Tag Archives: announce

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 (pbisolntemplates@microsoft.com) or by leaving a comment on the Power BI Solution Template Community page.

Reddit Partners With Microsoft to Deliver Intelligent Search Results and Business Intelligence Tools

Today, we’re thrilled to announce a partnership two years in the making, harnessing the power of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence technology to deliver the best possible search experiences for Bing users and analytical tools for brands and marketers.

As our co-founder Alexis Ohanian shared earlier today in his presentation at Microsoft’s AI conference, we’re kicking off the partnership by unveiling two new products that apply Microsoft’s AI tools to Reddit’s vast data:

  • Bing Intelligent Search: first-ever search experiences returning Reddit results for AMAs, Questions, and Communities; and
  • The Power BI suite of solution templates for brand management and targeting on Reddit: a comprehensive set of business intelligence solutions enabling brands, marketers, and budget owners to quickly analyze their Reddit footprint and determine how, where, and with whom to engage in the Reddit community.

The Content You Love, Now Easier to Find

Reddit is home to the most engaging and authentic conversations online with more than 2.5 million comments per day across 138,000 active communities. Now, Bing is making it easier than ever to surface that content through smarter search results.

As part of the Intelligent Search features launching today, Bing users will notice three key search experiences that return the most relevant content possible from Reddit’s vast community:

Desktop view of Bing’s cross-platform Reddit community search experience

If you type in “reddit” and the name of a Reddit community, like “aww” or “data is beautiful,” the relevant subreddits will show up in a dedicated results section. Better still, Bing will surface a sneak peak of the community with the top conversations of the day.

Mobile view of Bing’s cross-platform Reddit AMA search experience

If you type in the name of someone who’s done an AMA—let’s say, Dr. Jane Goodall—their past or upcoming AMAs will surface along with additional information about Jane. l. Bing will give snapshots of completed AMAs and, for users just searching for “Reddit AMAs” in general, a carousel of popular AMAs.

Mobile view of Bing’s cross-platform Reddit Q&A search experience

Last but certainly not least, Bing users whose queries are best answered with relevant Reddit conversations, will see those conversations at the top of the page, easily getting perspectives from millions of Reddit users.

Best of all, Bing has launched their suite of Reddit-tailored results across platforms, so whether you’re on your phone wondering what the best free online certificates are that will look good on your resume or on desktop looking for a community devoted to baby elephant gifs, Bing users will have access to the most relevant Reddit content right at their fingertips.

As this initial set of experiences roll out, we will work with Bing to collect feedback and continue refining and adding features as we understand how people are using this experience.

Better Brand Insights from Reddit

But wait: there’s more!

In addition to launching an all-new consumer search experience for Reddit content on Bing, our partnership with Microsoft also leverages our relationship with Socialgist to bring Reddit’s data and API to Power BI, a comprehensive set of business modules that utilizes Microsoft’s AI and analytics to help brands and marketers analyze data and share insights.

As we developed our partnership with Microsoft, we found that Power BI offered incredibly robust, and easy-to-consume business intelligence tools to turn Reddit data into clear, useful insights. Power BI’s data analysis offers flexibility to customize and even build your own modules. It also enables dynamic querying, which allows users to easily re-run and change queries in real time and customize data visualizations through multiple variables.

With the general availability of the Power BI solution templates suite for brand management and targeting on Reddit, brands and marketers can now monitor, target, and compare their Reddit footprint across communities in a flexible, convenient format. Brands can use this solution to see which communities are talking about them the most, uncover the sentiment of those conversations, and receive detailed breakdowns of their mentions and sentiment over time. Learn more about the Power BI Solution Templates here.

We hope today’s announcement is just the first step in exploring the opportunities to bring relevant content, communities, and insights from our users to brands and consumers alike. In the meantime, check out Bing’s improved search experience for yourself and learn more about Microsoft Power BI here.

Microsoft announces private preview, partnerships for AI-powered health bot project

Today, we’re pleased to announce the private preview of a new AI-powered project from Microsoft’s Healthcare NExT initiative  which is designed to enable our healthcare partners to easily create intelligent and compliant healthcare virtual assistants and chatbots. These bots are powered by cognitive services and enriched with authoritative medical content, allowing our partners to empower their customers with self-service access to health information, with the goal of improving outcomes and reducing costs. So, if you’re using a health bot built by one of our partners as part of our project, you can interact in a personal way, typing or talking in natural language and receiving information to help answer your health-related questions.

Our partners, including Aurora Health Care, with 15 hospitals, over 150 clinics and 70 pharmacies throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, Premera Blue Cross, the largest health plan in the Pacific Northwest, and UPMC, one of the largest integrated health care delivery networks in the United States, are working with us to build out bots that address a wide range of healthcare-specific questions and use cases. For instance, insurers can build bots that give their customers an easy way to look up the status of a claim and ask questions about benefits and services. Providers, meanwhile, can build bots that triage patient issues with a symptom checker, help patients find appropriate care, and look up nearby doctors.

At Aurora Health Care, patients can use the “Aurora Digital Concierge” to determine what type of care they might need and when they might need it. Patients interact with the bot in natural language – answering a set of questions about their symptoms – and then the bot suggests what could be possible causes and what type of doctor they might want to see and when. They can also schedule an appointment with just a few clicks. This is an example of how AI can have direct impact on people’s everyday lives, helping patients find the most relevant care and helping doctors focus on the highest-priority cases.

“Aurora Health Care is focused on delivering a seamless experience for our consumers and the health bot allows us to introduce technology to make that happen. The use of AI allows us to leverage technology to meet consumers where they are; online, mobile, chat, text, and to help them navigate the complexity of healthcare,” said Jamey Shiels, Vice President Digital Experience, Aurora Health Care.

At Microsoft, we believe there is an enormous opportunity to use intelligent bots to make healthcare more efficient and accessible to every individual and organization. Our goal is to amplify human ingenuity with intelligent technology, and we’re doing that in healthcare by infusing AI into solutions that can help patients, providers, and payers. 

We are incubating the health bot project as part of Healthcare NExT, a new initiative at Microsoft to dramatically transform healthcare by deeply integrating greenfield research and health technology product development, in partnership with the healthcare industry’s leading players. Through these collaborations, our goal is to enable a new wave of innovation and impact in healthcare using Microsoft’s deep AI expertise and global-scale cloud.

Today, for instance, it can be particularly difficult for our healthcare partners to build bots that address the stringent compliance and regulatory requirements of the healthcare industry, and to integrate complex medical vocabularies. Our health bot project is designed to make this simple by providing an easy to use visual editor tool that partners can use to build and extend their bots, an array of healthcare-specific configuration options, out-of-the-box symptom checker content, as well as easy integration with partner systems and with our set of cognitive services.

We are introducing a private preview program that will allow new partners to participate in the project; partners will be able to sign up on our website. The program includes built-in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance – a prerequisite for usage by any covered entity. It also includes access to the visual editor tools that partners can easily use to customize and extend bot scenarios, documentation and code samples published on Microsoft Docs, and pre-built integration with the Health Navigator symptom checker.

We’re extremely excited for the potential of our project to help people get better care and navigate the healthcare process more efficiently. Following the private preview, we will have more information to share for general availability.

For more information on the health bot project, please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/health-bot/

Sea of Thieves Arrives March 20, Pre-orders Available Now

At The Game Awards last night, we were thrilled to announce that Sea of Thievesshared-world adventure will be setting sail globally on the Xbox One family of devices and Windows 10 PCs on March 20, 2018 for $59.99/£49.99/€69.99. The game is now available for pre-order, and you can check out the trailer above for the latest taste of the daring adventures you’ll find in-game.

Pirates who pre-order digitally or at retail will receive exclusive access to a pre-release closed beta, providing the perfect opportunity for fans to find their sea legs ahead of launch. In addition, players will kick off their sartorial adventures in style in the form of the Black Dog Pack, offering unique clothing & items with spectacular designs.

Pirates are nothing without the right tools, so we’re also happy to announce the Xbox Wireless Controller – Sea of Thieves Limited Edition so you can fight, sail and loot in style. The controller features a deep purple translucent design, adorned with laser etched barnacles, one treasured golden trigger and haunted by a mysterious glow-in-the-dark skull. The Xbox Wireless Controller – Sea of Thieves Limited Edition is now available for pre-order for $74.99 USD and ships globally in all Xbox One markets on Feb. 6, 2018.  The controller comes with the exclusive Ferryman Clothing Set* for your Sea of Thieves character, a 14 day Xbox Live Gold trial, and a 14 day Game Pass trial at no additional cost.

For aspiring pirates new to the adventure, Sea of Thieves is a new type of multiplayer game where players take to the high seas on epic voyages to unravel puzzling riddles, engage in ship-to-ship battles and discover the treasure of a lifetime. Grab your crew and journey into a unique shared world where each pirate is a real player with their own intentions and goals.

While March 20, 2018 can’t come soon enough, we wouldn’t have gotten here without the loyal support of our awesome community. From the fantastic feedback received during the Technical Alpha to support during shows and conventions, Sea of Thieves is a testament to the incredible fans who have invested in this world with us. We look forward to your continued support as we sail toward release and beyond.

For the latest on Sea of Thieves and news on closed beta dates, stay tuned to SeaOfThieves.com in the lead up to March 20, 2018. We can’t wait to share more soon!

*In-game Ferryman Clothing Set available for use in Sea of Thieves game starting on March 20, 2018.