Introducing Workplace Analytics, using Skype to teach empathy, exploring tech in health — Weekend Reading: July 7 edition

| Thomas Kohnstamm

It may be a shortened week due to the U.S. holiday, but there was still a fair amount going on at Microsoft. Join us for this edition of Weekend Reading where we run down the week’s top news.

Microsoft researcher Ethan Jackson with prototype mosquito traps
Microsoft researcher Ethan Jackson with prototype mosquito traps.


There are few issues more important than health. Meet those exploring new frontiers of collecting and analyzing health data, from a mindful cyborg to researchers predicting disease outbreaks with mosquito blood, in the second .future podcast.

The podcast, which debuted last week, is a new Microsoft series about making the future happen, exploring tomorrow’s technology today and how it will affect generations to come.

Microsoft Workplace Analytics, a powerful new tool providing behavioral insights that can be used to improve productivity, workforce effectiveness and employee engagement, is now available.

Workplace Analytics taps into Office 365 email and calendar metadata to shine a light on how organizations collaborate and spend time, turning data into a set of behavioral metrics that can be used to understand what’s going on in an organization. Customers are using the solution in a variety of ways — to improve sales productivity, boost manager effectiveness and reduce employees’ travel time to meetings, among others.

Developed by teachers Koen Timmers and Tammy Dunbar, the Human Differences project uses Skype in the Classroom to teach students empathy and global understanding. The program helps students create connections, explore gender inequality and learn about other cultures.

“When you make connections with others around the world, that bond creates not only friendship but empathy and compassion,” says Dunbar, who, like Timmers, is a Skype Master Teacher and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert.

Anime Month is back in the Windows Store, where fans of the genre can find huge savings and earn rewards on TV, movies and games through July 31.

They can also get the first seasons of “Dragon Ball Z,” “Fairy Tail” and “Yu Yu Hakusho” for free all month on Microsoft Movies & TV. Also, keep up with what’s hot, new and trending in the Windows Store on Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks so much for joining us for Weekend Reading. Keep an eye out next Friday for another roundup of the week’s highlights.

Thomas Kohnstamm
Microsoft News Center Staff