It’s a busy, busy day here at Microsoft!

First, today we mark the tenth anniversary of the launch of Xbox LIVE, defined at the time as "the first comprehensive, online game arena fully dedicated to fast-action broadband gaming experiences." Since then Xbox LIVE has evolved to become Microsoft’s premier entertainment service for the TV, phone, PC and tablet. Initially available to U.S. and Canadian Xbox players, the service is now available in 41 countries and territories around the world. The 10-year journey has been long, but Xbox continually updated Xbox LIVE to add new gaming and entertainment experiences and services to the console for its members. Below, at the Xbox 360: Zero Hour launch event in November 2005, thousands of gamers from around the world witnessed the dawning of the next generation of gaming. Xbox LIVE membership would grow from about 2 million to today's 40 million members.

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Second, about 6 months ago, we released the first sync apps for SkyDrive making it easy to view and manage your personal SkyDrive from the File Explorer in Windows and Finder in OS X. We’re excited to announce that since then, you have put more and more of your files into your own SkyDrive and in the last 6 months, you’ve doubled the amount of SkyDrive storage being used. Read more about it over on Inside SkyDrive.

Third, check out the latest edition of The View from Washington State, a monthly series that provides insight and commentary on topics and trends of importance to technology, education, corporate citizenship and public policy in Washington State. In today’s edition, DeLee Shoemaker, Senior Director of State Government Affairs, blogs about the 2012 elections and looks ahead at the challenges related to the 2012 legislative session. Read more about it over on Microsoft on the Issues.

Finally, Microsoft today announced availability of cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics business solutions designed to meet the unique security and functionality requirements of U.S. federal government agencies. Delivered in a Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)-compliant, federal-only, infrastructure environment, these solutions enable government organizations to collaborate, manage data, improve processes and access actionable business intelligence while taking advantage of the flexibility, security features, performance and cost savings of a cloud-based delivery model that is hosted by Microsoft partner Layered Technologies Inc.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog