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Microsoft Extends Security Updates for Windows 7 for Free for Voting Systems

According to the company, this free support applies to both the US and ‘other democratic countries’, as defined by the EIU Democracy Index

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Tech giant Microsoft has announced it will offer extended support for free for federally certified voting systems running Windows 7 operating system (OS) through the 2020 elections even as the OS meets its end of support deadline on January 14, 2020.

This announcement is a part of the company’s ‘Defending Democracy Program’.

“As we head into the 2020 elections, we know there is a relatively small but still significant number of certified voting machines in operation running on Windows 7.

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FILE – A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

“We also know that transitioning to machines running newer operating systems in time for the 2020 election may not be possible for a number of reasons, including the lengthy voting machine certification process — a process we are working with government officials to update and make more agile,” Tom Burt-Corporate Vice President, Customer Security and Trust, wrote in a blog post on Friday.

Also Read: Social Networking Giant Facebook Suspends Several Apps Post-Cambridge Analytica Probe

According to the company, this free support applies to both the US and ‘other democratic countries’, as defined by the EIU Democracy Index.

“We are also announcing today that, as part of the Defending Democracy Program, we are proactively identifying and engaging election authorities that are Microsoft Azure customers to provide guidance and technical assistance in using the most advanced security features in Azure. We provided this service ahead of the 2018 election cycle and will again ahead of the 2020 cycle,” added Burt. (IANS)

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Microsoft’s Corporate Venture Fund to Empower Women-led Enterprise Startups in India

In a recent study by MassChallenge and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), women-founded businesses delivered more than two times as much revenue per dollar invested than their male counterparts

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FILE - A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

In a bid to empower women entrepreneurs, Microsoft corporate venture fund M12 on Thursday partnered with Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures to announce $6 million competition for women-led enterprise startups in India, the US, Europe, Canada and Israel.

In its second year, the “Female Founders Competition” will help accelerate funding for women entrepreneurs developing software-as-a-service (SaaS) and deep tech solutions.

Four winning companies will receive a total of $6 million in venture funding, along with access to technology, resources, mentoring and other benefits, the company said in a statement.

“The tech industry can’t afford to keep leaving women’s good ideas on the table. We need to level the playing field for female entrepreneurs, and together with Mayfield and Pivotal Ventures, we aim to do just that with our second Female Founders Competition,” Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Microsoft.

Submissions for the competition are open from October 17 to December.

Companies will be eligible to apply if they have at least one female founder, have raised no more than $5 million in combined equity funding and/or debt loans upon date of application, and offer or intend to release a product, service or platform addressing a critical business problem for a global market.

A live finals pitch competition will take place March 18-19 2020, with the announcement of winners to follow shortly thereafter.

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FILE – Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Two enterprise software startups will earn investment awards of $2 million each, and two deep tech startups innovating through substantial scientific and research advances will earn investment awards of $1 million each, said Microsoft.

Early this year, Microsoft announced that its corporate venture fund M12 will invest in Indian startups with a funding size of $2 million to $10 million.

M12 announced its first India investment in the healthcare SaaS (software-as-a-service) startup called “Innovaccer”.

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As the corporate venture arm for Microsoft, M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) invests in enterprise software companies in the Series A through C funding stage.

In a recent study by MassChallenge and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), women-founded businesses delivered more than two times as much revenue per dollar invested than their male counterparts.

“We are thrilled to partner with M12 and Pivotal Ventures on this innovative Female Founders Competition, through which we will find and invest in women creating built-to-last enterprise companies,” said Navin Chaddha, Managing Director, Mayfield. (IANS)