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$60 million Microsoft investment boosts King County’s efforts to preserve affordable housing in greater Seattle region

Microsoft’s investment is part of the company’s $500 million commitment to combat the Puget Sound affordable housing crisis

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 26, 2019 — Microsoft Corp., King County Housing Authority (KCHA) and King County on Thursday announced a combined $245 million investment to protect 1,029 units of affordable rental housing throughout King County.

The partnership comes in the form of a 15-year, $60 million loan from Microsoft to KCHA at below-market interest rates, combined with $20 million in low-interest debt and additional credit enhancements provided by King County, and $140 million in bonds issued by KCHA. This investment marks a significant milestone for Microsoft’s $500 million commitment announced in January 2019 to advance affordable housing solutions in the Puget Sound region.

Microsoft’s investment will help finance KCHA’s acquisition of five residential apartment complexes in Kirkland, Bellevue and Federal Way, ensuring rents will remain affordable long term and allowing over 3,000 low- and middle-income people to remain in their communities. Because of their location, these affordable properties were at high risk of experiencing rapidly escalating rents or redevelopment as higher-cost housing.

“We are committed to maintaining and bolstering strong, vibrant communities here in the greater Puget Sound region,” said Jane Broom, senior director of Microsoft Philanthropies. “Thriving communities include safe, reliable and affordable housing options for people at all income levels. To do this, we all need to come together to not only build more housing options, but also to preserve what already exists.”

The investment provides the key piece of financing that allows KCHA to acquire the five properties and stabilize rents. Future rent increases can be driven by the cost to operate the property rather than by market pricing, and over time rents are expected to be well below rents in the surrounding market. It is estimated that over a 30-year period the cumulative rents charged at these complexes will save renters over $450 million in housing costs compared with what would have been charged if these properties had remained in for-profit ownership and priced at market rents.

“We have extraordinary partners in Microsoft and King County Housing Authority as we collaborate to secure housing opportunities for more than 1,000 low-to-moderate-income individuals and families in East and South King County,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Our combined investment makes this housing affordable not just now, but for generations to come.”

This partnership is an example of how the public and private sectors can work together to help address community issues. This initiative effectively partners corporate financing with efforts to preserve an adequate supply of affordable housing. The impact of this investment is immediate, with value added in the form of increasing affordability over time.

Local studies estimate King County has lost at least 36,000 affordable rental units in the last decade as rents increased by 43%.

“Across the Puget Sound region, people with lower and even middle incomes have been forced to move due to rising housing costs,” said KCHA Executive Director Stephen Norman. “This partnership preserves unsubsidized middle-market housing for moderate- and lower-wage earners. We believe this investment, which requires a good corporate partner to make the numbers work, will ultimately help stabilize rents and safeguard more than 3,000 existing tenants from being priced out of their homes.”

Ensuring a healthy community: The need for affordable housing

Puget Sound is the sixth most expensive region in the country, and despite a 21% increase in jobs since 2011, the increase in housing units rose by only 13%. This problem is even more pronounced in the smaller cities surrounding Seattle than it is in Seattle itself.

To help address this affordable housing crisis, Microsoft’s $500 million commitment included $225 million in loans at below-market-rate returns — such as KCHA has received — to inject capital to catalyze the preservation and construction of middle-income housing in the eastside of King County. The commitment also afforded an additional $250 million in loans at market-rate returns to support low-income housing across the entire Puget Sound region, and $25 million in philanthropic grants to address homelessness throughout the greater Seattle region. In June 2019, Plymouth Housing, a nonprofit that operates permanent supportive residences for individuals struggling with homelessness, received a $5 million donation from Microsoft, the second grant awarded.

About KCHA

KCHA, an independent municipal corporation established under state law, assists more than 20,000 households in the Seattle metropolitan region on a daily basis. The Authority administers rental housing assistance, develops and manages affordable housing, and works closely with community stakeholders to address local priorities such as ending homelessness, improving educational outcomes for the region’s low-income youth, and assuring that disabled and elderly households can live with dignity. KCHA is also a national leader in the preservation of affordable workforce housing.

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

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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Microsoft and ENGIE announce innovative renewable initiatives

CHICAGO – Sept. 24, 2019 – Microsoft Corp. and ENGIE today announced both an innovative, long-term solar and wind energy power purchase agreement (PPA) that provides 24/7 supply in the United States and implementation of Darwin, an energy software developed by ENGIE using the intelligent cloud services of Microsoft Azure to optimize performance of ENGIE’s wind, solar, and hybrid (wind + solar) renewable assets worldwide.

The hybrid renewable deal will see Microsoft purchase a total of 230 MW from two ENGIE projects in Texas, bringing Microsoft’s renewable energy portfolio to more than 1,900 MW. Microsoft will purchase the majority of the output from the new 200 MW Las Lomas wind project, which will be located in Starr & Zapata Counties in south Texas. Microsoft will also purchase 85 MW from the 200 MW Anson Solar Center project, which will be built in in Jones County in central Texas. Both projects will be operated by ENGIE and are expected to come on-line in January 2021.

“ENGIE’s ambition is to work with our customers and communities to lead the transition to a zero-carbon world,” said Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE. “We are proud to support Microsoft in its plan to increasingly meet its energy needs with renewable power, and to do so in a highly customized way to meet 24/7 demand over many years.”

The relationship between ENGIE and Microsoft will not only produce more clean energy in the United States, it also creates an example for how customers can procure it. This PPA includes an innovative volume firming agreement (VFA) that will convert the intermittent renewable energy supply into a fixed 24/7 power solution aligned with Microsoft’s energy needs.

In addition, ENGIE and Microsoft are advancing the digital transformation of the renewable energy sector. ENGIE’s Darwin software, currently deployed on more than 15,000 MW of assets globally, enables real-time plant monitoring and control, reporting, forecasting, performance monitoring and predictive maintenance, among many other benefits. Darwin relies on the latest Microsoft Azure intelligent cloud technologies such as IoT and artificial intelligence, including machine learning and cognitive services. Darwin has already enabled ENGIE to increase plant availability and to enhance production performance of up to a few percent on some of its assets.

With renewable energy expected to be the largest single source of electricity growth in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), these kinds of data-driven solutions will become increasingly important. ENGIE alone has a program to build approximately 9,000 MW of new renewable energy projects from 2019–2021 globally, with 2,500 MW of new renewable capacity planned for North America. The company has an additional 10,000 MW of wind and solar projects in its broader development pipeline in the U.S. and Canada.

“Procuring more renewable energy helps transform our operations, but when we pair that with Microsoft’s leading cloud and AI tools, we can transform the world,” said Carlo Purassanta, area vice president, Microsoft France. “This agreement with ENGIE is an exciting step toward a low-carbon future, driven by capital investments and enabled by data.”

About ENGIE

We are a leading world group that provides low-carbon energy and services. To tackle the climate emergency facing us all, our aim is to become the world leader in the zero-carbon energy transition “as a service” for our customers. We use our expertise in our key business areas (renewables, gas, services) to provide competitive and bespoke solutions. With our 160,000 employees, our clients, our partners, and our stakeholders, together we form a community of imaginative builders, striving every day to bring about a more harmonious form of progress. www.engie.com The Group is listed on the Paris and Brussels stock exchanges (ENGI) and is represented in the main financial indices (CAC 40, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe) and non-financial indices (DJSI World, DJSI Europe and Euronext Vigeo Eiris – World 120, Eurozone 120, Europe 120, France 20, CAC 40 Governance).

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.

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Microsoft announces board changes and proposes election of new board member

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 19, 2019 — Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced the nomination of Emma Walmsley, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and member of the GSK board, to the Microsoft board of directors. Walmsley will be presented for election at the company’s annual shareholders meeting, which will be held Dec. 4, 2019.

“Emma is an accomplished business leader who led major advances in research and development at GSK and will bring her significant insights and global experience to Microsoft,” said John W. Thompson, Microsoft independent board chair. “We believe she will be a valuable addition to the board.”

Microsoft also announced that Charles H. Noski, former vice chairman of AT&T Corp. and Bank of America Corp., and Dr. Helmut Panke, former chairman of the board of management at BMW AG, have decided that after almost 16 years of service, both will not seek re-election to the Microsoft board. Their current term expires at the annual shareholders meeting.

“Chuck and Helmut each have brought tremendous wisdom and judgment to our board, including in the vital roles Chuck has played as chair of the Audit Committee and Helmut has played as chair of the Regulatory and Public Policy Committee,” Thompson said.

Bill Gates, who served as chair when Noski and Panke joined the Microsoft board in 2003, said “Chuck and Helmut have been critical and insightful directors during multiple key moments for Microsoft for more than a decade and a half, and we are grateful for their many contributions.”

“I very much appreciate the important role that Chuck and Helmut have both played as directors and advisors to me as we’ve pursued Microsoft’s transformation,” said Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO.

Emma Walmsley was appointed CEO of GSK in April 2017 and has been a member of GSK’s corporate executive team since 2011. She was the CEO of GSK Consumer Healthcare, a joint venture between GSK and Novartis, from its creation in March 2014 to 2017. Walmsley joined GSK in 2010, with responsibility for Consumer Healthcare, Europe. Before joining GSK, Walmsley worked for L’Oreal in a variety of marketing and general management roles in Paris, London, Shanghai and New York. She holds an MA in classics and modern languages from Oxford University.

If Walmsley and the rest of the company’s nominees are elected, Microsoft’s board of directors will consist of 13 members, including John W. Thompson, Microsoft independent board chair; William H. Gates, Microsoft co-founder and technology advisor; Reid Hoffman, partner at Greylock Partners; Hugh Johnston, vice chairman and chief financial officer of PepsiCo; Teri L. List-Stoll, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Gap Inc.; Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft; Sandra E. Peterson, operating partner at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice; Penny Pritzker, founder and chairman of PSP Partners; Charles W. Scharf, chairman and chief executive officer of The Bank of New York Mellon Corp.; Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International Inc.; John W. Stanton, chairman of Trilogy Partnerships; and Padmasree Warrior, founder, president and CEO, Fable Group Inc.

If nominees are elected by shareholders, the updated composition of each committee will be as follows. The board will determine a committee appointment for Ms. Walmsley once elected to the board.

  • Audit Committee: Hugh Johnston (chair); committee members include Teri List-Stoll, Arne Sorenson and John W. Stanton.
  • Compensation Committee: Sandra E. Peterson (chair); committee members include Charles W. Scharf and Padmasree Warrior.
  • Governance and Nominating Committee: John W. Thompson (chair); committee members include Teri List-Stoll, Sandra E. Peterson and Charles W. Scharf.
  • Regulatory and Public Policy Committee: Penny Pritzker (chair); committee members include John W. Stanton and John W. Thompson.

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, financial analysts and investors only:

Investor Relations, Microsoft, (425) 706-4400

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://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers, and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Shareholder and financial information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor.

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Microsoft announces quarterly dividend increase and new share repurchase program

Annual shareholders meeting set for Dec. 4, 2019

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 18, 2019 — Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.51 per share, reflecting a 5 cent or 11% increase over the previous quarter’s dividend. The dividend is payable Dec. 12, 2019, to shareholders of record on Nov. 21, 2019. The ex-dividend date will be Nov. 20, 2019.

The board of directors also approved a new share repurchase program authorizing up to $40 billion in share repurchases. The new share repurchase program, which has no expiration date, may be terminated at any time.

In addition, the company announced the date for the 2019 Annual Shareholders Meeting, to be held on Dec. 4, 2019. Shareholders at the close of business on Oct. 8, 2019, the record date, will be entitled to vote their shares.

This year’s annual shareholders meeting will be held virtually and hosted by Satya Nadella, chief executive officer; Amy Hood, chief financial officer; Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer; and John W. Thompson, Microsoft independent board chair. A virtual meeting format provides a consistent experience to all shareholders regardless of location, as well as the opportunity for global, multilingual and interactive access to a dialogue with its senior executives and directors.

As with previous shareholders meetings, a business update from senior executives will be followed by a 30-minute question and answer session with shareholders. Microsoft’s board of directors will also attend the meeting to hear shareholders’ questions and feedback. More information about the virtual format can be found on the Microsoft On the Issues blog.

In addition to providing the live webcast of the annual meeting, shareholders will have the option to view the annual meeting through Microsoft Teams at www.microsoft.com/investor. As with previous meetings, the transcript with video and audio of the entire meeting will be available on the Microsoft Investor Relations website following the meeting.

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, financial analysts and investors only:

Investor Relations, Microsoft, (425) 706-4400

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://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers, and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Shareholder and financial information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor.

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Nextlink Internet and Microsoft closing broadband gap in central US

The agreement could bring broadband access to benefit more than 9 million people, including approximately 1 million in unserved rural areas

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 18, 2019 — On Wednesday, Nextlink Internet and Microsoft Corp. announced a partnership that will help close the broadband gap in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, bringing high-speed internet to hundreds of rural communities. The agreement will further enable Nextlink to substantially expand their coverage areas and is part of the Microsoft Airband Initiative, which is focused on addressing this national crisis, with the goal of extending broadband access to over 3 million unserved people in rural America by July 2022.

Lack of broadband connectivity is a pervasive national issue, and particularly acute in rural areas of the country. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports that more than 21 million Americans lack broadband access, the vast majority of whom live in rural areas that continue to lag the national rate of broadband usage. The problem is almost certainly larger than that, though, as other studies and data sources, including Microsoft data, have found that 162 million people across the United States are not using the internet at broadband speeds, including approximately 29 million people across Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

“It’s time to deliver on the connectivity promises that have been made to people across the country, and this partnership will help do that for many who have been left behind and unserved in the heartland of America,” said Shelley McKinley, vice president, Technology and Corporate Responsibility at Microsoft. “In the past two years with our Airband Initiative, we’ve seen that progress is possible — particularly when the public and private sectors come together. Partnerships with regional ISPs like Nextlink that have the desire and wherewithal to provide internet connectivity are a critical part of closing the broadband gap and helping families, children, farmers, businesses and whole communities to not only survive, but thrive in the 21st century.”

Nextlink will deploy a variety of broadband connectivity technologies to bring these areas under coverage, including wireless technologies leveraging TV white spaces (e.g., unused TV frequencies) in select markets. Nextlink will continue its deployments in Texas and Oklahoma and immediately begin deployment efforts in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, with rollouts planned through 2024.

Nextlink CEO Bill Baker noted, “Nextlink is tremendously excited about the opportunity to join forces with Microsoft. This agreement will accelerate the rollout of high-speed broadband access to underserved areas that are desperate for this critical service. This in turn will make those areas more attractive for employers who require high-speed broadband to operate. By itself, this project is going to generate hundreds of full-time, long-term jobs in rural communities as Nextlink builds out and services the required networks. The overall impact to rural communities in terms of job creation and increased viability for all employers is tremendous.”

“This partnership will enable the coming of precision agriculture, IoT, digital healthcare, access to higher education and overall economic growth,” said Ted Osborn, Nextlink SVP of Strategy & Regulatory Affairs. “Our experience tells us that advanced broadband access and community support can make these promises a reality in relatively short order.”

Improved connectivity will bolster economic, educational and telehealth opportunities for everyone in the region, and could be particularly impactful for farmers. Together, the states covered in part by this deal — Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas — account for more than $120 billion in annual agricultural value, or 29% of the agricultural output of the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). With broadband access, farmers can gain better access to markets and take advantage of advancements in precision agriculture, enabling them to better monitor crops and increase their yields, which can translate into significant economic returns. The USDA estimates widespread use of connected technologies for agricultural production has the potential to unlock over $47 billion in annual gross benefit for the United States.

The partnership builds on Microsoft and Nextlink’s efforts to close the digital divide. Nextlink is familiar with the needs of rural communities and was awarded federal Connect America Fund funding to expand broadband access to unserved rural communities. The companies will also work together to ensure that, once connectivity is available in these regions, people will receive the digital skills training to help them take advantage of the economic and social benefits that come with broadband access.

About Nextlink Internet  

Nextlink Internet, LLC is a residential and commercial internet access and phone services provider based in Hudson Oaks, Texas. The company is a leading provider of broadband services to rural school districts and municipalities. Since 2013, the company has organically attracted over 36,000 broadband subscribers using solely private capital and has managed industry-leading operating metrics. Nextlink optimizes its IP-based optical-fiber and fixed wireless network with an unrelenting commitment to customer service to achieve high customer satisfaction.

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

Dale Curtis for Nextlink Internet, dale@dalecurtiscommunications.com, (202) 246-5659

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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Schlumberger, Chevron and Microsoft announce collaboration to accelerate digital transformation

Global organizations will work together to accelerate development of cloud-native solutions and deliver actionable data insights for the industry

MONACO September 17, 2019 — Tuesday at the SIS Global Forum 2019, Schlumberger, Chevron and Microsoft. announced the industry’s first three-party collaboration to accelerate creation of innovative petrotechnical and digital technologies.

Data is quickly emerging as one of the most valuable assets to any company yet extracting insights from it is often difficult as information gets trapped in internal silos. As part of the collaboration, the three companies will work together to build Azure-native applications in the DELFI* cognitive E&P environment initially for Chevron, which will enable companies to process, visualize, interpret and ultimately obtain meaningful insights from multiple data sources.

DELFI* is a secure, scalable and open cloud-based environment providing seamless E&P software technology across exploration, development, production and midstream. Chevron and Schlumberger will combine their expertise and resources to accelerate the deployment of DELFI solutions in Azure, with support and guidance from Microsoft. The parties will ensure the software developments meet the latest standards in terms of security, performance, release management, and are compatible with the Open Subsurface Data Universe (OSDU) Data Platform. Building on this open foundation will amplify the capabilities of Chevron’s petrotechnical experts.

The collaboration will be completed in three phases starting with the deployment of the Petrotechnical Suite in the DELFI environment, followed by the development of cloud-native applications on Azure, and the co-innovation of a suite of cognitive computing native capabilities across the E&P value chain tailored to Chevron’s objectives.

Olivier Le Peuch, chief executive officer, Schlumberger, said, “Combining the expertise of these three global enterprises creates vastly improved and digitally enabled petrotechnical workflows. Never before has our industry seen a collaboration of this kind, and of this scale. Working together will accelerate faster innovation with better results, marking the beginning of a new era in our industry that will enable us to elevate performance across our industry’s value chain.”

“There is an enormous opportunity to bring the latest cloud and AI technology to the energy sector and accelerate the industry’s digital transformation,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Our partnership with Schlumberger and Chevron delivers on this promise, applying the power of Azure to unlock new AI-driven insights that will help address some of the industry’s—the world’s—most important energy challenges, including sustainability.”

Joseph C. Geagea, executive vice president, technology, projects and services, Chevron, said, “We believe this industry-first advancement will dramatically accelerate the speed with which we can analyze data to generate new exploration opportunities and bring prospects to development more quickly and with more certainty. It will pull vast quantities of information into a single source amplifying our use of artificial intelligence and high-performance computing built on an open data ecosystem.”

About Schlumberger

Schlumberger is the world’s leading provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production, and processing to the oil and gas industry. With product sales and services in more than 120 countries and employing approximately 100,000 people who represent over 140 nationalities, Schlumberger supplies the industry’s most comprehensive range of products and services, from exploration through production, and integrated pore-to-pipeline solutions that optimize hydrocarbon recovery to deliver reservoir performance.

Schlumberger Limited has executive offices in Paris, Houston, London, and The Hague, and reported revenues of $32.82 billion in 2018. For more information, visit.

About Chevron

Chevron Corporation is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies. Through its subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide, the company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemicals and additives; generates power; and develops and deploys technologies that enhance business value in every aspect of the company’s operations. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.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.

###

*Mark of Schlumberger

For further information, contact:

Moira Duff
Corporate Communication Manager−Western Hemisphere
Schlumberger
Tel: +1 281 285 4376
communication@slb.com

Sean Comey
Sr. Advisor, External Affairs
Chevron
Tel: +1 925 842 5509
seancomey@chevron.com

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

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Microsoft and The Walt Disney Studios to develop ‘scene-to-screen’ content workflows

Companies collaborate to pilot new ways to transform content workflows in the Microsoft Azure cloud; Microsoft becomes a Disney Studios StudioLAB innovation partner

REDMOND, Wash., and BURBANK, Calif. Sept. 13, 2019 Microsoft Corp. and The Walt Disney Studios today announced a five-year innovation partnership to pilot new ways to create, produce and distribute content on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Through The Walt Disney Studios’ StudioLAB, a technology hub designed to create and advance the future of storytelling with cutting-edge tools and methods, the companies will deliver cloud-based solutions to help accelerate innovation at The Walt Disney Studios for production and postproduction processes, or from “scene to screen.”

The Walt Disney Studios’ StudioLAB logo“The cloud has reached a tipping point for the media industry, and it’s not surprising that The Walt Disney Studios, which has its heritage based on a passion for innovation and technology, is at the forefront of this transformation,” said Kate Johnson, president of Microsoft US. “The combination of Azure’s hyperscale capacity, global distribution, and industry-leading storage and networking capabilities with Disney’s strong history of industry leadership unlocks new opportunity in the media and entertainment space and will power new ways to drive content and creativity at scale. With Azure as the platform cloud for content, we’re excited to work with the team at StudioLAB to continue to drive innovation across Disney’s broad portfolio of studios.”

“By moving many of our production and postproduction workflows to the cloud, we’re optimistic that we can create content more quickly and efficiently around the world,” said Jamie Voris, CTO, The Walt Disney Studios. “Through this innovation partnership with Microsoft, we’re able to streamline many of our processes so our talented filmmakers can focus on what they do best.”

Microsoft and Disney — working closely with leading global media technology provider Avid — are already demonstrating that the kinds of demanding, high-performance workflows the media and entertainment industry requires can be deployed and operated with the security offered by the cloud, while unlocking substantial new benefits and efficiencies and enabling production teams to rethink the way they get their work done.

Microsoft logoBuilding on Microsoft’s strategic cloud alliance with Avid, the companies have already produced several essential media workflows running in the cloud today, including collaborative editing, content archiving, active backup and production continuity. Bringing these complex workflows into production using Avid solutions such as the Avid MediaCentral® platform, MediaCentral | Cloud UX™, Avid NEXIS® | Cloud storage and Avid Media Composer® — all running natively on Azure — will provide the foundation for helping transform content creation and content management to overcome today’s operational pressures, as well as pave the way for ongoing innovation.

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

The Walt Disney Studios Communications, angela.k.shaw@disney.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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Jio and Microsoft announce alliance to accelerate digital transformation in India

REDMOND, Wash., and MUMBAI — Aug. 12, 2019 — Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (Jio), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, and Microsoft Corp. are embarking on a unique, comprehensive, long-term strategic relationship aimed at accelerating the digital transformation of the Indian economy and society. This 10-year commitment combines the world-class capabilities of both companies to offer a detailed set of solutions comprising connectivity, computing, storage solutions, and other technology services and applications essential for Indian businesses and will span the broad Reliance Industries ecosystem including its existing and new businesses.

Jio and Microsoft logosIn combining efforts, Jio and Microsoft aim to enhance the adoption of leading technologies like data analytics, AI, cognitive services, blockchain, Internet of Things, and edge computing among small and medium enterprises to make them ready to compete and grow, while helping accelerate technology-led GDP growth in India and driving adoption of next-gen technology solutions at scale.

As part of this new agreement:

  1. Jio will provide its internal workforce with cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools available with Microsoft 365 and will migrate its non-network applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
  2. Jio’s connectivity infrastructure that aims to connect everyone, everything, everywhere will promote the adoption of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform within its growing ecosystem of startups, as part of Jio’s cloud-first strategy.
  3. Jio will set up datacenters in locations across India, consisting of next-generation compute, storage and networking capabilities, and Microsoft will deploy its Azure platform in these datacenters to support Jio’s offerings. The initial two datacenters, which can house IT equipment consuming up to 7.5 MW of power, are being set up in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. These are targeted to be fully operational in calendar year 2020.
  4. Jio will leverage the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to develop innovative cloud solutions focused on the needs of Indian businesses. Through these Jio-developed solutions:
    • a. Indian startups will have access to efficient and affordable cloud infrastructure and platform services, enabling them to develop innovative products and services faster and more cost-effectively.
    • b. Small and medium businesses in India will have access to a range of cloud-based productivity, collaboration and business applications including Office 365, enabling them to compete more effectively in the Indian marketplace.
    • c. Large companies will be able to accelerate their own digital transformations by leveraging new Jio solutions that can work with Microsoft offerings already in use today within many large enterprises.
    • d. The partner ecosystem in India will have the opportunity to leverage Jio’s new offerings to serve the unique needs of their customers and rapidly grow their businesses.
  5. Jio will be executing on its vision of integrated speech and computer vision solutions for Indian customers by working together with Microsoft to develop solutions that support major Indian languages and dialects, which will promote the adoption of technology across all cross-sections of Indian society.

“Jio is delighted to partner with Microsoft in our efforts to further deepen the use of technology on scale to all Indians,” said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries. “This is a unique and first-of-its-kind partnership that brings the capabilities of two large companies focused on creating significant value to Indian enterprises — small and large. By working together to develop innovative and affordable cloud-enabled digital solutions built around Jio’s world-class digital infrastructure and Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, we will accelerate the digitization of the Indian economy and make Indian businesses globally competitive. This will be a showcase to the world to demonstrate tech-enabled value creation that is both exponential and inclusive.”

“We have an incredible opportunity to apply advances in technology to help organizations across India innovate and grow,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “The combination of Jio’s leading connectivity and digital solutions with Azure, Azure AI and Office 365 will bring powerful tools and platforms for compute, storage, productivity and more to millions of businesses in the country.”

About Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited:

Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (‘Jio’), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (“RIL”), has built a world-class all-IP data strong future proof network with the latest 4G LTE technology. It is the only network conceived and born as a Mobile Video Network from the ground up and supporting Voice over LTE technology. It is future ready and can be easily upgraded to support even more data, as technologies advance on to 5G, 6G and beyond.

Jio will bring transformational changes in the Indian digital services space to enable the vision of Digital India for 1.2 billion Indians and propel India into global leadership in digital economy. It has created an eco-system comprising network, devices, applications and content, service experience and affordable tariffs for everyone to live the Jio Digital Life. As part of its customer offers, Jio has revolutionised the Indian telecom landscape by making voice calls for Jio customers absolutely free, across India, to any network, and always. Jio makes India the highest quality, most affordable data market in the world so that every Indian can do Datagiri.

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

Jio Corporate Communications, 9122 44753591, Jio.CorporateCommunication@ril.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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OpenAI forms exclusive computing partnership with Microsoft to build new Azure AI supercomputing technologies

Multiyear partnership founded on shared values of trustworthiness and empowerment, and an investment of $1 billion from Microsoft, will focus on building a platform that OpenAI will use to create new AI technologies and deliver on the promise of artificial general intelligence

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI (left), and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI (left), and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

SAN FRANCISCO and REDMOND, Wash. — July 22, 2019 Microsoft Corp. and OpenAI, two companies thinking deeply about the role of AI in the world and how to build secure, trustworthy and ethical AI to serve the public, have partnered to further extend Microsoft Azure’s capabilities in large-scale AI systems. Through this partnership, the companies will accelerate breakthroughs in AI and power OpenAI’s efforts to create artificial general intelligence (AGI). The resulting enhancements to the Azure platform will also help developers build the next generation of AI applications. The partnership covers the following:

  • Microsoft and OpenAI will jointly build new Azure AI supercomputing technologies
  • OpenAI will port its services to run on Microsoft Azure, which it will use to create new AI technologies and deliver on the promise of artificial general intelligence
  • Microsoft will become OpenAI’s preferred partner for commercializing new AI technologies

The companies will focus on building a computational platform in Azure of unprecedented scale, which will train and run increasingly advanced AI models, include hardware technologies that build on Microsoft’s supercomputing technology, and adhere to the two companies’ shared principles on ethics and trust. This will create the foundation for advancements in AI to be implemented in a safe, secure and trustworthy way and is a critical reason the companies chose to partner together.

Over the past decade, innovative applications of deep neural networks coupled with increasing computational power have led to continuous AI breakthroughs in areas such as vision, speech, language processing, translation, robotic control and even gaming. Modern AI systems work well for the specific problem on which they’ve been trained, but getting AI systems to help address some of the hardest problems facing the world today will require generalization and deep mastery of multiple AI technologies. OpenAI and Microsoft’s vision is for artificial general intelligence to work with people to help solve currently intractable multidisciplinary problems, including global challenges such as climate change, more personalized healthcare and education.

“The creation of AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity,” said Sam Altman, CEO, OpenAI. “Our mission is to ensure that AGI technology benefits all of humanity, and we’re working with Microsoft to build the supercomputing foundation on which we’ll build AGI. We believe it’s crucial that AGI is deployed safely and securely and that its economic benefits are widely distributed. We are excited about how deeply Microsoft shares this vision.”

“AI is one of the most transformative technologies of our time and has the potential to help solve many of our world’s most pressing challenges,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “By bringing together OpenAI’s breakthrough technology with new Azure AI supercomputing technologies, our ambition is to democratize AI — while always keeping AI safety front and center — so everyone can benefit.”

About OpenAI

OpenAI’s mission is to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity. The OpenAI Charter describes the principles that guide it as it executes on this mission.

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

OpenAI Media Relations, press@openai.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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AT&T and Microsoft announce a strategic alliance to deliver innovation with cloud, AI and 5G

Multiyear collaboration will accelerate AT&T’s “public cloud first” internal transformation and deliver new customer offerings built on AT&T’s network and Microsoft’s cloud

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and John Donovan of AT&T
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella with AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan.

DALLAS and REDMOND, Wash. — July 17, 2019 AT&T Communications and Microsoft Corp. are embarking on an extensive, multiyear alliance where the two companies will apply technologies, including cloud, AI, and 5G, to improve how people live and work today and in the future. Microsoft will be the preferred cloud provider for non-network applications, as part of AT&T’s broader public cloud first strategy, and will support AT&T as it consolidates its data center infrastructure and operations.

AT&T is becoming a “public cloud first” company by migrating most non-network workloads to the public cloud by 2024. That initiative will allow AT&T to focus on core network capabilities, accelerate innovation for its customers, and empower its workforce while optimizing costs.

As part of the agreement, AT&T will provide much of its workforce with robust cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools available with Microsoft 365, and plans to migrate non-network infrastructure applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

AT&T and Microsoft will together help enable a future of ubiquitous computing through edge technologies and 5G. AT&T was the first to introduce mobile 5G in the United States and expects to have nationwide 5G by the first half of 2020. Microsoft will tap into the innovation AT&T is offering on its 5G network, including to design, test, and build edge-computing capabilities. With edge computing and a lower-latency 5G connection enabled through AT&T’s geographically dispersed network infrastructure, devices can process data closer to where decisions are made. Recently, Microsoft and AT&T worked together to test an edge computing-based tracking and detection system for drones. With more connected devices and the growing demand for streaming content from movies to games, businesses and consumers require ever-increasing network capabilities.

The global scale of Microsoft’s Azure cloud and AT&T’s domestic 5G capabilities will enable unique solutions for the companies’ mutual customers. The companies will bring to market integrated industry solutions including in the areas of voice, collaboration and conferencing, intelligent edge and networking, IoT, public safety, and cyber security. The companies already have joint enterprise solutions for networking, IoT, and blockchain in market, and expect to announce additional services later in 2019. The two companies envision scenarios with 5G enabling near-instantaneous communications for a first responder who is using AI-powered live voice translation to quickly communicate with someone in need who speaks a different language.

“AT&T and Microsoft are among the most committed companies to fostering technology that serves people,” said John Donovan, CEO, AT&T Communications. “By working together on common efforts around 5G, the cloud, and AI, we will accelerate the speed of innovation and impact for our customers and our communities.”

“AT&T is at the forefront of defining how advances in technology, including 5G and edge computing, will transform every aspect of work and life,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “The world’s leading companies run on our cloud, and we are delighted that AT&T chose Microsoft to accelerate its innovation. Together, we will apply the power of Azure and Microsoft 365 to transform the way AT&T’s workforce collaborates and to shape the future of media and communications for people everywhere.”

In addition to their technology collaboration, AT&T and Microsoft will work together on technology-enabled approaches and solutions aimed at social good. Both companies have been focused on addressing sustainability, accessibility, and community challenges such as homelessness and see an opportunity to support each other’s work to address urgent social needs, including Microsoft’s affordable housing initiative and the AT&T Believes campaign.

About AT&T Communications

We help family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to mobile video streaming, we innovate to improve lives. We have the nation’s fastest wireless network.* And according to America’s biggest test, we have the nation’s best wireless network.** We’re building FirstNet just for first responders and creating next-generation mobile 5G. With DIRECTV, DIRECTV NOW and WatchTV, we deliver entertainment people love to talk about. Our smart, highly secure solutions serve nearly 3 million global businesses – nearly all of the Fortune 1000. And worldwide, our spirit of service drives employees to give back to their communities.

AT&T Communications is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). Learn more at att.com/CommunicationsNews.

AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at about.att.com. Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at facebook.com/att and on YouTube at youtube.com/att.

© 2019 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

Information set forth in this news release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results might differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update and revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.

This news release may contain certain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations between the non-GAAP financial measures and the GAAP financial measures are available on the company’s website at https://investors.att.com.

*Based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data average download speeds for Q2 2019.
**GWS OneScore, September 2018.

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

AT&T, Jeff Kobs, (214) 236-0113 jeffrey.kobs@att.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.