Weekend Reading: March 30th Edition–The Nokia Lumia 900 is Coming April 8, Three Major Entertainment Apps are Live on Xbox LIVE, plus Bing, Skype and Another Botnet Disrupted

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the highly anticipated Nokia Lumia 900, three major entertainment apps coming to Xbox LIVE and Bing and Skype working better together.

AT&T to sell Nokia Lumia 900 for under $100. We’ve got lots of great Windows Phone news for you this week, but perhaps the biggest piece of news is the announcement that the Nokia Lumia 900 will be available on AT&T for $99 on April 8. Read this Monday post on The Windows Phone Blog for the rest of the story. Also, Nokia announced it will sell its first CDMA Windows Phone in China – the 800C – starting in April. Finally, Microsoft also announced earlier this week that Marketplace has now opened in 13 new markets. To the left is a screenshot of the Lumia 900.

Three major entertainment apps launch on Xbox LIVE. Earlier this week, three major entertainment apps are now available for Xbox LIVE Gold members – Comcast XFINITY TV, HBO GO and MLB.TV, all with Kinect integration. Comcast launched the XFINITY TV on-demand service on Xbox 360, bringing its huge library of when- you-want-it entertainment to a console for the first time, including the new Streampix library. HBO GO on Xbox 360 launched their entire catalogue of live and on demand original content – that means every episode of every show, from the latest hits like Game of Thrones, to older favorites like The Sopranos. MLB.TV transforms sports entertainment by providing live and on demand games in HD, coupled with exclusive personalization features only found on Xbox 360 – jump between the action via the Mini Guide and watch two games at once with Split Screen. Read this Tuesday post on Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson for more detail. Below is a screenshot of the MLB.TV app:

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Bing and Skype – better together. Bing and Skype are coming together to help users do more online. Skype has recently begun offering an easy way to download the Bing Bar, providing users with a fast way to search and easy access to Facebook, email, breaking news, weather, Bing Rewards, and more — no matter where you are on the web. And over the next few days we’ll be adding Skype Credit to our Bing Rewards redemption center. Read this Tuesday post on the Bing Search Blog for the whole story.

Microsoft and financial services industry leaders target cybercriminal operations. In our most complex effort to disrupt botnets to date, Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit – in collaboration with Financial Services – Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) and NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association, as well as Kyrus Tech Inc. – has executed a coordinated global action against some of the worst known cybercrime operations fueling online fraud and identity theft today. Read this Sunday post on The Official Microsoft Blog to find out more.

Microsoft and The Atlantic partner on digital town hall on jobs, education and youth. Earlier this week, Microsoft, partnership with The Atlantic, held a digital town hall at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. focused on jobs and how to educate the next generation to compete in the 21st century economy. Read this Wednesday post on Microsoft on the Issues for the rest of the story. The town hall coincided with the release of a Microsoft-commissioned report from the International Youth Foundation on the opportunity divide.

StockTwits arrives on MSN Money. On Tuesday, we rolled out StockTwits streams on MSN Money. Now, when you visit ticker pages on MSN Money, you can see the real-time conversation about that stock alongside the financial highlights. The StockTwits stream includes real time ticker specific trade ideas, links and commentary from a wide range of investors, traders and financial professionals – as well as official updates from public companies. Check out this Tuesday post on The MSN Blog for more detail.

Knock-off or real? Counterfeit software alert. The Anti-Piracy team at Microsoft launched a global campaign this week to inform small businesses about the risk of counterfeit software creeping into their business when acquiring or downloading software from the Internet. Most business buyers know to avoid questionable street-corner vendors when purchasing software for their business, yet they may not think twice about ordering software from an unfamiliar but professional looking website that offers steep discounts. Want the rest of the story? Read this Wednesday post on The Official Microsoft Blog, and check out the video below.

(Please visit the site to view this video)

That’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading! See you back here next week on The Official Microsoft Blog!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog