Weekend Reading: July 18th Edition – Microsoft restructures, showcases the partner opportunity at WPC and unveils Project Adam at MSR Faculty Summit

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Microsoft’s announcement about its restructuring plan, the focus on cloud and mobile at the Worldwide Partner Conference and Microsoft’s acquisition of InMage.

On Thursday, Microsoft announced a restructuring plan to simplify its organization and align the recently acquired Nokia Devices and Services business with the company’s overall strategy. “The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an email to employees. “With this in mind, we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. Of that total, our work toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs, comprising both professional and factory workers.” Making these decisions to change, he wrote, “are difficult, but necessary.”

At the Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C., partners heard how Microsoft is integrating the cloud into the Microsoft Partner Network, with three new cloud-focused competencies based on performance for Office 365 and Microsoft Azure to be offered to better help partners serve customers. Azure Machine Learning University, a portfolio of online self-service learning assets, was also announced; it will help partners get started with Azure Machine Learning.

Microsoft announced the acquisition of InMage, an innovator in the emerging area of cloud-based business continuity. “Our customers tell us that business continuity – the ability to backup, replicate and quickly recover data and applications in case of a system failure – is incredibly important,” said Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president, Cloud and Enterprise Marketing, Microsoft. “CIOs consistently rank business continuity as a top priority, but often don’t have the budgets or time to do it right.”

We got to meet Adam, Project Adam, that is, at the 15th annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit. The goal of Project Adam is to enable software to visually recognize any object. For example, if you’re a dog lover, you know how to identify different dog breeds. But, what if your smartphone could identify them faster than you? Imagine pointing your phone at a dog and asking your phone, “What kind of dog is this?” and it identifies the exact breed.

Microsoft broadened its commitment to renewable energy with the announcement it will purchase 175 megawatts of wind energy from the Pilot Hill Wind Project in Illinois as part of a 20-year agreement. It’s the second such deal in as many years and indicative of Microsoft’s growing commitment to renewable energy and sustainability. When Pilot Hill comes online next year, it will be Microsoft’s largest wind project and one of the biggest corporate wind purchases from a single facility, generating more than enough energy to power Microsoft’s Chicago datacenter.

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The Internet of Things lets major elevator manufacturers know about issues before they turn into problems. ThyssenKrupp Elevator, one of the world’s leading elevator manufacturers, maintains more than 1.1 million elevators worldwide, including those at New York City’s new 102-story One World Trade Center. ThyssenKrupp has teamed up with Microsoft and CGI to create a connected, intelligent line-of-business asset monitoring system that significantly improves elevator reliability. The company has connected its elevators to the cloud, gathering data from its sensors and systems, and transforming that data into valuable business intelligence. That includes being able to go beyond preventative maintenance to predictive, and even preemptive, maintenance.

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we captured and shared our favorite moments with a Windows Phone.

Thanks for checking out this edition of Weekend Reading, and we’ll see you next week!

Posted by Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff