Before you get too comfy in your chair on Thanksgiving, you’ll want to check out all the great Black Friday deals for Xbox One, PCs, tablets and more, as well as meet a passionate trio from Carnegie Mellon University who are using technology to reduce energy consumption in buildings. It’s the early edition of Weekend Reading; let’s go!
If you’ve been waiting to get an Xbox One, there’s no better time than now. Xbox One consoles, including special edition bundles Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle and Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle, will be available starting at $329 in the U.S., while supplies last, Nov. 27-29, and on Cyber Monday, online only, on Dec. 1. The $329 price is $70 off the original console price. There are also a number of Xbox Live and digital game and video deals, including 40 percent off “Forza Motorsport 5” and “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition,” through the Xbox Store,” starting now.
Looking to give a new PC or tablet to a special someone (even if that special someone is you)? Check out Black Friday deals that include an 8-inch Windows tablet for $99, the new 13-inch Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2, on sale for $599 ($100 off); and the 15.6-inch Acer Aspire E5, for $399 (a $200 savings) at the Microsoft Store Nov. 27 through Dec. 2. Don’t miss other deals that are available on the Surface Pro 3, Lumia 635 phones and more, online at MicrosoftStore.com and select retailer websites.
A trio of energy sleuths at Carnegie Mellon University is working to find ways to make buildings more energy-efficient using advances in technologies such as cloud computing, data analytics and services such as Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning. Solving this issue is vitally important: In the United States, nearly 70 percent of all electricity is used for building operations — heating and cooling systems, lighting, ventilation and plug loads. Now this ardent team is slowing cracking the code, one building at a time, and in ways previously unthinkable.
If you’re still scrambling to find the perfect recipe for the holiday, Bing’s new recipe features let you look for recipes in one place as you click through a carousel with large images that help you explore dishes collected from favorite sites. Once you choose one, the recipe card shows how many people the dish will feed, and how much time it takes to make. The tabs on each card provide more information, such as ingredients, directions and reviews. Thinking about what to do with those turkey leftovers? Bing has links to some very creative recipes.
You’ll be thankful, too, for these free and useful travel and holiday apps for Windows Phone, including weather app Blue Skies, which displays its information in an attractive Live Tile on your Start screen; Skyscanner, which can help you snag the best holiday airline prices, as it scans thousands of airfares from hundreds of airlines, and then makes it easy to complete purchases; and Pin.it, an easy-to-use Pinterest client that can help you scour the Web for holiday-themed recipes and decor to pin to your own, personalized ideas board. You can also save your favorite boards to your phone’s Start screen for easy access.
Chill out (while staying warm) with free games and music, whether you’re at home or at the airport waiting. In “Tentacles: Enter the Mind,” for Windows Phone, you go inside Dr. Phluff’s extraordinary brain. The latest update brings a new game mode, Survival, additional levels and an expanded shop. In “Chicken Invaders 4,” for Windows, you’re on the front lines of a battle against intergalactic hens and roosters that are up against a new super-weapon. Ready for some fresh tunes, and lots of free ones? The Holiday Freebies collection from Microsoft’s Music Deals app, for Windows and Windows Phone, gives you 100 albums, including Jessie J’s “Sweet Talker,” Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “The Heist” for free. Yes, free. And, you’ll want to make sure you have the newly updated Viber app for Windows Phone, with more than 400 million worldwide users who use it to text, call, and send photo and video messages. It’s got a new design, better photo display in chats and improved performance.
This week on the Microsoft Instagram page, we spiced things up with an entrepreneur who found a way to #DoMore with sea salt.
No matter where you spend this Thanksgiving, safe travels. And a big thanks to all of you who read Weekend Reading every week!
Posted by Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff