In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on the Windows Phone 8 SDK, the naming of former CBS president Nancy Tellem as Entertainment & Digital Media president and more.

Windows Phone 8 SDK Preview program is now open. On Sept. 12, we began accepting requests for access to the Windows Phone SDK 8.0 Developer Preview program. The objective is to let developers of our most-downloaded apps start optimizing them for Windows Phone 8, and we expect the majority of published developers in this situation to qualify for access. To apply, please visit the Microsoft Connect site and complete a short application. Be sure to have your Developer ID and Application’s Product ID on hand, as well as the name of your local Phone Champ (if you don’t know your local Phone Champ, you can always get in touch via the Find My Champ app). Developers can read more about it on the Windows Phone Developer Blog. Also, don’t miss this Sept. 12 post on future proofing your Windows Pone apps.

Microsoft names longtime entertainment executive Nancy Tellem Entertainment & Digital Media President. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced that Nancy Tellem, former president of CBS Network Television Entertainment Group, has joined Microsoft as Entertainment & Digital Media president. In her role reporting to Phil Spencer, corporate vice president, Microsoft Studios, Tellem will oversee the launch of a newly created production studio in Los Angeles that will develop interactive and linear content for Xbox and other devices. You can read more about Nancy in this press release on the Microsoft News Center.

Introducing Nokia wireless charging from Fatboy. In this Monday post on Next at Microsoft, Steve Clayton highlights one of his favorite features of the upcoming Windows Phone 8 devices from Nokia – the Lumia 920 and 820: the wireless charging pillow from Fatboy. Check out the video below.

Building Office for Windows RT. In doing research for Office for Windows RT, we spoke to people to understand how they use current, in-market tablets. We wanted to understand what was missing that would make for a more compelling experience. One answer was nearly unanimous – people wanted a complete Office experience; not just a viewer. However, they also wanted a version of Office that was optimized for the tablet form factor – most importantly supporting touch and providing long battery life. For the rest of this story, read this Sept. 13 post on the Office Next Blog.

Microsoft signs licensing agreement with Research In Motion. Microsoft announced on Tuesday that Microsoft and Research In Motion (RIM) have signed a patent licensing agreement that gives RIM broad access to the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) for certain BlackBerry devices of RIM. exFAT is a modern file system from Microsoft that facilitates large files for audiovisual media and enables seamless data portability and an easy interchange between desktop PCs and other electronic devices. You can find out more by reading this press release on the Microsoft News Center.

Custom Atari 2600 PC by Hard Drives Northwest. As a part of this classic Atari re-launch, a limited quantity of original Atari 2600 gaming consoles were retrofitted with modern PC internals. Extreme Windows Blog writer Gavin Gear was fortunate enough to get his hands on one of the Atari 2600 boxes that was put together by Hard Drives Northwest, which he describes as “one of the coolest ‘case mods’ I’ve ever seen!” Read more about it in this Sept. 12 blog post. That’s an image of the souped-up Atari 2600 below.

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STB News Thursday. In the latest news roundup from the STB News Bytes Blog, we’ve got stories on WebMatrix v2, Windows Azure Online Backup and more. Head on over to the STB News Bytes Blog for all those stories and more.

Thanks for reading this edition of The Midweek Download!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog