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  • The top five states for data innovation identified by the Center for Data Innovation are Massachusetts, Washington, Maryland, California and Delaware.

  • With its status as the world's largest software maker, Microsoft has achieved a state of near-ubiquity. And if you need to be convinced of that claim, then think of all of the Microsoft products and platforms that have now emerged as part of the daily tech, business and consumer conversation: Windows, Office, SharePoint, SQL Server, Excel, Xbox, Skype for Business Server, Surface, Bing, Azure, OneDrive, LinkedIn. The list goes on and on. Meanwhile, if the following events of 2017 are any indication, it's clear that Microsoft will continue to set standards for innovation - by now years after cofounders Bill Gates and Paul Allen stepped down from their high-profile leadership roles. Under the current CEO, Satya Nadella, Microsoft continues to pursue advancements in hardware, cybersecurity, enterprise software and artificial intelligence (AI), among other tech categories and niches. And, through the many community/outreach programs supported by Microsoft Philanthropies, the company demonstrates that it has a "heart" as well as a "head." Our list of Microsoft highlights for 2017 was compiled from a variety of sources, including Microsoft's official website and news organizations.