Minecraft’s Block by Block program is helping communities build thriving new public spaces around the world

Female students crowd around a computer screen, smiling

Earlier this spring, 45 schoolgirls in matching uniforms crowded into the computer room at the custard-colored North Thanglong Economic & Technical college on the outskirts of Hanoi, Vietnam. Beyond intermittent ripples of laughter and excitement, the 15- and 16-year-olds stayed focused throughout the day on the hard work at hand: playing Minecraft. Together they built 3D models that reimagined the darker corners of their neighborhood as a safer, more functional … Read more »

‘Minecraft’ improves public spaces, Microsoft Stream debuts and refugees enrich their new homes with hope — Weekend Reading: June 23 edition

No lazy days of summer here. This week, we saw how “Minecraft’s” Block by Block program helps communities build thriving public spaces. We shared how refugees are enriching their new homes. And Microsoft Stream made its general-availability debut. Let’s take a look. On the outskirts of Hanoi, Vietnam, schoolgirls crowded into a computer room this spring and laughed while playing “Minecraft,” but their 3D models were more than an exercise … Read more »

Microsoft Stream reaches general availability, bringing intelligence to enterprise video for customers worldwide

Video plays a vital role in how we communicate, share ideas and connect in meaningful ways. In the workplace, we rely on video to make our communications with others more impactful and to enhance the way we collaborate across geographies, enabling a more connected organization. We believe that when individuals have access to innovative technologies, they are more empowered to succeed. Last year, we introduced the preview of Microsoft Stream, … Read more »

How refugees enrich their new homes with hope, resilience and grit

Former refugee and Mercy Corps worker Farhad Agajan poses with arms crossed at a refugee camp in Greece

The house was empty when he got home from school one afternoon. Eight-year-old Farhad Agajan wandered out to ask if any neighbors had seen his mother or siblings. Crying and increasingly frantic, he reached the home of a relative who lived nearby and heard the words that changed him forever: “He gave me some money, and he told me, ‘Your life is in danger. Take this and leave, immediately,’” Agajan … Read more »

Using AI to defeat ‘Ms. Pac-Man,’ meeting the Xbox One X and analyzing Microsoft’s Data Insights Summit — Weekend Reading: June 16 edition

The official start of summer is just days away, but no one is slacking around here. This week, we saw how Microsoft researchers used artificial intelligence (AI) to master what was thought to be the un-masterable “Ms. Pac-Man,” an addictive 1980s video game. We met the new Xbox One X, a console system designed to play the best games of the past, present and future. And we hung out at … Read more »

The Associated Press takes its data storytelling to the next level with Microsoft Power BI

Photo of several people crowded around a large screen with charts and graphs about the election

For more than 170 years, The Associated Press (AP) has told the world’s biggest and most important stories, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and more recently Brexit and the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Today, when news is frequently accompanied by massive quantities of data, reporting means making sense of all that data, and AP continues to lead the way in data journalism. … Read more »

Watch an animated guide to the internet of things on the latest episode of ‘Explanimators’

In the next few years, we will see the arrival of some 30 to 50 billion connected devices. The internet of things will allow unprecedented creation and sharing of data. And, by analyzing all of that information, we will learn how to improve different aspects of our lives and create new experiences in the home, the workplace and beyond. Now you can learn everything you need to know about the … Read more »

Tune in to Imagine Cup July 27 to see which team wins more than $200,000 in prizes

Photo of a female student presenting her project to the judges at an Imagine Cup competition

Fifteen years ago, when Microsoft first launched Imagine Cup, the premise was simple: create a global innovation competition to inspire the brightest young minds in the world to bring their boldest ideas to life with technology. As a leader on our education team, Imagine Cup is one of my favorite times of year. The competition shows the true power of technology to unlock students’ innate creativity and ingenuity and helps … Read more »

Teaming up to foil cyber villains, stop SIDS and celebrate Pride — Weekend Reading: June 9 edition

From the champion soccer team to the teamwork now transforming grocery stores to the collective efforts of cyber heroes, this week gave us daily lessons on the power of joining forces. New alliances are fueling crucial causes and creative pursuits alike. Teams of student developers are helping people overcome addiction. Teams of young gamers worked together to catch a virtual pig. A new app enables government field workers to connect … Read more »

Inside the high-tech, high-stakes race to keep the cloud secure

A neon sign in the shape of a cloud

At any point in time on any day of the week, Microsoft’s cloud computing operations are under attack: The company detects a whopping 1.5 million attempts a day to compromise its systems. Microsoft isn’t just fending off those attacks. It’s also learning from them. All those foiled attacks, along with data about the hundreds of billions of emails and other pieces of information that flow to and from Microsoft’s cloud … Read more »

New devices at Computex 2017, a 12-year-old CEO and bee ambassador, and how two entrepreneurs made wallpaper cool again — Weekend Reading: June 2 edition

Despite the short week after Memorial Day, there was no shortage of inspiring news around Microsoft. We checked out new Windows 10 devices unveiled at Computex 2017 and learned about Microsoft facial recognition technology that’s helping to find missing children in China. We talked with two entrepreneurs who are reinventing wallpaper and learned how a nonprofit organization is using Microsoft’s Power BI service to bring aid to people in developing countries. … Read more »