Windows 10 Anniversary Update, NASCAR’s new race app, LGBT pride — Weekend Reading: July 1 edition

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Another big week at Microsoft revealed more details on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, a new race management app from NASCAR and GLEAM, Microsoft’s employee resource group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.

Let’s begin with the next major update to Windows 10 – the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. It’s arriving Aug. 2, and it includes features that bring Windows Ink and Cortana to the mainstream; a faster, more accessible and more power-efficient Microsoft Edge browser; advanced security features for consumers and enterprises; new gaming experiences and new tools for the modern classroom. Everyone who is running Windows 10 will get these new features for free, writes Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president, Windows and Devices Group, on the Windows Experience Blog.

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NASCAR plans to roll out a race management solution, moving its business to the Microsoft Cloud and using Microsoft’s data analytics tools to level the racing field. The race management app, announced at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 in Sonoma, California, on June 26, can, among other things, collect multiple live video feeds, providing real-time race viewing to the control booth on one screen. The app can also provide a dashboard enabling race officials to monitor everything from weather conditions to data about cars as pit stops are made for fuel and tires. To learn more, read the story on the Transform blog and visit the Windows Experience Blog.

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The latest JobsBlog story by Tracy Ith focuses on Microsoft’s culture of diversity and inclusion. “The first day I showed up for work at Microsoft, I put a picture of my partner up at my desk, and I’ve never taken it off,” says Dan Bross, senior director of Business and Corporate Responsibility, who married his partner in 2013. “Everyone has been 100 percent supportive. I can’t think of even one uncomfortable moment.” Bross is executive co-sponsor of GLEAM, Microsoft’s employee resource group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. It offers employees a broad network of support and a platform for taking a stand on issues they care deeply about, getting involved and making a difference.

Microsoft Gesture research , Jamie Shotton and team at the Microsoft Centre, 21 Station Road, Cambridge. CB1 2FB 13 June 2016

This week, we also saw how Microsoft is helping people interact with technology in more natural ways than ever before. Microsoft researchers around the world are looking at a number of ways in which technology can start to recognize detailed hand motion — and engineers can put those breakthroughs to use in a wide variety of fields. “If we can make vision work reliably, speech work reliably and gesture work reliably, then people designing things like TVs, coffee machines or any of the Internet of Things gadgets will have a range of interaction possibilities,” said Andrew Fitzgibbon, a principal researcher with the computer vision group at the U.K. lab, whose team is working on a project called Handpose that can track detailed hand motion with a virtual reality headset or without it, allowing the user to poke a soft, stuffed bunny, turn a knob or move a dial.

And in a Slate article, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella writes about how artificial intelligence (AI) holds “far greater promise than unsettling headlines about computers beating humans at games like Jeopardy!, chess, checkers and Go.” The article is part of Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy and culture.

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New and updated apps continue to pour into the Windows Store, including Wells Fargo Windows 10, FluidMath, Popcornflix, “Disney Find ‘n Seek,” “Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2,” Star Walk 2 and “Quarry Driver Parking Simulator.” We also saw an update to a popular Microsoft Garage app, Arrow Launcher.

July’s Games with Gold gives Xbox Live Gold members four free titles, including two Xbox 360 games that are playable on Xbox One through Backward Compatibility. Lead your Viking clans through battle in “The Banner Saga 2” and put your brain to the test in “Tumblestone.” On Xbox 360, start the month with smash hit “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2” and then go off the grid with “Tron: Evolution.”

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This week on Microsoft Instagram, we met award-winning sommelier turned successful businessman, Andre Mack, founding owner of a nationwide distributor of 33,000 cases of wine each year. Microsoft technology has empowered him to make the fine art of wine appreciation accessible for everyone through craft, humor and an approachable sensibility.

That’s it for our round-up. See you next Friday for another Weekend Reading!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff