Tag Archives: Week

For Sale – Macbook Pro 2017 Model

Macbook Pro 2017 edition in space grey that I bought off here around a week ago, I’ve used it sparingly since and realised that it is far too much for my needs, and I should probably get a cheaper one! This is the base model that retails for around £1250 with 8gb ram 128gb ssd and an intel core i5 7th gen. Its just as I bought it, mint condition no marks or signs of use whatsoever. Entirely immaculate. looking for £895 plus delivery costs of £27. No offers please. Comes with receipt and 11 months warranty also.

Price and currency: 895
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Tring, Hertfordshire
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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InfoVista Ipanema 9.2 supports WAN trend toward internet connectivity

InfoVista this week upgraded its Application Aware SD-WAN service to support enterprises moving away from high-priced MPLS to connect their branch offices. The Ipanema 9.2 release, available now, is intended for companies transitioning from MPLS to hybrid WAN or internet-only connectivity for their WANs.

Ricardo Belmar, InfoVista’s senior director of worldwide enterprise product marketing, said many InfoVista customers are interested in adding internet links directly to their branch locations, so “internet traffic doesn’t have to be routed through the MPLS network and back out.” By adding internet links, customers can avoid potential performance issues.

As a result, Belmar said customers are combining MPLS with internet connections like DSL, cable, fiber, 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE), Ethernet over copper or through a virtual private network (VPN).

Enterprises dropping MPLS, SD-WAN enhances MPLS connectivity
Enterprises are opting to keep their MPLS connections and instead enhance those connections with SD-WAN.

More and more enterprises — especially manufacturers, retailers and banking services — are realizing the benefits of these internet options, said John Burke, analyst at Nemertes Research in Mokena, Ill. With connectivity like LTE, new site locations can be spun up more quickly.

“Even if LTE is not the go-ahead choice, as an initial — and ongoing backup — option, it can get network provisioning entirely out of the way of the business processes involved in launching a new branch,” he said.

Belmar said InfoVista has seen its customers move in this direction.

“The main thing [with Ipanema 9.2] is the ability for the enterprise to mix its environment with these internet-only types of branch location [connectivity] — and doing that without the need for an extra internet router,” Belmar said.

Not only does InfoVista’s SD-WAN appliance replace the functionality of an internet router, it also has the ability to originate and terminate VPNs on both ends of the connection, so there is no need for an extra device, Belmar said. InfoVista’s appliance is available as both physical and virtual appliances with built-in functionality.

The Ipanema 9.2 release also includes a new high-availability feature for enterprises that require redundancy in their networks. By using multiple connected appliances, customers can eliminate single points of failure related to hardware.

VeloCloud promises ISPs 30-day activation time for its SD-WAN technology

VeloCloud this week revealed a program it contends will let service providers roll out managed SD-WAN services more quickly to their customers.

The program, Ready Set GO, is designed to allow providers to launch services within 30 days, said Mike Wood, VeloCloud’s vice president of marketing.

“We’ve turned [the process] into a formula that creates a model where we can get you up and running — and we know we can — in 30 days if you follow this set of steps, this prescription,” he said.

Ready Set GO focuses on legal aspects, operations, logistics, sales, marketing and bringing the service to market. In addition, VeloCloud informs the service provider which team members will be needed throughout the process, their responsibilities and who they’ll correspond with at VeloCloud, Wood said. Since many of these requirements continue after the SD-WAN service goes to market — like marketing and campaign support — VeloCloud continues to work closely with the service provider, he added.

According to IDC, the SD-WAN market — including vendor and service provider services — will reach $8 billion by 2021. With Ready Set GO, Wood said VeloCloud is attempting to satisfy the growing demand by service providers to offer SD-WAN services to their own customers to remain competitive.

Service providers are automatically included in the program and Wood said there are no fees or licensing required to participate in the program.

“We activate the program even before we have a final contract signed with the carrier, so we don’t require them to have all the master agreements signed,” he said. “We kick all this off, prime the pump with them, so when all this is signed off with them, they’re ready to go.”

VeloCloud also said it is serving 50 service providers and more than 1,000 enterprise customers through its SD-WAN channel partner program. Current service providers using VeloCloud to power their SD-WAN service include AT&T, EarthLink, Global Capacity, IBM, MegaPath, MetTel, Mitel, Sprint, Vonage and Windstream Communications. Additionally, Wood said he expects another two dozen service providers will be releasing SD-WAN services through Ready Set GO before the end of the year.

Versa adding visibility in pact with CA Technologies

Versa Networks is integrating its SD-WAN technology into CA Technologies’ network management software to let users access application performance management data from both their SD-WAN and network infrastructures.

The combination of Versa’s Cloud IP Platform and CA’s Network Operations and Analytics platform will expand monitoring capabilities across an organization’s entire network infrastructure, while adding more thorough real-time visibility into application performance and potential problem points in the network, the companies said.

CA Technologies previously partnered with Viptela to combine its network performance management with Viptela’s SD-WAN services. Cisco finalized its acquisition of Viptela earlier this week.

Meantime, China Telecom Global Limited said it would use Versa’s SD-WAN and software-defined security services to underpin its managed SD-WAN offerings worldwide. China Telecom joins other service providers, including CenturyLink, Colt Technology, Comcast Business, Tata Communications and Verizon, which have partnered with Versa Networks.

HPE Pointnext grows with Cloud Technology Partners acquisition

Hewlett Packard Enterprise this week purchased Boston-based cloud consultancy Cloud Technology Partners, which the vendor said will bolster its HPE Pointnext business.

HPE Pointnext is the vendor’s IT services arm and accounts for about a third of the company’s overall revenue. Offerings include advisory services; professional services such as design and implementation; and operational services that combine HPE support and consumption services.

“One of the goals for HPE Pointnext is more and more to introduce a set of offerings through the channel,” said Ana Pinczuk, senior vice president and general manager of HPE Pointnext Services.

She said Cloud Technology Partners (CTP), a company of about 200 employees, will boost HPE’s Pointnext business and lead its cloud practice. CTP is an AWS Premier, Google Premier and Azure Silver partner and “a leader in the cloud consulting arena,” she noted.

HPE believes “strongly that the world will be hybrid going forward. What we’re seeing from our customers is … the need for [consultation] and execution around cloud and making the right decision about what to do with their applications and their workloads,” she said. “That’s why we acquired CTP. They have a great customer roster, and they also bring a set of IP that we can leverage.”

HPE will use CTP’s intellectual property in two ways. Firstly, she said CTP’s intellectual property will help train HPE’s channel on migrating customers to the cloud and operating and innovating in the cloud. “Our goal is to build that IP up and to be able to train the channel,” she said. Secondly, HPE will explore CTP’s software-based IP and figure out how partners can use and build services on top of it.

CTP’s customer base comprises of mostly U.S.-based organizations, but with the help of HPE will have the opportunity to scale globally, Pinczuk noted. As HPE integrates with CTP, it will look to maintain its company culture, which she described as engaging, passionate and forward-thinking. “We want to make sure that we keep that [culture] … because that is what attracts a type of talent that they have,” she said. She added that the greater extent of CTP’s leadership will stay intact.

Avast rebrands and launches new channel offerings

Security vendor Avast has rolled out its SMB-focused Avast Business brand of products and services. In addition, the company introduced a new partner program that unifies its previously separate Avast and AVG partner programs.

The Avast Business portfolio includes three new endpoint protection products that integrate with the company’s Managed Workplace and Cloudcare managed services offerings. The three-tiered partner program provides benefits such as support, sales and marketing resources, training, and incremental rewards, as well as a brand-new partner portal that consolidates the vendor’s legacy portals.

Sean Sykes, managing director of Avast Software, said the company has been working to rapidly integrate with AVG, which it acquired last year for $1.3 billion. “From a product perspective, we have taken the best from AVG and Avast and we have unified them. … These three endpoint solutions provide us with the ability now to protect the device, data and identity depending on what level of security … [SMB customers] require,” he said.

Current Avast partners will be grandfathered into the new program and have about a year to achieve the certifications and business level required for their desired tiers, Sykes noted.

Bluewolf expands role under IBM-Salesforce pact

Bluewolf, an IBM company and Salesforce consulting firm, plans to rollout industry accelerators as it expands its regional centers of Salesforce expertise.

The developments come six months after IBM and Salesforce announced a global partnership. Under that arrangement, the companies pursue opportunities around the IBM Watson cognitive computing platform and the Salesforce Einstein artificial intelligence technology for customer relationship management. Bluewolf in March 2017 launched a practice to support that initiative.

At the time, Bluewolf said it would create industry-specific accelerators to encourage enterprise uptake of cognitive applications. In June 2017, the company’s Bluewolf AI Now for Telecommunications became available. The offering, which the company said is designed for high-volume contact centers, uses IBM Watson APIs as well as Sales Cloud Einstein Lead Scoring and Opportunity Insights and Service Cloud Einstein Supervisor.

Corinne Sklar, global chief marketing officer at Bluewolf, said the company will launch additional industry accelerators in sectors such as financial services and healthcare. She suggested that announcements regarding accelerators could be timed with Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference, which will be held November in San Francisco.

In another move, Bluewolf is expanding its global network of consulting centers, which use the company’s Bluewolf Sightline project delivery tool to support Salesforce customer engagements. Within the expanded IBM-Salesforce partnership, “the one big piece for us is our investment in growing what we are calling the Salesforce Garage globally,” Sklar said.

Salesforce Garages, she added, let Bluewolf provide “more global delivery at scale” for its clients around the world.

According to an IBM blog post, Salesforce Garages in the Indian cities of Bangalore, Noida and Pune are currently open. Expansion is set for centers in Bratislava, Slovakia; Montreal; Beijing; and Lille, France, which IBM said will open in the next few months.

NTT DATA, KPGM partner with RPA vendors

NTT DATA Services, a consulting and cloud services provider based in Plano, Texas, is partnering with Blue Prism, a robotic process automation (RPA) software vendor. NTT DATA plans to provide RPA implementation and support under the alliance.

The Blue Prism partnership falls under NTT DATA’s Solutions for Intelligent Automation ecosystem, which encompasses offerings that let humans, autonomics and virtual assistants work together, according to the company.

KPMG LLC, meanwhile, has formed an alliance with Automation Anywhere, a RPA platform vendor. The partnership marks the most recent addition to KPMG’s roster of intelligent automation technology companies.

Anubhav Saxena, executive vice president of partnerships, strategy and operations at Automation Anywhere, said KPMG has strength in several vertical industries where the companies can focus their RPA partnering activity. Those verticals, he said, include financial services, manufacturing, retail and healthcare.

Hurricane relief for partners

Kaseya, which provides IT management and monitoring products for MSPs and IT departments, has created its Kaseya Disaster Response program to support customers affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. The company said the program’s goal is to help customers prepare for natural disasters and “get their businesses back up and running when they’re ready to resume operations.” The program offers dedicated phone and email points of contact and IT-related tips on how to prepare for, and respond to, disasters. Kaseya said it will also partner with and/or donate to relief organizations in affected areas.

Other news

Here’s a look at more news highlights from the week.

  • Intermedia, a cloud company with more than 6,500 channel partners, revealed it will purchase most of the assets of AnyMeeting, a web and video conferencing and webinar provider. Intermedia said the acquisition will expand its unified communication portfolio, which includes its Cloud Voice product, and expects to release its first integrated offering in early 2018. Intermedia didn’t disclose the financial terms of the acquisition.
  • Comodo is offering one year of its Comodo Help Desk support service at no cost to managed service providers. The company said its technicians can handle most Level 1 and Level 2 support requests, noting that the help desk provides assistance with desktop performance optimization, virus and malware removal, and PC and peripheral tuning and troubleshooting among other functions.
  • Anexinet Corp., an analytics, digital and cloud infrastructure solutions provider, appointed Joti Balani vice president of marketing. She will help develop the company’s growth strategy into new vertical markets and geographies.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

Country music star Thomas Rhett, who has a new album in the Windows Store, also curates a new Groove playlist – The Fire Hose

Country music’s Thomas Rhett is guest editor this week on Groove, curating an exclusive playlist of “Unforgettable Songs.” Rhett’s latest album, “Life Changes,” is hitting the charts right now.

And if you’re new to Groove Music, sign up for a 30-day free trial and you’ll get a token code good for three more months of listening. That’s four months of Groove Music for free – enough to let you finish out 2017 with the beats and tunes you love.

Get to Groove now for this new playlist or to try out the streaming service.

Also, keep up with what’s hot, new and trending in the Windows Store on Twitter and Facebook.

Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

Tags: Groove, Groove Music, Microsoft Groove

First look at Satya Nadella’s new book, Adobe and Microsoft deepen ties while science reveals (yet again) the power of the pen — Weekend Reading: Sept. 8 edition – The Official Microsoft Blog

Time to read, write and “Hit Refresh,” following a brief-but-busy week at Microsoft. We saw an alliance grow, protections reinforced and new chapters emerge.

Let’s take a spin through the news.

Microsoft SEO Satya Nadella in his office reading one of the first arrivals of his new book.

This week, the author got a first look at his new creation. Early copies of “Hit Refresh” arrived at the office of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. He smiled while leafing through pages packed with reflections, ideas and principles on transformation – the story of Microsoft’s quest to rediscover its soul, as told through Nadella’s eyes and experiences.

In a LinkedIn post published Wednesday, Nadella described “Hit Refresh” as an exploration of the renaissance of a storied company and the implications of the coming wave of technology — artificial intelligence, mixed reality and quantum computing — which will soon disrupt the status quo impacting our lives, communities and economies.”

“Hit Refresh” goes on sale globally Sept. 26 and is available now for preorder. Nadella is donating all proceeds from the book to Microsoft Philanthropies.

A student in the study wears hundreds of sensors to monitor her brain.

Pens down? Not so fast.

New research offers the first electrophysiological evidence that the brain behaves differently when people use a pen versus a keyboard – and that the physical movement of a pen boosts learning.

The finding builds on previous studies that suggest long-hand notetaking with a pen deepens the mind’s ability to retain and process information.

Cognitive neuropsychologists Audrey van der Meer and Ruud van der Weel outfitted participating students with more than 250 sensors that monitored their brain signals.

The students then completed tasks involving typing and note-taking by hand, including with the use of Surface Pro 4 devices. Van der Meer told Microsoft News Centre Europe that many tablet and stylus devices – like the Surface Pen – help people get the most out of ancient and modern technology.

Conducted over two months in Norway and later peer reviewed, the study provides fresh proof that the pen – once seen as an analogue artifact – can be fully appreciated as a key component of our digital learning experiences.

A Nordstrom sign outside a Nordstrom store.

Shoppers know: Nordstrom is synonymous with legendary customer service at its 350-plus stores and online.

During a recent chat between Cho Hwang, technology director at Nordstrom, and Ron Markezich, Microsoft corporate vice president, talk turned to Microsoft Office 365.

“Office 365 supports the diverse and ever-evolving workstyles of Nordstrom employees in retail and corporate locations,” Hwang said. “It provides a comprehensive set of tools that enables employees to be more productive and always have the data that they need at their fingertips.”

On Thursday, more Office 365 news broke when Adobe and Microsoft announced they are expanding their strategic alliance to increase workforce productivity and drive more efficient business processes.

Adobe Sign, the market leading e-signature service in Adobe Document Cloud, is now Microsoft’s preferred e-signature solution across the company’s portfolio, including the 100 million monthly active users of Office 365.

A global map shows recent ransomware attacks.

A new Microsoft report details recent ransomware threats and the need for advanced security. You can protect yourself with Windows 10, which integrates next-gen security features that guard against ransomware, including multiple exploit mitigations, Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and more.

The upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will make Windows even more secure against attacks through seamless integration of Windows Defender ATP across the entire Windows protection stack plus other updates. You can start taking advantage of these protections now with the Windows Defender ATP Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, now open for public preview.

The Microsoft logo
On Tuesday, Microsoft responded to the administration’s decision to rescind protection under the program for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), calling it a “big step back for our entire country,” writes Brad Smith, Microsoft president and chief legal officer, on the Microsoft on the Issues blog.

The administration is giving Congress six months to replace DACA with new legislation. “Congress now needs to reprioritize the fall legislative calendar and move quickly with new legislation to protect these 800,000 Dreamers,” Smith writes.

“This means that Congress should adopt legislation on DACA before it tries to adopt a tax reform bill.” Microsoft will work as needed with other companies and the broader business community to “vigorously defend the legal rights of all Dreamers,” Smith says. “For the 39 Dreamers that we know of who are our employees, our commitment is clear. If Congress fails to act, our company will exercise its legal rights properly to help protect our employees.”

Several Harry Potter books.

With fall (nearly) in the air, head back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as the complete collection of “Harry Potter” e-books arrives in the Windows Store. Find all seven books in the series in a single title, along with other favorites in this universe such as “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

Need more entertainment this weekend?  Get your scare on with the newest chapter in Ryan Murphy’s TV drama anthology, “American Horror Story: Cult.” Buy a season pass now in the Movies & TV section of the Windows Store – and follow what’s hot, new and trending in the Windows Store on Twitter and Facebook.

That caps our round-up. See you next Friday for another Weekend Reading!

Posted by Bill Briggs
Microsoft News Center Staff

Tags: Adobe, LinkedIn, Microsoft Philanthropies, Office 365, Satya Nadella, Surface Pro 4, Windows 10

WLAN administration challenges and how to tackle them

This week, as schools and universities began fall classes, Lee Badman used his WiredNot blog to discuss WLAN administration in the education arena. According to Badman, WLAN administration for education is particularly challenging because of the sudden increase in demand for connectivity when students return to school, often joining the network through a loose BYOD policy.

Badman cited a list of items university network administrators should follow as classes get back into full swing. Among them, networks need to be stable. “We stop making any significant network changes almost a full month ahead of the opening period, and rely heavily on the quality of the underlying code,” he wrote.

The university network must also be able to scale, and it must be predictable. At Badman’s institution, the network will serve almost 30,000 simultaneous users from more than 4,000 access points. That’s a lot of traffic to manage.

Additionally, IT teams must focus on performance and easy-to-use features — particularly in education, where many students need to be onboarded to a secure network in a short span of time.

“Part of our annual exercise is also realizing that big numbers on graphs may not reflect that our clients are really and truly using the network in ways now — as they get settled on campus — like they will a week from now. As it is every year, vigilance follows getting to our big numbers,” said Badman.

Read more of Badman’s thoughts on educational WLAN administration.

Cumulus launches virtual lab and container management system

Drew Conry-Murray, writing in Packet Pushers, explored Cumulus Networks’ launch of a new virtual lab system, along with Host Pack software for managing containers. According to Conry-Murray, the vendor launched Cumulus in the Cloud as a virtual lab designed to mimic a twin-rack leaf-spine network. The vendor assembled a prebuilt test environment to speed testing for customers, sparing them the time necessary to set up a custom test environment.

The launch coincides with the deployment of Host Pack, a bundle of software built around the vendor’s NetQ network telemetry and Cumulus Linux to host containers. The new offering, designed to run on a server and provide a routing stack, supports both Docker containers and Docker Swarm. It will add Apache Mesos support in the fall of 2017. NetQ is intended to improve container visibility, displaying connections between containers and physical switches. Host Pack costs $1,000 for each license — a fee that also covers a year of support.

Dig deeper into Conry-Murray’s thoughts on Cumulus.

Overcoming security analysis challenges

Jon Oltsik, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. in Milford, Mass., said most organizations face significant challenges with security monitoring and analysis. A recent ESG study, encompassing 412 IT professionals, found that 30% of respondents struggled with total cost of ownership, as organizations spend large sums on security without marked improvements.

Nearly a quarter of respondents cited a lack of tools and processes, lack of skills or the rapid addition of new applications and network hosts as factors complicating their security strategies. Close to 30% of respondents also lamented the time their security operations center teams had to focus on high-priority emergencies, leaving less time for strategizing.

“When it comes to cybersec operations, many organizations suffer from ‘death by a thousand cuts’ syndrome with multiple issues across people, processes and technologies,” Oltsik wrote. “Given this, CISOs [chief information security officers] should think in terms of 3-year strategic security operations planning rather than adding the latest next-generation security tool and only exacerbating operational inefficiencies,” he added.

Explore more of Oltsik’s thoughts on security analysis.

Race to the Finish Line in the Forza Motorsport 7 Garage

Yes, we have been saving the best for last. Here, in the final week of the Forza Motorsport 7 Garage, we bring you cars that span more than 50 years of racing history, all of which you’ll be able to explore, customize and drive in Forza Motorsport 7. From the early days of racing history to modern high-tech marvels, this lineup is drawn from nearly every major racing series in the world.

The world of racing has a history all its own. There are stories of success and triumph and endless innovation. Consider the evolution of aerodynamics in the first cars to experiment with downforce, or the search for power as turbo-charged vehicles entered the field. Forza Motorsport 7 will feature classic racers like the 1966 Ford #2 GT40 Mk II Le Mans and the 1991 Mazda #18 Mazdaspeed 787B, among many others legendary race cars. As the 2017 racing season is still underway, you will be able to experience the latest technology and designs from Formula One, IndyCar, NASCAR, Aussie V8 Supercars and Formula E. These are the cars that are racing right now in their respective series, and you’ll get to race them firsthand in Forza Motorsport 7.

This week, we’re also thrilled to share an exciting infographic that encapsulates the diversity and breadth of Forza Motorsport 7’s massive 700+ car lineup.

Now let’s take a look at the cars of the final week of the Forza Motorsport 7 Garage.

2017 Holden #22 Walkinshaw Performance VF Commodore

The V8 Supercars Championship in Australia is the premier road racing series Down Under. At this event, no matter where the success has swayed, Holden holds a faithful following of race fans. The #22 is driven by veteran James Courtney and primarily sponsored by Mobil 1. The 2017 season has been a tough one for the Walkinshaw team, but no one is more loyal to his calling than Courtney, who has driven with optimism and an undying drive to find performance. Whether you take the #22 to the legendary Bathurst track at Mount Panorama, to the streets of Long Beach, or any other track in Forza Motorsport 7, you will find the Aussie spirit of racing at every corner.

Here is the massive lineup of some of the most amazing cars and trucks from the world of motorsport. As always, stay tuned to ForzaMotorsport.net for the full list of announced cars that you will find in Forza Motorsport 7 when it becomes available on Sept. 29 for Ultimate Edition, and Oct. 3 for Standard and Deluxe Editions.

2015 Alumi Craft Class 10 Race Car

1986 Audi #2 Audi Sport quattro S1

1989 Audi #4 Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO

2011 Audi #2 Audi Sport Team Joest R15++ TDI

2012 Audi #1 Audi Sport Team Joest R18 e-tron quattro

2014 Audi #2 Audi Team Joest R18 e-tron quattro

2014 Audi #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports R8 LMS ultra

2014 Audi #67 Rotek Racing S3 Saloon

2017 Bentley #17A LIQUI MOLY M-Sport Continental GT3

1975 BMW #25 BMW Motorsport 3.0 CSL

1979 BMW #6 BMW Motorsport M1 Procar

1999 BMW #15 BMW Motorsport V12 LMR

1999 BMW #16 BMW Motorsport V12 LMR

2009 BMW #92 Rahal Letterman Racing M3 GT2

2014 BMW #5 eBay Motors 125i M Sport

2014 BMW #55 BMW Team RLL Z4 GTE

2014 BMW #56 BMW Team RLL Z4 GTE

1967 Brabham BT24

1966 Chaparral #66 Chaparral Cars 2E

2010 Chevrolet #55 Level 5 Motorsports ORECA FLM09

2010 Chevrolet #89 Intersport Racing Oreca FLM09

2010 Chevrolet #99 Green Earth Team Gunnar Oreca FLM09

2011 Chevrolet #4 Corvette Racing ZR1

2014 Chevrolet #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R

2014 Chevrolet #4 ROAL Motorsport RML Cruze TC1 WTCC

2015 Chevrolet #10 Konica Minolta Corvette Daytona Prototype

1979 Datsun #33 Bob Sharp Racing 280ZX Turbo

2014 Dodge #93 SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R

1967 Eagle-Weslake T1G

1966 Ford #2 GT40 Mk II Le Mans

1981 Ford #2 Zakspeed Racing Capri Turbo

1981 Ford #55 Liqui Moly equipe Capri Turbo

2013 Ford Formula Ford EcoBoost 200

2014 Ford #11 Rockstar F-150 Trophy Truck

2014 Ford Ranger T6 Rally Raid

2015 Ford #02 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley Mk XXVI Daytona Prototype

2015 Ford #17 Xbox Racing Ford Falcon FG X

2015 Ford #5 Pepsi Max Crew PRA Falcon FG X

2016 Ford #55 Supercheap Falcon FG X

2016 Ford #66 Ford Racing GT Le Mans

2016 Ford GYMKHANA 9 Focus RS RX

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Race Truck

2015 Holden #14 Freightliner Racing VF Commodore

2015 Holden #22 Holden Racing Team VF Commodore

2016 Holden #22 HRT Sharkbite VF Commodore

2015 Holden #97 Tekno Autosports VF Commodore

2014 Honda #2 Castrol Honda Civic WTCC

2014 Honda #5 Zengo Motorsport Civic WTCC

2014 Jaguar #14 Emil Frey GT3 Jaguar XK

1988 Jaguar #1 Jaguar Racing XJR-9

1988 Jaguar #60 Castrol Jaguar Racing XJR-9

1980 Lancia #31 Lancia Corse Beta Montecarlo Turbo

1975 Lancia Stratos HF Group 4

1985 Lancia Delta S4 Group B

1969 Lola #10 Simoniz Special T163

1969 Lola #6 Penske Sunoco T70 MkIIIB

2010 Mazda #16 Mazda Racing B09/86

2010 Mazda #16 Dyson Racing B09/86

1991 Mazda #18 Mazdaspeed 787B

1991 Mazda #55 Mazda 787B

1991 Mazda #62 Mazda Motorsport RX-7

2014 Mazda #70 SpeedSource Lola B12/80

2015 Mazda Formula Mazda

2015 Mercedes-Benz #24 Tankpool24 Racing Truck

2017 Mercedes-Benz #33 Mac Tools Ciceley Motorsports A-Class (A45)

2011 Mercedes-Benz #35 Black Falcon SLS AMG GT3

1989 Mercedes-Benz #63 Team Sauber-Mercedes C9

2014 Mercedes-Benz #84 HTP Motorsport SLS AMG GT3

2015 Mercedes-Benz #9 Erebus Motorsport E63 AMG V8 Supercar

1990 Mercury #15 Whistler Radar Cougar XR-7

2013 MINI X-RAID All4 Racing Countryman

1994 Nissan #75 Cunningham Racing 300ZX

2015 Nissan #23 GT-R LM NISMO

2014 Nissan #23 NISMO MOTUL AUTECH GT-R

1991 Nissan #23 Nissan R91CP

1969 Nissan #21 Nissan Racing R382

2011 Peugeot #10 Team Matmut 908

1993 Peugeot #3 Peugeot Talbot Sport 905 EVO 1C

2009 Peugeot #9 Peugeot Sport Total 908

2015 Formula E #2 Virgin Racing VIR 01E

2015 Formula E #21 Mahindra M2Electro

2015 Formula E #23 Venturi 1

2015 Formula E #6 Dragon Racing Spark SRT_01E

2015 Formula E #99 NEXTEV TCR FE01

2016 RJ Anderson #37 Polaris RZR-Rockstar Energy Pro 2 Truck

2016 SUBARU #199 WRX STI VT15r Rally Car

2016 SUBARU #75 WRX STI VT15r Rally Car

1993 Toyota #1 T100 Baja Truck

1992 Toyota #99 All American Racers Toyota Eagle Mk III

2013 SRT #91 SRT Motorsport GTS-R

2014 Volvo #1 Volvo Polestar Racing S60 STCC

2014 Volvo #13 Volvo Polestar Racing S60 STCC

1970 Volkswagen #1107 Desert Dingo Racing Stock Bug

2014 Volkswagen Beetle GRC

2017 Chevrolet #2 Team Penske IndyCar

2017 Chevrolet #24 Hendrick Motorsports Mountain Dew Super Sport

2017 Chevrolet #24 Hendrick Motorsports NAPA Super Sport

2017 Chevrolet #24 Hendrick Motorsports KBB Super Sport

2017 Chevrolet #4 AJ Foyt Enterprises IndyCar

2017 Formula E #11 ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport FE02

2017 Formula E #28 MS Amlin Andretti ATEC-02

2017 Formula E #33 Techeetah Z.E. 16

2017 Formula E #47 Panasonic Jaguar Racing I-Type 1

2017 Formula E #9 Renault e.Dams Z.E 16

2017 Ford #17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Falcon FG X

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Race Truck

2017 Holden #22 Walkinshaw Performance VF Commodore

2017 Honda #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports IndyCar

2017 Honda #9 Chip Ganassi Racing IndyCar

2017 Nissan #23 Nissan Motorsport Altima

2017 Renault R.S.17

2016 Toyota #18 Joe Gibbs Racing M&Ms Camry

2016 Toyota #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Snickers Camry

2016 Toyota #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Skittles Camry

2016 Ford #22 Team Penske Pennzoil Fusion

2016 Ford #22 Team Penske Duralast GT Fusion

2016 Ford #22 Team Penske Autotrader Fusion

Forza Motorsport 7 is available in Standard, Deluxe and Ultimate Editions, and launches worldwide on Oct. 3, 2017. Fans who pre-order Forza Motorsport 7 digitally will not only receive access to over 700 premium cars, but also receive access to the Hoonigan Car Packs at no additional cost.

See you on the track!

Gamescom, Hot Chips, Hackathon and inclusivity – Weekend Reading: Aug. 25 edition – The Official Microsoft Blog

This week was awash in news out of gamescom 2017, a European trade fair for digital gaming culture that took place in Cologne, Germany. If your head is spinning from all the announcements, take a deep breath and devote the next three minutes to watching this video, with everything you need to know out of Xbox, including pre-orders of the Xbox One X and the limited-edition Project Scorpio, the Xbox One S Minecraft limited-edition bundle, and news on games such as PlayerUnknown’s “Battlegrounds,” “State of Decay 2,” “Forza Motorsport 7,” “ReCore Definitive Edition,” “Assassin’s Creed Origins,” “Middle-earth: Shadow of War,” Xbox Backward Compatibility and more.

A picture of three different types of Xbox devices and controllers.

Gamescom wasn’t the only big event this week. At the Hot Chips 2017 conference, a cross-Microsoft team unveiled a new deep-learning acceleration platform, codenamed Project Brainwave, that was designed for real-time artificial intelligence. That means the system processes requests as fast as it receives them, with ultra-low latency, according to Doug Burger, a distinguished engineer at Microsoft. “Project Brainwave achieves a major leap forward in both performance and flexibility for cloud-based serving of deep learning models,” Burger wrote.

Speaking of artificial intelligence, it dominated this year’s Microsoft Hackathon last month, with a winning project that’s too hot to talk about. The Hackathon started in 2014 as an experiment to engage employees, and it’s now the world’s biggest private hackathon with more than 18,000 participants who showcase bold new ideas that influence company products and sometimes lead to entirely new services. This year’s winning team put together a project that’s “a compelling and practical use of artificial intelligence that we think our customers will love,” said Jeff Ramos, who leads the Microsoft Garage, the team that runs the Hackathon. “It’s so compelling that we’ve decided to be discreet in the amount of details we want to share.” Taken as a whole, this year’s group of hackers showed how quickly AI is becoming the fabric of how a new generation of technology services is delivered, with projects submitted for everything from self-driving wheelchairs to the prediction of traffic signal times.

A crowd of Hackathon 2017 participants cheer and wave at the camera outside on a sunny day.

It was also a big week for inclusivity at Microsoft. In conjunction with the US Business Leadership Network conference, which focuses on inclusive hiring, Microsoft employees shared personal stories showing the benefits of having a diverse population. Software engineer Swetha Machanavajhala, who was born with profound hearing loss, shared how she uses data and machine learning to help finds ways to enable people who are hearing impaired to better understand and react to the world around them. Amos Miller, who is blind and understands first-hand how important technology is for people with disabilities, said working for Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research team is like “working in a toy store.” Jessica Rafuse, a program manager with Microsoft Accessibility and an employment attorney by trade, shared about her experience being a champion for the inclusive hiring program.

And Beth Anne Katz, a program manager, explained how her long-hidden struggle with mental illness and depression reached a welcome turning point with the assistance of a “most incredible boss” and the Microsoft CARES employee assistance program.

Three Polaroid snapshots of Beth Anne Katz, hung on a red string with clothespins.

Discounted apps will help assuage the back-to-school blues, with savings of as much as 50 percent on heavy hitters such as Movie Edit Pro Windows Store Edition, Stagelight and Complete Anatomy. And don’t forget about next month’s STEM Saturdays workshops, as Microsoft partners with Mattel Hot Wheels® Speedometry™ for free, drop-in sessions that offer a chance to engage in science, technology and math projects hosted by Microsoft Stores. Participants will sensor-monitor cars as they compete on the iconic Hot Wheels orange track, measuring speed and force of impact during collision.

A group of children watch a demonstration of the Hot Wheels orange track game.

This week on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn pages, we featured the four all-women teams who participated in the #MakeWhatsNext Patent Program. From devices that convert text to braille in real-time to a VR game that can prevent bullying, these extraordinary women are changing the world with their groundbreaking inventions, and the support of the Patent Program.

Two women sit together, looking at a laptop screen.

Whew, summer may be winding down, but there’s still a lot going on. Enjoy this last weekend of August, and we hope to see you back here next week!

Posted by Susanna Ray

Microsoft News Center Staff

Tags: Apps, artificial intelligence, Assassin’s Creed, Deep Learning, Forza, gamescom, hackathon, Hot Wheels, inclusion, inclusiveness, inclusivity, Machine Learning, Microsoft Store, minecraft, Patent Program, STEM, XBOX, Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X

Play Madden NFL 18 at Microsoft Store for a Chance to Win Super Bowl LII Tickets

Football and Madden fans rejoice! Madden NFL 18 is launching this week, and to celebrate, Microsoft Store is hosting a special event at the flagship Microsoft Store in New York, holding launch day tournaments and kicking off a national community tournament series that runs throughout the year.

The launch day tournament offers an opportunity to test your Madden skills for a chance to win some great prizes. This tournament also kicks off the Madden NFL 18 community series, where you compete head to head against local Madden players across the United States, and select cities in Canada, throughout the year.  Winners have a chance to play in the grand finals for the ultimate prize, tickets to Super Bowl LII. Join us on launch day to play, watch or just meet Madden fans at your local Microsoft Store. Tournaments begin on August 24 and run weekly through the football season. Visit the Microsoft Store Facebook event page for details.

New York Giants fans gearing up for the launch and game season will have the opportunity to meet New York Giants players Landon Collins and Sterling Shepard at the flagship Microsoft Store in New York City on August 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET (line opens at 6:30 p.m. ET). Then, watch the pro athletes compete on the virtual field in Madden NFL 18 from the Mixer NYC Studio, where the winner will receive a $5,000 donation to the charity of their choice. Be one of the first 16 fans in line to compete in the Madden NFL 18 community series and you’ll have the chance to play LIVE from the Mixer NYC Studio, which will also be livestreamed on Mixer.com/MicrosoftStore.

This is Madden like you’ve never seen it. Powered by the Frostbite engine, Madden NFL 18 introduces Longshot, a football redemption story you can play. Your decisions lead forgotten prospect Devin Wade on the pursuit to fulfill his NFL dream in the first ever Madden story mode.

Don’t miss out on the action – join your local Microsoft Store to play the new Madden NFL 18 starting this week! Visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/locations/madden-nfl-18 to learn more and find a store near you. Tournament rules require participants to be 13 years of age, and minors (13-17) must have the permission of their parent or legal guardian to enter.

Eye-Catching Designs in the Forza Motorsport 7 Garage

Here we are at the penultimate week six of car announcements coming to Forza Motorsport 7 and we’re shining the spotlight on a truly unique batch of cars. The Forza world fell in love with the custom built special models that debuted in Forza Horizon 3 and we’re pleased to say that Forza Edition cars, as they’re now known, will be a part of the fun in Forza Motorsport 7! These cars feature unique styles designed to catch the eye, but also custom tuning and special bonuses that will make them must-own additions to every Forza player’s garage.

In Forza Motorsport 7, Forza Edition cars will be immediately recognizable on the track. Whether they’re sporting custom widebody kits and wheels or gorgeous liveries, Forza Edition cars will always stand out from the crowd. Beyond the aesthetics you can only find in a Forza Edition car, you will get a ride that has been fine-tuned by the experts here at Turn 10, who have considered every factor from power-to-weight ratio, to the specific suspension settings that will make a Forza Edition car a top choice for all types of four-wheeled-fun, including special built-to-drift models.

Not only do these cars look great and drive well, but Forza Edition vehicles also offer advantages to progress your career and increase your credit balance. Each Forza Edition vehicle has built-in multipliers that will enhance your credit reward for racing and winning with it, as well as increase the XP gained while you are behind the wheel. These are tools of your racing trade that will deliver a big payoff, race after race.

So how do you get your hands on these amazing Forza Edition cars? In addition to being available as rewards in game, via the Forza Drivers Cup single player campaign or in #Forzathon events, you’ll also be able to find them on the Auction House, which is returning for Forza Motorsport 7.

For those who want to get a great head start on their Forza Edition collection right away, check out our VIP membership, which is available as part of the Deluxe and Ultimate editions of Forza Motorsport 7. All five of the cars included in the VIP Car Pack are Forza Edition cars, including the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Super Sport Forza Edition, the 2013 Ram Runner Forza Edition, the 2012 Nissan GTR Forza Edition, the 1992 Ford Escort RS Forza Edition, and the 2014 BMW M4 Forza Edition. That’s five awesome Forza Edition cars right from the start, plus custom Driver Gear, and more!

Now check out at what happens to the incredible Ford GT when it becomes a Forza Edition car.

2017 Forza Edition Ford GT

The Ford GT was created to fulfill the most auspicious destiny in the world of motorsport – claiming victory at Le Mans. Marking the 50th anniversary of the original Ford GT 40’s victory, the new Ford GT was built to prove that Ford can still dominate at the highest level of sports car racing. The production model GT is the starting point for homologation from which endurance racing provenance is borne. Take one look, or one listen, or one drive, and the character of a champion is obvious. Throughout the carved aerodynamics and gloriously sculptured form, players will find active elements and static design that create not only unique allure, but massive downforce. Within, technology abounds in adjustable suspension and drivetrain settings that put 647 EcoBoost twin-turbo driven horsepower to the massive rear wheels. Ford Performance set the bar high when they reinvented the GT, and of course both destiny and expectations were exceeded with not only the victory they sought, but the awe of the lucky 1,000 owners who are lucky enough to own them.

The complete list of Forza Edition cars is still growing, so stay tuned for more details on these amazing and highly beneficial cars and trucks! As always, keep an eye on ForzaMotorsport.net for the full list of Forza Motorsport 7 cars revealed to date.