Monthly Archives: October 2013

Microsoft Global Women’s Conference – 31/10/2013 – Israel HUB

Israel event

Women at Microsoft (ERG) Inspiration to Lead: Explore. Own. Repay.
Microsoft Global Women’s Conference – 31/10/2013 – Israel HUB

Our eighth annual Microsoft Global Women’s Conference starts with our event at Corporate Headquarters, taking place on October 23 at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, WA, US, and continues in multiple locations worldwide, bringing women together around the globe.
Our local Women Conference Event will take place on 31/10/13, 9:30, Discovery Auditorium, R’aanana.
Key note speaker: Miki Haimovich is an Israeli well known television presenter.
After studying for a BA in political science from Tel Aviv University, Haimovich began working as a researcher for Channel 1 programmes Mabat Sheni and Boker Tov Israel. In 1990 she began editing the news for the Matav cable channel, later becoming chief editor. In 1993 she and Ya’akov Eilon became the first news anchors on the new commercial Channel 2, until moving to Channel 10 together in 2002. In June 2011, Haimovitch resigned from the Channel 10 news. After her resignation she established the Israeli branch of the nonprofit Org. supporting Meatless Monday and lead the campaign as part of the WW initiative.
Miki is a unique talented senior women who become an icon at the Israeli TV news at every house in Israel. After a long career at the news she decided to move to community affairs initiatives and she is active at verity of community initiatives in Israel.
Save the date and join us as we come together as the Women at Microsoft community!

Contact us | Visit the Women at Microsoft site

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“Stay Connected Breakfast” at Microsoft Austria

australia breakfast 1
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Expecting a child is an exciting adventure that will bring many new experiences and change parts of one’s life for ever. At the same time it can make expecting parents unsure about their future with respect to their current workplace. Changing nappies is completely different to calculating bits and proposing business plans. The fear could be that the time out taken will disconnect one selves from the work environment and leave you behind in most recent developments. Microsoft Austria has found a way to stay in touch with parents on parental leave and make them feel a part of the company, even though they might not be physically present. In 2007 they launched something called “Stay Connected Breakfast” with a combination of in-house mentors who will help the parents to stay connected with Microsoft during their temporary leave. We have spoken to Charlotte, who not only has been organizing these events in the past years, but is also expecting her first child this year 
1) Whose idea was this and what was the intention behind these meetings?
The idea was born because the female share in the IT Sector was growing steadily and the HR department had already been asked to deal with the subject of parental leave and the binding of the parents on leave to the company and to work on the matter of their reintegration into the company. It is very important to us, that when a mother or a father decides to go on parental leave that they stay in as close contact as possible. That is why everyone keeps their mobile phone and their laptop so they can, if they want, stay in touch and up-to-date during the whole time.

2) How often do the breakfasts take place?
They are taking place once every quarter.

3) What exactly is happening at those breakfasts and how many people attend on average?
The stay connected breakfast is a forum for mothers and fathers on parental leave to exchange experiences among each other as well as with manager, mentors and colleagues. In addition, we always invite a member of the executive management who gives an insight about the newest business developments. Especially in the fast changing IT sector it is important to stay on top of things and a regular exchange is vital. Not just for the parents on leave but for the business itself, keeping their employees up to date.
The attendance varies, but usually we have between three and eight mothers/fathers and their children/babies.

4) Could you tell us a little about the mentors and how they work?
Worldwide, Microsoft has a Mentor or Buddy System in place. Each employee has a mentor, who especially in the beginning, but also later, will help answering questions and help in every possible way. Also during the parental leave the mentor is an important contact person.

5) What is the feedback of both the parents and employees?
The breakfast is being enjoyed by many parents and colleagues and it is appreciated as a great place for exchanging experience and to stay in touch. It is absolutely lovely to watch the babies grow and to chat to the parents about their plans regarding the leave and their return to work.
Thank you very much, Charlotte, for answering my questions!!!

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Microsoft pumps up Surface tablets with faster chips, longer battery life

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By Mark Hachman – PCWorld

Microsoft launched both of its next-generation Surface 2 tablets Monday, promising significant improvements in performance, graphics and battery life on both the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2.
As expected, Microsoft also announced seven peripherals, including a Power Cover and a new docking station, which gives the Surface the power of something close to a workstation PC, according to Panos Panay, the Microsoft vice president in charge of the company’s tablet efforts.
PHOTO: CAITLIN MCGARRYThe new Surface Pro 2 will come with an Intel Haswell processor and will be able to process 6K raw video data.
“Surface has been one of the best products that Microsoft has ever built,” Panay told attendees at a New York launch event, adding that Microsoft is making its tablets even better. “Reinventing the wheel is not the goal. Making it better is.”
Surface will cost $449, and will be available in 32GB and 64GB configurations. Surface Pro 2 will come in 64GB and 128GB configurations with 4GB of RAM as well as 256GB and 512GB configurations with 8GB of RAM, with prices starting at $899. A new Touch Cover—Touch Cover 2—will cost $120, and a new Type Cover will sell for $130.
Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 2
Microsoft will take preorders on Tuesday, for delivery on Oct. 22.
Priced out of the market?
Microsoft was rightfully proud of the original Surface tablet when it first debuted in June 2012. Although reporters were only granted a few seconds—if that—with the tablet Monday, the obvious quality of the Surface’s VaporMg casing coupled with the intrigue of Windows running on the ARM processor platform instantly made the Surface a desirable piece of hardware.
Microsoft’s two covers— the Touch Cover and the Type Cover—also took an innovation that Apple had pioneered and radically improved it. (Check out our reviews of the original Surface Pro and the Surface RT.)
The new Surface Pro 2 with docking station and Touch Cover.
A round of grumbling about the Surface soon, er, surfaced, however, when users began playing with the Windows RT operating system and started searching vainly for apps to use with it. Fans of the Surface RT aside, most were awaiting the release of the Surface Pro. When the tablet was released in January 2013, PCWorld dubbed the Surface Pro“the Surface the world had been waiting for.” And it was—just not the whole world. In reality, just a very small part of it.
And then the warning bells started to ring: Microsoft wrote down the value of the Surface inventory by $900 million, part of a $150 discount applied to the Surface RT and $100 taken off the price of the Surface Pro that were made permanent. The Surface RT will remain, with a $349 price tag for 32GB and $449 for 64GB, while the Pro costs $799 for 64GB and $899 for 128GB.
In the weeks leading up to Monday’s launch, PCWorld—among others—opined about what Microsoft would need to accomplish with the Surface 2. Reports also mostly pegged what Microsoft had planned—a refresh of the tablet using an Intel “Haswell” microprocessor, more RAM, and some new, intriguing covers.
Surface Pro 2
The first-generation Surface was the fastest product that users ever tried, Panay said, and the fastest in its class. Surface Pro 2 is faster than 95 percent of all laptops on the market today, Microsoft contends.
A Surface Pro 2 with a new Type Cover
Graphics now run 50 percent faster than the prior generation; the performance improved by 20 percent to “lightning-fast speeds,” Panay said. Dolby-qualified speakers were also added to improve the sound quality.
Panay unveiled an improved kickstand, with “better angles.” It’s a dual-mode kickstand that will allow users to angle it back farther. “Sometimes subtlety is the most powerful force,” he said.
“This is something that will change the product in ways you cannot expect,” Panay said, referring to the device’s new “lap-ability”.
Microsoft also addressed the tablet’s battery life. With the new Surface Power Cover, which has a 30 watt-hour battery embedded inside, the Surface Pro 2 will have 2.5 times the battery life of the first Surface Pro—more than 10 hours in total. “Pound for pound, watt for watt, it is the fastest product you can use today,” Panay said.
Power Cover will have an estimated retail price of $200 and has a projected release date of early 2014.
PHOTO: CAITLIN MCGARRYThe Surface Docking Station unveiled at a press event Monday adds I/O functionality to Microsoft’s Surface tablet.
As expected, Microsoft also launched a docking station, the Surface Docking Station, with adds I/O functionality to the Surface tablet. The docking station can power two separate monitors for a total display resolution of 3840 x 2160, and it includes three USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, a MiniDisplayPort connector that will power two displays, ethernet, and Audio In, Audio Out, plus power. “We now have a workstation PC built in” to the Surface tablet, Panay said.
The Docking Station for Surface Pro will have an estimated retail price of $200 and has a projected release date of early 2014.
Microsoft showed off video being produced by the RED camera, manipulating raw 6K footage. Moviemakers can take the tablet to the set itself, Panay said.
Microsoft also launched Type Cover 2, available in four colors—cyan (blue), magenta (pink), purple, and black. “It’s clear that input makes you productive,” Panay said.
The latest Type Cover is one millimeter thinner the overall model, but with a better key switch that makes Type Cover 2 almost as thin as the original Touch Cover. And it’s silent, he said. Even better, it features a backlit keyboard that automatically dims after about six seconds—then relights when the user uses it again.
PHOTO: CAITLIN MCGARRYThe second generation of Type Covers ditches the all-black stylings of their predecessors with new cyan, magenta, and purple color options.
Panay also launched Touch Cover 2, a 2.5 mm-thick cover that is a millimeter thinner than previous generations, and is also backlit. The number of sensors inside the Touch Cover has been beefed up from 80 sensors to 1092, to improve the feel of the device.
“What does that mean? It means you can’t miss a key,” Panay said. Users can even do gestures on top of the new Touch Cover.
The Surface Remix Project cover
Finally, there’s the Surface Remix Project, a cover specifically designed for DJs. The cover is also pressure-sensitive and lets you use your tablet like a drum kit.
Surface 2 not forgotten
But what about the Windows RT-powered Surface 2? Microsoft also redesigned it. “It’s not the changes that everyone wanted, but it has the change that people need,” Panay said.
Microsoft’s Surface 2
“It’s the fastest product that I’ve used relative to a personal tablet,” Panay said. The CPU speed has increased “dramatically,” and Microsoft doubled the speed of the Wi-Fi as well as the speed of the memory. Microsoft even added a Surface logo to the back of it.
The Surface Pro 2 and the Surface 2 share the same screen. Battery life has increased to 12 hours, 25 percent better than the original Surface, Panay said. But Microsoft also made the Surface 2 lighter and thinner. An HDMI output allows users to throw games on the large display. “I’ll tell you how it’s even sexier, because it is,” he said.
PHOTO: CAITLIN MCGARRYYou’’ll find more apps in the Windows Store for the Surface tablets this time around, Microsoft says—more than 100,000 in fact.
Part of the sexiness, Panay said, derives from Windows 8.1, the new version of the Windows OS. Panay said that the number of apps have increased in the Windows Store, to more than 100,000. And the most powerful app is Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Users will receive free international calling with Skype and access to Skype hotspots free for a year. Additionally, Microsoft put a third sensor in the front of the tablet to improve the look of Skype callers. The sensor will filter additional light through the product to “light” the maker of the Skype call.
Panay also highlighted the power of Microsoft’s services, including SkyDrive, which Microsoft will beef up: Surface buyers will receive a free, additional 200GB of SkyDrive for two years.
Will the Surface 2 be the saving grace of Microsoft’s hardware aspirations? Panay hopes so. “Go get it,” he said of the new Surface 2 devices. “It’s a beast.”

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