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

Dona Sarkar and her team photographed on the soccer field at The Commons on Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Wash. on August 8, 2016. The team includes (from left) Joe Camp, Cheryl Sanders, Blair Glennon, Tyler Ahn, Dona Sarkar, Derek Haynes, Thomas Trembly, Manik Rane (kneeling), Ursula Hildenbrand, Joan Steelquist and Seth Rubinstein. Photo by Dan DeLong

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 »

Microsoft acquires Beam interactive livestreaming service

Today, Team Xbox is proud to announce that Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire Beam, an innovative and interactive livestreaming service that gives viewers the ability to watch and play along with their favorite game streamers in real-time. Based in Seattle, Beam has evolved game streaming from a passive, watch-and-chat experience into one with real-time participation by the viewer; directly into a streamer’s game play and live broadcast. Bringing … Read more »

We believe gaming should be fun for everyone

Each year, I have the honor and privilege of taking the E3 stage to talk about the future of gaming at Microsoft, and to inspire and excite our amazing fans with the most anticipated games, new hardware and accessories, as well as the new Xbox Live platform features coming to Xbox One and Windows 10. What we reveal on stage is often a year or more in the making, so … Read more »

Microsoft adds intelligence to industry, Horvitz wins an AI award and Skype celebrates a big milestone – Weekend Reading: April 29 edition

Wurst and beer were on the minds – and in the stomachs – of many in the tech world this week, as tens of thousands descended on Hannover, Germany, for the world’s largest industrial technology fair. Grab a tasty snack or beverage yourself as you sit back and enjoy this Weekend Reading overview. At the Hannover Messe, Microsoft and its partners demonstrated intelligent aircraft engines, street lights, buildings, factories, refrigerators … Read more »

Microsoft hiring program opens more doors to people with autism

Kyle Schwaneke came to Microsoft through a unique hiring program for candidates with autism.

Kyle Schwaneke’s bank account was approaching empty. He’d been unemployed for a year and a half, since the indie game studio he’d been working for shut its doors. His parents, looking for ways to help while he job hunted, had paid the remainder of his apartment lease, but he’d reached the end of that, too. “I interviewed at a bunch of companies, but really didn’t have any luck. Sometimes, I … Read more »

Read the inside story behind the making of ‘Halo 5: Guardians’

Jeremie Sloan’s garage in Oregon City teems with life-size “Halo” helmets, chest plates and codpieces. All are built with the goal of perfect fidelity to the “Halo” series of video games. Elsewhere in his labyrinth of basement workspaces, Sloan uses pepakura, a Japanese papercraft technique, to match and glue thousands of tiny serial-numbered paper tabs into the models for his costumes. It takes weeks to construct a single Master Chief … Read more »

Microsoft unveils new era of Windows 10 devices at event in NYC

In New York Tuesday morning, Microsoft unveiled a new era of Windows 10 devices, including new Surface, Lumia and Band devices. “Our approach to hardware is to create and reinvent categories – like we did with Xbox and Xbox Live, with Surface being the tablet that can replace your laptop, with Lumia and Continuum, with Surface Hub, and of course with HoloLens being the only platform enabling you to mix … Read more »

Explore three futuristic Microsoft hardware labs

Some of the world’s most extraordinary hardware labs are hidden behind the nondescript exterior of Microsoft’s Building 87 in Redmond, Wash. Inside the labs, small teams of experts work to turn their vision of tomorrow into tangible technology, making essential contributions to products including Surface, HoloLens and Cortana. The tools of their trade are just as unique. Building 87 contains industrial sewing machines for smart fabrics, a human-sized light box … Read more »

Windows 10 launch date announced, new devices revealed at Computex and a Microsoft intern who proved the doubters wrong – Weekend Reading: June 5 edition

Windows 10 launch date announced, new devices revealed at Computex and a Microsoft intern who proved the doubters wrong – Weekend Reading: June 5 edition

Welcome to another edition of Weekend Reading. It was a big week for Microsoft news, so let’s dig in. Microsoft announced July 29 as the launch date for Windows 10, which means in less than eight weeks, Windows customers will get a free upgrade to start doing great things across devices with help from Cortana, Windows Hello and Microsoft Edge. They’re all included in Windows 10, which brings back the … Read more »

Build 2015 marks an important step in our journey with developers – and it’s just the beginning

Kicking off Day 2 of Build today, I had the pleasure of expanding on the news and vision that Satya, Scott and Terry shared yesterday. We built upon the big ideas and bold ambitions from Day 1 when we announced our intention to create a world of 1 billion Windows 10 devices, and to create the most attractive development platform ever through the Universal Windows Platform (with new “bridge” toolkits) … Read more »