Challenge for Change winners inspire, apps keep your devices in sync and Kinect powers a symphony — Weekend Reading: May 29 edition

Young people who just might change the world, apps to help you achieve more and a first-of-its-kind musical performance were just a few of this week’s highlights. Before you settle into a relaxing weekend, take a look back at the news and find some great reasons to feel inspired. Ten teens and young adults with cool ideas to do good in the world won Microsoft’s YouthSpark Challenge for Change contest. … Read more »

Microsoft expands cross-platform services strategy through agreements with additional device partners

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In a mobile-first, cloud-first world, it’s devices that enable all the experiences to come together for consumers, businesses, developers and IT. Working with our partners, Microsoft has helped enable an amazing breadth of devices running Windows, desktop and mobile apps and compelling services to make people more productive in their digital work and life. Our aspiration is to continue to build and grow a vibrant community of billions of people … 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 »

The community of fans: Real Madrid brings their supporters closer to the team

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In this digital age, the idea of community is changing rapidly. Online and social-based channels have created new ways of connecting with others who share similar beliefs, interests and passions. While some may be rightfully concerned that online social communications are not a substitute for human interaction, I continue to be fascinated with the ways people are finding to connect and share their passions. Last November, Microsoft announced a collaboration … Read more »

Skype for Business, which brings the best of Skype and Lync, due out in 2015

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Skype has broken the distance barrier worldwide by bringing people together via video on computers, phones and tablets. Meanwhile, Lync simplifies and unifies the different tools people use to communicate for work. Drawing upon the strengths of both programs, the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business, it was announced Tuesday. With Skype for Business, “We are bringing together the familiar experience and user love of Skype with … Read more »

A first look at Windows 10 — Weekend Reading: Oct. 3rd Edition

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In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the introduction of Windows 10, the relationship between Microsoft and the NFL, and a YouthSpark expedition into the jungle with five young technologists. Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Operating Systems, introduced Windows 10 as “the first step of a whole new generation of Windows.” Windows 10 will run across a broad set of devices – from the Internet of Things, … Read more »

Royal Caribbean International to provide 40,000 crew members with Windows 8.1 tablets

Royal Caribbean gives its crew members 40,000 Windows 8.1 tablets

In line with technology upgrades being made across the Royal Caribbean Cruises fleet, the company is giving all of its 40,000 shipboard crew members Windows 8.1 tablets. “This technology isn’t only about giving our guests a better vacation – it’s about giving our crew and their families a closer connection than we’ve ever been able to,” says Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises. These Windows tablets … Read more »

Welcome, Cortana, part of Skype 2.19 update for Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone 8!

A Skype update now available for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 integrates Cortana, Microsoft’s new digital personal assistant. Now you can start Skype video and audio calls by simply asking Cortana something like “Skype, get Mom on the screen.” Cortana is currently available in the U.S. on Windows Phone 8.1. The Skype update also has increased language support, from 19 to 51 languages, and improved notifications. Download the … Read more »

Weekend Reading: May 30th Edition—Skype Translator introduced at inaugural Code Conference, Microsoft and salesforce.com announce strategic partnership

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the new Skype Translator app revealed at the first-ever Code Conference, a new strategic partnership between Microsoft and salesforce.com and how businesses like the Seattle Children’s Hospital and The Coca-Cola Company have chosen the Surface Pro 3 as their go-to choice to replace laptops. Soon, you won’t have to know a foreign language to speak to someone in another country … Read more »

Spell e-d-u-c-a-t-i-o-n: Each spelling bee participant receives new Surface, Office 365 and Skype gift card

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Each of the 281 participants in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee got an extra boost from Microsoft Tuesday night to help them with their education, and to make sure the bonds they create with other competitors around the world can continue. The spellers, who range in age from 8 to 15, each received a brand new Surface device and Office 365. They also got a Skype gift card that … Read more »