Careful steps toward an EU patent

The EU and, before that, the European Community, have been talking since the 1960s about the possibility of a single patent that covers its whole territory. As it stands now, only one aspect of getting a patent here is centralised: You can go to the European Patent Office and have your application examined one time rather than in multiple countries.But once you pass that hurdle, you still need to go … Read more »

Europe’s new plan for Digital Jobs: Microsoft signs pledge at Grand Coalition

The Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs was launched last week to address the shortfall of Europeans with digital professional skills and to exploit the employment potential of ICT. The EU’s competitiveness is “under threat” according to Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, if it cannot fill the expertise gap. An issue critical to business, government & educators alike, Ms Kroes presented a concrete map visualised as metro lines for EU … Read more »

Responding to government legal demands for customer data

Today we have asked the Attorney General of the United States to personally take action to permit Microsoft and other companies to share publicly more complete information about how we handle national security requests for customer information. We believe the U.S. Constitution guarantees our freedom to share more information with the public, yet the Government is stopping us. For example, Government lawyers have yet to respond to the petition we … Read more »

Digital Agenda review and 2013 ‘digital’ priorities: future innovation is key

Early February, European Commission Vice-President Kroes set-out the Commission’s digital priorities for 2013-14, a package of 7 actions around the regulatory environment for broadband, with the headline Digital Agenda target of ‘100 MBps for every European’ in mind. And that includes efforts ranging from rules on wholesale broadband and engineering costs, to universal service and spectrum.In this perspective, at Microsoft, we hope to see in the spring a courageous new … Read more »

Youth, parents, teachers, schools: take note of a new online bullying report

As online meanness and cruelty continue to garner global attention, parents, educators, and school officials grow hungrier for new information and guidance. All are looking to formulate and implement strategies and policies that will help protect young people both online and off. A recent report from more than a dozen leading academics from 11 countries offers additional considerations and recommendations.The group, made up of academics from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Gr…

Making progress on web accessibility across Europe

On December 3, 2012 the European Commission (EC) announced a proposed directive on web accessibility. Just 3 days later, Microsoft joined with the European Disability Forum (EDF) to co-host a discussion in Brussels about how industry, government, and civil society can collectively start making real progress towards a more accessible web.We believe that we have a great opportunity to make a more inclusive web and that we can do it … Read more »

A new spectrum observatory in Brussels: providing data to inform policy decisions

Every day the number of devices connected to wireless internet creeps closer to the 1 billion mark. The radio spectrum currently available for wireless internet is getting strained, access points and base stations are becoming overloaded and prices for consumers are rising. The new Microsoft Spectrum Observatory in Brussels shows that this does not have to be the case.Microsoft has been exploring how to improve the utilization of available spectrum … Read more »

Across the spectrum: White Spaces are gaining momentum

Everywhere you look from Europe, to Canada or Singapore, more efficient spectrum use is increasingly a global regulatory goal; with attention now shifting to what spectrum sharing can add to existing spectrum management options. Evidence of this growing interest is proliferating, with the European Commission’s recent Communication on promoting the shared use of radio spectrum and the US Federal Communication Commission’s announcement that it intends to ensure that a significant … Read more »

Europe’s future growth is in the cloud

The European Central Bank’s proposal to buy unlimited amounts of crisis-hit government bonds has provided a glimmer of light through the shadows of the financial downturn. In the long term however, it’s clear that Europe must re-engineer its economy to achieve sustainable economic growth and abate record-high unemployment levels, especially among young people.That’s why the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, is prioritising “the cloud” t…

Europe 2020 goals: let’s not underestimate the role of technology

Youth unemployment in Europe is high. In many cases there are jobs available but the skill sets to meet them are scarce. Digital skills are in high demand and essential for enhancing employability, and driving innovation and sustainable growth in Europe. As a matter of fact, higher education will play a crucial role in developing the knowledge and skills that Europe needs to compete in the digital economy. In alignment … Read more »