Using AI to defeat ‘Ms. Pac-Man,’ meeting the Xbox One X and analyzing Microsoft’s Data Insights Summit — Weekend Reading: June 16 edition

The official start of summer is just days away, but no one is slacking around here. This week, we saw how Microsoft researchers used artificial intelligence (AI) to master what was thought to be the un-masterable “Ms. Pac-Man,” an addictive 1980s video game. We met the new Xbox One X, a console system designed to play the best games of the past, present and future. And we hung out at … Read more »

New ways to farm, photograph and inject even more personality into live music performances – Weekend Reading Jan. 13

Joshua Lawrence went from being a structural steel draftsman to his dream job of being a commercial photographer. Ros Harvey wants to help farmers “feed the world without wrecking the planet,” and she’s on her way to doing just that with an “internet of oysters.” A Seattle radio station that helps listeners discover new music through videos of live acts that perform at its on-site studio now can integrate artists’ … Read more »

Windows 10 Creators Update and Surface Studio empower individual creativity, Surface Dial is an all-around nifty device, and every gamer can be a broadcaster – Weekend Reading, Oct. 28 edition

We’re all creators, whether it means adding a personalized emoji to a message, dreaming up a new world in “Minecraft” or reimagining a remodel of a house or office. That’s why the announcement of the next Windows 10 update, Windows 10 Creators Update, was the big news of the week, but there was plenty more. Let’s go! Windows 10 Creators Update coming in early 2017: The free update to Windows … Read more »

Music, a medical breakthrough and employee generosity – Weekend Reading: Feb. 12 edition

WR, StaffPad, Surface, music

There was a lot to love this week at Microsoft, timely with Valentine’s Day on Sunday. We watched an amazing 11-year-old composer from McKinney, Texas, who now has an easier way to notate his award-winning creations, thanks to an app especially designed for Surface. We learned that Sir Paul McCartney created an exclusive set of love-inspired musical creations for Mojis on Skype. We saw how Kinect is being used to … Read more »

A week to soar: Innovation on display at Worldwide Partner Conference, parties planned for Windows 10 release and Special Olympics athletes on the move – Weekend Reading: July 17 edition

Special Olympics

It was a high-flying week at Microsoft, and if you blinked, you missed it. That’s why we’re here, to give you a recap of some of the week’s most important (and fun) goings-on, so let’s get to it: The Worldwide Partner Conference got down to business. New technology innovations were showcased, including Project GigJam and the Cortana Analytics Suite, demonstrating Microsoft’s ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes, build the … Read more »

Project Premonition aims to prevent major health disasters, solar-powered Internet access increases in Kenya and Surface Hub availability announced – Weekend Reading: June 12 edition

Just another regular workweek gone by, you say? Not at Microsoft. We’ve been busy, with mosquitoes, drones and disease prevention in our sights; working to increase Internet access in rural areas around the world; and providing a very big canvas for collaboration in the office. Microsoft researchers are working with academic partners on Project Premonition, a system that aims to detect infectious disease outbreaks before they become widespread. The system … Read more »

Microsoft Ignite lights up the modern workforce with new products and services – Weekend Reading: May 8 Edition

Ignite 2015

Ready to take a breath? Do it now before we dive into the news from this week, dominated by the announcements from Microsoft’s first Ignite conference. More than 23,000 attended in Chicago and thousands more watched online, learning how IT now means “innovation” and “transformation” – for all of us in the modern workforce. The modern workforce is a more apt description than the modern workplace – a misnomer, said … Read more »

Skype Translator speaks Mandarin and Italian, Build 2015 plans a road tour, Star Wars movie collection comes to Xbox – Weekend Reading: April 10 Edition

The Force is with us big-time this week: We’ve got stories about Skype Translator debuting in Mandarin and Italian, Build 2015 making a first-ever road tour worldwide, and all six Star Wars films being available digitally for the first time on Xbox Video. Skype Translator adds two more languages, Mandarin and Italian, joining Spanish and English in the preview program. Adding Mandarin Chinese is quite a feat; it’s a “very … Read more »

Microsoft cheers on girls who like science and the women they grow up to be – Weekend Reading: March 13th Edition

Welcome to Weekend Reading, with stories about Microsoft encouraging girls – and women – in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), an exciting first partnership event with Real Madrid, and four creative folks who are helping design the future of Microsoft. In “Girls Do Science,” a video from Microsoft released for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we hear from young girls who like science – a lot. But … Read more »

NYC students get Office 365 for free, Microsoft welcomes Sunrise, soldiers schooled in civilian skills – Weekend Reading: Feb. 13th Edition

MSSA, military, education

It was a week of honors, awards and an acquisition. It was a week in which one more group of soldiers completed training that will help them transition from military life to the world of civilian IT. And it was a week where students in the nation’s largest city learned they’re getting free access to productivity software that will help them prepare for college and the workplace. New York City … Read more »