Weekend Reading: July 29th Edition–Microsoft Announces Avatar Kinect, plus Xbox Live, Bing, OneNote and Windows Phone

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got Xbox Live, two new Kinect experiences, Windows Phone and others. Read on…

Make the most of summer. From free Bing and Windows Live tools to “Angry Birds” for Windows Phone, Microsoft helps you make the most of all your summer activities. Check out this slideshow on the Microsoft News Center for lots of ideas to help you make this summer one to remember.

Xbox Releases Avatar Kinect, Kinect Sparkler Interactive Experiences. Kinect Fun Labs, a hub for innovative gadgets that showcase advancements in the controller-free device’s technology, launches two new experiences this week: Avatar Kinect, and Kinect Sparkler. Avatar Kinect lets you – or rather your personalized avatar – interact with or hang out with up to seven other friends in 24 virtual stages ranging from a late-night talk show set to outer space to a sports tailgate party. Kinect Sparkler lets players use their fingers to draw sparkling lines that whirl glowing, gold stars in front of, behind, and around 3-D photographs of themselves. For more details, read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center.

Microsoft Broadens Global Software Donation Program. Microsoft on Wednesday announced updates to its software donation program that make it easier for nonprofit organizations to get access to affordable technology. The program, which has already provided more than $3.9 billion worth of software to nonprofits around the world since 1998, is being expanded to enable more nonprofit organizations to request software donations when they need them at any point in the year. The updates to the Microsoft Software Donation program, which is currently available in more than 100 countries around the world can be found in detail in this press release and this Wednesday post on the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Blog.

Updated Microsoft OneNote app for iPhone now available. Back in January, we released the first version of Microsoft OneNote app for iPhone. On Tuesday, the OneNote team announced that there’s a new version available (1.2) which introduces search, shared notebooks, and more customization options. OneNote app for iPhone will now also be available in 5 additional markets: Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. For the rest of this story, read this Tuesday post on the Inside Windows Live Blog.

Xbox Live news: ESPN app update coming in August. The Xbox team has been busy working on updating the ESPN app on Xbox LIVE, and we are happy to let you know that we’ll be shipping the update in late August. For more on some of the new features in the update, check out this Thursday blog post Xbox Live’s Major Nelson.

Windows Phone – the deal hunter. Windows Phone user Tammilee Tillison of Tammilee’s Tips was featured on TLC’s Extreme Couponing earlier this year using her HTC HD7 to track coupons during a shopping trip. So, we asked her to share some of her favorite apps, tips and tricks for maximizing money savings with your Windows Phone. To read the rest of this story, check out this Wednesday post on the Windows Phone Blog.

That’s a wrap for this edition of Weekend Reading. Drop by The Official Microsoft Blog again next week for another news round up.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog