Music, a medical breakthrough and employee generosity – Weekend Reading: Feb. 12 edition

WR, StaffPad, Surface, music

There was a lot to love this week at Microsoft, timely with Valentine’s Day on Sunday. We watched an amazing 11-year-old composer from McKinney, Texas, who now has an easier way to notate his award-winning creations, thanks to an app especially designed for Surface. We learned that Sir Paul McCartney created an exclusive set of love-inspired musical creations for Mojis on Skype. We saw how Kinect is being used to … Read more »

Young people dive into Hour of Code, Cortana now on iOS and Android, and wacky out-of-office messages – Weekend Reading: Dec. 11 edition

Hour of Code, YouthSpark, education

The moment when “I can do this!” strikes: There were millions of such moments this week around the world during Hour of Code, as young people learned to tap into the power of coding. Cortana came to iOS and Android. And, just in time for the holidays, Microsoft launched the “Center for Out of Office Excellence,” a fun site to help you create your own OOO (out-of-office) memes with a … Read more »

Microsoft expands IT training for active-duty US service members, ‘Halo 5: Guardians’ breaks records – Weekend Reading: Nov. 6 edition

Microsoft expands IT training for active-duty US service members, ‘Halo 5: Guardians’ breaks records– Weekend Reading: Nov. 6 edition

It was a good week for Master Chief, and for U.S. service members seeking to master IT skills to help them transition from military to civilian life. Let’s get to it! The Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) is expanding from three locations to nine, and will be servicing 12 military installations. The MSSA program uses a service member’s time prior to transitioning out of the service to train him … Read more »

Microsoft expands computer science education, partnership with Salesforce and your mind with Hacking Mars design challenge — Weekend Reading, Sept. 18 edition

TEALS, education, computer science, YouthSpark

The universe expanded in new ways, yet got more personal, this week at Microsoft. For one thing, CEO Satya Nadella announced a new commitment of $75 million to help young people around the world study computer science. Also announced: Microsoft’s strategic partnership with Salesforce will grow. And if you’re ready to help “The Martian’s” stranded astronaut Mark Watney get off the Red Planet, the Hacking Mars design challenge is your … Read more »

Sparking learning at YouthSpark summer camps, 75M devices running Windows 10, and a regular cellphone turns into a 3D scanner — Weekend Reading: Aug. 28 edition

YouthSpark, education, summer camps

With summer waning, most students are just getting ready to head back to school. But there are some who decided to continue learning over the break, and specifically, to dive into the world of coding. Read on for this story and more from the week at Microsoft, where the phrase “summer slowdown” is an oxymoron. Around the U.S. and in Canada, children ages 8 and up spent part of their … Read more »

A week to soar: Innovation on display at Worldwide Partner Conference, parties planned for Windows 10 release and Special Olympics athletes on the move – Weekend Reading: July 17 edition

Special Olympics

It was a high-flying week at Microsoft, and if you blinked, you missed it. That’s why we’re here, to give you a recap of some of the week’s most important (and fun) goings-on, so let’s get to it: The Worldwide Partner Conference got down to business. New technology innovations were showcased, including Project GigJam and the Cortana Analytics Suite, demonstrating Microsoft’s ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes, build the … Read more »

E3: Hot lineup of Xbox One exclusive titles, backward compatibility for Xbox 360 announced

E3 2015, Xbox

It was hard to catch a breath during the Xbox E3 briefing Monday: The news included the reveal of “Halo 5: Guardians” Warzone, an all-new, massive scale multiplayer mode where up to 24 players battle with AI characters joining in the fight; a fully featured version of “Minecraft” for Microsoft HoloLens; and that Xbox will be the only console to support backward compatibility natively for select Xbox 360 games for … Read more »

Project Premonition aims to prevent major health disasters, solar-powered Internet access increases in Kenya and Surface Hub availability announced – Weekend Reading: June 12 edition

Project Premonition aims to prevent major health disasters, solar-powered Internet access increases in Kenya and Surface Hub availability announced – Weekend Reading: June 12 edition

Just another regular workweek gone by, you say? Not at Microsoft. We’ve been busy, with mosquitoes, drones and disease prevention in our sights; working to increase Internet access in rural areas around the world; and providing a very big canvas for collaboration in the office. Microsoft researchers are working with academic partners on Project Premonition, a system that aims to detect infectious disease outbreaks before they become widespread. The system … Read more »

Microsoft Ignite lights up the modern workforce with new products and services – Weekend Reading: May 8 Edition

Ignite 2015

Ready to take a breath? Do it now before we dive into the news from this week, dominated by the announcements from Microsoft’s first Ignite conference. More than 23,000 attended in Chicago and thousands more watched online, learning how IT now means “innovation” and “transformation” – for all of us in the modern workforce. The modern workforce is a more apt description than the modern workplace – a misnomer, said … Read more »

Skype Translator speaks Mandarin and Italian, Build 2015 plans a road tour, Star Wars movie collection comes to Xbox – Weekend Reading: April 10 Edition

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The Force is with us big-time this week: We’ve got stories about Skype Translator debuting in Mandarin and Italian, Build 2015 making a first-ever road tour worldwide, and all six Star Wars films being available digitally for the first time on Xbox Video. Skype Translator adds two more languages, Mandarin and Italian, joining Spanish and English in the preview program. Adding Mandarin Chinese is quite a feat; it’s a “very … Read more »