The Fire Hose http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose Covering the news of the day at Microsoft Tue, 03 May 2016 22:22:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5 2016 Small Business Video Contest winners announced, plus more inspiration for National Small Business Week http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/05/03/2016-small-business-video-contest-winners-announced-plus-more-inspiration-for-national-small-business-week/ Tue, 03 May 2016 19:39:25 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=272644 Read more »]]> Winners of second annual Small Business Video Contest have been announced, based on two-minute videos entrants shared about their small business inspiration and the lessons they learned on the way to becoming their own bosses.

“In looking at the top 10 finalists, I was inspired by stories from several minority-owned business owners, immigrant entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs and veterans who saw a need in their communities and launched a business to meet it,” writes Cindy Bates, vice president of Microsoft US Small and Midsize Business Group, in a blog post.

In another post, Bates notes that on this second day of National Small Business Week, the theme centers on youth and diversity. “One area small businesses often overlook but should be paying closer attention to are the roles youth and diversity play in small business success,” she says. “It is crucial to consider the importance of retaining young and diverse leaders for your small business, allowing them to bring a different dynamic and perspective into the workplace.”

Another important issue during National Small Business Week is cybersecurity, and in a video shared on the blog, you’ll hear from Dovell Bonnett, founder and CEO, Access Smart, and Randy Steinle, vice president at Onsupport. Both talk about the importance of safeguarding your business and how to prevent irreversible damage when it comes to cyber threats and attacks.

To learn more, visit the Microsoft US Small and Midsize Business Blog and check out the Sway presentation devoted to National Small Business Week.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Microsoft Extend 2016 in Paris for developers focuses on open specs, advanced analytics and more http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/05/03/microsoft-extend-2016-in-paris-for-developers-focuses-on-open-specs-advanced-analytics-and-more/ Tue, 03 May 2016 18:49:14 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=272626 Read more »]]> Extend 2016, to be held May 12 in Paris, France, is a one-day event from Microsoft that brings together the latest technologies from Office, data platform and open specifications.

Participants will explore updates in machine learning, big data ingestion and advanced analytics, and find out why CEO Satya Nadella called Office 365, “the most strategic developer surface area” for Microsoft by discovering the potential of Office Add-ins and Office APIs.

To learn more, visit the Openness Blog.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Xbox announces plans for E3 in June http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/05/03/xbox-announces-plans-for-e3-in-june/ Tue, 03 May 2016 18:37:10 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=272587 Read more »]]> The Xbox team has announced some of its plans for E3 2016, the annual video game conference and show happening June 14-16 in Los Angeles. The Xbox E3 2016 Briefing will take place on June 13, with a look at previously announced games and trailers for upcoming titles.

Xbox will also do its show, “Xbox Daily: LIVE @ E3,” with hosts Larry Hryb and Graeme Boyd, who will cover news, trailers and interviews with game creators. Xbox is also partnering with Twitch for wall-to-wall E3 coverage, so gaming fans can learn the latest announcements, get behind-the-scenes insight and watch the best Xbox games in real-time.

Read more at Xbox Wire.

Vanessa Ho
Microsoft News Center Staff

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ID@Xbox Game Fest celebrates independent developers on Xbox One http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/05/03/idxbox-game-fest-celebrates-independent-developers-on-xbox-one/ Tue, 03 May 2016 18:36:32 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=272614 Read more »]]>

The ID@Xbox program enables qualified game developers to self-publish digital games on Xbox One and Windows 10 with Xbox Live. To celebrate the success of the program, Xbox is kicking off ID@Xbox Game Fest, a month-long celebration that shows off the breadth of content offered by independent developers on Xbox One. Each week in May, the Xbox team will highlight a new batch of ID@Xbox titles with special discounts.

“Since the days of the original Xbox, I have been a huge fan of independent games that bring us incredibly creative and unique experiences you just cannot find anywhere else,” said Aaron Greenberg, Microsoft general manager of Product Marketing for Xbox. “The innovation of great games coming from developers in the ID@Xbox program is incredible, from big hits like ‘ARK: Survival Evolved’ and ‘Rocket League,’ to discovering totally new experiences like ‘Oxenfree,’ ‘The Flame in the Flood,’ and ‘Superhot.’”

Learn more at Xbox Wire.

Vanessa Ho
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Students from youth leadership program visit Microsoft to explore technology careers http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/05/03/students-from-youth-leadership-program-visit-microsoft-to-explore-technology-careers/ Tue, 03 May 2016 18:19:55 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=272602 Read more »]]> More than 50 students from REAP, a multicultural youth leadership program, joined the Microsoft Education team and others at Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, campus April 29 to discuss careers in the technology industry.

The students, representing schools from Portland, Oregon, are part of a year-round program for 7th through 12th graders who represent the most at-risk student population. The program is designed to help the students achieve personal and academic growth through civic engagement, entrepreneurship and cooperative management. Participants were selected for their exceptional achievement and progress in the past school year.

The Microsoft experience was designed to both inspire these future leaders and to show them what’s possible for a career in the tech industry, including opportunities in gaming, coding, Internet of Things and marketing.

To learn more, visit the Microsoft in Education blog.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Data specialist uses OneNote to help elementary school close the book on binders http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/05/03/data-specialist-uses-onenote-to-help-elementary-school-close-the-book-on-binders/ Tue, 03 May 2016 17:28:26 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=272572 Read more »]]> In his role as data support specialist at Feldwood Elementary School in College Park, Georgia, Gerald B. Johnson helps 30 teachers organize, store and share a vast amount of information collected about students throughout the school year. Discouraged by the prospect of thumbing through each teacher’s five-inch individual binder, he enlisted OneNote to help him monitor the teachers’ data usage.

“OneNote has been a game changer at our school,” Johnson writes in a guest post on the Office Blogs. “The Content Library allows me to provide teachers with access to every document, spreadsheet, form and assessment they need to utilize student data in a meaningful way.”

To learn more, visit the Office Blogs.

Monica Fischer

Microsoft News Center Staff

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Microsoft Azure named as leader in Big Data Hadoop Cloud Solutions by Forrester http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/05/03/microsoft-azure-named-as-leader-in-big-data-hadoop-cloud-solutions-by-forrester/ Tue, 03 May 2016 17:22:07 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=272557 Read more »]]> Forrester has recognized Microsoft Azure as a leader in their Big Data Hadoop Cloud Solutions, with leaders considered to have the most comprehensive, scalable and integrated platforms.

Apache Hadoop as a technology has become popular among organizations to unlock insights from data of all size, shape and speed. Hadoop powers solutions to help businesses improve their performance, educators to better connect with the needs of their students, medical professionals to improve the quality of their care, and researchers to accelerate new advancements in science.

To learn more, visit the Microsoft Azure Blog.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Science as social justice: Alexis Kaushansky researches malaria to help save lives http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/05/03/science-as-social-justice-alexis-kaushansky-researches-malaria-to-help-save-lives/ Tue, 03 May 2016 17:09:28 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=272539 Read more »]]> It was 2:30 a.m. and Alexis Kaushansky was alone in her lab. All was quiet except for thousands of mosquitoes buzzing in the insectaries, housed in a warm, humid breeding area known as the “swamp room.” She had been working around the clock on a malaria experiment.

Finally it was time to check the results. She peered into a microscope and couldn’t believe her eyes. Almost all the parasites she was testing had died, leading to her first major breakthrough: establishing that malaria-infected liver cells have similar features to early cancer cells. Her 2011 research, published a few years later, paved the way for studying cancer drugs to help eradicate malaria.

Infectious diseases kill more than 14 million people a year worldwide and disproportionately affect low-resource areas. Kaushansky’s work in malaria research is an extension of her passion for social justice.

“I ended up working on malaria because I felt the technology we’ve developed could make a big impact,” says Kaushansky, a malaria researcher at the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Seattle. “This is one of the major ways that inequity around the globe is propagated.”

Read the story at Microsoft News Center.

Vanessa Ho
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Don’t miss it! Save big on great games May 3-9 during Microsoft Studios Publisher Sale http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/05/03/dont-miss-it-save-big-on-great-games-may-3-9-during-microsoft-studios-publisher-sale/ Tue, 03 May 2016 16:33:28 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=272548 Read more »]]> The Xbox Store’s Microsoft Studios Publisher Sale, from May 3 to May 9, delivers great prices on titles including “Halo 5,” “Forza Motorsport 6,” “Gears of War: Ultimate Edition,” “Rise of the Tomb Raider,” “Rare Replay” and more.

The sale includes deals of up to 57 percent off for both Xbox One and Xbox 360 digital games, and Xbox Live Gold members will save up to an additional 10 percent on top of the game discounts. There are also more than 25 Backward Compatibility games on sale.

To learn more, visit Xbox Wire.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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From Serbia to South Korea: Skype-a-Thon takes North Carolina students around the world http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/05/03/from-serbia-to-south-korea-skype-a-thon-takes-north-carolina-students-around-the-world/ Tue, 03 May 2016 16:03:33 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=272524 Read more »]]> skype-a-thonStudents in Beverly Ladd’s 2nd grade class in North Carolina recently traveled the world from their desks during a 24-hour Skype-a-Thon, from 6 a.m. on April 14 to 6 a.m. on April 15. “With each session, the revelation of new information captivated us on our journey,” Ladd writes in a guest post on the Skype Social Good blog.

The class learned that in Serbia, “dentists are a part of the staff at each school, that Iceland uses the underground volcanoes to warm their water and that the El Nino impact on Venezuela causes alligators to come closer to houses and villages. In New Zealand, we had the chance to reconnect with a few students who we met last year. One of whom, Ashley, shared with us that she now has a toilet-trained goat. Seriously!”

And during their “stop” in South Korea, “We finally were able to meet our video Mystery Skype buddies face-to-face.”

To learn more, visit the Skype Social Good blog.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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