Weekend Reading: June 17th Edition–Kinect for Windows SDK is here plus Office 2010, Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Microsoft Research

Microsoft made news on multiple fronts this week, including three big ones – the Kinect for Windows SDK, the one-year anniversary of Office 2010 and Xbox 360.

Here’s the round up:

Kinect for Windows SDK is here! On Thursday, Microsoft announced the arrival of the Kinect for Windows software development kit, which includes not only drivers but also APIs, device interfaces, installer documents and resource materials. It’s another exciting milestone for a technology that has captured the imagination of millions, and has become the fastest selling computer electronics device of all time. For more on this story, read Thursday’s post on the Next at Microsoft Blog. CNET, among other news media, also covered the story.

Office 2010: Year one was one for the record books. When we released Office 2010 to the world one year ago, our critics weren't easy on us. They said we were heading in the wrong direction by continuing to invest in our desktop applications in addition to the cloud. In fact, business customers are deploying Office 2010 five times faster than they deployed Office 2007. Office 2010 is also the fastest-selling version of Office ever. And nearly 50 million people worldwide use Office Web Apps to view, edit and share their documents from anywhere with a browser and an Internet connection. Want the whole story? Read this Wednesday post on the Office Exec Blog. And don’t miss this “Top 10 Office 2010 Features That ‘Make it Great’ for Customers” slide show on the Microsoft News Center.

Xbox 360 builds on E3 momentum. If anyone has any doubt that 2011 continues to be the year of Xbox 360, check out the latest numbers from NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks the digital entertainment industry. For starters, Xbox 360 has sold more consoles than any other platform for 11 of the past 12 months in the United States. Now in the seventh year of its lifecycle, Xbox 360 is on pace to have the biggest year in its history, a feat never achieved by any console in history. Read this Monday post on the Official Microsoft Blog for the rest of the May 2011 NPD numbers.

Microsoft survey reveals extent of new Internet phone scam. On Thursday, Microsoft released findings of a survey into an emerging form of Internet scam that targets English-language markets and costs victims on average $875 (U.S.) The scam works by criminals posing as computer security engineers and calling people at home to tell them they are at risk of a computer security threat. The scammers tell their victims they are providing free security checks and add authenticity by claiming to represent legitimate companies and using telephone directories to refer to their victims by name. Check out this press release for more detail on the scam.

Real people and their Windows Phones. Curious how other people use their phones? This week, the folks down at the Windows Phone Blog debuted a new collection of documentary-style shorts called the Me series. Each film essay explores a day in the life of someone interesting who owns a Windows Phone. This first installment profiles New Yorker SuChin Pak, co-founder of the Hester Street Fair. Read this Thursday post on the Windows Phone Blog to see the documentary.

Microsoft Research at the D.C. TechFair. In this Wednesday post on the Next at Microsoft Blog, editor Steve Clayton highlights some of the Microsoft Research projects that were demonstrated at the MSR TechFair earlier this week, including Social News Search for Companies, 3D Scanning with a Regular Camera and WorldWide Telescope. Check it out to catch up on the latest projects at MSR.

Hope you enjoyed this edition of Weekend Reading! See you back here next Friday for another installment of Microsoft news.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog

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