Weekend Reading: August 30th Edition–Windows 8.1 releases to hardware partners

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we cover the release of Windows 8.1 to manufacturers, bring you lots of back to school excitement through Windows Phone specials and look ahead to this weekend’s PAX Prime 2013 gaming show in Seattle.

Windows 8.1 continued its momentum with the release of Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 to hardware partners on Tuesday. It also includes Windows Embedded 8.1, marking Microsoft’s first simultaneous release of Windows across devices. While our partners are preparing new devices, the Windows team will collaborate with them leading up to general availability on October 18. Tuesday also saw the RTM of Windows Server 2012 R2, explains Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of the Windows Server & System Center.


Back to school means Windows Phone special packages. Be cool with this back to school collection of Windows Phone apps, which will help prepare the student in your life for the academic challenges ahead. Teachers’ pets might also like this: The Windows Phone Back to School Box is on sale now for $40. But you can enter to win one as well as a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone when you tweet about any Fancy item you think would make a great back to school gift and include the hashtag #BTSfancybox.


Another stunning Windows Phone 8 device from Nokia will soon be available for AT&T customers – the Lumia 925. It’s Nokia’s first Windows Phone 8 smartphone made from both polycarbonate plastic and aluminum, and will arrive on AT&T’s 4G LTE network on Sept. 13. Some of the games and apps that could make such a smartphone even smarter include: “Halo: Spartan Assault,” (which came out with a new update Thursday), the latest trio in the Red Stripe Deals collection in the Windows Phone Store, “Bejeweled Live+” (which now has five game modes), “Zuma’s Revenge,” “Yahtzee,” and “Temple Run: Oz.” And, if you’re in Seattle over Labor Day weekend, check out the annual Bumbershoot music festival, which puts Windows Phone app TuneIn Radio in the spotlight.


The PAX Prime 2013 gaming show in Seattle over Labor Day weekend shows off lots of hands-on driving, fighting and shooting experiences that will come with Xbox One. There’s also a slew of activities there that includes a chance to win a free trip to the Tokyo Game Show 2014 – by racking up points playing the Atari Arcade Battle Royale. On Tuesday, we saw the announcement of exclusive Xbox One Day One content for “Forza Motorsport 5,” “Ryse: Son of Rome” and “Dead Rising 3,” and the TWC TV app launched on Xbox 360. Launched on Thursday, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” showed us a new chapter to a well-known franchise. Critics continued to lay on the praise for “Titanfall,” and in the video below, Graeme Boyd (Xbox’s Acey Bongos) discusses the power of the cloud and Xbox One with Dan Greenawalt, the creative director at Turn 10.

In other Microsoft news, Skype celebrates 10 years, 300 million users and 1.4 trillion minutes of voice and video calls. Check out Skype’s Big Blog for its “10 most memorable Skype video moments from our first decade.” And over on the Inside SkyDrive blog, we found out about a new Bing-powered tool that extracts text from photos.

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we learned that Solitaire was added to Windows 3.0 as a way to teach users how to drag and drop.


That’s a wrap for the latest Weekend Reading. To those who just went back to school, we hope it was a great first week, and to those going back after Labor Day weekend, enjoy your last bit of summer vacation!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

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