The Midweek Download: Sept. 7th Edition–Continuing the Windows 8 Discussion, Devs Get Windows Azure Toolkits for Android & Windows Phone, plus Windows Intune and IE9

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got the latest from Building Windows 8, plus stories on the Windows Azure toolkits for Android and Windows Phone and a new Windows Intune release coming in October. Check it out.

Reviewing feedback on Building Windows 8. It’s been a few weeks now since the Building Windows 8 Blog went live. Last week, Steve Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division, wrote part one of his reflections thus far on the conversation taking place on the blog. He followed it up with part two on Sept. 2nd, which covered the dialogue with regards to the ribbon in Windows Explorer, the new Metro style user interface and Windows Media Center availability. Don’t miss it.

Microsoft Releases the Windows Azure Toolkit for Android. Last week, Microsoft released Windows Azure Toolkit for Android along with updated toolkits for Windows Phone and iOS platforms. Originally announced in May, the Android toolkit includes native libraries (for storage and authentication), a sample application, and unit tests. Read this Aug. 31st post on The Official Microsoft Blog to get the whole story.

Building Windows Phone apps using Windows Azure. To make it easier for Windows Phone developers to use Windows Azure, we have created the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone. This toolkit provides a set of Visual Studio project templates that give you an advanced starting point for building Windows Phone applications tied into services running in Windows Azure. The toolkit also includes libraries, sample applications, and documentation. For more detail, read this Aug. 31st post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog.

Next Windows Intune release on the horizon. Microsoft’s excited to share with you that our next release of Windows Intune, which includes the new features and updates of the July 2011 beta, will be available on Oct. 17th. Read this Tuesday post on the Windows for your Business Blog for a quick reminder on some of the features included in the next version – and these are just a few of them. For a full list of features visit Windows Intune on Springboard.

Browsing without plug-ins. Because more and more browsing takes place on an ever wider variety of devices, and browsers on them, more and more consumers are browsing without plug-ins. Delivering a great site experience to consumers who browse the Web plug-in free is important work that sites must do to reach the widest audience. With HTML5, modern browsers and sites can deliver a great consumer experience even without plug-ins. Want the rest of this story? Check out this Aug. 31st post on the IEBlog.

Boeing uses Windows Azure to build virtual aircraft in the cloud. On Tuesday, Boeing introduced the 737 Explained, a virtual model of the Boeing 737 generated from thousands of high-resolution photographs that create an immersive 3-D-like model. Built on the Windows Azure platform, 737 Explained will provide prospective customers with an innovative, compelling way to view and understand the aircraft without standing next to one. For more details, read this press release on the Microsoft News Center.

That’s a wrap for this edition of The Midweek Download! Thanks for reading!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog

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