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St. Nick is everywhere this season, but so are you, with many of you on the road to see some, but not all family members. A recent survey Skype conducted with Harris Interactive finds that one in four Americans say they won’t be with immediate or extended family members this holiday because it’s too far or too expensive to travel.
Think of Skype as your holiday elf. If you can’t travel to see relatives, consider sending a Skype video message to them, or doing a Skype video call, writes Nicol Addison on Skype’s Big Blog.
Twenty-year Microsoft veteran Jim DuBois was named corporate vice president and chief information officer on Dec. 20. DuBois, interim CIO for the past six months, will be responsible for delivering a broad range of IT initiatives in support of the company’s billions of customers and more than 90,000 employees in 190 countries worldwide.
Starting Jan. 1, he will lead a team of employees overseeing Microsoft IT applications, infrastructure, solution delivery and process excellence.
Hit the ground running with “Temple Run 2” the sequel to the smash hit, “Temple Run,” now available at the Windows Phone Store.
In a new video, above, Major Nelson walks Xbox One users through the easy steps of using Upload Studio, where you can not only edit and share videos of your own gaming brilliance, as captured by saying “Xbox: Record that,” but also see videos others have posted.
“Upload Studio is your one-stop shop for watching great clips from the community,” Major Nelson, aka Larry Hryb, says in the video, shared on Xbox Wire.
For every kid at heart whose heart races with the thought of tackling a tricky hill, the NBC broadcast of Red Bull’s Rampage ultimate freeride downhill mountain bike contest on Saturday, Dec. 21, will definitely get their adrenaline going.
Windows Azure Pack lets you build an application once, then deploy it in any Microsoft cloud, and since it was announced in June 2013, there have been many, many Microsoft blog posts about it. Now you can find those posts in one place to help you get familiar with this technology.
On the Building Clouds blog, Anders Ravnholt writes that just in November and December alone, there were more than 30 posts on the Building Clouds and System Center blogs.
Hello friends, legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy is here with the Anchorman 2 app for Windows Phone 8 devices, and I’m confessing now as a fangirl that I think it’s a keeper – the perfect chaser to “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”
The latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, volume 15, is available via a new version of the SIR app that runs on Windows 7- and Windows 8-based systems.
The original app, launched a few months ago, was “designed to provide customers with an enhanced way to access the vast amount of threat intelligence,” writes Tim Rains, Trustworthy Computing director, on the Microsoft Security Blog.
Who doesn’t love animated GIFs? If you do, and you want to make your own short, looping videos to send to family and friends like you would a text message, you can make them with the GIF Chat app, now available for Windows Phone 8 devices.
The developer preview program for Kinect for Windows v2, announced last June, has been a big hit, with preview kits shipped to thousands of participants around the world. Because of the program’s popularity, another 500 kits are being made available to those who want to bring their great ideas to life with the Kinect for Windows sensor and SDK.
Applications must be completed and submitted by 9 a.m. PT, Jan. 31, 2014, but don’t wait until the last minute to apply, suggests the Kinect for Windows team on the Kinect for Windows Blog. “We will award positions in the program on a rolling basis to qualified applicants. Once all 500 kits have been awarded, the application process will be closed.”
Bing’s team pores over thousands of photos to deliver one special home page image every day that makes you linger to find out more about it.
As the Bing Search Blog reports, “From underwater mangroves to Himalayan mountain ranges, you were able to traverse the planet on the homepage in 2013. With that in mind, we thought it would be interesting to end the year highlighting the top ten most popular homepages based on your interaction.”
Before you sit down for a holiday break packed with gaming, take a look at what’s coming down the pike in the year ahead with new Xbox games. You’ll see "Tom Clancy's The Division," "Kinect Sports Rivals," "Project Spark" and "Titanfall" (screenshot above) among the adventures to look forward to in 2014.
Xbox Wire shares a preview of what’s to come, and if you love solving a mystery, dealing with dragons and battling aggressive and infected humans – well, that’s just a start to how you’ll be spending your time next year:
KBC, with home markets in Belgium and Central and Eastern Europe, is moving its collaboration tools to the cloud, and after examining various solutions available on the market, has chosen Office 365, the company said in a press release Dec. 20.
KBC’s move-to-the-cloud project has been properly validated from a regulatory perspective by the National Bank of Belgium, the prudential regulator for the financial sector in Belgium. Cloud computing has been widely adopted by businesses in the last few years.
If you have a Lync Server deployment, you now have access to the Lync Software-Defined Networking API for free. The API provides a data stream of information about media flows, which are then fed into an SDN controller to inform the network about what needs to happen and where. And with that, there should be harmony in the network.
Links to December updates for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customer Center, Implementation Guide and Software Development Kit (SDK) are available on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog.
New and updated content published this month are summarized on the page, as well as links to quick videos, like the one above on “Two fast ways to get back to your recent work.”
At last! “Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood” will be released Dec. 20 for Xbox One, reports gaming website IGN, which also shares a video, above, of the latest gameplay trailer.
Lovable Max gets in some hot water – and his little brother, too – when he gets mad at his annoying sibling and wishes that “evil itself” could take his brother away. Lo and behold, it does, and Max is left to figure out how to undo his in-the-heat-of-the-moment wish and get his brother back.
Several of the Windows Phone Store’s top apps have just gotten recent updates to enhance your experience with them, including 6snap, WeatherBug and Vine (pictured above).
Earlier this year, Microsoft introduced modern.IE, a free set of tools and resources designed to make it easier for developers to ensure their sites work smoothly across Internet Explorer, as well as other modern Web browsers.
Now, IE11 for Windows 7 and IE11 on Windows 8.1 are being added to the suite of virtual machines available on modern.IE for testing Internet Explorer across platforms and versions. You can learn more about modern.IE in the video above.
Discounts galore are yours with the Gameloft Games collection at the Windows Phone Store, which presents more than 20 titles on sale – and at least nine of those are 50 percent off for a limited time.
If you haven’t registered yet for the Worldwide Partner Conference 2014, you can take advantage of holiday pricing for an all-access pass at $1,695 through end of day Dec. 19.
That’s a $100 savings off the discount pricing. On the Partner Network blog, Diane Golshan writes about the holiday special for new registrants, encouraging them to attend the conference, July 13-17 in Washington, D.C.
To watch some of Hollywood’s biggest hits on-demand on your Windows PC or Tablet, check out the new EPIX app.
If you were going to create your own fantasy superhero team, “Avengers Alliance” is the way to do it. Now available at the Windows Store, the game includes the Avengers, Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk – more than 20 altogether – who you can recruit to go head-to-head against some of the world’s worst evil-doers, such as Dr. Doom and Loki.
Microsoft and Crytek are enhancing the “Ryse: Son of Rome” experience with a free game update to Gladiator mode that includes two new level events, reports Xbox Wire.
In the Gladiator mode, the two new level events will happen randomly across a variety of maps. “In the first, a new enemy turret will appear and bombard your Gladiator with deadly arrows until destroyed. In the second, Reward Statues of Roman deities will emerge from the sands and can be activated as a one-time bonus to boost your Gladiator’s Health or Focus,” Xbox Wire writes.
“Zoo Tycoon” is working with the virtual zoo community to help real-world endangered species by issuing a Community Challenge each month. Players can vote for a non-profit organization they like, and when the challenge’s goal is reached, Microsoft will donate $10,000 to the winning organization.
The voting community will also get updates about how the funds were spent, with photos and information about the impact the game’s community made on behalf of the endangered animals, Xbox Wire reports.
The following post is from Jonathan Adashek, General Manager, Communications Strategy, Sales & Marketing Services Group, Microsoft.
It’s been another significant year for Microsoft retail stores, and we’re proud to continue to offer our customers the choice, value and service they have come to expect from our stores. Over the past 12 months, we opened 35 stores and now have 83 full-line and specialty stores open across North America. We have welcomed more than 362 million customers to our full-line, specialty and online Microsoft Store properties in more than 200 markets worldwide.