Gabriel J. "Gabe" Aul, (born August 5, 1972) is the current Corporate Vice President (CVP) of Windows & Devices Group (WDG), Engineering Systems Team at Microsoft. He was appointed as VP on 31 July 2015, following the launch of Windows 10 on 29 July 2015. He led the Windows Insider Program until June 1, 2016, where he was succeeded by Dona Sarkar.
Gabriel J. Aul
Gabriel J. Aul in 2017
Gabriel J. Aul
5 August 1972
|Occupation||Corporate Vice President of WDG, Engineering Systems Team at Microsoft (2015-present)|
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth "Liz" Aul (m)|
The 6th grade was the defining time in Aul's life. 3 things happened. Aul stumbled upon a magazine called Byte which was a popular computer magazine, with an issue about digital art. Aul had always been hugely interested in art and drew and painted constantly. The idea that Aul could use a computer to make the art intrigued him. Secondly, his school got a few Apple II GS computers and offered a programming class. The class was about how to create 3D objects using a program – connecting back to his interest in digital art. Finally, for his birthday, Aul was given a Commodore 64 computer. At first Aul was disappointed but then realized he could play games on it and try out some programming at home.
He used to check out Byte magazines from his school library, because each issue came with a set of small cheesy programs that you could do yourself in Basic. As a teenager, Aul built a home PC with whatever money he made from washing dishes, then working at a hobby shop for most of high school.
Aul was mostly just an interested tinkerer, and most of the upgrades were about gaming. Aul learned, most digital art programs were outside of his reach financially. When Aul graduated from high school, he intended to go to art school to do transportation design (Aul is a car enthusiast) but wasn't able to afford to go. Aul stated "although I could qualify for aid for school, living expenses just made it impossible. So I decided I needed to quit the hobby shop to get a higher paying job, go to night school, and save money so I could go to art school in 2-3yrs".
Aul wound up working at a store called Egghead Software. Aul says "I liked talking to (most) people, I knew a lot about computers and learned a TON more on the job, but the really great thing was that Egghead allowed employees to “check out” programs and take them home to learn them (they wanted sales people to be experts.)".
Aul taught himself to program Borland C++ while working. After it had been 2 years, Aul hadn’t managed to save much money, and was starting to feel like his dream of art school was dead. A regular customer of Aul's said “Gabe, you should apply for a job at Microsoft, you’d love it.” Aul was 19 at the time and was offered the job on the day of his 20th birthday.
Aul started Microsoft's Security Response team for Internet Explorer in 1996, right when the world began to be aware of the risks of viruses and malware. Aul learned a lot about security as well as how to build a team which was focused on rapid response and management of issues. Aul was later part of a team that started Microsoft's Sustained Engineering group in Windows, responsible for delivering hotfixes and service packs to customers.
Aul led the effort to build Microsoft's first product telemetry systems. Before then, Microsoft had no idea about how many problems were occurring on customer systems, nor were they able to debug them. Aul led part of the team creating the technologies to allow upload of crash, hang, and other failure data (Windows Error Reporting) as well as Microsoft's anonymous data collection system for usage data (Customer Experience Improvement Program.) Aul won several engineering awards, patents, and published a paper based on this work.
After Windows Vista, Aul started the Program Management team working on Performance for Windows, with Michael Fortin who led the Development team. Aul and his team spent 3 years turning the "biggest, slowest version of Windows ever into the lean mean Windows 7 release" – the first edition of Windows ever that used less resources (memory, CPU, disk) than its predecessor.
Aul was promoted to Director and expanded his team to include reliability and security, and for Windows 8 they bested Windows 7 on those dimensions. Making it the most efficient, most reliable, most secure version of Windows ever.
For Windows 10; Aul was running an even further expanded team (adding Data Science to his other “Fundamentals” role) and was able to lead the effort to enable Flighting and Feedback for Microsoft's "Windows as a Service" strategy. As part of that, Aul started the Windows Insider Program and got to be the face of the effort for a while. Aul says "it is one of the most satisfying and fun things I’ve ever done at work."
Gabriel stepped down from his role of running the Windows Insider Program on 1 June 2016, citing that he couldn't "give 100%" to both the Insider Program and his other job on the Engineering Systems Team at once.
On September 8, 2017, Gabriel Aul celebrated his 25th anniversary working at Microsoft.
In 2018, Gabe Aul went on a 3-month sabbatical from his job at Microsoft. He has now resumed his role.
AutoCollage 2008 is a Microsoft photomontage desktop application. The software creates a collage of representative elements from a set of images. It is able to detect faces and recognize objects.The software was developed by Microsoft Research labs in Cambridge, England and launched on September 4, 2008.
An update, named Microsoft Research AutoCollage 2008 version 1.1, was released on February, 2009. The software update adds the ability to select images for the AutoCollage, a richer integration with Windows Live Photo Gallery, support for network folders and the ability to define custom output sizes.
A new version, named Microsoft Research AutoCollage Touch 2009, was released on September 2009, and included by some OEMs on machines with Windows 7.Bing Audio
Bing Audio (also known as Bing Music) is a music recognition application created by Microsoft which is installed on Windows Phones running version 7.5 and above, including Windows Phone 8. On Windows Phone 8.1, and in regions where the Microsoft Cortana voice assistant is available, Bing Music is integrated with Cortana and the music search history is a part of Cortana's "Notebook". The service is only designed to recognize recorded songs, not live performances or humming. Xbox Music Pass subscribers can immediately add the songs to their playlists. A unique feature compared to similar services is that Bing Audio continuously listens and analyzes music while most other services can only listen for a fixed amount of time. Bing Research developed a fingerprinting algorithm to identify songs.On March 30, 2016 Microsoft announced that they'll create bots based on Bing features in Skype of which Bing Music was one.Bing Vision
Bing Vision is an image recognition application created by Microsoft which is installed on Windows Phones running version 7.5 and above, including Windows Phone 8. It is a part of the Bing Mobile suite of services, and on most devices can be accessed using the search button. On Windows Phone 8.1 devices where Microsoft Cortana is available, it is only available through the lenses of the Camera app (as the search button now activates Cortana). Bing Vision can scan barcodes, QR codes, Microsoft Tags, books, CDs, and DVDs. Books, CDs, and DVDs are offered through Bing Shopping.Dona Sarkar
Dona Sarkar is the head of the Windows Insider Program at Microsoft. Dona Sarkar attended University of Michigan, where she studied computer science. She then joined Autodesk in internship, where she made the company’s popular AutoCAD software into a free web preview version.Encarta
Microsoft Encarta was a digital multimedia encyclopedia published by Microsoft Corporation from 1993 to 2009. Originally sold on CD-ROM or DVD, it was also later available on the World Wide Web via an annual subscription – although later many articles could also be viewed free online with advertisements. By 2008, the complete English version, Encarta Premium, consisted of more than 62,000 articles, numerous photos and illustrations, music clips, videos, interactive content, timelines, maps, atlases and homework tools.
Microsoft published similar encyclopedias under the Encarta trademark in various languages, including German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and Japanese. Localized versions contained contents licensed from national sources and more or less content than the full English version. For example, the Dutch version had content from the Dutch Winkler Prins encyclopedia.
In March 2009, Microsoft announced it was discontinuing both the Encarta disc and online versions. The MSN Encarta site was closed on October 31, 2009 in all countries except Japan, where it was closed on December 31, 2009. Microsoft continued to operate the Encarta online dictionary until 2011.High Capacity Color Barcode
High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB) is a technology developed by Microsoft for encoding data in a 2D "barcode" using clusters of colored triangles instead of the square pixels conventionally associated with 2D barcodes or QR codes. Data density is increased by using a palette of 4 or 8 colors for the triangles, although HCCB also permits the use of black and white when necessary. It has been licensed by the ISAN International Agency for use in its International Standard Audiovisual Number standard, and serves as the basis for the Microsoft Tag mobile tagging application.
The technology was created by Gavin Jancke, an engineering director at Microsoft Research. Quoted by BBC News in 2007, he said that HCCB was not intended to replace conventional barcodes. "'It's more of a 'partner' barcode', he said. 'The UPC barcodes will always be there. Ours is more of a niche barcode where you want to put a lot of information in a small space.'"High Efficiency Video Coding
High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), also known as H.265 and MPEG-H Part 2, is a video compression standard, designed as a successor to the widely used AVC (H.264 or MPEG-4 Part 10). In comparison to AVC, HEVC offers from 25% to 50% better data compression at the same level of video quality, or substantially improved video quality at the same bit rate. It supports resolutions up to 8192×4320, including 8K UHD, and unlike the primarily 8-bit AVC, HEVC's higher fidelity Main10 profile has been incorporated into nearly all supporting hardware. HEVC is competing with the AV1 coding format for standardization by the video standard working group NetVC of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).High Efficiency Video Coding implementations and products
High Efficiency Video Coding implementations and products covers the implementations and products of High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).Matroska
The Matroska Multimedia Container is a free, open-standard container format, a file format that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture, or subtitle tracks in one file. It is a universal format for storing common multimedia content, like movies or TV shows. Matroska is similar in concept to other containers like AVI, MP4, or Advanced Systems Format (ASF), but is entirely open in specification, with implementations consisting mostly of open source software. Matroska file extensions are .MKV for video (which may or may not include subtitles and audio), .MK3D for stereoscopic video, .MKA for audio-only files, and .MKS for subtitles only."Matroska" is derived from matryoshka (Russian: матрёшка [mɐˈtrʲɵʂkə]), which refers to the hollow wooden Russian matryoshka doll which opens to expose another doll that in turn opens to expose another doll, and so on. That may be confusing for Russian speakers, as the Russian word "matroska" (Russian: матроска) actually refers to a sailor suit. The logo uses "Matroška", with the caron over the "s", as the letter š represents the "sh" sound (as in "matryoshka") in various languages.Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office (or simply Office) is a family of client software, server software, and services developed by Microsoft. It was first announced by Bill Gates on August 1, 1988, at COMDEX in Las Vegas. Initially a marketing term for an office suite (bundled set of productivity applications), the first version of Office contained Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Over the years, Office applications have grown substantially closer with shared features such as a common spell checker, OLE data integration and Visual Basic for Applications scripting language. Microsoft also positions Office as a development platform for line-of-business software under the Office Business Applications brand. On July 10, 2012, Softpedia reported that Office is used by over a billion people worldwide.Office is produced in several versions targeted towards different end-users and computing environments. The original, and most widely used version, is the desktop version, available for PCs running the Windows and macOS operating systems. Office Online is a version of the software that runs within a web browser, while Microsoft also maintains Office apps for Android and iOS.
Since Office 2013, Microsoft has promoted Office 365 as the primary means of obtaining Microsoft Office: it allows use of the software and other services on a subscription business model, and users receive free feature updates to the software for the lifetime of the subscription, including new features and cloud computing integration that are not necessarily included in the "on-premises" releases of Office sold under conventional license terms. In 2017, revenue from Office 365 overtook conventional license sales.
The current on-premises, desktop version of Office is Office 2019, released on September 24, 2018.Microsoft Store
Microsoft Store is a chain of retail stores and an online shopping site, owned and operated by Microsoft and dealing in computers, computer software and consumer electronics.
The Microsoft Store offers Signature PCs and tablets like the Microsoft Surface and from third parties such as HP, Acer, Dell, Lenovo, and VAIO without demos or trialware (pre-installed free trials of certain third-party software that expire after a limited time). It also offers Windows (most retail versions), Microsoft Office and Xbox One game consoles, games and services including on-site Xbox diagnostics. The Answers Desk helps to answer questions related to Windows, Office, and other Microsoft products. The stores also offer class sessions as well as individual appointments.
The first two Microsoft Stores opened within a week of the Windows 7 launch, in Scottsdale, Arizona and Mission Viejo, California. Additional stores have since opened in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas and Washington. At the 2011 Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft announced that they intend to open 75 new stores in the next three years.The first store outside the U.S. (and the first of eight stores in Canada) opened in Toronto on November 16, 2012 while the first store outside North America (and first store in Asia-Pacific and second flagship store) opened in Sydney, Australia on November 12, 2015 In September 2017, the company announced a store on Regent Street in London, United Kingdom .Microsoft Student
Microsoft Student is a discontinued application from Microsoft designed to help students in schoolwork and homework. It included Encarta, as well as several student-exclusive tools such as additional Microsoft Office templates (called Learning Essentials) and integration with other Microsoft applications, like Microsoft Word. An example of that is data citations, Encarta dictionary and research Encarta features, which are available in a toolbar in Word.
The product also included Microsoft Math, language and literature resources (book summaries), and research tools (such as access to an online version of Encarta). Student 2006 was the first version of the product and a new version was produced by Microsoft every year until 2009.
Microsoft announced in March 2009 that they will cease to sell Microsoft Student and all editions of the Encarta encyclopedia by June 2009, citing changes in the way people seek information and in the traditional encyclopedia and reference material market as the key reasons behind the termination. Encarta's closing is widely attributed to competition from the larger online encyclopedia Wikipedia.Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a unified communications platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage (including collaboration on files), and application integration. The service integrates with the company's Office 365 subscription office productivity suite and features extensions that can integrate with non-Microsoft products. Microsoft Teams is a competitor to services such as Slack and is the evolution and upgrade path from Microsoft Skype for Business.
Microsoft announced Teams at an event in New York, and launched the service worldwide on 14 March 2017. It was created, and is currently led, by Brian MacDonald, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft.Satya Nadella
Satya Narayana Nadella (; born 19 August 1967) is an Indian-American business executive. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft, succeeding Steve Ballmer in 2014. Before becoming chief executive, he was Executive Vice President of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise Group, responsible for building and running the company's computing platforms.Surface Studio
The Surface Studio is an all-in-one PC, designed and produced by Microsoft as part of its Surface series of Windows-based personal computing devices. It was announced at the Windows 10 Devices Event on October 26, 2016, with pre-orders beginning that day.The first desktop computer to be manufactured entirely by Microsoft, the Surface Studio uses the Windows 10 operating system with the Anniversary Update preinstalled. However, it is optimized for the Windows 10 Creators Update, which was released on April 11, 2017. The product, starting at $2,999, is aimed primarily at people in creative professions such as graphic artists and designers.Surface Studio 2
The Surface Studio 2 is an all-in-one PC, designed and produced by Microsoft as part of its Surface series of Windows-based personal computing devices. It was announced at the Windows 10 Devices Event on October 2, 2018, with pre-orders beginning that day.The second desktop computer to be manufactured entirely by Microsoft, the Surface Studio uses the Windows 10 operating system with the October 2018 update preinstalled. The product, starting at $3,499, is aimed primarily at people in creative professions such as graphic artists and designers.Windows 10 version history
Windows 10 is an operating system developed by Microsoft. Microsoft described Windows 10 as an "operating system as a service" that would receive ongoing updates to its features and functionality, augmented with the ability for enterprise environments to receive non-critical updates at a slower pace, or use long-term support milestones that will only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their five-year lifespan of mainstream support. Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, said that the goal of this model was to reduce fragmentation across the Windows platform.Windows Phone version history
This page provides details for the version history of the Microsoft's Windows Phone branded mobile operating systems, from the release of Windows Phone 7 in October 2010, which was preceded by Windows Mobile version 6.x.