In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on two awesome HTML5 experiences powered by Internet Explorer, three gorgeous new apps for Windows Phone, Skype rolling out on Xfinity in 10 markets and much, much more. Don’t miss any of them!

“Prometheus” and Brandon Generator – two HTML5 experiences powered by Internet Explorer. In preparation for the upcoming film Prometheus (in theaters on June 8), Weyland Industries is accepting applicants to join the crew of the Project Prometheus spaceship. Now, the Internet Explorer team is proud to announce our partnership with Fox Studios to create the Project Prometheus Training Center — designed entirely in HTML5 — giving fans the chance to demonstrate they are capable of being a crew member on the Prometheus ship. Read this Wednesday post on the Exploring IE Blog for the rest of the story. Mashable also covered the story. And don’t miss this feature story and slide show on the Microsoft News Center focused on The Random Adventures of Brandon Generator, the brainchild of filmmaker Edgar Wright, comic book artist Tommy Lee Edwards, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team – and you. The audience is being invited to help shape the four-episode series of animated shorts by suggesting characters, plots, nemeses and entire scenes. The site received thousands of submissions after the first episode premiered in mid-April, which ended with a plea to help Brandon overcome his writer’s block. Below is a screen shot from the Project Prometheus Training Center.

Prometheus

Skype on Xfinity rolling out in 10 markets. Together with our partner Comcast, we've debuted Skype on Xfinity in Boston and Seattle, enabling Comcast customers to communicate with family and friends through Skype HD video calling on their televisions. Soon, the offering will also bring Skype audio and video calls and instant messaging to the living rooms of Comcast Xfinity subscribers in Detroit, Indianapolis, Miami, Atlanta, Augusta, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Penn. You can read all about it over on The Big Blog. Check it out.

Three hot apps for Windows Phone. Over the past several days, three beautiful apps have been added to the Windows Phone Marketplace – LinkedIn, AboutOne family organizer and Weather Flow. Head on over to the Windows Phone Blog and Next at Microsoft to check ‘em out. Also, don’t miss the last week’s Windows Phone news wrap. Below is a screen shot of the LinkedIn app for Windows Phone.

LinkedIn App for Windows Phone

Forrester Research: Microsoft in the lead in the TV race. Earlier this week, New York Times reporter Nick Wingfield wrote this piece focused on a new report from Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey that says Microsoft is far ahead of the competition in the television market with the Xbox. “With the Xbox, Mr. McQuivey believes Microsoft is the farthest along in creating a meaningful audience of people watching online video through their television sets and holding that audience’s attention for the longest amount of time,” Wingfield reported. Don’t miss it.

Los Angeles Community College District chooses Microsoft Live@edu. Microsoft announced on Monday that Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) is rolling out Microsoft Live@edu to provide anytime, anywhere communication services to its students, faculty and alumni. Live@edu will allow LACCD to provide everyone on campus with easy-to-use cloud communication and collaboration tools while saving administrative and IT staff time. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center for the whole story.

China takes action to stop software counterfeiting. The Chinese government has dealt a strong blow against intellectual property crime, penalizing counterfeiter Shang Yajun for copyright infringement and the sale of illegally manufactured registered trademarks. The 1st Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing upheld the Haidian District Court’s decision that sentenced Shang to seven years and six months imprisonment, representing the longest-ever criminal sentence in China for selling and distributing counterfeit software products. Read this press release for more details.

And now, a little how-to from the Excel team. Who could be better than a Business Intelligence analyst at teaching us a thing or two about Excel? We asked our own number-crunching wizard Stacey Armstrong to share some Excel tricks she's learned along the way. Check out her first trick Resizing column widths in pivot tables as well as this Excel Blog post on split and merge data in URLs.

Technology skills helping youth make the world a better place. Today’s young people are tomorrow’s leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators. The continuing acceleration of technology and innovation creates incredible opportunities but it also challenges us to keep up by getting the right skills, education and experiences in order to be prepared for these new jobs and opportunities. Many young people are struggling because they don’t have the experience, knowledge or connections they need to find employment. In a recent interview, Binta Coudy Dé, an IT student from Senegal, observes that her peers are challenged to apply the things they learn in class to secure employment. Through working with businesses, the nonprofit community and governments, Microsoft is committed to providing opportunities for youth through technology, training, and experiences. Head on over to the Microsoft Citizenship Blog for the whole interview. Check out the photo below of Team Cyan Girls at the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in New York in July 2011.

Team Cyan

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

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog