In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on USB 3.0 support in Windows, the Windows Phone App Hub opening up to developers and an agreement with China Standard Software Co. Ltd. (CS2C) to develop cloud-computing solutions. Read on!

Building robust USB 3.0 support. This Monday post on the new Building Windows 8 Blog focuses on Microsoft’s efforts to build strong USB 3.0 support into Windows. Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division, writes in an introduction, “One of the important roles Windows plays as part of a broad ecosystem is developing support for new hardware. This is a pretty involved process and so for this post we wanted to take a look at supporting USB 3.0, something we know everyone is anxious to be using because of the improvements it brings.” The post itself was authored by Dennis Flanagan, director of program management for the Devices and Networking group and features a 2-minute video. Check it out.

Windows Phone App hub now accepting apps. Attention, Windows Phone developers! The Windows Phone App Hub is now accepting apps from developers for the next version of the Windows Phone platform, dubbed “Mango.” Also, the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit is now available, “a great new release of extra controls" that "should let you create even better apps with the Windows Phone 7.1 SDK.” Read this Aug. 17th post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog for more detail on the new toolkit.

Microsoft formalizes cross-platform agreement with CS2C. In a joint event in Beijing on Monday, Microsoft and China’s leading domestic Linux operating system provider, CS2C, signed an agreement to jointly develop, market and sell solutions for the booming cloud-computing market in China. The primary goal of this agreement is to provide public and private cloud solutions to a diverse array of industries through a rich partner ecosystem. Read this press release and this Monday post on the Openness@Microsoft Blog for more detail on this story.

The Year in Review: W3C Web Performance Working Group. One year ago today, the W3C announced the formation of a Web Performance Working Group chartered with two goals: making it easier to measure and understand the performance characteristics of Web applications and defining interoperable methods to write more CPU- and power-efficient applications. Together with Google, Mozilla, Facebook, and other industry and community leaders who participate in the W3C Web Performance Working Group, Microsoft designed the Navigation Timing, Resource Timing, User Timing and Performance Timeline specifications to help developers accurately measure Web application performance. For more on this story, read this Aug. 17th post on the IEBlog.

Putting Microsoft tinkerers in the Garage. At Microsoft, and also in technology industry lore, The Garage is both a place and a metaphor. It’s a place where innovative ideas and mega companies – including Hewlett-Packard and Dell – can be hatched and nurtured. To learn more about The Garage, check out this feature story on the Microsoft News Center, which features an 8-image slideshow.

What will the Internet of Things bring? In this Monday post on the Next at Microsoft Blog, Steve Clayton presents an interesting infographic from Cisco Systems Inc. that shows how more and more devices are becoming connected to the Internet. Clayton poses the question, “What will the Internet of Things bring?”

That’s it for this edition of The Midweek Download. Drop by The Official Microsoft Blog again later this week for a little Weekend Reading.

Posted By Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog