Weekend Reading: Feb. 4th Edition – Bing, Office, Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7, MSN and More

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Senior Manager, Corporate Blogs

Phew! What a week it’s been at Microsoft! Take a look below to see what I mean.

Bing sets the record straight. Just in case you missed it, Bing and Google had a bit of a dust up this week. In this Feb. 2nd post on the Bing Search Blog, Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of Microsoft’s online services division, sets the record straight. The long and short of it, as Mehdi says, is this: “We do not copy results from any of our competitors. Period. Full stop.” USA Today, among many others, covered the story with a post on its Technology Live Blog. (Editor’s Note: Earlier today, Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan published this report regarding the dispute between Bing and Google, and we thought our readers should know about it.)

The future of search. Given the attention the dispute between Bing and Google has garnered, some might find it hard to believe that there was actually any other significant news where Internet search is concerned, but there was. Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton covered the Farsight 2011 – Beyond the Search Box event live on his Twitter feed, and wrote this comprehensive recap of the Bing-sponsored event.

Office Web Apps expands…big time. In a big piece of news from the Office team, it was announced via this Feb. 1st post on the Microsoft Office Web Apps Blog that Office Web Apps is now available in more than 150 countries. That means more and more people around the world with an Internet connection and a Web browser can view, edit and share Office documents.

The top Xbox Live games of 2010 are…Xbox Live’s own Major Nelson did some digging and revealed this list of the top Xbox Live games of 2010. Here are the top five, just in case you’re wondering:

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops
2. Halo: Reach
3. Red Dead Redemption
4. Fable III
5. Battlefield: Bad Co. 2

Patent reform. As noted recently on The Official Microsoft Blog, Microsoft is among the tech industry’s leaders when it comes to patent awards. That said, the current patent system in the United States must continue to evolve. In this Feb. 2nd post on the Microsoft on the Issues Blog, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith and Deputy General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez offer an in-depth analysis concerning the need for patent reform.

Twelve new Elevate America grants. First launched in February 2009, the Elevate America program provides people across the U.S. with low-cost and no-cost access to technology training so they can get the jobs they want in an increasingly tech-heavy job market. In this Feb. 3rd post on the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Blog, blogger Akhtar Badshah writes about 12 nonprofit organizations that will receive more than $5 million from Microsoft over the next two years to help people obtain the technology skills they need to compete in the modern job market.

Windows Phone 7 – to pin, or not to pin, that is the question. In his weekly Pinworthy blog series, blogger Michael Stroh sifts through the hundreds of new apps added to the Windows Phone Marketplace to identify those apps he feels worth of pinning to his WP7 start menu. Check out the latest installment of Pinworthy on the Windows Phone Blog to see what Stroh came up with.

MSN’s “Film Fan” and “Big on the Web” get refreshed. According to this Feb. 2nd post on the MSN Blog, MSN and Next New Networks have “refreshed the ongoing original video series Film Fan with a new host and a new attitude.” Also, in a Jan. 31st post on the MSN Blog, MSN announced the re-launch of “Big on the Web,” a daily show about what’s buzzing around on the Web.

Twenty-three million is a lot of downloads. Internet Explorer 9 has now been downloaded more than 23 million times, according to Web analysis firm Net Applications. Not bad considering IE9 is still in beta! Read more in this Feb. 1st post on the Exploring IE Blog.

Messenger and Facebook – a good match. The number of Windows Live Messenger customers who have connected Messenger to Facebook has grown more than 75 percent to 18 million people since last November, blogger Piero Sierra reports in this Feb. 2nd post on the Inside Windows Live Blog. Sierra goes on to write, “The addition of these new connections has nearly doubled the number of chat sessions between Messenger and Facebook to about 440 million, powering more than 2.8 billion minutes of Facebook chat.” CNET’s Don Reisinger also covered the story here.

That’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading. See you next Friday!