Welcome back to another edition of Weekend Reading, where we bring you stories about Special Olympics athletes, the upcoming //oneweek Hackathon and Imagine Cup projects.
Swimmer Andy Miyares and sprinter Matthew Pascoe are two of four athletes Microsoft is following as they train, travel to and try to achieve their personal best in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. Opening ceremonies are July 25 and will be broadcast live on ESPN, which will also present daily coverage of the Games. In October, Microsoft announced a three-year, multimillion dollar partnership with Special Olympics to modernize the nonprofit’s software and games management system and elevate it to the cloud.
The //oneweek Hackathon, which takes place the week of July 27, gives Microsoft employees the opportunity to think outside the box, dream big and try to make their ideas a reality. For James O’Gorman, whose family raises bees back in the U.K., the Beekeeper project is a chance to work with a team to conceptualize solutions to help sustain crop production and ensure a longer life for honeybees. The HackForHer initiative is also part of this year’s Hackathon. It encourages all hackers to keep the needs and concerns of women and girls in mind as they tinker on their projects.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, which affects between 7 million and 10 million people worldwide. But there are ways to help people deal with the effects of the disease. That’s the aim of Team PROGNOSIS, which is determined to help via the Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 apps they designed to detect the early signs of Parkinson’s and provide support for patients and their families. And they are using Microsoft Azure to do it. They’re one of 33 teams from around the globe that will be in Seattle on July 27 to compete in the 2015 Imagine Cup World Finals, Microsoft’s global student technology competition. “Silicon Valley” star Thomas Middleditch will round out the trio of judges for this championship. Four Imagine Cup alumni teams – including last year’s overall World Champion – are also sharing their experiences in turning their projects into startup businesses.
As the company gears up to the July 29 launch of Windows 10, Blogging Windows began a series of posts with videos summarizing all you can do with the new operating system, as well as details on next week’s celebrations.
The recent releases of Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6 are the next big step in the journey outlined in November to bring the productivity of Visual Studio and .NET to any developer working on any kind of application, while also delivering a new level of innovation in developer productivity for all Visual Studio developers. S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft, provides all the details on these downloads.
In the world of apps and games, we found the App of the Week, Flipagram, which turns photos into custom music videos. There were also new and improved features on the Xbox App on Windows 10, “Jigty Jigsaw Puzzles,” “Gardens Inc. 2 – The Road to Fame,” “My Talking Ginger 2” and the updated Skype 5.6 for Android app.
As you can see by the news above, next week is going to be big. We’ll see the worldwide launch of Windows 10, //oneweek (where Microsoft employees worldwide gather for hackathons, celebrations and product expos), the world finals for the global student competition Imagine Cup and topping things off, the opening of the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles on Saturday. Microsoft is the event’s Official Technology Sponsor.
So, stay tuned. We’ve got an epic week planned.
Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff