Weekend Reading: April 13th Edition–Behind the Scenes of the Halo 4 Soundtrack, Microsoft Announces the Biggest Cloud Customer Ever, plus MSN, Spotify & Skype Hits 40M Users

It’s that time again – time for a little Weekend Reading. You know what to do…

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Halo 4 soundtrack. Are you salivating over the prospect for any shred of information, no matter how minute, about Halo 4? Then check out this Thursday post on Next at Microsoft featuring two videos that give you a behind-the-scenes look at the soundtrack and the people making it happen. That’s one of the videos below, just to give you a little taste. Also, don’t miss this Thursday Next at Microsoft post about how Kinect for Windows is helping girls dress like Barbie. Finally, check out this Thursday post on The Official Microsoft Blog about the Xbox 360 maintaining its position as the top console in the U.S.

Microsoft announces largest cloud customer ever. Microsoft and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) announced Thursday that AICTE is deploying Microsoft Live@edu over the next three months to more than 10,000 technical colleges and institutes throughout India. The cloud deployment will expand students’ access to high-quality technical education and collaboration. For more detail, read this press release on the Microsoft News Center and this post on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Spotify play button now live on Wonderwall. Earlier this week, Spotify unveiled the Spotify Play Button which allows you to launch and listen to songs from any website that has a Spotify Play Button. MSN and BermanBraun Interactive are pleased to be a part of the experience with Wonderwall (www.wonderwall.com) serving as the official entertainment and celebrity launch destination for the button. Read this Wednesday post on The MSN Blog for the whole story.

Forty million people – how far Skype’s come. Between three and four millennia ago, sometime between 2000 BC and 1000 BC, the world’s population stood at 40 million people. Early civilizations like the Egyptians, Phoenicians and the Minoans focused their trading efforts on the sea, building centers of commerce all along the Mediterranean. Letters using these early peoples’ alphabet took weeks or months to travel on the sea or overland by boat, horse or foot. Well, the world certainly has changed a lot since then. One of the biggest changes is one we reached today – when 40 million concurrent users were signed onto Skype all at once. To read more, check out this Tuesday post on The Big Blog.

Creating opportunities for youth one club at a time. It’s been said that if you can help a young person take the first step, chances are they will put themselves on a path to succeed. It’s why, as a company, we’re focused on creating opportunities for youth. Since 2000 we’ve worked together with Boys & Girls Club of America on the Club Tech initiative. It provides young people with access to technology, and the skills they need to use that technology to improve education and develop job skills. Now, with Boys & Girls Club and Comcast, we’re announcing the latest extension of Club Tech. Read this Wednesday post on the Microsoft Corporate Citizenship Blog for the rest of the story.

Marshmallow People and HTML5 come together in new arcade style game. Back in March at Internet Explorer’s Badger Palooza event at the 2012 SXSW Interactive festival we unveiled an arcade machine running Internet Explorer 9 featuring an HTML5 game based on the popular animated short film “Marshmallow People” from FilmCow. It was so popular, we’ve made the game, developed by Bradley and Montgomery, available for everyone – be sure to check out Marshmallow People: Bored to Death. Check out this Wednesday post on the Exploring IE Blog for more detail.

And so we wrap up another edition of Weekend Reading. Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog