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Entering the seventh year of its lifecycle, Xbox 360 just closed the biggest sales week in the history of the hit digital entertainment system, selling more than 960,000 consoles in the U.S. during the week of Black Friday.
Sales highlights in the U.S. during the week of Black Friday include:
· Xbox 360 sold more than 960,000 consoles in the U.S. alone, with more than 800,000 sold within a period of 24 hours.
· More than 750,000 Kinect for Xbox 360 sensors were sold in the U.S. – standalone and bundled.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about Skype and Facebook, Xbox 360 teaming up with the NFL, massive growth in Microsoft’s Live@edu cloud service and much, much more!
Skype and Facebook – so happy together! Back in July, Facebook video calling powered by Skype was launched. On Thursday, we announced our partnership with Facebook has reached yet another milestone with the launch of Skype 5.4 Beta for Mac and Skype 5.7 Beta for Windows allowing you to conduct a Facebook-to-Facebook call from within Skype. This new development in the Skype-Facebook partnership is the latest example of how Skype is removing communication barriers and making it easier to connect with friends, family and business colleagues. For more on this story, read this Thursday blog post from Skype, which features a short video.
What a week for Xbox 360! It’s been one heck of a week for Xbox 360. Last Friday, it was announced that Xbox 360 continued its reign as the number one video-game console in the U.S. Then, on Tuesday, Microsoft celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Xbox, noting the hit console’s many milestones in this feature story and slideshow on the Microsoft News Center. Finally, on Thursday, Microsoft and the National Football League announced a multiyear sponsorship that makes Xbox 360 the official console sponsor of the NFL and NFL PLAY 60.
Three years ago, Microsoft kicked off the BizSpark program to support early-stage tech startups worldwide. Over the years, we have worked with amazing companies, incredible entrepreneurs and a global network of partners and advisors.
Today, Microsoft provides valuable assistance to more than 45,000 startups worldwide. BizSpark partners range from traditional VC-funded startups, to garage-style startups with limited resources, to the entrepreneurial small business person growing their business through technology.
Today, I’m pleased to announce that more than 22 million people now use Live@edu, representing a 100 percent year-over-year increase. That’s more than 27,000 new people signing up every day, making Live@edu the most widely used cloud productivity service for education. New schools using Live@edu include: U.S. institutions such as Southern State Community College in Ohio, New Mexico State, Florida State, University of Colorado at Boulder; Kings College London and Royal National College for the Blind, located in the United Kingdom; the Bahrain Ministry of Education and the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education in the Middle East.
Just as cloud computing is changing the world of work, it’s having a profound impact in education, and it’s changing the landscape of learning. Academia is often an early adopter of new technologies, and I’m seeing schools around the globe lead the way in the transition to the cloud and digital learning environments.
This edition of Weekend Reading features three stories in which Microsoft Research played a significant role – the “Kinect Effect,” the DREAM controller and PreHeat. We’ve also got stories on Windows Phone, Bing and Hotmail. Don’t miss ‘em!
Feeling the “Kinect Effect”. In the year since Microsoft launched the controller-free Kinect for Xbox 360, the device has taken on a life of its own. First, Kinect became the fastest-selling consumer device in history, and then it started showing up outside the living room in healthcare, education and technology. For more on this story, read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center, this Monday post on The Official Microsoft Blog and this Monday post on the Next at Microsoft Blog, which focuses on the role Microsoft Research played in the device’s development. Below, Student Alex Wiggins gestures to Kinect, which in turn lifts a remote-control toy helicopter while teammates Ruma Paul (left) and Fabio Matsui (right) look on. The trio was using the new Kinect for Windows SDK beta during Code Camp on Microsoft’s Redmond Campus.
It’s been a big week for Microsoft news – literally. First, we unveiled a six-story Windows Phone in New York City’s Herald Square. Then we announced a new display advertising agreement with Yahoo! and America Online. Those and other stories are all here in the latest edition of Weekend Reading…
New Windows Phone 7.5 phones now available in the U.S. Earlier this week, Microsoft celebrated the availability of new sleek and stylish Windows Phones with a launch event in New York City. To demonstrate how Windows Phone puts people back at the center of the smartphone experience, Microsoft built a six-story phone in the middle of Herald Square to bring to life the phone’s unique features and experiences. Take a closer look at the new phones and key Windows Phone 7.5 features in this feature story and slide show on the Microsoft News Center. And in other phone news this week, we announced Monday that the subscription music service Spotify is now available for Windows Phone. Also, check out these 10 hot Web browsing tips using Internet Explorer 9 on Windows Phone. Below is a screenshot of the six-story Windows Phone in Herald Square:
Xbox 360 turned in the most successful October on record, maintaining its lead in the current-generation console market for 16 out of the last 17 months.
October 2011 highlights from The NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks the digital entertainment industry, include :
· Holding 44 percent share of the overall current-generation console market, Xbox 360 sold 393,000 units in October, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S. for 2011. This marks the eighth consecutive month Xbox 360 had more than 40 percent of the current-generation console market share.
· Xbox 360 unit sales grew 21 percent year over year in October, and it was the only current-generation console showing double-digit growth.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Windows Embedded, Windows 8, a glimpse into Nokia Research and Silverlight 5, among others. Read away!
Microsoft unveils product road map for intelligent systems. For the past several months, Microsoft’s Windows Embedded business has been laying the foundation for an entirely new category within the traditional embedded market — solutions known as intelligent systems that can extend enterprise software and cloud services out to everyday devices such as point of service (POS) terminals, in-car infotainment, medical equipment and even bar-top game machines. With so much potential, the opportunity for developers is a big one. According to analyst firm IDC, the market for intelligent systems will swell substantially in the next few years, from 800 million units today to more than 2.3 billion by 2015. For more on intelligent systems, read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center.
Anyone who follows Microsoft knows that we’ve unveiled a plethora of sleek, next-generation Windows Phones over the last few weeks, first at Nokia World and then at an event held in New York City’s Herald Square.
What we want to know is, which Windows Phone are readers most jazzed about this holiday season?
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got new stories on Windows 8, Windows Phone, SkyDrive and Internet Explorer.
Improving the setup experience in Windows 8. “Installing Windows is a complex operation that provides an incredibly unique capability—the ability to run a new version of Windows on a vast array of hardware configurations and combinations that were designed with no knowledge of a future Windows, even a version with substantial re-architecture of the Kernel,” writes Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky in a new Building Windows 8 Blog post. Check it out.
A year of NUI on Next at Microsoft. Of all the topics Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton has covered on the blog over the last year, natural user interface, or NUI, is the one that has probably gotten the most ink. It’s with good reasons – he personally finds it a fascinating topic and like all good stories, there is much more to NUI than meets the eye. It’s also a very big topic here at Microsoft that spans product teams and research alike – so there is a regular stream of content available. Check out this Monday post on Next, which rounds up several posts on NUI Clayton wrote in the last year.
In the year since Microsoft launched the controller-free Kinect for Xbox 360, the device has taken on a life of its own. First, Kinect became the fastest-selling consumer device in history. Then, it started showing up outside the living room in healthcare, education and technology.
We’re curious what readers think is the coolest non-gaming application of this groundbreaking technology.
Recently, Microsoft celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the launch of the Xbox video-game console. The system has come a long way since its launch in Nov. 2001, solidifying its position as the number-one digital entertainment system in the U.S.
Taking the number-one spot didn’t happen overnight though. It took a number of major milestones to get the system where it is today – such as the introduction of “Halo: Combat Evolved”, the launch of the Xbox LIVE gaming service and the debut of the Kinect for Xbox 360, just to name a few.
What we want to know is this: what do readers think is the Xbox’s most important milestone in the last 10 years?
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Office 365, SkyDrive, Microsoft Research, Internet Explorer 10 and Silverlight 5. Check ‘em out!
Office 365 gets a major update. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced the first major service update for Microsoft Office 365, the company’s next-generation cloud productivity service for businesses of all sizes. The service will also be available to try in 22 additional markets today, including Argentina, Iceland, Indonesia, South Africa and Taiwan. Microsoft is also making more than 30 new updates to Office 365 to enhance collaboration and communication, and for SkyDrive, adding simple app-centric sharing for Office, powerful file management and easier uploads with HTML5 based largely on customer feedback. For the rest of this story, read this press release on the Microsoft News Center.
New release of SkyDrive now available. Also on Tuesday, Microsoft released an updated version of SkyDrive, featuring a long list of improvements to the cloud service. Some of those new features include app-centric sharing for Office, powerful file management, HTML5 uploads and others. For more on this story, read this post on the Inside Windows Live Blog, which has a short video that shows off some of SkyDrive’s new capabilities.
Welcome to the Black Friday edition of Weekend Reading! We’ve got stories on weekend deals on technology gifts, Microsoft’s acquisition of VideoSurf, the eagerly anticipated update to the Xbox LIVE dashboard and more. Read on!
Black Friday weekend deals on technology gifts. Microsoft is offering an array of special offers for people who can’t wait for the turkey to get cold before diving into holiday shopping. See our slideshow of great deals, most of which will be available Nov. 25-28 only. Also, thinking of giving a new Windows-based PC this year? Take a look at some of the hottest models on the market this holiday season. And check out this guest post on the Windows Experience Blog from technology expert Rob Enderle, who lists his “favorite things for the holidays.” Finally, read this Tuesday post on the Windows Phone Blog for some tricks and shopping apps for Black Friday and beyond. Below is a screenshot of some of the Windows Phones available on Black Friday:
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories about Kinect for Windows, Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10, Silverlight 5 and a profile on Microsoft Researcher Jaron Lanier. Check ‘em out!
It’s official: Kinect for Windows is coming soon. The Kinect for Windows team is celebrating the one-year anniversary of Kinect with the launch of a new blog and the beta 2 release of the Kinect for Windows SDK. The updated software development kit that we released includes some great new features, including faster skeletal tracking, better accuracy rate when it comes to skeletal tracking and joint recognition, and the ability to plug and unplug your Kinect without losing work or productivity. Read this Nov. 3rd post by Craig Eisler, general manager of Kinect for Windows, on the new blog for the rest of the story. In related news, don’t forget to participate in the latest poll on The Official Microsoft Blog, which asks, “What the coolest non-gaming application of the Kinect technology?”
Exploring the ocean in our brains with Jaron Lanier. If you’re psyched about the opportunity to dive into one of the finest minds of at Microsoft, then you can’t do much better than Jaron Lanier – a musician, author of a manifesto entitled You Are Not a Gadget and a partner architect at Microsoft Research, where he consulted for years on the project that ultimately became Kinect. Sound interesting? Read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center if you want to know more. Below is a photo of Lanier.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on the Bing Social Search team, a cool Microsoft Research project, Windows Phone developer news from Nokia World and a new post from Building Windows 8. Check it out.
Bing Social Search team makes search ‘less lonely’. In this feature story, three members of Bing’s social search team chat with Microsoft News Center about working in the exciting technological frontier of search – and what they do when they’re not hard at work.
Using Task Manager with 64+ logical processors. In this Oct. 27th post on Building Windows 8, readers will find the updated Task Manager tools for managing systems with a large number of logical processors. In an intro to the post, Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky writes, “This is scalability well beyond desktop PCs, and is designed for the server and data center. A big part of Windows development is that the OS scales across a wide range of form factors and CPU architectures.”