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 »

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 »

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 »

Alberto Cairo, Power BI & the rise of data journalism

Data journalist Alberto Cairo working at his computer

From the election of Pope Francis to the passing of Nelson Mandela to Miley Cyrus’ MTV #twerk heard ’round the world, 2013 was full of big headlines and viral hits. Yet The New York Times’ top story of the year was the humble result of a vocabulary survey of 350,000 randomly selected Americans conducted by a then-intern at the paper. Instead of presenting these findings in a written article, “How … Read more »

How six scrappy young inventors built a breakthrough text-to-Braille translator device

The six members of Team Tactile stand side by side

A group of engineering students knew exactly what they wanted to build at a student technology competition, and they had just 15 hours to do it. As they worked furiously alongside other MIT students, the young women hit a series of snags. They had to wait in long lines to use the 3D printer and laser cutter they needed to shape various parts for their project. Some of the supplies … Read more »

Microsoft researchers explore using computer science to help ‘solve’ cancer

Sketch of a man's face with a microscope in front of it

At Microsoft’s research labs around the world, computer scientists, programmers, engineers and other experts are trying to crack some of the computer industry’s toughest problems, from system design and security to quantum computing and data visualization. A subset of those scientists, engineers and programmers have a different goal: They’re trying to use computer science to solve one of the most complex and deadly challenges humans face: cancer. “We’re in a … Read more »

How indie game creators are leveling up creativity at Xbox

Katie Stone Perez sits on a sofa surrounded by mementos in her office on Microsoft's Redmond campus

Katie Stone Perez brims over with excitement when talking about Xbox games. All Xbox games. Today the senior program manager for Microsoft’s independent developer program, ID@Xbox, is particularly enthused about “The Hole Story,” a new game about a budding young archaeologist named Wendy who digs in her backyard and discovers a portal to a strange land. The game, written and prototyped by a group of high school students, was selected … Read more »

How London startup SAM Labs is making the Internet of Things into everybody’s thing

There are some 10 billion hardware devices connected to the Internet today. By 2020, this Internet of Things will power over 50 billion connected cars, dog collars, toothbrushes and pretty much anything else you can imagine. But while it’s now easier than ever for people to use or even create new software, innovative hardware design has remained a distant frontier, accessible only to trained engineers and the most diehard of … Read more »

Microsoft’s inspired new workspaces boost creativity and collaboration

An open collaboration space in Microsoft's Building 16 in Redmond, Washington.

Buildings 16 and 17 are two of the biggest at Microsoft headquarters – sturdy, brick-and-glass tributes to the practical 1980s, when the company was focused more on manifesting Bill Gates’ vision to put a computer on every desk and in every home than on the architectural prowess of its campus. Inside, however, is a different story. There is light, air and art. There are new, retooled work spaces and vibrant … Read more »

Microsoft hiring program opens more doors to people with autism

Kyle Schwaneke came to Microsoft through a unique hiring program for candidates with autism.

Kyle Schwaneke’s bank account was approaching empty. He’d been unemployed for a year and a half, since the indie game studio he’d been working for shut its doors. His parents, looking for ways to help while he job hunted, had paid the remainder of his apartment lease, but he’d reached the end of that, too. “I interviewed at a bunch of companies, but really didn’t have any luck. Sometimes, I … Read more »