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Microsoft News

Odia Language Text Translation Is Now Available in Microsoft Translator – Microsoft Translator Blog

Image: Konark Sun Temple in the state of Orissa near Bhubaneshwar city.

Today, we are happy to announce that we have added Odia text translation to Microsoft Translator. Odia is available now, or will be available soon, in the Microsoft Translator app, Office, Translator for Bing, and through the Azure Cognitive Services Translator for businesses and developers.

Odia is spoken by 35 million people in India and across the world. It joins Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English as the 12th commonly used language of the Indian subcontinent to be available in Microsoft Translator.

The Odia language (ଓଡ଼ିଆ)

Odia (pronounced oṛiā) is an Indo-European language native to Eastern India. It is the official language of the Indian state of Odisha and is also spoken in the nearby states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh.

Odia is one of six languages of India to be granted to the status of a “Classical Language” by the Indian government, and has a history of literature stretching back over 1000 years.

Here are some (more modern) words and phrases in the Odia language.

English Odia (ଓଡ଼ିଆ) Pronunciation
Hello ନମସ୍କାର Namascāra
My name is… ମୋର ନାମ … Mora nāma …
Do you speak Odia? ଆପଣ ଓଡ଼ିଆ କୁହନ୍ତି କି? Āpaṇa ōṛiā kuhanti ki?

Learn more about Odia on Bing.

What you can do with Microsoft Translator

At home

Translate real-time conversations, menus and street signs, websites, documents, and more using the Microsoft Translator app for Windows, iOS, Android, and the web. Learn more

At work

Globalize your business and customer interactions with text and speech translation powered by Translator and Microsoft Speech service, both members of the Azure Cognitive Services family. Learn more

In the classroom

Create a more inclusive classroom for both students and parents with live captioning and cross-language understanding. Learn more

For more information on Microsoft Translator please visit microsoft.com/translator.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

A Quick History of Indie Games on Xbox and a Look Forward with Over 2,000 Games Shipped via [email protected] – Xbox Wire

Summary

  • More than 2,000 games from independent developers have released through the [email protected] program.
  • [email protected] has paid out more than $1.5 billion in royalties to independent developers since the program’s inception.
  • There are over 2,000 titles in development from independent developers on Xbox.

We’re reaching a fascinating point in the world of indie games. We have amazing new creators coming on to the scene now for whom the start of the indie game movement is actually history, not a lived experience. So as we’re getting ready to make the leap to the next generation of consoles with Xbox Series X, it seems like a good time to take a look back at the birth of the modern indie game – especially Microsoft’s role in helping shape that scene and how the [email protected] Program has grown since.

With the launch of Swimsanity from our friends at Decoy Games last week, we’ve seen more than 2,000 games from independent developers launch on Xbox One and PC! Since the start of the [email protected] program, we’ve also paid out more than $1.5 billion in royalties to independent developers. It took independent developers only two years to reach this new milestone for the program, almost half the time it took for 1,000 games to be launched via [email protected]! From MMOs like Black Desertto fast action multiplayer games like Warframe to cozy slime-ranching games like Slime Rancher to amazing puzzlers like Human Fall Flat, or next-level platformers like Celeste –  sometimes it seems like the only thing these games have in common is their diversity, but there’s another hook too. They represent amazing clarity of vision and the fruits of creative freedom that only independent games can deliver.

There have always been indie games – heck, they pre-date non-indie games! The tales of lone creators making games for the Apple ][, the Commodore 64, the Sinclair and many other 8-bit micros are legendary. These games would be “packaged” in ziplock bags with mimeographed instructions (sometimes!) and sold at the local computer shops. As the shift to a digitalized world continued to come into its own, Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) made one of the first major steps to bringing these independent games to a major publishing platform in the waning days of the OG Xbox and ultimately taking off on Xbox 360.

The original founders of XBLA really saw it as an arcade – a place to play vintage arcade games and casual games on a core gamer system. A funny thing happened though. Some of those independent developers who were still making games on PC – folks like Jonathan Blow and the team at The Behemoth – saw those downloadable games and started to get some ideas. And pretty soon, with the encouragement and excitement of the folks at Microsoft at the time, new games, original games, games from independent developers started to appear on XBLA. Digital distribution freed console developers from having to make “disc-sized” games and freed them to explore any game type imaginable. 

These were games that might never pass muster to get a disc release from a traditional publisher. They were smaller (the original maximum file size for XBLA games was 40MB!), they used genres – like 2D platformers – that hadn’t been in the mainstream for years. And yet… they were magical. Without needing to chase a full disc, or a list of bullet points on the back of a box, these pioneering developers were able to simply chase their creative visions and deliver games, like Castle Crashers, Limbo, and Super Meat Boy that we’re still talking about and that still feel fresh today, 10 and 12 years after they came out. 

Flash forward and as we moved into the Xbox One generation, we saw incredible growth in the independent scene, as devs were creating ever more ambitious and innovative projects. And soon the world was seeing them too, with indie games taking center stage at the Xbox Media Briefing – games like Inside and We Happy Few(before Compulsion Games joined Xbox Game Studios) burst onto the scene at E3, and Cuphead, conceived and created by a family with no previous game dev experience, made its debut at E3 back in 2014.  

Today, these games have become so woven into the fabric of videogames that it’s impossible to conceive of our world of play without them. Traditional publishers are still here, of course, making unbelievable epic games, but independent creators stand shoulder to shoulder with them. An Xbox show wouldn’t be an Xbox show without getting to see the latest new independent games, and our bespoke indie events like Game Fest have become destination events for players. And every day, millions of players are exposed to some of the most amazing games ever created thanks to independent developers’ robust support and participation with Xbox Game Pass.

So, what’s next? Well, first, and crucially, thousands of the games players enjoy on Xbox One today are coming with them to Xbox Series X, thanks to our day one backward compatibility features. This means we get to take our games with us to the next generation, where they will play best, and developers get to have a huge audience to reach with their games.

And of course, independent developers will be an essential part of the mix on Xbox Series X with over 2,000 games already in the process of being optimized or developed for our next generation console. Hundreds of developers have their Xbox Series X dev kits, and we send more out every day. Given the creativity we’ve seen so far, we’re sure there are things in development that we can’t even imagine. We’ve had a few glimpses, and we hope to show you some hints soon!

A few words from some of our friends:

“For Cuphead, the [email protected] program was quite literally a game changer. Whether it was the excitement and passion they showed us when the game was in its earliest stages, the support and guidance they offered as we grew the team, their expertise helping us navigate our first-ever launch, or the continued passion they have for Cuphead today, they’ve been there every step the way on our journey. The team at ID is filled with people that truly love video games, and care deeply about bringing memorable experiences to players everywhere. If you’re just starting out on your own development journey, I’d be hard pressed to think of a better group of people to have in your corner.” – Maja Moldenhauer, Studio MDHR

“Night School has been a part of the [email protected] family since our inception, when we launched Oxenfree in 2016. I think the most freeing, supportive part about working with the ID team has been the total support of our creative vision. When we were making a game about possessed teenagers, the feedback was basically just, “keep doing what you do, and let us know how we can help.” When we made Afterparty, a game about dead friends in Hell out-drinking Satan, the feedback was refreshingly the same. The ID team understands what makes a development team tick creatively, and just wants to amplify and help bring that vision to the broadest audience. It doesn’t hurt that they’re all just nice, cool peeps. Happy 2,000!” – Sean Krankel, Night School Studios

“Working with [email protected] has been an amazing experience. It is really refreshing to know you have a full team of individuals working together with the sole purpose of supporting indies. There have been several occasions during gaming events where members of the [email protected] team would come by and greet us just to check on how the team is doing, and for a start up indie that means everything. We are excited to continue the partnership!” – Khalil Abdullah, Decoy Games

It’s humbling to see so many developers making videogame history on Xbox, and we’re happy at Xbox and [email protected] to have been a small part of the evolution of the industry, and so many developers’ journey to success. We can’t wait to see where they take us next.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Understanding accessibility through ABCs | Microsoft On The Issues

A is for Autism at Work. A Microsoft employee with autism draws graphs on a whiteboard.

A is for the Autism @ Work Playbook. This resource was developed for employers who are interested in beginning or expanding their inclusive hiring journey. You can download it here.

B is for Braille. A woman who is blind teaches a student of the Carroll Kids program

B is for Louis Braille, the 12-year-old boy who invented a way for people who are blind to read. Watch Microsoft President Brad Smith explore how Braille’s spirit is still alive today with the innovators focusing on accessibility.

C is for Captions, Man wearing a hoodie reads captions on his computer screen. D

C is for captions and subtitles, supporting people with disabilities to follow along in meetings and PowerPoint presentations. Live captioning is one of the accessibility features the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk can help set up.

D stands for Disability Answer Desk. A woman who is blind uses a braille keyboard with a Surface device.

D is for the Disability Answer Desk Playbook. Click here to find out Microsoft’s top learnings on setting up a Disability Answer Desk.

: E stands for ease of access to low-vision tools.

E is for ease of access, and how you can make Windows 10 work better for you. Whether it’s increasing font size or adjusting the color contrast, there is a range of ease-of-access settings you can personalize.

F is for font size. Screen showing how to make your font size bigger in settings,

F is for font size, which can be adjusted for readability across a range of our products. It’s one of a number of tweaks available to help people who are blind or have low vision.

Top left: Dr Omid Kavehei showing a non-surgical device that would provide advance warning of a seizure for people living with epilepsy. Top right: G is for Grantees. Bottom left: A teacher showing Counting Zoo, an immersive eReader, to a child. Bottom right: A person using the Seeing AI app on their smartphone.

G is for grantees. Microsoft funds projects and research around the world that use AI-powered technology to help make the world more inclusive. Check out some of our AI for Accessibility projects here.

H is for hiring. Fathi Mohamed from the Supported Employment Program waves from the Microsoft Connector bus.

H is for hiring, inclusive hiring and how Microsoft ensures opportunities for everyone through employment programs focused on the untapped talent of people with disabilities.

I is for inclusive design. Various doodles of work life including cars, buildings and avatars.

I is for inclusive design, and ensuring accessibility and inclusion is at the core of products. It’s about drawing on the full range of human diversity, and reflecting different perspectives in what we create.

J is for Jenny Lay-Flurrie. Jenny smiles.

J is for Jenny Lay-Flurrie, our Chief Accessibility Officer. She unites us all as accessibility advocates, making sure accessibility and inclusion are implemented throughout the company’s culture and within the product development process.

K is for keyboard-only users. Overhead view of two students using assistive technology to learn programming at vocational school for the blind.

K is for keyboard-only users, making a straightforward user experience for people not using a computer mouse. Microsoft products include a range of options and shortcuts to customize your keyboard and make navigation quick and easy.

L is for learning tools. A young boy sitting at a table using a computer tablet.

L is for learning tools. Our free features enables students to improve reading, writing and comprehension, whatever their level, such as Immersive Reader, designed to help people with learning disabilities build confidence and ability.

M is for Moovit. A Moovit user waiting for their train.

M is for Moovit, the urban mobility app that has been optimized for accessibility. Now, accessible routes can be plotted around unfamiliar cities, and people who are blind or with low vision can use screen readers to navigate.

N is for Narrator Avatar woman wearing headphones uses Narrator on her computer.

N is for Narrator, the free screen reader built within Windows 10. Our new and improved screen reader has a comprehensive walkthrough guide, so you can start using Narrator on apps, for browsing the web and more.

O is for Outlook Accessibility. Bernardo Villarreal, a man who has low vision, looks closely at a laptop screen as he reads text in big font.

O is for Outlook Accessibility. It is crucial to be inclusive through daily email, and Outlook makes accessibility easy with features like the Accessibility Checker and Alt Text. Find out how you can create accessible email content here.

P is for PowerPoint. Person works on their PowerPoint presentation in a café.

P is for PowerPoint and AI-powered automatic live captions. Real-time captions and subtitles mean everyone can follow and participate in presentations, and they may be particularly useful for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, as well as non-native speakers.

Q is for questions

Q is for questions. Our Disability Answer Desk provides support on all our assistive technology and allows customers to give direct feedback to drive greater accessibility across our products and services.

R is for research enable group. Members of the research enable group project work on their products. A man and woman look at a laptop, multiple members adjust a drum set and measure sound.

R is for Research Enable Group and the ongoing work on new accessibility products. These include the Hands-Free Sound Machine, which allows people to create compositions with their eyes, and eye-controlled wheelchairs.

S is for Seeing AI. A person using the Seeing AI app to read a mailed letter.

S is for Seeing AI, a free app that narrates the world around you. Available in multiple languages, it describes everything from text and products, to people, scenes and currency.

T is for Text Alternatives. Pratyush Nalam, a man who uses a wheelchair, types on a laptop.

T is for text alternativesdescriptions of images on websites and applications for screen readers to translate for customers. They need to accurately describe what is being shown, without too much information.

U is for user interface automation. Image shows an introduction to UI Automation

U is for user interface automation (UIA), allowing assistive technologies to let customers know everything they need to about your UI. This means everyone can access the full functionality and enjoy a high-quality experience.

Top right: V is for vision. Cory Joseph, a man who is blind, types on a braille keyboard while also working through a mobile phone. Bottom left: A tech worker with visual impairment uses assistive technology while visiting the Microsoft office in Singapore. Bottom right: Anne Taylor, a woman who is blind, works on a Surface device with a braille keyboard sitting on the side.

V is for vision. Here’s our best practice guide for interviewing candidates who are blind or with low vision.

W is for webinar. Chris Schlechty, a man who uses a wheelchair, sits in front of his desk and shows his straw device that he uses to control his computer.

W is for webinar. We’ve launched a series of accessibility webinars for customers and businesses who want to learn more about accessibility features such as Narrator and Magnifier. Check out the demos from our engineering teams here.

X is for Xbox adaptive controller. Photo of the Xbox adaptive controller and its PDP one-handed joystick.

X is for the Xbox Adaptive Controller, a groundbreaking controller that connects devices to help make gaming more accessible and inclusive so that everyone can play.

Y is for you: Avatars of a female with red hair, freckles and glasses wearing white earrings and white shirt, a male with short black hair and purple shirt, a female with black hair, orange beanie, yellow headphones, and black shirt, and a female with blue hair and bangs, yellow sunglasses, pink earrings, and white shirt.

Y is for you … the person at the center of it all. We build with inclusion in mind and work with the direct involvement of the disability community – “Nothing about us without us.”

: Z is for zero. Image of a large zero.

Z is … hoping that the number of people who feel like they don’t have access to free assistive technology tools to complete everyday tasks is zero. Today, only one in 10 people have access to assistive products.

For more on Microsoft accessibility tools, visit AI for accessibility. And follow @MSFTIssues on Twitter.  

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Addressing racial injustice – The Official Microsoft Blog

An email from CEO Satya Nadella to Microsoft employees: 

As I shared in our Employee Town Hall last month, and in my email earlier this month, we are committed to take action to help address racial injustice and inequity, and unequivocally believe that Black lives matter. Below you will see many of the steps we are taking.

Over the past several weeks, the senior leadership team, board of directors, and I have spent time reflecting, listening, learning, and discussing what role the company – and all of us collectively – must play in helping to drive change, both within Microsoft and in our communities. With significant input from employees and leaders who are members of the Black and African American community, we have developed a set of actions that we believe are both meaningful to improving the lived experience at Microsoft, as well as driving change in the communities in which we live and work.

Today, we are making commitments to address racial injustice and inequity for the Black and African American community in the United States. We will additionally take important steps to address the needs of other communities, including the Hispanic and Latinx community, across the company in the next five years. We are focused on three multiyear, sustained efforts:

  • Increasing our representation and culture of inclusion. We will build on our diversity and inclusion (D&I) momentum from the past five years by adding an additional $150M of D&I investment, and will double the number of Black and African American people managers, senior individual contributors, and senior leaders in the United States by 2025.
  • Engaging our ecosystem. We will use our balance sheet and engagement with suppliers and partners to extend the vision for societal change throughout our ecosystem, creating new opportunities for them and the communities they serve.
  • Strengthening our communities. We will use the power of data, technology, and partnership to help improve the lives of Black and African American citizens across our country, including to address the safety and well-being of our own employees in the communities in which they live.

Below are key details on how we will accomplish this.

Our Culture

We need to ensure that our culture of inclusion is a top priority for everyone. It starts with our values of respect, integrity, and accountability. Each of us must be able to thrive in diverse teams. Every manager must be able to attract, retain, and grow employees of all backgrounds. This is certainly true at Microsoft, and also more broadly. It is the new baseline for manager excellence across industries across the globe.

We will meet this new goal in three key ways:

  1. We will accelerate our cultural transformation through further investment in inclusion. Managers who have a deep understanding and commitment to building inclusive culture are key to our company’s success. Starting in FY21, our training on allyship, covering, and privilege in the workplace will be required for all employees, with additional new content on understanding the experience of the Black and African American community. Because leadership sets the tone, we will have required live sessions for CVPs and EVPs to ensure they better understand the lived experience of these specific communities.
  1. We will strengthen our intentional career planning and talent development efforts. This will apply across our workforce, beginning with Black and African American employees. These programs will expand to include other employee groups as we learn and grow. We will expand on our leadership development programs for select Black and African American midlevel employees and their managers, to help prepare for promotion to Director/Principal. For Director/Principal level, we will create a new development opportunity to expose them to the leadership expectations of the Partner/GM level and match them with senior-level sponsors and mentors. For Partner/GMs, we are continuing to invest in the dedicated leadership development programs.
  1. We will further strengthen company accountability for progress on representation. We will deepen our practice of evaluating each CVP/GM’s progress on diversity and inclusion when determining their impact and rewards, as well as promotion considerations. We will provide CVPs with dedicated D&I coaches to confront and resolve systemic obstacles within their organizations. We will expand our global, quarterly promotion process to ensure we build diverse leadership teams at all levels. This will include direct engagement with business leaders on review of all candidates for people management, Director/Principal level, and Partner/GM level.

Our Ecosystem

A vast business ecosystem surrounds Microsoft from our supply chain to our partner community. We recognize that a stronger and more productive ecosystem requires better representation of the diversity in our communities. We will evolve our engagement with our supply chain, banking partners, and the broad Microsoft partner ecosystem in this effort.

  1. We will double the number of Black- and African American-owned approved suppliers over the next three years and spend an incremental $500M with those existing and new suppliers. We’ll do this by ensuring our existing guidance to include diverse minority-owned suppliers in all RFPs is well understood, evaluate supplier portfolio composition, and enhance the weighting of diversity characteristics (both in ownership and in broad workforce) during the supplier evaluation and selection process. We will also encourage Black and African American representation progress in our top 100 suppliers, which account for over 50 percent of our indirect spend, by requesting annual disclosure of their diversity profile information (e.g., workforce diversity, goals) that we will incorporate into our RFP evaluations.
  1. We will use our own banking needs to grow our portfolio investment activity with Black- and African American-owned financial institutions. Over the next three years, we will double the percentage of our transaction volumes through these Black- and African-American owned banks and external managers where we have existing strong banking relationships and look to grow that base, which provides an increased opportunity for these firms to attract more capital. We will create a $100M program that will make its initial investment in collaboration with the FDIC to target Minority Owned Depository
    Institutions (MDIs), which directly enables an increase of funds into local communities (businesses, restaurants, housing, etc.). And, we will establish a $50M investment fund focused on supporting Black- and African American-owned small businesses. The fund will initially focus on investing to improve access to capital, increase skill development, and reduce the technology gaps that exist today.
  1. We know how important partners are to the growth of our business. We look forward to investing to increase the number of Black- and African American-owned partners in our US partner community by 20 percent over the next three years. A new $50M partner fund will help with access to capital providing loans to support these partners through their startup phase with the loans recovered over time as their business grows. We will provide $20M of financing to existing and new partners to support their cashflow needs. And, we will invest an additional $3M in training programs covering financial management, tech solutions, and go-to-market readiness.

Our Communities

No company can change the world by itself. But we believe that Microsoft can put the power of data, technology, and partnership to work to help improve the lives of Black and African American citizens across our country. That’s what we’re committed to doing, through a four-part effort.

  1. We will strengthen and expand our existing justice reform initiative with a five-year, $50 million sustained effort. Since starting this work in 2017, we’ve come to appreciate the importance of this issue not only to the nation, but to the personal lives of our employees and their families. No one should have to live with the fear of being stopped by the police, harassed while shopping, or bullied in school because of the color of their skin. This conviction has led us to do increasing work advocating both in the Puget Sound and nationally, including in the communities where our employees live.We will build on this foundation by using data and digital technology toward increased transparency and accountability in our justice system. All this work will be backed by public policy advocacy that will increase access to data to identify racial disparities and improve policing. We’ll also use our technology and expertise to support evidenced-based and unbiased diversion programs that direct people into treatment alternatives instead of incarceration. We’ll also use data to promote racial equity in the decisions made by prosecutors, including decisions about who to charge with a crime, the nature of the charge, plea offers, and sentencing recommendations.
  1. We will expand our skills work to help Black and African American students and adults develop the skills needed to succeed in the digital economy. Over the next five years, we will expand in 13 states and the District of Columbia the Microsoft TEALS industry volunteer program to bring computer science education to an additional 620 high schools primarily serving Black and African American students. We will also strengthen Microsoft’s support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including in computer and data science programs, campus initiatives and partnerships, and curriculum development. Finally, we’ll offer digital skills training to Black and African American adults seeking new jobs. As part of a global skilling initiative, we will provide $5 million in cash grants to community-based nonprofit organizations led by and serving communities of color, enabling them to better support digital skills programs.
  1. We will help expand access to broadband and devices for communities of color and the key institutions that support them in major urban centers, by working with carriers, OEMs, our own hardware team, refurbishers, and nonprofits to enrich low-cost broadband access by providing affordable PCs and Microsoft software. We’ll work to ensure these services can be put to effective use to improve people’s lives, with a focus on telehealth services and educational offerings. Backed by public advocacy, we’ll start by focusing on six cities that currently confront the largest urban broadband gaps.
  1. Finally, we will increase technology support for nonprofits that support and are led by people of color. We will help support the digital transformation that we know from experience can make nonprofits more effective. We’ll provide access to Azure and Dynamics credits and financial grants that will enable these organizations to add the IT staff needed to better deploy and maximize technology. We look forward to tapping into the knowledge and expertise of our own employees as we identify effective groups we can support more strongly.

Change begins by looking inward. We expect this change in ourselves. Employees expect this change from their leaders. Our customers and partners expect this change from Microsoft. And the world demands this change.

This is not a one-time event. It will require real work and focus. We will listen and learn. We will take feedback and we will adjust. But it starts with each of us making a commitment to do the work, to help drive change, and to act with intention.

Satya

Learn more about on our ongoing commitment to Diversity & Inclusion in our 2019 D&I Report

Additional thoughts on this topic

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Halliburton forms strategic agreement with Microsoft and Accenture to advance digital capabilities – Stories

HOUSTON – July 17, 2020 Halliburton (NYSE: HAL), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) today announced they have entered into a five-year strategic agreement to advance Halliburton’s digital capabilities in Microsoft Azure.

Under the agreement, Halliburton will complete its move to cloud-based digital platforms and strengthen its customer offerings by:

  • Enhancing real-time platforms for expanded remote operations,
  • Improving analytics capability with the Halliburton Data Lake utilizing machine learning and artificial intelligence, and
  • Accelerating the deployment of new technology and applications, including SOC2 compliance for Halliburton’s overall system reliability and security.

Halliburton logo“The strategic agreement with Microsoft and Accenture is an important step in our adoption of new technology and applications to enhance our digital capabilities, drive additional business agility and reduce capital expenditures,” said Jeff Miller, Halliburton chairman, president & CEO. “We are excited about the benefits our customers and employees will realize through this agreement, and the opportunity to further leverage our open architecture approach to software delivery.”

“Moving to the cloud allows companies to create market-shaping customer offerings and drive tangible business outcomes,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business. “Through this alliance with Halliburton and Accenture, we will apply the power of the cloud to unlock digital capabilities that deliver benefits for Halliburton and its customers.”

Accenture logoThe agreement also enables the migration of all Halliburton physical data centers to Azure, which delivers enterprise-grade cloud services at global scale and offers sustainability benefits. Accenture will work closely with Microsoft, in conjunction with their Avanade joint venture, to help transition Halliburton’s digital capabilities and business-critical applications to Azure. Accenture will leverage its comprehensive cloud migration framework, which brings industrialized capabilities together with exclusive tools, methods, and automation to accelerate Halliburton’s data center migration and provide for additional transformation opportunities.

“Building a digital core and scaling it quickly across a business is only possible with a strong foundation in the cloud,” said Julie Sweet, chief executive officer, Accenture. “Halliburton recognizes that this essential foundation will provide the innovation, efficiency and talent advantages to do things differently and fast. We are proud to be part of driving this transformational change, which builds on our long history of working with Halliburton and Microsoft.”

The companies expect to complete the staged migration by 2022.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About Halliburton

Founded in 1919, Halliburton is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. With approximately 50,000 employees, representing 140 nationalities in more than 80 countries, the company helps its customers maximize value throughout the lifecycle of the reservoir – from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production throughout the life of the asset. Visit the company’s website at www.halliburton.com. Connect with Halliburton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services in strategy and consulting, interactive, technology and operations, with digital capabilities across all of these services. We combine unmatched experience and specialized capabilities across more than 40 industries — powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. With 513,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture brings continuous innovation to help clients improve their performance and create lasting value across their enterprises. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

For Microsoft

Microsoft Media Relations
WE Communications for Microsoft
(425) 638-7777
[email protected]

For Halliburton

Investors:
Abu Zeya
Halliburton, Investor Relations
[email protected]
281-871-2633

Media:
Emily Mir
Halliburton, Public Relations
[email protected]
281-871-2601

For Accenture
 Christian Harper
Accenture Media Relations
[email protected]om
516-434-8615

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Author: Microsoft News Center

See the Future of Xbox on July 23 on the Xbox Games Showcase – Xbox Wire

The day you’ve been waiting for is nearly here: On Thursday, July 23 at 9 a.m. PT, we’ll be giving you a closer look at the future of gaming with the Xbox Games Showcase, including world premieres and updated looks at some of the games we’ve already revealed. And yes, that includes your first-ever look at campaign gameplay from Halo Infinite.

Xbox Game Studios is pushing the industry forward with a huge variety of games, all of which support services and features that put the player first, including Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery.

What’s more, our celebration of all things Xbox games will start with a Summer Game Fest pre-show beginning at 8 a.m. PT. Tune in for reveals, predictions, insights from YouTube creators, and more on some already-announced titles coming to Xbox. Hosted by Geoff Keighley, the Xbox Games Showcase pre-show will air on YouTube Gaming.

You’ll be able to watch the Xbox Games Showcase in a variety of ways. You can tune-in on:

On the Xbox YouTube channel, live language support for the Xbox Games Showcase will include Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Castilian Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Polish, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and Arabic translations.

If you’re a content creator interested in hosting a watch-along or co-stream of the Xbox Games Showcase, or posting a reaction or recap after the show, know that Xbox is appreciative!

If you’ve never co-streamed before, be sure to follow your platform’s terms and guidelines, and look for tips on your stream setup. For example, Twitch has put together some top-line tips for content creators to get you started here. Keep an eye out for the new Master Chief emotes!

We hope you’ll join us as we take a closer look at the future of Xbox on Thursday, July 23 at 9 a.m. PT. If you can’t make it, don’t worry: you can check out highlights immediately following the show or view the whole Xbox Game Showcase on-demand soon after it airs.

We’ll see you next week!

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Author: Microsoft News Center

You Are the Future of Gaming – Xbox Wire

Games are a source of joy, inspiration, and social connection. They have the power to bring us together, create empathy, and strengthen our social fabric. As we prepare for the next generation, our efforts to make gaming more inclusive, more immersive, more connected, and more social are as relevant and important as ever. 

At Xbox, we listen to what you – players, game developers, and content creators – tell us you want from the future of gaming. Based on your feedback, we’re building a future where you and your friends can play the deepest, most immersive and interactive games ever created across your Xbox console, PC, and mobile devices.

At the dawn of the next generation, it’s important to be clear about what you can expect from the future of Xbox.

Our vision has one hero at the heart of it all: You.

And today, I want to share our commitments to you:

  • You will always be welcome. We are building Xbox for you—players from all walks of life, everywhere in the world. We want to make your Xbox community safe, accessible, and welcoming – a place where you can have fun. As we say in our community standards, harassment and hate take many forms, but none have a home on Xbox. Should you feel others are behaving in ways that violate the standards, our safety team will investigate your report and support you 24/7/365 around the globe. And we continue to accelerate new technology to reduce hate speech and toxicity, giving you the tools to create the safe gaming community you want to play in.

    In addition to tools, we commit to bringing more diverse stories to Xbox for you to enjoy. We are empowering creators of diverse backgrounds to develop new stories, advocating for an authentic and respectful representation in games, and championing accessibility so that all can play. Additionally, more than 300,000 Xbox Ambassadors give their time and passion to making Xbox the best place to play and we invite all players to join us on that mission. We still have so much more work to do and will not stop until everyone who plays feels welcome, heard, and valued.

  • Your games will look and play best on Xbox Series X. Xbox Series X is designed to deliver a new level of fidelity, feel, performance and precision never seen before in console gaming. All games will look and play best on Xbox Series X – whether they come from our 15 Xbox Game Studios, like Halo Infinite, or from our world-class publisher and developer partners. Packing over 12 teraflops of GPU power including new technologies like hardware-accelerated Direct X raytracing and variable rate shading, and with four times the processing power of an Xbox One X, Xbox Series X enables developers to provide you with transformative gaming experiences through richer, more dynamic living worlds, more realistic AI and animations, and support for higher frame rates including support for up to 120 FPS.

    Xbox Series X also enables you to spend less time waiting and more time playing, as it virtually eliminates load times with the 40x boost in I/O throughput from last generation. With our custom next-generation SSD and Xbox Velocity Architecture, nearly every aspect of playing games is improved. Game worlds are larger, more dynamic and load in a flash, and fast travel is just that – fast. The Xbox Velocity Architecture also powers new platform capabilities like Quick Resume, which enables you to seamlessly switch between multiple titles and resume instantly from where you last left off without waiting through long loading screens. Right now, Xbox Series X is in the hands of our 15 Xbox Game Studios teams and thousands of third-party developers, empowering them to create a new generation of blockbuster games for you to enjoy.

  • You play new games day one with Xbox Game Pass. All Xbox Game Studios titles launch into Xbox Game Pass the same day as their global release, so you decide whether to purchase each game separately or play them all with your Xbox Game Pass membership. Xbox Game Studios franchises that will launch into Game Pass day one of release include Halo, Forza, Age of Empires, Gears of War, Minecraft, Hellblade, The Outer Worlds, Psychonauts, Microsoft Flight Simulator, State of Decay, Wasteland, Minecraft Dungeons andSea of Thieves—and more new franchises in early development. So, when Halo Infinite launches, you and your friends can decide whether to purchase the game or play it with Xbox Game Pass.
  • You won’t be forced into the next generation. We want every Xbox player to play all the new games from Xbox Game Studios. That’s why Xbox Game Studios titles we release in the next couple of years—like Halo Infinite—will be available and play great on Xbox Series X and Xbox One. We won’t force you to upgrade to Xbox Series X at launch to play Xbox exclusives.
  • Your games will not be left behind, thanks to backward compatibility. You will be able to play four generations of games on Xbox Series X on day one. That makes it the largest launch lineup for any new console ever, with thousands of games to play. Our backward compatibility engineers have spent years devising innovative ways for modern, next-gen technology to make the games library you’re building today even better, at no additional cost and with no work from developers. It’s our intent for all Xbox One games that do not require Kinect to play on Xbox Series X at the launch of the console. And because of the unprecedented power of Xbox Series X, most of your favorite games will load faster and look and perform many times better on the new console.
  • Your Xbox One gaming accessories come into the future with you, too. The Xbox Elite Controller and Xbox Adaptive Controller all work on Xbox Series X, so you don’t have to purchase new controllers. We believe that your investments in gaming should move with you into the next generation.
  • You can buy games once at no added cost. With our new Smart Delivery technology, you don’t need to buy the same game twice – once for the current console generation and once for the next generation. You always have the best available version of supported games on whatever Xbox console you are playing on, at no additional cost. If you own a title that supports Smart Delivery like Destiny 2, Gears 5 and Halo Infinite, you automatically have access to the version that plays best on your Xbox console. Highly anticipated games from the world’s biggest developers, like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Cyberpunk 2077, Marvel’s Avengers and more have already committed to supporting Smart Delivery and more will be announced soon.

    Xbox Play Anywhere digital titles also enable you to buy once and play on both Xbox consoles and Windows 10 PCs.

  • You choose how to jump into the next generation of gaming. We hear from you that you prefer choice and value. With Xbox All Access, you can get Xbox Series X, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for a low monthly price with no up-front costs, no finance charges and no hidden fees. You get to enjoy an instant library of over 100 high-quality games, join friends with online multiplayer, and experience new Xbox Game Studios titles the day they release, including Halo Infinite, on the fastest, most powerful Xbox ever.
  • You are in control of a healthy and balanced gaming lifestyle. If you are a parent, guardian or caregiver, the new Xbox Family Settings app (Preview) for iOS and Android provides a simple and convenient way to create child accounts, customize family settings, and ensure that your kids have access to gaming that you feel is appropriate.
  • You will get more from your Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership. Finally, today we’re announcing that this September, in supported countries, we’re bringing Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud together at no additional cost for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. With cloud gaming in Game Pass Ultimate, you will be able to play over 100 Xbox Game Pass titles on your phone or tablet. And because Xbox Live connects across devices, you can play along with the nearly 100 million Xbox Live players around the world. So when Halo Infinite launches, you and your friends can play together and immerse yourselves in the Halo universe as Master Chief—anywhere you go and across devices.

    Cloud gaming in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate means your games are no longer locked to the living room. You can connect more than ever with friends and family through gaming. And just like you do with your movie and music streaming services, when cloud gaming launches into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can continue your game wherever you left off on any of your devices.

When you add it all up, Xbox Series X is the only next generation console that lets you play new blockbuster games at the highest console fidelity, enjoy the latest blockbuster games the day they launch for one monthly price, play four generations of your games at higher fidelity than ever before, and play with friends wherever you want across your TV, PC, and mobile device. And with Xbox All Access, you can jump into the next generation for one low monthly payment and no up-front costs.

The future of gaming has never been more exciting and limitless. It’s a future you’ll explore on your terms, not constrained by restrictive policies. Where your gaming legacy will not be left behind and where you will not be locked out of new exclusive Xbox Game Studios games even if you choose to stay with your current console for a while.

It’s a future where you and your friends play the most immersive, responsive, and vivid games together on every screen in your life, and where games reach across the world and bring you stories you’ve never experienced before. It’s a future in which you get more value from your games. And where everyone is welcome.

We hope you’ll join us next Thursday, July 23rd for the Xbox Games Showcase for the first look at the Halo Infinite Campaign and more.

Thanks so much for shaping the future of gaming.

-Phil

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Assuring customers about EU cross-border data flows – Microsoft on the Issues

Today, the Court of Justice for the European Union issued a ruling in a case examining transfers of data from the EU. We appreciate that some of our customers may have questions about the impact of this ruling.

We want to be clear: If you are a commercial customer, you can continue to use Microsoft services in compliance with European law. The Court’s ruling does not change your ability to transfer data today between the EU and U.S. using the Microsoft cloud.

For years we have provided customers with overlapping protections under both the Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) and Privacy Shield frameworks for data transfers. Although today’s ruling invalidated the use of Privacy Shield moving forward, the SCCs remain valid. Our commercial customers are already protected under SCCs.

Read our full reaction to the ruling here.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Microsoft Azure IoT Connector for FHIR now in preview

Today, Microsoft released the preview of Azure IoT Connector for FHIR—a fully managed feature of the Azure API for FHIR. The connector empowers health teams with the technology for a scalable end-to-end pipeline to ingest, transform, and manage Protected Health Information (PHI) data from devices using the security of FHIR® APIs.

Telehealth and remote monitoring. It’s long been talked about in the delivery of healthcare, and while some areas of health have created targeted use cases in the last few years, the availability of scalable telehealth platforms that can span multiple devices and schemas has been a barrier. Yet in a matter of months, COVID-19 has accelerated the discussion. We have an urgent need for care teams to find secure and scalable ways to deliver remote monitoring platforms and to extend their services to patients in the home environment.

Unlike other services that can use generic video services and data transfer in virtual settings, telehealth visits and remote monitoring in healthcare require data pipelines that can securely manage Protected Health Information (PHI). To be truly effective, they must also be designed for interoperability with existing health software like electronic medical record platforms. When it comes to remote monitoring scenarios, privacy, security, and trusted data exchanges are must-haves. Microsoft is actively investing in FHIR-based health technology like the Azure IoT Connector for FHIR to ensure health customers have an ecosystem they trust.

FHIR to fuel the Internet of Medical Things

FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is now the interoperability standard for secure and private exchange of health data. FHIR began as an open source framework for clinical data, but it’s growing adoption makes it an ideal technology to bring together data from the growing “Internet of Medical Things” (IoMT) and expand healthcare in remote monitoring scenarios.

Today remote data capture often requires device-specific platforms, making it difficult to scale when new processes are added or if patients use multiple devices. Developers have to build their own secure pipelines from scratch. With the Azure IoT Connector for FHIR available as a feature on Microsoft’s cloud-based FHIR service, it’s now quick and easy for health developers to set up an ingestion pipeline, designed for security to manage PHI from IoT devices. The Azure IoT Connector for FHIR focuses on biometric data at the ingestion layer, which means it can connect at the device-to-cloud or cloud-to-cloud workstreams. Health data can be sent to Event Hub, Azure IoT Hub, or Azure IoT Central, and is converted to FHIR resources, which enables care teams to view patient data captured from IoT devices in context with clinical records in FHIR.

The key features of the Azure IoT Connector for FHIR include:

  • Conversion of biometric data (such as blood glucose, heart rate, or pulse ox) from connected devices into FHIR resources.
  • Scalability and real-time data processing.
  • Seamless integration with Azure IoT solutions and Azure Stream Analytics.
  • Role-based Access Control (RBAC) allows for managing access to device data at scale in Azure API for FHIR.
  • Audit log tracking for data flow.
  • Helps with compliance in the cloud: ISO 27001:2013 certified, supports HIPAA and GDPR, and built on the HITRUST certified Azure platform.

Ingest IoMT data from devices using Azure IoT Connector for FHIR.

Microsoft customers are already ushering in the next generation of healthcare

As the delivery of healthcare shifts outside the exam room, new FHIR-enabled technology is fueling IoT scenarios across the ecosystem of Microsoft’s customers.
Here are few of the great solutions already underway:

Humana’s Conviva Care Centers transform care for chronic conditions with IoT and FHIR

Conviva Care Centers, Humana’s senior-focused primary care subsidiary, will be using the Azure IoT Connector for FHIR this fall as Humana accelerates remote monitoring programs for patients living with chronic conditions. Congestive heart failure patients who monitor their weight and blood pressure at home will be able to use a new platform that enables easy sharing of data with their care team. Data from in-home devices, like scales and blood pressure cuffs, can be transferred via Azure IoT Connector for FHIR, providing doctors and nurses real-time data managed in a highly secure and private pipeline and allowing for proactive virtual touchpoints. Humana’s flexible remote monitoring platform will not only ensure patients have the support they need between clinic visits, but will also accelerate the future of user-centric care.

“Using the Azure IoT Connector for FHIR will open up new remote care paths for patients living with chronic conditions. Being able to make decisions with data coming in real time from home devices will be the game changer for improving the quality and timeliness of patient care.” —Marc Willard, Senior Vice President of Digital Health and Analytics at Humana

Sensoria Health’s Motus Smart—powered by Sensoria—is the new gold standard for enabling diabetes rehabilitation with remote monitoring

Motus Smart, powered by Sensoria, is a cutting-edge device used to provide remote patient monitoring quantified patient adherence and activity data to manage patients with diabetic foot ulcers and reduce amputation risk. Sensoria was able to deploy the Azure IoT Connector for FHIR to enable highly secure data exchange from the Motus device to patients, their doctors, and others within their circle of care. Clinicians at the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center are using enterprise-class applications to see real-time data, proactively reach out to patients, and address any issues that might be impeding proper treatment.

Centene connected health data platform helps manage chronic diseases

Centene is using Azure IoT Connector for FHIR in an effort to better manage the ever-expanding personal bio-metric data resulting from the proliferation of wearables and other medical devices. The company is leveraging the connector to explore the use of near-real-time monitoring and alerting as part of its overall priority on improving the health of its members, enabling them to take better care of themselves, and supporting its care management staff with actionable insights to improve the health of the communities Centene serves. In the future, Centene intends to use the connector to monitor and manage chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, and high-blood pressure. By leveraging Microsoft’s scalable, open platforms, Centene can make further progress toward improving outcomes for Centene Health Plan members.

Learn more and get started

We’re excited about the way our customers are embracing and delivering transformative care with FHIR technology. As we bring down the barriers of interoperability with new FHIR-based tools, the future vision of how we can evolve healthcare starts to unfold and it’s inspiring.

Microsoft has expanded the tools in our FHIR ecosystem to include IoT pipelines, so our customers have easy to use, interconnected tools for responsibly managing patient health data. Whether you’re building clinical applications, analytics engines, or developing artificial intelligence (AI) with telehealth and remote monitoring, we want to make sure you have pipelines for PHI data with security in mind. Check out the Azure IoT Connector for FHIR and the Azure API for FHIR to get started today!

Read more about the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, which brings together our integrated capabilities, like our FHIR tools, with robust cloud capabilities specific to customers and partners in the healthcare industry. The Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare enriches patient engagement and connects health teams to help improve collaboration, decision-making, and operational efficiencies.

FHIR® is the registered trademark of HL7 and is used with the permission of HL7.

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Author: Microsoft News Center