Some Weekend Reading

Posted by Dominic Carr
Director, Microsoft News Center.

For those of us on the West Coast of the U.S., the weekend is just about on us.  The forecast here in Seattle calls for rain – normally no surprise, but the past week had been dry and almost sunny here. Really.  For me, a wet weekend offers an excuse to stay inside and catch up on some reading.  Looking back there are a few things that happened at Microsoft this week that we didn’t cover on the blog but that might provide a little weekend reading.

Bing Maps:  The team at Bing always seem to have something new to talk about.  Kristin Meldahl  from the Bing team has a post this week on Bing Maps’ moving out of “beta” (she explains what that means), and about some enhancements and new apps from Bing Maps.  Kristin also has a great video in which Blaise Aguera y Arcas –  the man responsible for Seadragon and co-creator of Photosynth – talks about the evolution of maps and how Bing Maps allows you to engage in your surroundings.

Cloud Computing:  Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith was at the Brooking Institution in Washington , D.C., this week. While there, he gave a speech at an event titled Cloud Computing in Business and Society.  Brad  talked about the importance of building confidence in cloud computing.  You can read the speech in full or listen to audio clips, here. Or you can read his blog post on Microsoft on the Issues.

Jobs and Skills:  Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was in Atlanta today, and joined Governor Sonny Perdue to launch Elevate America in Georgia. Andrea Taylor from our North America Community Affairs team explains more about Elevate America and profiles one of the participants in a blog post today.  Microsoft created Elevate America a year ago to help equip people with the technology skills needed to succeed in today’s workplace.   Working in partnership with state governments, the program provides vouchers for free technology training and certification.  Georgia is the tenth state to join the partnership.

Bill Gates joins Twitter and launches a new web site:  It seems nearly everyone noticed that the Bill Gates joined the Twittersphere (@billgates) this week.  People are clearly interested in hearing what he has to say – he gained more than 300,000 followers in fewer than three days.  Perhaps more interesting is the launch of Bill’s new web site, The Gates Notes.  Bill is using the new site to talk about his work with the Gates Foundation, and to share the conversations he has with experts around the world on topics like global health, education, and the environment.

And finally; two quick things. One that involves new gadgets and one that involves making the most of what you have.  First, the Windows team have a nice round-up of some of the new PCs that our partners showcased at the recent Consumer Electronics Show.  Worth a read if you are looking for a new PC or just interested in seeing what’s new.  Second, my favorite of the week.  The Bing team, in partnership with MSN, launched a new feature that helps you make the most of what’s in your refrigerator with a new “recipe results” service.  You can read more, watch the video and try it here.  What’s for dinner tonight?  Bing and decide!

Have a great weekend.