Weekend Reading: July 20th Edition–Windows 8 Becomes Available on Oct. 26 & Microsoft Welcomes Yammer into the Family

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on when Windows 8 will be available, Microsoft welcoming Yammer into the Office Division, four great Windows Phone apps for the London Olympics and more.

Windows 8 will be available on Oct. 26. Earlier this week, Windows and Windows Live Division President Steven Sinofsky announced at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting that customers will be able to get Windows 8 – whether in upgrade fashion or on a new PC – starting on Oct. 26. You can find out more over on Blogging Windows.

Microsoft by the numbers. From Windows to Xbox, Microsoft’s products and services boast some impressive numbers. But the company’s impact extends beyond sales figures into areas from providing a great place for employees to work to reducing auto traffic on local roads. Check out this collection of visual statistics about Microsoft products and services over on the Microsoft News Center to see the entire slideshow. Below is one of the slides, which shows there were more than 1 million downloads of Windows 8 Consumer Preview in the first 24 of its release.

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Microsoft welcomes Yammer to the family. Back on June 25, we announced that Microsoft would acquire Yammer, the world’s fastest-growing enterprise social networking service. Yammer provides a free service for employees to join a private social network that’s intuitive and easy to use. It also enables IT departments to easily transition an employee driven initiative into a managed, social-networking solution. On Thursday, we announced that Yammer is now official part of the Microsoft Office Division on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Microsoft reports record fourth-quarter and full-year revenue. Microsoft announced on Thursday quarterly revenue of $18.06 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. Operating income and loss per share for the quarter were $192 million and $0.06 per share. Read this press release on the Microsoft News Center for full financial results.

Foursquare arrives on Bing. Starting now, people in the U.S. will begin to see tips and recommendations from foursquare in the sidebar column on the right hand side of the screen. Now when you’re planning a trip to that dream destination or a night on the town, you can find people who are knowledgeable about the place you’re searching, based on what they’ve publically shared on foursquare. The Bing Search Blog has the whole story.

Pinworthy: 4 Windows Phone apps for the London Olympics. Let the Games begin. Opening ceremonies for the 2012 Olympics kick off in London next week. Whether you’re hopping a plane to enjoy the Games up close—or staying couch side—here are some Windows Phone apps that can make it all more fun. Another tip: Use Internet Explorer Mobile to tap into NBC’s info-packed official Summer Olympics site for local broadcast times and more. Also, if you’re stuck on Final Fantasy for Windows Phone, check out this Windows Phone Blog post from the guy who literally wrote the book on the game.

Introducing Excel 2013. By now you’ve hopefully tuned into our Office Next blog, which provides all-up view of our latest release for Office, and seen some articles on the web. Now, we have the privilege of sharing a high-level view of Excel 2013, a release that arrives on the heels of Excel’s 25th anniversary. The team has been working hard to deliver the next version, and we’re excited to be able to share Excel 2013 Preview with you and hear your feedback. Head on over to the Excel Blog to get the rest of the story.

Shedding light on the role of technology in child sex trafficking. The pervasiveness of technology has changed our lives in dramatic ways. The Internet, mobile phones, social media and texting have altered how information flows and how people communicate. We have greater access to information, can get more done and stay better connected to family and friends. These new ways of communicating and exchanging information also have benefitted criminals of all stripes — including commercial child sex traffickers and their customers. For years, Microsoft has been dedicated to helping create a safe computing environment for children and ensuring that Microsoft technologies are not used to conduct crime digitally. Read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center for more detail.

Keeping your Microsoft account more secure. Increasingly, it seems like you can’t read the news without seeing a headline about a security issue exposing customer account information for criminals to exploit. Of course, as has been extensively covered, these attacks shine a spotlight on the core issue – people reuse passwords between different websites. This highlights the longstanding security advice to use unique passwords, as criminals have become increasingly sophisticated about taking a list of usernames and passwords from one service and then “replaying” that list against other major account systems. Check out this July 15 post on the Inside SkyDrive, Hotmail and Messenger Blog for more information.

That’s a wrap for this edition of Weekend Reading! Thanks for stopping by The Official Microsoft Blog!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog