It’s been a busy 12 months for Microsoft in Europe! We saw the company buy SwiftKey and LinkedIn, roll out HoloLens and rack up almost 10 million miles during this year’s Skype-a-Thon. The Microsoft News Centre Europe has covered a lot of exciting stories during 2016 – read on for our 10 hottest articles of the year.
By 2020, millennials will represent half of the global workforce. European leaders are being challenged by a growing generational gap, as well as the need to keep at the cutting edge of digital technologies.
To tackle this, senior executives at Microsoft Norway turned to younger colleagues for their insight and guidance. Magnus Svorstøl Lie joined Microsoft just over a year ago, and is now mentoring Michael Jacobs, General Manager, in workplace trends and digital communications.
In an in-depth feature, Magnus and Michael reveal how joining the program has changed their thinking, attitude to work and even altered their day-to-day routines.
“Reverse mentoring helps me get insight into the next generation”, said Michael, “who they are, what they value and how to communicate with them. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my career before.”
In July, we announced the exciting news that Michel van der Bel had been appointed as the new Corporate Vice-President of EMEA, leading 32 subsidiaries, 134 markets and close to 20,000 Microsoft employees.
On the announcement, Michel said, “I am very proud and excited to lead the areas in Europe Middle-East Africa at such a pivotal time in our company’s history. Ever since 1982, EMEA has had a very strong Microsoft heritage in both developed and emerging markets and together we have a great opportunity to accelerate digital transformation with our customers and partners and maximize growth across all aspects of our business.”
Across the region, Microsoft partners with teams and organizations to take the game of football to the next level with technology. In this feature piece, we revealed some of the ways technology is giving both teams and fans a chance to do more with “the beautiful game”.
For example, European champions Real Madrid use the Microsoft Cloud to connect nearly 450 million fans across the globe through a ‘virtual stadium’ where fans can enjoy matches without having to travel large distances. Through the Real Madrid Foundation and Office 365, the team are also helping kids across the globe with their social and personal development.
Other fantastic teams in the feature include Real Sociedad, Livepool F.C, Mamlo FF and FC Spartak Moscow.
Microsoft executive briefings are an exclusive opportunity for organizations to build relationships with the Microsoft community and business experts. The Microsoft Executive Briefing Center is located at the heart of the European Institutions in Brussels. In this article we provid an overview for businesses interested in organizing their own briefing.
In August, the News Center published a gallery of the coolest photos taken on Lumia phones by European photographers. Among the incredible landscapes captured were the Umbria Valley in Italy, a sunset in Stockholm, and stunning images of Italy and Iceland.
The article shared top tips for budding Lumia photographers and encouraged everyone to share their images on social using the hashtag #ShotOnMyLumia.
Exciting research from the Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU) revealed that taking notes via typing or with a pen creates differences in brain activity, which can affect a student’s ability to learn.
The researchers found that when writing by hand, different parts of the brain were active than when typing on a keyboard. This was the first electrophysiological evidence to prove that the brain behaves differently when using a pen, demonstrating the considerable benefits of the Surface Pen in the classroom.
In August, we announced that a new indie Xbox game, I, Hope, is coming in 2017. Designed on ID@Xbox, the game aims to help young patients take their minds off long hospital stays and difficult treatments.
Developed specifically with the idea of combating cancer, 100 per cent of the profits generated will go to supporting children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. But beyond this, it also offers a cathartic experience for children at the toughest of times.
“As much as I love Shoot ‘Em Ups, big explosions and arcade experiences, I believe that games can be so much more. There are real positive experiences to gain from gaming, and I wanted the public to experience that. With I, Hope, I want to move minds,” explains Kenny Roy, creator of the game.
Back in January, Italian Coop unveiled its “Supermarket of the Future” concept at the NRF exhibition, which serves as a showcase for the future of retailing.
The project was brought to life through a partnership between Microsoft, Avanade, Intel and Accenture. Put simply, the Supermarket of the Future is an ultramodern sustainable take on a traditional food marketplace, with the added benefits of high-tech equipment such as cloud technology, mobile and IoT.
“We wanted to create an experience that was as seamless as possible, without any physical intermediary. Thanks to Kinect and interactive technology, we were able to share real-time data on suspended screens, all triggered by natural gestures”, says Gabriele Tubertini, CIO of Coop Italia.
In November, Microsoft announced plans to deliver the Microsoft Cloud from two new datacentres located in Magdeburg and Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
The new services provided were the first of their kind from a global hyper-scale cloud provider. Access to customer data stored in these datacenters will be under the control of T-Systems, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, an independent German company acting as a data trustee.
“Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every individual on the planet to achieve more,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer, Microsoft. “Our new datacenter regions in Germany, operated in partnership with Deutsche Telekom, will not only spur local innovation and growth, but offer customers choice and trust in how their data is handled and where it is stored.”
The most popular story on the News Center Europe this year was one of the most creative and ingenious technology projects born out of Europe.
The subject of The Next Rembrandt is as evocative as many of the grandmasters’ artworks. But this painting was 3D printed and created using data analysis from Rembrandt’s body of work. What was created was not necessarily what he would have created had he lived longer than he had – but it is a visualization of data in a beautifully creative form.
The Next Rembrandt project fuelled the conversation about the relationship between art and algorithms, between data and human design and between technology and emotion.
Thank you for reading in 2016, see you in the new year!