTrack Technology does not work on clear glass or mirrored surfaces.

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: 42760 / Submitted by: The Zilla of Zuron

07.27.2012 - Microsoft Awards More Than $250,000 for Security Defense Innovations



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LAS VEGAS — July 26, 2012 — Microsoft Corp.’s Trustworthy Computing Group named Vasilis Pappas the winner of the company’s first-ever BlueHat Prize contest, a competition that awards the development of new, innovative computer security defense technologies. The company presented Pappas, currently a Ph.D. student at Columbia University in New York, with $200,000 at the Microsoft Researcher Appreciation Party.

“A year ago we posed a challenge to the researcher community and asked them to shift their focus from solely identifying and reporting individual vulnerabilities to investing in new lines of defensive research that could mitigate entire classes of attacks,” said Mike Reavey, senior director, Microsoft Security Response Center. “It’s with great pleasure that we congratulate the winner of our inaugural BlueHat Prize contest, Vasilis, for his submission of a novel defensive technology that advances the challenging issue of exploit mitigation of some of the most popular attack techniques we’re seeing today.”

kBouncer, the winning entry among 20 submissions, detects abnormal control transfers using the Last Branch Recording feature of Intel processors to mitigate Return Oriented Programming (ROP). ROP is an advanced technique that attackers use to combine short pieces of benign code, already present in a system, for a malicious purpose. By using supported hardware features, kBouncer can be implemented with lower cost to performance and development time. All three BlueHat Prize finalists designed technologies to mitigate attacks that leverage ROP, underscoring how prominent the exploitation technique is today. Microsoft awarded first runner-up, Ivan Fratric, $50,000 for his submission, called ROPGuard, and a surprise $10,000 cash reward was given to the second runner-up, Jared DeMott, for /ROP. In addition to the monetary prizes, the company gave all three winners subscriptions to the Microsoft Developer Network valued at $10,000 each.

“The Blue Hat prize is more than a competition; it’s the future of security defense, where the community comes together to collectively take on some of the toughest problems we face and make the computing ecosystem safer,” said Matt Thomlinson, general manager, Trustworthy Computing Group, Microsoft. “The result is that in under a year, we went from challenge to creation to integration of some of the BlueHat Prize finalists’ technologies into the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit 3.5 Technology Preview, to protect against known and unknown threats. We’ll continue to evaluate additional integration as appropriate.”

The BlueHat Prize competition was designed to challenge the security community to look beyond the norm of problems, such as vulnerabilities, and instead focus on developing innovative solutions to pressing security challenges. Microsoft accepted entries from Aug. 3, 2011, until April 1, 2012, and then a panel of Microsoft security engineers judged the submissions based on the following criteria: practicality and functionality (30 percent); robustness — how easy it would be to bypass the proposed solution (30 percent); and impact (40 percent). The official BlueHat Prize competition rules and guidelines are available at http://www.BlueHatPrize.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.

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: 42743 / Submitted by: The Zilla of Zuron
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