Microsoft and General Assembly launch partnership to close the global AI skills gap

Partnership will upskill and reskill 15,000 workers over the next three years and create industry-recognized credentials for AI skills

REDMOND, Wash. — May 17, 2019 — Microsoft Corp. and global education provider General Assembly (GA) on Friday announced a partnership to close skills gaps in the rapidly growing fields of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and data engineering, machine learning, data science, and more. This initiative will create standards and credentials for AI skills, upskill and reskill 15,000 workers by 2022, and create a pool of AI talent for the global workforce.

Technologies like AI are creating demand for new worker skills and competencies: According to the World Economic Forum, up to 133 million new roles could be created by 2022 as a result of the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms. To address this challenge, Microsoft and GA will power 2,000 job transitions for workers into AI and machine learning roles in year one and will train an additional 13,000 workers with AI-related skills across sectors in the next three years.

“Artificial intelligence is driving the greatest disruption to our global economy since industrialization, and Microsoft is an amazing partner as we develop solutions to empower companies and workers to meet that disruption head on,” said Jake Schwartz, CEO and co-founder of GA. “At its core, GA has always been laser-focused on connecting what companies need to the skills that workers obtain, and we are excited to team up with Microsoft to tackle the AI skills gap.”

The joint program will focus on three core areas: setting the standards for artificial intelligence skills, developing scalable AI training solutions for companies, and creating a sustainable talent pool of workers with AI skills.

  • To create clear and consistent standards for AI skills, Microsoft will be the founding member of GA’s AI Standards Board, and will be joined by other industry-leading companies at the forefront of AI disruption. Over the next six months, the Standards Board will define skills standards, develop assessments, design a career framework, and build an industry-recognized credential for AI skills. Learn more about GA’s Standards Boards here.
  • As businesses adopt AI and machine learning cross-functionally, business leaders and technologists alike must understand AI concepts and master AI tools. Today, Microsoft supports business in aerospace, manufacturing and other sectors with Azure, but many workers are not yet ready to leverage its full capabilities. The collaboration will focus on accelerating the workforce training needs of Microsoft’s customers so that more teams have the foundational skills needed to work with AI.
  • To ensure that businesses can meet ever-growing AI talent needs, GA and Microsoft will establish an AI Talent Network to source candidates for hire and project-based work. GA will leverage its existing network of 22 campuses and the broader Adecco ecosystem to create a repeatable talent pipeline for the AI Talent Network.

“As a technology company committed to driving innovation, we have a responsibility to help workers access the AI training they need to ensure they thrive in the workplace of today and tomorrow,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president of Global Sales, Marketing and Operations at Microsoft. “We are thrilled to combine our industry and technical expertise with General Assembly to help close the skills gap and ensure businesses can maximize their potential in our AI-driven economy.”

About General Assembly

General Assembly (GA), an Adecco Group company, closes skills gaps for individuals and companies. Offering training and assessments in software engineering, data science, digital marketing, and more, GA is building clear career pathways for people, and sustainable, diverse talent pipelines for employers. To learn more visit https://generalassemb.ly.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com 

Tess VandenDolder, BerlinRosen for General Assembly, (646) 755-6142, tess.vandendolder@berlinrosen.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

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Sony and Microsoft to explore strategic partnership

Companies to collaborate on new cloud-based solutions for gaming experiences and AI solutions

Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO, Sony Corporation, and Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO, Sony Corporation (left), and Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

TOKYO and REDMOND, Wash. — May 16, 2019 — Sony Corporation (Sony) and Microsoft Corp. (Microsoft) announced on Thursday that the two companies will partner on new innovations to enhance customer experiences in their direct-to-consumer entertainment platforms and AI solutions.

Under the memorandum of understanding signed by the parties, the two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services. In addition, the two companies will explore the use of current Microsoft Azure datacenter-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services. By working together, the companies aim to deliver more enhanced entertainment experiences for their worldwide customers. These efforts will also include building better development platforms for the content creator community.

Sony logoAs part of the memorandum of understanding, Sony and Microsoft will also explore collaboration in the areas of semiconductors and AI. For semiconductors, this includes potential joint development of new intelligent image sensor solutions. By integrating Sony’s cutting-edge image sensors with Microsoft’s Azure AI technology in a hybrid manner across cloud and edge, as well as solutions that leverage Sony’s semiconductors and Microsoft cloud technology, the companies aim to provide enhanced capabilities for enterprise customers. In terms of AI, the parties will explore incorporation of Microsoft’s advanced AI platform and tools in Sony consumer products, to provide highly intuitive and user-friendly AI experiences.

“Sony is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. We collaborate closely with a multitude of content creators that capture the imagination of people around the world, and through our cutting-edge technology, we provide the tools to bring their dreams and vision to reality,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, president and CEO of Sony. “PlayStation® itself came about through the integration of creativity and technology. Our mission is to seamlessly evolve this platform as one that continues to deliver the best and most immersive entertainment experiences, together with a cloud environment that ensures the best possible experience, anytime, anywhere. For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content. Additionally, I hope that in the areas of semiconductors and AI, leveraging each company’s cutting-edge technology in a mutually complementary way will lead to the creation of new value for society.”

“Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Our partnership brings the power of Azure and Azure AI to Sony to deliver new gaming and entertainment experiences for customers.”

Going forward, the two companies will share additional information when available.

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. From game and network services to music, pictures, electronics, semiconductors and financial services — Sony’s purpose is to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology. For more information, visit: http://www.sony.net/.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Sony Corporation, Corporate Communications & CSR Department, Sony.Pressroom@sony.co.jp

 

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

 

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SK Telecom and Microsoft sign MOU for comprehensive cooperation in cutting-edge ICT

The two companies agreed to combine their strengths to jointly promote IoT business, AI technologies and services, media and entertainment services, and new ways of working

Park Jung Ho, CEO of SK Telecom (left), and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft (right), at a recent meeting.
Park Jung Ho, CEO of SK Telecom (left), and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft (right), at a recent meeting.

SEOUL, KOREA – May 13, 2019 – SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM) and Microsoft Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on May 7 for comprehensive cooperation in leading-edge ICT, including 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud.

Under the MOU, SK Telecom and Microsoft will combine their technological capabilities in areas such as 5G, AI and cloud to jointly promote Internet of Things (IoT) business including smart factory; AI technologies and services; media and entertainment services; and new ways of working for ICT companies under the SK Group umbrella.

To promote smart factory IoT business operations, the two companies established a business strategic partnership in February 2019 to launch Microsoft Azure with Metatron, SK Telecom’s self-developed big data solution. SK Telecom and Microsoft will work together to further upgrade the service and implement joint marketing activities.

By putting together the capabilities of SK Telecom’s AI platform NUGU with Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant, the two companies will work together to offer new AI-powered products and services, including consumer solutions such as smart speakers and other offerings for the enterprise.

Moreover, the two companies will work together to create a new level of customer experience in the field of media and entertainment.

SK Telecom will adopt Microsoft 365, the company’s intelligent and secure solution to empower employees, to create a modern workplace and promote a new way of working among employees. Eventually, SK Telecom will expand Microsoft 365 to other ICT companies under the SK Group umbrella. In addition, the two companies will provide new value to customers by combining Microsoft’s modern workplace devices and solutions, such as Surface and Office 365, with SK Telecom’s unique products and services.

“SK Telecom is pleased to join hands with Microsoft as collaboration with global leading companies like Microsoft is essential to gain leadership in the 5G market, where competition is already fierce,” said Park Jung-ho, President and CEO of SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will work closely with Microsoft to create an unprecedented value by combining the strengths and capabilities of the two companies.”

“Through the strategic partnership with SK Telecom, we will play a key role in shaping the future and accelerating the digital transformation of the telecommunications industry with our world-class network and technology,” said Jason Zander, executive vice president, Azure, Microsoft. “This will be a deep and multifaceted partnership that strengthens the power of cloud and AI to deliver innovative new services to customers.”

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About SK Telecom

SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea with nearly 50 percent of the market share. As the pioneer of all generations of mobile networks, the company has commercialized the fifth generation (5G) network on December 1, 2018 and announced the first 5G smartphone subscribers on April 3, 2019. With its world’s best 5G, SK Telecom is set to realize the Age of Hyper-Innovation by transforming the way customers work, live and play.

Building on its strength in mobile services, the company is also creating unprecedented value in diverse ICT-related markets including media, security and commerce.

For more information, press only:

SK Telecom Public Relations/Media Contact, skt_press@sk.com or sktelecom@bm.com

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Red Hat and Microsoft fuel hybrid cloud development with Azure Red Hat OpenShift

  • Co-developed solution brings the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform to Microsoft Azure
  • First jointly managed OpenShift offering in the public cloud now available

BOSTON – RED HAT SUMMIT 2019 – MAY 7, 2019 – Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, and Microsoft Corp. today announced the general availability of Azure Red Hat OpenShift, which brings a jointly-managed enterprise-grade Kubernetes solution to Microsoft’s a leading public cloud, Microsoft Azure. Azure Red Hat OpenShift provides a powerful on-ramp to hybrid cloud computing, enabling IT organizations to use Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform in their datacenters and more seamlessly extend these workloads to use the power and scale of Azure services. The availability of Azure Red Hat OpenShift marks the first jointly managed OpenShift offering in the public cloud.

Both Red Hat and Microsoft recognize the importance of hybrid cloud computing to modern IT, as organizations look to expand resources with public cloud infrastructure while maintaining existing on-premises investments. Kubernetes provides a common bridge between the datacenter and public cloud environments, making it a key technology in enabling true hybrid cloud computing.

Azure Red Hat OpenShift combines the innovation of enterprise Kubernetes with the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, running on the scale and power of Azure. Together, these technologies provide a powerful solution for more easily managing and orchestrating cloud-native workloads across a hybrid cloud environment. With Azure Red Hat OpenShift, customers can also bring containerized applications into workflows where they exist, while mitigating many of the inherent complexities of container management.

A fully-managed, jointly-operated service, Azure Red Hat OpenShift is backed by both the open source expertise of Red Hat and the public cloud might of Microsoft. Customers receive an integrated experience, including unified sign-up, on-boarding, service management and technical support. The service is added into customers’ existing Azure bill, further streamlining the user experience.

Additionally, Azure Red Hat OpenShift offers enterprise developers and operations teams:

  • Fully managed clusters with master, infrastructure and application nodes managed by Microsoft and Red Hat; plus, no VMs to operate and no patching required.
  • Regulatory compliance will be provided through compliance certifications similar to other Azure services.
  • Enhanced flexibility to more freely move applications from on-premise environments to the Azure public cloud via the consistent foundation of OpenShift.
  • Greater speed to connect to Azure services from on-premises OpenShift deployments.
  • Extended productivity with easier access to Azure public cloud services such as Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Machine Learning and Azure SQL DB for building the next-generation of cloud-native enterprise applications.

Azure Red Hat OpenShift represents Red Hat and Microsoft’s continued mutual commitment to provide a powerful, supported and more secure choice for developing and deploying hybrid cloud workloads. Jointly supported by both companies, IT organizations can have greater confidence in adopting hybrid cloud innovation that meets the requirements of mission-critical workloads in production.

Microsoft and Red Hat are also collaborating to bring customers containerized solutions with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 on Azure, Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.8 and Ansible Certified modules. In addition, the two companies are working to deliver SQL Server 2019 with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 support and performance enhancements.

Availability

Azure Red Hat OpenShift is available now via Microsoft Azure.

Supporting Quotes

Paul Cormier, president, Products and Technologies, Red Hat

“Hybrid cloud provides a clear vision into the future of enterprise computing, where public cloud services stand alongside virtualization, Linux containers and bare-metal servers. Together, this forms the new datacenter in the hybrid cloud world. Azure Red Hat OpenShift provides a consistent Kubernetes foundation for enterprises to realize the benefits of this hybrid cloud model. This enables IT leaders to innovate with a platform that offers a common fabric for both app developers and operations.”

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud and AI Group, Microsoft

“Microsoft and Red Hat share a common goal of empowering enterprises to create a hybrid cloud environment that meets their current and future business needs. Azure Red Hat OpenShift combines the enterprise leadership of Azure with the power of Red Hat OpenShift to simplify container management on Kubernetes and help customers innovate on their cloud journeys.”

Dave More, senior vice president, Travel Solutions Development Platform, Sabre

“Hybrid cloud technologies fuel our next generation platform, with Red Hat OpenShift forming the common, modern foundation for us to build innovative, cloud-native applications that can span from our data centers to the public cloud. Red Hat OpenShift simplifies our ability to create services that work more seamlessly across hybrid cloud architectures, letting us consume cloud-scale resources, including on Azure, while also enabling us to move workloads wherever and whenever needed through Red Hat OpenShift.”

Additional Resources

Connect with Red Hat

About Red Hat, Inc.

Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. Red Hat helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize on our industry-leading operating system, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments. Award-winning support, training, and consulting services make Red Hat a trusted adviser to the Fortune 500. As a strategic partner to cloud providers, system integrators, application vendors, customers, and open source communities, Red Hat can help organizations prepare for the digital future.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.               

Media Contacts:

John Terrill
Red Hat, Inc.
+1-571-421-8132
jterrill@redhat.com

Microsoft Media Relations
WE Communications for Microsoft
+1-425-638-7777
rrt@we-worldwide.com

Microsoft introduces new cloud experiences and developer tools for all creators at Microsoft Build

Company releases new AI-driven collaboration and hybrid-cloud innovations across Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure

REDMOND, Wash. — May 6, 2019 — Monday at Microsoft Build 2019, Microsoft Corp.’s annual developer conference, the company showcased new technologies for developers of all kinds to create intelligent and productive solutions. Microsoft customers and partners, including Starbucks, J.P. Morgan, Kroger, Spatial, Epic Games and others, are showcasing new solutions that deliver more intelligent, customer-centric experiences.

Announcements include new collaboration and productivity services across apps and the web as well as AI capabilities in Microsoft 365 to further address the changing nature of work. In addition, Microsoft is delivering new open source technologies and developer tools in Azure and Windows. Microsoft’s trusted, extensible cloud platforms — spanning infrastructure, data, AI and mixed reality, productivity and collaboration, business applications, and gaming — bring together a global collective of developers and technology capabilities toward creating breakthrough new experiences for organizations and individuals. In his opening keynote, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella outlined the company vision and developer opportunity across Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Gaming.

“As computing becomes embedded in every aspect of our lives, the choices developers make will define the world we live in,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Microsoft is committed to providing developers with trusted tools and platforms spanning every layer of the modern technology stack to build magical experiences that create new opportunity for everyone.”

Microsoft 365: the world’s productivity cloud

Microsoft 365 delivers integrated, secure productivity experiences for everyone — from the largest companies to small businesses and from knowledge workers to Firstline Workers. Foundational to Microsoft 365, Microsoft Graph is one of the most comprehensive graphs of organizational activity available. It securely maps the relationships between people, information and activities within the context of an organization to show connection points and insights to improve the ways people work, and work together.

Today’s news includes:

  • Today we are creating new opportunities for developers to build on Microsoft Graph, with the general availability of Microsoft Graph data connect. Microsoft Graph data connect is a service that helps organizations bring together productivity data from the Microsoft Graph with their own business data securely and at scale using Azure Data Factory. This balances customers’ demands for a new class of insight-powered applications — those driven by at-scale datasets — with IT administrators’ needs to consider the challenges inherent to moving and managing significant amounts of organizational data.
    • Microsoft Graph data connect is now generally available as a feature in Workplace Analytics and as a standalone SKU for independent software vendors (ISVs).
  • To give people and teams new ways to create together, today we are announcing Fluid Framework. This is a new web-based platform and componentized document model for shared interactive experiences. Fluid will break down the barriers of the traditional document as we know it and usher in the beginning of the free-flowing canvas. Fluid is expected to be available to developers later this calendar year through a software development kit. Also, later this year we expect to deliver the first Microsoft 365 experiences powered by Fluid. Its capabilities include:
    • Enabling content, e.g., from the web or productivity apps, to be deconstructed and reconstructed into modular components so people can more easily create together.
    • Delivering high-performance, multiperson, co-authoring experiences at speeds not yet achieved in the industry.
    • Creating room for intelligent agents to work alongside humans to co-author, fetch content, provide photo suggestions, identify experts, translate data and more.
  • Today we’re announcing new features for the next version of Microsoft Edge that address some of the fundamental frustrations with browsers today, including:
    • IE mode — addressing the more than 60% of businesses using multiple browsers today, IE mode integrates Internet Explorer directly into the new Microsoft Edge via a tab. This allows businesses to run legacy Internet Explorer-based apps in a modern browser.
    • Privacy tools — additional privacy controls allowing customers to choose from three levels of privacy in Microsoft Edge: Unrestricted, Balanced and Strict. Depending on which option you pick, Microsoft Edge adjusts how third parties can track you across the web, giving customers more choice and transparency for a more personalized experience.
    • Collections — addressing the information overload customers feel with the web today, Collections allows you to collect, organize, share and export content more efficiently and with Office integration.
    • These features and more will begin to roll out over time as we get closer to the broader launch of the next version of Microsoft Edge.
  • Today we announced our vision for the future of intelligent agents. This new approach is focused on building powerful conversational interfaces from data and machine learning instead of from rules, intent and code. We envision a world where every organization has an agent, just like today where every organization has a website. And, the experience is completely natural with multiturn dialog, spanning multiple domains and, importantly, working across multiple agents. With the addition of the Semantic Machines team we’re accelerating our work here. This technology is going to be integrated into our conversational experiences going forward, including Cortana, and made available to developers in the Microsoft Bot Framework and Azure Bot Service.

More information on today’s news across Microsoft 365, including more detail on new developer tools from Windows, Office and Microsoft Teams, can be found at this blog post.

New open source technologies and developer tools to create intelligent apps from cloud to edge

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is one of the fastest-growing services in Azure used by global companies like ASOS to manage cloud app container infrastructure at scale, providing greater reliability and flexibility. At Build, Microsoft is delivering several new features and capabilities to power and safeguard Kubernetes workloads:

  • Kubernetes Eventdriven Autoscaling (KEDA) is an open source component that supports deployment of serverless event-driven containers on Kubernetes created in collaboration with Red Hat. Now in public preview, KEDA presents a new hosting option for Azure Functions that can be deployed as a container in Kubernetes clusters, bringing the Azure Functions programming model and scale controller to any Kubernetes implementation, both in the cloud or on-premises with OpenShift.
  • Azure Policy for AKS applies at-scale enforcements and helps safeguard AKS clusters in a centralized, consistent manner. Azure Policy blocks any violations happening at runtime and performs compliance assessments on all existing clusters for up-to-date visibility across the environment.

Quantum is an exciting new frontier for developers. Microsoft designed Q# specifically for quantum programming, delivering an approachable, high-level programming language with a native-type system for qubits, operators and other abstractions. At Build, Microsoft is open sourcing Q# compilers and simulators to grow the community of Q# developers and unlock new opportunities for partners and startups to enhance their offerings for their own businesses.

Developers spend most of their day toggling between applications, services and tools. To help streamline, Microsoft has brought the world’s most-used enterprise identity system — Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to GitHub. This enables GitHub Enterprise customers to gain the benefits of Azure AD identity management and security, along with synchronization of accounts across systems. Developers can now also use their existing GitHub account, including Azure Portal and Azure DevOps, to sign in to Azure. This update enables GitHub developers to go from repository to deployment with just their GitHub account.

Supporting and managing the exponential growth in application data and building a foundation for AI capabilities is an essential element to developing any modern cloud application. The new Hyperscale (Citus) option in Azure Database for PostgreSQL joins Azure SQL Database Hyperscale to enable developers to build highly scalable, low-latency applications using their existing skills. Azure Database Hyperscale significantly scales out compute, storage and memory resources as needed, allowing developers to focus on building app experiences without worrying about performance and scale limitations. Azure is the only cloud that lets developers scale across multiple engines — both proprietary SQL databases and open source databases such as PostgreSQL.

Developing solutions to secure the election process

We believe technology can play a critical role in securing elections and that technology companies have a responsibility to support them. Today Microsoft is announcing two new solutions aimed at addressing the security of voting systems around the world:

  • ElectionGuard is a free, open source software development kit, developed in partnership with Galois, that provides security and public verifiability for elections, as well as guidance and tools to build more accessible voting systems. Microsoft is asking developers around the world to build on and integrate ElectionGuard into existing and new voting systems. The ElectionGuard SDK will be available this summer on GitHub, and Microsoft has partnered with several leading election technology providers to pilot this service in preparation for future elections.
  • Microsoft is also announcing Microsoft 365 for Campaigns. This new service, also available in June, will provide the high-end security capabilities of our Microsoft 365 Business offering to political parties and campaigns, initially those for federal office in the United States. It will do so in a streamlined way and at a low price, preconfigured to optimize for the unique operating environments campaigns face, including their fast pace and high-security-risk profile. Microsoft 365 for Campaigns builds on the AccountGuard threat-detection and nation-state attack notification service we announced in 2018 and simplifies security for political organizations by providing specialized wizards that campaigns can use to easily and efficiently harden their security posture from the ground up. Interested campaigns can sign up by visiting https://m365forcampaigns.microsoft.com.

Deepening our investments in partners

Partners are critical to developing solutions that meet customers’ industry-specific needs, and Microsoft is committed to supporting them. Since introducing Microsoft’s first co-sell program that brings the global scale of Microsoft’s sales force to our partner community, nearly 3,000 ISVs running on Azure have generated over $5 billion in revenue in the past 12 months. The original program is designed to help enterprise customers in their digital transformation by introducing relevant solutions from Azure-based ISV partners. Today Microsoft is announcing two expansions to this program:

  • Expanding co-sell to Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform to create deeper collaboration in selling line-of-business applications.
  • Expanding sales incentives to Microsoft channel partners when they resell eligible ISV solutions through Microsoft’s cloud solution provider (CSP) program. For all ISVs, small and large, this effectively offers “channel as a service” to accelerate customer acquisition through one of the world’s largest distribution channels.

With the introduction of transactable seat-based SaaS capabilities for AppSource and Azure Marketplace, Microsoft will provide customers in over 141 countries with faster access to innovation from partners through Microsoft’s cloud marketplaces or through its worldwide reseller channel.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

 

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at https://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Microsoft delivers new advancements in Azure from cloud to edge ahead of Microsoft Build conference

Microsoft continues commitment to building the most productive platform for developers, enables developers to take advantage of the latest computing trends

REDMOND, Wash. — May 2, 2019 — On Thursday, Microsoft Corp. announced a series of new Azure services and developer technologies that put advanced capabilities spanning AI, mixed reality, IoT and blockchain in the hands of developers. The company will share these and additional advancements in hybrid cloud and edge computing at its Microsoft Build conference to empower developers.

“It’s an incredible time to be a developer. From building AI and mixed reality into apps to leveraging blockchain for solving commercial business problems, developers’ skillsets and impact are growing rapidly,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Microsoft Cloud and AI Group. “Today we’re delivering innovative Azure services for developers to build the next generation of apps. With 95% of Fortune 500 customers running on Azure, these innovations can have far-reaching impact.”

Furthering Microsoft’s commitment to building the most productive AI platform

Microsoft announced a new set of Azure AI technology aimed to help developers and data scientists apply AI to any solution.

  • Azure Cognitive Services power applications to see, hear, respond, translate, reason and more. Microsoft is launching a new Cognitive Services category, called “Decision,” that delivers users a specific recommendation for more informed and efficient decision-making. This category includes Content Moderator, the recently announced Anomaly Detector, and a new service called Personalizer, which uses reinforcement learning to provide users with a specific recommendation to enable quick and informed decision-making.
  • Microsoft is bringing AI to Azure Search with the general availability of the cognitive search capability, enabling customers to apply Cognitive Services algorithms to extract new insights from their structured and unstructured content. In addition, we are previewing a new capability that enables developers to store AI insights gained from cognitive search, making it easier to create knowledge-rich experiences leveraging Power BI visualizations or machine learning models.

New innovations in Azure Machine Learning simplify the process of building, training and deploying machine learning models:

  • MLOps capabilities with Azure DevOps integration provides developers with reproducibility, auditability and automation of the end-to-end machine learning lifecycle.
  • Automated ML advancements and an intuitive UI make developing high-quality models easier.
  • Visual machine learning interface provides no-code model creation and deployment experience with drag-and-drop capabilities.
  • To enable extremely low latency and cost-effective inferencing, Microsoft is announcing the general availability of hardwareaccelerated models that run on FPGAs, as well as ONNX Runtime support for NVIDIA TensorRT and Intel nGraph for high-speed inferencing on NVIDIA and Intel chipsets.

Expanding opportunity at the Intelligent Edge

The company introduced several new products and solutions today that continue to address the existing and emerging needs of hybrid cloud and edge computing:

  • Microsoft introduced Azure SQL Database Edge to support the spectrum of edge compute needs. A SQL engine optimized for lower compute requirements with built-in AI, the product combines data streaming with in-database machine learning and graph capabilities to enable intelligence on the edge. Because Azure SQL Database Edge shares the same programming surface area with Azure SQL Database and SQL Server, developers can easily take applications to the edge without having to learn new tools and languages, providing a consistent programming experience.
  • Microsoft also announced IoT Plug and Play, a new open modeling language to seamlessly connect IoT devices to the cloud, enabling developers to navigate one of the biggest challenges they face — deploying IoT solutions at scale. Previously, software had to be written specifically for the connected device it supported, limiting the scale of IoT deployments. IoT Plug and Play will offer customers a large ecosystem of partner-certified devices that can connect quickly.
  • For mixed-reality development, Microsoft is making it easier to create for HoloLens 2 with the HoloLens 2 Development Edition, which provides the community of mixed- reality developers with access to solutions to help them build and run mixed-reality experiences across a range of devices.
  • Unreal Engine 4 support for streaming and native platform integration for HoloLens 2 will be available for developers by the end of May to create high-quality, photo-realistic renders and immersive, mixed-reality experiences for solutions spanning architecture, product design, manufacturing and more.

Doubling down on investments to empower blockchain developers

Last year, Microsoft announced Azure Blockchain Workbench, which gave developers a simple UI to model blockchain applications on a preconfigured Azure-supported network. Today’s announcements take it even further.

  • Azure Blockchain Service simplifies the formation, management and governance of consortium blockchain networks, allowing businesses to focus on workflow logic and app development. Azure Blockchain Service deploys a fully managed consortium network and offers built-in governance for common management tasks, such as adding new members, setting permissions and authenticating user applications.
  • Microsoft also announced this week that J.P. Morgan’s Ethereum platform, Quorum, is the first ledger available in Azure Blockchain Service, giving Microsoft and J.P. Morgan customers the ability to deploy and manage scalable blockchain networks in the cloud.

More than 6,000 developers and content creators will join Microsoft in Seattle next week for the conference to learn about the latest advancements in cloud and developer technologies, as well as get hands-on experience with them. Today’s announcements give developers of all kinds new cutting-edge tools to create the next generation of applications for intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. There will be even more showcased next week at Build.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at https://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

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J.P. Morgan and Microsoft announce strategic partnership to drive enterprise adoption of Quorum

Quorum, an enterprise-variant of the Ethereum blockchain, to be powered by Microsoft Azure

NEW YORK and REDMOND, Wash. May 2, 2019 J.P. Morgan and Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a strategic partnership to accelerate the adoption of enterprise blockchain. Through this partnership, Quorum, developed by J.P. Morgan, will become the first distributed ledger platform available through Azure Blockchain Service, enabling J.P. Morgan and Microsoft customers to build and scale blockchain networks in the cloud.

“We are incredibly proud of the success Quorum has had over the last four years, as organizations around the world use Quorum to solve complex business and societal problems via blockchain solutions,” said Umar Farooq, global head of Blockchain, J.P. Morgan. “We are delighted to partner alongside Microsoft as we continue to strengthen Quorum and expand capabilities and services on the platform. Azure will bring unique strengths to enterprise clients using Quorum.”

J.P. Morgan logoThe partnership with Azure will further strengthen Quorum as a fully integrated, Ethereum-based blockchain platform and suite of applications. Together, the platform will enable enterprise businesses across all industries to shift their focus from infrastructure management to application development, ultimately driving transformative business value. Customers will be able to rapidly grow their networks while benefitting from lower costs, simplified deployment and built-in governance enabled through Azure Blockchain Service.

Going forward, J.P. Morgan and Microsoft will continue to work together to address common enterprise, independent software vendor, and developer needs for building and deploying blockchain applications on Quorum in the cloud. Microsoft will also provide engineering, consulting and go-to-market support for Quorum.

“As digital transformation extends beyond the walls of an individual organization, companies need solutions that enable them to securely share their business processes and data in order to drive imaginative new business models and reinvent industries. We’re thrilled to partner with a leader like J.P. Morgan to establish a foundation on which enterprises and partners can rapidly build and scale blockchain networks,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of Business Development, Microsoft. “Together, we’re taking a truly transformative technology like Quorum and making it available through the Azure platform to accelerate innovation for our customers.”

In addition to providing a platform for Quorum customers to build blockchain networks and applications, Quorum will continue to power J.P. Morgan and Microsoft blockchain programs and first-party apps, such as the Interbank Information Network, JPM Coin and Microsoft’s Xbox royalty payment process, among others.

More information can be found at https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/solutions/blockchain/.

About J.P. Morgan’s Corporate & Investment Bank

J.P. Morgan’s Corporate & Investment Bank is a global leader across banking, markets and investor services. The world’s most important corporations, governments and institutions entrust us with their business in more than 100 countries. With $24 trillion of assets under custody and $444 billion in deposits, the Corporate & Investment Bank provides strategic advice, raises capital, manages risk and extends liquidity in markets around the world. Further information about J.P. Morgan is available at www.jpmorgan.com.

About Quorum

Quorum, led by Oliver Harris, offers an enterprise ready version of Ethereum for businesses that need a secure, reliable, and open-sourced blockchain solution. Quorum is designed to make adopting blockchain a seamless process. For more information, visit https://goquorum.com

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Jessica Francisco, J.P. Morgan, (212) 270-1719, jessica.francisco@jpmorgan.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

VA and Microsoft partner to enhance care, rehabilitation and recreation for Veterans with limited mobility

Xbox Adaptive Controllers will be distributed across facilities within nation’s largest integrated health-care system

WASHINGTON — April 30, 2019 — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Microsoft Corp. announced a new collaboration to enhance opportunities for education, recreation and therapy for Veterans with mobility limitations by introducing the Xbox Adaptive Controller a video game controller designed for people with limited mobility in select VA rehabilitation centers around the country.

The partnership, which was formalized April 18, will provide controllers and services to Veterans as part of therapeutic and rehabilitative activities aimed at challenging muscle activation and hand-eye coordination, and greater participation in social and recreational activities.

“This partnership is another step toward achieving VA’s strategic goals of providing excellent customer experiences and business transformation,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA remains committed to offering solutions for Veterans’ daily life challenges.”

Together, VA and Microsoft identified an opportunity to introduce or reintroduce gaming to Veterans with spinal cord injuries, amputations, and neurological or other injuries at 22 VA medical centers across the United States. Microsoft is donating its Xbox Adaptive Controller, game consoles, games and other adaptive gaming equipment as part of the collaboration.

Designated VA staff will engage with Veterans using the equipment and share feedback with Microsoft on therapeutic utility and the Veteran experience.

“We owe so much to the service and sacrifice of our Veterans, and as a company, we are committed to supporting them,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Our Xbox Adaptive Controller was designed to make gaming more accessible to millions of people worldwide, and we’re partnering with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to bring the device to Veterans with limited mobility, connecting them to the games they love and the people they want to play with.”

Microsoft and VA have a long-standing strategic partnership, working together for more than 20 years to provide the best possible care and service to Veterans. Gaming is a popular pastime of military personnel, and access to the Xbox Adaptive Controller in VA rehabilitation centers provides the opportunity for Veterans to experience gaming’s various benefits, including staying connected with friends and family across the world, building esprit de corps through competitive or cooperative gameplay, and providing stress relief.

Microsoft’s initial contributions will be allocated across 22 VA facilities. In addition, the controllers and other equipment will be available for Veterans to use at events hosted by VA’s Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events, such as the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

The following 16 centers have confirmed participation to date, with at least six additional centers to come: Augusta VA Medical Center (VAMC), Central Alabama VA Health Care System (HCS), Central Texas Veterans HCS, Chillicothe VAMC, Dayton VAMC, Memphis VAMC, Minneapolis VA HCS, Richmond VAMC, VA St. Louis HCS, South Texas Veterans HCS (Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital), South Texas Veterans HCS (Kerrville Division), James A Haley Veterans Hospital – Tampa, VA Eastern Colorado HCS, VA New York Harbor HCS, VA Palo Alto HCS, and VA Puget Sound HCS.

More information on partnering with VA can be found at https://www.va.gov/HEALTHPARTNERSHIPS/index.asp.

Media assets can be found here.

About the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,250 healthcare facilities, including 172 VA Medical Centers and 1,069 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics) to over 9 million Veterans enrolled in the VA health care program.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Assembly for Xbox, (206) 223-1606, xboxpress@assemblyinc.com

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Public Affairs Media Relations, (202) 461-7600, Va.media.relations@va.gov

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Dell Technologies and Microsoft expand partnership to help customers accelerate their digital transformation

  • New Microsoft Azure VMware Solutions bring customers more choice and flexibility
  • Microsoft and VMware collaborate on digital workspace offerings and future cloud integrations

DELL TECHNOLOGIES WORLD, LAS VEGAS, NV — April 29, 2019 — Dell Technologies (NYSE: DELL) and Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced they are expanding their partnership to address a wider range of customer needs and help accelerate digital transformations. Through this collaboration, the companies will deliver a fully native, supported, and certified VMware cloud infrastructure on Microsoft Azure. Additionally, joint Microsoft 365 and VMware Workspace ONE customers will be able to manage Office 365 across devices via cloud-based integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory. VMware (NYSE:VMW) will also extend the capabilities of Windows Virtual Desktop leveraging VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.

“At Microsoft, we’re focused on empowering customers in their digital transformation journey, through partnerships that enable them to take advantage of the Microsoft Cloud, using the technologies they already have,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Together with Dell Technologies and VMware, we are providing our mutual customers with an integrated cloud experience and digital workplace solutions to open up new opportunities and meet their evolving needs.”

“Customers are excited to see us expand our collaboration with Microsoft,” commented Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware. These innovative cloud and client offerings will deliver customers even more value, provide more flexibility to accelerate their hybrid-multi cloud and multi-device journey, and accelerate the digital transformation of their business.”

The cloud has become fundamental to enabling organizations to move faster toward their business goals. With the cloud’s scalability, enhanced security, productivity, cost savings and more, companies are capitalizing on the many benefits. These benefits are enabling organizations to better tap into the potential of technologies like artificial intelligence and Internet of Things. Through this collaboration, the companies aim to accelerate customer transformations with even more open, flexible and scalable solutions.

“We’re excited to expand our collaboration with Microsoft. These innovative cloud and client offerings will deliver customers even more value,” commented Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware. “These offerings will provide customers flexibility to accelerate their cloud journey and drive their business forward.”

New Azure VMware Solutions provide a seamless VMware experience on Microsoft Azure

Azure VMware Solutions are built on VMware Cloud Foundation – a comprehensive offering of software defined compute, storage, networking and management – deployed in Azure. With these solutions, customers can capitalize on VMware’s broadly deployed and trusted cloud infrastructure while experiencing the power of Microsoft Azure.

Azure VMware Solutions give customers the power to seamlessly migrate, extend and run existing VMware workloads from on-premises environments to Azure without the need to re-architect applications or retool operations. Customers will be able to build, run, manage, and secure new and existing applications across VMware environments and Microsoft Azure while extending a single model for operations based on established tools, skills and processes as part of a hybrid cloud strategy.  Some of the more popular customer scenarios Azure VMware Solutions will support are app migration and datacenter expansion, disaster recovery, and business continuity and modern application development.

Azure VMware Solutions enable organizations to tap into Azure’s scale, security, and fast provisioning cycles to innovate and modernize applications while also improving performance. By integrating with native Azure services, customers can easily infuse advanced capabilities like AI, machine learning, and IoT into their applications enabling new, intelligent experiences.

Azure VMware Solutions are first-party services from Microsoft developed in collaboration with VMware Cloud Verified partners CloudSimple and Virtustream (a Dell Technologies company).

“At Walmart, we’re focused on making it easy, fast, friendly and fun to shop with us no matter where you are – whether online, in our stores or through our pick up services. We’re excited about the role technology plays in this and how it can help us deliver new services faster. Cloud and Client innovations are an important part of this and a key enabler of our digital transformation,” commented Clay Johnson, executive vice president and enterprise chief information office, Walmart. “The partnership being announced today between Microsoft, Dell and VMware in Cloud and Client innovations will allow them to better bring their best solutions to customers like us. We look forward to continuing to work with Microsoft, Dell and VMware to accelerate our digital transformation.”

Helping customers advance their digital workspace strategy

With this agreement, mutual Microsoft 365 and VMware Workspace ONE customers will be able to get the most out of their digital workspace across device platforms while maximizing existing and future investments. Specifically, customers will be able to use Workspace ONE to manage and secure the powerful productivity features of Office 365 across devices via cloud-based integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory.

Through the new Dell Technologies Unified Workspace offerings, customers can further accelerate their Windows 10 digital transformation journey by leveraging the integration of Windows Autopilot and Dell Device Provisioning and Deployment Services, like Dell ProDeploy – all enabled by the integration of Microsoft 365, Workspace ONE, and Dell Provisioning Services.

In addition, Microsoft recently announced Windows Virtual Desktop, the only service that delivers a multi-session Windows 10 experience, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, and support for Windows Server Remote Desktop Services (RDS) desktops and apps. As a part of this agreement, VMware will extend the capabilities of Windows Virtual Desktop to enable customers to further accelerate their cloud initiatives, leveraging VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure. Initial capabilities are expected to be available as a tech preview by the end of calendar year 2019.

Microsoft and VMware are also exploring initiatives to drive further integration between VMware infrastructure and Azure such as integration of VMware NSX with Azure Networking and integration of specific Azure services with VMware management solutions. They will also be exploring bringing specific Azure services to the VMware on-premise customers. Through this collaboration, the companies aim to give customers a more seamless experience across VMware and Azure environments.

About Dell Technologies
Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL) is a unique family of businesses that helps organizations and individuals build their digital future and transform how they work and live. The company provides customers with the industry’s broadest and most innovative technology and services portfolio spanning from edge to core to cloud. The Dell Technologies family includes Dell, Dell EMCPivotalRSASecureworksVirtustream and VMware.

About Microsoft
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About VMware
VMware software powers the world’s complex digital infrastructure. The company’s cloud, networking and security, and digital workspace offerings provide a dynamic and efficient digital foundation to over 500,000 customers globally, aided by an ecosystem of 75,000 partners. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to being a force for good, from its breakthrough innovations to its global impact. For more information, please visit https://www.vmware.com/company.html.

For more information, press only:

Dell Technologies Media Relations, Media.Relations@Dell.com

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

VMware Media Relations, Michael Thacker, (650) 427-4454, mthacker@vmware.com

VMware, VMware Cloud, Workspace ONE, Horizon, Horizon Cloud, Cloud Foundation, and NSX are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other jurisdictions.

Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp. and Microsoft to build the SOVA Innovation Hub in southern Virginia

The SOVA Innovation Hub in downtown South Boston will leverage community partners and programs to foster the region’s innovation and economic opportunities

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. — April 29, 2019 — Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp. (MBC) and Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced a partnership to build the SOVA Innovation Hub in Southern Virginia. MBC will invest over $5 million to build the SOVA Innovation Hub, which will be located in downtown South Boston, Va., to help meet its growing need for office space. Microsoft, through its TechSpark initiative, will use the space to encourage innovation and spur economic opportunities in the region. The facility will also bring together local nonprofit organizations from throughout Southern Virginia to offer impactful programming for digital skills education and workforce training.

“The SOVA Innovation Hub represents an investment in the future of Southern Virginia,” said Tad Deriso, MBC president and CEO. “MBC has outgrown our existing office space in the Southern Virginia Technology Park, and we’re delighted to partner with Microsoft and our regional partners to create a new office and innovation space in downtown South Boston.”

The 15,000 square foot, two-story SOVA Innovation Hub is the first new building to be built in downtown South Boston in over 40 years. The new building will be located on the site of a former tobacco warehouse built in the 1900s and destroyed by a fire in 2002. It will provide a mixture of offices, co-working spaces, collaborative work areas, event and training spaces, and technology showcase areas and will feature high-capacity wireless broadband access.

“As digital technology transforms the economy, people at all stages in their careers will need to acquire new skills, transform their businesses and launch new enterprises — and they’ll need a place to do it,” said Kate Behncken, Microsoft Philanthropies. “We are excited to play a role in MBC’s vision to create a world-class center that will enable this entire community to grow with the digital economy. MBC’s longstanding connection to this region makes it an ideal partner on the SOVA Innovation Hub.”

Microsoft will use the SOVA Innovation Hub as a base for its TechSpark Virginia efforts. In addition to offering access to technology, it will use the center as a convening space to leverage regional partnerships to offer programming, workshops and events that encourage entrepreneurism and expand digital skills and career pathways in the area. Southern Virginia is one of the six TechSpark regions across the United States chosen for the program to foster job creation and economic opportunity by focusing on computer science education and digital skills, career pathways, digital transformation, support of nonprofits, and rural broadband access.

“The Town of South Boston is proud to serve as the location for the regional SOVA Innovation Hub,” said Ed Owens, mayor of the Town of South Boston and a member of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. “We welcome MBC and Microsoft and are inspired by the energy and excitement they will bring to our downtown area.”

Next, MBC and Microsoft plan to announce a groundbreaking for the SOVA Innovation Hub and introduce community partners and programs at the center. Employers across all industries are increasingly seeking a skilled workforce, and Microsoft said the SOVA Innovation Hub will make it possible to facilitate and expand digital skills education for students along with training to help upskill current talent so they are better prepared to pursue good-paying job opportunities.

“I am proud to see another Microsoft investment in our region,” said Senator Frank Ruff (R-Mecklenburg), who is also vice chairman of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. “MBC and Microsoft are true community partners, and I am looking forward to the positive impacts the SOVA Innovation Hub will have for our business and educational communities.”

About Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities

Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) is committed to providing economic development leadership to Southern Virginia. MBC promotes economic development in Southern Virginia through the operation of a successful advanced open access fiber optic network, providing wholesale telecommunications transport services, colocation, and tower leasing. MBC offers a state-of-the-art fiber optic network and supports the recruitment of major investments, including data centers, call center/operations centers, advanced manufacturing, research and development, and biotech industries.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com 
Lauren Mathena, MBC, lauren.mathena@mbc-va.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.