In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Skype as it celebrates a decade of connecting people and changing lives, a micro-documentary that shows the seamless integration of technology into designs for Fashion Week New York 2013 and a major makeover for Bing.

The inside story of Skype’s first decade has all the elements of an epic tale: Inventive and intrepid founders, wild Estonian parties, brilliant engineering, Tabasco-doused initiations and Silicon Valley intrigue. Skype has grown into a multi-billion-dollar Microsoft asset with 300 million users and has significantly changed the way the world communicates. Skype has become a staple of life's most important milestones – as well as its everyday moments.

Digital storytellers go behind-the-scenes to show how technology inspired Cesar Galindo’s spring 2014 collection preview. Watch the video trailer below to get an idea of how Bing, Surface tablets and Nokia smartphones helped Galindo realize his vision of “going virtual” in both the presentation and production of an installation at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week 2013.

The Bing team announced a major design refresh on Tuesday, introducing a new logo and combining its semantic and social search options in a single pane to the right of the search box. Bing also introduced Page Zero, a new function that helps users get an answer or take an action before they see the first results page. Bing’s new layout is built to work across devices and will adjust to different screen sizes so we present the right experience at the right time.

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Windows Phone users can now choose to join the Pork Side with “Angry Birds Star Wars II”, or play with that other popular pigskin that also gets a lot of airtime, through the Staff App Pick: College Football Scorecard. But there are other choices, too: the Wonderful World of Disney collection, which includes the App of the Week: “Where’s My Water? 2” (also available on Windows 8), the official PGA TOUR app and the 7-Eleven app.

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In other Microsoft news, the “Garage Series” helps you choose between Office 2013 and Office 365. Also, TechNet and MSDN subscribers now have access to Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM (release to manufacturing build). Innovators can now download a new Kinect for Windows SDK. The update adds background removal, enhanced 3D modeling capabilities and Kinect Fusion improvements. As we head into the holiday shopping season, Xbox One on Wednesday was named the exclusive video game console on the Toys R Us 2013 Holiday Hot Toy List and one of the Fabulous 15 Hot Toys for Holiday 2013. As Sibos 2013 wrapped in Dubai, Microsoft partners SunGard, Thomson Reuters, Temenos and FreedomPay announced new apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 that will help financial services companies worldwide grow their businesses.

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we got a behind the scenes look at one of the coolest signs on the Microsoft campus.

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And that’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading. Enjoy your time off!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff