Tag Archives: announce

Windows Virtual Desktop is now generally available worldwide

Today, we’re excited to announce that Windows Virtual Desktop is now generally available worldwide. Windows Virtual Desktop is the only service that delivers simplified management, a multi-session Windows 10 experience, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, and support for Windows Server Remote Desktop Services (RDS) desktops and apps. With Windows Virtual Desktop, you can deploy and scale your Windows desktops and apps on Azure in minutes.

Since we announced Windows Virtual Desktop last September, and through the public preview announced in March, thousands of customers have piloted the service and taken advantage of the Windows 10 multi-session capability—validating the importance of this feature as a core part of the service. Customers also represented, all major industries and geographies, helping us get feedback from different customer types and locations. As a result, as of today the service is now available in all geographies. In addition, the Windows Virtual Desktop client is available across Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and HTML 5.

“Windows Virtual Desktop allows our employees to work in a secure manner wherever they are. Windows Virtual Desktop provides the Windows 10 desktop experience that our employees are familiar with across a variety of devices or web browsers.”
—Jake Hovermale, Chief Technical Officer, BEI Networks

With the end of extended support for Windows 7 coming in January 2020, we also understand some customers need to continue to support Windows 7 legacy applications as they migrate to Windows 10. To support this need, you can use Windows Virtual Desktop to virtualize Windows 7 desktops with free Extended Security Updates (ESU) until January 2023. If you’re in the process of migrating to Windows 10 and need app compatibility assistance, read more about how we can help with the Desktop App Assure program.

To help increase productivity, we invested heavily in the Office experience in a virtualized environment with native improvements, as well as through the acquisition of FSLogix. In July, we made the FSLogix technology available to Microsoft 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, and RDS customers. Today, all FSLogix tools are fully integrated into Windows Virtual Desktop, enabling you to have the smoothest, most performant Office virtualization experience available today.

In addition to the significant architectural improvements for deployment and management, we’re also simplifying app delivery by supporting MSIX packaged apps to be dynamically “attached” to a virtual machine instead of installing it permanently. This is important because it significantly decreases storage and makes it easier for the admin to manage and update the apps, while creating a seamless experience for the user.

Check out the new video from Scott Manchester, Principal Engineering Lead for Windows Virtual Desktop, where he does a great job of walking you through the app “attach” experience.

Microsoft Mechanics

Windows Virtual Desktop is now released and ready for production!

Watch the video

Extending Windows Virtual Desktop

We also worked closely with our partner ecosystem to help our customers extend Windows Virtual Desktop and get the most out of existing virtualization investments.

  • Starting today, Citrix can extend Windows Virtual Desktop worldwide, including support for Windows 10 multi-session, Windows 7 with free Extended Security Updates for up to three years, and support for Windows Server 2008 R2 with free Extended Security Updates on Azure.
  • Later this year, VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure will extend Windows Virtual Desktop and its benefits, such as Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session and support for Windows 7 with free Extended Security Updates for up to three years. Preview will be available by the end of the calendar year.
  • We also engaged with hardware partners, system integrators (SI), who provide turnkey desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) offerings, and value-added solution providers, who add capabilities such as printing, application layering, assessment, and monitoring on Azure Marketplace. Learn more about Windows Virtual Desktop partners on the documentation page.

General availability of Windows Virtual Desktop is just the beginning. We’ll continue to rapidly innovate and invest in desktop and app virtualization. We look forward to sharing more with you in the coming months. In the meantime, learn more on our product page and get started with Windows Virtual Desktop today.

If you’re a partner and want to learn more about Windows Virtual Desktop, visit the Azure Partner Zone page for Windows Virtual Desktop.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition Launches Today on Switch – Xbox Wire

Finally the wait is over and we’re thrilled to announce that Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition is available today for Nintendo Switch in the Nintendo eShop! We couldn’t be happier with the reception so far, especially from our fans!

Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition is a unique action platformer that combines deep Metroidvania style gameplay with emotional storytelling. The forest of Nibel is dying and Ori must find courage to confront Kuru, the dark owl, in order to save the forest. Ori’s journey is a story about love, sacrifice, and the hope that exists in us all.

To our Switch friends, we’re excited for you to enjoy the same Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition experience that Xbox and PC players know and love. We can’t wait for you to share your stories of your time exploring Nibel!

Stay tuned for the latest game news and updates at orithegame.com.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

How technology has transformed my working life – Microsoft News Centre Europe

“We’re sorry to announce that the 07:12 Thameslink service to London St. Pancras International has been cancelled. Please stand by for further announcements. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused to your journey.”

A few years ago, my working life was very different. For six years, I spent four hours each day crammed across six trains, commuting to work and back. It was financially and emotionally draining, but it was simply the way that things were done.   

It was only two and a half years ago, when I joined Microsoft as editor of its European news centre, that I realised that the traditional way we work, and our accustomed routines, could be different. Today, I have the freedom and flexibility to work from home, with my cat Meze purring away beside me.

I want to share my experiences here, not because I work for Microsoft, but because I’m truly passionate about this new way of working, and am grateful for the hugely positive impact it’s had on my life. This is my future of work.

Microsoft MunichBuilding bridges
On my first day, I had some reservations. They say that no man is an island, but in a professional, geographical sense, I come pretty close – I’m the only one in my direct team that lives and works in the UK. Others are scattered across Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria, and even South Africa – not to mention all the other people I work with around the globe, from the USA to Singapore. Bar the occasional business trips, I attend meetings and work with everyone remotely. It was a daunting prospect. I worried about being isolated, and the quality of work that could be achieved with colleagues that were hundreds of miles away. Would I feel close to them? Would I achieve my best work? Would I make friends?

Three years on, I look back on my first day jitters and realise that they were totally unfounded. Thanks to Teams, I truly feel like I’m working in the same office with my colleagues. A quick question or discussion is a mere chat window away, allowing me to instantly solve problems and give/receive advice – not to mention sending the occasional cat gif or two.

Beyond ad-hoc chats, we use video calls – a prospect which I found daunting, until I actually tried it. There’s something vulnerable, I feel, about putting yourself on camera, and I was worried it would be a distraction. In fact, I’ve found it’s the opposite.

Being able to see the people you’re talking to increases personal connections and engagements. It transforms someone from an ethereal voice to an actual person, and it doesn’t take long for the technology to melt away and become invisible. You’re just a group of people, in a room, having a chat – nothing more, nothing less.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Cuphead Goes Triple Platinum! – | Studio MDHR

Hello friends! We’re barely past the halfway mark of 2018, and are humbled to announce that Cuphead has already reached over 3 million copies sold! It’s hard for us to express just how appreciative we are to everyone who has played and enjoyed our niche little run & gun game with the wacky rubber-hose characters.

To celebrate this huge milestone, we’re putting Cuphead on sale on Steam and Xbox for the next couple of days! So if you haven’t had a chance to wallop the Devil, it’s a good day for a swell battle!

We’ll also be marking the occasion here at Studio MDHR with some extra-special giveaways over the next few days. Keep an eye out on Twitter or Facebook for some fun surprises.

Looking back, 2018 has been a very exciting year for us.

The big highlight, of course, was getting the chance to pull the curtain back on the project we’ve been working on since the original game’s release: our upcoming DLC, The Delicious Last Course!

We’ve also been so fortunate to be able to share in the adventure with some amazing people. We met the legendary animator James Baxter at this year’s Annie Awards in February, and somehow managed to convince him to do an on-stage animation collaboration with us at E3!

In June, we cheered on the amazing Mexican Runner as he delivered a lightning fast and hilariously entertaining speedrun at Summer Games Done Quick 2018. It’s such a thrill to see people still finding new and exciting ways to explore the Inkwell Isles.

So while we’ll mostly have our pencils to paper for the rest of the year, we still have a couple little tricks up our sleeve before the end of 2018. Stay tuned to our social channels to be the first to know! Hi dee ho!

Cuphead Goes Triple Platinum! – | Studio MDHR

Hello friends! We’re barely past the halfway mark of 2018, and are humbled to announce that Cuphead has already reached over 3 million copies sold! It’s hard for us to express just how appreciative we are to everyone who has played and enjoyed our niche little run & gun game with the wacky rubber-hose characters.

To celebrate this huge milestone, we’re putting Cuphead on sale on Steam and Xbox for the next couple of days! So if you haven’t had a chance to wallop the Devil, it’s a good day for a swell battle!

We’ll also be marking the occasion here at Studio MDHR with some extra-special giveaways over the next few days. Keep an eye out on Twitter or Facebook for some fun surprises.

Looking back, 2018 has been a very exciting year for us.

The big highlight, of course, was getting the chance to pull the curtain back on the project we’ve been working on since the original game’s release: our upcoming DLC, The Delicious Last Course!

We’ve also been so fortunate to be able to share in the adventure with some amazing people. We met the legendary animator James Baxter at this year’s Annie Awards in February, and somehow managed to convince him to do an on-stage animation collaboration with us at E3!

In June, we cheered on the amazing Mexican Runner as he delivered a lightning fast and hilariously entertaining speedrun at Summer Games Done Quick 2018. It’s such a thrill to see people still finding new and exciting ways to explore the Inkwell Isles.

So while we’ll mostly have our pencils to paper for the rest of the year, we still have a couple little tricks up our sleeve before the end of 2018. Stay tuned to our social channels to be the first to know! Hi dee ho!

Microsoft Movies & TV Now Supports Movies Anywhere – Xbox Wire

Today we are excited to announce that the Microsoft Movies & TV app for Xbox and Windows 10 devices now supports Movies Anywhere, which brings your favorite film libraries together in one place.

When you connect your Microsoft account with your Movies Anywhere account, all of your eligible movies from Microsoft can be enjoyed across your favorite screens at no extra cost. This includes Xbox and Windows, iOS and Android, smart TVs, and streaming devices.

In addition, eligible movies you previously purchased from other participating digital retailers will now be viewable through the Movies & TV app on Xbox and Windows 10.

As part of our launch, we have a limited time offer for anyone who connects his or her Microsoft account to Movies Anywhere for the first time. Once you connect, you will receive X-Men Days of Future Past in your digital collection on us. This offer begins today and only runs for a limited time, so head here to connect your accounts today or visit this page for complete details.

Microsoft Movies & TV allows you to watch the newest movies and TV shows across your favorite devices, before streaming services or disc, and without subscription or membership fees. You can download for offline viewing and take it on the go, or watch the latest episode of a show the day after it airs on TV. There are weekly deals in Sales & Specials to grow your collection, and all of your purchases earn you credits through Microsoft Rewards.

We have been working to bring you the best viewing experience on Xbox and Windows 10 for your favorite movies. Thank you for sharing your feedback and happy movie watching!

A new partnership to support computer science teachers

Today we are excited to announce a new partnership with the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA). Microsoft will provide $2 million, over three years, to help CSTA launch new chapters and strengthen existing ones. It will help them attract new members and partners to build a stronger community to serve computer science teachers.

 We’re thrilled that students of all ages are discovering the exciting – and critical – field of computer science. From the Hour of Code, to Minecraft Education, and even Advanced Placement Computer Sciences courses, participation rates are expanding. This surge of student interest, combined with the premium our economy places on technology skill of all kinds, requires us to do all we can to ensure every student has access to computer science courses. And it all starts with our teachers.  

 Nearly every teacher belongs to a professional membership organization, from social studies, to reading, to math and science. These organizations provide teachers with subject-specific professional development, up-to-date curriculum, and networking opportunities with peers and other professionals. CSTA was started in 2004 to fill this need for computer science teachers. But to meet today’s needs in this quickly changing and growing field of study, CSTA is expanding as well. We are proud to support them!

 Our investment in CSTA continues Microsoft Philanthropies’ long-standing commitment to computer science education through our Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program, which pairs technology industry volunteers with classroom teachers to team-teach computer science in 350 U.S. high schools. It builds on our investments in nonprofits such as Code.org, Girls Who Code, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, with whom we partnered to create a computer science learning pathway. And it builds on our work advocating at a state and federal level for policy change and investments in computer science education across the United States.  

While technology can be a powerful learning tool, nothing can replace the expertise, guidance, and encouragement that teachers provide to students each day of the school year. I remember my own favorite teachers who helped me see a world beyond the rural town in which I grew up. I would guess that nearly everyone has a similar story. We thank our teachers and we hope that this investment in computer science teachers, through CSTA, empowers more educators to do what they do best: make a positive difference in the lives of students. To learn how you can help CSTA serve teachers, please visit https://www.csteachers.org/page/GetInvolved.

Three new reasons to love the TSI explorer

Today we’re pleased to announce three new Time Series Insights (TSI) explorer capabilities that we think our users are going to love. 

  1. First, we are delighted to share that the TSI explorer, the visualization service of TSI, is now generally available and backed by our SLA. 
  2. Second, we’ve made the TSI explorer more accessible and easier to use for those with visual and fine-motor disabilities.
  3. And finally, we’ve made it easy to export aggregate event data to other analytics tools like Microsoft Excel. 

Now that the TSI explorer is generally available, users will notice that the explorer is backed by TSI’s service level agreement (SLA), and we’ve removed the preview moniker from the backsplash when the explorer is loading. We have many customers using TSI in production environments and we’re thrilled to offer them the same SLA that backs the rest of the product. The ActionPoint IoT-PREDICT solution is a great example of one of those customers using the TSI explorer to enable their customers to explore and analyze time series data quickly. Check out their solution below.

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There are no limits to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of everyone who uses it. Transparency, accountability, and inclusion aren’t just built into our culture. They’re reflected in products and services designed for people of all abilities. With this in mind, it’s critical to our team that everyone can easily glean insights from their data using TSI, and these new capabilities significantly improve TSI’s usability for those with visual and fine-motor skill disabilities. The most obvious example of this work is the new table control that allows users to view aggregated data in a tabular format. While we made many less obvious improvements that make TSI more inclusive, two that I’m especially excited to share is TSI’s improved keyboard navigation and the addition of full narrator support. While we’re proud of the new functionality we delivered today, we think of accessibility and inclusion as core design principles and will continue to invest in feature work that takes advantage of them. 

Finally, we are excited to deliver a feature that many of our customers have been asking for – aggregate event data integration with Microsoft Excel. With the addition of the table, users can now simply export aggregate data as a CSV for integration with other analytics apps, like Microsoft Excel. This new capability enables users to take advantage of familiar tools that are already a part of their workflow for analyzing and processing data. Users will be able to take aggregate data from TSI and export it to any tool that can read CSV files. Users will still be able to export raw data as a CSV or JSON, but aggregate data export fulfills a common ask from our community. 

Here’s a screenshot of the new table and the CSV export:

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We are excited about these new updates, but we are even more excited about what’s to come, so stay up to date on all things Time Series Insights by following us on Twitter. Don’t forget to check out the Microsoft Internet of Things blog for news from our peers in the Azure IoT engineering group. 

The December release of SQL Operations Studio is now available

This post is authored by Alan Yu, Program Manager, SQL Server.

We are excited to announce the December release of SQL Operations Studio is now available.

Download SQL Operations Studio and review the Release Notes to get started.

SQL Operations Studio is a data management tool that enables you to work with SQL Server, Azure SQL DB and SQL DW from Windows, macOS and Linux. To learn more, visit our GitHub.

SQL Operations Studio was announced for Public Preview on November 15th at Connect(), and this December release is the first major update since the announcement.

The December release includes several major repo updates and feature releases, including:

  • Migrating SQL Ops Studio Engineering to public GitHub repo
  • Azure Integration with Create Firewall Rule
  • Windows Setup and Linux DEB/RPM installation packages
  • Manage Dashboard visual layout editor
  • “Run Current Query with Actual Plan” command

For complete updates, refer to the Release Notes.

Migrating SQL Ops Studio Engineering to public GitHub repo

To provide better transparency with the SQL Operations Studio community, we have decided to migrate the Github internal branch to the public repo. This means any bug fixes, feature developments, or even test builds can be publicly viewed before an update is officially announced.

We made this move because we want to collaborate with the community to continually deliver features that our users want. This gives you the opportunity to see our changes in action to address your top voted issues. Visit our GitHub page and give us your feedback.

Azure Integration with Create Firewall Rule

Now let’s get into new features. A common issue when connecting to Azure SQL DB instances is that the connection can fail due to server firewall rules. This would require loading Azure Portal to configure firewall rules so that you can connect to your database, which can be inconvenient.

To speed up this process, we have enabled Azure Integration with Create Firewall Rule dialog. When your connection to an Azure SQL DB instance fails because of firewall settings, this dialog will appear, allowing the user to use their Azure subscription account to automatically configure the client IP address with the server. This retains the same experience as configuration on Azure Portal, except you can do it all through SQL Operations Studio.

Windows Setup installation and Linux DEB/RPM installation packages

We are always looking for new ways to improve the installation experience. With the December release, we have added Windows Setup installation to simplify installation on Windows. This wizard will allow the user to:

  • Select installation location
  • Select start menu folder
  • Option to add to path

In addition to Windows Setup, we have also added Linux DEB/RPM installation packages. These will add new ways for Linux users to download SQL Operations Studio for their choice of installation.

Feel free to try out these new installation experiences on our download page.

Manage Dashboard visual layout editor

In the initial release, there were not many options to customize the visual layout of the dashboards. With the December release, you can now resize and move your widgets by enabling the visual layout editor mode by clicking the pencil on the top right of the Manage Dashboard screen. This gives users greater control of their dashboard in addition to building their own custom insight widgets.

Run Current Query with Actual Plan command

Another new feature we have enabled is Run Current Query with Actual Plan, which is a command that will execute the current query and return the actual execution plan with the query results. This feature area is still in-progress as we work through the best UX for integrating this command directly into the query editor. While that design work is in-progress the functionality is still available via the Command Palette and you can define a keyboard shortcut if using this feature frequently.

Contact us

If you have any feature requests or issues, please submit to our GitHub issues page. For any questions, feel free to comment below or tweet us @sqlopsstudio.

Announcing the Reddit Solution Template | Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Today, we are excited to announce a new suite of Power BI solution templates for brand management and targeting on Reddit through a thrid-party API relationship with SocialGist. These templates complement existing brand-oriented solution templates available for Twitter, Facebook, and Bing News.

The Reddit solution template suite combines AI with interactive visual analytics to reveal how different brands are performing across the Reddit platform, from companies and CEOs down to individual products. Behind the scenes, it uses Azure services and technologies from Microsoft AI and Research to support rich exploration by sentiment levels, key words, and author communities. All you need to get started are the list of brands you want to track and an Azure subscription – the solution template will automate and take care of everything else.

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Actionable Insights

With Reddit solution templates, you can easily track mentions of your brand, identify communities that talk about your products, and discover key influencers within those communities. You can also do the same for your competitors and their products!

The templates provide direct answers to the questions about who is talking about which brands, what are they saying in terms of text, sentiment, and keywords, and where on Reddit are they saying it. The templates also reveal new opportunities to drive customer engagement, whether through the identification of new community segments, top posts worthy of promotion, or trends in post volume or sentiment that require a timely response.

“With more than 330 million monthly users posting, commenting and voting across 138,000 active communities each day, Reddit is home to the most diverse and authentic conversations on the internet; and as such, an increasingly valuable source of brand and consumer insights,” says Alex Riccomini, director of business development and media partnerships at Reddit. “We’re excited to partner with Microsoft to bring Reddit’s vast data to Power BI, making it easier and more flexible than ever to customize, collect, and consume business-impacting insights from the Reddit community.

Together, the Power BI solution templates for Reddit offer unique brand insight and customer targeting opportunities powered by the highly-engaged and rapidly-growing Reddit community.

Multiple Workbook Experiences

1. Overview – This workbook shows the big picture for selected brands and the key influencers and communities talking about them.

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Analyzing sentiment over time

2. Targeting and Activation – This workbook reveals how communities relate to brands across the Reddit platform and highlights key influencers.

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Lookalike community analysis

3. Advanced Analytics – This workbook enables deep analytic exploration of Reddit posts, comments, and user activity relating to selected brands.

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Deep dive analysis with free-text search

Try it out & let us know

Go ahead and check out the Reddit solution template. You can try out an interactive sample report, watch a demo video or just go ahead and set things up! The team is always interested in any thoughts or feedback – you can reach us through our alias ([email protected]) or by leaving a comment on the Power BI Solution Template Community page.