A hackathon winner crowned, an entrepreneur’s heartfelt motivation and some inspiring careers — Weekend Reading: Aug. 12 edition

Five members of the InstaFact team pose on bright green chairs.

An innovative idea that takes the tedium out of organizing facts, an entrepreneur who risked bankruptcy to help save the woman he loves, and a man’s difficult journey to a career at Microsoft — it’s been a week of inspiring news around Microsoft. We’ve rounded up the highlights for this latest edition of Weekend Reading. On Tuesday, a team of Microsoft employees was crowned grand prize winner of this year’s … Read more »

Fighting mosquito-borne diseases, celebrating student developers — Weekend Reading: June 24 edition

Ethan Jackson, a Microsoft researcher who is leading Project Premonition. Photo by Brian Smale.

It was another full week at Microsoft, which was busy trapping mosquitoes, celebrating Imagine Cup World finalists and helping small farmers in Mexico turn animal waste into clean energy. Let’s take a look. To help prevent mosquito-borne illnesses such as Zika, health officials in Houston’s Harris County are wielding a new mosquito trap that’s part of Microsoft’s broader Project Premonition research project. The innovative prototype was built to automatically do … Read more »

Summer, Spartans, Spark and Sprightly – Weekend Reading: June 10 edition

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“S” is for summer – and for Spartans, Spark and Sprightly, three super subjects this week that you won’t want to have missed. (See what we did there?) But first, let’s talk about the terrific trickle-down effect that’s in full swing in the field of data visualization. Seattle broadcaster KING 5 made Puget Sound voters the first in the nation to get a real-time, in-depth look at their local civic … Read more »

Building global connectivity, making music visual and sharing achievements in research — Weekend Reading, May 27 edition

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From grants to help spread the power of digital technology to a band that’s turning live music into a vivid visual experience, this week brought some interesting and uplifting news around Microsoft. Check out some of the highlights in this latest edition of Weekend Reading. Microsoft announced 12 winners of the Affordable Access Initiative grants that will receive seed funding and a range of resources to bring digital technology and … Read more »

Helping build healthy families, teaching digital literacy and empowering educators with technology — Weekend Reading: May 13 edition

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Windows is partnering with the nonprofit CARE to help build healthy families in poor communities like Saharsa, India, where the infant mortality rate is among the highest in the country. CARE is working to improve health care for pregnant women, new mothers and babies, with the help of the Windows 10 Upgrade Your World initiative, Office and Microsoft Cloud. Windows PCs and Excel are supporting hundreds of community health care … Read more »

‘Inside the Music,’ an Army vet at Microsoft gets White House props and Windows 10 is now on 300 million active devices – Weekend Reading: May 6 edition

Inside the Music, KEXP, Kinect

This week at Microsoft, music is among our muses, an Army vet and self-described “computer nerd” at Microsoft is honored at the White House, and Windows 10 is now running on 300 million active devices around the world. Let’s get it started: New music, new sounds. Over the years, Microsoft has partnered with alternative nonprofit radio station KEXP through the company’s nonprofit software and grant program. And now a special … Read more »

Welcome to the invisible revolution

Think of your favorite pieces of technology. These are the things that you use every day for work and play, and pretty much can’t live without. Chances are, at least one of them is a gadget – your phone, maybe, or your gaming console. But if you really think about it, chances also are good that many of your most beloved technologies are no longer made of plastic, metal and glass. … Read more »

You’re invited: Participate in Pegasus II, an Internet of Things experiment to the edge of space

If you like to explore far-out places – really far out – you’re invited to participate in Microsoft Research’s experiment of Pegasus II, slated for launch this week to the edge of space, using the Internet of Things (IoT) to achieve its mission. With the first Pegasus Mission experiment in 2015, the Microsoft Research team was able to show real-time IoT capabilities. The experiment in High Altitude Science featured Pegasus … Read more »

Music, a medical breakthrough and employee generosity – Weekend Reading: Feb. 12 edition

WR, StaffPad, Surface, music

There was a lot to love this week at Microsoft, timely with Valentine’s Day on Sunday. We watched an amazing 11-year-old composer from McKinney, Texas, who now has an easier way to notate his award-winning creations, thanks to an app especially designed for Surface. We learned that Sir Paul McCartney created an exclusive set of love-inspired musical creations for Mojis on Skype. We saw how Kinect is being used to … Read more »

How we’re putting the Microsoft Cloud to work for the public good

As Satya Nadella announced today, we’re committed to putting the Microsoft Cloud to work for the public good. That’s why Microsoft Philanthropies, with support from Microsoft Research and Microsoft Business Development, will donate $1 billion in Microsoft cloud services to nonprofits and university researchers over the next three years. Our goal is to support 70,000 nonprofits through this initiative during that time. I wanted to provide some more detail on … Read more »