Weekend Reading: June 6th Edition — Nearly 40 Windows devices and phones unveiled at Computex, and the Houston school district adopts Office 365

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories about the new Windows devices and phones introduced at Computex in Taiwan, and how students in Houston, the seventh-largest school district in the U.S., will use Office 365 to help in their education.

Windows and Windows Phone devices of all shapes, sizes and prices were announced this week by manufacturers at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan, the second-largest technology exhibition in the world. From all-in-one PCs that are thinner, lighter and more portable, to tablets of all sizes and configurations, to personalized mobile phones, Microsoft’s “expanding ecosystem of partners is helping us deliver a broad range of Windows devices with new designs across more price points and in new markets,” said Nick Parker, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, Original Equipment Manufacturer Division.

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ASUS introduces the All-in-One PT2001 Windows-based PC, seen on stage at the Microsoft Computex keynote 2014.
ASUS All-in-One PT2001
June 03, 2014
ASUS introduces the All-in-One PT2001 Windows-based PC, seen on stage at the Microsoft Computex keynote 2014.

The Houston Independent School District, the seventh largest in the U.S., chose Office 365 for its 14,000 students and 1,200 teachers, along with HP Elitebook Folio 9470m Ultrabooks running Windows, as part the district’s PowerUp initiative. The initiative aims to create transformative learning using digital tools. With a majority of the district’s students from low-income families, “Educating our kids is important, but having our parents and community understand digital awareness is imperative to their success,” says Lenny Schad, the district’s chief information technology officer.

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There are several secret places on the Microsoft campus where Kinect is tried and tested; among them, there’s a room called “The Holodeck.” We took you on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour to show you what goes into creating and developing this amazing motion sensor. While the latest version of Kinect has been available since the launch of Xbox One, the preorder of the Kinect for Windows version became available for all developers on Thursday.

The Microsoft Azure cloud platform became generally available in the company’s Brazil South region, where customers such as credit rating company Boa Vista Servicos, business management software provider Totvs, computing systems provider SiplanControl-M and e-commerce website platform Shop Delivery are benefiting from the power of the cloud.

Microsoft welcomes Preston McAfee as the company’s chief economist. McAfee, most recently director of Google strategic technologies, will lead a team of economists who will work closely with Microsoft CFO Amy Hood and business and engineering groups across the company on developing new business models and metrics, designing marketplaces for advertising and apps, assisting with government relations and policy and developing an economic strategy for the company.

It was an app-tastic week, with apps that make travel easier, help you monitor your home when you’re away and let you check possible physical injuries. Interactive Athlete, a staff pick for Windows and Windows Phone, has interactive diagrams to pinpoint which parts of your body may have suffered injury and whether those injuries are related to damage to soft tissue or bones and joints. Other staff app picks included LiveATC for Windows Phone, which you use to listen in on live conversations between pilots and air traffic controllers from nearby airports; and the new INSTEON for Hub app, for Windows and Windows Phone, which gives you “unprecedented remote control of your INSTEON home automation network.” If you suddenly find yourself on the road and without a place to stay, you can use the Hotel Tonight app for Windows Phone to quickly book a room. For entertainment, the new VH1 app is now available for Windows Phone, PCs and tablets. And the new Files app for Windows Phone 8.1 – something many of you requested for better organizing your phone files – became available, for free, in the Windows Phone Store.

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Hotel Tonight app for Windows Phone.

In this week’s installment of Snaps, the recently launched digital photo album from Microsoft Storiesphotographer Rob Wolf gives us a hand – a 3D printed hand, an example of how Windows 8 can bring 3D printing capabilities to any PC.

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This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we introduced you to Bryan Roper, who was discovered as a cruise ship lounge singer and recruited by Microsoft. His story is anything but the same old song.

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Thanks for starting your weekend with Weekend Reading. Enjoy the rest of it, and we’ll see you next week!

Posted by Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff