News from the BUILD conference dominated news out of Microsoft this week, including a developer preview of the next version of the Windows operating system – codenamed Windows 8, Visual Studio 11 and Windows Server 8. That said, Microsoft made plenty of news outside of BUILD this week too. Check out the collection of stories below on Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Bing.
Yes, it’s true. Xbox LIVE is coming to Windows 8. In this Tuesday post, Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson confirmed the news that the hit online gaming service for the Xbox will indeed be coming to Windows 8. As Major Nelson reports, earlier this week at BUILD, Microsoft showed that it is easy for developers to create games for Windows 8 that take advantage of the power of Xbox LIVE. And in other Xbox news this week, several major announcements were made at the Tokyo Game Show, including updates on Forza Motorsport 4, Dance Central 2, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Gears of War 3 and many other titles. Below is a screenshot that shows Xbox LIVE on Windows 8:
AT&T announces new Windows Phone lineup. On Monday, AT&T took the wraps off their expanded phone lineup that will feature the next release of Windows Phone, codenamed “Mango.” The carrier also announced it will be among the first mobile operators to start updating existing AT&T Windows Phones with the Mango release this fall. AT&T said it will carry three brand new Windows Phones this year, including the HTC TITAN, the Samsung Focus S and the Samsung Focus Flash. Read this Monday post on the Windows Phone Blog for more detail. Speaking of new Windows Phones, check out this video of the HTC TITAN and its gigantic screen in action. Finally, Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton profiled a free Rugby World Cup app now available in the Windows Phone Marketplace earlier this week. Check it out, rugby fans! Below are a few screenshots of the Rugby World Cup app:
Bing rolls out new Adaptive Search capability. On Wednesday, Bing took another big step forward with the debut of a new feature called Adaptive Search. What is that, you may ask? Every time you search on Bing, the information provided helps Bing understand what you’re trying to do. The more you search, the more Bing can learn – and use that information to adapt the experience so you can spend less time searching and accomplish what you set out to do. To get a better idea on how this all works, head on over to the Bing Search Blog to get the rest of the story. In other Bing news this week, Microsoft is very excited about a new partnership with the CW – “TV to Bing About”. Don’t miss it.
New study: Parents use technology to help protect kids online. The Family Online Safety Institute, a global, non-profit organization focused on making the Internet a safer place for children and families, released its first-ever report entitled “Parents’ Views of Online Safety.” The U.S.-wide study, sponsored by Microsoft and other FOSI partners Google, Verizon and AT&T, was released Wednesday during a special presentation in Washington, D.C. focused on online parental controls. To find out the results of the study, read this Thursday post on the Microsoft on the Issues Blog.
Washington state rolls out nation’s largest Microsoft IT Academy Program. Microsoft announced on Thursday that Washington will deploy the Microsoft IT Academy to each of the state’s 703 high schools, skills centers and tribal schools, making this the largest implementation of its kind in the country. The program will provide the state’s more than 300,000 students with equal access to technology training that will prepare them for the future. For more detail, read this feature story, which includes a short video, on the Microsoft News Center. In related news, it was announced Thursday that Virginia is the third state in the nation to launch and implement the Microsoft IT Academy Program at all public high schools statewide.
That’s a wrap for this edition of Weekend Reading – thanks for stopping by!