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It doesn’t take a boat ride at Disneyland to know it’s a small world, after all.
This is a concept built into the very DNA of Skype, which lets users stay in touch with family and friends across the world with little more than a click of the mouse.
To make this point, Comedian Mark Malkoff decided to see if he could talk to people in 162 countries around the world using Skype. That’s a lot of countries. Take a look at the video to see how he did it, and be sure to follow Skype’s Big Blog for all the latest news and information.
We’ve talked with the developer community about being able to leverage the same code to deliver similar applications on Windows Phone and Windows.
Music fans looking for an app that gives them access to new tracks and hours of live music should check out Qello, a free app for Windows Phone 7.5 and 8 devices.
Qello helps users discover the backstories of bands and artists and create their own set-lists of favorites – all from the massive Qello library. With a subscription, select and add tracks to design your own dream concerts. Or sit back and enjoy one of countless award-winning music documentaries. Also, there’s a bonus for Windows Phone users who have Nokias: You get Qello All-Access for free for 30 days.
If 3D printing makes your heart beat a little faster, you’ll probably appreciate Extreme Windows Blog’s overview of new manufacturing specifications and features developed for Windows 8.1, and how these new features can create a bounty of opportunities for all kinds of folks, such as consumers, professionals, hardware manufacturers, and software developers. Windows 8.1 is the world’s first operating system to offer comprehensive built-in support for 3D printing.
Check out the video above to see the Rare team discuss and demo the amazing upcoming “Kinect Sports Rivals” title for Xbox One. You’ll see how you will be able to create your own virtual in-game athlete, or champion, to play in sports like tennis, wake racing and rock climbing.
You’ll see how use of advanced Kinect for Xbox One technology means the game can capture minute details of how you look and move, resulting in exciting realism and response as you play a wide range of sports with other gamers.
Part of the news avalanche coming out of gamescom this week was a press conference from the creators of “Titanfall.” Xbox’s Major Nelson interviewed Respawn Entertainment Community Manager Abbie Heppe and Producer Drew McCoy after the event, and you can watch it above. The clip includes live action gameplay you won’t want to miss.
That’s one of the better lines from the newest Windows Phone commercial entitled “The Recital,” our latest irreverent take on the smartphone wars.
FUSE Labs has a whole new way for people to explore their communities and neighborhoods.
Or rather, a "Whooly" new way.
Shelly Farnham and Andres Monroy-Hernandez, researchers with FUSE Labs at Microsoft Research (MSR), have created Whooly (HOO-lee), a Twitter aggregator that lets people know what's happening in their neighborhoods in real time. Released in beta today, Whooly will continue to evolve based on feedback from users. For now, the Whooly research project is focused on various neighborhoods in King County, Washington (which includes Seattle and Redmond).
In the new, free Windows 8 app Disney Infinity: Action!, you can be both the director and the star of your own original movie, with central casting bringing in characters from “The Incredibles,” “Monsters University,” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.
The following is a post from Wayne Morris, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Business Solutions Marketing.
The next time you purchase a meal while 30,000 feet in the air, take a closer look at the device being used by the flight attendant. If you’re flying with Delta Air Lines, chances are you’ll notice your transaction has been completed on a Windows Phone.
Delta Air Lines announced today that its global team of more than 19,000 flight attendants has started using Nokia Lumia 820 handsets powered by Windows Phone 8 to interact with customers. These in-flight, Wi-Fi connected devices will leverage an Avanade point of sale (POS) experience on the Microsoft Dynamics for Retail mobile point-of-sale platform.
In one year, the Windows Phone mobile platform has gone from fourth to second place in the Latin American region. International Data Corporation’s (IDC) recently released Mobile Phone Tracker report shows that in the second quarter of 2013, Windows Phone was the second most widely used operating system in Latin America.
Windows Phone is ranked second in Mexico for the second consecutive quarter, and now it’s also ranked second in Colombia and Peru. In fact, Colombia is one of the countries with the highest Windows Phone user preference ratings, with 25.6 percent market share.
“During this year’s Mobile World Congress, we set ourselves the goal of being the second most widely used mobile platform in Latin America by the end of 2013, and we are overjoyed to be able to announce that these reports show that we have achieved this five months before the end of the year,” said Liliana González, director of the Windows Phone Division for Latin America.
Normally when we tell you about the increasing power of big data we talk about how big data can help companies mine huge amounts of information to quickly find nuggets of insight that can boost their business. But there’s also a human side of big data. And a canine one as well.
Wednesday on the Windows Embedded blog, Valerie Olague relates how big data led to a new immunotherapy treatment that stands to keep her dog Charlie Brown (pictured above) around for years to come. Charlie has canine melanoma, and without the treatment his chances of dying within six months were up to 50 percent, according to the dog’s veterinarian. With the treatment, the chance is reduced to 2 percent.
Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Windows Server and System Center Brad Anderson continued his “What’s New in 2012 R2” series of blog posts this week with a thorough exploration of the Windows Azure Pack, message queuing and a number of innovations to support multi-tier application scenarios.
Brad’s post focuses on the work we’ve done to improve the following three core scenarios with the Service Bus 1.1 for Windows Server and the Windows Azure Pack v1:
· Application Messaging Patterns with Service Bus - With Service Bus, we support basic as well as advanced messaging patterns for use in modern applications. With this release, we’ve also added new messaging capabilities, additional protocols and simplified APIs to enable developers to write better applications faster.
How do I find friends on Skype?
Yes, I know Outlook is good, but how do I change my Skype password?
“Ask again later.”
OK let’s face it – your Magic 8 Ball isn’t cutting it with all those wishy-washy answers to your pressing, real-life Skype questions. So perhaps you should visit Skype Tips & Tricks blog for some direct answers? All signs point to yes.
There, Matthew de Beer explores some of the most common questions he hears about Skype. The questions range from how to find friends and add them as contacts, how to configure audio and video settings, how to change your password, and even “how does Skype make money?”
“When I mention I work at Skype I often get asked how Skype makes money,” de Beer writes. “We are so well known for free Skype-to-Skype audio and video calls, instant messaging, screen sharing and file sending that people forget some of the other features we offer that cost a little.”
At gamescom on Wednesday, Xbox and Ubisoft presented “Tom Clancy’s The Division” and announced that the game will have exclusive content on Xbox One.
“The Division” is a next-gen experience – an open-world game that features a classified unit of tactical agents fighting an epic conspiracy and combating the effects of a devastating man-made virus sweeping through New York City. Basic services fail one by one, and without food or water, society collapses into chaos. Enter “The Division” agents, made up of seemingly ordinary people among us, who get activated to operate independently of command as all else is failing. The agents find themselves caught up in a web of conspiracy, forced to combat not only the effects of the virus, but the rising threat of those behind it as well. Your mission as a Division agent is to restore order, team up with other agents and take back New York.
The secret sauce to the awesomeness that is “Doodle Jump” is its simplicity: Tilt to move left or right, tap the screen to shoot and before you know it, you’re jumping from one platform to the next, picking up jet packs, avoiding black holes and blasting bad guys.
In a guest post over on the Microsoft Citizenship Blog, Monica Gray, Director of Programs, College Success Foundation – District of Columbia, writes about her organization’s partnership with Microsoft in the HERO Initiative in Washington, D.C.
“The program is designed to increase college readiness for 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grade underrepresented boys. Microsoft’s recent YouthSpark grant of $150,000 enabled us to extend the school year program into a six-week summer program,” Gray writes.
Want to win a “Halo: Spartan Assault”-skinned 128 GB Surface Pro? All you have to do is send a tweet about why you think Surface is an awesome gaming experience on Aug. 21 or 22. That will enter you for a chance to win one of 10 Surface Pro devices at stake in the “Halo: Spartan Assault” Surface Twitter Contest.
The Surface team posted a question on the @Surface Twitter page at 10 a.m. PT on Aug. 21, and will be taking responses until 11:59 p.m. PT on Aug. 22. Winners will be announced on or before Aug. 30, 2013 on Twitter via @Surface.
Hey, do you like fun? Then head over to the Windows Phone Store pronto to check out these 17 top-notch game titles from Gameloft.
The latest update for Windows Phone 8 devices started rolling out a few weeks back and has recently started to pick up momentum.
Last week, the HTC Windows Phone 8X on AT&T and the Nokia Lumia 928 on Verizon Wireless started receiving it and on Tuesday, Lumia 822 owners on Verizon started seeing update notifications. In addition, some Lumia models are also getting a companion upgrade from Nokia called “Amber.” You can find out more about that update over on Nokia Conversations.
Bing is piloting a new, ad-free “school edition” of its search experience in several districts across the U.S. The pilot program, called Bing for Schools, allows districts to remove all ads from Web searches on school computers – the first time a major search engine has offered schools this choice.
You may not know it, but Microsoft has played a role in some of the spectacular visual effects seen in “Avatar” and provided story guidance about the future for “The Island”.
In the latest episode of “On the Whiteboard”, Editor Pamela Woon speaks with Sebastian Sylwan, chief technology officer at Weta Digital, a five-time Academy Award winning visual effects company based in Wellington, New Zealand, and Microsoft Research’s Curtis Wong as they go behind the scenes on some of the most popular films of the past decade.
Would you rather battle trolls in a moonlit desert or dance with them in a sun-drenched forest? Project Spark lets users tap their inner game designer and create their own worlds and stories.
It all started with a question: “What if people could do whatever they wanted in a video game?”
Henry Sterchi is standing in front of a large Perceptive Pixel touchscreen, introducing the game his team has worked on for the past two years. On the screen a character stands alone in an empty world, a tiny blip surrounded by a sea of blank pixels.
Sterchi then starts to swipe his fingers across the screen. Mountains, rivers, and forests spring into existence. He paints a field of flowers and bores a tunnel through the earth for kicks.
In less than 10 minutes he’s created an impressively detailed world. He then picks up an Xbox controller, plops his character (informally known as “The Creator”) down into the world and starts exploring.
This is “Project Spark,” a digital canvas that lets users create, play and share their own worlds, games and stories. Players use a powerful set of tools to create and customize worlds for Windows 8 devices, Xbox One and Xbox 360 using touch, mouse and keyboard, or an Xbox controller. What they can create is bound only by imagination, said Sterchi, creative director on “Project Spark.”
Who loves you? Gameloft does. And to show you exactly how deep its love goes, the powerhouse game maker just announced that it will bring a blockbuster slate of 15 game titles to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.
Group chats are more fun with expressive elements – animated gifs, emoticons and now, emojis on the free GroupMe app for Windows Phone 7.5 and 8 devices. As you can see from the screenshot above (some of the 150-plus available), you can choose the right one for any moment from the compose message screen.