Weekend Reading: October 4th Edition–Delta equipping 11,000 pilots with Surface 2

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on customers such as Delta, which is giving 11,000 of its pilots Surface 2 tablets; an innovative collaboration between Xbox One and Microsoft Research; and Windows Azure cloud services achieving a critical federal security milestone.

Monday’s announcement that Delta is equipping 11,000 pilots with Surface 2 is just one of several companies in fields from banking to sales to education turning to Microsoft’s tablets. The Delta pilots will find a much lighter load with the Surface 2 electronic flight bag devices, which will be filled with thousands of pages of easily accessible electronic documents, charts, navigational aids, checklists and other key reference materials previously kept in heavy flight bags. Other businesses and organizations that have chosen Surface tablets include Hokkoku Bank, The London School of Business & Finance and Novartis. In a blog post on Wednesday, Surface General Manager Brian Hall reported the pre-order stock of several Surface 2 products are selling out – or close to it.

Xbox lit up the news this week with new game titles, free promos and innovative collaborations. Microsoft Research Senior Writer Rob Knies wrote on the Official Microsoft Blog about how a Silicon Valley-based hardware team collaborated with Microsoft Research to overcome technological hurdles with the new time-of-flight sensing camera in Xbox One. Two new game titles are available for free to Xbox Gold Live members for a limited time: “Might & Magic Clash of Heroes” from Oct. 1 – 15, and “Halo 3” from Oct. 16 – 31. Starting Friday through Sunday, Xbox Live Gold will be unlocked for several regions. The “Forza Motorsport 5 Showroom” added two new cars, and fans who pre-order “Destiny” at participating retailers worldwide will get early access to the beta, which will be available on Xbox One, Xbox 360 and more in early 2014.

Microsoft has brought back a classic PC game – “Hover,” but updated for the modern Web. Check it out in the video below.

It’s now easier for government organizations to benefit from more secure cloud computing. As Susie Adams, chief technology officer for Microsoft Federal, explains on The Official Microsoft Blog, “Microsoft received notice that Windows Azure was granted the FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board (JAB) Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO). Windows Azure is the first public cloud platform, with infrastructure services and platform services, to receive a JAB P-ATO.

Securing a P-ATO from the JAB ensures that when government agencies have a need for an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS), they know that Windows Azure has successfully met the necessary security assessments. This not only opens the door for faster cloud adoption, but helps agencies move to the cloud in a more streamlined, cost-effective way.”

As we celebrated International Translation Day Monday, it was the perfect time to revel in the reach of our translation services, no matter where you are in the world, and no matter what device you’re using. Microsoft’s translation research is powering advancements all around you, from phone to desktop and beyond. For more than two decades, Microsoft has made deep investments in machine learning and natural interfaces that have produced tools people use every day. Language is no longer an obstacle in understanding emails and Web pages.

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The Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) for Women in Computing represents an opportunity for Microsoft in general (and Microsoft Research in particular) to focus on growing and retaining women in computer science and engineering. Microsoft Research General Manager Kevin Schofield discusses the importance of fostering diversity in the field of computing. Rane Johnson-Stempson, principal research director for Education and Scholarly Communication at Microsoft Research Connections, explores the company’s approach in bolstering women’s participation in computing. Betsy Aoki, senior program manager at Bing, posted on the Bing Search Blog about how critical it is to have men as allies in closing the gender gap in the technology industry. And Katie Doran’s journey from student to Microsoft employee is just one example of the impact mentors and exposure to women in the field can make in increasing their presence in computing.

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A grand slam of sports apps and games on sale gave Windows Phone and Windows 8 device owners plenty of reasons to cheer this week. A sports fan’s survival guide gave us 13 apps you need on your phone and tablet now, including the Bing Sports App for Windows Phone, ESPN Scorecenter, the NFL Mobile App for Windows Phone and Windows 8 are must-haves, MLB At Bat 2013 for Windows Phone and MLB.TV for Windows 8. More choices for your device includes the latest Staff App Pick: Allrecipes, “Babel Rising 3D” and permanent price reductions on three favorite Xbox titles that are now only $.99 each: “Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles HD,” “Brain Challenge HD” and “Uno HD.” Finally, the most recent Red Stripe Deals collection at the Windows Phone Store includes ProShot, “The Path of Kara” and “iBlastMoki.”

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This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we learned that Windows 95 shipped on 13 floppy disks!

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And that’s it for this edition of Weekend Reading. See you next week!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff