Microsoft News Center
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s trip to Asia, a new agreement between Microsoft and the Vatican that will bring Office 365 to millions of students and the new Facebook app for Windows Phone now in Marketplace.
Steve Ballmer highlights opportunities in Asia. Steve Ballmer was in Asia this week, speaking at events in Japan, China, Korea and India. Developers, customers, partners and students told Ballmer how excited they are about Microsoft’s coming products and services in Asia, including Windows 8. "Windows 8 is at the forefront of what we're doing and I think at the forefront of the ways in which we can create real opportunity for us and for our partners," Ballmer said at a Windows Partner Executive Summit in Tokyo. "No matter what you do, Windows 8 should unlock for all of us new opportunities." See more photos from Ballmer’s tour in this slide show. Below are two images from the slide show:
Today, the Catholic International Education Office (OIEC) took an exciting step toward delivering a brighter future for Catholic students around the world, demonstrating there is no greater resource to invest in than that of youth. Recognizing changes were needed to provide their students with the 21st century skills they’ll need in their future careers, OIEC is partnering with Microsoft to bring Office 365 and other resources to more than 200,000 Catholic schools all over the world with the potential to reach 43 million students.
The partnership between OIEC and Microsoft deploys some of the newest technologies, including more than 4.5 million subscriptions to Office 365 for education – a free tool for educators and students worldwide, which will be made available this summer during the first wave of deployment.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on the release of Kinect for Windows 1.5, Microsoft Research, some gorgeous ultra-thin laptops from HP and Lenovo and more.
Kinect for Windows 1.5 released with face tracking SDK and more. Since the Kinect for Windows sensor and SDK arrived, the team has been adding more features and countries in which the product is available at a fair old clip. On Monday, they released version 1.5 of the Kinect for Windows runtime and SDK. Kinect for Windows hardware is now available in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan and beginning next month it will arrive in 15 additional countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, India, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. Head on over to Next at Microsoft for the full story. Also, check out this May 18 post on Next about a new book by Razorfish entitled, “Beginning Kinect Programming with the Microsoft Kinect SDK”. Below is a screen shot of the book:
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on two awesome HTML5 experiences powered by Internet Explorer, three gorgeous new apps for Windows Phone, Skype rolling out on Xfinity in 10 markets and much, much more. Don’t miss any of them!
“Prometheus” and Brandon Generator – two HTML5 experiences powered by Internet Explorer. In preparation for the upcoming film Prometheus (in theaters on June 8), Weyland Industries is accepting applicants to join the crew of the Project Prometheus spaceship. Now, the Internet Explorer team is proud to announce our partnership with Fox Studios to create the Project Prometheus Training Center — designed entirely in HTML5 — giving fans the chance to demonstrate they are capable of being a crew member on the Prometheus ship. Read this Wednesday post on the Exploring IE Blog for the rest of the story. Mashable also covered the story. And don’t miss this feature story and slide show on the Microsoft News Center focused on The Random Adventures of Brandon Generator, the brainchild of filmmaker Edgar Wright, comic book artist Tommy Lee Edwards, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team – and you. The audience is being invited to help shape the four-episode series of animated shorts by suggesting characters, plots, nemeses and entire scenes. The site received thousands of submissions after the first episode premiered in mid-April, which ended with a plea to help Brandon overcome his writer’s block. Below is a screen shot from the Project Prometheus Training Center.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on big updates for Bing, some new apps for Windows Phone and some previews of what you'll see from Windows 8 and IE10.
Bing Updates Available for Test Drive. You may have heard last week about some big updates coming to Bing that we think will provide you a new and exciting way to search. The new features began to roll-out Tuesday here in the U.S. You can check out some of the new features at http://www.bing.com/new.
You can also learn more about the updates from the video below, which provides a nice overview of what you'll find in the new Bing some and background on the new features. With a refreshed design, the new snapshot feature for instant access to action-oriented information, or get advice and recommendations from friends and experts with the new social sidebar, it's a big release for the Bing team, and we hope you like it.
It was a busy week for the company, as Bing announced some exciting new features in their most significant update since they launched three years ago. We heard about a great new Windows Phone from Samsung and a very cool new augmented reality app from Nokia. And, of course, Mother’s Day approaches, so some advice from Skype on how to make the day special for mom.
The “New” Bing Unveiled: Transforming Search from Finding to Doing. On Thursday, the Bing team held an event in San Francisco to showcase the “new” Bing, a major update to the Bing Search engine, which includes a revamped UI and deeper integration with social media to help people spend less time searching and more time doing. The team introduced three major updates to Bing. Below is a screenshot of the new Bing.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Microsoft Research at CHI 2012, the future of Windows Media Center on Windows 8, and creating rich mobile Web experiences on Windows Phone 7.5, just to name a few. Check ‘em out.
Microsoft Research at CHI 2012. The ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems is taking place this week in Austin, Texas. It’s more well known as CHI and is the premier international conference on human-computer interaction. CHI is always a highlight of Next at Microsoft Editor Steve Clayton’s tech year as the event attracts a wide discipline of skills from the world of design, engineering, management and user experience professionals – and Microsoft Research (MSR) is always there in force. Check out this Monday post on Next that rounds up some of the MSR projects being shown off at CHI, as well as this post on a project that shows dual views on existing LCD displays. Finally, the MIT Technology Review profiled an MSR project known as Soundwave on Monday. Below is a video of the Soundwave project:
Microsoft has a long tradition of tackling tough challenges at a global scale. We have always focused on how our technology can enrich people’s lives, build businesses, and inspire and change the world.
Working on the issues of energy use and environmental change provides another opportunity to make a difference in the world. It’s the right thing to do. And it’s also an opportunity to promote positive change, as the world transitions to new ways of using energy and managing natural resources. That’s why today, Microsoft is taking a significant step to further reduce our environmental footprint.
Beginning in fiscal year 2013 (which starts this July 1), Microsoft will be carbon neutral across all our direct operations including data centers, software development labs, air travel, and office buildings.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Barnes & Noble and Microsoft announcing a new strategic partnership, Microsoft Research opening a lab in New York City and the new web Marketplace. Check ‘em out.
Barnes & Noble, Microsoft form strategic partnership. Barnes & Noble and Microsoft announced on Monday the formation of a strategic partnership in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary, which will build upon the history of strong innovation in digital reading technologies from both companies. The partnership will accelerate the transition to e-reading, which is revolutionizing the way people consume, create, share and enjoy digital content. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center to get the full story.
Microsoft Research opens lab in New York City. In the two decades since the formation of Microsoft Research, the organization has grown from its beginnings on Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in Redmond, Wash., into a global research force with 12 labs across four continents — all devoted to advancing the state of the art in computing research and contributing cutting-edge advancements to Microsoft products.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on changes and improvements in the Windows Phone Marketplace, Kinect and Kinect SDK winning the Design of the Year award and a new blog for Windows 8 app developers.
Changes and improvements in the Windows Phone Marketplace. In this Monday post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Todd Brix lays out in substantial detail the latest steps we’re taking in our ongoing effort to keep the quality bar high in our rapidly growing Marketplace. Todd focuses on four areas – avoiding trademark trouble, keeping the quality bar high, cleaning up key words and refining our approach to content policy enforcement. And don’t miss an earlier post from Todd on two changes to Marketplace and an update on nine new markets.
And now it’s time for a little Weekend Reading…
In this edition, we’ve got stories on the new Skype for Windows Phone app, the winners of the U.S. Imagine Cup finals, Wordament coming to Marketplace, the new Bing Desktop and more.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is HERE! Skype for Windows Phone! Following the recent availability of the Skype for Windows Phone Beta app announced at Mobile World Congress, we’ve released an official version of the Skype for Windows Phone app, which is now available in the Windows Phone Marketplace. You can also get the app directly from your Windows Phone. Get more detail about this story on The Big Blog, and take a moment to watch the video below on how the Skype app works. Also, don’t miss this Big Blog post about Skype Video and Voice calling coming to PlayStation Vita.
In listening to the developer community, the Channel 9 team at Microsoft has heard the positive feedback about Visual Studio Achievements loud and clear: you want more. More than 80,000 downloads of the extension demonstrated that developers see achievement badges as a fun way to socially share the accomplishments they earn in what can sometimes be the lonely act of writing code.
New badges are available today, so now developers can unlock new achievements when using Visual Studio to write code for Windows Azure. Badges can be earned for proper cloud development usage, mobile+cloud scenarios, social gaming scenarios, or a dozen other developer-related accomplishments.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got the lowdown on the new and more powerful SkyDrive, memory usage in Windows 8, what’s next for Windows Intune and a few bits and pieces for Windows Phone developers.
Available now: A more powerful SkyDrive. Over the last year we’ve been hard at work building SkyDrive alongside Windows 8, setting out a unique approach to designing personal cloud storage for billions of people by bringing together the best aspects of file, app, and device clouds. Now, we’re excited to take another big step towards our vision by making SkyDrive far more powerful. There are new storage options, apps that connect your devices to SkyDrive, and a more powerful device cloud that lets you “fetch” any file from a Windows PC. Taken together with access from popular mobile phones and a browser, you can now take your SkyDrive with you anywhere, connect it to any app that works with files and folders, and get all the storage you need—making SkyDrive the most powerful personal cloud storage service available. Read this Monday post on Building Windows 8 to get the rest of the story. Below is a screenshot of SkyDrive across a multitude of devices.
We’ve got an action-packed edition of Weekend Reading for you today, with stories on the return of Master Chief in “Halo 4”, the latest word on Windows 8, a few tips to help you get the most out of your Nokia Lumia 900 and a wicked cool interactive comic book collaboration called "The Random Adventures of Brandon Generator".
Master Chief returns with worldwide launch of “Halo 4” on Nov. 6. The countdown has begun for the landmark entertainment event millions of fans worldwide have been anticipating for more than four years. “Halo 4,” the hotly anticipated sequel to the iconic franchise that has shaped entertainment history, will launch worldwide on Nov. 6. Set four years after the events in “Halo 3,” Master Chief returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. Read more about it on the Microsoft News Center.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got two behind-the-scenes stories of developers from the Windows Phone team, a story from Next at Microsoft on the blending of the physical and digital worlds and more.
Meet the team making Windows Phone faster. New models of Windows Phone will be equipped with LTE (long-term evolution) capabilities, thanks to a small team of engineers at Microsoft. The Windows Phone Customer Experience Engineering (CXE) team recently finished a project that makes Windows Phones on the AT&T network, such as the new Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II phones announced last week, LTE-capable. For more detail, check out this feature story on the Microsoft News Center. Below is a photo of Kathy Davis, one of the CXE team members.
It’s that time again – time for a little Weekend Reading. You know what to do…
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Halo 4 soundtrack. Are you salivating over the prospect for any shred of information, no matter how minute, about Halo 4? Then check out this Thursday post on Next at Microsoft featuring two videos that give you a behind-the-scenes look at the soundtrack and the people making it happen. That’s one of the videos below, just to give you a little taste. Also, don’t miss this Thursday Next at Microsoft post about how Kinect for Windows is helping girls dress like Barbie. Finally, check out this Thursday post on The Official Microsoft Blog about the Xbox 360 maintaining its position as the top console in the U.S.
Xbox 360 continued to hold the number one spot in the U.S., selling more units in March than any other console. It was the Xbox 360’s fifteenth consecutive month as the best-selling console in the U.S. Below is a screenshot from "Mass Effect 3", one of the top-selling games in March.
This week, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) branch of India’s Ministry of Human Resources and Development made a big bet on delivering a brighter future for not only India’s up-and-comers, but for the future of India itself. Recognizing that an educated population is one natural resource that increases in value as it increases in size, AICTE announced the deployment of Microsoft Live@Edu to more than 10,000 technical colleges and institutes throughout India.
Now more than ever, governments all over the world face increasingly tough decisions on how, when and where to invest for ensuring economic stability and spearheading growth. India, in particular, continues to push the envelope on innovation with its current strategy to invest heavily in education.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on intelligent systems, the Windows Phone SDK, pinned sites in Windows 8 and much more. Check ‘em out.
Talking intelligent systems. Anyone who has followed Next at Microsoft knows that the blog’s editor, Steve Clayton, is fascinated by intelligent systems and what they mean for the future of computing. For the past week or two, Clayton’s been sitting down with various players in the computing space to talk about the impact of intelligent systems. Check out the video below of Clayton talking with IDC’s Mario Morales. And don’t miss this earlier talk he had with Intel’s Ton Steenman.
Earlier this week, Microsoft and Nokia launched the Lumia 900, the smartphone that beat out the competition to win the Best at CES award. Here’s what we at Microsoft want to know: which feature on the Lumia 900 gets you the most excited?
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Jo Harlow, executive vice president, Smart Devices, at Nokia.
Today, the Nokia Lumia 900 goes on sale in thousands of AT&T stores around the U.S. As many media have already commented, this is a major milestone for Nokia, for our partnership with Microsoft and for the Windows Phone ecosystem.
There have been many milestone moments in the last 12 months.
Toward the end of this month, we celebrate one year since the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft, first announced in February 2011, was signed. In that time, we launched our first two Lumia phones, the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710, at Nokia World in October.
In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the latest reviews for the Nokia Lumia 900, the out-of-this-world release of Kinect Star Wars, plus Bing, MSN, Skype and more. Check ‘em out!
The reviews are in on the Nokia Lumia 900. The highly anticipated Nokia Lumia 900 becomes available on AT&T on April 8. Curious to hear what some in the technology press are saying about the phone? Check out these reviews from CNN Money, Mashable and Gizmodo for starters, and then head on over to the Windows Phone newsroom to see more. Below is a screenshot of the Lumia 900.
In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on SQL Server 2012’s general availability, touch hardware and Windows 8, Windows Phone and the latest news from the Silicon Valley. Check ‘em out.
Live augmented reality with Kinect. Technology, Entertainment, Design released this video earlier this week and it’s circulating widely on the Web now. It shows Marco Tempest employing a Kinect sensor to deliver a live augmented reality presentation and it’s pretty dazzling stuff. It’s not immediately clear from the video what is going on but some photos from the TED blog help to explain – Marco is presenting on the TED stage and the AR tricks are projected on a screen behind him. Check out this Monday post on Next at Microsoft for the full story.
With easier access to funding, technology and mentorship, the barrier to launching a startup has never been lower. However, creating a successful company and breaking through the noise has grown infinitely harder. Last Wednesday, Microsoft hosted the Churchill Club, Silicon Valley’s premier business and technology forum, for a discussion about the current startup environment.