The Midweek Download: Nov. 23rd Edition–Improving the Setup in Windows 8, A Year of NUI on Next plus Windows Phone, Internet Explorer and SkyDrive

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got new stories on Windows 8, Windows Phone, SkyDrive and Internet Explorer.

Improving the setup experience in Windows 8. “Installing Windows is a complex operation that provides an incredibly unique capability—the ability to run a new version of Windows on a vast array of hardware configurations and combinations that were designed with no knowledge of a future Windows, even a version with substantial re-architecture of the Kernel,” writes Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky in a new Building Windows 8 Blog post. Check it out.

A year of NUI on Next at Microsoft. Of all the topics Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton has covered on the blog over the last year, natural user interface, or NUI, is the one that has probably gotten the most ink. It’s with good reasons – he personally finds it a fascinating topic and like all good stories, there is much more to NUI than meets the eye. It’s also a very big topic here at Microsoft that spans product teams and research alike – so there is a regular stream of content available. Check out this Monday post on Next, which rounds up several posts on NUI Clayton wrote in the last year.

Do you have what it takes to be the Big App on campus? Attention US university students: Have you ever dreamed of going to SXSW? Do you like pure, bad-a**rock & roll? Ever wanted an exclusive concert experience (backstage passes, dinner with the band)? Would you like to have an extra $15k in your pocket? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, read this Nov. 18th post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog to learn about Big App on Campus (BAOC).

SkyDrive – personal cloud storage for billions of people. SkyDrive has grown tremendously since we launched in 2007, and recently, we’ve made a number of updates to SkyDrive. But we know we have a ways to go. As we look to the future and designing a personal cloud storage service for billions of people, it’s important to reflect both on what’s going on in the industry and the problems people are having with today’s approaches to the cloud. For more on this story, read this Tuesday post on the Inside Windows Live Blog.

In Internet Explorer news this week… Want to know what the IE team is up to these days? Then don’t miss this Monday post on “adding personality with CSS3 transitions and animations” or this Tuesday post on “evolving ECMAScript” from the IEBlog.

Now available: update to the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games. The Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games makes it easier for developers to quickly build social and casual games using Windows Azure. On. Nov. 16th, we shipped a completely updated version of this toolkit that makes building these games and learning game development even easier. This version of the toolkit is available for download here. Additionally, you can view the full source here. Read this Nov. 16th post on the Windows Azure Blog for more information.

That’s a wrap for this edition of The Midweek Download! Thanks for reading!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog