In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the one-year anniversary of the launch of Office 365, a sneak peek at the Windows Phone 7.8 Start Screen and details on Xbox 360’s presence at the 42nd annual Comic-Con in San Diego.

Microsoft Office 365: A big year in review. One year ago in New York City, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled Office 365. Ballmer predicted that Office 365 would give businesses an edge, and that has been true for companies all over the globe. “Office 365 is a hit with big and small companies alike,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Office Division. “I’m delighted to welcome Lowe’s, Burger King, Japan Airlines and others that have chosen Office 365.” To read more about the one-year anniversary of Office 365, check out this feature story and this press release over on the Microsoft News Center.

VIDEO: Hands on with Windows Phone 7.8’s amazing new Start Screen. Earlier this week, our own Ben Rudolph snuck over to the engineering building and “borrowed” a Nokia Lumia 900 running a VERY early build of Windows Phone 7.8, so he could shoot a video of the amazing new Start Screen. Ben writes in this Windows Phone Blog post: “It’s pretty awesome; being able to resize tiles to S/M/L gives a whole new dimension – no pun intended – to personalization and customization.” Take a look at the video below:

Kids to parents: We’re worried about online bullying. We’ve all heard the horrific tales: teasing, meanness or bullying that starts on the playground or at school follows kids home only to continue on mobile and gaming devices and on social networks. Severe cases, though few in number, drive some to extremes, and it’s these instances that make headlines. No wonder kids around the world are worried they’ll be bullied online. To better understand the issue globally, Microsoft commissioned and released survey results of a range of online behaviors among youth – from “meanness” (least severe) to online bullying or cruelty (most severe), and everything in between. Read more about it over on Microsoft on the Issues.

MSN and Fandango team up so you can grab tickets faster. Starting now, people in the US will be able to take advantage of Fandango, the nation’s #1 ticketing service, on MSN Entertainment and MSN Movies. Fandango is now the official online and mobile movie ticketer for MSN Movies and MSN Entertainment. Now when you’re checking out movies on MSN Entertainment and MSN Movies alongside reviews, trailers and overviews, you can see where the film is playing in your area. Then in a matter of clicks you can purchase tickets without leaving MSN. Read more about it over on The MSN Blog. And don’t miss this Wednesday post about the launch of MSN Healthy Living.

Xbox 360 Comic-Con schedule. Xbox will be at the 42nd annual Comic-Con International in San Diego next month with a whole bunch of stuff going on. On the show floor, you can find us at Booth #5252. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to get early hands-on with the most anticipated blockbuster of the year, “Halo 4”! Comic-Con marks your first chance to play visceral and immersive multiplayer of “Halo 4.” So bring a friend and get ready to jump into the action! Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson has more details. Below is a Halo 4 screenshot:

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Skype: The most popular video calling app on Android. We are proud to reveal that Skype for Android has now surpassed 70 million downloads on Google Play. Skype video calling works on more Android devices than ever before and is now available for download on more than 1,300 Android devices from HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG and others. This means you and your closest 250 million new friends can now video call for free anytime and anywhere. Skype continues to help you stay connected with friends, family and colleagues every day. For the rest of this story (and a really cool infographic), check out this Monday post on The Big Blog.

Helping corporations tell stories of social impact. Microsoft has Citizenship programs underway in more than one hundred countries around the world. One of the problems we face is this: how do we bring the scale, reach and impact of our programs to life? Well that’s exactly why we developed the Local Impact Map. It’s a beautiful, easy-to-use tool that provides the perfect platform for showcasing community programs. You can find out more on Microsoft on the Issues and the Microsoft Citizenship Blog.

SkyDriving to Italy via OneNote. Rome, the Eternal City! OneNote blogger Courtney Owen studied Latin for five grueling years, but somehow never managed to visit the Etruscan peninsula. After pining away for a couple decades, he convinced his wife and friends to make a trek to Italia. With so many fellow travelers, they needed an easy way to plan their trip. Sure, they could use e-mail, but it doesn't let them collect and refine their ideas in one place. That's where OneNote on SkyDrive is super-handy. Head on over to the OneNote Blog to see the step-by-step walkthrough Courtney put together.

That’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading! Have a great Fourth of July!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog