Windows 10 coming to 4 million Department of Defense devices, Skype group video calls and new Microsoft Translator features – Weekend Reading: Feb. 19 edition

This week at Microsoft saw some big Windows 10 news, more ways to connect with Skype and powerful new features for Microsoft Translator apps. Pretty busy for a week that began with a holiday.


The U.S. Department of Defense, one of the largest enterprises anywhere, plans to deploy 4 million seats of Windows 10 within a year, an upgrade unprecedented in speed for a customer of that size and complexity, Microsoft announced this week. The move will lower the Pentagon’s IT costs and improve its cybersecurity and IT operating environment. The upgrade covers all combatant commands, services agencies and field activities.

“It is exciting to see adoption of Windows 10 by so many enterprise customers, including those with the highest of security demands, such as the Department of Defense,” wrote Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft corporate vice president of Windows and Devices Marketing.

In other Windows 10 news, the new Hulu app for Windows 10 made its debut, just in time to watch the first episode of Hulu’s new original series “11.22.63.”

Hulu’s new app features an adaptive, responsive layout and works well with Windows 10 features like Cortana and Live Tiles. All of which are perfect for watching James Franco time-travel in Hulu’s show, executively produced by J.J. Abrams and adapted from Stephen King’s novel. You can install Hulu for free from the Windows Store.

Connecting with friends and family got a whole lot easier with new innovations released this week. Skype’s group video calling rolled out on iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets in Western Europe and North America, with worldwide availability expected in March.

The calls feature glorious HD quality, crystal-clear audio and optimized layouts for whatever device you’re using – all to help make your personal connections feel natural and, well, more personal.


Microsoft Translator apps also got new features that help people connect across cultures. A powerful new offline translation engine is now available for Android, coming in handy for when Internet access is unavailable or too expensive. And iPhone users can now take advantage of a new image translation feature for iOS, which can translate text from a camera roll or saved pictures. It uses Microsoft’s state-of-the art Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology.


If redstone and spooky witches are your thing, you might have rejoiced over the “Minecraft” Overworld update, the year’s first major update for “Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta” and “Minecraft: Pocket Edition.” It began its rollout Thursday, with new redstone components, redstone specialist skins, witches, slime blocks and wearable pumpkins. The fun included a new redstone puzzle map that users can try out for free.


If outdoor fun is more your thing, Microsoft Band got some helpful updates, including the ability to track distance in a Guided Workout when you’re running, walking or biking. The device also now has a Tournament Mode for Golf, for when you want to play with United States Golf Association rules for competitive play. And it got more social, letting you easily share your health and fitness summaries on Facebook and other social modes.

Finally, this week on the Microsoft Facebook channel, we got to know Garrett, an 11-year-old pianist who’s composing music for the modern world. He uses StaffPad to write, edit and compose his masterpieces on his Surface Pro 3, then shares his creations with the world.

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Vanessa Ho
Microsoft News Center Staff