Windows Azure Helps Startup sharpcloud Expand its Business

Most businesses today use static spreadsheets and presentations that don’t allow for effective collaboration during planning processes. Yet in their personal lives people communicate and collaborate constantly, using dynamic social-networking tools such as Facebook.   Collaboration and real-time communication is critical to business success in today’s dynamic environment. That’s why I co-founded sharpcloud, a startup based in Guildford, England: To apply the principles of social networking to long-term business planning. … Read more »

Microsoft in the Automotive Infotainment Driver’s Seat

What does a 16,000-pound semi-trailer truck have in common with a 315-horsepower Ford Mustang GT? When you talk, both vehicles listen.   Last week, Ford Motor Co. announced that Ford SYNC, powered by Microsoft, has been installed in 2 million vehicles. This comes only 10 months after Ford delivered the 1 millionth SYNC-equipped car, a 2010 Fusion Hybrid, to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.   We’ve been working with Ford on … Read more »

Weekend Reading: March 26

One of the many benefits of living in the Pacific Northwest is the annual miracle of the salmon migration.  Right now, some of the largest salmon runs are coming back from the ocean and fighting their way hundreds of miles upriver to the streams of their birth to reproduce and continue the cycle.   With “swimming upstream” in mind, here are a few suggestions for weekend reading from around the … Read more »

There’s Still Time to Participate in This Year’s Imagine Cup

I am a big fan of the Imagine Cup, an inspiring program I am proud to support. This Microsoft event is the world’s premiere student technology competition, and empowers students to use their creativity to change the world.  Students are competing right now to represent their country at the worldwide finals in Poland in July. Starting today in the United States, you can vote for your favorite invention in the … Read more »

Predictions for the Future of Unified Communications

I’m more excited than ever to be attending VoiceCon Orlando 2010 this year, because of the rapid pace of change we’re seeing across the industry. Innovation is accelerating, as more vendors and partners embrace software-powered communications, and as organizations worldwide adopt unified communications to meet their employees’ need to work from anywhere and collaborate with others around the globe.   Communications centered solely around the desk phone and built on hardware-based … Read more »

Bing Maps, Botnets, Buxton and Developers, Developers, Developers – Weekend Reading

Last week we added an hour to evening daylight, and now we’re just hours away from officially hitting spring. I know much of the country hasn’t been seeing very good weather – flooding in Fargo, storms in New York – but in Seattle we’re watching the spring flowers come out, and some of my more adventurous colleagues are even eating their lunch outside. It’s been another busy week.  MIX10, our … Read more »

Microsoft Bing: Behind the Scenes of the Decision Engine

Hello all from Austin, TX and the annual South By Southwest conference where Bing seems to have brought the Seattle weather with us.  Microsoft was here in full force this week on panels ranging from the future of the semantic web to geolocation services and today we’re wrapping up our participation with a discussion on how we launched Bing, our new Decision Engine.  The talk covered the gamut – think … Read more »

Weekend Reading: March 12

It’s a short weekend in the U.S. – on Sunday, we “lose” an hour in the switch to Daylight Saving Time. So to be mindful of everyone’s time, here’s a Weekend Reading list that’s to the point. We’ve been talking about this for a while, and now the new MSN site design is being rolled out. Soon all 100 million U.S. users will see the revamped portal. What people are … Read more »

Join the BizSpark Team and Super Cool Startups at SXSW!

With SXSW about get underway, I wanted to provide a brief snapshot of some of the activities the Microsoft BizSpark team and our many startup partners have planned for the event, and also where you can find us in-person/online to get a better taste for the goings-on and the movers and shakers in attendance. Front and center is the second annual Microsoft BizSpark Accelerator, a forum that is designed to … Read more »

Musings on Customer Support in a 140 Character World

It’s always nice when the company you ordered your brother’s birthday gift from includes a pre-printed return label in case you need to exchange the shirt for another size. Being able to buy movie tickets online, well before the lines amass for a Saturday night showing of the latest blockbuster, is also a great amenity. Studies show that perks like these, which reduce customer effort, create customer loyalty.  This comes … Read more »