In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Windows 8 momentum, Windows Phone 8 app development and NUI. Check ‘em out!

Windows 8 – 60M licenses sold. On Tuesday at the 11th Annual J.P. Morgan Tech Forum at CES 2013, Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller announced that Windows 8 has sold 60 million licenses to date. This represents the cumulative sales of Windows 8 including both upgrades and sales to OEMs for new devices. This is a similar sales trajectory that we saw with Windows 7. Head on over to Blogging Windows for the whole story.

How to detect that your app is running in Kid’s Corner. In Windows Phone 8, Microsoft introduced the Kid’s Corner feature that lets parents configure a separate Start screen for their children and populate it with only the apps, games, and content that they feel is appropriate. Because some features of the phone are disabled in Kid’s Corner, or because some actions might not make sense for a child to perform, apps are able to detect they are running in a Kid’s Corner session and adjust their behavior appropriately. The Windows Phone Developer Blog has more information for developers who want to figure out how to detect that their apps are running in Kid’s Corner.

Natural User Interfaces. Anyone who’s read Next at Microsoft knows the blog’s editor, Steve Clayton, devotes a great deal of his time to writing about natural user interface technology developed both here at Microsoft and outside the company. Heading into 2013, Steve is again on top of this important trend in technology with a new series of posts. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 over on Next today.

Recent updates to the Windows Azure SDK. The latest release of the Windows Azure SDK for .NET contains a number of great improvements. New features include:

  • .NET 4.5 / Windows Server 2012 (OS Family 3) support in Web/Worker Role
  • VS tools - Productivity improvements
  • Cache for Web/Worker Role - General availability
  • Storage - New tooling and client library
  • Service Bus - Updated client library and tooling

You can read more about it over on the Windows Azure Blog.

“Hekaton” accelerates transaction throughput. Microsoft Research recently published a feature chronicling the development of “Hekaton,” a new in-memory technology introduced at PASS Summit 2012 that will be included in the next major release of SQL Server. Head on over to the STB News Bytes Blog or the rest of the story.

That’s it for this edition of The Midweek Download! Thanks for reading!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog