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Microsoft Registers New Daily Record of 2.7 Billion Meeting Minutes on March 31

Microsoft Stream is the service that powers live events and meeting recordings in Teams

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Microsoft found people in Norway and the Netherlands turn on video most, with about 60 per cent of calls including video. Pixabay

As the salary day progressed amid COVID-19 lockdowns, Microsoft registered a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in a single day on March 31 — 200 per cent increase from 900 million on March 16, the company announced on Thursday.

As students and teachers turn to Teams for distance learning, there are 183,000 tenants in 175 countries using Teams for Education, said Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365.

“As the world works remotely, it is no surprise people are turning on video in Teams meetings two times more than before many of us began working from home full-time. We’ve also seen total video calls in Teams grow by over 1,000 percent in the month of March,” Spataro informed.

Microsoft found people in Norway and the Netherlands turn on video most, with about 60 per cent of calls including video. “People in Australia use video in meetings 57 per cent of the time, Italy 53 per cent, Chile 52 per cent, Switzerland 51 per cent, and Spain 49 per cent. People in the UK, Canada, and Sweden use video 47 per cent of the time and people in Mexico and the US use it 41 per cent and 38 per cent respectively,” the company said.

People in India use video in 22 per cent of meetings, Singapore 26 per cent, South Africa 36 per cent, France 37 per cent, and Japan 39 per cent. “This may be attributed in part to less access to devices and stable internet in some regions such as India and South Africa,” said Spataro.

Microsoft
As the salary day progressed amid COVID-19 lockdowns, Microsoft registered a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in a single day on March 31 — 200 per cent increase from 900 million on March 16, the company announced on Thursday. Pixabay

From March 1-March 31, the average time between a person’s first use of Teams and last use of Teams each day increased by over one hour. The number of weekly Teams mobile users grew more than 300 per cent from early February to March 31.

“We’ve seen large increases in usage of Teams on mobile devices from customers in higher education and primary and secondary education (K-12). We’ve also seen a notable increase from customers in government-related industries,” said Spataro.

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Microsoft Stream is the service that powers live events and meeting recordings in Teams.

“As a result of customers moving events online, the number of Stream videos in Teams per week has increased over five times in the last month with hundreds of hours of video uploaded per minute,” the executive said. (IANS)

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Special Olympics Partners Microsoft, Xbox to Organise Online Gaming Tournament

The tournament is scheduled to be held on May 30

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Special Olympics has partnered Microsoft and Xbox to organise a gaming tournament on May 30. Pixabay

Special Olympics has partnered Microsoft and Xbox to organise a gaming tournament on May 30 and fans can watch livestreamed Forza Motorsport 7 racing on Mixer, Xbox YouTube or Twitch.

There will be a first-ever Special Olympics award ceremony on gaming platform Minecraft.

“We’re partnering with the Special Olympics to keep athletes connected and maintain the joy of sports, using the power of Xbox,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella tweeted.

Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organisation for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities, providing year-round training and activities to 5 million participants and Unified Sports partners in 172 countries.

Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, said it is a great partnership with the amazing team at Special Olympics to bring gaming to the 2020 Special Olympics.

“Incredibly proud of all the teams that are making this possible and can’t wait to see the Olympians running some fast laps,” he said.

Back in 2018, Xbox hosted the first video gaming tournament at a Special Olympics event during Special Olympics USA Games held in Seattle, Washington.

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Xbox hosted the first video gaming tournament at a Special Olympics event in 2018. Pixabay

“This year, Microsoft and Special Olympics are teaming up for the 2020 Special Olympics Xbox Virtual Gaming Event featuring Turn 10 Studios’ Forza Motorsport 7,” said the company.

Also Read: Yogi Performs ‘Rudrabhishek’ for Safety of Mankind from Corona

Eleven US states will be represented in this year’s event with over 35 athletes participating.

Microsoft and Special Olympics have been working together since 2014 with the goal of empowering Special Olympics athletes and programmes through technology.

Throughout the partnership, technologies such as Xbox and Microsoft Teams have been tools to bring adults and children with intellectual disabilities together in the face of a host of obstacles. (IANS)

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Oglivy Launches Video Campaign Promoting Love of Couples in Lockdown

To celebrate the bonding of couples and blur the gender lines amid lockdown Oglivy, India has launched a video campaign

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A video campaign to promote bonding is started by Oglivy India. Pixabay

While the current situation has imposed social restrictions, caused financial uncertainty, increased stress and anxiety, it has also provided couples with extra time to spend together, helping them bond better. Capturing the moments of togetherness and companionship, W released a shot-at-home music video showcasing how the lockdown has brought many men and women closer.

The overarching theme of the video is ‘W is M, M is W’, representing Men and Women who are working together, having fun together, and empowering each other along the way. Conceptualized by Ogilvy India, the video captures how the lockdown has blurred gender lines, as men and women have found new ways to bond together by partaking in the others’ work and making it theirs. With the larger goal of surviving the unprecedented crisis, the video celebrates the loving, caring, and understanding efforts from both men and women towards shared learning and growing love and mutual respect.

The video resonates with the idea of equal stake and equal responsibilities where both parties are stepping up to fulfil daily commitments together and enabling each other.

“Today, despite all the office work at home, couples have found time and new ways to bond together, triggering a transformation where men and women are sharing and owning daily responsibilities equally. By donning each other’s hats, couples have blurred the gender lines, fostering greater understanding and mutual respect between each other.

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This video campaign promotes love and bonding. Pixabay

The W is M and M is W is all about these endearing stories of companionship. With W always resonating with the modern women and rooting for progressive culture, we feel the companionship depicted in the video is a celebration in itself,” Anant Daga, Managing Director, TCNS Clothing Co. Ltd. said.

Also Read: How To Deal With Chronic Ailments Amid COVID-19

Ritu Sharda, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy India (North) said, “As life turned upside down, and we found ourselves huddled together at home, we realised something beautiful that MEN & WOMEN may be different but are somewhere like two sides of the same coin. Staying in has made us realize that our roles as homemakers were not sacrosanct and when situations demanded we could step into each other’s shoes effortlessly. This role reversal has made us see each other in a new light of respect and admiration. And this is what W’s latest film W is M is all about, a tale of togetherness and companionship that helped many wade through this time with a smile on their face. Because M is W and W is M”. (IANS)

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Harsh Vardhan to Take Charge as Chairman of WHO’s Executive Board

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will take over 34-member WHO Executive Board as the chairman

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Harsh Vardhan Executive Board.
The Health Minister will take over as the Chairman of WHO Executive Board. Wikimedia Commons

India’s health Minister Harsh Vardhan is going to take charge as the chairman of the WHO’s Executive Board later on Friday. At a time when the credibility of the World Health Organization (WHO) has plummeted to an all time low and internationally there’s a groundswell for new leadership, this is seen as India filling up the leadership vacuum.

This all important Executive Board has 34 members who are technically qualified and represent their nations. All of the 34 are designated by their respective governments to the World Health Assembly, which in this case concluded recently. Harsh Vardhan had made a long speech there about India’s response to COVID-19 and how Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown “leadership” benefiting not just India but the world.

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The Executive Board meeting is held at least twice a year. WIkimedia Commons

“The Board meets at least twice a year; the main meeting is normally in January, with a second shorter meeting in May, immediately after the Health Assembly. The main functions of the Executive Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work,” is how WHO describes the Board’s job.

The proposal to appoint India’s nominee to the executive board was signed by the 194-nation World Health Assembly.

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While it has not been a sudden decision since last year itself WHO’s South East Asia group had decided that India would be elected to the Executive Board for three years from 2020, the timing is extremely crucial.

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Trump accused WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of bias towards China. Pixabay

US President Donald Trump has threatened to permanently halt funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) if it fails to commit to “substantive improvements” within 30 days. In a letter, Trump also accused WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of bias towards China and alleged that the “only way forward for the WHO is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China.”

The world health body was forced to give its nod for a coronavirus probe, aimed to investigate China’s alleged role of hiding crucial details of COVID-19 from the world, after 61 countries had moved a resolution at the the WHO’s decision-making body asking for an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation”. (IANS)