We announced 2 interesting cloud-based services for Office 365 Microsoft Word 2016 subscribers.

Introducing Researcher—accessing credible sources and cited content just got easier

Researcher is a new service in Word that helps you find and incorporate reliable sources and content for your paper in fewer steps. Right within your Word document you can explore material related to your topic and add it—and its properly-formatted citation—in one click. Researcher uses the Bing Knowledge Graph to pull in the appropriate content from the web and provide structured, safe and credible information.

Introducing Editor—your new digital writing assistant

While Researcher helps you start a paper, Editor assists you with the finishing touches by providing an advanced proofing and editing service. Leveraging machine learning and natural language processing—mixed with input from our own team of linguists—Editor makes suggestions to help you improve your writing. Initially, it will help you simplify and streamline written communications by flagging unclear phrases or complex words, such as recommending “most” in place of “the majority of.”

Here’s a video that goes over these features:

Word 2016 Researcher & Editor for Office 365

There are also improvements made to Outlook (Focused Inbox) & PowerPoint (Zoom).  For more information, read the announcement post here:

At Computex 2016, we announced 2 things with Intel during the keynote:

  1. Intel and Microsoft are collaborating on a specification for mixed reality ready PCs and head mounted displays (HMDs).
  2. Next year, we will be releasing an update to Windows 10, which will enable mainstream PCs to run the Windows Holographic shell and associated mixed reality and universal Windows applications.

This video is a real example of Windows Holographic running on a low end Intel NUC:

Demo of Windows Holographic running on an inexpensive Intel NUC at 90fps


Read more about these announcements at:


Look out Twitch.

Team Xbox is proud to announce that Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire Beam, an innovative and interactive livestreaming service that gives viewers the ability to watch and play along with their

Based in Seattle, Beam has evolved game streaming from a passive, watch-and-chat experience into one with real-time participation by the viewer; directly into a streamer’s game play and live broadcast.

Read more at the blog announcement here:

Microsoft has acquired messaging app developer Wand Labs. This acquisition accelerates our vision and strategy for Conversation as a Platform.

Wand’s technology allows people involved in chats – for example, over Skype or Skype for Business Messaging – to have relevant web services made available to them on demand through the chat interface.

For example, if someone says they’re hungry in the chat, by popping up the keyboard & switching to the Wand interface, a list of intelligently selected (based on the chat dialog) online food delivery services – GrubHub DoorDash, etc. – or restaurant review services – Yelp, TripAdvisor – might pop up, and be accessible within the chat session where the user can quickly interact with the service & immediately return to the chat.


For more information on the acquisition, read the blog announcement here:

imageAs of August 12th, it was announced that we will be discontinuing Azure RemoteApp & instead be partnering with Citrix to deliver a similar solution based on Citrix XenApp, known as XenApp “Express”.

…currently under development… XenApp “express” combines the simplicity of application remoting and the scalability of Azure with the security, management, and performance benefits of XenApp, to deliver Windows applications to any employee on any device.

Please read more about this announcement at the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility blog:

Posted by: kurtsh | August 12, 2016

NEWS: Updates to Silicon Support Policy for Windows

imageAs of today, we have extended the support period for Windows 7 & 8.1 on Intel Skylake/6th gen processors from the previously announced July 17, 2018 to the end of support dates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1; and we will provide all applicable security updates.

  • Support will end for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020
  • Support for Windows 8.1 will end January 10, 2023

For more on this, visit the official announcement blog post at:


Earlier this year, Brandon Rohrer, Senior Data Scientist in the Data Group at Microsoft, published a popular blog post titled How to Do Data Science.

Brandon is one of our speakers at the upcoming Microsoft Data Science Summit, a two-day intensive event for data scientists, big data engineers, ML practitioners and technical managers.

The Summit runs on September 26-27 in Atlanta. In his talk, Brandon will provide a comprehensive overview of how to do data science from start to finish. Brandon’s talk is aimed at the brand new data scientist, and his session will require no math, programming, or previous experience. You can follow him @_brohrer_.

There will be 3 tracks:

  • Advanced Analytics
  • Big Data
  • Solutions

Here’s a list of some of the sessions:

  • CNTK and Project Philly: Microsoft’s
  • Deep Learning Platform
  • Creating a Churn Analytics Solution
  • Creating a Predictive Maintenance Solution
  • Data Science for Absolutely Everybody
  • Deploying a Predictive Maintenance Cortana Intelligence Suite Solution Template
  • Getting Started with Cognitive Services and Bot Framework to Enrich Your Business Scenarios
  • Information Management Using Cortana Intelligence Suite
  • Inside the Data Science Virtual Machine
  • Overview of Cortana Intelligence Suite
  • Patterns & Practices for Moving Data at Scale
  • Unlock Real-Time Predictive Insights from the Internet of Things
  • Unsupervised Techniques for Discovering Trends, Correlations and Anomalies in Collections of Unstructured Text
  • What Is Your Data Science Super Power? Tips and Tricks to Successful Data Science

Data scientist, big data engineer, machine learning practitioner, or IT pro who wants insights into the latest advanced analytics technologies

imageMicrosoft has posted an explanation of each of the subtle vectors & phases of a security breach in a business or organization:

  • Phase 1: The Break-In
  • Phase 2: The Inside Man
  • Phase 3: Spread Out
  • Phase 4: The Long Con

In each phase, how a criminal proceeds, what they take advantage of, and why they take action is explained – along with specific solutions from Microsoft that help mitigate these threats and explain why Microsoft’s made the investments it’s made over the last decade in security.

To read the “Anatomy of a Breach” and better understand how Microsoft is committed to helping you secure your organization, start with the link below:

For more details on Microsoft technologies that safeguard your infrastructure, visit:


Interested in learning a Microsoft technology at your own pace, online & completely FREE?

We offer hundreds of courses online at edX.  Here’s the intro taken from our section:

We live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world. Computing is ubiquitous, and experiences span devices and exhibit ambient intelligence. Billions of sensors, screens and devices – in conference rooms, living rooms, cities, cars, phones, PCs – are forming a vast network and streams of data that simply disappear into the background of our lives. This computing power will digitize nearly everything around us, and will derive insights from all of the data being generated by interactions among people and between people and machines. We are moving from a world where computing power was scarce to a place where it now is almost limitless, and where the true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention.
In this new connected world, we believe technology creates opportunity, and our edX courses are designed to provide you with the core development skills needed to be successful in the cloud-first, mobile-first world.

imageOur edX courses, taught by Microsoft experts, let you learn through hands-on experience with broad reach, cutting-edge technologies in areas including cloud services, mobile development, and data sciences. Whether you’re a student or a seasoned technologist, we can empower you to build innovative applications, services, and experiences on the Microsoft platform that will help you make a meaningful impact in today’s interconnected world.
Welcome to the world of Microsoft technology – choose a path and make your mark.

For example, if you’re interested in Azure Machine Learning & the R programming language in particular, you can take these free online courses at edX:

To see what more we offer, check out the Microsoft section of edX now!

Posted by: kurtsh | August 11, 2016

INFO: The Value of Organizational Analytics

The following video is of Ryan Fuller, former CEO of VoloMetrix & now (since acquisition) General Manager of Organizational Analytics at Microsoft.

  • Drive innovation with insights that help improve organization effectiveness (41:23)
    Ryan Fuller – Microsoft General Manager, Organizational Analytics
    Ever wonder how your organization actually works? Are you looking for proven tools to drive employee engagement and organization transformation? Not only can personal analytics drive employee empowerment but well also look at how organizational analytics can provide data-driven insights to support business initiatives like enterprise health, organization simplification and sales effectiveness. Join us to learn more!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzbL_-YPfGw

Drive innovation with insights that help improve organization effectiveness

If this is interesting to you, you may want to read more about the value of organizational analytics and “having available interesting information to analyze and make actionable”.

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