Minecraft’s Block by Block program is helping communities build thriving new public spaces around the world

Female students crowd around a computer screen, smiling

Earlier this spring, 45 schoolgirls in matching uniforms crowded into the computer room at the custard-colored North Thanglong Economic & Technical college on the outskirts of Hanoi, Vietnam. Beyond intermittent ripples of laughter and excitement, the 15- and 16-year-olds stayed focused throughout the day on the hard work at hand: playing Minecraft. Together they built 3D models that reimagined the darker corners of their neighborhood as a safer, more functional … Read more »

Watch an animated guide to the internet of things on the latest episode of ‘Explanimators’

In the next few years, we will see the arrival of some 30 to 50 billion connected devices. The internet of things will allow unprecedented creation and sharing of data. And, by analyzing all of that information, we will learn how to improve different aspects of our lives and create new experiences in the home, the workplace and beyond. Now you can learn everything you need to know about the … Read more »

Watch an easy guide to everything AI on ‘Explanimators,’ a new video series from Microsoft Story Labs

Who says that cartoons are for kids? Artificial intelligence (AI) kicks off the Microsoft Story Labs animated “Explanimators” series about big, important, cutting-edge areas of technology that remain mysterious (if not just plain confusing) to people who don’t have an engineering or computer science degree. While artificial intelligence is increasingly all around us, helping people do more, save time and work smarter – let’s be honest – it’s tricky to … Read more »

Fusionist Asta Roseway’s bold vision for the future of design, tech – and just about everything else

Researcher and fusionist Asta Roseway is pictured in an illustrated landscape featuring stylized flowers, a mountain range and a starry night sky

FoodFutures, an exhibition addressing food production needs in the year 2050, melds the seemingly strange bedfellows of urban farming, machine learning, research engineering and design. Its self-sustaining hydroponic and aquaponic farm modules use computer vision analysis to maximize efficient yield and crop health. The retro-futurist aesthetics nod to 2050 while remaining approachable and inspiring discussion about the challenges of feeding a world facing increasing climate change and urbanization. “The project … Read more »

How indie game creators are leveling up creativity at Xbox

Katie Stone Perez sits on a sofa surrounded by mementos in her office on Microsoft's Redmond campus

Katie Stone Perez brims over with excitement when talking about Xbox games. All Xbox games. Today the senior program manager for Microsoft’s independent developer program, ID@Xbox, is particularly enthused about “The Hole Story,” a new game about a budding young archaeologist named Wendy who digs in her backyard and discovers a portal to a strange land. The game, written and prototyped by a group of high school students, was selected … Read more »

‘Halo 5: Guardians’ launches, new Surface devices hit the shelves and Microsoft volunteers share expertise with nonprofits – Weekend Reading, Oct. 30 edition

Years of hard work came to fruition this week as much-anticipated Microsoft Surface devices and the newest installment of Xbox’s “Halo” game franchise stepped out onto the world stage – and into the hands of consumers. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. Check out this week’s big news from across the company. On Monday, Microsoft’s Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, two new devices first unveiled earlier … Read more »