More greatness from the Garage, Office 2016 for Mac, and Band API, now available — Weekend Reading: July 10 Edition

We’re entering the dog days of summer, folks, where in the Seattle area at least, it’s still uncharacteristically hot. No matter where you roam as the mercury rises, time to grab that ice-cold lemonade and catch up on a little Weekend Reading.

This week, Microsoft introduced Tossup, a fun, fast way to organize your family outings, and your social life. The app, now available to download on iPhone and Android phones, was born from the Microsoft Garage, a place that encourages iteration, and quick evolution, to get great ideas out to the world.


Speaking of great ideas, developers can now build Web tiles and use the cloud API for the Microsoft Band. This is “the first opportunity for developers to gain access to the rich fitness data that is stored in the Microsoft Health platform,” writes Ali Alvi, product manager for the Personal Devices team in Redmond.


Also out this week, Office 2016 for Mac now available to Office 365 customers in 139 countries and 16 languages, with new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. The updates pair the best of Mac with the familiar Office experience, and are based on feedback from Mac Office users.

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Micro:bits unite! Later this year, the BBC, together with Microsoft and partners, will provide every Year 7 student (age 11-12) in the United Kingdom with their own micro:bit – a personal computing device half the size of a credit card. They can use it to explore the possibilities of computer science, in and out of the classroom. Programming tools and teacher training materials will be provided on an Azure-based hosting service.


Switching from the U.K. to U.S. servicemen and women, Microsoft also announced this week, sponsorship of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Transition Summit with 20 summits and transition events across the country. The effort is focused on helping service members gain the critical technology skills required for today’s high-paying IT careers starts before the transition to a civilian career begins.

And because it’s that time of year, we bring you the Tour de France in apps this week. Cycling enthusiasts following this heart-pounding annual rite of summer can download the official game, “TDF 2015,” to choose from more than 110 riders, create a team and ride through 21 stages on mobile devices. Customize your team name, jersey and national flag, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each cyclist, and develop a strategy to lead them to victory. Available free from Windows Phone Store.


As the Special Olympics World Games near, our spokesdudes Sam and Mattie carried the Flame of Hope through the Microsoft campus.  Stay tuned as we showcase more athletes on their road to the Games.

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Keep that cold beverage close. Back to you with more hot summer fun — and the Worldwide Partner Conference — next week.

Posted by Aimee Riordan
Microsoft News Center Staff


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