The Midweek Download: Nov. 16th Edition–Microsoft Unveils Intelligent Systems Product Roadmap, plus Windows 8, Nokia Research, Internet Explorer and Silverlight 5

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Windows Embedded, Windows 8, a glimpse into Nokia Research and Silverlight 5, among others. Read away!

Microsoft unveils product road map for intelligent systems. For the past several months, Microsoft’s Windows Embedded business has been laying the foundation for an entirely new category within the traditional embedded market — solutions known as intelligent systems that can extend enterprise software and cloud services out to everyday devices such as point of service (POS) terminals, in-car infotainment, medical equipment and even bar-top game machines. With so much potential, the opportunity for developers is a big one. According to analyst firm IDC, the market for intelligent systems will swell substantially in the next few years, from 800 million units today to more than 2.3 billion by 2015. For more on intelligent systems, read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center.

More from Building Windows 8. In this Nov. 8th post on building a power-smart Windows operating system, Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky writes, “We’ve seen an ever-increasing emphasis on power management in the OS from two perspectives. First, as Windows 8 comes to market, it is easy to see two-thirds of all PCs shipping as portable devices operating on batteries some or most of the time. And second, in the workplace, there is an increasing demand for desktop machines with a reduced carbon footprint as we look to save energy wherever we can.” And in this Monday post on Building Windows 8, Farzana Rahman, a group program manager in the Windows Update group, writes about minimizing restarts after completing a Windows update.

Nokia gives good video. In this Monday post, Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton highlights HumanForm, a joint effort between the Nokia Research and Nokia Design. The post features a short video of HumanForm, a device with a bendable screen and other cool natural user interface (NUI) elements. Check it out.

New Game 2011: HTML5 Gaming FTW. Recently, the Internet Explorer team co-sponsored the first ever New Game Conference, an event focused on building games using HTML5. The event brought together Mozilla, Google, Opera and Microsoft, along with a few hundred developers, framework vendors and other members of the gaming community. For more detail on this story, read this Nov. 11th post on the Exploring IE Blog.

Updated Windows Azure SDK now available. On Monday, the Windows Azure team announced it is simplifying the development experience on Windows Azure with three updates—a new version of the Windows Azure SDK, a new Windows Azure HPC Scheduler SDK and an updated Windows Azure Platform Training Kit. Whether you are already using Windows Azure or looking for the right moment to get started, these updates make it easier than ever to build applications on Windows Azure. Read this post on the Windows Azure Blog to catch the highlights.

Focus on Silverlight 5. Recently, the Silverlight team launched a new 10-part series focused on the new features coming in Silverlight 5. The series will cover several topics, including an introduction to Silverlight 5, operating system integration and productivity and performance, among others. You can check out parts two and three on the Silverlight Blog.

That’s a wrap for this edition of The Midweek Download. Thanks for stopping by The Official Microsoft Blog.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog