Microsoft News Center
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Huawei joining the Windows Phone 8 family, great Windows Phone apps for gamers and snow junkies, plus some Oscar-worthy apps to help you get through awards season.
Natural User Interfaces part 4: what’s next? Yesterday, Next at Microsoft Editor Steve Clayton shared his final post on NUI. It goes beyond Kinect and explains why NUI is much more than touch and gesture. You can watch some future scenarios play out in the Office Vision video below. To see some really facinating stuff, take a look at the post on Next at Microsoft and be sure to check out the first three parts of Clayton’s NUI series.
Xbox 360 ended 2012 as the best-selling console in the U.S. in 2013, selling 1.4 million units in December, according to the NPD Group.
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.
Tesco, one of the world’s leading retailers, has chosen Microsoft Office 365 for its companywide collaboration and social platform. The United Kingdom-based retailer is committed to deploying Office 365 to its employees working at the company’s headquarters, in the field and in stores, across all its locations in Europe and Asia. The Microsoft News Center has the whole story.
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.
Two stories out of Microsoft this morning:
First, Scandinavian outdoor brand, Helly Hansen, best known for apparel that is the optimal combination of purposeful design, protection and style, has chosen Microsoft Office 365 as its communication and social platform. A globally recognized brand, Helly Hansen sells its products on five continents. In addition, Helly Hansen operates 39 retail outlets in Europe and North America. The company is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and its 350 full-time employees collaborate across offices in Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, China, Canada and the United States. Read more about it over on the Microsoft News Center.
And second, at Microsoft, we want to help parents create a healthy computing environment for their kids. That’s why we set out to hear from parents about what matters most to them in helping young people stay safer online.
As many of you know, the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will soon be under way.
Over on Blogging Windows, Nick Parker, corporate vice president of worldwide OEM, penned a piece about how “touch and other new capabilities in Windows 8 are powering the latest hardware innovations coming from our OEM partners.” To the right is a screenshot of the Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC.
Two stories out of Microsoft today (so far):
First, Microsoft today announced the double-digit engagement results of the first NUads experience, interactive polling, which it rolled out earlier in the fall of 2012 on Xbox LIVE in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The first wave of NUads was provided by a lineup of top advertisers, including SUBWAY® Restaurants and Toyota. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center to find out more about the results.
Also, Microsoft and GOOD have teamed up to give you the opportunity to help your favorite youth-focused nonprofit.
In an effort to modernize technology infrastructure, reduce costs and foster new levels of cross-agency collaboration, the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) are expanding access to Microsoft solutions by entering into a transformative three-year Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreement for enterprise licenses and software assurance. The agreement provides all three organizations with a single vehicle for accessing the latest Microsoft technologies in support of top IT priorities around datacenter consolidation, collaboration, cybersecurity, mobility, cloud computing and big data.
This is the most comprehensive licensing agreement Microsoft has ever established with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), covering nearly 75 percent of all DoD personnel.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on MSN’s top news stories of 2012, the City of Chicago adopting Office 365 for 30,000 employees, great Windows Phone apps for the new year and more.
MSN’s top news stories of 2012. What would happen if Honey Boo-Boo entered a room Gangnam Style and Kim Kardashian tweeted about it? It’d sound a lot like the MSN 2012 Year in Review! Covering everything from super-storm Sandy to the year’s top baby names, 2012’s most influential cats, the greatest photo-bombs of the year, and the year’s top tweets, the Year in Review on MSN has something for everyone. Showcased in one beautiful hub that brings all the top stories of the year together in a dynamic, image-rich format, Year in Review highlights the plethora of most clicked, shared, searched and tweeted topics of 2012. Check it out over on MSN.
Is it Swarzinegar, Swarneger, Scwarznagger or Schwartiznegar? These are just a few of more than 2,000 different ways users on Bing have typed their queries in hope of searching for “Schwarzenegger.” The aim of the Bing Speller is to correct these queries so users receive relevant web results that match their intent even when their query is misspelt. A great speller makes a search engine feel like magic to the users. In this Bing Search Blog post, Jim Kleban provides an overview of Bing Speller technology with some examples of recent improvements we just shipped in December.
The following is a post from Michael Donlan, Vice President of U.S. State and Local Government at Microsoft.
As part of a new cloud computing strategy, Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that the City of Chicago will move 30,000 employees to Microsoft Office 365 for cloud-based e-mail and productivity.
The City will consolidate its three disparate e-mail systems into one Microsoft Office 365 environment in an effort to improve collaboration, enhance security, and provide both mobile and desktop access for anytime, anywhere productivity. This new strategy will deliver more than $1.3 million in cost savings over the next four years – a whopping 80 percent decrease in cost per employee – while ensuring City workers have access to Web-based versions of the Microsoft tools they rely upon every day, including Microsoft Outlook, Word, OneNote, Excel, Lync and PowerPoint.
It’s been a momentous year for the Microsoft retail stores. We opened 51 new Full-line and Specialty stores, including our first international stores in Edmonton, Burnaby, Vancouver and Toronto, Canada in just the last year.
Before I dive into what lies ahead, I wanted to reflect on 2012. We know our customers’ shopping needs greatly differ, whether it’s a teen who wants the hottest video game or a parent who wants to ensure their family is safe online. Our store associates work hard to personalize every customer’s experience in making recommendations, and helping with PC setups and other services, allowing customers to walk out the door with a product that’s ready to run. We know our store associates are making an impact when our customers continually express appreciation for how our stores offer the opportunity to interact with Microsoft products that improve the way they live, work and play.
We have always said that we will adjust our strategy, and open additional stores to deliver the choice, value and service our Microsoft customers have come to expect.
The holidays are officially in full swing, and today the Windows Experience Blog is featuring five festive apps to get you in the spirit of the season and help you make the most of your celebrations with family and friends. Make sure to also check out the Window’s Store’s special holiday offers to save on select apps, subscriptions and services.
Posted by Jeff MeisnerEditor, The Official Microsoft Blog
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the new Image Search design in Bing, Windows Phone game deals, and some cool things Microsoft is doing to support global language and help preserve disappearing languages.
Modern image search arrives on Bing. A few months ago, we launched a new more modern experience for Bing Image Search. We cut out the white space and clutter to make room for big, beautiful pictures from across the Web. Since then, we have kept on working to make pictures shine on Bing. On Tuesday, we started rolling out a brand new way to make it faster or simpler to explore imagery on Bing. Take a look at the new design in the “cute puppies” search image below, and see more examples in the Tuesday post from the Search Blog. You’ll also want to check out this post on Kristin of The Cuisinerd, who used Bing image search to gather photos for her snappy Bing in the Holidays gift-buying guide.
Xbox cuts prices on popular Windows Phone games to 99 cents. Xbox is celebrating the New Year by slashing prices on several popular Windows Phone games to just 99 cents. Check out the list on the Windows Phone Blog — there isn’t a dud among them.
To help you celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, the Windows Store presents to you … 12 apps available to download for your holiday merrymaking. The eBay app is a great way to get your 12 drummers drumming, or check out the Sports Illustrated app and read about the quest for 5 Super Bowl rings, and if you’re in the market for a new house, Trulia has got you covered (partridge in a pear tree not included).
Head on over to the Microsoft News Center and check out the app slideshow. Below is a screenshot of the Cocktail Flow app.
Two stories out of Microsoft today:
Looks like Microsoft made the nice list this year. The company is working with North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) to help power the annual Santa Tracker using NORAD’s powerful global radars and Microsoft technology, including Bing Maps, Windows Azure, and apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Once upon a time children would have to take their parents’ word that Santa Claus was on his way (but will only stop at their house if they go to sleep already). Now, using a website, a mobile app, or by placing a phone call to NORAD, children can determine Santa Claus’s approximate global position.
Also, the information technology forecast for the next two years calls for increasing cloudiness – cloud computing job opportunities, that is.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Forbes-honored Microsoft Researcher Vipul Goyal, a new Windows Phone app design challenge and news on Internet Explorer 10.
Heady recognition for young researcher. For a man of 29, Vipul Goyal (pictured right), a researcher at Microsoft Research India, already possesses a gaudy list of academic and professional achievements. He has a Ph.D. from UCLA. As a student there, he won a Microsoft Research graduate fellowship. His cryptographic research has been widely published at top conferences, and his work has attracted the attention of popular science publications. And, on Dec. 17, Goyal was named to the Science and Healthcare section of Forbes magazine’s annual 30 Under 30 list, which features exceptional young people who are reinventing the world. Read about Goyal’s reaction in yesterday’s blog post on Inside Microsoft Research.
Windows Phone ‘App to the Future’ design challenge. Although the Windows Phone Developer Blog is primarily a destination for developers, we all know that design is important. So on Dec. 13, the Windows Phone developer team made a call for designer talent.
Three stories out of Microsoft today:
First, when it comes to helping employees be productive, few investments have more potential this year than a new PC with Windows 8 Pro. In addition to the beautiful, fast and fluid user interface, Windows 8 brings together the sites, people, apps and information that you care about most right from your personalized Start screen. It makes it easy to multitask and switch between screens, and it provides an incredible choice of new hardware to make for a compelling and highly personalized computing experience. Plus, hardware released for the new operating system is screaming fast. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center and check out this slideshow of new Windows 8 devices. Below is an image of the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T.
Now on Xbox, sports fans have a whole new way to connect with fellow fans and compete on Xbox LIVE with the new Sports Picks app. You can make picks, compete with your Xbox LIVE friends and fight for domination of the leaderboard. With the Sports Picks app, we’ve also added a new experience for Xbox SmartGlass, so you can do all of this on your tablet or phone without missing a beat of the game on your TV through Xbox 360. For those of you planning to take in a live sporting event from ESPN or catch the replay of last night’s NBA game on your Xbox, we’ve introducing all-new Xbox SmartGlass experiences to accompany ESPN and NBA Game Time.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about bringing Bing home page images to your desktop, the story behind Bing’s home page, plus using Windows Phone 8 to ensure happy holiday travels.
To grandma’s house we go—with these holiday travel apps. ‘Tis the season for braving airports, highways and hotels on our way to visit family and friends. But the right Windows Phone apps can change the way we plan for these trips, and how we enjoy them. Find great handpicked options in the just-published Winter Travel Collection. Pictured below is FlightAware (free) – an impressive app that brings live flight tracking to your Windows Phone. Find more great apps to help you create a bon voyage in this Thursday post on the Windows Phone Blog.
There’s no question that it’s been a momentous year at Microsoft. The company introduced the world to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, announced its family of Surface PCs, showcased a new version of Microsoft Office and released “Halo 4,” keeping up a steady rhythm of advancements across its most popular products for individuals and businesses throughout the year. Check out the video below to catch a glimpse of some of Microsoft’s biggest highlights of 2012.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Microsoft Surface, Kinect inventor Alex Kipman winning the Inventor of the Year Award from the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation and more.
Microsoft increased production and expands retail distribution for Surface. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced plans to make Microsoft Surface available at additional retailers as soon as mid-December. In addition, the company announced the extension of the Microsoft holiday stores, including the transition of several of the stores into permanent Microsoft retail outlets. “The public reaction to Surface has been exciting to see. We’ve increased production and are expanding the ways in which customers can interact with, experience and purchase Surface,” said Panos Panay, general manager, Microsoft Surface.
This is an exciting holiday for Microsoft, with new Surface tablets and Windows 8 PCs, Windows Phone 8 devices and experiences for Xbox 360 with Kinect and more arriving just in time for the season. Check out the four videos below to see great gift ideas for everyone on your list.
Give the gift of cool tech to everyone on your list. Microsoft's Ben Reed highlights some of our favorite items for the holiday season, including the Surface tablet with the Fresh Paint app, the Wedge Touch Mouse and Mobile Keyboard, and Skype gift cards.
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Capt. Jeff Davis, U.S. Navy and Director, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command Public Affairs. For more than 50 years, NORAD has helped children around the world track Santa during his Christmas journey, and this year Microsoft is partnering with NORAD to make following the big red sleigh easier than ever. The Santa Tracker tool is built on the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud computing platform and Bing Maps, and anxious kids can even track Kris Kringle on Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps.
It’s hard to believe it all started with a typo.
A program renowned the world over – one that brings in thousands of volunteers, prominent figures such as the First Lady of the United States, and one that has been going on for more than five decades – all started as a misprint.
That error ran in a local Colorado Springs newspaper back in 1955 after a local department store printed an advertisement with an incorrect phone number that children could use to “call Santa.” Except that someone goofed. Or someone mistook a three for an eight. Maybe elves broke into the newspaper and changed the number. We’ll never know.
But somehow, the number in the advertisement changed, and instead of reaching the “Santa” on call for the local department store, it rang at the desk of the Crew Commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center, the organization that would one day become the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or “NORAD.”