In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Microsoft’s second-quarter financial report, a new mobile experience on MSN and a host of others. Don’t miss ‘em!

Microsoft reports record revenue of $20.9 billion in second quarter. On Thursday, Microsoft announced quarterly revenue of $20.89 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, a 5 percent increase from the prior year period. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $7.99 billion, $6.62 billion, and $0.78 per share, compared with $8.17 billion, $6.63 billion and $0.77 per share, respectively, in the prior year period. For more detail, read this press release on the Microsoft News Center.

MSN introduces streamlined mobile experience. MSN Mobile has been redesigned to keep you informed, engaged and entertained regardless of where you are. You can now check top news and entertainment stories more quickly when you’re on the go with our latest release of MSN Mobile. Scan MSN videos, photo galleries and lifestyle content, right from the MSN Mobile home page. Need an umbrella? Want a stock quote? Curious about the score of tonight’s game? Simply swipe down to see the updated modules. You can even find new apps. MSN Mobile keeps you in the know, when you’re on the go. For more detail, read this Thursday post on the MSN Blog. Check out the screenshot below of the streamlined mobile experience on MSN:

MSN Mobile

Microsoft, Northwest companies voice support for marriage equality in Washington State. On Thursday, Microsoft joined other Northwest employers Concur, Group Health, Nike, RealNetworks and Vulcan Inc. in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. Microsoft believes that passing this bill would be good for our business and good for the state’s economy. Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith took a few moments to explain why in this post on The Official Microsoft Blog.

New apps now available for Xbox LIVE members. Building upon our catalog of live and on-demand TV shows, movies, sports and music and continuing to deliver locally relevant content to Xbox LIVE members around the globe, the following apps are now available in various regions on Xbox LIVE: Astral Media’s Disney XD (Astral Media) – Canada; Mediathek/ZDF (ZDF) – Germany and Real Sports (Maple Leaf Sports) – Canada. For the rest of this story, read this Tuesday post on Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson.

And in Windows Phone news this week… Check out the latest edition of Pinworthy, which profiles a variety of music apps for Windows Phone owners to rock out to while working out. And don’t miss this Thursday post on the Office Casual Blog focused on how to stay productive using all the features a Windows Phone when you’re not in close proximity to your PC.

SkyDrive and Office: 7 tips for full-powered collaboration in the cloud. A few months ago, we shared a few challenges that customers have with today’s personal cloud storage services. College students in particular have unique needs that today’s services do not satisfy. While we continue to improve SkyDrive to meet their needs, today’s SkyDrive can already help students work together more efficiently. To spread the word, we’re showcasing what students can do with SkyDrive and Office, and we’re sponsoring a $50K Collaboration Challenge for students at 10 universities across the U.S. who are participating in business plan competitions. For the rest of this story, read this Tuesday post on the Inside Windows Live Blog.

A turning point for education? Trends to watch in 2012. Will the year 2012 prove to be a turning point for education? There’s certainly an ever-increasing spotlight on the quality of education and an interest to help improve it from all corners of society. To read about some of the trends likely to surface in education this year, check out this Wednesday post from Anthony Salcito, vice president of worldwide education here at Microsoft on the Education Insights Blog.

Closing the loop on all those delectable devices shown at CES. Yes, yes, the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show ended last week, but we couldn’t resist the chance to show off some of the slick new devices some of our partners displayed at the exhibition. Just in case you missed it, check out this Jan. 10 post and this Jan. 11 post on the Windows Experience Blog, both of which feature short videos focused on new and innovative Windows 7 PCs. Then there’s this CES hardware recap on the Next at Microsoft Blog from editor Steve Clayton.

That’s a wrap for this edition of Weekend Reading! Drop by The Official Microsoft Blog again next week for all the latest Microsoft news.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog