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Microsoft Cloud drives record fourth quarter results | Stories

REDMOND, Wash. — July 19, 2018 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the following results for the quarter ended June 30, 2018, as compared to the corresponding period of last fiscal year:

  • Revenue was $30.1 billion and increased 17%
  • Operating income was $10.4 billion and increased 35%
  • Net income was $8.9 billion GAAP and $8.8 billion non-GAAP
  • Diluted earnings per share was $1.14 GAAP and $1.13 non-GAAP

“We had an incredible year, surpassing $100 billion in revenue as a result of our teams’ relentless focus on customer success and the trust customers are placing in Microsoft,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Our early investments in the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge are paying off, and we will continue to expand our reach in large and growing markets with differentiated innovation.”

The following table reconciles our financial results reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to non-GAAP financial results. Additional information regarding our non-GAAP definition is provided below. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year.

Three Months Ended June 30,
 ($ in millions, except per share amounts) Revenue Operating Income Net Income Diluted Earnings per Share
2017 As Reported (GAAP) $25,605 $7,682 $8,069 $1.03
  Restructuring Expenses 306 243 0.03
2017 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $25,605 $7,988 $8,312 $1.06
2018 As Reported (GAAP) $30,085 $10,379 $8,873 $1.14
  Net TCJA Impact (104) (0.01)
2018 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $30,085 $10,379 $8,769 $1.13
Percentage Change Y/Y (GAAP) 17% 35% 10% 11%
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) 17% 30% 5% 7%
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) Constant Currency 15% 24% 2% 3%

GAAP results include a net benefit of $104 million related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) for the three months ended June 30, 2018 and a charge of $306 million related to restructuring expenses for the three months ended June 30, 2017, which are excluded from our non-GAAP results.

Microsoft returned $5.3 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018, an increase of 16% compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017.

“Exceptional sales execution delivered double-digit revenue growth across all segments and strong progress against our strategic priorities, anchored by commercial cloud revenue growing 53% year-over-year to $6.9 billion,” said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft.

Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $9.7 billion and increased 13% (up 10% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Office commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 10% (up 8% in constant currency) driven by Office 365 commercial revenue growth of 38% (up 35% in constant currency)
  • Office consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 8% (up 6% in constant currency) and Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 31.4 million
  • LinkedIn revenue increased 37% (up 34% in constant currency) with continued acceleration in engagement highlighted by LinkedIn sessions growth of 41%
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 11% (up 8% in constant currency) driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 61% (up 56% in constant currency)

Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $9.6 billion and increased 23% (up 20% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Server products and cloud services revenue increased 26% (up 24% in constant currency) driven by Azure revenue growth of 89% (up 85% in constant currency)
  • Enterprise Services revenue increased 8% (up 7% in constant currency)

Revenue in More Personal Computing was $10.8 billion and increased 17% (up 16% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Windows OEM revenue increased 7% (up 7% in constant currency) driven by OEM Pro revenue growth of 14%
  • Windows commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 23% (up 19% in constant currency) driven by an increased volume of multi-year agreements and the mix of products that carry higher in-quarter revenue recognition
  • Gaming revenue increased 39% (up 38% in constant currency) with Xbox software and services revenue growth of 36% (up 35% in constant currency) mainly from third party title strength
  • Surface revenue increased 25% (up 21% in constant currency) driven by strong performance of the latest editions of Surface against a low prior year comparable
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs increased 17% (up 16% in constant currency) driven by higher revenue per search and search volume

Fiscal Year 2018 Results

Microsoft Corp. today announced the following results for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, as compared to the corresponding period of last fiscal year:

  • Revenue was $110.4 billion and increased 14%
  • Operating income was $35.1 billion and increased 21%
  • Net income was $16.6 billion GAAP and $30.3 billion non-GAAP
  • Diluted earnings per share was $2.13 GAAP and $3.88 non-GAAP
  • GAAP results include a $13.7 billion net charge related to TCJA

The following table reconciles our financial results reported in accordance with GAAP to non-GAAP financial results. Additional information regarding our non-GAAP definition is provided below. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year.

Twelve Months Ended June 30,
 ($ in millions, except per share amounts) Revenue Operating Income Net Income Diluted Earnings per Share
2017 As Reported (GAAP) $96,571 $29,025 $25,489 $3.25
  Restructuring Expenses 306 243 0.04
2017 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $96,571 $29,331 $25,732 $3.29
2018 As Reported (GAAP) $110,360 $35,058 $16,571 $2.13
  Net TCJA Impact 13,696 1.75
2018 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $110,360 $35,058 $30,267 $3.88
Percentage Change Y/Y (GAAP) 14% 21% (35)% (34)%
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) 14% 20% 18% 18%
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) Constant Currency 13% 17% 15% 16%

GAAP results include a net charge of $13.7 billion related to TCJA for the twelve months ended June 30, 2018 and a charge of $306 million related to restructuring expenses for the twelve months ended June 30, 2017, which are excluded from our non-GAAP results.

Business Outlook

Microsoft will provide forward-looking guidance in connection with this quarterly earnings announcement on its earnings conference call and webcast.

Webcast Details

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer, Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Frank Brod, chief accounting officer, Carolyn Frantz, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary, and Michael Spencer, general manager of investor relations, will host a conference call and webcast at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time (5:30 p.m. Eastern time) today to discuss details of the company’s performance for the quarter and certain forward-looking information. The session may be accessed at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor. The webcast will be available for replay through the close of business on July 19, 2019.

New Accounting Standards

We adopted new accounting standards related to revenue recognition and leases effective July 1, 2017. The prior periods presented here have been restated to reflect adoption of these new standards.

Non-GAAP Definition

Restructuring Expenses. We recorded $306 million of restructuring charges primarily related to our sales and marketing restructuring plan during the three months ended June 30, 2017.

TCJA Impact. We recorded a benefit of $104 million during the three months ended June 30, 2018 and a net charge of $13.7 billion during the twelve months ended June 30, 2018 related to TCJA. As of June 30, 2018, we have not completed our accounting for the tax effects of TCJA. Our net charge is provisional based on reasonable estimates for those tax effects. Changes to these estimates or new guidance issued by regulators may materially impact our provision for income taxes and effective tax rate in the period in which the adjustments are made. Our accounting for the tax effects of TCJA will be completed during the measurement period, which should not extend beyond the second fiscal quarter of 2019.

We have provided non-GAAP financial measures related to restructuring expenses and TCJA to aid investors in better understanding our performance. We believe these non-GAAP measures aid investors by providing additional insight into our operational performance and help clarify trends affecting our business. For comparability of reporting, management considers non-GAAP measures in conjunction with GAAP financial results in evaluating business performance. The non-GAAP financial measures presented in this release should not be considered as a substitute for, or superior to, the measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Constant Currency

Microsoft presents constant currency information to provide a framework for assessing how our underlying businesses performed excluding the effect of foreign currency rate fluctuations. To present this information, current and comparative prior period results for entities reporting in currencies other than United States dollars are converted into United States dollars using the average exchange rates from the comparative period rather than the actual exchange rates in effect during the respective periods. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year. Microsoft has provided this non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding our performance. The non-GAAP financial measures presented in this release should not be considered as a substitute for, or superior to, the measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. 

Financial Performance Constant Currency Reconciliation

Three Months Ended June 30,
 ($ in millions, except per share amounts) Revenue Operating Income Net Income Diluted Earnings per Share
2017 As Reported (GAAP) $25,605 $7,682 $8,069 $1.03
2017 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $25,605 $7,988 $8,312 $1.06
2018 As Reported (GAAP) $30,085 $10,379 $8,873 $1.14
2018 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $30,085 $10,379 $8,769 $1.13
Percentage Change Y/Y (GAAP) 17% 35% 10% 11%
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) 17% 30% 5% 7%
Constant Currency Impact $549 $450 $279 $0.04
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) Constant Currency 15% 24% 2% 3%

 

Twelve Months Ended June 30,
 ($ in millions, except per share amounts) Revenue Operating Income Net Income Diluted Earnings per Share
2017 As Reported (GAAP) $96,571 $29,025 $25,489 $3.25
2017 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $96,571 $29,331 $25,732 $3.29
2018 As Reported (GAAP) $110,360 $35,058 $16,571 $2.13
2018 As Adjusted (non-GAAP) $110,360 $35,058 $30,267 $3.88
Percentage Change Y/Y (GAAP) 14% 21% (35)% (34)%
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) 14% 20% 18% 18%
Constant Currency Impact 1,275 654 569 $0.07
Percentage Change Y/Y (non-GAAP) Constant Currency 13% 17% 15% 16%

 Segment Revenue Constant Currency Reconciliation

Three Months Ended June 30,
 ($ in millions) Productivity and Business Processes Intelligent Cloud More Personal Computing
2017 As Reported $8,548 $7,822 $9,235
2018 As Reported $9,668 $9,606 $10,811
Percentage Change Y/Y 13% 23% 17%
Constant Currency Impact $228 $182 $139
Percentage Change Y/Y Constant Currency 10% 20% 16%

 Selected Product and Service Revenue Constant Currency Reconciliation 

Three Months Ended June 30, 2018
Percentage Change Y/Y (GAAP) Constant Currency Impact Percentage Change Y/Y Constant Currency
Office commercial products and cloud services 10% (2)% 8%
Office 365 commercial 38% (3)% 35%
Office consumer products and cloud services 8% (2)% 6%
LinkedIn 37% (3)% 34%
Dynamics products and cloud services 11% (3)% 8%
Dynamics 365 61% (5)% 56%
Server products and cloud services 26% (2)% 24%
Azure 89% (4)% 85%
Enterprise Services 8% (1)% 7%
Windows OEM 7% 0% 7%
Windows commercial products and cloud services 23% (4)% 19%
Search advertising excluding traffic acquisition costs 17% (1)% 16%
Surface 25% (4)% 21%
Gaming 39% (1)% 38%
Xbox software and services 36% (1)% 35%

About Microsoft

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

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this release that are “forward-looking statements” are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially because of factors such as:

  • intense competition in all of our markets that may lead to lower revenue or operating margins;
  • increasing focus on cloud-based services presenting execution and competitive risks;
  • significant investments in new products and services that may not achieve expected returns;
  • acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances that may have an adverse effect on our business;
  • impairment of goodwill or amortizable intangible assets causing a significant charge to earnings;
  • a change in our ability to earn expected revenues from our intellectual property rights;
  • claims that Microsoft has infringed the intellectual property rights of others;
  • the possibility that we may fail to protect our source code;
  • cyberattacks and security vulnerabilities that could lead to reduced revenue, increased costs, liability claims, or harm to our reputation or competitive position;
  • disclosure and misuse of personal data that could cause liability and harm to our reputation;
  • the possibility that we may not be able to protect information stored in our products and services from use by others;
  • abuse of our advertising or social platforms that may harm our reputation or user engagement;
  • excessive outages, data losses, and disruptions of our online services if we fail to maintain an adequate operations infrastructure;
  • government litigation and regulatory activity relating to competition rules that may limit how we design and market our products;
  • potential liability under trade protection, anti-corruption, and other laws resulting from our global operations;
  • laws and regulations relating to the handling of personal data that may impede the adoption of our services or result in increased costs, legal claims, fines, or reputational damage;
  • the dependence of our business on our ability to attract and retain talented employees;
  • claims against us that may result in adverse outcomes in legal disputes;
  • additional tax liabilities;
  • quality or supply problems;
  • exposure to increased economic and operational uncertainties from operating a global business, including the effects of foreign currency exchange;
  • catastrophic events or geo-political conditions that may disrupt our business;
  • adverse economic or market conditions that may harm our business;
  • changes in our sales organization that may impact revenues;
  • the development of the internet of things presenting security, privacy, and execution risks;
  • issues about the use of artificial intelligence in our offerings that may result in competitive harm, legal liability, or reputational harm; and
  • damage to our reputation or our brands that may harm our business and operating results.

For more information about risks and uncertainties associated with Microsoft’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of Microsoft’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, its annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained by contacting Microsoft’s Investor Relations department at (800) 285-7772 or at Microsoft’s Investor Relations website at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor.

All information in this release is as of June 30, 2018. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company’s expectations.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

For more information, financial analysts and investors only:

Michael Spencer, general manager, Investor Relations, (425) 706-4400

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers, and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Shareholder and financial information, as well as today’s 2:30 p.m. Pacific time conference call with investors and analysts, is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor.

Microsoft announces partnership with Campbell to drive IT transformation on Azure | Stories

REDMOND, Wash. — July 16, 2018 — On Monday, Microsoft Corp. and Campbell Soup Co. announced a partnership to modernize Campbell’s information technology (IT) platform through the Azure cloud by streamlining workflows and driving efficiencies.

The migration to Azure is designed to improve the responsiveness of Campbell’s IT infrastructure, enabling it to be faster and more agile. Azure will provide Campbell with a global, hybrid cloud solution that will deliver new capabilities and provide near-real-time access to information and insights that will inform business decisions. The platform will streamline operations across the enterprise and provide additional flexibility for Campbell employees through customized reporting and analytics.

“Campbell’s migration to Azure will increase our flexibility, agility and resiliency,” said Francisco Fraga, CIO, Campbell Soup. “Azure will give us the ability to respond quickly to evolving business needs, introduce new solutions, and support our 24/7, always-on architecture. The Microsoft cloud is a proven, reliable and highly secure platform.”

“We are honored that Campbell chose to modernize its IT platforms and evolve its digital strategies with Azure,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft. “We are looking forward to working with Campbell as it transitions to the cloud, helping them optimize operations, extract insights from data and advance their business.”

The Microsoft solution will provide additional benefits, including increased security, compliance and information protection. The move to Azure will allow Campbell to re-architect its data warehousing capabilities to be able to support the company’s data and analytics needs.

About Campbell Soup Company

Campbell (NYSE:CPB) is driven and inspired by our Purpose, “Real food that matters for life’s moments.” We make a range of high-quality soups and simple meals, beverages, snacks and packaged fresh foods. For generations, people have trusted Campbell to provide authentic, flavorful and readily available foods and beverages that connect them to each other, to warm memories and to what’s important today. Led by our iconic Campbell’s brand, our portfolio includes Pepperidge Farm, Bolthouse Farms, Arnott’s, V8, Swanson, Pace, Prego, Plum, Royal Dansk, KjeldsensGarden Fresh Gourmet, Pacific Foods, Snyder’s of Hanover, Lance, Kettle Brand, KETTLE Chips, Cape Cod, Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, Pop Secret, Emerald, Late July and other brand names. Founded in 1869, Campbell has a heritage of giving back and acting as a good steward of the planet’s natural resources. The company is a member of the Standard and Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. For more information, visit www.campbellsoupcompany.com or follow company news on Twitter via @CampbellSoupCo. To learn more about how we make our food and the choices behind the ingredients we use, visit www.whatsinmyfood.com.

About Microsoft

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

For more information, press only:
Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Medius Media Relations for The Campbell Soup Company, Fredrik André, VP Global Marketing, +46 709 23 93 81, fredrik.andre@medius.com

The Campbell Soup Company media relations contact: Corporate Communications, (800) 257-8443

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Russian intelligence officers indicted for DNC hack

The Department of Justice announced Friday the indictment of 12 members of Russia’s GRU intelligence agency in relation to the 2016 breaches of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The grand jury indictment, which is part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election, claimed the 12 intelligence officers were engaged in a “sustained effort” to hack into the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Clinton campaign. The DNC hack led to confidential emails becoming public via WikiLeaks, which negatively impacted the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party.

The grand jury indictment alleged the Russian intelligence officers, operating under the online personas “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0,” leaked information through another entity known as “Organization 1.” The indictment does not mention WikiLeaks by name.

The Justice Department claimed that in 2016, members of Unit 26165 in the Russian government’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) began spearphishing campaign officials and volunteers for Clinton’s presidential campaign; intelligence officers were able to steal usernames and passwords and use those credentials to obtain confidential emails and compromise other systems. The threat actors used similar techniques in the DNC hack as well as the breach of the DCCC’s network.

In addition, the Justice Department claimed Unit 26165, with members of the GRU’s Unit 74455, conspired to release the stolen emails and data in order to influence the election. According to the Department of Justice, Unit 74455 also “conspired to hack into the computers of state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and US companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of elections to steal voter data stored on those computers.”

The indictment accused the following individuals of being part of Unit 26165 and Unit 74455, and engaging in the DNC hack and other malicious activity: Viktor Borisovich Netyksho, Boris Alekseyevich Antonov, Dmitriy Sergeyevich Badin, Ivan Sergeyevich Yermakov, Aleksey Viktorovich Lukashev,  Sergey Aleksandrovich Morgachev, Nikolay Yuryevich Kozachek, Pavel Vyacheslavovich Yershov, Artem Andreyevich Malyshev, Aleksandr Vladimirovich Osadchuk, Aleksey Aleksandrovich Potemkin and Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev.

The 12 GRU officers are accused of 11 criminal counts, including criminal conspiracy against the United States “through cyber operations by the GRU that involved the staged release of stolen documents for the purpose of interfering with the 2016 president election”; aggravated identity theft; conspiracy to launder money; and criminal conspiracy for attempting to hack into certain state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and vendors of U.S. election equipment and software.

The Justice Department emphasized there is “no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the vote count or changed the outcome of the 2016 election,” and no allegation that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged criminal activity.

July Patch Tuesday brings three public disclosures

Microsoft announced three public disclosures from the 54 vulnerabilities released in the July Patch Tuesday.

An elevation of privilege public disclosure (CVE-2018-8313) affects all OSes except Windows 7. Attackers could impersonate processes, cross-process communication or interrupt system functionality to elevate their privilege levels. The patch addresses this issue by ensuring that the Windows kernel API enforces permissions.

“The fact that there is some level of detailed description of how to take advantage of this out in the open, it’s a good chance an attacker will look to develop some exploit code around this,” said Chris Goettl, director of product management and security at Ivanti, based in South Jordan, Utah.

A similar elevation-of-privilege vulnerability (CVE-2018-8314) this July Patch Tuesday affects all OSes except Windows Server 2016. Attackers could escape a sandbox to elevate their privileges when Windows fails a check. If this vulnerability were exploited in conjunction with another vulnerability, the attacker could run arbitrary code. The update fixes how Windows’ file picker handles paths.

A spoofing vulnerability in the Microsoft Edge browser (CVE-2018-8278) tricks users into thinking they are on a legitimate website. The attacker could then extract additional code to remotely exploit the system. The patch fixes how Microsoft Edge handles HTML content.

“That type of enticing of a user, we know works,” Goettl said. “It’s not a matter of will they get someone to do it or not; it’s a matter of statistically you only need to entice so many people before somebody will do it.”

Out-of-band updates continue

Chris Goettl of IvantiChris Goettl

Before July Patch Tuesday, Microsoft announced a new side-channel attack called Lazy FP State Restore (CVE-2018-3665) — similar to the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities — on supported versions of Windows. An attacker uses a different side-channel to pull information from other registers on Intel CPUs through speculative execution.

Jimmy Graham of QualysJimmy Graham

Microsoft also updated its Spectre and Meltdown advisory (ADV180012). It does not contain any new releases on the original three variants, but the company did update the Speculative Store Bypass, Variant 4 of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. This completed coverage for Intel processors, and Microsoft is still working with AMD to mitigate its processors.

Microsoft released out-of-band patches between June and July Patch Tuesday for a third-party Oracle Outside In vulnerability (ADV180010) that affects all Exchange servers.

“We don’t have a lot of info on the exploitability,” said Jimmy Graham, director of product management at Qualys, based in Foster City, Calif. “It should be treated as critical for Exchange servers.”

New Windows Server 2008 R2 servicing model on its way

Alongside its June Patch Tuesday, Microsoft announced plans to switch the updating system for Windows Server 2008 SP2 to a rollup model. The new monthly model will more closely match the servicing model used for older Windows versions, enabling administrators to simplify their servicing process. This will include a security-only quality update, a security monthly quality rollup and a preview of the monthly quality rollup.

“The 2008 Server users out there now need to adopt the same strategy, where they had the luxury of being able to do one or two updates if they chose to and not the rest,” Goettl said.

The new model will preview on Aug. 21, 2018. Administrators will still receive extended support for Windows Server 2008 SP2 until January 2020. After that, only companies that pay for Premium Assurance will have an additional six years of support.

For more information about the remaining security bulletins for July Patch Tuesday, visit Microsoft’s Security Update Guide.

Microsoft announces design and construction teams for Redmond campus modernization | Stories

REDMOND, Wash. — July 3, 2018 On Tuesday, Microsoft Corp. announced the consortium of architects and general contractors it has selected to work together to design and build almost 3 million square feet of new workspace on 72 acres of its Redmond campus. This is part of a multiyear campus modernization project announced in 2017, which will create new office space, public amenities and infrastructure.

The team includes architecture firms LMN, NBBJ, WRNS Studio and ZGF Architects; general contractors Skanska, Balfour Beatty, GLY and Sellen; and lead landscape architect Berger Partnership with OLIN. Project management for the redevelopment was awarded to CBRE, JLL and OAC Services Inc. Construction of the new buildings is expected to commence later this year and be completed in 2022.

“Our new campus will be more open and modern, focused on sustainability, connectedness and accessibility. The workplaces will feature more natural light and foster the type of creativity that will lead to ongoing innovation, advance the industry and benefit our customers,” said Rob Towne, regional director of Puget Sound, Global Real Estate & Facilities at Microsoft. “The firms we selected for this project will bring our vision to life.”

An overarching goal of the campus modernization is creating a healthy, inspiring workplace that supports the needs of Microsoft employees. The project will include:

  • 18 new buildings, ranging from 180,000 to 220,000 square feet, clustered into four distinct villages that will be blended together to create a unified campus.
  • Accessibility features to enhance mobility and ease of access for all employees.
  • Buildings that are four to five stories in height, encouraging physical activity and interaction between employees.
  • Spacious atriums and courtyards for improved daylighting and direct connections to the outdoors.
  • Thoughtful sustainable design strategies to support the symbiosis of people and place, while respecting the unique ecology of the region.
  • Fronting 156th Avenue Northeast, the primary corridor of access to East Campus, a future gateway to serve those arriving via Sound Transit’s Redmond Technology Center light rail station. It will also welcome arrivals from a pedestrian-and-cyclist-only bridge over State Route 520, which will connect to the west campus.
  • To emphasize the importance of health, movement and easy access to a variety of amenities, the campus will be organized around the experience of pedestrians and cyclists. Vehicular traffic — including drop-off and parking areas — will be relegated to the campus periphery and underground structured parking.

For more information, visit https://news.microsoft.com/modern-campus/.

About Microsoft

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

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

SHOWTIME, Amblin Television and 343 Industries Bring Halo to Television – Xbox Wire

It’s a big day for Halo – today, SHOWTIME president and CEO David Nevins announced the network has ordered a 10-episode season based on the legendary video game franchise!

In its adaptation for SHOWTIME, Halo (working title) will take place in the universe that first came to be in 2001, dramatizing an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant. Kyle Killen (Awake) will serve as executive producer, writer and showrunner. Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) will direct multiple episodes and also executive produce the hour-long series which enters production in early 2019.

Halo is our most ambitious series ever, and we expect audiences who have been anticipating it for years to be thoroughly rewarded,” said Nevins. “In the history of television, there simply has never been enough great science fiction. Kyle Killen’s scripts are thrilling, expansive and provocative, Rupert Wyatt is a wonderful, world-building director, and their vision of Halo will enthrall fans of the game while also drawing the uninitiated into a world of complex characters that populate this unique universe.”

“This is a truly exciting moment for the Halo franchise,” stated Kiki Wolfkill, head of Halo Transmedia at 343 Industries. “Together with our creative and production partners at SHOWTIME and Amblin Television, the Halo television series will represent new and exciting way for fans to enter and engage with the Halo universe. We can’t wait to share more on what’s ahead.”

Halo will be executive produced by Killen, Wyatt and Scott Pennington, along with Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank for Amblin Television. The series will be distributed globally by CBS Studios International.

For all things Halo and the recently announced Halo Infinite, be sure to check out Halo Waypoint and stay tuned to Xbox Wire.

Box Skills integrations give users access to AI

Box Skills integrations took more shape this week, as Box announced the expansion of its Box Skills private beta program with AI integrations with Google, IBM and Microsoft, though some details of the deals still are unclear.

Box first signaled the Box Skills integrations at its conference last year and the expansions of the beta program builds on the content management platform vendor’s long-standing plans to add AI capabilities for document, image and audio management.

“This is the next step of what Box previously announced,” said Alan Lepofsky, principal analyst at Constellation Research. “It’s appealing, but it comes with complications.”

It’s not known if Box customers will have to license the AI capabilities through the integrations or if those costs will be covered within their Box licenses. Another concern is security, Lepofsky said.

“If Box is your approved data provider, do you also have to check to see if it’s OK to pass those images to Google’s API,” Lepofsky said. “Box needs to be open and transparent about licensing and security.”

The vendor’s chief product officer, Jeetu Patel, said Box will announce pricing in the fall, with general availability of the private beta program sometime in the second half of 2018.

Among Box’s roster of beta users are Virgin Trains, Ancestry.com, The University of Chicago and the city of San Jose, the company said.

Box is leaning toward letting customers use some Box Skills features for free, and charging for others, especially for larger custom Box Skills projects, Patel said.

“There will be a specific charge to use Box Skills,” he said. “There will be a set of core foundational skills that we will make sure we will be helping with the contracting of, and then there’s going to be others that you can also buy directly.

In the long term, Box is hoping that a kind of marketplace for Box Skills integrations develops, Patel said.

Box Skills integrates with AI
Building off its announcement at BoxWorks last year, Box Skills now integrates with Google, IBM and Microsoft to provide AI capabilities for its users.

‘Mainly about AI’

The use cases for the Box Skills integrations are abundant and range from simple automation to navigating giant data sets for sentiment analysis or image recognition. And by keeping the AI options open to various market leaders, the new capabilities give Box customers flexibility to integrate into whichever API is best for them.

What it does is provide an incredible amount of additional functionality for Box customers.
Alan Lepofskyprincipal analyst, Constellation Research

While this could be useful for Box customers, Box is unlikely to take any customers from competitors like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive to migrate due to these open APIs.

“If you’re using Google or Microsoft or IBM AI platforms, why wouldn’t you just use their content management tools too,” Lepofsky said. “You’re not going to get a Google Drive customer interested in Box because it can now use Google APIs.”

But for Box customers, the Box Skills integrations can create value around AI tools, which can increase efficiency and reduce human error.

“Things like image recognition and metadata tagging — that alone can save huge amounts of time and resources,” Lepofsky said. “What it does is provide an incredible amount of additional functionality for Box customers.”

As for its similarly named competitor, Dropbox, which recently went public, the Box Skills integrations do differentiate Box from Dropbox — something that Box was surely thinking about with this release.

“There’s nothing about Dropbox that says it can’t plug into the same platforms,” Lepofsky said, “but they haven’t made it as developer-friendly.”

When it was first announced in October 2017, Box Skills focused on image, audio and video intelligence.

The integrations with Google, IBM and Microsoft can help with those areas — yet it depends on which vendor the customer is most comfortable with. If a Box user’s organization runs primarily through Microsoft, it will most likely use that Box Skills integration.

“Each of them have some differentiation, but this announcement is mainly about AI,” Lepofsky said. “This talks about these APIs being around images and image tagging, object detection — and most people I speak to say Google image recognition is still the most advanced.”

Patel asserted that the key difference between Box and major competitors such as Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive is that Box is vendor neutral, partnering with all four of the major machine learning and AI vendors — Google, AWS, Microsoft and IBM.

“As this market, which is in the pretty early stages, starts to develop … customers can rest assured that when the data is in Box, they can take advantage of any of those skills or any of those machine learning models, and apply it to Box content,” Patel said.

Box this month also unveiled a new service partnership with IBM to build custom Box Skills that apply IBM Watson AI tools to the Box Skills framework.

Box also announced support for the latest Azure cognitive services from Microsoft.

News director Shaun Sutner contributed to this article.

Insider preview: Windows container image

Earlier this year at Microsoft Build 2018, we announced a third container base image for applications that have additional API dependencies beyond nano server and Windows Server Core. Now the time has finally come and the Windows container image is available for Windows Insiders.

Why another container image?

In conversations with IT Pros and developers there were some themes coming up which went beyond the nanoserver and windowsservercore container images:
Quite a few customers were interested in moving their legacy applications into containers to benefit from container orchestration and management technologies like Kubernetes. However, not all applications could be easily containerized, in some cases due to missing components like proofing support which is not included in Windows Server Core.
Others wanted to leverage containers to run automated UI tests as part of their CI/CD processes or use other graphics capabilities like DirectX which are not available within the other container images.

With the new windows container image, we’re now offering a third option to choose from based on the requirements of the workload. We’re looking forward to see what you will build!

How can you get it?

If you are running a container host on Windows Insider build 17704, you can get this container image using the following command:

docker pull mcr.microsoft.com/windows-insider:10.0.17704.1000

To simply get the latest available version of the container image, you can use the following command:

docker pull mcr.microsoft.com/windows-insider:latest

Please note that for compatibility reasons we recommend running the same build version for the container host and the container itself.

Since this image is currently part of the Windows Insider preview, we’re looking forward to your feedback, bug reports, and comments. We will be publishing newer builds of this container image along with the insider builds.

Alles Gute,
Lars

It’s almost time! Imagine Cup 2018 Championship judges and special guest announced – The Official Microsoft Blog

Last October, I announced the 16th annual Imagine Cup competition, which gives college and university students the opportunity to test their intellectual, creative and teamwork skills while using technology to change the world. Forty-nine teams who have won their National Finals are now well underway in getting their solutions ready to compete at the World Finals, which will be held July 23-25 at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Last year, dozens of teams from nearly 40 countries were present at the World Finals, and this year is setting up to be just as exciting and diverse!

I love overseeing the Imagine Cup because it lets me interact with inspiring talent shaping the future and get to know incredible people along the way. Microsoft cares deeply about fostering careers in STEM, and I can’t think of a better way to give students the opportunity to take an idea from concept to completion, while also helping them acquire marketable skills they’ll be able to use throughout their careers. The work that comes out of Imagine Cup is innovative and life-changing — and often turns into full-fledged products!

Mug shot of Corey Sanders
Corey Sanders

This year’s Imagine Cup host is Corey Sanders, the corporate vice president for Azure Compute.

Corey’s no stranger to innovation — he holds four patents and was the creator of the Infrastructure-as-a-service offering for Azure.

Mug shot of Kate Yeager
Kate Yeager

And, last year’s emcee, Kate Yeager, is making a return appearance to call the action.

Judging the Imagine Cup is a big task, but this year’s judges are up for the challenge — all bringing a unique aspect of thought leadership to the table. The panel includes:

Mug shot of Peggy Johnson
Peggy Johnson

Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft, who started her career as an engineer and found her way into business development, merging her technical expertise and business savvy to become Microsoft’s “chief dealmaker.”

Mug shot of Anil Dash
Anil Dash

_ CEO of GlitchAnil Dash, who oversees the popular creative community for coders, and whose work as an entrepreneur, activist and writer reckons with the way technology transforms society, media and culture.

Erica Brescia
Erica Brescia

_ Co-founder and COO of Bitnami, Erica Brescia, an entrepreneur through-and-through with a “get it done” approach, she’s also an active investor via X Factor Ventures, funding amazing women founding extraordinary companies.

At the Imagine Cup Finals, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will be in conversation with special guest Chloe Kim, the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal when she won the gold in the women’s snowboard halfpipe at age 17! Chloe is an outstanding example of a young person at the top of her game, much like the Imagine Cup participants are at the top of theirs.

Photo of Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim

Chloe Kim. Photo credit: Peter Morning

This year’s prize value of cash, travel and Azure credits totals more than $700,000, in addition to a mentoring session with Satya. Artificial intelligence, big data and mixed reality have special award prizes as well.

Want to see which team has the winning solution? You can watch the championship via live stream at ImagineCup.com at 9 a.m. PT, Wednesday, July 25.

I’m so excited to see what these remarkable students create this year. They are only bound by imagination, and as we’ve seen year after year, when given the opportunity to follow their imaginations, people can change the world.

P.S. Follow me on Twitter for updates on Imagine Cup and other news and noteworthy information in the cloud and ecosystem space.

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Cisco acquires July Systems for its location, analytics services

Cisco announced this week the acquisition of a company that provides cloud-based location services through retailers’ Wi-Fi networks, while Extreme Networks and Ruckus Networks launched improvements to their wired and wireless LANs.

Cisco plans to use July Systems technology to improve its enterprise Wi-Fi platform for indoor location services. July, a privately held company headquartered in Burlingame, Calif., sells its product by subscription.

July Systems’ platform integrates with a company’s customer management system to identify people walking into a retail store or mall. The July software can then interact with the people through text messages, email or push notifications.

The system also continuously maps the physical location of retail customers and uses the information to calculate their behavior patterns. July Systems software can also send collected data to business intelligence applications for further analysis.

Before the acquisition, July Systems was a Cisco partner. The company made its location services and analytics available through the Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences. CMX is a set of location-based products that use Cisco’s wireless infrastructure.

Cisco plans to complete the acquisition by the end of October. The company did not release financial details.

Extreme, Ruckus releases

Extreme Networks has introduced wired and wireless LAN infrastructure called Smart OmniEdge that incorporates technology Extreme acquired when it bought Avaya’s enterprise networking business last year.

The latest release includes an on-premises version of Extreme’s cloud-based management application, called ExtremeCloud. Both versions provide a single console for overseeing the vendor’s wired and wireless infrastructure, including access points and edge switches. They are also engineered for zero-touch provisioning, enabling customers to configure and activate devices without manual intervention.

Other infrastructure additions include hosted software for radio frequency management on the wireless network, which in today’s workplace has to serve a variety of devices, including PCs, mobile phones, printers and projectors. Automated features in the technology include access point tuning and optimization, load balancing and troubleshooting.

Smart OmniEdge utilizes Avaya’s software-defined networking product for simpler provisioning, management and troubleshooting of switches and access points. Extreme has also added APIs to integrate third-party network products and hardware adapters that companies can plug into medical devices to download and enforce policies.

Extreme has designed Smart OmniEdge for networking a campus, hotel, healthcare facility and large entertainment venue. The company’s wired and wireless networking portfolio incorporates technology from acquisitions over several years, including wireless LAN vendor Zebra Technologies, Avaya’s software-based networking technology and Brocade’s data center network products.

Extreme’s acquisition strategy helped boost sales in its latest quarter ended in May by 76% to $262 million. However, results for the quarter, coupled with modest guidance for the current quarter, disappointed analysts, driving its stock down by 19.5%, according to the financial site Motley Fool.

Meanwhile, Ruckus Networks, an Arris company, released a new version of the operating system for its SmartZone controllers for the wired and wireless LAN. SmartZoneOS 5 provides a central console for controlling, managing and securing Ruckus access points and switches.

SmartZoneOS customers can build a single network control cluster to serve up to 450,000 clients. The controller also contains RESTful APIs, so managed service providers can invoke SmartZoneOS features and configurations.

In February, Ruckus launched SmartZoneOS software that provides essential management and security features for IoT devices. The software works in conjunction with a Ruckus IoT module plugged into the USB port on each of the company’s access points.