Tag Archives: Lync

Microsoft cheers on girls who like science and the women they grow up to be – Weekend Reading: March 13th Edition

Welcome to Weekend Reading, with stories about Microsoft encouraging girls – and women – in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), an exciting first partnership event with Real Madrid, and four creative folks who are helping design the future of Microsoft.

In “Girls Do Science,” a video from Microsoft released for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we hear from young girls who like science – a lot. But in some cases, they already feel discouraged from pursuing it because of the stereotype that science is more for boys than girls. Seven out of 10 girls are interested in science but only 2 in 10 will pursue it as a career. “I built a garage door opener and I’m working on my own website,” says Anya, one girl in the video. Then she is handed a letter from Microsoft. “Dear Anya, Keep opening those garage doors. Our doors will always be open for you.” Also this week, “Big Dream,” an inspiring film about seven young women breaking barriers as they follow their passion in the STEM fields, was shown at South by Southwest Education (SXSWedu), a spinoff of the SXSW festivals of music, interactive and film.

The partnership between Microsoft and Real Madrid scored its first goal Thursday, when players met thousands of their fans via a newly created online “Fan Sticker Album.” The album features thousands of fans from 118 countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, a kind of United Nations of football fans for one of the world’s most popular teams. Twelve fans from the album were chosen to participate in a Skype video chat with players at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, Spain. “This is what our partnership with Real Madrid is all about – bringing people together in a different dimension of community and connectedness,” said Orlando Ayala, Microsoft corporate vice president and chairman of Emerging Markets.

Real Madrid, Skype

Real Madrid fan Karla Esther Aguilera Rioboó of Venezuela chats with Real Madrid players, from left, Marcelo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos and Chicharito, via Skype on Thursday, March 12, 2015.

We met some of the imaginative people who are helping to design the future of Microsoft: Kat Holmes, Operating Systems design director; Jonah Sterling, Azure creative director; Yeongkyu Yoo, Devices creative director; and Ralf Groene, Surface creative director. “As a kid, I adored ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and straying from the path,” Holmes tells writer Emily Alhadeff. “Curiosity and play are central to design.” You can hear more from Holmes, as well as from principal researcher Bill Buxton, in the second episode of Next at Microsoft’s podcast series on inventive people.

Weekend Reading

Clockwise, from top left: Yeongkyu Yoo, Kat Holmes, Ralf Groene and Jonah Sterling. Photo by Brian Smale / © Microsoft

For the 5th year in a row, Microsoft is on the list of The World’s Most Ethical Companies, announced this week by the Ethisphere Institute. Also this week, Microsoft was ranked as one of the world’s most innovative companies in the Internet of Things (IoT), according to “Fast Company.” The magazine highlights how Microsoft IoT has helped improve health care, elevator maintenance and emergency response systems.

Many of us think of Lync as being used for work meetings, but it’s also being used to help new moms bond with their babies when they’re in neonatal intensive care, and can’t be together. At Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, patient Maribel Castillo was “stressing” from her hospital bed about not being able to see her newborn son in the neonatal intensive care unit. So she was thrilled when a nurse handed a tablet showing her son via a secure Lync connection. “Even though you can’t be there, the next best thing is to be able to watch him,” she says in the video, below.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online service became available from local data centers in Japan. With the announcement, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online joins Office 365 and Microsoft Azure in “providing the complete Microsoft Cloud for Business to our customers from these local datacenters,” said Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. By the end of this month, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will be deployed in six global regions, with Japan and Australia joining North America, European Union, Asia-Pacific and South America.

If your Spidey sense is tingling, it might be because of the fun games that await you. In “Disney Infinity 2.0: Play Without Limits,” you can create your own worlds and games with more than 60 characters from Marvel and Disney, including new play sets from “The Avengers,” “Spider-Man” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The latest update to “Sonic Dash” gives your favorite hedgehog extra points when you unleash Sonic’s dash move. In “TurnOn,” a new game exclusive to Windows Phone, the lights are out and you have the power to make it bright again. “Age of Empires: Castle Siege” is updated, with a new musket tower that can attack over short and long distances, and new economic and military tech upgrades. Meanwhile, players have been dodging falling boulders, collecting gems and avoiding scary enemies with Rockford for 30 years, but time flies – and you will, too, in action-puzzler “Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary Premium,” which has 240 levels and physics galore. And, basketball fans – be sure to install NCAA March Madness Live app, free from the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store, before the tournament starts Tuesday.

Weekend Reading, games

“Disney Infinity 2.0: Play Without Limits”

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we introduced the thinnest desktop set Microsoft has ever created.

hardware, Weekend Reading

The new Microsoft Designer Bluetooth Desktop wirelessly pairs to your laptop or tablet.

Thanks for checking out this edition of Weekend Reading. Rest up, relax and breathe. And we’ll see you next Friday!

Posted by Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

Skype for Business, which brings the best of Skype and Lync, due out in 2015

Skype has broken the distance barrier worldwide by bringing people together via video on computers, phones and tablets. Meanwhile, Lync simplifies and unifies the different tools people use to communicate for work. Drawing upon the strengths of both programs, the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business, it was announced Tuesday.

With Skype for Business, “We are bringing together the familiar experience and user love of Skype with the enterprise security, compliance and control from Lync to create the most loved and trusted communications platform for doing things together,” writes Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president for Skype, in a blog post.

“We believe that Skype for Business will again transform the way people communicate by giving organizations reach to hundreds of millions of Skype users outside the walls of their business,” he says.

Skype for Business is due out in the first half of 2015. Current Lync Server customers will be able to update from Lync Server 2013 to the new Skype for Business Server in their datacenters, Pall writes. “No new hardware is required. For Office 365 customers, it’s even simpler. We’ll do the required update.”

To learn more, head over to the Skype Garage Blog and to the Office Blogs.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

To connect more than 20,000 employees worldwide, Carlsberg Group chose Office 365

Since JC Jacobsen founded the Carlsberg brewery more than 160 years ago to serve the Danish market, it’s grown tremendously – especially within the past 14 years – and with Microsoft’s help, the company manages their operations around the world from a central base. The Carlsberg Group introduced a vision for business it calls “GloCal,” which aims for global efficiency while staying true to its local roots. The company chose Microsoft Office 365 to implement a complete productivity and collaboration solution that its more than 20,000 employees can use to connect with each other and streamline its global supply chain.

Employees use Microsoft Exchange Online for email and calendaring; Microsoft Lync Online to connect via Web conferencing and instant messaging; virtual teams are collaborating on projects using Microsoft SharePoint Online; and employees are adopting the Yammer Enterprise social networking platform for messaging and collaboration.

The company has expanded from a local production base of just six markets in 2000 to become the fourth largest brewer of beer in the world with a roster of 500 different brands.

For more information about the Carlsberg Group, GloCal and Office 365, check out this press release.

Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

Microsoft Office showcases future of work

LAS VEGAS — March 3
, 20
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Microsoft Corp. kicked off its SharePoint Conference 2014, highlighting new ways Microsoft Office 365 will enable people to accomplish more with new experiences for users, developers and IT pros. In a keynote speech to approximately 10,000 customers and partners, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jeff Teper showcased innovation that brings together the power of the cloud, enterprise social, big data, machine learning and mobile capabilities into an experience made personal for every Office 365 user. These new technologies will enable a networked way of working together in teams, in groups and across organizations that can result in better customer responsiveness, collaboration, information sharing, discoverability and more.

“Today, the world has become a giant network where connections make information more relevant and people more productive. Most companies, however, are not working like a network, which we believe is vital for their ability to improve collaboration and respond to customers, competition and market changes,” Teper said. “The new Office 365 experiences powered by cloud, social, mobile and big data technologies enable people and teams to find the right connections and most relevant insights to get more done.”

Delivering on this vision, Microsoft showcased new innovations for end users, developers and IT pros coming to Office 365 in the near future, with an emphasis on the trusted platform fundamentals of security, privacy and industry compliance.

For end users, Microsoft demonstrated new personalized experiences that integrate social capabilities throughout Office 365, to help people spend less time trying to find information or looking for people working on similar projects and more time getting things done. Powering these new user experiences is the Office Graph, a new Office 365 intelligence fabric that remains unseen to the user but is constantly analyzing content, interactions and activity streams and mapping the relationships using machine learning to intelligently connect and surface the most relevant content to each user. These new experiences include the following:

  • Oslo (code name). A new application powered by the Office Graph and code-named “Oslo” was previewed onstage. It uses personal interactions and machine learning to surface a view of the most relevant, timely information for each individual using Office 365 across SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, Yammer and Office.

  • Groups. Groups is a new feature unifying people, conversations, calendars, emails and files across the Office 365 suite, enabling a seamless collaboration experience across applications. Creating a Group anywhere in Office 365 will automatically provision a corresponding Yammer conversation feed, calendar, document library and inbox where members can collaborate and work as a team. Just like in Yammer, Groups are open by default but can be made private if necessary, enhancing discoverability and sharing.

  • Inline Social. Microsoft is bringing the power of social collaboration and conversations to everyone by offering Inline Social experiences throughout Office 365. The first experience planned for introduction is the ability to have social conversations inside documents stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.

  • Office 365 Video Portal. Today, Microsoft previewed the new Office 365 Video Portal to support upload, storage and discovery of videos in a secure manner. Businesses will be able to categorize videos into channels for specific business needs and stream them on mobile devices, with all of the video compression, optimization and rendering work done by Office 365.

“Many organizations struggle with bringing together their content creation, collaboration and core business applications,” said Alan Lepofsky, vice president and principal analyst, Constellation Research. “Today’s Office Graph and ‘Oslo’ announcements describe an integrated future that could greatly improve the way Microsoft Office 365 users will get their work done, with easily discoverable insights about important activity across their organizations that personally affect or may be interesting to them.”

With more than 3.4 million Office and SharePoint developers and counting, Microsoft also announced investments that open more doors for customers and partners to build contextual productivity solutions across browsers, PCs and mobile devices. On the Office 365 platform, developers can build integrated solutions and mobile apps to reach today’s leading businesses.

  • Exciting mobile possibilities. Today, the release of Office 365 SDKs for Windows 8 and Android will help developers build mobile productivity solutions powered by Office 365. Windows and Android developers can now connect to Office 365 data and services, including files, calendars, contacts, tasks and email.

  • Seamless Office 365 integration. Enhancements to Office 365 APIs for PowerPoint and Outlook give developers the control to build new, sophisticated solutions. PowerPoint presentations can be extended to surface poll or survey data directly within a deck, and Outlook Compose apps offer helpful insight alongside an email as it is written.

  • Robust APIs. In a continuation of Office 365 API growth, new APIs for files, people, email, calendar and tasks bring new light to the service with an intuitive, open- standards approach. The APIs also feature popularly requested enhancements, including self-service site provisioning and support for OneDrive for Business file actions.

  • Sharing power. Office 365 documents that include app information can now be more seamlessly activated by recipients. PowerPoint apps travel into the PowerPoint Online experience, allowing customers to share their favorite apps in a more viral way. Later this year, Office Online will bring similar capabilities to Excel.

For IT pros, Microsoft announced new capabilities that enhance Office 365 security and privacy, giving IT pros the tools they need to help protect their organizations. In addition, with the Office 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013 Service Pack 1 release, it is now easier than ever for organizations to take advantage of Office 365, whether that means making a comprehensive move to the cloud, adopting a hybrid deployment, or making a gradual transition through easy on-ramps such as OneDrive for Business and Yammer.

  • Dataloss prevention. Microsoft demonstrated new data-loss prevention capabilities for Office content, enabling organizations to manage, track and audit content, while not getting in the way of user productivity.

  • OneDrive for Business. In April, businesses can purchase OneDrive for Business (formerly SkyDrive Pro) as a stand-alone SKU providing secured file, sync and share in the cloud with all the benefits of integration with Office. Also, with SharePoint Server 2013 Service Pack 1, Microsoft introduced new admin controls to “turn on” OneDrive for Business in the cloud directly from the SharePoint Server 2013 admin console. This enables customers to keep their on-premises infrastructure intact, while still getting the benefit of cloud-based file storage and sharing.

  • Easy SharePoint social transition to Yammer. In Service Pack 1 Microsoft is making it easy for IT pros to replace the out-of-the-box SharePoint Server 2013 social experience with Yammer. Through simple controls in SharePoint Server 2013 central administration, IT can choose to activate Yammer, redirecting users to the organization’s Yammer network.

More information about today’s news can be found on the Microsoft Office blog.

The SharePoint Conference 2014 is the largest Microsoft SharePoint event in the world, offering developers, IT professionals and executives a range of presentations, workshops, Q&A sessions and networking events. More information on the news at the event can be found at the Microsoft Office virtual pressroom.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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 have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Microsoft demos breakthrough in real-time translated conversations

The following post is from Gurdeep Pall, Corporate Vice President of Skype and Lync at Microsoft.


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It’s been an interesting evening here in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. at the inaugural Code Conference (#CodeCon) where @karaswisher and @waltmossberg are engaging Microsoft CEO @satyanadella in a more than hour-long onstage conversation.  

During his conversation with Walt and Kara, Satya discussed his views on how we’re evolving to a more personal, more human era of computing, and I had the good fortune to join Satya on stage to demo – for the the first time publicly – an exciting new capability we’re developing for Skype.

On Tuesday at the inaugural Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sat down to talk with Re/code’s Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. Photo credit: Asa Mathat – Re/code.

Imagine in the very near future technology allowing humans to bridge geographic and language boundaries to connect mind to mind and heart to heart in ways never before possible.

For more than a decade, Skype has brought people together to make progress on what matters to them. Today, we have more than 300 million connected users each month, and more than 2 billion minutes of conversation a day as Skype breaks down communications barriers by delivering voice and video across a number of devices, from PCs and tablets, to smartphones and TVs. But language barriers have been a blocker to productivity and human connection; Skype Translator helps us overcome this barrier.

On Tuesday at the inaugural Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Gurdeep Pall, Microsoft corporate vice president of Skype and Lync, demoed the new Skype Translator app while Re/code’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher looked on. Video of the demo will be available on The Official Microsoft Blog shortly. Photo credit: Asa Mathat – Re/code.

Skype Translator results from decades of work by the industry, years of work by our researchers, and now is being developed jointly by the Skype and Microsoft Translator teams. The demo showed near real-time audio translation from English to German and vice versa, combining Skype voice and IM technologies with Microsoft Translator, and neural network-based speech recognition. Skype Translator is a great example of why Microsoft invests in basic research. We’ve invested in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade, and now they’re emerging as important components in this more personal computing era. You can learn more about the research behind this initiative here.

As you saw from my conversation with Diana, it is early days for this technology, but the Star Trek™ vision for a Universal Translator isn’t a galaxy away, and its potential is every bit as exciting as those Star Trek examples. Skype Translator opens up so many possibilities to make meaningful connections in ways you never could before in education, diplomacy, multilingual families and in business. 

Skype Translator first will be available as a Windows 8 beta app before the end of 2014. Skype itself is available across a number of devices and computing platforms. If you aren’t already using Skype for voice and video calls, I encourage you to download Skype and create your account. 

In our industry, we often talk about pursuing big, bold dreams, and of how we’re limited only by the power of our imaginations. Skype Translator is one of those endeavors, and I look forward to keeping you apprised of our journey to break down another barrier to human productivity and connection.