Weekend Reading: April 12th Edition – New Games Arrive in the Windows Phone Store

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got a great roundup of new Windows Phone apps and games, our agreement with Ericsson to acquire Mediaroom, two big Cloud customer wins and a cool Microsoft Research project codenamed GeoFlow.

Windows Phone app roundup. The Windows Phone Store continues to stock up on cool games and apps. Earlier this week, Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, a first-person shooter from Xbox and Gameloft that pushes the boundaries of mobile gaming, arrived in the Windows Phone Store. The game puts you in the boots of an elite soldier helping his unit to avert global devastation in the wake of a nuclear disaster. Gameloft pulled out all the stops on this one. Check out the video below to get a look at the game and read this post on The Windows Phone Blog. Also, Windows Phone Blog Editor Michael Stroh reported that four games are on sale until Monday, including Monster Island, Gravity Guy, Fragger and iStunt 2. Finally, Windows Phone blogger Casey McGee wrote this roundup of Windows Phone apps he used while on a 33-mile backcountry adventure.

Mediaroom and our TV journey. Earlier this week, Microsoft and Ericsson announced a definitive agreement for Ericsson to acquire Mediaroom, the number one IPTV platform deployed by TV operators around the world. This acquisition is mutually beneficial and strategically aligned for both parties. Ericsson will continue to invest in the growth and success of Mediaroom to the benefit of customers, employees, and the industry. It allows Microsoft to commit 100 percent of its focus on consumer TV strategy with Xbox. Read Monday’s post from Corporate Vice President of Marketing, Strategy and Business for the Interactive Entertainment Business Yusuf Mehdi on The Official Microsoft Blog to get the full story.

Microsoft shows Cloud momentum before 5,000 IT Pros at summit. On Monday, we announced that two new customers – Domino’s Pizza and Xerox – are now using our infrastructure technologies to deliver critical business applications. We also announced several new product and service updates. Get the full story in this Monday post on The Official Microsoft Blog from Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Windows Server & System Center.

Project codename GeoFlow unveiled. On Thursday, Microsoft announced the availability of the project codename “GeoFlow” Preview for Excel 2013, a result of collaborations between several teams within Microsoft. GeoFlow lets you plot geographic and temporal data visually, analyze that data in 3D, and create interactive “tours” to share with others. GeoFlow originated in Microsoft Research, evolving out of the successful WorldWide Telescope project for scientific and academic communities to explore large volumes of astronomical and geological data. Researchers collaborated closely with the Office product team to usher GeoFlow from its research lab inception to this public preview availability in Excel. Watch the video below and then head on over to The Excel Blog to get the rest of the story.

Microsoft teams with NBC Sports Group on sports programming. On Tuesday, at the National Association of Broadcasters Show, Microsoft and NBC Sports Group announced they are partnering to use Windows Azure Media Services across NBC Sports’ digital platforms, including NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com and GolfChannel.com. Through the agreement, which rolls out this summer, Microsoft will provide both live-streaming and on-demand viewing services for more than 5,000 hours of games and events on devices, such as smartphones, tablets and PCs. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center for the rest of the story.

Windows XP support ends in one year. A year from now will mark the final milestone for Windows XP – that of its end of support date. Starting April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows XP users. This means that customers and partners will no longer receive security updates to the operating system or be able to leverage tech support from Microsoft after this time. Moving away from Windows XP to a more modern platform in Windows 7 and Windows 8 will ready your IT infrastructure for future technology solutions and growth of your company. Windows 8 is the modern OS for modern businesses, building on Windows 7 fundamentals like speed, reliability and security, while creating a modern platform designed for a new generation of hardware options. For more detail, read this Monday post on the Windows for your Business Blog.

That’s it for the latest edition of Weekend Reading! Have a great weekend and see you back here on Monday!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog