Weekend Reading: August 16th Edition–Windows 8.1 rolls out Oct. 18

In this edition of Weekend Reading, the big buzz was the announcement of the Oct. 18 worldwide release of Windows 8.1. In New York, there’s great anticipation about the upcoming migration of 120,000 state employees to Office 365. And Sprint added a new smartphone to its lineup: the Samsung ATIV S Neo, the first Windows Phone 8 device from Sprint with international roaming capabilities.

Oct. 18 is turning out to be an auspicious date for much anticipated releases, such as Windows 8.1 and the R2 wave. Windows 8.1 will roll out as a free update for consumers on Windows 8 through the Windows Store. See how more than 20 new and improved Microsoft apps and services come as part of Windows 8.1. Also on that date, Microsoft will release Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows System Center 2012 R2 and the latest update to Windows Intune.

clip_image002

As described in The Official Microsoft Blog, New York State became the latest state government to choose Office 365 to consolidate their email systems, provide access to familiar Office applications, and place shared calendars in a cloud-based system for more than 120,000 employees who work for state executive agencies. Those employees can check out the latest “Garage Series” video to see five favorite things about Office 365 from Supersite for Windows’ Paul Thurrott.

Starting today, you can buy the Samsung ATIV S Neo from Sprint, the latest addition to its lineup of phones. HealthVault, which helps manage your medical records and track fitness goals, might be a good app to download onto it, as it’s the App of the Week on Windows Phone and Windows 8. Other games and apps that might help fill your new or current Windows Phone device: Singster, “Chaos Rings,” the latest Red Stripe Deals, “Hills of Glory 3D,”and Active Fitness.

clip_image004Xbox games, Xbox One’s design and Xbox Live sharing help fans get their game on. At Wednesday’s “Call of Duty: Ghosts” Global Multiplayer Reveal event in Los Angeles, Xbox’s Major Nelson got the inside scoop on “Call of Duty: Ghosts.” In “Halo” news, 343 Industries and Dark Horse Comics have teamed up to launch a three-part comic book series entitled “Halo: Initiation.” As part of Xbox’s Summer of Arcade promotion, the supernatural, punk-rock infused “Charlie Murder” launched Wednesday for 800 Microsoft Points. Xbox Live Gold subscribers also got some music to their ears with the new MTV app. Major Nelson also gave a sneak peek at the new Xbox One controller. He’ll also be showing that off as Xbox heads to Cologne, Germany, for gamescom from Aug. 21 to Aug. 25.

On Wednesday, Xbox announced the Season Pass Guarantee program, which enables gamers to buy a Season Pass for a participating Xbox 360 title, and get an Xbox One Season Pass free for the same game. Speaking of Xbox One, a new video and interview takes you behind the scenes of Xbox One’s design.

On Monday, Microsoft by the Numbers debuted, using a familiar interface to highlight some facts about our business and our company, like how there have been 250 million downloads from the Windows Store, or how Skype users spend up to two billion minutes A DAY on the service.

Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education at Microsoft, wrote about the creation of a “9-14” education model in New York City. A school slotted to open in fall 2014 will focus on preparing students for an IT career, with help from a collaboration with the NYC Department of Education, City University of New York and New York Presbyterian Hospital. The interconnectedness of technology and education also comes through with Office’s “Back to School Throwback Sweepstakes” that will give those who submit an old school photo to Office’s Facebook page a chance to win a year’s subscription to Office 365 Home Premium or a Surface Pro, as seen in the photo below with actress Ali Larter and the Office team’s Jevon Fark. An infographic from Office also shows how far technology has become embedded in just one generation.

clip_image006

Also, check out Microsoft’s Facebook page to see exclusive offers from Windows on back-to-school PCs.

clip_image008

Well, that’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading. Hope you all have a great weekend as you get a head start on back-to-school shopping!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff