Microsoft vs. MikeRoweSoft was a legal dispute between Microsoft and a Canadian Belmont High School student named Mike Rowe over the domain name "MikeRoweSoft.com". Microsoft argued that their trademark had been infringed because of the phonetic resemblance between "Microsoft" and "MikeRoweSoft".
The case received international press attention following Microsoft's perceived heavy-handed approach to a 12th grade student's part-time web design business and the subsequent support that Rowe received from the online community. A settlement was eventually reached, with Rowe granting ownership of the domain to Microsoft in exchange for an Xbox and additional compensation.
The domain name MikeRoweSoft.com was initially registered by Canadian student Mike Rowe in August 2003. Rowe set up the site as a part-time web design business, choosing the domain because of the phonetic pun by adding the word "soft" to the end of his name. Microsoft saw the name as trademark infringement because of its phonetic resemblance to their trademarked corporate name and demanded that he give up the domain. After receiving a letter from Microsoft's Canadian legal representatives Smart & Biggar on January 14, 2004, Rowe replied asking to be compensated for giving up the domain.
Microsoft offered to pay Rowe's out-of-pocket expenses of $10, the original cost of registering the domain name. Rowe countered asking instead for $10,000, later claiming that he did this because he was "mad at" Microsoft for their initial $10 offer. Microsoft declined the offer and sent a cease and desist letter spanning 25 pages. Microsoft accused Rowe of setting up the site in order to try to force them into a large financial settlement, a practice known as cybersquatting.
Rowe went to the press, creating publicity for the case and garnering support for his cause, including donations of over $6,000 and an offer of free advice from a lawyer. At one point Rowe was forced to take down his site after it was overwhelmed by around 250,000 page views over a period of twelve hours, only managing to get the site back up after changing to a service provider with a higher capacity. The case, portrayed as a David versus Goliath struggle by the media, characterized Microsoft in a negative light. The resulting bad publicity was later described as a "public relations mess." The public showing of support that Rowe received was credited with "softening Microsoft's stance," leading to an eventual settlement.
In late January 2004, it was revealed that the two parties had come to an out of court settlement, with Microsoft taking control of the domain. In return Microsoft agreed to pay all of the expenses that Rowe had incurred including setting up a new site at and redirecting traffic to MikeRoweforums.com. Additionally, Microsoft provided Rowe with a subscription to the Microsoft Developer Network, an all expenses paid trip for him and his family to the Microsoft Research Tech Fest at their headquarters in Redmond, Washington, training for Microsoft certification and an Xbox with a selection of games. Following an online poll, Rowe donated most of his legal defense fund to a children's hospital and used the remaining money for his future university education.
After settling the dispute with Microsoft, Rowe attempted to auction off the documentation he had received on the on-line auction site eBay, describing it as "a piece of Internet history". The materials included one copy of the original 25 page cease and desist letter as well as an inch-thick WIPO book containing copies of trademarks, web pages and e-mails between him and Microsoft. The auction received more than half a million page views and bidding rose to more than $200,000. The high bids turned out to be fraudulent and the auction was restricted to pre-approved bidders. After restarting from the reserve price of $500, the documents eventually sold for $1,037.
Microsoft later admitted that they may have been too aggressive in their defense of the "Microsoft" trademark. Following the case it was suggested by Struan Robertson – editor of Out-Law.com – that Microsoft had little choice but to pursue the issue once it had come to light or they would have risked weakening their trademark. This view was also espoused by ZDNet, who noted that had Microsoft knowingly ignored Rowe's site, the company would have risked losing the right to fight future trademark infringements. Robertson opined that – had legal proceedings ensued – Rowe would have made a strong argument for keeping his domain, as he was using his real name and was not claiming to be affiliated with Microsoft.
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.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.'"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, Florida, 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.