The Fire Hose http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose Covering the news of the day at Microsoft Fri, 22 Jul 2016 22:46:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 At San Diego Comic-Con, ‘Halo Wars 2’ panel gives fans a look at some of what’s coming http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/07/22/at-san-diego-comic-con-halo-wars-2-panel-gives-fans-a-look-at-some-of-whats-coming/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 22:46:14 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=282841 Read more »]]>

Friday at the “Halo Wars 2” panel at San Diego Comic Con, fans got to meet actress Erika Soto, who plays fictional newcomer AI Isabel, as well as hear from Dan Ayoub, studio head of 343’s publishing and RTS (Real Time Strategy) efforts, among other treats.

No spoilers were shared, but there was plenty of new stuff to show, from a “quick making-of movie, where Erika is directed and captured by the amazing Dave Wilson, creative director at Blur Studio, to some sneak peeks at previously unseen cinematics,” writes Frank O’Connor, 343 Industries franchise development director.

“Blur does incredible work and as new as Erika is, Dave is an old hand. Coming hot off the success of a little movie called ‘Deadpool,’ Dave is actually returning to the Halo Wars cinematic legend – he was a VFX supervisor on the first game and is not only a genius – he’s a note of consistency and foundational understanding. This is not his first rodeo.”

To learn more, visit Xbox Wire.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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App Analysis Tool now available for Windows Bridge for iOS http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/07/22/app-analysis-tool-now-available-for-windows-bridge-for-ios/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 20:38:53 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=282826 Read more »]]> The iOS App Analysis tool is now available as part of the Windows Bridge for iOS, an open-source project that helps developers create Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps that can run on Windows 10 devices using iOS APIs and Objective-C code.

The tool makes it easier to get started with the bridge by immediately delivering a breakdown of what parts of an app are compatible with the bridge, providing a good estimate of how much work would be required to turn an iOS app into a UWP app. And since the tool is web-based, there are no downloads and no installs required.

Find out how the tool works on Building Apps for Windows.

Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Artifex Mundi summer sale delivers magical worlds, hidden objects and fantastical tales at half-price http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/07/22/artifex-mundi-summer-sale-delivers-magical-worlds-hidden-objects-and-fantastical-tales-at-half-price/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 19:37:05 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=282811 Read more »]]> From now through Wednesday, July 27, game developer Artifex Mundi is holding a summer sale with 50 percent off some of their most popular titles for both PC and Windows Phone, all now $2.49 (regularly $4.99).

In a remastered version of “The Emerald Maiden: Symphony of Dreams,” an undersea paradise is not what it seems. In “Eventide: Slavic Fable,” Slavic myths comes alive as you embark on a quest to find a rare plant and save the mysterious creatures of Heritage Park. And in “Mythic Wonders: The Philosopher’s Stone,” you search for your missing uncle in a challenging new hidden object game.

Hidden objects are also the name of the game in “Tibetan Quest: Beyond the World’s End,” where you journey to the mythic land of Shangri-La to find your missing niece. In “The Secret Order 3: Ancient Times,” fantasy and detective noir genres merge as unstable artifacts attack your father, so you need your sharpest skills to save him and the universe itself.

Finally, the evil puppeteer of “Fairy Tale Mysteries” returns in this remastered version of the classic adventure game, with you as Brother Grimm’s investigator seeking ways to defeat the worst among us.

Buy any of all of these games through the Artifex Mundi summer sale through July 27.

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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MPI support for Linux on Azure Batch is now available http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/07/22/mpi-support-for-linux-on-azure-batch-is-now-available/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 19:18:20 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=282802 Read more »]]> Azure Batch makes it easy to run large-scale jobs in parallel, and now MPI support for Linux on Azure Batch is available.

“You tell Batch what kind of VM you need, how to configure them, the jobs and tasks to run, and the service takes care of the rest. It’s great for Azure developers who need to scale-out work like engineering simulations, transcoding or financial risk models,” writes Manoj Soni, Azure Big Compute Team senior software engineer.

To learn more, visit the Microsoft Azure Blog.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Brand blues: When consumers stop doing business with a brand because of bad customer service http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/07/22/brand-blues-when-consumers-stop-doing-business-with-a-brand-because-of-bad-customer-service/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 19:15:21 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=282793 Read more »]]> According to Microsoft’s 2016 State of Global Customer Service Report, 60 percent of 5,000 respondents from around the world say they have stopped doing business with a brand because of one poor customer service experience.

Among customers’ top frustrations is not being able to engage with a human being when they need one.

“Examine your customers’ experience when it comes to hold times,” writes Tricia Morris on the Microsoft Dynamics Blog. “What do your customers feel is an optimal response time? Set a standard from their feedback and work to meet or beat it. Avoid the use of rabbit hole IVR solutions or courtesy disconnects. (There’s nothing courteous about being hung up on after waiting on hold for 20 minutes.)”

To learn more, visit the Microsoft Dynamics Blog.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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School closes out the year by taking students around the world via 12-hour Skype ‘learnathon’ http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/07/22/school-closes-out-the-year-by-taking-students-around-the-world-via-12-hour-skype-learnathon/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 18:21:41 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=282775 Read more »]]> Skype in the Classroom, South Wales, learnathon

Explorer Justin Miles talks to students at Sandfields Comprehensive School in South Wales, U.K.

Earlier this month, students at Sandfields Comprehensive School in South Wales in the U.K. got ready to say goodbye to their school, which is closing and being merged with a broader educational group. But before saying farewell, they participated in a Skype “learnathon” to be remembered.

“Our plan was to take 30 pupils on an end of term trip they will never forget: a 12-hour trip around the world — over Skype,” writes Paul Watkins, Sandfields’ head of information and communication technology, on the Skype Social Good blog.

“Utilizing virtual field trips and guest speakers from the Microsoft Educator Community, we wanted to give our pupils an enriching ‘once in a life time’ experience. Not only did they have fun, they learnt a lot,” Watkins says. The learnathon “developed their world view and helped them realize the importance of their role as global citizens. Whilst the normal end of year trip may be to a theme park, I know that through a webcam I can bring the world to my pupils.”

To learn more, visit the Skype Social Good blog.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Ability Award will recognize Imagine Cup world finalist team for advancing accessibility http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/07/22/ability-award-will-recognize-imagine-cup-world-finalist-team-for-advancing-accessibility/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 17:47:17 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=282757 Read more »]]> One of the 35 teams who are competing next week in the World Finals for the 2016 Imagine Cup, Microsoft’s global student technology competition, will take home this year’s Ability Award.

The Ability Award is aimed at encouraging and recognizing student teams whose projects are geared toward accessibility and empowering people with disabilities. The winner will be announced July 28 in Seattle.

Last year, Team Prognosis of Greece received the Ability Award. The team built an application that can detect early-onset Parkinson’s Disease through voice analysis.

Learn more about the Ability Award on the Imagine blog.

Tracy Ith
Microsoft News Center Staff

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New version of System Center Config Manager includes enhanced features in security and data protection http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/07/22/new-version-of-system-center-config-manager-includes-enhanced-features-in-security-and-data-protection/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 17:36:07 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=282748 Read more »]]> A new version of System Center Configuration Manager current branch includes new features and product enhancements in security and data protection, application management, content distribution, deployment and provisioning, and end user experience.

It also includes loads of new functionality for customers using Configuration Manager in hybrid mode with Microsoft Intune.

The System Center Configuration Manager team says this is also the version that will bring support for the Windows 10 Anniversary update.

To learn more, visit the Enterprise Mobility and Security Blog.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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OneDrive updates its photos experience to include a Pokémon screenshot detector and more http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/07/22/onedrive-updates-its-photos-experience-to-include-a-pokemon-screenshot-detector-and-more/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 17:24:13 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=282739 Read more »]]> The photos feature in OneDrive has been improved across the web and in mobile apps, with automatic albums, an “on this day” view, an expanded search function, a dedicated view for folders, a better Windows 10 Photos app experience and even a Pokémon detector to let players easily show screenshots of captured Pokémon to their friends.

To learn about these improvements and more, visit Office Blogs.

Susanna Ray
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Annual Faculty Summit celebrates 25th anniversary of Microsoft Research and looks forward to next 25 years http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2016/07/22/annual-faculty-summit-celebrates-25th-anniversary-of-microsoft-research-and-looks-forward-to-next-25-years/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 17:15:45 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/?p=282724 Read more »]]> At a Microsoft gathering of top academic and research scientists in Redmond, Washington, last week, leading thinkers – including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates – reflected on what computer scientists have accomplished in the last quarter century, and on what they expect to see in the next 25 years.

The annual Faculty Summit coincided with the 25th anniversary of Microsoft Research, which currently has about 1,000 research scientists and engineers in labs throughout the world who are working on their own and in collaboration with academic partners.

Head over to the Microsoft Research Blog to find out more about the summit.

Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

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