Last Friday, we reported that AT&T and Verizon has filed their support for Microsoft’s case in the court. Today, Cisco and Apple have joined others by filing a a joint amicus brief detailing their response. Other tech companies are also expected to join Microsoft soon. Back story on what’s going on, Microsoft has a global network of data centers included more than one million computers in more than 100 data centers spread over 40 countries. Microsoft as an enterprise vendor stores data of lots of different organizations and companies around the world in its various data center. As per US law, Microsoft is forced the disclose the content it stores in its data centers on request from agencies like FBI. Microsoft is now challenging the authority of federal prosecutors to force the Microsoft to hand over a customer’s email stored in a data center in Ireland. Microsoft’s argument is that, just ...

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Today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released its fourth annual reportrating technology companies on their efforts to protect customer data from the government. Microsoft was awarded the maximum of 6 stars since Microsoft met every one of six factors that companies were rated against, including the stringency of the legal demands companies require before providing data, their efforts to notify customers about government demands, and more. Microsoft commented the following on this honor, EFF’s award of six out of six stars to Microsoft is a reflection of the guiding principles, practices and policies that Microsoft employs on behalf of all customers. We encourage you to review the report for additional details and trends impacting data privacy. EFF’s report on Microsoft can be read below, Microsoft earns 6 stars in this year’s Who Has Your Back report. We are pleased to see Microsoft requiring a warrant before handing user data to the government ...

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Microsoft wants to make finding environmental data as simple as clicking on a map. To make this a reality Microsoft has introduced FetchClimate, a tool that makes locating environmental information easy. By drawing a box around a geographic area you’re and selecting the environmental information wanted, you can view the data on Bing Maps within seconds. FetchClimate calculates data uncertainty, so you know how reliable the information is, and the tool allows you to specify precisely the size of the area and the period of time for your query. FetchClimate runs in the cloud, on Microsoft Azure, meaning there is no physical limit on how much information can be added. You can not only look at historical climate data but also peer into the future, as Microsoft has included forecast data from the latest climate simulation experiments. For example, you can see what the predicted temperature or precipitation in your area will be in 2050. The Computational ...

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Few weeks ago, a sales research report from NPD created lots of buzz among the tech blogging media because of one reason, Google Chromebooks. Because the research reported that Chromebooks accounted for 21 percent of all notebook sales, up from negligible share in the prior year, and 8 percent of all computer and tablet sales through November, up from one tenth of a percent in 2012 – the largest share increase across the various product segments. Actually, many blogs misunderstood the report and reported that Chrombooks have captured 20% of the traditional PC market. The truth is that the report covers only the devices sold through commercial channel. Commercial channel are the distributors — like CDW and Ingram Micro — that many businesses, government agencies, schools and other organizations use to buy personal computers and other devices. Importantly, the report did not include consumer sales, nor PCs sold by OEMs, ...

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Bloomberg today reported that Microsoft is in “advanced talks” to invest in location based startup Foursquare. Bloomberg said that Microsoft is vying to take an equity stake in Foursquare Labs. Microsoft may make this investment in Foursqaure similar to what they did with Facebook in 2007. A small investment in this location startup might give them access to data of over billions of check-ins. Microsoft may integrate Foursqaure data into products like Bing, Local Scout, etc, to provide more robust location data to users. Foursquare recently revealed few new features that will engage more users into their platform, The updates included a feature that lets people check their friends into locations in addition to themselves. It’s also unveiling a technology that will send users automatic recommendations when they visit a new restaurant or neighborhood, without having to open the application. Source: Bloomberg ...

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Microsoft today responded to some of the recent reports which claimed that Microsoft provides access to customer data to governments. Microsoft was forced to do so because many media outlets started covering about these reports which has no truth. Brad Smith who is the General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs at Microsoft blogged in detail about the claims made by recent reports. In short, Microsoft does not provide any government with the technical capability to access user content directly or by itself. In short, when governments seek information from Microsoft relating to customers, we strive to be principled, limited in what we disclose, and committed to transparency. Put together, all of this adds up to the following across all of our software and services: Microsoft does not provide any government with direct and unfettered access to our customer’s data. Microsoft only pulls and then provides the specific data mandated by ...

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