Weekend Reading: Feb. 11th Edition – Nokia, Bing jumps, ZDNet reviews IE9, the new Windows Phone Amazon app, Windows 7, Xbox and More

Microsoft is just chock full of news this week: the just-announced deal with Nokia, Bing’s grabbing up market share and the release of Microsoft’s new Web browser, Internet Explorer 9.

Dig in and enjoy!

Microsoft and Nokia…So happy together. Just in case you missed it, Microsoft and Finnish cell phone maker Nokia announced plans for a broad strategic partnership that has Nokia adopting the Windows Phone operating system as its primary mobile platform. A joint letter from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop goes into the deal in more detail. As part of the agreement, Bing will power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices.

Bing jumps 6 percent. Seattle Times tech reporter Brier Dudley reported in a Feb. 8th blog post that Bing’s share of the U.S. search market rose by 6 percent to 27.44 percent in January while Google fell by 2 percent during the same period. The search market share data came from Experian Hitwise, a global data analytics company. And in this Feb. 10th blog post, ZDNet writer Robin Harris tells us why he switched from Google to Bing.

ZDNet’s Ed Bott reviews IE9. (Spoiler alert: He likes it!) In this Feb. 10th review of Internet Explorer 9 release candidate 1, Bott writes, “With Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft has succeeded in building a fast, standards-compliant browser with a clean, modern design that integrates well with Windows 7.” In his review, Bott explores IE9’s user experience, privacy and security features as well as the browser’s performance and its compatibility with other Web technologies and standards.

Attention, shoppers! The official Amazon.com app for WP7 is here! The wait is over for mobilistas chomping at the bit for Amazon.com’s official app for Windows Phone 7. In this Feb. 10th post on the Windows Phone Blog, blogger Michael Stroh reports on the arrival of the new app in the Marketplace. And just in case you missed it, here is the Feb. 4th edition of Stroh’s Pinworthy blog series.

The U.K.’s Channel 4 News drops by for a visit. British journalist Benjamin Cohen and his colleagues from Channel 4 News in the United Kingdom came to Redmond for two days recently and were given an in-depth view of some of Microsoft’s next-generation technologies. Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton took Cohen wrote this Feb. 11th post, which includes the nearly eight-minute video segment that resulted from Channel 4 News’ visit.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 ships. In this Jan. 9th Windows Blog post, blogger Brandon LeBlanc reports on the release of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 to Microsoft’s equipment partners (the companies that manufacture PCs, laptops and other devices that run Windows 7.) Both become available to the general public on the Microsoft Download Center on Feb. 22nd. Also, blogger Gavriella Shuster writes about how “Windows 7 updates deliver more bang for your buck” in this Feb. 9th post on the Windows for Your Business Blog.

Coming soon to an Xbox Live Marketplace near you. For all you gamers out there, here is a list of upcoming content scheduled to go live in the Xbox Live Marketplace. Some of the titles include “Galaga Legions,” “Space Invaders Infinity Gene” and “Blacklight.” Don’t miss them!

MSN Autos gets a tune up. In this Feb. 9th post on the MSN Blog, John Flinn writes about new features on MSN Autos. Flinn writes that the tune-up will “make it easier than ever to get up to speed on the latest automotive news and to find the right vehicle for you.” In other news from behind the butterfly, MSN visitors can check out a preview version of a new service called Postbox. In this Feb. 9th post, Rick VanderKnyff, senior producer at MSN Local, writes, “Users can contribute content on standing topics that include dining, events, people and places as well as special weekly topics that will be promoted on the MSN home page.” Topics include winter storms, Valentine’s Day and pet photos.

If the Department of Energy trusts us…Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton writes about how the U.S. Department of Energy is using speech analysis and indexing technology from Microsoft Research that enables people to sift through massive amounts of video using specific search terms. Imagine being able to search for video of that spectacular collision between an NFL player and a sideline camera man in Super Bowl XLV just by uttering a few key words or phrases from the comfort of your own couch, Clayton muses. TechFlash Managing Editor Todd Bishop also reported on the story in this Feb. 9th blog post.

Score one more for Windows Azure. Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Windows Azure, continues to rack up the wins. In this Feb. 7th post on the Windows Azure Blog, the Azure team reports, “Temenos, the global provider of banking software, today announced the availability of TEMENOS T24 (T24) on the Windows Azure platform. This announcement makes T24 the first core banking system to go into production with customers on Windows Azure. The combination of T24 and the Windows Azure platform, including SQL Azure, allows banks to move operations to a consumption based pricing model and enables them to scale resources effectively and increase volume according to customer demand.”

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

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Senior Manager, Corporate Blogs