Weekend Reading for Feb 27/28: Office in the Cloud, Botnets and What Language Do You Speak?

Our big news this week was The Wall Street Journal’s story [WSJ subscription required] about a team of Microsoft employees who developed a terrific new way to take down “botnets,” some of the nastiest customers on the Internet. If you haven’t read it take a look, or watch the video on the Microsoft News Center.

There was plenty of other stuff happening that you might have missed: 

Lending a helping hand:  We all know the economy still is tough, and this week we took a step toward helping give college graduates better opportunities in what we know is a tough job market. Take a minute to read this blog post by Fred Humphries, our managing director for U.S. Government Affairs, about our involvement in the Invest in America Alliance. Along with the Intel Corp, and 15 other major companies, we’re committing to big increases in hiring goals that should lead to 10,500 new positions for students graduating this year.

Online Services for Government: This week we announced that the Microsoft Business Productivity Suite (BPOS) is being released in a cloud-based service dedicated to government. Called the Business Productivity Online Suite Federal, it’s designed to help government entities work more securely and in compliance with government standards, all while taking advantage of the scale and ubiquity of the cloud. Ron Markezich, corporate vice president of Microsoft Online, announced the BPOS government edition earlier this week at our Public Sector CIO Summit.

We speak lots of languages:  We’re a global company and that’s one reason why we announced this week that we’re offering 59 new Language Interface Packs (with the lovely acronym “LIPs”) that integrate with Windows 7 and upcoming Office 2010. The LIPs help people build and use software in their native language, something that can help preserve languages that might otherwise become bypassed. We’re also introducing new Caption Language Interface Packs (CLIPs, of course) that show a software interface in a specified language while keeping the base language in place. Read Softpedia’s take on that work here, and our press release here.  Anthony Salcito has a thoughtful blog on why all of this matters.

Windows XP SP2:  This week we reached out to Windows users this week to raise awareness of action needed before the end of support for Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista RTM and all versions of Windows 2000.  A new site launched this week to help provide consumers and businesses with information about what they need to do to keep their environments as secure as possible.  You’ll hear more from Microsoft on this as the April 13th and July 13th deadlines approach.

Lastly, more evidence that this “social networking” thing is here to stay comes from a study conducted by MIT and Microsoft Research. In the study, detailed here on GigaOm, researchers looked into the types of questions people asked their social networks. More and more, it seems, people turn to those networks for information on everything from stereo recommendations to “what’s the going rate for the tooth fairy?”

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Posted by Dominic Carr
Director, Microsoft News Center.

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