Category Archives: Microsoft News

Microsoft News

Experts share their shortcuts to creativity with STEM: Join #MSFTEduChat on Sept. 19 |

Learning has no limits. When educators and students truly connect in the classroom, they see endless learning opportunities in the world around them, today and tomorrow, and inspire creativity within each other. On September 19th, we’re bringing in the experts to help you inspire student creativity and curiosity with STEM during our #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet at 10:00am PDT.

Whether you’re a full-blown STEM expert or just trying to understand what teaching with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) means in the context of your classroom, our community of global educators and MIE Experts are here to share their experiences and advice. They’ll answer your questions in a live #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet event on Twitter. (Wait … what’s a TweetMeet?)

And in prep for the TweetMeet, you can check out our Microsoft in Education STEM Resource Collection in the Microsoft Educator Community here. During the #MSFTEduChat we’ll also discuss how we can use STEM to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Why join the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

We’ll let our eager hosts explain with the MSFTEduChat Flipgrid videos they’ve created especially for this month’s event. We highly welcome your video response to this grid, so go ahead and submit yours:

When can I join?

Join us Tuesday, September 19th at 10am PDT on Twitter, using the hashtags #MSFTEduChat and #MicrosoftEDU (which you can always use to stay in touch with us).

To prepare for the #MSFTEduChat TweetMeet, have a look at the questions we have lined up this time. We also highly recommend that you set up a Twitter dashboard – through TweetDeck, for example – to monitor incoming tweets containing the #MSFTEduChat hashtag and other relevant search queries. Watch this TweetDeck Basics tutorial on how you can do this.

TweetMeet questions

An animated GIF showing this week's TweetMeet questions.

  1. What excites you most about #STEM in the classroom?
  2. How can we spark creativity in our students with #STEM education?
  3. What are some low-tech or no-tech ways to get creative with STEM?
  4. What role does #STEM play in 21st-Century Learning skills?
  5. How can we use STEM to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals?
  6. What’s your best tip, resource or person to improve #STEM learning?

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Hosts

We have an incredible line-up of passionate and knowledgeable hosts, so be sure to follow each of them on Twitter:

Coaches:

We’ll also be joined by a couple of hosts from Microsoft Education:

STEM Saturdays are now available in the US

STEM Saturdays are free drop-in sessions that give people a chance to engage in fun and interesting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math projects hosted by their local Microsoft Store. This month’s STEM Saturdays will test your engineering and data science skills, as The Education Workshop has partnered with Mattel Hot Wheels® Speedometry™ to challenge you with a new Forces and Motion project and lesson plan. Register and learn more about the online workshops and demos we have lined up for you on the Microsoft STEM Saturdays page.

The Hot Wheels Speedometry track.

What are #MSFTEduChat TweetMeets?

Every month Microsoft Education organizes social events on Twitter targeted at educators globally. The hashtag we use is #MSFTEduChat. A team of topic specialists and international MIE Expert teachers prepare and host these TweetMeets together. Our team of educator hosts first crafts several questions around a certain topic. Then, before the event, they share these questions on social media. Combined with a range of resources, a blog post and background information about the events, this allows all participants to prepare themselves to the full. Afterwards we make an archive available of the most notable tweets and resources shared during the event.

Learn more about TweetMeets and earn a badge in the TweetMeet Course on the Microsoft Education Community.

The #MSFTduChat event time is 10:00am PT. If this time isn’t convenient for you, please follow your local channel or even consider hosting your own #MSFTEduChat in your country and language. Please connect with TweetMeet organizer, Marjolein Hoekstra @OneNoteC, on Twitter for more info on hosting in your language and time that works best for the educators and MIE Experts in your country.

Try Azure #CosmosDB for free

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Today we are launching Try Azure Cosmos DB for free, an experience that allows anyone to play with Azure Cosmos DB, with no Azure sign up required and at no charge for a limited time. As many of you know, Azure Cosmos DB is the first globally distributed, massively scalable, multi-model database service. The service is designed to allow customers to elastically and horizontally scale both throughput and storage across any number of geographical regions.It also offers guaranteed <10 ms latencies at the 99th percentile, 99.99% high availability, and five well defined consistency models to developers to make precise tradeoffs between performance, availability and consistency of data. Azure Cosmos DB is also the first globally distributed database service in the market today to offer comprehensive Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for throughput, latency, availability, and consistency.

Why did we launch Try Cosmos DB for free? It’s simple. We want to make it easy for developers to evaluate Azure Cosmos DB, build and test their app against Azure Cosmos DB, do a hands-on-lab, a tutorial, create a demo or perform unit testing without incurring any costs. Our goal is to enable any developer to easily experience Azure Cosmos DB and what it has to offer, become more comfortable with our database service and build the expertise with our stack at zero cost. With Try Cosmos DB for free, you can go from nothing to a fully running planet-scale Azure Cosmos DB app in less than a minute.

Try Cosmos DB Now

Try it out for yourself, it takes less than a minute. Or watch this quick video.

1. Go to Try Azure Cosmos DB for free page.

2. Pick the API/data model of your choice either SQL (DocumentDB), MongoDB, Table or Gremlin (Graph) API, and click Create. Note, you will need to login using a Microsoft Account (a.k.a. Live ID). 

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In seconds, you will have your newly created free Azure Cosmos DB account with an invite to open it in the Azure portal and try out our Quick Starts.

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3. Click Open in Azure Portal, which will navigate the browser to the newly created free Azure Cosmos DB account with Quick Starts page open.

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4. Follow the Quick Starts to get a running app connected to Azure Cosmos DB in under 30 seconds or proceed exploring the service on your own.

When in the portal, you will be reminded how long you have before your account expires.

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You can extend the trial period for another 24 hours, or click on the link to sign up for a Free Trial (if you are new to Azure) or create a new Azure Cosmos DB account if you already have a subscription.

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With Try Azure Cosmos DB for free, you can create a container (a collection of documents, a table, or a graph) and globally-distribute it to up to 3 regions, and use any of the capabilities Azure Cosmos DB provides for 24 hours. Once the trial expires, you can always come back and create it all over again.

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Play with Azure Cosmos DB and let us know what you think

Azure Cosmos DB is the database of the future – it is what we believe is the next big thing in the world of massively scalable databases! It makes your data available close to where your users are, worldwide. It is a globally distributed, multi-model database service for building planet scale apps with ease using the API and data model of your choice. You never know it until YOU TRY IT!

If you need any help or have questions or feedback, please reach out to us on the developer forums on Stack Overflow. Stay up-to-date on the latest Azure Cosmos DB news and features by following us on Twitter #CosmosDB, @AzureCosmosDB.

– Your friends at Azure Cosmos DB

Health IT innovator Cerner enhances workplace productivity and collaboration with Office 365 – Office Blogs

The Cerner Corporation logo.

Today’s post was written by Bill Graff, CIO at Cerner Corporation.

Profile picture of Bill Graff, CIO at the Cerner Corporation.Cerner is an innovation-driven supplier of health information technology solutions, services, devices, and hardware. You can see this forward-thinking spirit reflected in the culture of our global enterprise. I enjoy working for a company that fosters innovation and actively shapes what tomorrow looks like. When we put together our 2020 vision to respond to the changes we were seeing in the industry and our workplace, we chose Microsoft Office 365 to help drive the “Borderless Mobility” component of that vision.

In the last decade, Cerner has grown to a nearly $5 billion global enterprise. The mobile workforce in tech industries today expect access to corporate data anywhere, anytime, from any device. We have made mobility and virtual collaboration key elements of our 2020 vision, and the suite of cloud services that constitute Office 365 allows associates to work the way they want to.

You know a solution resonates with a workforce when it is adopted without any prompting from IT. This is the case with Microsoft Teams. In just a few months, our associates have formed more than two thousand teams across the organization—and it all happened organically. Development teams at Cerner are responding to the persistent chat capability provided by Teams to facilitate collaboration. Teams has provided a functionally competitive solution in our environment and was “just included” in our subscription. With steady update cycles for Office 365 solutions, we always look forward to the next iteration of services in our device and application environments.

As the organization grows, collaboration technology becomes vital. OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online, and the ability to co-author content make it incredibly simple to share documents or collaborate globally. To further enhance this collaborative experience, we are actively migrating our intranet to SharePoint Online. Today, geographically dispersed associates can confidently work with the latest versions of their documents, and they can access them anywhere, on any device, which is critical to our operations teams who support our clients around the world.

Digital security is paramount for Cerner as we are responsible for ensuring the protection of our clients’ data. Microsoft indicated its willingness to accommodate our business needs, including our uncompromising security posture, by signing a Business Associate Agreement. Today, we have 28,000 seats of Advanced Threat Protection to help protect our associates from malware, and we are deploying Windows 10 across the enterprise, with its built-in security features that are continuously updated. This saves Cerner time and resources that we once spent on patching and maintenance.

Keeping everyone productive on the same platform is a key part of our ongoing vision for the future of workplace productivity. As we listen to what our associates want for their workplace, we’re confident that Office 365 helps preserve that vision for Cerner.

—Bill Graff

Your favorite apps—now available in Outlook on Android

Earlier this year, we launched add-ins for Outlook on iOS—bringing your favorite apps right in Outlook—so you can get more done on the go. We are now rolling out add-ins to Outlook on Android customers with Outlook.com and Office 365 commercial email accounts. Additionally, we’ll be bringing add-ins to Gmail customers on iOS and Android soon.

This launch will bring some of the most loved Outlook add-ins from iOS to Android, including Evernote, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Translator, Nimble, OnePlaceMail, Outlook Customer Manager, Smartsheet, and Trello. We will also be launching several new add-ins for Outlook—including Wrike, JIRA, MeisterTask, Gfycat, and MojiLala. These add-ins will be available for Outlook customers across the web, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Get more done on the go with add-ins for Outlook

Add-ins help you accomplish tasks quickly—right from Outlook. Whether you want to save an email to your customer relationship management app, quickly add email content to your project board, translate emails on the fly, or add a bit of flair and personality to emails—add-ins have you covered. There is no need to switch back and forth between apps or copy/paste email information. With add-ins, your favorite apps are just a tap away in Outlook.

To start using add-ins for Outlook on iOS or Android, go to Settings > Add-ins and then tap the + sign next to the add-ins you want to enable.

Here’s a closer look at the new add-ins:

Wrike—A powerful online project management software for teams. The Wrike add-in for Outlook keeps you on top of work projects by enabling you to quickly capture your team’s communications in one place—giving team members greater visibility into work and making the team more productive. To use the Wrike add-in, tap the Open Wrike add-in icon to create Wrike tasks from emails, view and edit tasks, and collaborate in real-time—without leaving Outlook.

Animated image showing the how to convert an email to a task using the Wrike add-in.

Stay on top of your work projects by quickly associating any email with a Wrike project.

JIRA (by Yasoon)—Designed specifically for software teams, JIRA provides best-in-class agile tooling, deep developer tool integrations, and a single repository for every step in your software project’s lifecycle. The JIRA add-in for Outlook helps you stay on top of software project issues and communication with customers, partners, or vendors by enabling easy tracking of your project’s progress, right from Outlook. Tap the New issue or Add to issue icon to create a new issue or update an issue using content from email and attachments. Tap View issues for an overview of open issues and due dates for the current conversation or sender.

To keep your business data safe, your JIRA administrator must configure a secure connection to JIRA first. See Getting started with JIRA for Outlook for more information.

Animated image showing how to open an issue related to a project using the JIRA add-in.

Use the JIRA add-in to create and update issues using email content.

MeisterTask—A highly intuitive task manager that adapts to your team’s workflow. The MeisterTask add-in lets you quickly save emails as tasks in your project board—without needing to copy/paste or re-enter the content into another app. To use the MeisterTask add-in, tap the Create Task icon to quickly create new tasks from incoming emails, assign them to your coworkers, and easily access task details.

Animated image showing how to convert an email to a task using the MeisterTask add-in.

Stay on top of your work projects using the MeisterTask add-in.

Gfycat—Discover and share awesome GIFs to make your emails more engaging, expressive, and fun. Congratulate your coworkers or thank them for a job well done with the new Gfycat add-in for Outlook. To use the Gfycat add-in, tap React with Gfycat to search for the GIF you are looking for, such as “Congratulations” or “Thank you.” The selected GIF will then be sent as your reply—adding a touch of your personality to the conversation.

Animated image showing how to search for a GIF image to send as a reply to an email using the Gfycat add-in.

Easily discover and share awesome GIFs, right from Outlook using the Gfycat add-in.

MojiLaLa—Designers bring you their best stickers to help you share emotions and communicate with one another around the world. The MojiLaLa add-in adds color, imagination, and humor to your emails. To use the MojiLaLa add-in, tap the Reply with MojiLaLa icon and then search for a sticker, such as “Great work” or “Happy Birthday.” The selected sticker will be sent as your reply.

Animated image showing how to search for a sticker to send as a reply to an email using the MojiLaLa add-in.

Add fun, humor, and a touch of personality to your emails using the MojiLaLa add-in.

In addition to these new add-ins, several existing add-ins available for Outlook on iOS will now be available on Outlook for Android, including:

  • Evernote—Easily save emails from Outlook to a project notebook in Evernote.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365—Quickly look up customer contacts, associate an email or appointment with an existing opportunity, or create new records with just a few taps.
  • Microsoft Translator—Translate email messages on the fly, with support for 60+ languages powered by Microsoft Translator.
  • Nimble—Get insights on any contact in Outlook, including broad social profiles, shared relationships, mutual interests, industry and company profile, revenue, and more.
  • OnePlaceMail—Seamlessly save emails and attachments to SharePoint without leaving the familiar Outlook environment.
  • Smartsheet—Easily manage your work and collaborate with stakeholders in real-time by quickly creating, assigning, and updating tasks and capturing other project information right from your email.
  • Trello—Quickly associate any incoming email with an existing board, create cards, and edit descriptions. In addition, the Trello add-in has now been updated to save email attachments to your Trello board.
  • Outlook Customer Manager (coming soon)—Track and grow customer relationships right from Outlook.

Try the new Outlook add-ins and send us your feedback

Add-ins bring your favorite apps right into Outlook, so you can accomplish more, faster. We hope you give them a try. If you have feedback or suggestions on adding your favorite apps in Outlook, visit the Outlook for Android UserVoice—we’re eager to hear from you!

Developers—If you are a developer looking to build add-ins for Outlook, check out the Outlook Dev Center for more resources.

—The Outlook team

Frequently asked questions

Q. How do I enable add-ins for Outlook on iOS and Android?

A. To start using add-ins for Outlook on iOS or Android, go to Settings > Add-ins and then tap the + sign next to the add-ins you want to enable. For detailed steps, refer to our support article. Note that add-ins for Outlook on iOS and Android are currently available when reading email.

Q. Why do the animated images in the blog look different from what I currently see on my Outlook on Android device?

A. The animated images in the blog show the new conversation experience that is coming to Outlook on Android customers over the next few weeks. It is already available to customers using Outlook on iOS.

Q. I have Outlook on Android with an Outlook.com or Office 365 commercial email account, but I still don’t see the add-ins.

A. Add-ins for Outlook on iOS and Android are rolling out to all Office 365 commercial customers and Outlook.com customers over the next few weeks. If you have an Office 365 commercial email account (a mailbox in Exchange Online) or Outlook.com email account, you should be able to see the Add-ins section in the settings tab over the next few weeks.

Q. When will add-ins be available to Gmail users?

A. Add-ins for Outlook on iOS and Android will be available to customers with Gmail accounts in the next few months.

Q. As an administrator, how do I manage access to add-ins for my organization?

A. Administrators can manage access to add-ins for users in your organization using the Exchange admin center. For more details, refer to the Add-ins for Outlook TechNet article.

Working Together to Advance Disability Inclusion in the Business Community

By Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer


We recently attended the 20th Annual U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) National Conference in Orlando. It was truly an amazing week with over 1,200 people from across the U.S. corporate sector coming together to empower the business community to create inclusive workplaces that value people with disabilities. This year, Microsoft had an especially strong presence with 25 folks representing the company, speaking in panels (including a new technology track) and interviewing prospective employees with disabilities. So many moments of inspiration and I want to share a few nuggets of joy, many of which reflect the progress we’ve made in our accessibility journey here at Microsoft.

Microsoft employees gather on stage at USBLN conference to accept an award

Members of the Microsoft Accessibility Team receive the Marketplace Leadership Award in the Product Design Category!

This was my 7th USBLN, and each year we increase our knowledge in this space, learning from peers across industries while sharing our own journey. As we shared recently, the USBLN Disability Equality Index (DEI) has taught us a great deal about disability inclusion and it was humbling to receive a perfect score on the DEI this year and be one of the 2017 Disability Equality Index (DEI) Best Places to Work! I’m so proud to see the wonderful progress we’ve made and even more excited to see what else we can do to make Microsoft an even more inclusive place to work.

While we’re humbled to receive this recognition, creating an inclusive environment that attracts diverse talent isn’t something we do just for the heck of it – we do it because it makes business sense. Without diverse talent, we couldn’t build products that work for everyone and that’s critical to achieving our mission. We continue to seek out great talent, so please take a look at our Inclusive Hiring Site, which includes all of our open roles focused on accessibility as well as provides more information about Microsoft’s inclusive hiring efforts. In that spirit do check out four videos we released during the USBLN conference that follow the personal journeys of several amazing Microsoft employees: Amos Miller, Jessica Rafuse, Joey Chemis, and Swetha Machanavajhala. They represent the kind of diverse talent that every organization needs to succeed in a global marketplace.

What’s most exciting is seeing what can come of hiring diverse talent and what a passionate group of people can accomplish. As part of each year’s conference, USBLN presents several leadership awards to recognize leading disability workplace, supply chain, and marketplace practices. I’m incredibly excited to announce that Microsoft was given the Marketplace Leadership Award in the Product Design Category. This award represents work from across the company, including Narrator updates, Braille support, Accessibility Checker, which now sits right next to spell check across Office 365 products, new features like Presentation Translator (real time captioning!), and PowerPoint Designer which gives the ability to create beautiful slides with literally a couple of clicks. While I’m so very proud of the work so far, and the milestone it represents on our accessibility journey, we are not done! The list is long and we look forward to launching more features and experiences in the near future.

I came away from this year’s conference humbled by the amount of work accomplished by so many to drive disability inclusion across industries and the incredible commitment demonstrated to continue that journey. The technical track was deemed a great success and we’ll be working to bring more of the same next year!

I put a challenge out there in the opening session to see what we can do to change an unemployment rate that hasn’t materially shifted in nearly 30 years. With the power in the room, anything is possible. So please, if you haven’t gotten involved with USBLN, do reach out. Use the DEI to grow wisdom and build your journey to disability inclusion.

Lastly, on behalf of the entire Microsoft team, thank you USBLN team for hosting such an incredible event. Can’t wait for next year!

Football fans: NFL on Windows is your ultimate live game day companion – The Fire Hose

Fall means football, and football means the NFL. With the NFL on Windows app, you get the ultimate live game day companion for updates on the latest stories, scores and trending topics.

Throughout the season, track your favorite teams and fantasy players with personalized notifications as big plays happen on the field, and never miss a moment with in-game highlights from around the league.

Download NFL on Windows for free from the Windows Store.

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

Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

Tags: Apps, NFL on Windows, Windows Store

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

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

Let’s take a spin through the news.

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

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

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

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

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

Pens down? Not so fast.

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

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

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

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

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

A Nordstrom sign outside a Nordstrom store.

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

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

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

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

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

A global map shows recent ransomware attacks.

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

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

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

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

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

Several Harry Potter books.

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

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

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

Posted by Bill Briggs
Microsoft News Center Staff

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

Microsoft just upped its multi-million bet on quantum computing | ZDNet

charlesmarkusqdev.jpg

The Nordic outpost of Microsoft’s US-based quantum research lab, Station Q, will be headed by professor Charles Marcus, one of four scientists Microsoft hired last year. (Image: University of Copenhagen)

Microsoft has tipped several million dollars into a new quantum computing R&D lab at Copenhagen University, Denmark.

Microsoft has signed a multi-year deal with the university to collaborate on the development of a general-purpose quantum computer. Microsoft’s staff will be working with the university’s Niels Bohr Institute.

The institute is headed up by professor Charles Marcus, one of four scientists Microsoft hired last year to accelerate its bet that it can create a scalable quantum computer.

Marcus runs the institute’s Center for Quantum Devices (QDev) and the partnership establishes the university as a Nordic outpost of Microsoft’s US-based quantum research lab, Station Q. QDev will be home to Station Q Copenhagen, alongside Station Q labs at the University of Sydney, Purdue University, and Delft University.

Instead of conventional transistor’s on or off state, represented by 1 and 0, a quantum computer’s bits, called qubits, are based on quantum particles and can be both on and off at the same time. That characteristic offers the potential for far more powerful computers.

Microsoft is betting that topological quantum computing holds the key to creating a stable qubit. Topology, or the mathematical study of shapes and space, is gaining more attention among quantum computing researchers.

As noted in Nature, Microsoft’s approach aims to encode qubits in a quasiparticle called ‘non-abelian anyons’ that emerge from interactions inside matter. It hopes to use their topological properties, which make qubits more stable, to create its general-purpose quantum computer.

According to Copenhagen University, Microsoft now has over a dozen employees located there and expects the team to grow as they work toward developing a topological quantum computer.

On top of the multi-million dollar investment, Microsoft has also agreed to “significant” quantum research funding at the university.

“The critical pillars for successful and productive quantum research already exist at the University of Copenhagen — an aligned vision between Microsoft and the university, an exceptional team of top quantum researchers, a broad and deep pool of post doctorate and student talent, and a solid baseline of facilities and equipment dedicated to quantum research,” said David Pritchard, chief of staff for the Artificial Intelligence and Research division at Microsoft.

PREVIOUS AND RELATED COVERAGE

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Microsoft’s next big bet? Clue: it’s just hired four top quantum computing scientists

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MORE ON QUANTUM COMPUTING

Salesforce Chatter comes to Windows 10 – The Fire Hose

The Salesforce Chatter app enables cross-company cooperation that helps businesses drive productivity, accelerate innovation and share knowledge. Fast.

Salesforce Chatter is a forum for insights; a means to motivate and engage employees; and an easy way to exchange files, data and ideas. With it, you can track teams and projects wherever they are – in the office, on the road, at a conference, etc.

Dozens of functions and decisions can be executed right in the app, from conversations and approvals to edits and notifications, without waiting for a desk or a meeting.

So bring your company together, then move forward with Salesforce Chatter, free to download from the Windows Store.

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

Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

Tags: Apps, Salesforce, Salesforce Chatter, Windows 10, Windows Store