New Windows 10 devices at CES, Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform, summiting the highest peaks in 50 states (in under 50 days) – Weekend Reading: Jan. 6 edition

Jan 6, 2017   |   Thomas Kohnstamm

Happy New Year, and welcome to the first Weekend Reading of 2017. We know many of you are still climbing your mountain of post-vacation emails or getting re-acquainted with commuting schedules, but please allow us to distract you with our top news from an exciting first week back in the office.

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At the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft partners put their innovation on full display. Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, MSI, Samsung and Toshiba introduced new Windows 10 devices in a variety of form factors to empower gamers and the creator in all of us.

VR-ready gaming PCs, increased power and performance, lighter hardware with longer battery life, OLED and 4K screens, infrared cameras and fingerprint readers that unlock Windows Hello all featured heavily in this CES lineup.

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Microsoft made some of it’s own announcements at CES this week including the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform that will help automakers build the future of intelligent vehicles.

The set of services is built on the Microsoft Azure cloud and will enable auto manufacturers to create custom connected driving experiences that are in-line with their brand. The living, agile platform aims to address predictive maintenance, improved in-car productivity, advanced navigation, customer insights and autonomous driving capabilities.

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Speaking of the cloud, Microsoft Azure became one of the first hyper-scale cloud computing platforms to achieve the HITRUST CSF certification, the most widely recognized security accreditation in health care.

The certification distinguishes Azure as an organization that patients and health providers can count on to store their private information. The accreditation incorporates industry-specific security, privacy and regulatory requirements. It also provides a single framework for health organizations to evaluate the Azure environment.

While we enjoy dependable health services as much as anyone, we also enjoy really fast cars (at least on Xbox) andForza Horizon 3” Rockstar Car Pack just delivered seven new high-speed vehicle options.

This pack features everything from classic Japanese power to a Ford trophy truck to the hybrid styling of the 2015 BMW i8. The Rockstar Car Pack is included in the “Forza Horizon 3” Car Pass, which is available for separate purchase or as part of the Ultimate Edition of “Forza Horizon 3.” Players can also get the car pack standalone for $6.99 in the Xbox Store.

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In the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions, we featured experienced mountain climbers Melissa and Maddie on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. The two achieved their goal of summiting the highest peak in all 50 states in less than 50 days, using Microsoft technology to help along the way.

Thanks for joining us for another Weekend Reading. We hope to see you again next Friday as we pick up even more steam into 2017.

Thomas Kohnstamm
Microsoft News Center Staff