The Midweek Download: Feb. 8th Edition–Power Efficiency in Windows 8, Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone, Marketplace Expands to Five New Markets & More

This edition of The Midweek Download has stories on power consumption in Windows 8, a new version of Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone devs, the expansion of the Windows Phone Marketplace to five new markets and much more.

Here’s the latest from Building Windows 8. “Minimizing the power consumption of your PC while maximizing the responsiveness and utility (making it “fast and fluid”), is a significant engineering challenge. While it starts with the work we do in Windows to provide support for the right level resource usage, this work requires developers to take resource utilization into account as they develop their apps. Power efficiency applies to all form factors and all usage scenarios—using less power is the right thing to do for everyone,” writes Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division. Read this Tuesday post on Building Windows 8 for the rest of the story.

Developers, lace up your cleats. A few weeks back, this blog reported on Visual Studio Achievements, which gives developers who use Microsoft Visual Studio a new way to highlight their skills, get recognition for the amazing work they do every day, and add some competitive fun to the development day. Looks like the Windows Phone team has followed suit with Visual Studio Achievements for Windows Phone. Next at Microsoft Blog Editor Steve Clayton has more detail in this Tuesday post. Also, don’t miss this Sunday post focused on Windows Phone 7.5 winning an Interaction Award from the Interaction Design Association.

Marketplace now open in five new markets. The Windows Phone Marketplace is now officially open for business in five new markets around the world—Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, and the Philippines. We can’t wait to see all the great new apps developers will create and publish for customers there. For more on this story, read this Feb. 3 post on The Windows Phone Developer Blog.

CSS3 3D Transforms in IE10. CSS3 features make it easier to build rich and immersive Web experiences. A recent post described how Web developers add personality to their sites with CSS3 Transitions and Animations. CSS3 3D Transforms add another dimension (literally) for developers to enhance their sites. Read this Feb. 2 post on the IEBlog for more detail on CSS3 3D.

Microsoft unveils Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile. Microsoft announced on Monday that Microsoft Dynamics CRM will release its next service update in Q2 2012. This service update will deliver the capability for customers to access the complete functionality of Microsoft Dynamics CRM on virtually any device with a new cloud-based, cross-platform, native mobile client service for Windows Phone 7, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry mobile devices. For more on this story, read this press release on the Microsoft News Center and this Monday post on Microsoft Dynamics Blog.

Beyond brick and mortar: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail launches. Retail used to mean walking into a brick-and-mortar store, browsing the goods and displays, and hearing the ding of the cash register upon checkout, but things aren’t so simple anymore. Microsoft can help. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail, the new version of Microsoft’s end-to-end software solution for midsize and enterprise retailers, launched in 25 countries on Feb. 1. Want more detail? Read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center.

Windows Azure Community News Roundup. The most recent edition of the weekly roundup of the latest community-driven news, content and conversations about cloud computing and Windows Azure is now available. Read this Monday post on the Windows Azure Blog for the highlights from last week.

Beta of Windows Phone Toolkit for Amazon Web Services released. The beta release of the Windows Phone Toolkit for Amazon Web Services (AWS) is now available to developers. Built by Microsoft as an open source project, this toolkit provides developers with a speed dial that lets them quickly connect and integrate Windows Phone applications with AWS (S3, SimpleDB, and SQS Cloud Services). Read this Jan. 30 post on the Interoperability @ Microsoft Blog for more detail.

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