Weekend Reading: May 17th Edition–The Nokia Lumia 925 is a thing of beauty

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the new Nokia Lumia 925, Telefónica choosing Office 365 and Yammer for its 130,000 employees, an update on “Windows Blue” (now known as Windows 8.1) and a cross-company partnership with Paramount Pictures around the highly anticipated “Star Trek Into Darkness” film.

Something to behold: The Nokia Lumia 925. The folks at Nokia are not messing around. Less than a week after unveiling the Lumia 928 – the Windows Phone 8 device that became available on Verizon on Thursday – the Finnish phone maker on Tuesday lifted the curtain on the Lumia 925. The Lumia 925 makes its debut in June on Europe’s Vodafone network, then heads to China Mobile and China Unicom. It’s scheduled to launch on T-Mobile in the U.S. later this year, according to Nokia. The phone will cost around 469 euros before taxes and subsidies in Europe. Head on over to the Windows Phone Blog to get the rest of this story and to learn more about an update coming to Windows Phone 8 later this summer. Also, check out the video below that shows off some of the Lumia 925’s finer points. On the app front, we’d like to draw your attention to two new apps hit the Windows Phone Store this week – Angry Birds Rio and Zinio. Check ‘em out.

Telefónica chooses Office 365 and Yammer to connect 130,000 employees worldwide. Telefónica, a leading provider of integrated communication solutions, will deploy Microsoft Office 365 and Yammer across its operating businesses to employees worldwide. These technologies are part of a global IT transformation strategy led by Phil Jordan, group chief information officer at Telefónica, to drive greater simplification, agility and cost reductions, which will strengthen and enhance the company’s core digital capabilities and global footprint. With more than 130,000 employees in 24 countries, Telefónica is enabling and transforming the employee experience related to collaboration, providing a much faster, intuitive way with a seamless digital integrated experience. Head on over to the Microsoft News Center to get the full story.

Xbox 360 still no. 1 in the U.S. Xbox 360 maintained its position as the top console in the U.S. last month, selling more units than any other platform, according to new data from The NPD Group. April also marked the 28th consecutive month that the Xbox 360 was the best-selling console in the U.S. Read Thursday’s post on The Official Microsoft Blog to get the rest of this story. In other Xbox news this week, it was announced that two new apps are now available on Xbox LIVE – Machinima and Twitch. Machinima is one of the top entertainment destinations on YouTube, and with the Machinima Xbox LIVE app, users get a total access pass to episodic narrative series like the popular “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn,” gameplay vids, live streams, original content and exclusives only available on Xbox 360. That’s a screenshot of Machinima below. Twitch is one of the world’s largest platforms for the live streaming of games, with more than 800,000 people streaming gameplay and over 34 million people watching online at Twitch.tv. And, of course, you’ve probably heard that this Tuesday, May 21, Microsoft will host #XboxReveal, a special press event marking the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment. To keep up on the latest news and developments on all things Xbox, check out the brand new blog Xbox Wire.

Machinima

Free Windows 8.1 update will be unveiled June 26. The Windows 8 update formerly known as “Windows Blue” will be called Windows 8.1, and consumers will be able to get it as a free update to Windows from the Windows Store, Tami Reller said at the JP Morgan Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in Boston on Tuesday. More details about Windows 8.1 will be announced soon, Brandon LeBlanc wrote in a follow-up post on Blogging Windows Tuesday, adding: “We will also be making a public preview of Windows 8.1 available starting on June 26, timed with the Build developer conference in San Francisco. The preview will be available for Windows 8 and Windows RT.”

Bing and Paramount Pictures bring Star Trek flair to a phone or computer near you. In anticipation of the upcoming release of “Star Trek Into Darkness” we have teamed with Paramount Pictures to help you get it in the Starfleet Spirit. On May 16, the next installment of Star Trek hit theaters and we’ve been hard at work on a set of fun Bing features to celebrate your inner-Trekker. Curious how to say “beam me up” in Klingon? Just in time for your next soiree (or interplanetary rumble), Microsoft added Klingon to the list of supported languages on the Bing Translator. A few simple clicks is all it takes to translate text from English (or any one of 41 supported languages) to Klingon and vice versa. The Star Trek-themed fun is available online and also as an update to Bing Translator for Windows Phone 8. Also, the Bing homepage now goes boldly where no homepage has gone before, writes Sage Kitamorn, Bing program manager. Fans can visit Bing and type in one of several secret phrases (hint: beam me –) for some Star Trek-themed fun.

Capture

Announcing Surface Pro release dates in Europe. As we recently announced, we are expanding the number of markets where Surface Pro and Surface RT will be available. We’re excited for more people to be able to get Surface on the following dates: May 17 (France), May 23 (United Kingdom), May 30 (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) and May 31 (Germany). Head on over to the Surface Blog for more information and to learn about a great Surface RT promotion.

That’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog