KIN, Silverlight, Cloud Services and the Summer of Football: Weekend Reading for April 17/18

This week many of our colleagues from around the world are here in Redmond for some meetings, and it has been good to catch up with so many old friends.  Some of them look like they will be sticking around a bit longer than planned as the volcano in Iceland continues to wreak havoc with air travel across Europe.  Here’s some of the reading they, and you, can catch up on while they wait.

KIN:  On Monday we took the wraps of the next generation of social phones.  We call them KIN.  These phones have social built in to their fabric and make it easy to stay connected to the people and things you care most about.  You can see more details on the phone and watch some demos or watch a fascinating interview with one of the design team.

Earth Day:  Earth Day is next week and we’ll have a series of environment focused stories on the Microsoft News Center.  The Bing home page photo is one of the small treats everytime you visit the site.  Our friends on the Bing team  are having an Earth Day Photo Contest for students. You can see the 12 finalists’ photos and vote for your favorite through April 19. The winners will be flown here to Redmond to work with the Bing team on selecting future Bing home page photos.

Developer Tools:  This was a big week for our developer partners, as we released Visual Studio 2010, the .NET Framework 4, and Silverlight 4.  Check out the video of the keynote that Scott Guthrie delivered this week.  Partners have already developed new products and solutions using these technologies and we know there is much more to come as developers really dive in and take full advantage of this great new set of products.

Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS):  BPOS allows customers to combine the power of rich desktop-based applications with the flexibility of fully-hosted Internet services, giving them lots of flexibility on how they manage and use the Microsoft technology, such as Exchange, SharePoint and Office Communications, that they rely on.  This week we’ve announced that BPOS is now is commercially available in 17 more countries. As Steve Ballmer said recently, when it comes to the Cloud, “we’re all in” and BPOS is one example.  One other example is Windows Azure, and this week we announced Azure would be available in 41 countries around the world.

Football or as some say, soccer:  For those, like me, who think football involves a round ball, you might like to know that Microsoft and PepsiCo have teamed up to deliver an online game centered around the beautiful game.  The game, called “Football Hero” will run across Xbox.com and Xbox Live pages, as well as the entertainment and sports pages on the MSN portal. In addition, there will be a dedicated Football Hero site.  Watch for it coming to one of those pages soon.

The people behind Office 2010:  Office 2010 is just around the corner and the Microsoft News Center has a new series profiling some of the talented team members who made the new product possible.  This week, meet Jonathan Bailor who helped solved the problem of having multiple people work on a document at the same time.  The series makes a really interesting behind-the-scenes read.  Check back for the upcoming stories in the ten behind 2010 series. 

Have a good weekend.

Posted by Dominic Carr
Director, Microsoft News Center.