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Lloyds Banking Group and Microsoft form partnership to accelerate bank’s digital transformation strategy

Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft focused on accelerating LBG’s digital transformation. As part of the LBG’s commitment to invest £3 billion in technology, the new service will provide a modern digital workplace for all Lloyds Banking Group employees.

The new partnership includes the development of Microsoft Managed Desktop, offering productivity tools within Office 365, the robust security capability of Windows 10 and an advanced device solution to support evergreen currency management.

LBG has worked with Microsoft since 2017 to build, test and evaluate the scale, security and agility requirements for Microsoft Managed Desktop. The rollout across the entire business makes it the world’s largest financial services firm to deploy this technology. This is supplemented by LBG’s use of Microsoft Azure to increase business agility, scalability on demand and provide a more enhanced customer offering.



“We are delighted to support this new agreement with Microsoft, which will not only deliver great support for our colleagues, ensuring that we continue to transform our ways of working, but also help improve operational resilience across the Group,” said Jen Tippin, Group People and Productivity Director at Lloyds Banking Group.

John Chambers, Group Chief Information Officer at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “As part of our digital transformation we’re creating a modern digital workplace and I am really excited about the impact of this new technology. A core principle of Microsoft Managed Desktop is the idea that an evolved approach can give colleagues fantastic experiences on workplace devices that stay current and secure with Microsoft 365. We are confident that prioritising a modern and enjoyable workspace will significantly improve our colleague experience.”

“Becoming a truly digital organisation requires both technical and cultural transformation, which is why we believe close collaboration with our customers to understand their unique challenges and determine the best possible solution is critical,” said Cindy Rose, CEO of Microsoft UK. “Using the Microsoft cloud, employees can have the confidence that they have the best tools at hand to deliver an exceptional customer experience and we look forward to continuing our work to ensure Lloyds Banking Group maintains its position as a truly world-class digital bank.”

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Satya Nadella shares his thoughts on achieving more for the world

The beginning of a new year and a new decade is a time to reflect, set intentions and move forward with bold ambition.

Leaders everywhere are in the midst of a global conversation about the future of democracy and capitalism — a future interconnected and enmeshed within the context of digital transformation. What does it mean to be a global company contributing to each nation’s local interests? How can our products and tools help solve the most important challenges through the use of digital technologies? 

For us, it’s an opportunity to reflect on our company’s purpose and mission: to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Our mission is enduring. It drives who we are and everything we do, emphasizing our passion to empower both the people and the lasting institutions they build. 

As we consider the opportunities and the pressing challenges facing the world today — as we work to empower the 7 billion people on the planet — we must recommit to this sense of purpose and mission and redefine what “achieving more” means for the world. Oxford professor Colin Mayer’s definition of the purpose of a corporation is helpful. Mayer writes that the purpose of business is, “producing profitable solutions to problems of people and planet.”

Looking forward, we believe empowerment to achieve more has four interconnected components:

  1. Power broad economic growth through tech intensity
  2. Ensure that this economic growth is inclusive
  3. Build trust in technology and its use
  4. Commit to a sustainable future 

1.    Power broad economic growth through tech intensity

In the next decade, broad economic growth will happen if digital technology and software can be applied to empower every person and every organization in every industry, every community and every country.

We live in a world of ubiquitous computing. Consider that there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2030, more than double the number today, and that by 2025, the size of the global datasphere will reach 175 zettabytes, up from 40 zettabytes today. As a platform company, we’re building each layer of the tech stack for this new era. We are building the world’s computer to span the intelligent cloud and the edge; we are creating rich AI supercomputing; and we are making computing more ambient with multi-sense, multi-device experiences.

As people’s lives — including the places we go and the things we interact with — become digitized, they create new opportunities and new breakthroughs: from precision medicine to precision agriculture, from personalized e-commerce to personalized education, from connected manufacturing floors to connected homes. AI is the most transformative technology of our time. And we are focused not only on pushing the frontiers of this technology and building the next generation of data and AI workloads, but also creating new immersive experiences that transcend any single device and help us regain a sense of balance and control in our lives. We think deeply about how to ensure people can determine what is public and what is private and are able to use our technology in order to regain a balance between consuming content and creating it. This increasingly digitized and connected world will create new economic value from the data we generate — more accurate predictions, more personalized services and deeper insights. And it will ensure the digital economy’s growing hunger for data can offer everyone an opportunity to contribute productively and benefit economically.

At Microsoft, we call this dynamic tech intensity: adopting best-in-class digital tools and platforms for the purpose of building new, proprietary products and services. Companies, communities and countries can build their own technology products and services only if they have a skilled workforce to do so. Our own LinkedIn data shows that 60 percent of job openings for developers are outside the tech sector. By mapping every member, company, job and skill, LinkedIn is helping connect workers to economic opportunity in new ways. This broad-based availability of digital skills, jobs and the resulting economy that we look forward to in the coming decade will stand in stark contrast to the economic concentration seen in only a few regions like the West Coast of the United States and the East Coast of China. Every country can achieve independence in this increasingly interdependent world.  

2.    Ensure that this economic growth is inclusive

Broad economic growth fails if it is not inclusive. Every country, industry and citizen can prosper by leveraging their comparative advantage and by embracing tech intensity. Platform companies like ours have at their core a business model designed to drive comparative advantage and inclusive growth.

Within every region we operate, I seek out and celebrate the local jobs created by our ecosystem. This local digital ecosystem, in turn, makes it possible for their own region’s small businesses to become more productive, multinationals to become more competitive, the public sector to become more efficient, and health and educational systems to produce greater outcomes.

Inclusive growth requires that we equip everyone with the skills and technology required for the jobs of tomorrow, and to drive renewed productivity growth.

For example, there are more than 800 million people today who need to learn new skills for their jobs. Two-thirds of students today will apply for jobs that do not yet exist. Not only does this skills gap impact prospects for individuals, it has a systemic effect on the ability of companies, industries and communities to realize the full potential of this digital transformation. That is why Microsoft is investing in next-generation education and skills training — creating pathways to 21st century jobs.

Also consider that more than 500 million apps will be created in the next four years to drive transformation and productivity for every organization. To accelerate this, we have to create a new category of developers. We call them citizen developers — equipping domain experts in every sector with tools that are low-code or no-code to create solutions that solve their unique business needs.

Furthermore, there are 2 billion firstline workers in the world. They compose the majority of the global workforce in industries such as hospitality, manufacturing, retail and healthcare. Yet, 77 percent say they don’t have the technology needed to be productive. By equipping them with powerful technologies, such as mixed reality and a platform for collaboration, we are helping these workers acquire new skills and drive productivity for their organizations.

However, we must also enable everyone to participate and thrive in this growing economy.

There are more than 1 billion people around the world living with a disability, and as we celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities in the workplace, we must also build tools and products that reflect the diverse experiences of our customers and employees. It’s why we are prioritizing accessibility in our products and services, building diverse teams and seeking input from the accessibility community in the development process.

Access to high-speed internet is fundamental in an increasingly digital and connected world, and something many living in urban areas take for granted. We are working to bridge this divide, with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, a five-year commitment to bring broadband access to 3 million people in unserved rural communities in the United States by July 2022. 

Finally, we also must ensure that we support the success of our own communities, including the many people who work with Microsoft as vendors. We know that the health, well-being and diversity of our own employees contributes to Microsoft’s success, which is why we offer industry-leading benefits. We also know that we rely on the contributions from people working at our suppliers who are also critical to our success. That’s why we require our U.S. suppliers to provide a minimum of 12 weeks paid parental leave as well as paid vacation and sick leave for their employees. And in 2019 we announced a commitment to fund community-based affordable housing in the Puget Sound. 

3.     Build trust in technology and its use

At its core, every platform company must earn and sustain the trust of its customers and partners. Without trust, none of this progress is possible. There are three pillars to our approach: privacy, cybersecurity and responsible AI. Across each, our commitment goes beyond words to real actions, providing tools and frameworks for our customers and working collaboratively with the public sector to drive policy change. 

The first pillar is privacy. We believe privacy is a fundamental human right. Our approach to privacy and data protection is grounded in our belief that customers own their own data and ensuring any product or service we provide is built with privacy by design from the ground up. Our privacy principles include a commitment to transparency in our privacy practices, offer meaningful privacy choices, and responsibly manage the data we store and process. It’s why we were early supporters of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and why we were the first company to expand GDPR’s core rights to all our customers around the world. To date, more than 26 million people have used these tools and it’s why we will continue to advocate for new privacy laws to ensure customers enjoy the transparency and control they deserve.

The second pillar is cybersecurity — a central challenge in the digital age. Cybercrime affecting businesses, governments and individuals costs more than $1 trillion a year, up from $600 billion in 2018. We analyze more than 6.5 trillion signals each day, and process 630 billion authentications and scan 470 billion emails for malware and phishing each month. This massive signal generates insight that fuels security innovation across our platforms. However, technology is not enough to combat these increasing threats. It also requires partnerships for a heterogenous world — both with governments and industries. We called on the world to borrow a page from history in the form of a Digital Geneva Convention, with a goal of updating international law to protect people from cyberattacks. But as a technology industry, we must work together to create a safer internet. More than 100 global technology and security companies have signed the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, committing to advance online security and resiliency around the world. 

Third, we build AI responsibly, taking a principled approach and asking difficult questions, like not what computers can do, but what computers should do? Fairness, reliability and safety, privacy and security, inclusiveness, transparency and accountability are the ethical principles that guide our work and are translated into the software development tools for our developer community. 

4.        Commit to a sustainable future 

The scientific consensus is clear. The world today is confronted with an urgent carbon crisis. If we don’t curb emissions, and if temperatures continue to climb, science tells us that the results will be devastating. 

To address the damaging effects of climate change, each of us must take action — including businesses. No one company can solve this macro challenge alone, but as a global technology company, we have a particular responsibility to do our part.

We are using technology and data to solve global environmental problems and accelerate progress toward a more sustainable future, focusing on the challenges of water, waste ecosystems and carbon in the atmosphere.

It starts with addressing the carbon footprint of our own technology and company. Since 2012, we’ve been carbon neutral across our own operations, imposing an internal carbon tax to drive behavior change. Datacenters that power the cloud are large consumers of electricity. We’ve also significantly expanded our use of renewable energy. 

But we know we need to do more and move faster. This week we announced a commitment that by 2030, Microsoft will be carbon negative across our direct emissions and our supply chain. And we will go beyond that: By 2050, we will remove from the environment all of the carbon we’ve emitted directly or by electrical consumption since our company’s founding in 1975. 

Solving this problem will also require new technology, and last week we also announced a new $1 billion Climate Innovation Fund to accelerate the development of carbon reduction and removal technologies. 

We know that our most important contribution will come not from our own actions, but from empowering our customers around the world. Digital technology will play a critical role in tackling these issues, and we will work to develop and deploy technology that helps our customers reduce their own carbon footprint. 

***

As corporations, our purpose and actions must be aligned to help solve the world’s problems, not create new ones. If the previous decade taught us anything, it is that technology built without the considerations outlined above can do far more harm than good.

This is the decade for urgent action. It is time to take bold steps forward to address our most pressing challenges. We know no one company can solve these socioeconomic challenges alone, but together we can make the 2020s the period when we drive broad, inclusive economic growth through technology, built on a foundation of trust and commitment to sustainability. We look forward to collaborating with our customers and partners on this journey. Because each of us must commit to do more, in order for us all to achieve more.

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How Azure AI is creating a more accessible world

At Microsoft, we are inspired by how artificial intelligence is transforming organizations of all sizes, empowering them to reimagine what’s possible. AI has immense potential to unlock solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges.

One challenge is that according to the World Health Association, globally, only 1 in 10 people with a disability have access to assistive technologies and products. We believe that AI solutions can have a profound impact on this community. To meet this need, we aim to democratize AI to make it easier for every developer to build accessibility into their apps and services, across language, speech, and vision.

In view of the upcoming Bett Show in London, we’re shining a light on how Immersive Reader enhances reading comprehension for people regardless of their age or ability, and we’re excited to share how Azure AI is broadly enabling developers to build accessible applications that empower everyone.

Empowering readers of all abilities

Immersive Reader is an Azure Cognitive Service that helps users of any age and reading ability with features like reading aloud, translating languages, and focusing attention through highlighting and other design elements. Millions of educators and students already use Immersive Reader to overcome reading and language barriers.

The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria, New York, brings together an incredible diversity of students with different backgrounds and learning styles. The teachers at The Young Women’s Leadership School support many types of learners, including students who struggle with text comprehension due to learning differences, or language learners who may not understand the primary language of the classroom. The school wanted to empower all students, regardless of their background or learning styles, to grow their confidence and love for reading and writing.

A teacher and student looking at a computer together

Watch the story here

Teachers at The Young Women’s Leadership School turned to Immersive Reader and an Azure AI partner, Buncee, as they looked for ways to create a more inclusive and engaging classroom. Buncee enables students and teachers to create and share interactive multimedia projects. With the integration of Immersive Reader, students who are dyslexic can benefit from features that help focus attention in their Buncee presentations, while those who are just learning the English language can have content translated to them in their native language.

Like Buncee, companies including Canvas, Wakelet, ThingLink, and Nearpod are also making content more accessible with Immersive Reader integration. To see the entire list of partners, visit our Immersive Reader Partners page. Discover how you can start embedding Immersive Reader into your apps today. To learn more about how Immersive Reader and other accessibility tools are fostering inclusive classrooms, visit our EDU blog.

Breaking communication barriers

Azure AI is also making conversations, lectures, and meetings more accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. By enabling conversations to be transcribed and translated in real-time, individuals can follow and fully engage with presentations.

The Balavidyalaya School in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India teaches speech and language skills to young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The school recently held an international conference with hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, and parents. With live captioning and translation powered by Azure AI, attendees were able to follow conversations in their native languages, while the presentations were given in English.

Learn how you can easily integrate multi-language support into your own apps with Speech Translation, and see the technology in action with Translator, with support for more than 60 languages, today.

Engaging learners in new ways

We recently announced the Custom Neural Voice capability of Text to Speech, which enables customers to build a unique voice, starting from just a few minutes of training audio.

The Beijing Hongdandan Visually Impaired Service Center leads the way in applying this technology to empower users in incredible ways. Hongdandan produces educational audiobooks featuring the voice of Lina, China’s first blind broadcaster, using Custom Neural Voice. While creating audiobooks can be a time-consuming process, Custom Neural Voice allows Lina to produce high-quality audiobooks at scale, enabling Hongdandan to support over 105 schools for the blind in China like never before.

“We were amazed by how quickly Azure AI could reproduce Lina’s voice in such a natural-sounding way with her speech data, enabling us to create educational audiobooks much more quickly. We were also highly impressed by Microsoft’s commitment to protecting Lina’s voice and identity.”—Xin Zeng, Executive Director at Hongdandan

Learn how you can give your apps a new voice with Text to Speech.

Making the world visible for everyone

According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, more than 250 million people are blind or have low vision across the globe. Last month, in celebration of the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Seeing AI, a free iOS app that describes nearby people, text, and objects, expanded support to five new languages. The additional language support for Spanish, Japanese, German, French, and Dutch makes it possible for millions of blind or low vision individuals to read documents, engage with people around them, hear descriptions of their surroundings in their native language, and much more. All of this is made possible with Azure AI.

Try Seeing AI today or extend vision capabilities to your own apps using Computer Vision and Custom Vision.

Get involved

We are humbled and inspired by what individuals and organizations are accomplishing today with Azure AI technologies. We can’t wait to see how you will continue to build on these technologies to unlock new possibilities and design more accessible experiences. Get started today with a free trial.

Check out our AI for Accessibility program to learn more about how companies are harnessing the power of AI to amplify capabilities for the millions of people around the world with a disability.

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Meet the 2020 Imagine Cup finalists from our Europe, Middle East and Africa region

For young developers with a vision for improving our world with technology, the Imagine Cup is the place to be. Students are challenged to form teams of one to three people and leverage innovative tech, like AI, to develop a project proposal and business idea to make a difference. We are consistently inspired by solutions students create to tackle social good issues, and the collaborative and innovative core of the competition is continuing with the selection of our 2020 Europe, Middle East, and Africa Regional Finalists.

These 10 teams will be traveling to Amsterdam, the Netherlands in March to compete for over USD20,000 total in prizing, Azure credits, plus the top two will win spots to advance to the 2020 Imagine Cup World Championship! During their Regional Final journey, teams will also have the chance to participate in an Entrepreneurship Day from the U.S. Department of Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) to refine their business pitches, receive mentorship from Microsoft experts, and experience cutting-edge technical innovation at Microsoft Ignite the Tour.

Introducing our EMEA finalist teams heading to Amsterdam!

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Allez, Ukraine

Allez: Allez support personal development through sports experience. The team’s aim isn’t just to maximize the performance of an athlete, but to help coaches to growth individuals who are mentally ready to fight obstacles.

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ALOIS, Sweden

ALOIS: ALOIS aims to revolutionize the treatment of depression worldwide and to free more people from their negative thought patterns. ALOIS is a social bot, which determines the user’s emotional state and finds the actual causes of the depression.

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Casie, Switzerland

Casie: The team’s project is aimed at using facial keypoints as a parameter to track the sequence of emotions displayed by user and using an LSTM RNN in order to infer problems with learning.

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The Knights, Kenya

WEEDING BOT: Weeding bot is an automated robot that maneuvers between crop rows as it weeds interrow and intra row weeds using artificial intelligence and a camera as a sensor, equipped with a robotic arm coupled with a gripper and plough-like weeding tool.

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meCare, Russia 

meCare: The team are developing a solution for primary screening of malignant skin lesions at home.

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Monica, Poland

Monica: Monica is a visual assistant for blind people that is integrated into smart glasses and responds to users requests via voice commands.

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RedWalls, Tunisia

I-Remember: I-Remember is a two part mobile application designed for the well being of the both the Alzheimer’s patient and their caregivers.

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Vhysio, United Kingdom

Vhysio: Vhysio is a machine learning web app utilising tensorflow.js, a cutting edge browser based Machine Learning library, to enable accessible physiotherapy for the Visually Impaired – talking through exercises by responding to users’ postures in real-time.

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Team Wild Eye, Kenya

WildEye_KE: Wild Eye_KE seeks to bring technology to the wild to monitor & track animal activities & notify authorities in case animals stray away from the wildlife protected areas (WPAs), reducing poaching & human interaction with wild animals away from WPAs.

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Team to be announced, Pakistan

The results of the 2020 Pakistan National Final have not yet been announced.

Congratulations to all finalists! Check out our recently announced Asia Regional Finalists to learn about more innovative projects in this year’s competition and get inspired. Stay tuned for the announcement of our last group of finalist teams from the Americas next month and follow the competition journey on Instagram and Twitter as students head to their in-person regional events to compete!

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Microsoft announces it will be carbon negative by 2030

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 16, 2020 — Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove its carbon footprint. By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.

At an event at its Redmond campus, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, President Brad Smith, Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood, and Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa announced the company’s new goals and a detailed plan to become carbon negative.

“While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.”

The Official Microsoft Blog has more information about the company’s bold goal and detailed plan to remove its carbon footprint: https://blogs.microsoft.com/?p=52558785.

The company announced an aggressive program to cut carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, both for our direct emissions and for our entire supply and value chain. This includes driving down our own direct emissions and emissions related to the energy we use to near zero by the middle of this decade. It also announced a new initiative to use Microsoft technology to help our suppliers and customers around the world reduce their own carbon footprints and a new $1 billion climate innovation fund to accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture and removal technologies. Beginning next year, the company will also make carbon reduction an explicit aspect of our procurement processes for our supply chain. A new annual Environmental Sustainability Report will detail Microsoft’s carbon impact and reduction journey. And lastly, the company will use its voice and advocacy to support public policy that will accelerate carbon reduction and removal opportunities.

More information can be found at the Microsoft microsite: https://news.microsoft.com/climate.

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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PC gamers: Catch up on new laptops, monitors and more announced at CES 2020

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas kicked off 2020 with a look at what’s in store for a variety of players this year, with exciting innovations for PC gaming and Microsoft’s device partners announcing some of the best upcoming hardware and software in the industry.

From the thinnest
and lightest gaming laptops yet, to immersive monitors giving players a deeper,
more robust experience, in addition to new gaming desktops and graphics cards, there’s
plenty for PC gamers to be excited for in the year ahead.

To catch you
up on all the news from last week, we’ve wrapped up all the CES 2020
announcements from Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, and iBuyPower below.

Acer

Acer
introduced new Predator monitors offering gamers a more immersive and
expansive view of their play.

Predator X32
  • The Predator CG552K features a huge
    55-inch 4K OLED panel that’s Adaptive Sync and HDMI VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)
    compatible, making it ideal for hardcore PC and console gamers wanting a higher
    vantage point. The 37.5-inch monitor increases gaming immersion with a
    2300R curved UWQHD+ panel and Vesa DisplayHDR 400 certification that makes
    colors pop.
  • The 32-inch Predator X32 gaming
    monitor reproduces brilliant visuals with Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate, Vesa Display
    HDR 1400 certification and 89.5% Rec. 2020, perfect for gamers who also create
    their own videos.

Asus

Asus
released new Strix gaming desktops, the Zephyrus G14 laptop and TUF laptops presenting device options for every
type of gamer.

ROG Strix GA35
  • Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) debuted a
    handful of new Strix models: Strix
    GA35
     and GT35 gaming
    desktops to get players tournament-ready for competitive esports. They’re
    engineered to sustain smooth gameplay under serious pressure and offer the
    flexibility to do everything from producing top-quality streams to developing
    games. In addition to those new gaming devices, Asus ROG also announced
    new Strix GA15 and GT15 gaming
    desktops that focus on gaming fundamentals for competitive esports players on a
    budget. Lean and lightweight, these leverage powerful, latest generation
    processors to capably handle hardcore gaming, streaming and multitasking. These
    use the latest 3rd Generation AMD Ryzen CPUs and upcoming 10th Generation Intel
    Core processors.
Zephyrus G14
  • The Zephyrus G14 brings premium innovations to a wider audience with
    an ultra-slim form factor at just 17.9mm thin and 1.6kg, all without
    compromising performance. The Zephyrus G14 gaming notebook features RTX
    graphics for high frame rates when playing popular games, and also lets gamers
    choose between high refresh or high resolution for their display; the choice of
    120Hz refresh rate or WQHD resolution panels allows users to optimize for
    gaming or creating content. G14 has an optional AniMe Matrix display that
    deepens personalization, enabling users to show custom graphics, animations and
    other effects across more than a thousand mini LEDs embedded in the lid.
TUF Gaming A15 and F15
  • The 15-inch TUF Gaming
    A15 and F15
    , along
    with their 17-inch A17 and F17 siblings,
    deliver an unprecedented experience for the price. Key to the experience is
    potent processing power, thanks to a choice between 4th Gen AMD Ryzen Mobile
    CPUs and upcoming 10th Gen Intel Core processors. Nvidia Turing-based GPUs up
    to the GeForce RTX 2060 feed frames into fast displays that refresh at up to
    144Hz and use AMD FreeSync technology to ensure smoother, tear-free gaming
    across a wide range of titles.

Dell

Dell announced
the new Alienware gaming monitor and a redesigned Dell G5 15 SE laptop with new features and enhanced
performance.

Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor
  • Built
    for speed with a 99% sRGB color coverage, the new Alienware
    25 Gaming Monitor 
    features
    fast IPS technology that offers rich colors, a 240Hz refresh rate and a 1
    millisecond response time, all in native FHD resolution. It also has AMD Radeon
    FreeSync and is G-Sync compatible.
Dell G5 15 SE (Special Edition)
  • The
    newly redesigned Dell
    G5 15 SE (Special Edition)

    is the first Dell G Series laptop to feature 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen 4000 H-Series
    Mobile Processors (up to 8 cores and 16 threads) paired with the latest AMD
    Radeon RX 5000M Series graphics. The two chips work seamlessly together using
    AMD SmartShift technology to optimize performance by automatically shifting
    power as needed between the Ryzen processor and Radeon graphics, giving gamers
    precisely what they want at each moment of play.

Lenovo

Lenovo
released a number of new performance monitors and laptops, giving gamers a variety of devices
to choose how they want to enhance their battle experience.

Lenovo Q27h Monitor
  • With
    the new premium Lenovo
    Q27h Monitor
    ,
    users can seamlessly switch between entertainment and their latest
    creative project. Its 27-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) provides IPS high-resolution
    ​and 350 nits of brightness. The four-sided near-edgeless bezel brings a
    noticeably wider viewing experience when playing the hottest gaming titles in
    your spare time with super-fast 4ms response time, and a smooth 75Hz refresh
    rate to reduce motion blur in the game.
Lenovo Legion Y740S
  • The Lenovo Legion
    Y740S 
    is Lenovo’s thinnest and lightest gaming
    laptop yet with up to eight hours of battery life. It’s got up to 10th Gen
    Intel Core i9 processors (coming soon) reaching more than 5 GHz and Q-Control,
    with which users can shift gears with a simple press of their Fn+Q keys. Jump
    into Performance Mode for higher frame rates, down-shift into Quiet Mode for
    better battery life to watch a movie or stay the course in Balance Mode for
    day-to-day usage. Made with long-term gaming usage in mind, enjoy the new
    tactile feel of the Lenovo Legion keyboards, featuring quick response time with
    100% anti-ghosting, improved ergonomic key size and responsive switches
    designed for smoother typing and gameplay.
Lenovo Legion Y25-25 Gaming Monitor
  • Stay focused on the game with the
    new Lenovo Legion Y25-25
    Gaming Monitor 
    with a 24.5-inch,
    Full HD IPS panel display built into the near-edgeless chassis. Crank up refresh
    rates all the way to 240Hz—more FPS means that more data flows between the GPU
    and monitor, helping to eliminate tearing in most multiplayer games. It comes
    with anti-glare panel and up to 400 nits of brightness and is
    TÜV Rheinland Eye Comfort Certified to reduce eye strain. Curved
    monitors make gaming more immersive and comfortable, as the
    curve simulates a more natural viewing experience for your eyes, neck and
    head—allowing the gamer to see all the action at once.
Lenovo G32qc Gaming Monitor
  • The new 31.5-inch Lenovo G32qc Gaming Monitor has near-edgeless bezel QHD (2560 x 1440) screen resolution for clear visuals and superior picture quality. Catch every player movement with its wide viewing angle, high-screen brightness and excellent contrast ratio.
Lenovo G27c Gaming Monitor
  • Or, choose the heavy-duty yet compact 27-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution display on the Lenovo G27c Gaming Monitor — both monitors have a curvature of 1500R for complete game immersion. The latter is engineered to deliver virtually tear-free and stutter-free gameplay and is capable of an amazingly high refresh rate of up to 165Hz, helping to rid gaming distractions such as choppy images, streaks and motion blur.

iBuyPower

 iBuyPower
showed off an expansion of its Element Case line and next gen Revolt Series.

  • For a different take on the traditional
    PC layout, the Element Dual features a binary chamber design. With
    the PSU mounted vertically on the bottom right side of the case and hidden
    behind the motherboard tray, users will be left with an open aesthetic on the
    left side and substantial space for maximum component compatibility. The Element
    CL
    case is pre-built systems is designed with an integrated front
    panel distribution plate for easier bends and less complicated routing.
  • The Revolt GT3 will take on a new aesthetic compared to the
    asymmetrical design of its predecessors, housing small form factor systems and
    providing support for ITX motherboards and SFX power supplies up to 750W.
    Systems constructed in it will be mounted to and suspended inside an outer
    frame by flexible rubber supports designed to add both cushion from shock and
    vibration damping.

These are just some of the new products that are bringing
powerful experiences to Windows 10 gamers in 2020. Check back on Xbox Wire or the
Windows Experience
blog
to keep up with the latest PC gaming
product releases and news.

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What’s New in Edu: Closing the broadband gap, improving teacher training and boosting accessibility in the classroom

With the start of the new year, we’re excited to head to London for the annual Bett UK education technology show where we’ll preview a number of new products and updates coming for the 2020-2021 school year. We’ll bring you along to Bett too, from the booth every day of Bett live from London in: “What’s new in Edu: Live from Bett”.

Join Leslie Fisher, and see for the very first time, new devices, tools and training resources coming soon to ensure you and your students have your best year yet!

Video for Our vision to close the broadband gap, improve teacher training and boost accessibility in the classroom

Closing the broadband gap with new devices that connect to cellular service and Community Learning Centers

One of the biggest challenges in global education is a lack of access to the internet. Students who lack broadband access at home or school are deprived of the information they need to complete their assignments and keep up with their peers, creating educational inequality and disadvantages that can impact them throughout their lives. In the U.S., the FCC estimates 70 percent of teachers assign homework that requires broadband access, yet broadband is not available to nearly 25 million people, 19 million of whom live in rural areas. Even among those who do have a connection, our data shows that nearly 163 million Americans are not using the internet at broadband speeds.

We’ve been investing in solving this multi-faceted problem for years with programs like the Airband Initiative, which aims to expand broadband access to underserved rural areas around the world. Today, we’re continuing to build on this commitment to connect every student to the internet by introducing two new Connected PCs, built and priced especially for education – the JP.IK Turn T101 and Positivo Wise N1212S.

These new devices, which will ship this summer, are our most affordable Connected PCs yet, with all the capabilities of Windows and Office and can be used anywhere there is cellular service. These devices will save schools thousands of dollars in server infrastructure and startup time and help the more than 1.15 billion students in rural and emerging markets around the world connect to the internet for the first time or dramatically improve their current connection. The JP.IK Turn T101 starts at just $299 USD and the Wise N1212S will start at $575 USD, both powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c with twice the battery life and 25 percent better performance than competing platforms, and like our other Windows PCs boasting the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets, they will have blazing-fast cellular connectivity.

We’re also proud to collaborate with T-Mobile to kick off a pilot next month that offers select districts in rural and underserved areas in the U.S. a chance to test the newest Connected PCs. T-Mobile shares our vision to empower students and provide connectivity and educational equality through their EmpowerED™ 2.0 program – and will provide the pilot schools with SIM cards and free 4G LTE coverage plans to get their new PCs up and running. For the rest of the world, we’re excited to partner with Vodafone to provide education-specific cellular connectivity plans to customers using the newest Connected PCs in Vodafone and Vodacom markets in Europe and Africa. Through the Connected Education program, Vodafone endeavors to digitalize school infrastructure and accelerate adoption of fast, secure internet access to schools and students around the world. Together, we’re excited to learn how these new devices and alliances could reshape the education landscape and reduce the broadband gap.

These new devices mark a big milestone in bringing equitable educational opportunities to students around the world, but it’s just the beginning. We’re also thrilled to partner with JP.IK to bring their Community Learning Centers – solar-powered, pop-up schools – to more than 130 underserved areas around the world, giving students a truly connected digital learning experience.

Our most affordable Windows 10 devices get even better

No matter your needs or your location in the world, we have the perfect Windows 10 device for you and your students, starting at $219 USD. Today, we’re excited to announce that our portfolio is getting even better. Together with our partners at Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, JP.IK and Positivo we’re enhancing 14 of our most affordable Windows 10 devices so you get even more bang for your buck, including:

  • NEW! Faster performance. Seven of our new devices include the newest Intel processor, which will give you 46 percent more system performance than before. Students can have multiple web browser tabs open while working on documents and collaborating with classmates without missing a beat.
  • NEW! Safekeeping for pens. One of the biggest complaints we hear from educators is that – while they love the benefits of having students write directly on their device screens – pens get lost frequently. But great news! In addition to a number of devices that include ways to tether pens, the newest Acer TravelMate Spin B3 and Lenovo 300e also have a pen “garage” built into the device so it’s less likely to wander off.  
  • NEW! Introducing indicator lights to show student progress. Teachers, have you ever wished you could look at the classroom from your desk or podium and see which students are good to go on their devices? Now you can! Five of our newest devices will include a built-in LED indicator light on the back of the device that can be used to indicate whether a device is charged and connected to the internet. Simply look for the light!

Check out these and our other great Windows 10 devices on our Windows Device Finder today!

 

Three Free New Tools to Make Teacher Training More Effective

Preparing students for the jobs of the future starts with training and retaining great educators today. Our new research – Staff of 2030: Future Ready Teaching – indicates only 38 percent of teachers believe their current training has equipped them to use digital technology for instruction, which is critical to their success as well as their students. As new Gen Z teachers are entering the workforce, it’s more important than ever for schools to offer a variety of training tools and build powerful professional development communities that help them thrive throughout the school year. We’ve got some great new (and totally free!) tools to help, including our new and improved Microsoft Educator Center with hundreds of great training resources available in more languages than ever before.

  • NEW! Conduct training and engage everyone in the audience using PowerPoint Live Presentations. Using PowerPoint for Web, which is part of Office 365 Education, you will soon be able to train teachers and engage every participant with the new live presentations feature. Schools can present slides and using a QR code or short link, viewers can join and follow along with live subtitles in more than 60 languages on their personal device, making it easy to present to a large group of teachers, students or parents who speak different languages. The feature also includes live reactions and a survey for participants that generates an email to the presenter with the aggregated audience feedback and corresponding recommendations, offering insights to improve future presentations and trainings.

  • NEW! Use Microsoft Stream to create training videos on web and mobile, including transcription in eight languages. Microsoft Stream, included in Office 365 Education, empowers organizations to teach and learn with video easily and securely. Now available to the Stream mobile app, video creation with the new Flipgrid camera integration makes it fun for anyone to personalize and share content in seconds. Stream will also soon support browser-based screen recording and editing, giving teachers and students new ways to create learning and training materials by recording and sharing screens, applications, or device camera feeds. Automatic captions and searchable transcripts now support eight languages, which allow learners to find information quickly. And to help improve learner focus, videos on Stream will soon support a voice enhance capability that removes background noise from videos recorded in classrooms and other noisy environments.
  • NEW! Unlock your students’ potential with Microsoft Teams Class Insights. Teaching is a team sport that requires students, teachers and parents to work together. That’s why we introduced capabilities like Class Insights in Microsoft Teams, to equip educators with more data on student performance and activity. We also made it possible for you to collaborate in safe and focused environments with Private Channels and added the Parent and Guardian Emails that summarize a student’s weekly progress and the week ahead. All these Teams improvements are designed to strengthen collaboration and engagement at your school.

And last, but certainly not least, we’re proud to be rolling out:

Free, built-in accessibility features in OneNote and Microsoft Edge to help every classroom be more inclusive

  • NEW! The new Microsoft Edge – secure, accessible and compatible with all your favorite websites and extensions! The web browser is the most used app in the classroom, so it’s crucial it has the built-in flexibility and accessibility to support every educator and learner. Now available for IT to download and deploy, the new Microsoft Edge web browser is designed to support inclusive classrooms with built-in tools allowing students to change text size, reading text aloud and even inking on PDFs right in the browser. Plus, we made Microsoft Edge even easier for users. Microsoft Edge is now powered by the same technology as Google Chrome to provide better compatibility for websites and extensions, allowing you to experience the web without using multiple browsers. You can even customize your web experience to access Office documents quickly when opening a new tab. Students and teachers working on shared computers can also sign into one or more profiles for quick access to their favorites, passwords, and more. Finally, the new Microsoft Edge browser has Microsoft security features and is simple to manage, with tools that make it easy for IT administrators to deploy and set district- or school-wide policies, as well as features to help protect students from phishing attempts and tracking.
  • NEW! OneNote Live Captions to help students’ focus, comprehension and retention. Recent studies have shown that students who use closed captions and interactive transcripts can maintain their focus and retain information better. You can already use captions and transcripts in many of our products like PowerPoint, Teams, Stream and Flipgrid, and now you can use captions inside OneNote as well! This month, we are rolling out a private preview of OneNote that allows students to connect OneNote to a Microsoft Translator session via a Join Code and receive the captions and translation stream. This allows captions from the educator speaking to flow directly into OneNote for reading, while still allowing the student to take notes. In addition, the student can pause the captions, highlight portions, and then have the entire transcription saved as a page into OneNote, features that will benefit all learners but especially those who may be hard of hearing or speak multiple languages.

And that’s just the beginning! Tune in throughout next week as we join education technology expert, Leslie Fisher in London to walk you through how to make this news you can use in the upcoming school year!

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Limited time offer announced: 3 months of Xbox Game Pass for PC for $1

I know you’re here for the games and we have some gems on the way! They’re hauntingly beautiful, challenging, and are coming soon to Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta).

You might need more than a few days to dig into these games, plus all the others you want to play in our library. Lucky for you, if you haven’t tried Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta) yet, we just launched our best deal yet for PC: Get your first 3 months for just $1! Discover your next favorite game with unlimited access to over 100 high-quality PC titles. You’ll always have something new to play with games added all the time. This deal won’t last forever, so join today and tell your friends – this is an easy way to get them to jump in and play with you!

But let’s get to the part that you really want to know about: Here’s the latest info on the games coming at you for the next few weeks!

Children of Morta (ID@Xbox)
A story-driven action RPG about an extraordinary family of heroes. Lead the Bergons, with all their flaws and virtues, against the forthcoming Corruption. With a unique mix of action-adventure, RPG, rogue-lite, and hack and slash, you’ll develop not only individual characters but also the entire family as they stand against an encroaching darkness.

Gris (ID@Xbox)
A serene and evocative experience, free of danger, frustration or death. Explore a meticulously designed world brought to life with delicate art, detailed animation, and an elegant original score where light puzzles, platforming sequences, and optional skill-based challenges will reveal themselves as the story unfolds, allowing Gris to see her world in a different way, unlocking new paths to explore using her new abilities.

A Plague Tale: Innocence
From Asobo Studio, follow the grim tale of young Amicia and her little brother Hugo in a heartrending journey through the darkest hours of history in this acclaimed action adventure game. Hunted by Inquisition soldiers and surrounded by unstoppable swarms of rats, they will struggle to survive against overwhelming odds and fight to find purpose in this brutal, unforgiving world.

Seriously, getting 3 months of PC gaming for only $1 is a screaming deal. Take the opportunity to try a whole bunch of games with no risk (other than being that person that won’t shut up about what games they are playing). I haven’t done the calculations yet, but I’m willing to bet that the math checks out on this being the best deal right now to play all these games.

Reminder to install the mobile app so you can remotely install games to your PC from anywhere – use that time to watch speed runs, character builds, or build your perfect playlist for these haunting games. Lastly, for more news on games, memes, and whatever shower thoughts we have about games, check out our Twitter. Happy gaming!

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New year, new browser: The new Microsoft Edge is out of preview and available for download

Microsoft Edge logo on a body of water

A little over a year ago, we announced our intention to rebuild Microsoft Edge on the Chromium open source project with the goals of delivering better compatibility for everyone, less fragmentation for web developers, and a partnership with the Chromium community to improve the Chromium engine itself. At Ignite, we unveiled our new vision for the web and search, our colorful new icon, and how Microsoft Edge + Bing are the browser and search engine for business — and we are thrilled by the growing excitement we’ve heard from all of you who’ve tried it out and sent feedback!

From this incredible momentum, today I’m pleased to announce the new Microsoft Edge is now available to download on all supported versions of Windows and macOS in more than 90 languages. Microsoft Edge is also available on iOS and Android, providing a true cross-platform experience. The new Microsoft Edge provides world class performance with more privacy, more productivity and more value while you browse. Our new browser also comes with our Privacy Promise and we can’t wait for you to try new features like tracking prevention, which is on by default, and provides three levels of control while you browse.

Another innovative new feature in Microsoft Edge allows you to customize your online experience. Choose a new tab page layout or design, and select the types of news you want.

Microsoft Edge user interface

The last several months have been nothing short of inspiring for all of us working to deliver great new capabilities for Microsoft Edge including AAD support, Internet Explorer mode, 4K streaming, Dolby audio, inking in PDF, Microsoft Search in Bing integration, support for Chrome-based extensions, and more.

If you’re a business or education IT administrator looking to deploy widely in your organization or school, we have you covered as well – you can download offline packages and policies and learn more on the new commercial site.

Internet Explorer legacy mode animation

People have downloaded the preview channels of the new Microsoft Edge millions of times to their devices, and we’ve seen many organizations begin to pilot these channels for their users. Enterprises and schools who have mission critical legacy applications and websites – but also want modern web and security – have turned to our new Internet Explorer mode as a “best of both worlds” solution. And for Microsoft 365 customers, using Microsoft Search to find files, people, office floor plans and more on your organization’s intranet is as easy as typing in the Microsoft Edge address bar. Our early customers are calling it “a win.”

Moving to the new Microsoft Edge – what to expect

Now that we’ve reached this milestone, you might be wondering what to expect on your PC. To get the new Microsoft Edge you have two choices: you can either manually download it today, or if you are a general consumer user, you can wait for it to be automatically released to your device via Windows Update. When you do make the switch, your favorites, passwords, form fill information and basic settings will carry over to the new Microsoft Edge without you having to do anything. You can read more about our rollout plans here.

If you’re an IT administrator, you will need to download an offline deployment package to pilot within your corporate environment—the new Microsoft Edge will not automatically deploy for commercial customers. Additionally, none of the Microsoft Edge preview channels will update to the new Microsoft Edge, as they can be used side-by-side for testing and validation.

We also know that deploying a new browser isn’t just “flipping a switch,” so we want to make the process as easy as possible. In addition to simplifying deployment with tools like Intune and Configuration Manager, we are committed to helping your organization transition to the new Microsoft Edge. At Ignite we announced FastTrack and App Assure support for Microsoft Edge. FastTrack will help you deploy Microsoft Edge to your organization at no extra charge if you are a customer with an eligible subscription to Microsoft 365, Azure, or Dynamics 365. And if your sites are compatible on Internet Explorer 8 and above, Google Chrome, or legacy Microsoft Edge, then they’ll work on the new Microsoft Edge. If not, contact App Assure and we’ll help you fix it.

What’s next

Of course, the innovation, testing, and new features don’t stop coming today, and this initial release is only just the beginning. If you want a sneak peek of what’s coming, we encourage you to keep using our preview channels – Beta, Dev and Canary – which will remain available for download on the Microsoft Edge Insider site. Not only will you get an insider’s look at our features pipeline for Microsoft Edge, but you’ll continue to have the opportunity to help improve Microsoft Edge with your valuable feedback. Your input helps make both the new Microsoft Edge, and the web, better for everyone.

Thank you!

A huge thank you to our community of Microsoft Edge Insiders as well as the engineers within the Chromium community who have worked with us to develop the new Microsoft Edge. We remain committed to actively participating in and contributing to the Chromium open source project. To date we’ve made more than 1900 contributions across areas like accessibility, modern input including touch, speech, digital inking, and many more.

Keep telling us what’s working well, what needs to change and what you’d like to see in the new Microsoft Edge.

Our heartfelt thanks – we couldn’t have made it here without you!

JoeB

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Microsoft increases financial commitment to affordable housing initiative

“This is more than a home, it’s a community. And there needs to be room for all of us.” That was our message to the region one year ago, announcing Microsoft’s $500 million commitment to help address one of greater Seattle’s fastest growing problems – ensuring affordable housing for everyone. The problem is straightforward: Our community isn’t building enough housing that’s affordable to low- and middle-income families, particularly in Seattle’s surrounding cities on the eastside of King County. The solution – as many of us know – is complicated.

Today we are announcing a $250 million increase to our affordable housing initiative in the form of a line of credit to the Washington State Finance Commission, bringing Microsoft’s total commitment to $750 million. We are also announcing $55 million in investments and grants towards our original $500 million commitment.

This brings our total to $380 million allocated over the past year to support the preservation or creation of over 6,500 affordable housing units in the greater Seattle area.

Below is a summary of the projects we are announcing today:

  • Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC): Through conversations with the WSHFC, Microsoft partnered on an innovative opportunity to deploy capital to extend the State’s limited tax-exempt bond status. Microsoft has provided a no-cost $250 million line of credit to the WSHFC to enable it to preserve and recycle the state’s limited tax-exempt private activity bond volume cap. The line of credit will enable the WSHFC to finance approximately 3,000 additional units of much-needed affordable housing
  • Evergreen Impact Housing Fund (EIHF): a newly launched partnership between Seattle Foundation and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission with support from JPMorgan Chase & Co. It is a first-of-its-kind structure that leverages the Low-Income Tax Credit program by offering last dollar investment to efficiently develop affordable housing that wouldn’t otherwise be built. Microsoft will contribute $50 million to this fund to promote the development of approximately 1,250 low-income housing units on the eastside of King County
  • HomeSight’s Othello Square Project: a $2.5 million philanthropic grant to support the project that includes 192 units of affordable housing, early learning education, small business incubation, cultural celebration and preservation, and financial services in Seattle’s most diverse neighborhood. It is a creative, community-driven response to the pressures of extraordinary growth in Seattle, and is adjacent to the Othello Light Rail Station
  • Rise Together: a $2.5 million philanthropic grant to Rise Together, a collaborative effort between six nonprofit organizations to preserve their communities by creating 400 new units of low-income housing in Seattle’s Central District, Capitol Hill and White Center neighborhoods. The Rise Together partners have come together to make a bigger impact on housing affordability and healthy communities than they could working individually. With a comprehensive approach to community needs, their collective work will result in the creation of housing and vital neighborhood resources that encourage opportunities for all

Today’s news comes after a year of steady progress following our January 2019 announcement:

  • We made a $60 million investment with King County Housing Authority (KCHA) to preserve 1,029 units of middle-income housing in Kirkland, Bellevue and Federal Way
  • We made a $5 million grant to Plymouth Housing to help create 800 more units of permanent supportive housing in Seattle for homeless adults
  • And, just last month, we saw great leadership from the City of Seattle, King County and the Sound Cities Association as they passed legislation to create a much-needed, long-overdue Regional Homelessness Authority to address the homelessness crisis across the region

We’re encouraged by the momentum in the region. We’ve met – in some cases multiple times – with each of the nine mayors and their administrations that were first to sign the affordable housing pledge in the area, promising their support to help address policy barriers. We’ve learned more about the specific needs and challenges within their communities and identified opportunities to pursue.

However, the initial response to our request for proposal (RFP) was less than we hoped and showed us just how difficult it is to create affordable housing where it typically doesn’t work. The good news is that we are starting to see a pipeline of new ideas and projects here on the Eastside of King County where there really wasn’t one before. And we will double down in the coming year to work together with local mayors, councils and city staff and push harder for the critical policy reforms we believe are vital in order to move forward.

We’re excited by the work that lies ahead, but we remain clear-eyed about the challenges that remain. As the data from our continued collaboration with Zillow shows, there was a gap of approximately 316,000 middle- and low-income affordable housing units in the Puget Sound area in 2019, up from a gap of 305,000 in 2018. While the supply-and-demand gap has continued to grow over the past year, we are hopeful our region may have begun to stem the tide. The year-over-year growth rate of the affordable housing gap has slowed from 10.8% in 2017 to 10.5% in 2018 and to 3.6% in 2019, according to Microsoft’s data science team. While we’re encouraged to see this growth rate fall, it’s clear that what we really need to do is see the housing gap fall, not continue to increase. To achieve this, our community needs to come together and act with greater urgency, creativity and shared accountability. It will require a spectrum of new financial, technical and societal approaches that are created in partnership with people who share a collective vision.

We appreciate the collaboration, feedback and support we’ve received about this initiative from so many throughout the community over the past year. We continue to encourage others to get involved and do what they can to help. As we said one year ago, Microsoft feels a tremendous sense of gratitude for the support we’ve had from this community. We are committed to ensuring our success supports the community in return.

For more information about Microsoft’s affordable housing commitment, please visit news.microsoft.com/affordable-housing.

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