In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got Kinect and Xbox 360 news, a sneak peek at new Windows Phones from the All Things D Asia conference and a look into a cool new project at Microsoft Research.

Microsoft teams up with Sesame Street and National Geographic for a little playful learning. The upcoming “Kinect Sesame Street TV” experience, announced Tuesday at an event in New York and going on sale in the spring, will bring true interactivity to the classic children’s TV show. Viewers will be invited to jump into Sesame Street and play. Microsoft’s motion-sensing camera will let children interact through voice and gesture with Sesame Street characters who will respond based on the child’s actions. If Cookie Monster says “stand up and clap your hands with me,” he’ll recognize whether the child is playing along and interact accordingly. Or if Grover asks a child to throw a coconut, he’ll look to where the child “threw” it based on how hard they heave. Pretty cool, eh? For more on this story, read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center and this Tuesday post on The Official Microsoft Blog. if you have kids (or if you ARE a kid), you do NOT want to miss this! In the photo below, a few children experience a new way to learn through play with Kinect for Xbox 360 as they try out titles from Microsoft's latest partnerships with Sesame Workshop and National Geographic at an event in New York:

Microsoft Xbox Kinect for Kids

Behind the scenes of natural user interface at Microsoft. It’s no secret that Microsoft has put a huge emphasis on natural user interface (NUI) in products like the Kinect for Xbox 360 and Surface 2.0. However, Microsoft’s NUI efforts go beyond those two products. In this Monday guest post on The Official Microsoft Blog, Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton takes you behind the scenes of NUI at Microsoft with a short video profiling some of the minds behind NUI at Microsoft. Check it out.

First Look: AT&T’s new HTC TITAN, Samsung Focus S and Samsung Focus Flash. Yesterday at the All Things D Asia conference, Windows Phone President Andy Lees gave the world its first look at AT&T’s lineup of new Windows Phones. We talked speeds and feeds on the blog a few weeks ago, but that’s only one reason why you want the new HTC Titan, Samsung Focus S and Samsung Focus Flash. The other is that they’re simply beautiful. For more on this story, read this Wednesday post on the Windows Phone Blog. Below is an image of the three phones introduced at the conference – the HTC TITAN, the Samsung Focus S and the Samsung Focus Flash (from left to right):

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And in other Windows Phone news this week… On Monday, AccuWeather announced a new version of its free Windows Phone weather app, which is available now and includes several tweaks to take advantage of new Windows Phone 7.5 features. And in this Tip Tuesday post on the Windows Phone Blog, blogger Michael Stroh lays out some tips for extending your phone’s battery life with a spotlight on a new Windows Phone 7.5 feature called Battery Saver. Finally, this Wednesday post on the Windows Phone Blog gives the latest update on the rollout of the Windows Phone 7.5 mobile platform.

Microsoft Research shows Holodesk. In this Wednesday post, Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton profiles Holodesk, a research project out of the Sensors and Devices group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, which allows you to manipulate 3-D, virtual images with your hands. The post features a short video that shows how Holodesk works.

That’s a wrap for this edition of Weekend Reading!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog