Weekend Reading: October 11th Edition–Exclusive interviews with the folks behind big Xbox titles

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on interviews that shed light on top Xbox games, the launch of a new wave of enterprise cloud products and services, and major updates to apps for social networking powerhouses.

The Xbox world was abuzz with interviews of people behind top games. For fans of “FIFA 14,” there’s an Xbox Wire exclusive interview with the game’s producer, Santiago Jaramillo. NFL followers will probably enjoy the Xbox Wire exclusive interview with “Madden NFL 25” producer Seann Graddy and designer Brad Lippmanushers – as well as the video below, which showcases the new CoachGlass companion app that works with SmartGlass. And those who are looking forward to “Tom Clancy’s The Division” will get some scoops through the Xbox Wire interview with Massive Entertainment’s Fredrik Rundqvist, executive producer, and Ryan Barnard, game director.

Xbox Wire also shared details about how the upcoming Xbox One titles “Dead Rising 3,” “Project Spark” and “Just Dance 2014” will use the SmartGlass companion experience to complement core gameplay on smartphones and tablets. And to show that real life is as important as games, Activision Publishing, Treyarch and Xbox have teamed together to support the Call of Duty Endowment – Activision Blizzard’s 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps returning service members by funding organizations that place vets into high quality careers.

Satya Nadella, executive vice president of Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft, wrote a post setting the stage for Monday’s launch of our fall wave of enterprise cloud products and services. In a potential IT market of more than 2 trillion dollars, Microsoft is poised to be a leader in this next era of enterprise cloud by delivering: best-in-class first party software-as-a-service applications (i.e. Office 365, Yammer, Dynamics CRM, Bing, Outlook.com, Xbox Live), a global public cloud platform in Windows Azure (the only public cloud with fully supported infrastructure and platform services, recently updated) and hybrid solutions that help enterprises build their own clouds with consistency. Check out this Microsoft by the Numbers to see some amazing stats on “The Enterprise Cloud.”

Major updates to apps for social networking powerhouses and a slew of games filled the Windows Phone Store. Not only was there a new Twitter update, but the official Facebook app for Windows Phone 8 is the latest App of the Week. Windows Phone users can also check out the most recent Staff App Pick: Preggie Pals and the YumvY cooking app. Three Xbox games previously exclusive to Nokia Lumia users are now available to all Windows Phone users: “The Sims Medieval,” “Storm in a Teacup” and “Vampire Rush.” This month’s Next Big Thing collection of indie titles created by Windows Phone developers includes some games that fit in well with October’s spookiness. Finally, the latest Red Stripe Deals are “The Dark Knight Rises,” “ARMED!” and Weave News Reader.

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Internet Explorer 11 shows off new touch features – and a bug bounty contest awards more than $128,000 to make IE11 safer. On the Windows Experience Blog, Ryan Gavin gives a rundown of IE11’s new features, including unlimited tabs, side-by-side browsing and being able to make phone calls from your browser. In June, the Microsoft Security Response Center introduced several new bounty programs, including the IE11 Preview Bug Bounty. The BlueHat Blog shared the names of six bug bounty hunters who identified qualifying bugs that will help make IE11 more secure. The biggest winner: the United Kingdom-based James Forshaw, head of vulnerability research at Context Information Security and a former software engineer, who earned more than $100,000.

Also on Monday, we released the 2013 Citizenship Report. This describes our citizenship work in support of our company’s mission during the last fiscal year and shares our vision for what’s next. In this Official Microsoft Blog post from Lori Forte Harnick, general manager of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Microsoft, we find out “Fiscal year 2013 was a significant one for Microsoft Citizenship, as we focused our philanthropic work on providing education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to youth around the world.” See more facts from the report in the image below.

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This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we learned that Xbox Live has more than 48 million members in 41 countries! Learn more fun facts about the company on Microsoft by the Numbers.

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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