April 30, 2010
The self-aclaimed king himself James Cameron of Avatar and Titanic fame stopped by the Newseum this week to pay tribute to students from across the country who worked their tails off to come up with innovative solutions (on the Microsoft platform) to solve societal problems… from global warming to cleaning up the oceans to addressing gender equality. These teams were amazing. There was no one they’d rather show their work to than James Cameron, the ultimate example of groundbreaking innovation.
He was gracious, he was sincere, and he reiterated the message of how important technology and science careers are to our continued success as a nation and a culture.
October 30, 2009
If you want to see the future (and the present) of cloud computing, take a look at this Forbes article which unveils the cool Datacenter outside Chicago…
here are a just a few paragraphs from the story…
Microsoft’s New Cloud Computing
Quentin Hardy, 10.29.09, 10:20 AM EDT
Forbes Magazine dated November 16, 2009
Out of the blue: Microsoft’s new operating system will run through all computers in its giant data network.
“In a suburb outside Chicago, Microsoft has been showing off its latest data center. The 707,000-square-foot building will hold, at top strength, 162 sealed cargo containers of up to 2,500 computer servers each, plus thousands more servers in conventional racks. The cost: $500 million. But though Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system is capturing all the attention these days, this bland building might be a place to see the company’s future.”
“All the computers will run on a single operating system called Azure that, eventually, will let big companies run applications like e-mail and house data at this and other Microsoft ( MSFT – news - people ) centers. Azure is the company’s main play in the biggest contest in technology, called cloud computing, wherein data storage and computation take place many miles from customers’ desks. The idea is to cut the cost of the labor, the hardware and the energy that go into data processing, and to make files accessible to workers who move around a lot. Proponents promise cost reductions between 30% to 90%. At the Chicago center only three Microsoft employees and a few contractors can run over 400,000 servers catering to more than 670 million e-mail and instant messaging accounts and drawing 60 megawatts of electricity.”
“Microsoft will initially use this center to run 250 of its businesses, including the Bing search service and the Xbox Live gaming platform. Those now run on servers all over the world. But the real goal is to persuade big companies like Coca-Cola Enterprises ( CCE – news - people ), Fujitsu and Pitney Bowes ( PBI – news - people ) (which have taken a peek) to trust their data to the megacomputers and then trust Azure to manage it.”
If we’ve seen anything this week — enter Los Angeles - it’s that the battle over the cloud is going to be a long, hard-fought one.
October 27, 2009
From Seattle to West Hempfield township, Lancaster County, Windows 7 Parties are taking place all over…honestly, I should have launched it here at the House of Klause — not only because I am loving it (I work for Microsoft, what do you expect), but because my Mac husband has been using it longer than me (on one of his 7 machines) and loves it… Here are some direct quotes…from me and from him… guess which one is from whom..
“It’s fun to shake the screens have all but one disappear”
“It’s 64-bit goodness rocks”
“The Sticky Notes function (start, all programs, accessories, stickynotes)”
“It starts up wicked quick”
“Stability, reliability, security”
“The new tool bar allows me to manage about 50 windows at once!”
Yes, some of these are from the very guy who made my life difficult this week by re-launching White House.gov in Drupal/Open Source. (big sigh…) But I digress. Just for fun, here are some glowing stories on Windows 7…
— First is my colleague Kristin’s summary blog post on some of the cool stuff happening around the launch…she highlights a very cool campaign that our citizenship team launched called “7 ways to change the world’ — looking specifically at how Windows 7 features can benefit the work of non profits and governmental efforts to address the world’s challenges.
— eSchool News: Schools give Windows 7 favorable reviews
— Wall Street Journal – A Windows to Help You Forget….“After using pre-release versions of Windows 7 for nine months, and intensively testing the final version for the past month on many different machines, I believe it is the best version of Windows Microsoft has produced. It’s a boost to productivity and a pleasure to use. Despite a few drawbacks, I can heartily recommend Windows 7 to mainstream consumers.”
– Wired — Seven good reasons to switch to Windows 7…..“Because no matter how comfortable you are with XP, you do deserve an OS that’s both newer and better, and Windows 7 will deliver.”
— CNET – Microsoft Windows 7 (Professional)…CNET editor’s rating: Outstanding
October 22, 2009
Feeling pretty lucky lately, that my job affords me the opportunities it does — flexibility, work from home when necessary, an office right down the street from the kids’ school, constant challenge and working with some incredible people who believe in the power of technology to contribute to a changed and better world.
In addition to all of that, however, one of the very coolest aspects of the job is how we get to give back, to serve. Here in Microsoft public sector, we live and work in the Washington DC region. Those who serve our nation are also our customers, our neighbors. Giving back to this community should be part of our corporate culture, our citizenship charter. And it is. In very small ways, we are able to support some incredible organizations…
For the 3rd year in a row, we’re working with the USO of Metro DC to bring entertainment and fun to the troops and their families..In September, Santa came early — with some Radio City Music Hall Rockettes — to share the news that the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is coming to DC in December…and Microsoft and the USO will be hosting a full show for 8200+ troops and their families…
Santa also made a stop at Fort Myers to say hey to some troops and families…
Recently, I’ve also been introduced to the incredible work of the American Red Cross of the National Capital Area.. Serving on the organization’s Fire and Ice Gala communications committee has opened my eyes to the work this group does day in and day out to support our military families in the region — with everything from basic supplies to airport welcomes to sitting by a wounded soldier’s bed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
The Gala was an amazing evening of honoring our military and their families. General Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, and his wife Beth, helped to honor our wounded from every branch of the service. CBS Correspondent Kimberly Dozier spoke eloquently of the service members commitment to duty, honor, country. Dozier herself was injured and near death, due to a roadside bomb in Iraq, while she was covering the war.
It was an honor to be part of this evening… and to raise funds and awareness for one of the most essential causes in our area.
Here are a few pictures from the night!
October 19, 2009
“What’s the old movie line from ‘Annie Hall’? Relationships are like sharks; they move forward, or they die,” says Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive. “Well, technology companies either move forward, too, or they die. They become less relevant.”
This quote, taken from this past Sunday’s New York Times story on Microsoft’s big bets on Win7 and the Cloud — pretty much summarizes the reality of our industry, the speed at which change is coming, and the ability of Microsoft to remain relevant, particularly among the seemingly nimble competitors Amazon and Google. The next 12 months are going to be a wild ride. We will launch not only Windows 7, but Azure and Office 2010. We will move government cusotmers to the cloud at record speed, battling it out for business every step of the way. I’m hoping for less of these stories along the way and working for more of these.
“We can never become complacent, because just when the services transformation has gotten to this point, the next transformation comes,” Mr. Ozzie says. “That’s the way our company works.”
May 23, 2009
Our Microsoft internal site, MSW, this week had a great story on Lisa Gurry, a long time Microsoft employee who was recently named one of the top 30 Working mothers, along with Michelle Obama, by Working Mother magazine. It highlighted for me the balance, real life struggles and success of some smart women, but it reminded me of the benefit of working for Microsoft where flexibility is a reality and a huge benefit.
It’s a nice tribute that showcases the complexities that Lisa now juggles. The internal site notes:
One of the questions Gurry was asked on stage (at the Working Mothers event) was whether she considered technological advances in the workplace a good thing or a bad thing when it comes to work-life balance. She answered, enthusiastically, that without laptops, mobile phones, and other mobile devices and connectivity, “many of us wouldn’t have the flexibility we have today.” “One of the reasons I value [Microsoft] is that we are able to do some special activities with Taylor while having a little bit of a flexible work arrangement. And Microsoft insurance has been an absolute gift,” Gurry said. “We would not be able to give her the care that she was getting otherwise. I’ve always been a very grateful Microsoft employee, but I’ve never been more grateful than in my current situation.”
May 2, 2009
So, even though my Sweetie was born in Boston, he’s not really a true New Englander. Rob certainly has the “no r” Rivere accent down (“Pahk the cah”)… The whole Italian thing…ok. Although not quite to the level of ”The Depahted,” I think we can check that box, thank you Cannarozzos, Lussos. But when all is said and done, we just don’t get there often enough…
So it has been fun recently as I have begun to follow again one of my favorite Boston gals, Christine DiCarlo on Daily Cookie. Have you ever met one of those Force of Nature sort of people? Well, Christine is all that. I first met her when we began Microsoft Federal’s Salute to Our Troops program. Christine ran the last two events and has got to be the best events planner in the U.S. ..hands down..
Ever since I met Christine and learned she has a blog, I’ve gone to her for any fashion insight I can find. She probably finds me to be the “poor soul” and has charity on me, telling me what boyfriend jeans are, taking me to Barneys for the first time, scolding me for rookie spa mistakes… stuff like that! But she knows a ton.
I am not at all surprised the the Newbury street Boston hangout has one of their “famous” local drinks named after her, the “Christini.” I’m gonna try it….
Kurant Vodka (made from a black currant berry)
Fresh lime juice
Shake all above ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass
Add a champagne topper and garnish with edible flowers or a lime wheel
April 25, 2009
The Lady in (the) Red cape is of course… Clara Barton….
My big Microsoft Federal boss, Teresa Carlson, is co-chairing the even with Jim Shaeffer of CSC, and the team is building each day…Both Teresa and my colleagues Melissa and Katheryn were draped in red Tuesday night. I didn’t get the memo — but next time I will know! (a good excuse to get a red dress..). Instead I wore what is becoming my “uniform” (only new dress I’ve bought so far this season, so you will see it on me everywhere I go..)
The real true inspiration for the night came from some unsung heroes among us… Most people likely remember Governor Frank Keating from the Oklahoma city bombing 14 years ago when he and his wife Kathy helped a grieving state and country come to terms with the horror of home-bred terrorism.
Well, since then, the Keatings have given endless hours and raised millions for the DC regional Red Cross to help ensure that our area is prepaped for such a disaster or act of terrorism.
You can read more about the work of the Red Cross and learn how to get involved in our upcoming events by reading Teresa’s post on Microsoft Federal’s Future Fed blog.
April 12, 2009
There are worse places to work if you’re a coffee lover. I am spoiled. Starbucks one-cup grind and drip at the office. And take a trip to Redmond and it gets better. I’ve been meaning to post this snapshot, a peak inside the Executive Briefing Center on Microsoft’s campus.
It was back in March when I was there for our CIO Summit; lots of customers in town from all over the U.S. A great event; what made it fun for me was this coffee stand outside of our press briefing room…yum! One more close up….