Microsoft, which recently announced the consolidation of several of its conferences, is now going in the opposite direction and resurrecting WinHEC, which was last held in 2008.
WinHEC, first held in the early 1990s, was an annual engineering conference aimed at Microsoft hardware partners, with the goal of helping them better integrate their devices with the company's operating system and other software.
A two-day conference on high-skilled immigration policy, which attracted researchers from the U.S. and Europe, offered Microsoft an opportunity to voice frustration over U.S. immigration policy.
William Kamela, a senior federal policy lead at Microsoft who detailed the stakes and options his company faces, said the firm will apply for “roughly” 1,000 H-1B visas in next April’s application period. “And we will get maybe 50% of those,” assuming there is another visa lottery, he said. Lotteries are held once the overall 85,000 cap is exceeded.
Microsoft is trying to attract developers to its Windows Phone mobile operating system, having reduced the cost of a developer membership and improving its benefits.
Microsoft is now offering lifetime accounts for Dev Center, with a one-time registration payment enabling developers to submit apps for Windows Phone and Windows, which costs $19 for individuals and $99 for companies. Previously developers would have had to pay this subscription fee once a year.
Microsoft will shutter its standalone Trustworthy Computing group, folding elements of the unit’s work on security, privacy and related issues into its Cloud & Enterprise Division, and its Legal & Corporate Affairs group.
It’s the latest change related to the company’s new round of layoffs, announced this morning. A spokesman confirmed that an unspecified number of jobs are being eliminated from the Trustworthy Computing group as part of the changes.
At Microsoft's own request, a judge has held the software giant in contempt of court for failing to comply with an order to give US authorities access to customer emails housed in a data center in Dublin, Ireland.
Redmond's request was made jointly with government prosecutors, with the aim of expediting its appeal of the July 31 ruling that it must disclose its customer's data, Bloomberg reports.