Lending a robotic ‘hand’ to fight prostate cancer, and a human hand to mentor employees – Weekend Reading: Sept. 9 edition

robotics, surgery, Micosoft Azure, Azure Media Services

This week, we’ve got some inspiring footage to share of robotic surgery that is helping those with prostate cancer, a look at how Microsoft’s mentors help their coworkers, and a story from a proud Marine who is now a proud Microsoft employee.

Robotic surgeons worldwide lend a ‘hand’ to fight prostate cancer: Doctors around the world have made huge strides in prostate cancer treatment and recovery by using cutting-edge technology to simplify operations and increase education. Earlier this year, thousands of registered viewers got a free cinematic glimpse into the exciting future of such medicine with the Worldwide Robotic Surgery Event (WRSE24), a 24-hour global undertaking that streamed live robotic surgeries and lectures from four continents using LiveArena Broadcast channels, Microsoft Azure and Azure Media Services. It was the third installment in an ongoing medical series in which some of the world’s leading robotic surgeons broadcast live operations to a captive audience of mainly robotic doctors in training, as well as other interested, non-squeamish parties. “Live surgery is very educational because you see how surgeons deal with different problems,” says noted urologist and surgeon Dr. Peter Wiklund, the chairman of molecular medicine and surgical sciences at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. “It’s much more realistic for the people watching because the surgeon and viewers get the exact same view.”


Mentors help advance employees’ careers at Microsoft: John Gilmour says he wouldn’t likely have the great job he has now at Microsoft if it weren’t for his manager and mentor, Jacquelyn Crowhurst. Two years after she hired him as a platform strategy advisor, a sales director role opened up on her team. He didn’t think he had enough experience for it, but Crowhurst helped convince him to apply. “She encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone,” he says. She also helped build his confidence and made sure he had peer support and coaching while he settled into the role. Nurturing others’ success is a favorite aspect of the job for Crowhurst, general manager of the U.S. Developer Experience (DX) and Evangelism Tools Team –  and that kind of mentorship is a big part of how new employees grow their expertise and advance their careers at Microsoft.

mentors, Microsoft employees
Microsoft mentor Jacquelyn Crowhurst.

From the Marines to Microsoft: Ryan Burns joined the Marines right after high school, and worked on helicopter engines as a turboshaft engine test cell operator. It was work he enjoyed, and he wondered if he would find that kind of job satisfaction when he was out of the Marine Corps. Then he enrolled in the Microsoft Systems & Software Academy (MSSA), which provides active duty U.S. service members with the career skills necessary to meet the IT industry’s high demand for talent. Burns is now a software engineer for the Universal Store Team at Microsoft, something he enjoys very much. “The MSSA program challenges veterans to actually do something big — possibly bigger than what they did in the military,” he says. “That is one thing that most people will never find in their life again, and I didn’t know if I would ever find it. Now I wake up every morning and I know that I’m doing something that’s just as challenging and just as rewarding as being a Marine.”


Sling TV now available for Windows 10: Sling TV, the internet streaming service, is now available on Windows 10 PCs and tablets. With the app, you can watch popular entertainment at home and on the go, starting at $20 a month. There are no long-term contracts, no equipment rental fees and no hidden fees. You can watch live and on-demand sports, lifestyle, family, news and information programming from networks including ESPN, Disney, AMC, Comedy Central, HGTV, TNT, TBS, Fox and NBC (select markets only), A&E, VICELAND and CNN.

apps, Windows 10
Sling TV app for Windows 10 PCs and tablets.

Ready for kick off? So are we! Kick off your football season with Bing, Surface NFL Type Covers, Cortana, Outlook and Touchdown! Collection. Fans can now brag about their team loyalties on their Surface devices with the addition of new Special Edition Surface NFL Type Cover, available for all 32 teams. With Cortana, you can track your favorite sports teams’ score updates, upcoming games and get final score notifications. With the Touchdown! collection in the Windows Store, you’ll be able to watch the game your way on Windows or Xbox, follow favorites, stream games, view schedules and stats, listen on-the-go, plan tailgates and more. And over on Outlook.com, a new Interesting Calendars feature gives you the ability to add a team’s schedule directly to your Outlook.com or Outlook on the web calendar.


This week on the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, we highlighted Gabe Fleisher, the 14-year-old editor-in-chief of “Wake Up To Politics.” When he was just 9 years old, Gabe founded WUTP, channeling his passion for politics to help inform people of current political events. Now in 9th grade, he continues his mission with the help of Microsoft software. Every morning, Gabe scans the news, organizes his thoughts in OneNote, drafts the newsletter in Word, then circulates to his audience – all before the morning bell.

Teen editor Gabe Fleisher

That’s it for Weekend Reading. Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you here same time, same place next week!

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff