Tag Archives: today

TextWorld: A learning environment for training reinforcement learning agents, inspired by text-based games – Microsoft Research

Today, fresh out of the Microsoft Research Montreal lab, comes an open-source project called TextWorld. TextWorld is an extensible Python framework for generating text-based games. Reinforcement learning researchers can use TextWorld to train and test AI agents in skills such as language understanding, affordance extraction, memory and planning, exploration and more. Researchers can study these in the context of generalization and transfer learning. TextWorld further runs existing text-based games, like the legendary Zork, for evaluating how well AI agents perform in complex, human-designed settings.

Figure 1 – Enter the world of TextWorld. Get the code at aka.ms/textworld.

Text-based games – also known as interactive fiction or adventure games – are games in which the play environment and the player’s interactions with it are represented solely or primarily via text. As players moves through the game world, they observe textual descriptions of their surroundings (typically divided into discrete ‘rooms’), what objects are nearby, and any other pertinent information. Players issue text commands to an interpreter to manipulate objects, other characters in the game, or themselves. After each command, the game usually provides some feedback to inform players how that command altered the game environment, if at all. A typical text-based game poses a series of puzzles to solve, treasures to collect, and locations to reach. Goals and waypoints may be specified explicitly or may have to be inferred from cues.

Figure 2 – An example game from TextWorld with a house-based theme.

Text-based games couple the freedom to explore a defined space with the restrictions of a parser and game world designed to respond positively to a relatively small set of textual commands. An agent that can competently navigate a text-based game needs to be able to not only generate coherent textual commands but must also generate the right commands in the right order, with little to no mistakes in between. Text-based games encourage experimentation and successful playthroughs involve multiple game losses and in-game “deaths.” Close observation and creative interpretation of the text the game provides and a generous supply of common sense are also integral to winning text-based games. The relatively simple obstacles present in a TextWorld game serve as an introduction to the basic real-life challenges posed by text-based games. In TextWorld, an agent needs to learn how to observe, experiment, fail and learn from failure.

TextWorld has two main components: a game generator and a game engine. The game generator converts high-level game specifications, such as number of rooms, number of objects, game length, and winning conditions, into an executable game source code in the Inform 7 language. The game engine is a simple inference machine that ensures that each step of the generated game is valid by using simple algorithms such as one-step forward and backward chaining.

Figure 3 – An overview of the TextWorld architecture.

“One reason I’m excited about TextWorld is the way it combines reinforcement learning with natural language,” said Geoff Gordon, Principal Research Manager at Microsoft Research Montreal “These two technologies are both really important, but they don’t fit together that well yet. TextWorld will push researchers to make them work in combination.” Gordon pointed out that reinforcement learning has had a number of high-profile successes recently (like Go or Ms. Pac-Man), but in all of these cases the agent has fairly simple observations and actions (for example, screen images and joystick positions in Ms. Pac-Man). In TextWorld, the agent has to both read and produce natural language, which has an entirely different and, in many cases, more complicated structure.

“I’m excited to see how researchers deal with this added complexity, said Gordon.”

Microsoft Research Montreal specializes in start-of-the art research in machine reading comprehension, dialogue, reinforcement learning, and FATE (Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics in AI). The lab was founded in 2015 as Maluuba and acquired by Microsoft in 2017. For more information, check out Microsoft Research Montreal.

This release of TextWorld is a beta and we are encouraging as much feedback as possible on the framework from fellow researchers across the world. You can send your feedback and questions to textworld@microsoft.com. Also, for more information and to get the code, check out TextWorld, and our related publications TextWorld: A Learning Environment for Text-based Games and Counting to Explore and Generalize in Text-based Games. Thank you!

Inside Xbox Episode 5 News Recap – Xbox Wire

Earlier today Inside Xbox Episode 5 aired, continuing to pull back the curtain on Team Xbox to celebrate our games, features, and fans. This episode was full of closer looks at some big upcoming games, including No Man’s Sky, We Happy Few, and Earthfall, as well as the announcement of a huge addition to Xbox Game Pass. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest news coming out of this month’s episode of Inside Xbox.

Rocket League and Warhammer: Vermintide 2 are Coming to Xbox Game Pass

The Xbox Game Pass catalog continues to grow this week, thanks to the addition of a couple of awesome titles. First up, the much-loved Rocket League, which blends elements of soccer, racing, and demolition derbies together to create a wonderful whole, hits Xbox Game Pass today. Then, tomorrow, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 brings its mix of over-the-top gore and first-person hacking and slashing to the service.

The Sport White Special Edition Xbox One Controller

Featuring beautiful, clean lines and a snazzy design, the latest addition to the Xbox One controller family is a looker. Inspired by sports and sneakers, the Sport White’s got mint green accents and grey and silver patterns to go along with its fresh white design. If you’re a sneaker head, you’ll definitely want one of these. You can snag this sporty beauty at the Microsoft Store and other retailers beginning July 31st in the U.S. and Canada, and then worldwide on August 7th.

A Closer Look at No Man’s Sky

The highly-anticipated space exploration game No Man’s Sky is hitting Xbox One on July 24, so we had Hello Games founder Sean Murray on to share a bit about how excited the team is to be bringing the game to our consoles. He also showed a new video created by the team that breaks down 11 new features, from freighters to alien sidekicks, added to the game since its initial launch, all of which will be available when the game launches on Xbox One.

We Happy Few Adds a Story Mode

The Inside Xbox team was joined by Guillaume Provost from Compulsion Games, the latest studio to join the Microsoft Studios family. Guillaume showed off We Happy Few’s new story mode for the first time, sharing that you’ll be able to see events in the game from multiple perspectives as you play. This is going to be one wild ride, and we can’t wait to see more when the game releases in August.

Surviving an Alien Invasion in Earthfall

Coming to join us from their studio just up the road in Bellevue, the team from developer Holospark gave us a closer look at the upcoming game Earthfall, which releases this coming Friday, July 13. Earthfall is a four-player co-op shooter that tasks players with surviving an alien invasion, and it looks like a blast. Even better, the guys announced that all maps and additions to the game will be absolutely free to anyone who purchases it. There will also be Mixer integration, so save up that Spark to help your friends!

Seasons Change in Forza Horizon 4

To close out the show, the team was joined by some familiar faces from Playground Games, who came on to give fans a closer at this highly-anticipated (and absolutely gorgeous) Xbox One racing game. This segment lead into a special live-stream on mixer.com/forzamotorsport , where the team at Playground Games highlighted the summer season, including interviews with the team and community Q&A.

Thanks to everyone who tuned in! We hope you enjoyed the show and we can’t wait to tell you all about next month’s episode in a few weeks.

Meet Surface Go, starting at $399 MSRP, it’s the smallest and most affordable Surface yet – Microsoft Devices Blog

Today, Microsoft announces Surface Go: the most portable and affordable Surface product yet.

Many of us play different roles throughout the day, moving from work or school to home and everywhere in between. Our team designs every Surface to adapt to that dynamic lifestyle, to strike a balance between performance and versatility, form and function. Our products don’t do just one thing because people don’t do just one thing.

We pioneered categories like the 2:1 to provide the mobility of a tablet with the performance of a laptop, inspiring new ways of creating. As you pursue your passions, connect with friends and family, and work with your team, the products you’re able to take on the go with you are the ones that can keep up with the huge range of things you want to accomplish. This is true whether you’re a parent and a product-maker like me or a student and amateur photographer like my daughter.

That’s the idea behind the design of Surface Go – our smallest, lightest, and most affordable Surface yet. When we designed this device, we had to ask ourselves what people want and need from a 10” Surface. The answers seem obvious – lightweight, productive, and accessible to more people. I’m pumped to introduce you to Surface Go, because it’s all those things, and so much more.

The power and connectivity in a device this small gives you the style and productivity Surface is known for in a more convenient package. At just 1.15 pounds and 8.3 mm thin, Surface Go packs portable performance into a 10” device. Starting at $399 MSRP, it represents a new entry point for the Surface family, while keeping the premium qualities that have come to define it.

Surface Go offers a stunning, custom-built high-resolution PixelSense Display that supports Surface Pen with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, low pen parallax, low latency, and precision for accurate note taking, drawing and computer-aided design. The custom calibrated 3:2 display is soft on your eyes while you’re working and vibrantly high-contrast when you want to watch videos, create art, or edit photos.

In portrait mode, the screen was designed to render the page to the scale of most school textbooks, and in landscape mode, it can render pages side by side as if you were holding a paperback book in hand. At the approximate size of a composition notebook, writing on the screen feels natural and intuitive.

Since my two youngest daughters have started using Surface Go, I see them watching movies, reading, and drawing on it every day. It’s the perfect device for them. And for me, whether I’m at home, in the office, or on a plane, putting my Surface Pen on the screen and letting my thoughts flow is a necessary step in my creative process. It’s how I work. It’s so easy to carry Surface Go with me so I can capture those moments, instantly.

Surface Go is small and mighty, giving you the performance you need to be productive. A device powered by the 7th Generation Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y, in a fanless design, offering up to nine hours of battery. Our team worked closely with Intel to optimize power, performance, and battery for the most critical tasks people perform every day.

Being able to run Office apps on this device with its portability is one of the things that was critical to the experience we had in mind when we designed Surface Go – the productivity of having the apps you use for work and school with the flexibility to relax and read or watch a show on Netflix or Hulu.

Our new Surface Go Signature Type Cover is custom-made for Surface Go integrating design features that give the user the best typing experience possible, with ergonomic key pitch and exceptional key travel. It also has high precision tuning and Windows Precision Trackpad that supports five-point multi-finger gestures, and you can connect the new Surface Mobile Mouse to work the way that you want.

A built-in kickstand with full friction hinge that extends to 165 degrees helps you stay in your flow from tablet to studio mode, and a Windows Hello camera allows for familiar, quick, and secure sign-in using face recognition.

Surface Go also has the ports you need, including Surface Connect for charging and docking; USB-C 3.1 for data, video, and charging; a headphone jack; and a MicroSD card reader for storage expansion. All designed to help you be more productive whether you’re studying in a library, working on a plane, or sharing your content in a boardroom on a 4K monitor.

Surface Go with Wi-Fi will be available for pre-order tomorrow, July 10 in select countries*, with products beginning to hit shelves on August 2. We’re also happy to share that an LTE model will be arriving later this year.

For a family at home or on the move, an expert on the front line of a business interacting with customers, or a school that wants to provide its students with the most versatile tools for learning, this device offers a premium experience with incredible value.

Wherever the day takes you, and whatever unique tasks await you along the way, Surface Go moves with you.

Meet Surface Go, starting at $399 MSRP, it’s the smallest and most affordable Surface yet

Tweet This

*Availability:

Surface Go will be available for pre-order beginning on July 10 in the following markets, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

In the coming weeks, Surface Go will be available for pre-order in Japan, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and in China with more markets to follow.

** To learn more join us on our Facebook page at 6AM PT on July 10. 

Updated July 10, 2018 7:37 am

A new partnership to support computer science teachers

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Microsoft from GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit: New Azure innovations will advance the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge

Today, I gathered with the tech community in the Seattle area at the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit to talk about how customers are using the cloud and what the future holds. I joined GeekWire’s Todd Bishop and Tom Krazit on stage for a fireside chat to share more about Microsoft’s vision for emerging cloud innovation, but I also got to connect with many of you directly. In those conversations, it became even more apparent just how many of you are turning to the intelligent cloud to explore how emerging innovation like serverless, blockchain, edge computing, and AI can help you create solutions that can change your business — and people’s lives.

At Microsoft, we’re continually releasing technology that’s inspired by our customers and what you tell us you need to make the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge a reality for your businesses. For example, you may need to build applications to work in remote areas with low connectivity. Or you need to store, access, and drive insights from your data faster because of competitive pressures. And, you need confidence that your data and applications will be secure, resilient, and highly available across the globe.

During my time with Tom and Todd, I announced a few of our latest Azure solutions and newest regions and availability zones designed to bring this vision to you, our customers, and I’d like to share more on these new technologies.

Introducing the next level in big data analytics

Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 and general availability of Azure Data Factory capabilities

Data is currency for enterprises today, and we know you need to be able to easily store and quickly access your data to drive actionable insights. You also need to be able to ingest and integrate big data quickly and easily to get to insights more readily. Today, we are introducing a preview of a highly scalable, highly performant, and cost-effective data lake solution for big data analytics, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen 2, to deliver the scale, performance, and security needed by your most demanding and sensitive workloads. 

Because Azure Data Lake Gen2 is built on the foundations of Azure blob storage, all data — from data that is constantly in use through to data that only needs to be referenced occasionally or stored for regulatory reasons — can coexist in a single store without having to copy data. This means that you will have greater speed to insight over your data along with rich security at a more cost-effective price. Azure Data Lake Storage also provides a unified data store where unstructured object data and file data can be accessed concurrently via Blob Storage and Hadoop File System protocols.

Today also brings the general availability of new features in Azure Data Factory to deliver data movement as a service capacities so you can build analytics across hybrid and multicloud environments, and drive raw data into actionable insights. The new features include a web-based graphical user interface to create, schedule and manage data pipelines, code-free data ingestion from over 70 data source connectors to accelerate data movement across on-premises and cloud, and ability to easily lift SQL Server Integration Services packages to Azure and run in managed execution environment in Azure Data Factory. You can also start taking advantage of native ADF connector for Azure Data Lake Storage to load your data lake at scale.

Enabling the intelligent edge

Azure IoT Edge is generally available

In the next 10 years, nearly all our everyday devices and many new devices will be connected. These devices are all becoming so “smart” that they can power advanced algorithms that help them see, listen, reason, predict and more, without a 24/7 dependence on the cloud. This is the intelligent edge, and it will define the next wave of innovation in how we address world issues: distributing resources like water and oil, increasing food production and quality, and responding to natural disasters.

As key part of our strategy to deliver the promise of edge computing is Azure IoT Edge, which enables consistency between cloud and edge. This means you can push AI and machine learning to the edge, providing the most comprehensive and innovative edge offering on the market. As of today, Azure IoT Edge is generally available globally, with new updates for increased flexibility, scalability, security, and more.

Also today, the Azure IoT Edge runtime is open sourced and available on GitHub. If you are a developer, this gives you even greater flexibility and control of your edge solutions, so you can modify the runtime and debug issues. Azure IoT Edge now also supports more languages than another other edge solution including C#, C, Node.js, Python, and Java, and we’ve added support for the Moby container management system. Additionally, we’ve released a Device Provisioning Service that enables you to provision tens of thousands of devices with zero touch. The new Security Manager for Azure IoT Edge acts as a well-bounded security core for protecting the IoT Edge device and all its components by abstracting the secure silicon hardware.

Azure IoT Edge customers like Schneider Electric and a farmer in Carnation, Washington are building sophisticated solutions that deliver real-time insights in areas with unreliable connectivity. Now that the solution is production-ready, with enhanced features, we can’t wait to see what else you build.

Azure global infrastructure

New Azure regions

We continuously invest in our cloud infrastructure to give you more compute power to enable the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. We’ve announced 54 Azure regions to help you deliver cloud services and apps to nearly every corner of the globe and to provide everything that’s needed to run mission-critical applications, across scenarios, with a full set of resiliency solutions.

Today, we expanded our Azure presence in China, one of the most dynamic cloud markets in the world, with two additional regions now generally available. We were the first international cloud provider in China in 2014 (in partnership with 21Vianet), and today’s announcement doubles the number of Azure regions available there. We continue to see immense opportunity in China for cloud services to fuel innovation and multinational corporations including Adobe, Coke, Costco, Daimler, Ford, Nuance, P&G, and Toyota, which are choosing our intelligent cloud services to help deliver for their customers in China. This builds on our recently announced plans to expand our cloud infrastructure in Europe and the Middle East and announced plans for new regions coming to Norway

We’re also constantly increasing Azure’s resiliency capabilities with the addition of new Azure Availability Zones. Our Availability Zone in the Netherlands is now generally available, adding to the Zones already available in Iowa and Paris. The combination of region pairs and Availability Zones not only increases Azure’s resiliency capabilities, but broadens customer choice for business continuity architectures and delivers an industry-leading SLA for virtual machines.

It’s an exciting future

It was great to see all of you at GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit today. For those of you who weren’t able to be there live, you can follow along online. As always, we will continue to focus on building the technologies you need to drive innovation and disruption with the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Let us know what you think about these new solutions by sharing your feedback and comments.

Vision + Execution: Microsoft named a leader again in Gartner MQ for Access Management

Howdy folks,

Some great news to share with you today! For the second year in a row, Gartner has positioned Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2018 Magic Quadrant for Access Management, Worldwide, based on our completeness of vision and ability to execute in the access management market. Find out why in a complimentary copy of the report here.


According to Gartner, Leaders show evidence of strong execution for anticipated requirements related to technology, methodology, or means of delivery. Leaders also show evidence of how access management plays a role in a collection of related or adjacent product offerings.

Furthest in Vision in Leaders Quadrant

Microsoft is positioned the furthest in completeness of Vision in the Leaders Quadrant, for the second straight year. We believe our jump up in Execution also illustrates how important it is for us to execute on a strategy that can help organizations where they are at today and prepare them for the identity needs of tomorrow.

At Microsoft, we champion conditional access policies and threat protection for identities as critical capabilities for a world-class identity and access management solution. As part of a rich ecosystem with Windows 10, Office 365 and EMS, we’ve worked hard to integrate security policies across products to give you visibility and control over the full user experience. We’ve also taken in the insights and feedback from our customers this year to improve the experience and make it even easier to get all your identities in one place. We are committed to providing innovative and comprehensive identity and access management solutions for your employees, partners, and customers.

We could not have continued to be a leader in this space without the input and support from our customers and partners – thank you!

Best Regards,

Alex Simons (Twitter: @Alex_A_Simons)

Director of Program Management

Microsoft Identity Division

Important note:

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Microsoft.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

My views on U.S. immigration policy

Below is an e-mail I sent to all Microsoft employees today sharing my views on U.S. immigration policy.  This is an incredibly important topic and one I care deeply about.

Team,

Like many of you, I am appalled at the abhorrent policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the southern border of the U.S. As both a parent and an immigrant, this issue touches me personally.

I consider myself a product of two amazing and uniquely American things — American technology reaching me where I was growing up that allowed me to dream the dream and an enlightened immigration policy that then allowed me to live that dream. My story would not have been possible anywhere else.

This new policy implemented on the border is simply cruel and abusive, and we are standing for change. Today Brad detailed our company’s position on this issue, as well as the immigration legislation currently being considered in Congress, and I encourage you to read his blog post.

I want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with the U.S. government on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border. Our current cloud engagement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads.

Microsoft has a long history of taking a principled approach to how we live up to our mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more with technology platforms and tools, while also standing up for our enduring values and ethics. Any engagement with any government has been and will be guided by our ethics and principles. We will continue to have this dialogue both within our company and with our stakeholders outside.

The immigration policy of this country is one of our greatest competitive advantages, and this is something we must preserve and promote. America is a nation of immigrants, and we’re able to attract people from around the world to contribute to our economy, our communities and our companies. We are also a beacon of hope for those who need it the most. This is what makes America stronger. We will always stand for immigration policies that preserve every person’s dignity and human rights. That means standing with every immigrant who works at Microsoft and standing for change in the inhumane treatment of children at the U.S. border today. 

Satya  

Visual Search from Bing now lets you search what you see

Today we’re launching new intelligent Visual Search capabilities that build upon the visual technology already in Bing so you can search the web using your camera. Now you can search, shop, and learn more about your world through the photos you take.
These new Visual Search capabilities are available today in the US on the Bing app for iOS and Android, and for Microsoft Launcher (Android only). They’ll also begin rolling out today for Microsoft Edge for Android, and will be coming soon to Microsoft Edge for iOS and Bing.com. Just click the camera button to get started:

                         
For example, imagine you see a landmark or flower and want to learn more. Simply take a photo using one of the apps, or upload a picture from your camera roll. Bing will identify the object in question and give you more information by providing additional links to explore.


                        

You can even shop from your photos for fashion and home furnishings. Let’s say you see a friend’s jacket you like, but don’t know its brand or where to purchase. Upload a pic into the app’s search box and Bing will return visually-similar jackets, prices, and details for where to purchase.

We’ll be working hard over the coming months to add more capabilities to Visual Search, so your input on these features is greatly appreciated, as always. We hope you’re as excited by Visual Search as we are!

– The Bing Team

My views on U.S. immigration policy

Below is an e-mail I sent to all Microsoft employees today sharing my views on U.S. immigration policy.  This is an incredibly important topic and one I care deeply about.

Team,

Like many of you, I am appalled at the abhorrent policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the southern border of the U.S. As both a parent and an immigrant, this issue touches me personally.

I consider myself a product of two amazing and uniquely American things — American technology reaching me where I was growing up that allowed me to dream the dream and an enlightened immigration policy that then allowed me to live that dream. My story would not have been possible anywhere else.

This new policy implemented on the border is simply cruel and abusive, and we are standing for change. Today Brad detailed our company’s position on this issue, as well as the immigration legislation currently being considered in Congress, and I encourage you to read his blog post.

I want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with the U.S. government on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border. Our current cloud engagement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads.

Microsoft has a long history of taking a principled approach to how we live up to our mission of empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more with technology platforms and tools, while also standing up for our enduring values and ethics. Any engagement with any government has been and will be guided by our ethics and principles. We will continue to have this dialogue both within our company and with our stakeholders outside.

The immigration policy of this country is one of our greatest competitive advantages, and this is something we must preserve and promote. America is a nation of immigrants, and we’re able to attract people from around the world to contribute to our economy, our communities and our companies. We are also a beacon of hope for those who need it the most. This is what makes America stronger. We will always stand for immigration policies that preserve every person’s dignity and human rights. That means standing with every immigrant who works at Microsoft and standing for change in the inhumane treatment of children at the U.S. border today. 

Satya