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It’s been a busy week here at Microsoft, from the announcement of an agreement to acquire Internet communications company Skype to the announcement of new Windows Azure software development toolkits for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Here are a few of the other stories you might have missed this week:
San Diego schools move 140,000 PCs to Windows 7. The San Diego Unified School District participates in a state-funded proposition called the 21st Century Classroom Initiative, or i21, which brings modern technology into the classroom. Even with i21, the school district was working within a very strict and limited budget and it needed a cost effective solution to in order to upgrade its computers. With Windows 7 and other Microsoft technologies, the school district was able to implement netbooks for students and tablet PCs for teachers across the district. After completing the first year of its rollout, the school district is excited about the benefits it’s already seeing with Windows 7. Without adding any additional IT resources, the existing IT staff was able to deploy 34,800 computers in the first year of their Windows 7 upgrade plan, and will eventually support 140,000 computers. Read this Wednesday post on the Windows for Your Business Blog for the rest of the story.
Kinect keeps Xbox 360 in the No. 1 spot in April. Just in case you missed Thursday’s news, demand for games such as “Kinect Sports” and “Dance Central” helped propel the Xbox 360 into the number-one selling video game console in April. Sales of “Kinect Sports” reached 3 million units worldwide and “Dance Central” sales reached 2.5 million units worldwide. Read this post on the Official Microsoft Blog for more April 2011 highlights from NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks the video-game sector.
Bing gains in U.S. search, Google declines. According to the latest search statistics from Web metrics firm comScore Inc., Bing’s share of the U.S. search market grew to 14.1 percent from 13.9 percent while Yahoo’s share grew to 15.9 percent from 15.7 percent. Bing powers Yahoo’s U.S. search results. At the same time, Google’s share of the U.S. search market declined to 65.4 percent from 65.7 percent. Geekwire’s Todd Bishop covered the story on Wednesday.
Cybercriminals have consumers in their crosshairs. On Thursday, Microsoft released its tenth Security Intelligence Report, which shows that cybercriminals are increasingly targeting consumers using a variety of sophisticated methods of attack. From the latest report, we see these attacks being run like marketing campaigns and fake product promotions, especially during significant events that generate a lot of media attention. In the report, there are some key data points that indicate these tactics are on the rise: rogue security software, phishing and adware. Geekwire also covered the story, reporting dramatic decreases in levels of spam.
Windows Phone: 10 questions for the queen of “copy and paste.” Many people have closely followed the rollout of software updates these last few months, but few with as much personal interest as Priyanka Singhal. Singhal’s official title is program manager on the Windows Phone engineering team. Unofficially, she’s the “queen of copy and paste,” as some of her co-workers good-naturedly call her. It was Singhal who led the team that created this feature, the highlight of the March update. Check out this Thursday post on the Windows Phone Blog, which features a Q&A with the queen of copy and paste herself about how the WP7 team developed the feature.
Office Web Apps on SkyDrive get a spring update. After Microsoft’s global rollout of the Office Web Apps to more than 190 countries in March, we’ve continued to work on the Office Web Apps, and we rolled out some nice enhancements on Thursday, including Excel features like AutoSum and formula assistance, and PowerPoint perks like the ability to change the design theme from within the PowerPoint Web App. For more info about Thursday’s update, check out Andrew Howard’s post on the Office Web Apps blog.
Thanks for stopping by! See you next Friday for another edition of Microsoft news, brought to you by Weekend Reading.
Posted by Jeff Meisner Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog