Weekend Reading: April 26th Edition–The #XboxReveal countdown begins!

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on major Xbox news, new apps (Tumblr and Fidelity Investments) coming to Windows Phone, expanding Surface Pro and Surface RT availability and more. Don’t miss any of them!

#XboxReveal. Lots of Xbox news to talk about this week. First and foremost, we revealed that on May 21, we’ll mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment. On that day, we’ll be holding a special press event on the Xbox campus, and we invite you to join us via the live global stream that will be available on Xbox.com, Xbox LIVE and broadcast on Spike TV if you are in the U.S. or Canada. On that day, we’ll share our vision for Xbox, and give you a real taste of the future. Read this post over on Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson to get the full story. Also, on Tuesday, it was announced that Pizza Hut is launching the first-of-a-kind ordering app, allowing Xbox LIVE members in the U.S. to purchase pizza, wings, pasta and more from Xbox 360. The full menu, including new products, can be ordered from the Xbox LIVE dashboard and operated using an Xbox 360 controller or hand gestures and voices commands via Kinect for Xbox 360. And, last but not least, don’t miss this Tuesday announcement on the CW app coming to Xbox.

Pizza Hut

Official Tumblr app comes to Windows Phone 8. The official Tumblr app (check out the screenshot below) just made its debut on Windows Phone 8 this morning. First impression: it’s a great looking app that takes advantage of many of Windows Phone’s unique capabilities. The app lets you post just about anything from just about anywhere—pictures, quotes, music, videos, chats, links and your random musings. It has full GIF support and works with speech recognition, so you can use your voice to create new posts. The app plugs seamlessly into the Windows Phone 8 camera via Lenses, making it easier to share snapshots on the service. Head on over to the Windows Phone Blog to get the full story. In other app news, the official Fidelity Investments app hit the Windows Phone Store this week and Audible launched an offer exclusive to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 customers in the U.S.—a free audiobook, just for trying out the service. Finally, T-Mobile provided fresh details on Thursday about rollout plans for the new Nokia Lumia 521, a T-Mobile exclusive that’s based on Nokia’s popular and most affordable Windows Phone 8 model, the Lumia 520.

Tumblr

Expanding Surface Pro and Surface RT availability. Earlier this week, we provided an update on countries where Surface RT and Surface Pro (pictured below) will launch in May and June. Surface RT launched in Malaysia on Thursday, and will launch in Mexico by the end of May and in Korea and Thailand in June. This expansion will result in Surface RT being available in 29 markets. Surface Pro will launch before the end of May in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Surface Pro will launch in Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore and Thailand before the end of June. Take a trip on over to the Surface Blog to get the whole story.

1778_Surface-Pro_43B2233A

Bing Offers– Discover deals from across the Web in one place. All of us love getting great deals. However, the difficulty lies in finding the right deal for something you need. At Bing, we have come up with a way to help people find great deals for the things they really need, which is why we are announcing the launch of Bing Offers in the U.S. With one of the largest collections of local deals on the Web, Bing Offers aggregates deals from a broad set of partners, including many of the leading local deal providers. If you are looking for tasty treats, fun activities or a relaxing spa, need to fix your home or automobile or just want some retail therapy, Bing Offers provides simple ways to discover the best deals closest to you. Read more about Bing Offers over on the Bing Search Blog.

cinco-de-mayo-1_46E9CB93

The Microsoft Online Store gets a whole new look. To meet the growing demand and to provide the highest levels of customer service, we are unveiling our completely re-designed U.S. Microsoft online store. Our stores in other markets will also get the new look and features in the coming months. The store has been designed from the ground up to make it easier to find, explore and purchase the latest consumer technology, including Surface, Office, Xbox and Windows, as well as a handpicked selection of the latest PCs and accessories. Get the full story over on The Fire Hose, Microsoft’s new daily news blog.

Microsoft inventors share award-winning ideas on World IP Day. Today, Microsoft marks World IP Day by sharing a closer look at two of our inventors who push the envelope with creative inventions. Asta Roseway from Microsoft Research, known for her work on the “Printing Dress”, shares the background of her first patent for a cinematic gaming invention, “Spectator Experience,” and Ali Khan from Server and Tools describes the work behind his patent to improve wireless data transmission. Watch the short video below to get the whole story.

New LiveANDES app helps citizens give endangered species a fighting chance. It’s easy to feel helpless when we hear about species falling into extinction in far-away lands. But now, thanks to a new app that Microsoft Research developed in partnership with researchers from two organizations in Latin America, hikers and other nature enthusiasts can play an important role in keeping endangered species alive. The app is called LiveANDES and is part of a system designed to collect, house and analyze data about Latin America’s wildlife. Find out more about this remarkable new tool for helping preserve endangered species and be sure to watch the video below.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

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