Weekend Reading: Imagine Cup U.S. Finals and Much More

It’s Friday and therefore time to round up some of the things you may have missed this week with what we like to call Weekend Reading.

Firstly a plug for the U.S. finals for the Imagine Cup, taking place this weekend.  At Imagine Cup, student teams compete to find solutions to the most important challenges facing the world today.  This year’s competition is focused on how we can help achieve the eight United Nations Millennium goals, which include tackling hunger, improving primary education, achieving gender equality, and securing environmental sustainability.  The competition is inspirational: in addition to taking on these important problems it also helps nurture the future science and technology talent the world badly needs.
 
We’re reporting extensively from the U.S. finals, held in Washington, D.C., beginning with this story about the need for more science, technology and math training in the United States. We’ll have more stories and videos on the Microsoft News Center and the blog over the weekend and into Monday when the results are announced.  You can also follow @microsoft on Twitter for the latest news and information. Then, for the winners, it is on to Poland for the world finals in July.

Looking back over the rest of the week:

  • Earth Day: Thursday, of course, was Earth Day – the 40th anniversary of the day dedicated to the well-being of the planet. Here at Microsoft we’re working hard to lead research on ways to understand the environment; supply customers with tools that reduce energy use and save money; and reduce our own corporate footprint through energy conservation and practices such as extensive composting and recycling in our corporate cafes. Read more about our efforts, and glance as well at our list of 10 things you can do to create a greener planet.
  • Facebook: On Wednesday we announced our partnership with Facebook for a service we call Docs for Facebook.  With Docs, Facebook users can use Microsoft Office 2010 tools like Word, PowerPoint and Excel to create, share and edit documents directly with their Facebook friends. Here’s the video in which Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft’s Lili Cheng explain all. Check it out at http://docs.com/.
  • Windows Live: Also on Wednesday we shared some of the thinking  behind the upcoming release of Windows Live (we call it Wave 4).  It’s going to include some big improvements to Messenger, Hotmail, and Windows Live Essentials, plus much more.
  • Windows Intune: Monday saw some interesting news from the Windows team with the public beta of Windows Intune.  This new online service allows mid-size businesses (think between 25 and 500 PCs) to use cloud services and Windows 7 to simplify the way IT professionals can secure and manage their company’s PCs from virtually anywhere.  Brandon LeBlanc has more in his blog post.
  • Windows PC Blog: We’re a software company, but of course we love hardware. So we love our resident Microsoft “hardware nerd,” Ben Rudolph, who is starting posts about PC hardware for the Windows Experience Blog. In this first post he reviews the Sony W series mini-notebook.

I also wanted to highlight a couple of interesting articles I read this week:

  • Bing beats Google: Softpedia has an article about the business value of Bing advertising (versus Google) for small-business customers  

And remember if you are looking at booking your summer travel why not try using the fare predictor from the fareologists at Bing Travel.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Posted by Dominic Carr
Director, Microsoft News Center