Category Archives: Microsoft News

Microsoft News

E3 2018: Gaming for Everyone, a Conversation with Phil Spencer – Xbox Wire

E3 is always an incredible time to come together to appreciate the breadth of creative energy that abounds in our industry and to celebrate what’s ahead for gamers. At this year’s E3 Coliseum series, Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox sat down with Tina Summerford, Head of Programming at Xbox, to discuss Microsoft’s approach to gaming, his perspective on E3 and to hear why the industry has a responsibility to make gaming for everyone.

Other topics discussed during the panel were the unique games Xbox is looking to bring to the ID@Xbox program, insight into the creation of the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing, from matching thematic elements to creating an engaging experience, and the creation of the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The discussion also included insights from Phil on his conversations about gaming with CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, his appreciation of and participation in the gaming community. Spencer also took a variety of questions from the audience, ranging on bringing more games to Xbox created by Japanese developers and growing the Women and Gaming initiative.

You can watch the full interview with Phil Spencer above from the E3 Coliseum.

Introducing Evernote for Microsoft Teams

Over the years, Evernote has made teamwork easier by building integrations with a host of powerful apps, including Microsoft Outlook, Salesforce, Google Drive, Slack, and many others. Today we’re pleased to add another big name to that list.

Introducing Evernote for Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is the communication hub for productive companies, where teams can chat, share messages, and move projects forward. As part of the Office 365 suite, it enables colleagues to share emails, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and manage the flow of information.

Our latest integration brings Evernote into the context of your conversations in Teams so you can easily reference specific notes within a conversation, and access notes without having to leave the Teams experience.

With Evernote for Microsoft Teams, you can seamlessly share, pin, edit, and search your Evernote content—right from the Microsoft Teams app. This helps you work without interruption and keeps everyone on the same page.

We sat down with Mansoor Malik, Principal Product Manager for Microsoft Teams, and Leo Gong, Senior Product Manager at Evernote, to get their thoughts on this new integration. We asked them why the partnership between Evernote and Microsoft is so exciting, and what it means for customers and the future of teamwork.

Q: What does integrating with Evernote bring to the Microsoft Teams product, and how will users benefit?

Mansoor Malik (Microsoft): Microsoft Teams democratizes information. It makes it available, brings transparency to it, and ensures everyone has access to it.

With this integration, users can now access their Evernote content and share it with the whole team—in one place, and in the same channel. You don’t have to remember a URL or switch back and forth between Teams and Evernote. It’s all right there.

Leo Gong (Evernote): For a lot of our customers, Evernote is their second brain. It’s where they collect all their information and the ideas they’re working on. Combining these two places allows them to easily tap into that knowledge hub and share it with everyone.

Let’s say you’re trying to plan logistics around a product launch in Microsoft Teams. Being able to access Evernote allows you to keep a record of what people are agreeing upon, and what the current plan is—in parallel to the conversation.

Q: What is the problem that this solves for users?

MM: You may have to-dos that you want to add in Evernote, and you may want to start talking about them. You can either share a snippet of it in Teams and start a conversation that way, or you can pin it as a tab and have the conversation around that tab.

What’s cool is that the conversation you have, in context with the note that’s pinned, happens right there. It can also be persistent so it stays within the chat. So anyone from the team can either jump into that conversation in real time or, if they come in later, reply to it in the same thread, with the same context.

LG: Many people use Evernote as a repository for their business’s information. This integration helps them very easily share that information whenever they’re asked.

Also, the same questions often get asked again and again. The Pinned tab allows you to pin a note in the channel with answers to all those frequently asked questions, so it’s easily accessible for others.

Finally, there can often be 10 to 20 different messages that you need to consider when you’re making a decision. It gets unmanageable very quickly. So it’s good to have a tab, one place to keep a list of “What’s the decision we just made, and what are the next steps?”

Q. What do you think people struggle with the most when it comes to sharing information within a team setting?

MM: Before, if you wanted to share something, you’d have to open up your email and attach a Word document or a file, and send it to somebody—even your colleague who’s sitting in the next office. Then you’d have to wait for their reply, then revise it, and so on. This integration means that those conversations, those decisions, can be documented, edited, and captured in real time, so you don’t have to wait for the back and forth.

LG: I think it’s the friction around sharing information. Even beyond this initial launch, we’re interested in making that easier. How can we automate the sharing of information? That’s something we think about.

Q: In your experience, how have workflows evolved over time? Do you find that people are asking for integrations with their favorite tools often?

MM: Employees today are on twice as many teams as they were five years ago. The amount of time that employees spend engaging in collaborative work—in meetings, on phone calls, or answering emails—has increased about 50 percent. It takes up to 80 percent more of employees’ time. Notwithstanding that, productivity experiences are getting fragmented over time, leading to reduced productivity, change fatigue, and reduced employee sentiment and morale. This integration tries to reunify the experience to address these issues.

LG: Workplaces are evolving to include more specialized tools, so more than ever we see a lot of different teams, and a lot of individuals, wanting and expecting choice at work.

Even with note editing, which is a relatively simple use case, there are so many tools out there and each of them has different strengths. Integrations allow customers to use the tools that will make them effective, because they’re able to bring their own tools into their collaborative work.

Evernote integrates with all types of documents and helps people share notes very easily, so that they can choose the tools they need to make them effective. With Microsoft Teams, you don’t have to use a specific database or a specific task management tool. Teams becomes the glue that helps you and your team work together—even if they’re on different systems.

Q: When integrating with another product, is there a typical checklist you go through? What makes this partnership a good fit?

MM: We look at how we can add value to our mutual customers. Specifically, we look at common teamwork productivity scenarios and ways to make it easier for people to get their job done, to make their experience more valuable, and enhance it so that they feel like it’s easy.

Evernote is a great fit for Teams because people are already working together in teams. Having Evernote integrated there just makes sense, to help them get their job done faster.

The other thing we look at is shared vision with our partners around the digital and cultural transformation that’s happening in the modern workplace. We certainly have to snap to that.

LG: It’s the same for us. The top bar that we need to clear is: Is there a natural fit in the users’ workflows? Does this measurably make their lives better? And second, what do we have to offer Microsoft? How does this make Evernote users more successful as well? And lastly, it’s a feasibility consideration, which is: Can we build it and how quickly?

Q: From a strategic product perspective, how do you keep up with the needs of an increasingly demanding customer?

MM: We’re always listening to our customer feedback, whether it’s on Twitter, UserVoice, or within our end product feedback tool. We also look at the way people are working and features they’re asking for, whether it’s apps for mobile, or even desktop.

We’re also trying to envision what the future of work will look like on a longer-term horizon. As the workforce changes, as Millennials get on board, they definitely have new demands. We look into that, we prioritize it, and we put it in the backlog. Whatever is most asked for gets done first, and we go down the stack from there.

LG: One, it’s having an ear to the ground. We spend a lot of time talking to our customers, and often we’ll see opportunities for improvement.

Two, is doing pretty extensive testing with features that we want to launch, and making sure that we’re doing it in a way that’s actually helpful to our users. You don’t want to necessarily implement exactly what the customer is requesting because often it’s a symptom of a greater or undiscovered need. So we think about what they’re really trying to say, and what they’re really struggling with.

Q: I imagine that can be hard at times, like doing a bit of detective work.

LG: Exactly.

MM: Yep, totally agree.

Q: There has been a shift from having competitors to the idea of “playing well with others.” What is your view on adopting this approach from the technology standpoint?

MM: We’re building a product for collaboration, so we have to be collaborative. By working and playing with others, we help our customers and users get the most value. And in this particular case, it really helps increase their productivity, and users love it. So if we can increase productivity, if we can keep the user engaged, even if it’s working with a competitor or a partner, so be it. That’s why we are open and willing to let people use the tools they want to use. Because we believe that tools and technology facilitate productivity and enable customers to get more done faster.

LG: Playing well with others has always been a core value for Evernote. We help you capture your thoughts and information—wherever it comes from.

As to how we adopt it from a technology standpoint, it means building our product in a modular way so we’re not just supporting a single document type. We’re architecting the app in a way where it can accept any document type as a module, so you can plug-and-play additional ones in the future.

It’s a win-win because building a product in a way that supports integrations speeds up your own development. Your developers will thank you because when they’re trying to extend functionality into the product in the future, they will also benefit.

Q: Advancements in technology have made it possible for people to work anywhere, from any device. How can we keep up with the demands of such a highly connected workforce?

MM: Every team is different. Every individual is different, and they have their unique preferences and needs. As a platform, Microsoft Teams enables people to bring anything they want in terms of the apps and services they use the most. By doing so they can customize Microsoft Teams to fit their needs better for their increased productivity.

By allowing these types of integrations, by working well with other partners and competitors, we’re meeting the demands of a highly connected workforce. At the same time, we’re making sure, as Evernote is, that we’re cross-platform, cross-device, multi-screen. We want to make sure that wherever you are, however you’re connected, you can get your work done.

LG: In a way, the causation is a little fuzzy because having integrations enables you to work from anywhere and from any device. At the same time, integrations help you live better in a world like that.

I think where Microsoft Teams is really helpful is that it provides a hub for you to manage a lot of complexity. Because if everybody’s using 20 different apps, it becomes very difficult to manage. But if there’s some way for you to start centralizing your communications, with all of your sharing in one place, it helps people manage the overload of information.

Q: What do you see changing in the next five years with regard to the way people are working? And how are you looking to solve that with new product features and/or updates?

MM: Everybody is looking to get stuff done faster. What we are thinking, with these integrations, is how we can use machine learning or AI to help them do that.

For example, imagine you’re making a note that you need to send marketing materials for review and approval. It’d be cool if, as you’re typing or talking about it, an AI bot senses that this is actually a task that needs to be created and assigned to somebody, and then followed up on. Those are ways that we can improve productivity by doing things for people on their behalf.

Call recording, transcription, and translation is also something that we are looking into. All this stuff can get done automatically.

LG: I see there being two related trends. One is that there’s a rapid acceleration of the amount of information that people are consuming. Number two is that technology has gotten to a point where it’s actually possible to help users manage that overflow of information, so we’re at a really interesting time.

The first thing that will really help people is better aggregation and integrations. I see Evernote being the place that helps you manage your information by integrating with the tools you use to create information, and collecting all of that in one central hub.

The second piece of technology is, as Mansoor mentioned, AI and machine learning. The interesting thing that we’ll be able to do in the next five years is apply machine learning to help users make sense of information that they’re getting. Because it’s really important to be able to sift through it all and figure out what’s important.

The analogy I love to give is: If I walk into your kitchen, it might be really tidy, but I don’t know where anything is kept. Machine learning allows us to surface your items in your kitchen, in a context that makes sense with regard to how I organize and how I think.

Get started

To find out for yourself how much more your team can achieve, simply head over to the Microsoft App Store and install Evernote for Microsoft Teams today. For more information, check out this Quick Start Guide.

My views on U.S. immigration policy

Below is an e-mail I sent to all Microsoft employees today sharing my views on U.S. immigration policy.  This is an incredibly important topic and one I care deeply about.

Team,

Like many of you, I am appalled at the abhorrent policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the southern border of the U.S. As both a parent and an immigrant, this issue touches me personally.

I consider myself a product of two amazing and uniquely American things — American technology reaching me where I was growing up that allowed me to dream the dream and an enlightened immigration policy that then allowed me to live that dream. My story would not have been possible anywhere else.

This new policy implemented on the border is simply cruel and abusive, and we are standing for change. Today Brad detailed our company’s position on this issue, as well as the immigration legislation currently being considered in Congress, and I encourage you to read his blog post.

I want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with the U.S. government on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border. Our current cloud engagement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads.

Microsoft has a long history of taking a principled approach to how we live up to our mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more with technology platforms and tools, while also standing up for our enduring values and ethics. Any engagement with any government has been and will be guided by our ethics and principles. We will continue to have this dialogue both within our company and with our stakeholders outside.

The immigration policy of this country is one of our greatest competitive advantages, and this is something we must preserve and promote. America is a nation of immigrants, and we’re able to attract people from around the world to contribute to our economy, our communities and our companies. We are also a beacon of hope for those who need it the most. This is what makes America stronger. We will always stand for immigration policies that preserve every person’s dignity and human rights. That means standing with every immigrant who works at Microsoft and standing for change in the inhumane treatment of children at the U.S. border today. 

Satya  

Geek of the Week: Microsoft’s Raghu Ramakrishnan geeks out on data, how we use it and secure it

Raghu Ramakrishnan has been at Microsoft for six years. (Photo courtesy of Raghu Ramakrishnan)

He’s been a professor and a chief scientist, a founder, a technical fellow and a chief technology officer. Through it all, Raghu Ramakrishnan has been focused on the data.

Ramakrishnan is Microsoft’s CTO for Data and our latest Geek of the Week. In his six years at the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant, Ramakrishnan founded the CISL applied research team and led the development of Azure Data Lake, Microsoft’s exabyte-scale storage and analytics platform.

Prio to Microsoft, Ramakrishnan spent 22 years as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in addition to being founder and CTO of QUIQ, an early online crowd-sourced question-answering company.

“My early work in database systems has influenced query optimization in commercial database systems and the design of window functions in SQL:1999, and has received the SIGMOD Test-of-Time Award for work on clustering and the ICDT Test-of-Time Award for work on nearest-neighbor indexing,” Ramakrishnan said. “I’ve also written the widely used text ‘Database Management Systems.’”

In his six years at Yahoo! as a chief scientist, Ramakrishnan led, among other things, the science teams for major initiatives, including the CORE project that was the foundation for Yahoo’s personalized portal pages.

Learn more about this week’s Geek of the Week, Raghu Ramakrishnan:

What do you do, and why do you do it? “I think about what’s around the bend in the space of data — the trends in how we’re capturing data, how we are using it, the concerns around appropriate data use and regulatory changes, and the implications for data platforms and technologies. In SQL Server and Azure, Microsoft has industry leading data management and cloud platforms, and we need to constantly up our game to ensure that these are state of the art.”

What’s the single most important thing people should know about your field? “Increasingly, many aspects of the world we live in are reflected in data that we gather to operate or improve aspects of that world. This data is at the very heart of the AI revolution that we now hear about everywhere — you can’t apply machine learning without data to learn from — and database systems are the key to securing this data and ensuring that policies for appropriate access and usage are indeed enforced.”

Where do you find your inspiration? “The fact that data is center-stage in our world today means that we need to build powerful and dependable systems to secure and interpret that data. In a very real sense, your most private data (and mine) are protected by data management systems. So, it’s more than bits and bytes at stake here, it’s about the most important aspects of our lives.”

What’s the one piece of technology you couldn’t live without, and why? “The internet. It’s how I learn what’s going on in the world, it’s how I call people more often than not, it’s how my entertainment is delivered.”

What’s your workspace like, and why does it work for you? “Open, informal, good coffee — what more could you ask for? Oh yes, the only professional team that’s community owned. Say cheese.”

Raghu Ramakrishnan’s allegiance to the Green Bay Packers is evident in his office decor and in some of his answers to our questionnaire. (Photo courtesy of Raghu Ramakrishnan)

Your best tip or trick for managing everyday work and life. (Help us out, we need it.) “Work hard, but don’t mistake work for life.”

Mac, Windows or Linux? “Windows or Linux.”

Kirk, Picard, or Janeway? “Picard.”

Transporter, Time Machine or Cloak of Invisibility? “Transporter. Too many back-to-back meetings in different buildings.”

If someone gave me $1 million to launch a startup, I would … “Tell them I’m too busy to think about a startup.”

I once waited in line for … “An autograph from William Henderson, a guy who made his living by creating lanes for Ahman Green to run through.”

Your role models: “School teachers. The best ones change the lives of our children when they’re most in need of direction, and I value what they do enormously—and I’m humbled by how much the best of them put into their work, regardless of how shamefully they are underpaid.”

Greatest game in history: “The Ice Bowl.”

Best gadget ever: “The wheel.”

First computer: “Fingers.”

Current phone: “Android.”

Favorite app: “Outlook (seriously!)”

Favorite cause: “Against Malaria Foundation.”

Most important technology of 2018: “GDPR support.”

Most important technology of 2020: “Transporters.”

Final words of advice for your fellow geeks: “Dif-tor heh smusma.”

Twitter: @raghurwi

LinkedIn: Raghu Ramakrishnan

Microsoft statement on separating families at the southern border – Microsoft on the Issues

On Monday Microsoft issued the following statement:

In response to questions we want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border, and contrary to some speculation, we are not aware of Azure or Azure services being used for this purpose. As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border. Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since the end of World War II. As a company Microsoft has worked for over 20 years to combine technology with the rule of law to ensure that children who are refugees and immigrants can remain with their parents. We need to continue to build on this noble tradition rather than change course now. We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families. 

Microsoft Research Dissertation Grants: Broadening the PhD pipeline to increase innovation – Microsoft Research

Research shows that diverse teams are more productive teams. Diversity, particularly in the area of computing research, means including unique perspectives that otherwise might not have a voice, fueling innovation. These are some of the key reasons that Microsoft is committed to diversity. One aspect of demonstrating that commitment is that, for the second year in a row, we are awarding Microsoft Research Dissertation Grants to talented PhD candidates from groups that are under-represented in computing. The goal of these awards (up to $25,000 each) are to widen the narrow pipeline of women, African-Americans, American Indians, Latinos, Pacific Islanders, and those with disabilities who earn PhDs in computer science or related fields. These awards are given to students in the “last mile” of their PhDs, where a little money can push them over the finish line by helping them to complete their dissertation research.

I am pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Microsoft Research Dissertation Grants:

  • Cynthia Bennett, University of Washington, “Toward Disability-Informed Human-Centered Design”
  • Eric Corbett, Georgia Institute of Technology, “Trust, Technology and Community Engagement”
  • Ryan M. Corey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Array Signal Processing for Augmented Listening”
  • Maria De-Arteaga, Carnegie Mellon University, “Quantifying and Mitigating Risks of Algorithmic Decision Support”
  • Jane E, Stanford University, “Artistic Vision: Providing Context for Capture-Time Decisions”
  • Sahar Hashemgeloogerdi, University of Rochester, “Computationally Efficient Modeling and Audio Enhancement Algorithms for Reverberant Acoustic Systems Using Orthonormal Basis Functions”
  • Francesco Pittaluga, University of Florida, “Privacy Preserving Computational Cameras”
  • Ramya Ramakrishnan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Human-Guided Reinforcement Learning in Real-World Environments”
  • João Sedoc, University of Pennsylvania, “Hierarchical Approaches to Improve the Flow, Style, and Coherence of Conversational Agents”
  • Mina Tahmasbi Arashloo, Princeton University, “Programmable Network Monitoring and Control”
  • Sarah Tan, Cornell University, “Methods in Interpretability and Causal Inference for Better Understanding of Machine Learning Models”

From the almost 200 research projects submitted, these PhD candidates were selected as grant recipients based on review by scientists at Microsoft Research of the quality of the students’ dissertation research, the potential impact of their research, and the uses toward which they would put the grant monies awarded.

For example, Ryan Corey’s grant proposal included funds for purchasing high-quality recording equipment to capture and separate sources of audio to prototype products that augment people’s ability to hear, and also to fund outreach efforts for him to go into community schools to demonstrate his research. Ramya Ramakrishnan will use her grant to hire undergraduate women as research assistants, so she can further amplify the mentoring she receives from this award. Cynthia Bennett, who has a visual disability, is using her grant to increase the ability of people with disabilities to design products that other people with disabilities will use.

There were interesting themes running across this year’s set of awardees, including the ethics and sociological impact of their research. Eric Corbett’s research on using technology to increase public trust and Maria De-Arteaga’s research on mitigating risks of algorithmic decision support in the criminal justice system are two such examples.

In addition to monetary grants, each award comes with an all-expense paid trip to a two-day Microsoft Research workshop in Redmond, Washington, in the autumn of 2018. There, the awardees will present their research, meet with researchers in their field, and receive career coaching.

For a complete list of awardees and their projects, visit our Dissertation Grant Program page.

REWIND’s high-flying work with Microsoft HoloLens

Leila Martine, Director of Product Marketing at Microsoft, sees first-hand the excitement HoloLens is causing. “HoloLens is helping companies to work better by empowering staff. Every day we are seeing that workers from a range of sectors can easily collaborate to make complicated problems simple to solve. It really is taking human experiences to the next level.”

Virtual, augmented and mixed reality is becoming increasingly important to companies across the globe. According to market intelligence firm IDC, “worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality market will grow … to more than $162 billion in 2020″.

REWIND is at the cutting-edge of that market. The company, which is based in St Albans (Rogers: “We’re only 2.5 miles outside the M25, so we’re London”), was only founded in 2011 but has grown quickly, boasting a team of more than 50 people. The group has already created a multi-award-winning virtual reality spacewalk for the BBC, as well as experiences with Jaguar, Lexus, Nissan, Rolls-Royce, Nike, Stella Artois, Savills and singer Bjork, among many others.

That level of technical experience led to REWIND being added to Microsoft’s HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner programme, which means the company will help other businesses use the mixed-reality headset to transform how they work. Rogers is excited by the possibilities.

“HoloLens is the first device humans have ever had that can augment human intelligence in real time. We have the world’s knowledge at our fingertips with one of these [he holds up his smartphone] but it’s a layer away, a search algorithm away. We have laptops, but what if the second screen is a HoloLens screen? If I can make this [he points to my laptop] as good as talking like we are now, as though I’m really here in the same space as you [when I’m really somewhere else], then why do we need to commute in the way we currently do, why do we all need to be compacted down this end of the country? What if you don’t like the weather so you change it to something else? That’s a little far away, but it’s not that big a leap. HoloLens has some amazing stuff, which is just the tip of the iceberg of what mixed reality can do.”

However, rather than see what he can do with HoloLens in the commercial sector, where the device has been predominantly used since its launch in 2016, Rogers wants members of the public to get their hands on the technology, too.

REWIND’s high-flying work with Microsoft HoloLens

Leila Martine, Director of Product Marketing at Microsoft, sees first-hand the excitement HoloLens is causing. “HoloLens is helping companies to work better by empowering staff. Every day we are seeing that workers from a range of sectors can easily collaborate to make complicated problems simple to solve. It really is taking human experiences to the next level.”

Virtual, augmented and mixed reality is becoming increasingly important to companies across the globe. According to market intelligence firm IDC, “worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality market will grow … to more than $162 billion in 2020″.

REWIND is at the cutting-edge of that market. The company, which is based in St Albans (Rogers: “We’re only 2.5 miles outside the M25, so we’re London”), was only founded in 2011 but has grown quickly, boasting a team of more than 50 people. The group has already created a multi-award-winning virtual reality spacewalk for the BBC, as well as experiences with Jaguar, Lexus, Nissan, Rolls-Royce, Nike, Stella Artois, Savills and singer Bjork, among many others.

That level of technical experience led to REWIND being added to Microsoft’s HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner programme, which means the company will help other businesses use the mixed-reality headset to transform how they work. Rogers is excited by the possibilities.

“HoloLens is the first device humans have ever had that can augment human intelligence in real time. We have the world’s knowledge at our fingertips with one of these [he holds up his smartphone] but it’s a layer away, a search algorithm away. We have laptops, but what if the second screen is a HoloLens screen? If I can make this [he points to my laptop] as good as talking like we are now, as though I’m really here in the same space as you [when I’m really somewhere else], then why do we need to commute in the way we currently do, why do we all need to be compacted down this end of the country? What if you don’t like the weather so you change it to something else? That’s a little far away, but it’s not that big a leap. HoloLens has some amazing stuff, which is just the tip of the iceberg of what mixed reality can do.”

However, rather than see what he can do with HoloLens in the commercial sector, where the device has been predominantly used since its launch in 2016, Rogers wants members of the public to get their hands on the technology, too.

Updates to Adobe Document Cloud bring integrated PDF services to Office 365 – Microsoft 365 Blog

Last September, we expanded our strategic partnership with Adobe to focus on integrations between Adobe Sign and Office 365 products such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, and more.

We’ve seen our customers make great use of the combination. For example, the State of Hawaii saved a significant amount of employee time while also improving document status versus paper-based processes—providing a double win over previous paper-based processes.

Building on this success, today the Adobe Document Cloud team announced new capabilities that deepen the integration with Office 365 and can save you and your team time. PDF services integrations provide new fidelity when working with PDF documents as part of Office 365. Once integrated by your administrator, PDF services provide rich previews of PDF documents right within OneDrive and your SharePoint sites.

A screenshot displays a non-disclosure agreement in the Adobe Document Cloud.

In addition to many reporting, sharing, and collaboration scenarios, PDF files are frequently used to create final or archived versions of content spanning across many different files. With PDF services and the newly introduced Combine Files by Adobe functionality, you can select several files and pull into one PDF with just a couple of clicks within SharePoint document libraries.

A screenshot displays a launch team group in SharePoint.

PDF services are now available in the ribbon for online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—making the creation of high-quality, full fidelity PDFs from these applications even easier.

PDF servicesalong with capabilities as part of Adobe Sign and upcoming Adobe Reader enhancements—are all part of Adobe Document Cloud. All share a commitment to productive integrations across Office 365—and we hope to see your team benefit from these integrations as well.

If you are an administrator, with Adobe Document Cloud, get started integrating with Office 365 with this guide. Adobe Document Cloud and Office 365 provide great complementary functionalities, and you can learn more about this and Adobe Sign integrations with Office 365. We look forward to seeing continued productivity improvements across the millions of joint customers that Adobe Document Cloud and Microsoft Office 365 share.

Microsoft statement on separating families at the southern border – Microsoft on the Issues

On Monday Microsoft issued the following statement:

In response to questions we want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border, and contrary to some speculation, we are not aware of Azure or Azure services being used for this purpose. As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border. Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since the end of World War II. As a company Microsoft has worked for over 20 years to combine technology with the rule of law to ensure that children who are refugees and immigrants can remain with their parents. We need to continue to build on this noble tradition rather than change course now. We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families.