Weekend Reading: Jan. 13th Edition–Xbox Has a Mammoth Year, a Final Look at CES, Trustworthy Computing Turns 10, plus Microsoft Research & Windows Phone

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on a stellar year for Xbox 360 and Kinect, a CES wrap-up, Trustworthy Computing’s 10th anniversary and more. Check ‘em out!

Xbox 360 extends win streak to 12 straight months with banner holiday sales. With a strong holiday sales period finishing a banner year, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 ended 2011 as the best-selling current-generation console in the U.S., outselling the second-place console by more than 2.7 million units, according to The NPD Group. The strong December capped an impressive year during which Xbox 360 was the fastest-growing console. It also captured 49 percent of consumer retail spending, with an industry-leading $6.7 billion in sales in the U.S. for the calendar year—more than $2.1 billion on consoles and $4.6 billion on games and accessories, NPD data shows. For more on this story, read this Thursday post on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Big week for Microsoft at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show. Just in case you missed it, Microsoft made a big splash at CES this week with a number of significant announcements, including news that Kinect for Windows will be coming Feb 1., the introduction of the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone on AT&T, a bevy of new Windows 7 devices, several new “must-have” Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone and more. Below is an image of the Nokia Lumia 900, which has the technology press excited:

nokia-lumia-900-blue_page

At 10-Year milestone, Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Initiative more important than ever. Ten years ago this week, during a time when security problems were threatening trust in software products, Bill Gates sent an email to all Microsoft full-time employees announcing the creation of the Trustworthy Computing (TwC) initiative. A pivotal moment in the company’s history, Gates defined the key aspects of Trustworthy Computing, stating the company must make this initiative the highest priority. For more on Trustworthy Computing’s anniversary, read this feature story (and infographic) on the Microsoft News Center. Also, don’t miss this Thursday post on The Official Microsoft Blog from Scott Charney, corporate vice president of TwC, and this Tuesday guest post on the Microsoft on the Issues Blog from security expert Rich Mogull.

Microsoft and LG sign patent agreement covering Android and Chrome OS-based devices. Microsoft and LG Electronics have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for LG’s tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome OS Platform. The contents of the agreement have not been disclosed. To get the rest of this story, read this press release on the Microsoft News Center.

Bloomberg Businessweek: Steve Ballmer Reboots. On Thursday, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ashley Vance published this report on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and the company’s prospects for 2012. The report profiles Steve Ballmer as well as “cooler tech, more energy, higher profit.” Don’t miss it!

Microsoft Research raises the bar in social-media research. Microsoft announced earlier this week that three leading researchers will be joining danah boyd and the social-media research team at Microsoft Research New England, based in Cambridge, Mass. Want the rest of the story? Check out this Thursday post on Inside Microsoft Research.

Microsoft Hardware – 30 great years and counting. In this Tuesday post, the Microsoft Hardware Blog looks back on Microsoft Hardware’s 30-year history: “A lot has changed since our humble beginnings in 1982. This was the year we began to realize that the complete PC experience should encompass so much more than a strong and efficient computer. Building on our extensive background and knowledge of PCs and computing, we paved the way for the hardware industry by delivering products that make the time you spend with your PC more efficient… and better yet, more enjoyable.”

That’s a wrap for this edition of Weekend Reading! See you back here next week!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog