In this week’s edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Build 2013, updates to the Mail, Calendar and People apps on Windows, a musical Skype masterpiece, the first We Day in American history and more.
Announcing Build 2013. Earlier this week, Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president and chief evangelist, Developer Platform Evangelism, announced specifics around Build 2013: “To make sure everyone knows what we’re planning and can participate in this rapidly growing ecosystem, we’re pleased to announce and personally invite you to our next developer conference, Build 2013, which is taking place June 26 to 28 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. It’s been a while since our last developer event in the Bay Area, and we’re looking forward to a fantastic gathering. Save the date and mark your calendar for the opening of registration next week at 9 a.m. PT on April 2 at www.buildwindows.com.” Read more about it in this Tuesday post on The Official Microsoft Blog.
The Mail, Calendar and People apps are getting better! On Monday, we announced an update for the Mail, Calendar, and People apps from the Windows Store. These apps are designed to manage communication seamlessly on Windows PCs and tablets across multiple accounts—Outlook.com, Exchange and others. We know our customers typically have two or more email accounts for personal use and work use, they use these accounts throughout the day, and they have a large volume of email they’re continuously managing. You will see big improvements to performance and additional new features to make it easier to connect with friends and colleagues, manage your inboxes, create and send email and manage your calendar. Read more about it over on The Windows Experience Blog.
Bing gets more Klout. On Thursday, Klout added Bing as a connected network, alongside Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and others, for the purpose of influence ranking. It’s the first time Klout has added ‘search’ as a sign of influence. Bing has also added Klout scores to the information it displays about professionals and celebrities who are active on social networks. Learn more about this partnership on the Bing Search Blog.
WE Day. More than 15,000 young people from about 400 middle and high schools from around the region met at KeyArena Wednesday to celebrate WE Day, a celebration of youth community involvement and service that got its start in Canada. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke at the event about Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative, and about how young people have a unique opportunity to change the world. Fellow speakers included Magic Johnson, Martin Sheen, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and Seattle Sonics legend Gary Payton. Read all about We Day on Microsoft’s Corporate Citizenship blog and on the Microsoft News Center. Below is a photo of Jennifer Hudson performing at WE Day.
New games for Windows Phone 8. Temple Run, Orcs Must Survive, Gravity Guy 2 and Ruzzle are among the titles available for Windows Phone 8 users this week. Ruzzle ($2.99) is a Boggle-Scrabble mashup that arrived in the Store on Thursday. Temple Run (free) is an obstacle-race treasure hunt that arrived Wednesday. Gravity Guy 2 ($2.99) picks up where its predecessor, an immensely popular, gravity-defying game, left off: The laws of gravity have been broken – by you. Now run – upside down sometimes – for your life. The game arrived Wednesday and for the next month it is available only on Windows Phone. Learn about these titles and more on the Windows Phone Blog. Below is a screenshot from Gravity Guy 2.
Xbox apps for Windows 8 get a refresh. You may have noticed that the Xbox apps for Windows 8 are receiving some updates this week. Some are purely background updates that you might not notice but there are also a few cosmetic and functional updates. The Xbox Games and Xbox SmartGlass apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT are refreshing this week with new looks and some new features. The refreshed Xbox Games app will make Windows 8 and Windows RT tablet and PC gameplay simpler and more personal. The home screen of the updated Xbox Games app will now display the last game you played within the past seven days. Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson has the full story.
A virtual choir for the ages. Grammy award-winning composer Eric Whitacre gathered 100 choir members from California State-Long Beach, Cal State-Fullerton and Riverside City College along with 30 singers from 28 different countries connected via Skype. The result was a musical masterpiece that debuted three weeks ago at the TED 2013 conference. Since Internet connections can sometimes delay images or sounds, no one had ever tried to get a live choir to perform with a virtual one before. Check out the result and read more about this experiment in this March 22 post from Skype’s Big Blog.
Microsoft honors women. Microsoft is partnering with the U.S. National Women’s History Museum to launch “From Ideas to Independence: A Century of Entrepreneurial Women,” an online exhibit about American businesswomen in the last century. Decade by decade, the exhibit explores womens’ paths to economic and professional empowerment through stories, biographies and information. Learn more about this partnership and watch a March 28 slideshow about women entrepreneurs over on the Microsoft News Center.
That’s a wrap for this edition of Weekend Reading… Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!
Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog