2020 has been quite the year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has generated an unprecedented level of online activity, as millions of Canadians work and study remotely, using digital tools to stay connected with family, friends, and colleagues.
At Microsoft, we are working to do our part by ensuring the safety of our employees. We are striving to protect the health and well-being of the communities in which we operate. And we are providing technology, solutions, tips, and resources to help people work and learn remotely while they stay safe and connected.
From Introducing Canadian French to Microsoft Translator, to Revealing new devices and Upskilling the Leaders of Tomorrow, the past 12 months have been a roller coaster ride for Microsoft Canada, and the tech world in general.
Thank you for being with us through all the announcements and discussions. To celebrate the closing of 2020, and to usher in the new year, we have rounded up 10 of the most-read stories on Microsoft News Center Canada over this past year.
10. Staying Secure in a COVID-19 Climate
Microsoft’s recent Digital Defense Report finds that threat actors have significantly increased the sophistication of their methods over the past year, making them harder to spot as they threaten even the most well-protected targets. While it’s critical for organizations to stay up to date on their cybersecurity practices, we also realize the importance of hardware security. Windows 10 is the most secure version of Windows ever built with end-to-end security right from the cloud to the hardware itself. With innovations such as System Guard and Windows Hello, we are always improving on our protections to ensure that we are keeping pace with the threat landscape. To build on this, we announced the Microsoft Pluton security processor, in collaboration with our leading silicon partners AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm Technologies Inc. Read More
9. Microsoft salutes the nation with Great Canadian Innovators 2020 Yearbook
With COVID-19 impacting organizations across the globe, around 14 percent of SMBs face collapse and closure. As some businesses prepare to reopen while others remain completely remote, SMBs face unprecedented challenges. As part of our mission to empower every individual and organization on the planet to achieve more, we released a 2020 version of Great Canadian Innovators yearbook. The new edition features a collection of 15 remarkable, technology-driven Canadian companies innovating in their field leveraging AI, IoT and BI. Read More.
8. Jewish General Hospital uses Microsoft mixed reality and business applications to protect doctors while treating COVID-19 patients
Using Microsoft HoloLens with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, the Jewish General Hospital works to improve health care delivery above and beyond the specific demands of the pandemic. Read More
7. Microsoft Canada and 12 post-secondary institutions announced the Canada Skills Program.
As a global technology leader, we have a responsibility to ensure future generations of workers have the tools they need to succeed, and to help strengthen our economies overall. Canada Skills Program delivers training, curriculum, and Microsoft Azure credits, enabling students to graduate with in-demand data analytics, AI and cloud certifications. Read More
6. A.I. Meets World
Our A.I. Meets World is an award-winning podcast series, developed in partnership with Globe Content Studios, a division of the Globe and Mail. In Season 1 of AI Meets World, we pulled back the curtain on AI and machine learning and got Canadians thinking about how they can integrate AI into their businesses. AI Meets World Season 2 offers an extensive examination of how AI is already making a difference in our everyday lives and how it can unlock new opportunities for people, industry and society – now and in the future. And you won’t just hear from Microsoft; season 2 is hosted by, Avery Swartz, founder of Camp Tech; Avery will be be speaking with some of the brightest minds in the industry including, Jim Balsillie, Michael Geist, Bianca Wylie and Caitlin MacGregor. Enjoy A.I. Meets World
5. Azure Availability Zones launch in Canada, offering Canadian customers additional capabilities to innovate with data and the cloud
As part of our commitment to delivering enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure to support Canada’s digital economy, Microsoft Canada launched Azure Availability Zones ,bringing an even wider set of capabilities for our customers to create resilient, highly available applications for mission-critical workloads using regions within Canada. Read More.
4. KEVtalks #IDPD Episode with Minister Carla Qualtrough – Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
In this special #IDPD edition of KEVtalks, Kevin Peesker chats with Honorable Carla Qualtrough – Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, on some of the struggles people with disabilities are facing during the pandemic and the steps the Government of Canada has taken to minimize the impact. Watch the episode here.
3. In Unimaginable Circumstances, Teachers are Using Technology to Help Reach Students
Over the last year, teachers have had to identify new ways to connect with their students. Watch this amazing video of Kaylyn Dorland, an elementary school teacher at Queen of Heaven Catholic Elementary School in Milton, showcasing how technology can be used for safe collaboration.
2. Accelerated digital transformation in response to pandemic has strengthened business resiliency
The majority of Canadian business leaders (69 per cent) are confident that their business will survive the pandemic into 2021 and just over half (54 per cent) feel confident their company will be able to adapt to whatever the upcoming year might hold. Similarly, half (51 per cent) are confident their business could survive the second wave or spike in coronavirus infections. These are some of the key findings from a survey released by Microsoft Canada that explores confidence levels among Canadian businesses months into the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact technology has had on their operations and workforce. Read More.
1. Building a more resilient and inclusive future through assistive technology
When it comes to inclusion, we strive to create tools and products that are designed with accessibility in mind from the start – because we know removing barriers for people with disabilities benefits everyone.
To celebrate The International Day of the Persons with Disabilities #IDPD, Microsoft Canada released the stories of two incredible young Canadians who are leveraging the power of assistive technology to not only overcome challenges but hope to inspire people of all abilities to accomplish their dreams. Watch these amazing stories here.