The Fire Hose http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose Covering the news of the day at Microsoft Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:36:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.1 Expanding the company’s artificial intelligence efforts with new Microsoft AI and Research Group http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/09/29/expanding-the-companys-artificial-intelligence-efforts-with-new-microsoft-ai-and-research-group/ Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:20:19 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=290336 Read more »]]> shum

On Thursday Microsoft announced it has formed the AI and Research Group, bringing together Microsoft’s world-class research organization with more than 5,000 computer scientists and engineers focused on the company’s artificial intelligence product efforts. The new group will be led by computer vision luminary Harry Shum, a 20-year Microsoft veteran whose career has spanned leadership roles across Microsoft Research and Bing engineering.

Microsoft is dedicated to democratizing AI for every person and organization, making it more accessible and valuable to everyone and ultimately enabling new ways to solve some of society’s toughest challenges. Thursday’s announcement builds on the company’s deep focus on AI and will accelerate the delivery of new capabilities to customers across agents, apps, services and infrastructure.

“We live in a time when digital technology is transforming our lives, businesses and the world, but also generating an exponential growth in data and information,” says Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “At Microsoft, we are focused on empowering both people and organizations, by democratizing access to intelligence to help solve our most pressing challenges. To do this, we are infusing AI into everything we deliver across our computing platforms and experiences.”

“Microsoft has been working in artificial intelligence since the beginning of Microsoft Research, and yet we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible,” says Shum, executive vice president of the Microsoft AI and Research Group. “Today’s move signifies Microsoft’s commitment to deploying intelligent technology and democratizing AI in a way that changes our lives and the world around us for the better. We will significantly expand our efforts to empower people and organizations to achieve more with our tools, our software and services, and our powerful, global-scale cloud computing capabilities.”

For more on the announcement, read the press release and Shum’s post on the Official Microsoft Blog.

Microsoft News Center Staff

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Comfortable stilettoes designer in New York uses Skype Translator to communicate with factory crew in Italy http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/09/29/comfortable-stilettoes-designer-in-new-york-uses-skype-translator-to-communicate-with-factory-crew-in-italy/ Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:07:25 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=290324 Read more »]]> “Comfortable stilettoes” don’t seem like two words that go together. But Bing Cai, who has worked in high-profile roles for Macy’s, Guess Watches and Nike, believes differently. Her company, Alouit New York, is in the business of empowering women to look beautiful, feel confident and be empowered by creating comfortable Italian stilettos.

For Cai and her team, it’s critical to communicate on a daily basis with their partners at the Italian factories that are making the shoes. Often holding up a shoe, pointing at it and then following up with CAD (computer-aided design) files through Skype’s file-sharing function ensures concepts become a beautiful reality, Cai says.

With Skype Translator, “We’re able to visually see our partners and hear them converse in their native language,” she says. “Technology has enabled us to feel closer. This trust is very helpful as we are an early stage startup working with the same factories that produce for Tod’s, Louboutin, and Jimmy Choo. We’re small players in a big well-established field.”

To learn more, visit the Skype blog.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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New Outlook add-ins can help you do more and save time http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/09/28/new-outlook-add-ins-can-help-you-do-more-and-save-time/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:20:54 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=290306 Read more »]]> You’ll now be able to schedule a meeting at your favorite coffee shop, add a customer contact or update your to-do list right from your email inbox through add-ins in Outlook 2016 for Mac.

These add-ins, which have been introduced for Outlook web and desktop applications over the past year, will begin to roll out for Mac in the coming weeks.

Additionally, the launch of Outlook integrations — Connectors for the inbox and Actionable Messages —will enable Office 365 users to track updates from project boards, social media accounts and more from Outlook.

Learn more about these time-saving new tools on Office Blogs.

Tracy Ith
Microsoft News Center Staff

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How machine learning can help improve health care and bring cost savings http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/09/28/how-machine-learning-can-help-improve-health-care-and-bring-cost-savings/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:53:31 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=290294 Read more »]]> A leading corporate healthcare solutions provider has teamed up with a risk-prediction company to use Microsoft technologies to reduce costs and better identify fraudulent claims that can take resources away from other patients’ health and wellness services.

Fullerton Health, based in Singapore, joined with Seattle-based KenSci to deploy agile predictive analytics across the care and cost continuum. The partnership’s success is just one example of how cloud-based analytics and machine learning are being used to improve operational effectiveness in health care.

Learn more about how machine learning can help save lives and money on the Microsoft Health blog.

Tracy Ith
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Get ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ from the Windows Store three weeks before it’s on Blu-ray http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/09/28/get-independence-day-resurgence-from-the-windows-store-three-weeks-before-its-on-blu-ray/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:51:59 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=290282 Read more »]]> Fans of the original “Independence Day” waited 20 years for its sequel to come out this summer: “Independence Day: Resurgence.” In the movie, it’s also been 20 years since mysterious aliens nearly wiped out humankind – and they’re back with a vengeance!

Using alien technology recovered from the first attack, humans united to develop a vast defense program to protect the planet. But it wasn’t enough for the next invasion. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can save the world from extinction.

Buy “Independence Day: Resurgence” from the Movies & TV section of the Windows Store three weeks before it’s available on Blu-ray.

Also, keep up with what’s hot, new and trending in the Windows Store on Twitter and Facebook.

Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Latest update to ‘Candy Crush Saga’ arrives with level 2000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/09/28/latest-update-to-candy-crush-saga-arrives-with-level-2000/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:10:53 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=290258 Read more »]]>

In the latest update to “Candy Crush Saga,” the carefree Candy Universe is in a panic over the pending arrival of level 2000. How will their world change? Will things go topsy-turvy, as we feared they might in the year 2000?

Tiffi and Yeti think they’ve found a fortune teller to reassure them about the future – but what they fail to notice is that she’s a bubblegum troll in disguise, cooking up all sorts of trouble for when level 1999 is finished and level 2000 dawns. Get ready for a color-bomb kickoff, then work to collect two green, 20 blue and 200 purple candies in 50 moves or less.

Download “Candy Crush Saga” for free from the Windows Store.

Also, keep up with what’s hot, new and trending in the Windows Store on Twitter and Facebook.

Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Office 365’s new App Launcher improves access to mission-critical applications http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/09/28/office-365s-new-app-launcher-improves-access-to-mission-critical-applications/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:39:33 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=290249 Read more »]]> A new version of the Office 365 App Launcher expands the set of online productivity tools available to users. It includes improved discoverability to new and recently used apps, along with additional customization options and search across all the services and applications used in the Microsoft Cloud.

With one in seven people on the planet using Office, care was taken to make the new experience feel familiar while also improving access to mission-critical applications.

To learn more about the updated Office 365 App Launcher, visit Office Blogs.

Susanna Ray
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Office 365’s admin center is generally available, improving the management experience http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/09/28/office-365s-admin-center-is-generally-available-improving-the-management-experience/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:37:53 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=290234 Read more »]]> The Office 365 team has taken its administration center out of preview and made it generally available, giving administrators an improved management experience that’s easier and faster while providing new capabilities and insights.

To learn more about the Office 365 admin center, visit Office Blogs or watch a video.

Susanna Ray
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Azure SQL Database v12 now available for Microsoft Azure Government http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/09/28/azure-sql-database-v12-now-available-for-microsoft-azure-government/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:50:06 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=290222 Read more »]]> The latest service version of Azure SQL Database (v12) is available for Microsoft Azure Government, bringing 25 percent more premium performance and faster data recovery objectives.

Azure SQL Database is a managed cloud database for app developers. The service makes building and maintaining applications easier and more productive.

Also now generally available is Azure VM and SQL DB deployment and management powered by Azure Resource Manager on Microsoft Azure Government. The capabilities are some of the most requested features for Azure Government.

Learn more about Azure SQL Database on the Azure in Government blog, and about Azure VM and SQL DB deployment and management in this Azure in Government post.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Catch up on Advertising Week New York http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/09/28/catch-up-on-advertising-week-new-york/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:37:42 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=290210 Read more »]]> It’s the halfway point for Advertising Week New York, where Bing’s insights on key themes are being delivered in the #BingBites social series.

The “CNBC Masters of Monetization” discussed the evolution of the digital advertising monetization industry and how search enables marketers to test different messages. “Understanding Intent in the Age of Digital Transformation” discussed how, as big data shifts to smart data, marketers must deploy smart data to get the best view of the consumer and drive tangible business outcomes.

For more information on Bing’s presence at #AWNewYork follow @BingAds on Twitter, watch the sessions live on Facebook and head over to the Bing Ads Blog.

Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

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