Weekend Reading: April 19th Edition–Microsoft’s City of the Future

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got some great stories for you, including an in-depth and visually rich look at Microsoft’s 500-acre, 125-building campus and the small team of Microsoft facilities engineers that runs it.

How a scrappy team of Microsoft engineers quietly built the city of the future. In 1986, Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash. campus was still a grass- and forest-covered 88-acre plot of land in a sleepy, one-stoplight suburb of Seattle. Today, the campus spans 500 acres and 125 buildings. There’s a soccer field and cricket pitch, miles of wooded walking paths – and 14.9 million square feet of office space and labs that function as an interconnected “smart city” thanks to an “Internet of Things meets Big Data” software solution developed by a small team of Microsoft facilities engineers. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center and check out this visual piece of storytelling.


Bing Apps for Windows 8 get refreshed. Back in October, we launched six Bing Apps for Windows 8 including News, Finance, Weather, Sports, Maps and Travel to help you explore your world with a set of immersive vertical experiences. The apps were designed from the ground up to embrace speed and touch providing you with a fast, fluid and consistent way to delve into your interests and get things done. On Monday, we are rolled out a significant set of updates across the apps that make it easier to customize and personalize them to best suit your needs. Head on over to the Bing Search Blog to take a look at what’s new in each app.

Bing News

Xbox 360 remains the No. 1 selling console in U.S. in March. In March, Xbox 360 maintained its position as the number one console in the U.S., selling more units than any other console and marking the 27th consecutive month as the best-selling console. March highlights from The NPD Group include:

· Xbox 360 sold 261,000 units, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S.

· Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform reached $402 million, (hardware, software and accessories), the most for any console in the U.S.

To get the rest of this story, head on over to The Official Microsoft Blog.

Microsoft account gets more secure. Microsoft has increasingly focused on delivering connected devices and services that are currently used by more than 700 million people around the world. A Microsoft account is the key that unlocks your experience across these products—from your Windows PC to your Windows Phone, from Xbox to Outlook.com, from SkyDrive and Skype to Office and much more. Given this critical role for Microsoft account, we remain vigilant in working hard to protect your account, which is why we’re adding an option so you can enable two-step verification to further protect yourself. You should see this option show up in your account in the next few days. You can enable this capability at https://account.live.com/proofs/Manage. For more detail, read this Wednesday post on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Windows Azure Infrastructure Services now available. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced the availability of Windows Azure Infrastructure Services. This new service now makes it possible for customers to move applications into the cloud. The announcement is a significant step in our cloud computing strategy, which has been influenced directly by our discussions with customers and partners around the world. For more on this story, read this post on the Windows Azure Team Blog from Bill Hilf, General Manager of Windows Azure Product Marketing at Microsoft.

Latest Security Intelligence Report shows 24 Percent of PCs are unprotected. On Wednesday, Microsoft released new research as part of its Security Intelligence Report, volume 14, which takes a close look at the importance of running up-to-date antivirus software on your computer. The research showed that, on average, computers without antivirus software are 5.5 times more likely to be infected. Read this Wednesday post on The Official Microsoft Blog to get the rest of the story.

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

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog