Yammer Shows Message Translation; Facebook Buys Atlas Platform; New Maps Imagery

Microsoft: Yammer announces Message Translation service; unveils reimagined Envisioning Center; Facebook buys Atlas Advertiser suite; new high-resolution satellite & bathymetric imagery in Bing Maps.

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Microsoft's enterprise social network Yammer plans to add "message translation" capabilities using Microsoft Translator (which now supports 39 languages), to allow users to instantly translate Yammer conversations into their native languages.

"Removing language as a barrier to cross-company collaboration can be a competitive game changer for multinational organizations. It opens a world of possibilities," said Adam Pisoni, Yammer co-founder.

Further Pisoni explains, that "Whenever a Yammer conversation includes a language different from the user's default language setting, a translate button will appear below the initial post. Clicking translate will instantly convert the entire conversation, including related responses, into the user's default language. Clicking "show original text" will revert the conversation back to the initial language(s)."

This feature is planned for availability in late spring 2013 for Yammer Enterprise customers.

Yammer Message Translation

In other Microsoft news today, Microsoft unveiled its reimagined Envisioning Center, which offers a hands-on experience with the future of business and leisure -- and also serves as a laboratory for the company's engineering teams.

"Visitors can work on interactive desks, talk with colleagues through digital walls, and cook in a Kinect-enabled kitchen. Microsoft expects thousands of customers to explore the new space each year," posted Jonathan Cluts, director of Microsoft's Strategic Prototyping team.

These scenarios are based on reality, not science fiction.

reimagined Microsoft Envisioning Center

And, on Tuesday February 26th, the Motley Fool a leading resource for individual investors launched its first daily online show, Investor Beat on MSN Money.

They will share their expert opinion on the day's business headlines along with actionable investing advice.

Microsoft divesting itself of another piece of the aQuantive assets it bought back in 2007, this time by selling Atlas ad platform to Facebook--acquired "Atlas Advertiser suite."

This agreement with Facebook represents a great opportunity for both parties, Facebook in a statement said,

"Many marketers that advertise on Facebook today use Atlas, and Atlas has been an approved partner for measurement since June. Today's agreement brings us closer together in a way that benefits both Facebook and Atlas' agency and marketer clients. Atlas clients should not see any change to the service they receive today, and we will continue to innovate and invest in the Atlas platform."

Surface RT rolls out to Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan, and Surface Pro to Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Bing is using new high resolution satellite imagery (now covers 100% of the US and 90% of Western Europe) and bathymetry data to add new detail and coverage to the "top of the world" views within Bing Maps and the Windows 8 Maps App.

Microsoft's new seamless satellite imagery (which covers 13,799,276 sq km) is powered by TerraColor and features a resolution of 15 meters per pixel.

The new base satellite layer for zoomed out views of Bing's imagery (zoom levels 1-13) offers a look under the ocean's surface, a satellite layer analyzed and processed with reduced cloud cover in areas "notorious for persistent cloud cover such as high latitude and equatorial regions".

And, the new bathymetric imagery, is pretty much a topography of the ocean floor represented by either a dark blue color shading or light blue color shading indicating changes in the ocean depth.

"An ocean mask minimizes areas typically obscured by ice and clouds. The combination of the ocean mask and bathymetric imagery provides a more meaningful view of the world oceans," Microsoft explained.

Here's a look at the High-Resolution Nadir or "Straight Down" orthophotos taken by aircraft or satellite:

New High-resolution Bing satellite imagery

Finally, Bing Fund has announced that social discovery app Sonar will be the fifth start-up to join its incubator program.