Artificial intelligence takes on machine reading, Christmas carols and eye disease – Weekend Reading: Dec. 30 edition

Artificial intelligence (AI) made incredible strides in 2016, and the growth appears set to accelerate as we enter the New Year. A team of Microsoft researchers has released a dataset of 100,000 questions and answers that other AI researchers can use – for free – in their quest to create systems that can read and answer questions as well as a human. The MS MARCO dataset is based on anonymized … Read more »

New back-to-school tech tools, Xbox at gamescom and turning playtime into profits — Weekend Reading: Aug. 19 edition

Summer ended this week for some North American kids and teachers, but the week also marked the arrival of new technology to help ease those back-to-school blues – and what’s especially nice is it’s free. Office 365 Education, which is free for students and teachers, has a bunch of new features for the coming school year. Microsoft Classroom will help educators manage their administrative tasks so they have more time … Read more »

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update, a slim new Xbox console and Summer Games fun — Weekend Reading: Aug. 5 edition

Basketball hall-of-famer Janeth Arcain is surrounded by underprivileged kids, who are cheering.

It’s the start of another glorious summer weekend with the added excitement of the 2016 Summer Games — and it all caps a week of big news around Microsoft. From a major Windows 10 update to a new Xbox One console, we’ve rounded up the highlights in this edition of Weekend Reading. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update began rolling out for customers around the globe on Tuesday. It’s packed with … Read more »

Microsoft grants help kids learn computer science, Earth Day is celebrated and influential engineer is honored — Weekend Reading: April 22 edition

From a huge effort to help kids realize their potential to a celebration of our dear old planet, this week brought plenty of interesting and inspiring news around Microsoft. We’ve rounded up some of the highlights in this latest edition of Weekend Reading. Earlier this week, Microsoft announced grants to 100 nonprofit partners in 55 countries as part of YouthSpark, a global initiative to increase access for young people to … Read more »

Bing’s NFL playoff picks, Skype’s big milestone and the new Microsoft Envision event — Weekend Reading: Jan. 15 edition

Bing’s sports predictions, beautiful murals around the world and a photographer’s Great Barrier Reef adventure are just a few reasons to take a look back at the week’s news at Microsoft. We’ve rounded up some of the highlights in this latest edition of Weekend Reading. If you’re settling in to watch some football this weekend, you may want to first check out which teams Bing Predicts expects to win. Seattle … Read more »

Expanding access to prenatal care in Africa, connecting cars in Vegas and making Windows 10 and Xbox history – Weekend Reading, Jan. 8 edition

Welcome to the first edition of Weekend Reading in 2016! From Africa to Vegas, Microsoft was busy making all kinds of news this week. Let’s take a look. Wubwub. Wubwub. Wubwub. The moment an expectant mother first hears her unborn child’s heartbeat is immense, but many pregnant women in Africa never experience that joy, due to a lack of access to ultrasounds and prenatal care. To help them, a group … Read more »

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 »

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 »

Helping military vets build new careers, applauding a hands-on young researcher and ‘connecting’ cows for healthier herds – Weekend Reading: August 21 edition

It may be August and prime vacation time, but it was a busy week of interesting news at Microsoft. Let’s get started. The #GiveThem20 challenge raises awareness of the need to help returning military veterans transition to fulfilling civilian careers. Chris Cortez, vice president of Microsoft Military Affairs, and other Microsoft employees recently rose to the challenge, which included 20 push-ups. It was part of an ongoing commitment to helping … Read more »

Sneak peeks at new games, more Windows 10 perks and Kinect-powered music — Weekend Reading: Aug. 7 edition

August seems to have crept up on us, and its first week has brought some exciting news for gamers, Windows 10 users, music fans, Microsoft employees and plenty of others around the globe. We’ve rounded up the highlights for this latest edition of Weekend Reading. Microsoft made a splash at gamescom 2015, the world’s biggest interactive games and entertainment expo, by unveiling new footage for some highly anticipated games for … Read more »