Microsoft launches cybersecurity skilling program in India; aims to train above 1 lakh people by 2022

  • As digital adoption continues to rise, the cybersecurity landscape has evolved significantly, driving demand for skilled security professionals.
  • In collaboration with its partners, Microsoft, offers learners deeply discounted plans on the rest of the advanced role-based certifications to drive deep skills for addressing cybersecurity challenges.
  • Microsoft is working closely with the government, industry, and civil society partners on several skilling initiatives to make India’s youth future-ready.

Microsoft Teams to integrate with Facebook’s work app Workplace

  • Facebook said on Wednesday it is integrating Workplace, the work-focused version of its social app, with Microsoft’s collaboration app Teams, so users can better share information between the two platforms.
  • Microsoft last week announced it would bring its virtual platform Mesh into Microsoft Teams next year.
  • Facebook recently launched a beta test of Horizon Workrooms, a remote work app for users of its VR headsets.

Microsoft Teams takes on the metaverse race with 3D avatars and immersive meetings

  • Microsoft Teams will get new 3D avatars in a push toward a metaverse environment, and you won’t need to put a VR headset on to use them.
  • Microsoft envisions virtual spaces inside Teams where people can network and socialize with games or even use Microsoft apps to collaborate on projects.
  • Meta has billions of daily users across Facebook and Instagram to leverage for its metaverse ambitions, and Microsoft has the millions of daily Teams users and integration into Office to try to make the metaverse a reality for businesses.

Microsoft confirms investment in India’s Oyo in a multi-year strategic deal to co-develop travel and hospitality products

  • TechCrunch had reported that Microsoft was in talks to invest in Oyo and was exploring ways to provide its technologies to the Indian startup, which is one of the most valuable in the South Asian market.
  • In a press statement, Microsoft confirmed that it has also made a strategic equity investment in Oyo, but didn’t disclose the amount.
  • As for Microsoft, Oyo is the latest of several strategic investments it has made in the country.

Microsoft says that North Korean and Russian hackers are targeting Covid-19 vaccine work

Microsoft also said that many of these hacking attempts in recent months were unsuccessful and most of these attempts were made on 7 drug companies based in USA, Canada, India, France and South Korea. Microsoft has blamed the attacks on three distinct hacker groups based in North Korea and Russia.

 Microsoft said the hackers groups are targeting these companies with spearphishing emails which masquerade as representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) and enter these companies.

Microsoft adds Hindi to its Text Analytics to strengthen Sentiment Analysis support has announced the addition of Hindi to its Text Analytics service to support customer Sentiment Analysis for businesses and organizations.

Using this service, businesses and organizations can now find out what people think of their brand or topic as Text Analytics enables analyzing Hindi text.

This will help brands reach out to Hindi-speaking customers to understand the customer’s sentiment about their products and services. Using this service, businesses and organizations can understand user feedback better.

Microsoft and Eros Now deliver Internet to remote parts in India announced that in partnership with Eros Now, it has now successfully delivered internet to customers in the low-internet regions in India.

This month-long pilot project took help from Microsoft Azure, Eros Now and Novopay to ensure successful content delivery for browsing and downloading to users in remote parts of India.

Ravi Krishnaswamy, the Corporate Vice President Azure Global Industry, Microsoft also said “By helping customers in low bandwidth locations across India access the content of their choice, we can expand retail distribution opportunities, help media partners connect with more customers, and help customers connect with stories and content they love,”

Microsoft wants to capture all of the carbon dioxide it’s ever emitted aims to becoming carbon negative by 2030, meaning that it plans to draw down more planet-heating carbon dioxide than it emits.

The company has been carbon neutral since 2012, canceling out its emissions by purchasing renewable energy and carbon offsets. It has started charging an internal fee on its business units for the greenhouse gases they generate as a way to get its divisions to slash their emissions.

Microsoft unveils AI powered features in Powerpoint

Microsoft has showcased some of the Artificial Intelligence powered features introduced in the latest version of Powerpoint, which should easen the process of designing your next important presentation.

  • Designer Theme Ideas: Creating a blank presentation and entering in the title of the presentation will automatically prompt suitable themes according to subject matter with fully licensed images. This feature is available to Office 365 subscribers only.
  • Designer Perspectives: Running on top of Microsoft Research’s Perspective Engine, this feature helps you add relatable or simplified comparisons to numerical data entered in a slide. An example in the Microsoft blog shows that entering in ‘A commercial plane flies at 30,000 feet’ will prompt a suggested subtitle that reads ‘About the height of Mount Everest’.
  • Presenter Coach: This feature will help you prepare for your presentation by analyzing what you’re saying into the mic, and will point out filler words like ‘uh’ or ‘basically’ and will also alert you if you’re only reading information from the slides. At the end of each session, it will score you on your performance and provide suggestions for improvement.
  • Inclusivity features: Powerpoint now also provides on-screen captioning and subtitles in over 60 languages and also offers live captioning (via smartphone) in 12 languages to aid non-native speakers to access a presentation’s content. An ‘alt-text’ suggestion feature will allow you to add text description to images to provide accessibility to those who’re visually impaired.

What do you think of these new AI features? Will you find a use for them? Let us know by tweeting to us @NextBigWhat.

Read more at Microsoft News Center.

Amazon’s Foe, Walmart’s friend – Microsoft in automated checkout

What if someone could cut the queue that Amazon is leading? That too, one which is right on the edge of retail and worth billions of dollars- the automated grocery shop?
It is happening. Microsoft is pitting itself against its arch-rival in cloud business in a new game. One that Amazon started in Seattle with Amazon Go, a highly automated store wherein smartphones in the hands of customers, as well as cameras and sensors all around, allow for automated billing and payment; without the need for spending time in a check-out lane. No cashiers or registers, just subway-like gates. The technology is claimed to be so advanced that even if customers put items back on the shelf, those are automatically wiped off from their virtual baskets.
Interestingly, there were speculations that Amazon (the cloud giant) could sell the system to other retailers; and that should explain one of the triggers that sent Microsoft in this direction. Apart, of course, from the fat revenue magnet that automated check-out space can be as an aisle worth $50 billion (estimates from Loup Ventures). Potential collaboration talks with Walmart and sample technology-proofs to retailers from around the world are cementing this foray from Microsoft as a serious one.While Amazon is tight-lipped about what’s under the hood here (something about machine learning may be), Microsoft is building this around business AI (Artificial Intelligence) and partner-service layers atop Microsoft’s cloud.
The key to getting ahead of its nemesis in this lane is giving it cheap (what worked in favour of Amazon’s public cloud) to retailers, and that’s what Microsoft is, reportedly, aiming at too.

Microsoft Ends Support For Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10

Microsoft will end support for Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10 from today.

Microsoft will notify the users with an ‘End of Life’ notification and provide few final patches before ending the support.


The users will need to download the latest version of Internet Explorer that is 11 and along with Windows 10 Microsoft had also launched Edge which is available for free to users on Windows 7 and 8.

The company in a post, said, “Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical supports and security updates. Internet Explorer 11 is the last version of Internet Explorer, and will continue to receive security updates, compatibility fixes, and technical support on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.”

Microsoft had first announced it in August 2014 that it will be ending the support, thus giving ample time to the users to download the latest versions.


Microsoft Launches Surface Pro 4 And Surface Pro 3 In India

Microsoft has launched Surface Pro 4 tablet in India and the price starts at Rs 89,990.

The device will be exclusively available on Amazon and users can start placing orders from today. The delivery of the device will begin from January 14. Also, a customer cannot order more than three units.

Microsoft Surface Pro

The device will be available in three variants; Surface Pro 4 with Core i5/4GB of RAM/128GB SSD (Price Rs. 89,990), Surface Pro 4 with Core i5/8GB of RAM/256GB SSD (Price Rs. 1,20,990), Surface Pro 4 with Core i7/8GB of RAM/256GB SSD (Price Rs. 1,44,990).

The Surface Pro 4 sports a 12.3-inch PixelTouch display and is powered by Intel’s 6th-generation Core processor, varying from core M3, to Core i5, to Core i7. The device has Intel HD Graphics 515, Intel HD Graphics 520, and Intel Iris Graphics. Along with the device, the company is also selling Surface Pen at Rs 5,990.

The keyboard is available in blue and black colour and is priced at Rs 12,490.

Mircosoft has also launched Surface Pro 3 and the four variants are; Surface Pro 4 with Core M/4GB RAM/128GB SSD, Surface Pro 4 with Core i5/ 4GB RAM/128GB SSD, Surface Pro 4 with Core i5/ 8GB RAM/128GB SSD, Surface Pro 4 with Core i5/ 8GB RAM/256GB SSD.

The Intel Core i3 variant, with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, is priced at Rs. 73,990.


‘Future Visions’: Collection Of Sci-Fi Stories Inspired From Microsoft’s Inside Projects

Bored much with classic novels and top-selling names? Are you a Sci-Fi enthusiast? Looking to read some science-inspired fantasies?

Well, Microsoft has all the answers as they have recently come out with a new publication named ‘Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Stories Inspired by Microsoft’.

The publication is an anthology of short stories written by some of the well-known Sci-Fi authors around the globe.


The authors were inspired from exclusive Microsoft technologies; as they were given access to their labs and inside projects. Microsoft says that the stories cover prediction science, quantum computing, real-time translation, machine learning, and more such Sci-Fi tales.

The e-book features authors like Elizabeth Beat, David Brin, Nancy Kress Greg Bear, Ann Leckie, Seanan McGuire, Jack McDevitt and Robert J Sawyer. Each of these authors were allowed to enter Microsoft’s research labs and pick any area that interests them.

One particular story features a mash-up of CSI and Cortana-inspired assistant with the cops using Holo Lens to conduct investigations. Another story features a philosophical idea of questioning the level of awareness that Extra Terrestrials must have about our world, if they ever get to make contact with us.

“The contributing authors were inspired by inside access to leading-edge work, including in-person visits to Microsoft’s research labs, to craft new works that predict the near-future of technology and examine its complex relationship to our core humanity,” said Microsoft in their blog post.

The publication is currently available in an e-book format through Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble


Microsoft To Help Entrepreneurs Pilot Test Bandwidth Control Technology In Varanasi

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella plans to pilot test a project in Varanasi to fund local entrepreneurs aiming to build smarter and efficient bandwidth control technology.

Nadella suggested the use of idle television broadcasting spectrum to operate devices developed by the local entrepreneurs; through this pilot Microsoft aims to help build low-cost Internet infrastructure in India.

“Because I feel that unless and until you have a sustainable model which local companies can deliver, I think that all these big ticket schemes won’t truly work. And that’s the kind of work we are pushing,” said Nadella.