Project Spark ignites gamers’ minds, and Surface Pro 3 is a good fit for enterprise — Weekend Reading: Oct. 10th Edition

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on Project Spark, the Surface Pro 3’s role in the workplace and Adobe Creative Cloud now optimized for Surface Pro 3.

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Project Spark made its official world debut in stores this week, and its creators and early devotees hope the game for Windows 8.1 and Xbox One will spread far beyond its million beta users and help break the glass between players and their adventures, “not unlike how YouTube helped transform a world of video watchers into an army of camera-wielding, homespun videographers,” wrote Microsoft News Center’s Jennifer Warnick in her own “pick-your-path quest” inspired by Project Spark. Brandon LeBlanc, of Blogging Windows said Project Spark, “aims to democratize game making by giving everyone easy-to-use tools to create, play and share their own creations with others.”

Microsoft takes Surface Pro 3’s commitment to business to the next level. More and more businesses are interested in using Surface Pro 3, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says that Surface Pro 3 is an “enterprise-class device that can deliver great end user productivity. Microsoft is putting its full and sustained support behind the ongoing Surface program as one of a number of great hardware choices for businesses large and small.” Microsoft has also launched a new support offering called Microsoft Complete for Business that includes a three-year extended warranty, accidental damage, faster exchange service and Surface setup support for customers.

Surface Pro 3, enterprise

Adobe Creative Cloud optimized for Surface Pro 3. At Adobe MAX this week, which featured Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on stage, attendees saw a productivity solution built to handle the challenge of mobile creativity that includes the latest version of Illustrator CC. In partnership with Adobe, the new workspace has been designed to work best with Surface Pro 3. “Go install the latest version of Illustrator CC (there is a free 30-day trial) on your Surface Pro 3 today and see what happens when you pull off the keyboard,” Panos Panay, corporate vice president, Microsoft Surface, wrote in a blog post. “There is a transformational new experience here, and we think you are going to love it.”

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Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 became available worldwide, with new features to help small- and mid-sized organizations, including apps optimized for tablets and other touch devices, personalized home pages and new capabilities for electronic payments and automated account reconciliation.

Our heads go round, right round, with RoomAlive. At the 27th Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, the leading forum for innovations in the software and technology of human-computer interaction (HCI), Microsoft researchers revealed their advances with tablets, styluses and augmented reality. That included RoomAlive, which uses a unified, scalable, multiprojector system that adapts gaming content to its room and explores additional methods for physical interaction in the room, resulting in an immersive gaming experience.

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Microsoft’s annual Employee Giving Campaign is held in October, and with it, many employees literally race to the finish line (if that’s how they raise money), generously donating their company-matched volunteer time and money to worthy causes. Microsoft’s employees give throughout the year, and in 2013 they raised a record-breaking $113 million for local and global nonprofits.

Microsoft employees, giving campaign

There were lots of apps, including the VH1 app for Xbox One, and for Windows Phone and for Windows. Plex for Xbox One, lets Xbox Live members enjoy movies, TV shows and other videos from their personal library on the big screen, no matter where the files are stored. (Plex will also be available on Xbox 360 soon.) The NHL on Xbox One provides live, out-of-market regular season games and replays with a subscription to NHL GameCenter LIVE. Financial management app MoBu, for Windows Phone and for Windows, goes beyond just tracking your personal income and expenses – you can also set budgets and fully analyze your financial health, without having to register an account online. Travel in time back to the 1980s with “PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX” for Windows Phone and for Windows. And a very cool new and free app, Xim, lets people share photos across multiple Windows Phone and Android devices without having to pass your phone around for everyone to see.

apps, VH1, Xbox One

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we gave acronyms a whole new meaning. How do you own your #5to9?

Facebook page, Microsoft

Thanks for checking out this edition of Weekend Reading. Enjoy – and we’ll see you next week!

Posted by Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff


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