The Midweek Download: April 11th Edition–Talking About Intelligent Systems on Next, Windows 8 & the Windows Phone SDK, plus Microsoft Research & Windows Azure

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on intelligent systems, the Windows Phone SDK, pinned sites in Windows 8 and much more. Check ‘em out.

Talking intelligent systems. Anyone who has followed Next at Microsoft knows that the blog’s editor, Steve Clayton, is fascinated by intelligent systems and what they mean for the future of computing. For the past week or two, Clayton’s been sitting down with various players in the computing space to talk about the impact of intelligent systems. Check out the video below of Clayton talking with IDC’s Mario Morales. And don’t miss this earlier talk he had with Intel’s Ton Steenman.

Windows 8 and the Windows Phone SDK. Last month, the Windows Phone team posted to let developers know that it was aware of some of the challenges that were present in running the Windows Phone SDK on the Consumer Preview of Windows 8. In that post, we mentioned that we were working on addressing those problems. We then followed up with the announcement of the release of the Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 update, which does unblock the use of our SDK on Win 8, (although not officially supported). With regard to existing applications: today’s Windows Phone applications and games will run on the next major version of Windows Phone. For the rest of this story, read this April 5 post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog. Also, don’t miss this Tuesday post about reducing memory usage in Windows Phone apps.

Pinned sites in Windows 8. The Windows 8 Start screen is the best place to find and stay connected to all your favorite apps and content. App tiles are alive with activity and show you fresh and tailored content so you know what’s new in your world. We’ve written about Internet Explorer 10’s Metro style browsing experience on Windows 8. This April 3 post on the IEBlog describes in detail IE10’s pinned sites and their availability on the Windows 8 Start screen—complete with site-centric visuals and badge notifications to let you know there is new content. We’ll also walk through the Web developer details to support pinned sites.

Introducing User Experience Virtualization and App-V 5.0. Microsoft recently announced a new product will join its Desktop Virtualization family – User Experience Virtualization (UE-V). We also announced that our flagship application virtualization product is being updated to its next major version – Application Virtualization 5.0 (App-V 5.0). Read this April 4 post on the Windows for Your Business Blog for the rest of the story.

Microsoft Researcher recognized. For more than half his life, Kevin Schofield of Microsoft Research has been an active participant in the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction (SIGCHI). He’s a champion of the group’s research, and his contributions underscore the importance he places on volunteer work. In mid-February, though, he received a bit of unexpected SIGCHI news: he’d won the SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award. Read this Tuesday post on Inside Microsoft Research for more detail. That’s Schofield to the left.

BuildNewGames.com to help developers write cross-browser code. BuildNewGames.com, a new site to make building web games easier for developers using HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, is now live!Along with a new partnership with Bocoup, Microsoft announced @ JSConf the launch of this new site. You can read the post from Justin Garret, Senior Product Manager in the IE team, announcing the partnership and the new site launch. Check out this April 5 post on the Interoperability @ Microsoft Blog for the rest of the story.

Windows Azure Community News Roundup. Check out the 13th edition of our weekly roundup of the latest community-driven news, content and conversations about cloud computing and Windows Azure.

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

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog