Microsoft_NewEnglandAs a Seattle-area company, Microsoft may be rallying behind the Seahawks for the upcoming big game, but I bow to nobody as a Pats fan. Does that mean that whoever wins, our New England Microsoft team wins? Maybe. We’d really rather have the parades and honors here in the Northeast, but we understand that our colleagues on the other side of the country are getting their hopes up.

In all the cities where Microsoft has a presence, we’re strongly focused on our local community, and on how we can help the businesses and young people who work and live near us win at their endeavors. Here in New England, whether we’re teaching kids to code in CoderDojos, giving tech startups exposure with the Boston TechBreakfast, or joining with Social Ventures Boston to support nonprofits, our goal is to help advance the local state of education, technology and the economy.

In advance of Sunday’s game, we decided to stage a friendly competition with our Microsoft Research colleagues back in Redmond, showing our fan support while raising funds for our favorite charities. On Thursday we held a pre-game rally, connecting to Redmond via Xbox Live to play a “Madden NFL” tournament as our respective teams. We also held a raffle to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Boston; while Redmond held a raffle to benefit the Seattle Children’s Hospital. We’re also planning to participate in a Day of Caring with a local charity during the week after the game, wearing the champion’s regalia — so we really hope the Pats bring home the trophy.

As we tune in on Sunday to watch the conference champions battle for the glory, we will be rooting for both our home team and our home community. For me and my New England colleagues, that means the Patriots and a fourth ring for Tom Brady. But whoever wins, the most important thing — for both the players and those of us on the sidelines — is to turn in a good performance and make a difference with our efforts.

Morgan Spurlock’s documentary series “Inside Man” returned to CNN on Thursday with an episode featuring the latest developments in robotics and artificial intelligence technology. In one segment, Spurlock traveled out to Microsoft Research in Redmond, Wash., to learn about AI systems that can understand and respond accurately to speech and physical context. Upon his arrival […]

Fifty years ago the intellectual pioneer Jane Jacobs wrote in her seminal work, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, “designing a dream city is easy… rebuilding a living one takes imagination.” Those words capture the essential challenges faced by government leaders entrusted with managing how communities are built. The remarkable relevance of these […]