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TomTom expands partnership with Microsoft to power Microsoft cloud offerings with location-based services

TomTom selects Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud provider; TomTom location-based services will be utilized across Microsoft technologies for cloud services including Microsoft Azure, Bing Maps and Cortana

AMSTERDAM and REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 4, 2019 — TomTom (TOM2) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) today announced that they are expanding their partnership, bringing TomTom’s maps and traffic data into a multitude of mapping scenarios across Microsoft’s cloud services. With this broadened integration, TomTom will be a leading location data provider for Microsoft Azure and Bing Maps. TomTom is also expanding its relationship with Microsoft, selecting Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud provider.

TomTom logoAzure Maps delivers secured location APIs to provide geospatial context to data. The Azure Maps service enhances the value of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform that is helping enterprises and developers create IoT, mobility, logistics and asset tracking solutions. TomTom providing their map data and services is a significant component for completing these enterprise customer scenarios.

Anders Truelsen, Managing Director, TomTom Enterprise said, “TomTom is proud of the relationship we’ve built with Microsoft to offer Microsoft Azure customers access to build location-aware applications and look forward to deepening that relationship as we extend our high-quality location technologies to an even larger audience base. We’re excited to be chosen as the location data provider to power mapping services across all of Microsoft, including Bing, Cortana, Windows and many other leading products and the innovations that will come forward in this continued relationship.”

“This deep partnership with TomTom is very different from anything Microsoft has done in maps before,” said Tara Prakriya, Partner Group Program Manager of Azure Maps and Connected Vehicles. “TomTom hosting their services in the Azure cloud brings with it their graph of map data. Manufacturing maps in Azure reduces the latency to customer applications, ensuring we offer the freshest data through Azure Maps. Azure customers across industries end up winning when their geospatial data and analytics, TomTom data, and Azure Maps services are all running together in the same cloud.”

Azure Maps lights up a multitude of location scenarios for Microsoft. Azure customers now have native support ranging from building map-based dashboards to visualize IoT spatial analytics to mobility scenarios for vehicle movement. For example, in agriculture, customers can easily track utilization of farm sensors for crops, livestock, tractors and more to optimize production. Using the Azure Maps routing services powered by TomTom allows for insightful distribution of goods originating from farmlands to retail, restaurants and home delivery. Using the freshest maps and traffic information can determine delivery range, optimize delivery routes and provide customer insights into delivery status.

TomTom providing the freshest map and traffic information in combination with Azure Maps services and SDKs will help perpetuate improved smart city applications. Azure Maps SDKs using TomTom services make it simple to render a multitude of data sets from a variety of sources – such as real-time parking meter rates, street-specific traffic, addressing carbon footprint, reducing noise pollution and more in a consolidated, map-based application for visualization of pertinent city information crucial to its citizens.          

About Microsoft

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

About TomTom

TomTom is the leading independent location technology specialist, shaping mobility with highly accurate maps, navigation software, real-time traffic information and services.

To achieve our vision of a safer world, free of congestion and emissions, we create innovative technologies that keep the world moving. By combining our extensive experience with leading business and technology partners, we power connected vehicles, smart mobility and, ultimately, autonomous driving.

Headquartered in Amsterdam with offices in 30 countries, TomTom’s technologies are trusted by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
www.tomtom.com

For further Information:

TomTom Media:

Remco Meerstra

+31 6 55 69 04 80

remco.meerstra@tomtom.com

TomTom Investor Relations:

ir@tomtom.com

Microsoft Media Relations:

WE Communications for Microsoft

(425) 638-7777

rrt@we-worldwide.com

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Walgreens Boots Alliance and Microsoft establish strategic partnership to transform health care delivery

Companies aim to improve health outcomes and lower overall costs with enhanced digital and retail experiences and an R&D commitment to build health care solutions through seven-year agreement

Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and chief executive officer of WBA, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and chief executive officer of WBA (left), and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

DEERFIELD, Ill., and REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 15, 2019 Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) and Microsoft Corp. have joined forces to develop new health care delivery models, technology and retail innovations to advance and improve the future of health care. The companies will combine the power of Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud and AI platform, health care investments, and new retail solutions with WBA’s customer reach, convenient locations, outpatient health care services and industry expertise to make health care delivery more personal, affordable and accessible for people around the world.

Logos for Walgreens Boots Alliance and Microsoft

Current health care systems are a complex combination of public- and private-sector organizations, providers, payors, pharmaceutical companies and other adjacent players. While there has been innovation in pockets of health care, there is both a need and an opportunity to fully integrate the system, ultimately making health care more convenient to people through data-driven insights. This is what brought WBA and Microsoft together. Through this strategic partnership, the companies will deliver innovative platforms that enable next-generation health networks, integrated digital-physical experiences and care management solutions.

“Improving health outcomes while lowering the cost of care is a complex challenge that requires broad collaboration and strong partnership between the health care and tech industries,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Together with Walgreens Boots Alliance, we aim to deliver on this promise by putting people at the center of their health and wellness, combining the power of the Azure cloud and AI technology and Microsoft 365 with Walgreens Boots Alliance’s deep expertise and commitment to helping communities around the world lead healthier and happier lives.”

As part of the strategic partnership, the companies have committed to a multiyear research and development (R&D) investment to build health care solutions, improve health outcomes and lower the cost of care. This investment will include funding, subject-matter experts, technology and tools. The companies will also explore the potential to establish joint innovation centers in key markets. Additionally, in 2019 WBA will pilot up to 12 store-in-store “digital health corners” aimed at the merchandising and sale of select health care-related hardware and devices.

“Our strategic partnership with Microsoft demonstrates our strong commitment to creating integrated, next-generation, digitally enabled health care delivery solutions for our customers, transforming our stores into modern neighborhood health destinations and expanding customer offerings,” said Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and chief executive officer of WBA. “WBA will work with Microsoft to harness the information that exists between payors and health care providers to leverage, in the interest of patients and with their consent, our extraordinary network of accessible and convenient locations to deliver new innovations, greater value and better health outcomes in health care systems across the world.”

Connected, consumer-centric health care delivery and management platform

The companies will focus on connecting WBA stores and health information systems to people wherever they are through their digital devices. This will allow people to access health care services, such as virtual care — when, where and how they need it.

The integration of information will enable valuable insights based on data science and artificial intelligence (AI) that can allow for fundamental improvements such as supporting the transition of health care data into more community-based locations and sustainable transformation in health care delivery.

Working with patients’ health care providers, the companies will proactively engage their patients to improve medication adherence, reduce emergency room visits and decrease hospital readmissions. Core to this model is data privacy, security and consent, which will be fundamental design principles, underscored by Microsoft’s investments in building a trusted cloud platform.

By better connecting people, providers and the systems in which they work, the industry will be able to provide better quality patient care.

Personalized health care services

WBA and Microsoft will also focus on enabling more personalized health care experiences from preventative self-care to chronic disease management. WBA will pursue lifestyle management solutions in areas such as nutrition and wellness via customers’ delivery method of choice, including digital devices and digital applications or in-store expert advice.

Through a combination of dedicated R&D and external partnerships, a suite of chronic disease management and patient engagement applications are planned for development, alongside a portfolio of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices for nonacute chronic care management, delivered by Microsoft’s cloud, AI and IoT technologies.

Collaborating with payors, providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers to implement solutions to improve health outcomes at lower cost

Additionally, the companies will work to build a seamless ecosystem of participating organizations to better connect consumers, providers — including Walgreens and Boots pharmacists — pharmaceutical manufacturers and payors. Microsoft and WBA will leverage each other’s market research and identify the right partners to develop solutions.

For example, major health care delivery network participation will provide the opportunity for people to seamlessly engage in WBA health care solutions and acute care providers all within a single platform.

WBA to transition its IT platforms to Microsoft

Through this agreement, Microsoft becomes WBA’s strategic cloud provider, and WBA plans to migrate the majority of the company’s IT infrastructure onto Microsoft Azure. This will include new transformational platforms in retail, pharmacy and business services, new capability in data and analytics, as well as certain legacy applications and systems. The company also plans to roll out Microsoft 365 to more than 380,000 employees and stores globally, empowering them with the tools for increased productivity, advanced security, internal collaboration and customer engagement.

WBA’s transition to Microsoft’s platform will enable WBA to accelerate its speed to market, gain deeper customer understanding and insights, and ultimately provide better and more personalized care, products and services to its customers and communities. In addition, the move to Microsoft Azure accelerates the modernization and cost effectiveness of technology across WBA.

About Walgreens Boots Alliance

Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) is the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise and the largest retail pharmacy, health and daily living destination across the U.S. and Europe. Walgreens Boots Alliance and the companies in which it has equity method investments together have a presence in more than 25 countries and employ more than 415,000 people.

The company’s portfolio of retail and business brands includes Walgreens, Duane Reade, Boots and Alliance Healthcare, as well as increasingly global health and beauty product brands, such as No7, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle, Sleek MakeUP and Botanics.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is proud to be a force for good, leveraging many decades of experience and its international scale, to care for people and the planet through numerous social responsibility and sustainability initiatives that have an impact on the health and wellbeing of millions of people.

More company information is available at www.walgreensbootsalliance.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.

All statements in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those related to the timing and effectiveness of collaboration plans, the ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the collaboration, competitive actions in the marketplace, and the ability to achieve anticipated financial and operating results in the amounts and at the times anticipated, as well as those described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.’s Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended August 31, 2018, Microsoft Corporation’s Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended June 30, 2018 and subsequent documents that Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. and Microsoft Corporation file or furnish with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Except to the extent required by law, each of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. and Microsoft Corporation does not undertake, and expressly disclaims, any duty or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the date of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.

For more information, press only:

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

Walgreens Boots Alliance Media Relations, Jim Cohn, (224) 565-1967, jim.cohn@walgreens.com

Walgreens Boots Alliance Investors: Gerald Gradwell, Jay Spitzer, (847) 315-2922

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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Kroger and Microsoft partner to redefine the customer experience and introduce digital solutions for the retail industry

  • America’s largest grocery retailer and global technology company partnering to pilot two connected experience stores
  • Companies will jointly bring to market Retail as a Service product for retailers and present the solution at NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show
Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen (left) and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen (left) and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

CINCINNATI and REDMOND, Wash. — January 7, 2019 — The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) today announced a collaboration to redefine the customer experience using Kroger Technology products powered by Microsoft Azure, the retailer’s preferred cloud platform for Retail as a Service (RaaS). Through this innovative partnership, Kroger will pilot a connected store experience and together with Microsoft, jointly market a commercial RaaS product to the industry.

Kroger logoMicrosoft logo

“Kroger is building a seamless ecosystem driven by data and technology to provide our customers with personalized food inspiration. We are identifying partners through Restock Kroger who will help us reinvent the customer experience and create new profit streams that will also accelerate our core business growth. We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft to redefine grocery retail,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO.

“Our partnership brings together Kroger’s world-class expertise in the grocery industry with the power of Azure and Azure AI,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Together, we will redefine the shopping experience for millions of customers at both Kroger and other retailers around the world, setting a new standard for innovation in the industry.”

Connected Store Experience Pilot

The Kroger Technology team has developed a smart technology system, powered by Microsoft Azure and connected by IoT sensors, to transform two pilot stores located in Monroe, Ohio and Redmond, Washington, respectively, near each company’s headquarters. The pilot stores will leverage RaaS, establishing a way to quickly add innovations to create new customer experiences, enable higher levels of personalization through insights and enhance store associate productivity.

Transformative customer experiences
By using Microsoft Azure to store and process the data generated in stores, near the smart shelves and on Kroger’s app, the digital stores will introduce never-before-seen shopping experiences, including the latest generation of EDGE™ Shelf (Enhanced Display for Grocery Environment), a shelving system that uses digital displays, instead of traditional paper tags, to indicate everything from prices and promotions to nutritional and dietary information. Using Microsoft Azure AI, EDGE Shelf will connect with Kroger’s Scan, Bag, Go®, creating a unique guided shopping experience for customers.

Greater employee insight and productivity
For store associates, a pick-to-light productivity solution can reduce the time it takes to fulfill curbside pickup orders by using visual cues to help them quickly find items. Additionally, solutions like Microsoft Azure-powered video analytics will help store associates identify and address out-of-stocks to ensure customers can locate products on their shopping list.

In addition to transforming the customer experience and enhancing productivity for associates, the EDGE Shelf will enable Kroger to generate new revenue by selling digital advertising space to consumer packaged goods (CPGs) brands. Using video analytics, personalized offers and advertisements can be presented based on customer demographics.

The new pilot will guide expansion plans in 2019 and beyond.

Retail as a Service Commercial Product

The introduction of the commercial RaaS product, a Kroger solution powered by Microsoft Azure, offers a suite of capabilities to support KPIs and merchandising plans, collect customer insights, enhance employee productivity, improve out-of-stocks, better the customer experience, and allow for hyper personalization using proprietary technology including the EDGE Shelf.

The RaaS product is enablement software built by a retailer for retailers, supporting modern retail experiences and harmonizing customers’ digital and physical shopping experiences. The rapid transformation platform enables retailers to prioritize its most desired initiatives. Future commercial products include: Scan, Bag, Go; Virtual Store Manager; sensor network; and connectors to corporate systems like point-of-sale, and inventory management, tag and merchandising systems. Microsoft and Kroger will jointly bring the RaaS solution to market.

The first RaaS product offerings, EDGE Shelf, guided shopping, personalized ads and pick-to-light, will be available to view at the NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show in New York in the Microsoft booth (#3301). Mr. McMullen will deliver a keynote at the event, sharing details about the partnership and providing his outlook on the grocery retail industry, at 9:45 a.m. EST on January 13.

To view photography and video of RaaS and Kroger’s connected store experience, visit here.

About The Kroger Co.
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit™. We are nearly half a million associates who serve over nine million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.

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, please contact:

Kroger
Media
Kristal Howard, Kristal.Howard@kroger.com

Investors
Rebekah Manis, Rebekah.Manis@kroger.com

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

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Microsoft and Nielsen accelerate retail innovation through data and AI; announce strategic alliance

NEW YORK, N.Y. and REDMOND, Wash. – Nov. 13, 2018 – Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) today released details around a newly developed enterprise data solution that democratizes one of the largest consumer data sets in the world.  This strategic alliance has been brought to life through Nielsen Connect, powered by Microsoft Azure, the trusted and global-scale intelligent cloud platform.

John Tavolieri and Judson Althoff

John Tavolieri, President, U.S. FMCG and Retail and Chief Technology and Operations Officer at Nielsen, and Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business, on stage at Nielsen’s Data Drives Growth event.

In today’s rapidly changing marketplace, Microsoft and Nielsen are together focused on helping Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and retail companies find growth and accelerate innovation within an open data environment.

Already, Nielsen Connect is inspiring companies to glean more value from their data and sparking a movement for the industry to reimagine its approach to data strategy.  Through advanced analytics and artificial intelligence services built on Azure, Nielsen Connect is helping companies integrate data assets to more easily spot emerging trends, diagnose performance gaps, and act faster on opportunities to grow. Most notably, this platform enables clients to use their data as an enterprise asset across all parts of their organization.

“Nielsen’s powerful data is as much of an enterprise asset as people and products,” said John Tavolieri, President, U.S. FMCG and Retail and Chief Technology and Operations Officer at Nielsen. “It’s our priority to make sure clients are maximizing their data assets, so Nielsen and Microsoft are breaking down the silos of the status quo. We are helping the retail industry reimagine its approach to data by creating a truly open and global environment of collaboration, encouraging companies to evolve beyond mere data management. Adopting a holistic data strategy will be the only way to win in FMCG and retail.”

“The first critical step toward digital transformation, especially among retailers, is breaking down the barriers between customer and operational data to fuel insights for the business,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business. “Because retail happens wherever customers are and whenever they choose, Nielsen Connect provides high reliability at a global scale 24/7. Microsoft is a natural partner for Nielsen, trusted by global enterprises to protect their data and power their critical business solutions.”

Grounded by the richest data available in the fast-moving consumer goods space, Nielsen Connect brings clarity to what’s happening in the market from every angle.  Nielsen’s deep media and consumer measurement (including retail point-of-sale data, consumer panel, e-commerce, fresh food and cross-platform media data), is integrated with a robust variety of data sources, including  data provided directly from clients as well as from Nielsen Connect Partners. Nielsen’s reference data, which provides structure to the world’s most robust retail and shopper information, powers this system to make integration across data sources and countries simple. Within this open and agile platform running on Microsoft Azure, customers can easily access data sets via APIs and connectors, allowing them to extract the data they need to fit their own technology strategy.

The joint Microsoft and Nielsen solution is live today and will serve as a one-stop-shop in creating scalable, high-performance data environments that enable greater real-time collaboration for faster results. Through this strategic alliance, the two companies will continue to work toward a mutual vision of an open and connected data universe, empowering a new generation of solutions for the FMCG retail marketplace.

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

About Nielson
Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Media contact

Genevieve Aronson, VP Communications, Nielsen Genevieve.Aronson@nielsen.com, (646) 654-5742

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

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Anil Kumble’s Microsoft AI-enabled Power Bat partners with Star India to revolutionize cricketing experience for players and fans

Microsoft, Star India and Anil Kumble redefine fan engagement with real-time Power Speks

MUMBAI, India — Oct. 11, 2018 — Microsoft Corp. and Anil Kumble’s technology startup, Spektacom Technologies, with support from broadcast partner Star India, came together on Thursday to announce the introduction of the Power Bat. The Power Bat provides players, coaches, commentators, fans and viewers with a completely new and unique way to engage with the sport and help improve their game — all powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud platform using AI and Internet of Things (IoT) services.

Microsoft has been working closely with Spektacom and its founder Anil Kumble, former captain, Indian cricket team, to incubate and launch the product, as part of its ScaleUp program. Star India, the leading cricket broadcaster in India, has used the technology successfully in recent series to provide real-time statistics and insights straight off the oval.

Microsoft logo“We’re excited to be a part of the work Spektacom and Star India are doing to enhance the cricket experience for fans, players and coaches,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president, Microsoft. “We’ve already seen the impact that connected devices have had in other industries, and we believe that with the advancements in our AI and cloud services, this is just the beginning of what’s possible for not only cricket, but all sports.”

star india logoSanjay Gupta, managing director, Star India, said, “Star India has always strived to redefine and elevate experiences for sports fans. From Multi-language feeds and Select Dugout to VR and Watch n’ Play, the coverage of Vivo IPL demonstrates our commitment toward creating new benchmarks in how technology is deployed to deepen fan engagement. The Power Bat promises to be another step in the same direction, and we look forward to the partnership with Anil Kumble (Spektacom) and Microsoft in bringing it to our broadcasts.”

Spektacom logoAccording to Anil Kumble, former captain, Indian cricket team, and founder, Spektacom, “Our vision is to bring sports closer to fans through interesting ways of engagement using real-time sports analytics. At the same time, it is important that the technologies used are seamless and do not disrupt the game or obstruct the players. With Microsoft, we have been able to create a secure and effective solution, and with Star India, we have a partner that can stimulate and excite fan engagement.”

The Power Bat is a unique concept whereby a lightweight, Azure Sphere-powered sticker is stuck on the shoulder of the bat — a form factor that is completely unobtrusive. In a live match, as soon as the batsman hits the ball, data on different parameters (speed on impact, twist on impact and quality of the shot — percentage proximity of the ball’s contact to the sweet spot of the willow) are captured in a new unit of measurement titled Power Speks. Microsoft’s Azure Sphere ensures that the data is securely captured and processed. Using advanced analytics and AI services on Azure, real-time insights are captured through the stump box and displayed via the broadcaster. During practice or coaching, the same data can be viewed through a mobile app.

Although the technology introduced by Spektacom today has its first use case in cricket, for Microsoft, Anil Kumble and Star India this is the first of many sports where it can be used.

Microsoft believes in leveraging its technology and its people to help sports teams and organizations solve their toughest challenges. By leveraging the company’s intelligent cloud and productivity solutions, sports organizations worldwide are connecting with fans, optimizing team and player performance, and managing their operations in new, innovative ways.

About Microsoft

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

About Spektacom Technologies

Spektacom is redefining sports and re-Imagining fan engagement through innovative sensor technology. Its mission is reaching billions of sports fans. Spektacom enables the fan’s participative experience to “be in the game”.

About Star India

Star India has defined the Indian media landscape since 1991 and today is one of the country’s leading media conglomerates, reaching approximately 700+ million viewers a month across India and more than 100 other countries. Star generates 30,000+ hours of content every year and broadcasts 60+ channels in 8 different languages, reaching 9 out of 10 C&S TV homes in India. Star India is a fully owned subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

The network’s entertainment channel portfolio includes Star Gold, Star Gold HD Star Gold Select, Star Gold Select HD, Star World, Star World HD, Star World Premiere HD, Star Movies, Star Movies HD, Star Movies Select HD, Star Utsav, Star Utsav Movies, Star Bharat, Star Bharat HD, Movies OK, National Geographic, National Geographic HD, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Wild HD, Fox Life, Nat Geo People, Nat Geo People HD, Nat Geo Music, Nat Geo Music HD, Baby TV, Baby TV HD and Star Plus, Star Plus HD India’s No. 1 Hindi General Entertainment Channel. It has a leading presence in regional broadcasting as well, through a bouquet of channels which include Star Jalsha, Jalsha Movies, Star Pravah, Star Pravah HD, Maa channels (Star Maa, Star Maa HD, Star Maa Gold, Star Maa Movies, Star Maa Movies HD and Star Maa Music) and affiliate channels Asianet, Asianet HD, Asianet Plus, Asianet Movies, Star Suvarna, Star Suvarna HD, Star Suvarna Plus and Vijay TV, Vijay Super. It is also present in the Indian movie production and distribution space through Fox Star Studios.

Star India is making quantum leaps in transforming sports in the country by leveraging the group’s strengths in superior content and audience engagement. Star’s sports business has grown rapidly to 13 channel properties (Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports HD2, Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 2, Star Sports Select 1 HD, Star Sports Select 2 HD, Star Sports Hindi 1, Star Sports Hindi 1 HD; India’s first Tamil Sports channel Star Sports Tamil 1 and India’s first private FTA sports channel Star Sports First), making it the leading sports network in the country.

Star is driving the agenda on digital consumption in the country with Hotstar, Star’s revolutionary digital platform which is among the fastest growing apps in the world and is increasingly becoming the first port of call for internet adopters in India.

Star India is a fully owned subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

Follow us on http://www.startv.com/.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

Ritika Kapoor, Genesis Burson-Masteller for Microsoft India, +91 9887389982, ritika.kapoor@bm.com

Anissha Aggarwal, Microsoft India, anissha@microsoft.com

Kavita Singh, Spektacom, kavita@spektacom.com

Ketaki Golatkar, Star India, ketaki.golatkar@startv.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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Grab forges strategic cloud partnership with Microsoft to drive innovation and adoption of digital services across Southeast Asia

Grab will adopt Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform.
Microsoft will make a strategic investment in Grab.
The five-year agreement will see both parties collaborate on a range of technology projects, including big data, artificial intelligence and mobility solutions.

Ming Maa and Peggy Johnson
Ming Maa, president of Grab (left), with Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of Business Development, Microsoft.

SINGAPORE and REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 8, 2018 — Microsoft Corp. and Grab, the leading on-demand transportation, mobile payments and online-to-offline services platform in Southeast Asia, announced on Monday a strategic partnership that will transform the delivery of digital services and mobility in the region by leveraging Microsoft’s world-class expertise in machine learning and other artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. As a first step in the broad collaboration between the two companies, Grab will adopt Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform and Microsoft will make a strategic investment in Grab.

“This partnership signals a deep collaboration with Microsoft on an array of technology projects, including big data and artificial intelligence, that will transform the delivery of everyday services and mobility solutions in Southeast Asia,” said Ming Maa, president of Grab. “As a global technology leader, Microsoft’s investment into Grab highlights our position as the leading homegrown technology player in the region. We look forward to collaborating with Microsoft in the pursuit of enhancing on-demand transportation and seamless online-to-offline experiences for users.”

“Our partnership with Grab opens up new opportunities to innovate in both a rapidly evolving industry and growth region,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president at Microsoft. “We’re excited to team up to transform the customer experience as well as enhance the delivery of digital services for the millions of users who rely on Grab for safe and affordable transport, food and package delivery, mobile payments, and financial services.”

As the top mobile online-to-offline platform in Southeast Asia, Grab operates in 235 cities across eight Southeast Asian countries, and Grab’s digital wallet, GrabPay, is the leading player in Southeast Asia.

Through this partnership, Grab will adopt Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform, tapping into Microsoft’s intelligent cloud and AI capabilities to scale Grab’s platform efficiently and increase its capacity and capabilities. Through this collaboration the companies will explore a number of innovative deep technology projects that will enhance and transform the Grab experience for Grab’s users, driver-partners, merchants and agents. These special innovation projects include:

Big data, AI and machine learning

  • To help improve passenger and driver safety and security, Grab will work with Microsoft to explore new authentication mechanisms such as mobile facial recognition with built-in AI for drivers and customers who opt in, as a replacement for checking IDs, that help match both driver and passenger identities to the reservation.
  • Grab will explore utilizing Microsoft Azure’s data analytics and fraud detection services to better predict and prevent fraudulent transactions on Grab’s platform.
  • The companies plan to leverage Microsoft’s natural language processing capabilities to provide customers with contextualized real-time translations and create an AI chatbot so Grab users can engage in interactive experiences.
  • Microsoft’s machine learning and AI capabilities will be used to power Grab’s advanced “recommendation engine” that analyzes user data and behavior to provide personalized services and content recommendations through the Grab application.
  • Grab also plans to work with Microsoft to explore image recognition and computer vision technologies that will improve the user and driver pickup experience. For example, passengers will be able to take a photo of their current location and have it translated into an actual address for the driver.
  • To improve map creation and quality, Grab plans to tap into the power of Microsoft’s machine learning capabilities.

Other areas of collaboration

  • Microsoft Outlook integration. Grab will provide on-demand transportation booking options to Outlook users so they can seamlessly book rides directly in the application and be alerted with calendar reminders.
  • Microsoft Kaizala. Grab will pilot Microsoft’s Kaizala, a mobile app and service for large group communications and work management, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Grab’s Customer Service teams.
  • In-car solutions. The companies will collaborate on the deployment of in-car entertainment and productivity solutions across Southeast Asia.
  • Rewards integration. Microsoft will explore integrating Microsoft Rewards Gift Cards into the Grab Rewards loyalty program.

About Grab

Grab is one of the most frequently used O2O mobile platforms in Southeast Asia, providing the everyday services that matter most to consumers. Commute, eat, deliver shopping – and pay with one e-wallet. Grab believes that every Southeast Asian should benefit from the digital economy, and the company provides access to safe and affordable transport, food and package delivery, mobile payments and financial services. Grab currently offers services in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. For more information, please visit www.grab.com.

About Microsoft

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

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

Hume Brophy, Grab, +65 9384 0839, grab@humebrophy.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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National FFA Organization and Microsoft announce initiative to bring transformational innovation to over 650,000 students nationwide

FARGO, N.D., and REDMOND, Wash. — July 26, 2018 — The National FFA Organization and Microsoft Corp., on Thursday announced their collaboration to bring innovative technology, science, research and entrepreneurship to the classrooms of the more than 650,000 FFA student members nationwide through an initiative known as Blue 365.

FFA logoFFA members are the future of the food industry, which is relying on this generation to meet unparalleled challenges to feed a growing world population. In a modern world where the food and agriculture industries are reliant on precision agriculture, big data, cloud technology, robotic systems, advanced communications and other sophisticated technologies, Blue 365 will serve as a catalyst for evolving sustainability, innovative efficiency and preparing the future leaders who will solve the world’s critical agricultural challenges. At an event in Fargo today, National FFA CEO Mark Poeschl and Microsoft’s Brad Smith and Mary Snapp were joined by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, USDA State Director Clare Carlson, and North Dakota State FFA President Brianna Maddock.

“Today’s FFA members are our future industry leaders,” Poeschl said. “The future relies on connecting diversity of innovational approach, solutions-orientation and cutting-edge technology. We are excited that Microsoft shares our vision of Blue 365. Through agricultural education and FFA, our members are evolving their skill sets for the 21st century demands; they will be the change in our industry. Blue 365 can be the spark needed to create the next big idea in agriculture.”

Blue 365 will be unveiled in Indianapolis, Indiana, this October at the 91st National FFA Convention & Expo, the nation’s largest student convention. With the vision and commitment of title sponsors Microsoft and AgriNovus Indiana, The Blue Room, a 17,000-square-foot interactive space, will showcase the cutting-edge technology, research and innovation happening across the spectrum. Through experiential learning and specific focus on the most critical challenges facing our communities — from respecting the planet to the urgent matter of feeding the world — The Blue Room experience serves to inspire and equip students to activate their potential.

“While digital technology is transforming every part of the American economy, not everyone is acquiring the skills to thrive,” said Brad Smith, president, Microsoft. “As a company, we’re focused on ensuring everyone, regardless of their geography or circumstance, has access to the digital skills they need to compete and prosper. And our partnership with the National FFA will expand this work, helping students across the country prepare for digital jobs and the farms of the future.”

Microsoft’s participation in Blue 365 is part of its commitment to helping people who may be impacted by technological advances and builds on its TechSpark initiative launched last year. TechSpark is a civic program fostering greater opportunity and job creation in smaller metropolitan areas. The initiative is in six regions, including in North Dakota, and focuses on five program areas: digital transformation, digital skills and computer science education, career pathways, rural broadband connectivity, and support for nonprofits.

“Technology is changing every job, every industry and every organization, and agriculture is no exception,” Burgum said. “Today’s announcement from Microsoft and FFA will provide a valuable tool for our educators as they work to equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in a 21st century economy. Given FFA’s long and storied history in North Dakota and Microsoft’s commitment to investing in the future of our young people, Blue 365’s potential to support student learning is undeniable.”

“FFA students across America will lead the food and agriculture industry into the future. They must have opportunities to integrate digital skills into both their classroom studies and project-based learning,” said Mary Snapp, corporate vice president and lead for Microsoft Philanthropies. “Our partnership will help ensure that curriculum is up to date so that these young leaders can use technology to drive innovation in farms of the future, sustain and renew our planet, and enrich their communities.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 653,359 student members who belong to one of 8,568 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

About National FFA Organization

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 653,359 student members as part of 8,568 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org and on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.

About National FFA Foundation

The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees composed of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA Alumni, the foundation is a separately registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of every dollar received by the foundation supports FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit FFA.org/Give.

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

Kristy Meyer, National FFA Organization, (800) 293-2387, KMeyer@FFA.org

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 National Geographic form AI for Earth Innovation Grant partnership

New grant offering will support research and scientific discovery with AI technologies to advance agriculture, biodiversity conservation, climate change and water

REDMOND, Wash., and WASHINGTON, D.C. — July 16, 2018 — On Monday, Microsoft Corp. and National Geographic announced a new partnership to advance scientific exploration and research on critical environmental challenges with the power of artificial intelligence (AI). The newly created $1 million AI for Earth Innovation Grant program will provide award recipients with financial support, access to Microsoft cloud and AI tools, inclusion in the National Geographic Explorer community, and affiliation with National Geographic Labs, an initiative launched by National Geographic to accelerate transformative change and exponential solutions to the world’s biggest challenges by harnessing data, technology and innovation. Individuals and organizations working at the intersection of environmental science and computer science can apply today at https://www.nationalgeographic.org/grants/grant-opportunities/ai-earth-innovation/.

National Geographic logo“National Geographic is synonymous with science and exploration, and in Microsoft we found a partner that is well-positioned to accelerate the pace of scientific research and new solutions to protect our natural world,” said Jonathan Baillie, chief scientist and executive vice president, science and exploration at the National Geographic Society. “With today’s announcement, we will enable outstanding explorers seeking solutions for a sustainable future with the cloud and AI technologies that can quickly improve the speed, scope and scale of their work as well as support National Geographic Labs’ activities around technology and innovation for a planet in balance.”

“Microsoft is constantly exploring the boundaries of what technology can do, and what it can do for people and the world,” said Lucas Joppa, chief environmental scientist at Microsoft. “We believe that humans and computers, working together through AI, can change the way that society monitors, models and manages Earth’s natural systems. We believe this because we’ve seen it — we’re constantly amazed by the advances our AI for Earth collaborators have made over the past months. Scaling this through National Geographic’s global network will create a whole new generation of explorers who use AI to create a more sustainable future for the planet and everyone on it.”

The $1 million AI for Earth Innovation Grant program will provide financial support to between five and 15 novel projects that use AI to advance conservation research toward a more sustainable future. The grants will support the creation and deployment of open-sourced trained models and algorithms that will be made broadly available to other environmental researchers, which offers greater potential to provide exponential impact.

Qualifying applications will focus on one or more of the core areas: agriculture, biodiversity conservation, climate change and water. Applications are open as of today and must be submitted by Oct. 8, 2018. Recipients will be announced in December 2018. Those who want more information and to apply can visit https://www.nationalgeographic.org/grants/grant-opportunities/ai-earth-innovation/.

About the National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. The Society aspires to create a community of change, advancing key insights about the planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time, all while ensuring that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. Its goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.

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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InMobi forms strategic partnership with Microsoft to power new cloud-based enterprise platforms for marketers

Collaboration combines the power of the cloud with cutting-edge technologies such as AI and data to provide actionable insights for marketers in a mobile world

SAN FRANCISCO and REDMOND, Wash. — June 26, 2018 — InMobi, a global provider of enterprise platforms for marketers, today announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft Corp. to enable new-age CMOs in their transformational journey from digital to mobile marketing. The partnership will consist of InMobi moving to Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud provider, and will involve technology collaboration and combined go-to-market strategies aimed at accelerating the way marketers are looking at their advertising and marketing strategies in an always-connected world.

Simultaneously, InMobi is significantly expanding its platform for marketers via the InMobi Marketing Cloud, adding to its decade-long market leadership through InMobi’s Advertising Cloud. The Marketing Cloud will enable marketers to get a 360-degree view of every customer, uncovering insights that help them design customer journeys for engagement, action and measurement, and analyzing and acting on customer feedback from disparate channels to increase retention and lifetime value of customers, while remaining committed toward the privacy rights of the customer.

Picture of Satya Nadella, Naveen Tewari and Peggy Johnson
From L to R: Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO at InMobi, Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Microsoft

“As digital technology is transforming every industry and every aspect of our lives, companies are seeking new ways to engage customers where they are, with connected, personalized experiences,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “The combination of Microsoft Azure with InMobi’s marketing platforms will deliver new intelligent customer experiences and business insights to organizations around the world.”

With this partnership, InMobi will move in a phased manner to Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud provider and tap into the power of its intelligent capabilities. With more regions than any other cloud provider, Microsoft Azure provides the global scale and trusted platform to meet the needs of the marketing industry.

There has been a fundamental shift in the advertising and marketing industry, with far more advanced technologies available to marketers, combined with an exponential increase in customer touchpoints across multiple connected devices. InMobi, with its new AI-powered Marketing Cloud, is at the forefront of these changes and evolving beyond its pure-play advertising platform to a comprehensive and integrated suite of advertising and marketing platforms.

“InMobi is building one of the most advanced enterprise platforms for marketers, and we’re extremely excited to partner with Microsoft as we dive into the next frontier of connected devices,” said Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO InMobi. “With Microsoft’s global reach and advanced security, privacy and compliance, alongside InMobi’s scale and decade-long experience in mobile-first technology, we can truly disrupt the marketing ecosystem. Together, Microsoft and InMobi will create a formidable force in the industry.”

The two companies are also looking at additional opportunities in combining the power of InMobi’s Advertising and Marketing Cloud capabilities with Microsoft Dynamics 365 on the back of the global Azure infrastructure, including AI, machine learning and analytics. The companies will also work in close cooperation on the go-to-market approach, offering these integrated advertising and marketing solutions to Microsoft’s global enterprise client base.

The InMobi Marketing Cloud will be sequentially launched market-wise worldwide over the next six months.

About Microsoft

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

About InMobi

InMobi is a global provider of enterprise platforms for marketers. As a leading technology company, InMobi has been recognized as a 2018 CNBC Disruptor 50 company and as one of Fast Company’s 2018 Most Innovative Companies. For more information, visit inmobi.com.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

rrt@we-worldwide.com

InMobi Media Relations

pr@inmobi.com

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Microsoft doubles its game development studios and showcases more than 50 games on E3 stage including 18 console launch exclusives and 15 world premieres

New titles revealed during the Xbox briefing include exclusive games ‘Gears 5,’ ‘Halo Infinite’ and ‘Forza Horizon 4,’ all enhanced for Xbox One X

Phil Spencer
Phil Spencer, Head of Gaming at Microsoft, onstage at Xbox E3 2018 Briefing where Microsoft added five more creative teams to the Microsoft Studios family on Sunday, June 10, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Microsoft/AP Images)

LOS ANGELES — June 10, 2018 — Sunday’s Xbox E3 Briefing was the largest in Microsoft Corp.’s history with more than 6,000 people, including more than 1,000 fans, invited to attend in the Microsoft Theater. Microsoft announced it is doubling its game development studios and showcased a record 52 games on stage including 18 console launch exclusives and 15 world premieres. The diverse lineup included games for every type of player, from exclusives like “Forza Horizon 4,” “Halo Infinite” and “Gears 5,” and independent titles like “Session,” “Below,” “Ashen” and “Tunic” to some of the biggest blockbuster games coming in the next year like “Fallout 76,” “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2,” “Kingdom Hearts 3,” “Devil May Cry 5,” “Battlefield V,” “Metro Exodus” and “Shadow of the Tomb Raider,” many enhanced to take advantage of the power of Xbox One X.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be part of the gaming industry, with creators large and small showcasing incredible new games for the more than two billion players around the world,” said Phil Spencer, head of Gaming at Microsoft. “At Microsoft, we are committed to empowering gamers to play the games they want, with the people they want, where they want.”

INVESTING IN DEVELOPMENT OF ORIGINAL CONTENT

Microsoft announced it is doubling its game development studios by adding five new creative teams to the Microsoft Studios family. New investments include the formation of a brand-new studio, The Initiative, the acquisition of Playground Games, and letters of intent to acquire Ninja Theory, Undead Labs and Compulsion Games.

  • The Initiative. Based in Santa Monica, Calif., The Initiative is a brand-new Microsoft game development studio headed by industry veteran Darrell Gallagher that is working to create groundbreaking new worlds, characters and game experiences.
  • Playground Games. Microsoft has acquired U.K.-based Playground Games, a development partner since 2010 that has helped grow the “Forza” franchise to new heights. In addition to its work on this year’s “Forza Horizon 4,” Playground Games will have a team dedicated to bringing their open-world expertise to an entirely new project.
  • Ninja Theory. The relationship between Ninja Theory and Microsoft started in 2000 when “Kung Fu Chaos” was in development for the original Xbox and culminated in the release of “Hellblade” on Xbox One earlier this year. Microsoft’s intent to acquire Ninja Theory will help ensure the creative team has the resources and freedom to bring more ambitious games like “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice” to fans.
  • Undead Labs. Seattle-based Undead Labs is the creator of the popular “State of Decay” franchise, enjoyed by millions of fans worldwide. In the first two weeks since “State of Decay 2” launched, more than two million fans joined the fight to survive and took down more than two billion zombies. By entering into a letter of intent to acquire Undead Labs, Microsoft is signaling its commitment to growing the franchise and taking the zombie survival-fantasy genre to new heights.
  • Compulsion Games. As “We Happy Few” nears its full, multiplatform release on Aug. 10, Microsoft has entered into a letter of intent to acquire Montreal-based Compulsion Games. By joining the team at Microsoft Studios, Compulsion will have the resources, platform and freedom to take even bigger creative risks and create even more ambitious worlds with its future projects.

“The original games we create at Microsoft Studios are some of our biggest assets,” said Matt Booty, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “Our growth strategy is to continue to expand the worlds that players love, while developing all-new exclusive games that deepen their engagement with our platform. We are thrilled to welcome five new studios into the Microsoft family. We believe these teams have the collective creative power and operational excellence to deliver the next industry game changers.”

Phil Spencer, Head of Gaming at Microsoft, onstage at Xbox E3 2018 Briefing where Microsoft showcased more than 50 games, including 18 exclusives and 15 world premieres at Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 10, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Microsoft/AP Images)

The addition of these creative teams reinforces Microsoft’s vision for gaming, which starts with a deep commitment to original content. The company is developing a portfolio of games on every device, including newly announced Microsoft Studios games. Revealed on stage today were three new Gears of War titles — “Gears 5,” “Gears Tactics,” “Gears Pop!” — along with “Battletoads,” “Forza Horizon 4” and “Halo Infinite,” a Master Chief story and the next major release in the franchise built from the ground up on the new Slipspace engine.

ACCESS TO YOUR FAVORITE GAMES FASTER AND BETTER THAN EVER

Microsoft announced several new titles joining the Xbox Game Pass catalog this year including “Forza Horizon 4,” “Fallout 4,” “Tom Clancy’s The Division” and “The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited,” as well as several new ID@Xbox games being added on their release date. Microsoft also introduced new innovations to push digital gaming forward, including FastStart, an innovation from Microsoft’s Machine Learning Team, and plans from Microsoft’s Gaming Cloud Team to develop a game streaming service to unlock console-quality gaming on any device.

“We’ve been thrilled to see the positive impact Xbox Game Pass is having on the gaming ecosystem, including increasing the number of titles gamers play nearly 40 percent and increasing gameplay hours by almost 20 percent,” said Mike Nichols, chief marketing officer for Gaming at Microsoft. “With the ultimate freedom to explore and play over 100 great games, Xbox Game Pass delivers our members an incredible value in gaming.”

  • Xbox Game Pass. The Xbox Game Pass catalog continues to expand, with exciting new blockbuster titles available to members starting today, including “Fallout 4,” “The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited” and “Tom Clancy’s The Division.” Microsoft also announced several notable titles launching through the ID@Xbox program that will be coming to Xbox Game Pass this year to coincide with their debut on Xbox One. These include “Warhammer: Vermintide 2,” “Ashen,” “Afterparty” and “Phoenix Point,” as well as blockbusters from some of our biggest first-party franchises such as “Forza Horizon 4,” “Crackdown 3,” “Gears 5” and “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” which will release later in 2018 and beyond.
  • FastStart (Xbox One). With FastStart, you can now jump into your game[i] twice as fast and play after downloading just a fraction of your title. FastStart identifies which files are needed to begin playing and prioritizes the download of those files first, enabling you to quickly jump into full-fidelity gameplay while the remainder of your title downloads in the background. Simply find the FastStart-enabled title you want to play, hit Download and your console will take care of the rest. It’s that simple.
  • Xbox Adaptive Controller (Xbox One, Windows 10). Beginning at 9 a.m. PT on June 11, preorders will begin in select markets for the first-of-its-kind Xbox Adaptive Controller, designed for gamers with limited mobility. Available exclusively through Microsoft Store for $99.99 USD, the newest addition to the Xbox family of controllers and devices is designed to be as adaptable as possible, so gamers can create a setup that works for them in a way that is plug-and-play, extensible and affordable.
  • Mixer. Mixer, Microsoft’s live streaming service, is seeing continued growth with viewership doubling in just six months to more than 20 million. The majority of this is growth from viewers on mobile

 BEST PLACE TO PLAY ORIGINAL, BLOCKBUSTER AND INDEPENDENT GAMES

Xbox One continues to be the best place to play the biggest blockbuster games with over 220 titles enhanced for Xbox One X, the world’s most powerful console, with new games leveraging the power of the platform from some of the world’s most talented creators like “Fallout 76” from Bethesda Game Studios, “Cyberpunk 2077” from CD Projekt Red, “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2” from Ubisoft Massive and dozens more. Independent game creators also continue to innovate on Xbox One with games like “Session,” “Below,” “Ashen” and “Tunic” coming to Xbox One as console launch exclusives.

  • “BATTLEFIELD V” (ELECTRONIC ARTS). Available worldwide Oct. 19, 2018, enter mankind’s greatest conflict with “Battlefield™ V” as the series goes back to its roots in a never-before-seen portrayal of World War 2. Take on all-out multiplayer across the world or witness human drama set against global combat in single player War Stories, including Nordlys — a first look shown in the Xbox E3 briefing — the story of a young Norwegian resistance fighter during the German occupation, you must pay an unthinkable price to save not only yourself, but also your family.
  • “BLACK DESERT” (PEARL ABYSS). “Black Desert” is a revolutionary MMORPG that delivers intense, fast-paced combat, profitable life skills and an expansive open world. Slay monsters, abominations and gods, or engage in relaxing life skills like crafting, fishing and cooking. Become your true self in this truly open world MMORPG
  • “CRACKDOWN 3” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). “Crackdown 3” brings the boom next February, where players will stop crime as a super-powered Agent in a sandbox of mayhem and destruction. Developed by Microsoft Studios in collaboration with Sumo Digital and Elbow Rocket, “Crackdown 3” delivers cooperative mayhem, signature antics, explosive gameplay and an all-new multiplayer mode,[ii] Wrecking Zone, where destruction is your ultimate weapon powered by Microsoft Cloud. Available worldwide in February 2019.
  • “CUPHEAD: THE DELICIOUS LAST COURSE” (STUDIO MDHR).In “Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course,” Cuphead and Mugman are joined by Ms. Chalice for a DLC add-on adventure on a brand-new island! With new weapons, new charms and Ms. Chalice’s brand new abilities, take on a new cast of multifaceted, screen-filling bosses to assist Chef Saltbaker in Cuphead’s final challenging quest.
  • “CYBERPUNK 2077” (CD PROJEKT RED). “Cyberpunk 2077” is a narrative-driven, open world RPG set in the most vibrant and dangerous metropolis of the future — Night City. You play as V, a hired gun on the rise, who just got their first serious contract. In a world of cyber-enhanced street warriors, tech-savvy netrunners and corporate lifehackers, today is your first step to becoming an urban legend.
  • “DEVIL MAY CRY 5” (CAPCOM). A brand-new entry in the legendary over-the-top action series comes to Xbox One in spring 2019, complete with its signature blend of high-octane stylized action and otherworldly and original characters the series is known for. Years have passed since the legions of hell have set foot in this world, but now a new demonic invasion has begun, and humanity’s last hope will rest in the hands of three lone demon hunters, each offering a radically different play style. United by fate and a thirst for vengeance, these demon hunters will have to face their demons if they hope to survive. The devil you know returns in the most over the top, technically advanced, utterly insane action experience of this generation.
  • “DYING LIGHT 2” (TECHLAND). The bold sequel to the open-world phenomenon, “Dying Light 2” brings to life a unique post-apocalyptic vision of the Modern Dark Ages, where your parkour abilities and brutal combat skills are the only things that let you dive into darkness and emerge alive. Make morally grey decisions, shape the transformation of the City and ultimately decide its fate.
  • “FALLOUT 76” (BETHESDA GAME STUDIOS). The award-winning creators of “Skyrim” and “Fallout 4” welcome you to “Fallout 76” — a stunning prequel and the largest world ever created in the legendary Fallout universe. Set in the hills of West Virginia, you are one of the first to emerge, into a new and untamed wasteland.
  • “FORZA HORIZON 4” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE – WORLD PREMIERE). In “Forza Horizon 4,” seasons change everything. This highly anticipated follow-up to 2016’s breakout hit “Forza Horizon 3” brings players dynamic seasons in a shared open world that change every week. Experience beautiful, historic Britain in spectacular native 4K and HDR, collect over 450 cars, and become a Horizon Superstar. “Forza Horizon 4” will launch worldwide on Xbox One, Windows 10 and Xbox Game Pass on Oct. 2, 2018, as an Xbox Play Anywhere title.
  • “GEARS 5” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE – WORLD PREMIERE). As Kait, journey across the biggest, most beautiful Gears world ever created. Play solo or with a friend in local split-screen co-op, or online co-op[iii] and experience every mode in 4K Ultra HD resolution with stunning HDR at a smooth 60 frames per second. “Gears 5” will be released in 2019 on Xbox One and Windows 10 and will come to Xbox Game Pass on the same date as its global release.
  • “GEARS POP!” (IOS AND ANDROID EXCLUSIVE – WORLD PREMIERE). “Gears Pop!” brings together iconic Gears characters in a cute Funko Pop! style. The game is being developed in partnership with Funko (Nasdaq “FNKO”) and inspired by the “Gears of War” vinyl collectible figures. It’s the perfect slice of mobile mayhem, available on iOS and Android in 2019.
  • “GEARS TACTICS” (WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE – WORLD PREMIERE). “Gears Tactics” evolves turn-based tactics games combining signature fast-paced brutal action and character-driven storytelling with customizable squads, upgradable weapons, and, of course, massive boss battles. “Gears Tactics” is also the first Gears game to be specifically designed for PC gamers.
  • “HALO INFINITE” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE – WORLD PREMIERE). The Master Chief returns in the next chapter of the legendary franchise in “Halo Infinite.” Developed by 343 Industries and created with the studio’s new Slipspace Engine, “Halo Infinite” debuted at the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing with a thrilling engine demo that provides a glimpse into the future of Halo, leading the franchise into new and unexpected directions.
  • “JUMP FORCE” (BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA INC). The greatest heroes and villains from the 50-year history of Shueisha’s influential Japanese Weekly Jump manga will battle against each other across iconic locations across Earth in this anime fan’s dream come true! Featuring the world’s most popular and classic manga and anime franchises including DRAGON BALL Z, ONE PIECE, NARUTO, and many others, players will be able to compete in hyper-stylish arena brawls set against familiar backdrops of famous landmarks around the world, including New York City’s Times Square and the Matterhorn.
  • “JUST CAUSE 4” (SQUARE ENIX). Rogue agent Rico Rodriguez journeys to Solis, a huge South American world home of conflict, oppression and extreme weather conditions. Strap into your wingsuit, equip your fully customizable grappling hook, and get ready to bring the thunder!
  • “KINGDOM HEARTS III” (SQUARE ENIX). “KINGDOM HEARTS III” tells the story of the power of friendship as Sora and his friends embark on a perilous adventure and support each other through difficult times. Set in a vast array of Disney worlds, “KINGDOM HEARTS” follows the journey of Sora, a young boy and unknowing heir to a spectacular power. Sora is joined by Donald and Goofy to stop an evil force known as the Heartless from invading and overtaking the universe. Through the power of positivity and friendship, Sora, Donald and Goofy unite with iconic Disney-Pixar characters old and new to overcome tremendous challenges and persevere against the darkness threatening their worlds.
  • “METRO EXODUS” (DEEP SILVER). “Metro Exodus” is an epic, story-driven first person shooter from 4A Games that blends deadly combat and stealth with exploration and survival horror in one of the most immersive game worlds ever created. Explore the Russian wilderness across vast, nonlinear levels and follow a thrilling storyline that spans an entire year through spring, summer and autumn to the depths of nuclear winter. Inspired by the novels of Dmitry Glukhovsky, “Metro Exodus” continues Artyom’s story in the greatest Metro adventure yet.
  • “NIER: AUTOMATA” BECOME AS GODS EDITION (SQUARE ENIX). “NieR: Automata” is a revolutionary action RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by machine lifeforms and abandoned by mankind. As part of an android army created by humans to reclaim the planet, players will fight their way through the mechanical horde using a collective of close-combat weapons and ranged attacks.
  • “ORI AND THE WILL OF THE WISPS” (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). The highly anticipated sequel “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” made its worldwide gameplay debut, showcasing Ori’s immersive world, dynamic combat mechanics, gripping enemy encounters and challenging puzzles in this story-driven adventure. “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” releases on Xbox One and Windows 10 in 2019.
  • “PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS” (CONSOLE LAUNCH EXCLUSIVE). PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG), the tactical, high-octane battle royale phenomenon, debuted footage from two new maps: Sanhok, a smaller-scale, action-packed map inspired by the islands that dot the Southeast Pacific Ocean, and a snow-covered map currently in development. New footage also debuted of War Mode, a deathmatch-style battle royale gaming experience and the world premiere debut of the Ballistic Shield, a new tool for setting up quick cover for explosive and close-distance attacks. Sanhok and War Mode will debut on Xbox in late summer 2018.
  • “SEA OF THIEVES” (XBOX ONE[iv] AND WINDOWS 10 EXCLUSIVE). “Sea of Thieves,” the shared-world multiplayer game that provides the quintessential pirate experience, returns with additional content that continues to grow and evolve the game. Releasing in July, Cursed Sails will bring a new threat to the seas in the form of terrifying skeleton ships. In September, Forsaken Shores will reveal a perilous new part of the world, filled with dangers that will test the skill and nerve of even the most hardened crews. Each update will be accompanied by a time-limited campaign that introduces content in a fun, engaging and memorable way. “Sea of Thieves” is now available on Xbox One, Windows 10 and Xbox Game Pass as an Xbox Play Anywhere title.
  • “SEKIRO: SHADOWS DIE TWICE” (ACTIVISION). A fantastical, dark and twisted new gameplay experience developed by the renowned team at FromSoftware and published by Activision. Directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” is a third-person, action-adventure game with RPG elements. The single-player game puts gamers in the protagonist role of a hard-hearted warrior whose mission is to rescue his master, a young lord, and exact revenge on his arch nemesis. “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” is scheduled for release in early 2019 for the family of Xbox One devices from Microsoft, including the Xbox One X. Preorders are available now at select retailers for the suggested retail price of $59.99.
  • “SESSION” (CREA-TURE STUDIOS). Inspired by the golden era of skateboarding, the early 90s and early 2000, “Session’s” primary goal is to make you experience what skateboarding really is: an incredible sport where there are no other goals other than expressing your creativity and achieving success through hard work, perseverance and bits of madness for no one else other than yourself.
  • “SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER” (SQUARE ENIX). Experience Lara Croft’s defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider. In “Shadow of the Tomb Raider,” Lara must master a deadly jungle, overcome terrifying tombs, and persevere through her darkest hour. As she races to save the world from a Maya apocalypse, Lara will ultimately be forged into the Tomb Raider she is destined to be.
  • “TALES OF VESPERIA: DEFINITIVE EDITION” (BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA INC). Available this winter, “Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition” celebrates the 10th anniversary of this cherished RPG with new fully playable characters, events and other additional content never released outside of Japan. Follow Yuri Lowell, a former Imperial Knight, as he befriends a colorful cast of characters throughout the world of Terca Lumireis and finds himself in the middle of a nefarious plot that threatens the destruction of the entire planet.
  • “THE AWESOME ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN SPIRIT” (SQUARE ENIX).Have you ever dreamt of being a superhero? Meet Chris, a creative and imaginative 10-year-old boy who escapes reality with fantastical adventures as his alter ego, the Awesome Captain Spirit! Return to your childhood and play a touching and heart-warming one-of-a-kind narrative experience from the directors and development team behind the BAFTA award-winning game “Life is Strange.” “The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit” is an original story set in the Life is Strange Universe that contains links to the brand new story an characters of “Life is Strange 2.”
  • “TOM CLANCY’S THE DIVISION 2” (UBISOFT). Developed by Ubisoft Massive and the same teams that brought you “Tom Clancy’s The Division®,” “Tom Clancy’s The Division® 2” is an online open-world, action-shooter RPG experience set in a collapsing and fractured Washington, D.C. This rich new setting combines a wide variety of beautiful, iconic and realistic environments where the player will experience the series’ trademark for authenticity in world- building, rich RPG systems, and fast-paced action like never before. Play solo or co-op with a team of up to four players to complete a wide range of activities, from the main campaign and adversarial PvP matches to the Dark Zone — where anything can happen.
  • “TUNIC” (FINJI). “TUNIC” is an isometric action adventure about a tiny fox in a big world. Embark on an adventuresome questabout set in that place just beyond the farthest you’ve ever been! Explore ancient ruins, fight monsters and uncover mysterious secrets. The world is big and scary — so be brave, little one!
  • “WE HAPPY FEW” (COMPULSION GAMES, GEARBOX PUBLISHING). After debuting as an Xbox Game Preview title at the 2016 Xbox E3 Briefing, “We Happy Few” 1.0, which includes an all-new narrative and community-driven improvements, will launch on Xbox One and Xbox One X (with 4K and HDR support) on Aug. 10, 2018. “We Happy Few” is a narrative-driven action adventure game set in a drug-fueled, retrofuturistic 1960s England. Uncover the mystery of Wellington Wells as you play through the interwoven narratives of three moderately terrible citizens trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial.

BIGGEST XBOX SALE OF THE YEAR HAPPENING NOW

Microsoft also announced its Biggest Xbox Sale of the Year where gamers can find discounts on hundreds of games, accessories, Xbox Game Pass and Live Gold subscriptions, plus $50 off ANY Xbox One. For more information, visit Xbox Wire.

Be sure to preorder now at your Microsoft Store or local retailer. With retail locations across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and Australia, and through Microsoft.com, fans can begin preordering their favorite games and select accessories and hardware from this year’s Xbox E3 2018 Briefing right now. For a list of Microsoft Store locations, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/locations/find-a-store.

WATCH E3 LIVE STREAMING ON MIXER

For additional news, highlights, exclusive reveals and a behind-the-scenes look at some of your favorite games throughout the week of E3, watch Inside Xbox: Live @ E3 on Monday, June 11 at 3 p.m. PDT and tune in to live streaming on Mixer Tuesday, June 12 and Wednesday, June 13.

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More details about Xbox One, Xbox One games and the latest Xbox news at Xbox E3 2018 Briefing can be found at https://news.xbox.com.

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[i] Select titles only. Requires 20Mbps download speed. Average improvement across FastStart-enabled titles; performance varies by title and internet connection (aka.ms/FastStartGames).

[ii] Xbox Live Gold required to play online multiplayer on Xbox One (sold separately).

[iii] Xbox Live Gold required to play online multiplayer on Xbox One (sold separately).

[iv] Xbox Live Gold required to play game on Xbox One (sold separately).