Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Midweek Download, May 16: Bing Updates Begin Rolling out, New Apps/SDKs for Windows Phone and Deep Dives on Windows 8 Features

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on big updates for Bing, some new apps for Windows Phone and some previews of what you’ll see from Windows 8 and IE10. 

Bing Updates Available for Test Drive. You may have heard last week about some big updates coming to Bing that we think will provide you a new and exciting way to search. The new features began to roll-out Tuesday here in the U.S. You can check out some of the new features at

You can also learn more about the updates from the video below, which provides a nice overview of what you’ll find in the new Bing some and background on the new features. With a refreshed design, the new snapshot feature for instant access to action-oriented information, or get advice and recommendations from friends and experts with the new social sidebar, it’s a big release for the Bing team, and we hope you like it.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

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 Aviary SDK available for Windows Phone … Steve Clayton reported some interesting news for developers, as the folks from Aviary have issued an SDK for Windows Phone, making it easy for a developer to integrate Aviary’s impressive photo editing tools into mobile apps.The editor itself can be integrated into a web site or app with a few lines of code, so well worth checking out.

… and LinkedIn too… Another exciting piece of news for Windows Phone customers. LinkedIn has released a really nice new app for Windows 7 phones. It’s one a lot of us have been looking forward to, and early reviews of the design and functionality are positive.

You can read more about the app from the LinkedIn blog, or download it today.

Security Advantages Emerge in Cloud Computing. While at first blush, many companies may see a move to cloud-based systems as creating potential security issues, a new study commissioned by Microsoft shows that many companies are finding the opposite to be true. For many small and mid-sized companies, cloud services can offer a great deal of security benefits and expetise that can be difficult and costly to achieve otherwise. Survey respondents report spending nearly one-third less time managing security issues than those not using cloud services.

Windows 8 Utilities and Disk Health. In a recent post on the Building Windows 8 Blog, Kiran Bangalore, a program manager on the Windows team, reviews in detail some of the changes being made to the chkdsk utility, used for detecting and repairing issues of disk corruption. While such issues occur rarely, the time it takes to run can be a source of frustration to Windows users. The changes are designed to make this process more transparent and less intrusive. It’s one of the many behind-the-scenes improvements the Windows team is making that promises to save Windows users and IT Administrators a good deal of time and trouble when issues come up. 

Windows 8: Sharing Works like a Charm. One more from Windows 8 – and IE10 – but on the features side. The IE blog has a nice post explaining how the team has made sharing links faster and easier. Today, sharing a link from a Web site you like involves copying the link, opening or toggling over to another app, and then pasting it in to share or email that link.

With the share charm, you can share links to Web sites in a much more useful and visually-appealing way. Rather than use cryptic URLs, Windows 8 and IE10 create a rich link preview, using Web page titles, descriptions and thumbnail images to display and share, much as you share items with many social media sites. And Windows 8 and IE10 both support the OpenGraph protocol, so site owners can control how their web sites and pages show up in Windows 8 as well.

That’s all for this week … thanks for stopping by!

The Midweek Download: May 9th Edition–Microsoft Research on Display at CHI 2012, More Windows 8 News, a Windows Phone Case Study, plus Metro Style Apps in Windows 8 & More

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got stories on Microsoft Research at CHI 2012, the future of Windows Media Center on Windows 8, and creating rich mobile Web experiences on Windows Phone 7.5, just to name a few. Check ‘em out….

Weekend Reading: April 27th Edition–The Skype for Windows Phone App is Here, Wordament Comes to Marketplace & Don’t Miss the Beauty of Bing Desktop

And now it’s time for a little Weekend Reading…

In this edition, we’ve got stories on the new Skype for Windows Phone app, the winners of the U.S. Imagine Cup finals, Wordament coming to Marketplace, the new Bing Desktop and more.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is HERE! Skype for Windows Phone! Following the recent availability of the Skype for Windows Phone Beta app announced at Mobile World Congress, we’ve released an official version of the Skype for Windows Phone app, which is now available in the Windows Phone Marketplace. You can also get the app directly from your Windows Phone. Get more detail about this story on The Big Blog, and take a moment to watch the video below on how the Skype app works. Also, don’t miss this Big Blog post about Skype Video and Voice calling coming to PlayStation Vita.

College students build a tool to help feed the hungry. A team of students from Arizona State University aims to use Microsoft technology to get uneaten meals from restaurants and catered events to nearby families who would otherwise go hungry. Team FlashFood, with its solution, FlashFood, was the winning team in the prestigious software design category at Microsoft’s U.S. Imagine Cup finals on Monday. The team will advance to compete in the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide finals in Sydney, Australia July 6-10. For more detail, check out this feature story on the Microsoft News Center.

Now in Marketplace: The Xbox LIVE version of Wordament. Here’s something everybody in my house has been waiting for: The Xbox LIVE version of Wordament. The wildly popular Windows Phone word game was reborn today in Marketplace with a new look and extra features. Download it now. For many people, one big draw of this new Wordament—still free, by the way—is the addition of Xbox achievements. But the game also features other nice upgrades. Read this Wednesday post on the Windows Phone Blog for the whole story. Also, be sure to check out this Tuesday Windows Phone Blog post about two changes in Marketplace and how they affect you. Below is a screenshot from Wordament.

Wordament for Windows Phone

An exciting few days for personal cloud storage – and SkyDrive. This week, we’ve seen a welcome update from Dropbox, a new chapter for SkyDrive and the long awaited emergence of Google Drive. We’re very encouraged by the response we’ve received this week, and it’s hard not to be pretty happy when we hear positive feedback on all of the improvements we’ve made and the value we provide versus other solutions. With this week’s events, it can be fun and useful to compare features across services. We’ve seen these charts across the Web, and of course we recently updated our own chart. Read this Wednesday post on the Inside Windows Live Blog for more detail.

Bing Desktop brings beauty and convenience to Windows 7. From the beginning, Bing has been a place for exploration. The Bing homepage images aspire to spark your curiosity, giving you something to talk about and connect with. Over the years, many of you have requested a simple way to enjoy these images as your Windows desktop background. With Tuesday’s release of Bing Desktop, we’re introducing an easy way to do just that. Head on over to the Bing Search Blog for the rest of the story.

Microsoft Security Intelligence Report warns of ongoing Conficker threat. On Wednesday, Microsoft released the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report volume 12 (.pdf file), which found that the Conficker worm was detected approximately 220 million times worldwide in the past two and a half years, making it one of the biggest ongoing threats to enterprises. The study also revealed the worm continues to spread because of weak or stolen passwords and vulnerabilities for which a security update exists. Get the rest of the story on the Microsoft News Center and Microsoft on the Issues.

Need help with Office? Try our new and improved search. The Office team wants you to be able to find a good answer when you search for help in whatever program you happen to be using. One way to do that is to show you search results in Help from other reputable websites, alongside our own articles and videos. Take a gander at this Wednesday post on The Office Blog for more.

That’s a wrap for this edition of Weekend Reading! Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog

The Midweek Download: April 25th Edition–Introducing a More Muscular SkyDrive, the Latest on Windows 8, plus Windows Intune, Windows Phone and Internet Explorer 10

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got the lowdown on the new and more powerful SkyDrive, memory usage in Windows 8, what’s next for Windows Intune and a few bits and pieces for Windows Phone developers.
Available now: A more po…

The Midweek Download: April 18th Edition–Two Cool Windows Phone Developer Stories, Blending the Physical and Digital Worlds, plus Windows Azure & Microsoft Research

In this edition of The Midweek Download, we’ve got two behind-the-scenes stories of developers from the Windows Phone team, a story from Next at Microsoft on the blending of the physical and digital worlds and more.
Meet the team making Windows P…

Weekend Reading: April 13th Edition–Behind the Scenes of the Halo 4 Soundtrack, Microsoft Announces the Biggest Cloud Customer Ever, plus MSN, Spotify & Skype Hits 40M Users

It’s that time again – time for a little Weekend Reading. You know what to do…
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Halo 4 soundtrack. Are you salivating over the prospect for any shred of information, no matter how minute, about Halo…