Tag Archives: incredible

Tallying the momentous growth and continued expansion of Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform – The Official Microsoft Blog

We’ve seen incredible growth of Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform just in the past year. This momentum is driving a massive investment in people and breakthrough technologies that will empower organizations to transform in the next decade.

We have allocated hundreds of millions of dollars in our business cloud that power business transformation across markets and industries and help organizations solve difficult problems.

This fiscal year we are also heavily investing in the people that bring Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform to life — a rapidly growing global network of experts, from engineers and researchers to sales and marketing professionals. Side-by-side with our incredible partner community, the people that power innovation at Microsoft will fuel transformational experiences for our customers into the next decade.

Accelerating innovation across industries

In every industry, I hear about the struggle to transform from a reactive to proactive organization that can respond to changes in the market, customer needs, and even within their own business. When I talk to customers who have rolled out Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform, the conversation shifts to the breakthrough outcomes they’ve achieved, often in very short time frames.

Customers talk about our unique ability to connect data holistically across departments and teams — with AI-powered insights to drive better outcomes. Let me share a few examples.

This year we’ve focused on a new vision for retail that unifies back office, in-store and digital experiences. One of Washington state’s founding wineries — Ste. Michelle Wine Estates — is onboarding Dynamics 365 Commerce to bridge physical and digital channels, streamline operations with cloud intelligence and continue building brand loyalty with hyper-personalized customer experiences.

When I talk to manufacturers, we often zero in on ways to bring more efficiency to the factory floor and supply chain. Again, it’s our ability to harness data from physical and digital worlds, reason over it with AI-infused insights, that opens doors to new possibilities. For example, Majans, the Australian-based snackfood company, is creating the factory of the future with the help of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Power BI and Azure IoT Hub — bringing Internet of Things (IoT) intelligence to every step in the supply chain, from quality control on the production floor to key performance indicators to track future investments. When everyone relies on a single source of truth about production, inventory and sales performance, decisions employees make drive the same outcome — all made possible on our connected business cloud.

These connected experiences extend to emerging technologies that bridge digital and physical worlds, such as our investment in mixed reality. We’re working with companies like PACCAR — manufacturer of premium trucks — to improve manufacturing productivity and employee training using Dynamics 365 Guides and HoloLens 2, as well as Siemens to enable technicians to service its eHighway — an electrified freight transport system — by completing service steps with hands-free efficiency using HoloLens and two-way communication and documentation in Dynamics 365 Field Service.

For many of our customers, the journey to Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform started with a need for more personalized customer experiences. Our customer data platform (CDP) featuring Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, is helping Tivoli Gardens — one of the world’s longest-running amusement parks — personalize guest experiences across every touchpoint — on the website, at the hotel and in the park.  Marston’s has onboarded Dynamics 365 Sales and Customer Insights to unify guest data and infuse personalized experiences across its 1,500-plus pubs across the U.K.

The value of Dynamics 365 is compounded when coupled with the Power Platform. In late 2019, there are over 3 million monthly active developers on the Power Platform, from non-technical “citizen developers” to Microsoft partners developing world-class, customized apps. In the last year, we’ve seen a 700% growth in Power Apps production apps and a 300% growth in monthly active users. All of those users generate a ton of data, with more than 25 billion Power Automate steps run each day and 25 million data models hosted in the Power BI service.

The impact of the Power Platform is shared in the stories our customers share with us. TruGreen, one of the largest lawn care companies in the U.S., onboarded Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and the Microsoft Power Platform to provide more proactive and predictive services to customers, freeing employees to spend more time on higher value tasks and complex customer issue resolution. And the American Red Cross is leveraging Power Platform integration with Teams to improve disaster response times.

From the Fortune 500 companies below to the thousands of small and medium sized businesses, city and state governments, schools and colleges and nonprofit organizations — Dynamics 365 and the Microsoft Cloud are driving transformative success delivering on business outcomes.

24 business logos of Microsoft partners

Partnering to drive customer success

We can’t talk about growth and momentum of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform without spotlighting our partner community — from ISVs to System Integrators that are the lifeblood of driving scale for our business. We launched new programs, such as the new ISV Connect Program, to help partners get Dynamics 365 and Power Apps solutions to market faster.

Want to empower the next generation of connected cloud business? Join our team!

The incredible momentum of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform means our team is growing, too. In markets around the globe, we’re looking for people who want to make a difference and take their career to the next level by helping global organizations digitally transform on Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. If you’re interested in joining our rapidly growing team, we’re hiring across a wealth of disciplines, from engineering to technical sales, in markets across the globe. Visit careers.microsoft.com to explore business applications specialist career opportunities.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Gears 5 breaks records as biggest launch for any Xbox Game Studios game this generation – Xbox Wire

Thanks to the incredible support from our fans, Gears 5 kicked off the Holiday season strong – attracting over three million players in its opening weekend and setting new records for Xbox Game Pass with the biggest launch week of any Xbox Game Studios title this generation. The performance easily doubled the first week’s debut of Gears of War 4 and made Gears 5 the most-played Xbox Game Studios title in its first week since 2012’s Halo 4. First week performance includes the four-day early access period beginning Friday, September 6, which was exclusive to Gears 5 Ultimate Edition and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. On the PC, Gears 5 has nearly tripled the performance of its predecessor, becoming the biggest-ever launch for Xbox Game Pass for PC, and Xbox Game Studios’ best-ever debut on Steam.

On Tuesday, Gears 5 expanded into worldwide general availability with the launch of Gears 5 Standard Edition at retail, as well as new Xbox One X and Xbox One S console bundles. For PC fans, Gears 5 is included in a three-month Xbox Game Pass for PC membership bundled with the purchase of select AMD Ryzen™ processors and AMD Radeon™ graphics cards.

Described as “one of the best and most versatile action-game packages in recent memory” by IGN, the game is a hit with critics and fans alike, and enjoys a Metacritic user score of 8.7, the sixth best of any Xbox One game. The excitement extends to the PC version as well, with Digital Foundry declaring, “it fills every desire that I want for the PC version of a game.”

Gears 5 has also received special attention for its commitment to representation and accessibility. Accessibility features include full controller remapping, single stick movement, Xbox Adaptive Controller support, narrated UI and menus, improved subtitles, and more. It was the first AAA game to receive a perfect score from CanIPlayThat.com, “A Deaf/Hoh accessibility masterpiece.”

For more information on the Gears of War franchise, stay tuned to Xbox Wire or follow Gears on Twitter @gearsofwar.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

E3 2018: Gaming for Everyone, a Conversation with Phil Spencer – Xbox Wire

E3 is always an incredible time to come together to appreciate the breadth of creative energy that abounds in our industry and to celebrate what’s ahead for gamers. At this year’s E3 Coliseum series, Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox sat down with Tina Summerford, Head of Programming at Xbox, to discuss Microsoft’s approach to gaming, his perspective on E3 and to hear why the industry has a responsibility to make gaming for everyone.

Other topics discussed during the panel were the unique games Xbox is looking to bring to the [email protected] program, insight into the creation of the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing, from matching thematic elements to creating an engaging experience, and the creation of the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The discussion also included insights from Phil on his conversations about gaming with CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, his appreciation of and participation in the gaming community. Spencer also took a variety of questions from the audience, ranging on bringing more games to Xbox created by Japanese developers and growing the Women and Gaming initiative.

You can watch the full interview with Phil Spencer above from the E3 Coliseum.

E3 2018: Gaming for Everyone, a Conversation with Phil Spencer – Xbox Wire

E3 is always an incredible time to come together to appreciate the breadth of creative energy that abounds in our industry and to celebrate what’s ahead for gamers. At this year’s E3 Coliseum series, Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox sat down with Tina Summerford, Head of Programming at Xbox, to discuss Microsoft’s approach to gaming, his perspective on E3 and to hear why the industry has a responsibility to make gaming for everyone.

Other topics discussed during the panel were the unique games Xbox is looking to bring to the [email protected] program, insight into the creation of the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing, from matching thematic elements to creating an engaging experience, and the creation of the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The discussion also included insights from Phil on his conversations about gaming with CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, his appreciation of and participation in the gaming community. Spencer also took a variety of questions from the audience, ranging on bringing more games to Xbox created by Japanese developers and growing the Women and Gaming initiative.

You can watch the full interview with Phil Spencer above from the E3 Coliseum.

New Aquatic Skins Out Today!

We’re supporting the incredible work of The Nature Conservancy to protect and restore these coral reefs (which you can learn more about here). Both from sales of this new skin pack and with the promise to donate more money for every coral block YOU place in the game.

It’s true! As soon as players have collectively placed ten million coral blocks underwater in Minecraft, we’ll donate one hundred thousand dollars to The Nature Conservancy and their efforts. We’ve got no doubt you’ll manage it in no time!

So what are you waiting for? Build something amazing out of coral, help us help the oceans and enjoy the new skin pack!

Learn more about the Nature Conservancy by clicking this lovely line of green text.

IMPORTANT LEGAL STUFF:

Net proceeds from sales of the Coral Crafter Skin Pack excluding platform and marketplace operating fees will be donated to The Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA, 22203-1606, USA, www.nature.org. No portion of purchase or gift is tax deductible.

Minecraft will contribute $100,000.00 to The Nature Conservancy to protect and restore coral reefs around the world once players have placed 10 million coral blocks underwater, beginning on June 8th. (Coral blocks are only counted in Minecraft versions without “Edition” in the title.) The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the land and waters on which all life depends. More information about the Conservancy is available at www.nature.org.

We’ll update on Twitter when ten million coral blocks have been placed.

New Aquatic Skins Out Today!

We’re supporting the incredible work of The Nature Conservancy to protect and restore these coral reefs (which you can learn more about here). Both from sales of this new skin pack and with the promise to donate more money for every coral block YOU place in the game.

It’s true! As soon as players have collectively placed ten million coral blocks underwater in Minecraft, we’ll donate one hundred thousand dollars to The Nature Conservancy and their efforts. We’ve got no doubt you’ll manage it in no time!

So what are you waiting for? Build something amazing out of coral, help us help the oceans and enjoy the new skin pack!

Learn more about the Nature Conservancy by clicking this lovely line of green text.

IMPORTANT LEGAL STUFF:

Net proceeds from sales of the Coral Crafter Skin Pack excluding platform and marketplace operating fees will be donated to The Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA, 22203-1606, USA, www.nature.org. No portion of purchase or gift is tax deductible.

Minecraft will contribute $100,000.00 to The Nature Conservancy to protect and restore coral reefs around the world once players have placed 10 million coral blocks underwater, beginning on June 8th. (Coral blocks are only counted in Minecraft versions without “Edition” in the title.) The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the land and waters on which all life depends. More information about the Conservancy is available at www.nature.org.

We’ll update on Twitter when ten million coral blocks have been placed.

State of Decay 2 Exceeds 2 Million Players in Less Than Two Weeks – Xbox Wire

It has been incredible to see fans around the world supporting State of Decay 2 and we are excited to share that we have reached more than 2 million players in less than two weeks since our global launch on May 22.  On behalf of the team here and our incredibly talented partners at Undead Labs, we want to thank the millions of fans old and new who have helped build such a strong community of players united in the fight for survival.

With so many players enjoying the game, we’ve seen some interesting trends and data since our previous milestone of 1 million players. So far, survivors have eliminated close to 2 billion zombies! We’re also seeing lots of successful survivor stories. Last week, players tended to survive about three days on average, and as of note, we’ve seen players complete over 121,000 community stories and start brand new communities with a new map that includes extra bonuses to help kickstart their new survival challenge. This shows an incredible commitment to the game and we’re excited so many of you are enjoying the rich survival experience that State of Decay 2 offers.

The entire team has been working hard to bring all 2 million players lots of key fixes, gameplay tune-ups, and quality of life improvements with our latest game patch released last Friday. We are always listening to our fans to improve the game experience, and we will continue to bring updates and additional content as you explore all that State of Decay 2 has to offer. For further details on what’s changed see the full patch notes here.

The sequel to the original smash hit, State of Decay 2 puts players in small-town America, one year from the end of everything. The dead have risen and civilization has fallen. Not even the military could stop the zombies, and now it’s up to you to gather survivors and build a community in a post-apocalyptic world – a world where every decision matters, and where you define what it means to survive. The game builds upon the unique blend of open-world exploration, third-person action, and survival-fantasy role-playing pioneered in the original game. There is an overarching story told in the form of structured mainline and optional sidequests, but the world itself is shaped by your actions with dynamically generated content based on your choices and the ever-increasing zombie threat.

If you haven’t joined the community just yet, now’s a great time to get in on all the action! In addition to playing it with an Xbox Game Pass membership, you can purchase the Standard Edition for $29.99 and the Ultimate Edition for $49.99. As an Xbox Play Anywhere game, one digital purchase gets you both the Xbox One and the Windows 10 version of the game.

We look forward to welcoming even more players into the world of State of Decay 2 and continuing to support our growing community with further content updates and downloadable content in the future.

Again, on behalf of Microsoft Studios and Undead Labs, we’re excited and humbled to see more survival stories in State of Decay 2. How will you survive?

Super Lucky’s Tale Is Here!

Hello, from all of us at Playful!

This is an incredible day for us. We finally get to hand the controller to Xbox One and Windows 10 PC players and see what they think of Super Lucky’s Tale!

Video forSuper Lucky’s Tale Is Here!

The Lucky’s Tale series is a diary of sorts for our development team. The original Lucky’s Tale, both our first platformer and first experience with virtual reality, was very challenging for us, but we couldn’t wait to return to that world and those characters to tell even more of their story. We learned a lot about who Lucky is – a brave, curious fox who loves adventure and making people smile.

For Super Lucky’s Tale, we wanted to expand on the language of the first game without losing the simple pick-up-and-play control scheme that keeps the game both accessible and engaging. This time, Lucky has gained a few new tricks, his reactions have gotten tighter and more responsive and the gameplay is deeper and more rewarding. We’ve introduced the nefarious Jinx and his Kitty Litter, created a whole new cast of silly characters, and expanded on Lucky’s backstory by introducing his older sister, Lyra, and their stewardship as guardians of The Book of Ages.

Video forSuper Lucky’s Tale Is Here!

More than any particular change, though, is the love that the team has poured into Super Lucky’s Tale. Their passion inspired an unflappable willingness to continually ask the important questions, like “Is it silly enough? Joyful enough? Is the gameplay satisfying enough? Do we have enough rabbits bouncing on jump pads?” Even now, we’re still thinking about how to add more delight, more fun, more challenge, more refinement. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

That being said, this is Lucky’s chance to shine, and I hope that you have as much fun playing the game as we had making it. We’d love to hear from you! We really mean it, too – don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on Twitter (@PlayfulLucky), our Facebook page, or even an email ([email protected]).

Thank you for playing!

XOXO,

Dan Hurd

Director, Super Lucky’s Tale

Puppet CEO: We must scale automation for business

“Unfortunately, neither you nor us can rest on our past laurels. Technology and business is moving at an incredible clip. The pressure is on. Every company is being forced, whether they like it or not, to become a software company.”

Puppet CEO Sanjay Mirchandani shared those observations in his PuppetConf 2017 keynote address. And while his opening greeting, “You’re here today because you believe in automation,” hinted at Puppet’s solution for companies feeling the pressure, Sanjay later explained that mere automation for business simply isn’t enough. It needs to be ubiquitous.

“I think the world is ready and needs a way that allows us to scale the success in a prescriptive, predictive and repeatable way.”

According to Sanjay, that means the world is ready for what he calls “the journey to pervasive automation.”

Helping Puppet customers on that journey are these major products announced at the show:

  • Puppet Discover, which offers visibility into hybrid infrastructure for easier and more effective management
  • Puppet Tasks, which simplifies automation for business across infrastructure
  • Puppet Pipelines for Apps, Pipelines for Containers, and Puppet Container Registry, all spun out from its Distelli CI/CD platform acquisition.
Sanjay Mirchandani, CEO, PuppetSanjay Mirchandani

But that’s not all. Pervasive automation, apart from a catchy phrase, is a guiding principle for Puppet’s view of how the enterprise can best deal with the pressure and scale automation for business. Three elements fasten this principle — a tried and tested automation roadmap, leader accountability and the need to rally people.

“It’s not about doing it alone. I don’t want heroes. This is a team sport; this is an absolute team sport, here and with our community and partners, and with our customers. That’s the only way we’ll succeed.”

Diverse teams means good outcomes

Teams are made up of people, and as with anything DevOps, there’s a strong cultural component — both in IT and the traditional sense.

Puppet was very keen on promoting its efforts to increase its internal diversity, including establishing a manager of diversity and inclusion, as well as making PuppetConf 2017 a welcoming show, complete with travel and lodging sponsorship for speakers and attendees from underrepresented and culturally focused user groups, and free conference tickets to organizations promoting diversity.

Diversity also makes good business sense, bringing with it practical benefits, as Nigel Kersten, Puppet’s chief technical strategist, explained in comments to DevOps Agenda.

“There’s actually pretty good research that shows that the more diverse your teams are that build products, the more diverse appeal your products have to the market.”

Citing the many studies and research supporting Kersten’s take, Puppet CTO Deepak Giridharagopal added, “I would consider it incontrovertible that literally in any type of study of any amount of rigor, it’s been almost universal that if you have a team that is comprised with more gender diversity, more racial diversity, and age stratification, they tend to be strongly correlated with better business outcomes.”

Teams of Tech Partners

At PuppetConf 2017, the team concept also extended to Puppet’s many partners. Puppet CEO Mirchandani claimed, “We talk with Nutanix and Google and Amazon, the list continues. These are deep integrations.”

Our mantra inside the company is, we don’t live alone. We’ve got to live in the ecosystems our customers are using today.
Sanjay MirchandaniPuppet CEO

“Our mantra inside the company is, we don’t live alone,” he added. “We’ve got to live in the ecosystems our customers are using today.”

Splunk is an example. It provides infrastructure monitoring and intelligence. Mirchandani described a world where Puppet enables seamless action on that intelligence. For example, Splunk alerts an Exchange Server crash at 4:00 a.m. and Puppet spins up a failsafe in lieu of an engineer who might otherwise get up and check in, or miss it altogether.

That’s discovery into action, which Mirchandani envisions will be integrated everywhere in that prescriptive, predictive and repeatable way, for sake of the business. But only time will tell if his vision and this ultimate promise to enterprise users bears out.

“It makes life easier on our customers, and that’s the journey to pervasive automation.”

Making the case for AI in software testing

Enterprise digital technology provider InfoStretch announced it will offer artificial intelligence in software testing through a brand-new service called Predictive and Prescriptive QA. It’s just another move among other new AI testing ventures. How will machine learning and AI fit into DevOps and continuous delivery?