It only comes once a year, but here is your Weekend Reading: The E3 Edition – bringing you all the highlights from the Los Angeles entertainment expo. We’ve also got stories on the limited edition Nokia Lumia 900 “Batphone”, the FAA choosing Office 365 for e-mail and collaboration in the cloud and much more.
A look back at E3 2012. Earlier this week, the Xbox 360 console charged into its seventh Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) buoyed by a bundle of blockbuster game releases led by Halo 4 and a set of new entertainment experiences that will push Xbox farther into the living room, and onto PCs, tablets and phones. Microsoft also revealed a set of new Xbox content, partners and apps – including bringing Internet Explorer to the console for the first time. The company also introduced a new music service and Xbox SmartGlass, a new app that brings an immersive entertainment experience to all devices. You can read more about it over on the Microsoft News Center and in this letter on Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson from Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox LIVE. Below is a screenshot of Halo 4:
And of Xbox SmartGlass:
Wait! We’re not quite done with our E3 news roundup! Earlier this week at E3, Microsoft showed a sneak peek of Xbox Music, an all-new music service coming to Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Windows 8-based devices. Also, Microsoft will launch Internet Explorer for Xbox this fall in all countries where Xbox and Xbox LIVE are available. Finally, adding to the current catalog of customized sports, TV, movies and music apps from world-leading TV and entertainment providers, this year Xbox will continue to deliver all the content you care about in unique ways. Read more about it over on the Microsoft News Center. Below is a screenshot of the Xbox Music service.
“Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!” Because this E3 report wouldn’t truly be an E3 report without a mention of South Park, we bring you… The Stick of Truth. Written and voiced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, “The Stick of Truth” is the most epic South Park experience to date. Earn your place alongside Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman and aid them in a hysterical adventure to save South Park as only fourth-graders can. Recruit classic South Park characters to your cause, such as Professor Chaos or Jesus, armed with a machine gun. Arm yourself to the teeth with an arsenal of magical weapons and mystical armor to defeat crab people, underpants gnomes, hippies and other forces of evil. Succeed, and you shall be South Park’s savior, cementing your social status in South Park Elementary. Fail, and you will forever be known … as a loser. That’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone below.
New Harry Potter website Pottermore uses Windows Azure to scale up to 1B page views. With Harry Potter one of the largest entertainment phenomena of all time, fans of all ages couldn’t wait to experience the world-famous stories, social, and interactive experiences offered on Pottermore (www.pottermore.com). To accommodate the massive demand, Pottermore built the website on Windows Azure, an open cloud platform that enables users to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center to get the rest of the story. Check out the screenshot below of the Hogwarts Express from Pottermore.com:
Computex 2012: Wave of innovation coming From Microsoft and its partners this year. Earlier this week during a keynote address at COMPUTEX, Steven Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) division at Microsoft, demonstrated the breadth of innovation happening across Windows and the Windows ecosystem. He announced the second community technology preview (CTP) for Windows Embedded Standard 8, unveiled Quanta’s new private cloud server solution, highlighted Ford’s launch of its award-winning SYNC in-car connectivity system for Taiwan, and showed off some of the latest Windows devices. Find out more over on the Microsoft News Center. Also, check out this feature story about the second Community Technology Preview of Windows Embedded Standard 8.
Federal Aviation Administration chooses Microsoft Office 365 for e-mail and collaboration in the cloud. In its effort to empower personnel to work more efficiently and collaboratively, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has chosen to deploy a CSC cloud productivity solution based on Microsoft Office 365, encompassing e-mail messaging, calendaring, instant messaging and webconferencing. As the contract prime, Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) will lead the cloud implementation, which will provide 60,000 FAA employees and 20,000 DOT employees with access to email, instant messaging, calendaring and webconferencing tools with robust security from virtually any device. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center for the rest of the story.
The Nokia Lumia 900 special “Batphone” edition rises. You may have heard there’s a pretty big flick set to hit theaters this summer starring the Caped Crusader. Nokia has created a limited-edition Lumia 900 to satisfy your inner superhero and celebrate the July 20 release of The Dark Knight Rises, the latest installment of the Batman saga. The phone’s black polycarbonate case sports a laser-etched Batman logo on the back. There’s also an exclusive Dark Knight Rises app with movie-themed wallpapers and ringtones. As The Verge reports, Phones 4U in the U.K. is now taking preorders for the handset, with an expected June 1 delivery date. This one isn’t just for Commission Gordon. Read this June 1 post on the Windows Phone Blog for more detail. That’s a screenshot of the Batphone below.
Bing introduces new Britannica Online Encyclopedia Answers. A core focus for us here at Bing has been about delivering relevant information in a more organized way to help you find what you need more quickly and get stuff done. An example of this approach has been seen in our answers feature – a snippet of information designed to give you a quick look at what you’re searching for while also giving you the option to dig deeper into the results. Starting now, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Encyclopedia Britannica to include Britannica Online answers directly in the Bing results page. Mosey on over to the Bing Search Blog for the rest of the story.
Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group gives you Mayhem. Mayhem is an open source Windows application that lets pretty much anyone ‘program’ their computer to do stuff automatically across all their devices. What can you do with it? Watch the video below and then check out this Thursday blog post on Next at Microsoft for the rest of the story.
That’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading! Thanks for stopping by The Official Microsoft Blog!
Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog