The Midweek Download: Aug. 31st Edition–Two New Windows 8 Stories, What’s Next on Next, plus Windows Phone, Windows Azure Toolkit and Microsoft Dynamics

This edition of the Midweek Download has two new stories from the Building Windows 8 blog, a glimpse at what’s next on the Next at Microsoft Blog as well as developer news from Windows Phone, Windows Azure and Microsoft Dynamics. Don’t miss it!

Improvements in Windows Explorer. In this Tuesday post on Building Windows 8, Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division, writes, “Windows Explorer is a foundation of the user experience of the Windows desktop and has undergone several design changes over the years, but has not seen a substantial change in quite some time. Windows 8 is about reimagining Windows, so we took on the challenge to improve the most widely used desktop tool (except maybe for Solitaire) in Windows.” The post itself, written by Alex Simons from the program management team, goes on to take a closer look at the evolution of Windows Explorer. Don’t miss it. Also on Building Windows 8 this week, Rajeev Nagar, a group program manager on the Storage & File Systems team, writes about accessing data in ISO and VHD files.

What’s next on Next. As the holiday season starts to wind down, Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton is thinking about what he’ll be covering in the coming months. “My aim has always been to pull back the curtain a little and show you some of the people and places and glimpses of what is being built. Those two themes will continue as every week I meet fascinating new people who are doing remarkable things with technology and I’m always stumbling across places that I think go against the conventional wisdom of what Microsoft offices are like,” Clayton wrote earlier this week while at the same time making clear he intends to broaden the scope of his blog. To see where he (and Microsoft) are going next, read this Monday blog post.

Internet Explorer 9 on Windows Phone “Mango.” With Windows Phone “Mango” declaring RTM and developer tools hitting “RC”, it is time to start getting websites updated for IE9 availability on Windows Phone. In this Monday post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Charles Morris, a program manager lead on the Windows Phone team, describes changes to the browser’s user-agent (UA) string so that developers can start testing those website updates.

More winners for #WPAppItUp. Last month, Microsoft announced the first set of winners for #WPAppItUp. The first 20 phones were awarded for some amazing student-created app prototypes. In this Aug. 26th post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, 15 second-round winners, who will all be getting a pre-release HTC Mazaa, were announced. Go check out the post to see who won.

Just Released: Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games Version 1.0. The headline says it all. Nathan Totten’s latest blog post, “Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games & Tankster Version 1.0”, announces the release of the latest version of the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games and the Tankster game. This release adds several new features, improves the performance and stability of the server APIs, and contains many user interface improvements to the sample game. These tools make it easier for developers to build great game experiences across devices in less time, and at lower cost.

Announcing the Microsoft Dynamics SDK Update V5.0.6. Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK Version 5.0.6 is now live on MSDN library. It is also available at MSDN downloads. This release is primarily to update the tools and documentation for the upcoming release of Windows Azure AppFabric Access Control Services (ACS) 2.0. Read this Tuesday post on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Blog for more information.

Thanks for reading the latest edition of The Midweek Download. Drop by The Official Microsoft Blog again Friday for another round-up of Microsoft news in the next edition of Weekend Reading.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog

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