Stoke your soccer fever this summer with these apps, services and products from Microsoft

As billions of fans focus on Rio de Janeiro for the world’s premier soccer tournament, kick off your appreciation from afar with Microsoft. Xbox, Internet Explorer, Windows Phone and Windows devices, Skype and Bing help enhance an experience that only comes around every four years. You’ll be able to dribble to apps, an interactive reality series, an online sports hub, a sweepstakes and multicity tour – without ever leaving your living room. 

Destination Brazil

Starting Thursday, Xbox bring fans a new way to enjoy a sport much of the world calls football with the Destination Brazil portal on Xbox One. Make this your one-stop to begin your immersion into a football competition whose fans span the globe. You can find it on the Xbox One dashboard and use it to launch Brazil Now, which serves as a companion app to watching Rio’s matches. Personalize the app with your favorite teams, and receive alerts and score updates. Also, watch the games live and enjoy real-time stats, scores and social experiences on Xbox Live.

Xbox Video also houses various video series about your favorite football clubs from Copa90 – at no charge to Xbox Live members. Copa90 is already a YouTube hotspot for football, inspiring a global community of football fans by posting stories that go far beyond the field.

“Every Street United”

Starting June 15, tune in to the all-new interactive reality show “Every Street United” through Destination Brazil and watch as legendary football players scout the world’s most gifted, undiscovered street stars. 

Some of the world’s leading brands – including Kraft, McDonald’s, 20th Century Fox’s upcoming “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and Volkswagen’s all new 2015 Golf GTI – are also helping to expand the “Every Street United” experience by underwriting unique content related to the program.

ESPN FC World Cup Essentials

Internet Explorer is working with ESPN FC to bring the ESPN FC World Cup Essentials sports hub to the Web. The June 1 launch is the latest installment in the Rethink IE initiative. The hub’s content helps keep fans informed and in pitch-perfect shape to keep up with the tournament’s heart-pounding action. The site showcases immersive 3D artwork made possible with HTML5 and WebGL and adaptive browsing from your mobile phone to your laptop or desktop PC.

Browse through headlines, match schedules, teams and history to read curated content from ESPN, including featured articles, video highlights, polls and predictions.

Windows Phone and Windows apps keep you in the game

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One of the best things about soccer – and what makes it so universally appealing – is how little you need to enjoy it. A field – or a street – and a ball, after all, is the bare minimum. And all you need to keep up with the tournament action is the Football 2014 Collection of apps and games now available in the Windows Phone Store.

You’ll find Onefootball Brasil in that collection to get play-by-play match commentary, the latest news and a tournament planner. You can also chat with other fans from around the world during matches. This app also made it into essential apps hand-picked by the Conversations blog to stoke your football fever.

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The Bing Sports app in the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store has also been updated to include the tournament’s top stories, scores, standings, leading players and teams. And if you’re out and about, you can also turn to the app for information on venues and city guides.

Bing Predictions

Following a recent foray into predictions about contestants most likely to get voted off or win “The Voice,” “Dancing With the Stars” and “American Idol” Bing is now taking to the field with predictions about the big hoopla happening in Brazil. 

And if you want to know when your team is playing or who won a match, you can find it directly in search results. Snapshot search results will also give you the low-down on specific players.

Bing gives you one place to keep up to date on everything happening with the tournament with a dedicated news experience.

Skype on Xbox One

One way to connect with other soccer fans in real-time is through Skype on Xbox One. With the new, free Skype Group Video Calling on Xbox One, you can get together with up to three additional people during the games to cheer – or heckle – teams. And don’t worry, everyone will get screen time thanks to the Kinect camera’s wide-angle lens. The camera pans automatically to focus on callers as they move. (Advanced TV hardware and a Kinect sensor are required for Skype voice chat and video calling features.)

While you’re on a voice-activated Skype video call, you can snap Internet Explorer to check the scores or watch the matches live with your friends. If your team is winning, Skype notifications will automatically pop up on the right side of your screen when you receive calls and messages from fellow fans and supporters. If your team is not having a good day, you can turn off the notifications. To find out more ways to connect with other football fans from all over the world, head over to the Skype Play Blog.

Windows #WEWILLWIN Sweepstakes and 7 City Tour

In this sweepstakes, a continuation of Microsoft’s 2014 MLS Season Soccer program, fans can show their pride by holding a Surface or Windows Phone device like a trophy with the slogan, “I believe that we will win” and posing for a photo. Then, they can upload their photo to #WEWILLWIN #Sweeps @Windows to enter a sweepstakes to win team jerseys or Surface 2 devices throughout the summer and the 2014 MLS season. 

During the tournament, they will also have a chance to take a selfie with a Windows Phone device that will be framed with the “We Will Win” slogan and team-specific art. They can also upload that photo to the sweepstakes. 

Keep an eye out to take these photos and enter the sweepstakes at summer festivals, viewing parties and on the street all summer. No purchase is necessary to participate in the sweepstakes, which is open only to legal residents of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The sweepstakes ends June 30. For details, see the official rules.

Microsoft Stores

There’s a lot going on at Microsoft’s retail stores too. Swing by any Microsoft Store to pick up a free bracket poster to track all your favorite teams, or download the poster. You may also find demos for the Brazil Now app, available on Xbox One. For more information about the Microsoft Store activities or to find the nearest one, visit MicrosoftStore.com.

Enjoy watching the best of the best go toe-to-toe in the summer’s most elite soccer competition, and good luck to your favorite team! With these apps, services and devices from Microsoft, you’ll feel like the one walking away with the championship trophy.

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Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff