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Microsoft Upgrades Edge Browser, Cortana at ‘Build’

the software giant also highlighted an Augmented Reality (AR)-based mobile Minecraft game that is in the making and would be revealed on May 17

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

Kick-starting the company’s Build 2019 conference at Seattle, Washington, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made major announcements concerning products including Edge browser and Cortana among others.

According to Nadella, the company is not only working an Internet Explorer mode that would make sure Edge works for business users, the company is also making it easier for users to control how sites can track them across the web with three levels of privacy controls, Windows Central reported on Monday.

To facilitate more natural interactions with Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana, is software giant has decided to integrate Cortana with new Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.

“If it works as advertised, the flow of interacting with Cortana will feel like talking to another person, following the conversation through multiple turns,” the report said.

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A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

The announcements further revealed that Microsoft was expanding its app design language — Fluent Design System — developed in 2017 across Windows, Android, iOS and the web to create a consistent app development experience across devices for creators.

“Developers will now be able to take advantage of aspects of Fluent Design, like blur effects and drop shadows, no matter where they build their apps,” the report added.

Also Read- Here’s How Chinese Hackers Got Hold of US NSA Tools

As part of an incredibly short teaser at the end of Nadella’s keynote today, the software giant also highlighted an Augmented Reality (AR)-based mobile Minecraft game that is in the making and would be revealed on May 17. (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”.

Also Read: Scientists Discover Mash-Up of Two Feared Disasters – Hurricanes and Earthquakes

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)