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Microsoft Announces New Tools & Services to Help Developers Build More Intelligent Apps, on Every Platform, for Every Platform

SEATTLE, USA, May 10, 2017 Satya Nadella, Scott Guthrie and Harry Shum welcomed thousands of developers to Seattle for Build 2017 — Microsoft’s annual developer conference. During his opening keynote, Nadella announced that Windows had reached 500 million Windows 10 monthly active devices and noted how — together — Windows, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Azure offer developers more than a billion opportunities to connect their innovations with Microsoft customers. Microsoft also announced new Azure data and cloud services to help developers quickly modernize their existing apps, new AI and Azure services that allow any developer to more easily build intelligent apps, with understanding and natural user interaction capabilities, and showcased new data, IoT edge and AI services built for a future with an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.

“In a world of near infinite compute power and an exponential growth in data, we are focused on empowering every developer to build applications for this new era of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.

A vision for more Intelligence – from the cloud to the edge.

Microsoft shared an early peek into innovations it’s bringing to bear to help every person and organization, achieve more.  In support of this vision Microsoft announced:

·         A preview of Azure IoT Edge, technology that extends the intelligence — and other benefits — of cloud computing to edge devices.

·         Extensions to the Microsoft Graph to combine insights from the world of work with device insights and contextual awareness of the physical world.

·         Technology that will allow you to search the real world in the same way you search the digital world, helping to keep your data safe and secure while making you more productive.

The cloud for every developer with tools to target any platform and device 

Microsoft showcased how it is meeting developers where they are, and helping them be more successful, with new Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio services and tools to help modernize existing applications and quickly build intelligent apps for all major platforms:

·         Introducing Azure Cosmos DB, built from the ground up to power planet-scale cloud services and data-intensive applications — from IoT to AI to mobile — with incredible performance, fault tolerance and support for every type of data, including graph. It is the industry’s first globally distributed, multi-model database service to deliver horizontal scale with guaranteed uptime, throughput, consistency and single-digit millisecond latency at the 99th percentile. Developers get incredible flexibility with the only schema-free database service, with support for popular NoSQL APIs, that also offers five well-defined consistency choices while auto-indexing all your data.

·         New MySQL- and PostgreSQL-managed services that join Azure SQL Database to give developers expanded choice and flexibility on a service platform that delivers high availability and scalability, with minimal downtime, and data retention and recovery.

·         An early preview of Microsoft’s new database migration services, which will allow Oracle and SQL Server customers to more easily move their data and quickly modernize their apps.

·         Azure SQL Database improvements:

– A new Managed Instance private preview, which offers customers SQL Server instance-level compatibility and makes it even easier for organizations to migrate existing SQL Server apps to Azure SQL Database.

– General availability of Threat Detection and preview of Graph support.

·         General availability of Visual Studio 2017 for Mac, which enables developers to work seamlessly across Windows and Mac environments with full support for mobile, web and cloud workloads, and previews of Docker tools, Azure Functions and Xamarin.IoT support.

·         Support for containers of nearly every type, on every platform, with the general availability of Windows Server Containers support in Azure Service Fabric, with Visual Studio tooling, and a preview of the ability to use Docker Compose support for Service Fabric to deploy containerized apps to Service Fabric — enabling developers to deliver mission-critical, scalable apps and services.

·         DocuSign supports a rapidly growing customer base of 300,000 companies and more than 200 million users across 188 countries. The company today announced Microsoft Azure is its preferred cloud for global expansion, starting in Canada. DocuSign uses Azure SQL Database to process enormous volumes of digital transactions.

New developer onramps to the world’s largest productivity platform  

With more than 100 million commercial monthly active users, Office 365 is where the world works.  Today Microsoft announced plans to better connect developers with Office 365 customers around the globe, including:

·         Any developer can now publish for Microsoft Teams, the new chat-based workspace in Office 365. Coming soon, apps in Teams will be more discoverable for end users through a new app experience. Developers can also add new capabilities to Teams apps, including third-party notifications in the activity feed, Compose Extensions and Actionable Messages.

·         Microsoft also made new Microsoft Graph APIs available to developers, including APIs from SharePoint and Planner. The Microsoft Graph gives developers access to Office 365 data and intelligence and helps connect the dots between people, conversations, projects, schedules, processes and content. These insights help developers build smarter apps, enabling smarter ways to work.

·         Developers and ISVs who host their production SaaS applications on Microsoft Azure and sign up through the Azure website can now have their apps’ data and workflow automatically extended to authorized Office 365 customers through standard connectors for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. To help ISVs expand their business even further, Microsoft is also providing additional incentives to its sales force when they jointly co-sell eligible SaaS apps and services to enterprise customers.

AI to augment the capabilities of every developer, organization, platform and person  

Microsoft also highlighted its vision to amplify human ingenuity with intelligent technology, bringing AI to every developer through the unique combination of the Microsoft cloud and AI. New cognitive services, platform innovations in the Microsoft Bot Framework, advances in deep   learning tools, continued infusion of AI into the company’s products and services, and intelligent insights offered through the Microsoft Graph unlock this opportunity for developers and new growth scenarios for businesses. New announcements included the following:

·         The company added new services to the industry’s broadest offering of cognitive services and now 29 services for developers, with unique customization options. That enables developers to infuse off-the-shelf or custom intelligence capabilities such as vision, speech, language, knowledge and search into their app and bot experiences in any scenario. New services include Bing Custom Search, Custom Vision Service, Custom Decision Service and Video Indexer. A new PowerPoint add-in called Presentation Translator, which leverages Microsoft’s Translation APIs, was featured, allowing real-time translation to multiple languages during any presentation. The new Cognitive Services Labs were also launched, enabling developers to experiment with new services, such as a Gesture API, still in the early stages of development.

·         Using the new adaptive cards supported by the Microsoft Bot Framework, developers can write cards once that look great across multiple apps and platforms. Using the Bot Framework, developers can also now publish to new channels including Bing, Cortana and Skype for Business, and implement Microsoft’s payment request API for fast and easy checkout in their bots.

·         Azure Batch AI Training is a new Azure offering, available in private preview only that will allow developers and data scientists to configure an environment with parameters and run their models against multiple CPUs, multiple GPUs and eventually field-programmable gate arrays.

·         In addition to Harman Kardon’s Invoke intelligent speaker with Cortana, partnerships were also signed with HP on devices and Intel on reference platforms to deliver Cortana-enabled devices.

·         The Cortana Skills Kit is now in public preview. Developers can build skills for Cortana by creating a bot and publishing it to the new Cortana channel of the Bot Framework. This is available across Windows 10, Android, iOS and the new Cortana-powered Harman Kardon Invoke speaker. The Cortana Skills kit is currently available in the U.S. only.

·         A demonstration was provided on how multiple Microsoft products and services, including Dynamics 365, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Cortana Skills, Microsoft Graph and Sentiment Analysis, will be integrated into Tact, the sales experience platform that turns any connected device into a AI-powered virtual sales assistant, later this year.

Project Emma – empowering people with Parkinson’s through machine learning

The Emma Watch was developed as part of a Documentary by Microsoft researchers Haiyan Zhang and Nicolas Villar. Their challenge was to work with Emma Lawton, 32-year-old designer diagnosed with Parkinson’s, unable to write or draw because of tremors in her hand.

The team developed a device, worn on the wrist that vibrates in a distinctive pattern to disrupt the feedback loop between brain and hand. Emma has been able to regain her ability to write with the aid of the Emma Watch and the Microsoft team is now working with a neuroscience research group to undertake trials for additional people with similar Parkinson’s symptoms. The aim of this additional research is to utilize machine learning technology to optimize and streamline function of this (and similar) devices to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Shows:

– GVsEvent Footage – Highlights of Build 2017 in Seattle

– Soundbites from Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

– Footage of Project Emma – The Emma Watch was developed by Microsoft researchers Haiyan Zhang and Nicolas Villar. Their challenge was to work with Emma Lawton, a 32 year old designer diagnosed with Parkinson’s, unable to write or draw because of tremors in her hand. The team developed a device, worn on the wrist that vibrates in a distinctive pattern to disrupt the feedback loop between brain and hand.

– Footage of how AI technology impacts workplace safety.

– Footage of the vision for Cortana – from your office to your car, and anywhere else you may be.

– Soundbite from Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group.

– Soundbite from Harry Shum, Executive Vice President of the Artificial Intelligence and Research Group.

– Footage of Presentation Translator – The Presentation Translator is a PowerPoint add-in that leverages Microsoft

– Translation Services to create closed captioning, as well as real time translation during a PowerPoint

presentation

Other: None

May, 10, 2017

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Microsoft Announces Windows 10 Anniversary Update

REDMOND, USA – June 29, 2016 – Microsoft Corp. today announced that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is coming to Windows 10 devices for free on August 2.

Windows 10 continues to be the fastest growing version of Windows ever and is now running on more than 350 million devices.

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update has all-new breakthrough features that bring Windows Ink and Cortana to the mainstream; a faster, more accessible and more power-efficient Microsoft Edge browser; advanced security features for consumers and enterprises; all new gaming experiences and new tools for the modern classroom.

* Windows Ink: an all-new experience that brings the power of Windows to the tip of your pen, enables people to write on a device as they would do on paper. Integration with Office and other applications like Microsoft Edge and Maps bring the power of inking everywhere.

* Improvements to Cortana: the world’s most productive personal digital assistant gets even better with access above the lock screen, more ways to remember with the ability for Cortana to save and recall information, and synchronize across devices.

* An even better gaming experience: With Xbox Play Anywhere, gamers can buy a game once and play on a Windows 10 PC or Xbox One with shared progress, shared game saves and share achievements. Cortana is also now available on Xbox One to help gamers find great new games, see what friends are up to, start a party, accomplish common tasks, and turn on Xbox One by saying “Hey Cortana, Xbox On” if using Kinect.

* Increased power efficiency, extensions and accessibility with Microsoft Edge: The Anniversary Update includes even more power-saving improvements in Microsoft Edge, minimizing the impact of background activity on battery life.

* New Innovations for the Modern Classroom: The Windows 10 Anniversary Update also brings new innovations for the modern classroom, including faster, simpler set up with all new tools to help educators get up and running quickly.

* More security features in the Anniversary Update for the most secure Windows: The Anniversary Update brings two new security benefits for enterprise customers. Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, designed to detect, investigate and respond to malicious attacks through expert advanced threat protection, including a team of security researchers at Microsoft; and Windows Information Protection to protect businesses from accidental data leaks by separating personal and organizational data where ever it goes.

Additional security improvements include Windows Hello secure and password-free sign-in to apps like iHeartRadio and websites using Microsoft Edge; and Windows Defender antimalware improvements with option to automatically schedule periodic quick scans of your PC, providing summaries when scans are complete and notifications if scans find any threats. Additional assets can be found at Microsoft News Center and www.windows.com.

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New Era Of Intelligence Vision And Innovation Announced At Microsoft’s Build 2016

SAN FRANCISCO, USA — At Microsoft’s annual Build conference in San Francisco, CEO Satya Nadella and Executive Vice President of Windows and Devices Group, Terry Myerson, shared the work Microsoft is doing to embrace the new era of conversational intelligence and create more personal computing for every customer, industry and business.

Nadella showcased improvements to Cortana and announced previews of new cloud services and toolkits designed to understand the world around us and create intelligent bots. Myerson announced that Windows 10 is now running on more than 270 million active devices and unveiled the free Windows 10 Anniversary Update available to Windows 10 customers this summer, featuring new innovations including Windows Ink, Cortana, Windows Hello and gaming.

“As an industry, we are on the cusp of a new frontier that pairs the power of natural human language with advanced machine intelligence,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “At Microsoft, we call this Conversations as a Platform, and it builds on and extends the power of the Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Windows platforms to empower developers everywhere.”

Introducing Cloud Services that Understand, Interactive Bots and the Cortana Intelligence Suite

The Cortana Intelligence Suite (CIS) is powered by cutting-edge research into big data, machine learning, perception, analytics and intelligent bots. Built on Microsoft Azure, these capabilities can be used by developers and businesses to create intelligent end-to-end solutions, including new apps that learn about our world, and bots and agents that interact with people in personalized, intelligent ways.

Microsoft announced new additions to the CIS Today, in preview.

Microsoft Cognitive Services is a collection of intelligence APIs that allow systems to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret our needs using natural methods of communication.

Microsoft Bot Framework can be used by developers — programming in any language — to build intelligent bots that enable customers to chat using natural language on a wide variety of platforms including text/SMS, Office 365, Skype, Slack, the Web and more.

Microsoft demonstrated how developers can use these services to transform people’s lives. Seeing AI, a research project under development, shows how these new capabilities can help people who are visually impaired or blind better understand who and what is around them.

Microsoft also released today the Skype Bot Platform, which includes the SDK, API and Workflows all in the new Skype Bot Portal. With this platform, developers can build bots that leverage Skype’s multiple forms of communication, including text, voice, video and 3-D interactive characters.

New Windows Innovations Deliver More Personal Computing and Opportunities for Developers

Myerson announced that the company will release the Windows 10 Anniversary Update for free to all Windows 10 customers this summer, delivering significant new innovations for consumers and developers on the Universal Windows Platform, including:

An all-new Windows Ink experience allows you to write on your device as you do on paper, create sticky notes, draw on a whiteboard and easily share your analog thoughts in the digital world.

New Cortana features enable you to receive proactive guidance from Cortana throughout the day and speak with Cortana, even while your device is locked1, without logging in.

News Windows Hello features extend the security of Windows 10 to multiple devices and to Microsoft Edge, so you can log into your devices and websites with enterprise-grade security.

Microsoft revealed that Windows 10 is off to the fastest start in Windows history with over 270 million active devices, outpacing Windows 7 by 145 percent. Customers have spent more time in Windows 10 than ever before – over 75 billion hours since its launch.

The company also shipped Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition for the first time, extending the Windows experience to holograms and allowing developers to begin helping build the future of holographic computing. Microsoft highlighted commercial customers in several industries who are using HoloLens today, including Case Western Reserve University and NASA.

Other announcements from today include:

All-new capabilities for the Universal Windows Platform including full access to Cortana’s proactive intelligence and the Windows 10 Anniversary SDK – available today – offering all-new APIs and tools to integrate the latest Windows 10 innovations into apps, including Windows Ink and Windows Hello.

With the Xbox retail dev kit, any Xbox One can be a developer kit, enabling anyone to develop for the living room.

Microsoft Announced Its Plans To Launch Windows 10 On July 29

Redmond, Washington, USA. Today, Microsoft announced its plans to launch Windows 10 on July 29 with a new yearlong initiative to celebrate people and organizations making a difference around the world, global fan celebrations, joint efforts with thousands of retailers, including all Microsoft store locations and a new global advertising campaign. Available for the first time as a free upgrade, Windows 10 delivers a fast and familiar experience that is more secure and always up-to-date. Featuring new innovations like Cortana, Microsoft Edge, and Xbox integration, Windows 10 is the best Windows ever.

“Windows 10 was built to enable a more human way to do. We are thrilled to celebrate the launch of Windows 10 with our fans,” said Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Windows and Devices Marketing at Microsoft. “We’ll mark the launch of Windows 10 by celebrating the people and organizations who upgrade the world every day – and by helping them do more in their communities.”

Upgrade Your World is an initiative in which Microsoft will partner with 10 global and 100 local non-profits on projects and initiatives to upgrade the world, through a combination of technology, a $10 million donation and the development of campaigns to raise awareness. Participating global nonprofits include:

CARE

Code.org

The Global Poverty Project

Keep a Child Alive

Pencils of Promise

Save the Children

Special Olympics

Malala Fund

The Nature Conservancy

Beginning July 29, Microsoft and its partners will invite people around the world to nominate a 10th global non-profit to participate.

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.

For more information, Press only:
Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, (503) 443-7070, rrt@waggeneredstrom.com

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

*Free upgrade available for qualified devices. See windows.com/windows10upgrade.

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New Innovations & Partner Opportunities at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

Microsoft Announces New Innovations and Partner Opportunities at its annual Worldwide Partner Conference

The following post is from Phil Sorgen, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft.

At our Worldwide Partner Conference today we showcased new technology innovations that demonstrate our ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes, build the intelligent cloud and create more personal computing. We also discussed investments the company is making in programs for our hundreds of thousands of global channel partners at the center of business transformation taking place in the industry. These innovations and investments will help Microsoft and our partners achieve our new mission together on a global scale, making a difference in lives and organizations in all corners of the planet.

Project GigJam: reinventing productivity and business processes

As part of the company’s ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduced Project GigJam, an unprecedented new way for people to accomplish their business tasks and transform business processes by breaking down the barriers between devices, apps and people. GigJam empowers business workers to summon information from their line of business and SaaS apps, spontaneously divvy up the specific information and actions needed to get work done, keep track of each part, and bring it all to closure immediately. Visit www.gigjam.com to learn more and register for the upcoming preview.

Cortana Analytics Suite: building the intelligent cloud
We also announced the Cortana Analytics Suite, a fully managed and comprehensive set of services to help businesses transform data into intelligent action. The growing adoption of machine learning, big data combined with the power of unlimited storage and compute in the cloud presents a unique opportunity for organizations to anticipate what will happen and to automate business outcomes. Cortana Analytics Suite brings together leading technology infrastructure including machine learning, big data storage and processing with perceptual intelligence such as vision, face and speech analysis, extending predictive and prescriptive capabilities to businesses for a range of industry scenarios. Cortana Analytics Suite integrates with Cortana, Microsoft’s digital personal assistant. Cortana works with the Cortana Analytics Suite to enable businesses to get things done in more helpful, proactive, and natural ways. Availability will be this fall through a simple monthly subscription. For more from one of our customers, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health Systems, check out the Business Matters blog.

Microsoft HoloLens: enabling more personal computing
The third area of innovation we showcased was around commercial momentum in response to HoloLens – the world’s first fully untethered holographic computing device powered by Windows 10. On-stage at WPC today, Satya showed how one of our partners, Autodesk, will use HoloLens to fundamentally change how design professionals and create, communicate, visualize and work. HoloLens is already making an impact across a number of industries, examples include the work we are doing to help architecture and construction industry professionals through Trimble, working on Mars exploration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and helping Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic transform teaching for the future. This is just the beginning of what holographic computing can help customers do more and achieve more.

Creating new partner opportunities across cloud and mobility
We know that many of our partners are investing in transitioning their businesses to the cloud, in part to take advantage of the types of cloud-based innovations as mentioned above. So, we’re making several partner investments to make their transition more seamless.

We are expanding the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program to help partners continue to build and grow profitable cloud services businesses using Microsoft Cloud. Beginning today, Microsoft will expand CSP to additional markets, bringing the total number of markets in which CSP is available to 131. Additionally, Azure and CRM Online will join Office 365, Windows Intune and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) as available services in the CSP.

In addition, as a result of the overwhelming interest from partners and positive feedback we’ve received from customers over the past two years, we are delivering on our promise grow the opportunity for more partners to sell Surface – taking the number of resellers from a few hundred to a few thousand globally in the coming months. Surface is an integral part of our Windows strategy, and the expansion of this program coinciding with the upcoming launch of Windows 10 creates exciting opportunities for partners. We’re also investing in helping partners unlock customer mobility opportunities with new competencies for Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) that will enable them to differentiate their expertise and grow their business.

Today we’ll share that we are introducing a new premium Office 365 enterprise suite called E5 before the end of this year. E5 will encompass the core value of Office 365 productivity and collaboration capabilities, as well as significant new innovations, including newSkype for Business services such as Cloud PBX and Meeting Broadcast; Power BI & analytics features, like Power BI Pro and Delve Organizational Analytics; and new advanced security features, such as eDiscovery, Customer Lockbox, and Advanced Threat Protection. The E5 suite will provide a significant new opportunity for partners to build new service offerings around real-time communication and analytics, and to reach new customers with important new security features.

Microsoft’s partners have always been and will always be a driving force in business transformation, and our collective innovation has never been stronger for our mutual customers. That’s because they’re depending on us. In this mobile-first, cloud-first world, those businesses that embrace technology to reinvent themselves and their industries will thrive, and those who embrace status quo risk extinction. Its Microsoft’s hundreds of thousands of global partners that will bring about this transformation, help our mutual customers through this change and forge the next industrial revolution. So, I’m thrilled to come together this week at the 2015 Worldwide Partner Conference to talk about how we can collectively help businesses through the business transformation needed to be successful.

For more details on these and other investments we’re making in ensuring our partners can meet customer demands in this new world of business, visit our WPC News Center or check out my blog on the MPN site.

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