Weekend Reading: Aug. 3rd Edition – Windows 8 & Windows Server 2012 Reach the RTM Milestone

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about important Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 milestones, a new hardware partnership between Skype and Logitech and more.

Windows 8 released to manufacturers. Wednesday marked an important milestone in the Windows 8 project. The Windows 8 team is proud to share with you that a short while ago we started releasing Windows 8 to PC OEM and manufacturing partners. This means our next milestone will be the availability of exciting new models of PCs loaded with Windows 8 and online availability of Windows 8 on Oct. 26. You can read more about it on Building Windows 8 and Blogging Windows. Also, don’t miss this blog post on what Windows 8 RTM means for your business or this post on the RTM Windows Store now being open for paid apps and company accounts. To the left is a screenshot of the upcoming Microsoft Surface running a version of Windows 8.

Windows Server 2012 released to manufacturing. Windows Server 2012 has been released to manufacturing.  That means the final code is complete and we are delivering it to our hardware and software vendor partners this week.  We will also make the software available to our volume licensing customers in the next couple of weeks. Get out your calendars and free up some time on September 4.  That’s when Windows Server 2012 will be generally available for evaluation and purchase by all customers around the world.  On that day we will also host an online launch event where our executives, engineers, customers and partners will share more about how Windows Server 2012 can help organizations of all sizes realize the benefits of what we call the Cloud OS. Read more about it over on the Windows Server Blog.

Skype from your living room with new Logitech TV Cam HD. At Skype, our goal is to make it easy to communicate with friends and family at any time and from anywhere. We’re always excited to introduce new products that will make it even easier to bridge distances and enable more convenient conversations with your loved ones. That’s why we’re excited to announce that we have partnered with Logitech to introduce the Logitech TV Cam HD. Below is a screenshot of the new cam. Read more about it over on The Big Blog.

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Attention developers! Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 Complete! On Wednesday, the Windows and Windows Server teams announced that Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 have been released to manufacturing. In keeping with our goal of delivering great tools on the same cadence as our platforms, we’re thrilled to announce that we have completed final builds of Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5. This has been an exciting road for all of us involved in these projects, and we’re glad to be able to deliver these to our customers. You can find out more in this blog post by S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft.

The new Outlook Web App extends to tablets and phones. The primary purpose of Outlook Web App (OWA) is to give Exchange users access to their mailboxes from anywhere through the same Outlook UI and functionality they already know and love. In this release, OWA has evolved to reach not only laptop or desktop computers, but also tablets and phones. As we did with desktop browsers, we’ll continue investing in wider and richer support for tablet and phone platforms in the future. You can try our latest release by signing up for the Office 365 Customer Preview Small Business Premium or Enterprise plans. You can read more about it over on Office Next. Below is a screenshot of the new OWA on desktop, tablet and phone screens.

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Bang & Olufsen hears the sound of savings with Office 365. Luxury audio and video systems maker Bang & Olufsen has adopted Microsoft Office 365 to unify its email, calendaring, collaboration and communication. The company wanted to upgrade its email system from the limitations of Lotus Notes to a less-expensive, easier-to-scale cloud solution: Office 365. The company now has all 2,000 employees using Office 365. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center for the whole story.

Nation’s top educators awarded at Microsoft Partners in Learning U.S. Forum. Microsoft announced on Thursday that 16 educators from California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Texas and Washington have been selected as winners of the Partners in Learning U.S. Forum. The annual event recognizes innovative teachers and school leaders who creatively and effectively use technology in their curriculum to help improve the way kids learn and increase student success. Check out this slideshow on the Microsoft News Center to meet the winners. Below is a photo of one of the winners – Jennifer Bevill.

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Director Video Series: Dina Dublon shares insights and experiences as Microsoft director. In the latest installment of our Director Video Series featuring conversations with Microsoft’s board of directors, Dina Dublon recently sat down with Microsoft’s Channel 9 to share insights on her experience as a Microsoft director. During the course of the conversation, Ms. Dublon speaks about being one of the first women on the trading floor of a major bank and her background in finance and accounting. You can read more about it and watch the video over on Microsoft on the Issues.

Tag your friends when searching on Bing. Last month, we introduced the new Bing with a social sidebar that lets you ask friends for ideas and recommendations as you search.Now you can involve even more of your Facebook friends by typing their name and tagging them when sharing a search. This allows you to effortlessly tap into the collective wisdom of your social network, and get input from your friends who are in the know. The Bing Search Blog has the whole story.

Watch the Mars Rover landing on your Xbox 360. A quick reminder that ‘Curiosity’ is scheduled to touch down on the surface of Mars this weekend.
In case you missed it, keep an eye out for the special Mars Rover section of your Xbox 360 dashboard right on the main page.  From here you can take a quiz about the mission, learn about the incredible engineering that has gone into the mission and much more. Plus, from her you’ll be able to join NASA TV live from Mission control at the JPL during the final moments before landing. Read more about it over on Xbox Live’s Major Nelson.

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