It’s the start of another glorious summer weekend with the added excitement of the 2016 Summer Games — and it all caps a week of big news around Microsoft. From a major Windows 10 update to a new Xbox One console, we’ve rounded up the highlights in this edition of Weekend Reading.
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update began rolling out for customers around the globe on Tuesday. It’s packed with new features and innovations that bring Windows Ink and Cortana to life, including a faster, more accessible and more power-efficient Microsoft Edge browser, as well as advanced security features, new gaming experiences and more.
How do you get this update? You may not have to do anything at all. Find out what you need to know on the Windows Blog, and check out the new video series “This Week on Windows” to learn about some of the new features and other highlights.
If you’re thinking it’s a good time to upgrade your PC as well, you’ll want to take a peek at 10 money-saving deals that come just in time to celebrate the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
On Tuesday, the 2TB Xbox One S launch edition became available in select markets. Demand is high and quantities are limited for the sleek new console, which is $399 for the 2TB launch edition; 1TB and 500GB Xbox One S options will roll out for $299 in the coming weeks.
The Xbox One S offers a great value as one of the top 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players on the market — which means watching your favorite movies in stunning 4K — and you can play more than 100 console exclusives, writes Will Tuttle, Xbox Wire editor in chief. Plus, Xbox One S is 40 percent smaller than the original Xbox One.
As the 2016 Summer Games kick into high gear in Rio de Janeiro, you’ll find plenty of Microsoft tools to help you keep up with all the excitement: Head to the Windows Store for the free NBC Sports app and watch your favorite events on all your Windows 10 devices and Xbox One. Let Bing predict who will win and help you decide which events to watch.
Check out Cortana’s Summer Games trivia, and manage your own viewing schedule with Outlook. Microsoft has also created Coletivo do Esporte, a crowdfunding effort dedicated to supporting pro athletes; it gives fans in Brazil and all around the world a way to donate, lend their support, leave messages of encouragement and make a meaningful difference to help underprivileged youth in Brazil.
On Wednesday, Microsoft’s vision for Conversations as a Platform (CaaP) made a big step toward reality. Hundreds of millions of Skype users will now have access to a series of new bots created by Microsoft and its partners. This new wave of bots focuses on travel and entertainment, and they’re available across each Skype client whether Windows, Mac, iOS, Android or the web.
Helpful experiences like the Hipmunk Bot, a group bot, help you and your friends collaborate on tasks such as deciding where to dine or take a trip. The Skyscanner Bot lets you search for flights either individually or as part of a group, returning live prices and route options within Skype.
And the StubHub Bot works on your behalf to find the perfect concert ticket. News of these releases “builds on a steady stream of momentum toward our CaaP vision,” writes Skype Corporate Vice President Gurdeep Pall on The Official Microsoft Blog.
Also this week, the Microsoft Facebook and Twitter pages highlighted Ziad Sankari. He was 17 years old when his father died of a heart attack. That tragedy inspired him to found CardioDiagnostics, a pioneering medical technology company that specializes in developing cardiac-monitoring products and services for doctors and patients with the help of Microsoft Azure technologies.
Sankari’s efforts have gained attention in the growing field of mobile cardiac telemetry, which is helping save lives and is part of the estimated $26 billion cardiac-monitoring and cardiac-rhythm-management devices market. Learn more about the Lebanese entrepreneur and his company on the Transform blog.
If you’re planning on a relaxing weekend, this past week brought plenty of app and video news to keep you fully entertained.
The free Starbucks app for Windows 10 Mobile is now available for customers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, allowing customers to pay for their favorite coffee drink or treat with their Windows device at more than 7,500 Starbucks stores.
The Study and play collection in the Windows Store can ease you into the idea of another school year with more than 100 apps, games and entertainment. You’ll find Earth 3D, with various maps and fascinating facts to help you make sense of the world around you, as well as Drawboard PDF, a useful tool for reading and annotating PDFs, and much more.
Or settle in for “The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” which won’t be out on Blu-ray or DVD for three weeks but is available now in the Windows Store, and be sure to pre-order the sixth season of “Game of Thrones.”
You’re now caught up on the latest and greatest news around Microsoft. Kick back and enjoy a relaxing weekend, and check back here next week for the latest edition of Weekend Reading.
Posted by Tracy Ith
Microsoft News Center Staff