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And now it’s time for a little Weekend Reading…
In this edition, we’ve got stories on the new Skype for Windows Phone app, the winners of the U.S. Imagine Cup finals, Wordament coming to Marketplace, the new Bing Desktop and more.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is HERE! Skype for Windows Phone! Following the recent availability of the Skype for Windows Phone Beta app announced at Mobile World Congress, we’ve released an official version of the Skype for Windows Phone app, which is now available in the Windows Phone Marketplace. You can also get the app directly from your Windows Phone. Get more detail about this story on The Big Blog, and take a moment to watch the video below on how the Skype app works. Also, don’t miss this Big Blog post about Skype Video and Voice calling coming to PlayStation Vita.
In listening to the developer community, the Channel 9 team at Microsoft has heard the positive feedback about Visual Studio Achievements loud and clear: you want more. More than 80,000 downloads of the extension demonstrated that developers see achievement badges as a fun way to socially share the accomplishments they earn in what can sometimes be the lonely act of writing code.
New badges are available today, so now developers can unlock new achievements when using Visual Studio to write code for Windows Azure. Badges can be earned for proper cloud development usage, mobile+cloud scenarios, social gaming scenarios, or a dozen other developer-related accomplishments.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got the lowdown on the new and more powerful SkyDrive, memory usage in Windows 8, what’s next for Windows Intune and a few bits and pieces for Windows Phone developers.
Available now: A more powerful SkyDrive. Over the last year we’ve been hard at work building SkyDrive alongside Windows 8, setting out a unique approach to designing personal cloud storage for billions of people by bringing together the best aspects of file, app, and device clouds. Now, we’re excited to take another big step towards our vision by making SkyDrive far more powerful. There are new storage options, apps that connect your devices to SkyDrive, and a more powerful device cloud that lets you “fetch” any file from a Windows PC. Taken together with access from popular mobile phones and a browser, you can now take your SkyDrive with you anywhere, connect it to any app that works with files and folders, and get all the storage you need—making SkyDrive the most powerful personal cloud storage service available. Read this Monday post on Building Windows 8 to get the rest of the story. Below is a screenshot of SkyDrive across a multitude of devices.
We’ve got an action-packed edition of Weekend Reading for you today, with stories on the return of Master Chief in “Halo 4”, the latest word on Windows 8, a few tips to help you get the most out of your Nokia Lumia 900 and a wicked cool interactive comic book collaboration called "The Random Adventures of Brandon Generator".
Master Chief returns with worldwide launch of “Halo 4” on Nov. 6. The countdown has begun for the landmark entertainment event millions of fans worldwide have been anticipating for more than four years. “Halo 4,” the hotly anticipated sequel to the iconic franchise that has shaped entertainment history, will launch worldwide on Nov. 6. Set four years after the events in “Halo 3,” Master Chief returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. Read more about it on the Microsoft News Center.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got two behind-the-scenes stories of developers from the Windows Phone team, a story from Next at Microsoft on the blending of the physical and digital worlds and more.
Meet the team making Windows Phone faster. New models of Windows Phone will be equipped with LTE (long-term evolution) capabilities, thanks to a small team of engineers at Microsoft. The Windows Phone Customer Experience Engineering (CXE) team recently finished a project that makes Windows Phones on the AT&T network, such as the new Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II phones announced last week, LTE-capable. For more detail, check out this feature story on the Microsoft News Center. Below is a photo of Kathy Davis, one of the CXE team members.
It’s that time again – time for a little Weekend Reading. You know what to do…
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Halo 4 soundtrack. Are you salivating over the prospect for any shred of information, no matter how minute, about Halo 4? Then check out this Thursday post on Next at Microsoft featuring two videos that give you a behind-the-scenes look at the soundtrack and the people making it happen. That’s one of the videos below, just to give you a little taste. Also, don’t miss this Thursday Next at Microsoft post about how Kinect for Windows is helping girls dress like Barbie. Finally, check out this Thursday post on The Official Microsoft Blog about the Xbox 360 maintaining its position as the top console in the U.S.
Xbox 360 continued to hold the number one spot in the U.S., selling more units in March than any other console. It was the Xbox 360’s fifteenth consecutive month as the best-selling console in the U.S. Below is a screenshot from "Mass Effect 3", one of the top-selling games in March.
This week, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) branch of India’s Ministry of Human Resources and Development made a big bet on delivering a brighter future for not only India’s up-and-comers, but for the future of India itself. Recognizing that an educated population is one natural resource that increases in value as it increases in size, AICTE announced the deployment of Microsoft Live@Edu to more than 10,000 technical colleges and institutes throughout India.
Now more than ever, governments all over the world face increasingly tough decisions on how, when and where to invest for ensuring economic stability and spearheading growth. India, in particular, continues to push the envelope on innovation with its current strategy to invest heavily in education.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on intelligent systems, the Windows Phone SDK, pinned sites in Windows 8 and much more. Check ‘em out.
Talking intelligent systems. Anyone who has followed Next at Microsoft knows that the blog’s editor, Steve Clayton, is fascinated by intelligent systems and what they mean for the future of computing. For the past week or two, Clayton’s been sitting down with various players in the computing space to talk about the impact of intelligent systems. Check out the video below of Clayton talking with IDC’s Mario Morales. And don’t miss this earlier talk he had with Intel’s Ton Steenman.
Earlier this week, Microsoft and Nokia launched the Lumia 900, the smartphone that beat out the competition to win the Best at CES award. Here’s what we at Microsoft want to know: which feature on the Lumia 900 gets you the most excited?
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Jo Harlow, executive vice president, Smart Devices, at Nokia.
Today, the Nokia Lumia 900 goes on sale in thousands of AT&T stores around the U.S. As many media have already commented, this is a major milestone for Nokia, for our partnership with Microsoft and for the Windows Phone ecosystem.
There have been many milestone moments in the last 12 months.
Toward the end of this month, we celebrate one year since the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft, first announced in February 2011, was signed. In that time, we launched our first two Lumia phones, the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710, at Nokia World in October.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the latest reviews for the Nokia Lumia 900, the out-of-this-world release of Kinect Star Wars, plus Bing, MSN, Skype and more. Check ‘em out!
The reviews are in on the Nokia Lumia 900. The highly anticipated Nokia Lumia 900 becomes available on AT&T on April 8. Curious to hear what some in the technology press are saying about the phone? Check out these reviews from CNN Money, Mashable and Gizmodo for starters, and then head on over to the Windows Phone newsroom to see more. Below is a screenshot of the Lumia 900.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on SQL Server 2012’s general availability, touch hardware and Windows 8, Windows Phone and the latest news from the Silicon Valley. Check ‘em out.
Live augmented reality with Kinect. Technology, Entertainment, Design released this video earlier this week and it’s circulating widely on the Web now. It shows Marco Tempest employing a Kinect sensor to deliver a live augmented reality presentation and it’s pretty dazzling stuff. It’s not immediately clear from the video what is going on but some photos from the TED blog help to explain – Marco is presenting on the TED stage and the AR tricks are projected on a screen behind him. Check out this Monday post on Next at Microsoft for the full story.
With easier access to funding, technology and mentorship, the barrier to launching a startup has never been lower. However, creating a successful company and breaking through the noise has grown infinitely harder. Last Wednesday, Microsoft hosted the Churchill Club, Silicon Valley’s premier business and technology forum, for a discussion about the current startup environment.
Innovation runs through everything we do at Microsoft. That’s why I’m delighted to announce the 2012 winners of Microsoft Next. When I launched this global competition last year, I wanted it to demonstrate the impact that innovative people throughout the company are having on our customers and partners. Our goal was to provide our employees with a platform for sharing their work, and the chance for great ideas to be celebrated.