Weekend Reading: March 21st Edition – The Madness of March, SQL Server 2014 and a school in the cloud

Winter is supposed to go out like lamb, but here at Weekend Reading it’s proven to be more like a lion. Check out this roaring lineup …

March means Madness — the kind that comes with back-to-back-to-back college basketball. It may be too late to use predictions from Microsoft Research’s statistician extraordinaire, David Rothschild for your bracket this year, but you can still take a lesson from his technique.

Microsoft Research’s Leslie Lamport wins what’s widely regarded as the “Nobel Prize in Computing”: the 2013 Association for Computing Machinery A.M. Turing Award for his work “imposing clear, well-defined coherence on the seemingly chaotic behavior of distributed computing systems.” The award comes with a $250,000 prize. Check out Lamport’s impressive career.

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Speaking of impressive, North Carolina’s largest county announced Thursday it’s opted for Office 365, Surface Pro and Windows Azure. Together, the seamless mobility, productivity and flexibility of these solutions have already helped various departments within Mecklenburg County collaborate better with staff, integrate across a number of crucial systems and streamline daily responsibilities.

In with spring and in with SQL Server 2014, released to manufacturing Wednesday and generally available April 1. SQL Server has garnered market share because it meets the increasingly demanding needs of business customers of all sizes. This release is significant because it embraces in-memory technology.

If you’re more into speed than roundball, don’t despair: The Formula One season kicked off last weekend with the Australian Grand Prix. You won’t want to be caught without the ESPNF1 app for Windows Phone and all of the heart-pounding news, standings and team and driver information at your fingertips. Or, stop Dr. Doom with all your favorite Marvel superheros with the “Avengers Alliance” app, new for Windows Phone. Choose from more than 20 characters to help your cause, including Spider-Man, Captian America and Hulk. Unwind from an afternoon of fighing evil with “Throne Together,” the delightfully addictive castle building app also available for Windows Phone this week.

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What is a school without walls, textbooks or teachers? It’s “learning at the edge of chaos,” says TED prize winner Sugata Mitra. It’s also learning fueled by curiousity and technology. Mitra was at the TED conference in Vancouver, B.C. Thursday updating the world on his School in the Cloud effort, an initiative powered by Microsoft technology.

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This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we asked fans to share what they’ve created with Microsoft technology. Use #ICreatedthis to tell us your story for the chance to be featured. 

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Get out there this weekend and let the lion roar one last time. We’ll see all you lambs back here next week.

Posted by Aimee Riordan
Microsoft News Center Staff