The Official Microsoft Blog

News & Perspectives

August, 2012

  • Weekend Reading: Aug. 31st Edition – Atari Classics Get Re-imagined for Touch Screen & Friends’ Facebook Photos Come to Bing

    In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on classic Atari video games being re-imagined on Internet Explorer, the new Friends Facebook photo feature on Bing, and, just in case you missed it, the first Windows Phone 8 device from Samsung.

    Touch Centipede, Asteroids bring nostalgia roaring back. Before casual games like “Bejeweled” and “Text Twist” came along, there were Atari classics such as “Pong,” “Combat,” “Centipede” and “Asteroids.” Many Gen X’ers spent Saturday afternoons at the arcade blowing their week’s allowance on the latest game, all for the thrill of seeing their initials on the top score list. Thursday, Atari and Internet Explorer brought eight classic video games to the touch screen in Atari Arcade. Visit the Microsoft News Center and the Exploring IE Blog for the rest of the story and screenshots of the old-school classics reimagined on Internet Explorer. Check out the short promo video below featuring some of the games in Atari Arcade.

  • The Midweek Download: Aug. 29th Edition – Introducing Samsung’s First Windows Phone 8 Device

    In this edition of The Midweek Download, we have stories on the first Windows Phone 8 device from Samsung, Windows Azure Mobile Services and tips on how to find your way around in Windows 8.

    Meet the Samsung ATIV S – the first of many Windows Phone 8 devices coming this year. Today at IFA in Berlin, Samsung lifted the curtain on its first Windows Phone 8 device, the ATIV S. This is just the first in a big lineup of new hardware that’s coming with Windows Phone 8, but it’s a seriously impressive opening salvo. Samsung built the ATIV S with the latest and greatest technology, especially for anyone who wants a superphone that’s equal parts powerhouse and head turner. Head on over to The Windows Phone Blog to read more about this great new device. That’s a screenshot of the ATIV S to the left. 

  • Weekend Reading: Aug. 24th Edition – Bing Adds Quora & Microsoft Debuts Its New Logo

    In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Bing adding Quora to the social sidebar, Microsoft’s first new logo in 25 years and a snappy new movie app in the Windows Phone Marketplace called Crackle. Don’t miss any of them!

    Bing adds Quora experts to Social Sidebar. Whether you’re traveling to a new country, looking for career advice or researching a new laptop – sometimes the most useful information comes from people who have shared their first-hand knowledge and experience on that topic. As part of our ongoing commitment to work with industry partners to make the social experience compelling and useful for customers, we’ve worked with Quora to surface even more great content when searching on Bing. Quora is a knowledge sharing platform that lets you connect to everything you want to know about across a range of topics, questions and people related to what you're searching for. The Bing Search Blog has the rest of the story. Below is a screenshot of Quora in the social sidebar.

  • Microsoft Unveils a New Look

    In advance of one of the most significant waves of product launches in Microsoft’s history, today we are unveiling a new logo for the company.

  • The Midweek Download: Aug. 22nd Edition – Developers! Your Tools for Building on Windows 8 & the Microsoft Platform are Ready!

    In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Visual Studio 2012, Windows Upgrade offer registration and some of the coolest Kinect projects around.

    Hey, developers: ‘Start Building’ for Windows 8 and the Microsoft platform. That’s Microsoft’s message for developers, says S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of the company’s Developer Division. Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 – the tools that form the backbone for developing on the latest Microsoft platforms, including Windows 8 – have been released to the Web, Microsoft announced earlier this week. MSDN subscribers can download the tools and start building modern apps across the Microsoft platforms and for the cloud. Also, developers, don’t miss this Monday post on the Windows 8 App Developer Blog focused on testing Windows 8 apps using Visual Studio 2012. Below is a photo of S. Somasegar.


  • Weekend Reading: Aug. 17th Edition - Bing App for Windows 8 Introduced & Artist Series Mice Unveiled

    In this edition of Weekend Reading, we have stories on back-to-school shopping, Skype tips for avoiding e-mail scams and phishing and a look at the Bing app for Windows 8.

    Bing introduces app for Windows 8. “We’ve completely re-imagined search for the new experiences of Windows 8,” said the Bing Team in their announcement of the Bing app for Windows 8 on Wednesday. Searching with the Bing app is fast and fluid, whether you use a touch device to tap and swipe or type and click with a keyboard and mouse. Visual results and images take center stage, letting you quickly find what you’re looking for, so you can search less and do more. While you can still rely on the Bing Web experience in Internet Explorer, we’ve optimized the Bing app to shine on Windows 8. Bing is available on almost all of the Windows markets and languages. Prepare to be amazed by Bing search with touch:

  • The Midweek Download: Aug. 15th Edition – A Look at the New SkyDrive, Windows Photo Gallery & Movie Maker

    In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on the new SkyDrive, and some of the work we’re doing with our hardware partners to bring you high-quality Windows RT and Windows 8 devices.

    A new modern, updated apps, and at 10 million users. Since we launched the preview two weeks ago, we have been truly humbled by the reception. We’ve received hundreds of great comments, participated in thousands of threads on @reddit, @gizmodo, @neowin and are excited to share that, as of today, more than 10 million people have signed up and started using Now, we’re updating SkyDrive with a new, more modern Web design, refined SkyDrive apps for PCs and Macs, a new SkyDrive app for Android devices, and improved developer offerings. You can read more about it over on the Inside SkyDrive Blog. Check out the video below introducing the new SkyDrive:

  • Weekend Reading, Aug. 10: Pulse on the Web, Xbox 360 Tops Again, and Partnering with the NYPD

    Pulse Comes to the Web and Shines in IE10. Some of you may be familiar with Pulse, a great mobile app for browsing and reading news. The team at Pulse has just released a Web-based version of Pulsethat looks fantastic in IE10. It’s built using HTML5, which allowed the team to create a very rich, immersive and fluid UI. It’s a great example of how the notion of an “app” vs. a web site are being blurred by the work of many creative companies and developers today.

  • Hey 19 - Xbox 360 Top-selling Console Again in July

    For the 19th straight month, the Xbox 360 is the top-selling console in the U.S., according to data from The NPD Group.

    July 2012 U.S. NPD highlights include:

    • Xbox 360 sold 203,000 units in July, more units than any gaming hardware, and held 49 percent share of current-generation console sales in the U.S. This marks the 17th consecutive month that Xbox 360 has held more than a 40 percent share of current-generation console sales in the U.S. (Source: NPD Group, July 2012)
    • Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in July (hardware, software and accessories) reached $218 million; consumers spent more on Xbox 360 products in July than they spent on the other two current-generation consoles combined. (Source: NPD Group, July 2012)
    • During the month of July, Xbox 360 held six of the top 10 U.S. console game titles including: “NCAA Football 13,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes” “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations” and “Batman: Arkham City.” (Source: NPD Group, July 2012)
  • The Midweek Download: Aug. 8th Edition - Windows Phone Dev Center, Apps for new Office, and Netflix for Kids on Xbox

    Windows Phone Dev Center Launches. Yesterday, the Windows Phone team unveiled the Windows Phone Dev Center, a turnkey resource for developers to build, publish and manage apps for Windows Phones. The new resource has been redesigned to help make it faster and easier for developers to use. The team also completed a lot of back-end work to improve performance, and has extended the reach of apps across many more countries and regions. The team built many more features into the system, so check out the post from the Windows Phone team for more details.

  • Weekend Reading: Aug. 3rd Edition – Windows 8 & Windows Server 2012 Reach the RTM Milestone

    In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about important Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 milestones, a new hardware partnership between Skype and Logitech and more.

    Windows 8 released to manufacturers. Wednesday marked an important milestone in the Windows 8 project. The Windows 8 team is proud to share with you that a short while ago we started releasing Windows 8 to PC OEM and manufacturing partners. This means our next milestone will be the availability of exciting new models of PCs loaded with Windows 8 and online availability of Windows 8 on Oct. 26. You can read more about it on Building Windows 8 and Blogging Windows. Also, don’t miss this blog post on what Windows 8 RTM means for your business or this post on the RTM Windows Store now being open for paid apps and company accounts. To the left is a screenshot of the upcoming Microsoft Surface running a version of Windows 8.

  • Microsoft’s Setting a Blistering Pace this Summer

    Like many people, I’ve been enjoying the Olympics so far. Great opening ceremony, great competition… And watching the swimming, football, gymnastics is all a blast. But I have to say that as a runner, I’m looking forward to track and field getting started. And as a runner, it was inspiring the other day to hear about the great Kenyans in this wonderful NPR story.

    Iten, Kenya produces some of the world’s fastest runners. Runners there train at 8,000 feet above sea level, and the valley is six miles down. Kenya’s elite runners run up and down these hills every day. And they keep it simple. If these runners want to build their leg strength, they run up more hills. We’ve been doing our own bit of hard core training here at Microsoft, and our engineers across the company have been setting a blistering pace. Let’s go to a tale of the tape.

  • The Midweek Download: Aug. 1st Edition–Microsoft Unveils

    In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on the debut of, new Windows 8 devices from Microsoft Hardware and more.

    Introducing Recently, we talked about how we've reimagined cloud services for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. And we described new apps for Windows 8, updates to SkyDrive, and how cloud services power the new Office Preview. We've also been hard at work on a mission to reimagine personal email - from the datacenter all the way to the user experience. Now, we're starting to deliver on that goal with a preview of the new - modern email designed for the next billion mailboxes. Head on over to the Outlook Blog and the Microsoft News Center for the whole story. Below is a screenshot of the new