Weekend Reading: Aug. 1st Edition–New enterprise preview allows businesses to take Windows 8.1 out for a test drive

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the new Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview, an update to the Twitter app for Windows 8 (and TONS of other app news), the release of the Nokia Lumia 1020 and its 41-megapixel camera and the latest improvements to SkyDrive. Don’t miss any of ‘em!

New enterprise preview lets companies kick the tires on Windows 8.1. Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview is now available for download so customers can start testing the operating system in their environments. Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview builds on the Window 8.1 Preview, adding premium features designed to address the mobility, security, management and virtualization needs of today’s companies. Premium features that will be offered in the Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition include Windows To Go Creator, Start Screen Control, DirectAccess, BranchCache, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, AppLocker and Windows Enterprise Side-Loading. Head on over to the Windows for your Business Blog for the rest of the story.

Twitter app for Windows 8 updated and other app news. The Twitter app for Windows 8 is freshly updated with a handful of bug fixes as well as several welcome new features. The new version lets you manage multiple accounts, pin lists or user profiles to your start screen, and view lists from another user’s profile. You can see screens of the new features in Brandon LeBlanc’s Windows Experience Blog post. In other app news, the classic card game UNO is now available in the Windows Phone Store in the form of a new multiplayer social gaming experience called UNO & Friends. And in this week’s Red Stripe Deals, we’ve got Monopoly, Phototastic and Radiant available at discount prices in the Windows Phone Store. Finally, for all you shutterbugs out there, Hipstamatic OGGL is now available for Windows Phone 8 devices. The app provides several situational filters that can enhance the moment you’re about to capture, and then you can upload the images to social networks, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

Twitter for Windows 8

The Nokia Lumia 1020 with its groundbreaking 41-megapixel camera is now available on AT&T. The Nokia Lumia 1020 – already receiving impressive reviews due to its 41-megapixel camera – is now available at AT&T’s online and retail stores. The 4G LTE phone, which costs $299 with a standard contract, comes in yellow, white and black. To get the rest of this story, head on over to the Windows Phone Blog, which also has details about some special offers for customers who purchase the Lumia 1020 from a Microsoft Retail Store. That’s the Lumia 1020 below in all its glory.

1513_1200-nokia_lumia-1020_product_image_0C385C67_31DE8A0F

SkyDrive.com creates the most beautiful and powerful way to view, share and search your photos. SkyDrive.com has become an even better place to store your most precious digital memories – with support for more file types, new editing features, more ways to share with anyone and added controls for what you’ve shared. First and foremost, the update released Tuesday brings more photo capabilities to the Web. SkyDrive has had native support for RAW camera files for quite some time – letting photographers use SkyDrive to store and share the best-quality photos they can. SkyDrive also looked at other photo file types and made updates so you can enjoy them as well. If you’ve ever seen an animated GIF on the Web (and probably laughed), you were probably disappointed to find that when you saved and shared that same animated GIF on SkyDrive, it wasn’t animated. With this most recent update you can view your favorite animated GIFs in all their glory. Check out this post on the SkyDrive Blog for the rest of the story.

SkyDrive-rotate_thumb_33B697A4

LOTS of Xbox news this week. What kind of multiplayer experience can you expect this fall when “Call of Duty: Ghosts” launches worldwide? Find out at 10:30 a.m. PT on Aug. 14 at 10:30 a.m. when Larry Hryb (Xbox Live’s Major Nelson) and Kate Yeager host a live broadcast on Xbox Live with the team at Infinity Ward. The global reveal will go in-depth on all things multiplayer, and include several world premiere announcements for the more than 40 million fans that play “Call of Duty” every year. Learn more at CallofDuty.com. You can also check out the Major Nelson and Xbox Wire blog posts. Also,it was announced earlier this week that the Comedy Central and Nickelodeon apps for Xbox Live are now available. And gamers, you’ll definitely want to check out this post on Xbox Wire that tells you three things you need to know about the Xbox One’s next-generation matchmaking service, Smart Match. Finally, if you’re interested to know what goes into creating games for Xbox, you’ll definitely want to check out these Xbox Wire stories that go behind the scenes on “Ryse: Son of Rome” and “Dead Rising 3”.

“On the Whiteboard” shows how making 3D objects is as easy as printing a Word doc. In the latest episode of “On the Whiteboard,” Editor Pamela Woon goes to Makerhaus and its 10,000-square-feet of fabrication prototyping – a membership workshop that features 3D printing for things such as jewelry, toys and virtually anything you can design with 3D software. While 3D printing isn’t mainstream – yet – it’s only a matter of time before it is, with the potential to crank out increasingly complex creations as easily as printing a Word document. Check out the latest installment of “On the Whiteboard” below and then head on over to the Microsoft News Center to learn more in this feature story.

Finally, this week on the Microsoft Facebook Page, we asked you to caption the Bing homepage image below. One of the more popular responses was “You’re searching for WHAT?!” Smile

Bing homepage peepers

That’s a wrap for this edition of Weekend Reading! Hope everyone has a great, restful weekend, and see you back here on The Official Microsoft Blog next week!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog