Microsoft announced that is committed to addressing the problem of a lack of affordable housing in the region of Puget Sound, Washington. Microsoft made that area its home in 1979.
But the Puget Sound area’s growth has also created new challenges. In recent years, our region hasn’t built enough housing for the people who live here. Since 2011, jobs in the region have grown 21 percent, while growth in housing construction has lagged at 13 percent. This gap in affordable housing has caused housing prices to surge 96 percent in the past eight years, making the Greater Seattle area the sixth most expensive region in the United States.
Microsoft will invest:
- $225 million at lower than market rate returns to inject capital to subsidize the preservation and construction of middle-income housing. These investments initially will be made in six cities east of Seattle and Lake Washington: Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah, Renton and Sammamish.
- $250 million at market rate returns to support low-income housing across the entire King County region. Microsoft believes that additional capitol at market lending rates can help accelerate the construction of low-income housing across the region.
- $25 million in philanthropic grants to address homelessness in the greater Seattle region. Microsoft announced the first $10 million of these grants. This will include a $5 million philanthropic grant to the newly announced Home Base program created by the Seattle Marines, the United Way of King County, and the King County Bar Association. The program helps keep people facing eviction in their homes through legal aid, access to flexible funds and case management.
- Microsoft will also grant $5 million to support a new joint agency on homelessness being formed by the city of Seattle and King County.
Personally, I think this is a wonderful idea! I think that more big companies should follow in Microsoft’s footsteps and enact similar plans in other areas. I’d like to see a world where big companies, who have tons of money, use some of it to actually help people who are struggling.
Microsoft announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire GitHub, the world’s leading software development platform where more than 28 million developers learn, share, and collaborate.
Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock. Subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.
GitHub will retain its developer-first ethos and will operate independently to provide an open platform for all developers in all industries. Developers will be able to use the programming languages, tools and operating systems of their choice for their projects – and will still be able to deploy their code to any operating system, any cloud and any device.
GitHub announced, in a blog post written by CEO and Co-Founder of GitHub, @defunkt, that Microsoft was acquiring GitHub. The post states that Microsoft and GitHub expect the agreement to close by the end of the year.
GitHub says that they will remain focused on the developer. They feel that Microsoft’s vision for the future closely matches their own. Nat Friedman, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Developer Services, will be taking on the role of GitHub’s CEO. GitHub says it has been searching for a new CEO for some time.
Microsoft released an adorable ad called 3D Holiday. It shows a series of cute creatures that need some love, and who receive it from other creatures. The ad features Microsoft’s Paint 3D, and also features Remix 3D.
When we are inclusive and celebrate our differences we can make the world a better place. 3D Holiday tells the story of a young girl who goes on an imaginary adventure through space where she and “Gabe the Yeti” encounter various characters who need a little love and support, culminating in a celebration for all.
The Microsoft website shows all of the characters that were in the ad. There is an image of each one, the character’s name, and a description of the character’s personality. In addition to the video of the holiday ad, there are two videos that are intended to be Paint 3D tutorials that people can learn from.
People can use Paint 3D to create objects from scratch or to modify a creation from the Remix 3D catalog. You can search Remix 3D for items, characters, and more, and use them in your own creations. It is also possible to take Remix 3D items and change the colors and textures, to add stickers, or to turn a 2D picture into a 3D scene.
Microsoft announced that Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition, is now available for pre-order. Limited quantities are available. Microsoft suggests that those who are interested “Get it before it’s gone forever”. Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition costs $499.99, and will be available on November 7, 2017.
The Project Scorpio Edition features a custom design and vertical stand. The console, and the controller, each have a limited edition Project Scorpio badge on them. Every Xbox One X Project Scorpio console has a unique serial number.
Memory and Storage:
- 8GB Flash Memory
- 1TB HDD Internal Storage
- 12GB GDDR5 at 326 GB/s
- 4K UHD Blu-ray Optical Disc Drive, HDMI
- HDMI 2.0b (out), 2160p @ 60Hz, AMD FreeSync
- HDR10 Support
- DTS 5.1
- DOLBY Digital 5.1, TrueHD with Atmos
- PCM 2.0, 5.1. 7.1
- WiFi – Dual band wireless Wi-Fi Direct for home networks
- IR – IR Blaster Send and receive signals
- Power Port
- 1 HDMI Ports (1 HDMI 1.4b in, 1 HDMI 2.0b out)
- 3 USB 3.0 Ports
- IR Out
- Ethernet Port
Remember that antitrust lawsuit a few years back against Microsoft? The one where Bill Gates said shipping Windows with Netscape preinstalled would be like Pepsi shipping its soda packs with a can of Coca-Cola? That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the news that certain Linux installations will soon be available thru the online Windows Store. Yeah, I know. It’s not really the same thing. But, I think this is the first time it’s ever been possible to download a third-party operating system thru a primary operating system’s main software distribution point.
I’m now flashing on a meme that’d say something like, “We heard you like operating systems so we put more operating systems in your operating system, dawg.”
It’s worth noting that these Linux installations won’t be full Linux distributions, but rather GNU versions of the open-source operating system:
Developers will (be) able to download these Linux distro’s from the Windows Store on Windows 10 from the autumn, and will be able to run multiple distributions at the same time.
…Without the Linux kernel they’re just GNU distros… or Windows distros…
Looks like Microsoft’s intent here is primarily to add Linux capabilities to Windows systems that are used by developers. These versions of Linux won’t have GUIs, but there will likely be workarounds for that.
A lot has been made about Microsoft’s latest operating system Windows 10. Many people prefer it over the operating system it replaced, though that isn’t necessarily saying much. The big problem people have with this latest platform is how much Microsoft is pushing it, and doing so hard.
The latest problem that Microsoft’s relentless pushing has caused happened to professional gamer Erik Flom, and it was live on the game streaming site Twitch.
This isn’t the first time such an incident has occurred, we recently saw during a TV news broadcast when the weather map was suddenly overlaid by a prompt to upgrade to Windows 10. While that incident was taken good-naturedly by the meteorologist, this one did not meet with the same reaction. There was cursing involved and video of the whole incident has gone viral thanks to Reddit.
In this case, it was not a message prompting the upgrade, Flom already was using the OS. But getting it doesn’t solve the problem of Microsoft inserting itself into people’s lives. Updates to Windows 10 can also be forced. There’s an obvious reason for that — security vulnerabilities.
But as security firm Sophos points out “Unfortunately, cyberattackers don’t need to rely on zero-days, where a security patch isn’t available, because so many users remain unprotected against security bugs with fixes that are available – and have been for weeks, months, or even years”.
While Microsoft pushing these updates can be looked at as a good thing, perhaps there could be a better way, such as doing so when a PC is inactive.
Developing new games for Microsoft’s Xbox One console is about to get much easier. During today’s Build 16 conference, Microsoft announced it will soon offer a software update that will turn any Xbox One into a full development kit. Previously, dev-ready Xbox Ones were provided on a limited basis. This change will make the full Xbox One development kit available to all Xbox One owners.
This move is taking place as part of Microsoft’s strategy to bring Windows 10 to multiple platforms, including computers, tablets, phones, and Xbox consoles. Dev kits are already made easily available for these other platforms, so it seemed like the right time for the Xbox One to fall in line.
This change should give a real boost to independent game developers. Under the limited distribution system previously offered by Microsoft, some Xbox One developer kits were made available to independent developers. But kits were usually made more readily available to larger AAA-level game developers. Turning all Xbox Ones into dev-ready kits levels the playing field and also opens up the process to hobbyists and others who want to learn more about game development. (It was possible to unlock some of the Xbox One developer kit prior to this update. That process wasn’t officially supported by Microsoft and it didn’t grant access to the full kit.)
The new Xbox One development kit is currently available as a free preview. It will be officially released this summer and will require a $19 fee along with a Microsoft Dev Center account.