Microsoft Debuts

Microsoft Debuts

Microsoft expands its Microsoft Cloud Partner Program and offers AI services that open up new options for partners.


In order to adapt to clients’ evolving demands and support our partners, we introduced the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program last October. With its broad range of specialized partner offerings, which includes new Solutions Partner certifications that correspond to our six commercial solution areas spanning Azure, Modern Work, Security, and Business Applications, we established a setting where partners may continue to prosper.

Today, I’d want to go through some of the new investments we’re making to help more of our partners invest in Microsoft, expand their companies, and satisfy customers. These investments, like the Cloud Partner Program itself, are made to not only assist clients in navigating new working arrangements but also to provide partners a chance to stand out and provide special benefits to clients.

Recent AI integrations across Microsoft’s suite of tools present a real opportunity for partners to offer unique innovation, differentiated value and AI expertise to customers.

  • With Bing, better search, more complete answers, and the ability to generate content mean that users can better harness the world’s knowledge.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot provides interactive, AI-powered assistance across business functions, relieving the burden of mundane tasks.
  • Microsoft 365 Copilot combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with your data in the Microsoft Graph and the Microsoft 365 apps to turn your words into the most powerful productivity tool on the planet.
  • Today, ChatGPT in Azure Open AI Service enables partners to build predictive models, automate processes and improve decision-making for themselves and their customers. By applying for preview access to GPT-4 in Azure OpenAI Service, partners can start building with OpenAI’s most advanced model yet.
  • The AI and Machine Learning in Microsoft Azure Specialization empowers partners to showcase their expertise in this quickly evolving area of the Microsoft business.

We believe AI will fundamentally change every software category, unlocking a new wave of productivity growth. We are committed to empowering partners to harness the power of this innovation on behalf of customers around the world, while helping them navigate this new era of technology.

Introducing designations for ISV solutions
To help customers identify which partner organizations are best suited to their needs, Microsoft created Solutions Partner designations within the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program. The first available Solutions Partner designations are anchored on the Microsoft Cloud in six solution areas aligned to how Microsoft goes to market. By attaining designations, partners demonstrate their organization’s capabilities in delivering customer success in the solution areas.

Today, we are expanding Solutions Partner designations to include options that differentiate our partners that develop software: our independent software vendor (ISV) partners.

Designations for ISV solutions are aligned to how Microsoft goes to market and how customers are buying: by industry (e.g., finance, retail); by use cases across industries (e.g., security); and by specific imperatives of line-of-business leaders (e.g., marketing and sales). These designations distinguish an application’s specific capabilities and help customers identify proven solutions for their business needs.

To learn more, please visit the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program FAQ and the ISV growth page on our partner website.

Announcing new Business Applications specializations
Specializations continue to provide partners with ways to further differentiate their organization and demonstrate their expertise and experience in specific technical scenarios aligned to the solution areas for project-based services.

Last week, we introduced four Business Application specializations. These new offerings are aligned to the Business Applications solution area for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and make it easier for customers to find partners that possess the expertise they need. The new specializations include:

  • Finance: Designed for partners with demonstrated knowledge, substantive experience and documented success in Dynamics 365 Finance, and that innovate solutions across the financial spectrum.
  • Sales: Available to partners with proven skills in customer experience (CX) transformation and supporting customers’ growth.
  • Service: Developed for partners with experience delivering personalized service, high-quality interactions and seamless, connected experiences at scale.
  • Supply Chain: Open to partners with demonstrated knowledge, substantive experience and documented success in Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, and that innovate solutions across the supply chain spectrum.

With these additions, we now offer a total of 28 specializations, providing partners with flexibility and alignment on where they choose to invest for their business and serve their customer needs. Learn more about these specializations on the Dynamics 365 for Partners blog.

Introducing multiparty private offers
The Microsoft commercial marketplace is the most partner-focused business platform in the industry and is dedicated to helping partners reach more customers, simplify sales and unlock growth.

To help partners unlock the power of the commercial marketplace, we will soon be offering multiparty private offers. Multiparty private offers empower partners to come together, create personalized offers with custom payouts and sell directly to Microsoft customers with simplified selling through the marketplace. And for customers with a cloud consumption commitment, every dollar of the sale will count toward their commitment when they purchase solutions that are Azure IP co-sell eligible. Multiparty private offers will enter private preview this spring and be made publicly available in the near future. In addition, we’re continuing to expand the ways that partners can package and sell their solutions.  In the coming months, we will give partners the ability to transact containers and VM software reservations through our commercial marketplace.

Coming soon: Designations for training and support services
Set to launch later this year, Solutions Partner designations for training services and support services will enable customers to quickly identify partners that have met the requirements, including demonstrating their customer success.

The Solutions Partner designation for training services will recognize a partner’s capabilities aligned to performance, quality of training and a minimum of one solution area. The Solutions Partner designation for support services will build on the solution area designations and highlight a partner’s breadth of and excellence in support capabilities.

Badging for both designations will help partners differentiate their organizations with customers and in the Microsoft commercial marketplace.

Highlighting diverse-led and social impact businesses in the marketplace
Inclusion fosters innovation, and many customers are looking to find partners that align to their business values. This is why we are enabling partners to submit relevant diversity and social impact business classifications in Partner Center, which will appear in their business profile in the marketplace. By building this information into our system, it’s easy for customers to discover diverse-led businesses and their solution offerings in the commercial marketplace and through our co-sell channels.

On April 19, Microsoft will also hold a virtual Commercial Marketplace Impact Event for diverse and minority-owned partner businesses, as well as partners with social impact solutions (e.g., sustainability, accessibility, nonprofit) focused on educating those partners on opportunities to accelerate their growth through the Microsoft commercial marketplace.

More on the horizon
Microsoft, partners are fundamental to our success. We’re committed to investing in our ecosystem to enable partners to further differentiate their expertise, collaborate on deals through the commercial marketplace, and position themselves to meet an expanding range of customer and industry needs.

This commitment to our partners’ success is unwavering. With our rich product and platform road map, Microsoft will continue to help our partners do even more to enable digital transformation and drive business growth and profitability.

As we look ahead, we are focused on ensuring partners have the skills, tools, and resources they need to compete — and win — in delivering innovative solutions that drive customer success

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Microsoft Debuts

Introducing the 2023 Microsoft Work Trend Index and the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program.


In March, we introduced the world to Microsoft 365 Copilot – your copilot for work. We’re excited to share the next step in our journey as we bring Copilot to more customers and introduce new capabilities. We’re also releasing new data and insights from our 2023 Work Trend Index on how work is changing in the era of AI.

Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program

Since Spring, we’ve been trying Copilot with 20 endeavor clients, advancing close by organizations like Chevron, Goodyear, General Engines, and Dow. Their mind-boggling criticism is that Copilot can possibly change work. They highlight how it is a unique advantage for gatherings and is starting to change the manner in which they make. Also, they’ve recognized regions where we can accomplish other things to assist individuals with adjusting to this better approach for working, similar to the requirement for more conversational, multi-turn associations. As we carry Copilot to additional clients, we’ll keep on depending on this sort of criticism to refine Copilot and assist with directing clients as they adjust to this better approach for working.

“The potential of Microsoft 365 Copilot is undeniable, and it’s energizing to explore the possibilities as we couple the ingenuity of our people with the functionality of the tool. Early access has given us visibility into how it can further streamline processes, speed insights, spark ideas, enhance productivity and evolve the way we work. We’re proud to team with Microsoft as we continue to achieve new levels of innovation and advance the future of energy.” – Guy Moore, Workforce Enablement Lead, Chevron

2023 Work Trend Index
The platform shift to AI is well underway. Just as customers turned to Microsoft to help them make the shift to remote and flexible work, they’re now turning to us to help them understand how this new era of AI will change work yet again.

Our 2023 Annual Work Trend Index surveyed 31,000 people in 31 countries and analyzed trillions of aggregated productivity signals in Microsoft 365, along with labor market trends on LinkedIn to understand what the new era of AI means for work. The data paints a clear picture: The pace and volume of work has increased exponentially, and employees are struggling under the weight of work – putting innovation at risk. Leaders and employees alike are eager for AI to lift the burden.

“This new generation of AI will remove the drudgery of work and unleash creativity,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “There’s an enormous opportunity for AI-powered tools to help alleviate digital debt, build AI aptitude, and empower employees.”

The report unearthed three key insights business leaders need to know now, as they look to responsibly adopt AI:

Digital debt costing us innovation
We’re all carrying digital debt: The volume of data, emails and chats has outpaced our ability to process it all. Every minute spent managing this digital debt is a minute not spent on creative work. In a world where creativity is the new productivity, digital debt is more than an inconvenience – it’s impacting business.

When 62% of employees report spending too much time searching for information, communicating and coordinating, they have less time for deep thinking, creating and social collaboration. Nearly two in three people say they don’t have enough time and energy to do their job. And those same employees are 3.5 times more likely to struggle with innovation and strategic thinking.

There’s a new AI-employee alliance
One of the predominant narratives around AI is the notion employees are fearful it may ultimately put them out of a job. While 49% of our respondents had some concerns about job security, a staggering 70% would still choose to delegate as much work as possible to AI to lessen their workloads. Simply put: Employees know what’s in it for them, the promise of relief outweighs the threat. They envision using AI not just for administrative tasks, but also for analytical and creative work.

This is one place where employees and leaders agree. Our data shows managers are two times more likely to say they’re looking to empower people with AI, rather than replace them. In fact, reducing headcount was last on their list. Their top hopes for AI? Increasing productivity, automating tasks, increasing employee well-being and enabling employees to focus on impactful work.

Every employee needs AI aptitude
AI will introduce an entirely new interaction model between humans and computers, and soon we won’t be able to imagine work without it. A platform shift this big will require new skilling – from prompt engineering to reimagining workflows with AI. Eighty-two percent of leaders anticipate employees will need new skills in the AI era, and we’re already seeing a 79% year-over-year increase in the number of LinkedIn job postings in the U.S. that reference “GPT” or “GAI” (generative artificial intelligence).

Employees are ready for this new aptitude — learning new skills is the No. 1 thing they’d do with more time and energy. Leaders feel the same: Learning new skills is also the No. 1 thing they wish their employees would do with more time and energy.

Introducing new Microsoft 365 Copilot capabilities
When we introduced Copilot in March, we unveiled capabilities across the Microsoft 365 suite of apps that millions use every day to get work done. We’re not stopping there – we’re continuing to add new Copilot capabilities to bring AI to every part of the suite, enabling employees and organizations to unleash creativity, unlock productivity and uplevel skills.

  • Copilot in Whiteboard will make Microsoft Teams meetings and brainstorms more creative and effective. Using natural language, you can ask Copilot to generate ideas, organize ideas into themes, create designs that bring ideas to life and summarize whiteboard content.
  • By integrating DALL-E, OpenAI’s image generator, into PowerPoint, users will be able to ask Copilot to create custom images to support their content.
  • Copilot in Outlook will offer coaching tips and suggestions on clarity, sentiment and tone to help users write more effective emails and communicate more confidently.
  • Copilot in OneNote will use prompts to draft plans, generate ideas, create lists and organize information to help customers find what they need easily.
  • Copilot in Loop helps your team stay in sync by quickly summarizing all the content on your Loop page to keep everyone aligned and able to collaborate effectively.
  • Copilot in Viva Learning will use a natural language chat interface to help users create a personalized learning journey including designing upskilling paths, discovering relevant learning resources and scheduling time for assigned trainings.

As we bring Microsoft 365 Copilot to customers, we are guided by our AI principles and Responsible AI Standard and decades of research on AI, grounding and privacy-preserving machine learning. A multidisciplinary team of researchers, engineers and policy experts reviews our AI systems for potential harms and mitigations — refining training data, filtering to limit harmful content, query- and result-blocking sensitive topics, and applying Microsoft technologies like InterpretML and Fairlearn to help detect and correct data bias. We make it clear how the system makes decisions by noting limitations, linking to sources, and prompting users to review, fact-check and adjust content based on subject-matter expertise.

The platform shift to AI is underway, ushering in a new wave of productivity growth. And for both overwhelmed employees and leaders looking to bolster productivity, that promise can’t come soon enough. AI represents a whole new way of working – one that will require new skills and habits. Organizations that embrace this new way of working from AI on “autopilot” to AI as copilot will create a brighter, more fulfilling future of work for everyone.

Read the 2023 Annual Work Trend Inex on WorkLab and visit the Microsoft 365 blog to learn more about our product announcements.

For all the blogs, videos and assets related to today’s announcement, please visit our microsite.



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Microsoft Debuts

Microsoft Debuts Azure Quantum Resource Estimator

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Microsoft has today announced the Azure Quantum Resource Estimator, which provides tools to help customers create and refine algorithms for quantum computers.

Innovators in quantum computing face the challenge of creating algorithms on current hardware for scalable quantum computers of the future. There are restrictions in computations that hamper innovation. Building algorithms that will run on more powerful hardware in the future comes with acceleration issues.

Microsoft says Azure Quantum Resource Estimator helps innovators to address these challenges. It relies on the importance of data for building, testing, and refining algorithms for practical quantum computing solutions of the future.It seems the system works as Microsoft says it has been using the Resource Estimator internally and it has been instrumental in the development of its quantum machine:

“The insights it has provided have informed our approach to engineering a machine capable of the scale required for impact including the machine’s architecture and our decision to use topological qubits. We’re making progress on our machine and recently had a physics breakthrough that was detailed in a preprint to the arXiv.”

That breakthrough came earlier this year. Microsoft’s Azure Quantum team has developed a new type of qubit

that shows the physics for scalable quantum computing holds up.

How the Estimator Works

Microsoft says the Azure Quantum Resource Estimator is essential because it focuses on breaking through restrictions of scalable algorithms. It essentially provides data on what resources are needed for the quantum algorithm, such as the number of computational processes, and the number of physical qubits.“For the first time, it is possible to compare resource estimates for quantum algorithms at scale across different hardware profiles. Start from well-known, pre-defined qubit parameter settings and quantum error correction (QEC) schemes or configure unique settings across a wide range of machine characteristics such as operation error rates, operation speeds, and error correction schemes and thresholds.”

Tip of the day: Though many VPN providers have their own apps, you can in many cases connect to a VPN in Windows without any third-party software. This is ideal if you have a self-hosted VPN or if you’re using a PC with restricted permissions. In our tutorial, we’re showing you how to connect to a VPN in Windows.

Source Winbuzzer


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Microsoft Debuts

Microsoft Debuts Xbox Game Pass Family & Friends


Back last month, Microsoft introduced a preview for its Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family subscription plan, beginning in Colombia and Ireland. Despite that preview, the company kept many of the details to itself. Well, that changed recently when Microsoft provided more information about the new plan.

With the preview now rolling out, Microsoft is offering pricing details. Instead of paying for separate Xbox Game Pass subs, users can pay a single price for up to four friends or family.

It is worth noting the sharing plan is only available for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. This is the premium version of the service that provides the complete Game Pass library, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Xbox Gold, Xbox Live, and EA Play.

Pricing in Ireland shows that the sharing plan will cost €21.99 per month (49,000 COP in Colombia). Regular Xbox Game Pass Ultimate currently costs $14.99. Last month it was thought the company would only allow different family members, but we now know it will also include friends.


Essentially, this €5 per month per person for four people to have the full benefits of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate:

“This makes it even easier to play the best Game Pass games with friends and family across console, PC, and cloud by enabling you to add up to four people to your subscription, all with their own unique access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate games, content, and benefits.”

For users who are currently on a plan and want to switch within their billing cycle, the following options are available:

  • 30 days Xbox Game Pass Ultimate = 18 days Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family
  • 30 days Xbox Game Pass (Console) = 12 days Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family
  • 30 days PC Game Pass = 12 days Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family
  • 30 days Xbox Live Gold = 12 days Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family
  • 30 days EA Play = 6 days Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family

Tip of the day: Windows Update downloads can often be frustrating because they are several gigabytes in size and can slow down your internet connection. That means your device may work with reduced performance while the update is downloading. In our guide, we show you how to limit bandwidth for Windows Update downloads, so they won’t bother you again.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Debuts

Microsoft Dev Box Makes Debut in Public Preview



At Build 2022, one of the most interesting announcements was Microsoft Dev Box, a managed service expansion for Azure Virtual Desktop to provide cloud-based virtual workstations for developers. Today, Microsoft says that Dev Box is now available in public preview.

In a blog post, Microsoft principal group program manager Anthony Cangialosi says IT companies are often forced to choose between providing flexibility for developers and maintaining productivity when trying to keep workstations secure.

“Supply chain challenges have led to developers waiting weeks or months to get the hardware they need, forcing them to use aging hardware or unsecured personal devices. At the same time, hybrid work has forced IT to open access to corporate and on-premises resources to developers around the world.”

Microsoft Dev Box provides developers with a way to create a virtual machine that is configured automatically through the company’s cloud infrastructure. This can be done without needing to set up workstations.


With Dev Box, developers can configure their team members and images to allow instant coding on virtual machines. In its original announcement blog post, Microsoft provides the following details:

“Microsoft Dev Box ensures developers always have the right tools and resources based on project, task, and even role. When building Dev Boxes, dev teams select from a range of SKUs to define the right level of compute for each project and instantly scale up aging physical hardware. Thanks to Azure Active Directory integration, teams can rapidly onboard new team members by assigning them to Azure Active Directory groups that grant access to the Dev Boxes they need for their projects.

Microsoft wants developers to tap into Microsoft Dev Box to put more focus on writing code instead of having to deal with workstation security and management. Each Dev Box is preconfigured for the developer’s workloads, including settings and tools the dev needs. You can check it out for yourself via the public preview in the Microsoft Azure portal.

Tip of the day: For the most part, Windows apps are stable, but they can still be still thrown out of whack by updates or configuration issues. Many boot their PC to find their Microsoft Store isn’t working or their Windows apps aren’t opening. Luckily Windows 11 and Windows 10 have an automatic repair feature for apps that can resolve such issues.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Debuts

Microsoft Debuts Xbox Game Pass Family Subscription Plan

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Microsoft is rolling out a preview for an Xbox Game Pass family subscription plan, allowing customers to share their subscription with up to four other players.

The test is rolling out in just two markets. Those two countries are random enough to suggest Microsoft simply pulled the names from a hat… Colombia and Ireland. Why those two markets? Who knows, but it seems Microsoft will preview and then roll out to other countries at a later date.

Until now, Xbox Game Pass has only been available for individual users. This is something of an annoyance, especially for subscribers who have an Xbox as a home console for the family. For example, the Xbox Series S is all digital and the backbone of the experience is Xbox Game Pass.

If there are four different family members with individual profiles, each member can use a single Xbox Game Pass subscription, but with limitations. For example, only the main account/profile can access Cloud Gaming. With a family subscription plan, the benefits of Game Pass Ultimate will be available to all members.


“Starting today in Colombia and Ireland, Xbox Insiders can begin to preview a plan that allows multiple people to share Game Pass Ultimate benefits,” explains Tyler Mittleider, a senior technical program manager at Microsoft.

“This makes it even easier to play the best Game Pass games with friends and family across console, PC, and cloud by enabling you to add up to four people to your subscription, all with their own unique access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate games, content, and benefits.”

It is worth noting the sharing plan is only available for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. This is the premium version of the service that provides the complete Game Pass library, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Xbox Gold, Xbox Live, and EA Play.

Pricing in Ireland shows that the sharing plan will cost €21.99 per month. Regular Xbox Game Pass Ultimate currently costs $14.99.

Tip of the day: The Windows Clipboard history feature provides the functionality across device, space, and time, letting you copy on one computer and paste the text days later on a different PC. All of it is possible via the Windows 10 clipboard manager, which lets you view, delete, pin, and clear clipboard history at will.

Our tutorial shows you how to enable the feature, clear clipboard history, and help/disable clipboard sync to meet your preferences. You can also create a clear clipboard shortcut to quickly remove stored content.

Source   Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Debuts

Microsoft Debuts Outlook Lite App on Android



Last month, Microsoft announced its plans to offer a new Outlook Lite app on Android. Fast forward a month and the company is now rolling out that smaller and lighter version of its popular email client. Microsoft says the app is smaller, more resource efficient, faster, and takes less battery.

On top of that, the company adds Outlook Lite to maintain the core functionality of the main app. After all that, you may be wondering what’s the point of the old Outlook. I’ll get to that, but first, let’s look at this new Outlook Lite and what it is all about.

Android’s open nature and position as the most popular/used OS in the world means it has millions of users on budget devices. In fact, the majority of Android users are on low-end or low-specification smartphones.

While Outlook is not the most intensive application, it can take a load on those lower-end devices. Outlook Lite is the answer and the app weighs just 5MB to download. Microsoft says it “uses extremely low storage on your phone.”

In fact, it is specifically designed to run on Android devices of all power capabilities, including those with just 1GB of RAM. Also, it will work on lower band mobile networks, such as 3G and even 2G.


So, is this a real alternative to the main Outlook client even for users with powerful devices in strong network areas? Yes, but probably not. The speed of the main client and its general efficiency will shine through in those circumstances. It is also worth noting while the core features of Outlook are on the Lite app, more pro-level tools are not.

Either way, if you are in an emerging market, Outlook Lite is worth checking it out. Microsoft says the app is available in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela.

Tip of the day: When Windows 10 or Windows 11 has issues, it’s not rare to run into startup problems. Corrupted Windows files, incorrect system configuration, driver failure, or registry tweaks can all cause this issue.

Using Windows startup repair can fix boot issues caused by the most prevalent issues. Though it may seem that all is lost when you run into startup problems, it’s important to try a Windows boot repair so you can at least narrow down the source of the issue. If it doesn’t work, you may have to reinstall the OS or test your hardware.

Source  Winbuzzer

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