Weekend Reading: July 27th Edition–Announcing BUILD 2012 & Technology Upgrades for Skype

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Windows 8, BUILD 2012, new Windows Phone apps, the new Office, Skype and more.

Go back to school with the best in tech. Classroom bells won’t start ringing again for a few more weeks, but it’s not too soon for students and their parents to start thinking about the tools young scholars will need once school begins. The latest technology products from Microsoft can help students perform at their best, stay connected to their families and friends back home, and enjoy the school year more. Check out this slideshow on the Microsoft News Center for shopping ideas. Below is a screenshot of the buy a PC, get a free Xbox offer.

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Announcing BUILD 2012. In January, we shared some thoughts on our approach to developer events, including a commitment to come back with more on our plans for an event this coming fall. Well, here it is: our next developer conference will be this fall, and it’s (again) called BUILD. It will be held on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Wash., from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2. Check out this Wednesday post on The Official Microsoft Blog for more detail.

Skype: international technology upgrade week. One of our biggest goals at Skype is to ensure that our users get the best experiences out of our products no matter what platform you choose to use. This is one reason why we continually release new versions of our products and ask our users to go through the process of updating Skype on a regular basis. Recently, we released updated versions of Skype for Windows and Skype for Mac, each of which provides substantial improvements. You can read more about it in this Thursday post on and this Friday post on The Big Blog.

Reading in the new Office. When Word is described as a word processing application, most people think of it as an incredibly powerful tool for writing documents. And that’s true. But once those documents are written and shared, they’re read (usually by many more people than were responsible for writing it). With this information in mind, the Word engineering team wanted to focus on creating a refreshed, modern reading experience for the new Word; one that optimized for the times when the user is focused on consuming, not creating, content. Read this Thursday post on the Office Next Blog for more information.

Now in Marketplace: Box for Windows Phone. Sharing large or sensitive documents with co-workers and clients just became a lot easier. Earlier this week, Box released an official Windows Phone app for its popular file collaboration and storage service. Download it now. In other news, don’t miss this July 20 wrap of the latest Windows Phone developments.

Seton Hall University students powered by Windows 8. Beginning with the class of 2016, Seton Hall University will provide incoming freshmen with Windows 8 to help create a new and dynamic learning environment and better prepare students to enter the workforce after graduation. The university also made the decision to standardize on Windows to help reduce its IT support and mitigate ongoing maintenance costs while also providing comprehensive security, reliability and management across thousands of devices. Read this press release over on the Microsoft News Center for the full story.

White devices make a summer time splash. For those of us who were operating in high society at the turn of the last century, showing your summer whites after Labor Day was considered a grand fashion faux pas, enough to get you uninvited from your neighbor’s next soiree. To honor this historical fashion debate, here’s a slideshow of Windows PCs, Windows Phones, Xbox and peripherals that aren’t ashamed to show their brilliant white in any season. Below is a screenshot of an Asus Eee Slate EP121.

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A new way to window shop on the Web. Earlier this week, in partnership with TheFind, we announced a new HTML5 online shopping experience called Glimpse Catalogs. TheFind is a leading vertical search engine for shopping, and their slogan says it all: “Every Store. Every Product. All At Once.” They have millions of users and have been cited as one of the fastest-growing companies on the Web in addition to winning a 2012 Appy Award for the Best Retail Shopping App. Head on over to the Exploring IE Blog for the rest of the story.

PSFK: the future of retail. The team at PSFK is constantly searching out what’s next across a wide range of industries and trends. They crank out a ton of content on a daily basis at PSFK.com and periodically release reports on key trends or industries. Their most recent is the Future Of Retail report – at over 100 pages it details 9 key trends in retail with 45 detailed examples. Unsurprisingly, Kinect showed up in the examples. Head on over to Next at Microsoft and get the full story.

That’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading. Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog