This morning, Microsoft announced the appointment of longtime technology entrepreneur Blake Krikorian as corporate vice president for its Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB), which includes the Xbox team. Krikorian will report to Marc Whitten, chief product officer for IEB. This announcement follows the acquisition of Krikorian’s company, id8 Group R2 Studios.

Today also brings the launch of Skype 6.1 for Windows Desktop, now with Outlook integration and a visual update to the toolbar.

Looking ahead, the countdown continues to next week’s National Retail Federation Convention & EXPO, where Microsoft will be demonstrating how new technologies and its broad ecosystem of partner solutions can help retailers deliver the future of retailing today — putting customers at the center of their businesses and delivering the personalized, seamless and differentiated experiences that shoppers have come to expect. For an example of how Microsoft is helping customers reinvent the retail experience, head over to the Microsoft News Center to read about how jcpenney is using Office 365 to create a new customer service experience and better communications environment for thousands of its team members.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog