Weekend Reading: August 9th Edition–Windows Store Only at Best Buy kickoff spotlights fitness apps

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we take you to Los Angeles for the nationwide opening of Microsoft’s new store-within-a-store (Windows Store Only at Best Buy), give insights on a couple of international customers who chose Office 365 and Windows 8 for tens of thousands of employees, and show you how Microsoft is making it easier for developers to create Windows Phone apps.

In the City of Angels, the Windows Store Only at Best Buy launch Wednesday kicked off with Major League Soccer star Clint Mathis participating in on-site activities focused on healthier living. These dedicated spaces, which average about 1,900 square feet, can be found inside 600 Best Buy stores in North America (500 in the United States and more than 100 in Canada). This will be the place for consumers to check out and buy Windows tablets and PCs, Windows Phone devices, Microsoft Office, and Xbox, especially for those without a Microsoft retail store nearby. The Windows Experience Blog shared information about the opening, which featured soccer drills on a full-size field in a parking lot and healthy food tips. The integration of technology into a more active lifestyle can be seen with the latest Windows 8 fitness and nutrition apps (BallStrike, Daily Workouts, Endomondo, LIVESTRONG.com MyPlate Calorie Tracker, Fitbit), and sports-specific apps such as MLS MatchDay.

Check out this slideshow to see how the event played out.

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Microsoft Office 365 and Windows 8 find nearly 90,000 more users internationally. One of the world’s largest airline groups, International Airlines Group (IAG) – the parent company of British Airways and Iberia – has chosen Microsoft Office 365 for its 58,000 employees, enabling them to collaborate and communicate from around the world. And one of the world’s largest deployments of Windows 8 tablets is going to happen in Tokyo, with Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company planning to deploy 30,000 Windows 8 tablets to its sales personnel starting in September.

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With the launch of Windows Phone App Studio, developers of all levels have a new resource to create great Windows Phone apps. There’s plenty of great apps to look at as examples, such as the newly available mobile version of popular Windows 8 apps such as Bing News, Bing Sports, Bing Weather and Bing Finance. Also in the Bing vein: check out Bing’s upgrades on Windows Phone 8 devices, such as a new look and features; and how Bing and 500px have teamed up to showcase some stunning photography.

Several apps recently arrived in the Windows Phone Store that will appeal to sports lovers: At Bat 13, (the official app of Major League Baseball), ESPN Fantasy Football, and Nascar Mobile ’13. Also newly available on Windows Phone: the official Wells Fargo app. And for those watching their hard earned cash, the latest Red Stripe Deals include health tracker FitLife620, 3D puzzle game “ilomilo and the fishy funtastic “Grow.”

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In Xbox news, Major Nelson tantalized viewers with a first look at Xbox One through the video below showing its unboxing, its components and other details of the new console. The Xbox team recently announced the beta of a new community feature tentatively called Xbox Enforcement United that asks for your help to keep Xbox Live awesome. Some awesome videos that have turned heads this week are this trailer on Xbox Wire for “Watch Dogs,” a game that received more than 90 awards and nominations at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3); and behind-the-scenes footage of “Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons,” which launched Wednesday for 1,200 Microsoft Points as part of Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade. And Saturday and Sunday, there’s free Hulu Plus on Xbox Live (you’d usually need an Xbox Live Gold membership to access it).

Skype grabs the Hollywood spotlight with a Q&A with Simon Cowell using video messages. Skype’s Big Blog posted details about the interview with Cowell, who fielded the recorded video messages at his posh home and revealed some eye opening secrets. Over on the east coast, Skype plays a major role in the upcoming “The Skype Show or See You in August” which will run Aug. 9 to Aug. 25 in New York.

Finally, we leave you with a find on Microsoft’s Facebook page: the free New Zealand landscapes featured in the One Tree Hill theme.

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That’s it for Weekend Reading this week! Hope you make the most of your weekend as summer winds down!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff