Weekend Reading: Sept. 23rd Edition–Bing Celebrates Fall, Rethinking the Windows Boot Experience and “Gears of War 3” Launches, plus the Rustock Botnet, Windows Live and Windows Phone

This edition of Weekend Reading is chock full of Microsoft news, including stories on the introduction of video on the Bing home page, re-engineering the boot experience on Windows 8 and the highly anticipated release of “Gears of War 3” for the Xbox 360.

Bing home page springs to life with fall video. Bing is celebrating the first day of fall with a first for its users: an autumn-hued video on its home page. Visitors to the Bing home page today will be greeted by a time lapse video of the sun slowly rising over fall foliage. The video – visible to people using an HTML5-enabled browser – is the first to appear on the Bing home page, where eye-grabbing images have become an iconic part of the search engine’s brand. Read this feature story on the Microsoft News Center to see the video and learn more.

‘Gears of War 3’ is an action-packed father and son story. “Gears of War 3,” the dramatic, action-packed, much-anticipated conclusion to the blockbuster Xbox 360 trilogy, is now available. Here’s what fans of the series need to know: the final installment of “Gears of War 3” opens quite some time after the conclusion of “Gears of War 2,” and life on the fictional planet Sera is hanging by a thread. Society has all but collapsed, and the troops of Delta Squad are in a desperate fight to save what’s left of humanity from an unyielding subterranean enemy, the Locust Horde. Want to know more? Read this feature story, which features a cool slideshow, on the Microsoft News Center. Below is a screenshot from the game:

Gears of War

Re-engineering the Windows boot experience. “In building Windows 8, we set out of take advantage of some new technology and revisited some old assumptions to totally rethink the boot experience. We also wanted to make it more accessible and better suited to devices without keyboards,” writes Windows and Windows Live Division President Steven Sinofsky earlier this week on Building Windows 8. To read more on improvements to the boot experience, read this Tuesday post on Building Windows 8 by program manager Billie Sue Chafins.

Rustock botnet case closed: Microsoft refers evidence to FBI. Six months after we first wrote about how the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, Microsoft Malware Protection Center, Trustworthy Computing and our partners shut down the Rustock botnet, we are pleased to report that we have successfully concluded our civil case against the Rustock botnet operators. We’re now referring the matter, and the discovery gathered during our civil case, to the FBI for criminal review. Read Thursday’s post on The Official Microsoft Blog to get the rest of the story and see a short video about the work against Rustock.

New device lineup for fall 2011: Thin is in. Ahh, fall. That glorious time of year when summer winds down, the autumn leaves put on their annual show and the technology industry unleashes a new cascade of must-have devices for the holiday buying season. Already hitting the shelves are new Windows-based devices that will help people connect and share from anywhere, increase productivity, advance entertainment options, and get organized. Check out this feature story and slideshow on the Microsoft News Center to see more. Below is a screenshot of one of those devices, the IS12T, Japan’s first smartphone featuring the next version of the Windows Phone operating system, code-named “Mango.”


A preview of Windows Live for Windows 8. Last week, Microsoft released the developer preview of Windows 8 (WDP) at the //BUILD conference. While we covered a lot in the keynote, we wanted to provide folks who’ve been following our services for some time with a quick summary of what we talked about and what’s coming next. Windows 8 provides us with an opportunity to reimagine our applications and services in a new context of user interaction and the power of connected apps. To see what we’ve got in store for the future of Windows Live, read this Wednesday post on the Inside Windows Live Blog.

That’s a wrap for this edition of Weekend Reading. Thanks for stopping by and see you next week on The Official Microsoft Blog.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog

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