March 29, 2017

NBC Olympics selects Microsoft Azure to provide live and on-demand streaming

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure Providing Hosting and Encoding for Olympics Production

Microsoft Azure has been selected by NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, to provide cloud encoding and hosting with video workflows for NBC Olympics’ production of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, which take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 5–21.

Microsoft Azure will provide streaming service for NBCUniversal and’s record 4,500 hours of online content, making it easier for viewers to find relevant content and recommendations on any device. [Read more…]

Visuality Systems and Microsoft Expand Server Message Block Partnership

Visuality Systems logoMicrosoft and Visuality Systems Expand Partnership to Serve Enterprise Market

Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC and Visuality Systems Ltd. have announced the expansion of their Server Message Block (SMB) collaboration from the embedded world to the enterprise market. This broad partnership will mean enhanced business solutions to more products worldwide. [Read more…]

Microsoft Announces April 21st as Quarterly Earnings Release Date

Microsoft LogoMicrosoft Corp. will publish fiscal year 2016 third-quarter financial results after the close of the market on Thursday, April 21, 2016, on the Microsoft Investor Relations website at A live webcast of the earnings conference call will be made available at 2:30 p.m. PDT.

Redmond-based Microsoft is striving to be the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. 

UW Bothell Students to Reveal Award-Winning Internet of Things Projects to Microsoft and the Community

Two University of Washington Bothell teams won grants to develop Internet of Things (IoT) applications that could have local and global impact. The teams will present their projects to Microsoft and the community on Thursday April 14, from 4-6 p.m in Discovery Hall Room 464. 

The two interdisciplinary student teams received up to $25,000 each from a University-Microsoft partnership. The money covers hardware, sensors and platforms, and stipends for students during their research over this academic year.  [Read more…]

Microsoft and R3 Partnership to Accelerate Adoption of Distributed Ledger Technologies by Global Banks

Microsoft LogoMicrosoft Corp. and the R3 Consortium today announced a strategic partnership that will accelerate the use of distributed ledger technologies, also known as blockchain, among R3 member banks and global financial markets. Distributed ledger technologies enable enterprises and business network participants to complete financial transactions with greater speed, security, cost-efficiency and transparency relative to solutions currently used. [Read more…]

Microsoft and Rakuten Sign Patent Licensing Partnership Agreement

Rakuten logoMicrosoft Technology Licensing LLC and Rakuten Inc. recently signed a worldwide patent cross-licensing agreement covering each company’s respective consumer electronics products, including Linux and Android-based devices.

“Our agreement with Rakuten reinforces the opportunities that cross-licensing can bring to companies across the technology spectrum,” said Nick Psyhogeos, president of Microsoft Technology Licensing. “We’re pleased to have found a mutually beneficial path of collaboration that will ultimately benefit consumers.” [Read more…]

Microsoft Announces Quarterly Dividend

Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.36 per share. The dividend is payable June 9, 2016, to shareholders of record on May 19, 2016. The ex-dividend date will be May 17, 2016.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is a platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Smartsheet Adds Microsoft’s Andrew Lientz to Lead Engineering Team

New SVP of engineering will spearhead company’s continued efforts to help organizations empower their employees to work more productively and efficiently
Bellevue-based Smartsheet, the spreadsheet-inspired collaborative work management platform used by millions of people worldwide, and one of Deloitte’s 500 fastest-growing technology companies, today announced former Microsoft partner/general manager Andrew Lientz will be joining the company as SVP of engineering. In this role, Lientz will oversee the technology operations, engineering and QA teams.
“Andrew’s knowledge of both the technology and business aspects of companies allows him to bridge between customer, software, management and developer,” said Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet. “His experience as an engineering leader at growth stage and large companies offers us an added layer of expertise on top of an already deep development team. This will further establish Smartsheet as the collaborative work management platform of choice for enterprises worldwide.”

Lientz brings more than 20 years of experience developing applications for the Internet. Most recently he served as partner/general manager at Microsoft where he led infrastructure efforts in long-range planning and the internal content and delivery network. In this role, his teams worked to grow and improve the performance of Microsoft’s cloud offerings in Office 365, Bing and Azure. Prior to Microsoft, he led technology efforts at startups including EdgeCast, which was acquired by Verizon; Zentropy, which was acquired by Interpublic Group; and Harvest Solutions (a company he founded), which was acquired by Experian. He later served as Experian’s SVP of technology.
“The collaborative work management space is one undergoing critical transformation as we enter 2016,” said Lientz. “Throughout my career, project management software has always been hard to work with, but Smartsheet isn’t. My goal is to help continue to build on the world class engineering team and innovate for the modern workforce.”
Smartsheet is a work management and collaboration platform that takes the familiar look and feel of spreadsheets and marries it with the functionality of a collaboration and project management tool. Smartsheet is used by organizations across all major industries, including technology, construction, financial services, retail, education, media and many others. Over half of global ‘unicorns’, half of the Fortune 500, and 70 percent of both Forbes “The World’s Most Innovative Companies” and Fortune 100 companies use Smartsheet including Cisco, Google and Salesforce. Ten thousand new projects are created daily in Smartsheet, underscoring the rapid adoption and usage of the solution worldwide. 
In 2015 Smartsheet received meaningful recognition from both Google and Microsoft. In November, Smartsheet was named one of the first solutions in Google’s new “Recommended for Google Apps for Work” program, which is designed to help Google customers discover solutions that work best with their existing productivity tools and to find apps they can trust. In July, Microsoft named Smartsheet the “Best Office 365 App” in its 2015 Office App Awards program at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Orlando.
About Smartsheet
Smartsheet helps over 70,000 organizations and millions of people to deliver their best work. Our collaborative work management solution lets people manage work their way while at the same time making it simple to control their teams and processes. The ease of use of the familiar spreadsheet-like interface, work automation and Gantt chart features, have made it a popular and highly functional collaboration and project management solution. Nearly seven million registered users in more than 190 countries use Smartsheet across every department and every industry. Visit for more details.

Microsoft 2015 Partner of the Year Awards Revealed

Winners and Finalists of Microsoft 2015 Partner of the Year Awards Announced

Redmond-based Microsoft recently announced the winners and finalists of the Microsoft 2015 Partner of the Year Awards. The annual awards celebrate top Microsoft partners that are demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology. Award winners and finalists, chosen out of nominations from around the world, will be recognized at the 2015 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference taking place July 12–16, 2015, in Orlando, Fla.

This year, the Microsoft 2015 Partner of the Year Awards recognized partners in 43 categories that celebrate each of the core partner competencies, including cloud technology, public sector, citizenship, sales excellence and many more. More than 2,300 entries were collected from 108 different countries worldwide; the award finalists and winners were selected from a group of nominations based on their commitment to customers, their solution’s market impact and exemplary use of Microsoft technologies.

“The Microsoft 2015 Partner of the Year Award winners and finalists honor our top partners that demonstrate excellence in providing solutions and value to our mutual customers,” said Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft. “This year’s award winners and finalists are among the most innovative our partner ecosystem has to offer. Congratulations to each winner on this incredible achievement.”

Categories, winners and finalists for the Microsoft 2015 Partner of the Year Awards appear below. A complete list of the Microsoft 2015 Partner of the Year Awards, including the Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award winners for 2015, is available at

Alliance Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Accenture/Avanade

Global Commercial ISV Alliance Partner of the Year

  • Winner: GE Healthcare

Application Development Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Lieberman Software
  • Finalist: Comping
  • Finalist: Fino Consulting
  • Finalist: Open Text Corporation

Application Integration Partner of the Year

  • Winner: nVisionIT
  • Finalist: Cognizant Technology Solutions
  • Finalist: Fusionex
  • Finalist: Mexia Consulting

Application Lifecycle Management Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Readify
  • Finalist: Centare
  • Finalist: Commentor A/S
  • Finalist: Sogeti Nederland B.V.

Big Data and Analytics Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Neudesic
  • Finalist: Artis Consulting
  • Finalist: Neal Analytics
  • Finalist: Sogeti

Business Intelligence Partner of the Year

  • Winner: BizData
  • Finalist: Allen
  • Finalist: Bismart
  • Finalist: Hitachi Solutions

Cloud Customer Relationship Management Partner of the Year

  • Winner: PowerObjects
  • Finalist: OnDemand4U GmbH
  • Finalist: Sonoma Partners
  • Finalist: Zero2Ten

Cloud Packaged Solutions Partner of the Year

  • Winner: SADA Systems Inc.
  • Finalist: Energy Time
  • Finalist: Syvantis Technologies, Inc.
  • Finalist: Technopolis

Cloud Platform: Application Innovation Partner of the Year

  • Winner: VMob
  • Finalist: Icertis Inc
  • Finalist: Orckestra
  • Finalist: SOLOMO Technology, Inc.

Cloud Platform: Customer Focus Partner of the Year

  • Winner: bluesource
  • Finalist: Beijing Youyun Tianxia Information & Technology Co., Ltd
  • Finalist: Capax Global
  • Finalist: Intergrupo

Cloud Productivity Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Kloud
  • Finalist: (India) Private Limited
  • Finalist: SADA Systems Inc.
  • Finalist: Sulava Oy

Collaboration and Content Partner of the Year

  • Winner: AvePoint, Inc.
  • Finalist: BlueMetal
  • Finalist: BrightStarr
  • Finalist: Content and Code

Communications Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Enabling Technologies Corp.
  • Finalist: Accenture/Avanade
  • Finalist: IComm Australia
  • Finalist: Migesa S.A. de C.V.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Accenture/Avanade
  • Finalist: eBECS
  • Finalist: Hitachi Solutions
  • Finalist: mcaConnect, LLC

Data Platform Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Scalability Experts
  • Finalist: Accenture/Avanade
  • Finalist: CommVault
  • Finalist: Noxum GmbH

Devices and Deployment Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Sogeti
  • Finalist: CANCOM GmbH
  • Finalist: Data#3 Limited
  • Finalist: RealDolmen

Digital Advertising Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Advance Digital
  • Finalist: ResourceiT Consulting Ltd

Distributor Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Tech Data Europe
  • Finalist: ALSO Deutschland GmbH
  • Finalist: Computer Gross
  • Finalist: SYNNEX Corporation

Enterprise Mobility Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Oxford Computer Group LLC
  • Finalist: CDW
  • Finalist: Kloud
  • Finalist: Project Leadership Associates

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Partner of the Year

  • Winner: mcaConnect, LLC
  • Finalist: Azzure IT
  • Finalist: Columbus
  • Finalist: Tribridge

Hosting Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Rackspace
  • Finalist: Datapipe
  • Finalist: GoDaddy
  • Finalist: Extrinsica Global

Innovative Technology for Good Citizenship Partner of the Year

  • Winner: alligatortek
  • Finalist: Gap Consulting
  • Finalist: Ignify
  • Finalist: LiveArena

Intelligent Systems Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Harman
  • Finalist: BlueMetal
  • Finalist: NEC Corporation
  • Finalist: VMob

Learning Partner of the Year

  • Winner: QA Limited
  • Finalist: CTU Training Solutions
  • Finalist: Global Knowledge

Messaging Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Convergent Computing (CCO)
  • Finalist: Dell
  • Finalist: Wipro Technologies

Microsoft Dynamics Industry Partner of the Year

  • Winner: UXC Eclipse
  • Finalist: Edgewater Fullscope
  • Finalist: Hitachi Solutions
  • Finalist: VeriPark

Modern Datacenter: Customer Focus Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Dimension Data
  • Winner: Cisco
  • Winner: NetApp
  • Finalist: Hewlett Packard
  • Finalist: Infront Consulting Group (M) Sdn Bhd
  • Finalist: Technology Effect

Modern Datacenter: Hybrid Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Convergent Computing (CCO)
  • Finalist: CDW
  • Finalist: CommVault
  • Finalist: OCSL

OEM Device Partner of the Year

  • Winner: TrekStor GmbH
  • Finalist: Exertis
  • Finalist: Yifang Digital Technology Co., LTD.

Office and SharePoint Application Development Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Nintex
  • Finalist: DocuSign, Inc
  • Finalist:
  • Finalist: K2

Open Source on Azure Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Alter Way
  • Finalist: Chef
  • Finalist: Omega software
  • Finalist: Sela group

Project and Portfolio Management Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Projectum
  • Finalist: Corporate Project Solutions
  • Finalist: Sensei Project Solutions
  • Finalist: TPG The Project Group

Public Sector: CityNext Partner of the Year

  • Winner: LeapThought NZ Ltd
  • Finalist: Atos
  • Finalist: Intervate
  • Finalist: Ireckon

Public Sector: Education Partner of the Year

  • Winner: IAM Cloud
  • Finalist: GeoGebra
  • Finalist: Innofactor Plc
  • Finalist: New Era IT Ltd

Public Sector: Government Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Advanced Digital Systems, Inc. (d/b/a “Mi-Co”)
  • Finalist: Data#3 Limited
  • Finalist: OGD ict-diensten
  • Finalist: Outsourcery

Public Sector: Health Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Rapid Circle
  • Finalist:
  • Finalist: Cloud2 Ltd
  • Finalist: SELA Canada

Public Sector: Public Safety and National Security Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Black Marble
  • Finalist: Innofactor Plc
  • Finalist: Intergraph Corporation
  • Finalist: Softec International

Small & Midmarket Cloud Solutions Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Adactit
  • Finalist: Bitscape Infotech Pvt Ltd
  • Finalist: Paradigm Systems Ltd
  • Finalist: TINCORP

Software Asset Management (SAM) Partner of the Year

  • Winner: COMPAREX
  • Finalist: Fritz & Macziol GmbH
  • Finalist: Infraware
  • Finalist: Universal Management Solutions

Volume Licensing Partner of the Year

  • Winner: COMPAREX
  • Finalist: Crayon Group
  • Finalist: SHI International Corp
  • Finalist: Softwareone

Windows 8 Custom App Developer Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Black Marble
  • Finalist: Bluefragments
  • Finalist: Connecting Software
  • Finalist: Marker Metro Limited

YouthSpark Citizenship Partner of the Year

  • Winner: Global Knowledge
  • Finalist: MReady
  • Finalist: InterSoftware
  • Finalist: MReady

About Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference

Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference provides Microsoft’s partner community with access to key marketing and business strategies, leadership, and information regarding specific customer solutions designed to help partners succeed in the marketplace. Along with informative learning opportunities covering sales, marketing, services and technology, the Worldwide Partner Conference is an ideal setting for partners to garner valuable knowledge from their peers and from Microsoft. More information can be found at

Related:  Microsoft Partners with Small Business Administration

Microsoft to Offer Windows 10 as Free Upgrade Starting July

Windows 10 Free Upgrade from Microsoft

Windows 10 to Be Offered As Free Upgrade

A media release from Microsoft this morning says that Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade to existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users starting July 29th.  The question is – who is going to be willing to be among the first to try it?  It is well noted that early adopters of previous Windows versions have often faced serious problems and frustrations with new versions of the operating system.

Here is the official media release from Microsoft:

Microsoft Corp. has announced that Windows 10 will be available July 29 in 190 countries. Windows 10 will help people be more productive and have more fun, with a personal and natural experience that works across all their devices. Familiar, yet better than ever, Windows 10 will deliver ongoing feature innovations and security updates. Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade to people using Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, enabling hundreds of millions of people around the world to upgrade to Windows 10 for free.

“Windows 10 is a new generation of Windows designed to empower you to do great things,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Microsoft. “Windows 10 starts to deliver on our vision of more personal computing, defined by trust in how we protect and respect your personal information, mobility of the experience across your devices, and natural interactions with your Windows devices, including speech, touch, ink and holograms.”

Familiar and better than ever

Windows 10 brings back the Start menu people know and love while enabling them to easily find their files, pinned applications and favorites. Windows 10 starts fast, resumes fast and helps enable batteries to last longer. More secure than ever, Windows 10 includes Windows Hello, Microsoft Passport and Windows Defender for anti-malware protection, and a commitment to deliver free, ongoing security updates for the supported lifetime of the device. Optimized for both keyboard and touch, the Windows 10 upgrade is designed to be compatible with Windows devices and applications.

A more personal and natural experience

Windows 10 adapts to people for a more personal experience. Cortana, the world’s first truly personal digital assistant, helps people get things done across all their devices. Cortana learns individual preferences to provide relevant recommendations, fast access to information and important reminders via talking or typing. Windows Hello greets people by name and lets them log in to their PC without a password — providing instant, more secure access to their Windows 10 devices through biometric authentication. Windows 10 also lets people interact with their device via the traditional mouse and keyboard or through more natural ways such as voice, pen or gesture.

Be more productive

Windows 10 will help people get more done with less effort than ever before. Microsoft Edge, the all-new browser designed to get things done online in new ways, offers built-in inking, sharing and reading view. With Cortana integrated, Microsoft Edge offers quick results and content based on individual interests and preferences. Fast, streamlined and personal, Microsoft Edge empowers people to focus on just the content that matters to them and actively engage with the Web.

In addition to the Office 2016 full-featured desktop suite, new Universal Windows applications for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook will offer a consistent, touch-first experience across a range of devices. Designed from the ground up to run on Windows 10 and perfect for staying productive on the go, people can easily create and edit Word documents and deliver PowerPoint presentations while annotating on the fly. With new touch-first controls in Excel, people can create or update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse.

Work and play the way you want across devices

Windows 10 offers a familiar and consistent experience across devices. Continuum enables devices to transform, enabling elegant transitions of a tablet into a PC, and back — and for a Windows phone to become like a PC.5 Xbox on Windows 10 brings the expansive Xbox Live gaming network to both Windows 10 PCs and tablets. People can communicate with their friends on Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One while playing any PC game and share content using Game DVR. People can also stream games directly from their Xbox One console to a Windows 10 tablet or PC in their homes. Games developed for DirectX 12 in Windows 10 will see improvements in speed, efficiency and graphics capability.6

Upgrade availability

On July 29, people can get Windows 10 for PCs and tablets by taking advantage of the free upgrade offer, or on new Windows 10 devices. New Windows 8.1 devices will also easily upgrade to Windows 10, and many retail stores will help upgrade new devices. Starting today, people can reserve their free upgrade if they choose. More information is available here and at


Winners and Finalists of Microsoft 2015 Partner of the Year Awards Announced