38 minutes | Mar 5, 2019
MSFT Today 2019-03-04 : Why Technology Needs Female Voices
Discussing women in technology is nothing new for this podcast. In the previous episodes (such as MSFT Today 2019-01-15 : Microsoft 365 Education) I've mentioned getting women, and girls in technology several times, including in guests interviews. This has always been an important issue for me, because I come from a huge family, that is nearly split down the middle of boys and girls, and I've always longed for my nieces to geek out with my like my nephews always have. Also, having been in enterprise IT for nearly two decades now, I've watched how the number of women have slowly crept up, but I've always felt that we could do better. I know women not only deserve their rightful place in technology, but they are crucial to its long-term and health growth. It is no secret, that women and men tend to approach problems differently, and thinking out side of the box doesn't exactly men's strong suit. This is the very reason I've personally hired women for my teams in the past, and I've found my best allies within my teams to be women - they are the yin to my yang, and vice-versa. The better half of my most dynamic duo of my career was a brilliant SQL engineer who was also an immigrant. Well, we were an unlikely duo teamed up by happenstance as I was designing the new clustering standard for Windows Servers, and as you know, SQL clustering and Windows Clustering go hand in hand. So she worked with me for months, as we fine tuned out build and test processes, and engaged with others - and throughout that time we became great friends, and I learned first-hand that you never judge a book by its cover. I've never been the type of person to do that anyway, but I would be lying if I said that didn't have any reservations when we were teamed up on a very important, and very expensive project. I was the outgoing, jovial, sarcastic, hates-nothing-more-in-life-than-to-be-wrong know-it-all, and here I was being teamed up for a multi-month project with someone that no one on the team really knew anything about. While she had her PHD, and was a mother of three, and was equally on par with the most brilliant database engineers I've worked with throughout my career, she was also timid, and shy - for obvious reasons. She was a fish out of water. As I said, the time I spent working with her on the six month project are some of the greatest times of my career. I learned so much from her, and continued learning from her as we remained close allies throughout our time working together. When I left the company for another opportunity, I made sure to let them know with complete certainty, that they had a special asset on their hands. The most brilliant peer I've ever had (someone at my same job level), was a woman. Plainly put, she is a technology wunderkind… and when we went through PFE school together, I was in complete awe at the full breadth of her knowledge. I've always prided myself on knowing as much as I can about as many subjects as I can, but she took that mindset to a whole new level. My jaw was agape during the 4+ years I worked with her as a Platforms PFE, and I have no doubt that she is still wowing people to this day, and last I checked she was still at Microsoft. Heya, Elizabeth! I could go on all day about the women I've worked with in technology, and why is that? Why is it, that even though there have been only a handful of them, they've all made a lasting impression? I've thought about that many, many times - and as I dissect it all, it all comes down to empathy. I never once had to deal with the air of bravado, or ego with them that you tend to get from the truly brilliant men in technology. And regardless of how many times I had to reach out to them, or ask for their help, or lean on them for assistance, they never gave it a second thought, and never once used the fact that they had to against me. Truthfully, my seeking more women in technology is a slightly greedy one. I want to learn from them, and for that to happen, I need to be around them. I have and likely always will have a giant lack of empathy in my thought process… and I can blame my ADHD, refusal to compromise on anything but the right answer, and/or my logical thinking all I want - but in the long run, my stubbornness, is my biggest weakness… and empathy is the key to me unlocking my full potential… and empathy is where believe most men in technology greatly lack the proper knowledge and understanding to operate at their full potential. Closing the Gender Gap in the Tech Industry In this 60 Minutes segment by Sharyn Alfonsi on closing the gender gap in technology, Bonnie Ross, the founder and head of 343 Studios, and Hadi Partovi, the founder of Code.org discuss the current state of women in technology, and how we can even the playing field. Closing the Gender Gap in the Tech Industry 00:05-00:39 There are 500,000 open technology jobs in the United States right now Women occupy just 25% of computing jobs 01:02-02:33 In early elementary, girls and boys are interested in technology in equal numbers The number of men in technology is increasing dramatically The number of women in technology is actually declining There are 4,000 jobs open at Microsoft alone The female candidates just aren't there, and the ones that are there, are highly sought after (5-7 job offers each) 02:34-02:44, 02:59-03:28, 04:01-5:01 Because the field is so male dominated, women are less comfortable pursuing roles within technology Both problems hurt each other, as I stated - we need women in technology, men can't do it alone 10 million girls coding on code.org Starting late, leads to failure because of the "middle school cliff" - usually when girls drop out of STEM fields It is clear, that as girls mature (generally faster than boys), their focus shifts dramatically in middle school - and many of these shifts are no doubt societal pressures 05:39-06:28, 07:17-07:46 The entire United States, only graduated 75 computer science educators in 2018 There are more than 24,000 STEM teachers graduating yearly, but almost all go into math or science Code.org has trained 75,000 proactive teachers in just five years You don't need to be a computer science expert to be a computer science teacher There are many, many resources for helping to become a technology teacher, including from code.org, and Microsoft's Innovative Educator, and MakeCode programs 08:29-09:07, 09:26-10:11 The gamification of early coding lessons hooks the younger students in This is especially true of girls This is crucial for keeping girls interested in technology Microsoft Research has found that 91% of girls consider themselves to be creative - but they don't see computer science as creative Robotics and IoT are key areas of focus for keeping girls interested in technology, because of the tangible creativity 11:51-12:13 If just 1% of girls currently in code.org learning decided to go into technology fields, it would equal the gender gap I think this is a really optimistic number by someone who is obviously very passionate about code.org's mission. I personally feel, that we have a lot more work to do as a society, that goes well beyond just introducing girls to technology early on. Our society must also shift what is expected of girls as a whole, and until we get rid of the still very widely held stigmas about girls in technology, we will continue to struggle. All is not lost, but I think it just goes beyond a single program… and we don’t have to look far for guidance. In many Asian cultures, women pursue technology related careers just as much as men because of the financial advantages - and I think we can find the right balance as well in the western world. New Patreon Supporter Louis St-Amour has backed us at the Windows 7 ($10) level. I'm betting that Louis is a fan of the Aero Peak, and Windows Snapping… I know Windows Snapping is one of my Top-5 features of Windows, one of those features that when it arrived, you can't believe you lived without it. Louis is a front-end (full stack) web/native developer, who like me, is an ENTP personality (Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving) - he's also a Certified QuickBooks Cloud ProAdvisor. Be sure to follow Louis on: @4Lou on Twitter Github LinkedIn https://effortless.software Code.org Has free week-long training courses for teachers Is a free service, funding by donations (primarily technology companies, including Microsoft) 25% of all students in America have an account on code.org Offers elementary, middle and high school training for teachers MakeCode Microsoft MakeCode brings computer science to life for all students with fun projects, immediate results, and both block and text editors for learners at different levels Microsoft created MakeCode utilizing their Touch Develop technology Resources MakeCode Website MakeCode YouTube Channel Microsoft Innovative Educator Program The MIE community is a free and open program where Microsoft trains educators utilize tools to make their job easier, and to also teach technology related subjects to their students. https://education.microsoft.com Offers a program for both educators, and school leaders Can earn badges and certificates Closing the gender divide in Education Technology | Bett 2018 | Kirsty Tonks and Vivienne Porritt Microsoft Stores Microsoft provides many learning and education initiatives through their retail stores STEM Saturdays - Teachers, students, and parents are welcome to drop by their local Microsoft Store to participate in these learning experiences. Projects are designed for 11- to 14-year-old students but can easily be completed by younger students with parental support Intro to Robotics with Ohbot Free new coding workshops Free Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit workshop How Do Sharks Swim? (build a joystick) Microsoft Women @MicrosoftWomen is one of 40 diversity employee networks within Microsoft, which celebrates #WomenInTech Ladies of Microsoft Twitter list by @TashasEv Influential Women in Tech Twitter list by @KEOSART @WomenInGaming Xbox Developers Women in Gaming Community - Women from Team Xbox who celebrate women within the interactive and entertainment tech industry Women in Gaming Show Xbox Research Team is a nearly equally divided team between men and women, which is a great sign of things to come Notable Ladies of Microsoft Alexandra Rijnoveanu - Business Applications Architect and Storyteller at Microsoft Amy Kate Boyd - Cloud Developer Advocate in AI and Machine Learning at Microsoft, and Women in Tech: Introduction to Linux on Azure (Session: Predicting the Future with Machine Learning) Anne Frances Owen - Senior Content Publishing Manager at Microsoft, developing PowerApps training on edX Annie Parker - Global Head of Startups at Microsoft Bonnie Ross - Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, founder and head of 343 Studios Erica Joy - Principal Group Engineering Manager at Microsoft, and Board of Directors member of Girl Develop It Haiyan Zhang - Innovation Director at Microsoft Research Jaime Teevan - Chief Scientist at Microsoft Research Experiences and Devices Jen Gentleman - Senior Community Manager for Windows Insider on the Shell team at Microsoft Jessie Thomas - Xbox researcher working with 343 Industries and WomenInGaming contributor Simona Cotin - Senior Cloud Developer Advocate for Avocado at Microsoft and Pluralsight Trainer Girls in Technology Resources Canada Learning Code Girl Develop It Girls In Tech Girls Who Code MSFT on the Issues She++ Simone Giertz TechGirls TechWomen Teaching Technology Resources Hour of Code Microsoft Education YouTube Channel - Includes "A-Z" training series, inclusive training, collaboration training, "hacking the classroom" ideas, Office 365 training, and more Community Kudos Manuela Pichler is developing an amazing PowerApp for documenting PowerApps for IT Support and Governance Melissa Hubbard is a Microsoft MVP and makes rad Microsoft Flow videos and recently led an Approvals 101 session at the Power Platform World Tour in Silicon Valley Penny Coventry is a Microsoft MVP, #MSIgniteTheTour speaker, consultant, author and trainer Follow or Subscribe to Microsoft Today Patreon Website Apple/iTunes Blubrry Breaker Facebook Google Play Google Podcasts Medium Omny Studio Pocket Cast PodBean RadioPublic RSS Spotify Stitcher TuneIn YouTube Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/msfttodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27 minutes | Mar 1, 2019
MSFT Today 2019-02-28 : Refusing to be Mediocre in IT (Bonus Podcast)
In today's Twitter follower bonus podcast, we step away from our typical podcast format and focus on something a little different - how to approach your day to day duties in information technology. It is human nature to enter a comfort zone. Most people don’t wake up one morning and make the conscious decision to be mediocre, it happens over time. In IT, this condition can be even easier to fall into. When you show up to the office, and fight the same issues, and put out the same fires, day in and day out, it can become daunting. Most people who have worked at least a few years in IT can relate to this, and it can be a vicious cycle. How does one fight to stay out or climb out of their comfort zone? Well, if you find yourself in that sort of situation, I believe that it is extremely important to have good friends and family that “call you on your bullshit.” I apologize for the profanity, but I don’t think the message hits as hard without it. Simply put, you need people in your life, that will always challenge you, which especially includes people comfortable enough to call you out. Surrounding yourself with those that challenge you, will keep you on your toes, and pushing you forward even when work is trying to keep you down. Think of these people, as your personal trainers for your career, screaming for you to do one more set on the bench press. When you have people comfortable enough with you to hold you accountable, it makes all the difference. Make goals and hold yourself accountable so that you have to. "Those who build and perpetuate mediocrity... are motivated more by the fear of being left behind." - Jim Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't Why worry about the comfort zone? This may be an unpopular opinion, but if you work in Information Technology, you have a moral obligation to provide the best support that you can to your customers, while also doing everything in your power to protect their data and interests. Now, some may call that a reach, but I disagree on several counts. Just imagine how many people’s lives have been adversely affected due to failures in IT systems. How many businesses, and financial institutions have been wrecked due to outages, downtimes and hacks? How many billions of dollars are lost each year to preventable catastrophes? The hard truth is that lost revenue and downtime generally leads to loss of jobs, or at the very least lost business which can affect everything from stock prices, to employee bonuses. It may not happen immediately, but major issues within IT can and usually lead to long term damage that might not be felt immediately. Those jobs and pay are the life-force for an employee, who likely also has family dependent on them. For these reasons alone, you should always — DO THE RIGHT THING. Take ownership of the fact that even if your environment sucks, that your work matters, not just to the bottom line, but to people, and their lives. In IT, when you are in a comfort zone, you are not operating at your maximum potential, nor is your environment. Technology never sleeps, and it evolves daily, which means that you must strive further to keep pace. If you don’t, you are not only letting yourself down, but you are letting down the very people and customers that rely on the systems and services that you provide. Refuse to be Mediocre Many times, especially in junior roles, you may feel powerless in such situations. However, you are not. You can always rise above and set the tone, you can be the spark that ignites a firestorm of rejuvenation and improvements throughout your work environment. If you put in the extra effort, and lead the charge, your hard work may pay off with others following your lead. Be the first to dance! - Sasquatch music festival 2009 - Guy starts dance party Derek Silvers delivered a Ted Talk on “How to Start a Movement” and the key points are fantastic advice for those looking to change or revitalize their atrophied corporate IT departments. He says that a leader “needs guts to stand alone and look ridiculous,” and that surprisingly the turning point is just the second follower. The second follower, confirms to the rest of the pack that the movement started by the leader, and confirmed by the first follower, was truly worthwhile. The first follower, also shows leadership skills by taking the initiative to join the “first nut.” - How to start a movement, Derek Sivers Remember the importance of nurturing your first few followers as equals… have the courage to follow, and show others how to follow. Fighting Mediocrity May Make You Unpopular Mediocrity also isn’t always your fault. Many times, you may receive push back when you try to raise above being mediocre. You may be told that you’re overstepping your bounds, or that you’re offending others with your initiative. One thing is certain, trying to rise above mediocrity, will likely make you unpopular — if not with management, then with some peers who are all too comfortable with the status quo. The only real advise I can provide here is, if your leadership doesn’t appreciate the work you do and the change your trying to drive — move on. Life is too short to work for a company that doesn’t support you or your vision, and you will no doubt come across resistance at some point in your career, and sometimes the best thing for all the parties involved would be for you to find another place to work. If you try to succeed, and are held back, you have to take control of your career. I sleep soundly at night when I am doing my best to insure my customers are provided with the absolute best service and support they can receive. I truly have a moral dilemma that affects my personal life when I know that there are critical issues that should be rectified yet remain due to internal politics. Atrophy accelerates as time goes on, so if things aren’t working out today and you can’t gain any momentum no matter how hard you try, they’ll likely be worse further down the line. It is up to you to decide if fighting against mediocrity or if moving on is the best for you long term. Trust the Process What you do with your career, is your choice — and while I can’t tell you what to do, I can tell you what has been great for me. For me, refusing to be mediocre while also being steadfast to my moral obligations and duties, have made me extremely happy with my career choices for nearly two decades. You spend at least one-third of your life at your job, so why not do your best to and make sure that you’re leading from the front? Gone are the days of working 20+ years for the same company, the future of business is evolving faster than ever thanks to technology and automation — so keep evolving along with it, and refuse to be mediocre, all while leading by example and taking charge of where you, and your team goes from here. Even if you aren’t a manager or team lead, you can lead by example, and all you need is that first follower to start your movement. So get to dancing! Follow or Subscribe to Microsoft Today Patreon Website Apple/iTunes Blubrry Breaker Facebook Google Play Google Podcasts Medium Omny Studio Pocket Cast PodBean RadioPublic RSS Spotify Stitcher TuneIn YouTube Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/msfttodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20 minutes | Feb 27, 2019
MSFT Today 2019-02-26 : Spiral Out, Keep Going (Bonus Podcast)
Welcome to this bonus episode of the Microsoft Today Podcast. Today we're stepping away from focusing on Microsoft or technology, and discussing something more along the lines of life, education, and personal development. Spiral Out, Keep Going I've had a few of you ask about why I end each podcast with the line, "Spiral out, keep going." The line is from a song by the band Tool, called Lateralus. I could talk about the brilliance of this album for hours, but I won't bore you with that. Here's a snippet of the lyrics, which contain the line I've been saying at the end of the episodes, which should give you some insight: And following our will and wind, we may just go where no one's been. We'll ride the spiral to the end, and may just go where no one's been. Spiral out, keep going… In short, it is a song (and album) about always questioning what you see, and continuing to expand your knowledge each day, by spiraling out, like a Fibonacci Spiral. I've made "Spiral out, keep going" my daily mantra for years - and I try to encourage others to do the same. Regardless of what you're passionate about, I hope that you become the best that you can with it, and never settle for mediocrity… and I equate innovation with the willingness to never settle. The Fibonacci sequence, named after Leonardo of Pisa, is a series of numbers where, after two starting values, each number is the sum of the two previous numbers. Examples: 1+1 = 2, 1+2 = 3, 2 + 3 = 5, 3 + 5 = 8, 5 + 8 = 13 Some interesting tidbits from Tool's Lateralus: The time signature of the main riff is 9-8-8, which is the 16th step of the Fibonacci sequence The lyrics are sung by syllable count, in the Fibonacci sequence The first lyrics in the song are 1.618 minutes into the song, and 1.618 is the golden ratio Focus on What Matters and Only on What You Can Control I have a real problem with remaining focused on things I can control, so much so that I have a VIN diagram printed out and by my desk to remind me each and every day to only focus on what both matters to me, and that I can control. I want to know ask much as I can, about everything, but I must also remain focused long enough on something to finish the task at hand. This struggle I've found, is very common in the technology world, which is why I am sharing it now. I suffer from severe ADHD, and am constantly sidetracked by the next big thing… and it even happens when I am trying to put together episodes for this podcast. So, I thank Tool for their words of wisdom, and I try to remind myself often that: "Over-thinking, over-analyzing separates the body from the mind. Withering my intuition, leaving opportunities behind…" Ride the Spiral to the End The brilliance of this song, it's composition and lyrics was documented by Phil Riehl on Twitter in a video from 2007 - that I have watched probably 1000 times over the past 12 years. I encourage you all to check out the show notes and watch the video. It is about 10 minutes long, but so worth it - even if rock music isn't your cup of tea. Living by this mantra has truly reshaped my career and life trajectory. I refuse to be mediocre, and am always seeking to expand my horizons. I know I don't know it all, and I know I never can, but I want to, and I strive to, and that's good enough. My father gave me a piece of advice when I was much younger that helped as well, if anyone asks if you know how to do something tell them yes! You may not know how to do it now, but you have to have faith that you can figure it out. The Fibonacci in Lateralus by Phil Riehl Back Us on Patreon Thanks to new backer, Bryon Barnard who backed us at the Windows 95 tier level. Please be sure to follow Bryon on Twitter at (our Twitter shout out) Follow or Subscribe to Microsoft Today Patreon Website Apple/iTunes Blubrry Breaker Facebook Google Play Google Podcasts Medium Omny Studio Pocket Cast PodBean RadioPublic RSS Spotify Stitcher TuneIn YouTube Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/msfttodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
52 minutes | Feb 25, 2019
MSFT Today 2019-02-24 : HoloLens 2, Azure Kinect and MWC19
In today's episode of the Microsoft Today podcast, we discuss Microsoft's live event at MWC19, including the new HoloLens 2 Mixed Reality device, and the Azure Kinect IoT Edge device. We had a tremendous time covering Microsoft's MWC19 event yesterday. Your reactions on Twitter, are why this episode has morphed so drastically as I began writing it. It's all about the power of the pivot, just ask Excel! Instead of diving into all of the details about the announcements made today, we are going to do a quick review of what was covered. I believe the technology sand initiatives discussed deserve episodes of their own, and my goal is to give them their own episodes within the next week or two. Seriously, hold me to this - chastise me at @BradGroux on Twitter if I don't do it! So let's jump in, just be sure to stick around until the end. We have some community kudos to give out, and an inspiring new commercial from Common and Microsoft. Thank All 5,000 of You!!! Today I'm thrilled to announce that we have surpassed the 5,000 Twitter follower mark. We've more than doubled our number of followers since the podcast started six weeks ago - it has been a truly amazing ride! My only regret is not starting this endeavor sooner! It has been a blast, and interacting with the thousands and thousands of listeners and technologists has been amazing. As a thank you for hitting 5,000 followers on Twitter, I will be releasing two bonus podcast episodes this week - so look for those over the next two days (I've begun recording them). Microsoft at MWC19 Today was a busy day in Barcelona for Microsoft, as they announced more than 10 new products or initiatives spanning the Mixed Reality, cloud services, hardware services, business development and open spectrums. For full details about all of today's announcements, see the official blog post on our site - https://msft.link/MWC19 Microsoft at MWC19 Barcelona A New Day at Microsoft Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella started off the event by discussing a fundamental shift in the company's philosophy: "Putting people at the center, instead of the device. For years we have built applications and experiences specifically for given devices. But the interaction model going forward, is with computers and computing, all around us. It is no longer about being device first, it is about putting the human first which includes all of the devices in their lives… to empower every person and every organization on the planet, to achieve more." He then goes on say that their success, lies in the success of their partners and customers: "Our success lies in the success of our partners and customers in our ecosystem. This requires that we collectively move from being just passive consumers of technology to active producers of technology. We create technology, so that our customers can create their own technology… today every company is a tech company… not to become dependent on Microsoft, but to become independent of Microsoft…" This falls very much in line with why I've started this podcast, and why I've discussed the topics that we've discussed thus far. The future is coming, and you can no longer be passive, you must be proactive, and learn to adapt and utilize the technology that is here. Regardless of your role in the workplace. Mixed Reality is a technology that merges real and virtual worlds to create brand new environments where physical and digital components can interact in real time. It’s “mixed” reality because it encompasses both augmented/virtual reality and the real world via immersive technology, letting you see the real environment overlaid with holographic data from a 3D model. HoloLens 2 The HoloLens 2 team focused on three key areas when redesigning the new hardware from the ground up: Immersion is greatly enhanced by advancements across the board, including in the visual display system, making holograms even more vibrant and realistic The field of view for HoloLens 2 has more than doubled A new display system that excels at low power The new time-of-flight depth sensor and built in AI and semantic understanding allows for interactive holograms The eye-tracking sensors makes interacting with holograms more natural Now with Windows Hello iris recognition Comfort is enhanced by a more balanced center of gravity, the use of light carbon-fiber material and a new mechanism for donning the device without readjusting New vapor chamber technology for improved the thermal management Redesigned to allow it to comfortably adjust and fit almost anyone Meant to be used for hours on end now, and the new "flip up" allow for easy on-off usage All told, they've more than tripled the measured comfort and ergonomics of the device (not sure how this is done) Time-to-value is accelerated by Microsoft mixed reality applications like Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, Dynamics 365 Layout and the new Dynamics 365 Guides applications There is a business ready ecosystem of mixed reality partners that provide a broad range of offerings built on HoloLens that deliver value across a range of industries and use cases A new wave of mixed reality entrepreneurs is also helping to accelerate the growth and availability of Mixed Reality tools and applications No longer is there a startup time of 3-6 months for businesses to find value in the Mixed Reality It was clear from the presentation that HoloLens 2 is much less cumbersome than its predecessor. All the demo wearers looked comfortable wearing it. Kudos to the Microsoft Hardware team! HoloLens 2 will be available this year at a price of $3,500. Bundles including Dynamics 365 Remote Assist start at $125/month. HoloLens 2 will be initially available in the United States, Japan, China, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Australia and New Zealand. Customers can preorder HoloLens 2 starting today. Introducing Microsoft HoloLens 2 Microsoft HoloLens Customization Program HoloLens is being used in a variety of challenging environments, from construction sites and operating rooms to the International Space Station. HoloLens has passed the basic impact tests from several protective eyewear standards used in North America and Europe. We're not sure of just what the customization program entails, but you have to think that the HoloLens hardware was designed in a modular way, to make customization easier. Think of HoloLens 2 as a platform, like the Xbox Adaptive controller - and instead of the inclusive design being focused on those with disabilities, instead it is focused on challenging usage cases and/or environment variables. Of course, with the hardware improvements in HoloLens 2, especially the eye tracking sensors - there are no doubt many usage cases for those with both physical and learning disabilities. Trimble - Last year announced Trimble Connect for HoloLens along with a new hard hat solution that improves the utility of mixed reality for practical field applications. Today it announced the Trimble XR10 with Microsoft HoloLens 2, a new wearable hard hat device that enables workers in safety-controlled environments to access holographic information on the worksite. Open Principals Microsoft believes that for an ecosystem to truly thrive there should be no barriers to innovation or customer choice. Microsoft wants the Mixed Reality space to transition from a "walled garden" to a "communal garden." "Open to your creativity, open to your ideas, open to your vision…" - Alex Kipman Microsoft's Core Commitments to Openness of their Mixed Reality Ecosystem Open App Store - Developers will have the freedom to make their own stores Open Web Browsing - Firefox will have a native web browsing experience native on HoloLens Firefox natively) Open Platform - An open API surface area and driver model, including further guidance with OpenXR Azure Kinect The Kinect lives, and is now more powerful than ever! The Azure Kinect DK is a developer kit that combines Microsoft's industry-leading AI sensors in a single device. At its core is the time-of-flight depth sensor that was developed for HoloLens 2 A high-def RGB camera A 7-microphone circular array The new hardware will enable development of advanced computer vision and speech solutions with Azure. The Azure Kinect DK is initially available in the U.S. and China, and is available for preorder today at $399. Dynamics 365 Guides Dynamics 365 Guides is a new mixed reality app that empowers employees to learn by doing. Guides enhances learning with step-by-step instructions that guide employees to the tools and parts they need and how to use them in real work situations In addition to Guides on HoloLens, a Guides PC app makes it easy to create interactive content, attach photos and videos, import 3D models and customize training to turn institutional knowledge into a repeatable learning tool Dynamics 365 Guides is available in preview starting today. Azure Mixed Reality Services Keeping true to Microsoft's long standing charge under CEO Satya Nadella's "Cloud First" vision, Microsoft announced more services for their Azure Cloud platform. Today they announced two new Azure mixed reality services. These services are designed to help every developer and every business build cross-platform, contextual and enterprise-grade mixed reality applications. Azure Spatial Anchors - Enables businesses and developers to create mixed reality apps that map, designate and recall precise points of interest that are accessible across HoloLens, iOS and Android devices. In public preview as of today. Azure Remote Rendering - Helps people experience 3D without compromise to fuel better, faster decisions. Today, to interact with high-quality 3D models on mobile devices and mixed reality headsets, you often need to “decimate,” or simplify, 3D models to run on target hardware. In private preview as of today. Microsoft MWC19 Presenters Satya Nadella Julia White Alex Kipman Julia Schwarz Anand Agarawala (Spatial) Jinha Lee (Spatial) Sven Gerjets (Mattel) Rosalind Buick (Trimble) Jim Heppelmann (PTC) Maria Wilson (Howden) Tim Sweeney (Epic Games) Patreon We have huge plans for the future of this podcast, and my daily interactions with all of you makes me more steadfast in that resolve by each day. I truly am blessed and humbled by the reception you've all given the podcast so far, and I can't wait for us to have more journeys down the rabbit hole of knowledge together! To maximize my time, and yours - I need financial assistance to create the podcast I think Microsoft, their technology, employees, fans, and enthusiasts deserves. So far, I've bootstrapped everything myself, doing every aspect of the show - which has been a massive yet rewarding… but for a non-paying hobby, is untenable. Our current revenue options are: Patreon - A platform that lets you support the creators you love, and it allows them to offer you perks and rewards for your support. We here at MSFT Today, have come up with what we feel are seriously awesome perks. Episode Ads - The current pre-roll and post-roll ads episode ads are injected automatically by our podcast host, and pays a rather low CPM. Currently there is our only active and steady revenue stream Amazon Affiliate - Do you shop at Amazon? If so, please consider clicking through our affiliate link when you do! It doesn't cost you anything, but helps us tremendously. THANKS! https://msft.link/amazon Official Sponsorships - If you, or anyone you know would like to become show sponsor, please contact us YouTube - To monetize the channel, we must first reach 1,000 subscribers, which requires content All patrons get access to the MSFT Today OneNote - which includes notes and ideas for upcoming episodes! https://patreon.com/msfttoday Community Kudos Thanks so much to everyone for all of your support and interaction. Each and every week I receive so much overwhelmingly good feedback, that keeps me going. If you are working on something that you'd like to show us, or to maybe even feature on an episode, shoot us a mention on Twitter and/or tag your tweet with #MSFTtoday! We monitor the hashtag daily, and can't wait to see what you're up to. Nuno do Carmo - Showed us some love on Twitter this week, and also requested that we cover Linux on Windows, such as WSLinux or WLinux As I told Nuno, I definitely want to cover open source initiatives and things like Linux and Bash on Windows, Azure, etc. I just don't want to a disservice to the technology and the people that make it by being wrong! I like to make sure I am well versed on something before speaking on it, and Linux is easily one of my weakest areas. If you have any advice for getting up to speed, please share. Also, any SMEs or MVPs out there want to take part in an episode - I'd would love have someone on! Check out our tweet! Vivek Bavishi - We keep saying it, the Power Platform community is amazing! "Nothing's impossible for a #PowerAddict ! Combine the power of #PowerApps, #MicrosoftFlow and #MicrosoftToDo and voila! here's a tease to the calendar view." Its Closing Time Microsoft dropped a new commercial hot off of the heal of the MWC19 announcements. Microsoft AI: Inspiring Possibility ft. Common - "What's a hammer without a person to swing it? Your possibility is endless, your limits are few…" That hits me right in the feels, because that is the purpose of Microsoft Today in a nutshell. Like Microsoft, I want to empower you all to be the best you - because we're here together on this pale blue dot, so we might as well make the best of it! Follow or Subscribe to Microsoft Today Patreon Website Apple/iTunes Blubrry Breaker Facebook Google Play Google Podcasts Medium Omny Studio Pocket Cast PodBean RadioPublic RSS Spotify Stitcher TuneIn YouTube Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/msfttodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
35 minutes | Feb 21, 2019
MSFT Today 2019-02-20 : Microsoft's AI for Good Initiatives and #TemplatesForHumanity
The AI for Good initiatives by Microsoft were created to foster development and support for AI solutions that seek to benefit all of mankind. The initiatives are AI for Accessibility, AI for Earth, and AI for Humanitarian Action. In today's episode of the Microsoft Today Podcast, we're going discuss all of these fantastic initiatives and how you can get involved for the great good. AI for Accessibility Microsoft's goal for AI for Accessibility is to amplify human capability, as they believe that AI can empower people with disabilities with tools that support independence and productivity, as technology rapidly changes the way we live, learn, and work. Microsoft does through grants, investments of technology, and expertise. AI for Accessibility Projects Soundscape - Using sound, to give sight to the blind Eye Control - Windows 10 APIs for controlling PCs via eye movements Swiftkey Symbols - Allows simplified communication for non-verbal users Immersive Reader - Reads text out loud, break it into syllables, and increase spacing between lines and letters Microsoft Translator - Empowers the deaf and or hearing impaired Helpicto - Helps autistic individuals communicate via pictograms Seeing AI - Is a talking camera app that allows the visually impaired to access the visual world Microsoft Build: AI for Accessibility AI for Accessibility & Grantees Zyrobotics ReadAble Storiez is a reading fluency solution based on STEM and aimed at improving early education literacy skills for young children with varying abilities Received a $25 million grant from Microsoft iTherapy is improving communication skills for people with autism, among other cognitive learning disabilities by enhancing their app, InnerVoice, with new capabilities to help people develop their language expression skills and assign meaning to dialogue via naturalized social interactions Researchers at the University of Iowa are developing an intelligent application for people who are blind or with low vision to independently walk or jog around a 400-meter track, which can determine if someone is veering from their lane, and delivers real-time feedback to help them stay on track The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation at Vanderbilt University is developing conversational tools that provide people with autism job interview training through meaningful interactions AI for Accessibility Grants Microsoft is looking for individuals or teams who are not only passionate about making the world more inclusive, but also firmly rooted in the communities they intend to benefit Microsoft wants to invest in ideas that are developed by or with people with disabilities AI for Accessibility is a call to action for developers, NGO’s, academics, researchers, and inventors to accelerate their work for people with disabilities This is a global program, grant applications from all countries in the world are eligible For academic institutions, the grants can be distributed as unrestricted gifts to academic institutions to support a project’s objective AI for Earth AI for Earth is a five-year, $50 million Microsoft initiative that supports, and partners with, environmental groups and researchers while also providing grants. The goal: helping to save the planet with data science. Many of the initiatives are also heavily dependent on the ever-expanding world of Windows IoT (Internet of Things). Microsoft's AI for Earth has four areas of focus: Climate - The changing climate threatens human health, infrastructure, and natural systems. AI can give people more accurate climate predictions to help reduce the potential impacts Agriculture - By 2050, farmers must produce more food, on less arable land, and with less environmental impact to feed the world’s increasing population. AI can help people monitor the health of farms in real time Biodiversity - Species are going extinct at an alarming rate. AI can help people accelerate the discovery, monitoring, and protection of biodiversity across our planet Water - In the next two decades, demand for fresh water is predicted to dramatically outpace supply. AI can help people model Earth’s water supply to help us conserve and protect fresh water AI for Earth Projects and APIs FarmBeats - Through sensors, drones, data analytics, AI and connectivity solutions, Microsoft is enabling precision agriculture to improve yield while reducing resource consumption Land Cover Mapping - Land cover maps help us visualize everything that covers the Earth. The Microsoft AI platform and ArcGIS spatial mapping software enable precision conservation Geo AI Data Science VM - Delivers geospatial analytics capabilities that improve the gathering, managing, and analyzing of geographic data in today’s IoT-driven world Project Premonition - Robotic insect traps, paired with cloud-scale genomics and machine learning algorithms, enable biodiversity insights. It aims to detect pathogens before they cause outbreaks Enabling precision agriculture with AI - Microsoft's FarmBeats Program In this video you hear from the following: Sean Stratman - Farmer Ranveer Chandra - Principal Research at Microsoft AI for Humanitarian Action Was announced by Microsoft in September of 2018, where Microsoft feels that their AI can provide a major impact in four typical areas - Disaster Response - AI can help agencies improve their response when catastrophic events occur Needs of Children - Every 3 minutes a child is born with a cleft lip or palate Refugees and Displaced People - Millions of displayed refugee youth need help building job skills Human Rights - Empowering organizations to help reduce human rights abuses While technology is important, it's what we do with it that truly matters. - Muhammad Yunus (Nobel winner for his work with Microcredit and Microfinance) Microsoft Ignite: AI For Humanitarian Action In this video you hear from the following: Marlene Urscheler - UN Human Rights Officer Zeid Ra'al Al Hussein - Former UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Bai Yanbing - Postdoctoral Researcher Tohoku University (Japan) Dr. Ruben Ayala - Chief Medical Officer of Operation Smile Michael Tjalve - Principal AI Architect at Microsoft Leading by Example We will support specific nonprofit and humanitarian organizations through financial grants, partnerships, and technology investments in addition to technical expertise. We will work together with organizations to create efficient solutions and help accelerate the pace of innovation. Example of AI for Humanitarian Action Microsoft's PhotoDNA is a free tool developed by Microsoft since 2009 with Dartmouth College that is used by more than 200 organizations around the world and has assisted in the detection, disruption, and reporting of millions of child exploitation images and videos PhotoDNA is Free to use for law enforcement and tool providers, including the PhotoDNA Cloud Service powered by Microsoft Azure To date, PhotoDNA has also enabled content providers to remove millions of illegal photographs from the internet; helped convict child sexual predators; and, in some cases, helped law enforcement rescue potential victims before they were physically harmed AI for Good Resources AI for Accessibility AI for Accessibility Grants AI for Earth AI for Earth Grants AI for Earth APIs AI for Humanitarian Action Using AI to Help Save Lives #TemplatesForHumanity #TempaltesForHumanity is a grassroots initiative kickstarted by Keith Whatling, a Digital Inclusion Advocate and @PowerApps evangelist based in the UK. Keith was inspired after seeing the AI for Humanity video from Microsoft Ignite and spurred into action after seeing humanitarian app efforts at a recent Hack4Good event in London. I came across Keith's #TemplatesForHumanity tweet, and noticed the great feedback, conversation and Microsoft Power Platform templates it helped ignite and thought it would be a great thing to share. Brian Dang from the PowerApps team lead by example, and quickly published the first of what I assume will be many #TemplatesForHumanity submissions to the PowerApps Community Gallery - Volunteer Pledge App. Another #TemplateForHumanity for a Disease Monitoring App was submitted earlier today by Mariano Gomez Bent who said, "Hopefully, it can be of help to #NGOs and #NFPs helping out in emergency zones around the world." If you're interested in knowing more, you can follow the #TemplatesForHumanity tag at the PowerApps Community to keep track of future submissions. Don't just sit there, share your #TemplatesForHumanity today! #TemplatesForHumanity Resources Templates for Humanity by Keith Whatling #TemplatesForHumanity Twitter Search PowerApps Community Apps Gallery Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/msfttodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30 minutes | Feb 6, 2019
MSFT Today 2019-02-06 : Microsoft Earnings, Xbox Game Studio, Azure for Free, and More
Microsoft’s $32 Billion Q2 Earnings were Inspired and Powered by Partners Microsoft's Revenue Highlights Microsoft's gaming revenue was up 8% year over year during the second quarter, with revenue from Xbox software and services rising 31% over that same period. Surface "had its biggest quarter ever this holiday, delivering strong double-digit growth in both consumer and commercial" according to CEO Satya Nadella Microsoft Cloud growth exploded as commercial cloud revenue was up 48% year over year, anchored by Azure revenue growth of 76%. Microsoft's Earnings by the Numbers Earnings of $1.08 a share Revenues of $32.5 billion Intelligent-cloud revenue of $9.38 billion $32 billion in revenue. That’s an incredible number that Satya Nadella and Amy Hood shared during the Q2 earnings call last week. Just as impressive is the commercial cloud revenue increase of 48 percent year-over-year to $9 billion. Did you know that 95 percent of Microsoft’s commercial revenue flows directly through our partner ecosystem? With more than 7,500 partners joining that ecosystem every month, partner growth and partner innovation are directly fueling our commercial cloud growth. One accelerant, the IP co-sell program, now has thousands of co-sell ready partners that generated an incredible $8 billion in contracted partner revenue since the program began in July 2017. Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. And we know that partners make more possible. As a customer-first, partner-led company, we start with the needs of our customers and work with our partners to deliver the best outcomes for each organization. We look forward to continued evolution in the Microsoft-partner relationship this year—with more innovation in AI, more co-selling opportunities, and more ways to connect partners to customers and to other partners through Azure Marketplace and AppSource. I invite you to learn more about how Microsoft leaders from the Azure, Dynamics, and ISV teams are supporting our partners, and how partners can capitalize on the opportunities ahead. Read the Full Story Introducing Background Blur in Skype Background blur in Skype is similar to background blur in Microsoft Teams. It takes the stress out of turning on your video and puts the focus where it belongs—on you! With a simple toggle, right-click, or even through your Skype settings, your background will be instantly and subtly blurred, leaving just you as the only focal point. Read the Full Story Building AI on trust: A dialogue around Microsoft’s core values and principles Çağlayan Arkan sits down with Nick Tsilas, senior attorney for Manufacturing & Growth Industries, to discuss the potential of AI to help Microsoft build a better, more responsible, more sustainable world. Read the Full Story Microsoft Research Webinar: Machine Learning and Fairness with Jenn Wortman Vaughan and Hanna Wallach Exploring ethics and trust in AI with Microsoft AI Design Principles Fairness Inclusive Reliability Transparency Privacy and Security Accountability Guidelines for human-AI interaction design The variability of current AI designs as well as high-profile reports of failures – ranging from the humorous, embarrassing or disruptive (for example, benign autocorrect errors) to the more serious, when users cannot effectively understand or control an AI system, (for example, accidents in semi-autonomous vehicles) – highlight opportunities for creating more intuitive and effective user experiences with AI. The ongoing conversation on human-centered design for AI systems shows that designers are hungry for trustworthy AI-centric design heuristics or guidelines. Read the Full Story DataSense for Microsoft Education’s Family of Products One of Microsoft’s oldest and biggest verticals for its Azure cloud business has been education, and today it announced an acquisition that it hopes will help it deepen its reach: it has acquired DataSense — a data management platform that can be used to collect, integrate and report information from across a range of online education applications and services — from an educational technology company called BrightBytes, to integrate the functionality into Azure. DataSense is a master platform that’s used by schools and educational authorities both to ingest information as well as report it to state and other authorities, covering disparate applications and other data sources. Even before being acquired by Microsoft, it already had a lot of reach, currently being used to manage data for millions of students in the U.S., BrightBytes says. The Microsoft acquisition should supercharge its growth. Read the Full Story Keeping Kids Safe in a Digital World With Windows 10 and Xbox Family Settings Take advantage of free, built-in features in the devices you use. Go to account.microsoft.com and set up a Microsoft account to take advantage of all the great family settings across Windows, Xbox, Microsoft Launcher for Android, and the web. Family settings are a free set of features that span devices and can help you set guardrails that work for your family – manage screen time, set permissions for games or apps purchases, enable safe browsing on the web, and more. Have an open dialog with your children about expectations and appropriate digital behavior. While there are tons of tools and apps available to track your child’s behavior or monitor their every move, there is a lot to be said for using digital time as a learning opportunity. Set a good example. Just like our kids wanted to cook or vacuum like us when they were small, they are still looking to us as their example as they get older. The best way to teach our kids about responsible digital habits and online safety is to demonstrate good behaviors ourselves. Read the Full Story Visit microsoft.com/family for more information and tips Microsoft Launcher for Android Applied F# Challenge The Applied F# Challenge is a new initiative to encourage in-depth educational submissions to reveal more of the interesting, unique, and advanced applications of F#. Read the Full Story Azure Data Studio – Setting up your environment Azure Data Studio is a cross-platform database tool for data professionals using the Microsoft family of on-premises and cloud data platforms on Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Previously released under the preview name SQL Operations Studio, Azure Data Studio offers a modern editor experience with Intellisense, code snippets, source control integration, and an integrated terminal. It is engineered with the data platform user in mind, with built in charting of query result sets and customizable dashboards. Read the Full Story Download and Install Azure Data Studio Microsoft Azure Sign up for 12 months of popular free services and a $200 credit to explore any Azure service for 30 days, or work with the 25+ services that are always free. With your free account, you can also test and deploy enterprise apps, create custom mobile experiences, and gain insights from your data. How to sign-up for an Azure free account Introducing Xbox Game Studios Microsoft has rebranded Microsoft Studios to Xbox Game Studios, saying that Xbox has gone beyond a console and is now a full gaming platform. Xbox Game Studios is made up of 13 distinct game development teams responsible for beloved franchises like Age of Empires, Forza, Gears of War, Halo and Minecraft. The teams at 343 Industries, The Coalition, Compulsion Games, The Initiative, inXile Entertainment, Minecraft, Ninja Theory, Obsidian Entertainment, Playground Games, Rare, Turn 10 Studios, Undead Labs and our Global Publishing group are working hard to deliver incredible exclusives, original IP and all-new chapters from your favorite franchises. Read the Full Story Xbox Live is Coming to Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android and More Xbox Live is about to get MUCH bigger. Xbox Live is expanding from 400M gaming devices and a reach to over 68M active players to over 2B devices with the release of our new cross-platform XDK. (Spotted by Windows Central) Become A Hero At Halo: Outpost Discovery Halo: Outpost Discovery is a touring fan experience for all ages, that brings the Halo video game universe to life like never before. This weekend-long event lets you step into Halo’s vast and epic world, with enthralling themed attractions, interactive in-universe encounters, the latest playable game releases and so much more. Experience details, ticket information and more are available right now at HaloOutpostDiscovery.com. Brad Groux will be representing Microsoft Today at the Houston Halo Outpost Discover on Saturday August 17th Read the Full Story Crackdown for Xbox is Now Free To celebrate the launch of Crackdown 3, Microsoft is giving away the original Crackdown for free! Play it on your Xbox One with Backward Compatibility. Read the Full Story The Crackdown 3 Technical Stress Test is coming this week on Xbox One and PC! The Wrecking Zone Technical Test will begin Thursday, February 7, with installation beginning at 9 a.m. PST/5 p.m. UTC and the first playtests beginning at 12 p.m. PST/8 p.m. UTC, where you will get to play Crackdown 3’s groundbreaking PvP multiplayer mode, Wrecking Zone. Read the Full Story Crackdown 3 Alpha Tech Demo ("VM Bursting") from Gamescom 2015 Astroneer Graduates From Xbox Game Preview Today Astroneer is a space sandbox exploration game where players and friends land in a solar system with the task of surviving in the uncharted frontiers of space. On this adventure, players can work together to build custom bases above or below ground, create vehicles to explore a vast solar system, and use terrain to create anything they can imagine. A player’s creativity and ingenuity are the key to thriving on exciting planetary adventures! Read the Full Story Microsoft Today Website The Microsoft Today website at msft.today is your one-stop shop for all official Microsoft news and announcements. We've curated and compiled the most extensive collection of sources to help you stay up to date all from a single pane of glass. We're adding new sources every day, and have nearly 900 articles and counting. Coming Soon MSFT.tv MSFT.support MSFT.university Follow or Subscribe to Microsoft Today Patreon Website Apple/iTunes Blubrry Breaker Facebook Google Play Google Podcasts Medium Omny Studio Pocket Cast PodBean RadioPublic RSS Spotify Stitcher TuneIn YouTube Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/msfttodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
56 minutes | Jan 28, 2019
MSFT Today 2019-01-28 : Microsoft Flow with Jon Levesque
Microsoft Flow is a service that helps you create automated workflows between your favorite apps and services to synchronize files, get notifications, collect data and more. The main types of flows are automated, button, scheduled, and business process flows. Flow is a SaaS offering for automating workflows across the growing number of applications and SaaS services that business users rely on. Introductions Brad introduces the show Brad gives a short introduction for Jon and how the show came about Brad provides the listeners and Jon with a little insight about his background and time at Microsoft as a PFE Jon provides a few tidbits about himself and his role on the Microsoft Flow team Father. Motivator. Outdoorsman. Keynote Speaker. The #MicrosoftFlow guy. Beer & Wing enthusiast. Builder of Community. Problem Solver. Brad and Jon Discuss what Jon has going on, including - JSYK Podcast JonLevesque.com @JonJLevesque YouTube Channel Microsoft Flow Playlist Business Process Flows Playlist Microsoft Flow Online Conference Playlist LinkedIn Life at Microsoft Jon and Brad discuss life at Microsoft, and Jon's various roles and workloads How did Jon make his way to Microsoft? Jon's Flow videos and YouTube channel Can discuss how Jon's seeking to do a formal training series How's life as a keynote speaker? Where can people see Jon next? Microsoft Flow Introduction Jon provides a short "elevator pitch" describing Microsoft Flow to the audience Brad discusses how he's been using Flow in his day to day duties Microsoft Power Platform Dynamics 365 Power BI PowerApps Microsoft Flow History of Flow Didn't Flow start as a part of the Dynamics suite? Does it now fall under the Azure Logic Apps area? Flow Apps - Web, Mobile, Visio, Windows 10? Flow Templates Flow Ideas Flow Connectors - Office 365, Dynamics 365, SharePoint, Excel, Twitter, RSS, Salesforce, Adobe Creative Suite, Amazon Redshift, Azure, Approvals, Basecamp, BitBucket, GitHub, Zendesk, Yammer, YouTube, Microsoft Teams, OneNote, PowerApps, Planner, Power BI, MailChimp, JIRA, InstaPaper, Instagram, Medium, G-Suite, etc. Flow Data Gateway - File System Connector Flow Resources - As Flow is an ever-evolving service and toolset, where are the best places for people to go to get the up to the latest changes regarding flow Brad can discuss how many times when he's searching for ways Questions Below are some possible questions for discussion What is the development cycle for the Flow platform? It seems that they iterate fairly quickly. Who is building all of the Flow integrations? Is there an evangelism team within Microsoft wooing platforms? What is the coolest way that Jon or the Flow team have seen users utilizing the Flow platform? What are some of the most complex uses you've seen for Flow? John Liu - Minecraft Connected Flow Website @johnnliu #FlowNinja Which industries do you see utilizing Flow most? With Flow being such a complex and far reaching platform, how tough is it to support a toolset with nearly endless possibilities? Can you discuss the licensing requirements for business process flows? Brad really wants tips on how to sell the cost to management =D With Office 365 rolling out, how are companies expanding workloads to Flow? Is it happening more organically or is there usually direction from the top? Licensing Changes HTTP Connector is being moved to the P1 license Business Process Flows - Flow 2 Plan $15 Closing Jon has time to discuss anything he'd like Super Bowl picks? Thank yous and goodbyes Resources http://aka.ms/flow-resources Introducing Microsoft Flow Get Started with Microsoft Flow Business Process Flows Overview Flow Templates Flow Connectors Flow Apps: iOS, Android Follow or Subscribe to Microsoft Today Patreon Website Apple/iTunes Blubrry Breaker Facebook Google Podcasts Medium Omny Studio Pocket Cast PodBean RadioPublic RSS Spotify Stitcher YouTube Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/msfttodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
71 minutes | Jan 16, 2019
MSFT Today 2019-01-15 : Microsoft 365 Education
41 minutes | Jan 9, 2019
MSFT Today 2019-01-08 : Microsoft Acquisitions
First off, we can’t talk Microsoft without acknowledging what was truly their first acquisition, MS-DOS. In 1980, after not being able to reach a license agreement with a competitor, IBM tasked Microsoft with developing or licensing an operating system for their upcoming IBM 5150 Personal Computer. Microsoft had already been hired to write the BASICprogramming language for the PC, but now they had asked for them to provide the OS to go with it. No sweat, said Microsoft… DOS, which was developed as QDOS (Quick-and-Dirty Operating System) and originally launched as 86-DOS the company Seattle Computer Products. 86-DOS had been written by Tim Paterson — the owner and operator of Seattle Computer Products, in just six weeks’ time. So rather than re-invent the wheel Microsoft paid Tim Paterson just $75,000 in the summer of 1981 for version 1.10 of 86-DOS. Upon receiving PC-DOS in July, Microsoft simply renamed it to MS-DOS 1.10and handed it off to IBM in August of 1981, who decided to license it for distribution in November of the same year. From 1981 until 1993, IBM utilized a branded version of MS-DOS on their systems, known as PC DOS… and while IBM offered alternative operating systems for its PCs throughout the years, Microsoft’s licensed version of MS-DOS was sold on more than 9 out of every 10 IBM PCs sold — thus cementing Microsoft’s place in history as a software behemoth. Microsoft had been around for five years before being award the operating system contract by IMB, and while they may have survived or even thrived without the PC-DOS eal — there is no denying that their successful sales pitch to IBM changed the trajectory of the company, and the world forever. Historic Acquisitions 1987, Microsoft acquired Forethought, which had a little know presentation program that would later be known as Microsoft PowerPoint 1997, Microsoft acquired Hotmail.com as an integral part of their push for MSN.com leading up to the release of Windows XP 2000, Microsoft acquired the Visio Corporation whose diagraming program was rebranded as Microsoft Visio 2002, Microsoft purchased Navision for their ERP (enterprise resource planning) technologies which kicked off a new division of the company, Microsoft Business Solutions which has lead us to what we now call Microsoft Dynamics 2007–2008, in escalated efforts to keep pace with Google’s massive ad revenue, Microsoft acquired aQuantive and its subsidiaries which included Avenue A/Razorefish, followed quickly by Fast Search and Transfer 2011, Microsoft acquired Skype and created a new division of the company to house the chat and VOIP solution, a move that was surprising to some due to the technology behind Skype (Delphi) 2012, acquired Yammer, an enterprise social networking service used for private communication within organizations 2013, acquired Nokia in a last ditch effort by then CEO Steve Ballmer to save Microsoft in the competitive mobile space 2014, acquired Minecraft and its parent company for $2.5 Billion, shocking the world A move that has already paid for itself ten-fold 2016, acquired business social networking platform LinkedIn Recent Acquisitions There is no denying that there has been a fundamental shift by Microsoft in their recent acquisitions under star CEO Satya Nadella. It seems that the company has shifted focus to brands and technologies that fit with their existing vision, and bolster their current product and services lineup rather than acquiring outright new technologies. LinkedIn has gone on to expand its reach by acquiring: Connectifier, a machine learning technology in 2016 for business leads generation Elearning juggernaut Lynda.com in 2018 for “LinkedIn Learning” Glint, an employee improvement and engagement platform FlipGrid, an education, collaboration and video platform was acquired in mid-2018 in an effort to add further value to Microsoft’s education stack of Office 365, Minecraft, Kodu programming language, and partnerships with the likes of Code.org and Kano Computers This also ties into their 2016 acquisition of Teacher Gaming, a provider of interactive educational software GitHub was purchased in late 2018, and raised eyebrows across the world as open source defenders were shocked that their mecca had been hijacked by the evil empire Microsoft surprised the world when they began offering some premium services for free, including the coveted private Git Repos GitHub also shows that Microsoft’s recent open source plays, like becoming a Premium Sponsor of the Open Source, open sourcing many of their products, moving their repos to GitHub and the shift to open source in Azure are no marketing moves — they are in it for the long haul “We are all-in on Open Source, and that is what really brings us together with GitHub. And we’re going to operate it as an open platform for any language, any framework, any platform … providing developers with a SaaS Service.” - Satya Nadella, CEO AI — Recently Microsoft has acquired conversational AI company XOXOCO, visual AI service Lobe, industrial AI platform Bonsai, conversational AI technology from Semantic Machines and AI from Maluuba Game Studios — In recent years, Microsoft has continued to acquire prestigious and talented game studios to show their long-term commitment to the Xbox platform and gaming in general 2018 — Obsidian Entertainment, inXile Entertainment, Playground Games, Compulsion Games, Undead Labs, and Ninja Theory They have also acquired in recent years Beam (now Mixer) video game streaming, Simplygon 3D graphics optimization, AltspaceVR virtual reality and Playfab gaming backend service “I think one of the deepest values at Microsoft Research and at other labs, is creativity, creation, coming up with new ideas that have never been thought of before. Combining two sort-of well-known ideas into a whole new innovative combination that leads to a whole new concept…” - Dr. Eric Horvitz, Technical Fellow Conclusion Microsoft sees the world heading to a developer-centric organism, where developers no longer exist in the bubble of technology, but they live and work and breath across all aspects of our society — including education. They know as technologies continue to evolve, we humans and the companies we work in will continue to struggle to keep pace with the rapid change — and in an effort to both lead the market, and to prepare us all — they are focusing on acquisitions to bolster their already strong platforms. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, they just add the newer and better wheels to their already fine-tuned machine. Microsoft Research and product development in general has always included taking two decent ideas and merging them together to make a great idea… and that is where I think Microsoft puts a focus on its recent acquisition strategy. Fill gaps and holes in their service, to bolster their services and platforms overall. Going back, it all is really about “DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS!” … and I for one, think that we all owe Big Steve an apology. Until next time, enjoy this parting track from YouTube user Bad Squirrel... Follow or Subscribe to Microsoft Today Patreon Website Apple/iTunes Blubrry Breaker Facebook Google Podcasts Pocket Cast PodBean RadioPublic Spotify Stitcher YouTube Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/msfttodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
51 minutes | Jan 4, 2019
MSFT Today 2019-01-04 : Azure Architect and MVP, Thomas Maurer
Thomas Mauer is a Microsoft MVP and a Cloud Architect driving Cloud and Data Center transformation utilizing virtualization, Hyper-V, Azure, Azure Stack, PowerShell and Windows Server. Follow Thomas on Twitter — https://twitter.com/ThomasMaurer View Thomas’ Website — https://www.thomasmaurer.ch Microsoft MVP Program The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award is given by Microsoft to “technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community. “The awarded are people who “actively share their … technical expertise with the different technology communities related directly, or indirectly to Microsoft”. The MVP recognition lasts for a year and is awarded for a person’s Microsoft related activity, contributions and influence over the previous year. The rules and guidelines to getting awarded as a Microsoft MVP are not strictly defined. The reason for this is that every Microsoft MVP contributes to the community in different ways. However, the largest key indicator Microsoft looks for when considering someone for the Microsoft MVP Award is how much impact their activities over the last 12 months have on the community. Agenda Brad has a short introduction Thomas gives a short introduction about himself, possible topics could include: Where you're from Career synopsis to date Technical specialties What got you into technology And personal details you'd like to share Brad transitions to your role as an MVP Thomas provides a short summary Just what an MVP is How long he's been an MVP How he obtained his MVP Transition to discussing the MVP practice more in depth Why Microsoft feels MVPs are important How difficult is it to become an MVP How being an MVP changed your life (if at all) How can one start down the path towards becoming an MVP And advice you'd like to share on the subject Transition to where you see technology taking us over the next 10-20 years We can discuss how we think Microsoft may guide the technology world in that time Possibly provide insights on how people can better prepare for the changes coming Which would help us transition to learning Discuss the certification test you just took We can discuss the importance of Microsoft Learning How has Microsoft learning helped you in your professional life? Any advice for those looking to become certified? Closing out, we can transition to any questions you may have for me I'm an open book, nothing is off limits so ask away! After any discourse we have with further questions, we can move on to what projects you may have in the works that you'd like to share You can also freely discuss where people can follow you "Shout out" any other Microsoft or technology professionals you think people should follow Goodbyes/Thanks Follow or Subscribe to Microsoft Today Patreon Website Apple/iTunes Blubrry Breaker Facebook Google Podcasts Pocket Cast PodBean RadioPublic Spotify Stitcher YouTube Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/msfttodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
39 minutes | Jan 3, 2019
MSFT Today 2019-01-03 : AI, Automation and Microsoft
The application of machines to tasks once performed by human beings or, increasingly, to tasks that would otherwise be impossible. Although the term mechanization is often used to refer to the simple replacement of human labour by machines, automation generally implies the integration of machines into a self-governing system. Automation has revolutionized those areas in which it has been introduced, and there is scarcely an aspect of modern life that has been unaffected by it. — Britannica The term “automation” was first used by Ford employee D.S. Harder in 1946 Automation isn’t changing the world, it has been changing the world Machine learning is simply accelerating the progress at a compounding rate In short, the machines are teaching themselves to automate faster The more computing power we throw at it, the faster it works Also according to Britannica: Machine learning discipline concerned with the implementation of computer software that can learn autonomously. Expert systems and data mining programs are the most common applications for improving algorithms through the use of machine learning. Among the most common approaches are the use of artificial neural networks (weighted decision paths) and genetic algorithms (symbols “bred” and culled by algorithms to produce successively fitter programs). History Automation is not a new concept Cotton gin Steam engine Industrial revolution Computers Quantum computing and nanotechnology Bill Gates is often attributed with a quote: I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it. As a Bill Gates fan, I’ve never been able to substantiate the attribution, but it seems to be similar to a quote from a 1920 article in “Popular Science Monthly” Bill probably didn’t say that, but it doesn’t make it a bad quote. Humans have always looked for easier ways to do hard jobs. Which brings us to, CGP Grey’s 2014 YouTube film, Human’s Need Not Apply. Humans Need Not Apply In the film by CGP Grey he brilliantly and succinctly outlines how humans have allows innovated an easier (or lazier) way of doing things — and modern automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence is no different. We’re trying to unlock “easy mode” for complex problems. At its core, there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong about mankind’s evolution into machine reliance, but at the foundation of it all is there is the serious threat to our society as we know it — and that is economics. As machines can do more jobs, that will mean fewer jobs for people. (0:46–1:03) Some people have been specialized to be programmers … whose job it is to build mechanical minds Like their “dumb” mechanical forefathers, “Mechanical Minds” are making “Mechanical Brains” in less demand. (1:50–2:16) General purpose is a big deal. Think computers … when cheap-ish personal computers appeared they quickly became vital to everything General purpose is a big deal, as machines can do more than one job investments in them will grow exponentially (3:13–31) We think of technological change as the fancy new expensive stuff, but the real change comes from last decade stuff becoming cheaper and faster… Again, as product improvements iterate faster over time, costs drop exponentially lowering the barrier for entry more and more. He then goes on to discuss horses, and the fact that their population peaked in 1915, just and quickly went into a free fall due to the proliferation of the automobile. There is a correlation between horses and humans in this regard, because like horses who were “workers” for centuries before the automobile, they became obsolete not that long afterward… and the important part is, they didn’t find “new jobs” when it happened. “Mechanical Minds” will eventually send humans the way of the horse, if we do not prepare. (4:26–4:59) As mechanical horses pushed horses out of the economy, mechanical minds will do the same to humans… so now does the car show us the shape of things to come.” I’m sure you can likely predict where this is going… (5:01–5:08) … The question is not if they will replace cars, but how quickly. They don’t need to be perfect, they just need to be better than us… The tipping point for the transportation world being thrown on its head will come down to insurance… the moment insurance costs for automated vehicles is cheaper than human driven vehicles, is the moment that every single company in the transportation industry will being making the change to autonomous vehicles. (5:53–7:03) The transportation industry in the United States employs about 3 million people, which worldwide is 70 million jobs at a minimum… economics always wins… That is an enormous economic hit (7:04–9:08) Software bots are coming for white color jobs Machine learning can teach software bots faster than human programmers ever could. Algorithmic trading is a big area at the forefront of this technological revolution. Investment banking But it doesn’t stop there. Professional and specialized positions are being challenged by bots as well, doing everything from providing legal and medical advice, to creating artistic works of art, music and even completely unique and lifelike people… that’s right, Nvidia’s GANs or Generative Adversarial Networks AI can develop completely life-like 3D renders of people who don’t exist. Their GANs are based on a machine learning research paper released by Ian J. Goodfellow in just 2014… and now they have already revolutionized machine learning and AI! Where Does Microsoft Fit Into all of This? Microsoft is quite literally developing and supporting AI everywhere it can: Microsoft Research Project Brainwave Microsoft AI - Deep Neural Network, Bing Decision Engine Azure Datacenters (Intel FPGA) Azure Machine Learning Azure Logic Apps Workflow Definition Language Microsoft Flow PowerApps SharePoint Microsoft Bot Framework Zo AI — Zo Social Bot, Skype (and Xbox), Instagram, Group Me, Facebook Office 365 Microsoft Teams Data Connectors and APIs Windows 10 IoT Cortana Cortana is not in trouble, she has always been powered by the Bing Decision Engine Cortana has just been the "face" of the AI Which is now part of the Deep Neural Network of Microsoft AI Microsoft partnering with Amazon for Alexa was a brilliant move, as they now have the data from all of the devices where Alexa is used… That's because… Microsoft partnering with Amazon for Alexa was a brilliant move, as they now have the data from all of the devices where Alexa is used... that’s because… Machine learning is all about data, and no company in the world has as much real-world data and user metrics than Microsoft. Just think of the 100+ million users of Office 365 and OneDrive, and the tens of millions of daily users of Skype and Xbox Live, and the more than 1 billion Windows users worldwide. Throw on top of that the countless computations that take place at their Azure data centers which house the systems for all of those services. This is also why we’ve seen a massive shit by Microsoft to not only fully embrace open source, but to be a thought leader and visionary with it. Microsoft now has its own BSD Unix operating system, supports Ubuntu as a subsystem on Windows 10, and recently open-sourced the Xamarin software development kit… when you think of all of that, the GitHub acquisition is a no-brainer. Now that we’ve discussed the future, and the groundwork Microsoft has laid to build it, in the next episode we will discuss what we can do to prepare ourselves for our machine overlords. Thanks so much for tuning in, and for the tremendous support we’ve received so far. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us over the coming months, and I am truly excited to have many of you on to share as well. Until next time… Follow or Subscribe to Microsoft Today Patreon Website Apple/iTunes Blubrry Breaker Facebook Google Podcasts Pocket Cast PodBean RadioPublic Spotify Stitcher YouTube Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/msfttodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25 minutes | Jan 1, 2019
MSFT Today 2019-01-01 : Not Your Typical Microsoft Podcast
Happy New Year and welcome everyone. My name is Brad Groux and this is Microsoft Today, a podcast and web community dedicated to Microsoft, technology and the impending automated world. This is our first ever episode which is being recorded on January 1st, 2019 — and in this episode we’ll cover my vision for he podcast, who I am and my background — and where we’re going from here. So stayed tuned as we discuss all of that and more, next! What is MSFT Today?In short, MSFT Today is a podcast and web community dedicated to Microsoft, technology and our impending automated world.Why Microsoft?Microsoft is an often misunderstood global corporation with massive influence and a product strategy like no other technology company in the world. For this reason, the media, bloggers and consumers tend to misunderstand or misrepresent what Microsoft, their products, services and people.When is the Podcast?New episodes are released every Tuesday and Thursday, where you can join Brad Groux, a Microsoft enterprise expert, as he guides you through the countless products, services, initiatives and brilliant minds at One Microsoft Way. There are also Patreon exclusive podcasts!Who is the Podcast For?If you’re interested in technology, automation, business, education and/or setting yourself up for future success, then the MSFT Today community and podcast is for you. This is not your typical technology podcast, we not only discuss Microsoft and their products and services, but we discuss how they can improve your life while they are changing the world - and enabling you to change the world right along with them.What Makes You a Microsoft Expert?I’ve spent nearly 20 years in global enterprise IT environments, and I worked at Microsoft for nearly four year as a Premier Field Engineer. In that role, I supported and was invited into over 100 of Microsoft’s enterprise customers infrastructures, which gives me a unique inside perspective into enterprise IT. There are only a handful of people with the varied and vast work experience that I have, and you may view my LinkedIn profile for more information. I’m not saying I know more than anyone, just that I’ve seen and experienced far more than most. This is the reason I've been on countless podcasts and news panels as a Microsoft Expert, including BBC World News.Why a Community?I’ve been running online communities for nearly 20 years, including the first ever Xbox Achievements website which I sold in 2008. I then went on to blog for more than four years at a now defunct Microsoft Blog that I had to scuttle when I joined Microsoft. I love being part of an online community, and sharing with and learning from like-minded individuals. I believe that you for you to truly know Microsoft, you must know enterprises and the only possible way to know enterprises, is to learn and discuss from others… because every environment is different and dynamic, and Microsoft somehow successfully navigate that seemingly impossible landscape. Follow or Subscribe to Microsoft Today Patreon Website Apple/iTunes Blubrry Breaker Facebook Google Podcasts Pocket Cast PodBean RadioPublic Spotify Stitcher YouTube Support the show: https://www.patreon.com/msfttodaySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.