Weekend Reading: June 20th Edition—LA County moves 100,000 employees to Office 365

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the impact of Office 365 on the L.A. County Fire Department and the city of Chicago, Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and news coming from the Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity 2014.

Los Angeles County, the largest in the nation, is migrating more than 100,000 employees in more than 30 departments to Office 365. The fire department, which responded to more than 300,000 incidents, is included, as well as the county’s social workers, district attorneys, assessors, field investigators, animal control and coroners. Half a country away, the city of Chicago and The Walsh Group used Office 365 to handle the details and the coordination of transforming Logan Square into an open recreational space – while still keeping the rail line intact.

Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, a fully managed cloud service for building predictive analytics solutions, was announced Monday by Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president for Machine Learning. The service helps overcome the challenges most businesses have in deploying and using machine learning. It delivers a comprehensive machine learning service that has all the benefits of the cloud. With Azure ML, customers and partners can build data-driven applications to predict, forecast and change future outcomes in hours – a process that previously took weeks and months.

At the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2014, Microsoft Advertising introduced a series of videos built for Activision, Emirates Airline, Ford, Lexus and O2 Telefonica that show off multi-screen storytelling. Microsoft also brought Dan Lin, “The Lego Movie” producer, to Cannes for a discussion on how technology and the creative process and recorded a chat with him about it. Also at Cannes, infographics shed light on social media use, factors in buying a new phone and using other devices while watching TV.

For some lucky fans, the Xbox Media Briefing at E3 2014 felt like Christmas morning, as it revealed events and the games that capped off a busy E3. Xbox’s first-ever live Q-and-A after the briefing was also a treat for those fans. The new interactive series, “Every Street United,” debuted Sunday and now you can catch all the action on Xbox Video and through the app on Xbox One and Xbox 360. From now until the end of July, show your national pride and compete in “Kinect Sports Rivals: Summer of Sport,” where it’s the number of fans you earn, not points, that counts. More sports-related news included the availability of “EA SPORTS UFC” for Xbox One and the release Wednesday of the MLG app for Xbox One, just in time for the MLG Championship, to be broadcast live from Anaheim, California from June 20-22.

Using inductive charging, a British designer has created the first ever pair of wireless charging trousers for Lumia smartphones. Talk about smarty pants! No mention of when the women’s version would be available, but here’s hoping that’s coming next.

Apps for Windows Phone, PCs and tablets gave us updates to Facebook Beta and “Angry Birds” and the introduction of “Words With Friends.” You can now upload videos directly from Facebook Beta for Windows Phone, while the App of the Week: “Angry Birds: Epic” is an all-new outing with pig-popping friends. “Words With Friends” arrived in the Windows Phone Store, and addicted wordsmiths everywhere rejoiced. Also new in the Store: Expedia and Moovit.

You can also check out the latest Staff App Picks: SponsorHub, Orbitz and Simple.TV.

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In this week’s installment of Snaps, Microsoft Stories’ digital photo album, we catch the beginning of the day with dawn at Two Brothers Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with a photo taken by National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez using a Nokia Lumia 1020.

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For a lot of folks, a cuppa joe starts the day off right. On the Microsoft Facebook page, you can see how it’s a great way to start the week.

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Thanks for checking out this edition of Weekend Reading. Hope you’re enjoying your summer. See you next week!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff