Tag Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft hones Azure AI Services at Microsoft Ignite 2017

ORLANDO — While Microsoft has previously touted itself as a mobile-first, cloud-first technology provider, the company continues to evolve its focus and is further employing its artificial intelligence capabilities together with its Azure cloud to help customers along their journey to digital transformation.

At its Microsoft Ignite 2017 conference last month, the company introduced new and improved AI capabilities, including Azure Machine Learning (AML), new Visual Studio tools for AI, new Cognitive Services and other new enterprise AI services and tools.

Microsoft’s goal with Azure

Microsoft’s goal is to use Azure to help democratize the use of AI technologies by simplifying and bringing AI services to any developer anywhere. A key message at Ignite 2017 was to school enterprises on how to infuse cloud, AI and mixed reality into business applications.

In a statement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company is “pushing the frontiers of what’s possible with mixed reality and artificial intelligence infused across Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure, to transform and have impact in the world.”

As the conduit through which Microsoft delivers practically all the goods the company produces, Azure is key.

There’s a set of technology — things like IoT, AI, microservices, serverless computing and more — this is all happening right now thanks in large part to cloud computing.
Scott Guthrieexecutive vice president, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group

“One of the defining aspects of cloud computing is the ability to innovate and release new technology faster and at greater scale than ever before,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president at Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group, during his keynote at Ignite. “There’s a set of technology — things like IoT, AI, microservices, serverless computing and more — this is all happening right now thanks in large part to cloud computing.”

Moreover, “to enable the new generation of AI-powered apps and experiences, Azure has built the entire stack for AI — from infrastructure, to platform services, to AI dev tools,” Guthrie said in a blog post. “Azure offers the most complete, end-to-end AI capabilities such that AI solutions are possible for any developer and any scenario.”

Azure Machine Learning

At Microsoft Ignite 2017, the company announced new Azure Machine Learning capabilities, including a new Machine Learning Workbench, which improves AI productivity of developers and data scientists.

These new capabilities provide rapid data wrangling and agile experimentation using familiar and open tools, Guthrie said. “AI developers and data scientists can now use Azure Machine Learning to develop, experiment and deploy AI models on any type of data, on any scale, in Azure and on premises,” he added.

In addition to the AML Workbench, Microsoft launched the AML Experimentation service and the AML Model Management service. The AML Experimentation service helps data scientists increase their rate of experimentation with big data and GPUs. The AML Model Management service enables users to host, version, manage and monitor machine learning models. Microsoft also announced a new capability of integrating AML with the Excel spreadsheet.

Visual Studio Code Tools for AI

At Ignite 2017, Microsoft also released Visual Studio Code Tools for AI, which provides capabilities for easily building models with deep learning frameworks, including Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK), Google TensorFlow and others.

“The Visual Studio Code Tools for AI are particularly interesting because they should effectively ease the way into creating AI-enabled applications and services for the hundreds of thousands of developers who are already skilled in Microsoft’s Visual Studio,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

Yet, he warns that this isn’t a “simplified approach” that eliminates the need for learning AI skills and frameworks, he said.

“Obviously, Microsoft isn’t the only vendor out there with its sights set on commercial AI products and AI services,” King noted. “But the company is focusing its attention and energies on delivering AI tools and solutions that existing customers, developer allies and partners will find immediately valuable.”

Visio Online and Visio’s new cloud innovations help you unlock creativity

This year at the Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, Microsoft presented several new product capabilities that extend the Microsoft 365 solution set—including a greater emphasis on cloud-first technologies. Visio Online is one of Microsoft’s newest solutions that further unlocks employee creativity in the modern workplace. Visio Online is available today to commercial customers for $5 per user per month with an annual commitment.

Extending Visio to new audiences

Information workers today want a simple yet powerful way to work visually. As a web-based, lightweight diagramming tool, Visio Online is the perfect solution: with it you can create, edit, and share diagrams online, helping you visualize information in new ways from anywhere. Plus, diagrams are available for anyone in your organization to view—even those without a Visio Online license—so you can get feedback on critical diagrams from all important stakeholders.

Visio Online comes with a host of templates for a variety of audiences, including starter diagrams for basic flowcharts, process diagrams, timelines, business matrixes, SDL diagrams, and many more. Visualizing information is easy—just drag and drop shapes onto the canvas, change a shape’s color or the overall diagram theme, and quickly link one shape to another with connectors. Plus, you can securely share web-based diagrams through OneDrive for Business. (Visio Online Plan 1 and Plan 2 include 2 GB of OneDrive storage. See below for more details about these plans.)

Image of Visio Online displayed on a tablet.

Visio Online comes with diagramming templates to help you get started fast.

“All in all, Visio Online is fantastic, especially for me. Normally, I just make quick drawings to use in documentation, etc., and I think that will be a lot easier with this product.” —Graves Kilsgaard, systems developer at KMC Foods

Cloud-first innovations

Since the beginning of last year, Visio has been committed to releasing innovative, cloud-first capabilities that unlock creativity for professional diagram creators. This continuous, accelerated innovation has resulted in a host of major releases that, in addition to Visio Online, extend Visio’s diagramming tool set.

Here’s a look at each of the capabilities that are only available in the cloud:

  • Power BI is Microsoft’s cloud-based data visualization tool that helps companies gain actionable insights from complex datasets. Today, Power BI includes a new visual—Visio diagrams—which can be linked to live data and embedded within a Power BI dashboard. The Visio and Power BI integration is currently in public preview and planned for release next year. Learn more about this new Power BI feature.
  • Data Visualizer converts process map data in Excel into data-driven diagrams in Visio. Using highly visual diagrams instead of table-based numbers, you can surface new process insights that lead to creative solutions for complex problems.
  • Visio Viewer for iOS allows you to view and interact with Visio diagrams on both iPad and iPhone. You can easily share diagrams through OneDrive or SharePoint and then access them on your favorite iOS device.
  • PowerPoint Slide Snippets enables you select specific diagram parts, give them a title, and export them as slides in PowerPoint. In this way you can create an entire PowerPoint presentation to break down complex diagrams into individual pieces for easier comprehension.

New innovations, new subscription models

Visio Online is available in Visio Online Plan 1. It is also included in our most comprehensive Visio cloud offering, Visio Online Plan 2 (previously Visio Pro for Office 365). Viewing diagrams is free for most Office 365 customers. The innovations described above are only available in Visio Online Plan 2. You can compare Visio versions to learn more about each Visio offer.

Please visit the Visio website for more details on each plan, as well as options for trying the Visio Online experience and our cloud-first innovations for free. We also invite you to submit ideas for more cloud innovations on our UserVoice site. For questions about our latest releases, please email us at tellvisio@microsoft.com. To stay informed of the latest Visio releases, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, as well as check in with the latest Visio news.

—The Visio team

Frequently asked questions

Q. Do I need to install anything to start using Visio Online?

A. No. Visio Online is a web-based application. Customers can also sign in directly at microsoft.com/visio.

Q. Do I need a Visio Online subscription to view Visio Online diagrams?

A. No. Anyone with an Office 365 subscription can view diagrams created and shared through Visio Online. This way the entire organization can be involved in the diagramming process.

Q. Where can I read more about starting Visio Online?

A. Please read this support article to learn more.

Q. Are there more differences between Visio Online Plans 1 and 2 than mentioned here?

A. Yes. Please visit the Visio website for more details on each plan.

Q. Does Visio Online Plan 2 include more than 2 GB of OneDrive storage?

A. Both Visio Online Plans 1 and 2 come with 2 GB of OneDrive for Business storage. Customers can buy additional OneDrive storage if needed.

Q. How do the new capabilities and plans affect Visio Services and Visio Pro for Office 365.

A. Visio Online is replacing Visio Services for SharePoint Online customers, and Visio Online Plan 2 is the new name for Visio Pro for Office 365.

Blackbaud and Microsoft to strengthen strategic partnership to digitally transform the nonprofit sector – News Center

Social good software leader Blackbaud bets big on Microsoft Azure as the two companies plan to go deeper on integrations, innovation and sector leadership to scale global good

BALTIMORE — Oct. 18, 2017 As part of bbcon 2017, Blackbaud (Nasdaq: BLKB), the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), plan to expand their partnership in support of their mutual goals to digitally transform the nonprofit sector.

The nonprofit sector represents the third largest workforce behind retail and manufacturing in the United States with approximately 3 million organizations globally. Blackbaud, the largest vertical cloud software provider in the space, announced its intention to fully power its social good-optimized cloud, Blackbaud SKY™, with Microsoft Azure. The two companies highlighted a three-point commitment to collaboration for the good of the global nonprofit community. This announcement comes just days after Microsoft launched its new Tech for Social Impact Group, which is dedicated to accelerating technology adoption and digital transformation with the nonprofit industry to deliver greater impact on the world’s most critical social issues.

“This newly expanded partnership between Microsoft and Blackbaud will allow both companies to better meet the unique technology challenges nonprofits face,” said Justin Spelhaug, general manager of Microsoft Tech for Social Impact. “By combining Microsoft’s cloud platforms and expertise with Blackbaud’s leading industry solutions, we will create new opportunities for digital transformation to empower nonprofits to make an even bigger impact on the world.”

“The nonprofit community plays a vital role in the health of the entire social economy, and we’ve been working for more than three decades to help these inspiring organizations achieve big, bold mission outcomes,” said Mike Gianoni, president and CEO of Blackbaud. “For nearly that long we’ve also been a Microsoft partner, and we’re incredibly enthusiastic about forging new ground together as we tackle some of the most pressing issues nonprofits face. Both companies couldn’t be more committed to this space, so the nonprofit community should expect great things from this expanded partnership.”

The newly expanded partnership between Microsoft and Blackbaud will focus on three key areas:

Deeper integration between Microsoft and Blackbaud solutions, with Blackbaud’s cloud platform for social good, Blackbaud SKY, powered by Microsoft Azure

Blackbaud has been developing on the Microsoft stack for over three decades. As a leading Global ISV Partner, Blackbaud is already one of Microsoft’s top Azure-based providers. Today, Blackbaud announced its intention to fully power Blackbaud SKY™, its high-performance cloud exclusively designed for the social good community, in Microsoft’s Azure environment.

“Blackbaud’s expanded Azure commitment will be one of the most significant partner bets on Microsoft’s hyperscale cloud, and the most significant to transform the social good space,” Spelhaug said. “We often highlight the engineering work behind Blackbaud SKY™, because it demonstrates the power of Microsoft Azure and the kind of forward-looking innovation and leadership that the nonprofit sector greatly needs.”

Details of the investment are not publicly available but the companies plan to share more about the partnership in coming months. Blackbaud also announced its plans to become a CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) partner for the Microsoft platform, simplifying the purchase, provisioning and management of Blackbaud and Microsoft cloud offerings. For nonprofits that want the security, power and flexibility of the cloud plus the services and support of a trusted solution provider that deeply understands their unique needs, Blackbaud will be able to deliver both Microsoft and Blackbaud solutions through a unified purchase experience.

A commitment to pursuing best-in-class nonprofit cloud solutions that bring together the best of both companies’ innovation for a performance-enhanced experience for nonprofits — from funding, to mission operations, to program delivery

Blackbaud and Microsoft plan to pursue innovative ways to fully harness the power, security and reliability of Microsoft’s Azure-Powered solutions (e.g., Office 365, Dynamics) and Blackbaud’s industry-leading, outcome-focused solutions that cater specifically to the unique workflow and operating model needs of nonprofits — all with the goal of improving nonprofit performance across the entire mission lifecycle.

This includes exploring how both companies’ respective cloud artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics innovations can be leveraged in new ways to drive even greater sector impact.

“There is massive opportunity to empower the nonprofit community through creative tech innovation,” said Kevin McDearis, chief products officer at Blackbaud. “Every 1 percent improvement in fundraising effectiveness makes $2.8 billion available for frontline program work. This is just one example of the type of impact Blackbaud focuses on with our workflows and embedded intelligence, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to team up with Microsoft to push into new areas of innovation that move the sector forward, faster.”

Joint sector leadership initiatives that make innovation, research and best practices more accessible to nonprofits around the world

Nonprofits are addressing some of the world’s most complicated issues. As shared value companies, Microsoft and Blackbaud share a commitment to helping nonprofits meet those needs. Microsoft is globally known for its unmatched philanthropic reach and impact. And Blackbaud, which exclusively builds software for social good, invests more in R&D and best-practice-driven research for global good than any technology provider. Both companies were among just 56 companies named to the Fortune 2017 Change the World list.

Together, Microsoft and Blackbaud intend to partner on initiatives that make innovation more accessible for nonprofits large and small, while also exploring ways the companies’ data assets, community outreach and sector leadership can be synergistically and responsibly applied to improve the effectiveness and impact of the entire nonprofit community.

Microsoft and Blackbaud will share further details in the coming months. Learn more about Microsoft’s Technology for Social Impact Group here. Visit www.Blackbaud.com for more on Blackbaud.

About Blackbaud

Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, foundations, corporations, education institutions, healthcare institutions and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility, school management, ticketing, grantmaking, financial management, payment processing, and analytics. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.blackbaud.com.

About Microsoft

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.

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Nicole McGougan, Public Relations Manager for Blackbaud, (843) 654-3307, media@blackbaud.com

Wanted – Suface Pro 3 or 4

Hello everyone

I am looking for a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 or 4, which ideally has i5 processor and 8GB RAM. I will consider other models if the price is right. Alternatively a tablet with full-size USB Port and Windows 10 would be ideal.

Location: Emsworth, Hampshire

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Wanted – Suface Pro 3 or 4

Hello everyone

I am looking for a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 or 4, which ideally has i5 processor and 8GB RAM. I will consider other models if the price is right. Alternatively a tablet with full-size USB Port and Windows 10 would be ideal.

Location: Emsworth, Hampshire

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Microsoft Surface Pro 3 i5 Tablet Laptop and keyboard

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet in very good condition

i5 model with 128gb SSD and 4gb RAM

Have applied a skin protector to the rear and edges to stop any knicks or bumps

The keyboard has attracted some dust and dirt on the rear but nothing that can’t be cleaned out

I’m providing two third party chargers due to the original failing on me

No original box

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Price and currency: 350
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: bank transfer or Paypal
Location: Manchester
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Microsoft proposes election of new board members – News Center

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 16, 2017 — Microsoft Corp. on Monday released its annual proxy statement and announced two nominations to its board of directors. The nominees are Penny S. Pritzker, founder and chairman of PSP Capital and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International. Both are accomplished leaders and will bring significant global experience to Microsoft. They will be presented for election at the company’s annual shareholders meeting on Nov. 29, 2017.

“Penny and Arne are both strong leaders with impressive accomplishments and contributions that span business and public service,” said John Thompson, independent Microsoft board chairman. “They will serve as valuable additions to the board.”

Pritzker, 58, is the founder and chairman of PSP Capital and its affiliate, Pritzker Realty Group. From June 2013 through January 2017, she served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce. She is an entrepreneur, civic leader and philanthropist and has nearly 30 years of experience as a business executive across numerous industries, building dozens of successful companies. Pritzker is a member of the board of trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a member of the Aspen Strategy Group and the Aspen Economic Strategy Group, and a co-chair of the Cyber Readiness Institute. She and her husband, Dr. Bryan Traubert, co-founded the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation that works to foster increased economic opportunity for Chicago’s families.

Sorenson, 58, has served as president and chief executive officer of Marriott International since 2012 and was elected to Marriott’s board of directors in 2011. In addition, he is the chairman of Marriott’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Council and co-founded Marriott’s Global Sustainability Council in 2007. In Sorenson’s career at Marriott International, he has also served as chief operating officer, executive vice president, and chief financial officer and president of continental European lodging. Sorenson serves on the board of Brand USA. He is a member of the Luther College Board of Regents and is a member of the board of trustees for The Brookings Institution.

Other board members include John W. Thompson, Microsoft independent chairman; William H. Gates, Microsoft founder and technology advisor; Reid Hoffman, partner at Greylock Partners; Hugh Johnston, vice chairman and chief financial officer of PepsiCo; Teri L. List-Stoll, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Gap Inc.; Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft; Charles H. Noski, former vice chairman of Bank of America Corp.; Dr. Helmut Panke, former chairman of the board of management at BMW AG; Sandra E. Peterson, group worldwide chair for Johnson & Johnson; Charles W. Scharf, chief executive officer of The Bank of New York Mellon Corp.; John W. Stanton, chairman of Trilogy Equity Partners; and Padmasree Warrior, CEO and chief development officer of NIO USA Inc.

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.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. 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://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts

Sibos 2017

The financial services industry banks on the Microsoft Cloud for digital transformation

Financial services organizations are at a transformational tipping point. Faced with fierce market pressures – nimble disruptors, complex regulations, digital native customers – technology transformation in the industry is essential, and it’s increasingly becoming a competitive edge. Firms leading the charge into this new era are transforming customer experiences, fostering a new culture of work, optimizing operations and driving product innovation, and they are using Microsoft cloud, AI and blockchain technologies in their journey to become digital leaders of the future. TD Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui and Credito Agricola are among the organizations that have embraced this digital transformation happening in every part of the world.

Read more

Wanted – Suface Pro 3 or 4

Hello everyone

I am looking for a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 or 4, which ideally has i5 processor and 8GB RAM. I will consider other models if the price is right. Alternatively a tablet with full-size USB Port and Windows 10 would be ideal.

Location: Emsworth, Hampshire

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

US Supreme Court will hear petition to review Microsoft search warrant case while momentum to modernize the law continues in Congress – Microsoft on the Issues

In July 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agreed with Microsoft that U.S. federal or state law enforcement cannot use traditional search warrants to seize emails of citizens of foreign countries that are located in data centers outside the United States.  Today, the Supreme Court granted the Department of Justice’s petition to review Microsoft’s victory.  This is an important case that people around the world will watch.  We will continue to press our case in court that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) – a law enacted decades before there was such a thing as cloud computing – was never intended to reach within other countries’ borders.

But as we have said from the beginning of this litigation, there’s a broader dimension to this issue as well. The continued reliance on a law passed in 1986 will neither keep people safe nor protect people’s rights.  If U.S. law enforcement can obtain the emails of foreigners stored outside the United States, what’s to stop the government of another country from getting your emails even though they are located in the United States?  We believe that people’s privacy rights should be protected by the laws of their own countries and we believe that information stored in the cloud should have the same protections as paper stored in your desk. Therefore, Congress needs to modernize the law and address these fundamental issues.

In his Second Circuit opinion, Judge Lynch urged Congress to act, and many members of Congress have publicly agreed. Legislation has been proposed in both houses to update the law and we support these efforts, regardless of the outcome of our case in the Supreme Court.

The current law, ECPA, was enacted in 1986 when the World Wide Web was still a few years away from being invented and no one conceived of conducting most work and personal business online.  A world connected by cloud services simply didn’t exist. The ways in which we communicate have radically changed over the past three decades — but the laws governing those communications haven’t. Current laws don’t adequately support the needs of law enforcement anywhere in the world or protect our rights.

We challenged the warrant that resulted in this ligation because we believed U.S. search warrants shouldn’t reach over borders to seize the emails of people who live outside the United States and whose emails are stored outside the United States. We challenged the DOJ’s interpretation of the law because we strongly believe it is problematic in a number of ways:

  1. It contradicts the basic premise that before a U.S. statute reaches across another country’s borders, it should be clear that’s what Congress intended when it passed the law.
  2. We disagree with the premise of the government’s argument in favor of the warrant that customer email is the property of the email provider, not the customer, which would cause people to lose their rights when they go online.
  3. It creates conflicts with the laws of countries in Europe and elsewhere around the globe, which are intended to protect privacy interests and restrict the disclosure and transfer of personal data to a third country.
  4. It puts everyone’s emails at risk – if the U.S. government can unilaterally use a warrant to seize emails outside the United States, what’s to stop other governments from acting unilaterally to seize emails stored inside the United States? At a time when countries are rightly worried about foreign government hacking, the DOJ’s interpretation would open the door to accomplishing the same thing.

The current laws were written for the era of the floppy disk, not the world of the cloud. We believe that rather than arguing over an old law in court, it is time for Congress to act by passing new legislation, such as the International Communications Privacy Act (ICPA) of 2017. This past July, Senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Chris Coons, D-Delaware and Dean Heller, R-Nevada, introduced ICPA in the Senate which builds on previous versions of the legislation. Representatives Doug Collins, R-Georgia, Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York, Darrell Issa, R-California, and Suzan DelBene, D-Washington, introduced an identical bill in the House.

ICPA provides sensible ways for cross-border data access, including a robust legal process to access the email of Americans and notification of foreign countries, when required under international law. Without these important clarifications, technology companies, law enforcement and the courts will continue to interpret and apply a law to technologies and circumstances far beyond what Congressional leaders envisioned in 1986.